40 Days begins today

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. On the Christian calendar, it marks the 40 days leading to Easter. For our Jewish brothers and sisters, this season includes Passover. Both events profoundly changed the course of history. Both included a sacrificial lamb that today should give us all reason to pause. How do we do that in a time when we have high demands on our time? How do we find and recognize the peace of ultimate sacrifice when we have “noise” all around? We have to make a personal decision-we must be intentional.

In the Christian faith, some choose to give up something of pleasure during Lent. I’ve also heard of people adding something positive to each day, like an act of kindness, a donation, or a special devotion. Whether you are giving up a vice or pleasure or taking up a kindness, the goal is to point us to the eternal, to our Heavenly Father, who made the ultimate sacrifice which was also the ultimate act of grace, mercy, and kindness.

Most of us don’t have fatted calves to demonstrate our faith, but we carry with us many other things we can lay at the foot of the cross- pride, control, self-centeredness and the list goes on. But there are tangible things we can do to refocus.

My family is in an odd season of change. Some of it is exciting, while other things are stressful with the potential for good. This season has brought my husband and I to a decision to pray together every day; not just periodically. Our prayers are for today and the future. Just as in the Lauren Daigle song, First, we bring our hearts before we bring our needs. Above our requests, we want to walk in God’s will; to align the will of our hearts with that of Godliness.

Personnally, right now it’s harder for me to sacrifice something than to do something positive, so I will be giving up soda pop. It may not see hard, but I have a Coke Cola every day. Last weekend we bought a case at Costco that will now have to wait until Easter. And my trips to McDonald’s will be limited to a portion of my daily sodium intake allocated to french fries. To sacrifice this guilty pleasure, I will replace some of the sugar with fruit and the caffeine with coffee. Those things are what draw me to a soda. What I will miss is the effervescence of the bubbles, and the sweetness of the perfect mixture that dances across my tongue with every draw from the straw (let’s face it, the only way to enjoy a carbonated drink is over ice and through a straw). So, until April 12th I will not drink any carbonated drinks.

Will this grow my faith? It is a real sacrifice for me, and every morning I will think of it when I’m not feeling the mist from the Coke falling over the cubes in my to-go cup, or I pass by my local McDonald’s; or at lunch when I go looking for another boost of bubbles. When I experience what I’m missing, I’ll say a little prayer, listen, and expect to hear His voice.

This may seem silly, but when it comes to matters of the heart, it’s not. What will you do to recognize Lent? Easter is coming, death has been conquered, it will be time to celebrate.

All the best,

KK


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Heading: The King on the Cross

This week, many of us are preparing our hearts for Easter celebration. Prior to the ressurection festivities we can’t ignore the events leading up to it. Jesus was crucified. It was the end of his human existence. While we usually focus on the fulfillment of prophecies, consider for a moment Him being fully human and fully God. He served as the perfect sacrifice for salvation. Tonight I was enlightened to the completion of Christ’s human purpose on earth.

Jesus had earthly parents. While his earthly father, Joseph, more than likely died earlier, this left Jesus as the oldest male in his family. He was responsible for his mother, Mary. The Gospel of John recounts an endearing moment with Jesus and His mother.  While hanging naked and humiliated on the cross, Jesus is concerned about His mother. In John 19:25 – 27, Jesus entrusts the care of His mother to John (the disciple who He loved).

In the final minutes of His eternal purpose, verse 28, Jesus says that He is thirsty. Spirits don’t get thirsty. In His human need, he is given sour vinegar.

With all prophecies fulfilled, Jesus died. He surrendered His life. Just like each of us will someday do.

Jesus’ eternal purpose was more important, but what makes Him relatable, was His human existence.

Your thoughts please,

KK

It is Quiet Now…Sunday’s Coming

It is quiet now. His body is guarded in the tomb. It’s been a long few days. He said he would raise on the third day. We can count on Sunday coming, watch this–sunday's coming It’s Friday… But Sunday’s a Coming (Don Buck P Creacy)

Every time we find ourselves feeling lonely, betrayed, and hopeless, remember, Sunday is coming, again.

Blessings to you,

KK

My Savior

My Savior is dead.

Lost in a tomb.

Hands and feet scarred for my sake –

Yet I lay in sorrow for Him                   …I presume

 

I wander to his final resting place hoping for the unexpected

The stone cast away and my LORD nowhere to be found

All that was left were cloths that wrapped him

Are his words true, is this real, is it all connected.

 

Turning to see a man in flashing white saying, “Fear not!” Jesus has risen!

My spirit lifted and I was alive again

His words were true, and his ways righteous

For he is alive and living and no longer hidden.

 

Joy, hope, happiness arise from his grave

Hope and faith was given through Jesus our savior

Freedom from sin and death Jesus gave

He is alive and in him is no failure

Today is the day that Jesus conquers death

All creation can breathe a new breath.

 

— Cole H. Taylor

So, how did you do?

easter eggsMy post Snow Day Project challenged us to have some items marked off our snow day project list by Easter. So, how did you do? Admittedly, we hosted 20 of our family members on Easter. Hosting any gathering is a huge motivator to me to get some serious cleaning done.

I marked a few things off my list in addition to the standard dusting (including corners and ceiling fans), vacuuming and mopping to get ready for the family.

1. Downstairs closet cleaned out and the seven phone books recycled (have no idea why I had seven phone books collected over the last five years).

2. Christmas china stored in new storage containers.

3. Woodwork downstairs and in upstairs hall washed.

4. General organizing of shelves and stuff that has been homeless for several months.

So, what’s next? I’m thinking my garden needs a visit from me. The spring flowers are looking great, but it’s time to do some mulching and weeding. And I may make a stop in my garage. Getting ready for a yard sale in June. My target deadline is Memorial day.

How about you?

KK

My Redeemer Lives

Nicole Mullen says it all click here to listen: Nicole C Mullen, My Redeemer lives redeemer

Blessings to you as we celebrate Easter — Resurrection Sunday.

KK

It’s all we have

On Saturday, everything was quiet. Jesus was dead. The disciples didn’t know what to do, so they hid. When we feel like God is silent all we can do is cling to the cross. Listen to this,

old rugged crossKaoma’s amazing version of The Old Rugged Cross.

Thoughts from the Foot of the Cross

The sun is so hot. It’s been a long day. I’ve run around following Jesus as he was dragged by the soldiers. I’m tired, but he is half dead hanging on the cross now. Sitting here is the closest I’ve been to him. The crowds have been huge and being a young girl, I keep getting pushed to the back. I’d always find a way to at least hear him. But today there was no more listening. Today, there have been accusations and beatings. Oh, the beatings. I, of course, didn’t see any of it. But I did see my Jesus when he was forced to drag his cross through the streets. Why did they have to beat him so severely? When he passed the stench made me want to turn away. But somehow his compelling spirit kept my attention focused on his eyes. There was something about them – almost like he had something to say with them. 

at the foot of the crossNow he hangs on the cross above me. The excitement is over so the people have started to leave. This gave me the opportunity to come close to this man who has taught us with parables and demonstrated grace and mercy in his healing touch. Here I sit at the foot of the cross. He took his last breath and offered up his spirit to God. He is still hanging there. I don’t know what to do. I’m just sitting here below and I know I should go home, but I can’t bring myself to go. He was so gentle in his spirit.

It was merely in his midst that tears were stopped, pain was relieved, and healing came. People who had been afflicted their entire lives. I remember something in his voice that brought comfort. His message made me feel like I have value. Me, a female, in a culture of male dominance. Just a few days ago the crowds pushed me to the rear. But now they are all gone. There are no more words from the teacher; no more stories to be explained. All the people have gone home. It’s so quiet. So here I sit at the foot of the cross. Finally, a little shade. My Jesus is hanging above me, the blood and sweat dried on his cuts.

I’m sitting in the shadow of Jesus. It’s so hot, and He provides shade. Like the comfort of his words. I need to go home. My mother told me to stay away from all of this. But I couldn’t. I have followed him whenever he was in our town. I am drawn to him. He talks of a new kingdom, of peace, of forgiveness – a new law for living? I am hungry to learn more, but now he is gone. He even said I could have a new beginning; he didn’t tell me, of course, but he told some others. My entire life has been planned – I’m to be a wife and a mother. If that is what God desires I will do it, but what I’ve heard from Jesus will stay in my heart no matter what. 

Now he’s gone and here I sit. With all the people stirring today, I am more dusty and dirty than usual. It doesn’t normally bother me. Look at my dress, it’s a mess with dirt. As I lower my head into my hands I notice a drop of his blood has covered a spot of dirt. I can’t stop staring at it. His blood on me as I sit in the shadow of the cross. A part of Him now permanently on me.

My mother will know where I’ve been. Maybe she won’t tell my father. I heard some of the men who followed and helped Jesus say that he’s going to come again. Something about him raising from the dead on the third day. Oh, if that were true…

Blocking the sun with my hand I look up at him, hanging there lifeless, Will you raise from the dead in three days?  The sun is setting. I have to get home. Looking up at my savior – please come back. I need to hear you words again.

Standing and dusting off my dress, the blood stain is smeared, but remains. I want to stay, but I have to go. I have to leave the foot of the cross. This is the closest I’ve come to Jesus. If I could stay here, I would. The soldiers are coming to take down the body. As I begin to leave, I hear the soldier in charge say something about him being the son of God. Did he believe? I feel like I’m leaving a part of me at the cross. What will the third day bring?

Easter Week – Holy Week

spring imageEaster much like Christmas is a wonderfully holy time for believers. And like Christmas, I struggle to find the reverent feeling that aligns my heart and soul with the massive significance of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Like Christmas, there are many preparations to be made for family and friends to come over. It’s too easy to be distracted.

Tomorrow is Thursday – the day of the last supper – can I merge my thoughts for our own family supper with that of the message of Christ on that last eve?

Friday is when he was crucified and died – Matthew 27. This lends itself to me having a quiet, reflective day. Or perhaps, I will fast something on Friday in order to remember the day’s events.

Saturday is tucked in the middle. Jesus was buried before the sun set on Friday and Saturday was the Sabbath by the Jewish people. There were guards posted at the tomb.

Sunday started early with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to the tomb to do the final burial preparations. From there the events began to unfold. There was the angel who told the women to not be afraid (we’ve heard that before), and the guards report to the chief priests (and they still didn’t recognized prophecy fulfilled).

Just as his birth marked a new time beginning, his resurrection marked another significant moment in time. We have one more moment we continue to wait for. It’s not a moment we will plan a holiday or family meal around. His return will be in power and glory and will stop time and complete His purpose.

So this is Holy week, how will you recognize and remember the profound change in human history Christ’s death and resurrection gave us?

Blessings,

KK

 

Five years and counting

khr 0614 BOk friends, I’ve been posting and you’ve been kind enough to read my writings for five years. As I read back through all the different posts some are more my favorites than others. Below is a list of some that stand out to me (in no particular order). Let me know what you think. Or go through the archives and pick your own favorite. I’d love to hear which one you liked.

And if you haven’t clicked on the follow button yet, please do. You won’t want to miss what’s coming. Besides, in this vast world of the internet, it’s encouraging to know my words aren’t just flying around aimlessly. They have friends to visit. Thanks.

5/31/2009 Things not to miss — be in the moment

11/30/2009 Black Friday Gateway to the Dark Side

3/6/2012 ‘Tis the Season

4/18/2014 It’ Friday, Sunday’s Coming

4/8/2013 Say Please and Thank You

KK