Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

holy week

Jesus did it all for you. For you, He rode into Jerusalem atop a donkey to shouts of Hosanna.

For you, Jesus sat at the table with the Twelve and made the Passover a meal of His own body and blood for the remembrance of His death that is our life.

For you, Jesus prayed in the garden, “Father, not my will but yours be done.” And the Father’s will is to save you from death in the death of His Son.

For you, Jesus was betrayed by one of His own disciples, one of the Twelve, a hand-picked follower.

For you, Jesus was tried and rejected by the chief priests and scribes, the clergy and Bible scholars.

For you, Jesus was tried and convicted by the political realm, an innocent man sentenced to die under a system of justice that didn’t know truth when the Truth was there in the flesh.

For you, Jesus’ life was exchanged for a convicted criminal.

For you, He was crucified between two criminals, one praying, the other, mocking.

For you, He hung in the darkness between noon and three, the Light no darkness can overcome, as the curtain in the temple was torn in two, showing the fulfillment of the temple and the end of religion.

For you, Jesus was buried and spent His sabbath in the grave.

He had you in mind when He did all this, when He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross. It was all to save you, to forgive your sins, to raise you from your grave, to glorify you in Him.
The words “for you” demand all hearts to believe. This is more than the history of the Son of God. This is more than the story of how Jesus died. This is the story of your salvation - your history in Jesus.

Friday, March 19, 2010

+ march madness +

Spring is about to begin and we are smack dab in the middle of one of the "holiest" times of the year. Lent? Easter? No - March Madness! Actually, for all but one team in the NCAA Tournament, March Madness quickly turns into March Sadness. It doesn’t take long for the tears to begin to flow, does it?

Jesus’ prediction of his suffering and death in the Gospels bring another form of March Madness. No doubt Peter thought Jesus had lost his mind, and even rebuked him for thinking such thoughts. Peter’s Messiah was not going to be Isaiah’s suffering servant, but an invincible monarch that would save Israel by defeating the Romans. This talk about being rejected, suffering and dying was sheer madness. What was Jesus thinking? He had never talked like this. What was He talking about?

The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Jesus was at a crossroads and it was time to make a decision. He knew which way to go. It was time to head south toward Jerusalem and confront the pharisees, the scribes, and the religious leaders. It was time to trade in all the adoring crowds for hostile ones, time to take up his cross, time to die for the sins of the whole world.
It was time to change the course of his ministry, and he knew it whether anyone else did or not.
It was time to put on His game face - it was game time.

March madness was looming and he needed to prepare his unsuspecting disciples.
“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again." - Mark 8

Lent is not only the time for March Madness on the basketball court.  More importantly, it is the time for us to follow our Lenten Lord, to go with Jesus to Jerusalem, even though we know that madness awaits.
For it is there He will sacrifice Himself for us, take one for the team, and suffer great pain and loss so we can have joy and victory forever in Him.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

st. patrick's breastplate

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels, In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs, In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles, In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins, In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning, Swiftness of wind, Depth of sea,
Stability of earth, Firmness of rock.

I arise today through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me

From snares of devils, From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear, Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Monday, March 15, 2010

god does not change

When everything is changing around them, people look for things that bring security and stability into their lives. They ask - "Is there anything that is permanent? Is there anything that is reliable and never changes?"

James 1:17 tells us, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." God never changes - He always has been and He always will be. Even though everything around us seems to change - God does not. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind  ...


Jeremiah 31:3 - "I have loved you with an everlasting love."

Romans 8:38 - "Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God."


Isaiah 40:8 - "The grass withers and flowers fade, but the Word of God remains forever."

Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away."


Isaiah 14:24 - "The Lord Almighty has sworn, `Surely as I have planned it, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.'"

John 10:10.. "I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full."

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."


God will never stop loving you.
God's word is always right and true.
God's plan and purpose for your life is for good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a modern day prodigal son story

A son once left home against his parents will and went to live in California.

Soon he was out of money, out of friends, out of options. He had hit the bottom, he was at wits ends.
He wrote a letter home to his parents.“Dear Mom and Dad, I'm sorry for what I've done. I don't have any excuse. There's no reason for you to love me or welcome me back home. But I'm at the bottom of the barrel, and if its okay, I would like to come home. I am hoping that you'll take me back. I have been given a ticket for a train, a ticket to get me back home. The train comes past our farm just south of the city. It comes around the bend and right past our farmhouse. If you want me to come home, please put a white towel on the clothesline, out in the back yard near the tracks. If a towel is there, I will know that you want me to come back home. If there is no towel there, I'll know that I shouldn't come back home.”

The young man sent the letter, got on the train, and started out on his trip home. As he came closer to his destination, he became more and more nervous inside and was pacing up and down the center aisle of the train. As the train came closer and closer to his farmhouse, he couldn’t bear it anymore. He said to the man sitting next to him, “Sir, around this next corner, around this bend, there is going to be a farm house on the left. A white house with an old red barn behind it. Its got an old dilapidated fence. There will be a clothesline in the back yard. Would you do me a favor and look and see if there is a white towel hanging on the clothesline? I know it sounds strange, but I can’t bear to look.” The train came closer and closer and it started to go around the bend, and the young man’s heart was racing as fast as it could. The man said, “Well, it looks to me like ... um, yes, look, open your eyes!” When the young man opened his eyes, he looked out the window to see that the whole clothesline was covered with white towels. The barn roof was covered with white sheets, the trees were all covered with white sheets, The old fence was covered with white sheets. There were white towels and sheets everywhere. And in that moment, the young man knew that he was welcome home.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

planet earth

This image of earth is one of the most detailed views to date.

Using a collection of satellite images, scientists painstakingly stitched together months of observations to create this picture which show the surface of the continents and oceans in stunning detail. Much of the imagery came from a space camera onboard the Nasa satellite Terra, orbiting 435 miles above the Earth's surface.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!"   (Psalm 8)

Monday, March 1, 2010

life and light

phos and zoe - light and life

Phos is Greek for 'light' and Zoe is Greek for 'life'. The Phos Zoe Cross symbolizes the light and life of Christ. The nature of light is that it cannot help but banish darkness. God's Light in Christ enables us to see spiritual truth.

The nature of life it that it is the opposite of death. Our human life will come to an end, but in Christ, our spiritual life will last forever.

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:4