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Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

The other day my mom said “I hope there is no dust in heaven.”  To that I said, isn’t heaven supposed to be perfect?  How can there be dust in heaven if heaven is perfect?  Plus we don’t know how heaven is physically.  Aren’t we outside of our bodies in heaven?  Aren’t we in heaven in spirit only?  I don’t know.  What are your thoughts on heaven?

Right now due to circumstances I am living with my parents apart from my husband.  I don’t want to be but maybe that is best for me and for us for now.  Kevin and I are rebuilding.  I think it is good that I am able to spend time with my parents, especially my mom since she is having trouble with her health.  This also gives me time to focus on me and I think I need that for now.  It is so hard being apart from Kevin.  Somehow this is part of God’s plan and I am trusting Him but this is so hard.

I have tried to keep up on what happened at the recent Synod on the Family but I need to read up on it a bit.  I am waiting for the English version of the final synod report to be released.

A friend suggested that I read James in the Bible so I have started reading James.  In chapter 1 James talks about having perseverance when going through trials.  Even in trials we are called to trust in God and have faith.  We need to lean on God in these tough times.

I have started my own jewelry shop on Etsy.  I am excited and will be posting more items to sell soon.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Psalm 87

The Joy of Living in Zion

Of the Korahites. A Psalm. A Song.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
    the Lord loves the gates of Zion
    more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
    O city of God.  Selah

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
    Philistia too, and Tyre, with Ethiopia[a]
    ‘This one was born there,’ they say.

And of Zion it shall be said,
    ‘This one and that one were born in it’;
    for the Most High himself will establish it.
The Lord records, as he registers the peoples,
    ‘This one was born there.’  Selah

Singers and dancers alike say,
    ‘All my springs are in you.’

Psalm 88

Prayer for Help in Despondency

A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites. To the leader: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
    when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
    I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.  Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the shades rise up to praise you?  Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast me off?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.[a]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dread assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    from all sides they close in on me.
18 You have caused friend and neighbour to shun me;
    my companions are in darkness.

Here are my thoughts after reading and praying: 

Yes, the Lord loves me.  I question whether the He loves me.  I am in pain, constantly.  How can a good God allow me to be in such extreme pain?  I think, there must be a purpose, but don’t know what.  in my heart I know that Jesus loves me but my brain questions His love for me.  I am sympathetic to those who wonder how an all good, omniscient, and omnipotent God can allow such horrible tragedies, diseases, disasters, and turmoil in this world?  We need to remember that God does not intervene in persons free will decisions.  In going through my pain I have become closer to Christ.  Are these sufferings a wake up call?  God wants us to be closer to Him but these tragedies are odd ways for that to occur.  Yet we do not understand the ways of the Lord.  The Lord calls us to trust Him.  This is hard when going through tough times.  We are called to have faith that God has a plan for each of us and that He will guide and take us to where we need to be. 

 

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 In prayer yesterday I talked to God about the craziness that is going on in both our lives.  I expressed that I trust the Lord but am unsure about what is going to happen in the future.  I know God is watching over us in the good and bad times but the unknowing about the future is a bit nerve-racking.  God is our rock.  The Lord is our fortress.  God is our guide.  God is love.  God is always there for us.  During prayer the Lord led me to Psalm 46. 

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

 

 

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Praying every day helps keep the devil away.  Praying every day brings you closer to God.

In the book Song of the Sparrow:

I write this sentence only because I promised myself I’d try to write at least one sentence every day, and because one sentence leads to another.  If only we could pray a little every day, even when it is only one word, for prayers like sentences leads into thoughts and eventually the heart hears and is lifted beyond the words to him who transcends all thought and every word. 

Henri Nouwen:

When you recognize the festive and the still moments as moments of prayer, then you gradually realize that to pray is to live.

John Wooden:

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.

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Pope Francis’ words can get lost in translation.  His words in English may not be translated accurately from Spanish.  I agree when Janine Turner says that Pope Francis’ actions speak louder than his words.  Pope Francis shows us by example.  His love is illuminated by his actions.  Pope Francis is a man of mercy who shows us that understanding, caring, compassion and love should be priorities in all of our lives.  After that, conversion of heart can come later.

From PJ Media: 

Pope Francis offered to baptize the baby of a divorced woman whose married lover wanted her to abort it. He has also admonished priests who won’t baptize children born out-of-wedlock for their “rigorous and hypocritical neo-clericalism.”  Actions such as these are sanctifying life and giving pregnant women, who fear condemnation, the courage to choose life.

Actions such as these emulate Christ’s mercy. Actions such as these value not only life but the quality of the life, and soul, of both the mother, who chose life, and the child. Pope Francis’ actions speak much louder than his words. His compassion for the single mother and child is a stellar example of Christ’s love.

 

Every baby deserves to have the best chance in life as possible.  Baptism is one way to do this.  When one is baptized they become in communion with our Lord.  Giving a baby the gift of baptism regardless of the parents situation opens the door to their relationship with God. Plus it is beneficial for the baby and parents.  Babies should not be punished for their parents sins.  To deny a baby baptism because of their parents mistakes is cruel, merciless, displays a lack of forgiveness and is downright wrong.  Denying an innocent baby baptism is not following Jesus’ example.

 

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Christmas, as we know, celebrates the fact that the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us. Today’s solemn feast of Epiphany then celebrates how the God, who came to live among us, revealed or manifested Himself (cf. second reading). Particularly, today’s gospel reading narrates the story of how the Son of God was revealed to the gentile wise men, and therefore, to the rest of mankind as the new born King who had come to save the whole world.

In the gospel story, we have three groups of people: (a) King Herod and his associates, (b) the chief priests and the scribes and then (c) the wise men. The first group, Herod and his associates, simply did not like the idea of the birth of a new born king, and so they immediately planned to eliminate the child Jesus. Today, we still have ‘herodians’. These are people who discredit Jesus Christ or Christianity through books, movies or other forms of propaganda. Other modern day ‘herodians’ are those involved in occult practices or those who persecute Christians.

Then, we have the second group of chief priests and scribes. They knew the Scriptures and could indicate the exact place of birth of the Christ, whose coming they were expecting; but they showed no interest in looking for Him, when He was born. Today, many people are like the chief priests and scribes of old. In the first place, we have pastors who keenly study the Scriptures in order to preach powerful sermons, but their ultimate interest is not in Jesus or the salvation of souls, but in the money they can earn from their efforts. Secondly, we have professors or scholars of Scriptures, who after decades of studies now doubt that Jesus ever lived on this earth; or even if He ever lived, then Jesus was a mere powerful prophet, but not the Son of God. Thirdly, some of the chief priests and scribes of today are those Christians who after advancing in their professions or prospering in their businesses begin to show little or no interest in Jesus or Christian living. The fourth type of modern chief priests and scribes are those who are hearers but not doers of the Word of God; and many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, can identify with this final type of the second group.

Beloved, today’s message is intended to urge us to become part of the third group of wise men, women and children; or if we are already part of this group to encourage us to sustain our membership of it by God’s grace. Guided by a star, the wise men looked for the new born king, Jesus, in order to worship Him. They eventually saw the child Jesus with the mother, and they prostrated in worship. Can you imagine those elderly wise men prostrating before an infant (after all they were not Jews and they were not expecting the coming of any Messiah)? In addition, can you imagine that after the sacrifices of their long, tedious and risky journey, the wise men offered the child Jesus gifts of precious gold, frankincense and myrrh? These wise men represented true Christians of today. Modern wise men and women are guided not by a physical star in the sky, but by the invisible Holy Spirit from heaven, who attracts not so much the sight of human beings, but our hearts. He directs our hearts to journey in faith to worship Jesus Christ, not in a fixed place (Bethlehem), but ‘in spirit and in truth’ (Jn. 4:23). And we are to offer Jesus, not only our gold (treasure), but our precious hearts as well; not only frankincense, but also our lives of priestly holiness; and not myrrh (for Christ is already risen from the dead), but our lives as living sacrifices of praise (Rom. 12:1-2).

PRAYER: I pray that throughout 2014, we will not be counted among the ‘herodians’, chief priests and scribes, amen; that we would rather be counted among the wise who, filled with the star of heaven, the Holy Spirit, will ever more seek Jesus Christ, and worship Him in spirit and in truth! Amen!

By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis
http://frlouis.com/

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