Category Archives: Commemoration Week

Reflecting on Commemoration Week 2017 <3

Week before last was my annual Commemoration Week.

I started it a number of years ago…actually I got the idea in August of 2005.

I was reading in Exodus one day and I read about the institution of the Passover in chapter 12.

When God shared the details of all He wanted the people to do to prepare for their exit from slavery and life lived in a land that was foreign and hostile to them, He told Moses that from that time on…this would mark the beginning of the year for them. (Exodus 12:1&2)

I don’t know what New Year had looked like previously, but this would be the start of their year from that time on.

Every year after that first Passover, they would commemorate the events that led to their miraculous deliverance as they started the New Year.

It is interesting to note that sometime after Torah and before the second century Mishnah (say what??? I know…I had to look it up. It’s the written portion of the oral traditions of Torah), the consensus was that the New Year for the Jewish calendar would be at the start of Rosh Hashanah or beginning of Yom Kippur.

This falls, interestingly enough in September this year.

We have all kinds of New Years, don’t we?

The one everybody celebrates where we ring it in and add a number to the previous year in our calendar.

Every birthday and every wedding anniversary marks a new year of that life or relationship.

Some of us view the start of the school year as a time of regrouping and refocusing as we head into harvest followed by the string of holidays that will carry us through winter and spring and into another hot summer of fun in the sun before we start it up all over again.

And so I instituted my own kind of spiritual “new year” those many years ago.

Since I found the passage in August and it was the 12th chapter of Exodus, I select the full week each year that August 12 falls into.

I set aside time to revisit those old passages about the Passover and I look back over the ways God has led me farther along this path I tend to call the Journey.

I meditate on what I have been delivered from…the first time when I was saved and then the many layers of old self God continues to peel off year after year.

There have been some sweet surprises and some unexpected twists since I started Commemoration Week.

Some years have been grand celebrations indeed and others have been quiet and somber times.

Sometimes I have added joys and blessings and sometimes I have mourned deep loss and change.

This year marked a week where I decided it was time for some intense healing.

Time to let some things go that I have begun to wallow in.

Time to let God do that thing that only He can do.

Healing is a process.

Slow and painful and extremely private and yet God is so gracious..so patient…so loving.

He will sit quietly with us in our sorrows.

He takes a nail scarred hand and gently wipes every tear.

He raises up sweet sojourners…fellow travelers on the journey…who love us and tend us and go through the awkward moments with us as we limp along the path.

And so as I enter another new season, I humbly thank God for His faithfulness…for His kindness…and for His unending mercy and grace.

I thank Him for the dear ones He has blessed me with as we….

love and support and encourage and arm-in-arm…

journey onward <3

 

 

Commemoration Week 2016 <3 Friday

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Driving along in a rental car, I am listening to a beautiful song.

I think I recognize the artist but can’t think of her name so I glance at the dashboard display and am met with digital green numbers of the radio station, temperature and time only.

I have access to satellite radio in my car at home, thanks to a generous husband. 

So not only do I have continuous coverage of stations anywhere I drive, I also have the name of the artist and song title on display with each new selection.

I find myself irritated as I search through my memory for the the name of the girl singing.

And I let her words exhorting me to “come alive” fall on dead, dry soil.

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I cry that I live in a culture that has marginalized God at best and is at war against him at worst…

yet I am so inundated and immersed with email devotions and beautiful Scripture posts throughout the day that I have not time to open the dog-eared pages of my own Bible and read His Word to me.

Entrapped by apps and clever catch phrases that attempt to make Christianity hip and cool and enticing…

I have been lulled away from the passion…

the PASSION …

of Christ..

and on the night He was betrayed...

He was stricken for our transgressions…

He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him…

If the world hates you, keep in mind….they hated Me first…

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Maybe…just maybe…the ungodly culture that I rail against as it comes like a flood and threatens to sweep us all away…

has been allowed by God because He has grown weary of His own spoiled children…

who are more interested in who the artist is…

then praising Him who formed the artist.

Maybe I need to be reminded to worship the CREATOR instead of the creation.

He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrow and pains and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. 

But in fact He has borne our griefs, and He has carried our sorrows and pains; yet we ignorantly assumed that He was stricken, struck down by God and degraded and humiliated by Him.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness {our sin, our injustice, our wrong-doing}; the punishment {required} for our well-being fell on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. <3       Isaiah 53: 3-6

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Let us be the people of the Cross…the people who remember and do not forget <3

 

 

 

Commemoration Week 2016 <3 Thursday

A little over a week ago my sister-in-law, Sonja, challenged me on Facebook to a “love your spouse” challenge.

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I have a blanket policy when it comes to challenges, chain letters and “copy and paste” requests…I don’t do them.

But this one…I couldn’t resist.

I think it was the way she worded it and the fact that I kind of like the idea of being able to make a fuss over my husband that I could blame on a challenge.

He’s a bit modest and doesn’t care for attention drawn to him so it looked like a win-win.

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I don’t have to make stuff up about how much I love him or how great he is, because it is something I think about on a regular basis.

But I wasn’t prepared for how looking through pictures to find some of us to post stirred my heart to remember all the things he does for me and our family, the way he cares for us and always has, his unselfishness…his humor…his steady ways…his integrity…on and on…

I would find myself all teary eyed as I flipped through pictures and my gratitude for the blessing he is to me, our kiddos and grands, our friends and others…just grew as I meditated on what he means to me.

All of this didn’t add anything to who he is. it just made me more aware of it and increased my love and admiration for him.

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It reminded me.

God calls us to meditate on Him, too…not because He needs it.

Not because His ego is enhanced by it.

Instead, when I focus on God and think about His attributes…as I look through Scripture and remind myself of HIs character and His love …

I am renewed in my love for Him…

I am reminded of how blessed I am to belong to Him.

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And so today…I challenge you to renew your love for the Lord by refreshing yourself as you meditate on…

Why you love Him…

For me….

He is faithful…just…righteous…kind…gracious…loving…forgiving…merciful…true…noble..

beautiful…creative…patient

Who He is to you….

For me

Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End….Ancient of Days…Almighty God…Everlasting Father…King of kings, Lord of lords…I AM…Mighty Counselor…Prince of Peace…Redeemer…Savior

All the ways He has helped you…

For me..

He rescued me…transferred me from darkness to light…forgave my sins…restored my hope…resurrected all that was dead…pulled me out of the pit…set me on solid ground…delivered me from depression…answered my prayers and sometimes didn’t…led me through trials…took what was meant for harm and turned it to good

The more I think about these, the more that come to mind…and then I turn to Scripture and find even more to add to the list.

Go on now…you try it.

Add your own….

and don’t stop…

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because the more you name them, the more you will be filled with love for Him <3

Commemoration Week <3 Wednesday

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Aren’t we a funny bunch?

We want to be awed by God…and yet we want to be able to somehow capture His awesomeness and make it containable and explainable and ownable…

trying to imitate it in art…

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to copy it in some way so that we can hold onto it  …

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It is why I love pictures and why I wanted so desperately to photograph just one of these lovely creatures…the blue blur off to the side…the Blue Morpho Butterfly…

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but they would not cooperate and continued to elude my attempts …

until I found one resting…

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so I patiently rolled video over it waiting for a flap of the wing

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that would reveal…

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and then in the midst of my attempts to catch on film the incredible handiwork of God..

this one…

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slips her phone in front of mine…

and between fits of laughter and the joy of love that exists between a daughter and her mom…

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I am reminded that the glory and wonder of God can not be contained…

not in paintings…

or photographs…

or sculptures…

not even in the human heart.

Not the earth..

nor all the heavens can contain

His wondrous

marvelous

infinite

love <3

 

 

 

Commemoration Week 2016 <3 Tuesday

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The LORD God has stretched out His hand.

He has thrown the enemy into darkness and confusion – He has given us Light, Revelation and Clarity TODAY.

ALL WILL know His Glory when they see the destruction of the Egyptians and the deliverance of God’s people – Do NOT be afraid!

Stand firm and you WILL see the deliverance the LORD will bring TODAY

The Egyptians you see TODAY you will …..

NEVER……

see again!

The Lord will fight for you;

You need….

only….

to be….

still.

Exodus 14: 13-14

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We all read with horror and unbelief the news a while back about the family in Florida who watched as an alligator snatched their toddler off the beach in the middle of a family vacation.

While we have no video footage, thankfully, our minds can play out the scene in graphic detail and any parent or person who fiercely loves a child can feel the desperation that drove the father into the water…into the mouth of an alligator…in a futile attempt to rescue his son.

Sitting here almost two months after reading the first accounts, I still weep for the family and say a prayer.

I can put myself in that father and mother’s place a thousand times and relate to the utter helplessness they must have felt in those moments.

How they would have fought that alligator to their own death to save their child.

And then I think of God’s love for us.

That He sent His only Son…

into the jaws of death…

for you…

for me…

for all who would receive the gift of Salvation.

Unlike the father on the beach…

God most assuredly could have spared His Son…

stopped the jaws of death from closing over Him…

stopped the heaping of sin on His sinless son.

Oh, yes, the Father could have saved the Son…

and lost all of us.

But He didn’t.

He is able to save.

He is willing to save.

I am so grateful <3

Stand still on the Promises of God with me, TODAY..

.and remember….

We are crossing the Jordan

He is leading us

He will fight for us

The enemy is in darkness and confusion NOW

We are in clarity and light and revelation Truth NOW

We are delivered TODAY –

the enemy is defeated TODAY –

this one is finished –

over –

We will never see this enemy again.

God will show us the way because it is a new way

It is finished TODAY –

we will see His GLORY from now on

He has been at work through all of this dark, confusing time –

we believed it…

now we will see it

All will see what God has done and will give HIM the GLORY

It is ALL His work

and

we will give Him

ALL

THE

GLORY <3