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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Today, for Christians around the world, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Spiritually, Holy Week has always been a special time for me as this week is a high point of much emotion in the life of Jesus, His early followers, and for me.  In my personal spiritual journey I try to understand what it was like living in the time of Jesus. I read historical books as well as the Bible in my attempt to more deeply understand and feel the emotions of the people of the time. In my effort for a deeper and closer relationship with God, I immerse myself into the Bible stories, trying to feel what they felt; experience what they experienced. This week, Holy Week, is a recollection of not just an ancient story, but a retelling of real events which happened to real people who lived real emotions, real feelings, and real experiences.

Our challenge this week is to enter into the emotions of the apostles and the bystanders as they experienced the events leading up to the betrayal, arrest, death and later resurrection of Jesus. The emotions of this week begin today, with the…

Read more: Rest Stop (Palm Sunday) ... the start to an emotional week

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Last night, many of us in the United States turned the hands of time ahead one hour as we are entering the period identified as Daylight Savings Time.  Our ability to change time prompts a few questions for me, some mundane and some a bit more philosophical.  But, to stay grounded I will refrain, for this post, from discussing the abstract philosophical notions of time.  Rather, I would like to reflect on this day in two specific ways, namely, how do we take advantage of our "extra hour" of daylight, and, what does time mean in our own lives.

I am certain many of us have had life experiences for which we have wished we could either turn back time or move time forward to change particular life events.  There are times that we wish we could have back to cherish again, to say something different, do something different, or to have never had happen in the first place.  But, regardless of our ability to change clocks, we do not yet have the ability to go back in time.  Therefore we struggle with our personal feelings of resentment, disappointment, anger, sorrow, etc.

But, all is not lost.  Even though we cannot go back in…

Read more: Rest Stop (Sunday) ... coping with the time change

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Today is a day which only comes around every 4 years! Today, “Leap Day”, exists to correct the scientific calculations of our current western calendar. But, I'm not writing about the scientific reasons for this day. Instead, I imagine great possibilities that this extra day provides us.

I tend to look at this day as a gift given us to be used wisely. I figure that a day which only comes around every 4 years deserves to be treated in a unique and special way. This day is not like any other day, although I fear most people don't recognize the uniqueness of this day. Why is it that a day which happens only once every 4 years becomes overlooked by most of the population? Personally, I don't have an answer to that question. But the answer is not as important if we now come to the realization that we have been given a unique gift in this day.

So, we need to celebrate this day in a special way! This is extra time given to us in our very busy lives. What shall we do with this gift?

  1. My first suggestion is to acknowledge the specialness of this day,…

Read more: Rest Stop (Leap Day) ... 5 tips to make it unique

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