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Tomorrow is Wednesday. 

Not startling news, I know, but it is not just any ordinary Wednesday. In the Church calendar, it is also known as Ash-Wednesday, and it marks the beginning of Lent.

Not everyone is familiar with Lent, so let me explain what it is all about.

Lent is a period of six weeks during which believers reflect on what the Lord did for us on the cross. A lot of people also fast during this time. Some fast from food, others fast things like social media, television, chocolate, coffee, etc. The main idea behind this fast is to give up something in remembrance of the forty days Jesus spent fasting while in the desert before Satan came to tempt Him. (You can read about this in Matthew 4, Luke 4, and Mark 1.)

A lot of churches will have services on Ash-Wednesday. During the service, the priest or pastor will place a small cross of ash on the forehead of those attending. According to "...this is a sign of confession and helps people to remember that they rely on God for forgiveness from their sins. Ash is used because it is a symbol of death, because all bodies turn to ash or dust in the end. It helps Christians to remember that Lent is about preparing to remember that Jesus died."

This is an awesome time to prepare ourselves for Easter. To take time each day to remember our Lord and the suffering He went through for each of us and to thank Him for it. To remember we were sinners and then we got to know Him and He saved us and now we are saints! 

It is also a good time to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. To spend some time in the Word reading all the verses that explain to us who we are in Him and what we have because of Him. (Don't know where to find these verses? Download some verses here, here and here.)

Maybe you are familiar with Lent and you already know what you are going to do and what you are going to fast during this period. But maybe you are new to this and you have no idea where to start. That's okay. You don't have to fast anything if you are uncomfortable with the practice, but I would like to encourage you to do something specific this Lenten period to prepare yourself. There are two Lenten e-books you can download to help you do this (these are just the ones I know of. There might be others available on the Internet as well).

Shelly Miller wrote a little book called "A Sabbath Journey for Lent". Each week you take one day to work through the devotion for that week, so it won't take up too much of your time if you are already very busy.

Michelle DeRusha collaborated with Brad Johnson and Evi Wusk to write "Faith in God's Promises: Praying through Lent with Luther's Small Catechism". This little book consists of daily readings, so it will take more time than the previous one I mentioned. 

In both cases you will have to subscribe to the author's newsletters in order to get the link for the download, but apart from that, the book is for free. If you are interested, click here and here.

I pray that you will be blessed during Lent this year. I pray for the Lord to prepare our hearts and to draw us closer to Him as we walk this journey towards Easter.