What are you picking up this Lent?

Last night our family discussed the shared practice of Lent.

By the grace of God the Father, our family will pick up the Spirit’s patience, keeping before us Galatians 5:22-26 as we grow in Christ-likeness in word and deed:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

We resolved by the power of the Spirit to give up human impatience, which became all too noticeable while being cooped up during the recent Northeast blizzard.  At the end of our discussion, one of my daughters suggested we really give up something earthly such as the internet.  My response was that we could consider the possibility, but first we’ll see how well we do with growing in and confessing when we fall short of incarnating God’s patience (and other fruits of the Spirit) in our life together over the course of the next week.

What are you picking up during Lent to fill the vacuum of what you’re giving up?  Is there a fruit of the Spirit which you yearn for and find difficult to nurture in the context of the academy? How can we pray for you and for the people of God in higher education as we journey toward becoming new creations through the resurrection power of Christ Jesus?

PS.  Looking for some prayers to guide your conversation with God today and through Lent?  Join me at Godspace.  Have some Lenten resources to share with ESN?  Please let us know by email or comment.

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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  • seasickdoctor@gmail.com'
    Christine Sine commented on February 17, 2010 Reply

    I read great Thomas Merton quote recently that seems to reflect these sentiments “God’s people first came into existence when the children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and called out into the desert to be educated in freedom, to learn how to live with no other master but God himself.” The wilderness is where we learn freedom. It is here that we are liberated from the distracting cries of our culture and learn to live in the freedom of God’s mutually supportive community.
    What interests me is that most of the practices of Lent cannot be accomplished effectively on our own. We need a supportive community in order to enter into the full experience of God’s ways and purposes

  • mikehickerson@gmail.com'
    Micheal Hickerson commented on February 17, 2010 Reply

    I’m not sure if I’m picking up anything, though I might be picking up more time. I deleted all of the games from my iPhone, and on Sunday, I began an evening routine of hitting my writing goal before letting myself watch TV. My daughters also thought that giving up computer games was a good idea for Lent, so perhaps we should replace our screen time with face-to-face time by playing games with each other.

  • mike.austin@eku.edu'
    Mike Austin commented on February 19, 2010 Reply

    I picked up Living the Christian Year, and look forward to working through it during Lent and the rest of the year as well.

  • bsaontheloose@yahoo.com'
    Sergey Fox commented on February 22, 2010 Reply

    I have learned something rather extraordinary from God, it blew my mind, literally.

    It’s quite simple, I am, as an intellectual, alowing God to figure out Himself and His creation.

    Did you know that as intellectuals we have strayed from the very creator Himself.
    It’s actually quite disturbing. Did you know that most of Christianity has been invented by man’s wisdom.

    Most Christian scholars, brilliant minds, have all this knowledge and wonderful stuff that is absolutely invented by man, not the Father.

    What do I mean by that? Well, Religion for exapmle, is a wonderful portrait of a man made God.
    I no longer beleive in Religion nor I believe that the Church has a God revelation of the truth.

    The God of Christianity is a man made figure invented to appease people and to comfort many.

    I have a God, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior,Messiah of both jews and Gentiles who came to die for man who created me not I create Him.

    I have a God who loves me and gives me everything I need to follow Him.

    By the secular World, we are merely an opinion not a truth Do you know why?

    Because the truth came to us not we come to the truth. The truth is not influenced by us but we are influenced by the truth. Religion is a mere opinion of man that we created to organize and create belief systems.

    As intellects, we attempt to prove the truth when the truth has proven itself. We want athiests and unbelievers to come to Christianity because we believe we have the right answer. However, I came to know the truth by divine revelation of Love not man’s ways or mind.

    Jesus came to speak the already existing truth not create his own truth. He did not invent any truth at all but came to speak the truth from the Father and creator Himself.

    I want the truth to demonstrate Himself to me. I can make up any thing and say I got it from God but if I do not show or demonstrate the truth it is a mere lie.

    The truth is independent from man. We will never get the truth unless the truth comes to us.

    As intellects, we are highly opinionated and think we know the truth but the truth is quite opposite. The truth speaks through us and manifests Himself.

    I am quite confident that I know the truth because the truth speaks for himself, I do not speak for the truth or try to persuade man to the truth but allow the truth to persuade man.

    It is not I who demonstrates the power, or love but power itself and love Himself.

    the Truth has a voice, I do not create the voice, I do not invent the truth but the truth has invented me, I never knew the truth until the Truth was revealed to me.

    I encourage man in the intellectual world to stop creating or proving the truth but allow the truth to speak.

    Thank you

    • mikehickerson@gmail.com'
      Micheal Hickerson commented on February 22, 2010 Reply

      Hi Sergey,
      Thanks for your interesting comment, though I’m not sure how it relates to Tom’s post.

      Could I push back a bit on what you wrote?

      However, I came to know the truth by divine revelation of Love not man’s ways or mind.

      How did that happen? Was there a Bible involved? Then that required human knowledge of translation and printing. Did you hear the Gospel preached? Then I expect that there was a human being preaching it – which probably involved some degree of study, preparation, and writing. Was it at a gathering of some kind? Some human being probably scheduled and organized that gathering.

      There are certainly ways that people have distorted or obscured the truth, but hasn’t God invited us to work alongside him in his mission in the world?

      • bsaontheloose@yahoo.com'
        Sergey Fox commented on February 22, 2010 Reply

        For many of those who have received the revelation of Love from God have a legitimate reason to know that the truth is in them.

        The Bible is written by human hands however the thoughts, revelations, visions and dreams and events were from the Mind of God.

        God uses the bible to help us see how men and women have been touched by Him however, God has designed us to know the truth by God Himself not what the Bible says.

        For exanple,
        There are people who read the bible and see that God performs miracles, Jesus walks on Water, Isaia propohecies, and the prophets encouter the Living God.

        However, The Bible is not the reason that Jesus is the Lord and Savior but it Jesus tellings us Himself. (THE BIBLE IS BASED ON GOD KNOWLEDGE, NOT MAN’S KNOWLEDGE)





        Both unbelievers and believers can read the bible but it is the Holy Spirit that allows us have an encounter with the Spoken word.
        I wrote earlier, God places men and women to teach us however the teachers are, first of all, speaking from the Father not themnselves, secondly, the Holy Spirit will reveal to man the truth through the teacher or maybe even a personal encounter.

        I was called by God to be a prophet. He chose me to speak His words, and when He prophecies through me, His presence mainifests. I do not say that I am prophet b/c I call myself a prophet but because God himself has spoken to me and has revealed that I am prophet.

        I can call myelf anything and can invent my own truth but if the holy pirit does not confirm that truth it is a mere opinion.

        God has permitted people to be used as vessels not to partake in the creation of the truth.

        God has used me to perform His works and His ideas, and His plans.

        I simply allow the Holy Spirit to reach out, I do nothing. My job is to have a relationship and walk in the nature of Christ.
        But I am not walking on my accord but the Father leads me to walk the Nature of Christ.


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