Love; the complete and selfless giving for another; a desire to allow the other to shine and to grow.  On this day, Good Friday, Christians recall Jesus, who out of love, willingly gave Himself to suffer and to die so that we may shine and grow.  Jesus, the night before, agonized and prayed over this decision of suffering and dying, hoping for another way to carry out our salvation. But in the end, in response to the message Jesus hears in prayer, He says "not my will, but Your will be done." In trust, faith and love Jesus freely suffers and dies for us.

How do we express love for others?  Do we, in faith, trust enough to share our love?  When we are suffering and find life difficult, in faith do we turn to Jesus who not only suffered, but who also found life's situations difficult to endure?

Today, in faith and trust, knowing that Jesus understands what it's like to make difficult decisions, to suffer, to feel physical and emotional pain, and to love, do we turn to Him in prayer and ask for guidance, for strength, for hope, for peace, for .....

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Read more: Rest Stop (Good Friday) ... love

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The Last Supper by Da Vinci

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Holy Week is a spiritual time for me filled with much emotion. The apostles who followed Jesus gave up their livelihood and families to follow a person whom they hoped was their longed-for messiah; the savior of the Jewish people.  After spending much time with Jesus, the apostles experience the awesome high of walking into Jerusalem with the crowds praising the man they are following.  Imagine how they felt, knowing that they are with an important person, and they are one of only 12 selected personally by Him!  Think of how this would make you feel.  But then come the events at the end of the week that will change their lives forever.

The night of Passover, as Jesus dines for the last time with his apostles, we learn that one of the selected twelve, Judas, will betray and hand over Jesus to the authorities, and Peter will deny, not once but three times, that he knows Jesus.  The rest of the apostles, the closest friends of Jesus, flee and hide.  Think about this ... one of Jesus' closest companions turns Him over to be arrested; His selected leader, Peter, will deny…

Read more: Rest Stop (Holy Thursday) ... forgiveness from betrayal

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Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays.  The moment when we realize the guests have left and the errands are complete.  The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday.

Personally, the days immediately following New Years Day are mixed emotion days for me.  The first couple weeks of January I relax in the glow of Christmas and the expectation of new beginnings. Yet, intermingled amidst my joyous feelings there is a feeling of sadness as I realize that the holiday season has ended as "normal" life returns.  Since the time when I was a young child I have loved the period from Halloween to New Years because of the festivities, the traditions, the foods, smells, sights, etc.  Yet it seems that as soon as Halloween is upon us, in a flash, we are past New Years Day!  As I sit writing this post I wonder where it all went.  I think back to the preparations, excitement, anticipation, expectation, then the joy of Christmas' arrival ... now what?  As I sit here and reflect I…

Read more: Rest Stop (Saturday) ... post holiday blues

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