Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Void

Just finished reading an intriguing book. The Void, by Mark Mynheir, a former police officer, who worked in narcotics, homicide, and S.W.A.T. This book, #3 in a series, was a Christmas gift that I forgot I had. Anyway, back to the book.

The book is fiction, but explores a modern day controversial subject: human cloning. In the book, a rich guy is financing a secret lab project to clone humans. After several failed attempts, they finally succeed, and name him "Adam". He is perfect, Atlas on steroids. But soon, they realize they have created monsters - he is not the only successful clone. They go on a killing spree killing any Christian they can seek out.

The idea of cloning freaks me out. Quite honestly, I hope they never succeed with cloning humans. A big part of me wants to believe that God just won't let it happen, but it is also possible that He would let man do such a thing, with possibly as destructive results as the fictional account that I read.

There is a thought that I have had and mulled over several times when hearing talk about the cloning issue. If they could clone a human, what about a soul? A conscience? I cannot imagine that a cloned human being could have a soul - only God gives man a soul, so these cloned humans would be incapable of a sense of morality or conscience.

Evidently I am not the only one to wonder about that, for this book comes at it from that angle. The scientists/doctors discovered too late that there might be more to creating human beings than just body and mind. They didn't consider a third component - souls. They could give their experiments everything but a soul - which created a void in the clones that they could not fill.

In the book, the cloned humans' void was filled by demons who had been imprisoned for years, and now wanted to destroy all Christians to get back at God. Far fetched? Maybe - it is fiction after all - but is it that far of a stretch that if humans are ever cloned - God forbid - that they would have a void where the soul would reside in a God-created human - and that the void could be filled by evil?

The whole cloning thing sounds like science fiction, but they have cloned animals, so who knows? Maybe somewhere on this planet there are people secretly working to clone humans. Whether they are or not, I hope that I am correct in my theory that God might just not let it happen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Taking Off Our Spiritual Sweatshirts

Guest columnist today - man, that sounds offical! :-) I get emails from New Release Tuesday telling what new releases are out each week. This week, they included something a guy connected with NRT wrote, a Josh Peterson. I read it, and thought it was really good, so I am pasting it here. Check it out - it is called "Taking off our spiritual sweatshirts" (the title made me check it out)

I don’t remember the last time I could say
I was where I wanted to be
Still You see through this mask
Hiding all my flaws
You see something down deep in me...

Bring me back so that I can feel You again
Take me to that place I was before
All I want is to hold my head up high
So take this life and set aflame again
--Decyfer Down "Life Again"

Life is sometimes like a hooded sweatshirt.

A good one!

You know, the kind of sweatshirt that has a hood that is so deep it covers three fourths of your face if you want it to. It hides the poser behind the fabric.

It is imaging. And life is all about how we position ourselves isn’t it? I mean come really is, isn’t it?

We put our hip sunglasses on from Urban Outfitters so we can give people a false impression of who we really are. Big, ugly, dorks?

We don’t want people to see who we really are inside...the messed up parts of our lives, the sin, the shame, and disappointment. So we cover ourselves up to disguise the truth. We don’t want anyone to discover who we really are, or they may not accept us or let us into their lives.

And this is not just true inside the church, which is popular to bash these days. I am talking about something more relevant. I mean we all hide the junk in our past or present, or at least try our very best to.

We always answer the question, "how are you doing," with "fine." Are you really fine today?

We smile at church when we are really hurting inside. We laugh and hang with our friends and family but never break down our walls, until we are finally forced to because we are out of answers and options.

I am ready to start living a life that is more transparent. I want to come to God, and my friends and family sooner then later. I want to get their advice, council, and wisdom BEFORE pain occurs so that I am better equipped when the garbage hits the fan in my life.

Its time to wake up spiritually! Today is the day to get committed to Christ.

Romans 13:11-12 says, "The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here."

It’s time to get serious.

Life is surely way too short to gamble with our souls. Isn’t it?

If we are not growing in our daily walk with Jesus as followers of the Gospel then we are fading.

The great theologian and preacher John Wesley once said about the growth of his relationship with God: "Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame, if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago."

He understood that he could not rely on his past, but he needed to be developing and nurturing his relationship with Jesus.

Today is a day to renew our relationship with Jesus and ask for revival in our hearts. Not the cheesy "Christian" word revival, but a total explosion of emotion and zeal for Jesus. The way you feel when you meet a new girl, start a new job, or the way you felt the day you fell in love with Jesus. A fresh start, clean slate, and fire in my chest.

Romans 12:11-13 says this about having Passion and Zeal for our relationship with Jesus: "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Do you remember the way you felt when you gave your life to Christ? Why did you fall in love with Him in the first place? Why do you want to choose to continue to fall in love with Him even today?

Keith Green the musician and author wrote this about our spiritual priorities: "If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence…? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!"

Unmasking our sin in front of people, the ones who REALLY care about us, is so important. If we come to people and get real with our problems and pains then they can take us consistently and constantly to the Cross, where we can finally learn to allow Jesus to wash us clean.

You are much too valuable to God, to not spiritually be maintaining and paying attention to your soul. He has given us Godly relationships, wise pastors, loving family members, and His Son Jesus to restore and prepare our souls for eternity in the presence of God.

Opening up and becoming more "see through" is a very scary place. It reveals flaws and broken places that we hide, but to allow God to rip the bandages we have placed on ourselves and heal us is totally worth whatever uncomfortable ness there may be in publicly disclosing the junk in our past.

There is healing and restoration in coming back to the feet of Jesus and allowing Him to take our hood off our face.

I am sinner saved by grace, and a poser in an oversized spiritual sweatshirt. With the compassion of Jesus available to each one of us, today is the day that we can become more real, open and transparent.

A final thought today to ponder.

"Go forth today, by the help of God’s Spirit, vowing and declaring that in life—-come poverty, come wealth, in death—come pain or come what may, you are and ever must be the Lord’s. For this is written on your heart, ‘We love Him because He first loved us.’" --Charles Spurgeon
Posted April 27, 2009 Josh Petersen serves as the Manager of Marketing and Retail Promotions for Centricity Music. Before holding this position he worked for S/R/E Records as Marketing Manager, working with Flyleaf, Disciple, The Rocket Summer, Todd Agnew, and more. He lives in Franklin, TN, and has previously served as a part time band pastor. He enjoys golf, collecting Frank Sinatra records, finding new ways to promote Christian Music, and watching Ohio State Buckeyes football.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Great Sunday & Old Friends

Today was a really good Sunday. The weather was beautiful- 80's. A tad bit too warm, but hey - I will take it over rain or snow.

We had a really good service. A young couple, Jenny & Steven Troyer, sang a really good song, "Draw Nearer". I tend to recognize a lot of songs, who recorded it, etc, but had no luck with that one - turned out she wrote it. I wish I had the lyrics. Talked about the storms of life and we need to draw nearer to Jesus. Very moving and meaningful song.

Our pastor then preached on a subject I have said I can't remember hearing preached much in my life - God's love. It was a great message, and he said a lot of things I needed to hear. At the end of the sermon, he asked Jenny & Steven to come back up and sing their song again. He then opened the altar up for anyone to come up and pray, no matter what their need, or if they just wanted to draw closer to God. Half of the church went up - seemed like it at least :-) - several people knelt at their seat - myself included, but I have become "altar shy" - and I have good reasons. After we all prayed for a while, we were dismissed. Great service to be in.

Ken & Melinda Hosey, the parents of the young lady who wrote and sang the song were visiting her from PA today - we have known them for years - well since like 1980 - Melinda taught my sister and also had me for music or something when I was in 6th grade. We went to the same church for several years, and they have been great friends of our family over the years - so it was great to see them. It seems funny to us that Melinda taught my sister Vicki, and now her daughter is teaching two of Vicki's kids.

Jenny & Steven asked us over after the evening service so we could visit more with her mom - her dad had to leave early for PA. The food was great - meatball sandwiches and some other good stuff, and we all had a great time reminiscing and laughing - man did we laugh. It is great to get with people you have known for years and who haven't changed at all- they are the same.

As I rode home afterwards, a song the Gaithers wrote came to my mind. Old Friends. It is one of those songs that has good lyrics, but could have used a different tune. :-) Anyway, here are the lyrics:

Old Friends (Gaithers & Miller)

Old friends, after all these years
Just old friends, through the laughter and tears
Old friends, what a find,
What a priceless treasure
Old friends, like a rare piece of gold
My old friends, make it great to grow old
Old friends, through it all
I will hold to old friends

Now God must have known
That some days on our
We would lose the will to go on
That's why He sent friends like you along

Old friends, you've always been there
My old friends, we've had more than our share
Old friends, I'm a rich millionaire in old friends

A phone call, a letter, a pat on the back
Or a "heym I just dropped by to say"
A hand when we're down
Or a loan when we just couldn't pay
A song or a story, a rose from the florist
A little note that you just happened to send
out of the blue to tell us that you're still our friend

Old friends, you've always been there
My old friends, we've had more than our share
Old friends, we are all millionaires
In old friends

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Is Here

Spring is finally here! Actually, I think we skipped spring in Ohio and went straight to summer. It hit at least 82 today, and it was great! I drove into Salem to pick up a few things I needed, and splurged a bit and got lunch at Bob Evans. I got a salad to go and bought a pop out of a machine, and took it to the park to eat. Great day for it! And I saved a few $$ by not eating in the restaurant.

Speaking of Bob Evans, I have to tell this: I walked in, told the girl who was doing register & hostess duties that I had a carryout. It wasn't ready, so I sat down to wait. A few minutes later, she came out and handed it to me, then stepped up to the cash register. She rang the woman ahead of me out, then I stepped up to pay. She smiled and asked me, "How was everything?" I laughed and told her I didn't know yet. She apologized and said it was from habit. :-)

I also stopped in that Christian bookstore where I used to work to do some birthday list shopping. In case that is a new term, it means I was seeing if there was any new books I wanted to add to the list of birthday ideas for my family to work off of. I also had an amusing experience while in the store. I was chatting with a former co-worker and in reply to something she told me, I said "Oh brother!" Another former c-w said "no, it's your sister". Puzzled by the remark, I turned around to see my sister Vicki standing there. :-)

I left without purchasing anything :-) and headed home. Once here, I let the porch swing down from its high winter perch, got my Ipod and headphones, and enjoyed the nice day and some Southern Gospel music.

Speaking of, for some reason, I got an email from Pizza Hut giving me 50 free music downloads on emusic. I actually used up all 50 downloads, on mostly Southern Gospel, and some CCM. Good deal.

Again taking advantage of the awesome weather, I washed my car out in the driveway. It was a mess. The newspaper I work for is beside an Agway, and I parked beside one of their silos of feed. Bad mistake.

Supper was steak from the cows we butchered and also some deer steaks, both cooked outside on the grill of course - what else on a day like this?!

So that was my day so far. Hope the weather was as nice wherever you are!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Take On Torture

There has been a lot in the news lately about the USA torturing terrorists, closing the prison, and now Obama has released some of the Bush administration's "torture memos" so the entire world can see what we have been up to. Not only do I consider this a really stupid move, but it borders on treasonous. And now there is talk about trying to prosecute some of those involved. Give me a break!

First off, I don't think we need to know how our government gets information out of terrorists they capture. I don't care. Just get all of the information out of them that they can. We should not know whats going on. I really don't want to know how many terrorists they capture, what they do with them, etc - as long as our country is kept safe. It seems the Democrats had it in for Bush and still want to make him look as bad as possible, even if it means endangering our country by throwing the doors open to the government's tactics in dealing with terrorists.

Secondly, the "torture" methods that were used hardly compare to the tactics other countries use and have used. Water boarding? Stripping them naked? Putting a bug in with them? Give me a break!

I am with Dick Cheney. If they are going to release these memos, they need to also release the information of what they managed to stop because of using these methods - and they were able to stop some attempted terrorist activities.

This may sound like am outrageous statement, but I don't think there is an American alive who is 100% against torture. You think you are? Let me put a scenario out there for you........

The US has captured a terrorist. They have information that something is planned in one of 4 cities. Your son, or daughter, grandchildren - or other loved ones - live in one of those cities. The terrorist refused to say where or when the attack will be. It is in your power to order water boarding.......or worse. What would you do? Send him to his cell and give him a 5-course meal and hope your kindness will cause him to give up the information to save your loved ones, and countless others? Or would you give the order to get the information out of him by any means necessary? I firmly believe every one of us, if in that position, would do what we had to do to save our loved ones.

Bring it a little closer home. Your child or grandchild is kidnapped. One of the kidnappers is captured. What means would you want the police to use to get information out of the kidnapper? Would you be willing to let the guy sit in a comfortable cell while you go crazy with worry? I think not.

And to take it closer to the White House, if water boarding - or worse - was needed to save the lives of Michelle Obama or their 2 daughters - Obama would sure change his mind in a hurry. If I were a betting man, I would bet everything that I have on that.

Now most people aren't going to be in that position, but the president is. And others in government. It is their duty to keep this country safe, and when they capture terrorists and know or suspect that the terrorist can provide information that could save thousands or more of innocent American lives, I believe that they should act in the same way if it were we trying to save our loved ones. Get the information out of them in any means necessary.

I am a Christian, but I love our country, and want us to be safe. I believe the government should do its job, and not broadcast their activities to the world. Torture may seem extreme, but if by using it, American lives are saved, then go for it.

If you are doubting these methods, check out this article that shows the results of "enhanced interrogation"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hannah Montana

I have never been a fan of Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. I know, I'm not a teenage girl either. I have never been comfortable with the idea of her being a role model. I was also bothered by the fact that CBD ( sells her products. I ran across something today that reinforced the unlikelihood of her being a positive role model. I in fact, emailed CBD and told them politely how I felt, and included the following with my email.

A bit of information first: Miss California was asked her opinion of gay marriage by a gay blogger, Perez Hilton. She is against it, and replied so, and that it should be between one man and one woman, and now she is being trashed for her stand. I read the story on Newsbusters, a conservative news site, and clicked on the link to this fella's website, curious to see what he was saying about it. There, I read these comments that Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana made. Would you want your daughter following her?

Referenced website:

Responding to a question we asked her on Twitter, The Hills star Heidi Montag Tweeted back saying:

"God says in the bible that we should love our neighbor and he created us all as equals. I know in my heart that gays and lesbians should have the same government rights that Spencer and I will when we get married. So, yes, this blonde Christian believes in gay marriage and I hope to one day go to YOUR wedding, Perez!!!"

Woo hoo!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Heidi Montag would have been a better Miss USA than Miss California. It's a good thing that blonde didn't win!

Update: Holy moly!

Disney star - and fellow Christian - Miley Cyrus has also thrust herself into the gay marriage debate.

Responding to us and Montag via Twitter, she says "i second that!!! wow heidi is smart!!! shes amazing "

Quite courageous for Cyrus to do what she just did. We applaud her!!!!

Update #2: When told of the high suicide rate amongst gay and lesbian teens and how her standing up for equality will help battle that, Miley Tweeted back to us, saying, "Jesus loves you AND your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! thats like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz hes gay and that is WRONG and very sad! like i said everyone deserves to be happy."

Thank you, Miley!

Update #3: Cyrus even went so far as to tweet to Perez, "i am a christian and i love you [Perez] - gay or not. BECAUSE you are no different that anyone else! we are all gods children! i am not saying this so would be nice on your site (though that would be nice jk;) but because the LORD has spoken 'love cuz god loves'."

Monday, April 20, 2009

All The Way

Ran across a good song by Chris Tomlin. He put new music to an old hymn, and also added some words. I like the end result:

All The Way My Savior Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me
Who have I to ask beside
How could I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my guide

All the way my Savior leads me
Cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for every trial
Feeds me with the living Bread

You lead me and keep me from falling
You carry me close to Your heart
And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me

All the way my Savior leads me
O, the fullness of His love
O, the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood
And when my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way
Jesus led me all the way

All the way my Savior leads me
All the way my Savior leads me

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cds For Sale: Happy Anyway

My sister Pam and her husband, Paul, have just made a Cd, Happy Anyway. It has 11 songs, a few of which were written by Paul. My nephews sing on two of them, and two of the songs feature the trio of Paul, Don Qualyes, and David Duvall. The price is $12.00. If anyone is interested in purchasing one, let me know. I think it is very good, but I may be predjudiced a bit. If I could figure out how to get a picture from a PDF file on here, I'd post a picture, but no luck so far.

1) Happy Anyway
2) I'm Not Alone
3) Mansion Over The Hilltop
4) Sweet Beulah Land (trio)
5) Blessed Assurance
6) Name That I Love
7) Have I Done My Best For Jesus
8) Be Still
9) He Hideth My Soul
10) I'm Happy In The Lord Anyway/The SMILE Song
11) God Is Still On His Throne (trio)

Spread the word. I'd like to see them sell a lot.

If someone wants one mailed, I can do that. And I am not getting a cut for any I sell either. :-)

Look Out, It Is Coming

Just read a story on the Drudge Report that really annoys me, and worries me. I quote: "A newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warns against the possibility of violence by unnamed "right-wing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats."

Does that worry anyone else? It should. Basically if you are not a liberal or someone swallowing everything Chairman Obama is saying, you are a danger and should be watched. Good grief! And they scream if we dare profile Muslims/Arabs?!

Here is how I believe, and I am not a conspiracy theorist. I firmly believe that Barrack Obama has one mission and agenda. To destroy this country. Ever hear of sleeper cells? Terrorists use them. They move a person or people into a country where they live and interact as normal citizens of that country, sometimes for years, until they are needed. Then they attack, surprising people who had no idea their friend or relative was a terrorist.

This may sound way far out, but is it that big of a stretch of the imagination, considering how many enemies the USA has, that they could groom someone from their youth to hate America and set him on a mission to enter American politics and when the time is right, become president and destroy our country from the Oval Office? No, I am not a raving lunatic - it is a very possible situation.

Obama's actions since he has got in office underscore that belief. He wants to get rid of our nuclear program, making us more vulnerable to other countries. He seems bent on causing an economic collapse. He seems intent on the government controlling as much of the country as he can - and anyone who disagrees with his policies are a danger?!

Even if I am wrong with my theories that he is set on destroying this country - and I doubt that I am - then surely he is set on making this a communist/socialist/Muslim country. There are congressmen who want to do away with term limits for presidents, so don't be surprised if we don't even have an election 2012.

I think we all need to wake up, get our heads out of the sand, and bug the daylights out of our congressmen. Keep an eye on the news. Read the Drudge Report, Fox News, etc, and fight to get out country back in every legal way possible.

If we sit back on our butts, the day will definitely come when we have no religious freedoms, and the man who sits in the Oval Office at this time is more likely to cause that to happen than any we have ever had. Wake up Christians, and wake up America!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last Night

I posted these song lyrics last year, but woke up with them on my mind, so here they are again. And Happy Easter!

I posted these song lyrics last year, but woke up with them on my mind, so here they are again. And Happy Easter!

Last Night
by Marcia Henry
Performed by Karen Peck and New River
From The CD, "Journey of Joy"

Last night the disciples had supper with Jesus
Their last meal together before he was betrayed
After prayer in the garden, He was arrested
Tortured and questioned until the next day
That day the mob cried out, "Crucify Him"
The sweet Rose of Sharon was crushed on the cross
A rich man named Joseph took care of the body
While Mary and loved ones mourned their precious loss

Last night they buried the Rose in the Garden
The fragrance of sorrow hung thick in the air
Satan was breathing a sign of relief
While angels were silently bearing their grief
God knew that His Son would arise with great power
But for now He was waiting and counting the hours

Verse 2
Mary and Martha spent the third morning
Gathering spices and watched for sunrise
the disciples were hiding, defeated and greiving
Too distraught to remember that Christ said He would rise
The soldiers were sleeping outside of the grave
Unaware that their prisoner was stirring inside
The stone rolled away, Jesus stepped from the darkness
The dawn of Grace had finally arrived

Chorus 2
This moring the Rose blooms in the garden
The fragrance of victory still fills the air
Last night there was weeping with no consolation
But this morning rejoicing in the God of Salvation
Today there is hope in the morning light
What a difference God made between now and last night
No matter how hopeless and final the night
It has to give way to the Son of pure light

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Killing The Fatted Calf, Passion, And Using My Head

The Sacrifice, or Killing The Fatted Calf

My dad helps an elderly farmer out a lot. The man, Sam, doesn't get around very well, and raises around 14 at a time. Sam decided he was going to butcher 2 of his cows, and Dad worked off the cost of a half of one of them. We went over yesterday to cut it up and package it. That was quite the experience. The sound of the electric butcher saw going through a big piece of cow is something I will hear in my dreams. :-) My main job was to package the beef after it was cut up into steaks, roasts, etc. Mom and Dad bought a little machine that vacuum seals packages, so I ran that. It took us several hours, and we thought we were done. Wrong. Sam wanted our help with another half of a cow for someone else. On this one, I had to wrap meat in freezer paper and tape it, but got paid for those 4 hours of work, which is great - trying to save money. On Monday, if all goes as planned, I will get to help with the other cow and get paid for that too.

My friend Steven said we are really getting into Easter this year. Last week, we did the Passover service, and now we are sacrificing an animal. Dad said we killed the fatted calf. :-)

That's Using My Head!

I - or should I say - someone else - found a use for my head tonight that I never would have thought up. Mom, Dad, and I met my sister Vicki and her family plus my oldest nieces' friend in Austintown for the Passion Play there. I was sitting there waiting for it to start, when I got startled out of my seat. A blind guy, who also didn't seem to be quite all there - was entering the aisle behind me, and grabbed my head for something to keep his balance. I about jumped out of my skin, and it hurt! It was funny, but man, I sure wasn't expecting that.


For the longest time, I thought a Passion Play was some kind of romantic play with a lot of passion. By the time I finally went to see one, I had found out what one was, so I didn't walk in expecting to see a romance played out on stage. Though if you think of it, I may not have been too far off the mark, for the way Christ has pursued us could be viewed as the greatest romance ever.

Anyway, the play tonight was just awesome. They have a guy playing the part of John the Apostle Narrating between scenes. There were a couple of highlights for me:

The first: A woman sang Sandi Patty's awesome song, "In The Name of The Lord.". As she sang, the man playing Jesus healed people of various diseases on the stage. Men dressed as lepers, a couple with a dead daughter, and more. The song hit a musical interlude, and they played out the scene of the adulterous woman being brought to Jesus. What an awesome moment!

Highlight #2 was the Resurrection scene. Two men and one woman were singing the song "Arise My Love". At the most climatic moment in the song, the stone rolled away and the man playing Jesus came out. I felt like doing a standing ovation. I can't imagine what the disciples and others felt after spending the week-end with their hope and Savior dead, to find out that He was alive. If experiencing the pale shadow of it in a play makes us feel the way it does, they must have been ready to burst out of their skin.

Highlight #3. I found myself crying on this one - OK, I did a bit at other points in the play. They sang a song called "By The Way of The Cross". The first verse talks about the repentant thief on the cross coming to Heaven, and has him on stage singing his verse. Someone asked him how he came to be there, and he said he came by way of the Cross. The second verse is sung by the adulterous woman. The part of the song that really got me, and brought the tears, was the "bridge" of the song.

Most, if not all, of the many participants in the play came walking up at this point in the song, all of them wearing a gold crown. The bridge said "I see millions gathered 'round the throne, from every kindred and tongue. Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. As they cast their crowns down at his feet......" In unison at this point, they all removed the crowns from their heads, tossed them at their feet and knelt down. It was a moment.

It has been a couple of years since I have been to a Passion Play, and man was it worth it. Doing something like that helps remind us of what it is all about, and opens the Easter story up in a new way.

By The Way of The Cross

Verse 1
Condemned to die on a cross
For crimes he had done
He was guilty, everyone could see
But his destiny was changed as
He looked at Christ and said,
"When Your Kingdom comes, remember me"

In Paradise that day he stood
Just like the Lord said he would
Surrounded by those who had gone before
One said, "Friend, how did you come?
What are the deeds you have done?"
With tears in his eyes, I can hear him reply,
"There are no merits to my name
No works that I can claim
He who brought me here told me to say"

I have come by the way of the Cross
I have come by the way of the Cross
It is nothing I have done
It's the suffering of God's Son
I have come by the way of the Cross

I have nothing to claim but my guilt and my shame
Hopelessly lost, I could not find my way
'Til His glorious light of love shown down on me
His mercy washed all my sin away
And what He did for me that day
Was a price I know He paid
By His grace I too can say...


I see millions gathered 'round the throne,

From every kindred and tongue
Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
As they cast their crowns down at his feet
This will be their story
This will be their song

Chorus 2
We have come by the way of the Cross
We have come by the way of the Cross
It is nothing we have done
It's the suffering of God's Son
We have come by the way, come by the way
There is no other way, but the Cross

Friday, April 10, 2009

10 Reasons to Celebrate On Easter

Found this on Fox News website: - thought it was really good, so passing it on:

By Bill Shuler
Pastor, Capital Life Church

1. The faith of multiplied millions throughout history rises and falls on an empty tomb.

2. Many have tried, but no one has ever been able to disprove the Resurrection.

3. According to Sports Illustrated, the greatest comeback of all time was Jesus of Nazareth in 33 A.D.

4. Jesus’ disciples were willing to be beaten, imprisoned, and executed for what they witnessed.

5. Jesus fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy foretelling the Resurrection.

6. After His crucifixion and death, the risen Christ made numerous appearances, over 40 days, to over 500 people.

7. The amount of evidence, and the number of witnesses, for the Resurrection would be a slam dunk in a court of law.

8. The Resurrection proves that truth will never be subservient to death.

9. The Resurrection told believers that God brings forth live, not mere rules and regulations.

10. Jesus said, because I live, you will live also.

The true meaning of Easter must never be lost amidst painted eggs and rabbits. Mankind was forever changed, when the angel proclaimed, “He is not here, because He is risen.” It has been said that if the Resurrection is false, the earth has no hope. But if the Resurrection is true, it represents the earth’s only hope.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rick Warren & Propostion 8

I will admit I was disappointed in Rick Warren for all of his pro-Obama comments, such as he admiring him, etc - how can any Christian worth his salt admire the most liberal & pro-abortion president ever?! Anyway, I saw this news article, and I am all the more disappointed in - and frustrated with - Rick Warren. No wonder the liberals are winning when even ministers are caving in and won't speak up for what is right. News article at:

California mega-church pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren says he apologized to his homosexual friends for making comments in support of California's Proposition 8, and now claims he "never once even gave an endorsement" of the marriage amendment.

Monday night on CNN's Larry King Live, Pastor Rick Warren apologized for his support of Prop. 8, California's voter-approved marriage protection amendment, saying he has "never been and never will be" an "anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist."

"During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never -- never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going," Warren told the CNN audience on Monday. "The week before the -- the vote, somebody in my church said, 'Pastor Rick, what -- what do you think about this?' And I sent a note to my own members that said, I actually believe that marriage is -- really should be defined, that that definition should be -- say between a man and a woman."

However, just two weeks before the November 4 Prop. 8 vote, Pastor Warren issued a clear endorsement of the marriage amendment while speaking to church members. "We support Proposition 8 -- and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8," he said.

The following is a complete transcript of Warren's comments just weeks before the Prop. 8 election:

"The election's coming just in a couple of weeks, and I hope you're praying about your vote. One of the propositions, of course, that I want to mention is Proposition 8, which is the proposition that had to be instituted because the courts threw out the will of the people. And a court of four guys actually voted to change a definition of marriage that has been going for 5,000 years.

"Now let me say this really clearly: we support Proposition 8 -- and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear.

"This is one thing, friends, that all politicians tend to agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain, I flat-out asked both of them: what is your definition of marriage? And they both said the same thing -- it is the traditional, historic, universal definition of marriage: one man and one woman, for life. And every culture for 5,000 years, and every religion for 5,000 years, has said the definition of marriage is between one man and a woman.

"Now here's an interesting thing. There are about two percent of Americans [who] are homosexual or gay/lesbian people. We should not let two percent of the population determine to change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years.

"This is not even just a Christian issue -- it's a humanitarian and human issue that God created marriage for the purpose of family, love, and procreation.

"So I urge you to support Proposition 8, and pass that word on. I'm going to be sending out a note to pastors on what I believe about this. But everybody knows what I believe about it. They heard me at the Civil Forum when I asked both Obama and McCain on their views."

During his CNN interview on Monday, Warren expressed regret for backing Prop. 8. "There were a number of things that were put out. I wrote to all my gay friends -- the leaders that I knew -- and actually apologized to them. That never got out," he admitted.

Additionally, Pastor Warren said he did not want to comment on or criticize the Iowa Supreme Court's decision last week to legalize same-sex "marriage" because it was "not his agenda."

Bryan Fischer with the Idaho Values Alliance says Warren is abdicating his biblical role as a pastor. "For Pastor Warren to say that shoring up marriage is not something that's on his agenda is just something that's hard to believe for somebody who believes the Bible is our rule for faith and practice," Fischer notes.

Dr. Jim Garlow, the senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, helped spearhead the Prop. 8 effort in California. Garlow admits he is confused and troubled by Pastor Warren's decision to apologize for supporting Prop. 8.

"Historically when institutions and individuals back away from convictional biblical truth, it is driven primarily by one single factor -- and that is the respectability of other people. In other words, much more caring about what other people think about them than what God thinks about them," he concludes.

Pastor Warren did not respond to a request from OneNewsNow for an interview.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I've Just Seen Jesus

I have a total of 48 Easter songs on my Ipod that I have been listening to for the last couple of weeks. One that I play over and over, and in my opinion is the best Easter song ever written and recorded, is "I've Just Seen Jesus". One of the first times I heard it, I was driving and really getting into the song, and was horrified to look at the speedometer and found I was inching toward, if not already at, 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Since then, I have heard it in several Passion Plays, and gotten used to it, so hearing it now doesn't turn me into a speed demon. :-) If you have never heard it, give a listen to it, and try to imagine what it must have been like for Mary to find the risen Savior after mourning His death. As the one line in the song says that can apply to us today also, "As if till now, I'd never lived.All that I'd done before, Won't matter anymore. I've just seen Jesus, And I'll never be the same again." Truly if we see Jesus - really see Him- we will never be the same again.

I've Just Seen Jesus

We knew He was dead
It is finished, He said
We had watched as His life ebbed away
Then we all stood around
Till the guards took Him down
Joseph begged for His body that day

It was late afternoon
When we got to the tomb
Wrapped His body and sealed up the grave
So I know how you feel
His death was so real
But please listen and hear what I say

I've just seen Jesus
I tell you He's alive
I've just seen Jesus
Our precious Lord alive
And i knew, He really saw me too
As if till now, I'd never lived
All that I'd done before
Won't matter anymore
I've just seen Jesus
And I'll never be the same again

It was His voice she first heard
Those kind gentle words
Asking what was her reason for tears
And I sobbed in despair
My lord is not there
He said, child! it is I, I am here!

I've just seen Jesus
I tell you He's alive
I've just seen Jesus
Our precious Lord alive
And I knew, He really saw me too
As if till now, I'd never lived
All that I'd done before
Won't matter anymore
I've just seen Jesus

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Answered Prayer, Passover, & Babysitting

Paul & Pam, my pastor brother-in-law & sister, came out from Pennsylvania this week for a Minister's convention in Canton, so we had to watch my 3 nephews for a couple of days. I didn't see much of Paul & Pam - they came on Wednesday, ate, and were gone. They came back late Thursday, and had to leave the next day for a funeral.

The boys were all really good here. I had to "Nathan-proof" my stuff - hide my Ipod, candy, fingernail clippers - anything that I didn't want him to wander off with. Typical two-year-old gets into everything you don't want him to get into. I played ball with them outside Thursday night with a whiffle ball and bat. Benjy, who is almost 5, line drived me twice - he found it pretty funny the first time, so kept trying to do it again. They also blew bubbles, though I did Nathan's - he was more interested in chasing the bubbles. :-)

It was funny Friday morning, Josiah (7) got up on my bed, tapped me, and asked if I was awake - I had been til that point - he pointed out that it was 8:13 (am) and said he wanted to see if I was awake. I assured him that I was, and he asked if he could play the computer. Last time they were here, he was told not to play the computer if I was still sleeping so it wouldn't wake me up. Hence, waking me this time to make sure I was awake.....

I recently had an answer to prayer. I really don't want to say what it was, though it involved money, and I was amazed at how God worked it out, beyond my expectations. And it came from some people whom I do not really personally know, or ever met. They knew of the need, and felt God wanted them to help out, something I am extremely thankful for.

Our Christian school had a Passover Seder last evening. It was in the gym at the college, and was very interesting. Lasted about an hour. They had assigned seating around several tables that were in 3 rows. It was not a meal, but we did have to eat stuff throughout it. There were 3 projectors & screens set up with a laptop computer. It would show the Scriptures that the principal was reading, and the ones we would read along. At certain times, we would drink a cup of grape juice - there was a cup of Sanctification, Redemption, Communion, and Praise.

There was matzoh bread, which was kinda nasty - like a cracker that needs help. We ate it at one point, parsley dipped in salt water - which was incredibly nasty - to signify the time in Egypt - bitter herbs. Another time you were supposed to dip the matzoh bread in horseradish sauce - I symbolically did that - there was no way I was going to eat horseradish anything! There was also some good stuff that had apples and other stuff in it that we dipped the bread in - that was good. We also had to wash our hands, so they passed bowls of water around with towel - I also symbolically did that - didn't want to stick my hands in water and on a towel that 20 other people had done it with. :-)

Each class had a part in it also. Allie & Katie's class sang a song about the 10 plagues of Egypt, and some of the kids acted out a plague. That was pretty cool. Some of the other classes read Scriptures or something to go with the service. One of the teachers and her husband sang the Twila Paris song "How Beautiful" when we did the communion part, and another teacher played his guitar and sang the Ray Boltz song "Watch The Lamb".

It really was an interesting experience, and I could tell a lot of work and thought went into it. I will admit I was pretty tired and wishing I had not signed up to go, but it was worth it. Plus, there was some kind of chocolate snack at the table that we were allowed to eat beforehand - not sure what the significance of it was, but it was good enough that I ate the piece from a nearby setting where no one sat. :-)