Ash Wednesday? Already?!

So, Lent is here.  Yeah, I knew that was going to happen.  On Monday, I told myself, “Hey, tomorrow is Fat Tuesday!  It’s Lent time!”
Imagine my surprise when Tuesday arrives, and it actually clicks in my brain.
Tomorrow is Lent?!  Aw man!  Just hook up the intravenous Mountain Dew drip now, because someone forgot to do her indulging until Tuesday afternoon…
In all seriousness, though, Lent is such a beautiful time of year.  In the 40 days leading up to Easter, it’s a designated time within which to join fellow Christians in doing a bit of self-reflection and sacrifice.  It’s an opportunity to consider Christ’s life, His sacrifice and devotion to us, and how He did the unfathomable.
All.  For.  Us.
My initial plan was to give up pop (that’s soda, to you West Coasters) for Lent.  Then I changed my mind.  While I still plan on reducing my penchant for the carbonated, it seems too superficial and unimportant to me to give up during this particular season.
In its place will be the deliberate ignoring of the hit counter on this blog.
Sure, I write because I love to write.  I’d even go so far as to say that I need to write.  But I also have the insatiable need to know if anyone actually reads any of it, which is not what this should be about.
Galations 5:25-26  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. 
I don’t want to get caught up in anything other than writing what God puts on my heart.  So for Lent, there will be no looking at the traffic stats at Room for Patience.  There will be no obsessive comparing of my somewhat sloppy layout to those refined and established layouts of veteran bloggers.
Just internet fellowship, and the postings of my theological and intellectual curiosities pertaining to the Faith.

Christianity ≠ Being Cool?

A few weeks ago I asked my sister-in-law, who is a 13 year-old Christian, what sort of issues she and her Christ-following peers are facing these days.  What concerns are on the minds of young Christians?
One of the things she wanted advice on was how to be considered cool amongst her friends while maintaining her faith.
Truthfully, at times it feels like Christians of all ages are waiting for the answer to this one…
It may be difficult to admit, but it’s not always easy to live an openly convicted life to Christ, and still be considered cool with our non-Christian peers.  It’s something we all occasionally deal with. I can remember this particular desire often leaving me feeling disengaged from certain friends.  A spectator along for the ride, who made sure not to do anything questionable myself, while the Christian in my head would question if I should even be there at all.
Regardless of who we are, we all have a target audience whose attention and approval we’d like to have.
Perhaps the answer is that we need to not be bothered by it.
We have to deal with our convictions to Christ, first.  Whatever comes after that, just be who you are.  God gave us interests, talents and personalities that will draw us to the people who are supposed to be in our lives.
He doesn’t make mistakes, and if we follow what He’s put in our hearts, we should be just fine.

Matthew 10:32  Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.