Tag Archives: jesus

Twenty Thirteen

It is a new year.  At least by the Gregorian calendar it is.  The calendar we use is named after Pope Gregory XIII who introduced it 1582.  It replaced the less accurate Julian calendar.  The Gregorian calendar is accurate relative to the length of a solar year, but boring.  Most of the months are named after mythical gods or Latin numbers.

In China, 2013 is the year of the snake.  The Chinese calendar is way more interesting than ours.  It’s filled with creatures and complex explanations of the attributes of months, years, signs, etc.  Chinese New Year falls on February 10th this year, so I guess it’s not quite the year of the snake yet.  It is still the year of the dragon.  I was born in the year of the dragon, tempered by the element of wood.  You can do a search on that to find out how that makes me special.  🙂  I was not only born in the year of the dragon, I am a Capricorn.  A woman I worked with once (many years ago) who was from Thailand, told me that in her country, in the time I was born, I probably would have been killed because I was girl born under two very powerful signs.  She said that in her culture, there was too much power in that combination for a woman.  I’m glad I was born in America.

2013 AD (or CE, you pick) correlates with the Jewish years 5770-5771.  Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish new year.  This year the celebration will start on September 4th.  By far I like the history of the Jewish calendar the most.  It started on the 6th day of creation, the day that Adam and Eve were created.  I can’t hazard a guess as to how much time transpired prior to the day of the creation of man or to how old the earth is, because God exists outside of time.  The thing that the Jewish calendar is missing for me, though, is Jesus.

So, despite its relative mundanity, my favorite calendar is the Gregorian one…the one that marks time relative to the birth of Jesus (likely inaccurate by years as well as months and days).  I like that every time a reference is made to the year, that a quiet recognition is made to His very existence.

Happy New Year!  Happy 2013 years (give or take) after Christ’s birth.


Jerusalem

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land

William Blake, Poet, Words

Sir Hubert Parry, Music

ELP, Amazing Rendition of This Hymn

Did Jesus ever visit England?  You know, it seems very likely to me!



Good news of great joy…

    In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

    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. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:   You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

    When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

    So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

    Luke 2:1-20

     

    If not for Jesus’ birth, there would be no such thing as Christmas…remember this as you celebrate today.


“Religion” – Photo Friday

Today’s Photo Friday is entitled: “Religion″

I have lots of pictures for this particular entry. Why? Not because I had my choice of so many great photos and just couldn’t pick, or anything like that AT ALL! 🙂 Nope. My pictures are a set of photos taken on a little walkabout I took through my old neighborhood in California this past week while visiting my family.

I had decided that I wanted to see if I could get a good picture of St. Matthew Greek Orthodox church which is about a half a mile from my brother’s house. We, my niece Avalon and I, set off one afternoon with our cameras in hand…she’s nine. My original plan was simply to take a picture of that particular church. About a tenth of a mile into our journey we walked past St. Andrew Episcopal Church:

and the idea hit me that I should share ALL of the churches I came across in our walkabout! Across from the Episcopal church is Nativity Catholic Church:

which is a particular neighborhood favorite of mine.

Almost to our intended destination I came across these lovely flowers which (to steal from last week’s challenge!) grew in lovely and unexpected juxtaposition to a fire hydrant:

And these fantastic morning glories winding their way up a telephone pole:

Finally we reach St. Matthew. It, like the other churches we’ve past, is situated in between homes on these old city streets:

We walked some more. Avalon, despite her youth, began to flag and wished to return home, so we headed off that direction, but before we reached the house, we passed the United Methodist Church:

the First Baptist Church:

AND finally, the First Samoan United Methodist Church:

Finally tally? SIX churches tucked into one small neighborhood, all passed while walking just a little bit over a mile…and only one of them has a parking lot!

Let’s just say this little part of town has got religion!

But where DOES everyone park??

It was a beeeeuuuuuutiful day!

Please take the time to visit the other participants’ entries!  I will post additional links as they come in

Sky Windows

A Curious State of Affairs 

Just For Fun

Looking in the Mirror

Idea jump!

Next week’s challenge comes to us from Jan of “A Curious State of Affairs” and it is “Self-Portrait”.  Click HERE to see the particulars!  It’s another FUN one!

One more picture, because what is a mini-adventure without one of my foot pictures?  Incomplete!  So, then, here it is!  A curb picture with a friendly reminder of where it ends up when you dump it!


My Jesus Isn’t a Dead Jesus

There is little debate in scholarly and historical circles that the Jesus of the Bible actually lived.  What do we then do with that person of Jesus?  Some say that Jesus was a “good man”, a “prophet”, a “teacher, a rabbi”.  They place him in the same category as Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), or Mohammed, or Ghandi.  They don’t deny his having lived, but many who say these things about him deny his being God. 

I ask this question…if Jesus claimed to be God but wasn’t, how could he be considered a good man?  And how could he have been a prophet if he himself didn’t even know who *he* was?  And what sort of rabbi lies about truth?  Either Jesus is God, as he claimed, or he isn’t.  He could not have been a good man, a prophet, or a teacher if he wasn’t.  If we are to be intellectually honest, we must admit that we cannot have it both ways.  We can’t embrace him on one hand and reject him on the other.  If  Jesus wasn’t God as he claimed, then he was a liar and led people horribly astray.  If he wasn’t who he claimed to be, then he was not only not a good man, but he was a very bad one.

The Apostles returned to their homes. But Mary Magdalene remained by the tomb, crying. Then she turned and saw a man who asked her why she was crying. Mary Magdalene soon realized that the man who was talking to her was Jesus Christ. Jesus had risen from death. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the resurrected Jesus.  (John 20:10-18)

This verse in the Bible particularly strikes me as proof of the truth of what Jesus claimed to be.  If Jesus and his disciples cooked up the resurrection as a scheme, then they would have had Jesus first appear to men.  Women didn’t hold much of a place in that society, and certainly wouldn’t be considered good witnesses to an event.  And yet Jesus chose to reveal his risen self FIRST to a woman, and Mary Magdalene at that.  If Jesus wasn’t who he said he was, he picked a very socially unacceptable witness to his being raised from the dead.

But Jesus was a good man (a perfect one, in fact), and he was a prophet, and he was a teacher.  And he gave his life as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins, for MY sins.  And to seal the deal to give his sacrifice the power to once and for all make us acceptable in the eyes of God the Father, he conquered death and was resurrected into life.

I rejoice because my Jesus isn’t a dead Jesus.

Happy Easter! 

… 


The hardest part isn’t getting out of the boat…

Sometimes God asks us to do really difficult things. 

Consider Peter.  He and other disciples were in a boat on the sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm.  Their small fishing boat was being rocked and buffeted by winds and waves.  They were in fear for their lives, but the boat was their little enclave of relative safety from the maelstrom.  Fisherman don’t voluntarily leave their boats for the churning waters.  Do they?  Not usually. 

But then they see a figure walking towards them in the waves.  It was Jesus.

24 But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary.

 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea.

 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear.

 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters.

 29 And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus.

 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me.

 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 32 And when they were gone up into the boat, the wind ceased.  (Matthew 14:24-32 NIV)

Was it hard for Peter to step out of that boat when Jesus called him to?  I’m sure it must have been.  PEOPLE CAN’T WALK ON WATER.  I’m sure Peter was well aware of that.  😉

But getting out of the boat was the easy part.  Anyone can get out of a boat.  It’s the impossible tasks that follow getting out of the boat that are the hard part. 

Getting out of the boat takes bravery.

Walking on water takes faith and belief.

At times in our lives, God calls us to “get out of our boat”.  Some people do, some don’t.  God calls us out of our boats in order to do amazing things, impossible things, walk on water sorts of things, things that we simply could not do if not for Jesus.

When he calls you out of your boat, don’t be afraid.  Get out of the boat.  Then what?  Don’t look down.  Don’t look around.  Keep your eyes set on Jesus.  Don’t miss out on your opportunity to walk on water because you look down and see that you’ve been asked to do that what is for you the impossible. 

The end of the story has both Peter and Jesus back in the boat, and the winds are calmed.  We aren’t asked to do the impossible forever.  There is calm after the storm.


Unto us…

…a child is given.

May your Christmas be filled with love and joy.

And with the remembrance of our Savior’s birth.


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