Lent Devotions Day 12: “Distractions”

“Distractions” by Piero Gorriti, ATS Graduate Intern “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 11: “Filter”

“Filter” by Joe Kim, ATS Graduate Intern, Senior High Pastor @ Presbyterian Church of New Jersey “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.” – Hebrews 11:1-2   I remember when I was in elementary school. Baseball season was coming around the corner and I wanted to play little league like no other. However, I lacked something, the knowledge of the game. I told my father how badly I wanted to play and the situation I was in. One morning, an hour or so before I … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 10: “Bummer Lambs”

“Bummer Lambs” by Gordon Lanpher, ATS Graduate Intern, Children’s Pastor @ The River   “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 9: “Holy Heroes”

“Holy Heroes” by Isaac Watson – ATS Graduate Intern ” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37   How many times have you walked out of a movie theater wanting to be like the main character of the film that you just watched? I know I have — movies like Dances With Wolves, Batman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars or Braveheart. I always wanted to be the guy who came in and saved the day, like Indiana Jones, John Dunbar or Han Solo. Who wouldn’t want to fight … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 8: “The Passover Connection”

“The Passover Connection” “When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,  “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”” – Matthew 26:1-2 “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 7: “The Surprise Gift”

“The Surprise Gift” by Sarah Samson, Coordinator of Student Activities   Mark 12:13-44 –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2012:13-44&version=NIV   “Curtain!” The final play had ended with the calling of the curtain. It is a silly way to end a play but when you don’t have a curtain you just ask people to imagine a curtain.  The cast left the stage, and walk back to their green room. They took a deep breath and began to pack up their things.  Just then a little girl come running in, “That was amazing, the bestest thing in the whole wide world. Can you do it again?” … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 6: “Growing Up to Become Like Children”

“Growing Up to Become Like Children” by Isaac Watson, ATS Graduate Intern   “And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” – Matthew 18:13   In C.S. Lewis’ imaginative classic, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the four main characters are Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. Peter, being the oldest, is only just about the age that you start high school and Lucy, the youngest, only old enough to be starting grade school. Despite their ages the four children come to the magical … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 5: “Every Thought”

“Every Thought” by Gordon Lanpher, ATS Graduate Intern, Children’s Pastor @ The River   ‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 4: “Lord Make Me Bankrupt”

“Lord, Make Me Bankrupt” by Rohan Thompton, ATS Graduate Intern   “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3   I’ve read this verse over and over again for years but never truly understood what it meant to be poor in spirit or even why we needed to be poor in spirit. After all, to be poor is a negative or somewhat of a derogatory word. Why would anyone in their right mind want to be poor? In fact, in all of our efforts to not be poor we attend school to better educate … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 3: “Faith + Works = Perfect”

“Faith + Works = Perfect” by Joe Kim, Graduate Intern, Senior High Pastor @ Presbyterian Church of New Jersey “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 2: “Don’t Be Anxious”

“Don’t Be Anxious” by Wanda Walborn, Director of Spiritual Formation   Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   Philippians 4:6   This command makes such an indictment to my heart because it seems normal to have anxiety over certain things such as final exams, relationships, finances, or addictions, however, if we are to take God at His word, He is saying don’t be anxious about anything.  Anything?  Anything.  This is such a tall order. In the last few days I have had several conversations with … Continue reading

Lent Devotions Day 1: “He Gave”

“He Gave” by Rafael E. Lara, Worship Ministries Coordinator   Passages “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  – Romans 6:23 “…who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,…” – Galatians 1:4 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 ““Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart … Continue reading

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