Friday, March 26, 2010



However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

No eye. No ear. No mind. What God has prepared. But Jesus knew.

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" Matthew 20:17-19

What God has prepared. Son of Man betrayed. Condemned to death. Mocked. Flogged. Crucified. Raised. But Jesus knew.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" ……. At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. John 12:13, 16

What God has prepared. Hosanna. Blessed. King. But Jesus knew.


Are you getting ready for Easter? Have you purchased new clothes? A chocolate rabbit? Fake grass that you will be finding under the couch next August? A ham for Sunday dinner? How are you preparing? Thinking ahead to Easter made me wonder how Jesus prepared.

Did he have times of absolute joy because he would be seeing his Father? Did he feel anxious over what lay in front of Him? Did he look closely at faces and hold a loved ones hand for an extra second? Did he - - ?

The Bible answers some of these questions. We know Jesus got angry when he entered the temple area and "would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts." We know he washed the feet of his disciples. And we know he was "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." We know he wept and prayed.

But how did Jesus prepare his heart?


How are you preparing for Easter?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear Jesus, Help me prepare for Easter. I want to be your humble servant so I may give gentle care to others following your example of tenderly washing the feet of your disciples. I want to receive the bread and wine you offered at the Last Supper. I want to be awake as you pray in the garden and I want to share in your tears. I want to offer praise and be thankful for the blood that washes me clean. I want to raise my hands and celebrate a risen Lord. … Amen

Friday, March 19, 2010



Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”


It was a normal morning. Children complained about getting up for school. Men and women went to work and the same idiot cut across three lanes of traffic causing everyone to slam on their breaks. Boys and girls, too young for school, told their parents goodbye as they were dropped off at daycare.

It was a normal morning, as men and women turned their minds from loved ones to business.

It was a normal day, as children put moms and dads in their hearts and turned to study and play.

9:01 AM – It was a normal morning. No one paid attention to the truck parked at the loading dock.

9:01 AM – It was a normal morning, April 19, 1995. A normal morning in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Two minutes passed. 120 seconds.

9:03 AM – It was no longer a normal morning.

We stopped at the Oklahoma National Monument and felt the results of hate and mis-directed anger. 149 adults and 19 children died.

We were too early to tour the museum, but I do not think I could have entered.


The empty chairs had already broken my heart and reminded me that two minutes had changed a nation, a state and a city. Two minutes and family trees were altered.

It was hard to walk to the Children’s Area. Each step closer was a reminder of those smaller chairs. Each step carried us closer to --- closer to hope!


Hope because children from all parts of the country sent drawings of comfort. Drawings which offered a prayer or a dream of peace. Drawings of broken hearts and families. And those pictures were bright and colorful. Each picture was full of hope.

Hope for the end of hate.

How do you explain hate? How do you understand one person being so desperate they kill innocent people? How do you not take hate into your own heart? I have no answers.



When an April 19, 1995 (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), April 20, 1999 (Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado), September 11, 2001 (New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania) and other days of hate happens, you weep, you pray, you trust, you hope.

The inscription over the entrance to the Memorial reads, “We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.”

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Lord Jesus, When acts of hate destroy my feeling of well-being, when acts of hate touch my life, when hate is strong, O Jesus, protect my heart and mind so hate cannot hold my Spirit captive. Almighty God, hold victims close and give peace to those left behind. Peace and the assurance that they will again celebrate with their loved ones. Amen