Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord your God. – Joel 2:13
It’s Shrove Tuesday and excellent time for pancakes!
For those of you who are not familiar with the Christian celebration, Shrove Tuesday is the day before the beginning of Lent. Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of the 40 day period of prayer, reflection and fasting leading up to Easter (more on Lent and Ash Wednesday later). Always occurring exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, Shrove Tuesday is the perfect time to use up eggs and fats before Lent. It’s a day of pentinence, where Christians are “shriven” or absolved from their sins. It’s also a day of feast and celebration before the beginning of Lent, which is a time of abstinence or giving up of things. So, it’s a celebration without wastefulness.
During Lent I usually attempt to give up one or more things and add one or more things. This year I’m going to take the advice of a friend and try to give up clutter and items in our house that are rarely used to simplify my life and make it less stressful. I will collect those items and donate them to a charity. I am also going to try to give up meat with the exception of fish. This will be hard for me because I truly enjoy eating, but I’m reminded of how hungry Jesus was when he was tempted by the devil. I will be adding a daily study and reflection of the parables. No matter how many times I read the parables, I learn something new. I feel this time will keep me mindful of Christ and his work.
Over the next 40 plus days I will be sharing more about Lent and my experiences along with other stories. I hope you will share your traditions and experiences. God bless you.
Let your light shine before others. – Matthew 5:16
Its Monday and time to share something good and count our blessings. I was glad to meet some deadlines last week at work, and I’m looking forward to a good week. I wasn’t feeling my best over the weekend, but the weather was good. So, I was able to sit outside and read. There was a cool breeze and not a cloud in the sky – beautiful. I also watched a movie with my husband. Then last night my husband cooked a nice dinner for us. Remember some of the best things to share aren’t expensive gifts but special moments.
Today, we are also gearing up for Lent. Tomorrow is what we call Shrove Tuesday. Sometimes it is called Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day. At our church the youth sell tickets for a pancake supper. The idea is one of self-indulgence before self-denial. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. So, over the next few weeks I will be sharing information about Lent. I hope you will share your experiences and traditions.
As you start your day, count your blessings and share something good! God bless you.
Be truly glad there is wonderful joy ahead. – 1 Peter 1:6
It’s beautiful day! We have worked hard all week, and if you are like me, there is much more to do at home. Whatever you do, take time to enjoy your life today. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, maybe a walk outside or a picnic, maybe a good book or a nap in a hammock. After a busy week of challenging deadlines, it’s important to give your body and mind a break.
Join me today in enjoying life and admiring our beautiful world. God bless you!
“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Happy Spread the Love Friday! No matter how busy you are today, let the promise of the weekend remind and encourage you to show appreciation everywhere you go. Today, let’s have a little friendly competition and see just how many people with whom we can share our gratitude and appreciation At the end of the day, respond with a number. Also, be sure to share any special stories. I can’t wait to see! God bless you!
It’s forgiveness Thursday. Have you ever sought justice and repeatedly hit roadblocks? If so, I have some news for you. So, forgive all parties involved and continue reading.
I’ve been studying the parables and today the parable of the persistent widow comes to mind (Luke 18:1-8). Parables are tricky, but I am going to attempt to explain this one. If you have a different opinion or would like to add something, please share. There was a poor widow who had limited resources and someone took advantage of her. It appears as though the other party was very selfish. We can only consider who the other party was, but it makes sense that it was someone in a position of trust who could profit from taking advantage of her vulnerability, like maybe an executor of her husband’s estate. After suffering through this person’s unfair treatment, she decided to go to court to seek assistance. The irreverent judge saw that the widow could not offer a bribe for a favorable ruling, so he ruled against her. Of course, she was sad, but she was persistent and decided to go back to court. The judge decided on the case the same way, but she didn’t give up. She repeatedly went back before the judge and repeatedly the judge decided the same. Finally, the judge, tired of the aggravation, ruled in favor of the widow.
The parable teaches persistent prayer and action. It is uplifting and provides encouragement. It seems like Jesus was saying “don’t worry about what others say or do, just pesevere.”
So, today join me in having the courage to persevere. God bless you.
“The Lord is on my side. I will not fear.” Psalm 118:6
It’s Wednesday and time to make positive change in the world.
Have you ever left a room and felt the stares and knew that people were talking about you? Do you gossip about others? Proverbs 15:4 tells us that gentle words bring life and harsh words crush the spirit, which you know if you have been on the receiving end of judgement and gossip. Have you ever noticed how many verses in the Bible are about the tongue? James 3:5 tells us that although the tongue is very small the damage it does is great. It’s for this reason that we need to be mindful of what we say and how we say it. I know sometimes I mean well, but when the words leave my mouth . . . let’s just say the reactions I receive do not match my intentions. Taking this a little further, we should try to see the positive aspects in people rather than only noticing the negative. This will help calm our tongues. Finally, try to to bond by participating in a common activity or doing something nice for the people that you have negative thoughts about.
We cannot control what others say and do, but we can control ourselves. So join me today in making a difference in the world by controlling your thoughts and tongue. God bless you.
“All things are possible if you believe.” Mark 9:23
Happy Tuesday! It’s time to try something new.
Ever feel like you are so far behind that you will never catch up? This is me at work most of the time. I’m feeling that way at work this week because I was out some last week when I was sick. Now I’m back fighting a flare. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a balancing act for me. I am almost crippled and unable to walk, but if I take my biologics I will be better. On the other hand, when I take my biologics, my white blood cell count is lowered to the point that I catch any cold, virus, etc. that comes anywhere near me. Ugh. I thought I was cured in the fall, and maybe I was. However, it is important to have constant belief and faith or the illness will come back, which is what happened to me.
I try not to talk about it and most of the time I am successful at hiding the illness. I find it super embarrassing when I can’t walk up four steps into the office and need a cane, or when I bump one of the knuckles on my hands and cry out in pain. I don’t want anyone to know that I can’t run in a 5K. I joined the gym this month only to be able to walk on the treadmill a total of three times. After attempting this I found that I was unable to walk around my work area. This morning I walked for 15 minutes and found it difficult to get around most of the day.
Well, enough of the negative. I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t concentrate on the negative. I laugh throughout my day and try to go unnoticed. I so want to be like everyone else. I don’t for a minute think that it was God’s plan for me to be sick with this illness, and I try not to dwell on it. However, I thought that if I shared my situation, it would help others experiencing chronic pain.
The thing about it is, everybody has something they need to overcome. Everybody. This is just want I am battling, but I know that when I put my trust in God, he will help me through the day. If God is all I have, I have all I need.
So, today join me and stop hiding your head in your hands, and put your trust in God. God bless you.
It’s Monday and time to share something good to get the week started right. For me it’s a Monday go-to-meeting day. So what is good about that? Well, I don’t have to worry no matter who I’m meeting with because God is by my side, and I get a break from paperwork to listen to the ideas of others. Also, on Mondays I’m more focused because I’m more aware of my projects and deadlines. Many times later in the week, I’m tired and just trying to finish my work while looking forward to the weekend. This week I feel more rested than usual after a short illness and rest.
For those of you who are unaware, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday are next week. Ash Wednesday is the onset of Lent. For my family Lent is not so much about what you give up, but meditation on the life of Christ and inward reflection of our lives. We usually give up something that we feel like we cannot live without and add something like an extra Bible study or reading a related book to remind us, and keep us focused and aware of the sacrifices Christ made for us. Jesus taught that with fasting we should not make ourselves look miserable. The same is true during Lent. Lent will be a topic for discussion over the next few weeks. I look forward to reading about your experiences and traditions.
Join me in starting this week off right! God bless you.
“The Lord is on my side. I will not fear.” Psalm 118:6
Praise the Lord for new beginnings. It’s wonderful to wake up to new opportunities and challenges. During Biblical times, people celebrated the Year of Jubulee. In that year everyone’s slate was wiped clean no matter what you had done. So everyone had a brand new beginning. For example, if you were in prison, you were set free and provided a fresh start. It could be something much smaller though. If you were at odds with someone, the slate would wiped so that whatever happened never occurred.
Well, if you get excited about that, then I have good news for you. Every day we have the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from God and others. Regardless of how people react to you, if you go to God with a pure heart and ask for forgiveness, you will be forgiven. Oh, and God doesn’t keep track of all your mistakes. You have a clean slate to start anew. Now, that’s good news. Praise the Lord! While you are talking to God, don’t forget to thank him for all your blessings.
Enjoy your day and join me in praising God! God bless you.