Friday, April 22, 2011

Passion Week and Good Friday

I have been looking over the passages in the Gospels related to Passion Week during my personal Bible study this week. On Monday, Jesus cleansed the temple and cursed a fig tree. Jesus said, "My house shall be called a House of Prayer; but you are making it a robbers' den." He quoted Jeremiah 7:11 where the prophet, Jeremiah, warned his listeners that they were dishonest with themselves and with God by going to the temple and practicing religion but not living it out in their daily lives. I think it is similar to what the writer of Hebrews (unknown to us) scripted in chapter 6:11-14. I once heard Will Graham call the kind of believers written about there as "spiritual dwarfs." It's time to stop drinking milk and get to the good stuff, the solid food.

On Tuesday, Jesus was back at the temple having conversations with the religious leaders. They questioned Him and He taught truth. They (the religious leaders) were out of their minds with anger and frustration. They were plotting how they would stop Him but they had to calculate how they would do it and get the people who were believing to go along with it. Matthew 21:46 records that "they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet." They had yet to believe He was all that He said He was and is. Some would never believe. Jesus desperately wanted to save. In Matthew 23:37 He said of Jerusalem, "How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling." (emphasis mine) Those last 3 words are chilling to me but I have to wonder how often have I also been unwilling.

Also on Tuesday, Jesus had the conversation with His followers about the end times. They asked, "How will we know? What will be the signs?" Are we still asking those questions? I think so. We see the wars and rumors of wars, the famines and earthquakes that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24. I mean, for real, are we having some crazy weather things going on in recent years and even weeks? I love Luke 21:28 (I heard Francis Chan quote this verse recently), "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Amen and amen.

There are no recorded events in the Bible for Wednesday. I wonder what Jesus did. Did He eat a good meal and go out to play football with the kids like we might do on a holiday? Did He spend the entire in solitude with the Father, in preparation for the days ahead? Of course, we don't know. But, the next days would be intense and He knew it.

Thursday - the Last Supper and those last precious hours with the disciples before the arrest, trials, and crucifixion. Jesus had been preparing the disciples for what was to come. They still didn't get it. "I will never deny you," Peter said. "We would never abandon you," they all agreed. Do you think their own words stabbed them in their hearts as the events of the crucifixion unfolded, as they looked at Him upon the cross? Then there's John 17, the High Priestly prayer - the Son of God's intercession for His people. It is intense. He spoke, He prayed, His desire for people of all time - that by knowing Him they would know God and that God would be glorified.

And then Friday, Good Friday. The events that woud follow started with a kiss, the kiss of betrayal from one that had been so close. Have you felt betrayed by someone who seemed so close? The events that would follow were harrowing and ended with the lifeless body of Jesus wrapped in burial clothes, placed in a tomb, and the stone was rolled to cover the opening. In the pitch black, the human body of the incarnate One, the Savior of the world, laid dead.

It wasn't over - Sunday was coming. Sunday is coming. Oh happy day! 

Good Friday is one of the most important days in the life of the believer but, Hallelujah, it's a day that leads to THE most important day that we celebrate - Easter. The price was paid on Good Friday but the benefits are eternal. Praise His name.

Serving the only One who has the power to save,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sixteen Candles

Yesterday the baby of the family turned 16. Yeah, the youngest is 16 - amazing. I was excited to go to Rally last night and hear his band because I missed it last week. It was awesome, as usual. They are getting ready for Easter Sunday. Because our sanctuary will be packed on that Sunday, we will have an overflow room in the gym. There will be live music in both places then the sermon will be simulcast into the gym.

I am really so proud of Jacob. He's amazing on the drums, even if I am his momma. It's his passion. He's a deep thinker, too, but I don't think most people expect him to be because he's also really funny, the clown. He loves music and music trivia. He's intensely compassionate and sensitive to the downtrodden and the underdog. He's loyal and smart. He does not want to stand out or be the center of attention - unless, of course, he's playing the drums or being funny. 

Last night after church some guys came over and we had an ice cream cake that MawMaw purchased for the big day. Turning 16 is big stuff! Jacob won't get his driver's license for a couple of weeks then I will be out of the momma taxi service. Wow, that's weird to think about after being at that job for 21 years. Another milestone for the Dickersons family.

In the meantime, we're trying desperately to get wisdom teeth out and make college plans, mission trip arrangements, and reservations for our family vacation. We are just a month and a half away from graduation and school being out. I'm starting to ramble so I think I'll just end here.

Serving the King,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

To Better Enjoy God's Creation, My Dear

I didn't see it and really don't know much about it but there was recently a new movie about the old story of Little Red Riding Hood. I think it was sort of edgy and dark. Anyway, I was thinking about the old story, the way we used to tell it. Remember when Little Red Riding Hood encounters the wolf dressed up like her grandma and she asks about her big eyes and the wolf replies, "Better to see you with, my dear."? And so on about other facial features. Well, this blog post is not really about that at all...

We recently purchased a convertible. It's a little, red Volkswagon EOS and it's simply fantastic. My youngest thinks it's showy and he is unwilling to ride with the top down, though I've made him do it a time or two anyway. It is a little conspicuous but it is totally fun to drive and ride in. The night the moon was closer to the earth than it's been in years - a Saturday night a few weeks ago - Johnny and I went out for a drive and then sat in a parking lot with the top down just to look at the moon.

I love the outdoors and enjoying God's creation. That's one of the biggest benefits of the convertible -- better to enjoy God's creation, my dear! The wind blowing in my hair, the sunshine warming my skin - I love it!

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

Springtime in Texas is the best time to enjoy God's creation. I've been out in my yard seeing which plants made it from last year and enjoying seeing them in bloom again this year. I've planted a few new ones and have been getting my garden ready for new herbs and vegetable plants.

And, I've been out there thanking God for His provision and His faithfulness. He really is so good.

Hey, get out there and enjoy a little sunshine and creation!

Serving the Creator of it all,