good news people – getting my Lent on

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“The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” – Matthew 13:18-23

While talking with a friend the other day – it was a deep conversation about faith – he made the following, interesting, observation: “I haven’t had a television for the past two-three months, and I’ve found that my spiritual life has become more vital and connected.”

Multiple-TV-Screens5-001He wasn’t saying that watching a television is necessarily damaging to faith – so much as that in his experience the television was doing the following three things:

  1. It cut him off from any experience of quiet or reflection.
  2. The TV provide such a constant stream of negative imaginary and bad news that he was losing touch with the principle and the practice of Philippians 4:8-9: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
  3. God’s message was being “crowded out by the worries of this life…”

all_liesTOP-TEN PEEVE: One of my “top-ten” pet peeves is walking into a home where the television runs as constant background. Always on, even when not being specifically watched, streaming sound, imagery, and value-laden messages in an uninterrupted flow.

Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy having access to a television. But it’s not a member of the family! The TV remains quiet and unobtrusive, firmly in the “off” position, until Rebekah and I choose to watch a particular show – and that show is typically stored on the DVR so we can watch at our convenience – usually late in the evening and with a cup of tea.

Mo-Ranch, Texas

GETTING MY LENT ON: This is where the spiritual disciplines – such as paying attention to the season of Lent – can be so helpful. At this time of the year, in the weeks leading up to Easter, we can be especially mindful of how insistent the non-spiritual message is in our day-to-day lives. Then, being cognizant of how we are constantly tripped up, we can take deliberate steps to reconnect ourselves to God.

We may be “naturally” spiritual beings, but we live in culture where the distractions are not only omnipresent, they are rooted in secularism and quite often – I believe – in direct opposition to God.

To that end I plan to take some time to talk about a few spiritual disciplines over the next few days. Prayer, meditation, worship, study, service, community, and more.

Remember, this is a journey we’re taking as followers of Jesus. Never static, always on the move.

In the name of the God who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing…” (Jude 1:24) – DEREK

Communion with sunrise up the hill
early morning communion




  1. Hi Derek, I am with you on that pet peeve. I can’t believe some people have “family” meals in front of the silly thing!


  2. Very good thoughts, Derek. Simple shifts in our lives can reshape our spiritual lives in a way that feels like coming out of a long illness and realizing just how bad you have felt this whole time. All the physical and mental noise that pour in from our culture definitely wreak havoc on our spiritual sensitivity.



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