A Leap into the Unknown

Lent 2017

We just started Lenten Season. It is a reminder to prepare our hearts and souls for, the celebration of the risen Christ.

In the quiet of my heart I heard You whisper “Love, Peace and Joy”

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you”.

I remember distinctly the time I felt the tucking and pulling to listen to that still small voice:

“This is the way, walk in it”.

This is when I took “A Leap into The Unknown.” What a journey it was and still is. Lent is just such a time where we prepare our souls and hearts to be renewed in the Spirit to live life in the Holy Spirit. As we journey with Christ we also carry our cross daily. Continue reading “A Leap into the Unknown”

Approaching Lent 2016

A very happy 2016 to all of you.

Already we are approaching Lent. I feel totally blessed by the love our Lord is giving me.

I am able to spend three months on the Island of Tenerife. It is so beautiful I can’t even describe it. It looks like at one point the earth bubbled and all these mountains appeared in different sizes. It is a volcanic Island filled with different blooming cacti surrounded by clear blue water. It is one of the Canary Islands, Spain.

Tenerife1

 

Many English and German retirees spend their winters here. Our son moved with his family here last August. He wanted us to experience the island he learned to love over the last few years. It is truly a blessing to be able to do this.

Tenerife2

We have such an amazing Lord. We have found a church where we can be part of the celebration of the Sunday mass in English. It is a smaller church but filled with people.

Tenerife3

The population on the island is mostly Spanish and also Catholic. As we experience the different areas of the island I can truly say “I feel loved beyond measure.”

Tenerife4

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We all heard these words many times. Mary said yes without knowing all she said yes to. She had so much love to give, that is probably why God chose her for the mother of Jesus. It took much love to be able to handle all Jesus had to go through. Yet the world was not ready to accept His love. He was born for us, for each one of us. He loves us so much. There are many days when I call out: “Lord, please come and hold me close.” All I can hear is, “I am already with you. Just trust me fully, I know you well. It is my promise, I am with you always.” Immediately I will feel His Love and Peace and Joy filling my being.

As we approach lent, I meditate often on the suffering our Lord did for us. I will re-read “Can you drink the Cup?” by Henri Nouwen. We are all asked to carry our cross. And each one of us has a different cross to carry. It is good to remember that our Lord will not allow our cross to be too heavy to carry. If we call out: “Lord, please hold my hand”, He will.

He died on the cross for us because He loved us so much. He rose again to be one with the Father. Just knowing how much our Lord loved us and still does will make it possible for us to carry our cross and share the love the Lord gives us. Lord please teach me to truly understand your sacrifice for me. You died for me, yes for me, because you love me so much. We just have to believe. Lord I truly believe and I will hold you in my heart forever. What a blessing you are for me.

My promise to you is again— I will share your love wherever I go from sunrise to sunset.

Thank you Lord for loving me.

Lent 2015 – Reaching out to our Lord

As we begin this season of Lent let’s together reach for our Lord’s stretched out hand and build a circle of friendship in His love. He has made us in His image. He is constantly calling, come closer. 

As I sit in my office/studio this morning I can’t help but praise the Lord for all of His creation. The birds are flying back and forth in front of my window, all puffed up. Even in this bitter cold our Lord with His amazing creation keeps them warm.

Awaiting Spring
Awaiting Spring by Brunhilde Luken

Lent is a perfect time to again evaluate and reflect on our walk with our Lord. Did I get closer; did I stay on my course with all the distractions that we are presented with? Can I say, yes Lord, here I am? Yes, trust in the Lord with all your life. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

With the Lord in your heart you will never walk alone. Our Lord desires our friendship and love. Our Lord loves us so much He sent His only Son to lay down His life for us. What greater love can there be, then to give His life for His children.

The following is from the Catechism (1286): The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him without measure.

Mark chapter 1:9-13 It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After His time in the desert the mystery of Jesus and His mission began. He now called his disciples to him. For His mission to be fulfilled He also called for help.

Mark 1:16,17 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus knew why He was born and what He had to do. He freely gave His life to redeem the world. He said yes.

Let us all say “Yes Lord!” He will freely send us His Holy Spirit if we pray “Come Holy Spirit, come.” As we pray, “Please Lord put your light around me, show me the way.”  He will make us “broken bread” and “poured out wine.” We don’t have to look for a purpose. Our purpose in life is to serve the Lord. Let us all make our journey through Lent count. Renew our commitment by staying in His presence and studying His Word. His Word is the truth. It should not be altered or changed. If we truly love the Lord, we will live by His Word. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Let us belong to the, as Saint Augustine called it, “City of God”.

Let us be able to share our Lord’s message with all those we encounter and let us be free to choose Him.

 

Lenten reflections by Brunhilde Luken

Lent 2013

“Be still and know that I am God”
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 46:10

 During Lent I take time to be especially close to the Lord. It is a wonderful time for meditation. This year I am re-reading the Gospel of John.

John 4: 7-14 A women of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her,” Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the women of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan women?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “if you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Jesus answered and said to her, “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

As I draw closer to my loving Father, I often ask myself, where would I be if my Lord did not find me?

When I look back, I know it was long ago when I was a little girl in early spring when the priest blessed the cornfields. This is when I knowingly found the Lord. This is when I felt His light touching me. He is asking us again and again to walk in His light. He is our Lord.

“Be still and know that I am God”

Invisible Hand

These simple words spoken with reverence have such power. Jesus is the way, the only way. He was born for all of us. He freely accepted to be a sacrifice for all of us, so we can have eternal life. He left us with His Word and He sent us the Holy Spirit. He deposited His Soul into the Hands of the Father. Luke 23:46-47  And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ “Having said this, He breathed His last. So when the centurion saw what had  happened, he glorified God, saying,”Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

Our soul needs to be guarded carefully. It is our most treasured possession. As Christians we also deposit our soul into the Hands of our Lord. Into the Hands of the “I Am who Am”. By fully surrendering we become part of the “I Am”. With this surrender He will fill us with His Love and make us a gift to all the lives we are part off. We are open to receive His blessings. God is permanently involved in our lives. He is in control. He reveals His will to us. He protects us, He shields us, He empowers us. God acts in righteousness. God intervenes in our lives. He will give you the very best. Our faith is a big Mystery. We are serving a real God. Faith is not a religious logic, it is a spiritual force. Faith does not just come by hearing the Word, it comes directly from God by hearing.

The stronghold of faith is access to the voice of God.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Therefore, if you can access hearing the voice of God, you are free. God still speaks today.

Matthew 21: 20-22 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying,” How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them,” Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain,’ Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Lenten season is a wonderful time to walk closely with our Lord in prayer and contemplation.

He suffered and died for us. God also allows suffering in our lives, not to punish us, but to grow us into a deeper understanding.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Reflections for Lent 2012

By Brunhilde Luken

The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (Matthew 20:28)

Ash Wednesday passed and most of us Christians received the cross of ashes on our forehead as a reminder—from dust you come and to dust you will return. To some this is a stark reminder that we are here only for a short time. We all are here for a special purpose. It is up to us to try to find our purpose. We are here to serve the Lord.

I often ask myself, “Do I love the Lord enough to fully and freely serve Him. How will I know? Do I stay connected to the Lord in prayer, so I will hear His voice?”

The following is taken from the book that I especially enjoy for some of my daily readings.

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

 “I will gladly spend and be spent for you” 2 Corinthians 12:15

When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin deliberately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people, not for a cause. Paul spent himself for one purpose only—that he might win men to Jesus Christ. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time, never to himself. “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

As my Lenten study I choose this year “A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St. Paul of the Cross.” It is a wonderful study to renew and strengthen our Walk with Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection changed how we look at our life. We celebrate His presence in our life new each day as He draws us closer to Himself. Only He will lead us to eternal life.

Each day will help us to grow in His Love. Even as dark shadows play across our lives we become fully alive, always grateful sharing God’s Love, Joy and Peace with others.

Are we ready to be broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives?

The following is a prayer from my Lenten study from St. Paul of the Cross:

Lord,
When we feel our day
Becoming a desert,
And life beginning to be too
Much,
And we’re tiring of doing good,
Stay at our side and be our strength. Amen