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Two books I read during Lent

A friend gave me a copy of An Ocean of Grace by Tim Chester. This is a Lent book organised with an introduction followed by one reading for each day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. The subtitle is ‘A Journey to Easter with Great Voices from the Past’.

The readings have been collected and edited by Tim Chester, who provides an introduction to each. The theme is God’s great love for us. The readings are full of praise and the original writers’ understanding of what God has done for us. They included the work of many writers new to me and some I had heard of but not read before.

As I wasn’t well during Lent I only read through each day’s reading once. I hope to use this book again next year and spend more time on it.

Photo of the two books reviewed in this post

The other book I read had been on my TBR pile for some time. I bought Hallowed be Thy Names: The revelation of God through His names by David Wilkerson in the local Christian bookshop. The title attracted me. Perhaps I should have read it before writing my series of posts for the A to Z Challenge in 2015! I was interested to learn about some Hebrew names.

Hallowed be thy Names is one of a series of Christian classics from Rickfords Hill Publishing (RHP) available at the price of £1.00.

David Wilkerson’s purpose in writing the book was to share the names of God, which had been most help to him during difficult times. The book does not claim to be exhaustive in the names explained, but takes us through the Bible concentrating on people’s encounters with God. The aim is to help readers to gain heart knowledge of God. I found it very interesting and helpful, reading a chapter at a time as the author suggested.

I have begun to read it for a second time and intend to look up all the Bible references this time.

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A topical poem

My social life at present is enhanced by the online groups I have joined. One of these is a poetry group, which meets once a month. There is an optional challenge to write a poem on a theme. The poems are read aloud at the next meeting.

The theme for our March meeting, which falls in the Christian season of Lent, is wilderness. Earlier this week I wrote a poem, which I am sharing with you here. My prayer is that the prophecy in Isaiah 2:4 would soon be fulfilled.

The War in Ukraine

Making a wilderness,
Burning and destroying,
Polluting, disrupting,
Soldiers deploying.

Some people are fleeing,
Their settled lives over.
Women and children – how
Will they recover?

Men and youths (all ages)
Bear unfamiliar arms.
An unprovoked foe can
Cause such alarms.

Homes deserted, folk
Shelter beneath the ground.
Noise, dust, black smoke and fumes –
Where can peace be found?

Around the world people pray
In bewilderedness
For a quick, peaceful end
To war-caused wilderness.

The post linked to on the word Lent mentions wilderness as well as Lent. It is one of my posts for the Blogging from A to in April Challenge 2020. I have found that taking part in The Blogging from A to Z Challenge has helped me connect with bloggers in other countries (and continents). Information about the dates for the 2022 Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge may be found here. The theme reveal is later this month.

Another blogger who has written about Lent and Wilderness is Malcolm Guite, an accomplished poet.

L is for Last Supper and Lent

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

The Last Supper is the name given to the Passover meal, which was celebrated the night before Jesus died. It was the last meal he shared with his disciples before his death (Letter D). It has appeared in the posts for Letter B and Letter E. Mark 14:12-26, Matthew 26:17-30 and Luke 22:7-23

Lent is the period of forty days plus Sundays (which don’t count) before Easter Day. It begins on Ash Wednesday. During Lent Christians remember the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted for forty days. Luke 4:1-13

Traditionally people gave up something during Lent – perhaps sugar in drinks, biscuits, chocolate, alcohol, swearing (!) or some kind of entertainment. If any money saved could be given to charity that was useful.

Nowadays there is more emphasis on doing something extra during Lent. Perhaps attending a course or extra services at church or doing something for other people such as the 40 Acts scheme. If people do give something up it is as likely to be spending too much time on social media or playing computer games as any of the traditional things.

During Jesus time in the wilderness he faced temptations to do things, which would have been unhelpful to his purpose in coming to earth as a man. At the end of his time there Angels (Letter A) attended (helped) him. Matthew 4:1-11

My Theme Reveal contains links to the Easter story in the New Testament.