Monday, March 31, 2008

Paul's Journeys

This is cool. Somebody has traced out the journeys of the Apostle Paul and overlayed it on the Google map functions, so you can see them by map, by terrain, and even the satellite view where you can see the actual land forms and features.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Road To Emmaus

"Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures up to us?"
(Luke 24:32)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

the tomb is still empty

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for Jesus is not here, He has risen, just as He said". (Matthew 28: 1-6)

Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen, Indeed!
Happy Easter and God's Blessings to all ...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

above all

Crucified, laid behind a stone,

You lived to die, rejected and alone,

Like a rose, trampled on the ground,

You took the fall, and thought of me, above all.

("Above All", Michael W. Smith)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why is this night different from all other nights?

In the early Christian church, the celebration of Easter was called "Pasch". This comes from the Hebrew word meaning to "pass over", and the Passover commemorates the Exodus, the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery as described in the Book of Exodus. The Feast of Passover marks the deliverance of the Children of Israel by God from their slavery in Egypt under Pharaoh.
The name Passover derives from the night of the Tenth Plague, when the Angel of Death saw the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts of the houses of Israel and "passed over" them and did not kill their firstborn. The Passover meal of roasted lamb, unleavened bread, and wine commemorate this event.
Passover was God's greatest saving act in the Old Testament, and it became Israel's greatest festival and feast. This was a special night, a night to be remembered, a night different from all other nights.
When Jesus and His disciples came together in the upper room to eat what is now known as the Last Supper, they were celebrating the Passover. It was a special night for the disciples, to be sure, for they were sharing a special meal with their Master. But they didn't realize how truly special it would become. For while they were eating Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, "Take and eat; This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And after they had eaten, at the time of the Cup of Blessing, which represented the blood of the Paschal lamb, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and said to them, "Take and drink, this is my blood of the new covenant for the forgiveness of sins. This do as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
Jesus Christ Himself was the true Paschal Lamb who would shed His blood and die on the cross to take away the sins of the people. As we celebrate the Lord's Supper on this special night, we receive His body and blood for our forgiveness and salvation, and we proclaim our Lord's death until He comes again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Sunday Prayer

King Jesus,
Why did you choose a lowly ass to carry you in your parade?
Had you no friend who owned a horse, a royal mount fit for a king to ride? Why choose an ass, a small unassuming beast of burden, trained to plow, not carry kings.

King Jesus,
Why did you choose me, a lowly unimportant person to bear you in my world today? I'm poor and unimportant, trained to work, not carry kings, let alone the king of kings. Yet you've chosen me to carry you in triumph in this world's parade.

King Jesus, keep me small, so all may see how great you are.
Keep me humble so that all may say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord", not "what a great ass he rides". Amen.
(Joseph Bayly, "Psalms of my Life")

Friday, March 14, 2008

O Jerusalem

In the world of western history, all roads lead to Rome.
But in the Bible and in Jewish/Christian history, all roads lead to Jerusalem. Ever since David made Jerusalem his capital, and the glory of God descended upon Solomon's temple, Jerusalem has been the heart and soul of Israel.
The Psalmist wrote that well known blessing for the "Shalom" of Jerusalem; "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" [Ps.122:6]

When Israel was destroyed as a nation, the redemption and renewal of Jerusalem became their hope and salvation. "Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight." [Isa.65:18] Since ancient times Jerusalem has represented the hopes and dreams of God's people.

But Jerusalem was like a wayward child - constantly wandering away and then crying out to God in times of trial. Jerusalem was occupied by a series of foreign nations over the course of biblical history, and hasn't been free from discord or violence since then.
God came to her rescue time and time again, only for the city to rebel and turn away.

You can see God's longing for His lost city in the Gospel of Luke in the account of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. "As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, 'If you had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes." [Lk.19:41-42]
Jesus looked out over the city of Jerusalem and wept over it, knowing what was soon to take place - His arrest, trial, torture, and crucifixion less than a week away.
He saw not only His own fate, but He also looked ahead to the future, when the the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel would be destroyed by the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D.
Tears are still being shed over Jerusalem even today. Last week eight students were killed and eleven were wounded, when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at a Jewish Seminary in Jerusalem. We need to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and even more importantly, pray that all people everywhere would come to know the Prince of Peace Himself,
Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lenten Season

Christians all around the world observe the season of Lent.
In these forty days leading up to Easter, believers in Christ devote special attention to the disciplines of repentance, self-examination, and self-denial. Many were marked with ashes in the sign of the cross on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, as it symbolizes our sinful condition and our needed repentance. It also reminds us of our mortality as heard in the words that God spoke to Adam in Genesis 3, “for dust you are, and to dust you will return”.

In the New Testament the Apostle John writes that "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

So we observe the Lenten season, confessing our sins and repenting of our ways, with the firm assurance that God in His mercy will forgive us and cleanse us from all our sins, and with the joyful hope that Easter is on the way.


Welcome to the faithpal - your faith friend on the web!

Faithpal is the alias of Pastor Peter Arno Lange, and this blog will be home to his writings and ruminations on a variety of subjects which may or may not include the following - history, theology, geography, archaeology, Christianity, the Bible, news, politics, sports, and last but not least, golf. So welcome to faithpal, make yourself at home, tell me what you think, and God Bless.