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Author: carlamcdougal

Behold, Your King is Coming!

Behold, Your King is Coming!

From the book of Zechariah written about 300 years BEFORE the birth of Jesus…

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you, He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.    Zechariah 9:9

Mary, a young Jewish woman. Blessed beyond her years. Her understanding of the Torah was more than an act of kindness. Like blood flowing through her veins, the Law was her lifeline to God. Her quiet and gentle spirit set her betroths heart on fire. But, could Joseph handle nine months of turmoil and ridicule? Knowing Joseph’s thoughts, God confirms His plan through an angel…

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. -Matthew 1:20,21

In awe, Joseph responds in obedience. Together, he and Mary journey through uncharted waters. Mary’s heart resounded,

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior… He has helped His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His seed forever. Luke 2:47,54,55

Angels shout with joy. Echoes of praises release. Mary realizes she is the recipient of God’s long-awaited Holy Seed, the Messiah, the Kinsmen Redeemer.  In that moment, Genesis 17:7 comes to mind,

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you (Abraham) and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and your descendants a after you.

Peace stills her anxious heart. A smile emerges as she gently caresses her belly. God’s promised Holy Seed, safe and securely embedded within the womb of God’s chosen one.

       

Nine months seemed like a flash. Bethlehem? Why now? Mary wondered. Without complaining, she gracefully mounts the donkey. Joseph leads the way. With each stride, the birth pangs increase. Under his breath Joseph prays, Oh, Father please help us make it before she gives birth. Lead us to the perfect place for Your child to be born. Beads of sweat form on his forehead. Mary tries to hold back the tears. Fully trusting, yet filled with fear she recites the prophet’s words from Zechariah 9:9,

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you, He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. 

A tear escapes as she glances downward and murmurs, On a donkey. Reaching out, she gently touches his mane. Immediately, she feels the baby leap within her womb. Behold, your King is coming, she shouts. Joseph knew her time was near. Hold on, my darling! We’re almost there. The Father has the perfect place prepared for us. There’s a cute little Inn in the heart of Bethlehem. You’ll love it!

 

What do you mean there’s no room in the Inn? My wife is about to give birth. Please help us! Confused, frustrated but still trusting. The innkeeper offers the stable for the night. With no time to waste, Joseph rushes into the barn. Helps Mary settle into a corner of the stable. A midwife was the furthest from his profession. Without hesitation, he accepts the position. Love escalates as their eyes met. I love this woman so much! Again she shouts, Behold, your King is coming!

 

Laboring in love, Salvation entered the world. Unspeakable joy echoes throughout the stable. God in the flesh born to a lowly woman riding on a donkey. Together, Mary and Joseph hold the Savior of the World in their arms as they recall Zechariah 9:9…

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you, He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.  

God reminds Joseph of the angel’s words…  

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. 

Praises release, His name is Jesus. Yes, Jesus… Jehovah is Salvation. Immediately, the King of the World closed His eyes and falls asleep in the arms of His mother who whispered, Behold, our King has come. 

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As I sit in my prayer chair, tears well up and warmth fills my heart. A shout of praise escapes, “Thank you, Jesus, for choosing to come to earth and provide me salvation. Thank you for drawing me near to You at the age of 12 and providing a place for me in heaven with You forever and ever. Words can’t begin to explain my love for You. Humbleness envelops my soul. I choose to worship You and only You the rest of my days here on earth.

For… BEHOLD, MY KING HAS COME! Amen.”

 

Blessings Flow for this Christmas Season,

Carla McDougal

My Heart, Your Bethlehem

My Heart, Your Bethlehem

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Mary, a young teenager, chosen by God to carry His son… The Redeemer, our Savior, the Light of the world, Lord of lords, King of kings. Reading Mary’s response leaves me speechless, “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

Why can’t I trust God like Mary? A prayer emerged, “Help me trust You like Mary. She didn’t have to know all the answers ahead of time. She simply believed.” Tears formed as God reminded me of Carly Jo’s blog. Be blessed as you read…

Make My Heart Your Bethlehem

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This week as I was reading God’s Word, He pierced my heart with two harsh, yet sweet realities.

I am messed up.

Yes, you heard that right. I am a broken, cold-hearted, smelly wreck. There is no good in me (not even a little bit) apart from Christ. I am self-centered, weak, self-righteous, insecure, prideful, and prone to wander. I consciously choose sin over righteousness. I am unworthy to carry even the sandals on Jesus’ feet (Matthew 3:11) much less the Spirit of God in me… It sounds like I am airing dirty laundry but hang on tight because the second reality is unreal.

Jesus was born in a stable.

You’re probably confused… but just wait.

Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, was born in a broken, ugly, cold, nasty shelter for animals. This birthplace was by no means an accident – in fact, I am confident that it was by God’s design that the King of glory made a quiet entrance to earth in this tiny, humble abode in Bethlehem. With farm animals all around, Mary gave birth to our Savior then wrapped Him in strips of rags and laid Him in a manger (a feeding trough for animals). With remnants of animal slobber and moldy food, this repurposed manager was a perfect resting place for baby Jesus.

In my eyes, this scene seems like a mistake. The Lamb of God should have been born into a wealthy, well-known family with servants waiting on them hand and foot. However, in our Father’s eyes, every detail of this holy night is nothing short of perfect.

Everything about the birth of Jesus screams out restoration and redemption. God transformed a detestable stable into a temporary home for Joseph and his tiny family. He took a feeding trough and made it a resting place for Jesus. Finally, He turned an insignificant, “little” town called Bethlehem into the hometown of Yahweh. My God is in the business of bringing order from chaos. He takes shattered pieces and turns them into a beautiful, new creation. God did not ask Mary & Joseph to scrub the floors of the stable, bleach the manager, patch up the gaping holes in the walls, or even warm a fire up before giving birth to Jesus. Nope. All He asked was for them to trust Him.

Moral of the story, God restores hopeless places. He makes all things new in miraculous ways. I am very much a broken person with piles of baggage that display remnants of past failures. Yet, Jesus chose to make my heart (& yours – if you place your trust in Him) His sanctuary. He chose to take this damaged stable and make it his home! He did not ask me to clean up before He entered my life – all He asked was for me to place my trust in Him then He would work on my heart over time. Now, as time goes on, He perfects my heart piece by piece. He scrubs the floors, patches the walls, warms the fire, and searches every nook & cranny to make my heart (& yours) His home – His Bethlehem.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2

GOD’S LOVE STORY: From the Mother of the Groom

GOD’S LOVE STORY: From the Mother of the Groom

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Anticipation intensifies. The guests rise in silence. All eyes focus intently on the chapel doors. Beads of sweat form on my son’s forehead. His heartbeat escalates with each passing second. Glancing at me, he gives a quick love wink. Within seconds, I feel my betrothed of twenty-eight years grasp my hand. His gentle touch calms the nerves surging through my body.

Within seconds, flashbacks of my son’s life flood my mind. Faded memories seem like yesterday. For twenty-six years I prayed for this very moment. Deep within, a tender praise ignites, “Thank you, God! She is the bride you picked for our son. They both love you with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Their purity is a picture of Your design for marriage. Bless this covenant of marriage, this union between You and Your children. “ Tears of joy cascade down. Contentment captivates me like never before.

The music fills the sanctuary. Anxious hearts anticipate the bride’s entrance. Heads oscillate back and forth between the groom at the front of the chapel and the doors at the back. The song begins its crescendo. The doors slowly open and there, standing before the bridegroom, is his bride.

I quickly gaze back at my son. To my amazement, I catch a glimpse of the image of Jesus as the bridegroom waiting for His bride, the church. My son’s look of anticipation reminds me of Christ’s return and His love for the church. A snapshot forever imprinted on my heart. A thankful heart connects my soul to God.

With each step, the bride narrows the gap between her and her beloved. For a brief moment, tears distort my son’s vision. His heartbeat plays a love song for her only. The bride’s father places her hand in my son’s palm. An immediate rush of joy overwhelms the onlookers. God’s love envelops the couple. God’s presence overwhelms the guests. His blessings pour out in the midst of this covenant ordained by Him.

All at once, I recall Song of Solomon 1:15, Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful. You have the eyes of a dove. I sense my son’s love, desire, and commitment for his pure, innocent, and beautiful bride. I am captivated by God’s love story being displayed. I sense Jesus proclaiming to the guests, Behold, you are beautiful, my love! Behold, you are beautiful… My heart pounds, and once again tears well up.

Finally, a kiss seals the covenant, and the pastor presents Mr. and Mrs. Luke McDougal. Running hand-in-hand down the aisle, the couple’s joy shines brightly. Showers of blessings fall from heaven. God’s love story washes over all who witnessed this pledge between a man of God, his bride, and God–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Begin praying for God to unite your child or grandchild with His chosen spouse. I started praying for their mates while my children were still in my womb. I asked God to draw this special one to Himself and for Him to prepare each for the other. As parents, our goal is to raise our children to love Jesus with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Pray for them to choose a helpmate who has a passion and love for Jesus. It is so much fun watching God puzzle their lives together.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

–Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV)

SILENCE

SILENCE

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Silence. Why is this so difficult?

Can you remember a time you prayed with all your heart about something? Possibly you prayed for years and years. Maybe it seemed as if your prayers just hit the ceiling and bounced back. In all honesty, this can be discouraging! In fact, at this point, many give up and throw in the towel.

Silence. How do we trust when we don’t see results?

Corrie Ten Boom was a Nazi prison camp survivor who watched her sister suffer and die during their imprisonment. She barely survived herself. Despite all her trials, she forgave her abusers and continued to trust in God. Her life story is a picture of living, walking, and breathing Jesus. Through difficult and life threatening situations, her faith in God never wavered. She trusted Him even when she didn’t see immediate results. How? She believed in who God was, not in what He could do for her. She trusted God’s Word twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Her faith wasn’t based on what God was doing in her life but in the character of God.Even in desperate circumstances, her walk with Jesus remained strong. She focused on Him, not the situation. As a result, her life example continues to encourage others, many years after her death.

Silence. Sometimes in the stillness, God is doing His greatest work.

I understand the silence of depression. The haunting memories linger close to my heart and mind. In this season it seemed difficult for me to hear from God. Deeper and deeper I spiraled into this pit. I prayed, but no answers. I asked, but no response. My thoughts escalated out of control until one day I screamed, “God, Help!” And He showed up in a mighty way. Little did I know He allowed this time of what I call “silence” to be one of the greatest teachable times in my life.

God calls us to listen to Him. Trust His plan. Surrender it all, with no strings attached. Cast your cares upon Him.

In the silence…

Pray. Continue to lift your requests before Him.
Trust. God is in the midst of accomplishing His purposes for His glory.
Praise. Praise Him before the answer is revealed.

Do you feel like a broken record when you ask God over and over to answer the same request? Do you trust He is in control? Is the stillness weighing on you? Right now, turn the silence into a deeper faith in Jesus. Remember, sometimes in the silence, God is doing His most powerful work. Have fun praying, trusting, and praising Jesus in the silence.

~MEMORIAL DAY SALUTE~

~MEMORIAL DAY SALUTE~

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Did you know MEMORIAL DAY was first called DECORATION DAY?

General John L. Logan is credited for naming May 30, 1868, as the first Decoration Day. On this day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

When you hear the words – MEMORIAL DAY – what thoughts come to mind? Maybe you’re thankful for a day off of work or school. If you love to shop, Memorial Day might be a reminder of all the sales taking place at the mall. What about family barbecues and picnics? But, is this all there is to Memorial Day… Relaxing, Shopping, Family, and Friends?

Memorial Day is observed in the United States as a commemoration of those members of the armed forces who died in war defending the United States of America. Those who sacrificed their lives so that we might have the freedoms we have today. Let these quotes wash over you…

They fell, but o’er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save. – Francis Marion Crawford

For love of country, they accepted death…   – James A. Garfield

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. – Joseph Campbell

As we remember these fallen heroes, may we be reminded that America is “One Nation Under God.” What a beautiful quote which stands the test of time. What a blessing knowing God is in charge of all creation, life, history, and the future. These brave men and women are remembered for the sacrifices made to fight for the freedoms and liberties of this great nation.

And, we must not forget the ultimate Freedom Fighter… Jesus.

He died so that we could have eternal freedom from the bondage of sin. He won the battle with Satan at the cross. He conquered the grave. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Read the words from Psalm 77:10-11 with a heartfelt praise to God…

But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord. Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary… Who is so great a God who does wonders. You have declared Your strength among the peoples.

So, this Memorial Day, thank God for the War Heroes who sacrificed their lives for freedom to prevail in America. Thank Him that we are “One Nation Under God” and pray for this motto to live on for years to come.

Please, take a moment and say a prayer for those serving in the United States armed forces. Ask God to protect them physically, spiritually, and mentally. Pray for their marriages to stay strong while they are separated from their families.

Finally, praise God for the Prayer Heroes throughout history who prayed for America. I feel certain a Medal of Honor is reserved for them in heaven.

Let’s keep this Prayer Chain Alive… Pray for America. 

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES

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5:30 a.m. A loud noise electrifies my body. Without a peep, I reach for the snooze button. Ten minutes later another blast jolts me into motion. With my feet firmly planted on the ground, I make my way to the kitchen. Oh, the blessing of an automatic coffeemaker. Still not fully awake, I notice the clock now reads 5:45 a.m.

A pleading prayer immediately pours out, “Lord, it’s another day filled with routines— kids to get ready for school, breakfast to make, dogs to feed, lunches to create, buses to catch, homework to remember, athletic shoes to pack, notes to sign, and whatever else I’m forgetting. And all this has to be done by 6:30 a.m.! Please, help me have a positive attitude this morning.”

After waking the children, I take another sip of coffee. I hear a small rumble from the bathroom, which ignites into a roar. What are they fussing about this time? Thankfully my words of wisdom quickly extinguish the argument. Of course, they know from past history it is to their advantage to heed my warning… if you know what I mean.

Cereal is the breakfast of choice––quick and easy! Realizing time is running short, I begin making lunches. In the process, this thought runs through my mind, “How many peanut butter sandwiches have I made over the years?” The minute this thought exits, another idea surfaces, “What if I begin praying for my children as I make their lunches? I can use these peanut butter sandwiches as visual reminders to pray for each one.” With a twinge of excitement, I grab the bread, knife, and jars of peanut butter and jelly. With a large glob on my knife, I begin to pray…

“Lord, just as I spread this peanut butter on the bread, may You spread Your Word on my children’s hearts. Give them an excitement to spread the message of Jesus to their friends at school. And as this jelly brings sweetness to the sandwich, may Your Holy Spirit sweeten their relationships with Jesus. Like these two pieces of bread that cover the peanut butter and jelly, may Your love and protection cover my children’s lives. Finally, as they eat these sandwiches, may they experience the taste of Your spiritual nourishment throughout their day.”

Immediately, I realize God responded to my early morning prayer for a positive attitude. Humbleness fills my heart, soul, and mind. A song of praise comes from my lips as I give God the glory for His presence and for answering my prayer.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Are you in need of a fresh perspective and outlook for the day? Ask the Lord for encouragement throughout your daily routines. Look for ways He spurs you forward and answers your prayers. Oh, how precious it is when we leave the details to Jesus and watch Him change our hearts!

So I opened my mouth, and He (God) gave me the scroll to eat. Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. –Ezekiel 3:3

Excerpt from My Prayer Chair by Carla McDougal


Order your copy of My Prayer Chair…

Paper Copy (English or Spanish):  Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Reflective Life Ministries 

Audiobook: Amazon Audible

TO MOM WITH LOVE

TO MOM WITH LOVE

 

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As moms, we long to connect with our children. A hug. A smile. A laugh. It’s funny how moms continually push the memory recall button––I remember your first step. Remember the vacation when you… It seems like yesterday when… Do you know what I mean? In my opinion, if doctors could x-ray a mother’s soul, they would find it full of sweet memories and unconditional love for her children.

When God opens a window to our children’s souls, we experience inexpressible joy. Just a glimpse beyond the physical, a quick view of their spiritual growth, spurs us forward. I must share the following story with you…

When Carly Jo, the youngest of our four children, was a senior in high school, she read her English essay to me. The love and wisdom poured out on an 8 x 10 piece of paper overwhelmed me. May the Lord bless you through Carly Jo’s heart of love…

“Love, it’s more than just a word or statement. Love comforts the lonely. Love feeds the hungry. Love saves a life. A child without love is like a heart without blood. How can children know how to love, if they’ve never been shown love themselves? Parents are the vessels used to show real love to their children.

Typically, a child’s first words are “mama” or “dada.” Oh, what pride a parent experiences when they hear these words. Parents make the difference in a child’s life. Involved parents are dedicated to teaching their children wisdom as they grow in life. They are there for them when they scrape their knees, for soccer games, piano recitals, and theater performances. They help their child realize she is a priority and special. Parents teach their children how to make wise choices early in life.

A parent’s love helps nurture the child’s life. But, ultimate love comes from the Father above when He gave His son Jesus to die for us and redeem us. He has such unconditional love; our human minds can’t fathom how deep and how wide His love is for us. He will never leave nor forsake you. You may leave Him, but He will always be waiting for you with open arms. Allow God’s love to shine through you as parents. The ultimate gift is God’s love.” – By Carly Jo McDougal

Tenderness enveloped my heart and soul. This essay reminded me of God’s love for His children. Our Father God expresses His love to us through His Word, almost as if He writes love letters on the tablets of our hearts. The Bible is filled with encouragement, affirmation, and confirmation of His love for us. In fact, the book of John opens the door to understanding God’s ultimate love gift–Jesus.

Again, praises flow. In her teenage heart, Carly Jo recognized God as the ultimate giver of true love. His truths abound throughout her essay.

Fast-forward a few years. Fred and I have moved into what the world calls, The Empty Nest. But, I choose to call it, The Place of Rest. Even now, questions arise… Did we equip her for the real world? Will she keep Jesus the center of her life, even in college? Again, God hears my cry, Lord, help all my children to enter the real world armed with Jesus’ love, wisdom, and truth. To love Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

God gives us, as parents and grandparents, the privilege to pray for our children and grandchildren. Our priority should be to pray for them to have a real, personal relationship with Jesus. To help them grasp the role of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity. All in one, yet individual. All the same, yet with different roles. Pray for our families to desire to live sold out for Him. In return, through prayer, our labors of love strengthen our own faith and trust in Jesus.

LIFE CHALLENGE

Do you long to see inside your children’s hearts? Ask God to open a window to their souls. Watch for ways He offers you a behind the scenes view into their lives. Be their prayer warrior throughout the day. As you clean up their messes, wash their clothes, or sit in carpool lines––pray for their relationships with Jesus. This labor of love strengthens your own walk with the Lord. And don’t forget to praise God, not your children, for their spiritual growth. Let them always hear and observe you giving God the glory for all He is doing in and through their lives.

Does not wisdom cry out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: “To you, O men I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.”  –Proverbs 8:1-7


Excerpt from SOLD OUT: Live for Jesus, by Carla McDougal

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

Founder of Reflective Life Ministries & Executive Producer of the movie STRONGER

Author of My Prayer Chair, Reflecting Him, & SOLD OUT

WALK with PETER – Part 2

WALK with PETER – Part 2

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After supper and when they had sung a hymn… He led them out to the Mount of Olives.

–Mark 14:26

Our bellies are full from supper–the last supper. After singing a few songs, Jesus intentionally leads us on a stroll out of Jerusalem up to the Mount of Olives. Ironically, this is the same area where the next day Jesus meets His demise–The Cross.

Stopping along the way, Jesus turns and looks at me. As our eyes meet, Jesus says, “Peter, Satan has asked permission to sift you as wheat.” With a tenderness of love and compassion, He finishes, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Stunned. Shocked. I quickly defend my honor, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Tears well up in Jesus. “Peter, I tell you the truth on this very day you will deny knowing me. The third time you hear the rooster crow is your reminder of this conversation.”

Adjusting my belt and checking my sword, I wonder why Jesus would say such things. These past three years, I’ve followed Him everywhere. In fact, I left my family and boat to follow Him. I’m not abandoning Him now!

Standing a bit taller, I shake these thoughts from my mind. Jesus called me to follow; I will follow Him anywhere and everywhere. 

REFLECTION TIME

Read Mark 14:26-41 and Luke 22:31-34

How powerful, yet tender. Jesus prayed for Peter by name.

Was Peter listening? Did he hear what Jesus was saying?

Did he understand Jesus was standing in the gap for him? Possibly Peter was too busy fantasizing about how he would defend and conquer the opposing forces. Possibly, he imagined a battle scene with himself as the hero.

Jesus, knowing Peter’s thoughts, prays again for His friend… His disciples… His chosen ones.

A promise of hope lingers in Jesus’ statement, “Peter, and when you have returned to Me strengthen your brothers.” A foreshadowing promise of forgiveness, grace, and restoration–All in God’s perfect timing.

Was Peter listening? Did he hear what Jesus was saying?

PRAYER WALK CHALLENGE

How familiar is this scenario in your own life? Do you hear the voice of God? Is He warning and preparing you for what lies ahead? Don’t resist the voice of God. Contemplate His Word. Trust His promises.

Listen, respond, and trust.

WALK with PETER – PART 1

WALK with PETER – PART 2


 

From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

Executive Producer for the movie – STRONGER

WALK with PETER – Part 1

WALK with PETER – Part 1

 

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The Apostle Peter…

Bold. Strong. Leader. Energetic. Enthusiastic. Tenacious. Confident. Passionate. Rugged.

Yet…

Impulsive. Self-focused. Fearful. Impetuous. Self-reliant. Remorseful. Guilt-ridden. Regretful.

Jesus called Peter to follow Him. Peter obeyed. He walked beside Jesus for three years experiencing His miracles and healings. Peter heard firsthand Jesus’ teaching lessons and watched miracles unfold – from walking on the water to walking through the countryside of Samaria. Jesus continually displayed God’s truths and messages to those around Him.

But…

From a human perspective, how did Peter respond in the midst of his journey with Jesus? What thoughts popped in and out? Was he constantly comparing himself to the other disciples? Did he view this time with Jesus more like a competition?

Scripture doesn’t answer all the “Behind the Scenes” questions. In fact, this is the beauty of God’s Word–perfect, complete, and unaltered. Asking the Holy Spirit to help us learn and grow from scripture is vital. The result… a deeper walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

With all that said Walk with Peter is written from Peter’s viewpoint. Although the insights are not absolute, they present possible thoughts and actions of Peter throughout scripture. Enjoy the journey. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.

WALK with PETER – Part 1

WALK with PETER – Part 2

 

JESUS’ TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

JESUS’ TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

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Word spreads quickly of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. With each step, the crowd multiplies gaining momentum and strength. In unison, they shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Tears form as He looks deep into the eyes of the onlookers. A spark of sadness ignites in Jesus’ heart.

Tears form as He looks deep into the eyes of the onlookers. A spark of sadness ignites in Jesus’ heart. Oh, Father, I need Your strength, might, and courage. They seek an earthly king, one to save them from empires and nations. Help them realize they need a King to save them from a life of eternal damnation; a King to bring them everlasting life with You. 

Beads of sweat gather on Jesus’ forehead. He continues His conversation with His heavenly Father, This journey seems too much for me to bear. Please, strengthen Me. All of a sudden, the words from the prophet Zechariah 9:9 pop into His head – Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. A colt, the foal of a donkey. Glancing down, He smiles. Below Him, the symbol of peace displayed for all to see. A sigh of relief comes over Him.

Jesus silently scans the crowd. With love and grace, His eyes meet Mary’s. Immediately, He flashes back to the time Mary anointed His feet with the costly oil. Warmth consumes His heart. A quick reminder of His Father’s love and purpose for sending Him to this earth. By Mary’s side is her brother, Lazarus, like yesterday Jesus recalls breathing life back into him as he raises Lazarus from the dead. Again, another remembrance of His Father’s purpose for sending Him to redeem this world of sin. Peace fills His soul. Strength restores His soul. Jesus quietly praises His Heavenly Father for answered prayer.

The journey closes in as Jesus enters the gate into Jerusalem. The anthem of the crowd rings throughout the streets – “Hosanna the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Jesus hears the praises and cheers, yet knows the truth. A lump forms in his throat as He whispers – Today they shout FOR Me, but in a few days they will shout AGAINST saying Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” 

Within seconds, compassion overwhelms Jesus. An abundance of love flows. Such confirmation of why His journey to the cross is not out of duty, but out of a heart of love, grace, and mercy.

Zechariah 9:11, He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.


From My Heart to Yours,

Carla McDougal

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