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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Prayers For Teens

Last week I shared two blog posts that have me stressed as a mom. In one post, I discussed the moment that I discovered my kids have been exposed to the ills of twerking, drugs, and porn. In the other post, I talked about an issue that I truly believe is an act of the enemy – the moment that one of my sweet, precious babies questioned me about atheism.

Both situations required grace and mercy. Both situations required me to turn my children over to God. And both situations made me realize that I probably should have consulted God about these specific things all along.

After I published those posts from last week, I discovered one thing. Highly influenced by the work of Priscilla Shirer in the book Fervent, I was a woman on a mission. And the result is this.

Click to access a pdf version of a free prayer guide for parents of teens

Click on the image above to get the free prayer guide!

I created a short reference guide for us to pray for the teens we love. There’s a sheet for boys and a sheet for girls, and another sheet with scripture references that will help us. Once you open and download the document, you will see that there are ten areas to pray specific prayers for your teen. I am using it to pray for a specific are for each child each day. As you will see, I give you  a suggested subject for the pray, but it is up to you to get more specific about what you know your child needs.

The last page is a list of bible scriptures to keep you encouraged and reinforce the need to pray so fervently.

I’m curious to hear your feedback on the journal and what’s happened the you’ve prayed long and hard. Send me an email to toni [at] twillimedia [dot] com or put your thoughts in the comments below.