Today is Wednesday March 6th 2019. It is the start of my 11th lent as a born again Evangelical Christian. I know you might be confused. You might be thinking “I thought this was an anti-Trump page”. I thought all the evangelicals love him.” Well they don’t. Yes those calling themselves evangelicals yet those who cling to power, greed, hatred, pride, and racism do. But Evangelical means good news bearer https://2timothytrump.blog/2016/12/23/the-word-evangelical-lets-take-it-back/ I am an old school evangelical.
Jesus commands me to love even my enemies. So I love Donald Trump in the “he’s made in the image of God yet he’s a tragic figure who does not know what he is doing” kind of way. But I hate, HATE almost everything he has done and said in the last 4 years.
But this blog is not about Trump. It is about me and my relationship with God. I became a Roman Catholic when I was 12 and in Boy Scouts. I was not raised Catholic but I became troop chaplin and fell in love with Jesus. I lost love and respect for the church partly when I was kicked out of a parochial High School due to my severe anxiety disorder and I lost it completely when the Boston priest sex scandal broke in 2002.
But back when I was a Catholic I observed lent. Usually giving up candy. Sometimes I went the whole 40 days. Sometimes I only made it a day. And sometimes I bought the candy I would have eaten during that period and then at Eastertime I would gorge.
When God found me again in September 2008 I started observing lent again. I usually gave up either sweets, soda, or Facebook. My first lent 10 years ago I also watched every Biblical movie made. I think I am going to do that again. Maybe even blog about the movies. But in the last couple years whatever I have given up, I usually only lasted a week. And guilt always ensued.
For my non Christian readers who may be asking “What is lent?”. Lent is a period of fasting covering 40 days. Ash Wednesday, Today, to Easter Sunday, Mainly Roman Catholics and mainline denominations observe it. For many conservative “Evangelical” denominations it is to “papist”. I attend a Presbyterian USA church. Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison WI. A church that has been a second family for the last decade.
The number 40 is very significant Biblically. Moses and the Israelites were lost in the desert for 40 years and before Jesus started His ministry, he went into the wilderness and was tested for 40 days. It was when the Devil offered Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world. If only Jesus would bow down. I sometimes wonder how tempting that was. If I had complete power over the world. I would……….. but this is a deal I do believe the antichrist will take.
What am I going to do this lent. I am going to give up sweets, and something else that will be harder that I will discuss in a later blog. I also want to write more. I want to write as many of those 40 days as I can. I also think I will watch those Biblical movies again. I have fond memories of Jeremiah with Patrick Dempsey. Trust me it may not sound good but it is a faithful adaptation that thrills and educates.
What I want of this lent is spiritual growth. I want my relationship with Jesus to grow. I want to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. But most of all, I want to learn discipline.
The picture is from the Irish Catholic Bishops webpage. It sums up what lent is and the quote from Matthew 24 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold is sad and true