Come with me by yourselves to quiet place... Mark 6:31

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Launch: New Website

From this point forward you will find me at my new address. Blog, Bible studies, and art studio - all under one roof, as they say. I'm so excited! It has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. Thank you for your patience and support.

coffee, tea & Thee

See you there!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hang in there with me

Just a little longer, about a week maybe, and you will be getting an email launching my new website and blog. I am over the moon about it! You simply will not believe what Adrianne Scott and Lindsey Bortner have done with my paintings. I have to pinch myself just looking at the mock ups. I never dreamt I would miss blogging so much! Usually I am frantically looking for topics; since my last post I have had so many topics running through my head I should have written them down. Maybe this is my first case of writer's block and I have learned how to move through it by taking a break. Stay with me, friends and readers... I sooooooo appreciate you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prayer for Jerry Bridges

Blog friends, I think I can safely say that Jerry Bridges is one of our most beloved authors and servants of the Lord. Please read below from John Piper's Desiring God blog...

April 12, 2012
Today Jerry Bridges (82) underwent a scheduled heart surgery in Colorado Springs.

He explained the procedure in an email last month. "I am scheduled to have heart surgery on April 12 to repair or replace the Mitral Valve. Ordinarily, this would be a fairly routine surgery involving a minimal invasive procedure on the right side. However, a CAT scan revealed a deformity in my breast bone that will prevent this procedure. The surgeon will have to open the breast bone to get access to the heart. Fortunately, no artery bypasses are needed."

A few days ago he followed with another email, saying, "The nurse warned me not to expect my hospital time to be a vacation. . . . This surgery and recovery is going to be a lot of work." Then he added two requests. "For prayer, first of all, of course, is a successful surgery without any complications. Then, that I would be diligent to do what I need to do during the recovery process."

Just a moment ago we received an update from Bridges’s daughter (5:00 EDT):

We are rejoicing that Dad’s surgery has been successful! Two valves were repaired – the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve and all went well. He is in ICU and will be here for the next 24 hours to ensure there is no leakage and that the heart patterns return to normal. Please continue to pray that he would remain stable.

Please take a moment to pray for our friend Jerry Bridges and his family.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My New Style

I am having fun trying out a new palette and new style! Here's my latest painting. It's big - the largest canvas I have ever painted. It is titled, God Will Get You There and the verse is Jeremiah 29: 11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sarah & Molly!!!!

What a wonderful year! Here's to 29 - 59!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

What a wonderful gorgeous Easter weekend with friends and family! And especially grandchildren!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April - Resurrection!

Our entire faith hinges on today. I love to think about Mary Magdelene waking up early and throwing on her clothes to get to the tomb. Passover is over. All she can think about is covering Jesus' body with ointments and spices to give him the respect he deserves and proper burial.

In a million years she could have never guessed what events would await her.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered... Luke 24: 2-8

The most glorious day in all eternity. Death is not the end. For those who believe, life swallows up death. Then they remembered... Let us remember today, He is Risen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Way of The Cross, Stations 13 & 14

13. Jesus dies on the cross
Read Luke 23: 44-46
This is the holiest of ground. I tread very slowly and softly today.
Six hours on the cross. After the first three hours there came a complete darkness over the land. It has been explained to me that the darkness was unlike any other. Penetrating darkness. The world completely stopped. Nobody could see a thing, not even their own hand in front of their face. I believe that it was during this time that sinless Jesus became our Savior. He not only took our sin, he became sin.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 21
Jerry Bridges says that it is this verse he hopes have on his lips the day God ushers him into eternity. This is the verse that makes it Good Friday. He became sin so that we could become righteous. I will never be able to understand it. No one ever loved us enough to take on our sin. Thank you, Jesus, for enduring the cross for me.

14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
Read Matthew 27: 57-60
Quick. Passover is coming. Rest. Resurrection is coming. But nobody knew it.

References: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire, ESV Study Bible

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Way of the Cross, Stations 10, 11 & 12

As we enter Holy Week, you may wish to print the entire Way of the Cross devotional and read it daily this week. It certainly is brief enough to do so. The Introduction is here, Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 below. Part 5 will be posted Good Friday.

10. Jesus is crucified
Read Luke 23: 33-34
How can anything more happen to our Lord? Yet, the depth of the cross begins here. I am still thinking about what Simon of Cyrene witnessed following behind Jesus on that long walk to Golgatha, the Skull. Once there, was he still in earshot to hear Jesus ask the Father to forgive his executioners when they drove nails into his wrists? Did he watch Jesus pressed beyond human endurance? Did he note that when pressed what flowed out of Jesus was love? I keep remembering a few examples this past week of what came out of me when I was pressed... and pressed just a little bit. You?

11: Jesus promises His Kingdom to the repentant thief
Read Luke 23: 39-43
We do not know, but if Simon of Cyrene was eager to leave the Skull, another eyewitness takes over... the thief. At first he too joined in and hurled insults at Jesus. But sometime during the next few hours the insults stopped and out of his heart came amazingly truthful words. His words were both a plea and a statement of faith. What changed him?

12. Jesus entrusts Mary & John to each other
Read John 19: 25-27
Besides onlookers, we know standing at the foot of the cross was Jesus' mother, his mother's sister (possibly Salome), Mary wife of Clopas, Mary Magdelene, and John. We are told in Luke that Jesus' mother pondered many things of her firstborn and kept them in her heart. If you are a mother, you know this to be true. It is believed that much later she told her full story to Luke, the historian. I just wonder if, at the cross, she remembered the day Simeon told her, "a sword shall pierce your heart too." This was that day.

References: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire, ESV Study Bible

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Way of the Cross, Stations 7, 8 & 9

7. Jesus takes up his cross
Read John 19: 6, 15-17
Only in John does it say that Jesus carried his own cross. Yes, he started out that way, but collapses.

8. Jesus is helped by Simon to carry his cross
Read Mark 15: 21
Matthew says forced to carry the cross. Mark says, forced. Luke says they seized Simon from Cyrene, on his way in from the country, put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. Point one: Simon was unsuspecting and possibly unwilling. Point two: Did you notice the one word Luke uses... made him carry it behind Jesus. I cannot quit thinking about this: What must Simon have seen walking behind Jesus as compared to what Pilate missed standing in front of Him. Good manna for today - feast on it, my dear friends. Last point: Simon must have gone home with a monumental witness. It is believed from Romans 16: 13 that his two sons, Rufus and Alexander, were staunch members of the early church, and his wife ministered to Paul.

9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Read Luke 23: 27-31
Only in Luke is it mentioned that Jesus turns to the grieving women following Him and speaks of the fate of Jerusalem. Here's one meaning of what He said: If God did not spare His innocent son (green wood), how much worse will it be when He allows the Romans to unleash His wrath upon a sinful nation (dry wood)? (ESV Study Notes)
In 70AD the temple was completely destroyed by raiding legions under Titus. Not one stone was left upon another.

References: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire, ESV Study Bible

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Girl Trip - Phoenix

The minute I got out of the airport I noticed the difference. The air. It was as light as a feather. Then the mountains. Rock mountains. Springing up out of flat desert. Then the desert. Scrub brush, faded colors, arid, dry, but alive. The Southwest. A great setting, great girl trip, great friends, great fun, even a divine appointment. the famed restaurant we never made it in
Friday night escapade hiking Pinnacle Point we thought we were in shape... not!
silly Sarah
shrimp tacos
at The Mission, Scottsdale looking for celebrities yes, we went to dry bar
a good time had by all - I miss us!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Way of the Cross, Stations 4, 5, & 6

4. Jesus is denied by Peter
Read Matthew 26: 69-71 and don't miss Luke 22: 61
There is no way for us to deny Peter's denial. It was a full vehement denial only hours after a full exclamation of loyalty. How easily we fall.
How did Jesus 'look' at Peter? He was able to set his very eyes on the rock amongst his disciples because he was being led across the courtyard from Annas' quarters to Caiaphas. Jesus must have passed within yards of Peter when the rooster began to crow. The rock of a man was completely undone.

5. Jesus us judged by Pilate
Read Mark 15: 1-5, 15 and the full account in Luke 23
The Roman trials:
1st trial - with Pilate
2nd trial - with Herod
3rd trial - again with Pilate and before the people
To Pilate, Jesus says, "It is as you say". To Herod Jesus says nothing at all. Again with Pilate, Jesus says...
Why did Jesus come to earth? He tells us clearly. We must all read and commit to memory John 18: 37-38. He came to testify to the truth. The Truth came to reveal truth. Pilate flippantly answers, "What is truth?"
Oh, dear Jesus, have mercy on us.

6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
Read John 19: 1-3
Pilate sent Jesus to be flogged in hopes that the scourging would satisfy the people. It didn't. No one was kind to Him, no one defended Him, no one was for Him.
Dear God, Open our eyes. Help us to see what Pilate failed to see. Amen.

References: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire, ESV Study Bible

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Way of the Cross, Stations 1, 2 & 3

If you have been looking for a simple devotional these few weeks leading to Easter, feel free to join me on the blog and explore the fourteen 'stations', or the Way of the Cross. Anytime you and I draw near to the cross, we are in close proximity to the very heart of our God and our Savior.

1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Read Matthew 26: 36-41
Don't miss the additional information in Luke 22: 39-44
Gethsemane means 'oil press' and it is believed that Jesus and his disciples frequented Gethsemane often. This late night visit is different and is referred to as the 'dark night of the soul'. The place where there is no place to go, but God.
Do you believe this to be Christ's weakest moment? Why or why not?
What has been the time in your life when there was no place to go but God?
Jesus was in deep anguish during this visit to Gethsemane, but he left focused, resilient, and committed to the cross. What was it that strengthened Him?

2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
Read Mark 14: 43-46 and John 18: 1-9
A rough battalion of soldiers step back and all fall to the ground when Jesus says, "I am he".
Why? What biblical significance of "I AM" can you think of?

3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
Read Luke 22: 66-71
There were three religious trials and three Roman trials. Six trials in all. It is helpful to put the facts in some kind of order. Use your devotional time at this 'station' to set the stage for all six trials.
Time of day - before daylight, continuing into daylight
Place - High Priest's quarters and the courtyard outside
High Priest Annas - actually the former High Priest, and the father-in-law of Caiaphas
Caiaphas - the ruling High Priest that year
Jesus - bound
The religious trials:
1st trial - with Annas
2nd trial - with Caiaphas
3rd trail - the Sanhedrin was called in to meet and vote
Ken Gire says, the first had to strike the Savior was a religious hand.

References: Moments with the Savior by Ken Gire, ESV Study Bible

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Way of the Cross

My Sunday School class is studying The Way of the Cross during Lent. I don't think I have ever studied the road to the cross quite like this. Here's a little background. In later posts I will give the readings and a related question to ponder as we approach Easter.

Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) is a series of artistic representations, very often sculptural, depicting Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion in his final hours. The vast majority of Roman Catholic churches now contain such a series, typically placed at intervals along the side walls of the nave. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period.

Originally fourteen 'stations' were adopted: 1.Jesus is condemned to death; 2.Jesus accepts the cross; 3.Jesus falls the first time; 4.Jesus meets His Mother; 5.Simon of Cyrene carries the cross; 6.Veronica wipes the face of Jesus; 7.Jesus falls the second time; 8.Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem; 9.Jesus falls the third time; 10.Jesus is stripped of His garments; 11.Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross; 12.Jesus dies on the cross; 13.Jesus' body is removed from the cross; 14.Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

Of the fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross, only eight have clear scriptural foundation. Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 are not specifically attested to in the gospels. To provide a version of this devotion more closely aligned with the biblical accounts, Pope John Paul II introduced a new form of devotion, called the Scriptural Way of the Cross on Good Friday 1991. (Wikipedia)

These are the fourteen we are studying: 1.Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; 2.Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested; 3.Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin; 4.Jesus is denied by Peter; 5.Jesus is judged by Pilate; 6.Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns; 7.Jesus takes up His cross; 8.Jesus is helped by Simon to carry His cross; 9.Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem; 10.Jesus is crucified; 11.Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief; 12.Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other; 13.Jesus dies on the cross; 14.Jesus is laid in the tomb.

I will be back soon with the readings and brief commentary.
Learn to know Christ and him crucified. Learn to sing to him, and say, "Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You have taken upon yourself what is mine and given me what is yours. You have become what you were not so that I might become what I was not." Martin Luther