Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is a day of turning our lives back to God and I can tell you that I am ready! These past several weeks I have felt further away from him than I would like. I've felt more discouraged and fearful than I have in the past too, and I know this is because my relationship is lacking. It's not just one thing that is keeping me from being as close as I need to be to God, but more of just everything. I've let my daily distractions become an excuse to be lazy with my relationship and I'm paying for it. I hadn't taken the time to plug in my ipod and listen to worship music in over a month, although the past few days I finally have because I've really needed it. I just feel down and know that Jesus is the only thing that can pull me out of this funk.

Lent begins today and Ben and I participate in Ash Wednesday at our church (United Methodist). I am really looking forward to the Ash Wednesday service tonight to rededicate our lives to Jesus Christ and work on really listening to Him, becoming closer and remembering who it is we are: His children.

I've thought a lot this week about what I (and Ben) should give up that is keeping us from being close to our Lord and it is pretty easy, and silly. Its our iphones. Well, more so the junk on them. I can't believe I'm saying this, but we both play solitaire on our iphone or words with friends all the time! Its out of sheer boredom (laziness!) and it is precious time that we could be devoting to worshiping and listening to God. So, we are giving up 'junk' on our iphones and going to read a passage in the bible each night as a couple. (Something that we always talk about wanting to do, but rarely make the time to do it.)

I'm not one for keeping or doing New Year's Resolutions, but when Jesus is involved in a resolution, I'm MUCH more motivated and am looking forward to growing closer to Christ during the next 40 days.

I want to encourage you to participate in Lent, even if your church may not.

Here is a list of ideas of things you could do or how to get started:


10. Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Guitar Hero, texting, tweeeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week. (or everyday of Lent!) Use the time to read & pray.

9. Start a prayer rhythm. Say a prayer every time you brush your teeth, hear an ambulance, or check your e-mail. Before you text someone, pray for them.

8. Read one chapter in the Bible each day. (Matthew's a good book to start with. Psalms, too.)

7. Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it (maybe even yourself.)

6. Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in Haiti or others in crisis.

5. Create a daily quiet time. Spend 30 minutes a day in silence and prayer.

4. Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.

3. Be kind to someone each day.

2. Pray for others you see as you walk to and from classes or drive to and from work.

1. Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry or a Habitat for Humanity project."

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