You may ask yourself, as I have asked myself many times, “why do we refer to this day as Good Friday, when it was the day Jesus was crucified?” We read in Mark 15:37-39,
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way het breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Sont of God!”
This has always been a sad day for me as I think of all of the suffering Jesus endured on that cross. The agony he experienced, not only from the beating, the humiliation, and the nails, but the excruciating pain and burden he suffered by bearing all of the sins of all people for all time. These sins, our sins, caused Jesus to be separated from God, this no doubt was the most painful part of His ordeal. So, what is the good part you may be asking… The good part is that Jesus finished His mission. He did take all of our sins to the cross, suffered and died, so that all of our sins have been taken away. By His wounds we are healed. That is what makes Good Friday, good. The other good news is that the story doesn’t end here. Jesus defeated sin, death, and the devil when He died and was buried, then on the third day, He rose again and lives. Through our faith in Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Thank you Jesus for loving me in spite of my sinful ways. Amen
I have never been able to read in the midst of distractions. I know others can tune everything out and focus on the book at hand, not me. I tend to read the same sentence over and over again, without comprehension. I need a quiet place to read, a place where the distractions are minimal. When I sit down to read God’s word, I am the same way, just Him and me; a nice quiet time to read, study, and reflect on the Word of God. I will usually read my Bible in the morning, before anyone else is up and moving. We should all take a few minutes to spend reading the Bible. When our computers or iPhones start acting up, the first thing the tech geeks tell you to do is, “try rebooting”, which normally involves powering down and restarting. Well, that applies to us too. Sometimes we need to reboot, power down, and spend some quiet time with God. Psalm 46, verse 10 tells us to, “Be still and know that I am God”. What better way to reboot, than to spend some quiet time with the One who knows us better than anyone; the Maker of Heaven and Earth, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Today we helped Ed and Karen celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Friends and family gathered around them to offer support and congratulations. This is becoming rare these days, many married couples end their marriage, instead of working through the tough times together, they often part ways. Ed and Karen, we all salute you and thank you for being a shining example of how married couples can work together, and with the help and love of God, grow together.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 ESV
My Bible is worn and torn, ragged around the edges, and there is a story there. I wish I could tell you that it is worn and torn from the many times I’ve opened it to read the Word of God; or it’s worn and torn because I take God’s Word with me everywhere I go. No, neither of those are the reason my Bible is worn and torn. I do read it, but not as often as I should. I have taken it with me, but not as often as I should. One time when I did take my Bible with me so I could read the Word of God while flying, I lost my Bible. When I arrive at my house and unpacked, my Bible was nowhere to be found. I remember having it in the airport after landing, but could not remember placing it back in my bag. I phoned the airport and spoke with someone in the lost and found department. They searched and then told me they were unable to find the Bible. Well, you can imagine my surprise when there was a knock on my door, about 3 weeks later. I answered the door and there was a representative from Bishop Airport holding my now worn, torn, and tattered Bible. Who knows where it had been. I like to think maybe it fell into the hands of someone truly in need of God’s Word, because the Lord knew that person needed to feel the love of God. I will never know, but I like my worn, torn, and tattered Bible.
When we think about praying to our Lord, it is often to ask Him for something. We are like little children in a toy store, “mommy can I have that truck, that doll, that iPhone?” How often do we stop to thank God for the good things He does for us; thank you Lord for the blessings you’ve given me; a loving wife, two wonderful children, great health, and a job so I can provide for my family. Thank you God for the beauty of the sunset and a beautiful blue sky. Thank you Lord for giving me a day filled with your presence.
I was out running a couple of errands this morning and on the way home, I decided to stop by one of my favorite places in Frankenmuth, the Gugel Bridge. Note the spelling , it’s different from the search engine website. The bridge crosses the Cass River and is a foot / bike bridge. This is the first time I’ve visited the bridge in the winter. I love the combination of wood and steel, along with the woods and water of the Cass. Today was especially nice with the beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds as a back drop. My only regret was the tracks in the snow, I really love seeing fresh snow. These were tracks from an animal, and as I looked over the bridge, I warmed to the idea that a man made object could be helpful for one of God’s creatures. We hear so much about how much damage man does to the environment and wildlife, it’s refreshing to think that this bridge opens new territory for the little creature that used it to cross over to the other side of the frigid Cass river. Man and nature in harmony! I love it.
Christmas has come and gone, New Years day has come and gone, and all of the Christmas decorations have been taken down, placed in their plastic containers and stowed away until next year. But we just couldn’t bring ourselves to throw our Christmas tree away. We love the Frasier Fir and it’s short, soft needles. The Frasier Fir has been our choice for Christmas trees the last 11 years. So, we have begun a new tradition, instead of throwing out the tree after all the decorations have been removed; we strip it down until only the lights remain, and then we place it on the deck to be enjoyed for another month. This makes a beautiful night light and also helps us to remember the Joy of Christmas and God’s gift to all of us; the birth of His only Son, Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16,17 NIV
Driving home from Grand Rapids, I found it difficult to keep my eyes on the road in front of me. I kept looking in my rear-view mirror at the beautiful sunset. God’s glory displayed in awesome colors. I couldn’t resist taking out my iPhone 4S and taking a photo.