Blessings On This Ash Wednesday and Is It Time For a Name Change?

Feb 13th

Get a Different Name Day was created by the folks at wellcat.com, and was set up for those who are not crazy about the name given to them. Usually when we are born our parents give us at least a first and last name, most of us get a middle name, but sometimes as people grow up they really hate the name their parents picked.  Honestly, I love my name and I always have, but I’ve seen some names throughout the years that I wouldn’t have hesitated the moment I turned 18 to change if I’d been give them! GEESH!  The cruelty of some parents defies imagination!  There was a patient at a clinic I where I used to work who wasn’t given a first or middle name at birth.  I know, you’re scratching your head right now.  I did too  You see the parents were arguing all through the pregnancy and through the birth about what to name him – the dad wanted one name, the mom another.  Rather than just picking one for the first and another for the middle, they just let the hospital put on the birth certificate a last name. He was called the one name by his mother, and the other by his father as he grew up, and they told him that when he was 18 he could choose his own name and have it legally changed. Well, being a stubborn guy he just decided to go by his last name. This is fine for friends, but on official documents the people at the agencies just don’t get it.   A driver’s license for example – for his records  I made a copy of it and there was his name . . . Just “V” (can’t say the last name for privacy reasons obviously).  I looked at him with my eyebrows up – your first name is Just?  He laughed and said no, I don’t have one.  I was filling out the forms and left that space blank.  The woman there asked for the first name – he told  her he had none, she argued that he had to.  He said “No, my name is V, just V.”  meaning ONLY V.  She wrote down the first name as Just, and it’s now his name on ALL of his official documentation except his birth certificate, which remains blank.  Today would be the perfect day for him to go pick a first name . . . but he won’t.  It’s not too late for everyone else who hates their name though.  If you could change your name to anything you wanted, what would it be?  I wouldn’t change a thing, but if you would like to be called something else, I’d love to hear what it is!

Ash Wednesday  In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days before to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. Not all Christian churches observe Ash Wednesday or Lent. They are mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday (called Clean Monday) and Ash Wednesday is not observed.The Bible does not mention Ash Wednesday or the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21.  I wasn’t raised observing this day, but the symbolism is beautiful and would serve as a lovely reminder of what this season is all about.  Take some time today to put your thoughts towards Jesus, what He sacrificed for us, and search your heart for what you need repentance for today.  I know for me, this is a big job – as I’m sure it is for all of us.

Today, as you go about your business, keep your eyes on God, focus on having a clean heart and entering this time leading up to Easter with a focus on the depth of what it all means.  Praise God for the wonders of His bottomless, infinite love.  On my own, I fail daily, but with Him all things are possible.  Have a wonderful and blessed day.

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