GOOD FRIDAY: Jesus said, "It is finished." (John 19:30)
Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross on Good Friday. He had accomplished His mission. He came to earth, God in the flesh, born to die for us--to offer forgiveness for our sins, and eternal intimate relationship with God for those who believed. He invites us into the Holy of Holies, to worship Him at the mercy seat, His throne of grace. Do YOU believe?

Holiday Blues and the Prince of Peace

The holiday season can be a joyful and festive time of the year for some people, filled with parties, celebrations, and gatherings with family and friends. However, for others, it can be a very difficult time, filled with sadness, disappointment, loneliness, and anxiety about the future. It can be especially hard for those in unresolved broken relationships or those with unmet expectations. They get a bit of the holiday blues or experience more severe forms of depression.

The Scriptures tells us Jesus is the "Prince of Peace." (Isa 9:6) And God's peace "surpasses understanding and will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

How can we experience this peace during the Holiday Blues? Here are a few recommendations:

1. Pray ("Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray..." James 5:13)

2. Confide in others so they can pray for you ("Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16)

3. Sing (Music can lift our spirit, see 1 Sam. 16:14-23)

4. Praise God (God inhabits the praises of His people. Ps. 22:3)

5. Consider your trial pure joy (Yikes! This one is so much easier to say that to do. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4. This doesn't mean you must feel joy, but you must think of the trial with joy because you know God is maturing you.)

6. Be thankful ("Give thanks in all circumstances." 1 Thess. 5:18)

Don't rely on your feelings. Rely on God's promises. Trust and obey. He is trustworthy.

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Eph 1:2

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I loved my recent trip to Iowa to get sworn into the practice of law. I loved seeing my sister and her family. I loved cozying up by the fire with my husband for a rare moment of rest. I loved finishing Joel Rosenberg's new book The Tehran Initiative. I loved the snow. I even loved the cold.

As Christmas approaches, I am reminded once again of the Reason of the Season---God became flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus Christ. He was born to die. For us. For me. Not because I deserve it. Not because I am worthy. I don't deserve it and I'm not worthy. And yet, Jesus died for me so I could be saved from the penalty I deserve for my sins, that is, death.

Thank you, Jesus, for revealing the Father to us, and for giving us the Spirit to guide us and empower us to do what we could not do on our own. Apart from you we can do nothing. John 15:5 Through you all things are possible. Phil. 4:13