Have you ever found that when you change one thing in your life, it has a ripple effect – that it tends to make an impact on other areas of your life? It can happen in a good or bad way. Luckily, I’m focusing on the good, and the dominoes are about to fall.
Lent has begun – the time in the Catholic religion where we repent (change our ways), fast (quit doing something, or maybe add something else), pray, and give of our time, treasure and talent. It’s a time of relinquishing what keeps us from God – his competition.
What competes for His time with me – watching television. I know, it’s a terribly boring subject, but it’s a time suck, and lends to a boring life, one that is less productive than it can be, is deceptive of actually relaxing you, and is both an energy and a time waster. What’s good about it? Well, there are some things – but those things we could also do through the internet or our phones. I like t.v., but I also know it competes for God’s time and makes my life less productive than it can be because of the energy and time I give to it. I’m quitting sugar too.
So, t.v. is out, for 40 days, and, there’s so much that can be done in 40 days!
I am not sure what I will do in addition to getting closer to God and praying more – another cause for another ripple domino effect, but only good will come from this, for sure. How many things can you say about that?
I think I have only ever been to two church services on Lent, maybe this is my first? I am not sure. I have still practiced Lent, however, in terms of fasting. 13 years ago, today, I gave up all of my remaining vices, and thanks to the Grace of God, I am off of everything to this day! Amen to that! Lent is a good starter for a life change!
One interesting tidbit I did realize in the service tonight is how great it is to have this time as a part of our religion – to specifically make time for God – not just 45 minutes here and there or even every morning, but really make a concerted effort to change your ways, devote more of yourself to your Lord and see where it takes you. Again, it can only be good.
I am interested in finding out!
I am reading these books, now, too called Draw the Circle, and The Circle Maker, and they’re all about these bold prayers and how they come true.
Now, I have my own wonderful stories about God and answered prayers you can listen to on http://www.hollycobrien.com as podcasts, if you want to hear of some amazing ways God works, and some are on this website, but I haven’t prayed any “crazy” prayers like I was reading about in this book last night, in a long time.
My life has been good and steady and need of “bold” prayers hasn’t presented itself, but I still pray about the time about everything. Although I will say, there is one thing I have prayed about, and when it comes through, there will be every belief it is God’s hand which has allowed it, for sure! I’ll hold that one tight for awhile, but will let you know. Still waiting, still praying. The bible says, “knock, and keep on knocking.” Okay:)
Anyway, I am excited for this Lenten period where I will talk to the Lord more, pray more, listen for the Lord more, and hear more internally. Like when I went to find a picture for this particular blog. I selected one and then heard one simple word, “more.” So, I looked more and found a perfectly matched picture for my title opposed to what I did have!
And, during the external, more secular aspect of Lent I will exercise more regularly, eat less, produce more personally and professionally, consider my future more and play more. I am going to have a good life! I will eagerly wait and wonder what will come as I pursue my life more fully each day considering all of my ways 🙂
One thing about me, I do well with discipline, and I am embracing this.
I will say when I left church tonight, I so craved a Boston creme donut, but as I began to wish, I found myself thinking, “Don’t give the devil a foothold.” So, I left it go, and drove on.
Weapons of warfare was discussed briefly, too, in the sermon, tonight. I was wondering tonight what my sword might look like. The sword, in the bible, in describing the armor of God, is the word of God. That, I love. That I will learn more of, too. I’ve already begun to put more verses on index cards to remember. “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” Jesus tells us, and our “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” So, we must “gird up our loins,” and fight with the whole armor of God. See Ephesians 6:11 – 18 about the weapons of warfare. We need them, for sure to stand against the “wiles of the devil” Just like my little donut episode. Know how to fight – seems simple, but it’s important not to give the devil a foothold.
I wish you fellow “Lenters” fasting and praying worthy of all good things.
When the woman began to put the ashes on my head, she said, “Repent, and believe the gospel,” I found myself welling up. I don’t know why, but I believe that was the presence of God on me or maybe just my real desire flowing forth.
I find that interesting that everyone is able to participate in Lent, and receive the ashes, but not everyone is able to receive holy communion.
All’s I know is that when she said those words, “Repent and believe the gospel,” I believed it.
This Lent season is really an answer to an unspoken prayer of desiring more of God, my main goal this year, and to draw closer to Him, so I am grateful for this time where it is part of a practice to make God more of an intentional part of my repentance regime. I will need His grace, too. That is something else mentioned tonight, also biblical, not to take his grace in vain. There is nothing possible without it.
This will be new for me too, to practice Lent, observing it more religiously, instead of using it as a crutch to help me “repent” because I needed a boost. In the past I may have repented, but I don’t know that I made prayer and focus more on God more of a practiced habit in my life, as well.
I will use my sword, say more prayers of both petitions and gratitude, positively engage in each day, and be grateful for the Grace that is Jesus Christ on my life, and exhibited in me.