Irony

Yesterday I wrote a little about the various religions. Then later in the day I found a discussion on NPR about religious experiences people had had. It was a little mind-blowing!

I think God definitely has a sense of humor and timing!

Just as we experience the mundane in our daily lives, so do we catch a glimpse of God’s wonderment.

May you find more of this as a new week begins!

Psalm 33:4 For all God’s words are right, and everything he does is worthy of our trust.

Pondering

Where better to ponder than my own blog? Perhaps you will chime in with your own blatherings?

I am fond of saying: “I don’t think God put His mark on a certain religion and said “that’s that.” Not in regards to “Christianity” but instead to the myriad of religions. Is being Catholic better than being Lutheran or Baptist? Some throw up their hands when praising God, others are more reverent. I ask these questions a lot because I’m on a constant spiritual journey. I was baptized and raised Lutheran, throughout my life attended and was committed to Presbyterian, Born-Again, Episcopal, Universalist Unitarian and currently; Catholic! 🙂

I believe it all stems from our upbringing and family history. Most people that are a specific religion automatically remain, their entire lives. i.e. When I joined the Catholic church I was surprised how many identified as “cradle Catholics”….and more so – that their faith was habit.

But living a Christian life; doesn’t mean a religion has to be tacked on. We are all one in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17 When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak up for the right living that goes along with true Christianity.

Live, laugh, love

It’s not just a catchy slogan, although it kind of is! I think it incorporates all the ways in which we need to live (not should).

Live with Jesus in your heart, be a good example, pray with abandon.

Laugh, because it’s the “best medicine,” and it brings a smile.

Love the world, open your arms, show compassion.

Macaroni necklaces

It’s VBS season (Vacation Bible School)! Teachers are using old-school projects like the macaroni necklaces (a personal favorite) as well as more modern; colored pasta, taping together newspaper to make capes, Oh how I miss those delightful summer days at church.

Young minds ready to soak up and learn about the love of Jesus. For me it was the first time being without my parents, and feeling unsure and shy. Now I’d give anything to go back to those days, not just the arts and crafts, but the teachers and friends I haven’t seen in 40+ years.

What are your memories of church camp or vacation bible school?

Luke 18:15-17

One day some mothers brought their babies to him to touch and bless. But the disciples told them to go away. Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”

Prayer Assists

Last year I had my left knee replaced. What a journey that was! I learned to depend on the various assists that were suggested. A walker, physical therapy, the many exercises, learning how to manage stairs and then graduating to a cane. And now, my body moves easily without help.

In our prayer life, there is never a point when we don’t need an assist. I recently dug out my (new at Christmas 2020) beautiful “Manual of Prayers.” It has gold edges and lovely ribbons for bookmarks. In it, I have found treasures of the Father’s love. The following, is long-but a lovely read and may it inspire you this week.

I Thirst for You

It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter. And I want you to know that whenever you do invite me, I do come-always and without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension-a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father. I come, longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens: with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.

I know you through and through; I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you, even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you, not for what you have or haven’t done. I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life; and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.

I know what is in your heart; I know your loneliness and all your hurts: the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations. I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love– how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often you have thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures–with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? “Come to Me all you who thirst…” (John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine–to the point of dying on a cross for you.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you: I thirst for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you; that is how precious you are to Me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation and give you peace, even in all your trials. I thirst for you. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I thirst for you. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I thirst for you. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give Me your life, and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart…

No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change: I thirst for you-just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you at every moment of the day standing at the door of your heart, and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood my cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there, for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: “I thirst…” (John 19:28)… I have never stopped seeking to love you and to be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before. Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit: “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I thirst for you.” Amen.

~Missionaries of Charity Fathers

How the Spirit Moves

Each day I sit down to write and I never really know what the subject is. That is the great thing about letting the spirit move you. But how does it happen? I am not a theologian, but I would venture to guess it’s trusting your inner self, the E.T. light that God planted in your heart at birth. It guides and teaches and it lovingly moves.

John 14:26 But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.

Matthew 3:11 “With water I baptize those who repent of their sins; but someone else is coming, far greater than I am, so great that I am not worthy to carry his shoes! He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Luke 12:12 ….. for the Holy Spirit will give you the right words even as you are standing there.”

May the spirit move in you today and may you know it’s from your Heavenly Father.

People Who Inspire

I have always followed the teachings of Mother Teresa; well before I was Catholic, her wisdom and love for those who in a ‘lesser than’ position in life has always inspired me.

Also Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, renowned for his powerful teachings taught me how to bring peace into my life, and the world. That prayer is a powerful tool and positive thoughts create a peaceful heart.

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

These quotes or inspirations are sent from the Divine, His messengers show up oftentimes in the hearts of others. Look out for them, learn a new way of thinking or praying, open your mind to the what if’s, for it is in them, that we grow and engage. We are free to share our faith, life experiences, sorrows and dreams with others.

Job 8:9-13 ….”or we were born but yesterday and know so little; our days here on earth are as transient as shadows. 10 But the wisdom of the past will teach you. The experience of others will speak to you, reminding you that 11-13 those who forget God have no hope. They are like rushes without any mire to grow in; or grass without water to keep it alive. Suddenly it begins to wither, even before it is cut.

Bytes, memes and gifs

Back in the day (I’m going to age myself here!), we had our own version of silliness online. My favorite was a joke about the “ether bunny” (ethernet). Or a newsletter called “Technology Bytes.” Also there were flying toasters for screen savers and and a distinct sound when you turned on computer and it connected to the internet. Here is a sample: https://youtu.be/gsNaR6FRuO0

Now we have memes and gifs (which I use almost daily). I think there are probably some cool ones for Jesus, or life in faith.

Sense of humor is important in life. What is your favorite way of expressing it? Perhaps you are a stilt walker like my friend Tom Dull, my other friend Pete who makes hundreds of cupcakes and hands them out on his own birthday! Me, I like to share memes and gifs! 🙂

Evil in the World

So many tragic events, daily news littered with more shootings, protests, the war in Ukraine, human rights, abuse, complete darkness in the souls of the evil.

Where is God in all of this? He is here. He is not the source of evil, and in fact, we each live with “free will,” which in my opinion, allows the evil to persist. We each have control over what we say, think, do, believe.

Some will say that praying isn’t enough. And to be honest, I don’t think it is ENOUGH. It’s important, but if you want to get on the bandwagon (whatever is yours), you need to push legislation, protest, attend political events, help drive your agenda to change laws.

I do know that GOD IS IN THE HEART OF EVERY PERSON, yes, even the evil person. Because that is God at work. Evil pushes God away, but God is always there. He is the spark in your heart, the gentle nudge to do the right thing, comfort; in sorrow, laughter in joy.

Psalm 7:14 The wicked man conceives an evil plot, labors with its dark details, and brings to birth his treachery and lies….”

Psalm 14:6 He is the refuge of the poor and humble when evildoers are oppressing them.

Like A Waterfall

This morning I attended a women’s once-a-month church group. We got to know each other with coffee and introductions. We watched a video on God’s love, talked in small groups after and then did a guided meditation prayer to end our time together.

One of the examples of God’s love is that; like the enormous Niagara Falls in the U.S. and Canada, one day – it will dry up. But God’s love, never will. NEVER. Ever. He will always love us, no matter, come “hell or high water” or lack thereof!

What a gift! And you know what? Jesus loves every single person. Even you! Yes, you. He always will. His love never fails. No matter how long you’ve been away from Him, or if you’ve never experienced His grace and joy, just say: “Yes Lord, I want to be loved by you.”