Jesus' "Best Man"

Jesus' "Best Man"

jesusbestmantitleIN ANCIENT Jewish tradition, there was a specific order things were done. First, a covenant was made between the groom and the prospective bride’s father. Then the groom left the betrothed for an unspecified period of time, while he prepared a place for him and his bride to live. When it was ready was determined not by the groom but by his father. When all was ready, the father would tell the son, “Go and get your bride!”
Before Jesus was taken up to heaven, he told his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also.” (John 14:3)
Now, an interesting thing happened when the place was ready. The bridegroom returned for his bride, often in the middle of the night when she was not expecting him. His best man came with him and announced the groom’s arrival with a blast of the trumpet and calling out to the bride. He would call her name and make her aware that the time was NOW!
What will happen when JESUS returns for His Bride, the Church? He will be accompanied by His best man, the archangel, Michael. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God.”
So who is this archangel? The only archangel spoken of in the Bible is Michael, and he has several duties. One such duty is to stand up for the people of Israel, as Daniel was told by An Angel when he met him on the riverbank in Babylon. He is the General of the Armies of God, and a mighty warrior. He is referred to by name three times in the Bible, and the last time is during the end times.
Here’s the thing. Since there is only one archangel, then it must be Michael who returns with Jesus to gather His bride unto Himself so that we may be where He is. What will Michael shout? Perhaps he will call us each by name, announcing that our Groom, our Lord, has returned for us. Will you be ready?

Christian Passover Decorating!

Christian Passover Decorating!

I’VE JUST about driven myself mad trying to find the perfect, affordable way to decorate for our Seder on Passover. The problem is, there are so many ideas out there! I’m going to post a few links so you can go see for yourself, but I want to describe my table, too. (I’ll post pictures from the Seder on April 4th.) It is surely a challenge to find Christian Passover decorating!
First, I got a blue, round table cloth to fit our table. Then I bought white, round placemats to put at each place. My tableware will be my mom’s beautiful floral pieces, which are mostly pink and white, but I plan to tie it in by having a pink floral centerpiece. Next, two tall white candles, as tradition dictates. My Seder plate is one that I made myself, and is a pizza pan decoupaged with the pages of an old hymnal. The cups for the traditional foods are plastic in a floral edged shape (again, round). Instead of having just one egg on the plate, though, I’ve decoupaged white ceramic eggs with the same sheet music the tray is made from. Each person gets to keep his egg, rather than eating a roasted, boiled egg. (It is symbolic, after all!) Because our Sacrificial Lamb was slain 2,000 years ago and we no longer sacrifice lambs for the forgiveness of sins, we’ve chosen to place a wooden cross where the lamb’s shank bone would have been. (My husband’s idea!)
Anyway, here are a few places to give you some inspiration, and as I said, I’ll post pictures of our own Seder the next day.
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Martha Stewart
E-How.com
PopSugar
Table Setting Ideas

The Parable of the Blessing

imageJESUS SAT with his disciples on a hillside, teaching the crowds. There were about 5,000 men there, plus women and children. Altogether, the crowd could easily have been 15,000 or more. It was late, and they were some distance from the nearest town. Jesus had been teaching all day, and it was getting later by the minute. The disciples suggested that Jesus send the people away so that they could buy food, but the Lord said, “You give them something to eat.”
Unprepared to feed the multitude, the disciples wanted to take stock of what they had to eat, so they could bless the people. While they pondered the situation, Jesus caught the eye of a young lad with some food wrapped in a cloth. He smiled gently at the boy, and the lad looked quickly away. He had heard the disciples and knew there was no food to feed the crowd. He ducked his head and his cheeks grew red. If he gave his meal up, who would have enough to eat? There wouldn’t be enough for two, much less the thousands gathered on the hillside. So he kept his head down and refused to look again at the teacher.
To be sure, the boy had heard of the miraculous signs the teacher had done. In fact, he had actually seen somebody healed. But what had that to do with his lunch? Still the boy refused to look up.
Then he heard the disciples say, “Here, Lord. There was a lad with a few fish and loaves, but what is that among so many?” The boy looked up in surprise and saw the teacher’s face looking sadly at him. Then his eyes turned away from the startled lad’s face, and he saw the teacher look kindly at another boy, who was holding out his own measly lunch to the Lord.
“Have the people sit down in groups of fifty,” said Jesus. The boy sat with the nearest group. Soon baskets were being passed around, and one came near him. To his amazement, the baskets were full of fish and bread. His own lunch looked so small in comparison to what was being passed around.
He looked up at Jesus. The teacher’s eyes were looking directly at him, and the lad knew that Jesus could read the intent of his heart. A single tear slid down his face as the boy took a bite out of his own fish and bread. He was sure that the loaves and fishes in the baskets, while no different than his by sight, were much better. For they had been blessed by the Lord. Then he remembered what he had heard Jesus say once before. “It is better,” he said, “to give than receive.” Then before the basket could be passed on, he dropped what little he had brought into it, thankful that he could be a part of the blessing.

Coping With Stress And Anxiety

stress and anxietyFeeling stressed or anxious?

These strategies will help you cope:
Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.
5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
 
Taken from Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Why I Believe The Rapture of the Church Will Be Soon

Why I Believe The Rapture of the Church Will Be Soon

MANY PEOPLE don’t believe in the Rapture of the Christian Church, and more have no idea what it is. So I thought to tell what it is and why I believe it is destined to happen soon.
The word “rapture” is not in the English translations of the Bible, that’s true. But in the Greek translation, the word where we get our terms for rapt and rapture is there. It’s the word rapio, which means caught up. In Hebrew the word is harpazio.
jesus returns to the fatherBefore the Seven year Tribulation which is coming on the whole world arrives, the Church–Jesus’ body–will be “caught up” to meet Him in the clouds. This is spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where it says, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so we shall ever be with the Lord.” It is God’s deliverance from His wrath, for it is written: “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:9). In Nahum 1:2, we are told that wrath is reserved for God’s enemies. The Church is His Bride, not His enemy.
Using a Jewish wedding as an analogy, the bridegroom proposes to the bride and then leaves her for an indeterminate amount of time to build her a house and prepare for her a home, which his father oversees. When his father determines that the home is ready, he sends the son along with the groomsmen to get the bride. Meanwhile, she has been busy preparing to meet her new husband. The bridegroom returns for her at an hour she does not know, but normally when it is dark, and the groomsman blows a trumpet to mark the groom’s arrival. The bride will have been watching for him and will have her lamp trimmed, ready to meet him when he gets there. Then he returns with his bride to the new house he has prepared for her, and the two of them disappear inside for seven days. Meanwhile, the rest of the family and friends rejoice and have a grand party.
Jesus told His disciples, ” And if I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). If the Church is His Bride, which we are told she is in Ephesians 5:25-27, her duty while she waits for Him to return for her is to remain faithful and prepare. This is the point the Church is at today.
Now, as for why I think it will happen soon.
In the Jewish year, there are seven feasts, four in the spring and three in the fall. These feasts are called moedim, or appointed times. They are spread out over seven months. The first of these is Passover, the remembrance of the day in which lambs were slaughtered and their blood spread on the door posts of the Jews’ homes in Egypt so that the Angel of death would “pass over” them as he went about killing the firstborn in every household. It was on the day of preparation for the Passover meal in the evening that Jesus was crucified at the exact time that the lambs were being slaughtered. Sinless, Jesus became the perfect Passover lamb with whose blood the sins of the world are taken away.
The next feast is called Unleavened Bread. It commemorates the day that the Jews left Egypt, taking unleavened bread, as they did not have time for it to rise. Leaven is also symbolic of sin, so when the Jews fled into the wilderness, they symbolically left their sin behind in exchange for freedom. The perfect unleavened bread was Jesus Himself. He told the people, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:33). He also told them that as a kernel of corn must die and be buried in order to produce fruit, He, too, would die and be buried, which is what happened on that very feast day.
Three days after Passover is the Feast of Firstfruits. On this day, Jews celebrated the new crops and brought offerings of first fruits to God. Jesus was resurrected on this day, a kind of Firstfruits from the dead, or the first of the great harvest that will occur at the end of the age. This is the time that Christians celebrate Easter, although it does not always fall on the correct day and is always celebrated on Sunday.
Fifty days after Firstfruits is the celebration of Pentecost, the very day that the Church was born and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers. The Church started that day with 3,000 people and has not stopped growing since.
The next feast in line is the Feast of Trumpets. This is the day that many think Jesus will return (I am among those who so believe). This feast is always accompanied by a loud trumpet call, just as the return of the bridegroom for his bride is also accompanied by a trumpet blast.
After that is the Day of Atonement, a very solemn occasion when the Jews make restitution for their sins. This would be the time of the Second Coming, when Jesus will return with his Bride (the Church) to judge the nations.
Lastly is the feast called Tabernacles, where the millennial reign will start, Jesus dwelling with His people forever.
Now we live in a dark world where every prophecy necessary for Jesus’ return to Rapture His Bride has taken place. Since the beginning of the Jewish State in 1948, things have been ready. The only thing still to be fulfilled is when that last gentile to be saved has been saved. When will that be? No one knows. Some people say we cannot know the timing of Jesus’ return, because He, Himself, said that no man knows the day or hour, not the Angels, nor the Son Himself, but only His Father in Heaven (Matthew 24:36). Yet at that time, Jesus was referring to the Feast of Trumpets. This was a common adage which His disciples would have well understood. Because the Feasts of Trumpets is the only feast that begins on a new moon, there were to be two witnesses as to the sighting of the new moon. Now not just anybody could be a witness of this fact, but only men of great import. Since the month had 29-1/2 days, and two witnesses had to be together, they spread the feast over two days. “No man knows the day or hour” specifically referred to that feast.
Our world can’t get much darker without annihilating ourselves. Remember that the groom came in the dark with his trumpet blast? It could be this Feast of Trumpets, which occurs on September 14 and 15 of this year, or it could be in 2016, or it could come in the distant future. But I think it’s far more likely that it will be soon, just based on the condition of the world and that we’ve been privy to so much prophecy fulfillment in our time. As I said, nothing is left to be done.
And I believe that we will be that generation that does not pass away until all these things be fulfilled (Matthew 24:34).