Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent that will be a time of penitence and preparation for Easter.
As you know from last week’s post on obedience, I’m struggling to obey God’s call. Being sorry for that struggle comes easily to me. Being ashamed of it does, too. However, Lent isn’t about shame. It’s about repenting – turning back around toward God. And that’s exactly what I intend to do during this Lenten season: turn to face God and to learn to hear His voice and obey His call in my life.
To mark that intention, I’ll go to my church’s Ash Wednesday service tonight and have a minister place ashes on my forehead as a reminder of my desire to repent and of the promise of God’s gracious forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Even as far back as the old testament, people repented by wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes. While I’m glad the church doesn’t require us to wear sackcloth until Easter, I’m also glad for the blessing of wearing ashes, even for such a short time, as a reminder to focus on God’s work in this season.
May I tell you a bit about the ashes at my church? Continue reading →
I spent the last week and a half in California on a whirlwind vacation with my husband, where we tried to pack in lots of different activities and destinations during our time there. One of my favorite stops was Yosemite, a place neither of us had visited before, mercifully still open despite threats of an impending government shutdown.
Talk about huge trees and waterfalls beyond my comprehension! If you have never been, go (and I say this to you no matter where you live in the world). Yosemite surpasses all of its hype. April means early spring there, and the waterfalls are competing to outdo one another with their flow of snow melt. The massive sequoias and grand boulders made me feel smaller than I’ve ever felt.
While at Yosemite, I found a quote from John Muir, conservationist and national parks champion, that I wanted to share with you:
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows
into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness
into you, and the storms their energy, while cares
will drop off like autumn leaves.
Continue reading →