In this Sunday's reading from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks the question: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" How is YOUR life going these days? How long has it been since you "walked by still waters"?
Lent has traditionally been a time of self-examination and a renewal or transformation of the spirit of faith. My sermon for this Sunday will be on "Inner Transformation". Maybe we need to stop for a minute and take a look at the changes happening in our own lives. Maybe we need to break the routine of our lives in order to see ourselves and God more clearly. Do you run your life by going from one crisis to another? Do you REALLY love yourself? And God? Or could your faith use some improvement? What do you need to let go of to really live and move on with your life?
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Good Shepherd. Praise Mass begins at 10:30am.
~ God Bless
Rev. Rick Eisenlord, M.Div, Pastor Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
THIS SUNDAY FOLLOWING PRAISE MASS...
Immediately following Mass this Sunday we will have a very special presentation on gay adoptions. Did you know that in the State of California you can be a single gay parent and still adopt? Times have changed... and so have the laws and regulations concerning adoption. Heartsent Adoptions, Inc. is a Hague accredited full service, nonprofit, domestic and international adoption agency created to assist adopting individuals in the journey to find their heart's desire - a child to love. We believe in bringing heart to the adoption process, providing support, education and kindness to unite children and parents as permanent and loving families. We have assisted in the placement of children from the United States and around the world, and feel honored to be a part of the miracle of the creation of families.
What is LENT?
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. This year Lent began on Wednesday February 18 and will conclude on Easter Sunday April 5. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
At Jesus' baptism the sky split open, the Spirit of God, which looked like a dove, descended and landed on Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, My Beloved, with whom I am pleased." Afterward, as told in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was sent into the wilderness by the Spirit. Where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. During his time there he was tempted by Satan and found clarity and strength to resist temptation.
Why was Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days?
Maybe Jesus needed some time with God to sort through the major changes happening in his life. Maybe he needed to get away from family, friends and the familiar routine in order to see God (and himself) more clearly. Perhaps he wanted some intentional time with God as he searched for direction and answers like you. Like Jesus, we may need to take some serious time to pray and listen for God.
Why "DO" Lent? How do I start?
Are you searching for something more? Tired of running in circles, but not really living life with direction, purpose or passion? It's pretty easy to get caught up in the drama of classes, relationships, family, and work. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. We try to fill the emptiness inside us with mindless TV, meaningless chatter, stimulants, alcohol, too many activities or other irrelevant stuff. We run away from life and from God.
Lent is a great time to "repent" -- to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. It's a 40 day trial run in changing your lifestyle and letting God change your heart. You might try one of these practices for Lent:
FASTING: Some people have been known to go without food for days. But that's not the only way to fast. You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. Some Christians use the whole 40 days to fast from candy, tv, soft drinks, cigarettes or meat as a way to purify their bodies and lives. You might skip one meal a day and use that time to pray instead. Or you can give up some activity like worry or reality tv to spend time outside enjoying God's creation. What do you need to let go of or "fast" from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do?
SERVICE: Some Christians take something on for Christ. You can collect food for the needy, volunteer once a week to tutor children, or work for reform and justice in your community. You can commit to help a different stranger, co-worker or friend everyday of Lent. Serving others is one way we serve God.
PRAYER: Christians also use Lent as a time of intentional prayer. You can pray while you walk, create music or art as a prayer to God, or savor a time of quiet listening. All can be ways of becoming more in tune with God.
Christians from many different traditions celebrate Lent. How will you use the time to grow closer to God?
Top Ten List: THINGS YOU CAN TRY FOR THE LENTEN SEASON
10. Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Guitar Hero, texting, tweeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week. (or everyday of Lent!) Use the time to read & pray.
9. Start a prayer rhythm. Say a prayer every time you brush your teeth, hear an ambulance, or check your e-mail. Before you text someone, pray for them.
8. Read one chapter in the Bible each day. (Matthew's a good book to start with. Psalms, too.)
7. Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it (maybe even yourself.)
6. Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in Haiti or others in crisis.
5. Create a daily quiet time. Spend 30 minutes a day in silence and prayer.
4. Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.
3. Be kind to someone each day.
2. Pray for others you see as you walk to and from classes or drive to and from work.
1. Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry or a Habitat for Humanity project.
Credit. Many thanks to Rev. Penny Ford for the Lenten information above. Rev. Ford is the pastor of a small UMC church in Carrollton, Alabama. She loves playing trains and going for walks with her 3 year old son, Jamieson.
Save the Date!
Sunday March 1 - After Mass - Heartsent Presentation: Gay Adoptions
Sunday March 8 - Daylight Savings Time Begins - Spring Ahead!
Sunday March 8 - after Mass - Landscape Class Meets
Sunday March 22 - Assemble Easter Baskets - after Mass
Friday March 27 - 11 am - Easter Baskets to Villa Esperanza
Sunday March 29 - 10:30am - Palm Sunday
Friday April 3 - 7pm - Stations of the Cross at Good Shepherd
Sunday April 5 - 10:30am - Easter Celebration Service
Click on the icon below to view a beautiful movie clip on HOPE.
We worship in Morrison Hall on the campus of Westminster Presbyterian Church,
1757 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104
Click on the link below to get MapQuest Directions.
Good Shepherd Church
Pasadena is an emerging welcoming congregation for all people,
regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. We believe in God the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We affirm that God loves and cherishes all
His children, and has shown His love through the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ. We invite you to join us, regardless of your religious or
An LGBT Church and so much more...
Our mission is to offer hope and
inspiration to those who feel discouraged, who have been discriminated
against or who are seeking spiritual fulfillment they are not getting
elsewhere. We are God's hands and feet in a world desperately searching
for hope and guidance. The Good Shepherd knows His flock and loves us
fully. You are deeply cherished for who you are, gay, straight,
bi-sexual, lesbian or transgendered. The Good Shepherd wants you. We
want you! Please join us, won't you?
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