Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter can be spent in a frenzy of activity, scrambling to buy jelly beans and chocolate bunnies, baking hams and pies, scrubbing bathrooms, and laying perfect dinner tables.

Or maybe this day was spent in reflection, contemplating the hours the disciples mourned their rabbi, their Messiah, hiding in fear for their lives after watching an innocent Jesus crucified by the Roman soldiers.

Holy Saturday. Black Saturday. Joyous Saturday. The day of despair, hopeless, fearful, wondering “now what?” It is easy for us to skip over the importance of this day. We know the story. We know what’s ahead. Sunday’s coming. Easter will bring new life, our resurrected Savior.

But the disciples didn’t know. They heard what Jesus told of this time but how do you really prepare yourself for this day? Do you hope? Do you hide? Do you leave? Do you stay?

Did they trust? Did they believe the One who poured Himself out, teaching, praying, healing?

Maybe your life is currently sitting on a Black Saturday. Your dream seems dead. You’re fearful, hopeless, despairing. You grieve and hide, questioning “now what?”

Do you trust? Do you believe the One who poured Himself out for you? Stand firm and know – Your Easter is on the horizon.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:18-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”

‭‭John‬ ‭16:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Read Full Post »

Don_Kris

Don and Kris McGarvey, Troy Mills Christian Church

My husband is a rock star. I asked if he would write a guest blog and as always, I’m blown away by his depth of insight into the Scriptures. I hope you will be challenged as much as I was. Thank you, Don McGarvey – for loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and sharing your  wisdom with us.

 

 

I’ve recently had a unique encounter with Proverbs 24:10:
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (NKJV)

Solomon was warning his son about tough times. Solomon in his wisdom understood the temptation to withdraw during tough times. But his warning to his son was if he withdrew from tough times, he wouldn’t grow.

Solomon understand that tough times make us stronger. Knowing and watching God sustain us during tough times causes our confidence (faith) in God to grow.

Solomon wasn’t blaming God for tough times; he was reminding his son of how God promised to work in tough times (Romans 8:28).

A few days before my encounter with Proverbs 24, I was being challenged with the thought that “set-backs” are often “set-ups” for God to work.

Again, I don’t believe the setbacks are from God. They come from a variety of places including our own poor choices. God is never the source of set-backs. But He is the source of set-ups.

Today is Good Friday. Perhaps the greatest set-up ever.

If we could read the biblical account of what happened on this day without knowing how it ends, we might raise an eyebrow at the use of “Good Friday” to describe the day. It looked more like a “set-back” than anything else. Certainly, the two men walking along the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 felt as if it was a set-back.

But it wasn’t. What looked like a colossal set-back was really a set-up for you and me! It brought life and life abundantly (John 10:10) that goes above and beyond imagination (Ephesians 3:20).

So, when adversity comes, don’t faint or withdraw. Keep moving forward; do the good works God has called you do (Galatians 6:9); and know in your heart that this too could be a set-up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Easter_TMCC_2016

Easter at Troy Mills Christian Church, 2016

Don McGarvey is the pastor of Troy Mills Christian Church in Troy Mills, Iowa. If you are interested in reading more by Don, his blog is located here.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Have you ever considered what you would do if you knew you only had one day to live? Would you celebrate all the blessings in your life with those you love? Would you call people to ask forgiveness for any offense or hurt from the past? Would you care what people thought of you? Would you eat your favorite meal? Would you take a hot air balloon ride or zip line adventure or sky dive? Would you sit peacefully waiting for the end to come?

One of my favorite songwriters is Ben Rector. He recorded a song called “Like the World is Going to End,” addressing some of these questions.

If we found out that the world 
was gonna end on Tuesday morning
What would everybody do
It’s funny how the thought of that 
can make something real important
And a lot of things pretty worthless too

The lyrics are poignant, the tune is catchy, but the thoughts I’ve had since first listening to it a few years ago have stayed with me. Read the lyrics of the final chorus:

‘Cause I’d be dancin’ like a fool
I’d eat ice cream every mornin’
I’d call up everyone I loved
And drive them out to California
And we’d say the things 
that we’ve been scared to death to say till then
Now that I think about it
Maybe we should always live like the world is gonna end

Today is Maundy Thursday. It signifies the last 24 hours of the life of Jesus. What did He do?  No big meal – just wine and bread.  No apologizing for wrongs done – He had no sin. No selfish adventures – he served and prayed and forgave. He ate one last meal – with those He loved but knew would abandon Him and the one person He knew would betray Him.

Bob_Goff_Maundy_Thursday

On Maundy Thursday Jesus knew He was headed to a painful, gruesome death. He knew He would be abandoned by friends and forsaken by His Father, yet He chose it anyway. He chose US anyway. Maundy Thursday – our opportunity to receive what Jesus offered on his last day. My friend Jennifer Dukes Lee provided this graphic to help visualize all that Jesus did for us BEFORE the cross. On his last night. At his last meal. With his betrayer.

On His Last Night

Read Full Post »

cross hi;lltop banner-600x224

Holidays are more than dates on a calendar. They are usually markers on a memory timeline and most families have at least one tradition for each major holiday. With Easter Sunday less than a week away, you have time to create a new memory, a special new tradition, to mark this very unique holiday.

Some families research and observe some or all of Holy Week, the eight days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. You can google any one of the days of the week and find the unique observances surrounding each one. For instance, did you know that the Wednesday of Holy Week is often called “Spy Wednesday?” This day is observed by many Eastern Orthodox believers as the day Jesus was visiting Simon at his home in Bethany. While there, Mary anointed Jesus’ head and feet with costly perfume. Jesus’ disciples were indignant at the waste of money. Tradition says this was when Judas Iscariot decided to betray Jesus to the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:1-10).

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. The word “maundy” is Latin and refers to the part of the evening when Jesus’ washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). The night concludes with a meal, which provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist or Last Supper (Luke 22:7-23).

Good Friday always seemed a misnomer to me. It is the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary (Matthew 27). In many areas of the world it is a legal holiday, including 12 U.S. states. Why is it called “good?” There are disagreements about the exact meaning, but many believe the “good” simply meant “pious” or “holy.”

Johnny Hart, Good Friday 2

Most Protestants don’t observe it, but Catholics often refer to the next day of the week as “Black Saturday.” There are unique traditions for both western and eastern Christian religions for this day.

Of course, the celebrations abound on Easter, beginning with sunrise services in many churches. New clothes, egg hunts, baskets filled with gifts and candy, joyful hymns declaring Jesus is alive! He is risen from the dead! (Matthew 28:1-15)

What a great season to start a new tradition in your family. Observe a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service in a different church than what you are used to…Give Easter baskets to a women’s shelter or orphanage…send Easter cards to servicemen and women…Read the scriptural accounts of Holy Week to your kids, celebrating each day as Jesus may have…Have a foot-washing service with your small group…Participate in communion on Thursday night.

Enjoy this spring time holiday as you never have before ~ create something fresh and new or resurrect a family tradition from your own past. Either way, make a memory to last a lifetime.

Read Full Post »

Willie Robertson

My husband and I had the opportunity to attend this morning’s Good Friday Prayer Breakfast in downtown Cedar Rapids. It was held in the newly-renovated DoubleTree Hotel in their very large convention center…and it was packed. I’d like to think it was because the people of Cedar Rapids recognize the importance of prayer, or the significance of this day in the life of Christians, or that we love to get together with one another to seek the Presence of God. And maybe all those things are true, but I really think that today, that huge convention center was filled because the special speaker was Willie Robertson.

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last few years, most of you know Willie Robertson as the star of the cable TV reality show “Duck Dynasty.” He says he’s known more as Sadie’s dad. Sadie Robertson is his teenage daughter who competed on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” throughout the competition standing firm in her belief in modesty and purity. She seems to be a very sweet girl and I’m sure Willie and his wife Korie are very proud of her. The various members of the Robertson family are admittedly redneck, quirky, and entertaining. I first heard about their TV show from the woman who cuts my husband’s hair. My sons started watching and soon after, we did too. It’s a scripted reality show, meaning there is a definite plot to each episode though the family members don’t consider themselves actors and most notably, each episode ends with the family sitting around a large table with patriarch Phil saying grace before they eat together. Each show has a moral and it’s usually Willie who serves as narrator. Each member of the Robertson family is an outspoken follower of Jesus and has never apologized for their show or their stance on moral issues.

The other main speaker this morning was Willie’s friend, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Gov. Jindal is another strong believer in Jesus Christ and freely gives his testimony. He’s a pretty smart guy too, having completed a Rhodes Scholarship from Oxford University, specializing in health care systems. Though he has not announced a run for the presidential race in 2016, he visits Iowa a lot.

I could say a bit about Willie’s and Bobby’s remarks from this morning. And though both had great messages to the assembled Christians, I was most encouraged by something they never really said. I was encouraged to listen to two men who have gone against the established precedent and are scaling mountains formerly held only by non-believers in Jesus. You see, often we, as Christians, are told to concentrate our efforts on the church, on ministry. We esteem pastors, missionaries and evangelists for speaking out about Christ but we never acknowledge the day-to-day efforts of Joe and Janet, Rick and Laurie, Susie and Adam…those people who head out the door to work in hospitals, businesses, government buildings, or schools, or those moms who stay home every day to raise up godly sons and daughters. We’ve given up ground to our culture in past years by not encouraging our kids to reach beyond religious ministry and embrace who God made them to be – actors, congressmen, judges, scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, musicians. People like Willie Robertson and his family will reach people for Jesus who will never enter a church or listen to a televangelist. Government leaders like Bobby Jindal have people who watch him closely…what better way to live for God than in that microscope called a presidential campaign.

I’m mostly encouraged because I can freely exhort my own two sons to pursue their dreams, no matter what they may be. Maybe it won’t be as a full time pastor, like their dad. But maybe it’ll be as a journalist who travels the globe, living for God and reaching people his mom and dad never would. Maybe it’ll be as a musician who writes songs and performs for audiences who would never listen to a spoken sermon. Push your kids to live their dreams while living for Jesus. Let’s be salt and light in a world that needs the flavoring influence of Christ.

Read Full Post »