Holy Week

I meant to post this earlier-but we have this epidemic of stomach flu in our home which has curtailed our plans of getting out of town and kept us here.  Which I have to say, was not what I had planned.  I had all these hopes in my heart of laying on the sand of a lakeshore listening to the sounds of my two babes playing in the water…being unplugged and away.  But my plans didn’t happen.

The past few days have challenged me to my selfish core.  I can be as nurturing and caring as I need to be, but once the chaos of the day goes to sleep, I’m left with laundry, dishes, disinfectant wipes and the reality of my reality.  That no matter what I have planned-there are things unseen that trump the plan.  It’s inconvenient.  This inconvenience reveals a heart that is selfish, tired, and even prideful and angry.

I wonder if this is what the disciples felt at all…even just a little, as this week was occuring.  They had all of these plans.  They were with the Savior.  They were the chosen men. I wonder if they were walking tall.  Have you ever taken this weeks account from their perspective?   Jesus had been trying to show them all along how they needed to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.  The next few days will challenge their plans to their core.  Yet we get to see the other side of the story-we get the retrospective view that even in their selfish and cowardly states, Jesus still called them chosen and used them to build His kingdom.  Praise the Lord for His amazing sacrifice of giving us His Son to save us from ourselves.

Below is the week’s events through Mark’s Gospel.  Each day read a chapter below.  Sunday, although it’s late, should be Mark 11.

Monday – Mark 12

Tuesday – Mark 13

Wednesday – Mark 14:1-26

Thursday – Mark 14:26-72

Friday -Mark 15

When you read these passages this week, these are some pretty huge chunks of Scripture.  If there is one section of the chapter that stands out to you, let that piece of the Word remain and dwell with you during the day and at night, if you don’t know how to end your day, journal about that piece of Scripture that stood out to you.  Talk to the Lord about it.  What was it about that particular piece that was difficult, meaningful, touching, or noteworthy?  After your conversation and journal time with the Lord, end your night with the Lord’s prayer.

Peace to you this week.  I pray Mark’s gospel brings you into a clear view of what makes this Holy Week.



Last week of Lent

This is the last week of lent. How was the Lord’s prayer this past week?

 

Each day this week we’ll focus on a Beatitude…walking us to the Passion week. I also wanted to add something to our times with the Lord this week. I don’t know about you, but spring has totally come up and arrived. With the adjustment to daylight savings under our belt (was it hard for you as well to loose that hour?! man!) our evenings are lighter and just inviting an after dinner walk. This is a perfect time to also experience the Lord as you are walking. Take in the shades of the scenery around you – in the light of the sunset. It’s by far the best lighting of the day. Take pictures on your walk-either mental, or photographed, or if your draw-take a moment to sketch a moment of your walk – slow down and enter into this last week of Lent. Take your walk time to go through the beatitude of the day. Talk through it with your kids as you walk…take the time to memorize it.

 

Begin each day before your feet even hit the floor and end each day before your light turns off with the Lord’s prayer. Just slowly pray it and allow it to begin and end your day. Journal about your time in the beatitude.

 

Blessings to you as you walk with Jesus this week. May the peace and grace of our Lord and Savior be with you as you journey with him.

 

Here is a map for the week-this is only a suggestion. You can spend the time in the Beatitudes however you want.

 

Monday: verse 3-4

Tuesday: verse 5-6

Wednesday: verse 7-8

Thursday: verse 9-10

Friday: verse 11

Saturday-3-7

Sunday: 8-11

 

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

 

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.



Lent Days 20-23

  • We are half way through the Lenten season today. In just 20 more days we will walk a road with Jesus that is full of triumph and then the weight of defeat, despair, humiliation…then victory and freedom! 

    This week let’s begin to journey to the cross with Christ. This journey begins with a passage back from the Old Testament that is a foreshadowing of Easter through Abraham and Issac. Here is the passage. Read this passage for the next few days. Enter into the passage-who are you in the scene? Is it hard for you to be in the scene? What emotions come up for you as you read and re-read the passage each day? Are you angry? Scared? Anxious? Anticipatory? Relieved? Rejoicing?…Take each emotion that comes up in you as you read the passage each day and go to God with it. Talk to him about it and journal your responses, your reactions and prayers.

     

    Then close the day by reading this Psalm. It’s a hard Psalm to read and pray about, trust me-I’ve often avoided it! But as you read Genesis 22, begin to see how this is just a picture of what the next 20 days will be in the life of our Savior-and what God sent His Son to do on our behalf…I honestly am left stunned…amazing…humbled…I can feel my defenses coming down…walls being removed…a desire to go to my Lord-my Lord who bore the weight of my sin and conquered it and to trust Him to search my heart. When I think about that-then this Psalm doesn’t feel so daunting, it’s an invitation to trust…surrender…obey.

    Read more…



Ash Wednesday

Hi everyone – one quick note.  Today is Ash Wednesday- the beginning of Lent.  What is Lent?  Isn’t that a Catholic thing?  Well yes; many Catholics do practice Lent- but so do many Protestants.  So what is it?  This is a great question.  About.com gives us a good definition.  You can check out this link here:
 
 
Basically put- Lent is a way to prepare yourself on a different level for Easter.  It is a sobering time.  A time to devote yourself to prayer.  For me- Lent involves fasting something.  What is fasting?  It is the process of setting something aside in your life- for a prescribed amount of time and using the time you would use to do that thing- to devote yourself to prayer- or to be reminded of something about God.  For Lent, many people will give up something during the forty days as an act of fasting.  Some might give up TV; or soda; or fast food; or all food; or sex; or smoking; or cursing; or something else..  From there when they are tempted to use these things; they use that as a time to pray; or to be reminded of Christ’s great sacrifice for them.  So the fasting serves as a conduit for prayer and to be brought back to God.  
Lent has been a powerful season for me in my journey as a Christian.  It serves to bring me back to the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for me!  It adds dimension to this Easter season- and reminds me of the power of the fact that Jesus was resurrected!!! Hallelujah, He is Risen indeed! 
So I’d like to invite you to consider joining me and my wife for this season of Lent.  Below is some suggestions to families for how to celebrate lent as a family; and a few other web resources to help you understand this ancient practice more clearly.
 
 
The biggest hope is that you see Jesus more clearly during this time of celebration because Jesus is Alive- and we have hope eternal!
 
Have a blessed week everyone!
Pastor Ryan