Monday, April 20, 2009

Total Ripoff!

I've been reading Josh Graves' blog for a little while now and I really enjoy it. I enjoy it so much, as a matter of fact, that I'm gonna totally rip his idea off and do a survey blog. I started to copy his idea completely and ask the question, "What are your top five sports cities?" but I thought of a question that would be fair to Josh and his readers, and fun for me and my readers (or at least for me). Josh, if you're reading this, please forgive my theft of a brilliant idea! And if you're not reading this, I guess it doesn't matter, anyway! :-) Hoping to get some good input, so I'll encourage all of you to post comments.

What are your top five music artists? This includes solo artists, bands, vocal groups, orchestras, jazz ensembles, or any other artists that come to mind. Here are mine:

5. Acappella
4. The Temptations
3. Tower of Power
2. Take 6
1. Bobby McFerrin

Now, understand that this is an extremely challenging list for me to write because there are so many artists that I love for so many different reasons. I'll explain my choices in a later blog.

Your turn!

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Tomb Is Empty!

Arise, My Love
Written by Eddie Carswell
Performed by NewSong

Friday, April 10, 2009

It Happened On Friday...

...but it started on Thursday. The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?” And they hurled all sorts of terrible insults at him.
Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”
“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.

As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. A sign was fastened to the cross above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.” And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.
When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.” And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow.

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.
As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
(from Luke 22-23, NLT)

There is nothing more that can be done now. Go home. Your King is dead.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yes, You

I don't know what to do
ain't no words comin through
can't seem to think when I'm looking at you
when I'm thinking of the words to say
all I think of are two

yes, You

when I'm all alone
my heart's like a stone
but you give me the strength when I'm on my own
I start thinking of some words to say
there's only two that I know

yes, You

I'm on bended knee
and my heart you see
you there's no one else who can set me free
when I'm thinking of the words to pray
there's only two that I need

yes, You

(By Bobby McFerrin; ©ProbNoblem Music/BMI)

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Blogs I Like

I haven't been the most faithful blogger on the planet by any stretch of the imagination, but I enjoy blogging. It's a good way to reach out to whomever will take a moment to read and learn some of my thoughts on life and all it's intricacies. Since I've been crazy busy lately, I feel like I've neglected my little corner of the blog world. So, to fill some time while I try to get my stuff together, I thought I'd hit you with a list of blogs I like. I'll give you the url's and you can copy and paste into your browser as you so choose. I pray these blogs bless your life as they have blessed mine. If you have any others I need to get into, please hit me with them. I love reading good blogs that encourage, educate, and entertain (yes, blogging is entertainment) me, as well as challenge me to be closer to Jesus. That's what I attempt to do with my blog, so that's what I like to read. I guess that makes sense. Okay, enough rambling. Here's the list:

My beautiful wife, Stephanie Brannon -

Matt Chandler -
Shane Coffman -
Mark Driscoll -
Gary & Melody Evans -
Louie Giglio -
Josh Graves -
Brenda Hughes -
Chris Lindsey -
Patrick Mead -
Trey Morgan -
John Piper -
Terry Rush -
Brandon Scott Thomas -
Chris Tomlin -

If I had more time, I'd read more blogs. Hope you enjoy these.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate