Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Meditation: Super Mom

Photo by Samantha Sophia
"Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled.  They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles."

~Sharon Jaynes

"We are what we believe we are."

~C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Meditation: Be Kind

Photo by Olia Gozha
Today's meditation is a guest post by my young friend Callie, age 10.  (Future pastor?)

 BE KIND  by Callie Tuel

            Jesus is a savior. He saved ALL of us. A savior is someone who saves. For example, Batman and Superman save people, Martin Luther King Jr. helped to save people from the segregated times, but Jesus saved every single one of us. Not just the people in his city, and not just the colored people, but, like I said, he saved ALL of us.
                So, what did Jesus save us from anyway? Sin! When you steal a cookie from the jar, lied about something, or blamed someone for something YOU did, know that Jesus breathed his last for YOU, because he loves you. You have been forgiven, and though you were once crimson with sin, he washed them white as snow.
                Sometimes we don’t feel the love. Times like when your dad is in the hospital, or you spill juice all over your favorite outfit, or you make a mistake, it doesn’t feel like he loves you. Even in times like this, God is on your side.
                We all feel like this sometimes, so we all need to try our hardest to be the light in somebody’s  day, the peanut butter to their jelly, or the milk to their cookie. Sometimes all someone needs is a little bit of love, and we all know we can give it. So today, I challenge YOU to step outside your comfort zone, and…


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Meditation: Spring

Antonina Bukowska
“Life stands before me like an eternal Spring
with new and brilliant clothes.”

~Carl Friedrich Gauss

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Meditation

Photo by Tim Trad

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

 —John Muir

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Meditation: The Resurrection Life

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw
"Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.' " 

 ~John 20:29

How then shall we live?  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He is Risen!

Photo by Ivan Chen
"So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them, 'Greetings,' he said.  They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." 

~Matthew 28:8-9

Clasp his feet today.  

There is joy abundant waiting for you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday: Joseph

Photo by Alexandre Chambon
After Jesus' death on the cross, there was a question of what would happen with his body.  Or, possibly, no one had thought too much about what would happen to it.  Thus, Joseph of Arimathea enters the scene.  We don't know a lot about him from the gospels, but we do get a few pieces of information about him.  In Luke 23: 50-51, we learn that he was a good and upright man. He was a member of the Council but had not consented to their decision and action.  He was from the Judean town of Arimathea and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.  John 19:38 spins a different picture in that he was a secret disciple of Jesus because he feared the Jewish leaders.  Whoever Joseph was, it appears that he was a disciple and that he wanted to play a role in the great mystery that had occurred and was occurring through Jesus' death.  He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.  The gospels agree that it was a new tomb, where no one had been buried thus far.  Matthew gives us a key piece of information.  The tomb was Joseph's own tomb that he had cut out of the rock.  Joseph had wrapped the body in linens and prepared it with spices.  John clues us in that Nicodemus, an earlier character in Jesus' story, helped Joseph to prepare the body for burial.

Reading the various accounts of Jesus' burial, I couldn't help but notice this detail that I have heard so often but haven't thought much about.  Joseph placed Jesus' body in his own tomb.  The one meant for him when he died.  To me, this is an added layer of symbolism in the resurrection account.  Joseph allowed Jesus into his tomb.  As a disciple, Jesus' death took the place of Joseph's spiritual death.  Joseph allowed Jesus in to his life.  Even a good and upright man like himself must have had some sins that he would have liked to have kept hidden. Instead, he allowed Jesus to enter in.  To enter with his grace and his love and to conquer death for him.

The question for us is do we allow Jesus in to our spiritual "tombs?"  Do we allow his death to penetrate our good and upright lives?  To allow his grace to penetrate down to the deep, dark tombs.  To roll back the big heavy rocks we've placed over them.  To die for us and to rise again.

I'm sure Joseph was as surprised as the other disciples to hear what happened with Jesus' body in the end.  He was probably ready to look for a new tomb for himself when he heard the accounts of the resurrection, or went down to the tomb to check things out for himself.  Most of those who witnessed the resurrection were either scared, disbelieving or incredulous.  Even those who had walked with Jesus for several years of his ministry did not believe what they heard.  He had talked with them and preached to them about what would happen, but they were still amazed and some were still in doubt.

Are we, like the disciples, still incredulous about the resurrection?  Are we scared of what it could mean for our lives?  Are we disbelieving, needing to see his hands and feet first?  Or are we like the women who saw him and were filled with great joy?

For the next couple of days, let us ponder what our reaction to the resurrection would have been and what it is today.