Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pondering Passion

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by him and for him.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.

You do not realize that it is better that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.... So from that day on they [the priests] plotted to take his life.

I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.

Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

This is my command: Love each other.

Father, the time has come.

My kingdom is not of this world...I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

Here is the man...shall I crucify your king?

Finally Pilate handed his over to them to be crucified.

It is finished.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Now THAT is passion.

Scripture from the NIV Bible, Zondervan Press.
Colossians 1
John 3, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17,18, 19
1 Peter 2
1 John 2, 4

Friday, April 22, 2011

What does Passion mean?

What exactly do we mean when we talk about passion? And why do we call the week before Easter "Passion" week?

Most of the dictionaries equate passion with an extreme emotion, particularly one of ardor or love. Somehow, though, "extreme emotion" seems insufficient, particularly in light of the events of Good Friday. Over and over Jesus told his disciples that his death was necessary and imminent. John 10 says,

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
While the disciples did not understand (John 16:17), Jesus knew exactly what lay ahead for him. He knew that the Jewish leaders did not have authority to condemn him to death, and that his life would be taken by the Romans. Roman torture and execution for non-Romans was well-known for its brutality and violence. Yet, Jesus submitted. And we call it "passion."

Jesus acknowledged the depth of his fear in Gethsemane, when his prayer was so intense that his sweat became like blood. By the end of those horrifying hours, Jesus acquiesced his human will to the will of the Father, and stood, prepared to endure the next events that would be the most cruel and brutal the Roman soldiers could imagine. But for what?

For "extreme emotion?" For power? For notoriety? For fame? For glory? For what, exactly?

John 3:16, in its simplicity is beyond profound: "For God so LOVED...." There must be more to passion than "extreme emotion." Passion is extreme, to be sure, but passion has power. Emotion may be an element of passion, but it cannot drive action. Emotion is a result, not a force.

Passion, then, is a motivating force, something that drives an individual to endure great suffering or to lay aside circumstances, expectations, and abilities to pursue it. Love is passion, not the other way around. It is a choice, a power, a drive too strong to allow any impediment to its living out. That must be why the book of John (and his epistles) focuses so intently on love. (According to one source, some form of "love" appears in that gospel alone nearly 60 times.) Jesus told his followers repeatedly to "love one another." It is a command, an instruction, and a choice.

To choose love is to demonstrate commitment. To choose obedience is to demonstrate humility. To choose the will of God over self--that is the essence of passion.

There is power in passion.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PWA Blog Hop

Well, better late than never!!! I had some computer glitches, but here is the project for my portion of the PennyWiseArts 2011 blog hop:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Speed Scrap!

I love finding new places for inspiration. Thanks to my friend, Bea, I found DigiDesignResort...and tonight played in my first speed scrap:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nothing says a spring day like...

This is another of the journal prompts for my creative writing class. I thought I'd play along this time.

Nothing says a spring day like yellow dust. It covers the cars. It covers the patios and decks. The tennis courts yield clouds of yellow as the ball bounces off the line. It gets into noses and eyes and contact lenses. It turns to yellow mud after a spring shower, leaving artistic trails as the water evaporates.

Yellow is a happy color. It evokes images of sunshine and laughter and outdoor fun. It recalls smiley faced circles, and a certain sugar cookie from a bakery in Bakersfield.

Yellow is warm and friendly. It embraces the soul and turns the blue spirit into the green of new beginnings and life. It energizes and harmonizes and highlights the best and the brightest.

A spring day in Georgia is all about the yellow dust. It annoys, maddens, and frustrates. But yellow is happy---even in pollen form, because it means that winter is over, spring has arrived, and summer is on the way.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A little taste

I've been working on a digital scrapbook for a friend. Here are three of my favorite pages: