Easter 2015 – menu of links and resources

April 11, 2015

He_Has_RisenUPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post will remain sticky during Easter. Look for new entries below.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!!

All of us at Lent & Beyond wish our readers a glorious Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! We’ve posted a lot of good Easter devotional resources over the years:

See also: Easter Devotionals, Easter Music, Easter Prayers, Easter Quotes, Easter Resources

A few featured posts:

Remember, Easter is a 50 day season! I hope to be able to post often throughout Easter – prayers, music, quotes, devotionals – to help me, and all of us, to live in the joy and reality of the resurrection each day. So stay tuned…

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

art credit


A Compilation of Eastertide links and resources – celebrating the full 50 days of the Easter Season

April 9, 2015

UPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post is sticky – look below for new entries

This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles).  Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year.  Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin.  Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him.  With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide. 

***

NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THISA Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns.  Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!

NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015.  This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).

Let me link the blog and devotional separately:

The blog: This Sacramental Life by Tamara Hill Murphy.  See especially #practiceresurrection2015 – who wants to join me? and her Easter Daybook entries

The devotional:  Eastertide Devotional 2015 from Christ Church Austin (pdf version here)

And you can follow along on Twitter using #practiceresurrection or #practiceresurrection2015

***

First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:

Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!

Read the rest of this entry »


Prayer for the General Election in the UK today

May 7, 2015

From the Global Prayer Resource Network, these suggestions on how to be praying for the UK:

Praying towards the General Elections in the United Kingdom, 7 May 2015 

“It’s not about them. It’s all about you. Not them. You. About you because a general election is one of those rare times when your voice counts as much as anyone else’s voice does. About you because you have the chance to help choose who represents you and your community in Parliament. About you because you can influence who will run the country for the next five years and, therefore, help shape what sort of country you live in. Rarely has there been a choice so wide or one with an impact which could be so dramatic.” So writes Nick Robinson Political Editor of the BBC.

To those within the UK: we have the responsibility of standing guard in prayer over the whole process that will now roll out to Election Day on 7th May and beyond – what a privilege!  Use: 1 Timothy 2: 1-3; Ephesians 3: 10-12

To those in other nations around the world, please pray for the Election process in the UK as you read this.  The outcome of these elections will have an impact on all of us.

Let’s continue to worship Jesus as Lord; thank Him for His goodness; seek His forgiveness; release the blessing of Father, Son and Holy Spirit into the whole process and pray for His Kingdom to come and His will be done.

Praying for:

  • God’s mercy on the UK  – we have done much to grieve God’s heart
  • God’s plans and purposes for the UK to be fulfilled
  • Safety from terrorism – up to and beyond The Election
  • Honesty to mark the final days of campaigning by the party leaders and those standing locally.
  • God to call new Christians into our assemblies, parliaments  & in local government
  • Wise & unbiased reporting by the media
  • Many people to turn out and use their votes wisely – in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland (James 1:5)
  • Wisdom in the formation of new government in Westminster and in the Assemblies in Northern Ireland and Wales and Parliament in Scotland (Prov.14:34; 11:14)

Source:  World Prayer Centre

 

Also, here’s the prayer published by the Church of England for today’s elections:

Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities of living in a democratic society.

Give us wisdom to play our part at election time, that, through the exercise of each vote, your Kingdom may come closer.

Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, guard us against the idols of false utopias and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling that serves the common good of all.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen.


National Day of Prayer in the U.S.

May 7, 2015

image credit: nationaldayofprayer.org

The theme for the 2015 National Day of Prayer is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen I Kings 8:28 as our Scripture for this year:  “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Here’s the prayer for today’s National Day of Prayer in the US, written by the National Day of Prayer Chairman

Heavenly Father,

We come to You in the Name that is above every name—Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You.

Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God—the One we trust in times like these—we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land.

We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word.

We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You.

Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness.

We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You.

Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope.

Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free.

We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts.

In Jesus’ name, our Savior.

Amen.

– 2015 National Prayer by Dr. Jack Graham

 

For more resources:

Web: http://nationaldayofprayer.org

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NationalPrayer

(also hashtag:  #NDOP)

 

 

 


May 7th is the National Day of Prayer in the U.S.

May 5, 2015

Thursday May 7th is the National Day of Prayer.

I’ll be posting some resources later this evening.  Interestingly, the resources for the National Day of Prayer sent out by the Global Prayer Resource Network, to which I subscribe, also included suggestions for how to pray for the upcoming elections in the UK.  So I will post those prayer points as well…  stay tuned….


World Music for Easter [French] – Alléluia sung by Paul Baloche

May 5, 2015

Not all the songs in my Easter playlist are in English.  I’ve got Arabic, French, Spanish and Swahili songs mixed in too…   One of the newest additions to my Easter playlist is a wonderful song from Paul Baloche’s 2013 album Glorieux, a fantastic collection of 14 French worship songs.  The song is simply entitled Alléluia.

Most of the songs on Glorieux are French versions of Paul Baloche’s own songs, but as best I can tell, this song was originally written in French, and I don’t believe it has been ever been recorded in English.   I have really fallen in love with this song in the past few weeks… it starts quite quietly, focused on Christ’s humbling Himself to die on the Cross and then towards the end it crescendos to wonderful joyous praise for the Resurrection and Christ’s triumph.   Even if you don’t understand French, give it a listen.  It’s a beautiful song.  [I’ve provided a rough translation of the lyrics alongside the French words below]

You can find out more about the album Glorieux and listen to samples of the songs at the leadworship.com website.

Alléluia by DAN LUITEN and JéRéMIE POULET
Performed by Paul Baloche and Friends, from the 2013 French worship album Glorieux

Tu t’es abaissé, pour l’humanité  [You lowered yourself for humanity]
Tu fus humilié et abandonné  [You were humiliated and abandoned]
Ta mort est ma vie,  [Your death is my life]
Tu payas le prix [You paid the price]
Sans crainte aujourd’hui, [Without fear today…]
Mon âme s’écrie :  [my soul cries out:]

Refrain
Alléluia, alléluia, alléluia   [Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia]
Tu es saint, tu es saint.  [You are holy, You are holy]

Je suis à tes pieds pour te remercier  [I am at Your feet to thank You…]
D’avoir accepté de tout supporter  [… for having accepted to bear all]
Éprouvé je tiens,  [Tested, I’m holding [on]]
pardonné je viens [Forgiven, I come…]
Avec tous les saints chanter, [with all the saints to sing…]
Tu reviens. [You’re returning.]

Pont
Élevé, glorifié, tu es ressucité et tu vis à jamais  [Exalted, glorified, You have risen and You live forevermore.]

 


Apologies for posting lapse…

May 5, 2015

My apologies for the fairly abrupt halt in posting here.  Internet outages and very heavy workload combined to knock me out of any kind of blogging routine.  I’m missing it, and am hoping I can still get back to some blogging before the end of the week.

Thanks for your understanding!


Brand new song from Selah: The People of the Cross; and Honoring the Martyrs (part 2)

April 28, 2015

People Of The Cross

[Scroll down for new song from Selah – it’s SO good, Wow!  But the intro is inspiring, important and relevant…]

Last week I posted an entry about the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Egyptian martyrs: Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1) I have an additional entry I planned to post as a followup, but a very busy workload in recent days kept me from completing that draft.  Today I found myself with some unexpected free time between meetings and I was browsing Twitter catching up on various prayer needs and current events around the world…  Two posts on Twitter related to the martyrs killed by ISIS grabbed my attention, and I felt it very important to post them here.  So what was going to be a two-part series, will now be a three-part series.  I’ll hope to post the third entry on Thurs. or Friday.

The first tweet related to the martyrs today was posted by the famous Catholic monk and musician John Michael Talbot:

The full text of what he wrote was:

Coptic Christians in praise of Jesus in 2011 before the uprising of recent persecutions by fanatical Islam. This is the strength that gets them through the persecution today. Do we have the same?

I watched the linked video from the great Middle Eastern Christian channel SAT-7 (over 2 million views for this video!)

Here are excerpts from the lyrics in English – they utterly astound me in light of ISIS actions killing our brothers from Egypt & Ethiopia on the grounds that they were PEOPLE OF THE CROSS.  It is almost as if this song was written to prepare the church in Egypt for the time of testing to come.  INCREDIBLE.

Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
And the light of the Gospel is increasing
[…]
Say that He has conquered darkness and its authority
He has lit up our days and given them color
And the light of day is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He is He is defeating his foes
We’re winning with His testimony and blood
And our heritage is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Live the joy of heaven, joy, joy
Satan will wear the clothes of one in mourning
[…]
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you

No sooner had I finished watching that, then I glanced back at my Twitter feed, and the VERY FIRST tweet I saw was this from We Are Worship USA:

So, I went straight to YouTube to watch this video. This song People of the Cross was just released today – it’s on iTunes and other music download sites.

So powerful.  May this be true.

We are the People of the Cross.  We choose Christ and count all else as loss.  We won’t be shaken.  Hope won’t be taken. We are the People of the Cross.

May this be a rallying cry to the Evangelical Church in the West to truly live as People of the Cross, following in the footsteps of the martyrs from Egypt, Kenya and Ethiopia who have counted the cost and shown that Christ is worth dying for.

Go buy this song and keep listening and keep praying for the church around the world that we may not shrink back in the face of suffering and persecution….


Easter Worship – Behold Our God (free download at We Are Worship)

April 28, 2015

One of my favorite worship songs in my Easter playlist is Sovereign Grace Music’s song Behold Our God, from their 2011 album Risen.  Their recording of the song happens to be free this week at WeAreWorship (free MP3, free chord chart, and free PDF sheet music).  Joining We Are Worship is free, and it’s a wonderful source of excellent worship music, with free downloads every week.  I’m posting a YouTube below which melds wonderful pictures of creation with Sovereign Grace’s version of the song.

I do have to say though that even though I love the original version of this song by Sovereign Grace, my favorite version of this song is the live recording from the Falls Church Anglican worship CD A Thousand Amens.   The combination of this song, followed by Praise My Soul the King of Heaven is just utterly majestic (you’ve got to hear the organ instrumental between the two songs.  I still get chills….).  I can’t recommend those two tracks highly enough.  Contemporary Anglican worship at its best!!

Here are the lyrics:

Who has held the oceans in His hands
Who has numbered every grain of sand
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice

Behold our God seated on His throne
Come let us adore Him
Behold our King nothing can compare
Come let us adore Him

Who has given counsel to the Lord
Who can question any of His words
Who can teach the One who knows all things
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds

Who has felt the nails upon His hand
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal humbled to the grave
Jesus Savior risen now to reign

You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill the earth)
(REPEAT 6X)
You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill)

Copyright © 2011 Soveriegn Grace Praise & Sovereign Grace Worship

CCLI Number: 5937510

 


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