Short & Sweet: Keep Calm and Carry On, by Mary Kane

Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.
Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

It’s everywhere: Keep Calm and Carry On. This famous British slogan from World War II, is currently emblazoned on T-shirts, billboards, magazines, and advertisements.

During World War II, the British government issued many morale-boosting posters. According to keepcalmandcarryon.com, “The plan in place for this poster was to issue it only upon the invasion of Britain by Germany. As this never happened, the poster was never officially seen by the public.” The rest of the story is history.DoNOT

God also wants us to “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Why? Because He is our sovereign Father, who knows what we need before we even ask Him. How do we keep calm? By continuing to believe Him, despite our circumstances.

If you have lost your job … keep calm and carry on.

If you are facing the thing you feared would come … keep calm and carry on.

If the hardship has come upon you which you said you could never survive … keep calm and carry on.

If in the face of your greatest heartbreak, loss, or hardship … keep calm and carry on.

Until Jesus comes back or calls you home … keep calm and carry on.

Action Points:

  1. Name an action you will take today to show God you trust Him.
  2. Every time you start to worry today (America’s favorite pastime), replace worry with prayer.
  3. Speak a Bible verses instead of anxious words.

Life is sweet.

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Short & Sweet: Let it Go! Let it Go! by Mary Kane

Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.
Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

Why has Christ set us free? So we can be free.  God does not want us to be enslaved to any sin or habit. The chains of sin  prevent us from walking with Christ.  If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we have the power, at any moment, to let it (sin) go.

Anger … let it go. Wrath … let it go. Bitterness … let it go.  Jealousy, hatred, envy, vengeance … let it go. When we let these injurious things go, we will be able to receive God’s healing and blessing.

As our verse states, freedom requires work. We must stand firm and not let ourselves be burdened again with sinful thoughts, attitudes and habits. We have been freed so we can set these things free. Let them go and let Him fill us up.

Action Points:

1. Name one thing you need to let go.

2. If you let it go, how will your life change?

3. What will you do in place of the item you let go?

 

Life is sweet.

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Short & Sweet: The Rod, by Mary Kane

Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.
Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1
Jesus is called by many names: The Bright and Morning Star, The Word, The Lamb of God, Living Water and The Bread of Life. Each name reveals something about His character and our relationship with Him. Isaiah 11:1 names Jesus as a Rod from the stem of Jesse. The Living Water, and Bread of Life are understandable, but what does Rod mean? To gain understanding, we must go back to the original language. Please consider the following definitions:
Rod: in Hebrew, choter, which means a branch or rod
Stem: in Hebrew, geza, which translates as the trunk of a felled tree or a newly planted tree, putting forth new roots.
Branch: in Hebrew, netser, which descends from the root word natsar, which means to defend, to guard, to keep a covenant (emphasis mine).
Putting it all together: From the family of Jesse, God was bringing to pass something new – a new covenant. This new covenant would be established by Jesus, the Rod from the family tree of Jesse.
To close today’s study time, please read one more verse. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24
The success of the next generation depends upon us sharing with them the Good News of Jesus, the Rod of Jesse. Let’s be faithful to God’s calling.
Action Points:
    1. How can you help your children have more Jesus?
    2. What do you need to do to deepen your own relationship with Him?

Life is Sweet.

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Short & Sweet: Feeling Cross, by Mary Kane

Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.
Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.

“2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Last week I was having a hard week. Usually I am a pretty happy person; I can find joy in the little things of life. A lovely sunset, a quiet walk in the forest, an elegant house from a bygone century can bring a smile to my lips. I was feeling a little out of sorts. As my mother would say, I was “feeling a little cross.”

Feeling cross (Webster’s): angry, annoyed, irritated, put out.

Jesus has also felt cross, but his experience was very different than mine. According to Hebrews 12:2 when Jesus was feeling cross, He felt joy.

Feeling cross meant pleasing His Father. Feeling cross meant purchasing our redemption. Feeling cross meant salvation for all mankind. Because Jesus was feeling cross, we have been set free from our sin and shame and are free to live for him.

Feeling cross (redefined by Jesus): joy, peace, grace, freedom, thankfulness, blessedness.

Action Points:

1. How has the cross changed your life?

2. Thank Jesus for the life changing work of the cross.

3. Today, share the work of the cross with another person who needs encouragement.

Life is sweet.

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Short & Sweet: Cross Guard, by Mary Kane

Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.
Nourishment and Refreshment for your soul.

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:34, 37-39
When I was in elementary school, I attended a neighborhood parochial school a couple of blocks from my house. Back in the halcyon days of my childhood, we played for hours outside with the kids on our block, we set up lemonade stands, we came home for dinner when the church bells rang, and we walked to school by ourselves. At the corner of Brookfield and State Street, was a Cross Guard. The Cross Guard, who wore a bright orange belt across his chest, manned his post in the morning, at lunch time, (yes, we did walk home for lunch) and in the afternoon. His job was to safely conduct us across the street. He took his job very seriously and could REPORT us if we didn’t obey his every command.
When I reached 5th grade, I too became a Cross Guard. One time, while on duty, I was caught goofing around. My indiscretion earned a lecture from my father. Thankfully, he gave me a second chance.
In the Bible, another kind of Cross Guard is mentioned, the centurion. He stood watch at the foot of the cross. The Cross Guard had one job – to watch the cross. As the Cross Guard watched the cross and the Son of God as He poured out His life’s blood, he could only say one thing: “Truly this man was the Son of God.
We are now the Cross Guards of the 21st Century. Like the Cross Guard of my childhood, we must take our job very seriously (we don’t want a lecture from our Father); it is a matter of life and death. We stand at the foot of the cross and call out to all who will listen, “Truly this Man is the Son of God.” By our witness, may we safely conduct many to a saving faith in Christ.
Action Points:
  1. How are you witnessing for Jesus Christ?
  2. How do you guard the message of the cross in your life?
  3. Who needs you to be a Cross Guard so they can safely find Jesus?

Life is sweet.

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