A Compilation of resources related to Stations of the Cross from around the world

March 31, 2014

Christine Sine at Godspace has put together what looks like a really interesting compilation of resources related to the Stations of the Cross from many different countries and cultures.

Very worth checking out.


Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Psalm 89:24-26

March 31, 2014

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
      Jesus, shepherd me.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23:2)
      Lord, lead me.

He restores my soul; (Psalm 23:3a)
      Holy Spirit, restore my soul.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3b)
      Jesus, lead me.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
      Father, set me free of fear in the dark times and comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5)
      Holy Spirit, anoint me.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. (Psalm 23:6)
      LORD, let your goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life.

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:32-33)
      Holy Spirit, please help me turn aside from all self-seeking so that I may bring many to know Jesus Christ.

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
      Jesus, please help me walk daily in your ways and imitate you as Paul did. Thank you.

But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, and in my name his horn shall be exalted. Also I will set his hand over the sea, and his right hand over the rivers. He shall cry to me, “You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” (Psalm 89:24-26)
      Father, thank you that I can join with David in saying, “You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” Thank you for your faithfulness and mercy.

A word received: Turn to me and live.

A word received: Turn to me and I will shepherd you.

Romans 8:28 A word received: I can make all things work together for good for those who love me.

Monday: 89:1-18 * 89:19-52; Gen. 49:1-28: 1 Cor. 10:14-11:1: Mark 7:24-37
Tuesday: 97, 99, [100] * 94, [95]; Gen. 49:29-50:14: 1 Cor. 11:17-34: Mark 8:1-10

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, March 29, 2014, 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Louise Popa, Steve Evans, and Torre Bissell on State St. and Darlene Chesnut and Mark Pasko on Albany St.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates was anointed with Holy Water
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Albany St.

a man walked by and pointing to the crosses said he has 3 of those!

+ 199 Janet- peace

Ras- prayed a blessing

+ Pamela- healing in her family

+ Shaquia (young woman)- prayed for the ups and downs in her life that she would know Jesus is there in the down times too, for safety and provision

+ Milan (young man)- for a job

199 Carrie- prayed for the missing plane and people in it, and for the people in the mud slide, and a general prayer for her.

State St.

Steve (man) — He needs roof repairs to his new place of business.

Mark — He is doing two music programs Easter week at an old people’s home.

199 Tobias (regular) — He is behind in his rent. He needs a better paying job and a new location. He also asked prayer for his many friends.

The Bus Driver honked at us.

+ John (man) — “Everything!”

+ 199 Gary (man) — He recommitted his life to Jesus. He confessed his sins and accepted God’s forgiveness.

+ 199 Emmanuel (young man) — He wants to be able to play soccer.

+ 199 Naru (man) — “Health!” He has one arm.

+ 199 Bishop (man) — Health and provision.

+ 199 Zenovia (woman walking be)

+ 199 Danny (man) — His son’s fiancé has stage 1 cancer in her breast, but it has spread to her lung.

+ 199 Eddie (man) — He would like to see some of his goals come to pass and for his family to stay togetyher.

Albany Intercessor


A Personal Reflection on Hebrews 10 in Lent: Christ the Perfect Sacrifice

March 31, 2014

This morning, the Lord directed my attention to Hebrews 10, particularly verses 1-18.  (emphasis added)

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”

17 Then he adds:

Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

(Hebrews 10:1-18, NIV)

These verses prompt a chorus of Hallelujahs, yes, even in Lent!

Are you tempted to consider and fall into the trap (as I was beginning to) that it is your Lenten sacrifices, YOUR efforts that are somehow making you holy and perfect, (and then DESPAIR because you are falling so far short in following through in your spiritual disciplines)?!  NO!!  It is only Jesus’ sacrifice that justifies and purifies us, and makes us holy and acceptable in the Father’s sight.

Today I am rejoicing in that freedom and grace, even while asking for grace to be more faithful in denying myself certain comforts, dying more to my flesh and its desires…

Heavenly Father, help us this Lent to understand more of Jesus’ perfect once for all sacrifice and never be tempted to think our own “sacrifices” make us righteous or holy.  Somehow they should create is us a more perfect appropriation of all Christ has done.  Oh Lord, help us in our weakness and help us not to trust in our own Lenten sacrifices.  They are nothing.  You are everything, Jesus!  Hallelujah, yes…. even in Lent!

***

A good song to accompany this devotional and express my worship is Matt Redman’s Once Again. (lyrics and chords).

Our “sacrifices” repeated once again, over and over each day do not save or sanctify us.  But looking at Jesus once again, again and again, and remembering His cross, His death, His resurrection, HIS sacrifice, that changes us!


Praise report

March 30, 2014

Four years ago, we had prayed for the healing of timing of electrical impulses in epilepsy. This news report describes a battery that controls the impulses, which is a big step forward in the medical management of this disease.

Our Father in heaven,
You are a God of tender mercies. We thank You for the advances in the treatment of epilepsy. We bless Your holy name. We bless Your name El Olam. We bless the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, our Advocate. We bless the name of Your Holy Spirit, our Comforter.
More mercies, Lord! More mercies. Amen.


Polio–from Syria to Iraq

March 29, 2014

From The Guardian: The first case of polio in Iraq has now been diagnosed.

“Seriously damaged health infrastructure, poor health access and utilisation because of insecurity inside Syria, and massive movements of vulnerable and at-risk populations in and out of Syria – all make controlling the outbreak and rendering health protection to Palestine refugees in Syria and across the region very challenging.”

Psalm 40:11-13 (NKJV)
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!

O Father,
Bring the children of the Middle East out of out of this horrible pit of hatred, war, destruction, and disease. Lift them out of the miry clay of lies. Set their feet upon the Rock of Truth and establish their steps. Have mercy, Lord. Have mercy. Amen.

A previous polio prayer may be found here.


Matthew 6:49-52, Mark 7:20-23, and Psalm 136:23-26

March 29, 2014

And when they saw him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw him and were troubled. But immediately he talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then he went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened. (Mark 6:49-52)
      Jesus, come and meet us where we are as you did with your disciples. If our hearts are hardened (as their’s were), soften them and help us understand your purposes.

And he said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-23)
      Father, please help us repent of all these things which defile us.

      Jesus, speak to our hearts and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

      Holy Spirit, convict us of all sins that are hidden in our hearts and minds, and help us bring them to Jesus.

Who remembered us in our lowly state, for his mercy endures forever; and rescued us from our enemies, for his mercy endures forever; who gives food to all flesh, for his mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For his mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136:23-26)
      Father, thank you for remembering us when we were in need. Thank you for providing for us year after year. Thank you! For your mercy endures forever.

A word received: Walk WITH me.

A word received: Abide in me. Let me be your strength.

Saturday: 87, 90 * 136; Gen. 47:27-48:7: 1 Cor. 10:1-13: Mark 7:1-23
Sunday: 66, 67 * 19, 46; Gen. 48:8-22: Rom. 8:11-25: John 6:27-40
Fourth Sunday in Lent: 23; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Ephesians 5:(1-7)8-14; John 9:1-13(14-27)28-38

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5:10 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, and Chuck Rinaldo from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
a–indicates anointed with Holy Water
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Dan (staff) — His wife Lorie’s cousin Debbie has cancer. They have stopped the chemo and have given her one to two weeks to live. Lorie and Debbie are the onlyh believers in the family; all the others are our of control with grief. Dan also prayed for Torre’s back.

Ted (volunteer) — He is taking his granddaughter to the Spiritual Life Center on Tuesday for the Healing Service and then lunch and soaking in prayer in the afternoon in the hope of seeing Camille cured of Lyme’s disease.

Greg (man) — I am a veteran and I am homeless.

++John (young man, regular) — He is reading his copy of “199 Promises of God”. He got an extra cross for his mom. His dad is due to get out of jail (his dad is in jail because he held a knife to John’s throat).

+ a 199 Art (man) — He asked prayer for his family. He is going to the meetings at the Mission and wants to get free from his addiction. He confessed his sins to God and accepted his forgiveness and cleansing, and that he had been adopted as a child of God.

Us (Torre, Jean and Chuck) — We prayed for full restorationof Smiley from a stroke.

+Michelle (young girl) — She asked prayer for her grandmother.

+Matthew (man) — He asked prayer for all of God’s little ones.

Albany Intercessor


Lent Prayers: John Wesley – Do not consider what we have done against you…

March 29, 2014

O merciful Father, do not consider what we have done against you; but what our blessed Savior has done for us. Don’t consider what we have made of ourselves, but what He is making of us for you our God. O that Christ may be “wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption” to every one of our souls. [May] His precious blood may cleanse us from all our sins, and your Holy Spirit renew and sanctify our souls. May He crucify our flesh with its passion and lusts, and cleanse all our brothers and sisters in Christ across the earth. — John Wesley

 

– H/T:  Bible Gateway’s Lent Devotionals


Updated Compilation of Good Friday Devotionals, Prayers, Quotes…

March 28, 2014

I’ve updated our  Compilation of Good Friday Quotes, Poems, Hymns & Prayers

which I first put together early in Lent 2012.  It now contains links to all our Good Friday posts from 2006 – 2013.  Lots of great devotionals, music, art, poetry, prayers…

All our Good Friday entries can be found here.

All our Holy Week entries are here.

 


Terrorism advocacy

March 28, 2014

From The Times of Israel:  Jihadist magazine promotes car bombs in Washington DC, NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and in other nations.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up;

God is our salvation.

Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.

Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute;

Scatter the peoples who delight in war.

Psalm 68:19,20,30

Amen.  Amen.  Amen.

Father, in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we humbly ask You to disrupt and destroy the financial incentives to violence.

 


John Piper’s “Conversation with Death on Good Friday” (Updated link)

March 28, 2014

Five years ago, I posted John Piper’s wonderful Good Friday poem / meditation:  “A Conversation with Death on Good Friday.”

That entry from our archives has been getting a lot of traffic this week.  I just discovered that following Desiring God’s reorganization of their website, the link to the full original blog post needed to be changed.

Here’s the new link:  Conversation with Death on Good Friday (John Piper)


Music for Lent: We Cry Out for Grace Again

March 28, 2014

Another “Musical Prayer” for Lent… a heartcry for more of God’s grace poured into our hearts and seen in our lives.

This song is We Cry Out for Grace Again, by Ed Kerr, from the 1997 Integrity Music worship album Because We Believe.

Visit us
We cry out for grace again
Come wash away our sin
Humble us
Give us grateful hearts
That You have called us
All Your friends
Let the blood of Jesus cleanse us
Make of us a spotless bride
Come visit us humble us
We cry out for grace again

Live in us
Let us be Your feet
Your hands to love
This dying world
Shine in us
Overcome the darkness
With Your holy light of love
Let the name of Jesus draw men
Just as we were drawn before
Lord live in us
Shine in us
Let us be Your feet Your hands

We believe
You are here to meet every need
We believe compassion will flow
From Your loving arms
We draw near
Confident our cries reach Your ear
You alone can help us obey
Everyday we live

Dwell in us
Manifest the glory of Your cross
And all You gave
Come to us
Let us see the mystery
Of God with us again
Thank You for this priceless treasure
Hidden in these jars of clay
Lord dwell in us
Come to us
Manifest Your glory
Live in us shine in us
Manifest Your glory
Visit us humble us
We cry out for grace again

Dwell in us come to us
Manifest Your glory
Live in us shine in us
Manifest Your glory
Visit us humble us
We cry out for grace again

Ed Kerr
© 1997 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI Song Number: 2462019


Polio in Syria

March 27, 2014

From the BBC: Destroyed sewage treatment plants, no clean drinking water, limited vaccinations. Polio, which was once eradicated from Syria, has now returned.

2 Samuel 4:4 (NKJV)
Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.

O Father,
Did not King David treat Mephibosheth, the heir of King Saul, with mercy? Did not Jesus die for all mankind? Have mercy, Lord! Have mercy.
The children in Syria have fallen because the fighting forces have killed their families and destroyed their homes, sanitation, and food. Have mercy, Lord! Have mercy.
Come with a strong hand for the children of Syria. Feed them like a shepherd feeds his flock. Gather the lambs with Your arm and carry them in Your bosom. Spare the children from this dread disease. Amen.
Isaiah 40:10-11


Mark 6:30-46

March 27, 2014

Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And he said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. (Mark 6:30-32)
      Bless the clergy retreat of the Diocese of Albany. Help them, Jesus, to have a quiet time apart with you. Refresh them and give them rest. Thank you.

But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:33-34)
      Jesus, thank you for your compassion on the multitudes who are like sheep with no shepherd. Teach them; feed them with your word.

When the day was now far spent, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” But he answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?” (Mark 6:35-37)
      Holy Spirit, please help us learn to turn to Jesus to supply food for the hungry and provision in the desert places.

But he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fish he divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled. (Mark 6:38-42)
      Father, please help us learn to look up to you to supply our needs as Jesus did.

And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. (Mark 6:43)
      Jesus, gather up the fragments of my life so that nothing is lost.

Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men. Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he sent the multitude away. (Mark 6:44-45)
      Thank you, Father, that with Jesus, your provision is more than enough.

And when he had sent them away, he departed to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46)
      Holy Spirit, teach us to pray, both before and after you have provided for us. We need those times of prayer just as much as Jesus did. Thank you.

A word received: Look to me for help in your sorrow. Lean on me and not your own understanding.

Thursday: [83] or 42,43 * 85, 86; Gen. 46:1-7,28-34: 1 Cor. 9:1-15: Mark 6:30-46
Friday: 95* & 88 * 91, 92; Gen. 47:1-26: 1 Cor. 9:16-27: Mark 6:47-56

Albany Intercessor


Syrian chemical weapons

March 27, 2014

From The Washington Post blog:

Since the start of the year about half of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons have been shipped out of the war-ravaged country, with vessels from the United States, Norway and Denmark ferrying consignments to several European locations hosting special land-based disposal facilities.
The most contentious part of the project, however, includes a plan to neutralize some 20 tons of mustard gas and neurotoxic agents in international waters between Gavdos, a tiny island off the shore of Crete, and Malta, on board a 648-foot U.S vessel acting as a mobile station for destroying chemical weapons. Under the international agreement, Russian naval vessels have been enlisted to guide and mind the sea-based destruction on board the U.S container ship MV Cape Ray — a part of the project that has been call off for the time being.
If the sanctions that Washington recently imposed on Moscow intensify, experts warn that the added strain in U.S-Russian relations could impact how Russia will chooses to influence — or not — what Syria does the rest of its chemical arsenal.

Father, we thank You that approximately half of the chemical weapons have been moved from Syria. You are our strong deliverer.
More, dear Lord. Move more, we pray. Amen.

Previous prayers here.


Music for Lent – Deliver Me From Me

March 26, 2014

I found myself thinking of this song from Margaret Becker when I woke up this morning. It’s a good Lenten prayer, a heart-cry for deliverance and greater freedom in Christ.

I’m so aware of my sin and the weakness of my flesh right now. I’m so longing for the day when I will be blameless, spotless and pure to stand before the Father. Thanks be to God, through Christ’s sacrifice and God’s grace to me and through faith in Jesus, the Father sees Christ’s righteousness in me NOW! He no longer counts my sin against me. But I’m still all too aware of it, and cry out for deliverance and purification and greater freedom to die to myself and be transformed, to live as a new creation in Christ….

Anyway, here are the lyrics to the song:

I was just about to tell You
What I’m sure You already know
How my throat is tight with crying
Yet my soul is arctic blue

‘Cause I’ve seen some tears that didn’t move me
Whispered words I didn’t mean
Held back all my love for anger
Grown so weak in all these things
So in all these things

Deliver me from me
And deliver me to You
Come and set me free
Come and find me tried and true
Come on now
Deliver me from me

I was just about to run away
As far as far could go
When I recognized the cruelest captors
Living right inside my soul

And I can’t escape their endless movements
Cannot shed them like a skin
Can’t control all these emotions
Cannot live while they’re within
So in all these things

Bridge:  And now I’m falling, falling
‘Cause there’s nowhere else that I can go
Dreaming of Your arms of mercy
They are soft as the new winter snow

Deliver me from me
And deliver me to You
Come and set me free
Find me tried and true
Come on now, come on now
Deliver me, deliver me from me

Songwriters:  BECKER/SCHOTT

The song is from Margaret Becker’s 1998 album Falling Forward


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