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?”

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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! 🙏🏻🌿💜❣️

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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

Lent 03•28•2021: Show Me The Way

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Christ on a Donkey, in the Augustiner Museum in Freiburg, according to Henri Nouwen, is one of the most moving Christ figures he knows. I certain agree!

Christ on a Donkey, is a fourteenth-century sculpture originally from Niederrotweil, a small town close to Breisach on the Rhine. It was made to be pulled on a cart in a Palm Sunday procession…(1). Nouwen goes onto describe the sculpture, Christ’s long slender face with a high forehead, inward-looking eyes, long hair, and small forked beard expresses the mystery of his suffering in a way that holds me spellbound.(2).

https://www.freiburg.de/pb/site/Freiburg/get/documents_E-1927036494/freiburg/daten/news/amtsblatt/pdf/AB_SS_2010-0312.pdf

The words of Henri Nouwen describing Jesus riding into Jerusalem, “Jesus appears completely concentrated on something else. He does not look at the excited crowd. He does not wave. He sees beyond all the noise and movement to what is ahead of him: an agonizing journey of betrayal, torture, crucifixion, and death. His unfocused eyes see what nobody around him can see; his high forehead reflects knowledge of things to come far beyond any one’s understanding. There is melancholy, but also peaceful acceptance. There is insight into the fickleness of the human heart, but also immense compassion. There is a deep awareness of the unspeakable pain to be suffered, but also a strong determination to do God’s will. Above all, there is love, an endless, deep, and far-reaching love born from an unbreakable intimacy with God and reaching out to all people, wherever they are, were or will be. There is nothing that he does not fully know. There is nobody whom he does not fully love. Every time I look at this Christ on a Donkey, I am reminded again that I am seen by him with all my sins, guilt, and shame and loved with all his forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Just looking at this Jesus is a prayer. I look and look and look, and know that he sees the depths of my heart; I do not have to be afraid. Joy and sadness are born at the same time, both arising from deep places in the heart that words cannot be found to capture the complex emotions. But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.(3).

Dear, dear friends —- Blessings to you on this Palm Sunday! 🌿🌿🌿

I found the words of Nouwen to be awe-inspiring, thoughtful, and filled with great detail. I felt as in I were in the museum looking at the sculpture of Christ on a Donkey with my own eyes. Celebrate Jesus’ arrival into the holy city, he is indeed worthy of praise.

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When I got home from work yesterday I started watching the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” I made it only a short way into the movie, to Judas’ betrayal. Many things entered my thoughts, mostly the pain and agony Jesus endured for our/my salvation. Then I was reminded of the ugliness of the human heart, not a single day goes by that there is not violence in the news, local, state, national, extending into countries…it’s an epidemic, no different and the COVID pandemic the world is currently dealing with. At least with COVID, vaccines are available. How do we get people to start caring for one another? How can hate be eradicated? The soil of humanity has been a breeding ground for devaluing human life, we must find ways to plant peace, mutual respect and value on every life. It’s a tall order I know, but I also believe it can be done one person at a time. It takes much more energy to hate than it does to just live, live the best you possible. If hate is contagious, so it is with love; and peace; and respect! Much love to you! Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I am grateful for your support, comments and prayers. 💜

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ A Break ~ Palm Sunday

Who do you know who needs a break, and how can you give them a break? You could offer a run to the store, babysitting, sweeping/shoveling, or even a small gift card.

🌿 Prayer 🌿

Almighty God,

today we pay homage to Christ in his victory.

With songs of praise

we accompany him into the holy city;

grant that we may come

to the heavenly Jerusalem through him

who lives and reigns with you to all eternity.

— From the prayers for the blessing of the palms

— 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 118, paragraphs 1 and 2 respectively.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 118, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 119, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4, and 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

Lent 03•27•2021: Show Me The Way

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Photo Credit: Me [Fountain County, IN]

October 16th, 2020

Welcome friends and family —

The great mystery of God. The truth of God escapes our human capacities. The greatness of God cannot be grasp by our human minds.(1). I have no special skills to explain God to you, what I CAN do is share a life experience with you. I know that I experienced a conversion, I felt a need in my heart for a missing piece. That missing piece was accepting Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I accept the scriptures as God’s Word for all to read and free to apply the lessons to our lives. A feeling of completeness is what I discovered in my salvation story. Trusting God and believing in God does not mean life will be without its share of pain and challenging situations. The Good News is we will not be alone in our pain or difficult situations, God’s promises are the foundation of our faith. It is from this base foundation we find hope.(2). That Hope is Jesus. The promises of God and his love are found throughout the scriptures.

— 1 John 4:7-9 —

“My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love. This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him.”

— John 1:14 —

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Detach – Day 34 ~ Set aside what you find yourself attached to for the day. It could be your phone, books, video games, etc. What space does this open up for you?

🔸 Prayer 🔸

O God, we are the heirs of the covenant

you made with our ancestors

when you told Abraham,

“All nations of the earth will be blessed

in your descendants.”

It was for us that you raised up your servant Jesus

and sent him to bless us.

— After Acts 3:25-26

Thank you for visiting my blog today, I am humbled and blessed by your support. Happy Saturday everyone! 😁

~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 116, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 117, 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•26•2021: Show Me The Way

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Photo Credit: Me [Hendricks County, IN]

September 21, 2014

“I have shown you many good works from my father; for which of these are you stoning me?” — John 10:23

Happy Friday everyone —

The great mystery of Jesus, as described by Henri Nouwen is this, “Jesus who is the sinless Son of God, chose in total freedom to suffer fully our pains and thus to let us discover the true nature of our own passions. In him, we see and experience our broken humanity not as a curse (Genesis 3:14-19), but as a blessing. His divine compassion makes it possible for us to face our sinful selves, because it transforms our broken human condition from a cause of despair into a source of hope.”(1).

Genesis 3:14-19 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Genesis%203:14-19&version=NRSVA

In everything that Jesus did during his life on earth was to teach us and to show us LOVE. And, “that the love we most long for is given to us by God, not because we deserve it, but because God is a God of love.”(2).

It really is that simple…LOVE. God’s Word tells us throughout the scriptures that the key to everything is LOVE, why is it that we, all God’s children keep messing this up?

💙💚💛🧡❤️LOVE 🤎🤍🖤💜💗

1 John 4:20 ESV

“If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

John 13:34-35 ESV

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Romans 12:10 ESV

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

1 John 4:7-10 ESV

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

1 John 4:11 ESV

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Romans 13:8 ESV

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

1 John 3:18 ESV

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Galatians 5:13 ESV

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

John 15:12 ESV

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

💙💚💛🧡❤️LOVE 🤎🤍🖤💜💗

I know, that was a lot of verses. I’m not apologizing for them, simply a reminder largely for myself and hopefully to others to know that God loves us and he knows us. God knows the hearts of all his children and Jesus literally feels our pains, our sorrows, our passions, our joys…our everything.

Our world his filled with so much darkness and evil, it can seem overwhelming at times. But there is hope, seize the moments when truth and love shine through, celebrate the good in all people. God moves and works in mysterious ways, keep the eyes and ears of your heart open to receive blessings from God. Just today, I was feeling a bit under-the-weather, not sick but not overflowing with joy…I have the most amazing coworkers, one in particular showed me love in the form of a hug. Nothing groundbreaking to most but this person is not normally the hugging kind. Mutual love and respect for another person can and does happen, I’m glad to have been on the receiving end of one of God’s mysterious ways today. The depth of our friendship is invaluable to me. I hope and pray you have moments that fill you with joy as this one did for me.

God loved us so much that he sent his only son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. “In these words the meaning of the Incarnation is summed up. God has become human — that is, God-With-Us — in order to show us that the anxious concern for recognition and the violence among us spring from a lack of faith in the love of God. If we had a firm faith in God’s unconditional love for us, it would no longer be necessary to be always on the lookout for ways of being admired by people, and we would need, even less, to obtain from people by force what God desires to give us so abundantly.”(3).

Be mindful today of how you treat others, I pray that you are met with kindness, respect and love. Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I am blessed to share God’s word with you.

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Jesus Prayer – Day 33

Recite the Jesus prayer 10 times, either in one sitting or throughout the course of the day. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” For children, it can be as simple as, “Jesus loves me and my neighbor.”

💠 ~ Prayer ~ 💠

Lord Jesus Christ,

you suffered for us

and left an example

for us to follow in your steps.

You had done nothing wrong,

and had spoken no deceit.

You were insulted

and did not retaliate with insults;

when you were suffering

you made no threats

but put your trust

in the upright judge.

You were bearing our sins

in your body on the cross,

so that we might die to our sins

and live for uprightness;

through your bruises

we have been healed.

— After 1 Peter 2:21-24

~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 113, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 114, paragraph 1.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 114, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.openbible.info/topics/love_one_another

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation

(ESV) English Standard Version

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•25•2021: Show Me The Way

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Photo Credit: Me

Sodalis Nature Park, IN

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“In all truth I tell you,

whoever keeps my word

will never see death.”

— John 8:51

Hi friends —

What keeps you grounded in your faith?

Over the past year many have been in a state of flux regarding the attendance of in person church services, myself included. I believe that most churches have stepped up with regard to online services through many modes of electronic outlets. I’ll be honest, I have struggled with online services, it’s the in person interaction that helps me stay grounded and learning. I have felt isolated and forgotten, as I am sure others have too. This space to write and read others thoughts has helped me over the last year. My quiet time with God, reading my devotional scriptures and sharing my thoughts with an online audience has helped. I am so thankful my job never became a “work-from-home” situation. Being an essential work most assuredly saved me from myself. I have a great job, work with some amazing individuals and I hope to continue it until retirement, God willing.

Photo Credit: Me

Top: Sodalis Park

Bottom Left: Centennial Community Church-The Church I grew up in

Bottom Right: Church in Mooresville

All in Indiana.

Henri Nouwen writes this about the Church; “First of all, listen to the Church. I know that that isn’t a popular bit of advice at a time and in a country where the Church is frequently seen more as an “obstacle” in the way rather than as the “way” to Jesus. Nevertheless, I’m profoundly convinced that the greatest spiritual danger for our times is the separation of Jesus from the Church. The Church is the body of the Lord. Without Jesus there can be no Church; and without the church we cannot stay united with Jesus. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has come closer to Jesus by forsaking the church. To listen to the Church is to listen to the Lord of the Church. Specifically, this means taking part in the Church’s liturgical life. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost; these seasons and feasts teach you to know Jesus better and better, and unite you more and more intimately with the divine life he offers you in the Church.”(1).

🔘 The Church is the body of Jesus.

🔘 No Jesus, No Church.

🔘 Know Jesus, Know the Church.

🔘 Listen to the Church

🔘 Listen to the Lord of the Church.

🔘 Take part in the Church.

🔘 Liturgical life will unite people

🔘 Liturgical life will grow in intimacy with the divine life.

“The Eucharist is the heart of the Church’s life. It’s there that you hear the life-giving Gospel and receive the gifts that sustain that life within you. The best assurance that you’ll keep listening to the Church is your regular participation in the Eucharist.”(2). — Henri J.M. Nouwen

Friends, I believe wholeheartedly in the words that Nouwen wrote about the Eucharist. I also agree that the Church and regular attendance will strength ones resolve and grow in the ways of God. I say these things but have not practiced them as of late, I have become somewhat disillusioned with the Church (my Church) over the past year. This is my personal pilgrimage, my fork in the road if you will. I have chosen to re-evaluate what it is that I need from the Church, my church and what my church is offering. I love my brothers and sisters and have stressed about being away from them for well over a year now. God is with me, I know this to be true and I look to him for guidance and clarity. I believe the Church has a calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world and sometimes the hurting world is sitting right beside you and not somewhere on the other side of the globe. Don’t get me wrong, both are important and valuable, but sometimes we must prioritize. If the Church grows without the needs from within being met, it will quickly grow, and grow weak in its expansion.

I pray you have a Church and that you are filled and fed by the Church. Thank you for stopping by my Blog Post today, God Bless You and Keep You! ~ Amen

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Act of Kindness – Day 32

Perform a random act of kindness for another person today. If you need ideas for what to do check our: randomactsofkindness.org

🔹 Prayer 🔹

O God, it is impossible to believe you

without faith,

since anyone who comes to you

must believe that you exist

and reward those who seek you.

— After Hebrews 11:6

~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 111-112, paragraph 4, 1 respectively.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 112, 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•24•2021: Show Me The Way

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

Hello my friends —

Truth…

The truth is Jesus came to live among us and to teach us to live as he does. So we would become Christ-like, obeying the Father and doing the Father’s will and not our own. Jesus showed us the love he has for the Father, so we can share in the divine life and love, Jesus and the Father share. Jesus did not present himself equal to God, (No), Jesus emptied himself and became as we are, that being human so we could become like him.(1).

The disciples did not fully understand the relationship shared by God, the Father, Jesus, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. Especially the Holy Spirit while Jesus was still in the flesh, human and present with them. Jesus wanted his disciples to know that he would never leave them even though he (Jesus in the flesh) was going away. Seriously, this concept would have been difficult for any of us then. But, we have the benefit of the scriptures and can recognize the Spirit working within us, if we choose. These are the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples, “Very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” —John 16:7 (NIV)

As children of the living God, we are brothers and sisters with Christ, in the Father. As believers, we are lifted up into the divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are called to continue the ministry of Jesus, until his return. We are transformed not out of this world; but into the world, spreading the love of Jesus to the ends of the world. Our spiritual journey will take us many places, some of us to places within our own neighborhoods, while others may be called to distant lands. For God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, as we are all uniquely created by God. Listen for the Spirit, the voice of God calling, he will make a way for you. Place all your trust in God.

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“Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the desert and rivers in wastelands.” ~ Isaiah 43:19

1. Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.

2. 1 Peter 2:9 However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

3. Psalm 119:73-74 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word.

4. Isaiah 64:8 Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

5. Jeremiah 1:4-5 The LORD gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

6. Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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“Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.” ~John 14:6-7

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Appreciate – Day 31

Leave a note in your mailbox or so treats on the front porch for the folks who bring the mail and deliver packages. It’s easy to take for granted how the world can be shipped to our doorsteps and not stop to notice all those who make it happen.

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🔸 Prayer 🔸

Dear Lord, you are the Truth.

When I keep myself rooted in you,

I will live in the Truth.

Help me, Lord, to live a truthful life,

a life in which I am guided

not by popularity, public opinion,

current fashion, or convenient formulations

but by a knowledge that comes from knowing you.

There may be times during which holding onto the

Truth is hard and painful,

and leads to oppression, persecution, and death.

Be with me, Lord if that time comes ever comes.

Let me then experience

that to hold onto the Truth means to hold onto you,

that Love and Truth can never be separated,

and that to live truthfully is the same as being faithful

to a loving relationship.

Lord, bring me always closer to you.

~ 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 108, paragraph 1, paraphrased.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

https://biblereasons.com/being-unique/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Photo Credit: Me/March 23, 2021

Stout Heritage Pkwy, Indiana

Lent 03•23•2021: Show Me The Way

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Happy Tuesday Friends & Family—

Throughout Jesus’ life and ministry, he always pointed his message and his mission to God, his Father and our Heavenly Father. In the Gospel of John, John makes it very clear that Jesus did not take credit for his ministry, he was doing the will of the one who sent him, God, the Father. In John 14:10, Jesus says to his disciples, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (NRSVA)

“I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world to go to the Father.” ~ John 16:28

“In my Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am.” ~ John 14:2-3

We are called to continue the ministry that Jesus started, sharing the Good News! I have a friend that loves the Gospel of John, he loves it for many reasons, specifically for the simple words that hold the magnificence of God. John, in my opinion and my friend (BDC) is that John states clearly who God is….

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” ~John 1:1-5

“He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ~John 1:10-14

As we continue to move through Passion Week, let us stay mindful of Jesus, specifically his obedience to the Father. Jesus experienced great joy and deep sorrows, and much suffering during his ministry. Jesus spend much time in prayer listening to the voice of God, he was intentional and purposeful in all he did. He is our perfect guide and role model of being a child of God.

Henri Nouwen writes this in his devotional for today, “Nothing is real without deriving its reality from God.” The paragraph goes on to say, “This was the great discovery of St. Francis when he suddenly saw the whole world in God’s hands and wondered why God didn’t drop it.”(1).

Lastly, Nouwen writes this, “St Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Vianney, and all the saints are saints precisely because for them the order of being was turned around and they saw, felt, and — above all — knew with their heart that outside of God nothing is, nothing breathes, nothing moves, and nothing lives.”(2)

Links for additional interests:

https://iep.utm.edu/augustin/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Augustine

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Teresa-of-Avila

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Vianney

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Go Green – Day 30

How can you reduce your water waste today? Find ways to use cloth instead of paper products, reusable instead of single-use products, purchase items with eco-friend packaging.

💠 Prayer 💠

Lord Jesus Christ,

this is the will of your Father

that whoever sees you and believes in you

should have eternal life,

and that you should raise that person up on the last day.

— After John 6:40

~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 106, paragraph 3.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 106, paragraph 3.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

(CSB) Christian Standard Bible Version/Translation

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆🌸🔆

NZain this is especially for you, I hope you like it! 😉🌻

Lent 03•22•2021: Show Me The Way

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

As we entering into Passion Week, I wanted to share a song that has been a favorite of mine, I have provided the lyrics so you can read them before hearing the song. I also found a video cover of the song. The original is my favorite but the cover video is softer and has less background music in it so you are able to hear the words as well as feel them. I will also post the original at the bottom of my post for anyone interested in listening to it. The words of the song are very powerful and speak to my heart. A very dear friend (JJ) introduced this artist and her music to me, I encourage you to check out more of her music for yourself.

“This Mystery” Lyrics
by Nichole Nordeman
from the album Icon

(Chorus)

Do You wish
Do You want
Us to breathe again?
Say goodbye
To the lines
That we’ve colored in
Brown and grey
From day to day, oh
Do You cry
Do You hope
For all things made new?
Try and try
To invoke us
To live in You
That we might be
The hands and feet
Of this mystery

(Verses)

Say goodnight
To the light
Of the setting sun

One more day
One more way
Of keeping track
Of all I’ve done

I run this race
Keep this pace
I’m doing fine
And I won’t stop
Until each box
Gets checked a second time

And life becomes
The round and round
Revolving door
That won’t slow down
It won’t slow down

This routine
Is nice and clean 
From dawn to dusk
I rise and rest
I do my best
When will it ever be enough?

And life becomes
The bigger noise
Drowning out
Your little voice
Your little voice, Jesus

We take stock
And we punch the clock
And we make sure all those zeros
Have balanced in the end

Friends —

The story of God, is he loves you: yes, you the person reading this: God Loves You!

“Passion Week” — This name represents the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross. He did this to pay for our sins — the sins of all of His people. It is because of the “Passion” week and the events of Jesus’ final days with the disciples that we are able to understand and learn of compassion.

“Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.” — Luke 6:36 (NJB)

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” — Psalm 103:13-14 (NIV)

And there’s more to the story, God’s son Jesus loves you (us) too, so much that he committed himself to live in solidarity with us. Jesus shares in our joys and pains, to defend and protect us, and to suffer all of life with us. God is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle.(1).

The Bible is filled with answers we seek, but we must be willing to open the book and turn the pages. “God-With-Us” is real, God is not far away from us, we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit and Jesus lived among us, God created us. Isn’t this the most beautiful of love stories!

— Matthew 1:23 (NIV) —

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us.”)

— Psalm 145:18 (NIV) —

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

— 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV) —

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

— Psalm 119:73 (NIV) —

“Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.”

☀️ ❤️🟧💛🟩💙🟪🖤⬜️🤎 ☀️

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Folding Prayer – Day 29

Fold paper cranes (or other origami) and pray for someone. If you are able, give them what you created.

🔹 Prayer 🔹

Lord, you have not come to judge the world,

but to save the world;

anyone who rejects you and refuses your words

has his judge already:

the word itself that you have spoken

will be his judge on the last day.

— After John 12:47-48

In Jesus, God’s compassion was made visible to us, Jesus was the concrete embodiment of divine compassion in the world. (Psalm 103:13-14). Jesus’ response to those in need (the hungry, the blind, widows, those suffering) flowed from the divine compassion which led God to become one of us. We need to pay close attention to Jesus’ words and actions of we are to gain insight into the mystery of this divine compassion.(2). Neither history nor the Bible tell us that Jesus cured every person with a sickness or all the tormented individuals; however, we do have stories of incredible faith that lead to healing throughout the New Testament. Henri Nouwen says this in response to this; “What is important here is not the cure of the sick, but the deep compassion that moved Jesus to these cures.”(3).

~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 103, paragraph 1, 2, 3. (Paraphrased)

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 104, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 104, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

http://www.michelangelo.net/jonah/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•21•2021: Show Me The Way

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Hello friends —

Welcome to Passion Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Lent and two weeks before Easter Sunday. During this particular season of Lent I am enjoying a devotional written by Henri J. M. Nouwen, “Show Me The Way.” In today’s reading I have learned something new and that excites me. Are you a person who is always looking for signs? I have to admit I do read my fortune cookies mostly for fun, and I’ve twisted the stem of an apple off saying ABC’s to see what letter starts the name of the person I like?, getting all green lights when driving, etc., these are fun things to do to distract from ordinary life. Just for fun, for me. Not judging here.

Fun interruptions in our everyday lives can provide respite for our mental health. Laughter is good for the soul.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

✅⁉️ Signs 🛑 Signs ⁉️✅

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. ‘Master,’ they said, ‘we should like to see a sign from you.’ He replied, ‘It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah remained in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.”

— Matthew 12:38-40 —

From this one can see what the authentic sign is: not some sensational miracle or (a fun things that distraction from ordinary life) but the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The great sign, which can be understood only by those who are willing to follow Jesus, is the sign of Jonah, who also wanted to run away from reality but was summoned back by God to fulfill his arduous task to the end. To look suffering and death straight in the face and to go through them oneself in the hope of a new God-given life: that is the sign of Jesus and of every human being who wishes to lead a spiritual life in imitation of him. It is the sign of the cross: the sign of suffering and death, but also of the hope for total renewal.(1)

Nouwen writes this about life, “it is better to live the truth with eyes open than to live life in an illusion.”(2)

The reality of life is we will all have suffering and we all will face death. Sure, it’s possible to try and deny reality for a plethora of reasons but in the end, death can not be escaped. Facing life and its many challenges will be difficult but not impossible. “The core message of Jesus is that real joy and peace can never be reached while bypassing suffering and death, but only by going right through them.”(3)

When we choose to face life and it’s true reality, not through eyes of disparity but through the eyes of Jesus, we just might discover hidden miracles and promises where we lest expect them. These promises and miracles are stronger than death or the shadows of death. Jesus has already conquered death, and death will not have the final word. Jesus invites us to face the painful reality of our existence with the same trust he had in his Father, our Father, God!

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

— 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV) —

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Music Day – Sunday 5

Spend the day singing and listening to religious music. After all, “when you sing you pray twice.” — Quote attributed to Augustine

Prayer

You have the words of eternal life,

you are food and drink,

you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

You are the light that shines in the darkness,

the lamp on the lamp stand, the house on the hilltop.

You are the perfect Icon of God.

In and through you I can see the Heavenly Father,

and with you I can find my way to him.

Be my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer,

my Guide, my Consoler, my Comforter,

my Hope, my Joy, and my Peace.

To you I want to give all that I am.

Let me give you all —

all I have, think, do, and feel.

It is yours, O Lord.

Please accept it and make it fully your own.

~ Amen

~Charlotte, the 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 100, 102, paragraph 2, 1 respectively.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 101, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 101, paragraph 3.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

http://www.michelangelo.net/jonah/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation