“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” ~Ruth 2:12
This post is dedicated to all who have supported me on my journey which started out as a conversation and simple sharing of my thoughts and ideas. I have been writing my thoughts and feelings on paper and electronic devices for many years and the practice has served me well. I didn’t realize my words could be used to help others and share my faith until a dear friend explained blogging to me. It has been a learning experience since the beginning and continues to be. God has blessed me far beyond any of my expectations. It has been sheer joy to see so many people read my blog, I am humbled at the places my page has been viewed around the globe. Only through the power of Jesus has that even been possible. I strive to be authentic and transparent as possible when sharing my thoughts. This journey is entirely in God’s hands, I truly am blessed to be able to share not simply my thoughts but to share the love of Jesus.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” ~Philippians 1:3
This entry is completely for anyone who has ever read one of my posts and felt the love of Jesus. I simply want to say thank you and to share some of the amazing statistics with you and a couple of songs.
May the love of Jesus surround you and cover you! ~Amen
~Blessings and Peace~
Hello! I have missed writing and experiencing God the way I did during Lent. I took some time away from writing but honestly I’ve missed it. I hope everyone reading this is fully aware of the wonderful fact that “You are loved by God!” You are His Beloved!
I am excited to share with you that I have decided to start posting videos and pictures on YouTube! It will be a slow process I’m sure because I am still trying to figure it all out. I find all my videos that I post on YouTube and there’s just so much stuff to choose from. Today I had the pleasure of enjoying a beautiful Spring day! I went for a drive in the county and took pictures of things that sought my attention. Photography is just a hobby, but it bring me pure joy. I always feel closer to God when I’m outside taking nature in through all my senses. All the seasons have distinct smells and the air feels different throughout the year. Often when taking pictures I have moments of clarity where Bible verses or bible passages speak to me through the visual display of God’s majestic landscapes.
In the coming weeks and months I am going to be guiding and participating in a Bible study of the Book of Esther and I hope to share them with you in this space.
I was speaking with a friend today and I shared my thoughts of missing my connection I felt with you and with God in very intentional ways during Lent. My Lenten journey that I shared with you exceeded all my expectations. I felt more connected with God and with each of you, I am extremely thankful for your support and prayers as I move to be more fully, the person God created me to be. I also what each of you to recognize how incredible you are and I wish to share in your journey as well. We are all God’s children, we are not all alike and that’s okay! We can be different and respectful at the same time. Something tells me that God intended for us to be different and to work together in spite of differences; after all, as believers we will be spending eternity together 😀. Every minute of every day, each one of us faces difficulties and challenges: victory is in facing them BOLDLY with God by our side. Be the BEST you can be and be proud of that and trust in God’s plan for your life. Sure there will be tough days but there will be great days as well. If we never experience the rough and tough days, how would we ever appreciate the good and wonderful days(?). God promises to always be with us, no matter how bad we think things are…that kind of guarantee has no comparison or competition! “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2028:20&version=ESV
~Blessings and Peace~
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” ~John 20:1
I just love “In The Garden” it is a favorite from my childhood. I find myself singing it often when I’m in my car on trips to visit my family. It brings to mind so many memories, I have a particular memory I keep tucked away of singing it a cappella with two of my cousins for a church service. I’m not sure if they remember it (we were maybe 10-12) but it holds a special place for me. Wonderful memories, thanks Teresa and Terry. I hope my mom and my cousin Terry are singing it together in heaven. And, speaking of Heaven…What a glorious day this must be in Heaven as well as on earth. Today, we remember and celebrate Jesus’ triumph over sin and death! Jesus is the Risen Savior!
Our verse for today tells us of Mary Magdalene going to Jesus’ tomb early in the morning, she is filled with grief and has entered in the wilderness of that pain. As she approaches the burial site she finds the stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty. Mary was distraught and wanted to know who took Jesus and where they had taken him.
“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). ~John 20:14-16
Today’s verse and commentary brings us to a close of this Lenten Study, it has been a joy for me to share my thoughts with you and I sincerely thank you for your support. Although, the study is ending, life goes on and I pray that you have gained some new insights to the different wildernesses that life takes us. I have enjoyed the journey and the opportunity to dwell within the wilderness with you and with God. I’ve learned a lot about traveling through the wilderness, and the one constant, true and reliable thing throughout it all has been God. God loves us so much, the purest love ever imagined and we can’t earn it or repay it, we simply need accept…believe…trust…be faithful! It sounds too good to be true, God loves me, why? He loves you and me because He created you and me, He has plans for you and me, He’s built a Manson specifically for each of us in Heaven. Today, we celebrate Jesus! We celebrate God, He loved each of us so much He sacrificed His one and only son.
The Sanctuary For Lent 2018
The Wilderness and Mortality
The Wilderness as a Liminal Space
The Wilderness and Hunger
The Wilderness and Divine Testing
The Wilderness and Power
The Wilderness and Providence
The Wilderness and Restoration
By: Katie Z. Dawson
Who will you tell about the resurrection of Jesus today?
Breath Prayer: Death could not hold Jesus, death cannot hold me.
~Blessings and Peace~
Pamphlet: The Sanctuary For Lent (By: Katie Z. Dawson)
The Message version of 1 Peter 4:1-11
“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself. Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus. Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”
Today, is called “Holy Saturday,” it is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus’ body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.
In Christian theology, the Harrowing of Hell(Latin: Descensus Christi ad Inferos, “the descent of Christ into hell”) is the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) between the time of his Crucifixion and his Resurrection when he brought salvation to all of the righteous who had died since the beginning of the world. After his death, the soul of Jesus was supposed to have descended into the realm of the dead.
Maundy Thursday, marked the crucifixion of Jesus, Good Friday Jesus was carried to the tomb, prepares for burial and the entrance was secured with a stone. Now we wait, we lament waiting for new life to come forth.
“Death is the final wilderness and Jesus faces it alone to secure salvation for every one created by God. Death has been imagined by artists and theologians throughout the years since the crucifixion. They have described death as a place of suffering, darkness, and pain. And, yet God desires wholeness and life, and even the depths of hell to be restored. Christ, on this Holy Saturday breaks the world free from its chains and opens us to the power of God’s restoring love. If Jesus can rescue disobedient, broken, lifeless people from the wilderness of hell itself, then surely Jesus can rescue our world from its disobedience, broken, and lifeless systems and structures that have us bound, from all the places that feel like wilderness: addition, racism, consumerism, all kinds of phobia’s…the catalogs of personal and systemic sin that goes on and on.” (Paraphrased from the pamphlet).
On this Holy Saturday, we may lament for a time but as believers we know that Christ is victorious over death. Yet, the forces of death and darkness continue their fight in our world. The devil knows that he has lost the war but he rages battles still because he will not give up until the very end. There are signs all around us of wildernesses being renewed by believers in Christ because we are called to transform our world for goodness, for God! Keep fighting the good fight!
Where do you see signs of death being overcome?
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Breath Prayer: God, set me free from my chains.
~Blessings and Peace~
I had the pleasure of attending Maundy Thursday service at my church last night. It was a beautiful service filled with scripture reading from John’s Gospel, liturgy reading and responses, singing, foot and hand washing and communion. It was a very personal space shared with fellow believers. I chose the hand washing station and I will be honest, I wish I had chosen the foot washing station. The only reason I did not was fear, similar to Peter’s experience after Jesus was taken away. Peter denied knowing Jesus, I denied myself and those performing the symbolic washing of the feet of an experience like the one long ago as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. My excuse was “I don’t want to take my shoe off.” Really Charlotte! The hand washing was a personal experience and if you have never experienced something like this I hope someday if it is offered to you, I hope you take advantage of it. My thoughts during the hand washing were of gentleness, tenderness and love. All the things that Jesus wants to be to each of us if we would just ask Him and allow His will to be done in our lives. I left the service last night feeling encapsulated by the love of Jesus, covered with His love. My hope and prayer is that you know Him too and call Him Lord and Savior.
~Blessings and Peace~
“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.” ~Luke 23:33
There’s a line in this song that I wanted to share with you: “Like voices in the wilderness, we’re crying out.” My prayer is that this song with give you courage and strength as you traverse your own wilderness. May you seek God and His plans.”
It is Good Friday and this Lenten season has been a season of discovery and defining for me and I hope your for as well. Throughout we have read about the “wilderness” and I now have a new understanding of it and see it through with renewed insights.
There’s a story of a father and his young daughter, the father is busy and wants to find something for his daughter to do that would keep her occupied while he was busy. So, the father sees a world map and has the great idea of tearing it into pieces and having the daughter put it back together. The father thought to himself, this is brilliant it will keep her busy for quite sometime. It was only a short while and the daughter had reconstructed the map and the father was completely dumbfounded! The father ask, how did you put the map back together so quickly? She responded, I saw the person on the back side and knew if the person was put back together right then the map would be right, too. What a beautiful story on many levels. The difference a single person can be to the whole world. Jesus was and is the person to unite and redeem the whole world. Throughout Lent we have explored the wilderness and have seen it as an intersection of contrast: life and death, hunger and provision, faith and doubt, power and humility. In many ways, it represents a world torn into pieces and needs to be put back together.
The story of the cross is a story of the wilderness as well. The cross is an intersection where tensions collide. Today, we remember that if a person can be made right, the world can be restored, too. And, so God enters our human lives through Jesus Christ, bears our suffering and pain, and takes it all through the cross, redeeming not only our sin, but the entire world.
What is an intersection of brokenness you see in the world?
How can you bring restoration?
Breath Prayer: God help me to love the world as you love the world.
Q~Blessings and Peace~
Pamphlet: The Sanctuary For Lent (By: Katie Z. Dawson)