It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.


—Patrick Henry

April 29, 2009

Does anyone remember THIS America?

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 00:00
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BREAK TIME!
Does anyone remember THIS America?





With the help of our Almighty God, may all be awakened to the need to preserve and protect the freedoms upon which our America has been built.

***

God Bless America, 

Land that I love. 

Stand beside her,
and guide her 

Thru the night
with a light from above. 


From the mountains, to the prairies, 

To the oceans, white with foam 

God bless America,
My home sweet home.
—Irving Berlin © Copyright 1938,
1939 by Irving Berlin


###

April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic: A Warning From the Heavens?

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 15:04
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"We are concerned that this virus could cause a new influenza pandemic. It could be mild in its effect or potentially be severe," Ban told reporters.

"We don't know yet which way it will go but we are concerned that in Mexico most of those who died were young and healthy adults."
—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The Swine flu virus that originated in Mexico has crossed the border and reached the United States. "It has pandemic potential," Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization, told reporters during a telephone briefing. "It is infecting people."


Chan added, "The situation is evolving quickly." "We do not yet have a complete picture of the epidemiology or the risk, including possible spread beyond the currently affected areas. Nonetheless, in the assessment of WHO this is serious situation that must be watched very carefully."

Is this pandemic or is this a warning from the heavens?

Who knows, but my spirit tells me that nothing is a coincidence and…

it is evident that we are clearly in God-less times and, for believers, the Bible offers us many warnings of things to come. Does not the Bible warn us that earthquakes, famines, pestilences and fearful sights are all signs from heaven?

“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” Luke 21:11 (KJV)

***

I believe that our present world calls for all believers to join in solidarity to boldly spread His Word. We need not live in fear but, rather, in the conviction that is orchestrated through the Holy Spirit so that we truly experience the “power of His Word.”

In 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 4:5 we read:

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Grace to you and peace…
We know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”

Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians was the first book of the New Testament to be written. Although the traditions underlying the gospels go back to the time of Jesus, they had yet to be written down in the form in which we read them in the gospels. So, in one sense, the opening words of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians could be considered the opening words of the New Testament. It is striking that as opening words they tell us something important about the word of God.

After greeting the new converts in Thessalonica (converts made by Paul only a few months earlier) and commending them on their faith, hope and charity (1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3), Paul proceeds to talk about what led to their conversion. The message that he had preached in their midst had not been merely a matter of words but a message with power -- a message anointed by the Holy Spirit -- a message of conviction in those who heard it. Elsewhere, Paul speaks about the signs, wonders and mighty works that accompanied and confirmed his preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 12:12), and of a power intrinsic to the word of God; a power capable of calling forth faith. It was this power that brought about the conversion of the Thessalonians.

How do we go about tapping the power of God’s word?

The first step is very simple: we need to read it. Simply acknowledging that the Bible is the word of God is not enough; we must make it a part of ourselves and live it.

The word of God is like a seed sown in a field. The seed may have life within it, but it will only sprout and grow if the proper conditions are present. “But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patient endurance.” (Luke 8:15)

The time is now that we must welcome God’s word with eagerness while taking it to heart; we must persevere in the word so that our lives will bear a rich harvest. Then we, and our land, will experience what the Thessalonians experienced as Paul proclaimed “the good news” to them: the power of God operating through His word and the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

###

The following video, Power of Your Love, courtesy of You Tube.



###

April 24, 2009

Hillary In “Awe” Of Margaret Sanger

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 09:23
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Her Life and Leadership Is The Most Transformational In the Entire History Of The United States
—Hillary Rodham Clinton
speaking about Planned Parenthood founder and
noted eugenicist Margaret Sanger

***

On March 27, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton made the following remarks about Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger at the Federation of America Awards Gala in Houston Texas:

“…Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…. And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her….”

Did I hear that correctly? Madam Secretary of State Clinton is in “awe” of Margaret Sanger… AWE? With all due respect, Mrs. Clinton, Sanger was not a hero -- she was a monster that needed to be stopped but, instead, was idolized.

Let’s set the facts straight here: Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was simply a proponent of eugenics who advocated selective breeding, sterilization and euthanasia. In one of Sanger’s first pamphlets, published in 1915, she wrote, “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization. For upon the foundation of an enlightened and voluntary motherhood shall a future civilization emerge.”

Sanger also advocated government coercion to stop the “unfit” from bearing children, saying, "The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind."

Well, apparently I’m not the only one who is stunned with Hillary. Following is a clip from Rep. Chris Smith and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry confronting our Secretary of State on the same issues (videos courtesy of you tube):






Madam Secretary, the “choice” is God’s and God's alone!

###

Barack Obama believes this legislation will “end the culture wars.” To him, “ending the culture wars” means eradicating every state and federal law on abortion—laws the majority of Americans support.







Together, we can help stop FOCA. Visit www.FightFOCA.com and join the almost 600,000 people who have signed the online Fight FOCA petition so far. Help be the voice for our unborn babies!

April 23, 2009

Nothing Is Impossible With God

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 08:23
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This evening, I sit in the stillness of the evening still in shock that my dad is dying. Although to many, he’s “a silly old man of 86” his heyday proved him to be a strong, loving father.

He was my daddy; the man who could do anything and never complained. He protected me and taught me what mattered most in life.

It was “this silly old man” who taught me about unconditional love.

It was “this silly old man” who taught me about integrity.

It was “this silly old man” who taught me about God.

By profession, he was a cop and a darn good one. His shield number was 506 and everyone on “his beat” loved Jack. He was a fair cop but, Lord, did he love to lecture the kids who got in trouble. The joke of the time was that many would have preferred to be locked up rather than have to listen to my dad’s lectures. Those lectures never changed and would go on for hours…

He sleeps a lot now; the cancer has spread and he’s bleeding internally. I decide [for him] to have his remaining days at home without any surgery or chemo. Why bother? Let him be comfortable but I’m frustrated because there are no programs at present that can offer us help – he’s “not weak enough” and, he makes too much money.

Too much money? All his money is going out to nurses and the things he needs.

I am not sure how we will care for my dad; since the loss of my husband’s business our money is depleted, I’m exhausted beyond belief and am behind in everything. I cry out in anger to the Lord; then I just cry. I am not seeing a way…

Then I sense these words: “Nothing is impossible with God.”

I open my bible and immediately read, “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have favor with God. An now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you will name him Jesus”… May said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:30-31, 34-37)

I repeat, “Nothing will be impossible with God” and, immediately, I am comforted.

***

The very mission of Jesus was rooted in the impossible from the moment of his conception in Mary’s womb. He was fully human but not merely fully human. He was the eternal Word of God become flesh in our midst. He knew hunger, thirst and fatigue, but He restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and raised the dead to life. He did what was humanly impossible because as the Son of God He shared in God’s power.

Jesus not only did the impossible but asked the impossible as well. He healed the sick and told His followers to do likewise. He walked on water and invited Peter to join Him. He wasn’t teaching Peter a better way to cross the lake, but, rather, challenging his faith – his willingness to follow Jesus wherever he might beckon, however impossible that might seem.

Jesus asks that we imitate Him. But how can we love with His totally self-sacrificing love, if we do not in some sense become Him? Paul could boldly state, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Yet such a transformation seems to be beyond us. It seems no more possible for Jesus to be born in us than it seemed possible to Mary for Him to be conceived in her. Even if we are willing to let Christ live in us, we know how stubbornly our self-will clings to life and how desperately it resists relinquishing itself for another. We know what Jesus is asking us to do, but nevertheless always ask, “Lord, how can this be?”

The answer we always receive is, “What is impossible for you is possible for God.”

When Peter began to doubt that he could safely walk on water and began to sink, Jesus rebuked him for his lack of faith. When a man full of both hope and doubt brought his afflicted son to Jesus to be cured, Jesus demanded faith of him, telling him, “All things can be done for the one who believes.” The man replied with a cry that many of us prayed ourselves, I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24).

And when the disciples asked why they weren’t able to cast out a demon, Jesus answered that it was because they had so little faith: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you: (Matthew 17:20).

The faith to move mountains, to many of us, seems to be a level of faith far beyond us. And we are right. Our faith, however, in cooperation with God’s power, is itself a gift from Him. God wants to give each of us the gift of faith so that the impossible might be done in our lives. He wants to overshadow us with His Holy Spirit so that Christ will live in us – a miracle far greater than moving mountains.

I understand now and will find a way through Him.

###

The following video, Ana Laura – Completely, courtesy of You Tube.

April 19, 2009

America’s Driving Force Must First Be God

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 18:33
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This past week I have witnessed an array of mixed feelings regarding our country’s future. Amidst confusion, the echo within many is, “What next?”

Some events of the past week: DHS issued a report releasing a security assessment of "right-wing extremism" (which undoubtedly includes myself and my family), there were nationwide Tea Party’s on April 15, and…

a fellow church member whom I hired as a nurse to care for my 85-year-old father quit.

[What the heck does someone quitting have to do with America’s future?]

Hold, on, let me continue…

Passionate as I am, I am active within the pro-life movement and, yes, attended the Charleston Tea Party.

My dad’s nurse thinks I’m a racist’ and blatantly stated she’s never met “anyone as bigoted [as me] in her life.”

Why?

Because she feels Obama “is wonderful” and I do not.

Did I mention that my dad’s nurse is black?

Did I mention that I am white?

Does it matter? No, but apparently to the “sheeple” it does.

Let me shout my belief’s from all roof tops, folks,
“The state of affairs within our America has nothing to di with race! It has everything to do with our freedoms being taken from us [due to a corrupt government] and the mess our children are inheriting!”

Trust me, as an Italian, if John Gotti was our president, I’d feel the same… so, would that make me anit-Italian?

I’m tired, folks, tired, tired, tired.

Since I do not know our president personally, I cannot say a thing about him as a person, HOWEVER, as an American citizen, I am certainly “free” to protest against policies I disagree with and, for me, that’s what this is all about.

But wait – there’s more!

It’s bad enough that we’ve a nation divided but, more alarmingly, is the division amongst fellow Christians.

If we are who we say we are than confusion wouldn’t exist however, as I’ve stated in my previous article, we’ve become a nation who has “sold-out” and that, my friends, is America’s crime and why she’s in trouble.

America, the once strongest nation in the world is now ruled by fear. Let me put it this way: until we get our priorities in order, I promise you, it ain’t gonna get any better


America’s Driving Force Must First Be God
As Christians we profess that, “With God all things are possible” yet contradict ourselves constantly.

I firmly believe that if we truly consecrate ourselves back to our God while asking humbly for His forgiveness we’d find solutions amidst our confusion.

For Catholics, today is Divine Mercy Sunday; a day we celebrate Jesus’ loving-kindness. On this day, one week after Easter, we are reminded why Jesus rose from the dead: to shower the world with His Divine Mercy. Now, unless we reject Him outright, He will never deny us.

As Peter walked through the streets of Jerusalem, many people brought their sick friends and relatives to him “in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on one or another of them… And they were all cured” (Acts 5:15,16). It was such a simple act, taking a friend to the side of the road, but it resulted in amazing miracles. Jesus didn’t wait for them to drum up heroic faith. All they needed was to take one small step, and He came running to them.


This is the message that God gave St. Faustina through the Divine Mercy. “The graces of mercy,” Jesus once told her, “are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.” Or to put it another way: Everyone who trusts—receives!


God has so much in store for us, America! If we'd simply repent to Him as a nation, we will find the Divine Mercy that we so deeply need. Jesus isn’t waiting for us to drum up heroic courage. All He needs is for us to take one step toward Him, and He will rush in with His Forgiveness, His Healing, and His Strength. He is America's Way!


Plain and simple
: America, We Need God In America Again.


Anyone up for it? We’re loosing so much that there really isn’t much more to loose.

“Jesus, your love is beyond words. For the sake of your sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Please open the eyes of our leaders and heal our America.”

***

The following video, We Need God in America Again, courtesy of You Tube.




###

April 16, 2009

Obama and Jesus – Who Wins?

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 17:07
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Apparently Obama.

Since my family and me attended the Charleston Tea Party, I originally was going to post a blog about the event; however, suddenly it doesn’t seem to matter.


Not really.


Why?

It is evident that God is unwelcome in America.

Plain and simple: our nation is
making choices that are fueling us further and further into a God-less nation.

After I read about Obama’s speech at Georgetown University I feel paralyzed as I understand the root of America’s downfall: we are indeed a nation without God.


D
oes that justify my name being added to Ms. Napalitano’s “watch-list?” Probably but if I outwardly profess to be a follower of the Christ then why would I not stand up for Him? Makes no sense [to me] just as Georgetown University’s decision to cover up the Jesus' name with black plywood while Obama gave his speech this past Tuesday makes no sense. Read story.

Jesus is the identity behind the Jesuit order yet Georgetown University just sold out.

And why?


Because the White House asked them!

Does not our Lord deserve more?

Ya’d think, but apparently not.


A nation based on lukewarm convictions is doomed to failure regardless of how many patriots there are. What we need, as a nation, is to humbly get on our knees asking the Lord’s forgiveness and re-invite Him back into our lives and land.

We need to actively work within our own churches and return to the Spirit of Truth without compromise.


Am I na├»ve? I don’t think so. Let’s review what the Bible says about being lukewarm:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
Has America been spued out of God’s mouth? Is there more to this than meets the eye? Will “putting out the fires” of today really help our children’s future?

Now here’s a surprise: the U.S. Senate is considering whether to approve Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius — the most pro-abortion governor in the country — as President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Why am I not surprised…


America, Abortion is wrong – no two sides around that one.


We have before us the consequences of an election that makes us equally as guilty as those in office. We’ve become a people who have sold out on our core principles and values and because?


Because of fear!


The simple truth is this: right is right and wrong is wrong – anything middle of the road is just as wrong as wrong. Through Jesus Christ all things can become new. Through Him, America can be restored. Not through Obama. Not through the Democrats and not through the Republicans.


Why don’t we get this?


Because the majority of us are not who we profess ourselves to be.

Ah-ha! There, I’ve said it!

In today’s reading (Acts 3:11-26) Peter asks the people of Israel a great question: Why are you amazed with this?
“As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called "Solomon's Portico."
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
"You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health….”
By linking Jesus’ resurrection with the man’s healing, Peter was pointing to something far greater than the possibility of physical healing. He was showing us that in His resurrection Jesus had made all things new.

Peter was telling us that the mere name of Jesus—the Messiah who had conquered sin and death—contained enough power to banish darkness and bring restoration. He was telling us that a new way of living has opened up, a way of living focused on Jesus and the power of his resurrection.


When was the last time we’ve genuinely prayed in Jesus’ name? Perhaps when we’re were sick? Or maybe when a loved one was going through a difficult time? Let’s consider now a good time to pray for a miracle for our nation and her people including all her leaders and pray with confidence. After all, the greatest miracle has already come to pass: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His defeat of even death itself!


“Lord, Jesus, please forgive us as I turn over our ailing country and her people to you with confidence, knowing that all things are possible for You. We desperately need more of You and less of us within our upside down nation. Show each of us how powerful Your Name is, so that the United States of America can place all her hope in You and finally be restored to what she was intended to be! I humbly ask this for the sake of our children and those not yet born.”

###

Although dated, the following video, War On God, is worth reviewing. Video courtesy of You Tube.

April 14, 2009

On Eve Of Tax Day Tea Party, DHS Issues “A Threat Assessment”

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 23:28
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Coincidence or what?

You tell me.
First there was a report called the Modern Militia Movement, from the Missouri Information Analysis Center that said if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third party candidate, or you have what’s referred to as subversive literature, you could well be a member of a domestic paramilitary group. 



And now?


On the eve of the nationwide Tax Day Tea Parties, Janet Napolitano has just issued a report from DHS (Department of Homeland Security) that warns against the possibility of violence by so-called "right-wing extremists."


[If you ask me, the timing is too coincidental. It seems to me that a "set-up" is being staged for all tea parties...]


So who are these “right-wingers” that Janet Napolitano deems dangerous? Illegal aliens, the increasing power of the federal government, gun grabs, abortion and the loss of U.S. national sovereignty. In other words, anyone who is worried about preserving our borders, language, and culture, abortion and same-sex marriage is on DHS’s “watch list.”


Fighting for the unborn is now considered dangerous? God help us!

DHS is fine with putting you under surveillance if you have “subversive literature.” Or if you happen to support the wrong Republican member of Congress, look out -- your next vote may be your last.




The report ends on an ominous note that says, “DHS … will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in right-wing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive right-wing extremist radicalization.”


Download document now.

Who will be next on the list? Only Janet knows for sure.

###

The following video, Homeland Security Warns of "Right-Wing Radicals", courtesy of You Tube.


Dr. James Dobson "Concedes Defeat" in Pro-Family Causes

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 13:48
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Not so, says Dobson!

According to a special alert at citizenlink.com, Dr. Dobsen sets the record straight once and for all: Dr. Dobson Sets the Record Straight on Tonight's 'Hannity' Focus on the Family founder and chairman emeritus Dr. James Dobson is scheduled to appear on tonight's episode of the Fox News Channel's "Hannity" to set the record straight about media reports indicating he has "conceded defeat" in the so-called culture war.

Dr. Dobson plans to spend two segments in an exclusive interview with his friend Sean Hannity beginning at 9 p.m. EDT.


Dr. Dobson requested the opportunity to appear on the show to clarify erroneous media reports that have gained nationwide attention in recent days claiming he has given up fighting for pro-family causes like the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage. The misinformation stems from a story in London's Telegraph newspaper, which quoted Dr. Dobson's comments to Focus on the Family staff in February announcing his resignation from the ministry's board of directors. His actual words were truncated and not put in their proper context to create the impression the paper wanted to create -- that he was "throwing in the towel" on standing for principles that have been his passion for more than three decades.

Here's what the Telegraph reported he said -- words that have been picked up by scores of other media outlets over the past few days: “We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles.” Here's his full quote; note the intentional dropping of his last words in the statement:
"We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?
Dr. Dobson's comments that day were an encouragement to staff to join him in continuing to fight for righteousness in the public square, even though recent events had not turned out the way he or they would have hoped. Yes, he acknowledged some momentary defeats in skirmishes in the battle for public policy that strengthens families. But that is hardly akin to "conceding defeat" in the "war." At least that's the way he meant it and his audience understood it. But the media, with their own agenda, chose to twist his words to get the story they wanted.

Dr. Dobson's appearance tonight on "Hannity" will serve as his response to this distortion of his comments and will make clear that stepping down from the Focus board in no way means he has "retired" from the public square.


Tune in on Hannity tonight at 9 p.m. EDT.


###







Together, we can help stop FOCA. Visit www.FightFOCA.com and join over 600,000 people who have signed the online Fight FOCA petition so far. Help be the voice for our unborn babies!

April 12, 2009

Agnus Dei: He Has Risen

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 01:03
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2 comments

Matthew 28

The Resurrection

1
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.


2
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.


3
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.


4
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.


5
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.


6
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.


7
Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."


8
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.


9
Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.


10
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."


The Guards' Report

11
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.


12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money,


13
telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.'


14
If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."


15
So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.


The Great Commission

16
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.


17
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.


18
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.


19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

***

All Creation Shouts Victory for He Has Risen! Alleluia!

###

The following video, Agnus Dei - Michael W. Smith, courtesy of You Tube.


April 10, 2009

Good Friday: The Greatest Act of Love in History

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 13:11
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3 comments

In His sinless and perfect human body—prepared especially as a perfect blood sacrifice for the sins of the world—Jesus suffered terribly in body, soul, and spirit during the long night of His trial. That suffering began with the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and in all the humiliating events of His trial and cruel torture prior to His morning journey to Golgotha.

The worst was yet to come.

Death by crucifixion is an especially painful and terrible death. It was common in Roman times for crucified men in good health to hang dying on a cross sometimes for days, yet Scripture records that Jesus died within six hours. Even if He only suffered normal human pain in this ordeal it would have been incredibly severe.

All this pain, however, was but the prelude to His real suffering, which involved being cut off from the Father's love and presence and consigned to carry our sins out of the universe, to hell as it were, like the scapegoat sacrifice of Israel of which he, Christ, is the antitype. 


The Scripture records the seven last words Jesus spoke while on the cross. It was during this time that the sins of all mankind were laid upon Him as the Father turned His face away from His beloved Son.


The Seven Last Words of Jesus

1 "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
2 "Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
3 "Woman, behold thy son...Behold thy mother." (John 19:26-27)
4 "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46)
5 "I thirst." (John 19:28)
6 "It is consummated." (John 19:30)
7 "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)


Father, forgive them, for they know what they do.
As Jesus spoke these words, He looked down from the cross at the people who had scourged Him, beaten Him, spat upon Him, and shouted for Him to die. But Jesus knew that his Father's love included them, too. To the Father, we are all his children, created in the image of God. Did they know that Jesus on the cross was the Son of God?

Dear Lord Jesus, may we graciously forgive those who have insulted us. May we reach out to all who hate us, just as you did on the cross, when you spoke these words "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing."

"Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise."
Here is the repentant thief, handing on the cross next to Jesus. He could have said nothing. He could have had the same thoughts that prevailed in the crowds milling about at Golgotha. But the thief knew he had sinned, and he had faith. He asked Jesus to forgive him, thusly: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Lk. 23:42)

May we have the presence of mind, when we breathe our last, to ask Jesus to forgive us, and to take us into His Kingdom.

"Woman, behold thy son ... Behold thy mother."

Jesus, realizing that the end is near, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, and St. John, standing at the foot of the cross, tells his mother "behold thy son..." In this instance, Jesus gives all of us a legacy, we are His heirs, and Mary is our Mother. That is why we love Mary so much. And Jesus told the Son, the disciple, in other words, you and I - that now we have a Mother, Mary. And we ask Mary, who is closest to her Son in Heaven, to intercede with Him on our behalf. Mary, Our Mother, Queen of All. So we are no longer orphans... we have a Heavenly family of which we all are a part.

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Jesus feels this emptiness, this loneliness, as He is waiting to die. He feels unloved, forgotten, hated, defiled. Dear Jesus, never allow us to be so cut off from your love that we feel forgotten. When we dishonor God through sin, we often feel forsaken, and when we continue not to love Jesus, He will feel forgotten and unloved. The Father has given us great love, indescribable love, when we were created in God's image. He knows each one of us personally. So we are never forsaken or forgotten.

"I thirst."

Jesus wasn't really thirsting for water, as much as He was thirsting for our love. When we say "Lord, I love you," let this not be just words, but may our actions, our love for our sisters and brothers, show this love for Him who redeemed us by his Cross.

"It is consumated"

It is done. It is over. Jesus finished what He came to the world to accomplish, to redeem us from our sins by his Crucifixion. "Jesus, the Son to whom the Father has given all things, has given himself wholly back to the Father, yet expresses Himself with a sovereign freedom by virtue of the power the Father has given him over all flesh."

"Father into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Jesus places all that he has into the Hands of God. His Body is buried, to arise from the dead three days later. His Soul ascends directly into Heaven, into the Hands of the Father. We pray that when it is our time to leave this earth, that our soul will also go to Heaven, as in our last breath, we say, Lord it is finished, I am now yours all the way.

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Despite our outward circumstances and the downward spiral of moral, economic, political, and social conditions over the face of the earth, the “Good News” is that evil has already been dethroned and its power over mankind and nature broken. The new creation is as inevitable as springtime's greening and blossoming. The loving heart of God our Father longs for us to accept his mercy, his forgiveness and mercy. He has gone to infinite lengths to make provision for us in the cosmic sacrifice of the Son of His love.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God." (John 3:16-21)
“Jesus, on this Good Friday I join with the saints in heaven to mourn what my sin did to you, but also to rejoice in what your love did for me. May this litany be in my heart today: Cross of Jesus, purify me. Blood of Jesus, cleanse me. Wounds of Jesus, heal me. Love of Jesus, free me. Mercy of Jesus, forgive me.”

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The following video, Lead Me to the Cross - Hillsong United (All of the Above), courtesy of You Tube
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April 5, 2009

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 15:18
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It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world.
—St. Aloysius Gonzaga

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Today is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion and the beginning of Holy Week within the liturgical calendar.

Holy Week is the most sacred time of the year for all Christians since it commemorates the last week of Jesus' life on this earth. The greatest focus of this holy week is the Passion (suffering) and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it.

Historical documents tell us that as early as the fourth century the Church celebrated this "Great Week" with a feeling of profound sanctity. It begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The central feature of the service proper to this day, as it was in the earliest times, is the procession of palms. The palms are blessed and are then borne in procession to the church, where an entry is made with a certain amount of ceremony, after which the Mass is celebrated. The other notable and very ancient feature of the present Palm Sunday service is the reading of the Gospel of the Passion by three readers.

Especially important for Catholics is the Easter Triduum. This is the three days just before Easter. On Holy Thursday, we reenact the Lord's Last Supper, which He shared with His apostles on the night He was betrayed and arrested. This is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the entire liturgical year. At the Mass, the priest will wash the feet of twelve men, just as Jesus did. Also on this night, priests all over the world will renew their sacred vows. This is because, at the Last Supper, Jesus not only instituted the Mass (Eucharist) but also the ministerial priesthood.

On Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death of our Lord, we have the veneration of the Cross. A service is held at three o'clock in the afternoon (the hour He is believed to have died) and another later in the evening. We go forward and kiss the Cross in order to show honor and respect for Christ's sacrifice for our sake. There is no consecration of the Eucharist on this day, and the Communion we receive will be from the night before, which has been reserved in the tabernacle.

Holy Saturday is a vigil. We keep watch for the expectant rising of Our Savior. This was the day He went down into the netherworld in order to bring back up with Him into heaven those who had died before His coming. Up to this time, the gates to heaven were closed and no one could go there because of the original sin of Adam. Jesus changed all that. By paying the price for our sins on the Cross, He gained for us our eternal salvation, and heaven was opened once more. Also on this night, persons who have spent months of preparation will be received through Baptism and Confirmation into the Catholic Church for the first time. It is a joyous occasion.

Those who engage themselves wholeheartedly in living the entire paschal cycle (Lent, Triduum and Easter's Fifty Days) discover that it can change them forever. This is especially so of the Triduum which, standing at the heart of the Easter season, is an intense immersion in the fundamental mystery of what it is to be Christian. During these days, we suffer with Christ so that we might rise with Him at His glorious Resurrection.

Holy Week is a time to clear our schedules of unnecessary activities. Our minds and hearts should be fixed on Jesus and what He did for us. Let us bear the Cross so that may be worthy of wearing the crown He wore.

During this week, I will not be posting any blogs, but will be praying for all of you, our America and the World. God bless you all as we prepare for this holy event.

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The following video, Were you there when they crucified my Lord, courtesy of You Tube.

April 3, 2009

Recession Is Driving America’s Demand For Abortion

Posted by Judi Lynn Lake at 10:42
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So says Bonnie Erbe, contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report and host of PBS’s weekly new analysis program, To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe.

In her April blog, Erbe rants, “…The recession is driving American demand for contraception. And for abortions. The media have been rife this past week with stories about the rising number of couples and single mothers doing the math and deciding this is no time to bring a child into the world—not when the economy is depressed, jobs are scarce, and family incomes are dropping.

The media have also been rife with stories portraying this trend as something of a tragedy. Let me propose a counter view: It is not.


The Associated Press ran a story on March 25 that read as follows:
"The pregnant woman showed up at the medical centre in flip-flops and in tears, after walking there to save bus fare. Her boyfriend had lost his job, she told her doctor in Oakland, Calif., and now—fearing harder times for her family—she wanted to abort what would have been her fourth child.

"This was a desired pregnancy—she'd been getting prenatal care—but they re-evaluated expenses and decided not to continue," said Dr. Pratima Gupta. "When I was doing the options counseling, she interrupted me halfway through, crying, and said, 'Dr. Gupta, I just walked here for an hour. I'm sure of my decision….'"

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Isn’t this the same woman who, in 1995, compared partial birth abortions to the "production of veal." Ms. Erbe stated on the November 3, 1995, PBS's To the Contrary:
“…But aren't most medical procedures, when you describe them in detail, pretty disgusting? Isn't, for example, the production of veal, when you describe it in detail, and how people eat meat, when they crunch down on the flesh of living beings, formerly living beings with their teeth. Isn't that pretty gruesome, too?...
***
There used to be a time in history when right was right and wrong was wrong regardless of circumstances. When did society become numb? When did fighting for human life become irrelevant? When did we choose to fire God? As “learned” as we are, we have become a deceived and valueless society.

How a child’s life has become irrelevant in a bad economy is beyond me… A civilization without God will perish; just take a look back in history.


***

The following video, Letter From An Unborn Baby, courtesy of You Tube.



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