What's that I see. 

A man hanging on a tree.

Why would that be?

What's in it for me?

Let's see. 

He started out as a baby

Maybe?

No, he has always been

And without sin

Existing before the beginning of time

He created the mountains to climb

He came to earth with a mission to save

Sinners out of death, hoping to start a rave

The only way to accomplish the feat

Involved giving his life and sitting in my seat

My sin put him on the tree

No one else to blame, but me

So this passion week I gaze on him

Who took my place with arms on a limb

But soon it wouldn't hold

Jesus would rise just as he had told

He came to set free

Those who believe in He

Just receive the free gift

And have your sins lift

It does not stop here.

His mission is clear.

Handed off to us.

As a devotional to get us thinking about the Passion Week and the words and actions of Jesus, here is my daily outline of the week taken from Matthew 21-28.  Take each day to read, reflect, pray and think on the last week before Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. 

Enjoy reflecting on the greatest event in history!

Sunday:

Triumphal Entry (21:1-11)

In line with OT prophecy (21:4-5), Isa 62:11; Zech 9:9) Two Responses:           Crowd of Galilean Pilgrims (Ps.

When did Jesus show up on the scene of human history?  Was it in the four Gospels?  Was it just in the New Testament?  Did you know that Jesus was present from the beginning?  As part of the Trinity Jesus is explained in Colossians 1.  These verses are the ultimate summary of Jesus activity. 

Read these verses about Jesus.

"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

I have watched on television street magicians perform some amazing magic card tricks that leave you dumbfounded and amazed.  You wonder how they did it.  Was it slight of hand, quicker than the eye, mirrors, video camera tricks or something else?  You know it is a trick, so there has to be an explanation.

By now, you might have noticed quite a variety of responses to all of the movies with Biblical themes.  Many have asked my opinion.  In just the last year movies like the Alone Yet Not Alone, Son of God, Noah, and God's Not Dead have caused believers and unbelievers alike to spend their money to see what they are all about.  The forthcoming Moses film called Exodus: Gods and Kings is due to hit theaters December 14 of this year and will probably cause all of these reactions again.
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Some wrestle with whether God is good. Negative circumstances, empty prayers, God seeming to be distant or broken relationships have left many wondering about God. 

Is God good?

Can I trust him? 

What kind of God is the God of the Bible? 

Some have caused their present circumstances to determine the definition of God.  This will never work. Some days seem to go well, while others are difficult.  We need an outside source, the Bible, to determine God's definition for us.

Rick Warren has said, "All good leaders are good learners, and the moment you stop learning you stop leading."  I could not agree more.  I long to be a lifelong learner in a variety of areas.  Whether you are in an organization, business or church, leadership can be tricky.  Here are a few tips to grasp.

1. Begin at the Bottom.  Most leaders are in it because there is a personal passion.  The foundation of any leadership is servanthood.

The Ultimate Guide to Being Christian in College: Don't Forget to Pack Your Faith is a great gift for Graduation (thinking ahead!).  I continue to be humbled that many copies are getting into the hands of students.  This is for soon to be high school graduates, college students, parents, youth pastors and senior pastors to help reach and keep younger generations.

Sometimes it is called, "eternal perspective".  It refers to understand and seeing God's "big picture".  This is difficult for us.  We are mortal.  It is hard to see what God is doing in our personal lives most of the time, but also in the world and most certainly in the future.  We live in this paradox of the temporary and the eternal.  We don't always have the box top to see how the puzzle pieces fit together, so we find ourselves living by faith not by sight.

If we don't act fast, many more American churches will look like this church in Detroit.

Many books and blogs have been written about the challenges of the American church and reaching and keeping younger generations.

An illustration and thoughts.

The Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church is another church that thrived and died over time.
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