Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Salvation Army and the LGBT Community
 

THE PEOPLE WE SERVE

Each year, thanks to generous donations, The Salvation Army serves 
more than 25 million Americans – or one person every second – 
from a variety of backgrounds. People who come to us for assistance 
will be served according to their need and our capacity to help – 
regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

THE PEOPLE WE HIRE

The Salvation Army embraces employees of many different faiths
 and orientations. Our hiring practices are open to all, and we adhere
 to all relevant employment laws, providing domestic partner benefits 
accordingly.

THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT US

Many people - including those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and 
Transgender (LGBT) community - support us with time and 
financial resources because of a common cause and commitment: 
To serve people in need.
Non-Discrimination"I called (Harbor Light) and told them 
everything - that I was on a fixed income, 
disabled, transgender and trying to get 
away from my ex. It wasn't even an hour
 later that they called back and said 
they'd hold a spot for me. I arrived with
 nothing but a hope to start my life over
and a desire to be strong again. 
A year and a half later, I was back on my feet.
Living there was drama-free and 
I was never disrespected. They started a 
community service bug in me that's kept me active
 to this very day."     - Jacquelynn Massengill, 
Salvation Army volunteer and former transitional housing resident

Questions? Don't hesitate to follow up with your local Salvation Army 
or email its National Headquarters at mediarelations@usn.salvationarmy.org.

#REDKETTLEREASON

There are millions of reasons to support The Salvation Army. Share yours.
For more information, please visit RedKettleReason.org
The Salvation Army is Love
The Salvation Army Saved My Life

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Appearances

Suggested Scripture Readings: 
Jesus’ Post-Resurrection Appearances





1) Mary Magdalene (Mark 16.9-11; John 20.11-18)
2) the other women at the tomb (Matthew 28.8-10)
3) Peter in Jerusalem (Luke 24.34; 1 Cor. 15.5)
4) The two travelers on the road (Mark 16.12,13)
5) Ten disciples behind closed doors (Mark 16.14; Luke 24.36-43; John 20.19-25)
6) All the disciples, with Thomas (excluding Judas Iscariot) (John 20.26-31; 1 Cor. 15.5)
7) Seven disciples while fishing (John 21.1-14)
8) Eleven disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28.16-20)
9) A crowd of 500 (1 Cor. 15.6)
10) Jesus' brother James (1 Cor. 15.7)
11) Those who watched Jesus ascend to heaven (Luke 24.44-49; Acts 1.3-8)
12) Least of all Paul as though he was not living in the proper time (1 Cor. 15.8-9; Gal. 1.13-16; Acts 9.1-8, 22.9, read all of chapters 22 and 26; 13.30-37; 1 Cor. 15.10-20; Gal. 2.1-
10):
[http://biblocality.com/forums/showthread.php?662-How-many-times-did-Jesus-appear-after-His-resurrection]

He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!

Blessings & Peace

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)

Canada

Monday, April 2, 2018

BETWEEN SUNDAYS

THOMAS
Often, having presented Christ to the prisoners in a prison chapel, and appealed to them to respond to his offer of love and mercy, I would end by saying, “Of course, everything I have said could be untrue, rubbish. The only way you will know is to find out for yourselves.” I would then tell them how the Bible records God saying, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:13, adding that I have never known anyone to do that and be disappointed.

Dear Thomas seems to stand alone in being condemned as a doubter, when the fact is that everyone who believed that Jesus had risen from the dead that first Easter Day had seen him, ie Mary Magdalene, John 20:14, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:15, Peter v34, the ten disciples gathered behind locked doors, John 20:19. Only Thomas missed out on meeting him. I am sure that Thomas wanted to believe what he was told but, without evidence, he just couldn't.

BETWEEN SUNDAYS!
I'm lost and bewildered,
All hope is now gone.
I cannot imagine
How life can go on.

My mind's in a turmoil,
I can't understand
How this could have happened
To so good a man.

I'm tortured by thoughts of
Him hung on that tree;
The thorns and the nails;
In his face – agony.

It happened so quickly,
I still can't believe
He's dead and he's buried,
What did that achieve?

My friends are now saying
That Jesus has risen,
'We've seen him and heard him,
He's out of death's prison!'

I'd like to believe them,
I'm sure you would too,
But claims like they're making
Just cannot be true.

Whilst no-one likes losing
A valuable friend,
There's no point pretending
The end's not the end.

They think they have met him,
But senses deceive;
Come. show me his wounds, then
Perhaps I'll believe.
                   

When Jesus escaped from his persecutors in Jerusalem, John 10:39, to relative security beyond Judea, news arrived that his friend, Lazarus, was ill. When Jesus didn't immediately hot-foot it to Bethany as one might have expected, John 11:6, his disciples probably thought that his seeming reluctance to go was due to his fear of the Jews who were out to get him. But that was obviously not the case, for two days later he declared, “Let us go back to Judea,” v7. This alarmed his disciples. Going back was the last thing they wanted to do. It seemed almost suicidal, v8. However, when Jesus again expressed his desire to return to Judea, it was Thomas who rallied his companions with the bold battle cry, “Let us also go, that we might die with him,”v16

Of course, despite going back with Jesus, neither Thomas nor the others were willing to die with him. They left him to die alone. We too may have strong convictions as to what we would do in a given set of circumstances, but whether our actions match our words when it counts is a very different matter. Peter made a similar bold statement, Matthew 26:31. Has it been true of you? I have sometimes had a strong conviction to do something with an equally strong intention, only to then fail the Saviour I love. How often do we, his followers, break the Lord's heart I wonder?

Why was Thomas the only disciple absent when Jesus appeared to the others? Some grieving people find comfort in being in the company of friends or fellow sufferers. Others prefer to spend their time grieving alone. Thomas was probably not only shocked at what had so suddenly transpired, but deeply disappointed with himself, burdened with guilt at his lack of courage. Have you been there? Following the death of a loved one there can be a sense of guilt, often irrational, for not having done more for them, even when there was no more we could have done. Thomas may also have felt disappointed with Jesus when things didn't work out as he anticipated. He probably never imagined that things would turn out like they did. Have you never been disappointed with Jesus? Have you ever felt as though he had failed you, failed to do what you expected of him?

It could have been disappointment that caused Thomas's absence that first Easter Sunday evening, resulting in him missing such a wonderful blessing. Sometimes, sensing that God has something special in store for us, Satan will endeavour one way or another to make us disinclined to join with our fellow believers. John Wesley knew that experience. He tells us in his journal how, in May 1738, he went 'very unwillingly' to a meeting in Aldersgate. Had his unwillingness won the day he might never have known that life-changing experience God gave him that night, nor the great work that came out of it and swept through this land.

Having stated what it would take for him to believe, Thomas must have been shocked when, a week later, Jesus again appeared and accepted his challenge, inviting him to put his finger in the nail prints and his hand in his side, John 20:27. Although unseen, Jesus was obviously present when Thomas made his declaration. “Stop doubting and believe,” Jesus then told him. Earlier, when Jesus and his disciples arrived in Jerusalem following the resurrection of Lazarus, Thomas asked Jesus a question that revealed how Thomas really didn't know him, John 14:7. But now, Thomas leapt ahead of his fellow disciples in reaching the full truth of who Jesus was, “My Lord and my God!”

This is the climax of John's gospel in what was originally the last chapter, and Jesus responded with a final beatitude, “Blessed are those who have not seen  and yet have believed.” We may not have seen Jesus in the flesh nevertheless, like Thomas, we need not depend on second-hand accounts, for through God's gift of the Holy Spirit we can come to truly know him personally.


Howard Webber
Retired SA Officer (Pastor)
Bournemouth UK






*Christianity Magazine's Book of the Year 2010*

Christianity Magazine's Review (2010):

.
This book is perhaps the most extraordinary one I've reviewed since writing for 'Christianity'. It is a series of stories of evangelism on the hard side of life. It is painfully honest and lists as many failures as successes, as many deaths as new lives. Documenting Webber's spiritual battles too, it is possibly the most moving set of accounts I've ever read, and the most hopeful. It is all too easy to see the role of being God's ambassadors as reduced to preaching, or set among those who we love and are safe. But this book challenges us to be where Jesus would be, with the down-and-outs, with the hopeless and the broken. It looks the cost of such ministry square in the eye and carries on just the same. Please buy this book.'




Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lenten Season, 2018: Holy Week, Easter Sunday, April 1st

New Beginnings: See?  I Am Doing a New Thing!—God
Jesus played an April Fool’s joke on the religious leaders!

And now Holy Week, which began with so much promise and then seemed to rapidly spiral downwards, had an unexpected twist! Certainly, seeing Christ whipped and then being crucified on a cross caused many to feel downhearted, disappointed, and distressed. However, Easter is on April 1st this year, and it occurs to me that Jesus played the ultimate April Fool’s Joke on those who mocked, abused, and tortured Him. The self-righteous religious leaders believed Jesus’ Crucifixion had taken care of their ‘problem.’  Jesus’ body had been tucked into a tomb and a huge stone had been rolled in front of it, but still that didn’t satisfy them. Suddenly, there was another loose end they felt compelled to tie up and they went to Pilate to inform him of the rumour that Christ had said He would rise again. So, to prevent any magic tricks, such as the disciples making His body disappear, they requested the tomb be sealed and guards posted at the entrance, (Matthew 27: 62-64).
But how did the religious leaders know about Christ’s Resurrection prediction? Jesus had only spoken of it privately with His disciples: the First prediction (Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33; Luke 9: 21-22); the Second prediction (Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9: 30-32; Luke 9:43-45); and the Third prediction (Matthew 20:17-19; Luke 18:31-34). Yet the chief priests and Pharisees knew enough not to take any chances and went to Pilate to prevent any sham from taking place. At last they could rest in the satisfaction that Jesus no longer posed a threat to them, because His followers would scatter now that Jesus was dead forever—or was He?
Early Sunday morning Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome returned to the Christ’s tomb with spices to anoint His body, but they wondered how to move the heavy stone from the tomb entrance (Mark 16: 1-3). The terrified guards had already run away when they saw an angel roll away the stone (Matthew 28:1-3) to report to the chief priests, who developed more lies to cover their previous deception. Plus they bribed the guards to help spread their newest lie, which was that if anyone asked, they were to state that while they slept the disciples stole Jesus’ body. Moreover, if the guards were to be brought up on charges for falling asleep on their watch, these same leaders would lie to the governor to keep them off the hook (Mat. 28: 11-15).* How appalling that these deplorable religious leaders demonstrated to the gentile guards that it was OK to lie, because ‘the ends justify the means.’ This is an important reminder to us today: we are to be set apart for Jesus, which includes following His teachings versus our own desires. 
After Jesus’ Resurrection, He appeared to different individuals and groups of people (one was a crowd of 500), which provided eye witnesses and solidified the truth that He was alive. But what a great April Fool’s joke: The Son of God, Whom had refused to claim an earthly throne, broke the chains of sin and death with His triumphant Resurrection! Instead of being dead forever, He was alive forever, and there wasn’t anything the religious leaders could do about it!  Also, He ascended to Heaven, where we who recognize Him as our Saviour, will join Him. Hallelujah!

[*Note: the guards would most certainly have fearful of punishment that could include death. See the Article, “Guards at the Tomb: The Discipline of the Roman Soldier”  http://sntjohnny.com/front/guards-at-the-tomb-the-discipline-of-the-roman-soldier/2201.html]

He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!

Blessings & Peace


Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk

Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor) Canada