Disciplines: Fasting, Sacrifice, Resisting Temptation, Journaling.
we go through our Lenten journeys, our time of preparation for Easter, we reflect on Jesus in the wilderness, and we may wonder
how He felt.
Disciplines are a way to get in touch with our connection with Jesus in an intimate way.
be careful, this journey is potentially life changing.
happens when we Fast?
Fasting is a practice which seems to be loosing ground in the church.
today’s society, we have our cell phones, our internet, our cable, our satellite radio, our ipods and itunes, our video
games, and lots of choices for fast food restaurants.
the notion of “doing without” seems to be less and less desirable.
mega churches wouldn’t dream of preaching on sacrifice...they just want to lift up joy, joy, joy.
look where sacrifice brought us.
who sacrificed their very lives for our freedom.
who sacrificed Himself on the cross, so that we would live forever, freed from the bondages of sin.
so, to feel what He feels, what He felt, we have to sacrifice.
it is only through sacrifice, that we appreciate what we have to a greater extent.
did it take for Haitians to leave their homes, families, and familiar settings to come to a country that speaks an entirely
you are willing to make sacrifices, you are one step closer to Jesus.
parents were poor when I was born.
mother went without eating so that I could have the baby formula I needed.
made sacrifices, and she was certainly close to Jesus.
today’s culture, I noticed several times while doing my grocery shopping, young girls with WIC coupons getting free
food for their babies.
they are dressed to the nines in designer jackets, jeans, and shoes, with designer handbags, and lots of bangle bracelets
sporting very nice hair cuts.
really don’t see the sacrifice, since it is our government providing the means for this to happen.
not sure what some young people are learning in terms of “doing without”.
the other side of the coin is my friend Melissa.
her Facebook page, she posted her kitchen which included a simple table and chairs and a plate full of fruit.
the rest of the kitchen was bare.
is learning what it’s like to do without.
the joy of filling that kitchen is being accomplished by her wedding guests.
sacrificing, we come to the spiritual discipline of fasting.
just fasting from food, but also fasting from words, clutter, and negative thoughts.
challenge, for this Lenten journey, is to feel the hunger that Jesus felt when he was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days
and 40 nights.
not asking you to go without food for 40 days, but here is the challenge.
one of the following:
1. Go without one meal per day until Easter, with the exception of Sundays.
2. Go without dessert every day until Easter, with the exception of Sundays.
3. Go without chocolate every day until Easter, with the exception of Sundays.
4. Go without bread or pasta every day until Easter, with the exception of Sundays.
you decide to skip a meal, use that time that you would normally eat for prayer or reading scripture.
you decide to skip a certain food group, take the money you would have spent for that food and place it in a special location.
use the money you’ve collected during Lent for a specific charity to help someone else.
look forward to watching the reality show Survivor since it shows me human nature at the core and I can learn a lot about
stuck on an island with little food being provided were willing to pay $100 for a piece of chocolate cake.
you have becomes more valuable when you do without it.
going through an entire day with a blind fold on.
you will appreciate your eyes more the next day.
going through an entire day wearing mittens.
you will appreciate your fingers more the next day.
going through an entire day without talking...no words.
you will appreciate conversation, hearing, and speech the next day.
a challenge for resisting temptation...
to the mall or your favorite store, but just window shop.
the temptation to buy anything.
part of our “Complaint Free World” challenge a few years ago, many of us made an attempt to go 4 consecutive weeks
without uttering one single complaint.
think maybe I will try to give up complaining for Lent this year.
part of our “Behavioral Covenant”, we are being intentional about resisting the temptation to gossip by going
directly to the person who has upset or offended us.
would be interesting to try to resist the temptation to watch television or play video games for the duration of lent with
the exception of Sunday.
that’s a challenge...
maybe a little simpler, try to go without beer for the duration of Lent.
to these qualities of ambassadors for Christ in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
Great Endurance in
hardships, conflict, afflictions, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, and hunger.
just endurance, but GREAT endurance!
purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the Power of God.
for the right hand and honor for the left hand.
is it that we can possess nothing, but have everything?
is only through Jesus Christ, as our Lord and our Savior.
this Lenten journey, dare to take the challenge.