25 I know that my redeemer[a] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

.

Picture of an empty tomb.

 

 

Picture of an empty tomb -- so glad the tomb was empty! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

 

From DSC:
In my senior year at college, it was on a Maundy Thursday that I came out of one of the deepest, loneliest deserts that I’ve been in during this lifetime. I’ve been in others, but not like that one. In the fall of my senior year, I had to see if all of this faith stuff was a hoax. So I went into a 7-8 month time in the desert. I questioned the LORD’s existence. Everyone felt a million miles away…even my closest friends.  The LORD felt a million miles away too. After having three good years on the court, the sport that I played in college did not go well — at all. I couldn’t wait to get off the court.

But as it turned out — and looking in the rearview mirror — I could see that He was at work. How I saw myself, the LORD, and the world changed that year. My identity changed that year.

On that Maundy Thursday, I went to the Alice Millar Chapel on NU’s campus. Normally, I would have been with my family, but they were away that year. I was sitting alone, in the back of the church…it was dark. I watched the pastor get down on his knees, reach for a wet towel, and wash the feet of a dozen or so people from the congregation. The pastor was doing what Christ had done to His disciples, many years prior.

All of the sudden, the many years’ worth of singing the doxology around the family table came flooding back into my mind. And what I can only describe as a sort of full-body warmth came over me. I have never doubted the LORD’s existence since that time. It was nice to be out of the desert.

(My pastor at that time, Rev. David Handley, used to say that the Holy Spirit was active on Maundy Thursday…and I believe it.  🙂 

All that said, I hope that once we make it through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, that those of you who celebrate Easter have a great one this year!

Thank you LORD for your love, grace, forgiveness, patience, gentleness, and kindness. Thank you for your creation. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for our work. Thank you for running, clean water. Thank you for all the food and drinks we have. Thank you for roofs over our heads and clothes on our backs.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

And from Isaiah Chapter 53:

Isaiah 53:3-6
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. –

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

 

Hebrews 4:15-16 — from biblegateway.com

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

 

Isaiah 25:1 — from biblegateway.com

Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
    you have done wonderful things,
    things planned long ago.

 

40 Spectacular Sights of Nature You Should Know, Vol. 1 — from hongkiat.com by Nancy Young

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Image Source: Libertas Magazine

From DSC:
I realize that I’m biased here…but I say, “Glory to God!” when I see these pictures. He’s an awesome designer and creator. Only He can “paint a canvas” like this.

 
 

Reaching for the stars. — from 500px.com by Tomas Havel

Reaching for the stars -- from 500px.com by Tomas Havel

From DSC:
I can’t help but go to some scripture when I see the LORD paint a canvas like that! And the creativity and artistic talent that He gave to Tomas is excellent! I’m glad that Tomas shared his gifts and abilities with us here.


Psalm 19:1-4 KJV

The Perfect Revelation of the Lord | To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

19 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament[a] shows [b]His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their [c]line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.


16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.

 

Psalm 86:1-12 — from biblegateway.com

A prayer of David.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.

 

Philippians 4:8 — from biblegateway.com

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Thank you LORD for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!!!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Excerpt:

[Dr.] King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

 

Psalm 90:12

12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

 

Merry Christmas all!

 

 

28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

 

Luke 2:8-11 (New International Version) — from biblegateway.com

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Merry Christmas all!

 
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