Almost Lent. This year, I am going to remind myself that God not only loves cheerful givers but also cheerful giver uppers. So as I take my 40 days without Facebook or a coffee beverage over the size of a tall, I will be doing it with a willing and cheerful spirit, not reluctantly or out of obligation.
Something I learned a few years ago was that I can’t just give something up for Lent, I must also replace that with something. For example, what is the point of giving up Facebook if I take that entire time and dedicate it to trying to bring back MySpace? No point. Why give up excessive coffee drinks just to replace it with a senseless consumption of soda? Right? So that which is not being poured into the abstained needs to go elsewhere. In addition to what I’m giving up is, more importantly, what I am implementing.
It’s a lot.
Quiet time every day. I tried to set a time limit on how long my quiet time must last every day, but I guess that doesn’t really matter. It just has to be a consistent, set apart time to pray and meditate, to read my Bible and journal, and to write letters. Quiet time. Learning to still my heart.
Because I’m going to be honest, but I’m just going to tell you what Stephen Curtis Chapman sang.
If the truth was known and a light was shown on every hidden part of my soul,
most would turn away, shake their heads and say “he’s still got such a long way to go…”
This morning in Sunday School we were talking about spiritual warfare and evil and what that looks like. I commented that for the believer, it usually happens slowly. Satan plants a seed within us, and we willingly water and tend to it. Suddenly we’re being suffocated by something we could have stopped all along were we to acknowledge what was happening.
I feel that the seed has been planted in me. It’s a nasty, ugly, spiky little thing.
Worthlessness. Apathy. Undisciplined. Irritability. Gossiping. …and those are just the parts I’ve really noticed.
Deep within me I feel an urgency to address this, to stand up against my adversary and fight.
Forty days of celebrating discipline and self-control and sacrifice, all leading up to a celebration of the liberating power from sin and death that I have access to because of Christ’s Resurrection? Yes please. Yes PLEASE!
Pray for me, because I am feeling like a prime piece of real estate for Satan and I need deliverance. From myself.
But now that we have my nerdy Lent-talk out of the way……
Jessica came to visit me from North Dakota.
I got an annual Disneyland pass. That is my “no my last name is not Orifice… or Office…” face.
but the best pictures I can show you are from the Crystal Cathedral. They had all of these Biblical statues. First I saw this Moses one and it cracked me up.
In my head I thought “hey guys, got a decent second copy!”
Next came the Holy fam. Baby Jesus was silver. Super weird. So of course I played with him for a little bit.
This one, you guys.
We’re walking down this path, and I look to my left and I see this statue and I fell to the ground in hysterical laughter.
Before I show you a close up of why it was so funny, let me give you a general overview of this statue entitled “The Lost Get Found.”
Get it? It’s Jesus carrying the one lost sheep. and a bunch of little kids running up to him. oh and me, I was running up to him as well. and for clarification purposes, I had shorts on underneath that.
Okay so now you’re thinking “what is so funny about this picture? It seems quite lovely.”
When I looked this up on the internet to show Rachel, the minute this picture opened on my computer I burst into a giggle fit again.
DO YOU SEE THAT FACE? It is the craziest Jesus face I have ever seen in my entire life! It was the funniest thing I’ve maybe ever seen in my life. Maybe.
Then finally. I like to call this one… “hey guys! wait for me!”
So that’s it. I’ve made some progress in my whole 20-11’s list. Perhaps I will update that later.
Thank you and Goodnight.
Also – could you all please e-mail your mailing addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org? I would appreciate that. Heather, I located your letter. It will be sent soon 🙂