Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fw: April 29th People Reflection

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Subject: April 29th People Reflection

Saturday 4/29/2006
Acts 13.1-25-When the governor saw what happened, he became a
believer, full of enthusiasm over what they were saying about the
Joshua 18-19-They completed the dividing of the land.
Job 29-Oh, how I long?
2 Esdras 13.20b-55-for you have devoted your life to wisdom?
1 John 3.1-7-My dear friends, we are already God?s children, though
what we will be hasn?t yet been seen.
Revelation 5-?Stop crying and look! The one who is called both
the ?Lion from the Tribe of Judah? and ?King David?s Great Descendant?
has won the victory. He will open the book and its seven seals.? Then
I looked and saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne?
Psalm 108-Your love reaches higher than the heavens?

?You see something different from what other people see.? ? A
reflection on me and how I perceive things. I think maybe God sees his
children differently also. And we see God with different eyes than the
rest of the world. I get all excited when I think of God- full of
enthusiasm ? very thankful that he is present in my life- I want so
bad to do all he has planned for me to do- and I don?t ever want to
let him down- even though I do from time to time ? but I also feel I
can come to him with anything. God seems to know all about me anyway.
I?m sure he sees me with different eyes than other people do. God
looks at me through his eyes of love. I depend on that look. I depend
and trust that God will care for me even in the storms of life. And I
know I can run to him when I need to. I know God provides for me. Even
the land that I don?t deserve he graciously gives to his Children. Oh,
how I long for all my days to be with God. I have devoted my life to
wisdom- the fear of God. A
fear and trust of God that I must have day after day. I know that I am
his child and am proud to be his. And someday ? actually every day ? I
will praise the Lamb in the center of the throne- the Lamb whose love
reaches higher than the heavens. ?You see something different from
what other people see.? ? Sure do! Thanks be to God!

Prayer- Lord- I see the Lamb on the center of the throne and the
multitudes singing praise ? Amen

April 30th People Reflection

Sunday 4/30/2006
Acts 13.26-53-But everyone who believes in this raised-up Jesus is
declared good and right and whole before God.
Joshua 20-21-Not one word failed from all the good words GOD spoke to
the house if Israel. Everything came out right.
Job 30-My stomach?s in a constant churning, never settles down.
2 Esdras 13.56-58-Then I got up and walked in the field, giving great
glory and praise to the Most High for the wonders that he does?
Luke 24.36b-48-Look at my hands and my feet and see who I am!
Exodus 14.1-18-Don?t be afraid! Be brave, and you will see the LORD
save you today.
Psalm 106.1-12, 47-48-you deserve to be praised forever and ever

?And feel free to fling your arms when it?s time.?- An Alma Mater that
has some arm flinging in it. It looked fun anyway. And I think we all
have something to fling our arms about. Everyone who believes in Jesus
raised ? God declares good and right and whole. Fling your arms about
that one. Because that is something God does for us. We don?t deserve
it but he does it anyway. Fling your arms! ? God keeps all his
promises. God rescued us from sin and death. Fling your arms!
Sometimes in life my stomach churns ? well really it does it a whole
bunch here lately. But no big deal because God has given me something
to fling my arms about ? churning stomach and all. Fling your arms
about the wonders that God has done in your life. Fling your arms when
you are afraid because God will make you brave and save you. Fling
your arms and praise God forever and ever. Look at his hands and feet
and see who he is. Fling your arms at his presence here and now. ?And
feel free to fling your arms
when it?s time.? ? That?s right- let?s all fling arms in praise to

Prayer- Lord, as I fling my arms this day- I give you all the praise,
honor, and glory! -- Amen

Saturday, April 29, 2006

April 29th People Reflection

Saturday 4/29/2006
Acts 13.1-25-When the governor saw what happened, he became a
believer, full of enthusiasm over what they were saying about the
Joshua 18-19-They completed the dividing of the land.
Job 29-Oh, how I long?
2 Esdras 13.20b-55-for you have devoted your life to wisdom?
1 John 3.1-7-My dear friends, we are already God?s children, though
what we will be hasn?t yet been seen.
Revelation 5-?Stop crying and look! The one who is called both
the ?Lion from the Tribe of Judah? and ?King David?s Great Descendant?
has won the victory. He will open the book and its seven seals.? Then
I looked and saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne?
Psalm 108-Your love reaches higher than the heavens?

?You see something different from what other people see.? ? A
reflection on me and how I perceive things. I think maybe God sees his
children differently also. And we see God with different eyes than the
rest of the world. I get all excited when I think of God- full of
enthusiasm ? very thankful that he is present in my life- I want so
bad to do all he has planned for me to do- and I don?t ever want to
let him down- even though I do from time to time ? but I also feel I
can come to him with anything. God seems to know all about me anyway.
I?m sure he sees me with different eyes than other people do. God
looks at me through his eyes of love. I depend on that look. I depend
and trust that God will care for me even in the storms of life. And I
know I can run to him when I need to. I know God provides for me. Even
the land that I don?t deserve he graciously gives to his Children. Oh,
how I long for all my days to be with God. I have devoted my life to
wisdom- the fear of God. A
fear and trust of God that I must have day after day. I know that I am
his child and am proud to be his. And someday ? actually every day ? I
will praise the Lamb in the center of the throne- the Lamb whose love
reaches higher than the heavens. ?You see something different from
what other people see.? ? Sure do! Thanks be to God!

Prayer- Lord- I see the Lamb on the center of the throne and the
multitudes singing praise ? Amen

Friday, April 28, 2006

April 28th People Reflection

Friday 4/28/2006
Acts 12-Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the
Joshua 15-17-This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of
Job 28-God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to
find it?Then he addressed the human race: ?here is is! Fear-of-the-
Lord-that?s Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil.?
2 Esdras 13.13b-20a-now show me the interpretation of this dream also
Acts 3.12-19-So turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be
John 21.1-14-Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to
his disciples. He did the same with the fish.
Psalm 138-When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave
me courage.

?Where are you from? ? Middletown, Ohio ? Oh, we wouldn?t even have
that in our computers!? ? I was asking for a book at Barnes and Noble ?
They didn?t have it in the store- and apparently it wasn?t available
to anyone from Mars or Middletown, Ohio either. The lady looked at me
like I was from Mars when I told her where I was from. She may have
seen an angel that day too with all the light and all. Just as her
look to me was like I was an alien ? I have to wonder if Peter
wondered what was going on when he was released from prison. He was
going to be executed just for the fun of it after all and then and
angel was at his side and light flooded into the room. An inheritance
he didn?t deserve but that God gave freely. Just like the land to the
Israelites. They didn?t deserve all that land?they were unfaithful in
the desert after all. But God is gracious. Helps prisoners, those
dreaming, and even unfaithful desert wanderers. Looks after those
searching. Those searching for Wisd
om. And gives us the clues. Wisdom is Fear of the Lord. I have to put
all my trust and faith in God- follow his direction and get up and go
there! And I?m greeted with what I think may be the most wonderful
breakfast ? Bread and some fried fish from the hands of Jesus. Jesus
sustains my life and feeds me from early morning till bedtime. Feeds
my body and soul and leads and guides me. Jesus answers my prayers and
gives me courage to last the day. Even if I look like I?m from
Mars! ?Where are you from? ? Middletown, Ohio?Oh, we wouldn?t even
have that in our computers!? ? Oh well! ? I don?t care!

Prayer- Lord- Feed me your food of Life this day and lead me till days
end. -- Amen

Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27th People Reflection

Thursday 4/27/2006
Acts 11.19-30-It was in Antioch that the disciples were for the first
time called Christians.
Joshua 13-14-And the land had rest from war.
Job 27-I?ve given you a clear account of God in action?
2 Esdras 13.2-13a-As I kept looking the wind made something like the
figure of a man come up out of the heart of the sea.
Psalm 4-Silently search your heart as you lie down in bed.
1 Peter 1.3-9-God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has
given us new life and a hope that lives on. God has something stored
up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or
Psalm 66-Let?s praise God! He listened when I prayed, and he is always

?So if your laundry isn?t dry, I?ll just throw it on the floor.? ?
Sarah teasing a neighbor using the dryer at the apartment. You depend
on the other person waiting on your laundry to not pitch yours out if
you don?t get back in time. There is an unwritten agreement. A
covenant with your neighbor to be decent and respect each other. And
in Antioch that respect was tagged with a name. ? Christians?We
respect our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we are proud to take on
his name. At all costs. In the good and in the bad. Because in the
name of Jesus God displayed a clear account of ?God in action? ? And
in my life it?s easy to see how God is active. God blesses- God
provides and God guides me through life. In times of joy- and in times
of pain- and in times where I rest from the war ? God is there. God is
present in the visions- as I lay in bed and search my heart- there He
is! God was so good that by raising Jesus from death he gave me new
life and hope that lives on to etern
ity. And the really cool and neat part of it all- there is a grand
surprise in the end- a surprise stored up in heaven that will never
decay or be ruined or disappear. I can?t wait! ? I wonder sometimes
when people die and they see God so clearly if that look is the look
of seeing that surprise. But in the meantime there is so much joyful
work to do for Jesus in his Kingdom that each day brings surprises of
their own and I will praise God day by day. ?So if your laundry isn?t
dry. I?ll just throw it on the floor.? ? Just teasing! I love you! I
will never do that to you!

Prayer-Lord, give me glimpses of your surprises in this day -- Amen

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

April 26th People Reflection

Wednesday 4/26/2006
Acts 11.1-18-Hearing it all laid out like that, they quieted down. And
then, as it sank in, they started praising God. ?It?s really happened!
God has broken through to the other nations, opened them up to Life!?
Joshua 11-12-GOD said to Joshua: ?Don?t worry about them.?
Job 26-Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!
2 Esdras 13.1-After seven days I dreamed a dream in the night.
Psalm 57-Your love reaches higher than the heavens; your loyalty
extends beyond the clouds.
Ezekiel 37.1-14-I will wrap you with muscles and skin and breathe life
into you. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
Psalm 104.27-35-As long as I live, I will sing and praise you, the

?I love a thunderstorm.? ? A storm coming. The lightening and thunder
then the downpour. The wind and the excitement of it all. That?s how
the early church was too. Like a thunderstorm. God?s acts were now
apparent and visible. And then it sunk in- it quieted down and they
started praising God. Just like a thunderstorm praises God. Now there
is some terror in a thunderstorm too. It can be a dangerous situation.
You can get caught in the power of it and see destructive results. God
is powerful too. But God?s love is more powerful than any wind. But in
God?s wind and breath he gives life. He stirs the very bones and flesh
of people to life and send them out in action to love in the world he
created. God?s love reaches higher than the clouds of any storm
active. Either in life or on earth. God?s love goes beyond all. And in
that awesome power of his love I have to wonder. What would I do if he
ever really raised his voice. I hop I would listen and listen
carefully. ?I love a th
understorm.? ? Yea ? love- wind- rain- God!

Prayer- Lord lead me through the thunderstorms of life to see your
love everywhere with me. ? Amen

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25th People Reflection

Tuesday 4/25/2006
Acts 10.34-48-It makes no difference who you are or where you?re from?
if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open.
Joshua 9-10-Don?t hold back. Don?t be timid, Be strong! Be confident!
Job 25-Bildad the Shuhite again attacked Job:
2 Timothy 4.6-11, 18-The Lord will always keep me from being harmed by
evil, and he will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. Praise
him forever and ever! Amen.
Acts 5.17-32-But that night an angel from the Lord opened the doors of
the jail and led the apostles out.
Psalm 68.1-18-But let your people be happy and celebrate because of

?How did you think she was yesterday??- A conversation with the
doctor. A conversation about and for one we both love. A conversation
full of concern and caring. It made no difference what our
relationship was to the person we were speaking of. It was a
conversation that grew out of love for that person. God is like that
with all people too. He loves each of us. No matter what our
relationship may be to him he loves us and he hold the door open for
us to come out and play with him in his Kingdom. God is there at that
door inviting each of his child friends outside to play day after day.
And as I go out to play I can play strong and in confidence and never
timid because I know who I am with and who I belong to. I don?t have
to be concerned with the attacks of friends who may be against me
because their attacks will all come to nothing. I can get over it real
quick and easy when I realize the presence of my God with me and keep
Jesus centered in my life. Because it is Jesus t
hat will keep me from the harm of evil and unfriendly attacks and
accusations. It is Jesus who will even send his angels to take care of
me when I?m lost and in prison to some life happenings. It is Jesus
that allows me to be happy and celebrate even in pain and also in the
joys of life. ?How do you think she was yesterday?? ? I think she is
ready to go play with Jesus in his Kingdom.

Prayer- I hear your call today- ?Can Billy come out to play?? ? ?I?ll
be home later Mom! I?m going out to play with my best friend!? -- Amen

Monday, April 24, 2006

April 24th People Reflection

Monday 4/24/2006
Acts 10.1-33-?If God says it?s okay, it?s okay.?
Joshua 7-8-GOD says it, you do it. Go to it.
Job 24-You/re free to prove me a liar. But you won?t be able to do it.
2 Esdras 12.40-51-for the Most High has you in remembrance
Isaiah 52.7-10-Good news! You?re saved. There will be peace.
Romans 6.1-4-We were baptized so that we would live a new life, as
Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father.
Psalm 103.1-18-How far has the LORD taken our sins from us? Farther
than the distance from east to west!

?You haven?t attended this service before have you??- A praise service
in Hickory. I really appreciated how the Pastor recognized me and even
knew I was from Ohio. It was a great service in a good place at the
right time for me. And I know God?s presence. In that place and in
those people. Reminds me of the confidence in the first to passages.
If God says it?s okay, it?s okay. No doubt about it. And if God says
it, you do it. Go to it. It?s comforting when God is so direct from
time to time. When His direction in life is clear. Sometimes that
clear direction comes only one step at a time. Sure, I want to know
several steps ahead of time but I must learn to trust God in each and
every step of life. Right now I think God is revealing one step at a
time. So I must follow each step and trust my future to God. Take a
step and go to it. God says it?s okay so it?s okay?just do it and he
will show me the next step after that. And in this trust I know that I
cannot lie. Because I mus
t trust each step along the way. And in that step by step path I rest
assured in peace and good news of my Easter salvation. My re-lived
Easter baptism of new life through Christ who was raised in glory.
Christ who has taken my sin from me as far as the east is from the
west. Step my step. Day by day trusting for guidance and God?s
salvation along the way. ?You haven?t attended this service before
have you?? Nope- but now I have. One step at a time.

Prayer-Lord ---What?s next? I?m listening and will go to it at your
voice. ? Amen

Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 23rd People Reflection

Sunday 4/23/2006
Acts 9.26-43-They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for
Joshua 5.2-6.27-Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are
standing is holy.
Job 23-I?m completely in the dark, I can?t see my hand in front of my
2 Esdras 12.37-39-Therefore write all these things that you have seen
in a book, put it in a hidden place, and you shall teach them to the
wise among your people, whose hearts you know are able to comprehend
and keep these secrets.
John 20.19-31-When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.
1 Peter 2.1-3-You have already found out how good the Lord really is.
Psalm 131-you must trust the LORD now and forever.

?There have been some famous presidents who have stayed here.? ? My
Father-in-Law, a history buff, commenting on the Golden Lamb. We were
at an anniversary celebration dinner. Since he is so into history I
think maybe he had a deep reverence for the significance of this
place. The early Christians were permeated with a deep sense of
reverence for God. I like to think of that word permeated. I want to
be permeated with God. A deep sense of God. God throughout my whole
being. In me and through me and I in him. Like taking the body and the
blood. Goes along with the reverence of how God is with me and the
ground that I stand on being holy ground. God is with, through, in and
of me. And that?s one big secret he let?s us in on. The presence of
God- in Jesus- in Creation- in the Spirit. Like the Spirit filling
every corner of this earth. When I drive in the mountains, sometimes I
see the clouds on the road. And the moisture expands to everyplace it
can find. Like steam sort of. My
sterious yet comforting. And God does this too in the Spirit. Covers
it all. And in this I become very happy. Because in His presence I
have found the source of all joy and happiness. That?s in the presence
of God. In the good and the bad I will trust Him forever. ?There have
been some famous presidents who have stayed here.? ? And I know of a
Savior who has stayed here too and a Spirit that is still here with
me. Thanks be to God!

Prayer-Come Lord Jesus! Send now your Spirit. -- Amen

Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 22nd People Reflection

Saturday 4/22/2006

Acts 9.1-25-He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing.

Joshua 3.1-5.1-When you see the Covenant-Chest of GOD, your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it.

Job 22-Let him tell you what to do; take his words to heart. Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life.

2 Esdras 12.10-36-This is the dream that you saw, and this is its interpretation.

1 John 1.1-2.2-The Word that gives life was from the beginning, and this is the one our message is about.

John 20.24-31-If you have faith in him, you will have true life.

Psalm 16-You, LORD, are all I want!

"We have a party here twice a week."- Teasing a new guy at work. We had a cook out celebrating no accidents for an extended period of time. Easter seems to me to begin the season of parties. A time to celebrate. For me a much better time to celebrate that around Christmas. We have great reason to celebrate the most wonderful gift we could ever imagine. Salvation. Think of Paul – think of Jesus in the tomb- I wonder if those three days that Paul was blind was like the three days Jesus spent in the tomb. But at the end of those three days- the celebration began. And in the celebration was new life. Changed life. Life with a work of joy. Life that would bring pain but in the pain a great joy knowing that Jesus has fulfilled all life and defeated sin and death. A new life where we follow God and hear his call and follow his lead and voice in life. Life that was intended from the beginning. That’s what the message is about. True life- and true life through faith in Jesus. Lord, you are all I want! – "We have a party here twice a week." – Let’s PARTY!!!

Prayer-Lord, I give you thanks for new life. -- Amen

Friday, April 21, 2006

April 21st People Reflection

Friday 4/21/2006

Acts 8.26-40-Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him.

Joshua 1-2-Get going. Cross the Jordan River, you and all the people.

Job 21-Put up with me while I have my say—then you can mock me later to your heart’s content.

2 Esdras 12.3b-9-Therefore I will now entreat the Most High that he may strengthen me to the end.

Acts 4.32-35-In a powerful way the apostles told everyone that the Lord Jesus was now alive.

Luke 24.13-31-As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, Jesus came near and started walking along beside them.

Psalm 100-His love and faithfulness will last forever.

"Now listen to me."- A friend clearing the cobwebs in my head. Helpful advice when I was confused. Maybe I was still confused after the advice but it gave me pause to stop and think and listen. It wasn’t until later that I recognized Jesus in that person. Just like those disciples on the road. They didn’t recognize Jesus until the breaking of the bread. Then they realized his presence. In all cases we can see Jesus throughout the Old and of course in the New Testaments. Not only here but all around me in people and nature. There is Jesus. Easy preaching to those in need. Using any passage, Jesus can be preached. And Jesus was with the Israelites when the crossed the Jordan just as he is with me in my life journey in all the crossings I must take. It’s real nice how Jesus puts up with me too. Listens to me as I listen to him. Strengthens me even in the struggles of life. Strengthens me through the struggles of life. And in a powerful way I can proclaim, without a doubt, that Jesus is alive in my life and in my and all around me. And in the breaking of the bread, Jesus presence is in the people there, and in the body broken for all of us. It’s an amazing thing. It’s a comforting thing. It’s a miracle sent by God for me and you. "Now listen to me." – OK!

Prayer-Lord, thank you for your surrounding presence in the breaking of the bread. -- Amen

Thursday, April 20, 2006

April 20th People Reflection

Thursday 4/20/2006

Acts 8.1b-25-…preaching in every Samaritan town they passed through on their return to Jerusalem.

Deuteronomy 33-34-A people saved by GOD!

Job 20-Well, here’s a piece of my mind!

2 Esdras 11.1b-12.3a-When I looked, I saw what seemed to be a lion roused from the forest, roaring…

Psalm 133-It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace.

Revelation 7.9-17-The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to streams of life-giving water, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes.

Psalm 148-Let all things praise the name of the LORD, because they were created at his command.

"I didn’t think you were coming back until Thursday."- My greeting at work. Maybe I said that. But I didn’t plan it that way. Anyway, I was back. Did anyone really think Jesus was coming back? Do we still really think he is coming back? I know I do. I know I look forward to that day. I want him to return quickly. I want him to return now. But, I also know he is present. I also know that the Spirit of God is here and now. I also know that until Jesus does return there is work to be done. Jesus left us so much work to do. And it is a joy to do his work. It is a joy to follow and serve him. He is my Savior. He fulfills me. It is a joy to preach every where and in every town and situation in life as I return to Jerusalem. It is a joy to give the world a piece of my mind. To tell them how wonderful God is. To tell of God’s salvation and love. It is wonderful to tell the stories, the dreams, the visions of God to all people. It is wonderful to praise the Lamb in the center of my life who cares for me with streams of life-giving water. Who loves me and has baptized me in his grace and love. Let all things praise God. "I didn’t think you were coming back until Thursday." Come quickly Lord Jesus- but until then I will praise you and joyfully proclaim you name in all the world.

Prayer- Lord, come quickly -- Amen

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

April 19th People Reflection

Wednesday 4/19/2006

Acts 7.23-8.1a-he only had eyes for God, whom he was in all his glory with Jesus standing at his side.

Deuteronomy 31-32-GOD is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.

Job 19-Still, I know that God lives…

2 Esdras 11.1a-On the second night I had a dream…

Acts 10.34-43-We were the ones God chose to tell others about him.

Revelation 5.6-10-The Lamb looked as if it had once been killed.

Psalm 150-His deeds are wonderful, too marvelous to describe.

"Pull over at the next rest area and I’ll drive."- A day of driving. The need to switch drivers and give one another a break. I ask God to do the driving in life. But sometimes I grab the wheel from him when I don’t like the way he drives. Then when I take over, I seem to just get lost. Have to pull over to a rest area and let God drive again and get me back on track. God keeps the focus. And Stephen saw Jesus when he died. Stephen knew who had to drive. God drove Stephen right through the tough times – even a stoning with Saul standing by—but with God driving it all works out—just think of how life changed for Saul and the rest of the world. Stephen knew that God lived. Even in his own death, Stephen believed in a living God. Stephen was willing to go and tell others about God because God chose him to do this. Stephen knew that even in his death there was a Lamb that had been killed in his stead and that sin and death have already been defeated. Yes, Jesus deeds are too marvelous to describe and wonderful. Not a dream but a vision of hope and love. "Pull over at the next rest area and I’ll drive." – Here- take the wheel- I’ll go where you go.

Prayer-Lord, send me today in the direction you choose. -- Amen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

April 18th People Reflection

Tuesday 4/18/2006
Acts 7.1-22-What do you have to say for yourself?
Deuteronomy 29-30-GOD, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on
your heart and your children?s hearts, freeing you to love GOD, your
God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live.
Job 18-Get serious! We need to get down to business.
Psalm 118.1-2, 14-24-My power and my strength come from the LORD, and
he has saved me.
Job 19.23-27-I know that my Savoir lives?
Psalm 8-Our LORD, and Ruler, your name is wonderful everywhere on

?We thought you guys were never coming back.?- The girls were waiting
on Sue and I to return from the ski lift at Ober Gatlinburg. We had
stopped at the top to look at the mountains. They rode the slide down
and had to wait. So what did we have to say for oursleves? Well? the
scenery was real good and the ol guys at the top were real nice.
Nothing much more than that. And in this there was the love of some
children waiting on their parents to return. God waits on his children
to return. But here is was turned around. But I suspect with God
cutting away the calluses of our hearts and showing us the love he has
for all of us we see how to live. Really live. And after seeing God?s
love for each of us, it?s time to get down to business and serve him
in his kingdom. Because I know ? without a doubt that my Savior lives
and that he has saved me. And I look forward to the day that Jesus
will return in glory. Because I know how wonderful Jesus is and his
name will be praised everywh
ere on earth. Even on the top of some mountains. ?We though you guys
were never coming back.? ? But I know Jesus will come again to a
glorious resurrection of lives.

Prayer-Come Lord Jesus--- come quickly. Amen

Monday, April 17, 2006

April 17th People Reflections

Monday 4/17/2006
Acts 6-Stephen brimming with God?s grace and energy, was doing
wonderful things among the people. Unmistakable signs that God was
among them.
Deuteronomy 28-If you listen obediently to the Voice of GOD, your God,?
Job 17-If a family reunion means going six feet under, and the only
family that shows up is worms, Do you call that hope?
2 Esdras 10.55-59-Therefore do not be afraid, and do not let your
heart be terrified; but go in and see the splendor or the vastness?
1 Corinthians 15.1-11-Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am
like someone who was born at the wrong time.
Matthew 28.1-10-Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them.
Psalm 68.19-26, 32-35-Now sing praises to God!

?Did you get your beans planted on Good Friday??-A couple of good ol
guys in the pew behind me, talking before the Easter service at
Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church in Townsend Tenn. In the Smokies.
I love this church and the people there and God?s presence. The
comment reminds me of Stephen. I think he is one result of a Bean
planted in the earth. Jesus planted on Good Friday brings Life. That
Seed planted in the tomb on Good Friday resulted in Life for all. An
abundance of growth. An abundance of Life in the Church that would
result. In the Love that would be declared. In the Voice of God. This
planting was a Family Reunion but very different from the reunion that
Job spoke of. This reunion caused Life in abundance. This planting
does not bring forth fear and a terrified heart, but rather, hope and
salvation and forgiveness. This planting results in all people being
able to see Jesus in Life. This planting displays Jesus among us. Now
sing praises to God! ?Did you get
your beans planted on Good Friday?? ? Yes they were! Thanks be to God!

Prayer-Lord, thank you for that planting and the abundance of Life you
freely give. -- Amen

An Easter Day Walk
I met Jesus today. I met Jesus on a trail to some waterfalls in the
Smokies. I met Jesus something like those people years ago on an
Easter walk. I met Jesus when I shouted from the mountain top, ?He has
risen indeed.? I met Jesus in the response of a couple of daughters
behind in the trail who responded, ?Alleluia!.? I met Jesus today in a
man showing me a rainbow in the falls. I met Jesus in the warmth of
the sun on my face. I met Jesus in the love and caring of people
willing to do what I enjoyed over their own wishes. I met Jesus in the
struggle of the steep climb of the mountain. I met Jesus in the sweat
and pain of each step. I met Jesus in the joy of arriving at the cool
water freely flowing from that waterfall. I met Jesus in the family
having a picnic lunch at the base of the falls. I met Jesus in the
song of the birds and the sounds of nature. I met Jesus in the smiles
and laughter of family. I met Jesus in the rocky path and the smooth
path. I met Jesus in the gre
en of spring life in the mountains. I met Jesus in the butterflies and
the spider and the bees. I met Jesus in my barefoot walk into the cool
water at the base of the waterfall. I met Jesus as I took pictures of
some special girls standing barefoot on a mossy rock at the base of
the falls. I met Jesus in this ever-flowing, refreshing water. I met
Jesus on the smoothed, rounded, solid, boulders in the waters of the
falls. I met Jesus in the love and life of this hike on a warm Easter
Day. Yea?on this Easter Day ? I took a hike in the Smokies ? and there?
I met Jesus all around me and with me and in me. Thanks be to God!

The Cross
There is a cross suspended in time and space from a hill named
This cross is black with the death, pain, and suffering of my sin.
But on this cross beats a heart of Love.
Alive and active upon my sin and death.
A heart of Life.
A heart of Love.
A heart of Grace.
Red and full of Life and Love.
But look! This Heart bleeds.
This Heart bleeds but never dies.
This Heart of Life and Love and Grace.
The deep red of Life in the blood of this heart.
A Heart pouring the blood openly and freely.
Blood given once and for all.
Blood enough to fill the Cup.
Blood enough to overflow the Cup.
Blood given once and for all in a speck of time years ago.
Yet Blood that never ceases to give of itself.
Blood enough to flow endlessly into the world.
A world in need of this Life saving Blood of Grace.
Blood that gives Hope.
Blood that gives Life.
Blood that gives Love.
Blood freely given for the forgiveness of sin.
Blood that brings a new dawn.
Blood that brings a new day.
Blood that brings a new start.
A day to Praise this Heart of Love on this Cross of death.
A day to give Thanks to this Heart of Love on this Cross of death.
A day to drink freely of this Blood.
A day to take in the Life in this Blood.
A day to live the Hope given from this Blood.
A day to feel the warmth of the Love this Blood brings.
A day to live fully in the Grace of the one who gave this Blood.
To hear the Voice of the one who shed this Blood for all.
To follow in His call.
To Love and Live with and in and through Him alone.
A cross suspended in time and space.
A Love that never dies.
Thanks for the grace of Jesus on that cross.
A cross of Life and Love and Grace and Hope suspended in time and
A Savior here and now and to come.
The Blood of Life on the cross of my sin.
Thanks be to God!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Apiril 15th and 16th People Reflections - Plus some

Friday 4/14/2006
Acts 4.23-37-?they lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony in
Deuteronomy 21-22-?a hanged man is an insult to God.
Job 14-My sins will be stuffed in a sack and thrown into the sea?sunk
in deep ocean.
2 Esdras 10.25-27a-While I was talking to her, her face suddenly began
to shine exceedingly?
John 18.1-19.42-?So you want me to nail your king to a cross?? Pilate
asked?on each side of him a man was also nailed to a cross.
Psalm 22-From the day I was born, I have been in your care, and from
the time of my birth, you have been my God.

?I just wanted to know if you understood how I was feeling.? ?
Understanding feelings. Sometimes we know more of the story and can
understand how another person feels. Sometimes we don?t and can?t
figure out why the other person is acting a certain way. And through
it all as Christians. We pray?lifting our confused voices together in
prayer. Some knowing- some not- but all praying. Praying to a man that
all of those praying have hung on a cross. Cruelly nailed Jesus to the
cross. We are all guilty. And God is insulted. We are all guilty of
sin and God is insulted. Ashamed- we are ashamed and sinful. Nailed
him to the cross--- and it?s hard to believe to the ?outside?
world. ?So you want me to nail your king to a cross?? Pilate asked-
astonished by the answer- from the very people who had been praising
and honoring Jesus just a short time ago. How we change- How we sin.
It?s disgusting. Yet in my sin and there suffering from the cross ? is
one who loves me so deeply ? one who
knows me so completely- one who knows my sin- knows my filth- knows
how awful I am- one who gives me that look when I deny him ? that look
that brings on my shame and makes my cry the deep cry of giving up one
that I love- but after the look- that look after my denial- Jesus ?
suffers ? dies ? yet calls me his friend- how great a love- how
awesome is God?s love for us that he would allow me to hang next to
him on my cross- still feel the pain of my sin- but on Jesus cross-
the sin is removed and the price is paid by Jesus- not by me- he
grants me paradise as I hang on my cross next to his- Jesus is Love-
Love beyond all understanding- and Love that is given to all. Love
that from the day I was born makes Jesus my God and my Savior. Jesus
forgive me! Jesus save me! Jesus let me be in Paradise with you! Jesus?
I love you! ? Jesus my Savior! ? ?I just wanted to know if your
understood how I was feeling.?

Prayer-Jesus! ? My God! ? Jesus! ? My Savior ? Jesus! My Love! --- Amen

Saturday 4/15/2006
Acts 5.1-16-Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set
up among the people, many wonderful things done.
Deuteronomy 23-24-?your God, refused to listen to Balaam but turned
the curse into a blessing---how GOD, your God, loves you!
Job 15-Whoever invests in lies, gets lies for interest.
2 Esdras 10.27b-37-For I have seen what I did not know, and hear what
I do not understand.
Isaiah 52.13-53.12-He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by
taking our punishment, he made us completely well.
Ephesians 5.14-Wake up from your sleep and rise from death. Then
Christ will shine on you.
Psalm 4-I was in terrible distress, but you set me free.

?Seems like all coffee shops close too early.? ? Trying to go to a
coffee shop with a huge sign that said ?Now Open? ? well ? it was
closed ? it closed at 6:30 pm. We were disappointed. But God does not
disappoint. God fulfills and God gives life. The early church was
witness to this life. To this fulfillment they experienced great
growth. Growth even in persecution. God sent signs that his Spirit was
ever present. God turns the curses of sin into blesssings of life. God
does all this through Jesus. Jesus the source of truth and life. Not
the source of lies. My sin is the lie that brings on interest of more
lies. And this I confess. And in my confession I look upon the cross
and see what I don?t know, and hear what I don?t understand. A love so
deep that Jesus would die for me. A love so deep that Jesus would take
on the lie of my sin and rescue me from myself and sin and death. He
was wounded and crushed because of my sin and took on my punishment to
make me completely wel
l. I will respond by waking up and letting the warmth of Jesus love
shine on me and let that warmth and light penetrate through me to the
world of people I meet day after day. I was in terrible distress but
Jesus set me free. ?Seems like all coffee shops close too early.? ?
But, thanks be to God he sent Jesus to keep my life open eternally
through his grace.

Prayer-Lord, let your light shine through me this day and give
comfort. -- Amen

Holy Saturday
As I sit on the porch of a cabin buried in the Smokies, I wonder? This
is the day my Savior lay in a tomb. As I hear nature erupt all around
me on this early morning. As I hear the song of the birds. The buzz of
some huge bees. As I ponder my Savior in the tomb. I have to wonder?
What was it like that Saturday morning years ago? What was it like
outside Jesus? tomb? Did the birds sing? Did the bees buzz? Did nature
look at that tomb and wonder? Or maybe they knew. Maybe they knew the
purpose of our Savior. Maybe the birds, the bees, the squirrels, the
cows, the woodpeckers, knew that Jesus would rise again. Would rise
again in a spectacular way. Maybe they were at the height of their
glory praising God with all their might, singing, buzzing, mooing,
pecking the wood of that cross and feeding on it. Maybe they knew how
God could turn it all upside down and inside out and raise Jesus from
the dead. What was it like outside that tomb, in expectation of the
upcoming glorious even
t on that Saturday morning? Waiting in anticipation to be the very
first to know and see that Jesus is risen. In just a few hours what
would Jesus? friends witness? Would they see my Savior pass through
that stone? Would they see his triumphant return from his meeting in
hell? Would they see and delight in the excitement of some silly
humans who didn?t really quite believe begin to believe as they
discovered the empty tomb? What would these birds and creation of God
think about Mary?s slow recognition of Jesus her Savior and friend? As
the sun begins to shine brightly directly into my eyes, did that sun
on that Saturday morning spotlight the stone in front of that tomb?
Did this sun warm the face of the guard at the tomb? Did this sun
start to warm the hearts of all men, guards, disciples, religious
leaders, poor, rich and all people that soon the news of a risen
Savior would invade the world forever? Did nature recognize the change
that was about to take place for all time i
n the rising of this sun on this in-between day. Yea, as I sit on this
porch and hear the voice of God in nature surrounding me?.I wonder. I
wonder, and I believe in the in-between day. The day after all the
suffering, pain and death. The day in-between where there is pause to
feel my sin, see my sin die on that cross years ago, feel the pain and
shame of letting my Savior down by running and hiding, by denying, by
betraying, by selling him off to the devil, but also a day to ponder
and reflect on what has just taken place on that cross. A day in-
between, when I feel the love and hope and salvation of a Savior sent
by God who loves me so deeply that he would take on my sin and die for
me. The day in-between to ponder and to give thanks and to anticipate
that day to come. That day when I will meet Jesus and give him thanks
and praise and glory for this wonderful gift of life freely given. On
this day in-between I wonder if creation was reborn. On this Sabbath
day in-between, a
Sabbath when our creator once rested?our creator rests once again.
Jesus has completed the work. Jesus has given new life. Jesus now
rests on this day in-between. I wonder?did nature sing a lullaby to
my Lord and Savior as he sleep on this day in-between? The sounds, the
sights and the warmth I feel at this moment?were they like those on
this day in-between? As I sit on the porch of a cabin buried in the
Smoky?s, I wonder?.I reflect?.I pray?I cry?.I love?.I listen?I see the
light?I hear the voice?I feel the warmth?I feel the life?I praise God?
but most of all?I wonder?I wonder?.I wonder?And I feel the presence of
my risen loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?here now and with me on
the porch of this cabin buried with me in my sin in the Smokies. The
day in-between, what a gift from God!

Sunday 4/16/2006
Acts 5.17-42-But during the night an angel of God opened the jailhouse
door and led them out. He said, ?Go to the Temple and take your stand.
Tell the people everything there is to say about this Life.?
Deuteronomy 25-27-Listen to the Voice of GOD, your God.
Job 16-Only a few years are left before I set out on the road of no
2 Esdras 10.38-54-Listen to me and I will teach you?
Mark 16.1-8-When the women ran from the tomb, they were confused and
shaking all over. They were too afraid to tell anyone what had
Psalm 118.19-29-Open the gates of Justice. I will enter and tell the
LORD how thankful I am.

?Don?t you dare say that I did it!? ? ?You did it.? ? ?Somebody must
have farted.? ?Three people this time! ? This was a conversation that
Steph and I heard from a couple passing by the opposite way as we were
hiking to the Chimneys in the Smokies. The wife made the first
statement- then the husband- then Steph?s comment. Who knows for sure
what it was about. But maybe Steph was right. I don?t know if the man
was willing to tell everything there is to say about this Life- but
maybe a little anyway. And that?s what the first Christians were
about. Telling about the Life. Life with a capital L- Telling about
Jesus. But as you see the Mark account of the women at the tomb. This
telling of the Life can be confusing and shaky and afraid. But their
reaction was before the Spirit was sent. With the Spirit of God at our
backs we CAN tell about this Life. We can tell even though we are
sinful ? we MUST tell. Sin is no excuse to back away from telling
about this Life. After all that
Life gave himself for my sin ? so I must tell ? I love that Life so
much my only response is to tell about him to all I see. Listen to the
Spirit- read the Word ? hear His teaching and tell about this Life.
Listen to the Voice of God all around myself ? day after day- hour
after hour ? minute after minute ? second after second- and go tell
about this Life. For this Life has opened the gate of Justice for me
by dying for my sin. I must tell! ? ?Don?t you dare say that I did
it!? ? ?You did it.? ? ?Somebody must have farted.? ? OK?I did it! ? I
claim it! ? I glory in it! ? Now you go tell and I?ll go tell too!

Prayer-Lord- today I thank you for all you have graciously done for me
and I will tell of the Life you offer and glorify you. ? Amen

Easter Morning
How warm is the Love of God. How bright is the Sun on my face. How
clear is the Voice of his calling this day. Christ is risen! No doubt
about it. Life surrounding me. Life in abundance. Life in every sound.
Life in every sight. Life in every smell. Life in the Breeze. Life in
the Spirit. No more death. No more pain. Glory in the scars of my sin.
Glory in the wounds of suffering. Glory in Jesus my Lord and Savior.
Life-Glory-Light-Warmth-Praise. That?s what creation is singing to me
this day. That?s what I hear from the porch of this cabin buried in
the Smokies. The tomb is open and Life is present here and now. Life
is present around me and in me and in everything I sense this day.
Thanks be to God! ? He is risen! ? He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 13th People Reflection

Thursday 4/13/2006

Acts 4.1-22-As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep silent about what we’ve seen and heard.

Deuteronomy 19-20-I’m commanding you today, namely, to love GOD, your God, and do what he tells you all your life…

Job 13-Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom, good for nothing but gathering dust.

2 Esdras 10.5-24-shake off your great sadness and lay aside your many sorrows…

John 13.1-17;21-35-But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you.

1 Corinthians 10.14-17-When we drink from the cup that we ask God to bless, isn’t that sharing in the blood of Christ? When we eat the bread that we break, isn’t that sharing in the body of Christ?

Psalm 116.12-19-you have rescued me from the chains of death

"You’ll see a large set of flags."- Getting directions. But there were so many flags all over the place we became confused. Eventually with directions over the phone we found our way. Jesus show the way too. As the disciples in Acts were telling of his saving grace and power the authorities of the day had asked them to "can" it. But the reply was that they can’t keep silent about what was seen and heard. And in the same way- I can see God’s activity in my life. How can I not tell others of how good God is to me. How God stays with me at all times. How can I not tell others has God is good to them also. How God will be there even when the time is rough- even when the times are great. God saves all of us from sin- not just some – but all of us. Will we accept his grace? Will we accept and follow the command to love others- or will we fall into the trap of believing we know it all and offer our knickknack wisdom instead? Will we shake off our sadness and sorrows and see God’s grace? Will we come together at the table and share the bread and wine and body and blood and be united in Jesus’ love and salvation? Will we see that set of crosses and glory in the pain and suffering and death Jesus took on for us and our sin? Will we see the chains of death fall from us? "You’ll see a large set of flags."- I think maybe I’ll see a set of crosses- one of them is mine but I’ll rejoice in my pain while hanging on that cross knowing that I have a friend at my side who was willing to die for me and I’ll know for sure that He is the way and the truth and the light and my salvation.

Prayer-Lord, thank you for the cross, my friend. -- Amen

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

April 12th People Reflection

Wednesday 4/12/2006

Acts 3-In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

Deuteronomy 17-18-GOD, your God, is going to raise up a prophet for you. GOD will raise him up from among your kinsmen, a prophet like me. Listen obediently to him.

Job 12-But don’t forget that I also have a brain—

2 Esdras 9.38-10.4-I will neither eat nor drink, but will mourn and fast continually until I die.

Hebrews 12.1-3-We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete…So Keep you mind on Jesus…

Isaiah 53.5-He was wounded and crushed because of your sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.

Psalm 124-The LORD was on our side! Otherwise the enemy attack would have killed us all, because it was furious.

"I do have a little mind you know!" – A statement, not from yesterday, but from the past. Telling me to listen. Yea- the words came out funny –but the message was there. Humble myself and listen. Listen to the Word of God. Hear and feel the healing. Hear and know the forgiveness. Hear and know that once again I will jump to me feet and walk. Even jump to my feet and run. Jesus suffered greatly for my sin to set me on my feet to run in the joy of his forgiveness. He was wounded and crushed because of my sin. Jesus took on my sin and took on the pain that I could not overcome. Jesus – on my side- defeating the attack of the enemy and all his evil power of sin trying to overtake me. My sin. No one else is to blame but me. Jesus taking on the shame and pain of it all. Jesus taking on that feeling of the need to die- does die for me. Hear and know what God has done for me and rejoice in a love beyond understanding. Freely give this same love to those in my world hurting around me and point them all – point them straight to Jesus- let all of us keep our eyes on Jesus- let’s make our faith complete through all Jesus does for each and every one of us. "I do have a little mind you know!" – And let that mind center on Jesus grace and that alone!

Prayer-I focus on you, Lord Jesus, you alone this day. -- Amen

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

April 11th People Reflection

Tuesday 4/11/2006

Acts 2.14-47-Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven.

Deuteronomy 15-16-Believe me, GOD, your God, will bless you in everything you do.

Job 11-do you think you can explain the mystery of God?

2 Esdras 9.29-37-the law, however, does not perish but survives in its glory.

Isaiah 49.1-7-The LORD chose me and gave me a name before I was born.

Isaiah 53.4-He suffered and endured great pain for us…

Psalm 31.1-8-I celebrate and shut because you are kind. You saw all my suffering, and you cared for me.

"That’s it! Send the e-mail."- Discovering an error that caused charges to be applied to a wrong account. Send the e-mail to have the correction made. Change you life. Discover the error. See it. Feel it. Smell it and see how the correction was made through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Believe God and his blessings. See the correction in Jesus. Focus on that corrective love freely given. That love that transcends the changeless law into my heart and frees me. That love in Jesus that chooses me before my birth. See how Jesus suffered and endured great pain for me and my sin. Then change. Then really see it – feel it- blubber in your sin and the joy is that much more joyous- Celebrate and shout because God is so so kind in Jesus. God saw my suffering and cared and loved me. "That’s it! Send the e-mail."

Prayer- That’s it! – Jesus my Savior and King! -- Amen

Monday, April 10, 2006

April 10th People Reflection

Monday 4/10/2006

Acts 2.1-13-They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!

Deuteronomy 13-14-Yes. Obediently listen to GOD, your God.

Job 10-You gave me life itself, and incredible love.

2 Esdras 9.26-28-there I sat among the flowers and ate of the plants of the field…

Isaiah 42.1-9-now I will announce what will happen next.

Isaiah 53.1-3-We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!"

Psalm 63-Your love means more than life to me, and I praise you.

"Is Cincinnati a Pepsi town?" – Huh?- Never even occurred to me you had to be Pepsi or Coke I guess. A young woman next to me at the Red’s game yesterday. Starting conversation with small talk. She was new to Cincinnati. Came from Chicago. So we got to know each other. Talked for some time. I really couldn’t answer her original question but I guess it really didn’t matter anyway. It lead to knowing another person on a deeper level. At first I thought maybe she was speaking tongues. Cause I took her initial question literally. But that question was just an opener. And so the same in the Acts reading. Speaking in tongues- just an opener to a deeper relationship with God. Not some big deal like we make it out to be. Just and opener. I think it’s really for beginners anyway. God’s way of hooking some people. And then we listen to God. See what he has to say. Look to the Word. Listen to what he has to say. And we see Life. Life in Jesus. Life in Death. Jesus death. Life in the flowers of the field. Life in the food we eat. Life in the bread and wine. Life in the waters of baptism. And we listen to those tongues. And listen to what will happen next. Day after day. Listen to the love God gives and freely give his love and our love to a hurting world. Even in the small talk of a young woman at the Reds game. Giving life to another. "Is Cincinnati a Pepsi town?" – Yea- listen to someone speaking in tongues.

Prayer- Lord, open opportunities for me to hear tongues and to use tongues this day to speak Life to the world you send me into. -- Amen

April 9th People Reflections

Sunday 4/9/2006

Acts 1-Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 11-12-Don’t eat the blood. Blood is life.

Job 9-We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle surprises can’t be counted.

Mark 11.1-11-Hosanna in the highest!

Matthew 21.1-11-Hosanna in the highest!

Psalm 118.1-18-His love endures forever…The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

"I want to be closer to God."- Conversation with another person. Wanting to be closer to God. And yes getting closer. But probably not because they moved to God but God moved to them. Makes me think about today’s passages. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. – Closer to God—Don’t eat the blood. Blood is life. – Jesus body and blood- the blood is the life- a huge change- a new command- take and eat- this is my body- take and drink- this is my blood- Closer to God- We can’t figure this out- it’s way beyond our understanding why God chooses to move to us rather than commanding us to come to him- but we come and he comes and we run to him- he runs to us and we praise his name- Hosanna in the highest- God’s love endures forever- even in the punishment of my sin- even through the punishment of my sins God show his love for me by sending Jesus into my life and into my very being- down deep inside- a mystery and a miracle. "I want to be closer to God."- Yea- a great desire and God wants to be closer to me- a match made in heaven. – Thanks be to God!

Prayer- Lord – I want to be closer to you! – Amen

Saturday, April 08, 2006

April 8th People Reflection

Saturday 4/8/2006

Matthew 28-I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.

Deuteronomy 9-10-Today know this: GOD, your God, is crossing the river ahead of you…

Job 8-Even though you’re not much right now, you’ll end up better than ever.

Mark 14.1-15.47-Jesus shouted and then died. At once the curtain in the temple tore in two from top to bottom.

Leviticus 16.15-17-and you must sprinkle its blood inside the most holy place…

Psalm 80.1-7, 17-19-LORD God All-Powerful, make us strong again! Smile on us and save us.

"Maybe I’ve got an attitude."- A statement at work about words being spoken without action to follow. Meaningless "buzz" words without follow-up. Jesus last words at his ascension—were that he would be with us day after day after day—right up till the end. Not "buzz" words but deep love and truth. Action in that Jesus crossed that river ahead of us- just as God crossed the river ahead of the Israelites- not just "buzz" words – but loving action – Through God’s love I will end up better than ever- even though I deserve damnation and eternal fire- God loves me through my sin and death to a new life- and the curtain tore in two- at Jesus death- the holy place of God- sprinkled with the blood of Jesus inside was now open to me- God opened himself to my world and took on my sin and took on my death and did it all for the love of me- God – All-Powerful – saved me and smiles on me – day after day after day – right up till the end—"Maybe I’ve got an attitude." – Now a changed attitude – I’ve seen the action of my loving Savior – Thanks be to God!

Prayer- Lord thank you! -- Amen

Friday, April 07, 2006

April 7th People Reflection

Friday 4/7/2006

Matthew 27.32-66-So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards.

Deuteronomy 7-8-GOD, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure.

Job 7-Human life is a struggle, isn’t it?

2 Esdras 9.23-25-eat only of the flowers of the field…

Philippians 2.5-11-everyone will openly agree, "Jesus Christ is Lord!"

Hebrews 12.1-3-We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete.

Psalm 123-Our LORD and our God, I turn my eyes to you, on your throne in heaven.

"That was faster than I thought it would be."- Being caught up at work allows me to respond to requests in a more timely manner. It’s usually not this way. Usually I’m way behind and people have to wait. Usually it’s all a struggle. But when I’m caught up, everything seems easier. After Jesus death and while he was in the tomb they wanted to make sure that there was no mistake about his death. There couldn’t be a resurrection because the tomb was sealed and a guard posted. But that’s not what happened. God is always caught up- he has the plan and it is greater than any human plan. God’s plan included defeat of death and sin. Even for those who would try to seal the tomb and post a guard. And in this how can I help but to see how God is in control. Not my sealed tombs, or shut drawers, or constant guard over my actions. But God is in control and will show me salvation in Jesus- show me a resurrection to new life- open the drawers and open the tombs and move the guard out of the way and allow Jesus to be active in and through me. I must keep my eyes on Jesus for only in Jesus will my faith be made complete. Only in that one flower in the field which will bring me life can I eat. And everyone will agree—Jesus is Lord! – Yea- "That was faster than I though it would be." – And the opening of my life – the opening of the tomb of my sin- the removal of the guard- brings me a Savior and life everlasting.

Prayer-Lord thank you for opening that tomb and bringing life from death. -- Amen

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April 6th People Reflection

Thursday 4/6/2006

Matthew 27.1-31-And so they unwittingly followed the divine instructions to the letter.

Deuteronomy 5-6-Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Job 6-Do you think I’m made of iron?

2 Esdras 8.62b-9.22-Therefore do not continue to be curious about how the ungodly will be punished; but inquire how the righteous will be saved…

Isaiah 50.4-9a-Each morning he awakens me eager to learn his teaching…

Deuteronomy 26.7-9-You brought us here and gave us this land rich with milk and honey.

Psalm 18-you help me stand on the mountains.

"Cookie!"- A trick to distract the dogs. They think they are getting a treat and stop whatever they are doing at the time and focus their attention on the one talking. The Jewish leaders of the day unwittingly fulfilled scripture when the bought Potters Field with the money they used to bribe Judas. They ended up following it to the letter. To the letter—just what Jesus came to correct us on—God wants our hearts not our actions—God provides the action through Jesus and saves us- what he wants is my heart to be his- to love him with all my heart – to love him with all I’ve got—not to think that I can make myself perfect by following all the commands to the letter- but to let God make me perfect through the action of Jesus saving grace—No God doesn’t think I’m made of iron- that’s why he gave Jesus in my stead- and knowing this I can awaken each morning eager to learn his teachings- to hear his voice- to listen to God speak through those I meet and the situations I’m in- not to focus on the punished- but to focus on the saved – God draws me out and shows me that land beyond the trees- that land of milk and honey and let’s me stand on that mountain and gaze at this land and into his eyes and into his heart. "Cookie!"- yea "Cookie!" – what a grand distraction God has given me—but in the same breath it is hope and love.

Prayer- Lord-distract me this day with your love. -- Amen

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April 5th People Reflection

Wednesday 4/5/2006

Matthew 26.47-75-Friend, why this charade?

Deuteronomy 3-4-Know this well, then, Take it to heart right now: GOD is in Heaven above; GOD is on Earth below. He’s the only God there is.

Job 5-the same hand that hurts you, heals you.

2 Esdras 8.37-62a-and yet not all that have been sown will come up in due season, and not all that were planted will take root; so also those who have been sown in the world will not all be saved.

Psalm 31.9-16-I am completely forgotten like someone dead.

Hebrews 5.7-9-but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God.

Psalm 2-But he blesses and protects everyone who runs to him.

"None of the doors will open."- A security system gone haywire. Due to a computer glitch. None of the doors would open. Judas brought a crowd to Jesus. Judas gave Jesus a kiss to identify him. Did Jesus really need to be identified? It’s not like the people didn’t know who he was. But Judas gave him a kiss. A charade as Jesus called it. "None of the doors will open."- Well—maybe really at that moment a door flew wide open. A door that would reveal Jesus true power and love to the world. A door that would make God’s presence known to all people. Even Judas-even those out to kill Jesus-even to me. This was the beginning of the beginning. The beginning of knowing that God is in heaven above and God is on the Earth below and that God is the only God there is. No earthly powerful king—like Judas wanted- but a King above all Kings—and the only God there is. "None of the doors will open."- But this open door with Jesus standing there waiting will lead to some pain. For it will hurt before I feel the healing. Peter hurt so bad when he realized his denial of Jesus. Pain and hurt of sin. All the disciples fled—sin. I deserve damnation and punishment. No doubt about it. I can’t escape the results of my sin. But Jesus still heals me. Heals me through the pain of my sin. Stays with me throughout the whole ordeal and saves me from my sin. Jesus stands at that door- inviting me out into the world to be with me when I fall down- to dust me off- to give me a hand- to pull me back up and in the end to save me from death and sin. Some that wander through that door with Jesus will turn and leave him. Seeds that won’t take root. Seeds sown that will not be saved. But not due to Jesus not being there behind that door. But due to pride and arrogance and the failure to take hold of the salvation that only God can offer. Yea—sometimes in my sin I feel completely forgotten. Dead to others in this world. And they would have it that way. But on the other side of that door that leads to life with Jesus is one who will never give me up for dead. One who will never abandon me in my pain. One who will stay with me, listen to me, and take me through my pain to life and love in him. Because Jesus knew what it was like to suffer. Jesus took on the suffering of my sin when he didn’t have to. And in this I feel his protection and blessing and will praise his name forever and ever. Just look at the huge contrast of Jesus and my sin and be thankful forever. A friend that is there even when it seems that "None of the doors will open." – I find a door wide open with my friend Jesus smiling and waiting to escort me through the pain of my sin to joyous life everlasting. Thanks be to God!

Prayer- Lord, you are awesome- I’m comin out to play today—I really don’t care if the door hits me in the ass cause you’re waiting there with that door wide open.. --Amen

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

April 4th People Reflection

Tuesday 4/4/2006

Matthew 26.26-46-This sorrow is crushing my life out.

Deuteronomy 1-2-Then we turned around and went back into the wilderness…

Job 4-But now you’re the one in trouble---you’re hurting!

2 Esdras 8.19b-36-O do not look on the sins of your people, but on those who serve you in truth.

1 Corinthians 14.20-33a, 39-40-They will realize that they are sinners, and they will want to change their ways because of what you are saying, They will tell what is hidden in the hearts. Then they will kneel down and say to God, "We are certain that you are with these people."

Jeremiah 31.31-34-Here is the new agreement that I, the LORD, will make with the people of Israel: "I will write my lows on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and the will be my people…I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done."

Psalm 51.7-15-Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt. Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again.

"Everyone has sinned."- But oh how that sin lingers. How we turn- how we repent. How awful it is to head back into that wilderness after sin. And to know that I’m the one in trouble now and hurting. I’m not the one to comfort but am the one in trouble now and hurting. With nobody to turn to. Well—wait a minute. Then I hear a voice. The voice of Jesus calling me out. Calling me to him. In and through people. In and through the Word. In and through so many things. Jesus calling me out. Both of us hanging side by side on crosses. Jesus suffering voice calling my name. In my sin-In my suffering-In my shame- I hear Jesus suffering voice calling me out. I realize my sin and feel the pain of it. But so does he—calling me out. Calling me to change. Showing me the suffering and pain he endures for my sin. Showing me the price he is paying for my sin. And then I hear his voice of forgiveness. From that cross from which he hangs. –I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done. --- Father forgive them for they know not what they do. – And a change begins to take place in me – a new creation of a pure heart and faithfulness to a God that calls me out of my sin to life and joy in him. "Everyone has sinned." – And everyone is called out of that sin to a new life of joy in Jesus.

Prayer-Lord thank you for calling me out from that cross. I’m listening! -- Amen

Monday, April 03, 2006

April 3rd People Reflection

Monday 4/3/2006

Matthew 26.1-25-Don’t play games with me, Judas.

Numbers 35-36-I live here too---I GOD, live in the same neighborhood…

Job 3-…death has invaded life.

2 Esdras 8.4-19a-for I see the failings of us who inhabit the earth…

1 Corinthians 14.1-19-you may be worshiping God in a wonderful way, but no one else will be helped.

Galatians 2.17-21-I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me.

Psalm 119.49-56-Even in the night I think about you, LORD, and I obey your Law.

"Boy, look at Paul write." – A humorous part of the Sunday School Lesson on the expression of physical touch in love. An expression turned sour with Judas kiss of Jesus. Judas playing games with the expression of love in physical touch. But in that twisted love God was there. Taking the brunt of if. Taking the misunderstood love into himself and upon himself. At that point death invaded life. Death invaded the living Christ. My Savior. Death in the sinful failings of all who inhabit the earth from Adam to Jesus. All of us are included in this game. And in this game of love when we worship. If we worship only to and for ourselves---who else can be helped. We take worship and turn it inwards to please ourselves rather than pleasing God. We entertain ourselves rather than praising God. For in this game of love it was Jesus that was nailed to the cross by our side. But I deserved death for my sin---Jesus didn’t sin. Jesus took on the punishment for my sin and played the game out that I was unable to complete. Jesus who obeyed the Law and thought and prayed all night to God. "Boy, look at Paul write." – And yea – look at the writings of not only Paul but many others who see the game Jesus played in our stead.

Prayer-Jesus –I’m ready to play your game this day – lead me all day long. -- Amen

Sunday, April 02, 2006

April 2nd People Refelction

Sunday 4/2/2006

Matthew 25.31-46-When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne.

Numbers 32-34-They marched out heads high and confident.

Job 2-We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?

2 Esdras 7.116-8.3-O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendants.

John 12.20-33-If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me.

Psalm 57-Your love reaches higher than the heavens; your loyalty extends beyond the clouds.

"I’m having a rough day."- Yea—We all have rough days sometimes. But those rough days make me contrast that day when Jesus will finally arrive in blazing beauty with all his angels. That day when I will see him on his glorious throne. I think I need to feel the pain of those rough days sometimes. In the pain I feel I appreciate even more the pain that Jesus endured for me. The pain that Jesus took upon himself for my salvation. It’s all a contrast. Did the Israelites who marched out of Egypt with heads held high and confident have any idea that they would be going into the desert to stay for a while? Or did they think they had finally reached the goal. Freedom is sweet but it does cost. We take the good days from God so why don’t I take the rough days also? Feel the pain of those rough days and contrast the goodness of God in my life. God is with me in the good days and he is also with me in the rough days. Jesus took on the rough days also and was lifted up on that cross. The good with the bad. On those crosses all together. And today Jesus is with me—the good with the bad- Adam and Jesus together. Sin and salvation – side by side. But in my sin and pain I can see how great that suffering and salvation was that God has freely offered to me. No doubt about it- God’s love reaches higher that the skies and his loyalty is beyond the clouds. "I’m having a rough day." – And I know of a Savior right be my side thoughout that day too.

Prayer-Lord I give thanks for the rough days and the good days and the vast contrast they make. -- Amen

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April 1st People Reflection

Saturday 4/1/2006

Matthew 25.1-30-So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

Numbers 30-31-This is what GOD commands…

Job 1-GOD gives, GOD takes, God’s name be ever blessed.

2 Esdras 7.100-115-This present world is not the end; the full glory does not remain in it…

Hebrews 5.5-10-but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God.

Numbers 21.4-9-Then the LORD sent poisonous snakes that bit and killed many of them.

Psalm 27.1-6-You will hide me in a tent and keep me safe on top of a mighty rock.

"I think our time is up."- Bryan and I playing cribbage at the coffee shop- ran out of time- the place closed on us—but Bryan was one point short of winning. He would have won on the next hand. I conceded the game reluctantly. It's funny how competitive I can get. I wonder if there was some competitive spirit with the women waiting with their lamps for the bridegroom? I think maybe so. And then I wonder—was the competition amongst the priests- who can obey all those commandments? I think maybe so. There sure seemed to be come competition between God and Satan over Job. And even today- do we compete to know when the end will come. I think so. We want to know it all. We want to know how everything is going to work out ahead of time. That way we can compete and win. Win what—who knows??—But maybe that’s competition. And in competition comes some suffering. But I don’t see Jesus competing. I see him in full knowledge of the victory he would attain for all people. I see Jesus suffering knowing that he had won. And it’s in Jesus assurance that I hide- and sit on that mighty rock. Knowing that the competition has taken place and I am free to respond in joy and thanksgiving to the prize already won. Yea- sit and reflect on the glory of God on that mighty rock. Sit and reflect with a friend on that rock and glory in the presence of God. "I think our time is up." – But there is an eternity that remains ahead.

Prayer-Lord, give me time this day to reflect and sit with a friend or two on the rock of salvation and be thankful for all you have blessed us with. - Amen