Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Ways to use Lent as fertilizer for your growth

1. Stop doing something you normally do. Use the space you would normally give to that thing (Facebook, drinking coffee, responding with sarcasm, etc) to 1) pray and 2) remember Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf. Do it for 40 days and you'll be overwhelmed at what Jesus did when you weigh against how difficult it is for you to stop that one thing.

2. Start doing something. Reframe Friday from TGIF! to a day of blessing. Bless someone intentionally. Hold the door open for them. Buy the order of the person in line behind you at the drive-thru. Take your neighbor's trash container back to their house. Your creativity is the limit.

3. Read Scripture. If you don't already have a plan, you can follow the daily Scripture to the right in the Scripture feed, get the Scripture sent to your phone each day by sending follow stltrinity to 40404 or picking up a Scripture card on Sunday or by clicking here to download a copy of the Scripture reading card.

4. Examine your heart. Pray and ask God for insight. To help with that, our series through Lent is a look at the Lord's Prayer called Prayer: The Heart's Home. Write out your goals for your life. What do you want to contribute? How committed are you to God's kingdom? To what degree do you understand the calling on your life? What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? What do you want your kids to say about you? It's never too late to become who you were meant to be.
5. Suffer. No one likes this. No one wants it. No one would welcome it. Honestly, it's the manure of life. And who wants to step in that? But there is something to be said for it. Ask a farmer or gardener and they'll tell you, 'manure is the best way to stimulate growth in a plant.'
The story of Joseph found in Genesis 37-47 (the scene of him meeting his brothers again after they've sold him into slavery--effectively leaving him for dead--chokes me up every time) is a prime example. Only after going through intense suffering is he able to say to his brothers, the one's who were the source of his suffering, "Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you." Genesis 45:5

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