"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

COME MY BELOVED: SURRENDER to the KING

WHO WILL BE MY 10,000th VISITOR? ... it's coming soon ... let me know if it's YOU!
[I don't know how I can do a "prize or give away" but it's gotta be worth something. Thinking? Praying! Praising & listening to music! It happened at 1:00 P.M. Sunday, March 1st which is 3 PM(EST) 2 PM (CT)...it was someone from OHIO. If that's you, can you let me know? I have an idea of who it is. It almost was Denise, from TN, she faithfully visits and deserves to be the one.]

SUPER SUNDAY will be hosted by Beth@ The Power of Your Love for now. THANK YOU ALL!
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Welcome beloved sisters in Christ, friends, visitors and readers of



       ABC's of the Word, 


IMPORTANT NOTE: Trust me I did not just throw these all together...it took much time & prayerful thought. If you don't have the TIME right now to read all of this (I do understand), please just checkout whatever you are here for: my WFWs & verses in red, or my "C" verse for ABC's of the Words in green, or my song for TSMSS but please be sure to make a point to come back in the next 40 days & read ALL of this ! It will be here. It has important info from me and I truly appreciate your time in reading it all at some point. Thank you so much!


MY (1st) WFW *
(prayer words on graphic read)
Lent
Lord God, By Your Word
Fill me with 
a spirit of repentance and forgiveness
a spirit of hope and trust
a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving
a spirit of love and servanthood
a spirit of discipleship and commitment
a spirit of obedience and humility

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

What is "LENT"? and what is the purpose for me?


The word Lent comes from Anglo Saxon times which means "spring". The word "Lent" is apparently derived from the Old English lencten, which means "lengthen." It refers to the lengthening of the daylight hours that occurs in the northern hemisphere as spring approaches. It is in this period of transition from late winter to early spring that the season of Lent falls. In Latin, Lent is quadragesima which means forty days. In Greek, it is tessarakoste (fortieth), a word formed on the analogy of Pentecost (pentekoste).


For many centuries Christians have made these 40 days between Ash Wednesday, which is today and Easter Sunday (minus the Sundays), a special time of preparation to celebrate the mystery of God's boundless love in Jesus. 

For me, the reality and remembrance of Good Friday and Christ's Passion in death has always been too horrendous yet the wonder of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday, is TOO GLORIOUS to understand but we have HOPE in HIS VICTORY over sin and death, which is the reason I have decided to make  every effort to ready my heart and draw closer to Him

Lent, like the thaw between winter and spring, is a time of preparation. It's a season when we are invited to prepare the soil of our lives for growth.


My 2nd WFW:

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:6

One really great way to prepare is to set aside the better part of one whole day in order to be with the Lord for it is the Spirit of the Lord who knows best how to prepare our hearts.

Many of you may not know that I was raised and educated through college in the Roman Catholic Church and almost completed a major in Theology. For reasons, I will not go into, I have changed from the Catholic church to an Evangelical Church to a Pentecostal Church. Many of my beliefs are rooted in that upbringing, but through His Holy Spirit in  my inner being, I am being rooted and established in the love of Jesus Christ and His Spirit in me.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,..." 
Ephesians 3:16-18

Because of my Catholic upbringing, many of the liturgical ideas & traditions have been engrained. The one that is most impactful are these 40 days of Lent until Holy Week and the celebration of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday, which I need to keep forefront in my mind rather than the concept of guilt, shame and penance. 

Lent is a season of intensified self-examination and repentance. While these practices are part of regular Christian life year-round, we give them special attention during Lent to assure they do not devolve into mere rote activities.  I do believe still that the disciplines established during this time set aside, are very important and not enough people have an understanding of them, or the "whys" and "hows".

The duration of the season of Lent is based on the ancient church custom of requiring catechumens (converts to Catholicism) to undergo a forty-day period of doctrinal instruction and fasting before being baptized on the evening before Easter.This probationary period was called the quarantine (from the Latin word for forty). 

The number forty occurs frequently in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.The number 40 holds particular significance in the Bible and refers to a precise number, not just a long period of time. There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where 40 occurs, either in years or days.

It signifies the time that is required for discipline, testing, and separation prior to achieving a goal or new beginning.  For example, we read in the Old Testament that it rained forty days and nights during the Great Flood (Genesis 7:12), Moses communed with God on Mount Sinai for forty days before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:18), the people of Israel were forced to wander in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 14:33-34), Elijah journeyed for forty days before he reached the cave at Horeb and had a vision of God (1 Kings 19:8-9), and the inhabitants of Nineveh fasted and repented for forty days in response to the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:4-5). 

The outstanding instances of the number forty in the New Testament are the account of Christ's ordeal in the desert fasting, praying, and being tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13) and His various appearances to the apostles and others between His resurrection and ascension during which He strengthened their faith and prepared them for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3).


A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.

Thankfully, God is consistent, so the meaning of a number in Genesis remains the same all the way to the book of Revelation. Sometimes the spiritual significance is not revealed directly, but in the case of "40" and its many examples throughout the Bible, we can be certain of its importance and significance. Perhaps you have noticed that many Bible studies or challenges are written for 40 days: The Love Dare, The Purpose Driven Life.

Because this year for 2009, I have PURPOSED in my heart and life to draw closer to Our Lord through daily Bible reading, memorization, prayer...etc., and as a young Catholic child, I learned that during these 40 days, we are to "give up something". The typical childlike surrender was "give up" candy because on Easter, we will be rewarded with a great basket of candy. 

Through the years, and most recently, I have better learned what this discipline was all about. SURRENDER is a life long lesson that each of us must learn. When we lay something down at the altar, give it up, surrender it to God and announce we want change, too many times, we hold on to the last thread (hoping no one notices). God does and He gently wants to open our hands, so we let it go completely surrendered to Him.

In the Catholic church, throughout our history, the season of Lent was intended to be a time of PRAYER, FASTING & ALMSGIVING, a time of self denial and giving up "Indulgences" (meaning things we indulge: weakness in gratifying our own desires or another's pampering). It is so easy to get comfortable or accustomed to living with certain "indulgences" and take so much for granted in our daily living. Living in another country, you begin to appreciate ALL you have.

But the reason for the sacrifice is SPIRITUAL GROWTH. Lent is a chance for Christian's to replace their daily "here-and-now" moments with moments of prayer and reflection. Lent observed for 40 days before Easter, and through self-discipline, Christians are able to train themselves not to focus on their bodies, but to focus on their spiritual relationship with God through Bible study and devotion.

When a person commits to fasting or abstaining from specific pleasures, the time that would have normally been spent eating should be spent in prayer. People can use Lent to build their strength by giving up a temptation for forty days and replacing that weakness with strength. When a person craves the food they have given up for lent, they see that craving as a reminder for prayer.

Some Christians commit to give up a pleasurable activity or dedicate themselves to charitable giving.  Focus on prayer and devotions are also especially emphasized during Lent.  But even though our Lord recommends and comments on the Lenten disciplines of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-18), these practices can easily become legalistic rituals that are centered inwardly on the self rather than outwardly on Christ. 

If during Lent Christians choose to give up something or rededicate themselves to helping those in need as a way to proclaim the salvation Christ has won for all by His suffering and death, then such activities are sacrifices that glorify God.  However, it is essential to remember that nothing we do through self-denial or good works can ever earn the Lord's forgiveness or repay Him for what He accomplished for us or earn our way to Heaven.

Lent is not about our giving up something to please God. 

Lent is about what Jesus Christ gave up to pay the penalty for the sins of the world -- His holy and innocent life. 

Today, being ASH WEDNESDAY... and being in a very Catholic nation, Mexico, I can't help but be reminded of the words spoken as Catholics receive the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ashes, "Remember (wo)man that Thou art dust, and into dust thou shall return." Symbolizing getting ready to trade worldly gifts for spiritual gifts. 

Ash Wednesday is a day of solemn assembly that is built right into the church year. With public mourning for our sin and the sin of all humanity before God, on this day we request that the Lord remember our creation and breathe new life into our burned-out, dusty lives once more. 

My key verse that I chose for my blog on the very first day I initiated Amazing Grace, Mazes, Messes, Miracles in April 2008, is from Isaiah 61 and I didn't really understand why that verse was impressed upon me to use. Today, I have a clearer understanding of these words & why:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.         He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 
 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashesthe oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."


So why am I sharing all this?

Many of you have thought about this, even posted about this and some have done "it" for other reasons. Since this is the year, I have chosen to "proclaim the year 2009 of the Lord's favor" and have started out pretty well this year, because of ALL of you, pursuing the LORD more in many ways and encouraging me in HIS WORD, I have decided to use these 40 DAYS of LENT to grow spiritually, just me & the LORD & HIS WORD, in prayer & focus as He directs.

For some reason, I am being led to "give up" BLOGGING ... for 40 DAYS of LENT to focus on HIM

Trust me, it was not easy coming to this decision, nor will it be easy coming back having lost my contact with many of YOU, who really, truly inspire me as Proverbs 27 says "iron sharpens iron". I don't know how many of you keep this up. More power to you! Many of you & the words that you write have been a lifeline to me as well as just getting to know you & share our love for Jesus Christ! I hope you will be here when I return and decide to visit me once again.

ABC's of the WORD
"COME" = to move toward something to arrive at a particular place, end, result or conclusion 

(2 Chronicles 7:14) 
"If my people who are called by my name..."

MEMORY VERSE
COME AWAY MY BELOVED...
Song of Solomon 8:14

Beloved

  "Come away, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains."

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the watersand you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. "
Isaiah 55:1-5


[I had the perfect song for this "COME to the WATER" in my last TSMSS post here.]

Since I am enJOYing reading God's Word through the American Bible Society's plan  "Called to be Free"  and February's focus was "Called to be free to share God's love" (which is really what we all must be doing, and I had this privilege to witness during Mazatlan's Carnaval), I am now looking forward to where God is leading me. 

During March, the focus will be "Called to be free to pray for one another", which is the reason "The Lighthouse of Prayer" was established with a wonderful group of Godly woman as contributors. So I may show up there, on occasion to pray for you. Please make use of this place to leave PRAYERS or prayer requests, where normally it would say "Comments", it says "Prayers Lifted to the Throne of God". We have done this so you do not leave comments but actually prayers or prayer needs, requests, thanks, praises, your daily prayer,etc. ... I've seen many others of you that have added this focus on PRAYER ... Praise God! There can never be enough prayer. So I will be praying with you and for you! This will be a time of much PRAYER!

Easter falls on April 12th this year. I will be returning in time for the April focus of being "CALLED to be FREE to REJOICE in HOPE" which is the reason of EASTER! 

I am looking forward to the RETURN but during this season of self-denial, I will arise with a renewed strength and a renewed peace of mind: RENEWAL, REVIVAL, RESTORATION, in a RELATIONSHIP that REFRESHES my Christian walk and draws me closer to walking with the KING, and hopefully it will be REFLECTED in my earthly RELATIONSHIPS better than ever before ...

I can recall different times in my life that I felt as if I was in a "wilderness" experience or even a "desert" experience, and not by choice. To see myself CHOOSING to enter into this WILDERNESS experience like Jesus, truly is not of me ...but inspired by His Spirit. I only pray and hope that it will REFLECT more of JESUS in me, and I AM AS VICTORIOUS as HE.

"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy....they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God." ~ ISAIAH 35:1-2 

"Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert." ~ Isaiah 35:6  

"A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3

MATTHEW 4

 1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "
 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
 10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "
 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Reminders to help you make your L.E.N.T. better:
Listen, Love, Live, and Laugh. 
Listen more attentively to the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit and act upon them. 
Love more completely and unconditionally as the LORD loves us & commanded us to do.
Live each day to the fullest as if it may be your last and learn from each experience.
Laugh and enjoy the life you have today, because laughter is medicine to your soul.

Exemplify and Encourage one another.
Exemplify by giving witness that your actions and behavior match your words you profess, the transformation of the power of Christ's victory over sin & death in the life of a Christian.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

New Testament time spent in reading and mediating on the passion & death of Christ and your awesome New Life in Him, New identity in Christ Jesus, Nothing to do with you!

Take TIMEOUT, Time to simply "be" in God's Presence, to seek His face and grow in His AMAZING GRACE...


Please be sure to JOIN Amydeanne @ the 160 acrewoods for more wonderful

participants

Come & visit Pam @ Grey Like Snuffie 
for ABC's of the Word on Thursday
Thanks to Amy @ Signs, Miracles and Wonder  for hosting each Saturday
Then Sings My Soul Saturday
and as always I LOVE to end with a SONG!

PSALM 42:1-3 and 11
"1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, "Where is your God?"...
..."Where is your God?"  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,..."



Last personal WFW

View from my home in Minnesota of my hill to my small lake.
From here in Mazatlan meaning "land of the deer"...

Let us thirst for the River of Life as we COME to the waters!

SEE YA' in 40 DAYS! 
Keep me in your prayers & thoughts!

Please Come back in APRIL to Celebrate  EASTER 
with me here @ 
...until then...

I remain your friend in prayer
aMazed by His Grace...
Blessings & Love to each of you,
In Christ's service
"Hasta la vista" y "que Dios te bendiga"
Peggy
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy