Reader Review: Experiencing the Bible

Review: Peg Flint
Originally posted on Amazon. Reprinted with permission.

 A great resource for anyone who wants to apply the Bible to their life
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2023

I have enjoyed this book, and I’m sharing some images from pages I haven’t written on to give you an idea of the various entries.

But…let me start with the beginning. Not only does the author take the time to introduce herself, but she also shares about her life as a Christian. Her comments about reading through the WHOLE Bible have inspired me to start reading through the whole Bible, too, because it feels like I tend to reread only certain books. She explains how reading the WHOLE Bible helps you see a bigger picture of what God is doing and how the books come together to tell His Story. She also shares the way she first read through it in 90 days.

I immensely enjoyed the intro; it made me think about how much I read and study the Bible.

I really like the portions of scripture she has chosen for this book because, with each one, she shares from sermons, study notes, and her own experiences. Half of the page is blank for you to write your own study notes, cross-references, or whatever you choose to do with the page. It’s there for you to interact with the scriptures and comments on that page.

I hope she does more books, but I wish she would do them on whole books of the Bible. For instance, I’d love to see a book on just the book of Ephesians or James (probably the two books I read the most).

However, whatever she writes – I will read it because I find her notes thought-provoking, and they encourage me to learn more.

Experiencing the Bible by Tammy M Cardwell – available on Amazon in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Ebook also available at your favorite online shops.

“Go to Hell”

I’ll bet you never expected to see those words on this page. At least, I hope not. They are words I literally cannot imagine saying to a single soul, no matter how evil they might be.

Flashback Time

It was late on a starlit evening, so many years ago that I’ve no idea how long ago it was. I was standing outside after a meeting, talking to a dear, sweet friend who was also my pastor’s wife. We were discussing the Rapture and I told her how very much I wished it would happen right then. Her response surprised me.

I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines of, “Tammy, I know you don’t really mean that. There are too many people going to Hell, and you want them to get saved first.”

I learned a few things about myself that night.

  1. I’d not even been considering those people. All I knew was that my life was hard and I wanted the hard parts to be over ASAP. Yes, I was married to a narcissist and daily paid the price for that relationship, but that was some pretty narcissistic thinking on my part too!
  2. The Rapture, in that moment, was an escape plan more than anything else, and that is not what the Rapture is all about! The Rapture is about the Bride going to be with her Husband!
  3. The fact that I wasn’t thinking about those people meant two huge things.
          a. I didn’t have a genuine revelation of Hell.
          b. I didn’t truly have the love of God in my heart if I wanted anyone to go there.

It’s amazing how God can completely humble you with a few, well-chosen words from a friend! (The book of Proverbs talks about that!)

My heart started changing that night.
I got on my knees before God and begged Him to do some things in me.

I asked Him to teach me to love like He loves; I knew this was my greatest weakness. It’s taken years for me to get where I am today, and I have definitely not arrived. Walking in love is a continual choice, and I do fail. When I fail to share Jesus with someone God urges me to talk to, whether out of hurry or even fear, it’s because I don’t have enough love. If I want someone to suffer, it’s definitely because I don’t have enough love.

Love is a choice that requires action. It is also extremely powerful. It was love for God, and choosing to love my husband, that empowered me to stay married to him and take care of him when he’d have died if I’d walked away. Had God not empowered me to love him, I couldn’t have done it. People say they admire me for how I spent those last 12 years of his life, but it wasn’t me; it was God’s love working through me – because I let it, because I begged for it.

The other thing I asked God to do was give me a revelation of eternity so that I could really understand what it means when someone goes to Hell. Just sitting here thinking about the large numbers of people who are already there, and those who will be, has me in tears. Hell was not created for man, but for the fallen angels. Man chooses to go there when he refuses to accept Jesus’ work on the cross – and he has no idea what he’s doing.

Deception is the order of the day, and man has fallen for it so completely.

The world we live in is off the rails. In Matthew 24:37-39, Jesus talks about the last days and what this world will be like. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Take a look at Noah’s story in Genesis and you’ll see how depraved that world had become, and just how much our world today resembles it.

The bottom line is that God essentially decided to destroy everything and start over.

So He had Noah build the boat, got Noah’s family and a bunch of animals in the boat, and shut the door. Yes, God shut the door; once the decision was made no one was permitted to change their minds. And right up until the rain started to fall, the people ignored Noah and his God, carrying on with their own, sinful lives. Yeah, much like today.

And much like those people, by their own choice, were left outside in the flood, a great multitude of people will be left here on Earth when the Church is called away. This event will be just as unexpected as the other, as Jesus said in verse 39, they “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away.”

Here’s the reality, after the Rapture of the Church those who are left behind will see hell on earth. The devil will have his opportunity to set up his kingdom just like he wants it, and he’ll subjugate everyone. He’ll only have seven years to do his evil work, but he’ll make the most of the time he’s given, and pretty much everyone on Earth will end up worshipping him.

Yes, most of those who remain here, according to prophecy, will end up in Hell. And if they do get saved, their lives, until they are martyred, will be hell on earth.

So yes, getting back to that original flashback, while I do pray, “Maranatha!,” which can be translated as, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!,” I also pray, “But God, please, save every soul you can possibly save before calling us home.”

Because I don’t want anyone, ANYONE, to go to Hell. It’s not just a limited prison sentence. They won’t do time for a while and then get released to Heaven. It’s FOREVER. And while forever is my favorite word because it’s holds so much promise, it is a painful word when I think of Hell and those who will go there. 

My husband spent many years not right with God. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to those who follow me. No matter how much he hurt me, I did not want him going to Hell, and I rejoice that he got right with God before the end. I have relatives and friends who have lost family members who were murdered. I don’t want those murderers going to Hell; I want them to get saved before they die!

Anything else would be ungodly, because God makes it clear in His Word that He wants the same.

Don’t go to Hell!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

What’s Your Identity?

Photo Credit: Creative Heart Photography

The above photo is my current Facebook cover image. It asks an important question and gives my answer.

What is your identity?

Think carefully before responding, because identity is a precious thing, and we should be cautious about how we apply it to ourselves.

On the surface, we find our identity in a variety of places. Are you an avid Cowboys fan? Perhaps your children are your life right now and you identify as a loving parent. Maybe you spent years working on your medical career and wear the letters MD with pride.

Look at my graphic, at the purple words, and you see what most people would perceive as my identity. I rejoice in being a mother both to my sons and the daughters they gave me when they married. Being called Granna by my grandchildren and my grandson’s fiancé brings me joy; I adore all my kids! They are gifts from God to me.

I am also honored that I’ve been called by God to be a blogger and author. I try to serve Him well in these areas, being led by His Spirit to produce books and blog posts that bless! You could say, accurately, that they are my gift to God. So is my service in my local church where I’m a secretary and the coffee shop manager, and was an active volunteer for decades before being hired full time.

None of these are my core identity.

Which brings me to the white letters, the ones that are strategically repeated: Child of God. This is my core identity, the foundation on which everything else is built, the truth that infuses everything I do. While I do occasionally blow it and have to apologize to God or others, I try to always be led by God and His love. My goal is that every single thing I do bring Him glory in some way. I can no more separate my Christianity from my writing or parenting or anything else than I could separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water.

I’ve been mulling over this topic since publishing “Understanding Your Aphant.” I’d asked for input from a group of aphantasics in hopes of making it as accurate as possible. I got great feedback and did take their suggestions seriously, making a couple of tweaks. One of the responses I received, though, said essentially that it was great except for the one mention of God.

I got what the person was saying, because they don’t believe in the God I serve. The thing is, I DO. Leaving out that one sentence would have meant editing ME, censoring not just what I believe, but who I am.

So, if this post is the first thing you’ve read of mine, know right now that God is front and center in my blog because He is front and center in my life. He is more important than anyone or anything else. I absolutely adore my family, but I would walk away from any or all of them before I would walk away from God. It would pain me to do it; it would be agony. Nonetheless, if any one of them were to give me an ultimatum, them or God, God would win hands down. 

So yeah, you’ll see Him mentioned many times here. Join my community and you’ll have me looking over your shoulder, encouraging you to find Him if you don’t know Him and get even closer to Him if you do. He is IT. He is everything to me. My treasure isn’t in anything here on earth, but is in Him, and my ultimate goal is to help every one of my readers reach the place where they can honestly say the same thing.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21 ) Our treasure doesn’t need to be in anything of this earth because this earth is temporary. Our treasure needs to be in Heaven where we’ll have access to it eternally.

Are you wondering what I’m even talking about? Ok, consider this.

Many Christians are watchful, more now than ever, expecting the Rapture of the Church to take place at any moment. We’re ready to hear that trumpet and Jesus call us to leave Earth behind and join Him in Heaven. (1 Thess. 4:16-18 gives you a glimpse of what I’m talking about.) However, there are some who don’t want Jesus to come back yet. To them, it’s more important that they have the chance to get married, or graduate college, or watch their kids grow up, or whatever. We can see where their hearts are. With that in mind, where is their treasure? Really?

I’m not judging, not accusing! I’m only asking. Yes, awesome things happen in this life, but nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can experience here holds a candle to what our lives will be once we, as I tend to think of it, really start living. In this life, we’re limited to the here and now. After this life, we have all eternity ahead of us.

So yes, “Child of God” is my identity, and all the other things are vital and precious parts of what I get to be and do as His child.

So, what about you? What is your identity?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Keeping Busy & Exciting News

What progress looks like.

I have multiple projects running simultaneously today, so my bed has officially become part of my desk.

I’m particularly excited about what’s on the bed, because it represents a definite start on my next book. I’ve been asked repeatedly if I would write something else, and I’ve had a few ideas I wanted to pursue, but none were quite right.

Until now.

Those of you who appreciate my reactions to scripture in Experiencing the Bible will be happy to know this is going to be similar. Note: Not the same, but similar. At this point it’s looking like it might be a devotional, though it’s too early to know that for sure.

I’m so excited about it that I’m seriously considering starting a newsletter so I can keep those who are interested up to date on the progress. If you would like to receive it, probably twice a month at most, email me at tammymcardwell@gmail.com so I can notify you when I open subscriptions.

And now I need to get back to work. I pray you have an amazing day!

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

The Woman in the Basket

In Zechariah chapter 5 we see our prophet friend having an absolutely bizarre vision, one I’ve heard more than one person attempt to explain – never in a way that made sense to me. But I may finally understand it.

Then the angel who was talking with me came forward and said, “Look up and see what’s coming.”
“What is it?” I asked.
He replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain, and it’s filled with the sins of everyone throughout the land.”
Then the heavy lead cover was lifted off the basket, and there was a woman sitting inside it.
The angel said, “The woman’s name is Wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and closed the heavy lid again.
Then I looked up and saw two women flying toward us, gliding on the wind. They had wings like a stork, and they picked up the basket and flew into the sky.
“Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel.
He replied, “To the land of Babylonia, where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.”

Zechariah 5:5-11 NLT

According to the vision…

  • The basket is filled with the sins of everyone throughout the land.
  • The woman’s name is Wickedness.
  • The basket will be taken to Babylon.
  • A temple will be built for the basket.
  • The basket will be placed on a pedestal in the temple.

As a reminder, Old Testament prophesies are sometimes literal and sometimes figurative. They also can have multiple fulfillments. With that in mind…

Working our way backwards through this list, it becomes clear that the basket or, more accurately, what it contains, will be worshipped. This is, after all, what happens in temples. Just as God was worshipped in the Temple built for Him, this basket’s contents will be worshipped in the temple built for it.

I’m thinking a figurative temple.

The temple will be built in Babylon, which in the Bible represents the world’s system.

So, if I read this prophecy correctly, it’s telling us that the world’s system will worship wickedness and sin.

Which it takes little discernment to see pretty much sums up the condition of the world right now. Today’s society condones just about everything God condemns. In fact, it doesn’t just condone sin; it exalts sin, pushing it to the forefront in every arena possible, sadly even in the church. The world system we live in, indeed, worships sin and wickedness.

As I see it, this is just one more sign of how close we are to The End.

Celebrating Jesus and looking for His return!
Tammy C

Hitting the Hard Stuff

“Tammy, what are you doing? You know this is a topic best avoided.”

Perhaps, but drinking alcohol is a subject that comes up often among Christians, one I occasionally get asked about, which means fellow believers are honestly wondering where I stand. I’m not afraid to answer the question.

The Bible contains numerous, obvious warnings against drinking to excess, so let’s take that off the table entirely. Yes, I firmly believe that drinking to excess is wrong on many levels and is, indeed, sin. Having lived with alcoholics (and an abusive alcoholic at that), I had strong feelings on this topic long before I found confirmation in the Bible.

So today we’re talking about casual drinking, occasional drinking, social drinking.

And my simple answer is this: I’m not your Holy Ghost. If you are honestly and sincerely seeking God and a deeper relationship with Him, if you are asking the Holy Spirit for guidance with a heart that beats to please your Lord, you will get your answer straight from the Source. This is true about anything; you can take all things to God and get answers from Him. 

The fact is that God meets each of us as individuals, giving us many instructions about things to do and not to do that may or may not be clearly indicated in the Bible. Sometimes there is a concrete reason, like God telling me to back off the sodas because the addiction was harming my body. Yes, I said addiction, and giving in to addictions is a huge mistake: If you obey an addiction over God’s instruction, you are making the addiction an idol. Idol worship is sin.

Sometimes God instructs us to do, or not do, things simply so that we can practice obedience. I have literally had a conversation with God in which He asked me, “Will you give up ____?” It took me a minute, but I said, “Yes, if You want me to I will.” He then told me I didn’t need to, that He was asking to find out where my heart really was, and so that I could see where my heart really was.

Again, anything that is more important to us than God is an idol, and where there are idols there is sin.

I know, a lot of words for a simple answer.

So, here’s my personal response.

Alcohol has never been a real draw for me, even on those rare occasions when I did drink. However, I’ve sought God on the topic a lot since I actively started serving Him, because I know it is a major issue for many others. I have God-loving Christian friends who think drinking is of the devil, and equally God-loving Christian friends who see no problem with it at all as long as it’s not to excess, as long as they’re not giving control over to the alcohol. (Yes, that’s a fine line to draw since you often do not recognize the point at which you lose control.)

For years, I’ve considered it best not to drink simply because I don’t want to set an example that causes anyone else to stumble. Jesus and Paul were both pretty firm on this point, a fact that was enough for me to choose not to drink just in case there was anyone watching who would be hurt. Then I saw something else several years ago while reading the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 10:9-10, God commanded Aaron to ensure that none of the priests drank wine or strong drink when going into the Tabernacle.

There was no place for wine or strong drink, or one who was being influenced by such things, in the Tabernacle. Yes, that’s Old Testament; I get it. But here’s this.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT – NOTE: New Testament

There it is: The connection. Tabernacle…temple…essentially the same thing.

You can look at this two ways. The first way I saw it was that I am essentially a priest who, 24/7, ministers in the temple that is my body. In that case, I have no business bringing wine or strong drink into the temple. Then there is the fact that my body IS the temple and, whether or not you think of me as a priest ministering in the temple, I have no business bringing alcohol inside.

Again, to make myself abundantly clear, I am not your Holy Ghost. I am merely sharing what God has shown me. I’m not judging anyone. Shoot, when I was visiting a friend’s church and accidently took communion from the cup that held real wine, I didn’t feel like I had done wrong and needed to repent. (It felt more like making a sacrifice, actually. To my tastebuds there is no good wine.)

 And yes, the tabernacle/temple analogy holds true in a lot of ways. I have great responsibility to take care of my body specifically because it is the temple of the Holy Ghost. That’s why I hardly drink any sodas anymore and have cut way back on sugar yet again.

“Yet again?” you ask? Right: Addiction is real. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given up sodas, how many times I’ve cut back on sugar. I have to regulate my intake carefully because it’s far too easy to slip right back into that addiction. This is actually why I recently wrote my post entitled “Thankful for the Hard Things.” I am genuinely thankful that now, when those temptations arise, I can remind myself that I’ve already had a TIA and don’t want to do anything that might lead to another. I’ve had my wake up call. I will heed it.

So there it is. I’ve dared tackle one of the most controversial issues in Christianity. Feel free to disagree with me; many do.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

But This Will Never Change

When we were young, my sister and my favorite Christmas tradition was loading up on Christmas morning and heading to our grandparents’ house where the whole clan had gathered. But my grandparents eventually had to stop hosting, and that tradition changed.

As young kids, Christmas was a magical time and the gifts were great. Then came the year when, as a single mom, Mother could only give us each a skirt and a piece of candy. Through the decades, changing financial situations have had major effects on my Christmases.

Christmas, like everything else, is subject to change. We have to be able to shift and flex whether we like it or not, whether our kids like it or not. Even we change, in the ways we perceive the holiday and interact with those we spend time with, even just those who cross our paths.

But one thing remains constant; one thing will never change.

No matter what we think about Him, how we relate to Him or refuse to relate to Him, Jesus will always be there for us. We celebrate His birthday at Christmas for that reason.

And as long as we keep our focus on Him and the real reason for the season, we can handle all of those other changes. If we don’t get a single gift from man, we who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord have already received the greatest gift of all – forever with Him.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

He Let Everyone Hear

In Luke 23:34 NLT, you read, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.‘“ This line always makes me pause, because it shows His tremendous love for the people, His mercy, and His grace, but there is another verse in this chapter that also makes me sit up and take notice.

Think about every crucifixion scene you’ve ever watched. Almost always, you hear Jesus gasp out words just before he dies.

But that’s not what happened.

“Then Jesus shouted, ‘Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!’ And with those words he breathed his last.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:46‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Did you see it?

Jesus SHOUTED.

At the end, He left no room for doubt. With a voice that could be heard by everyone present, this man for whom shouting should have been a physical impossibility (google crucifixion) let everyone know that God was His father and that He was still the one in control. By all rights, it should have taken several more hours for Him to die, but He very publicly died when HE chose.

Everyone present had to recognize the significance, so it’s really no surprise that the soldier made his declaration in verse 47.

They were all there either to mourn or to mock and jeer. They were also there, whether they liked it or not, to hear.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Merry Christmas to Me!

Here I sit, thinking about Christmas, and my heart is so full it could almost be Thanksgiving. I decided to come share, and find myself oddly short on words. So this may be a “scribble scrabble letter,” as Jo March would say. (I don’t have a copy of Little Women, so feel free to correct the quote in the comments.)

Although Jack passed on October 1st last year, it feels like it’s Christmas that marks the true end of my first year of freedom. I was still finding my way in those first few months, navigating “new widowhood” waters. So much has changed.

Things are still changing, as I’m recognizing ingrained “training” and countering it. Like the day, only a few months ago, when I realized I was rushing through a store and stopped in the middle of an aisle, frozen by the realization that I was still acting as if he were at home growing progressively angrier at my absence. There was NO ONE, other than me, who cared where I was or what I was doing. Yes, I intentionally slowed down and chose to enjoy the process.

So, side note: When you’re coming out of an abusive relationship, realize that it will take time to deal with all your baggage. That was a heavy backpack I’d not even realized I was wearing.

So many wonderful things have happened in the past year. Relationships that had been strained (because of him) have been growing increasingly stronger. My emotional health has improved unimaginably. And my physical health, TIA aside, has been great too.

Where my body is concerned, I’ve had more money and mental real estate to invest in taking care of me. I’d tried before, because I knew I had to stay healthy to keep him healthy, but his care had always been the priority. Now I am at a place where I know what works for me and I’m able to plan to maintain. For instance, knowing I’ll go months without widows’ benefits, I’ve been buying my key supplements in advance. Part of them anyway. I could never have done that before.

The biggest change is peace. I always tried to stay focused on God, and had His gift of peace, but the peace that comes from no constant strife and no 24/7 television? That is something I still delight over. My home is so quiet most of the time that…it’s bliss.

And it’s true. I really don’t own a television and it’s by choice. Many people think I’m nuts, but on those rare occasions when I’m in the mood, like during this season of The Voice, I watch with my sister on the couch that’s only steps away. (And yes, I’m glad Huntley won, though I felt the last four all could have.)

I’ve been asked if I plan to stay in my tiny home until Jesus comes back. Yes, unless God has a different plan, I do. I am happier here than I have been anywhere. I hate housework, and this requires almost none. I love silence and this gives me much. I have family right here, and love the casual time I spend with them.

Yeah, that’s a big part of why I’m so thankful this Christmas season. Casual fellowship with family is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t have to be planned; it just happens. Even my grandson pops in on occasion, sometimes with his fiancé, and that sort of thing never would have happened before. Frankly, it would have made me uncomfortable on many levels back when Jack ruled the house.

As I celebrate Jesus this season and look to 2024 with anticipation, my heart is full. There were so many years when… Nah, not even going to think about those years. They’re over. God has brought me into a new season.

“Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭2:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Carry Your Own Cross

“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me,
you cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:27 NLT

I’m reading through the book of Luke in preparation for Christmas, and after much thought decided I needed to back up to this verse for a bit.

We celebrate Christmas in honor of Jesus, who is the greatest gift. He came, by His own choice, to die so that we could live. It’s important to note that He didn’t come to bring salvation as it is sometimes casually viewed – essentially a get out of jail free card. He came so that we can LIVE. We aren’t only looking forward to eternity in His presence, but to a full and abundant life right here, a life that counts where His Kingdom is concerned.

Foundational to living, truly living, is being His disciple. Those who heard Him that day, in Luke 14, knew exactly what He was saying when He used the word “disciple.” To be someone’s disciple is to follow their example in all things. It is also to accept and act on their instruction and guidance as they strive to help you mature. Jesus was actually making the offer to all who heard Him, but few would accept the invitation. Why?

In verse 28 He commanded them, “But don’t begin until you count the cost.”

This is wisdom, as He warned in Luke 9:62 NLT: “But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.'”

Jesus had already let them know in verse 26 that, if they wanted to be His disciples, they had to count Him as more important than everyone else in their lives, including themselves. And then came verse 27: “And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.”

This verse is quoted so often than I’m not sure we really see it anymore, that we’re not paying full attention to what He’s saying here. I even remember thinking, during one of the really bad times with my husband, “If he is my cross to bear, then I will bear it,” but this verse means so much more!

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the Law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse of our wrong doing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.‘”

Galatians 3:13 NLT

As Christians, we look at this verse and we love it. And why not?! This amazing act of mercy, Christ taking all of our sins on Himself, washing them away with His own blood, changed our lives forever!

But let’s go back to the gathering in Luke 14 and think about where their heads were, where their thoughts must have gone. They couldn’t see what was coming. They were limited by their own knowledge and experience. In their world a cross served one purpose, and Jesus had just told them they would have to take up a cross that would be particularly their own. They wouldn’t be helping Him carry His cross as Simon the Cyrene was forced to do. He was asking each of them to take up their own cross.

This had to set them back, throw them for the proverbial loop. Because they knew.

They knew…
The cross was a sign of being cursed.
The cross was a very public tool of death.
The cross was a clear mark that you were a criminal.
The cross was intentionally demoralizing.
The cross was a cause of shame for the criminal’s family.
The cross was physically backbreaking before you were even put on it.
The cross was an incredibly slow and agonizing death.

If anyone wanted to be His disciple, they had to accept the reality that the cross, at least figuratively, could very well be in their future. Far from offering them the life of comfort many were currently enjoying, the life His abundant miracles might have implied, the life of sunshine and roses that Christians sometimes foolishly promise to potential converts today, He was laying out a heavy truth.

And here it is.

As Christians, genuine disciples of Jesus, while we look forward to the mountaintop experiences, it’s best to be prepared for the hard seasons that will inevitably come, to consider the cost ahead of time and be ready so that we won’t be tempted to look back. Like Jesus, we can expect to be hated, vilified, attacked unmercifully, laughed at, and more.

So… are you ready?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C