A Blogging Secret Everyone Should Know

Actually, not everyone should know, but....

You're probably thinking I'll say something about writing or photography, because those are my 'things'.
But it's not about either of those things - it's something that will hopefully help improve your blog and it's super duper easy!
Ready to get started?
First of all, look around ALIML.
If you hover over a photo, you'll see little buttons pop up over the picture (as seen in above photo) with three options to share: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
If your attention happens to drift to the right, you'll see a blue sidebar with even more options to share, with a verse reference at the top. With a click of a button, you can share what you're reading on Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Wordpress, Blogger, or email it to a friend. And if that's not enough, you can click on the bottom one to choose from even more sharing options! Cool, huh?
If you scroll and read a while, you'll see a little popup form appear on the screen.
It reads:
 Don't miss out on another ALIML post again!
Any time another post is on ALIML, you'll get notified! Sign up today!
[enter your email here]
Subscribe Now!
Another awesome feature of what I'm going to tell you guys!
Well, wait a post.
~ Light4theLord

The Skater's Waltz

Hey ya'll! I decided that I wanted to record one of my favorite piano pieces, 'The Skater's Waltz' and so I did. :D It took three tries (the first time I horribly botched it up because I forgot to warm up, and the second time I was halfway down the last page when the phone rang. *facepalm*) but I did it! :) I hope to have it up sometime soon.
Oh, and uh.... those are my miracle skates in the picture above. I had been praying and praying for ice skates (and I have to admit I prayed for the pretty white ones. :D ) for several months (almost a year) and we found them in the perfect size for an amazing price at Goodwill (I love that place!)!
~ Light4theLord

Why Are We Here?

Why are we here? It's a question that many people ask themselves. Why do we exist? Who created us? Did we really evolve from a microscopic being?
The answer to this question is a parcel of truth that many people search after. It is the reason for our entire beings.
Often times, if no other answer can be found, people believe that we were randomly created by an explosion and millions of years of evolution. They believe that we have no purpose in life other than to enjoy ourselves and have fun. They believe that we're here to get rich and be successful. They believe we're here to do whatever we want to so as to make ourselves feel 'good'. They turn to whatever makes them even the slightest bit 'happy'. Food, friends, shopping, fame, the internet.
But still, even if they're unwilling to admit it, there's a longing. A deeper meaning to life.... it's a search, a search for truth. Somewhere inside them longs for purpose, and longs for a meaning to all of this.
God created us for a meaning. He didn't have to. But He did. Why? Why would He create us and place us here on this beautiful earth which He created? What is the meaning? Is there a meaning?
There is a meaning. In Isaiah 43:7 (NASB), we find why we are here.
"Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made."
We are here for a deeper purpose than just 'being happy' - we are here to glorify God in anything and everything we do.

But to a lot of people, that sounds just plain boring. But it's not! When we serve God with our entire being, He puts into action an amazing plan for us.

He gives us peace (John 14:27) that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and guards our hearts and minds. It's the most amazing peace you could ever have. There's no need to stress or worry about anything, because God is in control. Always has been, and always will be! That means that no matter what, even when things are out of your control, you can ask Him for His peace because He is in control.

We are to give Him the glory in everything.
He created us for His glory, and also to have a relationship with Him. Isn't that incredible?
We ought to feel extremely minuscule when we compare ourselves with the billions of stars, galaxies, and all the complexities of His amazing and intricate designs.

But even though we're so small in our comparison to the rest of His creation, He longs to have a relationship with us. Is that not amazing, or what?! The fact that the God who created everything - and yes, I mean everything - wants to be with us and call us His children.... just wow.
He loves to see us enjoying His creation, but even more so, He loves it when we take the time to spend time with us.
Even more so, He loves us. He loved us enough to - nearly 2,000 years ago - send His only and beloved Son to earth to give us hope. He sent His son to die for our sins, to love us, to save us, and to rise again so that we may have hope for eternity! He did this all out of love for us.

When you think about that, it's not so hard to give Him the glory, eh? :)

I hope and pray that while you read this blog, you see the phrase 'To God be the Glory!' several times. It's taken from Philippians 4:20, which reads, 'Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.'

If you love reading the Bible, you'll notice that Paul almost always signs off giving God the glory, like in Romans 16:27 - to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

For another wonderful example, read  1 Timothy 1:17.

If you've been wondering 'Why are we here?', I pray and hope this has given you a reason to live... for God. If you've never had hope that will last throughout all eternity, you can have it today!
Perhaps you are being asked by God today what the disciples were asked 2,000 years ago - 'But who do you say that I am?'

'Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.'
- Psalm 100:3 -

If you ask, "How can I have that hope?" The answer is straight from Acts 16:31.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved,"
How will you be saved?
(Acts 15:11) But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus,
(Ephesians 2:8-10) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Call upon Him and He will answer.

~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!


VOTD: Ephesians 3:20-21

Truly That Was Grace

This piece that I wrote is just a rather crude telling of the point of view of the centurion.
I was a skeptic
An unbeliever
My heart was hardened
My life was broken.
I witnessed death
Like no other
I led my men
In killing another
 I found it my duty
To serve my country
No matter what
No matter the bounty
I had power
I had riches
Yet I had emptiness
And I was held by chains.
I had control
I had the best
But my conscience
Wouldn't let me rest. 
I had status
I had knowledge
But I had no freedom
From my guilt and shame.
At the first
I balked and shied
But now not a flinch
As the victims bled.
This was my life
I knew no other
I wish I could
But who would bother?
My life was wrenched
My heart was twisted
There was an empty trench
No one could fill.
Yet another crucifixion
I thought nothing of it
Until the man
Cried out in agony.
At that moment
When the sky grew dark
When the voice called out
When all else became stark.
It was then
That I realized
This man I was killing
Was not a criminal.
He was no criminal,
He was no sinner,
He was a King,
He held throne forever!
The mocking sign
Above His head
Read ‘King of Jews’
As He bled.
I stood before Him
He breathed His last
I saw His blood
As from here He passed.
I knelt in reverence
Removed my helmet
Exclaimed with authority
What I wished I had said before.
“Truly this man
Was the Son of God!”
He deserved a crown,
Not that of thorns.
He died for me
He took my place
I witnessed it
Truly that was grace.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Continuing the series of stories written in the POV of characters from the gospels' accounts of Easter, I present to you, 'Mary, the Mother of Jesus'. This story is collectively written from all four accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection, but the ending is taken from Mark 16.
Nothing I had ever dreamed could’ve prepared me for this day. My wails were loud and forlorn. I refused to be comforted. I watched the Savior of the world be nailed to a crude wooden frame, nails being pounded into His wrists.
I remembered everything that I had pondered in my heart up until this day. I remembered the night of His birth, and the animals that were the welcoming committee for His entry into this world. I remembered the gifts of the magi who had traveled so far to reach us. I remembered the nights we had to flee from those who wished to kill Him because of the prophesies. I remembered singing to Him before night fell. I remembered watching His earthly father, my husband Joseph, guide His small hands over a piece of wood, teaching Him to carve. I remembered the panic that filled my being when I found out that He was no longer with us on our way home from the Passover celebration. I remembered the astonishment of finding Him in the temple. I remembered the miracles He did, the time He changed water to wine at the wedding. I remembered…
A cry went up from my Son, and I wept with and for Him. His disciple, John, was at my side, yet I ceased not from my anguish. It was then that I remembered the words of the devout and righteous man, Simeon, at the temple. And a sword will pierce even your own soul. He was precisely right. It was as though they were piercing a sword through my own heart. The moments stretched into what seemed like eternity as my Son, my Son that I loved, my firstborn, was hanging on the cruelest of all of the Roman’s punishments- the cross.
In an unforetold instant, darkness fell over the land, and the sun was obscured. It mattered not to me. Who cared if the sun grew dark? My Son was dying. A mother’s love for her child is one of the greatest possible loves. I wept.
It was then that Jesus spoke. Through His pain, He said to me, “Woman, behold, your son!” and to John, who stood at my side, He spoke and said, “Behold, your mother!” This touching act of His assuring that I would be taken care of broke my heart into shattered pieces again.
A sudden hush grew over the crowd, and a cry rose from the throat of my Child.
“It is finished!” He exclaimed, and then bowed His head. He was gone from this earth. I fell to the ground, and in a moment, John was beside me as I mourned the death of Jesus.
I stayed for several hours, and the beloved disciple of my Son stayed with me, accepting me into his household. I followed the man who took my Child’s body from the cross, and watched from a distance as the man laid Him in an unused tomb cut from rock. The lush garden that surrounded it provided serenity for His burial place.
The Sabbath was a numbing day for me as I realized that my Son was dead.
On the first day of the week, however, I went with a young woman, Mary of Magdalene, to the tomb. We conferred with one another, asking who would roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb so that we would be able to anoint His body with spices. As we approached, I immediately saw that the stone had been rolled away, even though it was extremely large. Had someone known that we would come to anoint His body? As I entered the tomb, I was taken by surprise when I noticed a young man sitting at the right, wearing a dazzling white robe. I was amazed. Who was this man?
“Do not be amazed;” he instructed. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.”
His words accurately described the place where I had seen the prominent man lay Him. It was then that I realized who he was. The angel continued, “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”
I was both fearful and joyful. Was my Son really alive? Astonishment gripped me, and together with Mary Magdalene, we hurried to tell the disciples. It was incredible.... unbelievable almost.

Send Me

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
- Isaiah 6:8 -
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
- Romans 10:14-15 -
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
- Acts 1:8 -
So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
- John 20:21 -
Everyone, anyone can be used by God. We must just be willing to do what He asks. Like Isaiah, we ought to say, "Here am I, Lord, send me!"
I want to be sent.
I want to help change the world for the better. I want to be sent to the remotest parts of the earth!
What about you? Are you willing to be used by God? Do you trust Him that He has a plan for you, a better plan than anyone else?
Maybe you think that you can't be used by God. It's a lie that so many people believe. They believe that (to quote my Sunday School teacher's lesson this past Sunday) 'I can't do it. I'm not..... enough.'
Replace the dots with something you think you're not enough of to serve God.
Perhaps you say, "I'm not strong enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not old enough."
Even characters in the Bible had this false assumption in their head. Think of Gideon (the focus of the Sunday School lesson last week that I learned), who said:
And Gideon said to Him, "O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house." But the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."
(Judges 6:15-16)
Something that I struggle with is, "I'm not old enough." For this fictional lie that so many young people are told, we refer back to Paul's wise advice.
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
- 1 Timothy 4:12 -
Will you offer yourself to God and tell Him, "Here I am, send me."
Do it. You won't regret it. His plan is always better!
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!

VOTD: Romans 5:6-8

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

Peter's POV

*Please note that while I tried to write this as accurately as I could, the gospels vary in their chronological orders after the resurrection and trying to follow and merge all four is rather confusing and hard to accomplish! Hope you enjoy!*
It was nearing the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover. On the first day, the Teacher sent me with my fellow disciple John, saying,
                “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.”
                “Where do You want us to prepare it?” we asked. He gave us a knowing smile, yet not condescendingly. He proceeded to give us specific instructions.
                “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ And he will show you a large furnished upper room; prepare it there.”
                Somewhat skeptically, I followed John down the dusty paths into Jerusalem. We entered through the gate and stopped.
                “We’ve entered the city,” I stated obviously. John cocked his head and gave me ‘a look’. I just grinned. We were closer than brothers, for we had spent much time together serving the Teacher. I started walking and suddenly ran right into a man carrying a jug of water.
                “I am so sorry,” I apologized profusely. He graciously forgave me, and I grabbed John.
                “We have to follow him!” And so we did. When we arrived at the large home, John searched for the owner and approached him, saying, “The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’” The man quickly showed us a well-furnished room in the upper portion of the house, not taken by surprise, as though he knew that it was going to happen.
                When all was prepared and ready, Jesus joined us for the meal, along with our fellow disciples – all ten of them. We began eating, and while we were doing so, the Teacher took some bread from one of the dishes and said a blessing. He then broke it and began handing it out to all of us. I was surprised, especially when He said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” I was already getting used to all of the figures of speech that our Lord used, but this was one of the oddest. His body? What was that supposed to mean? He then took a cup and gave thanks for it, and passed it around to each of us.
                “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
                We each solemnly took of the wine and drank as He instructed us.
                He then led us in a hymn, His rich voice filling the room. We all joined in, and when we finished, He quietly took us to the Mount of Olives. We climbed up to the top and listened as our Teacher spoke to us.
                “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
                I protested immediately. “Even though all may fall away because of you, I will never fall away!” I said it with conviction, and with resolve. Gently, my Lord spoke directly to me.
                “Truly I say to you, Peter, that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” I was hurt and offended, but even more so, I was determined to prove my loyalty and devotion to my Master.
                “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny You.” I clenched my fists and set my jaw. The others around me echoed my exclamation, crying out the same promise.
                Jesus just gave us a sad smile. He knew something… but what? We went to Gethsemane and He said to us, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” But He took the two sons of Zebedee and myself with Him and we observed as He began to be grieved. He turned to us, His countenance filled with distress. “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death;” He spoke quietly but firmly. “Remain here and keep watch with Me.” He then left us and went ahead a bit further to where we could no longer see Him or hear Him. My eyes grew heavy, and I stifled a yawn. We waited a bit, but then I slowly… slowly… drifted to sleep.
                I was awakened by a voice. “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Cryptic, again. I felt slightly ashamed and somewhat discouraged that He was disappointed in us. He went away, and I determined to stay awake, but the moments turned into minutes and soon a half hour had passed. I fell asleep once more.
                He arrived back and exclaimed, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!” As He spoke, I stiffened in alarm. A dark figure lurked in the shadows. I relaxed, however, when I saw that it was Judas. He was our friend. He came to the Teacher and exclaimed, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. Jesus quietly murmured, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Suddenly, soldiers and slaves of the high priest rushed forward and grabbed our Master. I leaped up and drew my sword, and angrily chopped off the ear of one of the slaves. Jesus quickly turned to me and admonished my action.
                “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
                They dragged Him away, but I resolved to follow. And that I did – I followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priests.
                I sat in the courtyard, waiting and watching, warming myself at the fire. Around me, the chief priests and the whole Council was trying to obtain testimony against Jesus; the people quickly volunteered, but their stories were so inconsistent and even contradicted one another.  My mind was formulating several plans on how I might be able to rescue my Lord. I strained my eyes and ears trying to hear or see any of the leaders and overhear their plans and verdicts. I was completely focused when a servant-girl came to me and said mockingly, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” I quickly retorted the statement saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” I continued to deny her accusations. Finally, I moved away and went to the gateway to think. Another servant-girl saw me and announced to everyone, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” I made an oath quickly, exclaiming, “I do not know the man!” I was angry by now. What if I got caught? What would happen to my plans? What would happen to my family? If they judged Jesus harshly, what about His followers? It would be better if I stayed in the shadows and made sure no one knew.  I merged with the crowd, but one of the bystanders approached me. I tried to act nonchalant, but he said, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” I angrily began to curse and swear in the crude language of the fishermen. The man quickly retracted his statement and walked away fearfully. I shouted, “I do not know the man!”
                Immediately, a rooster crowed. I froze as the Teacher’s words came back to haunt me.
                “Truly I say to you, Peter, that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
                And what had been my reply?
                “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny You.”
                I was a traitor. A liar. I departed as hastily as I could and wept bitterly.
                “I’m sorry, my Lord!” I pleaded. “I’m sorry! Forgive me for denying You!” I prostrated myself on the ground and cried out to God.
                Morning came and I found myself asleep in a nearby thicket, where I was close enough to follow Jesus wherever He went. I watched stealthily as they bound him and led Him away. I followed quickly, and went to the governor’s place, where they delivered Him to the governor Pilate.
                I mingled within the crowd that had come for the governor’s feast. I knew as well as everyone else there that the governor released for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted, as was custom. Everyone gathered, and I followed.
                Pilate, in his royal robes, stood and asked the people, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” I happened to be standing beside a prominent man, who was obviously one of the elders. He threatened those around him that if they did not ask for Barabbas, they would be tortured. Other leaders persuaded the crowds in the same manner or with bribery. I refused to move from my stand.
                Everyone around me started shouting, “Barabbas! Barabbas! Barabbas!” But I stood where I was and yelled as loudly as I could, “Jesus! Jesus!” My voice was lost in the crowd.
                “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate questioned.
                “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” the crowds screamed. Pilate attempted to ask, “What evil has He done?” but they continued to shout and yell, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” The words were like hammers to my ears, pounding and resounding.
                “No!” I shouted. Then I was trampled by the riot.
                As soon as I recovered and made my way through the riot and into the streets, I begged of people to tell me where the crucifixion was going to take place. An old woman selling fruit croaked, “They took Him to Golgotha. They took Simon of Cyrene to bear His cross because He was too weak.” I thanked her profusely and bought some of her produce to show my gratefulness. I ran and ran until I nearly collapsed at the Place of the Skull. When I looked up, my heart wrenched. Hanging on a crude and sharp wooden cross was my Teacher. My Master. My Lord.
                Why? Why had they so unjustly crucified Him? I could not watch any longer as His cries of agony pierced the thick and heavy air. I returned to my home, mourning.
                The Sabbath passed like any other day, and I obtained information that Jesus had died, and was buried in a tomb of someone named Joseph, from Arimathea.
                The first day of the week came. I had just risen and was trying to find something to do. How could I take my mind of His death? I couldn’t. Suddenly, a pounding was heard at my door. Was it soldiers coming to take me away? I shook the thought off and went to answer it. Standing at the door was a woman whom the Lord had healed of seven demons, Mary Magdalene.
                “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” She was crying, yet she ran to John’s nearby abode and beckoned him to come also. We followed her to a garden, and followed her as she ran down the path. She pointed to a large rock which had been rolled away from the entrance of a tomb. I ran ahead with John, but he got there first. He stood there numbly, just looking in. When I arrived at the entrance, I thrust him aside and entered the tomb. The linen wrappings were merely lying there, and separated from those was the face cloth. John entered silently behind me and he saw it also.
                What had happened? I shook my head in disbelief and returned to my home.
                Only an hour later, I heard the same pounding on the door.
                “The Lord! He has risen!” she exclaimed, and a nearby woman who was named Joanna echoed, “He has risen indeed!”
                Mary continued. “I have seen the Lord, and He has said to tell you, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’ The angel that I saw who was dressed in dazzling white clothing also spoke to me, saying, ‘Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified and the third day rise again.’”
                I was in shock. All of this was happening too fast to even process. I met all of the disciples (with the exception of Thomas) that evening, and we all sat in fear with the doors locked and shut for fear of the Jews.
                We silently were huddled over a table when we all heard a familiar voice.
                “Peace be with you.” I turned quickly and leaped up.
                “My Lord!” I exclaimed, rejoicing in my heart. The others were startled and frightened, as though they were seeing a spirit of some sort. He spoke to all of us.
                “Peace be with you;” He said again, but continued this time. “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Only a little longer than a week later, He appeared once more to us, but this time Thomas was there. Previously, when we had told him that we had seen the Lord, he had stubbornly insisted, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
“Peace be with you.” Jesus spoke calmly, then turned to Thomas. “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Thomas trembled and spoke, “My Lord and my God!”
“Because you have seen Me, have you believed?” Jesus asked. “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” I lowered my head at this. I had also hardened my heart against those who had said they had seen the Lord before I did.
Later, at the mountain which Jesus had designated, He commissioned us as follows:
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Mary of Magdalene

This is the first short story in a series that I hope to post throughout this week in preparation for Easter. Each is told in the point of view (POV) of one of the characters mentioned in one of the gospels' accounts of Easter. Please note that the ending of this story is told from John's account in John chapter 20. Enjoy!
I couldn’t watch. Yet…I couldn’t turn away. It was as though I was betraying my King if I did either. He wasn’t supposed to be dying. He wasn’t supposed to be taking my punishment. He wasn’t supposed to be whipped. He wasn’t supposed to be mocked.
It was me that was supposed to be dying. It was I that deserved the capital punishment. If anyone, I should’ve been whipped and mocked.
I wanted to cower, turn away, and hide my face. I didn’t want to hear His agonizing cries of pain. The sorrow and pain in my own heart seemed heavier than anything else in the world. The true criminals nailed beside Him mocked Him. The sun rose high in the sky. It was nearly noon, and the crowd around me hurled abusive speech at the man who had saved my life. They yelled and shouted, as though He deserved the cruelest death in all of the Roman Empire. He didn’t.
They scoffed and mocked him, and I pushed my way through the throng. As I made my way through, I heard mockers cry out, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself." I wanted to yell back in return that He could, but for some reason He did not. It would do no good. Others shouted, "Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" It stung to hear these ignorant people say such awful things. They would never believe. Even if He came down from the cross, they wouldn't believe. Their hearts were hardened against Him. I strained my eyes to read the sign written in the Hebrew characters above His head. It read, ‘THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ At least they had gotten that right. I could imagine the elders and leaders protesting whoever had written that, saying, “Don’t write ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’”
I pulled my head covering further over my head. No one noticed me, and no one recognized me as the woman who had had the demons cast from her. My Lord had done that…. the same Lord that was hanging from the cross before me. I ran to the edge of the crowd, sobbing. Abruptly, the sky grew dark as night, as though it was midnight instead of noon. The people around me were surprised and apprehensive, causing uproar. I caught my breath.
He suffered for three more hours, and I cried at the edge of the crowd, not willing myself to move from my rigid spot at the edge of the bystanders. Others moved on, yelling and shouting, and those walking past cried out in crude language and hateful words. One who was walking pass shook his head and shouted, "Ha! you who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself and come down from the cross!"
Suddenly, a loud voice cried out. I recognized it. In my native language, He spoke. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” Several around me didn’t understand what He said and spoke to one another saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah,” in scoffing tones. I shook my head. They didn’t understand. They didn’t understand that He was suffering… for them. An agonized cry sounded… and then silence.
I peered over the crowd and saw the centurion, the powerful man with men at his command, kneel and say with authority, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
I crumpled to the ground and wept. Finally, someone who knew the truth.
Evening came, and tomorrow would be the Sabbath. A highly prestigious and prominent member of the Council, Joseph of Arimathea, had asked for the body of Jesus.
I stood and watched from a distance as Joseph took the body down and wrapped Him in the traditional linen cloths. I followed discretely, and watched as they laid Him in hewn-out rock tomb. Joseph laid his hands on the large rock that stood nearby and rolled it against the entrance.
Jesus was dead. My Savior… was buried. He, the man who had cast the demons from me, was gone. The realization hit me as though lightning cursed through my body. Tears fell from my face and sparkled as they hit the ground. The sun was setting, yet I stayed. It was as though I stayed out of loyalty, though I didn’t know why.  I saw the silhouette of a woman against the horizon. I recognized her from our ministry with Jesus in Jerusalem. She was His mother. I could not imagine her agony at this moment. I had heard her miraculous story several times, and I knew she was suffering deeply.
The Sabbath came and passed, as it did every week, and I went through the motions and ritual habitually but without thinking.
The first day of the week was here. The sun hadn’t yet peeked over the horizon, and I struggled to rise. I wanted to wake up from this dream of horror, from the terrible scenes I had witnessed over the past few days. But I couldn’t.
I went to the tomb, while it was still dark. As I approached it, crying, my eyes made out the silhouette of the outcropping of the stone that had been rolled before the tomb. My pulse raced and I started running toward it. Fearfully, I observed that the stone had been taken from the tomb – rolled to the side. I lifted my robes and ran.
I ran. I ran to the door of Simon Peter, and ran to the other disciple whom Jesus loved. I pounded on their doors and exclaimed, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter and the other disciple were greatly alarmed. The both hurried out of their homes and ran ahead of me, going to the tomb. John ran even faster than Peter and went to the edge of the tomb, peering inside. With the light of the sunrise on the horizon streaming into the garden where the tomb was, he observed that which I had not. Linen wrappings were laying there, yet he did not go inside. Simon Peter followed him, but he entered the tomb. The face-cloth which had been on the Lord’s head was rolled up by itself and laid to the side. I found this odd, but I was too distraught to speak. The two disciples stood there for a moment. I wanted them to say something, to reassure me that all was okay, that this was just a horrific dream. They didn’t. They passed by me slowly, silently treading down the path. I stood outside of the tomb, and as they left, I began weeping, my tears splashing onto the dirt and lush plants. I wept.
A few moments later, I placed my hand on the stone that had been rolled away and looked inside once more, planning to leave as the disciples did after I looked over the burial place one more time.
I suddenly gave a little cry of alarm. Two men dressed in white were sitting inside, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. How had they gotten inside? Who were they? What had they done with the body? They spoke, and startled me.
“Woman, why are you weeping?” the one asked in rich tones. My heart was pounding, and my breath came in short gasps. I choked back my tears and stammered in as much confidence as I could collect in that short amount of time,
“Because… because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” It was the truth. I turned away quickly, wanting to leave as hurriedly as I could before the tears came again. Another man was standing there, though, and I assumed he was the gardener.
“Woman, why are you weeping?” I was asked the question again. “Whom are you seeking?” I pleaded with Him.
“Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” I turned to go, tears falling from my face once more. It was then that a startling peace swept through me. I caught my breath. It was my name. It was a voice…. A voice I knew…. A voice that I loved.
“Mary!” my name resounded throughout the garden, and I whirled around.
“Rabboni!” I cried out, both in fear and in joy. I fell to my knees and clung to the edge of His garment.
“Stop clinging to Me,” He said gently. “For I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”
The tears rushed like a river, falling at His feet, but I obeyed. My hands unconsciously loosed from the hem, but I stayed in my knelt form. I looked up to see His face once more… but He was gone.
I knew it was a miracle. It was an astounding one. It was then that I remembered what He had said. He would rise again… and He did.
Also, I have a very special meaning to having this story start out the week before Easter. :) I feel so extremely blessed that on Friday and Saturday of this week, I will have the amazing opportunity to portray Mary Magdalene in the Passion Play at one of the large nearby churches! If you think of it at all this week, please pray that I will glorify God with my acting. We have rehearsals every night this week except Tuesday.
He is Risen!
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!

He Knows

For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from HIs sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him which whom we have to do.
- Hebrews 4:12-13 -
Ponder that.

Fitting In

Today's short devo comes from a journal entry I did when I was 11. I was going through some of my journals last night in prep for the possible tornado (I wanted to save as many of my written pieces as I could just in case) and flipped to this entry. I've modified it a bit, just so you know. :)
{Taken from March 2's morning journal entry when I was 11 years old - anything without verses to back it up is my own 11-year-old mind speculating}
Jesus probably didn't exactly 'fit in' either. He had his own problems too. Jesus suffered even more than us. He was mocked, spit at, name-called even more than I could imagine. While He probably had friends, he probably wasn't the most popular boy his age. Some might have even thought he was stuck up or a teachers pet, even though I'm sure He didn't act like it. Maybe it was because He knew more from talking with the teachers and the leaders. When He grew up, Jesus didn't fin in with the teachers (Pharisees) of His day, though He knew His Father much better and knew the Scriptures perfectly. He was mocked for eating with sinners and was called names because He healed and helped others who were not of the same social standing - but it didn't stop Him. It shouldn't stop us either.
Jesus knows what we're going through, no matter what it is. Jesus can relate to us.
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
- Hebrews 2:18 -
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- Hebrews 12:3 -
For we do not have a high priest [Jesus Christ] who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
- Hebrews 4:15 -
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!

Influential Imitation

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
- Hebrews 13:7 -
I realize that I have been so incredibly and generously blessed by people in my life.
I've had the amazing opportunity to be raised in a family that loves God, and to go to a wonderful church where they teach God's Word. I've been undeservingly blessed by good, Christian friends. I've been surrounded ever since I was little by good teaching.
I'd like to take some time today to thank some of these people.
- my grandfather
Almost every Tuesday night, I am able to go and study math (or at least that's what everybody thinks we're doing... mwhahaha... we could be breaking into the downstairs ice cream stash, or snacking on chocolate... :D ) with my grandfather. He is such an amazing, godly man that serves God with his whole being. I want to be like him one day. Any time I have questions concerning God or the Bible, I ask my grandfather because I know that I can trust his answers (mostly, unless it's a story, then I have no idea if he's making it up or not... that's where I got my storytelling from. :D). I am so thankful for him and his impact on me and on so many other people.
- my grandmother
I know that if I need to talk to someone or need someone to listen, I can go to my wonderful grandmother. She's always ready to listen to me ramble on and on and on about dolls, and she supports me in whatever I do. I admire her greatly, for everything! :)
- my father and mother
I know I just did my grandparents separately, but I purposefully put my mother and father as one.
They have shown what true love is by both showing me love and showing love for one another. I know that they love me, always have and always will. I know that they do what is best for me (even if I don't agree all the time. :D ).
They are a great example of the love that God has for me as my Heavenly Father. He loves me, always has, and always will - just like my parents. Even if I disappoint Him, or make a wrong decision, He still loves me. Does it mean He's happy with what I've done? No, not really. But His love is unconditional. It's not a 'Well, if you do this and this and that and this and that and this and that, then I'll love you.' or, 'Keep all of the rules and then I'll think about loving you.' It's the same way with my amazing parents - sure, they're not happy at all if I disobey or do something wrong, but they still love me. :)
- my older sister
She is amazing role model for me. No matter what, every morning she gets up and does her Bible time first of all. We may pick fights and argue (and I may complain about late nights, but really I'll miss them - laughing and talking until our dad comes in three times to tell us to go to bed) but we still love each other... I hope. :D
- my younger brother
We argue the most. We're only two years apart, so we're the closest in age. It's funny how one day we can be the best of friends and then next day wage a war on one another.
But really, he is probably one of the most generous people I know. He almost always share his chocolate with me (now THAT is generosity... :D ) and we have a lot of fun together.
- my Sunday school teacher
I wish my SS classmates would just pay attention. She has so much knowledge that she's willing to share with us, and spends time preparing her lessons. I have learned so much - thank you. :)
- my best friend
I am extremely grateful for such a wonderful friend who is encouraging and just awesome. She serves God, and loves her family (though the occasional Nerf gun war never hurt anyone, right? XD) and is amazingly kind and patient... I wasn't being sarcastic, I promise. :)
Who are some of the most influential people in your life? I am so blessed to have so many incredible people in my life, and I thank God for them!
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory

The Best Birthday

{random pic, I know. :D }
Either nine or ten years ago today, I made the biggest decision in my life - to receive the best gift ever.
It was the gift of salvation, the gift that God offers to each of us. It's up to us to accept it. :)
I accepted Jesus as my Savior at my grandparents' house while watching Mr. Donut Man (yes, I watched that!! :D ).
It was the best birthday ever. Since I was born again, it became my second birthday - my spiritual birthday!
We have a thing in our family where we celebrate the days when we were born into God's family. That's what I'll be doing today!
But really, I think that this past year has been a growth spurt for me - spiritually.
I started writing the little devos on here, and even if there were only six other people reading them, it taught me more than I think it probably meant to others.
I pray that this year I will impact the world for God even bigger and better than I ever dreamed!
So, when is your spiritual birthday? If you haven't been born into God's family, don't wait! It's the best family e.v.e.r. :)
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory


Yay! It's springtime!

No more snow, no more freezing weather without snow.... I'm excited!
I've decided to make some challenges for myself this month... why not? :)
1. Photography Challenge
Katie inspired me since she did it last month (or attempted to before her card broke - yikes!), and I want to do it this month! I'm going to take one NON DOLL picture every day. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you guys them!
2. Writing Challenge
I'm going to try to write at least 100 words every day - whether on this blog, in one of my books that I'm working on, a short poem, etc. Consistency in writing is key!
3. Memorization Challenge
I'm going to memorize at least two verses every day. I hope. :) It's not too hard, hopefully.....
4. Deed-a-Day Challenge
Even if it's a small good deed, I'm going to do at least one good deed every day this month. Especially for my siblings.
5. Prayer Challenge
I'm going to make a list this month and I'm going to try to consistently pray for people more often. :)
6. Thankfulness Challenge
I started a thankful sheet in January and never finished it. I got to 100. I'm going to try to get to 500 this month..... *gulp*
So, keep me accountable, okay? Ask how I'm doing, remind me.... etc.. :D
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!

Introducing... Charis Rae!

I'm so honored to be a part of Charis Rae's blog launch (a.k.a. Grace from The Girl Upstairs), and here it is!