Lent | Fasting: Day

A time for mourning

by

Today's Text: Job 42:1-6, Genesis 3:19, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 4:1-6

psst – be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom – we have a fun Lent assignment for you for Friday!

Text: Job 42:1-6, Genesis 3:19, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 4:1-6

The Ash Wednesday ashes are as a sign of mourning, just as they were in biblical times. Perhaps you’ve seen them smeared on the forehead of a friend or a coworker, or even in the mirror just this morning.

I vaguely remember the first time I noticed the ashen cross; it was on the face of a stranger and I was in a public place, although I don’t remember where. I was practically an adult but I remember feeling taken aback by such an outward display of an inward posture, an overt proclamation of an intimate heart condition. I was just beginning to learn then what I’m still learning now – that the condition of all us sinners is very much the same, even when we choose to keep it to ourselves.

Yes, the ashes are worn in a spirit of mourning – to signify repentance of sin, like Job’s confession in Job 42, and to acknowledge our human frailty like the “dust to dust” words of Genesis 3. Today, Ash Wednesday, is a time for us – Protestants, Catholics, Jesus followers, Truth seekers – to acknowledge not just our acts of sin but our condition of sinfulness before the Lord. It is a time to turn to him in mourning and to return to Him in trust anew, believing He is faithful to forgive and forgive again.

Before we jump up and down for joy of forgiveness – which we absolutely should – let’s sit here a minute. Let’s let the enormity of our sin sink in deep, so the enormity of the Cross can become more real to us than ever before. So we can remember that we are the sick ones He came to heal. Let’s rest a long moment in the weeping that comes before the laughing, the mourning that comes before the joy (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

.      .      .      .      .

“We travail. We are heavy laden. Refresh us, O homeless, jobless, possession-less Savior. You came naked, and naked you go. And so it is for us. So it is for all of us.”
– Barbara Cawthorne Crafton

Sisters, backwards as it may seem, we come to Lent for refreshment. We fast – be it from a comfort or a thing, an action or an indulgence – to receive. We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus.

We hold ourselves back from the everyday trappings of life simply to refocus our gaze and re-firm our grip on him. We do not fast for fasting’s sake, but only to draw near to Him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best: “Self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him.”

As we move into the Lenten season – and into the 4 short reading plans which will carry us through Lent with the topics of fasting, repentance, meditation and confession – let’s hold fast to Him.

Let’s hold fast only to Him.

_______

and, about that fun assignment…

Hey girls! It’s Raechel. I want to take a quick second to tell you about a little something we’ve been dreaming about here at SheReadsTruth for a few months now, and we thought Lent might be a nice time to give it a try!

You know people say that one of the best ways to learn, is to teach. We’ve certainly found this to be true for ourselves as we’ve studied hard and long and deep to write the devotionals you find on our site. We want to give you space to do that, too!

Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, whether you have a blog with 10 or 10,000 readers – or don’t have a blog at all – no worries. This is about learning. It’s about digging deep and asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures for you in a new way – and boy, is He ever faithful to do just that.

Every Friday during Lent, YOU will be our writers. We will assign your scriptures early in the week (typically on Monday, though we know today is Wednesday so it’s a little bit shorter notice) and you’ll have roughly five days to study and prepare and write.

Publish your devotional on your own blog on Friday. (We try to keep our devotionals to 400 words, but you do what you like.) If you don’t have a blog, try Facebook or even Instagram (take photo of handwritten notes if that is what works for you) and use the hashtag #SheReadsTruth.

And then the fun. On Friday (that’s in two days), come to the SheReadsTruth site and share the link to the devotional you’ve written. The beauty of this exercise is that it will enhance your time in the Word, you will be able to share your Lent devotional with your readers/followers, and all of your SheReadsTruth sisters will be able to click around to read what everyone has written – a hundred different takes on the same passage!

Friday’s scripture will be Psalm 130. Come back then to share what you’ve learned and to see what your sisters have learned as well!

xoxo,
R

  • Bhuvaneswari Peetam

    There square measure four yogas as per Hindu mythology. Of this the present yuga is termed as Kaliyuga. during this Bhuvaneswari Peetam yuga it's out of the question for standard kinsfolk to stay abstinence or do meditation or move to hills or forests for deep Tapas

  • Stéphane

    SO excited for this new way to connect. I have been wanting to blog for so long, and for Lent I had already decided to spend time each reflecting on verses and hymns and blogging, so this could not be more perfect! Reading everyone's thoughts will be wonderful!

  • I started my Lenten sacrifice on the actual grist deh of lent. 4 days in I caved. I'm extremely hard on myself and I'm going to restart my 40 days over tomorrow. I thank God for loving me even though I am fallible.

  • theeighthsign

    Hello Everyone, this is my first time to participate in following a reading plan online. From my blog:
    http://www.bubblews.com/news/2543619-my-reflectio

    This devotion was prompted by a reading plan that I started following during the the Lenten season.

    When I started pondering about the significance of 'mourning', as symbolized by the smeared ashes on believer's foreheads on Ash Wednesday, I couldn't really think of a reason to mourn.

    I mean, in the past couple of months, I've been feeling that I have been living on a high plane. There have been plenty of moments when I felt grateful for the many blessings I enjoy as well as the people who positively influence me.

    Reading the entire chapter of Psalm 130, however, reminded me of those dark days after my marriage breakup four years ago. I grieved for the loss of my marriage and my spouse, and for what seemed an eternity, I felt that my joy could never be restored as I face the road of single parenthood and the fear of never letting myself emotionally invest in a relationship.

    "I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope" is the verse that made such an impression upon me. I may not feel as much grief as I did back then, although once in a while during unguarded moments, I would feel a cry rise up for some reason, as if deep down, my spirit understands that I could never stand back up from the pits of despair if not for HIS everlasting mercy, undeserved forgiveness, and unfailing love.

    The ashen cross is a reminder of my mourning, but because of the sacrifice of my Lord Jesus Christ, I am comforted, hence made to feel loved, valued, and set on a high place, where despair and defeat will never reach me.

  • “Don’t go near the edge”. A Psalm 130 devotional.

    http://whatgodisteaching.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/dont-go-near-the-edge/

    A time for mourning – I was blessed by this reading. Thank you.

  • SO excited about Fridays!!!!

  • Thank you for this opportunity. I'm not quite sure how to write a devotional, but I'm going to try it.

  • Tyne Swedish

    Okay your Psalms 130 what is the title? In my catholic bible it has a 130 but shows it may be others 129.

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      It's this one in the St. Joseph Catholic Bible, same Psalm (is Chapter 130) — hope I'm right and that helps Tyne
      http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=23&…

      1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, Yahweh:

      2 Lord, hear my cry. Listen attentively to the sound of my pleading!

      3 If you kept a record of our sins, Lord, who could stand their ground?

      4 But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.

      5 I rely, my whole being relies, Yahweh, on your promise.

      6 My whole being hopes in the Lord, more than watchmen for daybreak; more than watchmen for daybreak

      7 let Israel hope in Yahweh. For with Yahweh is faithful love, with him generous ransom;

      8 and he will ransom Israel from all its sins.

  • Hey SRT ladies, sorry for the late reply, but I have a newborn so my time on the computer is very limited. But I would just like to say that I am praying for us and the She reads truth writers, that God will be glorified and we will learn more about the word during this lent season. I am also excited for the Friday's assignment. It gives us a charge to get in the word and learn and share with others, especially to those on our social media networks!!!

  • Love. Love. Love.

  • Hello all!

    I am a new SRT member and have been wanting to "find the right time" to jump in on a plan for a while now. I look at #SheReadsTruth posts on Instagram all the time and have been intrigued to start. This Lenten season, I knew I wanted to do a devotional/plan and this is most certainly the first place I looked. The Lord is telling me this is the perfect time to start an online devotional in such a great community. I can't wait to grow in Christ with all of you ladies. I look forward to learning your perspective and hearing your take on all the plans. May God bless us all as we grow in this journey. Thanks, SRT!!

    • Guest

      Welcome ALG16! You found the right time for the right place to read God's Word together with us. Glad you jumped in and sharing in the comments is the best way to grow too.

  • A TIME FOR MOURNING………….. IT WILL BE 2 YEARS THIS MONTH THAT THE LORD OF MY LIFE. TOOK THE LOVE OF MY LIFE MY SPOUSE OF ALMOST 40 YEARS. I MISS HIM DEARLY. JESUS THE CHRIST DIED 2014 YEARS. AGO .AND HE IS COMING BACK AGAIN FOR ALL THOSE THAT KNOW HIM. HE HAS RISEN… WHAT HE DID FOR ME I COULD NEVER REPAY HIM….. I THANK GOD I WILL SEE JESUS SITTING ON THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER SOMEDAY .AND , THAT I WILL SEE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE AGAIN , WHEN I GET TO HEAVEN. I ASK FOR YOUR PRAYERS MY SISTER. AS THE LORD WALKS WITH ME ON THIS JOURNEY.

    • Morgan

      I am so sorry for your loss an cannot imagine the pain of losing a spouse. Praying for you this morning as you cry out from the depths…"there is hop in the Lord' for w/ the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption." (Ps. 130:7). Praying for you to see the redemption in your loss.

  • I love the assignment. It's an awesome idea, and I hope that I'm up for the challenge for as many weeks as possible. Thank you to She Reads Truth for encouraging me in my faith and my relationship with God.

  • Marcella

    What an awesome way to share the meaning behind Lent. Sharing this! Sisters, I pray we all have a successful Lenten season, may we each grow spiritually, and closer to God, and are cleansed and refreshed in Him!

    *Blessings!

  • I can't wait to do this Friday deco. With everyone…. Still not that sure how to share my link with everyone – but i know the Holy Spirit will some how lead me…….. What Amanda said about the ashened crosses on peoples faces was soooo beautiful! I have never heard it said like that before…….. I am soo excited about Lent this year!!!!!……..

  • THIS IS THE BEST IDEA EVER.
    I CANNOT WAIT.

  • Kara-Anne

    So excited! :)

    I have been wanting to start a Bible Study section on my blog for a while now, and these assignments just help me kickstart it!

    Thank you, for all the great work SRT team. x

  • The season of lent from my childhood Catholic days, had no significant meaning or impact. It was more like a New Years resolution, forgotten about only days into it. How special now to truly know the Savior and really put meaning into this denial, so that I might better focus on Him and what he has done for me.

  • Love this!! So incredibly excited to participate and thank you, thank you for the idea of writing a devotional ourselves-what hardcore and practical accountability and application!! Thank you!

  • This is really interesting. I have a passion for the Word of God and this provides the opportunity to share. Just finish read psalm and im exited to go back and reflect. Its my first time and I must say glory be to God. I wish u all tons of blessings.

  • I love it!! The idea of sharing and what our take on the scriptures is. I think I am going to enjoy this a lot :) Plus it will help me to grow in the Word more. Keeping me more accountable! Huzzah! Haha

    ~Stay Blessed Sisters

  • Joanna S.

    I love the idea of everyone sharing their own devotional on Fridays. I am not a very good writer but I do want to try. I never made such a personal connection to Lent before today. I thought it was just another religion's way to honor God, nothing I really had do for it. (sorry, I know that shows my lack of knowledge) I am excited to really try and participate this year. To find a way to honor God myself and also to draw closer to Him.
    Thank you ladies!

  • I’m new to the SRT site but I’m so excited to be a part of this Jesus community! I was raised in a Catholic house and we did Ash Wednesday but I never truly understood what it meant….we just did it because our parents did! When I saw that Amy asked for somebody to explain lent and Ash Wednesday, I immediately scrolled down to find the answer myself! God truly works in amazing ways, I just heard about this site yesterday! He knew I needed this….I have been STARVING for it for a long time!

  • ofDustandWonder

    Oh, how welcome this post is.

    I grew up (and still identify as) Non-Denom so I didn't really participate in Lent or Ash Wednesday. Attending a Catholic High School was my first actual brush with ashen foreheads, but I found it sad and farcical because my Catholic peers didn't take it seriously. In the past couple of years I've started to see the essence and value in Lent and am participating fully for the first time this year. I see the ashen crosses so differently now, as Amanda put it above, "such an outward display of an inward posture, an overt proclamation of an intimate heart condition." How beautiful.

    As an individual I tend to dwell in that emotion too much, shame is a large theme in my life so Lent will be an interesting season indeed. I am so intrigued by the Friday idea, I may have to join in on my blog! :)

  • Meghan Boggess

    Having grown up in a nondenominational church, I've never practiced Lent– but this year I think I might give it a try. I love the idea of clearing some of the bad stuff out of your life in preparation for celebrating Easter Sunday. More than that, I love the idea of a refreshing Lent, in which your spirit is filled up again as you rely on Jesus. I know the first devotional isn't until Friday, but I read this after I had begun my own post for today, on selfish love, and somehow your post on Lent tied in perfectly with what I was trying to say. If you'd like you can check it out: http://meghanboggessj2150.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    I followed the link above "Lent – for all of us » Martha Street: Your Global Front Porch" and ended up at this one which is beautiful for us to read and reflect on today from Rachel Hackenberg (new to me) thanks Steph or whoever shared this. I shared a link also in the reply of my comment and am enjoying listening to this AUDIO which oddly enough shares a reading from Job and Matthew also as we read (just not the same parts). Good food for thought. And the readings for today

    Transform your Lent experience in God's Word and through a new discipline like fasting or daily reading/listening, besides giving up, we need to give ourselves a change of heart in a more concrete "Jesus-like" way by giving to others!

    Love and blessings to you all!
    Peggy

  • I'm in a hurry, so I can't read everyone's comments as I usually like to do (I'll probably check back this afternoon), but for the past two years, I've waited for lent with anticipation. This year, the notion of lent being near has totally slipped my mind– and here it is. Not knowing what I should give up, I pray that the Lord would show me today as I pray and seek His face. Lord, humble my weary, human heart. The feeling of death and sin is one that is too painful to complacency let myself slip back into or be enticed by. "‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you…" (Job 42:4-5). May God work wonders in and through us with these plans. Bless you sisters. xoxo

  • Hi Everyone!

    I'm actually new to the SRT site. I was raised Catholic, but find myself… I don't know… Looking to build my relationship with God again in a different way. I've never spent much time focusing on The Word, but really feel a calling to it now. Enter: you! I decided to focus on your Lenten series as this gift to myself. I'm not exactly giving anything up for Lent, but I really am looking forward to see where this leads.

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Welcome Carla! (check out the Reply where I shared a link that you might like). God bless your Lenten journey here with SRT!

  • theregoesmollyrose

    I love this idea!

    Also, I love "an intimate heart condition" to describe how we are all sinners desiring to draw closer to God.

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    Blessings to all!

    I've been so looking forward to SRT's 1st LENT PLAN! I've already set up a Lent series on my blog so I won't be able to participate in the Friday blog writing. However, I'll enjoy reading others just not on Fri. Fri. is my day OFFline, spent only with Our Lord; His Word, and Worship via music … quiet day with just Him, not just prayer time because I ask nothing from Him on this day, no prayer requests or petitions; just time to soak in His Presence and adore Him in worship. I love my Fridays! (so I'll have to read on another day)

    I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, so I am familiar with "Ashes" and Lent. Lent has always been important to me; these 40 days plus SONdays helps me prepare for, as Amanda wrote: "enormity of our sin … so the enormity of the Cross" sinks in deeply and makes Resurrection SONday more powerful than ever as a celebration of such immense love and victory. I am no longer a practicing Catholic but have traveled a pilgrimage from there to Evangelical to Pentecostal, but never has this time of 40 days lost its impact.

    My "giving up" has changed to my online computer time often during these 40 days and I've turned off all electronic devices: TV and laptop. But it cuts me off from staying connected (news and emails-lol). So, not this year. This year it's changed to GIVING (what can I do in Jesus' Name?)

    My sacrifice can never compare to that of Jesus and I am always mindful of His!

    This year (after being in Mexico back and forth since '95, never having done this) I have developed a PROJECT H.O.P.E. (HOPE being My One Word for 2014) (this is a link to the long version) I have a Project HOPE Page at the top of my blog of the short version: giving HOPE to someone else (at least trying) starting during Lent. Small sacrifices of setting aside funds to help someone have a home. I would love for any of you to join me or if you can't, pray and share this with others (I also need advice)…

    perhaps this is why Amanda's bold statement stands out for me with the combination of all these readings for today:
    "We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus."

    I love the new idea of sharing and the 4 themes chosen for this time, (so I'm sorry I did not leave my blog blank to do this along with you)… I love all of us focusing on one scripture and sharing. In all these years, I never associated "mourning" with Lent except Good Friday and I wept alot on those days but I do recall what the priest says each year as he makes the sign of the cross in ashes on foreheads: "Remember (wo)man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shall return" (morbid but so true of a reminder) "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost " … that our very lives are fleeting, and the time seems to quickly be flying as well … but I am in awe that God created from dust, yet our very makeup is in His image, His DNA … this blows me away! I'm ever so thankful for His Spirit alive in us! I am thankful for His sacrifice of life so that we might live not just here but eternally! He is an awesome God!

    Let us follow after Jesus these 40 days; and His example and the lessons of fasting, repentance, meditation and confession just makes me wanna shout, sing and give Him praise for the significance of 40 days. So blessed by you all … may God be with you and give you strength as you forge into these 40 days! Vaya con Dios.

    Peggy

    • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

      Here's a great AUDIO explaining Ash Weds. from a
      Lenten Online Retreat really speaks about knowing our need for God (regardless of your religious affiliation, this will speak to each of us, even though it's from Catholic Jesuits) with great suggestions and insights. You won't be disappointed if you take the time to listen or read.

  • Christen Reed

    Love love love this! What a wonderful post to start off Lent. I am also so very excited about Friday's, what a sweet way to learn more from our sisters!

  • Steph_Lilac

    "We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus." What an awesome revelation to begin our Lenten Season with. As a church youth I never understood why I had to give up something for Lent, now as an adult I recognize the beauty of fasting. How honored I feel to participate! As we depart from the things that we don't need, may we draw closer to You oh God whom we live, move, and have our being in. I'm so excited for this challenge as I, like a few others, have neglected my blog. I'm going to blow the dust off of it and write whatever the Lord places on my heart and be ready to receive what He has placed on everyone else's heart to share.

    • haleyh4

      The quote that you shared is the one that resonated with me as well. Choosing what we cannot live without is a much better choice, but it seems so hard sometimes.

  • hernameisabby

    I'm excited for Friday! I already made a note on my planner. I'm not a writer but I'm challenging myself for this. :D

  • Carrie Beth Sherwood

    I couldn't love this "teaching" idea anymore!! Can't wait! Thank y'all for all you do :)

  • debirussell

    So excited to share with you all thoughts from Psalm 130 on Friday! Thank you SRT ladies for this opportunity to learn from one another!

  • I wasn't raised Catholic, my family didn't observe Lent. I've only done this as an adult. Today I am attending my first Ash Wednesday Service with my Catholic (running) friend. And can I tell y'all, I'm excited. I have anxious energy like the night before a big race! I am ready to come to the house of God and expect to be changed. Like Jacob, I will wrestle until I receive. Knowing my depravity, willing to let go of my human weakness to receive His strength.

    I did this a few years ago and I need to do it again. I know that it's difficult for me and that I need to make some changes in my life. So, I'm giving up sugar. Not natural sugar (like fruit), but added sugar. That's my "go to" food when I'm stressed. Ya know, a few (read: Box) of Girl Scout Cookies, a chocolate bar (or two), the life is too fast and I'm tired lets just get donuts on the way to school, church…. life. The drive thru runs for extra caffeine (read: Dr. Pepper a Texas staple) a pick me up here and there. When these moments should be whispers towards heaven.

    From now until Easter, no sugar. More whispers and maybe shouts!

    Psalm 130. Okay. I'll start studying. So excited to write about God's Word. :)

    • Steph_Lilac

      Sis, I'm giving up sugar too!! Let's please pray each other's strength in the Lord as we accomplish our goal. *knocks coffee cake out of my hand*

      • Shelly

        Indeed I'll keep you in my prayers. I started yesterday, because I just needed that extra focus. I'm stressed and it's easy for me go to the pantry then the throne. I look in the fridge for what my soul craves and try to fill it with that which isn't even a food group.

        I must stop emotional eating. I must. And through this journey and God's Strength… it will happen. Not perfection, but progress. :)

        I pray for progress for you too.

        If you're anything like me…. I can turn anything into a diet. A list of rules to follow. An eat this not that kind of mentality. I can't get into that rut…. It's not about rules. It's about relationship. :)

        • Amy

          I'm in the exact same spot as you, Shelly. I turn to food so much, emotionally, when I'm bored, etc.

          I'm giving up sugar & unnecessary eating for Lent. I need something to propel my health, and I believe that food has turned into an idol in my life.

          I'll be praying for all your women giving up sugar & such for Lent! May the Lord show us so so much.

  • Jennifer

    “We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus.” This will stick with me today.

    And very much looking forward to Friday!

  • Love the idea! Thanks

  • dearlyl0ved

    I am loving this.
    Can I be honest? I grew up unchurched in an atheist household. My mom is still not saved, but He is working! Anyway, I had no respect for the people who had ashes on their head on Ash Wednesday. As a kid, I would tease the kids who had them. Even into college I needed to stifle my giggles and try to take them seriously. Now, I am seeing this from a new perspective. I am the man who stood in the crowd and yelled "crucify Him!" I am the one who walked past Christ bearing my sin on the cross and sniggered. Thank you Lord for mercy and grace. Thank you for showing me forgiveness and bearing the weight of my sins. Lord, let me walk today knowing I am a sinner deserving to be shamed, but that ONLY by Your grace can I stand!
    As for the blogging, I am pumped. My poor blog is in need of some TLC!
    Happy hump day y'all!

    • Steph_Lilac

      Gosh your testimony resonated deep in my soul! Your transparency is greatly appreciated. I am already rejoicing with you that your Mom will come to Christ. "Lord, let me walk today knowing I am a sinner deserving to be shamed, but that ONLY by Your grace can I stand!" You summed up what our hearts should be crying out especially in this Lenten season.

    • debirussell

      Thank you for sharing your brokenness. True repentance is such a beautiful and encouraging thing to witness in another. Remember that we were all the one shouting Crucify Him! Whether religious or rebellious, we all chose someone or something else to save us. I was the pharisee, no less in need of grace and mercy than the soldier nailing Christ to the cross, or the disciples who ran away or the crowd who turned on him. I am humbled and challenged daily to remember my brokenness and not turn to my own efforts or works to gain security.

    • Raechel Myers

      thank you so much for sharing this today. beautiful!

    • Sue:)

      I am so moved by your testimony. I grew up in the church, but once I lost my way, I too, was the one that yelled "Crucify Him" from the crowd. Is this ever humbling…I was so unworthy of His love and mercy, and yet, He found me, put me on His shoulders, and brought me back into the fold. What a beautiful and humbling way to enter this season — Remembering this…

      Thank you, dearlyloved…what a blessing.

    • carolinenorth1989

      Thank you for your transparency. I actually grew up catholic but never really did lent. It was about religion and winning points with Jesus. This year I am planning on being more intentional and using this time to draw closer to Jesus.

    • Kristin

      Wow. Your testimony is powerful. Thank you so much for sharing & being transparent and vulnerable as you shared your story.

  • So fun! Thank you ladies!

  • What a great post for the introduction of the Lenten season. And I am thrilled by the Friday devotionals! So looking forward to this!

  • drshanwalks

    The Lord has answered my prayers. I have been asking to be stretched by learning to write my own responses to the Word. I am so excited!

  • JessicaLoves___

    So thankful he came to SEEK and SAVE the lost! He came for those of us who know we have sins to mourn and are able to mourn them. And he sought us out! So overwhelmed by that thought sometimes. That Jesus didn't just accept sinners. He didn't just squeeze them in to his busy, holy schedule. But he revolved his time on earth around being with them.
    Lord, teach me to not just let the lost in when it's convenient to me, but may I seek them out and jump right in to their messy, Godless lives to bring them YOU! Because, thankfully, you were willing to be part of my messy, sin-laden (and albeit still imperfect!) life to bring me back to you. You brought me in and you brought me back. You pursued me. May I be your instrument in this seeking process for others, so that you can save as only you can.

  • What an excellent idea! I wrote a post about Lent yesterday- http://carykornegay.blogspot.com/ Just some ideas our family has been tossing around. We have decided to limit our time spent with devices and media and replace this time with reading The Word, art, books, etc. I am looking forward to it!

  • Joanne Sher

    I hadn’t decided what, if anything, I was going to give up for Lent – but God is whispering “chocolate” in my ear (kinds wishing for deafness lol) – so that is my intention. Just saying.

    This is a beautiful devotion. Help me, Lord, to stop and marinate in the mourning a bit – to remember the sin He set me free from.

    I’m very intrigued by the Friday thing. I have a blog, but have put it on the back burner, purposefully, to help refocus my priorities. Will definitely be praying about whether I should participate.

    Thanks so much, ladies!

    • dearlyl0ved

      Me either, Joanne. As I was reading and posting I thought about what I could give up that would be a sacrifice, but not so much that I wouldn't stick with it. I decided on mindless TV time. You know, sitting there and staring at a screen for too long and watching reruns or seasons on Netflix….. I don't want to give up all tv, some of the best times my fiancé and I share are watching movies on date night. But, I think it's the heart attitude. I don't want to just waste time. I want to fill those wasted minutes with Jesus. :)

      • Crash777

        I was debating the same thing! I knew that giving up all TV would be incredibly hard, since everywhere you go there are TV's. It is all about being intentional with time and focusing on the entertainment we are taking in. Mindless TV time is the perfect way to put it! Thank you!

      • megkwhit

        I'm giving up TV too! Lately it has really begun to suck at my life, and I constantly have it on for background noise. No more!

    • Kristin

      I'm giving up chocolate. If you decide to give that up, just know I'll be with you in spirit!!

  • Can someone explain what Lent is to me?

    • Cary

      Amy, Lent is the period of 40 days (Sundays are not counted) leading up to Easter. It begins with today- Ash Wednesday- in which many of us have a special service at church where the pastor marks a cross on our foreheads from the ashes that are left from burning the palm branches from palm sunday the previous year. It is a day for many to begin to practice fasting from something- some fast food or just one meal, others choose to fast an action- usually something that takes up a lot of our time. The idea is use the time to read The Word and immerse oneself in prayer to draw closer to God. Lent is a beautiful, mournful period of reflection on our natural sinfulness and a reminder that Christ came to this earth for one sole purpose- to die for us. To save us from ourselves and take us to be with Him in heaven for all of eternity! Hallelujah!!!!!

  • nafisara

    Amen! :)

  • kentuckygal50

    I've copied out Psalm 130 (helps me to slow down my thinking enough to actually ponder). Will let it sink in for a day or two … may even try to memorize it if I'm feeling really on top of things. :O) Looking forward to Friday.

  • Ashley Flores

    I'm loving the new idea for Friday! I just put it in my planner so I can remember to do it on Thursday night and get it ready to post :-)

    xoxo

  • How right it is to be in mourning…for all that we have done that is not pleasing to God, …of God,…for God….

    It is a time to turn to him in mourning and to return to Him in trust anew, believing He is faithful to forgive and forgive again……there is so much we do,, say and are….But God ,Blessed Faithful God, He forgives us, however we bring it to Him, however long it takes for us to figure out that we have sinned…He waits….He waits….for us to come, wearing our 'sack cloths', repenting on our knees…..not just on this day….Ash Wednesday, but any day…….because we can trust Him…we can believe He is faithful to forgive, and forgive and forgive…..for always….
    I am sitting awhile, ……realizing the, yes, enormity of my sins, but with that, a smile, I see the cross and what it means to one like me…..one so 'sick' that needed Jesus to heal her from all….. and He did, He has and continues to do so, each and every day….AMEN.

    Morning Sisters….Blessings and Love, always….x x x

    Looking forward to Friday and the blogs….. May even have a go myself……laugh out loud…..I had to write it out as to emphasize my lack of blogging ability….Love, Tina.x x

    • Raechel Myers

      you'll do great, Tina! It's all about learning – ask the Holy Spirit to clear the distractions and reveal the passage to you in a new way – really sitting in it will certainly give you something to write about!! xoxo

      • tina

        Ah, Rachael, thank you…..Will do, watch this space…. bless you for your time, and thanks again….x

  • Katie Kellett

    SO excited for this new way to connect. I have been wanting to blog for so long, and for Lent I had already decided to spend time each reflecting on verses and hymns and blogging, so this could not be more perfect! Reading everyone’s thoughts will be wonderful!

  • What amazing words from Barbara Cawthorne Crafton a real challenge and motivation. I loved reading today’s study, being able to get to the heart of lent-We give up that which we do not need to live, to gain that which we cannot live without: more Jesus.

    Also so excited to be able to read everyones reflections on Friday. I love psalm 130 and I know it will be so encouraging to see just how much everyone got out of it. I started my blog to share my #shereadstruth reflections and it has brought me so much closer to God. Just wanted to encourage any one who might be thinking of starting for Friday- its free, easy and fun!

    • Raechel Myers

      yes, Claire! So glad you'll be joining!! xoxo

    • Jari

      Hey, Claire, I can't wait until Friday!! Sorry so late for this reply, but what is the name of your blog. Sometimes I like to go back to my own she reads truth notes and I would love to read your reflections of some of the devotionals!!

Further Reading...