Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pastor Fritz's Lenten Challenge

In less than a week we'll be eating pancakes, burning the palms, donning ashes and beginning a time of spiritual preparation for Easter. It is traditional to give something (like chocolate) up. I prefer to add. Here are some thoughts:

Add a daily devotional or prayer time to your day. Read an entire book of the Bible (or two if they're short). If you have small children, use a children's Bible and read it with them. Here are some good starting places:
  • Luke or John
  • Acts
  • Romans (for lawyers only)
  • 1-3 John
  • Genesis
  • Jonah
Practice hospitality by inviting neighbors, friends or even complete strangers over for a cup of coffee, a dessert or even a meal. Explore the difference between hospitality - a cup of coffee and listening ear over a messy table - and entertaining - a sparkling clean house, the best china and the perfect centerpiece.

Covenant with a friend or your pastor to keep the daily office, a cycle of prayers and readings used by many to begin and end each day connected to God.

Keep a journal of God Sightings, taking time each day to note how God is working in your life and in the world.

Select an area of your life to tithe: (Tithing is the "churchy" word for giving 10% of anything to God.) Here are some ideas:
  • Go whole hog and for six weeks give 10% of all your income to charities of your choice.
  • Every time you go grocery shopping, buy an extra 10% for the local food pantry.
  • Volunteer 10% of your non-work time
  • Spend 10% of your non-work time with someone you love but has been neglected.
  • Reduce your carbon emissions or energy usage by 10%.
Give up a major addiction - coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, afternoon cookies - and give the money you save to a cause you really, really care about.

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