First Sunday of Lent 2017 Thoughts

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, this line from a powerful hymn still tells of the strength available to us in our time of temptation.

I’m no scholar or theologian but for me a good definition of sin is anything that takes me away from serving God. I am very aware of my greatest temptations in my daily life.  There are big and little battles to be fought.  And we can’t fight them all at one time either.  Some may be easy enough to be handled throughout the day with no more effort than to be aware of what I say.  Others have malicious roots deeply embedded in my being and require major effort.

While I work on watching what I say, I remind myself not to be critical of people I see in passing and what I say in everyday conversations so I avoid gossip.  Wouldn’t I be a much worse person than anyone I could possibly speak poorly of?  Whoever I encounter daily, passing by on the streets or while shopping, have their own burdens to bare and behaviors to deal with, so who am I to judge them?

We listened to a good lesson today – The Temptation of Jesus from Matthew chapter 4. How can any of us hope to not be tempted by sin if our Lord Jesus wasn’t exempt!  And how did Jesus respond each time?  “It is written”.  That makes me realize I need to be reading and studying the Scriptures more so I can keep them front and center in my thoughts.  We are closer to God when we hear his Word.

“The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”  quoted from Matthew chapter 4:10.

This is something I was taught early on at church.  At the beginning of the reading of the Holy Gospel I make a little sign of the cross in 3 places.  First on my forehead, then my lips and my heart.  In my head I say at each corresponding spot to remind me to keep these words ‘in my mind’, on my lips’, and ‘in my heart’.

Pastor used a tale of an Indian brave and a snake to illustrate how easily we can get fooled by temptation to sin.  The idea is that the little brave believed the lie the snake told him and got bit.  “You knew what I was when you picked me up”, said the snake.  Temptation is always a lie.  The promises are alluring, filling us with desire for something we have no business with.

What temptations are you struggling with today?  From where does your help come?  Share yours, if you will.  I’ll share mine next time too.

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New Life–Preparing for Easter

I’ve missed most of the Wednesday night studies at church for Lent due to my work schedule.  I did get to go last night.  The talk is on the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelations from John, not St. John, not John the Baptist, but a John.  Having only the Wednesdays during Lent, we won’t get very far but the pastor may set up a Study for any of us who are interested  – I’m interested.

So, Lent is the time to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the resurrection of the Son of God. A time of renewal. The emergence of spring. I’ve started to see some dragonflies over the canal and look for any alligators who might have come to spend a while. I can’t help but wish Joey was here to watch with me. I still miss him so much. And I know I always will. I work at remembering that he is free of the pain of life he lived and is now a new being in the Love of God. His spirit is part of us all who knew him and loved him. I give my sorrow and my feelings of loss over to the belief that he is now beyond this life we are tied to here on Earth.

One thought that keeps me going is the new life that grows within my granddaughter. Our baby girl is due the end of July and this is an event we are so looking forward to being a part of. My little granddaughter is in need of maternity clothing, especially scrubs for work. I made her a dress, planning on summer months ahead, and have started sewing a scrub top for her.

Dear daughter and I are busy in the stamp room making Easter cards.DSCN2232easterj I used the sketch challenge from Splitcoast for the layout of this card tonight.