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Lenten Devotional

Friday, March 21, 2014

Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. Ouch! Those are tough words! I don’t know anyone who likes to be corrected. The wisest parents are those who couch correction in a story or sandwich it between praises. But that is so difficult! We make laws for ourselves in order to ensure civility, but prisons are full of people who hate correction. As a society and as a civilization we have to educate ourselves to get along with each other. Arguments and grudges are endless and wars never cease. How do we bring peace on earth? We can’t. All we can do is start with ourselves. We can say, “Lead me, Lord,” and have faith. When I can’t get past what someone has said or done which has caused hurt or when I have caused somebody to suffer, I ask for help. I sit still, alone, and ask the Lord to lead me. Waiting quietly for an answer is part of the process. Waiting on the Lord forces me to be patient, and p ...

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness; make thy way plain before my face. For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only, that makest me dwell in safety. (Hymn #473, Lead Me, Lord, words taken from Psalms 5:8 and 4:8.) My brothers and I had to do the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives this year when we had to petition the court for my brother, Don, to become our father’s guardian and conservator. With that done, my brother, Henry, took over the responsibility of making decisions for our mother, who has dementia, because he was the second person listed with power of attorney for her and our father could no longer serve in that capacity. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I flew down to Alabama to assist my parents in moving to assisted care and to begin dealing with the disposal of the contents of their home in order for it to be sold. It will be an overwhelming task and I will go down soon to meet with several people to determine who is ...

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Psalm 71:5 - 9 5For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 6From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. 7I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. 8My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. 9Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. I’m about to tell you of a small incident in my life but one that taught me a great lesson. Because of cataract surgery last year I was given a clear plastic shield to tape over my eye to protect it while I slept. I did that each night and in the morning I put it on a shelf in my bathroom. But one night it wasn’t on that shelf. I was uneasy about going without it and so I started searching. It wasn’t on the shelf, it wasn’t on the floor under the shelf, nor in the medicine cabinet, not even in the wastebasket. I looked in my bedroom and in the ki ...

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Romans 8:26 - 28 (NASB) 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness...28 And we know that God causes all thingsto work together for good to those who love God, to those who arecalled according to His purpose. This past October I lost my grandmother to pancreatic cancer.In the couple of months before she passed away, my mom and I would make regular weekend trips across the state to Pittsburgh to see her. I will admit, there were several times I didn’t want to go, but I would frequently feel “nudges” to tell me to go out there to see her. As I think back on those moments, I realize that the“nudges” weren’t my mom or my family; they were “nudges” from God. He was telling me to go and see her when I could. When she passed away, I didn’t know what to do with myself; I felt lost, as if someone dropped me in the middle of a desert. I have never lost someone that I was extremely close to before. Days, then weeks went by and God truly must have led me through that ...

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Habakkuk 2:3 […the LORD…said…] “If it delays, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not be late.” There have been times in my life where I’ve felt God calling me to do something, from studying abroad to switching my major during my junior year. After some prayer and planning, I’ve charged ahead to accomplish these things, and everything has worked out in the end. However, there have been many more times where I have thought I was called to something, and instead, I failed in it or was rejected, whether it was summer internship programs or relationships. I think the hardest part of following God is often the waiting, while trusting that He has a far bigger plan for you than you could ever imagine. Especially as I look forward to graduating from college this year, I need to trust that as I occasionally dread graduation day, there is more I am called to do than just stay comfortably with my friends at college. In one of my favorite devotional ...

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Exodus 15:13 In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. So many times I have asked the Lord to lead me. In my mind, I am asking Him to lead me to something positive in my life or to help me make a difficult decision. Years ago when we moved to Allentown, the Lord was leading me to a place that I didn’t want to go. My husband, Don, and I lived in Hazleton. I was happy there. My family lived thirty minutes away and we got to see them often. I had friends in the church we attended; my girls liked their schools and the friendships they had made. Then Don’s job was relocated and before I knew it, we were moving to Allentown. In the next eight months after our move, my dad had a stroke and my mother died. I had not found friends here yet. My children were not happy and wanted to move back. All in all, it was a difficult time. In the next few years, life got even to ...

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Psalm 37:23-31 (NAS) 23The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way... 31The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. I had heard the song before. After all, it was on my iPhone. This time was different, though. I remember the moment that I truly understood the importance of the lyrics. I was driving my girlfriend at the time (now my fiancée) all around the Lehigh Valley on Black Friday two years ago when the song, “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real, began playing. I have always liked the tune, plus I figured that the louder I played the music, the less chance I had of falling asleep, so I turned it up. We were exhausted from hours of walking around, so we both sat in silence listening to the lyrics. I was so accustomed to enjoying the music that the lyrics never really struck me before. But as the words poured out of my car speakers, they painted a vivid picture. The song is about a husband/father sensing his re ...

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Luke 4:16-21, 31-37 ...[Jesus read] 18“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, 19to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD.” In 1995 I had the treasured opportunity to tour the Holy Land. There were many moving experiences on this tour, but for me the most transforming moment was the spiritual revelation I received at the site of the synagogue at Capernaum, described in Luke 4:31- 37 and in Mark 1:21-28. This is regarded as the place where Jesus began his public ministry in Galilee, where he exorcised a demon from a man with an “unclean spirit.” Capernaum is a beautiful, resort-like town on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was a warm, sunny day as I sat in the meditation garden next to the synagogue. I watched and listened as groups of tourists came and ...

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Esther 4:1-17 8Mordecai... charge[d] her [Esther] to go to the king, make supplication to him, and plead with him for the lives of her people... 14“Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this...?” Have you ever been led somewhere that you didn’t want to go? Esther’s story is about being an unwilling agent of truth which could have cost her her life. Mordecai knew what might befall his people if there was no one to advocate for them. He asked Esther to be that person because he was not able to himself. I have learned during my lifetime that each of us is given gifts that we are uniquely called to contribute in the body of Christ. Whether I like it or not, God has made me an effective communicator, but sometimes what I feel compelled to say isn’t what others want to hear. Many times I have been aware of what others wished they could say, but I knew I had to be the one to say it. It is not easy being in that positi ...

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Matthew 14:22-33 25...He [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea... 28Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29And He said, “Come!” Matthew 8:23-28 23When He [Jesus] got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24...there arose a great storm...; but Jesus Himself was asleep. Get out of the boat? Are you serious? You created me with a brain and my brain tells me I will drown if I step out of a boat into a stormy sea! Remember when you were asleep in the back of the boat during a storm? You didn’t step out then!  That’s right, you didn’t step out then, but you are out there now. You are calling me to step out of the boat, so I need to listen to you and step out! I need to trust you will save me if I get into trouble.  You are asleep? Are you serious? Don’t you know we are going to die? Are you going to do something? I know you can solve this problem; after all, you can walk on water. You control the ...

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