Tag Archives: ash wednesday

A Gift, A Miracle…

ash-wednesday

DISCLAIMER…there is a video at the bottom of this post that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. This post is a good read too!!

Today is Ash Wednesday and it’s been a great day so far. It’s been a full day of reflection, discussion and conversation about this mysterious God that I’ve put my life towards (ash on head and all!). It started by going to Ash Wednesday Mass at my dear friends Parish called Mt. Carmel in Tempe. The homily was confronting. The priest talked about how we are so afraid to be alone. He called us ‘cell phone junkies’ and called us out on the reality of how desperately afraid our culture is of being alone, even those of us in Christ. We don’t know how, we’re scared to, we’re resistant to, we’re afraid of and we fill our lives with so many things that keep us connected to people so that we won’t have to be alone. Introvert or Extrovert we all have ‘things’ that we do that keep even our minds occupied. I was confronted by the Holy Spirit in time of reflection, during church this morning, to prioritize more time to just soak in His presence and commune with Jesus. Is this just me or are you with me on this one?

My fast for lent is going to be from soda/coffee drinks. My resolve is that I will drink water only for 40 days. I’m excited about it because I actually will have to choose water in my day multiple times and it’s in those times that I just want to remember who is my true drink. Jesus. He’s the one I’m after and He’s the one I’m staking it all on! I want to know Him more and I’m thankful for a season of fasting that will lend itself to the gift of knowing Jesus more intimately. I’m amped to have an opportunity, throughout the rhythm of my day, to willingly choose something that will serve as a reminder of Jesus sacrifice for me, for us and for humanity. Thanks be to God (as they say in the Catholic Mass).

I returned back to our church campus here at Cornerstone just to run into beautiful tears. Our amazing Kenyan sister, Caroline, is living here in Chandler, AZ with our Pastor and his wife as she pursues her Masters degree at Arizona State University. What’s never been said very loudly is that Linn and Lisa Winters (our pastor and his wife) live one of the most generous lifestyles that I know. I could make a list of 10+ people (including myself) that they’ve take into there home in times of need and just to be a blessing. Caroline is next on that list of people that they have been gracious to as she lives with them now and for the past 4 weeks Linn and Lisa have been ‘just figuring it out’ with their 2 cars to make sure Caroline has transportation to get to ASU. Relentless giving. Very cool!

That being said, I came back to the church this morning and Caroline came in gasping for breath, filled with tears and, honestly, I couldn’t tell if something bad had happened or what. She then went on to explain what I then made her sit down with me to video record this very special day and what it means to her. So sit back for a minute and listen to this beautiful woman as she talks about a faithful God and tells a story of unique and profound blessing. PRAISE BE TO GOD!! Music courtesy of Robbie Seay Band – Hallelujah, God is Near and Matt Maher – Unwavering.

I’m curious…what would you be willing to give up during Lent?

To learn more about Huruma Childrens Home – CLICK HERE.

To see a previous blog post I did on Mama Zipporah during the time @ the loss of their beloved Papa Isaac – CLICK HERE.

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Unexpected Tragedy…

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Today is one of those days where you remember the precious gift of your very breathe. I write this note as I’m just about to go to bed on this Friday the 13th, 2009 (a little weird). As I was winding down tonight the news popped on with a story and reported that a commercial plane had just gone down in the Buffalo, New York area. Oddly enough, I flew today and I also had 2 friends flying in to New York this evening too.

Immediately, when i heard the news of the crash, I had that ‘oh wow, what if that was their plane’ feeling. That’s a heart wrenching moment when your not expecting it. I shot out a text to my buddies right away and awaited a response. I finally got one back just a few minutes later. They had made it safe. Praise God!

The irony of the story is that I flew today too and so did 49 other people. The difference is for those 49 people their news wasn’t in favor of tomorrow for them. Their news was met with unexpected tragedy. For the friends and families of those lost in this wreckage it’s the beginning of a process of hurt, pain and restoration. My heart breaks for those people who now have to walk this painful journey of loss because of today. If you’re a friend or family of one of the victims and you’re reading this right now, just know you’re being prayed for in these days.The beautiful thing is that, if we’re willing to find it, there is great beauty in our brokenness. It’s actually a place where our relationship to God can become so simply, yet, articulately intimate.

This incident reminds me, as I get ready to shut my eyes for the night, that my days on this earth are numbered and I want to live my life in the fullness of who Gods made me to be in the Kingdom. While I have this life, I want to love well, play hard, work hard, cry hard, serve well and be an agent of change well!

I needed this unexpected reminder tonight. I’m bummed for the way I’m reminded, in the midst of this tragedy, but, I’m reminded that I want my life to count for great things here and now! What a hope I have in Jesus though. It’s a hope that rings out the anthem, as Louie Giglio says, that ‘even in death we win’ when we’re on the mission with Jesus. May my life reflect Him more today in this reminder and may the peace of God hug these families/friends so close as they wonder how to get through today.

Let us not forget:

Genesis 3:19 – Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return