Update: All TSM Lenten Devotional entries available

March 4, 2010

Very early in Lent I noted that Trinity School for Ministry had once again produced a Lenten Devotional Guide. However for awhile, the only file available was for the first few days of Lent.

I’m glad to say ALL of the Lenten devotionals are posted. You can find them all here.

***

UPDATE:  The 2012 devotionals are here:

http://www.tsm.edu/content/lenten_devotional_2012

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Psalm 73:1-3 and a posting by Fr. Nigel Mumford

March 4, 2010

Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. (Psalm 73:1)
      Holy Spirit, please bring me to purity of heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. (Psalm 73:2)
      Lord Jesus, you know my offences — none are hidden from you — keep my feet steady on the pilgrim’s path to you.

For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73:3)
      Father, teach me to be content with your provision. Help me to daily rest in your arms. Thank you.

Thursday: 74; Genesis 42:29-38; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Mark 4:21-34
Friday: 73; Genesis 43:1-15; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; Mark 4:35-41

      Notes from the Front Line

***** The Albany Episcopalian Magazine, Jan 2010

My Brush With Death
Or
(How I lost 53 lbs on the Swine Flu diet!)

The Rev. Nigel Mumford+

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God.; trust also in me.
In my Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so,
I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

John 14:1-2

      For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Rev 7:17

      Thank you all so very much for your heartfelt prayers for my very life and for my healing of H1N1, pneumonia, secondary pneumonia and paralysis. Thank you also for praying for my wife Lynn and our family. You all have been so very kind. The out pouring of love has been amazing. How can I thank you all? The thing that has struck me the most is the kindness of people. So many cards, gifts, food, letters, notes and prayers, gosh it has been overwhelming. I have wept a lot over the past three months. I shall never forget the look in the eyes of the hospital secretary as she brought me a full ream of emails, saying, “Who are you?” More tears as I responded, “I guess I am a man who is loved!”

      It began last October with a simple cough and a visit to the emergency room. We were sent home with a puffer. I used the puffer and immediately collapsed with respiratory failure. Lynn dialed 911. I am not going to burden you with the whole medical story, most have followed what happened on line thanks to Beth Strickland. (Thanks Beth, great job). Needless to say I feel I have been to hell and back physically, and heaven and back spiritually. I was unable to pray when in a coma, the prayers of the people sustained me. I feel so close to the Lord now it is all very humbling.

      I have joked for many years that I have had nine near death experiences and if I was a cat I would be very nervous now. Well I am not a cat. I am a Christian who totally believes that when we pray something always happens. I am alive because of prayer I have no doubt of that. Even after ten near death experiences! Agnes Sanford writes about her near death experience in her book The Healing Light.

      Many have asked what I experienced while I was in a coma for three weeks. I had three “showings” that I feel I would like to share with you.

      The first “showing” was as if I was in the seventh heaven. I was encapsulated in darkness as if dead. Then I saw black sheets, huge black sheets, maybe 16×20 miles in size either side of me. Each very black sheet had tiny cutouts of people. Light shone through each cutout so brightly from the very light source of God. Each light the soul of those in heaven. I was very calm, but it really felt that I was being introduced to heaven, the whole company of heaven, angels and archangels the entirety of heaven… the very souls off millions of people, it was amazing. Lynn and I came to the conclusion that the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow death a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2) I truly was in the shadow of death but my light had dawned. Thanks be to God.

      The second “showing” was of a Victorian dining room. I was alone sitting at a very large dark oak dining table waiting for the guest of honor, Jesus. It was as if I was waiting for a briefing in what heaven would be like. The room was green with dark wood. As I looked down upon the scene there was a large cylinder above my head also covered in green wall paper. It was the very size of the glass container that holds the femur of St. Therese of Lisieux. My favorite saint! I last saw that relic in the basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France in 1998. Why it was covered in green wall paper I have no idea.

      The third “Showing” was of grass with a raised modern house made of red steel and thick glass. Each separate room was diamond shape, upended, with three quarters of a floor suspended on the longest span all interconnected. The rooms were kept climate controlled by water, “Living Water” in the lower half of the diamond. In each room there was a gold chain with a gold spoon for drinking the never ending supply of “Living Water” which tasted so amazing, so good, I wish I had the vocabulary to describe how good it was but I can tell you it was more satisfying than anything I have experienced on earth. My conclusion: In my father house there are many mansions. I experienced two of those mansions. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (John 7:38 ) The added feature was that there was a number eight painted in white on the red metal of the building. I was moved from ICU room number one where I was in the coma to room number eight. Coincidence? God-incidence?

      I have to say it is good to be home, and it is even better to be alive. This experience has been quite horrific to say the least buffered with love and Godly visits from the clergy and the care of my dear wife, with much prayer and laying on of hands. How do I feel now? Totally overwhelmed to be honest. When I hear the stories of many who saw me in a coma they make me weep. Godley men and woman kneeling down beside me and whispering prayers into my ears…pure compassion andd love with a multitude of faith. People were praying in the lobby of the hospital. Many wanted to see me but because of the numbers the hospital had to place limitations. Nurses that would quietly say, “I believe in God you know” so much care, so much compassion. One nurse went home the night I nearly died very troubled. She had a dream about me that night. She dreamed when she came to work the next day I would be sitting in bed with my arms behind my head saying, “Hello, I’m fine.” I am so glad that dream came true!

      I have seen the good side of humanity and Christians at their best praying for my very life. How can I say thank you?
I have wept so much, so many tears, of pain, frustration, sorrow, pure sadness and then pure joy at being alive. Tears shed for so many who suffer including my room mate in rehab who was dying of COPD. People of faith, I truly thank you for your prayers as I have no doubt that I would not be here if it were not for you and your prayers. My wife and I are truly grateful. I do challenge you however to keep on praying, lifting your faith, facing God and the very love of Jesus Christ who loves you very much, of this I have no doubt.
God bless you.
Be well, do good works and for the sake of God love one another.

Fr. Nigel+

PS. I did lose 53 lbs!

Albany Intercessor


Lent Prayers: St. Ambrose – Give me a heart of flesh

March 4, 2010

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ’s sake, Amen

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)


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