Why Easter is the Most Important Christian Holiday
Rabbits don’t lay eggs, they bear live young. Someone told me the story of a pagan holiday combined with Christianity. Something about a fertility celebration? It wasn’t Christian, but it got mixed in. However, I found family movies of my first Easter. My brother and I had Easter baskets, chocolate eggs, and fancy outfits. Watching my parents follow me around while I wore my pretty dress almost makes tears come to my eyes. (They are both in heaven.) In later years, I do remember picking out my fancy clothes and dying eggs for Easter egg hunts. We always went to church to sing and praise God for the resurrection. However, despite the fact what we celebrated every year, I didn’t”t realize how important Easter was until I got older. It may have been my fault for not listening, but I didn’t get it. Now I do.
My guest is my husband, Ray Simmons. He’s a Bible teacher and elder at Grace Community Church. We chose a different tradition raising our children, and he will explain why Easter is so important.
Spiritual Warfare: Persevere with the Armor of God
We are in the midst of a war, how can we find the stamina to keep going? Let me tell you a story.
Let me tell you a story. I have a disabled child and I homeschooled. I took him in for evaluation and the person I used recommended I take him to professionals several days a week for therapy. Leaving that lady’s office, I wondered how I could follow her instructions with my four other kids. I chuckled to myself that I would have to put somebody up for adoption, something I’d never do.
This child’s issues broke my heart every day. When I tried teaching him the simplest jobs, he collapsed into brought blood-curdling screams. “I’m stupid. I’m stupid, I’m stupid.” For instance, teaching a child to count is easy. You pick up blocks and say one for the first, two for the second.The only problem was my son couldn’t do that. Picking up a block required he use his fingers with the right amount of pressure. It took too much concentration. Saying the numbers in the right order, sequencing was also terribly hard. He could never do the two things at once. I never did do what the lady recommended.
I hired part-time therapists and worked on their goals until we met again. However, it was an inch by inch proposition whenever I taught him anything. He had neurological issues due to his seizures, and he could not concentrate. I had three seconds if I held my face to his, almost touching his nose. That makes teaching really tough. Many mornings I prayed fervently in my bedroom before I went downstairs to work with him.
As wives and mothers, we will face challenges. Where and how will we find the courage and perseverance to stick to the task? Katy Kauffman is my guest today. She has written a Bible study based on 2 Timothy, and it’s about perseverance.
2:50 What does God have to say about not giving up?
3:50 Describe perseverance for Jesus.
5:00 What do you think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion?
6:10 How can we deal with those who reject Christ without being preachy?
Ladies, God cares about the choices we make because they impact our lives as well as others.
I appreciate the writings of Francis Schaeffer who is now with the Lord. He pointed out that there is no distinction between sacred and spiritual. All of life, minus sin, is lived out before the eyes of the Lord. He wants us to live in this physical world with integrity in our personal lives as well as our spiritual lives. Because they overlap.
We have a tendency to think that brushing our teeth or exercise is not a godly action. Well, it is. Cause you are caring for the body that belongs to God. I used to think changing diapers did not seem particularly spiritual. But ladies, it is. You are caring for a child, and that is all part of raising that baby with love and graciousness.
We need to live a balanced life where we keep the important things important and focus on eternityLet’s talk about the fruit of the spirit: That is if you are walking with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, your life will have these qualities.
Galatians 5:22 – 23But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Did you hear self-control? That includes not blowing up in anger, but it also includes good diet and good sleep habits.
Laurie Boulden is my guest today. She has just written the book Weighed Down. The main character learns balance in her life.
If you are like me, you like to get results. I set goals for the day and take great pleasure in checking off my list. When we turn to God with our prayers, we tend to expect the same thing. How frustrating. We know from scripture God wants us to pray and to bring him our needs and petitions. Here’s a quote from Matthew 7:71a“Ask, and bit shall be given to you; 2seek, and you shall find; 3knock, and it shall be opened to you.
When you read that, you see God’s promise to answer and you expect him to. As Americans, we’d see it like placing an online order. We type in what we want and set up delivery. However, God doesn’t always work like we think he should. I can recall praying for my parents to get carpet downstairs in their living room. At the time, they had hardwood, which we value more highly now. But they wanted carpet. I saw no way God could answer that, but they worked in a church
Let me tell you a story. I can recall praying for my parents to get carpet downstairs in their living room. At the time, they had hardwood, which we value more highly now. But they wanted carpet. I saw no way God could answer that, but they worked in a church ministry and won a contest. Someone had donated carpet to the winner. So God answered my prayer. My parents were impressed and told me to keep praying.
However, many times I have prayed don’t get an answer. Or at least you think that’s true cause lots of time passes. Nothing happens.
So what is God doing? And why did he make such an open and shut promise like that one I read?
You can read about people in the Bible who prayed like Hannah prayed for a son, but God did NOT have promises at that time.
Today we have the promise that whatever happens, God will turn it into something for our good.
Perhaps your problem isn’t about prayer. You are in transition much longer than you think you should be. Why does God make us wait?
Today my guest is Marlo Shalesky. She wrote Waiting for Wonder. The book is about Sarah and Abraham waiting for a child.
2:10 Why did you write a book on this topic?
3:00 How was Sarah supposed to know she did the wrong thing? Her choice was okay in her culture.
8:00 You say we pray too small. Explain that.
9:00 Isn’t it possible we will see the outcome of our prayers in eternity?
I don’t know if you have an itch to be perfect, but I do. I was a straight a student in school, and I worked so hard not to make any mistakes. That tendency to long for good grades has snuck into my everyday life. I cannot bear to err. And I know I fail all the time. The older I get, the more I am aware of the wickedness that resides in me. I wish it was not there.
Romans 3:23 says “For All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone agrees none of us are perfect, but some have a leaning toward different sins. Sin separates us from God, but the consequences of some sins are more extreme than others.
Either way, we can become snared in sin and be unable to free ourselves.
In 2 Peter, the apostle speaks of false teachers when he writes: “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” This verse makes it clear that a person can become a slave of sin. Fortunately, the Apostle John shares “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Bob Fife was enslaved by homosexuality for twenty years. His book, Out, tells his story of breaking free.
We’ve often covered topics relating to our responsibilities as parents, and we’ve discussed this passage in Deuteronomy. “…you shall teach them [God’s Laws} diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” That’s pretty intense because you will be teaching all the time.
Teaching the Bible to your children can be challenging since you have developmental issues mixing with doctrinal issues. And I am going to tell a couple stories about myself.
When I was young, I attended a church that was very missions oriented. They had mission conferences often and people would come forward saying God called them. Lots of them talked about how they didn’t want to be on the mission field, but they were miserable not following God. I assumed if you didn’t want to do missions, then God had called you. That was the last thing I wanted, which meant I had to do it. So I said God called me to be a missionary.
The other story is about my family. Mom and Dad had a name for each grandparent. For instance, my grandmother on Dad’s side was Granddad Thomas. On mother’s side, it was Granddad Cofer. My uncle was Eugene. I never saw his name, so as a child, I envisioned his name to be U.Gene because he was my uncle. It made sense to me that the U was a shortened form of Uncle. Once I grew up and heard the name Eugene, I realized my mistake.
Both of these stories show that children think differently when they are young. Realizing their developmental stage helps to understand how our children might get confused. My guest is Jann Martin, who holds a degree in Elementary Education.
Lasting Love: A Story from History with Angela Breidenbach
Doesn’t everyone want lasting love?
We have just celebrated Valentine’s Day. Now everyone is either eating candy or watching their flowers wilt or wishing someone gave them candy and roses. Our society suffers from an obsession with love, and yet we can’t even define it. We love our homes, our cars, our pets, and our spouses. Whenever this emotion takes hold of us we must obey its bidding. We can fall in love and out of love quickly. Using Scripture, we can define love. (Of course, we have to go back to 30 a.d. to the time when the church began. the disciples wrote what they learned from Jesus.) The love God has for us is called agape. It’s a love that impacts the will, seeking the best for the one loved. Agape not based primarily
Using Scripture, however, we can define love. (Of course, we have to go back to 30 a.d. to the time when the church began. The disciples wrote what they learned from Jesus.) The love God has for us is called agape. It’s a love that impacts the will, seeking the best for the one loved. Agape is not based primarily in the emotions, although emotion comes along with it. Jesus demonstrated agape when he came to earth. He left his glory behind and came to die for our sins.
Agape love does unselfish acts of service regardless of what the emotions appear to dictate. This is the kind of love that lasts. Ladies, you and I know our emotions ride a roller coaster depending on the state of our hormones and the amount of sleep we get. If we truly care about someone, we will agape love them whether we feel the emotion or not. Many times, we choose to act, and those emotions come later.
Today Angela Breidenbach shares a story of love from the history of her family:
3:50 Your grandfather married your grandmother to keep her reputation?
Doesn’t everyone long for that perfect spouse that loves her forever? How can you achieve that?
There’s a huge interest in genealogical research today. People want to know their family tree, and they’ll go to great lengths to do that. Because of the internet, more information of that kind is available. There are several online sites where you can find such information if you are willing to pay. Even in a sluggish economy, people opt in. Family is important, but broken relationships there can also be the more painful than any other. While friendships may not last, we often we don’t expect as much from our friends as we do family.
It’s interesting that while we long to know our family tree. Marrigaes are falling apart. The divorce rate is ridiciulous and many couples aren’t even getting married now. But let’s face it. From Genesis, Marriage forms the core of family. God preformed the first wedding ceremony. A man and a woman had a child and that was the family.
We are nearing valentines day, and there’s talk of love. Because of this emotion, love, people insist they must act as they feel. Red roses and chocolate candy can be found everywhere. Do those things constitute the kind of love that lasts? if not, then why?
Today I have Dianne Barker, and she has been married to the same man for fifty years. Presently she is writing a book about how to have a good marriage. She’s going to give us some tips.
2:00 Tell us the story of your marriage.
8:25 What were some of the differences you saw and how did you learn to accommodate?
11:47 Resolving Conflict
17:10 What if something he said hurt your feelings? What would you do?
21:45 How does your husband express love?
23:00 How did you come to understand how he expressed love?
You can overcome abuse, and we are going to talk about how that’s done.
The mind is incredible. God designed us so we can access our memories and relive events. As we do that the emotions wash over us again as if it was happening in that moment. In fact, that’s one reason Worry is bad for us because we imagine something bad happening and our bodies respond as if it did happen. All the negative chemicals start flowing through our bodies. Those bad chemicals can make us ill.
Ladies, If you’ve lived very long, you’ve been through heartrending stuff, you’ll have baggage. Stuff from the past that weighs you down and impacts your actions and even reactions. What can we do about that?
2 Cor. 10 5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”
Today we are going to talk about how you can implement that verse and how Scripture can help you heal:
I have Becky Harling with me, and she wrote, Rewriting Your Emotional Script
2:25 Why pray Scripture? Isn’t that magical thinking?
3:12 How can God heal you with the Word?
4:00 How can we be ‘poor in spirit’?
5:30 We need God.
6:45 How is letting go different from being a victim
Overcome Fears Holding You Back: Realize Your Full Potential
You are a special creation with a unique gift to share. Don’t allow fears to hold you back:
We live in a consumer-driven society, and it’s very easy for us to see the church as something that serves us. We already have our hardware store, our grocery store or maybe a farmer’s market, an appliance store, a place we buy clothes. We decide what we might need and go looking for that. Unfortunately, we approach a church exactly like that.
I’m going to turn that on its head because I firmly believe that every Christian should have a ministry. God speaks of us as a holy nation, a royal priesthood for his own possession. Yes, we should attend a church that has a great doctrinal stance, but its a place we can reach out to others.
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
Did you notice that God doesn’t want us to get proud or self-centered? Instead, he wants us to focus on what we can give to the body.He gave every believer a spiritual gift and God wants us to use that right where we are. We are an essential part of the church body as a whole. We aren’t the whole body, but if we don’t function, the body would be handicapped, just like you’d be if you lost an eye or a foot. Your gift is essential and brings a needed skill to the body of Christ that only you can give. What a great prescription for emotional health. Valuable but not the most important!
Cynthia Cavanaugh wrote Unlocked: 5 Myths Holding Your Influence Captive. She’s going to share how we can find our ministry.
2:00 What are you trying to address in this book?
3:20 How did Rahab manage to lead from a place of uncertainty?