Monthly Archives: April 2006

Volume II, Issue 9 Holy Week

Volume II, Issue 9


Greetings to you in the Name of the Lord,

“Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first He suffered pain, and entered not into glory before He was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it no other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen”

He is risen, Alleluia!

Holy week was quite busy and blessed. Our music plan was demanding this year on me, as I participated in four services, along with my regular schedule of one rehearsal and small group. It is great to see the church so involved and inhabited!

In the daily office for today, the gospel reading tells the story of the women, Mary of Mandela, and Mary the mother of James, who went to the tomb early on the first day of the week. When they arrived, they found the tomb uninhabited and desolate of the body of Christ. The angels appeared and gave them the good news, that Christ was raised. They immediately ran back to town to tell the other disciples. The story is in Luke chapter twenty-four.
The gospel evangelist, Luke, who was a physician and teacher, gives us detail about the story, citing the specific moves of the women and the disciples, but he does not reveal to us what this story really means. In yesterday’s Psalm, we are given a list of accomplishments and blessings that God has done and given to us.

“For God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us-by me, Silvanus, and Timothy-was not “Yes” and “No.” However, with him it is always “Yes.” For all God’s promises are “Yes” in him. And so through him we can say “Amen,” to the glory of God Now the one who makes us-and you as well-secure in union with Christ and has anointed us is God, who has placed his seal on us and has given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.” II Co 1:20-23
Wow! Think about God’s motive toward us in this passage. He wants to bless us! It is his nature and character to bless and not curse. Check out Psalm 46 from yesterday’s daily office. How many benefits can you find? Here is my list:

We find happiness if we place our hope in Him and keep our faith alive.
God will execute justice for all those e oppressed.
God feeds the hungry.
God opens the eyes of the blind.
God lifts up those bowed down, (depressed, oppressed, and sad)
God loves the righteous. (He has declared us the righteous, even when we do not deserve it)
God watches over even those estranged from Him.
God upholds the orphan.
God upholds the widow.

You may be saying to yourself, what does the resurrection have to do with this? The answer is everything! Because Christ is alive, the resurrection has paved the way for us to receive that same power; the empowerment to accomplish the good works of God listed above, and to receive those works in our own lives. Through to gift of the Holy Spirit, we receive the power of Christ. Through the resurrection, we receive the same life giving force that raised Christ from the dead, (Romans 3, 6, 8). They key to realizing and living in all of this; found in the words of Jesus to the Disciples at the end of Luke and John; scriptures coming up in our daily office: the word receive.

May God radicalize your live in Christ Jesus’ resurrection power!

Timothy Spaulding

Anglican Cycle of Prayer – Easter through week two

Sunday 16-Apr-2006 Easter Day Psalm: 118:1-5 Heb. 4:1-11
Jesus Christ is risen, alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! who did once upon the
Cross, Alleluia! Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
Cape Town – (South Africa) Pray for the Most Revd Njongonkulu Winston Hugh Ndungane Archbishop of Capetown
1. Suffragan Bishop of Cape Town – (South Africa) the RT Revd Christopher John Gregorowski
2. Suffragan Bishop of Cape Town – (South Africa) the RT Revd Merwyn E Castle
3. Suffragan Bishop of Cape Town – (South Africa) the RT Revd Garth Quinton Counsel

Monday 17-Apr-2006 Psalm: 148 Heb. 4:12-16
Carlisle – (York, England) the RT Revd Geoffrey Graham Dow
Carlisle – Penrith – (York, England) the RT Revd James William Scobie Newcome

Tuesday 18-Apr-2006 Psalm: 149 Heb. 6:1-6
Cashel & Ossory – (Dublin, Ireland) the RT Revd Peter Francis Barrett

Wednesday 19-Apr-2006 Psalm: 145:13-21 Heb. 6:7-12
Central Buganda – (Uganda) the RT Revd Jackson Matovu

Thursday 20-Apr-2006 Psalm: 146 Heb. 6:13-20
Central Ecuador – (Province IX, USA) Vacant

Friday 21-Apr-2006 Psalm: 138 Num. 10:1-10
Central Florida – (Province IV, USA) the RT Revd John W Howe
Assisting Bishop of Central Florida – (Province IV, USA) the RT Revd Hugo L Pina-Lopez

Saturday 22-Apr-2006 Psalm: 118:6-14 Num. 10:11-13, 29-36
Central Gulf Coast – (Province IV, USA) the RT Revd Philip Menzie Duncan

Sunday 23-Apr-2006 Easter 1 St. George’s Day
Psalm: 110:1-4 Heb. 7:1-10
O Great Among the Saints and Glorious Martyr George, since you are a deliverer of captives and a defender of the poor, a doctor for the sick and a noble attendant to kings: intercede with us to Christ our God, that He may save our souls. From the Orthodox Tradition (alt)
PRAY for Royal Perculiars Chapels Royal, Religious Peculiars, and Westminster Abbey

Monday 24-Apr-2006 Psalm: 37:3-9 Heb. 7:11-17
Central Melanesia – (Melanesia) Pray for the Most Revd Sir Ellison Leslie Pogo Archbishop of Melanesia & Bishop of Central Melanesia

Tuesday 25-Apr-2006 Psalm: 95:1-7 Heb. 7:18-22
Central New York – (Province II, USA) the RT Revd Gladstone Skip Adams

Wednesday 26-Apr-2006 Psalm: 31:19-24 Heb. 7:23-28
Central Newfoundland – (Canada, Canada) the Revd David Torraville

Thursday 27-Apr-2006 Psalm: 22:27-31 Heb. 8:1-7
Central Pennsylvania – (Province III, USA) the RT Revd Michael Whittington Creighton

Friday 28-Apr-2006 Psalm: 78:1-8 Num. 11:1-9
Central Philippines – (Philippines) the RT Revd Dixie Copanut Taclobao

Saturday 29-Apr-2006 Psalm: 78:9-16 Num. 11:10-17
Central Solomons – (Melanesia) the RT Revd Charles Koete

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The Secret to Life

Ephesians 3:9 and 1:9
Billy Crystal was a city slicker  on  a wild west adventure driving cattle across the desert plains. The cattle boss, a rugged old man, mean, grim and tough , had the secret of life that Billy would soon learn By his experience on the trail. What was that secret?
     Billy had come to the western adventure bored with life, and with the feeling that life had no meaning. When he helped that rugged old man assist in the birthing of a calf, Billy’s eyes were opened to the wonder and miracle of life. His attitude changed. The experience of bringing a new life into this world opened the eyes of a man who had lost vigor and enthusiasm for living.
     We have been given a glimpse of a similar story by the Apostle Paul. We are told in Ephesians that God, “…having made known the mystery of His will…to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid….” (1) is leading us to learn the secret to life as well.
     Think about it. The God of the universe revealing to us a secret and in the showing of it we receive something greater than the knowledge of the secret. We receive new vigor and enthusiasm. A new sense of purpose. The essence of life imparted in our lives! It is a secret that only the child of God can know and receive from. The world cannot grasp this knowledge. Many others can’t unlock the door to it’s understanding. The distracted people of this world cannot learn the mystery. It is only for those whose hearts are in tune with the message giver.
It is for those who surrender their minds to the great mind of Christ. For the submissive. For the adopted child of the Heavenly Father who knows no difference between adoption and original birth. They have bonded to Him. And when the bonding occurs, He whispers the secret quietly to them as they draw close to Him.
     He says that He has had it planned from eons ago. (2)A fellowship to give us happiness and peace. Grace flowing right from the One we are bonded to. Heart to heart and Mind to mind. Transcended knowledge. The heart of love. And it brings Him good pleasure to give us all of these. We awake to new life stunned in awe of the magnitude of treasure our Heavenly Father has given. Jesus said that we should “lay up treasures in Heaven where moth and rust doth not decay.”(3)The He went to prepare a place for us and it is a place unimaginable. But the reality now is that the essence of all of that lives in us right now! The Kingdom is within us. John Winber said it this way. “The King is and is not yet.” (4) We have great things now and get great things in the future too! That’s the secret. We can have joy and peace, love and fellowship now, based on His presence in our lives and the knowledge of good things to come. Joy down in our hearts brought by the King of hearts, peace that passes all earthly wisdom, love unconditional and eternal, and fellowship with Jesus Christ. That is the secret to life.     


He is the Ontime God

He is the On-time God
Just like clockwork creator
He’s the Never too late, never premature
Just-in-the -nick-of-time Messiah

He’s the just at the right time sacrifice
The at the midnight hour savior
The clockwise crusader of our counter-clockwork condition
He’s the big hand to the littlest of child-like hands

He’s the span of the plan
The perpetual propitiation man, the eternal program
The price programma provider
The auspicious Author of endless action

The in-step, in-sink, in the groove
And always on schedule Lord
He’s the beat that goes on, and on, and on…
He’s the takes-a-licking-and-keeps-on-ticking motivator

The ever-ready resurrection
The Rolex of righteousness who made and owns
All the finest Swiss jewels
He’s the on time, on timely God

The Father of all the little father times
Greater than New Year’s Eve Time’s Square, UP There
He’s the everlasting eon in the city four square
The last Adam in the atomic clock reminder

Enoch’s instant epoch, Ezekiel’s fiery wheel winder
The Christ of the celestial calendar
The ceaseless season sender
He’s the timepiece of the universe

The keeper of our finest hour
The returning King who will be fashionably…
ON time The God who was, who is, who is to come

He’s the just at the right time God


Community of Love

The Church is made of individuals. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is a community. We are the people who are the Body of Christ in community whose purpose it is to give into the commonwealth of that church. John testifies to this in the final discourse of Jesus Christ at the festival of the unleavened bread, during His last meal with the disciples. In chapter 13 and verse 34, Jesus tells the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you shall be loving one another just as I loved you, that you also shall be loving one another.” ALT You shall be loving one another. The Analytical-Literal Translation puts emphasis on the future actions of love of all disciples and that love is Agape, the quality of love that Christ claimed the Father has for all humanity. As they were told then to love and to keep on loving, that kind and quality of love reaches to the end of time, and encompasses our lives, as well.
Love is the foundation of our commonwealth as a community. Love is a spiritual substance that holds us together as believers in the body of our Lord. I tend to think of God’s love in simple terms. His love is a “force field” that is under us, beside us, all around us, and inside of us. Once only transcendent, (meaning something that is unobtainable by natural means), with the coming of the Spirit of God into the church at Pentecost God’s love now abides in us and with us. Why is it not so apparent in many communities then?
First, I think that people block the flow of God’s love because of bitter hearts. The writer of the book of Hebrews states: “roots of bitterness spring up out of you, spoiling the minds and hearts of many others…” Hebrews 12:15 (My Paraphrase) Some people and some societies as well hang on to the past wrongs committed against them by others, not forgiving others. Out of those hang-ups come discord, and out of the lack of harmony comes disputes and arguments, or mistreatment of others. Certainly, bitterness in any heart can ruin one’s own life and defile the quality of community life. “Forgive and you shall receive forgiveness.” Mt 11:25, Lu 17:4, Eph 4:32, Col 3:13   True Agape, then, is a choice.
In addition to blocking the Love of God from flowing in our lives, I think folks tend to be complacent. People like their own comfort zones and do not want to come out of them, and society is fast paced these days. No wonder people want to retreat to their own places of personal comfort. They are so busy every single day with the pressures of modernity and social status. To come out of those places of complacency requires personal sacrifice. David said this: “I will make no sacrifice (to God) that costs me nothing.” II Samuel 24:24 We live in fast-paced, self-absorbed world, a cosmos in which many people are selfish. Folks do not sacrifice their time to make room for others. People hang on to riches instead of sharing. Political partisans want policies that cut programs for the poor and needy. One society will turn heads at the discomfort of another people. Historical revisionists wish to deny the atrocities during WWII. On and on we go, where it stops, does anyone know?
Yes. The Christ of Agape reveals truth every day through His body, the church, the community of believers. If you and I stop each day long enough, we will hear the call of our Lord and the command to Love. He will show us the little things we each can do to add to the commonwealth we belong to. “And they will know you are my disciples by your love for one-another.” John 13:35 MP People who come to that knowledge will be those around us who are touched by that love. For a moment and possibly a lifetime, their attention being drawn away from the discord of the world to the center of God’s love, they join with us, the inclusive body of Christ, the community of God’s love, that just happens to be made up of unique individuals.

Peace to you all,

Your Brother in Christ, Timothy     


The Question


The Question
Remember the UFO craze of the fifties. People were obsessed with the idea that there may some form of life in outer space that we have never seen  and that life was visiting us. There are still those who claim to see these objects from time to time, some creating nothing more than a hoax, while others go unexplained. I may surprise you to say that I agree with the curious, there is life out there! And I believe that life visits us often and is, in fact, around us all the time. Not in space ships or saucers, but in heavenly form and in spirit.
     
The Presence
     You see, God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him do so in spirit and truth. Long ago, the Hebrew people were told of God’s intention by the prophet  Isaiah. Here, the writer tells us of a marvelous thing. God would have a child by a virgin and that His name would be “Emanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
God revealed long ago that it was His intention to be with us, among us, and so, Jesus came to us, preached the good news, healed the sick, went to Calvary, and now is seated in Heaven, waiting to come again. Before He left us, he gave us this promise. “I am with you always. ..even until the of the earth.” He made good on His promise on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell the believers gathered there, and He still indwells every believer who receives Him. Jesus promised the disciple in the book of John, during the last supper discourse that the Father would send us a companion who would come along side us, to give direction, encouragement, and comfort. That companion is the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father. We are not alone.

The Promise
     In every covenant that God has established and to each generation He has given the great promise of His presence. To Joshua and the Israelites He said this:
“Be strong and be of good courage, fear not , nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He it is that goes with you, He will not fail you, or ever leave you.” (6)
The people of God were about to cross over the river Jordan, and take the land from the inhabitants of Jericho. God’s promise was to be with them always, and that assured to them the victory. We have that same assurance today. God is not partial. His promise to one is for all others as well. The Lord repeats this same promise again to Joshua, after the death of Moses. He wants all to be assured of His promise to be with them. (7)  His presence is in the battle and in the time of peace. Jesus said “peace I leave with you, my peace, I give unto you,” and “in the world you will have tribulation . Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (8)  What was true for the Hebrews of the old covenant is still true for believers in the new covenant. He promises to be with us. And God even goes further than just to promise His presence in good times and bad. The prophet Isaiah quotes the word of Lord this way, “when the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear then, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” (9)  He even promises to quench our thirst. In fact, all of the promises of God are yes and so to us in Christ. (10)  He will simply not forsake His children and this assures us that we are not alone.



1.     John 4:24
2..     Isaiah 7:14
3.     Matthew 28:20
4.     Acts 2:1-4
5.     John 15:26, 16:7,13
6.     Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
7.     Joshua 1:5, 9
8.     John 14:27, 16:33
9.     Isaiah 41:17
10.     II Corinthians 1:20


     


Hosanna

            

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Volume II                                                                      
Issue 7
      
           
     Anglican Cycle of Prayer

Sunday 09-Apr-2006 Palm Sunday Psalm: 24:7-10 Lk. 19:28-40
Pray for Jerusalem – (Middle East) The Rt Revd Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal
Bishop Coadjutor elect of Jerusalem – (Middle East) The Revd Canon Suheil Dawani

Monday 10-Apr-2006 Monday in Holy Week Psalm: Lam. 3:4-12 Isa. 5:1-13
Cameroon (Region Missionaire) – (West Africa) Vacant

Tuesday 11-Apr-2006 Tuesday in Holy Week Psalm: Lam. 3:13-21 Jer. 26:7-11
Canberra & Goulburn – (New South Wales, Australia) The Rt Revd George Victor Browning
1.Regional Bishop in Wagga Wagga – (New South Wales, Australia) The Rt Revd Allan Ewing
2. Assistant Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn – (New South Wales, Australia) The Rt Revd Trevor Edwards
3.Suffragan Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn – (New South Wales, Australia) The Rt Revd Thomas Robert Frame

Wednesday 12-Apr-2006 Wednesday in Holy Week Psalm: Lam. 3:55-63 Jer. 26:20-24
Canterbury – (Canterbury, England) Pray for The Most Revd Rowan Douglas Williams Archbishop of Canterbury
Canterbury – Dover – (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Stephen Squires Venner
Canterbury – Ebbsfleet – (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Andrew Burnham
Canterbury – Maidstone – (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Graham Alan Cray
Canterbury – Richborough – (Canterbury, England) The Rt Revd Keith Newton

Thursday 13-Apr-2006 Maundy Thursday Psalm: Lam. 2:20-21 Zech. 13:7-9
Pray for Religious Communities.
Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found
Ubi Caritas
Could ye not watch with me one hour?
Christ in the garden.

Friday 14-Apr-2006 Good Friday Psalm: Lam 1:12-14 Gen. 22:1-14
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ,                strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within thy wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from thee. From the wicked foe defend me. At the hour of my death call me. And bid me come to thee. That with thy saints I may praise thee. For ever and ever. Amen.
Cape Coast – (West Africa) The Rt Revd Daniel Allotey

Saturday 15-Apr-2006 Holy Saturday Psalm: Lam. 3:22-33 *Bar. 3:9-19
Pray for the Hospice Movement.
O sorrow deep! Who would not weep with heartfelt pain and sighing! God the Father’s only Son in the tomb is lying.


Hosanna in the Highest!


When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples   with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You will find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you.”  This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet:  Tell Zion’s daughter, “Look, your king’s on his way, poised and ready, mounted On a donkey, on a colt, foal of a pack animal.”   The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do.  They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat.  Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!” As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?” The parade crowd answered, “This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee.”   Matthew 20:1-9 Message



Nearly 2000 years ago, disciples of Jesus Christ celebrated His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. With palm branches in their hands and their voices lifted high, they shouted and sang Hosanna. The people of Israel were looking for a messiah that would save them from the grip of the Roman Empire.  The palm branches were a custom that was to represent peace. The people wanted war, a messiah that would overthrow the Romans. Not much has changed in the Middle East today.

     The Levitical priests in Jerusalem began to prepare for a messiah in the 1970’s. The orthodox Jews began to train young men for the daily sacrifices. A red heifer was found and set aside for the first sacrifice in the new temple. Certainly, many Jews expect a future messiah. The Muslims also look for a messiah. Some look to Bin Laden as the new messiah, who will restore Islamic rule worldwide. Moderates expect a future world leader who will propagate their religion worldwide. Only liberal Muslims and Jews do not literally look for a messiah.

     Christians celebrate this time of year in faith, believing in Jesus Christ, who claimed not only to be the messiah, but God with us, the Son of God incarnate. We realize that the Prince of Peace is the only one who will be able to bring lasting peace and a true world government of righteousness. We believe that in that day, the creator/messiah who first made this current world will bring a new heaven and a new earth forth. Until that time, we live in faith and trust, and look for the hope of His return. When he comes, he will reconcile all three religions, the Jews and Muslims will see him as the only true messiah. How Christ will manage to do this, I have no clue. I simply know that I have faith in the Word of God that He will do it.
     God did not push away [fig., reject] His people whom He foreknew. Alternatively, do you* not know in [the passage about] Elijah what the Scripture says? How he pleads with God concerning Israel, saying, Rom 11:3 “LORD, they killed your prophets, and they tore down your altars; and _I_ was left alone, and they seek my life.” [1Kings 19:10] But if the first portion [of dough is] holy, the lump [will be] also; and if the root [is] holy, the branches [will be] also.   But if some of the branches were broken off, and _you_ being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them and became a fellow-partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive tree, Rom 11:18 stop being arrogant towards the branches. But if you are arrogant, [remember] _you_ do not sustain the root, _but_ the root [sustains] you! Rom 11:23 But also those, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to again graft them in.   For if _you_, the [one] by nature of the wild olive tree, were cut out, and contrary to nature, were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural ones, be grafted into their own olive tree?  For I do not desire [for] you* to be unaware, brothers [and sisters], of this secret [or, mystery], so that you* shall not be wise in your* own conceits, that hardness in part [fig., partial stubbornness] has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. Rom 11:26  And so all Israel will be saved, just as it has been written, “The One delivering will come out of Zion, and He will turn away impiety [or, ungodliness] from Jacob; Rom 11:27  and this [is] the covenant from Me with them, when I take away their sins.” [Isaiah 59:20,21]


     Today is the day for all of us to utter the words “hosanna” in our hearts, and receive the true messiah in our hearts. His Spirit who is here with us now should renew us in our spirits. By doing so, we can begin to declare the kingdom of God has come and live out our lives as subjects of the King.

“… working together, we also call on you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, “In an acceptable time I heard you, and in a day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the acceptable time! Behold, now is the day of salvation!”  2Co 6:2  (Isa. 49:8 )


May God Triumphantly Enter Your Heart This Day!

Timothy


Spring Cleaning

I spent quite a bit of time in the back yard today, trying my best to accomplish the annual spring clean up. We have flowers and shrubs of various kinds, tulips, buttercups and other flowers and many perennials. All of them need weeding around and have leaves removed. Since I did not have the health to accomplish the fall clean up, I had to remove the dead growth from last year as well. It is an amazing sight to see the new growth buried under last year’s mess. It is quite the same when we clean up and discard yesterday’s offences and baggage; there is often new growth just waiting to spring forth.
Our spiritual lives are often waiting for us to remove the old stuff and move on. A couple of great things happen when we are willing to look at others and ourselves in the biblical light, and get rid of the old stuff. In fact, when we remove that which is withered and dry, the dead branches of the past, we can see the “buds” and new growth waiting to spring out of our lives. At this point I would really like for you to take a moment and think of some wrongs you have experienced or hindrances in your spiritual life. Then please read today’s text, found in Ephesians chapter four, verse 1-4, 14-24. This is a long passage, so I will not include it in this column.
O. K. Have you finished? Great! We are all called into unity and one body. The church is often referred to as a “body”. Now, of course you realize that a body has various parts that have many functions. However, the gist of my message this week is this: we are to function in our many ways in order to edify and lift up the whole. If we have messy growth of the past that is dead, it will hinder our ability to edify and lift up others. Check this passage out:

“But speaking the truth in love, we shall increase to Him [in] all [things], who is the head, Christ, from whom the entire body being joined together and united by means of the supply of every joint [or, by what every joint supplies], according to the working of the measure of each individual part, causing the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” ALT Eph 4:16ff

…for the building up of ourselves in love. That is what new growth is all about. We get rid of the old stuff that clogs up our relationships, and we begin to find the new growth. Now, here is another challenge; if we do not forgive and cease all bitterness and gossip, we will stunt our own growth. We, in fact, are mandated to forgive others who have wronged us and to ask for forgiveness when we know we are wrong. Check out the last passage:

“Stop letting any rotten [fig., harmful] word come out of your* mouth, _but_ if anything [fig., what] [is] useful for building up [fig., edifying] of the need [fig., as needed], so that it shall give grace to the ones hearing. And stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you* were sealed [or, secured] for [the] day of redemption.
Let all bitterness and rage and anger and clamor [or, angry shouts of dissatisfaction] and slander be removed from you*, [along] with all malice. But continue becoming kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as also God in Christ forgave us.” Eph 4:30-32

To fail in forgiveness and growth means we take a chance on grieving God, His Holy Spirit, who lives in us. To leave the dross and withered past cluttering up our hearts is to choke out the purpose driven life, and the power of that life who is the Holy Spirit.
As I cleaned the lawn today, I entered into prayer that I will be able to move on, into greater growth. Perhaps during this lent season you have found the ability to do the same, and I pray that as we move into the blessings of Easter, new life will spring forth in your hearts.