Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This Lenten Season

I am actually excited about Lent this year. It has only been a few years since I've started to really pay attention to the Church calendar. This is the first year I am going to seriously give up something that I really enjoy – for forty days! I thought a lot about this. It has to be something that I will miss, and something that is really a pleasure I take in life. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that online poker, something I really enjoy, is the thing I should sacrifice this season.

I have been playing with a great group of free rollers (meaning we play games we don’t pay to get into) at Poker Pots Poker League. We have a great chat room at PalTalk and a really active online forum as well. I love the community even more than the poker – so I asked them to help me in this spiritual exercise. You know, if they see me on the tables to give me the old ‘what for’!

It will be good for me, my personality is that I like to throw myself into things for seasons and then I tend to lose some of my excitement about them. I have found over the years that once I’m past that initial ‘craze’ I can really enjoy something and not overdose on it. Online poker is one of those things that I have overdosed a bit – but the novelty is still strong so this is a real sacrifice for me. But all around, a good thing.

I am also participating in an online interactive exercise using Miroslav Volf’s ‘Free of Charge’. This is an effort started in the Emergent UK community; I am looking forward to reading and sharing with other Emergent authors and bloggers around the globe. Volf is someone I have been looking for an excuse to read for a long time, I have scanned ‘After Our Likeness’ and want to sit down and really dig into that one. Anyone Moltmann recommends is going to perk my ears up.

I have encouraged my community at Freedom Vineyard also to give up something for this Lenten season. My hope is that we will be reminded, even if just a little, of the sacrifice Christ has made to give us the freedom we so enjoy. Today we begin at the place of repentance – as we rest into this next 40 days my prayer is that Salvation will shine in our midst!

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