Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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Celebrating Lent

Lent begins on Wednesday, so I’ve been contemplating it’s coming over the past few weeks. I can’t say that I particularly enjoy celebrating it, after all who enjoys restricting themselves, but I do look forward to the lessons I learn from it and the good it does for my life.

If you haven’t celebrated Lent before, you can read up on it a bit here. I have been participating in it for about four or five years now. Some friends and I chose to celebrate it as an act of devotion and self-control, like a growing number of Protestants. And because we don’t have the same regulations, I guess would be a correct term, as Catholics, we do it a little differently. Some celebrate from Ash Wednesday, for 2012 it’s February 22, to Holy Thursday, April 5. Others of us choose to go through the Saturday and finish on Easter Sunday morning at church. I like the latter, personally. And I also take the the opportunity as some do to see the Sundays between as mini celebrations, where you can break your fast. So, that’s how I Lent.

The items for my Lenten fast vary each year.  I’m sure some people use the same thing each year or change it up depending on their circumstance. They may give up chocolate or alcohol or another food or activity. With Protestants, it varies pretty dramatically from what I’ve seen. The point is to really sacrifice something, or more than one thing. It has to have meaning for you because that time is then used to grow your relationship with Christ through prayer, fasting and giving. If it doesn’t hurt in some way, it doesn’t count.

For me, the fasting portion typically revolve around the goals I have for myself that year or something I really want to work on or improve in my life. For example, this year I’ve decided on a fasting item to go with my three major goals for the year: physical, spiritual and financial. They are personal, so I only share them with a few people who will hold me accountable. I suggest you do the same. Remember, fasting isn’t supposed to make you comfortable. Growth opportunities are usually challenging, and not always fun.

So, that’s a little on Lent from me to you. I hope you will consider taking part in it. For any Christian, it’s a great exercise in devotion, self-control and deepening your relationship with God. Give it a try and let me know how it went!


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Say a Little Prayer for Me?


Because we feel this trip is far bigger than us, we want it bathed in prayer and to include as many people as possible. We would appreciate your participation in that effort. We intend to have at least one person praying for us every working hour that we are gone. So will you commit to praying for the Emergence Journey team? If so, please send me your address/phone, date (Thursday, July 30 – Monday, August 3) and time (7 a.m. – 9 p.m.). Please choose a one hour time slot. This means that you may pray that entire hour, or at just some point during that hour. You are also welcome to choose more than one slot. We’ll take all your prayers we can get! Thanks!

Team members include: Wesley Ryan, Sean Smith, Patrick Gosnell and Kristi Porter

Some of the things you can pray for:

  • each team member by name
  • the team’s protection
  • the unity of the team and ability to work together
  • their ability to love others and want to serve them
  • their abilility to see/hear/feel the Spirit’s guidance
  • the willingness to obey the Spirit’s prompting
  • the wisdom to carry on the lessons they learn beyond the trip
  • that each would be stretched and changed before, during and after the trip

What is the Emergence Journey?

The Emergence Journey (formerly Chaos Mission Trip) is unconventional in that it starts with no destination or persons in mind; therefore no “preplanning” is necessary. All of the preparation comes in team-building and self-awareness exercises. This trip evolves during the journey rather than starting at the destination. The opportunities and relationships that are often overlooked or passed up when schedules are set and destinations are planned are fully experienced here, allowing you to free your mind to the possibilities at hand. A random act of kindness and open heart are the only requirements. We allow the Holy Spirit to fill in the details. Additionally, we operate from loose guidelines to allow the trip to shift as needed. For instance, we travel back roads rather than interstates when possible and avoid eating at chain restaurants, making it easier to meet local people. We also build a Safety Net of Prayer, a list of people who are praying for us every hour that we are on the road. And finally, we avoid turning on the radio and using our cell phones if possible, utilizing time rather than killing it.

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