4 Steps to Fasting For Lent

lent_7966c1

Happy season of Lent everyone! If you did not know, we are currently in the church season of lent right now and it is something practiced in many churches around the world. Lent takes place during the 40 days leading up to Easter morning. Traditionally, christians who take part in Lent will fast or give up (abstain from taking part in) something for the 40 days of Lent. This idea of Lent and fasting is what has brought me to the subject of this post today. I want to share my 4 steps to fasting for Lent.

I want to take a moment and quickly say I am definitely not the definitive answer to this topic. I am simply sharing my view of fasting for Lent. These 4 steps have been formed over a time of studying the scripture and taking part in Lent. Feel free to disagree with me. It is ok. Now that we have that out of the way, lets get started.

 

STEP 1: Decide on something to fast that is difficult to give up. It needs to be something that causes you a little bit of discomfort or pain when you do not have it in your daily routine anymore.

When you fast something difficult to give up and something that brings discomfort, you are able to experience a very very very very small fraction of the pain Jesus endured for you on the cross. In this pain and discomfort, the Easter story become tangible to you.

 

STEP 2: What you fast needs to be something part of your daily routine.

The practice of fasting is about centering yourself to God. When you fast something in your daily routine, you will reach a time when you hit a mental wall when you go to take part in your normal routine of something but quickly remember you are fasting. It is in this time, when you would normally partake in that food, hobby or practice that you should take time for prayer, reading scripture and listening to God in place of the time you would spend on the thing you’re fasting.

 

STEP 3: What you fast needs to be something that we greatly enjoy and that we are able to get back when lent is over.

This might seem like a strange step, but it is an important step. In the same way that you experience Easter in a tangible way through the pain of your fast, you also experience Easter in the joy of finishing your fast and getting your item of fasting back. Easter morning is all about the celebration of Jesus being risen from the grave. When you finish your fast there will be a sense of joy and celebration. In this joy, you are able to experience a very very very small amount of the joy the followers of Jesus felt upon see Jesus alive again.

 

STEP 4: When you fast, do not tell anyone about your fast.

This final step comes straight from scripture. Jesus says in Matthew 6:16-18,

“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Simply put, fasting is all about you and God. No one else needs to be involved.

There you have it! My 4 steps to fasting for lent. Let me know what your thoughts are on fasting for lent in the comments below.

 

(Photo from: http://www.capuchinfranciscans.org/2014/02/27/pre-lent-reflectiona-historical-perspective/)

Advertisements

Scripture Typer – APP Review

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

screen568x568

These words written by David in Psalm 119 have always been a goal that I aim for. But I have found that in the business of life, it is heard to make the time to sit down and memorize scripture like I would like to. Until a few months ago when my good friend told me about an app called Scripture Typer. Scripture Typer is an iPhone and Android app that helps you memorize scripture in many different ways, and the best part is it works.

First, I should point out that Scripture Typer is not only a mobile app. It is connects with ScriptureTyper.com. When you create an account, everything you do automatically syncs across all the platforms. After quickly creating an account, I was able to go online, enter in a few verses that I wanted to work on and in minutes I was out the door and on my way while reviewing verses on my iPhone. Even more, you can create groups online. This is perfect if you want to have accountability or if you just want to memorize scripture with a friend.

screen568x568-2

Now to focus on the mobile app. As I said above, what makes this app great is the fact that it works. It does this so well by offering you several different methods of memorizing the scripture you want to.

The main method of memorization Scripture Typer offers is a three step method. The first step is called “Type It.” In this step, the app shows you the whole verse and you simply type the first letter of every word in order. This caused me to really think about what each word was and not fall into my normal mode of simply copying the letters on the screen, which usually leaves me not paying attention to what I am really typing. As you type the scripture it will show you each error you make with a red word. At the end of typing a verse the app gives you a percentage score based on your accuracy.

Once you feel like you have conquered the “Type It” mode, you can then move on to the next step: “Memorize It.” This step is almost exactly like the “Type It” mode, but with one difference. In the “Memorize It” mode, Scripture Type removes every other word from the scripture. This causes you to begin to solidity the scripture to memory as you have to remember the words that are missing as you type it out. Further, Scripture Typer keeps you on your toes as it removes different words each time you review it.

Finally, when you have reached the level of accuracy that you desire within “Memorize It” mode, you can flex your memorizing muscles in the third step: “Master It.” In the “Master It” mode, you simply get a blank screen and your keyboard. There are no words to help you remember the scripture. You must remember each word from memory as you type. It is at this point when you discover if you have truly mastered the scripture or if you need to possibly head back to the “Memorize It” mode for a little longer.

Once you have mastered a scripture, it moves into your “Review List.” This is the list of verses you have received a 90% or more accuracy rating on in the “Master It” mode. Scripture Typer then assigns a day rotation of review for the verse. If you get a good accuracy percentage, Scripture Typer will wait for four to six days and then send you a notification to review the scripture again and prove that you still have the passage mastered.

Scripture Typer also has other elements to help you memorize the scriptures you want and give you reasons to keep memorizing more. If you are a person that memorizes better using nemonic  devices, Scripture Typer gives you the ability to create illustrations for each verse. I am terrible at drawing on my iPhone. So, I did not use this feature much, but I am sure there are many people out there that would love this feature. Also, if you are someone who is a little competitive, Scripture Typer gives you a rating for how well you are memorizing scripture. You can then see where you rank on the leaderboards. Want to have a higher rating? Then you better start memorizing!

Scripture Typer is a mobile app that is different than anything I have ever seen before on the app store. It is fun to use, simple to understand and it works. If you are someone who wants to memorize scripture but struggle to find a method that works for you, I recommend you check out Scripture Typer.

images

You can download Scripture Typer for $6.99, on both the iTune App Store (Click Here) and Android market (Click Here).

Do not forget to be social! Share this post with your friend. Have you used Scripture Typer before? What do you think of it? Let me know if the comments below.