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

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Offer It Up June 30th

Colossians 3:7-10

By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.

Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.

As I was starting out refinishing a desk, I was made keenly aware that it was much easier to take off several layers of old worn, scratched varnish with coarse and rough sandpaper, and not the standard grade I had begun using as I had started out. The wood on the desk would have preferred it that way, if it had any sense of feeling, but my hands and shoulders were not so inclined. Lots of varnish, lots of sanding… lots of aches and pains to get through so one can get ‘refinished.’

How many times in our lives have we been ‘refinished?’ How many times has God taken the sandpaper to us to get some of the rough spots of our lives smoothed out? Maybe you've felt the coarsest of coarse. Maybe you think He's even using a power sander to get it done. And maybe that's just the beginning.

How has it been that He has taken much longer with those deeper marks, those ones that have been covered up with countless coats of stains and varnishes, those that we have hidden from everyone else but not His sight? There is pain to pay for what we’ve hidden away. Yet when He’s done, look at what the finished product is… a reflection of His own image.

Wherever it is in your life, wherever we are on our journey, we all are in need of some sort of smoothing out of some rough spots or edges. Be it in our communication, our sharing, our work, our family life—God is constantly at work with us, if not on us, bringing us to a better understanding of what His Love is all about. Even if it means having another layer or two sanded away to see who we really are.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation


Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul

Offer It Up June 29th


Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples,

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Sometimes when you share a conversation with a friend, that is all that it is—a conversation. A chance for the two people to say some words that have been stored up for awhile, waiting the best time for them to be ‘let loose’ and put into the other’s ear. No real profundity. No advice. Not even any suggestions that come across as ‘well, you really ought to do…’ Just several minutes of catching up on what’s been going on and what have been the struggles in each other’s lives. A letting loose of sorts.

When the talk is through, usually there is some sense of relief or at least ‘well, that was nice for a change’ and an understanding and appreciation for each other’s time and friendship. And their listening. Mostly their listening. Because most often, we need to let out what we have inside to someone that we know will just hear us and not judge us and tell us this or that needs to be done. All the friend needs to do is be open to hearing what the other’s heart has to say. That’s all.

A story has been around about a boy being bit once by a scorpion and how he shared with his friend how it felt. His friend had never been bit by one so he pinched him, as he recalled the sting of scorpion bite.

‘That wasn’t that bad.’

‘No, it wasn’t. But since you’ve never been bit by one and I can’t feel a sting for you, the pinch is as close as I could show you.’

A lot like life, there are things friends cannot do for each other or live for the other. We can, however, be there for them to share and show them we have ‘been there’ in some similar situations, with pains and struggles too. And the constant we both have, we all have, is that God is always and in all ways, with us. As we grow our relationships with friends, so we must also grow our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our friends are there to help us but they cannot do it for us. We are responsible for that.

Psalm 18: 4–6, 16-17, 31, 50
The danger of death was around me; the waves of destruction rolled over me, and the grave set its trap for me.

In my trouble… I called to my God for help… He heard my voice
The Lord reach down from above and rescued me.
God alone is our defense… He gives great victories to his king; He shows constant love to the one He has chosen, to David and his descendants forever.


Offer It Up June 28th


Come back to me with all your heart, we sing with Hosea. Don't let fear keep us apart! We come to that moment when we stand on the brink. If we are granted that time by the Lord to say goodbye to those who shared life and love with us we are blessed. Perhaps for most of us, we have that time of preparation due to the weakening of this mortal frame.

Sometimes there is a sudden departure, like a bolt of lightning and we are before Him who gave us life, who blessed us with immortality. There is great mystery to the moments when we face the end of time. Faith, Hope, Love are the sustaining virtues that we have strived to develop during our walk with the Lord.

Follow me. The Lord Jesus repeatedly beckons each of us in some way to follow the way, the truth, the Life which he is. We sometimes develop a religious attitude toward life that gives the appearance of doing things to earn some sort of credit for eternity. I wonder, do we just let fear lead us into certain practices we believe will give us an edge? I suspect rather as Irenaeus is reported to have written, the Glory of God is man fully alive. We are free with the freedom given us by God, through Jesus. Free to love, free to live in doing the good. It is sometimes too easy to be pharisaical... to stress law over and above loving God. Jesus was clear: we are to love God completely with mind, heart and soul. The challenge is to enter into that passionate love affair and to give it the attention we would give to any passionate love affair.

How in love with God are you? Are you so in love that you find yourself longing to read his love letters to you in the Scriptures? Are you so in love that you long to spend some quiet moments in His presence, absorbed with his presence and listening for any word he may wish to speak to you?
Each Wednesday we have the Lord Jesus in His Eucharistic presence in our chapel at Sacred Heart from noon until 7:30PM. Won't you consider spending at least 15 minutes (more if you can) in His presence? How difficult would it be to take time to come by the Church and pray for our world, our parish, seek the Lord, ask for what we need as Jesus told us to do.

Make a date with the Lord. Come, pray. Listen carefully that you may hear His voice and know His love.

Deacon


Offer It Up June 27th


Matthew 8:8

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.

Out of all of the parts of our liturgy, this is the part that sinks in the most every week.I am not worthy to receive the Lord under my roof, in my heart, in my mind or anywhere else.It is only by His amazing grace and mercy that He heals me on a daily basis and makes it possible for me to walk with Him and talk with Him.

That’s why it’s so important never to miss an opportunity to spend time with our Lord and God.If someone offered us a chance to meet someone we admire or respect, whether it be an important official or a favorite entertainer, wouldn’t we bend over backwards to be there?

Have you ever realized the wonder of the friendship you can have with Me? Have you ever

thought what it means to be able to summon at will the God of the World? GC

Wow!Think about all that God is.Think about His knowledge, wisdom, love, compassion, sense of justice, forgiveness, and the list goes on and on.We have the ability to summon Him at will.God has given us free will to choose what we want to do with our time, energy and resources.What a shame that we do not choose freely to spend more time with Him.

l.g.boyd

Do not sorrow if, after time with Me, you cannot repeat to yourself all the lessons you have

learned. Enough that you have been with Me. GC


Offer It Up June 26th


Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.

And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.”

His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

We’ve read or heard this verse numerous times… ‘I will do it. Be made clean.’ and the surrounding story of the leper to go with it. How many different ways though have we understood it or have been a part of it? Were we in the crowd, watching the healing unfold before our eyes? Were we the leper, receiving His cleansing and healing grace? Or were we the high priest who needed proof that Jesus was who He said He was?

God’s Word is like that. His message to us, our calling, is so much of what we get now is what we need now. It’s what we are called to do now. At this moment. Just as He told the leper—‘I will do it’—He will do it for us. We have to be ready for what He wants us to do. Through our reconciliation with Him, we can be ready to accept His mercy and His grace. Just like the leper, with his belief and faith that Jesus could heal him, ‘if He wished’, we too can be made clean with our own faith and belief and trust.

And like the leper, it will be tough to keep it a secret, what God’s saving grace can do for us. People will see the change and we will have to respond to them. Like Jesus and the leper, if we wish, we can make a difference for them just as a difference has been made for us.


Offer It Up June 25th


Teach Me To Listen

Teach me to listen, O God

To those nearest me,

My family, my friends, my co-workers.

Help me to be aware that

No matter what words I hear,

The message is

“Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”

Teach me to listen, my caring God,

To those far from me—

The whisper of the hopeless,

The pleas of the forgotten,

The cry of the anguished.

Teach me to listen, O God,

To myself.

Help me to be less afraid

To trust the voices inside—

In the deepest part of me.

Teach me to listen, O Holy Spirit,

For your voice

In busyness and boredom,

In certainty and doubt,

In noise and silence.

Teach me, Lord, to listen.

Amen.

John Veltri, SJ


Nativity of John the Baptist

Offer It Up June 34th

Happy Birthday Katie!


Today is a special day as you might have noticed by the date... the 34th. Not any other month has a 34th in it nor do they really need one. According to our family's calendar, June has had one for some twenty years now and always will have one. Katie's birthday. Bear with us today as we celebrate Katie’s milestone. Thanks for being a part of our lives and hers with best wishes and prayer.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you.

Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.

A husband and father must love and honor his wife and children as we are commanded to. Today, with respect to both my wife and daughter, it is a celebration of our daughter’s 21st birthday. We have come to know that life is not so much all about us as we give ourselves to others. Birthdays and special days are those exceptions where we should take some time for ourselves and celebrate… with a nod to moderation.

With the gifts God has given us of time and talent and treasure, we are to use them as we have been instructed, which is primarily for the good of others. Those of us that are parents know this all too well: from the time we hear in a whisper or shout, that the test comes back with the results ‘Honey, we’re pregnant!’, we become stewards for our children in raising them as good fruits of a good tree. As this goes, so goes the maturity of the parents and the children. Not always a smooth and enjoyable road but a road we would all choose to take rather than not.

As the evidence of His great love for us, as His children and with our children we are called and instructed to protect, honor and love with all our hearts, all our strength, all our given ability to bring them up in His image and likeness. As perfect as He? Far from it. (And we’re not talking about the child here, either.) With no blueprints to follow, no child-raising for dummies as it were to pull off the bookshelf, we are in no better hands than God’s to do what is right and best for our children. And it still is not an easy task. Yet we persevere because He loves us and we love them. And with all our children, however many we may have, we love them all the same.

As one of ours celebrates her 21st birthday today, it’s easier to see back over the years than it is to know what the next ones hold. So much love and so many smiles that are shared with the tears that together they have washed away the few pains and heartaches along the way. It’s a milestone that has covered a lot of ground just getting to this day, this momentous event in her life and ours as well. Our baby girl grasping and running with the energy and vitality of her innumerable God-given gifts and talents, living life, not just letting it pass by. Surely there have been the bumps along the way… countless times from toddler spilled milks, to writing on the walls, to youthful learning how to say ‘no’, as we fast-forward to all those spats and fights spent in futile ‘reasoning’—because I said so, that’s why!’—to fender benders and crashes and tickets and everything else in between. Not only will the love and protection of God for you never waiver; neither will our love and prayers for you ever fail.

Philippians 1:3-6

I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now.

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Katie, you are fully alive in the life God has given you. With that life come experiences, many good, some great… others we would just as soon forgive and forget. All of those things make us who we are. We cannot go back to undo our past—probably a good thing even with all the heartaches it holds. If we did, we would stand the chance of losing out on so many lessons learned no matter how hard it was that we learned them. But we also learn so much from the beauty that God put along the way. We can see the love and beauty and growth as we offer our sorrow and contrition and ask for God’s forgiveness and grow from it. Use the experiences, use the gifts, use the love God has shared with you to help others be who they need to be, just as you become who you are as God continue to forms you. Just as one birthday does not a child nor a person make, neither does a single mistake nor act of love... God is not finished with you yet. We are blessed and thankful that God has chosen you to be with us.

We love you Katie.

And always will.

No matter what.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.

God did dance the day you were born.

Today He’s really having a good time.

Mom and Dad

Proverbs 3:21-26

Let not these slip out of your sight: keep advice and counsel in view; so will they be life to your soul, and an adornment for your neck.

Then you may securely go your way; your foot will never stumble; when you lie down, you need not be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.

Honor is the possession of wise men, but fools inherit shame.

For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from the snare.


Offer It Up June 23rd


Romans 3:22-24

For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.

They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus

Not that we get a free ride just because we are redeemed through and by His grace, it is still true: there is no distinction in that we all have sinned and that we are all unworthy of His glory, grace and mercy.

Yet what does He do for us? He sends us our link to salvation. He gives us our connection to eternity. He sends His son, Jesus, the Christ and Risen Savior, to let us know His passion for us.

Our lives, through following His will, keeping our focus on Him and modeling our lives after Him—and through reconciliation and perseverance when we don’t—will enable us to know and feel the joy of His eternal Love for us. We cannot out-think or out-plan God. Our faith calls us to believe in Him and give Him praise for all He has given us, even when it doesn’t match well with what we think we need. By relinquishing our control and submitting to who He calls us to serve and be—not so much as to take and do for ourselves—we can become more in union with Him and He in us.

1 John 2:3-6

The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.

Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived.


Offer It Up June 22nd

Happy Anniversary Mary and Tony!


Sirach 4:31

Let not your hand be open to receive and clenched when it is time to give.

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.


by James Patrick Kinney

Submitted by R. Vossler


Offer It Up June 21st


Just to come before Me and stay for a while in My Presence - this must strengthen and help you.Learn of Me. The only way for so many in My poor world to keep calm, sane, is to have the mind which is in Jesus Christ. The mind which is in Me.That mind you can never obtain by reasoning, or by reading, but only by living with Me and sharing My Life.Think much of Me. Speak much of Me. See others as I see them. Let nothing less satisfy you. GC

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30

Being vs. doing – sometimes, when life throws a new dilemma at me, I want to do something.I want to fix it and make it better.For me, it is not so much that I fear something bad will happen if I don’t, it’s more a matter of feeling like I’m not doing my part if I don’t do something.

I’ve recently had one of those “Oh, I get it” moments. Being in a state of prayer means living with our Lord and sharing His Life throughout the day.The act of prayer, the doing, is the activity that puts us in the right place to stay calm and sane rather than frantically talking or taking over to try to fix something.It allows us to wait for His command to move, to talk, to step in and do things because it is the work the Lord has put before us, not the work that we have put before ourselves.

How often do we take on a burden and weigh ourselves down with things that we have no business taking on?As a friend of mine says to me often, we are much better off to just “pray attention.” l.g.boyd

The world has always seen service for Me to be activity. Only those near to Me have seen that a life apart, of prayer, may, and does so often, accomplish more than all the service man can offer Me.If man lived apart with Me and only went out to serve at My direct command, My spirit could operate more and accomplish truly mighty things. GC

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain
place ... his disciples said unto him,
Lord, teach us to pray. Luke 11:1


Offer It Up June 20th

Happy Father's Day!


1 John 3:1

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad

Author Unknown


Offer It Up June 19th

Happy Birthday Michael!


Matthew 6:16-18

"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

Students at a Catholic high school would piously enter chapel during the lunch break for mass when their priest-teacher was observing, grade book in hand. Once the teacher left his post, however, the adolescents would sneak out thinking that they put something over him. But the teacher -- no one’s fool -- likely gave no real credit for mass attendance. He probably was well aware of what his students were up to and just hoped that the chicanery would result in their saying a few prayers.

In Matthew’s gospel Jesus warns about performing acts of piety so that others may see them. He says that such hypocrisy finds no favor with the Father. He does not say, but we can presume, that such behavior has a net negative effect as one of its purposes is deception. We know eternal life or heaven to be reserved for the righteous with no wicked or faulty admitted. This means that when we are called, all deceit, hatred, and base desires will have to be seared from our souls. This purgation is often pictured as taking place on the outskirts of hell with all its blazing heat. Of course, we really don’t know what purgatory is like. Still we can say from our experience in trying to undo harmful habits that it is likely to be an unpleasant process we would do well to avoid. It would be much easier for us if we make transparency our way of life now.

Rev. Carmen Mele, O.P.


Birthday notes-

He is my younger brother yet is 'older' and more 'mature' in a number of ways. And I don't just mean that he has more gray hair or worse knee joints-he has the heart and passion of a loving and giving son, husband, father, brother and friend. A hero, if you will, in a world where and when we could all use one. (He's is now and has been mine.)

Like the rest of us, he strives to live for God's will in his life. And also like the rest of us, he prays for the guidance and clarity to know what that will is, especially when faced with 'good and greater' choices. If you have known him for any amount of time, you will know him as a humble man, that he is true to his faith and his family and his friends.

Michael's life is in heart as he is passionate about living and giving.

Michael's heart is in the center of his soul.

Michael's soul is in the trusting and loving care of God's will for him.

Happy Birthday, Michael.

I love you.


Offer It Up June 18th


Micah 7:18-19

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency,

And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt?

You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins

Rest in the Lord for He is good.

Give to Him what you cannot carry.

What good is it to you if it is trouble and sorrow?

Forgiveness for what we have done wrong, our sins not only against others and ourselves but for all of them against God, comes before our rest and comfort in Him. How often do we give something over to Him only to stow it away, harboring it till such time when we need to beat ourselves up over something else we did? Yeah, me too. Not an easy thing to do, forgiving others and ourselves.

I heard a great comment on this just recently, on our ‘selfishness with forgiveness,’ our inability to let go and let God be God. Deacon Bill spoke of a time when a priest challenged him on an item or two that Bill could not let go and the priest stated boldly and directly: ‘How dare you. How dare you think of yourself so much to hold onto something that God has already forgiven you for. How dare you.’

How dare any of us. To deny God in any way. And even to deny ourselves of the rest He gives us through His forgiveness. He wants more for us. He wants us to feel His Love through His forgiveness. He wants us to feel that same Love in His peace and rest. He has given us so much and wants so much more for us, including His mercy and grace; we should only have to ask. How dare us not.

Hebrews 4:9-16

Therefore, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God.

And whoever enters into God's rest, rests from his own works as God did from his. Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience. Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.

So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.


Offer It Up June 17th


Romans 15:1-7

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you fall upon me." For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Maybe recently, you’ve had an opportunity to share in prayer and conversation a distinct and sometimes painful concern that a family member or friend is experiencing. That person comes to you in confidence for whatever reason, being led to you by the Holy Spirit. They have a need and with what gifts you have, you are to give them what they need at that time. Not so much as advice. Not the cure to their ills. Not even ‘The Answer’. Maybe all you need to do is to be there. To hear, to listen, to feel with them what they need to ‘let go of’, to release and share with you at that time. All you need to do is listen and care.

There is a saying that goes something like this ‘People don’t care how much you know unless you show how much you care.’ The words may not be exactly stated as you may have noted elsewhere, yet I hope the message is clear: let them see the love of Jesus Christ in you.

If someone has come to point in their life to trust in you, it is your obligation to serve them as Jesus would serve them. Listen. Take their load for them. Put yourself in their life as much as you can. Pray. For and with them. Their life and yours will begin to show an immediate change. Maybe not so much on the outside but your hearts and souls will be lifted together and placed in the palm of God's hands. Then you both become witnesses to the greatness of His glory and mercy.

And God says ‘Way to go.’


Offer It Up June 16th


Mark 2:9-12

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"-- he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone.

They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

That must have been quite the sight, seeing the man get up and walk, taking his mat with him. Imagine the surprise of the folks at home when he came through the front door, ‘Hey, I’m home… and I’m walking.’ The gift he received from his healing and forgiveness was a transformation for him as well as those who saw it, those in his life and those he would for sure tell about it the rest of his days.

How is our forgiveness any different? As Jesus had often done with His healing, He did it not only for the individual but for those there to see it. Not for show. Not for His glory but for their salvation. When we forgive, we let go of so much more pain and agony, we allow ourselves the freedom to grow more in His love, to heal from those wounds. For our salvation. Our faith and trust in Him grows as the scars fade and His mercy and grace lifts us up.

Forgiving or being forgiven. Each are a gift in their own way, a gift we sometimes take for granted. It was not so taken for granted by the paralyzed man. Nor by the blind man. Or the countless others Jesus healed. And it should not be for us. When’s the last time you let something go? Left it at the foot of the cross? When was the last time you felt the love of God through someone’s forgiveness? Go back to that occasion and set yourself in that overwhelming love that enveloped you. It’s worth sharing it again and again.


Offer It Up June 15th

Happy Birthday Mom-Nonny-Sam!


Matthew 5:23-24

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Don’t you hate it when you’re wrong about something or someone? When you’ve made a misjudgment and you just automatically presumed that just because something ‘appeared’ to be what you wanted it to be, it was? Then you come to find out that you really messed things up and were not just wrong but hugely so? It’s bad enough when we’re wrong about something but when we’re wrong about someone, it’s even more so.

After we find out about our mistake, the error of our ways, that we were just soooo wrong, then comes the part of making it right again. At least the start of it. We have to go to that person, admit our fault, say we were wrong and ask for their forgiveness. Reconcile with them. Reconcile with them and with God. Change our hearts and hopefully, for the damage to those we hurt, mend theirs. At least begin the healing process for them and for us. With those steps, growth in the relationship can begin again. A word at a time. A prayer at a time. A day at a time.

With our relationship with God, we don’t earn His Love or grace or mercy to move it forward. With forgiveness, as we seek it and give it, we become stronger in His Love. He gives that to us—as gift—as we give of ourselves to Him, as gift. He doesn’t need anything from us as He is God. Yet we do give of ourselves so that we may come to know Him more fully, growing closer to Him through prayer, through our faith and through our active love for Him. Continue on with that and let God take care of it from there. He will be there with us and with all the forgiveness our hearts need to share.


Birthday Blessings!

Happy birthday to a woman who lives all of her life all in the way given to her by God. Oh, she has her weak moments as we all do yet in those times, she knows best that the hands guiding her are not her own but those of which gave her life, those Hands that gave her all that she has, from which all her blessings flow.

Her life is that example we occasionally hear about, raised in an extended family life, with very little to call their own in worldly possessions, yet she and her family had what they needed as they were always depending on God to see them through. Today with her God-given gifts and strengths, she prays on and carries on with her family, both near and extended. She continues to be the example of hope, charity and love for us all.

Happy Birthday, Mom… Nonny… Sam… Lorraine… We do love you!

Thank you for showing us all how to trust in God’s greatness and mercy, and above all, His Love.


Offer It Up June 14th

Happy Birthday Amanda!


Acts 18:9-10

The Lord said to Paul, "Do not be afraid… do not be silent, for I am with you.”

The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.

St. Anthony of Padua

It is true that our lives are in our souls. May not always feel that way yet the truth remains.

And as St. Anthony pointed out, it is also true that the life of our souls is our life from God. While here on earth, the body grows and lives as does the soul. The soul flourishes as we commit to a life of prayer and devotion to following God’s will for us. A beautiful life in that we find the more pray, the more we grow. The more we grow, the more we pray and give more of ourselves to His will. Yeah, that is how it works. And it is that simple.

In theory. It’s in the practice of it--that is where the excuses and traps are laid. Or as some may say, the devil is in the details.

I have to do that every day? I can’t take a break? What if I forget? What if I just don’t feel like it some days? What about those times when I don’t really care about others—when my own plate is too full? See, there are way too many things to go wrong with it already… it’ll never work. Won’t be any use trying.

Don’t ever give up. There are enough self-defeating games to deal with already.

We will fall down and we will make mistakes. But the tragedy of it is not in the falling down or making the mistake: the tragedy is not fixing the mistake or not getting up to finish.

It is not circumstances that need altering first, but yourselves, and then the conditions will naturally alter. God Calling

Psalm 124:8

Our help is the name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.


Offer It Up June 13th

Happy Birthday Anne!


Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; worship the LORD with cries of gladness; come before him with joyful song.

Know that the LORD is God, our maker to whom we belong, whosepeople we are, God's well-tended flock.

Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name; good indeed is the LORD, Whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age.

How many people do you know that seem to have those extraordinary gifts that seem to put them at a different level from where you are with yours? They are always the ones coming up with the great ideas, the best presentations, parties and celebrations, even the right words to say. They really seem like they got it all going the right way for them. You look at them and say or think, ‘I want some of that.’

So you go find out what it is that they have. And you come to find out some of that what they have is really nothing more than what you have—the love and faith in our God and Lord Jesus Christ. That’s all. They are no better than you or me. No ‘closer connections’ with Him, as they were, but maybe they take the time for extra devotion, some additional prayer time. Maybe their attitude has been honed so that the will of God has been so accepted by them as their way of life. Maybe their life has become less worldly centered and more Christ-centered. Nothing saintly, really or special you find out.

As an example and as saints go, Elizabeth Seton was not blessed with any prophetic gifts either nor was she able to speak in tongues or heal those in need. Her life was spent in great devotion to God’s will for her. The world and its (in)significance held nothing for her; yet she remained true to God’s will instead of anything of her own. We don’t have to be saints as she is to do the same. We can accept God’s way for us and continue to love all God brings us as His gift. Let’s use what He has given us as He would have us do. We may not be saints on earth but who says we can’t act like one?

1 Peter 2:15

For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people.


Offer It Up June 12th

Happy Birthday Marlene!


Matthew 6:25-34

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'

All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

From the book He Leadeth Me by American Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek. The book details his faith journey as spent for 23 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps of Siberia.

“…every moment of our life has a purpose, that every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No man’s life is insignificant inGod’s sight, nor are his works insignificant – no matter what the world or his neighbors or family or friends may think of them. Yet what a terrible responsibility is here. For it means that no moment can be wasted, noopportunity missed, since each has a purpose in man’s life, each has a purpose in God’s plan. Think of your day, today or yesterday. Think of the work you did, the people you met, moment by moment. What did it mean to you – and what might it have meant for God.”
Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.


Offer It Up June 11th

Happy Birthday Mary K!

Happy Anniversary Tim and Stephanie!


Since the beginning of ordinary time this year, we are daily invited to sit at the feet of the Lord as did the apostles and disciples two millennia ago as he instructed them. Matthew records his teachings as the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5-7 of his gospel. Daily at present we are provided by Mother Church in the lectionary a portion of Matthew’s account. It is our opportunity to spend some time each day with Jesus teaching us as he did so long ago.

What will it take for any of us to find 15 minutes or more each day to quiet ourselves and attentively let the word of God lead us to His truth? Are we really so busy?

In our time there is so much coming at us constantly that finding time for the Lord proves difficult. In our relationships, finding time for each other can prove even more difficult as we can see each other throughout a day yet…


Like our relationships with each other, time with the Lord is something we need to WORK at if we are going to fall in love with Him. He loves us and invites us to this relationship. Prayer is the key to fostering our relationship with God, but we need to do the work of prayer. We need to respond to the God who initiates the encounter. We cannot hear Him speak to us if we cannot quiet ourselves and listen.

God speaks in a still quiet voice, as he did to Elijah. Today if you were led to this place and are reading this, you are invited to begin.

Will you?

Deacon


Offer It Up June 10th

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!


I Kings 18:33-39

When he had arranged the wood, he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood. "Fill four jars with water," he said, "and pour it over the holocaust and over the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he said, and they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar, and the trench was filled with the water.

At the time for offering sacrifice, the prophet Elijah came forward and said, "LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. Answer me, LORD! Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses."

The LORD'S fire came down and consumed the holocaust, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"

In the reading from Kings from yesterday’s Liturgy, Elijah stands with God; the prophet becomes the trusting representative of God in the struggle for the hearts and minds of His people Israel. King Ahab has led the people astray, marrying Jezebel and defecting to the pagan gods Baal. Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal in that storybook encounter as he challenges the people to make up their minds to worship God or turn to the false God Baal.

Can your imagination conjure up the scene as the prophets of Baal in religious ecstasy hop around shouting with futility for Baal to ignite their sacrifice. Unsuccessful they then turn to the lone prophet Elijah who douses his sacrifice with water then calls on God to bring fire to the holocaust and it happens. The people prostrate themselves before God in awe and fear.
Make up your minds, Elijah said.

Are we often in the same condition as the Israelites? Are we seduced by false gods and the many spirits that clamor for our attention to the point of near worship? Must we not ask ourselves repeatedly what drives us in our daily living? God, gave us the law and the prophets, and finally his very self in Jesus. Jesus who fulfills the law and models for us the way to be fully human, fully in love, completely focused on living the Father's will.

Dear Lord, so many missteps have I made in this journey of life. With Saint Augustine I can say also Late Have I loved you...with each breath be my guide in whatever time remains for me. Guide me in your truth and help me to grow in awareness of your presence in all circumstances. Teach me always to see you in all persons who you allow me to encounter on the way.

Deacon


Offer It Up June 9th


Teach me to seek You,

and reveal Yourself to me as I seek

because I can neither seek You

if You do not teach me how

nor find You unless You reveal Yourself.

Let me seek You in desiring You

let me desire You in seeking You

let me find You in loving You

let me love You in finding You.

St. Anselm of Canterbury


Offer It Up June 8th


Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Obedience and cooperation.

They could be synonymous in some circumstances, yet there are instances where we choose to follow the rules according to what we interpret the ‘rules’ to mean to us, thus cooperating how we see fit. Similar to playing most games, rules interpretation must be laid out early on even before the game begins so there is no confusion once it is underway. If we start out with some bad information, we don’t have a great chance of playing the game the way it is supposed to be played.

We are instructed, told, ordered, charged with, and given to following a way of life—read here, obey—that matches as close as we can to what God has chosen us to do. He has given us the rules, along with all sorts of additional instructions, laws, and of course Commandments to help us cooperate as we follow in obedience. These laws, these letters, they have been around long before us and will be around long after we are gone. They obviously have some history working for them. Who are we to say, ‘Well, that was then and this is now and blah, blah, blah…’

Someone taught us about living a life in Christ. Thankfully, there are plenty that still are today as we should never quit learning and growing in our faith. Yes, it’s easy to obey and follow Him when things are going our way. Yet maybe the path today is not as smooth as it was yesterday. Maybe the sun is hotter or the work is tougher to get done. Stick to it. Follow His Will, His Way. Obey as well as cooperate. And remember we are teaching as we are learning as we go on our own journey each day.


Offer It Up June 7th


Matthew 14:22-23

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.

We get our marching orders every day we get to wake up. Not necessarily as clearly as the disciples did while they walked with Jesus, but seeing as how He gives us the gift of life, we can presume that with each breath we have, He wants us here for a purpose. We would do well to pay—and to pray—attention to those instructions.

Take a look at the disciples. Jesus was not going to be with them and He had to further prepare them for His mission. Sometimes they got it; sometimes the message didn’t quite sink in. Not too much different than you and I today. Sometimes we pray and the answer is lucidly clear and our path is opened up. Other times, not so much and the words we want to pray even seem to fall apart. Yet we persevere.

Persevering like them, out on the sea with no wind for our sails, yet we continue to make progress to the other side by rowing. But we soon tire and don’t know how much longer we can keep this up. We want it to be different-we don’t or can’t row anymore.

‘Where’s the wind, Lord?’

‘Can You do this for a while?’

The disciples may have asked for some help at that time. You remember how the scripture goes—the storms raged and the disciples were afraid. The storms may rage for us too. Our sails may be knocked down, we may be taking on a little water and we may not see the other side or where we are going. Yet we persevere. We keep to our task. He will find a way just as He did for the disciples. They made it to the other side, the end of their journey for that day. We can make it to ours, too. He is here with us in our boat just as He was with them.

Just have faith.


Offer It Up June 6th


Matthew 9:12-13

He heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'

I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."

We are nourished in many ways as we grow in our spirituality. We read scripture. We participate in the celebration of mass and worship services. We pray. We share in our own ways The Word and how it impacts our lives everyday. And as nourished as we are, we get even hungrier for more of what God offers us for our souls.

Maybe that fifteen minutes of prayer in the morning and evening is not enough and you need something else in between. Or something that will help go along to start and end the day. It might be that going to mass just on Sundays is not filling you up as much now that your ‘prayer bones’ are getting bigger and stronger. It might even be the family and friends have seen the difference and are looking to you to be the leader as well as the fabric that holds them together and brings about some transformation for them in their lives. Whoa nelly! This may take more courage and perseverance than I have listed on my prayer list right now.

Not to worry. God is not in the business of failing so it isn’t so much about Him calling the qualified as it is about Him qualifying the called. He knows what we can handle as well as what we cannot. He knows where we are going – and so should we as long as we surrender to what His will is for us. We just have to be attuned enough to hear His call and His Word. And that takes prayer. And prayer is our conversation with God. And conversations take listening as well as talking. So when we pray, we must also listen and be ready to heed His call.


Offer It Up June 5th


Matthew 5:13-16

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Thoughts for the day!
As the day begins, light, breath, sound, movement, all bring reminders that you O Lord continue to create moment by moment and invite me this day to accept your invitation to be part of life and love that is totally yours. Through the prophet Micah, you remind me what you expect of me: to do the right, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with you. The events and demands of a day in my world can truly be a lasting encounter with you because you are always near. With the help of your grace, I can see in every person who shares life and breath with me this day is an image of you. How often I have taken side trips, Lord, and lost sight of the truth of your loving presence in all of the events of life.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, reminded us who we are when he compared us to Salt and Light. Salt, seasoning bringing taste to the wonderful banquet of life here and on to its fullness with you in eternity. Light, bringing clarity to our life-world, shining on the path to truth, keeping before us the Way, that we may clearly see life...clearly follow YOU.

Lord, you prayed on that last night before Good Friday, that we may be one-Unity. How can we be one if we are not first one with you, for you are oneness itself? Father, Son and Holy Spirit, come and purify us in your love. May we bring the flavor of your love to the banquet of life, may our actions be like a bright light from the lighthouse of your love leading us always on the path of holiness.


Deacon


Offer It Up June 4th


2 Timothy 3:10-17

You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, persecutions that I endured.

Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me. In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.

But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don't pray, they don't.William Temple

Think about that quote then think about the last time a ‘coincidental’ occasion happened to or for you. One that you prayed for, so it may be easily noticed or recalled. Or there could be a time or something that someone else had prayed for you, and wouldn’t you know it, you are right in the middle of a ‘coincidental moment’! That prayer offered up, those prayers given up in our conversations with God, will change our hearts as we grow more and more in love with God.

What also changes our hearts is when we don’t offer up what we need in prayer. And that leads us to this: what is it that we should not offer up in prayer? We should offer everything up in prayer. While it may be true that prayer changes things, prayer first changes the people who then change those things. Read more scripture. Volunteer more. Do it all in prayer. That's how things get done and get changed.

As it says in 2 Timothy, it’s useful for our training and for good work. Watch what happens when prayer starts happening; you’ll never want to stop.

The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, buy unoffered prayer.
F.B. Meyer


Offer It Up June 3rd

Happy Birthday Linda!

(She Who Puts Up With Me)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated,

It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

For we know partially and we prophesy partially,

But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

You may know people that 'talk' a pretty good game with whatever it is that they do, sell or even the way they live their lives. I would guess we all have our crosses to bear with folks like that—having walked that road, I can say it takes one to know one. Yet there are those that are so far above that, so far removed from the games and tricks the world wants to play on each other. Real, life-living and loving, people. Those people that God puts on earth to let us know that love exists and it does have a face; and that face, she has a birthday today, and she is my wife.

Her love is indeed patient and kind. It has to be with the lives of the three beautiful children we have, her in-laws and let’s not forget yours truly and the times as well as the hell on earth that we lived through. Her love is neither rude nor self-seeking. She does all she can for others and will be the first one to help and the last one to leave to get things done. Must be a genetic thing as her mother’s love is a lot like that too.

She has weathered too many storms and still looks so good in love for all these years. She does bear all things. She does believe in God and all He promises us. She hopes and holds on to His plan for us (doesn’t worry as much as she used to) and gives her heart and love to Him first. We get to share in the love she brings from Him and that is a glorious and beautiful love indeed. Wow.

Her love has never failed. I am thankful and blessed she is all she is for us. She has been our core, our binding thread even, to hold us together. And though that thread may have worn thin and some may have been broken, she held us together and kept us as one, mending hearts and keeping our family whole.

Truly, our faith, our hope and our love remain. And just as it has been written, the greatest is love. Her love for God, her family, her friends and the world around her. The world is a better place for having her here with us, sharing her love.

l am better for having your love shared with me.

I love you Linda.

Happy Birthday.

me

1 Corinthians 16:14

Your every act should be done with love.



Offer It Up June 2nd

Happy Birthday Jason!


2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.

He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher. On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Who is it that stirs the flame in you when you are not having your best of days? If you like to sing, who is it that picks up your background vocals when you are not in your best voice? If you work in an office, who gets your back when you turn in some papers that have more than just a fwe tpyos in them? It could be that there is more than one person that helps you out of a particular situation from time to time yet there can always be someone to bring you to a realization that your embers of faith need to be fanned.

For sure, we are not cowards nor are we ashamed of our gospel. Our strength can be found in the Love and mercy of what Jesus did for us on the cross, as well as what we choose to do and not do here on earth. Our love grows from those choices into our faith and as our faith grows deeper so grows our love for God. So grows our love, so grows our strength. And if something gets in the way of the growth, or stunts it, that's when we may find ourselves in those weak situations, maybe even moments of cowardice, if you will.

A single ember, left alone, unattended, will soon end up cold and dark. Even with just one more ember, there can be more spark, more heat. And with even more embers, with more heat, and heart, with more attention there will be more fire that can rise from the coals. We all need to be aware of what God has given us and not be afraid nor ashamed to be His messengers. He has given us the life and the trust to do it; who are we to say we can’t?

A Birthday Note…

Happy Birthday to our son, Jason. As Paul stated above, we are not cowards nor are we ashamed of our gospel, neither is Jason. With his humble and unassuming personality, Jason continues to love, honor and worship in a way that many of us would envy as he is not ashamed of his faith. He looks for ways to give to those in need when others are looking for ways to take care of their own needs. He finds ways to see that others are taken care of first before his needs are considered. Truly his life is not about him but about putting others first. That’s Jason. It isn’t about what he does. It’s about who he is… an example of servant leadership if there ever was one.

When or if you see him, wish him the best not just for his birthday but for all he is for so many people.

We love you Jason. Happy Birthday.

Yup, yup, yup…


Offer It Up June 1st


Psalm 90:1-4

In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in your sight

are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night.

For some times now, there have been those that have been giving us their angle on their bad news. Their bad news that we are nearing the end of the world as we, or more precisely as they, know it. They point to this war, that war, this environmental catastrophe, that natural disaster, and of course using the stars and astrology and other dark methods to bring their hypotheses to point.

Join the club. It has a long list of members I would guess. It seems that with every generation, every age of invention, there are those that see us getting closer to the end of time. From thousands of years past to present-day nay-sayers, they are pounding the streets with the message that we get our ticket punched, because we are all on the road to perdition if we don’t change our ways.

Really? As if that is supposed to be news to us.

As the plan has been since the beginning, there will be an end for us all and we will all be brought to judgment. And also has been the plan all along, He has been there for us to help us prepare, to forgive and fill us with His grace; His mercy does endure forever. We need to be putting our lives in order along the way as He gives us that opportunity. If we truly believe in His life everlasting, then we must truly live like it here. We won’t get a do-over.

Psalm 90: 10,14,16

Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong, And most of them are fruitless toil,

for they pass quickly and we drift away.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.

Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children.

In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.