Mardi Gras (A Christian Celebration Even Pagans Participate In)

The celebration of Mardi Gras dates back to medieval Europe and yes, it is a Christian celebration.  Mardi Gras actually begins on January 6, known as King’s Day or the Feast of Epiphany.  King’s Day is the recognition of the Magi’s visit to baby Jesus which is considered the physical manifestation of Jesus to the gentiles.

The Mardi Gras, you probably know best, is usually called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday.  The day before Ash Wednesday.  Shrove is the past tense for shrive and means to hear a confession, assign a penance, and be free of sin. Mardi Gras is the French word for Fat Tuesday.  Because this was the last day you could eat meat and other items which came from animals; i.e. butter, eggs, cheese, and fat.  Pancakes are usually the main meal on Fat Tuesday.

In the United States the celebration usually starts the week or weekend before Fat Tuesday and continues until Ash Wednesday. I am not sure the early Christians meant for Mardi Gras to evolve into the raucous partying and the porn-like, carnival parades and actions we see today.  In my opinion, Mardi Gras celebrations today are akin to an alcoholic going on a drinking binge and then picking a day to stop drinking.  Until the same time next year, when the bingeing starts all over again.

The partying stops on Ash Wednesday which is the day signaling the beginning of the Lenten season. The sign of the cross is done on the forehead, using ashes, during the Christian worship service. This is to show humility and remind us of our own mortality. Ash Wednesday ashes come from the ashes of the palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday church service.  Which are blessed and considered holy.

Then begins the Lenten season. The Lent season is about remembering Jesus’ journey into the desert where He had to resist Satan’s temptations for 40 days. During the Lenten season some Christians still fast, reflect, and pray concerning their own sins and Jesus.  Most Christians today give up something they hold dear to them;  like chocolate, television, Facebook, social media, swearing etc.

It is a good time to break bad habits and realign your life in Christ again.  The Lent season ends on Easter with the remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Since moving to Texas, and becoming a member of a Baptist church, I find I miss my ashes and Lent season of reflection. Because I have always considered Easter as my real New Year, not January 1.  Baptists are not into the ashes on the forehead and such. Maybe because it started with the Catholic religion. No, I am not Catholic either.  I have been Presbyterian almost all of my life.

This year I do plan on participating in Ash Wednesday and the Lent season.  No, I am not leaving the church we attend either.  We love the people and the Pastor. But I will probably attend one of the nearby churches who do Ash Wednesday and the Lent season of services.

What will I give up for Lent?  I am seriously thinking about sugar.  It is my one huge nemesis!  I am a Southern girl who loves her sweet tea and a little coffee with my cream and sugar. Giving up sugar will mean giving up things with sugar in them too, like Reese cups.  Ouch that hurt.

When I stop and consider that Jesus gave up His life so that I can live forever, sugar should  not be a big deal.

So, if you go to a Mardi Gras parade and/or party, please take time out to reflect on why we can even have a Mardi Gras!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Our Allies Are Spying on Us, Michael Flynn Communicated With A Russian, And President Trump Has Conflicts of Interests…Oh MY!

I was surprised to find myself unable to read an entire Newsweek article concerning the one time communication between Michael Flynn and a Russian official based here in the United States. The article pointedly moved on to discuss the fact that our European allies had intercepted conversations and documents concerning President Trump.

These unseen documents and unheard conversations concerned his relationship with Russia, his business alliances, and our Nato allies.  All expertly woven together to suggest our Allies are apprehensive about our country’s ability to honor our agreements. And that there could be a conflict of interest for President Trump, which would impede his ability to run the country.

As I tried to digest the excessive amount of information at one sitting, I found myself a little too stuffed.  Hence the reflux which I am still suffering from now, while trying to swallow all of the innuendoes;  or as the reality show housewives would say…throwing some shade.  This article had enough shade to cause a chill to fill the air.

Now I do understand the NATO alliance and that we are joined at the hip with these other countries, which insures peace for each of us. Or so they say. But, are we really allies when we spy on each other and then disclose the information found to the world? Where is the trust?  I believe a reclassification of terms is called for here and instead of allies the word should be frenemies! The definition would include this statement, “We cover your rear end, if it benefits our rear end.”

Then I came to the one sentence in the article which hammered my nerve of disgust and ceased my reading! Here it is for you…

“These sources spoke on condition that they not be identified because they were not formally authorized to disclose the information.”

Really?

If you have not been formally authorized to disclose the information isn’t that the same as keep your mouth shut!

Or was this one of those permission granted to aid the start of whispers of mistrust, with cables connected to jumpstart the rumor mill and initiate fear?

No wonder we don’t believe journalists any more. Because they appear more like a brood of witches stirring the cauldron  and cackling at their immense talent to blow smoke in our eyes.

Well, I have a warning label for the articles where the sources have to remain anonymous.

“Be careful little eyes what you see, it’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings.”

The above quote is from the song called “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns.  “Slow Fade” is about infidelity between a couple, but it could just as easily be infidelity between countries and anonymous sources.

Because countries never crumble in a day! And American Journalists have taken the black and white of journalism, and turned it into grey.  (More paraphrasing from the song.)

There is only one who will never lie to us, never cheat on us, whisper secrets to others concerning us, and always will have our back…God.

If you are concerned about the abundance of information coming from anonymous sources concerning our country, close your eyes and your ears.  Turn completely to God and pray.  Ask for revelation and ask Him to show you what you need to do to alleviate your fears! Because God’s answers are always true and always perfect.

I will leave you with the lyrics to “Slow Fade.”

As always…

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

Slow Fade by Casting Crowns

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you
That are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choice is made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise,
The end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises
Lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choice is made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade
When black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choice is made,
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

 

 

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl

Congratulations to the New England Patriots on winning the Super Bowl! I really thought that the Atlanta Falcons were going to win, but New England managed to pull through in overtime.

I also want to say thank you to Lady Gaga for keeping politics out of the American celebration. And for saying “One Nation Under God.”  Politics and football may divide us  in the sporting arena, but when you get down to what matters most…it is the people of America.  Skin color is only 1/8 of an inch thick on our bodies, the rest is just like everybody else!

We are Americans and we are God’s children.  Maybe a little different from the rest, but in the end we are all equal in death.

So, while you are celebrating the Patriots win, go to oneretailtherapy.com/page14 for special Super Bowl apparel and gifts.

And if you are commiserating the Patriots win, go to oneretailtherapy.com and check out the flash sales and Valentine gifts for sale.  You will feel better afterwards!

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Super Bowl Predictions!

Being in the Houston, Texas area, I can emphatically state that the city is alive with Super Bowl fever!  And after reading the predictions from the professionals, I deem it will be a great game to watch.  Even if my team is not playing.

I predict tonight they will have the NFL Honors Award Program and that Greg Olsen will win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.  It is an award given to an NFL player based on their humanitarian work within the community they live.

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:48

I also predict that the Falcons will beat the Patriots 31 – 27.  Gotta pull for the southern team.

But the biggest award should go to the fans.  Because it is you who actually support these teams with your attendance to the games, and the products you buy.  And in America, we can not have just a simple sporting event.  You the fans, have found a way to turn it into a charitable day too!

Super Bowl party attendees will donate food and other items, which will be given to their local food banks and shelters.  Boy Scouts will pick up bags of food left by front doors in local neighborhoods, which benefit the local food bank.  The day once known as Super Bowl has begun to be recognized as Souper Bowl!

To me that states volumes of who we are as a country.  Because we are a compassionate country.  And when Super Bowl day is over and a winner declared, Americans will find another avenue to assist their fellow-man until next year.  This is what we do and this is who we are…Americans.

God Bless You!

God Bless America!