Ash Wednesday with Ryan Woods

Tonight at Northaven, I’ll be inviting our folks to watch this short, but powerful, video from Ryan Woods. Ryan died of his cancer last Fall, but his openness about his dying stands as a challenge to all of us to live the time we have left.

As he says in the video…

We’re all in the process of dying.

So the question is: What kind of story are we going to live out as we’re dying?

I would just invite people to live out a beautiful story…to live out their lives, make beautiful music, regardless of what kind of brokenness they have to deal with.

And on our journey toward death, which is inevitable, we have the opportunity to let a beautiful story be told. And it’s up to us to allow that story to become something beautiful.

— Ryan Woods

Time is short. For all of us. We are dust, and to dust we shall return. Ash Wednesday is the day each year where we stand and look death straight in the face, without flinching, and ask ourselves the very question Ryan asks in this video:

What kind of story are we going to live out as we’re dying?

The season of Lent then beckons to us. It beckons to us to “turn in a new way,” to make the choice to live into our lives to the fullest, loving God, loving ourselves and loving our neighbor with new and renewed passion.

Hope to see you tonight at Northaven.
And if we don’t, may your Lenten journey help you turn back toward life, and back toward God.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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