Celebrating Lent Through The Book of Matthew

Reading through the Gospel of Matthew is an excellent way to prepare your heart for Easter, and this visual bible from Alabaster Co. can help you do just that.

Welcome to Lenten season friends! Regardless of whether or not you celebrate it, the 40 days before Easter, immediately following Mardi Gras is here. We’ve danced, we’ve partied, and now it’s time for us to prepare our hearts for the somewhat solemn, yet redeeming and victorious act of God.

My experience with Lent has varied over the years. I grew up celebrating it, and continue to do it until this day. In the past few years, though, I have changed my thinking about these 40 days to be more about giving something up with the intent of becoming closer and closer to God. 

And for the record, one of the most controversial conversations I have had in Christians circles about Lent go a little something like this:

“Toni, what is Lent?” It’s the season of preparation, fasting, and consecration of our hearts and minds during the 40 days preceding Easter. 

“I didn’t know you were Catholic.” I’m not, more than Catholics celebrate Lent.

“Like who?” Like Methodists. I was Methodist for about 15 years before I joined the church I’m at now. Lent is a thing in the Methodist Church.

“I don’t think you’re right, Toni. Only Catholics celebrate Lent.” I can also tell you that I grew up in a non-denominational church like the one I attend now. We celebrated Lent.

“No. You didn’t” Ummmm….okay. But I learned about it from somewhere and I think it was from my Mama.”

Did I mention this was the conversation in Christian circles?
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A Girl, Her Teaching, and The Bible

This is a sponsored post that includes affiliate links. All opinions are mine (and my daughter’s).

One of the things I enjoy most about being a blogger is that I get to share my family with the world. When the kids were little, it was fun. Know that they are older, it’s still fun and funny, but it’s also heart-warming.

In all of their extra, rebellion, and emotion, they are also amazing. Every day they give me something to be in awe of. Every.single.day.

Especially when one of them is preparing to teach a bible lesson to her church youth group. Continue reading

The Best Time of the Day

*this post includes affiliate links*

5:00 am

Every household has it and every family needs it. A time of the day where all of its residents are asleep or otherwise occupied (I have to say that disclaimer because #teenagers and their sleeping habits vary), and should you wake up, it’s thrilling to know that no one is physically or mentally able to look at you, talk to you, or expect anything from you.

Except God.

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The Best Bible To Use

I have a friend named Mike. Mike is a bible scholar. Big Time. In our 20-plus years of friendship, I have always thought he has a billiant mind. And whenever I have a question about the bible, I ask him.

A couple of years ago, I asked him what I thought was a simple question.

What’s the best bible to use?

He shrugged his shoulders and looked at me very matter of factly and simply said, “The one you have.”

No. Just no. Where was the deep and profound analysis of all of the bibles in the world? Where was the recommendation of the specific bible that I just have to have? Where was the validation that I needed to buy a shiny, new bible to get my Jesus on? So I rephrased the question.

Based on your studies as a bible scholar, and based on your teaching of bible to the masses, what’s the best bible to use?

“The one you have. But since you obviously don’t like that answer, any study bible should work for your needs.” Continue reading

Bible-Related Things That Keep Me Smiling

31daysofsmilesFavorite Verses:

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 12:17

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”

Favorite Woman in the Bible: Esther

Favorite Man in the Bible: Jesus

Book of the Bible That Helped Me Through My Divorce: Romans

Book of the Bible That Helps Me Manage Life in My Current Season: Isaiah

Book of the Bible That Helps Me Parent: Ephesians

My Biblical Role Model: Ruth

My Bibles (worn, torn, tried and true): Women’s Devotional Bible, Mom’s Devotional Bible, The Life Recovery Bible

What are your favorite Bible-related things?