My daughter-in-law sent a wonderful paragraph on Easter Sunday:
Greatest man in history, named Jesus,
Had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him...
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. --Unknown
If you believe this with all your heart, then He has gone to prepare a place for you and promises to take you there some day! (John 14:2-3)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
It was probably the most famous trial in history. To get to the place you have to walk down a narrow stone-cobbled street and then turn right into a fortress structure winding your way down to the lower level. I stood on those ancient stones and pondered .............. The stones are scarred with games of chance etched into their very core. The judge sits on a landing a few steps off the floor. The accused stands hand-cuffed and silent. Off to the side are a clump of soldiers and on another side stand obviously powerful Jewish leaders with their noses in the air and an angry set to their chins. The judge seems intrigued by this simple man of Jewish cloth. He asks, "What shall I do with you, Rabbi?" The judge asks the same question this day over two millenia later: What will you do with this man? It's really a simple question with a simple answer choice:
- either walk away
- OR embrace Him and begin the journey of a lifetime with this Man following Him forever! You can follow Him with both your heart and your feet!
Monday, April 11, 2011
I needed a heart check today and it came in an email from my "littlest" sister who is traveling a difficult road right now. Wow! How she challenges my heart in this email in which she shared along with her own thoughts the lyrics to Chris Tomlin's song on his CD "And If Our God is For Us." Water You turned into wine Open the eyes of the blind There's no one like You None like You Into the darkness You shine Out of the ashes we rise There's no one like You Our God is greater, our God is stronger God You are higher than any other Our God is Healer, awesome in power Our God, Our God. --Chris Tomlin, music and lyrics
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Did you ever see the Energizer Bunny on TV? He’s that bunny that just keeps going and going! He’s “gung-ho” and never stops! Do you know what “gung-ho” means? --------------- It’s a term that we use to describe somebody who is all excited about something. We use “gung-ho” to talk about someone who gives something his or her very best effort. You might be “gung-ho” at soccer or basketball if you get out on the court or field and hustle, hustle, hustle! You may be “gung-ho” and not the star player on the team. You are “gung-ho” because of the effort and energy you put into something not because you are necessarily the star player. 15-16 So, my dear friends, … I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God's Holy Spirit. 17-21 Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—in the context of Jesus, I'd even say proud, but only in that context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders. In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece. This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped. My text has been, Those who were never told of him— they'll see him! Those who've never heard of him— they'll get the message! 22-24 And that's why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you. But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years, I'm planning my visit. … My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ's more extravagant blessings. 30-33 I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. … God willing, I'll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. God's peace be with all of you. Oh, yes! --Romans 15:15-33, The Message Paul had a “gung-ho” heart for God to tell other people about Jesus and God’s love. Paul was willing to go anywhere people would listen. Sometimes that meant taking a long journey or being in danger but Paul kept going because he was like the Energizer Bunny with his “gung-ho” heart! It was God and God’s love that kept Paul going. Paul knew that God had given him a BIG job. Paul wanted to work for God no matter what. Paul also knew that he wasn’t the star of the show. He was like the soccer or basketball player who plays with all his or her heart whether he gets a goal or basket or not! Paul knows that he is doing God’s work and that only God can help him keep on like the Energizer Bunny. God gave him his “gung-ho” heart in the first place. God keeps Paul going like the Energizer Bunny. God is the batteries that keep Paul going. Paul works to build God’s Kingdom with all his “gung-ho” heart and God keeps Paul going! Paul knows Jesus is the star! Paul is just the “gung-ho” Energizer Bunny for Jesus! Paul knows that he needs a lot of prayer so his batteries will keep being recharged! He asks the Christians in Rome to pray for him and to keep praying. Paul is planning to come see his friends in Rome after he goes to Jerusalem to drop off a little gift to the church in Jerusalem. Paul wants his friends in Rome to have “gung-ho” hearts for God! He wants them to work as hard for God and God’s Kingdom as Paul is. Paul wants them to be Energizer Bunnies with him in God’s Kingdom! God wants you and me to be Energizer Bunnies for God, too! What does an Energizer Bunny for God do? An Energizer Bunny for God works with a “gung-ho” heart giving all he or she has to tell other people - boys and girls at school, friends in your neighborhood or anyone else - how good and great God is! It is not about winning the most people. It’s not about any kind of measure of success in who tells the most people about Jesus! It is really simple: an Energizer Bunny for God just puts his or her whole heart into loving God and other people. An Energizer Bunny for God just doesn’t stop showing other people what loving Jesus looks like!
Friday, April 1, 2011
My grandmother liked to play April Fool's jokes. Today is April Fool's Day. My mother tells the story of the day she came home from school to find a wonderful snack - one of her favorite candies homemade. We call them Martha Washingtons. They are similar to Buckeyes without the peanut butter but much yummier in my opinion. Anyway, my mother bit into the dreamy chocolate to find the center wasn't butter creme at all but rather cotton. She was furious and evidently made quite a scene. Her mother (my grandmother) then told her she couldn't play any April Fool jokes on anyone else that day since she wasn't a good sport. It was a great lesson to learn! If my other has forgotten that lesson learned long ago the only reason is her diminished memory not a failure of the lesson. April Fool's Day is a day for playing pranks on others. But fun jokes are not the real evidence of a fool. I have a niece and great friend who are both April Fool's babies but neither is a fool! The Bible describes a fool (especially in Proverbs) as the person who runs from God. God wants our hearts to be focused on loving Him first and best and others next! We are fools when we focus on our selves! We are fools when we run from God's love!