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Earth Day…came and went. Did you miss it?

April 23rd, 2015 by stephanie

logoSo, no one wished me Happy Earth Day yesterday. It came and went without even a whimper. But, I, in true holiday fashion wished my colleagues a “happy” day.

This year they celebrated 45 years of this movement. Funny, no one seemed to notice the great remembrance we were “missing”. Maybe that’s because Earth Day isn’t really a big deal?  Hmmmm.

Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. You know, the era that brought us Jimi Hendrix, hippies, Vietnam and more. Air pollution was at its height and we weren’t even familiar with the term “clean environment”…yet.

So, some savvy folks with a cause decided to create Earth Day and get us all moving in the right direction. And there you have it.

If you planted a tree yesterday, picked up trash, groomed a greenway or did something noteworthy that was “green”, do let us know. I am sure there were some thoughtful experiences yesterday that ocurred, again, that we missed. But would love to hear about.

Psalm 24: 1-2

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.

🙂
Stephanie

 

The Tomb

April 4th, 2015 by stephanie

Saturday: The Tomb

That’s where Christ was on this day.

Saturday. In the grave.

Saturday. In the grave.

Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath. No work would be done from sunset the night before until sunset this night. That is why there was such a rush to have Jesus prepared for burial and placed into the tomb by sunset Friday night (when the Sabbath officially began).

Sabbath was a sacred time set apart for contemplation and complete rest for God’s chosen people. (Luke 23:54-56)

Moment to Catch

Ironically, on this day of rest, the Jewish leaders, who should have been at home resting, were anything but quiet. They held a secret meeting and were strategizing…

Matt. 27:62-66

Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said,

“Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people,

‘He has risen from the dead,’

and the last deception will be worse than the first.”

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Thot for today:

The men who schemed to kill Jesus knew He had powers. They were terrified He would rise. How interesting that they thought a stone could keep Him, the Creator of the Universe, in a grave. Is there an immovable situation or object in your life that you feel hopeless about? If you can work to find the understanding and belief in that same power Christ held that blew that stone off the next morning.

But back to Stone-Cold Saturday…

Not a sound was heard from the tomb. But Sunday was coming…

S.

Holy Week: Day 8

April 3rd, 2015 by stephanie

It’s Good Friday!

Good Friday.

Good Friday.

If you have seen the amazing movie by Mel Gibson The Passion of the Christ, you know that calling the day Jesus was crucified “good” seems a bit strange. But the fact is, if you know the story, it does have a happy ending.

Basically, in the middle of the night, (Thursday night) Roman soldiers captured Jesus. They arrested him then drug him to an illegal trial that the Jewish leadership set up in the wee hours of the morning.

After that, He was brutally beaten. Passed between Herod and Pilate, and was finally handed over for a terrible torture – crucifixion. Where he was hung between two thieves.
Jesus was put on the cross close to 9:00 am in the morning and hung there most of the day. At noon, the sky grew dark, and there was an earthquake. Close to 3:00 pm, He gave up His spirit and died.

Moment to Catch

One of my favorite parts, that you don’t hear much about, is that graves opened when that happened and the bodies of the saints came out and visited loved ones! If you don’t believe me check this out.

Matt. 27:52-53 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

It was a very full and powerful day.

Thot for Today

Sometimes things that happen to us in life can, at the time seem anything but good. It’s only when we come out on the other side, that we can see the “good” that came of the situation.

I know we are all busy, but when you have a second, read the story. Matthew chapter 27 today.

In Remembrance of Him.

S.
Verses for Today:
Matt 27:1-61
Mark 15:1-47
Luke 22: 66- 23:55

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Holy Week: Day 7

April 2nd, 2015 by stephanie

Maundy Thursday 

the-last-supper_I4C0669-1800

Jesus and the Disciples. His last Passover (The Last Supper)

Growing up, I thought people were saying, “Monday Thursday,” and it always confused me a bit. But it’s actually “Maundy Thursday”.

You’ll see church signs today (and probably have over the last week) announcing services for this evening that bear this name.

Most people don’t realize that the Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder Dinner that Jesus celebrated with His disciples.

Remember: they were Jewish. Raised Jewish. And this was Passover week for them. (see Lk. 22:1 and Exodus 12.). The Seder dinner would land on Thursday night. They were not going to miss this special holiday feast with their Master. Jesus even mentioned it while predicting his crucifixion.

Matt. 26:2

You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.

Moment to Catch
If you didn’t notice before, there is even a passage in Scripture that shows Jesus preparing for that meal:

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’ And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘”The Teacher says, My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples'”. The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. Matt. 26:16-19

Most of you know the story from there. The breaking of the bread. The taking of the cup. Washing the disciples feet. And then, the planned betrayal by one of his own: Judas. Basically, on this day Jesus had his last supper, his last Passover celebration, with his disciples and He was trying to show them the symbolism in this ancient ritual was all predicting and pointing to Him. They didn’t get it.

The book of Matthew states:

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,” Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

After dinner, they headed off to the Mt. of Olives…where He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matt. 26:30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Thot for today

Have you ever had to say good-bye to someone you love? It’s not easy. Or, perhaps, you have had to prepare for a dreaded day, and no one around you seemed to understand. Either way, just hear this, Jesus knows what that feels like.

May you go through this day “In Remembrance of Him”.

S.
Matt:26:17-75
Mark 14:12-72
Luke 22:7-65
John 13:1-30

Holy Week: Day 6

April 1st, 2015 by stephanie

Judas' Betrayal

Judas’ Betrayal

Dark Wednesday, Spy Wednesday…I just call it Weird Wednesday.

Throughout church history, this day in Holy Week has earned a few interesting names.

Some scholars argue that today was the day Judas Iscariot made plans with the chief priests. (For 30 pieces of silver he agreed to show them where they could easily capture Christ.) No one is really sure what happened on this day. One thing we do know, Wednesday is a bit of a mystery.

Scriptures show that the Jewish leaders were very angry with Jesus and were busy planning His demise. Here’s a bit of how that looked:
Matthew 26:3-5.  Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.

Moment to Catch:

So, where was Jesus when all of this was taking place? Well, He was heading back towards Bethany each evening. And, apparently, at the home of Simon the Leper during dinner on this night, His feet were anointed with an expensive ointment by a woman.

But during the day, we find this was his schedule:
Luke 21:37-38. Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Tomorrow, we look at what they call Maundy Thursday in Holy Week. Watch those church signs as you drive around town this week. You’ll see services are being held tomorrow at some of the more formal, or what we call “high” churches. Maybe you can slip in and catch one! If so, let me know what you think about it.

Thot for today:
When you know someone is plotting or planning your demise, who do you turn to? If you find yourself in this situation, turn it over to Jesus…I think He has an idea of He exactly how that feels.

S.

Verses for Today:
Matt:26:1-13
Mark 14:1-10

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