Christians and Lent

Lent is giving up something with a desire to draw closer to the Lord!

Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist,Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. We are non denominational and although it is not necessary to observe Lent, there is no reason why Christians should not observe Lent if they so choose. It is just another way to remember Jesus and what he has done for us.
This year my husband and I have decided to participate in Lent…in the sense of…Giving up something that we do every day and replacing it with spending time reading the bible and praying!
My husband and I are both giving up all drinks accept water, sweets and anger/yelling!! Obviously this is not like giving up, say, a tv show {when the show is on instead of watching you could read the bible or pray} so when I feel my self getting angry I step back and ask God to help me relax. As for giving up sweets and beverages other than water…here is our thinking…sugar tends to make us wired. We find ourselves unable to relax or/and concentrate…enter reading the bible…mind wandering…frustration because you just aren’t getting it! Without those sugary treats and drinks we will both have a easier time focusing!
What is Lent?
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. Ash Wednesday (2/13/13) marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). {This year Lent is 2/13-3/30
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. My personal thought is: give up something you REALLY like, then when you start thinking about it you instead spend time in the bible! Thus giving up something to draw you closer to the Lord!
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
If you choose to participate
Things you could give up for Lent:
Television (or specific shows or channels)
The radio
Favorite foods (pizza, ice cream, etc.)
Eating out
Soft drinks/caffeine/coffee
Debt (using credit cards)
Certain books/magazines (read ones that will help you grow spiritually)
Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Swearing/foul language
Working overtime (unnecessarily)
After the decision has been made you need to follow through…sometimes that means every single morning you wake up and ask God to help you!
Spend time with God either in prayer or reading the Bible! For example someone who is giving up a particular tv show could spend the time that they would usually be watching it reading the Bible!
You can even get your children involved with these ideas for kids: (Replace something with Family Bible study time)
Television (or certain shows)
Video games
Computer (games, social networking, etc.)
Fighting with siblings
Being disrespectful to parents
Soft drinks
Like I said at the beginning…choosing to participate in Lent, it a way to draw us closer to the Lord!  Are you participating in Lent? I’d love to hear what changes you are making!
Smiles & Blessings

Goodbye 2012 trials Hello 2013!

2012 will end blessed for my family!

After months of big trials and ups and downs the Lord like always provided and comforted! Since August we have been trying to refinance our home, it finally closed in mid December! Why did it take so long you might ask?! Well that’s a long story, but basically our previous lender made a horrible mistake in our paper work a few years ago and was unwilling to take the blame, therefore they would not subordinate! We had an amazing man and his wife who fought so hard for us so that we could get away from this company that was everything we didn’t want to be apart of! The dishonesty was staggering. Everything is going great now, we have a new leader!! But, the last few months have been HARD! We sought the Lord daily during this trial and he 100% of the time comforted us and provided! I think about these verses in James 1

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Wow verse 5-6 are hard! Believing without doubt when you have no idea what you are going to do is REALLY REALLY hard! The Lord was challenging me with this daily! I felt like I have been saying ” ok ok God I get it” a lot lately! 🙂 I don’t want to be like a wave of the sea being tossed about…who would? I want to know that my father has it totally under control! During this time of ups and downs my husband heard a favorite pastor of ours Pastor Chuck Smith say these words “God is NEVER early and He is NEVER late, God is ALWAYS right on time.” WOW! That is so very true!

I rearly share anything about our personal finances, however I want to share an amazing thing God did!

Knowing that pay day wasn’t for another week and that we had NO resources…we were a tad on edge…ok A LOT on edge! We kept our focus on the Lord knowing that He would provide…even though we couldn’t see how. We were down to a few things in the fridge and few this in the freezer! Friends, I don’t know how but God provided! With those few things I was able to prepare 5 healthy dinners and 5 healthy lunches!!! Enough to make us all full! The dinners were some of the best we have had in months, absolutely delicious! I think anyone would have looked at what we had and said “no way can you feed your family on this!” but I did!! I almost can’t believe it! In the bible Jesus fed 5000 with the bread and fish…that was totally miraculous!! Jesus is still working those kind of miraculous things today all around us!

It was abundantly clear to us know matter what…God will provide in the most likely ways and the most unlikely ways! God had it all under control!

When facing trails fix your eyes on the Lord! He will not over look his son or daughter!

Today was pay day! We were able to fill our fridge and pantry! We were spending the afternoon cleaning (because we finally had cleaning supplies) when I came upon this verse on a sticky note:

“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles”

When I read this I cried! I almost couldn’t believe how the Lord showed this to us today! Just a reminder that trail or not…the Lord is ready and waiting to be a Father!

Smiles & Blessings on this lovely New Year’s Eve! Wishing you all many blessing in 2013!