Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Rest of the Story

Growing up I used to love listening to Paul Harvey. He would come on the radio several times during the day and give the news and tell a story. But he always told the story in pieces or what he called pages. Usually the story would be about someone or something famous but you never knew that until he reveled it at the end. He might tell the back story that not too many people knew about. A Search for Paul Harvey will result in many amusing broadcasts.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday and Resurrection Sunday and Spring break. Holy week is well remembered around the world and even those who only go to church for Easter and Christmas know how Jesus was put on trial, beaten, crucified and rose from the dead on the third day. Many may even know that He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.

But I would like to talk about the “Rest of the Easter Story”

 After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3 HCSB

So, perhaps I was the only one who did not know this. It’s possible that I alone thought that the resurrection and the accession happened that same day. Until my eyes were opened and I looked into God’s Word I had many misguided and preconceived ideas.  But the truth is that Jesus walked this earth for forty days in a resurrected body – eating and teaching and even preparing meals (Jn 21:4-15). How marvelous that must have been for all of them. To be in the company of the One whom you thought you lost.

Forty Days from resurrection to ascension. Forty days from Passover to Pentecost. Forty days from what seemed an ending to a glorious beginning. Forty days from Peter’s denial to Peter’s Holy Spirit-filled speech and the resulting conversion of 3000 souls!! (see here)

Take away from this whatever you will – there are just so many encouraging things to be learned from this. I see the Love of God and the ability of God to turn anything around.

God can make a way where there seems to be no way –

Trust in Jesus!

 image

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.    John 20:30-31 KJV

 

One of Paul Harvey’s best known broadcasts – If I were the Devil – the sound quality is poor but the message is still great – http://nation.foxnews.com/paul-harvey/2012/03/21/1965-if-i-were-devil-warning-nation-paul-harvey

HE’S ALIVE!

 He’s Alive! He’s Alive! He’s Alive and I am forgiven!

_MG_7165

  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.   1 Cor 15:17 HCSB

But He did rise and when He died the veil in the Temple was torn in half from top to bottom signifying that we can boldly go directly to God because of the life-changing work that Jesus did that day.

Truly, He is alive and we are forgiven – Heavens gates are open wide.

He is alive! No great mystery. No Doctrinal dissertation. No religious dogma. No rules and regulations. No fees to be paid or tolls to pass threw.

Just open up your heart and let Him Love You!

 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.  Rev 3:20 HSCB

 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   Matthew 11:28 KJV

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 1:23 KJV

This is an old song but a good one which speaks to the joy of that early morning. Please take a minute (or 4:51) to be blessed by it

Happy Resurrection Sunday

He’s Alive – by Don Francisco presented here on YouTube

What Now?

All our nerves are on edge. We’re snapping and arguing and just a mess. I try to recall what the Master said last night at supper but the events that followed overshadow the memory. I close my eyes and see only His beaten body hanging on that cross. I remember His lifeless form as we took Him down and carried Him to the tomb. The ladies were all crying even as they prepared Him for burial. I feel like crying and screaming but dare not make a sound. Hiding here, with the home shut tight, for fear that they will come after us now that He is gone. Simon Peter is talking about going fishing but some others are leaving for Emmaus. There’s a sadness that fills the air and sinks deep into out hearts. We aren’t partaking in the Passover – it’s just too difficult to celebrate at such a time as this.

I thought it would be different. Just last week the crowds were cheering for Him as we entered the city. I recognized some of those same people yelling for Him to die at Pilates house. But why? Why did it have to happen like this? Someone said they heard Judas hung himself! He was my friend. Why did he betray Him? Why? Why did they take Him at night? They never do that. So many things just don’t make sense to me. Dear God, help me to understand. Help me to know what to do next.

Removed Memorials* NO JESUS NO PEACE  *

*KNOW JESUS KNOW PEACE *

This Must Be The Lamb…..

 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb     Gen 22:8 KJV

 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood (of the Lamb) on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.      Ex 12 :23 NKJV

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! John 1:36 KJV

 He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:  Acts 8:32 KJV

 Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God. 1 Peter 1:18 – 20 The Message

 

This must be the Lamb – Jesus was betrayed, humiliated, mocked, beaten brutally, forced to march threw the streets while carrying the very cross they would nail Him to. He suffered the nails and taunts and the separation from those He loved here and from the Father. The crowd was worked up and screaming. The soldiers fierceness was unrestrained. The wind blew hard as the clouds closed in. The sky grew dark as hope was fleeing.

A final word… softly spoken… would let us know…. the fight was won –

IT IS FINISHED.  John 19:30 KJV

IMG_8200

 

It’s been said that Jesus was beaten so badly that day that He was unrecognizable. That the soldiers hit him so many times and removed sections of His face with  fistful of his beard. The mocking crown He wore poured blood that hid His face. Lastly, with the light of the sun hidden by the ominous clouds being blown around it would have been nearly impossible to see His face regardless of the beatings.

But, if … you close your eyes… and really try…

and think of that day… so long ago… you might be able…

to turn up the lights… wipe away the blood…

 and look into the face of Love!

HE DIED FOR ME AND FOR YOU THAT’S WHAT LOVE CAN DO

Be Blessed this Good Friday and take a moment to be ministered to by these artists – Al and Betty

This Must Be The Lamb – by Michael Card from You Tube

The Via Dolorsa  – by Sandi Patty w/ The Passion from You Tube

Is history repeating?

 

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – George Santayana

I believe it’s common knowledge that the Jewish people have faced hatred and persecution throughout history. To this day we still see antisemitic  graffiti defacing synagogues. We just this week saw a shooting at two locations in Kansas that appear to have been motivated by hate for the Jewish people. Bigotry and hatred will always exist, but in 2014 are we ready for this?

Jews emerging from a (Donetsk) synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, and Ukraine’s Donbass news agency.

You can read the entire article here –

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

 I would ask you to pray for Israel and Jews all over the world.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Ps. 122:6 KJV

Darkness 1

If you need of a refresher course on what the Jewish people have suffered, check out this link to see what Wikipedia has on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jews

 

The Basin and The Towel

Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God.

So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself.

Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him. John 13:3-5 HCSB

Let me put this another way in hopes of showing the magnitude of this moment. Upon getting the news that you have been given all authority over everything and with the assurance that you will be going back to that glorious place of power that you came from. You take off your suit jacket and fill up a bucket with water and wash the dirty smelly feet of those who serve under you!

This is an unheard of concept in a “dog-eat-dog” world of business today. People vie for position each day just waiting for a missed step by the competition or an opening to outdo the other guy. Climbing the ladder of success almost implies stepping on the people under you. But Gods’ ways are not our ways (Isa.55:8) and we see each member of the Trinity placing the other above Themselves. Jesus always directed peoples attention from Himself to the Father (John 5:30, Luke 18:19). The Father praised the Son on more than one occasion (Matt 3:17 & 17:5). The Holy Spirits job description includes not speaking of Himself but bringing all things which Jesus said to our remembrance (John 16:13). It is just Gods way to redirect flattery and give praise to another before yourself. John knew this so well that he doesn’t even refer to himself, by name, in the Gospel he wrote.

Paul encourages us to humble ourselves as we care for each other – Bear one anothers’ burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Gal 6:2-3 NKJV

Lovely Impatient

Finally, when you consider that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples after eating the Last Supper with them, knowing the humiliation and pain that was just outside the door, it amplifies the event. Rather than feeling sorry for Himself or encouraging His disciples to take care of Him because He was about to be beaten, ridiculed, mocked and put to death, Jesus performed the act reserved for the lowliest of servants. Humbling Himself before giving His life for us was an act of love and an example for us all to follow.

This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 

No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. 

You are My friends if you do what I command you.

John 15:12-14 HCSB

Blood Moon Rising

Tonight, or early morning tomorrow, depending on where you are on the planet, there will be a lunar eclipse which will produce a “Blood Moon”. While some have used this phenomenon as an occasion for speculation regarding the end of days I am reminded of the Y2K worries that captivated our thoughts not so long ago. The turning of time from 1999 to 2000 was heralded as a cataclysmic moment. It was feared that the computers that we all have become so dependent on would shut down causing business collapse and hysteria. Thankfully these things did not happen. Life went on without a hick up.

Now, with much less fanfare, there are whispers on the news and internet that this Blood Moon is a sign from God signalling the beginning of the end!! Well, like Y2K, time will tell if these fears are founded or not. But the bigger question is – So What? So, if it is the beginning of the end what can we, or more importantly – YOU, do about it?! If we all hold our breath at the same time can we hold back the hand of God? If we stay up tonight fearfully clinging to the people and things we love will God have compassion on us and change His mind? Obviously the answer to these questions is NO! There is nothing that we as mere mortals can do to put off what God has determined to be. That is, if this is the beginning of the end. If it’s not we will wake up tomorrow and face the day ahead just as we did this morning and yesterday and the day before that. This Blood Moon will disappear in our rear view mirror as we forge on ahead unaffected by its passing.

Red Sun 3

Unless, of course, we use this natural cosmic event as a reminder of our helplessness to defend ourselves from things so massively bigger then us. We could also use this event as a cause for reflection and soul searching. What if the end were coming? Are we ready? Are you ready? Am I ready? There are more prophecies concerning the end of days ahead than the birth of Christ (which all were fulfilled to the T). Christ told us Himself that a day is coming when the world as we know it will be changed. So, if the evening news dedicates a 90 second spot to the Red Moon tonight, listen and ask yourself – “What if?” or “Am I ready?” I hope and pray that we all are ready when that day comes no matter when that should be. Be Blessed – Al

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Ps. 19:1 NIV