Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do You Have Plans For The Next 40 Days? ( a re-post from the archives)

Today is the beginning of Lent. 
A practice many in the Christian church do not observe. 

A practice centuries old; representing Jesus' time in the quiet; in the wilderness. 
It was during this time he was tempted by Satan;
Matthew 4:3-4 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
It was during this time that he fasted for 40 days.
A time when he was tired, hungry and weak. 
He withdrew from all the chaos and hustle in town. 
He needed time. 
He needed quiet. 
He was about to endure the cross. 
His heart needed sweet communion with His Father. 
As I have grown older and find myself so easily distracted;
 times like Advent and Lent have become intentional times of focus on the quietness of my heart. 
I have grown to love these times and see the beauty in
why they were included in the church calendar. 
We tend to be so busy. Running here and there.
For good things; good purposes
We pray, we worship.
 We tend to forget to be quiet before the Lord. 
Just be still; in his presence. 
Time to shut out the schedule, the demands of the day; to be silent. 
Matthew 4:1-2 tells us that God led Jesus into the wilderness, where he fasted for 40 days. 
I only know of one person who fasted for 40 days.
 He was in the guards and was called to go to Iraq. 
He would tell us of his walk each week. 
It was a powerful journey. 
Why are we so afraid of quiet
(Me included. I talk way too  much, just ask the farmer)
Why does quiet prayer and silence leave us undone
Last year during Lent,
I attempted to add a trait to my walk instead of depriving myself of something. 
A practice to encourage your walk with the Lord. 
Maybe you're going to attempt to read the bible every day, 
There are great tools out there to help that process. 
The youversion bible allows you to down load the program to your computer or phone
and it will read to you and keep track of where you are.
So, your morning commute can be part of your bible time. 
Or when the kids are napping.
This is just one way and one program. 
I have been using a bookmark tracking system, that works for me. 

There are 4 book marks placed in the bible. 
You have 5 days of grace in each month. ( so thankful) 
Ann Voskamp also has developed a Lenten Devotional that we have used as well. 
These are just tools to enhance a practice to bring us closer to God. 
Choose to make Lent a game changer.
 It takes 30 days to develop a new habit.
This is 40. 
Take action to improve your walk with God.
To get closer to him. 
Maybe your marriage needs 40 days of intentional focus. 
Do something quiet for your spouse each day. 
There is "The Love Dare"

Use these next 40 days to make changes. 

It is a beautiful practice. 
It is not a command or a mandate. 
But a practice that has merit and beauty.

The woman in our church are using the tool:

Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with My Pen (Active Prayer Series)

My cry this Lent will be to continue to seek the "what" God has next for our family. 
What do we do in the aftermath of living a life without our Elijah?
What does it look like when  it seems cancer is at bay?
When a part of your farmer and farm girls heart remains in Haiti.
When there are children needing love.  
I will seek Who God is in all of  this. 
In the quiet.

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