welcome to the hike!

Working out the call!

I currently living in Millersburg or as God whispered in me ear four years ago in PA, "the land of my Fathers!" MILLERS - burg! OK! The best way to describe my life of late, is simply "Pastor-at-Large" I live "outside the box" of our usual expectation of life, family, employment and even culture. I live, breathe, and weave around a four county area as a local missionary and have learned of so many supportive faith communities. I meet people who contact me where they are in their 'hike 'o life."

The hats I wear are that of Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Retreat Facilitator, Pastoral Supply, Prayer Counselor and well, whatever God calls on me to do (I actually get paid to do all of these things, which is awesome, unless you are helping me with my books!) I also work to "tent-make my mission work" as a church secretary for a sweet fellowship pastored by one of my favorite seminary prof's.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Stay tuned! The goals are big and staying solvent month by month is a huge victory, but as I see my own heart and others hearts change and grow in my daily walk, I realize, I am not working for treasures on earth....I have direct deposit above. Guess that's a pretty sweet ride! Lacing up my hiking boots...on the hike o' life!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let HOPE rise!

 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

Romans 12:12 
That's all I am going to say today!
We all have trials.
But if we follow Romans 12:12 in the order listed...
We will be A-OK!
Have a great day!
just darcy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lighting the First Candle - LONGING IN HOPE

 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness -- on them light has shined." Isaiah 9:2

What a rainy and dreary day here in Ohio as we light the first candle of advent preparation. 
In Zion's morning message we talked about the preparations the world would have us do for Christmas; spending money to buy whatever they tell us we need, putting up lights and decorations over every inch of living space and preparing every recipe that will create an festive apprearance.  All these things can BE OK, but only if we have done the preparations of the heart and can shop, decorate and cook out of the abundance of our joy.
The first preparation is to cut away the layers of add ons to get to the heart of the matter, our hearts to be exact.  I love this C.S. Lewis quote that I have paraphrased,
"Most people if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they DO WANT, and WANT ACUTELY, something that CANNOT BE HAD IN THIS WORLD.  There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give this to you, BUT NO THING OF THIS WORLD can really give you what you long for in your heart" 
The people of Israel, of whom the Old Testament prophets wrote, longed for deliverance from their strife, they hoped to see Messiah.  In our day and age, we realize Messiah came and established His Kingdom.  We now long for the day when He returns as righteousness to correct all the wrongs of the earthly kingdoms and bring eternity and community to end our exile in a world of sin.
So in the darkness, we long for light.  In our isolation, we hope for community.  I will keep walking in this theme this week.  But I encourage you in your own quiet times - To ask God to show you where HE is at in your darkness and CLING to HIM as He walks with you through the dark time, back into the light, LONGING IN HOPE FOR MORE OF HIM.

 "Restore us, O LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved"
Psalm 80:19

A Prayer: Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus, grant that the light of Your love for us will deepen our HOPE and help us to become Your true light in the lives of those around us. Prepare our hearts for the joy and gladness of your coming, for Jesus is our Hope of our longing. Amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hiking to Bethlehem on the hike o' life


Many of you who are reading this followed my lenten daily blog last spring.  I had been toying with the idea of jumping in again at during the Advent season since there are so many wonderful topics to blog about and affirmation to do this came from my young friend Makenna as she excitedly shared with me what she was giving up for Advent the other evening.  As you read this, you might think, you don't give things up for Advent - that's Lent!   But actually she had it right.  Advent really is supposed to be more like Lent! 

If you are reading this, don't panic, but just come along with me for this hike  The early church orginally intended for Advent to be a time of spiritual preparation, of digging deep within your heart to see how you need to be ready for the birth (INCARNATION - a theological term to unpack on a different day!) of God who came to earth in living form for the purpose of OUR salvation.  (Lent is designed to prepare new believer's to join the church and to also remind us of Christ's preparations for His earthly ministry.)

Just ponder John 1:14 in the Message translation:

The Word became flesh and blood,
      and moved into the neighborhood.
   We saw the glory with our own eyes,
      the one-of-a-kind glory,
      like Father, like Son,
   Generous inside and out,
      true from start to finish.
So while we all nicely say we are "getting ready" for Christmas as we put up decorations, purchase gifts, send cards and bake cookies; we really are just piling all those things on the top or our hearts which, really, I can say this about my own heart, NEED A THOROUGH CLEANING OUT DURING THIS TIME OF YEAR! 

 I am NOT GOING TO FAST for ADVENT THOUGH, and I hope my friend Makenna and each of you don't either.  What I am going to do is spend time with God - before the outward preparations (which I also enjoy - IN MODERATION!) - to prepare my heart, my mind and my spirit for more of what God reveals and keeps revealing until He comes again.  Will you join me during this next month on this journey? 

As I begin this journey, as I did the Lenten one, I am not sure where it will lead.  I am  simply being obedient to begin the path.  I invite you to join me and seek God's call in your own life to make thing ready for His Coming ANEW deep within our being.

(I also begin a new journey in my ministry calling as I write this.  Tomorrow I will deliver the first message in a season of interim ministry at Zion United Church of Christ in Ragersville.  I seek your prayers for these messages and this congregation as we walk together to Bethlehem this year.)


Lord - Even as we linger at the abundant table from our thanksgiving feast, we pray that we begin to prepare and examine our lives, still giving thanks for everything we encounter, but allowing You to make us ready for the Coming of Your Son.  We remember the infant born in Bethlehem and the Bridegroom of your church who will come again just as You have said to begin our eternity with you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


not sure if this is real stained glass window or a computer generation, but isn't it cool!

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

I Corinthians 15:10a (NIV)

I just looked and this is my 50th blog posting since March 6th!  I only missed one day on this journey, I can't believe how quickly it went. 

But this is going to be the last posting for a bit!

I know that I am "called" to write and inspire as God leads me to.  I have many ideas brewing around.

Some have told me that I am ending this season of intense Lenten discipline a better writer.  I would like to think so, but I feel I still need to HARNESS my rambling thoughts and EDIT my writing a bit more.  But I do feel very positive about this experience.

What has your Lenten Journey shown you? 

What struggles have you encountered/overcome/fallen on?

Limiting the TV seemed hard to me at the time, but now that it's done, I don't miss it and don't really want to go back to it.

Please let me know your insights- you certainly have had to deal with mine!

Today, as briefly as possible I want to give you a quick update and seek your prayers over this season of transition in my life.

I still don't have a full time ministry job.  I am still actually waiting to hear the status of a situation that began well before the Lenten journey.  Not sure what that means, but it is what it is!

In the last two weeks - I have been led to two incredible opportunities to do ministry.

At a local funeral home, I will be available for those who do not have a church, but ask for a pastor for services/counseling.  It's a bit of  "pin" money, but more importantly a chance to share God's love and the light of His Gospel at a time when families need it most. 

Also I am increasing my volunteer involvement with the Circle of Friends ministry in organizing prayer support teams and prayer coverage as this incredible ministry keeps growing and connecting women with a "Place to Belong".  We are seeking those who love this ministry with a heart to pray over the events and leaders so contact me if you are stirred to do so.

My life verse that is cited above, keeps reminding me that this is not my trip, but God's!

He offered me salvation,

He called me to ministry and

He gets all the credit and in EVERY WAY provides for me. 

I want to be worried or ask for more (and I DO!?) but somehow it all works out.  (I am having one of those, I can't believe the provision of funds - just in the nick of time - again - moments!  THANK YOU LORD and those who hear HIM oh so clearly.)

Anyway - While I heard God clearly calling me to press into the writing and serving on this blog until Easter, I now sense it is time for intense pressing in prayer, listening and seeking increased counsel on the next step of call.

I am writing all of this to ask you to please crank up your prayers for me as you are led.

I am seriously considering a secular full time job, because as I go back to the LAST SURE THING I HEARD FROM GOD ON THIS

 - It was simply "return to the land of your fathers'".

There was no promise that it was a ministry job!  I have been led to place my name in certain ministry situations, but nothing has come of it.  I am also wondering if perhaps I am supposed to be a "local missionary" and work via a para church organization?  Many questions, but no answers yet.  Perhaps it is not yet God's timing, but I want to be poised and ready for what does happen next.

So I know I am to be fairly local to be with parents and my sister's family and be involved locally with the many ministry opportunities that keep coming before me.  It has been incredible to walk with my family through 3 surgeries (2 were my dad's, just one for Marcia {her most recent update is here http://www.carepages.com/carepages/Marciajourney/updates/3001823?client_code=default&ipc=mur}), some chemotherapy, a retirement party, musical concerts, and more football and baseball games that I can count.  I know that I was supposed to be stationed in the guest room of the folks house for a spell and my body is strong and ready to roll after the crazy year that was 2010 for me (if you didn't get my Christmas year in review it is here http://darcymiller-preachergirl.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html!  It has been an good season of healing and renewing our relationships,  BUT?

I truly enjoy much about my part-time job at Heini's Gourmet Market and know that God led me there last July as I look back and see some of the incredible things that have happened as I have worked there.  The people I have met are incredible and I have learned so much about the incredible products, foods as well as wines that come from small Ohio family companies, BUT?

So anyway - Mondays, beginning tomorrow/today are going to be a day of my pressing in, before and after work, and journaling and listening - for now until Pentecost in fifty short days. 

BUT - before I close - I know you have questions about your own life as well...


Let's establish those things that we already know the answers to....



if you don't we do need to talk  - call me!

I am taking a full week off the blog and hope to reformat some things as God guides. 

Praying for you  and just asking that you would pray for me too!




on the hike O' life!


How blessed is this day, when earth and heaven are joined and humankind is reconciled to God!
May the light of Jesus shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find his light ever burning in our hearts—he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
-- adapted from the Book of Common Prayer -1979, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.


A Prayer for Easter Morning
0 Lord Jesus Christ, who upon this day did conquer death and rise from the dead,
and who are alive for ever more, help us never to forget your Risen Presence forever with us.
Help us to remember,
That you are with us in every time of perplexity to guide and to direct;
That you are with us in every time of sorrow to comfort and console;
That you are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire;
That you are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend;
That you are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of your side.
Make us to be certain that there is nothing in time or in eternity which can separate us from you,so that in your presence we may meet life with gallantry and death without fear.
You turn our darkness into light, in your light we shall see light.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Christ the Lord is risen today!
-- Adapted from ThisIsChurch.com

Saturday, April 23, 2011


           So teach us to number our days,       
                That we may present to You
                    a heart of wisdom. 
                                                              Psalm 90:12

About two weeks ago, I posted a question on Face Book, in this blog and and to various friends as I was planning to study very closely what Jesus did in the last seven days of His ministry time as a man from Galilee.

I was and am still amazed at all that happened for Jesus in JUST 7 DAYS (and that is not even getting to the last supper, time in the garden to the cross, to the grave and overcoming death) all the teaching and people Jesus connected with before those events.

So the questions I posed was this:

If you discovered today,
 that you would only have 7 days days left on earth and could intentionally DO ANYTHING to fill those days that you chose, what would your top three priorities be?


I love the dog's caption, "the time is there, it is how you use it that counts!"

No one wanted to answer right away.

This is obviously something we all need to think about.

But then the answers starting flowing

and flowing.

Some folks wrote me several hundred words on what their week would look like!

In the end over 30 people responded.

of course this is not scientific at all.

But I feel that it is helpful to each person who responded.

So for those of us who want to want to know....

here goes!

Of the thirty respondents

ALL SAID that they spend much time with family and those they loved!  I particularly liked the folks that said they would go to their special places and invite all to come ( an mountain cabin for one, a house on the beach for another.)


Many mentioned working things that I would label legacy, writing letters, making videos to share love and prayers with those who will remain.

(JESUS DID THIS AS HE SPOKE AND SHARED and what did he say at the last supper - Luke 22:19 "this do in remembrance of me")

Only one person actually said what I feel is the most important thing here
 - and yes this did occur to me as well.
 To spent some deep heart to heart time with GOD
and see if there are any forgiveness, confessions or affirmations that GOD wants us to tackle before we move on the be with HIM always.


A couple of people put things on the list that actually amused me.  

Travels to places they had not yet been,

 one responded they would try skydiving!
  (Now actually this probably makes sense - if you wait til the 7th day to do this and it doesn't go well, no worries, right?)

 One, who I respect as such a great dad, commented that he would bake pies with his kids each night to make those incredible memories together.  

Another friend who loves the outdoors and horses would go riding to just appreciate all that is here and now as she anticipates what is to come.

Anyway - you can see that there are lot of ways to number our days!

Why did I do this?

I think that we need to do more than MARK OUR TIME.  Earth is not a giant waiting area as we hope for heaven.

We are on a journey of FAITH, and we need to be intentional about the things we are doing on this journey.

I pray that we all can follow the inspiration of JESUS
and we can






I agree with the many commentators that state the Psalm above show us GOD has numbered our days

A) because He is God and He knows all things


B) because by numbering our days, they become important

and perhaps most importantly

C) the more we die to ourselves and face our own mortality in the flesh (SEE the APOSTLE PAUL)
the more we can truly and freely live in our spirits of a CHILD OF GOD!



some days are big deals

other days are quiet and simple

But all can be lived for GOD!

So that's it!


None of us know when our last seven days on earth will be, so it might be wise to tackle some of these tasks and have them in the ready.

Tell those you love, how you love them.

If there are fences to mend, do your part to mend them, and then you can have peace, even if the other party doesn't receive it.

If you have a "bucket list" (things you would like to do before you kick that old bucket"
Make plans to DO IT!  If you don't have a bucket list - make one!  and then DO IT!

Write those letters and have them in a place that they will bless if they would come to be found.

And now - for _____________. 

What have you seen happening in your connection with them as you have prayed and reached out to them?

What changes are you feeling in your heart as you have adopted them for this Lenten Journey?

Do you feel called to keep praying for them after Easter?

I will have a testimony to share about my ___________next week.

I can't believe all that God has done, I had no idea why __________ was the one God put on my heart, but looking back at the events that have transpired.  GOD HAD A PLAN!

I would be eager to hear if others have stories about _______________ as well.

But that is quite enough for today!

Let's PRAY!

Lord it still is so hard to look at death - in our Christian walk we are picturing that Garden tomb.  It may be new, it may be in a pleasing place, but it is still a tomb.  We thank you for that work of CHRIST CARRYING OUR SINS, GOING TO THE DEPTHS AND CONQUERING DEATH. 

Fill our hearts with anticipation for the early morning discovery - of the EMPTY TOMB and the knowing that OUR REDEEMER LIVES.   LORD GUIDE us and bless ___________ on this day - an "numbered" day that YOU have given us to love and care for each other, AMEN!


Friday, April 22, 2011

What happened after the cross - and why Joe from Arimathea is my HERO

Not my own writing today - but a great piece from the website truthortradition, credit at the end.

Now I know why God had me resting Mon night and Tuesday - a crazy GOOD day of Holy Spirit led ministering today.  WHEW! And a funeral this am followed by gourmet shop fun and busyness leading up to my Easter celebrations.

So I will let you read this great article that pieces together all four gospels and some of the prophecies that have to do with the Garden Tomb and the STONG FAITH AND OBEDIENCE OF one JOSEPH FROM ARIMATHEA!  read on....

Matthew 27:57-61
(57) As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
(58) Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
(59) Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
(60) and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
(61) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
Jesus died at what would be 3 p.m. our time, and the Passover (a special Sabbath [John 19:31], not the weekly Sabbath would begin at sunset. Joseph knew that he had to act quickly, and John 19:38 tells us that he went to Pilate “secretly for fear of the Jews.” Given what Scripture says about Joseph, this does not mean that he was a fearful man. Rather, it is saying that he was prudent.

Luke 23:50 and 51 says that Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Judaism, and that he had not voted for the execution of Jesus. Perhaps he was the lone dissenter. In any case, the council must have known of his allegiance to Jesus, and, given their propensity for evil, he knew that they would stop at nothing to eradicate the memory of this man who had so threatened their evil empire. Therefore, Joseph acted wisely, and went to Pilate without their knowledge. He also knew that Jesus was a public figure over which there was much dispute, and since there was little time to get Jesus into the grave before sunset, he did not want there to be a public debate over what to do with the body.

In Matthew 27:58, the word “asked” means to boldly implore (the KJV reads “begged”). Joseph’s going to Pilate and persuading him to give him Jesus’ body was no small feat. As a Jew, entering the court of a Gentile like Pilate would have made Joseph ceremonially unclean to eat the Passover the next day, and touching the dead body of Jesus would compound his uncleanness. What a testimony to how much Joseph loved Jesus and how focused he was on seeing the truth of God’s Word come to pass, even at the expense of his being able to celebrate the most sacred of Jewish holidays. Perhaps Joseph recognized that Jesus was the true Passover LAMB that year.

Jerusalem was about 25 miles from Joseph’s hometown of Arimathea, so why would he have had a tomb cut out of the rock there, and why was it so close to Golgotha?

Isaiah 53:9a (NIV)
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death...

Once again, we assert it was because Joseph believed that Jesus was the Messiah, knew that he must be buried “with the rich,” and fully expected him to rise from the dead after 72 hours.

As we will see, it was this act of faith that made possible the witness of the empty tomb in a prominent place where everyone would know about it. Criminals and the indigent were not given much of a burial, if any, and usually in a place provided by society or government for that purpose, because such burial grounds were unclean.

Had Jesus been buried “with the wicked” in an obscure place, no witness that he had actually been raised from the dead would have been possible then or throughout history.

Properly understood, Matthew 27:59 confirms the fact that Joseph did not expect Jesus to be in the grave permanently. It says that he took Jesus’ body and “wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.” The Greek word for “wrapped” means that Joseph “rolled up” the body, and the word for “cloth” is sindon (like a sheet), a different word than that used of the traditional burial wrappings that were strips of cloth wound around the body after it had been covered with ointments and spices.

It is significant that verse 61 says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there watching what Joseph did. They saw that Joseph did not bury Jesus according to custom.

John 19:31 specifically says that the day after Jesus’ crucifixion was “a special Sabbath,” that is, not the weekly Jewish Sabbath, which fell on what we call Saturday. Putting together Scripture with the calendars available today, we see that in the year Jesus died, the Passover was on a Thursday. Jesus died at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and rose from the dead on Saturday between 3 p.m. and sunset. This had to be because according to the Jewish reckoning of time, the next day, the fourth day, started at sunset, and Scripture said he would rise “the third day.” Thus, when the women returned to the tomb before sunrise on Sunday, he was not there —“He is risen!” (Note that the angel did not say to them, “You just missed him!”).

A study of all the verses related to this subject shows that the women saw that Joseph did not embalm Jesus (on Wednesday), so they went home to prepare the proper spices to do so, which they could not do on Thursday (the High Sabbath) or Saturday (the weekly Sabbath). They believed that Jesus should have a proper burial, but the Sanhedrin had made sure that the tomb was sealed and guarded for three days (Matt. 27:63-66). That meant that the earliest they could get into the tomb was Sunday morning. As would be expected given their close relationships with Jesus, they were there as early as possible.

Late Wednesday afternoon (the day of preparation for the Passover), when Joseph and the women had left the tomb, Nicodemus entered the picture, and what he did is recorded only in the gospel of John.

In John 19:38 and 39, the NIV blurs the fact that Nicodemus (the same man in John 3 and 7) came to the grave later—after Joseph had left. As a man of means, he would have had plenty of help to do what verse 40 says “they” did—“wound the body in linen clothes with spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury” (KJV).

The Greek word for “clothes” is othonion, which means “grave wrappings or bandages.” Therefore, “they” could not be Joseph and Nicodemus, because we already know that Joseph simply wrapped the body in a sheet (sindon). It is also noteworthy that the women saw Joseph but not Nicodemus. The women watched Joseph, saw that he had not given Jesus a “proper burial” and went off to buy the spices to do it themselves. Then, after Joseph and the women had gone, Nicodemus and his helpers came (you would want helpers if you were carrying 75 pounds of spices and a bunch of cloth) and they gave Jesus a more formal burial, but one that did not anticipate his resurrection.

What Nicodemus did is why, when Peter and another disciple ran to the tomb, they saw the othonion (John 20:5), the mummy-like linen grave wrappings that had been around Jesus but were then empty. Nicodemus also loved Jesus very much, and in order to honor him with a proper burial he was willing to make himself unclean for the Passover by touching Jesus’ dead body, but he apparently did not believe Jesus would rise from the dead, as evidenced by his embalming his body. Although Joseph did not anoint Jesus’ body according to custom, it was he who most honored him by believing his words that he would rise from the dead.

Let us summarize the sequence of events. On Wednesday afternoon, as soon as Jesus was dead, Joseph went quickly to Pilate, persuaded him to give him the body, took it to the nearby tomb he had had cut in a rock, wrapped it in a sheet and rolled the stone in front of the opening. The women, who dearly loved Jesus, saw what he did and went home to prepare the spices for a proper burial. Shortly after they left, Nicodemus came and prepared the body according to the Jewish burial custom. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday passed, and early Sunday the women returned to the tomb, only to find the empty tomb—Jesus had risen from the dead.

The heroism of Joseph of Arimathea in the burial of Jesus stands out vividly in His-story. Quite a number of other people did come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, but when Jesus died they were caught off guard and confused. Since childhood, their Jewish culture had taught them that the Messiah would live forever (John 12:34). They expected him to get an army together, conquer their Roman oppressors, oust the Pharisees and Sadducees, and rule the world. When Jesus died on the cross, they did not know what to do, and many were scattered. In contrast, Joseph believed that Jesus would rise from the dead, and as we have seen, acted accordingly, burying him “with the rich.”

Suppose that Joseph of Arimathea had not stepped up and followed God’s leading based upon the prophecies in His Word? Suppose that Jesus’ body had been buried in the ground in an obscure and unclean area? Would that have stopped God from raising him from the dead? Absolutely not.

But it would have negated the reverberating witness of the empty tomb!!!

And that is why Joseph of Arimathea is a true hero.

One man, a man with strengths and weaknesses like all men, a man whose heart was no doubt pounding like a piston as he approached Pilate’s palace, but a man who kept going because he loved Jesus and believed that he was who he said he was. One man who was prepared for both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. One man who stayed when even the disciples closest to Jesus had fled.

One man who believed the Word of God, having no idea of the centuries-long ramifications of his obedience.

Joseph was the only Joseph God had. What about you? You are the only you God has.

You too can believe the written Word of God and act accordingly.

Who knows where the resurrected Lord Jesus will lead you in your walk with him? Who knows the everlasting impact of your following him day by day into whatever situations he knows you can handle with his help?

The witness of the empty tomb still beckons to you—Jesus is alive, and he wants to live his life in you as you live for him. What else is there to do?

ARE YOU PRAYING FOR____________________? I am praying for all who read this - to examine GODS WORD AND OUR HEARTS DURING THE TIME OF REMEMBRANCE for the darkest days of history.....Don't worry - the LIGHT IS RETURNING!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pierced for our Transgressions

Isaiah 53 1-12
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants?

For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

All the above was written over 500 years prior to the birth of CHRIST. 

Don't think I need to add a thing more today.

As we mourn our part in His crucifixion and we await the LIGHT HE BRINGS as

I praise God for HIS PERFECT PLAN

and I PRAY for you and for me and we all pray for _____________



CRUCIFY HIM! We want to get to our Passover!

Before we get to the CROSS and the darknest moment of history, I want to take a bit of time on the events of the night before the crucifixion.  Jesus is paraded around and God, Himself is mocked.

After His arrest, Jesus faced three trials.

First, Jesus was led to the Sanhedrin – the Jewish council of leaders. He was accused of many crimes against God, but no two witnesses could agree on an accusation.

Finally Caiaphas, the high priest, asked him straightly, “Are you the Christ?” Jesus confessed, “Yes I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming in judgment”. The leaders were furious and demanded that He be executed for blasphemy.

Jesus was tried before Annas, the former high priest; Caiaphas, the current high priest; and the Sanhedrin. He was charged in these “ecclesiastical” trials with blasphemy, claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah.

The trials before Jewish authorities, the religious trials, showed the degree to which the Jewish leaders hated Him because they carelessly disregarded many of their own laws. There were several illegalities involved in these trials from the perspective of Jewish law: (1) No trial was to be held during feast time. (2) Each member of the court was to vote individually to convict or acquit, but Jesus was convicted by acclamation. (3) If the death penalty was given, a night must pass before the sentence was carried out; however, only a few hours passed before Jesus was placed on the Cross. (4) The Jews had no authority to execute anyone. (5) No trial was to be held at night, but this trial was held before dawn. (6) The accused was to be given counsel or representation, but Jesus had none. (7) The accused was not to be asked self-incriminating questions, but Jesus was asked if He was the Christ.

Puts a new light on the term Jesus used to decribe religious leaders - hypocrites!  (makes me leary - I keep remembering that more is "caught" than "taught".)

They sent him to Pilate,   (John 18:23) after Jesus was beaten. The charges brought against Him were very different from the charges in His religious trials. He was charged with inciting people to riot, forbidding the people to pay their taxes, and claiming to be King.  Pilate found no reason to kill Jesus so he sent Him to Herod (Luke 23:7).

Standing before Herod found Jesus ridiculed, but Herod, wanting to avoid the political liability, sent Jesus back to Pilate (Luke 23:11-12).

 This was the last trial as Pilate tried to appease the animosity of the Jews by having Jesus scourged. The Roman scourge is a terrible whipping of 39 lashes.

In a final effort to have Jesus released, Pilate offered the prisoner Barabbas to be crucified and Jesus released, but to no avail. The crowds called for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. Pilate granted their demand and surrendered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). The trials of Jesus represent the ultimate mockery of justice. Jesus, the most innocent man in the history of the world, was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to death by crucifixion.

reference Matthew 26:57 to 27:31; Mark 14:54 to 15:15; Luke 22:54 to 23:25; John 18:13 to 19:16 and Jesus the Greatest Life of all by Charles Swindoll.

So the rest of the world went on to their holiday feast preparations, Christ went to Calvary.

I could go on today about the road to Calvary, about the words spoken on the cross or about the many many prophecies that were fulfilled.  But enough for now -

we must accept that that RELIGIOUS LEADERS, GOVERNMENT LEADERS, and ALL OF THE ASSEMBLED POPULATION all wanted one thing

- Jesus out of the way -

so they could have their way.

but it's not just them,

It's US!

Everytime we claim Christ as Messiah,

 but ingore the hard teachings of obeying God's word -

we crucify HIM

Everytime we cling to our salvation, yet ignore the Holy Spirit

convicting us to CONFESS AND REPENT of our sin

we crucify HIM

Even we rush ahead of GOD's PLAN

certain that God will bless what we do

even without consulting or waiting on HIM,

we pile onto the CROSS...

as we ponder the next 3 days and nights many aspects of the darkness

I know I will face my own.....

I pray as Christ did in John 17

for my self - that I might hear and obey,

for those who profess Christ that we would pick up our crosses and follow HIM and

for the WORLD who still lives in that darkness but is waiting, just longing for the GOOD NEWS of this empty tomb!

How did ____________ respond to you?  KEEP PRAYING AND OBEYING!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting Ready for the Passover - for all HUMANITY

 Actually, today I am going to hit on this timing question again

about what happened when.

And the bottom line is that we weren't there

and many scholars who I respect for many reasons disagree strongly about all the timing.

So in the end - the timing really doesn't matter,

but as a friend told me today,

"it's important to look at and discover

what the text says

and doesn't say

because those who attack the gospel

are doing so as a reason

to tear apart faith."

I personally don't need to know,

but looking at Christ's atoning work on the cross as

fulfillment to many prophecies

lead me to this conclusion

Church tradition likes to make things

all neat and tidy

it fits so well on the church calendar.

We have Thursday Night Last Suppers

Good Friday vigils

just spend some time on filling those Saturdays

( and yes, I might add - LENT with it's neat 40 days with even 6 Sundays off)  OUCH!

and boom, Sunday Morning Early on we a re good to go!

That is less than 72 hours in the tomb.

This year for the first time - the mainstream media (is even addressing this) see the link.


As I have been studying and researching all week, I keep finding more articles, primarily by Messianic Jews (Those of Jewish faith who have accepted Christ (Yeshua/Jesus) as Messiah.

The more I walk as a Christian and a Pastor, I have been burdened to understand Christ as a practicing and observant Jew.  For us to receive our salvation open to all, it is important to understand the context of the religion that Jesus was raised in and the meaning of the sacrifice that He became to so that all of us choose choose eternal life and be "PASS"ed "OVER" for eternal death.

So that being said - I am glad that churches have services on Thursday night (frankly, I wish more people would attend them.)  I do agree that the empty tomb and the discovery of the resurrection happened at dawn on Sunday Morning, but the more research I am doing, and the more I realize is not written in the gospels, but in tradition......I think we have our timing wrong.

It does say that the disciples asked Jesus where they should "make ready" the Passover meal (and thus he directed them to discover the upper room). Matthew 26:19  It also says that Jesus and the disciples later, "when it was evening, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve"  ate a meal Matthew 26:20.  We presume that it was their Passover meal, but  nowhere does it say that it was....

So why do I write this today?

I will take you to another passage in Matthew 12: 38-40

  38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

and also to the scheming of the scribes and pharisees in Matthew 26:1-5

 1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests, the scribes,[a] and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

So all that being said -

as I try to piece all this together

I think the crucifixion happened before the Passover Sabbath - which would have begun on Wednesday night as dusk.

Tuesday tonight, at dusk as the disciples had secured the upper room and were in the process of preparing the passover for an upcoming day...

The "last supper", the footwashing, the time at Gethsemane, the betrayal and overnight tonight the THREE trials began with the horrible beatings in between.


Not going to go deeply into this today - we will visit it as well after we understand how Jesus poured out his blood and sacrificed his body so that we would have this new covenant.

Wednesday morning as most of the city was preparing and milling about like our "Christmas Eve" making their last dash - preparations, the Pontius Pilate was showing the "good will" of the Roman government and those in the festive holiday crowd choose to free Barabbas and CRUCIFY CHRIST again BEFORE THE FEAST.... (more on that tomorrow :(.

With this time table, Jesus would be on the cross during the day Wednesday and be sealed with his physical body dead in the garden tomb by the time dusk fell and the passover feast was beginning that was also considered an extra Sabbath day - see Mark 15 :42

He would be in the belly of the earth

Wednesday night

Thursday all day and night (which was the Passover Sabbath)

Friday all day and night

Saturday all day....(which was the traditional Sabbath)

but as the Jews marked their days - the new day began at dusk -So on Saturday evening as the moon rose, that is what Messianic Jews suppose he arose and I will comment more on that as it draws near.

But back to Matthew 28:1 and we see that on the morning of the first of the week, Sunday - the women "went after the Sabbath (this the regular day of rest) to finally attempt to anoint his body for burial that they discovered the empty tomb".

So, that my friends is where I am at!  In the end does it matter when?

in a word


I do not expect the world to conform to me


I do pray that we all ponder

what just happened -

Christ on the day of preparation for the sabbath that was the passover

was slain

and his blood

that knew no sin

covered our sins

so that we could be

 made to be in

HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

So tomorrow we go to the cross,

brace yourself,

I am not even sure what we are in for.

Do you know what ____________ has planned for an Easter observance?  I think you should find out!

As you pray today remember ______________ and make it a point to include them in your life this weekend. God will lead you, if YOU LET HIM!

Thanks for taking this difficult journey with me!

This discipline is been both harder and easier than I thought it would be.

I will be relieved when I am released to go from teaching/investigation mode back to pithy devotional/testimony mode!

late today because this required much prayer and wrestling to communicate....

email or message me your feedback
I do not expect agreement - but I would hope for honest discussion!

Love and prayers to you all....

preacher on her hike o' life/lent

Monday, April 18, 2011


37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”   
Matthew 23; 37-39 (NJKV)

Have you ever had so much to accomplish but seemingly so little time?  I can't imagine how our Savior felt as the scribes and pharisees kept trying to trap him and he had so much to teach and say to the diciples.

This day for Jesus was a day of great disputations
-- a busy, stormy day of public debates with

They challenged the authority of Our Lord…

Our Lord toldthe thinly-veiled parable of the vine dressers…

He answered the question of tribute to Caesar…

the case presented by the Sadducees about the woman with seven husbands and the resurrection… the Greatest Commandment ….

Our Lord questioned them about the "Son of David."

He concluded the debates with a denunciation of the Pharisees and the "Seven Woes,"

He expressed an anguished lament over Jerusalem,

and commented on the widow's mite. Leaving the city,

He crossed over to Mt. Olivet and sadly predicted that there would be left "not a stone 
upon a stone."

Asked about the end of Jerusalem and the world He gave the
eschatological discourse, and told the parable of the virgins to teach watchfulness.

Are you tired yet?  I am!

There are many many scriptures listed below, all are placed in the timeframe of these few days in history!  I list them not because I expect you to read them all in one setting, but so that you can appreiciate the urgency Jesus was working under.  It all was taking place.  Just as God had planned, teaching us, warning us, loving us, making us ready to recieve the greatest love and gift of all....

13. The Final Ministry in Jerusalem
The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

Jesus in Jerusalem (Cleansing the Temple), Return to Bethany

The Cursing of the Fig Tree

The Second Cleansing of the Temple

The Chief Priests and Scribes Conspire against Jesus

The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree

The Question about Jesus' Authority

The Parable of the Two Sons

The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen

The Parable of the Great Wedding Dinner

On Paying Tribute to Caesar

The Question about the Resurrection

The Question about David's Son

Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

Jesus' Lament over Jerusalem

The Poor Widow's Gift of two Mites

14. The Olivet Discourse
Prediction of the Destruction of the Temple

Signs before the End

Persecutions Foretold

The Desolating Sacrilege

False Christs and False Prophets

The Coming of the Son of Man

The Time of the Coming. the Parable of the Fig Tree

Conclusion. “Take Heed, Watch!” (According to Mark)

Conclusion. “Take Heed, Watch!” (According to Luke)

15. Conclusion of the Account before the Passion
The Parable of the Flood and Exhortation to Watchfulness

The Parable of the Good Servant and the Wicked Servant

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Talents

The Last Judgment

The Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem

Greeks Seek Jesus; Discourse on His Death

The Unbelief of the People

Judgment by the Word

Have you made your Easter plans?  Have you included _________ in your day?

Lord we pray - guide us - lead us- put the desire within us to obey....

the scribes and ancients.