10 Amazing Things about Easter

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

There are a lot more than 10 things that impact me about the Easter story, but here are ten of them.

10. I’m amazed at how quickly the people turned against their Messiah. In Luke 19:36-38, they were shouting Hosannas and waving palms. In Luke 23:18-25, they were shouting crucify Him. But it also amazes me how I so quickly turn away at times.

9. I’m amazed that the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest, and the greatest one of all, the Son of God, washes their feet. I’m also amazed at how much I try to promote myself when One greater than me lives inside of me. John 13:1-20

8. I’m amazed that Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet He still washed his feet and shared a meal with him. Jesus also died on the cross for me knowing how many times I would betray Him. John 21:21-30

7. I’m amazed that Jesus weeps over Jerusalem when He knows they will murder Him and reject Him as their Messiah. How many times do we weep over the lost? Luke 19:41-44

6. I’m amazed at how one moment Peter is willing to die for Jesus, but the next, he’s denying Him. The saddest part of this story is Luke 22: 61 “The Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Imagine being Peter and knowing the Lord saw you deny Him, that He was standing right there. He sees when we deny Him too. He’s standing right there. Luke 22:54-62

5. I’m amazed that the soldiers could bring themselves to arrest Jesus after He declared Himself I AM, and they fell down under His power. Then after Peter cuts off Malchus’ ear, Jesus heals it. How did they bring themselves to do it? John 18:1-11

4. I’m amazed that Jesus carried His own cross after being beaten to a pulp and that He was willing to do that for me. How can I refuse to carry my cross after knowing that? John 19:1-17

3. I’m amazed by what Jesus suffered to reconcile me to God. John 19:16-24. Christ didn’t die on the cross with the Father upholding Him and the Holy Spirit empowering Him. God had to forsake Him when He took my sin. He was fully man and died as a man without the fellowship with God He had always had. Yet He still took my sin on Himself to reconcile me to God. My only reasonable response to that is to surrender everything to Him. Romans 12: 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

2. I’m amazed at how gently Jesus dealt with Peter’s denial. First He tell Mary at the tomb to go tell the disciples and Peter He’s alive. I believe He singles Peter out because Peter no longer feels like he’s worthy to be called Jesus’ disciple. Then Jesus cooks fish with Peter, deals with His sin with probing questions, and reinstates him. I’m also amazed at how gently and thoroughly Jesus deals with my sin. Mark 16:7, John 21:15-22

1. I’m amazed at Jesus’ Resurrection power. He took death captive when He rose from the grave and proved He is I AM. Matthew 28

I am amazed by one more thing. I’m amazed at how much He loves me.


Who Was St. Patrick?

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is a day everyone loves to celebrate by wearing green and having parades, but most don’t know the spiritual significance of the man named Patrick. It is a story of adventure and mystery.

Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in the year, 387. His parents were Romans living in Britain and named him Maewyn Succat. At the age of fourteen, Patrick was captured by a raiding party and taken to Ireland to herd sheep. Ireland, at that time, was populated by pagans and druids. Patrick, during his captivity, learned the language and culture of Ireland. He also used his captivity to grow closer to God.

Six years later, at the age of twenty, Patrick had a dream from God to leave Ireland. In the dream, he was told to escape to the coast. When he arrived at the coast, a ship from Britain was waiting for him. He returned home to his family.

Later Patrick studied for the priesthood, became a bishop. He had a vision of the people of Ireland begging him to return and tell them about Jesus. Patrick became a missionary to Ireland and preached the Gospel throughout the land. He lived there for the rest of his life, and many were converted. He died on March 17th, 461.

There are many legends surrounding Patrick. Because there are very few snakes in Ireland, one legend says Patrick banished the snakes. This legend has a grain of truth in it if you consider the snakes paganism that plagued Ireland. By the time Patrick died, Ireland was on its way to becoming a Christian nation. Another legend says an Ash tree would grow wherever Patrick poked his stick into the ground.

The reason the shamrock is used to represent St. Patrick is because he used the shamrock to illustrate the trinity. Since the shamrock is green, that color is also used to represent Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

Top Ten Verse about Joy

6871b-joyThere is a teaching out there that the joy God gives is not really joyful. The teaching goes on to say joy is not really being happy. It’s not an emotion. While it is true the joy God gives is not the same as the human emotion of happiness, it is not true that God doesn’t care about our happiness. He wants us to be happy, but He wants us to find that happiness and satisfaction in Him. Here are my 10 favorite scripture passages about joy. They are in The Passion Translation unless otherwise stated.

1 Peter 1:8-9 You love him passionately although you did not see him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory!

Romans 15:13 Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!

Isaiah 35:10 (ESV) And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 30:5 I’ve learned that his anger lasts for a moment, but his loving favor lasts a lifetime! We may weep through the night, but at daybreak it will turn into shouts of ecstatic joy.

Psalm 119:2 What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek him as their heart’s passion!

Psalm 16:11 (ESV) You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 28:7 You are my strength and my shield from every danger. When I fully trust in you, help is on the way. I jump for joy and burst forth with ecstatic, passionate praise! I will sing songs of what you mean to me!

Philippians 3:1 My beloved ones, don’t ever limit your joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus!

Psalm 100:1-2 Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord! Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere! As you serve him, be glad and worship him. Sing your way into his presence with joy!

Romans 14:17 (ESV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Red Sky Over America – Round Two All Author Cover Contest

I’ve made it to the next round. If you liked the cover of my book,
Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

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My Top 10 Easter Movies

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

This season is a great time for Easter movies. Here are 10 of my favorites.

10. The Robe


Director: Henry Koster

Starring Richard Burton and Jean Simmons

This movie takes some liberties with the story, like the Romans crucifying Jesus without the Jews having anything to do with it and the disciples rescuing another Christian and having a good old fashion sword fight. Sometimes the discrepancies are laughable. That being said, it’s a great movie to watch and doesn’t change the essence of the Gospel. It’s also a touching love story. The line I remember most was when Richard Burton with his wide eyes glaring said. “Were you there?” It gave me the creeps.

9. Ben Hur


Director: William Wyler Starring Charlton Heston

Who can forget Charlton Heston in the chariot race?

8. The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John

2003 Director Phillip Saville

Starring Christopher Plummer and Henry Ian Cusick

It follows the words in the Bible. Good, but not as good as Matthew.

7. The Greatest Story Ever Told


Director: George Stevens Starring Max Von Sydow

Great movie about Christ’s life if you can get past the music every time Jesus appears.

6. Jesus of Nazareth

1977 Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Starring Robert Powell

This miniseries on the life of Jesus impacted me greatly even though Jesus looked a bit too Heavenly and his eyes were the wrong color.

5. The Visual Bible: The Gospel of Matthew


Director: Regardt Von Den Bergh

Starring Richard Kiley, Bruce Marchiano, and Gerrit Schoonhoven

This is my all time favorite portrayal of the person of Jesus.

4. Risen


Director: Kevin Reynolds

Starring Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth

This is a unique telling of the story of the resurrection of Christ through the eyes of a Roman soldier who is an unbeliever and sent to find Christ’s body.

3. Son of God

2014 Director: Christopher Spencer

Starring Dioga Morgada, Amber Rose Ravah, Sebastian Knapp

Read my review of this movie at this link.

2. Ben Hur


Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro

This is an awesome movie. I was surprised that it was so much better than the original even without Charlton Heston My favorite kind of Easter story is one where Jesus is not the main character, but the main character is forever changed because of His encounter with Jesus. This checks all those boxes.

1. The Passion of the Christ


Director: Mel Gibson

Starring James Caviezel

When I watch this movie, I feel like I’m watching the real event. It chokes me up every time. From the first moment of the film, I felt the anointing.

Celebrate Red Sky Over America FB Party March 8

Join the Party at this link.

Red Sky Over America Cover Contest

Red Sky Over America has been nominated for a cover art contest. Please vote. https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/1519/

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.