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Do not be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

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Offer It Up! Easter Saturday, April 30, 2011

Acts 4:13

Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they were amazed.

Evangelization can be that simple. Start where you are with what you know to those that will listen.

Use what has been made available to you, the gifts and talents with which you’ve been blessed. As Peter was changed from within, so will you and those around you grow and change. Those that were listening to Peter and John were just as ordinary as you, regardless of their backgrounds.

As your mission continues, there will be other witnesses that can help fulfill the ministry. The more that is lived and shared, the more apparent your impact will be in the lives of those around you. Put yourself in a better position to do what God has called you to do. It may not be the ‘whole world’ just where you are but to those around you , that may be the only world they know.

Offer It Up! Easter Friday, April 29, 2011

John 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

They went back to what they knew.

After Jesus was gone, when nothing else seemed to be of use, they returned to what they knew what best to do—and that was fish. After all, they were men and they did know how to do that. Well, at least they thought they did.

Empty nets don’t make you much of a fisherman. Especially time after time. After time. They had done this sort of thing before but for whatever reason, still no fish. One would think that with all that experience and know-how, they would have something to show for their efforts. Yet there they were with their nets holding nothing but air and water.

And then Jesus says, ‘Children, have you caught anything to eat?’

Ouch. That had to hurt. With nothing to say but ‘No’, the Man on the shore had them put their nets out to the right side so that they would find something there. And did they ever. And when they did, they recognized who it was on the shore. And didn’t doubt it either.

We do the same as the disciples do and did; we go back to what we know when we don’t know what else to do. It may not be fishing. It may be working at a grocery store. It may be trash collecting. It may be selling homes. We go there because we are used to the routine after the light is gone, or maybe even dimmed a bit, in our lives. We may go there to escape. We may go there to get us back to where we need to be. Or at least get us started back on the path toward holiness.

‘You will find something.’

The disciples found something when they went back. Quite a bit actually. And so can we when we put ourselves in His hands and listen to what He has to tell us, even as His children. Even if it hurts.

Offer It Up! Easter Thursday, April 28, 2011

Speaking with the Lord

Imagine the Lord speaking directly to you:

You don’t have to be clever to please Me.

Just speak to Me as you would to anyone who cares about you.

Are there any people you want to pray for?

Tell Me their names and ask for as much as you want.

I am generous. Trust Me to do what I know is best.

Tell Me about your pride, your touchiness, your self-centeredness, your laziness.

I still love you in spite of all your faults.

Do not be ashamed in My presence.

There were many saints in heaven who had the same faults as you.

They prayed, and little by little their faults were corrected.

Do not hesitate to ask for blessings for body and mind,

for health, memory and success. I can give everything.

Tell me about your failures, and I will show you the cause of them.

What are your worries?

Who has caused you pain? Tell Me about it. Forgive them and I will bless you.

Are you afraid of anything?

Have you any tormenting, unreasonable fears?

Trust yourself to Me. I am here and will not leave you.

Have you no joys to share with Me?

Tell Me about them.

What has happened since yesterday to cheer your spirit and comfort you?

Whatever it was, big or small, remember that I prepared it for you.

Show Me your gratitude.

Are there temptations bearing heavily upon you?

Yielding to them always disturbs the peace of your soul.

Ask Me, and I will help you overcome them.

Well, go along now. Get on with your work or play.

Try to be humbler, more submissive, kinder to others.

Come back soon and bring Me a more devoted heart.

Tomorrow I shall have more blessings for you.

Source: God Delights in You by John T. Catoir

Offer It Up! Easter Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Have you ever looked at one of those depictions or pictures that have other hidden ‘pictures’ inside it? There are those that you are supposed to stare at the center and then you’ll see something… look at this one this way and you’ll see this-turn it upside down and you’ll see that… a number of others will show us one thing so that we may eventually see another.

Those disciples, (and how often many of us), were looking at what was presented to them but yet were unable to see what they needed to see. They had some ideas as they discussed but were still not fully grasping what had happened just a few days ago, not seeing Christ in their presence. The line ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ comes to mind, as they knew what they wanted to see but were not sure how to see it—or Him—or even where.

Sometimes we get so close to situations we can’t see the whole picture. Sometimes we need to step back and put our vision—our faith—in ‘widescreen’ mode to see more of what we have been called to see.Maybe the disciples’ focus was too keen as they were so intent on things of the world; they were having trouble believing that Jesus had actually risen from the dead. They had heard reports from other disciples who had seen the empty tomb, even the reports and visions of angels, but—no Jesus.

Imagine the pity Jesus must have felt for them as He said, “Oh how foolish you are!” Some pity with a bit of humor maybe as He was making Himself known to them. He began to open their eyes to see, though not completely, that He was the Risen Lord. He was Jesus the Christ. He was He who was referred to in all the Scriptures.

If only we could experience such pity at times, even at the expense of Jesus laughing with us at our insecurities and blindness to His presence. And we can every time we give ourselves over to Him in prayer, in thanksgiving and praise. At the Eucharist. In Scripture. And in living as He has called us all to do.

Offer It Up! Easter Tuesday, April 26, 2011

John 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.

Even when the message is quite clear, we still have to ask, ‘Jesus—is that You?’

As it was only a few days after the Resurrection, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus. Maybe she was still locked in to her earthly thinking—maybe He’s dead and gone and not coming back. And not only gone but… there’s no body!

Imagine the grief, not just from Jesus’ death but now it is compounded by the emptiness of the tomb. Even the angels offered small consolation. And now even the ‘gardener’ was asking why she was crying and who she was looking for. Do they not understand what is going on here? Do they not understand my grief? Jesus was with us only a few days ago and He has promised to come back. Now He’s gone. What is it that I should do now?

And then, as Jesus spoke to her, with the sound of her name, it all became clear. Mary knew then. And Jesus told her that it was okay to let go of what she knew of Him from the past because now He is on His way to His Father, the His God and their God.What a turn-around! Our grief and mourning will turn from sorrow to joy! Just as it should be for us this Easter.

Let not the past several weeks of the Lenten season be for naught. For all that we have learned and shared, let us all continue to live in our new life, our new beginning, in the Light Jesus has for us all as we follow Him. As He spoke first to Mary Magdalene and the other disciples along the way, they were unable to hear Him for who He was because they did not recognize Him. Prayerfully, let us recognize Jesus in all we meet and share our lives with so that when we are called to serve, we don’t ask the question, ‘Jesus, is that You?’

Offer It Up! Easter Monday, April 25, 2011

Romans 8:28-31

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

The Blind Sign… The Power of Words

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way."
"I wrote: "Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it."

Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so blessed that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful to GOD for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively.
When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1,000 reasons to smile.

Submitted By Reno V.

Offer It Up! Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011

John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

He did it.

Just as He said He was going to do.

Were you ready?

Are you ready now?

That is how much He loves us.

There's still time.

Celebrate His Resurrection.

Renew your spirit in His.

Then get ready.

He's calling us all.

Offer It Up! Holy Saturday, April 23, 2011

Matthew 27:59-66

Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.

But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb. The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, 'After three days I will be raised up.' Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead.' This last imposture would be worse than the first."

Pilate said to them, "The guard is yours; go secure it as best you can."

So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday

The Lord descends into hell

Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Offer It Up! Good Friday, April 22, 2011

John 19:28-30

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst."

There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.

When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished."

And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

For some, they feel it is the emptiness of the Cross that gets them where they need to be and that is all they want to know.

For others, we can see that to have an empty cross, some Man—and not just any man, truly this was The Son of God—had to first be on it. And die there for us.

He carried the Cross to have Himself put on the Cross.

We cannot have the Resurrection without the Crucifixion. It's just not possible.

Why would anyone treat His sacrifice any differently.

Offer It Up! Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Day of the Donkey

Luke 19:28-38

“After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem . As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives , he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” tell him, “The Lord needs it.”’ Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’ They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’, ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’”

This is the account of Jesus just prior to His triumphant entry into Jerusalem taking a moment to select and apprehend the vehicle He would use to make His grand entry. Many leaders would have chosen golden chariots drawn by pure white stallions or the latest fully-fitted limousine. Not Jesus. He selects a donkey. It is interesting that one definition for the word donkey is ‘beast of burden’. This donkey would have the privilege to carry the One who would later carry the burdens of humanity.

Jesus sends two of His team to go and loose a donkey tied up. One of them must have thought, “That’s stealing, isn’t it?” So Jesus tells them the plan: that God has arranged this deal with the heart of the owner. They go to collect it, and as they begin to untie it as instructed they are approached by the owner. Imagine, as he looks up from his daily work to see two guys untying his donkey! Yet, after the disciples explain that “the Lord needs it”, he freely gives them the donkey. The disciples must have thought:” Neat trick! We’ll use that “the Lord needs it” card again!”

They then bring the donkey to Jesus, who sits on its back to be led into the city of Jerusalem to a great reception of applause and praise from multitudes of people lining the streets.

That donkey must have thought to itself: “Wow! What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I was tied to a pole, today I am a superstar donkey!” The reality, of course, was that the cheers were not about the donkey but about the One he carried. The donkey had been given the incredible privilege of carrying Jesus into the city of Jerusalem . Let’s put that another way: he had the honor of carrying the presence of God into that very influential city.

My point for thought is that we, too, have been given that honor and privilege today. Jesus desires to ride into every city, town, workplace and school but He needs someone to carry Him, to take Him (His presence) in. The good news is that, just as He did not use a stallion then, so He is not looking for superstars today, just people who will be faithful and do what He needs them to. He needs people who will carry His burdens for the lost and hurting. submitted by joeb.

Offer It Up! Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John 13:36-38

Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?”
Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.”
Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”

Years ago, I drove a school bus – a 90 passenger school bus.Just imagine; one adult to 90 bright, cheery-eyed students every morning. The only reason it was not complete insanity was because the students knew that if they got out of line one too many times, they would lose their bus riding privileges. So, one of the first things I learned as a new school bus driver was never to make a threat that I could not keep. I had to keep my cool, give the students nice, friendly reminders to not throw things at each other or get up to change seats while the bus was moving – and most importantly – not to climb out the bus windows when we got to the bus stop.I couldn’t lose my cool and threaten to kick a student off the bus mid-way, no matter how much I wanted to.

Our promises to God are a lot like my school bus driver experience. No matter how much we want to promise God that we will do this, that, or the other thing, we must keep our cool and not make empty promises. Of course, if we do, and we don’t follow through on that promise, God will forgive, but we first must endure the regret and sorrow for not keeping our promise. Peter told Jesus that he would lay down his life for him.Jesus already knew this was an empty promise. Peter discovered that it was a rash promise to make and wept bitterly when he realized it. Thankfully, redemption for him was hanging on the cross not long after. lgboyd

Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37

Offer It Up! Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We begin Holy Week with expectation. The Lord will grace us with His Spirit as we draw near, seeking his mercy and praising His wondrous love.

It is a walk through the Passion of Jesus, as we move with Him through the streets of Jerusalem, to Bethany, and back to Jerusalem. We are with Him as He prepares to celebrate Passover, we wonder who it is who will betray Him. And, lo, we discover that we too who stand are capable of denial, perhaps even of betrayal. We beg for mercy and the grace to receive His forgiveness and the strength to walk through life as His disciple.

His love revealed in His suffering is a love beyond credibility, and I ask for the grace of faith, that I may be helped in my unbelief. As I walk with the crowds, and stand so helplessly by I feel in my soul each lash with the cruel scourges, I am repelled by the screams and shouts of insults. Jesus, being treated as a terrible criminal sentenced to death. His offense? He has borne my sins and the sins of every man and women throughout time.

This is a time for silence and deep reflection. My God who am I and what is the purpose of my life, what remains on my journey as I walk even run toward life with You?

In Your mercy hear my pleas and fill me with the fire of Your Spirit that I may always seek You in every action and in every person who comes into my life. Remove the blindness I experience and grant that I may see You in all of creation and worship You with every breath.


Offer It Up! Monday, April 18, 2011

Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my Spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

In case you were wondering, here is more proof that we have been called by our God to be more and do more than we can fathom to do ourselves. For those times that we may be bowed and bloodied as that bruised reed, He picks us back up and straightens us out. He re-ignites our not-so-burning-bright-flame, bringing us out of the darkness into His light.

We know from our faith and what we have come to believe that God has chosen us; He has called us for victory. Doesn’t your body feel the charge when you read or hear the words ‘I have grasped your hand’? Maybe in your life when someone took you by the hand and you felt something like that. A parent, a friend, your spouse. Nothing though, like the hand of God wrapping us up in His love.

He has done this so that we can live and give for others. To take what He has instilled in us and open up the minds and hearts of those who have not yet seen or heard. To speak and live the Truth as He has set before us, ‘a light for the nations.’

Offer It Up! Sunday, April 17, 2011

Matthew 21:8-9

The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest."

Little Brad was excited about being picked to play a minor role in two scenes of a "Passion Play": Palm Sunday and Good Friday. He was to shout "Hosanna Jesus" in the first scene and "Crucify Jesus" in the second scene.

Bard shouted his heart out in the first scene, for he was praising Jesus. Then came the second scene. Again, he shouted with the crowd, "Crucify him!''

Suddenly, he found himself screaming, "No! No! Don't do it. Please don't do it."
Later, he said that play taught him what he never realized before. Many of the people who shouted "Hosanna" on Palm Sunday were also the ones who shouted "Crucify him" on Good Friday. What was Brad’s point?

Many people don't think for themselves, they just follow the crowd!

At our readings today for the Passion, we too had the same people reading the parts of the crowd: the same people pronouncing glory upon the Lord being the same people condemning Him to death with their shouts to crucify Him. What gives?

Are we the same in our ways—with one hand proclaiming our holiness and the other patting ourselves on the back for that bit of righteousness? We can’t have them both. We are either with Him or we are not.

Proverbs 16:32

It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.

Offer It Up! Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ezekiel 37:23

No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions.

I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.

So with that bit of Good News, it would be a safe bet to make then that we are pretty much in the clear—we quit screwing up with our golden calf worship and countless other shooting-ourselves-in-our-foots sins and God will bring us into His everlasting salvation. How simple is that! Or should that be more of a question than a statement?

Probably a question in that we should be asking ourselves how simple our lives are now. How simple or complex are we making them? Do we compound the sins we commit by giving up on our obligation to our faith? ‘Oh well, I really stepped in it this time. Not much I can do about it now so I may as well enjoy myself… see if I can get forgiveness for it later.’ Not exactly clear on the concept of seeking God’s forgiveness if that is one’s approach to it. Indeed, that is only compounding the problem—slipping more into the darkness than trying to find one’s way to the Light.

We should be more steadfast in our approach to all our acts of contrition as we are delivered from our sins and cleansed with His grace. That is what His forgiveness should be for us—a filling of God’s grace so that we will be in a better place to do better things and be a better person with a better heart and soul. Through the Holy Spirit and our path toward holiness, we all may come to more fully understand His will for us and what is pleasing to Him.

Offer It Up! Friday, April 15, 2011

John 10:31-33, 37-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”

Jesus answered them:
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said,

“John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.”

And many there began to believe in him.

What Jesus dared say to the Jews out loud was true.And they wanted to stone him for it, claiming it to be blasphemy. Things are heating up!This is a battle that Jesus must fight all the way to the cross.

As Jesus continues on His journey, He becomes more and more direct in pronouncing His purpose and mission on earth.He becomes more direct in pronouncing who He is, knowing that it will eventually lead to His death…and thankfully, His resurrection.But, before He withdraws, He tries one more time to crack the hard shell of the Jews’ hearts.Facing arrest and stoning, He escapes, knowing that it is not yet His time.Jesus withdraws to a place where he can find peace and comfort in the joy of when His ministry first began.

I don’t know about you, but if I were about to be stoned or imprisoned unjustly and managed to escape, my first thought would be to go to a place of comfort – a place of safety and peace.Does that mean if we do so, we are acting cowardly – not facing our opponent head on and resolving the problem, then and there?Retreating from a battle is not always a bad thing – sometimes it is the smartest thing we can do.Sometimes, it is what we should do – leave the problem and those involved behind to seek the solace and comfort and direction from God our Father.Retreat from the battle to pray and regroup.

As Jesus did so in obedience to the Father, He accomplished what He set out to do – seek out those who believe, as they came to Him and confessed their belief in Him.Jesus did not have to stick around and talk and talk until someone stepped forward in belief.He did not have to hit them over the head with screaming and shouting.He said what he had to say, knowing that there would be some in the crowd that would hear Him and receive His words and come to Him in belief.Jesus calmly and quietly led those that believed to the place that would open their eyes to who He truly is.


"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness" 2 Corinthians 12:9

Offer It Up! Thursday, April 14, 2011

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?”

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

In today’s Gospel Jesus challenges the Jews to accept His Word as the revelation of God. He riled them up when He claimed intimate knowledge of God and also unique obedience to God. In Jesus we see the eternal God as man. He is the immortal timeless One who always was and always will be. His death and rising make it possible for us to share in His eternal life. Do you long to know God personally and appreciate the power and depth of His love for us? Ask Jesus for the gift of faith and understanding to grow in our knowledge and love of Him.

When someone challenges us on something we have come to believe as true—and we know it to be so—what is our response? Do we assertively, not aggressively and in attack mode, stand for what we believe and discuss with the challenging party our views? Do we acknowledge their position with a little more than a nod and excuse them for their lack of knowledge… tsk, tsk, they don’t know what they don’t know. Or do we passively put ourselves down and let them have their way as they cast their stones?

The Jews were challenged by Jesus’ revelation to them. As much as they had come to know and love God, they were not grasping what Jesus was offering them: “Before Abraham came to be, I am.” This shook the foundation of all they had come to believe for all their lives. They were beyond discussing the finer points of His statement and its impact; they were armed and ready to throw.

Yea for the Jews for standing for what they believe! We should be so adamant about our own beliefs. Not to the point of arming ourselves with rocks or weapons but at least with more knowledge and wisdom, so that we may grow more in our faith. Sometimes what we hear does in fact rock our foundation. Sometimes that needs to happen to move us from where we are to where we need to be.

Jesus came to them to do just that then, leading them to life eternal with Him, in the New Covenant. He comes to us today through The Word and prayer so that we too may share in His covenant on earth and eternity in His kingdom.

Hebrews 13:7-8

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Offer It Up! Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25,28

Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up."

Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered the king, "True, O king." He answered, "But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."

Nebuchadnezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at naught the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

Those guys had it right. They knew the Truth and the Truth for sure was going to set them free, without so much as a singed hair on their heads.

Today, we have folks setting their own truths, their ‘true Norths’, if you will. Making up what they want to be their own valid truths, saying that truth is all relative. The world sets up what is true and since they are in the world, they can make up their own truths, doing as they please when they please, in spite of what others have proven as ‘Truth.’

Simple minds often lead to simple, if not errant, conclusions. The saying that what is always popular is not always right and what is always right is not always popular comes to mind here. As it was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who and what we choose to follow and obey and understand and believe as our truth will guide our journeys here on earth. They were not in the popular section but they did believe what was right. Their faith and trust in the will of God saved them from the burning rages of the furnace.

Just as it is with our faithfulness, our trust and surrender in and to His will and way for us, God will forgive us of our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Every day we have the choice to follow or not. Every day we can be transformed by living in The Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and be delivered from our sins.

And that’s The Truth.

John 8:32

"And you will know The Truth and The Truth will set you free."

Offer It Up! Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Entering into the fifth week of Lent, we were presented with the raising of Lazarus in John's gospel. The actions of Jesus give us pause to reflect on the continuing journey of Lent toward Easter. We walk with Jesus as we place ourselves in the gospel narrative and listen to the Lord as he reveals to us the awesome mystery of God's love.

We began our Lent with Jesus, after his baptism in the Jordan, and we were with him in the desert as he experienced the temptations. In our experiences, we began to see in our own lives the temptations that draw us toward sin.

On the second Sunday of Lent we followed the Lord to the mount of Transfiguration, we also may have wondered at the scene depicted in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus transfigured, the Father's voice saying how pleased he was with this His beloved son. Then we like the apostles Peter, James, and John wondered what Jesus meant don't tell anyone till the Son of Man is risen from the dead.
We take these words and carry them in our minds and hearts seeking to understand more clearly the wonder of all that is being revealed.

The following week the gospel travel brings us to a well in Samaria. Here we meet a woman of Samaria who like us has experienced sin in her life. And, with her we meet Jesus at the well and a conversation ensues. He asks for water, she a Samaritan and a woman is surprised he even speaks to her. Are we surprised Jesus speaks to us. Do we hear Him in His Word? If we are open and enter into his presence with sincerity seeking to know clearly our own self and the need for the living water of the Spirit, we do hear as did the woman and hopefully we too want to tell everyone ‘Look I met someone who told me everything I ever did and brings healing into my sinful life!’

In our own darkness and inability to see, we meet a blind man at the Pool of Siloam. Blind since birth, he gains Jesus' attention and compassion. Jesus using spittle and clay, makes a salve and puts it on the eyes of the man born blind.’ Go wash in the Pool of Siloam’, and lo, the man is now able to see. Light comes through Jesus. We too are provided light when we enter into meditative dialog with His Word. Our blindness due to sin, do to secular attitudes that keep our focus away from the Lord. We too need the healing grace of Jesus the Christ.

Finally this week we weep with Jesus at the loss of His friend Lazarus. And we walk in gospel truth to the final time of Jesus human journey. During the next days and into Holy week we follow Jesus along the way to Calvary. We enter in the suffering and death of Jesus asking that he grant us forgiveness for our sins and the strength to live completely seeking to do the will of God.

Our remaining Lent is a time of prayer or should be, A time of learning to truly forgive and live a life in the Spirit.

May God set us afire with love, His Love.


Offer It Up! Monday, April 11, 2011

Ezekiel 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

He’s promised us. And He will deliver on His promise. For this piece, maybe that should be a Promise with a capital ‘P’, not just the lower-case version. Think of the magnitude of that assurance: God has Promised to put His Spirit in us.

Who can grasp this? How can it be that a mind can use enough of what gray matter one has to understand being filled with Him?



Beyond any finite capability of comprehending this brain has anyway. A Promise so big, so monumental, so out there… yet so small. So that we will be like Him—so we will know that He is God, He fulfills it by choosing us and filling the Spirit within us.

God gives us so much more than we deserve. We could never even come close to covering that debt He paid for us by having His Son die for us. But we can at least give back and show Him our gratitude and love by living and praying a life that He calls us to. With that, we may see ourselves living even more humbly with the Promise He made for us and to us.

Offer It Up! Sunday, April 10, 2011

Exodus 32:13-14

Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’“

So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

The questions were posed a few days ago: Does God change His mind? Does He relent and turn away from an action He intended to take or did He not plan to really take that action in the first place? This site never has nor ever will claim to have all the answers—if any at that. What we do offer, though are our perceptions that we would hope run true with what others believe. For these questions though, they won’t be fully answered till such time that any one of us may get to enjoy asking Him face to face. Until then, we can only suppose and go with what we know.

What we do know is that God hears our prayers. And we do know those prayers are answered. In the reading from Exodus, Moses offered his supplications to God. God heard his prayers. God spared the people. Pretty simple to grasp that concept, at least on the surface.

But beyond that, I am not smart enough nor will I ever have that sort of wisdom to fully understand God's majesty and glory. I do believe though, He wants us to pray more and the more we do of that, the more we will understand the way He has called us to live, wrathful or not, His will for us. Maybe He wanted Moses to pray more and recognize his heritage and to recall what he had been promised. Maybe that was the movement God wanted to see in Moses all along so that there would be no punishment inflicted on his people.

Maybe that is what we all need to do-recognize where we've been and what God has promised us. Then pray we are delivered just as Moses was. Praying more on that will lead us closer to understanding and then, eventually, to a closer visit with our Savior.

Offer It Up! Saturday, April 9, 2011

There is still time to give up something for Lent!

Try one of the following:

Give up complaining. . focus on gratitude.

Give up cynicism. . . . . . . become an optimist.

Give up harsh judgments. . think kindly thoughts.

Give up worry . . . . . trust in the Lord.

Give up discouragement. . . .become more hopeful.

Give up bitterness. . . . turn to forgiveness.

Give up resentment . . .. cultivate some humility.

Give up negativism. . . . . be more positive.

Give up anger. . . be more patient.

Give up pettiness. . . . become mature.

Give up gloom. ... learn to smile.

Give up jealousy . . . adopt a generous attitude.

Give up gossiping. . . . control your tongue.

Give up tension . . . . . find more humor.

Give up giving up. . . . .be persistent in prayer!

Offer It Up! Friday, April 8, 2011

It seems like Ash Wednesday just occurred and already we are approaching the 5th Sunday of Lent. The days are fleeting past as we approach the wondrous feast of Easter. For me, the days are filled with recurring thoughts of the passion of Our Lord and meditation on what He revealed to us. Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God. The awesomeness of God's love is clearly seen in the life and death of Jesus.

His brief life lived for all others, using God's wonderful gifts in service to all, we see clearly in the Gospels. Healing the sick, bringing the dead to life, feeding the multitudes, living in the homes of the rich or the poor, living out in the open with no place to rest His head, Jesus truly trusted in God the Father in all things. He was obedient to the Father, doing the Father's will was His single-minded way of living.

How about me? I profess to believe, to love Him, and so too often do I fail to consider in all seriousness the Father's will. My will, now there is something that can absorb my attention, my energy. Is it perhaps much simpler than I choose to make it? I am reminded at the moment of those very early days when I was taught from the Baltimore Catechism:

Who made you?

Why did God make you?

God who sent His Son to reveal His love for us continues to seek us out. Do I continue to cloud things in my blindness, my self-absorption, my failure to love?

Come Lord Jesus, be my light!


Offer It Up! Thursday, April 7, 2011

Psalm 106: 19-23

Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image,
They exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
They forgot the God who had saved them,

Who had done great deeds in Egypt,

Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea.
Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath.

Have you ever had someone stand for you in the breach? Ever had another person defend your character when others were dragging it through the mud? When all else was ‘nothing else’, there was that someone to stop whatever it was that needed stopping and help you begin whatever it was that needed beginning?

Maybe you were that person for someone or even a lot of someones. Maybe there have been times when a number of people have served that place well in your life, too. Moses served it well for many years. Leading those chosen and turning back the wrath of God. Imagine how he must have felt.

The burden. The sacrifice. The love.

Of all the good we do in all the days we do it, we too often forget where we get what we have. We put ourselves in front of our God who has ‘done great deeds’ for us. And as soon as the ‘terrible things’ come upon us, we soon forget all the ‘wondrous deeds’ that have come before and the ones that will come. It’s a wonder God is not just a bit more peeved with us than He appears to be sometimes. Without Moses around to stand in the breach, we should be counting our blessings He’s not.

Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people

Offer It Up! Wednesday, April 6, 2011

John 5:30

"I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”

If you’ve ever been on a hunting trip with a guide or in a particular circumstance where you had someone that was leading you through a situation—like being lost— you were giving over your trust to that person to take you where you needed to go. Without the knowledge or experience ourselves, there would be little chance that we would find our way to where we need to go, much less finding our way back to our homes. Not saying it would be impossible but it would be a bit of a struggle to say the least trying to go it alone.

As we live out and become what God has called us to be on our paths, we too have to believe that He will lead us according to His will for us—as we trust in His way. There will be those days that it all seems uphill—coming and going. There will be those days of smooth sailing. There will be those days of seemingly total darkness—we are nowhere near where He has called us to be. (Well, so much for that little shortcut…)

I read recently about Francis de Sales comment where he spoke of the two Wills of God: the one revealed to us through Scripture and Church Tradition—all those things we have learned and continue to learn; and the Will of God we are to discern in the living and discerning of our lives. The former is very clearly defined and has been; we use it as a guide for the latter. We can take from it those things to help keep us on our path toward salvation, the path God has chosen for us. He wants nothing but the best for us. We should be humble enough to accept what He has—His grace and mercy—and follow Him as our guide.

Offer It Up! Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Cassie!

Psalm 30:4-6, 11, 12a, 13b

Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. “Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me; O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing; O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

Oh that we could all follow the Lord’s example–His anger lasts but a moment.

How often do we hold on to our anger; justifying it for all its worth.Anger gives us a reason to sin, at least that is what we want to believe.All of the usual excuses take hold in our hearts and minds–“I didn’t create this problem, he did,” or “I’ve tried and tried to work this out, but she is stubborn and won’t listen.” So, we hold on to our anger and build the walls that make it impossible to solve the problem.

Oh that we could all follow the Lord’s example–His good will towards us lasts a lifetime. If our Perfect and Holy Father can let go of His anger so quickly to express His good will toward us, why can’t we do the same? Is it a lack of trust amongst ourselves–that mindset that tells us if we let go of it too quickly it will only come back to cause more problems later?Maybe we should try our Lord’s way.

Be angry for a moment, if needed.Then, let it go and let God do His work to create good will in the hearts and minds of all involved.Even when the anger is “justified,” it does no good to hold on to it.Express it, explain it, and encourage solutions–solutions that will create good will and heal the relationship.How much better our lives can be when we can live with brief moments of anger and much longer moments of love, laughter, joy, and peace.lgboyd

Offer It Up! Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Derek!

John 4:43-54

At that time Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The royal official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.

It is apparent that once was not enough, even when the first sign was as dramatic as it was, changing water into wine. Now another sign is sought so that they can further confirm what it is they believe. It appears the people want to believe in Jesus as a prophet but… We would have to do a double take ourselves, at least I know I would, for either of those to be presented today. And then, like the royal official and his household, my faith would be confirmed, if not deepened.

We go through those times when we do wonder if our prayers are being heard, if God is listening or even if what it is we are doing is sufficient, or worthy, for His time. And what do we do? We seek our own bit of confirmation—our signs—to verify our beliefs to fit what we want to have fit in our lives. The challenge with that line of thinking is that the signs become ours, not God’s. There are enough signs for us all to know that God is here and will be here—we don’t need to be making them up. He has that covered and if or when He needs our help, He’ll be in touch.

The officer had it right: he took Jesus at His word that all was going to be well with the sick son. All Jesus had to do was say the word—and the father believe in Him—and the son was to be healed. That was the plan. All we have to do is believe in The Word we have been given, to follow and trust in it. That is the plan. And all will be well. And we will all believe.

Offer It Up! Sunday, April 3, 2011

John 9:35-41

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he.”
He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Here’s mud in your eyes!

Should you have heard that phrase before, it may have been in a bit of revelry as in a toast of sorts in celebration. Not so much partying early on from today’s Gospel, but as the mud was washed away, there was great cause for celebration for the blind man and his family as he was able to see. Blind from birth, in the dark all of his life, and now with spit and dirt—to make the basest of form of mud—Jesus heals the man and transforms his life from then on.

How about a little bit of mud in our own eyes? How often are we blinded by the things we deem more important than what God has called us to do be doing? Our egos get in our way. Our needs become more important. Our sacrifices become empty promises. And the light we once had now is turning into darkness. Just as Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, to those that were ‘not so blind’—‘I came into this world for judgment, so those who do not see, might see’—we too need to see where we are going.

The sort of blindness in our lives many of us suffer is the blindness we have to our sins. Oh that stuff? I can rationalize that… not going to mass on Sunday. And that? I can work my way around that little white lie. And then there’s that other deal—that didn’t hurt anyone but me so that one doesn’t really count as a sin. A man way wiser than myself says often ‘If you name it you can claim it,’ the reference being to our sins and the eventual reconciliation of them.

We all can probably step into a bit more of the light, increasing our faith to share in the Love and Grace of God.

Amazing Grace…

I once was lost…

But now I see…

Offer It Up! Saturday, April 2, 2011

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

There but for the grace of God go I.

For sure, we’ve heard it if we’ve not said it before ourselves. Maybe not in the context as Jesus put it in the parable here but the message is as equally clear: this judging stuff is better left to Him who is most qualified to judge.

Maybe we’ve seen others in less comfortable conditions or circumstances than we are experiencing. Maybe we’ve seen those that seem to have it ‘all knowed up’ and living life quite largely. And it might be that we even have been on the receiving end of some tough times ourselves yet we persevere and still find ways to be thankful for the graces we have received. As we should.

And as we do, the crowds around us still mount up with their egos and their maladies—my life is holier, my prayers are better, my friends are better... ain’t it awful about my back, my job right now is really not going well and my spouse doesn’t understand me… everybody else is having fun but not me. Why me Lord?

We all get in our own ways from time to time, putting ourselves on paths that we choose instead of the one God has for us. The way back to His path is humbling. Yet God does bring us back and forgives us.

There with God’s grace are we.

Offer It Up! Friday, April 1, 2011

Hosea 14:10

Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.

So we strive to be wise and understand and the more we do, do we really ‘get it’ or is it that we are more confounded than we were before? Something akin to taking two steps forward and three steps back, if not four or five more backward as we slide back into irrational thoughts, old habits and ignominious ways. This thinking wise and being prudent stuff—is it really worth it? Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

We’ve all had the thoughts—yup, admit it. Do we really want to keep this up, this ‘path of most resistance’ if you will? Of course we do. Particularly when we consider our alternative. Even our alternative here on earth—what material living can offer us in comfort we can gain more rest spiritually in our prayers and self-giving. The giving up of our will to do His for us.

God’s will. God’s way. To do His will can and will keep us on His way.

God’s way. God’s will. To be on His way will lead us to do His will.

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