Category Archives: Religion

All Fall Short

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV) ( Romans 3:23 ) 

Do you place a lot of pressure on yourself?  You get overwhelmed easily and then feel like a failure when you don’t measure up to your own expectations of perfection.  God wants to free you from those burdens.  Release yourself to God.  Stop trying to control everything.  Let go and let God. 


Help

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (KJV) ( Psalms 121:2 ) 

There is no problem too big for God!  He made this world, which means he is able to break the rules that He set into place. If you face an issue that seems impossible, remember we were created by a God that specializes in making the impossible, possible again!  He is our help when we have need. 


Believing in Others

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (KJV) ( 1 Peter 3:8 ) 

Sometimes we face people who are outwardly unpleasant or who unknowingly strike a nerve in us. Family and friends are no exceptions. While it may seem like they’re directing it at you, most times it’s just their own behavior reacting to the pressures of the day. You have a choice to either harbor that negative energy, or to believe that somewhere deep inside of them, God is there working on them. Join Him by believing in the beauty of His creation. You can do this by reacting with a tenderhearted attitude. It’s your choice. 


Are You Afraid?

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (KJV) ( Mark 4:40 ) 

The disciples had been with Jesus enough to see many miracles done but yet they underestimated the power He had to control the wind.  You may not be aware of your fears, but they drive at the heart of your words, actions, and attitudes.  Take a moment and think about your fears.  Now, think about each time Jesus has performed miracles in your life.  When you uncover your fears and approach them with His past faithfulness, your fears will lose all control.  Do you allow your fears to overtake your faith? 

God Is At Work

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (KJV) ( Ecclesiastes 3:11 ) 

Jesus is the main character in a story still being told. God’s great work began at creation and continues until the end of time as we know it. Moments of our lives can feel so far from the masterpiece we are promised. Be encouraged, even if you don’t understand it, God’s story is still being told. God is making something beautiful out of you! 


Failure

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (KJV) (Psalms 73:26) 

One hard truth about being human is that failure is unavoidable.  Solo, our strength runs out.  If you are feeling defeated by your lack of ability, the good news is, we have a source to go to that is so much bigger than us! God is faithful to breath new life and hope into our failures. 


Light

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (KJV) ( Matthew 5:14  ) 

Do you ever feel like the world around you is awfully dark? Remember it only takes one flicker of light to pierce through dark spaces.  When in darkness, even the tiniest light cannot be ignored. Don’t underestimate the difference your light can make in your community.  Go out today and brighten your world! 


To Be Happy

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. (KJV) ( Ecclesiastes 3:12 ) 

Do you acknowledge your happiness?  Often times, we don’t recognize our happiness in the moment but instead look back years later saying it was the happiest time of our lives.  Take joy in your current happiness, even if it is circumstantial.  Let’s do a better job of realizing our happiness and not be a person who walks around happy and not even knowing it.  What makes you happy today? 


What It Means to Worship a Man Crucified as a Criminal

During a Christmas break while I was a student at the University of Washington, I tuned in to a show that influenced the trajectory of my faith, quite by accident. It was a broadcast of an hourlong “Firing Line” interview in 1980 between William F. Buckley Jr. and Malcolm Muggeridge, the British journalist who late in life converted to Christianity.

In the course of the interview, Mr. Muggeridge used a parable. Imagine that the Apostle Paul, after his Damascus Road conversion, starts off on his journey, Mr. Muggeridge said, and consults with an eminent public relations man. “I’ve got this campaign and I want to promote this gospel,” Paul tells this individual, who responds, “Well, you’ve got to have some sort of symbol.” To which Paul would reply: “Well, I have got one. I’ve got this cross.”

“The public relations man would have laughed his head off,” Mr. Muggeridge said, with the P.R. man insisting: “You can’t popularize a thing like that. It’s absolutely mad.”

This was an excerpt from a very thought provoking article just in time for Easter: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/opinion/god-good-friday.html


Easter

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”-and that he had said these things to her.
John 20:1-18

Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

For Jesus’ mother, his disciples and his followers, Jesus’ death was a tragedy. You can imagine that all hope was naturally gone. We today can face the same feeling. Many times in life, with homophobic politicians, the increasing rise of anti-gay homophobic groups, and everything that is going on in the world — war, famine, disease, natural disasters, discrimination, and hate — there can be a loss of hope and faith. Yet the resurrection gives us hope that no matter what has happened in our lives, no matter how much faith and hope we have lost, we can experience hope, we can overcome and regain whatever we have lost in our lives.

Our hope includes the knowledge that evil does not win. Sometimes today, it seems that the bad guy often wins. Sometimes it seems that the one who cheats, the one who lies, the one who steps on others to get ahead, is the one who prospers. Far too often, I read of this person cheating or that one (or catching a student cheating) or another kid, gay or otherwise, who has been bullied, lost hope, and committed suicide. How often do we read of politicians cheating, or working to make sure their businesses get the good contract? It seems that there is no hope for the little guy, the one who lives right, to ever get ahead.

With a positive attitude that through God we can accomplish anything, we truly can make the world a better place. With hope that springs eternal, just as the flowers in spring show the rebirth of the earth, we can be assured that God’s promises will deliver a better day, a rebirth our faith. The promise that Jesus would rise from the grave on the third day is remembered every Easter Sunday, it is the greatest sacrifice God could give for our sins. When we are baptized, it is done in symbolic reverence as our old body dies in its watery grave to be reborn and rise from the dead as Christ did for our sins.


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