Father Abraham

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Genesis 17:1-7
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

My Hope is in the Lord

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But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7

At the start of the year, I chose the word “hope” as my word for the year. It’s a simple word that holds a lot of promise.

Interestingly, I have to remind myself of my word EVERY day. I seem to loose hope at the slightest disappointment and forget who holds the world in the palm of His hand. I forget to hope.

Finances, deaths, disease, job loss, family struggles, and so much more can pile onto a person’s soul and suck the hope right out of their life. Don’t do it. Don’t lose your hope.

How any times has the Lord given me hope? How many times has He picked me up from the gutter? How many times must He prove His love for me?

This is Lent…a season of preparation for Jesus’s death on the cross and ultimate resurrection. I imagine there wasn’t a lot of hope on that dark and sad day. But hope was renewed three days later as Jesus rose from the grave.

Nothing is beyond the reach of God. Nothing is impossible. Nothing is without hope. I am glad I chose that word for this year and I intend to remind myself each and every day to never, never, give up hope.

I am standing on the promises of God, my savior.

 

Lord, Save Us!

    

Psalm 118:25

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

Lent is a traditional time of self reflection and soul-searching.

In reality… I should do this daily. My soul needs to be renewed, refreshed, searched, and recharged. My soul gets weary.

I cry out to God… Lord, save us! Save this land, save my loved ones, and save us from a bountiful harvest of sins.

I know He hears us. I know He hears me. I pray He grants success to all who call upon His name.

Amen and amen.

Peace of the Lord

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Every Sunday, I sit and worship and wait patiently to hear these words “May the peace of the Lord be always with you!”

I know these words by heart and I can say them to myself at any time. But, I like hearing them repeated in the glorious and peaceful Cathedral sanctuary. I am focused, obsessed and desiring to obtain that peace from God.

This is my favorite season of worship as I relive the long, torturous, and dusty road to Calvary. A horrific journey for Jesus who wishes to grant us grace and peace. A journey that is both tragic and triumphant.

This Lenten season I am writing for myself. I am writing for anyone who cares to read. I am writing for God. I am writing.

Peace…

Tough Memories of Heroes – Lent 9

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My Dad was a Prisoner of War in Nazi Germany. It was an important part of his legacy.

As the pilot of a B-17, he was shot down over Stuttgart and parachuted into a lake where he treaded water until the German military arrived. Any soldier who swam to shore would be beaten or killed by waiting citizens. This was the reality of war.

My Dad did not start talking about his war experience until late in life. I think his sons, grandsons (one of whom is a Naval Commander) and friends wanted to know his story. It was dramatic and cringe-worthy and was difficult for me to comprehend. War is just so horrible.

This was a big part of my Dad’s life; a life lived well with significant highs and lows. The war was a low point for a man who was never defeated in spirit.

However, I really didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t like to hear about my Father in danger.

I am proud of my Father’s heroism and his military skills of survival. But, I liked the Dad that I knew personally. You see, my Father was one of the most fun-loving and joy-filled people that I ever knew. He had a wicked grin and a lovely sense of humor. He delighted in pranking his children and pulled some funny, funny tricks over his 91 years on this earth. There are so many stories that I can’t begin to share them all. Suffice it to say, there was rarely a dull moment around my home. He was the life of the party and the person we all wanted to be around. He was a magnet for people and they clung to him in love and laughter.

Dad had seen the worst in people including some horrid atrocities that come with being a soldier in combat. He had seen death in so many ways and did not relive those moments often.

Lent is like that for me. I have to force myself to walk through the awful process to get to the resurrection on Easter Sunday. I don’t want to consider the beaten, spit upon, abused, and mocked Jesus. That’s too hard. I don’t want to think of the blood, sweat and tears of Jesus. It is simply too painful to ponder. But sometimes, we have to remember in order to understand and appreciate the never-ending gift given to us through the shed blood of Christ. Sometimes we have to go through the worst to get to the best.

My Dad’s laugh resonates in my heart. My Lord’s sacrifice blesses my soul. The grace of Jesus Christ keeps me safe.

I am grateful. Eternally so…

“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33