Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lenton Challenge

Are you ready for the Lenton Challenge?  Ready or not, here it comes!  In case you are thinking or wondering why even participate.  Well, by all means, please do not participate if you do not want your faith to grow.  Participation requires daily discipline, daily thought-provoking study, daily challenges, and a willingness to give up something so that you have more time and room for God in your life!

By participating in this challenge, you will have the opportunity to grow in your faith and learn how to love God more!  There is no prize at the end of this challenge, only the satisfaction of a job well done and a faith well lived.  And yes, even I will participate… so are you up for the challenge?

If so, choose your comfort level at this time in your life, and 
pick one of these three levels of participation:

Lenton Challenge Lite: Read a portion of Luke daily during Lent—enclosed is a suggested reading guide for daily readings in Luke.  This reading guide is designed to help you get through the entire Gospel during the season of Lent.  Please note that on Sundays we encourage you to join us for worship as an alternate to your study in Luke.  As you reflect on the daily passage, I encourage you to journal a few words about the passage.  Think about these questions as you reflect on the passages: How is God speaking to me through this passage? How can I apply this passage to my life today?  It may only be one small piece of the daily reading that touches you, or it may be an overlying theme.  Either way, reflect on the passage and then offer a prayer for God’s wisdom and guidance in relationship to this passage.

Lenton Challenge: In addition to the reading in the Lenton Challenge Lite, give up one comfort for the entire time of Lent.  What is a comfort?  It can be anything you choose from a food item, drink item, or something else like a favorite scarf or electronic device. The point is to take a break from a comfort item so you might be able to understand what it is like to go without something like most of the world.  I am not recommending nor supporting giving up anything vital to your health, but rather things that most of the world lives without.  Remember this is meant to be a challenge, so think of something that may be somewhat hard for you to live without.

Lenton Challenge Extreme: In addition to the previous two challenges, you are also challenged to do a random act of kindness every day.  A random act of kindness can be just about anything so long as it positively benefits someone else.  Consider things like helping someone without being asked, being kind to someone you would normally stay clear of, or letting someone go ahead of you in the check-out line.  The ideas are endless.  You could even write a letter to someone who is lonely or pay a visit to someone who is in need of a friend.

Remember, the challenge begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5th, and ends the day before Easter, April 19, 2014.  My prayers are with you all as you consider this challenge—and for those of you willing to take it!

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