Hosanna

Another great song — click on the link Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

Hosanna to the King of Kings!

It is Palm Sunday!

This Lenten season has been so different for the entire world. And it looks like Easter will be different as well.

One of the unexpected benefits to this crazy time in life is that the rituals we have created have been disrupted. Sometimes we create rituals and we are nearly immovable when it comes to changing them.

But many of those rituals we have previously insisted on…they can probably go. Sure, they are our little opportunity to maintain some sense of control over our lives. And they might bring comfort. But are they essential?

What is essential? What is it we truly need? Is our identity wound up in how we celebrate? In how we worship? In how we serve? In how we love?

I think it is natural and ok to be disappointed in the losses we are experiencing but I think it is important not to let these things define us. Many of us have gone on for so long being able to do what we have wanted and achieved the things we were hoping for. We’ve made our plans and have had a false sense of security because they have come to pass.

Now is a great time to pay attention to what God is doing and join Him in His work. I know we are all being asked to do things differently. I know it isn’t always fun. But the whole world is on this journey. And He is with us every step of the way.

Pray for those who are in situations of abuse and addiction. It is harder to find help with all of the restrictions in place and financial strains only add to the tensions and stress.

A bonus song — The Blessing

The Essentials

I have been traveling quite a bit the last few years and I love exploring and learning about the world around me. But that also means I have to pack and unpack a lot. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget the “essentials”.

My essentials change from time to time. That seems weird to say but, depending on my hair situation, I either need mousse or gel. And, recently, I have taken to wearing a hat when I plan to shower a little later in the day. I guess you can say that some of my essentials are seasonal, at least for traveling.

But my core essentials — the things that make me me — continue to make their presence known. These are the elements of me that are difficult for me to suppress. Try as I might, they sort of erupt and are undeniable. It’s almost as if God said, “These are the foundational elements to Liz and watch me as I grow them and use them through the course of her life!”

Writing has always been, and continues to be, an important part of my life. While I still like the physical act of putting pen to paper, these days I do most of my writing on the computer. How I write as well as how consistently I write has changed and adapted with the tools available to me. I even utilize old envelopes and scribble all kinds of ideas on them! That will never change.

Listening to others is a part of my core. I even considered being a counselor at one point. Most often, people just need to know they have been heard. I have a lot to learn from others — and they don’t always share it verbally!

Encouraging others is also important me. I think providing consolation, comfort, and inspiration is sorely lacking in today’s world. The way people can talk to one another, especially when they are not face-to-face, astounds me. I make every effort to love people where the are, give them encouragement for forward progress if that is what they are looking for, and I pray for them. I can’t be the one to do what they need to do but I can pray for them as they take the next step.

Sharing my faith is one of those things that I cannot, nor do I want, to squelch. I certainly consider the receptivity of those around me and am open to where and how the conversation goes. I am called to share my faith. But this faith stuff is entirely God’s business. God’s work in my life is amazing. The details He has covered before I even knew they needed to be addressed, the opportunities He has created out of ugly situations, the gift of Jesus, the comfort and conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the forgiveness of my sins — my ugly and selfish sins. Sharing my faith is about what God has done for me but also what He has done for the sea of humanity. The sharing of my faith isn’t always through words.

What are your essentials — those core elements God has been developing in you over the course of your life?

Come, Lord Jesus!
Liz