Category Archives: Journey through Lent 2020

Back on track <3

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Hey-ho and Happy Monday!

We had a good weekend and thank you for your prayers for our John. He is back in his apartment with power, no water yet as of last night, but able to find places to wash dishes and take a shower. 

Thank you for continued prayers for the state as they recover. I don’t think we can adequately understand the breadth of damage and heartache they endured last week. 

On Sunday we had some wanted and unwanted guests. 

These three needed a place to hang for a while…

and this one must have been very hungry because it camped under our bird feeder most of the day. 

Rachel said it took him a while to get across town but he finally found us. Hope he didn’t bring Gary Groundhog with him. 

For our devotional thoughts today, I wanted to be very upfront with you about a little struggle I had and almost lost a battle that I am so grateful I didn’t cave into. 

I have gotten behind in my Bible in a year reading and as I added the Elijah study with Priscilla Shirer and began contemplating what else I might want to do for Lent, I jotted down in my journal around Wednesday that maybe it was a year to not read through the Bible. 

Then I picked up Priscilla’s study for the day and she opens with how one year she determined to read through the Bible and found it challenging but hung in there. 

Okay. 

So on Friday I took The Message to work with me and decided that in down time moments instead of scrolling or texting, I would catch up reading. 

I am so very glad I did. 

I am in Deuteronomy now and everywhere I turn, I am seeing passages from that same chapter shared and posted and talked about. 

The Word is jumping off the pages to me as I read Moses final sermon to God’s people. 

There are so many thoughts I could share but for today, I have to land on this one from my morning reading. 

Often when I am praying for something good, I tend to want to point out to God why I deserve it…sigh…yes…that’s why I need to read through this book every year…still a work in progress. 

Then I read in Deuteronomy 9 what God had to say to Israel about how He was going to clear the way for them as they moved into the land that He had promised Abraham and his descendants. 

He basically tells them…don’t think I am doing all of this for you because you deserve it. You are stubborn, disobedient, rebellious and unfaithful of heart. Prone to straying frequently and rather unpleasant to be around when things aren’t going your way…no. I am clearing this area because I promised I would and I don’t break My promises. I am emptying this land of wickedness not because you all are good but because I am holy. 

Wow. 

I love it. 

I love God. 

He puts me in my place and then He meets me where I am and dwells with me. 

Wonderful <3

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Holy Week 2020 Sunday Best. Day. Ever.

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The final day of Holy Week and we have already had texts from many friends proclaiming He IS Risen!! 

Social media posts by brothers and sisters in Christ repeat these words with various photographs and graphics. 

A simple phrase that may seem repetitive but for those who have died to live in Him, it is beautiful every single time. 

We do not grow tired of it but instead our souls burst with joy and we respond either in the spirit or verbally or today….in typed words and emojis…He is RISEN indeed! 

As I read the familiar passages this morning of women making their way through the first light of dawn, it occurred to me the familiarity Jesus would have had of being there in the garden in the wee hours of the morning. 

He had often slipped way to lonely places to pray, we are told; and this morning He was waiting for them with the biggest surprise of not only their lives, but all of eternity. 

It was His custom to be there alone with His Father, and there He was that blessed morning. 

He showed up walking along the path with two men returning home and then sat down to eat dinner with them.

For Thomas He provided a visual and tactile experience to meet him in his doubts.

Days later He would restore Peter in the familiar place of a fishing trip. 

He meets each of us in a personal way that we can understand. 

He knows us and loves us so intimately that He makes Himself accessible to do the extraordinary in the most ordinary places of our lives. 

He is risen…He is alive…He fulfills His promises to us.

He is faithful. 

He is gracious. 

He is compassionate. 

He is truth. 

He is powerful.

Look for Him in the places that are common to you.

Seek Him and He will find you … yes…I know it is He will be found, but trust me…all who seek Him will find Him because He will always be the one who was looking for us.

He is the same…yesterday…today…forever <3

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Holy Week 2020 Saturday

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It is the quietest day of Holy Week. 

As I ponder the scene and think about what it was like for the followers and disciples of Jesus the morning after the crucifixion, I picture them raw and hurting and bewildered. 

Peter is running back over the swift turn he made from vowing to die right beside Jesus to denying Him vehemently just hours later and a few feet away from where He was being tried in a one-sided courtroom. 

And I can certainly identify with the kicking oneself and the shame that comes after denying Christ out of fear of association.

I think of the women and John who had stood by the cross all day and who had witnessed His agony and humiliation. Helpless but unable to leave Him alone. 

I think of how, as a mother I have winced and felt the sting on my own knee when one of our children’s tender skin collided with the rough pavement, as children are prone to do. 

And I can well imagine Mary and the women who had tended Him out of a motherly love were aching inside and worn thin from what they had seen.

I can imagine Joseph and Nicodemus, with smeared blood still on their clothes from lifting His beaten body onto soft cloths and wrapping Him. I wonder if their arms and legs ached a bit from the labor of hurrying to get Him safely buried before the sun had set on the Sabbath.

I think of them observing this day of Sabbath rest, confined to inactivity while their hearts and minds and spirits tried to figure out what to do now. 

They had given up everything to follow Him and now He was gone. 

So they waited. 

They waited for what, to the best of their knowledge, was the next thing they could do. 

Today we are housebound again here in our world. We are going about the usual Saturday things knowing we have no other choices or options and it changes things. 

I can feel the weight of our own canceled plans and unmet expectations today..though certainly not of the epic scale of what the disciples were facing and how their disappointment would turn into the salvation of the world…goodness knows. 

But I can use these feelings of uncertainly and living in the in between to imagine how they would have felt on that day as they tried to comfort one another and yet all hope seemed lost. 

They were men and women just like you and me. 

They had questions and concerns and were trying hard to remember what He had taught them so they could hold on to this man they had loved and cared for and listened to and chosen to follow. 

In the quiet of this day, let’s consider in our own hearts the places where it may seem hope is lost…and let’s keep our eyes firmly on the promise we are blessed to know in our life times…

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Sunday is coming <3

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