40 Days + 40 Nights: 5 Thoughts on Lent

tempting dessert
Sweet Temptation! | Photo by Gale E

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

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I’m a Daughter of a most amazing King, so it starts today. But let’s take a moment to go back before going forward. Last year I offered a few thoughts on Ash Wednesday and the pending Lenten season. I meant well but admit here that I wasn’t able to accomplish half of the things on my list. As I started the post then, I still maintain that:

“For 40 days many Christians will more than likely pray, fast and/or give up something they think they can’t live without.  Things like chocolate, alcohol, potato chips, sex, TV or Coca Cola top some lists, but I feel if you only have a coke (or sex) three times a month it doesn’t really make sense fasting … just saying.”

I also maintain that temptations seem to be more intense during Lent than at any other time during the year. Seriously. All of a sudden there are many more things to distract and steer you off course. Your friends keep eating sweets or chocolates in your presence, at parties there are free exotic drinks filled with alcohol, there are extra projects with tight deadlines at work which cause you to work late and miss your weekly Bible Study/Mission Services, your children seem to go out of their way to stress or frustrate you, Facebook and Twitter keep calling your name to check out the latest exciting posts and tweets – can you relate? One year I decided to fast from desserts … all I can say is that it ended up being an exercise in futility.

So what’s it going to be for me this year? What am I going to do differently in the midst of spiky hot flashes, aching bones, graying hair and fading eyesight? For starters, I am going to:

  • pray more meaningful prayers – no more wishy-washy “you already know what I need God so please make it happen” type of words
  • try fasting from solid foods every Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – which I have never been brave enough to try because I suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) but we’ll see
  • give of myself more – someone needs a call, an e-card or a kind word/written prayer; an elderly person or a child needs a hug; a church (well, my church for sure) needs volunteers to help out
  • keep a Lenten devotional – my book for this year (I usually read The Shack by William P. Young) is Secrets of the Vine for Women, Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Marie Wilkinson; every week for the next six weeks starting on Ash Wednesday I will read/study a chapter (there are six) and record my reflections
  • sign up at www.lentreflections.com – to receive daily reflections in my inbox

Seems doable right? Right …  until I am attacked by procrastination, laziness, fatigue and life overwhelm! BUT that’s when I’m going to post a note here asking for some help because we may pretend otherwise yet we will always be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  I’m looking forward to coming out on the other side of the valley – stay tuned 😀

PS: I felt the need to add a brief disclaimer in that religion/spirituality/believing in something bigger than yourself is personal. My thoughts on Lent and deepening my walk with God are just that: my own … but I would love to hear your views not only on this important observance on the Christian calendar of events but on spirituality as a whole. Please leave me a comment.

Simply sinful | Photo by Gale E
Simply sinful | Photo by Gale E

Happy Easter! He is risen!

approaching the college

 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

Matthew 28:5-8 (NKJV)


What good news!  After 40 days of being in the wilderness, of sacrificing ourselves (from chocolate, alcohol, sex, anger, intolerance – to name a few of the temptations we tried to avoid) here we are.  Finally.  We’ve made it to the top of the mountain and arrived in the promised land!

Jesus conquered death; He lives, and as we are told in Matthew 28:20 “… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  It’s good to know that our Lord and Saviour will never leave us.  After all, how could He after dying for us on the cross?

I encourage you therefore to have faith and to believe that even though you might be made to walk through another wilderness season (before Lent comes again) you are not alone … and will never be … ever.

Yes, the journey may have been hard, and in some instances it may not even have ended for you as yet, but this note is to give you strength and to declare in a loud voice: “Happy Easter!  He is risen!  Hallelujah!”

Wishing you and your families a blessed Easter, filled with God’s unconditional love and amazing grace.  Amen.