“In Christ Alone”

One of my favorite songs, if not it.

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In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song,
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! Who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones he came to save;
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied
for every sin on him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground his body lay, Light of the World by darkness slain;
then bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave he rose again!
And as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
for I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand;
‘Til he returns or calls me home, here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand!

© 2001 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music, CCLI #74901

Lent

I just learned what Lent is about. Apparently there is some ash stuff on Ash Wednesday, which follows Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras).

The ash stuff involves burning Palm leaves from previous Palm Sunday, and symbolically applying the ashes to forehead as a sign of grief. It is a grief that is observed from Ash Wednesday till Easter. It is directed toward the suffering that Jesus endured, and because that Jesus suffered for our sakes. In the Bible, it was customary to grieve by wearing sackcloth and ashes.

Also, it is traditional to give  up something during Lent, a fast. I know one person that is giving up sweets and adding a commitment to daily devotional (which I know she has been slack on lately).  Fat Tuesday is a time to indulge one last time, though so often used as an excuse to sin.

Growing up a Baptist, I have never observed Lent.

My conclusion is that Lent as a formality is unnecessary, but the idea behind it is worthy.  The point of it is to take time out and actually contemplate what Jesus did.  To grieve a little bit for our sin, which led Him to the cross.  I need no formality to do that, though the public observance of it is a reminder to do it.

State of the economy

It is frustrating to find the economy so much favors families with both husband and wife working full-time jobs. Even if a man makes an above average wage, he would still struggle to buy a house and make ends meet with a car payment and a bit of extra-curricular expenses. Today I was disillusioned after revisiting my budget and calculating in extra expenses that would come with a house.

My Realtor doesn’t listen to me. He shows me houses that are simply out of the range which I asked for. That is so aggravating.

Either way, the last bid I made was already probably out of my budget. I am going to rent or find an inexpensive condo or something of that nature. I will save up for a 20% down-payment, which shouldn’t take over a year or two, me thinks. I do need a more accurate budget, however.