Thursday August 10, 2017 Treasure

Posted August 10, 2017 by bgovanus
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For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Matthew 6:21

Today is my mom’s birthday.  I am sure she is celebrating in heaven the fact that she was born August 10, 1929.  Mom liked to have parties.  She considered her friends, her children and grandkids her treasures.  Her big smiles would be seen when she was surrounded by those she loved.  So, she smiled a lot because with nine of us, someone was always around.  She delighted in telling stories and recalling fond memories.

Mom taught me many lessons but her greatest for me was that “where your treasure is, that is where your heart is”.  My mother was a devout Catholic.  A convert to the faith who embraced it fervently.  Her love of God was her biggest treasure.  Her life was not easy, a widow with five children at the age of 32.  She worked as a nurse and kept us together through sheer will, prayer and devotion to Mary.  She prayed her rosary every night and had a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help prominently positioned in our home.  Mom was blessed and favored by God.  She would share with me her fears, “We only have $15 to last to payday, ten days away” or “The water heater broke and I can’t afford to fix it” after she had prayed.  The next thing we knew, a check would arrive a bill she paid twice or a refund she had not known she was due.  Highly Favored indeed because she knew her God and He knew her every need.

Mom met and married a wonderful man.  Our family exploded to nine with the addition of two step-sisters and two half-brothers, TWINS who came along ten months after they were married.  Yours, Mine and Ours in very real life.  Mom graciously embraced her increased treasure.  She beamed with pride and always managed to stretch meals to welcome our friends.  Sometimes, just a regular weeknight dinner could be 15 or 20 people.  More water in the soup or another pan of cornbread would be whipped up.  Poor dad, would scratch his head and wonder where it would end.  We are now at 57 of their progeny and still counting.  Treasure abounds when love is here.

Lord, help me always recognize what my mother always knew, That You are my biggest and best treasure.  You have shared with me a large and loving family, gifted me with many friends and I am grateful for every moment of my life… the good and the bad, the easy and the hard!  Thank You for every moment of my mother’s life and for the lessons she taught.  Party with her today and please let her know I love her!    

Wednesday August 9, 2017 Powerful

Posted August 9, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

The word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two edge sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.  Hebrews 4:12

Words can move people to take devastating action.  One word destroyed the twin towers, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and any incited people to commit any number of tragedies.  Words can also make us feel whole… “I am proud of you!”  “You did a good job!”  The words Jesus spoke created a new way of living for millions.  His words prompted men and women in Christian LOVE and devotion to e martyred rather than succumb to evil because they believed what He had to say.

I have heard powerful speakers who lit a fire in me to change.  I have read books that inspired change my life but no one has had the impact that God’s word, Holy Scripture, has had on me.  As I think back on my life, I know that at each difficult spot, Scripture helped me to rise above my circumstances and turn away from depression, anger, resentment and fear.  That is POWER!

God’s word lights up my life so I can see where I need to make changes.  Sin easily creeps in and without the light to help me separate the wheat from the chaff, I can be fooled and lost forever.  Having scripture to steer me has been the key to my discernment and direction.  I have been blessed and humbled to see the good and the bad for what they are and inspired to make the necessary changes in my behavior.   Being far from perfect and so easily distracted from my purpose, I need daily reminders that God is with me to guide and inspire.

Lord You have given me the Way and the Truth in Your Holy Word.  I am so grateful for the bible and hope to never let my love for Your message to Your people wane.  Keep it ever burning in my heart, on my lips and in my mind.  

Tuesday August 8, 2018 Commissioned

Posted August 8, 2017 by bgovanus
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He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.  Acts 10:42

I like to think of being commissioned for a specific job.  A dear friend is attending the commissioning of her son into a rank in the military.  He has completed his training and is now ready to do the job that he is being asked to do.  The disciples had been to “school” with Jesus for three years before He commissioned them to go into the world.  They were ready!!!

When I know my job and feel prepared, I can step forth confidently to do what is needed.  The clarity that comes from mastering skills and growing in experience allows me to perform well in each new situation.  God prepares each of us to witness for Him.  Through sermons, reading scripture and serving.  Each pportunity to serve in life provides a stepping stone for the next new thing.  I can look back and see that my life was a series of plateaus, after the climb that learning requires.  Once I have scrambled to learn something and pushed myself to be better and stronger, I get to use that knowledge for a while before I am challenged again to learn and climb to the next level.  God prepares each of us for the next hard part.

My best friend when I was newly married young mom lived next door.  She was a community nurse and was giving a training on SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Three months after she had studied and delivered her talk, her own daughter died at the babysitters of SIDS.  She knew God had prepared her so she could handle the tragedy.

God paves the way for His children so that they can testify with their lives that He is King!  The one who will judge the living and the dead.  Lord help me to seize the opportunities You give me to learn and grow.  I know that You don’t expand my horizons frivolously.  I serve You well only when I am prepared! 

Monday August 7, 2017 Surpasses

Posted August 7, 2017 by bgovanus
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Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

I wish I could say that I let things go when I give them to God.  I pray constantly for people and their needs to be met and I keep praying.  God is probably wondering because I keep coming to Him again and again.  If I had the faith the size of a mustard seed, I would trust Him to answer and let go of my worry and stress.  I can be like a dog with a chew toy… not letting go even when chided with another very exciting item.  My faith needs to be stronger!

I seek the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Can you relate?

Hannah was a great example of how to trust God.   She made her request to and “then… went on her way, ate some food, and wasn’t sad any longer.” She didn’t wait to see God deliver her before she was happy.  She KNEW He would favor her!  That is trust.  That is faith.  That is what God expects.  I know He wants to give me peace that surpasses all understanding if I just trust in Him.  How wonderful is His dwelling place… that is where, I can let my hair down and put aside my worry!

Lord I want to trust You.  Help me to let go of all that I cling to in the worry department.  I want desperately to give you y children, my friends who are struggling with health issues, divorce and financial stress.  You have the peace that each one seeks.  Give me rest from my worry! 

Sunday August 6, 2017 Radiant

Posted August 6, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.  Exodus 34:29

This is the Sunday when we celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord.  Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of Mt Tabor and was transfigured into His true radiance.  He spoke with Moses and Elijah and the apostles were blown away by the whole experience but especially awed when God spoke to them from the cloud.  Their brief encounter changed them and cemented in their mind that Jesus was truly God’s son, the Christ.

I listened to the Gospel and recalled how Moses had spent 40 days in God’s presence and his whole countenance changed.  There was no hiding the affect being in God’s presence had upon him.  He took to wearing a veil over his face to not frighten the Israelites.  After hearing the Gospel, I realize how disconcerting it would be to meet someone who was thus changed.  Then I realized that I had met many people who had the aura of Christ beaming from their faces.  I have been blessed to see God’s light in many lives!  These were souls who have had complete trust in Him, living expectantly awaiting His direction and His will.  I have seen this in older people who have spent lifetimes in God’s service and His word; in nuns who have left everything behind to dedicate themselves to prayer; in sick children who know God is calling them home.  Their aura was clearly proof of God’s love.  Each exuded God’s peace plainly for all to see.

I believe experience with God does change each of us over time.  Few of us have the mountaintop experiences of intense prolonged exposure to God like Moses but many times a retreat, daily scripture reading, an especially profound sermon or book, give a glimpse of the brilliance that awaits us all in Heaven.   God helps to transform so that when we approach heaven the brightness is not overwhelming.  Each of us will be like the moon, reflecting back the SON.

Lord let my intimate moments with You, change me to radiantly reflect Your love to everyone I meet.  Help me to stand ready to mirror Your goodness always.

 

Saturday August 5, 2017 Seasoned

Posted August 5, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:6

So, Paul is in prison, wearing chains and he is writing about grace, seasoned with salt.  I can imagine that I might be asking for help or worse asking for pity.  His perspective and ability to put his own needs way at the back of his focus.  I like though how his words are sprinkled with phrases that inspire his readers to dig deeper… Seasoned with salt is one of them.

Every cook knows that without seasoning, food is bland and that salt is the most widely used flavor enhancer.  Comparing grace to salt is an amazingly easy way to picture how important it can and should be to life.  When I think of conversations that are founded I love, they are so different from those interactions I have with strangers who ring up my groceries or rotate my tires.  Paul invites all my conversations to be filled with grace and love.

It is easy to picture St Paul in chains, laboring to write these letters.  I can visualize him dealing kindly with his jailers and the response on the part of his keepers being confusion because they were used to their wards being belligerent and hostile.  What a lesson he taught when he lived out his words in their presence.  Knowing how to answer everyone is a most desirable trait.  Inspired by grace is truly the way to live.  I have often thought of the “right words” hours after a meeting.  Asking God for the grace to season all my conversations is truly my heart’s desire.

Lord help me to always season my conversation with Your grace.  Open my mind to channel Your holy blessing.  Allow me to give the right answer to everyone I meet. 

Friday August 4, 2017 Together

Posted August 4, 2017 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them”.  Matthew 18:20

I have learned the power of prayer.  By uniting in group prayer over a problem, an issue or a blessing moves that situation forward in powerful ways.  I have prayed with one other person and have been on prayer calls with thousands of others who were all focused on reaching out together to intervene for a child with cancer!  Each has a uniting force of the Holy Spirit because of this promise by Jesus to be there in the midst of them.  No one can withstand the trials and hardships of this world without prayer.  Knowing that God will be a part of that intercessory or praise moment enhances it.  I know I can count on this promise to be true!

Together united for a moment in time with another also builds strength because no one can go it alone.  A single thread is easily broken but a twine of three: me, you and God is impossible to break.  I have prayed in grocery stores, restaurants and even in a restroom.  I no longer say, I will pray for you when someone tells me their heart is breaking, I say let’s pray right NOW!  I open up the lines of communication by asking if we can pray right now.  Life presents opportunities and if we do not seize them, they are gone.  There is nothing wrong with individual prayer but TOGETHER lives change.

I wonder how many times, I have missed praying with someone?  Those moments are gone forever.  There are many times, I needed someone to pray with me but didn’t feel comfortable to ask.  Now I guess because of my age, I feel led to do so… if someone is not at ease with the idea, it is okay.  I pray for them anyway!  God hears my voice but when two or more pray together… HE is there!  What a gift to the person who is hurting and to me.

Lord, help me always to have the courage to pray and to ask You to close the circle that is formed when two or three are gathered in YOUR name.  Let my humble requests be heard and open the heart of the person who is hurting to welcome You into our circle of love.