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

🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀💠🌀

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.”

☀️ ❤️🟧💛🟩💙🟪🖤⬜️🤎 ☀️

🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷🔸🔷

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

Lent 03•20•2021: Show Me The Way

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

☀️

🌼🌸🌻 Welcome Spring 2021 🌻🌸🌼

The Story of Nicodemus, Jesus & Fear

Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish sect of influential Pharisees and a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish court. Nicodemus held the prominent position as ruler of the Pharisees, an enormously powerful position. He was a wealthy man of power and status. Nicodemus admired Jesus, but he was afraid. Afraid of losing the respect of his friends, family and colleagues, if he were to follow Jesus. Nicodemus even went to speak with Jesus under of cover of nightfall, so no one would see him.

⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️✅⚠️

Have you every felt so draw to something but fear stopped you? I have been fearful of many things throughout my life and I have been able to tackle of few of them. Sometimes fear is a good intuitive sensation that keeps us safe. Fear can supply us with caution or keep us from our greatest achievements. As I have matured in my life I have concluded that some things are just not worthy of my mental acuity. As a practicing “over-achiever” I sometimes have to stop and ask myself “is this worthy of my time?” I try to keep myself grounded in simple pleasures of life, caring for my well-being, connecting with friends and family and growing my faith both internally and externally.

❓❓ How about you? ❓❓

Feel like tackling a fear?

Friends, — it is indeed a privilege to be able to share my thoughts with you on a daily basis as we journey through Lent.

“You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children — which is what we are!”

— 1 John 3:1 —

💞 Please know that you are loved! 💕

Jesus loves you ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍🤎

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Give Time – Day 28

Schedule time for serving others during Lent. It’s doesn’t matter whether the project is big or small, it matters more that you share your time.

🔸 Prayer 🔸

Dear Lord,

show me your kindness and your gentleness,

you who are meek and humble of heart.

So often I say to myself, “The Lord loves me.”

Yet time and again I have to confess

that I have not let your live descend fully

from my mind into my heart.

In the coming weeks, O Lord,

I will be able to see again

how much you indeed love me.

Let these weeks become an opportunity for me

to let go of all my resistances to your love

and an occasion for you to call me closer to you.

— 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 59, paragraph 2.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 59, paragraph 1.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 59-60, paragraph 5, 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•19•2021: Show Me The Way

Friday, March 19th, 2021

Hello friends and family —

The words in Henri Nouwen’s devotional for today hit particularly close to home with me. His writings and most devotionals I read provide much needed gleaning for my soul and overall mental awareness. I have been struggling for sometime about “things” that are difficult for me to name. Most days I can shrug off the emotions as simply growing pains and points of clarity for myself. I absolutely love my devotional quiet time and find it both relaxing and exhilarating. When I’m reading God’s word or the works of other biblical scholars and people of faith, I am able to process the lessons and draw my own personal experiences into the stories. Today, the very first sentence grabbed my attention. “Fellowship with Jesus Christ is not a commitment to suffer as much as possible, but a commitment to LISTEN with him to God’s love without fear…”(1).

🔴 ➡️ “It’s God’s will.” ⬅️ 🔴

🔴 ➡️ “The Will of God.” ⬅️ 🔴

Have anyone ever said those words to you, or maybe you’ve said them to someone. Often, we are tempted to “explain” suffering in these terms. “Not only can this evoke anger and frustration, but also it is false. “God’s will” is not a label that can be put on unhappy situations. God wants to bring joy not pain, peace not war, healing not suffering. Therefore, instead of declaring anything and everything to be the will of God, we must be willing to ask ourselves where in the midst of our pains and suffering we can discern the living presence of God.”(2).

Commitment to listen, is to be obedient to listening. We must be willing to listen for God’s voice, and the Holy Spirit opening our hearts to receive God’s message for us. Our prayer lives are a healthy balance of lifting our petitions to God, (talking to God) and giving God the chance to speak to us as well. “…we discover that our obedient listening leads to our suffering neighbors, we can go to them in the joyful knowledge that love brings us there. We are poor listeners because we are afraid that there is something other than live in God. This is not so strange since we seldom, if ever, experience love without a taint of jealousy, resentment, revenge, or even hatred. Often we see love surrounded by limitations and conditions.”(3).

Artwork by: Me

I know at times, I have a tendency to be a bad/poor listener, not because I can’t hear what is being said, but too often my mouth engages with a response before my brain fully grasps the ramifications of doing so. I would describe myself as passionate, others might disagree and call it aggression. I share these things because they are real, I am real and deep down my intent is never to dismiss someone although it does happen. I’m working on a balance of passion, coupled with mutual respect. I want to be an obedient listener and an obedient child of God. Another example of “poor listening” comes from preemptively deciding the end of a conversation before actually hearing the whole story. Oh, I’m working on patience too. The love that God offers is perfect and pure, two things that are rarities here in this world. Nouwen was so right when he said that “we seldom experience love without it being tainted by jealousy, resentment, revenge and hatred.” I whole heartedly believe it’s possible to love without these negative connotation. I have had a few relationships in which some of these traits overshadowed their longevity, but after all, we are human. I think before tonight I might have described them not working out as, “God’s will,” but now I see them differently. Could it be we simply grew apart, we wanted different things out of life, or we just weren’t the people we thought we were? No blame or fault? It’s so much easier to point the finger at someone or cast blame on for this or that. I know I share some responsibility or in some cases most of the responsibilities in these relationships that ended. The single most important thing I would share with everyone about relationships would be…honestly. Fear kept me from my truth and telling the truth. I may have not always understood the how’s/why’s of life, but the after’s…the part where the lessons are learned, God was there. The truth is he had been by my side every single step, I just failed to notice. I am a better person by experiencing difficult roads, perhaps it’s in preparation for what’s to come.

“We tend to doubt what presents itself to us as love and are always on guard, prepared for disappointments…”(4).

Jesus wants us to be able to share in the same intimacy that he has with the Father, he wants us to share in divine obedience. “When obedience becomes our first and only concern, then we too can move into the world with compassion and feel the suffering of the world so deeply that through our compassion we give new life to others.”(5).

Thank you for stopping by my blog post today, may God reveal himself to you in a meaning way today. Listen for his voice in birds singing, in the trees swaying, in the bubbling streams, and in the smiles of a stranger. 😁 Our hope is in Jesus Christ!

🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢🔶🟢

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Traditional Fast – Day 27

Partake of only full meal today. Some food is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening – depending on when you choose to eat your full meal.

🔸 Prayer 🔸

Merciful God,

you know our weakness and distress.

Yet the weaker we are,

the stronger is your help.

Grant that we may accept with joy and gratitude

the gift of this time of grace,

and bear witness to your work in our lives.

— 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 95, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 95, paragraph 2.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 95, paragraph 3.

(4) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 95-96, paragraph 3, 1 respectively.

(5) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 96, paragraph 3.

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•18•2021: Show Me The Way

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Photo credit: Me/Hendricks County Indiana

🔘 praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent

🔘 worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving

🔘 something that secures praise or renown

🔘 a distinguished quality or asset

🔘 a state of great gratification or exaltation

🔘 a height of prosperity or achievement

🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥🟣🟥

• God’s glory: the right glory that leads to life.

• Human glory: the vain glory that leads to death.

I got the idea of the stairs from reading the devotional today, Henri Nouwen shared his thoughts of upward and downward mobility regarding glory. Jesus lived his life as he would want us to live, by helping and serving the lost, the poor, the sick, and the outcasts. Jesus came to seek the lost and save the sinner.

Every time Jesus speaks about being glorified and giving glory, he always refers to his humiliation and death. It is through this way of the cross that Jesus gives glory to God, received glory from God, and makes God’s glory known to us. The glory of the resurrection can never be separated from the glory of the cross. The risen Lord always shows us his wounds.”(1).

“Thus the glory of God stands in contrast to the glory of people. People seek glory by moving upward. God reveals his glory by moving downward. If we truly want to see the glory of God, we must move downward with Jesus. This is the deepest reason for living in solidarity with poor, oppressed, and handicapped people. They are the ones through whom God’s glory can manifest itself to us. They show us the way to God, the way to salvation.”(2).

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” —Luke 19:10 NIV

“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” —Luke 5:32 NIV

Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Difficult Prayers – Day 26

In Matthew 5:43, Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. A simple but transformative reminder for yourself is: God loves my enemies the same as God loves me.

Prayer

How often have I lived through these weeks

without paying much attention

to penance, fasting, and praying?

How often have I missed

the spiritual fruits of this season

without even being aware of it?

But how can I ever really celebrate Easter

without observing Lent?

How can I rejoice fully in your resurrection

when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die —

with you, through you, and in you —

and thus become ready to recognize you

when you appear to me in your resurrection.

There is so much in me that needs to die:

false attachments, greed and anger,

impatience and stinginess

O Lord, I am self-centered,

concerned about myself, my career, my future,

my name and future, my name and fame.

I see clearly now how little I have died with you,

Really gone your way and been faithful to it.

O Lord, make this Lenten season

different from the other ones.

Let me find you again.

~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 93, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 93, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

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

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•17•2021: Show Me The Way

🍀 Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 ☘️

Dear friends and family — Happy St. Patrick’s Day and thank you for stopping by my blog today. I am later than usual in posting because I wanted to ponder the words that Henri Nouwen shared in the devotional book I’m reading. His words helped to paint a picture of what he calls, “All-Embracing Love.” It describes the relationship of God, the Father and Jesus, the Son of God embodied in an all-embracing love; a divine person, a coequal with the Father and the Son, and has a personal name. It is the Holy Spirit. “The Father loves the Son and pours himself out in the Son. The Son is loved by the Father and returns all he is to the Father. The Spirit is love itself, eternally embracing the Father and the Son.”(1). What a beautiful image! I found the following picture contained in an article about “God in Three Persons,” at https://www.christianity.com/god/trinity/god-in-three-persons-a-doctrine-we-barely-understand-11634405.html

Jesus came so we could be saved through his life, death and resurrection. He lived his life to be an example to each of us on how to live, live a spiritual life. We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us on our journeys. We can never fully understand the meaning of the all-embracing love, the perfect love that between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit but that should not deter us from trying and pursuing it. I, myself feel overwhelmed when I think of an all-embracing love and extending it to the world. This sensation causes me to “miss the single significant tree because all I see is a forest!” I believe the individual calling for most of us is to take notice of the single, small and specific things in life (trees) (people) (causes), etc., I am a believer that small things lead to big things. Remember, it only takes a spark to get a fire going. Be the spark, trust in God for the rest.

“We will never understand the full meaning of Jesus’ richly varied ministry unless we see how the many things are rooted in the one thing: listening to the Father in the intimacy of perfect love. When we see this, we will also realize that the goal of Jesus’ ministry is nothing less than to bring us into the most intimate community.”(2)

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20 NIV

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Memorize – Day 25

What scripture do you want to hold close to guide you today and in the future? Write it down and repeat it throughout the day. You can even set a timer on your phone as a reminder.

❇️ Prayer ❇️

~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 89-90, paragraph 2, 1 respectively.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 90, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.christianity.com/god/trinity/god-in-three-persons-a-doctrine-we-barely-understand-11634405.html

https://www.the1thing.com/blog/family-health-happiness/st-patricks-one-thing/

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation

Lent 03•16•2021: Show Me The Way

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

— John 5:14 —

“Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, do not sin any more.”

http://www.huffpost.com/entry/power-of-prayer_b_1015475/amp

Hello friends—

Pray is communicating with God and when we offer every part of ourselves to God it keeps our hearts close to God. I know that when I try to “handle” things on my own, my heart gets very heavy, my spirit gets weighed down and my emotions often are erratic. I think sometimes we make prayer too complicated, and that is not (my opinion) what Jesus had in mind when he was teaching the disciples to prayer.

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8 (NRSVA)

When we seek God and tell him our cares, concerns, joys, fears, sins, even our questions and doubts; he welcomes them all. I have no doubts concerning the answers to prayers. I may not like or want the answer I get due to my our stubbornness but God knows best.

🔘 Have you ever been disappointed in a response you received from your prayers?

🔘 Have friends every disappointed you?

🔘 What was your response to these events?

What I have learned and continue to learn is people will disappoint. I know that I have disappointed friends, family and partners, not necessarily on purpose but things happened. Sometimes we have been able to talk and resolve the issue. There have also been times when, things just could not be worked out; during these times I felt like I was the biggest loser to every walk on the planet earth! An exaggeration, perhaps but that’s how I felt and it was real to me. I give too much power away instead of caring for myself from time to time. Sometimes, I think I’m irreplaceable only to find out … well yes I am! A lesson or two I’ve learned the hard way. Foolish pride rears it’s ugliness when left unattended. If I had spent more time in prayer, giving my cares over to God and keeping my heart open and close to God’s; I might have missed some of life’s hardest lessons.

Here’s a good example of my not so stellar humanness. When I was in high school, my best friend and I had a disagreement and we stopped talking to one another, we were outside playing softball and she was running the bases and I threw the ball and totally hit her squarely in the back of her head, this was purely by accident but I was crushed. I thought I had killed her or at least seriously hurt her. I cried and cried, I was inconsolable. I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself and thought this must be punishment for not treating my friend well. I made the whole situation about me! I had no place for God in this incident whatsoever. I was about 14 or 15 when this happened, everything is huge at that age! In hindsight I can see this for what it really was, an accident. But this event made a major impact on my life. God continue to show me grace and mercy, not because I deserve it but because he loves me.

I continue to make mistakes, i make them every day. I know I’m not perfect, though I do pursue it. I mess up every day, the excuse and truth of the matter is I am human and I am sinful. Also true is you and I are loved by God, our Creator! God knows us and loves us, he longs to hear from us every day, every hour of every day…always in connection with you and me. ✝️🙏🏻🛐 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSVA)

Nouwen says this about prayer; “Prayer heals. Not just the answer to prayer. When we give up our competition with God and offer God every part of our heart, holding back nothing at all, we come to know God’s love for us and discover how safe we are in his embrace.”(1)

“Now I know that it is not I who pray but the spirit of God who prays in me. Indeed, when Gods glory dwells in me, there is nothing too far away, nothing too painful, nothing too strange or too familiar that cannot contain and renew by its touch. Every time I recognize the glory of God in me and give it space to manifest itself to me, all that is human can be brought there and nothing will be the same again. Once in a while I just know it: Of course, God heard my prayers. He himself prays in me and touches the whole world with his love right here and now.”

— Henri J. M. Nouwen (2)

▶️ an address (such as a petition) to God in word or thought

▶️ a set order of words used in praying

▶️ an earnest request or wish

▶️ the act or practice of praying to God

▶️ one that prays

— Matthew 6:9-15 NRSVA

Pray then in this way:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not bring us to the time of trial,

but rescue us from the evil one.

For if you forgive others their trespasses,

your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

but if you do not forgive others,

neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Say Thanks – Day 24

We receive help from others in big and small ways all the time. Who has helped you along the way? Write a letter of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.

🌟Prayer 🌟

O Lord Jesus Christ,

you who forgive the sins of the paralytic

before you let him walk again,

I pray that [this Lenten period] may make me more

aware of your forgiving presence in my life

and less concerned about performing well in the eyes of the world.

Let me recognize you

at the virginal point in the depth of my heart

where you dwell and heal me.

Let me experience you in that center of my being

from which you want to teach and guide me.

Let me know you as my loving brother

who holds nothing —

not even my worst sins —

against me,

but who wants to touch me in a gentle embrace.

Take away the many fears, suspicions, and doubts

by which I prevent you from being my Lord,

and give me the courage and freedom to appear naked and vulnerable

in the light of your presence,

confident in your in fathomable mercy.

I know how great my resistance is,

how quickly I choose the darkness instead of the light.

But I also know that you keep calling me into the light,

where I can see not only my sins

but your gracious face as well.

Be with me every hour of my days.

Praise and glory to you, now and forever.

~ 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 86, paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 87, 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•14•2021: Show Me The Way

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Welcome friends to the Fourth Sunday of Lent 2021! Today I will be sharing from Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton and some of my own thoughts about the heart of things. Please bear with me as I begin this post with some direct quotes from Henri Nouwen and a couple of word definitions.

💜 1 Samuel 16:7 💜

“God does not see as human beings see; they look at appearances but Yahweh looks at the heart.”

The secular or false self is the self which is fabricated, as Thomas Merton says, by social compulsions. “Compulsive” is indeed the best adjective for the false self. It points to the need for ongoing and increasing affirmation.(1)

COMPULSION: an irresistible persistent impulse to perform an act; the act itself

SOCIAL: of, relating to, or based on rank or status

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Who am I? I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, disliked, hated, or despised.(2)

The compulsion manifests itself in the lurking fear of failing and the steady urge to prevent this by gathering more of the same–more work, more money, more friends.(3)

These very compulsions are at the basis of the two main enemies of the spiritual life: anger and greed. They are the inner side of a secular life, the sour fruits of our worldly dependencies.(4)

Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. (5)

Our heart is at the center of our being human. There our deepest thoughts, intuitions, emotions, and decisions find their source. But it’s also there that we are often most alienated from ourselves. We know little or nothing of our own heart. We keep our distance, as though we were afraid of it. What is most intimate is also what frightens us most. Where we are most ourselves, we are often strangers to ourselves. That is the painful part of our being human. We fail to know our hidden center; and so we live and die often without knowing who we really are. If we ask ourselves why we think, feel, and act in such and such a way, we often have no answer, thus proving to be strangers in our own house.(6)

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The heart is the very center of both our physical life and our spiritual life.

Our physical heart is at the center of our circulatory system, which is a network of blood vessels that delivers blood to every part of our bodies. Blood carries oxygen and other important nutrients that all our organs need to stay healthy and to work properly.

Our spiritual heart nourishes the soul and provides understanding and illumination to us in the form of intuition through which God interacts with us.

The greatest piece of advice I want to share with you is this…take the time to know yourself. It is so easy to fall prey to the false images of ourselves. I can tell you from experience that living a life that is someone else’s idea of who you are; is an empty and lonely existence. Do not pretend to be someone or something you are not. I have traveled through a season or two of my life seeking the approval of others, only to find it superficial and meaningless. I have tried being who I thought others wanted me to be and it felt just awful. It has taken some time, patience and self acceptance but if God created me with purpose and intention who am I to question him. I accept that not everyone will like me or see my worthiness and that’s ok, I know God loves me and has blessed me with some really incredible friends. Friends who love me for who I am, not for the car I drive, what school I graduated from, the clothes I wear, etc…

Just as our physical bodies need balanced nutrition, our spiritual lives, our souls needs proper nutrition too. We can feed our soul in so many wonderful ways, such as reading our Bibles, attending Bible studies, going to Church, sharing our faith with friends, family and even strangers. We can smile, open doors (literally/metaphorically), pray, take pictures, walk through a park observing God’s creation, etc… Don’t you see that God is ever present in all we do, we need only to open the eyes our hearts to see him.

You are relevant, spectacular and powerful; no matter what the world says because you are a child of God and he loves you with an everlasting love.

Do not be a stranger to yourself, seek to be your authentic self. Love and embrace your uniqueness. Invite Jesus into your heart and place your trust in him. Lord, open the eyes of our hearts so that we will see you. 💟

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Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:

~ Silence – Sunday 4

Find a quiet place, close your eyes and let your thoughts go. As that come to you, imagine that they are floating by you on a river. Let them go.

~ Prayer ~

Almighty God,

your eternal word is the true light

that enlightens every human being

Heal the blindness of our hearts,

that we may discern what is right

and love you sincerely.

— 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 81,paragraph 1.

(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 81, paragraph 1.

(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 81, paragraph 1.

(4) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 81, paragraph 2.

(5) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 81-82, paragraph 4 and 1 respectively.

(6) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 82, paragraph 2.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/122887/the-way-of-the-heart-by-henri-jm-nouwen/9780345463357/excerpt

(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation 

(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha 

(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation