Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Lent 2014 begins on
Wednesday, March 5
and ends on
Thursday, April 17
Today is Tuesday, the 25th of February. The season of Lent is FAST approaching and, once again, I am compelled to DIVE IN! I hadn’t thought about Lent in years, until I started following the ministry of an amazing Church in Washington, DC by the name of National Community Church (NCC) (http://theaterchurch.com/). The Senior Pastor of NCC is an amazing Pastor/leader/author by the name of Mark Batterson. (An example of his leadership – this statement sums it up: "It’s not about the name over the door, it’s about the name preached inside." @MarkBatterson#ilikegiving) AMEN!
As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church by an amazing Christian Mother who led my sister and I in the Celebration of Lent. Wikipedia defines Lent as: “The preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the tradition and events of the Bible beginning on Friday of Sorrows, further climaxing on Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, which ultimately culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” NCC celebrates Lent and they motivate ME to want to celebrate Lent.
I remember “giving up” ice cream (or chocolate) for Lent as a child; the “giving up” of something I loved in Jesus’ name (the self-denial part). But it wasn’t until I got older that I started to understand what I believe to be the Spiritual significance of Lent. A time of intense prayer, repentance and study of His Word; creating an unfathomable bond with the God of the Universe.
I am ashamed to admit I have joined NCC in the Celebration of Lent the past couple of years, but didn’t complete the journey. I start off STRONG, COMMITTED, ON FIRE FOR GOD! and slowly, but surely, give up. I want this year to be different. I want to stay committed for the entire journey! I want follow Lent through to completion!
I am going to join Margaret Feinberg – committing to read the entire New Testament during the 40 days of Lent. Would you like to join me (and hold me accountable)? You can read all about it here: Margaret’s blog link: http://margaretfeinberg.com/lentchallenge-read-new-testament-40-days/
I KNOW if WE do this, we will be CHANGED FOREVER!
Grab a copy of the Reading Guide here: http://mar.cta.gs/09s
Margaret will be sharing what God is teaching on her blog #LentChallenge
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I Am Abraham
I have had respect for the 16th President of the United States, President Abraham Lincoln, since I was in Elementary School. I always admired his perseverance, dedication to learning, desire to succeed, and refusal to give up.
When this book arrived in my mail box, I couldn't wait to open the package and get started! They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but I have to disagree when it comes to this book. This book cover is as beautiful as the contents of the book! This fictional story is written so well, it drove me to the internet to conduct research to separate the facts from the fiction of President Lincoln's life.
The story is written so well, I didn't want to put the book down; but with 482 pages, it took me a few days! I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book-you won't be sorry!
I Am Abraham Book Summary:Narrated in Lincoln's own voice, the tragicomic I Am Abraham promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn's remarkable career.
Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President.
Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln's life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley-the former slave, who became the First Lady's dressmaker and confidante-and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.
We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man's-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln's own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America's bloodiest war.
Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln's own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons-Robert, Willie, and Tad-is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn's President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.
Read additional book reviews at the official I Am Abraham blog: http://iamabrahamblogtour.blogspot.com/
Tribute Book Blog FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Books-Blog-Tours/242431245775186
Sunday, February 2, 2014
As I begin this glorious Lord's day, I chose to listen to a current sermon by Heather Zempel (http://www.heatherzempel.com/) entitled Church: The Story. Heather leads the discipleship efforts at National in Washington, DC where she oversees small groups, directs leadership development training, and serves on the weekend teaching team. If you'd like to listen to this sermon too, here's the link: http://theaterchurch.com/media/church/church-the-story. I have posted on Heather before and fear she (and others) may think I have become her stalker! Honestly, I just love her intelligence, passion and story telling ability-not to mention her ministry creativity, dedication to her volunteers/co-workers and loyalty to her senior pastor. I want to be just like her when I grow up (that was a joke - I am WAY OLDER than Heather!)
As I listen to her passionate retelling of Jesus' Words: "Love on another, people will know you by your love of one another," I am, once again, reminded of how VERY important that message is! I love pondering what it must have been like to stand in HIS presence. I have always thought He had an undefined magnitude about Him. If you were blessed to be in His presence, you would FEEL his humility, love, grace, mercy and kindness. To coin a musical phrase, "I can only imagine."
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you may have noticed my promotion of Lisa Harper's latest Bible Study on the book of Hebrews (IF you read my blog, there is NO WAY you could have missed that!) When I asked (begged/pleaded) to be a part of the Lifeway Launch Team, I was joined on-line to 100 other Christian women selected for the same team! What a joy and honor it was to participate! We were united on a private Facebook page on November 6, 2013; I couldn't believe I was one of the women selected.
On November 19th, I read the following post:
"I may not be able to do as much as I hoped for the launch. Our home was destroyed in a tornado Sunday. Life is upside down but God is good. Appreciate your prayers as we try to go in this morning and salvage whatever we can."
These were the pictures she posted that day
I have not been able to get this precious woman or her family off my mind ever since. I asked to become her Facebook friend so I could keep tabs on her life as time went by and so I would know specifically how to pray for her.
I remember what it felt like, a very short time ago, to lose OUR home (September 15, 2012). We faced the same (yet different) situation - losing our home to fire. I can HONESTLY say, reflecting on that time in my life, my faith in humanity was RESTORED and I will forever remember that time in my life as PRECIOUS! I was surrounded by SO MUCH LOVE by my Church family, wonderful friends, co-workers and by individuals I didn't even know. As I sit in my brand new home today, lacking absolutely nothing, I feel DRAWN to this special lady and the desire to help her feel that same feeling of LOVE - but I can't do it alone!
Last night, on Facebook, I asked for her new mailing address. I am feeling LED to shower her with the same LOVE I felt the months that followed or life-changing moment. As a matter of fact, I think I will begin posting some of the amazing stories from that period in my life on my other blog: http://theresahaskinssharinglife.wordpress.com/ (if you'd care to read for fun or if you need your faith in humanity restored!).
If you would like to help, please send me an email (email@example.com) or private Facebook message. I will not release her information without her consent, but will follow up each time I am asked for her information.
I asked for Gift Card recommendations, this was her response: there are many that would work. Target, Walmart, Kohls, Lowes or. Menards. We are not picky restaurant-goers either we like Chilis, Applebee's, Noodles, Chick-Fil-A.
The following picture is her current Facebook Profile Picture: