In the past I have thought of Lent as a "religious" observance. This year I realized it can also be a 'relationship' observance. So, I have been observing Lent by drawing closer to God-building the relationship by His grace...not just following rules. My friend's husband has a great Lent workbook on his blog that goes over the basics of Lent if you've never even heard of it before. I will be using the reading selections he suggests. I will be also be using http://www.youversion.com/ -there are several Lenten reading plans to choose from.
Last week I also found another resource that I may use during this time. A blogger referenced the book A Place at the Table. There are many resources with the book...and I wish I had seen it before now as it would be great to do with a group. I watched this video of the first session
Session 1 - Beginning from Chris Seay on Vimeo.
Just from what I've discovered this morning the concept of the book is to eat a diet similar to a poor person in another country for 40 days. Using the time you save preparing simple foods to feast on the Word of God-the Bread of Life. Then using the grocery savings from eating simple foods (and not eating out) to support ministries that care for the needy. We sponsor Nazia in India, so if we participate (our family may choose to do a few days or a week) we would eat rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, bananas, chicken, fish, vegetables, lentils, garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Lots of spices! The info sheet provides a list of common foods for different countries-so you could choose a country that you have a heart for (or that has good staple foods:).
It's so neat to me how God works out little details and confirms things He's teaching me. Last week I just about had a fit (similar to one my 5 year old would throw) because I didn't get to eat where I wanted (the new Mexican joint in town). That wasn't the first time I've seen that food does drive my behavior. When I wake up I go straight for the double mocha cappuccino...instead of the Living Water. So I've prayerfully decided to drink no liquid but water (by His grace) for this season. I'm sure I'll be healthier and less caffeine addicted:) We've made it through the first week!
There were many things in the intro video and the daily devo videos that have tied in to what I'm learning in our ladies' Bible study-Jesus the One and Only (and I love that they are both on location in the Holy Land). One of the lessons last week was about the temptation of Jesus-and we drew similarities to Eve's temptation in the garden. The enemy knows that this is an area we are tempted. I have had Made to Crave sitting in my 'to-read' pile for a few months (I will return it Jess:) It is about how we run to food for comfort instead of to our Comforter. I think I haven't read it because I know I need to!
I am excited to learn something new and grow closer to Jesus during this time. It seems like Easter always sneaks up on me and I don't feel prepared- personally and in teaching my girls what it is really about. I'm praying that this season will be different as I lay aside the distractions on the world (no facebook for me for a few weeks!) and focus on the Word. The Bible study and the lenten readings are all interwoven and will all end at the cross right around Easter. The intro video and the readings have referenced Matthew 5 often-aligning with the verses I am hoping to memorize. I can't wait to see what will be revealed to me as I study scripture....would you join me? Leave a comment to let us know!!! It's not too late to start right where you are and use this season to draw closer to God by spending time in His Word. He will lead you...just follow Him-don't feel obligated to follow anyone else-just what He calls you to do!
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11