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Easter Sunday

19 Apr

Color is White symbolizing the purity of Christ and the new believer, washed in the blood of Christ. Easter was an important time for baptism in the early church because it celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ and reenacts the new believer’s death and resurrection in Christ. It is a new beginning, washed in the blood of Christ, but it is not the end. That new life does not come full blown and complete. We must begin to grow into what Christ wants for us, just as a child grows to maturity. Easter is the first Sunday of Eastertide.

 

Good Friday-B

19 Apr

It is interesting to note that the Jewish leaders considered Jesus who was meek and mild to be a greater threat than Barabbas who was a terrorist known for his murder and destruction. It is no different today. Our government is currently ignoring threats from ISIS and other Mid Eastern terrorist groups and concentrating their harassment and intimidation on Christian groups that preach the Word of God. Apparently they consider the preaching of the Gospel to be more of a threat than terror bombings.

 

Good Friday-A

19 Apr

Good Friday/Black Friday-A Black Friday (also called Good Friday) celebrates Jesus’ death on the cross that bought our redemption. The color is Black symbolizing mourning. Many people wonder how Jesus could be in the tomb for three days if He was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday morning. Actually the Jewish day begins at sundown so Jesus ate supper with His disciples on Thursday evening (after sundown on our Wednesday) and was crucified on the following morning (still Thursday). He was buried on Thursday before sundown and spent from late Thursday afternoon to early Sunday morning in the grave. Since our day runs from midnight to midnight, we celebrate Maundy Thursday and the crucifixion a day late.

 

Maunday Thursday

19 Apr

Maundy Thursday celebrates the night Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples on Thursday night before His arrest and His crucifixion the following morning. Passover celebrated the sacrifice of the lamb whose blood atoned for the sins of Israel. Jesus offered Himself up as the Passover Lamb so that His blood might pay for the sins of the world, yours and mine, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The Messiah had to come as the Suffering Servant before He could become the Conquering King. Today, it is celebrated with communion to remind us of His body, which was broken for us, and His blood, which was poured out for us. Some churches recognize foot washing as a sacrament and have a foot-washing service to remind them of Jesus’ willingness to give His life for us.

 

Gun Control-3-A

16 Apr

While I don’t like to see average people carrying guns in public, if someone is carrying a gun, I would rather they do it openly than to wear it hidden. If someone carries a gun openly, people watch them and if they start acting irrational, people will take action to stop them. The real danger is from people carrying hidden guns who start acting irrational and people do nothing because no one realizes the danger. In addition, law-abiding people don’t go around killing people. Almost all the mass killings we have had have been in areas where guns were prohibited, such as schools and shopping malls. The gunmen did not care whether they took guns where they weren’t allowed. Gun laws did not stop them but it prevented the schools and malls from employing metal detectors and armed guards who could have stopped the gunmen long before they killed so many people. However, the issue goes far beyond gun control.

 
 

Gun Control-2-B

16 Apr

As more people seek to own guns, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been working to make it easier for people to get and carry guns in Ohio and elsewhere. It succeeded in getting the legislature to pass a right to carry concealed weapons by including extensive safeguards like background checks and requiring training, which is good. With the increasing number of guns in public, there is an increasing danger of accidental shootings and more deadly crimes of passion, so there is a need to control the sale of guns to make it more difficult for criminals and unstable people to get guns and to require training so people know how to use them safely. In addition, there is a need to control the sale of guns like assault rifles and semi-automatic guns, which are of no use in hunting, but are favored by those who are planning mass killings because they can kill a lot of people without having to stop and reload. However, we have to weigh those dangers against the need for citizens to protect themselves and others.

 

Personal Note-B

13 Apr

I have received a request to fly to Africa to help our African brothers. I have never been off the American continent and have no idea what would be involved. I know churches have sent mission trips there and I would like to hear from any churches near Ohio that have recently made trips to Africa to find what their experience has been and also from those who are currently planning a trip there. Contact me at neighborhoodministriesnwoh@gmail.com.

 

Palm Sunday-B

13 Apr

God spelled out His plan for the Jewish people in the design of the celebration of the Passover (the first celebration commanded by God)where the Lamb was slain to take away the sins of the one offering it, foretelling Christ’s death as the Suffering Servant when He would die to take away our sins. Jesus would not come as the Conquering King until He fulfilled Rosh Hosanna (the third celebration commanded by God) but the Jews ignored what God told them and created their own visions of what God would do. Do you understand what God is trying to tell you in the celebration of Easter? (See “Before Our Eyes” in “Understanding the Path We Walk” for more on the meaning of the holidays.)

 

Palm Sunday-A-April 14

13 Apr

Palm Sunday is a perfect example of what happens when we put our agenda before God’s agenda. Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people waved palm branches and laid them on the road before Jesus to celebrate His coming because they thought He was coming to overthrow the Romans and set them free from the domination of the Romans so He could set up His kingdom on earth, but Jesus died on the cross instead to pay for our sins and set us free from the power of sin and death. Jesus came to set up His kingdom in our hearts, not in Jerusalem, so we would be ready when He finally comes to set up His kingdom on earth. The Messiah had to come as the Suffering Servant before He could become the Conquering King.

 

Unions-AF

13 Apr

President Obama issued an order that caregivers (many are family members caring for loved ones) who receive Medicare and Medicaid funds, have to pay union dues. Unions claim that they are government workers since they receive government funds, even though these are support payments, not wages. These are Medicare and Medicaid funds intended to enable caregivers to stay home and care for loved ones which are being diverted into union pockets. The Supreme Court ruled in Harris vs Quinn in 2014 that the practice is unconstitutional, yet unions continue to force them to do so. It stands to reason that if it wasn’t legal to collect the dues, the dues should be returned. Yet, the unions have not returned the millions of dollars in dues illegally collected from the caregivers.

 
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Posted in Unions