Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Judas Iscariot

He was the only non-Galilean among the disciples. His role in the band of followers was that of treasurer. He always watched out for the 'bottom line'. Some would call him an opportunist because he was always looking for ways to 'cash in' on his position and association with Jesus and the other disciples.

Judas was a covetous man—using his place as treasurer to dip into the common purse for himself. After he helped the religious leaders find and arrest Jesus, he realized the outcome of what he had done. He tried to return the money The priests didn't accept it because they considered it 'blood money'.

Judas reacted to the Priests' refusal by throwing the coins at them. He couldn't bear the guilt of what he had done. We all know Judas' outcome. We also know he could have gone to Jesus and asked forgiveness.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Margaret Is Free

Our neighbor lady is free from her pain. She suffered for one decade with an ailment that doctor’s finally diagnosed in the past few months. This morning her Lord called her home. Her family will miss her terribly. She and her husband have five living children—one, a baby girl, died shortly after birth.

We have been neighbors for 33 years. We watched the younger three children grow up. We knew when the middle son got engaged. His fiancĂ©e and Margaret walked over to our house to show us the ring. We attended the second oldest son’s first wedding. They asked me to serve at their daughter’s reception. The youngest son visited them one day a few years ago; as I came out the door, headed for my car, I thought that man looked familiar. He waved and called out to me. Just like when he was a kid.

She and her husband, Earl, were more than neighbors to us. They were also friends. If we had an emergency or Jim was working on a project around our house, all he had to do was call and ask Earl for his help.

Long before she became ill, she made each new grandchild a baby quilt. She had 12 grandchildren, one of which was adopted. She loved to sew. It was her desire to make each of these precious grandchildren a youth quilt. I don’t know if she got to complete them.

In our living room hangs a quilt block she made for us one Christmas. In the center is a picture of the sculpture “End of the Trail” by James Earl Frazer. Surrounding the art work are red, off white and blue squares of fabric. On each corner of the centerpiece are metal images of two saguaro cacti and two coyotes, like images in opposite corners. I have been studying this wall hanging a lot lately, now I know why. It has become very precious to me.

She played the piano. Their children inherited the musical talent from her. Most of the five were in either orchestra or marching band. She played the piano for their church.

Her husband kept her home throughout her illness. He stood by her through this entire time. They recently celebrated 52 years of marriage.

They loved the Lord. Even when they were not involved in a church, they taught their children God’s way. Their family is a strong, close family. All four sons and the daughter attended college or a trade school. Their daughter owns her own beauty shop.

I am doing some research on the grief process for a project I want to do. I know we grieve because we love. I also know God’s word tells us to “Grieve not as one without hope.” I know Margaret’s family and her church family, and my family are grieving but with the hope we will see her again.

Monday, March 30, 2009


She accompanied her son and her sister to the hill. They followed the crowd who brought her nephew to that evil place.

Her presence there could have puzzled those who knew her. Jesus had rebuked her when she requested special favors for her two sons, James and John.

But now, that didn't keep her away from Mary—away from being there for Jesus at that time. All she could do was stand there, watching and thinking. He told the truth, my sons couldn't withstand anything like this. They told Him they could drink the same cup as He. But, now I know they couldn't.
My sister will be so lonely without Him. Although He traveled a lot, she cared for and watched over Him when she could.

What? Did I hear right? Did Jesus entrust Mary to my John? I will be in James' home and Mary my dear sister will be in John's. We will be able to visit one another. Jesus loves my sister and He loves my son, John.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...