Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday: VIA DOLOROSA - Sandi Patty

Good Friday the ay of the Cross and Scripture Account

Gospel Jn 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What is Maundy Thursday ?

In honor of the observance of Maundy Thursday, I found this video I though I would share with you.  Tonight my church, A Baptist Church, will hold a service of prayer, music and Communion.  I find this service meaningful and since I am not working tonight I plan on attending. I hope this may help you in your observance of Holy week.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Medley: In Honor of Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Here are a few songs in honor of Palm Sunday.  I hope you enjoy.

Today I went to an Episcopal Church, I wanted the formality a the service today. The congregation gathered in the Parish Hall and I was standing at what I thought would be the back of the gathering.  Next thing I know the Rector asked me (a second time visitor) once several months ago if I would assist in handing out Palms.  Surprised, I said yes.  It was a nice service and I got to receive Communion. it will be a good memory. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Free Saturday

Well for a change I have not just a Saturday, but a weekend off!  I am glad, and resting.  However, I have worked straight through since Thursday a week.  With the exception of last Monday where I came home early.  It was a busy week, and last night I was on call but there were no calls! My diet is going well for the most part, but I tend to cheat from time to time.  I am trying allow myself a full sugar dessert once a month, that I enjoy.  However, my tastes have changed, and I don't enjoy it like I used to.  A waste of carbs and calories if I don't enjoy it!  So my next sweet day will be Easter, I am going to try and pick something I know I will enjoy.  But that day I plan on having and and a small bake potato. 

Yesterday, I was in the gift shop and picked up a book titled "A Guide for the Christian Counselor" as I thumbed through it, I noticed the section on Homosexuality.  It was disappointing to me, but I was not surprised.  It used all the standard Scriptures that condemn the homosexual.  It made me feel a bit unsecure, but I went back through my struggle and reminded myself of the conclusions God gave me that led me to accept myself as a gay man.  The "counseling" guide makes the assumption being gay is a choice.  That is a wrong assumption.  Enough said.

Well off to enjoy my weekend!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Medley: "Montana Sky" by Whiteheart

As usual the first Monday after the first Sunday is a song of faith day.  I worked all weekend, on call Friday night with a call in the middle of the night, and I worked a 24 hour with calls Saturday night.  I am exhausted today!.  I had planned on going to a Vesper Service at 5 yesterday, BUT I had a call at 1505 and ended up not leaving  until well after 1600.  So I missed the service since I am 35 miles way from this facility, and there were traffic slow downs.  As usual. 

Well next week is Holy Week Already. Hard to believe, Easter will be here.  The winter was long, slow, cold and snowy! I am glad its April.

Hope you enjoy the song.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Welcome April!

April is finally here, and I hope this longish, snowy, cold winter is finally ending.  I heard on the news that the Cherry blossom festival in Washington DC, did not have the cherry blossoms. They are blooming now.  I noticed on my walk yesterday the trees that are normally leafed out by now here locally are just starting to bud. The Pear trees are just about in full bloom, a few weeks late.  Better late than not at all!  I am afraid the pollen is going to be a problem this year. 

There are a few issues I wanted to blog about, but did not have the time to formulate my thoughts into writing.  Now its seems like too late to write those thoughts into a post.  Time to move on to other issues I think.

Investment update, the stock market was so so in the first quarter of the year.  Today we begin a new quarter and hope for better times.  Of course we cannot always expect the stock markets to be always positive. the bull will give way to the bear from time to time. Or there are bubbles in particular sectors.  I have completed a re-balance of my Roth portfolio, but the new stocks I want to add are expensive, so I will wait for those to moderate their price.  I have added some fixed income mutual funds that are no load, no transaction fee funds.  I did consider moving my Roth to another firm that charges less for trades. However, when you add the cost of transferring and other fees, it was not worth it, and would be a wash. 

401K, my employer is changing from one investment service provider to another. This is on top of a 2012 change in how they match my contribution, and the defined benefit they provide.  So I will need to evaluate how I am invested in light of what this new provider offers. Maybe it will have something better to offer. 

That is all to share for now.  Happy April!  Happy Spring! 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Medley: American Authors - Best Day of My Life (Official Video)

This was a good weekend, rained but I was off most of the weekend.  I am behind on my blogging, now I have to choose what and when to blog in between work, and all the things I need to get done.

I hope we have seen the last of winter it is spring after all!  The week ahead will be a busy one but tha is normal. Hope you enjoy today's music selection.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Read, Read, Read!

In an interview the other day on CNBC, Warren Buffet made the statement that he reads many pages every week.  Between news, financial reports, professional writings he reads several hundred pages a week.  One of his assistants, and a mentee of Mr. Buffet, stated he reads about 500 pages a week.  Wow!

Now that is not to say that if you read 500 pages a week you too will be successful in business.  But it got me to thinking...

I should read more than I do, more than the news, more than what is required for any class I am taking.  Here are a few examples of  reading material I am looking for

First Spiritual, in the form of Bible and devotional reading apart from any class I am taking. I already have a few of these books to recycle in my reading.

Second, work and church related.  Possibly a general Christian/religious news magazine and a professional journal related to Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Third, a business and financial news magazine to give me ideas, guidance in my finances.

Then fun reading, mystery and other books of interest. 

Read to expand my mind, my knowledge, my opportunities.

Perhaps you have or need a reading plan?  Consider it!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Medley Part 2: In Honor of House of Cards (2013) Intro Credits Theme - Jeff Beal

This is a great theme song for this series.  Very fitting for this program.  One of the big differences between this and the original British series is the addition of Raymond Tusk, fitting since America is a Capitalist nation.