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Sharpening Iron to Live Second

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.