I didn't realize that most of a month has gone by since the last time I blogged! Now February is close to its end and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday!
I won't ask you what you're giving up or taking on during Lent this year. It's a highly personal thing. I would just encourage each of you to give it some thought. We're so used to hearing about the "giving something up" part that people have become very inventive about their sacrifices during this period of preparation. But somehow I think that giving up lima beans, liver or brussels sprouts kind of misses the point of this spiritual discipline.
Taking something new on also seems to be a more recent development in some churches as the companion discipline to sacrifice. Both components have their place -- for example: I give up disorder and take on steps to orderliness to bring peace of mind and also to make myself ready to help others. That's pretty much where my intention lies this year.
This came to me full force recently (See the Feb. 1 post) and I realized that my slobby ways aren't just a hindrance to me living my own life, but also curtail my ability to serve others. It keeps me from opening up my home and practicing hospitality, and it also prevents me from being prepared to act quickly in other situations, should the need arise.
So, during this Lenten season I will be working on this from both approaches, and through study. My study may not be a typical Cokesbury curriculum type study; there are several books that address certain components related to an overall spiritual discipline and response that have my attention right now. Maybe I'll blog more about them over the next few weeks, but at the moment I cannot promise that. I want to see how things develop before I make that commitment to anyone else.
One other thing -- I am working on getting more rest and going to bed earlier. And it's about time for me to make the trip to bed to end this day.
Bless you all and remember that Jesus loves you. Please take a second to say to yourself -- say it out loud -- "Jesus loves me." Use your name -- make it intensely personal. Say it and believe it, because it is the truth above all others.