Lenten Reflections – week 1

Those of you following my page on Facebook know that I’m engaging in a “nontraditional” Lenten practice of encouraging myself in the Lord. However, I recognize that there are people whose Lenten practice includes giving up social media. I know a few who also follow me and have shared that they enjoy the things I share. So this is for them/you. At the end of each week of Lent, I’ll post a summary of the Facebook posts, so you all can be engaged as well.

March 1, 2017
Yesterday, I mentioned that I was attempting to take on a bit of an abnormal Lenten practice. Lent is a time when believers take actions to prepare our hearts to commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That usually means that there’s a lot of reflecting and lamenting going on. However, I find myself in a season of life in which my spirit desperately needs to be encouraged. In times like this, I’m reminded of David in 1 Samuel 30:6. In a time of deep distress, he encouraged himself in the Lord.

So, while I will be reflecting and lamenting, I will also be engaging in the important practice of encouraging myself in the Lord. This will be done through reading scripture and especially through listening to songs. I’ll do my best to post consistently, for those of you who may need this in your lives as well. I hope that your spirits are also encouraged during this time.

My song for today is “Joyful, Joyful,” specifically the version made popular by “Sister Act 2.” #BeEncouraged#Lent2017#EncourageYourselfInTheLord

March 2, 2017
Have you hit your high note? “Oh, Happy Day” is a favorite song of mine, and this has long been one of my favorite recordings of it. At the beginning, Sister Mary Clarence tells the kids to relax and take a deep breath. Sometimes, in the midst of trials, that seems like some of the best advice you could follow!

One thing that I love about this scene is this: that high note was always in Ahmal. He just had to build up his confidence in himself. I feel like this often, knowing that there is so much in me that people overlook or don’t see because they’ve boxed me into a particular perception that they have of me. But my spirit is encouraged by knowing that that high note is in me. I may just have to keep walking it out!

#Lent2017#EncourageYourselfInTheLord#BeEncouraged

Speaking of Lent…there are a number of helpful resources out there – both daily and weekly devotionals, as well as newly released books. Many are available for free via the Internet, some for purchase. I’ve listed some below:

Online 40-day devotional with additional congregational resources:
https://lentenlamentations.org/

Online 40-day devotional that incorporates the arts:
http://ccca.biola.edu/lent/

40-day devotionals available online, include printable format:
TR-BE: https://www.dropbox.com/…/Race%2C%20Justice%2C%20and%20the%…

Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada: http://www.covchurch.ca/lenten-reader

Books:
Weekly Lenten study based on the Revised Common Lectionary
April Yamasaki’s “Christ Is For Us”
http://amzn.to/2lha9vU

General online devotional:
Pray as You Go (audio recordings): http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/home/

March 3, 2017
For a little over a year, I’ve found myself crying out “How long, oh Lord?!!!” over some personal situations. Not only does it seem that God’s promises are not being fulfilled, sometimes it seems like the opposite is happening! Psalm 13 reminds me, though, that even in my darkest moments, there is always hope. This is an amazing musical setting of Psalm 13 by Arrabon.
#Lent2017#EncourageYourselfInTheLord#BeEncouraged#Day3

cross night sky with text final

 

 

 

 

 

March 4, 2017
“And through the pain, we’ll learn to trust in you.” If you don’t know Urban Doxology, consider yourself introduced.
#Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged #Day4

March 5, 2017
Today’s post is coming hours later than I usually post. My body is drained and weary, creating an even greater reason to encourage myself in the Lord.

I recently learned this song during worship at a retreat that I co-facilitated in January. I didn’t think much of it the first couple of times we sang it. But when I caught myself singing it in the airport a day later, I took notice.

Despite it all, may I continue to be able to say “have your way” and “bless the Lord, oh my soul.”

(P.S. I know many traditions don’t include Sundays in the Lent season, but encouraging myself in the Lord doesn’t/can’t take a day off!)

#Lent2017 #EncourageYourselfInTheLord #BeEncouraged

2 thoughts on “Lenten Reflections – week 1

  1. Brenda Harvey says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! Great reads and great music. Thanks for introducing new music to a fellow music lover!! That Ahmal illustration with the high note…In the words of Rev. D. Darryll Griffin…”now that will preach!”

    • THANKS, Brenda!!! That Ahmal thought was totally new to me. In all the times I’ve watched the movie, I never thought about that. I was like, “well, alright, Lord, I hear you!” 🙂 I’m so glad you appreciate the new music. I LOOOVE to have a broad range of musical ways to express myself with God, so I’m glad to help out a fellow music lover!

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