Family

Happy Birthday Mom, I Miss You

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On this day, October 19, in the year 1943, my mom came into the world. Dorothea Louise Tanyer was the last of three children for Luther and Elizabeth, and their only daughter. She was born into poverty with both her parents working so they could scrape by. This adorable picture of my mom is one of the very few from when she was a toddler. Little Dorothea had blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was tiny and feisty.

Mom had to fight most of her life. The first house she lived in growing up had an outhouse. Weekly baths were taken in an old metal tub. The cleanest person took the first bath, and the dirtiest person took the last one in the same water. Grandma made my mom’s clothes and cooked meals from scratch. Grandpa always had a garden. They always had a dog too. I have countless pictures of my mom with many different family dogs over the years. That must have fueled my mom’s love for animals.

My mom never had real toys as a child. She always wanted a baby doll, yet never got one. She told me of one birthday where she actually got a present, but was so disappointed to open the gift only to find a Howdy Doody doll. That was it. That was her one childhood toy and she didn’t even like it. (Look up Howdy Doody if you don’t know who that is.)

Little Dorothea was a very sick child. Back in those days the doctor would come to your house. The doctor came to my grandparent’s house many times over the years. Mom would get pneumonia and various serious illnesses over and over again. She slept in her crib until she was almost 8 or 9. My grandparents couldn’t afford a bed so they had to make do. Thank God my mom was small. For a while she didn’t have a bedroom, just a space in a hallway with a small bed.

My grandfather was an alcoholic and got into trouble at some of the local bars. Mom would be sent as a young girl to go fetch grandpa from the bar and bring him home. Yet my mom loved her dad. Mom loved both her parents and she never said a coarse word about them over the years. My mom really did honor her mother and father. All the stories Mom shared about her mom made me believe that grandma was a saint. I guess she was to some extent for putting up with my grandpa.

Those formative years created a resilient spirit in my mom. She would always bounce back from whatever sickness, or heartache, or trial she experienced. She made a choice to fight. The circumstance was not going to define her, or stop her. The root of Mom’s resilliance was her faith.

After coming to Christ in her late 30’s her life and view radically changed. I know Jesus because my mom introduced me to Him. She was so excited about her new found faith in Christ that she shared it everywhere she went. Worship music was being blared on eight- tracks. (Look up eight-tracks if you don’t know what that is.) And those songs were going into my head and heart. I can vividly remember listening to The Boone Sisters and singing along. (Look up The Boone Sisters if that sounds weird to you.)

Mom’s first Bible study was the book of Acts and she loved it! For the first time in her life the Bible was alive. She met Jesus in that Bible study. Jesus carried my beautiful mom through many hard years. Mom is at peace now. She went home to Jesus on December 31, 2019. No more diseases, or suffering, or pain. Mom had many good years too, and many good things in her life. I am grateful to know of her hard upbringing, and what she overcame. Mom still inspires me today.

Today I honor you, Mom. Happy birthday. I miss you! I love you always, and I’ll see ya soon.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

forgiveness, Jesus

Clean as Pure Snow

When I was a young teenager I got the brilliant idea to bleach a pair of Levi’s. I filled the bottom of the bathtub with bleach and soaked my jeans. Everything was going great until I took the bleach soaked jeans out of the tub and carried them, dripping, down the hall, then all the way down the stairs to the laundry room. Our house had forest green carpet, so I left a path of bright white dots with each drip. I had no idea any of this transpired because I was focused on my project.

My mom noticed and she was not happy, at all. I was shocked and felt awful. I tried quickly wiping up the spots, but it was too late. The carpet was stained. We tried everything to get the spots back to their glorious 1980’s forest green, even a dark green marker. Nothing worked. The spots were less noticeable, but they remained until we sold the house, and the new owners replaced the carpet. 

Sin leaves a stain that cannot be removed with our own efforts. No matter how hard we try, our sin remains. Our good deeds will not take our sins away. We can’t clean them, but we sure try. Maybe if we are good, and do as many nice things as possible, then no one will notice our stains. There is no magic cleaner, or good deed to remove the stain of sin. There is only one way for sin to be removed. Only one can remove our sins. His name is Jesus.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18, NIV

The scarlet described in Isaiah is a bright red color. This vibrant red was created from the eggs of a small insect found on oak leaves in the Mediterranean. Fabric would be dipped in this red color twice to ensure it was set. No washing or cleaning could remove the scarlet that was deeply embedded in the cloth. Much like our sin, our human efforts cannot remove what’s been set in our heart. 

Only Jesus can make us clean as pure white snow. He can remove the stain of sin in our hearts. White represents purity and innocence. It’s clean, unblemished. Have you ever stood outside as fresh snow falls? It’s bright and untouched. The snow makes everything new again. As the snow comes down it covers the dirt and muck. All you see is glowing white. 

The crimson of our sin is not just covered, it’s removed. Once we have repented and believe in Jesus, we are like wool that has never been dyed. Our sins can seem like they are part of us forever. They don’t have to be. That bright scarlet is gone when Jesus makes us new like pure wool. The sin stain is permanently removed. 

There is not a single person on this planet, nor has there ever been, who has not sinned. Every one of us has sinned.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23, NIV 

There’s good news! Jesus already paid our sin debt in full. The stain is removed for those who are in Christ.

“but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7, NASB 

There is no sin too big that Jesus cannot remove. He can make you clean and new like pure snow. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Today would be a great day to change that. He is waiting for you with open arms.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,  Acts 3:19, NIV 

Love you all, 

Meghan 

 

Father God,

Thank you for Jesus, and the sacrifice He made on the cross for all of us. Thank you for the newness you give us when we belong to you. Thank you for taking away the stain of our sins and making us pure in your sight because of your son, Jesus. Thank you for your perfect love and freedom that you give. Draw people to Jesus today. May many come to know Him as their Savior. We thank you and praise you God.

Amen 

 

If you need prayer please go to my contact page. 

 

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Reference:

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/barnes/isaiah/1.htm

Jesus Christ's Return, The Early Church

Maranatha

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“O Lord, Come”

 

The word maranatha has been around in Christian circles for centuries. Some even use it for their businesses, and church names. I had never given the word maranatha much thought until I saw the footnote in my Bible last year. How I overlooked it all these years is beyond me. Once I understood the meaning and significance it was an encouragement, and I hope it will be to you as well.

In Aramaic the word marana tha translates to “our Lord comes” or is “coming”. Maranatha occurs only once in the Bible.¹

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”   1 Corinthians 16:22, NKJV 

Strong words for those who don’t love Jesus. The word accursed is translated from the Greek word anathema. This was the third level of three levels of discipline for the ancient Jews. Anathema meant that the Jew being disciplined was no longer counted as a Jew and would never be reconciled to the synagogue.²

After this dire warning about your soul being cursed for not loving Jesus, Paul ends with maranatha.

Paul used an Aramaic word, maranatha, in a letter to a Greek church. He was sending a message of hope to the early church. Maranatha was an encouragement to fellow Christians enduring terrible persecution under Roman rule. It reminded them that Jesus Christ was coming back for them.

The early Christians were severely persecuted by the Romans since they refused to declare Ceasar was god. This meant death for the Christian. Maranatha became a common greeting of that day. The Lord will return and their suffering will end. The early church expected Jesus to return at any moment and we should too.

Jesus Christ is coming back for His church.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3, NIV 

Early Christians took loving Jesus and His imminent return very serious. They laid everything down, even their lives to love, serve, and follow Jesus. There was an excitement about the return of Christ.

The 18th Century evangelist George Whitfield attests to his “Maranatha Mindset” writing:

“Let that cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” (Matthew 25:6) be continually sounding in your ears, and begin now to live as though you were assured that this night you were to go forth to meet Him. (And all God’s people cry “Amen!”)³

Whatever you are facing today, Jesus sees you and is with you. Your suffering will end. I say “Maranatha” to you. Jesus will right every wrong. We will be with Him in heaven for all of eternity. So hold on friend. Keep trusting. Keep believing. This world is not our home.

As Christians, may we live with excitement and great anticipation of the return of Lord Jesus. Maranatha!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

  1. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/maranatha/
  2. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-corinthians-16/
  3. https://www.preceptaustin.org/maranatha
God, Obedience

The Potter

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Ceramics was one of my high school electives. It was only for a semester and I wasn’t very good at it. I did give it my best try and actually enjoyed making ceramics. The pottery wheel was exciting and very difficult. If you didn’t get your clay exactly at the center of the wheel the pottery was not going to work. Then there was the enormous challenge of shaping the clay. The entire process had to be started over if any part went wrong.

God is The Potter. He made each of us. Shaping us with His mighty hands. Vessels to be used for His glory. 

In the ancient world pottery was an important part of almost every aspect of life. There were storage jars, oil lamps, and cooking pots all made from clay. The earliest pottery was formed by hand.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
    We are the clay, you are the potter;
    we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8, NIV 

When the clay goes bad or something goes wrong in the process, the potter crushes it down and starts again. The potter never throws the clay out.

God will never throw us away. We are the clay in His powerful hands. We must trust what He is doing.

Trust God when everything is falling apart.

Trust God when you are being crushed.

Trust God when the cracks are getting bigger.

Trust God when He reshapes you into something beautiful.

The Potter does not want to destroy us, though we may think that at times. Especially when we are being crushed. God loves us beyond anything we can humanly comprehend. He is our Maker and knows what is best for each and every one of us.

Clay pots look strong, but we can easily break and chip. Many factors contribute to our cracks. What are we filling ourselves with? What are we thinking on? What are our priorities? Clay pots are designed to be containers.

We are not meant to be empty vessels. We are designed with eternity in mind by The Potter. If we allow God to mold us, and shape us, and use us for His glory than we are fulfilling our purpose. Yes, sometimes we will be crushed back down into a lump. Sometimes, we do it to ourselves and the cracks appear and ultimately we crumble.

God never throws the clay away.

No matter how many cracks, and broken pieces are in your life, He can make beauty out of your brokenness. Trust God.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer just drop me an email from my contact page.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

 

Jesus, The Early Church

The Meaning of the Jesus Fish

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For as long as I can remember my mom had this wooden fish on the wall of our home. Since we were Christians, this seemed completely normal. I associated this carving with Jesus making us fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). In my mind, Jesus in the shape of a fish made sense. Jesus and fish go together.

We’ve all seen the fish symbol on countless cars. Anytime I see the little fish on a vehicle I know they are a Christian. It has become a universal symbol in modern American culture. The fish logo shows up on business advertising letting us know it’s a Christian owned company. Every color and version of a fish is used on bumper stickers, T-shirts, book marks, Bible covers, mugs, jewelry, and even tattoos.

The fish logo is easily identified with Christianity. But where did it come from? Why a fish?

First Century Christians were severely persecuted. Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire. Under Roman Emperor Nero, Christians were arrested, tortured, thrown to wild animals, and crucified. If you were a Christ Follower in the early days of the church, you were probably going to be killed. Many Christians went underground.

In order to reach out to to followers of Jesus Christ, a symbol was used. The fish symbol would be carved into doorways or on the road, to say that Christians were there. The fish was chosen because it could go unrecognized. Several pagan religions at the time used a fish symbol, so it wasn’t given a second look.

The Greek word for fish is ichthys or ichthus.

I – Iota or Iesous – Jesus

X – Chi or Christos – Christ

Θ – Theta or Theos – of God

Y – Upsilon or Yios – Son

Σ– Sigma or Soter – Savior 

The Greek letters form an acrostic which translates to Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior.

During those oppressive years in Ancient Rome, if there was a meeting between two Christians, one person would draw an arc in the dirt. If the other person was truly a Christian, they would draw another arc, completing the fish logo.

In Ancient Ephesus the early Christians used a pizza looking symbol to share the same message, Jesus Christ son of God, Savior. These circular symbols can be found in what remains of Ephesus today. The same pizza-like symbols are in a few spots near The Forum in Rome. The pizza shape hid the Greek letters for fish.

Early Christians risked everything to share The Good News of Jesus Christ. Many gave their lives so that message could go around the globe. I am a Christian because of Jesus. He came to seek and save the lost, which is all of us.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10, NIV 

The thought of those early Jesus Followers risking everything to live out their faith is inspiring. I wouldn’t know Jesus as my Savior without them. It started with Jesus and His completed work on the cross, and spread through the first disciples like Peter and Paul. Then it just kept going through poor people, rich people, enslaved people, and ordinary people. So many gave their lives to spread the message that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:16, NIV 

In America I am free to practice my religion. This is not the case around the world. Christian persecution is happening in many places like China, India, and Iran. Christians are still being killed for their faith today. If you live in a country where you are free to worship Jesus without fear of death, thank God! If you are living in a persecuted country, God bless and protect you!

The next time you see a little metal fish on the back of a vehicle say a prayer for the persecuted church around the globe. They are our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Father God,

Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to save us. Thank you for the faithfulness of the early church. Please protect and bless our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Use each of us to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Equip us Father, to do your will.

Amen

 

 

References

https://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/christians.html

Ichthus

http://www.eureka4you.com/fish/fishsymbol.htm

https://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-fish-symbol.html

https://www.allaboutgod.com/jesus-fish.htm

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/the-christian-fish-symbol-origin-and-history-facts.html