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A Father’s Love

June is the month we celebrate our dear fathers. At least, that’s what Hallmark tells us.

It’s not easy to be a father. It’s an awesome task. Being a father is more than just being a daddy or having children. A father’s job is so much more.

It’s a tremendous undertaking to rear a child in the way to go. The task can be daunting, especially when a man does it in his own strength, or the way his own dad did it. Taking cues from your father may not be the best route. Many times, a father will fail.

There is no official instruction guide for fatherhood, no protocol to follow for each child has different needs to be met. Though the instruction book for life—the Bible—has everything one needs to accomplish any job. And what better example to follow than that of our heavenly Father who, by his grace, has given us more than we deserve. That is, not to spoil us, but to show us the riches of His glory.

If your own father was absent or less than fatherly, remember that you have another father, one whom you may not see–absent, again? No, no! He is very present, even more than if he were standing beside you. For he made you. Your hairs are numbered, and he sent his son to die for you. The love of this father–our Lord–is incomparable to any other.

That is why we should celebrate Father’s day every day. For our heavenly father deserves our continual worship. And for our earthly fathers, we are grateful for all you’ve done for us and hope that all fathers will seek their Father in heaven for the strength, wisdom, and courage to fulfill their earthly role.

Living water…

Ninety-nine degrees in the scorching summer heat and you’re desperately craving relief for your parched throat. Unlike hunger, which can be tamed for a while, dehydration is a different matter…in another league. It can be deadly.

King David longed for the Lord in this way, as though his very soul would die without the quenching of his thirst for the fellowship of the Lord—the living water. He sought for it both night and day, at times, and he was rewarded, for his parched soul was always refreshed through the Lord.

It would seem the whole world is searching to quench their souls. They seek to fill themselves with the water of the world—idols, pleasures, and other worldliness—yet they remain thirsty. The Lord says to drink from His fountain as His blessings are everlasting and sustaining.

“But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” ~ John 4:14.

He who knows Jesus in the most intimate of ways now holds the living water of the Holy Spirit. May it spill up, out, and overflow as a gushing spring. May it be a blessing to all in witness of the greatness of the Lord in you!

The Lord is the maker of all

Every twenty-four hours as the earth rotates around the sun and the axis on which it tilts is held by His power, The Lord gives us another opportunity to arise and praise Him.

We’ve probably asked ourselves at some point in our lives: “What is our purpose here on this planet…why am I here?” The question of why God created us is an enigma—other than He wanted to—but our purpose is clear, and that is we’re not here to serve ourselves; our plans and purposes should reflect what God says to do—to love and serve one another and to glorify Him.

In Acts 20:35, the Word says, It is more blessed to give than to receive. As we’ve been given new lives in Christ, not to mention an eternal one, what little does it cost us today to live our lives as ambassadors for Christ? Doing everything in love so that our witness is kept pure. Are we fools to live sacrificially like this? The world lives for self-serving pleasure, but God’s children have a higher calling.

We’ve been given today to rejoice and be glad in Him. Like the psalmist says, “…and again, I say, Rejoice!”

Remembering…

America, the land of the free, is a concept our
founding fathers brought forth on this continent
that all men should be free from tyranny. They
acknowledged our Creator as God—the one who created
us all equally—thus paving the way for America to
become a nation of liberty and freedom.

Today, we honor the thousands of veterans, the
heroes who sacrificed so much for our country.
We thank and salute each one for their valiant
efforts to ensure the safe keeping of our land
and its liberty.

There’s also one other who made the ultimate sacrifice
so we can be free. Our savior, Jesus Christ. The price
he paid was the willing sacrifice of his own life in
the most excruciating manner. Not just the cruelty of
the cross but the beating, scourging, and mocking,
along with the weight of our sins. Because we sinned from
the beginning, Jesus came to take our place in death and
to bear all of our sin, so we can be free from its bondage.
Truly, we are only completely free in Jesus.

Consider the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus and
those of our Vets this Memorial Day and pray that
God will allow our nation to continue in the manner
the founding fathers designed.

Thank you, Lord, that we have liberty to worship
you in this great land because of the sacrificial efforts
of so many, the greatest being your Son.

Peace like a river…

Even on your bleakest day, the calming peace of Jesus can satisfy like no other. He leads us beside the still waters and restores our souls. His peace is like a river, and it flows as a fount of blessings to his faithful followers who put their trust fully in Him.

In difficult times of trial and trouble, the everlasting arms of Jesus—and He alone—is the only healing balm we need. He directs the course of great rivers, and by his power, the very atoms in the nails that pierced his flesh on the cross were held together by His mighty strength. If He created the world and all the cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him, what is your life’s situation that He cannot make good?

If God is for us, who can possibly be against us? That is, who can thwart God? Or, why is there a need to even worry about anything but our relationship with the Lord?

Mother’s Day

How blessed are we who have been nurtured by Godly women–our mothers. One who takes her responsibilities of raising her children under the guidance of her heavenly Father, who rises up to prepare them for the day with feeding, clothing, teaching, and caretaking…who honors the Lord in all she does and walks in a manner to please Him.

A mother’s love often extends beyond her own needs or concerns. Sacrificially, she’ll hold back from herself the last slice of bread if her child is still hungry, lend her only dollar, drive to the ends of the earth, or stay awake throughout the night, if necessary. She gives and gives until it’s time to give again.

Mothers are God’s special gift to this world. Today, all mothers—grand, foster, and surrogate—are being celebrated. You are a blessing to your children and they are blessed to call you Mother.

Next to Jesus, there is no other love like a mother’s. Whether here on earth or at home with the Lord, we remember you today and every day with our utmost love and appreciation.

                     Lucy and Lena Parisano, mom and grand mom

A new song

When Jesus defeated sin on the cross and death, as well, through his resurrection, he put a new song into the hearts of his disciples. As a victor, he became cause for celebration. As Christians celebrate this magnificent feat annually on Easter morning and in our hearts every day, it brings to every believer’s lips a song of rejoicing.

We often sing the well-known lyrics in the hymn by E.M. Bartlett:

“O victory in Jesus, my savior forever, he sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him. He brought me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.”

When Jesus came to earth the first time, he came as a peaceful servant of his father. He came not to judge the world but to save it. When he comes again to reign and his brethren with him, he will come to judge like never before.

There’s victory in Jesus! He gave his life and he opened up eternity for all believers in Him to enter. Life is a battlefield, but rest assured, the battle belongs to the Lord—and it’s already been won.

He’s alive

The cruel Roman cross was no match for Jesus. The spotless lamb of God, who defied death and dying, paved the way for man to enter eternity through selflessly enduring the sin-ridden stains of humanity. The world lends a nod to the Easter holiday; however, for true believers, the day is celebrated every day in our hearts.

Naysayers may scoff at the devotion we hold and may mock or deride our faith, but through His shed blood, we are now washed in new life and freedom. If not, we would still be knee-deep in our sins and still standing in judgement, same as the world. We are reborn and no longer bound by sin and the fear of death; we walk away new people in Christ and our new lives are more precious than anything this world can offer.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

For now, as people washed spiritually clean, we are ambassadors for Christ and proclaim Him until we are safely home with the Lord. We can choose to follow his precepts and serve Him or live to serve ourselves. Only we can make that choice. Though, because he gave his life for us, the very least we can do is live for Him.

He is risen!

Before our Lord Jesus endured his final hour, Isaiah prophesized how he would die. The words, pierced, bruised, and crushed all describe the scene at the hands of the Jews and Romans on that fateful day. Many would have passed out from only a portion of what Jesus endured. Amazingly, he hung in there through the suffering. All for you and me.

The sacrifice he made, the torture, the humiliation, and how he was mentally and emotionally brought down by the weight of humankind’s sin is mind boggling. What the Lord went through is stirring in the deepest of ways because what he suffered was what we deserve. An innocent lamb led to slaughter. Though because of this miraculous feat, we are now set free. Set free spiritually from everything that besets our souls forever.

The compassion of God is truly greater than anything we’ll ever come to know. The more we dwell upon the flogging he endured… the stripes upon his back, the nails in his wrists, and the crown of thorns on his head, the more fully we can understand the magnitude of his suffering. The greater meaning of it all, we’ll understand in heaven, but for now, we can rest in the truth of God’s word that these things were designed from the beginning for good.

The only remedy for the world’s sickness and disease of sin with all of its manifestations is the Lord. Isaiah tells us: “By His stripes we are healed.” We take medicine for our physical ailments, but the only medicine to cure our souls is the blood of the perfect lamb.

We walk by faith and not by sight

When walking with the Lord, we take the time to fully seek him through prayer and study of the Bible and come to find that is where he reveals himself. His power is displayed also in nature, but in His Word, he speaks to us.

As Apostle Paul states in his letter to the Corinthians, we are assured of the resurrection by the granting of the Holy Spirit to all believers through Christ. What a great gift! Abiding in God’s word and submitting to his good and perfect will, we find ourselves led by the Spirit and yearning for the blessed hope when we see him face-to-face. Until then, we need to continue to walk with him daily and worship him—even washing the dishes can be a worshipful experience when the Lord is present in our hearts and minds.

Seeking His kingdom and searching for him in scripture is the ultimate journey we can accomplish every day as the Lord guides and directs us until we go home. Walking closely with the Lord in every avenue of our lives will never fail to yield the fruit of peace.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”