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I remember, whilst my children were still young, someone telling me stories of teaching their teen to drive. After several rounds of rolling stops she finally said, "Do what I say and not what I do." I actually remembered this when each of my four kids had had at least two hours behind the wheel and knew more about driving than anyone ever.

The point of the picture is the same - lead by example. It is not only children who need good examples set it is anyone who is in uncharted territory. How do we respond to extreme stress, to fear, to the unknown? Who is going to set the example? I think we, as people of faith, have to be the ones. We have to act upon what we claim to believe and step up to the mark.

That is not about preaching at people but about examining our values and applying them to new situations. We love God and God's image is in each person. We live in community, community which we do not want to damage through selfishness. Faith is not a consumer product which can be adapted to constantly make us feel better - it is something deeper. It roots us, yes, but it also demands of us a sacrificial and fearless way of living.

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Back to the (almost) daily Lenten Blog:

Today, my calendar reminds me that it is an Ember Day. There are four sets during the year and they have, traditionally, been times when people are ordained and where we pray for those with Diaconal and Priestly vocations. I am not sure we really know why Ember Days and Ordination are linked but the official line goes back to the 8th Century.

I like the imagery. I remember walking around a site in Scotland where there had been Highland clearances (the English forcibly removed the Scots from the traditional lands). There were ruins of houses but what as always struck me powerfully is that the soldiers put out the fires, removing life from these places.

Embers are important - fires can be rekindled from them, even when they seem to be burning low. They seem to be a good metaphor for our faith journey - even when we think the fire and life has gone out of us, somewhere, deep within the embers burn - or perhaps just smoulder - but can be rekindled with the fuel and breath of the Spirit.

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As some of you know I was given a batch of chicks for my birthday. I hasten to add this was not random - we have had chickens before and my husband was given a free coop so we had planned on them, it was just a nice surprise. This one is Aphra.

I have not raised hens from chicks before, last time I bought 16 week olds as we were in the UK and they are not terribly expensive. So, watching these little guys is fascinating. They know what they need, even though they are only a few days old. They hang out under the head lamp, eat, drink, find a cooler spot when they need it.

The Bible talks about God as a mother hen. But we are not very good at being chicks, listening to our own inner voices and needs, coming back to the warmth and protection and looking after ourselves. I will keep watching the chicks and reminding myself that I need to listen to that deep and natural voice of the Spirit within me, without making things so complicated.

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