Tim and I just had a relaxing and energizing extended weekend at the “North Shore.” For Minnesotans, this is the North Shore of Lake Superior. We stayed in a condo right next to the lake where we got to hear and see waves crashing on the shore throughout our stay. For me, as much I love water, it was a little slice of heaven.
I want to share some pics from our trip, but first, I am honored to share with you an article I wrote for Off the Page this week. Isaiah 58 grabbed me on the first day of Lent and would not let me go until I wrote down my thoughts. Off the Page was gracious enough to publish them. Here’s a sample, but you can read the full article here.
Have a blessed Holy Week, everyone. Even in this, God is with us.
I grew up in an evangelical, white, middle-class home. We loved Jesus, went to church each Sunday, and studied the Bible. We were Baptist, so we didn’t follow much of a liturgical calendar—in fact, any liturgy was treated with suspicion. Easter blended in with spring days, while Christmas was a couple of days of excitement in the dead of winter. I do remember being dressed up with my sisters and lighting a candle in a wreath in front of our church as my dad read some Bible verses, but I didn’t understand why.
For the past decade, I have waded into Lent because my friends were doing it. The first year I observed Lent, I gave up shopping. Another year I gave up sweets. And yes, like so many others, I once gave up Facebook. This year, with the help of my Sacred Ordinary Days Liturgical Planner, I am participating in Lent through Scripture readings, which challenges my basic understanding of why Christians fast at all.
In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster categorizes fasting as an internal spiritual practice. The purpose of fasting is to focus our eyes solely on God and do away with earthly things that distract us from him. For example, I would give up a favorite thing so that when I wanted it I would turn my desire toward God instead. It shaped me in that it made me more reliant on God, but my thoughts and prayers didn’t extend beyond myself.
So when I opened my Bible to Isaiah 58 on the first day of Lent, I was caught off guard by the words of verse 2: “For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and…seem eager for God to come near them” (emphasis mine).
read the rest here
And now for the North Shore photos – If you haven’t been, please consider going!!