Holy Month

April is just around the corner and our holy month begins; Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday and Easter.  The death, burial and resurrection — the miracle that saved our life.

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Do you believe?  That is all that is asked of us, to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

People don’t like to see the image of Jesus nailed to the cross, or the crown of thorns on his head; but this is the reality.  Jesus was nailed to a cross, hands and feet, his sides were pierced and a crown of sharp thorns was not “placed” on his head, it was jammed into it.  Imagine the physical pain and anguish.  He made this awful sacrifice for us; to heal our wounds, forgive our sins and give us a life that is free and an end that is eternal. 

Image result for nails and a crossHe was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him. Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.  ~Isaiah 53:3-5 (NHEB)

 

 

What we gain by giving up

During this Lenten season, some are giving up sugar or Facebook or something else that bogs down their time or life.  Some; instead of giving up, are giving.  They are volunteering or adding more bible study to their routine.  Whatever path you choose, make it prayerful, make it important.  You are in essence, to deny yourself, carry your cross and follow Jesus.

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For me, as a young child, Easter was about decorating hard boiled eggs, shopping for a pretty outfit with new shiny shoes, a basket filled with lots of candy and a plush rabbit, a very touching church service, complete with palms for waving and a big dinner at home after church.

Now, as a ‘grownup’ …. I find that being as mindful as possible about the significance of this time is all I need to draw closer to Jesus.

When it comes right down to it, we are sorrowful for the death of Jesus, celebratory for the resurrection and grateful for the life ever after.

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Pieces of Compassion

Image result for compassionThe word “compassion” is as hard to define as it is – understanding its importance.

  • empathy; not knowing — but attempting to understand.
  • help
  • love
  • care
  • concern
  • prayer

Is it not the most important path we walk as believers – to love and support those who are in need, whatever that need may be?

Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
This post is personal, as I have several women friends battling cancer.  They are in varying stages, but all are fighting to live.  What can I do to ease any of the pain?  Bring a meal, pray intentionally and listen.

Lazy Pieces

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This is a touchy subject for people of all faiths.  Getting complacent, lazy and expectant can lead to disappointment and further laziness.

I’m very guilty of this. 

I realized today, I hadn’t written in this blog since Christmas!!  Why had I decided it was no longer important?  Laziness.

I forget to pray.  In the morning with my coffee, or when I hit the pillow at night.  FORGET?  How about lazy?

I talk to God in a hurry, no longer like He is the best friend I have in this world.

How can we become/or get back to — healthy Christian living?

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I learned an important lesson last year, a Godly woman shared with me her thoughts – and wow, they were right on!  I explained the trouble I had “managing” God in my life.  That in my “life pie” there were too many pieces, and God was one of them.

She simply said:  “GOD IS THE ENTIRE PIE, NOT A PIECE.”  What?  Of course, that makes perfect sense!  I had been treating God as if He were a sliver in my life, with all the other “important” pieces (family, work, health, money, etc.).  What a realization!  God is the pie, God is the pie!  I kept turning this over in my mind.  How foolish I had been for so many years.

I was so good after learning this fact.  I prayed daily, twice even!  I regularly attended church and other community activities, I soaked up God’s Word like I had never read before, I bought & read inspirational books, I talked about my faith….etc.  And then, reality set in.  This is the part I want you to really embrace.  WE ARE NOT FAILURES, we are just lazy at times. 

Life gets in the way, oh yes it does.  But the moment we realize how far we have strayed from that “good feeling”..the faster we need to correct and get back to what we can manage.  Maybe not twice daily prayers, but for sure time in the Word.  Coffee with a like-minded believer to share how the busyness of life does get in the way.  Give yourself a break.  God is always there, it is us – who have not made the time.

Pieces of Christmas

What an incredible time of  year; the celebration of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our King, born into humble circumstances, who would walk this earth as a man, human in every sense, to bring light to a dark world.Image result for nativityKings brought their finest gifts, sheep and cows stood near their shepherds, a heavenly host sang Hallelujah, the brightest star shone in the sky, and the baby Jesus was held by his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph.  What a day it must’ve been for his heavenly Father, knowing all his son would accomplish, and give up.
Image result for the meaning of christmasAnother holiday has passed, but the message of His birth, and the sanctity of his love, never leaves the heart.

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.
~Christina Rossetti
Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love. ~Lucinda Franks

Oh! lovely voices of the sky
Which hymned the Saviour’s birth,
Are ye not singing still on high,
Ye that sang, “Peace on earth”?
~Felicia Hemans

 

 

Epiphany Pieces

In the endless battle to control paper in my home office, I came across this incredibly raw and honest “piece” (scrap) that fits right in with the spiritual path I am on at different times in my life.

The bigger circle was fighting me.  I gave in and pushed at the edges realizing this is what I do to get God to see my way.

I was working on a clay project from retreat last Fall.  It was a beginners class, the clay dried my skin out which in turn, took an act of congress to make me forget so I could forge ahead with what the clay might reveal to me.  Reveal it did.  Wow.

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I still would rather do just about anything than work with clay (!!!) but it taught me about substance, what I want to learn on this journey called life.

Pieces of Humility

Oh the irony!!!! While perusing our church’s small library, I was asked if I was looking for a specific subject; I held my breath for a second; hmmm……how best to answer this?  Well, yes, I’m looking for a book on “Humility.”

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Touchy subject, isn’t it?  For some, they may feel “right” or “deserving” of something or someone.  Others might feel that pride is what we’ve been taught at home; “take pride in what you are doing,” etc.

Mother Teresa would say that humility is climbing a ladder.

  1. Do not speak of yourself
  2. Mind your own business
  3. Do not manage the affairs of others
  4. Avoid curiosity
  5. Accept contradictions and corrections cheerfully
  6. Pass over the mistakes of others
  7. Accept insult and injury
  8. To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked
  9. To be kind and gentle, even under provocation
  10. Do not stand on your dignity
  11. To choose “always the hardest”

Wise and perhaps sorrowful woman at times?  How could she have walked this path that is so foreign to most of us.  She began as a human being-same as us.  She just took the vow to follow Jesus at any cost, as a complete promise.  Complete.

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Is (learning) to become humble, an easier “New Year’s resolution” than dieting or some other life change?  Here’s to those who are willing to share in the experiment with me!