Thursday, February 23, 2012

Death to self

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  I have posted in years past about my reflection on this just seems to stick with me for some reason....probably God talking to me in a stern voice that this is important for me!  The focus of the service on Ash Wednesday is on death to self.  I have been keeping a journal of sermon/bible study notes over the past few months and have found it helpful in comprehending what is taught to me...I learned like that in school, the more notes I took the better I retained the information.  I jotted a few key things that God was speaking to me last night, here it is:
Penitence is not just doing better on my checklist...this is a struggle for me, I live with the mentality that if I can just do better at this or stop doing that or focus harder on this, then I will be fixed, or be more holy. Not true.  Only when I completely "die" to myself and take on Christ to live inside us.  I can't just be a "better me", I have to die to that old sorry self.  C.S. Lewis's take on it is this....we are like eggs, we strive to be/want to be a better egg, BUT we aren't meant to be eggs at all, we are to be that new life (chicken/Christ) inside the egg.  So we either hatch into what we were meant to be or we rot!

Penitence is sorrow for sin.  The litany of penitance (recited after the imposition of the ashes, which represent death to self) is below:

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,
We confess to you, Lord.
Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
We confess to you, Lord.
Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.
Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
We confess to you, Lord.
Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires not the death of sinners, but rather that they may turn from their wickedness and live, has given power and commandment to his ministers to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the absolution and remission of their sins. He pardons and absolves all those who truly repent, and with sincere hearts believe his holy Gospel.
Therefore we beseech him to grant us true repentance and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him which we do on this day, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rob's 35!

Rob celebrated 35 years last week (2/14).  He had a couple of great celebrations.  We had a great dinner with his family (and cousin, Anna, who was also having a birthday), at the Majestic Grill downtown before going to the Tiger game....the Tigers had a GREAT win.  We met up with some great friends before and after the game and had a great time and spent the night downtown. We also had a party at home with the kids on his birthday with one of his favorite meals, chicken and dumplins.
Rob with his babies on his birthday....they all have his heart in their own unique way- Lane is that special firstborn and..she's like his soulmate, Bo is his sidekick...they are able to enjoy so many things together, and Kate, well she's just the baby, you know what that entails!

Another great Christi cake!....I should have taken a picture of the sides, it was tiger print!

Anna and fiance, Jeff

Samantha, Bre, Anna