Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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The Human Side of Jesus

Jesus_Washing_the_Feet_of_his_Disciples_(Albert_Edelfelt)_-_Nationalmuseum_-_18677.tif.jpg Wikimedia commons

Painting by Albert Edelfelt 1854-1905

Tonight at my church, someone’s going to wash my feet. Then I’ll wash someone else’s feet. In the past, I’ve skipped this ceremony in our “Maundy Thursday” service, mainly because Holy Week is so busy. I figured Wednesday potluck, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday was enough. But singing in the choir, it’s my responsibility to be there. So, I decided to look deeper into this foot washing business.

Jesus washed his disciples feet during the time of Passover when he knew his time on this earth was coming to an end.

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.  John 13:1 (NLT)

It is this love that pulls me in to Jesus. Like the humility that comes next.

After supper, Jesus took off his outer robe, tied a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he washed his disciples feet and dried them with the towel. (John 13: 4-5)

The foot washing was a expression of love and servitude. A precursor to the ultimate act of love to come. The disciples were no doubt embarrassed by their leader and teacher performing such a humble and personal service. But Jesus told them that, later, they would understand.

(How often has it taken me years for to understand the significance of events that once baffled me?)

Then Jesus gives them the mandate from which the word Maundy comes in tonight’s service:

And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.                 John 13: 14-15 (NLT)

Jesus is telling his disciples to be of humble service to each other. I believe he intended us to serve one another. But he is willing to be first. He used his humanity to set an example.

There are many other times when Jesus showed his humanity.  One was in the garden of Gethsemane.  He asked the disciples to stay and watch with him. But they fell asleep. Then Jesus prays.

 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26: 39 (NLT)

It sounds to me like Jesus was scared. He knew what was coming and he felt real human fear. Yet, he wanted God’s will to be done, understanding and trusting, that God had a much bigger plan.

This scene from Gethsemane is depicted in the movie, Jesus Christ Superstar. Some people may criticize the movie for not being strictly in line with the Bible, but it opened my heart many years ago at a time when my mind was firmly agnostic. That’s why I did a series on the movie a couple years ago and would like to share the Gethsemane post again.

I know Jesus is much more than human, but for me, his humanity is what made and makes him more accessible.

https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/gethsemane-facing-fear/


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We Are the World and Trees are the Lungs of the World

dogwood in front of pine

As I looked for a story to post for today’s kickoff of  We Are The World, there were many. But I kept coming back to this man who died and came back to plant trees. I first found this interview at ALK3R ‘s blog. It’s a fascinating story, originally published at Daily Good. Here’s the link:

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1549/the-man-who-planted-trees-a-conversation-with-david-milarch-awakin-call-editors/

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-white

To learn more about We Are the World, you can visit Belinda’s blog:   http://www.belindawitzenhausen.com

 

 


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Awesome Stories 308

Brad brings us awesome stories about the art and heart of teaching, sounds of silence in my bucket list destination, re-connecting homeless people with their loved ones, and basic comforts for kids.

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you better teaching, preserving silence, miracle messages, and comfort cases.

Better Teaching

In this article, Parker Palmer shares what he had learned as a teacher, educator and group facilitator. His core premise is that teachers need to bring their whole person to their teaching. In most education systems the personal is discouraged as somehow bad or interfering with the objective truth. I agree with Parker, that in fact bringing our whole person to the role adds a level of truth, learning and inspiration that is too often missing in our current educational programs. Additionally, he talks about the need for listening to our inner teacher as the best source of wisdom for both teaching and life. This is what he calls the heart of teaching. What about you? Would you rather have a teacher who brings their unique person to the role or strictly…

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Awesome Stories 288

Sharing some interesting “Awesome Stories” collected by Brad at Writing to Freedom. The question about whether we’re born good, bad, or as blank slates has been coming up for me a lot over the past couple of years as some (not all) of my Christian friends believe we are born with “a sinful nature.” That just doesn’t feel right to me. I adopted the blank slate belief in college, but it’s certainly possible that we’re born with preferences those who will treat us well and protect us.

writing to freedom

This week Awesome Stories brings you baby morality, junk food, magical living and Little Pantries.

Born Good?

This is a fun video commercial created by the Canadian group called People for Good to show how silly it is to label babies as good or bad. Further, they believe, as I do, that we are born good. Watch this fun reminder that we’re all born good and it’s never too late to be good!

The second video takes a more serious look at the same question by studying the behavior of babies. Dr. Karen Wynn is in charge of the Baby Lab at the Yale University Infant Cognition Center. Their studies seem to demonstrate a universal moral core and innate sense of justice in all babies, even from a very young age. What do you think? Are we born good or are some people born bad?

Real Junk Food

There are…

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“You’ll be my arms, I’ll be your eyes.”

Two “handicapped”men in their 50s help heal the earth with inspiring determination. I hope you enjoy this heartwarming video about friendship and perseverance.

It took me a minute to get used to reading the subtitles, but I’m so glad I watched this!

    “If we work together physically and unite spiritually, we can achieve anything.”


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Coming Together

After last week’s post about good news deserving equal time, I’ve been searching for good news stories. I found plenty of videos about people saving other people from subway tracks in the nick of time. I guess that’s because they always have those cameras at the subway stops.

I also discovered a brief article about this photo of people surrounding a baby in a stroller in Dallas:

surrounding baby stroller

I looked for the CNN article, but it didn’t turn up in my search.

 

The best story I’ve found, so far, is about two groups with different agendas managing to come together. As reported in The Dallas Morning News, after hours of marching, the  Black Lives Matter protestors had become smaller in number and “stationed themselves across the street from counter-protesters waving American, Texas flags and a black-and-blue version in honor of police.”

I wouldn’t exactly call them “counter-protesters,” but the potential for tension and conflict was there.

You can read how this situation unfolded here: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20160710-lives-matter-we-are-all-americans-dallas-protesters-counterprotesters-come-together-with-police.ece

This moving video from the story holds the keys to hope. Be sure to watch it all the way through:

The two groups came together at the perfect time in their journeys. The Black Lives Matter protesters had been walking for hours by the time they came to a small group of people standing up for police lives. The people who remained in this time and space were dedicated. They were ready. They realized that they did not have to be on opposite sides of the street.

It’s not a story that is likely to be given a lot of attention, but it’s a story that matters.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.    __ Margaret Mead