“Misjudged for my misdeeds, you suffered silently…”

*EDIT 2/28* So, Ryan and I got to talking and ended up deciding to fast from something together – Facebook (and for him, Myspace as well). I guess when I compare giving up liquids (besides water) to giving up Facebook, it’s obvious which one will be a more difficult sacrifice, thus freeing up more time for prayer and quiet time. I haven’t been on Facebook since Wednesday evening and it’s been amazing –  so many times in the last few days, I’ve found myself sitting there thinking, “Okay, normally I’d be checking Facebook right now!” Wow, does it consume my thoughts! I’m really, really glad we chose to give that up. I may even limit the time I spend on it after Easter, too!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that Western Christianity considers the beginning of Lent. I’ve never before observed Lent as I’ve never attended a church that put a huge emphasis on it. Currently, we do not have a home church, as we are waiting on the Lord to lead us to the community he has for us (and we are also waiting for a certain church plant to take place). In the meantime, we are taking special care to spend deliberate time studying, worshipping, and in fellowship. This year, I feel especially inclined to observe Lent, and I’m praying that it will be a meaningful 40 days.

I’ve decided to give up all liquids besides water. No juice, no coffee, no tea, and definitely no soda (although I don’t usually drink soda, I do sometimes enjoy it as a “treat”). This will not be easy, considering my love for black coffee in the mornings. I also love to drink orange juice with my breakfast and I love tea during cold(er) weather. I’m also going to give up sparkling water, which is one of my most favorite refreshing drinks. I don’t imagine it will be easy….but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

The three traditional Lenten practices include prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I trust that my fasting will prompt prayer (as I’ve been advised, in the past, to pray every time I wish for that which I’m fasting from), although I will certainly set aside specific times for deliberate prayer, and I’m also asking that the Lord would show us where to give.

I’ve been loving a certain song by Brenton Brown, and it seems only appropriate that I post it today.

Jesus, You Are Worthy

Jesus you are mercy, Jesus you are justice 
Jesus you are worthy, that is what you are 
You died alone to save me, you rose so you could raise me 
You did this all to make me a chosen child of God 

Worthy is the Lamb that once was slain 
To receive all glory power and praise 
For with your blood you purchased us for God 
Jesus you are worthy, that is what you are 

Perfect sacrifice crushed by God for us 
Bearing in your hurt all that I deserve 
Misjudged for my misdeeds you suffered silently 
The only guiltless man in all of history

Tell me about your plans for Lent, if you will!

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4 Comments

Filed under tea-timing

4 responses to ““Misjudged for my misdeeds, you suffered silently…”

  1. We normally don’t give anything up for Lent. They never encouraged it heavily at my church, although I’m sure many of our members did it on their own. My husband grew up Southern Baptist and I grew up Presbyterian. Part of the reason it isn’t so important to him is probably that in his church, they emphasized that good deeds do not make a Christian. The only way to be a Christian is to accept Jesus, and so, he reasoned, there is no need for a lot of rituals. However, to me it seems like they have it backwards. You don’t do things in order to be a Christian; you are a Christian and that leads you to do things. Also, especially for Lent, things like giving up something you love might bring you closer to God. Year after year I’ve thought about giving something up for Lent, so maybe I will do it this time. I haven’t thought of what yet, though. I should have thought about it a couple of days ago, but better late than never!

  2. regina murphy

    Hey Rissa,
    I’m excited for you to participate in Lent for the first time. God speaks so loudly in times of fasting. It’s like all the other noises get silent and I can finally hear Him so clearly. It’s a rough road to live without things that are such a big part of your life, even if they are insignificant to others. And I love how God uses those desires for other things to bring us back to Himself and change our hearts. This time of fasting for me I feel that God has called me to give up soda (much like coffee for you, it’s a tough one for me), and to wake up every morning an hour earlier to spend time alone with Him in His Word and in prayer. It’s been amazing so far. I have watched the sunrise and felt closer to God already in just the past 2 mornings. Also, I feel that I’m called to fast from all food on Wednesday’s to pray for Patrick. I am excited for all that God is going to show me and how our relationship will grow and change. I hope that you grow so much closer to the Lord in this season, and I’ll be praying for you as well.
    Blessings!
    Gina

  3. stephanie

    Have you heard of 40 days of water thru the blood-water mission? I thought you might be interested.

  4. We did a “lent jar” for my 6 littles. We traditionally haven’t observed Lent, but decided to this year too. The jar has 40 little slips of paper with different things written on them (no tv, no computer, make a card for someone who needs it, ‘silent supper’) It’s been a neat way to introduce the idea of self-sacrifice to our littles & hopefully prepare their hearts as we celebrate the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us.

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