Friday, December 28, 2012

Who Is Making Your Plans?

Hello Friends,

My it has been such a long time since I have posted! I certainly have missed you all! I hope you had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! I know we did. We had the wonderful privilege of having all 3 of our children in our home Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, along with my mom, Beckie Dunn. We did something we don’t normally do. We enjoyed a big breakfast together after opening gifts. Then while Hunter joined Heather, his fiancé at her grandparents, we relaxed. Later that evening they met us at my sister, Becky’s house. Boy did we have a house full there!!! There was our family, which is 6 (Me, Cecil, Hunter, Heather, Colton and Stephanie), my mom, my sister, Becky and her husband, Robert, my sister’s daughter Catey and her fiancé Nelson, Robert’s daughter Sarah, Robert’s sister Lori, and a couple of other relatives of Sarah and Robert’s (no need to go into relation, it gets to complicated, lol) Lexi and her daughter Lailah, and Karrie and her son Colton. I think that makes 16, well not as big as some crowds, but big for us! OH and Yes, we had 2 Becky’s (one spelled Becky and one spelled Beckie) and 2 Colton’s (both spelled the same). It got a little confusing!!! But it was a lot of fun!!
Here are a few pics of us on Christmas Day! Hope you enjoy!

Cecil Reading the Christmas Story from Luke 2
 on Christmas Morning

Hunter, Colton and Steph Listen to Dad
Read from Luke 2

Cecil and Colton sitting on the couch talking,
Hunter listening intently behind them, and ready to
comment I'm sure!

Sarah, Steph and Heather

Hunter and Heather with one of their gifts

Colton and Steph acting as they
 do when they get together

On to the serious part of the blog, yeah right. Well at least the main reason why I right this. I want to share something that I read in a devotion this morning. It was quite poignant and very relevant to me.

I subscribe to devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I don’t know if you know of them, but this is a ministry to first and foremost, lead women to a personal relationship with Christ. Then they want to draw them closer to Him and encourage and uplift them in their daily walk. There are several women who contribute to the daily devotions. They come from all backgrounds and career fields, so each one gives unique perspectives on different topics, but all seem to be very grounded and have Godly insight.

This morning as I sat down to read, I had to laugh at the title. It was “Overplanners Anonymous”. For those of you that know me AT ALL, you know that I AM DEFINITELY a planner!!! In fact I probably spend more time planning than actually accomplishing the tasks at hand. I know scary thought, huh? So when I saw this title I thought, “Lord, You made this one just for me, didn’t you?” Wow! I’m not kidding when I say that!!!! Here is a link to the devotion so you can read it yourself Proverbs 31 Devotions . Now if you look this up anytime after Dec. 28, 2012 you will have to go to the “View Our Archives” tab on the left side of the page and scroll through until you find “Overplanners Anonymous” by Suzie Eller December 28, 2012.

So back to my story, I began to read. The first verse she quotes is

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way,
 but the Lord establishes his steps.

Then she quotes Sarah Young, from her devotion book “Jesus Calling” "You will not find my Peace by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief."

UhOh! That one hit me across the forehead like a 2x4! But God, isn’t one of my spiritual gifts Administration? Doesn’t that mean I’m good at organization? Well of course it does, but it doesn’t mean that I get to take over and act as though I know better than God. What am I thinking? What it does mean is that I am to plan and organize the things in my life that He has called me to do! NOTHING MORE!

I was in a Bible study one time and a lady said that each morning she prayed and asked God to help her know what it was that He wanted her to accomplish that day. What a concept, consulting God on what we will do on a given day, I loved that!

As I approach and begin the year 2013, I have many decisions to make about how I will spend my time. I will not concern you with them all, but one has to do with this blog. I have enjoyed writing and I feel as though God wants me to continue, but I find myself busy with so many other tasks that I don’t have or take time to write. So please pray with me that I will know EXACTLY what God wants me to do. I am also looking at starting a home-based business. I have made jewelry for several years as a hobby. After much deliberation I think I’m actually going to start selling my pieces. Those are 2 important things that I would really appreciate it if you would pray with me about them. I know God will direct me if I only ask.

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

The same thing can be said of you. Whatever it is you are looking for in the coming year, if you simply ask, I know, He will show you.

Living in Grace,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Family: These Are The People I Will Spend Eternity With

So much has been happening in my life lately, and it has been a joy just to soak it all in. But I must admit that God really got ahold of me a few days ago and reminded me that all these things He is blessing me with and teaching me are not mine to be selfish with. I am to be sharing them. So I am rededicating my self to this ministry of blogging weekly. I ask that you pray for me as I dedicate time each week to share what God wants me to with each of you. Thank you precious friends.

Back on July 19th, Cecil and I celebrated our 27th anniversary. I am so thankful God blessed me with a Godly husband. As many of you know, we have know each other our entire lives, we met in the church nursery. So I’m sure it won’t surprise you that we are, and have been best friends for well over 30 years! However, there are a few things about each other that we don’t know…well maybe we just forgot.

One thing we have recently discovered, is we both LOVE to take day trips! Ok…Maybe we knew it but didn’t have the time to do it, because we were raising kids and working. J So, for our anniversary we went road trippin’ to Granbury, TX! Oh what a fun day (except for the 104o heat)!!! We explored the town square (when I say explore, I mean went shopping :D), and learned a little of the town’s history. Then we met up with some friends that we haven’t seen in about 5 years, who live in Granbury. This family is so much fun and such a blessing!

I want to share a treasure I walked away with. We walked into this antique and collectibles shop and found this sign. When I read it, I cried. I feel like it describes our family to a T. When Cecil saw how much it touched me and once he read it he knew it had to come home with us and hang in our home.
This is the sign:

Our family of five is in NO WAY perfect. That is part of the reason it means so much. This saying isn’t just about how Cecil and I treat or feel about our children either, it’s a reciprocal relationship. When I mess up and I do, all the time! My precious husband, sons and daughter are there, ready to forgive me, hold out their hand to help me up so I can start over, hug me and tell me they love me. When any one of us is in need we will reach out to the others for help, whether it be in a tangible way or in prayer. We also will be there for each other when one of us is burdened for a friend, the whole family will unite in prayer for that outside person. No matter what happens in this life I know that the other 4 have my back!

Now that is the serious side of us. However there is another side…as the 4th one down says “We do loud really well” If anyone has seen us in “game” or “party” mode you are saying to yourself “I know that’s right!” We love to have fun!!! Now fun to your family and fun to the Pettijohn’s maybe VERY different! To us it could be watching a sporting event, playing a game together, participating in a sport, or planning a surprise or prank for one of the others. Fun could also be sitting at the table having a meal. Yes I’m serious, because ANYTIME we get together it ends up fun! Somehow, Someone makes us laugh, it maybe a memory of a time I did something stupid. Like panic when a harmless snake was crawling on the outside of a window on our house. Or out of the blue Colton just says something funny, which happens often. We get really loud and make amazing memories together. Twenty-seven years ago I never imagined just how thankful I would be for marrying Cecil Pettijohn! Through the good times and bad, God has blessed me with innumerable blessings!

Thinking about my totally amazing husband and the family we have together makes me realize how much more amazing my Heavenly Father is. Without Him I would have NONE of this! Let’s look, just a minute at the characteristics on the sign as they relate to God.

Let’s rename this “In God’s House”. Many of us refer to church as God’s House, but let’s say this is God’s actual home. Bear with me and let’s pretend God has a home with a living room and a kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, etc. For now we are in His home and this is hanging above the mantle.

In God’s House

WE DO SECOND CHANCES: David (2Samuel 11 & 12 sin with Bathsheeba and reconciliation), Peter (Matthew 26:69-75 Peter denies Jesus, Acts 2:14-40 Peter preaches at Pentecost)

WE SAY PRAYERS: Jesus (Matthew 6:9-15 The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 26:36-46 In the Garden of Gethsemane before arrest)

WE DO I’M SORRY’S: Jacob Reconciles With Esau (Genesis 33), Prodigal Son (Luke 15:17-24)

WE DO LOUD REALLY WELL: Jesus Enters Jerusalem on a Colt (John 12:14)

WE GIVE HUGS: Prodigal Son (Luke 15:20), Joseph (Genesis 45:14), Paul (Acts 20:36,37)

WE DO LOVE: God’s Love for Us (John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39), Our Love for God (Matthew 22:37-38), Our Love for Others (Matthew 22:39)

WE ARE FAMILY: We Have Been Adopted (Romans 8:14-16, Ephesians 1:5)

How cool is that! I am part of a family where the head of the household is perfect, and I’m not using that term lightly or sarcastically. He is God, so He is literally PERFECT, SINLESS, and yet all the same qualities that apply to my earthly family apply to my “spiritual” family.

God expects these qualities to be part of our life with Him. Not only that, but He wants us to practice these things with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Have I been giving my sister in Christ a second chance when she needs it? Do I pray with my saved co-workers? When was the last time I said I’m sorry when I wronged my Christian neighbor? Have I ever had a few church friends over for a Ranger’s game? When I saw that teenager in tears at church why didn’t I go give her a hug? Am I Loving God like His scripture requires?

I don’t know about you, but I want my Christian family to be just as satisfying as my physical family. These are the people I will be spending eternity with.

Living in Grace,

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Do You Want To Be A “Second"?

Hello Friends,

Last weekend Cecil and I took a road trip. As a Father’s Day gift, I purchased tickets to the Houston Astros baseball game against the Cleveland Indians. If you know Cecil AT ALL, you know he is a HUGE baseball FANATIC. Now of course his favorite team is the Texas Rangers and they are who he follows. However, one of his dreams is to see a game in every Major League Ballpark. If I can, I will help make that dream come true. So our quest began. 
Cecil in front of Minute Maid Park, Where the Astros Play

We did a few other things while we were in Houston. We went to the Houston Aquarium, and we visited some family in the area. Cecil’s brother is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Clute, TX. We had a great time with them too!

Me and an Eel....Nasty
Cecil and a Puffer fish 
Cecil, Lyndon, (Cecil's brother) and Anne (Lyndon's wife) 

I am leaving out one thing that to me was the highlight of the weekend. After the baseball game, we attended a concert by Third Day, a Christian band.

Mac Powell and Third Day

What an amazing event! Not because I was seeing Mac Powell and the other members of Third Day in real, life! AND Only 20 rows in front of me! But because I was being led in true worship to my Heavenly Father! Because the man in front of me leading us loves my Jesus just like I do. And his purpose there was to share Jesus with all the people gathered in that ballpark. If there were some who did not know Him on a personal level, Mac was willing to tell them about Him right there. For those of us who know Jesus, Mac invited us to get to know Him better and to tell others. Then we just praised Jesus for who He is and what He has done for us! Wow! I don’t know about you, but THAT makes for a pretty awesome weekend in my book.

One of the things Cecil and I love to do as we travel, is read. We choose a book and I read as he drives. So fun, it allows us to talk about it as we go along and I get to use my own inflections and interpretations, instead of just listening. This trip we started a book it is “I AM SECOND” by Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett. This book is full of stories of people who have discovered that we cannot live the abundant life until we fully turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, putting Him first and acknowledging “I AM SECOND”! You can also find these stories at I want to encourage you to check out some of the stories at the website, but to also find the book. Whether you are a Christian or not, it will impact your life for Jesus.

If you don’t know about “I AM SECOND”, let me tell you just a bit about them. It is a ministry founded by the chairman of Interstate Batteries, Norm Miller. He felt like God was calling him to start some thing based on the verse John 12:32.

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

Norm got together with some business associates and shared his burden. Together they came up with the following concept. Ordinary people willing to “lend their names and stories” so that others can see that through real life and real situations, God can give you peace and purpose. These people are known as “Seconds”. Though some are well-known, others are just like you and me. All “Seconds” have the same goal. That as one watches or reads his or her story, that person will be able to relate to the struggle, they will see their need of Jesus, and turn to Him, just as the “Second” did.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV)

I want to leave you with a synopsis of 2 of these stories. Hopefully to entice you to watch their films and get this book! So I will try to give you like a trailer. Haha

Brian “Head” Welch-
If I know my audience like I think I do, most of you have NO clue who this person is. “Head” was the co-founder and lead guitarist of the band KORN. If you still don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s ok, it just means you have not been a part of the heavy metal, rock or what is called nu metal scene over the past 15-20 years. Don’t despair, I don’t think you’ve missed anything. hahaha 

Anyway, once “Head” picked up a guitar and began to play, that was his passion. He new that was the only thing he wanted to do in life. He and a friend made that dream come true. But, like many rock stars, “Head” got involved with drugs, alcohol, sex and other things that typically come along with that lifestyle. The thing was he had something nagging at him, 2 things really. First of all, “Head” had daughter in California that he never saw. He hated this and knew his little girl needed a dad. Second, he didn’t understand how he could have all he ever dreamed of and still be miserable. He went to church with his realtor and accepted Christ. Because he was a junkie, he went home and did crystal meth. After he snorted a line he looked up to heaven and asked God to search his heart. He told God he didn’t want to do drugs anymore. At that point “Head” surrendered to God. The next day he threw out all his drugs. He says in that moment of surrender “God changed me”.  I love this story! This is a miracle of Jesus’ love for the unlovable.

I have left SO much out please watch the video.

One more…

Daniel Montenegro-
Daniel, like so many unhappy, empty, searching teenagers, turned to drugs. He went to school and became a mechanic. He was successful at his job, but he was disgusted with his life. One night he wanted out of life. So while being drunk and high, Daniel sped down the highway in a car. All of a sudden, a billboard stopped him. Ironically it was a man he used to look up to, and now hated. It was Brian “Head” Welch. When “Head” was with Korn, Daniel could relate to him and his music. But now “Head” had left Korn and the band was no more. According to what Daniel heard, “Head” found God. He felt like that was a lame excuse for quitting rock and roll music. Then Daniel noticed the words on the billboard, “I AM SECOND”. He knew it had to be religious, but he had to find out for himself. So Daniel drove home, typed in the web address and began to watch “Head’s” story. He watched it over and over again. He cried. It was Daniel’s story, his life, so out of control. He knew he wanted that life. So Daniel went to church. He felt like the preacher was talking directly to him. The preacher spoke on Psalms 92:7.

Psalms 92:7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
 and all evildoers flourish,
 they are doomed to destruction forever;

Daniel knew that he was “the wicked” and an “evildoer”. He knew he was doomed to destruction.  Two days later someone from the church called and wanted to meet with Daniel. He agreed, but while he was still on the phone he remember the heroine in the refrigerator. He couldn’t decide, the heroine or the door? Daniel finally grabbed his keys and walked out the door. He went to the church, met with the man, and accepted Jesus! From that point forward Daniel’s life has been changed. He now lives for Jesus.

I’m sorry to say that Daniel’s story is not on the I AM SECOND website. In order to see it in its entirety you must read the book.

I don’t know about you, but the one thing I get out of that amazing story of redemption is that as a Christian, we NEVER KNOW who is watching us, or what our story will do for someone. So follow what God tells you to do and let him worry about the rest!

So I challenge you this week to share your story with someone. It doesn’t have to be how your were saved necessarily. Maybe share a spiritual turning point in your life. Let’s see what God does with our stories when we live as “Seconds”.

Living in Grace,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Tribute

Hi Friends,

I know it has been a VERY long time since you have heard from me. That doesn’t mean God hasn’t been working. He has, I just haven’t been sure what He has wanted me to write. Well, this morning God and I had a little conversation it went something like this:
Me: “God, I know you want me writing, I just don’t know what you want me to write. Do you have a subject? There are so many things you are teaching me personally right now. I just don’t know what you want me to share with others.”
Then I waited…
God (in my spirit): “Your dad, write about your dad. Write about me. How am I your father?”

I have to confess, this is very hard for me. Not because I had a bad dad or a bad relationship with my dad, but because 3½ years ago my daddy took his last breath on earth, and walked into the presence of Jesus. This is not a difficult subject because I’m sad for my dad, quite to the contrary! I KNOW that he is in God’s presence. Praising, Worshiping, Singing (he had a gorgeous voice), Listening to, and Loving our Savior! My sadness is for me. I miss him every day. Let me tell you a little about my daddy, Bill Dunn, and why I miss him so much.

My daddy, Bill Dunn and his dog, Rocco

To some Bill Dunn was a music director, to others an insightful Sunday School teacher, to others a savvy salesman, and still to others he was a loyal friend. There are many other titles he held, prayer partner, husband, brother, and even Papa. I could go on and on with the different aspects of my dad’s life, but to Angie, Becky and Billy he was simply known as dad or daddy.  As you can tell from the titles and rolls he held, he was a very intelligent man. My dad had a photographic memory. It was crazy, he would give us statistics that he had read and you could count on it being fact. The thing was he was never arrogant about his intelligence. He never flaunted it, or tried to prove to anyone how smart he was. He just went about his life, quiet, and unassuming. Then he’d speak and blow your mind! Because when Bill Dunn spoke, you knew it was going to be profound! The thing is that was public Bill.

Now I don’t want you to think my daddy lead a deceptive or double life. He simply behaved more casually or relaxed at home. We didn’t always listen when he spoke when we were at home. Now that may not have been a good thing, but it IS the truth. Especially when you’re talking about 3 females and 1 male in the house (before Billy came along). Poor daddy!

From the time I was little, I knew my daddy was there to protect me. I never had a doubt that when I went to bed at night, if anything happened, my daddy would be there to confront the boogieman! When I needed a hug or felt insecure, I knew I could climb in his lap and snuggle up with him. I remember being very little and singing for him. Even waaaaay back then, it didn’t matter what I did or how good I was, he was always there to encourage me and tell me how proud he was of me. Do you know what made my daddy so great? He never stopped doing these things! In fact, after I moved away from home, I think he was more protective, more affectionate more encouraging and more proud of me than he had ever been when I was at home.

There was one other quality that made Bill Dunn an amazing daddy. He was always there ready to guide me to Jesus. As I said before, he may not have talked a lot, but there was one thing I knew for sure. He loved God and would do anything for his church. That included climbing around in the attic of the our new church building, as it was being built, and putting air conditioning in it. I also knew the whole family would be in church every time the doors were open. Even after I had my own family he was still guiding us. Sharing his written lessons. Wow! God sure did bless me!

Now let me make one quick Bible application. I could not be more thankful or feel more blessed for an earthly father! However, my precious daddy was human and fallible. Though I don’t like to think of him that way, but my daddy pointed me to the ONE who is perfect, will never leave me, will never disappoint me, will protect me, will give me security, and will always encourage me. I simply have to turn to God when I need Him and He is there to meet those needs.

I hope you will remember, whether your dad is here or not, whether you have a relationship with him or not, God longs to be your daddy. Just go to Him in faith and trust Him to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to come in your heart and be the Lord of your life.

Living in Grace,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jesus Gets Me Part 4

Have you let the first things we’ve talked about marinate? I hope you are starting to see how Jesus can truly understand what we go through.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (ESV)
Let’s review them real quick.
·   Part 1-Jesus came to this earth as a baby, in human form. He felt in every way the way we feel, physically, and emotionally. Yet without sin.
·   Part 2-Jesus was tempted with something of the physical body, just like we are. He resisted by relying on God to provide for Him, just as we can.
·   Part 3-Jesus was tempted by Satan’s mind games, but Jesus would not allow him to twist the words of scripture. This just reminds me that Jesus understands the way I think.
Now let’s look at the 3rd and final way that Satan tempts Jesus. The devil takes Jesus up to a mountain again. This time he wants Jesus to see all the kingdoms in the world and how magnificent they are. Satan now says that Jesus can have those kingdoms if He will fall down and worship Satan. So this time Satan dangles this great symbol of status in Jesus’ face.
Before we get to Jesus’ response, let’s pretend…What if this we’re you or I? Think of the ONE thing you would like to BE above all else, is it President?, A Famous Actor?, A Rock Star?, The Most Well-Known Evangelist on Earth? (that’s a Noble desire), The Most Famous Christian Singer of All Time?(Another Noble career), The Richest Person on Earth?, The Person that Cures Cancer or Any Other Horrific Disease?(Wow! That would be fantastic)… Now what if Satan came to you and offered THAT VERY THING to you IF ONLY IF you bowed down and worship him? Would you do it?  Right now most of us would probably say NO! It’s not so hard for us to turn Satan away when we’re talking about these big things that we know probably are never going to happen.
Here is Jesus, knowing that all those kingdoms ARE His, just not yet. If He gets impatient and worships Satan, they are His NOW! But then what has He done? Messed up God’s plan and worse than that put something above God! As we see in Jesus’ response to Satan, God is a jealous God and putting something above Him, God will not put up with.
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”(ESV)

Doesn’t God expect the same thing from us, to serve Him and Him alone? Now let me ask you that question again, with a little twist on it. What is it that you are striving to be or do? The best mom, wife, dad, husband, you can be? The best employee? The best student, child, brother, sister? Or Is our desire to become more like Jesus? If I am putting ANYTHING above GOD, it is an idol. Let me repeat that, if we put ANYTHING above GOD, it is an idol. I’m talking my spouse, children, my job, my roll as a wife or mother (husband, father), tv, music, uhoh here’s a bad one…my church. Yes if I put my church above God it is an idol! It doesn’t matter what it is, if I love it more than I love God, it has become my idol and it is time I ask God to forgive me and put Him back in His rightful place! This is still such a hard concept for me. Because everyday Satan says to me “But you’re such a good person, look at all the good you do.” And God reminds me…

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.(ESV)

Here we see Satan attacking our very soul as Christians. He is trying to influence us into thinking we don’t need to follow God. Satan knows that in our lives he has lost the war of our souls but he still tries to make us a stumbling block to those around us who are not saved yet. To those who are not saved, Satan is doing all he can to keep their souls for himself. It is our job as Christians to be that witness, and spread the word of Jesus Christ to all around us.

As I finally finish this series on Jesus Understanding Us, I hope you have been able to see that no matter the circumstances you or I may be in that Jesus truly understands what we are going through. There are so many other things I have learned about Jesus’ circumstances and how He relates to me. Maybe one day I will share some of those too.

Just remember nothing gets passed our Savior, He is there to guide and comfort us in EVERY situation!

Living in Grace,


These are the sites I used as references.

Temptation of Jesus: Links to the commentaries and blogs I used-

This one you will have to scroll down to the 5 blogs titled Temptation of Jesus Part I- Temptation of Jesus Part V

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jesus Gets Me Part 3

Hello my friends. Life seems to have its bumps right now, so I am not getting these out as regularly as I would like. Please pray for me, that I would be able to get each post written, without them interfering with my callings as God’s child, wife, and mother. Please know I am NOT complaining. I love writing and feel God has called me to do this. I just need to keep my priorities straight, as we all do.
I want to thank you all for praying for me. After a long bout of Vertigo, and visiting 3 doctors, it is finally gone. Praise God! I am back to driving and living normally! Yay!
Ok, back to our study. We have been talking about the revelation I have had that Jesus truly understands the things I go through. When I go to Him, He can actually relate and how I came to this “light bulb” moment.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (ESV)
Let’s take a quick review. In Part 1 we talked about that Jesus understands us because He IS one of us. He came to this earth as a human. Jesus could physically, and emotionally feel everything that we feel. The one difference was Jesus was perfect and did not sin.
Then in Part 2 we looked at the first temptation Satan brought to Jesus. Satan tempted Him with food. A temptation of the physical body, something we can all relate to. Jesus resisted the temptation by relying on God to provide for Him and so can I.
Today we will look at the 2nd temptation. On a side note, this will obviously be more than 3 parts. There is more to cover than I realized. I hope you are getting as much out of it as I am! Anyway…
Satan and Jesus now go to the top of the temple in Jerusalem. Satan starts telling Jesus, “Throw yourself off of this temple, if you are really who you say you are.” (my paraphrase) Can’t you just hear the sarcasm, nagging and even contempt in his voice? OOH just irks me! Then Satan even has the nerve to “quote” scripture. Here’s what he says,
Matthew 4:6  “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (ESV)

But, like most things Satan does, he twists this scripture to say what he wanted it to say, not what it actually says. He leaves out the part that the angels are there to guard Jesus. This is what the verse actually says.

Psalm 91:11-12 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. (ESV)

The angels are not there for Jesus to take matters into His own hands. As Jesus states in John 6:38, He is there to do “the will of him who sent me.” Jesus is on earth to do what God sent Him to do, die on the cross for us.
So Jesus responds to Satan with Deuteronomy 6:16. He tells Satan that when we test God we sin, and Jesus is not going to test God. That would be like me saying ok “God, I need you to prove to me that you are God. So I’m going to run into this eighteen-wheeler and I want you to keep me from having an accident.” REALLY? Yes, he wants us to trust Him, but He wants us to do it without sinning and using the brain He gave us!
With this temptation, Satan appeals to Jesus as a human by trying to use His mind against Him. Specifically playing mind games with Him by not quoting scripture accurately. Then Satan wants Jesus to usurp God’s authority and command the angels to rescue Him. 
Does Jesus need to prove His power to Satan or anyone else? Do I need God to prove to me that He is all-powerful? Don’t I see God’s power evidenced through out my life?
What I do need to do is watch very carefully how Satan use things that seem good for my harm. We cannot forget…
I Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (ESV)
As I look at this temptation, I realize a little more, that Jesus gets me, because He actually understands how I think. Wow! Doesn’t matter if I’m a man or a woman. He understands how humans think. I’m not even sure I get that. What a comfort!
Living in Grace,


These are the sites I used as references.

Temptation of Jesus: Links to the commentaries and blogs I used-

This one you will have to scroll down to the 5 blogs titled Temptation of Jesus Part I- Temptation of Jesus Part V

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jesus Gets Me---Part 2

Last time I had been pondering how Jesus could truly relate to the things I go through. The first fact I know about Jesus is that He is not only totally God but that He is also totally human. Being totally human, He experienced ALL of the things a human experiences, while he was on this earth. The only difference between Jesus and me is He NEVER sinned!
Today we will look at Jesus’ first temptation in the wilderness. I hope you can see once again how Jesus feels and knows exactly what you are dealing with when any sort of temptation is set in front of you.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (ESV)
After Jesus was baptized, by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Before Satan came to Him, Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness. During which time He fasted. Usually when the Bible talks about fasting it is in conjunction with prayer and preparation for a major event to come. This is so the person or persons involved are prepared, mentally and spiritually for the event. I believe this was no exception.
Jesus’ temptation is the first place that I have truly been able to see how Jesus understands what we go through. Several years ago (we won’t say HOW long ago….ehhem, my children weren’t in school yet….hehehe) Kris Minefee was my pastor and dear friend. I remember Kris preaching on this very subject one time. I believe that was when the humanness of Jesus became real to me, and I truly felt He understood how I feel when life is not perfect.
Kris talked about how Jesus’ temptations touched the 3 parts of human beings, our mind, body and soul. Because it has been so long ago, I also did some research on this subject and found some commentaries and blogs on the subject, to help refresh my memory.

1. Body-Jesus Knows Our Physical Needs
As Jesus is in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting, both Matthew and Luke are clear to point out that He was hungry. So when Satan appears to Him, Satan appeals to what he thinks Jesus would fall for the easiest. I mean wouldn’t you? Satan knows that humans give in to the “desires of the flesh” or the BODY probably before the other two (Mind or Soul). Think about this, Jesus is tempted with the one thing that He actually needs, nourishment! He has been in the desert for 40 days and nights with nothing to eat! Remember, He is living in a human body. That body gets weak, and tired. It needs the vitamins, nourishment and strength that a good meal would give it. So when Satan tempts Jesus with that ONE thing, what does He do? Jesus realizes just like we have to, that this is nothing but a lust of the flesh. If Jesus gives in to Satan, He would be selling his birthright just like Esau did, for food. Wow! How many times do I sellout for something as temporary as food, a temporary pleasure, a little white lie, a prideful feeling, or so many other fleshly lusts? Instead, Jesus looks at Satan and quotes, Deuteronomy 8:3.

Matthew 4:4 …4“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”(ESV)

In Deuteronomy, Moses is reminding the people of Israel of the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness and how they had a physical need, hunger, and God used supernatural means to provide for them. He supplied manna from heaven.

Deuteronomy 8:3 3And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.(ESV)

Jesus knew that God could and would provide for His physical need if He relied on God. The same thing goes for me, if I am faithful to God, and rely on Him, He will provide for me.

By the first temptation of Jesus I have learned two powerful things.
1. Jesus totally gets what it feels like to live in a human body!
2. When I resist temptation by relying on God, He WILL provide for me!

Living in Grace,


Temptation of Jesus: Links to the commentaries and blogs I used-

This one you will have to scroll down to the 5 blogs titled Temptation of Jesus Part I- Temptation of Jesus Part V

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jesus Gets Me---Part 1

Hello Again Friends! I hope you are all doing well.
As I have worked on this blog, God has worked on me. What was originally supposed to be a quick little post about how God understands the needs we have and the trials we go through has turned in to a 3-part “lesson”. As we begin I want to share that God is showing me that He TOTALLY “gets it” when I think “no one understands”.  Ready to dive in?
I Peter 1:6  6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV)
The year of 2012 has already brought some memorable events. Some events have been personal. Then there have been some that have affected my friends. Already events have occurred that are newsworthy. Whether they are on the local, state, national or international level.
Personally, I have been dealing with vertigo since just after the New Year. That has presented it’s own interesting set of challenges, such as not being able to drive, limited activity even at home and the inability to be in the music portion of church service, because the music causes my head to spin. How crazy is that?
As far as friends go, I’ve had one that has had surgery and is now spending 2 weeks flat on her back, while she heals. Another sweet friend, who happened to have been one of my bridesmaids, her precious daddy is in the hospital with pneumonia right now. Others have had babies or found out they will be having a new baby this year.
This year has also started out with some unusual things in the news. January was about half over when an Italian cruise ship hit rocks as it, reportedly, came too close to an island off Tuscany. Once it did, it began to sink and tilt. On the Dr. Phil show, I watched a husband and wife tell their story of escaping the ship with their 2 daughters, just a few days after the traumatic event. As the family struggled for their lives, their 3rd daughter was at home awaiting the news of her family’s fate. She had gotten married a week prior to the family trip and cruise, so she did not join them. When she finally spoke to them they were in a toy store on a small island, shaken but ok.
In addition, this winter’s weather has been strange. I read on Facebook where someone posted they were tired of the weather going from warm to cold to warm to cold and back to warm again in just a few days time. A few nights ago I sat perusing Facebook, which I hadn’t done in a while. I observed that a friend who lives near Nashville, TN wasn’t just in for a night of storms and tornado watches and warnings, but that the National Weather Service was actually calling the weather situation in the area a PDS, “Particularly Dangerous Situation”. Ok, I’ve lived in Oklahoma and Texas ALL my life (Tornado Alley) and NEVER heard of that!!! I’m thankful to tell you that as far as I have heard, all of my friends and family in that area are just fine. I know there were tornadoes in Alabama, but unless someone has failed to inform me, everyone I know is ok. Praise God!
I could go on and on and on about the things that are happening in people’s lives and in the world today. Some that are unusual and some that just happen to people all the time, but I’ll stop because I think you see my point. We never know what is going to happen to us, and when “surprises” do occur do you know how you will respond?
I have heard for years that Jesus understands everything we go through. Because He became a man, flesh and bone, He knows exactly what it is to be human. There is nothing we can go through that He can’t understand. Yet I was like so many people, I knew it with my head, by faith I believed it because of scripture, but I couldn’t seem to apply to me.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.(ESV)
Have you ever felt that way? Whether it be with this Biblical principal or others? You just can’t seem to wrap your head around it. Does Jesus really understand what it’s like when I feel like the whole world is against me? Does Jesus understand what it’s like to have to skip a meal for lack of money? Does He understand an aching back? Does He understand sadness?  Does He understand the need for friends and companionship?.....As long as those things do not come from or lead to sin, the answer is a resounding YES! YES! YES! JESUS UNDERSTANDS!!!
I don’t want to leave you hanging right here, so let me tell you one quick reason why I believe that is true.
I know that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. Because of those 2 facts, when he lived on this earth he lived, felt, and operated 100% as a man. With one major exception, He NEVER ONCE SINNED, because He was 100% God, deity, sovereign and holy!
That is why He knows us, because He is one of us!!!
Living in Grace,

Next time I will share part 2, Jesus’ Temptation in the wilderness, and how it touches every part of our human essence.