Browsing Tag



How do we draw closer to God during Holy Week?

It is Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, to fulfill a prophecy in the Old Testament in Zechariah 9:9. (Matthew 21:2-7) It proceeds with Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples, His betrayal by Judas, His conviction  by Pontius Pilate, His being beaten and crucified to death, and ends with Resurrection Sunday (or Easter), symbolizing Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into Heaven.

It is the most sacred week in the liturgical year in Christianity. It is the sixth and last week of Lent, the 40 day period of reflection, prayer and fasting, and repentance before Easter. I make it a habit to watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ movie every year at Easter. It’s amazing because each time, I get a new revelation from God out of it. It’s such a powerful movie that will touch your heart (you’ll probably cry like I do!).

There is supposed to be a sequel to this movie called The Passion of the Christ 2: Resurrection, released in 2024. I look forward to seeing it! The actor portraying Jesus, Jim Caviezel, is amazing and is a Christian believer. 

Jesus on the cross

Jesus on the cross

The original movie is called “The Passion” because it is the short final period before the death of Jesus, described in the four Gospels. It comes from the Latin word patior, “to suffer, fear, endure.” 

The Price of SalvationJesus being beaten

The Price of Salvation
Jesus being beaten

Holy Week is an important time to examine our hearts before God and to ask Him to reveal any sins that we have done and are doing and ask for His forgiveness.

It’s vital for us as believers to repent, which means “to turn from evil and turn to God,” “sincere regret or remorse,” and “turn around and change one’s mind.” This repentance will help us to draw closer to God and help us to become conformed more into the image of Jesus.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)

The Crying of Rachel book cover

I wrote about repentance in my most recent book, The Crying of Rachel:  A Call to Repentance, which is available as a Kindle eBook at Amazon. You can find out more here.

I pray that you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter with your family and friends. 


A red male cardinal on Easter: a sign I am loved

red male cardinal Image source: Pinterest

red male cardinal
Image source: Pinterest

This morning I texted our family “Happy Easter! Love you!”

Just as I was leaving out the back door to drive to church, I saw a red male cardinal fly to a tree branch in our yard. I stood still, and it flew right in front of me, to the bird feeder nearby. 

For those who don’t know, the red male cardinal is very special to me. Years ago I read an article about a woman whose mother had died. She was in deep grief, as they were very close. One day she looked out her kitchen window and saw a red male cardinal perched on a tree branch. She felt the bird was heaven-sent and that it was God’s symbol to her that He saw her and He loved her.

Since then, every time I’ve seen a red male cardinal I have felt like it is God’s special way of letting me know He sees me, He is with me, and that He loves me. I often see one on the worst days, which is very comforting to me.

What’s interesting is that I haven’t seen the red cardinal lately, and had been praying to see one. I felt God sent it to me this morning on Easter Day to remind me of what Jesus did for me on the cross out of His great love for me.

God also knew ahead of time what would happen today to me. After church, a situation occurred which deeply hurt me and made me feel very rejected. Crying, I  remembered the red male cardinal, knowing that God always loves me unconditionally, even if others don’t.

I was in my kitchen after lunch, and looked out the window, when suddenly I saw the red male cardinal again on the feeder. I smiled through my tears and thanked God my Father, who I felt was emphasizing His love for me.

female & male cardinals

female & male cardinals

Then the female cardinal (brown with a little red) joined him. First she was on the ground, then she joined him together on a feeder. They seemed to kiss. This made me smile and reminded me of the verse Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NKJV, and of a husband and a wife with God at the center:

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

I’m so very thankful God did this for me today. He knew what would happen ahead of time, and He was giving me a visible, tangible demonstration of His love for me.  

More than anything, Jesus demonstrated that agape love for all of us on the cross through His death, burial, and resurrection. Today on Easter, know that you are greatly loved by God.

What special signs has God given you that are meaningful and personal to you? Leave your comments below.

Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

The simplicity and the difficulty of the Cross

Happy Easter

I wanted to wish you a happy Easter weekend, spending time with family and friends you love. 

As believers in Christ, we know that Easter is not about the Easter bunny, eggs, Peeps marshmallow candy, or even the cute chocolate bunnies we buy as gifts in colorful baskets for our kids. (Yes, I just bought all our kids and grandkids their gifts!)

We know it’s about the simplicity and the difficulty of the Cross.

Jesus on the cross

Jesus on the cross

We’ve often read the story of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. Sometimes we try to pretty it up with sentimental, lovely Easter cards for loved ones, or even wearing ornate, beautiful cross necklaces around our necks.

But the cross of Jesus Christ was not pretty. It was brutal. It was torture. It was a horrible, excruciating death. 

And He did that for you and me. Because He loves us that much. To give us abundant, forever life.

This Easter, reflect on that kind of God and that kind of love. 

“Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, “God, you don’t know what it’s like! You don’t understand! You have no idea what I’m going through. You don’t have a clue how much this hurts.”

The cross is God’s way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments.

The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, “Me too.” –Rob Bell