Live Justified

Last week I wrote about injustice and anger that boils within. Today, I share a story about justification that was framed from injustice. It’s a story that many of us have heard in some fashion – a story that I believe we can all relate to if we will pause to hear it.It’s a story about a person who lived a life many of us would applaud, yet whom was killed by people of power. He fell victim to a system that may have been born of good intentions, but somehow ambled into a gait of arrogance and superiority. The perpetrators, in the form of an organized aristocracy and as individuals, didn’t like him messing with the good thing they had going.So, they plotted to slap a death penalty on a man who did no wrong. And they carried out their plot to the bitter end.May I tell you about this victim of injustice?His name is Jesus.

In many ways, we can say there are people in America and in other countries, throughout the generations, with the same story. Jesus was a victim of injustice, and it was…

I'm Boiling. May I Erupt?

I started writing this post before the killing of George Floyd. We were still grieving Ahmaud Arbery’s senseless murder. We cry, “Enough is enough.” We wonder when this wretched devaluing of life and livelihood will end. And we are justifiably angry.I don't normally mention people or current events in my posts. 'Always relevant' is my aim. But this is critical. It's serious. And it is, indeed, always relevant. I had planned to write about this topic before either of the two murders had occurred, so this is even more awakening for me as a writer.This is what I hold fast to and what I conclude from God’s sacred Word:
Everyone has value.
Everyone is somebody.
God cares about everyone.

We should, too.

When we hear about heartless killing, we get angry and we might even rise up and do something about it.There’s a story about Jesus in John 2 where we imagine Him in a fit of rage. We imagine Him trashing the profiteering exploits of the wicked people who set up shop outside the…

John Chapter 2 and 3, A Rhyming Paraphrase

I enjoyed how my rhyming paraphrase of John 1 told the story of Jesus in vibrant yet plain language, so I had to continue rhyming John 2 and 3. If you didn't read John 1, start there. Then come back to read Chapters 2 and 3.

I wrote all three chapters in Seuss-like meter so it might help engage the kids in your life (including the big ones). In the second and third chapters of John, Jesus began performing miracles, explaining He is the Savior, and foretelling His resurrection. Through Him we may have eternal life. John the Baptist announced Jesus' coming in Chapter 1, and in Chapter 3 he announced His salvation.

On to the rhymes and the truth about eternal life...

The Gospel of John Chapter 2 - He Who's the Son

A wedding occurred a couple days later.
Guests one and guests all, with joy the host catered.
Among those who came
Was Jesus acclaimed,
And men of His crew.
His mother came, too.

And wouldn't you know, they drank all of the wine.
But watch God's dear Son as He gives the…

We Thrive with Jesus

Aspen trees are possibly my favorite trees because of their picturesque trunks and delicate leaves. In most of Northern America we call them quaking aspen (or trembling aspen) because the leaves quake or tremble, even at the slightest breeze.
Did you know that an aspen grove grows from a single tree? Aspens occasionally start as seedlings, but young aspens more typically grow from underground roots, and, as the roots travel underground, more and more sprouts shoot up. (See clonal colonization.) So, the snow-nestled trees in the pictures in this post are one single organism. You might call them one single tree.

The larger tree you see in the foreground is the mother tree. All the other trees in the grove (or clone) sprouted from the roots of the mother tree. So, the entire grove grew and thrived as it remained connected to the root system of a single, life-giving tree.

Jesus said…
I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;
apart from m…