Seven short sayings. No one would really even think twice about them in normal situations. But this wasn’t a normal situation. And this wasn’t a normal man. These were spoken by Jesus…on the cross…while he was dying. In these words, we see his humanity and his divinity. We see physical pain, abandonment, and the reminder that God’s ways are not our ways.

     Jesus uses common words like “forgive, disciple, son, today, thirst” and that most crucial question “why?”. These words give us a glimpse of the mysterious, beautiful, and heart-wrenching love of God. His costly love for you and for me.

     In the time devoted to journaling we have the time and space to open ourselves to God’s love drawing on a wonderful aspect of our human make up — writing. In journaling we have the opportunity to share our true selves without reservation. As we do so, we experience the freedom of being accepted and loved “right where we are” with the promise of transformation or discernment or strength to meet the challenge we have # articulated.
     One of the most helpful characteristics of the journal is the record it provides of our spiritual questions and realizations over time. Reviewing them, we may start to recognize larger patterns — the landscape of our pilgrimage of faith. We will begin to gain insight on how and where we have grown and still struggle. We will also begin to see how we most deeply experience God’s love in our life and draw on that insight to experience His love more and more.
     Lectio Divina is a way of studying and praying the Scriptures so that the Word of God may penetrate the heart and lead to acquiring God’s perspective and love for the world. Through Lectio Divina, a person gradually lets go of their own agenda and becomes open to what God is communicating to them. Developed in the 12th century by Guigo, a Carthusian monk, Lectio Divina, a Latin term meaning “divine reading,” consists of four steps.
     The first stage islectio (reading). One reads a passage in the Word of God in an unhurried manner several times to become familiar with it. Any text of Scripture may be used, but it should not be too long. (Bible reading plans with a daily set of passages for a year, while worthwhile in themselves, work against this approach.)
     In the second stage, meditatio (reflection), one ponders the text and thinks about how to apply it to one’s life.
     The third stage, oratio (response), involves responding to the Holy Spirit, inspired by one’s reflection on God’s Word. Here one speaks to God from the heart — acknowledging woundedness, asking for forgiveness, giving thanks, praising God, rejoicing, and so on.
     During the final stage, contemplatio (rest), one rests in silence and solitude. It means listening to God by opening one’s heart and soul, and letting go of one’s own ideas, plans, and meditations.

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  • Mike Bare on Week 6: April 10th – 16thThe Pharisees, the Romans, the Sadducees, all enemies of Jesus, all desiring his death, they held all the power and the killed Him. No, it didn't happen that way at all. Jesus could have asked His Father to blast Israel and the entire planet to a cinder, evey Roman killed in a split second but He didn't do that - He went to the cross VOLUNTARILY, He could have stopped the entire thing AT ANY TIME. The bottom line (and I think I read this somewhere in this devotional series) I SENT HIM TO THE CROSS, He stayed there for me, my sin sent Him there, He died so I didn't have to. "Thank You" seems a pretty small response on my part.
  • Doug Stooke on Week 5: April 3rd – 9thOur physical thirst is satisfied by drinking water. The thirst then goes away until we are thirsty again. I have found that our spiritual hunger for Jesus has its cycles too. If I hunger or thirst for Jesus, he will satisfy that thirst, yet increase it. The more I get from him, the more I want, the more I have to give away. A physical need can be satisfied, then returns. An addiction can’t be satisfied until it sucks the life out of you. The spiritual need for Jesus continually grows and is continually being satisfied as you grow and prosper and minister. The fruit of the Spirit are virtues that Cannot be measured. The are endless, eternal, so is spiritual growth!
  • Donnie Hinshaw on Week 3: March 20th – 26thLove it! Thanks for your insight and transparent reply.
  • Veronika on Week 3: March 20th – 26thWow! This is so powerful! Today, God reminds me, that we can and we should be compassionate in any situation and even when we are in pain. I think of myself as compassionate person but what I lack the most is compassion towards my kids, my husband; especially when I don’t feel good or tired or sick. If Jesus could be THAT on the Cross, I can try too!
  • Donnie on Week 3: March 20th – 26thToday's devotional was written on the morning of the Boston Marathon bombing, April 15, 2013. I was in the middle of training for a marathon that year and was enamored by the Boston Marathon as it has always been a pipe dream for me to qualify for it. I remember watching it live and being drawn to the crazy images and surreal reality of what I was seeing happen right before my eyes. But what gave me hope was the compassion that I was witnessing as people were risking their own lives to help those who had fallen prey to such a horrific and evil act. I love how my friend Jonas wrote about what he saw. Jonas was one of my seven brothers in my masters course for Transformational Leadership at Barclay College and this Seven Devotional was our class project that all seven of us brothers accomplished together. I love Jonas' writing on the deeper meaning of compassion . . . " . . . “compassion.” The Greek word for compassion, splankna, actually refers to being moved by a situation or circumstance from the center of our essence. In other words, compassion is that feeling in our gut that drives us to care for others in need." I can't help but think of how this word is defining our church here in Arvada. Although we are working hard to be excellent in everything we do in ministry, it is not our goal to simply be relevant and cool. What is evident is our desire to be compassionate; to be moved by every situation or circumstance from the center of our essence. We are a little church in a little neighborhood with a lot of GUTS! Our Tin Shed Food Pantry Ministry served over 40 families last Sunday alone. Good quality food went out to over 200+ people if you do the math. Our Youth Ministry is ministering to over 50 students right now with an average attendance of 35 with leaders. Tonight they are bowling together. Doesn't seem all that spiritual, but it is a fun and practical environment to talk about life and faith together. The proof and fruit of their compassion (GUTS) is the le…