Friday, April 22, 2011

To The Cross I Go

Photo and poem copyright 2011, Shelley L. Snyder

In the first part of the Easter story, Good Friday, we recognize the fact that Jesus was wrongly accused, He was mocked, He was brutally tortured (the cross was a Roman means of torture), and He died. Everyone who walked this earth from the beginning of time; everyone who is currently walking the earth, and those yet to be born, has put Jesus on the cross. Typically, Jesus' people are the ones blamed. They say, "The Jews put Jeus on the cross." But really we all did - because of our sins. We nailed Jesus to the cross.

Jesus suffered and died for us. Good Friday is when we remember Jesus voluntarily going to the cross for us. Three days later, the tomb (grave) was found empty. His body wasn't stolen. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He is now alive in Heaven on the right hand of God. This is what Easter is all about.

Jesus did this for you; and He did this for me. If you want to spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus, then all you need to do is ask Jesus into your heart, ask Him to forgive your sins, believe Jesus is God's Son who died on the cross and was raised three days later, and is now alive in heaven - then, when you die, you will go to heaven and spend eternity with Him.

If you don't believe this, if you don't ask Him into your heart and ask for forgiveness of your sins...then you will go to Hell. You will be separated from God. Forever.

The choice is yours to make.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Since When...

…does it become acceptable to ignore someone because they are a senior?

Not too long ago, I took my mom out to do some errands and we decided to go for lunch at a local restaurant. Although it was noon, we managed to arrive just in time to avoid the rush and any waiting line. We were seated at a table, given menus and told our server would be over in a few minutes.

Soon, the waitress did come and take our orders. I let Mom go first and then gave mine. We both got a turkey dinner, and I specifically asked for white meat. The norm for this restaurant is to give a bit of dark and white meat on the plate, unless you specifically ask for white (side note: I don’t care for the dark meat, unless it’s mixed up in something like a turkey/chicken pot pie). The waitress then looks at me and asks, “Does she (meaning my mom) want white meat too?” My mom spoke up for herself, “Dark meat is OK for me.”

We’ve actually run into that sort of situation often – drug stores, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, etc. If I’m with my mom and the situation involves a third person (like a cashier or waiter/waitress), more often than not the third person will turn to me and tell me the needed information for Mom’s prescriptions, ask me if she wants cash back if she is using her debit card, or ask me if “she” wants white meat too.
When we get out of the situation, back into the car for instance, my mom will always turn to me and comment about the situation. I’m sure it makes her feel bad, and like an old lady who is incapable of speaking for herself.

Why do we do that? Why do we assume that just because a person who is in his/her later years is automatically hard of hearing or not capable of understanding instructions – or can’t speak for him/herself? Granted, there are some who do fall into those categories, but not every elderly person is deaf or hard of hearing. Not every elderly person is blind. Not every elderly person is incapable of taking care of him/herself.

I’m not going to tell you my mom’s age – she wouldn’t like it too much if I did! But my Mom is a senior. My mom is also highly capable of hearing, seeing, understanding what is said to her (and if she doesn’t understand, she asks questions), and taking care of herself.

We need to change our perspective on the elderly. Seniors deserve our respect; and they deserve their dignity.

A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31
Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

How do you treat seniors?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Jesus Glasses

When I was young, I remember thinking it would be cool to wear glasses, after all, smart people wore glasses! If I wore glasses, then people would think I was smart – or maybe, somehow, the glasses would make me smart. But, I don't think I ever occured to me that there were nicknames, like "four eyes," that I might be called.

At some point in my first year of high school, way back when, my eyesight changed and at the end of the year I ended up needing glasses. By this time, I should add, I knew that glasses didn’t make a person smarter, but still, there was something about wearing glasses that intrigued me.

At first, I only needed to wear my glasses to see distances. I was supposed to wear them in class to help see the board. After several days of frequently putting them on and taking them off, I grew annoyed with having to wear my new glasses. Eventually I just kept them on all day, only taking them off and not wearing them at all when I was home. And, now, many years later, I need to wear them all the time (though I also now wear contacts), otherwise I can’t see anything – even up close.

Since I’ve become a Christian, my desire is to use a different pair of “glasses” to help me see. I want to see things the way the Lord sees them.

When we accept Christ as our Savior, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, He wipes them away and God then sees us through Jesus. He doesn’t see the sins we committed, but He sees His Son in our hearts. He sees us through "Jesus glasses".

I want to see others the way God sees them – through Jesus. I want to look past their mistakes, their bad choices, etc., and not hold it against them. I’m just as guilty as the next person for focusing on the negative aspects of people, especially if they’ve hurt me. But that’s not what I want to be like.

My prayer is that I put on my “Jesus glasses” and see others through Him, see past the wrongdoings and see them with the love of Christ.

Have you ever wanted to wear glasses? Do you wear them now, and if so, were you ever called any nicknames because of them?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

The last two chapters I've read in my Bible (Genesis 40 and 41) in my daily reading involved Joseph interpreting dreams. In chapter 40, it was the dreams of Pharoah's cupbearer and baker; chapter 41 was Pharoah's own dreams.

I don't know if I have mentioned in this blog before, but I have been keeping a Dream Journal of sorts since the beginning of the year. At that time, in my small group (Bible study), we were discussing the book of Daniel. One of the leaders asked a question at the beginning of one session (a sort of ice breaker), if anyone could remember their dreams.

I had indicated that I used to dream vividly, and could remember all sorts of details - colours, people, descriptions, etc. It was then that Pastor J asked if I wrote down my dreams, and that if I didn't then I should. So, I began recording them. I don't always remember, and sometimes don't have time to record them, but I try to.

Can I interpret dreams? Nope, not at all. However, maybe someone can (or maybe God will gift me with the ability at some point). Pastor J said it's a good way to see any "trends" or "themes" in dreams, something that might help indicate that God is speaking to me through dreams - or something like that. I can't recall his exact words.

I've been seeing themes appear, but I don't know what any of the interpretations could be. Even if I never find out, this journal makes for somewhat interesting reading at times - I've had some pretty crazy dreams!

Do you dream? Do you record them? Can you interpret dreams?