A Cross To Carry

by Mary Beth on March 6, 2018

 Spirit of God influence a tear,

Seize our dedication; restore our soil.

Facilitate our hearts to remain alive, no fear!

A strained response to life’s spoil.


Holy guidance yields wisdom in this suffering romance.

Teach us to understand, discipline to discern;

Light before, behind, beneath every portion of experience.

Your power begets purpose,

though we sojourn as interns.


We will be seized on our way

In from the peaceful country.

A cross to shoulder day after day,

Apprehended as our high Priest; who sets us free.


Sluggard, wise in his own eyes

Prefers the peaceful, country breeze.

Too lazy to follow or his mouth to feed;

City life requires sincerity on her knees.


Disciples, pharisees, and weepers alike,

Jesus lives to intercede.

Father forgive them, they do not know,

In paradise we’re remembered as He bled.


Servant of all, ransom for many.

Sluggard buries his hand in a dish of anguish.

Suffering will of God to serve any,

Savior buries his life in the Father’s wish, it is finished.


Poor in Spirit we struggle to obey,

Carrying our cross to the grave.

We will be seized on our way;

Spirit of God fashion this clay.


 “Beloved, the cross is not made of feathers,

or lined with velvet;

it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders;

but it is not an iron cross,

though your fears have painted it with iron colors,

it is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it,

for the Man of Sorrows tried the load. 

Take up your cross,

and by the power of the Spirit of God

you will soon be so in love with it, that, like Moses,  

you would not exchange the reproach of Christ

for all the treasures of Egypt.”       

~Spurgeon, Morning & Evening


Reflections for Lent

by Mary Beth on February 21, 2018

Heavenly Father,

thank you for new mercies this day.

Great is Thy faithfulness.

Let our souls rise to meet You, as the day will rise to meet the sun.

During the spiritual retreat of Lent,

Thy will be done that I be made like Christ.

Teach and equip us in Your ways;

humbly to follow the path You lead us on.

May our steps of how, when, and where

lead to a greater trust in Christ.

Lord Jesus, we remember

the temptations and testing you encountered and overcame.

Likewise, give us grace to do Your work, Your way.

Have mercy on us towards obedience,

to bear with one another;

to persevere in trials and sufferings;

despite the taunts and doubts from the enemy.

Thank you for the love and support of biblical community.

As we open our arms and hearts to one another,

strengthen us through a bond of peace.

We echo with John Emest Bode:

“O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.
O let me feel Thee near me: the world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.”


We Are Deeply Loved

by Mary Beth on February 14, 2018

We Are Deeply Loved,

is beautifully written from a friend

and fellow Redbud writer, Michele Morin.

Michele is a gifted writer,

inviting us to ponder and pray not only on this Valentine’s Day,

but also into Lent season

the steadfast love of the LORD.

No greater love, enjoy!


On this collision of holidays
with ashes for mourning
and hearts for love,
We are grateful, Lord Jesus, for your perfect love
and for your wrath-absorbing sacrifice.
We confess that our own love is
and usually utterly dependent upon our feelings and our circumstances.
Thank you for your steadfast love that extends to the heavens and reaches to the clouds.

Today we pray for those who are mourning a loss,
For those who are facing discouraging family situations.
We lift up to you those who are in need, those who are discouraged,
And those who are slogging through seasons of loneliness, illness and pain.

We pray for words that are in process
As well as for those that are ready to be released into the world.
May they come forth in wisdom and be met with a warm welcome.

Even on this day of ashes and repentance,
We rejoice because the greater Truth is the forgiveness You extend, for
Although we are deeply flawed,
We know that we are deeply loved.