Lenten Check In

On March 4, I realized that it was a month to Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. On Wednesday, it will be three weeks since Ash Wednesday. It’s almost the halfway point. As mentioned previously, I have turned the TV off for Lent. No TV and no movies.

My first test was a movie called Valentine’s Day came out that I wanted to see. There was a voice that was like its okay to go a movie theatre to watch a movie. Just not at home. With that sort of thinking, I would be going to the movies once a week!

I visited a friend and her kids were watching TV. I had to make myself focus on something else. I felt Sponge Bob Square Pants sucking me in! I realized I can be in the same room as a TV and not watch it.

My biggest test has been the Office. On March 4, a double-episode, Pam and Jim had their baby! The good news is that I can watch it online after Easter! I will not turn my TV on until Monday, April 5. I may have to wean myself back into it. Maybe just allow myself one to two hours a day? Not sure on that.

What happens is that I come and turn the TV on. I like watching syndicated sitcoms because I like to laugh. The sad thing is that there are certain shows I have seen every episode of many times. Like Seinfeld. I know the lines. Not a good accomplishment. I also have Netflix so I get movies coming in.

What I have been doing is blogging more. I think this will be the fourth post this month. I try to do one post a week so I will overachieve. I’ve also been reading books. I forgot how much I enjoy reading!

Starting this week, I will begin working on the April/Spring issue of my church’s newsletter. I also need to do some studying. I’ve been having a lot of leisure time.

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

A definite sign of getting older is the number of funerals I attend. It’s March, and I have attended two this year.

At first, it was the grandparents of friends. Now, I am starting to get into the parents of friends. Soon, it will be the siblings and spouses of friends. [As I typed the last sentence it occurred to be that it could come across as morbid. It’s not meant to. It’s just a reflection on the fact that we are getting older.]

As we got older, so did our grandparents and parents. It’s the oddest thing. I have a weird feeling about it that I can’t describe. I think about the kids in my life. My niece/cousin Sade will turn one in a few months. When she reaches the age I am currently at, I will be knocking on 70. Time moves so quickly. The year just started and we are already close to mid-March.

The first funeral I attended was a church member’s stepdaughter who passed in the earthquake in Haiti. I joined my church’s hospitality committee and we were in charge of setting up and taking down the refreshments. I ushered at today’s funeral, which was for a dad of a friend of mine.

At the end, I realized that I am at a loss of words to say at funerals. I can do the regular sorry for your loss and hold on the memories. Serving ends up being away to express my sentiments by just trying to care for some basic needs be it a fan or tissue or serving food or ushering.

There was a point in time where I felt like I was involved in everything at my church. I scaled it back to just two things: ushering and the church newsletter. Now, I have added two more things: the hospitality committee and the website committee. I think they compliment what I already have on my plate, and more importantly are things that God has given me natural talent and genuine interest in.

I guess what I am trying to say is that life is short. We must work while it is still day. We must use or gifts and talents to serve God and serve people. There is work to be done!

No TV for You

I am very grateful for a three-day weekend! Woohoo!

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which means Lent starts! I’ve been going back and forth on what to give up for Lent this year. I’ve given up meat many times. In fact, giving up meat is no longer a struggle or sacrifice anymore. I’ve given up TV in this past, which is something I like. So, I will give up TV between Ash Wednesday and Easter. I will also place my Netflix account on hold for this time period.

Oh, what to do with all that spare time! I can read. I can study. I can work on my church’s website. I can work on my writing. I can work the April 1 issue of my church newsletter. Yes, there are things I can do besides veg and watch TV.

I thought about giving up Facebook, but decided not to close myself off from social networks. I say this with the understanding that Facebook, email, and texting is away to communicate with people. It takes time and real conversations to develop and maintain real relationship!