Carrying the Cross

Hidden Heroes of Easter – Simon of Cyrene Part Four of our Hidden Heroes of Easter Series A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. Mark 15:21 (NIV) One sentence. That’s all. Simon of Cyrene is mentioned in three of the gospels, but this is all we know: his name, where he was from, the names of his sons, and what he was forced to do. When he was chosen as cross bearer, Simon was just “passing by on his way in from the country.” Probably not his plan for the day. He did not volunteer for this task. In fact, the word […] Read more »

You Want My What?

Hidden Heroes of Easter – Donkey Owner Part Three of our Hidden Heroes of Easter Series  He sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a [donkey] tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Luke 19:30-31 (NIV) Singer Michael Card tells the story of his grandfather in the song “For F.F.B.” It seems he was always giving his coat away to someone who needed it more than he did. When I remember that line from the song, I always smile thinking about this South Carolina preacher who couldn’t help […] Read more »

Who Am I Pleasing?

Hidden Heroes of Easter – Mary Part Two of our Hidden Heroes of Easter Series Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3 (NIV) There’s just no pleasing some people. Folks who are so unhappy inside they feel compelled to find fault with everyone around them. Have you known anyone who seems to be permanently dissatisfied with you and anything you do? Hard to be with them, isn’t it? No matter how we try to please them—or at least not anger them—it backfires. We often end up stifling our true character just to keep from […] Read more »

When God’s Plan Does Not Look Remotely Like Yours

Hidden Heroes of Easter – Lazarus Part One of our Hidden Heroes of Easter Series Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. John 11:5-6 (NIV, 1984) I was mad. No, mad is too mild. Furious is a better word. Ray and I had been married less than a year, and my college graduation was quickly approaching. I had proudly attended his graduation from West Point the year before—and even had the great privilege of pinning his 2nd Lieutenant bars. Now, Ray would not even be attending my graduation. What! You see, the army decided to send Ray on a mission for three months. And the army did not […] Read more »