Friday April 29, 2016 Chosen

Posted April 29, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“It was not you who chose me but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give to you.  This I command you: love one another.”  John 15:16-17

Gary and I had moved to MN and were looking for a new church home.  We had visited several churches as there were many surrounding us in the downtown Minneapolis home that we had bought.  One Sunday, we entered Our Lady of Grace and as is our custom sat near the front.  The priest when he began his homily, to discuss this reading, stepped off the alter and looked right at us.  Saying, “You are not hear by accident today.  God called you to be here!”  Gary and I looked at each other and said, OKAY, can’t get any clearer than that.  We had found our new church home.

God does not always give such clear signs or direct orders.  I have prayed for answers to dilemmas and begged Him for a clear direction.  Life often throws up a smoke screen so that I cannot see my way clearly.  God is always faithful and will supply an answer… I think sometimes, it is NOT the answer I want so I keep waiting.

God has chosen His own in the world.  If I am to be truly faithful, I must pay close attention and realize that He is in charge.  He expects and encourages me to seek answers from Him.  ASK in my name!  The next verse though is key… The command that goes along with the ASK…  Love one another.  If my requests are not founded in love, that I can be out wandering the desert for a while.  God is LOVE and expects me to live in that Love always.

Heavenly Father, I am eager to do Your will and live in Your light.  Help me to choose LOVE every day in every situation.  When I live that commandment, I will hear your voice and know I am chosen! 

Wednesday April 27, 2016 Remain

Posted April 27, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Remain in Me, as I remain in you.  Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.  John 15:4

I had a hard time picking my Scripture verse to write about this morning because they all spoke to me, LOUDLY!  Like the Lord was highlighting and putting circles around His words saying, This is FOR YOU!  But I decided upon this one is because the only way to relate to God’s message is to abide with Him and remain intimately connected at the root source.  If I am separated from God, no amount of effort on my part will achieve the desired results.  I will be achieving BUT the results will never satisfy.  The fruit will leave a bitter taste in my mouth if indeed there is any fruit at all.

God provides the life blood, the nourishment and the being.  He tells me if I am not connected, I will die and be thrown into the fire to be burned.  I know that I was grafted onto the living vine at my Baptism.  I have been pruned and nurtured, I have been fed and watered through God’s word and Jesus blood.  As St Paul wrote to the Galatians…  “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and has given Himself up for me.”  Gal 2:20

I ask the Father to continue to strengthen my bond to Him even though the pruning can be difficult.  I want to continue to bear fruit for the rest of my days and never be like the barren fig tree accursed and alone for providing nothing but leaves!

Lord I am so grateful to be connected to You through faith, hope and love.  I know there will be times when I need to be trimmed back, but I trust You love me and only want to strengthen my bond to You.  Help me bear fruit that will nourish and bring more people to believe in You. 

Tuesday April 26, 2016 Teaching

Posted April 26, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

It amazes me that every time I open my Scripture God gives me a word to strengthen and inspire me.  He teaches through the verses amazing lessons of valor or humble parables of turning the other cheek.  God gives me just what I need in my daily bread to face the challenges that lay before me.  Having learned at the feet of simple believers and scholars that God’s word holds the answers for all my doubts and fears.

One of the most important things that I have come to realize if that God’s word is timeless.  The book of Genesis can reveal truth and help me cope with the world.  No one is immune from the frustrations of facing the world… Job, David, Peter and Paul all had to deal with the worst that the world could throw at them.  Their hope was in the Lord and He did not turn His back on them and will not abandon me either.

Having HOPE is truly the only way to keep perspective some days when loved ones are dying, when the money runs out or any one of the million sundry things occur that throw me off my game.  God continues to teach me to trust HIM.

Lord, I am grateful for the amazing gift of Scripture and the joy that I feel when I read Your word.  I know it is a gift to me!  I treasure the hope that You give me to carry me through to keep on keeping on when the road is tough.  Endurance has been taught through the words You have shared and they are alive with promise! 

Monday April 25, 2016 Spinning

Posted April 25, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”  John 9:39

At my first opportunity to see a ballet, I marveled at the ballerina who spun around and around without falling over.  I went home and tried to do it and was even more convinced that she was an amazing mutant.  I finally asked how it was possible and learned from a teacher at school that the trick was to focus on an object and finding that upon each circle would enable the ballerina to keep spinning.  The Lord must be the focus outside my circle today to keep me upright.  Because my world is definitely spinning and so many days I wonder how I can keep upright.

I quickly learn that I cannot close my eyes or look down during my spin because when I do I fall flat on my face.  God and my ability to focus on Him helps me to keep upright during the tough times.  Jesus revealed the Father and sent the Holy Spirit who continues to help me see HIM when the world is violent turning me in a tornado force circle.  My eternal Father must remain my focus.

God stands as my constant and when I can’t see Him because of sinfulness or fear, then I cannot keep my balance in the storm.  I know He remains always a rock but I know that I will become blinded by darkness of my own creation and unable to see Him.  I ask forgiveness and mercy so I can see.

Lord You alone must be my focus.  Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You so that while my world is spinning I can stay erect.  You are my only hope in this storm. 

Sunday April 24, 2016 Shoe Leather

Posted April 24, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.   For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.  Acts 4:33-35

When I was growing up, I loved the story of the shoemaker who was so poor he only had enough leather left to make one pair of shoes.  He started to work and became so tired he fell asleep at his work bench.  Elves came and finished the shoes, making the best shoes ever produced.  The shoemaker was able to sell  them for enough leather to make 4 pair of shoes and the elves helped him out again and again.  The shoemaker was able to feed his family and prospered.

The early days of the church were funded by believers who contributed everything to help make the church work.  No one wanted for anything because each person contributed their time, talent and treasure.  Shoe leather was not a prized possession.  The better cuts were used for hats, belts, saddles and purses.  The scraps as it were, became sandals in Jesus day.  Jesus asked much of the early disciples.  They were persecuted and forced to move away from their homes to survive.  The movement to new areas helped the church spread and grow… so even the persecution worked to spread the Good News.

Bibles used to be wrapped in the finest Moroccan leather.  Big heavy tomes that were only opened when someone was born, married or died.  These books served as places where records were kept.  How blessed I am to have several bibles that are wrapped in shoe leather instead of kept on a shelf housing records.  These books are my constant companion on my journey.  Like the sandals that carried His disciples, they deliver good news every day.  Blessed with new insights every day, I am grateful for those who have shared with me their time, talent and treasure so that I can know the Lord.

Jesus thank You for inspiring Your followers to share with all… the Jews, the Gentiles and me. You use Shoe Leather to make new believers and spread joy throughout the world for all time.

Friday April 22, 2016 Waiting

Posted April 22, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25

This passage in Acts reveals the Holy Spirit standing with the new disciples to give them HOPE and Patience for the second coming of Christ.  Just as we are waiting for Christ to come again, they lived expectant lives, patiently waiting.  I love the description that outlines the fact that hope is never for something we already possess.  It is for the BIG UNKNOWN.  Something bigger and better than what I am confident is ahead and worthy of me waiting!  Hope is a pillar of my faith.  Something I long for and desire is not something I already have.

The Holy Spirit can take my desire for something more and translate my groanings into a message worthy to bring to the Father.  I tell people to be specific in what they ask me to do for them, or a person who they would like for me to introduce to them.  It makes it much easier for me to fulfill their request.  I don’t always do that with my prayers because I truly don’t know what the best result would be.  I pray for health for a friend not a cure, even though that is what I want.  Instead health in body might not be God’s will but health in spirit and mind can be just what the Divine Healer has to offer.

It is hard to wait patiently but having HOPE helps tremendously.  If I can put myself in a position of waiting on the Lord expectantly in HOPE then my waiting time will be fruitful because I will place myself in God’s presence beckoning through the Holy Spirit to assist me in making my prayer heard.

Lord I am grateful indeed that You hear and answer me and that You have given me Hope in a future that I cannot conceive of our understand.  Help me to wait patiently for Your will to be done on earth and in heaven. 

Thursday April 21, 2016 Don’t Give UP!

Posted April 21, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up!  Galatians 6:9

In this hectic and messed up world, it is easy to get to a point where giving up seems like the only option.  When I plod along doing my best and it just does not seem like enough to even make a dent in this harsh and sin filled world.  Just when I am ready to throw in the towel, God sends a blessing to remind me that all is not in vain.  I admit, that when I am exhausted it is much harder for me to keep a positive outlook so when I feel discouragement start to overwhelm me, I know it is time for a nap!  Life always looks much more manageable when I am rested.  My practice lately is to pray myself to sleep.

Being TIRED occurs on many levels… there is physical exhaustion of course but frustration is a much more difficult “Tiredness” for me and most of the people with whom I walk.  When the direction that seems like the right one is thwarted at every turn.  It is so easy to throw up hands saying I am done.  God teaches me in Scripture that patience is required!  Where would the Israelites have been if God had given up on this grumbling group of ungrateful people.  If anyone had the right to give up it was God when no matter what He did, they were unhappy!  I forget myself how important it is to trust and be grateful for what the Lord is doing in my life.  Even when it may not make any sense at all in the moment… He knows the plans He has for me!  As long as I am SURE I am doing what God wants me to do… Then staying the course is key to unlocking the Blessings that God has for me.

God, You are asking me look beyond the frustration and the uphill climb.  You promise that You will deliver me if I cling to Your word, grasp tightly to the promise.  Help me to be faithful! 


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