holidays

Psalms Pieces

There are so many beautiful Psalms in the Bible.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you know the significance of this book?  One man struggles in his faith, wanting to surrender and know God on a deeper level.  He sings praises to God with a longing heart.  It is not always an easy book of the Bible to understand, there is as – I used to complain about when younger:  “a lot of thee’s and tho’s.”  🙂

As we continue into the Holy days; Good Friday and Passover, Palm Sunday and Easter, let us yearn for God the same way David did.

(I am referring to the Living Bible, as I appreciate the stillness of the language.)

Psalm 19 The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.

7-8 God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. 10 They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.

12 But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

14 May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

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Psalm 138 Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels.  I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.  When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don’t abandon me—for you made me.

 

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Holy Week

What does the word “Easter” mean and does it have the same significance as “The Resurrection”?

According to Merriam-Webster:  Easter is a feast that commemorates Christ’s resurrection and is observed with variations of date due to different calendars on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon.

I’ve answered my own question!  Still, I think the word “Easter” in the minds of many, means bunny rabbits and baskets filled with candy, patent leather shoes, white gloves, floral dresses, and a big meal after church.

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From Palm Sunday until a week later, there is much to be mindful of.  In a period of seven days, Jesus goes from being hero-like, a big parade complete with palm fronds, children waving and smiling — to Crucifixion, death, burial and then the big TA DA day; the big reveal you might say; roll the stone away and Jesus is gone.  He Has Risen!  Hallelujah!  But do we miss the “in-between”?

There is no exact way; it is what you believe and what is comfortable for you.  The following link is common throughout Catholic and Christian faiths.

How to observe Holy Week

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Holy Month

April is just around the corner and our holy month begins; Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday and Easter.  The death, burial and resurrection — the miracle that saved our life.

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Do you believe?  That is all that is asked of us, to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

People don’t like to see the image of Jesus nailed to the cross, or the crown of thorns on his head; but this is the reality.  Jesus was nailed to a cross, hands and feet, his sides were pierced and a crown of sharp thorns was not “placed” on his head, it was jammed into it.  Imagine the physical pain and anguish.  He made this awful sacrifice for us; to heal our wounds, forgive our sins and give us a life that is free and an end that is eternal. 

Image result for nails and a crossHe was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him. Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.  ~Isaiah 53:3-5 (NHEB)

 

 

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Journey to Redemption

Easter Sunday has arrived in many parts of the world; where I live, it’s tomorrow.  The past few days have been incredibly moving for me.  Having grown up in a rather sedate Lutheran church, there were no “stations of the cross,” Good Friday services or much reflection on the sanctity of Holy Week.  We recognized the birth of Jesus, His Resurrection on the cross, the day He rose from the dead, and the Ascension.

Did these events take place so that we could affirm our faith?  The disciples were given the task of sharing Jesus’ word with the entire world; it may have been “mere Christianity” without the the death & resurrection of Jesus.

What does Holy Week, the heartache of death, the miracle of Resurrection, the Ascension into heaven to sit with God the Father Almighty, mean to you?  Mean FOR us?

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I encourage you to find this video on YouTube.  The words are incredible powerful.

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

By: Selah

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

Songwriters: WYSE, ERIC/RODGERS, DAWN
Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

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Pieces of Good Friday

Good Friday is a day of sorrow mingled with joy. It is a time to grieve over the sin of man and to meditate and rejoice upon God’s love in giving His only Son for the redemption of sin.  Keep in your heart today the incredible sacrifice made for your life.