The Week of the Holy

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?”

“Take and eat; this is my body.”

Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

“Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

“I don’t know the man!” [Matthew, NIV]

We ponder, pray, confess, and contemplate during this Holy Week and we anticipate His resurrection.

Liz

PrayerPrompt: HISTORICAL and PERSONAL

Enough

Enough is one of those words that conjures up so many different thoughts for me.

Have you ever heard someone draw the line and say, “That’s enough!”? I know I heard my mom say that a few times when I was bickering with one of my brothers. She had drawn the line. She was done listening to the banter.

We all have different limits and mine have definitely changed as I have moved through life. In some ways, I put up with less and in other ways I put up with more.  I know my tolerance for some things is very different now compared to thirty years ago.

In terms of acquiring things, what is “enough”? That, too, is something that has changed for me over the years.

What are we collecting and what are we collecting it for? Will we ever be satisfied or is more always the goal? Is there ever enough time? Sometimes striving so hard causes us to miss out on other things.

Is there something you need to draw the line on? Is someone pushing his or her limits with you? Is there something you are gathering for naught? Is God trying to expand your boundaries? Are we seeking something because we are unaware that we already have “enough”? Are we too concerned about the future that we aren’t a part of today?

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:33-34, NIV].

God’s blessings on your day, today!

Liz

PrayerPrompt: FOCUS

Blessed…be…

Window flowers w
Window flowers in Hungary

The Beatitudes 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [Matthew 5:3-12 NIV]


We are blessed in countless ways but the blessings listed above are not what the world considers to be blessings.

It is always a challenge for me to remember God’s definitions when I am in the middle of living in this world. Even if I am not contemplating my own situation I still see others and consider material wealth as a blessings.

Of course, it can be used for good and to bless and all that. It can also be a curse. Those things that the world values that are not of God can easily become the things we seek and strive for and we can lose so much in the process.

Have you ever been caught up in chasing something meaningless? Something that, if you caught it would actually catch you and try to put a stranglehold on your faith? God’s blessings are so different from what the world considers a blessing.

Lord, help me to receive your blessings without always looking for the next one. Let me savor the gifts You have placed in my life — the blessings the world doesn’t value but You use to grow me into the person you need me to be.

On the way,

Liz

A Time to Search

Transylvania Salt Mine Chapel w
A chapel in a salt mine in Transylvania

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.

I often think about this song by Brandon Heath  — I only added the chorus above but you can give it a listen here.

Give me Your eyes!

How much would change in our behavior and relationships if we would have God’s eyes for a person or a situation? Are we using God’s perspective as we consider our circumstances? Are we seeking His face so we can reflect Him more accurately?

Each time we seek His face, He shapes our vision to be more like His. My own vision is faulty. It is clouded with my sin, my sinful nature, and the sin of the world. At this time in my life I need reading glasses as well as glasses that can give me better vision at a distance, and, to top it off, I even have astigmatism which means that my eyeball is not a standard shape [per dictionary.com]. So I have three things working against me for 20/20 vision. And yet I have never had restrictions on my drivers’ license in any state in which I have lived. A little wacky vision is acceptable to the state and even within our world and that makes it fairly easy to stray from what is acceptable in God’s eyes if we are distant from Him.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek. [Psalm 27:7-8 NIV]

Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always. [Psalm 105:3-4 NIV]

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:33-34 NIV]

I like to use “Give me Your eyes” as a quick prayer when I am coming into an uncomfortable or unknown situation. Staying tethered to God is essential for improving how I see things around me!

On the way,

Liz

 

 

The Judas Kiss

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:48-50

Have you ever been connected with someone who flattered you with kisses (or something similar) only to have them turn on you later?

If you have ever experienced it you know it is quite unpleasant. When I have been in this type of situation I wonder where was my discernment? Why was I vulnerable to fall for something like that?

Who does that to people?

Plenty do.

But knowing that this happened to Jesus helps. Betrayal happens.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Of course, our betrayal experiences do not compare with those of Jesus but it is good to know that pain we feel – He can relate. And God can use it for a greater good.

The sooner you can forgive a betrayer the better off you will be. But just don’t expect that to be something you can do without Jesus. He is the one who makes forgiveness possible.

On the Road,

Liz

Woundsw

Unwritten Rules

It isn’t fair to say this rule originated in Bronxville, but I saw it here first.

When everyone is lined up at a traffic light and it turns green, the first person in the cue to turn left does not need to yield to the cross traffic. They turn in front of the car that is going straight as soon as the light is green.

What?

That has not been an understood driving right anywhere else I have ever lived.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

When I get to a new place, I try to figure out the unwritten rules. There usually are a few. At first I might notice that something is different and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Then, as time goes on and I observe more, I might be able to decipher it. And then I have to decide if I want to be a part of this new place and their rules.

Whether or not we are conscious about this process, I think it is fairly common but most noticeable when you are the newcomer to a situation.

Every town, organization, church, family, and relationship has rules. Some are formally written out but it is always hardest to figure out the unwritten ones. It takes time. And sometimes we get caught up in a system before we are able to discern whether or not it is healthy.

If you are in a situation that seems a little off, spend a little more time observing, pray for discernment, then decide if you should stay or go.

On the Road,

Liz

command w

Are you coming or going?

I was thinking about the verse I want to rest upon during Lent. There will be a lot of movement in my life in the upcoming months so this one seems appropriate:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

And this one is always good to keep in mind because while we are not “of this world” we certainly are here in this world for a purpose:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15

But here is where I have settled:

be-stillp

We are often coming and going and not taking enough time to reflect, rest, and be restored. The focus for 2017 Lenten PrayerPoints will be devotional thoughts that relate to being “On the Road”.  Certainly, a part of traveling means rest and standing still. Sometimes we choose our times of “still” and other times we do not. “Being still” might be an uncomfortable place to be–especially if someone is known as a “doer”.

If you decide to have a verse or chapter or book of the Bible to focus on during this season of Lent, I would love to hear what it is! Write it out, sketch it out, go to canva.com and create some digital art, or do whatever you need to do to connect with the verse and tuck it away in your heart and mind. And then pay attention! Whenever I do this, I see God’s connecting points for me in conversations with others, in sermons, in songs, and in my life. Ruminating on Scripture is always a good idea.

I am praying for all of us as we journey with God and spend time with Him during this season. May He find hearts willing to learn, grow, and change to reflect His love and grace and forgiveness more accurately. As we travel through life we will meet many travelers. We can give more to others when we ourselves are refreshed.

On the Road!

Liz

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10