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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lent and our Church

Morgan and I have visited many different churches of varied denominations in our area and we have finally felt strongly led to Saltillo First United Methodist Church. Most of my life I have attended a Baptist Church and Morgan was raised in the Methodist Church. Although there are traditional differences between the two, they are both Protestant denominations which recognize Christ as Savior and the ultimate propitiation for our sins, and Morgan and I both follow the absolute authority of God's Word over the edicts of fallible man-made traditions. So it was easy for us to agree on the type of church we want to devote ourselves too.

Saltillo First United Methodist is one of the most unique churches I have ever stepped foot in. It is a Methodist church, but it has a baptismal for immersion along side a cistern for baptism by sprinkling. The pastor, Rev. Tim Green, is a Bible-saturated, sincere, "tell it how it is", friendly, and fiery, in every sense of the word a preacher. His sermons strongly convict (Baptist) but at the same time emphasize grace through Christ (Methodist). It is refreshing to see a preacher in a modern church preach the importance of God's Word, not just a string of self-help, feel-good type of sermons that dull our spiritual senses and breed "Sunday Morning Christians", which I am often guilty of being. I feel denominations are in contradiction to Paul's instruction for the Body of Christ (the Church) to be unified. Saltillo FUMC, although Methodist in name, seems to transcend denominational boundaries while still adhering to some of the traditions like Lent.

This was my first year to observe Lent, while Morgan has received the ashes on her forehead for most of her life. I understand that Lent started with the early underground Christian Churches. It was a way to prove your devotion to Christ and thus your authenticity as a believer through self-denial and discipline. Lents is more importantly a period of 46 days preceding Easter, during which you recognize Christ's ultimate sacrifice for us and refocus on presenting yourself to Him as a living sacrifice by earnestly praying, meditating on the Bible, and serving Him. It is a time to renew your commitment to God. The self-denial of something you choose is meant to indicate the strength of your conviction and your obedience to God. Lent does not include the 6 Sundays during the period because every Sunday should be a time of recommitment and a memorial of Christ's suffering for us. Ashes are often used to sketch a cross on the forehead of the believers. This is a mark of identification, a sign of taking pride in Christ, and a reminder that we came from ashes and to ashes will we return once this temporary, blink of an eye that we call life is over.

I have been very moved by my first Lent experience at our new Church. I hope that it will help me and Morgan jump-start more growth in our spiritual lives. As a new participant of Lent I feel that it is a great opportunity for all of us "Sunday Morning Christians" despite our denomination to regain our desire to be a servant of Christ (Christian) every day in every situation.

Saltillo First United Methodist Website.
Click here a further description of lent.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reagan Qoutes, Maddona, and Alf

Being the intellectual supernovas that we are, Morgan and I decided to test our extremely savvy knowledge of 1980s American History by challenging each other to a dual of the minds in Trivial Pursuit: Totally 80's. After steeping foot in a Toys R' Us for the first time in 10 years, we spent the better part of Saturday night in a heated battle of 80s knowledge. Reagan quotes, Madeline Albright, Alf, Madonna, and Family Ties: Can you ask for more fun? My knowledge of the decade proved superior acquiring the orange, blue, and green pie slices, even though Morgan, in fact, spent 2 more years than me alive in the 80's. I recommend this game to anyone born in 1984 or earlier. I also ardently suggest playing as the always underestimated Trapper Keeper game piece. Because the Trapper Keeper is a symbol of 80's intellectual and technological achievement.

Gizmos adventures with Kimberly Kelly, DVM

Last weekend Gizmo, our 11 year old Boston Terrier, spent all day Friday and Saturday vomiting and did not eat or drink anything. He wouldn't even acknowledge food. Morgan stayed up with him all night on Friday and Saturday. He could barely move on Sunday morning. This non-Gizmo behavior prompted us to call the emergency Vet hotline on Sunday morning.

We took him in and left him their until Tuesday afternoon. The good news is they were able to give him some medicine and an IV, which he chewed threw until they put a cone around his head, and now he is back to his bad self.

When Morgan went to pick him up Kimberly Kelly, DVM/ Cowgirl, told her that she was really glad Gizmo was leaving. I guess Gizmo was too much animal for All Animal Hospital to handle.