When I sit down to write this column on Thursday nights, I don't always know how it's going to start.
Sometimes it comes to me during the day, and sometimes I just sit here quietly and say "Well, Lord - how do you want this to begin?"
Thursday, it was quite literally handed to me at Ladies Christian Fellowship.
Everyone gets a "prayer favor," usually a small card of some kind, with the name of one of the ladies present. With meetings once a month, you agree to pray for that person for the month.
This time, it was a slip of paper with the scripture defining Jesus as the cornerstone. With it, we were given the choice of a rock from a box. The one I picked up was darker than the rest, and shaped somewhat like a heart. After I sat down and took a good look at it, it looked not like a valentine heart, but very much like an anatomical human heart.
Many times in the Bible, it mentions people having hardened hearts, and it reminded me of some people I know. And of myself several years ago.
Being angry and unforgiving about the past is a good example of this.
The past is gone, and there is nothing we can do to change it. Hanging on to resentment over hurts only affects us, and the sooner we let them go the better. Or hanging on desperately to the memory of lost loved ones for years and years. That limits our ability to enjoy life, and carried on too long isn't healthy.
So where can we turn to set this straight? The Bible is a good start. So is church, where you can talk with your pastor and friends. But most of all, we just need to soften our hearts and let things go!
We are coming up to one of the most joyous seasons in the Christian faith. And it comes right along with one that is very special to the Jewish community.
There are going to be plenty of choices for the next two weeks to celebrate the Easter season, and we'll start with Grace Lutheran Church:
andbull; Holy Week services: Palm Sunday (tomorrow), 8:30 a.m., traditional Lutheran service with a special reading, "The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Matthew"; Maundy Thursday, April 17, 7 p.m. worship with The Lord's Supper; Good Friday, April 18, 7 p.m. Tenebrae Worship, "leaving in silence to observe Christ's sacrifice until the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday"; Easter Sunday 8:30 a.m., traditional worship with the Lord's Supper, 9:30 a.m. Easter Sunday breakfast, 10:30 a.m. egg hunt, 11 a.m., contemporary service and the Lord's Supper.
andbull; Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church: Easter Sunday, 7 a.m. "Sonrise" service in Virginia's Grove; Easter breakfast, 8andndash;10 a.m., pancakes, egg casserole, biscuits and sausage gravy, fruit, crockpot oatmeal. There will be no Bible Hour, but the second service begins at 10:30 a.m.
andbull; New Life Community Church: Easter sunrise service, time still to be determined, to start just prior to sunrise - there will be no breakfast this year; 10:30 a.m. worship service followed this year with a potluck.
andbull; Foursquare Church: Good Friday service, 6andndash;7 p.m. April 18; Easter Saturday service, 6andndash;7:10 p.m. April 19; Easter Sunday services, 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. The church promises, "Upbeat music, down to earth, helpful message, friendly and accepting, come as you are, great nursery, activities and a gift for the kids."
Also, that great garage sale it had last week is being repeated, so if you missed out before, you have another chance today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be furniture, household items, tools, electronics and more. This is to benefit its Christian school.
andbull; There's been an unfortunate change in the schedule at the Crescent City United Methodist Church. The concert scheduled for today has been canceled due to the illness of one of the performers but will hopefully be rescheduled for a later date.
Holy Week Services there will be: Thursday and Friday, service commemorating last supper of Jesus will be held at noon at Crescent City UMC, and at 7 p.m. at Smith River UMC. A Service of Darkness will be held at Crescent City UMC on Good Friday. Using words and music, the story of the last hours of Jesus will be told. The service begins at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome.
andbull; The Community Good Friday service will be held at noon at the Church of the Nazarene. This has been a very nice service since it started several years ago, and is presented by a number of our local pastors, and there is usually some excellent music as well.
andbull; Temple Beth Shalom folks will be celebrating Passover on Saturday, April 19, at 4 p.m. at the Coast Guard Auxiliary hall down at the harbor. This is scheduled to be a potluck.
To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.