SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Where Will You Be in 40 Days?

Can you believe it, Lent is already upon us again. Today we prepare our hearts and minds for our 40-day journey. 40 days in the scheme of things is not that long, yet it sounds intimidating every year. We contemplate the past year as we decide what we will give up this year. My question for you is, did you give it up last year? I mean truth be told did you go without for 40 days? Or did you just do a little less of what you likely should not be doing anyway? I find it interesting how many people give up chocolate, soda, sugar, salt or social media for Lent. The first one will be a real test as valentine’s day comes after you already gave it up. What if instead of giving up, you gave UP? Click To Tweet I mean what if for the next 40 days you read scripture every day? Or perhaps did a 40 day devotional (likely a reason most devotionals are 40 days long huh?) Spending the next 40 days pressing into God’s word, where would you be in 40 days from now? I know some of you already read the Bible every day, how about adding 40 days of prayer then? You already do that? Then try doubling your efforts. When Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, he was not out there longing for chocolate. He spent his time in prayer and devotion. He prayed for you as he suffered. Perhaps we can follow his […]

Take a Break (Guest Post)

Today’s Post Take a Break is a Guest Post by my friend Nic, this is his second guest post on SecondIron, where he talks about our need to take a break and getting much-needed rest. Nic is a geek dad, a professional nerd, and a pop culture junkie. He is drawn to any conversation about music, movies, theater, architecture, comics, and theology. You can follow his thoughts about parenthood, corporate life, and the intersection between faith and pop culture at his blog, The Faithful Geek. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram. Enjoy his guest post Take a Break. Growing up in church with weekly Sunday school lessons, you grow accustomed to Bible stories. They become familiar enough that even people with little to no religious affiliation know how the stories play out. Noah’s ark, Moses and the exodus, David versus Goliath, the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection. If your background is similar to mine, you can probably tell these stories without reading directly from scripture. Unfortunately, my favorite Bible story was not one I learned in Sunday school. It is not typically told by children’s workers or youth pastors. In fact, it is a story buried toward the end of Acts that most pastors skip over when teaching about the early church. I cannot remember hearing a single sermon referencing this passage. In case you missed it, I would like to share it with you. Acts 20 summarizes Paul’s travels through Macedonia and Greece after a riot in Ephesus. He caught up with his entourage […]

Ashes, Abstinence, Fasting and Penance

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten season marking the beginning of a 40 day journey of Ashes, Abstinence, Fasting and Penance.

Many Christians are under the belief that these 40 days are a new diet. They give up chocolate, sweets, caffeine and more. It is really not the time to join Weight Watchers. This is not a make up period for your broken New Year’s resolutions. Rather than concerning ourselves with simple atonement that others might notice. Better we do penance for our sins than continue breaking God’s heart.

“Wherever you are in the spiritual life, Jesus Christ wants to encounter you right there and take you further…” ~ Steve Bollman

If we spend these 40 days in reflection and prayer.

Take time each day to investigate our own hearts.
Start a conversation with your Heavenly Father.
Focus on forgiveness, not only of others but your own.
We are all broken sinners that by God’s Grace and healing we can be made new. Beginning a path to spiritual newness and donning the armor of our faith. We can begin to live a life of sacrificial service and fortitude. As men we are challenged by temptations throughout our life. Lent is a prime opportunity to wage war against the three main temptations.

The Temptation of the Flesh – sins like pride, greed, lust, anger, envy, sloth and gluttony (Deadly Sins)
The Temptation of the World – pursuits of the material world through power and prestige and ‘to rule over others’.
The Temptation of the Devil – outlets like the media, movies, t.v. and more that work hard to persuade us to live without the presence of God.