Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, April 6, 2012
The power of a risen life
Fri, April 6, 2012 | link
Easter is the
time when we look at life re-generated, the unfolding of newness, the rising of the Son of God.
It is also a time of mixed emotions isn’t it?
Those of us within a comfortable
happy family environment may enjoy these times with people who we love very much. However, not all of us have that
gift of human family love in this life! For some of us there is much pain, loneliness and even ostracisation.
matter which group we feel representst us, we are all part of God’s family however! Everyone is welcome to Gods family, anytime!
Isn't it amazing that the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection can identify with those lost and lonely as easily with
those in loving relationships and happy? Jesus’ death was one where he underwent extreme loneliness,
pain and suffering. The result is the most happy ending of all time! God freed from the pain. turns and opens up the
doors of time to let us through. into a life that is limitless in extent and time.
Amazing!Yet, this weekend, as we walk the paths chosen for us, we should be considering those around us who perhaps are less
on that happy end of the continuum, and more in the struggling end.
invite others into our homes, make sure they have enough food, warmth and comfort. Let’s extend the
love in our hearts outwards to encompass their needs and perhaps by extending our comfort zone, we will also be blessed?
Jesus reminds us;
I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat.
I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in.
Do you want Jesus
in your midst this Easter? If you do, invite him in! Invite others into your home. Expose them to the comfort and
blessing of a safe warm |Christian family environment.
If you cannot do this because of strife in the household, make peace, extend past your comfort
zone to those with whom differences have built separation. Pull down the walls first, don’t wait for the other to start
the process. Forgiveness is good for the forgiver independent of what the forgiven thinks.
May God bless and keep you this Easter, may he allow his Light to shine on your life and soul, may he
rejuvenate you for the year ahead, may you know the comfort of the glory of his presence, may you be blessed exceedingly.
a wonderful Easter!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Father we love you!
Thu, April 5, 2012 | link
Daddy! Pa! Dad! Pappa!
that uniquely describe a special relationship, a father to a son!
of the most incredible relationships in the history of mankind.
One that cannot fail to be of great value to everyone in all circumstances!
Nurturing, growing, mentoring and leading, this person is the man who empowers each
child to be the best he or she can be. Or, at least this is how it should be!
Not all fathers are good, and not all mothers have the ability to rest and rely
on the strength of the man of the family. This is sad, incredibly
becoming less the tower of strength that they used to be, and more damaged in their ways.
We are told this is because the men of the past abused woman, and
so their is a need to be less manly and more womenlike to reduce this threat(or it seems that way to many of us men). This
abuse may be true for some, but it is definitely not for all!
We have all met great men who never abused women,
but who were leaders, strong in their own right, solid support for their communities, lovers not only of their wives, but
also of those around them. Men unashamed of being truthful in difficult circumstances and strong when others were weak! Good,
were men that woman desired, children loved, and the elderly looked on for support!
This is such an important relationship that God himself
defines himself in terms of it. God the Father!
The ultimate relationship in the Christian
world is that between Jesus the son and the Father! It is the relationship of all time! It defined time! It is time!
God in his unique way
chose to enable us to be partakers in this incredible relationship. It is not only Jesus who can cry out “Abba”
(the Hebrew version of ”daddy” or “dad”). We as we accept Jesus is the son of God, that he died and
rose again to empower us, are included into this very same relationship with God, so that we can be called sons of God, and
can call out to the father “Abba” “Father”.
Luke, that ancient physician describes this relationship while giving advice;
"But love your enemies. Do good to them. Lend to them without
expecting to get anything back. Then you will receive a lot in return. And you will be sons of the Most High God.
He is kind to people who are evil and are not thankful. So have mercy, just as your Father has mercy.
Being a son of
God (and this applied to woman in ancient times) we get gifts, good gifts;
Luke continues to say;
Even though you are evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children.
How much more will your Father who is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Then the gifts
of Holy Spirit are. . .
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people
the Spirit gives the message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives the message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit
gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives
the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak
in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said
in those languages.
of the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives them to each person, just as he decides.
this we gain the ability to lead others correctly;
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient,
kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.
Today, let’s give honor to the good Father, the eternal “Abba”,
to the person who we owe our very existence, for his guidance in our lives, for his love, his joy, his peace. Let’s
thank him for being patient, kind and good. Let us adopt for ourselves his strengths of faithfulness, gentleness and
control of ourselves.
May our God
bless you today!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Letís take a look at the week before the cross, (are there three days between Jesus death and rising to life again?)
Wed, April 4, 2012 | link
There is a saying that “assumptions” coming from the word “assume” make an “Ass”
out of “u” and “me”, or in simple terms, assumptions lead
to incorrect conclusions that do nothing for those making them.
The days describing the week before Jesus died are in this class of assumption. Unfortunately,
most of the Christian world has failed to review this situation closely.
Let’s follow Jesus walk to the cross. . .
Firstly we need to know that the Jewish “day” and the
Roman “day” were measured differently. As the diagram below shows, the Jewish day started at about 6pm modern
timing, while the Roman day like ours starts at midnight or 12am.
Now we know most Christians ignore the fact that if Jesus died on good Friday
afternoon and rose on Easter Sunday morning he wasn’t in the grave three days (ancient or modern)
Yet there are many references to
the fact that this should be so:
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days
and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the
Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 26:55 The chief priests and the whole
Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though
many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow
said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
Matthew 27:39-41 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their
heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from
the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:62-64 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the
chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while
he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’
So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples
may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than
Mark 8:31[ Jesus Predicts His Death ] He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
9:31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands
of men. They will kill him, and after
three days he will rise.”
Mark 10:33-35 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said,
“and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to
death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him.
Three days later he will rise.”
Okay, so let’s discover when Jesus was crucified. . .
Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him
Mark 15:33 At noon, darkness came
over the whole land until three
in the afternoon. And
at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)..
By simple logic conventional thinking cannot be right can it? Jesus could not have died Friday!
look at a timeline
Now, let’s look
at the facts!
There are six days
when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly.
You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.
it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the
Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and
the bodies taken down.
words Special Sabbath, make it different from the conventional Sabbath.
So let’s look at the events leading up to Jesus death from the Thursday the week before
the week of his death.
Thursday (death-6days): Nissan 8( Nissan 8 is Jewish first
month day 8), From the bible Jesus spends the Thursday before at Zaccheus’ home in Jericho, Luke 19:1-21]
Friday (death-5days): Nissan 9. Jesus goes to Jerusalem [Matt
10. Jesus spends Sabbath in Bethany [Mark 11:11]
Sunday (death-3days): Nissan 11. The fig tree cursed! Jerusalem overturned traders tables, Temple teaching,
back to Bethany [Mark 11]
Monday (death-2days): Nissan 12: The fig tree has withered! Jesus authority, teach in temple, goes to Mt Olives, back to Bethany,
anointed [Mark 11]
Tuesday (death-1days): Nissan
13: The Preparation for the Passover [Mark 14:12]
Wednesday (death-day): Nissan 14: Dies on the cross
Let’s look at the timeline of the Tuesday preparations
Notice that the Passover was on Jewish Wednesday but Roman Tuesday!
We know the trial with Pilate was early in the morning, so this was Wednesday morning. Jesus died in the afternoon,
Wednesday afternoon. The Thursday was the “Special Sabbath”, then there was the Friday, then the “normal”
Sabbath, and Jesus rose on the Sunday.
THREE days and THREE nights!
Exactly what Jesus and the prophecies said!
This of course does not please traditionalists and religious people.
But jesus was not one for traditionalists and religious people so I cannot be concerned with anything but the truth.
There we have it! Our faith is based on solid
Have a great day!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Expensive gifts, a waste of money?
Tue, April 3, 2012 | link
Gift giving is part of the human way of life!
Have you ever asked yourself why?
Gifts seem to not only to please the giver who loses something to provide the gift, but they please the person getting
them as well!
What other creature gives each other gifts of the variety and extent
that we do?
greatest gifts are those that are given with something intangible, that is, they are given with “love”.
When a person who loves us gives
us a gift, the value of the gift is exponentially more than the value of the gift itself. Then, if the person has little and
gives us a great gift, the way they have put themselves out of comfort, to give us the same, penetrates to the core of our
being. We are blessed and blessed again! Love conquerors all and enables us to reach above ourselves to heights unimagined.
Gift giving is therefore at
the very core of our human nature, and yet it is more than
that as well, it is a gift from God himself that reflects itself in the human soul and ripples forward through the mists of
time, giving others the opportunity to have a little of what God has given us.
It may not always be the real reason we do the activity, but it is the underlying reason.
In every circumstance we come into, we are reflecting that wonderful love of our saviour into the hearts and minds of those
Isn’t that what
happened on that Tuesday, so many years ago when Mary, a common and despised woman of the town, a prostitute, comes into the
house of important people where Jesus was eating? She takes her prized possession, a special perfume that could have brought
many men to her, helping her gather income to herself and instead, in an act of selfless love, breaks open this special jar
and pours the perfume onto Jesus’ head?
The bible says;
Some of the people there became angry. They said to one another, "Why waste this perfume? It could have
been sold for more than a year's pay. The money could have been given to poor people." So they found
fault with the woman.
Have you noticed
that sometimes when someone gets an expensive gift, those who would have liked it get annoyed? Selfishness seems to grow in
the face of great selflessness doesn’t it? Greed entwines the hearts of callous men and women just as love embraces
the recipient of the gift. Sad isn’t it?
What does Jesus do or say?
"Leave her alone," Jesus said. "Why are you bothering her? She has done
a beautiful thing to me. You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want to. But you will not
always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. What I'm about to tell you
is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of
He accepts the gift of love graciously.
A lesson for those of us who get gifts! Let’s remember the
giver is handing out something precious in love. Accepting it graciously is important!
Jesus knew what was going to be happening to him and somehow in some supernatural way, this woman who had been so beat up by life, knew
this as well!
him and also helped him. Did the wafting stimulating accents and tones of that perfume ease his pain as he hung on that cross?
Was there still the cloying traces of that fine perfume to accompany him as he hung there in the great pain of his life?
Was her gift in
some ways, the only one that could stay with him to the end?
Strip naked, made a public spectacle, tortured until his blood ran, was that faint trace of love perhaps the only
thing that stayed with him? Even as tothers rejected him?
Gifts have great value if given under the direction of Holy Spirit!
Who else could have prompted this woman to do this?
Our choice is to listen to Holy Spirit today and to try and allow Gods power to flow into the future of others, making great
changes in their lives.
Not everyone sees the value of what we do!
Some even go further and
use it against us, and the recipient. See how Judas reacts;
Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve. He went to the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them.
They were delighted to hear that he would do this. They promised to give Judas money. So he watched for the right time to
hand Jesus over to them.
Jesus is experiencing the people who invited him into their home, conspiring with one of his apostles to have him killed! They are being two-faced, while the common woman was quietly lavishing her love
on Jesus, and exposing herself to town ridicule.
Who really gained from this encounter?
I think we all did, if we consider it and learn from it! We need to give of ourselves honestly, openly and in love, if we are to truly make a difference
in this world. No matter what people say or do, God is the ultimate Judge and our ultimate guide in this life. We cannot fail
to gain greatly by being simple, and submitting to our loving God’s guiding.
Have a great loving day today!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Palm Sunday and the next day (what is Palm Sunday?)
Mon, April 2, 2012 | link
Palms to many people, make them think of Hawaii, the ocean,
beach fronts, hot sun, margarita’s, and cacophonic sounds in the distance of music, drums and people telling
In Christian circles the words “Palm Sunday” are flipped around as if the whole world knows it’s
They don’t folk!
Palm Sunday was anything but this!
Remember those scenes when those first astronauts got back from the moon and drove through the streets in Cadillac’s
as the crowds strained in to see them. The crowds threw colored tape streamers from the high buildings and cheered. Remember
when Kennedy road through the streets of Dallas before he got shot, people strained for a glimpse of the hero!
It was a close to a ticker tape parade as the ancient
Middle East got.
For Jesus, is
was riding on a donkey! The people threw palm leaves down
on the road in front of him, to make a palm road, (The ancient version of the red carpet). They waved palm branches and shouted
The bible mentions
this in many places (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19).
As they all approached Jerusalem, they came
to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two of his disciples. 2 He said to them, "Go
to the village ahead of you. Just as you enter it, you will find a donkey's colt tied there. No one has ever ridden it. Untie
it and bring it here. 3 Someone may ask you, 'Why are you doing this?' If so, say, 'The Lord needs it. But he will
send it back here soon.' "
4 So they left. They found a colt out in the street. It was tied at a doorway. They untied it. 5
Some people standing there asked, "What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?" 6 They answered
as Jesus had told them to. So the people let them go.
7 They brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their coats over it. Then he
sat on it.
Many people spread their coats on the road. Others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those in front
and those in back shouted,
is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" —(Psalm 118:25,26)
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!"
"Hosanna in the highest
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple
Now it is interesting that people
would immediately have thought of the prophecy from many years before. . .
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding
on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Sunday is the first day of the week, interesting to us, because
it is still that way although many of us think it is Monday. The Sabbath is generally Saturday, so for the Jewish people and
many today, Sunday is the first day of work.
Jesus is acknowledged by the crowds as a future king!
The crowds are in Jerusalem, they are coming in for the Passover, and this demonstration of alignment with Jesus must have
caused the authorities great concern.
Jesus did nothing to work the crowd up, it did nothing to reduce this fear in both the Jewish Sanhedrin, and the Roman occupying
forces. Numbers swelled as the Jewish nation came into the capital for their celebrations. When crowds are around,
and the alcohol starts to flow, problems of unruly people start (today and in the past, people are similar!)
If the Romans experienced problems,
the Jewish council would be in for trouble, and the Roman forces would descend and there would be pain in
It was better
to keep this guy, Jesus, out of the public eye.
So yesterday, Palm Sunday, would have been representative of the day that the threat
of Jesus’ popularity was reaching a critical level in the minds of the current rulers. Yet Jesus never
worked up the crowd against them! This made it difficult to do anything against him.
People loved this guy, and
he was even heard to say to give the Romans their taxes and the temple priests theirs. He actually supported the governing
A tough situation for
those that wanted him out the way!
So that’s Palm Sunday!
What else did he do that day?
Well, Matthew explains how he goes into the temple and chases the money making crowd who were not honestly worshipping
God out of the area. He makes a whip to do this. Not really something, the authorities liked either! This impacted their money
getting popular with the crowds, and unpopular with the authorities.
We read that as it got late in the day Then Jesus left the people and went out of the city
to Bethany. He spent the night there.
The next day he goes into Jerusalem again, but in a less showy way.
Here he explains to the people the concept
of the Kingdom of God. He does miracles for example showing a fig tree shrivelling up immediately
on his command.
People knew the
tree to be symbolic of Israel and must have wondered about this.
Then the important people of the time come to investigate him.
The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' stories. They
knew he was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The
people believed that Jesus was a prophet.
The authorities had
a problem, but the crowds had a prophet!
Today as we look into these things, we realize that popularity and persecution can easily come together.
As more people focus on something someone does, so do the critic’s.
Just last week, I was smiling at the criticism this blog gets on the internet. People
will always disagree, and those who disagree start to fear, and fear grows into action, finally.
God on the other hand does not want
fear in our lives! He wants love to drive us despite the reactions around us. He wants us to accept popularity
and distain with the same attitude, that of ignoring it!
Instead, God wants us to focus on doing the work he gives us to do despite the circumstances (good or bad)
and we are to be the enactors of God’s love to those around us in as many ways as we can in the course of our day.
That was what Jesus was doing in the
week before his death. Living for God!
what he wants us to do as well!
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