Archive for the ‘Jesus Christ’ Tag

A Cross and a Tomb

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A CROSS AND A TOMB

A cross lays prone

on Golgotha’s Hill,

bloodied, scarred,

the body, gone.

A tomb sits empty,

a cold slab of stone

now bare but for the

shroud of one scorned.

An angel stands guard,

God’s messenger chosen.

“The Savior is not here.

He’s alive. He is risen!”

The gates of Heaven

shake thunderous acclaim to

the resurrected Christ, the crucified one,

Jesus, redeemer, sacrificed lamb.

Angelic hosts shout forth their praise,

“He is here. Glory to God!

Hallelujah, He reigns!”

His accusers stand silenced,

feeling shame, in awe.

“How could it be

that the one who was slain,

  the one proclaimed

to be King of Kings

now lives and reigns?”

“Surely He is the prophesied one!”

“Praise to the Father, and Praise to the Son!”

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Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson (March, 2013)

Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson (2001)

Note: I took the above picture while on my trip to Israel in May, 2001 when my husband and I traveled to Jerusalem and other places in and around Israel with other members of our church. Seeing all the sites from biblical history and the birth and death place of Jesus with my own eyes was an unforgettable, moving experience.  This picture shows the actual place and tomb of Jesus’ burial after his crucifixion.

The influence of a word, vs. the Power in a Name

The influence of a word, vs. the Power in a Name

The new Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary updated version with the addition of words and phrases commonly used now will not surprise a lot of people who use these words and phrases. It may in fact delight them, knowing that their verbal use and communication of these words will no longer be censored or edited. But, for others however who do not use such words as the ‘F-bomb’ word (one of those included in the updated version) in their daily vocabulary it will come as a shock to others to learn that it is now considered acceptable, approved language.

The ‘F-bomb’ and S____ words, once considered by some to be ‘vulgar’ language used by those who swore with them, and by them literally seemed to have no other preference. They are now not surprisingly popular words by choice, and becoming as common as its one time counterpart, ‘crap.’ But, they will probably now not be edited from PG-13 movies. In fact, some PG-13 movies are becoming far more lax and loose in their content, both in graphic scenes as well as language and dialogue. These new word and phrase additions to the dictionary continue to fill space and dialogue in movie scripts and published fiction, where a writer likely knew no better substitute word to use than those he or she used in real life. Thus, the F-bomb word and the S___ word worked for them, and producers, directors, and publishers were OK with it. Now, these words are finding common ground on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and web blogs.

But, they are not the words of choice for Christians, or those who tire from seeing, hearing, or reading these words in scripts, movies and books. One might say to someone in reply, “Well, if you don’t like it, go find another movie, or book where you don’t hear it, or read it”. OK. That’s understandable, except that if those words are no longer being censored, and are now acceptable to use in the English language and on movie screens, television shows and scripts, one will most likely not find a ‘Warning: language, dialogue, and graphic sexual content,’ at the bottom, informing the viewer, or reader to be alert to its contents. The chosen and now ‘acceptable’ form of protected rights for certain kinds lifestyles will not now, or ever forge a nation back to the way it once was if God’s name, and that of Jesus Christ’s is used as a swear word along with the new additional words to our most widely used English dictionary. When our country was founded God’s name and his son, Jesus’s name were used only with reference and respect as the One to direct us and our county to greatness and strength, leading by example for other nations and leaders to emulate our commitment to the God in whom we placed our trust.

My God, and my savior, Jesus Christ who allows us all a choice in how to live, what to say, and how to say what we want to say is never going to spit degrading obscenities to us, because He loves us so much it is not His style, nor His way to do that. Someone who loves us just a fraction of that much is not going to swear at us, defame us or cause us shame, or embarrassment. But, He is my lifeline, my defense, my protection, my redeemer, my Father and I need none other to live by. So, I use not His name to swear by, but to declare it the name I offer up praise to, and it is the name I speak and cry out to when I need His help, His direction, His unconditional love and His forgiveness.

The enclosed verses in the New Testament remind me of the Power in the Name of Jesus.

Philippians 2: 9-11. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord., to the glory of God the Father.” NIV

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Posted August 14, 2012 by Joyce in Devotional, Faith, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

Not My Dwelling Place

It has been like watching a wild roller coaster gone amok, jumping the track destroying acres upon acres of Colorado’s hills,  meadows and mountains. Well over 100,000+ acres in Colorado has been burned in the last two to three weeks. We know that the forest trees with the pine beetle kill needs to be consumed for a regeneration process to take hold and bring new growth. But, it is difficult to watch what we loved changed, to make way for the new, and for new growth to take place.

Yet, it is in the aftermath of lost homes and our beautiful Rockies that grips the heart, and wears down the spirit when one has to watch it all reduced to ashes and cinder. Whether it is someone’s primary residence, a cabin, or a quiet little camping refuge nestled among the pines, cedars and firs, atop the mountain peaks, it was ‘home,’ before the fire.

It is hard to financially and materially rebuild what has been lost. Rebuilding after a fire is difficult, or maybe even impossible to the average homeowner with a mortgage. It can never look the same, feel the same or hold the same memories as the one they had before. Still, one has to start over, somewhere and begin to heal. Lives lost, however cannot be replaced. A beloved pet that could not be taken, or died as a result of the fire can neither be replaced.

It is when these storms in life come and take from us what cannot be replaced that leaves one feeling the hopelessness and despair. It leaves one often wondering, What else is there out there that God or man can take from me when I have lost it all?

I do not believe it is God’s will to purposely take from us what he has given us, or blessed us with. But, when disasters come for those who do not know him there is a void He wants to fill that cannot be destroyed. It is what, and Who we hold in our heart that carries us through those times and storms like none other. 

God does not dwell in a house of mortar or stone, but in a heart made pliable by the potter’s hands.

This earth is not our home, but a temporary dwelling place.

In Acts 7:48-50, Stephen, one of the apostles defended the gospel of Jesus Christ, replying to the Jewish Sanhedrin who accused him of blasphemy, and disobedience to the Jewish law.

“The Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’”

Stephen was stoned to death for his defense of the gospel, but the gospel lived on and lives on today. God becomes our refuge through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. When storms come, and fires rage we have that assurance that though we may lose our earthly home it is in Him we dwell, and there is no destroying that. Sometimes, it is during these times that God wants to make new what needs to be changed.

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