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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont know about you, but I am always reading things that make me nod my head in agreement or something that makes my heart swell with love and gratitude. This is one of them. If you have read something that has inspired you regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, please feel free to use this thread to share it with everyone else :)

What Difference Does Easter Make?
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

So what if the Easter bunny wins the hearts of children everywhere? So why not strike "Easter vacation" from the vocabulary of our schools and substitute "Spring break"? What difference does Easter make anyway?

It makes a lot of difference to those who are in touch enough with reality to take life and death seriously. It made a lot of difference to a very real woman named Mary. Let me tell you her story.

Mary had the heart-wrenching honor of washing the dried blood from Jesus' lifeless body as two other followers prepared the tomb cut into Jerusalem's cold limestone. Mary wept as she washed--wept and remembered....

She had been born to luxury, heiress to a textile fortune, a native of Magdala, a town along the coast of Galilee. "Little good it did me," she mused. Money had brought the opposite of happiness. She look back at her teen years as a blur of painful, compulsive acting out. Her parents had thrown up their hands in despair, she recalled. She recollected the gnawing fear, the self-loathing that ate at her very core. And she could remember the caring boldness in Jesus' penetrating eyes as he had confronted the demons that tormented her and commanded them to be gone forever. That had been the last of the frantic, distraught Mary. A gentle, peace-filled Mary had taken her place. Until today.

Today she had seen her Lord die an excruciating death, his body weight hanging limp from the nails driven through his hands and feet, suspended from a cross like a common criminal.

Her heart caught in her throat as she remembered and wept and washed away the caked blood with her tears. She wept, too, as she watched the men lift Jesus' corpse onto the tomb's carved ledge, and roll a massive stone across the doorway.

Was all her hope for nothing? What of all the thousands of diseased bodies he had healed? The broken lives he had restored? The promises of the Kingdom of God?

But early Sunday morning she was back at the tomb to finish anointing his body. When she arrived the tomb stood open, stone pushed to the side, ashes of the Roman guards' watchfire still smoldering. "How can they be so cruel?" she cried as she ran to tell the apostles. So cruel.

But it wasn't cruelty that rolled away the stone that Easter morning. It was the powerful hand of God as Jesus Christ stepped forth brimming with Life.

Mary saw him, mistaking him for the gardener. But there was no mistaking his familiar voice--"Mary." She fell at his feet, tears of grief melting into tears of joy. "Rabboni," she said as she looked into his face. "Teacher."

Yes, Easter bunnies still capture the hearts of children and schools talk about Spring break, but you and I know what really happened on Easter.

In an instant history changed forever, because where once the human mortality rate had held stead at 100%, now it skipped a beat as Jesus, Savior of all mankind, stepped out of dead statistics into life. Death is the last word no longer for Jesus' followers, life is.

"Believe in Bhudda," some still insist amid the marketplace of the world religions. "Confucius," say the Chinese. "Mohammed," cry the Muslims. "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh," shout his followers, and on it goes.

"Jesus," Mary would tell us, "He changed my life." And millions around the globe would echo, "Mine, too. He touched my life, too."

For while religious leaders have come and gone, the fact remains: only One stepped forth from the tomb. Only One has risen from the dead. Only One has conquered death. Only One offers the promise of eternal life to those who follow him.

"I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus said. "He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

So why do Jesus' followers gather in churches on Easter morning? To show off their Easter finery? God forbid. Rather
  • To celebrate the victory of Life over death,
  • To help their children and grandchildren share their faith that Jesus is alive, and
  • To declare that Jesus Christ is Lord indeed!
 

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Very nice Val! :) I hope this thread remains respectful to those of us who celebrate Easter and know its true meaning. Happy Easter Val...may God bless you and yours richly this Easter and every day of your lives. :) Take care and much love! Marlene :)
 

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Another by Dr. Wilson. :) Take care! angel

Jesus and the Easter Bunny
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Ask your average heathen youngster what Easter is all about and he'll tell you about the Easter bunny, and finding Easter baskets filled with that annoying grass that seems to stick to household furnishings long after Easter is past. And those pastel foil- covered, football things that are a sorry excuse for real chocolate. And, of course, there are Easter eggs to dye and jelly beans--you've got to have jelly beans. Black beans are best.

"And mommy, that's what Easter is."

"Oh, Jason, how cute."

How sad! Most children today don't know beans about Easter really means.

Why don't you tell the story of Jesus to your children or grandchildren this Easter? Tell them about the man who is God's Son, who came to show people the love God has for them. Tell them how evil people murdered him by nailing him to a cross. Tell them how Jesus was buried in a rock-hewn tomb. Let them hear how the Roman soldiers were powerless the morning of that third day when the stone rolled away and Jesus walked forth alive.

Tell your children that because of Jesus, even though people may die, they will not stay dead. That they can live forever with Jesus, and even their bodies will be raised from the dead just like Jesus' body was.

Now I'm sure that Jesus loves bunnies--he made them. And probably chocolate, too. But don't you think he gets a little impatient with parents and grandparents who exalt a rabbit over the Savior? And on his own special Day, too?

How about it? Will you tell them the real story this year? Maybe even take them to church where they'll hear the story told by experienced Sunday school teachers? Sure, buy some jelly beans and a wad of that clingy grass for their baskets. But don't suppress the real, fascinating truth of Jesus' triumph over death.

After all, those same children are trying day by day to make sense of the death and life they see around them. They have real hopes and real fears and a destiny unfolding. They deserve a real "Jesus Easter" this year.
 

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yeah big up yaslef and respec !

<><
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 corinthians 15:55)

Thanks be to God, Who gives us the ultimate victory through our risen Lord Jesus Christ!

Happy Easter everyone. It's a great day to be alive. :)
 

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~The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt

Happy Easter and God bless to all

><">
 

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Sunday, April 11, 2004 Posted: 1:33 PM EDT (1733 GMT)

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul told the world in his Easter message Sunday that a culture of love had to defeat terrorism and the "logic of death" and revenge in Iraq, the Holy Land and other places where conflict reigns.

"May the culture of life and love render vain the logic of death," the 83-year-old pope declared to thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Rome, and to millions watching on TV.

John Paul delivered the message in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" blessing -- Latin for "To the City and the World," as he celebrated Easter Mass on the flower-decked steps of St. Peter's Basilica.

The celebration -- the most important day in the Christian calendar when according to the Bible Jesus rose from the dead after crucifixion -- came amidst unprecedented security.

Speaking strongly and clearly despite having completed a grueling spate of Holy Week ceremonies, the pope urged the faithful to find the courage to confront the many evils facing the world today.

"In particular, may humanity find the strength to face the inhuman and unfortunately growing phenomenon of terrorism, which rejects life and brings anguish and uncertainty to the daily lives of so many hard-working and peaceful people," John Paul said.

He called for governments and international institutions to overcome the troubles afflicting people around the globe and work for a more peaceful world order -- stressing the Holy Land in particular.

"May world leaders be confirmed and sustained in their efforts to resolve satisfactorily the continuing conflicts that cause bloodshed in certain regions of Africa, Iraq and the Holy Land," he said.

Dressed in golden robes and a jeweled miter, the pope was alert and spoke clearly throughout the Mass, despite having struggled through a three-hour Easter Vigil that ended just a few hours earlier.

Thousands turned out to hear the pope's message.

On Friday, the pope, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, braved the chilly night air to preside over a reenactment of Christ's Passion at Rome's Colosseum.

In years past, John Paul himself had carried a light cross through the Good Friday ritual recreating the last hours of Jesus' life, but in recent years as his ailments worsened, he has left it to others to perform the Stations of the Cross.

On Sunday, John Paul celebrated Mass under a hazy and chilly sky, surrounded by cardinals in red and an arch of pink tulips and yellow daffodils arranged around the altar on the steps of St. Peter's.

At one point during the ceremony, he laughed heartily as a toddler in traditional Asian dress struggled up the stairs of the basilica toward him with her parents and brother to present offerings. He reached out to her and blessed her and the rest of the family.

Later Sunday, he was to deliver his annual Easter greetings -- this year in 62 different languages.

The tightened security around St. Peter's Square included Italian police and Carabinieri officers checking the bags of pilgrims and tourists as they entered the piazza and a ring of police cars at its edge.

Italy stepped up security around the Vatican, monuments, airports and other sites over the Easter holiday, as it did during Christmas.
 

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Hi Tonya! :) Happy Easter! And yep, Val is the best! :) Take care! angel :)
 

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angelize56 said:
Hi Tonya! :) Happy Easter! And yep, Val is the best! :) Take care! angel :)
Hi Angel!! Yup....Val is the best!

Blessings to you and yours Angel. :)
 

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I thought this was a little long but it has a message so I think it is worth the read.

The Donut Master

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending college where Brother Christianson taught seminary.

He had an open-door policy and would take in any student who had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules.

Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson' seminary class.

Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang, and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulledSteve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"

Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."

Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many pushups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Brother Christianson said.

"Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

Do you think you could?" again asked Brother Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," Brother Christianson said.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it." Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.

When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind with cream centers and frosting swirls.

Everyone was pretty excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?" Cynthia said, "Yes."


Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten pushups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups, Joe got a donut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donuts and down the second aisle, until Bro. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.
When Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"


Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then." Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would
you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down.

You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.


Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Jenny said, "No."


Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face; his arms and brow were beginning to get
red because of the physical effort involved.

Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert
began to watch Steve closely.


Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?" Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You can do them any way that you want."
And Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."


Bro. Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him."
Steve said, "Yes, let him come in." Bro. Christianson said, Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now.

Jason, do you want a donut?"
Yes."

"Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?"Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face, and by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut? Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."


Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.


Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.

"Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, Bro. Christianson, "Can I help him?"

Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone. Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him
and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said.

And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, 'Into your hands I commend my spirit.'

With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.
 
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