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From the monthly archives: April 2011

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'April 2011'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Kingdom of God  is a place of  great joy!  Rejoice in Christ’s victory and God’s love for YOU! “Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen.”  Luke 24: 5b-6a (NAS) Our oldest granddaughter, Rachel, lives 3,000 miles away in Seattle. We don’t get to see her as often as we would like, but thanks to modern technology, we can see and talk with her on the internet via Skype. Recently Rachel gave us a wonderful picture of the joy that can be ours as children of God and  members of His eternal kingdom. One of three-year-old Rachel’s Christmas presents was a Princess Bible.  Rachel decided to practice so she could “read” her Bible to her grandparents to tell us about God and Jesus the next time we talked. So she got ready, and during our next Skype event, Rachel “read” from her new Bible as we listened with joy and pride. We talked about what she was “reading” to us, and we all got very e ...

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Kingdom of God is a place of freedom! Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose house the scribes and elders had gathered… Then the high priest tore his clothes and said “He has blasphemed!  Why do we still need witnesses?  You have now heard his blasphemy.  What is your verdict?”  They answered, “He deserves death.”  Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him.  Matthew 26: 57, 65-67 The Journey 2,000 years ago – The Upper Room to the Mount of Olives; the betrayal and on to the high priest Caiaphas; the mockery and beating; Pilate and the elders, and more mockery from the soldiers; our Lord’s crucifixion, and finally, His resurrection.  My journey in January 2010 started in Tiberius and at the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus spent much of his time teaching and performing miracles of healing.  On to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea scrolls were ...

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Good Friday, April 22, 2011

The Kingdom of God is characterized by selfless giving and by undeserved love.  But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4: 19 (KJV) While I was serving in the Air Force stationed in western Oklahoma, I found myself under arrest for doing something very foolish. My friend, Ernie, and I were caught racing our cars out of town. We were escorted to the police station  and while we were being booked, we were advised that they would release us for twenty dollars bail.  Now twenty dollars may not seem like much money, but in 1962, for a serviceman, it was a whole week’s pay. We only received $80 a month pay as a serviceman, and there was no way that either Ernie or myself had twenty dollars. Further, we knew that if we were locked-up, we would be AWOL, and in more serious trouble.  Then, a friend of Ernie’s who had followed us to the police station saw our pre ...

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Maundy Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Kingdom of God  consists of people who are learning to trust that God’s eternal perspective, while not always easy or the human-preferred way at the time , is always best. Mark 15: 21-32 Embracing Reality In my faith journey for many years, I have not experienced such a test of faith, the embracing of a true reality, as when my brother-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia in the fall of 2008.  The family was not prepared for such devastating news. My reaction when I received the news was to ask God, “why Brown, my brother-in-law?” However, I continued to pray for him in my daily conversations with God, asking for God’s healing powers to save Brown from this deadly cancer.  I then realized the test of faith God wanted the family to experience.  Despite our relentless prayers, on November 15, 2009 God called Brown home for eternal rest.  I was then confronted with the reality that the passing of Brown did not mean that God di ...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom; it does not operate on the same principles as this world’s kingdoms. Christians are called to become Kingdom thinkers and bringers.                                         At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”  Matthew 18:1-3 “That’s Kingdom thinking.” These words coming from my friend surprised me. I was telling her about an incident from my childhood that had defined my thinking about death. I have only recently begun to understand the concept of Kingdom thinking and now I realize the seeds were planted five and a half decades ago. When I was five years old my father’s uncle died. He wa ...

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Kingdom of God is filled with wounded people who are being made whole thanks to God’s healing love . With eyes wide open, they go forth to share His love with others who are hurting . Matthew 25: 34-40 In the church, we sometimes talk about faith as though the  end goal is personal wound-healing.  This is crucial: forgiveness and grace open our hearts to God’s perfect love.  But it doesn’t stop there. The kingdom of God isn’t that simple.   I recently learned this startling fact: more girls have been killed in the last fifty years because they were girls than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century.  More girls are killed in this routine “gendercide” in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.   We don’t usually talk about this kind of thing at church: it doesn’t look nice against the altar setting, and doesn’t mesh well with t ...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of  reconciliation. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5: 18 (NAS) The civil war in my home country, Liberia could have lasted longer than fourteen years; but Christians around the world prayed and worked for peace in Liberia. Christian denominations, working mainly through the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) started peace talks before the regional West African organization joined in. In addition, with the help of Christians around the world, the LCC provided food, counseling, and spiritual support for all displaced Liberians regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliation.  In an unusual move, the LCC joined the Muslim community to form the Interfaith Council to work for peace.  God intervened and brought peace to Liberia. With Liberians enjoying peace, the work of reconciliation has ...

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Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Kingdom of  God consists of imperfect people who are learning to recognize the work of God around them, and who want to mature in their faith. Hebrews 6: 1-3   This past November, I was blessed with God’s miraculous intervention.  I was admitted to a hospital with a liver issue.  After various procedures and tests, a liver specialist was consulted. That morning my nurse, a wonderful Christian, came in to give me five pills.  She dropped my BP pill on the floor and said she would have the pharmacy send a replacement right up.  A few minutes later a resident working for the liver specialist came in for a lengthy interview.  An hour or so later my nurse returned and said the pharmacy had not yet replaced the BP pill.  Shortly after this the liver specialist, his resident and my nurse came to my room.  After a lot of questions the doctor said, “I believe the BP pill you began taking five weeks ago is toxic ...

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Kingdom of God is populated with sinners who are being transformed by choosing to live in obedience to the Word of  God (by the power of  the Holy Spirit) in thought, word, and deed. James 3: 2-12 and  James 2: 14-20 Recently there has been quite a stir about the impending elevation to sainthood of the late Pope John Paul. Allow me to direct your thoughts to a truly Biblical approach to  the meaning of “saints.” Paul addressed his letters to the “saints” at the various New Testament churches. He states that they are “called saints” or “called to be saints.” These two variations can shed light on a Biblical view of sainthood, involving our Position and our Practice. Our Position:  God sees us as holy and set apart to Him. This begins when we receive Christ into our hearts and lives (John 1:12). God also sees us as “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17).  However, we do NOT attain sinless perfection in this life     ...

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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Kingdom of God has a gracious but inscrutable King . He in vites us to honestly bring our heart’s desires before Him. But He also asks us to trust Him and to accept His perfect answer .   Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name forever and ever.  Great is the lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145: 2-3 There are times in our lives when we as Christians face trials and tribulations.  Sometimes things get so rough that we start to question our faith in God.  I have questioned my faith so many times that it is a shame for me to talk about it.  Yet I can shout and tell the world how great God has been to me and my family.  He has shown us his grace, mercy, and compassion.  Our oldest daughter had a near death experience this past summer.  As a matter of fact we lost her on July 16, 2010.  I can remember the entire episode like it was yesterday. ...

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