Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Little Rending

Yet even now, says the Lord, Return to me with all your heart,
With fasting and weeping and mourning.
...Rend your heart and not your garments
Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:12-13

As much I love Thanksgiving for the sheer family-ness and, well, gratitude involved, it pales in comparison to my favorite of all holidays, hands-down-and-barring-none, which would be Easter.  As I have stated quite often here, I do love my Jesus, so this is likely not terribly surprising to you...and a day celebrating His love! and Power! and Victory!?? Well, it doesn't get any better in my book for sure.

In our church we do not traditionally observe Lent.  We certainly believe that our salvation comes only from Christ's complete work on the cross and subsequent resurrection, offered on my behalf, and nothing I could do could possibly add or take away from what He has done.  Only faith required on my part.  Only the receiving.

Amen. and Amen.

Over the last few years, though, I've thought about observing Lent personally as a time of discipline and focus, but frankly my timing was usually off and I would let the time pass by.

Well here it is, another year, and the season is upon us once again.

I've been thinking a lot about the Christmas holiday season and all that crazy-crazy that makes me a little completely nuts and cranky.  That time frame is pretty much approximately 40 days or so.  Now that likely means nothing, but it struck me that I indulge, albeit involuntarily, in at least a little bit of the crazy during that much more should I be willing to readjust my gaze to The One who Rescued Me?

Oh dear, I'm pretty sure I'm rambling...I hope I haven't already lost ya!  I'll try to get my thoughts together.

I have decided to observe Lent this year. 

I almost said nothing here because I believe fasting and what-not should be personal and not some kind of public spectacle or pride thing. 

However, I also believe in the beauty of accountability. 

I might have mentioned this before, but I live alone, and therefore have only the human accountability that I invite in.

I have already learned a little something about myself while just contemplating the giving up of, well, anything.  Not because I can't live without most anything, but because I know how weak I am in the follow through.  Which I'm thinking is already a good start in the right direction, huh.

This will likely sound silly to the majority of my seven readers, but I'm giving up sugar for the next 40 days.

I have to say it embarrasses me to even write those words; they sound so petty and small.  But my humble prayer to my beloved Father is that every time I reach - perhaps desperately - for that Pepsi, or M&M (yikes!) my mind will go right back to Jesus and what He has done for me and why, and maybe-just-maybe, what I can do for Him.

I am also convicted about how much time I spend not with Him, so I told Him that I will spend at least as much time with Him, loving Him & showing it, as I spend on things like the wordlwideweb or Netflix.  Generally speaking, I don't feel like I spend too much time actually blogging, but when you add in all the visiting and what-not it fills a lot of time.

...Not that there's anything wrong with that :)  God has filled some of that quiet time I have in my quiet house with loving all of you, laughing with ya, and praying for ya.

but still...

I just want to let you know that I likely will not be posting quite as often or as regularly until after Easter.  I've promised my Savior that if I haven't had my quiet time there will be blog.  If I'm behind on my Bible study?  Again, no blog.  NOT that my absence will necessarily mean I'm being derelict in my "duties," you undersand :)  I just might be having too much fun with my Jesus to play with ya.

I just want to do a little heart-rending around these parts, is all I'm saying.

I love y'all so much!  Thanks for your prayers :)


Emily said...

Make that 8 readers. =) I enjoyed reading this post and it's a great challenge to me to spend more time with Him. Thanks for that.

Renee said...

Hi Emily - Yaay for eight! :) Thank YOU for dropping by and encouraging ME! Hope you have a wonderful today :)

frank & kristin said...

I too feel very challenged by this post to make more time for God. Thanks so much, Renee! I will keep you in my prayers for lots of wonderful Jesus time in the days ahead. :) Love ya!

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