His April Gates


I chose this old picture because of the gate, , the artist’s name was illegible. But it fits with spring and out topic and has the old look that is what I have used this month in the vintage art not as opulent as theGated Beautiful, nor the Pearl Ones, not asterrifying as the gates of hell.

His sacrifice complete. Jesus was actually at the gates of hell and inside, He knew the Father would not leave Him there. Surely the enemy thought he had won. But he was wrong. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. Acts 2:27, fulfilling Psalm 16:10. Hades is another term for hell. It was created fro the devil and fallen angels not people. God doesn’t send you there, we have a choice, the wrong ones will get you there.

You may also hear Gehenna, it’s the same. It was in reference to fire pit going outside the city. It was the trash heap, everything went there, all the filth, and even the bodies of prisoners. Enter, Joseph of Aramathea, and a new tomb that was donated. Jesus could have afforded one but He had lived at Capernaum, Nazareth and Bethlehem and He was in the city of Jerusalem at Passover with crowds, but God would not allow this travesty.

Just so you will know, Friday until Sunday morning is not three days and nights to us, but it is counted differently then, in twelve hours. Including the night before and the trial, which should not have been at night, they never were, we have Friday Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, although if He were crucified Thursday it would appear to be the special Passover, and not just the Sabbath on Friday. But even Friday morning and He had to be off the cross before sundown, makes it fit to me because He may not have been in the tomb but certainly in agony, near enough to death.

It doesn’t matter to me, I just know some scoffers would use that, but time was kept differently and that is the best explanation I can offer. The main thing is His legs were not broken, another prophetic word, and He was not left on a burning trash heap or in a pit. he stormed the gates of hell and then let’s look at the the Beautiful Gate.

We want to remember the story of Peter and John going to the temple to pray. The gate was called Beautiful, now what better place to receive a miracle than a place called Beautiful? While the man was used to being outside the gate and his lot as a beggar, he must have had hope that something would change and it did when Peter and John walked up. The story is in Acts 3.

They walked across court of the Gentiles. Afternoon prayers were probably at 3 o’clock, about time Jesus gave up His Spirit on the cross, and before that even walked on water, at night. The number three, represents Father, Son and Holy Spirit. His death and resurrection, and His name created a miracle that afternoon. The same Spirit that raised Jesus healed this man,

Coming to Solomon’s temple, there was the main entrance, the Beautiful Gate, the man expected to receive, we must take note of that, but he got more than he expected. Perhaps, he had hopes of walking and disliked begging, I don’t know, but he was told to look at them, that they had no silver and gold but lifted him up and immediately he was healed.

It also drew a crowd and a Spirit filled Peter told them about crucifying Jesus, and that it was His name tha healed the man. Many did believe though they were taken away and held overnight, and admonished the next day not to speak of Jesus, and they said they could not be silent, but they were powerless to hold them fearing the people who had witnessed a miracle.

The Bible speaks a lot about doors, windows and even gates, an angel rescues Peter later on, and the gate opens by itself, that happened when the glory departed the temple in the Old Testament as well.

We can ask God to open doors no man can close and close doors we don’t need open, open windows of heaven for blessings and even expect to receive, not as beggars but bold women of grace. Instead of Peter and John, we will look on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, Hebrews 12:2.

We must be willing to close off areas of our walk with Him that are too distracting, disruptive or even destructive, if you have opened yourself up to the enemy, the Spirit will show you how to close him off. We want to enter the gates of Pearl, each gate is just one Pearl, what He suffered to get us there, to make the miraculous happen. What pure and perfect love, s our devotion to Him should be.

And in the beauty of spring, though this story was probably closer to our summer, we too can expect to receive and not only sit and stand, but walk and praise God at His Beautiful April Gate. Just because Jesus went through what He did for us. Today is Saturday on the timeline and He is risen on the first day of the week. Rebecca Jones



His April Good Friday

There was nothing good about the crucifixion. Not in any sense of the word. And yet, past the bloody crown of thorns, hearing the weeping nad mocking, having heard a hammer strike nails or spikes into His hands and feet, His back already torn from both beating and scourging, Jesus was doing this of His own free will for our salvation, and that was good. What  was hideous and horrid, horrible and any other adjective you could think of, was wonderful, loving and even beautiful for those who would believe.

He died for us to live and to know love, His love. His agape, and we were crucified with Him. We suffer with Him, by loving His love and doing His will and we are often hurt by others, rejected, mocked, just like He was. He was punished for my peace with that crown of thorns.

I can suggest you read Isaiah 53, or John or any number or verses, but more than that I believe He would just like us to spend quiet and contemplative time with Him. He did this for the joy set before Him, He is our joy and we are His, we should enjoy Jesus and allow Him to enjoy us, let Him be a part of our lives in all ways, our lives really should revolve around Him, for He so was taken with us, He went through all of this.

The only good thing about Friday for Jesus was giving His Spirit up, it was finished and now He could retrieve the keys to death, hell and the grave, restore the authority of Adam to believers. By his sin death reigned, by Jesus’ death, grace reigns. He tasted death for us, for the sake of God’s children, and I believe we are living in a time that we may see the Rapture and His soon return or the Second Coming.

So many Christians are struggling and being oppressed, this is the time to rest in His finished work. Give up the cross and hold onto the risen Lord. It is finished. I pray His peace for you, and His benefits, what He willed and wanted for you. Good Friday was good for us because of His love.

And Sunday is coming…..but what happened that Friday, from Jesus point of view, a powerful video.




Faith on Fire | lylidunbar.comImage may contain: text that says 'BLOGGER Voices NETWORK ...that together you may with one voice glorify God... Romans 15:5-7'

His April Cross To Bear



I love reading about Jesus love. I am ever so grateful for salvation. I read the account of the crucifixion in John. I am always amazed at the Lord’s ability to control Himself, keep His temper, He could have been so angered, yet, all the while He was so tormented, he opened not His mouth.

He even calls Judas friend, as He is betrayed with of all things, a kiss. Not a handshake or a pat on the back, but a kiss. A kiss, is intimacy among friends. A kiss on the cheek and then have to turn it. Heartbroken at His betrayal, and then Peter would deny Him not once but three times. Judas knew where Getsemane was, he had been there. And Peter knew better but would lie saying he didn’t know Jesus, even after vowing to die for Him.

The devil threw everything that hell had to offer at Him, pain, grief, sorrow, sin and shame. And He was innocent, we weren’t but he chose to take our place so we could be with Him for eternity, I am glad it is what we have to look forward to, and for a slice of heaven on earth, but it has always been hard for me to bear the thought of the cross He took for me.

I know people quote the take up your cross verse, and I understand that. But I believe we were crucified with Him, it was all on Him and we just have to believe. He bore everything that came His way, He died for us to live. He willed us salvation, His peace.

He raised us up to sit in heavenly places, didn’t He? And He is not carrying the cross still, neither is He on it. We must see Him as the risen Lord, even though we respect and are awed by His sacrifice. The Holy Spirit once told me I carried a wounded Christ.

And I did, I was moved by that sacrifice, but I could not carry the cross. Healing began when I let it go and looked His as the risen Lord, the High Priest that passed into the heavenlies, who is easily touched by infirmities and genuine tears.

Though the very thought of His sacrifice would move me to tears time after time, He would not have us mourn Him for He is alive forevermore and we will see Him in all His glory, He will suffer no more, never again. Nor will we, and while we may endure, I don’t think He gets glory from our suffering.

Though He continues to intercede, and desire the best for us, He will not always let His Spirit strive with us or contend, this Good Friday, Easter, Resurrection Sunday, let’s remember His love and honor Him by accepting that He bore so much for us when we were unworthy, and that He makes us worthy to receive His Communion and grace and all the benefits of salvation.

Let’s just be grateful and know that He lifted our burdens, carried our crosses, it was all on Him and His wounds heal. He bore all the crosses of believers, that is my opinion, I could not bear it, and because Jesus bore a cross, I don’t have to. And I am thankful.




His April / Passover Betrayal


The poet Christina Rosetti said of the infant Jesus that His mother worshiped Him with a kiss. The Judas kiss is a stark contrast and betrayal of that. Jesus was and is about a holy kiss, a kiss of peace. So how did Judas, who walked right beside Him come to that place of cruelty, even though it had to be for the plan of redemption ot succeed?

Judas heart was evil with ambition, he must have perverted the scene of Mary’s anointing Jesus into His betraying his own plans, his heart was black and cruel, and the devil turned him into a madman. Having watched the silent version of King of Kings, Judas palms his communion, I wonder if the real Judas did the same? How could one so close do such a cruel thing. Joseph Schildkraut’s  performance impressed me, he resists, but grows madder and and madder as the movie progresses. Not everyone is a silent film fan, and while Hollywood is not always accurate it is interesting.

Jesus chose Judas, just like the other disciples. He had to know what would happen because He was able to see the enemy’s plans and thwart them. But He chose to give His life.

Judas never stands out like Peter, James and John does he? Is he in charge of finances? That would be Matthew’s sort of training, he was a tax collector.  Though most were disreputable. Jesus changes that, so what about Judas? You can read John 18, how Jesus will still call him friend, even as the kiss comes. See His power knock over those sent to get Him. Save Peter from death by restoring an ear. Luke 22 details the Passover.

Jesus says someone will betray Him, and though Peter worries about everyone else, and swears he will die for him, he will deny Him not once but three times. Judas is already thinking over the offer he has been made, and decides he will do it.

It is then satan enters him, that is creepy, most of us experience oppression but nothing like that. Jesus knows and tells him do do it quickly. So he will go and get get his blood money and later come to betray Jesus.

His madness continues and he will afterward toss away the money and hang himself. Perhaps, he could have repented, he was a man. The devil cannot repent, he was judged already. Many people claim the Bible is in error as to his death, hanging and spilling out his insides, but if you hanged yourself and the limb broke, well, you get the picture.

And the sad thing is, people still betray Him and He is still calling them friend.





His April Throne

You know the saying about God being in His heaven and everything is alright, well, actually it is or should be for believers because Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us. And when don’t know what to pray the Holy Spirit prays for us.

Jesus even warned Peter that the enemy wanted to sift him, and said He prayed for his faith not to fail, that is not a bad prayer for us either. Look what Peter went through before He learned, we should take a lesson from that. Jesus is the same, yesterday, and forevermore. Hebrews 13:8 Today, on the timeline I found, it says He predicts Peter’s denial, Mark 14:31 and Judas betrayal.

There is Passover and Gethsemane. I am not going to go into deep Jewish roots but this was a special Passover. And the days are counted in twelve hours, that is why He is in the tomb three days and nights, but Friday afternoon to Sunday morning isn’t that to us.

Though we respect and remember His sacrifice in this season, we should realize that is risen and coming again. He is in heaven seated on His throne. He makes things right, He is our peace, Ephesians 2:14, says He, Himself, and that same He, Himself took all He did for us and then loved us enough to seat us in heavenly places with Him, shouldn’t be able to take a fast from worry, fear, even the nagging little doubts? Wouldn’t that be a great passover Seder for our Lamb?

So often those can lead to unbelief and that can give us an evil heart, and don’t want that. Hebrews 3:12. We should always turn to the one who loves us and not away from Him. Even the rough and tough fisherman Peter, floundered, pun intended. And we do it too. Are we denying Him before the rooster crows? Is there denial or betrayal at our door, we need the blood over the doorpost.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15,16.

Even as we remember Holy Week, His predictions of the disciples, the Passover dinner. That is something that really gets me, keep the lamb you would sacrifice, Jesus knew He was the Lamb. As believers and not familiar with Hebraic customs we can lose sight of that. He was every offering once and for all.

He is back on the throne this April and we can come boldly and ask for help in time of need because of His great sacrifice. even if everything is not right with the world, it can be when we are in Christ Jesus.

purposefulfaith.comTea And Word Link Up Insta Encouragement is either today or tomorrow.

His April or Passover Anointing

Jesus was in a house in Bethany, the home of Simon, the leper. Only I doubt he was a leper anymore or who would be in his house? Labels stick don’t they?  Jesus was relaxed, it actually says reclining, when a woman came to Him with an alabaster flask containing very costly fragrant oil. She poured the oil on His head. Matthew 26:6–7. This woman loved the Lord. She had set her love upon Him. She was Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus.

As Holy Week has begun I decided to follow a timeline I found. Mary was described as a sinful woman, yet, she has been forever recorded for this act of love to the Lord. She chose the one needful thing, she sat at His feet when others were busy, perhaps to busy for Him. She recognized her need for a Savior, and believed. No doubt, seeing Lazarus raised and back at home was astounding.

Mary did what no one else did. Pushing past the religious who objected to her even being there she made her way to Jesus, even Judas was miffed. No one else had offered to wash His feet, as was the custom of the day upon entering a home. everyone wore sandals, and their feet got dirty. Did you know the enemy’s curse was to eat of the dust, hence shake the dust of your feet, feet that carry the gospel of are beautiful, not dirty. No one else bothered, not a disciple, Pharisee or even Simon.

This woman was a sinner, a great sinner. She realized she’s forgiven much and was able to love much as we all should. I have read that it is Mary Magdalene, and she would qualify having had seven devils cast out but John 11:2 plainly says that is Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha.

Nevertheless, she entered, it was during the week of Passover and the Jews already wanted to arrest Jesus. She entered and the Bible says she poured it on His head, while most of the time in paintings she is at His feet. That is the account of Luke 7:38, that she entered stood behind Jesus and poured the oil on His head as she wept, and also put it on His feet still in tears and washed His feet and dried them with her hair.

This story is a favorite of mine, a beautiful story of loving Jesus. She knew she’d been forgiven and recognized Jesus as Lord. Apparently, when others did not. The Pharisees objected, Judas complained, a pretense that the money  could have been used for the poor. It doesn’t seem possible that you can over love. But Jesus does, doesn’t He?

Jesus gently rebuked them, for He already knew about the betrayal. No one offered to wash Jesus; feet, which was customary, but Mary did and with costly oil, Jesus said He was being anointed for burial and gave her the honor that wherever the gospel was preached her actions were recorded for posterity. The story of her Mary and her alabaster box is poignant. It may have been spikenard which was costly and imported.

More than even a recognition of her forgiveness was her devotion to Jesus. Something that Judas lacked. Even though He more or less called Peter the devil for his aspirations of making Him a ruler, He was restored. He repented and wept bitterly, for he had failed to heed Jesus’ warning that he had been asked for, to sift as wheat. With His crucifixion at hand, the beauty of Jesus sacrifice is apparent with Mary’s devotion, and evil betrayal of Judas is a cruel  juxtaposition. And Judas never repented.

As much as Mary loved Him, Judas loathed Him. Mary’s heart was broken like the neck of her alabaster box. I have heard so many say the anointing of the Holy Spirit is costly, I suppose it is, if it costs effort, time with Jesus and giving up friends or ways that are hurtful, but I always felt like, it cost me nothing and Him everything. His love is ever present, omnipresent, effervescent. It will bubble up and overflow. It is infectious and will cause pure and genuine joy. He is my joy and my delight.

What a beautiful love story between Jesus and a woman named Mary, the same one from Luke 10:46, where Jesus says, …” one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Please enjoy this video with the CeCe Wynans song Alabaster Box.



 Anita Ojeda


His April Triumph


I knew it was Palm Sunday. I didn’t write about it though, until now. I found a great timeline and I thought what a wonderful way to remember His sacrifice and give Him glory this week.

Jesus had told the disciples to go and find the donkey and colt, He was fulfilling a prophecy, though they didn’t realize it until later. He rode the colt in Jerusalem, with those in the crowd, cheering…Hosanna and waving palm branches, in His honor.

The same crowd would line up later in the week, disappointed in a Messiah who didn’t conquer the Romans, and shout ” Crucify Him, crucify HIm. ” Even though they would have a choice of Barabbas and Jesus, who was innocent, they chose Barabbas.

This trip was still triumphant, for He would finish His work, complete His Father’s business, and rise from the dead. That is one reason for the crowds, they had returned there to see Lazarus as well as Jesus, having heard He was going to be in Jerusalem.

Jesus fulfilled Zechariah 9:9, He rode in with humility on a donkey, opposite of Haman wanting a splendid stallion, and robe, which went to Mordecai. Jesus sat on the disciples cloaks, like giving all for Him and a reminder not to worry what we eat or drink or what we will will wear for we have Jesus.

John’s narrative of the events carries on the raising of Lazarus to Jesus predicting His own death. The crowds appear to gather and increase, and though Hosanna is translated as ” help ” or ” save “, how fickle thy became, agitated and rioting toward the crucifixion, when Jesus did not do what they thought.

Aren’t we like that at times? Aren’t we disappointed? But we never want to betray our Lord, for He is the beloved Son of God and Savior, and who else has the words of eternal life, or would have went through what He did for us?



Bernhard Plockhorst of Brunswick, Germany – Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-11) – Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, Syracuse, New York, circa 1880.











His April Sacrifice


With Holy week upon us I have to reflect on His sacrifice, the Garden of Gethsemane, the arrest and betrayal, the trial , the beating and scourging, the crucifixion. That is  a lengthy sentence much less the unbearable He had to endure to save me and you.

I love doves, they were a fixture at my old house, always there to eat from an angel bird feeder. I knew it was a symbol of peace, of the Holy Spirit, but I did not know the Holy Spirit as well as now, or about spiritual gifts, He gives so many to those willing to receive, and not everyone is willing to walk in them, Many believers don’t even walk in what they do know about Jesus.

But Holy Week is not about condemnation, that is not His way, the Holy Spirit convicts and there is repentance and sin is gone, He could remember but chooses not to, we are always remembering our and other people’s.

He paid a high price, so He forgives, but He is in no way fooled by so called Christians who do not know Him. Those who trample the blood and insult grace, He knows hearts, and that is why I want mine to be close to His.

For all the back pain I suffered, He is the healer, I had to believe that. He too punishment for my peace and was beaten and marred beyond recognition for healing. I have become acquainted with Isaiah 53, as He was acquainted with sorrow.

And I used this old postcard, because of the Communion, the two immutable things that says He cannot lie, the body and the blood. And the crown of thorns. He wore that crown in order to crown us with His peace.

And these thorns were thick and sharp about two inches, wound tightly into a mocking crown, it may have even cut the soldier pressing it on His head and drawing more blood. And I was doing word searches and happened across the word thorn, another definition although it means what you think, the back bone, in Greek. Oddly, enough another word for spine akantha or thorn. A crown of thorns for a spine, perhaps so.

This had me wondering about the ” thorn in the flesh “, not Paul’s, mine. He wore a crown of thorns so I could have peace about my back being healed, that makes sense. So I pray for all you today with back problems or anything else that is a source of pain, mental and physical, He bore it all.

Greek skólops – properly, anything with a sharp point, a thorn; (figuratively) an instrument producing pain, discomfort (acute irritation), used only in 2 Corinthians 12:7. While Paul’s may have been trials, money, or a physical ailment. It was definitely a servant of satan, sent to buffet him. Why? He had a lot of revelation from Christ, was preaching the gospel, winning souls. The Lord gave him revelation, grace and ministry.

His grace is sufficient, but He makes a way of escape, so rest in His perfect sacrifice whether or not it was in March or April.




His April Outpouring


We all know the rhyme about April showers that bring May flowers, and that when it rains it pours. And that’s true in the spiritual sense as well. We sow our seeds of faith and let them be watered by the Spirit. And we wait for our harvest of  ” flowers. ”

And sometimes, when problems arise, it is like they pour, but that too, can be reversed in Him. Let His Spirit pour into your life, He will come to you like the rain. Hosea 6:3 Ask Him fo fill you, pour on you, and just love you.

So many people pray to God, and wonder why they don’t get results, they are believers in Jesus, but they miss out and disqualify themselves from the friendship of our Advocate, Comforter, the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

In Scripture, He is represented by the dove, oil, and water or rain. Jesus was adamant about sending Him, He even told the disciples it was better if he went away so the Holy Spirit could come.

Why would He do that? Because, He was here in the flesh and operating in power of the Spirit, completely as God, the Holy Spirit could go and take healing to people, drive out the demonic. So what about Him leaving?

Well, after the crucifixion, that same Holy Spirit who could go behind the veil or curtain to the Holy of Holies, and who only came upon people at times, could reside in all believers, and we could have the same authority.

Jesus allowed His flesh to be torn like the veil, His heart pierce. hed died to give us the Holy Spirit, and access to His Father, Jesus is now our High Priest, and what believers never even dreamed of in the Old Testament is ours through Him. He is always with us in the peace and presence and even power of His Spirit.

Jesus prays for us, the Holy Spirit prays for us and God answers. He will pour out His blessings, His grace, protection  or healing or whatever we need, but we have to ask. And we have to believe and receive.

Most people have trouble feeling worthy. He made us worthy, or we would never be. And He does love that much. Consider being willing to die for someone, it could be quick attempting to save a life and losing yours.

And then again, consider the gruesomeness of the cross, the beatings before, and He did not have to do it, but He loved us. So let Him do what he wants to do, love you. And let His Spirit pour like rain into your spirit.

I look forward to more of His April Outpouring, and I hope you will as we celebrate Him this month. He is pouring His love and peace.  Emile Vernon painting4nrkta67u9f8qjvn7w5g


More of His April Beauty

This is a time for beauty. Spring, it is a time of renewal and recreation. while the birds sing and the flowers bloom. There are festivities and celebrations, gardens are being  planted and growing and birdbaths are being filled and butterflies are the air fluttering about, dancing in the warmth of spring and sharing His beauty.

The fruits and vegetables that we miss in winter are back to taste, the cookouts and picnics start to stir. There are spring vacations, spring dances and spring holidays. We can find so many things to enjoy. The heavens open with longer days of light and evenings cool us on porch swings and verandas. We can take more walks, we can have more backyard fence conversations.

We can go to church or school events, visit the shops or theaters. We can go to garage sales and bake sales, bake cakes or cookies. Life has a way of becoming wonderful and abundant in the spring, Just the way Jesus wants it to be. It was in the spring, Passover, that He died for us.

In the mangled figure of a man, He was beautiful. Isaiah 53 says there was no beauty or honor, as the Hebrew word hadar says. But He was beautiful, crucified and crown of thorns and all, because He took my place. He is my Rose of Sharon, and I am His butterfly.

He holds my heart and I hold His hand. we walk together in spring and in all seasons, the one who knows beauty best because He was there at creation, when we were born and will never leave us. He has made us promises and keeps them whether or not we are always true, sometimes He steps aside until we regain our footing and return to the path that is straight and narrow. He makes the  crooked places straight.

Spring is a time of Communion with Christ, there is a song with the line, how beautiful is the hand that has served the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth, how beautiful is the body of Christ. I have been taking Communion and I hope you will consider it as well, it is alright to take it daily as you reflect and proclaim His death until He comes.

Many people worry about being worthy but you ask forgiveness, realize He makes us worthy, know the blood was for sin and the body, healing. Take time for Communion , and for the communion and fellowship of others and with Christ. have communion and companionship with the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy the flowers and birds, we have three babies already in a nest. The snowball bushes are beautiful in the front yard, and the roses are a knockout, the name, because they withstand the heat. We have had some clouds but higher temperatures, the ceiling fans and air have even been on.

So while we smell the roses, and flowers, and enjoy family and friends, and outdoor meals, let’s remember where true beauty comes from and keep in out hearts, the Lord is described in the Song of Solomon, and yes, He is altogether lovely. Rest in His April Beauty. Rebecca Jones