Tag Archives: almsgiving

Lent: A Fruitful Desert.

We often speak of Lent in terms of a desert. For 40 days, Jesus withdrew to the desert to fast and pray. We do the same, though figuratively speaking. For the 40 days of Lent, we devote ourselves to increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

For awhile now, I’ve realized that I need to cut down on the noise in my life. The sources of that noise are many: various social media platforms, music in the car and at home, and reading many news stories that either leave me disturbed or are simply pointless in the grand scheme of things. This is basically what my Lent is revolving around: reducing the “noise” in my life in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Though being deprived by fasting of various types resembles going into the desert, there is fruit. We are being pruned, old habits cut away so that there is room to bear new fruit. Our hunger pangs can point us to something–Someone— greater. As we follow Jesus into the desert, it’s a great way to grow in intimacy with Him. Letting go of some of our earthly delights invites in His heavenly love. The time that I spent on the noise now holds silence instead, a perfect opportunity for Jesus to speak to me or I to speak to Him. My heart is being freed up to better love Him and others.

How’s your Lent going? Is there anything you’d like me to keep in prayer? I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you!

james-lee-416049.jpg
Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

 

Advertisements

7 Organizations to Support

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are three focuses of the season of Lent. Tithing and almsgiving are a focus of the Christian life in general. Are you wondering about some organizations that you could help to support this Lent and beyond? Here is a compilation of 7 organizations to start with. Praise God, there are many more beyond this one!

1. Kiva. Kiva is pretty much one of the coolest things ever. People from around the world are looking to start or expand businesses to help support their families, often in impoverished regions. Some people are hoping for money for education. You can sort through countries or types of businesses/causes and choose a person to loan money to. As long as you don’t “dedicate” the donation to someone using the option on Kiva (for example, dedicating a donation to your mom), then once the person repays their loan, you will get to use that money again to loan it to someone else! It’s a gift that keeps on giving–forever!

david from kenya

(I loaned money to this guy from Kenya. His name is David and the purpose of the loan was to help him improve & expand his dairy business. Picture from the Kiva website.)

2. Live ActionLive Action seeks to expose the racism, misinformation, condoning and cover-up of sex trafficking, and other huge problems rampant within the abortion industry–notably, within Planned Parenthood. These atrocities are even paid for by American tax dollars! The brave souls with Live Action perform undercover investigations in order to get to the truth of the matter. In the process, they are saving the lives of unborn children and better preserving the futures of women (and men) who would be hurt by sex trafficking and abortion.

lila rose

(Lila Rose, the founder of the organization. She is an amazing woman, and I have been blessed to meet her!)

3. International Justice MissionHuman trafficking and slavery is unfortunately happening all over the world today. IJM rescues victims of human trafficking/slavery, and also works to improve the response of the justice system in these situations.

ijm logo

(Check out their Facebook page for stories of people rescued and updates on the great work they are doing!)

4. ChaliceChalice is a Catholic program that allows you to sponsor a child for $33 a month. The money provides educational support, nutrition and medical care, as well as other possible needs of the child and family.

angela

(Angelica is one of the children listed on the website in need of sponsorship. She is a 10-year old girl from Philippines and lives in the slums.)

5. Iraqi Christian Relief CouncilAbout 1 million Assyrian (Iraqi) Christians have been forced to become refugees. If they do not change their religion to Islam, they are forced to pay hefty fees or risk being killed. They have been strong, paying the high price of leaving their homes and businesses and essentially becoming homeless, in order to keep their precious faith. This organization provides supplies to these families who have been forced to leave their homes, so that they may have access to food, medical care, shelter, and other basic needs.

mattresses

(Mattresses are one of the many basic needs that have been provided by donations.)

6. FlowerFundThis organization allows you to donate to different causes that further the New Evangelization. For example, a church could use it to raise money for a special project. One current project is raising money to get books into the hands of women in crisis pregnancies. Another project is raising money for a new vehicle for a family so that the father can get to work. He was hit by someone with no insurance and the family vehicle was totalled.

(The car after the accident.)

7. Reece’s Rainbow. This organization helps families adopt children with special needs–children that otherwise would likely be institutionalized for the rest of their lives. There are many families who are opening their hearts to the beauty of adoption. For many families, the only barrier is financial. This family has recently made the courageous decision to adopt, again! They have a few months to raise about $20,000. I am confident that if the Body of Christ comes together, they can reach this goal and bring sweet baby Truman home!

Russ-168x300

(Russ is one of the children listed on the website. He needs to be adopted, pronto, by the end of the month! Otherwise he will be transferred to an institution.)

Are there any other organizations that you know of that are making a huge difference in this world? I would love to hear about them! There are so many people working to make a better world, and our circumstances don’t always allow us to be “out in the field,” so to speak. The good news is that we can pray and support these causes with our hard-earned dollars!

Are You Ready for Your Best Lent Ever?

Lent. It’s coming in only 3 days! Have you given any thought to Lent, and what your hopes are? Are you struggling with what to give up, or what to do in general?

Maybe you’ve given up soda for the past 5 years, or 10. Or chocolate. Or whatever. You give it up, maybe imbibing on Sundays, and then, after Easter, you can have your soda again. Life is back to normal.

Don’t you want to go deeper, to come out of Lent renewed and in a closer relationship with Christ? Wouldn’t it be great to approach Easter as a stronger Christian, renewed in your commitment to Christ in the days to come?

This year is your chance to do something for Lent and make it happen!

Best Lent Ever (1)

Dynamic Catholic is rolling out a new program that will give you a focus this Lent.  Each week will have a theme and guidance around that theme, including how to act upon the theme, and a prayer. The tenets of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will be focused on, as they are integral to the season of Lent. Other aspects of living the faith will also be explored.

Are you interested? Head to BestLentEver.com and learn more! I am looking forward to making this my best Lent ever! How about you?