Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Sitting on the shelf in our refrigerator is a plastic container filled with Crumbled Blue Cheese.  Personally speaking, I think the smell of Blue Cheese is what the inner sanctum of Hell Itself must smell like. I have serious doubts about the mental stability of a person who smells Blue Cheese and says, "YUM"... really.. what ARE you THINKING?  

My blue cheese conundrum has a complicated twist:  my husband LOVES blue cheese crumbles.  He puts them in his salad, on his burgers.  This reality rocks me to my core.  I have no explanation. I just buy the stuff, holding it carefully as I put away the groceries.  I have decided that living with a Blue Cheese lover is my cross in life.  

Today, we had the grandkids over and they ate lunch with us. We had a huge salad bar experience.  We had lots of salad add ons - nuts, craisins, cheddar cheese, and blue cheese crumbles.

After lunch, when they were already back at home with mom and dad, I was cleaning up the kitchen and DROPPED THE CONTAINER WITH BLUE CHEESE CRUMBLES ON THE FLOOR.   Time stopped.  I watched it falling as if in slow motion. When it landed on the floor upside down, the cover stayed on, and the BLUE CHEESE DID NOT FLY ALL OVER MY KITCHEN FLOOR.  HALLELUJAH!!

 I started thanking the Lord for His immense kindness to me.  I would have smelled that blue cheese for the next twelve decades and would have put the house up for sale because of it.


It got me thinking and thanking.
Thinking and thanking.

Thinking about all the things that DO NOT HAPPEN that I don't take time to thank Him for.

I didn't starve today.  
I didn't find out anyone in my family has a terminal illness today.
I didn't run out of water today.
I am not dying of thirst.
I didn't have an auto wreck today.
I didn't have to hide from bombs falling from the sky.
I didn't have to hide from an invading army.
I didn't have to sleep outside.

The list goes on. And on.
Sometimes, I (we) can look at our lives and see nothing happening that we can thank God about. 

Sometimes, we need to take a moment to thank God for all the things that DIDN'T HAPPEN today... this is also His grace and mercy and kindness to us all. 

Today I am thankful that a container filled with a disgusting, horrendous smell did not open all over my floor..

I am thankful for all the things that did NOT HAPPEN today.
And I'm not just talking about those disgustingly stinky blue cheese crumbles.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lordlet us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95:1-2

Monday, September 26, 2016


SOOOOOOoooo then you're a nice Italian guy who grew up in Italy. You were drafted in to the Roman Army and you've been walking all over the map conquering nations. The Roman Empire? You're helping to create it. Right now you're living in the country of Israel. You are unfamiliar with the Jewish people, their teachings... AND.... their reasons for asking for a tomb to be guarded.

There you sit.  Guarding a tomb.  You're a man's man, a conqueror of nations. What kind of people decide to use the vast and mighty power of the Roman Empire to GUARD A TOMB???

What an insult!  But you do what you're told and find yourself sleeping on the hard dirt outside the city.  Maybe you're dreaming of your Italian home, and your Italian family and the bed you used to sleep in.   And then:

"Early on Sunday morning,as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint." (Matthew 28:1-4 NLB)

Who fails at such a no-brainer job as guarding a tomb?  You did. 
How will you explain this to your superiors? 

"...some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today." (v 11-15)

They took the money and lied. Why did they go to the leading priests instead of to their own superiors?  To save their own skin.  To come up with a way to not be punished for their failure.  They were SO FOCUSED ON THEIR FAILURE THAT THEY COULD NOT SEE THE VICTORY GOD HAD JUST GIVEN TO HUMANITY.  

I think one of them might have said,  "Wait! We just felt an earthquake, saw an angel sitting on the stone he rolled away, witnessed that the tomb was empty.  We KNOW that no one came to steal the body of Jesus. What group of Jews would be strong enough to overcome a band of Roman Soldiers? He's alive."   Focusing on failure keeps our focus from the One who defeated it for us. Nope. They kept their jobs and lost their souls.  

I wonder about those guards.  Over the years, as they watched Christians being persecuted for their faith did they ever secretly whisper to themselves, "But it's true. He did rise from the dead. He IS alive.  I felt the earthquake, I saw the angel with my own eyes. No one stole His body. He is resurrected from the dead!"  They KNEW the Truth.  Inside their hearts, they KNEW what REALLY happened. 

I wonder about those elders and religious leaders, too.  They KNEW that the story they were spreading was NOT true.  They knew the guards weren't making up the story of the angel at the empty tomb.

How did these people sleep at night?  

The guards and their hush money was spent eventually and they were left knowing they were men who knew the Truth but choose the Lie.

Every one of those guards is gone now.  Their hush money disintegrated in to the same dust of the ground.  
Every one of those religious leaders is gone now.  Their hush money disintegrated in to the dust of the ground.  
They chose
money instead of Jesus. 
Their master was Mammon. 
They walked away from God. 

 How much money does it take to deny what you saw, what you felt, what you KNOW is the truth?  

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"  
Mark 8:36