Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Christian Prison

Near the city of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, is a remarkable facility. Twenty years ago the Brazilian government turned a prison over to two Christians. The institution was renamed Humaita, and the plan was to run it on Christian principles. With the exception of two full-time staff, all the work is done by inmates. Families outside the prison adopt an inmate to work with during and after his term. Chuck Colson visited the prison and made this report:
'When I visited Humaita I found the inmates smiling- particularly the murderer who held the keys, opened the gates and let me in. Wherever I walked I saw men at peace. I saw clean living areas, people working industriously. The walls were decorated with Biblical sayings from Psalms and Proverbs...My guide escorted me to the notorious prison cell once used for torture. Today, he told me, that block houses only a single inmate. As we reached the end of a long concrete corridor and he put the key in the lock, he paused and asked, "Are you sure you want to go in?"
"Of course," I replied impatiently, "I've been in isolation cells all over the world." Slowly he swung open the massive door, and I saw the prisoner in that punishment cell: a crucifix, beautifully carved by the Humaita inmates-the prisoner Jesus, hanging on a cross.
"He's doing time for the rest of us," my guide said softly.'"
--Max Lucado

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Story of an Easter Bunny.

Written by Rusty Wright 

You've probably seen Santa Claus; but have you ever seen the Easter Bunny?
As a small child, I enjoyed visiting Santa at a local department store at Christmastime. My parents would take me downtown to the jolly bearded man in the red suit. I felt comfortable climbing into his lap, telling him my wish list and receiving a gift along with his encouraging words. He was friendly, predictable and safe.
Imagine my excitement when one Spring I learned that the Easter Bunny would be at the same department store. Neither my family nor I had ever seen the Easter Bunny. I had seen white rabbits. Those cute, cuddly little bunnies seemed so warm and innocent. I looked forward for some time to seeing the real Easter Bunny.
Finally, the big day came. My father took me to the store that afternoon. When we reached the Bunny's floor, I was shocked. Before me was a human-sized hare with big eyes and large, floppy ears. The creature walked on two legs like a human. He talked.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Friday for me

The Crucifixion : Jesus' Crucifixion From a Medical Point of View

Richard Krejcir

With the popular movie "The Passion" [of several years ago now] ... many people [wondered] ... what really happened to Jesus in those last 12 hours. Perhaps you are wondering too. When I was in college, more than a few years ago, I was a pre-med student studying biochemistry. This was around 1982 when I was also a fairly new youth pastor and about to give one of my first sermons. Being also a Christian in a secular university, I was inundated with callous remarks and pondering questions about my faith. I sought for a different direction in the typical Lent teaching (I was in an high Liturgical Episcopal church at this time), aspiring to teach my youth what had happened to Jesus, physically, while He was on the cross. And, because I was studying anatomy and physiology, I was also curious about what had happened to Jesus.
After doing a lot of research, I found little or no information on this subject. So, I decided to "kill two (or three) birds with one stone," so to speak. I wrote a paper for a physiology class, prepared a few Sunday school lessons for Lent, and prepared a great sermon, or so I thought. I interviewed several physiologists (people who have a Ph. D., do medical research, and/or teach in a medical school about how the body works. They are far more educated in biomechanics than most medical doctors are). I also sought advice from many anatomy books and took a step-by-step approach on what happened, following the account in the book of Luke.
After several weeks of high-speed and intense research, the paper was an A, the sermon went off as my first bomb (Too gory for the old folks; I was not asked to preach until several months later), and the youth really got into it.