Mary: Faith + Action

Yesterday, I asked how we can show our love for Jesus. As I got to the very end of the post, I the answer popped in my head. I understood Mary’s motivation. I started to change the whole post, then realized that I should just leave it alone, and write another one.

So how did Mary of Bethany show her love for Jesus in Mark 14:3?

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.

I’ve read this a hundred times or more in my life. You might have, too. But I think we have a tendency to read the overall story, and miss the important details.

What Mary did was not just talk about her love for Christ, but to show it. And how do we show our love for Christ? Through FAITH!

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Jesus told His disciples He was going to be killed. They didn’t seem to want to think about it. Maybe they didn’t understand it. Maybe they didn’t want to believe it. Peter even tried to talk Jesus out of it.

But Mary took Him at His word. She had been paying close attention to everything Jesus said. She didn’t question Him as the others did. She had complete faith in Him, and she acted on that faith. How refreshing that must have been for Jesus! Mary’s act not only said, “I love You, I believe You, and I believe in You.” Her act of love and devotion also said, “If You must do this, then I’m here for You.” And He knew it. He knew her heart. He knew her faith.

Mark 14:8 “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.”

It seems most people who encountered Jesus in the Bible wanted something from Him. But Mary gave to Him what she could. And this must have been rare, for Jesus not only affirmed her actions, He gave her a very great honor.  Continue reading

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Mary: A True Love Story

Mary’s Love for Jesus Poured Out
Mark 14:3-9 (see also Matt. 26:6–13; John 12:1–8 ) NKJV

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Picture yourself as one of Jesus’ disciples. You’re sitting around a friend’s house for a meal, and a woman you know, Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, comes in. Without saying a word, she stands before Jesus, takes out a very expensive bottle of perfumed oil, breaks it open, and pours the entire bottle over Jesus’ head. What goes through your mind?

Most of Jesus’ disciples were men, that may be why they looked at the situation from a common sense point of view. They just heard Jesus tell the rich man to sell everything and give the money to the poor, and here Mary has just wasted a year’s worth of wages by pouring it over Jesus’ head. It’s no wonder that they berated her for such an action. Think how much that could have done for the poor! Isn’t this what Jesus was going to tell her?

But they were wrong. Jesus always looks at our heart. And He could see she was focused solely on Him and what she could do for Him. He could see her need to show Him her love. Jesus knew she was doing this because she believed every word He said about His upcoming death, that He was dying for them, and she had a deep need to thank Him.

Continue reading

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I really hoped this phenomena would pass without me having to participate. I’m all for contributing to a good cause, and raising money to stamp out this horrible disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, but I’m not much of a joiner. (Pretty funny for someone who started a group that grew to 40,000+ members to say.) 

Everyday since this thing started, I’ve checked my Facebook page, sort of peeking through my fingers at my Notifications to make sure no one had nominated me to take this challenge. The funny thing is, as much as I hoped no one had, another part of me kinda hoped someone had. I didn’t want to have a bucket of ice water poured on my head. Nope. Uh uhn. But I wanted someone to like me enough to name me. You know, that I was at the forefront of their mind when they did their own challenge and thought, “Now, who would fun-loving enough to go along with this?” All the while, still hoping to avoid it. Crazy, I know. 

But here we go! My son Jordan has challenged me. That surprised me, and made me happy. He challenged me and a group guys he grew up with. Somehow, that made it even more special. Sort of, “My mom is as cool as my friends” kind of special. In his mind, it was probably more about his love to prank me, but let me just have my dreams. And of course, if my baby boy asks me to do this, I have to do it! So here it is. 

I’m not going to nominate any readers (unless you are Dan, Debbie, or Janet, as I mentioned in the video). I’ll leave that to those that know you and love you. And don’t think you can hide. This thing is lasting way longer than I thought it would. No one is safe! 

Learn more about ALS, and if you feel moved to do so, donate at ALSA.org

Hosea & Gomer on Discover the Word

I used to have another blog called Gomertopia. For years, it was home base for the Gomers, the world-wide family of fans of a rock band I love called Third Day. I started the Gomers in 2001. At one time, there were over 40,000 members. They call me Mama Gomer. (The name of this blog, More than Happier, is actually a line from Third Day’s song “Gomer’s Theme”. I’ve always loved line, because it sounds so screwy. I mean, it’s either, “He was happier” or “He was more than happy” not “He was more than happier.” But it’s cute, and I love it, so my title is an homage to Third Day and the Gomers.)

But life being a growing and changing thing like it is, I’ve moved here, and the Gomers home base has moved to Facebook. If you’re a Third Day fan looking for other Third Day fans, check out the Gomer family. They’ll make you feel welcome and loved.

All that to say this: I turned on my radio this morning and Discover the Word was just coming on KHCB. This show is three friends sitting around a table and talking through a Bible study. Their latest study concentrates on sorting through some things in the Bible that may be confusing. Today was the third and final part on the story of Hosea and Gomer from the book of Hosea.

The thing that is confusing about this book is why would God ask a prophet to marry a prostitute? Not a repentant prostitute, but one who still had ideas of continuing her lifestyle, married or not? But God, as always, knew exactly what He was asking Hosea to do. He wanted Hosea’s love for Gomer to reflect His love for Israel, who were prostituting themselves with other gods instead of loving God as their first and only love. It was God letting them see Hosea marry this unclean person who showed him no love or respect, yet he loved and cared for her. Then Hosea could say to Israel, “Do you think my wife is terrible?” and of course they would say, “Yes! You should stone her!” and Hosea could say, “God set this whole thing up to show you how you are treating Him!” and Israel would say, “Whoa…” You get the idea.

You can listen to all three parts of the discussion of Hosea and Gomer on the Discover the Word website, but the part that will really touch your heart is the third and final part. Click the link and give it a good listen. (It’s only about 13 minutes long.) You might need a tissue or two when you hear how much God loves you. It’s an amazing story that will give you some insight into the depth of God’s love.

Cookies for Breakfast!

Got to admit, this is what I had for breakfast this morning. (What? They’ve got eggs & flour in them, same as eggs & toast or pancakes, right? Cue Bill Cosby’s “Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake” bit.)

After I posted my chocolate chip cookie recipe (below), my son J texted me, “Do we have the stuff to make cookies?” I thought that was quite the coincidence, but no. Seems J’s sweet girlfriend Andi read the blog, and it made her crave the cookies. So of course, J jumped to his feet to make some for her.

No, seriously. He’s just that kind of boyfriend, and it thrills me no end! I’m happy to say both my boys have learned much from their father about how to treat their woman. They are such caring boyfriends. Makes me happy, and makes Hubby proud.

So yesterday J made these cookies for Andi…and he let us have a few. They are so big and fluffy, I just couldn’t pass them up this morning. Now Andi and I are wondering if this would work for other things, like say I blog about ironing. Andi reads it and says, “Sigh, that reminds me. I have a few shirts I need to iron, but I just haven’t found the time.” Will J jump up and do it for her?

Never underestimate the influence of a good woman, nor the willingness of the man in love with her.