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Ashes & Fasting: Ash Wednesday

February 18th, 2015 by stephanie

The Cross of Ash Wednesday

The Cross of Ash Wednesday

Hard to believe Ash Wednesday is already here!

If you saw someone with a mark on their forehead that you felt you needed to help them remove today, I hope you refrained. They were most likely at church earlier in the day and participated in an Ash Wednesday service.

The smudge, that you saw, when you encountered it, was no where near resembling that of a cross—which was the original intent.

As you may know, today, Ash Wednesday,  marks the first day of Lent. The season of fasting in preparation for Easter.

The idea (given to us by the Catholic church) was to set aside a time where we turn our hearts toward the Lord and his sacrifice on the cross. If He could give up His life, we could at least share a bit in that gift of suffering, by acknowledging something we cherish and abstaining from it for a bit. To remind us of His ultimate gift to us:

Giving of His life, to bring eternal life to ours.

Folks  will give up sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, and more during this 40 day fasting period that will take us toward Resurrection Day.   I can assure you I probably will not give up coffee this season, or chocolate. Pitiful…I know.

But I do plan to set aside time to get my heart right, in shape if you will, as we move in the direction of Easter.

Do you think about or participate in Lent? If so, I’d love to hear from you. If you have fresh thoughts or any news twists to this tradition that you’d like to share—send them. 

Happy fasting season!

I’ll be talking about Lent and Holy Week in the coming days…so don’t miss it. We’ll send the latest to your inbox if you like..Just sign up here!

….I’d love for you to join me on Facebook and Twitter.


It’s Presidents Day!

February 16th, 2015 by stephanie

Presidents Day.

The Wisdom of Washington.

Presidents Day:

A day off from work…for some. Sales for others…a day to remember our Commanders-in-Chief.

Our nation’s citizens used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday and George Washington’s separately and on different days. Not combined into one, as we do today.

  • Lincoln’s birthday was February 12th and
  • Washington’s actual date of birth is the 22nd.

Interestingly, in the 1950’s there was an actual Presidents Day Committee (that came out of California) whose goal was to turn the day into a celebration of merely the office of the Presidency.

We went from celebrating President Lincoln’s Day and President Washington’s Day to simply that of, President’s Day. Then we went to Presidents  (plural-in general) day. Clear as mud?

Anyway…wherever today finds you, perhaps this bit of wisdom from Washington will give you some advice for your week, or Presidents’ Month perhaps.

It reminds me of an ancient Proverb as well

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. – Proverbs 13:3

Just my thoughts on this icy, Presidents Day in the South.

– S.

We’ll be talking about Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and Lent in the coming weeks…so don’t miss it. We’ll send the latest to your inbox if you like..Just sign up here!

….I’d love for you to join me on Facebook and Twitter.

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