Philippians 4:6-8

Why celebrate Lent?

Admittedly I am not tied to any one particular church at the moment. I grew up Presbyterian, later after getting married, I joined a non-denominational church, and more recently I have started attending a baptist church that is 2 minutes door to door from my house. It's kind of magical and it also helps me actually GO TO CHURCH. But with all of my church hopping, it's hard to figure out who celebrates Lent and who doesn't.

I personally like a mix of contemporary music but with some old hymns mixed in. I believe in dancing and drinking wine, so maybe I won't find a baptist church to call home, but I like the messages right now and it's helping me ACTUALLY read the bible. As well as the proximity to my house...location, location, location. 

While, Lent is largely practiced among Catholics (which I'm not) a vast majority of other Christians practice it as well. The tradition started for me as a child. We had pancakes the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, we got the ashes on our head on Wednesday and then for the next 40 days we deny ourselves things like candy, chocolate, soda.

I've done that. I gave up chocolate once, I think I even gave up pasta once. Food has always been an issue for me. We need it to live, yes, but there were times I was living to eat. And how blessed am I that I could live to eat and eat heartily? I used food as a crutch. Rather than relying on God and his promises for a better life.
When I started my low carb, gluten free, paleo lifestyle I learned to be able to control my cravings more. I was finally in control of my weight and how I could turn to God, or other healthy practices instead of food. Obviously I'm not perfect. As, if you read this blog with regularity, can tell! LOL...but I do my best.

A few years ago I had to work through some resentment. I harbored some ill feelings towards others and I needed to release those feelings to God.

I am reading some great articles right now and whether you should practice Lent or not. I am not sure which religion you hail from, or whether you even believe in God. I can only tell you what God has done in my life and how I continue to seek him especially when I am not being Christ-like. (Or acting like Christ.)

Some things to take into consideration in whether or not to participate in Lent. Do you desire to know more about God? Do you aim to give something up for the sake of giving something up? Or would you like to change a bad habit into a good habit? Or simply you wish to honor God in some small way?

Philippians 4:6-8 says 'Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.' (Important to note, you're not ACUTALLY live in Christ, but more a terminology for saying you are 'down with Christ' you act like him. Sort of like when you live with someone and you pick up on all of their habits? That's what that means.) 'And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.'

I really need to work on turning my heart towards some people for the better. To give up watching my shows in the morning and spend more time honoring God and learning about him. To focus my thoughts on things that are good instead of focusing on things I can't control, and the negative aspects of life.

Just in case you are trying to figure out if Lent is for you there are many great devotionals out there. Check out the bible app on your phone for some...but here are a few articles that speak for and against Lent.

Why Baptist's Don't Do Lent - "Despite these important objections, there are some good reasons for Baptists to consider adding this somber season to our impoverished church calendar. Neither Christmas nor Easter is found in the Bible, yet these holy days are universally celebrated in Baptist churches. And Lent is even older than Christmas. The first historical mention of Lent was at the Council of Nicea in the year 325. Christmas was first mentioned in 354. It’s strange that many Baptist churches celebrate Advent in preparation for Christmas but have no corresponding preparatory season leading up to Easter.  Maybe it’s time we change that....For Baptists, Lent is a choice not an obligation. Freedom in Christ means we are free to choose to observe Lent or not." J.T. Moger

I think the title speaks for itself, but here's another line that might make you click the link. " if we’re not careful, we can so easily just fall into religious practice for the sake of religious practice. If the goal is merely the giving up of something without taking up of something more significant, the focus is just merely on the stuff which we give up or really, the focus is on the practice of giving up something rather than giving into Jesus – or in other words, our solidarity with Jesus. In truth, it becomes about us. Again."

Lent, if you are not a believer is a great way of finding out exactly WHO Jesus is and what he means to us as Christians.

Alright, I should get to work...many blessings, I'll be back tomorrow with a long over due Meal Plan! It's a whopper too!