Lent for Leaders

Journey through the Forty Days of Lent. Lent for Leaders is a daily devotional for 2014 as an aid for reflection, ideas for personal growth and leader tools.

March 5, 2014 -- Why ASHES on Ash Wednesday?
Lent officially begins on Ash Wednesday. Once a year, we remember our mortality and that we are all equal in our mortality. This reminder can help us keep a healthy level of humility.

March 6, 2014 -- Consider the Purple Coneflowers of the Prairie
Matthew 6:25-34 tells me to not worry about the unimportant things and to pay attention to the important ones. As I consider the pale purple coneflower and its prairie cousins, I am reminded of some of these important things.

March 7, 2014 -- What are Spiritual Practices?
A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline (often including spiritual exercises) is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of cultivating spiritual development.

March 8, 2014 -- Sundays Don't Count!
The forty days of Lent do not include Sundays. In the earliest days of the Church, Christ's original disciples, who were Jewish, grew up with the idea that the Sabbath—the day of worship and of rest—was Saturday, the seventh day of the week, since the account of creation in Genesis says that God rested on the seventh day.

March 10, 2014 -- How Do You Stay Connected to God?
An interview with Bishop D. Max Whitfied.

March 11, 2014 -- One Artist's Story
From my view of the world, I find becoming an active participant in the stories of Scripture is comforting and provides guidance and clarity. Walking the dirt road along side Jesus as he is healing the sick, or challenging the status quo, often challenges me to rethink my position on an issue, or discover a solution to a problem.

March 12, 2014 -- How Do You Stay Connected With God?
Journaling is very important to me. Sometimes experiences and thoughts of it are fleeting. When you write it down, it is a tangible reminder to show what God has done through the day.

March 13, 2014 -- Lead like Joshua
Joshua, as Moses was, is an excellent example of a leader. Joshua was confident in God’s strength, in courage to face opposition, and willing to seek God’s advice.

March 14, 2014 -- Community Spiritual Practices
Today, people yearn for the deep bonds we read about in the early church. Jesus modeled living in community with the disciples and John Wesley established small groups for growing in Christian discipleship.

March 15, 2014 -- Sabbath - It's a Commandment!
Sabbath implies resting one day a week, but we can move toward recovering Sabbath by practicing smaller moments of sabbath each day. They happen when you recognize and honor Divine Presence during the moments of your day.

March 17, 2014 -- Celtic Christianity
About 400 AD, Patrick traveled widely, evangelizing and organizing churches and monasteries across Ireland. BY 600 AD, his followers went first to Iona and then across the highlands of Scotland.

March 18, 2014 -- Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise God in his fortress, the sky!

March 19, 2014 -- Pay Attention!
I pay attention to Rueben Job’s Three Simple Rules. At the end of the day, I ask myself “have I done no harm today?” “have I done good today?” and "have I done something that helps me stay in love with God?”

March 20, 2014 -- Practice: Go apart for Prayer
Once a month, I go to a retreat center. I visit with a spiritual director, and spend time in silence.

March 21, 2014 -- What is a prayer "trigger"?
something that "triggers" your brain to pray ... a reminder.

March 22, 2014 -- This Weekend, Consider the Gift of Time.
"There is a reason God limits our days." "Why?" "To make each one precious." (Mitch Albom)

March 24, 2014 -- Elizabeth - a Model for Leadership
Elizabeth may not be a leader as we usually think of leaders. We know that her husband Zechariah was a priest, and that her son John was a special messenger from God, yet we know very little about Elizabeth herself.

March 25, 2014 -- Saints Past and Present
In Christianity, "saint" has a wide variety of meanings, depending on its usage and the denomination. A saint is one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue.

March 26, 2014 -- Hold On Until It's True!
What roads beckon you? What helps you come to understand whether this is indeed a call of God?

March 27, 2014 -- John the Baptist – A 21st Century Role Mode
John’s freedom to speak his revolutionary message of simplicity ultimately cost him his life. His condemnation of the “establishment” seems to be relevant as we confront the challenges of our day.

March 28, 2014 -- Thanks for the Saints
Every congregation has "saints," people whose lives and words give us a glimpse of holiness.

March 29, 2014-- The 4th Sunday of LENT: Laetare Sunday!
The fourth Sunday of Lent is celebrated as the halfway mark on the journey through the season. Laetare (Latin) means "Rejoice."

March 31, 2014 -- Courage for Leading
In what way is God calling you, as a leader, to choose courage over fear?

April 1, 2014 -- The Good News is "Don't Be Afraid"
Fear is a natural and common emotion that can contribute to your survival. Natural fear helps us be more aware of our environment. It is also true that some fear can limit our ability to live fully in the world.

April 2, 2014 -- Depleted and Worn
Are you in touch with your daily, ongoing need for the healing power of Jesus? Spend some time today asking the master healer to renew your health and vitality.

April 3, 2014 -- Be The Strength That Is Needed
Since 1979, Sisters of the Road café in Portland, Oregon has met the needs of the community for a healthy meal based on ability to pay. Sisters is committed to building relationships of respect with all people, especially providing a safe place for women and children who are homeless.

April 4, 2014 -- One Man's Mission
Several years ago Den Morton was diagnosed with cancer. During treatment he tried to find a support group that included prayer and allowed conversation about faith. The local Cancer Community Center offered many forms of secular support, but could not sponsor specifically religious support. The volunteer coordinator at the center encouraged Mr. Morton to start a group in his church.

April 5, 2014 -- Strength for the Journey
Eucharist – the holy meal – is, in fact, a nourishment of connection with God that gives me strength for daily relationships and choices. John Wesley urged his followers to have communion often. Today, more and more United Methodist congregations are celebrating weekly.

April 7, 2014 -- Spiritual Geography
Kathleen Norris has written a meditation on the impact of the landscape on her spiritual life. In writing about the broad plains of the Dakotas and beginning of the desert west, she says "Like Jacob's angel, the region requires that you wrestle with it before it bestows a blessing."

April 8, 2014 -- We Are Sent!
A missional church has shifted from trying to attract new people to come to the church to understanding that the people in the church are sent to be Christian in world.

April 9, 2014 -- Disorientation!
Today marks the spring equinox, the day when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal. Daylight savings time brings more light in the evenings, and the promise of longer days.

April 10, 2014 -- Open Up!
Mark 7:31-37 is Scripture that inspires me and gives me life.The power for me is in the healing word of Jesus to the man: ’EPHPHATHA’ that is, ‘Be opened’ (v.34).

April 11, 2014 -- Transformation
Practice telling the story of how "Jesus happened to you." Start meetings by asking "where have you seen Jesus/God since our last meeting?"

April 12, 2014 -- Holy Week: From Alleluia to the Cross
Luke 19: 28 to 23:56 has the story of Holy Week. Many Christians will celebrate with waving palm branches tomorrow and come back for the joy of Easter next week, skipping the story of days between.

April 14, 2014 -- Living into the Kingdom
This week, we can examine our own expectations. What is the kingdom of God we expect?

April 15, 2014 -- Watching for Jesus
John 20-21 is like a five- to six-episode mini-series, featuring the ways “Jesus showed himself” (21:1) after he was crucified, dead and buried. It took a while—multiple showings—for the mystical reality and life-altering implications of Jesus’ rising to dawn on the disciples.

April 16, 2014 -- Life as Pilgrimage
We are nearly at the end of a journey through Lent, a focused time of self-examination and discipline. Each year, we understand a new aspect of the journey and try new ways of loving God and neighbor. We deepen relationship with God and others, moving to the season of Easter and a transformed way of living.

April 17, 2014 -- After Hours
After Hours, a United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado, is described as "church for people who don't go to church." After Hours meets in taverns and bars, attracting young adults and people who work at night.

April 18, 2014 -- Good Friday
Today is Good Friday. What a strange name for this holy day of the year. Like so many things in our faith, it is a paradox.

April 19, 2014 -- Holy Saturday
Today is the last day of Lent. The body of Christ was removed from the cross Friday before dark (when the Jewish Sabbath started) and laid in a borrowed tomb. On the day following the crucifixion, Jesus' followers honored Sabbath rules while grieving the loss of their beloved friend and Master.

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