Day 20

Is this halfway? I think maybe it is! As I get into the second half of this I am wanting to engage more closely Jesus journey to the Cross. So I am reading in Matthew from the point where Jesus starts to come to the attention of the civil and religious authorities (from around Matthew 16). I want to be more deliberate in my engagement with Christ as well as the sacrifice element.

As you turn for home in this Lent journey is there an engagement that you can make with Jesus as he heads toward the Cross?

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Day 19

I suspect yesterday was my best ever Lent Goal day. For most of it anyway. Do you know I almost find it a buzz now to be achieving this rather than a drag. The bit where I got it a little wrong was interesting. I went through it in my head: alright you shouldn’t do this. And you know it because you’re thinking about it, rather than just doing it. I could come up with an excuse but you know that would just be an excuse. I am going to do it anyway. I won’t lie about it to myself. But I may lie about it to others through the way I do it.

Best day ever? Actually, where it really counts, perhaps not. But it exposed something that is at the core of this experience that I will learn from.

Do you catch yourself in these internal conversations? Are you learning anything from them?

Day 18

Is it just me or is this Lent series really humming? I think it was as the graphic of the Expresso Disciple went up that I realised what the series was really all about. Creating a full spectrum concept of a disciple. When I think about how the painting of this picture is coloured by my Lent goal, it helps make sense of the Lent goal, just as the Lent goal is helping make sense of who am I as a disciple. So I am being inwardly transformed through my Lent goal. I am also having to do the double shot of faith and obedience as part of living out the Lent goal. But I am not doing this for myself as much as its part of getting ground up and smelling good for God and the world.

How are the different parts of the Lent journey working together for you?

Day 11-17

Bet you’ve been wondering where I’ve been?  I may have been away but you’ll never know.  I am reassured by watching the stats on this site to know that most of you just check in at the end of the week when the cession email goes out. So I don’t feel so bad. If you beg me I’ll go daily this next week.

It’s been a good week of Lent observance for me. I am in a nice rhythm with my goal and finding the discipline and the sense of consistency flows into other parts of my living. The discipline factor has been really beneficial. Discipline in one area provides strength for other areas. It’s not perfect, but its been inspiring to have success so early.

I still believe the planning aspect was critical – if you want to “die to self” just a little, you’d better be aware of the cost. And if you don’t count the cost, you will find it very hard. So for those who are struggling at this point, take stock of where you have got to, why and why not and reset some targets. It’s about one day at a time more than it is about 40days and there are still more than half to go! What plan will take you forward tomorrow?

On the growth side, I believe there is still much to be learned. I think it is discipline and grace that has got me this far. What I am thinking will be important for the next period is to move beyond discipline to true sacrifice. I have not been afraid to cut myself some slack in this process as I have tried to be realistic about this. But now I think that to settle where I am at would not produce any more real growth. So I am wanting to move to a new level of sacrifice and dependence on God. Pray for me!

Where are you at with your Lent goal? Drop a comment with your experience and don’t forget to vote for the daily weekly update!

Day 10

So it took 10 days for all the necessary elements of the plan to come into place so that my Lent commitment reallyhas a chance!  But yesterday some of the plan came into line with the desire to do this thing and it really worked.  I didn’t do a lent consultation this year, but I wish I had done so.  I think it would have tested my goal for reality.  Discipline begins back in the preparation phase – its not a giving up contest as someone keeps saying.  So if I just treat it as one, I will likely fail.  It is about making a deep life change that actually requires me to change how I live.  And because every part of my life is connected to every other part of my life it needs some thought.  The discipline has not been for me about trying  harder but about examining my life and making changes that are sustainable.

We’re into double figures – this is about the time where many either give up on their Lent goals or just quietly forget about them till its too late.  What do you need to change in order to make your Lent goal stick “for real”?

Day 9

I felt really good about today – there were 2 major opportunities to leave my lent commitment in the dust and on both occasions I stayed the course.  Yay for me!  Truth be told though, I actually got a lot of encourgement from this and it helped me feel like I can persevere.  It’s not perfect but it is better than it was a week ago.

As you think back on your Lent journey what achievements feel good?

Day 8

This was a busier day than usual for me.  I hardly got to catch my breath.  The funny thing was the busy nature of it also took my focus off the temptations I am attempting to deal with as part of my Lent goal.  A nice bonus but not one achieved through any great spiritual breakthrough!  Its the difference between behaving a certain way and actually being changed in the inside.  I felt a bit like Barry from Blenheim today.

How does busyness or stress affect you in your awareness/relationship/openness to God?

Day 7

Day 7 was a pretty good day all in all.  Some of the weekend was still playing in my head so have been allowing those thoughts some license.  The Lent goal seemed easier somehow to focus on living so close to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5.  This unconscious meditation on scripture seemed to fit really well with me and the process of my lent goal.

How are you finding scripture reading as you participate in Lent?

Day 6

How cool was it that the service on Sunday really honed in on the inner issues that make the difference for spiritual growth.  I was left with a question about how much it’s just changing our behaviour and how much it is grace at work in us.  Like I get that Jesus is messing with their ethical standards, but I didn’t hear as much about the “how”.  Although I thought the comments about inner healing being important for deep hurt and part of the path towards wholeness and forgiveness were right on.  I was encouraged in my Lent goal because of the way Matthew 5 compresses the gap between the “big sins” and the “little sins”.  My small attempt at doing something with Lent can play out in big ways.

Was there anything in the services that spoke to you?

Day #5

The weekend environment is different to the workplace. In some ways there is more distraction from Lent goals. In other ways the distraction operates to pull us away from negative behaviours that make the Lent goal necessary. Today I found myself praying for others quite by accident. It’s hard to draw a strong conclusion that this is because of Lent. But I suppose that less of a focus on myself, helps me to be more focused on others?

Is there anything happening that is different that might just be a hint of spiritual growth?

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