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February 17, 2010

Lent

Lent has traditionally been celebrated in liturgical churches and largely ignored by most Protestant denominations. Emmaus was the first church I remember that ever encouraged me to learn about Lent or take part in the practices commonly associated with Lent - prayer, penitence and self-denial or self-sacrifice. This year, Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday, and will go 40 days culminating on Easter. The time period is to signify the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness according to the Gospels in the Bible.

That is the extent of the history I want to give on Lent. I'm not the person you'd want to approach for the history of Lent since I have barely experienced it on my own. However, I want to share with you in my own journey this year. I've been considering what it is that I should do to observe this season, and Lent is traditionally practiced through sacrifice. What is the thing that should be denied in the season that will help you to focus on Christ and His death on the cross? Some people will choose to not eat meat on Fridays. Some people choose to give up coffee, television, or as I've seen online recently, Facebook. I want this season to not be just about giving something up. I want to take away from areas that aren't necessarily healthy, and add health to areas too.

I struggled to figure out what I should give up. I've actually done sugar before although it would be a great option again. I even considered giving up fast food for the season. I don't eat it all that often, even though it's probably more than it should be at this point, and it would definitely be healthy. Then Sandra said to my, "Why don't you give up soda?" To which I replied, "Are you kidding? Because I don't want to!" Obviously that had touched a nerve with me. I love soda. I drink it all the time and generally have several two liter bottles and a stack of gas station refill cups around. My justification is that I drink diet soda, but if left unchecked, I'd probably drink a gallon a day. So here's my commitment to the blogging community - I'm giving up soda. I drank one last Dew before going to bed and I'll be done until Easter.

In the effort to add to myself and focus more on Christ, I wanted to learn more about Lent and do some focused scripture study. Yesterday, I happened to get an email giving information about a new book by Dr. Larry Crabb called 66 Love Letters and how for Lent, you can subscribe to get an email each day with Lenten passages for reflection. I signed up for it and will go through that each day. You can go to this website to sign up and join me in this journey. I think I will also try to read through some of the Psalms. Tonight before bed, I read a Psalm to my daughter and I love the beauty and honesty they contain.

I ask only that you spend time praying for me in this journey, and please let me know how I can pray for you. I want to take these steps alongside you, and I'm excited to hear about what God will do through you in the coming weeks!

5 comments:

Christina said...

I am also doing a two-fold Lent- I'm giving up candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, soda (dang), but also doing Beth Moore's "90 Days with Jesus" to help fill my cup with holier things.

Sandra said...

Good blog, Babe. Sorry I cheated already! ;) But I'm on it now. Love you!

shellycoulter said...

I am getting the emails too. Its awesome to observe Lent in this way. Is Sandra doing the same thing? Thanks for sharing.

Melissa said...

You have been added to my prayer journal...Perhaps prayer is my Lenten goal - although I started early...

Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts on lent and your goal for lent.

Christina said...

I am also doing a two-fold Lent- I'm giving up candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, soda (dang), but also doing Beth Moore's "90 Days with Jesus" to help fill my cup with holier things.