Our opportunity to bless others is often right in front of us. Deborah Hausladen of Malvern, Pennsylvania was not looking for an opportunity to start a ministry that blessed our soldiers around the world, but when she took a phone call from her son, who was deployed with the United States Army in Afghanistan, Deborah knew that she needed to do a little work to help.
I can think of few snapshots of grace as powerful as Jesus standing at the opening to the tomb that held Lazarus. The days leading up to Jesus’ arrival at the opening of this grave were filled with sickness, death, mourning, and a deep questioning about where Jesus was and just what he was planning on doing. The family of Lazarus and the disciples were all concerned, and they were looking to Jesus for help.
I am a patriotic person. When I see the American flag flying in the Oklahoma wind I feel a great sense of pride. I understand the history and sacrifice behind our flag and I appreciate the beautiful country it represents.
When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.” So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night. (John 13:21 – 30)
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
One of the great temptations of life is that we can do it all by ourselves. It is true that working with others, living with others can often be a struggle. We don’t always see eye to eye with one another. Our differences can drive a wedge between us. The frustration from being with others, even those whom we love, can often push us away into solitude. Our relationships, which are so often a joy, can be a burden as well.
It is almost time for the most exciting season of the year…Football Season! The bright lights, the sound of the band, the roar of the crowd, and the thrill of game is something that I have enjoyed since I can remember. I love the hard hits, the well-executed plays, the joy of seeing my team win (I hope) and so much more that accompanies the game on the gridiron.
Not long ago, I was sitting alone on my couch reflecting on the day, and what had transpired. It had been a long day where we had to deal with some particularly challenging staff issues. When I have these kinds of days, I like to think about how I dealt with each particular instance, and what I could have done differently, a learning experience for all.
In 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton debuted on Broadway. It is a cutting-edge musical that combined hip hop and classical Broadway music and dance. From the moment it began on Broadway it has been both a critical and popular success. It won a record-setting 11 Tony Awards in 2016. It has played around the world and continues today on Broadway. It Is one of the most successful shows in Broadway history.
No one could have blamed Mary Ann Franco if she had thought, “Again, God? Two terrible accidents? Why me?”
In 1995, she was involved in a violent car wreck. Fortunately, she lived. Unfortunately, the collision left her blind.
“It’s not great,” she explained, “being in the black all the time.”