Welcome to the season of Lent. We want you to be able to experience our Lenten devotionals in whatever form that accommodates you best. Devotions will be here for you to listen to or read and will also appear in our app.
 
We have printed copies available at the church front office. 
If you need a booklet printed in large print we are happy to accommodate. 

 

This year’s cover art is done by Joe Friddle. Art work for the book has also been contributed by Joe Friddle’s art classes as well as the children in the CDC and Children’s Ministry. Our devotional is sponsored by the Radical Hospitality Ministry.
 
Thank you again to all who have contributed to the creation, editing, and publishing of this year’s Lent Devotional booklet. Together we can help each other grow spiritually
as well as others!
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If you want to read our devotions online you may do so HERE.


Mar 31, 2018
Day 46: Saturday, March 31st, 2018 (Holy Saturday)

 

Jesus said to her, “‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die.  Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believer this?’”

John 11:25-26

In only a handful of hours, we will finally gather together to shout, “He is Risen!”  The church will claim death defeated as Jesus rose from the grave.  Resurrection will win the day as it has for over 2,000 years.

 

In the 1960s, archeologists worked an excavation site at Masada in Israel.  One of the finds included a jar of seeds from an extinct Judean Date Palm.  Biblical scholars believe this was a palm mentioned at several points in the Old Testament (see Psalm 92:12).

 

The jar of seeds had remained on an old dusty shelf as it was unclear what to do with them.  In 2005, an inquisitive botanical researcher gave the seeds a shot and planted one.  To his surprise, it grew!  A Judean Date Palm had not been seen growing since 500 A.D.!  Today, this tree, nicknamed “Methuselah” from the oldest person named in the Bible, has flowered and produces dates.  What was long lost is now back and alive!

For me, Easter is a time to remember the power of resurrection in our own lives.  As people of faith, Resurrection claims any hope remains available.  We declare that what looks dead CAN actually come back to life.  Broken relationships can be healed.  The struggle isn’t over because God never gives up.

 

This year, I wonder if we have the courage to investigate the old dusty shelves of our lives.  What hopes or dreams have we set aside long ago, thinking they were extinct?  Could this be the year that the power of resurrection surrounds your hopes and dreams and creates a place for growth and new life?

 

Tomorrow will be my first Sunday to join FUMC in a resurrection celebration.  I can’t wait to stand with you as we continue the tradition of celebrating new life through Christ!

 

Prayer:

God of life, as I rise in the morning, may my life sing of resurrection.  Help me claim hope as the overwhelming power in my life.  Though struggles persist, may I never forget the gift of new life through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Contributed by Alan McGrath

Senior Pastor – FUMC Killeen
 
 
 

 

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  • Mar 31, 2018Day 46: Saturday, March 31st, 2018 (Holy Saturday)
    Mar 31, 2018
    Day 46: Saturday, March 31st, 2018 (Holy Saturday)

     

    Jesus said to her, “‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die.  Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believer this?’”

    John 11:25-26

    In only a handful of hours, we will finally gather together to shout, “He is Risen!”  The church will claim death defeated as Jesus rose from the grave.  Resurrection will win the day as it has for over 2,000 years.

     

    In the 1960s, archeologists worked an excavation site at Masada in Israel.  One of the finds included a jar of seeds from an extinct Judean Date Palm.  Biblical scholars believe this was a palm mentioned at several points in the Old Testament (see Psalm 92:12).

     

    The jar of seeds had remained on an old dusty shelf as it was unclear what to do with them.  In 2005, an inquisitive botanical researcher gave the seeds a shot and planted one.  To his surprise, it grew!  A Judean Date Palm had not been seen growing since 500 A.D.!  Today, this tree, nicknamed “Methuselah” from the oldest person named in the Bible, has flowered and produces dates.  What was long lost is now back and alive!

    For me, Easter is a time to remember the power of resurrection in our own lives.  As people of faith, Resurrection claims any hope remains available.  We declare that what looks dead CAN actually come back to life.  Broken relationships can be healed.  The struggle isn’t over because God never gives up.

     

    This year, I wonder if we have the courage to investigate the old dusty shelves of our lives.  What hopes or dreams have we set aside long ago, thinking they were extinct?  Could this be the year that the power of resurrection surrounds your hopes and dreams and creates a place for growth and new life?

     

    Tomorrow will be my first Sunday to join FUMC in a resurrection celebration.  I can’t wait to stand with you as we continue the tradition of celebrating new life through Christ!

     

    Prayer:

    God of life, as I rise in the morning, may my life sing of resurrection.  Help me claim hope as the overwhelming power in my life.  Though struggles persist, may I never forget the gift of new life through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

     

    Contributed by Alan McGrath

    Senior Pastor – FUMC Killeen
     
     
     

     

  • Mar 30, 2018Day 45: Friday, March 30th, 2018 (Good Friday)
    Mar 30, 2018
    Day 45: Friday, March 30th, 2018 (Good Friday)

    Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  Oh… sometimes it causes me to tremble...  Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” 

     

    Of all the songs we sang at Glen Lake Camp, I was always taken aback by this song.  After walking the silent reflection trail and seeing the cross up on the hill, singing the words, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord,” was only made palatable by the last verse, “Were you there when he rose up from the grave?” 

     

    We often like to skip over the brutal reality of the crucifixion and rush right to the    empty tomb.  We don’t want to linger in grief or fear.  In response to the song’s question, I’ve often asked myself if I could I have stood at the cross and witnessed such    cruelty, hatred, apathy and even excitement for those who died in such a horrible way. Would I have been hiding in fear as many of Christ’s followers did or denied even knowing Jesus when my own life might have been at stake?  Would I have been among the stoic women at the foot of the cross offering the only support they still could?  I don’t know. 

     

    What I do know is that we still get the opportunity to stand at the cross today.  We do this when we no longer disappear into the hateful crowds and allow injustices to happen without speaking up… or worse, join in their jeering.  We do this when we recognize the humanity in every person and show empathy for those who face crosses of their own.  We do this when we sit with someone in the midst of their worst days and offer prayers, or just be there. 

     

    I still flinch at the cinematic interpretations of the crucifixion, knowing the reality of what Christ faced was so much worse.  However, in the darkest of days, when we see those Jesus loves in pain, fear, grief, and suffering injustices, let us ask ourselves,   “Are we there when those that Christ loves face crosses of their own?” 

    “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” 

     

    Prayer:

     

    Holy and loving God, help us to be there as Your people face their own darkest days.  Give us the strength, courage, and faith to stand up against injustices, and the love of Christ to pour into those that need comfort and care.  And as we carry crosses of our own, remind us that You are always with us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

     

    Contributed by Pastor Alison Zollinger

    Associate Pastor, FUMC Killeen

     

  • Mar 29, 2018Day 44: Thursday, March 29th, 2018 (Maundy Thursday)
    Mar 29, 2018
    Day 44: Thursday, March 29th, 2018 (Maundy Thursday)

    14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them.17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. (John 13:14-17)

      

    34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”  (John 13:34-35)

     

    16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

     

    I have only been coming to the Methodist church for a few years, and only this year as I sat down to write this devotional did I learn what Maundy Thursday means.  In Latin, the word “maunday” originates from “mandatum,” or commandment.  The night Jesus sat down to the Last Supper with his disciples He gave them a “New Commandment.”  He told them that they should love each other like He loved us, and this would be the way other people knew we were His disciples.  He also showed the disciples that no one man was greater than another: He served them in love by washing their feet.

    I know Jesus calls us to serve one another in love.  I try to let people see Jesus’ light in me by letting them hear me, see me helping other people, and showing Jesus’ love to everyone.  We don’t always pay attention to the things we say or the places we         frequent, but we can be sure other people do. Unbelievers will judge us by the things we say and the places we go, as well as how we carry ourselves and how well we treat others.  By treating others the way we want to be treated and helping those in need (even if it is something we perceive as small like saying a prayer or being there when you said you would), you are showing others Jesus’ love, and you are glorifying God through your good works.  Let people see us and know that we are children of God by our actions.  Try to treat other people the way Jesus would. 

    Let us be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world as we follow the new commandment to love one another.

     

    Prayer:

    Dear Heavenly Father, Please help me to be Your light in this world.  Put me where You want me and let me be Your hand and feet as I go about my day.  Let others see You through my actions, and let my actions be pleasing to You. Amen.

    Contributed by Christine Tagoai

     

  • Mar 28, 2018Day 43: Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
    Mar 28, 2018
    Day 43: Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

    "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

     John 19:10-11

    The desire to be validated is a powerful motivator. So much of the world today is about being recognized and validated. On social media in particular, every like, share, or re-tweet gives that sense of being accepted and acknowledged by others. Success is    often defined by the number of followers. As a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate was used to being recognized and validated. His words might not have been liked by everyone, but they were shared and followed. Then he stood face to face with Jesus. When Jesus refused to answer his questions, Pilate was frustrated. He wanted to be    recognized and have his authority validated.

     

    Little did Pilate know his true legacy. The name recognition he sought as governor doesn't compare to his name recognition for his participation in the crucifixion of Christ. He stood before Jesus. He could have accepted and shared the Truth of Christ's identity. Instead he asked, "What is truth" (John 18:38)?  When he didn't get enough "likes" for his decision to release Jesus, he walked away from the situation (Matthew 27:24). His desire for earthly validation cost him eternal recognition from the true     King of Kings.

     

    Where are you seeking validation?

     

    Prayer:

    Holy Father, remind me of the Source of my true validation. My identity in Christ means more that any "likes" on this earth. Use me to share this Truth for Your glory. Amen.

     

    Contributed by Stacie Carrico

     

  • Mar 27, 2018Day 42: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
    Mar 27, 2018
    Day 42: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

    “What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all  people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.”

    John 1: 4-5

    I am 83 years old this year.  I was born in the old King’s Daughters Hospital in Temple. Annie Roe Buckley shares a birthday with me as well as Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.  As a preschooler, I would sit on her kitchen cabinet watching her prepare meals. In reflecting on my work, I thank God for the guidance God has shown.

     

    I graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown and applied to go as a missionary for three years.  I was a lay preacher and teacher.  During that three years, I met and married a missionary nurse from the Philippines, Nina Cepeda.  What started out as three years became 25 years.  I was not shown more than I needed to know, one step at a time.  This covenant relationship was for financial support and prayer support.  For 19 years I was assigned to work in Sarawak, and for six years with the ecumenical seminary in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, serving where needed. 

    I took the “responsibility” seriously.

     

    Prayer: 

     

    We serve an awesome God who calls us and sends us.  God prepares us to be witnesses to God’s steadfast love.  Amen.

     

     

    Contributed by Dr. J. Andrew Fowler

     

  • Mar 26, 2018Day 41: Monday, March 26th, 2018
    Mar 26, 2018
    Day 41: Monday, March 26th, 2018
    12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling   animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the moneychangers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”14 The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” 17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
     
    Matthew 21:12-17
     

     

    I was struggling to find the “perfect” devotion for this year.  My life is finally in a place that I never thought it would be, settled.  So I looked at what happened on the first day of Holy Week, which is the day I had chosen.  On that day, Jesus cleared the Temple again of all that shouldn’t have been there.  For many years, my husband and I have moved with the military, and, while moving, we searched for a church home.  Having little luck, we admittedly bounced around a lot.  Only after living in Texas for a bit and my girls getting invited to First Killeen by a friend did we find that Church home.  We were hesitant at first, but our girls were so comfortable here, we finally jumped in.    

     

    We feel First Killeen is a place where Jesus wouldn’t turn over the tables! 

     

    Well, just over six years later, here I am with an amazing church family and our family, has planted roots right here in Killeen. 

     

    Prayer:

     

    Loving Father, thank You for giving us a Home.  Thank You for clearing out all the  negative things and showing us how to stand up for what is good and Holy. Amen.

     

     

      Contributed by April La Valley

     

  • Mar 25, 2018Day 40: Sunday, March 25th, 2018 (Palm Sunday)
    Mar 25, 2018
    Day 40: Sunday, March 25th, 2018 (Palm Sunday)

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:19-20
     

    God, the great story weaver. How things come to be, how things happen, whom you meet, and who fixes your car. Have you ever wondered how all these things happen?    In Matthew 28:19-20 God tells us our mission, to make disciples of all nations,baptizing in the name of the holy trinity, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded.

     

    A few years ago, I met this woman, and we started to date. She started to tell me about church, God, and blah blah blah. I so wanted her to be quiet. One thing led to another, and I married this awesome and wonderful woman. I started to go to church, and before you know it, I was teaching Sunday school and raising two wonderful and very different boys. I have met people in the oddest places, and they are now very active people in our church. I have mentored many young men for confirmation.

     

    I look back now, and I can see how all this started. It was not Daphne’s right hook. It was not the fact I did not believe in the church. It was a very good friend of mine. He planted the seed many, many years ago. It started with Him. It grew and grew into something I can see now. How awesome is He who weaves the things in our lives!

     

    Prayer:

    Lord, thank You for what You have done, are doing, and going to do. Thank You for all You have done for my family, my church family, my friends, and me. Amen.

     

    Contributed by Eric Madrid

     

  • Mar 23, 2018;Day 39: Saturday, March 24th, 2018
    Mar 23, 2018
    ;Day 39: Saturday, March 24th, 2018
     
     

     

    “Two are better than one.”

    ( Ecclesiastes 4:9)

     

    Two are always better than one. I reminded my good friend of this today. I love that she and I never have to face anything alone. We can call or text each other anytime we need to be more than one. And Scripture verifies this very clearly in Ecclesiastes. Thankfully, we are never alone. God has provided us with the Holy Spirit to minister, comfort and guide us in all we do. We serve an amazingly merciful and comforting God!

     

    Prayer:

    Father, You are magnificent and loving. Thank You for reminding us that we are always better with two! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    Contributed by Kerry Perez

     

  • Mar 23, 2018Day 38: Friday, March 23rd, 2018
    Mar 23, 2018
    Day 38: Friday, March 23rd, 2018

     

    Playing When You’re Hurt

     

    Athletes often play when they are hurt.  Mentoring expert Fred Smith recounts how a successful businessman once expanded on that thought, “Amateurs can produce when they feel like it.  Pros can produce when they don’t feel like it.”  Dings, scrapes, and bruises are part of sports.  Great players learn to excel despite them.  Who can forget Kerri Strug in the ’96 Summer Olympics? With two torn ligaments in her left ankle and the gold medal on the line, she bravely produced a vault that brought Americans to tears and secured a gold medal for the US women’s gymnastics team.

     

    Similarly, we live in an imperfect world where we invariably experience pain and encounter hurt.  Try as we might to avoid the wounds, we often find ourselves aching.     A bruised ego.  A torn relationship.  A broken promise.  A painful divorce. A job      failure.  Yet we must also learn to “play hurt.”

     

    Jesus understood living in an imperfect world--coping with pain and overcoming hurt.  He didn’t say to His disciples, “In this world you might have trouble,” or “In this words some people have trouble.”  No, He assured them, “In this world you will have trouble.”

    Before long, Jesus would no longer be with His followers physically.  He wanted them to know that while not seeing Him would cause pain, the hurt would be short-lived. In time they would see Him again, feel His presence, and experience His power.

     

    When we are hurting, what does it take for us to reenter the game?  As in sports, playing hurt means recognizing that some of our aches and pains are minor - nothing more than the day-to-day bruises that come from living.  Brush aside those twinges as quickly as they arise.  At other times, our hurts are far more serious, requiring something more.  A forgiving heart.  A patient attitude.  A humble spirit.  Most importantly, when we trot back onto the field of life—banged up and bruised—we need to remember that the  powerful presence of Jesus accompanies us, prevailing over any pain we might feel.

     

    Prayer:

     Dear Heavenly Father, Help us to understand that You are always with us.  You will stand by us and lift us up not matter our hurt pain.  Be with us as we work through it and live the life You have planned for us.  Amen.

    Contributed by Bryan Charlton

     

  • Mar 22, 2018Day 37: Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
    Mar 22, 2018
    Day 37: Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

    Whatever has happened — that’s what will happen again; whatever has occurred—that’s what will occur again. There’s nothing new under the sun. People may say about something: “Look at this! It’s new!” But it was already around ages before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)

    A man in the land of Uz was named Job. That man was honest, a person of absolute   integrity; he feared God and avoided evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, (Job 1:1-2)

    21 “But look! My betrayer is with me; his hand is on this table. 22  The Human One goes just as it has been determined. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays him.” 23 They began to argue among themselves about which of them it could possibly be who would do this. 24 An   argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be regarded as the    greatest.25 But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. 27 So which one is greater, the one who is seated at the table or the one who serves at the table? Isn’t it the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.28 “You are the ones who have continued with me in my trials. 29 And I confer royal    power on you just as my Father granted royal power to me.30 Thus you will eat and drink at    my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, look! Satan has asserted the right to sift you all like wheat. (Luke 22:21-31)
     

    Why Do Bad Things Happen?

    The question has been asked by humans for ages.  And when I ponder this question for my life or others, the only true answer I get in praying for knowledge is that which I get from seeking God’s word from the Bible.  In Ecclesiastes 1: 9-10 we are told that, “that which will be, there is nothing new under the sun.”  In Job 1: 1-12 we learn of a good man’s sufferings, but only with permission of God’s will when Satan asked to sift (tempt) him.  Also in the writings of Jesus telling Peter, Satan has a desire for him to sift and tempt him (Luke 22: 31-32).  Jesus himself said He was praying for him, making sure the power of God’s word concerning Job was also a covering for Peter.  Each man suffered the trials of Satan’s siftings.  But by God’s permission for a limit to the sufferings, they escaped the death that was meant to be their end. 

    In my life, I know of trials and temptations I’ve come through and escaped, not by my might or doings, but by the mighty word of God who commanded, “Take not his life.”  Of this I can truly testify, for I know that the grace God has given to Job and Peter was passed on to me and others for a testimony of His love for us, and the power of his love and forgiveness for His children.

    Prayer:

    “God, keep me ever mindful that I am never alone in the snares of the enemy.” Amen.

     

    Contributed by Roosevelt (Pops) Smith