Nails Did Not Hold Jesus to the Cross

As Easter quickly approaches, if you are a Southerner, thoughts of Easter clothes and Easter lunch begin to fill your head. Tradition runs deep through-out the very fiber of who we are, in the South. Once these critical decisions have been made, I hope our thoughts will turn to Jesus. And not because He was nailed to a cross for our sins. Nor because He defeated the sleep of death, so that we too may rise from the grave to life eternal. But because of what Jesus “could have” done, “would have” done, and “should have” done.

Nails certainly did not hold Jesus to the cross! For He could have called down the powers of Heaven and removed Himself. Jesus could have shut the vicious crowd down and smite them out with a wave of His hand.  Jesus could have set Himself free.

If He did, Jesus would have left us to our own devices.  A world full of evil doomed to the eternal sleep of death.  A life lived only to end in a meaningless grave.  No hope, only worries, no real joy, only sorrow would have been our destiny.  And He should have saved Himself, for what are we but a dismal creation gone disappointingly bad?

We are the “but” of Jesus’s life.  Jesus did not save Himself, but saved us instead! God and Jesus love us!  The amount They love us is so great, that our pea-sized brains can not begin to fathom it. John 3:16 states, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

So, if somewhere in your human faulted  brain, you think Jesus was nailed to the cross, you are so wrong.  Jesus was “loved” to the cross!

Houston Rodeo, Not for President Obama

Last night we attended, for the first time, the Houston, Texas Rodeo. As the opening ceremony approached a climatic end, my thoughts were about our country and our President.  And the Houston Rodeo was definitely not the place for our President! It was too American.

First, one of the rodeo’s participant’s prayed.  You might want to remind me they do that at all sporting events. But, it was not just an invocation, he prayed.  This young man spoke to Father God, he spoke from the depths of his heart and Christian beliefs. And the whole auditorium responded with a loud “Amen!” I felt like I needed to clean the wax out of my ears or the fantasies from my brain.  Yes, I had heard it all and my soul was warmed with hope.

And then a young lady riding a horse, while proudly carrying our flag, circled the arena.  As she circled another young lady sang America. Sang is too plain of a word. Belted, heartfelt, magnificent, rousing rendition, mega talented would be better descriptions! There was unified cheering that could have been heard all the way to our nation’s capitol. Maybe I have been too cynical of late and just maybe the American Christian spirit is not dead, yet.

Sorry Mr. President, just like the Nazi concentration camps could not kill the Jewish souls, you and your constituents can not kill the American Christian soul. You may kick us down, handcuff us to poverty, but you will never destroy our souls.  For our souls belong to God.

While your campaign of fear and destruction loom over this country, remember you will reap what you sow.  One day fear and destruction may loom over Washington, DC.  And while you try to pit us against each other, God can unite us…the rich and the poor. Tell those legislators way up there with you, that a man who uses strife and discontent to scam his way through will become strife and discontent.

You can still turn things around.  Put your ego down and put God first. Follow His guidance to establishing this country back to the “free and brave”.  For now we are the “trapped and down trodden”. Is that going to be your legacy, Mr. President?

God Bless America!

Time and Fables

Have you ever noticed how an “old wives tale” that is told over and over again, becomes known as the truth?  Or how the truth is manipulated until it is an “old wives tale?” Such is what has happened to  March 17 or Saint Patrick’s day.

Saint Patrick’s day was the celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.  It had nothing to do with Irish heritage, wearing of the green, shamrocks, or drinking beer.  Saint Patrick’s day, over the years, has evolved from truth to fable.  A reason for people to claim their Irish heritage, no matter how distant, and paaaaarrrrty!

This Saint Patrick’s day, we should turn it back into the truth!  Following in Saint Patrick’s footsteps, we make it a day of witnessing.  Telling people about the real life they can have in Jesus Christ! A life eternal.  We can stand on the street corner and at shopping malls, handing out a little hope to everyone passing.

If you feel too intimidated for direct witnessing, bring cookies or cupcakes to work.  Share with others kindness and smiles, take someone under your wing who is struggling and alone.  A little kindness goes a long way. Let’s turn this day from obnoxious and raunchy to good Christian fun and outreach!

Churches could offer celebration services full of uplifting music and  call-to-action sermons.  Dinners for the community and visits to the nursing homes.  A true day of outreach beyond the church’s front doors.  Accepting of those, who may appear unacceptable but are only lost.  Loving your neighbor as you love yourself!

By now, I am sure you get my point! In honor of Christianity being brought to Ireland and to the suffering of this world, I say, “May God’s grace be upon you, may His love fill your heart until it bursts upon your family and friends, and may you always find your nest in His loving arms!”