I think that this is a beautiful prayer for Ash Wednesday.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy. As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.
He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man.
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night,
protecting his son from harm.
We,too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
SET TWO SPIRITUAL GOALS
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18)._
1. Read bible daily
2. Become proficient in the Bible knowledge. Take two bible courses. Read one theology book a month.
SET TWO PHYSICAL GOALS
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice...which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).
1. Run a 5k
2. Work out four times a week.
SET TWO MENTAL GOALS
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2).
1. Finish Hebrew language course.
2. Complete survival handbook.
SET TWO SOCIAL GOALS
"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another" (Romans 12:10)
1. Use my gift of writing to encourage at least one person per week, whether through a note, email, or blog posting.
2. Attend two bible studies per month.
SET TWO STEWARDSHIP GOALS
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38)
1. Use my gift of administration in at least one ministry opportunity.
2. Pick one missionary to support.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All
this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
It’s not just a one time prayer - it’s a whole new lifestyle. You must trust in Jesus alone to save you. Start reading the Bible and obey His commands. Finding a Jesus-centered, Bible-teaching church. Go tell others what God has done for you!
I asked my sister to make me a simple recycled Star of David to hang outside. She made me this fabulous Star of David out of a recycled baby bed. It is 2′ and I can use it inside or outside. She also made a menorah out of the same bed. I’m lucky to have such a talented sister. Keep using those tools Sis!
The eco-miracle at the heart of Hanukkah is that one day of oil lasted for eight days; Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the second century and is a good time for us to rededicate ourselves to the larger environmental issues at hand.
How can we make our resources last and green Hanukkah this year? If you are purchasing a new menorah, look for one that is made from recycled material. Ten Thousand Villages has a menorah that is made in India from recycled bicycle chains and the recycled glass menorahs are stunning. Check with your local artisans, many will craft one for you.
Use menorah candles made from renewable ingredients like soy, palm oil, and beeswax. Opt for an electric menorah. Did you know that every menorah candle that burns produces approximately 15 grams of CO2? It’s not a huge amount, but collectively it adds up. Make Star of David frames and decorations from Popsicle sticks. Make your own dreidel from recycled cardboard. Make your own gifts. Homemade gifts are more special than anything you can buy. Adopt an animal or plant a tree in honor of someone. Buy recycled Hanukkah cards or better yet make your own. Send an e-card. Buy only gold coins that are fair trade chocolate. Keep it green this Hanukkah and rededicate your home with eco-friendly choices.