Friday, February 29, 2008
My girls are so excited! Probably by the time anyone reads this the day will be long and gone. Another 4 until we see her again.
What ever will we do with another day?
The ultimate reason we’ve got this extra day is the same reason we have any days. The Creator has given each day to you and me. Maybe it is "Leap day"…every day.
What makes each day special is knowing full heartedly that we are the Lord's because of Christ. How good to awake and know that the new day is a gift that will focus us on God’s goodness for our eternal good. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Ash Wednesday...a powerful ceremony. To stand in a gigantic quiet church and say over and over and over again: "Remember, that you are dust and to dust you shall return" while smearing them with ashes in the shape of a cross, is to have our mortality slap us in the face.
That is why I hate putting the ashes on my children. I do not like marking them for burial. The reality of it all causes me much pain. They too shall suffer. They too shall die. And I don't want to bury them. Can't we just run. Can't we just quit and say, "I quit you death. You cause me too much pain."? Run my friend...run as you always have but...
It's soooo dirty. The crosses are smeared. The ashes are falling down the faces, on the nose, into the eyes.
It's soooo dirty. Bearing the cross. Hurting through life following him in His Word and Truth. At times it would be easier to run.
It's soooo dirty. Death. This is a sign of death. And everyone is highly conscious of the sign. It makes the wearers slightly uncomfortable. They want to scratch, but know they shouldn't because it will make it worse. They can see the cross on others and see how each is different, some crooked, others dark and bold, and still others no resemblance of the cross at all. Sloppy. They don't know what theirs looks like, but they secretly hope it looks "nice." Isn't that what we all want? A nice life where there isn't struggle and pain. It sure would be easy to run and quit this silliness.
And when we finally see it, we're always disappointed. It turns out death is never pretty.
It's soooo dirty. I think I like it. The crosses have the pastor's thumb print in them. This is a cross that has been placed upon them by the Man Jesus Christ. They have been marked for burial, for a return to the dust, but they have also been marked in the sign of a cross. They will follow Christ through death, through the grave, and into life.
Why run? It's messy for sure...but the assured promise is worth the reality of the mess.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Almighty God, I need the sanctifying influence of Your presence in our family. I confess that we have not always lived according to Your Word. I am ashamed of my conduct, for I have sinned against my family and against you. Forgive me my transgressions.
I pray You, come into our family even as we are separated. Keep us aware of the perfect example of Your unselfish love and service. Make us eager to follow that example in our life with one another. Help us to be willing to forgive and to forget, even as You have done in Your mercy by forgiving us our sins and washing them away remembering our sin no more. Direct us to live according to Your Word that every experience may serve to draw us closer to each other and both closer to You. Hear my prayer through Jesus Christ. Amen.