Thankful Thursday…

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Daily Prayer for May 24

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19, RSV

We thank you, dear Father in heaven, for the many times you let us experience that we do not need to despair because of darkness, weakness, or sickness. You hear the desires of our hearts. You love us for all that we love when we love the Savior and when we praise his name. Let us remain in this spirit. Come to us with many proofs of your power, to the glory of your name. Come in the inner quiet of heart through which we are able to grasp what it means for us that you are our Father in Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Prayer: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Heavenly Father, I praise You for the gift of another beautiful day, for Your mercies are new, each and every morning. As the sun rises, the pain of the night fades away and Your JOY emerges with the light.

Heavenly Father, I praise You for the gift of another beautiful day, for Your mercies are new, each and every morning. As the sun rises, the pain of the night fades away and Your JOY emerges with the light.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with You, My peace I give to You; not as the world gives do I give to You. Let not Your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Break the Chains
Break every chain, oh Lord! Free me from the desire to control every situation myself, in Jesus name!

Whatever challenges I face today, I trust in You, Lord with all my heart, having the confidence to lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge You, for You will direct my path.

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in You, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Releasing it all!
I release ALL doubt, fear, anger and frustration.

I Command Your peace to envelope me, such that I can smile at the tempest.

Give me strength to face my battles and emerge victorious through Christ. For I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

I declare that my peace within is being restored fully on this precious day. Amen and amen!!

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

 

 

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Fence Your Heart, Not Just Your Behavior

Confession results in deeper personal insight. Further confession leads to greater insight. This is one of the graces of confession. You see this spiritual dynamic operating in the life of David in Psalm 51. This man, who was so completely blinded by his own lust, that he wasn’t only able to use his God-given position of political power to take another man’s wife, but also able to put a contract out on her husband and have him killed, is now not only able to see his behavioral wrongs, but the heart behind them as well. Whenever anyone is able to see himself with this level of clarity, you know that God’s grace is operating in his life.

Hear David’s words, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” David is recognizing a new awareness. He is acknowledging a new sightedness. He understands what God is working on.
You and I will only ever be holy by God’s definition if we put the moral fences where God puts them.
We tend to put the fences at the boundary of behavior. For example, rather than telling our children the importance of a respectful heart and the issues of heart that cause us to not respect others as we should, we instruct our children to use titles of respect when they’re relating to others. Now there’s nothing wrong with this as far as it goes. The problem is that enforcing certain behaviors won’t create a spirit of respectfulness. A child, who’s mad at his teacher for an assignment she’s given may say, “Whatever you say Mrs. Smith!” in a tone that’s anything but respectful. The teacher immediately knows that the child has used a title of respect to tell her that he doesn’t respect her at all, but to tell her that in a way that won’t get him into trouble!
This is where Christ’s teaching, from the “Sermon on the Mount,” is so helpful. Christ draws the fences in much closer. He calls for us to fence our hearts because he knows that it’s only when we fence the heart that we’ll willingly and successfully stay inside God-appointed behavioral fences. So he says, “You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27)
Consider the importance of what Christ does here. He isn’t adding to the Seventh Commandment. No, he’s interpreting it for us. He’s telling us what the intention and extent of the command has always been. The commandments all address fundamental issues of the heart, or as David says, “the inmost place.” The commandments not only depict God’s claim over our behavior, but more fundamentally God’s ownership over our hearts. But there’s something else of importance here. God knows what lust lusts for. Lust doesn’t lust for more lust. Lust lusts for the physical experience of the thing that’s the object of the lust. A heart controlled by sexual lust won’t be satisfied with better and more graphic fantasies. No, a lustful heart craves the actual experience and will only be satisfied when it’s actually experienced the thing for which it lusts. This is why it never works to put the fences at the boundary of behavior. Even if I’ve placed clear fences there, I’ll cut through them or climb over them if I haven’t first fenced my heart.
Now again David speaks for all of us and his words are so echoed by Christ that it almost appears as if Christ was thinking of David and Bathsheba when he spoke these words.
Have you fenced your heart? Have you tried to stay inside of behavioral boundaries only to have climbed over them again and again? Go and read the wisdom of the “Sermon on the Mount” (found in Matthew 5:1) and ask God to “teach you wisdom in the inmost place.” By God’s grace, determine to fight the battle of thought and desire, knowing full well that it’s only when you win this battle that you can be successful in the battle of behavior. And rest assured that when you fight this battle you aren’t fighting alone, but your Lord wages war on your behalf.”

This article is a resource of Paul Tripp Ministries. For more information visit www.paultripp.com.
<em>Ecstasy of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi</em> | Alessandro Rosi

Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi

Saint of the Day for May 24

(April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODMay24.mp3

Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi’s Story

Mystical ecstasy is the elevation of the spirit to God in such a way that the person is aware of this union with God while both internal and external senses are detached from the sensible world. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi was so generously given this special gift of God that she is called the “ecstatic saint.”

Catherine de’ Pazzi was born into a noble family in Florence in 1566. The normal course would have been for her to have married into wealth and enjoyed comfort, but Catherine chose to follow her own path. At 9, she learned to meditate from the family confessor. She made her first Communion at the then-early age of 10, and made a vow of virginity one month later. At 16, Catherine entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there.

Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near, so her superiors let her make her profession of vows in a private ceremony from a cot in the chapel. Immediately after, Mary Magdalene fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvelous insights into divine truths.

As a safeguard against deception and to preserve the revelations, her confessor asked Mary Magdalene to dictate her experiences to sister secretaries. Over the next six years, five large volumes were filled. The first three books record ecstasies from May of 1584 through Pentecost week the following year. This week was a preparation for a severe five-year trial. The fourth book records that trial and the fifth is a collection of letters concerning reform and renewal. Another book, Admonitions, is a collection of her sayings arising from her experiences in the formation of women religious.

The extraordinary was ordinary for this saint. She read the thoughts of others and predicted future events. During her lifetime, Mary Magdalene appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people.

It would be easy to dwell on the ecstasies and pretend that Mary Magdalene only had spiritual highs. This is far from true. It seems that God permitted her this special closeness to prepare her for the five years of desolation that followed when she experienced spiritual dryness. She was plunged into a state of darkness in which she saw nothing but what was horrible in herself and all around her. She had violent temptations and endured great physical suffering. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi died in 1607 at age 41, and was canonized in 1669. Her Liturgical Feast Day is May 25.


Reflection

Intimate union, God’s gift to mystics, is a reminder to all of us of the eternal happiness of union he wishes to give us. The cause of mystical ecstasy in this life is the Holy Spirit, working through spiritual gifts. The ecstasy occurs because of the weakness of the body and its powers to withstand the divine illumination, but as the body is purified and strengthened, ecstasy no longer occurs. See Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, and John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul, for more about various aspects of ecstasies.

(My Patron Saint)

 

 

 

Jesus, Where Are You?
LYSA TERKEURST

“Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.” Mark 6:47-48a (NIV)

Have you ever walked through something so difficult, so terrifying, that you’ve caught yourself asking, “Jesus, where are You?”

Sometimes when life gets messy, it can feel like our Messiah has gone missing.

I’m sure that’s how the disciples felt in an incident that happened right after the feeding of the 5,000. They got in a boat and quickly found themselves in rough waters, tossed by strong winds. They strained at the oars as the realities of life beat against them.

This storm was a terrifying mess for them. The waves weren’t just ebbing, cresting and crashing like you’ve probably seen if you’ve ever been in rough waters. These waves were bubbling up and exploding all around them in unpredictable ways. Think what it looks like when you place a straw in a glass of water and blow with great force. They couldn’t brace themselves or their boat. They were completely helpless and swallowed up by fear.

I certainly can’t blame them for being afraid in that moment. Sometimes it’s hard not to be completely consumed by fear in the midst of our messes, isn’t it? Especially when we feel helpless and our circumstances look hopeless.

Oh, how thankful I am that even when our storms cause us to lose sight of hope, Jesus never loses sight of us.

While the disciples were in the boat straining, Jesus was on the mountainside praying. From Mount Arbel, Jesus could see the middle of the lake where the disciples were. “Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them” (Mark 6:47-48a).

Jesus saw them. He went down to them. And they almost completely missed the miracle in the midst of their mess.

The same miracle worker who multiplied the fish and the loaves was now walking on water near them, and they thought He was a ghost. They were terrified and then amazed, but they didn’t understand, for the Scriptures say, “their hearts were hardened” (Mark 6:52b, NIV).

What I want us to notice, though, is Jesus’ response to the disciples who missed Him and who cried out in fear, not faith. The Scripture says immediately (I love that it was immediate) He spoke to them and said, “Don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:50b, NIV). The word used here means “don’t resist Me.” And He climbed into the boat with them.

He’s saying the same thing to you and me. He’s not running from our messes. He’s climbing in it to be right there with us. And with His presence comes peace.

He wants us to see Him and know Him — truths we discover not just in this passage, but all throughout Scripture. The same God who willingly revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 33:19Exodus 33:22Exodus 34:6) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-13) as He passed by them wants to reveal the fullness of His peace and the power of His presence to us as well.

In the midst of whatever hurts and heartbreaks are disrupting our peace, I pray we will see Him coming. We no longer have to cry out in fear; we can call out in faith. Calm and trusting. Anxious for nothing. Because we know. We know He sees us. We know He’s for us. We know He’s in control.

Yes. The Lord is near. And we are safe.

Oh Lord, let me see this. Please don’t let the messes of life harden my heart and blind me to Your presence. Instead of being so terrified in the midst of the mess, might I keep the picture of You, watching me, always watching me. And might I find courage in the assurance that You will come to me with Your miraculous presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Release the tension of wondering, If God is near, why does He sometimes feel far away? by spending intentional, guided time with Him each day. Lysa TerKeurst’s new devotional, Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close, will help you do just that. Order your copy here today.

CONNECT:
Want to know if Lysa TerKeurst is speaking in a town near you soon? Check out her speaking schedule here.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you in the middle of a difficult season in your life right now? Take some time this week to memorize Isaiah 41:10. Declare it out loud as a reminder to your own heart that the Lord is with you.

Join the conversation! Share your thoughts about how God has met you and comforted when you were afraid or wondering where He is.

(c) 2018 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105

 

 

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1883

Brooklyn Bridge opens

After 14 years and 27 deaths while being constructed, the Brooklyn Bridgeover the East River is opened, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out to witness the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Designed by the late John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.

John Roebling, born in Germany in 1806, was a great pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. He studied industrial engineering in Berlin and at the age of 25 immigrated to western Pennsylvania, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to make his living as a farmer. He later moved to the state capital in Harrisburg, where he found work as a civil engineer. He promoted the use of wire cable and established a successful wire-cable factory.

Meanwhile, he earned a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges, which at the time were widely used but known to fail under strong winds or heavy loads. Roebling is credited with a major breakthrough in suspension-bridge technology: a web truss added to either side of the bridge roadway that greatly stabilized the structure. Using this model, Roebling successfully bridged the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio. On the basis of these achievements, New York State accepted Roebling’s design for a bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan–with a span of 1,595 feet–and appointed him chief engineer. It was to be the world’s first steel suspension bridge.

Just before construction began in 1869, Roebling was fatally injured while taking a few final compass readings across the East River. A boat smashed the toes on one of his feet, and three weeks later he died of tetanus. He was the first of more than two dozen people who would die building his bridge. His 32-year-old son, Washington A. Roebling, took over as chief engineer. Roebling had worked with his father on several bridges and had helped design the Brooklyn Bridge.

The two granite foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge were built in timber caissons, or watertight chambers, sunk to depths of 44 feet on the Brooklyn side and 78 feet on the New York side. Compressed air pressurized the caissons, allowing underwater construction. At that time, little was known of the risks of working under such conditions, and more than a hundred workers suffered from cases of compression sickness. Compression sickness, or the “bends,” is caused by the appearance of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream that result from rapid decompression. Several died, and Washington Roebling himself became bedridden from the condition in 1872. Other workers died as a result of more conventional construction accidents, such as collapses and a fire.

Roebling continued to direct construction operations from his home, and his wife, Emily, carried his instructions to the workers. In 1877, Washington and Emily moved into a home with a view of the bridge. Roebling’s health gradually improved, but he remained partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. On May 24, 1883, Emily Roebling was given the first ride over the completed bridge, with a rooster, a symbol of victory, in her lap. Within 24 hours, an estimated 250,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, using a broad promenade above the roadway that John Roebling designed solely for the enjoyment of pedestrians.

The Brooklyn Bridge, with its unprecedented length and two stately towers, was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” The connection it provided between the massive population centers of Brooklyn and Manhattan changed the course of New York City forever. In 1898, the city of Brooklyn formally merged with New York City, Staten Island, and a few farm towns, forming Greater New York.

 

 

BROTHER’S DAY

Observed every year on May 24, Brother’s Day honors the brothers in our lives.  Whether we have one or many, our brothers hold a special place in our hearts.  Even if for those who don’t have brothers, someone in their life is usually like a brother to them.  Brothers from other mothers are found in a best friend, a brother-in-law or a cousin.  They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “What’s this!” soon followed by a few stitches.

They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “What’s this!” soon followed by a few stitches. While minding their own business, they are also prepared to step in when necessary.  That’s what brothers do.

Of course, they’ve been known to put toads on your head or gum in your hair.  They may have been too cool for you once, too.  Brothers come in many shapes and sizes and so do their relationships.  Whatever yours is, take the time to celebrate your brother on Brother’s Day.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy time with brothers and reminisce.  Find time for new brother siblings to spend some fun, enjoyable time together.  Use #BrothersDay to share on social media.

HISTORY

C. Daniel Rhodes of Alabama founded Brothers Day.

 

Red Nose Day - Changes Annually

RED NOSE DAY

What better way to raise money for children in some of the poorest communities in the world than to do it while having fun? That’s precisely the goal of Red Nose Day.

On May 24, 2018, Red Nose Day encourages us to don red noses, donate and get involved. By organizing fun, silly or downright hilarious fundraising events, you too can be a part of Red Nose Day.

Need some inspiration on how to get involved?  Visit walgreens.com for some fun ways to get involved.

Also, watch Red Nose Day’s live television event on NBC at 9:00 pm ET.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Visit rednoseday.org to get started. Stop by Walgreens or Duane Reade stores to buy your Red Nose. Watch the Red Nose Day NBC special.  Use #RedNoseDay to share on social media.

HISTORY

Writer-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, About Time), created Red Nose Day in 1988.  It was first launched in the United Kingdom and came to the United States in 2015.

 

 

MarysWritings1

Day Two:  Fella’s just getting over the desert and into California……..he used to do better driving alone!  But, he just called…..and, as usual, we only spoke for about ten minutes…then his brother stopped “for breakfast”……I wonder if Duane’s even bothering to take his insulin!  I would bet money that he isn’t………….Well, let’s see if he makes it home on Saturday night like he said……………………………………………………………..I love you, baby!!!

 

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