Sunday, March 29, 2015

All about Easter

1 Corinthians 15:1-19

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ch Ch Changes...

When I think back on the journey God has brought me through to this point, I’m continually overwhelmed with the question, “who am I, that God would bless me like this?”

You see God has been hard at work for 47 years in the heart and mind of this old codger, and as I reflect on the work He has had to do, it truly is amazing. He has widdled and carved, and at times sand blasted my attitude plenty over the years, and He’s still at it.

I remember when I was younger, I really struggled with anger, and even though I came off as a pretty level headed, calm and easy going guy there were times when even the littlest thing would make me lose it.

I mean you could mess with me all day long, but even though my brother and I were fighting like cats and dogs, if you messed with him you were in trouble.

Or, talk about how tall and skinny I am all you want (yes, it’s true I used to be very skinny, in fact the nickname “beanpole” comes to mind as I’m writing this…aw those were the days), but say one word about my mom, and watch out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lucky Charms?

When many people think of St. Patrick, the first things that come to mind are shamrocks, leprechauns, and maybe pinches for people who don’t wear green. What’s easy to miss in these celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day is the fact that the real Patrick was a devout Christian and a missionary.

Patrick was a Roman Briton, born to wealthy parents. His father was a deacon, but Patrick wasn’t particularly religious. 

Around the year 430, when Patrick was sixteen, Irish raiders kidnapped him. Patrick became a slave, watching his Irish master’s sheep. 

In his loneliness, he turned to the God of his father and entrusted his life to Jesus Christ.
Six years later, Patrick escaped from the Irish and returned to his family—but soon
afterward, a dream changed his destiny. He saw an angel, and the heavenly messenger
told him to go back to Ireland.

For fifteen years Patrick studied theology and Scripture; then he returned to Ireland not
as a slave but as a missionary. He used familiar Irish symbols to explain Christian
theology—the three-leafed shamrock, for example, became a metaphor for the Trinity.

This video clip from Rose Publishing helps give some good insights into who Patrick was and how He was used of God.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

All I have...All I Need

Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John and an early church leader whose life ended when he refused to betray his Lord. 

Asked one last time to disavow his Christ, the old man replied, 

"Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?"

Here is his martyr's prayer, as recorded by the historian Eusebius. 

"Father of Your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the knowledge of You, I bless You that You have counted me worthy of this day and hour, that I might be in the number of the martyrs. Among these may I be received before You today in a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as You have beforehand prepared and revealed. Wherefore I also praise You also for everything; I bless You; I glorify You, through the eternal High Priest Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, through whom, with Him, in the Holy Spirit, be glory unto You both now and for the ages to come. Amen." 

Eusebius adds: "When he had offered up his amen and had finished his prayer, the firemen lighted the fire." 

All Polycarp and thousands and thousands of martyrs down through the centuries had is Christ, and truth be told that's all they Needed. It's All I have today as well, and as this world continues to spin out of control and claim what is wrong as right and what is truth as lies, the more we need to cling tightly to All we have in Him.

This video clip nails it for me..."How can someone like Polycarp or Jihadi John's latest "infidel" stand straight up for their Savior? Realizing that in the beginning, in the midst and in the end all that matters is Jesus. 

Do you know Him?