I think my friend Greg put this nicely. Have we truly progressed as a naiton, or are we still waiting to move past racial barriers?

U2SA

By G. C. Forsman

We all became witnesses to the unfolding travesty after the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.  The usual suspects led the way as the media circus ensued.   Division and racial hatred were preached by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther Party.  What had started as a plea for justice from a grieving family, became a scream for vengeance under the direction of those who seek to divide us- those who want us to fight among ourselves so we don’t notice what they’re really doing.  Even the President failed to call for cooler heads to prevail, and added fuel to the fire.

News reports have been flooded with examples of hatred being put into action.  In Illinois, a 78 year old white man was beaten and robbed by a group of black youths while they stated “this is for Trayvon.”  A white visitor to…

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Unrecognized

First of all, do not forget that I contribute to a blog giving commentary on the book of Proverbs, Proverbial Thought. Go check it out. Sign up to receive the updates!

The other day I went to a barbershop and received a shave and a hairscut. My wife watched as the barber worked, yet when I arose from the chair she barely recognized me. This is a woman who has known me for more than three years, yet she still had to do a double-take.

How could a woman who has known me for so long and loves me so dearly not recognize me immediately?

This past Sunday was Resurrection Sunday, or as it is commonly known, Easter. Something similar happened when Jesus arose from the dead.

Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
John 20:10-16

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

. . .

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Luke 24:13-35

Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
John 21:2-7

Jesus’ disciples, men and women alike, who had spent more than three years spending almost every moment near Jesus, essentially had to do a double-take. They did not recognize the risen Lord.

They had the wrong perspective.

My wife was still thinking of me with a beard. She had to change her thinking to recognize the new me.

These disciples were still thinking about how their Lord had died. They were still thinking in the old way.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
2 Corinthians 5:16

While I am on the subject, Christ’s resurrection gives us a hope of similar un-recognizability.

First spiritually:

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Then completely:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21

When this world is overcome – figuratively, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically (which fully happens when Christ returns) – the world does not recognize the new, the pure, the holy.

The new is not something different. The new is the cleaned up, purified original. All of the clutter and mess is removed (the old is gone), and the power of Christ restores us and perfects us into His likeness.

Are you able to recognize Jesus Christ in this world? Does this world recognize you as another part of this world, or does this world not recognize you at all?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 04/08/2012

Happy Resurrection Sunday! He is Risen!

If you are not friends with me on Facebook, you do not know yet of my update from Good Friday. Our annual Cross Walk was only four of us, and instead of going to our usual place it was just down the road from the cross’s home. We only walked it a half-mile each way. This ended up being the most amazing Cross Walk I have been on for two reasons:

  1. I basically dressed as Jesus, and it was cool.
  2. Along our path were several homes. In one home was this elderly woman who is living with her youngest daughter. She explained to us that between 1984 and 2009 she lost two sons, a daughter, and her husband to illnesses and accidents. All she has left are her oldest son, 51, and her youngest daughter, 41. On this past Palm Sunday, her 50-year-old daughter-in-law succumbed to cancer. She spent the week not only missing her daughter-in-law but also feeling depression and sadness over her passed family members. She had been praying for strength and release, when all of a sudden, out her window, she saw Jesus carrying a cross down the street. (You guessed it folks, it was me) Our little Walk allowed Christ to use us to bring comfort and hope to this woman.

If that is not the message of the gospel, well … yeah.

On a slightly different note, on January 2007, I heard a message about prayer. It was centered around 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

This poem was a result. It is also a prayer:

i want to pray

when i speak
i want to pray
when i think
i want to pray
when i move
i want to pray
as i live
i want to pray
as i worship
i want to pray
as i pray
i want You to answer

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 50.

Seek the risen Lord. He wants to answer!

May you be blessed with His grace, peace, and love today and always!

Not About Sanctification

I received a multimedia message the other day. I am pasting it below (edited for spelling and grammar … I am not a fan of text-speak!):

We are saved by grace (God’s undeserved favor) by believing in Jesus! We all know this! He has provided a way to heaven even though we are sinful people! We don’t have to DO anything to get to heaven except believe in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection! Now that we are destined for heaven by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul says that we are to become more like Jesus through a process called “sanctification.” There are 3 types of sanctification: 1. Positional (when you believe in Jesus you are immediately “set apart” & destined for heaven) 2. Progressive (living the Christian life & becoming more like Jesus) 3. Ultimate (in heaven w/ God) We are SAVED by grace – positional (you will get to heaven). We are SANCTIFIED by works – progressive (you will become more and more like Jesus “Practice makes perfect.”) James says “faith without works is dead” because when you believe in Jesus, he changes your heart and you begin to want to obey him and become more like him. Our challenge today is this: Become more like Jesus!

This entry is not about sanctification, even though the bulk of the message I received was about sanctification.

Have you thought about the salvation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?

This may seem like a rather quick and perhaps even cop-out type of thing, but I just want to keep the main point simple:

We have all treated God with disrespect and have sinned against God. God loves us so much, He came to earth, taught about loving God and others, and died to forgive us. He rose to life again and rose to heaven with a promise to return to spend eternity with those whom love Him.

As a challenge and some homework for this week, read Matthew 26-28 and Ephesians. It is always a good reminder and a great read.

Let us remember and share the great love and grace of our Lord and Savior, not only this week, but every day. To be honest, that will truly help us in our sanctification.

What do you know, it did become about sanctification!

Passion Week Briefly

How fortunate are you?!  Today is my first entry over at Proverbial Thought, and I wrote a new poem this week. I actually wrote it on Palm Sunday, which this year fell on April 1, 2012.

Passion Week Briefly
daniel m  klem

Celebrated and welcomed as Messiah and King
Worthy of worship and praises to sing
Ushered into the city by adoring crowds
Nothing could keep them from praising in voices loud
Until a few days later they called for His life
They had the King of the Jews beaten and crucified
The One welcomed days ago with happy and open arms
Opened His arms for the forgiveness of those causing His harm
Quickly His death came after a few short hours
But only three days later He showed His real power
Being killed on a cross and buried in the ground
Could not stop the Son of God     Death could not keep Him down
The triumphal entry just a mere week before
Can not compare to seeing the Resurrected Lord!

As we celebrate this week the great life, death, and resurrection of our God and Lord, may we remember that it was our sin which caused the need for Him to come. It was our sin which held Him on the cross. It was our sin that killed the Son of Man.

May we also remember that it was God’s love that He came to us. It was God’s love that He willingly endured the cross. It was God who removed our sin and lives forever!

He deserves our love and praise. He deserves our lives. He deserves it all!

He is risen!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 04/01/2012

HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY! It is also Palm Sunday! Worship the King!

If you missed it the other day, I announced a new blog to which I contribute, and it is called Proverbial Thought. It went live today. Go check it out.

Todays poem also lines up with my regular posts over the past month. I think that is all I need to say for now!

change/influence/life

How can I change the world?
How can I influence a generation?
How is it I could change a life?

You tell me my world is around me.
It is my friends and family.

You tell me my generation is in need.
They need one person to live for You.

You tell me a life is watching.
Show that life the truth.

That life will help reach a generation.
That generation will change the world.
The world will then see Christ.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 49.

Proverbial Thought

Okay, so I have great news!

Starting this Sunday, April 1 (specifically designed to start on April Fools’ Day) a new blog is officially launching: Proverbial Thought!

An online friend was inspired to start this blog, because there is very little available in terms of devotions and commentary on Proverbs. This is a site sharing some insights into the book of Proverbs, and there are contributions from various people from all over the place. For some crazy reason, this dear brother in the Lord thought I would make a great contributor!

I suggest that all of my regular, semi-regular, and random readers head on over to Proverbial Thought and sign-up right away! You will not want to miss what these guys have to say! (You might enjoy even what I have to say!) There is a new passage every single day!

What are you still doing here? GO!

Much love in the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,

Daniel