Saw this in USA Today on January 14th. First thing that came to mind: “For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.” (Luke 17:24)

As impressive as this photo is, I cannot imagine what’s coming when Christ returns.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Jesus Lightning

“Killing Jesus: A History”

For those who love history, you’ll love O’Reilly’s & Dugard’s book, “Killing Jesus” – especially with Easter on the horizon.

From the authors: “This is not a religious book. We do not address Jesus as the Messiah….Much has been written about Jesus, the son of a humble carpenter. But little is actually known about him…. This is a violent story centered both in Judea and in Rome itself….To [better] understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him….. Researching and writing a book about the life and death of Jesus was much more daunting than either of our past two efforts, “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln.” (Both, Lincoln & Kennedy, by the way, believed Jesus was God.) This book, in short, is a book that gives context into the life of Jesus.”

The authors do a tremendously responsible job of providing that context. And, after recording facts about Jesus, they begin their Postscript with questions any intelligent reader has to ask: “Why did thousands of common people seek out Jesus of Nazareth?….What was Jesus doing that prompted so many people to set aside their daily labor to be near him? Christians attribute Jesus’ popularity to his message of love, hope, truth, and miraculous healings. But even non-believers must admit that something extraordinary was happening in Galilee.”

Indeed there was.

For a more theological treatment of Jesus’ final days I would strongly recommend John MacArthur’s, “The Murder of Jesus.”

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Written by my wife, Michelle Watts, wrote these fresh insights (written in parentheses)  into Chris Tomlin’s chorus he attached to Newton’s “Amazing Grace” in light of he death of our 19 year old son this past May.  nw

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

Mere words cannot express what I experienced today. I have always thought of these lyrics from my EARTHLY perspective…in terms of my specific sin and being thankful for my salvation “experience.”

But this morning, during the cool-down portion of my workout, the strangest thing happened. As the song started playing, I suddenly had a mental image of JORDAN…

his long, lanky arms,
fully extended out to each side,
fingers splayed,
running through a meadow,
between two snow-capped mountains,
eyes closed,
head tilted to the sky,
spinning around in awe and wonder,
singing these lyrics,

Mom! Guess what?!

My chains (low self-esteem, depression, loneliness, and insecurities) are gone!

I’ve been set free! (I am no longer burdened, restricted by, or trapped in an earthly body/mind!)

My God, my Savior, has ransomed me! (BECAUSE of HIS sacrifice, I am HERE-in THIS place of perfection.)

And like a flood…(it overwhelms and surrounds everything, it fills each tiny crevice, and CHANGES everything in it’s path).

His mercy reigns. (His mercy IS THE THRONE. It CHANGED ME! It is everywhere, and in everything here! There is no place I can go where His mercy isn’t felt physically. I am COMPLETELY loved, and fulfilled).

Unending love… (I WISH you could be here to understand how immense and immeasurable His love FEELS! It’s incredible!)

Amazing Grace… (the riches of Heaven, the hobbies I love, the never, NEVER-ending JOY, the COMPLETE PEACE)…

I found my ‘niche,’and I never have to leave, because…

Jordan - Mountains