i hope that you are enjoying our observance of Lent and if you have just joined us – as some have – it is good to have you along – never to late to jump on this train and see where it goes.

i read an excellent piece on Lent on Relevant Magazine today and if you have some time, give it a read.

Zachary Perkins gives a broader definition and picture of the idea of Lent that the early church held on to as opposed to simply giving something up:

When we talk about “giving something up for Lent,” let’s be honest: we usually mean “I’m going to throw God a bone.” But the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday is meant to be a time where we take ourselves out of time and out of the business of our world to spend time dying to ourselves. It’s not just our way of giving Jesus Christ a pat on the back, but it’s first about re-centering our will to His and secondly living that out in the world.

DAY 3 

Task: Make time to be grateful

grateful

This follows on directly from yesterday’s five minutes of stillness to just be:

Take time to know. To realise. To remember. To speak to. To think about. To listen to. To be awestruck by. To call on. To rage at. To praise. To invite.

You may want to consider adding another five minutes, or even a separate time every day for the rest of this observance, to make some space for Gratitude, for Thankfulness, for Appreciation, for Praise, for Worship…

What are you thankful for today?

i literally just this moment was interrupted with news from a friend from Philly who i said i would pray for yesterday who went into hospital for some tests and they came back clear so giving God thankx for that.

and there are so many things in my life to be thankful for, but instead of listing them all here, i want to help create a space for you, for us, to be able to slow down long enough to actually get to the place of giving thankx.

START WITH GOD

i encourage you to perhaps grab a pen and paper and physically start making a list of things you are thankful to God for, starting with something that happened today and then moving on to this week – what is one thing from this week you can say “Thank-you” to God about… then think back to the month and come up with another different thing – and onto this year – one thing in 2014 you can thank God for.

You should have a list of four things already and maybe you needed to write more than one for some of those times. That is amazing, don’t limit yourself. Let my invitation be a minimum, so force yourself to find at least one for each time period.

Once you are done with that, look back and pull one thing from last year that you can really give thankx for. And then another thing from the last decade. In the past ten years, what is the biggest thing that stands out in your life that you would like to reflect back to God.

inallthingsthankx

CONTINUE WITH PEOPLE

How often do you take the time to say “Thank-you” to the important people in your life? If you want to get super involved in this, you could commit to one person a day for the rest of this Lent period – dropping an email, sending a text, calling up on the phone, arranging a Skype, writing a note or even a full on letter… but at least start with one today.

Why not take it up a notch and write a message to someone who may not expect to receive such a thing from you, but someone you have appreciated maybe even for the simplest of tasks that they do – perhaps a regular bus driver you often see, or a neighbour who has a garden you really appreciate, or even a checkout person at the store you frequent. That kind of thing can be gold.

AND HOW ABOUT A MOMENT FOR THE PERSON IN YOUR MIRROR

Take a little time to focus on you. If your health is half decent. If you have a job or contribute in some way that pays the bills. If you’re a dad or a mom or a son or daughter or uncle or aunt or brother or sister or friend. If you’re a mentor or confidante or counsellor or tag team buddy. If you have gifts or skills or talents or hobbies or successes  or attempts or dreams or hopes. For your sense of humour or appreciation of small things or ability to raucously celebrate or athletic ability or skill with words or favourite cooked or baked dish or ability to listen or speak or rally or protect or assist. Stand in front of a mirror and smile at the person you see and give thanks for both the person you’ve been and the person you are becoming. I think Dr Seuss just may have gotten this one right.

seussthankx

Even if you choose not to do this as a regular practice for each day of the rest of this Lent observance, try to find times and spaces to work it in on different occasions and in different ways. This is a great time to remember that there is so much to be thankful for.

[To continue on to day 4, click here]

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