LENT :: A Journey of Discovery by Addition, Subtraction and Introspection is ready for you and your ministry! My hope is that this will be a great Lenten resource, I'm thrilled to share it with you!
I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to take this journey with you!
If you have wandered onto this site and are wondering what you have stumbled into you should head over to the online store and order a few copies of the book for you and your community.
Lent isn't rocket science, there isn't a text book that you need in order to know how to do Lent. There more about this in the book but here are a few pointers to get you started on your Lenten journey...
#1. Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday!
Find a church that is having an Ash Wednesday service. Get the sign of the cross put on your forehead and be reminded that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. (there is a bit of a devotional guide to Ash Wednesday in the book. This might help you or your community have it's own Ash Wednesday service. I would suggest you participate in one before you try having your own. I would also encourage you to do this in community, though if can't the book will help you enter into the season on your own. Also, check out The Book of Common Prayer for a full guide to an Ash Wednesday service.)
#2. Getting ready for Lent.
Spend some time before Lent thinking about your what your going to add and subtract. Examine your heart and mind, ask what are the things distracting you from God or hindering your spiritual growth? What are the disciplines that will help your heart hunger for Father God, that will help your mind be fixed on Jesus, that will help your feet be in step with the Holy Spirit, and that will help your belly desire the Lord God more than anything else. There are things you should add and subtract for Lent.
Traditionally folks have given up things like sweets and meats (check out the Lent Countdown and Shrove Tuesday video.) These are common items that we feed on throughout the year, their absence will be felt, we will long for them. And in every moment you want a sweet, you remind yourself that you want God more than that, you remind yourself that the only thing that will really satisfy your hunger and desire if the Lord.
Common Additions: extra time in scripture, specifically the Psalms; extra time in prayer and meditation (think about meditating the scriptures for the day, even doing some lectio divina; extra acts of service (specifically focusing on the poor, the persecuted, the hungry, the widow, the orphan and the immigrant - Exodus 10:17-20James 1:19-27.); extra financial giving to help those in need (this is often referred to as alms giving and sometime is connected to the things you give up because with the money you have from not buying this or that you are able to give more)
Common Subtractions: i've mentioned sweets and meets, these are traditional items; coffee / tea or caffeine or any drink that might be a bit of an addiction for you; alcohol, wine or other things you might enjoy; Social media-facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat and the like or maybe any non work related internet activity; television, Netflix or your other favorite media related sources; whatever keeps you distracted from God, from family, and from your neighbor who might need a friend, this is where to find the thing that will be best to subtract from your life during the season of Lent.
Introspection: The bottom line is that the season of Lent is meant to give you the time and space to look into your life, to inspect those corners of your heart that aren't fully given over to Christ and his kingdom. It's a time to inspect your heart and mind, to begin the journey of ordering your desire toward God so that you can participate in the power of his resurrection!
Here is a little video I put together, it's mainly for pastors and youth pastor who will be using the Lent book to help guide their communities through the season of Lent. Just a bit of a testimonial of how my friends and I have used the book in our ministries. There are a couple other intro video you can check out as well.