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

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Offer It Up! Sunday, July 31, 2011

Isaiah 55:1-3

All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.

It’s been hot here lately, so hot and dry that some have offered that we are getting prepared for such time we may have to spend on our way toward our eternal salvation. Given that option, I would hope purgatory would be somewhere in there…

Thirsty, yes we are.Right away, we pick up the first thing available to quench that thirst. And how often that whatever it is we choose fails to satisfy that thirst? The soda? Too much sugar. The energy drink? Don’t need to be wired, I just want something to quench my thirst. Coffee? Too hot already. All these things and more sometimes never seem to fill our need. If we would have just picked up a cup of water to begin with, we would have found that maybe, that would have done the trick.

As we are asked in the Psalm, why spend money for something that doesn’t do anything for you? Those impulse items at the checkout lines? Same thing. You pick up that thing you saw on television, drop it on the checkout line, pay your money, take it home , use it once, put it in a drawer and never see it again. You see something on television. You call the number on the screen, give them your credit card number, a few days later you have your ‘magic device’, use it once, put it in the cabinet and never use it again.We do this all the time! We convince ourselves that we will use this stuff but, but.., that convincing is short lived.

Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.

If we were to really have a talk, a prayerful talk, before we bought those devices, we would save ourselves a lot of money, if not heartache. If we would ‘heed’ then, and ‘listen’ to reason, because we know we’ve done this before. We’ve fallen victim to these types of traps that we set for ourselves; our habits dictate that. God has given us His promise of an ‘everlasting covenant’ as we renew ourselves in Him. Nothing from this world could buy that or replace that covenant or His Love. It won’t cost us much but all we have.


Offer It Up! Saturday, July 30, 2011
Happy Birthday Tony!

Romans 5:1-7

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.

Faith rewarded is not so much grace earned as it is grace given. Our faith lies in what we don’t see yet in what we believe to be. This will keep us where we need to be—in the peace and protection and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ. From grace to more faith to humility in acceptance of His will.

In our obedience and trust, we learn to submit to the will of God. Our faith then grows from that submission, impacting every aspect of our lives. It will make us who we are more than just what we do on Sundays. Paul wrote about ‘proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint.’ God’s Love is that hope and that hope is shared with the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

I heard from someone that if God were to be wearing a t-shirt, you would never see what was written on the back of it… He would never turn His back on you. What then could keep His Love from us? Again, as Paul proclaimed to the Romans, there will be nothing ‘to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ But we can keep ourselves out of His graces and that is our test of faith. Through the gift of free will, it is our choice to stay in His grace or to do as we choose and not. That we get to choose to do every day. Through our own distress, persecution, famine—even drought—peril, or sword, we must choose to stay on our path toward holiness. That is our ‘saving grace’ of salvation that God has given us each day we have with Him.

Romans 8:35, 37-39
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tony

About faith, his was fully and completely body, mind, heart and soul. It was as if he was living to pack all of the faith he had left—all the of the faith and grace he had been given—into each day as if it were to be his last. He went beyond any illnesses or aches or pains to see to it that the Word of God was spread. And it was not about what he did; no, it was all about who he was. Tony was fully and completely committed to living God’s will. We should be so committed.

A disciple? Maybe. A servant? Most likely. Tony had that rare ‘proven character’ that people admired and loved. Loved is one thing, liked is another… his ‘character’ showed often in that it didn’t take long for others to see where he stood on matters of right and wrong, of good and not good. But the respect was still there.

Happy Birthday, Tony. Indeed, your faith has been rewarded.

The years have not made it any easier to miss you yet we know that the Love of God keeps us close.

Until then, we love you and miss you… Hook ‘em.


Offer It Up! Friday, July 29, 2011

Luke 10:38-42

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me."

The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

Martha served Jesus in her home.

Mary attended to His needs as she listened to Him as she spoke.

Both were servants in a home Jesus came to visit.

Both were welcoming Him in their own ways.

We too can prepare and welcome Christ into our own homes, our lives, in very much the same way Martha and Mary did. How worthy are we to have such a visitor? Not hardly at all. All we have to do is ask, as I am sure Martha had done in her own way and prayer.

For a time, she may have been thinking of herself ‘more highly than one ought to think’ as she made her way about, doing what she thought was ‘pleasing and perfect.’ But as then and as it is now, it wasn’t about that so much as it was about the ‘grace’ and the ‘faith’ we all have been ‘apportioned.’

Romans 12:1-3

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.

In Psalm 51, the psalmist cries out for a renewed and steadfast spirit. In Romans 12, we are encouraged to be transformed by the renewal of our minds so that we may come to know God’s will for us. As were Martha’s efforts to be so pleasing and perfect, so must ours continue to be. As Mary was attuned to hear what Jesus was telling her, so must we be ready to hear and offer ourselves to be who He is calling us to be… ‘according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.’

Psalm 51:12, 19

A pure heart create for me, O God, renew in me a steadfast spirit.

A humbled, contrite heart You will not spurn.


Offer It Up! Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.

On the first day of the first month of the second year
the Dwelling was erected. It was Moses who erected the Dwelling. He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns. He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him. He took the commandments and put them in the ark; he placed poles alongside the ark and set the propitiatory upon it. He brought the ark into the Dwelling and hung the curtain veil, thus screening off the ark of the commandments, as the LORD had commanded him.

Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling. Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the LORD filled the Dwelling.
Whenever the cloud rose from the Dwelling, the children of Israel would set out on their journey. But if the cloud did not lift, they would not go forward; only when it lifted did they go forward.
In the daytime the cloud of the LORD was seen over the Dwelling; whereas at night, fire was seen in the cloud by the whole house of Israel in all the stages of their journey.

Some several years ago—a very long time ago in a land and time almost forgotten—there were pieces of furniture called ‘hi-fi’s’. And on these beautiful, often dark cherry wood pieces were stereophonic speakers on either end and played vinyl disks—albums, LPs as they were and still are in some homes. Not inexpensive, these hi-fis were often considered a luxury item and, make no mistake; it was certainly that in our household. It was off-limits to anyone under the age 30 or at least that is what I think Dad said. Well it wasn’t 30 but once we were old enough, there were specific instructions on how to operate it and how to take care of it, especially the stylus or needle. Also there were times when we could play ‘our’ music and when we ‘got’ to listen to Dad’s. He's the boss, gotta follow what the boss says.

The disks at our home consisted mostly of music: big band, orchestras, musicals and crooners. Yet on those even rarer occasions of having disposable income for himself, Dad would buy an album by a comedian to humor us, his children, family and his friends. One such purchase was an album by Bill Cosby. And one such bit Mr. Cosby did was on Noah building the ark. All the detailed directions Noah had and getting the animals and then the rain, it was a funny piece back then and is still good for a few laughs today.

I took you through that to get you to this: not about Noah and the ark but about the ark—the Dwelling—that Moses built as commanded by God.

Moses did exactly as the LORD commanded him.

If we were to stop here and ask ourselves a question based on that statement, how would we respond?

Are we doing as I have commanded you to do?

Would we be able to stand up and be as honorable as Moses and the details he followed? God had given him specific instructions on what to do, how to do it and even when to get it going. From there, Moses and the Israelites get directions what to do after it is completed. Nothing was left to be taken for granted. They had what they needed to follow God’s plan for their journey, with a cloud by day and a flame by night. One would imagine after the time already spent on their journey, they would be fearful of what might happen if they chose again not to follow His plan for them.

As children given specific instructions on how to operate the hi-fi, we were somewhat in fear of messing things up so we did take extreme care and caution. Yet, as things happen with so many children in a house, it did get its scratches and some albums also got theirs. We were all responsible since we all used it. We all had the same detailed instructions but for whatever reason, either they weren’t followed, someone didn’t do something right… the details were not followed. We all paid for the mistakes.

God has given us detailed instructions. We can find them in scripture. We can find them in prayer. We can find them in the celebration of the Eucharist or wherever it is you go to church. They were not meant to be cafeteria style where we pick the ones we want to follow and ignore the others. He did not give them to us to so He could have something else to do. He doesn’t need to do anything. He gave them to us so that we could follow them to our eternity with Him. He’s God. We’re still not. He’s here to see us through and set us free as much today as He was with Moses and his people. We can do it too. It’s all in the details.


Offer It Up! Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tobit 4:15-19

Do to no one what you yourself dislike.

"Give to the hungry some of your bread, and to the naked some of your clothing..

"Seek counsel from every wise man, and do not think lightly of any advice that can be useful.

At all times bless the Lord God, and ask him to make all your paths straight and to grant success to all your endeavors and plans.

For someone who was suffering so much, Tobit had much to say to his son that would stay with him, and us, for quite some time. The precursor to the Golden Rule: don’t do to those what you yourself dislike seems quite simple to follow but how many of us prefer all the good for us and the rest of the world can go to Hel..sinki.

Feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we find elsewhere, specifically in Matthew 25, where the corporal works of mercy are founded. Again, our choices often take us to overeating because we choose not to move away from the buffet and the clothes we wear are filling so many closets we can’t remember the last time we wore that shirt or that coat!

Listening to what we are told from those that know and using what they offer is also made clear by Tobit. He followed along with what God had planned and though it may not have appeared all was well, he persevered and maintained his faith and yes, he did get well and was eventually able to see. How often is it that we get some of the best counseling, even know it to be true and the best, yet we cast our doubts and our lots with plan B… b as in ‘bomb’.

Then there is the counsel he sought from the LORD at all times, in prayer and in what he did. He sought His help to keep him on his path toward holiness just as we do today. This is the one we should never mistake for bad advice, counsel or someone talking out of their hat. We must devote ourselves to the paths He has set before us, good times or bad, and He then will see to our success and triumph in our salvation.


Offer It Up! Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Living with the Church in our spiritual journey we join together to celebrate the feast of Saint James the Apostle. It is a good thing to spend time reflecting on the lives and acts of those who preceded us in faith. In this case one of the twelve who walked the land of Israel with the Master Himself, James, son of Zebedee and brother of John. James, whose mother went to the Lord to beg the favor of having her Sons sit one at right and the other at his left.They were the ones who chimed in that they could drink of the cup that the Lord would drink. Yes, so much like us with our promises, our attempts at commitment, only like them to run and find safety when the rubber hits the road as some say.

I believe many if not most of us look to the Lord often with desire to be all we can be.But when push comes to shove, we may have to sacrifice something we enjoy in life or hold onto as treasure; we balk, we make deals, we too often distance ourselves from the Lord.

We see and hear and experience things on our life journey that we pray God would change, but too often fail to be agents of that change. Sin invades our lives and we are all too complacent about it.

As we become aware in various ways of the amount of evil in our world, can we see how God is calling us to be light to a darkening world?God is aware of our needs, is aware of suffering as a result of evil, as Jesus reminds us he allows the good and the evil to exist in the field of created beings without His interference.

We are called, the baptized, to live as priest, prophet and king. With God's grace we are to be agents of change in a fallen world. Let your light shine, love life, seek to be a peacemaker, be merciful and compassionate especially toward brothers and sisters in need of spiritual friendship. By living our life in Christ, through Him and with Him, we are conduits to the wonder of God with us. Pray! Ask Saint James to plead for us and with us that God may guide us to right living.

Deacon


Offer It Up! Monday, July 25, 2011

The wonder of the Lord is all around us. Even within us, as we live and move and have our being. In our inability to see we turn to the wonders of God and seek to satisfy the longing within with creation and too often fail to acknowledge the Creator.


Each day evidence is presented to demonstrate the human capacity for evil. Most recently in Norway a senseless attack resulted in too many lives being cut short. Why? We ask. Why does God seem to allow evil to run amok in our world? Why do we? Why do we see so vividly and quickly the evil and too often fail to recognize the good?Why are news reports filled with tragic events and too seldom focus on the goodness of men and women who serve their fellow men in charity, with hope and in faith?

Why does a young boy want to ask a schoolteacher he just met if students in his school are allowed to pray?

Lord, I pray for all the gifts You desire to give me and for the wisdom and courage to live eagerly in faith, hope and love. Too often I have failed to live in a way that reflects clearly that You are the center of my life. Opportunities to be Your messenger have come and gone while I satisfied my desires for comfort and giving little thought and effort to what You were leading me to do. How easy it is to ignore the needs of others, those obvious physical needs, and more those need for spiritual comfort and support.


Their is evidence that so many people who regularly come to celebrate the great liturgy You have given us are simplygoing through the motions and it seems at times failing to acknowledge Your presence.With the help of Your grace, grant that I my draw closer and closer to living in complete obedience to Your divine will.

In Christ Jesus, I Pray.

Deacon


Offer It Up! Sunday, July 24, 2011

John 20:13-15

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."

We sometimes associate the word “my” with selfishness. Isn’t it usually one of the first words a child learns to speak? And, isn’t it usually a result of learning that it is a way of holding on to something we want? Then again, it can be a word that simply conveys ownership, such as “Where are my keys?” or “My house is the third one on the right with the big tree in the front yard.” And yet again, the word “my” can let others know that you have a personal relationship with someone… my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter, my friend.

Mary considered Jesus to be her Lord. Mary wanted to hold on to Him, but not in the selfish way of a child who is not willing to share; more in the way that conveys ownership and a personal relationship; a way of saying “this person is extremely important to me.” In spite of the persecution and ridicule that Jesus had just endured, Mary was not afraid to acknowledge her personal relationship with Him.

When we own our relationship with our Lord, we are not afraid to acknowledge it. In fact, if we think of our Lord in a personal way, how much easier would it be for others to see that He is something important and special to us? Maybe the next time I am asked where I am going on a Sunday morning, I just might say, “I am going to celebrate mass and spend time with my Lord and my God.” lgboyd

John 20:17

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.’”


Offer It Up! Saturday, July 23, 2011


Offer It Up! Friday, July 22, 2011

Exodus 20:1-17

God delivered all these commandments:

“I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you.

“You shall not kill.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.”

Maybe you’ve seen the billboard or bumper sticker (or that ever-popular email from your ‘best’ friends) that has the series of God messages. One of those messages/signs bears this pronouncement: “What part of ‘Thou shall not’ do you not understand?” Along with the other commandments, God does make it lucidly clear that there are paths for us to take and paths for us to avoid. What is given to us in the reading from Exodus today in the form of the Commandments should keep us pointed in the direction He has planned for us.

Some may suggest that the commandments outdated and obsolete, not a part of today’s real world. Some others say that they don’t really mean exactly what they refer to, that they are sort of opening bids, if you will, as to what we can do or not. Those ‘some’ are out of touch with reality—reality being there is no dilution, no expiration date, no picking and choosing of the ones we want to follow and the ones we would just as soon ignore. God made it clear to Moses and it is still clear today:

God delivered all these commandments

I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.

For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God

As He brought the Israelites out from their slavery, He brings us out of the darkness from our slavery to sin. As He loosens the chains that bound us, we must then choose to follow the path He has ahead of us, not the ‘idols or gods’ we had in place. Even when tested, even when the challenges make it easier to go the low road as the higher road gets harder, God and His commandments do not change. We do. It is that change, that choice we make then to keep His commandments that will transform our lives. If we let our consciences be our guides and our guides be His commandments, we then can rise above the challenges and live in God's grace.


Offer It Up! Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introduction to the Devout Life

Preface by the Author

DEAR reader, I request you to read this Preface for your own satisfaction as well as mine.

The flower-girl Glycera was so skilled in varying the arrangement and combination of her flowers, that out of the same kinds she produced a great variety of bouquets; so that the painter Pausias, who sought to rival the diversity of her art, was brought to a standstill, for he could not vary his painting so endlessly as Glycera varied her bouquets. Even so the Holy Spirit of God disposes and arranges the devout teaching which He imparts through the lips and pen of His servants with such endless variety, that, although the doctrine is ever one and the same, their treatment of it is different, according to the varying minds whence that treatment flows. Assuredly I neither desire, nor ought to write in this book anything but what has been already said by others before me. I offer you the same flowers, dear reader, but the bouquet will be somewhat different from theirs, because it is differently made up.St. Francis de Sales

I wish I could write like this guy did. But, don’t a lot of other folks have the same desire if not just for him, for others? For St. Augustine? For Teresa of Avila? For Merton? Chesterton? While we’re at it, why not through in the Old and New Testament… the gospels—the inspiration for them and for the spiritual development of us all?

Yup, to arrange the words in an order that makes sense and then carries with that sense a ‘bouquet’ that others may find ‘fragrant’ enough to apply to the way they live. As did de Sales, and I am in no way comparing what goes on here to even hold a candle to him or anyone like him, we do bring our ‘arrangements’ to these pages, in as much as we can, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit.

A very good best friend led me to these writings and I would offer to you who are here to enjoy the same. Online they can be found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/devout_life.toc.html and through other technological applications, they can be found with the Ipieta app. I have only begun to read and take in his bouquets.


Offer It Up! Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7-8

This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality

For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

What does holiness mean to you? Does it mean as it says in Thessalonians, by defining immorality in all its forms of sin and evil? Would you include then in your definition dishonesty, lust, impurity, malice, even vengeance? God has His plan for all of us and those things don’t apply to it.

Holiness is a very narrow path. How we choose to follow it and the will of God makes it even narrower. Or it can be made broader in some cases, as we are all sinners, at times when we ‘disregard’ His will and make it our own. That really compounds things. His Love and forgiveness uncompounds them.

Regardless of what we think we have done so bad, it can be undone. Regardless of how far south our plans have taken off the path of holiness, He can bring us back. With the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us and our own spirit, we can redefine and renew ourselves and be transformed, as we commit again to God’s will and our narrow path of holiness.


Offer It Up! Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Colossians 3:12-17

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, signing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

As God’s ‘holy and beloved chosen ones’, we do have certain obligations, if not responsibilities, to uphold. As He gave us His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ to be our guide, we too must be those that show the same sort of compassion and kindness that He portrayed and lived. As a servant and leader and as our guide to our salvation, no one was more forgiving and patient.

All of these as was Jesus’ life, were done in Love, that ‘stuff’ that binds us all to Him and Him to us. The ‘stuff’ we have when there is nothing else left to have. The ‘stuff’ we most often take for granted when we choose to live otherwise. The ‘stuff’ that He put Himself on the cross for and that held Him there. Love indeed is the sterner ‘stuff.’ Beyond sufficient, this sort of Love is what we should strive for in our relationship with Him.

As we live as we have been called, on our path toward holiness, that Love of Christ will soon envelope not only our hearts but our minds, bridging that gap from the earthly to the spiritual way of living. Knowing the ‘peace of Christ’ is in our hearts and leading our way of thinking will be our defense against the temptations of the world and the devices of those who would lead us from Him. For this we should be and are grateful, singing our praises and thanksgiving with ‘gratitude in our hearts’. Allow ourselves to hear His call to us and be ready to respond, surrendering to Him in humility and in faith.


Offer It Up! Monday, July 18, 2011

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

Finding God & Falling in Love Pedro Arrupe, S.J.

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything.

1 John 4:17

In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

1 John 4:21

This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.

1 John 4:15

Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.


Offer It Up! Sunday, July 17, 2011
Happy Anniversary Rena and Kirk!

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

There is no god besides you who have the care of all, that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.
For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all. For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved; and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.
But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency, and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you.
And you taught your people, by these deeds, that those who are just must be kind; and you gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.

For sure there should be no other god beside our God. There shouldn’t be those material things we put in place of Him. But there are. We make our ‘gods’ as we make our lives; where our hearts are, so where are treasures are. Fortunately for us, when we figure out that we have some wires crossed and that we are putting our efforts toward the world instead of toward Him, God understands. Even if we don’t at the time.

He is forgiving of us even if we sometimes are not so much forgiving of Him or others. We lock ourselves into defense mode, trying to make the plans He has for us match our way of thinking instead of the other way around. A friend shared once that she had a particular challenge with a sibling. Through counseling with her pastor, she found that she shouldn’t wait or count so much on her sibling to change but that if she were to change her own expectations, the relationship would then have a better chance of mending. She did, and though the relationship still has its challenges, it is in a ‘recovery’ mode as opposed to a destructive one.

A great lesson we learn in the Book of Wisdom as we are taught that God does judge with mercy and compassion. Does He have to? No. He’s God. Do we have to? Yes. For if we don’t, the alternative is not an acceptable one. We have been taught and re-taught. The ground has been prepared and He has given us faith to plant our seeds of trust and love to follow Him.


Offer It Up! Saturday, July 16, 2011
Happy Anniversary Rita and Paul!

Philippians 2:13-16

For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

To desire and to work, do everything without grumbling or questioning, blameless and innocent. Children of God. Like lights in the world. Running not in vain.

To desire is to want to do His will and to work is align all our efforts to do all toward the way He has called us.

To do both without questioning or doubt or grumbling is to have faith in knowing that is the way He has for us. As we follow His lead, we will stay on our path toward holiness—to become more like Him, blameless and innocent, His children.

Through forgiveness and reconciliation, in the middle of hell on earth, we can be the lights that shine as we submit to His will, holding up and on to His Good News, the Word of Life.

We boast not in ourselves but in Him who brought us to where we are. It is Him, Jesus Christ, that we serve and for Him we sacrifice all we have.


Offer It Up! Friday, July 15, 2011

Matthew 12:7

If you knew what this meant, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned these innocent men.

There are rules and laws we get to follow. Those rules and laws are there to protect us and yes, help us. For some at times, they can make life a bit uncomfortable and even burdensome, especially if we are the kind who tend to push the limits of those regulations, even those commandments, to better fit our way of life.

Some folks bend the rules and laws a bit more than others, going so far as to even break them. Some of them folks might be some of us. Not as a way of life but more as a temporary accommodation to the situation at hand.

Can’t be late to work again so I’ll have someone else punch my time card for me.

The cashier didn’t charge me for those chips… that’s okay, they make enough money anyway.

It’s not gossip—it’s almost sorta factual rumor that I heard so it’s okay to repeat it!

God will understand about me doing this sin just this one time… or twice maybe.

Yes, God does understand but not that He wants us to continue to do wrong. Yes, God is a merciful God but not that He will tolerate sin. Instead of putting ourselves in positions to fail and to sin, we should concentrate on ways of escaping temptation, putting Satan and the things of this world behind us. Prayer will help us do that. Faith will help us do that. And by putting ourselves in God’s light, following His will for us, He will do the rest with His mercy and grace. That’s His promise for our practicing His laws, His Commandments, His Truth.


Offer It Up! Thursday, July 14, 2011

John 1:16-17

From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No doubt we have seen those that pass by or know of others that are in some sort of straits or difficulty in their lives. As we were made aware, the phrase ‘There but for the grace of God…’ or words similar to those may have crossed your lips or were prayed contemplatively. We’ve experienced enough of our own heartbreak and challenges and of course we have all fallen from the graces of God through our sins. And there we sometimes stay.

But as much as we even fight to stay there, God sees and knows more, all in fact, of what we need. Yes, He has given us our gift free will; that’s how we got where we are. Even with those choices that brought us to our emptiness, He still Loves us and will bring us out of our darkness and into His light, back to His graces. He does so by cleansing our souls through forgiveness and reconciliation. He does so as we come to Him to be ‘refilled’ with all He has to give us—mercy, compassion, peace and yes, grace.

As that gift is received, again and again, we must do the right thing as anyone would do when they receive a gift and show our appreciation, our thanksgiving, for the gift of the graces we have received. We cannot just let those gifts sit there. We must do something with them and grow even more in our faith. The more we move forward in our faith, the smaller we become as we practice humility and the simplicity of the graces we have come to know. God will guide us as we do.


Offer It Up! Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Romans 3:23-26

All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed, through the forbearance of God--to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

No doubt we have seen those that pass by or know of others that are in some sort of straits or difficulty in their lives. As we were made aware, the phrase ‘There but for the grace of God…’ or words similar to those may have crossed your lips or were prayed contemplatively. We’ve experienced enough of our own heartbreak and challenges and of course we have all fallen from the graces of God through our sins. And there we sometimes seem to stay, at least for a time that we determine is sufficient for self-punishment.

But as much as we even fight to stay there, God sees and knows more, all in fact, of what we need. Yes, He has given us our gift free will; that’s how we got where we are. Even with those choices that brought us to our emptiness, He still Loves us and will bring us out of our darkness and into His light, back to His graces. He does so by cleansing our souls through forgiveness and reconciliation. He does so as we come to Him to be ‘refilled’ with all He has to give us—mercy, compassion, peace and yes, grace.

The gifts and favors of grace—blessing, help, guidance, forgiveness and more—is ours as God grants it to us. One or some or all, not as something we deserve. As that gift is received, once and again, we must do the right thing as anyone would do when they receive a gift and show our love and appreciation, our thanksgiving, for the gift of the graces we have received. We can’t just do either—we must be something with the gifts we have. We must become some ‘one’, our own self, with them and grow even more in our faith. The more we move into the light of grace, God’s guidance, we can take ownership of the faith we have come to know. The more grace we have been given, the more blessings bestowed, the more grace we have to live, the more love we can give.

There are many people that come into our lives that bring the grace of God with them. There are some that somehow arrive and it is up to us to grace them as God has graced us. Still others we let leave and take what grace they have with them, the graces we shared or the graces they had left unshared. However we come or go or as people do the same, we must do and be all we can to stay in God’s grace. That is what grace is for.

This quote from Joan of Arc as played out in her life I read recently online. In her reply when asked if she knew assuredly that she was in God’s grace, St. Joan of Arc told those who were trying to trap her: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.”

Either way would work for us too.


Offer It Up! Tuesday, July 12, 2011

John 7:37-38

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, "Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: 'Rivers of living water will flow from within him.'"

Water.

Our salvation. Our cleansing. Our life.

There is a lot of water in the scriptures—water was made, water covered the earth and waters were separated. Then water was walked on, water baptized our Lord Jesus Christ and water was there at the wedding, being changed to wine. Water poured out from Jesus’ side as He died on the cross.

In some parts of the country and the world, water is not so abundant as to be so cleansing and life giving. Drought conditions are drying up lands, lakes and streams. In other parts of the world, too much water takes away too many lives and brings harm and grief to those in its path. Yet, water is still vital for life, both physically and spiritually.

As essential as water is for our physical well being, our very life, so too is it for our spiritual life. We are refreshed and renewed from our baptism promises every day. Without that ‘water’, without that gift of cleansing and spiritual life, we would be nothing more than brittle bones and an arid, desolate heart as we dry up from the inside out. And who wants that? (It’s hot enough here as it is—no need to test temperatures elsewhere.)

Pray that your heart thirsts for Him that you always will go to Him and drink. Pray that more will come to believe in Him so that they too will have the living waters from within them. Pray too for the life-giving rain where it is needed and the relief from the deluges and floods where there is too much. And above all that, know that God is God and He knows what our needs are and will provide as we ask. And don't forget to take your umbrella!


Offer It Up! Monday, July 11, 2011

1 John 3:24

Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us.

Just take it back.

That was never on the radar of things to try when the assembly of a portable basketball goal went awry… way awry. And that assembly didn’t get past the three pieces that made up the pole—the very first steps in the instructions. In short, one piece of the pipe was inserted incorrectly into another and hours were spent devising ways to undo the error.

Brute strength (well as much as two guys could muster). Nope.

Pipe wrenches. Nope.

Chisels and a gallon of WD-40. Nope.

Won’t even mention the comedic episode with the tree as the last desperate attempt.

With all that and 108° bearing down on us, maybe it would be worth the 85 bucks to have the sporting goods store assemble this thing after all. We go back, tell ‘em our story and see if they’ll help us out. They’d probably seen something like this before anyway and would be able to fix it in no time. Well, not exactly.

They listened to our story alright. Didn’t have any problems with it at all. As a matter of fact, when we told the guy—Matt was his name—what we had to work with and how the pipes were stuck, his comment was ‘You guys aren’t gonna get them unstuck.’ Well, yeah we know that and that’s why we’re here. We thought you guys could put it together for us for that assembly price of $85. What—that’s just for delivery? Assembly is how much? Did you say 4-something? Well then.

And that is when Matt became Jesus.

‘Why don’t you just bring it back?’

He said what? He said bring it and exchange it. But what about the poles—they’re stuck! Even though we screwed it up? Not a problem. Do you have the receipt?Just bring your ID with what you guys have and we’ll load it up for you and you guys can start over.

We won’t go into the total amount of time, spirit and other facets we spent trying to undo what was an error we could not undo by ourselves. We needed someone else to help us out, to let us start over again with what we had messed up. And then we can be free from what keeps us bound by our mistakes.

A modern-day parable if there ever was one. We cannot always see the most obvious answers in front of us when we get caught up in our mistakes and our sins. We make them and then continue to compound them by saying they are—we are—so bad, there is no way that Jesus would take us back from this. So we keep trying to fix it ourselves. We got in it; we’ll get out of it. And the deeper we get as we chisel our way around it or try this quick fix idea.

The message is this: nothing is so bad, so ‘stuck’ that Jesus won’t take you back. It won’t necessarily be easy once you start over either. But that’s okay—at least you’ll pay a bit more attention to His instructions as you put the pieces together this time around.


Offer It Up! Sunday, July 10, 2011

Be At Peace

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life.

Rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise.

God, whose very own you are,

will lead you safely through all things;

and when you cannot stand it,

God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;

the same understanding Father who cares for

you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering

or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace

and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

St. Francis de Sales


Offer It Up! Saturday, July 9, 2011

Matthew 10:24-33

Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciplethat he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!

“Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.

Nothing you can see that isn't shown.

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.

Borrowing a few lines from Lennon and McCartney, I’ve often wondered if they didn’t find their inspiration for the lyrics from these same passages of scripture. Maybe it’s just me and I get that a lot for that sort of thinking. Yet there are some similarities in the compositions of the two. But that is not why we are here to dissect the song or the passage. There is plenty to talk about in what we do conceal and try to hide and the fears associated with them.

Fear of God is one thing. Fear of the world is another. One is spiritually healthy; the other is not. Scripture assures time and again ‘Do not be afraid.’ Yet we cripple ourselves when we put ourselves in unhealthy relationships and situations as we rely on our ways of the world—of pride and self-centeredness, and deny the acceptance of God’s grace and mercy when He offers it to us. Throughout the day, there are any number of circumstances we are given to know, to see or to hide or flee.

Those unhealthy fears. We cannot hide them from Him. God can take them and lead us to a healthy fear of Him, with a humble and contrite heart for Him. He did so with His only Son as Jesus suffered as He went to the cross. He can do so with us as we carry ours. Do not be afraid. With faith and God's love, it is all you need.


Offer It Up! Friday, July 8, 2011

Matthew 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Given a choice, what would our response be today? Or offered in another tense, what is our response today? As we are all called to be His disciples, Jesus has given us our charges, our marching orders, to go out and spread that He is the Good News. He minced no words of His own—as He never did—when He sent out the twelve.

You won’t be taking much with you. You won’t be receiving much when you get to where you are going either. There will be persecution. There will be scourging. If you have nothing to say at the time, leave it to the Holy Spirit for it is He who will speak through you. And you will also put your life on the line for the Life I have given you. And with all that, don’t worry. Just be ready to do as I have instructed you to do.

How about that for opportunities for advancement? In truth, it is the greatest opportunity given to us. In trusting in the Word we already have, we can all go forward in confidence to do just as Jesus directed the disciples to do. We don’t have to be theological giants or have spent years in solitude school as scripture authorities to evangelize. We just need to be ready to do as we are called, as the circumstances present themselves, to share our gifts and talents whatever they might be.

And to do so selflessly, without so much as a second thought. The more we give over to Him and have faith in what we do in Him and for Him, the more we will be prepared to accept with grace, peace and humility the road ahead of us.


Offer It Up! Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.

Discouragement, sadness, disappointment, wounded pride—all of these might be recognized as obstacles that would keep us from praying. Discouraged at the way a job interview turned out, that it didn’t go our way. Sadness for the loss of a friendship or a loved one through disagreement or even death. Disappointment in ourselves, in others, for our behavior-for their behavior back at us. And our wounded pride, our egos, for those times we thought more of ourselves than we should have and put ourselves in positions that were well beyond what we deserved.

What are these all but the work of the devil getting within us to tear at the very heart of what keeps us near and brings us nearer to our salvation—our prayer life. Sure there are other ‘distractions’ that keep us from developing that closeness in our prayer life but even with these listed, the most common, the one that rears its monstrous ugly head the most is our lack of faith. We are more often tempted to give up on ourselves, on others, on situations, due to our doubts and fears and that whatever it is we are offering to God in prayer will not be recognized or answered. Well why not, God? Why will He not answer or at least answer with something?

With our faith in doubt, it is easy to check it in and put God in a box and say He’s not into answering prayers right now when we want Him to. To bring our faith where it needs to be and keep it growing, even in times of suffering and disappointment and sadness, we not only keep God out of the box, we don’t even have a box to put Him in—there are no boundaries! His Love for us is boundless as should be our faith in Him! That is the connection between our prayer and faith and His Love and His mercy. We don’t doubt or put conditions on Him. He doesn’t doubt or leave us. Great is His faithfulness.Greater is His Love and mercy.

Birthday Deal...

My Dad, my father-in-law and an old friend shared this day, the 7th, as their birthday. Not that all three really ever knew each other—my Dad and Gene did as in-laws should—but the three of them did share a common, yet unique, bond that they all now share in eternity with God. No, not that they all had to put up with yours truly but more than that, they all made a difference in a life that came back around to each one of them, long after the three of them were gone.

You may have heard stories about how this person knew that person and how their lives were changed by knowing ‘that’ person. That’s the story behind John, Gene and C.L. Their lives were connected here by strangers to us but friends to all of them. Touching lives in ways only they could say and do and be. Legacies such as that are hard to come by these days. Those guys did it with style, with class and with faith. Though your presence is still missed here, we are grateful for all you left us. Happy birthday guys. We love you all.


Offer It Up! Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Matthew 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

How much of our lives to do we owe to others before us who took time to show us and tell us the ways of our lives? Our parents, our families, our friends, our churches-they all had a part in bringing us to where we are today. They were given some direction as they were growing just as they had given some to us. As we grew, we knew too that we would someday share what we had.

We have all received much. Maybe more than we deserved—some good, some bad—not our call to make. Either way, we can grow from the lessons learned and give from the experiences so that not only are our lives better formed from them but also those around us. Those we know and those we have yet to meet. And as goes the living, so goes our faith. The more one surrounds themselves with believers, the more one is apt to believe. That’s how discipleship works.

As disciples, we are in the giving and receiving mode. We don’t have to be extraordinarily talented at speaking or even at evangelizing. We just have to believe in the Word of God and live for the glory and greatness for His kingdom. Those before us may or may not have had much but they gave us what they had. God called and they answered. Those after us will need to be equally prepared to spread the Good News just as we were. Mother Teresa said "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Starting with that, may our small actions become greater and our love become stronger in all we offer in prayer and service as disciples.


Offer It Up! Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

A demoniac who couldn’t speak? Maybe there were some who could which would have been not so good either. Yet as Jesus drove out the evil spirit within the demoniac there were those who saw it as more evil work, the work of ‘the prince of demons.’ Contrasted to the crowds who were amazed at His miraculous work, Jesus was trying to reach all He could in the ways He could.

The crowds had a broader acceptance of what Jesus could do for them. The Pharisees had a narrower vision of what He was about. They wanted Him to follow the laws of their ways, their rituals. The crowds-they were ready for a change. They wanted what Jesus had for them, ready to be set free from the bonds of pain and suffering they carried as did the demoniac. And in the crowds and Pharisees alike, Jesus saw that. He came to be their shepherd as He came to be ours.

He came to call us all as His. His sheep. His disciples. His laborers. To follow Him. To spread the Good News. To work in the fields. To give. When we meet God for our eternal rest, He won’t care so much about what we knew but He will know so much more about how we cared.


Offer It Up! Monday, July 4, 2011

Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15

In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD,My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

When we pray, we put the words together to sound like we mean it. We say we trust in the Lord to hear our petitions. We are often on our knees we offer them up to Him. Often in the company of others, too. And the passion and the faith are both there. We are fully confident that what we pray is taken up by Him and treated with His love and mercy.

In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler, from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you, and under his wings you shall take refuge.

We know that wherever we are, whatever we have done, Jesus can give us shelter from the storm. He is our rock, our anchor. He gives us the fullness of His Love, His grace, and we in turn are lifted up and set upon higher ground. There is no place, no danger from which He cannot save us—He assures us that regardless of the circumstances, His Love never fails.

In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in distress.

Hope where is there seems to be none. Life when all else seem lost. Joy beyond the pain and grief. Jesus brings us to it so that we may choose to do it and then He will bring us through it. With an expectant attitude of faith, with a trust that all we give to Him is His to tend to, Jesus will be with us. Our trust, our faith, our surrendering to His will keeps us closer to Him. He assures us of that. Not that He needs it from us but we can assure Him of our love for Him by doing as He has directed us for over 2,000 year to do: have faith.


Offer It Up! Sunday, July 3, 2011

Psalm 115:1-8

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your faithfulness and love.

Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?"

Our God is in heaven; whatever God wills is done.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see.

They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell.

They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk, and no sound rises from their throats.

Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them.

In A Way to Love, Anthony de Mello states that to love means to seea person, a thing, a situation, as it really is and not as you imagine it to be, and to give it the response it deserves.

You cannot love what you do not even see.

And what prevents you from seeing? Your concepts, your categories, your prejudices and projections, your needs and attachments, the labels you have drawn from your conditioning and from past experiences.

Seeing is the most arduous thing that a human being can undertake. For it calls for a disciplined, alert mind, whereas most people would much rather lapse into mental laziness than take the trouble to see each person and thing anew in present-moment freshness.

From Anthony de Mello, A Way to Love


Offer It Up! Saturday, July 2, 2011
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Luke 2:44

Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances

Face the future, but face it only with a brave and happy heart. Do not seek to see it. YOU are robbing Faith of her sublime sweetness if you do this.God Calling

Three of my neighbor children walked about a mile down the road to come and say hello.They walked in the door and said, “Water, we need water.”It was a really hot day and their faces were flushed and sweaty from the heat.We filled the glasses with ice and water and talked about their walk over.Then, they wanted to explore my house with all of its unique little nooks and crannies and hidden attic spaces.

Then it was time for them to go, but it was still very hot outside and they dreaded the walk home.They called their father to see if he would come and get them in the car so they wouldn’t have to walk.He didn’t pick up.Then they called again and left him a message, “Daddy, could you please come get us at the neighbor’s house?”Then they waited.

We sat around and talked.The little boy ate a banana.They thought, several times, about walking home, but they waited a little longer.They had faith that their father would get the message and call them back.But then, it was getting close to dinner time and they didn’t know if he would come or not, so they decided to put their shoes back on and start the hot walk back to their house.

As they opened the door to step out into the heat, it happened!Their father pulled up in the car, just as they were preparing for the long, hot walk home.What a joy it was for them to see their father there, ready to answer their plea for help! lgboyd

Psalm 135:5-6

For I know that the LORD is great;
our LORD is greater than all gods.
All that the LORD wills he does
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and in all the deeps.

Lord God, we know it takes the faith of a child-spirit truly to trust in You and to face the future with brave and happy hearts.Help us to see our lives as a wonderful adventure with great surprises and joy around every corner.Help us to trust that you will be there to answer our pleas exactly when we need You, and not a moment before.Amen.


Offer It Up! Friday, July 1, 2011
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Family Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus, we entrust our family to You. Look down upon us and reveal to us the treasures of love, goodness, and grace in Your Heart. Forgive our sins and fortify our weakness, that we may serve You faithfully as You deserve. These favors we ask for ourselves and for every family in our neighborhood and homeland. Heart of Jesus, pierced by a soldier's lance on Calvary, be our refuge in life and our gateway to Paradise. Amen.

Daily Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of our Savior, please bless us as the new day dawns. May we grow today in Your friendship, in helpfulness to others, in gratitude for Your benefits beyond number. May Christly love fill our hearts, guard our thoughts, and inspire our actions. Jesus, we believe in Your love for us. We trust in You and want to remain forever in the safe haven of Your loving Heart.

Amen.