Category Archives: Holidays

Holidays, Relationships, and Emotional Landmines

Emotions and Empathy
Holidays, typically are a time that provides the opportunity for families to spend time together in positive relationship-affirming activities. Also, holiday events and gatherings heightens potential for dysfunction within relationships to surface because of the stress that is placed upon people who are not accustomed to spending a lot of time together in close proximity. It is like the cold season when a bacterium thrives because the conditions are right and someone sneezes.

Holidays are the petri dish for people to experience hyperactivation of emotions and compulsive behaviors that normally are dormant because of distance and natural boundaries that work along with other responsibilities place upon life. There is a profound reminder about how fragile human beings are during the holidays with the broken things carried within that no one sees. There are things that people often need help with and close contact magnifies personalities, personal problems, and the potential clash of worlds. In the words of one person’s experience with a betrayal:

Pain and treachery from the hand of someone that should
love you is most problematic. I expect it from my enemy.
Hurt from a loved one doesn’t have the benefit of
expectation or barriers giving the hot knife of betrayal
free course. How do I relate to this person? Like Christ
related to Judas. Christ’s love was so uninhibited that
Judas and the disciples couldn’t even identify the evil
one among them. Judas’ hypocrisy was so precise the others
didn’t suspect him. The most effective hate is that which
is hidden in love.

The truth in the words spoken so fitly about betrayal resonates the pain and violation deeply felt from an individual who lives within the confines of a close relationship in life experience emotionally damaged. Observation shows that trust extended to persons over the course of a relationship becomes deceptive in itself and deceit easily conceals its face in the guise of love. Suddenly behavior surfaces in the form of betrayal, a lack of civility and hypocrisy beneath the superficial; it is hard to know how to respond. Indeed, at those moments, we will not rise to the level of Christ who securely knows all men. Surely, it is hard to know the intent of the person and it is difficult to accept the sting of betrayal while trying to find ways to relate when the offender has acted freely causing personal damage without accountability. How difficult it is to transcend human emotion at a table prepared in the presence of unresolved betrayal cloaked in the context of relationship and perceived trust.

Human behavior and emotions are powerful forces and govern the way we experience quality or difficulty in relational engagement with others. One of the important components of holidays hinges upon traditions coupled with memories and associated emotions felt. The important point to remember is that you are the author of your happiness, so make the choices to foster your version of an enjoyable holiday no matter what other people choose to do. What do you think would provide a holiday celebration less chaotic without land mines underneath the turkey and dressing? Here is what I think:

1. Decide on a plan for the ways you will be involved in holiday celebrations or someone else will decide it for you.

2. Decide on the people that you are going to spend time with and the boundaries for the relationships or conversations. Know your limits and keep them.

3. Stay away from toxic conversations and private conversation with people who steal your joy.

4. Spend your time with children and enjoy the simple joys of the day.
5. Don’t stay too long, drink too much, or talk too much.

6. Remember that holidays are short and relationships are for life, so do your best to be kind to yourself and to others.


Transformed Through Darkness

Christmas-NightSomething that not everyone is ready to hear, nor capable of experiencing happens in the darkest moments of life experience and seems to have the harshest reality on the surface. One of the harshest realities that most people have no concept about is the daily experience behind the razor wire inside a level 7 prison where inmates will spend the rest of their life or a large part of life. It is a time for many men and women in life that is the darkest experience of their life because of choices they made to commit crime. During my time on staff as a prison chaplain, I observed people were hardened because of darkness or their lives transformed in the midst of darkness. The differences in their decisions were a response to the darkness they faced and the harsh conditions of life. Darkness comes in many forms and fashions for all people, but how do we as people view God and ourselves in that night of darkness and despair?

Richard Foster describes the dark of the night this way. “The dark of the night is one of the ways God brings us into a hush, a stillness so that he may work an inner transformation on the soul”. The point that is of interest recalls the important fact that while we writhe and stumble, resisting the darkness, God has brought us to this dark night for a purpose that He has designed. A great paradox exists within the stillness of the dark night and the inner peace and solitude revealing that the greatest need of life often is not a product of walking in the light. Transformation often comes in the moments of the “dark night of the soul” when we are able to receive God’s transforming love in the place of darkness and solitude.

There are times when it is possible to walk in the light and experience great darkness. What a thought provoking idea that ruptures popular ideals and the hedonistic theology advocating a Christian life without adversity – where there is always an escape from the darkness of life.

Read and listen to the words of Isaiah who says, “Who among you …fears the LORD and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon lie down in great torment”. (50:10-11 NLT)

There are times when life is engulfed by darkness, we are in the empty void of night, and we did nothing to get there. When life experience fills with darkness, it is a time that it is hard to see past the night and it is not visible to others or us that there is any ray of light on the horizon.  (Foster).

As a prisoner, incarcerated and wearing the visible appearance of darkness it may look like you have committed crimes worthy of this darkness. When you are in the valley of darkness and growing a life of inner peace, others will not understand that you can be very spiritual and out of sorts at the same time –in God’s will and in darkness. A boundary to embrace is silence, solitude, and separation from people and things that distract from the purpose of God. When you come to the place where you let God be your justifier–rest your case with Him, you will avoid the temptation of warming your hands at the enemy’s fire or living in your own light.

The warning that Isaiah gives is to those who live in the glow of their own light and the warmth of their own fire. The dark night of the soul, presents God’s purpose, God’s plan, and our opportunity for redemption from human effort to live in our own radiance to learn to walk by faith in darkness with confidence relying on God who is there to light the way.

Peace on Earth Starts in the Heart

Christmas Tree 1

It is in the quiet moments of life many people struggle with being alone because silence brings the ominous quiet that most are unaccustomed to facing.  To this subject C.S. Lewis says, “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” During the Christmas season many people gather in groups hoping to find peace through activity, while there is a lack of inner peace and or any awareness of God’s presence or the experience of His constant care of the soul life. In contrast to the flurry of activity, Richard Foster calls attention to solitude as a reflective tool as a pathway for soul care and to inner peace.

No one else can lead to inner peace and enable the experience solitude on your spiritual journey except God himself. Nevertheless, this  is a time of year when people talk much about “peace on earth and goodwill to men”, but there is little peace on earth and not much more goodwill. Speaking loudly are the words from the spiritual life is that sometimes silence is a necessary discipline to practice on the journey to developing a spiritual identity that brings peace. However, this journey  leads to is a place that sometimes becomes the “Dark night of the soul”Contrary to what it sounds like, the dark night is not a place of punishment, rather, it is a place of spiritual victory and has a purpose of setting freeing people.

A personal insight from life experience is that there are times when God leads us to a place where we have to learn to walk in the dark, so that we will know how to live in the light with natural expressions of faith. When we have a “Dark night of the soul” what do we experience? Our over-dependence upon the emotional life is stripped away and we come to a crisis of faith and belief, which puts us in a posture that we must decide whether we are going to follow our emotional impulses or follow after a life of faith.

Living in a time that has been described as an entitlement culture calls to memory the idea that we may be deceived in thinking that to be spiritual means we are always comforted, joyful, and happy because it is an entitlement. What a vivid distortion of spirituality that leads people to base their lives on how they feel and the phenomenon that accompanies a hedonistic approach to life.

Value to take away from this post is that “The dark of the night is one of the ways God brings us into a hush, a stillness so that he may work an inner transformation on the soul” (Foster). A great paradox that exist here is the inner peace and solitude needed by most will not be found by walking in the glittering lights, it may is found in the “dark night of the soul” when there is enough quiet within to find God’s transforming love in the moments of darkness and solitude that bring peace.

Giving Your Way to Peace

Winston Churchill

The holiday season has arrived again and brings the reminder that in all of the activity surrounding family and personal traditions, for many people Christmas is a holiday attached to a deeply embedded personal need to experience the joy of connection with others in a world filled with controversy. The holiday season exemplifies the profound personal and felt need that people possess to connect with other people, especially family or those that we love. Within the themes that the religious world presents about Christmas, especially within Christianity, the message and symbols of the season point to a central belief that a relationship with Christ brings the ultimate source of peace. Peace, that is the essential building block to joyful fulfilling relationships made possible by the revelation of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of life by providing the gift of a spiritual relationship with God through redemption. In the moments of the season of Christmas, the reminder in the season resonates the message that faith in the person of Christ as redeemer and Savior is the path to personal peace between God and man. What a wonderful reminder that in relationship with Christ, there can be found a method and power to guide, structure, and build the elements of present peace, and eternal hope for peace in the experience of life.

Disconnected Joy and Peace

Unfortunately, in the real world of the 21st Century, there is a real-life gap between concepts of the Christmas season. The gap stands between the seasonal expectations of people who hope for joy, connection, and fulfilling relationships in the atmosphere of fear, mistrust, and uncertainty. For those who fall outside of the bell curve of the normal expectations, Christmas functions as a time of year when the void between the experience of life and the meaning, ideas, and symbols of the season magnify the lack of personal peace felt as reminders of unmet expectations, missing people, and unfulfilled needs are missing from the Christmas season. This may cause the mind to question why this takes place at a time when people are consumed with the symbols of the signs of the season of peace and joy.

So Many Misappropriated Beliefs and Values

A central issue that contributes to disappointment and a lack of personal peace about things that occur around holidays like Christmas stems from faulty beliefs, values, and expectations about what is important in life and how to find meaning in the tragic world where we live.

A chronic problem in American culture is the belief that having more will make us happier and give peace and contentment. Truthfully, it is not what we receive during Christmas that satisfies the need a person has within to experience joy and find happiness. In contrast, it is giving from the heart that sources true blessing received in life. An effective axiom to illustrate this point says, “blessed are they that give, for in giving, they shall break down the barriers that prevent the ability to receive.” One of the evidences of a culture disconnected from the value of giving is the profound sense of entitlement that people possess in the 21st Century. Many individuals hold the belief that they are owed something from others and when they do not get it, they feel that somehow they are unappreciated and are suffering unjust conditions in life. Obviously, how we feel about problems that we experience is very real to us as individuals. However, peace does not come through expecting; it comes through how we respond to the personal needs of others and the practicing the grace of giving that will make the difference in how we experience life. At the heart of distorted, misplaced values is the heart of a hurting person who believes that “I don’t deserve this to happen to me …. And this just is not fair.” The truth is that life is never fair, but in the midst of an unfair life, world, and experience, there is life and the choice to give or take.

Course Correction and Redefined Values

What we need to do is to stop and realize that beyond our feelings of disappointment, i.e., that we should always receive the best outcome in life to experience joy there is a Savior who knows every pain that we feel in this life. Something to consider is that the times that produce the greatest faith are not when we are whole and everything is turning out right. It is when we are broken, feeling the weight of life, pressured by circumstances–tempting us beyond measure, times that we are able to value the wonder of life and what we have been privileged to have. As a result, it is at these divine intersections of life that we are able to experience the greatest potential for an expression of faith enabling the experience of peace.

The book of Romans says that because we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God. In the worst moment of Christ on the Cross, He surrendered all of life to God’s purpose in faith. Dying to self and living to God in a life of surrender is the greatest expression of faith, because when we have nothing else to give, we must trust God. Therefore, it is at that moment, we have found the way that lasting peace can be found in the act of surrender to God. What do you have to give to contribute to peace in the world today?

A Day to Remind us of Lasting Values

Memorial Day 2011 037I hope you have had a nice day and have enjoyed the time to commemorate those who served and given the ultimate sacrifice.  On days like this, I am reminded of the power of perception to affect our beliefs.  It is amazing to me how that people who stay at each others throats over political and social issues can “beat their swords and weapons into plowshares” on national holidays and pick them up the next day and go on with their personal agendas.

 One of the things that can be observed about holidays in general is that we are conditioned to act in accordance with what we see, our assumptions about important days and the meaning they hold for all people no matter what their perspective.  In fact, one thing that can be learned is “how powerfully condition affects our perception” (Covey, 2004 p.28).

Our models, paradigms for sacred a important holidays can and does have an impact upon the way we see patriotism, honor sacrifice, and commitment.  Indeed, the days on our calendar demands and conditions us to separate ourselves from partisanship hate mongering, and dividing from one another.  It is an interesting thought to consider, but take a moment and think about it.  If we can do such monumental acts of reverence for those who have served and the loyalty that it brings for the flag, country, and meaning attached to being an American, why can’t we do the same for the other days in the year?

 What is evident for most of us is that it is from a lifetime of conditioning that we have learned to be loyal in important moments and join hands as if there is no separation between Americans no matter what their color, race, or preferences in life.  Think about the “influences in our lives–family, school, church, work environment, fiends, associates, and current social paradigms … [and how] all have made their silent unconscious impact upon us … and help shape our frame of reference” (28). One important matter that is worthy of reflection and consideration at times like this is how what we have experienced in the past, what we have been taught, things that have been modeled teach us great respect for the self evident truths that we hold to as a people.

 The effect of our heritage cannot be denied in that we are a great nation because we have believed that we are great.  It is a sincere value that has been taught.  However, give consideration to the negative, divisive, and destructive values that have characterized recent years and ponder the thought: Has the absence of positive paradigms that stem from character, duty, honor, and respect created an atmosphere that is robbing people in the present day of their hope and belief in greatness? If so, then what will the future hold and where will we get the values that are necessary to continue separating from division and joining hands in a common belief?

My hope is that we will be inspired by a belief and trust in the character of what has made America great and gives us reasons to join hands in such difficult and perilous times…  God Bless America.

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What Does Easter Mean You?

Romans 12 1 Do not be conformed

In the wake of all of the important issues facing Christians today, an important question about what the crucifixion and the resurrection is the focus of Christian worship and cultural observances in this time of year. In a simple application, it a reminder that Christ’s death and resurrection is the key to the power to experience spiritual change. Think about the fact that God can take one act of depravity that is so horrific that it defies human understanding and use it to give the potential to create spiritual change to transform existence. That hope is the basis of potential that Christians have today.

Instead of of focusing all of the energy that we do on what is wrong with the world, Ressurection celebrations about the victorious life of Christ is a reminder of how God can make things right even when everything seems wrong. So, why not focus on hope and not on despair?  Why not place our energy on what can be done instead of what cannot be done?  Why not narrow our focus to the single purpose of God in Christ at Easter?

Think about this: the events celebrated on that morning at the tomb are about a fundamental change that is made possible through the death and resurrection of Christ. Christ’s sacrifice  recalls the process change through death and life that God uses to process to change in us. Therefore, when we commit our lives to Christ, that’s the initial turning point toward change.  When someone becomes a Christian, there is a spiritual change that is created by faith in Christ and the believer becomes a new person inside.  Indeed, they are not the same anymore because a new life has begun.”  What happens?  It is like starting over with a new ability to live.  That is why the Bible calls it being born again.  Born again does not mean reincarnation, it just means you get a new start in the old shell that you lived in everyday.  It is starting over and having a new life!  It is not turning over a new leaf, like Adam and Eve, you get a new life.  Ressurection reminds Christians that there is a new lifetime, lifelong process.

Think about Romans 12:2 “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold but let God remake you so that your whole attitude of mind is changed.”  You know that it is easy to get into a rut, live on the treadmill of life, and follow the routine rat race of existence.  Many people live by the mythology that says, “I cannot change, I’ve tried to change, or I used will power, but I just cannot change and I will never be able to change”.  If you believe that you cannot change, you are exactly right: you cannot change in your own.  The ressurection of Christ reminds believers that change is possible with God’s power working through your life.  In the this season of the year, the message of the cross and the tomb is crystallized in the moment of resurrection.  The reminder still rings today, “I want to take your greatest weakness and turn it into your strength”.

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Remembering the Cross,the Crucifixion, and the Potential of Men

This week all around the world Christians are remembering the darkest day of history when politically motivated men with a very personal agenda sought to crucify and destroy a innocent man by the cruelest form of death known at that time to human beings. The attitude that was characterized in the conversation of the crowd gathered around the foot of the cross portrays the emotional abuse being heaped upon Jesus during in this hour of darkness. The so-called religious leaders mocked Him on the cross, publicly humiliating Him, invalidating the deity of Jesus,  and  His power to save Himself, or anyone else.

The physical abuse that preceded the crucifixion and suffering from the scourging, repeated beatings, now magnified in public humiliation intensifies the emotional power of rejection. The physical pain coupled with emotional abuse and rejection in the moments of His death by religious leaders and the Roman soldiers driving the nails a little deeper, increasing the pain were sounding out the emotional trauma of an innocent man being brutally murdered by a mob. Magnifying the rejection and pain the cutting words came from the crowd: “In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him” (Matt 27:44). The very atmosphere of the crucifixion and the abuse of Jesus at the hands of these people of religious influence demonstrated the darkness of depravity on this day. The religious crowd set the example and paved the way, stirring the hatred and vitriol of the crowds,“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land” (Matt. 26:45). It was a dark day demonstrating the capacity of people to be at their worst, who could show hatred and physical abuse in such a public way. People who could show such emotional abuse and invalidation in such a painful way, demonstrating the day of spiritual darkness upon the earth revealing the emptiness their hearts, no remorse, and the moral depravity of men who could act in such a heartless way. That day that Jesus hung upon the cross shows men’s hearts darkened by the power of sin, the absence of light, and the inability to be touched by the voice of reason.

The crucifixion Jesus is a physical event that is a reminder of the death of a man who was without sin who became  a sacrifice and and  substitute  to those who have the ability –who will believe, it is a event of remembering that humans have not moved far from the foot of the cross. The gift of Christs sacrificial death on the cross, the ability to believe, a potential to experience life on the other side of the cross, a new life on the other side of the tomb, eternal life on the other side of the tomb is available today to those able to look through the darkness of unbelief and view the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”


Finding Hope in the Holidays

is it christmas?During the season of Christmas, one of the themes commonly heard is focused on message of hope. In the last few years it seems that job losses, foreclosures, and a general direction of decline has been developing undermines the expectation that things will get any better any time soon.  As a result, we typically look to our leaders in Washington and others to whom we look to for leadership and direction to inspire some sense of hope that things will get better.  Unfortunately, the absence of hope joined with eroding confidence is intensified by  an inability by those in places of leadership to be able to instill confidence and seed the evolving shift in culture, industry, and culture with hope. Consequently, no one knows if our leaders even remotely understand what they are doing or know where the road will lead for the average person.

A question that looms beneath the problems of our times is what is the basis for hope that we can have in a world that is filled with instability, uncertainty, and unclear expectations? A good place to start is to examine how we think about life, measure success, and obtain happiness. For some people, hope is magical thinking of thinking about life dominated by wishful dreams about how  life should be.  What most of us understand is that thinking, or what we think upon, has a tremendous capacity  upon behavior, attitudes, and what we believe is possible to happen.  Some people believe intently that they cannot be happy unless life works out within expectations and person beliefs about life.  To support this,  “Hope is defined as the perceived capability to derive pathways to desired goals and motivate oneself … thinking to use those pathways” (Snyder C.R., 2002).  As a result, hope is that the capability to construct ways to see what we want to achieve to come to pass is established in the perception those things will actually happen. Furthermore, the way that we motivate behavior to be consistent with hope is to believe that what we hope for is possible, attainable, and can be achieved.

This statement sounds closely akin to the Christian expression of faith and hope in the spiritual life. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). A way to make this practical is that having a firm trust in the character and nature of a loving, sovereign God, creates a pathway to express hope and a way to experience efficacy in life. The critical difference may be that hope that is expressed in Christianity is a spiritual reality based upon the person of Jesus Christ.  It is a belief based in a firm trust that He is the hope of the world. He is way to find redemption and salvation; he is the evidence of things not seen and the source of hope in all of life here and into the infinite future. As a result, hope is  a way of organizing thinking about the probabilities and possibilities in a life .  The significant  difference in the two approaches is that one approach is based on an infinite loving God  and the other upon finite human expressions and ways of understanding life in the way that we express life in human thinking,  ability, and perception.

In conclusion, there a way to correlate belief and resulting hope in theological terms and the experience of humanity? The answer to the question depends upon you and what frames your perception of life.  One thing that troubles me, in this the approach to hope is excesses of both approaches; one that divorces itself from God and the other that denies the process of logical processes.  If there is any message that needs to be heard today in a time which may seem that there is little hope, it is that there is hope as we can look to God as a source of hope in the direction that He provides in a relationship to Him by what Jesus did in His life, sacrifice, death, and resurrection. One thought that can provide confidence in today’s challenges and propel trust into the future is that in this time of the year God can provide hope in the midst of any situation when place our trust in Him

Snyder C. R., Hope theory: rainbows in the Mind. Psychological Inquiry. (2002) vol. 13,(4), pp.249-275.

Holy Week: A Reminder of the Cross as the Core Message of Christianity


Good Friday is a day when Christians all around the world focus upon the events that take place around a geographical location in Israel where Jesus was crucified and died upon the cross as the Savior of the world. The events around the Cross are also focused upon the character and capability of Jesus, a person  who’s life and death paints a picture or redemption through suffering.  The death of Jesus upon the Cross portrays the most horrid act of all humanity.  Nevertheless in the midst of depravity of men rejecting God’s Son,  God’s greatest gift is given through the complete satisfaction for a sin debt that was passed down through the human race and assumed by Christ.

The three solitary crosses tells  a story of one innocent man, who lived as a servant, hanging between two men convicted of crimes worthy of death. The emotionally charged story of the Cross portrays a picture of Jesus feeling the pain and sting of rejection from friends, family, and His followers.  It was a final rejection that culminated in that final act of bearing the pain being abandoned on the Cross in suffering that led to death.  His suffering was a public display of humiliation in the midst of sinners who had committed acts worthy of punishment.  On the Cross, Jesus gave His life as a ransom for human beings held hostage by the power of sin.  In His sacrifice, “He that knew no sin”, became sin and was nailed to a Cross by the people that He loved, served, and gave himself willingly to liberate.  Indeed, one image that resonates from the Cross is the depravity of the human race that  is juxtaposed against the grace of a loving God witnessed in the passion of Christ on the Cross.

In the rejection of Jesus as the Son of God, it was a rejection of God, as well as,  how in His goodness and demonstrated favor, virtue, and benefit for those who crucified Him.  However, in their vile and malicious acts they were so blinded by their own depravity that they could not see any need for what God offered in Christ. So their anger at what they could not see nor understand is validated by every striking striking blow of the hammer ringing out the sound of depravity.  Obviously, as religious as they were; they could not achieve a right standing with God.  Jesus was a visible reminder of their sin and the insufficiency of human efforts to remedy the sin condition.  Then, in the heinous acts of nailing the sinless Savior to the Cross,  a great paradox is portrayed in the presence of God and man. In the act of hatred for all that was good, nailing Jesus to the Cross, they were nailing down the guilt and depravity of a human race detached from God.  Indeed, the sad truth echoes from the Cross: when they got close enough to the greatest potential in life, they tried to murder it and push it away because they were not capable of a relationship with God.  In fact, they could not receive it nor understand their condition of detachment from a relationship with.  As a result, the people nailing Him to the Cross were blind, hopeless, and helpless and incapable of righteousness without God’s intervention.

When people see the life of Jesus and His death on the Cross, the attributes of His life are magnified by how He loved and served others.  Servant-hood  through the acts that He performed and the message that He communicated by willingly giving His life and surrendering in death to God’s purpose in redemption    However, what is missing from the understanding of many people who look upon the historical event (the Cross), the historical person (Jesus), is a personal relationship and personal identification with the place in history.  It is the story of the man who died abused and was rejected to offer forgiveness, redemption, and acceptance through the  grace of God.  His death on the Cross is a reminder of how all humans need a personal, spiritual attachment to God to create a healthy balanced relationship to enable a way to live effectively. Obviously, the point is that without Christ people are detached from God and His blessings.  Detachment occurred in the Garden of Eden and severed the once intimate relationship felt and experienced in every dimension of life.

An identity issue occurred and man no longer knew who he was because  relationship with God is what defined life, existence, and purpose in the Garden. As a result, their relationship, identity, and connection to spiritual life was altered in a solitary act of sin.   However, in one act sin changed  how relationship would occur with God.  On the other hand, the death of Jesus on the Cross has great theological meaning to Christianity and holds a great application to the human experience.  Do you remember the words,  “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” ( Col. 1:21-22).  Obviously, the felt need of every human being answered in the work of Christ is to have a relationship, to experience forgiveness, to remove guilt through redemption, and to know unconditional love and acceptance.

Therefore, this is the work done on the Cross by bringing a relationship of hope through His redemption.  Consequently, we have the great potential in the Cross to be connected and attached in a relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross we remember at Easter.