Friday March 23, 2018 Practice

Posted March 23, 2018 by bgovanus
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Keep putting into practice all you have learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:19

Tonight, is the annual Living Stations of the Cross at our church.  This is a portrayal by our youth of the Passion narrative.  The kids have been practicing their parts for several weeks and I will go to help them look the part with costumes.  Every year since our church was formed this has been a part of our Lenten journey.  Some of the teens who played Jesus and Mary are married and have families of their own.  I wonder what portraying these parts may have done to shape their lives.

St Paul asked the people in Philippi and us today to keep putting into practice all that he taught them to do.  Attend Mass, love one another and minister to the poor, the lonely and lame.  Practice makes perfect is what my music teacher would say each week.  I learned through life that only perfect practice makes perfect because I often would be repeating the same poor choices and that only reinforced the wrong.  My grandchildren as they practice their violins and cello have learned that only be mimicking the correct and perfect will they improve.

So beginning each day with scripture and asking God to continue to help me grow closer in my practice of HIS example is the way to eternal life.

Lord, Teach me Your ways and help me to practice the love and dedication to Your perfect example of LOVE! 


Thursday March 22, 2018 Do Good

Posted March 22, 2018 by bgovanus
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The teacher wrote, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good.”  Ecclesiastes 3:12

I have been asked to speak at a networking group in April and they picked my topic… “Customers Either Love em or Leave em”.  It will probably surprise them, but the talk is about Serving.  Customer Service is an art and if you embrace it, your company thrives because it is a very rare commodity anymore.  The problem is that no one really understands and practices the Golden Rule or even better the Platinum Rule these days.  The Golden Rule is serving others how you would like to be served…. But today we can only win if we serve others as they wish to be served, the Platinum Rule.  One of my handouts that evening is “101 Ways to Say, I love YOU, I Want Your money, I love You”. The truth is people want to buy, they just do not want to be sold…. If they feel the LOVE, respect and true caring of a Servant Salesperson…. They BUY!

There really is NOTHING better than to be happy and do good.  Do you ever think about how happy you feel when you are doing good?  When you make a fabulous dinner that everyone compliments and enjoys or spend time really listening to someone who needs to pour out their heart, how happy you are to have been of service!!!  When I am surrounded by people who embrace good service I am drawn to return and surround myself with their joy in their love of what they do.

If we can do GOOD by serving then both others and I are happy…  I think the essentials of serving are…


Smallest details count

Externally focused

Value added

Individuals touched

Needs fulfilled

Giving Joy

Lord, I am so grateful for the ability to serve.  Help me to do good so that I can live happily with You for eternity. 

Wednesday March 21, 2018 See

Posted March 21, 2018 by bgovanus
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Elisha prayed, “Lord please open his eyes that he may see.”  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and fiery chariots surrounding Elisha.  2 Kings 6:17

They were surrounded, and the fight was not going their way.  Elisha’s servant was panicking.  How often I have been in this servant’s shoes.  Feeling surrounded and totally at a loss for what to do next.  Overwhelmed I pray for God to show me the way.  Then and only then does He allow me to see my way clearly.  Being open to the blessings and grace that surrounds me only comes with the gift of sight.  There are so many times when I am lost.  Standing amidst the tall trees of doubt surrounded by the briers of my past sinful choices, literally frozen in fear of being trapped in this spot forever.  God allows me to see the path when I pray fervently to see.

God told us in Proverbs 8:34 Whoever finds me finds life and received favor from the Lord.  I used to laugh at people who would say, they found the Lord.  I never knew He was lost.  Now I realize that they were blind like the servant, unable to see the power and the glory that is our God.  Only when we are able to see, can we have the vision of our path toward God.

The thick fog always reminds me that God is the only one who can illuminate my path.  He is there even in the mist that blocks my ability to see and I know HE alone has the power to erase the clouds and open the way.

Lord, I am so grateful for the gift of sight.  But even more that literal sight, I bask in the knowledge that You provide insight.  The ability to see You in even the most terrible tragedy, the storms and the earthquakes, the frustrations and the losses.  You are my defender and protector, my guide when I cannot see.   

Tuesday March 20, 2018 Steps

Posted March 20, 2018 by bgovanus
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The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.  Psalm 37:23

I keep plodding along and even on the most difficult days, I find a way to keep moving forward.  I recall some wise words that were shared with me on how to keep at it.  When I asked a priest on a retreat that was offered at a beautiful campus where we took a long walk each afternoon about how to keep going in the midst of pain, grief and loss.  He bent down and picked up a stone and threw it, and we walked to the stone and he threw it again and proceeded silently without answering my question.  We walked, and he threw it again and then remarked… you just keep going from stone to stone.

I can understand this simple logic.  There is a certainty in seeing the end in sight and being able to acknowledge that I can reach a measured distance or a goal that is visible and concrete.  When I was thinking in terms of making progress when I was so unsure, I needed to shorten the distance to something easily measured.  God wants us to delight in Him and trust Him to lead where we need to go. The short distance I can throw a rock is definitely not enough space for me to get into serious difficulties.  I can trust myself not to get lost and can make corrections if need be when I stop to pick up my rock.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 Solomon tells about the time allotted to every purpose under heaven.  When I know and appreciate how I am using the time that God has given to me to accomplish a task…. I am certain that God is smiling down, and He is aware that I am delighting in Him and in the chore that He has given me to do.  My burdens are lighter, and the steps are no longer an effort of plodding but of skipping along, secure in the knowledge that I am going toward my destiny.

Lord, make firm my steps and bless my progress toward You and my heavenly Home.  I take my joy in knowing You! 

Monday March 19, 2018 Tongue

Posted March 19, 2018 by bgovanus
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The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18

There are many references to the damage that can be done by a tongue that is out of control.  From the earliest cutting remarks made by unthinking youth to the comments uttered by octogenarians in the nursing home, the pain inflicted is real.  Cutting words do damage that is often never repaired.  The wounds run deep in the core of our beings and prevent people from believing in themselves when they hear from a parent or teacher… You are not smart enough.  From a classmate… You are stupid.  From a sibling… You are a disappointment.

People talk about how the pendulum has swung too far to the other extreme, creating entitled children who think that they deserve an award for showing up.  I believe that hearing a constant stream of encouragements, You can do it!  You will succeed if you persist!  You have what it takes to succeed!  These words inspire rather than cut to the quick.  Heal rather than maim.

Nothing in our DNA prepares us for the harsh reality of cruelty dished out by the mean spirited.  My daughter told me about a 7th grade girl who is bullying a classmate until he was in tears.  When confronted, she denied doing anything wrong.  How can we change the mindset and the norm to building up rather than tearing down?  This young man’s mom is dying… what an impossible situation for him to be facing alone.  What a difference this bully could make if instead she befriended him instead of taking advantage of his vulnerability.  Sadly, it happens everywhere.  In neighborhoods, at work and worst of all in churches.

Lord, please help me to be kind and constantly watchful that my tongue is careful to be constructive and reassuring.  Help me to lift others up and never be reckless with my speech. 

Sunday March 18, 2018 Understand

Posted March 18, 2018 by bgovanus
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I will give them a heart with which to understand that I am the Lord.  They shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.  Jeremiah 24:7

Clarity of passion and purpose seems to be jumping out in everything I see or hear, think or do!  I want nothing more than to help others identify their light that is created in Christ and let it shine. There seems to be so much darkness in the world today and I believe that if only people recognized their giftedness and shared their passion with the world, all of our sorrows would be cured.  Jesus would be manifested in every life because He is the author and creator of all the good in our hearts.  By recognizing and releasing this powerful creativity as a life force this could be heaven on earth.

God gave each of us a heart that seeks to understand why we were put on this earth.  As each seeks to reveal themselves as God’s children, nothing but His will would be released if we just but sought to be one with Him.  I know how hard it is to do this and to live authentically when the forces of evil and forever pushing us to bury our light and live in the darkness.   As we return to Him with our whole heart, then and only then will the full understanding of our purpose and passion be manifested.

Lord, give me the strength to seek You when I am feeling at a loss.  Help me to open my heart to You and wait on the understanding that will come with patience.  As You caress and welcome me as Your own, I stand ready to always be Yours… unto eternity! 

Staurday March 17, 2018 Comprehend

Posted March 17, 2018 by bgovanus
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May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:17-19

Imagine… Just Imagine… the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love.  You cannot do it because we don’t dream big enough.  Our ability to see is so limited by the boxes that we have each grown up in.  Until you see a river, you cannot imagine it, then you see a lake and are overwhelmed by its size and then you see the ocean that does not appear to ever end.  Only then is the mind stretched to comprehend that something can be so vast.  If people had never reached out with a desire to fly, or to talk to someone far away, or to walk on the moon our lives would not be anything like they are today.  God planted a seed of imagination in the heart of intrepid explorers who traveled across the vast wilderness of our massive country to create a new home for themselves as they fled from tyranny and poverty.  They could never imagine what they were getting themselves into, but they came in droves to be part of something bigger.

God’s love is the ultimate frontier.  He has planted in each of us the desire to be with Him.  St Augustine taught us that we are restless until we rest in Him.  That is why I am sure each of us has the spark and desire to comprehend God.  Thinking that with understanding would come fullness, the emptiness would finally be filled.  Truth is that hole will never be filled until our restless hearts are HOME.

Each day, Lord, I strive to comprehend Your will for my life which too seems a huge mystery.  As I trust in You, I begin to see the edges of depth and breadth of Your Love but my eye will never see the full expanse because like the ocean, it is too vast… Thank You for loving me.