Saturday, April 4, 2009


Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week in the West. 

Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the CROWDS cheering him on the way with palm branches and shouts of hosanna. 

I was in a bible study with some fellow clergy when the leader started ranting about the fickle crowds that cheered Jesus on Sunday and jeered him on Friday. He wondered how could they could do that? My response was it was a very different crowd.

On Sunday - the first work day of the week for the Jews - were common people out on the road leading into Jerusalem. They looked to Jesus as the coming Messiah and they rejoiced.

On Friday Jesus had been taken captive in the middle of the night with no crowds of commoners around. He had been tried in hostile courts during the night and returned to Pilate for a final judgment very early in the morning hours. The crowds there were not the same common people on the road into the city but carefully selected people who would do the bidding of the political leaders who wanted Jesus out of the way.

Enjoy your devotions during Holy Week.

Friday, April 3, 2009


When we moved into our new home one of the things we enjoyed was the birdbath in the back yard. It was setting on the lawn and looked lovely in that spot. It was OK except when it rained the ground under one side tended to sink so that the birdbath leaned to one side. 

I told my wife that I thought I would move it to the corner of the patio but she didn't like that idea. One day I moved it anyway and  was rewarded with, "I said I didn't like that idea." So I said I would move it back to where it was.

Later we sat down for supper and she said, "Oh I can see birds in the birdbath from here!" The birdbath has remained there ever since.

Sometimes a change we don't want turns out to be a blessing. Some of the unwanted changes God makes in our lives turns out to be great blessings.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Why are 2009 silver dollars worth more than 2008 silver dollars?

Answer to April First Question of WHY!
2009 - 2008 = 1
2009 dollars are worth one more than 2008 dollars.

April Fools ;-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Pool on Faith Sharring

Do you have a strong personal responsibility to tell others people about your religious beliefs?

Barna Research Group poll results for Americans:
American Adults .................... 53%
Republicans ............................ 46%
Democrats ............................... 34%
African Americans ................. 49%
Anglo Americans .................... 34% 
Hispanic Americans ............... 32%
Asian Americans .................... 26%
In the South ........................... 45%
In the Midwest ...................... 40%
In the West ............................. 27%
In the Northeast ..................... 21%

What do you think about the poll results?
How would you answer the poll?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ordinary People

After two thousand years we think of the Disciples of Jesus as special saints of great spiritual power but they were just ordinary people living ordinary lives. Yes they were just like you and me dealing with day to day living. They were fishermen, tax collectors, merchants and so on and then they met Jesus the rabbi. Then they became his students [disciples] and followed him as he walked t he country side teaching and preaching.

We must note that they were not always particularly good students either, C+ at best and sometimes an F- for grades. Time and again they just don't get it! Even Peter when he made the "Good Confession," getting an A for that, turned around and got an F for not understanding that Jesus must die on the cross. Like all of us today they had their ups and downs in learning about their faith.

That gives me hope! If those who walked and talked with Jesus himself had difficulty grappling with faith issues then my efforts may also succeed if I keep at it. I remember that it was only when the Holy Spirit filled them that they had enough power to be the Disciples who became leaders of the Church. I too need the Holy Spirit to be a good Disciple of Christ.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Did Jesus Look Like?

The pastor at church today asked the children, "What did Jesus look like?"

You can imagine that he got all kinds of answers. Then he asked them, "How do you know?"
One boy was heard to say, "We have a picture of him at home."

Over the last two thousand years artist all over the world have painted their idea of what Jesus may have looked like. I grew up looking at several pictures in my home and they each looked slightly different. One had him with blond hair and blue eyes. When I traveled to Japan in 1963 I visited a Christian Church there and saw in the pastors office a painting of the Crucifixion and Jesus looked Japanese. In an African Church there was a painting of Jesus who was black. 

The truth is that no one in Jesus day painted a picture of him or gave a detailed description of Jesus. So no one really knows what Jesus actually looked like. Artist painted pictures of Jesus in their own image or the image of their people. 

There is some truth to that idea in that you should be able to see the image of Christ in each faithful Christian.