Friday, September 18, 2020

Can I get an Amen?


 Black Internal Hdd on Black Surface

I went on a search for a new computer—something I hate doing.  In fact, I haven’t bought one since 2013.

I’ve learned that my computer does not have a solid state drive, which apparently is partly responsible for it moving at a snail’s pace.

So I found the computer I wanted after talking with a representative on the phone and I even called our local computer place who has helped me in the past, to verify what’s what.

I then called the computer company back and was ready to make a deal (with a different rep, of course).  Asking for additional discounts and so forth, he got me a great price.  I was so happy until he mentioned one small thing . . . “You know this doesn’t have a CD drive, right?”

Uh, no.  The previous phone representative seemed to overlook that little fact.  So, the current representative went on his own search, trying to find what I needed.

My computer troubles were resolved when my oldest daughter pointed out that it would be much cheaper just to buy an external CD drive on my own if I needed it.

It’s funny, but just when you think you are all set, something unexpected comes up and throws a wrench in things.

It’s like Paul telling the Corinthians in today’s reading (1 Cor 15:12-20) that their faith is vain if Christ has not been raised. 

He put it this way:

“For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.”

And then he clarified:

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead . . .”

It’s reminds me of a mathematical statement: 

If not A, then not B and if not B, then C

Okay, I totally made that up; it’s not even logical.  (I can’t help the tangents that pop into my head.)  But that’s not my point anyway.

What’s my point?

Paul says in this passage that without Christ’s resurrection, his preaching is empty and so is our faith.

So I have to ask:

Do you believe in the resurrection of Christ? 

Although my math equation may not be quite right, God has no such problem.  The life, death and resurrection of Jesus always leads to the gift of our salvation.

Can I get an Amen?

Janet Cassidy (podcasts)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

How big is your debt?



man wearing white bathrobe sitting on bed

I suppose it’s possible we may fall a little short in the loving department, but God will understand, right?

In today’s reading from the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 7:36-50) there’s a neat little account of a visit Jesus made to a pharisee’s house.  Now remember, the pharisees were religious leaders who were a bit obsessive about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” to the extent that they would put burdens on people.

So this pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him.  It’s interesting that although he asked him to come to his house, he was still a bit snarky when a penitent woman came in and started fussing over Jesus.  She started bathing his feet with her tears, kissing them and anointing them with ointment.  Like a said, seriously fussing over Jesus.

“If this man [Jesus] were a prophet,” the pharisee said, “he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

The woman was fussing over Jesus because she obviously had a sense of who he was and she needed a lot of forgiveness.  Jesus makes a point by telling an interesting story about two people who were in debt. (The “debt” in this case is really sin.)

Of the two people in debt, who is going to be more loving to the creditor who forgives the debt, the one who had the larger debt or the smaller debt?

Seems obvious, doesn’t it?  The bigger the debt, the more grateful, or as the gospel puts it, the greater love.

The pharisee did answer the question correctly, but he probably wasn’t expecting the response Jesus gave that convicted him of not showing “great love” towards Jesus like the penitent woman had.


Not looking so good in front of his observant guests, maybe he wondered along with them, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”  

Of course we know who Jesus is—the Savior of the world who comes for each one of us sinners!  His words to the woman are so comforting, even today:

“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

I have to ask, are you the pharisee who invites Jesus into your home but is lacking genuine love and gratitude, or are you the woman who recognizes your great need to be forgiven by Jesus?

Janet Cassidy

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How can we get better leaders?


 People Doing Group Hand Cheer

For some reason when I was reading the passage for today from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, a political thought popped into my head.

The passage was the one that has been proclaimed at every wedding since the turn of the century:  Love is patient, love is kind.  It is not pompous, rude or quick-tempered.  Love is not brooding, but “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

It really is quite beautiful and I have found that prayerfully reflecting on it can be transformative.

But why did a passage such as this prompt a political thought during my morning prayer?

I have no idea, but here’s what I was thinking . . .

As citizens of this great United States, every four years when we elect our president, for some reason, we put our hopes in that person.  Whether you vote for a party or a person specifically, there is this notion that THEY will be the one to give us a utopian society.

They will fix our economic, health and social problems.  They will right the wrongs and set us on the better path we so desire.

However, it occurred to me that we are being na├»ve if we are still under the impression that this one person or office will transform our nation.  It is true that they can impact us as they apply their influence in specific places, but there is really only one way real change can occur.

It begins with us.  Surprisingly, I’m not talking about our powerful vote.  No, I’m talking about something much more slow-acting.

Until you and I raise up children and teach them to be morally and ethically responsible, and invest in the people of our community in real and personal ways, we will not see positive change in this nation.

Every representative and senator—from the state level to the federal government—and even the President of the United States, came from a family, in a community, that shaped their character and their way of thinking and acting.

If you really want a better tomorrow when it comes to leadership, look closer at your family, your neighborhood and the young people who are blooming in front of you.

If we want ethical and moral leaders as a nation, we need to form them now, in their youth. I would add that their sound formation begins by being faith-filled because God has shown, and continues to show us, the way.

But, at the very least, we want our future leaders to be people who have learned to be patient, kind and not pompous.  We need people to serve who understand that “Love never fails” and that without it, they are simply a “resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.”

Janet Cassidy