The exceptional subject matter photographers use here on WordPress are an amazing way to enjoy the perfect beauty of this world we live in – even with all of it disrespectful ugliness. So today I post some respectful beauty from bloggers here, one I respectfully downloaded. I expect you to at least enjoy the picture if not the short notes.
Fills the forest
In the eerie morning
On open sea
To start a new
At day’s beginning
To help us enjoy
And in all things remember the value of kindness and let it fall expectantly from you.
The practice of lent goes back to the 4th century, 325 actually, so no, it is not mentioned in the bible…but…(don’t you just love(sarcastically) a but when someone seems to agree with you and then turns a corner)…the practices spoken of with lent are scriptural, just not called lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter. Why 40 days? It symbolizes Jesus fasting in the desert to prepare him for saving us. So now people associate lent with fasting from food.
From what I can surmise, in 325, Emperor Constantine and the Nicaea Church held the first Church council and created the Nicene Christian Traditions which is based on Christian ideology. And Lent was part of those traditions. In the 5th century the church ideology split, then it split again in the 11th century with the catholic church, then again in the 16th century with the Protestant reformation. I say all that historical gibberish to show how different we all do God, Jesus and church. It doesn’t make us right or wrong in how we do it as long as we truly follow scripture. To me you can boil down religion into two questions – Who Is God & Jesus to you and what are you going to do with that belief and information. The way you prioritize that information is the reflection of your heart.
If you look at lent’s true purpose, it is an inward reflection of your Christian ways. What am I doing that has become 1st in my life instead of Christ being 1st in my life. The second chapter of Joel explains how desperate the Israelites were. They had turned from God (which is a repeat pattern even with us today) and God allowed them to suffer to try to get their attention. A plague of locust has destroyed everything and they were literally starving. Vs. 12-13 says Even now, declare the LORD, return to me with all of your heart…Rend your hearts and return to the Lord your God.
Lent is a 40 day true inward reflection with fasting to get you back on track with God and Jesus. It does not have to be a food fast. It can be anything that you do a lot and when you reach for that food, item of entertainment or whatever you chose to fast from and it is temporarily gone, your focus can then turn to God and why you chose that item to fast from for 40 days. And hard inward reflection. Me, I am choosing emotional fasting from the list below. I have tried food fasting but with health issues, its just not practical – I am watching the clock too much and missing the whole point of why I am fasting.
The biggest thing I need to turn from with inward reflection comes from my mouth. I found a list online from a pastor and I revised it to better fit me and what I want my goals to be so that I can be a better reflection of Christ.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Its official name is ‘Day of Ashes’ so called because of the practice of rubbing ashes on one’s forehead in the form of a cross.
Jesus prepared for his mission of saving us by spending 40 days of fasting in the desert. Let us honor Him by fasting for 40 days in preparation for Easter by giving up all forms of negativity and turn our hearts toward the love of Christ by reflecting His positive beauty of hope.
Fast from hurtful words and strive to always be Kind
Fast from sadness and be filledGratitude and Joy
Fast from anger and befilled withPatience and Gentleness
Fast from pessimism and befilled withOptimism and Hope
Fast from worries and trust in God
Fast from speaking and focus on Listening
Fast from stress and be filled with Prayer
Fast from selfishness and be filled with Generosity
So even though my church does not practice lent, that does not mean I can not have an inward look at how I am showing my Christian beliefs and see if I need some fine tuning. We should always look for ways of improving our spiritual selves. The practice of ashes on the forehead in the form of a cross reflects of the bible speaking of from dust we are made and to dust we will return. That is a message of truth for our bodies…BUT..our hearts, our mind and our souls – that’s what we have to rend to God because that is what lives forever to those who love God.
Jansen Photo’s challenge this week is YARD . As he says, this gives you plenty of opportunity to take this into many directions, as it can be a length, the yard, in which children play, or the train yard… and many more meanings! Let your minds take it into the direction that you want and share your ideas.
Since this Yard is located at the end of my street, that was my choice of yard.
Gray of winter
Waiting for the call
With the certainty of death, which is where we all will go at one point, remember to share kindness while you are still here. Be that ONE…
The beauty and gnarly curves of tree limbs has always been a fascination to me. When I was younger I tried to draw them but my skills were weak at best. Today is a freak of nature day by being 58 degrees on the 23rd of February. This is a spoiler day as people are out walking and enjoying the marvelous temps outside. And of course the dogs are going nuts seeing all the activity. But…
“Have no fear” says old man winter “I am still near”!!
Starting now and continuing through to Wednesday the temps will steadily drop down in the low teens, more typical of this time of year. Combined with the temp drop, a slow moving storm front is planning on coming through and dropping an expected 12+ inches of snow on top of possible ice. While we have had the average amount of snow this winter, it has been in acceptable amounts of 1-2 inches each time, not the mass dumping we are expecting. Oh, well. It will give me the chance to get back to some writing here. I have been so busy getting book #2 off to the publisher, I have not had the chance to play with the impromptu writing I have come to enjoy in blogging.
So I wish you all a safe last attempt of old man winter – we all know the ground hog lied – but soon spring will show its beautiful colors and new life. So until next time, I wish you peace and remind you as always to be kind. Kindness is a true reflection of our inner beings.
Fandango asks “Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?”
I have many photographers I follow and Irene is one of my favorites. She posted this picture, then I posted it again and wrote a poem about it. I actually had two posts on this day but this one got the most likes so I hope you also enjoy it or remember it.
Fun With Poetry
As I play with my blog, I enjoy what others say, write and photograph. Today I saw a photograph that so inspired me that I thought again I would write about it. I have done this in the past and it is relaxing to me. After the wonderful day of 48 degrees (before it plummets back to single digits) I was able to get out and enjoy the sun so I think more fun is good thing to do. Irene of Heaven’s Sunshine takes lovely and fun pictures of nature and things around nature and today she posted a Leafy Heart. Do drop by her blog and enjoy her photographs. So below are my words to go with Irene’s Leafy Heart.
The Autumn Leaf
The audible sigh of the leaf in fall as it begins to die
Drops slowly from trees above like tears when you cry
We wait for them all winter as they quietly rest and sleep
Popping out at spring and stretching to soak up warmth so deep
As summer comes in to brighten their worth, they create abundant shade
For we sit and rest under them and block the heat that is made.
As changing season turns again once more to cooler fall
The leaves display their dying hues that are admired by one and all
The leaf hangs tight to its dear life as long as it possibly can
But winds of fall will toss them down to be crushed by steps of man
As other lives rush over them when preparing their own winter deeds
A spider crawls around them to see if there is anything he needs
But alas he leaves as nothing was found for him of the leaf to give
And he heads towards home and other things in hopes of his life to live.
And always in closing I remind all of the extraordinary value of kindness and how if we can share that kindness with others, even when we don’t feel like it, that may be the only kindness shared with that one person on that day.
The Escapist Coloring Club sponsored by Linda G. Hill has been a fun thing and I suggest every one give it a try. It really does help you focus on the coloring and allows for pushing aside stress. It works for me. There are calendars, books and I think even downloadable sheets. I was given this book by my daughter last year for Christmas and it really has been fun.
You can tell by the bends and creases in the cover that I am in this book…a lot. Today’s picture helps us remember the beauty of wildlife and the hopes for spring for those of us who live in snow during the months of January and February and hopefully NOT March.
I use pencils as I seem to be able to shade easier with those but I loved Linda’s page this time as she said she uses both. I may try that for next month. You will also see some bend to my page as I had a big helper this time who was fascinated with the pencils – probably because they look like a colored stick – well they are wood…
Come join in with us and we can all color together. And as always remember to be kind, it show the beauty of who you really are.
Each day during the month of February, at around 6 am Pacific Time, Fandango will be posting an old adage, an old saying, a familiar expression that we’ve all heard and have probably used during our lifetimes. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, will be to post a story, a poem, an image, an interpretation of what the expression means to you, or to do whatever it is that you want to do based upon the daily adage.
How fun to remember some fun expression you have heard over the years especially when you were a child, this expression has fond memories of my mom when we did something stupid that turned out okay. Like jumping out of the barn window hoping the hay below is soft. Kids! How did we ever survive.
And as we remember those sayings remember to add kindness where we can. kindness helps us survive those famous sayings.