Friday, April 25, 2014


After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.  The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. 

Matthew 28 - The Message

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.  Along the way they came on a man from Cyrene named Simon and made him carry Jesus’ cross. Arriving at Golgotha, the place they call “Skull Hill,” they offered him a mild painkiller (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when he tasted it he wouldn’t drink it.  After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for his clothes. Above his head they had posted the criminal charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. Along with him, they also crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!” The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—he can’t save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then! He was so sure of God—well, let him rescue his ‘Son’ now—if he wants him! He did claim to be God’s Son, didn’t he?” Even the two criminals crucified next to him joined in the mockery.  From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”  Some bystanders who heard him said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so he could drink. The others joked, “Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see if Elijah comes and saves him.”  But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last.  At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised. (After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the tombs, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.)  The captain of the guard and those with him, when they saw the earthquake and everything else that was happening, were scared to death. They said, “This has to be the Son of God!” 
Matthew 27 – The Message
Nothing more seems that important this week.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The amazing stretching machine

My son, Michael, spun this young boy around so fast that he grew by 17 inches during the three hour process.  

A couple of weeks ago, Michael and a group of college students went to Nicaragua during Spring Break on a mission trip sponsored by his church.  This is Michael’s third trip there, and this year he went as a co-leader.   I  have not been on a mission trip out of the country, but I have had a few trips to areas in need in the southeast US.  Michael’s trip activities include construction projects, visits to nursing homes and helping to serve whatever needs the local organization has.  As you can see from the photo, Michael seems to love the kids in that country.  When he comes home to tell me about his memorable moments of the trip, just playing with the kids is always on the top of his list. 

 I am so proud of him for his passion to serve others and especially for his love of kids.  I am blessed that he is my son and my business partner. 

Oh, that is actually two young boys in the photo.  They survived the amazing spinning machine unscathed (as far as I know).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Obedience and a Promise

There has been a lot of chatter over the last week about the movie, Noah.  Of course, there are as many opinions as there are people who care to write them.  Some say the movie does not follow the biblical account.  Others complain that the word “God” is never mentioned.  There are also plenty of people who have liked the movie and feel that it makes us consider the depravity of man and our unworthiness to be a part of God’s kingdom here on Earth.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I would like to.  All of the discussion, made me want to reread the story of Noah in Genesis 6-9.  Two things stood out to me.  The first is the amazing obedience of Noah.  There had to be moments that Noah questioned God’s sanity as God announced that he would send a flood to destroy all living creatures except for those that ended up on a boat that is bigger than a football field – a boat that Noah would build with his own hands.  But any doubts that Noah had were overwhelmed by his complete obedience to follow God.  After the flood, God rewarded Noah, and all of us, with a promise - the promise never to send another flood to destroy the earth.  And God sealed the promise with a sign.   The sign is one of God’s most beautiful works of art – the rainbow.  Every time we see it, we should be reminded of God’s promise.  Not a promise of no more floods, other natural disasters  or personal strife, but a promise that his love for us will never stop.  And in response to that, we should do everything in our power to be obedient to him.