31 March 2013


Matthew 28:1-10 NIVAfter 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, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

1 Peter 1:3-5 MSG
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole.

our ever present hope

Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there’s no resurrection, “We eat, we drink, the next day we die,” and that’s all there is to it. But don’t fool yourselves.
1 Corinthians 15:31-32

It's resurrection. Yes,
This day,
It's our hope.

Resurrection Sunday?

This is the basis of our faith.

We have to allow our conviction of the resurrection to permeate everything we do, or, as Paul says, what good is it?
Nothing matters without both our hope for resurrection,
more importantly,
His life,
his death,
his resurrection.

Never fool yourself.

It's all resurrection.

Happy Easter!



29 March 2013

the darkest day

It was a day,
to many just like any other,
except that they stood,

Standing in the shadow of the
tall wood posts,
hearing the cries of pain,
watching their friend die.

Along with the man they had called
died their hopes.

After all,
a dead king cannot
defeat the enemy,
or so they thought.

His loud cry split the air
Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani.

My God, my God...why have you forsaken me?

What kind of teacher has a God who leaves Him?
They didn't know,
couldn't know,
that God turned away for the last time,
because He could not bear to watch His Son.

They didn't know,
couldn't know,
that this Son had pleaded with the father for hours
Daddy..if there is any other way...please take this.
And that the Father knew there was no other way,
and the Son bowed to the Master's will.

Later, he cried out again
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit
Though He was suffering at the will of the Father,
He gave himself up to the greatest hands,
and breathed His last.

Funny kind of Messiah.

Today, I am with the friends.
Today, I am waiting for my aunt to die,
and she's lived her whole life with this.
She's leaving this broken place,
for one where all wrong is made right,
and she'll be able to talk,
and sing,
and run around,
and it's good.

That doesn't mean it's easy.

That day.

He breathed his last,
and they gently took Him down,
and walked away.
Into the dark.
And heaven was silent.

At least,
that's what they thought.

Waiting for Hope to rise with the sun,
for ...weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

He's so good.



luke 22:39-71, luke 23:1-55

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Jesus Arrested
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Peter Disowns Jesus
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The Guards Mock Jesus
The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Luke 23

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ,a king.”
So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies
Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
The Crucifixion
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’

For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus’ Death
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Jesus’ Burial
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.

25 March 2013

the light shines in the darkness

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it
John 1:5.

It seems the hard comes in waves.

One week, it's okay,
we're doing well, and it's good.

The next week...
well, the next few weeks,
everything falls apart.

These past two, two and a half weeks?
They've been of the falling apart sort.
That sucks.

I'm surviving, getting through pretty well,
just taking it one day at a time.
My immediate family is in this place of uncertainty with one situation at the moment,
but we're making it work.

All of this?
This is not how it should be.

But God is in control.

And it's Holy week,
my favorite church holiday,
but church focused on death,
for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday,
it's going to be hard this week.

You know when you have a raw spot,
and it gets rubbed again,
and finally starts to bleed?

I'm hoping it's not going to be like that,
in all honesty.

It's so important to remember the sacrifice,
remember the pain of the breaking.

In the darkness,
the light becomes all the brighter.

Maybe, then, it's appropriate to have all the broken here during Lent, Holy week.
The thing about leaving Good Friday service in the dark,
and in the silence,
is that we know that Sunday will dawn,
light will break forth,
and the light of Christ will fill all the empty spaces.
We will hear His voice say
“Don’t be afraid"
Easter will come.
The Resurrection happened.

The tomb is empty,
dawn is here,
He is risen,
death is conquered forever.
There is life after death.
There is joy,
because of the victory.

There is
and that,
my friends, is what I hold onto today.

He is here.

He's a living God,
who loves us.

All is grace.



psalm 31:24

23 March 2013

endless hallelujah- matt redman

When I stand before Your throne
Dressed in glory not my own
What a joy I'll sing of on that day
No more tears or broken dreams
Forgotten is the minor key
Everything as it was meant to be
And we will worship, worship
Forever in Your presence we will sing
We will worship, worship You
And endless hallelujah to the King

I will see You as You are
Love You with unsinning heart
And see how much You paid to bring me home
Not till then, Lord, shall I know
Not till then, how much I owe
Everything I am before Your throne

And we will worship, worship
Forever in Your presence we will sing
We will worship, worship You
And endless hallelujah to the King

No more tears, no more shame
No more sin and sorrow ever known again
No more fears, no more pain
We will see You face to face
See You face to face

And we will worship, worship
Forever in Your presence we will sing
We will worship, worship You
And endless hallelujah to the King

And endless hallelujah to the King
We'll sing
And endless hallelujah to the King


If He had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them
If He had carried out judgments against them, and not against their idols
If He had destroyed their idols, and had not smitten their first-born
If He had smitten their first-born, and had not given us their wealth
If He had given us their wealth, and had not split the sea for us
If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land
If He had taken us through the sea on dry land, and had not drowned our oppressors in it
If He had drowned our oppressors in it, and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years Dayenu
If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us the manna
If He had fed us the manna, and had not given us the Shabbat
If He had given us the Shabbat, and had not brought us before Mount Sinai
If He had brought us before Mount Sinai, and had not given us the Torah
If He had given us the Torah, and had not brought us into the land of Israel
If He had brought us into the land of Israel, and had not built for us the temple

And what,
you will ask does Dayenu mean?

It would have been enough.

This song, this remembrance is part of the Seder meal
each Passover,
the time of remembering what God has done.
And even in the giving thanks,
there is the whisper of
If this was all he had done,
it would have been enough.

Honestly, it would have,
wouldn't it?

In our own lives

If He had allowed us to be born, and simply allowed us to see His world

If He had saved us, and never done another thing for us

Because if He had simply saved us,
It would have been enough.

But He didn't.

He blesses us far, far more than we could ever imagine.
What a gift.

This has been making me think,
all week.

It would have.

Our God is so generous.

It undoes me.



16 March 2013

the promise


Oh, how my heart hurts tonight, though.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense,
and all we can do is weep with those who weep.

Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God.He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:3b-4

This is the promise.

no death.
no mourning.
no crying.
no pain.

the former things will be gone.

He will wipe away every tear.

In the Jesus Storybook Bible, talking about Revelation,
it says
"And John knew, in some mysterious way that was hard to explain, that everything would be all the more wonderful for having once been so sad."
"and he know that the ending of The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness, and tears, and everything, seem like just a shadow that was chased away by morning sun."

It still hurts.
There is hope, though.
It is the hope that keeps us going.
The end of the Story will be worth it.

We have to believe that.
There is no other choice.




15 March 2013

our God is in control

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We'll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

We're waiting for that day
We'll keep on waiting for that day
And we will rise
Our God is in control
(Holy, holy, holy)
Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)

Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)
I've posted this before....but I need to see it again.
This is where we are, and our God is in control.
I'm so greatful for that.

14 March 2013

though the darkness hide thee

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Trusting that tonight.

The darkness....

it's big.

Our God?

He's bigger.

Holy, holy, holy.

So much pain all around me.

My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lordhow long?

Psalm 6:3

Psalm 6 is so honest.

how long?

How long, indeed?
How long until You step in and save us?
How long?

I don't like not having answers.

But now, more than ever.
Holy, holy, holy.

He is here.

This I know.



11 March 2013

deuteronomy 7:9

God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. But he also pays back those who hate him, pays them the wages of death; he isn’t slow to pay them off—those who hate him, he pays right on time.


06 March 2013

psalm 103

O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.

He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,   
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.

Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.

And you, O my soul, bless God!


04 March 2013

sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

-William Shakespeare

Good words. Enjoy your day!