Gathering around the table

Happy Easter!

Did you have fun celebrating with your family and friends?

I know that I did!

A group of Rhema students and alumni–all of us from other states–gathered this afternoon to eat hot dogs and enjoy each other’s company.

After lunch, we played Apples to Apples and talked about Jesus.

Considering that Jesus ate breakfast with the disciples after His resurrection, I think He’s pleased when we gather together to celebrate.

There’s something powerful about fellowshipping around the dinner table because food is a connecting point.

Transplant life (a term my friend Carli coined) is a great way to create a habit of hospitality because you know what it’s like to be alone in a new town.

Make a menu, get everyone to chip in, and pick a location. This is all you need to host a party! It’s not as hard as you think.

Who doesn’t love to eat?

Of course, I missed my family and hiding eggs for my cousins, but I am glad that my friend Sheri invited me to the get together.

My first Easter in Tulsa was awesome!

I am so thankful for the hospitality of my Rhema friends.







Springtime reflections

I went on a 5 mile walk today with my friend. It was awesome! 

Springtime pushes me out of the house and into the sunshine. Plus, it’s time for me to get back into an exercise routine…it’s been too long. 

I looked around as we walked the trail and saw some interesting things:

1. Beautiful trees growing in all sorts of directions. 

2. A butterfly bush and several butterflies. (I even tried to catch one but it didn’t happen.)

3. A man playing bongos on a park bench. 

4. The fact that this beautiful walking trail ran parallel to the road and highway entrance. It just struck me as odd for some reason. 

The weather is beautiful and the sunshine’s appearance makes this Easter weekend perfect. 

Today I can’t help but think of the disciples and how they were so sad because Jesus was gone–or so they thought! 

It’s easy for us to pick on them for their unbelief, but that’s unfair. 

How many times do we fail?

And, we have the whole Bible and the disciples did not. 

They remembered after the fact all that Jesus had told them about His death, burial, and resurrection. 

I’ve forgotten stuff the Lord has told me and the Holy Spirit has to remind me. 

All of these thoughts have me excited about Sunday…

Even when I mess up and forget, Jesus never does. He always does what He says. 

Nothing has changed from that first Easter weekend to now because Jesus is the most stable, most steady guy I know. 

Redemption Stories

unityThere is great power in our personal stories (Christians call this their testimony, but story fits just as well here).

I heard several after Mr. Kirk Dubois finished up announcements on Thursday. He invited students up to share how they ended up at Rhema.

Looking at my fellow classmates now, you would never know about their pasts. Coming to Christ radically changed their lives–and the lives of many of their family members as well. 

Today is Good Friday. At 3 PM, Jesus died on the cross. He was falsely accused, mocked, and ridiculed. The events of His Crucifixion were foretold in the Old Testament and by Jesus Himself.

Isaiah 53 says:

He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed (MSG).

What gets me in this passage is Jesus was “a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand”. The King James calls Jesus a Man of Sorrows. 

Many people claim that no one understands their pain, their suffering.

First off, that’s simply not true. There are others (probably more than you realize) who can identify with you. 

Secondly, Jesus knows your pain.

Blow by blow Jesus was beaten and all of His blood was shed.

Our sins are the reason Jesus willingly laid down His life. 

As you observe Good Friday, maybe even for the first time, meditate on these truths.

Our stories were redeemed because of Jesus’ sacrifice.