Spring, Memories

Friday, April 9th, 2021

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
— Psalm 118:24 (NRSVA) —

Photo Credit: Me
(Warren County, IN)
Photo Credit: Me
(Marion & Warren Counties, IN)

It was a beautiful day here in Indiana! The sky was a hue of baby blue with a northeasterly breeze, gently tossing the tree branches to and fro. The tree buds are sprouting their leaves as if welcoming a new day in God’s created world. As I was driving through the towns I saw the softball and baseball fields prepped for play, my mind was filled with echoing voices, chants and cheers of my youth. My drive took me through a few specific towns where I once played softball on their fields, many of which have been abandoned, although I could still recognize where they had once been and I smiled! As I was taking all of this in; my thoughts took me back to the people who had a huge impact in building my character, my moral compass and encouraged my abilities to play the beloved game of softball. When I played the game it felt like freedom, confidence, innocence and joy all wrapped up together. ⚾️🎁🥎

There are four distinct people who helped mold me into the person I am today. The first two are my parents. They have always been my biggest fans. My mom was relentless in her support of my love of the game of softball. She never missed a game that I played in, I would often play 3 or 4 nights a week, spanning across multiple counties. My dad, would play catch with me for hours, helping me improve my pitching and catching techniques. He was creative in finding ways to help me gain confidence and accuracy. When I was growing up, a market for training devices was not what it is now, no auto pitching/throwing devices…to aid me in accuracy of pitching. My dad placed a car tire on the side of our garage at an average height and strike zone. I would have a bucket of balls and try to pitching the ball through the opening of the tire, once I was out of balls I would retrieve them and do it all over again. When it came to batting, he would pitch a bucket of balls then after hitting them all, we retrieved them and repeated the process. My brother played baseball also for a few years and my parents did the same for him, my brother and I were truly blessed.

Patches for making the All-Stars Team 3 years in a row.

Photo Credit: My mom

The remaining two individuals were coaches, they encouraged me to play hard, to play fair and to always do my best. They both knew the game inside and out, they taught me more about life than anything else. I feel so thankful that God placed these two wonderful men in my life. As my life went on in different directions, I did lose contact with them but their memories are fresh in my mind. One of them I knew when I was barely a teenager and he recruited me to play on his team, which was primarily older teenagers. He was very inspirational to me because he his ability to coach and teach was boundless although he himself was confined to a wheelchair. I’ll admit, my ego grew because he was so complimentary of my skill level and my ability to play with others more my senior but he never gave out accolades that were undeserving. I was fortunate that my parents encouraged my love of the game, I started playing on an organized team at the age of five. I continued playing community organized softball well into my mid-thirties, three decades of doing something that set me free. The second coach also recruited me after seeing me play in a tournament, I was in high school and the team he coached was a women’s team, much older adults but my parents agreed to let me play. It was a great experience and I appreciated not being treated like a kid, more of an equal as far as playing the game. It felt like freedom to me. This coach and I had a unique friendship and we drifted apart when I went off to college and we both began pursued our dreams. A couple of years after college life brought us back together. We reconnected and started dating, he eventually proposed and it seemed to be almost perfect. We were such good friends, he had a heart of gold and we did love each other but I was scared, and loving someone is not the same as being “in love.” I was young still in my mid-twenties and I was not ready to be a wife and everything that comes with that role. We wished each other well and continued our own personal pursuits in life. I heard that he had married and that made my heart happy. Years later while visiting with my parents I thought I would look him up, I was very saddened to learn he had passed away. He made a huge impact on my life, he had a great smile and a warm laugh.

“A joyful heart is a good medicine.”
— Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) —

Images: Google

Pure joy, are there things in your life that elicit such overwhelming emotions? As I mentioned above, when I think about when played softball or even practiced the game, I experience a sensation of freedom, confidence, innocence and joy. I have other memories that touch upon these emotions but not all of them at the same time. Softball, as wonderful as I have described it ranks only third on my list of “best things” ever. Number one is my relationship with God, all the blessings I have received in my life and most importantly, my salvation. Number two, my mom, she has been an inspiration to me from an early age, though I did not fully appreciate or full grasp the magnitude of her influence until she had passed in 2012. I carry her in my heart every day.

Photo Credit: My mom
Me and Mom

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read my blog today. ~ Peace to you today and always ~

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://biblehub.com/esv/proverbs/

Lent 04•04•2021: Show Me The Way

Easter Sunday, April 4th, 2021

🌷🌿🌱🌼🌺🌼🌸🌿🌱🌼🌺🌻🌸🌿🌱🌷

Hallelujah ~ Amen ~ Christ Is Risen

🌷🌿🌱🌼🌺🌼🌸🌿🌱🌼🌺🌻🌸🌿🌱🌷

Dear friends and family—

What an incredible Lenten journey this has been for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed the writings of Henri Nouwen and I’ve learned some new things along the way. Show Me The Way, is more than a title to a really good devotional book but is indeed a prayer for every day. Each and every day I need guidance, let’s face it life is challenging to say the least. One of the most valuable lessons I learned through this season of Lent is that “But mortification — literally, “making death” — is what life is all about, a slow discovery of the mortality of all that is created so that we can appreciate its beauty without clinging to it as if it were a lasting possession.” (1).

The scriptures indeed were written many years ago, much still remains for us to glean. “The Easter story brings the awareness that God is present even when his presence is not directly noticed. Easter season is a time of Hope. There is still fear, there still is a painful awareness of sinfulness, but there also is light bearing through. Something new is happening, something that goes beyond the changing moods of our life. We can be joyful or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, tranquil or angry, but the solid stream of God’s presence moves deeper than the small waves of our minds and hearts. Easter brings the GOOD NEWS, that although things seem to get worse in the world, the Evil One has already been overcome.”(2).

‘Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33 NJB

“As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples…’” — Mark 16:5-7 NIV

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” — John 11:25 NIV

Photo Credit: Me (Hendricks County, IN) 09/21/2014

Thank you so much for being a part of my Lenten journey. Your support and encouragement has warmed my heart. Thank you for the beautiful comments as well. May God bless you and keep you —

🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Presence ~ Easter Sunday

Reach out to someone in your church or neighborhood who could use a call or visit. This might include an elderly church member, a stay at home parent, someone who has recently lost their job, or someone grieving.

💠🔹💠🔹💠🔹💠🔹💠🔹💠🔹💠🔹💠

REFLECT ~

🔹 What Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practices have been meaningful for you?

🔹 How can you incorporate them into your daily life now that Lent is over?

🔹 How have you been changed by engaging with these practices over the last six and a half weeks?

🌟 Prayer

Almighty , everlasting God,

on this day

you conquered death through your son

and opened for us the path to eternal life.

And so we celebrate in joy

the feast of his resurrection.

Make us new through your Spirit,

so that we too may rise

and walk in the light of life.

We ask this through Jesus Christ.

— Amen

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 136, paragraph 2.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 139, paragraph 5.

https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/a-prayer-for-resurrection-day-and-25-scriptures-to-remind-us-he-has-risen.html

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lost, Here all the Time…

Video Credit: Me (Sodalis Nature Park, IN)

🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲

For days now…

The winds of this life have left me wanting…searching…lost…and forgotten.


Satisfaction is elusive in a very real sense.

My thoughts, they deceive me

What is fact and what is fiction?

What to do?

Fact and fiction, all scrambled one upon another.

I have lost my way,

A ship at sea with no captain, no sail.

O God of heaven and earth,

Lead me back to you!

I need what only you can give,

Forgiveness and acceptance.

Only you can love me, though undeserving I am…

Your unconditional love will free me from myself.

Please, I beg you…

Take these burdens, teach me your ways.

My ways are weak and cause great pain.

I ache and yearn for what this world cannot give, though I try unsuccessfully.

Alas, this world does not sustain me.

It pleasures in my pain.

Take my empty dreams and broken promises.

Fill me with your love, your compassion and your promises.

You will never fail.

You will never be withered by time.

Your promises, compassion and your love endure generation after generation with no end.

O God, clothe me with your love.

Use me to spread your message to others.

Open the eyes of others like me, to your love.

Longing for real joy and true happiness.

Cradle me and all your children in your limitless, abounding love for now and always, forevermore.


~C.A.Robinson©️
July 05, 2013 at 2328
*Updated April, 04, 2021 at 1735

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

Lent 04•03•2021: Show Me The Way

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

Friends, here we are nearing the end of our Lenten journey, it sure feels like time has flown by.

When we think of the life of Jesus, it is widely accepted that he began his ministry around the age of 30 and was crucified at approximately age 33. Most would agree that is still very young. Jesus knew that he would endure death as God’s plan for the our reconciliation with him. Jesus knew that death was not the end, he came to reveal life to us, so certainly there must be hope beyond death. Henri Nouwen writes this, and so beautifully, “If the God who revealed life to us, and whose only desire is to bring us to life, loved us so much that he wanted to experience with us the total absurdity of death, then — yes, then there must be hope; then there must be something more than death; then there must be a promise that is not fulfilled in our short existence in this world; then leaving behind the ones you love, the flowers and the trees, the mountains and the oceans, the beauty of art and music, and all the exuberant gifts of life cannot be just the destruction and cruel ending of all things; then indeed we have to wait for the third day.”(1).

🤔THE MEANING OF LIFE 🧐

Honestly, I can’t give you an answer to this age old question, it is something we all must answer for ourselves. But, I will indeed share some of Nouwen’s insight; coincidentally; I was able to find answers I have been seeking for a very long time about the meaning of life, from Nouwen’s writings. He talks about “mortification” and its literal meaning: “making death” — this is what life is all about. The meaning of life, is death? I was somewhat puzzled too, here’s what Nouwen writes, “But mortification — literally, “making death” — is what life is all about, a slow discovery of the mortality of all that is created so that we can appreciate its beauty without clinging to it as if it were a lasting possession. Our lives can indeed be seen as a process of becoming familiar with death, as a school in the art of dying. I do not mean in a morbid way. On the contrary, when we see life constantly relativized by death, we can enjoy it for what it is: a free gift. The pictures, letters, and books of the past reveal life to us in a constant saying of farewell to beautiful places, good people, and wonderful experiences.” (2).

In my life, I love looking at photos and remember “the good ole days.” I recall how active I once was, energetic and flexible; I am reminded now that I need to be careful climbing ladders and stretching beyond my reach. I remember the embrace of my mother’s arms around me, I remember all the great food my grandmother cooked, I remember the love shared with friends and family especially at holidays… Life is indeed short, no matter the age or time we are called home.

These times have passed by like friendly visitors, leaving behind dear memories but also the reality of the shortness of life. “In every arrival there is a leave-taking; in every reunion there is a separation; in each one’s growing up is a growing old; in every smile there is a tear; and in every success there is a loss. All living is dying and all celebrations is mortification too.”(3).

— Psalm 90:10 —

“The span of our life is seventy years — eighty for those who are strong — but their whole extent is anxiety and trouble, they are over in a moment and we are gone.”

— James 4:14 —

“You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears.”

✝️💟✝️💟✝️💟✝️💟✝️💟✝️💟✝️💟✝️

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Prayer Walk ~ Day 40 👣👣👣👣👣👣👣

Walk around your neighborhood and pray for what you see, hear, touch, and smell.

🙏🏻 Prayer 🙏🏻

I call to you, Yahweh, all day.

I stretch out my hands to you.

Do you work wonders for the dead,

can shadows rise up to praise you?

Do they speak in the grave of your faithful love,

of your constancy in the place of perdition?

Are your wonders known in the darkness,

your saving justice in the land of oblivion?

But, for my part, I cry to you, Yahweh,

every morning my prayer comes before you.

— Psalm 88:9-13

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishi

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 136, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 137, paragraph 1.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 04•02•2021: Show Me The Way

Good Friday, April 2nd, 2021

Dear friends —

Today, we observe “Good Friday,” it commemorates, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. This day we recall the suffering that Jesus endured. The enormous agony of Jesus’ Mother, watching her son beaten, tortured, mocked and nailed to a cross. His disciples were so terrified and scared that they could not even stand with Jesus at the cross or stand with Jesus, mother for comfort and support.

If we had been there, what would we have done?

Unlike those who were there on that day, that Friday so many years ago, it was a sad and sorrowful Friday. We have the privilege of knowing “the rest of the story” of Jesus’ victory over death. It’s can be so easy to rush through Good Friday and the Saturday which follows and RUSH right into Easter Sunday…please, I beg you do not rush Jesus’ suffering: and I strongly suggest that we be intentional about remembering the debt that was paid for our salvation. Can you hear the voice of Jesus crying out? … “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

— Matthew 27:46 —

“And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

— Mark 15:34 —

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

Photo Credit: IMDb


The Passion of the Christ (2004) – Photo Gallery – IMDb

The crucifixion cross that was meant for horror, shame, ridicule and cruelty; their plan failed, the crucifixion cross become the Cross of Hope for all who believe and place their trust in Jesus Christ. Our Rock and our Redeemer.

The Cross of Hope

“The cross of horror became the cross of Hope, the tortured body became the body that gives new life; the gaping wounds became the source of forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation” — Henri Nouwen

🔘IT’S FRIDAY BUT SUNDAY’S COMING🔘

🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Practice Grace ~ Day 39 ~ Good Friday

Practice grace in everything you do today. Extend some to your family if they irate you, to the slow people in your checkout line, or to the cars that pull out in front of you. Notice where you need grace extended to you, too.

✝️ Prayer ✝️

O dear Lord, what can I say to you?

Is there any word that could come from my mouth,

any thought? any sentence?

You died for me, you gave all for my sins,

you not only became man for me

but also suffered the cruel death for me.

Is there any response?

I wish that I could find a fitting response,

but contemplating your Holy Passion and Death

I can only confess humbly to you

that the immensity of your divine love

makes any response seem totally inadequate.

Let me just stand and look at you.

Your body is broken, your head wounded,

your hands and feet are split open by nails,

your side is pierced.

Your dead body now rests in the arms of your Mother.

It is all over now. It is finished.

It is fulfilled. It is accomplished.

Sweet Lord, gracious Lord,

generous Lord, forgiving Lord,

I adore you, I praise you, I thank you.

You have made all things new

through your passion and death.

Your cross has been planted in this world

as a new sign of hope.

Let me always live under your cross, O Lord,

and proclaim the hope of your cross unceasingly.

~ Amen

Thank you for stopping by my blog space today, I appreciate your support. Blessings to you on this Good Friday.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 134paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 04•01•2021: Show Me The Way

Maundy Thursday, April 1st, 2021

Greetings to you in this Holy Maundy Thursday —

Today we commemorate and remember two very important acts; Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and Jesus presenting his body and blood as food and drink. I have participated in hand washing on Maundy Thursday services and have shared in the Eucharist. In both of these acts that Jesus performed, he was showing us how to love others as fully as he loves us. Jesus gives us the same command in both acts: after washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus says, “I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done for you” (John 13:15). And after, (Jesus) giving of himself as food and drink says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19).

Nouwen, writes, “Jesus calls us to continue his mission of revealing the perfect love of God in this world. He calls us to total self-giving. He does not want us to keep anything for ourselves. Rather, he wants our love to be as full, as radical, and as complete as his own. He wants us to bend ourselves to the ground and touch the places in each other that most need washing. He (Jesus), wants us to become one body and one spirit, united by the love of God.”(1).

Friends, as we approach Maundy Thursday and prepare for Good Friday let us not quickly pass over the parts of Jesus’ Passion story and jump to Sunday. Because it is important to reflect, even sense the enormity of what Jesus endured and the loneliness he felt and what God, himself felt when the world he created. rejected his one and only son, Jesus Christ. Imagine Mary, helpless to comfort her son, in a way that only a mother’s touch can do. Indeed friend, it’s Thursday; but Sunday is coming! Hallelujah!

🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲🔳🔲

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Support ~ Day 38 ~ Maundy Thursday

Support a local school or teacher with a note, goodie, or supplies. You can go to donorchoose.org to support specific school projects.

🔹 Prayer 🔹

Almighty, everlasting God,

on the evening before he suffered

your beloved son entrusted to the Church

the sacrifice of the new and eternal covenant

and founded the banquet of his love.

Grant that from this mystery

we may receive the fullness of life and love.

We ask this through Jesus Christ.

~ Amen

Thank you for visiting my blog today, looking forward to sharing with you tomorrow. 💜🙏🏻

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 130, 131, paragraph 2, 1 respectively.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•31•2021: Show Me The Way

Photo Credit: Me (Sodalis Nature Park, IN)

Hello and welcome to Wednesday of Holy Week —

Henri Nouwen writes about Jesus’ love for us, he describes it as, “Lord, your love is a love that comes from a human heart. It is a heart-felt love that expresses itself through your whole being. You speak…you look…you touch…you give food.”(1).

Indeed, I agree the love of Jesus embraces us in all the ways we could ever need or want to be loved. Below is one of my favorite images I found years ago on the internet, it always warms my heart both literally and figuratively. I hope it warms yours, are are God’s child and you are loved so very much.

Here’s another favorite…

“(Lord), Your eyes penetrate the eternal mystery of the divine and see the glory of God.” — Henri Nouwen (2).

The human eyes of Jesus that sees the glory of God and the heavens are the same eyes that see you and me. The same eyes saw and looked upon the blind, the lepers, the lame, the poor, the rich, his disciples and his mother, Mary. I don’t know about you but this is something I haven’t really thought about before. It’s an awakening of sorts, it draws me closer to the divine, strangely I feel like I should have realized this before somehow. God, the Father, Jesus, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit together and individual see me and they see you. We are loved by our creator, and he watches over us.

Psalm 121:8, “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Proverbs 15:3 – The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your support. Keep your 👀 on Jesus!

💜🌿💜🌿💜🌿💜🌿💜🌿💜🌿💜🌿💜

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Wonder ~ Day 37

Take a break from having all the answers. Spend the day noticing, wondering, and questioning the world around you.

🔹 Prayer 🔹

Dear Lord,

your disciple Peter wanted you to know

who would betray you.

You pointed to Judas but a little later also to him.

Judas betrayed, Peter denied you.

Judas hanged himself,

Peter became an apostle

whom you made the first among equals.

Lord, give me faith,

faith in your endless mercy,

your boundless forgiveness,

your unfathomable goodness.

Let me not be tempted to think that my sins

are too great to be forgiven,

too abominable to be touched by your mercy.

Let me never run away from you

but return to you again and again,

asking you to be my Lord,

my Shepherd, my Stronghold, and my Refuge.

Take me under your wing, O Lord,

and let me know that you do not reject me

as long as I keep asking you to forgive me.

Perhaps my doubt in your forgiveness is a greater sin

than the sins I consider too great to be forgiven.

Perhaps I make myself too important, too great

when I think

that I cannot be embraced by you any more.

Lord, look at me, accept my prayer,

as you accepted Peter’s prayer,

and let me not run away from you

in the night as Judas did.

Bless me, Lord, in this Holy Week,

and give me the grace

to know your loving presence more intimately.

~ Amen

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 127, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 127, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•30•2021: Show Me The Way

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Wishing you all a beautiful Tuesday —

As I read the devotional for today, Henri Nouwen provided some great insights to Jesus’ word (betray) in Greek. He explains that a better translation of “betray” would be “One of you will hand me over.”

The Greek word for “betray” is “paradidomi.” Strong’s Concordance says it means to surrender, that is, yield up, intrust, transmit.”

Paradidomi

I found this statement from Nouwen, very educational; “It is an important term (paradidomi), not only to express what Judas did, but also what God did. Paul writes, “… he did not spare his own Son, but ‘handed him over’ for the sake of all of us.” [Romans 8:32].(1). If we translate Judas’s action as “to betray” as applied to Judas, we do not fully express the mystery because Judas is described as being an instrument of God’s work. That is why Jesus said, “The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed [handed over]” (Matthew 26:24).(2).

Another interesting thing that Nouwen points out is that at the betrayal of Jesus, his ministry takes a pivotal turn from action to passion. I have never made this connection until now and it so clear… Jesus’ ministry had been one of teaching, preaching, healing, and moving to wherever he wanted to go. Now that he has been handed over, now things are no longer done by him, but to him. Jesus is beaten, abused, stripped of his clothing, laughed at, spat upon, and nailed to a wooden cross. “Jesus, the passive victim, now subject to other people’s actions. From the very moment Jesus is handed over, his passion begins, and through this passion he fulfills his vocation. It is important to realize that Jesus fulfills his mission NOT by what he does, but by what is done to him.”(3).

The good news of all of this is that Jesus is handed over to PASSION, and through his PASSION accomplished his divine task on earth. That, my friends is good news for a world passionately searching for wholeness’

I am asking myself some hard questions:

🔘 “Am I ready to be handed over?”

🔘 “Am I ready to fulfill my mission and ministry?”

⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️❓⛔️

How about you…

🔘 Is the Spirit calling out to you?

🔘 Are you ready to be handed over?

Nouwen interjects a Bible verse that was perplexing to me but after reading it several times along with his introduction of it, I think I now have a better understanding.

Jesus was speaking to Peter, it is about transitioning from action to passion, this too is for us if, we want to follow in the ways of Jesus.

Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate your support. Blessings to you! 🙏🏻🌿💜❣️

🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩🔶🟩

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Church Staff ~ Day 36

Lent and Holy Week are especially busy times for church staff. Pray for their well-being.

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🙏🏻 Prayer 🙏🏻

If you, O God, are for us

who can be against us?

Since you did not spare your own Son,

but gave him up for the sake of all of us,

then can we not expect that with him

you will freely give us all his gifts?

Are we not sure that it is Christ Jesus,

your Son, who died —

yes and more, who was raise from the dead

and is at God’s right hand —

and who is adding his plea for us?

— After Romans 8:31, 32, 34

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 124, paragraph 2.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 124, paragraph 3.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 124, 125, paragraph 4, 1, 2, respectively.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/paradidomi.html

https://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•29•2021: Show Me The Way

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Dear friends and family —

We have entered into Holy Week, we have an advantage that the disciples and followers of Jesus did not have in the days we now call Holy Week. We have the biblical accounts of the events of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem, much like “Paul Harvey” used to say, “and that’s the rest of the story.”

I mentioned yesterday in my blog post that I had started watching the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” I watched a few more minutes tonight, it’s a tough movie to watch, because it’s truthful. Tonight’s portion that I viewed is found in Mark 15:1-15

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Mark%2015:1-15&version=NRSVA

Jesus loved us and endured pain, ridicule and aloneness because it was the only way to reconcile the broken relationship between humans and God. Henri Nouwen, in his book, “Show Me The Way” says, “The way of Jesus can only be walked with Jesus. If l/we want to do it alone, it becomes a form of inverse heroism as fickle as heroism itself. Only Jesus, the Son of God, can walk to that place of total surrender and mercy. He warns us about striking off on our own: ‘cut off from me, you can do nothing.’ But he also promises, “Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.” (John 15:5).”(1).

Our scripture verse today tells us about the poor and that they will always be with us. “Every time we think we have touched a place of poverty, we will discover greater poverty beyond that place. Beyond physical poverty there is mental poverty, beyond mental poverty there is spiritual poverty and beyond that there is nothing, nothing but the naked trust that God is mercy.” (2)

When I was growing up I remember stories my parents would share that made me feel like we were living well. They told a story of a relative living in the hills of Tennessee and their home had dirt floors, mom said, those were the cleanest dirt floors she had ever seen! Another story my mom shared was that when she was growing up in the winter time before getting out of bed they would have to sometimes shake the snow off the blankets. My mom was 1 of 8 children so they shared a bed most of the time. My grandmothers first house after getting married was an old Army tent. These are not stories of poverty to me but stories of love and perseverance. My parents and grandparents did their very best to walk with Jesus. Poverty does exist, it exists in many forms and we cannot turn away from it or wish it away. We can PRAY. We can take ACTION. We can share the love of God with the world, one person at a time. As we move forward this week, Holy Week be ever so mindful that you do not walk alone. “Only with Jesus can we go to the place where there is nothing but mercy. It is the place from which Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is also the place from which Jesus was raised up to new life.” (3).

“If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ. and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in meeting them the suffering Christ. Action with and for those who suffer is the concrete expression of the compassionate life and the final criterion of being a Christian. Such acts do not stand beside the moments of prayer and worship but are themselves such moments. Why? Because Jesus Christ, who did not cling to his divinity, but became as we are, can be found where they are hungry, thirsty, alienated, naked, sick, and imprisoned people. Precisely when we live in an ongoing conversation with Christ and allow his Spirit to guide our lives, we will recognize him in the poor, oppressed, and the downtrodden, and will hear his cry and respond to it wherever he reveals himself. So worship becomes ministry and ministry becomes worship and all we say and do, ask for or give, becomes a way to the life in which God’s compassion can manifest itself.” (4).

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I used a lot of quotes from Nouwen today because his words touched my soul and I pray they touch yours as well. ~Peace to you my friends ~

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Be Uncomfortable ~ Day 35

Growth happens in places where we are uncomfortable, and it’s easy to stay in places of comfort. Push yourself to find new opportunities to live your faith, especially if it means doing something new.

🔹 Prayer 🔹

Rise Yahweh! God, raise your hand,

do not forget the afflicted!

You have seen for yourself the trouble and vexation,

you watch do as to take it in hand.

Yahweh, you listen to the laments of the poor.

You give them courage, you grant them a hearing.

— Psalm 10:12, 14, 17

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing 

(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121-122paragraph 4, 1 respectively.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121, paragraph 3.

(4) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 122, paragraph 3, 4, 5 respectively.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation