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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's Mardi Gras!!!!


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Did you know that today is Shrove Tuesday?  

The Christian Season of Lent begins tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday.  Lent is the 40 days before Easter and is a time for Christians to focus on Jesus and some sort of fasting in order to grow closer to God.  And as a way to prepare for the coming Easter.  I will share more about Ash Wednesday and Lent tomorrow.  

Now, for the significance of today...... The day before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Tuesday.  It's also called Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday as well as Pancake Tuesday.  A long time ago,  people were encouraged not to eat fats, butter and eggs during the season of Lent.  In order to use up all of those items, people who made pancakes and indulge in sweets and celebration on this day.    

We won't be eating pancakes for supper here tonight. But we will be eating them tomorrow night at church in celebration of Shrove Tuesday before our Ash Wednesday Service at church.

Will you be eating pancakes and preparing to fast for Lent tonight?  Or will you, like my family, be doing both tomorrow?



Monday, February 27, 2017

Lenten Calling

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I awoke at about 5:15 this morning to the sound of the television being turned on.  I grumbled at Ken, the culprit of the noise and what I thought was the reason I woke.  After about  15 minutes I felt that God was calling me to get up and go spend time with him.  I'm reading through a chronological Bible in the evenings,  so I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I'm also not involved in a specific bible study at the moment which is what I usually do early in the mornings, so I  thought maybe God just wanted me to sit quietly with Him and hear from Him.

I turned up the heat, make a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch.  I sat quietly for a minute......  I glanced at the table beside the couch and saw peeking from underneath a book called Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.  A friend loaned me this book so long ago, that I am sure she thinks I have lost it.  It has been in a stack for books for quite some time.  I knew this was what God wanted for me to pick up today.  He was going to have something to say to me through this book.  

I  picked it up and began reading the first chapter which discussed a lack of contentment being the reason for our anxiousness.  I have mentioned before about my anxiousness and about the words that I feel God leads me to each year.  I wrote about those back in early January.    This year's words are faith, love, and gratitude.  I knew immediately that I had a new word.  A word that fit in perfectly with the original words , and one that would help me in the pursuit of the goals that God has given me for 2017.  

Contentment 

Lately, I've been super aware of my own negativity and lack of contentment.  Linda Dillow says in this book that we can learn to be content.  Doing so is one step toward having more faith, more gratitude and more love.  Don't you agree?     In the first chapter of this book,  I was asked to write down Philippians 4:11-13

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I was also reminded of verse 8 of the same chapter......

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

That is the web address of my blog and I have lately been so caught up in negativity that I couldn't look at the lovely or the good.  All I could see was the bad. That keeps me from being grateful, it keeps me at at a standstill in this part of my faith and it keeps me from loving people well.  

As the season of Lent begins on Wednesday, I've heard much talk around about what people are "giving up" for Lent.  I have been thinking some on what I would do for Lent.  I don't tend to give things up so much as I tend to try to grow in my walk with God in some way.  Sometimes, I do nothing at all because I don't feel that God is calling me to do anything.  

This morning, in the twenty minutes that read this chapter, I knew that this year, He had something for me to do during Lent.  He gave me something to give up  - complaining and negativity - and something to do -- learn to be content.  

I really do love when God shows himself this way.   It wasn't Ken turning on the TV this morning that woke me. It was God telling me that he wanted to talk to me.  This is my calling for Lent.  What is He calling you to do?  It will not be easy for me.  But it is worth doing.  I am looking forward to our Shrove Tuesday Celebration and Ash Wednesday Service this week. (Don't know what all that means? I will share more here this week.)

Take time today and tomorrow to consider what your Lenten calling might be.  I would love to hear all about it!  Share it with me here!!