Tag Archives: Lent

Lent and Fitness

Lent Fitness 2015

Yes, it’s that season again, the one where Christians have chosen something to eliminate from their lives starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday in order to make themselves miserable. Then there are those who partake in the season of Lent. Lent, in English simply means Spring, it’s a word which derived from German origins. In Latin it means “fortieth” and derives from the word Quadragesima.

During Lent we engage in more intensified and focused acts of prayer (God), fasting (Self), and Almsgiving (Others).

Lent was never intended to be a time of emotional self-flagellation. Over the span of Lent we are called to intentionally and consciously draw closer to Christ in the desert, remembering his battle against temptation and rejoice with him in the victory when Easter Sunday arrives. It is a period of actively  remembering that we can win any spiritual battle that is brought before us. There is no need for self-hatred during Lent because we know that Jesus’ time in the desert was in obedience to our Father God and for our benefit. Jesus won the battle in that desert knowing that God was with him and that his calling was to save us from ourselves. Today we do the same thing. We join millions of other believers across the world in defeating the stronghold that luxuries can and sometimes do have over our lives. Dear brothers and sisters, don’t let anything in the mundane cause separation between you and the holy trinity.

In the desert Jesus said “no” to the temptations of the enemy and “yes” to the calling the LORD had placed on his life. I have had to join Jesus many times in that desert as I learn what to say ‘yes’ to and what to say ‘no’ to in accordance with God’s teachings.

defeat fast food 1


Health and Fitness is my year round struggle of temptation. I’m still on that journey of learning that in order to be healthy I must say ‘no’ to things that are good, but not good for me. I have had to learn the discipline of getting my butt out of bed and doing some form of cardio exercise in order to prevent myself from gaining any more weight. I’ve had to learn that God must be included in my journey into the desert or else I will not defeat the never ending temptations that are thrown my way each day. The sweat and trembling that comes from strength training reminds me not to give up because dedication and commitment to doing what is difficult but necessary is what leads to increased strength.

In the moment, in the midst of my frustrations, I want that plate of poutine, an entire pizza, or a creamy bowl of pasta, but I know that immediate gratification is never a good reward. It’s the slower results of prayers, mindfulness, and working through temptations that allow us to have victory over the cross.

God does nothing in a hurry, He never has, and I believe He never will.

So… my goal in writing this post today is to encourage you to join Jesus in the desert, and alongside our Saviour meet with God in this intensified season of prayer (God), fasting (Self), and almsgiving (Others). There is victory of the cross, but in order to do so we must be willing to do the work. May this period of Lent be one of drawing closer to God, walking with Jesus to the cross, and rejoicing with him over the defeated cross and empty tomb on Easter Sunday. God Bless!


Post Easter and Lent Reflections

victory cross

Post Lent and Post Easter Resurrection Reflections

For myself, Easter Sunday is not the end of this holiday season. By Easter Monday I still have some unfinished business; mainly that of reflecting on the overall Lenten season and what I have learned. Monday, being a holiday, is usually the best time for me to do so. Here is what I have learned over this past Lent and Easter.

The goal of Lent is never perfection! Thank God for that, literally.

My main focus this year was on mindfulness, it may not have started out this way, but over the 40 days I became more focused on this process of being mindfully present in my life. Fear and anxiety are my best friends and I’ve learned that I cannot allow them to have such an active presence in my life. Learning to trust in God removes the stronghold that anxiety and irrational fears have over my life.

Did I fail at various times to remain mindful, yes I did! But it wasn’t the end of the world, I simply picked myself up and carried on. Perfection is never the goal. Thank you Lord for your never ending grace, love, and understanding each time we fail.

The same scriptures and stories you have read hundreds of times will have a different meaning for you each time you read it.

The Easter story hasn’t changed since the bible was compiled. We listen to the same story each year, yet, during the Lenten season the same scriptures have a completely different meaning and purpose in my life. I attribute this to the power of the Holy Spirit. If we allow ourselves to be open to what God’s spirit has to say to us, we will never become tired of hearing the story of Jesus’ life and teachings. God’s word has the power to continuously transform us through the gifts of His Spirit and the bible of which we are beyond blessed to be able to have access to; unlike so many people in the rest of the world.

christ death love

I no longer have to weep, I have found who I am looking for.

Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” John 20:15

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). John 20:16

I, along with Mary Magdalene, no longer have to weep, we have found what we are looking for. We have found our Rabbouni! God sent Jesus to be a living example and sacrifice in order to set the record straight. The message is clear, but difficult to believe, accept, live, and process. God’s message through Jesus Christ involves this: I (God) am love. My love is here to redeem you, cherish you, transform you, challenge you, discipline you, and comfort you. Despite the internal struggle I have between our human nature and the spiritual nature, I am able to rejoice knowing that Christ has shown us, as a living sacrifice, that one can overcome spiritual death, but first I must be willing to carry my cross, experience the pain that leads to freedom and only then can I overcome and rise from being spiritually dead.

When I don’t recognize the voice of Jesus, he knows to call me by name and I will answer “Teacher!.” Whatever he has to say next are lessons and instructions that will be worthy of moving from weeping to rejoicing.

john 20 15 image 3 best

The process doesn’t end for me on holiday Monday. Yes, Jesus is risen, but it’s Monday, and not a special Monday. It’s a Monday like any other because now we must return to work. We return to the work of growing in our relationship with God. He had to the power to raise His Son from the dead and overcome death; He has the power to do the same for us. Through His continual forgiveness, power, mercy, grace and love we too are afforded the same resurrection story as Christ. We no longer have to weep at an empty grave, and a missing saviour, we can now recognize the voice of Christ calling our name and rejoice! We can overcome spiritual death! Amen and thank you Father.

Betrayed to the Cross Forever

Holy Week Reflection

Holy Week verses

Matthew 26 

Passion week, Holy week, Easter week, whatever name you’d like to give to this week, is definitely not one we’d ever call dedicated, loyal, or dependable friends week! I think I might even call this week, Betrayal Week.

I can’t point fingers at Peter, the Zebedee boys, Judas or the rest of the disciples who fled during Jesus’ greatest time of need. Imagine how Jesus must have felt knowing that all of his closest friends, the men he hand selected to carry on his work were no longer by his side? I don’t know how Jesus felt, but I sure know how his disciples felt.

The story of the betrayal of Jesus is important. These men are symbolic representations of how we continue to betray Christ, not just on one significant occasion, but in our regular everyday lives. The betrayal stories are important for us because despite being literally abandoned by his best friends, Jesus still went to the cross for them. Jesus still entrusted the disciples to care for his grieving mother.

We, all of us, are Peter, Judas, the Zebedee Boys and the other disciples. We betray Christ, yet, he still loves us. He still went to the cross knowing that future generations would still betray him. Christ’s love for the Father and for humankind allowed him to not betray us!

betrayal friendship

During this sacred week, let us not look down at the disciples, instead let us see our reflection in their actions and remember the magnitude of Christ’s love for us; that he would still go to the cross to be tortured, ridiculed and abandoned all for us, so that we may know and experience the greatness of God’s love. What an amazing ending to the worst week of his life! Resurrection!

Jesus’ love for us was more powerful than, lies, sleeping instead of praying, violence, running away, and publicly denying being a follower of Christ. Pray that we can be like Peter who could only weep when he realised what he had done. The opposite of Peter would be to follow Judas’ actions of betraying Jesus and then in the midst of shame taking his own life. Did Judas know or accept the fact that all he had to do was ask Jesus to forgive him? Did Judas not learn anything during the time he spent with his best friend Jesus?

Jesus forgives us all, the process of forgiveness requires that we approach the cross and say, “Jesus forgive me.” We won’t do this once or twice, this will have to be an everyday act of forgiveness because we are human and we can never stop betraying Christ. This spiritual act of forgiveness is eternal it never ceases, because it can’t; or else we would all be doomed.



Are you willing to go to the cross every day to ask Christ to forgive you for your continual betrayal or are you like Judas, refusing to face Jesus and ask for forgiveness?


Find verses that bring comfort to you in knowing that Christ forgives us for our continual betrayal towards him. Refer to these verses or pray these verses anytime the enemy has you feeling unforgiven or unloved by our saviour. Please know that you are forgiven, not because I said so, but because God has said so. God’s love is bigger, stronger, and greater than our sins. Praise be to God!



God loves you, but I don’t. Sincerely, Jonah!



Jonah 3 and 4

Today’s post is a continuation of the story of Jonah. This is part of the series #SheSharesTruth in which the ladies behind SheReadsTruth have encouraged readers to write their reflections about the week’s assigned scripture during Lent.

Last week we ended with Jonah giving thanks and praise to God before being vomited out of a whale. This week we begin with Jonah shouting out the prophecy that the city of Nineveh would be overthrown (this word can also mean turn over, to have a change of heart). The people of the city repented and truly did have a change of heart by becoming believers in God.


God, doing the happy dance whenever people repent!
God, doing the happy dance whenever people repent!
Why did you make me waste my time... you already knew they would change! Whaaa
Why did you make me waste my time… you already knew they would change! Whaaa











Jonah wasn’t happy about this sudden change. Instead of being happy to see people turn from their destructive ways and instead embrace God; he chose to complain to God for making him look like a fool! Again Jonah expresses his death wish; he asks God to take his life because he does not want to feel like a fool who had given an incorrect prophecy.

I’m glad to read the author of Jonah continued with his theme of exaggerated humour. This is a serious topic but people need to see how foolish they look. Yes, folks, God wants us to give godly warnings to others who are living a life of habitual sin, but not for the purpose of punishing them. God wants us to share the good news about Him! He tells us and shows us that He is, “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.”

God’s love and mercy isn’t reserved exclusively for “good Christians”. His love and mercy is extended to everyone including those we dislike for whatever reasons. When you point out the wrongs of others your expectation should be that the offender repents and changes their ways according to GOD’s expectations, not YOURS. God knows the entire story of individuals, groups and even Nations; we don’t! God knows the plans he has for those who follow His teachings; we don’t! God knows what’s best for each person; we don’t!

What I’ve taken from these last two chapters is that God shows love and mercy to those we don’t like and those we deem to be undeserving of second chances. We can’t tell people how God is going to judge them, without telling them how God is going to love them.

gracious and compassionate


When you confront others about their negative habitual behaviours or about how they have wronged you; do you have a set of expectations as to how you expect them to apologise or how exactly they should change their ways?

Are you the opposite of Jonah, do you hope that those who have wronged you and those you do not like will change according to God’s will as opposed to your own will?


Take time for self-reflection and honestly ask yourself if you are the type of person who expects apologies and the transformations of others to be according to your own set of standards. If this describes you, ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to soften your heart and be more accepting of where each person is at in their own journey of godly transformation.