Tuesday, February 5

Mardi Gras

mmmm. pancakes. definitely started the day with some of those. I was wondering what the doctrinal foundations of "fat Tuesday" are...I actually have no idea. The pancakes were yummy anyway.
Fat Tuesday of course means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent. I've decided this year to give up meat, which I think will be really challenging (which is of course the point). I was discussing it with one of my co-workers on the weekend, and one of the guys we support looked at me like I was crazy, pointed to the sausage on my plate, and said "Unh-unh! God MADE that for you!" It was very funny. He didn't want to hear my explanation that I give up something good in an effort to understand what it was like for Christ to give up heaven to come to earth, and then to give up his life to pay the ultimate sacrifice for us.
I feel like I have tons of stuff that i could reflect on today - lots has happened in the past couple of weeks!

I am learning that I have so much, and I need to be thankful for it, as well as a good steward of it. This springs from the awe of a random woman who came in to our home to use the phone at how much we have. It was good for me to see our house through her eyes, especially when it's so easy for me to want more.

I am being reminded of how much I need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in my life if I am going to be a witness to those around me who aren't walking with Christ. As I've spent some time lately with friends who know what I believe, and grew up hearing the same messages as I did, I've been reminded that unless my life shows the fruit of the Spirit, there's not much else I have that can show them the value of my faith. This in light of the fact that I have been told a number of times in the past few weeks to be kind. My tongue is not all that tame. Sigh.

I am struggling with how to express my dissent with some of the things that fellow believers do and say without tearing down the body. How do I line up "they'll know we are Christians by our love" with my frustration (and anger?) over how Christianity has been represented to my friends who aren't believers. Tough.

I was surprised by myself yesterday. I opened up my computer to do some work in a pretty busy area of campus yesterday, and was suddenly very aware of the piece of tape I have on the top of my screen that says "BY CHRIST & FOR CHRIST". It's there to remind me when school is getting tough and driving me crazy that it is by Christ that I am able to even have access to an education, a brain to think with, and the will power to stick to school, and that the purpose of it all is for Christ - that I can glorify him with the job opportunities that a degree will make possible. Anyway, sitting there, and then again later in class, I was really aware of this sticker on my computer, slightly embarrassed, and almost took it off. I was surprised by my gut reaction.

So. Those are some of my musings over the past little while.
Enjoy your steaks.

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