Lent: Fast from indifference, feast on love.

 

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An article written last February with Pope Francis thoughts on Lent has stirred my heart.

…If we’re going to fast from anything this Lent, Francis suggests that even more than candy or alcohol, we fast from indifference towards others.

‘Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.…whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades….We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own….

‘But when we fast from this indifference, we can began to feast on love’

He continues ‘What are you giving up for Lent?’ It’s a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol and candy is the way to go. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed. This narrow road is gritty, but it isn’t sterile. It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free.’

Now that’s something worth fasting for.

As I (Michelle) walk the road to Easter – I’m committed to fasting from indifference.

More stopping for the one, less rush,

more engaging with stories, less scrolling past,

more hearing hearts, less agenda,

more awareness, less head in the sand.

More of YOU, less of me Lord.

Join me on the journey of fasting from indifference?

Love, Michelle

I’m reading Bread and Wine as my devotional during the next 40 days. A selection of readings by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Philip Yancey, Madeline L’Engle, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more.

Also head over and join my friend Melissa who is sharing thoughts on the journey here

 

 

 

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Sweet 2016

Hello again, Happy New Year from our family to yours!

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Having spent a wonderful three weeks over Christmas in Stourbridge our hometown we are now back home to Kelowna and excited for the New Year…. and the snow.

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Christmas saw us celebrating Phil’s 50th UK style, our 18th wedding anniversary, Bella’s 13th birthday and a memorable trip to London. Phil walked the Worcestershire way in one day with his friends – 35 miles of English countryside. Not quite the 2-day ramble Phil and I completed a couple of years ago (Read about that one here) We enjoyed a few days away with our fave friends who were visiting from Brisbane. Not to mention Christmas and New Year celebrations… I think I need a holiday! So blessed to know the love of family and friends on both sides of the pond.

Onto 2016!

I am currently collating prophetic words for 2016 and look forward to posting my annual mashup over the next week or two. Here is the post 2015 – in order to look ahead at all God wants to do it is important to acknowledge all that God has done.

There is excitement in the air at Willow Park Church as we head into a focused period of 21 days prayer and fasting. In addition, we have an ongoing prayer room for the next week at Highway 33 where you can creatively pray and join with others. This is a significant time for our church and the city of Kelowna. Leave your prayer requests in comments and I can post them in our prayer room walls.

Prayer Changes Things

As ever, I challenged my friends to think of their word for 2016. My word for 2015 was LAUGHTER… I realize as an INFJ I seem to laugh more on the inside and smile on the outside! #lil

My word for the year is BELOVED.

That I would always know I am His beloved and the fullness of that.

That I would see everyone I meet as His beloved.

And because of that – those I meet would know they are His beloved.

“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.” Henri Nouwen.

What is your word for the year ahead?

That’s all for now – let me know your prayer requests and your word.

I’ll be back with my prophetic mashup soon,

Love, Michelle xo

Sign up here for 21 days of prayer and fasting devotionals from Willow Park Church.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12