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THE MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM

THEY CAME TO ARREST HIM

LOOKING FOR JESUS OF NAZARETH

ALL HE SAID WAS “I AM HE”

JUST A GLIMPSE OF HIS GLORY

JUST A CRACK IN THE DOOR

AND THEY WERE FLATTENED

THERE WERE MANY IN THAT BAND OF SOLDIERS

JUDAS BROUGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUT JUST A WORD FROM THE GREAT I AM

AND THEY FELL TO THE GROUND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM

IT HAPPENS WHEN AN UNHOLY BEING COMES

INTO

THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY

 

Have you ever experienced “The Mysterium Tremendum?”

When I was a young wife, my sister spent a week with me, following me around with her Bible, telling me who Jesus is, why I should be afraid, and why I should give Him my whole life. She was making me nervous and I wanted her to go home, but a blizzard came and we were snowbound together. She saw it as God’s opportunity and kept following me, reading Scripture to me. Scripture upon Scripture with Jesus claiming to be God. A sense of my need was growing. My sin. Sally told me my sins were as scarlet. But then she pointed to the new fallen snow outside our window and told me He could make me as white as snow.

Sally was a new Christian, yet God gave her some of the same passages that you will hear in the free Keller sermon this week. Jesus was claiming Deity.

I asked her, “If this is true…if He is God…would He ask me to give up the house Steve and I are planning to build?”

She hesitated a long time. (She told me later she was crying out to God for how she should answer me.) Then she said, “I think, in your case, yes.” (Oh my! Even then God knew my idolatrous heart and zeroed in on what was most important to me!) I am very thankful for my bold and caring sister. (Sally is the mother of our new blogger, Anne Meredith.)

When Sally left I had been “awakened.” I was hesitant to give up our house…unless, this was all true. Was it true?

Sally left me two prayerfully chosen books.

A copy of Phillip’s New Testament

(so I wouldn’t start in Genesis) and

C. S. Lewis’s classic: “Mere Christianity.”

I read them both. Fear grew in my heart.

 

A month later, on a November day in 1966, the fear of the Lord brought me to my knees. As I began to pray, I suddenly realized how sinful I was and how holy He was. The Mysterium Tremendum. Truly, there was a flash of fear so great I was overcome. But then it was gone and I felt, like Karla Faye Tucker has described, “wrapped in His love.” As John Newton said, “It was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.”

I haven’t experienced anything like that since, but I have felt tremors. Sometimes when I am speaking a sense of His holiness comes over me. A holy fear to speak not for the approval of man but for Him.

So often I need those tremors because of my depravity.

I remember clearly my first Christian booksellers convention. These mega-events, held in arenas, can have a bit of a carnival feel — though there are good things like holy Bibles and strong books on display, there are a multitude of booths with offensive bumper stickers and praying bears. As Chris said last week:Sometimes I am troubled by the use of cheesy Jesus’ images like ones on bumper stickers or some pictures that one might see in an email or on the internet. I think we have a tendency to shrink God down to where we feel comfortable with Him.”

Steve and two of our daughters were with me, and Sally and Annie were excited to meet so many celebrities.  I was pleased to have radio broadcasters interested in me. It’s an atmosphere as conducive to pride as moisture is to mold.

At the Sunday service, thousands were listening to Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and a whole string of well known people. Looking back, for many of us, our focus was on them, rather than on God.

We have such a tendency to lose perspective, to forget how holy, holy, holy He is.

When it was time for the message, a short unassuming man came out. I looked at my bulletin and saw the title of the sermon:

“The Depravity of Man and The Holiness of God.”

The preacher was R. C. Sproul, and he was quickened by the Spirit of God. His message was exactly what we needed and the Lord chose to quicken him. There was such a sense of the holy. As if Jesus came into the temple with a whip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM.

Watch this clip of R. C. Sproul from his series: The Holiness of God.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY_4_CRnwqE

When you realize how holy He is, and how sinful you are, the earth should shake a bit. This is what makes us so grateful, as well, for His grace.

During Lent we are endeavoring to put something off and put something on in its place. No doubt every one of us has failed to live up to the standard we set for ourselves. It would be easy to think that trouble is coming into our lives because of that failure — but that too is wrong theology. He took our punishment — He satisfied the requirement of a holy God. We are called to be holy as He is holy, but He also knows we will fail, and He is faithful and just to cleanse us when we confess our sins. In this powerful passage today, if you could read it in Greek, you would see how He says:

I AM

TAKE ME

LET THEM GO

Sunday/Monday

1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

2. What stands out to you from the above and why?

3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.


Monday-Wednesday: Bible Study

 



 

For this third week of Lent, we will again be looking at an episode where Jesus proclaims Himself to be Deity, to be the Great I AM. This phrase, by which Jesus identified Himself repeatedly in John’s Gospel, is the same phrase that God spoke to Moses when He told him that His name was “I AM.” This week I want us to look at the incident that occurred on holy Thursday, the night before Jesus was crucified. Keller’s message, which is free this week, helps us clearly understand the Great I AM and will be a good foundation for coming weeks.

Just before this incident, Jesus had prayed His “high priestly prayer” for the disciples and for “those who would believe because of them.” He knew He was going to die, and His heart was with us, praying for us. Then, though this is not recorded in John’s Gospel, he went to Gethsemane, where He suffered, knowing what He had to face.

3. Read John 18:1-3

A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed?

B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4.

C. In verse 5, when Jesus says, “I am he,” there is actually no “he.” It is simply “I AM.” Look up the following five references and find how his enemies reacted when He made an “I AM” statement:

John 6:35

John 8:12

John 8:58

John 10:7 and 10:14


4. Read John 18:6-9

A. What happened when Jesus said, “I AM.” Why, do you think?

B. What did Jesus ask them to do in verse 8?

C. Why, according to verse 9?

5.  Read John 18:10-11 and report what happened.

6. What stands out to you from this account and why?

Thursday-Friday: Download this free sermon from Keller (LINK). (Click on the word Link and you will find many free Keller sermons, but we want # 11 “I AM HE”

7. The Greatest Claim

A. What are some claims that Jesus made that no other founder of any religion ever made?

B. Bono was asked if it wasn’t a bit much that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. What was his response?

C. C. S. Lewis has a famous argument in Mere Christianity in which he challenges those who want to believe Jesus is just a great teacher. What was it?

 

THE GREATEST PROBLEM

What notes do you have on this section?

 

What else stood out to you from this sermon and why?

 

THIS IS THE SCENE FROM THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS THAT KELLER REFERENCES AT THE CLOSE OF HIS MESSAGE: (Just the first few minutes are relevant.)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah9XCamPyKA&feature=related

REMEMBER HIS WORDS

I AM

TAKE ME

LET THEM GO

(John 18:8)

 

Saturday:

What’s your take-a-way? Why?

 

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312 comments

  1. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it. I think so but am not sure so will come back to this question

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why? Dee I really liked your story of your sister who kept pressing on.. Did u even imagine that you were going to write books, minister to women in prison or have a blog? It’s amazing what goes does! I am so thankful for u!

  2. Well last week I think I did really well. My two things for lent was not drinking alot of ice coffee I was drinking one a day for 7 days! And I believe that I did well with my prayer time even though I was with unsaved family and people all around me I did really well.

    This verse I read on the air Plane ride down

    Psalm 84:11 the lord is my sun and my shield I took this verse with me throughout the week!

    1. So Meg all around how was the cruise?

      1. Angela,

        It was great! Thanks for asking! How r u guys doing after the storm?

        1. Ok Meg. It did not really hit us. Several homes destroyed again though. This is strange for us in the south…not normal! People get freaked now because you never know what it will hit.

        2. Meg wecome back, glad to know the cruise was great.
          Angela, were any of the homes destroyed near you?

        3. Yes there were several around us. So sad. But not as bad as last year.

  3. Sunday/Monday
    1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.
    I have had such an experience. About 10 or 11 years ago at our old church, the one where Bill is now involved in youth ministry, Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the hands of an Angry God was the basis for the sermon, and large tracts from that text were quoted. My sin and the hopelessness of my condition apart from Christ became so much more real. I felt in awe of God and more resolute in my desire to know and to serve Him. I had been a believer for many years but never before had I truly treasured what it meant that the righteousness of Christ had been imparted to me.
    Even now as I think about it, it affects me again. It is hard to find any words.
    I really grew spiritually over those next months.

    A sermon shortly thereafter ended with a request for those who wanted to express a commitment to be sold out for God to raise their hands. I shot my hand up I almost stood up, I didn’t mean to but I opened my eyes and saw that only a couple of other hands were up, I was amazed that so many could keep still.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Sally’s bold witnessing to you, how she loved you enough to speak truth to you. How blessed we are to have you as a teacher & mentor, I am glad God sent Sally and the snowstorm!

    I have listened to R.C. Sproul on the radio many times, he is much younger in the clip than I imagined him, I think perhaps wisdom indicates age in my mind.

    It is a mystery that the God of the universe who is perfectly other, holy, and just, would condescend to make a way for sinners, that his heart is tender towards us, he desires relationship with us. I feel smaller and yet enlarged by the thought

      1. Dee “the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards”.
        Thank you

  4. Dawn, praying for you today on the anniversary of your niece’s death. Susan–praying for your mom–update us when you can. And Chris, I am praying for your mother in law and the dye test tomorrow–keep us posted.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth I will, and thanks for pointing out that there are more clips to view after the video

    2. Thank you for asking – she barely ate yesterday; no appetite which is worrisome as she only weighs 81 pounds; my sister is fixing their dinner for tonite; mom said she felt somewhat better today. Still this dry cough, but she rested on the couch today instead of in bed like yesterday.

      1. Lord, we lift up Virginia to You–would You hold her in Your arms Lord and heal her. Please show her Yourself, Lord and draw her near. I pray too for Susan’s dad that You would grant him, Susan, and her sisters Your peace. In Your Name we pray~

        1. Yes Father!

    3. Thank you, Elizabeth.

  5. Ready for another great week of Bible study. Great subject matter!
    Yesterday when I read the post from Elizabeth I kept pondering how God is making us beautiful – His kind of beautiful. This song from Gungor says it so well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ4yNYY1hHM&feature=related

    1. kim, thank you for sharing this song! I have never heard that song-love the lyrics–especially this line hit me “Hope is springing up from this old ground-Out of chaos life is being found in You”, reminds me too of the icy leaves that had moved you a few weeks ago…

    2. Thank you for the song, Kim. I had never heard it before. It is beautiful both in lyrics and music, and fits in so well.

      1. me too, I had never heard of the song or Gungor before, loved it

    3. Oh Kim I was hoping to hear but can’t get it to open on my IPad. Will have to keep trying.

    4. That was a beautiful song, thanks for sharing.

  6. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it. Once I was outside with my friend, it was the darkest of nights and the sky was so black, it was about to storm in a big way and lightning seemed to flash across the entire sky. It seemed so close, and I looked up and said, whoa is me a woman of unclean lips! I felt a sense of His holiness, His bigness, it was that fear. Then knew I was enveloped in His love so I had no need to fear.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why? I have been burdened for quite a while about this one, I feel saddened because I have this group of friends that I have now met in person, most of them, and the common factor is love for Beth Moore Bible studies. As we talked on her blog we did get a chance to meet and develp deeper friendships and go to Beth events and Beth has even surprised us by visiting with us at certain get togethers or inviting us backstage, etc. Well, I started seeing many of those ladies trying to compete for how much Beth attn they could get. It was a sad thing and I see the pride in how they are like, we know Beth, etc. I could never make myself do that though instead just distanced myself, But like at the book convention it just bread pride, the focus was more on Beth than on God. It grieves me and I think it would grieve Beth too. I just pray for her. I am thankful too because I do not see that same co-dependency here with our friends and I see an openness to new comers, etc. I am thankful for that.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week. I said I would probably do something with food. I am just trying to eat for sustenance and not anything else. However, I did not do that too well. I will try this again with healthier choices and when I crave the bad pray and remember God is more important as far as treating my temple better that houses HIM! 🙂 I have not been on Face book too much I think that hold on me it had is broken.

      1. I agree with you about Keller, I think we all can appreciate just how rich his teaching is. He brings us to the place where we worship God & not man. Bill and I went to one of the Redeemer services while in NYC. It was not one at whick Keller spoke, I was disappointed a little bit, but we were still really glad we went. It was such a diverse congregation.

    1. Angela, you voice thoughtful concerns about Christians getting caught up in hero worship. Your experience with your friends is a good warning that we need to stay focused on God, not on our teachers or our friends, however wonderful they may be. This is a good thing to make a prayer concern for us here on this blog. Let us not idolize each other. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    I was talking with my husband about this, and while we both loved Young Life, for us at least, it was so focused on Jesus wants to be your friend…that while we had many “highs” in those days, I think we missed His holiness. I don’t know that I can name a time like Dee mentioned—and yet, I know there have been other times—when the earth shook, and my eyes were opened to my own depravity—like in college when God first showed me I was the pride-filled older brother-I called my Bible Study leader and cried over a Frosty at Wendy’s—how could I have missed my deepest ugliest sin, my whole life. I remember feeling like I didn’t know how to get out of the pit—I had built my identity on my “goodness” and now it was shattered. But honestly, in the last 14 months of doing Dee’s studies—I have been more consistently in the Word than ever before in my life, and the more I draw near Him, the more I feel reverence…I have always had strong convictions, but now they are more love-based, if that makes sense. I want to be with Him more, and I want to experience that trembling.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    I really enjoyed the RC Sproul clips—listened to all 5. I liked the Calvin quote—that there is a pattern to human response in the presence of God in Scripture. The more righteous the man, the more trembling in the face of the Holy God. Our natural inclination is to hide from Him, as we know His holiness reveals our unholiness. I found this quote from St. Augustine on the Mysterium Tremendum: “What is that which gleams through me And smites my heart without wounding it? I both a-shudder and aglow. A-shudder, in so far as I am unlike it, aglow in so far as I am like it.”
    There is this humbling, shuttering at His presence and yet how can it be, that we should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood! That we can partke of Him, it is an overwhelming mystery.

    I am also moved by dear Sally’s persistence, even as a young believer herself, to be bold with the Gospel—the love for her younger sister that went beyond the limits of our time on this earth. I look at how God used her boldness—the ministry we now are blessed by, so many years later.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.

    This is kind of cool to me–when we first began this series, I asked God to show me what to “put off” for Lent and He gave me 7 things! I wrote them all down and it’s been AMAZING how the study is right in line with what He’s asked me to put off! Last week, I had put fear. Our entire lesson chiseled me. Oh how I LOVE Him and what He graciously taught me. I AM NO FEAR.
    For this week, I had put “pride”. Looking at His holiness, is an axe to my pride!

      1. Where is the “like” button, Dee-I agree 100%.

    1. This is me too! “in the last 14 months of doing Dee’s studies—I have been more consistently in the Word than ever before in my life” Loved all of your comments, Elizabeth!

  8. 2. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    Powerful words:

    I AM
    TAKE ME
    LET THEM GO

    Jesus declared His Deity. He said “Take me,” and took my place. Then he said, “Let them go,” so that I could go free. Wow!

  9. Can I share this with you all–oh I pray it’ll bless you–it’s old, but really fitting–Twila Paris, How Beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJfSp_rceFs

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, I love this song from Twila Paris.

    2. This is so beautiful. How beautiful is the body of Christ. Thanks.

  10. Sunday/Monday

    1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it. – for this I will have to seek my heart for a time if I have ever had this feeling and report back on this at a later time.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why? – when Dee was newly married and her sister Sally came to visit, Dee’s “don’t tell me about God attitude” had no place in God’s plan for her life. This tells me that we can plan our days and life they way we want it to happen, but God has a different plan all together for us. It doesn’t matter what we want, if we have been chosen by God our destination has been set, it’s just a matter of how long it takes us to realize it and to let God be the guide. I am so glad that Dee took the path God had set out for her, or none of us would be learning His ways thru her.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week. – last week my “putting off” sleeping and “putting on” getting up and getting into the Word first thing, did not work out very well. I have been fighting a cold which is making me more tired and not sleeping, so I’m not wanting to get up but I am not going to give up. I will continue to fight the enemy this week and strive on getting up so I can get into the Word with a devotion, or this study before I start my day.

      1. Thanks Dee, I thought I was, but seem to going back down. Need to find time to just relax but hard when, you work and come home to have to cook. I don’t feel like eating since I can’t taste anything but hubby and son are looking to eat something other than sandwiches, lol

  11. This is great that we are delving more deep into the Deity of Jesus!
    I shared on my Facebook wall about our study last week, Our lives are like a voyage at Sea!
    There is SO MUCH in that Keller sermon last week, so many points and ways to look at in John 6!

    I was thinking of that song I AM by Mark Schultz this morning, and here we are discussing it!

  12. I loved the “circle- I am”! so good to read this study! I love C.S. Lewis. Miss you, sisters! Missing to read these articles. But so happy because we are really enjoying the study(Dee Brestin’s series – every friday): A woman of wisdom. We will finish this book on April 20. On April 27 we will make a tea for women (to speak of Jesus). Begin on May 4, new book: A woman of beauty. So, keep praying for us! love, Polly. Dee, God bless you!

    1. Pollyanna, so glad to hear this update from you. We miss you but are happy you checked in!

      1. so sweet, kim! love to you! Polly

      1. Dear Dee, our group will be praying for this ministry and for these precious sisters. God is in all this, I see. love, Polly

    2. Pollyanna, Always love when you post, and just love this picture of You-His radiance shines through you! Hope you will have time to post more?!?

      1. Rebecca, I wish, but I will visit more to read, especially the prayers requests. I am very grateful to God for the Dee´s ministry. She is a gift of God in our lives! love, Polly.

        1. Thank you, Polly, we all know that about Dee! It is so good to see your sweet face and hear from you, about what your doing! Keep us posted! Praying for you!

  13. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    The first time was when I was saved. I was just a girl attending a church where there were no altar calls but that didn’t stop me from grabbing my mother and running down to the altar to pray the sinners prayer. The poor pastor didn’t know what to do with me so he closed the service but I didn’t need him or anyone’s help. I had to tell Jesus I was sorry and needed Him in my heart. There was weeping and then joy – I would never be the same. This is a testament that Jesus can reach anybody at anytime even in a church that doesn’t teach salvation. This is why we pray and never give up believing for those who need Him.

    1. I love this Kim! I can just imagine you grabbing your moms hand and running and the pastors surprise! Priceless 🙂

    2. Oh so wonder-filled, Kim. Thanks for sharing this. It encourages us to pray when we do not see any visible evidence that God is working.

      Yesterday, I attended a funeral of a godly woman from our church. I knew there were unbelievers attending the service and sat praying that the Lord would touch hearts and change lives, though I saw no outward signs that there was any difference. It is God who works and not as we perceive or can know.

    3. I love this Kim. How old were you?

      1. Thank you, all. I love my story too. Chris, I was about 9 years old. I remember too having such a sense that I was changed b/c the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me that very evening about obeying and helping my mother and I wanted to help her and please Him.

    4. Oh Kim, I can just picture how cute you were running up there!!

  14. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    Well, I don’t believe I have ever experienced this phenomenon. The only two times I might be able to relate this to is when I was having my first child – there was a point in my delivery where I was afraid because I realized that no one could do the task for me. It was solely me alone. I did think, “The only one who can help me now is God,” and I was comforted.

    The other time would be when I went to see my dying father in the hospital. My sister snuck me up the back stairs of the hospital because I was too young to be there. I got to see him for about 2 minutes in ICU before I was “had.” I remember thinking, “He is going to die,” and then thinking it is ok, we won’t be alone; God is near.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    I suppose that I have never heard of this MysteriumTremendum. I find it curious. It also reminds me of the dance we are rehearsing for Good Friday service; Were You There? We are having to reflect trembling over and over in the song and it is hard to “act” it out. Some of the dancers have gone online to look up others who have performed this piece and brought back many versions of peoples’ ideas of what this means. It is interesting for sure!

    3. On my Lenten discipline:

    I chose to put off selfishness and put on thoughtfulness to my family members specifically.

    Last week went well. I cooked dinner 6 times! Unheard of! I made a no-sew pillow and blanket for my sons birthday. I did everyone’s laundry. I helped my daughter find a dress for an upcoming family wedding. It was nice to do things for my family. I wish I had more time. I was off last week because it was our winter break.

      1. I had just turned 13 3 days before he died. My mom was my age (48) when he died. He was 50. She never remarried. She is 84.

        1. I am sorry that you lost your Dad so young Laura.

  15. 1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    I think when I came to know Him was the first time, back in 1988. I think His Holiness is what convicted me that I was a wretched sinner. I knew I couldn’t stand before Him in my own righteousness because I knew I was wretched. I just knew because of my sin I couldn’t stand in his presence ever, or have a relationship with Him-no one told me this or made me feel dirty-i just felt dirty before him and knew I couldn’t stand before him-I believe this was from Him. I knew my sin had to be covered and knew Jesus did that for me. I was overwhelmed by His holiness which led me to confessing to him I am a wretched sinner and need his forgiveness, and told him I wanted to give him control of my life-I was done trying to control it and I wanted to live for him. 😉 That was the first time.

    Since then, I haven’t had the overwhelming fear I had when I gave my life to him, yet there are times-I can’t name where I see myself heading in a certain direction in my depravity and I do tremble. I pray I will become more aware as time goes on-I want to keeping drawing close to Him.

  16. 2. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    A lot of things. I have this struggle with ‘celebrity’ in the Christian realm-it puts a bad taste in my mouth when I think about it because it is lifting up what He has created over Him. Yet I am sure if I met Amy Grant, I would be nervous! 🙂 I don’t know, maybe it is because God has made us to worship Him, and in our sin we naturally bend toward worshiping other things or people. I think By God’s Grace when we see Him-He is the center, He helps us see everyone from a spiritual perspective.

  17. 2. cont.. Oops, for got to add this:

    The other thing that stuck out is the painting of Jesus with a whip, and this: “The preacher was R. C. Sproul, and he was quickened by the Spirit of God. His message was exactly what we needed and the Lord chose to quicken him. There was such a sense of the holy. As if Jesus came into the temple with a whip.”

    Also the wheel-loved it! Loved it!

    Loved John 18:8 I hadn’t seen that before:

    I AM

    TAKE ME

    LET THEM GO

    And this: “When you realize how holy He is, and how sinful you are, the earth should shake a bit. This is what makes us so grateful, as well, for His grace.”

  18. 3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.

    In regard to selfishness, God put it on my heart to really ‘see’ his gifting in my oldest son and then love him by showing support for him in this area. I tend to focus on the struggles with meds-the emotional stuff. So, the other day-forgot which day, he woke up struggling-this time it was clearly his sin nature. So I started out addressing the sin nature, by God’s grace, not in anger. Then I set a boundary with him in this area, trusted God and went upstairs to take a shower. When I was upstairs God gave me a thought-I haven’t taken his lifelong desire for martial arts seriously. A lot of it is because I don’t like the religion behind it, and I don’t want him exposed to it, so we haven’t pursued that for him. Yet, through the years he has been teaching himself-he has become quite the ‘Bo staff’ user-he made one out of an old flag pole. Actually, he is pretty amazing using one. As I was upstairs, God brought to mind I needed to go downstairs and love him by telling him how impressed I am with his ability to use his Bo Staff, and start supporting this desire in him, and trust God as to how we are going to support him in this. My oldest son’s face lit up when I told him this-totally changed the atmosphere, and he hasn’t put his bo staff down since.

    This week..I am going to ask God to show me for sure what area, but I sense God is dealing with me in another area..Will let you know when I am sure. Oh and what Elizabeth said resonates with me in that there are so many areas! I am so glad God is longsuffering! Thankful growth is a process. I am depraved-my heart is wicked beyond what I can see! I am thankful for His Mercy and Grace!

    1. Rebecca I have been thinking about you and you son and praying. The video links after the one we watched for the lesson include an interview with R.C.Sproul & Ben Stein, they are discussing the documentary “Expelled”. I thought they might boltser your sons knowledge and confidence to speak truth to his own doubts and then to his classmate.

      We are blessed to have a Christian martial arts teacher in our area. He plays the drums at our old church. Daniel was a student at his studio for a while. It did him a world of good. I remember the martial arts type videos you posted of your boys on facebook, I would have thought that they had had some formal training.

      P.S. Sproul was much closer to the age I had imagined him to be in the interview clips!

      1. Chris, It is sweet you are praying-I am not saying that just to say it-I mean it-I so covet my sister’s prayers here. Wow, to hear Daniel benefited from his Martial arts teacher is wonderful.

        Yes, Elijah hasn’t had any formal training in martial arts weaponry-there is an art to it in how they do the movements with their bodies and the weapons-so it isn’t necessarily just used for fighting. He choreographed the stuff on that video-and taught his brothers the moves. 🙂 He wants to learn how to use swords-I’m not there yet!! I won’t allow guns or swords, or sharp objects in the house-with four boys! I have to keep my youngest away from the kitchen knives. 😉

        You gave me an idea. I was thinking I might put a request out to my friends at Church to see if anyone knows of a Christian Martial Arts teacher.

        I haven’t listened to the Sproul video yet-but I too have listened to him on the radio-love him.

        1. You are wise to be careful about finding a Christian teacher and values. There are summer kids camps in your area etc. if you Google it. I wonder if he could learn techniques online?

        2. Kim, Yes..I do think he learned them online. Thanks so much for your encouragement! 🙂

        3. Rebecca, Alfred and I took Karate together back in the day. There was no religion involved with this instructor. He mainly wanted them to gain self confidence and be able to protect themselves. Karate is great for learning disabilities because it involves movement and thinking at the same time. Maybe you could just interview some instructors to see what their goals are when they teach. Definitely stay away from the ones with trophies everywhere. Their focus is competition. I learned some great things about personal defense. He would be through the roof if you went with him.

        4. Anne, Great advice! Am going to pray and think about this-me doing it with him. I would love to depending on cost, yet you are right-he would go through the roof if I did do it with him-even if I am old and crickity. 😉

  19. 3. Read John 18:1-3

    A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed? I am not sure on this one

    B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4. Jesus knew that he was going to betrayed and arrested so he went up to them and asked what are you looking for? Just like in some situations we can say God what are you looking for from me? I know that I have asked that question alot!

  20. A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed?There were many and officers and came with weapons and torches. I wonder if they came armed because they saw the miracles He performed. They were scared maybe. They had experienced the holy somewhat in seeing what Jesus could do. Yet they did not know Him.

    B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4. It interests me that Jesus knew all that was to happen yet He came forward with a question. He wanted them to say it probably. Maybe to show God’s glory when He said His name. I am in awe of this and Hebrews where it states for the joy set before Him He endured the cross…Such mystery but beauty. What love!?

  21. love that song Kim! listening to it right now. it goes so well with 1000 gifts which i am reading and is the ONLY part of my lent that I have kept:) thankful for the grace of God which is new every morning!
    my mother in law often struggles and she is doing SO well this visit! I am so gratful for her mental health (and physical health for that matter!!) this trip! i know people are praying!
    the thing that stuck out from the above is that God is a God of grace!

  22. 2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The R.C. Sproul clip. I have never looked at the presence of God like that. I was awed.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.
    Still having trouble letting go of the resentment that I have toward my coworkers. The more that I interact with them the less I trust them and I want to keep away from them. I still find myself focusing on their motives.
    This week I want to continue working on this.

  23. 3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.

    I exercised 4 times last week, and didn’t buy any wine. I did have a glass with dinner on Saturday and a glass last night that my husband poured me, but I didn’t want anymore.

    My reading plans slowed, it was a very full week last week, It seems amazing that last Monday was just 7 days ago, so much has happened. I bought Counterfeit Gods again, I have purchased it 4 times now, I keep giving it away. It is for sale at church and everyone is encouraged to read it. I have read it twice at least, but I think I will set aside Cries of the Heart for awhile and read Counterfeit Gods again. The sermon yesterday was wonderful, Brian came with us, I was praying that his heart was prepared to receive the truths presented, I am hopeful.

    I will continue with these things and add the putting off of making negative assumptions. Dawn inspired me. I know I am prone to this and will pray that God will quickly show me when I am heading down this path and will replace it some truth, from scripture. I don’t do this as much since I became aware that I have the tendency, I am quicker to see it, but I still do it.

  24. 2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Dee, many years ago you shared your story of finding Christ and I was struck how Sally didn’t make it easy or flowery – much different than how I was taught to present the gospel in my Baptist church. It changed my approach realizing there was a cost to count and I appreciate that so much.

    I also was struck by the truth of your statement, “Sometimes when I am speaking a sense of His holiness comes over me. A holy fear to speak not for the approval of man but for Him. So often I need those tremors because of my depravity.” and have experienced this as well.

  25. Oh I gotta say too after surviving those tornadoes we had a tree fall from winds last night making a huge dent on our car but thanking God nothing else hurt!

  26. 1. I didn’t think I had but Angela’s thunderstorm reminded me of something similar. After I graduated high school one of my friends that had married and moved to CO happened to be in Nashville with a traveling group of Christians. I lived in NC then and decided to visit them in Nashville. Because I was single I slept on a cot in the ‘sister’s tent’ which was a circus tent with 3 rows of cots across. There was a thunderstorm one night that was bad (I guess any storm would be bad in a tent). What I remember is the side flaps blowing up so that I could see the entire sky lit up with lightning and all the rain blowing in. It was nearly 40 years ago so I don’t remember much except for how I felt after. I will never forget my sense of peace and security in God’s care. To this day, I love a thunderstorm because it reminds me of that time.

    I don’t know if that is a Mysterium Tremendum but it is all I can think of.

  27. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    I have experienced it. I’ve had the privilege of leading intercession teams for Passion conferences; one of my spiritual moms is the intercession leader for Passion. I’ve had a lot of overwhelming times in the prayer room, but the times that stand out have been when I’ve been praying through an empty arena before the students arrive. Usually there is a worship band warming up on stage and the music fills the arena, and you feel the holiness of God settle on a place that held a rock concert the night before. I have found myself sobbing, unable to stop, as I felt God’s heart for this generation. Just overwhelming love and the grief He feels over their sin. Just how much He loves and wants to draw them back to Himself.

    2. What stands out to you from above and why?

    Aunt Dee’s story about the book convention, the pride that is so easy to take on. I’ve prayed for and been with all the worship leaders of Passion, and pastors/leaders. It’s very easy to take your identity and worth from being with such “high caliber” Christians. That you are special because of it. I had to walk away from it. I might go back, but only until I feel completely free to do so. Hard lessons to learn but worth the cost. I can relate to Angela’s story about Beth Moore. It’s a trap so many of us fall into. But Jesus is there to pull us out!

    I also loved the painting of Jesus with a whip! Love love that artist.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.

    I did pretty good on staying off of FB…trying to be totally free of it this week. As far as Weight Watchers, I haven’t gotten on the scale but just following the program. Still doing pretty well with eating less sugar.

  28. 3. Read John 18:1-3
    John 18:1-3 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

    A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed?

    The gospels repeatedly state that those who wanted to kill Jesus ‘feared the crowds’ & ‘feared the people’, it struck me that they didn’t fear God, it never said they were afraid of Christ, He infuriated them.

    Perhaps they were armed because they feared a mob of Christ’s followers mounting an uprising to make Him the Jewish king. Which would have meant a loss of their own power.

  29. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it. – I think for me it was probably a year after I was saved. When I did get saved it was from a testimony of a friend of a friend and I was struck by what he had to say, but I don’t think the “light” really came on at that time. I remember it was Mothers day a year later and my marriage was a wreck and my oldest son Kyle wanted to go back to church that Sunday night and I really didn’t feel like it but to not disappoint a kid who wanted to go we went. The sermon that night was about getting out of your box, the message hit me so hard, I really felt the presence of God that whole night. It was an awakening night to feel what it was like to have the Lord’s presence so strong that He guided me in knowing what to do with my marriage at the time. I went up to the Pastor that night and told him, I now know what I need to do. I’m am so thankful for my persistent son and for the Lord not giving up on me, that he was willing to wait on me for a year before I realized I really needed Him to have control in my life.

  30. Appreciate the links to worship songs. Thank you, Kim and Elizabeth!

    I’m not sure that I’ve had a ‘Mysterium Tremendum’ … but can think of countless times that I have seen His glory fill the temple. I’ve watched Him move mountains, be the Provider, be the Counselor…be the I AM in the lives of so many. I am filled with a reverent awe – watching Him move and be.

    My response to the above: It is so easy for us to idolize and worship those seated in the public. May we hunger and thirst for more of Him and less of us.

    Report on Lenten discipline: God sent a friend to encourage me today. To speak His truth into the dark places. To see His beauty within me and call it forth. I pray for the opportunity to encourage someone else this week – to see His beauty within another and call it forth. I’m enjoying communion with Him and soaking in His presence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2xLvQW59OI

    1. Thanks Cherie for posting the link, very pretty!

    2. Cherie, that is a really beautiful song. I really needed it this morning to help me focus on the Lord. Thank you so much.

    3. This is a beautiful and timely link Cherie. Thanks!

  31. 3. Read John 18:1-3

    A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed?

    The band of soldiers had lanterns and torches. I’m assuming, since they were soldiers, they had weapons such as knives. I suppose there were that many because they were truly afraid of Him. They thought there was power in numbers. They thought with so many they could overtake Him if He wouldn’t come quietly.

    B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4.

    Well, Jesus knew what was going to happen and it seems to me that He was kind of mocking them (but I don’t believe He would actually do that). It seems like He was trying to make a point here; He wanted them to really think; were they talking to the right man? I’m not really sure on this.

  32. C. In verse 5, when Jesus says, “I am he,” there is actually no “he.” It is simply “I AM.” Look up the following five references and find how his enemies reacted when He made an “I AM” statement:

    John 6:35- He declares that those who believe in Him will never be without food or drink. They questioned Him because they had known Him his whole life. They didn’t understand His statement about coming down from heaven. They knew He lived with Mary and Joseph and always had. They also didn’t understand that He was trying to give them his “flesh.” many were confused and instead of trying to understand they deserted Him.

    John 8:12- In this verse the pharisees ask Him how He can be His own witness. They say they can’t believe Him because of this.

    John 8:58- Jesus is explaining that although they believe they are descendents of Abraham, they don’t act like they are. They don’t like what He is saying so they attempt to stone him!

    John 10:7 and 10:14- In these verses Jesus tells them if they knew him they would be comforted. Some believe He is a mad-man, others are convinced.

  33. 3. Read John 18:1-3

    A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed?

    LOVED THIS..I didn’t know there were that many!

    I think there were many with weapons because they knew He claimed to be God and He was powerful-I just had a thought, maybe that is why they wanted him. In their deep, deep blindness caused by their idolatry and sin they hated the fact that He could be God and at the same time even denied He was God because it meant He was Holy and that exposed their dark hearts-His Holiness was an insult to their pride, their control, the worship of their gods. It is hilarious though that they think they can beat God with weapons.

    B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4.

    Jesus didn’t have to engage with them, he knew what was coming, yet He engaged them. I was pondering that this is God’s power over them-He won the battle. They came with weapons and might, and His might usurped them with His HOLY “I AM”.

    C. In verse 5, when Jesus says, “I am he,” there is actually no “he.” It is simply “I AM.” Look up the following five references and find how his enemies reacted when He made an “I AM” statement:

    John 6:35
    Though He said He was the bread of life-Deity, the people still didn’t believe who He was.

    John 8:12
    He said He is the light of the world, again Deity, yet the Pharisees refused to believe.

    John 8:58
    Jesus said before Abraham was born, he was I AM, again Deity, so they threw stones at him.

    John 10:7 and 10:14
    Jesus said he was the door of the sheep any who come through Him will be saved, and He is the good shepherd, He is God. They thought He was demon possessed and insane.

    1. Oh my goodness, Dee. That poor sad little lamb. God has used your website to reach out to her. What can we do? Should we go onto the old post and try to talk to her? I am praying. I have decided to try to post this on your old post, hoping she will come here with us.

      Rebecca Hardy, if you are reading this, God can and does indeed take ashes and make beauty. Those words are from the Bible. Look for Isaiah 61. (I have written it out below for you.) It is a prophecy by the prophet Isaiah that Jesus fulfilled when he came to earth.

      Isaiah 61

      The Year of the LORD’s Favor

      1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
      because the LORD has anointed me
      to proclaim good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
      to proclaim freedom for the captives
      and release from darkness for the prisoners,
      2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
      and the day of vengeance of our God,
      to comfort all who mourn,
      3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
      to bestow on them a crown of beauty
      instead of ashes,
      the oil of joy
      instead of mourning,
      and a garment of praise
      instead of a spirit of despair.
      They will be called oaks of righteousness,
      a planting of the LORD
      for the display of his splendor.

      As many of the women on this blog can attest, in crying out to God and turning their lives over to Him, Jesus has taken the wrecks of our lives and has begun to change them into something so beautiful on the inside. If you want to know more, come be a follower of Jesus with us here on this blog. We are currently studying with Dee about the mystery of who Jesus really is during Lent. The study is called Mysterium Tremendium. We would love to have you with us.

    2. WOW!! How God does move indeed! I read this earlier, but had to leave to take my oldest two to school..Now I need to get my husband off to work, and then make sure my youngest two are off to school..Great time to pray over this.

    3. so sad. I am sorry. You can count with my prayers too. Pollyanna

    4. Praying for you Rebekah, whether you read this or not. The Lord wants to heal your wounds and draw you close into His arms. There is no condemnation in Jesus. Romans 8:1. Psalm 30:3 says “O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” The Lord has kept you alive Rebekah.

      I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, but I have known misery and depression that makes you want to stay in bed all day. Psalm 31:3 says “Lord bow down your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge. A fortress of defense to save me.” He has heard your cry for help. He loves you Rebekah.

    5. Dear Rebekah,
      God has brought beauty out of my ashes many times and He will for you as well. Cry out to Him, He is mighty to save. I am thankful you are here and you will be prayed for and loved here.

    6. Oh Rebekah,I am so sorry for what you have been through. Even though things have gone so horribly wrong for you, God loves you and wants to turn your ashes into beauty. I know it seems impossible to you. He has reached out to you in such a beautiful way because this is exactly what He intends to do. How He does it is His mystery but if you follow Him, one day you will look back and see the miracle of transformation. We love you because He loves you and we are praying for you.

      1. Rebekah, you have friends here that will pray for you. I am so very sorry for all the pain your have been through..and your daughter. My heart grieve’s for you and I’m praying for you and your daughter.

    7. My dear Rebecca, I am so very sorry for you and your situation. I can’t imagine being in your shoes; however I do know what it is like to be shunned. So did Jesus. He understands your pain and suffering. He took the ultimate punishment for us. I thank God most days for Dee and this website. I am loved here and have been blessed by the discussions here.

      Thank you Lord Jesus for Rebecca’s mother and the beautiful message your sent for her.

      Dee taught us about sitting “shiva.” I don’t know if I am explaining it well, but basically it is where I will “sit” by you and experience your pain with you. I don’t always know the right words to say, but I am your friend in Christ and will be here for you on this earth. Please know I am praying for you.

    8. Rebekah, I do hope you continue to come to this sight if not to post but to be lifted up by these wonderful ladies and what they contribute to this blog. This is such a great place to be and to be loved unconditionally. I will be praying for you and your situations. God will judge those you unjustly accuse.

  34. 4. Read John 18:6-9

    A. What happened when Jesus said, “I AM.” Why, do you think? They all fell to the ground. In that instant His Holiness exposed their darkness. I am thinking they saw His glory.

    B. What did Jesus ask them to do in verse 8?

    to not take His disciples, but to just take Him.

    C. Why, according to verse 9?

    OH MY!!! I may be going off base but I will throw it out there, I went to John 17 and I am pondering more here..I think this whole scene was a foretaste of the cross-THE GOSPEL IS HERE IN THIS SCENE! When Jesus said I AM and the enemy fell to the ground-that is symbolic of Satan being defeated, also in verse 9 it is symbolic of us being His and the enemy can’t take us out of His hand-we are His-everything of His is ours, even victory over the evil one..oh my. I am tempted to feel stupid if I am way off base, but that is o.k. my approval idol can take a hike. 🙂

    5. Read John 18:10-11 and report what happened.

    Peter tried to take it into his own hands and fight back, but Jesus told him not to-shall He not drink the cup God has given Him?

    6. What stands out to you from this account and why?

    I haven’t studied this passage like this before-I want to know if this is indeed a picture of the Gospel! So what stood out to me was my answer in 4C.

    1. Rebecca this is precious!

      “oh my. I am tempted to feel stupid if I am way off base, but that is o.k. my approval idol can take a hike. :-)”

      1. Chris, After thinking through it some more, I do think this is one of my “air-head” moments. 😉

  35. Oh Dee, should we respond here or on the old study she posted in, will she see it if we post here? Perhaps you could tell us which study and we could go there. What a heavy burden

      1. Here is what I posted, in case Rebekah should come here. Dee I would like to offer that you give her my personal email if that is appropriate.

        Rebekah, thank you so much for coming and giving us a chance to help carry your burden, I understand the isolation, But please try to resist it. Satan wants you all by yourself in the dark.

        This is a safe place to come, I encourage you to begin to let these sisters here on this blog mister to you. I believe I can speak for them in saying it would be a privilege. We are all on a path, we need to cling to learn from and encourage one another.

        I too had a tragedy in 2010. My son was assaulted, he was found breathing but unconscious with a devastating head wound in the middle of the road. We spent 3 weeks in the hospital in an unending nightmare. He contracted a high fever, leading to multiple system organ failure, seizures, death.
        We still have no answers as to who, or why.

        I won’t try to put band-aids on your grief & questions, I can offer to weep with you. I already am!

        Father God, I ask for you to shine a ray of hope, your healing light, into Rebekahs heart. Let her feel your presence, use us, her sisters here on the blog to bind up her wounds, let us be your hands and feet to Rebekah. In Jesus precious name Amen

        1. Chris S., this is the first time I have heard this part of your story. I knew you had lost a son, just not the specific circumstances. Oh Chris, my heart cries for you. You are in my prayers. May God comfort you.

        2. Chris I’m praying she will answer you. I’m so sorry about your son. May the Lord continue to comfort you as only He can.

        3. Bless your heart, Chris, I am so glad you shared more of your story. I lift you and yours to the Father in prayer. Your testimony is bearing much fruit. You bless me.

        4. Bless you Chris; I can tell your heart is still so hurt and tender. You would be a blessing for Rebekah to talk and pray with.

    1. Chris S., the website address to Dee’s old post is http://deebrestin.wpengine.com/2010/05/how-has-he-turned-your-ashes-into-beauty/ I found it and posted my message.

      This is so amazing that she reached out to Dee on an old post. Praying, praying, that she checks it again! Wow, God you are amazing!

  36. I hesitate to post this because so many have heavier burdens than I, but I need your prayers for my daughter. As some of you know, she is struggling with anxiety and was close to leaving her husband last summer. She started medication and going to a Christian counselor(unpaid) and things seemed a bit better. Well, just last night she confided in me that since December she has been struggling again but didn’t tell me because she is worried about my blood pressure. (That really scares me because now I can’t believe her when she says things are OK.)There are even thoughts of suicide. She has three small boys and can’t get out much. Finances are a major issue. She has an appointment with a secular counselor on Thursday, but thinks she may not be able to make it and that it may not help much anyway. I am very worried about her. She is a Christian. We live an hour and a half from her so are not able to help out much, but we are going to visit on Friday.

    1. Don’t hesitate to post Diane, lifting your daughter and her marriage up

    2. Diane, 🙂 PLEASE offer your requests-never hesitate! We will hold you up! Oh, my heart aches with yours, i can relate to both her and you as a mom emotionally-yet I know being in her shoes that God truly can set her free, and be her comfort all at the same time, so I will pray.

      Oh God, our heart aches with Diane for her daughter-God I don’t know how to pray! This is such a scary time for Diane, yet You know only too well. God you are the breaker of chains, the chiseler of stone, you are, were and you will be-you know the beginning and end-you are the Alpha and Omega, you are our GOD, the Great I AM. You have won the battle Lord and we ask in confidence yet we tremble, that you would sear your light into Diane’s daughter’s heart-draw her to you Lord-so that you would be glorified. Oh God pull her from the deep waters.

      Lord, be a sweet, flowing river in Diane’s heart as she clings to you in this-regardless of the outcome, help her to rest in your sovereignty-the mystery-help her souls gaze to not turn from you in this-even through the unknown and the pain. Help her to let go. In your powerful and Holy name we pray.

    3. Praying for her Diane, and for you too. Thanks for sharing so openly. “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” This verse has helped me a lot in my anxiety. I know there is no quick fix for anxiety, medication has helped me some, but through the anxiety God grows us to reach out constantly to the One who never leaves us or forsakes us. At least that is how it’s been for me.

    4. Bless you, dear Diane. We pray and lift Diane’s daughter to you, Lord Jesus. You have the answers we need. I pray that you would keep her safe from the enemy who wants to snatch her life. Jesus fill her thoughts with your love and fill her heart with joy and a desire to live. Meet her financial needs and make a way for her as only you can. Thank you Jesus for being our great provider. Please give Diane and her family wisdom to encourage and pray. We love you, Amen.

    5. Praying for you sweet daughter, Diane

    6. Diane I know how hard it is to want to be there and help but yet so far away. I will be praying for your daughter and her family and for you to have safe travels on Friday.

  37. 3. Read John 18:1-3

    A. Describe the band of soldiers that came for Jesus. (Keller says “a band” was at least 200.) Why do you think there were so many? Why were they armed? They seemed to believe they would be met with a lot of resistance. As God’s way is not man’s way, they were not met with any resistance, except for Peter acting out of the flesh.

    B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4.
    Jesus already knew it was himself they were looking for. I think it was to fulfill prophecy that he asked and they answered in verse 5.

  38. 4. Read John 18:6-9

    A. What happened when Jesus said, “I AM.” Why, do you think? They moved back and fell to the ground. His unleashing of His power as He is revealed as God.

    B. What did Jesus ask them to do in verse 8?
    To let the others go, to just take him.

    C. Why, according to verse 9?
    To fulfill the scripture. My bible references John 6:39 and John 17:12.

    5. Read John 18:10-11 and report what happened.

    Peter draws his sword and strikes the high priest’s servant Malchus, and cuts off his ear. Jesus tells Peter to put his sword away, that He will drink from the cup His Father has given Him.

    6. What stands out to you from this account and why?

    The last statement by Jesus stands out to me. “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” It makes me think of the Last Supper when Jesus fervently desired to share the passover meal before He suffered with the disciples He loved so much. Luke 22:15 A meal of joy with a cup of the new covenant, and just a short time later for Jesus, this cup of suffering He endures. It makes me cry to think of the love He had for them, for us.

  39. Good Afternoon,

    My counselor; Leslie Vernick recommended this site to me.
    What a blessing!
    How refreshhing to “fellowship” with other women who are honest and open about their challenges.
    I am newly divorced after 32 years of marriage to a man I still love.
    My 4 children are struggling and reacting in all different ways and I think I make myself an easy target for them.
    I am SO lonely even though I know I am not alone as the Lord is with me.
    I am thankful for Leslie. She has allowed God to use her life and she minsiters to so many as she desires true healing, not “cosmetic surgery” of the heart!
    Please pray for me,my now exhusband, my children, and for this time in my life where I feel like I am in solitary confinement.
    I live alone after 32 years of never having a day by myself.

    Please pray that I will not waste this time in the valley but cling to Him and grow close to Him.

    Blessings to all of you beautiful women!

    1. Welcome, Marianne. So glad you are here. What a difficult time you are having! This is a great blog – wonderful, inspired Bible study and encouraging supportive sisters in Christ. May God bless you as you turn to Him.

    2. Welcome Marianne, so glad that you have joined us. May this study be a blessing in a difficult time for you

      1. Dear Marianne, I can’t imagine your deep loss and pain your in. I’m praying for you and your children and your ex- husband. I am so sorry.

    3. Marianne,

      Welcome! Oh yes, I will pray you will grow closer to Him. So sad for this valley you are in. So much pain. I have been here close to two years now doing Dee’s studies. God used her studies and the love and encouragement from my sisters here to pull me up from the deep and closer in to Him, and yet He is continuing to do so here-I pray He will draw you closer in in this time of your life-glad you are here!

    4. Welcome, Marianne,
      I am glad Leslie directed you here! I hope you will find encouragement and know that we will pray for you.

    5. Welcome Marianne, you will be so blessed with all the ladies her. And I will be praying for you to not feel the loneliness. I was not married as long as you but was divorced and had to keep myself busy when the boys went to see their dad so I do understand the feelings.

  40. C. In verse 5, when Jesus says, “I am he,” there is actually no “he.” It is simply “I AM.” Look up the following five references and find how his enemies reacted when He made an “I AM” statement:

    John 6:35- He said he is the bread of life, though people still didnt believe who he was.

    John 8:12- I am the light of the world, Pharasees refused to believe

    John 8:58- before Abraham was born- I am! they threw stones at him

    John 10:7 and 10:14, I am the gate for the sheep, I am the good shephard. He was God

  41. 3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.
    I am finding the memory verse a day to take more time than I expected and am on James 1:10. I don’t even miss Facebook and love how God is helping me be a blessing to someone everyday – this has been challenging but has borne the most fruit.

  42. Dee,
    I did not realize that is why they invited you to speak here. Will be praying more specifically for that and it gives me a greater mission to just be there to pray. I will try to keep my eyes open for women who need prayer. It has been a rough time weather wise for some. The weirdest part is that it is not “normal” so people are pretty freaked out now because probably everybody knows somebody or a close friend of somebody who lost houses, etc. The car I will be driving you in will have a pretty paint scratch and dent on the trunk! HA! Storm wounds. But our bedroom is on that wall right where the car is parked. I was thankful it was only the trunk!! Also we had 3 little kids staying the night because my friend lost her baby at `14 weeks so I was so thankful nothing worse happened. God was protecting us all. A car is nothing in comparison, especially just an eye sore is all it is.

    Praying for you too Rebekah! Hope you come here and share and see what God can do with our pain. I already feel for you!!

    Praying for you too Diane!! Love you lady!

    I also am praising God for your mom, Anne Meredith!! God used her to get to Dee who in turn God has used to get to me and of course many others! You never know what God will do when we share with others!

    C. In verse 5, when Jesus says, “I am he,” there is actually no “he.” It is simply “I AM.” Look up the following five references and find how his enemies reacted when He made an “I AM” statement:

    John 6:35 Grumbled, said he was common.

    John 8:12 Called him a lie r/said he gave testimony about himself.

    John 8:58 Picked up stones to throw at him.

    John 10:7 and 10:14 they were divided/accused him of having a demon.

    It is all so interesting because this is the exact response one can have to the gospel. There is usually no indifference. It is either ok or hate toward it. Even atheists seem to have a anger toward it, legalists are appalled at the grace that comes from the true gospel of Jesus plus nothing, etc.

  43. ve not been able to post much the last few days, but I am reading as they come in–and PRAYING for all of you my dear friends. I had to come and post to Diane–PLEASE your request is nothing small, and I will keep your dear daughter in my prayer, please do not hesitate to share your needs–we care and love you Diane.
    I want to also join the prayers for Rebecca Hardy–know this is a safe place and we welcome you with open arms and prayer.
    And dear Chris–just hearing your story again brings fresh tears to me for you. Thank you for your brokeness, letting Him use your pain.
    Praying too for your trip Dee!
    And continually for our Rebecca’s oldest

    1. Thank you Elizabeth dear, how is you nerve pain?

      1. you amaze me Chris. I was coming back here to see if you had an update on Bill’s mom–any news from yesterday’s test? sorry if I missed an update–I’ll check again.
        I saw my Dr yesterday and he ran some blood work–I’m still hoping it’s a stubborn pinched nerve that will eventually heal–though I feel helpless useless-hurts to do much anything. And yesterday I injured my foot so I shouldn’t run–between computer/work and running–I’m feeling idols exposed and a bit whiney. You all here humble me and give me such perspective–though I am a bit sickened by my selfish wimpiness, honestly.
        Thank you so much

        1. Elizabeth you are not selfish or wimpy in the least! I hope your issues subside quickly.
          Bills mom is on the mend, she had a minor heart attack, no stents or surgery required. I wasn’t there when the Dr. came in she said she had a some type of infection that brought on the heart attack.
          We told Brian to move out tonight. It is heart wrenching, but we agreed. We can’t just hoping that he will change and ignore his deception.

        2. I’m so sorry, Chris, about Brian. I will continue to pray for all of you.

        3. Oh Chris, That must be so difficult for you all at this time. I will pray for you.

        4. Oh Chris–this has to be such a hard decision–but I am thankful you and Bill are able to be united, and that you both seek the Lord in your leading–we know He is at work in this. I will continue to pray for Brian–got it on a sticky note to hold on to today!

        5. Oh my, how difficult this must be, Chris S. God knows your heart and your pain and your longing for Brian to turn to the Lord. Praying with you.

        6. Chris, I am praying that this decision will bear much fruit in Brian’s life.

        7. Elizabeth, I am praying-have been praying. Thankful for Doctors, yet sad for your health issues and your struggle with this pain, and now your foot! 🙁

        8. So sorry to hear about your continuing back pain, and now your foot. I will be praying.

  44. 3. Read John 18:1-3
    A.
    Yes, they were armed, and I think the fact that there were so many emphasized the multitudes who hated Christ—and feared His authority and Power, they instinctively knew His Power was well beyond them. But what just came to me—as significant–they did not count on His response which was for the sake of the Gospel.

    C.
    John 6:35 I am the bread of life
    John 8:12 I am the light of the world
    John 8:58 before Abraham was, I am.
    John 10:7 I am the door of the sheep
    John 10:14 I am the good shepherd.

    4.
    A.
    They drew back, and fell to the ground. It reminds me of this verse in Psalm 46:6 “The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters his voice, the earth melts.” There is Power in His voice—and His words speak of His deity. I think they realized what He could have done to them—they saw His Mightiness, by the very thing He did instead-offered Himself up.

    B. What did Jesus ask them to do in verse 8?
    Take Him, and let the disciples go

    C. Why, according to verse 9?
    To fulfill the will of God, as He said in John 6:39 “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me”

    5. Read John 18:10-11 and report what happened.
    Simon Peter cut the high priest’s servant, Malchus, ear. And Jesus said “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

    6. What stands out to you from this account and why?
    The army, the disciples, neither expected this response from Jesus. The incredible humility of Jesus—offering Himself up for our sake. His life for ours. I’m overwhelmed by the love that motivated Him. Looking forward to hearing the sermon on this passage.

  45. B. Meditate and comment on John 18:4.

    Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”

    I thought about this verse a lot, this passage kept coming to mind;

    Mark 8:27-29 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”
    And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

    I thought about how I need ask myself whom it is I am seeking and who I Christ really is. If I pause and realize who it is I am calling on, I realize the privilege it is to come into His presence, to have the granted to me right to come before God, that God…GOD!, hears me, it’s all pretty astonishing, what should I be afraid of?

    1. OH how He wanted me to see this–beautiful, Chris, i’m clinging to it-“If I pause and realize who it is I am calling on, I realize the privilege it is to come into His presence, to have the granted to me right to come before God, that God…GOD!, hears me, it’s all pretty astonishing, what should I be afraid of?”

  46. 4. A. What happened when Jesus said, “I AM.” They drew back & fell to the ground
    Why, do you think? Because of the power in His words

    I thought of this from Revelation
    Rev 1:16-17 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
    When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last

    B. What did Jesus ask them to do in verse 8?
    C. To let his disciples go
    C. Why, according to verse 9?
    To fulfill the word he has spoken that none who were His would be lost

  47. Oh my, will be praying the rest of the day for prayer requests here. So much pain. I’m praying for you Rebekah & Marianne, and for you and your daughter — as well as the rest of your family, Diane. (Diane, you mentioned your daughter started on medication — but it can take awhile to find the right med/dosage. Hate to give advice on a site like this, but please be sure she is persistent with good medical care. I’m so thankful for physicians who were willing to stick with me for years when life seemed very bleak.)

    1. Have you ever had a sense of The Mysterium Tremendum? When the fear of God overwhelmed you? If so, share something about it.

    Yes. I’ve been thinking about this since Sunday and still don’t know how to describe it. It’s as if the experiences are seared into the core of my being; yet I can’t describe specific events (except once or twice a dream/nightmare). I’ve some periods of life in a fog (depression or stress so extreme that I didn’t realize how long I’d just gone through the motions of life until I came out of the fog) — so it’s not unusual for me not to remember the specifics of even profound situations. However, I see God’s hand in my lack of memory for specifics during certain eras of life. I can’t worship or exalt a specific date or experience if I can’t remember it 🙂 But I can worship HIM and trust HIM because He is holy and trustworthy.

    I do believe that He is bringing back and redeeming memories as I rest in Him (vs being devastated if I’m betrayed by humans). When I think of His holiness and the resulting “good” fear of Him, other fears are put into perspective.

    2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    “No doubt every one of us has failed to live up to the standard we set for ourselves. It would be easy to think that trouble is coming into our lives because of that failure — but that too is wrong theology. He took our punishment — He satisfied the requirement of a holy God. We are called to be holy as He is holy, but He also knows we will fail, and He is faithful and just to cleanse us when we confess our sins.”

    What a great reminder that He knows I will fail — and that He took my punishment and forgives me.

    Also, “I AM” continues to stand out to me. This ties in so well with Christ being the Alpha and Omega; that impacted me before Christmas. How sweet that God is reminding me both before Christmas and Easter that He is ALL.

    3. Report on last week’s Lenten discipline and what you plan to do this week. A fresh week.

    Dee, I’m so grateful that you said we could take this week by week. I had planned to continue creating silent space to listen to Him. Although I don’t intend to completely give it up, now that I’m well rested, I’d like to “put off” some of the clutter that distracts me from Him (some is on the computer, but some is physical clutter around the house). This week, “putting off” will be filling one box with “stuff” to get rid of each day. “Putting on” will be creating space to listen to Him, but a different kind of space.

    Would appreciate your prayers— appointment with surgeon tomorrow morning.

    I love you all and am praying for you. Just because I’m not posting as much doesn’t mean you’re not in my heart!

    1. Praying for you Renee, about appt. with surgeon tomorrow.

    2. How did your appointment with the surgeon go Renee?

      1. Yes Renee How did it go?

      2. Thanks for praying and for asking about appt with surgeon. It went well. He doesn’t recommend surgery. Apparently, when injured during adulthood, I can’t expect perfection in the healing 🙂

        He did say I could have a cortisone shot for the pain, but right now the shot sounds more painful than the injury. I can expect pain for a year… Good to know what to expect.

  48. susan–your mom?
    joyce–miss you!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth for thinking of me. I am very busy helping my husband help Kendra, to get her on the porta potty chair and back to the wheelchair or bed, as she has to stay off of her broken ankle for another month and then maybe a walking cast after that. Two years ago, when she was in a cast on the other leg, I could help her all by myself, but my back is much worse and can’t now. The epidual did not help my back at all:( so I do what I can and that is mostly entertaining Kendra, as she is so bored with nothing to do. At least I have alot of time to pray! Praying for all of you! I’m so thankful I have the Lord in my life. I would be so lost without him.

      1. Joyce,
        I’m so sorry you still have back pain, that the epidural didn’t help. I will keep praying for you and your family.

      2. Sorry you are having such a difficult time with your back pain, Joyce, and I fully understand how all consuming helping Kendra and entertaining her must be. Praying for you.

    2. Praying for you, Elizabeth – I hope you begin to feel better soon! A pinched nerve and now your foot, I know it can be discouraging. Take care of yourself and thank you for thinking of us when you have all this going on with yourself!

      1. PRAYING FOR YOU ELIZABETH!!!!!

        1. Yes Praying Elizabeth!

  49. I have had many instances of what you describe as “mysterium tremendom”. One instance was at the time that I first “owned” my faith. For those of us who have grown up in the church and feel like we have known the Lord all our lives it is often hard to recall a moment of salvation. It was that way for me. But, probably because of my heart idols, I tend to always strive and work so hard to be “good enough” or to be deserving. So, when I finally reached the end of myself in trying to be good enough and confessed that I could never be- it was as if the Lord said “Finally, now we’re getting somewhere!” He revealed Himself as the Lamb worthy to be slain and it was finally enough.

    When I was younger I used to wonder why we were to FEAR the Lord or why people trembled in His presence. Then after experiencing times when I felt His presence those phrases made so much sense. In our world today there seems to be so little that really awes us anymore. Technology is changing so fast that incredible things have become almost common place. We have not lived under a monarchy and known what it meant to be summoned into the presence of a king. This Lenten season may He rekindle in us an awe at His presence and a trembling fear when we see His holiness.

    I did not do the study last week (except to watch the video clips of Grove). Yet I experienced the deep discipline of being still before Him. The Lord has brought me to a very hard time in life for the last 3-4 years and I had reached a point of total exhaustion. He provided an opportunity for my husband and I to go away with no kids, no phones, no computers and just be. It has become so hard for me to be still. But I was and I came away from that time feeling very rested and refreshed.

    1. Lucy, I am so thankful you had that time. I pray you can continue to be rested and refreshed all the time!

    2. I am so happy for you that you got to rest. What a blessing!

    3. So great that you had that time away and were refreshed, Lucy.