• Heartprints

    Resurrection Living

    The big party if over. The family has gone home. The dishes are done, and the house is quiet. Easter Celebration is over. Is that how it is at your house? It is an event that many celebrate yearly. Though some celebrate for a week and others for 40 days, for most Easter Sunday is the climax of their celebration. It is one of the most important and powerful events in the world. Paul put it like this: “For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on…

  • Engage

    Then They Remembered Jesus’s Words

    Jesus died around three in the afternoon (Luke 23:44–46). The faithful and courageous women disciples who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee—including his mother, Mary—stayed with him until he exhaled his last breath. Then they followed those who carried his body to the tomb to see where it was laid. After that they returned home to prepare aromatic spices and perfumes for anointing and preserving the body (Luke 23:55–56). How exhausted and devastated the women must have felt. We believed he was the Messiah! He was going to start a new kingdom. But we watched him die. He raised others from the dead so why did he let himself be crucified?…

  • Engage

    He Was Not What They Expected

    He criticized the prideful, religious elite and dined with criminals and tax collectors. He spoke to shunned women and healed unclean and contagious lepers. He welcomed little children and gave mercy to the desperate and the weak. (Para español, lea abajo.) “Who is this supposed King? He does not behave as we had expected,” they thought. They expected a warrior king, not a humble servant. They expected a savior from foreign oppression, not a Savior from their sins. They expected their long-awaited ruler to ride victoriously on a horse. The King of Kings rode peacefully on a young donkey. (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:5) They waved palm branches and put their…

  • God makes ugly beautiful in my life by Melanie Newton
    Engage

    God Makes Ugly Beautiful

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: Isn’t springtime delightful? The landscape seems to go from ugly and barren to beautiful as new life emerges. Practically every day, I go outside to my garden, pushing aside dried leaves to see what is coming back up from the ground after the cold winter. The contrast from the ugly barrenness of winter to the beauty of new life emerging in the spring inspires worship. Easter belongs in the spring, doesn’t it? Spring reminds us that God makes ugly beautiful. One Friday, almost 2000 years ago, something very ugly happened. Jesus, the sinless God-man who walked among us people, was hung on…

  • Engage

    Journey with Me to Israel

    This month I take you on a photographic tour of the Holy Land. One year ago my husband and I traveled to Israel with Insight for Living ministries. And like many of you, we never expected the world to shut down for the next year (and counting). Thus in this season of Lent, as we prepare our hearts for Easter, I thought it only appropriate to virtually return to the land of our Savior. May you enjoy this journey.

  • Engage

    Resurrection

    I spent most of 2020 feeling unproductive, invisible, and useless. I many times wondered if I add value to anyone’s lives. Or if my existence had meaning. OK, fine. I felt this way prior to 2020—the devil has been tormenting me for years. But all things COVID Pandemic didn’t help.   Four days ago God proved me and Satan wrong. My brother’s family came to town last week for three nights. Although they stayed at his in-laws’ place, they made this trip just to visit me. Of course my niece and nephew also wanted me to spend the night over there. I promised I’d stay one night. Not that anyone…

  • Impact

    Experiencing Peace and Hope with God

    Romans 6:1–11 is part of the lectionary readings for the third Sunday after Pentecost, which is June 21st. In 5:12–21, Paul drew a parallel between Adam and Jesus. At the dawn of history, Adam rebelled against the Creator by deliberately violating His specific command. As a result, the entire human race became alienated from God. Whereas Adam’s transgression brought condemnation to all humanity, Jesus’ atoning sacrifice brought forgiveness and new life to all who trusted in Him. The Mosaic Law was added so that an awareness and acts of trespass might increase. Also, where sin increased, grace increased considerably more. Similarly, the more people became conscious of their hopeless condition…

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    The First Easter

    The male disciples deserted him. The women distantly watched him. The religious leaders gloated over him. And the Roman soldiers guarded him—even in death. This was the stage for the first Easter Sunday. It began as one of darkness and separation. Mourning and sorrow. Disillusionment and disbelief. Death lingered. It was a Sunday without fanfare or trumpets, without brightly attired dresses or wrappings, without large crowds or attractions. It was simple. It was subtle. It was serious. It was a Sunday where Jesus’s followers were dispersed and scattered. Pause thinking of the first Easter for just a moment and return your mind to yesterday’s Easter. The vast majority of the…

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    Good Friday- Following Jesus into the Light

    At the small, country church of my childhood, 3 crosses would be placed by the roadside shortly before the week of Easter. The crosses would be bare or draped in purple for a time and then early in the morning on Good Friday a black cloth would be placed around the middle cross.  Black, to symbolize the light of Jesus being extinguished and the heaviness of the world’s sin. It’s not just a figurative darkness, it was a reality for those in the presence of Jesus at the time of his death, for as Luke records: “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,…