life experience

Pandemic Discontent

We already are a people that expect change to happen fast, problems to be solved and pain to dissolve.

But in light of the pandemic, we’ve had to slow w-a-y down! We’ve been forced to stay at home for our own well-being and that of others. And perhaps we started eating out of boredom. Binge-watched reality TV, or on the other side of the spectrum, began cleaning and sorting and packing to give away belongings.

But through it all, where was our faith? I found mine slipping away silently from lack of church services and activities. Coffee visits with friends I had relied on for my mental health were now gone “just like that.” Sitting became the new cigarette and (over)eating became the new weight gain.

Discontent is the tool of the devil. He uses it to distract our perspective and attitude. It took a few weeks for me to discover just how deep into discontent I had become. What does the Bible say about this kind of thinking/living?

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Quotes about Faith and perseverance (71 quotes)

May you:

Change your attitude and perspective.

Appreciate where you are, what you have.

Find good in all.

Live in the moment.

Pray for others.

Believe that you can.

Take some kind of positive action.

Catholic, life experience

Pieces of Sunday

Some churches have opened with specific rules, smaller groups, masks.  I have still not felt comfortable to make this journey.  Instead my Sundays looks a lot different.  I do not “honor the Sabbath,” I do chores and grocery shop and pull some weeds in the garden.  I intentionally find time in the Word, with Mother Mary, Jesus in podcasts and prayer.  I cling to my rosary beads with a new passion.  As a new-two year Catholic, I find the pandemic to be incredibly hard, relating to my faith.  I miss the social groups, in-person bible study (not a fan of Zoom/video chats), working in the physical church, praying Adoration on Tuesday, checking out books in the library.  It’s a new normal.  I am not adapting well!

Opinion | Is the Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic Yet? - The New ...

There will always be prayer that needs to be done, and that can be accomplished anywhere.  I am hopeful for the future, that our entire world can heal from this virus and can find the space and comfort in which to worship.  Me included.

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
life experience

New Pieces

The Pieces book was written from scraps of paper (pieces).  Living through Covid19, we are learning all kinds of new words.  Social/physical distancing.  Stay safe at home.  Coronavirus.  Flatten the curve.  Pandemic.  Self quarantine.  Face mask.  Ventilator.  And my NOT favorite: PPE (personal protective equipment) i.e. mask, specialized clothing or equipment.

We have a friend living in Iowa, who’s neighborhood is a “petri dish.”  She has been in a serious quarantine situation for 9 weeks!

There is a prayer going through social media and many church emails for the end of this virus.  Would you like to pray it with me?  I’m sure you know it by heart, it’s The Lord’s Prayer:

Psalm 23 Scripture The Lord is My Shepherd Instant Prayer Scriptures, Bible Prayers, Faith Prayer, God Prayer, Prayer Quotes, Bible Verses Quotes, Powerful Scriptures, Psalm 91 Prayer, Serenity Prayer

There is also a specific prayer for people on the front line, medical staff, healthcare workers, support staff.

The Elevation Church on Twitter: "Today, we pray for frontline ...

 

life experience

Influenza x 100,000

This is the strangest post I’ve ever written.  The past three weeks have been a time of anxiety and fear for people across the globe.  Including me.  I have a suppressed immune system for medication I take and have recently (2 years) had cancer.  I’m 55, so not in the elderly group, but that’s about all I have going for me.

Well, that and tons of hand sanitizer.  Oh and an active prayer life.  Those two will hopefully save my sanity.

The Coronavirus ranks with school shootings and tsunami’s.  There is very little we can do after the fact, but a lot we can and must do now.

The obvious; wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, keep six feet away from people, don’t shake hands or hug. 

But what can you do on a larger scale?  Volunteer with the local Red Cross, volunteer to deliver groceries for the grocery store (they are overwhelmed with deliveries right now).  Find out how to safely check in on your neighbors.  Don’t keep the momentum going on buying toilet paper, hand sanitizers, milk or food.  Buy what you normally need.  Share your overstock with the local food-banks.

And mostly, be kind.  Be the (helping) hands, and eyes that see (need) of Jesus.

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life experience, Uncategorized

Pieces of Prayer

Are you a believer in the power of prayer?  Why?  Why not?  I personally have been on the receiving end of countless prayers throughout my life while dealing with chronic health issues.

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I’ve also come to believe that it’s okay, and necessary at times – to pray for yourself.  It’s not selfish or weird!  God wants to hear from you, so share everything that’s in your heart, especially in the areas you are weak; it is there, that he meets you.

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I’ve seen prayer move mountains.  I’ve seen people come to Christ who were nope, no way every gonna change their mind of God.  They were just gonna hang onto their atheism and indifference until the end of time.  But little did they know, someone was praying for them!!  I’ve seen it happen.  A wife never quit praying for her husband, for decades she prayed for his salvation.  Now he writes a column for the church newsletter, he teaches adult Sunday school, he is an active member of the ministry.  He is also sensitive to those walking the path he once did.  I admire his walk of faith.  Prayer did that.  God did that.

Never underestimate the power of prayer!

Catholic

Pieces of Adoration

On my journey to becoming Catholic, I have experienced God on a deeper level, mainly through new ways of prayer.  Adoration is one that I find incredibly moving and soulful.

Webster defines it as this:   the act of adoring, the state of being adored

The first time I experienced the Adoration prayer was during the 2nd day of a 3-day retreat by Fr. Dave Pivonka at my parish.  Google him if you haven’t heard him speak; he is truly a messenger of God.  He carried this very large gold & flashy cross from the front of the church to every row filled by people.

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I have since learned this is called the “monstrance”, containing Jesus — body, soul, blood, and divinity.

Fr. Dave encouraged us to bow our heads and pray.  I don’t know how much time went by, but I found myself in a deep, meditative state, filled with joy and tears.  I was overcome by God’s grace.

Our parish prays adoration every Tuesday from 8:30 am to 8 pm.  I try to go each week, and although I haven’t experienced that same feeling from the first time, I do feel that I am in the presence of our most holy and heavenly Christ when I pray in this setting.

It’s not so much becoming Catholic as it is rediscovering Jesus in a new light, He is touching my life in places I never knew existed.

life experience

Pieces of Comfort

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Empathy.  Comfort.  Care.  Concern.  All human beings need understanding.  Oftentimes, listening is the best gift you can offer.

Prayer with another is also comforting.  The words aren’t important, just sit together, pray silently, read an inspirational poem or scripture, have some tea and cookies.

Solitude makes depression and worry so much worse for people.  Email and a card in the mail do when you aren’t close in distance, but if you are – stop by with a bouquet of yellow flowers, a book your friend might enjoy, but DO stop by.

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life experience

Pieces of Friendship

Jesus was friends with many people and in our quest to be more like Him, we share our life with friends also.

There are many variations of the bible; versions such as King James or the Living Bible, Good News, etc., but until today I had never heard of The Message.  I love how it breaks down these verses in Job 29:3-5

Job now resumed his response: “Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me. He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light. Oh, how I miss those golden years when God’s friendship graced my home, When the Mighty One was still by my side and my children were all around me, When everything was going my way, and nothing seemed too difficult.

What a beautiful definition of friendship with God. 

Today I spoke with a friend who is a snowbird in Texas.  We try and talk  once a week now, but oftentimes it’s less often.  I miss seeing her whenever I want, but I know she is just a call away.

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Maybe we feel that way sometimes with God.  We haven’t been studying His word, or spending time in prayer, worship or in solitude.  He too, is just a call away, He is always here, we just have to ask, cry out or pray.  Sometimes all three!

May you be blessed this week, finding time with a good friend and with the best friend; Jesus.

life experience

Pieces of Prayerful Habits

I pray a lot in my personal life, but rarely at meals.  This was a not-open-for-discussion subject when I was a child.  We said “grace” at every meal.  As I grew up; solo and married, it was a forgotten importance.

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A friend of mine prays at every meal, just like when I was a kid.  When we (she and I) go out to eat, or gather at one or the others’ homes, we pray.  Oftentimes she “makes” me pray.  I’ve gotten now – where I either have a prayer ready; or take her hand and start the prayer.  It’s amazing how habits can drop and start again.

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. (Traditional prayer before a meal in my childhood home).

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What prayerful habits need to be restarted in your life?  Pray on it!  God is always listening!

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Pieces of Discord

Our world is a suffering place right now.  Political opinions are causing rifts with friends and family members.  “Their way” is the right way.

It is not a “Christian” thing; it is a PEOPLE thing.  Praying, calling your political leaders, signing petitions, this is how to make change.

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How NOT to make change is belittling or bullying those who think differently or remain silent.

Jesus turned the other cheek on a daily basis, and yet – change came.  Centuries later there is still deep unrest in the Middle East, wars continue to kill people of all ages, terrorist attacks and school shootings are the modern version of strife during the Roman empire.

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Genesis 13:8
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
Prayer from Gregory Coles, Penn State University
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.