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Did you have a happy day last Sunday celebrating our newest holiday, Birther’s Day? Seriously? What next?

I am seventy-six years old. Through the years I have watched our nation slide down a “slippery path” (Psalm 73:18). But as a friend says, “We’re now in a free fall.”

Like the frog in the kettle that keeps adjusting when the temperature is turned up, I’m deeply concerned that Christians have grown increasingly complacent and even apathetic. Yes, thank God I know that is a blanket statement. Not everyone has been too fearful to take a stand for righteousness.

As the director of the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conferences, that have become known as the “Write His Answer” conferences, we address the issues facing our nation and offer workshops to help writers incorporate biblical truth in their manuscripts, no matter the genre.

Last year Covid forced me to cancel both conferences. This year, out of an abundance of caution, both conferences are going virtual. What will next year bring? Only God knows. But as I watch our religious freedom eroding, I can’t help wonder how much longer we will have the freedom to gather together at a Christian writers conference or how much longer until God will allow our nation to destroy itself.

I do not think I’m being an alarmist, and I certainly do not feel I’m a prophet. With all my heart I long for our nation to return to the biblical principles upon which America, the “land of the free and home of the brave,” was founded. But I doubt that will happen unless there is a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in response to the prayers of God’s people and our nation repents and turns back to Him.

I do believe that “for such a time as this” God is raising up an army of writers. This is my 37th year directing the Philly conference, my 24th year directing the Colorado conference. The urgency I feel to “encourage and equip you to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives” is stronger than ever. And so, rather than reduce the size of the faculty and offer less this year, I’m “going for broke” and have cut the cost in half. Plus, with going virtual, you save the cost of travel, lodging, and meals. If financially the conference is still beyond what you can afford, thanks to Cec Murphey’s generosity, scholarships are available.

I know finding the time to attend is difficult for many. But this year, everyone who registers will have access for two months to the videos of ALL 42 workshops, 8 continuing sessions (48 hours of teaching), 5 keynotes, and panels – at NO additional cost.

I urge you to register for either or both conferences. Registration for the August 26-28 Colorado conference opened yesterday, May 15. The price for the June 24-26 Philly conference increases June 2.

Unlike previous years, you can’t wait until the last minute to request appointments. This year, if you want to meet with an editor or agent, you need to request your appointments by June 1 for the Philly conference (August 1 for Colorado) and submit a one sheet and the first page of your manuscript by June 10 for Philly (August 10 for Colorado). For those wanting to meet with a periodical editor, you’ll find what they want you to submit with their bio on the conference websites. (The editorial needs have not yet been added to the Colorado site.)

New this year we are including pre-conference webinars and zoom meetings at NO additional cost to prepare you to make the most of your appointments.

Friends, NOW is time to “write His answer.” We cannot assume that the doors to publish and distribute Christian literature will always be open. As for the Internet, the freedom to share God’s truth is already being limited.

You may have heard me quote a friend who grew up in Switzerland before the start of World War 2. She said, “The church in Germany saw what was happening, but the church in Germany was silent.”

Father, please help us not to listen to the voice of fear. Give us courage to write, speak, and live Your answer. Show us how to “Make the most of [our] chances to tell others the Good News” — [how to] “be wise in all [our] contacts with them” (Colossians 4:5-6). And please help us always to demonstrate the love of Christ by our words and actions.

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Blessed Is He!


“Blessed is He
who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The crowd cheered and sang praises.
They waved palm branches
and threw their cloaks before Him.
But Jesus was solemn as He traveled that road –
that road to the cross.

As God incarnate He knew all that was to come.
He saw not just His own death on the cross,
but the persecution of His followers
and the destruction of Jerusalem.
He saw nation rising against nation –
the madness of yet-to-be-born rulers.
And Jesus wept.

He would be wounded and bruised for our sins,
chastised that we might have peace,
lashed that we might be healed;
yet few would accept His gift of life.
The darkness of evil would continue to reign,
but the light of His love
would not be extinguished.

Entrusted to us,
His light will grow brighter.
A cloud of witnesses are cheering us on,
to daily take up our own cross
and follow Him closely.
Blessed is He who is coming – again!

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Pray all the time

Jesus Prayed

For strength in the midst of the pressures of His ministry (Mark 1:32-35; Luke 5:15-16).

In times of decision (Luke 6:12-13).

With thankfulness (Mark 6:41).

In times of deep joy (Luke 10:21-22).

With faith (John 11:41-42).

In times of deep anguish (Mark 11:33-42).

For others (Luke 22:31-32; John 17:1-26).

The Early Christians Prayed

To strengthen and support one another in their confusion and uncertainty as to what lay ahead (Acts 1:12-15).

As part of the fellowship they shared with one another – their growth as Christians (Acts 2:42-47).

In the face of danger, praying with faith and expectation (Acts 4:23-31).

In times of decision (Acts 13:1-3).

In the face of persecution choosing to pray rather than worry (Acts 16:22-25).

For one another (Ephesians 3:13-21; Philippians 1:4).

Prayer in Our Lives Today

When

Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Why and for what

To praise God (Psalm 63:3).

For our needs (Ephesians 6:18).

For help in overcoming worries, for peace (Psalm 55:22; Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7).

For guidance and direction (James 1:5-8).

For help in daily tasks (Colossians 2:6; Psalm 37:5).

For freedom from guilt, forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

For others (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16; 1 Timothy 2:1).

For those in government (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

For our nation (2 Chronicles 7:14).

How

In assurance (1 John 5:14-15).

Expectantly (Matthew 7:7-8; James 1:5-8).

In faith (John 14:13-14; 15:7, 16).

Free from anger and resentment (1 Timothy 2:8).

Together (Matthew 18:20; Colossians 3:16; Psalm 34:3).

Persistently (Colossians 4:2; Luke 11:5-10).

In line with God’s will (Ephesians 6:18; 1 John 5:14-15).

With thankfulness (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 2:7 4:2).

Promises

And when you draw close to God,
God will draw close to you.

James 4:8 TLB

He is close to all who call on him sincerely.
Psalm 145:18 TLB

Compiled by Marlene Bagnull
First published in Pulpit Helps, August 1980
Reprinted in Advance, January 1981


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For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies,
but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world,
against mighty powers in this dark world,
and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 NLT

Yesterday was a day we must never forget. Watching a mob break into the Capitol and congresswomen cowering on the gallery floor was chilling and heartbreaking. Just as disturbing was the red “Jesus” flag.

Yes, many evangelical Christians, including me, voted Republican. But I did not vote so much for the man at the top of the ticket as for the platform. I voted to protect the lives of unborn babies, to preserve religious freedom, to support Israel . . .

I cannot fathom any true Christian would endorse what happened yesterday in our nation’s Capitol. That is NOT how Christians act – NOT how Americans act.

I do NOT believe the thugs who assaulted the Capitol were Christians. If any were, they were deceived and used by the “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world.”

Just as Nero blamed the Christians for burning Rome, I fear Christians will be blamed for what happened yesterday. I fear there will be more violence as the evil one stirs up more and more anger to divide us and destroy our nation.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ prayer before He went to the cross.

I pray that they will all be one . . .
so that the world will believe you sent me.
John 17:21 NLT

Father, please help us to ask, “What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say?” Give us the courage to live, speak, and write Your answer.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere.
James 3:17 TLB

Continue to love one another,
for love comes from God.
Anyone who loves is a child of God
and knows God.

1 John 4:7 NLT

Click here for “Biblical Guidelines for Addressing Controversial Issues.”

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Click here for a PDF if this is too small to read.

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Urgent prayer request

For twenty-three years the Colorado Christian Writers Conference has been so blessed to call the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, our home. Sadly the pandemic prevented us from being there this May, but we are already contracted for 2021 and 2022.

Because of the pandemic and now the wildfires that are dangerously close to both the Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch, they need our prayers and our financial support.

 Estes Park Center  |  Snow Mountain Ranch   
Photo Credit: Justin Smith, Larimer County Sheriff
WILDFIRE UPDATES

YMCA of the Rockies is experiencing extremely uncertain times as we navigate the threat of the East Troublesome wildfire to both of our properties – Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch. 

We safely evacuated all staff and guests from Estes Park Center property on Thursday, Oct. 22, after receiving mandatory orders from local authorities. Firefighters have accessed the campus and are actively creating fire lines and performing other protective measures to help hold the fire away from the property.

Snow Mountain Ranch remains under a pre-evacuation notice from local authorities. Snow Mountain Ranch is not open to guests but is hosting the fire teams bravely heading out to fight this fire, as well as our seasonal staff and staff who have been evacuated from their homes. 

Since the wildfires began we have housed and fed hundreds of firefighters so they can rest and return to their work protecting our facilities, homes and communities.

We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the love our donors, members, guests and friends have shown for YMCA of the Rockies. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We are closely monitoring the East Troublesome Fire and are grateful for snow and cooler temperatures today that will help slow the advance of the fire and give firefighters time to put in extra protections. We will share more updates when they become available. 

Get current fire information:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6964/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CameronPeakFire/

YOU CAN HELP
As we face these uncertain times and as many of our neighbors’ homes and livelihoods are threatened, YMCA of the Rockies is committed to help where we can and to protect the well-being of our staff. Below are the words of Estes Park Center chaplain, Greg Bunton.

“On October 14th my family was evacuated from our home in Glen Haven due to the Cameron Peak Fire.  We found refuge at the YMCA of the Rockies as the fire swept through our neighborhood.  We have experienced many anxious days and sleepless nights in Tonohutu cabin, all the while giving thanks for the gift of family and friends, and life itself.  

“On Thursday, October 22 we were once again evacuated, this time from the YMCA of the Rockies as the East Troublesome fire grew near.  We are currently with family in Wyoming.

“Yesterday, we knew the fire was very close to the Y, and the Cameron Peak Fire in Glen Haven had increased again.  Once again, I found myself worried and anxious.

“I’m leaning on scripture, knowing that no matter what happens, God will be with us, in and through the fire.

“Houses are made of brick and mortar, timber and nails.  Homes, however, are made of family and friends, laughter and tears, hugs and handshakes, and most of all love – it is in these homes that God meets us. Fire may damage our houses, but it can’t touch our homes!  That’s the promise of God with us!”
Rev. Greg Bunton
Chaplain, Estes Park Center YMCA of the Rockies


Closing our centers means losses of up to $10,000 a day. And housing evacuee families – we have hosted 76 families between Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch – costs about $1400 per family/per week.

Will you help us face these challenges with an emergency gift today?

Your generosity will sustain YMCA of the Rockies during a very difficult time.

Make your tax-deductible gift at
https:donate.ymacrockies.org/wildfire-support/.      

     
     
 Estes Park Center
2515 Tunnel Road
Estes Park, CO 80511  
Snow Mountain Ranch
1101 County Road 53
Granby, CO 80446
(888) 613-9622  
 
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YMCA of the Rockies puts Christian principles into practice through programs, staff and facilities in an environment that builds healthy spirit, mind and body for all.  We will accomplish this by serving conferences of a religious, educational, or recreational nature; providing unifying experiences for families; offering traditional summer camping experiences for boys and girls; and serving our staff with leadership opportunities and productive work experiences.  

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Overcoming

Overcoming my disappointment in needing to postpone this year’s Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference because of the pandemic has been difficult. I had such exciting plans for our 37th year of ministry.

In case you missed my Facebook posts this week, I’ve offered several MP3s from last year free of charge. You can download them at https://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/2019Mp3s. While there, I hope you’ll decide to purchase the entire conference at a savings of 37%. Individual workshops can also be downloaded at 37% off.

Debbie Maxwell Allen taught a Thursday afternoon early bird workshop (T1) on Practical Productivity. She says, “If the lure of laundry, the fear of the blank page, or the siren song of social media stops you from writing, learn ten ways to write more, write better, and quash your inner editor.”

Last year Michael Gantt gave the opening keynote. Cry Mercy is a powerful message as is his book with the same title. It is also available for you to listen to free of charge. I encourage you to visit his website at https://mkgantt.com. Michael is speaking and writing His answer.

Last year Peter Lundell keynoted Saturday morning on Your Voice in a Hostile Climate. His message is needed even more today. Peter said, “In a society that is increasingly deceived and divided, our calling is to write in the opposite spirit. What does this mean, and how do we effectively and consistently do it?”

The need to overcome disappointments and problems big and small isn’t new to the pandemic. Below is a column I wrote for the October 1982 Christian Writer.

~*~*~*~

As I write [wrote] this month’s column, I’m waiting for the ophthalmologist to call. My little boy has an infection around his eye that’s already depleted half our savings for vacation. My two older children are less than sympathetic. It’s a blistering July day and they want to go swimming. I have a bad cold and sinus headache. My husband’s overtime has been cut. My best friend is angry with me.

The list could go on and on. I’m grateful that none of these current problems is serious. I’ve also experienced more threatening problems in various forms – health, financial, family, inter-personal. I am learning, however, that God is faithful and that He does work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).

I believe one of the ways God works problems for good is His enabling me to write about them so others may be helped and encouraged. This process begins by my writing my way through the problem. I do this in the form of a prayer diary. When I’m anxious or upset, its often difficult for me to pray. My thoughts keep wandering. I’ve discovered I can pray more effectively on paper. I also find that my prayer diary is invaluable later when I’m ready to write for publication and need to get back in touch with my feelings.

The readiness factor is important when it comes to writing personal experience pieces for publication. Writing through problems may be personally helpful as therapy, but rarely does it produce a salable manuscript. It’s only as I stand back and allow God to work in my life that I have the insights needed to make my experience helpful others. It is imperative that I remember I’m writing for them – not for myself. Their needs must be kept uppermost in my mind.

A ministry of writing from personal experience is not easy. I can’t go to the library one day and write my article or story the next. Instead I must stay close to God and look for the truths He reveals through both the minor irritations and serious problems of day-to-day living. Often they are discovered only in retrosect. Regardless, I must face life with the question, “How can I be an overcomer?”

Choosing to be an overcomer means I cannot ignore or suppress my feelings. I can’t tell myself or others that I’m fine when I really don’t feel fine. I must face my feeings and the probems that bring them about.

Being an overcoming also means I can’t become so introspective that I constantly dwell on my problems. If I do, I’m apt to convince myself I can’t cope. Sadly, those thoughts tend to become reality.

Instead, being an overcomer means recognizing, working through, and rising above my problems. It sounds good, but how do I do it? I don’t claim to have “arrived,” but I have found the following to be helpful.

Keep a balanced perspective.
The best way to do this is to heed the biblical principle that says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8 TLB). It takes self-discipline to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, which is the first step toward helping yourself and others get a handle on problems. Life is never all black. You can always find something to be thankful for, even if it’s just remembering that someone else’s problems are worse than your own.

Turn your eyes on Jesus.
If you’ll look to His cross and see the victory He won there for you, you’ll know that nothing need defeat you.

Tell the Lord your honest feelings and share your needs with Him.
It is only as I am completely honest before the Lord that I am able to find and share His answers.

Look for the good things God can teach you through the problem you’re enduring.
This is a crucial point for us as writers. We must learn to be constantly asking the question, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?” The lessons learned in life’s crucible produce the most powerful writing.

Be still.
We’re often like little children, angry and frustrated because we can’t make something work, but unwilling to be quiet for even a minute to listen to our Father’s instructions. God doesn’t hit us over the head with His promises, any more than we should preach at our readers. God waits for us to be still and listen. We capture our reader’s attention by the credibility and sensitivity of our words.

Choose to use problems as opportunities to experience and display God’s power.
“Why does God comfort and strengthen us in our hardships and trials?” the apostle Paul asked. It is “so that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1: 4 TLB).

Develop an expectant, faith-filled attitude
as you learn to wait on God and praise Him before as well as after He answers. One of the best personal experience stories I’ve written was open-ended (although I don’t recommend this approach). It was about a serious financial crisis we were still in. It concluded with the words, “There is something about the inner peace – even joy – that I’m experiencing that is worth it all.”

Today, tomorrow, next week – life is going to confront us with problems, but we can learn to be overcomers. Like the apostle Paul, we can write living letters that will show, from our personal experience, the difference Jesus Christ makes.

~*~*~*~

I encourage you to ask Father is there is a personal experience He wants you to write about. My latest book (see below) is available through the end of July at 37% off because this would have been the 37th year of ministry for GPCWC. Click here to order an autographed copy from me or order from Amazon.com.

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There are a few things wrong with the above photo.

  1. I do NOT like to run.
  2. My arthritic knees would send me sprawling on my face if I even tried to run.
  3. I am not and never have been this thin.
  4. There are many who run [write] faster than I do.

But . . .

In 1983 Father called me to launch the Greater Philly Christian Writers Fellowship and direct our first event. Back then it was a one-day seminar with one speaker. Never did I imagine it would grow to be a 3.5 day conference with a faculty each year of over 50 authors, editors, agents, and other professionals.

And never did I imagine it and the Colorado Christian Writers Conference that I began directing in 1997 would both have to be postponed this year because of a pandemic.

Oh yes, I stressed over the time pressures in getting ready each spring and summer. And yes, I felt like I was constantly running (racing) from one task to the next with hardly enough time to catch my breath.

But each year when I stood to welcome everyone in the opening session, you would have seen me jumping for joy (if my knees allowed) and praising God for enabling me to persevere. Despite the huge obstacles I encountered with each conference, Father brought His scribes from the east and the west, the north and the south.

This spring and summer have felt so strange with no conference deadlines pressing in on me. Yes, I think I’ve finally caught my breath although I have kept busy. For the first time in many years I have vegetables growing in my garden although I’ve been fighting with the bunnies to not eat everything I’ve planted. The deer have been chomping on my lilies, and the squirrels have dug up almost all the bulbs I planted.

I’ve also kept busy editing over six books for others since the pandemic and finally (drum roll please) I have uploaded my latest book to kdp.amazon. I had hoped to have it ready the beginning of July but glitches with both Word and Quark slowed the process and tested my determination to persevere.

Who would have thought that adding one space after the title on Amazon’s book detail page would create the need for two phone calls to Amazon’s support (PTL they answer right away) and one to the ISBN folks at Bowker? Quark has again been quarky with menus disappearing, and I haven’t a clue why it created a first line indent that I didn’t request and couldn’t delete. Ah, yes, Father, another lesson in perseverance – and patience!

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:2-3 (MSG)

With the disappointment I’ve been feeling over missing the joy-filled fellowship on the mountain at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May and knowing I won’t be seeing dear friends at the Philly conference that was scheduled for next week, I’ve wanted to do something special to encourage you to keep persevering as you strive to “write His answer.” (Oops – long sentence. Would anyone like to diagram it?)

So . . . two surprise gifts!

Liz Curtis Higgs was scheduled to keynote at this year’s Philly conference. She graciously recorded a short video to encourage you, and she is planning to be with us next year. Click here to view her message. Thank You, Father, for how Liz has persevered in serving You through the ministry of writing and speaking.

Second, the book I just uploaded to kdp.amazon, How to Write His Answer – Testimonies and Personal Experience Stories, I wrote for you. This 78 page book along with its links to FOUR audio workshops (237 minutes of instruction) will inspire you and give you practical tools to write stories that Father will use in Ephesians 3:20 ways. As Lee Roddy prayed for me and the class he taught at the St. David’s Christian Writers Conference over 35 years ago, “Heaven will be different because of the words you write.”

Here’s just one of the nine endorsements it has received:

Few have the experience of Marlene Bagnull to teach writers and to give writers the tools they need to Write His Answer and to do it so well. These are practical items even experienced writers need reminding of, such as: have a clear focus, stay close to the Lord, search for truth, reflect (and journal) on your life experiences, stay humble, know your audiences—all of this to remind us that we, as believers in the Lord Jesus, are called to write His answer to those with so many questions. Written conversationally, this book invites you to take part in the work with a ready pen.

Eva Marie Everson
Bestselling & multiple award-winning author & speaker
President, Word Weavers International

With the conferences not happening this year, we’re facing financial challenges, so I’m sorry I can’t give you How to Write His Answer. But because this would have been the 37th Philly conference, for the month of July I’m reducing the $20.99 regular price by 37%. That makes the cost for the book plus the links to four audio workshops only $13.22. If you’re math challenged as I am, that’s a savings of $7.77. Wow! I hadn’t pre-calculated that, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Four 7’s – the number of days the Bible tells us God spent creating our world. While I can’t guarantee you’ll write your story or testimony in seven days, I fully expect Father will multiply many times over the number of people whose lives will be touched if you’ll persevere and get it in print. Click here to order an autographed copy from me or order from Amazon.com. Hopefully the reduced price will be available on Amazon tomorrow.

Father, thank You for the number of years You have blessed me with directing CCWC and GPCWC. Thank You for all the lives that have been changed by the words that have been written and published as a result of these 59 conferences. Help us not to miss the lessons You are seeking to teach us through these difficult days or fail to share them. By Your Spirit help us to deepen our commitment to “write Your answer” and to persevere.

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Psalms for Moms

The “new normal” has given me time to compile this volume of psalms that were published thirty to forty years ago. It should be available on Amazon in several days. Father, please use them to encourage many moms during the challenging days of this pandemic.

A Mother’s Day Psalm

Lord, You know how much I love my children

and how I long for my words and actions

to show it, especially when

I do not like what they are doing.

Give me joy in the everyday tasks

that are an essential part of mothering.

Help me to have Your peace

when the direction my children seem

to be heading in causes me anxiety and grief.

Teach me patience

when they don’t pick up their dirty socks,

and when they track mud all over

my clean floors.

Help me to be kind when I need to discipline them

for being naughty,

or I need to stand my ground on a heated issue.

Fill me with Your goodness

that I might be a worthy example for them to follow.

Enable me to be faithful to You

and to them by properly ordering my priorities.

Sensitize me to be gentle

when they are hurting and they come to me

for comfort and reassurance.

And finally, Lord, help me to be self-controlled—

to never, in a moment of frustration or anger,

do or say anything

that would cause my children to doubt

my deep love for them.

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Today we remember how Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the crowds cheered, “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Yet less than a week later they shouted “Crucify him!”

Jesus entering Jerusalem

None of this caught Jesus by surprise. Indeed, we’re told in Hebrews 12:2 (TLB) that “He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards.”

Have you stopped to consider that you are the reason for His joy?

Years ago my pastor’s wife told me that if I was the only person on this earth, Jesus still would have come and died just for me.

We know that He is coming again but that He tarries because He does not want even one to be lost. And so He is calling you, He is calling me, to share His love with those who do not yet know He loved them enough to go to the cross.

blessed

“Blessed is He
who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The crowd cheered and sang praises.
They waved palm branches
and threw their cloaks before Him.
But Jesus was solemn as He traveled that road –
that road to the cross.

As God incarnate He knew all that was to come.
He saw not just His own death on the cross,
but the persecution of His followers
and the destruction of Jerusalem.
He saw nation rising against nation –
the madness of yet-to-be-born rulers.
And Jesus wept.

He would be wounded and bruised for our sins,
chastised that we might have peace,
lashed that we might be healed;
yet few would accept His gift of life.
The darkness of evil would continue to reign,
but the light of His love
would not be extinguished.

Entrusted to us,
His light will grow brighter.
A cloud of witnesses are cheering us on,
to daily take up our own cross
and follow Him closely.
Blessed is He who is coming – again!

Marlene Bagnull

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