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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday - What Happened?

What exactly did Jesus do after he was buried and before he burst out of the grave on Easter Sunday?
He descended into the pit of Hell. He took back the keys of Death and Hell. He freed the people in Sheol (Hell) that had been awaiting the Messiah to come. I love the way the Douay-Rheims translation states it:

 Revelation 1:18 
 And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell.
 
1 Peter 3:18-20a says: 
“That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen...”

There is a very interesting word sandwiched in there: proclaimed. The Greek word for "proclamation" which is kerusso, which means to herald or publish officially. It is different from the Greek word to evangelize, euaggelizo. By going to hell before his resurrection, Jesus' not only defeated death but rescued believers from the power of the devil.

... And, this is all after his Heavenly Father had forsaken [to renounce or turn away from entirely] him. Pause and think about that for a minute. Jesus loved YOU so much that he took all of the sins that ever were and would be done, upon himself, all along knowing that his Heavenly Father would not be able to even look on him or help him. 'Why,' you ask? Sin separates us from God. 
Seeing that Jesus took all of the sins ONCE and FOR ALL, we are now promised that God will never leave us or forsake us - EVER! 

Hebrews 13:5-6
"Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never forsake you or abandon you." Thus we may say with confidence: "The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?"

Yes, Jesus loved us THAT much. He took upon himself all of our sins, and everyone's sins, past and present and future, and became a sacrifice for all of us now, in generations past and generations in the future. That is so much to wrap my mind around. AND on top of that, listen to this one. In Hebrews it is written about our new covenant with God. In chapter 8 and verse 12 it says, "For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more." WOW. Not only are we forgiven, He declares that He will not remember them!

Now Jesus has the keys of hell and death and it is time to free these captives that were waiting on him in Sheol, and take them to Heaven with him. Can you imagine the party that day in Heaven? The sounding of the trumpets? The dancing? The singing? And the Cherubim and Seraphim crying out to each other and all of Heaven, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." My eyes always leak whenever I even think of that day and the immense joy of all of these people being ushered before the throne of the Most High God!

And then...  the third day is dawning.....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tribute to My Daddy - Happy Father's Day

I wrote this for my Daddy's Celebration Service. This mighty warrior for God stepped into Heaven on June 22, 2013, almost two years ago. He and I were able to celebrate Father's Day one week before he graduated to the Golden Streets.  I wanted to post this again in tribute to him.

 
My Daddy and me
I have had very few Heroes in my life. My dad was the first one. Now, what defines a Hero to me?
  • A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities (yes, I was his lil princess)
  • A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
 My dad has been a Hero to many through the years, emulating God the Father to the Fatherless. People with broken families, or where the father had abandoned them were drawn to my dad. It was amazing to watch. The Holy Spirit in him was a magnet to them.  Though he was a big man, his heart was tender, he always listened first and he was always ready to jump in when needed.  And he always did.  Of course along with the broken kids, came the broken parents. He was always trying to keep tires on one lady’s car and we would
Lil Cowboy Jimmy
anonymously leave food packages at other houses.

Psalm 68:5-6
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
God is in his holy temple. He is a father to those whose fathers have died.    He takes care of women whose husbands have died. God gives lonely people a family.  He sets prisoners free, and they go out singing.


Most don’t know, but growing up in our house was quite musical. Not professionally, but relationally. Friends would just drop in for a visit and
refreshments, and a jam session would break out. Then some other friends would run home and get their guitars and it was a wonderful evening of laughing, remembering, singing… and enjoying.

How many nights I went to bed with 3 very distinct thoughts:
  1. I wished that Old Shep the dog had lived
  2. I wished that Clementine would have taken swimming lessons; I mean really, I conquered my fear of the water after taking beginners swimming lessons for 4 times, she could too!
  3. And lastly, I hoped that those Ghost Riders in the Sky stayed out of my dreams that night.

Daddy usually played Mountain Railway and Amazing Grace as mom put us to bed those nights, because we were still so young and couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Then as I drifted off to sleep I could her Uncle Jimmy Whittach and Daddy singing in the distance… lulling me off to the Land of Nod.

I was not a very good harmony singer and that disturbed me. In High School, my dad would record my part onto a tape player so that I could memorize it. That kicked it in and he taught me how to hear all the parts with one strum of the chord. He was amazing that way. And ever patient too. It took quite
Where did I get my sense of humor?!

a while.

When we were all finally Born Again and helping to pioneer Freedom Chapel in Cleveland, I was the
Graduating Bible School
Music Minister and Daddy was Head Deacon and he was always there to sing a special song with me when the occasion called for it.  He either played his 4 string harmony guitar which I have here today, or he would play my harmony banjo, and I would play the 6 stringer. The most fun time was the ONE when we included my mother ~  She did great, ~~only improvised, ~~ and actually made it better and funnier!!!

Daddy and his Princess
I remember times at home where a song would bust loose on the TV or Stereo and then next thing we knew… the whole family was up dancing around acting silly. I loved going to weddings to watch my parents jitterbug together, you could see the cares of the world drop away as he would spin her around…  Or our Christmas Parties at the house on Stickney… Songs, dancing, food, friends…

Then for Daddy’s last week and a half, I had the honor of singing and dancing “My Lil Buttercup” at the hospital for him. We had to wear special yellow gowns and blue gloves to protect him, and it just made us all laugh. And we all needed to laugh.

The only way I know to finish this up is with the lyrics to a song that I have held dearly in my heart for years that reminds me of my Daddy… please listen closely to the words and you will see a glimpse of that amazing man…

Daddy's Hands
I remember Daddy's Hands, folded silently in prayer
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare
You could read quite a story, in the calluses and lines
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind

I remember Daddy's hands, how they held my Mama tight
And patted my back, for something done right
There are things that I've forgotten, that I loved about the man
 But I'll always remember the love in Daddy's hands

I remember Daddy's hands, working 'til they bled
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed
If I could do things over, I'd live my life again
And never take for granted the love in Daddy's hands

Daddy's hands were soft and kind when I was cryin'
Daddy's hands, were hard as steel when I'd done wrong
Daddy's hands, weren't always gentle But I've come to understand
There was always love in Daddy's hands


Till we meet again Daddy~


With All My Love Daddy….  I miss you terribly..  Bye for Now,
Please take good care of my lil Hannah until I get there and tackle you both with hugs…
…from Christine, your Lil Princess

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blessed Are The Meek - The BeAttitudes



Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.



I could write a huge book on Meekness alone. First I will share with I think meekness is not. Meekness (Humbleness… there’s that word popping up again. That generally means I better pay closer attention!) is not:



Meekness is NOT…

    Disobedient – The Hebrew word for commit literally means to ‘roll.’ So with their life in every aspect; their problems, their health, their relationships, business dealings, frustrations and fears – They ‘roll’ this right onto their God. They know they cannot do it on their own and they trust Him to take care of it.


Meekness is NOT…

    Impertinent – They wait on God. They know how to be quiet before God and they know how to listen for God. Then after hearing Him, they obey His word. They are not lazy in waiting, though many people think are being overly lazy or passive. I would classify it as a ‘steady calmness.’ They do not do the unbridled manic craziness. Have you ever met someone who seems to thrive on chaos?



Meekness is NOT…

   Troubled – They believe that God will work for them and vindicate them when others come against or oppose them. They have a deep confidence that God is for you and not against you! Gosh, if we all could get a grasp on that! We don’t have to do the ‘wagging of your finger’ at someone while saying, ‘You’re gonna get yours one day!’ They just hush up and know that God will take care of them.



Meekness is NOT…

    Pretentious – Remember when God called out Aaron and Miriam for trash talking Moses who was much meeker in spirit? Oh goodness! The meek do not think more highly of themselves than they ought to.  Insert humbleness right here. Wow.



Meekness is NOT…

   Spineless – They do not give into anger when they are faced with opposition or attacked with set backs. They commit their way in confidence that He will take care of them and also grant mercy to everyone and all aspects. Then guess what they do… They wait quietly and patiently and watch God work on their behalf.  I get into so much trouble trying to ‘help’ God get things done, do you? 



Out of my cherubs, Mr. Rational tops the scales on being meek. And please do not confuse Meekness with being a Pushover! Ever since he was little, he has had this intrinsic calmness in his approach to life. His Sicilian-Irish momma marvels at that. Yes, he has had some snafu’s in this from time to time. We all do, but all in all, he is the definition of Meekness – right along with my Daddy. Both of them, when they prayed it was always straight from their lips to God’s ears and “BaMM” done and answered! Even if the prayer didn’t look like it was answered by the natural eye. In their spirit, it was done. It was settled. God said it. And you know what… It Was!!!  They didn’t have the time or want to question. It. Was. Settled. Amen. Now get on with other things.  Oh to be more like that!


 Blessed are the meek, 
for they will inherit the earth. 

Happy are people who have the strength of humble confidence, because they will possess the land. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus' inheritance of the earth.





Prayer Time

Dear Lord. Please help me have a meek and gentle and humble attitude and outlook on life. I want to be teachable, wise, patient and confident. I want be able to let You work in my life. I will try to be slow to anger and quick to listen to You and to others. Help me to truly listen with my heart. I don’t want to get ahead of what you have for me. 



Copyright © 2015 Christine Osberghaus

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn - The BeAttitudes



Happy are the sad! 
Wait… what?

The Greek word for mourn is Pentheo, and it is the strongest word that Jesus could have used for deep emotional grief, sorrow and mourning. I am willing to bet that Jesus’ message must have been a surprise to all of those listening within earshot, "Happy are those who are utterly consumed with grief for they shall be comforted." "Happy are the sad!"


Happy Are The Sad?  Wait. What? What did He just say?



I believe that 2 Corinthians 7:10 is the key to understanding this BeAttitude:



10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.


This tells me that the sorrow that confers to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, and then that leads to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.


There is a sorrow that is of this world and then there is a godly sorrow. Throughout our life there will be or have been times that we mourn (agonize, wail, fret, sob, weep) over adverse events in our life unless we are truly hard-hearted. Believe it or not, there are actually some people who are like that. But Not this type of Mourning. We can mourn, grieve or have sorrow over a wide variety of negative circumstances.



Pentheo implies much more. It is a verb which is a present active participle (whoa, how did I remember that?). This implies repeated action or an ongoing condition. So what Jesus is saying is that the ones who are regularly and steadily mourning over sin with repentance and no regret are those who will be comforted (encouraged).  This is an ongoing pattern of life. On another note, He is speaking to His disciples. Jesus is characterizing His true disciples. This is the heart of the beatitude. Jesus' true disciples never stop grieving over sin in this old world.  

While we are visiting this planet, we need to see ourselves as we really are - forgiven sinners who should be seeking to be holy. Those that mourn are Happy. They fully know the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. They continually seek the Holy Spirit to root out any remaining destructiveness. Heaven is the Joy of our Lord. A proverbial mountain of Joy. These mourners will be comforted by their God.


I know this next story will raise eyebrows and side-eyes. Please hear my heart. This is what God told Himself and I personally – for OUR Family. We don’t judge you, please return the favor.  

Our family of 5 did not celebrate Halloween. And likewise, we did not bash anyone who did. I could not celebrate this day. Before Jesus I was into every occult thing that you could probably come up with. Once I repented from my past life, accepted Jesus, was baptized in the Holy Spirit and delivered from OH so much junk… I did not tempt to set my foot even close to the fire. I knew the counterfeit that the world had, and now I knew the Truth. We did not even do the Hallelujah Parties. (my mom and dad did not even agree with this, but respected our decisions) I can now hear the 'epiphanies' going off in peoples minds as to why I am like I am now. (giggles.. It's okay.)
To us there was no alternative to a pagan ritualistic holiday. (Please hear my heart, I remember where I came from B.C. [before Christ]) We instead had instituted Family Night! We would go out to eat early together or order in pizza, then make popcorn and snuggle in with movies for the evening. (And still do to this day for any in town should they choose to come by.. yes, that means you who is reading this now)

We would also have family prayer time. My little cherubs starting praying for the ‘Halloween People’ to be safe while out and about tonight and to come to know Jesus in a personal way. They prayed this faithfully really almost every night. It will be amazing when they enter Heaven one day and there are lines of people waiting there to greet and thank them for taking the time to pray.

This is what this BeAttitude is to me. My cherubs cried and prayed and interceded for the darkness in this world to be lifted and taken away from people. God heard their cries and comforted them with His Joy.



Prayer Time

Lord, please help me to have a heart for the world. I want to intercede for the lost, the wandering, and the ones who have fallen between the cracks of life. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Encourage me to do what’s right, even when it is the hard choice. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy and your Joy… and your sweet, sweet comfort.

Copyright © 2015 Christine Osberghaus

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BeAttitudes - Blessed are the Poor in Spirit



“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.



 We must be humble in our hearts (spirits). If you put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” you will understand what Jesus meant right here.

In other words, when we come to God, we have to be transparent and attest to our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and ‘poverty’. We cannot be complacent or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God, or know how to do things on our own without Him. If we have this attitude of heart, God cannot bless us. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”

Pride can take all kinds of forms, but to me the worst is spiritual pride.  Jonathan Edwards writes, It is by spiritual pride that the mind defends and justifies itself in other errors and defends itself against light by which it might be corrected and reclaimed.  The spiritually proud man thinks he is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to ignore the offer of it.

On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction.  He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray.  If it is suggested to him that he is going astray, he is most ready to check into the matter.”


Many years ago, one of my precious cherubs confronted me on something I was doing. I loved watching C-Span (no haters now please..ha). I am a news junkie. I admit it. It was not in moderation either. It was probably Election time. One day I guess Ms. Bunny had had enough of it. She asked me, “Momma, how does this show give glory to God?” I instantly tried to justify and defend myself. I mean, really.. little 5 year old, who do you think you are dealing with here? But then I heard that little voice inside me. ‘Listen to her words. They are truth.' My pride tried to clog up my good judgment. Here I thought I was so full of spiritual stuff that I almost missed out on Godly instruction. From my 5-year old! Thank you Lord!


The poor (humble) in spirit are happy. They are humble and know where they were before knowing Jesus relationally. They see their shortcomings, they repent, and have a passion to follow their Savior - no matter the cost. The kingdom of grace is made up of the humble of heart; the kingdom of glory is theirs. 
 

Prayer Time
Oh Heavenly Father, I almost missed a good lesson from You by blocking my listening ears with pride, with distractions, with vain justifications and blind defenses. Please forgive me. I want a heart that chases only after You. Please keep talking to my heart; even if you use a 5 year old. I will be listening. I promise. 



Copyright © 2015 Christine Osberghaus