Monthly Archives: March 2013

Team Jesus Penalized for Taunting on Easter: “Where, O death, is now thy sting?”

I wanted to share one of the of the verses from the hymn, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”, dating back to the 14th Century.

In the NFL, this would get a taunting penalty:

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

This verse from the hymn comes from 1 Corinthians 15:55, which in turn appears to come from Hosea 13:14.

If you want to listen to the music or read all of the verses, go to Cyberhymnal.

My Favorite Easter Passage (John 20:1-2, 11-18)

To really get the full Easter story, you need to read the story in each of the Gospels, because they each present parts that are not in the others. But I like this part of the story! (The following is from the NIV.)

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!'”

[Peter and John run to the tomb to see for themselves. Mary must have followed them back to the tomb. After Peter and John left, the story picks up again.]

“Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.”

“They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?'”

“‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.”

“He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'”

“Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'”

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.'”

“She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).”

“Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”‘”

“Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

— John 20:1-2, 11-18, NIV

Choose to Dwell and to Rest in the Lord — A Quote by Hannah Whitall Smith in “The God of All Comfort”

“Our souls need a comfortable dwelling place even more than our bodies; inward comfort, as we all know, is of far greater importance than outward; and, where the soul is full of peace and joy, outward surroundings are of comparatively little account…”

“The Lord declares that He has been our dwelling place in all generations, but the question is, Are we living in our dwelling place? The psalmist says of the children of Israel that ‘They wandered in the wilderness, in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.’ And I am afraid there are many wandering souls in the church of Christ, whom this description of the wandering Israelites would exactly fit…”

“The truth is, our souls are made for God. He is our natural home, and we can never be at rest anywhere else.”

– Hannah Whitall Smith, “The God of All Comfort”, Kindle locations 1294-1300,1304-5

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What Students Say about Why People Should Come to Elim Bible Institute

After reading these 10 reasons that Elim Bible Institute (EBI) students gave as to why others should enroll, I am really proud to be associated with this institution, through my ordination with Elim Fellowship.

1) You are a seeker who wants to know God’s will and purpose for your life. EBI is a great place to seek God.

2) Elim is not specifically about schoolwork or head knowledge, but true preparation for life so you can boldly impact the world — to be transformed to live victoriously.

3) Every semester is a crash course in achieving your best potential in Christ.

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God Uses Affliction to Make You Into a Person Who Gives Life to Others — A Quote by Francis Frangipane in “The Shelter of the Most High”

“Consider even now the area of greatest affliction in your life. In that area God will make you fruitful in such a way that your heart will be fully satisfied and God’s heart fully glorified. Ultimately, the Lord will touch many others with the substance of what you have gained. In a world that is superficial, Christ will produce something within you that is deep and living.”

— Francis Frangipane, “The Shelter of the Most High”, p 132

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Waiting on the Lord is Hard, but Worthwhile — My Verses for Sat, Mar 30 (Ps 40:1-3)

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” Psalms 40:1-3 (NIV)

A Good Friday Reflection

For some, the cross is primarily a symbol of pain and sacrifice. But for me, the cross is a sign that I am loved, like a big red heart on Valentine’s Day. It is easy on Good Friday to focus on everything that Jesus went through on that day two millennia ago — and perhaps it is even beneficial for many people to do so. But for me, what Jesus showed by embracing the cross that day is an outworking of the love that he had for me every day of his life on earth — but more so, every day since Creation, whether that was before He came to earth or after he ascended into heaven. While remembering the depth that He went through to show His love helps me, I don’t want to get so stuck in thinking about the pain that I forget the bigger picture, His love. He came to earth knowing that the cross would be His destiny, and every day bore that knowledge. He could have opted out. But every day, he carried that love with him, and when the time was right, he drew on that love to give Him the strength to endure. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross” (Heb 12:2, ESV). I am that joy! You are that joy! My view of the cross has been transformed by a focus on it as an expression, a remembrance, of how much I am loved.

Finding Intimacy with God Requires Practice — A Quote from John Eldredge in “Walking with God”

“Name one thing in your life that you really enjoy doing that didn’t require practice to get there… [It is also true of] our walk with God… It’s awkward at first and sometimes we feel stupid. But if we hang in there, we do begin to get it, and as it becomes more and more natural, our lives are filled with his presence and all the joy and beauty and pleasure that come with it. It is something to be learned. And it is worth learning.”

— John Eldredge, “Walking with God”, p 17

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