All That Really Matters…

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they, (the disciples) had no leisure so much as to eat.”  Mark 6:31

Here I sit…in all the beauty God intended for us; snow-covered mountains, huge boulders, the size of large buildings, clouds coming down so low…it looks as though they are kissing the mountain tops.  The clear blue water, mirroring the glorious sky above.  Birds on wing, sail through the air, seeing what I see…but through different eyes.  The quietness is immense!  When I stop to ponder the boundless love of God, I am overwhelmed!

Why He loves me so, I can’t even begin to understand!  I’ve done nothing to deserve such lavish treatment.  Most of the time, His gifts to me go un-noticed.  He brings a beautiful sunrise each morning, and a breath-taking sunset each evening…but most days, I’m too ‘busy’ to see them.  He makes the flowers blossom in Spring, and the dead trees become lush and green as He breathes life into His creation once again.  He desires to do the same for me everyday, but I’m too preoccupied, trying to ‘breathe life’ into my own situation.

Yes…I’m alive…functioning…breathing; but am I really LIVING?  I’ve been so busy, I haven’t stopped to question this until today.

It’s good to get away from all the distractions this life holds!  Good to sit in the quietness of His beauty, and hear Him whisper through the rippling water, or the bugling of an Elk herd…to see His finger paint the sky in colorful hues.

I need to do this more often…to remind myself of His great, undying love for me.  After all…when it’s all said and done, THAT is ALL that REALLY matters!

By:  Anita Mondragon April 2015


I’ve been humming this song since I got up.  I just wanted to share the words with you, for I know it will brighten your day!
Falling in love with Jesus…was the best thing I ever done!  If you’ve tried everything, and still can’t find satisfaction…try falling in love with Jesus.  It will be the BEST thing you’ll ever do.  You won’t regret it…I guarantee it!  Have a blessed day!  -anita
Take a look at the words…
Falling In Love With Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Was the best thing I ever, ever done
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Was the best thing I ever, ever done
In his arms I feel protected
In his arms never disconnected (no no)
In his arms I feel protected
There’s no place I’d rather, rather be
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Falling in love with Jesus
Was the best thing I ever, ever done
In his arms I feel protected
In his arms never disconnected (no no)
In his arms I feel protected
There’s no place I’d rather, rather be
-Songwriters: Jonathan Butler / Jonathan Kenneth Butler


Here’s a good one from our friends at Hard Times Ministries!

What Mr. Thompson has blogged here is absolute truth!  Listen to your Pastor…but LOOK in the Scriptures for yourself!  DON’T BE LAZY!

Take a look….  -anita


Celebrating 500 years of the Protestant Reformation, we now live in an age of instant information in reference to the Bible.

At our fingertips and in a flash we might explore any scripture, Strongs definition or endless myriad of translations.

In yesteryear it was understandable that people were ignorant of the Bible. Whereas most people couldn’t read, and prior to the Reformation, people simply did not have access to the Bible.  When a Bible was available, it was not in a native language, yet we provided in Latin.

None of this is true today.  We can read and examine the Bible even in video or in pure talking versions:  almost any version conceivable.

Since this is the case, then why do we as a whole still look to ‘preachers’ to tell us what the Bible says and mean?

Even Paul encouraged his listeners to search the scriptures to verify what he said.  To wit, they did NOT have a copy of the New Testament as it didn’t even exist at the time.

In fact, for 1,500 years the church as a whole did NOT possess a bible at all as we know it today.  More or less, it wasn’t until 1611 that the Bible was available to English speaking people and to the masses, thanks to the invention of the printing press.

Yet, we continue to listen to others for what we think we should believe.  And when listening to others, we develop doctrine and creeds:  often, tenets that don’t even exist in the Bible.

Since most Christians refer to the Bible as God’s Word, why then don’t Christians go FIRST to God’s Word?

I am baffled to Christian response and behavior.  We in fact have right of privilege to the Bible to thousands of online and hard copy resources and still depend on others to tell us what we should understand and believe.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said;  “Make love a crime and we shall lust.” And in keeping with that adage, if we wanted the Christian to read the bible then perhaps it should be made against the law to own a Bible or read one.  In the final analysis for those seeking the truth:  I can read and you too can read the Bible for yourself.

T. F. Thompson


I may have already posted this, so please forgive me if that’s the case.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject of, “How much room do I make for Jesus; ….  How much time do I spend with Him and His Kingdom duties?”  Sadly, I discovered, that I don’t spend much time at all with Him in comparison to my daily life obligations.

The following poem came to mind as I pondered these things.  I wrote this poem years ago.  As you read it, really think about your own time and how you spend it. -anita


There always seems to be room in life for pleasures, and parties, and fun,

But still, in life, Jesus has no part… there is no room for The Son!

There’s always room for gossip and lies, and dreams of lust and ambition,

But there’s never enough time to search the heart, and notice it’s sad condition.

There is always room for over time, for position and wealth mean much!

But never a spare moment for prayer each day to ask for the Spirit’s sweet touch.

These “things” you’re acquiring, will all soon pass away,

And you’ll stand at Eternity’s Gate.

See…you may find time for Jesus then, ….

But He may say, “IT”S TOO LATE!”

No room…No time in this busy world you pass through;

Someday when you come to the end of it all,

You may find, there’s no room for YOU!

-Anita Mondragon published 2009

Lunch with Jesus Pt. 4    What Would He Say to Me? – sermon notes by Pastor Daniel Leaivtt

His Appearance

Jacob saw God face to face

22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. 23 After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

24 This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. 25 When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”


27 “What is your name?” the man asked.

He replied, “Jacob.”

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”


29 “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.


“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.


30 Jacob named the place Penuel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” 31 The sun was rising as Jacob left Penuel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip. 32 (Even today the people of Israel don’t eat the tendon near the hip socket because of what happened that night when the man strained the tendon of Jacob’s hip.


Prophecy of Jesus:  Humility and Strength

Isaiah 53 (NLT)


53 Who has believed our message?

To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?

2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,

    nothing to attract us to him.

3 He was despised and rejected—

a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.

We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.

He was despised, and we did not care.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;

it was our sorrows that weighed him down.

And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,

a punishment for his own sins!

5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.

He was beaten so we could be whole.

He was whipped so we could be healed.

6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.

Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.

And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.

8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away.

No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.

But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.

9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.

But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.

Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.

He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.

11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.

And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible

for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.

12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,  because he exposed himself to death.

He was counted among the rebels.  He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.


The Walk to Emmaus

Luke 24:13

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven milesfrom Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.


17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”


They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”


19 “What things?” Jesus asked.


“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.


22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”


25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.


28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!


32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”


Jesus Appears to the Disciples

35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!


38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.


41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.


44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.


49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”


The Ascension

50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.



Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Luke 18:9

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


Your New Name

Revelation 2  (TLB)

17 “Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: Everyone who is victorious shall eat of the hidden manna, the secret nourishment from heaven; and I will give to each a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one else knows except the one receiving it.


His New Name

Revelation 3:12

As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure and will go out no more; and I will write my God’s Name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God—the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my new Name inscribed upon him.



Your New Family

1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.


Ephesians 4  (TLB)

I beg you—I, a prisoner here in jail for serving the Lord—to live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these. 2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit and so be at peace with one another.


4 We are all parts of one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. 5 For us there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and we all have the same God and Father who is over us all and in us all, and living through every part of us. 7 However, Christ has given each of us special abilities—whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts.


8 The psalmist tells about this, for he says that when Christ returned triumphantly to heaven after his resurrection and victory over Satan, he gave generous gifts to men. 9 Notice that it says he returned to heaven. This means that he had first come down from the heights of heaven, far down to the lowest parts of the earth. 10 The same one who came down is the one who went back up, that he might fill all things everywhere with himself, from the very lowest to the very highest.


11 Some of us have been given special ability as apostles; to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well; some have special ability in winning people to Christ, helping them to trust him as their Savior; still others have a gift for caring for God’s people as a shepherd does his sheep, leading and teaching them in the ways of God.


12 Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the Church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity;


Your Urgency Driven Life

Matthew 23:12

12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


Matthew 4:19 NIV

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”


This morning, as I sat in the early morning light sipping my coffee, I reached for one of my inherited books–a book of poems from my dad.  I found a poem inside that I think we can all identify with.  Take a look…

I love the name of Christ the Lord, the man of Galilee,

Because he came to live and toil among the likes of me. 

Let others sing the praises of a mighty King of kings;

I love the Christ of common folks, the Lord of common things.


The beggars and the feeble ones, the poor and sick and blind,

The wayward and the tempted ones, were those he loved to find;

He lived with them to help them like a brother and a friend,

Or like some wandering workman finding things to mend.


I know my Lord is still my kind of folks to this good day;

I know because he never fails to hear me when I pray.

He loves the people that he finds in narrow dingy streets,

And brings a word of comfort to the weary one he meets.


My job is just a poor man’s job, my home is just a shack,

But on my humble residence he has never turned his back.

Let others sing their praises to a mighty King of kings;

I love the Christ of common folks, the Lord of common things.

-George T. Liddell


If our love were but more simple, we should take Him at His word, and our lives would be all sunshine in the sweetness of the Lord.  -Faber


I woke up this morning at 4:30 to prepare the turkey and get it in the oven.  It was still pitch dark outside.  I got the turkey in the oven, put the green bean casserole together, made the sweet potatoes, and the iced tea; by then, the sun was coming up.

I was done with preparations for the time being, so went out on the front porch to refresh myself in the cool, crisp air.  I stood in the dawn of the morning and watched God paint His masterpiece for me.  It was breath-taking!  The sky was black velvet at first…but on the horizon, the rising sun was on fire!

I began to thank God The Father for sending His Son, Jesus to die for me.  I truly believe that if I had been the only person on this earth, Jesus still would have died…just for me!

I then thanked Jesus for His willingness to leave His throne of Glory, live in a body of flesh, endure all the temptations of man, then, take my sins upon Himself and die so that I could live!

I also gave thanks to the Holy Spirit for leaving Glory to be my comforter.  I need Him in conjunction with Jesus every day to live this life!

Today, as you approach God’s Throne of Grace, thank Him not only for your daily bread and His ever abundant blessings from day-to-day; thank Him especially for sending Jesus to die for your sins.  Then give thanks to your Savior, Jesus Christ for His obedience and willingness to die an awful death so that you could live!  Don’t forget to thank the Holy Spirit as well…He’s the one that comforts your heart when you are sad.

Have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving today my friends!  Be blessed!



Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  I thank God everyday for the blessings He provides…but I must admit, I fail to thank Him on a daily basis for His wonderful gift to me…the gift of His Only Son, Jesus!

See, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and more…so daily provision for me is no big deal to Him because He owns it all.  But for God, to give His only Son to bleed and die for my sins….  I can’t begin to understand that kind of love!

I am so glad that He gives me His protection, and my daily bread!  But I sometimes forget what it cost Him!  Isaiah chapter 53 puts it this way.  Take a look…

 it was our pains He carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought He brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing Him for His own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to Him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed Him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through His bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on Him, on Him.

He was beaten, He was tortured,
    but He didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    He took it all in silence.

I had a realization of this passage a few years back and ended up writing the following poem.  I share it now with you


There was no crown, for Jesus made, of silver or of gold.  

He was but a lowly Shepherd, to His flock and fold.

But He wore a crown upon His brow; it was a crown of thorns. 

A crown that ripped, and tore,

And I’m the one who gave to Him that awful crown He wore!

He didn’t sit high, upon His throne and reign in majesty,

But He hung upon a cruel cross, for all the world to see.

He suffered untold agony!  …And I’m the one He did it for…

He did it, just for me!

He fixed His eyes upon the throng that stood around His cross,

And there He saw me standing…all alone, and lost!

I caught His gaze, and felt His love…and I KNEW it was just for me

That He chose to suffer and bleed, and die upon that cruel tree!

No robe of scarlet did He wear, but He left Himself naked, so that I could stare

And see the beating He took in MY place…how they tore out His beard,

And marred His face!

The second time I caught His gaze, it said, “I do forgive! 

My blood that’s spilled, is your ransom paid…I”ll die, so you can live!”

Then, He looked towards Heaven, and said three words, “It is finished!” 

That’s what His Father heard;

But when I looked, and saw Him there, with His arms stretched open wide, 

I heard Him say,  “I love you this much!”  ….Then He closed His eyes, and He died.

This, I will never forget!  This picture, I’ll always see!  ….

For in my heart, I KNOW for sure…

He did it! …Just for ME!

-Anita Mondragon published 2009

This Thanksgiving, let’s remember ALL that Jesus has done for us, and truly be thankful in our hearts for His sacrifice!  Happy Thanksgiving!



The above verse is what I pulled from my Promise Box this morning.  A good reminder for sure!  …Without Jesus, we can’t do anything…not even take our next breath!

Take a look at what the word abide means….

 accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).
  1. “I said I would abide by their decision”
    synonyms are:  comply with, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge, respect, defer to…
    This little poem accompanied the verse.  Take a look….
    “Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
    Not I, but Christ, be seen, be known, be loved;
    Not I, but Christ, in every look and action;
    Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.”


Recycling is the BIG thing to do now.  Why do we do it? To save the earth…to save the environment of course!

For the dedicated recycler…I’ve seen folks that aren’t homeless, digging in public trash cans located on busy streets, picking out all things recyclable.

For myself, I kind of recycle in a “different” manner.  🙂  For example, when the butter tub is empty, I don’t throw it away…I use it for leftovers or to pack lunch in.  I shop at garage sales, thrift stores, and Craig’s List.  I donate to the Goodwill, and ARC every chance I get.  I give a lot of stuff away for FREE as well.  When we have large trash pick up day in our neighborhood, I cringe when I see and hear good furniture items being destroyed.  These are things, that with a little bit of TLC could be restored to their original beauty, and used for a long time! Seriously, have you ever seen how beautiful antique furniture is when it is restored?  But, instead, things of value are discarded…labled as trash…not fit for use…unfixable…GARBAGE!  What a shame!

I think….  NO!  I’m SURE that God Almighty is BIG on recycling as well!  That’s “why” He sent His Son, Jesus to save us from our sin!  He wants to save the earth!  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world (mankind), that He gave His ONLY Begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever (that means you and me) believes on Him, shall not perish (die) but have eternal life.”

Jesus is definitely a dedicated recycler of people!  I’ve seen Him transform alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless, abused, suicidal, educated, uneducated, ordinary folks, rich, poor, middle-class;  People from all walks of life.  ….People that have been labeled by society as  … losers. He found them in the gutter, in back alleys, next to dumpsters, in flop houses; destitute…hopeless…aimlessly wandering through this “life”…merely existing from day-to-day.

KNOW this to be true!  I was one of those people.

Although I was raised in a Christian home, (my dad was a preacher of the Gospel for over 40 years) I knew about Jesus and His love for me…but I only knew it in my head; it hadn’t yet reached my heart to where I really understood what He had done for me on the Cross…and what He still wanted to do in my life!

When you finally get a hold of the above verse, and call on the name of the Lord…ask Him to save you from your sins, take you to heaven when you die…until you have done that, you will never know true peace!

In Isaiah 43:18-19, take a look at what Jesus said…   Remember not the former thingsnor consider the things of old.  Behold, (look) I am doing a new thing;

I really want you to understand this verse, so I’m going to paraphrase.  What He is saying here is this,  “You don’t need to remember how you used to be…I’ve forgotten, and so should you!  Look at what I’m doing NOW in your life!  You are a new creature…old things have passed away….  Look!  Everything now is new!”

Yes!  Jesus believes in recycling!  If you’re tired of being in the trash heap, if your old master, Satan has used you up, and now tossed you away, if you believe you are worthless…COME TO JESUS!  HE WILL MAKE YOU BRAND NEW!  HE WANTS TO RESTORE YOU TO THE ORIGINAL PERSON HE CREATED YOU TO BE!  CALL ON HIM!  HE WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE!