"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014

I have two goals for Lent:  
1.  Give up Facebook.  
     This has been pretty easy.  I don't feel like I'm missing any critical information, and really most of my time on Facebook was just zoning out time when I could be focusing my attention on something more important.  
2.  Read through the entire New Testament.
     Ok, instead of reading through it I am listening to it.  The Truth and Life app has a dramatized audio version of the New Testament I'm using.  It is engaging, and easy to listen to.  They even have a 40 days through the New Testament playlist that will keep your place for you, and break it down by days. I am loving going quickly through the New Testament, getting the big picture and hearing stories I've heard over and over in a new way.

I remember the first time I participated in all the prepatory liturgical days leading up to Easter.  I grew up in a church that did not observe Maundy Thurday or Good Friday.  It was just "He arose!" without the acknowledgement that He died.  When we lived in Ankeny and went to Westkirk, we attended the Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday services.  The sadness and darkness of those services made Easter Sunday a true celebration of depth and emotion.  The lead up and walking with Christ through those days made it all more real.  The memory of the joy and tears on that Easter is a treasured memory.  

Now I am encountering Lent.  Lent is about spiritual discipline, preparation, and training our affections to love what we ought.  It is acknowledging our sin, and the new life we receive only through Christ.  Just as Jesus prepared for his earthly ministry by 40 days of preparation and retreat, we use Lent in the same way.    

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