Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This Path I Walk

"But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold."
                  Job 23:10 

This verse really opened up for me as I studied it for my Art Classes Bible journaling homework this week

There are countless nuggets of wisdom in this chapter, and even in this verse.  I have taken two pages of notes and a brainstorming page map from it.  

Here, I would like to share just one of the lessons I took away from this verse.  

God tests those whom He loves.  He knows every little detail of the path of our lives.  He is aware of our past, where we are now, and where our future path will lead us.  He knows the trials we have endured, and have yet to endure.  He uses those trials to strengthen and guide us; to purify us.   Just as gold is heated in fire to make it pure, we shall come out purified when our trial is over.
Job did not walk away from God.  He walked toward God, with an attitude of trust.

I pray, as I walk the path life has for me, that I never lose sight of God.  When the way is difficult, may I know that He is there, walking with me.  And when the trial is over, may my life bring glory and honor to God.  May I be changed profoundly, to be better equipped to be a witness to His grace and mercy.

The Bible journaling page resulting from my study...

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Be Still, God's Got This!

"The Lord will fight for you;
you need only to be still."
   Exodus 14:14

This verse appears around the middle of Exodus 14.  The Israelites were terrified at the approaching Egyptians, and crying out to the Lord.  They were complaining to Moses, who was leading them out of Egypt.  They would rather have stayed in bondage and service to the Egyptians than risk dying in the desert trying to escape.

But Moses told them not to be afraid, that the Lord would deliver them.  He told them that the Egyptians they see today they will never see again.  "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

You know the rest, the parting of the sea so the Israelites could pass through, then the closing of the path through the sea so the advancing Egyptians were engulfed, and the Israelites were saved.  The Israelites did not have to fight.  They just needed to be still, to trust in the Lord to fight for them.

As I dug deeper into this story, I began to think about my personal 'Egyptians.'  What am I a slave to?  The areas in my life where I cry out to God and complain.  The fears, doubts, issues, and times when I am afraid to take the steps God is asking me to take, and so remain hopelessly in bondage.   

'Be still,' God says.  Still: unruffled, calm, not moving, deep silence, fixed, stable, at rest, untroubled, tranquil. 

He will fight for me, he says.  Fight:  battle, go to war, deliverance, put to right what is unjust.  

And my favorite promise from this study; "The Egyptians you see today you will never see again."  That tells me that when God fights for us, he breaks the chains that hold us bound, and leads us through our fears.  We need only to be still.

I purpose today to give God my battles and let him fight for me.  I will rest in his grace and take comfort in his love for me.  

I have created a Bible journaling page for this verse....
Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement.  I always enjoy hearing from you.  

Be blessed,


Thursday, December 28, 2017

St. Francis of Assissi Prayer

 today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assissi

On my way to a staff meeting at church today, I was listening to a David Haas CD that I had recently purchased.   The St. Francis of Assissi prayer was just finishing up as I pulled into my parking spot, and I felt that glorious peace just filling me up.  Then Fr. John chose that prayer as the opening prayer today, and finally we finished with St. Francis' prayer yet one more time.  Hmmmm...me  thinks God was trying to tell me something!

I call these times 'God-incidences.'

The line "to be understood as to understand" particularly resonates with me today.  I have been thinking about a particular person, and was feeling hurt that she doesn't understand, or seem to care to understand, how I feel about a certain situation.   I realize that I have not taken the time, or effort, to truly listen and understand how she feels, and her own particular set of circumstances, either.   I think I've got it now, God!  You don't have to hit me over the head...well, yes, I guess you do.  Thank you.

It reminds me of a blog post I had posted earlier last week.  I posted a picture of a card I had made, and the verse on the card said "God knows, and will comfort you."  Someone commented on my post, saying, "When I first read the verse on your lovely card, I thought it said 'God knows, and will confront you.' We got a chuckle out of that!   While God may not have literally hit me over the head, he sure got my attention this morning when he 'confronted' me.

What a loving, involved, and truly compassionate God we serve.  My choice to listen to that CD this morning, and Fr. John's choice to use St. Francis's prayers today....coincidence?  No, not at all....God is in the details!  

I invite you to read that prayer again today, perhaps before retiring tonight.  Really listen as God comforts and/or confronts you.

You Tube of Ryan Cayabyab singing Prayer of St. Francis

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jesus Heals The Blind Man - Fourth Sunday of Lent

     Today we hear the second of three lovely stories from John’s Gospel.  It is the story of Jesus restoring sight to a man born blind, and we are invited to think about what it is to be spiritually blind.  Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  He is alluding to the time when he would no longer be with his followers.  Jesus was teaching them, and even now is calling us, to be His light in the world. 
     Questions - Jesus’ followers questioned why the man had been born blind.  Was it because of his sins?  Was it the sins of his parents?   Jesus, told them he was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him.  Then Jesus talks about doing the work of God while it is still light.  
     Healing - The disciples must have been excited.  Knowing Jesus as well as they did, they probably knew He was going to heal the blind man.  Perhaps they wondered how he was going to do it.  Would there be a flash of lightning?  A ball of fire?  A boom of thunder?  No, Jesus used what was at hand.  He made mud from his own spit and dirt from the ground, and pasted it over the blind man’s eyes. Just as he had once used a young sheep herder with a simple sling and stone to defeat Goliath and the Philistines, Jesus chose ordinary mundane elements to heal this man.  God’s power was shown through this miracle, just as Jesus had said.
     Doubt - The Pharisees questioned the blind man, but despite the obvious evidence, they refused to believe that Jesus had healed him. They said he could not be from God, because he did not keep the Sabbath.  They even asked the man’s parents if he had indeed been born blind.  They became indignant when the man insisted that Jesus had healed him, and they threw the man out of the Temple.
     When I or someone I love is going through a painful or difficult circumstance, I question why it has to be.  Yet, I do know that God gives us grace to carry us through our trials.  When we handle our afflictions with grace and trust in God, we are a testament to His faithfulness and His love.  I often find that God puts someone in my path who is experiencing a trial that I had previously endured.  I am able to empathize with that person, and offer support and ideas that have helped me through.

     What is God calling me to do for him?  What is he calling you to do?  Am I ready to do what he asks of me?  Are you?   We may feel inadequate.  Indeed, on our own, we are.  However, God doesn’t call the able, he calls the available.  If he calls us to a particular task or purpose, then he will be faithful to supply us with the means and strengths and talents to do his will.  If God used sticks and stones and spit to do his will, then he surely can use us.  
     Jesus’ miracles seem hard for us to believe.  We live within the structure of time and space.  But God created the time and space, so he can certainly defy them, and easily perform miracles.  We serve a powerful God. Go to him, tell him how you need his help today.  Ask him how he can use you today to be his light in the world.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent - A Time of Hope

IIn the gospel today, we hear about John the Baptist, living and preaching in the wilderness, dressed in rough clothing, eating locusts and wild honey.  His harsh warning that the kingdom of heaven is
near urges people to repent, as he points to Jesus as the mightier one.  He calls his hearers a bunch of snakes, telling them that axes will cut them down, threatening the Sadducees and Pharisees with hell.

     This gospel certainly contrasts the warm feelings we have enjoyed in our holiday preparations as we anticipate spending time with our loved ones this Christmas season.  The nearness of God's kingdom calls us to action - to repent, to be converted, to have a change of heart.  John's words
should raise questions we need to face and answer.   It is likely we have areas in our lives that have been neglected and that need attention.

How have we shown love to the people closest to us....our spouse, our children, our parents or friends?  How have we failed to show them love?  Have we neglected someone or failed to treat them as we should have?  What about ourselves? Do we care for ourselves by staying in shape, physically and spiritually?  

     We often take those closest to us for granted.  We may assume they know we love them, even if we haven’t told them so in a long while. Perhaps our daily cares, routines and habits leave us little energy to give our families and friends  the time to show them  that we love them. As we celebrate the love of God for us this Christmas, maybe we can be a little more kind to ourselves and begin taking care of ourselves.  Then perhaps we can give those we love more of  our attention, more of our care, concern and love, more of ourselves.

       We say we have faith in Christ, but does what we are doing reveal our faith and love in Jesus? What we do, our actions, gives meaning to our love.  If we are truly repentant, we want to change, to act on ways to improve.   We can let this Advent be a time to make some changes.  We know we cannot do this by our own will. Advent, however, gives us what we need to act...it gives us hope...it gives us a Saviour!

       It has been said that where there is life, there is change.  Change requires action.  Think of a tree, whose glorious colored autumn leaves wither and fall when winter winds blow, only to return once again when spring bursts forth new buds which form new leaves.  This cycle would not be possible if the tree refused to change and let go of its leaves. Change is difficult for us because it comes with no guarantees that things will be better as a result.  The only guarantee we have is the blessing of a life
lived close to God.

      Advent is hope.  It is the promise and certainty of God’s presence in our lives in the ultimate gift of Jesus.  If we receive Him in our hearts, really receive, then His love will abide in us and give us the grace to love ourselves, and to fully share His love with those around us.

     May this Advent be a time of growth for each of us, and bring us to the fullness of God's love for us, as we pray, "come, Lord Jesus."


Friday, June 3, 2011

Allow God To Interrupt!

My June calendar page on my Joyce Meyer Ministries calendar has a quote that I'd like to share:

"If you will make the decision that you don't mind being inconvenienced or interrupted, then God can use you.  You can make a difference in the world!"  by Joyce Meyer.

Wow!  That one really hit home.  I pray daily to be used by God, and have missed some opportunities because it simply wasn't "convenient."  I didn't take the time to call that friend, or stop to chat with an elderly neighbor, because I was in a hurry to get somewhere, and had so much to do.  Not that what I had to do wasn't important, or necessary.  But, in missing the chance to bring a little sunlight into the lives of the people God had placed in my path, I missed being the blessing He wanted me to be. 

I resolve to keep my eyes and heart open.   I am deciding, right now, to allow inconveniences and interruptions into my life, for God's purposes.  I do want to make a difference in the world.

My prayer for today:  Lord, please take these hands of mine, this mouth, these eyes and ears, feet and arms, and use them for Your good, for Your purpose, and to deliver Your word and works to those whom you place in my life.  Amen!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Six Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

I'm sure you have had "those days," the ones where you feel trodden on and pulled in different directions, stretching to your absolute limits.  I have had a succession of these days lately, and today I finally remembered to stop, and renew some promises I made to myself.  These promises have been a great help to me in times of overwhelming responsibility and stress.  I am sharing them here with you, in the hopes that, you, too, might make yourself a list of promises or ways to be kind to yourself.
  • I promise to dream more and hesitate less.
  • I promise to believe in myself and stop judging myself on my shortcomings.
  • I promise to accept what life brings each day, and make each moment special.  This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be GLAD in it!
  • I promise to really appreciate my family and friends....they are God's gift to me, and I cherish them.
  • I promise to be less resistant to change, and grow in my independence.
  • I promise to fill my life with special times, and share them with others.
These promises to myself aren't always easy to keep, but I'm working on them.  And each time I read them over, and pray about them, I feel recharged and energized, able to take on the cares of the day.

May you, also, find peace in your list. 
God bless,