From Pastor Todd Malone


Reflections

I am writing this on Valentine’s Day. Ann and I had lunch at one of our favorite places: Dudley’s. We had a nice time together. But today is also Ash Wednesday. I didn’t grow up with Ash Wednesday, so I barely know what it is. Ash Wednesday is the official beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is meant to be a time of reflection and repentance for sins. The ashes you see on people’s foreheads are a public sign that they are sorry for and want to turn away from their sins. The ashes remind them of the sackcloth and ashes people in the Bible used when they repented.

It’s nice that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fell on the same day this year. It’s a subtle reminder that God loves us despite the ugliness of our sin. How can we respond but in repentance? How can we respond but in grateful joy?


Prayer Prompts

How to pray for FBC 
Continue to pray for preparations for World Outreach Weekend, which will start on Friday, February 23. The Missions Committee is working hard to give us a weekend in which we can encourage and be encouraged by many FBC missionaries. I suspect most of these missionaries come with financial needs. Let’s pray that God provides for their needs.

How to pray for our Community
I have been in a position to step into difficult situations in a couple of other churches in the areas. These are wonderful, God-honoring churches, but they are under attack. Please pray that God will protect the churches of East Texas. Pray that churches will work together to reflect God’s character and share God’s love in our community.

How to pray for our World
I saw an article this morning about Christian athletes participating in the Winter Olympics who want to use the Olympics as an opportunity to share their faith with fellow athletes and to audiences around the world. Let’s pray that the Winter Olympics will be a place where the gospel is declared boldly and clearly.