A word for Lent-Light

Handel used the lyrics from a preacher Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.

9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

 
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
 
3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
 
woman raising arms arms to the sky in a glow of light
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Isaiah 

 THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

Handel’s Messiah

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel composed it to be performed at Easter.
 
HANDEL'S MESSIAH- A SOULFUL CELEBRATION album cover
 
 
 
 
 
 “Handel used the lyrics from a preacher  Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.
 
In some cases Jennens copied verses from the King James Version of the Bible directly, and in other cases he abridged or modified the wording of the Bible verses somewhat to fit into something that could be set to music and sung. He also decided to change the “point of view” in a couple of places.
 
Rather than quoting Jesus’ words about himself directly, for instance, he made a few changes so that the singers are singing about Jesus rather than portraying the role of Jesus.”
 
quoted from wheatwilliams.com
 
 

You may also enjoy this post –

“Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.”

sharing the HEART of faith, hope, and love

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Wrestling with the challenge of evil

Where is God when evil seems to triumph? How can we pray, what can we pray when God seems powerless? Theologians have struggled with these questions for centuries, but there are no neat answers.

During his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew , Jesus taught,

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.

artwork photographed by Dr. Aletha

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Practice of Prayer

by Margaret Guenther

Writing in The Practice of Prayer, Episcopal priest Margaret Guenther says

“I have great respect for evil and become uncomfortable when we trivialize and try to domesticate it, or even turn it into entertainment via mediocre movies. Most simply put, it is manifested in consistent, conscious choices made in diametrical oposition to the God of love.

Where is God when evil seems to triumph? How can we pray, what can we pray when God seems powerless? Theologians have struggled with these questions for centuries, but there are no neat answers.

Ultimately, we are left with Job, baffled yet willing to let God be God. (Job, a Bible character who suffered multiple undeserved tragedies.-blogger’s note)

The question of evil will not go away that simply. We are supposed to be praying and, quite possibly wrestling as well- with our questions, with our doubts, with God. ”

Evil, whether in the actions of an individual or in the behavior of whole nations, is a challenge to our prayer.

Margaret Guenther

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exploring faith, hope, and love

Thanks for joining me to consider the Lord’s Prayer and Ms. Guenther’s teaching. I hope to share more from her so please come back. I invite you to

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                              Dr. Aletha 

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Love, Lewis, and a letter from John

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.

Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

1 John 4:7-11, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Books by C.S. Lewis

sharing the HEART of love

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

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                              Dr. Aletha 

Living with hope, courage, and power

In her podcast Lina interviews a variety of women and men who are following their calling to make a difference in the world. In a recent episode, I was excited to hear from Jan Silvious since I reviewed one of her books here on my blog. I learned that like me Jan is married to a veteran of the Vietnam war. Jan has had a long speaking career, working with well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur and with Women of Faith and writing books.

In my early years of practice I worked with another woman physician, Mona. She and I became friends as there weren’t many women in medicine then. We both eventually left that clinic for other opportunities, but would see or hear from each other occasionally.

A couple of years ago I attended a conference for women physicians- where almost all the attendees and speakers were women, far different from my early years of practice. One of the speakers was a dynamic young woman who talked so fast you had to pay attention or else you would miss what she had to say. I think she just naturally talks fast, but also because she is so passionate about her subject.

Originally from Lebanon, Lina is a pediatric emergency doctor, Bible teacher and writer, and at that conference she was speaking on the Bible, not medicine. I wanted to meet her so I went up and introduced myself. When I told her where I lived, she said, “My aunt lives there, and she is a doctor.”

Suddenly I knew why she looked so familiar. She is Mona’s niece! I was shocked at the coincidence. I started following her on social media , reading her blog and listening to her podcasts. I especially like the podcast she started a few months ago, The Hope Podcast.


Lina AbuJamra , M.D.

“Lina AbuJamra is a Pediatric ER doctor and founder of Living with Power Ministries. Her vision is to bring hope to the world by connecting biblical answers to everyday life.

A popular Bible teacher, blogger, and conference speaker, Lina has authored several books including: ThriveStripped, and Resolved. Lina is the host of Today’s Single Christian on Moody Radio and of Morning Minutes, a daily audio devotional available on her website.

Lina’s most recent adventure has taken her back to the Middle East and her birth country, Lebanon, where she is running several projects that give hope and healing to Syrian refugees. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Lina now calls Chicago home. She is single and a huge Packers fan, and would not survive without her iPhone. ”

Connect with Dr. Lina here-


Lina’s blog at the Living with Power website

Living with Power iPhone App

Lina’s podcast -The Hope Podcast

In her podcast Lina interviews a variety of women and men who are following their calling to make a difference in the world.

In a recent episode, I was excited to hear Lina interview author Jan Silvious since I reviewed one of her books here on my blog. I learned that like me Jan is married to a veteran of the Vietnam war. Jan has had a long speaking career, working with well known Bible teacher Kay Arthur and with Women of Faith and writing books.

Here is a link to the interview with Jan.

My review of Jan’s book

This post does contain affiliate links; purchases through them help me fund this blog and share the heart of health.

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON

Navigating What’s Next with Confidence and Hope

By Jan Silvious

Even though Jan Silvious titled her book, Courage for the Unknown Season, we know what that season is-the season of aging and its inevitable, relentless progression toward death.

We’ve seen it, some of us are already in it, and it can be a scary place, with many unknowns other than the end. Jan refuses to let aging intimidate her, and wrote this book to help others take on our fear of aging, loss, illness, disability, and death with confidence and hope.

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON, a book
COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON

She starts the book with a chapter titled “Resilience”, followed soon by “Fight Fear”. She advises us “Don’t Forget to Laugh”, and to “Clean Up after Yourself”- that is, deal with our personal possessions so our family doesn’t have to when we are gone.

I like that she offers practical tips on staying healthy that she learned from a physician friend. In the chapter “Head Toward Ninety” she lists several steps to maintain wellness-exercise, get adequate sleep, eat health promoting foods ,  and pursue a healthy mind and spirit.  She writes,

“Read, stay curious, forgive, drop the bitterness, and pursue peace.”

She points us to Psalm 92 from the Bible, and suggests meditating on it to gain a “wealth of spiritual health.”

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”

Psalm 92: 1-4 (NASB)

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Later, she takes us by the hand, without mincing words about the pain we will experience with loss, and walks us through steps to navigate “Grief and Hope”.

Jan uses examples from her life, her family, friends, and colleagues of using our later years to cherish old memories while continuing to make new ones. She doesn’t try to convince us that aging isn’t painful, but encourages us to find new ways to find joy and fulfillment when the old ways are no longer possible.

Written especially for Baby Boomers-those of us born between 1946 and 1964- Courage for the Unknown Season offers sound advice and encouragement to anyone who wants to be prepared for aging. For those younger, it will help you understand and deal with the challenges your parents and grandparents are encountering now; but stow away a copy for 10, 20, 30 or more years when you will appreciate its wisdom for your own life.

I enjoyed reading it since I have or am experiencing much of what she discusses, and her perspective validates my own. For those things I have yet to encounter, I appreciate her suggestions and warnings.

As Jan wrote,

“No matter what season you are in, there are truths that can help you approach the unknown with confidence and hope. Trust that God is the God of our season, no matter what it looks like, no matter how unknown.”

Jan Silvious

Jan Silvious is a long-time speaker, professional life coach, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is author of eleven books, including Big Girls Don’t Whine and Fool-Proofing Your Life. Jan and her husband, Charlie, live in Tennessee, and have three grown sons, two daughters-in-love, five charming grandchildren and a very bright rescued pit-bull, Rocky-Buddy.

Jan Silvious, author
Jan Silvious, author
 
 

Disclosure: I read an advance review copy of this book which I received complimentary from  Tyndale via NetGalley in return for writing a review.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Good Friday

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

The Cross, symbol of Christianity

Christians around the world observe the Friday before Easter as “Good Friday”, although the events remembered are dark and somber. For on this day, as recorded in the New Testament, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, died, and was buried.

Thus, a cross became perhaps the best known symbol of Christianity.

to the cross that the christian is challenged to follow his master. quote Hans Urs Von Balthasar
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“A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”).

Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross.” Mark 15 NLT

“Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.

take up thy cross and follow me
Photo by Dr. Aletha



Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, …… When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19, NLT

Jesus is buried in a tomb

“Then he (Joseph) took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation,[l as the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. “Luke 23, NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Thanks for sharing these words of faith, hope, and love with me.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

                              Dr. Aletha 

the Good Samaritan explained- from Daily Audio Bible

Brian Hardin creator and narrator of Daily Audio Bible explains the background and meaning  of the Good Samaritan story on his daily broadcast  which you can listen to at this link.April 3, 2019 -Daily Audio Bible 

Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor? “ The term “good Samaritan” means a person who goes out of their way to help someone, especially a stranger, often at  personal sacrifice .

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

“There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho.

On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead.

Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

“A Samaritan traveling the road came on him.

When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable.

In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’

 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”

“Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.”

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Listen to this story now

Brian Hardin, creator and narrator of Daily Audio Bible ,explains the background  of the Good Samaritan story and offers insights on what it can mean in our lives. Listen to his talk on his daily broadcast  at this link.

April 3, 2019 -Daily Audio Bible 

Available at the website, the app, and as a podcast, Daily Audio Bible cover the entire Bible in one year. Learn more at my previous post.

Daily Audio Bible: listen, learn, live, love

DAILY AUDIO BIBLE screen shot

exploring and sharing..

faith, hope and love in cursive letters
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I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Resolve to love this year

Whatever you have resolved to do this year, why not add LOVE to the list?

you cannot love without giving. Amy Carmichael

Matthew 22:36-39 CSB

And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Jesus.

“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”3

He said to him, 


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and most important command. 

 The second is like it:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

I hope you watch and enjoy this video, I think it has a powerful message. Whatever you have resolved to do this year

  • quit smoking
  • lose weight
  • exercise more
  • read books
  • finish school

why not add LOVE to the list? It might be the easiest-or the hardest-to accomplish.

RESOLVE TO LOVE THIS YEAR-FROM WATERCRESSWORDS.COM

Thanks for joining me for this post, please follow this blog where I regularly share words of

sharing faith, hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

                              Dr. Aletha 

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