Good Friday.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

I made the cross, in the picture above, when I was in high school.  Though I don’t get to do it often, one of my joys in life is messin’ around with clay and ceramics. Anyway,  I chose to do the crucifixion for my father not for myself or because of a deep desire for what the crucifixion meant to me. No, something told me as a 17 year old that he would have a great appreciate for it, so I did it for him. The irony in this is just beautiful. Who knew years later that I would be headed off to college to get my bible studies degree and then later on in life be a pastor’s wife!! Man, I would love to have it for my home one day, but until then I will continue to see it hanging on his office wall above his computers.

Growing up, I somewhat grasped the idea of Easter and the importance of going to church on Easter Sunday.  We even went to church services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Looking back, I am thankful for my upbringing and my parents for pushing the season of Lent in our family.   I told our Thrive group at our home last night that my catholic side comes out during Holy Week and I just have to talk about it.  I want to hear the story over and over.

As we enter the weekend and as many will gather this Sunday for services all over the world, my prayer for us is that we would experience a revival inside of us that would change not only our own lives, but the lives around us.  Our marriages, our families, our workplaces, our churches, our neighborhoods, our towns.  I pray the Father would pour out his love on us and we catch a new sense of the power of the resurrection in our lives.

Little did I know that I would be pondering on this ceramic crucifixion today and be moved greatly by what God has done in my life, for what He is doing, and what He will be doing.  Thankfulness, appreciation, and love comes flooding in and it brings me to a place of worship. Worship, my friends, is the posture we must be in over these next  3 days. Worshiping the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Come Father, have mercy on us.  Come and be alive within us and around us.  Let us experience the power and the healing presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in a mighty way.

If you have 8 minutes today, watch the video below.  Its a good one.

A deep breath….

Take a deep breath…….. well, that is what I tell myself today. As I began to absorb myself in the story of Jesus and the cross. I can feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit to allow myself to get lost in the story and let all the soberness and the quiet to come and settle in.

I recently had a conversation with my husband, Jonas, about my thoughts on Holy Week. I am pretty sure I gave him much more than he wanted. He wanted the short version rather than the long version, HA. Well, I just couldn’t express the deep feeling of importance in me in just 3 sentences.

Over these last 6 to 7 years, I have felt the Lord drawing my attention the days leading up to Holy Week and calling me to slow down, dive into the stories of Jesus and pay close attention. I can feel it in my chest, the tension and the importance of these days. It’s like the Lord is gripping me and saying “Don’t miss it, lean in.” I said to Jonas, that to me, Holy Week is the biggest and most important week of all the year. Yes, I am a huge fan of holidays, birthdays, and gatherings for celebrations, but there is just something about this week for me. It’s the pausing of my life, my desires, and needs, my attention for the sake of His story and what He did for me and for this world. The death and resurrection of Jesus is everything of our faith and if there is one week out of my whole year, its this week that I want to be fully reminded and fully attentive to the Holy Spirit and his revealing of truth.

As I was praying today the Lord highlighted this scripture.

James 4:7-10

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Come close to God and God will come close to you. That is my word for today. Choosing to draw close and allowing my free time, my conversations with others, my moments of thoughts to be surround by His story and His voice. Yes, this can come across as yes peasy, but its not my friends. I am choosing to do the difficult in the midst of my busyness to lean in and focus in. I encourage you, wherever you are to pause and lean in to the scriptures; the story of Jesus leading to the cross and resurrection.

Don’t put it off, not these next couple of days, I tell myself. Because if not, I will miss it.

Back to the beginning….

Back to the beginning, Let’s adjust the lighting, Illuminate the whole thing (lyrics from a song, Bright ones)

This is where I sit, at the beginning of a journey I know I am supposed to venture on but have instead chose to sit on the bench looking down the road of this so called journey.  Having been caught up in my head, I am ever wondering where it might lead or what I might experience along the way. Have you ever felt this way or have ever found yourself in a place of mundane or stuckness? Where you are thinking of everything around but actually not doing anything?  Doing…..that means for me getting off of the bench and start walking.  Walking towards the purpose God has set before me.

As we embark on Holy Week, I find myself balancing the need to control my surroundings, my children (HA), my actions, my decisions with the need to pause, reflect, and focus on the story of Jesus.  Especially this week. The grand tension of meeting our own needs and our need for a savior. I don’t know about you but this day I am choosing to sit at the cross like a little kid sits and listens to a story being told.  With my feet crossed and dialed in to the storyteller, I am leaning into the story of Jesus this week and I hope you will to.

As I start taking the steps on my journey of finding my purpose again, I pray the Father will meet you where you are today and stir in your heart, mind, and spirit whatever it is He wants to reveal to you.  Let’s be open to him friends. Come Holy Spirit.