Seeing Again

Lent: Day 34  ‘Teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:46-52

Blind Bartimaeus wanted to see again. This tells us that at some previous point in his life, he did have sight and by some turn of event lost it. We all occasionally lose our way. It is easy in this world to be distracted by our hurt feelings, disappointments and frustrations. It is fortunate for us that God knows the heart that is left to tears and outcries of despair. Listen and take heart! The Savior’s journey travels every path that we take and calls us to once again to follow him in his path of light to resurrection and glory.

2 Corinthians 4:13-18 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

Psalm 43 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.

Advertisements

Arising Towards Jerusalem

Lent: Day 33 – They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Mark 10:32-45

This Lenten season is just about over. Perhaps we are not quite at a point in our lives where it seems darkest before dawn, but in the life of Christ, he is preparing to make his way to Jerusalem. We know that the worst, at least from a physical standpoint is about to happen and those who followed Christ were afraid. Even today, at least for me, it is hard to imagine walking towards your own death especially when you are both innocent and not guilty of any crime. Who among us is both innocent and not guilty? Yet by the grace of God, with every step Christ takes towards Jerusalem we are all lifted up. Although the walk is hard to envision, because of Christ’s walk I can envision his death and burial into the darkness of the earth, as God reaching down to the depths of his creation for all who believe. Before I understood God’s Love I walked in that darkness of sin. So today I arise with Christ ahead of me and I’ll joyfully take this walk again, afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Instead of darkness I envision light. Instead of death I envision resurrection.  Instead of continual bondage I envision eternal freedom. We are the forgiven. We are the righteous. We are the anointed. We are the children of God.

Psalm 143:1-12 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul… 

2 Corinthians 4:1-12it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.

Treasures Of The Heart

Lent: Day 32 – If we only see Christ from a physical point of view, we will never fully understand who God is. A wealthy man walks up to Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answers, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Jesus gives a physical answer to a physical question. From the story we know that the man has followed the law (Commandments) and yet he asks what else must he do. Perhaps, he recognizes that his soul is not fulfilled yet the wealthy inquirer becomes saddened when he is told to sell all that he has to achieve the one thing that he believes he doesn’t have. This story is more about our relationship with God than it is about sacrificing the physical things we possess. In this physical life, when we really want something for our selves or the people we love, we will make sacrifices. How much more are we willing to sacrifice, if our true desire is eternal life? What the wealthy man doesn’t realize is that the reward for living a righteous life is life itself and not the things we possess in it. What is the righteous life? Love God and love neighbor as self. Possessions come and go, but love endures forever.

Mark 10:17-31 ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

2 Corinthians 3:7-18 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory… how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? …Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

A Delectable Aroma

Lent: Day 31 – The smell of certain foods are so delectable to us that we are drawn towards it, to the point of desiring the taste simply for the pleasure it provides our tastes buds. Sweet baked goods are like that for me. The smell of a pound cake is usually enough for me to want to wait for, so that I can have a slice while it is still warm. We can have a similar kind of attraction to the “aroma” of possibilities and opportunities that life has to offer until we realize their initial attraction soon becomes an empty possibility with no foundation and no real hope. With the exception of God’s Word, Love, and Presence everything is temporary. The aroma we get from God is not only pleasurable it is sustainable by our presence and love that we show one another as children of God. It is important for us to know that God is eternally attracted to his own creation. God first loved us (1 John 4:19), and from our innocence as children through the imperfectness of our knowledge of him; his love for us gives him joy (Psalm 149:4). God’s love for us is our hope that we too will know the glory of Christ resurrection.  We can’t get that with cake or empty possibilities, which is why when we eat cake that we don’t like or it affects our health, we stop eating it or cut back. When opportunities in various relationships become a burden we let them go. The good news is that God never lets us go. As we become who God wants us to be, we strive for that delectable “aroma” that emanates from Christ to be the same aroma that goes forth through us for which others will take delight and be eternally drawn. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)! Thank you Linda T.

2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…

Faith Like Fire

Lent: Day 30 – There are times in our lives when things are really bad. Feelings of fear, oppression, disappointment, frustration and loss have become overwhelming. Absolutely nothing could be worse, than the way things are right now. Then one day you find the strength through God’s word to make a move in a different direction towards something that is both plausible and doable. However, instead of things getting better they get worse. Every ounce of strength and faith we have in God’s word, will be tested by those who refuse to see what we see and refuse to know what we know within your heart, through Christ. During the time of struggle, whatever time we take to understand God’s presence in our lives will be lifted up as Christ himself was lifted up. However, as we draw closer to God in the spiritual, the powers (depression, fear, jealously, pride, anger etc.) that belong to the physical realm begin to fight back. We don’t have a Moses per se, someone in the physical who can respond for us. What we do have is Christ within us by whom we respond in faith. Our faith becomes your shield in the face of those who put a stumbling block before us. What others intended to be a nightmare for us, has now become their nightmare because faith is like fire to those who do not believe. God who is faithful, will lift us up and continue to move us in the direction he intended us to be, in reconciliation with him. Believe and Live!

Exodus 5:1-6:1 ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it,…Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.’

Mark 9:42-50 ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea…‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Here Am I

Lent: Day 29 – Christians, God has given us ears to hear his voice, eyes to see his face (in the image of each other) and a mouth to proclaim his Word, which reveals his faithfulness and his steadfast love for us. In doing so we give praise glory and honor to his name. Christ continues to be lifted up and is revealed so that those who have not heard, seen nor speak his truth will come to believe. This is all that is required of us, our bodies. When we think of the benefit of peace, strength and courage that we are enduring as we journey in this life lived through Christ we can and will be assured that it is the one sacrifice worth making. Don’t be fooled by what the world values (burnt offerings). To give up material and physical pleasures means nothing, if we are not also willing to live for Christ in our bodies to the glory of God’s name. Praise be to God!

Luke 1:26-38 ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’

Psalm 40:5-11

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.

Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

Hebrews 10:4-10 ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me’…

Faith Prayer Love

Lent: Day 28 – Some strongholds can become so entrenched that all we can do is pray. Their goal is to limit or make ineffective our faith, conjuring up doubt and fear. Prayer is our direct communication to the one who bears, believes, hopes and endures all things on our own behalf. God’s love has absolute authority in all matters particularly those we simply cannot control. When we call on God in prayer we express our faith in his love and his will for our self and for others. God sees and knows what we cannot see or attempt to know. So we entrust our cries to him and let his steadfast love take over.

Exodus 2:23-3:13 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’

Mark 9:14-29 ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Psalm 108:1-13

With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.

Be Transformed By Love

Lent: Day 27 – How many times have we found our selves alone and “sitting by a well,” not realizing that in the well there is life-giving water? Even in his fear, God provided for Moses. We mistake a lot of things for love and we mistake love for a lot of things. Christ was despised, rejected, suffered death and was buried. In spite of all he endured, he simply loved them more. No matter our circumstance, we must be transformed by his love, not by what we think it is but rather by what we know and believe it to be according to God’s word. Then his resurrection will be our resurrection.

Exodus 2:1-22 Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘Surely the thing is known.’ When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.

Mark 9:2-13  …for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way…if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Psalm 102

But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.

Kreativ Blogger Award

First, that someone liked me enough to add my blog to this award is really an honor and quite a pleasant surprise. Thank you, justbenswords for nominating me. I have to say justbenswords is wonderful poetry worth following and passing on to others I hope you all will give him a long look.

Second, I have to share 7 interesting things about myself. For me they are things I really enjoy.

1) I love God, his son Jesus Christ and his gospel

2) I love being an Episcopal Priest

3) I learned to sew when I was 11 and have made most of my own vestments

4) One of my favorite places to visit was South Africa. I hope to one day return.

5) I have a goal to learn Spanish by the end of the year

6) I have a family that believes in me.

7) I have a black belt in Karate, and play the flute

Third, I must now nominate 7 others to this Kreativ Award. I hope you enjoy them as I do.

http:www.authorthelmacunningham.com

http://virtuouswoman73.wordpress.com

http://simpliebeloved.wordpress.com

http://wanderinglover.wordpress.com

http://hodgepodge4thesoul.wordpress.com

http://loopyloo305.wordpress.com

http://ooamerica.com/

http://blogwithadiff.wordpress.com

http://inlovewiththelord.wordpress.com

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Lent: Day 26 – In a very busy waiting room of a hospital located in an urban city, a man impatiently makes his way to the medical station and rather authoritatively says to the woman sitting at the desk, “How long is this going to take? Don’t you know who I am?” The nurse immediately moves to the desk microphone and announces over the intercom “I have a man here in the waiting room who doesn’t know who he is can someone please help him find out?” Very cleverly, the nurse helps this man to understand that it is not her job to know who he believes himself to be. What she does know is that he is one of many in the waiting room in need of attention. As the body of Christ we are one of many who believe, one of many with different gifts, one of many in need of God’s love. God has enough grace for each of us, enough to heal our mind, soul and body all in his time. We have only to be patient and trust that he does know who we are, even when we forget and just as faithfully, when others against us, forget who they are.

Exodus 1:6-22 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us…But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.

Mark 8:27-9:1 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Psalm 69: 1-23

 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,

     that dishonor has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my brothers,

     an alien to my mother’s sons.