Monday, April 30, 2012

after the storm

I see the morning moving over the hills
I can see the shadows on the western sides
And all those illusions that I had
They just vanish in Your light
And though the chill of the night still hangs in the air
I can feel the warmth of morning on my face
Although the storm had tossed me
Till I thought I'd nearly lost my way

Now the night is fading and the storm is passed
And everything that could be shaken was shaken
And all that remains is all I ever really had

What I'd have settled for, You've blown so far away
What You've brought me to, I thought I could not reach
I came so close to giving up, but You never did give up on me

I see the morning moving over the hills
Feel the rush of life here where the darkness broke
And I am in You, and You're in me
Here where the winds of heaven blow

And now the storm is fading, and the night is through
And everything you sent to shake me from my dreams
They come to wake me in the love I find in You
And now the morning comes
And I can see the things that really matter
Become the wings You send to gather me to my home

(Rich Mullins)


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the rocks cry out

“The whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice. Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!’” - Luke 19

The house we were privileged to stay at this past week near San Diego was on top of a hill called Chimney Rock. It is a beautiful area with a great view of the surrounding country. As you hike around some of the trails, you can't help but notice the great size and number of  rocks and boulders everywhere. It made me think of the land of Israel, where it is said they grow rocks right out of the earth. It also made me think of Jesus words from Luke - "if these become silent, the very stones will cry out!"

If you've been to an amusement park recently, you may have noticed that they put speakers in some pretty odd places. One of the those places is behind the rocks ... and sometimes even inside the rocks! It's kind of an odd experience to turn around only to see a rock giving you an important message. 

Don't allow the rocks to speak for you this Easter Season. As you bask in the glow of Easter Sunday, and are filled with great joy because of your Risen Lord Jesus, let your face know what your heart feels. Let your mouth rejoice and your tongue confess that Jesus Christ is risen - He is risen indeed - Alleluia! 

Tell the story - share the good news of Jesus - bring the joy of the Lord to someone who needs it today.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

spring poem

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven,
All's right with the world!
(Robert Browning)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the tomb is still empty

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

the lord's supper

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom." When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.   (Matthew 26)

Monday, April 2, 2012

perfect storm

In October of 1991, a New England fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, sailed five hundred miles out into the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the weather was changing very rapidly. A cold front moving along the Canadien border sent a strong disturbance through New England, while a large high-pressure system was building over the provinces of south-eastern Canada. This intensified the incoming low-pressure system, producing what locals called ‘The Halloween Nor’easter’. These circumstances alone could have created a strong storm, but then, like throwing gas on a fire, a hurricane coming in from the south Atlantic brought some deadly tropical energy into the mix. It was the makings of a perfect storm. Soon the forces of nature converged on the helpless Andrea Gail, and ferocious winds and huge waves reduced the boat to match sticks. Only a bit of light debris was ever found.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem to begin the last week of his earthly life, He rode right into the middle of a perfect storm. A perfect storm of Jewish leaders, Roman rulers, Israel's expectations, and His own divine destiny all driving him to the cross. The people following him into the city packed with pilgrims for Passover had no idea what fate awaited Him there. They showered Jesus with praise. They waved their palm branches in victory. They chanted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

Behind the scenes, the religious leaders weren't too happy. They got together and said - “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” They say “Look, the whole world has gone after him.”

So they would get Judas to betray Jesus. They would arrest him, falsely accuse him, and condemn him to death. They would get the crowd to yell, “crucify him,” instead of “hosanna.” And they would get the Romans to execute him. He came in peace, but the Romans beat him up anyway. Bruised, bloodied, and beaten to within an inch of his life. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, humble and gentle, riding in as the prince of peace. But his enemies declared war and they attacked him and killed him for it.

He His enemies do their worst to him. He didn't stop the violence done to him. He willingly went to the cross. He took upon Himself all of our sin and guilt and pain. And when darkness covered the earth, it looked like His enemies had won. It looked like Jesus had been defeated. He was beaten, battered, bloodied and buried. Satan and all the powers of evil had to be cheering. They thought they had won.

But then, April Fools! On the third day the stone was rolled away. Light scattered the darkness. Life overcame death. The devil was defeated. Sin was taken away. Evil was overcome. Jesus rose from the dead to defeat sin, death, and the devil once and for all.

And it all started the day Jesus rode town - right into the middle of a perfect storm.