Lent, pt. 8

God gave me a sign today.

I wait tables at the Olive Garden a few days a week.

og

I wouldn’t say it is rare but I don’t see people praying for their meals very often.

Today was different. It was a lady in her early thirties and, perhaps, her mother or even grandmother. Please forgive me if I am way off on these estimates.

After I had set down their salad, they bowed their heads and prayed. I was at another table so I don’t think they saw me.

Until I asked them permission to use their example in this blog.

Little did they know that earlier today, I had been thinking about the following verse:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” NIV, Matthew 6:6¬†

Click here for the entire chapter.

There is much focus on the outward appearance when it comes to Lent.

What are you giving up?

Are you praying more?

Did you attend church/mass this week?

Those things are good so please keep doing them if you have started.

But don’t announce it.

By all means, keep praying at restaurants. These things speak volumes.

What I am saying is that being with Jesus will have a natural effect.

Spend time with Jesus and let him seep out of you.

Overflow with the Spirit because you have let him fill you.

Actions speak louder than words but silence shouts the loudest.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” NIV, Acts 4:13

How loud are you talking?

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Lent, pt. 7

It is not about me but about him.

Lent is not about what I can do for God or what I am giving up.

I think Lent is about Jesus. Everything is always about Jesus.


There is a running joke with my chemistry students (I teach high school chemistry at a christian school). When they don’t know the right chemistry answer, I often hear “JESUS”!

asking questions

How many possible electrons are in the second energy level? Jesus!

What two elements bond to make salt? Jesus!

jesus is the answer


I confess, I have been thinking about this season of Lent from my perspective.

What can I give, do, say that will improve my relationship with God.

Well, I think a change is in order.

I want to start looking at Lent as a chance for God to do something.

What does Jesus want out of Lent?

I feel like if I can answer that question, my life won’t ever be the same.

Good night.

Lent, pt. 6

A big juicy hamburger makes a fantastic meal.

hamburger

But why is it that eating meat during Lent is forbidden?

And fish on Friday is okay?

Some things I just don’t understand.

I do, however, understand that God set dietary restrictions for the Israelites in the Old Testament. They could only eat certain things. There were also proper ways to prepare the meals. So yes, I get that some things are meant to not be eaten.

But I also feel that Jesus changed all of that stuff. He did not come to abolish or take away the law but rather, he fulfilled it!

We are no longer bound by the law but by grace!

If you are fasting specific things for this time, I commend you. I have fasted and it can be really difficult!

But, if you are just blindly following some religious rule that has no meaning for you, I urge you to rethink your motives.

And then go eat a hamburger!

Pretty sure that God cares more about the condition of your heart rather than the contents of your mouth!

eating a burger

Lent, pt. 5

If the speed limit is 65, then people should drive 65. Why is it then, people slow down only when they see a police car?

Maybe one should drive the speed limit because it is the right thing to do.

65 mph

For Lent, the same principle applies. I call it the 40/325 principle.

People go about their business month and after month. Then, almost suddenly, they give up something or do other holy activities for Lent. After Easter, they go back to their regular way of life.

They live regular for 325 days of the year but for 40 days, things change.

Like driving the speed limit, doing the right thing is good simply because it is right.

As a follower of Jesus, why is living in obedience or righteous living only being done part of the time? Shouldn’t I be living for God every day of the year?

Please understand that I realize there are certain times for prayer, fasting, etc.

I am all for making changes in one’s schedule to make time for God. That is what I am trying to do during this Lent season.

People should live right out of love, fear, and respect for God, not because they could get in trouble.

What are my motives during this 40 days?

And that is what I think I need to say:

What is your motive for giving up something during Lent?

You be the judge of your own heart.

And if it means slowing down a bit, I applaud you.

Good night and God bless.

Lent, pt. 4

Today I helped my neighbor remove an old vanity from their bathroom. Then, with the help of a different neighbor, we hauled in the new vanity.

I am not a plumber so I didn’t do anything further with the remodel project.

vanity removal

It was really enjoyable to help someone in need. I had the expertise (I use that term loosely), and they asked for my help.

It was a great day.

And then I realized that Lent could be the same way.

Maybe you are struggling. Perhaps the goals you set are out of reach. I feel the same way. In fact, I may have set pretty high expectations for myself. Will I obtain them? Not sure…

Anyway…people helping people is a fantastic thing.

If you are able to help someone during this season, go for it. Helping can be so many things, not just bathroom remodeling.

Helping or being helped? Does not matter because God’s grace and mercy can shine through in both situations.

God bless.