The Sign That Freaked Me Out

It happened in the winter. It freaked me out so much I have told hardly anyone. It’s time to tell the story.

I was going through a “dry-spell” in my faith–going through the motions. I needed a revival inside my soul.

Winter sometimes gets me that way. The long nights and short days at home affect me. Seasonal Affective Disorder “they” call it. SAD is a perfect acronym for it.

The Lord called me to Proverbs 31 Ministries almost three years ago. It is a high calling, and one I don’t take for granted. I love where I work and the people with whom I work.

With the rapid way the Lord is growing us,  it makes us desperately dependent on the Lord. I call it “growing pains.” The kind of growing pains that sometimes leave stretchmarks.

We have a God-sized vision to eradicate Biblical poverty–to inspire people to become passionate about Jesus and reading God’s Word. Once that vision is cast and people engage with our Proverbs 31 Ministries resources, then they can influence their hearts, homes, communities, cities, and states around them.  Although I know God’s provision follows God’s vision, raising the funds to do God’s work weighs on me sometimes.

That freaky incident, mentioned above, happened in February of this year.  Our amazing Proverbs 31 Ministries President Lysa TerKeurst was the only female keynote speaker at the wonderful Kingdom Advisors Conference in Orlando. More than 1,200 Christian financial advisors attended this conference.

It was holy ground and such an encouragement to attend. Lysa delivered a powerful message on the spiritual continuum of only needing God, trusting God, and wanting God.

Afterward, I went to my hotel room that night totally convicted, crying out to God. I apologized to Him that He was not my sole heart’s desire.  I confessed to God that He is all that I need. All that I trust. All that I want. At that moment, peace came.

The last day of the conference was filled with worshipful sessions, praise and worship. I couldn’t take notes fast enough as I was hopeful about implementing some of these ideas professionally and personally.

When it was time to leave the conference hotel and head to the Orlando airport, a gentleman from Black Cab picked me up. I thought I’d have time to reflect quietly on the 45-minute drive to the airport. He seemed talkative.

“Oh Great,” I thought to myself. I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to marinate on all that I had learned and experienced. Then doubt set in again.

Questions flooded from within me. “God, why did You choose a women’s ministry like us at Proverbs 31 Ministries to eradicate Biblical poverty”?

“Why us?”

“Why me?”

“Please give me a sign that I am right in the middle of Your will. I need You. I trust You. I want You.”

And then it happened. At that moment, I looked up out of my window. Written in the sky just as clearly as could be, was the word “Trust.” Shocked, I asked the driver, “Why do you think that word is written in the sky”?

The driver replied, “Oh, he’s not finished. Each day the skywriter writes a message. It’s different every day.”

The skywriter started the next word. “J.”

We were getting close the airport.

“E” was formed. Then an “S.” My heart is skipping a beat by this time. No way.

Then the rest of the word. The Name. Absolute shock. Tears formed.  I was speechless.

The driver must have sensed my emotion.

He said, “Today’s message is just for you.”

Teary-eyed I said, “Yes, He knows what we need just when we need it.”

Okay, Okay, I get it.

Yes, sir, Jesus. I Trust YOU with all that I am.

Friend, if you have doubts, like I sometimes do, please be encouraged that God is with you.  He will reveal Himself to You when you need it most. He is the ultimate Skywriter on our hearts.

“Those who know Your name will trust in You, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek You.” –Psalm 9:10.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. ” –Psalm 20:7-8.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” –Proverbs 3:5

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Holy Land Revelations Part 4: The Garden Tomb

“He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” –Matthew 28:6
Those few words changed the history of the universe. How exciting that Resurrection Day, which we celebrated two days ago, is the biggest event in human history!

Darkness and despair died.
Light, Love and Life overcame the grave.
Hope and anticipation were born in the hearts of all who believe.

I felt that same hope, anticipation and overwhelming peace visiting the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. This Garden Tomb is one of two sites that scholars consider that could be the location of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

 

It is also adjacent to a rocky slope. Some scholars believe this to be Calvary, or Golgotha.

Our guide gave us the history lesson before we took Communion and were able to walk inside the empty tomb.  We took Communion in the cistern of the garden, close to the empty tomb. It was such a powerful experience to take the bread and drink the cup, knowing Jesus sacrificed His body and bled for us in this close proximity.

Although no one knows for sure where the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus took place, some facts do point to the site being at the Garden Tomb.

Site of the Crucifixion:

  • Outside the city walls of Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12)
  • Along a busy road (Mark 15:21, 29-30)
  • The place of the skull—Golgotha (John 19:17)
  • A garden is nearby (John 19:41)

 

Site of the Tomb:

  • In a garden (John 19:41)
  • Belonged to a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60)
  • Cut out of a rock (Mark 15:46)
  • Low doorway (John 20:5)
  • Burial chamber located to the right of the entrance (Mark 16:5)

“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’ …

“Then the disciples went back to their home, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away, ‘ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

‘Woman,’ he said, ‘Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them. I am returning to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.’ (Editor’s note: Can you imagine how tightly Mary must have been bear hugging Jesus for Him to tell her to let go?)

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them he had said these things to her.” –John 19: 41-42, John 20: 1-2, 10-18.

Friend, whether or not this particular Garden was the actual site where Jesus was crucified and buried or not, we know for sure that on the third day after His burial, the tomb was empty. He is risen, indeed!

Just days prior, Jesus had been overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what was before Him. Jesus conquered sin and death, and He rose from the grave victorious!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Have you accepted Jesus today as Lord and Savior, knowing that beautiful Truth? If not, today is the perfect day.

Here is how you can receive Christ:

  1. Admit your need. (I have sinned, have messed up).
  2. Be willing to turn away from your sins and make a fresh start (repent).
  3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.
  4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and guide your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior).

Simply pray this prayer:

Dear God,

I know that I am a a sinner and have messed up. All the tears I’ve cried and hurt I’ve felt–it’s Yours now.  I want to turn from my sins, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe He died for my sins and that You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and guide my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

All of us here on earth and in heaven are celebrating with you, friend. IF you just prayed that prayer, please send me an email at Danya@proverbs31.org. I’d love to send you a free small gift to celebrate the biggest decision of your life.

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Holy Land Revelations Part 3: Waved Palms to Pierced Palms

Happy Holy Week!

The breeze picked up as we began our descent walking down the Mount of Olives to the gates of Jerusalem. The same road Jesus took. I can only imagine the excited cheering of the great crowd surrounding Jesus on that day of His Triumphal Entry almost 2000 years ago.

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Hosanna!’
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Blessed is the King of Israel.’

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written;
‘Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.'”–John 12:13-15. 🙌🙌🙌
.
Oh, how fickle they were.
We are.
I am.
To sing “Hosanna!” on Sunday and “Crucify Him” on Friday.

From waved palms to pierced palms.

May this Holy Week and Easter be the most transformational of our lives. Savor every moment as we remember Jesus’ immeasurable love and sacrifice for us. The best is yet to come.

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