Friday, February 24, 2012

From Now until Easter...

I have always heard the word "lent" and never thought much of it. I heard it was a time of fasting for Catholics, and honestly, that is about it.

Until today: I got the urge to Google "Lent" and even "Lent for Baptists" (because I grew up Baptist and my home church is Baptist).

I came across some very interesting information...very convicting...very stimulating...very challenging!

My first question was, what exactly is Lent?
Lent is a Christian Festival. In the past it was a long, strict religious fast when people gave up all rich food. Lent is the time when Christians prepare for the greatest of the Christian festivals known as Easter, by thinking of things they have done wrong. It was a time for spring-cleaning lives, as well as homes.

I like that thought: SPRING-CLEANING LIVES 

Lent began this year on February 22nd, which was Ash Wednesday and it will end on Easter, April 8th. Lent lasts 40 days, excluding Sundays. 40 days; like Jesus spent in the desert, fasting! 

EthicsDaily is where I was led to in regards to Baptists and Lent. 
On this particular website the author of this post says lent for a Baptist can be "the spiritual practice of intentionally dedicating a period of time for giving up something in their life as a form of Christian discipleship." 

He also goes on to say "grace is best experienced when we purposefully take away something. It brings integrity to our witness, freedom to our service and identification with the less fortunate. We need a spirituality of subtraction challenging us to be less encumbered and burdened in our calling to follow Jesus."

I pray that this season of Lent is a blessing to many---that unbelievers will have a chance to see humility and integrity in Christians when they submit to whatever it is God is calling them to do in this season. 
Also, that Christians would not just obey God during Lent, but that they would seek Him daily for His perfect will in their lives throughout the year. 
I am praying for myself in this season; that I would listen intently to whatever God calls me to do, or not to do. I want to be a faithful and obedient daughter of the King, who trusts Him fully. 

Whatever He has in store for me to add to my life, or subtract from it, I want to willingly do as He commands. So thankful He has given me a thirst for knowledge, that I would seek out answers to questions so basic like, "what is lent?"...He works in such amazing ways through seemingly small things...

Father, thank You for grace and mercy, abounding love and forgiveness...My life is for You, and I pray that whatever You ask of me, I will humble myself and submit to Your command and will. I love You too Jesus. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

a "LIST" kind of day

I like lists; something about bullet points or numbered lines that I enjoy. 
I like outlines, plans, planners, calendars, etc. In previous posts I think I have admitted to being somewhat of a control freak, and so lists and plans fall under that category. 

Now, as much as I enjoy them and think they will help and look awesome, I have rarely ever stuck to one. 
I long for order and organization, but can't seem to follow through or succeed in completing my lists/plans. 

SO, today, I wanted to make a list of things that I need to begin-and not give up on or leave unfinished:

1. Let Go so that God can organize and control my life! 
2. Make it a point to NOT hit snooze! 
3. Begin my morning with prayer, followed by a short work-out and quiet time. And end my day early in the evening, with prayer and the Word of God on my heart, mind and lips. 
4. Eat dinner at home, with my family, at the table at least 5 times per week! 
5. Seek God at the start of every week for His plan for my time management, meal planning and quiet time. 
6. Keep a list of prayer requests; pray for each person or circumstance daily and keep a journal to update progress/results,- THIS post caught my attention on this subject. 
7. Pray with and for my family, as a family and individually, daily!
8. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Practicing patience and self-control in every situation and seeking to reflect God in my actions, every second of every day. 
9. Make more of an effort to show my husband how much I love and respect him. 
10. Spend more time with my friends; invite them over for dinner, stop by their houses unexpectedly, call just to see how they are doing. 

These are all things that I feel the LORD is leading me to do. 

I can't write much more than that. I am in awe of the list that He just gave to me. This was not at all what I sat down here to type; my list had things like "cut coupons" "1 hour of exercise, 5 days per week" "menu plan Sundays" "re-organize kitchen drawers"...and yet, I feel secure in knowing that this is exactly what I should be focusing on...and everything else, well, it will fall into it's proper place in its' proper time.

Check these out: 

Micah 4:12
Proverbs 16: 1-4
Psalm 33:10-12
Proverbs 19:21
Jeremiah 29:11

Seek God's plan for your life...and if you are a tough, stubborn one like me, it is a day to day faith action...
He will bless those who seek Him and obey His commands!