Food For Thought Friday

His Death Was For Our Life

goodfridayToday is Good Friday, and in keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post on Maundy/Holy Thursday, it isn’t a time to post about us. It’s all about Him.

He died a criminal’s death on a crucifix, in place of us.

…by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Yesterday’s video…declaring we all are Barnabas – criminals – sinners – deserving of such pain and agony; and HE TOOK OUR PLACE. Do you realize the kind of pure love that is? There is nothing like it in this world. Nothing at all.

This song (video below) is a pre-release edition by Hillsong Live for the movie (we absolutely loved!), “Son Of God”:

And we have a great Good Friday treat for you, you can have this song’s download for free by clicking here. Hillsong will send you an e-mail with the download information.

Here are the lyrics to “Calvary“:

The Savior alone
Carried the cross
For all of my debts
He paid the cost

Salvation complete
Now forever I’m free

Covers it all
covers it all

My sin And shame
Don’t count anymore
All praise to THE ONE
Who has ransomed my soul

Covers it all

No power on earth
Not even the grave
Can separate us
From mercy and grace

He is faithful to save
Oh His blood never fails


No one But Jesus
Can make us pure
Like snow
We stand in your freedom


All praise to THE ONE
Who has ransomed my soul
Covers it all


Mark 15

New English Translation (NET)

Jesus Brought Before Pilate

15 Early in the morning, after forming a plan, the chief priests with the elders and the experts in the law and the whole Sanhedrin tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He replied, “You say so.” Then the chief priests began to accuse him repeatedly. So Pilate asked him again, “Have you nothing to say? See how many charges they are bringing against you!” But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Jesus and Barabbas

During the feast it was customary to release one prisoner to the people, whomever they requested. A man named Barabbas was imprisoned with rebels who had committed murder during an insurrection. Then the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to release a prisoner for them, as was his custom. So Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” 10 (For he knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of envy.) 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas instead. 12 So Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why? What has he done wrong?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!” 15 Because he wanted to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them. Then, after he had Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.

Jesus is Mocked

16 So the soldiers led him into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence) and called together the whole cohort. 17 They put a purple cloak on him and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 They began to salute him: “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Then they knelt down and paid homage to him. 20 When they had finished mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

21 The soldiers forced a passerby to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus). 22 They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which is translated, “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, throwing dice for them, to decide what each would take. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, “The king of the Jews.” 27 And they crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left.29 Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way even the chief priests—together with the experts in the law—were mocking him among themselves: “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with him also spoke abusively to him.

Jesus’ Death

33 Now when it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 Around three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down!” 37 But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last. 38 And the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood in front of him, saw how he died, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 40 There were also women, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they had followed him and given him support. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were there too.

Jesus’ Burial

42 Now when evening had already come, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a highly regarded member of the council, who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for some time. 45 When Pilate was informed by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 After Joseph bought a linen cloth and took down the body, he wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was placed.

In His Love,
Thirsty For Christ Thursday

What A Difference…

ThursdayMy, oh my, what a difference a few years can make in your life.

Three years ago tomorrow, I was hemming and hawing over what outfit to wear on my first date with “this guy” I had been talking to over e-mail and late-night phone calls for the past month. I’m sure I was obsessing over this decision in my favorite bar of the week, after work, beer in hand, and a worn out spirit in my chest. I was almost out of hope. Where was he??? I had been praying for “him” for what seemed like forever.

Two years ago tomorrow, “that guy” devised a proposal scheme that caused me to actually fall out of my chair, and crawl to him – knelt down on one knee, and answer “Absolutely!!!”, while crocodile tears streamed down my cheeks. I was shocked God had FINALLY answered my many prayers!

A year and a half ago last Saturday, “that guy” was waiting for me at the end of a long aisle. I had the biggest tears of joy in my eyes I have ever had in my life. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how much more I would love the man waiting at the end of the aisle.

Last night, we sat next to one of our dearest friends for Wednesday night church and worship at the new non-denominational church we have been attending in addition to Catholic Mass every Sunday. I was so sad when the ‘sermon’ was over. I gave my friend a hug and thanked her for leading us to such a spirit-filled place. She may not have known it, but I had tears in my eyes. Tears of happiness I am beginning to experience with my whole soul.

I thought to myself, three years ago I would have been in a loud bar with friends on a Wednesday night.

Two years ago, Craig and I would have been having a ‘tv dinner’ at my old condo in Atlanta, having a few beers, listening to music, maybe heading out a little later to meet some friends for a mid-week drink.

A year ago, we may have sat on our sofa on a Wednesday night, sobbing about our infertility.

Last night, I saw with new eyes and noticed some wonderful changes Christ has made in our lives. We have an ever firmer faith in the Lord. We are in church as much as we possibly can be – because it’s the desire of our hearts. We long for His Word. We pray together. We study the Bible together. We TRULY mean it when we pray for His Will to be done in our lives. I no longer listen to ‘regular radio’; instead we are all about praise and worship music in our household. We no longer live in sorrow about the lack of a baby’s cries in our halls. We trust that He has wonderful plans in store for us. There is no question He has a beautiful child waiting for us in our future. I have even let His guidance take me to a place the evil one has forever told me I wasn’t good enough for. I now realize, I am NOT good enough…but He is.

Everywhere we go and look and listen in today’s world, we feel like strangers in a foreign land. There’s a reason. We are.

There is a new king of our domain. It’s Christ.

My, oh my, what a difference a few years Christ’s reign over your life makes.

Titus 3:5

Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;


Thirsty For Christ Thursday

With The Faith Of A Mustard Seed

ThursdayGood Morning & Welcome to Thirsty For Christ Thursday – Craig’s Favorite Day of The Blog Week!

Do you know how awesome that is? I was listening to “The Bible From 30,000 Feet” in the car on my way home this week – as I usually do, and Skip Heitzig mentioned to all the young women in his audience they should seek a God fearing man for a husband – first and foremost. I certainly prayed for one…and God blessed me so.well. God is GOOD, and by good, I mean unbelievably wonderful.

We have been telling you about the healing power of God we experienced at the service we went to almost a week ago, led by Joan Hunter, but I promised I would explain our encounter further today. Let me begin by sharing this quote from Kenneth Copeland:

The impossible. That’s what we experienced last Friday evening. Faith in Christ, & Jesus’ power – that was all it took for healing to occur. We all know the verse:

Luke 17:6

6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Do we believe that with all our heart and soul? Take a moment to meditate on that verse, and ask God for the faith of a mustard seed.

Craig & I entered A Call To Salvation church last Friday evening, and had no clue what to expect. Neither of us had ever been to this church, or to a healing service of any kind – Catholic, Protestant, or Non-Denominational. All we knew was that God led us to Joan Hunter’s book, and then to come to see her in the small town of Jefferson, Georgia. We just needed to be there.

The service began with some great worship music, and we were really able to set our hearts and minds in the right place. This is the song that touched both of us the most that night:

Oh, it gives me goosebumps to even talk about that evening. God was there. You could tangibly feel Him. After the worship music, we settled down to listen to Ms. Hunter speak a little bit about her ministry and some of the wonderful things God has used her for and done through her.

In her book, “Freedom Beyond Comprehension”, she writes, “Today, I am doing exactly what God has called me to do and ministering wherever He guides me to go. Every day is an exciting adventure. I love to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. Wherever I go, the power of God goes with me as evidence that I am walking out His plan for me.”

And lay hands on the sick she did. Many were healed Friday night right in front of our eyes, in Jesus’ name. One woman was having issues with her rotator cuff and when she stretched out her arms, one was about 4 inches longer than the other. We watched as the shorter arm grew to meet the longer arm in amazement. But why were we so amazed? We serve the God who created the Heavens and the Earth, why would He not be able to heal His human creations?

The faith of the individuals present that night was, for the most part, astounding. An elderly woman hobbled to the front of the church, hunched over and stumbling. She had suffered five fractured disks in the past year. Jesus healed her. Right then and there. We watched as her spine straightened, and she bent forward to touch her toes. She thanked Jesus each time she bent and each time she thanked Him, the lower she was able to bend, until she was able to touch the floor!

I sat in tears, my heart overflowing with faith and love. What a wonderful God we serve.

When I went up to the front of the church at the end of the service, Ms. Hunter’s daughter, Melody, told me praying for babies is her favorite thing. It made me smile, and as she laid her hands on me and asked Christ to heal me from PCOS, to grant me a new right ovary (again, we did not specify to her which ovary was affected), and a new pancreas, this amazing, tingly warmth crept over my stomach. Jesus is healing me.

Thank you, Jesus.

Matthew 8:17

17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

(Note Isaiah’s role in that verse…Haven’t I told you the book of Isaiah has been popping up in all of our scripture study?! 🙂 )

Luke 7:1-10

Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

7 After Jesus[a] had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4 When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5 for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 6 And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7 therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

The second half of verse 6 (above) is one of my favorite parts of the Mass, and it is the epitome of the power of faith and Christ to heal us.

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” 

For further healing scripture, you can click here.
We will end today’s post with one final scripture. I’m going to be using this one as my ‘mantra’ if you will, and maybe you would be blessed by doing so, as well.

James 4:8

8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Keep Him close to you, and He will heal you.

All Our Love,
Food For Thought Friday

What Lies Ahead

Friday2We made it! It’s Friday & we have a busy weekend planned! Tonight we will be attending the Joan Hunter service at A Call To Salvation in North Georgia; Tomorrow, we head to LaGrange for haircuts & highlights & maybe a little bit of late Christmas-ing; Sunday, I cantor at Mass, and may be heading to Pure Barre in the afternoon; Monday, we round out our weekend as we visit the Atlanta Center For Reproductive Medicine and meet with our endocrinologist, nutritionists, counselors, etc etc etc. Very productive few days!

Today, I thought I would share with you a beautiful story written by Zig Ziglar‘s daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, for Guideposts Magazine. It is a touching story that should leave you with the following “food for thought”:

  • It’s never too late for God to change you, and work through you.
  • God is truly the Almighty and anything is possible through Him.
  • Heaven is real.

Read the story here.

Another piece of “food for thought” this Friday also comes from Guideposts, in the 2014 Devotional. It’s all about being present and looking forward.

Philippians 3:13

13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead

In this first month of this new year, one thing we all can take away from Paul’s writing in Philippians is to move forward. Don’t dwell in the past – whether you are looking back with longing for those “good ol’ days”, or with regret and disdain toward memories filled with shame and darkness.

Revelation 21:5

5 And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new.

We are new in Christ. He forgives our sins, and He isn’t interested in all those bright & shiny worldly objects from your earthly past. A Christian past isn’t enough either. We were not created to play for God’s team once or at one time. We are called as Christians to live for Him every single day.

John 10:10

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.

Christ came for us to live our lives to the FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE. He created us for joy, not for sulking. Oh such a lesson that will change lives! If only we were all to look forward and live out our Christian walks with abundance and with joy.

And now to end this post with some joy 🙂 , watch the video below of a little girl meeting her father’s twin brother for the first time! It is just precious!

Happy Friday Everyone! May your weekend be filled with joy & laughter!


Christmas, Woodworking, and Fondue!!

Once more I find myself on the road again. Ironically I am writing from Wisconsin again, Madison this time, and again the Vikes are prepping for another game against the Packers! Pier and I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and hope that all of you did as well. Our first Christmas together was absolutely wonderful. We started Christmas day off with Mass at midnight and it was great to hear and sing the Christmas hymns with my wife by my side! Then in the morning we woke and enjoyed our time together and to share our gifts with each other. I could have not asked for any better gifts than what Pier gave me. She knows me so well that she found the perfect gift for me, a painted picture of several breeds of cattle on it! Now it may not sound exciting but anyone that knows me knows how I love anything to do with farming. I love it and we have the perfect spot for it in our living room!sloop nude Anyone that knows Pier knows how she loves fashion and she had been hinting mentioning how she would like a comfortable flat and that she had researched the perfect ones! She knew I would key in on the research that she did and that I would probably remember exactly what she wants. Well she was right! I got her the pair that she had been looking at, a pair of FSNY flats. Now the only way I could remember the initials was to say Fox Sports News Yes because I had no clue what it stood for. Although after a little research I discovered that it stands for French Sole New York. Now mind you I was not up to the task of picking and buying a pair of shoes since there are so many variables… size, shape, color, texture, design, etc. So I had to be creative. I ended up printing out the FSNY logo and I picked a pair that I thought she would like and I printed them out on paper. I found a shoe box and I placed the label on the box and then placed the paper cut outs in the box and wrapped it up. Needless to say she loved it and I also picked out the exact pair that she ended up getting!


Josh and JuliaWe also celebrated Christmas with our friends Josh and Julia. On Wednesday night we headed up to the Melting Pot and enjoyed a long fondue dinner! It was delicious. It was my first time to eat fondue and I must sayCraig and Pier that it is a perfect dinner to have great food and great conversation. I look forward to another visit in the future!

Now comes the wood technical part…. 🙂


In the middle of all this I have found some time to work down in the shop on Pier’s wedding gift. I must say it is coming along quite well. This past week I got the wood dimensioned out to the correct thickness and out to a rough size. To do this I first laid out wood and I drew out the individual pieces on the boards so I would know where to cut each piece from. Parts laid out on boardThen I used a jig to flatten the board in my planer.

Support adjusted to hold board
Support adjusted to hold board

I place the wood on the jig and slide the adjustable supports up to support the board and then slide it through the planer multiple times and it creates a flat top.

Then I can flip the board over and plane it to the correct thickness. Then I joint an edge with another created jig, to create a 90 degree angle to the top and bottom. That takes care of 3 sides (top bottom and side) and the 4th side will be finished in the next step when I run it through the table saw to rip the stock to a workable width. Those will eventually be glued up to create the top and bottom of the cabinet piece.

Planed and flat on top
Planed and flat on top

So now I have 3/4″ and 1 1/4″ thick square pieces of stock that are ready to be glued or cut into final dimensions.

This past week has been busy and it does not look like it will be slowing down in the near future with our plans of traveling to Rome, Italy in early February. We both are excited to travel and see all the sites Rome has to offer! Happy New Year to everyone!! Craig and Pier


Hello & Ho Ho Ho

Hey there and Happppppy Friday!

Our short hiatus this past week from the blog doesn’t mean we haven’t been moving at cheetah pace – per usual! 🙂 Between Christmas shopping, work, injury, appointments, and (the most wonderful reason for hustle and bustle of all) friends and family, we haven’t sat down to rest once.

Sunday Craig and I went out in search of this year’s Christmas tree and decorations for our home! I think we did a pretty darn beautimaus job too – especially for newlywed first-time whole home decorators! 🙂 You can see for yourself here on our Shutterfly site! But here are a few previews:


Craig chose the wreath and I made the bow. Perfect Collaboration! 🙂


We Need a Nativity Scene – The Holy Family Is Missing! 😉 Good thing we have the angel and wise men to remind us of the TRUE reason for the season for the moment!120712_2151_HelloHoHoH3.jpg

See, I think we did pretty well!! 🙂

Monday morning my right shoulder and neck began to hurt…No matter the amount of Tylenol and Aleve I took, nothing stopped the pain…So when I got home, my dear husband doctored me up with a heated rice bag…and I began to feel a little bit better. So much so that I slept with the rice bag on my neck/shoulder all night long.

And then I woke up at 4am and tried to roll over…

And I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. Literally.

Talk about PAIN!!!! It came close to surpassing the pain of my skiing/knee injury last year!! Craig took me to the chiropractor, but we still have no idea of the cause! And I’m still walking around with my head tilted, but thank goodness the pain has subsided somewhat!! I was literally boo-hooing  because of the pain– which I think frightened my husband, because if you know me, I am NOT a crier unless it’s something serious!

Gladly, the worst has past. For the most part, I’m able to walk upright as of today! 🙂 Thank you, God! Prayer is amazing!!!

And now, back to work for another hour before I head off to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception! I’m trying out St. Ann’s in Marietta/Roswell, Georgia this evening so I am able to make the Mass, since I work tomorrow. I’m looking forward to sharing an hour with the Lord, and also seeing the inside of a church I have been driving past for years now and have never entered. I’ve heard it’s beautiful!

My sweet Craig gets back home tomorrow evening and then it’s time for Christmas gift shopping! What’s on your wish list???


Pier & Craig


Love Is In The Mountains

This weekend C & I were honored to be guests for our dear friends’ Josh & Julia’s wedding in the mountains of North Carolina. C used his photography skills to document the whole thing, but unfortunately, for the moment, you’re stuck with MY photography… Luckily, the bride, groom and their beautiful children made it impossible to take a bad picture. Here are a few samples:   And one of the videos I took (and I profusely apologize for my videography skills…Goodness, the sun was in my eyes and I was trying to hold a small digital camera still in the wind…I know – excuses, excuses…):

The rest of the pictures are HERE and you can see the other videos HERE.   Witnessing the marriage ceremony of two of our most treasured friends, especially in such an unbelievably gorgeous setting, really brought home for me (or perhaps I speak for both C &I) God truly being in the midst of such an event. And if you’ll allow Him to, He will remain at the center of everything in your relationship. At the end of a long week, there is NOTHING like going to Mass with my sweet husband. Nothing makes me feel closer to him and nothing makes all of my silly anxieties and stresses melt away like worshipping with my soul mate.

 We wish our newest newlywed friends the very best! We are so blessed to have them in our life!


Pier & Craig


Betcha Didn’t Know…

In honor of my sweet husband’s post yesterday, I decided to dedicate a post on the blog today all to him. 🙂 You know Craig, but do you REALLY know him? Do you really know what a wonderful man I am lucky enough to have? Here are 10 things about C you may or may not know:

  1. He makes my coffee for the next morning before we go to bed. Without him, I would be the frazzled mess I am ‘pre-coffee’ all day long! 🙂
  2. He loves to sing karaoke with me! Just last night we spent the evening playing SingStar on the Playstation 3…C can do “Walking In Memphis” so well it would bring tears to your eyes – and it did to mine last night, but don’t tell him that! Shhh!
  3. He is a roller skating champ – I mean really. How well he can roller skate would astound you. I can’t wait to go back to Sparkles (hint, hint) for some FUN exercise!
  4. He writes beautiful poetry…♥
  5. He loves lemon-flavored desserts…which I am not particularly fond of.
  6. He doesn’t like his socks to be folded like a normal person…but rather, actually folded. This drives me INSANE when I am putting away laundry…Alas, the things we do for those we love. 🙂
  7. Craig has the patience of Job…something I am trying to glean from him… 🙂
  8. He absolutely HATES Wal-Mart…My thriftiness dictates I shop there for groceries and household items as much as possible, but as much of a spend-thrift as C is, he would avoid entering a Wal-Mart at all costs – literally. Especially the self-checkout…Want to test that Job-esque patience??? Suggest using the self-checkout at a Wally-World…Goodness gracious…
  9. At some point on a Saturday or Sunday, you WILL find Craig at Mass. Whether he is on the road, we are on a vacation, we are exhausted from the week, or it’s a typical Sunday morning, he makes it a point to attend Mass – no matter what. That’s one of the top 5 things I love about my husband. He is the spiritual leader of our little family, and his love for God shines through everything he does.
  10. He secretly enjoyed writing yesterday’s blog…and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t his last post. 🙂 When he and I began corresponding back and forth in the beginning of our relationship, one of the things that attracted me most to him – sight unseen – were his ‘letters’ to me…They weren’t just simple responses to questions I asked or pointed questions toward me, but flowing and sweet and thoughtful letters. So, whether he’ll admit it or not, I think you lucky folks have more reading of Craig’s notes ahead. 🙂

Well my dears, now you know! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend all! We are heading north tonight to Clayton, GA and Tallulah Gorge…I’m sure we’ll return to post many gorgeous pictures of the scenery here and on our Shutterfly page. I cannot wait to enjoy ACTUAL FALL WEATHER here in Georgia!! Wahooooo!

Much Love Y’all,

Pier & Craig