Lenten Reflection: Christ-Centered Life

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Scripture Reading:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. Continue reading

Moving Creatively Through Lent

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Yesterday I posted information on a new series called EMBODIED that starts this Friday, February 16th and goes through Good Friday. Embodied is a 7 week-long exploration of postures of praise & prayer to help us move mindfully through the Lenten season. I will be posting one posture each week (on Friday) to take us through the season of Lent.

In addition, to further help us move through Lent creatively, I will also be posting from the previously featured  “7” Virtual Art-Walk series each week on Wednesdays throughout Lent, as well as reflections from our church’s Lenten sermon series on Monday of each week. The 7 Virtual Art-Walk includes the artwork of Matt Durbin, the poetry of Sarah Wells, and music that all focus on the last 7 words of Christ spoken from the cross. And our church (5 Stones Community Church) will be working with passages throughout Ephesians to help us prayerfully remember and reflect on Jesus during this season.

So…
Sermon reflections on Mondays 
7 Virtual Art-Walk on Wednesdays
EMBODIED exploration of postures of prayer & praise on Fridays
…starting this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) and working our way through Good Friday, March 30th.

J from tombWhether you grew up in a high church tradition (one that celebrated Lent) or not (like mine), I pray that you will find a way to mindfully, creatively and prayerfully prepare your heart for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Resurrection Sunday, April 1st.

You can follow along by visiting http://www.jodythomae.com every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and searching under the “Creative Spiritual Practices” tab), signing up to receive my emails (<– Look left or for + sign upper left), or following along on Instagram or Facebook. Stay connected by using the #GodsCreativeGift hashtag.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #248 — Jesus as a Work of Art

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S x baby jesusHave you ever thought about the “creation” of Christ? Not as God but as a human, a baby, born in a manger, as the scripture says? Who decided what he would look like, his smile, the color of his eyes, the shape of his tiny nose? Did he and God the Father put their heads together and say, “This is what God Incarnate should look like.” Or did God simply say, “Let me surprise you, Son”?

Just some thoughts to ponder as I direct you to a short CHRISTmas devotional called Christ Jesus — a Work of Art. May you be blessed as you consider this most precious gift the world has ever received!

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Create-A-Day #247: ADVENTure Prayer Walk 5 — the CHRIST Candle

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Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk pondering the true meaning of Christmas. You can read all about it here, as well as learn how you can do this as interactive prayer walk for your church or ministry.

This week is CHRISTmas! Our Savior has come!! Hallelujah! As we consider the true meaning of CHRISTmas we light the CHRIST Candle at the center of the Advent Wreath. The One we have waited for has come!

The Christ Candle

Read: Luke 2:1-7

Meditation:

We typically reflect on Christ in his years of ministry – as a grown man. The man who walked among his people, healing them, teaching them, forgiving them and loving them.

Have you ever stopped to consider Christ as a baby?

an infant?

tiny and helpless?

dependant on others to care for him?

to love him and nurture him? Continue reading

Create-A-Day #242: ADVENTure Prayer Walk 4 — Love & Joseph

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Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk pondering the true meaning of Christmas. You can read all about it here, as well as learn how you can do this as interactive prayer walk for your church or ministry.

This Sunday, December 20th is the fourth Sunday of Advent. As we consider the true meaning of CHRISTmas we light our fourth candle of the Advent Wreath; the Candle of LOVE and we think of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, the man who raised a child that wasn’t his.

Candle of Love: Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus

Read: Matthew 1:18-25

Meditation:

This passage tells us that Joseph was a righteous man. While he was probably disappointed when he first found out Mary was with child, God’s direction gave him reassurance. He walked in that reassurance and raised Jesus as his own son.

Now was Joseph simply obedient or did he grow to love Mary and her son Jesus? As a righteous man, a man of God, I believe he grew to love them both.

Matthew 13:35 tells us that Joseph was a carpenter. As Jesus’ earthly father, he would have taught his son his trade. They spent their days working side by side. Learning to build and hewn and nail.

Advent JosephChild

by Jose Ortega

Thirty years later, a cross would be hewn and built from wood and nails were used to secure the hands and feet of Christ to that cross. The carpenter’s son crucified. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #238 — Gift Ideas for Art Journalers

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Today’s post is for Bible art journalers and other crafty folks, with a Christmas gift idea, a free resource and a blog with great ideas for art journaling! Wow! This one is loaded!

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.07.09 PMFirst, the gift idea! I have heard folks say the only thing they don’t like about art journaling in their Bibles is that the 2-3″ margins aren’t big enough, and they don’t like to cover the words of scripture! The soon-to-be-available Interleaved ESV Journaling Bible might be just the Bible for you then! There is a blank canvas to compliment every page! It will be available March 11, 2016 but you can pre-order now at a reduced rate. You can check out all the details on move-the-mountains.com. (I recommend exploring that blog too — great resources and ideas!!)

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.02.02 PMSecond, here’s a resource for art journalers and anyone else wanting to get creative with Advent: free downloadable Advent scripture cards from Displaying Grace blog. They support a wonderfully creative Advent study, also found on the blog. Tons of great family activity ideas and free printables to help make this a memorable and thoughtful CHRISTmas season. Continue reading

Create-A-Day #237: ADVENTure Prayer Walk 3 — Joy & Mother Mary

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Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk pondering the true meaning of Christmas. You can read all about it here, as well as learn how you can do this as interactive prayer walk for your church or ministry.

This Sunday, December 13th is the third Sunday of Advent. As we consider the true meaning of CHRISTmas we light our third candle of the Advent Wreath; the Candle of JOY and we consider the joy Mary must have felt at knowing she would bear the only Son of God, the Messiah, the Chosen One sent to save the people of Israel!

Candle of Joy: Mary, the Mother of Jesus

 Read: Luke 1:26-38 & 46-55

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