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Holy Week Prayers :: Thursday


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Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Holy Week Prayers :: Wednesday


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Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday Collect BCP

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Holy Week Prayers :: Tuesday


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O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday Collect BCP

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Holy Week Prayers :: Monday


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Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday Collect BCP

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Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem (From my app of Eastern Orthodox prayers)

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed are Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

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Lent 2014 // Ash Wednesday


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Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness and resorted to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.

This is the from our Ash Wednesday liturgy. I love the invitation to observe a holy Lent. I hope you will accept that invitation.

Over at www.LentWebGuide.com there will be more regular posts for the Lenten season. These posts are a companion to the Lent book I wrote but can really be read and enjoyed by anyway. So take advantage.

And if you are looking for a free resource for Lenten devotional reading check out…

Youversion (an app for your phone or table, also a website) has N.T. Wright’s Lent For Everyone available for free!
There is also a short eBook by Alexander Schmemann for free over on Amazon :: Great Lent: A School of Repentance Its Meaning for Orthodox Christians

Grace and peace as you observe a holy Lent!

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The Feast of St. Luke


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Today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.

I initially was drawn to the gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) because they were called “evangelists” and early in my ministry that is the title i went by as well. My understanding and appreciation has become more educated and textured since those days but it hasn’t waned.  After all i do have a tattoo of a symbol of the four evangelists on the inside of my arm. And the stained glass window tattoo i have also contains this imagery.

And today is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. So primarily i just wanted to post a few icons of St. Luke that i found and encourage you to read a bit of his telling of the life and ministry of Jesus. Wikipedia says that St. Luke is the saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers. It also funny what different saints are the saints of. Us protestants don’t think much about that but it’s pretty interesting and sometimes pretty funny! Butchers? HA!

Here are a couple icon to ponder and let guide you as you pray today.

And a collect / prayer to use today…
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

 

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Pentecost and inspiration…


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The Collects for today; Pentecost Sunday.

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

or this

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

And i’m really not into pinterest (did i even spell it right?) but i do like to post a few things every once in awhile. One of those things i post are icons. Today was pentecost, i thought i would share a few icons for you to remember pentecost and to be inspired by the the very Holy Spirit that God has send to us.

 

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Embrace the Wait 1.0 — #ADVENT


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Sunday was the first day of Advent.

Here were a couple prayers for the day

“Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

“O God, who set before us the great hope that your Kingdom shall come on earth and taught us to pray for its coming: give us grace to discern the signs of its dawning and to work for the perfect day when the whole world shall reflect your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Good stuff to start the Advent journey.

For me i’m reading a few devotionals this Advent, trying to really get into the heart of this time of year and embrace what it’s all about. So that’s pretty much what i’ll sharing here on the blog for the next 4 weeks. Quotes i’ve read, reflections i’ve had and ideas that are swirling around my head and heart.

Advent is a season of waiting.

And because waiting is a key skill of the Christian life, it’s fitting that this is how we start our Christian year. I look forward to pondering the season with you.

Grace, peace and waiting
Erik

PS :: The image is a modern day rendering of a classic Advent Icon. I’ll post the more traditional Icon later this week but i really like this representation as well. ENJOY!

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Resolutions & Bible Reading…


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I shared last Wednesday with my students about making resolutions that reflect our desire for the freedom God wants to give us and that lead us into the life God created for us to live.

One of my resolutions is to read the bible more this year!
I’m reading the whole thing in the first 90 days of the year and then at least one chapter ever day of this year.

My pastor, Fr. David Roseberry’s preached a sermon yesterday (check it out at Christ Church Plano) that was awesome and a great reminder and challenge for us to get into the Word of God this year!

Want to join me?!?!
You know you do!

I’m going to post on Facebook (and maybe on this blog) every monday, what is called The Daily Office. A collection of readings for everyday of the week that people all around the world read together.

Read all of the readings or just pick one of the readings for the day and take a few moments to get into God’s Word.

God will meet with you and speak to you!
Can’t wait to see what God does in our lives because we are getting into His life through reading His Word, the bible!!!

Here is The Daily Office for this week…
And if you have an iPhone or iPad there is a great app; iPhonelectionary.com that can give you these readings as well. Or just pick up the free YouVersion Bible app and start your own bible reading plan.

But here is The Daily Office for this week…

MONDAY JANUARY 16TH
Psalm 25 | Gen. 8:6-22 | Psalm 9, 15 | Heb. 4:14-5:6 | John 2:23-3:15

TUESDAY JANUARY 17TH
Psalm 26, 28 | Gen. 9:1-17 | Psalm 36, 39 | Heb. 5:7-14 | John 3:16-21

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18TH
Psalm 38 | Gen. 9:18-29 | Psalm 119:25-48 | Heb. 6:1-12 | John 3:22-36

THURSDAY JANUARY 19TH
Psalm 37:1-18 | Gen. 11:1-9 | Psalm 37:19-42 | Heb. 6:13-20 | John 4:1-15

FRIDAY JANUARY 20TH
Psalm 31 | Gen. 11:27-12:8 | Psalm 35 | Heb. 7:1-17 | John 4:16-26

SATURDAY JANUARY 21ST
Psalm 30, 32 | Gen. 12:9-13:1 | Psalm 42, 43 | Heb. 7:18-28 | John 4:27-42

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Advent, just wait…


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I tweeted the other day about the Advent Experience i was doing with my students. I ended the tweet & facebook post with “… just wait!” A clever pun on the idea of experiencing advent. I had one person say something but other than that i’m not sure anybody really caught the start to my Advent Experience but then again i don’t think many people really catch Advent in general. Which is why we had an Advent Experience!

And if your wondering what i’m talking about… you’re not catching it either! Just wait

Advent is all about waiting, anticipating, it’s all about getting ready for the One who was, and is, and is to come! I decided that i could just preach a message about this, there are TONS of scriptures about Advent, about waiting and anticipating but i wanted my students to experience it!

So here’s what we did…

We started our service off with with a countdown, all the student with one robust voice counted down the last 10 seconds and then… another countdown started. They WAITED 3 more minutes, counted down once again and we continued.

Then we played a game, kinda. I picked students, had them come up on the platform, picked some random pieces that they thought were going to be apart of the game and then i told them i had forget some of the pieces to the game and they were going to have to WAIT.

I also had one student come on the platform, I had found out his absolute favorite snack, honey BBQ wings from Pizza Hut. I told him we were going play a little game, he had to sit with the wings in front of him but we weren’t ready yet… he would have to WAIT!

I let all the students sit down, they would have to be PATIENT. I let the student stay on the platform with his wings though. Our worship leader came forward to lead us. He tuned… and tuned… and tuned some more. He continued to say, “Sorry guys, just be PATIENT, HOLD ON, we’ll be ready SOON.”

I then came up and said i would just give the message and we’ll worship later. By this time, those that were really paying attention (and most of them actually were) began to realize the theme.

I opened my bible and began to flip through, trying to find the passage i was looking for, “my bookmark must have fallen out, just HOLD ON, i’ll find it.” “I think i actually left my notes in my office, just be PATIENT.” I walked of the platform and this little video i make began to play.

When the video was done i walked up and began to share. My middle school students were engaged, they got it, they knew what we were talking about. Matthew, the student on the stage with his favorite wings quickly became my goto illustration. Because sometimes it’s really hard to wait, isn’t it! I preached, we worship together, it was a really great night!

The one nugget i wanted to communicate through my message and through the experience was that we know as Christians we need to learn to pray, to read our bible, even to live in community… but how often do we teach students the art of waiting, being patient, holding on for the Lord. We don’t’ typically see this as a Christian practice worth giving any attention to but the more i studied and looked around bible the art of waiting is central to the Christian life. And what better time then Advent to usher our students and our churches in the Christian practice of patience.

We talked a bit about the double Advent we embrace. First we WAIT for the birth of Christ but we also WAIT for the return of Christ, knowing that He will return and make all things new, redeem our suffering, and quench our thirst once and for all.

We talked about trust and faith. It’s easy to think that God must not know what he’s doing because things aren’t happening on our timeframe or the way we think they should go. But learning to WAIT is essential for the Christian life, it teaches us to trust that God actually knows what he’s doing, he has a plan, that God is actually good and is with us! It’s not always easy to wait but often times that which we wait for is far better then what we could have had sooner. Our culture teaches immediate gratification but our Lord teaches us to WAIT! To Trust! To have faith that God has a plan!


There are a lot of culture implication that we talked about. Faith implication and a general challenge to WAIT ON THE LORD because he promises to hear our cries!

Here some some scriptures that i used…

Isaiah 64:1     //    Luke 1:78-79     //     Psalm 40:1     // Proverbs 16:32

Romans 8:25     //     James 5:8     //      Revelations 1:7-8

You can also check out some of my Advent posts from last year…

Advent :: I Can’t Wait!  #1

Advent :: I Can’t Wait!  #2

Advent :: I Can’t Wait!  #3

Advent :: I Can’t Wait!  #4

And finally if you looking from some great Advent ideas & videos check out Advent Conspiracy – they do some great stuff!

And look at their old stuff on YouTube — really good!

Hold On!

w/Grace and peace

erik


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