LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

At the cross...

Have you ever felt lonely, rejected, mocked, scorned…like maybe you did not belong?
Jesus did and it led him to the Cross!

Have you ever trusted someone deeply, only to have that trust betrayed?
Jesus did even on His journey to the Cross!

Ever been falsely accused of something and be declared “guilty” even though innocent?
Jesus did and it caused crucifixion on the Cross!

Have you ever faced physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual pain that you knew was going to be more than you felt you could endure?
Jesus did even on His way to the Cross!

From the moment Jesus was born he was making His way to the Cross! He was tempted and tried in every way man is tempted; yet He sinned not. He knew from boyhood that He was to be about His Father’s business…and in everything He did He sought to honor and glorify His Heavenly Father. Even Jesus would have preferred a different course. In fact, we find in Matthew 26 where He asks the Heavenly Father more than once to let the cup (that of death) pass from Him. Yet, even more so, He wanted His Father’s will to be done in and through His life. All the way to the cross, from birth to ultimate death, Jesus lived the human life. However, in spite of the rejection, denial, scorn, betrayal, false accusations, anguish and pain…while hanging on the Cross between 2 thieves, He CHOSE to forgive the one who asked, He CHOSE to ask that the Father’s will be done, and He CHOSE to give His life as a ransom for your life, for my life “on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10). I encourage you today take a willful walk to the Cross, and when you arrive, empty yourself of everything that hinders you from being in the center of God’s perfect will for you. Worship Jesus for the sacrificial love He expressed to you when He willing endured the cross. Thank Him for taking your place on the cross and covenant with Him that His death for your life was not in vain! Friday’s almost here but Sunday’s a’comin’! HALLELUJAH!

“1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2"As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. 5"But not during the Feast," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people…20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."
22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?" 23Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born." 25Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."
26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." 27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"…64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
11Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. 12When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" 14But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
27Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"
41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' " 44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son[of God!"
55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons…(Matt. 26-27, NIV)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Resurrection Sunday's a comin'! HALLELUJAH!

For quite a while I have had a book entitled Down Where My Love Lives by New York Times Best-selling author Charles Martin. I forgot about it; it resurfaced during some cleaning over the weekend. It is a “love-this-book-don’t-want-to-put-it-down” read! What I read today, at the beginning of this Holy week, absolutely blew me out of the water! Our creative Lord knew this was the week I needed to read it~ I love Him so much and love how He orchestrates even the most minute details of our lives. I have pondered what I read all day, and wish to share it with you, as you begin preparing for Resurrection Sunday! Friday’s on its way, but Sunday’s a comin’ right behind it! Hallelujah!

(to set the stage): The pastor of a rural AME church has been preaching to his congregation and they are in the process of participating in the Lord’s Supper. He stops the organist, and looking over the people says:

“Before you strut up here, remember what waits…You all face a choice. You can rise form your seat, follow the person in front of you, stroll down this aisle, critique somebody else’s Sunday best which they happened to wear on a Wednesday night, think about how hungry you are or where, when, and what you re going to eat when you leave here, and then kneel, nod, nip and sip, and return to your seat, having thought the bread stale and wine cheap…Or…you can slide form your seat, limp to this rail…reach down, grab these splintery timbers, fall, rest your baggage against it…extend your hands, take tenderly, place the body on your tongue, taste the grit, swallow, and feel the hunger build in your stomach. Then you can grasp this cup…Tremble, sip violently, feel the burn, taste the acrid smell, feel the splinters pierce your elbows, lean more heavily, and then look upon this cross. You can reach up and place your trembling hands on callused, blood-soaked feet, let the red, slippery liquid run down your fingers, underneath your watchband, and come to rest in the crack of your elbow. You can lean your forehead against His shin, notice the crude and rusted nail, the shake and strain in his arms and legs, stick your hand in the hole in his side, notice the dried blood on His face, the thorns poking back, and hear the gurgle drowning out His breathing…Lastly, you can raise your head and feel the breath of God. And in that instant, if you so choose, you can see your own reflection. With all your zits, warts, blemishes, and scars. And there, amongst the scar tissue, are your demons. But having chewed, sipped, and swallowed, you can chase. People, this is where you chase the demons that feed your doubts, your anger, your bitterness, and your lack of faith…every last one….Brothers and sisters, a demon’s job is to kill you. To beat you to death. To rob you of anything that is not painful. This railing is where you give more than you take. Where you steal back. Where you kill what’s killing you Then, having chased and slain, you return….bloody but unharmed, different but the same, changed but unchanged, moved but unmoved. A living battleground.
People, we got hurting brothers and sisters here. Every one of us has a closet, and in that closet, we keep and feed our demons. Some’s more full than others, but they’re all busting at the seams. You all know most of mine. I’ve told you…people, that space between your pew and this altar, between the red velvet cushion and the splintery timbers. Whether it’s twenty feet or a million miles, it’s not a question of distance. It’s one of position
…(pp. 83-86, Martin; Down Where My Love Lives, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008).

Monday, March 22, 2010

"My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." Isaiah 32:18
Sometimes you just need peace and quiet. If you're the type of person who is always amidst the loud hustle-bustle, be sure to take refuge in a secure, quiet resting place every now and then. The peace and tranquility will serve you well. ~The Daily Verse

I have just returned from an extended body and soul Sabbath…and again I marveled at the handiwork of our Lord…

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1:1-10, NIV)

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” (Gen. 1: 11-19, NIV)

“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” (Gen. 1: 20-25, NIV)


“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,band over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1; 26-27, NIV)

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
2 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he restedc from all his work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Gen. 1:28-2:2, NIV)

…And it WAS good!

Good Grief

Go here and be blessed!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bragging Rights...again...NPT/Vision any proud mama I love to share accomplishments of my family. My son sings in a choral group at his school called "Vision". They were recently invited to participate in a NPT televised celebration of America, along with other high schools from the area, under the direction/production of world-renowned Tim Janis, producer, conductor, composer. I must say that all the local high schools that participated were fabulous! However, CPA was the best (teeheehee...), particularly because they sang an original by Tim that was A.MA.ZING! So please sit back, relax, and enjoy.

And FYI; My son, Benjamin, is 4th fronm the left on the top row!

(And just in case you want to look around Tim's site at all his accomplishments, please go here

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Born Again American!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review of Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts

Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts is an exhaustive compilation of full color charts, maps and a myriad of other Bible study tools of the Old and New Testaments. Thomas Nelson published this 3rd edition to include photographs and reproducible materials, making studying the Word of God more enlightening for both student and teacher. In preparing a comprehensive study of the book of Isaiah for my study groups, I included much of the information from Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts about the themes of Isaiah, the structure of the book, and the colored maps to track where the prophets of the Old Testaments prophesied. This complete reference book will be a choice resource for church leaders, community group facilitators, and all students of God’s Word!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's a blog party! C'mon!

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why? Mid-day is my favorite time of day because I feel rested and ready to be about the days' business!
2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of? Anything carbohydrate--I need a 12-step program for Carb addiction, seriously! It's pitiful!
3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be? That all our bills would be paid off and I would receive money to help in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Chile, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda
4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot? southern accent
5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? Little House on the Prairie What type of character would you be? The SAHM who cares for her family
6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be? Playing the guitar
7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation? Africa, Switzerland, Australia, and Austria
8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing? Praise and Worship
9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be? Wally World
10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be? horse and buggy days
11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be? shades of blue
12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be? happy
(Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, or Dopey)
13. What's the last album you listened to? long time since I listened to an album, as I have no CD player in my car. However, I did listen to Josh Groban's CD at Christmas in my home.
14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you? I am a natural very dark brunette