Ash Wednesday

February 13, 2013

Today’s Reflection

ON ASH WEDNESDAY we cut to the core of our existence. We are not what we eat. We are not what we do. We are not what we fear. We are human beings, created in the image of God; but we have accumulated all kinds of complexities that make our core identity, at times, hard to find.

Easter brings new beginnings, so during Lent we undergo a process of letting go. …

I encourage you to spend time with scripture readings, meditations, and with God. Allow God to speak and show you what you need to let go of.

You may even decide to give up something during Lent—a fast. Choose one activity, one luxury, or one item that will require effort on your part to give up during this time. Don’t simply give it up, but use it differently. You may choose to fast thirty minutes of sleep and spend that time in meditation. You may choose to drink water with your lunch rather than a soft drink. Put that money aside, and use it to enrich someone else’s life. Fasting teaches us that many things we take for granted are indeed luxuries or gifts.

- Wessel Bentley
The Miracles of Jesus

From pages 11-12 of The Miracles of Jesus: Meditations and Prayers for Lent by Wessel Bentley. Copyright © 2012 by Wessel Bentley. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What is the Spirit leading you to do this Lenten season? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who are lonely. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Valentine (February 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2013, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill February 13, 2013 at 3:46 am

I will be giving up my wallowing in negative thoughts. I know that the negative thoughts will come – but once I recognize that I am choosing to linger with them and give them power over me…at that instant – I will direct my thoughts to my Savior -and claim His power – and as literally as possible – remove myself from the current thought pattern. God willing and God helping me.

Reply

robert moeller February 13, 2013 at 5:29 am

With God helping and guiding you will succeed in this effort.

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robert moeller February 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

A Lenten study at church with Anneliese.

Lord, be with those who feel lonely, may they also reach out for you. Connected, loneliness dissipates.

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heidi February 13, 2013 at 7:25 am

I invite each of you to add a simple, six-word prayer to your Lenten “routine.” This is from John Ortberg’s book, “Gid is Cliser than You Think.”

Do not pray it unless you are prepared for God to move. Here it is.

Make “up there” come down here.

Amen

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robert moeller February 14, 2013 at 4:20 am

Yes, I certainly want that to happen. The whole world will be the best place when it does.

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Joan February 13, 2013 at 7:57 am

Focusing more time reading things that will renew my faith… Starting with Brian McLarens book Naked Spirituality (and hoping to finish this time!).

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DM February 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Im going to give up my anger over not being recognizied and loved. I am going to remind myself that I can find love and compassion through Christ who will protect me and who knows my struggles. When I feel alone and forgotten I will stop myself and remember to call on Christ. I will pray more often knowing he is listening.

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patch February 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

My daughter, a mother of two toddlers, has a Lenten goal to not get so frustrated so quickly and to give up chocolate. My son wants to give up beer. Both are wow. A wow for me would be give up coffee. Need to ask my wife what she is thinking…. She would ask me to reconsider coffee — since she would have to live with me without it -:) We walk regularly but are now committed to strength training for the first time . I am still asking the Spirit what I should be doing…. seems to be tugging at my heart to pray, meditate, journal each morning…to draw closer to God, Jesus and and the Holy Spirit… to wait on their promptings and callings….

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I am learning to cook simple and healthy meals so that my parents can be healthy even in their old age.

It is actually fun, trying new recipes and creating new dishes.

Reply

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