Archive for March, 2008

“My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.” – Trusting God’s will can stir big changes -inside of us

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The first time I read it, I didn’t believe it.

“My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.”

That’s what Jesus said to his three close friends the night before he was arrested and executed. He asked them to keep him company, to pray with him, to steady him.

“My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death,” he said.

For whatever reason, I didn’t remember that line from the religion classes of my youth. I remembered how Peter, James and John fell asleep on Jesus. I re membered how Jesus prayed three times, and how in one account, he even “sweated blood.”

But not the utter despair of Matthew 26:38.

“My soul is over whelmed to the point of death.”

That’s one of my favorite Bible verses, which probably says something scary about me. I share that line with friends who are so depressed, so overwhelmed. They know they are people of faith and tell themselves, “God is on the throne, so I shouldn’t feel like this, right?”

Well, Jesus did.

And if anyone was sure God was on the throne and what that meant, it was Jesus.

There are times – those Garden of Gethsemane moments in hospital beds and waiting rooms, in courtrooms and lonely bedrooms – when we feel our souls being overwhelmed to the point of death.

A woman recently e-mailed me about how this was the first Easter since her husband died. “When you marry, two become one,” she wrote. “When one goes to be with the Lord, you are torn in two. . . . I’m still my own person, but half of me is missing.”

That’s a little like Jesus in the garden, praying three times that he would not have to face the cross and the pain. He seemed to know that heaven awaited, that he had a mission and that it was worth the agony. But still he felt empty inside – at least, at that moment.

In his prayers that night, Jesus went from “My will be done” to “Thy will be done.”

When my father had a stroke that disabled him and robbed him of his speech, I prayed for a miracle. Then I prayed that he would die quickly, so that he would not endure a silent life in a wheelchair with so much of his old life gone. And, selfishly, I wanted it over because it made my life harder.

After a year, neither prayer was answered the way I wanted.

Someone once told me, “Prayer often does not change the situation, but it does change how we think and feel about it. So keep praying.”

I began to pray, “OK, God, get me through this.”

It’s a prayer I’ve heard from cancer patients, from parents of adult children who are having problems, from people who find themselves without a job, a spouse, even hope.

About four years after my father’s stroke, I finally was living in “Thy will be done” territory. I figured I might as well go along with what God was doing because it was not about to change. My father died six months later, and those were the best six months we had.

On the surface, nothing changed. Inside, I did.

Some Christians love to talk about “the breakthrough,” when lives changed. But it often takes heartbreak to get there. For every Easter Sunday, we have a personal Good Friday, and before that, a Thursday night in the garden.

To reach Terry Pluto:, 216-999-4674



You know it occurred to me as I was looking some of the Ice Cakes left beside the driveway yesterday Spring has sprung!

Yes Easter came early this year.  Just so you are not caught unaware next year Easter is on April 12 and in 2010 Easter comes on April 4th.  You can put it on you calendar.  Did Easter creep up on you this year?  I think it did.  That is where planning comes into play. 

Oh yea, back to spring.  Spring hopes eternal.  Yes the boys of summer are 10 days from starting there season in the U.S.  Yes, America’s pastime is opening the regular season in Japan!  Don’t miss it.  Well at least the U.S. home opener is in Cincinnatti, as it should be.  The first game starts about 2 hours earlier in Cinci than any other National League game.  Well at least they are not starting the season with inter-league play. 

Oh yea, spring.  The season of bracketology, high profile recruit signings, NFL free agency and …SNOW!  Yes we are to possible get a couple of inches of snow today.  Hurray Spring!

 Well it is nice to see the fresh growth in my garden try and break through the ice cakes!  By the time the NFL draft rolls around, we will be out trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn and hitting the links.  The calendar says it’s spring, but as for me I will wait for the Master’s to be played, the NFL draft to occur and a couple of 70 degree days before I announce it is spring in my world. 

Don’t put the snowblower away!  I must be off.

Pryor picks a winner…

It’s a done deal!!!

So it starts again…

Cleveland 0 0
Chi White Sox 0 0
Detroit 0 0
Kansas City 0 0
Minnesota 0 0

Well, you know it occurred to me.  We spring forward tomorrow and my thoughts turn to Winter Haven (nice name for a locale in Floriduh eh?)…

I got a call from fellow T.M.D.R.B member and brother in the Lord, Larry yesterday.  He is hanging out with his wife and daughter from the eastern shore of Floriduh.  Larry says it has been about 80 every day and sunny.  Sounds very nice. 

He did say they were going to hang around for the shuttle launch next week but they are almost ready to come back to Sunny Michigan.  (We did have a couple of sunny days last week)…

But the boys of summer are training for another season of baseball.  It won’t be long and America’s pastime will launch another season halfway around the world in China or some place far far away.  What is up with that? 

If you ever get a chance to take in some Grapefruit or Cactus league action, I would recommend it.  I did get to a Cactus league workout last year and if you think regular season baseball is relaxing, think again. 

But I do like the way the standings look now and I predict that come October they will look very much the same.  As you know good pitching always stops good hitting. 

It should be exciting down at Comerica this year.  I have procurred tickets (yes there is that ticket word) for most all the Indians games in Detroit this year.  They are a tough ticket to get as some of the games only have single seats of limited view seats available.

Also new to 2008 will be several trips to Cleveland to take in the Tribe.  Yes, as a result of the illfated trip to the playoffs last year, I am now a partial season ticket holder of your Cleveland Indians.  As Fridays and Sundays are kinda busy, I opted for the Saturday mostly package.  I am looking forward with great anticipation to the warm weather, baseball and some Hot Dogs with Bertman’s mustard!

Did I mention that my daughter got me two jars of Bertman’s for Christmas?  I must have forgot.  I think I will fire up the grill in the next day or so, put some bratz on and try out my new jar of mustard.  Make my mouth water just thinking about it.

I am also looking forward to St. Patricks day.  I did jump the gun a little bit and last week purchased a corned beef brisket, and some how it made it into a pot and we had a wonderful boiled dinner the other night.  What a simple and tasty dinner!  Just do a search on “boiled dinner” and you will find many simple recipes.  I highly recommend it and it is east too!

Well, one other note.  I do not like this Daylight Savings Time.  I know our God is a timeless God (I was thinking about that just this morning), but this changing of the time twice a year is ridiculous.  You know there are two places left in the US where they do not observe D.S.T and I would consider moving to either of them if God said it was ok to go (they are Arizona and Hawaii)… 

Well, I must be off..

Shaun Rogers – He is going to be, no he is HUGE!

He is HUGE

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