Part 5: Remedy for Revenge

Sunday March 20, 2016

Top 5 Best Revenge Movies

5. Carrie

4. The Godfather

3. Taken

2. Kill Bill

1. The Princess Bride

The Crucifixion – John 18:29-19:16

Pilate came out to them and asked,
“What charges are you bringing against this man?”
“If he were not a criminal,” they replied,
“we would not have handed him over to you.”
Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
– Luke 23:32-34

Remedy for Revenge

Don’t do the math!

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven!”
Matthew 18:21-22

Rule Meant To Be Broken
It was a settled rule of Rabbinism that forgiveness should not be extended more than three times. …It must, therefore, have seemed to Peter a selfless stretch of charity to extend forgiveness from three to seven times. But Christ’s response is not specifying a number of times greater than the limit of seven. His expressions is meant to see that there is to be no limit. “Forgiveness is qualitative, not quantitative.”
-Vincent’s Word Studies

Think of Yourself

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
-Jesus, from Luke 6:37

Daily Reflections: 20 – MARCH

I have found that I have to forgive others in all situations to maintain any real spiritual progress.
I must forgive injuries, not just in words, or as a matter of form, but in my heart. I do this not for the other persons’ sake, but for my own sake. Resentment, anger, or a desire to see someone punished, are things that rot my soul. Such things fasten my troubles to me with chains. They tie me to other problems that have nothing to do with my original problem.

Break the Cycle

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.”  -Yahweh, from Leviticus 19:18

“I have been in the revenge business for so long, now that it is over, I am not sure what to do with the rest of my life.” -Inigo Montoya

Wishing Well

“The indication that you have actually forgiven someone is when you can simply and sincerely wish that person well.”  -Pastor Steve Diehl



Part 4: No Worries

Sunday March 13, 2016

The Garden of Gethsemane

A garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, most famous as the place where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus’ crucifixion.

Video: Opening Scene of The Passion of the Christ

Jesus in the Garden


Garden Snake

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.” In the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:15

Stressing Peace – Luke 22:39-51
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

An extremely rare condition characterised by the sweating of blood, which is said to occur when a person is facing death or other highly stressful events. It has been seen in prisoners before execution and occurred during the London Blitz.  -Farlex Medical Dictionary

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

3 Antidotes to Anxiety

Involve God

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

rhipto – to cast, throw off, toss away.

Involve Friends

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Involve Yourself!

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:31-33

The Science of Good Deeds -WebMD

“In a paper published earlier this year, Stephen Post, PhD., describes the biological underpinnings of stress — and how altruism can be the antidote. This connection was discovered inadvertently in 1956, when a team of Cornell University researchers began following 427 married women with children. They assumed that the housewives with more children would be under greater stress and die earlier than women with few children.
“Surprisingly, they found that numbers of children, education, class, and work status did not affect longevity,” writes Post. After following these women for 30 years, researchers found that 52% of those who did not volunteer had experienced a major illness — compared with 36% who did volunteer.”

“When we engage in good deeds, we reduce our own stress – including the physiological changes that occur when we’re stressed. ”

“Those who volunteered were living longer than nonvolunteers. Another large study found a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot — a greater effect than exercising four times a week!”

Antidotes to Anxiety

Involve God – Involve Friends – Involve Yourself!



Part 3: Redefining Success

Sunday March 6, 2016

Defining Passion (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):

  • A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.
  • A strong desire or romantic feeling for someone.
  • The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

Passion Week (reported in all Four Gospels)

Triumphal Entry – Cleansing of the Temple – Last Supper – Garden of Gethsemane

The Arrest – The Trial – The Crucifixion

Gospel Truth

The Synoptics (‘see the same’)

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke


According to Mark – 15:12-16

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make
preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

According to Luke – 22:14-27

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

“But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table…”
They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. A dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the least, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.”

According to John – 13:1-17

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress…Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

“It is unlikely that this is to be taken as a regulation promulgated in the interests of pedal cleanliness. The point of what Jesus has said is rather that they should have a readiness to perform the lowliest of tasks for one another. Nothing was more menial than the washing of feet.”
-New International Commentary

Dirty Jobs

Bat Cave Scavenger – Roadkill Cleaner – Maggot Farmer – Avian Vomitologist

Redefining Success

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
-Jesus, from John 13:17

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Success: Doing something you would usually avoid that benefits another person.



Part 2: Boiling Point

Sunday February 28, 2016

Defining Passion (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):

  • A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.
  • A strong desire or romantic feeling for someone.
  • The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

Passion Week (reported in all Four Gospels)

Triumphal Entry – Cleansing of the Temple – Last Supper – Garden of Gethsemane

The Arrest – The Trial – The Crucifixion

Boiling Point – Mark 11:15-18

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

Convenience Fees…Judea was under the rule of the Romans, and the money in current use was Roman coin. However, the Jewish law required that every man should pay a tribute to the service of the sanctuary of “half a shekel” (Exodus 30:11–16), a Jewish coin. It became a matter of convenience to have a place where the Roman coin could be exchanged for the Jewish half shekel. The money-changers provided this convenience but would demand an additional sum for the exchange. Because so many thousands of people came up to the great feasts, changing money was a very profitable business and one that resulted in fraud and oppression of the poor.

Unfair Trade…Also, according to the OT Law, two doves or pigeons were required to be offered in sacrifice (Leviticus 14:22; Luke 2:24). Yet it was difficult to bring them from the distant parts of Judea, so a lucrative business selling the birds sprang up, with the sellers gouging the faithful by charging exorbitant prices. There were other merchants selling cattle and sheep for the temple sacrifices as well. Because of these sellers who preyed on the poor and because of His passion for the purity of His Father’s house, Jesus was filled with righteous indignation.

Popeye Moment!

“What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, get near it, you just can’t stand? Very likely, that firestorm of frustration reflects your holy discontent, a reality so troubling that you are thrust off the couch and into the game.”
-Bill Hybels, Holy Discontent

Nominations for Best Popeye Moment

Moses – David – Mother Teresa – Scott & Sally Harrison

In 1986, Dr. Scott Harrison, a successful orthopedic surgeon and international businessman, was asked to perform spine surgery and teach higher level orthopedic surgery skills to local medical practitioners in Malawi. Over the years, he and Sally returned to Malawi on many occasions to help more and more children with disabilities. The stark realities of the physical and spiritual needs of these children haunted them, though. They saw that they were barely making a dent, and they wanted to do something about it.      -Cure International

“You should always be looking for the one issue that grabs you – the issue that will not let go – the one that finally erupts into your Popeye moment. This type of issue burns in your soul to the point that you recognize God is calling you into an intentional and personal partnership with Him.”
-Bill Hybels

Your Passion?

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance
for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10




Part 1: Hostile Territory

Sunday February 21, 2016


Defining Passion (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):

  • A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.
  • A strong desire or romantic feeling for someone.
  • The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

History of Passion

Our English word has its roots in the Latin passio, which means, simply, “suffering.” Its first recorded use is in early Latin translations of the Bible that appeared in the 2nd century A.D. that describe the final week of the life of Jesus depicting his sufferings and death. The Latin word was borrowed prolifically in Old English religious texts, where its meaning remained exclusively theological.

Passion Week (reported in all Four Gospels)

Triumphal Entry – Cleansing of the Temple – Last Supper – Garden of Gethsemane

The Arrest – The Trial – The Crucifixion

But when the Normans invaded Britain in the middle of the 11th century, their conquest infused thousands of French words and passion began to develop broader meanings. The first new senses in English referred to martyrdom and physical suffering or affliction, and by the 13th century, passion was being used to refer to any strong desire or emotion.

“You suffer for your soup!”

Entering Hostile Territory

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” John 11:6-8

Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
John 11:16

They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”  Mark 10:32-34

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour!” John 12:27

“Jesse Owens had been prepared for a hostile reception in Nazi Germany for the 1936 Berlin Olympics; a coach had warned him in advance not to be upset by anything that might happen in the stands.”

Entering Hostile Territory?

Pray – Share – Remember


Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
-King David from Psalm 86:6-7


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
-King Solomon from Proverbs 17:17


Jesus answered, “It is written:
‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Matthew 4:4

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
Isaiah 41:10

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18

Passion For You

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:2-3