Ken Summers's Journal
April 20, 2014
Written 13 hours ago by Ken Summers
A New Life
We have had a relaxing, unusual and enjoyable Easter Sunday. That is a string of adjectives that I have never put together for this day. With Debbie’s schedule lately we took a decidedly relaxing morning, ate coconut-pecan waffles for breakfast; we just needed the ocean and sand and we could have been in Cancun. I did watch a streamlined broadcast of the Easter Sunday service from Faith Bible Church in Arvada.
I worked several hours at my computer in my office on some personal finances. I was trying to keep up with medical expenses this year and some other bookkeeping. It looks like in the first two months of 2014 we meet our out of pocket maximums for the year. Thanks to the generosity of many friends when my illness hit these expenses were covered by our medical relief fund. Thank you again, so much!!
The news of the day though, was that I used my walker to get from the family room to my office and used my regular desk chair. I even made it back from the office to the family room!
Debbie and I enjoyed an afternoon walk, I rode my racing wheelchair and she pushed and guided along the way to help me out. After that adventure we headed to the Marconi Grill for an early evening dinner. Thank you to our friends Jon and Marcia Hume for the gift card.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so that we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father. Romans 6:3 (CEV)
Newness of life is what the resurrection of Jesus is all about. On the third day He rose victorious over sin and dead. Because of His victory, we too can live a new life. A new life in this world and have the hope of eternity in heaven with Christ.
As Paul writes to the Romans he explains that baptism is a symbol of death and resurrection. Just as Christ was raised from physical death by the glory of God the Father, we are raised from spiritual death by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and His resurrection to the glory of God the Father.
Christ did not come to just give us a higher purpose. He did not come to give us a new philosophy. He did not come just to be an example for us to follow. He came to give us a new life! That is why Paul would write to the Corinthians and say, “if you are in Christ…the old has gone and new has come…” 2 Corinthians 5:17
As I think of this newness of life on Easter 2014, I can’t help but relate it to my life and events of that past nine months. I feel like I have been given a new life in many ways. Obviously I am glad to be physically alive, enjoying my family and friends. But I am thankful the new and fresh perspective that I am learning about life,Christ and what He has for me in whatever years remain for me on this earth.
In bringing this new life Jesus turned conventional science upon its head in the miracles he performed. He baffled the scholars with the words He spoke. Consider the following and as you do, you find one who is worthy of our worship and who alone can make good on His offer of new life.
WHO IS HE?
IN CHEMISTRY, HE TURNED WATER TO WINE.
IN PHYSICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF GRAVITY WHEN HE WALKED ON WATER AND THEN LATER, ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN.
IN ECONOMICS, HE DISPROVED THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURN BY FEEDING 5000 MEN WITH 2 FISHES & 5 LOAVES OF BREAD.
IN MEDICINE, HE CURED THE SICK AND THE BLIND WITHOUT ADMINISTERING A SINGLE DOSE OF DRUGS.
IN HISTORY, HE IS THE BEGINNING AND THE END.
IN GOVERNMENT, HE SAID THAT HE SHALL BE CALLED WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, PRINCE OF PEACE.
IN MATTERS OF FAITH, HE SAID NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM;
SO, WHO IS HE?
HE IS JESUS!
April 19, 2014
Written Apr 19, 2014 9:36pm by Ken Summers
He Died, He Rose for Us
It is good to feel a greater sense of independence and normalcy in my life. In the last few days my energy has been good and my level of activity seems to be more normal. Yesterday, I even tried to mow the grass pushing the lawn mower in front of my wheelchair. I did get one pass half way to the backyard before Christian came to my rescue. I gave the concept of a “riding lawn mower” a new name. It may have been a lawn mower dragging a wheelchair.
Today I ran some errands with Debbie. We dropped off our lawn mower for a spring turn up and then Debbie picked up a new phone at the Sprint store and then we stopped at the Qdoba next door for lunch.
We went to our Easter Eve service tonight. First time we had a “Jesus is almost risen” celebration. Just kidding. Since it was Easter Sunday somewhere in the world we focused on the Church around the world gathering to celebrate “He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!”
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isa. 53:6 (NKV)
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:11,12
These words spoken by the prophet hundreds of years before Christ, spoke of One who would come as the redeemer of mankind. Not just for God’s own people, but for us ALL. As I read these twelve verses today, they seemed to stand out as if I was reading them for the first time. I would encourage you to read this chapter for yourself.
This year I have been made aware of the significance of Easter and the resurrection celebration by believers all over the world. It is not in our face through media because we are not reminded that “there are __________ number of shopping days until Easter.” But considering the Lenten season and the Holy Week, there are some great opportunities, if they are seized to gain a great understanding and appreciation for Jesus, His life, ministry, death on the cross and resurrection and promise to come again.
I recall the old gospel song that contains the words, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned unclean.
Consider the following…
The Greatest Man in History Jesus had no servants,
Yet they called Him Master.
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.
I feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us!
HAVE A BLESSED AND HAPPY EASTER
April 18, 2014
Written Apr 18, 2014 11:58pm by Ken SummersDo It My Way
Today was a good day. We returned from our Good Friday service and I was just hanging out relaxing and started toward bed and realized that I had not written my blog for today. So here I am racing to get it done before midnight.
We had a good day with Christian and Bridget and kids today. It was a summer-like day and we took advantage of it. We got the sprinkler system operational for the grass and Riley and Caedmon flagged the sprinkler heads for the aeration to take place in a couple of weeks. It provided them a first time to get wet running through the sprinklers.
Christian and Bridget and kids ended up on a mile and a half jaunt with me in my racing wheelchair. Eliana was on my lap and the boys were on their blade scooters and Christian and Bridget ran and pushed me.
The warm weather was inviting and we are eager to see days like today become more of the norm. In addition to a few other errands, Christian ended up building an extension on the step that goes to our patio so it would be easier for me to navigate with a walker. Once again, I found that going down is easier than coming up, so can’t do that by myself yet. Perhaps that will be the next marker of progress in m recovery. I did make my first trip to our basement. Going down on my backside wasn’t too much of a problem. Standing up at the bottom of the stairs and getting back up the stairs proved more a challenge. But I make it and it was a good workout in the process.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders,said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. Matthew 28:39-41 (NKV)
One of the most amazing aspects of Jesus trial, punishment and crucifixion was His ability to hold His tongue and not speak or react. Besides the immeasurable physical torture and abuse that He endured, He was taunted and mocked and ridiculed from soldiers, to the religious people to just those who were hanging out (passing by).
Our natural tendency when challenged is to fight back, is to defend ourselves. For me the hot button is when people criticize me for not being who I am or for not believing what I do. I want to “set the record straight” and let them know how wrong they are. But that is not how Jesus responded.
Jesus during His ministry consistently threw curves to people. That included His disciples, rulers, religious leaders. He spoke in parables, they couldn’t catch Him with their trick questions, he ate when He was suppose to fast, He went to the wrong homes, hung out with the wrong people, performed miracles on the Sabbath, ridiculed the tradition of the religious elders.
Jesus in His ministry never did what people expected of the Messiah and this is amplified in His death. “Come down from the cross…save yourself..” We can understand someone who saves themselves, who defends themselves, who proves themselves to us, because that is what we do ALL the time. Our natural response is to save our self, whether through fight or flight. That we understand. So, it is easy to say Jesus do it my way, I can understand that, I can’t understand what you are doing and why!
What we don’t understand is someone willing to die a sacrificial death. We don’t expect someone to be that “others-centered.” We expect someone to eventually give in to the demands of people, but Jesus yielded to the will of God the Father.
What is more amazing is the power that Jesus had at His disposal; Legions of angels waiting for His Word, ready to come to His rescue, but that was the human way out. Jesus began His ministry in the wilderness with Satan tempting Him, “if you are the Son of God.” Now at the end of His ministry at His point of even greater human weakness He hears the same words, “if you are the Son of God…save yourself.” But He knew if He saved Himself, He would not be able to save us.
Paul wrote to the Romans, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6,8 (NJV)
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made the forgiveness of sin and relationship with God possible for all who believe throughout all time. He is not waiting for us to experience any degree of self improvement. We are to come to Him just as we are.
It is one thing to stop and consider that Christ died for us; it is another to realize that He died because of us. That is not just something to understand and to give cognitive consent to; that is something to embrace with our hearts and receive God’s gift freely extend through Christ’s death. Open your heart and seek to understand God’s ways and don’t get stuck demanding, “Jesus do my way.”