Thursday January 18, 2018 Distressed

Posted January 18, 2018 by bgovanus
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I am your brother, Joseph, the one you sold into slavery into Egypt!  Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.  Genesis 45:4-5, 8

There was a lot of rivalry and jealousy in the bible.  The tale of Joseph and his brothers was amazing in its twists and turns.  Saul was going to kill David because he was jealous…. Talk about a power struggle.

Joseph was not out for vengeance, he completely forgave his brothers when he looked back and understood their jealousy had a purpose.  This helps me to cope when I am distressed and going through a hard time to be calm and say to God… I know You can use this for good.  WHAT do you want me to learn here?  How can I grow through this to serve YOU better?

No one wants to be in crisis.  Poor Joseph was sold into slavery, imprisoned unjustly by his boss’s wife, all to eventually become the second in command to Pharaoh.  This was indeed the circuitous route, but GOD had a plan, but it took YEARS to come to fruition.  Every time Joseph seemed to get ahead, he was cast down once more.  Patience and trust are certainly not my long suite.  I want to know NOW what God has in store.  When I can reflect on Joseph’s life, I know that the stresses that I suffer will never be bigger than God.  As sure as I am sitting her writing this I KNOW that all that God has allowed into my life has served a purpose.

Lord, I know the plans that You have me are for good.  I do trust You to lead me where YOU want me to go.  Today the path is not well illuminated but I trust You and will follow Your will.  Thank You for loving me enough to be by my side when I am distressed.   


Monday January 15, 2018 All

Posted January 15, 2018 by bgovanus
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Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  Colossians 3:11

Today is Martin Luther King Day and when I read this scripture I immediately thought that he must have believed with all his heart that these words would come true.  He had a dream that ALL God’s creations would be equal here on earth as they are in heaven.  So many years have passed since he was murdered and much change has happened but we are NOT there yet.

I would hope that someday soon these words would be true.  HERE is the operative word.  That might be in our town, in our county, in our state, in our country, on our continent or in our world.  It would be nice if it could start within our family or in our church.  It has to start here in my own heart!

Jesus came so that I can know Him, embrace His teachings and invite Him into my heart.  I am called to embrace His teachings and live with gratitude for His love.  When that s how I live, then He can be in me.  That peace of Christ creates peace in my heart and allows me to see and recognize Christ in another.  To see that in truth the fact that we are similar and work together to give God the glory only HE deserves.

Friends marched from Selma in 1965, more friends marched this weekend in support of Dr. King and his beliefs that ALL are equal in God’s eyes.  We as a nation have come a long way BUT in 52 years we could have marched to the moon and back.  God has every right to expect that we as a nation and a world could have figured out that ALL are equal in His sight.

Lord help me to see You when I walk alongside everyone I meet.  Help me to honor You in each person and acknowledge that grace and blessedness of every person You have created.  There are no Gentiles or Jews, no slave or free, but Christ is all in all.   

Sunday January 14, 2018 Sleeping

Posted January 14, 2018 by bgovanus
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Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was.  The Lord called to Samuel, who answered “Here I am.”  Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am.  You called me.”  First Samuel 3:3-4

Samuel was aroused from sleep three times before his father, Eli, realized what was happening to his son… that he was being called by God.  I know that I have slept through so many opportunities to act on the calling of God.  Sleeping through life is so easy to do.  Too focused on the stuff on my plate and the tempest in a teapot that is my world, I have missed chances to serve God and be touched by His greatest insights.  Lucky for me and for Samuel that God does not easily become discouraged.  He kept calling Samuel and he does the same even today.

How can I stay awake to God’s call?  I have found the best way is by quiet time of prayer and reading scripture.  Often it is first thing in the morning or the last thing at night as I lay in bed, my mind and my heart at peace.  I know many people who write in their gratitude journal right before they lay down to sleep.  That certainly opens mind and heart to hear God’s voice.  Life will continue to obliterate quiet moments so unless I create them for myself… they simply do not just happen.  Samuel was instructed to reply… “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” This is the perfect response that will sharpen attention and quiet the mind for full and deliberate listening.  It acknowledges that I am a servant who wishes to serve.

From this time forward Samuel was filled with God’s grace and he became one of the great men of the old testament.  He anointed kings Saul and David.  He advised them both as to God’s will because he never stopped listening and following the directions that he heard uttered from God.  He lived his life as God’s good and faithful servant because he was attuned always to the voice of God.   God is always looking for people who are willing to listen.

Open my ears to hear Your call, dear Lord.  Create in me a yearning to hear Your voice.  Help me always respond: Speak, Lord, I am listening!

Friday January 12, 2018 Reflects

Posted January 12, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.  Proverbs 27:19

I love pictures of beautiful scenery reflected in a body of water.  It is amazing to see the colors and images perfectly captured in the water’s calm face.  As I read this verse today, it struck me how true it is that my life reflects what is in my heart.  I heard once that you can tell someone’s priorities by looking at their checkbook register, their calendar and their waistline.  What is happening in those three spots reflects what is my focus.

How can I reflect God’s will when all my money goes to frivolous or selfish things?

How can I say I love Him if my time is spent on selfishness and things that pull me away from Him?

When I do not practice self-care by eating right and exercising, I am not giving His gift of my body the proper attention.

Life today abounds with so many choices.  Each second, I must decide how my life will reflect my heart.  Literally I made a hundred decisions in the hour since I woke up.   I have to have my heart focused on what I want my life to reflect.  The clean slate that opens before me each day needs to be filled with God’s will not my own.

I feel blessed that God has called me to be His child and instilled in me an ability and willingness to serve Him.  The choices I make each day allow my reflected picture to be one that He creates.  I marvel when I trust Him, how beautiful is the panoramic view that surrounds me.  Only when I give my life to Him will the picture be filled with His glorious hues and bold brushstrokes.

Lord help me to give You the palette and brush.  Help my life reflect Your will and help me to always trust You to create in me the life that gives You glory. 

Wednesday January 10, 2018 Greater

Posted January 10, 2018 by bgovanus
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For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who is at the table?  But I am one who serves.  Luke 22:27

Jesus asks this of His disciples on their way to Gethsemane on Holy Thursday night.  He had just washed their feet and served them at what would be their last supper and they were arguing about who was the greatest among them.  Jesus, knowing what was about to happen must have been so frustrated that after three long years of being among them, they still did not get it!  Do any of us truly get it?

Servant Leadership brings equality to a situation that would never be considered equal.  A leader of a company, a church, a team puts the needs of the group before himself or herself.  Jesus, the God, stripped down to wash their feet like the lowliest servant and a few hours later, they argue about who is the best or most highly favored.  How can I overcome these same attitudes?  Human nature seeks to honor the ego.  Putting on Christ means allowing others to sit at the table and be served.

There is a huge awakening in our country about the place of women, especially an awareness of the exploitation that has happened in the workplace.  My prayer is that from this discussion will emerge a new empowerment for all.  I don’t believe that women want to be the same as men but equal.  To have our special gifts recognized and appreciated.  Each of us has so much to bring.  Why not invite all to the table where we can all feed one another.  There was a cartoon of what hell would be… a huge banquet with luscious foods galore… the only problem is there were only VERY long forks, three feet long to eat.  Everyone was starving because it never occurred to them to serve each other.  I pray that this change in our nation will bring us all to the table where each person will prosper and be fed by serving the needs of all.

Lord only You are the Greatest and the only one worthy of adoration!  Give everyone a renewed perspective about how to be true servants!  The blessing is found not by sitting at the table but by eating.  Help every person be fed! 

Tuesday January 9, 2018 Stones

Posted January 9, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you.  In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?” tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.    Joshua 4:5-7

As I take down my Christmas decorations I carefully pack away the ornaments that I have accumulated through the years.  Each one has a memory attached to it, from a family reunion in Copper Mountain, from the grandson’s first cruise with us, from the first Disney vacation taken in 1987.  When I read this passage this morning it made me think that my memories are very similar to so many who have immortalized importance in things.  Joshua wanted his people to always remember how God had protected and saved the Israelites in so many ways.  This final trip into the “Promised Land” was through the Jordan River where the people walked dry shod.  The twelve stones would help this occasion to live on.

People wear jewelry to commemorate relationships: marriage, engagement and even friendships.  I have antiques that were my grandmothers that remind me of my heritage.  Communities have statues of favorite sons and daughters that remind them of the great deeds done by this person.  But often we drive by and ignore these landmarks because they are always a part of our life.  Joshua wanted the question to be asked so that the memory could be shared.  Time eroded those rocks and familiarity does the same.  That is why it is good that I don’t leave my Christmas tree up all year long.  I need a reason to refresh my mind and to consider life as I have known it.

God has given me stones to remind me of His love.  The Church building, the Cross, the altar each reminds me of His love and sacrifice for me.  My Church does this in a special way because I was around before it was built, so like Joshua, the stones that were assembled to build it, mark a great change and a new birth for me.  Each person must find their own ‘HOLY” remembrance so that when passing by, the wonder can be revisited and shared.

God I am so grateful for the stones that have reminded me of Your love.  Help me to share how You have changed my life, never unwilling to tell what these stones mean to me.      

Monday January 8, 2018 Water

Posted January 8, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him.  And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”  Mark 1: 10-11

Today the world celebrates the Baptism of the Lord.  Jesus went to John the Baptist and of course, John was reluctant to perform his ritual upon the Son of God but Jesus insisted.  As a result, when Jesus emerged from the water, God spoke.  John was rewarded for being obedient and we are blessed to have this confirmation of Jesus being God’s Son!

Jesus did not need the waters of the Jordan to be made clean.  The ritual was wasted on Him but what a blessing for us.  Jesus set a precedent that continues, a washing that cleans the spirit not the body.  He had NO SIN but subjected Himself, so how much more important it is for each of us to be cleansed.  I have attended the Baptisms of each of my Grandchildren and many of my nieces and nephews.  It is a moment of great joy and each time I visualize the dove above them, welcoming them and saying, “You are now my child.”  In addition to having parents and grandparents, siblings and cousins, that baby is now a part of the family of God.

Water and the Spirit makes that possible.  Faith and Ritual opens the door to heaven for each child and adult who seeks to be made new in Christ.  What a wonderful gift God has given us to be made NEW in God’s family.  I rejoice at every Mass that has a Baptism.  It is a privilege to be present at this sacrament of welcoming.  God gives us all a part to play in affirming the child, the parents and the priest.

Lord, Thank You for the sacrament of Baptism.  I am so grateful that You loved me enough to save me from my sins and to give me a chance to be a part of Your universal family, the Church through the waters.  Help me to always be an advocate for those who come to You seeking admittance to Your love.