Sunday, March 28, 2010

three days

The events of Holy Week are well documented.

Palm Sunday.

The Last Supper and the Garden.

The Passion and Crucifixion.

But in between the time Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and the moment he sat down to break bread with his disciples…

He had three days to work with.

Three days.

Taken together, the final three days of Christ’s ministry on earth say a lot about what mattered most to Jesus.


He healed the blind and the lame, and comforted those who came to him.

With a withered fig tree, he reminded us of the power we have when we stand with God, saying If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

He met with the chief priests and elders, and responded to their challenges with truth and grace.

He encouraged us with the parable of the two sons – and reminded us that our good deeds bring joy to the Father.

Through the parables of the tenants, he established a new covenant with everyone who follows in his footsteps, saying I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be given to a people who will produce its fruit.

He used the parable of the wedding banquet to caution us of the narrow road ahead, advising that Many are invited, but few are chosen.

He inspired us to keep our eyes focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, proclaiming Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God's.

He gave us great hope in the here and now through a lesson on marriage and the resurrection, reminding us He is not the God of the dead but of the living.

He provided us a simple blueprint on how to live our lives, in what has become known as the great commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

He spoke out against the dangers of hypocrisy and those who do not practice what they preach. He set a new world order, where whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

He reset the bar on giving, highlighting the actions of a widow, who put in everything – all she had to live on.

He comforted his followers, giving us clear signs of what to expect at the end of the age.

He took away our fears, reminding us that he will come again – arriving on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

He reminded us to be vigilant and stay alert, as the day and the hour of His return would be unknown.

He filled us with hope, saying: Angels will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

For he did not come to judge the world, but to save it.

He told us what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. Through the parable of the ten virgins, he taught us how to prepare.

He invited us to use our gifts in abundance with the parable of the talents.

He was anointed with oil… in a beautiful act of love and devotion.

He reminded us that the day will come when we stand before God and he will say to those on his right: Come who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance… the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.

I was a stranger and you invited me in.

I needed clothes and you clothed me.

I was sick and you looked after me.

I was in prison and you came to visit me.

He invited us… the faithful and righteous… to join him in eternal life.

This all occurred in between the time Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, and the moment he sat down to break bread with his disciples.

Three days.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

yes, still more 40

i am gaining more appreciation for 40, now where did we leave off...

Day 31. Unexpected twists and turns add depth to our lives, fuel emotions and embolden our humanity. I give thanks for surprises.

Day 30. My heavenly father has placed eternity on my heart. Praise to the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, the God of David, the God of Mary, the God of Ed.

Day 29. Are you willing to ask for help? The big lie is that I can maintain control, that I always know best, that I can handle whatever comes my way alone. I pray that I could be more willing to seek help.

Day 28. Teacher, coach, mentor, tutor, rabbi… your unselfish giving helps us all go further. Hurrah!

Day 27. FACEBOOK FRIDAY. Task: write a note of thanks.

Day 26. Pray for pa ENTER. Pray for pati ENTER. Pray for patien ENTER. Pray for patience. WHEW!

Day 25. Two words for Tommy and Willie: Thank you.

Day 24. Any relationship that instills true hope is worthy of our praise.

Day 23. Please join me in prayer for those out of work. May you take pride in your endeavors today and find everything you seek. Enjoy the ride, for peace and security are on the way.

Day 22. The grandiose epic adventures that take place within a nine-minute snooze-alarm interval are so cool. I am thankful for dreamin'.

Day 21. Facebook Friday: PRAISE to Tony Bennet, TK, Michael Steer and more!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

more 40...

Picking up from here...

Day 20. A few words for those dealing with breast cancer: Fight. Accept. Cherish. Hope. Share. Believe. Persevere. Ignore. Ask. Love. Pray. Conquer.

Day 19. Sometimes you discover the most amazing things later in life. Thankfully, the sinless pleasure of low-fat ice cream no longer eludes me.

Day 18. The never-ending creativity so evident in our universe can not but inspire us to create ourselves. Praise to the architect, painter, writer, sculptor, designer, engineer, cinematographer, programmer, musician, carpenter and artist in all of us.

Day 17. The hateful discrimination against gay men and women sickens me to no end. Today’s prayers are for acceptance, understanding and most of all, love.

Day 16. Whatever "it" is... I can't do it without constant reminders, prodding, questions and scolding. A big thank you to everyone who holds me accountable.

Day 15. Facebook Friday: PRAYER. For the lonliness of chemo, the unexpected loss of a brother, the pains of cancer and facing a friend who just found out everything is about to change. We pray for healing, comfort, wisdom. We pray for peace.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

more thanks, praise and prayer

Picking up from last week...

Day 14. If there were a ‘supreme being’, the world created would be beyond my grasp. I would look around, unable to understand the how, impossible to fathom the why. That would be worthy of my praise.

Day 13. Gentle melodies. Precise harmonies. Penetrating lyrics. Artful perfection. Music transforms the world. If you can sing in key, keep a beat, play a note or strike a chord, I humbly say thank you. You have reached my soul.

Day 12. The truth can hurt, it can sting… even convict. And yet I praise God for truth. For when embraced, truth can show the way, melt away worry, and instill value and acceptance in everything it encounters. It can set you free.

Day 11. Options and uncertainty can add anxiety and frustration to any decision. Today, my prayer is that you find direction, see the way and gain the clarity of vision you need to act with confidence.

Day 10. I praise love. Love is patient and kind. It doesn’t envy or boast. Love is never prideful, rude, self-seeking or easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.

Day 9. Facebook Friday: THANKS. Response include: underground power lines, blessings, Facebook!, the President, Uncle Roy, family and friends, a loving God, clean clothes, tolenant spouses and NO SNOW!

Day 8. I walked away from an alcohol-induced crash eight years ago (my car? not so lucky.) Others may be on the verge of spinning out, without us knowing. I pray today for strength. Keep your hands on the wheel. Trust the road. For one more day. Then one more after that.

Day 7. I am thankful for moments of unexpected connection. How a random smile from a stranger can validate that you are not alone, we all mean something and everything will be OK.