Tag Archive: easter


DAY 21ish

This is a follow on from yesterday and so if you didn’t do that one you will need to backpedal a day and catchup. The challenge was to reflect and write something down. Or create something.

Task: Today’s task is simply to share what you came up with yesterday with someone – can be in the comments section on today’s blog which would be great, but if it was more personal then pick someone close to you who you trust and let them see what you came up with.

i will share what i came up with in the car on the way to the memorial service i attended. I decided to reflect on God but for some reason this piece on the space between rebirth and resurrection came to me.

Death.
Always necessary for rebirth.
Never fun though.
Certainly not something you look forward to.
Except maybe in an ‘I know this is going to be good for me’ kind of way.

Waiting, in the post-death pre-resurrection stage
In anticipation, holding onto every hope
That this is indeed going to turn out ok
Hoping that the belief that has fueled you this far will not prove futile.

The moments in between seem to take forever
Having a life journey almost of their own
Eternity whispering, beckoning, calling.

Take a moment, though, before rushing off to this next new thing
Really be in this inbetween moment and all that it has to offer you
Invest in this quiet and stress free space you have been gifted 
Not so much to be doing the doing but to stretch out beyond that
Inviting God to draw close and fill in the spaces
That have opened up both in and around your life.
You are free to truly be.

Sometimes when we read something, we can miss the fullness of what is there, so take a moment to read through it again, and see if there was something you might have missed…

D eath.
A lways necessary for rebirth.
N ever fun though.
C ertainly not something you look forward to.
E xcept maybe in an ‘I know this is going to be good for me’ kind of way.

W aiting, in the post-death pre-resurrection stage
I n anticipation, holding onto every hope
T hat this is indeed going to turn out ok
H oping that the belief that has fueled you this far will not prove futile.

T he moments in between seem to take forever
H aving a life journey almost of their own
E ternity whispering, beckoning, calling.

T ake a moment, though, before rushing off to this next new thing
R eally be in this inbetween moment and all that it has to offer you
I nvest in this quiet and stress free space you have been gifted 
N ot so much to be doing the doing but to stretch out beyond that
I nviting God to draw close and fill in the spaces
T hat have opened up both in and around your life.
Y ou are free to truly be.

 

Hope to see some of what else has been created. Thank you for sharing in advance.

[For the next observance of Lent post, click here]

DAY 19ish

As we start a new week, let us continue to really spend some time each day observing the Lent period leading up to Easter as we prepare for the reminder of what Jesus’ death and resurrection means to our day to day lives.

Task: Read through and meditate on the lyrics of this Tim Hughes worship song [featuring Brooke Fraser] and then give it a listen, remembering a time [it may be now] when you had to cling to the cross. 

Clinging to the Cross

My soul is weak
My heart is numb
I cannot see
But still my hope is found in You
I’ll hold on tightly
You will never let me go
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

Even darkness is as light to You, my Lord
So light the way and lead me home
To that place where every tear is wiped away
For Jesus, You will never fail
Jesus, You will never fail

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

What a Saviour, what a story
You were crucified but now You are alive
So amazing, such a mystery
You were crucified but now You are alive

Simply to the cross i cling
Letting go of all earthly things
Clinging to the cross
Mercy’s found a way for me
Hope is here as i am free
Jesus, You are all i need
Clinging to the cross

[for the next day’s observance of Lent, click here]

lent

DAY 15ish

received this in an email from someone i don’t really know so well on the book of faces and figured it was a good reflection to have on this day:

Task: Join with me in praying this Lent Prayer “Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

JOHN 11 Jesus then said, “I am the one who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die. And everyone who lives because of faith in me will never really die. Do you believe this?”

Let us Pray: O God, who delights in innocence and restores it, direct the hearts of your servants to yourself, that, caught up in the fire of your Spirit, we may be found steadfast in faith and effective in works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. AMEN

[For the next post – day 16ish – of Lent observance, click here]

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DAY 10-12

It is the weekend, and tbV and Aaron and Sarah and myself are having to Yosemite for the weekend to stay in a Yurt [look it up!], and it might be partially enforced for us, but I want to encourage you to try this for a couple of hours, or a day, or if you’re really feeling brave, the whole weekend.

Task: unplug yourself from the screens…

Turn off the television, step away from the computer screen, leave your phone completely off. Create a space this weekend to head outdoors for a long period of time, maybe with other people. Go for a walk or head to the nearest park of have a decently long drive.

Bake something and go and share it with a friend of drop it off with someone you know who may be going through a tough time at the moment. Grab some bats and head to the beach for a game. Invite some friends round for an evening’s worth of board games. Grab some instruments and have a worship jam.

I would love to hear what you get up to. Take time this weekend to consider how much space and time you give to the screens in your life and whether that it a good thing or not, or whether there might be some people who you would be better off giving face time to.

[For the next Observance day of Lent, click here]

40 Days of Lent: Day 9

DAY 9

Task: Read through and pray this prayer of humility

[taking time on each line to let it sink in and really mean it as you speak it,and if possible i would suggest that you find a space where you can speak it out loud so you can hear the words as you say them]

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated [have false and defamatory statements made about me], Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

[composed by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val]

[For the next post inviting you to a weekend of Lenting, click here]

Welcome to the Lent experience… it’s not too late to join in…

Each day for 40 days i will be posting a suggestion to give you an action or focus point or challenge for the day as we head towards Easter time and want to spend the time meaningfully by focusing more on who God is and what He did, learning to love people more deeply and slowing down from the busyness and caught-up-ness of our day to day.

If you are up for joining me in this, please simple leave your name and say some version of “I’m in!” on the Intro blog i posted, in the comments section.

DAY 2

Task: Create a 5 minute space of silence where you unplug, move somewhere less frenetic and just be.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So really move away from phones and computer screens [if not now, then make a time during the day to do so] and get outside if you can and find a spot that is not necessarily quiet but is specifically removed from the busyness of life.

And for today i have a bit of a meditation planned, but i encourage you to insert this 5 minutes of stopping and just being for the whole rest of these 40 days – it will change your life! If you have a lunch break at school or work or even home then you might want to combine that with this.

If you can print this out or grab your Bible and read it rather, from Psalm 46, then do that and meditate on it.

1 God is our refuge and strength,

    an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    He lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations He has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    He burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Especially verse 10:

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Take time to know. To realise. To remember. To speak to. To think about. To listen to. To be awestruck by. To call on. To rage at. To praise. To invite.

Easter is approaching…

[For Day 3 of the Lent series, click here]

bestill

i feel like the previous few Easters have kind of passed me by with not too much impact – being the easily recognised dreadlock wearing Easter Bunny at the Simple Way is all i can remember and i’m not sure where i was the year before but in the middle of preparation to leave for the Simple Way and so life was a fair bit chaotic…

the last Easter that comes to mind was when my good buddy Mark Baker encouraged us to watch ‘The Passion of the Christ’ by Mel Gibson with our Sunday nite enGAGE congregation in Stellenbosch. i feel like i might have initially done it more to humour him than because i thought it was a good idea, but remember being powerfully affected again by the very violent depiction of Jesus’ flogging and death [i really feel like the cross can become this fluffy comfortable symbol we hold to but lose all meaning of if we forget the very violence and real sacrifice it depicts]

the stations of the cross

so as we started heading towards Easter in Oakland i really wanted it to be meaningful and so spent some time this week reading the end of John’s Gospel and some of Jesus’ last acts, words and prayers. last nite we jumped at the chance to join some new friends of ours to head to a church for a ‘stations of the cross’ experience where we walked around in small groups [we joined a family of five with three cool young kids] and then read scripture, reflected and did an action and a prayer connected to different aspects of Jesus last week leading up to His death.

i find it interesting that when the one station invited us to kiss the figure of Jesus on the cross [i chose not to] that it felt more weird for me than later when we were asked to spit at the figure of Jesus on the cross [i chose not to do that either, but more following the lead of Val] – as if the betrayal hidden behind a kiss seems somehow so much worse than the outwardly open betrayal of showing your true colours through spitting.

[i wonder if that is because i can’t think of any time in my life when i have outwardly or openly joined the crowd in being against Jesus in any way or form, but there are countless times where my innocent looking actions have shown a deeper betrayal in what has been going on in my heart or somewhere else behind the scenes. a subtle hypocritical betrayal somehow feels so much worse… and so time and time again i hear the cock crow and have that moment of looking up and seeing Jesus’ eyes pierce through me as i realise once again i have done that which i said i never would, and i end up behind a wall somewhere crying out as Jesus is lead once more to the cross by my actions]

Pilate washes his hands

Pilot’s washing of his hands affected me deeply as it did my wife Val [which you can, and should, read here] as i took it on myself to explain it to the children who were with us, specifically Kayla, the oldest daughter. the idea of “making no decision” because the decision you know you should make has consequences which just feel too extreme for you. being reminded that ‘making no decision’ is always making a decision.

apartheid. racism. violence towards women. rape culture. discrimination. abortion. being reminded that ‘making no decision’ is always making a decision.

there are so many aspects to this story. i hope that you will make time this Easter time in the busyness of it all to slow down and choose a moment, or moments, to meditate on. and then reflect against the daily living out of your life. has what Jesus did on the cross affected your day to day life in any way, shape or form?

the story of this week, two thousand years ago, affects me on a daily basis. it is so good to be reminded of that. and to live it out well.

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