Good Friday


Sorry, no jokes today. It's Good Friday and I have a tradition of keeping this day a little more solemn out of respect to the events of the day. I hope you don't mind.
Last Wednesday my wife and I celebrated our first Passover Seder dinner at our church. It was full of beautiful symbols --- reminders of the days of Moses when the Hebrews were "passed over" by the Angel of Death. Symbolism. Why the need for these annual reminders? Do we humans forget so easily? I believe we do. And I believe God knows about our human frailty and saw the need to institutionalize these memory jogging traditions. Despite these safeguards we still forget.

There is a story about a handful of men who rescued sailors whose ships rammed into the rocky shoreline. Later these heroes erected a lighthouse as a symbol and to serve as a beacon during a storm. Many sea disasters were avoided and less and less ships needed rescuing. News of their glorious deeds spread and everyone wanted to be part of the Lighthouse Team. Soon they were spending so much time together that committees were formed to expand and beautify the lighthouse with the comforts of a clubhouse. Years later, a terrible storm hit but the villagers had forgotten how to operate the lighthouse. Many lives were lost. Villagers even complained that the foolish sailors didn't deserve to be rescued anyway.

How is your lighthouse? Do your rituals still mean anything anymore?

"And you pretend to be holy, with all your long, public prayers in the streets, while you are evicting widows from their homes. Hypocrites! ... I will send you prophets, and wise men, and inspired writers, and you will kill some by crucifixion”
--- Matthew 23: 34-37

Wisdom from Jacqueline
of Pasadena, CA

Words of Wisdom

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-- Martin Luther King

Thanks to this week's winners:
Janette of Hong Kong; Raffy of Lakewood; Tom and Jacqueline of Pasadena; Charlie of New York
; Peter Paul of S Pasadena.

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A Layman's Ten Commandments
A TGIF Easter Special
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

  1. Prayer is not a "SPARE WHEEL" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout the journey.
  2. So why is a Car's WINDSHIELD so large and the Rear View Mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, look ahead and move on!
  3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.
  4. All things in life are TEMPORARY. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.
  5. Old FRIENDS are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a diamond, don't forget the gold! Because to hold a diamond, you always need a base of gold!
  6. Often when we lose HOPE and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!"
  7. When God solves your problems, you have FAITH in HIS abilities; when God doesn't solve your problems He has faith in YOUR abilities.
  8. A BLIND person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing your eyesight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"
  9. When you PRAY for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
  10. WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.

Videos of the week: (click on the picture)

Inspirational 80 year old
Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA and Dean of Vancouver, B.C.

senior dancer

This senior citizen breaks down the walls of the stereotype of her generation. Her performance is amazing but her story is what brought me to tears.

So ... do you think you can dance?

Sand Drawing
Contributed by Janette of Hong Kong

Sand Drawing

Kseniya Simonova has a few videos out in Youtube. Here's one I hadn't seen. Without words, she managed to convey a sensitive story about a woman's life journey. It brought tears to some.

Father Giving Away the Bride
Contributed by Raffy of Lakewood, CA

Father Giving Away Bride

I think I've shared this before but I watched it again because of its powerful message and reminder of the responsibilities that you take on in a marriage.

Christian the Lion
Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Lion won't forget This video has been around but this has been repackaged and is still heart-warming to see.

War Horses
Contributed by Charlie of New York and Tom of Pasadena, CA

War Horses

These Friesian horses were originally bred as "war horses" in the days of knights and armor. As armor got heavier, bigger horses were needed and they almost became extinct. They are back and are one of the prettiest horses in stature as well as gait. Notice their beautiful long hair. Amazing creatures!

Beautiful Prank
Contributed by Charlie of New York

Beautiful Prank

Paying it forward is what this video is all about. An unsuspecting waitress with a generous spirit gets the surprise of her life. Shows the goodness in humanity.

Beautiful Philippines
Contributed by Charlie of New York

Beautiful Philippines

Holy Week always reminds me of a whole week of vacation time in the Philippines. Hardly any (regular) business is done that whole week as the natives escape to the rural communities. If you've never been to the Philippines, this a good site to start with. Did you know the Philippines is also the "Selfie" capital of the world? Here's a good article about the Philippines sent by JRP of Iligan City, Philippines.

Manicure Designs for the 10 Plagues
Contributed by Peter Paul of S Pasadena

Ten Plagues Manicures

The link offers icons of ten modern plagues. Christians and Jews share a common heritage --- both share the belief in the Old Testament and celebrate similar traditions. And during this season, both remember a time of suffering and a reward waiting around the corner. Here's a website that explains the Passover.

Water from a Billboard
Contributed by Charlie of New York

Billboard Water

This video is still trending upward. It's about an ingenius way of collecting water using a billboard. Moses could have used this in the desert. Happy Easter/Passover everyone!

--- Thank God It's Good Friday! Happy Easter! Happy Passover!


Christopher turned 60 and all his family and friends started arriving bearing gifts, food and drinks to help celebrate his birthday.
They started the festivities early afternoon and well-wishers still continued arriving until late at night.
When Christopher felt that he has had too much to drink, he bid his guests goodnight, when up, turned off the lights and slept peacefully.
The next morning news of hundreds of people dying was attributed to what Christopher did.

He turned off the lighthouse lights.

--- Raffy of Lakewood, CA

Our church in La Habra used to celebrate Seder. Once a Rabbi came and directed it. Being Methodist, of course they used Welch’s Grape Juice. The Rabbi commented he missed the actual vino.

Thank you Raoul! Happy Easter to All.
--- Chuck of Whittier, CA

As always, love your Christian thoughts and VG Chrisitan Life style.

--- John of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Great Edition and enjoyed your Spiritual Thoughts, very refreshing from current worldly stories
Thanks. Happy Easter to you and yours!

--- Tom of Pasadena.

Great selection. You must have been up all night.
Happy Easter. I'm having a few people over for "Eastover" - Easter brunch with fried matzah and Buttercrunch matzah.

--- Naomi of North Hollywood

Thanks Bro!

Happy Easter to you and the family!

--- Rick of Chino Hills

Thought you'd enjoy this story
written by Greg Asimakoupoulos, Mercer Island WA

As a chaplain of a Christian Retirement Community I conducted three services on Easter morning last year. The first service was at sunrise at the shores of beautiful Lake Washington that borders our campus. As the final verse of "Christ Arose" was sung, the sun rose over the horizon bathing the worshipers in brilliant warmth. The third service was a traditional service in our chapel complete with a string quartet.

For me, however, the highlight of the morning was the 20 minute service I conducted for our dementia residents. As with the other two services, I planned to begin this worship experience with the customary greeting "Christ is risen!" In spite of being memory challenged, I expected my congregation of twelve would still be able recall the traditional response ("He is risen, indeed!") from their distant past. What I wasn't prepared for what the spontaneous reply I received.

When I lifted my hands and joyfully announced "Christ is risen!" a precious woman with a smile on her face called out with complete sincerity "Yippee!"

I rather think she captured the spirit of the ancient Christians who first reacted to the reality of Christ's resurrection. Rather than reciting some rote ritualistic response, their worship of the living Christ was probably of the "yippee" kind.

--- Don of Kelowna, B.C.

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