All posts by oglester

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.

Questions

So many questions to ask. My sweetheart and I have been asking lots of question of one another. It seem interrogation is the best technique for learning about one another. As we do get to know one another better, the questions get more difficult, and sometime more inflammatory. I do love a good discussion, and these question often produce just that.

A brand new day

Thank God for brand new days.  Sometime it seem like absolutely nothing goes your way.  Actually today things were just peachy, but my favorite Sheila, things just didn’t work out in a pleasing way for her today.

Each new day brings opportunity to start over, kind of like a new year.  So, we must move forward, not letting the past hold us back.

Going crazy, spinning out of control

Today I experience the feeling of not having thing in control, namely my niece, nephew, and the local stray dog.  I suppose that it was not completely out of my control,  just had to work hard for control and it was limited. So, not exactly craziness.

I was cleaning on my mother’s car, which I am borrowing while mine is in the shop. My niece and nephew were sent up the hill (they live near) because my sister had some work-related company.  My niece and nephew get bored easily, so being quiet for the extent of such visits is pretty much impossible at this age. Anyway, they wear me thin for patience.

Oh how I love those two kids. I can look back and see that they’re just being kids, but sometimes they drive me crazy, mad, and other things. The virtue of patience is often tested when they come around. This leads me to the hope that God has a large helping of grace for when I have my own children, as I hope he allows such.

Thanks

What is it to be thankful?

Mr Webster says:
Main Entry: thank·ful
Pronunciation: \ˈthaŋk-fəl\
Function: adjective
Date: before 12th century
1 : conscious of benefit received
2 : expressive of thanks 3 : well pleased : glad

So, when we are thankful, how do we show it? How many things do we indeed take for granted, as if it were our birthright to have what it is we have? To whom are we thankful?

The way I typically show thankfulness is by telling the giver ‘thank you’. A secondary and perhaps for impressive method is to return favor. And, perhaps another is to show love toward the giver, honoring them for having the goodness to give it.

From day to day, we, most people in the US,  have a plenty of food and shelter. We just expect it. We go beyond our desire for necessity, and often desire the better version of what we already so graciously have been given.

Who do we thank? I thank other people for their graciousness, sharing, for going beyond the call of duty, or just for doing what they probably should do anyway. I am thankful to the people in my life who have done something for my benefit or the benefit of those around me.  Yes, it is right to be thankful to others, but ultimately we should not forget the One from whom all blessings come. Yes, that would be God, Jehovah is his name.

All other things are in vain, without that salvation from sin, death, and hell that has been given in the man Jesus who is the Christ, and who is now my Lord, and ultimately will be everyone’s Lord.

Thanks be to God for all things.

Living

Philippians 1 21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

I love how Paul puts things in perspective.  A summary of his life is useful to understand the uniqueness of his stories.

Paul was a Pharisee, which was a Jewish lawmaker, known for their zeal for the Law.  They were really good people in a lot of ways, but they had little tolerance for other’s faults, and did not see their own faults, which as with all people were plenty.  Paul was an extraordinarily zealous Pharisee whom was actually a leader of persecutions to extinguish the gospel message that stemmed from Jesus saving work on the cross.  While leading one of these movements, Paul had a miraculous experience.  He lost his sight and Jesus, through a vision, dream, or the Spirit, spoke to him.  This event led to Paul’s 180 degree conversion.  After this conversion, Paul had just as much zeal for spreading the gospel as he had had for extinguishing it.

In all  of the zeal for Christ and His church, Paul endured much of that same persecution he had previously dished out.  He was beaten and imprisoned.  He understood what it was like to be a in a bad way, yet he never lost site of the work God had for him.

Lord, help us to follow after you, accomplishing the goal you have for us.

What would you do?

for a Klondike bar? not too much, they’re not awesome enough to take that many calories.

For love? I’m not sure. Certainly willing to love in order to be loved. Willing to work at it. Lord, help me love.

For an employer? Work hard as unto the Lord.