Easter - 2018

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The physical being transformed by the spiritual

While [Jesus] was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. -Luke 9:29 (NRSV)

Jesus went up the mountain to pray. He had announced that he would soon suffer great agony. The religious leaders would reject him, and he would be killed. Jesus, who was fully human as well as fully divine, must have been troubled.

As Jesus prayed on the mountain, God's glory shone through him. His face glowed, and his garments became dazzling white. The great prophets Moses and Elijah, who had died centuries before, appeared and spoke to Jesus about what was to come. Then God spoke from heaven, saying, "This is my son." After this time on the mountain, Jesus was able to face Pilate and the Roman soldiers. He was able to endure rejection, hatred, abuse, beatings, and the agony on the cross.

When we pray, we come into the presence of God, who has unlimited power and abundant resources. Sometimes when we pray God changes circumstances, and sometimes prayer changes us. Whatever form the answer takes, God's message to us is, "I love you, and I am with you always." Too many times we get in a rut and make the prayer all about the spiritual being transformed by the physical. The truth of prayer is that we, the physical is transformed by being in the presence of the spiritual.

You know I love ya, Don

Friday, March 25, 2011

One of My Birthday Gifts

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Thank you for the great reminder...He is a wonderful God and sustains us beyond our capabilities. You Know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birthdays and Worship...what a combo!

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. I am 38 years old and feel even younger. So, in celebration I found the following devotional through from Mr. Eldridge. He gives some great insight and if you get a chance hug your mom...she did all the work. You know I love ya, Don

Psalm 95:1-2 - Oh come let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!

This week I read a piece on "Worship" which compared it to a birthday party. At first I thought this rather frivolous until I read further. The birthday person is the center of attention and the birthday cake honors him or her. That person is the center of attention and the rest of us, no matter how important we are, take a back seat. We sing and celebrate the fact that the birthday person was born. This says something about how important a birthday person is. We don't usually celebrate a dog's birthday. The fact is that on this day, so many years ago, God's image came into the world in the form of the birthday person, unique and special, different from anyone else on earth.

When we honor something that God has made, we honor Him. All creation shows His glory, most of all, human kind. When we honor someone for their achievements, if we really think about it, we honor God the Giver, the Enabler.

What does it mean to worship? We are the only creatures on earth given the freedom and intelligence to worship Him as we choose. It is in the act of worshiping our Creator that our dignity is most evident. Worship takes many forms. Like the birthday party it can be a sense of joyous and uninhibited celebration. God is alive! He reigns over the whole world!

Prayer: Heavenly Father help us to worship you with awe, with celebration, in spirit and in truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Reigh Eldridge rmeld@nbnet.nb.ca>
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day!!!

Today is world Down syndrome day 2011. Many people would think of Down syndrome as a negative. For the five of us, it is the best thing that ever happened. Matthew and Nicholas have changed our lives. Alice has as well, but the extra-chromosome of cuteness makes all five us a better person and adds to the world...so today we celebrate.

Nicholas was not taken by the down syndrome or by God for that matter, Nicholas had a weak heart and his little heart just could not keep up, so we wait for a new day. Matthew is seven and doing very well. We are very proud of our boys. We also thank God for them in our lives.

So, Have a great day, watch the video below for inspiration, and in honor of World Down Syndrome Day...give someone a huge HUG just because...you know I love ya, Don

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Treasure Stored...

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:20-21 (NIV)

My computer is crashing on a regular basis this days. Matt is working on a new one, but until then I save and store my data very regularly....wink, wink. I will not let this computer get the best of me. Well, not all the time.

While I was saving and storing data, I recalled this verse and have a very real comfort in knowing that I have stored a very precious treasure in heaven. His name is Nicholas. A entirely new dimension emerged for me. I always thought the treasure would be good works of service and compassion; relational actions that make an eternal difference. I am sure it is those things, but then I think there will be tangible treasures in addition to the memories and actions...a hug, a touch, a smile, and best of all that ability to share life again.

I have a treasure stored in heaven and not even my computer can loose this treasure. Until then, I wait for the Lord. You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Waiting Room! part II

While staying with [the apostles], [Jesus] ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. -Acts 1:4 (NRSV)

Jesus, the Master and Victor over death was about to ascend into heaven, he did not instruct his disciples to go out and preach the gospel immediately. Rather, he charged them to wait, to remain in Jerusalem until they were endowed with power to continue his ministry. They obeyed. And while they were gathered on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, in accord with the promise of Christ, descended upon them. Peter preached a powerful message, calling upon his hearers to repent and believe the gospel. As a result, three thousand persons were converted. Thus began the Christian church.

Today, I am trying to remember the disciples' obedience to Christ's direction to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Had they sought to proclaim the gospel without the Spirit, they would have failed. But because they were willing to wait for the Holy Spirit, we and all other believers have come to know God. Likewise, if we wait upon God, we too shall receive "power when the Holy Spirit has come upon [us]," power to do what God asks of us.

So, I wait for direction, comfort, and a journey beyond my deepest desire...waiting! You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why do you seek the life among the dead?

The angel said to the women in Luke 24, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? Don't you remember what He (Jesus) said when He was with you?" Yet, we still ask the same questions today in 2011. In other words, "Why do you think everything can be explained in the old terms of cause and effect." Why are you putting your faith in science and the laws of nature and the decomposition of human cells? Why are you trying to explain everything in ways you can understand?

The angel may have been thinking that they were holding the vials of perfume to anoint His feet again as they did at Simon's house. That angel could have said, "He can't be far. Then again, he could be halfway around the world, come to thing of it nothing is the same as it was. Why do you go on living your life the way it was. Why are you trying to live in a world without miracles?" Faith always breaks in on us like the angel at the Resurrection. As a God-conscious Christ-follower, it is our task to live as the people we profess to be...living among the living and not as if death has its control over our lives.

The reality I am living today is that I have two wonderful children in Matthew and Alice. I still have a wonderful little boy in Nicholas, we are just apart for now. Then as I see the cross of Christ, I realize whatever is keeping my world small and manageable is a little like the women clutching vials of perfume for anointing a dead body at the tomb of the missing Christ. My faith takes me beyond the tomb and into the new normal of hope in a blessing of abundant life in the here and now. The question of the angel changes with faith..."what are you going to do with your new normal of a resurrected Christ?"

Missing him terribly, yet looking forward to a great day to come that will never end. You know I love ya, Don

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Funny - Waiting Room Joke!

Here's a Friday Funny that I hope will bring you a smile...enjoy
There were three fathers to be in a hospital waiting room, waiting for their babies to be born.

The first nurse comes out and tells the first father, "Congratulations you're the father of twins!" He says, “Great! I am the manager for the Minnesota Twins.”

The second nurse comes out and tells the second father, "Congratulations you're the father of triplets”! He says, "That's cool! I work for 3M."

The third father opens the window and jumps out.

The third nurse comes out, and asks, “Where's the third father?"

One of the other fathers said, "Oh he jumped out the window.”

The nurse asks, "Why?"

He replied, "He works for Seven Up!"
Seven-Up would be a great job! Have a great weekend, You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For our Good!

We have taken all three children to receive their immunizations when it was appropriate. Matthew always went and goes willingly. As the needle entered his thigh, he howls and gives us the look, "Why did you do that to me?" I wished I could help him understand that the inoculation would protect him from disease for the rest of his life. Though Matthew could not have understood those words when he was a baby, he felt our arms cradling him and heard the soothing tone of our voices. Same applies to Alice and Nicholas.

I think I am much like a child when it comes to the things God brings to me for growth and protection. As a child of God, I often experience pain and confusion. I question God's wisdom. Certainly, with the loss of Nicholas, I have wondered "why", "what is next", and "why doesn't the church help so many of these children?" But God will never forsake us. Even when I don't understand what is happening, I feel God's comforting touch and hear God's love through the words of scripture.

God does not cause the bad things to happen, but God can work through our circumstances to bring about good, to strengthen us, to bring us closer to other people and to God, to prepare us for service. So we can give thanks in all things, even in our suffering. Then I remember Paul's words to the Corinthian Church...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Still waiting...but feeling the arms of God holding us tight in this time of sorrow...you know I love ya, Don

Monday, March 7, 2011

Intentional Living!

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. -Matthew 5:8 (NRSV)

A more accurate translation of that Greek phrase "pure in heart" would be "single in focus." That makes a huge difference! While complete moral purity may be beyond my grasp, I can "focus" - or at least come closer. Keeping our focus on God, who truly knows and loves each of us in spite of our sins and weaknesses, leads us to forgiveness and strength.

King David is a powerful example for me. As great a man as he was, he was far from perfect. As a result of David's losing his focus on God and following his unwholesome desires, he fell into sin. We also know that when David sincerely repented, God restored him. The same holds true for us today.

Like David, I too have struggles and disappointments. And I must fight them as zealously as David fought his. Daily I must return my focus to God in order to learn and do God's work. My strength lies in knowing that I am not alone in my effort, that God is always there for me. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and what his sacrifice means for today our intentional living becomes a way of life.

You know I love ya and looking serve intentionally! Don

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Funny - "Stubborn!"

Some of us are stubborn...

A blonde gets on an airplane and sits down in the first class section of the plane. The stewardess rushes over to her and tells her she must move to coach because she doesn't have a first class ticket. The blonde replies, "I'm blonde, I'm smart, I have a good job, and I'm staying in first class until we reach Jamaica."

The disgusted stewardess gets the head stewardess who asks the blonde to leave. The blonde yet again repeats "I'm blonde, I'm smart, I have a good job and I'm staying in first class until we reach Jamaica." The head stewardesses doesn't even know what to do at this point because they still have to get the rest of the passengers seated to take off; the blonde is causing a problem with boarding now, so the stewardess gets the copilot.

The copilot goes up to the blonde and whispers in her ear. She immediately gets up and goes to her seat in the coach section. The head stewardess asks the copilot in amazement what he said to get her to move to her correct seat. The copilot replies, "I told her the front half of the airplane wasn't going to Jamaica."

See you in the back of the plane! Have a great weekend, Don

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Those who touch us, even though we may never meet!

The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. -1 Corinthians 3:8 (NRSV)

The other morning I sensed the Lord wanted me to pray for the people who had made the clothes I was putting on. Not knowing who they were, I began to think about them. What country do they live in? Are they men or women, young or old? What are their circumstances? What religion do they profess?

A quick check of some of the clothes in my closet shows that they are made in many different countries, on different continents. Although I realize I can never know who these people are, they are a great blessing to me; but before that day I hadn't even thought of them. But they are real people, trying to make a living. They may work long hours in hard conditions to make my clothing, and I am awed and humbled by their work on my behalf.

Even if I tried, I could not reach them to thank them, but I can pray for them. I can pray that they will be blessed, that they know God, that their lives will be made easier through faith in God who loves them. Through my prayers, I become part of God's touching their lives.

I have also been touched tremendously by Reese' Rainbows. This is an adoption agency that promotes homes for children with down syndrome in foreign lands. I have become a prayer warrior for Vladimir B (if you click the link, he is about 2/3 down the page. Be prepared, there are a lot of children and it will tug at your heart). Much like the ones that made my clothes, I will probably never get a chance to meet this perfectly and wonderfully made children. So, I touch the picture on the screen and pray for these little guys and little gals. I pray that they will find a home and a forever family.

As the text from 1 Corinthians, we can plant and some one else may water and then someone else will harvest...you know I love ya, Don