Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 38

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 37

Transformed Lives by Christin Wallace

This story of Jesus, like so many, is inspiring. His strength and his cool, calm, and collected attitude are clearly shown. That is not me. I am an anxious person who is eager to please, but that is not who Jesus was. He was righteous above all else and yet he did not act that way. He asked questions to try and understand. He was patient and kind and willing to do hard things for the good of the kingdom.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 36

The Challenge by Hannah Elhard

“You look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place for you in my word.”

As the audience in this passage does, it is easy for us to disregard this passage. Make ourselves separate, “I would never KILL Jesus. This passage doesn’t apply to me.” But are there other ways to understand the word “kill” here rather than the literal death?

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 33

The Art of Waiting by Hannah Elhard

An excerpt from ​Oh The Places You’ll Go

Everyone is just waiting
For a train to go or a bus to come
Or a plane to go or the mail to come                                                                                        Or the rain to go or the phone to ring                                                                                      Or the snow to snow or waiting around For a Yes or a No
Or waiting for their hair to grow                                                                                        Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
Or waiting for wind to fly a kite
Or waiting around for a Friday Night
Or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake                                                                                    Or a pot to boil or a Better Break
Or a string of pearls or a pair of pants                                                                                        Or a wig with curls or Another Chance.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 31

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.

Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 30

The Lord is Our Keeper by Charlie Kneer

Whether it is easy to admit or not, we all need help. However, so often we solve our own needs with the resources we have…time, money, the internet. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that all we have is a gift of God’s grace. It is so easy to forget that while we sleep and while our loved ones sleep, it is God that keeps our lives.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 29

A Life Raft by Hannah Elhard

My mother’s family are all Roman Catholics. My Nana is especially devout, attending daily mass like clockwork. She kneels to pray beside her bed every morning and every night before bed. She has done this for as long as anyone in the family can remember, going on 60 years. Part of her daily morning prayers is the Magnificat, the canticle drawn directly from this text in Luke.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 28

Where In Your Life Do You Need Healing? by Pastor John

When I lead one of Stone Village’s life groups, I always ask the question, “Where in your life do you need healing?”  It feels like a simple, straightforward question to me; a question most people would be capable of answering with ease. Some participants do answer the question quickly. Others though are clearly unsettled by the question, possibly embarrassed to name those facets of  life in need of healing or perhaps, simply unwilling to reflect upon the brokenness of their life.

Where in your life do you need healing?”

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 24

Moved to A Place of Silence by Heather Monkmeyer

In the chapter leading up to this passage, Jesus is in the temple and different groups of religious scholars are taking turns trying to entrap him in arguments that range from paying taxes to resurrection.  Here, a scribe who seems to respect Jesus, asks him a legitimate question, not about a peripheral issue, but about core things.  What is the most important commandment of all the commandments?  And Jesus tells him:  Love God with everything in you and love the people in front of you.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 23

A Lost Child by Beata Gray

I remember a day when I was shopping at Walmart with my two youngest children.  Tennison was 5 years old and Montgomery was 3 years old.  They insisted that they wanted to walk beside the cart and promised to stay beside me.  While I was deciding on frozen vegetables, Montgomery decided to go to the end of the aisle and hide around the corner.  It was less than a minute, not even 30 seconds that my eyes were not on him, and just like that, he was gone.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 22

Desired Outcome by Mark Matson

In all organizations there are rules that all on the team are expected to live by.  Leaders are expected to communicate them, most importantly, by personal example.  The rules of engagement tell us what the expected behavior is on whatever team we are on.  The rules are there to align the members of the team optimize their collective ability to achieve a desired outcome.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 21

Finding Forgiveness by Scott Anderson

My first job as a lawyer was prosecuting sex crimes against children.  The cases were spiritually draining and emotionally wrenching.  During interviews with young, female victims, I was forced to look past the desk photo of my own little daughter.  Victimhood became less a legal status than a lived reality.  And with victimhood implanted in my mind, I found evil sprouting everywhere.  Everyone became a possible perpetrator or a potential victim.  Everyone was about to do wrong or to be wronged.

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Lenten Devotional Series 2020: Day 19

To Be Known and Loved by Pastor John

She has a history. Things done and left undone, some good some not so good. Guilts and regrets. Fears. Wounds and sorrows. I suspect she has secrets too.

Study the history of this text, read the commentaries, listen to the interpretations and you will learn that her past is generally seen as one of promiscuity. The evidence? Five spouses, and now living unmarried with a sixth man. She’s looked at yet not seen. She’s labeled yet nameless. She remains unknown to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Jesus.

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