Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

               “Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
                            The little old woman sitting at my corner booth had asked
Then I was chatting with a fellow Christian friend and he was trying to route me to his recent blog post through Facebook!  I was confused, had he not read my earlier blog on Lent? With a quick reply I stated “It’s still lent”. His reply was  that he wasn’t catholic. Ugh, not again I thought to myself. Why is society so quick to judge a persons spiritual rituals on the denomination of a church rather than on their personal relationship with God. Where is a Christian individuality? Maybe that is a good topic for yet another blog. Back to Lent, Easter and Pentecost.  I do not celebrate Lent because of a certain denomination I belong too.  I honor Lent because of my own personal relationship with Christ. It’s an individual commitment I began making in 2011. Let me explain why. On Wednesday March 9, 2011; I didn’t  attend any church,  I did not get a cross of ashes made on my forehead. I had never observed a season of Lent in my life. I knew what Lent was, however I was never in a denomination in which observed the Lent season. My Pastor at the time did however encourage us to take time during this season and fast for 40 days. This encouragement was the beginning of breaking down the denomination barrier for me.Lent season is an opportunity to look deeply at your spiritual life. To remember the creator of humanity. To reflect on your sin and repent.I began petitioning God to reveal what He wanted me to Fast and began reading 40 day devotion. Days later it became evident I would not be completing that particular devotion. God’s plan led me to give up my freedom.  Lent season to the day of Pentecost has such a parallel to that particular season in my life, I am sure it was no coincidence.  All 40 days I got the opportunity to be in a controlled environment which gave me more time for daily devotion without an increase of worrying  about societal influences. I may not have been free in a worldly sense but I was slowly inching my way to freedom in a spiritual sense.We recieved spiritual feedings in jail but they were stagnant. You stood at the gate and only a certain amount of inmates from each block could attend. Sometimes I wouldn’t even stand in line knowing my belly was full and there were lost souls craving the food . On April 17, 2011 I was blessed to be one of the few to be selected to go to the Palm Sunday church service. I remember being spoken to about Palm Sunday and being guided on how to prepare our hearts for Easter. On Easter, God revealed His desire for me to do a NO TALK fast. I was to remain silent from sun up to sun down. I chose to be obedient . I prayed , meditated , and read God’s word all day long. I took a piece of bread and my koolaid from lunch so I could engage in private  Communion with God. I took communion in remembrance of what Jesus had done for us on Easter Sunday. At that point I was  halfway done with my sentence. In the following week  inmates were being released due to overcrowding.  I prayed my name would be pulled in the lottery. God had other plans. I had to serve out the sentence God had imposed not the one society had imposed. A few days after my release I would discover the significance. June 5, 2011 was Ascension Day. This date is not celebrated bascensiony Christians in our western society but is very crucial in the validity of Jesus Christ as our savior. It was the day Jesus ascended into heaven. Two days later my sentence would be completed and I would be free. Lent, Easter, and the Ascension mimic my season of incarceration and release. Four days later the holy spirit would move about my soul as it did on the day of Pentecost. This was the  beginning of a spiritual awakening to my soul. It was a personal closeness with God that brought about a new improved me.  Do you believe in coincidences or do you believe God had a plan all along. Jesus may have ascended to heaven over 2000 years ago but the remembrance of Jesus ascending in 2011 sparked a light for me to go and fulfill the great commission.
Lent is Upon Us: What are you giving up?

Lent is Upon Us: What are you giving up?

jesus desert

  Lent  is a religious observance coming from the latin term Quadragesima meaning Fortieth. Lent is the season lasting from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. Holy Saturday is Easter Eve. During the season of Lent Christians reflect in daily devotion and commit to total repentance of sin by engaging in self-denial. Many of us choose to fast from certain things in life to bring the reality of God’s greatest gift to life. Christian’s normally choose to give up something that is hindering their walk with God. The biblical origin of Lent comes from the New Testament Gospels Matthew , Mark , and Luke in which Jesus Spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by Satan.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written:  ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

When I gave up social media last month  (see New Year’s Fast. ) I became exactly who I needed to be to finish out this year strong. Now being in the second month of the year I am proud to say I have not withered one bit  and plan on continuing to grow through this Lenten season to a mighty woman of God. Once again I have chosen to give up Social Media. After being back on Facebook and Instagram for the past month I decided Social Media is once again a great distraction in my relationship with God. God is working in my life in an extraordinary way and I would encourage you to take the time during this season to give up something as well. Fast along with me in remembrance of Jesus and his temptation in the desert. Become the person God has called you to be. This is  possible by just giving up one thing in your life as an act of self-denial. If you need help deciding what to give up here is a list of ideas.


New Year, New You

New Year, New You

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17~
The last 15 days my church had challenged us to do a fast as a tribute to the New Year. They were believing for great advancements for not just the church but the church body as well. I chose to fast social media. I was a little apprehensive considering facebook seems to be my modern-day crack. I literally went through withdrawal symptoms as any addict would. I am proud to say I  made it through. It was difficult at first but I was happy to enjoy the increase in my spirituality. We were challenged to spend at least 15 minutes a day in devotion. I replaced my facebook time with more wholesome Godly activities such as reading books, devotions, and spending time in prayer. This actually led to probably fifteen hours with God instead of fifteen minutes. This showed me how even though I was not as close to God last year,  His hand was still active in guiding me all throughout 2014.During the fast I was able to reflect on my completed goals for 2014 and make God inspired goals for 2015.  . On New Years Day 2014 I declared I would find love. Come January 2015 I am still single, So did I find love? I sure did! I found how God is  LOVE  , I figured out how to LOVE others beyond belief, even to LOVE the ones who had hurt me in the past, but most importantly I found a deep LOVE  for myself.  Along with falling in love with all the right people in 2014, I made great progress career wise. I passed my PTCE making myself a Certified Pharmacy Technician. I completed my churches leadership program and made great advancements in my spiritual life. I became more committed to my church as well as fulfilling the great commission. During my fasting season I had been reminded of August 2014 when I hit an advancement wall. By this time all my goals had been achieved.  I needed to set out to make new goals so I didn’t remain idle. I had learned 2 important things from this reflection. 1) I learned that throughout the year God will write many goals onto our heart and we are to obey them completely. This benefits us not just spiritually but mentally as well.  2) I need to resolve to make stronger goals for 2015. The fast gave me a chance to look back at my achievements and to look forward to my future. With all of our successes  in 2014 I am looking forward to celebrate our successes in 2015!