Here are some great lent resources and guides to help navigate this sacred season.

Christine Sine – Mustard Seed Associates: A Journey Into Wholeness: A Lenten Reflection Guide

Richard Rohr – Center for Action and Contemplation: Journey Into Lent

Frank Ramirez – Upper Room Ministries: Lenten Devotional

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: 2009 Lenten Reflections and Worship Resources

Lenten Daily Calendar: Evangelical Community Church

General Information and other great link pages…

The Text This Week

Per Christum

My only caution is this.  Do something, it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the number of great resources.  Find what fits and then wear it for 40 days and let this season change and impact your life.

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“People of faith don’t have to control everything, nor do they have to change people.”

This comes from Richard Rohr’s book Jesus’ Plan for a new world.  A greater context is below.  Anxiety, worry these are things that plague the human condition.  To know that anxiety and worry are ways of trying to maintain a level of control.  That this control is the opposite of faith.

Lord, create in me that faith.  The faith that does have to control.

“Faith for Jesus is the opposite of anxiety. If you are anxious, if you are trying to control everything, if you are worried about many things, you don’t have faith, according to Jesus. You do not trust that God is good and on your side. You’re trying to do it all yourself, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.

The giveaway is control. That’s a good litmus test of the quality of your faith. People of faith don’t have to control everything, nor do they have to change people.” Richard Rohr, Jesus’ Plan for a New World

Richard Rohr comments in his book Jesus’ Plan For a New World, “Every town has the hard-to-get-to spot where the teens pain graffiti, late at night, at tremendous risk. Yet when the soul feels utterly insignificant, it writes its name where you can’t miss it.”

I have always wondered what drives someone to dangle above a freeway, nudging themselves along a concrete precipist, with a couple of cans of spray paint(probably made this mistake of not bringing enough spray paint only once) to get to that billboard and tag it with some unintelligible graffiti. I mean really, I don’t like graffiti(it messes with my sense of order), but I have to admit there are some taggers that I consider absolute rock stars for their incredible sense of daring.

Yet really, isn’t it a desperate cry for attention. “Look at me” it screams. It forces the attention of the world of commuters to view at the ‘art’ of one desperate individual.

But back to the quote above. Really am I any different? Yes I don’t hang over highways or slip into tunnels in the cover of the dark. Yet I have realized that when my soul feels insiginfcant, ignored, repressed, or not affirmed that I have the tendancy, even the propesity, to write my name where you can’t miss it.

To scream, “Look at me”, To demand attention. This is what we graffiti artists do.

The spray paint that we use is just a colorful as the graffiti artist’s pallete of colorful cans. They are,

Anger, gossip, arguing, withdrawal, sarcasm, hypocrisy, bitterness, attention, ignoring, disconnection.

(just to name a few)

(my favorite colors are withdrawing and disconecting if you really need to know)

We all do these things. They are as second nature to us as breathing. But the important thing is this

not to know what I do, but to know why I do it.

I know what I do, I know what I do when I get frustrated or annoyed or fearful, but to understand the why, now that really gets to the heart of things.

I guess I have come to this realization. We all have different forms of graffiti. You have soul graffiti, I have soul graffiti. And I am ok with that. And I am confident my Lord that he will clean up our graffiti in his way and in his time. Lest we forget, that love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith and meekness and temperance are called the fruits of the Spirit and not the fruits of my hard work and sweat. They are the fruits of the evidence of the Spirit movement in you and me.

P.S. For what it is worth, I have heard the book Soul Graffiti by Mark Scandrette is just awesome. I have not read it so I have no idea if it has any relation whatsoever to the above. But I have heard it is a must read.

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