In most churches this coming Sunday, there will be some form of palms being waved. In fact, there may be some Saturday night worship services, or masses where palms will be waved. It is a tradition that traces back in history to the time when the incarnate Jesus lived among other humans. In fact, Jesus’ popularity had spread to the point that when Jesus and his disciples made plans to attend the Passover in Jerusalem, special plans were made on how Jesus would enter Jereusalem.
It’s time to wake up, America, as the Apostle Paul wrote concerning the end times, which we are living. But know this: in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, slanderous, brutal, despisers of good, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Doesn’t this accurately describe our modern age? As part of the end of times scenario, Jesus described droughts, famines, fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters on a global scale, events we have seen regularly in recent years.
In the heart of Jerusalem stands a ruin from a distant past. It may not look like much to the curious tourist. The stones in the ancient wall are worn, and a few weeds sprout in the cracks between them. But if you know the Bible like Len Browning does, you know the significance of this place. It’s a reminder of the Jewish temple destroyed nearly two millennia ago. The temple housed the Holy of Holies, which is believed to be the place where God himself dwelled.
In the movie “Liar, Liar” the main character finds success by lying. His lying is so bad that when his son is asked what his dad does for a living, he says, “My dad’s a liar.” (He’s actually a lawyer – say both out loud to hear the play on words). A wish from his son requires the character to only tell the truth. Initially, his struggle to tell the truth is portrayed as nearly impossible. Obviously the movie is an exaggeration, but sometimes I think we convince ourselves it is easier to be dishonest.
As I sit with my husband watching television, I’m thinking surely there is something better to watch. All of the sudden the television becomes silent, and my husband does, too. I realize he’s fallen asleep, and then he wakes up long enough to mute the television before nodding off again. Now I’m watching a show I’m not interested in as I try to read their lips. Frustrated, I start looking for the remote, and I see it’s resting under his hand.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The 4,000-member First Presbyterian Church in Colorado has taken another step toward leaving its denomination. KRDO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/xBWP3B) 80 percent of the Colorado Springs congregation on Sunday voted in favor of proceeding with efforts to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Senior Pastor Jim Singleton cited disagreements with the denomination's direction, including a decision last year to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships. Church leaders are expected to vote this summer on whether to allow ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings.
Anyone who has been around church very much is probably familiar with the story Jesus told about “The Prodigal Son” in Luke 15. Let me offer a few questions and observations about the father in the story. Was this a wise father? When approached by his younger son with a very odd request for their culture the father considered the request for his inheritance and gave his younger son his portion, but also his elder son his inheritance as well. Why didn’t the father plead with his son to stay home when he found out he was leaving? I believe this father was not one to force his will upon his son, or on anyone else he loved. He just relied on the teaching and guidance he himself had instilled in him and trusted that his son would make wise decisions.
Craig Christian Church, 960 W. Victory Way, hosts a father and daughter ball from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today. The event costs $7 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the church office. The ball is open to all fathers and daughters. For more information, call 824-6024.
I am personally kind of a dreamer. Sometimes I like to allow my mind to wonder a little bit and like a child begin to think of the impossible. As I begin to study the word of God I find more and more that when our prayers and dreams line up with God’s plan, the impossible can become possible. “But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). We understand that this scripture is talking about salvation. The question was just asked to Jesus “who can be saved”. The scripture states a truth that all followers of Christ need to understand.
One of the worst tornados in American history ripped apart the small Midwestern town of Joplin, Mo., in May 2011. Laura Corriveau, a radiologist and member of Hayden Congregational Church, was sent to Joplin in the aftermath as part of a government task force. Her job was to X-Ray and identify bodies and body parts. News of the tornado’s destruction resonated with Corriveau and other church congregation members. “As soon as I heard that, it just spoke to our hearts,” HCC Pastor Janet Babish said. “I knew that as soon as there was a mission trip available, we would organize something to send people down there.”
I had just finished sending an email asking someone for forgiveness. The reason I had to ask for forgiveness was because of my weakness in thinking I don’t need help. Why is it we become so independent and prideful that we exclude others from our lives, and would rather live in this world by ourselves? It’s almost like we don’t like to share. We don’t want to share the recognition, joy, or blessing of whatever God has given us with anyone else. As children we were all taught to learn and develop independence. Dressing ourselves, feeding ourselves, walking, and tying our shoes were some of the activities we were taught to do.
The church at Antioch in Syria, 300 miles north of Jerusalem, was among the first Christian churches established outside of the Jerusalem area and one of the first to have Gentile convert members. The gospel reached Antioch in the dispersion of Jesus’ disciples due to their persecution in Jerusalem. There are two interesting statements made about this church found in Acts 11. First, we are told that when Barnabas, the Apostle, visited this church he witnessed, or saw the evidence of, the grace of God. The “grace of God” is the undeserved favor of God and therefore unseen, similar to love or hate. How can anyone “see” the grace of God?
In the fall, I went back to my college alma mater for the first time in eight years. When I returned I was surprised about how God spoke to me during that trip, and it’s an important lesson I’d like share. The reason I returned to my school was my cross country and track coach, the coach there for 27 years, officially “retired” in the fall. But, unofficially and off-the-record, he was asked to step down. I was extremely upset and disappointed in how the situation was handled by the administration.
With the many hardships happening around us, I thought it would be nice to share a story about Shawn, a 16-year-old young man who was diagnosed with leukemia, and his miracle. I pray it will bless you and allow you to see there are still miracles happening today. This occurred during my ministry in Arizona. With excitement in the air, it was time to load our suitcase into the limousine and head to the airport. Shawn, Maggie, Chris and myself were about to experience how God answers prayer.
I’ve often been asked what I do at Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center. My volunteers and I get to meet people and help during difficult times. We get to hear life stories and get to know people who come to us. It’s that process of getting to know people and hearing so many stories that can be challenging and yet rewarding.