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I am old enough that I watch Jeopardy every night when I am at home at 7:30. If we are not at home at that time, no worry. We record each episode so we can watch it later. Alex Trebeck has been the host of this Answer/Question game show since 1984.

Alex Trebek health update: 'Jeopardy!' host says he's 'doing well ...

In 1990 Trebeck married his current wife, Jean, who is from Long Island, New York. A native of Canada, he became a naturalized United States citizen in 1998.

The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek

I recently read The Answer Is… Reflections On My Life in which this much beloved game show host shared stories from his life and career. He acknowledged that “there are a lot of people in America who were not born here and some of them have major accomplishments… (and) have made major contributions to the culture of America.” He suggests that all of them have two things in common. First of all, at least most of all of them wanted to be here and secondly they “have all come to deeply love this country.”

American ideals from American leaders

In the book Trebeck offers his “idea of the true spirit of Americanism. It’s an outstretched hand and a gentle voice that says, ‘Through no fault of your own, you had a child that was born with serious birth defects. This is a major ordeal for you, one that cannot be borne alone. Let us help you.”

“Through no fault of your own, your job disappeared. It vanished. You can no longer support your family the way you did before. Oh, I know you got a replacement job, but it doesn’t pay you anywhere near the salary you were earning prior to that event. You’re in danger of losing your home. You can’t afford health insurance. You certainly can’t afford to send your kids to college. For that, they’re going to have to take out big loans that they won’t be able to repay for fifteen or twenty years after graduation. Let us help you.”

“It’s that same hand reaching across two vast oceans, across international boundaries, and saying to foreign leaders, ‘We understand that you govern your country very differently than we do here in the United States. You are not a democratic republic. Some of you repress your citizens. Some of you worship a superior being in ways that have become xenophobic and dangerous, but as long as you don’t cross the line and threaten us, America will not raise a hand against you. In fact, we want to join hands with you to help solve some of the problems that are endangering people all around the planet’.”

KJHP3 - Home

He goes on to ask, “Is the image of America that is projected abroad one that we feel comfortable with, or is there a way we can become better neighbors?” Then he suggests that “all of us need to look at our country and figure out whether America lives up to the ideal America that we have in our minds and hearts. If it doesn’t, if there is room for improvement- and there always is- let us act.”

Well said, Alex.

Jamie Jenkins

Alex Trebeck’s comments are on pages 141-142 of The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life, Alex Trebeck (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

 

A new convenience store/gas station opened recently in my community. You see the finished product in the picture above. What the picture does not show is the monumental task of site preparation that was required. It was interesting to watch the transformation of the 8 acre parcel of land between Peachtree Parkway and Technology Parkway.

In the picture above you see a street in front of a 5,000 square foot building and a nicely sloped and landscaped hill in the background. What you don’t see is that prior to the beginning of construction that hill was about 40 feet high straight up and extended to what is now the edge of the new street. On the other side of the new street was a gulch about 20 feet deep which has now been filled in and another building has been erected on it..

The six-month period between groundbreaking and opening was interesting to watch as the hill was gradually reduced, the gulch was filled in and a new street was created. Then the building was constructed and the landscaping was installed.

If you had not seen the site prior to construction, you would have no idea of the scope of the project. It didn’t just happen. Much vision, planning, labor, and money was invested in creating this business location.

The Derby High School - It didn't just happen... - YouTube

I am sure there are many things that I take for granted every day for which I have no idea what was required for them to exist. How much time, energy, and money was invested for my convenience and pleasure. The vision and planning were required to accomplish the goal of providing meaning and purpose for my life. What risks were taken and sacrifices made for my benefit.

Is Your Vision Understood? - #EdTechInnovations

I know the new convenience store/gas station is a commercial venture and some folks plan to profit from it but it is an example of the many elements of our lives that don’t just happen. We are indebted to others for the provisions and events of daily lives. People we will never know and the cost to them we cannot comprehend.group-business-people-meeting-planning-41699625.jpg

Places to shop. Venues for recreation and entertainment. Homes and churches. Streets and highways. Vehicles that enable our mobility. Technology that facilitates communication and provides entertainment and information. Hospitals and clinics that help maintain our health. Institutions of learning. Agencies that govern and protect us. And the list goes on.

They don’t just happen!

Lord, make us mindful of the many gifts that we take for granted.

Jamie Jenkins

 

 

When I am driving I often listen to the news at the top and bottom of the hour but mainly so I can catch the traffic and weather report which on WSB Radio provides “every six minutes.” One day this past week I tuned in just in time to hear the well-known talk show host excitedly proclaiming that one of our top national leaders was “cramming it down their throats one more time.”

When did this kind of behavior become acceptable and commendable? I have never found it to be helpful to “cram something down another person’s throat.” It might momentarily make the person feel like they have accomplished something but in the long run this “in your face” attitude does not produce positive results. It creates, or extends, a scenario of winners and losers. And when that happen, everyone loses.

I am of the opinion that a good deal is not when I win and you lose. Of course, there are times and situations when one person comes out ahead but I don’t think the goal is to conquer or defeat the other. “All for one and one for all” is best known as the motto of the title characters in the book The Three Musketeers, by the nineteenth-century French author Alexandre Dumas. Whenever possible we should endeavor to find ways where everyone receives benefit from our actions and decisions.

Is this a foolish and naïve attitude? Maybe, but I will go with it instead of the disposition that I must excel and you must fail.

As you well know we are in an election year and the campaign ads are plentiful and many demonstrate the underside of humanity. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I have always voted for who/what I think is best and both parties have often received my vote- and sometimes neither of them. I try to understand the issues and discern what seems best. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t.

Name calling and one-upmanship are common practices in politics, religion, business, and life in general. In my opinion these practices do not promote healthy relationships or positive results. One current political advertisement suggests that one candidate is no bad that he “gives pigs a bad name.”

I am appalled at how often I hear people called losers, morons, idiots, and other names intended to make them “less than” someone else. I do not understand why it seems necessary to demonize or demean another person regardless of their political, religious, social, or intellectual stance.

We have had a problem growing grass in our backyard. My wife has created beautiful flowers beds but we cannot seem to find an answer to our water problem. Currently we are engaged in yet another attempt to correct this situation. We do not always see eye to eye but that does not mean we attack each other because we have different opinions about the solution.

I recently had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. A neighbor had the same kind of surgery on the same day as mine. Both of us are carrying our arm in a sling but he has less time than I to support his arm in this manner. I was instructed not to drive as long as I was wearing the sling. He was told he could drive as soon as he quit taking pain medication- which was just a couple of days. Another friend injured his rotator cuff but his doctor said it could be corrected with physical therapy and would not require surgery.

Does one of these doctors know what they are doing and the others are quacks and don’t have a clue? Did one physician get his degree and training from a reputable institution and the others probably went to some second-rate school or bought their degree online? No! Because of the different degree and nature of the injuries, age, and other factors each doctor came to a different decision to address the problem.

Words hurt and words heal. Our attitude can do much good or harm. We can view others as our enemies or friends. Our actions are constructive or destructive. We can love or hate. The choice is ours.

Jamie Jenkins

The political boycott: shopping made impossible • Long Beach Post News

A recent incident in a restaurant in south Alabama prompted a call to boycott the burger chain. Supposedly employees of the restaurant refused to serve local police officers. People jumped on the bandwagon immediately.

After a cursory search I learned from a report by the local NBC affiliate in that area that the franchise owners dealt with the incident appropriately and the town’s police department was pleased with their response.

Study finds no media bias when it comes to story selection

Recently I received an email from a friend that presented a news story allegedly posted by a prominent and respected journalist. The news article was legitimate but it was incorrectly attributed to a person whose name and reputation would have given it credibility with many people.

I remember an incident from many years ago before the advent of the internet. There was an extraordinary story in the newspaper. During a discussion of the information someone suggested that it was not true. Another person spoke up and said, “If it wasn’t  true, it would not have been published.” That understanding was naïve at best and that time and would be absurd now.

The era of post-truth, post-veracity and charlatanism

In our present world we know that everything we hear or see in print is not true or accurate. It is so easy to reach wrong conclusions based on our biases and the proliferation of information on social media can easily lead us astray. At the same time, it is easy to fact check almost everything.

A Trivial Devotion: Nathanael: Guileless Israelite (John 1:47)

There is a story in the Bible that can help us. Shortly after Jesus invited Philip to follow him, found Nathaniel and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Nathaniel doubted Philip so Philip said, “Come and see.” In other words, check it out before you accept or deny what I have told you. Nathaniel went and verified the news.

The report was accurate. But it was also possible that he might have found the information to be false. It could have been fake news.

In our current environment it is wise to verify the information that we receive whether it confirms or denies our opinions and pre-disposition. Just because someone says it or something is reported in the media does not make it true. With so much rhetoric that has the potential to create divisions among us, it is wise and worth the effort to check it out before we accept and pass it on.

Socrates's 'Triple Filter Test': A Path Toward Righteous Living

One helpful tool to utilize is Socrates’ Triple Filter Test. Before passing on any information we need first to ask, “Is it true?” That means we might have to do a little work to determine the accuracy of the information.

Secondly, we ask “Is it kind?” Some things may be true but have the potential to do unnecessary harm. To undermine or demonize another person.

Thirdly, we need to ask, “Is it necessary?” Is there a really useful purpose in repeating what we have read or heard or have been told?

These three criteria provide good guidance for accept as fact and what we pass on.

Jamie Jenkins

1947 Southern Association Baseball... - Old Mobile Restaurants ...

When I was 8 years old my family moved from the small rural community of Needham, Alabama to Mobile, about 100 miles south. Shortly thereafter my cousin, Carroll, took me to a Mobile Bears baseball game. At that time Mobile was a Double A farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers and played at Hartwell Field. Their competition in the Southern Association included the New Orleans Pelicans, Birmingham Barons, Atlanta Crackers and others.

Hartwell Field - Mobile Alabama - Former Home of the Mobile Bears

I have been a baseball fan ever since that first Mobile Bears game.

Baseball has a lot of traditions and I like that. One of them is the Ceremonial First Pitch. Some famous person, local dignitary, or celebrity tosses a ball to the catcher before the actual game begins. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, had the honors last week at the opening day of the coronavirus shortened season when the Washington Nationals hosted the New York Yankees.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Throws First Pitch at Opening Day - YouTube

I am glad that Dr. Fauci is more accurate with his information and advice on the current pandemic than he was with that ceremonial first pitch.

Baseball also has a lot of rules. While I have enjoyed the leisurely pace of baseball, I have welcomed recent efforts to reduce the length of games which can sometimes be 3-4 hours long.

Baseball Rules

Recent rule changes include limiting the time for warmup pitches at the start of each half inning. Rule 8:03  allows 8 warm up pitches not to take more than one minute. The umpire’s signal for the final warmup pitch comes at the 25-second mark and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning within the five seconds before the clock hits zero.

Another rule now dictates the time between innings and pitching changes. 2 minutes, 5 seconds for local broadcasts.  2 minutes, 25 seconds for nationally televised games. 2 minutes, 55 seconds for tiebreaker and postseason games.

For between-innings breaks, the timer begins when the final out of the inning is recorded, with several exceptions. If the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat when the inning ends, the timer begins when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the catcher is on base, on deck or at bat when the inning ends, the timer begins when the catcher enters the dugout. The timing clock also applies to pitching changes and begins as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or the foul line for on-field bullpens).

2020 Official Rules of Major League Baseball: Triumph Books ...

As this shortened 2020 season begins there are also new rules prompted by COVID-19. Social distancing is to be practiced in the dugout and on the field. Don’t know how that is going to work with the necessity of closeness with the batter, catcher, and umpire behind the plate. Also, masks are to be worn and spitting is prohibited. I guess that means no more pumpkin seeds and chewing tobacco. If the pitcher wants to keep his fingers moist, he can no longer touch his mouth but is permitted to have a moist rag in his back pocket. Boy, that ought to feel comfortable.

Although awkward and uncomfortable, these rules are necessary for everyone’s safety. Likewise, the rules to limit the spread of this novel coronavirus are helpful also.

Avoid Touching MEN, Instead Follow WOMEN - BACK TO WORK -POST ...

Although on the surface they seem sexist the following rules/guidelines will benefit all of us.

Avoid MEN – Mouth, Eyes, Nose. Follow WOMEN – Wash your hands, Obey social distancing, Mask up, Exercise and eat well, No unnecessary travelling.”

Rules are necessary for the orderliness of society and for our well-being. There are some necessary No-Nos. I mean, who would not tell children “Hot, do not touch!” or “Look both ways before crossing the street.”

How Does Proverbs Allude to the Ten Commandments? | Reflections on ...

As in all of life, religion also has rules and laws. Everyone knows the Ten Commandments that offer guidance for healthy and holy living. The Old Testament in the Bible had a lot of dietary laws that were intended to keep the people of that day healthy. The Pharisees were religious leaders who claimed responsibility for interpreting the Torah and how to apply it to current Jewish life. From the Mosaic Law they compiled a list of 365 negative laws (one for every day of the year) and 248 positive laws.

Yeshua and the Pharisees | AHRC

Jesus’ critique of the Pharisees was that they were legalistic – only concerned with the external appearance of keeping the Law rather than the inward spirit of the Law.

Jesus says the point and purpose of the whole law is our complete responsibility in terms of relationships, specifically, our relationships to God and to people. The essence of all our relationships, He says, is love.

Jesus said, “It has been said unto you that you should not commit murder, but I say that if you are angry with anyone, you are subject to judgment.” Again He said, “It has been said to you that you should not commit adultery, but I say that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, you are guilty of adultery.”

Jesus also said, “You have heard an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth but Here’s what I propose. Don’t hit back. Stand there and take it.” He also reminded us that we are told to love our friends and hate our enemies. Instead, he suggested we ought to love our enemies also.

Love God, Love People - St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church

Jesus understood the necessity of rules and laws but his emphasis was not on negativity and legalism. Instead He emphasized relationships- with God and with one another. He instructs us to “Love the Lord…with all your heart, your soul, and mind,  and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” And he added: “On this hangs all the Law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

On another occasion Jesus gave a new rule/law when He said, “A new commandment…love one another just as I have loved you.” (John 13:34-35).

We are to live according to the law- the law of Love!

Jamie Jenkins

Spring rainfall is an unexpected source of pollen • Earth.com

It was early evening and I was sitting on my patio reading the memoir of a Dutchman whose father had served in the German SS during World War II. Then the soft sound of rain on the roof prompted me to pause my reading and listen.

Netherlands in World War II - Wikipedia

As the rain came a little harder my thoughts remained on the difficult and complex situation of the author’s extended family in the Netherlands as the war ended.

Portuguese Data Privacy Authority – Health data of employees ...

After a little while my mind meandered to our current situation as the world continues to suffer from the COVID-19 epidemic and the downturn in the economy. Added to that were thoughts of the social unrest in our community and country as we struggle with the recent racial incidents and calls for change.

IMG_4688

In contrast to these issues of turmoil rolling around in my head I was struck by the contrasting beauty of the garden that my wife has created in our backyard. Viewing her handiwork and listening to the rain falling softly around me, a hymn began playing in my mind. It was a hymn that ushered in a feeling of peace and assurance. It reminded me that I did not need to worry regardless of all the turmoil and uncertainty.

Be Still, My Soul - Lyrics, Hymn Meaning and Story

The hymn, Be Still My Soul written in 1752. Dr. Michael Hawn is distinguished professor of church music at Perkins School of Theology and the director of the seminary’s sacred music program. He says little is known about the author of this hymn. Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel was born in 1697. The date of her death is unknown. As her name suggests, she may have come from an aristocratic family but little is known of her life. Some hymnologists suggest that she may have become a Lutheran nun.

This text appears at the time of German pietism, similar in spirit in many regards to the Wesleyan revival in England of the same era. Philipp Jacob Spener (1635-1705) led the German pietistic movement. Though not a hymn writer himself, he inspired a revival in German hymnody characterized by faithfulness to Scripture, personal experience, and deep emotional expression. Katharina von Schlegel is thought to be the leading female hymn writer of this period.

The hymn was translated by Jane L. Borthwick (1813-1897), a member of the Free Church of Scotland. The hymn is full of assurances that God is present in every situation. It reminds us that we are not alone. It is filled with expressions of God’s faithfulness and love for us. As I sat and listened to the rainfall and the birds singing in my backyard, God spoke to me through the words of this hymn. Maybe you can hear God’s voice in these words also.

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;

With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In every change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heavenly Friend

Thru thorny ways leads  to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence let shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul: The waves and winds know

His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: The hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shell meet at last.

Be still, my soul. Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake.
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Jamie Jenkins

 

Humankind: A Hopeful History - Kindle edition by Bregman, Rutger ...

I have just finished reading the New York Times bestseller, Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman. In this book he challenges the broadly held assumption that humans are bad. That we are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. The author “provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another.”

Rutger Bregman: 'Poverty is not a personality defect. We ...

Historian, philosopher, and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari said “Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective. I agree that the extensive research that Bregman shares does suggest that the basic nature of human beings is more positive than some evidence might lead you to believe.

While I do not completely agree with “one of Europe’s most prominent young thinkers,” I think the book is worth reading. The author offers good food for thought. At the very least, the examples he gives from very extensive research is interesting. Rather than attempt a full review of this book, let me share a summary of the last chapter entitled Ten Rules to Live By. I don’t think they are a complete guide for living but they do suggest some helpful positive steps.

TEN RULES TO LIVE BY

  1. When in doubt, assume the best.

It’s most realistic to assume the best- to give the benefit of the doubt.

  1. Think in win-win scenarios

Sadly, untold companies, schools and other institutions are still organized around a myth: that it’s in our best interest to be locked in competition with one another… In truth, this work precisely the other way around. The best deals are where everybody wins.

  1. Ask more questions

(In our efforts to help others) the simple truth is that we’re not always good at sensing what others want. (Rather than assume we know what others need, it would be) far better to start by asking a question.

  1. Temper your empathy, train your compassion

(When we share in another’s distress) empathy saps our energy. Compassion is not about sharing another’s distress, but it does help you to recognize it and then act… that injects us with energy, which is exactly what is needed to help.

  1. Try to understand the other, even if you don’t get where they’re coming from
    Seeing where someone is coming from does not mean you need to see eye to eye. Understanding the other at a rational level is a skill. It’s a muscle you can train.
  2. Love your own as others love their own

As human, we differentiate. We play favorites and care more about our own… But we must also understand that all those others, those distant strangers, also have families they love. They are every bit as human as we are.

  1. Avoid the news

The news (and social media) tends to generalize people into groups like politicians, elites, racists, and refugees. Worse, the news zooms in on the bad apples… Disengage from your screen and engage real people in the flesh. Think as carefully about what information you feed your mind as you do about the food you feed your body.

  1. Don’t punch a Nazi

Just like bombing the Middle East is manna for the terrorists, punching Nazis only reinforces extremists. It validates their world view and makes it that much easier to attract recruits.

  1. Come out of the closet; don’t be ashamed to do good

To extend that hand you need one thing above all. Courage. Because you may be branded a bleeding heart or a showoff…Doing good is contagious… Kindness is catching.

  1. Be realistic

…in modern usage the realist has become synonymous with the cynic- for someone with a pessimistic outlook… In truth, it is the cynic that is out of touch. In truth…all people are inclined to be good to one another. So be realistic. Be courageous. Be true to your nature and offer your trust. Do good in broad daylight and don’t be ashamed of your generosity.

Jamie Jenkins

Christ Is Risen! · Blog from Author & Methodist Minister Adam ...

On this Easter Sunday I woke up with the hymn, Christ the Lord Is Risen, in my head and heart. Later this morning I will join in singing that hymn with the congregation of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and many others (online) as the choir processes down the aisle of the sanctuary (video from last year).  Later in the service we will sing “He is risen! He is risen! Sing it out with joyful voice.”

Handel's “Messiah” FAQs – Parker Symphony Orchestra

I will join in the Apostle’s Creed and the words “the third day he arose from the dead” will be especially relevant on this Sunday. Our closing hymn will be Rejoice the Lord Is King and after the benediction the choir will sing from Handel’s Messiah:

Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!

The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdom

of our Lord And of His Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Hallelujah!

As I had my own personal sunrise service earlier this morning and was enjoying my first cup of coffee, another song came to mind. It is a more contemporary song that was  written by Sydney Bertram Carter. Upon his death on March 13, 2004, at the age of 88, his obituary in the London Daily Telegraph began with the bold assertion, “Lord of the Dance” was “the most celebrated religious song of the 20th century.”

“Lord of the Dance” almost did not appear in The United Methodist Hymnal. It was the only hymn not included in the original Report of the Hymnal Revision Committee to the 1988 General Conference of the Methodist Church. Bishop Woodie W. White influenced its addition at the last minute when he used this song as the theme of his sermon preached at the opening service of the conference. (https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-lord-of-the-dance)

Lord of the Dance: Sydney Carter, Jackie Morris: 9780745938981 ...

I share it with you as another way of celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord today.

Lord of the Dance
by Sydney Carter;
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 261

 danced in the morning
When the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon
And the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven
And I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem
I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced for the scribe
And the pharisee,
But they would not dance
And they wouldn’t follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
For James and John
They came with me
And the Dance went on.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

I danced on a Friday
When the sky turned black
It’s hard to dance
With the devil on your back.
They buried my body
And they thought I’d gone,
But I am the Dance,
And I still go on.

Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

They cut me down
And I leapt up high;
I am the life
That’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you
If you’ll live in me –
I am the Lord
Of the Dance, said he.

 Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said he

Hoping you have a happy and blessed Easter!

Jamie Jenkins

 

Why Tony Campolo's announcement on LGBT inclusion is a big deal.

Tony Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon one Sunday and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master” as he stood to address the congregation. The following is what he said.

It's Sunday - Imgflip

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb.

Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave.

It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

Jamie Jenkins

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church has announced its 2019-20 ...

The music of the church has always given me encouragement and guidance. Next to the Bible, the hymnal has provided words of comfort, encouragement, and instruction more than anything else. Hymns like It Is Well With My Soul, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Amazing Grace, Crown Him With Many Crowns, How Great Thou Art, Lead On, O King Eternal, What A Friend We Have in Jesus, and the list goes on and on.

Other more recent Christian music also speaks to me. As I was drifting off to sleep one night recently my prayers and praises were being lifted silently to God when one of those came to mind. It is song that I usually sing in a setting of corporate worship. It is a song written by Dottie Rambo, an American gospel singer and songwriter.. Along with husband Buck and daughter Reba, she formed the award-winning southern Gospel group, The Rambos. She wrote more than 2,500 songs.

Dottie Rambo - Wikipedia

As I shelter in place along with millions of others there is more time to think and more moments of reflection than normal. The words of this song have been rolling around in my head for days during this time of isolation and social distancing.

*Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Omnipotent Father of Mercy and Grace
Thou art welcome in this place

Lord in Thy presence there’s healing divine
No other power can save Lord, but Thine
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Thou art welcome in this place

Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place
Omnipotent Father of Mercy and Grace

Thou art welcome in this place.

Fill all the hungry and empty within

Restore us O Father, Revive us again

Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place

Thou art welcome in this place.

As I sing these words over and over in my mind I realize that wherever I am God is with me. Therefore, every place is holy. Not just the church sanctuary or wherever we gather together in worship but every place is holy. Although I really miss being together with friends and other fellow disciples of Christ in corporate worship, I am in God’s Presence and can worship anywhere. I welcome the Holy Spirit in any place and at anytime and I know that I am not alone.

Grace and Peace,

Jamie Jenkins

*Words by Dottie Rambo and David Huntsinger