Lent Quotes: JC Ryle

February 28, 2012

Will at Prydain posted the following quote last week as a reminder not to try to be holy in our strangth this Lent. It’s a good reminder!

I pity those who try to be holy without Christ! Your labor is all in vain. You are putting money in a bag with holes. You are pouring water into a sieve. You are rolling a huge round stone uphill. You are building up a wall with untempered mortar. Believe me, you are beginning at the wrong end. You must come to Christ first, and He shall give you His sanctifying Spirit. You must learn to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

– JC Ryle

Please pray for the family of Bp. Cavalcanti and all in the Diocese of Recife

February 27, 2012

Tragic news out of the Diocese of Recife today concerning the death of Bp. Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife Miriam.

Today’s post at Anglican Daily Prayer which I read and linked a few hours ago, now seems particularly apt. Here’s part of that entry, part of a reflection by Myles Coverdale:

You are of those who have made a covenant with God to forsake themselves and Satan in this world. You are of those who have their loins girded about, and their lights burning in their hands, like men and women who wait for their Lord’s coming. You are of those who will worship the Lord God only, and will not worship the works of human hands, though the oven burn never so hot. You are in the number of them to whom Christ is precious and dear.

Therefore, dearly beloved, remember that your joy and paradise is not here, your companions are not the multitude of worldlings, and such as seek to please others and to live here at ease in the service of Satan. But you are of another world: Christ is your captain; your joy is in heaven, your companions are the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, and the dear saints of God who followed the Lamb wherever he went, knowing this life and world to be full of evil, a warfare, a smoke, a shadow, a vapor, replenished and environed with all kind of miseries.

I praise God that Bp, Cavalcanti and his wife were among those to whom Christ was precious and dear, and who were willing to endure great trial and suffering to follow Him faithfully.

May the Lord be very near in these days to all who loved Bp. Cavalcanti and his wife, and may the memory of their life and witness continue to bring His Name much glory throughout Brazil and beyond.

Bookmark this! Anglican Daily Prayer blog

February 27, 2012

I (Karen) have a confession to make. Even given my limited time for blogging, in the rare seasons I am able to blog a bit, I take some time to review and pay attention to our site stats. I hope and pray it’s not vanity! It’s mostly curiosity, and wanting to know which of our posts readers find the most helpful,  and the fact that in seeing who’s reading and linking Lent & Beyond, I sometimes discover some great blogs and resources!

Well that’s proven the case this morning. I noticed that a few visitors have been coming to Lent & Beyond from a link at a blog called “Anglican Daily Prayer” so I checked it out.

It turns out it’s the blog of a longtime friend of Lent & Beyond, James Gibson (who blogs at Sanctus, a site I link frequently, and who used to produce “This Day in the Word” for which we had linked the RSS feed on our sidebar).  James is a church planting pastor in South Carolina.

Anyway, at Anglican Daily Prayer, James is posting daily meditations on the Daily Office during Lent.  Today’s post features an exhortation to persevere in trials and persecutions,  “An Exhortation on the Carrying of Christ’s Cross,” by Myles Coverdale.

This is a MUST bookmark site.  I encourage you to make it a daily part of your Lenten reading.

Several Lent Poems by George Herbert

February 27, 2012

Today is the feast day of George Herbert.

I don’t have much time for blogging today, and also have an AWFUL internet connection (our internet service here is not always reliable!), but I thought I’d at least link to several Lenten poems by George Herbert that we’ve posted previously:


“The Agony” and “The Sinner”

Lord Instruct Us to Improve Our Fast (an excerpt from Herbert’s longer poem “Lent” which you can find in full here.

Mark 1:4-8

February 27, 2012

John came baptizing in the wilderness (Mark 1:4a)
      Father, come and lead us through the wilderness areas of our lives.

and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mark 1:4b)
      Holy Spirit, anoint the preaching throughout this diocese so that we all hear a clear call to repentance and receive forgiveness of our sins.

Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him (Mark 1:5a)
      Let all your people throughout this diocese and in the City of Albany go forth to meet you Jesus. Let the Diocesan Convention be such a meeting place.

and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. (Mark 1:5b)
      Jesus, let the river of your Spirit flow though this community and through the whole diocese. Bring many to that river to be baptized by your Holy Spirit with a good confession of sins.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “There comes one after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:6-8 )
      Jesus, let the river of your Spirit flow with such force that we are all carried forth on it (see Ezekiel 47:1-6). Bring us to that pleace where the river of your Spirit runs so deep that we have to take our feet off the bottom and let it carry us so that we can go forward in you. Thank you.

“You are my beloved son” (Mark 1:11) A word received: Ask them to discus how I showed my love for Jesus in the lesson. It is tied to being driven into the wilderness to face the temptations there. I am preparing my son for the tests he would face. [From yesterday’s Sunday School class.]

Monday: 41, 52 * 44; Gen. 37:1-11: 1 Cor. 1:1-19: Mark 1:1-13
Tuesday: 45 * 47, 48; Gen. 37:12-24: 1 Cor. 1:20-31: Mark 1:14-28

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Mark 8:31-38; Romans 8:31-39; Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 16 or 16:5-11).

***** Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2012
From: Nigel Mumford
Subject: Daily quote…
      Perhaps the fruit of not being affirmed is a perception of rejection.

***** Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2012
From: WHI Dayton Prayer
Subject: Welcome Home Initiative Dayton Prayer Request and Praise Report 2012 02 26
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NIV)
      May you be richly blessed by the Father’s Love, as we hunger and thirst for the Bread of Life and the Living Water this Lenten Season and beyond.
      1. Various questions about WHI. “Will young active duty service members and spouses feel out-of-place since WHI veterans seem to be from previous campaigns like Vietnam War?” “Some of the soldiers have lost limbs or have other injuries – will they feel awkward coming to the retreat?” “WHI addresses spiritual and emotional healing; does it address physical healing?”
      2. WHI Dayton Team has decided to increase the total size of the April retreat from 40 to 60 total – approx. 20 facilitators and 40 attendees. As we stretch our faith, we need to obey the Lord and lean more on Him to provide for all resources and anointing. Many WHI Dayton vets and volunteers will be shouldering more responsibilities during the April retreat.
      3. A WHI Dayton vet will be on business trip to Washington DC for 3-weeks, 27 Feb to 16 Mar. He plans to join other DC area WHI advocates to promote WHI to military chaplains and other church groups.
      4. WHI Dayton vets has a vision for a new Veterans’ Resource Center: a new facility like popular coffee shops w/ windows and open design, smoke- and alcohol-free, where veterans and families can visit to network and receive personalized help – to include healing prayer ministry and training, marriage and parenting resources.
      5. A group of pastors and chaplains in KY is considering hosting a WHI Retreat early Oct. The General Officer’s WHI Retreat in DC is from 10 – 12 Apr. WHI Dayton Retreat is 17 – 19 Apr. WHI New York Team and volunteers are assisting in all these retreats; plus planning for a female vets’ retreat (TBD) and a 12 – 14 Nov Retreat.
      6. WHI Dayton alumni Dan and Gina expecting 1st child in March, Aaron and Jenn 4th child in June.
      7. USAF Ch. Mark, back surgery end of Feb and out for 30 days. Navy Ch. Fr. M’s parents need healing.
      8. If the Lord has a word for you to be shared with WHI Dayton, please feel free to e-mail us.
      9. We are looking for intense prayer intercession (on-site and from afar) from Mon 16 Apr to Thr 19 Apr noon. If you can give an hour to pray, for example, or organize a group to pray and worship for an hour a day – that faith will move mountains!

Albany Intercessor

“Lent empties us… in order to lead us to Wholeness”

February 27, 2012

Tara at Story-formed blog has a beautiful reflection posted about Lent:

In short, Lent exposes sin front and center….and leaves it there for a full 40 days.

There are no Hallmark cards for Lent. It is not a holy day that the rest of the world wants to co-opt. In my tradition, we believe we are sinners, but we like to move quickly to God’s love and grace and much more pleasant sentiments. But I’ve come to believe that Lent is exactly for those same believers…who having grown lazy have begun to drift slowly away from our First Love.

But Lent is all grace and love of God because it exposes our fractional living. We live half-this and a quarter-that – mixing concoctions that work for us. Lent turns our graduated cups upside down and empties us….in order to lead us to Wholeness.

But wholeness does not come easy. It takes us being willing to remain on the dark stage in the light of Divine Interrogation for 40 days.

Go read it all

Lent quotes: “Desire is at the center of the spiritual life”

February 27, 2012

I found the following at the blog A Ruach Journey – another one of those blogs that I used to read regularly that I’ve unfortunately lost touch with in the past year or so as work & ministry have kept me away from the computer.

David Benner says our longings, our desires are pathways for our journey with God.  I think he would say that intimacy with God is impossible without desire being present.

Here is a quote from Benner’s Soulful Spirituality,

Despite how it is sometimes presented, desire is right at the center of the spiritual life. A sense of obligation may sometimes be enough to keep you going to church, but only desire will keep you open to God and still seeking when your experience in church is filled with frustration and is irrelevant to your deepest spiritual longings. Guilt may be strong enough to motivate religious behavior, but only desire can lead you ahead on the spiritual journey. The absence of desire means the absence of spiritual life.  (p. 335)

The full entry is here

This seems a VERY apt quote to reflect on in Lent.  May we not practice our Lenten disciplines out of guilt or obligation, but out of a desire to grow closer to the Lord and increasingly be transformed into His image.

This quote about spiritual desire reminds me of various passages from John Piper in his book on fasting, A Hunger for God.  I’ll post some of those wonderful quotes tomorrow.

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