Easter and Spring 2017

Springtime, a time to plant new seeds. The seeds will grow and produce beautiful fruits and vegetables. Then there will come a time when we reap what we planted. The season is ripe to harvest. Beautiful flowers, turnips, tomatoes, onions and much more. If I did not plant onions and tomatoes, I cannot reap them.  What a surprise to find I did not reap all that I thought I planted. Too many distractions took my time. Now it is late, those seeds would not have time to grow and bear fruit in this season

This is like it is with our soul. We prepare our soul for a great harvest. We do not know the hour or the time when we will be called home to our final resting place, a place more beautiful than any of us can imagine. It will be the time when we reap what we planted.

Luke 12: 34

“For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.”

Isaiah 30:18-21

“Truly the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, truly He shall rise to show you mercy; For the Lord is a God of justice; happy are all who wait for Him! He will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as He hears He will answer you. The Lord will give you bread in adversity and water in affliction. No longer will your teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your teacher, and your ears shall hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way; walk in it.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, 11-12

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.

The discipline of the Lord, my son, do not spurn; do not distain His reproves; For whom the Lord loves he reproves, as a father, the son he favors.”

Psalm 32:8

“I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.”

People rebelled against the Lord. They worshipped other gods. They did not keep the commandments

God gave to Moses. But our Lord loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son to restore  humanity to Himself, and show us the way. Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. We all have that chance by our free will to spend eternity in heaven. All He asks of us is to surrender our life to Him. It sounds so easy when we grow up in a society that does not like to relinquish control. Once we surrender our life to the Lord, give all control to Him, He will awaken us to His plan for our life. Our eyes will open. We can then proclaim, I was blind, but now I see.

Matthew 16:13-18

“Peters confession about Jesus. When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the son of man is?” They replied, “some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply. Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.”

With this Jesus established His church.

Matthew 17:5

“The transfiguration of Jesus. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

After this Jesus continued his mission to teach and perform miracles. The disciples and those surrounding them could not fully understand or they would not have left Jesus when He had to die on the cross. They also would have truly believed him when He told them that He will rise on the third day. Jesus tried to make his disciples understand that he is the son of the “Most High.”

Matthew: 2-4

“He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus continued His journey, foretelling what would happen. He proved to his disciples His godliness and His humanity, when He called out in Matthew 26: 39 “My Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

As I journeyed with our Lord through the gospel of Matthew I came again to the realization how important it is to say: Not my will, but your will be done. Each time we pray “our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we surrender our will to the will of our Father.

Lord give me the grace to journey in my prayers and heart with you through the Passion Week. What a joy our own Easter will be.

Have a blessed Easter

Your friend in Christ, Brunhilde

A comment to my attached painting, “Springtime” In the words of Vincent Van Gogh—I should reproach myself if I did not try to make pictures which will arouse serious thoughts.

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Reflections on Holy Week

 by Brunhilde Luken

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and  I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Last week we observed Palm Sunday, the beginning of the most important week of the year as we journey with our Lord to the cross.

What greater love is there than the love our Lord showed us by sending His Son to us. There is no greater love than the love Jesus gave to us by dying on the cross for us. He was fully human and fully God. What pain He must have felt when He approached His final days on earth.

I shuddered this morning after mass when I heard the pounding of a hammer, imitating the pounding of the nails into the hands and feet of our Lord. Unaware for a moment of the people around me, I felt the pain and my tears wanted to come. What pain did I cause the Lord to have by my inadequacies? He freely carried the cross and freely died for each one of us. He forgave us all of our sins.

Come Closer by Brunhilde Luken
Come Closer by Brunhilde Luken

The most beautiful words in scripture are: 1 John 4:9-11″In this the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, Beloved, If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

What a gift, yet the world is in so much darkness and will not accept this gift, so freely given to us. 1 John 3:16-17 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

Christ suffered and died for us and by His love He set us free. Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the mids of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Jesus is surely the greatest companion anyone can have and He loves you and me. I know I need Jesus in my life. You know He loves you. What greater love is there, than the love of  Jesus. If you call Him into your life, He is always with you. He will guide you in all things.

When you surrender your life to Jesus He will bring victory to your life.

Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called acording to His purpose. For whom He foreknew . He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and  whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

As I watched Bill O’Reilly’s movie, “Killing Jesus”, this evening, I was astounded and pleased how often the humanity of Jesus came through. When Jesus felt anger or discontent with those He encountered He took time-outs to speak to the Father. This put Him in the right state of mind.

I have a friend with ALS who understandably gets also upset with her life in this unexpected state. When she first became ill I saw an advertisement on a Christian channel about a speaker to come who is also aflicted with ALS. I made a point to watch this program to see if there was anything I could learn to be of help to my friend. Besides many helpful hints how he manages life now, the one thing that he talked about was how every time his sicknes becomes too hard to bear, he took five minutes to speak to the Lord. He spoke about how he had to take many time-outs with the Lord troughout the day. I thought what a wonderful way to carry his cross.  This is a helpful way for all of us if we can take a deep breath and take five minutes with the Lord as we go through our struggles in life.

As we journey towards Maundy Thursday and Good Friday it is good to be with the Lord.

Our life has a purpose.  Because Jesus took on our sins and died for us, we can safely and happily journey through life. We are able to tell all our friends about our journey, because we are on a journey with the most wonderful destination. We can’t come back and talk about our destination, but we certainly can talk about our journey and our wonderful destination that is promised to us who surrender our life to Jesus. He will take us on our journey and what an exciting journey it is.

What a wonderful friend we share in Jesus, the greatest travel companion on our journey all the way to our destination. Then we are also able to enjoy eternity with all those who journeyed with us now and before us in the company of Jesus and all the Heavenly Host.

All Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ now and for all eternity.

Love to all of you on your Journey and have a wonderful Easter.

Your friend Brunhilde

As we enter Holy Week

Brunhilde Luken has offered these two poems and a painting called “Invitation to the Light” to reflect upon as we enter Holy Week.

“Invitation into the Light”

As we progress through Holy Week, we are reminded of the suffering our Lord did for us. He shows us perfect Love. He does expect us to do likewise and show perfect love. He never said it would be easy. We are asked to do our best and love as He loves us. According to

1 John 4-20,21:  “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother  whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

Two sets of wings

Wow, two sets of wings
I sat in this big room all by my self
There was a big stage in front of me
Some body called my name and asked me to come to the stage.
I looked around.
I wanted to make sure it was me they called.
Three little angel where bustling around.
They fitted the wings to me

Wow two sets of wings

The price I paid for all your sins
Now you can earn the big white wings
There is a price attached
As you will see
Only your life
Just yield it to me
Then you will fly for all to see
With two sets of wings, that I handed to thee.

John 7:38

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water

Foot washing

I washed your feet
Long, long ago
Now it’s your turn
to do just so
Just wash their feet
It’s needed so much
Make the world better
With your gentle touch
Show the love
I allowed you to see
Use the two sets of wings
That I handed to thee.

 John 13:14-16

If I then, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master;
nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

“Invitation into the Light”

As we progress through Holy Week, we are reminded of the suffering our Lord did for us. He shows us perfect Love. He does expect us to do likewise and show perfect love. He never said it would be easy. We are asked to do our best and love as He loves us. According to

1 John 4-20,21:  “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother  whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”