In the Final Days of Lent

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18, ESV

Spring blasts in a tempering wind. Warmth battles against icy crystals. 

Eventually, warmth prevails.

I savor the beauty of pure white snow. In late winter, it melts so quickly preventing it from piling up with sooty edges reaching up the sides of blackening banks.

How quickly the pure darkens with dirt. How quickly we need to reason with Him and pursue purity once more.

It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23~

He asks us to reason with Him. To be honest about who we are. Who He already knows we are. But we have to own our dirt in the reckoning.

Our bloody red sins will be as white as wool–wool that never darkens–never attracts dirt–never soils. Someday we will be as pure as the snow appears as it falls.

Clean as a pure white day. And staying clean forever.

Easter will be here soon. And with it will come the new life of spring. Vibrant colors.

Cold and harsh wind–a thing of the past–until next year.

Let us reason with Him and stay clean.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Our new website milicomathersreads.com is accepting reviews for middle reader books–especially those written by middle school students. Message me at readgoodbooks@milicomathersreads.com or in the comments below.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dust to Dust

For you are dust, And to dust you shall return,” Genesis 3:19b.

Lent starts today. For many, even some Christians, it’s just another day. But it begins a season I mark every year now.

As a child, I didn’t work very hard at Lent. I’d decide to give up potato chips until there were some potato chips around. Then I’d switch to something else, like chocolate. And then, to something else. I was like Huck Finn deciding what not to steal today.

Then for many years, I didn’t mark Lent at all.

I don’t remember when I started again. My discipline about food hadn’t advanced far from what it was when I was a child. I ate too many potato chips when they were there. And too much of anything made of sugar any chance I could get.

I’m not overweight–or not seriously so. I bounced around within 20 pounds or so since hitting 40. But Lent isn’t about weight control. It isn’t a diet plan. It’s a desire to work with God to get control of food. To keep food (or anything else) from having control over me.

To honor Him in what and how much I eat.

It’s about discipline and sacrifice–albeit small sacrifice. The discipline isn’t just one of physical appetite. There is a spiritual element in all we do.

And in sacrifice, we acknowledge that we aren’t in heaven yet. Today begins a place where sometimes we partake and sometimes we abstain. It’s a place where we do better when we don’t have it all. But it’s hard because what we want is all around us. All we want. All the time.

Everywhere we look. So we need discipline and with it comes sacrifice.

The discipline and sacrifice remind us.

Lent reminds us that others don’t have it all around them all the time.

Lent reminds us heaven is ahead of us. We are not there yet.

Lent reminds us that He carried a cross.

He sacrificed. For us.

In the meantime, we work. We struggle at times.

We can only imagine heaven. We yearn for it. We even confuse this world with it sometimes.

Only one dwelled there and then came here.

He did not have to imagine. He knew. Yet He came.

Remember.

Photo Credit: Pexels


 

Our new website milicomathersreads.com is accepting reviews for middle reader books–especially those written by middle school students. Message me at readgoodbooks@milicomathersreads.com or in the comments below.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Easter Is Coming

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3~

“I remember too how spring came, just when I thought it might stay winter forever, at first in little touches and strokes of green lighting up the bare mud like candle flames, and then it covered the whole place with a pelt of shadowing green blades and leaves. And I remember how, as the days and the winds passed over, the foliage shifted and sang.” (Wendell Berry)

The last part of winter brings Lent, which can be a harsh season–even if you don’t choose to sacrifice something. This March brought us a medical emergency for my husband. Yesterday, not unusual for the first half of April in central Pennsylvania, it snowed.

The chill seems even worse since warm temperatures weeks ago fooled us into thinking spring was already here. Winter lingered. It seemed entrenched. We continue to feed the woodstove, but the time of piling blankets on the bed at night will soon end.

In a few days, the lavender-blue hills will reappear awaiting spring green soon to follow.

Life is a series of seasons. Some are beautiful, warm, and easy. Some are cold and trying. All hold the purpose of drawing us to God and shaping us for eternity, shaping us to live in a beautiful place outside time without sacrifice, without pain.

Shaping us for eternal spring. The Lenten season is short. Warmth and new growth lie ahead.

Easter is coming.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Controlling What Controls Us

 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. II Timothy 1:7~

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness . . .” Aldous Huxley~

Lent started last week for most Christians. Many pay little heed to the season. But it begins a season I mark every year now.

As a child, I didn’t work very hard at Lent. I’d decide to give up potato chips until there were some potato chips around. Then I’d switch to something else, like chocolate. And then, to something else. I was like Huck Finn deciding what not to steal today.

Then for many years, I didn’t mark Lent at all.

I don’t remember when I started again–maybe a decade ago. My discipline about food hadn’t advanced far from what it was when I was a child. I ate too many potato chips when they were there. And too much of anything made of sugar any chance I could get.

I wasn’t overweight–or not seriously so. I bounced around within 20 pounds or so since hitting 40. But Lent isn’t about weight control. It isn’t a diet plan. It’s a desire to work with God to get control of food. To keep food from controlling me. To honor Him in what and how I eat.

It was about discipline and sacrifice–albeit small sacrifice. The discipline isn’t just one of physical appetite. There is a spiritual element in all we do.

In sacrifice, we acknowledge that we aren’t in heaven yet. Here is a place where sometimes we partake and sometimes we abstain. It’s a place where we do better when we don’t have it all. But it’s hard because what we want is all around us. All we want. All the time.

Everywhere we look. So we need discipline and with it comes sacrifice–a denial of comfort for a higher cause.

The discipline, denial, and sacrifice remind us. Lent reminds us heaven is ahead of us. We are not there yet.

Lent reminds us that He carried a cross.

He sacrificed. He walked that way. He is the way–for us.

We remember that our essence was not made for this world.

We can only imagine heaven. We yearn for it. We even confuse this world with it sometimes. Discomfort and sacrifice remind us that only one dwelled there and then came here.

He did not have to imagine. He knew. Yet He came and sacrificed Himself for us.

Lent is a season of remembering.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”