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Expressions of Lent

Mar 6th, 2017 | By Ava M. Gardner, Blog Lead

(We will come to you each week of Lent, with six messages, in each blog message, for Monday - Saturday). 

Lent lasts for forty (40) days, which is the time that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the wilderness.  We are fortunate today, that we are not in the wilderness (at least literally), and we certainly are not alone (unless we choose to be).  During the next few weeks, during Lent, take time to be silent, omit the distractions - make a sacrifice, and seek to know what God wants you to know, and where God wants you to be.  Use these expressions and reflections to help you become centered in a place where you would want God to find you.

Monday, March 6, 2017
Matthew 25:31-46

Our Love and Service for Others

The times in which we live compel us to think of ourselves more than we should. We are often seeking a starring role in the 'Me' society. When someone is in trouble, we interject ourselves into the storyline, or situation, to turn the focus on us. Jesus has always directed His love and concern towards others – and what He could do for others. It was never about what they could do for him. During this Lenten Season, I will reflect on how I am addressing the needs of others and how I can best serve those in need. When I am eating, I will seek to feed those who are hungry. When I pray, I will pray for those in need.

-Jessie Harris, Trustee Board

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Matthew 6:7-15

Relationship to God through Prayer

When you say "Lord teach me to pray," you are asking him to teach you to pray in a distinctly personal way, and to enable your prayers to be easy, natural expressions of who you are. God is more concerned with what we say rather than how long it takes us to say it...

In our household, when we pray, we praise and acknowledge Him for the things He has done for us: His grace, His mercy, His provisions for our lives and the lives of our family and friends.
We have discovered as we practice a rule of prayer, prayer gradually has become a holy habit. It has become central to our lives and strengthens our connections to God. We have found anything we pray for that aligns with the Father's plan will be granted. The more time we spend with Him, the more we have come to understand His will and how to pray for it. During this Lenten season, we must trust that God has only the very best in store for His children.

- Deacon Roy and Deaconess Carol J. Smith

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Luke 11:29-32

Christ's Holiness

We find in the scripture Luke 11:29, Jesus warning the people against their unbelief. The scripture tells that Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, just as Christ is to us. Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three (3) days which symbolizes the three (3) days that Jesus was in the tomb.

Jesus Christ, the Holy One, was sent to save the world.

- Bettye Gaiter, Chair - Deaconess Board

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Matthew 7:7-12

Opening Our Hearts to God!

Opening our hearts to God, is not only our desire for ourselves, but our desire for everyone.
The Gospel of Matthew 7:7 is clear as to what Jesus wants us to do when He says in this verse: "Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you.  First in our "Opening or Our Hearts to God" is the desire to be "Born Again!" through the Precious, shed Blood of Jesus Christ, which He did for us when He was Crucified.
Confessing our sins, in our plea for forgiveness, and being forgiven as shown in 1st John 1:9, which says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." We Humble, thank God for His Love, Grace, Mercy, and The Wonderful Gift of God: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

- Rev. Jerry Ochsner

Friday, March 10, 2017
Matthew 5:20-25

Lining Up My Inter-thoughts With God

In my walk as a Christian, I am called to Love everyone not just those who love me. In my daily dealings, I must me ready to seek and give forgiveness. Every day of my life I am challenged with walking in the spirit and not in the flesh. The only way to do this is to keep my mind on Jesus and to obey to His word. If I am not sure what to do, I search the scriptures for instructions. It is not easy to do when anger, disappointment, and fear compete to control my judgement. However, I know that if I do things right I won't have to do them over.

- Julia Gayles, Chair—Trustee Board

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Matthew 5:43-48

Loving God's Way

Jesus commands us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us. How do we love God's way? It is not within our personal control to love as Jesus commands us to love. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit and the surrender of our will to God's Will that we are able to love unconditionally. Loving God's way is love that originates from God. The quality of love commanded by Jesus is expressed by giving. As we journey through this Lenten season, let us reflect on God's gift of love – Salvation through His Son, Jesus. Let us surrender our will to God's Will and embrace universal love, as we pray for our nation and the world.

– Deacon Mary D. Gorham

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Hope Out Loud is a voice to share the good news of Lord, and to sing his praises for the good work he is doing in our lives. We seek to learn his way, grow in his word, inspire ‘Hope in Christ’, encourage our fellow Christians, and help each other through the journey.

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