Lenten Journey Day 36; Light

*image source: google.com/images

Gentle as a lamb
He came as Light to a world
living in darkness

28-Mar-12:  John 12:34-50

34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. 37 Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

Lord, who has believed our message,

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39 And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said,

40        “He has blinded their eyes

and hardened their heart,

so that they might not look with their eyes,

and understand with their heart and turn—

and I would heal them.”

41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. 42 Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.

44 Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47 I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49 for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”



P.S.  Some people are having a hard time reading some of the poems written onto the pictures, therefore I will start putting the words underneath them as well so that every gets a chance to enjoy them.  🙂  Hope that will work it out for all concerned!

A Man Of Sorrow

I wrote this poem a year ago. Today I put it on this picture and reblogged it for you to see it since it had not gotten many views in the beginning. I hope you enjoy it.

What about God?


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Lenten Journey Day 25; None

*image source: google.com/images

17-Mar-12:  John 3:1-13

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.



This Week’s Sermon From the Ranch – No Sermon Today, Rather a Desperate Request For Prayer!


Lana’s Health

By Eric Elder



Dear Friends,


I normally use this space to write some words of encouragement to you, but this week I could use some encouragement myself.


A few weeks ago my wife and I received the surprising news that she has breast cancer.  Two days ago, we received the even more surprising news that it was not a Stage 1 breast cancer with one one lump in her breast, but that it is actually a Stage 4 breast cancer, with multiple tumors that have already spread to her lungs, liver and spine.


If you know Lana, you know that she’s the picture of health…she’s at her ideal body weight, she eats well, she runs 2-3 miles every few days, and her blood work is perfect in every way.  She feels good and strong and healthy.  Other than the lump in her breast that we discovered in December, and some minor pain in her lower back that started soon after that, we wouldn’t have even thought to have her tested for anything that could possibly be going wrong inside her body.  Even when people do find lumps in their breasts, the majority of the time those lumps turn out to be harmless.  But not this time.


I’ve prayed with many people over the years with many types of cancer.  I’ve seen some people healed naturally, others supernaturally, and still others who haven’t been healed in the way that we had fervently hoped or prayed, including my own mother who died of breast cancer twenty-one years ago.  But even in those instances where God hasn’t healed people in the way that I had hoped, I have seen God use even those those situations for good in the end.  As good and miraculous as healing is, I know that there is still more that Christ offers us than just the healing that we desire. As the Apostle Paul says:


“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).


I believe in healing.  I’ve seen people healed with my own eyes, and through my own prayers, numerous times.  God wants us to be healed and has wired our bodies to heal themselves as much as possible, whether it’s the coagulating of blood to heal a scrape on our skin, or the multiplication of white blood cells to fight off a raging infection.


But there’s also an enemy at work whose main goal, according to Jesus, seems to be to steal, kill, and destroy.  As Jesus said:


“The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; …” (John 10:10a).


But Jesus didn’t leave it there.  He went on to say:


“… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).


The healings and miracles of Jesus are so numerous that the pages of the Bible can’t even contain them all.  As the Apostle John said:


“Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25).


And yet as miraculous and amazing and God-ordained as healing is, there are some things that are even more amazing… like forgiveness… and the peace that passes understanding… and eternal life.


When some men in the Bible brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, having pressed through the crowds and cutting a hole in the roof to get their friend to Jesus, Jesus said to the sick man,


“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2b). 


The religious leaders were shocked that Jesus would make such a bold statement, knowing that only God Himself has the power to forgive sins.  But knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them:


“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home” (Matthew 9:5-7).


To Jesus, the forgiveness of sins seems to be just as miraculous, if not more so, than healing.  And considering what Jesus had to go through in order to forgive us of our sins, it seems like forgiveness is quite possibly the harder of the two.


When Jesus Himself was headed for the cross, way too young and way too innocent, rather than fighting His death, He submitted to the will of His Father in heaven, knowing that His Father’s plans were even more glorious than anything anyone could have imagined.  Yet Jesus still prayed that if their was any way possible, that His Father would take the cup of death away from Him so  that He wouldn’t have to drink it. At the same time, He trusted His Father completely regardless of the outcome, saying


“…yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42b).


He sought for the peace of His Father above all else, and He encouraged His disciples to do the same:  As Jesus told His disciples,


“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


And ultimately, what could compare to the promise of eternal life?  As Lana told a friend this weekend:


“For me, it’s a win-win situation.  Either I go to be with Jesus, or I get to stay here and be with Eric and my family.”


As Paul said,


“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:20-24). 


Jesus came to give us life to the full, both here on earth and in heaven forever.  This is the hope that we have in Christ, and this is the hope for which He gave up His life.


So with both of those hopes in mind, can I ask for your earnest prayers on our behalf? We’re praying for healing and more, that God would heal Lana’s body completely and gloriously, and through it all, that God’s name would be glorified in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine.  Thank you so much.


Will you pray with me?


Father, thank You for revealing to us this cancer that is at work within Lana’s body so that we can know what to do next.  Lord, we pray for healing and more, that You would heal her body completely and gloriously, and through it all, that Your name would be glorified in ways that go beyond anything we could ask or imagine.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Eric and Lana Elder and family

P.S.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  They mean the world to us.  Here’s one of Lana’s favorite pictures of our family. Lana is second from the right, and I’m second from the left. Some friends of ours are organizing a special day of prayer and fasting for Lana and me and our family.  If you’d like to join us in prayer, you don’t have to come anywhere, but simply pray for us throughout the day and night as you can.  This special day of prayer will start on Monday, February 27th at 7:00 a.m., through Tuesday, February 28th, at 7:00 a.m.  We’re in the Central time zone here in Illinois (GMT -6), but your prayers matter more to us than the time zone!  If you want to let us know you’ll be praying, you can post a note on Lana’s blog that she’s just set up to keep people updated on her situation.  I’ve included the link below.  Please also pray for her tomorrow (Monday, February 20th) as she has to undergo two more biopsies on tumors in her lung and back, that these biopsies will be helpful in determining what to do next and not harmful in any way.  Thanks again.  Here’s the link to Lana’s blog:

Lana’s Blog 

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Greatness Desired

God prepares great men for great tasks by great trials.

J. K. Gressett


Is greatness what you desire
to be recognized of man?
And for this to transpire
have you made a plan?

Is it because of pride
this greatness that you endeavor
or are you trying to hide
your insecurities for whatever?

The reason that I ask you
these questions one and all
is for this greatness to ensue
your pride will have to fall.

So now you must prepare
for the task that’s ahead
and trials will you ensnare
when you lie upon that bed.

You must go through the fire
and there’s pain will you endure
before the greatness you desire
will come to you for sure.

Look at the Son of Man
as a prime One of example
Who conceded to God’s plan
when His trials were so ample.

The pride inside of you
will first have to die
as you bear your cross too
’til unto the Father you cry!

Teresa Marie   4/27/11

Sinners Cannot

Sinners cannot find God for the same reason that criminals cannot find a policeman: They aren’t looking!

Billy Sunday


The reason a sinner can’t find
the One and only God
is in my own mind
not the least bit odd

It’s because of their sin
that they are always lost
from how it did begin
with a sacrifice of great cost

Like the criminal they are
when they’re the one in need
who looks beyond by far
their usual thoughts of greed

And now want a policeman
to give the needed aid
but like the Son of Man
his reality seems to fade

The reason is only this one
it’s they have failed to look
for God’s One and only Son
Who gave all that it took!

Teresa Marie  4/25/11