THE STEEL AND CONCRETE MISSION FIELD NEWSLETTER March 2000
". . . LENT SPENT"
by Bro. Gregory Wamsley
The other day, I was asked by one of my fellow inmates, "What is Lent?" I told him, "Lent is a 40 day period of fasting from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday (Easter). It's a time of fasting and sacrificing something for God. This holiday, though mostly associated withthe Catholic Church and that of the orthodox Jewish faith, is also celebrated by some non-denominational Christians, too."
This short word, Lent, comes from the old English word, "Lencten," which involves both the season of spring and the church's ecclesiastical season. Each and every day of our lives is lent to us by God. Every day can be "Lent" and not just the 40 day holiday. We need to go on a worldly fast; not fasting as the world does, but fasting against the fleshly issues of this world.
Just as Thanksgiving is the forerunner of Christmas, Ash Wednesday is the forerunner of Resurrection Sunday (Easter). I feel that we should use these holidays as reminders that Christ is on his way. Those last 40 days before we observe the Lord's crucifixion are profoundly important to us all. I urge you to either read of them for the first time, or re-read them with the Spirit's leading.
Days today are often manipulated by the seasons and holidays of this world. Do we as followers of Christ need all these seasonal reminders to do right, think right, pray right, live right? Do we need a holiday to take the place of God the Spirit? It was God the Son (Jesus) who sent the Holy Ghost from God the Father to "teach you all things," to guide us and to bring "all things to remembrance. . ." (John 14:26).
This type of sacrifice reminds me of the one a caterpillar makes by entering into its own self-made tomb and dying to its former self to resurrect into the majestic butterfly, a whole new life. The egg gives way to its shell to bring forth life and winter gives up the dead cold for spring to bring forth new life too. My Grandmother's perennials still bloom each spring long after her own precious blooming has ended. Christ gave up his physical existence here on earth too, giving us all new life in himself.
Like those faithful flowers, overcoming the death of winter to proclaim the message that, "I'm still here and I make a difference," may we, like those flowers, overcome the death (sin) of this troubled world and proclaim the same thing for Christ. We seek to sacrifice and fast, to give way to a higher spiritual insight, spiritual growth, and closeness to our Lord. May we not just stop doing the wrong thing, but also start doing the right thing. Our greatest sacrifice (fast) should always be death to ones self for the cause of Christ. I recall the words of Paul:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Lord, may I always live my Christian life accordingly and always be ready to give account, to die to self daily and to answer the question, not "How was my lent?" but "How was my life's Lent spent?"
by Bro. Bobby Hamlett
Contentment is satisfaction with the place in which God has you now. It is freedom from covetousness and having to have a "little bit more" in order to be happy.
It delivers from greed and from stress that comes in, trying to lay up treasures on earth. Contentment says that God has been good to me ~ that he will not fail me ~ that he knows what is best. A contented life has learned to do without instead of going into debt. It is a person who has learned to wait on God's time instead of moving in haste and has learned to hold all things with an open hand instead of a clenched fist.
Contentment seeks his kingdom first and trusts God to add all that is needed!
If you are unsaved, then I beg you to do the following four things in prayer to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ:
1. Admit you are a sinner,
2. Be willing to repent (turn away) from all sin,
3. Believe that Jesus died to save you, and
4. Accept him into your life as Savior and Lord.
God is not into long fancy prayers. Just pray and speak to him from your heart.
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"In The Secret"
Words and Music by Andy Park
In the secret in the quiet place
In the stillness you are there
In the secret in the quiet hour I wait
Only for You
'Cause I want to know you more
I want to know You
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more
I want to touch You
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more
I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize
Pressing onward, pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
'Cause I want to know You more