The Day I Met Jesus

by Frank Viola and Mary Demuth

What a beautiful book! This is an in depth look at five different women that were affected by Jesus while He was here on Earth. We have the woman caught in adultery, the prostitute that covered Jesus’ feet with perfume, the Samaritan woman He met at the well, the woman that grabbed His cloak and Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

To start with, each story is told from the first person point of view, then the actual Scripture is produced. After that, there is some theological musings on what transpired. I found it very interesting. I’ve never really seen a book written in this style before. I enjoyed it immensely.

Most of these stories are a mere few verses in the vastness of the entire Bible. Easily overlooked or breezed over. I liked taking the time to think about it and what it really meant. It is obviously in the Bible for a reason and we shouldn’t overlook it. I highly recommend this. It is co-authored by Mary Demuth and Frank Viola. It’s well written and will appeal to many genres. If you would like to pick up a copy, the link is in the picture above.

Thanks, Baker Books, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

God is love?

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I teach a high school/college/graduate student Bible study about Tough Questions. The most often asked questions is…

Well, what’s your guess? If you guessed:

“How can a loving God send someone to Hell?”

you were right!

I find that I can’t even comprehend the question. I mean, I totally don’t get it. It’s so backwards that we would never apply that question to anything else in our lives and think that it made sense.

Why in the world would it be considered “loving” for God to force us into a place we’ve spent our lives trying to avoid? Why would it be “loving” for God to force us to spend time with the One we spent our lives hating? Why would it be loving for God to force us into an eternity that we spent our lives denying and calling a fairytale? In what other situation would you ever call that “loving”?

If I spend my life hating God, why in the world would I want to spend an eternity in His presence? Somehow, that makes God cruel? To give us what we spend a lifetime striving towards is heartless?

NO!!!!! Like I said, it doesn’t compute. A loving God cares enough to give us what we desire even when it breaks His heart.

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This verse has a whole different meaning when you look at it from that perspective. An everlasting love. A love willing to give us up to our desires despite the pain it causes Him. Even though He gave up everything to show us His love, He will ultimately give us our desires in the end.

Stop questioning God and His love. He proved it. He proved it in a big way.

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The hardest thing…

I am pure blond. Many of you do not know that because of my need for constant change (the only things I won’t change are my God and my family). So, whether you know me as the red haired Charity, the blond, brunette or black haired Charity, it is true. My secret is out.

Of course… Secrets are not my strong point anyway.

That being said, I go through life happily strolling along thinking everything is just fan-tastic. Out of nowhere, BAM! Someone is hurt, offended, angry, or who knows what.

This is my disclaimer: It is most definitely not personal if I upset you. I have no idea what I am doing in this thing called life.

It is so hard to respond well when I am blindsided by someone’s anger. What I am learning to do is realize that the anger is actually hurt. Hurt from some other area in their life. Hurt that I may have inadvertently inflicted, reminded them of, or simply was at the wrong place at the wrong time and felt it coming through.

I am reminded of a verse my sweet Momma made me memorize when I was a wee thing. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger” – Proverbs 15:1

It is never easy to choose kind words and a soft response when we are attacked. In the heat of the moment, or even the surprise, it is our nature to defend ourselves. Unfortunately, nobody cares.

In that moment, what they need is not my defensiveness, but my love. They need me to care about them, not about my own reputation. They need me to see how they are really feeling, how they are screaming out from the inside. They don’t need my reasoning.

It’s not about me. Life never is. It’s about representing the Father and His perfect love and grace. It’s seeing others how He sees them.

I challenge you today. Join me in seeking those that most need our compassion and grace. Pray with me, brothers and sisters. Love on those around you with all of your being. They are worth it. They are eternal. Your viewpoint, honor and reputation are not.