Ash Wednesday is Feb. 26. When you think of ashes it may be that the fireplace needs cleaned or you need to put water on the campfire to make sure it is extinguished. You may also think of ashes at the end of a cigarette or cigar. The ashes that we use on Ash Wed. are the ones left after burning the palms from previous Palm Sundays. That helps us make the connection to death and rising to new life as we remember Jesus going to Jerusalem for the final suffering and death in life so as to rise to new life. During this season of Lent, I hope you take time to meditate on how you are dying to those things that keep us from finding new life. May we be alive in the ways that help us to get closer to God.