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From the monthly archives: April 2012

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'April 2012'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

Luke 24:1-49   We won! Incredible, almost unbelievable, but the score was on the board for all to see. We won!!   Our team was the underdog, having lost not just once, but twice to the opposing team during the regular season. Their players were taller, a distinct advantage in basketball, and they had strong (and tall) backups on the bench. Many of their players were confident shooters and ball handlers. Throughout the game there was a lot  of trash talking and ribbing from these big guys who expected to defeat us easily. They didn’t think our team presented much of a threat. But our players were scrappy, used to fighting for every point. We were disciplined, following through on our coach’s plays, using the skills he had drilled into us, and sticking to his game plan.   Surprisingly (for them) this championship game had been close, with the lead seesawing back and forth between teams. Both coaches were at their best, paying attentio ...

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Philippians 2:3-11 I’m new to this marriage thing. As my husband describes it, each day is an adventure. We’re still learning new things about each other. But I’ve learned the key to marriage is sacrifice, putting your spouse’s needs above yourwants. We face this struggle every day. I want to be a librarian; he wants to be a lawyer. Both jobs require more schooling, and we can’t afford two tuition fees at once. He chose to sacrifice his dream, delaying his schooling for a year to work fulltime, so I could finish my master’s degree. Soon, it will be his turn to go to school while I work. In the meantime, he’s planning to visit schools…which are all several hundred miles away. I’ve been saving my tips from my job for our vacation, but now I have a chance to support his dream through sacrifice. My vacation fund has become our law school visitation fund. Marriage is all about sacrifice, but sacrifice by itself is not enough. The motiv ...

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Good Friday, April 6, 2012

Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6:6-23 Several years ago, Asbury’s traditional Good Friday service was enhanced by the addition of interactive stations set up throughout the church. Each station interpreted an event leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion or a related concept such as repentance. Asbury’s Prayer Ministry set up a station instructing each participant to prayerfully reflect on sin in his/her own life, and then write the sin on a small piece of colorful tissue paper. The tissue paper was crushed or cut up, and pressed onto a large cross of sticky contact paper. Later, members of the Prayer Ministry covered the tissue paper with another layer of contact paper, sandwiching the tissue paper inside. It was a meaningful experience. But a powerful moment came even before the first participant arrived at the station, as members of the Prayer Ministry tried the project at home. One member shared:  …...the  most incredible thing happe ...

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Maundy Thursday, April 5, 2012

John 13:1-17 I had never even seen a foot washing ceremony. But after my father passed away in 1990, I was living in a small town called Otisville, NY. I had just moved twice in 3 months, from New Jersey, where I grew up, to Gallup, New Mexico then onto Otisville. Working for the Public Health Service at the time, I had gone from working in a Native American hospital to a federal prison. New to the community, I was approached by the Pastor of my church and asked if I would allow him to serve me by washing my feet at the Maundy Thursday service. I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t sure what I had done to deserve such an honor. It seemed rather demeaning actually for the Pastor (I know my feet). But he explained that each year, he honored those who serve folks less fortunate or “desirable” in the community. Working at the prison caring for the inmates was an example of selflessness and mercy. This was consistent with the Christi ...

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

John 13:1-17 The basin and the towel - powerful images of our call to Christian service - serve as a constant reminder to me of the importance of serving others. Never before I participated in a foot washing service when in high school had I been more humbled or moved to serve as Christ instructed when he washed the feet of his Disciples on the night before he was crucified. That night, Jesus took off his own robe and washed the feet of his disciples. He had previously spent hours sharing parables about His Father’s kingdom; now it was time to truly show them the role they were to continue in his absence! It was customary in Jesus’ day for servants to wash the feet of guests after they had traveled on dusty roads in open sandals. On the contrary that evening, Jesus took on the role of Savior Servant saying, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15, NIV). Michael Card depicts the events of that unforgettable night in his song, “The Basin and The Towel.” He sugge ...

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 23:14; John 17:11, 21, 23 During my years as a pastor, I would ask my Confirmation classes, “Do you think that God always answers our prayers?” Usually someone would reply, “Well, I prayed for a new bicycle, but I didn’t get one.” I would point out that God’s answer, like our parents’ could be “Yes”, “No”, or “Wait”. Three prayers of Jesus on Holy Thursday and Good Friday demonstrate this reality. The Gethsemane prayer of Jesus (Matthew 26:36-46) Jesus’ three-fold prayer to avoid the cross was met with silence. Jesus understood the silence as a “No” from God, so He then accepted the silence and obeyed God’s will. The Calvary prayer of Jesus (Luke 23:14) He asked God to forgive the ignorant sin of those who were crucifying Him. Thus, Jesus “practiced what he preached” by praying for His tormentors. The centurion in charge responded (v. 47) and was converted, through God’s forgiveness. (One of the two thieves also believed in Jesus and was promised Paradise with Him. (v. 42-43 ...

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Philippians 2:1-11 Phil. 2:9-11 9“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” “Christ emptied himself of all but love.” (vs.7) Jesus, God’s Son, had a servant’s heart. He emptied himself of all pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, selfish ambition, conceit and hate. He was obedient to his Father, showing love and kindness to those who this world would say were not worthy. Who is worthy of God’s grace? One Saturday morning many years ago, I walked into the soup kitchen. I was anxious, not knowing the people or what to expect. What should I say? How should I act? Who were these people? I helped set the tables with bread, crackers, and peanut butter and jelly, and poured soup into the bowls. I made small talk at first, and then sat down next to a woman to hear her story. It was a story of brokenness, poverty, and a ...

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Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012

Psalm 100 – (vs. 2) Serve the Lord with gladness… A servant’s heart is a heart of love, humility, and obedience.  But, Psalm 100 also encourages us to be glad about having the opportunity to serve the Lord. This seems to be a very important part of service. How can we truly serve with love, humility, and obedience if what we are doing merely seems like a chore or an obligation to get those Brownie Points we need to get into Heaven? On a recent visit to New Haven, CT, I responded to a man who politely excused himself and told me he was a homeless veteran. He had not eaten all day and needed $3 to get a meal at a shelter. We spoke for several moments and I found he had been in Desert Storm the same time my brother had been there. I thanked him for his service and gave him what little money I had, apologizing that I had so little to share with him. When I got in the car my grandson wanted to know about the man I was talking to. Then he asked, “What if he lied?” I explained the man would have to take t ...

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