Ash Wednesday Thoughts

It is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation.  Just as Jesus took forty days to do that in the dessert, Lent gives us those days to spend before Easter Resurrection Sunday preparing our hearts, minds, and souls.

After researching it, I found what I already knew to be true.  There is no mention of Ash Wednesday or Lent in the Bible.  We are not commanded to observe either.  However, we are to observe communion.  Taking bread and wine/juice in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood that was beaten and shed for our salvation.


What love He had to do that!  Unfathomable, uneverlasting, pure love.  Mind-blowing love.  I can read about it and see movies, but I am certain it was much worse that I can ever imagine.  What about you?

Thinking about Ash Wednesday brings me full circle to creation.  Reading the account again in Genesis, I am awed at God’s power to mold and shape man in His own image and then breathe life into him.  Do you feel that way, too?  Think about it.  We are made from dirt, but after Almighty God fills us with His breath then we come alive!  Miraculous.


“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”   Genesis 2:7  Genesis 3:19 says “for dust you are and to dust you shall return” reminding us that this body is temporary.

Even though we do not read about Ash Wednesday or Lent, the Bible does mention ashes and dust in several times. Ashes and dust represent human frailty, suffering, sorrow, and mourning.

The ashes used in Ash Wednesday services are normally from the previous year’s Palm Sunday’s services.  Taking the palms of joy welcoming King Jesus and turning them into ashes because of what was done to Him for us is one reason this is done.

Do you use Lent to prepare for Resurrection Sunday?  Are you fasting to remind you to pray and grow closer to Jesus?  Some churches participate while others don’t.  Same with people.  It is a personal choice.  Personally, I think it is good to stay close to Jesus every single day.

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Vacations are Nice, but I Yearn for Home

Have you been on vacation this year?  Most people take an annual vacation and often more than one.  Some people have a favorite spot to visit each year while others enjoy seeing new places. Me, I like both.  Seeing new places is great.  The sights, experiences, and tastes of somewhere I have never before been is an exciting adventure.  A new treasure could be awaiting me there.


My favorite getaway is a cabin high in the Smokey Mountains with my family for the week.  I could handle that vacation at least once a year and probably more.  The majesty of God’s beautiful mountains take my breath away each time we drive to Gatlinburg.  Like a child I become excited when I see a chipmunk, raccoon, or bear off of the cabin’s deck while having coffee in the morning.

After vacation, there’s no place like home

Vacation, an extended period of recreation spent away from home or in traveling, is nice for a time, but after it is over it is nice to be home.  Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz emotionally repeats “there’s no place like home” and I agree.  No matter how good vacation has been, we are always happy to be home when it is over.


My maternal grandmother often would tell me “you know, this old world is not our home.”  That was confusing to a child, but the older I got the more she explained.  Finally I understood.  Mammaw was talking about Heaven.  She would tell me her soul longed for “home” and to be with loved ones there.  When she spoke of Heaven it was beautiful and biblical.

“In Heaven there will be no sickness or pain, no tears, and affliction.  We will be whole with perfect bodies.”  She would laugh when I asked what we would do all day for eternity.  “Probably the same things we do now only better” she would brightly say and break out in song “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue….”


What about you?  Do you ever feel like you are waiting to go home?  This world, like a vacation, is nice for a while, but your heart is yearning for someplace better.  It is homesick.  I know I am.  Vacations are wonderful.  This world is a nice place, too, but Heaven is our home.  Our Father is there.  Jesus is there.  Our family should be, too.  We have a home there.

Gather your treasures and pack for your trip home.  What will you take?  There aren’t a lot of things allowed.  The main thing on your list should be loved ones.  Make sure you have shared Jesus and His salvation with your family and friends.  You will want to see them after your vacation or theirs.


“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Hebrews 13:14

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 14:2-3


Are You Running Out of Time to Help?

Time slips away from all of us. Once it has gone we may never get it back. It is easy to plan on doing something tomorrow and never finding time. Maybe it isn’t finding time that’s the problem but forgetting.  I’m guilty of that. Are you?

The other evening I was watching television with my husband when the phone rang. It was a cell phone number I did not recognize but I answered it. The conversation went like this:

Caller:  “Oh, good you’re still there. Do you have rosaries?”
(I owned a Christian bookstore for ten years that closed in December 2012. That number was one digit off of my home number.)
“Are you looking for Heaven Help Us Christian Bookstore?”
Caller:”Well, yes. That’s what I dialed.” (Actually she didn’t)
I used to own it but we closed it years ago.”
(Crickets. Nothing for several seconds.)
“Why, why that’s not possible. I shop there all of the time. I love that shore.  When did y’all close?’
December 2012.”
“No! That can’t be. I know I was there since then.”
“Yes, ma’am, that’s when we closed.”
“I kept meaning to invite my friend but now it’s too late. I told her about it, but time just got away, I guess.”

We agreed time flies and ended the call with me promising to contact her if I ever opened another store.  (Very doubtful this side of heaven).  She even reminisced about my store and lamented not following through with another invitation to her friend. My store was a safe haven filled with God glorifying material and beautiful Christian music. Never any “ugly” language as my Grandmother would say.

Just as this lady missed the chance to invite her friend to my store before it closed, I wonder how many family members and friends will miss out on Jesus and Heaven because I didn’t make the time to tell them more about Jesus and asking Him into their hearts? Once they are gone or I am, I am not able to do that anymore. Honestly, I don’t want a single friend or family member missing Heaven especially if I could be a part of helping them make that decision. Time is precious and should be used to help others not for just ourselves.


What about you? Tell us your story about running out of time and missing something important. How about now? Do you have someone you have been praying for to receive salvation? Are you running out of time with them?