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Lenten Devotional

Good Friday, March 29, 2013

Read Matthew 27:26-56 logos.biblia.init();   Growing up, I was always told about the crucifixion and the sacrifice Jesus made to free us from sin. I remember hearing how Jesus was beaten, humiliated and near death before he was even nailed to the cross. During one sermon, I remember being shown the types of nails used to nail Jesus to the cross. To this day, I still keep one of the nails next to my bed as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice.   Despite the various sermons I heard and the scriptures I read, I could never fully visualize the crucifixion until I saw the movie The Passion. When the movie came out in theaters, I was in college. My roommate and I decided to go with the college Christian group to see the movie. I remember feeling anxious and nervous before it started because I didn’t know what to expect. Once the movie began, the whole story suddenly became real to me. I cried throughout most of the movie and felt ...

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Maundy Thursday, March 28, 2013

Read Matthew 20:1-16 logos.biblia.init();   As I write this our household is still recovering from having all five grandchildren around the week after Christmas. They are all so different but all so wonderful. I sometimes ask myself how I would respond if one of them asked, “Grandpa, am I your favorite?”   I think of that verse in John 13 where the disciples are sharing the last supper with Jesus and the Bible refers to “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. Which disciple is the one Jesus loved? The answer might lie in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard as found in Matthew 20. It begins “For the kingdom of heaven is like . . .” and goes on to tell us of workers who worked all day and workers who weren’t hired until the “eleventh hour” yet all received the same pay. Logic tells us this simply isn’t fair! But this story isn’t about what’s logical; it’s about the illogic of grace. As Philip Yancey states in What’s so Amazi ...

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Read Mark 15:1 - 5 logos.biblia.init();   I had just returned from the Women’s Retreat at Innabah the Sunday this was due, and it was indeed another spiritually significant experience. The best part of any retreat is the opportunity to hear others share about their faith journeys and know that you are not walking this path alone. The theme was “A Time To Be Silent and A Time To Speak.” It is hard to know when to say something and when to simply remain speechless since there are times when words are not the best thing and others when the right words could make all of the difference. Words can do great harm, especially if they are not said with a Christ-focused perspective, and produce much good if they are said to encourage, uplift, or even speak the truth in love.    I was reminded about Jesus’ choice to speak to his disciples and the Pharisees with convicting words that they probably pondered afterwards, and his choi ...

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Read Psalm 51:10-12 logos.biblia.init();   Through repentance we are renewed and restored by the Spirit. One could never obtain new life in Christ unless one repented from their sins. When I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, re-creation occurred. Re-creation occurs when individuals open their hearts to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, thus making us a new creation. We receive a new life in Christ by grace through faith.    I remember when I was in college, I decided since I was away from home, I could do whatever I wanted. I followed my own ways and didn’t want anything to do with God. I was becoming someone that God had not created me to be. One night as I was in my dorm room, the Spirit of God spoke to me and convicted me of my sins. I could hear Him say that I was going down the wrong path. So I got on my knees that night, I repented of my sins and I asked God to come in my heart and t ...

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Read Matthew 6:33 logos.biblia.init();   This nation was founded by Christians, many who were persecuted for their faith. They settled in New England, Maryland, Virginia and south. From this to where we are today as a nation. Today, we could use “these things” in our nation.   I was born and raised in the church. I attended Sunday School and church regularly, and I sang in the choir. I felt real good. But attending church and sitting in a comfortable pew wasn’t enough. Until I really surrendered my life to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit lead me, “these things” were not in my life:   A peace that sustains through every situation in life. Life is full of changes. Dependence on God. Learning to give up self to God. Praying like Jesus, “...yet not as I will, but as you will.” A grateful heart. Thanking God for sending His Son Jesus to redeem us from sin. No better love could redeem us from sin. He loves us beyond h ...

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Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013

Read John 16: 5-15 logos.biblia.init();   It was cold, but as I took my dog out this morning, I was struck by the realization that though the temperature had not changed significantly, it felt much warmer in the light of morning than it had the night before as we sat huddled under a starry sky watching a high school football game.   Last night it had only taken a few minutes for my face to sting from the cold and my extremities to become numb. But this morning, though the temperature had risen only a few degrees, the air felt much warmer and less biting. “What makes the difference?” I wondered. And immediately I glanced toward the sky and knew it was the sun. The S-U-N with its light and warmth makes the air feel more comfortable and bearable.   How true that is in my Christian walk, I thought. It is the Son, S-O-N, that makes every circumstance bearable. When I realize my sinfulness and need for a Savior, then accept Jesus’ ...

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Read Isaiah 55:8-9 logos.biblia.init();   Some years ago I had the privilege of meeting a most remarkable lady. She was a hospice patient with advanced lung cancer. I was assigned as her volunteer. Mildred was an affluent 69-year-old wife of a prominent physician, and had lived a full life. In her later years she had volunteered as an animal activist, yet she felt as if she had lived a worthless life. Her greatest pleasure was watching the small animals and birds from her bed positioned by the patio doors.   My time with Mildred was spent caring for her needs and listening. During our conversations she would ask me over and over again if I could truly guarantee her that God had a place for her on the other side. “Who will take care of my family if I’m not here?” she would say. My heart went out to Mildred as her struggles with the unknown were painful to watch.   One particular day I sat next to her bed, took her hand and aske ...

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Read Matthew 25:31-40 logos.biblia.init();   Two years ago, I started feeling sharp pains in my wrist whenever I picked something up.I visited doctors and specialists, and I survived grad school and got my first professional job while wearing a thumb/wrist splint. Finally, having exhausted conservative treatments, I found myself facing surgery.   Two months ago I started my professional job working in the children’s department of my local library with five other librarians. The day before my surgery, my coworkers gave me two bags stuffed with food – the largest meatloaf I’ve ever seen, chocolate cake, fruit, muffins, and more. A week later, my husband and I are still trying to finish all the food.    But my coworkers gave me an even bigger gift – their time and  care. Two of them live nearby and made me promise that I would call if I needed anything. They made me promise to call the library after my surgery to make ...

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Read Acts 22:10 logos.biblia.init(); It never fails to humble me when God grabs me by the collar and reminds me that He’s ‘got my back.’ Years ago, my husband’s job required transitioning just about every 2 years... and just when we had settled into a neighborhood and school and church, we had to leave again.    We moved to Pennsylvania with my arms folded in protest. What did God have in mind for me in PA? While exploring my new neighborhood and investigating job opportunities, I began to do some volunteering and looked into becoming a Physician Assistant. I applied to the PA program and threw up a prayer.... is this what you want for me, Lord? And then a neighbor offered me some interview pointers, and a small and unexpected inheritance came my way, and my volunteer contacts wrote letters of recommendation.... and the acceptance letter came! My husband’s job let us stay in Pennsylvania long enough for me to complete the pr ...

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Read Deuteronomy 31:8 Read Matthew 28:20  logos.biblia.init(); “Just ginnnnggggerrrrr peachy!!” was my father-in-law’s regular response to the usual “How are you?” question.    It has been a long seven  months since we have heard that sentiment. It has been a long seven months since he fell at home and the subsequent hospital and rehabilitation stays afterward.    He is finally settled in a wonderful, caring skilled facility, and we are so grateful and glad. The road to get here has definitely been a long, exhausting, and acutely informative one. There have been a lot of potholes, detours, u-turns, and plain old roadblocks along the way. Hopeful days were replaced with setbacks.   However, with all of the negatives that have happened, there are so many positives that have come out of this experience as well. I have so much to be thankful for: the quiet moments in ICU watching amazing caregivers; attentive nurs ...

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