Wednesday May 25, 2016 Tried

Posted May 25, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

No trial has come to you but what is human.  God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial He will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

There is an encouraging message in this verse and many that God provides in Scripture about the TRIALS that each of us must face in this life.  Whether it is the loss of a home, a job, a loved one or even our health… God is faithful and will not allow me to be tried beyond my strength.  What I find so interesting is the word… TRIED.  I always tell people that I coach or mentor that you cannot TRY.  You either do it or you don’t.  I use as an example… TRY and pick up or move a chair.  When they pick it up, I say no TRY and move it.  I am channeling YODA here but the point is made.

However the word TRIED is definitely one that has a much different meaning to me.  All the learnings that I have gleaned, all the mistakes and failures in my life have been a proving ground and I have been TRIED and improved because of the hard lessons.  God gives me the opportunities to be purified like silver and gold in the fire but He has never taken His eyes off of me allowing the process to ruin me.  He has promised that He will remain faithful and I believe His word.

Lessons indeed, happen when I fail or fall.  I learn the way NOT to do something.  I learn the boundaries of my strength and learn that I need more knowledge, a stronger core or simply that I don’t like something that I thought would be perfect for me.  God has provided a way out for me.

Lord, I ask You to help me admit the areas where I am weak and ask YOU for help.  I know You will provide for me a way out if that is where I need to go, or open a door or send me help to complete the task.  You are my constant source of strength! 

Tuesday May 24, 2016 Shielded

Posted May 24, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Ephesians 6:16

Some days I do feel the heat of those flaming arrows.  Being roasted by gossip or having made a mistake that set me up for criticism puts me at a disadvantage that is hard to overcome.  I do know that God does not give me more than I can handle but sometimes I think His opinion of me far exceeds my own capacity.  I keep saying, Lord are You sure that You have the right girl?

Life comes at me in a steady wave so having God’s shield of FAITH is crucial to surviving the onslaught.  Faith is believing in things that I cannot see.  If something is visible, tangible and can be touched… I do not need Faith because my other senses are proof enough.  God has opened my faith eyes quite often to allow me to grasp His love and to feel His protection.  Stumbling in the darkness of sin, Faith became the light that led me safely away from danger.

This day is gift.  There will never be another one.  When I awake and seize the opportunities to know and serve HIM, then I will be protected and allowed to make a difference for myself and for others.  Today is a PRESENT.  When I am depressed, I am living in the past.  When I am anxious, I am living in the future but when I am at peace, I am living in God’s gift of the Present!  (Lao Tzo)

Faith gives me the peace to live in the present, unharmed by the arrows that fly around me.

Lord, Thank You for shielding me from the hurtful and the dangerous.  I know that Faith is a virtue as well as a gift so I must exercise Your discernment and hold up the shield to reject thoughts of malice, envy, hatred and selfishness.  Help me to be open to the waters of Baptism that keep me clean and protect me from the flames of sin. 

Monday May 23, 2016 Afflictions

Posted May 23, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

And not only this, but we also boast in our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Two of my grandchildren graduated last week, one with her Masters and the other from his High School.  Each has had to endure trials and tribulations to achieve their honors especially in the last couple of years.  As a grandparent,  I wish that was not the case.  But, I know that their struggles have taught them many things and the best of these is that trusting God during times of trouble is key.  These kids live in St Louis and have dealt with car accidents, racial uprisings and the loss of their other grandparents who were very involved in their lives from the time they were born.

God wants to be the answer in all our lives but too often it is easy to get comfortable thinking that strength is a human trait and I can handle whatever comes my way.  Saint Paul also wrote… For power is made perfect in weakness.  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me…  for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10  Recalling these words during the trials that come into my life certainly has helped me deal with the ups and downs that just keep coming.

As much as I would like to have protected my beloved grandchildren, I know that I cannot.  Instead, I pray that they will receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit to be filled with God when the going gets tough.  I am so proud that they have completed these landmarks and know they will continue to excel because they walk in the light.  With God showing them the way, they will achieve so many more great things.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8  Lord help me to realize that I do not have to pray for You to be with me but instead pray that I will recognize Your presence and have the humility and discernment to accept Your help. 

Thursday May 19, 2016 Whatever

Posted May 19, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

These days the word, Whatever, is more often used in slang and often with disgust to indicate apathy or a lack of investment in the situation than the meaning Jesus implied.  These words written to the Philippians were anything BUT apathetic.  Taking these words and living them invites careful scrutiny and a decision to focus past the casual and choose the better to become the best person possible.  His Holy Spirit uses the WORD of God to change the people of God.  There are no ifs, and or buts about the choices that I am called to make about where to focus my attention and my thoughts.

There are too many negatives in our world today.  Many spiritual leaders remind that by focusing on gratitude instead of negativity, anger or what is lacking people can be transformed.  Paying attention to whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and gracious does not allow much room for dwelling on the past.  The fear and anger, jealousy and feelings of lack move quickly out of my mind when I can keep my attention on the GOOD in the world.  God invites me to think about the positive and wonderful things in His creation and when I have my focus there… my mind can create, invite others and grow more compassionate.

Whatever I can conceive and believe, I can achieve.  God knew that and planted in the hearts of our earliest disciples and apostles that focus on the good would serve them well and elevate everyone around them.

Lord, help me to concentrate on the truth, on what honors You!  Help me seek justice and purity and uphold them in every situation.  Inspire me to share what is lovely and gracious with my friends instead of gossip and gloom and doom.  Inspire me to live my life being and doing WHATEVER is excellent and worthy.  Because when I live this way, I give YOU the honor and the glory! 

Wednesday May 18, 2016 Open

Posted May 18, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Behold, I have left an open door before you, which no one can close.  Revelations 3:8

I have always loved this verse as it has encouraged me to step forward and seize an opportunity or to take a step in a new direction.  Yesterday, Debbie Farah, spoke about the Power of One at the Women’s Executive Exchange luncheon.  Debbie saw an open door and walked through it, creating a company that provides jobs for women in 18 of the poorest countries around the world.  These women are given hope and a future by making jewelry for fare wages that provides education, food and a better life for themselves and their children.  Debbie’s company, Bajalia,  has become internationally known for the beauty and social change that she is creating.

There have been men and women who have stepped into the open space and made this world a better place… St Vincent DE Paul started off serving imprisoned galley slaves and eventually created the Vincentians, the Sisters of Charity and inspired the St Vincent DE Paul Society.  Mary Kay Ash began a company to help women be in control of their beauty, their finances and their lives.  She was a widow at 45 who began a business in a store front in Dallas.  Small steps through a narrow door can change history.

God holds that door open inspiring His children to walk through it.  The importance of Faith can never be diminished.  One person with God as a partner can change the world and put a wrinkle in the Universe.  I pray each day to walk where God is calling me to step.  I heard Les Brown ask an audience one day, “As you reflect on your life, raise your hand if you could have done more.”  Everyone raised their hand… What would our world be if each of us walked through that door and did what is ours to do?

Lord help me to always have the Faith and the Trust to step through that doorway.  Open my eyes to see the possibilities that You have laid at my feet!  Together, We can accomplish miracles.  Help me to go forward with confidence to love and serve you! 

 

Tuesday May 17, 2016 Intercession

Posted May 17, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?  You covet but do not possess.  You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war.   James 4: 2-4

Monica prayed for her son, Augustine.  FOR A LONG TIME!  He was out carousing, fighting and wasting his life on things that his mother knew were not right for him.  So she prayed without ceasing.  Mothers and Grandmothers do this naturally.  We see our children heading down the wrong path and wish with all our might that we could stop them… but there is nothing short of locking them in their room that can prevent a child from doing wrong… and then we end up losing them to DCF.  The rock and the hard place has nothing on Moms & Grandmothers.

The first verse of this passage is Beloved: Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?  I know the answer…  The Devil made me do it!  Yes, Satan still plants seeds of destruction just like he did in Eve’s heart.  That is why prayer and love are truly the best weapon to bring peace to a troubled child.  Monica was far from perfect… she loved her wine and was a bit misguided on some issues but she was diligent.  She never gave up and eventually her prayers of intercession were answered.  St Augustine was a doctor of the Church and became a model of prayerful leadership.  Just like our own progeny, Monica could not imagine what he would become , she just knew that he was destined for more.

Lord help me to trust that You hold my children and grandchildren in Your hand.  I pray for them to achieve all that You have created for them to be.  I give them into Your loving care. 

Monday May 16, 2016 Obtuse

Posted May 16, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” but not do what I command?  Luke 6:46

Sometimes, I know the answer to the question but continue to ask it!  Sometimes, I know what to do but continue to ignore the situation and put off the inevitable.  Sometimes, I pretend that my life and I are something that I am NOT!   The Lord has every right to ask me….  WHY do I not do what He has commanded me to do!

When I was growing up, the adage “Act as if” became popular.  It became popular in the self-help era when leaders were encouraging people to speak positively and BELIEVE their way into a new job or a better situation.  I believe that every person has greatness within them and can achieve much more than they “KNOW” they can!  The important difference between acting as if and doing the job at hand is belief.  I have learned that I must be the capable person before I can do the task and that inevitably allows me to have the reward.

God bestows upon me the capacity to know Him and LOVE Him and that is enough to do what He asks of me.  No matter what that task is… I am not ever going to be anything that He has not created me to be.  That fore-knowledge and empowered spirit creates in me the desire to serve Him.  Service opens doors that I could never have dreamed of or imagined.  God asks only what He has prepared me to accomplish.  When I ignore His purpose in my life… I turn my back on Him.  I have no right then to ask for His help and guidance.

Lord, Lord, I pray each day to see what You would have me do today!  Open my eyes to Your commands and help me always be Your humble servant ready to act upon what You have asked of me. 


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