Happy Thanksgiving!

…simple joy by simpler living

Thanking God for the many blessings He has given this year! Family, friends, salvation, amazing chuch family, and the sweetest son who just turned 18!! Life always has difficulties, but having a friend in Jesus who is there to walk alongside me and promises a future with Him in heaven is better than anything else.

‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.


Praying God’s blessings on everyone who reads this! May you know His peace which surpasses all understanding!

Jesus is the Door

…simple joy by simpler living

Continuing the responses for the online Bible Study. All women are welcome to join at WomenLivingWell.org

Today’s passage is about Jesus being The Door.

‭John‬ ‭10:7‭-‬9‬ ‭ESV‬
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.


I looked up a few of the original Greek words in Strong’s concordance and Vine’s Bible Dictionary to try to understand this verse more deeply. 

Door – G2374 thura

This is the same Greek word used in Rev. 3:20 of Christ’s “entrance” into a repentant believers heart.

Jesus is the door/portal/gate of the sheep/His children. 

Saved – G4982  sōzō

delivered, protected (literally or figuratively), heal, preserve, do well, make whole, inclusively for all the blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ

If anyone enters through Jesus, he will be saved/delivered/made whole...

Pasture – G5342 nomē (noun)

food (pasturage), (figuratively in John 10:9)

Dictionary.com– an area covered with grass or other plants used or suitable for the grazing of livestock 

…and will go in and out and find pasture/provision.

The Bread of Life

…simple joy by simpler living

‭‭John‬ ‭6:35‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. https://bible.com/bible/59/jhn.6.35.ESV

I am doing a Bible Study studying many of the names of Jesus. When I saw this verse, I had much more of an understanding of this verse than I had years ago prior to learning about real bread made from the whole wheat grain.

To really understand this verse, we need to know what the bread was that Jesus is talking about. Bread was made from start to finish in homes from the whole grain to the finished bread. It is nothing like the bread now available in stores today which is devoid of almost anything good.

The Amazing Benefits of the Whole Wheat Grain

The wheat grain, in its whole form, is one of the most nutritionally dense foods. Once ground into flour, the nutrients begin to deteriorate and oxidize so it needs to be made into bread immediately to maintain its nutrition and keep from turning rancid.

To prevent flour currently sold in grocery stores from becoming rancid, part of the grain is removed– the part with the most nutrients. What is left is the least nutritional part. Basically all of the gluten and none of the nutrition.

Today, the flour and bread we have in our grocery stores, even “whole wheat “, is not nearly what was found in Ancient times. It’s really not even healthy.

So when the Bible talks about bread, it is talking about it using its entire whole grain, being nutrionally dense and providing a plethora of nutrients for healing and sustaining health. It was an essential part of a balanced meal necessary for our bodies’ daily functioning up until a century ago.

This bread is still able to be made today, you just need to buy whole wheat berries and a grain mill to grind it yourself. With the modern appliances that are available, this task is very easily done. I can grind wheat and pop in my bread machine in less than 10 minutes. Three hours later, I have steaming, moist, delicious bread that literally melts in my mouth. Delicious and so nutritious! Because I make and eat this freshly milled bread on a regular basis, I can attest to the difference it makes from other bread.

Nutritious, Filling, Satisfying

It satisfies hunger like I have never experienced before. Prior to grinding my own wheat, I was the queen of snacks. My pantry was filled with chips, cookies and other snacks because I was always hungry. After I started grinding my own wheat and making bread with this super food, I was no longer hungry AT ALL between breakfast and lunch. In fact, I stopped eating lunch at noon because I didn’t get hungry until 2 ish.

When I filled upon the best food, my body had more energy, healed up and didn’t hunger for less beneficial things.

So real bread that is referred to in the Bible is:

  • immensely nutritious
  • immensely filling
  • immensely satisfying

Jesus is the Bread of Life

In John 6: 35, Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. Just like real bread made from the whole grain, Jesus is the:

  • ultimate spiritual nutrition
  • ultimate filling of our souls
  • ultimate satisfaction

When He fills our hearts, we no longer yearn for cheaper, lesser things to fill us because other things pale in comparison to His glory and His love. Anything else that we fill ourselves with will only leave us hungry. Whoever comes to Him, shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Him shall never thirst. Jesus is The Bread of Life!


Life’s Unexpected Turns

…simple joy by simpler living

Life is always unpredictable but sometimes it takes HUGE unexpected turns. We had two of these crazy turns recently. Just four months ago my mother-in-law, who was always energetic and full of life, left this life and moved to heaven. Then, just a few weeks ago, my father-in-law also passed on to his eternal home in heaven.

If you had asked us last Christmas at our family’s get-together what this year would look like, this would not be it. But no matter what life brings, God is still by my side to walk with me. He is helping me focus on the joy my in-laws are experiencing right now in heaven which helps take away my sadness. I am also so incredibly thankful for the many wonderful years we had together. They truly were the best in-laws to me, the most loving and affirming parents to my husband, and kind grandparents to my child, They loved us all unconditionally. They were amazing examples to us on how to love the Lord and people with all their 💕 . They were so expressive about it in this life so I know 100% that they are joyfully worshiping Him in heaven now.

I will add more to this later but wanted to give a quick post letting everyone know why I’ve been MIA for the past month. We have been overloaded with clearing out their apartment and funeral arrangements, traveling out of town 7 times over past few months.

Life took a majorly unexpected turn but God is good and is giving us joy each day.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4 ESV


Simple Faith

…simple joy by simpler living

My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly two months ago.  It was a complete surprise to everyone because she had been in good health for her age until a few months prior.  When people pass on to eternity, especially when it is unexpected, it really makes us think about life.  And think about death.  And ultimately think about eternity. 

Many chock up everyone’s destiny to being in heaven – unless you are really, really bad like Hitler or a serial killer.  Many think if you are a generally “good person” and have lived a “good life” you are destined for the sweet pearly gates of heaven. Heaven is God’s home. If God isn’t someone’s Lord, how does it makes sense that they will go there when they leave this life? 2 Chronicles 30:27b and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. Many, many think that if you are “religious” you definitely have a ticket to heaven.  Jesus, however, said the opposite.  He said that there is only one way and it has NOTHING to do with how many good deeds we have done.  He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).  It is only through simple faith in Him that we can gain our entrance into heaven.

This is very important to understand the distinction.  So many think they are on the right path but if it is not what Jesus said is the way, we will be devastatingly regretful for the rest of eternity.  This is the most important message to get right.  Please read on to understand.  I want you to join me one day where there will be no more tears, no more sadness, no more frustrations, and no more injustice.  Where God’s love saturates everyone and everything.  Where faith, hope and love will be our permanent future.  Where we will commune with our Creator and Savior in perfect peace forever.  Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

A very simple way to understand and share with others is something my husband came up with called “The 4 Ss”.  Simple enough for a young child to understand, deep enough for every adult to grasp, straightforward enough to show you the ONLY path to that forever happiness in heaven.

SPECIAL: God created us to have a forever friendship with Him.  (Genesis 1:26-27, John 17:3)

SEPARATED: We have all broken that friendship by our sin.  (Romans 3:23, 6:23a, Isaiah 53:6)

SUBSTITUTE: Jesus was killed instead of us to pay the penalty for our sins.  (Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

SURRENDER: Trust in Jesus & HIS good works – not your own – to be reconciled to God forever! (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 1:9, John 3:16)

I am abundantly thankful that my mother-in-law trusted in Jesus, and not herself, to reconcile her to God.  Her works and good deeds did not get her into heaven.  It was her simple faith in Jesus that did.  She knew she, like all of us, was a sinner and that separated her from God, but she also knew Jesus came and lived the perfect life she couldn’t live so she trusted in His righteousness, not her own, to get her to heaven. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior, loving him with all her being until the night He peacefully took her home. 

Even though her good deeds didn’t earn her salvation, she overflowed with good deeds as a result of her salvation.  Her Celebration of Life Service was the most beautiful service I have ever been to.  Everyone there would nod in agreement whenever anyone mentioned how kind, sweet and loving she was.  She was a wonderful woman who loved people with abandon but who loved the Lord even more! Throughout this life, God was by her side giving her strength, comfort, and love guiding her to pass His love on to others. The memory I will cherish forever is when she would tell me, “I had wonderful time worshiping the Lord this morning.  I turned on old Jewish hymns and sang and danced around my kitchen praising Jesus.”  Whenever I get sad about missing her, I just picture where I know she is now in Jesus’s presence, singing and dancing around with a multitude of other believers joining her, happier than she ever could have imagined.  No more worry.  No more sadness.  No more stress from this life but forever in the presence of the source of all love. 

I also trusted in Jesus many years ago when God opened my eyes to the truth of His love & sacrifice for me. Because of this truth, I know I haven’t lost this dear woman. She has just moved. Moved to God’s home forever. Since Jesus is my Lord and Savior too, I confidently know He will one day take me to His home, heaven, and I will worship alongside my mother-in-law too. Do you have this same confidence? Are you headed toward an eternity of being in God’s home with all things good or eternal separation from Him void of anything good? Are you trying to make this world your home or do you desire a better one?

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.Hebrews 11:13-16

Tomorrow is not promised. Just like my mother-in-law, you don’t know if your tomorrow will be here on earth or in your permanent eternal place. Today can be the day you secure your eternal destiny! Whether you think you have strayed too far from God or you have lived a life of good deeds and think that is enough:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23

All fall short so we all need to confess Jesus:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9

Will you join me today and prayerfully ponder the 4 Ss to ensure that YOU will join us one day in heaven?  Many think they are headed there but it is not by our good deeds, religion, or anything except simple trust in Jesus Christ who took the penalty we deserved and therefore gave us His righteousness, which is the only way we can be with our fully righteous Father God in Heaven.  Your Creator loves you and wants you to love Him in return.  Please join me in loving our kind and ever gracious Father by trusting in Christ’s righteousness so we can journey the rest of this life and the one to come with Him by our side.

Below is a prayer where you can begin: