Lent – Day 4 Fasting Can Transform Your Life

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

In When Moses received the 10 Commandments, he spent 40 days on the mountain without food or water. When the prophet Daniel waited for God’s deliverance, he fasted, confessing his sins and the sins of his country. Before Christ began His earthly ministry, He was tempted in the wilderness and He fasted. But why?

When you fast, you deny yourself the necessity of food or the pleasures of this life and, for a time, you make feeding your soul by hearing from God a higher priority than feeding your body. 

When you deny yourself food (or other things you rely on), you humbly admit your dependence on God alone to meet your needs. As your metabolism slows down, so can you, and you can allow the fast-paced world to fade to background noise for a short time.

Down through history, people have fasted at times when they had an urgent prayer request, were looking for direction or were taking on a special assignment. Still, fasting — a staple of the Christian life passed down through generations — may not be as familiar to you as other spiritual disciplines, like having a personal quiet time or praying.

Because we live in a “me-first” culture, we forget that life in Christ is not all about us. We’re tempted to tell God how we want Him to act so He can make our lives easier. “Give me what I want right now. Please don’t make this painful. And by all means, keep me safe.”

Fasting allows you to line up your heart and prayer life with God’s desires rather than pursuing your own agenda. You may fast for a specific time from food or from luxuries like Netflix, social media or even chocolate. Some people fast for a day, others for a week or two, and still others might fast as long as 40 days, the entire length of Lent.

By denying yourself, you invite the Holy Spirit to examine your life and lead you into the plans He has for you.


“Jesus, I want to live in line with Your plans for my life. What are You asking me to let go of for a time so that I can listen to You more clearly?”

Lent Day 3 An IV Drip For The Soul

Lent – Day 3

An IV Drip for the Soul

To begin your journey through the Lenten season (and every Saturday during this study), you will learn about common spiritual disciplines that many followers of Jesus practice during Lent.

Today you will learn about embracing Scripture and prayer.

These disciplines are valuable tools to draw near to God when they come from a heart seeking to do just that — rather than a heart which hopes to justify itself through these works or simply check a box on its Lent

“to-do” list. We hope these insights will encourage you and help connect you to the Father throughout these 40 days.

The chemotherapy room is a subdued place. Patients quietly bide their time as the drugs they hope will kill their disease slowly drip into their bodies. It’s quiet, somber, yet eerily peaceful. Loved ones accompany most patients, as I did with my cancer-stricken mother, offering encouragement, conversation and even occasional bursts of laughter.

Cancer doesn’t infect from the outside in, like a virus. It’s a corruption at the cellular level — one’s own cells mutate into malformed, sick versions of themselves that replicate, filling the body with disease. When my mother’s cancer was discovered, a tumor the size of a cantaloupe had already grown.

In this way, cancer is like sin. You don’t “catch” sin like you catch a cold; it’s corruption at your cellular level. You’re born with it, like many cancer patients are born with the genes that eventually cause cancer to develop.

When you place your faith in Jesus, He takes the cancer of your sin upon Himself. At the cross, the penalty for sin is paid, and its power to destroy you is neutralized. But there is a still-to-come element in Jesus’ work; while you remain here, in a still-corrupted body, the effects of the cancer’s presence linger.

Hebrews 4:12 describes the word of God in almost medical terms. Scripture is like a surgical instrument or incredibly effective chemotherapy, targeting precisely the infected area it needs to reach. Time spent reading and meditating on Scripture is like time in the chemotherapy room: peaceful, often quiet, perhaps somber, yet sometimes filled with joy.

Most importantly, present with you in your spiritual treatment room is the greatest loved one of all, Jesus, the Word made flesh, who fully cures your disease. He administers through His Word the targeted chemotherapy you still need.

Drip by drip, healing, transformation and life flow into your thirsty soul.


“Jesus, thank You for taking away my sin and forgiving me through Your death and resurrection. Thank You for the promise that, one day, I’ll experience that freedom from sin in full. Give me the desire to draw near to You through Your Word, and help me to be patient as You use it as chemotherapy to kill the remaining sin that I know and feel is still present. Amen.”

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Written by Jason Weimer who serves as the Associate Publisher for Cru Press.

Lent Day 2 It’s Not Too Late

Lent – Day 2

It’s Not Too Late!

To begin your journey through the Lenten season (and every Saturday during this study), you will learn about common spiritual disciplines that many followers of Jesus practice during Lent. You will begin today learning about lament. These disciplines are valuable tools to draw near to God when they come from a heart seeking to do just that — rather than a heart which hopes to justify itself through these works or simply check a box on its Lent “to-do” list. We hope these insights will encourage you and help connect you to the Father throughout these 40 days.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?” Joel 2:12-14

During a time of prosperity, the people of Israel let down their guard and descended into

a period of moral depravity and pagan worship.

So God Almighty caused a plague of locusts, fire and drought to come on the land as a warning that judgment was on its way. Then God sent the prophet Joel to tell the people to turn back to Him. He told them it wasn’t too late.

Repetition provides emphasis. Twice in this passage, God says to return to Him. Twice the prophet appeals to “your heart,” which is the seat of the mind, emotions and will.

The solution to sin and moral decay is to repent and return. When you repent, you acknowledge your wrongdoing, consider the weight of your misdeeds, turn away from bad behavior, and turn toward God.This action is not a surface showing of mock regret but a true change of belief and attitude. The grief, weeping and mourning described in Scripture reflect that change.

One way to express this sorrow is to fast — that is, to give up food for a period of time to help you to focus on God. Ask God to search your heart and reveal anything that violates His standards. Then ask for forgiveness and the help of the Holy Spirit to change.

“Rend your hearts, not your garments.” Keep this practice private. Many Jews would tear their clothes to display their mourning in public. Jesus said they had their reward. Your fasting should not be a show for others, but a special time between you and the Father Matthew 6:16-18

History tells us that the Northern Kingdom of Israel did not repent and was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was devastated by the invading army, but King Hezekiah turned to the Lord, and Jerusalem was saved. God’s call to repentance still stands. Which choice will you make?


Pray that God will help you to fast, weep and mourn during Lent. Use a time of fasting to ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin, habits or attitudes in your life that need to change, or anything keeping you from drawing near to Jesus Christ.

For more on this topic, read Matthew 6:16-18, Psalm 139:23-24, and Isaiah 57:15

From Ashes To Resurrection Day One

Lent – Day 1

Your Journey to Joy

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight … Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” Psalm 51:2-4, 12

In a good marriage, couples often give extra attention to their relationship. They may celebrate achievements, plan for the future, or dig into painful revelations of grievances and hurts, hopefully followed by confession, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season, a period in the year when you can take time to focus on your relationship with God. During
Lent, you can share your disappointments, unfulfilled expectations and regrets with God
as you ask, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” Psalm 139:23-24

Though ash looks dirty — the remains of a destructive fire — it serves as the first step toward cleansing. In fact, traditional soaps were made from ash and fat. As you reflect on your life, aided by the various Lenten disciplines to be discussed in upcoming devotionals, you will begin identifying areas of desired change — both brokenness due to your own sin and suffering due to the fallenness of the world. This is the first step toward cleansing.

Fire burns waste and purifies gold. There will be a day when all of your works will be tested by fire. “If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, NASB


As God reveals areas of rebellion or independence from His loving leadership during Lent, allow Him to burn them out of your life now. As He opens your eyes to other brokenness —unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, suffering, and regrets — ask Him to help you trust Him with these as well. Allow Him to begin cleansing you, healing you and ultimately producing in you the wonderful works He’s made you for. This salvation should bring joy — a joy that comes from experiencing the presence of God (Psalm 16:11).

40 Days Of FaithFULL Journey To The Cross

Join me beginning March 2 for a faithFULL 40 day journey to the cross.

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way” —

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” Mark 1:1-3

These ancient words call to us today.

Prepare, listen, pay attention. Repent and get ready for God to show up.

Lent is a time set apart for just these practices, and we’re glad you’ve chosen to spend it with us. We invite you to prepare, listen, pay attention, reflect and repent as you get ready to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Starting now, join us on a journey “From Ashes to Resurrection.” We’re exploring the ways Jesus delivered you through His life, death and resurrection.

When Jesus Christ saved you, He made you new. He flooded the dark corners of your life with purifying light and breathed the fresh life of His Spirit into you. And He is continuing His miraculous work in you every single day.

Spend these next weeks recounting the many ways Christ has changed you — and continues to change you — through life with Him, now and into eternity.

2022 MRO Community Center Schedule and Sponsorships

With the new Nascar season fast approaching, the Motor Racing Outreach Community Center and staff are anxious to pull into Daytona to start the 2022 season.

With scheduled maintenance complete on our equipment, we have scheduled the Community Center and staff for 22 races. We have missed being able to provide support for your families as we have always done before 2020 turned our world upside down. Our staff is excited and looking forward to seeing everyone more this season.

Would you please consider helping make our 2022 season possible by sponsoring the MRO Community Center for a weekend. It has been our joy to serve NASCAR families and community for 20 plus years.

Our operational costs, as I mentioned earlier, have already begun with the annual maintenance on our equipment. Weekly staff support and operational costs related to getting equipment to the track can only be met with your help financially throughout the season.

We are so grateful for your generosity though the years through race sponsorships, regular monthly donations, corporate sponsors and weekly ongoing Community Center supply needs. Please feel free to contact me to discuss how we can partner together in supporting your family.
Thank you!
Melanie Self 704.507.2624 http://www.go2mro.com melanieself@go2mro.com

2022 MRO Community Center Schedule

Daytona Atlanta
Bristol Easter Egg Hunt
Road America
Watkins Glen
Darlington Bristol National Anthem
Talladega Fall Festival
Charlotte Homestead

MRO Community Center

Toy Collection In Partnership with Samaritan’s Purse for Mayfield, KY

In partnership with the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Eve Dinner in Mayfield, KY, please consider donating toys for children of ALL ages who have lost everything!

Toys will be delivered next week just in time for Christmas Eve.

Walking Through Advent In Song

Join me over on my FB page {Melanie Self} where I am walking my way through Advent in song! Melanie

Monty and I stood in our driveway late last night anticipating a view of the SpaceX Satellite. I was overwhelmed with emotion. What an incredible experience it was as it appeared and took up such significant space in the night sky. The wonder of technology and its display brought me right back to Christmas.
To the sky where the star pointed the way to the baby Jesus and to the manger where our Messiah and Savior lay.

Could those who followed the sign in the sky have ever imagined the galaxies and all that it holds in this way? The King of the heavens, the creator of it all continues to draw our eyes upward. While I am absolutely astonished by the wisdom God has given to mankind, I felt more compelled to fall on my knees and worship HIM. The words from the simple song “Away In A Manger” kept playing over and over in my head.

“The STARS in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

When God the Father scattered the Milky Way and hung Saturn’s rings in place, He thought about Christmas. As God the Son, working in unity with the Father, fashioned the lumbering oxen and the gentle cow with His creative power, He thought of the day when the Father would speak and He’d become flesh. On that day He would gaze with “baby eyes” upon the very creatures He had made.

God the Holy Spirit, moving as a shadow upon the face of the waters in Genesis days, knew one day it would be necessary to move again. This time He would overshadow Mary’s womb, that “the Holy One” to be born of her should be called the “Son of God.”

Isaiah told us that God’s gift would come via special delivery, a son born of a virgin. This son would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Four hundred years later, as an elderly Elizabeth was thinking about the promised gift, God was busy wrapping His Christmas present from heaven in human flesh. And Christmas came early for Elizabeth. When Elizabeth welcomed her cousin Mary, the outcast, ostracized, pregnant girl, God pulled back the wrapping to let her have a peek at His present. Elizabeth’s own baby leaped in her womb for joy, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit, saying:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:42-45)

Encouraged and strengthened by her cousin, Mary also prepared. She knew the anointed One was coming soon—as she was the earthly vessel for God’s divine action.

God couldn’t have a Christmas without a Mary. He needed more than just a devout person, someone who attended synagogue and said her prayers. The child Christ needed a body to live in! So Mary offered the gift of hers:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

Christmas is a time for giving. The prophets gave their promises. Elizabeth gave her praise. Mary gave her body. Joseph gave his reputation. The innkeeper gave his stable; the shepherds, their time. And God gave His Son. Tell me, do you see your present there?

What are you giving for Christmas?

MRO One Summer Edition

Natalie Grant

MRO One “Summer Edition”

One serves as a time to pause during the busy season, worship together and to be filled with hope and faith. Due to Covid, things will be different than in years past. We are excited to try a new venue in downtown Kannapolis, The Gem Theatre. There will be no dinner served though. Tickets are $20.

Purchase tickets https://www.go2mro.com/event-details/mro-one-summer-edition

Time & Location

Jun 23, 6:30 PM. 111 W 1st St, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA

About the Event

Motor Racing Outreach is pleased to announce, Christian singer Natalie Grant for our MRO One Summer Edition. It is a signature event, formerly known as Summer Caution, which ministers to women in the racing community, whose involvement ranges from broadcast, public relations, marketing and Motorsports charities to being mothers, wives and sisters of men who work in the sport.