Create Space this Holy Week (pdfs enclosed)

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On this upcoming Holy Week…. (April 11 – 17, 2022)

I wanted to bless you with this little reflective exercise to enjoy as you abide and draw near to your Saviour!

1. Stations of the Cross …(Scriptures) 

2. Plus, to really deep dive… Passion Week Timeline lays it all out for you in a sequence!

You can download these and use them to reflect on what the Lord did in the last few days of Holy Week for YOUR freedom!

Please forward this to friends for them to enjoy this upcoming season!

Also…
Coming soon!

Stay tuned for an event coming in a couple months for moms and grandmas in discipling their kids to hear God’s voice!

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Blessings on your journey forward!

Merri Ellen Giesbrecht
Certified Life Coach & Spiritual Director


www.merriellen.com

Offering private and group sessions

Moving you from stuck 
…to walking in God’s promises
…and calling for your life.

Love’s Journey to the Cross: Good Friday

Love’s Journey to the Cross – Lent Reflections
Good Friday
God is love, 1 John 4:9

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Image source: cynthiacavanaugh.com

We have been counting down the days of Lent towards Easter Sunday, as we focus on love’s journey to the cross.

How often have you said you were having a bad day or a bad week? Could any of us say we’ve had a week like Christ did… leading up to the cross? Today, we call ‘Good’ Friday… only because we have a Good Father who didn’t spare his own Son, but handed him over to death for all of us to live in freedom!

Do you TRULY know that you can come to God and receive His unconditional love without doing anything to earn it? …Or are you stuck in trying to be good in order to be loved?

Reflect with me on 1 John 4:9…

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

Let me make it more personal for you…

This is how God showed his love to you: He sent his one and only Son for you, that you might live through him.

He chose to live through a horrific, yet Holy week and give His life on a gruesome, but very Good Friday. How can you and I even begin to live our lives in gratitude?

Because of the cross, He invites us to live in freedom. Freedom living is showing His love to others, like a reflection, …much like the moon reflects the sun’s light. The love we show is always, only a reflection of His great love. Matthew 2 calls us to love God, and then to love others. Our love for others comes from our love from God. God is love and we are His.

Let’s pray…

God, You are not simply loving, you ARE love itself. You ARE the source of all perfect love.

Hate sometimes leaks out of our fleshly hearts. Dry it up, Good Father, and help us to see others the way you see them. Live through us, that we may live in freedom, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Originally written for Good Friday, Mar 25-16)

What is Lent? (Journey to the Cross)

How will you journey this Lenten season?

First the background…

The 6 weeks before Easter is called the “Lenten Season”. It’s a time to focus on Christ’s sacrifice of death for our life. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we too can rise and enjoy heaven forever when we put our trust in Him.

LENT is a process of prayer and spiritual renewal. The Lenten season focuses on dying to our self and living for Him. Often Christians will fast from something in order to rely less on other things and rely more on Him.

The word ‘lent’ means ‘lengthen’ and stands for the time in Spring when the days grow longer. The original period of Lent was 40 hours, and was spent fasting to remember the suffering of Christ and the 40 hours He spent in the tomb. In the early 3rd century, it was lengthened to 6 days and then 36 days (36 being the tithe or tenth of the 365 days of the year). About 800 AD it changed to 40 days (or 46 if you include all the Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday).

In many traditions, Lent is a time for cleaning, in preparation for Easter and Spring. First your soul, then your kitchen, then the rest of the house was cleansed and purified of the past year’s accumulations. Old clothes are mended, or given away, new clothes are purchased. In the Ukraine, houses were whitewashed inside and out during Lent. In this way, everything was made ready to face the season of Salvation and Rebirth. Traditions of ‘spring cleaning’ stem from this.

I’ve been prompted to choose the following Lenten Focus:

Read Matthew 5 daily for every 40 days (Reflective reading)

Make a Gratitude list – daily

Pray for others I see as I walk

Choose forgiveness daily

I will also be taking my family through reflections on Jesus’ journey to the cross.

What will you set aside, get rid of and focus on in order to set your eyes on Jesus, His love and sacrifice for you?

 

 

Lenten Reading for the Fifth Sunday in Lent:

Light three candles.

God wants people to live a full life. And the only way we can is by following his instructions. So he gave us his Word, his written Word, to make very clear to us where our life comes from and how we can keep it.

BUT again and again we think our ideas are better than God’s. And we turn from life to death.

Psalm 19:7-11; Daniel 9:4-11

1. Read the passages above slowly. (Click on the passages for the link.)
2. Linger with them quietly.
3. Ask God what He is saying to you and how He invites you to respond.
4. Write out or say a prayer back to Him.
5. Thank Him for His message to you today.

Snuff out one candle. Do not light again until Easter Sunday.

Hold on, it gets better… His rescue plan would change history forever. He would bring justice for you and me.

More reflections to come…

Sources: Some of my own and some adapted from Noel Piper, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lenten-lights

Lenten Reading for the Fourth Sunday in Lent:

Light four candles before reading.

Even before the world was created, God knew that Jesus would be the Way, the Truth and the Life for all who believed in him. But God didn’t just ignore his people then, waiting until the time came for Jesus. No, he gave them a way to be forgiven. If they offered sacrifices from a heart of worship, they could renew their friendship with God as they proved their reliance on him.

BUT people did not rely on God. Some did not follow his way of sacrifice and worship. And there was an even deeper problem. Many may have followed the outward ritual, but they didn’t trust God in their hearts. They didn’t love him. They didn’t live lives that reflected his glory.

Leviticus 1:1-4; Psalm 51:16-17; Jeremiah 7:21-28

1. Read the passages above slowly. (Click on the passages for the link.)
2. Linger with them quietly.
3. Ask God what He is saying to you and how He invites you to respond.
4. Write out or say a prayer back to Him.
5. Thank Him for His message to you today.

Snuff out one candle. Do not light again until Easter Sunday.

Hold on, it gets better… His rescue plan would change history forever. He would bring justice for you and me. Need a sneak peek?

He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
and rescues me…
You hold me safe…”

(Reflect more on Psalm 18…)

More reflections to come…

Sources: Some of my own and some adapted from Noel Piper, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lenten-lights

Lenten Reading for the Third Sunday in Lent:

Light five candles before reading.

Usually God holds back his anger over sin. But one time he let it loose, so we would know how serious it is to turn our backs away from God and toward the darkness, and so we would know how great his wrath is against sin.

BUT he did not totally destroy his creation. He showed us his mercy, through Noah.

Genesis 6-9

1. Read the passage above slowly. (Click on the passages for the link.)
2. Linger with it quietly.
3. Ask God what He is saying to you and how He invites you to respond.
4. Write out or say a prayer back to Him.
5. Thank Him for His message to you today.

Snuff out one candle. Do not light again until Easter Sunday.

Hold on, it gets better… His rescue plan would change history forever. He would bring justice for you and me…

More reflections to come…

Sources: Some of my own and some adapted from Noel Piper, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lenten-lights

Follow Jesus on the Stations of the Cross

Follow Jesus on the Stations of the Cross
Enter a Gospel Scene to Participate in Resurrection Life

I came across this wonderful reflection from Bill Gaultiere ~ SoulShepherding.org and passed it along to our worship pastor for help in crafting actual stations of the cross put up in our church. However, I will be using it alone this holy week while I’m on sabbatical. I plan to go through it in nature on my own prayer walk. The instructions are more thorough. I love it’s focus…

Two Crosses!
This devotional practice includes two crosses: Jesus’ and the disciple’s. Again and again Jesus said that the two go together: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). Yet, most Christians focus only on what Christ did for them at the cross and not their response of taking up their own cross and so they miss out on the life of Christ with them in their daily life.

To get the pdf copy, visit this link: http://www.soulshepherding.org/2011/04/follow-jesus-on-the-stations-of-the-cross/