Anything is Possible!

With Love, 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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Love Songs with a Twist

agape-candle

When I was single, one of the things that helped me tolerate and even embrace love songs that came on the radio  was to sing them to God. I know it sounds corny, but it helped. One day, on a solo road trip, that old song came on the radio: “Some Kinda Wonderful.” I was about to change the station, when I got an idea. I substituted the name of Jesus for “my baby.” Later in the song, I sang about my sweet loving savior.
And I’m telling you, it worked. Singing love songs to or about Jesus helped ease my loneliness.

Just try it. When a love song comes on, but you don’t have a romantic interest, or if you have one who’s not good for you, substitute the higher power or ideal love of your choice. Think of someone who’s always got your back.

 

Can I get a witness?

I realized I could do this with any love song. I even sang love songs to my dog who was always there for me. Cause you know what dog spelled backwards is. Dogs are like mirrors reflecting unconditional love. Natalie, at Sacred Touches, agrees.

jesse-howling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I write in Trust the Timing:

“The dogs provided more comfort and less stress than the men I dated after the divorce “

 

 

 

You can sing love songs to any body you want to. Because love is valuable and wonderful . It doesn’t have to be romantic love, though romantic love is pretty darn special. I’m talking about caring for someone else so much that their happiness is just as important as your own. (Love your neighbor as yourself, not more than yourself.)

Whether it’s brotherly love, sisterly love, parental love, platonic love, romantic love, self love, dog love or AGAPE God love, love is good.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

JoAnne/JoAnna

 


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We Still Have Power

heart-in-darkness

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

When we lose electricity,

we still have power.

When I saw this prompt, “power” from Erica at https://2020hines-sight.com/, I immediately thought of this song, and since it’s been in my head since then, I’m sharing it here. These guys have a good sound.

And then there’s this little girl with a lot of power:

just-jot-january

Thanks to Dan Antion for standing in for Linda who hosts Just Jot it January at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/09/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-9th17

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


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A Gift You Can’t Buy in the Store, Part 3: Pure, Unconditional Love

 

nativity-scene-1807602_1280

“Do you know how much I love you?” said God.

Baby Jesus offers love

With open arms,

Pure and unconditional.

Let go of your fear!

All these gifts I give to you.

Go forward in this love.

I found these words written on a piece of notebook paper in an old pile of papers. It was a dream I had last year, ready to be re-born.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God.

Luke 1:30


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Gethsemane: Facing Fear

The rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, planted it’s seeds in fertile ground toward the end of my agnostic years. I loved the story and the music so much, I bought the album and learned most of the songs by heart. So here, I’m re-posting my favorite from last year’s series.

Anything is Possible!

This post is part of my week long series revisiting the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. Thanks for joining the journey!

Ted Neely’s powerful performance as Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, gets me at the core of my being, every time.

Seeing the human fear and the weariness Jesus feels in this scene inspires me and even comforts me. He died for us in spite of his fear. His powerful connection with his loving Father gave him courage, but it was far from easy for him. Otherwise, He would not have asked for a reprieve.

This scene reminds me that each of us can deepen our connection with God, to give us courage to face our own trials, large and small.

We can ask God questions: Do you really want me to do this?

We can ask for help: Okay, God. Show me how. Help me feel your presence…

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Star of Wonder: A Cosmic Event

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star of royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Stars beautiful from pixabay (2)

 

In the following video, Rick Larson tell the story of his search for astrological evidence the Star of Bethlehem. It’s just over an hour, and I don’t usually watch videos that long on the internet, but I’m glad I watched this one. I found it fascinating.

Why is this evidence coming up now? Larson says it’s because  Johannes Kepler  missed the star in the 1600’s because he was looking at the wrong time. Now we have more technology available to investigate.

One of the most interesting parts of the video starts at around 30 minutes in, as Mr. Larson prepares to reveal how the alignment of stars and planets created a spectacular phenomenon, a star of wonder.

The end of the video reveals evidence of an eclipse at the time Jesus died on the cross. The astrological evidence of both the birth and death of Jesus is poetry written in the sky  long ago, waiting for us to find it. As Larson says:

“My God, what did you do? Because this is poetry-terrible beauty-that showed me a side of God I had not seen. It showed me a God that would write poetry to record  both the coming and passing of my Messiah. And he let me find him.”

 

“He made the Bear, Orion, and Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern Zodiac. He does incredible miracles, too many to count.”   (Job 9:9-10 The Living Bible)

 

For more information, you can visit:

BethlehemStar.net

Wishing wonderful blessings to all!

 


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Saint Nicholas, a Hero After God’s Own Heart

Saint Nicholas from Pixabay

In his sermon this past Sunday, Rev. Macgill told us about St. Nicholas. He said there are more churches named for  St. Nicholas than for any other person. 

Intrigued, I decided to do a little more research. St. Nicholas was born around 280 AD in Patara, Lycia, an area that is now part of Turkey. His parents died when he was a young man, and he “reportedly used his inheritance to help the poor and sick.” He later begged for donations to help others. Legends say he secretly gave money to families to use as dowries for daughters who would otherwise be sold into servitude.

He was elected as the bishop of Myra, a city that is now called Demre on the coast of Turkey. St. Nicholas lived a life of loving sacrifice and giving, following in the footsteps of Jesus. He died at the age of 34.

Here’s an interview about a documentary on the real St. Nicholas:


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Twice the Power

Ayla

 

A Pagan who made peace with Jesus

A Christian who adores nature

Share the pain of longing

For a child betrayed.

The pagan gives his hand

To the mother who loves Jesus

And they pray together

To God and Goddess.

 

Two whole beings,

Bonded by blood

Meet on a bridge of hope

Bringing twice the Power

To protect the child

Born with a quiet gift.

 

Muses sing in her soft red hair

Angels dance in her soft blue eyes

They surround her with their love and light.

Keeping her safe through day and night.

 

angels


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Routes and Roots


SOC badge with butterfly

Is money the root of all evil?

Is there more than one route to God?

Maybe I’ll come back to the God question.

Thrift and consignment stores are popping up all over. My husband manages one for the Rescue Mission. They get more clothes and books donated than they can keep up with. More than they have room for. He’s found a way to re-donate the extras. They get a lot of food donated too. In the job he had before, he saw grocery stores throwing away so much food. It was astounding and sad. Fortunately some of the food gets donated to non-profit agencies……  I’m getting to the money and evil part, eventually, maybe.

So how can there be so many clothes donated? The books I understand, because people now use  computers and phones more to read. But people keep buying clothes. More and more clothes. I get most of my clothes from second hand stores. I get most of my furniture second hand, too. It’s mostly a recycling thing. And a little a frugal thing.

Are we buying more stuff than we need? And what else can we do with our money?  I don’t want to buy new wood furniture, because someone had to cut down a tree for that.

Yes, lets get back to the forest!

My roots are in nature.

I see God in nature. I connect with God in nature.

I also see God in Jesus. I connect with God through Jesus.

Some people connect with God through prayer and songs. These work for me too.

Some find God through service work, through various books, or religious leaders.

Some don’t find God at all.  Part of me says I’m supposed to write how sad that is.

But you know what? I don’t feel all that sad about it. We all have a choice. We all have value. Regardless of whether we have found God, or Jesus, or Muhammad. Whether we are rich or poor or smart with numbers, or computers or money or whether we know how to make sassafras tea out of tree roots. We all have value.

I used to say, I didn’t care about money. But I do sort of like having enough for my mortgage and vet bills and food and my second hand clothes and gasoline….. and I’d like to travel more…… I like the things money can buy.  Some of the things. But money can’t buy the sky.  Money can’t buy true love.

And as my husband says his grandfather used to say, ” You can’t eat it.”

The desire for things and money is part of the problem, part of what is putting our world at risk. But there is something more. A lack of peace. A lack of love. We need more tolerance and cooperation.

That’s all for now.  Except that I wish I’d  written more about roots.

Here’s a poem, containing roots, I memorized many years ago from the Lord of the Rings….or maybe it was The Hobbit. This is how I remember it:

All that is gold does not glitter.

Not all those who wander are lost.

The old that is strong does not whither.

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken.

A light from the Shadows shall Spring.

Renewed shall be blade that was broken.

The crownless again shall be king.

JRR Tolkein

 

 

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post prompt was “route/root.”

If you’d like to jump into the stream, start here:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1915/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!