What’s So Good about Good Friday?


My claim to Christianity suffers much in my day to day life of trying to live up to the ideals of this religion. However, when it comes to the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, I am in awe.

Did Jesus die on a Friday? Does anyone really know? The scholars do, I’m sure, but I am not among the scholarly, and so, because I believe my early teachings, I accept that Friday it was. But what is so good about Good Friday if that was the day Jesus died his atoning death…because it was a brutal death…not good by any stretch of the imagination?

The good comes in looking forward to Easter Sunday, the day of Resurrection, that promised third day when life is restored to Jesus, the one who restored so many lives in bygone days, and died to restore so many more. What Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” comes to my mind when I think of that dreadful day of crucifixion. God intended it for good. Hence…Good Friday, the precursor to Easter Sunday.

God Bless and Happy Easter.

 

The Last Supper


Today is Maundy Thursday, the last Thursday before Easter, wherein the Last Supper of Christ and his disciples is celebrated throughout Christianity.

At our church, we celebrate with a pot luck supper, communion, and a program performed by our children’s ministry. Although it is typically a solemn occasion, the camaraderie is comforting in preparation of Good Friday, the day of Christ’s death, which will be commemorated by a service in the morning at 10 a.m.

And finally, Easter Sunday…He Is Risen!

These three days are typically Holy days, with Saturday being a day of preparation for Sunday’s celebrations.

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, aside from Christmas are the holiest days of the year in Christianity.

God Bless and Happy Easter.

 

 

What Do We Have to Lose?


“Heaven Is So Real”. That’s the name of a book I couldn’t quite finish reading because most of the content left me wondering what is real and what isn’t. However, the author, Choo Thomas, did describe Heaven and Hell in some detail and how attainment of each is realized, which also had me wondering how many people have ever given these two places any thought at all.

Christianity makes up one-third of the world’s population. This religion teaches that the only way to Heaven, God’s abode, is to believe in Jesus, His Son…that he was born to save us, that he died to save us, and that he lives to save us from going to Hell. I believe. I believe I am not going to Heaven because I am a good person, do good deeds, live a good life, do not hurt anyone…I know that none of these things will get me into Heaven…only my belief in Jesus will get me there.

So far no one can “prove” that Heaven or Hell exists. However, after reading many descriptions of what Hell is presumed to be like, I am certainly glad I’m a believer.

It has been said that it is better to believe that God exists and to die and find out he doesn’t, than to not believe in him and die and find out that he does. In my opinion, that’s where Hell awaits.

Weighing the options; learning about the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and choosing to believe, seems to me the best way to stay out of the “hot seat”.

What do we have to lose?

Let’s Give Christ Back to Christmas


The reason…and there are many of them…that we celebrate Christmas on December 25th is secondary. Celebrating the birthday of Jesus every year is really what Christmas is all about. It is remembering that he was born, lived an exemplary life, for approximately thirty-three years, and died an agonizing death. It is remembering not that he lived and died, but that he died and lives…lives in the hearts of those of us who believe, lives to reach out to those who do not believe, and lives to give real meaning to the event that is the most widely celebrated on our planet…Christmas. Let me share a poem I wrote in 1995 while pondering the idea that Santa Claus seemed to be the the reason for the season in many minds.

THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS

The wonder of Christmas,

The birth of a Child,

The angels are singing His praises,

The people rejoice

At the sound of His voice

Echoing down through the ages.

Hope, love and laughter,

Peace and goodwill,

The message resounds loud and clear,

The birth of God’s Son,

His gift to us all,

This is the wonder of Christmas.

©1995

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.

A Change of Mind


Metanoia is an ancient Greek word meaning “changing one’s mind”.  It seems to me that the minds that can conceive of killing people brutally and mindlessly, need changing. Yesterday’s Bible study on the Book of Acts brought to light the story of Saul, the persecutor of Christians, who was depicted as a terrorist of the times. On his way to Damascus to round up even more Christians and throw them into jail, he was confronted by Jesus Himself, and underwent a thorough transformation. It reminded me of a poem I wrote in 2009 about that very story, and I share it with you now.

METANOIA FOR THE MODERN WORLD

On that long road to Damascus

The Lord stopped Saul in his tracks

“Why, Saul, do you persecute me?”

The voice from heaven asked.

“Who are you, Lord?”

The stricken man cried

As he rubbed his sightless eyes.

“I am Jesus whom you persecute!”

The voice from heaven replied.

For three days Saul was blinded,

He neither ate nor drank a drop

Until he was convicted

To change the way he thought.

When he saw himself as Jesus did

His eyesight was regained

And Saul the persecutor

Became known as Paul the saint.

We need that kind of metanoia

In our modern world today,

Let people think before they act

In such destructive ways.

Away with guns and knives and threats

And bombs and words of war!

Hear God’s voice from heaven say,

“These things I do abhor!”

And if we listen carefully,

If we try to be humane,

Then surely metanoia

Will touch our world again.

Our road to Damascus is just as real today

As it was in Paul’s time

May we meet Jesus on the way.

©2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interesting Question


Have you let God’s call go to voicemail? Isn’t that an interesting question?

Our new associate pastor/pastoral care leader said that this was what led her into ministry. She had felt drawn to this profession most of her life, but pursued other avenues such as teaching and raising a family, always putting the “nudges” onto a back burner of her life, until one Sunday she heard a sermon with the title “Have You Let God’s Call Go To Voicemail?”

Monica said it had a profound effect on her and prompted her to answer “the Call” that had been a quiet and steady urging for years.

Yesterday, our church had the honor of inducting this dedicated woman as Associate Minister of the pastoral charge.

I, for one, am very happy that Monica retrieved God’s message, followed his guidance, and is now an integral part of St. Andrew’s.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Have you let God’s call go to voicemail?

 

Pray For Those Who Treat You


Many years ago I began praying for Ambulance, Fire, and Police cars whenever I saw them or heard sirens, either close by or at a distance; well, not actually the vehicles but their occupants, and ultimately the people they were going to rescue.

Last Sunday, our church had as a guest, a representative from the EMS. (Emergency Medical Services) This young man spoke to our children before they went to Children’s Ministry, and then to our congregation. He was articulate, informative and obviously a very caring person.

What struck me the most was that he asked for prayer; prayer for his profession and colleagues. It touched me in a way that made me thankful for the prayers I sent their way, and for further prayers that would now be forthcoming.

What a blessing these men and women are to us on a daily basis, going about their business of saving lives, and encountering sometimes horrific scenarios which often leave them traumatized.

These are people we often take for granted, and now that we know they need our prayers, let us pray for those who treat us.

 

Steve – A Blessing in Bloggersville


Today, I’d like to pay homage to a new friend in Bloggersville. His name is Steve. Steve is recovering from a hip and leg injury suffered from a fall in July. Steve thinks he is behind in replying to other people’s bogs, but believe me, he is way ahead of the game. This young man (he sounds like a young man) is the epitome of encouragement to me; always commenting positively on so many of my posts that it keeps a permanent smile on my face.

Steve is a Christian and introduces himself this way:

THE TRUE LIGHT!

I am happy to share my Christian faith with you in various ways. I belong to a non-denominational group of Christians modeled after the New Testament church described in Acts chapter two. My intent is to worship God while in service to others. I believe in promoting Godly love, because the Lord God IS love! Please contact us here or at our website for more information! Thank you so much!

https://thetruelight2014.wordpress.com/

I am happy to share Steve’s site with you because he writes profoundly beautiful and inspiring works.

Wishing you well with your recovery, Steve, and thank you for shining your light on My Precious Life.

Who is He?


While little ones are scampering to fill their baskets with coloured eggs  left by that rascally bunny;  while tiny, yellow, peeping chicks are being fondled, and while hot-cross buns are being enjoyed along with that first cup of steaming coffee…let us not forget Him.

He was born to save us. (Matthew 1:21)

He lived to save us. (Luke 19:10)

He died to save us. (John 3:16)

He lives again to save us. (Romans 19:9)

Who is He?

He is Jesus.

He is the reason for the season!

Wishing everyone a blessed and happy Easter Day.