One And The Other

Both men received the same sentence,
Both would serve the same penalty,
One man would live in paradise,
The other too blinded to see.

One’s heart was stonily calloused,
His sins he refused to see,
The other fully acknowledging,
Why he’d been led to Mt. Calvary

Dragging their crosses behind them,
Gave them time to reflect on their deeds,
One man defiant and hostile,
The other aware of his needs.

But along with the two walked another,
Sentenced to die that same day,
What did he do to justify,
Them treating Him in the same way?

When they’d reached the place called Golgotha,
One thief could no longer pretend,
As their bodies were raised on the crosses,
It was certain his life would soon end.

Both men had heard the stories,
Of this carpenter from Galilee,
Who raised the dead, gave sight to the blind,
And taught of God’s great mystery.

In one it stirred up a yearning,
Of hope that endures past the grave,
The other found only anger,
And a feeling of being betrayed.

One man joined in the mocking,
“If you’re God come and set us free!”
The other studied His countenance,
His poise and His calm dignity.

In the midst of the hatred and taunting,
Jesus spoke words beyond all belief,
“Father please forgive them,”
Not in anger but chocking back grief.

At the words one man’s heart had melted,
The other stayed hardened as stone,
One entered in eyes wide open,
The other in darkness alone.

The words gave one man confidence,
To ask of Him one grand request,
“Lord remember me in your kingdom,”
“I am weary and need peace and rest.”

In the midst of the pain and anquish,
While suffering for all of our vice,
With a look of love, He said to the thief,
“Today you will see paradise.”

Advertisements

What Young People Need To Know About Humility

It is a conceit of the young to believe that because something has occurred to them, it is a novel idea, one unknown to previous, plodding generations. This tendency cuts across the board and includes young Christians.

And then they read the classical philosophers… the Church Fathers… the Protestant Reformers… the Enlightenment thinkers… Alexis de Tocqueville and Edmund Burke and The Federalist Papers and Blackstone… Carl F.H. Henry and Herbert Schlossberg and Thomas Oden and Christopher Lasch and Abraham Kuyper and Os Guinness… and biblical exegeses and commentators and historians and scientists whose exacting and exhaustive study open up new vistas of knowledge… and have conversations with serious people who, having reached the age of 40, are a bit more tempered in their approach to life and learning… and real maturity begins.

These comments are more than a bit autobiographical. As a young man (an increasingly distant state of being), my intellectual self-confidence spilled joyously into intellectual pomposity. My mind was a grand world, comprehensive and integrated and satisfied, capable of taking on all comers and informing them of their rightness, wrongness, or simple stupidity.
I am no longer young. Although there are aspects of my youth I miss (supple knees, for example), one I consider with some grief and embarrassment is the intellectual pride I wore as a badge of honor. It was, in reality, a bludgeon of ignorance and injury.

It is good for young people to have strong views, to foster a muscular curiosity, to have opinions of sufficient iron as to sharpen those of their peers. And there’s nothing like the invigoration of intellectual discovery, to grasp something difficult and understand it for the first time, to internalize a great truth or work through a knotty philosophical or theological problem. These things make one feel alive and construct the very lens through which one views life itself.
Yet in our time, the advent of the internet has enabled myriad bright young people, including bright young Christians, to opine with both dogmatism and profligacy. Had the Internet been around when I was in my 20s, no doubt I would have been one of the blogosphere’s chief users – and offenders.
All Christians can rejoice in the many young believers who are writing so thoughtfully and with such art and frequency. Many young men and women I know are using the web to advance critically important arguments in fresh and clever ways.
Christian faith is blessed by young men and women like these. Older Christians should rejoice that the Lord is raising them up and be sufficiently humble to learn from them. Holding younger Christians in contempt simply because they are young is expressly forbidden by the Word of God (I Timothy 4:12). Such contempt is as much a form of pride as any other kind. Like the corpse of dead Lazarus, it stinks.
My caution is only that in an era when so much is at stake in our culture, and when so many young Christians have been cruelly wounded by the brokenness of their families and the excesses of past sin, younger believers not forget that although their voices are new, the truths they proclaim and issues with which they wrestle are not.
Humility and servanthood are terms I dislike, because I’m so bad at applying them to my own life. Yet one’s utility to the Prince of Life is only as extensive as one’s humility and servant attitude. This does not mean that we cannot be confident in proclaiming the truth; rather, it means we bear always in mind that the truth is His, not ours, and that the ministries we occupy are for Jesus’s sake, not our own.
Charles Spurgeon wrote of his own pride that “it is a miserable, wretched affair.” This echoes in the very heart of my own heart. It should for all Christ-followers. Young, middle-aged, or old, let’s remember that intellectual pride is rank in the nostrils of God, and keep remembering that until the day we see our Redeemer, One Who though existing in the very form of God humbled Himself to the point of dying on an instrument of debasement and cruelty, a wooden cross.
If we want to be worthy servants of the King, whether we are emerging or retiring, let’s begin at, and keep returning to, these eternal truths.

The Funny Thing About Life!!!

Beautiful Creations of God

1. A guy met one of his school mates several years after school and he could not believe his eyes; his friend was driving one of the latest sleek Mercedes Benz cars. He went home feeling awful and very disappointed in himself. He thought he was a failure. What he didn’t know was that his friend was a driver and had been sent on errand with his boss’s car!

2. Rosemary nagged her husband always for not being romantic. She accused him for not getting down to open the car door for her as her friend Jane’s husband did when he dropped her off at work. What Rosemary didn’t know was that Jane’s husband’s car had a faulty door that could only be opened from the outside!

3. Sampson’s wife went to visit one of her long time friends and was very troubled for seeing the 3 lovely kids of her friend playing around. Her problem was that she had only one child and have been struggling to conceive for the past five years. What she didn’t know was that one of those kids who was the biological child of her friend had sickle cell and had just a year to live; the other two are adopted!

4. Life does not have a universal measuring tool; so create yours and use it.
Looking at people and comparing yourself with them will not make you better but bitter. If you know the sort of load the chameleon carries, you would’nt ask why it takes those gentle strides. So, enjoy what you have and be grateful to God for it. Pass to everyone on your list to learn from other’s mistakes!

Not all that glitters is gold, live and be happy with what you have, everyone is going through one thing or the other,
Be blessed.

Share if you agree.

What Is Enough?

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t wished for more than they have or at least, very few. And, those few who said they had enough were usually people who had already lived a full life and amassed a substantial amount of money so they never had to worry about paying their bills or living the way they wanted.

But, is this really what is meant by having enough?

Missing Life’s Joys
To have enough for some people never comes. They never seem to be happy with what they have always moaning about somebody they know who has more money, or a bigger house, or a newer car, or who goes on regular exotic vacations. For these people, I am truly sorry.
They have missed a great deal that life has to offer by seemingly looking for more to make them happy. But, I doubt that happiness will ever find them no matter how much they have.

Happiness Beyond Wealth
For others, having enough means that they live comfortably; they live a lifestyle that befits their monetary means but this does not mean that they suffer.

These type of people do not need the newest of everything being quite satisfied with a car that may be used and a couple of years old just glad that they have a dependable automobile to get them to where they need to go.

It means that they enjoy a back yard BBQ just as much as if they were flying off to an exotic destination. They spend quality time with their family enjoying the comradeship and the little quarrels that spill over from time to time. They go to bed being grateful for what they have.

Not Happy At All
And, others may have had enough but decided that their lifestyle it brought what not really what they needed or wanted or indeed, what made them happy. These are the people who had the big salaries, had the company car, had all the conferences and offsite get a ways, who had the big house and the cottage by a remote lake. And, for all they had, they spent exactly that and then some.

To these people, this kind of life was not satisfying because it was filled with a type of phoniness where you never really seemed to have friends in the truest sense, instead a whole bunch of acquaintances that you associated with because they were part of the role, expected as a team player or a corporate gopher.

Now, on the other hand, there are thousands of people who think this is just what they always wanted. If this is the case and they are really happy, then good for them. But for all those others, when is enough to the point when enough doesn’t mean anything anymore?

We have a friend who had it all – a well paying job, a big house, the cottage that most people would love to have as a house! But he was truly unhappy. There were many who looked at him and couldn’t understand why he was not the happiest man in the world. But as he said to me, “all these things are just material things, they don’t bring true happiness.”

It Is Your Decision
The point is this: to have enough is something that only your inner self can explain. It is up to you to really decide what makes you happy and what is enough when it comes to your life, family, job and so forth.

On the other hand, if you feel that enough is no longer what you value, then it is time to make a change to what you really want. Maybe this change requires you to move away from what you have been doing, take a new job or career direction or start your own business.

Maybe it is time to have a hard look at your own values and see whether these values have been compromised over the years to the point where you need to make a big adjustment.

Decide now before you end up forever searching for what is enough.

Repost: What Was the ‘Crime’ of Jesus That Got Him Crucified? #Easter #History #Crucifixion

Soon another Holy Week will be upon us, beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating with Easter Sunday. It was “the week that changed the world.”
The week began in a humble, triumphant sort of way. That may seem like an oxymoron. Jesus was hailed as a king, but rode in on a donkey—a humble way to begin His public entry into Jerusalem. Of course, He was fulfilling what Zechariah the prophet had foretold about 700 years before.

Dr. Paul L. Maier is a professor of ancient history emeritus from Western Michigan University. He is a terrific scholar on all things related to Jesus and the Gospels.
In his 1997 book, In the Fullness of Time, Maier writes of Jesus’ entry into the Holy City on the eve of the Passover on that very first Palm Sunday: the donkey “was the common beast of burden of the time, in contrast to the superior horse of gilded chariot used in Roman triumphs.”

The city was bustling and filled with people. Dr. D. James Kennedy notes this: “Josephus tells us that there were over three million pilgrims that visited the city on this occasion. 256,000 lambs were slain for the Passover.”

Of course, the climax of Jesus’ entry was His death (on Passover) and resurrection.
Why was Jesus crucified? What crime did He allegedly commit?

Crucifixion was a horrible way to die. It was so bad that no Roman citizen could be crucified. It was an execution reserved for slaves and bandits. How amazing then that the Son of God become man would allow Himself to be so degraded by people whom He Himself had created.

Crucifixion was invented in the Near East and perfected by the Romans. It was not uncommon for a crucified victim to suffer for days. Pontius Pilate was surprised Jesus had died in only a few hours—however, He had been scourged so horribly that He could have bled to death, had He been released after the whipping.

The crucified victim had the crime he committed posted above his head. Crucifixion was like a living billboard—do what this fellow did and you too could end up like this.

In the case of Jesus, we’ve all seen the crucifixes with INRI above His head. This stands for Iesus Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm, Latin for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, as recorded in John’s Gospel.
His “crime” was claiming to be a king, a treasonous act in ancient Rome.

In a television interview I once conducted with Dr. Paul Maier, he noted that there were three phases of Roman history, beginning with the Monarchy from 753 to 509 B.C. The next stage was the Republic from 509 to 30 B.C. And then there was the Roman Empire from 30 B.C. to 476.

Commenting on that first phase, Maier told me, “The first seven kings of Rome ended in a real tyrant. His name was Tarquin the Proud, and they didn’t want another king throughout their history.” Thus, after 509 B.C., the Romans eschewed the title “king” [rex] thereafter, despite having emperors who were far more powerful than any earthly king.

Thus, Jesus’ claim to be the King of the Jews was His death sentence. Maier adds: “[Rex] was a term of opprobrium. It was somebody who was trying to subvert the masses…. And that is the charge that the prosecution made, which really turned the case as far as Pontius Pilate was concerned.”

It’s a tragic fact that in 2000 years of Christian history, there have been anti-Semitic professing Christians who blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus.
But the fact is that Jesus laid down His life as fully God and fully man, who alone fulfilled the Ten Commandments, on behalf of sinners—so that those who believe in Him might be saved. As Jesus Himself said, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18). If there were any “crime” committed for which Jesus was dying, it was the crime committed by sinful people against our Holy Creator.

Christians believe that Jesus is the King, whose kingdom was foretold by Daniel the prophet about 500 years before He came, who said that in the “days of those kings”—which kings? The Roman kings—the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will smite the Roman Empire.

It begins as a small stone but that stone goes on to become a mountain that fills the whole earth. Christianity began very small, but has grown to where about one-third of humanity claims to be Christian.

And so during this Holy Week, Christians celebrate the coming 2000 years ago of the King, who came the first time in humility, who will one day ride a white horse as the conquering King of kings and Lord of lords.

Reflection Time

There was a bird who lived in a desert, very sick, no feathers, nothing to eat and drink, no shelter to live in.

One day a dove was passing by, so the sick unhappy bird stopped the dove and inquired, “where are you going?” The dove replied ” I am going to heaven”.

So the sick bird said “Please find out for me, when my suffering will come to an end?”
The dove said, “Sure, I will.” and bid a good bye to the sick bird.

The dove reached heaven and shared the message of the sick bird with the angel incharge at the entrance gate.

The angel said, “For the next seven years of its life the bird has to suffer like this, no happiness till then.”

The dove said, “When the sick bird hears this he will get disheartened. could you suggest any solution for this.”

The Angel replied, “Tell him to recite this verse ” *Thank you God for everything* .”

The dove on meeting the sick bird again, delivered the message of the angel to it.

After seven days the dove was passing again passing by and saw that bird was very happy, feathers grew on his body, a small plant grew up in the desert area, a small pond of water was also there, the bird was singing and dancing cheerfully.
The dove was astonished.
The Angel had said that there would be no happiness for the bird for the next seven years. With this question in mind the dove went to visit the angel at heaven’s gate.

The dove put forth his query to the Angel.
The Angel replied, “Yes, it is true there was no happiness for the bird for seven years but because the bird was reciting the verse ” *THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING* ” in every situation, his life changed.

When the bird fell down on the hot sand it said “THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING”

When it could not fly it said, “THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING”

When it was thirsty and there was no water around, it said, “THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING”

Whatever the situation, the bird kept on repeating, “THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING! & *consequently* the 7 years *got dissolved* in 7 days!”

When I heard this story, *I felt a tremendous shift in my way of feeling, thinking, accepting and viewing life.*

I adopted this verse in my life.
WHATEVER the situation I faced I started reciting this verse ” *THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERYTHING!*”.

It helped me to shift my view *from what I did not have to _what I have in my life_*.

For instance… if my head pains, I THANK GOD that the rest of my body is completely fine and healthy and I notice that the headache does not bother me at all.

In the same manner, I started using this verse in my relationships (whether family, friends, neighbours, colleagues ) finances, social life, business and everything with which I can relate.

I shared this story with everyone I came in touch with and it brought a great shift in their behaviour too.

This simple verse really had a deep impact on my life, I started feeling how blessed I am, how happy I am, *how good life is!*

The purpose of sharing this message is to make all of us aware of how powerful the attitude of gratitude is!! It can reshape our lives.

Lets recite this verse continuously to experience the shift in our life.

So be grateful, and see the change in your attitude.

Be humble, and you will never stumble.🙏🙏🙏🙏

How Being Humble Can Make Your Life Happier: Repost

You know what I have learned to really treasure in life? Humility.

There was a time when I thought that being humble meant being weak so I stayed away from it. But as I started walking on this path that I am now walking, and as I began to learn more and more about who I truly am underneath it all, I have discovered that humility is not a weakness but rather a strength.

From my own personal experience, I can tell you that humility helps you remain centered and connected with the you that is always loving and always connected with the Invisible Force that created this world and all things. And that’s when you start to experience a lot of happiness in all areas of your life.

Humility is the path to greatness, your key to a happier life. To have a humble heart is to have a noble heart.

Humility is where your real strength lies, it’s where your real power comes from.

Knowing who you truly are and where you come from gives you a sense of humility and it puts you in a place where you can look at all things, all experiences and all people with love and compassion. And in this beautiful video, Wayne Dyer, the person from whom I have learned so many wonderful and powerful life lessons, talks about the importance of humility and how being humble can make your life happier. A really beautiful and profound message that will go straight to your beautiful heart and loving soul.

Credit: Luminita D. Saviuc