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.
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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!
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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
Alcohol
Soft drinks/caffeine/coffee
Smoking
Clutter
Debt (using credit cards)
Certain books/magazines (read ones that will help you grow spiritually)
Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Blogging
Negativity/Stress
Gossip
Anger/Yelling
Lying
Swearing/foul language
Addictions
Procrastination
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
Lying
Soft drinks
Sweets/Candy
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

My Father Loves Me

My Father…

Loves me – John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Cares for me – Matthew 6:26
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Forgives me – Psalm 103:12
“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Is compassionate – Psalm 103:4-5
“who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Is giving – Romans 8:32
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Is understanding – Psalm 139:1-2
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

Is accepting – Psalm 139:1-6
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”

Satisfies – Psalm 107:9
“for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

Persistently pursues me – Luke 19:10
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Pardons – Psalm 103:3
“who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,”

Heals – Isaiah 53:5
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Redeems – Job 19:25
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

Is loving kindness – Psalm 86:15
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Renews – Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.”

Is righteous – Jeremiah 9:23-24
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

Is gracious – Ephesians 1:7-8
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,”

Is sovereign – Psalm 103:19
“The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”