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Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Happened That Week

        Today's the day.  The palm fronds decorate the front of the church to remind people of a special event.  Let's find out more. And, let's find out what happened the rest of that week.  It doesn't take a long time to read, and you do remember where your Bible is?

April 13:  Palm Sunday, Triumphal Entry:   Matthew 21:1-11  — Mark 11:1-11  
                          —   Luke 19: 28-44  — John 12:12-19

April 14 Sundown until sundown on April 15:  Passover
Initiated in Egypt: Exodus 12:3-28  
Observed at Sinai:  Numbers 9:14
Observed at the conquest: Joshua 5:10-12
Observed by Christ:  Matthew 26:18-20    Mark 14:12-17   —  Luke 22:1-16 
                                      John 13:1-17 
(You do want to read the rest of the history, don't you?  It's important.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Does It Matter to You?

        Does life present a challenge to the reasonable person? 
        Do you consider yourself a sensible person with logical thinking?  Do you ask pertinent questions and sort through the answers you find?  Are you careful in accepting information you receive?  Is truth important for things both small and large? 
        Sometimes what we’ve heard as we were growing up needs to be updated.  Many new facts have surfaced from scholars, scientists,  even your mom and dad who have now grown a little older than they used to be.
        Here’s a suggestion for you  It’s an experiment in putting two-and-two together. Won’t take much time.  
        Don’t just turn aside; you might be able to explore some ideas that are well worth the small effort. 
        All of the above was a verbal challenge to Chuck. He smiled and 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Does God Automatically Help Us?

Will God automatically spare us from trouble?
Does God automatically lead us to truth?
Does God automatically give us what we need?
Does God automatically give us what we want?

Life goes on. Some days we feel energetic and capable; things go very well.  Other times we may feel like there is a backpack of bricks that we’re forced to carry. 
What’s the difference?  As Christians won’t God just automatically give us what we need?  Can’t we count on Him?
We can count on circumstances changing.  Some people welcome challenge; others take it as a personal affront.  Some expect risk, others want comfort. Many expect good things, automatically.
Is this normal?
For a long time we believed that Christians are supposed to “tough it out” and “put on a smiling face.” We expected to have some troubles, since they were good for teaching us patience.  
Does this unwittingly play into the hands of our spiritual enemy?
By taking a passive stance do we actually invite more problems?
Remember, then . . .

Monday, March 24, 2014

Face to Face

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
An older, slightly wrinkled woman looking back at me.

She had an inquisitive smile and nodded her head;
I was pleased to see her friendliness, so this is what I said,
“Let’s you and me be friends, is that OK with you?”
And I saw that she wanted to talk with me, too.

I listened and listened, but couldn’t hear her voice.
“That’s OK for now, if being quiet is your choice.” 
So she and I smiled again, and I turned away.
I’ll probably see her again another day.  

Face to face, her appearance was like a mystery, 
But I will make friends with her yet, you’ll see. 

By Elaine Hardt ©2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

FOCUS!

That’s how you hit the target now…..or eventually.
That’s how you say the right things now . . . or eventually.
That’s how you spare unnecessary energy.
That’s how you gather evidence.
That’s how you put the right ingredients into those cookies.
That’s how you just buy the thing you need now
           instead of looking all over the store.
That’s how you improve your memory.
That’s how you decide what’s true about life . . . and death. . . 
           instead of buying in to the latest fad or the oldest traditions.  
That’s how you read the Bible. . . instead of just remembering 
           little stories from your childhood Sunday School.  
That’s how you talk honestly to your Maker.
F O C U S !

by Elaine Hardt ©2014 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Time Alone, then Time Together

We deserve a small, quiet “Time Alone” at the first of every new day.  Find your focus. Think of what you’re thankful for. Declare your determination to live for the LORD.
Now, enjoy a “Time Together.”  Jesus is really there with you.  His blessings are what we need for a successful day.  We can talk to the actual Savior when we pray! 
What do we need for today?  Consider this: Faith, Hope, and Love. 
Many people have a weak definition of the words, FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.        But the Bible points out the power of each of these words.  
“Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God 
through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, 
through whom also we have access by faith 
into this grace in which we stand, 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
And not only that, 
but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 
and perseverance, character, and character, hope
Now hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts 
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 
Romans 5:1-5  
Look here http://www.jewsforjesus.org/files/pdf/newsletter/newsletter-2014-03.pdf   for the article by Karl deSouza.  He gives us these strong definitions: 
        Faith has the force of trust in something that is true.
        Hope is a forward-looking assurance of a promise to be fulfilled.
        Love is sacrificial and committed.
Here’s your challenge:  every morning this week have Time Alone and then Time Together.

By Elaine Hardt ©2014 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Vinegar & Bleach

In a hurry to get the washing started before running to town Tina impulsively decided to add bleach to the load of white bath towels — now a shade of faint pink —  so she grabbed the jug, measured out a cup and poured it into the dispenser on the washing machine. The detergent in, the right buttons pushed, and Tina was off like a flash. 
 The reason for the rosy hued items was her fault in the first place. Her husband, Dan’s new white socks with bright red stripe on the top had tinted the towels and washcloths. 
 Back from town a couple of hours later, she was stuffing the wet towels into the dryer, and noticed they didn’t look any better.  “Maybe I should have added more bleach?”  Again she reached for the jug on the shelf.  The first thing on the label that caught her eye was a recipe for pickles.  
 Turning the bottle around she saw to her chagrin she’d used vinegar instead of bleach. There’s nothing like using the wrong product to give the wrong results. 
 Something similar happens in our busy lives when we grab for what we think will do the job, and it fails us.  
  Many people see the word, “spirituality” and grab that.  Or, they see the word, “religion” and think it’s the real thing.
  Let’s slow down and take a closer look.