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surprise 3

I found this great message about God’s grace on a friends Facebook page.
It’s a great reminder not to judge others, and it’s worth sharing!

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The Garden Club Gossips, the thieves
The liars and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.

Blessings of Peace,
Mark

For me, forgiveness isn’t condoning wrongdoing, it’s naming it. It’s not forgetting wrongdoing, it’s learning from it. Forgiveness isn’t done in isolation, it often takes a friend, a church, or other community to support you in it. It’s not a one time moment, it’s often a long term process. Like shampoo, you have to rinse and repeat! Forgiveness isn’t surrender, it’s the difficult path that leads to liberation, and ultimately peace in God … for you and the wrong doer.

What’s the hardest thing you ever had to forgive?

Forgiveness isn’t just a spiritual practice that Jesus encouraged the disciples to do; after he was raised from the dead, it was the very first thing. Forgiveness opens us and the world to freedom in God, and the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings of Peace and healing,
Mark

PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE or keeping a roof over your kid’s heads is big, but being a father is so much more. Just about any adult male can father a child, but it takes a loving and faithful one to be a dad!

 

Jesus said that his sheep recognize his voice and follow (John 10:22-20). But with so many other voices vying for our attention these days, hearing demands even more intention! 

You have to admit it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to hear God’s voice amidst the chop and rise of the sea of facts and alternative facts in our day and age, of truth and truthiness, of information, misinformation, and downright misguided information, all of it eager to be sorted and processed, discarded or applied. (more…)

Almost every person of faith has experienced a revelation of the risen Christ.
What’s your story?

ALMOST ALL PEOPLE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH claim to have some sort of experience of the risen Christ. For some, it happened underneath a starlit sky, or along a shoreline at sunrise. For others, it  was in worship on a Sunday morning when the preacher was preaching a fiery message, or at a funeral when hearts were heavy with grief. (more…)

Just as God broke open the tomb on Easter morning and raised up Jesus,
God can break open your tombs and raise you up, too! 

Did you catch David Brooks’s impressive closing keynote speech at the Knight Foundation’s 2019 Media Forum? If you missed it, you can see it online. Brooks is a conservative columnist who writes for the New York Times which, he jokes, makes him feel a little bit like the “the resident rabbi at Mecca. It’s a very lonely position”.

I was quite moved by Brooks’s thoughtful presentation which citied biblical passages and even the great twentieth century theologian, Paul Tillich. One of the things from Brooks’s speech that has stuck with me was his understanding that in our individual and even national times of division, darkness, or crisis, “we can either be broken, or broken open.” (more…)

Easter Risen

An Easter Blessing
by Mark Giuliano

May our great God of resurrection, who rolled away the stone from the tomb on the very first Easter, roll away the stone from the dark tombs in your life.

May our great God of resurrection, who raised Jesus from the dead,
Raise you up to new life.

May our great God of resurrection, who raised up hope for the hopeless, abundant and eternal life to the dead, and peace to all, grant you hope and peace now and forevermore.

Amen.

Love,
Mark