Today’s book suggestion comes accompanied by a guest post from the author, Keri Wyatt Kent herself! The post is in preparation for Lent (Happy Fat Tuesday and here comes Ash Wednesday)! I’m sure that some folks get tired of “hearing my voice,” so without further ado, her’s Keri:
(You can learn more of purchase the text from Amazon.com)
The Brave Reviews
Guest post from
By Keri Wyatt Kent
Author, Deeply Loved
Lent, at its surface, is a time to give things up; to live leaner, simpler. We ask, “what are you giving up?” as if Lent were a second chance at New Year’s resolutions we’ve already abandoned. We settle too easily for a superficial understanding of Lent. Even Christianity Today offered a top 100 list of things people give up for Lent. http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2013/02/what-to-give-up-for-lent-twitter-reveals-the-top-100-choices.html
But what if Lent is not meant to be the 2.0 version of our good intentions, but rather, an invitation to deeper reflection? What if it is a time of sweeping out our souls, so that we can fill that space with Jesus? What if it is a time to relax our grip on all we’re trying to control (which, paradoxically, controls us), and simply open our hands to God?
What if Lent is a season in which we embrace a paradox: in deprivation, there is abundance. When we say no to our appetites, we say yes to being filled with the soul-satisfying love of Jesus. What if Lent gives us 40 beautiful days, during which Jesus can flow into all the hidden empty corners and soul spaces, to wash away the muck and make us clean-hearted again?
Most of us would say that we know Jesus loves everyone. But we might secretly believe he does so out of obligation. We might think we fall under common grace, but that if Jesus looked closely at us, he’d wrinkle his nose in disgust, or just sigh, as if to say—well, I guess I’ll have to love that one, even if I don’t like her very much.
I wrote Deeply Loved to counter that lie—because that lie isolates us in spiritual loneliness, makes us ineffective at loving others, does all kinds of damage. I want to remind people that Jesus is crazy about them—but also, to provide practical guidance in the form of spiritual disciplines that will help them live into that truth. The book is like a spiritual mentor you can carry in your pocket to help you practice the presence of Jesus, to live as if you really are “deeply loved” by transforming your thinking.
What a great truth to focus on during Lent: that Jesus is deeply fond of you. That he loves you like an only child, as Augustine said.
It might seem surprising to use a social medium like Twitter to counter superficiality, but that’s what we’re doing. During Lent, we’re studying Deeply Loved, blogging about it, Tweeting about it (#DeeplyLoved). Follow @KeriWyattKent to get daily inspiration from Deeply Loved during Lent.
Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of ten books, a freelance writer and speaker. She writes and speaks about slowing down, simplifying and listening to God. Learn more at http://keriwyatkent.com