Friday, March 29, 2013

good friday.

The Garden of Gethsemane

39 And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me;yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Jesus Betrayed by Judas

47 While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him,“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.”And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? 53 While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”

Jesus’ Arrest

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him,Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, 64 and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” 65 And they were saying many other things against Him,blaspheming.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

66 When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, 67 If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I ask a question, you will not answer.69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [[e]Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]
18 But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [l]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [n]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until [r]the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Jesus Is Buried

50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.


Good Friday is the mirror held up by Jesus so that we can see ourselves in all our stark reality, and then it turns us to that cross and to his eyes and we hear these words, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." That'sus! And so we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. We see in that cross a love so amazing so divine that it loves us even when we turn away from it, or spurn it, or crucify it. There is no faith in Jesus without understanding that on the cross we see into the heart of God and find it filled with mercy for the sinner whoever he or she may be. 

Robert G. Trache 

The God on whom we rely knows what suffering is all about, not merely in the way that God knows everything, but by experience. In the darkest night of the soul Christians have something to hold onto that Job never knew. We know Christ crucified. Christians have learned that when there seems to be no other evidence of God's love, they cannot escape the cross. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"(Rom. 8:32) … When we suffer, there will sometimes be mystery. Will there also be faith? Yes, if our attention is focused more on the cross, and on the God of the cross, than on the suffering itself. 

D. A. Carson 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Well friends, I might not be the most consistent at posting on this blog, but I am still blogging. The following link will take you to a blog post I wrote on Watermark's community blog: It's about the blessing of discomfort and I thought I would share it in the event it would bless you, dear reader.

In other news, we are journeying ever closer to the resurrection Sunday. It has been a Lent of learning and a Lent of blessing. The Lord has been so good and His presence has been sweet. I have found myself re-reading many of my favorite books over the past several weeks of Lent and I have rediscovered why they are my favorites. If you are at all interested, here are a few of the titles (in no particular order):

  1. The Great Divorce: C.S. Lewis
  2. The Four Loves: C.S. Lewis
  3. Interior Freedom: Jacques Philippe
  4. The Screwtape Letters: C.S. Lewis
  5. One Thousand Gifts: Ann Voskamp

Do you notice a theme? Ha - no surprise I have an undying affinity for the works of my main man, C.S. Lewis. He is pure genius and was truly a literary visionary. But enough about that...I digress.

I do, however, want to share a few quick quotes from the last titled mentioned as I simply cannot help myself from sharing these gems --

"When I realize that it is not God who is in my debt but I who am in His great debt, then doesn't all become gift?" (Voskamp 94)

"It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace. And grace that chooses to bear the cross of suffering overcomes that suffering...My pain, my dark--it might actually taste sweet to the tongue, be the genesis of new life? Yes. And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy." (Voskamp 97).

I am simply sharing a couple thoughts on suffering given we are in the Lenten season. However, there is MUCH to be shared from Ann's writing and I will be writing a post on beauty with her words as a starting point. To be continued...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

a birthday wish.

I have definitely not been keeping up with birthday posts (or any posts for that matter) and don't normally find time to give personal shout-outs, but I have a few minutes and couldn't resist.

Sixty-one years ago today, Charles Michael was born on this earth and as a result (with my mama, of course), my sister and I had the privilege of life, and from that, Haylee and Meredith.

Gosh, that's a lot of girls, but I can honestly say that I don't think my dad would have had it any other way. He always told us he wanted girls and it's no secret that his personality was more disposed to being a dad to little girls vs. rough & tumble boys.

I will never forget Saturday mornings with my dad. I would always try to wake him up at an ungodly hour to make breakfast, and he would patiently (and groggily) point to his digital clock beside his bed and say "when the clock say 8-0-0, you can come back and wake me up." I would patiently wait it out in front of the Saturday morning cartoons (hello, Garfield & Friends), knowing that it would be worth the wait. And trust me, it was always worth the wait. His breakfasts ranged from waffles, silver dollar pancakes, french toast, and even the rare treat of homemade donuts. Those are some of my best memories, along with countless games of tickle monster, scattergories, horse, and the like.

He has come into his own as a "Paw-Paw" with the girls loving him so much. They love spending time with him, and of course, love his special breakfasts. It truly is such a joy to witness and I only hope they are blessed to continue this close relationship throughout the years.

So, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Pop-a-la. Your life is a gift and a reason to celebrate. I pray the Lord would richly supply all of your needs, that He would be your perfect portion (Psalm 73:25-26), and that you would find fullness of joy in His presence (Psalm 16:11). Make a wish!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

a glimpse into my heart and an invitation

When I was in New York last week for work, I had the privilege of attending a Lent event at the American Bible Society (smack dab in the middle of Columbus Circle). My old roommate, Katherine, invited me and I'm so glad I was able to make it. 

There was nothing fancy or grandiose about the gathering - just a group of about 30 sitting in a small room listening to scripture being read aloud. We went through a good bit of Exodus and then contrasted the Passover lamb (animal) of the Old Testament with the Passover Lamb (Christ) in the New Testament. 

We ended by corporately reciting Psalm 40 and I must say, this is quite possibly the most articulate way (thank you, King David and the Holy Spirit) to convey the state of my heart. This text is so rich that I can hardly begin to break it down. I echo these sentiments with every fiber of my being (and wouldn't you know it that the same text would be referenced at church on Sunday) --- 

The Lord has brought me out of the miry clay and I sing a NEW song of praise to Him.

I have put my trust in Him (despite what things look like) and He has blessed me.

Many are the wonders He has done that I cannot begin to count them.

He doesn't desire ritualistic sacrifices, but wants my heart and longs to be in communion with me.

I want to constantly speak of His faithfulness and the miraculous way that He saved me. Oh, "taste and see that the Lord is good." He is faithful and He is good.

Without further ado, I invite you to read Psalm 40 and I pray that it would be true for you. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who richly supplies us with everything we need, draw you ever close to His sacred heart. May He surround you with mercy and keep you in His perfect peace.

Psalm 40

waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
LordYou know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
[g]Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
Make haste, O Lord, to help me.
14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

Friday, March 1, 2013

party patrol

Well, in case anyone is still reading this after my serious blog hiatus, I thought I would share a little post to document all of the party fun that's been going down at the 'ole clubhouse (nickname for my house, not an actual clubhouse). We have been so blessed to be able to host many a shindig given the location and layout of our home (and the double oven helps, too). God knew the desire of my heart was to host (and host a lot) and He gave me SO much more than I ever dreamed. I feel so undeserving, but am so very grateful. I could go on, but I'll exercise restraint.

Without further ado, here is a little recap (mostly pictures) of the birthdays, showers, parties, and overall good times that have been had the past couple of months.

Christy's Birthday

This gathering was pretty casual - tapas and wine...oh, and of course, birthday cake. There must always be birthday cake.

Pizza Party

In honor of Brooke traveling to Texas, I had a pizza party at the case. We loaded up our own personal pizzas, drank some vino, and the two "birthday" girls made a wish on some tiramisu. It was such a sweet time with dear friends and you can't go wrong with homemade pizza.

LA and JH Couples Shower

We had the privilege of hosting a couples shower for our friends Lauri Ann and Jon Howard...and no, I'm not giving you their middles names. They seriously both have two first names. At any rate, it was so much fun getting to decorate with all of Sarah's mom's stock. She had a ton of stuff for us, and I love the way it turned out. I should note I had VERY little to do with the set-up, so I feel very free to say how great it all looked without coming off vain - ha.

Crystal's 30th Birthday Bash

Most recently, we hosted Crystal's 30th birthday. Considering the milestone birthday and that she is my oldest friend, we definitely had to do this one up right. The spread was carefully planned and decor was poached from the previous shower. We had a sweets table, candy bar, and even created a photo booth/room in our empty room we usually use for storage (or yoga). That idea was all Meagan's and it was definitely a huge hit. The pictures speak for themselves!



And just as a little bonus, I'll leave you with a smattering of my favorite pics from various happenings over the winter months.


Happy Friday and a blessed Lenten season to you, dear reader(s).