Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Monday October 23, 2017 Safely

October 23, 2017

Christ never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.  He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

In these days of terrorist bombings and lone gunman who disrupt life in cruel and the most devastating ways, it is so comforting to recall that Jesus is going to bring God’s children safely into paradise.  Knowing my soul is safe for eternity gives me courage and hope to live my life on earth to my fullest potential.  I spent the day with old friends from MN yesterday at a theme park.  During the course of the day we discussed fears of living life today.  Everything from “gators” to heights to just being in the crush of people can be frightening and overwhelming for some.  If I had no faith, I think it would be hard to function.

Looking at the big picture, I am eager to move my heart past the fears that can intrude on life today.  I could be thwarted by a need to keep safe at all costs but that would prevent me from experiencing so much joy.  I love movies and the whole theater experience.  I love music and would be so sad to think I could not ever attend another concert just to stay “safe”.

Life is full of choices and God’s assurance that He offers me safe passage to eternal life allows me to embrace the stuff that I am called to experience.  As I face new challenges and things that can be now construed as unsafe, I pray for protection but I know my God is there.

I look forward to my safe passage to heaven in spite of the fears and scary moments that are part of living today.  Lord, I trust in You and depend on Your gracious love to sustain me in the rough passages. 

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Sunday October 22, 2017 Spur

October 22, 2017

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Hebrew 10:24

I love a good Western!  Big Jake and McClintock, all of John Wayne’s movies with Maureen O’Hara get watched at least twice a year.  They talk about and use spurs daily.  Interesting to note that this apparatus is two thousand years old.  To get the horse to go faster, the rider pokes him in the side with metal.  Does not sound very Christian to me.  BUT it certainly got results.  Here, St Paul is encouraging his Jewish followers to “spur” one another toward love and good deeds.

Obviously, a spur was not a tool that he wanted his beloved friends to use on one another but instead to be encouragers for one another.  The metal point did the trick to motivate a horse to go faster or stay headed in the right direction.  Fellow Christians were asked to consider how they could motivate one another to love and to serve.  In a culture with slavery so rampant, his choice of words can give us pause.

I am sure that Paul wanted his disciples to choose emulation.  To choose a way of motivating people to LOVE, I can only think of ONE! Lead by example.  You certainly cannot force someone to love another.  You cannot bend another’s will to serve another or sacrifice their time or their money to make another more comfortable as in the story of the Good Samaritan.  It must be a choice determined by an example.  A child emulates kindness or cattiness, prejudice or philanthropy as all is learned behavior… not in born.

So today Lord, help me to be an example of generosity and kindness so that others are spurred to act with Love and Goodness.  Give me the discipline to put others first so that they feel encouraged to do the same. 

Saturday October 21, 2017 Aroma

October 21, 2017

Listen my faithful children: open up your petals like roses planted near running waters; send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily.  Send up the sweet aroma of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all He has done!  Sirach 39:13-14

The sense of smell is strong enough to bring back memories in even the worst Alzheimer patients.  Deep within the scent of Raisin Cake baking conjures in my mind great memories of Christmases past with my grandmother and my mom baking this family tradition.  Each time I smell honeysuckle I am carried back to my childhood home where the backyard was filled with the scent.  My mother’s cologne on someone else brings me up short, causing a tear in my eye and a quickness in my breath.

God wants each of us to create those special olfactory triggers for those around us.  Being a deep emotional connection to the good that God has done and continues to do on this earth.  I know that actions don’t create smells unless of course I am cutting onions or pressing garlic but the sweet aroma of kindness and generosity lingers all the same.  Making sweet odor of incense by our burning love can bring evil to its knees and the tender scent of roses will fill the air when gentle ministrations to the poor or the hungry are done without judgement.  In every moment when I decide to do the good instead of the selfish or the bad, I send out a sweet waft of lily for those who are surrounded by the putrid or the decaying.

With You Father, my common efforts can take on the heavenly scent.  Please help me to create good memories and trigger in those I serve a bounty of blessings as abundant s a field of wildflowers. 

Friday October 20, 2017 Afraid

October 20, 2017

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.  I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.” Luke 12:4-5

I was at lunch with a friend and she casually mentioned that she had been invited to an open-air concert.  I said that sounded great because we both really liked the artist.  She looked aghast at me and said that of course, she WASN’T going.   After Las Vegas massacre, I realized that many would feel like my friend.  Our lives have changed so dramatically because of the evil in the world.  Children can no longer play on the streets with their friends for hours on end, the casual evening at a theater or sporting event has taken on the need by many to be wary, the classroom that was once the safe haven is like Fort Knox to visit and the work environment continues to present a place where unwanted advances can be an everyday occurrence.

Being afraid is a very real part of the texture of life.  Jesus, could see that His disciples also were worried for their lives and assured them that fearing death in this life was NOT the worst fear but succumbing to the devil who could lead people to hell was really something to cower away from.  Jesus assured His followers in the next few verses that even the hairs on their heads were counted.  NOTHING in this life that happens to us is past His scrutiny.

I am encouraged by His words today because FEAR is a negative force unlike any other.  It prevents me from stepping out in faith to accomplish what God has called me to be, do and have.  No one else can prevent me from being my best self except ME!  When Maximillian Kolbe and the martyrs faced those who would kill the body, they saved others by giving this life up because they KNEW there was more.  I am angry at the people who steal our innocence and make the world a more fearful place.  But I refuse to allow them to frighten me into hiding from whom God calls me to be.

Lord, thank You for knowing me so intimately and loving me through the frightful world that surrounds me.  Help me to embrace Your love and step boldly into the role that You have called me to live.  Help me to remember that only Satan with my cooperation can cast me into hell. Stay with me and keep me on the heavenly path. 

Thursday October 19, 2017 Purpose

October 19, 2017

This was according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in Him.  Ephesians 3:12

Mankind today talks a great deal about “Purpose”.  Once discovered for each person, life has clear direction and the path seems to be lit up with clarity and focus.  St Paul encouraged the folks in Ephesus and us today to understand that God achieved His purpose by sending His Only Son to earth to make restitution for Sin.  Realizing that God had done this, Paul was on fire to tell as many people as he could by boldly proclaiming Jesus crucified throughout the Gentile world.

He shares that each of us has been given that boldness of speech and confident access to God also.  Do I realize and claim it?

It is hard to be a witness… standing ready to be challenged by those who would find the truth as well as those who would seek to hide it.  Today knowing that this is my purpose to boldly speak out and be a witness is crucial to my happiness and peace.  When I am doubtful or second guess myself, that is when the devil can sneak in and push me off the path of righteousness.  Wavering or unclear direction is at the root of most sinfulness.  So Jesus called St Paul to set a clear agenda of LOVE so that all could follow and emulate Jesus.  Even though Paul never met Jesus while He lived, God’s presence was so clear in him.  We too can reflect the face of Christ by embracing boldness and finding our divine purpose.

God is in every situation, embracing each second of life allows each of us to have access to Him.  Jesus says He spits out the lukewarm.  I step out boldly to introduce my savior to those who have not met Him.  His love embraces all, sinner and saint, child and octogenarian.  I come then to preach Jesus Christ as Lord with my life.

Lord, help me to open my heart and my mind each day to discover the purpose that I am to serve for You.  Allow me to be Bold for You in my every action and to humbly serve those who You put into my life.   

Monday October 16, 2017 Intended

October 16, 2017

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50:19-20

The wonderful story of Joseph the dreamer was immortalized for the modern theater goer by the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  The story is one that lends itself well to Broadway!  The hero is sold into slavery, put into jail, and eventually become the second most powerful man in Egypt, the biggest baddest country of its time.  He forgives his brothers for their treachery and reunites with them.  The brothers’ intentions were certainly NO good but God used them to save the entire region from a severe drought.

I am sure you too can think of a time or many times when God took something terrible and made it into something not only good but life changing.  Today is my dad’s birthday.  He had rheumatic fever as a child and died at the age of 33 leaving a widow with five children to raise.  God brought good from this by uniting her with a widower and they created twin sons and brought two wonderful sisters into the mix.  NINE children who are blessed with children and grandchildren.  Life is full of things that don’t start out intended for good.  God has the power to make good from everything.  The recent hurricane, Maria, that devastated Puerto Rico has taught millions of Americans what being a territory means and how PR is NOT a foreign country.  New unity will result!

My life is filled with moments that I do not understand but I trust you Father to unfold Your intentions.  I need only to wait with patience and openness.  I know that You Father look at my own intentions, even when I falter in my carry through. Help me live my best life.      

Sunday October 15, 2017 Circumstances

October 15, 2017

In every circumstance and in all things, I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.  I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. Philippians 4:12-13

St Paul endured every imaginable circumstance.  He was in a powerful leadership role before he met Christ on the road to Damascus.  He then went from elevated to servant, hungry traveler who was an itinerant preacher earning his keep by mending tents and the charity of those who he taught.  So he definitely understood the vast difference in circumstances.  He taught people who would listen to be CONTENT in whatever position they found themselves.

To be content is a very interesting place to live.  Not many ever even visit there… for it seems to me that human nature is always striving for more, different and what someone else has.  Jealousy motivates more purchases than we can even imagine.  Sad to say that but I am afraid it is true.  Keeping up with the Jones is a national pastime.  Our advertising mediums prompt us all to want what is displayed before our eyes.

As I evaluate my circumstances, instead of focusing on what others have, it would be best to be grateful for what I am blessed to have.  Gratitude is the key to contentment.  I search my heart and my soul for serenity and it is only found when I am happy where I am.  It does not mean I cannot aspire to be more and work to achieve.  Paul certainly did not sit back and allow grass to grow under his feet while he idled the days away.  He strived each day to make a difference for those around him.  He instructed and cajoled the people whose lives he touched.  He kept inspiring change internally while he accepted his outward circumstances and continued even when he was tired, hungry, injured, shipwrecked or beaten.  Content to face whatever life brought his way!

Lord help me to be content in my circumstances.  Not resignedly but in gratitude that this is how You are teaching me wisdom, patience, humility and love. Help me to always embrace and accept Your will for my life.