Connection Overview

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Connection Overview | FEARLESS: Chapter 1 Connection Overview. What is so important about connection and why pair it together with the concept of holiness? We don’t have to look far to see how God regards community. He models it for us in the Holy Trinity | #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #FEARLESS #fearless #ConnectionOverviewConnection Overview

FEARLESS: Chapter 1 Connection Overview. What is so important about connection and why pair it together with the concept of holiness? We don’t have to look far to see how God regards community. He models it for us in the Holy Trinity. We see their love, unity and order in relationship to each other. Each knows, values and respects the others. There is diversity and perfect unity. When God the Father sent his Son into the world, Jesus did only what he saw the Father do (John 5:19).  After his Ascension Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption, to bring us into the family of God as brothers and sisters; sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. The Spirit gives us the power to live the life of God. He animates us to make God visible, to incarnate God in our lives.

So much does God desire to be connected to us and for us to be connected to each other, that he condescends to humble himself so far as to transform bread and wine into his body and blood. He remains with us in all the tabernacles of the world, even enduring coldness and indifference, to be with us always so we might know we are never alone. Charity and unity are intimately tied to the Eucharist.  His love for us feeds our hunger for union with him.  The more we consciously and intentionally relate to ourselves and each other with such compassion, the more we draw nearer to him and each other.

In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), when the older brother complains about the younger son’s return, he tries to disassociate himself from his overindulgent brother. The father sought to reconcile the older son to himself, and to bring him wholeness in his relationship with his brother.

It is very important to the Lord that we have communion with him and with each other. God is not just the father of each of us; he is our father. We are siblings. ‘Father’ is a title that not only defines our relationship to him, but also to each other. He is the hub and we are the spokes on the wheel. As we draw closer to him, we draw closer to one another. He desires to draw us all to himself and to each other.

Being united is essential to the nature of the Most Blessed Trinity. It is who they are. It is not an activity. That is to say, their unity is about being, not about doing. Because it is who they are, it is how they relate. It is not a tactic or strategic approach. There is no ulterior motive. Relating in healthy connection to ourselves and others is both holy and fosters wholeness. It is imitation of God.  He set before us life and death and longs for us to choose life, because such things draw us more deeply into the fullness of how he made us to be and the joy of the life he has for us. The Greek word teleios means both wholeness and holiness. Living in healthy, loving, respectful connection calls us to growth on human and spiritual levels. It helps us to make our love of God manifest in our own lives and to those around us.

It stands to reason we are the most fulfilled and at peace when life is lived the way God intended. Science reveals to us that God wired into our physical being a need for social connection. In his TED Talk about social connection3, neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman, Ph. D., tells us that connection to each other even impacts our physical health on a day-to-day basis.

The final aspect of connection is personal integration, connection to self. It’s not something we talk about much, but it is something impacting all of us constantly. Our connection to ourselves is this mode. If we are patient, kind, and understanding toward ourselves, it is going to be much easier for us to relate to our neighbor in the same way. Likewise, if we believe we are lovable, it will be much easier for us to believe God loves us. In fact, I’ve seen time and again that most of us don’t sin because of faulty theology, but a very erroneous ‘me-ology’. That is, our lack of acceptance of ourselves and our belief that we are not worthy of the Lord’s intense, intimate, personal passionate desire for each one of us is what leaves us worshipping all sorts of other gods, in an attempt to medicate our pain, loneliness, and emptiness. We must begin to shift how we see ourselves in order to begin to believe the truth of how God sees us. When we consciously and intentionally stand under the truth of how God sees us, we begin to more fully understand the depth of his passion and compassion for us. Only this will truly satisfy the longing of our hearts.

All three of these dimensions of connection – connection to God, self, and others – are crucial for wholeness and holiness in our lives, much like the legs of a tripod provide balance. Connection to God is the perfection of intimacy and provides us with the essential basis for being truly known and accepted. In this way, we have a firm foundation for self-knowledge and self-acceptance. Then, in truly loving ourselves, we can best be conduits of his love to others. It makes no sense to be harsh and demanding with ourselves for most of our waking hours and then expect the comparatively small amount of time spent in listening to God’s voice to renew our minds.

May the Lord give you peace.



Celebrate Christmas

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Celebrate Christmas and Advent | When you celebrate Christmas, does it include Advent? Advent is the time before Christmas. It is the 24-day countdown to the blessed event, the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Advent helps us to put the holiday in perspective. In this podcast, Felice discusses ways you can celebrate this joyous time, whether you are living alone or celebrating as a family | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #CelebrateChristmasandAdvent #CelebrateChristmasCelebrate Christmas and Advent – Episode 280

When you celebrate Christmas, does it include Advent? Advent is the time before Christmas. It is the 24-day countdown to the blessed event, the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Advent helps us to put the holiday in perspective. In this podcast, Felice discusses ways you can celebrate this joyous time, whether you are living alone or celebrating as a family.

More podcasts on Celebrating Christmas here:

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas Blessings

Christmas is Real

Advent deals with the coming of Christ, yes, but also the openness of our heart to receive our Lord and Savior, as well as the more profound meaning of recognizing he came for a purpose: to open the gates of heaven and to set us free from sin.

In my church, Advent brings in the Christmas season or the start of what is called the liturgical year. This is the season of Christmas and ends in January with the feast of the Epiphany is celebrated—the coming of the wise men to visit Christ.

The liturgical year is also celebrated with special colors worn by the priests at church. They are as follows:

  • White: joy and purity, and the resurrection
  • Green – hope and perseverance the call to continue to listen
  • Purple – penance, waiting and morning
  • Red – martyrdom of Jesus and the sayings
  • Blue is in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Pink —solemnity
  • Gold – royalty

Suppose you had to pick a color which would you pick to celebrate Advent. You would think white, possibly, but it is purple. Advent is a time of waiting and morning. It is a time of joy because we know the end of the story, but it is a time of hope and sorrow for what had to be because of the sinfulness, the free will choice of man. When we celebrate Christmas, we can follow the Lenten practice of prayer and fasting. This is difficult to do unless you live alone. But, some families do make this their practice.

One idea is to fast from a particular bad habit or from overeating during the holiday when it seems that cakes, cookies, and parties are abundant. It does not have to follow the strictness of Lent, the 40 days before Easter. The importance is to recognize the Christmas season as a time of reflection.

What can you do to celebrate Christmas? Decorations, sure. But keeping the focus on the “reason for the Season,” the Christ child. In our decorations, be sure to add a Nativity scene or two, a picture of the Holy Family, or something that reminds you of the coming of our Savior.

Isaiah 7:14 (read on air).

Or we can read the geology of Jesus in Matthew 1 – again a reminder of the prophecy of God the Father to Abraham, Genesis 26:4 (Read on air).

While we love the Christmas season for so many reasons, it is also a time of hardship for many. It is difficult because of the loss of a loved one, financial hardships, or perhaps illness. Yet, the key to the season’s joy is not on the external but the internal, the focus on Christ.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (Read on air)

Who doesn’t want to celebrate the season with joy after hearing that? We can each celebrate in a way that makes sense for your individual family. For us, it begins with nightly prayer. This year, Advent begins on December 3. We will begin early because everyone will be home on Thanksgiving. So we will do the first week twice. Each evening, we light one candle and pray from my favorite book.

During the Advent season, we use a round advent wreath with four candles, three purple and one pink. The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent to remind us of the momentous occasion that is to come the following week. It is a time of prayer and scripture readings, and our family adds the prayer of thanksgiving. We share what we are the most thankful for each evening after our prayer time. It is wonderful and I celebrate this time with joy with my family.

I’ve given the children advent wreaths to take to college with them so they could celebrate on their own until we gather at Christmas time. It is called the Season of Light: Daily Prayer for the Lighting of the Advent Wreath. I have purchased other books but do not like them as well. The readings are not very long, but they are heartfelt. The suggestion is given to do this during or before a meal.

However you celebrate this Christmas, I pray you are surrounded by joy. Your challenge this week is to think about how you want to prepare in the coming weeks and, as always keep Christ in your heart.

Blessed Be The Lord

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Blessed Be The Lord | This is a time of Thanksgiving and being grateful. But honestly, we should be singing, Blessed be the Lord" from the rooftops. Too much? At the very least, we need to realize where our blessings come from | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #BlessedBeTheLord #BlessedBe #TheLordBlessed Be The Lord ~ Episode 279

This is a time of Thanksgiving and being grateful. But honestly, we should be singing, Blessed be the Lord” from the rooftops. Too much? At the very least, we need to realize where our blessings come from. In this podcast, you will be encouraged and leave with hope!

How do you feel when someone says, great job? Or, thanks so much for what you are doing, or you were so helpful. We enjoy being recognized. And while humility is a virtue, it is still nice to receive praise. It makes us want to strive to do better.

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How much more should we be thanking and praising God? He, after all, gave us our lives. He is the Creator of the Universe; He is the Almighty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! The scriptures are filled with verse after verse of the words, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” These are words of worship.

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 113:2 – Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!

Blessed Be The Name of the Lord

How do you feel hearing this? It fills me with joy. When we are thanking God, we may think we are doing it for Him, but we are doing it for ourselves. God is perfect, and we can do nothing to make him “more perfect.” He does not need our praise, but he deserves it.

Just like we don’t need to be thanked or praised for a job well done, it is still nice to hear it coming, especially from our family. Why is it that we take our own family for granted at times, just like we take the Almighty God and Father for granted?

We feel the eternal, heartfelt joy in the words in Ephesians 1:3 (Read on air.)

What is more important than spiritual blessings? Nothing. That is the greatest gift we can receive. By glorifying God, we are doing the little thing. It is a form of love of obedience, and what God gives us back is joy. An abundance of joy!

There is no way we can outgive God; try it. Anything we do to praise and glorify Him is given back tenfold. Just think of singing praise and worship music. The song, “Blessed Be The Lord God Almighty,” gets stuck in my head when I hear it and sing along. It is as if the Lord is reminding me of that—link to lyrics of the song. 

Singing the refrain reminds us of what is important; it gives us a chance to let go of the cares of this world and the stresses in our lives. It allows us to see the bigger picture, the end goal, and what we should strive to focus on. When we let go and let God, as the saying goes, we allow Him to work in our lives. Amen? For me, music helps. I can’t listen to music and work on anything at the same time because I tend to want to sing along. It’s a good thing the Lord doesn’t care what we sound like.

At church, I often see people who are not singing. We are taught that singing is praising God twice. Even if you can’t sing well, try it- you can sing low!  It is uplifting to sing, and singing prepares you. It opens your heart to hear the Word of God and what the pastor is teaching. It is also helpful to praise God before you open the Bible. When my children were younger, and I didn’t have time to go to church daily, I would pray the one-hour prayer. Not all at once but during the day as I had time. I thought I did a podcast on the one-hour prayer, but I have not. I will do one soon because it was beneficial and so helpful.

In a nutshell, the point of the one-hour prayer was to praise the Lord, repent from sins, and prepare our hearts for reading the Scriptures. It is an abundance of blessings–for us. What a wonderful and merciful God we have.

Today’s topic is probably not anything you don’t already know. Most of you have a relationship with the Lord, most praise the Lord, and most of you listen to praise and worship music, but it is a reminder to us all. First, do not take God for granted. He is worthy of all praise. Second, fill our hearts and minds with glory and praise, and we will find our hearts uplifted. It may even combat fear and depression. And, third, take it to heart. Make it your goal this week to thank God, saying, Blessed be the Lord—amen~and halleluiah. Jesus reigns yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The Eucharist Part 2 The Union

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Eucharistic Union | Jimmy Seghers. The Eucharistic Sacrifice is something we as Catholics consider common place. In this three part presentation your faith will be renewed | #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #catholicpriest #testimony #CatholicTestimony #EucharisticunionThe Eucharist- Part 2- The Union

The Eucharist. Part 2- The Union. The major theme of this segment is ‘the kiss of the bridegroom.’ The Mass procession is a reminder that every Mass is a wedding.

Presented by Jimmy Seghers

Jesus’ wedding reception begins in the upper room on Holy Thursday. It continues on Good Friday when our sins nailed him to his wedding bed and will be celebrated triumphantly in heaven as the marriage supper of the lamb. Jimmy takes us through scripture from the Song of Songs, Ezekial, and Jerimiah, to Ephesians, Galatians, and Revelations, explaining the relationship and union of the bridegroom, ‘Jesus,’ and his bride, ‘the Church.’ He shares how the bridegroom is deeply rooted in the covenant God established with his people, and its bond forms a nuptial relationship with God. Jimmy concludes by explaining the ‘three kisses’ and how we are transformed as we receive holy communion. Leading to the fulfillment of Jesus prayer, “Father, that they may be all in one, as you, Father, are in me and I in thee, that they may also be in us.”

Jimmy Seghers was born in New Orleans. He was raised in a devout Catholic family. Jimmy has devoted much of his life to learning, teaching, and mentorship.

Jimmy joined the seminary after his sophomore year in high school. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College with majors in Philosophy, History, Education, and Classical Languages. He completed a four-year graduate program in Theology and Sacred Scripture at St. Mary’s and earned a master’s degree in history from DePaul University.

Jimmy has taught Sacred Scripture and Apologetics (the defense of the Catholic faith). Jimmy frequently gives retreats, parish missions, and talks on biblical subjects. He is seen on FOCUS with Lisa Flood discussing biblical and religious topics. The Archdiocese of New Orleans approves his classes for certification credits for religion teachers. Each week, Jim is heard on the Radio Maria network. He can also be heard each morning on Catholic Community Radio as he gives the daily Gospel reflection. His essays have been published in This Rock and the Clarion-Herald, and he contributed to a catechetical series published by Ave Maria University Press. His most recent book is The Fullness of Truth: A Handbook for Understanding and Explaining the Catholic Faith Biblically. He also has created a completely free video series, Understanding Catholicism, to be used by anyone as a tool to teach or learn the faith.

In 1995, Jimmy and his wife, Michelle, formed Totus Tuus Ministries, Inc., a non-profit corporation devoted to evangelizing Catholics. The purpose of this ministry is to evangelize Catholics through essays, media, audio content, retreats, conferences, the study of Sacred Scripture, and defense of the Catholic Faith—called Apologetics.

Jim and Michelle are the parents of nine children.

This is the 2nd of a 3-part series on the Eucharist.

Holidays and Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Holidays and Faith | Faith takes a back seat when you get busy, especially during the holidays. This episode explores holidays and faith, keeping God in the forefront—simple ways to get in the holiday mood without taking your focus off of the Lord | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #FaithfulChristian #HolidaysandFaithHolidays and Faith ~ Episode 278

Faith takes a back seat when you get busy, especially during the holidays. This episode explores holidays and faith, keeping God in the forefront—simple ways to get in the holiday mood without taking your focus off of the Lord.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, with books for parents and children.

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Rejoice! The kingdom of God is at hand. Friends, this is a time for rejoicing even if we don’t feel it. We are being bombarded from every side with personal, spiritual, and financial issues—some insurmountable. But nothing is too big for God, and during this time, when people turn their backs on him, we can still praise Him! When we get too busy, praise Him. When we don’t think we can go on, praise Him!

He is worthy of our praise.

Holidays and Faith Begins With The True God.

I was searching holidays and faith and was shocked by what I found on a popular search engine. The first one was a pagan holiday, and there were two other pagan holidays listed. I clicked the link to see what else I’d find and was sent to a website where I had to scroll almost to the bottom to find Christian/Catholic – Christmas. Seriously? Should I be surprised?  Probably not.

But you and I? We can make a difference, first in our own lives and then in the lives of others. If we were in charge of the search engine analytics, we would ensure Judaism, Christianity, and Catholicism were front and center.

Hebrews 11:1 (Read on air.)

What a wonderful encouragement. We have been blessed! We have been given the most incredible gift: faith in God. We see evidence of this in our lives and the lives of those holy men and women of God whom we respect and admire. For many of us, faith is something we live daily. But when we get busy, we sometimes forget to prioritize the most important thing: our relationship with the Almighty God.

Christian holidays are focused on the essentials of our faith—Christmas centers on the birth of Jesus, and Easter, his death and resurrection. Whatever the holiday, even if it is Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day we can still pull in the Christian elements. Our faith transcends secular holidays, and we are reminded of the Divine. Especially since we know God is the way, the truth, and the life. He has given us a gift, a priceless gift, and that is faith.

In Romans 21:21-22 (Read on air.)

So, any time we get too busy or overwhelmed, we pray. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Right? The key is in prayer with faith. God will hear us always; the answer isn’t always “yes.”

Our state of mind is in direct proportion to our spiritual life. I had to take myself to task about this recently. I was feeling down, overwhelmed and really couldn’t handle the least little thing without extreme worry. I began an internal evaluation.

Checklist of Faith:

  1. Praying? Check.
  2. Attending church regularly? Check.
  3. Thanking God during the day? Check.
  4. Praise and worship music. No.
  5. Spending time with the Lord. No.

I had plenty of excuses, and as I shared on the last podcast, “All in For God,” we need to be done with our excuses. We need to say, “Here I am, Lord!” Amen? I started staying a little later at Mass, praying yes–but spending time in quiet. My mind may wander, but I bring it back to God out of determination. The evil one doesn’t want us to spend any time with God and will put all kinds of thoughts in our heads, even good ones. Yet, we need to be strong, determined, and focused.

During the holidays, things seem to ramp up on our time and emotional well-being. People are either happy or sad during the holidays. People are lonely, or they’ve lost loved ones, and people are overwhelmed and worried about the money they don’t have to spend on gifts. But, if we give some time in prayer to the Lord and spend it with him, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and seeing the glory of God in the landscape, it is all a way to realize this world is so much bigger than just us.

How do we get to a place to celebrate the holidays and ensure our prayer life is not overlooked? That, dear friends, is up to you. Spend some time and think about what you have to do, how you will do it in the time you have, and what you can cut out. That is one of the most significant dilemmas we have.

Matthew 15:13 (read on air.)

There, we claim hope in the precious Name of God. We ask the Lord to fill us with his joy and peace. We pray that this holiday, whether a major calendar holiday, a birthday, or an anniversary, is filled with joy. You see, joy is a decision. Faith is a decision to accept what is freely given. There are so few things we have control over, yet we do control our minds and faith.

This leads me to our challenge for this week: to be aware if we find ourselves leaving God out of our family celebrations, no matter what the time or the season. Let’s put God first, and everything else will follow.


Teaching Self-Talk to Children

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Teaching Self-Talk to Children | Teaching Self-Talk to Children. Positive self-talk is one of the most important interior skills a person can have.  Unfortunately, it rarely, if ever, gets taught.  Since we listen to ourselves far more than we listen to anyone else, it’s an essential skill to have | #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #TheStruggleisReal! #InterconnectedPsychology&Spirituality #InterconnectedPsychologyandSpirituality #TeachingSelf-TalktoChildrenTeaching Self-Talk to Children

Teaching Self-Talk to Children. Positive self-talk is one of the most important interior skills a person can have.  Unfortunately, it rarely, if ever, gets taught.  Since we listen to ourselves far more than we listen to anyone else, it’s an essential skill to have.  When we have positive self-talk, almost any situation can be handled with confidence and peace.  When we lack it, we can quickly become dependent on others for affirmation and validation.  At best, that positions a child to be a follower in the crowd and, at worst, leaves a child vulnerable to teasing and bullying, which can be quite destructive and traumatizing.

If you haven’t already, you might want to listen to my podcasts, How to Talk to Yourself and How to Talk to Mean Voices, because learning to talk to yourself in a healthy way will help you teach the same to your child.  The most effective self-talk isn’t just talking to yourself but from your true/wise self.  That means speaking from a calm, confident, and compassionate place to whatever part of us struggles.

Here are a few principles to teach children for positive self-talk:

  • Emotions are information.
  • Emotions are only one source of information.
  • We have emotions. We aren’t emotions.
  • The true/wise self can see the information the emotional part is struggling with and can also present other information.
  • Personify the emotions for the sake of being able to treat them compassionately.

The autonomy, self-efficacy, emotional regulation, and confidence that can come from practicing positive self-talk is hard to overstate.  The first young child I used this with was my nephew when he was three years old and by it, he resolved what had become a dramatic situation quite quickly and peacefully.  I was astounded.  Listen to the podcast to hear the story.  I had a young mother tell me she had similar results with her five-year-old daughter.  I think the only reason it might sound complicated to us as adults is because we may have had years of believing we really are the emotions we’re experiencing, relying on others to soothe us, or even believing that we’re mentally unstable if we talk to ourselves.

Teach your child to talk to himself as Jesus would talk to him and you won’t regret it and he won’t either.

May the Lord give you peace!


All In For God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

All In For God | What are your priorities? Somewhere in that list, does God make it to the top? In this episode, we will explore how we can be all in for God today and always. It is an easy way to restructure our priorities | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #FaithfulChristian #KeystoUnlockingYourFaith #UnlockingYourFaith #AllInForGod All In For God ~ Episode 277

What are your priorities? Somewhere in that list, does God make it to the top? In this episode, we will explore how we can be all in for God today and always. It is an easy way to restructure our priorities.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, with books, self-paced classes, and printables. Check out the website for more information.

I belong to a women’s ministry, Magnificat. It is an international ministry that brings women together within the context of a meal. We pray, praise, and worship, and host a speaker who tells us how they have grown in the love of the Lord and how they got to the point they were all in for God. Most of the time, it is a call to action. A call to change our lives for the better and to focus on the most important thing: our faith.

In prayer recently, we felt the Lord was calling us to go deeper, yes, but to be single-minded in our focus on Him. The time of excuses, dear friends, is over. We all have them. I’m too busy; I have too many people who need me, my job, my home, my faith community. All are excuses. I know. I use them. Often.

The Lord is steadfast in love, yes – but he is a jealous God. Exodus 20:5 – You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me…

and then we read in Exodus 34:6 (Read on air).

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lorda God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 

Are we willing to reject God? We may not worship false idols in the sense of the people of Israel, statutes that they sacrificed even their children. Yet, today we see abortion is a type of sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of free will, an offering to evil in order. Parenting is hard work, and it is sacrificial. It is the element of self-sacrifice that has been lost. It is self sacrifice that will lead us closer to the Lord, not away from Him. When we die to self we





Keys To Unlocking Your Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Keys to Unlocking Your Faith | The keys to unlocking your faith are not complicated, yet often missed in our hectic lives. In this podcast, we discuss the key elements of faith and ways we can be open to receiving more of Him and less of us | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #FaithfulChristian #KeystoUnlockingYourFaith #UnlockingYourFaith #KeystoYourFaithKeys to Unlocking Your Faith ~ Episode 276

The keys to unlocking your faith are not complicated, yet often missed in our hectic lives. In this podcast, we discuss the key elements of faith and ways we can be open to receiving more of Him and less of us.

Everyone likes keys, and what’s not to like? They unlock previously blocked or locked items and often treasures. What is more important than the treasure of faith? For those of you who are lifelong Christians, the answer may be obvious, but still, when was the last time you asked the Lord to come into your life and unlock those places you’ve previously blocked?

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Think about this. Many of us pray and have an openness to God. We read the Scriptures, pray our prayers, and maybe even confess our sins. But, there is the place we ignore, we don’t think about, and we won’t release to the Almighty.

One time, I felt strongly in prayer that God was calling me to do more. He was asking me to give Him my all — but in a way that made me pause. “Lord, I’ve given you my heart, mind, intellect, all of me.”

But what about your health, your family, your finances?

Do we release everything to Him and say – Your will, Lord, not mine? Sure, within reason or what we believe is reason. We worship God, but what do we leave on the table? There is a saying in business that often we leave money on the table. That means we do not maximize our investment or profit to the fullest. We are, in essence, short, short-changing ourselves.

The same can be said in faith; we give God everything except everything.

The key to unlocking your faith is a complete surrender, and some of you listening are just not ready. Join the club. We are rational human beings. God gave us intellect, He gave us reason, He gave us free will (which often gets us in trouble). But He has also given us everything.

Jesus gave me everything by lowering Himself to come as a babe, live among us, suffer, and die to atone for my sins and the sins of humanity. He opened the gateways of heaven for me. He loves me. And I can choose to deny Him.

We walk around with heaviness and a lack of joy because we carry the burdens of life. We live in a world of war, strife, anger, and deceit. How do we see the silver lining in this world? Yet, we hold on and cling to life, don’t we? On occasion, I suffer from migraines. The pain is excruciating, but it is debilitating. For those of you who are fellow suffers out there, you know. I can do nothing, but I hope and pray it ends soon. Amid the suffering, the thoughts are disjointed as they believe there would be respite in death. How many suicides are there? The number has grown exponentially, especially among our young people. That is a lie from the evil one, and I rebuke it in Jesus’ Name. There is death, yes, when God wills it and only then.

If you are struggling, you can figure out the cause in this way. Try to listen to praise and worship music, try to watch something that is faith-based, and try to read Scripture. Does any of this bring a struggle in your mind or make you want to turn it off or away? If so, you are in the midst of a spiritual struggle. It happens to all of us from time to time. We want to bury ourselves in fluff, entertainment, and veg out occasionally. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with this. However, remember, the enemy wants to keep us in a loop of entertainment to rob us of the joy of a genuine faith infilling (Come Holy Spirit) and the joy that only comes from God.

There is good news! The good news is that true faith comes from releasing our will freely to the Almighty God.

So, back to the keys. The keys to unlocking your faith, what are they?

  1. Surrender to God’s will in your life—all of me, Lord, for all of you.
  2. Know that God will provide no matter what you cross if you lean on Him.
  3. Fill your mind with all that is good; listen to praise and worship music.
  4. Join a faith community. There is power in praying with other faithful Christians.
  5. Go to church.

Friends, the truth is that the struggle, while real, can be overcome with the simple keys to unlocking your faith. Come, Holy Spirit, come and fill each person listening today! Your challenge is to pray this week for more of Him in your life, and if you are ready, surrender all to Him. Amen!



Deliver Us From Evil

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Deliver Us From Evil | In the Lord's prayer, we recite the words, "Deliver us from evil now and at the hour of death," but what does that mean? As Christians, we avoid evil as much as possible, but that does not mean we aren't tempted. In this podcast, we discover the scriptures do more than warn | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #FaithfulChristian #DeliverUsFromEvilDeliver Us From Evil ~ Episode 275

In the Lord’s prayer, we recite the words, “Deliver us from evil now and at the hour of death,” but what does that mean? As Christians, we avoid evil as much as possible, but that does not mean we aren’t tempted. In this podcast, we discover the scriptures do more than warn.

Sin can paralyze us. We can feel under attack. In some cases, it is difficult to break out of this hold, this attack. We live in a culture of self-indulgence, instant food, and easy access to things most countries can only dream about. Yet, we hear that many people feel empty and alone.

Many people are drawn to the prosperity scriptures, such as in Jerimiah. What is not to love? Jerimah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You may enjoy these podcasts on combatting evil.

The Lord wants to shower us with an abundance of grace, but often, our hands are firmly in our pockets, or we sit with our arms crossed. We crave prosperity, but we realize it isn’t that easy to receive because of all the blocks we place in the way. God knows our hearts, and often we are found lacking. God wants to bless, heal, and restore us, yet it is up to us to open our arms to the Lord—your will, not ours. Deliver us from evil, Lord, as you will it to be. That should be our prayer.

The Gospel message is not for the faint of heart.

Psalm 9 – The Lord will judge the world with justice. Read all of Psalm 9, but the first (read on air)

Jesus is the Lord; he came and lived among sinful men when they yearned for a Messiah. These people did not recognize him even with all of the miraculous happening. Jesus cast out demons, yet the people of the day said he could only do this because he was evil. Whatever were they thinking? This is what we would call faulty thinking today.

In the Gospel of Luke 11:15-26, we read that the people were complaining about the Lord. They said Jesus casts out the ruler of the demons, but the only way he could do this was because he was evil. In verses 17-22, Jesus says, (Read on air)

And that, my friends, is the crux of the issue — whoever is not with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is against him. There is no time to be lukewarm. Lukewarm will not only get us into trouble but also allow evil to come back with a vengeance. It was difficult for the men then, as well as people now, to give Jesus credit, to believe, and to turn back from sin.

The really scary part is that while the demon was expelled from the man, not only did it come back.

The Return of the Unclean Spirit

Luke 11:24-26 (Read on air.)

Spiritual warfare doesn’t take a break; those who get free of addictions, if you get free of the evil, you need to change your lifestyle to maintain that freedom. Turn to a life of prayer and a sacramental life. We are made as a spiritual vessel for the Holy Spirit, and if it is not filled by the Holy Spirit, it gets filled by other spirits. We can not leave it empty.

How do you avoid evil? Recognize it.

Even as Christians, the lure for understanding or knowing the future is prevalent in our society. Two years ago, I was in New Orleans for a conference and visited St. Louis Cathedral. The church had erected a high metal fence in front of it, which I found strange until I saw, little by little, people in colorful garments coming and setting up shop in the open, public space in front of the church. Who were these people? They were the “sellers” of evil. There were fortune tellers and palm readers, to name a few. Some people took tours to talk about the ghosts that inhabited many of the buildings and had been “seen” in years past.

Where there is good, evil abounds. You may think I am exaggerating, but the truth is that the enemy will do anything for your soul. The enemy is allowed in through a gateway, but always with our permission.

One way that evil enters is through occult practices; many are unaware of items such as occult games, for example, the Ouija board and tarot cards. Or activities such as seances and mediums,  which is how evil gets in, because people welcome and allow it, believing it is just for fun or not real. Friends, it is real. Evil does have power, but only what we give it; God is greater, He is Almighty, He has dominion over evil. Who will we serve?

Deliver Us From Evil, Scripture Warns Us

The scriptures warn us. The Old Testament is filled with worship of idols, of false gods. The true God, the Creator of heaven and earth, gave warning after warning. The 10 Commandments, the prophets, and what happened? All of the twelve tribes of Israel fell because while two of the twelve (in the south) worshipped the true God, they would not remove the “idols from on high” that the people worshiped. We can not be divided in our worship.

A verse that should give us pause is in Isaiah 47 – in verses 10-11 (Read on air.) Leviticus 20:6  (Read on air.)

Deliver Us From Evil – Five Easy Steps

  1. Renounce your sin, ask the Lord to call the sins to mind, and rebuke them in the Name of Jesus.
  2. Renounce permission you may have given the evil one to enter through the sin. Spiritual warfare prayer.
  3. Claim in the Name of Jesus that you are a child of God.
  4. Pray with a spiritual advisor or clergy.
  5. If you are Catholic, go to confession and receive the sacraments often.

Praying, reading the scriptures, asking for more of the Holy Spirit, and confessing are ways to avoid evil.

Spiritual Warfare Prayer

  1. Renounce sin – in the Name of Jesus, I give you dominion over my life and renounce the sin of *** ____________________ (pray and quietly wait on the Lord to reveal sin to your mind.)
  2. Put on the armor of God Ephesians 6:10-18.
    • RIGHTEOUSNESS: Girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, flaming arrows against the evil one, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
    • WHOLE ARMOR: In verses 13-18,” Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
    • TRUTH: Stand, therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.
    • PEACE: As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.
    • FAITH: With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
    • SALVATION: Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
    • PRAY: Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.Pray in the Spirit – come Holy Spirit, and keep alert.

***Once you have prayed against evil – for example, the spirit of lies, ask the Lord to fill you with the opposite, “the spirit of truth.” Always pray the opposite of the evil and ask God to fill you with His grace. If you do not know the opposite, pray, Come Holy Spirit.

Remember, the battle has been won! Alleluiah. Alleluiah. Jesus lived, died, has risen, and has broken the bonds of death. We must be open and vigilant and recognize that we can pray, “Come Holy Spirit, Come…fill my heart today and always.”

Your challenge this week is to pray the spiritual warfare prayer and take back any areas you have given over. Amen! May God be praised.

The Struggle is Real!

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

The Struggle is Real! | I grew up in the Deep South and learned to drive a stick shift when I was eight years old; for those under 50, some cars had manual transmissions, meaning that the driver had to change the gears.  In most cars nowadays, that happens automatically | #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #TheStruggleisReal!The Struggle is Real!

I grew up in the Deep South and learned to drive a stick shift when I was eight years old; for those under 50, some cars had manual transmissions, meaning that the driver had to change the gears.  In most cars nowadays, that happens automatically.  It was on old, unmarked dirt roads.  Driving underage and without a license isn’t something for which I’m advocating, but it was a great experience.  I loved everything about it.  Learning a new skill was fun, but in particular, there was something about the challenge itself that was exciting.

Fast forward to my experience of trying to teach adults to drive sticks.  It’s been surprisingly different.  Any adult I’ve ever taught has been apprehensive and has frozen when they stalled out.  Stalling out is common when learning to drive a stick.  The car doesn’t explode.  You don’t get ejected from the driver’s seat.  Aliens don’t take you to another planet.  You simply put the car in neutral and start it back up.  I began paying attention to a common difference in how we handle challenges as kids and how we do as adults.  It seems as though, as adults, we tend to have unrealistic expectations of ourselves that we should already know and be proficient at whatever the skill or knowledge is.  Many of us learning new things significantly trail off or stop completely when we age.

I realized I’d been doing the same thing a few weeks ago.  I lift weights and consistently avoid single-leg exercises because my balance isn’t great.  I couldn’t do those exercises without a struggle, and so I realized I wasn’t doing them at all.  We tend not to like doing or even attempting things we haven’t mastered.  The problem is that growth in virtue and breaking patterns of sin can require struggle.  If we avoid struggle in the physical realm, why would it be any different in the spiritual dimension?  I know the same applies to mental challenges.  Compare the number of kids who learn musical instruments or languages to the number of adults who do.  It can be a little more challenging since our brains prune parts we aren’t using.  At the same time, the brain is highly adaptive.

So, I started doing the single leg exercises, and boy, do I ride the struggle bus on these.  No doubt.  I’m doing them in front of others, too.  However, after embracing the struggle as a spiritual and physical exercise, I’ve come to – dare I say it! – enjoy them!!!  I can only do micromovements – approximations of the exercise I’m attempting.  I can already tell it’s creating some muscle memory, though, and I can feel in my legs that muscles are being worked in a way I hadn’t been able to tax them before.

To sum it up, the process of struggling can have many benefits.

  1. Challenges us to be non-critical/non-judgmental.
  2. Tests our humility.
  3. Gives us an experience of gains that can be made on the way to mastery and a value for the growth process.
  4. We can make friends with the idea of struggle. The carry-over can lead to struggling toward growth in charity, patience, discipline, and many other spiritual fruits.

If you feel like the struggle is real, embrace it!  Be compassionate with yourself, and enjoy the process!

May the Lord give you peace!



Faithful and Prudent Christian

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Faithful Christian | Do you want to be known as a faithful Christian? What about a faithful and prudent Christian? What does faith mean to you, and how can you use this calling to believe and bless others | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #FaithfulChristianFaithful Christian ~ Episode 274

Do you want to be known as a faithful Christian? What about a faithful and prudent Christian? What does faith mean to you, and how can you use this calling to believe and bless others?

Media Angels is a publishing company dedicated to bringing good books, curriculum, and materials to Christian families. Check out the website for more information.

In the Bible, we read about wisdom and discernment. We also learn that a prudent person uses discretion and makes good decisions. We can’t do this all of the time; alas, no one is perfect, but with the help of God, we can live a life as faithful Christians.

Faithful Christians study the Word, learn from experience, and try to apply Biblical and Church principles to their lives. It is deciding each and every day that I will serve. Isn’t it interesting that those who are opposed to Christianity are those who seek self before others?

We must look outward instead of inward. I find that I can be critical of myself, and that is because I hold myself to a high standard, and when I don’t, measure up to what I think I should do, I can feel let down. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I have time to pray each day, spend time in church or just in quiet with God. I also love to learn and listen to teachings whenever I can, usually taking notes.

Do you feel like that?

But what about those days when we get so busy or without any accomplishments? How do we feel then? Do we give ourselves some slack or allow ourselves to regroup? If we don’t, we can become a slave to lists and requirements without being true to our calling.

What is our calling? To serve God, yes, but to know the mind and heart of God. God is righteous. We see this very clearly in the book of Jonah. We read that one of the lesser prophets, Jonah (and he wasn’t a very good prophet, we come to find out), was sent to Ninevah to warn the people to stop worshipping false Gods or they would be wiped out.

Every child learns of the story of the unrepentant Jonah and how he disobeyed God, went the wrong way, got on a ship, and was thrown overboard by the sailors because he admitted the storm was probably due to disobedience. Once he was thrown over and the seas calmed, the sailors praised and worshipped the one true God and changed their ways.

Jonah was eaten by a large fish, as the scriptures tell us, and finally, he was thrown up on the shores of Ninevah. He warns the people we read in Jonah 3:4-5 – read on air.

Jonah did everything he could not to follow what God asked him. He went the wrong way, barely giving instructions to the people of Nineveh, the bare minimum, yet the people believed. Even the king wore sackcloth and repented from worship to the false Gods. God changed his mind, and this city was not destroyed.

The other prophets at the time went to warn the tribes of Israel, but Jonah was sent to Assyria, which made Jonah angry – he was upset because he didn’t think these people should be saved. In Jonah 4:1-2 we read:

First, Jonah didn’t think they should be saved, and secondly, he knew …it says, “…for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…”

We may shake our heads at Jonah. Seriously? Why would he disobey God? But consider this: how often do we think we know better than the Almighty? How often are we angry if others prosper and don’t deserve it? This is not how a faithful person should act. We should act in a way that knows the heart of God.

  1. God is merciful.
  2. God is slow to anger.
  3. God is abounding in steadfast love.

God forgives, and yes, He can change His mind because He is God.

Faithfulness means trusting in Divine Providence, even when we don’t want to. It also means that salvation is not just for the elect – it was not just for the tribe of Israel, especially after they continually worshipped the true God of Israel. But then they would not destroy the altars to the false idols and gods.

Salvation was available to the sailors on the ship that almost drowned; it was available to the people of Nineveh when they repented. It is available to you and me and to anyone who wants to follow the teachings of God.

Imagine this…we, as Christian people, decide to repent for humanity. We put on sackcloth, fast, pray, and repent. Can you imagine how we could change the world if we could do this? God would take pity on us and deliver us from evil.

2 Corinthians 5:7, we read, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” let’s, yes — walk by faith, but let’s also open our eyes to the true God and how to better show others by our obedience and action that we are followers of truth.

This week, look at verses that discuss the heart of God and let’s all try to be more like Him.

Having a Ministry Mindset

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

A Ministry Mindset | Having a Ministry Mindset. In Genesis, God put a man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it.  That was not a result of the fall of man.  It was laboring that resulted from man’s transgression.  God worked for 6 days as He created for six days, contrasting with Him resting on the seventh day | #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #AMinistryMindsetA Ministry Mindset

Having a Ministry Mindset. In Genesis, God put a man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it.  That was not a result of the fall of man.  It was laboring that resulted from man’s transgression.  God worked for 6 days as He created for six days, contrasting with Him resting on the seventh day.  Work is not a bad, but a beautiful thing in and of itself.  It can even be a glorious thing when we do it in collaboration with the Lord.  Along this same line is the motto of the Benedictines, “ora et labor,” that is, “prayer and work.”  Both are seen as essential and redemptive.

The fact of our lives is that most of us must work either for ourselves or someone else.  This is not to be a contrast but an extension or an expression of our life of faith. We are God’s hands and feet in this world, and it is through us that He seeks to build up the Kingdom at hand.  It is through us that He seeks to restore the Body of Christ.  We are sent out to do this as the apostles and disciples were.

Too often, as laity, we can look to clergy and religious to do that while we go to our jobs.  That’s not how it’s meant to be.  While they may have a more specifically religious flavor to their mission, our work is supposed to be every bit as much of a ministry, but ministry in the marketplace, perhaps.

Some factors that distinguish work from ministry:

  • Seeing the Lord as the ultimate Master for whom we work.
  • Entering our work with the focus and goal of witnessing to the love of God.
  • Offering the sacrifices required of us as acts of love and praise to the Lord.
  • Courageously and gratefully embracing whatever is required of us in our jobs as God’s provision for our personal growth.

Perhaps the most fundamental difference in a work and ministry mindset might be starting from a place of love rather than fear.  When we start from being deeply, passionately loved by the Lord and loving ourselves as He loves us, we go out into the world carried by the waves of His love, which flow through us to others.  If, however, we start from a mindset of fearing not being able to pay the bills or fearing our lack of inherent value, we look for what we can get through a job rather than what we can give.

This day, may the Lord sear into the depths of your soul the knowledge of His infinite and never-failing love for you.  In that strength, may you minister to His people in whatever task you do, and may the Lord give you His peace.



Hunger For God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Hunger for God | Where can you satisfy your hunger, that is, hunger for God? There is only one place, and that is in Him. In this podcast, we will discuss ways to combat that emptiness that we feel from time to time | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #HungerforGodHunger for God ~ Episode 273

Where can you satisfy your hunger, that is, hunger for God? There is only one place, and that is in Him. In this podcast, we will discuss ways to combat that emptiness that we feel from time to time.

Thanks to Media Angels, the sponsor of this episode. You will find more information on the website at Check out the Character Planners for families.

There is a saying that people look for love in all the wrong places; the same can be said about looking for fulfillment that we can only find in God.

Check out the Wholeness and Holiness Podcast on this Network and two episodes I enjoyed.

Coping with stress as well as Greater Peace, Joy, and Freedom.

Hunger For God

Ultimately, when we struggle, we must find fulfillment because of a need. We can only find satisfaction in God. That hunger that we have, that restlessness, that unquenchable thirst is because something is missing. As a Catholic, I memorized the questions and answers in the Baltimore Catechism as a kid. The first question was, “Who made the world.” The answer was, “God made the world.” It went on to establish that God was the creator of heaven, earth, and all things and that man was a creature composed of body and soul made in the image of the likeness of God. But the fourth question asked, “Why did God make you? The answer is God made me to know, love, and serve him.

We find we are unfulfilled when we know, love, and serve the wrong things.

A hunger for God is the desire for what is good and holy. It is not in the New Age sense or the false gods. Just like food is nourishing for the soul, God is nourishing for the spirit, and the heart cannot be quenched with the things of this world.

We read in Jeremiah two verses 11 through 13 (Read on air)

In the imagery of these verses, we see the warning of God, and this morning is that God has pointed out that the people of Israel have turned their backs on the one true God, and when they do that, they will find spiritual hunger.

Psalm 81:10 states I am the Lord, your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it

Furthermore, we read in Matthew 5:6 (read on air) and John 6:33-35 (read on air).

And that is the only way, my friends, that we can fulfill our hunger for God unless we totally rely on him, unless we totally ask him for forgiveness, unless we pray “your will” be done in my life, God, we will always be hungry and will remain and satisfied.

Recently, I have changed my prayer petitions. Instead of praying specifically for something I’ve asked for repeatedly, I’ve been praying, “Your will be done, God.” In this way, I am releasing my prayers to him and the stress and anxiety accompanying it. That doesn’t mean I expect God to answer my prayer the way I had initially asked it, although that would be nice, but I can rest assured that whatever happens, it is within God’s will.

In a world where we can’t trust the things we see because how do we know if it hasn’t been manipulated or photoshopped or some other wonders of photography haven’t misled us, we can’t seem to trust words because many times those are skewed to fit a specific agenda, we can’t rely on or trust the government entities and many times we can’t even rely or trust on those. We love those who have hurt us.

But we can trust in God. We can trust in his perfection. Trusting when we are hungry for that spiritual infilling, we can rely upon God if we find ourselves struggling or empty or depressed or lonely. If this happens to you, think about why and analyze what you have put your faith into. What is not filling you up? What is not satisfying your would?

If we are not filling up on the Word of God, if we are not filling up on prayer, if we are not filling up on good videos or books, we may find hopelessness and despair. This creeps in, the enemy is just waiting to prey upon us in our time of weakness.

The hunger for God is a hunger, for the good things. It encourages us to fill up with grace and allows us the tools against the evil one.

John 4:13-14 (Read on air) The hunger for God can only be fulfilled as Jesus says, and in John 6:35 He reminds us of this again.

Dear friends, I challenge you to look at your lives to see ways to regain that joy, regain that hope, and be fulfilled. Do not go hungry another day. Look to the Lord for your needs, and share the good news with others.

Does Anyone Get It?

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Does Anyone Get It | I want to share with you a devotion that I didn’t come to easily.  Because of my own relationship with my mother, I didn’t want a mother.  And I certainly didn’t want a sorrowful one!  Yet, that was this title of Our Blessed Mother I was forced to grapple with after having been in a religious community named for her | #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #DoesAnyoneGetItDoes Anyone Get It?

Does Anyone Get It? I want to share with you a devotion that I didn’t come to easily.  Because of my own relationship with my mother, I didn’t want a mother.  And I certainly didn’t want a sorrowful one!  Yet, that was this title of Our Blessed Mother I was forced to grapple with after having been in a religious community named for her.  In digging into the history of that title, I found that title was first entered in the Roman Missal as Our Lady of Compassion.  That got my attention.  That was distinctly different from my broken experience of having a mother.  So, it opened the steel door I had slammed shut.

I didn’t want to come to this devotion for all the amazing promises associated with it.  That felt disingenuous, inauthentic, and self-serving.  However, I noticed that it was often a better fit for time constraints or where the bandwidth of my brain was.  I might not be able to pay attention to a whole Rosary, but seven Hail Marys and meditations seemed easier to focus on.

Over the years of praying this devotion, I’ve found my heart filled with compassion for her passion/suffering at the Lord’s Passion and the depths of her suffering convinced me of her compassion.  I began to trust her and see that no matter how alone, isolated, misunderstood, wavering in faith, and surrounded by darkness I might feel, she’s felt it all.  She knows the intricacies of emotional and mental suffering like no other human who was not divine.

When we are on our own crosses, we can have that assurance that someone DOES get it.  Not just anyone, but the most perfect and compassionate mother we could ever imagine.  How good the Lord is to know how much we would need that, how much we would need her.  So, we can trust that He gave her a maternal heart like none we could imagine.  Please pray these with me knowing she gets it.  You can trust her.  She is with you on your crosses in this life.

May the Lord give you peace.


Christian Example

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Example | What is a good Christian example? We can point to the saints, people like Mother Teresa and others. But, truly we can be an example to others by asking the Lord for His grace and His help | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #PromisesofChrist #ChristianExampleChristian Example ~ 272

What is a good Christian example? We can point to the saints, people like Mother Teresa and others. But, truly we can be an example to others by asking the Lord for His grace and His help.

Sponsored By: a curriculum for students grades K-12 with online tutorials and help. Visit the website for more information.

Sadly, we, as Christians as a whole, are not the best examples of how to live. The promises of the gospel message show others, especially those who are suffering, that there is faith, hope, love, and compassion from the Lord.

God gives us many examples through the scriptures of how he expects us, his people, to act, and we fall short. Sometimes we fall short by word, sometimes by deed, and most of the time, just because we’re too lazy to do what is right truthfully, sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves or as one of our pastors says we have Christian scrupulosity. We care more for the letter of the law rather than the law itself. When we read the scriptures, we see it plainly, and yet how many of us take it to heart I know I’m guilty of this myself.

In Luke 7:31-35 we read, (on air).

Now, if we read the gospel of Luke Chapter 7, we will see before this happened, Jesus had been very busy. He was curing many who had diseases and sicknesses and casting out evil spirits. He gave sight to the blind and cured those who had leprosy. Those who were lame walked, but yet Jesus was reprimanding the people because even though they saw these miracles, they were not ready to change their lives

As Christians, we know the end of the story. We know what it is we should do God had compassion on those, and on those who were suffering, he brought people back to life. This is an example to us today of the gift that God gives us as Christians. We have the opportunity for everlasting life with him, so how are we going to be an example as Christians? How are we going to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord?

I can give you a list, of five or ten things you can do. But, my list might not be the one that is right for you. And, in doing this good thing, being a Christian example, it can cause us to be boastful, or to congratulate ourselves that we are not like those sinners over there. Friends, we must be cautious.

I did a podcast sometime back that I titled Judgmental Christians, and I’ll put a show a link I’ll put a link in the show notes. (Tell the story on air)

To summarize the other podcast, I explained how I should live my life according to the gospels I should improve my life, and I needed to forgive those who hurt me and ask forgiveness for those I had hurt. Friends, we are all flawed! It is difficult to show an example of Christianity to others when we are hurting, and as my mother used to say we need to get our own house in order before we can try to fix the houses of others

In giving others an example of what it means to be a Christian, we are following the example Christ gave us. However, when we pray, when we give alms, we do this because we should out of obedience, it is a free-will decision

Being a Christian is a free-will decision, and acting like one means we show others humility, love, and compassion, especially if they are hurting and especially if they feel rejected by others. When Jesus walked the earth, he called his disciples, I love the phrase “Come follow me” This is an example of what it means to follow and to be called by God.

But we know we are all called by God, the Scriptures tell us, He has called us by name…(Isaiah 43:1). Knowing someone’s name held great importance in Biblical times and even today. Aren’t you happy when you remember someone’s name or they remember yours? The significance is import. Even more, God knows the “number of hairs on my head– And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30.

In Matthew 9:9-13 we read (on air).

Wow! God is calling us; he is calling all of us. Not the perfect, not the ones that have it all together, but us. The sinners.

As a Christian, our example may be flawed, but it is at least an attempt, not at perfect but of example. All of these things show us that there is a right and a wrong way to act, but one thing we know, we should not be judgemental like the Pharisees.

Think about everyday life, driving in traffic trying to find a parking spot or maybe returning something at a store when the clerk is very frustrating. We can use these everyday opportunities to say thank you or some other greeting that is welcoming. Or, “I appreciate the excellent job you have done or appreciate how hard you’re working if they haven’t done an excellent job.” You know what I mean.

Sometimes it only costs us a few minutes of our time, and sometimes it costs us much more. It is a sacrifice, and that is a small price to pay. If we can all show just a little bit of grace to others because God has given us grace, we should. Jesus asks us to follow him. It is not a call we should take lightly. It is those baby steps that take us closer to Christ.

Let’s all pray and ask the good Lord to give us the grace we need to be a Christian example because only by his gift of love and grace can we possibly show others just a tiny bit of the goodness of God. My friends rejoice and are glad because he is there for us not just today but every day, and I just pray that this week your challenge will be, can you guess it that’s right, to be a Christian example to either yourself or to others in your life and beyond take care and may the Lord bless you today and always.


Interventions to Cope with Stress

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Interventions to Cope with Stress | At one time or another, we all experience stress in our lives.  Whether from anxiety and apprehension about the future or pain over hurtful things from the past, we can feel like our emotions hijack our brain and our ability to maintain that gift of the Lord’s peace | #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #GreaterPeace #InterventionstoCopewithStress #CopewithStressInterventions to Cope with Stress

Interventions to Cope with Stress. At one time or another, we all experience stress in our lives.  Whether from anxiety and apprehension about the future or pain over hurtful things from the past, we can feel like our emotions hijack our brain and our ability to maintain that gift of the Lord’s peace. Despite knowing the truth and trusting in God’s goodness, we can feel nervousness in our bodies, making it difficult to concentrate, think straight, and focus.  Why is this, and what can we do about it?

This can happen because the emotional part of the brain can become stirred up and cause the brain’s right hemisphere to exert itself more than usual.  That’s because, with the right hemisphere of the brain, we experience all time like it’s now.  That means that the past hurts or future worries can vie for our ability to be in the present moment with the Lord, who is right here, knowing and loving us.

So, the first thing to do is remind yourself that what you are experiencing is biological.  Understanding that can help us realize that what we feel isn’t necessarily true just because it feels so big.  Those are emotions you are experiencing.  They are not who you are.  There is still a ‘you’ that knows God is in charge, is all good for you, and will use all things for your good.

The next thing to do would be to engage the left hemisphere of the brain or the five senses.  Below are some strategies to do just that.  Knowing these things can be like having a page out of the User’s Manual of your brain.  I’ll never understand why we don’t get taught these things in school.


  • Bilateral stimulation (anything that uses both sides of the body).

E.g., Swimming, biking, walking, jogging.

  • Anything that stimulates the five senses:

E.g., Smelling perfume or essential oils, sucking on a mint, chewing gum, holding an ice pack, the feel of Rosary beads, noting what one is seeing or hearing.

  • Math is almost exclusively a left-brain function. Make up some math problems and work them out without a calculator.
  • Puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and logic games also employ the left brain.

These simple tools can give us a way to collaborate with the Lord’s gift of peace.

May He give His peace to you this day and always!

Suffering Christians

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Suffering Christians | We know there are suffering Christians worldwide, but what about in your home? We often suffer silently and become depressed when we can turn that suffering into something more that will enhance our own lives and the lives of others | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod Suffering Christians – Episode 271

We know there are suffering Christians worldwide, but what about in your home? We often suffer silently and become depressed when we can turn that suffering into something more that will enhance our own lives and the lives of others.

This podcast is brought to you by our sponsor, Route 60 the Biblical Highway- check out the website for information about tickets and how to watch this fantastic film.

As a Christian, suffering is part of the package. Anyone who comes to Christ learns quickly that salvation does not mean we are free from pain and suffering. As I may have shared in another podcast, a personal situation put me off from deepening my faith. (Listen to the story on air.)

Check out these podcasts for those who suffer:

  1. Power of Praise here.
  2. Worship and Thanksgiving here.
  3. Blessed Assurance here:

When can we hope to be free from suffering? Sadly, not in this lifetime, however, joy can be had. How? Easy – changing your mindset. How do we do this? We look to the life of the saints. These may be holy men and women elevated by what they did in their lives, but they can also be the everyday people we meet.

We can learn much from those who have struggled and come out on the other side. While we struggle to put food on the table or pay for gas these days, or when someone struggles with a medical diagnosis, those moments take our breath away. How do we cope? What do we do?

Mother Teresa ~ True Inspiration for Suffering Christians

Mother Teresa was the most inspiring nun of our day who showed us that life was too short to sit by and watch people suffer on the streets. She said she would never have started her ministry if she had not picked up her first dying man on the roadside. Mother Teresa said that her “yes” to God was what he needed from her to begin her ministry, which continues to this day. She had many quotes, such as “God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.”

That means a mindset change. We look at our struggles and say, “What can I do?” Instead of “I can’t do this.” God requires us to try. It is difficult, I know, yet there is not one person listening to this podcast who has not suffered at one time or another. How did you cope?

When you are suffering, how do you try? How do you try to help others? Is it with prayer, physical help, or another way that God has called you? We can’t all be Mother Teresa. But we can be ourselves. And God knows, loves, and hears you. Do you hear him? In the quiet, we can find the answer by seeking God in prayer and turning to him.

Combat Feeling Down or Depressed

On a trivial note, I have been combatting a cold for over a week, and the cold was not the issue. It was the headaches, which I am prone to anyway. When my head hurts, there is not much that I can do, and I found that in my pain, I started feeling down, discouraged, and annoyed with my lack of bouncing back. I also know that those feelings were not from God. And, so, I took charge, and I began to pray in earnest. What did I find? It was a God-incident. I found a Catholic Catalog containing books, other religious items, and more in the junk mail pile. Just looking through that catalog gave me hope, peace, and joy. It was filled with holy reminders of God’s love and His providence!

Do not think your prayers are in vain – Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

Holy Reminder

I can not imagine those in chronic pain; what a field day the enemy can have in your life. He is a destroyer of peace and can cause a suffering Christian to suffer some more! When people are suffering, we often say things to encourage them, like “God will not give you more than you can handle,” but as Mother Theresa said, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

First, let me dispel the notion that if you love God and are a Christian, you will not suffer. This is not true. If anyone has told you that you need more faith or must have done something bad to lose God’s favor, ignore them. Better yet, pray for them because they are misguided. Yes, the Old Testament is full of the times when God has commanded his people to do something, and they turned their backs on him. What happened? They often perished, and their tribes and nations were overcome and overtaken by others. Why? They were not repentant.

What Suffering Christians Know

  1. We know that God knows what we are going through.
  2. We know that no matter what happens, God will not forsake you.
  3. God is trustworthy. His Word has stood the test of time.
  4. You are not alone.
  5. There is an entire Christian community out there. (Discuss chronic illnesses.)

When people we know are suffering, be there for them. Show them, Jesus. Ask them how you can pray.  One of the best ways to combat suffering is to have a go-to list of scriptures, praise, and worship music. I did several podcasts on praising God in song.

My List of Scripture Verses For Suffering Christians:

  1. Romans 8:28
  2. Philippians 4:13
  3. Matthew 11: 28-30
  4. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
  5. Psalm 34:18-19
  6. John 14:27

Your challenge this week is to look back on ways you may have overcome suffering in the past. How did you cope? Was it successful? If so write it down and share it with others who suffer. Also, make your list of scriptures that are helpful!


Promises Of Christ

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Promises of Christ | How can we believe anything Jesus said? Why are the promises of Christ real? Why should you care? This podcast will explore whether this is the truth and how we can apply it | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #PromisesofChristPromises of Christ ~ Episode ~ 270

How can we believe anything Jesus said? Why are the promises of Christ real? Why should you care? This podcast will explore whether this is true and how we can apply it to our lives?

Sponsors keep us on air! Thanks so much to ROUTE 60: The Biblical Highway Airs for two days only. September 18 and 19: Visit the website for more information.

We know that words have power. We know that manipulation comes from those who are good with words. Words are used for good, and words are used for evil. The value of a word depends on who is saying those words. Is it someone you trust, respect, or hold dear? Or is it a stranger? If it is the latter, you can be sure you will consider the weight of those words less effective. How do you feel when you hear the news or something on social media? That’s right, we are suspicious, especially since we’ve been lied to and let down.

However, we know, especially as Christians, that there is someone who will never let us down, and that is Christ. Jesus is man and God, totally. He came into this world and lived, followed by apostles. Jesus preached to the people, healing and casting out demons.

We can trust the words of our Lord. Jesus did not have a sinful nature; he never sinned and can not lie; he only speaks the truth. God is righteous, and He does not change. We are taught He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There is no time with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. God has infinite wisdom. And God loved his creation so much that he taught and warned them when they sinned.

Promises are powerful, and those promises come within words that can be used to convince and change our hearts, which is why the Holy Bible is a powerful tool. We read Scripture, and we are changed. There are entire books on the promises of Christ, but in this podcast, I want to focus on three.

First, what happens when Almighty God speaks a word? When God spoke, the world came into being. We read this in the account of Genesis. Genesis 1, take out your Bibles and read the words of Creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”

We read repeatedly that when God spoke, amazing things happened. John 1:1-3  one of my favorite ever Scripture verses (read on air).

There are so many more promises of God throughout the Old Testament. Yet, time and time again, the covenant with Abraham is remembered through Moses, the descendants of David, and so forth. Yet, through all of these examples, what do we learn? That men are tempted to sin and disregard the promises of God.

There are so many things we can read about the promises of Christ – here are a few of my favorites.

Promises of Christ -Hope and Everlasting Life. A gift to humanity

John 3: 16-21 (read on air). “For God so loved the world…” This is such a fulfillment of good vs. evil, which will we choose. Jesus promised us many things, but we continue exposing ourselves to darkness instead of light. The lure of darkness is great. I once heard a teaching about the Christian law of physics that it is easier to be pulled down by a non-Christian than for a Christian to lift a non-Christian. Impossible, no, challenging, yes. This scripture explains why in a nutshell.

Christ is our Good Shepherd –

Read all of John 10:1-15 – Jesus promises to be the gate through which we enter, to save us, to give us life and have it to the full, he promises to lay down his life for us, and that he knows us. Wow. to be known, to be seen; that is what our Lord does for us.

John 10: 7-15 (Read on air) Jesus is the Good Shepherd!

The Father is revealed to the Son:

In Matthew 11 – we read about Jesus as he instructs his disciples, but what is eye-opening is that in the place where there were so many miracles performed, we read in Matthew 11; 5-6

Yet further down in Matthew 11:20, Jesus condemns the towns that even though they witnessed these miracles, they were unrepentant. They did not change, so there would be a judgment upon them.

Jesus gives us rest:

If we do change and are repentant, what are we promised? Matthew 11: 28-30. Jesus asks us to come to Him! (read on air).

Jesus gives us eternal life:

John 10:25-30 – Jesus promises to give us eternal life

He promises to make a place for us in his Father’s house

Are we guaranteed heaven? Jesus gives us a roadmap of belief in Him with an ultimate goal of heaven.

John 14:1-5 (read on air) “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

So what can we do? We can believe that Jesus promises to be the Good Shepherd, to see us, really to see us and know us, to give us rest when we are struggling, to give us eternal life, and to go ahead of us and prepare a place for us in heaven. What a beautiful gift. And this is just a tiny bit of the promises Jesus gives us!

The following podcast is about holding on to our faith when we struggle and have problems.  We keep reminding ourselves that God is righteous and He does care. We cast our worries upon the Lord. In Matthew 6:31-34 we read (on air). Isn’t that right? Each day does hold its troubles, but with Jesus, we are assured help.

In this, we remember, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” While we do not put God into a neat and tidy box, we believe the Words to be true. First, we seek God’s kingdom.

This week, list the promises in Scripture that resonate with you and will sustain you through this life. It helps to memorize them and remind yourself when you are low or feeling down that God is the God of life and truth, and we must have faith.

Friends, we are not alone. God has promised us everlasting life, and I believe. Amen.


Christian Strength

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Strength | We have tools and resources available to us; what about Christian strength that comes from the grace of God? In this podcast, we will discuss the tools God has given us to combat the evil one | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #ChristianStrengthChristian Strength ~ Episode 269

We have tools and resources available to us; what about Christian strength that comes from the grace of God? In this podcast, we will discuss the tools God has given us to combat the evil one.

Have you visited for an award-winning curriculum designed for the entire family? It is a great math program for ages K-12, and we are thankful for their sponsorship.

One of my sweet friends, who gets our emails, sent me this quote, “If you get on the scale and don’t like your weight, remember that you are carrying the full armor of God!” Thanks, Carolyn Wright, for sending me this quote. I love it! It is the little things that remind us we are not alone. Our strength comes from the Lord.

Nehimah 8:10 – “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” How can we have this strength?

  1. If we love and worship the one true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that is half the battle.
  2. We must remember to put on the armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18 (Here is a podcast on the Armor of God.)
  3. We are in good company! We are adopted children of the Almighty God, so we should rejoice.

Today, I was filled with joy that surpasses all understanding. There was no reason for this; in fact, before I went to church, I was burdened. I was praying for my family and felt a weight pressing on me. Whenever I felt this weight, I gave it to the Lord; in my mind, I said,  “Your will, Lord, not mine.” Then, I kept praying. When I finally arrived at church and knelt down to pray, I felt an overwhelming sense of the love of God.

Have you realized that as Christians, we have powerful tools given to us through Baptism by the Almighty God? Not only are we claimed during our Baptism, but for some of us, we were infants claimed through the intercession of our parents and godparents, and at other times as adults, for those who convert to Christianity. But there is more. God knows everything about us, and we are worth so much in the eyes of God. We are worth much more than any animals. In Mark 5, we see that Jesus restores one man, casts out the evil spirits, and puts them into the swine, who proceed to go off the cliff.  One man was worth so much more than all of the swine!

The concept of exorcism shows us that God is greater than evil. There is more to this world than just what we see; there is a spiritual world. There are principalities and powers, and ever since the fall, we see this brokenness and disobedience of man. Yet, God is light and continues to shed His goodness on a fallen world; we have the choice, and God gives us this free will. After the fall, the world belongs or is under the dominion of the evil one. Jesus came not just to teach, heal, and forgive sins but to fight. We see this with the verses in Ephesians about the armor of God. People looked at Jesus as a prophet; they expected Him to lead an army and wipe out the evil of the day, but He did this in the way that God works. God does not work by outward force. He works by word and deed. He only has to utter a word and evil was cast out. He instructed His disciples to go forth and to command evil to leave in His Name.

After the Baptism of Jesus with John the Baptist, he went into the desert to prepare for the trials to come, and he did it with a fight to take back what belongs to God, and that dear friend is you and me! Praise God, what fantastic news. If that does not give us a boost of faith, remember that the exorcisms that occurred then and now were to reclaim what belongs to the Almighty God.

During the Rite of Baptism (in the Catholic church, I’m not sure about other denominations), there is a right of exorcism; it happens in every Baptism. We are claimed for the Kingdom of God, but we must be delivered from the evil one before this can happen.  Wherever the gospel has been proclaimed, wherever Christ is proclaimed, it is accompanied by exorcisms. We have stories of exorcism from the beginning of the New Testament. When missionaries went to various countries, they also had to do exorcisms to deliver the people from bondage.

I heard a teaching on the topic, and there was a man, a priest who was from Spain and a renowned exorcist, who wrote a book on the topic and studied it extensively. In his studies, he found so few exorcisms during the Middle Ages, and he wondered why, but he concluded that the amount of Baptisms had risen. They were transferred from the kingdom of the evil one; they were brought into the Kingdom of God.

Today, there is a rise in exorcisms; why? Well, for many reasons, one is that people are not having their children baptized, and another is that those baptized deny faith in God, in Jesus as the true Savior; those in sin are choosing the evil one. It is their choice. Therefore, this leaves them open to evil. It is a gateway, if you will, an open door.

Fear not! If you are baptized, you have been transformed into the Kingdom of God! Jesus says do not be afraid. We have strength in God through the Holy Spirit. In the book of Romans, particularly Romans 1, we read about the early church and their struggle but, more importantly, how they were encouraged. Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” 

We have been saved, in fact Romans 6 heading states Dead to Sin Alive in Christ. What good news.

Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This reminds me of a podcast I did on the present moment on being mindful. Link here. God provides for us today. In the present, when we need Him most. We torture ourselves with regrets from the past and the fear of the future, yet we only need to focus on today.

So, friends. Rejoice. Today, as always, the Lord will provide for me and you. He will provide for your family. Continue to pray, continue to storm heaven for what we need. This week, your challenge is to pray for Christian strength for the Lord to provide the grace we need when we need it!


Christian Care

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Care | As Christians, we care for many things, but we also have a responsibility. Christian care means more than thinking about a situation and praying; it means taking action when possible. In this podcast, we will discuss the responsibility of being a Christian and the blessings that come with this knowledge | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #ChristianCareChristian Care ~ Episode 268

As Christians, we care for many things, but we also have a responsibility. Christian care means more than thinking about a situation and praying; it means taking action when possible. In this podcast, we will discuss the responsibility of being a Christian and the blessings that come with this knowledge.

Thanks to our sponsor: ROUTE 60: The Biblical Highway Airs for two days only. September 18 and 19: Visit the website for more information.

Are you ready to rejoice, praise the Lord for all that is good and holy and feel uplifted? Well, that is the goal of this session today. I feel that the topics have been heavy of late, which is not my intention in these podcasts. I want to be to my original mission, which is to encourage all of us to spend time with God but also to understand that we are children of God and so loved beyond what we can comprehend.

Do you have a family? Think about what that looks like and who is in your family. For most of us, we are protective of our family, care for them, and acknowledge that while no one is perfect, we are quick to defend our family members from outside forces. As I get older, my extended family has grown smaller with the progression of age and death. Life happens. Yet, our love for those who are gone has not decreased in some cases, it has increased, and our memories (hopefully) are good ones. We attended my husband’s family reunion, and I watched as people who often live nearby visited with each other and enjoyed good food and company. We were handed an SD card with old family movies that are now digital to view and enjoy. There we see the love and care of children, now adults.

We care for our family with love, but how much more does God care for us? It is so much that we can not imagine.

Romans 8:28 is a scripture many of us know, but what about Romans 8:26-27? I shared this scripture with you last week.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our times of weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, intercedes for us in our weakness. The Spirit searches our hearts and knows! God knows us intimately. That is why the next verse, Romans 8:28 is one of my life verses that blesses me each time I read it:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

We, you, and I, have been called to His purpose. You are listening to this podcast, me writing this talk with prayer and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; we do these things with a heart for God. We want to know more, to learn more, and to be inspired.

When we have an eye to the future, in the end, we can see that many of the things we struggle with daily are not as important as the bigger things. One of my friends and co-author of a series of books we wrote for homeschoolers used to tell me not to “sweat the small stuff,” and she was right. She died in her 40’s, and yet she was prepared. She was one of these people that had the joy of the Lord in her heart; people would ask her, “What is different about you?” She would then share the love of God with them and, more times than not, lead them to the Lord. One person was our account manager at the company where we had our books printed. My friend didn’t have an easy life, in fact she suffered bankruptcy and a failed marriage. Yet, through it all she persevered and loved God.

Do we realize the end is near and pray? We read in 1 Peter: 4:7-11 (Read on air).

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

That verse is beautiful and a perfect example of Christian care…” each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as a faithful steward of God’s grace in its various forms.” We use our gifts for others, not for ourselves. This is selfless love. This is the goal of a Christian to care for others. We care when we are hurting and when others are hurt. We are there for each other, to serve and to love. Sometimes we ask the Lord to give us the grace to love those unlovable in our lives, yet even with that prayer, He listens and answers us.

Our challenge this week is to show Christian care for others, to love others as God loves us and to pray that the Lord gives us opportunities to use the gifts He has given us to bless others. Amen!

Finding Healing for Holiness and Healthy Relationships

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Finding Healing for Holiness and Healthy Relationships | We all share a call to holiness, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out and the Scriptural basis for this comes from Ephesians 1:4 where we hear that we were chosen in Jesus by the Father before the world even came to be.  That means we are set apart for Him |  #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #FindingHealingforHolinessandHealthyRelationships #HealingforHolinessand #HealthyRelationshipsFinding Healing for Holiness and Healthy Relationships

Finding Healing for Holiness and Healthy Relationships. We all share a call to holiness, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, and the Scriptural basis for this comes from Ephesians 1:4, where we hear that we were chosen in Jesus by the Father before the world even came to be.  That means we are set apart for Him. We are made for a profound union with Him body, mind, and spirit for all eternity.  Even as intimate as marriage is, it only symbolizes the union we will have with God forever.  In Heaven, those who are married in this life will no longer be married to a human spouse.  Yet, the espousal relationship with the Lord will remain for eternity.  Connection is our most basic human need.  When we experience it, we flourish and suffer when we are lacking in that way.  No connection will ever be so profound and complete as what we are called to with the Lord.

What comprises connection?  It’s being chosen, known as an individual who is very good, value inherently, not based on what we do, and being safe with our boundaries being respected.  God supplies for these connection needs superabundantly beyond what we could ever hope for or imagine.  We have a God-sized whole within us because we were made for Him, and only He can satisfy these needs.  Sadly, parents or early caregivers often modeled something for us that was less than a good image of God, so it became difficult for us to believe that He relates to us in these ways.  So, how we relate to ourselves became flawed as we began to relate to ourselves in the way we were related.

Yet, these must be chosen, known, valued, protected, and provided for to remain as central as ever.  Much of the disappointment, frustration, and conflict we see in our world is because people are trying to get other people to fill those needs.  However, it’s only in receiving the Lord’s deep satisfaction of these needs that will allow us to live lives of profound freedom, joy, and peace.

Let’s take these areas of pain and hurt to the Lord and allow Him to show us the truth of who we are in Him.  Receive your Eternal Bridegroom into your heart this day.  Give yourself to the One who left Heaven to purchase you at the price of His Precious Blood and loves you personally and intimately beyond your wildest hopes or imaginings.

May the Lord give you peace.



Are You Awake

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Are You Awake | Spiritual awareness is a blessing, and the question, “Are you awake,” comes in part as a nod in that direction and toward the world we live in. How are you awake, and what precautions are you taking to notice what the Lord brings to mind? In this episode, we learn not to be afraid but to be prepared | #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #AreYouAwake #AreYouAwake?Are You Awake? ~ Episode 267

Spiritual awareness is a blessing, and the question, “Are you awake,” comes in part as a nod in that direction and toward the world we live in. How are you awake, and what precautions are you taking to notice what the Lord brings to mind? In this episode, we learn not to be afraid but to be prepared.

Thanks to our sponsor: ROUTE 60: The Biblical Highway Airs for two days only. September 18 and 19 Visit the website for more information.

When we see the things happening in our world, we want to stay asleep! Are you awake to what is happening today, and if so, what will you do? In previous episodes, I have shared with you that I have insulated myself from stressing about worldly issues by turning off the television and social media and ignoring videos that explain the horrible tragedies and oppression in our world. One of the main reasons is that I feel helpless, and I am a doer. I like to accomplish and get things done. When I see something wrong, I prayerfully consider how to help. Yet, I tend to shut down when overexposed to unrighteousness and unfairness. Especially now that I am inundated with it everywhere I look. It makes me think the end is near because our Almighty God will not let this rampant sin go unpunished. Read the Bible, there is a warning, and when ignored, there is justice.

How can we prepare? When we pray, we must ask the Lord to open our eyes to what He wants us to know. One reason is for the knowledge, another for the ability to beseech God in prayer, and another is to prepare in any way we can.

Just this week, while gathering with the ladies in my prayer ministry, several alerted me to things I had missed. I was upset, and rightly so, yet praising God because He has provided for me in my need; he has allowed me the knowledge to pray and be aware. Being awake means taking action when possible; for most of us, that means prayer and sacrifice. What is God calling you to do? Has he allowed your eyes to be opened to a specific need?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves daily. How do we pray? How should we pray?

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

That is beautiful – we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us! Praise God.

Sometimes I have spiritual awareness, and sometimes I am spiritually blinded. What does this mean? Having spiritual awareness in the Christian sense is different from the pagan. If you want to be freaked out, search for the term spiritual awareness to see what I mean. Much of it points to self-awareness that is unrelated to the true God. It talks about a sense of consciousness and understanding and the interconnectedness of all things without saying that the author of our awareness is the Trinity, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Pagan awareness centers on self and a force we can control. Christian awareness points to God and good and eyes that are open to see sin. We see that the greater power is within Almighty God. It is not in the pagan sense that we can become gods. That is a new-age fallacy.

To be spiritually aware in the sense of true Christianity means to see with eyes that are open and aware. Many scriptures attest to this, some beginning in Genesis. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they became spiritually aware. Genesis 3:7 states: Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Sin does not go unpunished, and we further read that they were banished from the Garden of Eden that God prepared for them. We must never forget that God is in control, we love the Lord, and He loves us, but we are held accountable for the knowledge he has given us. Adam and Eve had the knowledge they did not have the will to follow it, and they suffered, as well as all of us, their descendants.

Being spiritually aware of sin is critical. Those not spiritually aware can not see the sin; they do the same thing repeatedly, thinking there is nothing wrong with it. It is an evil that permeates our world and the hearts of those who seem to have lost all sense of what is true.

Ephesians 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The fight is against us, yes, but it is not a human fight. It is an evil deception and lies. Let’s call it what it is.

Opening our eyes and being awake gives us a sense of fear of the unknown. And fear is a tool the enemy uses to wreak havoc in our lives. That is why putting on the armor of Christ daily is essential. Here is one of my previous podcasts on the topic. The armor of God, His word is His protection.

Let’s pray that God protects our souls, hearts, and bodies from all the evil in this world. That, my friends, is something we can do, and that is pray. We must pray daily for protection and that God opens our eyes to the light. He has good in store for us if we follow His will.

1 John 7:9: (Read on air.) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We have hindsight which we are told is 20-20. We can read the Bible and learn from the mistakes of those before us. The Holy men and women of God failed to continue to follow in the light and eventually were led to darkness. A past podcast dealt with the sins of King Solomon, who we read was given the gift of wisdom, but somehow common sense escaped him. He started as a wise person and ended up in a terrible place. He ended up foolishly worshipping false gods, the gods of his wives, first by marrying women of tribes he was warned not to marry. He made bad decisions, and others (his sons and the nation of Israel) were punished for his bad choices. King Solomon crossed the line – the scriptures list the false gods he set up shrines to worship, and one of them required child sacrifices. Horrible. His decisions had consequences.

Yet, so do mine. My decisions have consequences, and they don’t only affect me but others in my family and generations to come. Wow. What a responsibility. Many of us know what is right and what we should do, but often we do not have the will to do it. But we can pray for that strength; praise God!

Being awake means putting on the mind of Christ so that we are aware of the sinfulness in our own lives before we point out the sinfulness in others.

Praise God. We can repent and pray to the Lord to be spiritually awake.

40 With many other words, he warned them, and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Let’s pray that a spiritual revival exists in our time and hearts. We are not in this alone. God is with us. This week ask the Lord to give you spiritual eyes that see, a heart that hears, and a will that is all for God. I pray for a blessing for you and your family today. Amen.

Fill-Up Your Spiritual Tank

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Fill Up Your Spiritual Tank | What happens when the well runs dry? We all need to fill up our spiritual tanks; for some, that means more often than others. In this podcast, we will delve into ways to receive abundant joy from the simple pleasures God has in store for us | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #FillUpYourSpiritualTank #SpiritualTankFill Up Your Spiritual Tank ~ Episode 266

What happens when the well runs dry? We all need to fill up our spiritual tanks; for some, that means more often than others. In this podcast, we will delve into ways to receive abundant joy from the simple pleasures God has in store for us!

Thanks to our sponsor – please visit the website; you will be pleased you did.

Are you burdened? Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel that if you are asked to do one more thing, you will… (Fill in the blank.)

None of us on this side of heaven escape from feeling overwhelmed, and if you care for a family and an elderly family member or are involved in work or volunteer, you know what I mean. When was the last time you laughed for the sake of laughing or spent time with a family member or a friend and walked away feeling freer and happier? For some, it has been a while, maybe a long while.

By its very nature, Christianity is joyous, and we forget this fact as we navigate the busyness of our daily lives. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and we need to remember this verse; Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Can you allow the Lord to be your strength and fill you up? What do you have to lose? Let’s see…

  1. You can lose the idea that you are alone.
  2. You can lose the idea that no one cares.
  3. You can lose the idea that life is insurmountable.

Of course, we are sometimes alone, feel like no one cares, and have problems that never seem to end. Yet, allowing God to fill your spiritual tank is one way. God created us for Him and Him alone; when we feel down, it is often our own doing. We’ve decided we can do it alone; we are capable; after all, God gave us intellect, ability, and the will to accomplish many things. Yet, all of the success in the world (or lack of success) will not leave us happy or fulfilled. Only God can give us the fulfillment we crave.

In the Old Testament, we read about the Exodus and the journey of Moses and the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the desert to the promised land. Yet, two of the multitude of people crossed into the promised land. It was the descendants of this race; even Moses never made it. Why? In a nutshell, it was the lack of obedience and trust in the Lord.

God punished them, and rightly so. He said that the reason they would not enter the promised land, the land flowing with “milk and honey,” was in direct relation to their hardness of heart, their disobedience. Can we see that in our own lives?

Think about it. These people were saved from slavery only to complain and rely on their understanding rather than trusting that Moses, the messenger of God, was telling the truth. They wanted what they wanted. This was not only worship of false Gods but their memory of the life they had. They complained about being free from Egypt.

We read this, and it appears that the punishment from the Lord was harsh, but was it?

Have you felt punished in your life? Maybe you’ve prayed for something and don’t feel the prayer has been answered.  Join the club!

It has taken me many years to realize that I must first trust in God, that He knows what is best, and that I must thank God for all of the blessings, those I see and those I do not see.

We should remember the verses like Romans 5:1-5 … it is a verse of hope and faith – a great way to fill our spiritual tank!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Filling up our spiritual tank can be done in so many ways.

  1. Listening to the Word of God by reading the Bible.
  2. Appreciating the blessings God has given you – write them down. (Praise Journal)
  3. Going to church, attending daily Mass if at all possible.
  4. Read about the saints, the lives of holy men and women of God who overcame great obstacles.
  5. Listening to praise and worship music and allowing the words to penetrate your heart.
  6. Sitting with the Lord and just listening. Even if you hear nothing, the Lord is with you. One of the prayers I learned early on is this prayer – Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
    O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
  7. Surrounding yourself with like-minded friends. I volunteer and serve on the Magnificat Ministry – a ministry for women, and we celebrate prayer breakfasts at least four times a year. This is an uplifting event to join in with other women to praise and worship the Lord and hear testimony from someone whose life has been transformed by God.
  8. Praying. Offer your day to the Lord in the morning and the evening. Ask the Lord to fill you with every good thing.
  9. Avoid anything negative or anti-Christian.
  10. Turn off social media and the television.

I’ve noticed that the times I need filling up are when I’ve let my eyes stray from the Lord and my mission, which is to love and serve the Lord and others he has placed in my care.

We can become discontent when we think other people are doing so much better than they are, and maybe they are; rejoice and be glad because we are already heirs of the Kingdom of God.

Friends, let’s pray for each other that we are filled to overflowing by the grace of God, and that is your challenge this week; pray for an infilling of God’s love, peace, and joy. Fill your spiritual tank to overflowing, and I will pray this for you this week.




Christian Comfort Zone

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Comfort Zone | Do you have a comfort zone as a Christian? Is your faith private? Is it personal? Is it something you do not want to share? If you want more from your faith walk, join Felice for this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #ComfortZoneChristian Comfort Zone – Time To Get Out! ~ Episode 265

Do you have a comfort zone as a Christian? Is your faith private? Is it personal? Is it something you do not want to share? If you want more from your faith walk, join Felice for this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast. is the sponsor of today’s episode, I want to thank them and encourage you to check out their products.

As Christians, we have our own way of expressing our faith. For many, it means attending church weekly and praying privately in their homes. Others share their faith with friends that are like-minded. Still, others have friends they’ve met at church.

And why not? All of these ways are acceptable. In fact, we should not brag, are we not taught this in scripture?

Scripture talks about not making a show of faith like the hypocrites. In Mathew 6:5-15 (read on air).

Then the Lord goes on to teach us how to pray, and He gives us the Lord’s prayer, encouraging us to forgive our trespasses as He has forgiven us.

Not only did the Lord admonish us not to brag about our holiness, but he also explained we should pray in private.  So, why am I talking about your comfort zone today? Because the Lord teaches us that while we should not brag about our holiness, we should also not keep the good news to ourselves. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

Seriously. How could we not share the good news about eternal life with Christ? In fact, we read the words of Jesus before He rose up into heaven, Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

How can we make disciples for the Kingdom of God? First, ask the Lord. I’ve shared in a past podcast about wanting to do the work of the Lord and share the good news, and I had little children at that time, and my vocation was not to go knocking on doors; it was to take care of my children and my family. Yet, God knew my heart, and He provided ways for me to share the good news with others by talking to the repairmen that came to the house or the pest-control guy. In this way, I could fulfill my purpose at that place in time and still share the wonderful things that God has done for us.

(Talk about going on a trip with my five children – two were in their late teens, and I had three others from several months old, three and five. The airline attendants could not believe the children were all mine, and it allowed for dialogue about children being a gift from God and what I thought about being open to the number of children that God would give me. Was this out of my comfort zone? Yes. I didn’t want to be the object of their attention, but I hope that this planted seeds of faith.

Asking the Lord to use you, sometimes out of your comfort zone, is one way that we can evangelize for Him. I’ve met street preachers and applauded them for their work. If that is how you’ve been called, it is a blessing. The college-aged young people I met gave out flyers at the beach as people were walking off the boardwalk and into the sand. If someone acted interested or wanted to talk more, they did — if not, there was no pressure.

Even if evangelization is forced, while it may be difficult, but I told her, God can use anything for His good and His glory. The assignment was given because of this passage in Luke.

Luke 10:1-12 (read on air).

This week’s challenge is to pray to the Lord and ask Him to provide for you when you are outside your comfort zone and that He gives you the words to use as you focus on His joy and love for you and others.




Parenting for Connection

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Parenting for Connection | Connection to God, self, and others is fundamentally important to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.  Without it, we seek to self-medicate the emptiness through all sorts of things that will never satisfy and will only further the disconnection | #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #ParentingforconnectionParenting for Connection

Parenting for Connection. Connection to God, self, and others is fundamentally important to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.  Without it, we seek to self-medicate the emptiness through all sorts of things that will never satisfy and will only further the disconnection.  So, when we consider the task of parenting or even mentoring as godparents, coaches, teachers, etc. it is critically important to raise adults who are able to be connected and then able to foster the same in the future generations.

As we parent and mentor it is important to know what our goals are.  When we parent to foster connection, we are looking to raise adults who are able to give generously to and receive gratefully from others.  Another goal is that they will relate to themselves in a compassionate way, seeing themselves as God sees them.  That same mercy and self-compassion then flows our to others.  They will relate to the Lord with reverence and intimacy as the ultimate source of and one who has the greatest claim to our connection.

Over the next episodes, we will discuss parenting and mentoring based on the pillars of connection:  chosen (being directly and intentionally related to), known (seen and heard as an individual who is very good), valued (having inherent dignity as children of God), and boundaries (that physically, emotionally, and spiritually there is a place where we stop and the other starts that we must reverence and respect).

The benefits to children raised for healthy and authentic connection are so numerous.  They will have right order in their lives that will protect them from the chaos and drama that goes with disordered living.  They will have resilience built up within them that will help inoculate them against the effects of bullying.  Ultimately, they will have freedom, joy, and the shalom peace, that is, wholeness and completeness in their lives and will come to foster the same in others.

Join me as we take a look at parenting and mentoring adults for the future of our Church and society who are whole and holy!

May the Lord give you peace!


Spiritual Sandpaper

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Spiritual sandpaper | Describes the events that happen in our lives that purify us and make us better than before, yet they are painful. In this episode, Felice shares how this can actually cause spiritual growth if we open our eyes to the possibilities 
| #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #SpiritualsandpaperSpiritual Sandpaper – Episode 264

Spiritual sandpaper describes the events that happen in our lives that purify us and make us better than before, yet they are painful. In this episode, Felice shares how this can actually cause spiritual growth if we open our eyes to the possibilities.

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Have you heard sermons about being tested in faith? The longer you follow the Lord, the more you understand this concept. At various times in our life, we strive for goodness, honesty and perhaps even holiness. Yet, our faith deepens not by all the good things that happen in our lives but through our trials.

In the book of Job 23:10 we read, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Our resolve goes one way or another. After being tested, or purified we are not lukewarm but either for or against God. Proverbs 27:21 speaks truth in the verse, ”

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.

We’ve discussed praise and worship on my past episodes, and praising God in our daily walk can make the difference between happiness and strife. In fact as I write this the Lord has reminded me of a private matter of which I have been praying and beeseching God and I am now going to thank God for the situation. I am not thankful, but if it is God’s will – or God’s permissive will then I will be thankful out of obedience.

Is this true faith to blindly follow? Not at all. It is faith that understands that while we have free will, God’s will is for us to join Him in heaven at the end of our life, and a life of ease and comfort rarely gets us to that destination. The areas of our life that are unchecked lead to temptation. This can look different for each one of us.

Spiritual sandpaper is that time in our life when things are uncomfortable, and yet we see, after the trial, that the outcome is better than we could have hoped and prayed. We had some years of reduced income due to the economy. We never lived over our means, but even our savings accounts and investments did not prevent the outcome. After this very uncomfortable time, the Lord allowed us to keep our home when many around us with deeper pockets went bankrupt, and we were able to pay off our debt in a difficult yet fulfilling way. This time has taught us to value money in a better way than would not have happened without this uncomfortable time in our life.

I praise God for the outcome, which was so much better than I could imagine. In prayer I kept getting those words, they would pop into my mind, “It will be better than you imagine.”

We know sandpaper can be gritty and abrasive, but what happens afterward? The surface is primed and smooth. The sandpaper in our lives was reduced income, it was not a life and death situation, even though it felt like it at that time. Many of you have had a situation with someone who has been abrasive in your life, and it has been a challenge.

Our pastor talks about a husband and wife being sandpaper to each other and it works out our flaws and shortcomings. Our family is also our spiritual sandpaper.

The scriptures talk about being tested many times. The most notable in our spiritual sandpaper focus today is Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

How are we sharpening each other? Are we helping each other in our walk toward the Lord –that is what we should be doing, but we often fall short. I don’t want to come off as preachy when I talk to my children about spiritual matters. Yet, sometimes I do. I send them videos of good sermons, Scripture verses, or encouragement. That helps in ways that are beneficial without me using a bunch of words.

Our job as parents is to aid our children. Our job as a husband or wife is to aid our spouse. The same goes if you are dating. We are to help and not antagonize each other.

Matthew 5:43-44:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!’”

God commands us to love as He loves, which is difficult and sometimes impossible. That is why I have prayed, “Lord, I can not love this person right now, but I know you love them; please bless them abundantly.”

MOST OF THE ANIMOSITY WAS LIFTED whenever I prayed this prayer or something similar. Sometimes it took years, but the Lord was victorious in teaching me to forgive.

Why should we love even when people hurt us? Even when we are chafed, annoyed, or persecuted? Because the Lord asks it of us. I love how Jesus explains the main purpose of this command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us in Matthew 5 verse 47, he says:

“If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.”

Do we want to be compared to pagans? Of course not; as believers, we want to do better than those without belief or those who believe in false gods. And that is our challenge today or this week. It is three-fold.

  1. First, to be aware of situations where we are sandpaper – that is, abrasive to others without cause. (Not sure there is ever a cause to be abrasive!)
  2. Be aware of situations where others have been abrasive to us, and we harbor unforgiveness. Remember the Lord’s prayer.
  3. Look at the spiritual sandpaper in our lives as a good thing, one that will help us to grow spiritually.

New Eyes of Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

New Eyes of Faith | As a Christian, it is important to practice our faith. But what does your faith look like? The new eyes of faith is an awakening. In this episode, we explore the meaning of faith and how we sometimes deceive ourselves | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #NewEyesofFaithNew Eyes of Faith – Episode 263

As a Christian, it is important to practice our faith. But what does your faith look like? The new eyes of faith is an awakening. In this episode, we explore the meaning of faith and how we sometimes deceive ourselves.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math – visit the website at

Faith can be subjective. Your faith is naturally based upon your experiences, your understanding, and even your denomination. Even two people sitting next to each other in church can have a different take on faith. This lends itself to an interesting question. Where is your faith, and can you say you practice what you believe?

This may be a hard question to answer and one that will take some time and thought.

Do we love the One who gave us life? The one who loves us beyond anything we can imagine. Let’s take a moment and think about that. You. Are. Loved. That alone should open our eyes and give us new eyes of faith. That should fill us with such love that we want to share this love with others.

That is the crux of the issue that many of us face in our world today. Those who say they have faith and those who do not practice what they supposedly believe. Listen, we all fall short, but by the grace of God, we flounder. Thankfully Jesus came into the world to redeem us. We read in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Read on air).

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
When our eyes are opened, we see evil for evil and good for good. That is why so many of us are upset by what is happening in our world today. Many people, they have been desensitized, and they can not see evil for evil.

Our eyes can be opened to greater faith and a deeper walk with the Lord, and at times it takes something catastrophic to happen before we can see the light, so to speak. Many things we consider important no longer are, and those things we hold onto, we find we can do without. Has that happened to you? You find that what was previously important is no longer an issue or of great concern. It is as if the blinders were removed; now, we can see clearly.

In Genesis 3:5, the tempter tells Adam and Eve a lie; the scripture reads:  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So, what did they do? Genesis 3:6-7 (read on air).

What did they receive? New eyes of faith, but it was not a positive outcome for the pair. The eyes of Adam and Eve were opened when they ate the forbidden fruit. God warned them. His perfect will was for them to live with Him forever in the place He had created for them. Instead, they made a choice, and we see it perfectly in hindsight –

Scripture often talks about finding “favor in your eyes,” with many references to finding favor in God’s eyes. That should be our goal, to find favor in the eyes of God. How do we do this? How do we deepen our love for God? One way is by spending time in His presence. We have many reasons why this can’t happen. We have family responsibilities, work, school, and other obligations. And, it is a choice.

New Eyes of Faith

Just like Adam and Eve had a choice. This is the first lesson we learn in the Bible about good vs. evil. It is the enemy against us, the evil one. He hates what God created. God created and said, “It is good,” and that is what the evil one wants to destroy. He wants to destroy our families and us. An increase of faith helps us weather the storm of life, but we need that connection to each other and God.

Faith is a connection to the Almighty. We are made for connection. One of the podcasters on this network, Margaret Vasquez, who hosts the Wholeness and Holiness Podcast, talks about connection. As a trauma specialist, she knows that a lack of connection often causes dysfunction.

We can become disconnected from ourselves, those around us, and those we love the most. And a disconnection from God can lead us to other less desirable things!  We can find we lack direction, and worse. Who we are is important, but who we are in Christ is important to renewing faith. Do we witness the gospel message? How can we when we are struggling ourselves? It is time to take a deep refreshing breath and look at our faith with new eyes.

As a business owner, I know that I better fulfill that promise when I promise to do something. No one cares about our excuses. Thankfully my job is not life and death, but it is important to keep websites up, bills paid so that the podcast stream doesn’t stop on your app and other things that we do to keep the business running. All of our behind-the-scenes work is invisible, but it is necessary for our customers. Many of my decisions were based on troubleshooting better options.

The worse thing we can do is not admit when we are wrong. We can all improve. Isaiah 2:10-12 (Read on air). Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.  (Talk about humility)

Isaiah 5:20-21  (Read on air)

In this way, we should troubleshoot our options when it comes to renewing our faith and praying to the Lord to open our eyes.

We can ask that the Lord gives us the new eyes of faith to:

  1. Identify areas where we have sinned.
  2. Make better choices.
  3. To choose God first above all others.
  4. To make time to pray.
  5. To get our priorities right

Remember, faith is a choice. It is a free-will option given to us by an Almighty God who loves us and who loves you beyond anything we can comprehend. It is perfect love, and no one can love you the way God can. We are created in His image. We were created for a specific purpose. We were created to love and serve Him, but He gives us so much more than anything we can do for Him. Our challenge this week is to pray that the Lord opens our eyes to areas we need to improve and gives us a deeper faith.



Solomon’s Downfall

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Solomons Downfall | In the Bible, there are definite lessons to learn but one for the ages is King Solomon's Downfall. What can we learn and how do we apply this to our lives today | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #SolomonsDownfall #SolomonSolomons Downfall – Episode 262

Solomon’s Downfall. In the Bible, there are definite lessons to learn but one for the ages is King Solomon’s Downfall. What can we learn and how do we apply this to our lives today?

Visit CTC Math for more information about a wonderful Math curriculum for students from grade school to high school.

When we first read about Solomon we learn about his wisdom, and how he has been blessed by the Lord with his father, King David’s blessing. 1Kings:2-4 (read on air).

When David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.’

This was God’s will, that Solomon should rule keeping God’s statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances. He had a dream where he spoke to the Lord. 1 Kings 5-9 (Read on air)

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream[k] by night; and God said“Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “Thou hast shown great and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?”

This pleased the Lord because Solomon did not ask for a long life or riches, he also didn’t ask for victory over his enemies. He wanted discernment something we all should pray for and that we desperately need!

The Lord gave Solomon specific instructions on how to build his house and the worship that would happen there. It took many years to build not only the house of worship but his own home, as God instructed. 1 Kings: 7: 51 states, “Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the Lord was finished. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.”

So, Solomon was blessed with wisdom that was renowned. People came from all over to hear his wisdom and one of the most famous stories is about the two women with the baby. Both women had given birth, yet only one had a child who survived. The woman whose child died claimed the living child was hers. They went before the King and he said that since they both claimed the child. Solomon then ordered that the child be split in two so that each mother should get half. The true mother cried out to give the baby to the other woman, while the false mother said the baby should be killed. Solomon then ordered the baby be given to the woman who cried out for the child’s safety. We all know the story and the wisdom illustrated. It was truly a gift from God.

He would live a long life and his household would be blessed and it should have all ended happily ever after. But as with the humanness of man, unfortunately, it didn’t. And what was his biggest downfall? One of the biggest downfalls was that Solomon took many foreign wives.

Maybe it started out well at the beginning and these women left their practices behind, but as tends to happen the old habits do not change and Solomon wanting to please his wives allowed them to worship their gods, these were the gods that the Lord warned about. These women, which we read about in detail in 1 Kings 11:1-4 were from the tribes that the Lord warned against.

Sadly Solomon too began to worship these false gods as his wives did, and the Lord warned him repeatedly to stop. Why didn’t he? Why would Solomon who was wise and gifted by God with this amazing kingdom over which to reign and given every blessing turn his back on God’s commands? Was it the lure of sin? Solomon’s wives were a great temptation to him. We read warning throughout the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

That is a scripture we should memorize and take to heart. It is difficult to stay strong when we are around those who do not hold to the same moral code, who do not believe in God, or who hold to His teachings. The lure of sin for Solomon in this case was too many women, women from places he was forbidden to marry, false gods, and too much temptation.

Yes, Solomon was fair and righteous and wise for a period of time in his life, but this counts for nothing since we read that at some point he faltered the lure of temptation too great. Hebrews 4:11 states “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience.”

Sin does not go unrewarded. For there is recourse for all who sin. 1 Kings 11:11

So the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant” (1 Kings 11:11).

Have you ever wondered why God would allow the Bible’s elite, the men and Kings of old to have multiple wives, some bordering on the ridiculous? I believe the keyword here is God allows but he does not sanction this, in other words, this is not God’s will. He created man and woman for each other beginning in the Garden of Eden.

We know this because in the book of Mark Jesus is asked this question and he answers this clearly:

Mark 10:2-10

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.” But Jesus said to them, “For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,[a] and the two shall become one.’[b] So they are no longer two but one.[c] What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Pray and ask the Lord what lesson he wants you to take from this, what does God want for your life? The biggest sins are the ones we commit when we know they are wrong. But praise God we can return to Him, we can repent and sin no more. Why didn’t Solomon who was wisdom itself not realize his sin? The question is why do we not recognize our own sin?

But rejoice! Tomorrow is a new day we can live this life without guilt by keeping our eyes firmly set upon Him – the God of second, third and often more chances! Our challenge this week is to recognize areas of weakness and strive, through prayer and grace to sin no more!

Mirror of Scripture

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Mirror of Scripture | When was the last time you read a passage in the Bible, and it was as if the Lord was showing you a mirror image? I call that the Mirror of Scripture! In this episode, we'll look at scripture verses that highlight areas that need our attention | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #MirrorofScripture #ScriptureMirror of Scripture Episode 261

When was the last time you read a passage in the Bible, and it was as if the Lord was showing you a mirror image? I call that the Mirror of Scripture! In this episode, we’ll look at scripture verses that highlight areas that need our attention.

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Everyone wants to hear, “Well done,” or “Great job,” or better yet, “You are on the right track!” Yet, often the response we get when praying is silence. A silence of mind and of our hearts. How are we doing in our spiritual walk, and what does the Lord have to say to us in the words of scripture?

When we least expect it we hear God, it can be in reading a Scripture verse that we feel is powerful or just for us. Or, it can be in the words of a friend or something we hear at Church, maybe in a sermon but often in the Word being read. At my church, we hear readings from the Old and New Testaments each week. The readings may be ones I’ve read many times before yet they are powerful, and more so when it hits me as if a mirror is held up and I see my reflection.

Spiritual Mirror

I can say with assurance that many of us do not like what we see in the mirror. In fact, we possibly avoid looking into it other than getting ready for our day, in the morning. A mirror shows all of our flaws, the spots on our faces, the bad hair day, or other things we’d rather not address. By looking in the mirror we see how we look to the world.

Having a good body image and being happy with our own worth, inside and out is important. The point I’m making is that as a mirror shows our flaws and imperfections so too does a spiritual mirror. It shows us areas of faith we should work on to gain a better sense of where we are going. Hopefully toward a deeper faith.

Mirror of Scripture

Matthew 5:14-18 (Read on air.) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I love this verse! There is a Bible Song, “This Little Light of Mine,” we taught our children, and they sang it at Bible camp. It further illustrates that the light of Christ should shine through us to others. Alone we do not shine light but with God we do, and if we have this holy light we have work to do for the Kingdom.

If we hide our light we are not sharing the good news. God knows our situation, He knows what is happening in our lives. He understands our trials and He doesn’t call us to do anything He is not preparing us for ahead of time. A friend of mine didn’t want to embrace faith strongly because he was afraid God would send him to Africa on the mission field. He was a doctor, and he was seriously worried about this! But, when he finally opened his heart to the Lord, He was ready to go anywhere God called him. He and his wife lead our prayer group for many years, and they are some of our closest friends. God never did lead him to the mission field, but God allowed him to pray with his patients and at times allowed healing.

What is the weakness of our lives? Do we make excuses so that we don’t have to go to the mission field as well? Opening our hearts to God allows Him and only Him to work in our lives in a powerful way if we allow Him.

James 1: 22-24 (Read on air)

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.[a] 23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.

Powerful! We can be doers with the grace of God, and His providence. Friends, God so loves you. And we can spread that love to others. Today I was at a store and something I purchased was way cheaper than I expected. I told the lady checking me out that God was blessing me. I hadn’t paid too much attention to her, other than to say hi and ask how she was since I was busy loading up the items on the conveyer belt. When she smiled back at me after hearing me say, God was blessing me she said, “I wake up each day and thank God for it, each and every day.” As I looked at her, I was smiling and agreeing with a hearty, Amen! This lady was missing some teeth and fairly elderly, and working, but praising God.

Some of us have harder lives than others and yet if we can praise God in the midst of our trials that is using our lives in a positive way.

By looking at Scripture as a mirror, exposing our shortcomings and ways we have not pleased God, we can offer this to the Lord with a heartfelt purpose and that is to change. By continuing to show God we are dooers not just listeners we can better align our will to His. This week your challenge is to pray to the Lord before you read the Scriptures. Ask Him to use the Word to be a mirror. Let this help you grow closer to Him and in your faith. I will do this as well. May God bless you today and always.


Spirit of Trust

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Spirit of Trust | How do you trust in what you can not see? That is true faith, a spirit of trust. In this episode, we discuss how trusting in the Lord is a surefire way to have peace and tranquility in our lives | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #Trust #SpiritofTrustSpirit of Trust – Episode 261

How do you trust in what you can not see? That is true faith, a spirit of trust. In this episode, we discuss how trusting in the Lord is a surefire way to have peace and tranquility in our lives.

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Trust. That is a word that you may not use often. Usually, this happens because we have been hurt in the past. When we are hurt, concerned, or worried, we tend to put up our walls, and for many of us, these walls have turned into a fortress fortified with an uncrossable moat surrounding all sides. So, when people talk about God being love, God being our father, or even God being there with open arms, we don’t know what this means.

Now, let’s add to this thought the idea that we must trust in the Lord and His will for us! Having a spirit of trust allows the Lord to work through in us, and through us, it allows the Lord the right to purify us if need be. It says, “God – your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Sound familiar? This comes from the Lord’s prayer.

That is the goal, yet how do we get to the point of having a spirit of trust and trust in the Lord?

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, how can you trust what you do not know? Living a life without trust is like living a life without hope. We hope in what we see, what we can touch, and what we know to be true through experience. Yet, that is falling short of the life we can live.

Hebrews 11:1-3 talks about faith with assurance. (Read on air)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.

There is so much to unpack there!

First, there is a common element we have in our life that we hope for things. We hope for the best, or we hope things will work out the way they are supposed to work, or we hope that things won’t go as badly as we think.

Do you see how our progression of thought gets from good to bad? Often the enemy works on our weaknesses, and since we don’t want to get our hopes up, we aim low so we won’t be disappointed. Sound familiar?

How about having a Scripture ready in case our thoughts take a turn for the negative? Let’s aim to trust in the Lord with all our hearts!

Proverbs 3:5-6  (Read on air.) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight

When we lean on our own understanding we can be led astray. Or how about fighting God’s will in our lives? Doing what is wrong when we know what we should do? How often do people think the 10 Commandments are only suggestions? When we fight the Lord and refuse to submit to doing what is right, we will most definitely find that we are on a well-worn path, and that does not lead to heaven! We want to be on the road less traveled, the road to heaven.

Who doesn’t want a path that is straight? We should aim high and ask the Lord for His best, which I guarantee (and there are not many guarantees in life) is way better than anything we can imagine. We stray off that path when we start doubting God’s best for us!

2 Corinthians 4: states, “…because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

You must have a spirit of trust and of faith in order to see this truth. We can do this by seeking the Lord for our strength – 1 Chronicle 16:11. “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually!” 

As I was working on this talk, I was hit with a question, “If I could see the Lord, and He was standing before me, would I recognize Him? So, I ask you the same thing. Think about all of the people who saw the Lord when he lived among the Jews and Gentiles. The Romans did not recognize Him and His chosen people, and the people of Israel (the Jews, especially those in charge) also did not. [As an aside, doesn’t it seem that those in charge often lead the people astray?]

Even if we saw the Lord would we believe and follow Him? Would you trust that what He was teaching was right and true? I would hope that I would and that you would as well! Let us pray that we have eyes that see!

Romans 8:24 – “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?”

Again, faith is believing what we can not see but know it is true in our hearts, and this, my friends, is the grace God can give to each one of us, a gift of faith and a gift of trust.

It is better for us to live for the Lord rather than incur judgment at the end. Every one of us has seen hardship through the years. Each one of us has felt hopeless, abandoned, or misunderstood. Each one of us has lived through hurt and disappointment. You can’t get through this life without some type of hardship or trial.

Yet even a bad day in this world is better than sinning and living selfishly with only thoughts for yourself. This is why we need the grace of God, we need His blessing and His strength in our lives.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (Read on air.)

So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.

Friends rejoice! Listening to this podcast is a good sign; you are following the road less traveled. You are choosing, again and again, to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him! We continue to ask and pray for the grace of God in our lives that will increase an infilling of the Holy Spirit and allow the Lord to work in us!

This week our challenge is studying, praying, and meditation on Hebrews 11 – and especially Hebrews 11:1-3. Our faith can grow, and in this way we will be open to trust in what the Lord has in store for us!


Parents As First Responders

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Parents As First Responders | Parents are first responders to the needs of their children, but they are also spiritual first responders. They are people who are ready to share the good news with others | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #ParentsAsFirstRespondersParents As First Responders ~ Episode 37

Parents are first responders to the needs of their children, but they are also spiritual first responders. They are people who are ready to share the good news with others. Today I have a special guest, Lt. Tommy Neiman who has spent his life literally rescuing others as a firefighter and paramedic. I found his story fascinating and also his new book specifically for children. Join me on this podcast to learn more.

Tommy shared his passion for leading others to the Lord, especially children. In his book he opens the chapters with a topic, and then a scripture verse. He introduces words that may be new to the children and then tells a story with a lesson about bravery and service. He also encourages them by listing a memory verse for the children to learn. He shares a special story about a “God-incident” where the Lord lead him back to his own neighborhood and a neighbor who he feared as a child. The Lord showed up powerfully in their interaction. His resounding message to parents is to be present.

Parents are the first responders as they are responsible for a child’s care and physically and spiritually. We teach our children and instruct, but spiritually they will learn the most by example. As parents we must show our children the virtues, patience and kindness, however showing this in our faith to the Lord.

*please note: there is mention of animation, however the workbook is illustrated not animated.

About Tommy Neiman:

Lt. Neiman is a a firefighter/paramedic with Saint Lucie County Fire-Rescue and also a former homeschool dad to three wonderful kids. He is the author of a Rookie Rescuer, a workbook where he take kids on actual I’ve had and present powerful Spiritual truths at their level. He was honored as 2003 Firefighter of the Year for the state of Florida and spoke at the Florida Governor’s prayer breakfast for Governor Jeb Bush. He worked with the Discovery Channels Shark Week for a shark bite call I had and responded to New York during 9/11 in 2001. For more information visit his websites: or


Spiritual First Responder

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Spiritual First Responder | What is your spiritual first responder? Where do you go in times of stress, worry, or hardship? This episode explores those tools and a healthy way to deal with stress | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #SpiritualFirstResponderSpiritual First Responder ~ Episode 260

What is your spiritual first responder? Where do you go in times of stress, worry, or hardship? This episode explores those tools and a healthy way to deal with stress.

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Driving on busy roads, we often hear emergency vehicles with blaring horns and flashing lights, and our first reaction is panic. Where am I? Is the ambulance, fire truck, or police car coming my way? How do I get out of the way? What do I do first? Similarly, how do we react when we are in an emergency situation of our own?
Being a first responder means being a person of action and good under pressure. Without the benefit of the training, we may need to work up to it and learn at our own pace. Responding to a crisis with the correct answer or help isn’t easy. The good news is we are not in this alone. We are armed with faith, and just like putting on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), we can prepare and be ready.  God tells us specifically what to do!
Putting on God’s armor is important when we deal with our own problems and those of others.
What do you do when someone asks you for advice in a serious situation?
We can break it down like this:
  1. Listen carefully to what is being said.
  2. What is the need?
  3. Is there anything you can do?
  4. Plan of action

There is power in just listening when someone is hurting or in need. It is a relief that there is someone who can be there for you and that often is one of the greatest blessings. To know you have someone you can talk to and count on to keep your needs confidential and to help you with prayer or other things is wonderful as well. Yet, it is good to be prepared. Your spiritual tool kit may look different than mine, which is okay, but here are some things that may help you plan.

Spiritual First Responder Tool Kit.

  • Emergency Scripture verses
    • The Joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
    • What, then, shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)
    • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
    • Taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 38:8)
    • Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, and constantly pray.(Romans 12:12)
    • I have said to you that you may have peace in me. In the world, you have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
    • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Ephesians 6:10)
    • He is my rock, salvation, and fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor;  my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
      Psalms 62:6-8
    • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1-9)
    • And my God will supply your every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
  • Praises – Praise God in Word and deed
    • Thanks be to You, my God
    • I praise You and thank you in all things.
    • All glory to God
    • You are the Alpha and the Omega
  • Words of reminders to yourself and others.
    • God, You are in control.
    • I will keep my eyes on Your Lord.
    • I will look to You, Lord, for all of my needs.
    • I release all of my cares to You, God.
    • I trust in You, my Lord.

I belong to an international ministry with a very large and interconnected ministry. We have upwards of five or six emails that come out each day, thankfully, someone consolidates them all into one, and we send It out to our local group for prayers. It is amazing that anyone in need has a network of people who pray. Many of the older ladies in our church are called to do this daily, and they take their jobs seriously.

Being a prayer warrior is important work, and while we can’t all be on the front lines, some of us can. There are those who pray for the end of abortion or at the abortion clinics themselves. Others work in grief centers or addiction hotlines. These are the true spiritual first responders, and if we as Christians can possibly help, we should, even if it is just for our family and friends.

God really cares about us, and He loves you so much~ remember that when you are struggling or feel like giving up. You are special, you are precious, and God chose you. Remember, He will provide for us when we are in need!

Think about preparing yourself for a time of spiritual need, and this week the challenge is to gather those scripture verses and other things that will help you and those in need.

Testimony of Casey Sprehe

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Testimony of Casey Sprehe | Casey’s first experience of the Holy Spirit was as a teenager while attending a Retreat. She knew something was very different as she observed the attendees praising God | #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #catholicpriest #testimony #TestimonyofCaseySprehe #CaseySpreheTestimony of Casey Sprehe

Testimony of Casey Sprehe. Casey’s first experience of the Holy Spirit was as a teenager while attending a Retreat. She knew something was very different as she observed the attendees praising God. She discovered it was having a relationship with our Lord. Casey encountered Christ as never before and returned home transformed. She got involved in the Charismatic Renewal. She feels her calling is to bridge the generational gap and help the Millennials strengthen their faith and become leaders in the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church.

Casey grew up in New Orleans. Her undergrad degree was in Theology teaching and then received an MA in Theology from the Augustine Institute. It was there that she met her husband. She serves on the board for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the Southern Regional Conference Steering Committee and assists with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans Youth Retreat. Her main vocation is as a stay-at-home wife and mother taking care of four young children. Her extra time is spent as a Catholic speaker and evangelist.

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at

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Spiritual Cleaning

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Spiritual Cleansing podcast from A Few Minutes with GodSpiritual Cleaning ~ Episode 259

When was the last time you did spiritual housecleaning? In this episode, we will explore why many of us struggle daily and the unnecessary burdens we carry around. Many of these can easily be trashed.

Thanks to Media Angels, the sponsor of today’s episode. You can visit for books and classes. Many products are available for immediate download.

The Lord gives us such an amazing compacity to feel. We are blessed with five senses, and we use these in our daily lives, often without thinking. However, it is those senses that can get us into trouble. It is time to take stock of our lives and get rid of the trash that does not belong. We can do this in several ways.

The first is to look hard at our lives and happiness. If we are in need of spiritual cleansing, we may feel a burden or heaviness. This is the first sign that something isn’t right in our lives. Before we cast the blame on someone else, let’s look interiorly first and see what we can change. This is not an easy task and may take some serious introspection. It also takes time, a commodity many of us do not have.

By identifying why we carry around specific burdens, we can hone into the issue and then figure out the remedy with the help of prayer. Some baggage is too hard to remove on our own and may take a Christian counselor or therapist. We are blessed to have the Wholeness and Holiness Podcast and Margaret Vasquez on the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

For most of us, it may be a matter of identifying an issue, such as turning to food when we are stressed or bored. Watching inappropriate shows or reading inappropriate books. Or a host of other things we do that can lead us into sin and guilt.

The God we serve is the Creator of the Universe, and we tend to forget that! David said it beautifully in the Psalms, and in Psalm 19:1-2 we read…

Psalm 19:1-2
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

If even the heavens declare the glory of God, shouldn’t we? This righteous God leads us clearly in His word to avoid evil, yet evil can be so tempting. Many of us have John 3:16 memorized. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

But what about John 3:17? “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

And what do we need to do? John 18-21 (read on air).

And that is why spiritual cleaning is needed. We often need to tune up our faith and belief that God is a righteous, fair, and honest God, but we must believe in Him to have everlasting life with Him and believe He is the redeemer worthy of honor and praise.

John 3:19 goes on, (read on air).

How stark and scary! Jesus is the light, and Jesus came into the world for those chosen by God — the chosen ones of God were the people of Israel. Their leaders were interested in keeping their power rather than opening their eyes to Jesus – who was the fulfillment of prophecy. We are blessed to have the Bible and many Bible studies where we can see this so clearly. The Old Testament and the New mess together, and we see such evidence of this. Yet those people, the Israelites who the Almighty God took out of Egypt and slavery, continued in their slavery, their sinful ways> These religious leaders denied He was the Christ and hated light. Why? Because of the fear that their deeds would be exposed. Not all of them, we learn later that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council (John 3:1-2) were the ones to take Jesus’ body and place it in a tomb.

John 19:38-42 (Read on air.)

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.

So while not everyone denied that Christ was the Redeemer and Savior, their fear kept them from acting. Thankfully we know the end of the story and Jesus rose from the dead, but still, this miracle is denied by many today. If we deny God we can do whatever we want, in theory, but the burden of sin rests on the human soul, and that is what causes the guilt.

Who can hide from God? None of us. He sees all that we do, He knows our hearts and our motivations, and while we can fool ourselves, we will never fool God. When our kids were younger, my husband used to explain to our children when they were denying they did anything wrong that what they were doing was lying to themselves. I thought that was such a great analogy.

When we lie to ourselves, we make excuses or deny that our actions are wrong. Things like, “I’m not that bad compared to other people.” or “I would never do the things that this person or that person does.” We consider that if we work hard enough, we can earn a ticket to heaven. And, while works and faith go hand in hand, they are not exclusive. You can not love God and act in sin; you can not act in sin and say you love God.

Spiritual cleaning is so important to root out those sins that take over like weeds when we are not watching or aware of what is happening in our lives. And like those vines with the tenacles, I have them in my yard; when I pull one stem, five more come up with them. It reminds me to take stock of my life and examine my conscience from time to time.

Take the time to look at your life, if you need some help, I have several podcasts on this topic that may be helpful:

  1. Examination of Conscience here.
  2. Reexamine Your Conscience here.
  3. Avoiding Sin here.

As the scripture says, the reason we don’t want to look into our sinfulness is because then we have a fear of being exposed. But as John 3:21 states – “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

No matter if we fear it or not, it will come out in the end. This life is fleeting, and we consider the ramifications of sin because of our eternal life. Taking the time to clear out unhealthy habits, whether stress eating or binge-watching a show instead of doing something worthwhile, can make us lighter and happier in the end. I don’t know anyone who felt good after overeating, and there is a reason for that! These things while minor (after all, if you are listening to this podcast, you are on the road to seeking a closer walk with God), yet we all need to be an encouragement for each other!

Confession is good for the soul, and I pray that you take stock of your life this week and throw out the trash that has you burdened!



Testimony of Amy Del Valle

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Testimony of Amy Del Valle | Amy Del Valle grew up in New York in a culturally Jewish home.  She was the oldest of three children and had a younger sister and brother. Family life was very dysfunctional | #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #catholicpriest #testimony #TestimonyofAmyDelValle #AmyDelValleTestimony of Amy Del Valle

Testimony of Amy Del Valle. Amy Del Valle grew up in New York in a culturally Jewish home.  She was the oldest of three children and had a younger sister and brother. Family life was very dysfunctional. Her parents divorced when she was 8 yrs. old and there was a long custody battle. Her mother remarried hoping for a better family life but the stepfather was very abusive to her brother and sister. Amy tried her best to protect them. She spent much of her time at a friend’s house when they lived in Staten Island to get away from her unstable home life. The family was very kind to her, and she felt loved and accepted in their Italian Catholic home.

When Amy was in high school, she worked in her stepfather’s Dry-Cleaning business and would remain there to eventually to manage the store for many years after. It was through work that she met her future husband, Peter. He was a non-practicing Catholic. They were married by a Catholic priest that intertwined the Jewish and Catholic traditions in the ceremony, to appease both sides of the family. Their faith journey began together, and they became the parents of two daughters. They looked for a new church and found the Lutheran Church to be the best option as their daughters went to preschool there. They felt pulled back into the Catholic church once the daughters were old enough to receive the Sacraments. They became very involved in the new Catholic community. Amy became a Lector and Cantor and Peter became a Deacon. They knew they were home at last.

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Model of Honesty

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Model of Honesty |St Margaret of Cortona lived back in the 1200s.  Her mother died when she was a young child, and her father remarried a woman who was cruel to Margaret| #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #St.MargaretofCortonaModel of Honesty

A Model of Honesty, Authenticity, and Courage – St. Margaret of Cortona

Model of Honesty. St Margaret of Cortona lived back in the 1200s.  Her mother died when she was a young child, and her father remarried a woman who was cruel to Margaret.  When she was 17 years old, she left home as the mistress of a nobleman to escape her father’s home and the abuse she endured there.  She lived in sin with him for nine years and they had a son together.  Even while in the midst of such a sinful life she wanted to live a better life but delayed her conversion.

One day, her lover’s dog came, got her, and led her into the woods where his dead body was.  Margaret realized she couldn’t delay her conversion and went on to exhibit true honesty, authenticity, and courage as she turned her back on her old way of life.  She admitted to herself and everyone that wrong is wrong and that she’d done wrong.  It took great authenticity and courage to not want to hide in shame.

She focused the same honesty, authenticity, and courage on the Lord after her conversion.   She continually begged Him for a sense of His Presence.  She focused her emotional neediness on Him and was unashamed in doing so.  He most often relented and gave her deep spiritual experiences of Himself.  One day in prayer, He showed her that her place in Heaven would be among the virgins.  He told her that is how He sees her.

The Lord’s ability to renew and transform so far exceeds anything we can comprehend.  His mercy and grace are so complete, and He puts our sins and shame so far from us.  We can take great courage from St. Margaret of Cortona’s life and imitate her example.  Let’s be honest about our sins, our neediness for the Lord, and authentically pursue Him wholeheartedly and with courage knowing that He will NEVER turn us away.  Rather, He will transform beyond our wildest dreams whatever we give Him!  Let’s give Him our hearts!

May the Lord give you peace!


Question about Paying Taxes

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Question about Paying Taxes | A Moment in Scripture- The Question about Paying Taxes Mk. 12:13-17 By Deacon David Hockwalt | #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #catholicpriest #QuestionaboutPayingTaxesQuestion about Paying Taxes

A Moment in Scripture- The Question about Paying Taxes Mk. 12:13-17 By Deacon David Hockwalt

Question about Paying Taxes. This scripture shows the greatness of Jesus. Two enemies join forces: the Herodians and the Pharisees. They try to entrap Jesus by setting up a lose-lose situation. Taxes were a hot button issue. They ask Jesus if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? If Jesus agrees on taxation, he alienates the majority of Jews who can’t stand Roman rule. If he rejects the tax, he will be reported to the Roman authorities for instigating rebellion.

Jesus turned the lose-lose situation into a win-win. Because Caesar’s likeness is stamped on the coin for tax it should be given back to him as his rightful property. God’s image and likeness is stamped into every living person as we were created in the image of God. We have the higher duty of giving ourselves back to God by serving him. In these complex times we must discern among the likenesses who we are to give the rightful authority by whose image we are created.

Deacon David Hockwalt serves at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in La Quinta, CA

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Share your favorite podcast with a friend and be sure to rate us on Apple Podcasts. Your feedback means a lot.



7 Keys To Sharing Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

7 Keys To Sharing Faith | Does sharing your faith scare you? Do you share your faith in a personal way? Or do you fear what others will say? In this podcast, we will explore ways to share your faith and how your testimony may impact the lives of others |  #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #7KeysToSharingFaithSharing Faith ~ Episode 258

Does sharing your faith scare you? Do you share your faith in a personal way? Or do you fear what others will say? In this podcast, we will explore ways to share your faith and how your testimony may impact the lives of others.

For some of us, sharing our faith is easy, and it can be simple without much fanfare. My husband often praises God in his speech. For example, he will say, “Praise God the job went well,” or something similar. He uses that phrase often, and it does have an impact on others. Once his sister said, “And, as my brother would say, praise God!” She noticed, and others do too. He also walks around with a smile on his face and nods to complete strangers in stores. When we were first together, I use to wonder why people were looking at us and smiling. Then I realized it was because of my husband! Even though I had lived in Florida for over half of my life at that point, the New Yorker in me had a difficult time with all this friendliness!

But shouldn’t we be happy and smiling at others if we love God? Try and tell me what happens when you do this. You will be surprised at the change not only in yourself but in others. Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord should indeed be our strength.

I’ve learned by reading, listening, and having very good conversations with people who do not share my faith that we can agree to disagree. This, my friends, is one of the keys to sharing your faith, to be respectful. Before we get started, being personal and sharing what you know is important. If you are not filled up with the love and joy of God, it is difficult to share what you don’t have. No one wants to follow a vengeful God! God is just, He is loving, and He wants the best for us. The enemy wants to destroy us.

7 Keys To Sharing Faith

  1. Love the person where they are at and share the good news! Jesus lived and died for our sins and to give us everlasting life. John 6. (Listen to Meaningful Faith here.)
  2. No judgment – not our job.
  3. Be respectful – as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither is conversion. It is the Lord that invites us into a life of faith and if someone is closed off, they are not ready to listen.
  4. Share a personal story (read the confirmation note to Ryan)
  5. Ask for reservations or why they have not committed up to this point
  6. Listen
  7. Address concerns

As we share our faith, let it be an encouragement to us to dig deeper into our own faith and to study. If we don’t have the answer to a question, that is fine; tell the person you will get back to them. We can’t possibly know everything, and each person’s observations and journey in life have been different. I once read a book by an avowed atheist who became Catholic. The first chapter was so eye-opening. Essentially the author grew up in an atheistic home. One of her parents was a non-practicing Catholic and the other a very strong atheist. By strong, I believe it was her father who was adamant that she knew about noted atheistic scientists and read her books by these authors.

As a young child was sent to Bible Camp. She was asked (forced in her words) to accept Jesus as her personal Savior, and she refused. She was eight years old. The reason? First, she didn’t know anything about Jesus; second, these people were not kind; third, they threatened her with hell if she did not accept Christ. She said the final straw was they said, “Well, I guess you be like your parents.” She said that she thought to herself, well, if that means kind and loving, then great. If that means anything like you, then no thanks.

This young girl had no idea what hell was, she only knew that she didn’t believe they served a kind and loving God because of how they acted toward her, and the entire situation left a bad taste in her mouth!

Friends, this is a prime example of everything that could possibly go wrong. When we share our faith, let it be because of the love of God within us not because of an ulterior motive. Only God can truly call a person to Him, and yes they have free will to deny Him, but again it is up to them.

Your challenge this week is to share your faith with others, the love of Christ, and what he has done for you!

Meaningful Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Meaningful Faith | Has your faith matured through the years to hit the realm of "meaningful faith | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #MeaningfulFaithMeaningful Faith ~ Episode 257

Has your faith matured through the years to hit the realm of “meaningful faith?” In this podcast, we discuss how our faith needs to be our own and for the right reasons.

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Do you remember the first time you realized there was a God and He loved you? Perhaps you are a new Christian or, like me, you’ve been raised in a church since infancy, and faith is all you know. Even if that is the case and you are a long-time Christian, there had to be a moment, time or day that you realized that the only person you would serve in this life is God, then family and everything else. Joshua 24:15 (Read on air)

Today is no different than the past when this verse was written. The gods today and not those of the Amorites; the gods are entertainment, business, distractions, gossip, the internet, and the associated dangers. These distractions pull on us each day. Not to mention our normal, everyday work, chores, and caring for our family.

Our faith may start as the faith of our parents or the faith of a friend or Pastor who introduced us to Christ, but at some point, that faith needs to be incorporated into our own faith, a faith that is strong and steadfast. In other words, meaningful faith. It takes getting to know the Lord and realizing all He has done for us.

The Old Testament, the beginning of the world, and salvation history tell us over and over again about God’s love, justice, and forgiveness. And instead of a grateful nation (the nation of Israel), all that the Almighty received in return was disobedience. Over and over again, the people complained, rebelled, and did not follow God’s laws and ordinances. These laws were created for a purpose, and when they were broken (for example, the men of Israel intermarrying with people who worshipped idols), the men of Israel began worshipping these pagan idols as well. The Almighty knows our weaknesses and warns us to help prevent disaster, yet the people did it their way.

When we know the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, we want to please Him and follow His will for our life. Just like a beloved family member or friend, you would do anything to make them happy, to help out to the best of your ability. The same with God.

When you go to church and worship God, you get to know Him and follow His will for your life. However, if you are only doing these things, essentially going through the motions, this is not meaningful faith. Meaningful faith is knowing there is no other option in your life.

In the book of John 6 – there are so many nuggets of truth for our faith – for deep and meaningful faith. I am going to read you some of the verses from this book, and please go back and read it in its entirety so that your faith may be deepened:

John 6:30-71 -(Read on air) John 6:30-34

So, first, we read that the Jews challenge Jesus to give them a sign to prove He was the one true God, just as the Israelites, their forefathers, while in the desert, were given “manna” miraculous food to eat as they wandered in exile, and we know how that story turned out. Those first people who were saved from slavery in Egypt and were to go to the promised land continued to rebel against the Almighty even when instructed by the prophet Moses under the direction of God! Jesus goes on to explain…

John 6:35-40

Let’s read that again John 6:40 … For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the son and believes in him should have eternal life…

Friends, do we believe, truly believe? Do we test God and want signs and wonders? Are we like the Jews, believing only what we can see or only believing if our prayers are answered? Is our faith lukewarm? Do we grumble like the Jews who did not want to take Jesus literally? Jesus said He was the bread of life and that if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. (In eternity.) He said it over and over again in the verses, and then he looked at his disciples, who answered in verse 60, “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?” Jesus answered in this way…

John 6:63-66 (Read on air.)  And here is the question. When the teachings get tough, when temptation is too great when we feel like we can not go one more day, will we give up? Will we go away? And finally, the punch line, if you will, the punch line is why I brought these scriptures to your attention for the following.

This … this is it, “Lord, to who shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Amen and Amen.

The second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, specifically taught us how we could have everlasting life – and the people, to his face, shunned him! Friends, let us pray and hope we would be different if we had lived at that time and walked those streets. We are walking very difficult streets in the culture wars, in dealing with the world around us. Some of us are living difficult personal lives, yet we must always keep our eyes on God. That is true and meaningful faith – belief in the unseen yet merciful and loving God!

Let us pray never to fail the Lord – to be there without question, excuse, or compromise. To keep the Sabbath holy, to recognize sin as sin, and to sin no more!

Mercy Seat

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Mercy Seat | We know that God is merciful, and his mercy endures forever, but what is God’s mercy seat and what can we learn to apply to our lives? | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #Godandmercy #mercifulGod #mercy #christianmercy #sinnomoreMercy Seat – Episode 256

We know that God is merciful, and his mercy endures forever, but what is God’s mercy seat and what can we learn to apply to our lives?

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I love the idea of a mercy seat; what do you picture in your mind? In scripture, we read that the mercy seat was the cover or a lid of the ark of the covenant. This is discussed in Exodus. I’m sure you know the story, but Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, as they were jealous of him. This led to a tremendous journey for the people of Israel. Joseph was favored by the Pharaoh in Egypt, but after generations they both died. The next pharaoh wasn’t as kind, especially as the Lord blessed the people. Pharaoh put the people into slavery, and they cried out to the Lord in prayer. Many, many years later, they were delivered by Moses.

The Lord gave Moses direction for the people, but they were entrenched in sin. After all the years of living in Egypt even though they were slaves, they dressed, ate, and acted like the Egyptians, even worshipping false gods. Moses was directed to bring the people to the promised land, “flowing with milk and honey.” However, the people were stubborn, and even while Moses was up on the mountain speaking to the Lord the people were making a grave image to worship.

These people were in need of direction and mercy! Therefore it was the Lord himself, through Moses that directed them. He couldn’t leave it to anyone else, he made a covenant with Abraham, this was a promise to his family and his descendants, and this promise is unbreakable. The words received by Moses from the Lord were inscribed on stone tablets that were then put into a chest. This was, in essence, a portable sanctuary used by the Israelites because they were heading toward the promised land, but in essence, wandering in the wilderness.

The Lord gave specific instructions on how to fabricate the ark of the covenant in Exodus 25, then we read in the following verses Exodus 25:17-22 (Read on air.)

What does it mean when the Lord says, “There I will meet with you and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites.” – so, how did the Lord do this? He did it in a visible way. There was a cloud, a symbol of God’s Divine presence which the people saw. It was a cloud during the day and a column of fire at night.

It was a place of worship and the ark contained many precious things. In Hebrews 9:3-5 we read. (Read on air.)

In the ark of the covenant – the chest or container were the two stone tablets inscribed with the Word of God – we know them as the 10 commandments. There was also the law, the way the people were to govern, worship, and other useful information. When we read the passages in scripture they are detailed and ways the people could stay healthy and avoid disease. There were other objects as well, the golden pot of manna – this was the food provided to the Israelites in the desert. There was also Aaron’s rod we can read about that in Numbers 17:1-13. These objects were sacred. Later it would be placed in the temple in Jerusalem, where it was placed in an inner room called the Holy of Holies. And, the ark was made and inlaid with gold. Gold was precious then as it is now. Gold is considered the most precious of currency and has value. In this way so is God. God is not a commodity but he is above all else, above all of the other false gods invented by people and God was and is to be revered above all else.

So what was the mercy seat? Just as the gold cover or lid of the Ark of the Covenant covered the treasures within, the mercy seat covered or protected the people of Israel from the judgment of the Law. It brought to the forefront that God was a God of mercy, slow to anger, and yet righteous.

It is difficult to think about the hardships the people went through in the desert, and some were condemned to die for disobedience. It is difficult with our Western sensibilities to hear about this death and destruction when we read the Bible. Yet, the people who were freed from slavery, who saw a miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, who saw manna come down from the sky to feed them, and doves at night — these people were rebellious. These people continued to complain. These people were made to wander in a desert when there was a direct route into the promised land because of their disobedience and rebellion. In fact, we learn that they will not enter the promised land, however, their descendants will. Even Moses who has been steadfast sins and is kept from this land.

It’s as if God has a Plan A – to bless us and we opt for Plan B or C because of our free will decisions and lack of faith. Just like the people in the desert, God wants us, his people to flourish and God wants to bless his people. But just like the people of Israel, often we have so much we need to unlearn. The people lived in Egypt and took on their ways, we live in basically Sodom and Gomora, our world is turned upside down and we have to focus on what is important, true, and right.

From their time in Egypt, the Israelites learned about all types of sacrifice. This was a people that had participated in pagan worship which included child and human sacrifice. God was teaching them that sin could not go uncorrected and that there had to be atonement for sins if there was a violation of God’s laws as written in the 10 Commandments. They had a day of Atonement where their sins would be presented before the Lord and an animal sacrificed along with very specific things they did as a result. Instead of humans, God taught them animal sacrifices for the atonement of sins. These sacrifices were a way for sin to be removed. This was a foreshadowing of Christ, his atonement as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, the removal of sin, and therefore mercy. Christ shed His blood for us.

Today in Judaism the Day of Atonement known as Yom Kippur is the holiest day. It is a time of repentance, and there is a day-long fast and intensive prayers.

In Christianity, we look at Christ as love and mercy. This ties the Old and New Covenant together in an amazing way. The covering of sin was a visible sign to the Israelites, and for us this sign is Christ. This is the mercy seat of God! In Romans, Paul was telling the people in Romans 3:24-25 (Read on air.)

Just like the mercy seat was the cover of the Ark of the Covenant, Jesus is the covering for sin. It is our faith and our belief that we are set free. God is mercy but He is always just. There cannot be mercy without justice and there cannot be justice without mercy.

John 8:31-32 (Read on air.)

Shouldn’t we want to leave sin behind? I’ve been praying a prayer each evening and these are the words I pray that resonate with me, “You are the strength and the light of my soul in you, I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.”

How I desire this to keep myself from sin, to keep myself pure and holy, but I can do none of this without the Lord, frequent attendance of Mass and communion, and frequent prayer and time to listen to the Lord.  The prayer continues with a plea to the Lord to help me to follow His gracious inspirations and to keep me free from sin. 1 John 4:10 states  (Read on air.)

If we follow the Lord we will receive mercy, but this comes with justice. The sacrifice of Christ was merciful for humankind. Without His ultimate sacrifice, we would be in eternal sin and damnation. This week pray that the Lord keeps you from sin, pray for that connection to God in such a real and tangible way as to help us avoid those things that are harmful to our immortal souls. Amen, and may the Lord continue to bless you, pray for me as I pray for you.

Prayer Text

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Prayer Texts | When was the last time someone asked you to pray? Have you considered sending them a prayer text? | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #praying #sendingprayers #prayingthroughtextPrayer Text – Episode 255

When was the last time someone asked you to pray? Have you considered sending them a prayer text? In this podcast, we discuss the importance of prayer and how to use technology to pray now.

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When was the last time someone asked you to pray? Or when was the last time you asked someone to pray for you? If someone asks us to pray, we say, “Of course, I’ll pray for you,” or “Yes, count on my prayers.” Or, we say something similar. I would then often forget to pray for the person and feel guilty. Then when I prayed, I reminded the Lord (as if he needed reminding!) that there is no time with God – God is timeless, so even if my prayers were late God still heard them!

That is when I decided I would pray right then. I would pray when talking to someone in person if they asked for prayer, I would place my hand on their arm and pray. If I received a phone call for a prayer request, I’d ask the person if I could pray for them right then.

Then with technology, I found that people were sending texts and asking for prayers. I finally had my solution. I would pray now via a prayer text. After all, if someone is sending me a text and asking for prayer, it is important to do it right away! It helped me to remember to pray for this person throughout the day and their special need, as well as to let them know that I was serious about praying and that we do it right then.

We don’t always have the words we need when it’s time to pray, so sometimes it takes pausing and asking the Lord for his help and asking, “Lord, how should I pray? You know the situation, my God, so please provide.”

Sometimes the request is an easy one, such as praying for me. I feel like I’m getting sick! That is a prayer request I receive from one of my children who teaches and is surrounded by children.  So we can easily text something like, “Dear Lord Jesus, I praise You, and I thank You. I ask you to bless my daughter and fill her with your peace, love, and joy. I ask a blessing upon her, and I ask for good health and a swift recovery, keep her from getting sick, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Scripture reminds us of the necessity of prayer in Mathew 7:6-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Jesus is the healer; He is the one who gives if we ask, not as we want it but as He wills it. And that is why it is important to remember to pray for God’s will. This can be difficult for us because, as we’ve discussed many times on this podcast, we often pray, Lord, I need this and that, or please do this and then. That is praying “my will” instead of “Lord, please grant this if it is your will or Lord, grant this if it is for the good of my eternal soul.

I love to see others pray via text in special situations. For example, when my son was in a particularly tough training in the military, I set up a Michaels’s Prayer Warriors text message group. Each day I would send out a text prayer, a reminder so that we could all keep him in our prayers, and I did this for each day he was gone for a total of 62 days of training. They kept us focused and united as a family, And I believe it brought us closer. My son claims that it was through our prayers that he was able to pass this rigorous course the first time instead of having to recycle or be dropped from the course like some of his friends and acquaintances. He also prayed, knowing he had our support at home.

We are a family of God with God at our helm. We must be that example to others to pray unceasingly. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 states, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

This is a perfect way to pray! Another way to use a prayer text is to do this online. If you are on social media such as Facebook, people often post prayer requests, and usually, other people will like the post or give them a heart or do some other kind of little graphic to let them know that they care and are praying. But how much more powerful if we each take the time and type out a specific prayer for them? It helps us read prayers that others post and unite us all in prayer.

Obviously, it takes practice if you’re not used to praying extemporaneously, but it is similar to just speaking to the Lord. I always like to start with praising and thanking God because he is worthy of our praise. Psalm 145: 1-2 I will exalt you, my God, the King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.

If you take a few minutes to ask the Lord how He wants you to pray, just start by quietly (or aloud) praising Him and lifting up the situation or need to him. You can ask the Lord specifically for help, such as “Dear Lord, I don’t have the words for the situation, so please give me the words you would like me to use,” or “Lord, please come into this prayer and help me to pray your perfect will.”

Then I listen, and whatever the Lord has put on my heart to pray for, I pray. Typically God gives us a thought of something we should pray for specifically.  Sometimes you will be inspired to pray a specific way. I remember one time praying for my son for a severe headache; I felt like he was suffering. I had no way of knowing if he had a headache or not. We just pray in faith it doesn’t matter if we find the results; what matters is that we are faithful to pray.

We are called to pray — in prayer and supplication. Phillippians 4:6-7 we read, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I love that! The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

What better way to use technology for the good than to use the tools we have at our fingertips? Most people today have smartphones with text capability. How wonderful to receive a text from my friend saying they are praying for me, especially when I need those prayers. And if you think of someone and they keep coming to mind, maybe they need your prayers. This has happened to me in the past, so now I try to reach out when I think of a person who needs or may need prayer. By sending them a prayer via text, they know I care. Who doesn’t like to get a prayer or be prayed for?

Your challenge this week is to use technology for the good – whether on a text message, social media, or even a phone call and pray for someone in need.




Keeping God’s Word

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Keeping God's Word | How can we keep God's word close to us? In this podcast, we explore ancient traditions still practiced by those of the Orthodox Jewish faith today and how we can learn from these practices. | #christianpodcast #podcast #keepingGod'sWord #faith #faithpodcast #CatholicKeeping God’s Word ~ Episode 254

How can we keep God’s word close to us? In this podcast, we explore ancient traditions still practiced by those of the Orthodox Jewish faith today and how we can learn from these practices.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math and the curriculum receiving rave reviews. Check out the sponsor of this week’s episode.

When reading the Bible, we often hear of the Lord saying over and over again, especially to the Israelites, to keep his WORD next to their hearts and never to forget what the Lord has done for us. The Israelites were taken out of bondage as slaves, yet they had much to learn as they wandered in the desert. And, if you read Exodus and Numbers, you will find they were an ungrateful nation!

We would like to think we would be different, but as we both know, that is impossible without God’s grace. As we live our lives, we do not want to be forgotten. We want to leave a legacy for our family. When people talk about us, we want it to be with fondness and consideration. You can think about this for a moment. What is an accomplishment you do not want to forget or want others to forget?

Throughout salvation history, God has and continues to save His people. It was clear when he took the Israelites to the promised land. The Jewish culture still remembers this and keeps a sign of God’s word on their doorposts, sometimes even in their homes. I was fascinated when reading about the Mezuzah, [MA-ZOO-ZA ], and I looked it up. The word itself means doorposts. It is a small scroll with a piece of parchment paper handwritten by an expert scribe. Some are very basic, and others are quite elaborate. On the outside are Hebrew letters. The Mezuzah is believed to be an extra spiritual protection to the family that places one at the door. When the Jewish person enters or exits their home, they kiss their fingers and then place them on the mezuzah and recite – May God keep my going out and my coming in from now on and ever more – which is from Psalm 12:18

The foundational text of the Holy Scriptures – Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 begins with Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, and the Lord is One. This is the command that God gave the Israelites. “And you shall write these words upon the doorposts of your house and upon your city gates.”

It is a beautiful verse; let me read it in its entirety. (read on air) Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Why don’t we, as Christians, have these on our doorposts? Why are we not continuing this tradition? Well, one of the reasons is Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Old Testament, yet, the Old Testament has many things we ascribe to – for example, teaching our Children diligently, putting the words of God in our hearts, and more. We have Bibles in our homes, often multiple Bibles. I have two different apps on my phone where I can read scripture. In reading the Bible, we consider and ponder the words and place them in our hearts, both the Old and New Testaments.

Think about your home, car, apparel, and maybe even a religious symbol like a cross. These are outward reminders of our faith. The Bible verse plaques in my home or on the doors to our bedroom. Where do you see signs of God’s word in your home?

I love the idea of a mezuzah, and I believe we must never forget; we take so much for granted as Christians. Consider how you can improve on your faith journey and keep God’s Word in your heart. What can you do?

We read in  Psalms 119:105-106

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

By our Baptism, we have been made sons and daughters of God; He is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:4-6 we read (read on air). Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

At times in our lives, when we are lost, and we, like Thomas, do not know where we are going, we can remember this passage. Through Jesus is everlasting life. While God took the Israelites out of bondage and slavery physically and spiritually, the same applies to us today. With our faith in Christ, he takes us out of slavery from sin and into the life everlasting. We must follow that path less traveled, but it is lit with the true light of righteousness.

We may believe that the Old Testament is obsolete and it does not apply to us today. We think it is written for a people long ago. It does apply to us today because, just like any history lesson, if we do not learn from past sins, the sins of our forefathers, we will continue to make the same mistakes. The sins of Adam and Eve, of Moses being a humble servant but in his anger hitting the rock twice and not setting foot in the promised land, in countless events during the time in the desert. Making an idol to worship while Moses was speaking with God for direction for the people. Why go back into sin and slavery when you left it behind?

Because we are stubborn people, we want what we want. We think what we do is not “that bad,” especially if we compare ourselves to others. Friends, I am sure there is some truth to that, but shouldn’t we strive to do the best we can each day? To keep God’s word in our hearts and yearn for time with Him. Our relationships hinge on our relationship with God first. Everything else will fall into place!

This week, consider all the ways you can keep God’s word in your hearts and mind.

I pray that you are reminded of all God has done for you and that you continue to put God’s Word in your heart and never forget! May God be praised, now and forever!

Power of Motherhood

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Power of Motherhood | The power of motherhood can not be denied, and behind every powerful person in our world is a Mom. In this episode, we will discuss the powerful legacy moms leave. | #christianpodcast #motherhood #powerofmotherhood #legacy #parentinglegacy #legacyofmom #moms #mothersdayPower of Motherhood ~ Episode 36

The power of motherhood can not be denied, and behind every powerful person in our world is a Mom. In this episode, we will discuss the powerful legacy moms leave.

Thanks to our sponsor – a wonderful math curriculum for kids. Check out the website for more information. Sponsorships keep us on the air.

Do you have a special group of friends? I do, and these women keep me on track. The place faith and family before all us – and they encourage and bless others in friendship. These are the women I prayed for in a time when I felt the world pulling me by virtue of my degree into the workforce. Yet these women encouraged me in the virtue and power of motherhood. They let me express what I knew in my heart that women are the caregivers, welcoming and should care for their children.

The power of Motherhood is in self-giving, and fulfilment of what God has called you to do. Behind every powerful corporation, president, and other powerful “leader” is a mother. By virtue of giving life, this person is responsible for another. I still miss my mother who has been gone over twenty years, yet her impact on my life is stunning.

My mother was the first example of powerful motherhood – she encouraged me to set my goals high. You want to be an artist? Go paint. Do it.  You want to become a teacher? Go for it. Whatever I wanted to do she encouraged me. We worked hard together as a family in my parent’s Italian Restaurant. The hours were long but when we had an opportunity we vacationed together as well. Our parents always gave us opportunities they didn’t have – and we do that for our own children as well.

Mothers are wonderful and work so hard, yet they are often unappreciated, neglected and misunderstood! When I complained to my mom being tired with little kids or about my husband she would say, “God put you together as a family, you make the best of it, pray and it will all work out. Love your children and your husband as God loves you.” Wow so much wisdom. She didn’t give into my complaining, but she acknowledged it and she encouraged me toward greatness.

If you don’t have a cheerleader that is there to encourage you to greatness, let me take this opportunity to do this for you. You can take charge of your life today, invest in your family and you will find yourself so much stronger and happier. You can do this and you are not alone. Even if you live in the other corner of the world away from me, know you have a kindred spirit. We women are powerful and the voices of the outside world want to squelch this, but in you heart know that you are enough and your worth is not in what others think.

In the midst of adversity we have a choice to sink down or to rise up, and I pray that you rise up to the challenge. My family, my children and my husband—our relationships became stronger when we placed our faith in God first as the foundation of our lives. Mothers work behind the scenes for the most part and no one will ever see the wonderful things you do – that is outside of your family, and often they don’t appreciate the sacrifice or effort. Of course we want to be appreciated but, this side of heaven we may not see the fruits of our efforts. The power of womanhood is in the idea that we are more than we think we are because we were created in the image of God. Our soul and spirit are greater than what this world has for us, yet we are precious and special in the eyes of God – get right with God and all else will fall into place. God gives us the grace to do this.

Relationships matter. A relationship with the Almighty, then the relationship with your spouse. Often we place our kids first and then wonder why we are stressed and can’t handle another day.  But, without a good foundation of two, it makes raising children more difficult. It is hard to see the bigger picture. Once the kids are grown, many relationships fall apart. Invest in your spouse and work together as a team. Easier said than done (ask me how I know).

In life nothing in life is perfect, so quit expecting it in your motherhood and how you parent. We can’t always make our kids happy – in fact, only God can make a person happy. So, do your best, parent with love, and let go of the rest.

Motherhood never stops. As I began to write this episode my daughter was in the hospital waiting for an emergency C-section (her first one, but her ninth child). My granddaughter’s 16th birthday is a day away, and my daughter was concerned, from her hospital bed, that she wouldn’t be there for Samantha’s birthday! This is what we do, we mothers. On the other hand, I worry for my daughter, but I will ensure my granddaughter is pampered and spoiled on her birthday! The good news is that while I delayed the re-launch of this podcast, my ninth grandchild was born and not out of NICU yet, but praise God for the treatment he is receiving. We moms keep on going, because we must.

I pray that if you are discouraged or feel abandoned, you realize I AM HERE FOR YOU! Come over to our Facebook podcast family page, send me an email or know I am praying for you. Believe me when I say while it is nice to receive the accolades of others, you must be confident in the knowledge that God has you in the palm of His hand, even if it doesn’t feel that way!

We don’t need to be praised for being uniquely feminine, but by virtue, that is what we are. We can look at the Bible, which is a blessing for us, and look to the model of all Christian women everywhere, and that is Mary. She is the mother of our Savior but more than that, because of her example, her “Yes,” in the midst of adversity we can learn so much from her. She stayed quietly in the background yet when it came time for her to be strong, visit her cousin Elizabeth and we read the words in Scripture, “My soul magnifies the Lord,” we can see that this is no simple peasant girl on the inside. God infilled and inspired her. Luke 1:46-55

We read in Proverbs 31:28, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, he praises her.”

And the 10 commandments – Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

We as women are destined to greatness, and by virtue of motherhood, whether you have given birth, are a parent by marriage or adoption, or care for children in some way through volunteering. You, my friend, are called to a greater purpose. If you strive to live a virtuous life you will be rewarded by the grace to persevere.

Moms tend to be the strong ones in the family, yet as a mother, I encourage my husband to understand the power of fatherhood. (Listen to the podcast on the topic here.) Homes are the strongest when both parents are united.

Overall the destiny of motherhood is real.

The Destiny of Motherhood – Real-Life Application

  1. Love begins with a relationship. First, start with a strong relationship with God, then your spouse, and then your kids. This is building the kingdom of God in your own home.
  2. Our culture pushes women as objects rather than role models. My favorite clothing store had the motto, “Clothing for the role model.”
  3. Moms are the power behind the family; they are the ones everyone goes to in times of need.
  4. Look to your family and not out the window at others; the grass looks greener, but it never is (septic tank reference).
  5. Lastly, focus on home – your kids are with you for a short while. I know everyone says this, and when you are in the midst of dirty diapers up at all hours of the night and have your hands full with sick children, it can’t go fast enough. But you are leaving a legacy.

You, as a mother, are destined for greatness. There is power in motherhood, which comes from within, but it needs to be filled and encouraged. I want to share a book with you, One More Child, that I wrote a few years ago and is free on Kindle if you have an unlimited subscription, but it is free for a short time now in celebration of Mother’s Day.




Faith Minutes

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Faith Minutes | Spending time with God takes minutes...can you spare the time? | #christianpodcast #podcast #afewminuteswithGod #faith #prayer #makingtimeforGod Faith Minutes ~ Episode 253

Healthy prayer habits can be faith minutes; in other words, making the most of our time. We see the effects of spending time with God, but we typically put off prayer until we have more time. Let’s put some wasted time to good use with tips to get you started.

Thanks to our sponsor a wonderful math program for school-aged children. Thanks to our sponsors!

Today I heard a sermon, and in it, the deacon said, “God has extravagant love for us.” I love that imagery—almost more love than we can handle. In this love, we should feel secure and safe; it is the place we go when we sin and ask for forgiveness and when we want to thank the Lord. It also reminds us to use the time we have to give God praise and worship.

In past podcasts, I’ve discussed many ways we can do this, for example, in reading a scripture verse or memorizing scripture. We can have faith minutes while listening to music or praying for a friend. It is, in essence, the time we spend that brings to mind God, but in a deeper or more focused way.

Using my time wisely gives me a sense of accomplishment and contentment. I feel I’ve succeeded in my day when I can look back and see the things that are completed. And the first thing is prayer. What makes you feel contentment or success in your prayer life? I know prayer is more than a checkoff point on a list, but shouldn’t it be just as important? For example, we make time at some point to figure out how we will spend the day. When will you shop, cook, do laundry, or clean? When will you eat dinner, or when will you spend time with family or friends? Shouldn’t you make the same use of our time for God?

You can often judge whether you need more time with God by how you feel. Do you feel empty or unfulfilled? We fill up our days with so many activities it is difficult to figure this out at times, but one way is to think about how you pray. Are you always asking?

Asking God in Prayer:

  1. God, I need this…
  2. God, can you please…
  3. God, can you help me…
  4. God, can you let this…(or don’t let this) happen?
  5. God, do you hear me?!

I felt a sense I was doing that in my prayer time, and I changed my prayers to this…

Asking God’s Will in Prayer

  1. God, I need this…if it is Your will.
  2. God, can you please…if it is Your will.
  3. God, can you help me…if it is Your will.
  4. God, can you let this…(or don’t let this) happen if it is Your will?
  5. God, let your will be done.

Our faith minutes can be what we make them; at the red light, we can praise the Lord. “Thank you, Jesus, you are good and worthy of all praise.” We can praise God at the grocery store, standing in line, or at the post office. What are those minutes when we wait that we can put under the Lordship of God?

This Sunday, our Pastor talked about waking up at night and praying the following, “Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I Trust in  You.” And I thought, wow, this is a prayer minute!

A few minutes with God can look different for each of us, but the essence of prayer is conversation and relationship. Conversation with God and a relationship with the Almighty that begins with respect at its foundation. Sometimes we read Scripture verses and have no idea what they mean, especially in the Old Testament. But here is a wonderful scripture that sums up this podcast, Psalms 20:1-5 (Read on air.) This is called the Psalm of David.

David had many failings in his life, and we have a first-hand seat when we read about it in the Old Testament, but one thing that recurs with David is asking for forgiveness with the thought of moving forward and away from sin. If prayer can help us do this in our lives, I consider it a win!

We are told if we believe, we will be saved, but we can pray in our unbelief at times of weakness!  Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

We were created to serve the Almighty, and as the deacon said, “God has extravagant love for us.” Try to outgive God, praise, and worship Him without thinking of anything in return. That is how the Lord loves us without requiring or expecting anything in return, but how can we not give praise to the One who loves us without reserve?

This week our challenge is to find those faith minutes in our life where we take the time to pray and open our hearts to blessings or where our faith is renewed, and we fill overflowing with God’s love for us! I pray this for you this week; may you be blessed!




Growing Virtue and Uprooting Vice

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Growing Virtue and Uprooting Vice | For the longest time, I would bristle when I would hear people talking about growing virtue and rooting out vice because so many times it sounded like something they were engineering | #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #UprootingVice #GrowingVirtueandUprootingViceGrowing Virtue and Uprooting Vice

Growing Virtue and Uprooting Vice. For the longest time, I would bristle when I would hear people talking about growing virtue and rooting out vice because so many times it sounded like something they were engineering.  I’m thoroughly convinced that growing in holiness is something I’m completely incapable of on my own, and I can easily get myself tied in a knot if I try.

I remember the Lord telling me once in prayer when pondering such a thing, “I don’t need your treatment plan.”  A therapist creates a treatment plan to work toward health with a client.  The Lord was letting me know in not so many words that He had a far better idea of what growth I needed and how to accomplish it.  It put me back in the spot of receiving from the Lord, which is a far better spot to be.  The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier.  I’m not.

As we dig into the concepts of connection:  1. that we are chosen by the God of all creation to exist here now and are made to spend eternity with Him, 2. known more intimately by Him than we could ever know ourselves, 3. valued so totally by He who emptied Himself to redeem us and manifest the Father’s love for us, and 4. protected and provided for by the God of all creation, we are filled with such a sense of love, security, stability, and belonging that far surpasses anything we could ever hope for or imagine.  It is exactly that deep and abiding unearned love that flowers into a virtue when responded to.  If we try to do it on our own, it is an exercise in futility or even frustration.  If we do have any success, we can so easily end up being proud of our humility.

It is Jesus who makes us into a gift to the Father by the action of the Holy Spirit.  Of course, we are called to collaborate with that grace.  We must receive it first.  Regardless of if we are male or female, the soul is primarily receptive.  The Lord is the Bridegroom and is the initiator.  In receiving not just His love, but He who is Love, and responding in love to His love, we move from vice to virtue.

Let’s receive Him, His love, and take on His mind and heart of compassion towards ourselves; then, He will naturally flow through us to others.

May the Lord give you peace!

  • Margaret

Penny From Heaven

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Penny From Heaven | when you find a penny, what do you do? I call it a gift, a penny from heaven. It is something little, often ignored and stepped over but valued nonetheless | #chrisitianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcasat #feedingyoursoul #christianpodcast #christianliving #afewminuteswithgodpodcast #pennyfromheaven #fromheavenPenny From Heaven ~ Episode 252

When you find a penny, what do you do? I call it a gift, a penny from heaven. It is something little, often ignored and stepped over but valued nonetheless. In this episode, Felice shares her finds and treasures that are inspirations from the Lord.

Thanks to our sponsor, this curriculum is for kids of all ages. Visit, a math curriculum from the comfort of your home with self-paced lessons. This is one not to miss. Share this with a friend, and we appreciate CTC math.

What do you do when you see a penny lying on the ground? Most of us walk over it and ignore the coin. We do this for many reasons, and all of them are valid. It is an insignificant amount; it is dirty, we don’t want to bend down to pick it up, and so on.

I was right there with you for quite some time. But then something changed. I decided that each penny signified a gift from God. While it may hold little value in the monetary sense, it is, after all, the smallest coin we have; it represents the gifts that God has in store for me. Each penny is a blessing; each penny is a reminder that God knows me and sees me. He sees all of me, and I am important in His eyes.

Do you see a penny from heaven as a blessing?

This is one of those podcasts where I wish we were together because I imagine some of you are like me; you stop and pick up that penny or that coin. You recognize it for what it is – not for the monetary value, but for the gift. It is a blessing, you happened upon it, and it has value in your eyes.

It reminds me of the widow’s mite, and we read about it in Luke 21:1-4 [Read on air.]

Just as the widow gave her savings, what was described in her poverty, to the Lord, I, too, set aside this money for the Lord.  I have areas throughout my home set up like little prayer corners and plaques proclaiming scripture verses, and basically, some have called my home a mini-shrine. It’s not, but it is all a matter of perspective.  Walking by a sign or a prayer corner reminds me to pray or consider what the Lord has done for me.  One particular shelf above my computer has a small depiction of Jesus and Joseph. Jesus is seated on a bench, animated with his hand outstretched, and Joseph listens to him in rapt attention. The workbench and work are briefly forgotten as Joseph is focused on the Lord. I set up a small container where I place any pennies I find.  I feel that these gifts are given to me, but then I can turn around and donate it back. After some time, these coins add up, and I donate them to charity.

This is a visual sign of an invisible truth. Faith is invisible but has such an impact on our lives. I know some people think that having a statue, a cross, or even a picture depicting a religious scene is idolatry which the old testament warns us about. And, if I had a statue of Baal or Budda, I would agree with you, but I don’t.

I believe in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, the lineage of David and Jesus, the true Lord and Messiah. My God is a God of infinite love and mercy. I want reminders of Bible verses and religious scenes.

Maybe picking up pennies seems silly to you. But it is a small gesture and reminds me about so things that are spiritually important. My shortlist would include the following:

  1. A reminder not to take anything in life for granted.
  2. Acknowledgment that even a penny can symbolize something greater
  3. The understanding that value is in the eyes of the beholder
  4. Remembering that the value placed by material things in our world is nothing compared to that of heaven
  5. A reminder not to ignore the simple things in my life

Maybe your list looks different, and I have a much longer list, but the purpose here is to give you the overall idea–which is looking at your day, each day, and seeing the gift that God has for you. No matter what happens, we can turn to the Lord and thank Him. What is that penny you have stepped over and ignored in your life? What is it that seems insignificant but holds bigger value?

I feel blessed in many ways, not because I live in a castle, am royalty, or am a multi-billionaire. I am blessed because my eyes have been opened like Saul on the road to Damascus, and the Lord has called me by name.

In Acts 9:1-20 We read the entire account of Saul – but here is the first part (Read on air).

We later read in the following verses that Ananais also receives a vision from the Lord, and he says, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord tells him specifically where to go and that he will find Saul of Tarsus. Ananias knows how he is – Saul has been harming the Christians in Jerusalem, and he reminds the Lord of this. Let me stop here – doesn’t that strike you as ironic? Here is a man with a vision from God; he is conversing with the Lord, yet he is reminding him of something that the Lord already knows!
God is so patient with us, isn’t he?

The Lord says to him, in verses 15-16  (Read on air.)

I am sure Ananias was fearful, but he went, laid hands on him, saying verses 17-20 (Read On Air.)

Saul thought he was doing the right thing, he thought he was doing the will of God, but God showed him that he wasn’t and purged him into the three days of darkness. It was a false belief – which makes me think, what false beliefs do I harbor that I need to dispel? Is it simple, like the value of finding a coin on the ground, or is it deeper in understanding that the God we serve is loving and kind but also righteous?

God restores our belief daily if we let him. Your challenge this week is to look at those little things as gifts from heaven, whether it is a penny found or something more!





Everyday Prayer

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Did you know that our lives can turn into everyday prayer? We can turn a life of struggle into a life of rejoicing with the idea that we can hold onto the joy of a truly spiritual life. #podcast #christianpodcast #afewminuteswithgodpodcast #everydayprayerEveryday Prayer ~ Episode 251

Did you know that our lives can turn into everyday prayer? We can turn a life of struggle into a life of rejoicing with the idea that we can hold onto the joy of a truly spiritual life.

Once again we have a wonderful sponsor for our network and that is a math company for kids of all ages. Visit a math curriculum from the comfort of your home with self-paced lessons. This is one not to miss. Share this with a friend and thanks to CTC Math as our sponsor.

Years ago a good friend of mine discusses how she prayed all day long. She had nine kids at the time and I could not believe she had time for so much prayer. In my mind the only people who prayed like that were in a convent somewhere and had the time for an immersion of prayer. But us regular folks? Not so much.

We are busy with all of the things we do. I always thought, as a young mom that I would have so much time when my kids grew up, in fact I worried that I would be bored or not know what to do with all of my time. Now I don’t know where my time goes! Sure, I work from home in my own business and I have some time set aside for the projects I want to tackle, but my days are still filled and busy.

Many of us waste time and this can be something we look at and chose to do something about. How can you pray everyday? Easy. As my friend with the houseful of kids says, “Jesus is always on my lips.” She said she’d pray while folding laundry. As she was folding a particular child’s shirt she prayed for them. While cooking dinner, she prayed for her family, while vacuuming, and even she said while going up and down the stairs. She said instead of asking the kids to retrieve something she forgot upstairs she’d use that time to pray.

Living a life of prayer can be a choice. It doesn’t have to be anything drawn out or inspired, but it should be heartfelt. Can we pray by reading the Bible? Yes! Can we pray while listening to praise and worship music in the car? Yes! And we can pray as my friend does while doing laundry.

Prayer, like faith, is a gift and it is a choice. We can love one another as God loves us. John 13:34-35 [Read on air.]

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This calls to mind something my mother use to say, “How do you act when no one is watching?” God sees all things, he knows our hearts and he knows our motivations… and when we pray we do it for ourselves since God is God and nothing we can do earns us salvation, nor does it change God. Yes, our salvation should be worked out through fear and trembling in Philippians 2:10-12 we read so that at the name of Jesus  every knee should bend,     in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess  that Jesus Christ is Lord,     to the glory of God the Father.
What I am saying here is that praying changes us. It makes us focus on what is right and just and what is important. We trust in the Lord to hear us and we praise Him in all things. We can live lives that are joyfully worshipping Him or lives that strive only for selfish purposes. This past 40 days of Lent – the days before Easter were probably the hardest but the most fulfilling than any other time of my life. I had a specific intention and was praying daily for it – and the truth is I struggled as I was worrying about my son in the Army Rangers Program (he passed in 62 days without recycling, meaning doing the challenge again which was a miracle). While praying I learned to trust in the Lord, I learned to journal faithfully daily and keep the Lord as the focus of my day.
It is amazing how we can focus on what is important when there is a need. But what about the times when there is not an immediate need? Sure we always need prayers for something in our life but when it is not major we tend to slack off.
Praying daily is keeping the Lord as the focus, it is concentrating on what we can do for the Lord not what He can do for us. It is sacrifice yes, but it is freedom from slavery and sin, because when we are in His Word, and focused on living lives that are pleasing to the Lord who always sees us at our best and at our worse that we can begin to grow. Divine light is given to us in prayer, it illuminates our minds and our hearts. Praying in our daily lives as we walk the dog or take out the trash is a sign of spiritual growth.
Currently, I’m taking care of an elderly dog and that means accidents. I am praising God for the fact that I have tile floors and thanking Him for the blessings of the chore. Do I want this chore? Of course not! When we are filled with grace and the love to serve others, even an animal it is a selfless love that we can pass on and in this way show others the love of God. We can’t do this unless we are filled up to the brim and that means praying in the mundane and the daily struggles and joys of life.
Everyday prayer transforms a mundane life into a life of joy. We see this in the lives of the saints. We read about St. Therese of Lisieux, who has many life changing quotes. Here is a link to a page that has more, but a few are:

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice here by a smiling look there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” She didn’t say all for God – but we know that God is synonymous with love!  She also said, “Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

Mediate on these quotes and think about the truth in her words. She was a simple nun, living out her life in extreme poverty yet her life contained riches beyond compare. How can we live our lives? Let’s start with everyday prayer. That is your challenge for this week, how can you infuse everyday prayer into your daily walk with the Lord? While doing your chores and those things that no one else sees but are important nonetheless. In our simpleness, we will find the grace to live holy lives. Praise God, now and forever!



Restless For God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Is your soul restless for God? How can you tell? In this episode, your host, Felice Gerwitz, discusses how we may be unhappy and dissatisfied and the key that may be missing in your life. #restlessforgod #afewminuteswithgodpodcast #christianpodcastRestless For God ~ Episode 250

Is your soul restless for God? How can you tell? In this episode, your host, Felice Gerwitz, discusses how we may be unhappy and dissatisfied with life. And she discusses “what” may be missing in our lives.

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When was the last time you prayed, picked up the Bible or just sat in the presence of the Lord and felt relaxed and complete? This happens, yes, but for many of us it is difficult to quiet our minds long enough to hear from the Lord, let alone feel any type of comfort and peace.

Why is this? Why are we restless? Why is it that the minute you pick up your Bible, or focus on a prayer that your mind wanders? You want to jump up and send an email, a text or maybe even fold laundry. Why can’t you just focus?

We can easily lay blame at the enemy’s feet. But there is more than temptation at stake here. And, that is what I’d like you to think about today. Why are you restless? Why are you thinking about all of the things on your to-do list rather than about God?

If we dig deeper we can add the following questions to the list, why are we dissatisfied? Why do we think there has to be something more? Or, that we are not doing enough or not pleasing God for the other side of the equation.

I found myself restless not that long ago and I had to take a hard look at the questions I just posed for you. Part of my restlessness stemmed from a lack of control over my life situations. I was unable to fix things or make things right. I was in fact required to place all of my cares into the hands of a loving and waiting for God. Yet, I was too upset and frustrated to stop and do the very thing I knew would bring me relief.

I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders, and in the midst of prayer, I was in the trenches so to speak not wanting to give up one tiny bit of ground to the growing chasm in my soul. That may sound melodramatic but it is true. I felt lost and I felt forsaken.

When we are in the depths of despair there is only one place to look and that is up. We can turn to the right and left but nothing but God will bring us the peace we crave. I knew this in my mind. Like many of you listening I spend time in prayer and stand in the gap so to speak for family members and friends in need. While my faith is strong that does not mean that my faith doesn’t falter in battle. Truly when we are in deep prayer we are in a battle, often for souls. Faith is a gift and while we accept it freely it comes with responsibility. However, that does not mean we take on the cares of the world to the detriment of our own well-being.

I realized that I could not carry the burden of praying for others on my own shoulders and I had to release them to the Almighty only then did I hear a whisper in my mind that said, “I never expected you to carry this burden – it was not for you to carry.” And, then relief as if a weight was taken off my back.

We can only be happy when we are with God not only in our prayers but in releasing our will to His perfect will. Our world is looking for happiness and pleasure in all of the wrong places. We know this, but we are only human.

Psalm 73: 23- 26 [Read on air.] Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel,    and afterward you will take me into glory.25 Whom have I in heaven but you?    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.26 My flesh and my heart may fail,    but God is the strength of my heart    and my portion forever.

When we are stuck we can go to the Scriptures and find relief. When we are stuck we realize that nothing, nothing will satisfy us but the love of God. Perhaps you can’t feel that love or you feel you are unworthy (news alert: we are all unworthy except for the saving power of Jesus Christ). But if you know it in your head, ask the Lord to feel it in your heart.

John 6:27 reminds us of the fact that while we feel that restlessness and we look for a solution to our problem we look in places that will not give us rest or happiness. [Read on air.] Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”

What is the root cause of the restlessness we feel? Do you know? For each of us this answer may be different, but for most of us, the solution is the same.

Have you heard the saying, You have made us for yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. This is a quote from Saint Augustine which he writes in his Confessions. (More of the quote here and here.) Our hearts long for God because we were made (our spirits and souls) in the image of God. We were created as we learned as young children to love and honor Him, and when we don’t we flounder.

Our hearts and in essence, our spirits and souls will only rest when we rest in God. We crave this love that we are missing in our lives and therefore we become restless. Psalm 116:7 sums it up perfectly in a few words: Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Until we realize that our restless is because of our desire to know God better, to have a deeper communion with Him, a deeper relationship with Him, and only then can we feel that satisfaction that comes from the Lord who is always waiting with open arms. If you read the life of Augustine you will find that a great sinner converted to Christianity many believe due to the prayers of his mother (which gives all parents out there hope for their children). His story is one of redemption and grace and it is a story not only for him but for all of us.

This week examine the restlessness in your life, and determine to make a change, a change in your relationship with God which is always a change for the better! May God be blessed today and always.

Challenge After Easter

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

What is the challenge after Easter? Do we lose that Easter glow and forget about rejoicing daily? It's time to remember He is Risen! #afewminuteswithgodpodcast #easter #easterchallenge #christianpodcastChallenge After Easter ~ Episode 249

What is the challenge after Easter? Have you even considered this a question? In this episode, Felice explores the idea of embracing each day with the remembrance of the Resurrection and living our lives as true Christian sons and daughters.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC math! Visit the website at CTCMath for more information about a great math curriculum.

Before Easter, many of us take the time to seek God in a deeper way as we consider His ultimate sacrifice. This time is called Lent, and it is the 40 days before Easter. Jesus spent 40 days in prayer in the desert before what is called his public ministry. It is an amazing example to us. Jesus spent this time in preparation, and He was tested.

The Easter season is always special, especially if you practice fasting, almsgiving, reconciliation, or confession. We examine our lives and look for ways to improve. Maybe we realize there are sins in our lives, and we make a point of changing for the better. Lent is practiced widely in the Catholic Church and begins on Ash Wednesday, a time of receiving ashes on the forehead at church with the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.” This a reminder that we do not live forever, and while God is merciful, He is also just.

Perhaps you focused before Easter on prayer, journaling, or made a concentrated effort to renew your relationship with the Lord. This time is beneficial; if you did not have time to do this in the past, there is always today to begin. It is never too late to increase your faith and your time with God. Each day is a new beginning, and with it comes new hope! I love the word hope – it is inspiring and gives me the confidence that all will be well. Maybe not as I will it, but as the Lord wills it to happen.

During Easter, we celebrate the fact that God has conquered death and opened up a way to heaven and that we, as His followers, have a path ahead that is an invitation. Easter day may include worship, attending church, and celebrating by sharing a meal with friends and family. It is a wonderful time of connection.

What about after? Do we lose that Easter glow? Do we forget about rejoicing the day after HE has RISEN? Unfortunately, that is a yes for many of us. Each day after, we continue on with our lives and forget what God has done for us. However, the challenge is to remember Jesus daily.

Here are a handful of ideas to keep the Lord front and center:

  1. Praise and thank Him each day for the simple things. In a future podcast, I will discuss everyday prayer, but for now, know that our lives can be used as a prayer. If we dedicate our concerns to Him, the burden is often lifted. Maybe not totally, but in some way, we know we are not alone.
  2. Meditate on one scripture each day. For example, Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Think about the words, and focus on what impacts you. The overarching theme here is that God’s protection for those who follow Him will not overwhelm us. It does not mean life is easy, only that He will give us the grace to handle it. By meditating on this concept, we will be renewed.
  3. Realize that you are not in this life alone. As a follower of the Almighty God, the King of the Universe, you are never alone. John 14;25-27  “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate,[a] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Again an amazing verse to ponder.
  4. Use song as a prayer. Praying through the verses of your favorite Christian songs helps us to be placed in the midst of God. Praying through song is considered by some, praying twice. Here is a podcast I created sometime back on Christian music and using it for praise, here.

Can you add to the list above? What are some ways to keep God the focus of your life? Take some time and consider this question, maybe right now but afterward. We have different ways of worshiping God, but keeping God at the forefront of our lives takes work and a concentrated effort. Our lives would be so much better if we could remember to do this, and not just during the Easter or Christmas season but all year long.

For many of us, our lives are divided into compartments. There is work time and family or friend time; there is time for recreation, whether it is social media, a book, the television, or an online source. There is time for worship which may be one or more days a week. However, if we include God in all we do, if we did this, our lives would not only be richer but more in the sense of keeping us from sin.

When we get busy or our focus is on the wrong thing, we stumble, and we fall. In trying to do our best or make everyone else happy, we discover that we have lost something of ourselves. Many of us are “other-focused,” which means we place our family and friends above ourselves. This is not a bad thing, but we forget to fill up our own tanks with the hope that Jesus is the only important thing and that His life, death, and resurrection give us hope of eternal life. This is the essence of the Easter message. Understanding that God made us for Himself and that our dedication and prayer to Him daily is for us, not for Him. Nothing we can do can earn us salvation, but in the same way, we should give Him our very best. By doing this, we can release the burdens that keep us tied down to Him in the midst of worship.

How will you keep the Easter season alive in your life? Only you know the answer to this, and I pray that you are motivated to make take the message to heart; you are loved so much, John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Amen and Amen.


The Obedient Son

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

The Obedient Son Jn. |A Moment with Scripture-8:21-30-By Deacon David Hockwalt. This gospel highlights the misunderstanding between Jesus and the Pharisees| #TheObedientSonJn #ObedientSon #chrishtan #chrishtanpodcastThe Obedient Son

A Moment with Scripture-8:21-30-By Deacon David Hockwalt

The Obedient Son. This gospel highlights the misunderstanding between Jesus and the Pharisees. It is based on the fact that they are coming from two different perspectives. The Pharisees are in this earthly world, and Jesus is from heaven, above. The Pharisees cannot understand Jesus because they think about him in their own earthly terms. The same is today for those who deny Jesus’s divinity.

When Jesus says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come, they think he is going to take his own life. Jesus says, ‘If you do not believe I am, you will die in your sins.’ In the bible there is a deep connection between sin and death. St. Paul writes, ‘Through Adam sin entered the world and through sin, death.’ When Jesus is talking about dying in your sins, he is talking about dying in the state of separation from God. Only Jesus can heal humanity of sin and reconcile them with the Father. To this day, those who believe in Jesus accept eternal life with the Father. Those who reject Jesus refuse his gift and thus die separated from God.

DEACON DAVID HOCKWALT has ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Diocese of San Bernardino in 2012. He continues in active ministry today and is the spiritual advisor to the vicariate Life in the Spirit team.

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us

Magnificat Store

Did you know there is a wonderful shopping opportunity just waiting for you? Explore our shopping cart for rosaries, apparel, books, jewelry, statues, CDs, study programs, (ex. Bible studies, Life in the Spirit Seminar, Growth in the Spirit series), and much more. To find great gifts for family, friends and YOU, we invite you to visit



Suffering Is a Pain

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Suffering Is a Pain |This is a topic that is always with us in this life!  As Catholics we often hear about the redemptive power of suffering.| #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #SufferingIsAPain #SufferingSuffering Is a Pain

Suffering Is a Pain. This is a topic that is always with us in this life!  As Catholics we often hear about the redemptive power of suffering.  How are we to do that in a way that is powerful and in a way where we collaborate with the grace the Lord is giving?  We know the saints suffered well and that is even before they were saints.  We can tend to forget they weren’t yet canonized when they were still alive.  What is the difference between suffering and just being in pain?

Suffering is the way we respond to pain.  We often get taught not to grumble, complain, become impatient, take it out on your neighbor, or self-medicate.  Yet, nature abhors a vacuum and it’s insufficient to hear what not to do.  We need to know what to do.

  1. First, we need to acknowledge the suffering or frustration and not stuff it and then leave the emotions to come out sideways. In Jesus’ agony in the garden before His crucifixion, He didn’t deny or minimize what He was about to undergo, even though He knew how things were going to end and that He would rise in three days!  He still sweat blood.  He was real with the situation and was in touch with His emotions.  Emotions are energy that move us from or towards something and if we just stuff them, they can come out in a variety of unhealthy ways.


  1. Secondly, we can consider how the Lord experienced the same type of suffering or greater. He suffered in many ways in His earthly life, even before His Passion.  He put up with frustration in dealing with the apostles as they bickered about who was the greatest, He was a sign of contradiction, rejected even for doing good, denied, betrayed, tortured, mocked, ridiculed, and put to death.


  1. Next, we can unite our sufferings to His. That is so powerful.  The notion of atonement – being at one with Him can afford us an insight into the Lord’s own pain and what He endured for love of us.  Also, because He suffered in these ways, He is well acquainted with what we suffer.  I can be present to He who is present to me.


  1. Then, we experience the intimacy of being seen into by Him as we see into what He suffered. When the pain goes away what is left is love.  Suffering hurts, is painful, is difficult.  Don’t beat yourself up for that or put pressure on yourself that suffering shouldn’t be difficult.  If it wasn’t so, it wouldn’t be suffering.  Yet, the Lord can transform every occasion of suffering into an occasion of intimacy with Him.  His compassionate love sustains us in the midst of the difficulty.


  1. Finally, we do whatever good we are supposed to be doing out of the power of intimacy with the Lord. Suffering does NOT have to lead us to isolation, but through drawing closer to the Lord in the midst of it there is intimacy with the Lord. We are moved out of the isolation of pain into the intimacy of suffering with the Lord and then empowered by the union with Him and His Holy Spirit to imitate Him.  We are not made for isolation, but for connection.

Somehow through it all we are transformed from death to new life in Him!  He equips our crosses with that same transforming power of His Cross.

Principle Approach

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Principle Approach

Christian Education – Max Lyons

Principle Approach Max Lyons of the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) talks with Israel Wayne about the philosophy of the Principle Approach and how to teach Providential History. The Principle Approach was developed by Verna Hall & Rosalie Slater and has prepared many Christian school teachers and homeschoolers with a Biblical philosophy of education.

Dr. Max Lyons serves as Director of Teaching Services at FACE. He is a teacher, curriculum writer, and conference speaker, specializing in the areas of Bible, history, government, law, economics, and Biblical worldview. He has taught a Biblical worldview adult Sunday school class for two decades and served as teacher and administrator in three Christian schools since 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Virginia Wesleyan College, a Masters in Christian School Administration from Regent University, and a Ph.D. in Christian Education from Whitefield Theological Seminary. Max and Margie have four children and seven grandchildren and they attend Kempsville Presbyterian Church.

Government Takes All…What’s Left for Me?

In this well-researched yet easy to read book, Dr. Lyons logically presents the case for limited government and free-market economics.

Sons & Daughters: Walking in Truth

Your children are your priceless treasures! Learn the Biblical reasons to educate them in a thoroughly Christian program. This defense of Biblical Christian education presents ten compelling reasons for parents to equip their children with the Biblical worldview, ensuring that they walk in God’s truth (II John 4). This booklet is an apologetic for Biblical Christian education, most appropriate for high school and older.

Celebrate Our Christian Holidays Like You Were There

Celebrate seventeen American holidays with the depth of their Biblical traditions and true history.



To Learn more about Israel Wayne and Family Renewal, LLC visit


Feeding Your Spirit and Soul

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Feeding Your Spirit and Soul | Are you feeding your soul? What is your spiritual health and how can improve upon it? In this episode we dig deep. | #chrisitianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcasat #feedingyoursoul #christianpodcast #christianliving #afewminuteswithgodpodcastFeeding Your Soul ~ Episode 248

We feed our bodies, but are you feeding your spirit and soul? Everything we put into our bodies affects our physical health, but the same happens with our spirit and soul. Who do you surround yourself with, what do you read or watch, and how we engage with others? In this episode, we discuss ways to feed our souls that benefit our spiritual health.

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Have you heard the saying “Garbage in, garbage out?” I’m sure you have, yet we don’t consider it means anything else than the food we eat. If we are careful about eating well to feed our bodies, why are we not careful with our spiritual being?

We know from the beginning of the creation of the world that God meant for us to live a life of abundance. To live in a garden without sin and to live essentially forever. We are created in the image and likeness of God, we are told. Genesis 1:26-27 God wants a relationship with us and is there waiting. We are the ones avoiding Him. Sin, at its root cause, is an issue of relationship. Relationships that are broken, harmed, and sometimes destroyed.

We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are made up of spirit, soul, and body. We know what a body is, but what about our spirit and soul? While we have a spirit, we are not spirits in the sense of Heavenly Ages or the Holy Spirit. The spirit is the entity we have that connects with God; it is the “relationship” part. It gives us a sense of longing; we long for God, who has made us for Him. If we are unaware that this longing for happiness is essentially a longing for God, we are unhappy and unfulfilled.

People try all types of things to become happy. Whether it is eating, friends, drinking, or shopping. Have you heard the term “retail therapy”? That is a term that refers to shopping to make you happy when you are sad, as if new clothing or some other purchase can take away the sadness that is rooted in brokenness. Let me ask you – have you ever thought, “I would be perfectly happy if I had…” (Fill in the blank.) Whatever that need is, and again if you get that thing, you want, it will be a temporary fix. Money does not buy happiness, only God.

The spirit is also the reservoir, if you will, of faith. It is important for the life of the believer. Once again, it is that God connection, that belief that you know that you know, beyond doubt, that the Almighty lives and He cares for you in an intimate way. Not as some afterthought but designed purposely for this life. That craving is not for chocolate; it is for God!

Our souls and spirits are connected. The soul is shrouded in a body; it is called the “life principle,” all living bodies have a soul; if they do not have a soul, they would not live. Every living thing has a soul; however, man is unique. Why? Because we have rational powers, that makes us different.

Luke 12:19-20 states  (Read online.)

Our souls are where our selfish and sinful nature resides, and our souls are part of our bodies that leave our physical selves at the time of death. In Genesis, we read about the death of Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob. Genesis 35: 18 (Read online.)

Our soul and spirit combined are where our emotional experiences reside. The soul can refer to the entire person, whether we are alive or have passed on. So shouldn’t we feed our souls with all that is good and pure? If our consciences are well formed, we will know when something is not right, when we shouldn’t watch, listen or be around something we know isn’t good for us.

We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (Read online)

And in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, (red online.)

So now what will you do? How will you feed the part of yourself that is tempted by sin or the part of you that wants a closer relationship with God but does not have the time? My challenge will surprise you. Sure, reading Scripture, praying, keeping a prayer journal, reading a good Christian faith book, and works of charity, all these are wonderful and can indeed fill your soul with nourishment. But there is more. Feeding your soul means working on your conscience. This means making an effort to do what is right. Just like forgiveness, making an effort means making a decision and doing it. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? Yes, and yes.

Feeding our souls means taking the time to put our decisions in alignment. What road do we travel as Christians? The road that is less traveled. Giving into sin may seem like the easy way, but like our diets, eating what is good for our bodies, so too, filling ourselves with what is right and will be a blessing. Think of the people you hold in high regard. Is there a time when you saw someone fail? How did that make you feel? I know I’ve felt let down, especially if this is a person you care about. With all of the scandals going on in churches across our world, people have lost faith in God. That is a shame and truthfully not warranted. Yes, we can be heartbroken, but our eyes should never be on the pastor, the choir, or the Bible teacher; our eyes should only be on Christ because He will not fail us.

A very popular Christian author, speaker, and associate pastor left his faith behind when an extreme scandal at his church came crashing down. While he had nothing to do with this on the surface (maybe he could have done something or not turned a blind eye), the point is he allowed this tragedy to take him away from God. But what else happened? It was a domino effect because he had led many people toward God with his writings and sharing about relationships. We have his books on our own shelves. His downfall came from placing the wrong emphasis on the wrong people. Did God fail him? No. Did man. Yes.

Almighty God gave us life and gave us a chance to do things right. This is the only life you have, so live it well, and that means not in the sense of selfishness. I hear the words, “Live your best life,” as if anyone would purposely live their worse life — yet sometimes, while living your best, you live a life that is devoid of putting others first. Or, maybe if you are a parent, you put everyone else first but yourself and then find you have nothing left to give.

Not surprisingly, last Sunday, our pastor talked about the soul and its need to be considered. He is the same pastor who often talks about sin being a broken relationship with God. He shared that filling our souls in repairing that relationship with God and with the important people in our life. It does not mean we ignore others, we should have Christian charity, but it does mean we do not lose sleep over what people think about our walk with God. Many times people care about what people think of those who are unimportant in their lives.

When God is not a factor in our life, the evil one gets in and causes havoc to our souls. So decide today–what will you do? How will you fill your soul? How will you encourage that sense that nothing is fulfilling in your life (because it can’t be without God as the focus), and make an effort to change? Do you think you need to change, or are you content with your life as it is now?

I pray you to take this idea of feeding your soul to heart and find a way to make it happen. Only you can decide, and only you can create that effort and dedication to place God first in your life and lead by example, which is your challenge this week.




Testimony of Donna Ross

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Testimony of Donna Ross. |After a wonderful 25-year career, Donna left the Magic Kingdom of Disney in 1994 to work for the Eternal Kingdom of God| #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #testimony #donnaross #testimonyofdonnarossTestimony of Donna Ross

Testimony of Donna Ross. After a wonderful 25-year career, Donna left the Magic Kingdom of Disney in 1994 to work for the Eternal Kingdom of God. The Lord enriched her natural gifts with supernatural grace and called her into full-time ministry to his beloved Church. Much to her surprise, many of her skills developed over the years in the workplace have been helpful in her ministry experience.

She was the organizational chair for the first Orange County Charismatic Conference. She served as vice president of Southern California Renewal Communities (SCRC) for six years. She has been involved with Magnificat in Orange County since its inception. She has been a host of St. Joseph Catholic Radio since 1998. As director of Pastoral and Educational Services and DRE for her parish, she loved sharing that God is alive and well with everyone. Donna is the founding coordinator of the new Magnificat Chapter in Palm Desert, CA, Our Lady of Desert Roses.

She served on the vicariate core team and was the team leader for Life in the Spirit and Growth Seminars. She is the recipient of the Bishops award, and the Our Lady of Guadalupe award for her generous and selfless service to the Diocese of San Bernadino. Donna is currently serving as the Coordinator of the Central Service Team (CST) of the Magnificat International Ministry. Donna is a woman led by the Holy Spirit, and her testimony truly proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

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Matter of Life and Death

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Matter of Life and Death |In Scripture, we hear a lot about dying to ourselves.  We are commanded to do it and told it is essential for life|  #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #MatterOfLifeAndDeath Matter of Life and Death

Matter of Life and Death. In Scripture, we hear a lot about dying to ourselves.  We are commanded to do it and told it is essential for life.  So, what does that actually mean?  What is dying to ourselves?  Is there a value in suffering for the sake of suffering?  No!  The power and beauty of suffering come by enduring the pain and suffering of this life by joining it to the suffering of Christ.

As baptized members of His Body, we die with Him and rise with Him to know life.  In this way, death is active, not passive.  It’s staying connected to the Lord by actively and consciously uniting our pain to His.  We are called to die to sin and selfishness by embracing our crosses for the love of Him as He embraced the Cross for the love of us.  That union with Him – the Divine Indwelling of the Holy Trinity gives us the power to go through anything.

How are you planning to die today?  How am I planning to die today? – Rather than planning to please ourselves, we can plan how to let His Spirit and grace flow through us.  That’s how we can be conduits of grace rather than consumed with ourselves.  It allows us to become more and more transformed into Him.  We can suffer on our own, but in doing it in union with Jesus, we are able to grow into deeper spiritual maturity.

It’s more a matter of how we do what we do.  It doesn’t matter if we are called to a life of ministry.  Going the extra mile above and beyond the call of duty in whatever it is, we do we die to our plans and our convenience and are able to be Jesus to others in very simple and practical ways.

There’s a joy that comes from doing these things.  We are physically made for these things to feel good!  Oxytocin – one of the feel-good hormones – is released when we minister to others, are ministered to, or even witness someone else minister to another.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!  Living to die to ourselves brings the deep joy for which we are made.  St. Francis of Assisi said that when we do these things, the second death will do us no harm.  We will already be fitted for Heaven!

How are we trying to die today?

May the Lord give you peace!


Fruits of Prayer

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

The fruits of prayer |The fruits of prayer are all around us. This is a challenge to not only enjoy the fruits of your prayer life, but ways to pray for others| #prayer #fruitofprayer #christianpodcast #christianliving #afewminuteswithgodpodcastFruits of Prayer ~ Episode 247

The fruits of prayer are all around us, and we should be encouraged, right? Yet we walk around carrying the burdens of the world on our shoulders. No more! This is a challenge to not only enjoy the fruits of your prayer life, but ways to pray for others.

Check out A Few Minutes with God, a novel sure to bring your tweens and teens closer to God.

In the Holy Bible, fruit is the symbol of many things. It is the symbol of good faith; it is the symbol of avoiding (such as the tree of life and the tree of good and evil), it was the apple that symbolized temptation because of what it represented.

Good fruit is also a sign that we are on the right path. Matthew 7: 17-20 (read on air).

This is important because in Salvation history and throughout Scripture we are shown again and again the sinfulness of mankind. Bad choices are made, even those selected by God, fall into sin. Yes, we should accept the Lord as our God and Savior, as my pastor calls it, and I love it, the “Fundamental Option.” Yes, Lord I repent, I believe, I will sin no more and follow you. But… there is always a but! We must show our decision by our fruits our decisions, and constantly be in prayer.

I love learning new things, and I appreciate this because it is the only way I can grow in faith. I was talking to one of our pastors after church and asked him some specific questions. Finally, he said to me, when you pray think of the Holy of Holies. I knew what he meant, the Bible refers to this place, as I remembered in the Old Testament.  We read in Leviticus 16:12 (Read on air.)

There are other references in Scripture, but the point is envisioning this place, the Holy of Holies… can you picture it? It is a quiet place that is filled with goodness, light, and grace. It is where the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit reside.

Then, he asked me to think about bringing God into my problems instead of bringing my problems to God. Wow – think about this. It is such a beautiful analogy of allowing the Lord into our hearts, and that is truly a blessing. Do you see the difference? Bring our prayers to God, or bring our God into our lives and thus into our prayers!

When we think about the fruits of prayer, we consider how God has answered what we want, our prayers, and our petitions. Our happiness often hinges on what God has done for us. When you think about it in this way, it sounds awfully selfish! But it does not have to be, especially when we begin to thank and praise God for our past blessings and what he has done for us.

Can you make a list? What has God done for you in the last year? The last few months? The last few weeks? How about today? Stop this recording, or come back to this question later. The fruits of prayer are, in essence, our life. Our ability to live each and every day, for some it is difficult, especially if you are ill or caring for someone in need. We all have something to be thankful for, and early on in this podcast, I shared the idea of a journal that was filled with thankfulness for what the Lord has done for you.

The fruit of prayer is thankfulness and awe, and wonder. The Creator of the Universe cares for you and for me in a powerful way! Even in our darkest times, we can be thankful for the sun that rises and warms the earth, the glistening of the raindrops, or the gentle breeze that cools us off on a hot day. The fruit of prayer is contentment. That joy that surpasses all understanding, as I paraphrase Philippians 4:7 – one of my favorite scripture verses: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Fruit of Prayer Joy – Peace – Contentment – Satisfaction – Understanding

No matter what is on your list of feelings you may have when your prayers are answered, it truly gives us a sense that God is with us, but not only that, it is a sense of hope. 2 Corinthians 5-7 – For we live by faith, not by sight. Or “We walk by faith and not by sight.” helps us when we do not feel his presence. Out of obedience, we say, “Yes, Lord,” daily.

The hope that God gives us is the understanding that no matter what, He is with us—a personal story on the air.

This is the fruit of prayer, a turnaround, and a change of heart. We want our hearts to be on fire for God, but often we can only consider our needs or those of the people we pray for daily. Instead, consider how you fall short, and make a turnaround. A turnaround to do better, to try harder, or to do something differently. When something does not work out well, why do the same thing expecting a better outcome?

Peace, joy, and contentment are wonderful, but a change of heart is even better. It helps us on our journey, and we can consider the prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you give me; I need nothing but you.” If we can truly say that with conviction, we are on the road to healing of mind, heart, and will. Our will is being given to God the Almighty!

This week I would love you to join me in prayer and acknowledge the fruit of our prayers. Consider what God has done for you, the good fruit in your life, and praise Him in all things.



Working on the Sabbath

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Working on the Sabbath| Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem, where there was a pool known as Bethesda. These waters were thought to have curative power| #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicpodcast #Workingonthesabbeth #sabbath #deacondavdhockwaltWorking on the Sabbath

A Moment with Scripture- Jn. 5:1-18 By Deacon David Hockwalt

Working on the Sabbath. Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem, where there was a pool known as Bethesda. These waters were thought to have curative power. Jesus sees a paralytic at the pool of Bethesda that had been ill for a very long time. He had trouble getting to the pool. At Jesus’ command, he was healed without going to the pool. He got up on his feet and picked up his mat, and walked for the first time in 38 years.

God is showing that he is bringing salvation to his people through his son. The local Jewish authorities were mad at the man for carrying his mat on a Sabbath day, violating a law. One could not carry a burden out of one’s house or through the city gate. The healing miracle that had just taken place did not seem to count in their eyes.  You might want to ask yourself if you focus on something substantial or trivial. Jesus is in trouble for violating the Sabbath and blasphemy. He called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jews wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus brought healing, forgiveness, and divine judgment to the world at the risk of his own life. What are we willing to risk to be a disciple of Jesus?

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us

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Did you know there is a wonderful shopping opportunity just waiting for you? Explore our shopping cart for rosaries, apparel, books, jewelry, statues, CDs, study programs (ex., Bible studies, Life in the Spirit Seminar, Growth in the Spirit series), and more. To find great gifts for family, friends, and YOU, we invite you to visit

Don’t Believe the Lies

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Don't Believe the Lies |Margaret Vasquez’s Testimony. When Satan can get us to question God’s goodness and who He is as our Good Father and who we are as His beloved children, anything is possible in a really bad way| #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #DontBelievetheLies #MargaretVasquezsDon’t Believe the Lies

Don’t Believe the Lies. Margaret Vasquez’s Testimony. When Satan can get us to question God’s goodness and who He is as our Good Father and who we are as His beloved children, anything is possible in a really bad way.  It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  It’s the tactic he used against Adam and Eve, and he tried it again when he tempted Jesus in the desert.  Satan is not the creator and he isn’t creative.  He does the same things over and over.  His desire is for disunity because Jesus longs that we be one, as He prayed at the Last Supper.  Satan wants to separate us from God and each other by causing division within our own minds and hearts.

Sometimes the painful circumstances of life tell us lies and when that happens often enough and from important people in our lives, we can fall into believing them.  The breakdown in connection to ourselves directly affects our relationship with God because, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, “What is received is received according to the mode of the receiver.”  If our ‘mode’ becomes one of ‘I don’t belong’ or ‘I’m not lovable’, then we tend to interpret events and interactions with others in that light.  This even applies in terms of how we relate to the Lord.

I went through a lot of abuse in childhood and young adulthood – even from people in the Church.  The resulting disconnection with myself, the Lord, and others left me vulnerable to a same sex relationship and the pain and shame of it all made going to Church so painful that I stopped going for 6 years.  That caused even greater sense of disconnection and pain.  It was a vicious cycle until the Lord sovereignly broke in and reestablished my foundational identity as being chosen, known, valued, protected, and provided for by Him.  He completely removed all same sex attraction and showed me it was rooted in a lack of connection to myself.

Don’t believe the lie that it is how you were born and not something that can be healed.

The Lord said, “Behold, I make ALL things new.” – Revelation 21:5. Nothing is impossible to Him.

This is my testimony to His love, His power, His grace, His healing, and His infinite, unearned mercy in my life.

Thanks for listening.  To God be the glory!

  • Margaret



Prayer Warrior

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Prayer Warrior | What are soldier prayers? The military raises leaders and those who have physical strength, stamina, and endurance in their physical lives. #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #prayerwarriors #soldierprayers #christiansoldiers #christianpodcast #afewminuteswithgodpodcastPrayer Warrior ~ Episode 246

Are you a prayer warrior? The military raises leaders and those who have physical strength, stamina, and endurance in their physical lives. How can we apply this to our spiritual life? Are we spiritually tough?

Visit for books and information that will help you in your spiritual journey here and here.

As I’ve shared, my son is in the military and currently in Ranger School, trying for the Army Ranger Tab. This is a grueling sixty-day trial of body, mind, and spirit. It causes good men to dig deep, and it helps if they have a deep relationship with the Lord.

This Lent, I have traveled a path of praying alongside my son. I have journaled consistently, searched the Sacred Scriptures, and been on my knees in church praying for his needs and the Lord’s provision.

I have learned from talking to him during one of his brief breaks after passing the first section and moving on to the second that he has never prayed so much in his life. Being sleep-deprived, sleeping outdoors, eating freeze-dried foods, and not having enough to eat really wreaks havoc on a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Yet it has taught me that we can apply what a soldier goes through to our own prayer lives and become prayer warriors! Soldiers must endure, sacrifice, persevere, and be brave when facing danger.  They continue onward when many would call it quits. There is no choice but to continue forward; that is a lesson for all of us. When times are tough, we continue on, and we ask the Lord for His help. We can endure with our Lord’s help. Sacrifice, such as fasting, brings us closer to God. If we persevere through our anguish, we will find hope on the other side, and as for danger? We must pray that our minds are open so that we can recognize and avoid it.

Prayer Warrior Tips

Here are some things I find helpful.

  1. A blank personal pocket book. I purchased small little lined books that I keep in my purse and clip a pen to the book. On the back of the book, the last page or the cover, I list the people I want to pray for each day. This can be for specific prayer requests, deceased loved ones, or those needs that are dear to your heart. That way, I can flip to the back of the book daily to pray.
  2. A consistent prayer time. These are things you do each day. If you pray first thing (before or after a cup of coffee or tea), or maybe on your way to church, at church, and maybe a few minutes afterward.
  3. Fasting along when seeking the Lord for His will, or when in prayer for a special intention or for a need.
  4. Keep familiar scriptures in your mind that are encouraging. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12 ADD MORE HERE
  5. Never quit. We know God is faithful; we know He is there for us even when things seem hard or problems are insurmountable. We must persevere in the face of hardship while acknowledging that while our feelings are legitimate, we must look for the greater good.

When we think about being prayer warriors, we should also consider praying the right way when someone asks. If you have a friend who is having surgery or struggling with a personal issue and asks you to pray, stop and pray immediately. If you do not have time, a simple “Jesus, please provide for her needs.” And then, when you have more time, be intentional in your prayer.

  1. Send a text message with a prayer.
  2. Send an email message with a prayer.
  3. Send a card and tell them you are praying.

Prayer warriors also put on the armor of God. We protect ourselves from the enemy with prayer. We get our strength from God, not from ourselves. When we pour into others, we become depleted, but if we are connected to the Holy Spirit, living water flows through us.

If you have time, become a prayer warrior – ask your family how you can pray. Join a prayer group, or online prayer support chain. Start one yourself. We started a text prayer chain for my son with our immediate family. I even called it Mike’s Prayer Warriors. (f you listen to this podcast, you know Michael’s voice; he does the introduction to this podcast as well as what we call the outro – so please join me in praying for his safety and those of our military and first responders.)

We can be first responders for the Lord. Our strength is in God. Our hope is in God, and our prayers are the result of our repentance from sin and the hope in Christ. Jesus, I trust in You!






Temptation Is Real

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Temptation is Real |All around me, I see that temptation is real, and the fallout is serious sin| #ChristianPodcast #Christian #podcast #AFewMinutesWithGod #temptationisrealTemptation is Real ~ Episode 245

All around me, I see that temptation is real, and the fallout is serious sin. But friends, we cannot become complacent, even if we are walking with the Lord; this podcast explores the meaning of temptation as it applies to our lives and what the Scriptures say.

One of our pastors reminds us that faith is not just a feeling but an action. This is true on so many levels. It is a choice, and I must decide whether I will follow the Lord or myself each day. What do you think temptation means? Does temptation mean doing something wrong, perhaps allowing ourselves to be swayed by the evil one? Something that is sinful or self-destructive? Each of us struggles with temptation of some sort, whether it is food, overindulgence in alcohol, laziness, or slothfulness. We don’t even need to leave home to be tempted.

Some believe their faith will save them from sin, which is only partially correct. Yes, faith helps, absolutely, but faith can also be used as an excuse to fall into depression, with the idea, “How could God allow that to happen to me?”  Our faith is like a shield, but the decision is ultimately ours to choose correctly. Sometimes our trials are overwhelming, and it is our faith that keeps us together, that keeps us whole. Why do we want to avoid temptation? Maybe this verse will give us the needed nudge.

Ephesians 2:3 (Read on Air) –

Who wants to be known as a child of wrath? The early Christians had their eyes opened, and then, afterward, they were aware of their sin. Once they were infilled with the Holy Spirit, this wisdom from the Lord allowed them to see the sin they did not think was an issue beforehand. The early Christians taught others. The words which we read in the Bible are powerful and obviously came from God.  We are taught the Word of God pierces our hearts like a two-edged sword and is convicting, and those words made an impact and changed lives. In the busyness of this world, we must make the time to allow those words to also penetrate our hearts so that our eyes can be opened. This doesn’t mean we are free from temptation, only that we can identify and avoid it.

We have all sinned, and we have all been tempted. Some of us are stronger than others at avoiding sin, and God knows our hearts. He hears our prayers and knows our weaknesses, but sadly so does the enemy. In the last podcast, I discussed a hardened heart. A hardened heart is us being stubborn; we want what we want. When we follow our own path and our own inclinations, sometimes we stumble or take the wrong turn; how do we avoid this regarding temptation?

An aside here, those who are stronger at avoiding temptation do several things,

  1. They pray and seek God, whether it is in the Bible, in talking to the Lord
  2. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and attending church.
  3. Put on the armor of Christ; this means putting on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit—Ephesians 6:11-17 (read on air).
  4. Identify your weaknesses and avoid them. Not falling into temptation means avoiding the near occasion of sin.
  5. Pray against temptation with a simple prayer such as, “Lord, forgive me for my sins in thought, word, and deed.”

In Proverbs  28:14 (read on air)

Let’s look at that passage, how can you guard yourself? Take a few moments and think about this…guarding yourself means being aware, to avoid occasions of sin. This can mean so many things; it can mean avoiding people you know are trouble. I read a funny meme on social media that had a picture of two women, and it said, “partners in crime,” Then it went on to say, “If we get caught, I am deaf, and you do not speak English.” While it might make us smile, it reminds me that there are people I should avoid, and while that doesn’t make us popular, it is important. In college, I was called “mom” because my friends said taking me out with them reminded me of having their mom with them! All those years at the feet of my Italian grandmother and learning from my parents that faith was more than a building we attended Mass at; it was a lifestyle. Something that can be eroded with the wrong influence but should not be forgotten.

Our pastor said he was with a group of people at a social gathering, and one man began to tell an inappropriate joke, so he excused himself and began to walk away. He said he was not allowing himself to be put into this awkward position, but that same man came to him later, apologized, and recognized this was an area of weakness. He wanted to be liked and noticed by others, and he thought this was one way to do it. He was counseled that it was not!

James 1:12 – the trials of temptation while all around us and can be a source of struggle we must pray that we are spared and pray for fortitude and strength – Blessed is the man who perseveres when he is tempted, for when he has been proven, he will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

It is not easy, and no one said life is easy. Some think that becoming a Christian should come with blessings and rewards. It does, but not always in the way we want. A Christian walks the road less traveled, which may make you unpopular with friends, but in my case, my friends (the same ones who called me “Mom”) elected me as president of our sorority and other council positions. Did they want someone responsible, or did they want the party girl? Sure, responsibility comes with a price, and it is up to us to do the best we can, but unfortunately, that best depends on what we know. We can’t be expected to avoid temptation when we can’t identify it or if we don’t care. That is part of the problem in the Catholic and Christian circles, the “church” has been blamed for the failure of educating the youth, but I truly believe the education of Christian morals and values belongs totally in the home. Do your children know the Bible? Did you teach them about the lives of godly men and women, those who the Bible and we call saints? Do children know the difference between Noah and Moses? I had a class of 7th graders tell me that Noah was the one with the parted red sea. We had to do a quick overview of Bible history.

I was blessed to grow up with Bible stories instead of fairy tales, and I learned my Bible history at home. My faith was praying with my family for every little thing – faith by example. So, as Christians, we are called to a higher standard. I’m talking about myself as well as all of you.

Matthew 6 is the Lord’s prayer, and the last part states… and do not lead us into temptation… We are delivered by our awareness and decision, and that is faith. Faith is a decision.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his apostles to stay awake for one hour, but unfortunately, they were unable, yet he said in Matthew 26:41 (Read on air.)

Our flesh is weak, and the enemy knows how to tempt us, especially if we try fasting. Fasting calls to mind our prayer whenever we want to eat the food. When we avoid that food, we learn how to pray specifically and avoid temptation—avoiding the food instead of eating it.

One of the podcasts I listen to is Wholeness and Holiness – and recently, the topic was “Into the Desert with Jesus.

She discussed sin and temptation in the desert when the enemy was with the Lord, and he said, “If you are the Son of God.” In other words, Jesus, do you know who you are? In this way, the enemy was trying to trick the Lord into proving He is the Son of God – Jesus knows His identity; he does not need to prove it.

When we don’t know who we are, when we give into temptation, it is because we have lost our identity. We either do not have confidence in who we are or think that doing whatever temptation will fix the issue. For example, a young person who gives into peer pressure by doing drugs or drinking alcohol to fit in – because everyone else is doing it.

If we are confident in our identity, if we know we are indeed sons and daughters of the Almighty, we are part of a Holy Family, then we don’t need those things to make us feel better about ourselves.

This is part of the relationship with God – if we are confident in our relationship, we will be strong. If we believe that God is there and we are here, he is a loving and distant God, then that won’t work in the here and now.

Friends, we as Christians have been given a powerful tool: the understanding that God is with us; he is for us, so who can be against us? Romans 8:31 (Read on air.) Who Can Separate Us from the Love of Christ? What, then, can we say in response to all this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

We need to shore up the troops, get your family on board, be united instead of divided, and conquer the issue head-on. If you are struggling with something major, ask your family to help.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (read on air).

I have asked the Lord for help when I have felt that I could not handle it anymore when things were hard. The temptation was a spiritual one, and that was negativity to give in to self-pity, or depression, to feel that no one cares and I was in “this” alone. Have you been there? Have you been in the depths of despair without a way out? One of the biggest issues for the elderly is loneliness. In the past, there were multi-generational families. I feel that this is a missing element in our family life today.

We may struggle with certain sins and temptations; these are ones we should identify and become aware of; in a past podcast, I shared an episode called Victory Over Sin and discussed these issues and the trap we fall into.

I want to leave you with this encouragement from 1 John 1-2

Avoiding temptation is a blessing, and it makes us stronger. And I pray this helps you make wise and beneficial decisions for your journey with the Lord.


Our Identity in Christ

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Our Identity in Christ |Our identity is crucial to our personal wholeness and growth in holiness| #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness Our Identity in christ

Our identity is crucial to our personal wholeness and growth in holiness.  It’s a buzzword these days in secular society.  No matter who we are, how we live is going to flow from our identity.  Another way to say it is we behave according to who we believe we are.  For this very reason, the foundation of our human and spiritual integration is tied to who God is.  We have to get more foundational than the fact that we are his sons and daughters.  We must know what He’s like!

These days genealogy and DNA testing are ways that people might choose to come to know more about their ancestors.  Learning more about the people they came from sheds light on how they see and understand themselves.  How much more does it reveal to us who we are by coming to know who God is?!  After all, we are made in His image and likeness, as Genesis tells us.  God is good and not only good, but it’s impossible to conceive of any greater good than He!

Parents image God for us, yet none of us have had perfect parents.  So, many times we have somewhat of a less-than-perfect picture.   Sometimes it can be quite difficult to know in our hearts that God is deeply good.  When we’ve experienced hurt at the hands of parents or those in authority, it can color how we see Him.  That can happen even without our conscious awareness and even when we are very educated in Theology or are clerics or religious.

One thing I have found helpful and often recommend to clients is to consider ways our parents behaved that were painful and prayerfully.  Make a list.  Mom was like this, but God is like that.  Dad was like this, but God is like that.  Perhaps you’ll have a list of a number of things from both parents.   Seeing down on paper how differently God is and acts toward us from hurtful ways we experienced authority can be an important first step in untwisting confusing messages we took on as children or young adults.

From there, we consider who He is and who we are to Him.  Sometimes give this a try.  Sit in God’s presence and imagine Jesus there with you praying for the Our Father together.  It’s astounding to think that when I pray “Our” Father, I am praying with Jesus to God, His Father and my Father. Let’s take some time to let that reality pierce our hearts and ground us in our identity as a son or daughter of a GOOD Father!

May the Lord give you peace!



Harden Not Your Heart

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Harden Not Your Heart |"harden not your heart," given you pause? Have you felt that the Lord is leading you in some way, but you just don’t feel like following| #ChristianPodcast #Christian #podcast #AFewMinutesWithGod #heartofstoneHarden Not Your Heart

Have the verses,”harden not your heart,” given you pause? Have you felt that the Lord is leading you in some way, but you just don’t feel like following? In this podcast, Felice leads you through some thoughts and prayers for getting back on track.

Recently a situation came up in my life that made me realize I was not following the Lord’s leading as I should. It has happened to me throughout the years and so it was easy to recognize when it began to happen again. Have you ever felt like that? You know, or you feel like you know what the Lord wants you to do, but then you decide to do something else, or maybe not act on what the leading is.

First let’s look at several Scriptures that discuss this. Hebrews 3:14-16 (Read on Air)

And, Hebrews 4:6-8

Have You Heard the Words, Harden Not Your Heart in Prayer?

This hardening of heart for me was in regard to a thought one time and another time an action. I felt the Lord was leading me in a specific direction, and there was uncertainty on my part to say yes. Here is one example I can give you, as a young mom, I was involved in many volunteer organizations, at church, and at a women’s group. I was selected to be on a group that would tackle educational issues. Since I homeschooled my children, I was the perfect candidate first because I had an education degree, and secondly, because I didn’t have any ties to the local education system. However, I had this feeling that it would not be well received at home, and I was right; my husband was not a fan of this new “honor.” In my mind, rationalizing it, I felt the Lord had prepared me and put me in an ideal position to make real change. But after talking to my husband, I felt unsettled. My heart was unsettled. I lacked peace. It took some deep soul-searching and some extensive conversations with my husband before I let it go. Then the peace came.

I’ve had other situations where I did not feel peace after making a big decision, yet I knew that if it was God’s will, it would happen regardless. One bad decision, in retrospect, was after seeing what I felt was a God thing and then ignoring it. My heart was hardened because I knew what I wanted to do – and did it.

If the previous two verses are not enough to make you prayerfully think – let me read this next one.

Jeremiah 16:12 says, (Read on Air.)

That is a wake-up call for all of us – so how do we check, and how do we know if we have a hardened heart? We can learn so much from the Scriptures. And God gives us multiple chances to return to him and to change our ways, as we can read in the passages of Hebrews and Jeremiah, and we have the option to turn back.

But you may be asking, how do we know? How do we know if we are hardening our hearts?

Here are some ways you can check your motivation and heart.

  1. Are you walking with the Lord? Do you have time for prayer, reflection, and reading Scripture or some other spiritual book?
  2. Do you have a gut feeling that something is not right? A feeling of hopelessness?
  3. Do you have a restlessness you can’t put your finger on?
  4. Do you avoid thinking about the issue at hand and bury it under the guise of being busy or not dealing with the problem?
  5. Do you suffer from stubbornness? Ask someone close to you; it is hard to figure this out for yourself.

Any of these things can lead to a hardness of heart. Avoiding an issue, not making time for prayer, ignoring your sense that something is not right, restlessness, or avoiding thinking through the issues can then be compounded by helplessness. Some problems are serious and out of our hands, but yet it is important to prioritize time to pray. If nothing else, for yourself so you can get tuned in to God.

In the New Testament, we also read about hardened hearts – but even in the midst of Christ! You would think that having Jesus in your company and being with him day after day would be an eye-opener. Sitting there first hand, watching the miracles and the teachings, but in  Mark 8:16-18 (Read on air). The apostles had Jesus in their midst, and still, they didn’t realize that all they had to do was ask, and he would provide for them. This verse gives me hope. It tells me that it was not uncommon to have hearts that were hardened, and there is hope for us because, unlike the disciples, when we do not have bread, we can pray for that bread, that crumb of knowledge, that assurance that God is with us and in our midst.

We read in Isaiah 6:10 (Read on air)  We want what we want. I know I pray, but often it truly is, “Lord, please do my will.” With my son in the military, still in training but nonetheless straining when I can’t talk to him for a long stretch of time, I am constantly on my knees – our family has a prayer chain where I post prayer requests each day and a Scripture verse, but it is truly asking the Lord to bless, provide, and allow my son success in this training – Often I remind myself to go to the beginning of the prayer and type in words, Praise You and Thank-you Jesus for all you have provided.

So how should we pray? In Ezekiel, we see a perfect example, Ezekiel 36:26-27 (Read on Air).

We need that reminder. Are we walking in our own flesh? Are we doing what pleases us above others? I am sure the answer is no for many of you, but even as I read this, I think there are ways I can improve. Please, Lord, give me a new heart and a new spirit! Amen!




Into the Desert with Jesus

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Into the Desert with Jesus |The Scriptural basis for the 40 days of Lent is found in Jesus’ own going into the desert for 40 days after His baptism| #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #intothedesertwithJesusInto the Desert with Jesus

The Scriptural basis for the 40 days of Lent is found in Jesus’ own going into the desert for 40 days after His baptism.  In Matthew 4:1-11 we read (on air).

The devil tempted the Lord toward sensual satisfaction, testing the Father, power, and popularity.  These are all ways in which we experience temptation, as well.  We have Jesus’ example to follow and can learn something about Satan’s tactics in this.

Satan approached the Lord after He had fasted for 40 days and was hungry.  How vulnerable are we when we are worn down?  We can expect to be hit with temptations during difficult times and pay special attention to discerning the Lord’s voice at such times, praying, taking authority in Jesus’ Name over anything not of the Lord, and going to brothers and sisters in the Lord to get additional discernment.

It’s particularly interesting that the first two temptations from Satan start with “If you are the Son of God.”  Satan isn’t creative.  He does the same old thing to us!  He starts by getting us to question who God is to us and who we are to Him.  When we move away from the truth of our identity in the Lord, we are capable of anything bad thing.  We need to keep the fundamental truth of who we are to the Father always before our eyes, along with His provision for us, His protection over us, and His Lordship.

May we journey with Jesus into the desert this Lent, knowing He was tempted like us in every way but did not sin.  May we always stay rooted in our identity in who we are to the Father!

May the Lord give you peace!

Power of Words

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Power of Words |The power of words comes to life in the Gospels, in the healings of Christ, and in the vanquishing of evil.| #ChristianPodcast #Christian #podcast #AFewMinutesWithGod #PowerOfWordsPower of Words ~ Episode 243

The power of words comes to life in the Gospels, in the healings of Christ, and in the vanquishing of evil. Do we know how to use the words to benefit ourselves and others? In this episode, Felice shares what it means to be used by the Lord in a powerful way.

This episode is sponsored by Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Have you heard that words have power? Even outside Christian circles, we hear of the power of words in positive thinking and self-help books. Words can be used to build up our own self-esteem, and positive words we are told are good for our health! Words are used to tell stories; in books and conversations, words bring us knowledge.

Even though words are powerful and can bring us knowledge, that does not necessarily mean they bring wisdom. Wisdom is a gift of God, and it is in that gift that the power of words comes. The fountain of wisdom is reading, studying, understanding, and taking the Scriptures (the Word of God) to heart. It allows our faith to be strengthened.

The Bible is called the Word of God, and the Bible has power. Hebrews 4:12 (Read on air.)

God spoke the world into being in the Book of Genesis; with God’s word, the seas parted as Moses, and the Israelites were taken out of Egypt; with the words of Christ, demons were cast out, and people were healed of not only their sins but their illnesses.

But words can be used for evil. We see the effects of evil words in our world today, with the difference between what is true and what is false. Often the words we hear are confusing, and the truth is blurred beyond recognition. Yet, if we are filled with the light of Christ, if we have faith and allow the Lord to work through us, we will have discernment. And, if we know His Word by studying Scripture, we can arm ourselves with the knowledge that truth only comes from God. In fact, the evil that used to be hidden beyond the shadows is now front and center out in the open, and while Christians protest, the evil continues to happen.

We can fool ourselves, but we can not fool God, He knows the intentions of our hearts, and often these intentions spill over into what we say. Changes can happen with the power of words, which can be positive or negative, with overwhelming consequences. If we are not informed, if we do not study the Word of God – if we do not realize that our words have power and can be used in a mighty way for the glory of God, then we are falling short of our mission as Christians.

Words are in prayers; words are in praise a

We must begin by acknowledging that words have power and that a spoken word can heal! I’ve seen it! I’ve seen prayers answered. Words are a gift from God. We can read the Word of God in the Scriptures and learn; we can use this Word to tell others the good news. You and I have a responsibility – we must understand that our words can cause serious damage or good. We can be a positive influence on our own family, our friends, or our place of work. Words can build people up, tear people down or sow discord and confusion. In fact, words have such power that they can be outright dangerous!

In fact, good and true words are often “shut down,” or the new buzzword; now, people are canceled. How can truth be wrong? It can’t. So what do we do? We arm ourselves with that two-edged sword. We arm ourselves with wisdom. If God is the giver of truth, the giver of wisdom which is freely given, we should begin by asking for this grace, similar to what King Solomon did; this is an amazing book of the Bible and shows us through example what can happen by asking in prayer.

We read about King Solomon and how he asked God for wisdom. 1 Kings 5:12 – (Read on air) Then we read about the two women who went before the King, each claiming to have given birth to a child. They asked the King to decide which of them was the true mother. King Solomon recommended cutting the baby in half and giving one half to each, but we read that the true mother gave her child up to the other. The King knew by the true mother’s selfless act that the child was hers.

Following this discourse, we read: 1 Kings 4:30: (read on air_

Why was this? Because God is the giver of wisdom. King Solomon asked, and God delivered.

We read about the wisdom of God in the words of men throughout the Scriptures, and when it is stated, it is followed by the actions being just and righteous, and men were filled with awe.

James 1:5 If someone among you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Throughout the scriptures, we read about wisdom in the book of Judith especially – Judith 11:23 states: (read on air)

Wisdom is given by God in word and in deed. All through Job, we hear about wisdom; there is even the Book of Wisdom in Scripture.

Probably one of the most quoted verses in the book of Job is Job 28:28 (Read on air.)

Psalm 27:30 – The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is right.

How will we use this in our own lives? First, pray to the Lord, “Dear Lord, give me the gift of wisdom and the discernment on how to use it.” This prayer is the beginning. By asking the Lord we are opening our hearts to His will and His providence for us, our lives, and the lives of those we touch. Then as we are filled up, we pour out into others. We ask the Lord to help us with our family, to help us with our neighbors, and those we come into contact with each day.

A friend of ours, a doctor, would pray with his patients. But, first, he asked the Lord if he should pray. He would feel a gentle nudge in his spirit to pray or not to pray. Some people would not be open to prayer, and most came to a doctor for medical treatment, not spiritual treatment. Yet, in his years of practice, God was still using him in a powerful way.

How will you use the words that you have? Only you can decide. The power of words begins with God’s Word, and it ends with us being open to doing God’s will – I challenge you this week to pray for wisdom and the power to use words for the glory of God!


Lent A New Springtime

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Lent A New Springtime |If you find the time of Lent to be one of heaviness and drudgery, this is the podcast for you!| #ChristonPodcast #Christon #podcast #WholnessHoliness #LentANewSpringtime #Lent Lent A New Springtime

If you find the time of Lent to be one of heaviness and drudgery, this is the podcast for you!  Fr. David and I discuss the beauty of new life that comes from eliminating the distractions and dissipation of life and allowing our hearts to be attracted to the Lord.  Jesus, Himself went into the desert to be with His Father in prayer.  Each year the Church gives us these 40 days to focus more intently and intentionally on our relationship with the Lord.  While the Lenten obligations for Catholics are abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and the Fridays throughout Lent and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, there is so much more available to us.

The three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.   These are components of the normal Christian life, and yet we focus through them on the Lord in a special way during this season.  Why?  The why is Love.  We are all called to holiness, which is being loved by God, who is love, and being in love with Love.  These three areas help us to quiet the competing noise in our life so we can hear the Lord’s call more clearly and follow Him more closely.

Through prayer, we take time away to speak and listen to Him.  Try finding fresh ways to spend time with the Lord.  Perhaps go for a walk with Him or clear out an area of your house and make it a sacred space with devotional materials, a journal, Scripture, and a blessed candle.  Having a designated area for a designated purpose can help us focus and avoid distractions.   Fasting from excesses of pleasure and noise can help us become more aware of the Lord as the satisfaction of our souls.  We can focus on what we’re giving up, or we can ask the Lord to transform the hunger of our appetite into a hunger for Him.  Through almsgiving, we extend to the Lord, ourselves, and others the same compassion Jesus shows us.

Lent is a beautiful time of new life.  We are heading through these 40 days to the high Holy Days of the Triduum.  We are heading to Calvary with the Lord, and He is with us in our own sufferings and deaths.  Let’s embrace this great opportunity with joy and draw through it more closely to His Sacred Heart!

May the Lord give you peace!

Margaret Vasquez, LPCC-S, CTT, CITTI

Prayer and Fasting

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Prayer and Fasting ~ Episode 242

Do you like the idea of prayer and fasting? Is it helpful in your Christian walk? In this podcast, Felice Gerwitz shares how scriptures encourage us and ways to grow in our faith through this simple and ancient practice. Perfect as we enter our Lenten Season before Easter.

Visit and the personal testimony, One More Child, and the novel, A Few Minutes With God.

I grew up in a household that fasted on specific days a week. For example, on Friday, we didn’t eat meat. This included chicken or pork. This was a remembrance of Good Friday, even though it was not Lent, the 40 days before Easter. Every Friday, we remember that Christ died for our sins and that through his redemptive sacrifice, we have everlasting life if we accept this as truth. This reminder as a child put faith in a real perspective. Especially as a child who did not like fish. Most of the time, I ate some type of egg or pasta.

What is sacrifice? Think about this.

I looked up the word sacrifice in an online dictionary and was astounded to read the first definition was “an act of offering to a deity something precious.” The other definitions had to do with destruction, surrender, or loss. Would you agree that sacrifice means giving up for the sake of something better? When we sacrifice or deny ourselves, we are reminded in a tangible way that there is more than this life. This life is temporary. 

Matthew 16:24-26 seems like a harsh teaching.  But picking up our cross may mean self-denial. What does this look like? We give up a specific food or a sinful activity in prayer and fasting. Giving up food may be difficult; for example, giving up chocolate is sacrificial. We may crave chocolate, and telling ourselves no when we want a piece is not fun, but this reminds us to thank God and praise Him for what He has done for us. Being in a relationship and remaining pure is difficult and means picking up your cross. A cross is different for each person.

This brings us to prayer and fasting. The significance of fasting has Biblical significance from ancient times. Putting on sackcloth and fasting saved everyone, Ester 4:3 (Read On Air.) Even Jesus fasted in the desert before his public ministry,  Matthew 4:2 “(Read on air.) That is where the 40 days of Lent before Easter comes from, it is a reminder of the time that Jesus spent in prayer in the desert. Symbolically fasting from something you do daily, whether it is a food or a sinful activity, or even a bad habit (too much social media) is helpful in picking up your cross and following alongside Christ.

Matthew 9: 24-29 (On Air)  Some translations leave out the fasting part and include only prayer, but the combination of prayer and fasting is so powerful! It will change your life. So, consider this when you are praying for something of importance or for an unanswered prayer. Give yourself a time period, maybe a week or two, a month or more, whatever that time is. Fasting does not need to be bread and water, although at a certain period of my life, I did this two times a week, once on Wednesday and then on Friday. It was a time of prayer that my husband and I both did for a time. It was truly a blessed time, and we were blessed through the experience. It is not for everyone and should be done only for a specific need. Bring it to prayer before you begin.

Remember, sacrifice is giving up something you don’t want to give up. My husband fasts by giving up soda, which he drinks daily. For me, chocolate is my go-to fast. For you, it may be different. Just remember that prayer and fasting are for a purpose, and fasting to lose weight is different. This type of fasting is for the end goal of your health, perhaps dropping a few pounds, but it is not for the sake of prayer or sacrifice.

God doesn’t need us to fast for Him. He doesn’t only answer prayer that we join to fasting. God is not at our whim waiting for us to command Him to answer our wants, needs, or desires. When people say, “God doesn’t answer my prayers,” that typically translates to, “God isn’t doing what I want Him to do.” It is disappointing not to have your prayers answered and devastating, to say the least. St. Monica prayed for Augustine for over twenty years at least, I’ve heard thirty years, but Augustine was 33 when his mother died. St. Augustine, as he is known now, wrote in his book, “Confessions,” that his mother’s prayers changed him, not his prayers because he was not praying. Augustine did convert to Christianity, became a bishop, a Father of the Church, and later a saint. I can imagine that his mother prayed and fasted for her son. This is a beautiful and true story, and it should give you hope. Monica did not turn her back on God because her prayers were not answered on her timeline.

Will you add prayer and fasting to your walk with the Lord? I challenge you this week to consider it and note in your journal changes, if any, in your spiritual walk! May God be blessed today and always.

Counseling vs Coaching

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Counseling vs Coaching |Counseling vs Coaching. They are both used in regard to wellness these days.  So, what’s the difference between them?|#christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #counselingvscoachingCounseling vs Coaching

What’s the Difference Between Counseling and Coaching?

Counseling vs Coaching. They are both used in regard to wellness these days.  So, what’s the difference between them?  How do I know which one is right for me?  A governing body regulates counseling in each of the United States.  The laws and regulations of the counselor boards state that counseling is the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.  Counselors are required to have a master’s degree in counseling and to have been supervised for many hours along the way so that they have proven to be equipped to provide that service.  Counseling addresses a place of ‘stuckness,’ if not a place of great pain that might cause us to be stuck in certain unhealthy behaviors and painful emotions.

Coaching, on the other hand, is when we need a lesser degree of guidance.  Perhaps there are areas we’d like to improve, and we could use a voice of experience and some tips, tools, and strategies to improve our ways of relating to moving into greater freedom, joy, and peace.  Just as we might seek out a coach if we are trying to improve an athletic skill, but a doctor if we are suffering from pain that prevents healthy activity, so a coach can provide tools a person can use. Still, a therapist/counselor would be the one to provide the equivalent of medical care for an emotional wound.

Within the world of counseling, nowadays, people are more and more familiar with trauma therapy.  There are many different methods of approaching trauma with varying degrees of results.  If you are looking for a trauma therapist, I encourage you to ask the therapist for testimonials from clients they’ve treated.  Just because someone treats a certain problem does not necessarily mean they do so effectively.  You have a right to be an informed consumer, even as a client.  Intensive trauma therapy is a way of making greater gains in the therapeutic process because of the momentum that an extended number of therapy hours can provide.  That is, you can get on to the place of peace, joy, and freedom faster by putting in the time upfront.

Suppose a therapist is a Christian counselor or a Catholic counselor. In that case, you can open the areas where your spiritual life might be stuck because of emotionally painful experiences. Still, it is never the role of that counselor to force or pressure you into their religious views.  Counselors of faith ought to always receive you with compassion regardless of your spiritual views.

The Lord wants His people free.  Don’t be afraid to seek the freedom, joy, and peace He has for you!

May the Lord give you peace!


Love As Christ Loves

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Love As Christ Loves ~ Episode 241

How can we love as Christ loves? Is it impossible, or is it? In this episode, we explore what true Christian love means to us.

Visit the website at for books and products written by Felice Gerwitz, specifically her ministry books, A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. Please share this episode with a friend, and share God’s love with all.

If I asked you, “What is the first thing that pops into your mind when I say, ‘Christ loves?” As always, our answers would be varied.

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In a nutshell, to love as Christ means to love one another and to become Christ’s disciples, not only to learn, by reading the Scriptures, attending a Bible study, or doing a scripture study on your own. It means to look at our lives as a challenge to get better one day at a time. I read a book by a well-known evangelist who claimed that during some seasons of his faith journey, sometimes he just didn’t want to show up for prayer with the Lord. We all go through life struggles that can bring us closer to God or cause us to be stray. Showing up is half the battle.

In past episodes here and here I spoke about forgiveness. The graphic I selected for this podcast is one of Jesus writing in the sand. John 8 is at the Mount of Olives where Jesus went to preach, we read in verse 2-11 (Read on Air)

Another verse that comes to mind shows us how we should love each other. Ephesians 5:25, the entire verse is beautiful, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” this is an appropriate Scripture as I record this podcast in the month of February. How can this be? We are, after all, sinful creatures, and we fail each other often. In fact, we hurt those we love the most.

To love, you have to care, and to be hurt by love means you care so much that it crushes you when you consider the hurt. But love is more than what happens to us.  One definition of love is sacrificial, love gives, and love receives. Some of us love to receive gifts, and others like to give gifts; each of us is a unique gift. Scripture tells us we are created in the likeness and image of God. We are created with a body, soul, and spirit; we crave love, which comes to us unfailingly from Christ.

One of the most recited scripture is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This beautiful scripture speaks about the love of Christ for us – that sacrificial love. Can you imagine if Christians worldwide would think about loving as Christ loves us? Can you imagine the change in our world?

We can take it further, within our own families first and then our larger social circle, those at school, at work, and the people we meet in the grocery store. We can go against the flow and pray to the Lord for grace for this! We are so blessed, and we do not see it, but if we did we would give to others. It does not have to cost money.  A smile can brighten someone’s day, and a hug goes a long way toward healing hurts. We are so wounded that we forget that others are hurting as well. Christ’s love for us continues to pour out upon all of us – it wasn’t a one-time thing, sure His sacrifice was one time, but the effects of his sacrifice are everlasting.

1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Can we abide in God’s love? It is never too late. No matter what sin or anger we have in our hearts, there is forgiveness. It can start right now. Today, with a decision to turn away from what the Bible calls sin. Our world says nothing is sinful if you want to do it – just go for it. But in this mindset, we see that some are givers and others are takers, which frustrates all. The givers are upset. They give with nothing in return, and the takers never think it is enough.

Corinthians 3:14 – And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Love binds everything together. That is why romance books and Hallmark movies permeate the stores and airwaves. Everyone wants to love and be loved. Everyone wants that unconditional love that the Scriptures talk about, but no one wants to love unconditionally! While we can love and have sacrificial love, it is difficult to love when we get nothing back. However, we can not outgive our God. He is mighty and immense, and His love knows no bounds. Try it; try to give God your love, your trust, your time, and your gifts. Ask God what you can do to serve Him. Watch what happens.

It may not be today, but it will be at some point in time when you least expect it. Have you looked back on the previous year to see the hand of God in your life? As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20 – we may not see the miracles in our life right now, but we will see them in the future.

My son is in the Army Rangers program; this week has been the longest week of my life. He had to pass this week’s challenges to be an RS – a Ranger Student. In the private group, the administrators shared what they were going through. As I was praying for him, I thought, as Christ gave us His sacrifice for our sins, so too did the military, the police, and sheriffs, the firefighters, the first responders put their lives on the line for others. This is their job, yes. But it is Christ-like; it is loving as Christ loves. These little aha moments are so amazing when we pray and ask God for His grace. (As an aside, please pray for my son that he successfully makes it through all three stages of this journey.)

So, friends, our choice is to love as Christ loves or to follow our own way. My choice is to follow Christ’s example. This week I urge you to think about Christ’s love and look at the Scripture verses, not only those I shared but those that you find on your own in the Bible. Journal about it and think about what you have learned, what God is teaching you!

Evangelize Now Call to Christian Families

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Evangelize Now – Call To Christian Families ~ Episode 240

We are called to evangelize now, noEvangelize Now We are called to evangelize now, not next week - not in a few weeks, but now! How are you sharing the explosive news of what the Lord has done in your life with others? Perhaps you need a few minutes to collect your thoughts and consider what Christ has done for you with these simple steps. | #christian podcast #catholicpodcast #podcast #evangelize #christianevangelization #catholicevangelization t next week – not in a few weeks, but now! How are you sharing the explosive news of what the Lord has done in your life with others? Perhaps you need a few minutes to collect your thoughts and consider what Christ has done for you. Perhaps you are a new Christian. All are welcome as Felice shares her thoughts on evangelization.

Visit the website at for books and products written by Felice Gerwitz, specifically her ministry books, A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. Please share this episode with a friend; it is a form of evangelization and helping to bring the good news to others.

Last week I shared an amazing story about a friend who was healed of cancer. Not over a long period, virtually overnight. If you missed that podcast, check out Healing Power of God.  When we do things like that, share or witness to something incredible that happens in our lives or someone else’s (with their permission), that is a form of evangelization. What is holding you back? Do you feel underqualified? Do you feel that anyone else can do a better job? Maybe you think you don’t have a degree in theology.

In college, I was told that now was my time to work for the Lord. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have adult responsibilities, and now I could dedicate my time to the mission of evangelization. This is great, and yes, this is a perfect time if you are not yet living an adult life with responsibilities. But, it is also an excuse for why we are not available. The time is now; anytime is a good time.

We don’t need fancy degrees or the right words; all we need is the Holy Spirit! When we are around like-minded Christians who love the Lord, it fills us with excitement, and we want to share the good news with others. This isn’t the first podcast I have done on the topic, but this is the first podcast in which I want to discuss our personal needs and that of your family.

Evangelize Now – Personal Needs

You can’t give what you do not have. If you are burdened or struggling, the first person you need to work on is yourself. You are important in the eyes of God, you are not a mistake, and you are precious in His sight. Psalm 116: 13-16 (read on air)

We must be freed in order to serve. As I’ve shared in many other podcasts, I have turned off the negativity and asked the Lord for help. I’m not naive, and I’m not blind to what is happening in the world, but I ask the Lord to help me to see what He wants me to see and to help where I can and need to help. For example, last year, I donated to two different ministries I had not previously donated to. This is a form of evangelization.

Here are some past episodes on prayer and evangelization:

  1. Christian Harvest 
  2. Miracles of Faith
  3. Miraculous Prayers

As we share our needs with the Lord, we may feel down or depressed. THis is not from God, but from the enemy and there is a sure way to combat it!

If you are feeling down and unworthy, here is a simple plan.

  1. Start with prayer and ask the Lord the ways you have offended Him.
  2. Ask for forgiveness: God is merciful, but He is also a just judge, so repent! Let him call these things to mind. Make a list if necessary, go down each of these points, and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Not, “I’m sorry,” but “Will you forgive me.”
  3. Accept his Forgiveness, and forgive yourself. The shoulda, woulda, coulda is a killer … Psalm 103:8 states, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
  4. Fill yourself with uplifting songs, and concentrate on the words. Singing is praising God twice. It can fill us and raise us up to another level of prayer. I did a podcast on Worship and Thanksgiving here
  5. Finally, delve into God’s Word. It is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. It is called the three “i’s”  — it is the ultimate authority.

So, now that you are filled up, where do you start? You begin with your family. Again there is a simple plan.

Evangelize Now – Family Needs

  1. Begin with prayer. Ask the Lord how you can pray for each one.
  2. Use a prayer journal. Jot down their needs and read through these each day.
  3. Send them a card or a note if they are not living at home. Let them know you are praying for them, and ask for their prayer intentions.

One way we can fight against the enemy is by working on our relationship with God and our relationships with our family or extended family members. Is there someone who has hurt you? Pray a blessing on them. Is there someone that you have hurt? Ask for their forgiveness and repent. Sometimes that family member is gone, and there are regrets. Regrets you did not spend more time in their company, regret that they are gone, regrets that you have to pick up the pieces. Give those needs to the Lord and live one day at a time.

Ephesians 6:12-13 (read on air)

Reading the Scriptures about the struggle between good and evil may cause us to become fearful, but fear is what the enemy wants. However, we don’t need to fall into this trap because the battle has been won, and we must keep our eyes on the Lord … when we evangelize, we are thwarting the enemy. I want to be on the side of God, which means I know that God is with me.

Why is there sin in the world? Mainly because people are not spiritually educated. There is head knowledge but not heart knowledge. At its very core, sin is selfish, prideful, and putting our own needs before the needs of others. Our focus is not on the sins of others but on our sins and praying for others. Ask the Lord for ways to share His love, and start with your family!

I want to leave you with this; the evil one made his choice, and those who followed him made their choice. God is merciful, yet the angel’s sins are unforgivable because there was no repentance. In this way, there is no repentance after death, which should motivate us to repent now. Evangelize now. Make an effort to be open to God’s will in your life and follow His prompting. Don’t ignore it!

Your challenge this week is to ask the Lord how He wants to use you and follow the simple rules in this podcast. I pray for God’s blessings on you today and always.


Practical Connection Tips

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Practical Connection Tips | We all know that creating and having Practical Connections are harder than we think. No matter your profession, these are some ways you can boost the rapport in your relationships by honoring the dignity of those to whom you’re relating.| #Christianpodcast #CatholicPodcast #WholenessandHoliness #podcast #PracticalConnection #Interpersonal Connection #PracticalTips #ConnectionTips #RelationshipsPractical Connection Tips

We all know that creating and having practical connections are harder than we think. Whether you’re a priest, religious, clergy, teacher, mental health professional, spiritual director, or medical professional, these are some ways you can boost the rapport in your relationships by honoring the dignity of those to whom you’re relating.

The four principles of practical connection are what we all need and for which we long.  These tips can help us be intentional about relating in honoring and even healing ways.

Chosen – directly and intentionally engaging with someone from the foundational principle that all people are made in the image and likeness of God, have inherent value, and are due respect and the same compassion the Lord shows us.

  • Make eye contact
  • Smile
  • Don’t interrupt or entertain distractions
  • If someone else interrupts you or your attention is required elsewhere for a moment, acknowledge the interruption (e.g., Say something like, “I’m sorry for the distraction.”)

Known – recognize the other is sharing who they are, which isn’t a challenge or competition with who you are.

  • Listen attentively, making eye contact.
  • Reflect back on what they are saying so they know you get it.
  • Don’t get defensive or offensive.

Valued – all people have the same extraordinary dignity as children of God.  If a person is not behaving in accord with their value and I treat them poorly because of that, then I’m doing the same thing they are.

  • Don’t relate to people for what you can get from them.
  • Even if you must ask for something, recognize that thing or favor is not their source of worth/value.
  • Express gratitude, and say “thank you.”

Boundaries – there’s a place where I stop, and you start, and the Lord has protective boundaries around each of us.  Because we are body, mind, and spirit, we all need healthy boundaries in each area.  It is a matter of good stewardship of myself.  I need to also respect your steps toward good stewardship of yourself and the Lord’s boundaries for you (Jn 15:4).

  • Ask for what you need clearly and calmly. Clear is kind.
  • My boundaries for me cannot infringe upon your boundaries for you. My boundaries are what I need to provide for me, not requiring you to provide for me in ways you aren’t ethically, morally, or legally obligated.


Healing Power of God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Healing Power of God | The healing power of God is not only for past believers, as written in the Bible, but it is for us today. Miracles do happen! In this podcast, Felice shares a personal experience after a phone call a friend shared, telling her of the healing power of God's love and how it changed her life. | #Christianpodcast #Healing #Godheals #healingandfaith #faith #CatholicPodcastHealing Power of God – Episode 239

The healing power of God is not only for past believers, as written in the Bible, but it is for us today. Miracles do happen! In this podcast, Felice shares a personal experience after a phone call a friend shared, telling her of the healing power of God’s love and how it changed her life.

Visit Media Angels, our sponsor, and look for the books One More Child and A Few Minutes with God and the Character Planners for Families.

This past month if you’ve listened to the podcasts in order, the theme was about Christian resolutions and how to avoid anger, overcome guilt, and overcome laziness. We know in our heads that these are all good things to work on but do we realize that the good news, the power of God, is that He is a healing God? But, when we think about healing, we think about spiritual healing, which is important, but sometimes God does the miraculous in healing our body.

As I share this story, I have received permission from my friend. It is a shorter version of our conversation, yet no less powerful.

I received a call from a very good friend who informed me she was diagnosed with cancer; I was shocked and listened as she recounted all the ways the Lord had blessed her and turned her life around. She went on to explain how right before Christmas, she had a pain in her ribs checked out. A blessing is that her husband is an orthopedic surgeon, and she was able to go to his office for the x-ray. Since he was busy, and she was a last-minute addition to the schedule, she prayed and left the office without seeing her husband. She kept checking her phone when she arrived home, expecting a call with the all-clear, but that didn’t happen.

Later that day, as her husband was traveling home, she asked for the results. He didn’t want to tell her on the phone, but she insisted. He said he sent the x-rays to his brother, a Radiologist in another state, and said that it was taken in his office that day, and the person was a patient. He did not tell his brother the patient was his wife (the radiologist’s sister-in-law!). They both came to the same conclusion; the patient had cancer. My friend was floored. Not only that, but cancer had spread, and there was a huge cyst putting pressure on one of the ribs.

My friend explained that she felt a bulge and wondered what it was and meant to mention it to her husband, but in the business of the holiday, she didn’t bring it up. She said she began praying, and when her husband arrived home, they both were upset but continued to pray. What touched me was that she said the Lord gave her a sense of peace and well-being. She shared that she struggled, as we all do from time to time, and the Lord lifted those burdens from her shoulders. She asked for healing but said to the Lord that if she returned to her old way of feeling, she didn’t want to be healed. She also explained that she was happy to spend time preparing for death! She felt that suffering was a gift.

2 Timothy 4:7 says – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

She was keeping the faith and fighting the good fight. She was keeping her eyes on heaven and not on the things of this world. She said interiorly she was healed of things she had struggled with before and felt it was such a gift!

I was listening in shock. Happy about death? Happy about preparing for death. She was given the gift that surpasses all understanding … peace! I couldn’t believe it and was shocked as I listened to say much. So many thoughts raced through my head. Especially when she said that we never know how we will react at the time of death, but she felt that she would have time to prepare and be at peace. She spent some time calling and talking to her adult children and letting them know the results. Needless to say, they were all very upset.

Wow – Philippians 4:7 says that “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And in Romans 8:28 we read: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

She was called to be a witness, and she was not bitter or condemning God or her situation, but saying that at that moment, she felt the Lord’s presence and healing in her spiritual life.  It wasn’t that she didn’t pray for healing but she was at peace either way.

The story continues with an appointment for a CAT scan the next day, and her husband cleared his schedule to attend with her. He told the receptionist that he wanted to talk to the doctor after the scan was completed, and he did. My friend waited in the waiting room at the request of her husband. She said normally, she would have insisted on hearing what the other doctor had to say, but she has such peace over the situation she decided to let her husband handle it. Later her husband said he wanted to talk doctor to doctor and he didn’t want her scared or for him to watch the questions he asked not to worry her.

The results were astounding. The CAT scan showed all was clear, and there was absolutely no sign of cancer. As she told me this, I had trouble grasping what she was saying so I asked, “You don’t have cancer?” she said no and then explained the results showed her ribs and no cyst at all. A CAT scan is much more detailed than an x-ray, which is why her husband requested it, but he had sent the lab the x-ray and had compared the two side-by-side with the other doctor. I asked again for clarification, “So you don’t have cancer?” I was in further shock if that was possible!

The CAT scan showed all was clear, and they went home and shared the good news with their children. The struggle, she said, was that one of her sons wanted more tests to be completed. She and her husband both felt the CAT scan showed reliable results.

I was so surprised she was healed physically. At first, I thought the healing she was talking about was spiritual healing. God can heal us in different ways, and the spiritual element is typically what

She continued to have the pain, but at the time of our conversation, about two weeks later, she said that her pain had minimized but was not totally gone. She asked the Lord why and said she felt Him saying, “So you do not forget what I have done for you.”

Again, wow.

When I shared the story with my children, they said they would want an additional test run if I were in that situation.

2 Chronicles 9:6 – But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard.

Can we not take a miracle at face value? Of course, we can. Should she have another test? Maybe. But for those who don’t believe it doesn’t matter how many tests are run, they will still ask for another. She has proof of the first x-ray and the second scan. She has proof of a brother in law in a different state who is a radiologist that came to the same conclusion as her husband, also a doctor. She has the proof of a CAT scan that showed all clear – praise God!

In the book of Acts, we read about the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead and how they reacted to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the living God. Jesus promised He would not leave us but send us His spirit, and he did.

Acts 10:38 – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

As Christians, we read about the healing of Jesus throughout the Scriptures, such as Matthew 9:35-38

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Are we willing to be sent out as workers into his harvest? Miracles happen; when they do, we need to share them with others. This miracle was close to home in the case of a dear friend. We don’t understand why some people are healed and others are not. God does greater work in our life when we are open to Him. The other day we were in a small gathering, and I asked my friend to share her miracle with another friend. She hesitated and became teary-eyed before she gave a very short version, but the essence was the same, her healing was spiritual and physical healing. She said it took her several weeks to process what happened, and she is still processing the information. The same with me; it took me days to process what happened.

We expect miracles, but even greater than that, the biggest miracle is accepting God’s will in our life. I feel my friend did this in a way that I still can’t comprehend and only could be by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only God has the power to heal, but we can ask.

She called to let me know because she had been asked to give her testimony to a local prayer group and didn’t want me to attend without knowing beforehand what had happened. The prayer group was in for a big surprise when they heard her testimony of healing. Many in the audience had cancer or pre-cancer, and she prayed with them.

I praise God and thank Him for the happy ending that my friend had, but he wants us all to see the miracles every day.  This week’s challenge is to see the miracles in our life, to thank God, and to praise Him. Don’t look to the left or the right but keep your eyes on the Lord – Amen!

Overcoming Laziness

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Overcoming Laziness Overcoming Laziness is not for those who do not want change. Laziness can seep into your spiritual life as well. In this show, we go over the causes of laziness and ways to overcome and lead a more productive life! | #ChristianPodcast #Podcast #ChristianFocus #ChristFocused #OvercomeLazinessResolution: Overcoming Laziness – Episode 238

Overcoming laziness is not for those who do not want change. Laziness can seep into your spiritual life as well. This show covers the causes of laziness and ways to overcome it and lead to a more productive life!

Our sponsor is Media Angels. Two featured books are One More Child and A Few Minutes with God and the family favorite Character Planners for Families. 

I love to read, and for many years when I was busy raising my kids and family, I found no time for this pleasurable pastime. Sure I read, but books for my children or books on learning something for my business. The pleasure of escaping into historical fiction, romance, or mystery was something I wanted to do but didn’t. The reason? I had little control once I became immersed in a story, and I knew my weakness, and I knew that I would be prone to laziness if I allowed myself the time to escape.

What causes laziness? It can be procrastination, exhaustion, or just a lack of wanting to try. Did you know that laziness is a sin? Tell that to all of us who love the occasion of being couch potatoes. Or what about vegging out and thinking of nothing in particular?

However, laziness can lead to moral sin and too much time on your hands to get yourself in trouble. Think about the Internet and the access to graphics and video that can lead a person to grave sin. Proverbs 6 is about denying ourselves, working hard, and looking at a mere creature, an ant of all things, as an example of how we should diligently work. Proverb 6 is called “Warnings Against Folly.”

Proverbs 6:6-8 (Read on air)

The Bible tells us how important action is, and laziness is the opposite of doing. We read the following verses:

Read on air:
  1. Proverbs 12:24
  2. Ecclesiastes 10:18
  3. Proverbs 19:15
  4. Proverbs 10:4  ~ “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.”

As a young mom, I read a self-help book on getting things done. The section on washing dishes said, “Just do them.” Simple, right? Do the dishes when you use them, and do not allow them to pile up. Practical. Later, when I began a business, I soon learned that successful people are often the most productive. I had a podcast where I interviewed people on the topic of writing and publishing. The most successful authors were the ones that quickly gave me a bio, an answer to the outline of the points that were -to cover as well as prompt attention to whatever else I needed.

Successful people, as Proverbs 10:4 states, know how to get things done in a timely fashion.

Laziness brings its own host of problems and leads us to guilt. It also leads us to attitudes that can block our spiritual life with God. It can lead to indifference, suffering, and ignoring those under our care or needing help. It does not allow us to connect with others. It can also lead us to self-centered behavior, the world continues to tell us what we need and how we should be fulfilled, and my pet peeve is “living your best life,” because what? Would we want to live our worse life? (I get it; I still don’t like that saying!) Laziness can also lead to pessimism. It can foster a critical spirit within us and allow us to fall into arguments which will take us further away from peace and a life filled with goodness.

How do we change? We repent, and we ask the Lord for His help. In Hebrews 6:12 we read: (on air)

Do we want to inherit the kingdom? Is it good enough to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and then live any life you want? Some of you may say no. Others may say yes that salvation is not dependent on what we do. This is both true and false.

If we stop with “accepting the Lord” and do nothing else, we are shortchanging our life and becoming spiritually lazy. That is taking the easy way out. Philippians 2:12 states (read on air)

That does not sound like laziness to me. I believe we must make the fundamental option (as my pastor calls it) and choose Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Still, we must go on and lead a life free from sin (as much as humanly possible and repent when we fall) and then make an effort to spend time in prayer and in the works of service. God – family – self is a recipe for success.

Just like the book said to avoid dish pileup, just do it. What is Nike’s saying – that’s right, “Just Do It.” We, too, must make ourselves people of action. In podcasts past, I’ve invited you to read Scripture and spend time with God and His precious word in the Bible. When was the last time you did these things? We often see things as insurmountable, but in these shows, I work hard on small pieces that are attainable by you and me. I join you each week when I give you a challenge, so I know it can be done.

I’m not giving you ten things. You have to accomplish just one. Look at your life. Are you happy with your productivity? Great, then you are done. But if you are like me, you see your life constantly needs improvement. Sure, we can be happy where we are, but we should move forward in our walk with the Lord. I love the Christian bumper sticker, “Christian under Construction.”

Our work is done at the end of our life, and how wonderful that if I am still recording and you are still here listening, we have time. We have time to overcome laziness, we have time to rededicate our lives to the Lord, and we have time to be the amazing, blessed person that was always meant to be!

This week our challenge is to overcome laziness. Look at those areas of your life and make changes. Small to begin with and larger as you go on and share the good news with others. Our God is miraculous. I can’t wait until next week to share a miracle that happened in my friend’s life. May God be blessed!

Resolution – Overcoming Guilt

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Overcoming Guilt | Guilt can be terrible, and we are all plagued by it; however, overcoming guilt is possible, and with it comes the assurance that we are not alone. This podcast explores the meaning of guilt and how we can avoid the near occasion of sin. | #ChristianPodcast #OvercomingAnger #Christian #JesusSaves #Anger Resolution ~ Overcoming Guilt ~  Episode 237

Guilt can be terrible, and we are all plagued by it; however, overcoming guilt is possible, and with it comes the assurance that we are not alone. This podcast explores the meaning of guilt and how we can avoid the near occasion of sin.

Our sponsor is the company Media Angels, featuring the books One More Child and A Few Minutes with God and the Character Planners for Families.

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, what stuck in my mind was that they were embarrassed not because of what they had done but because of what they were not wearing. When I was praying about the topic of this podcast, I did a quick word search on a Bible app, looking for the word guilt. It does not show up until the book of Leviticus, Leviticus 7:1 (Read on air.)

If you remember the books of the Bible, they go like this, Genesis, Exodus, and then Leviticus. It wasn’t until Leviticus that we see the word guilt?

Guilt is what we feel when we have done something wrong. The feeling is powerful because it typically contains some self-recrimination. We are disappointed in ourselves, maybe our lack of charity toward another, our inability to have self-control or the many other reasons we feel guilty. Unfortunately, guilt can drive our lives in a way that is not healthy.

We feel guilty over things we *think* we should do. What would be on your list if I asked you to make one? When I made my list, I found that these items were not sinful. I can share with you that I feel guilty that I no longer send birthday cards to family members. Even when I buy a gift, I do not include a card. I find it difficult to buy a card since it is hard to find one that conveys my feelings. But is that sinful? Is that something I should waste time feeling guilty about? No, not really. It is wonderful to receive a card and feel like someone in the family thinks about you, but it is not a sin that we should feel guilty about.

And that is what I wanted to share with you that we waste so much time feeling guilty over the things that do not matter. Thankfully the Lord Jesus came to pay the price of our sins with His death and His Resurrection that broke the bonds of death for all of us. We no longer need to pay guilt offerings. So why do we feel guilt? Because the Lord has created us so that we realize that when we sin, we should feel remorse. People hide it in all types of ways that are unhealthy such as drinking, drugs, or denial. The issue is discerning what is true guilt and what is false.

When we sin against God or others in a way that breaks one of the commandments, we truly sin and should feel true guilt. When we don’t do something we should not do, like spoiling a child, we might feel a false sense of guilt. Perhaps we are enforcing some type of discipline, taking away a phone, or denying a child time to visit friends. How many parents feel worse when they punish a child than the child actually feels? If you are not a parent yet, believe me–it’s a thing!

Another way we feel guilt is in the example I shared about sending cards. I think I should do it, so it is on me to have a mindset change (and be okay that I don’t) or to resolve to send out cards to express my sincere thoughts to family members. However, that is something only I can decide. It should not take up head space. We should not worry about it and should put this idea in perspective.

Being guilty can be helpful as a way to identify sin. We can then confess it and move on.

But how do you overcome chronic guilt or guilt that is false?

  1. Decide what guilt you are trying to overcome.
  2. If it is true guilt, what can you do to change your ways? Can you confess and “sin no more”?
  3. How can we move on if it is false or chronic guilt for something we believe we should do, but it is NOT sinful?

When we look at the term “guilt” in the New Testament, it is all related to sin. Guilt over sin and judgment for sin. When is guilt warranted? When we are in sin when there is evil that tempts us into sin. We should feel that guilt due to sin. That, my friend, is good. Guilt from sin brings us to repentance! We can ask for forgiveness from a just but loving God and move on.

Identifying the type of guilt is the first step in freeing our minds. Do you realize how much headspace that guilt takes? It can cause people to fall into a deeper sin of a chronic condition like alcoholism or drug addiction. Guilt can eat away at us, and we need to forgive ourselves. This is easier said than done. Many people live lives of self-hatred and guilt, which turns into those chronic conditions and often true physical illnesses. Again, it is a way the enemy gets in, and we need spiritual warfare (Ephesians – read that book!) to overcome this.

Remember, the enemy looks for ways to tell us we are less than! If we believe this lie, it allows the evil one a foothold to torment us and for us to feel bad about ourselves. Our hope is in God, who is the maker of all things. 1 Timothy 4:10 – (Read on air.)

Our self-worth is not dependent on whether or not we mail out birthday cards or whatever is on your list of guilt-ridden issues. Our hope is in the living God. The Savior of all people–and what is the next line? The Savior of all people, and especially those who believe.

Can you join me this week in looking at how you can overcome the guilt that is not from true sin? How can you overcome the guilt that is false and lies from the enemy? Pray about this during the week, and join me in praising God today and always!


Resolution – Overcoming Anger

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Overcoming Anger | Guilt can be terrible, and we are all plagued by it; however, overcoming guilt is possible, and with it comes the assurance that we are not alone. This podcast explores the meaning of guilt and how we can avoid the near occasion of sin. | #ChristianPodcast #OvercomingAnger #Christian #JesusSaves #AngerResolution – Overcoming Anger 236

In the grand scheme of the Christian life, overcoming anger may seem like one of those unavoidable sins. In this podcast, Felice breaks down simple ways to overcome and sustain the joy of the long in the midst of strife!

Visit Media Angels, our sponsor, and look for the books One More Child and A Few Minutes with God and the Character Planners for Families.

This was not the podcast I wanted to record. I had another one planned, and it had to be shelved for later on; why? I lost my temper with my oldest son, who is an adult. We all get upset from time to time, but have you ever spent the time to narrow down the reason why?

When we get angry, even as Christians we are not called to be doormats or to allow someone to take advantage of our kindness. And that is the crux of my anger. I was being taken advantage of, and when I asked for an apology, I was met with the response, “What did I do?”

In relationships, there is always a give and take, but in families, we sometimes allow our children to take advantage of us, our kindness our willingness to help and then we get upset. Especially when the person has no clue why we are upset. Is there a lack of communication? Absolutely. But how does this translate into our Christian walk with the Lord?

As Christians, we are duty-bound to own up to our mistakes and take charge in regard to asking the Lord for forgiveness. As Christians, we want to be a good example, walk with the Lord, and not allow things to bother us. When I lose my temper, I feel that I am failing God. I am frustrated and want retribution, even if it is in an adult-controlled manner. Where is that joy that surpasses all understanding? That peace? That feeling that God is in control of my life?

How often do I let the Lord down? Often. And how often do I need to forgive? 70 x 7

Read all of Matthew 18:15-30, but in an excerpt where Peter asks Jesus how many times he needs to forgive, we read: Matthew 18:21-22 (read on air).

So, if we are to forgive 490 times, how often do I need to ask the Lord for forgiveness? How often do you need to ask the Lord for forgiveness?

Here is the simplified version of the rambling of my thoughts. Use this exercise to see how you have sinned against the Lord. Think about these questions (they are in the show notes).

  1. Do I take advantage of the Lord’s love?
  2. Do I take advantage of the Lord’s kindness?
  3. Do I take advantage of the Lord’s forgiveness?
  4. Do I allow myself to reflect on how I have sinned against Him?
  5. When was the last time I asked the Lord for forgiveness?

Let’s break this down.

Being taken advantage of hurts us because we feel betrayed and vulnerable. What about our Lord and Savior, who gave so much to us? He gave His life to break the bonds of death so that we could have everlasting life. This is such a hard concept to grasp, but it is the foundation of our Christian faith.

The next time we are angry, we must remember that we have fallen short and sinned. Do we correct the person who is the cause of our anger? Yes. But we do it in a controlled manner, not one where we lose control. I felt like I did this and followed through, but I still felt guilty, which is the topic of next week’s podcast!

Being able to control our anger isn’t always necessary, especially if it is warranted. I’m not talking about screaming, ranting and raving, and having a temper tantrum. I am, however, saying that when needed, we need to express that the issue must be fixed.

We can be angry, but we must be in control. If you feel out of control, and yes, it has happened to me, walk away. Tell the person I am too upset to talk to you right now, and I need a minute (or an hour) to regroup before I can discuss this rationally. And, while we are in our own time-out, we need to pray and ask the Lord for a solution. In my younger parenting days, I asked the Lord what to do with a particular child, and it was amazing when thoughts came to mind that never occurred to me. I believe these are from the Lord and His way of letting us know he is there for us.

I know that anger takes on its own form and can be violent, and this is never acceptable and should never be tolerated.

Anger stems from a sense of being right, and while the Lord loves righteousness — if you search for the word in a Bible app, you will be amazed at how many references there are to the word, especially in the Psalms and the Proverbs. But the Lord also does not like anger. Do a search of that, and the findings are eye-opening, especially this verse, which we should all memorize in Ephesians 4:25-27 – (Read on air).

In your anger, do not sin – and do not let the sun go down angry… which means there should be some form of forgiveness, asking for forgiveness but also an apology. The enemy knows when we are weak, and if you have trouble with “anger,” take it before the Lord because He can help you with this! The Lord cares about each of us, and he knows our struggles! I praise God that I have faith. God cares about the little things.

Yesterday I received an email from a printer I work with who could not deliver a document I needed to have printed on time because her machines were broken, and she was waiting for the repair person. I emailed her, told her I would pray and asked her to keep me informed. Today she said the repairman came, and the document would be ready on Friday. Praise be the Lord! It is always a blessing the Lord provides for us in other ways when we feel down. Praise be to God! It was a small victory and a reminder that God cares.

This week work on your anger if that is an issue, and look at ways we work against the Lord and the ways we offend him! I pray a blessing on you and your family today and always! Amen.


Christian Resolution

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Resolution ~ 235

We hear about New Year’s Resolutions, but what about a Christian Resolution…of faith? In this episode, Felice explores the possibility that the gifts God has for us are more than we can imagine if we put on the right mindset.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, and the entire Ultimate Christian Podcast Network network, where we bring you great Christian content at no cost. Check out the books, One More Child and A Few Minutes with God – these books help defray the costs of bringing you the network for free.

As a Christian, the New Year seems like the perfect time for a Christian Resolution instead of a New Year’s Resolution. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, let’s look at ways to thrive in the new year! So, it is time for a Christian resolution. What is on your list? It may be simple things such as spending Christian Resolution | We hear about New Year's Resolutions, but what about a Christian Resolution...of faith? In this episode, Felice explores the possibility that the gifts God has for us are more than we can imagine if we put on the right mindset. | #podcast #christianpodcast #christianresoltuion #newyearsresoltuiontime with God in prayer or going to church on a regular basis; maybe you’ve added works of service, visiting the elderly, or volunteering at the soup kitchen. These are all great and helpful in our walk with the Lord.

For most of us, this is all we can do at this time in our life, and it serves us well. When I listen to podcasts or YouTube videos that list ten things to do, I am often overwhelmed and shut down. My focus in these podcasts is to provide you with some tools and let you decide what works for you. In saying that, as a Christian, what is your focus? Is it in improving your relationship with God? One of the beautiful benefits of strengthening our relationship with God is that it flows into our relationships with others. It has the added benefit of giving us a sense of joy and peace.

The obstacles to our relationship with God are usually centered on what we perceive the Lord wants for us or expects us to do. As Christians, we should want to be free from sin; after all, isn’t that what He expects? So, what keeps us from this?

The expectations for being a Christian may seem restrictive to some or insurmountable to others. But truthfully, being a Christian is as the scriptures state – the truth will set you free.

Today we don’t know what is true. We don’t know who to trust. We’ve been deceived, and it is a horrible feeling to be lied to. Who can we trust? Only the Lord. John 8:31-32 (Read on air.)

Jesus answered in the following verses and explained (read the entirety of John 8), but the summation of his teaching was this, if you are in sin or commit a sin, you are then the slave to that sin. The draw to sin increases each time. But by turning away from sin we also turn away from slavery or the enticement of sinning. Therefore, there is freedom. Then we read in Chapter 8, verses 42-43

When we make up our list of things we want to accomplish in the new year or each week or whenever we take the time to improve our Spiritual life, we find that there are obstacles in our way, and that obstacle tends to be sin. God is waiting with open arms.

In verses 42-43, the Lord continues to explain…(Read on air).

If we can not believe the Word of God, we need to spend some time analyzing why. To love, we must spend time with the person and get to know them; this is true with our relationship with God. God is love, and as such, He is there waiting with open arms for us to go to Him, but sin keeps us from a true relationship. This wall we put up is self-preservation. We don’t want to be hurt; we don’t want to be lied to – we are protecting ourselves.

We are protective of our feelings, but with God, we can let those protections go, and the first thing we need to do is remove whatever is keeping us from Him.

Jesus goes on in verses 44-47 (Read on air).

The father of lies continues to wreak havoc on the world in which we live, and because of so many things, mainly the way Christians have retreated, we have a world that is heading toward devastation if not already there. Christians must stand up for truth. Christians who are from God hear the words of God. Are we from God? That, my friends, is my Christian Resolution to be with God in word and deed, to ask God before stepping out on my own, and to pray to God for His love, providence, and protection.

Take the time to text a family member or friend in need who asks for prayer or to stop immediately to pray. Ask the Lord to call to mind a friend or family member who needs prayers, and you will find that this is one way that the Lord can use you in a powerful way.

This year I want to challenge you to find a Christian Resolution you can stick to, and I pray you write it down and grow closer to God each day.


Christians After Christmas

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christians After Christmas ~ Episode 234

What should we feel as Christians after Christmas? Should we rejoice and be glad? Similar to our secular counterparts, we often feel like something is missing. In this episode, Felice delves into the gift of Christmas and how we can celebrate all year long.

I’d like to thank our sponsor, the movie 5000 Blankets; this movie was inspired by a true story; 5000 BLANKETS will encourage you to give to others. Find hope this holiday season when you see 5000 BLANKETS which you will now find on streaming channels such as Pureflix – Check out the website at or on social media 5000blanketsmovie

Do you feel it? That after-Christmas letdown? Many of us have been busy during the weeks leading up to the big day. After all that preparation, the letdown is sometimes overwhelming. In this episode, we’ll discuss keeping the Christmas “feeling” with us all year.

Well, friends, if you are like me, you have prepared foChristians After Christmas | What should we feel as Christians after Christmas? Should we rejoice and be glad? Similar to our secular counterparts, we often feel like something is missing. In this episode, Felice delves into the gift of Christmas and how we can celebrate all year long. | #podcast #ChristianPodcast #AfterChristmasr weeks before the holidays, and now there is nothing to do other than maybe return gifts. Our celebration has just begun if our focus has been on the Almighty, the Word becoming flesh. As Christians, we continue to praise God for one of the greatest miracles of all times, the Birth of Christ…God becoming man. We can focus on the theme of Advent, which is waiting with expectant faith, and now that He has “come” and we’ve remembered the Savior’s birth, the celebration begins.

It is similar to your choice to follow Christ. No one can make you decide this is important; it is a free-will decision. Yet, for some, it is one and done. There is a profession of faith, a proclamation of renouncing sin and following Christ, yet it ends there. Maybe some read the Bible from time to time, or perhaps there is a prayer from time to time. There can even be church attendance, yet that is just the beginning for me.

Each day we should renew our love for God. We should say, Here I am, Lord. I’ve come to do your will. We read in Psalm 40:6-8 …

When we love someone, we are happy to please them and to do things for them without expecting anything in return. As we renew our decision to follow Him, we should seek ways to serve God – in our thoughts and in our actions. How do we seek the Lord? How do we plan our lives? Does it include a prayer to the Lord for direction? Do we seek His will and his direction? Some of you may say you do but don’t hear anything back.

The Lord gives me direction in how things seem to unfold. I don’t sit on my hands and do nothing; I put something out there and pray…then I wait. Sometimes I’ll get an idea or feel like there is a direction I should take, but I do not stress about it; I go on with my life. Then I am attentive and, as we are told during Advent – to stay awake and be aware. How often do you look back in your life and see the hand of God? How often do we realize that God has been there the entire time?

We are meant to serve, not to be perfect. All the other things will follow by allowing our thoughts to focus on the essential parts of our life, faith, family, work, and responsibility. If you are stressed or unsuccessful in putting things into perspective, it might be time to look at what is causing the discomfort in your life.

I’ve shared with you before the importance of putting on the Armor of Christ. Recently I have struggled with many issues that were work-related – I think I’ve talked about this previously! I couldn’t be in business for over twenty-eight years without being able to handle the problems that crop up. Yet, this was doing me in, and I kept thinking … I need to pray a spiritual warfare prayer. But I put it off until I decided to prioritize it. So I knelt down beside my bed and prayed a Spiritual Warfare prayer. I took authority over the things in my life that were an issue, asked the Lord for providence to show me ways I had sinned against Him and rebuked this sin, and then asked the Lord for the grace of the opposite of the struggle. For example, I said, “I take authority in the Name of Jesus Christ over frustration and rebuke it and ask my God for the spirit of peace that surpasses all understanding.” Then I went down the list as I thought of things I should rebuke. I also prayed for an increase in time and had one of the most productive days ever.

We can do this, friends, we have that authority under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we do nothing without His help and providence. We should not miss the ability or the opportunity to place the things troubling us at the foot of the cross. As I record this, we are heading into a new year and closing out the old. So much emphasis has been put on the nostalgia of thinking about the new year ending sadly (or happily, depending on your situation) and looking forward to a new year of big changes.

As followers of Christ, we have an opportunity to be better, to have a fresh start which I will discuss in my new year’s podcast, and the ability to be the best Christian we can be, which is easy with the love of the Lord has for us.

Instead of the after-Christmas letdown, let’s rejoice that the best is yet to come. We have each other, even from afar or through the audio waves of whatever method you are listening to. We have like-minded friends and a community. You can find that at the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. If we focus on the love that Christ has for you and how you want to grow this coming year, rejoice because the Savior of the World is with you today and always!

Your challenge this week is to look, to be aware and to rejoice and be glad, to turn that frown upside down and smile, and to say, the Savior loves me, and I love Him. Rejoice and be glad! May God’s blessings be upon you today and always.


True Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

True Faith What is true faith? In light of so much counterfeit around us it is difficult for many people to understand truth vs. fiction. Even during Biblical times, those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus still struggled to believe. Well, take heart! In this episode, we will delve into the truth that will set your free. #podcast #christianpodcast #truefaith #christianfaithTrue Faith ~ Episode 233

What is true faith? In light of so much counterfeit around us, it is difficult for many people to understand truth vs. fiction. Even during Biblical times, those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus still struggled to believe. Well, take heart! In this episode, we will delve into the truth that will set your free.

The Ultimate Christian Podcast Network is made up of uplifting shows. Be sure to tune in weekly and visit the show page for new shows that are added., and be sure to check out the sponsor for today’s episode, the movie 5000 Blankets – This holiday season, be reminded that one of the best ways to make the most out of your hard season is to help someone else in theirs! and if you missed the quick release in theatres, it should come out soon on Pureflix.

The church’s teaching authority gave us the Bible that we have today. This way, we can look to the Word of God to confirm our beliefs. Many of those in authority at the time were eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ and recorded His words for all of us today. We believe the Bible is the inerrant word of guide inspired by the Holy Spirit. We also have recordings of teachings that did not make it into the Bible or books believed not to be inspired.

Many of you know of St. Thomas Aquinas, a theologian known for his clarity in the discussion of faith and morals. He says that true faith does not only agree with what is known because he said that even demons do this – they acknowledge the truth but do not have faith. He says that faith requires an act of our will. Remember, we have free choice, a gift from Almighty God. We have the ability to act with free will, not just with our intelligence or intellect. God is God, and His love for us, as incomprehensible as it might be, does not hinge on whether we choose Him or not. We are the ones that have conditional love – it is easier to love those who love us. With God, He is pure love. He loves because that is His nature.

There is a definitive difference between faith that is true and belief. We submit ourselves to God’s will for our lives, a free choice. It is not one that is forced. We agree because, for some of us, not doing so would be inconceivable. If we have true faith, we believe what is taught; for me, that is contained in full in the Nicene Creed or the shorter Apostles Creed. We recite one of these each time I attend Mass. I agree through my free will.

Just as we submit to the authority of the governing body of our town, state or government, so do we submit to the teaching authority of our church. If we disagree, this is not true faith.

I know it sounds like we are getting deep today – but the point is that understanding helps, but true faith is a free-will action. By growing in faith, we can live a life that is not only fulfilling but one of true peace. The peace that surpasses all understanding.  Let me read the following passage from Philippians 4: 4-10

Read this passage on your own and think about the words that leap out at you. Several of these for me are ones I talk about often; one is to praise God in all things. Verse 4 states to rejoice in the Lord always. The second is to Let your gentleness be known to everyone. As Christians, we are encouraged to love everyone, not only those who love us. In this way, we show the love of Christ to others. Easy right? Probably a struggle for many of us if we are truthful. Only God can give us the grace we need to carry on as we should. This passage also reminds us that the Lord is near. We always have the Holy Spirit with us, and what a powerful reminder to us all that the Lord is always here. Our faith is inspired by those who went before us but to think that the Creator of the universe cares for each one of us is so amazing. But one of the things we all crave is peace. The scripture reminds us that … the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Why does it say it surpasses all understanding? I believe this touches on what we discussed earlier. Understanding or intellect is a part of faith but deciding to live our faith by a free-will offering is what is difficult for many to comprehend, especially today.

Pray about this and allow the Lord to come into your life in a powerful way because while there is head understanding, the heart must be genuinely engaged for true peace. The peace of Christ is something you may feel from time to time. When I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to be in deep prayer, I don’t want to return to this world. I feel such a deep sense of peace, reverence, and awe. It is like the most perfect dream and only to wake up to the reality of life. Our lives are a blessing but let’s face it; the challenges sometimes are overpowering.

The challenge is real, especially for our faith. We struggle with our faith when we think we know better. As people with free will, we know what we want and want now. If you had your choice of an easy life or a life filled with hardship, which would you choose? An easy life, right?

But what is in the fine print of an easy life? An easy life to some may be doing whatever you want, whenever you want, and with whomever you want. As we know, some of us sadly, from experience, this can lead to heartbreak and dysfunction.

True faith is steeped in love, a conscious and free-will decision, and it encompasses and allows the love of God to permeate our lives.

  1. Putting on the armor of God to defeat the wicked one – Ephesians 6:9-11 and verse 10-11 which states: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the devil’s wiles.”
  2. Putting God’s will above our own. He knows best. Believe it as a truth. Meditate on the idea of God’s will.
  3. Be open to spending time with God. For true and good faith, we need to spend time and allow the Lord to touch our hearts.
  4. Remove ourselves from sin and temptation. I think we all know what that means in our own lives.
  5. Attend church regularly, not when we feel like it!

As we strive to balance out the head knowledge with our hearts, I pray that each of your challenges this week focus on what is true and good in your life and see where the stumbling blocks of faith exist and work on those slowly each day.








Faith Comes In Small Packages

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Faith Comes in Small Packages | Many precious gifts are small similar to our faith that comes in small packages. What a blessing and something we often overlook. #faith #ChristianPodcast #faithandblessings #ChristmasFaith Comes In Small Packages ~ Episode 232

Many precious gifts are small similar to our faith. Faith comes in small packages. What a blessing and something we often overlook. Instead, we often look for those “Faith-Grand-Gestures.” What are those small things that make faith so precious in our life? Consider this in light of the often over-the-top celebrations happening all around us. Truly the biggest blessing are gifts we can’t buy and that is the key to faith!

Thanks to our sponsor the movie – 5000 Blankets, this is a quick theatre release in December It’s incredible what can happen when you transform your heart to serve the people around you. Catch 5000 BLANKETS exclusively in theaters for two days only! December 12 & 13. Tickets at and for more information go to

What are those things that come in small packages that you cherish? Take a minute to think about this. I have a list of about five things I can think of that are small and important to me. When we look at faith in this way we can see that those small things add up to something priceless. The way we practice our faith should not be a burden or a list of things we have to do, it should be a lifestyle that is effortless. As I’ve shared in previous episodes Christians feel that we don’t give up anything for our faith but that our faith gives us so much more than we can ever repay or give back.

The happiest people I know are the ones that do things for others. My brother, through an unfortunate surgery, lost sight in one of his eyes. He went from a high-powered job to staying at home and living with a disability. Yet, I’ve watched him through the years and his recovery process and he is happier than now and has become involved in various charities. One is where he goes to the schools and reads to kids, another is the Beds for Kids program where the charitable organization works with foster parents to obtain new beds for the kids they foster. He is so happy and animated when he talks about these things, even if he can no longer drive because of his eyesight. While it is difficult for his family, they have all learned to cope and appreciate the gift of life.

In giving to others, we are blessed. That is also an underlying theme of the Christian faith which underscores love for others above self. I think we all know people that put themselves first and they are not happy. Or, if they appear happy to others those who know them well can see the underlying hurt.

It is easy to rejoice in all things when everything is going well, but what about when we have those hardships in our lives? The way we react shows us how we truly are in our walk with the Lord. At one time when finances were tight, I remember rejoicing in all of the things I was surrounded with that were free. One thing was the beautiful sky or the wonderful weather. The other was the love of family and friends. Another is the joy of being able to come to you weekly and proclaim the joys of the Christian faith. These are truly simple pleasures but can be part of the overall joy of celebrating God’s love.

It is good to remember that we should be awake and notice the things happening around us and in this way be awakened to the truth of salvation. Romans 13:11-14 states

The weeks leading up to the Christmas season remind us that Christ is the light and as we know the light dispels darkness. When we are in sin we often don’t recognize it, but later when we see it, we realize that we were in a sense in the dark. That is why I make an effort to see the good in things big and small.

The joy of having family near or spending time with my kids when they are visiting home. The time I spend with a dear friend or even an acquaintance at church. I remember hearing that when we smile at a stranger it might be the only smile they get that day. Can you imagine? We get caught up in our own world and our own problems that we often forget the hardships of others.

When we think about faith coming in small packages we can point to the scene in the manager at the birth of Christ. The fear that Mary and Joseph had to overcome to bring the Savior into the world. The confusion when they were visited by the wise men or the Magi, then by the coming of the shepherds who heard the herald or calling of the angels and followed the star. What a miracle and so many things to think about and ponder in their heart. We hear that about Mary in the scriptures that she pondered things in her heart. I may have shared with you that I love the movie The Nativity because it depicts Mary and Joseph in a way that brings home their humble roots and their hardships and makes the birth of Christ so real and heartfelt. One of my favorite scenes is when a poor shepherd allows them to share his fire as they rest for a short time on their journey he says that he is no one, and Mary says that the child is for everyone.

That tiny bundle, that small package was touching the hearts of men and women before he was hours old. If we open our hearts to those small things in our spiritual lives, we will find our faith grow.

The tiny package in our lives can consist of love, joy, and peace. Those three small words pack a punch and can increase our love and our faith. Your challenge this week is to look for those small and often forgotten joys that we often overlook and thank and praise God for this and for all things!


Christmas Countdown To Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Countdown to Faith | As the Christmas countdown begins the challenge is to keep your faith focused as you navigate the commercialism of the season. In this podcast Felice suggests you count down to a renewal of faith as you approach the commemoration of the birth of our Lord.| #podcast #Christianpodcast #ChristmasCountdown #ChristmasFaithChristmas Countdown To Faith ~ Episode 231

As the Christmas countdown begins the challenge is to keep your faith focused as you navigate the commercialism of the season. In this podcast Felice suggests you count down to a renewal of faith as you approach the commemoration of the birth of our Lord.| As the Christmas countdown begins the challenge is to keep your faith focused as you navigate the commercialism of the season. In this podcast Felice suggests you count down to a renewal of faith as you approach the commemoration of the birth of our Lord.

Thanks to our sponsor the movie – 5000 Blankets, this is a quick theatre release in December It’s incredible what can happen when you transform your heart to serve the people around you. Catch 5000 BLANKETS exclusively in theaters for two days only! December 12 & 13. Tickets are at here and for more information go to

Well, it is almost Christmas (and the Christmas countdown has begun!) and once again many homes are buzzing but for all the wrong reasons. Raise your hand if you have the decorations up or are getting ready to decorate. I listened to a video presentation on Advent, and it reminded me that decorations for most Christians didn’t start until December 24th the true beginning of the Christmas season. Is it wrong to have the decorations up? No of course not! I had a full house Thanksgiving weekend and I put all my kids to work, they have it down to a science now and each of them has a favorite thing they like to do. One son buys me poinsettia plants early before they run out on sale, and another son plants them for me. My daughter is the expert on decorating the stairs, and another son works on the arrangements above the cabinets in the kitchen. In years past I haven’t even decorated much of the tree, but this year that was my job after they put on all the lights.

Our preparations look different depending on our family and yet I hope that all of you have “preparation,” in mind as we look forward to Christmas Day. We are in a time of expectation, hoping, and wanting. Our family tradition is to light candles on the Advent wreath. We didn’t do this when I was a child, but my own children have grown up with this tradition. We light candles one for each week leading up to Christmas and read a passage of Scripture and pray. It is a wonderful tradition that brings the coming of our Lord closer to our hearts and our mind.

My son shared that his pastor preached about getting closer to God during the Advent season. While Lent is a time of penance and giving up our sins and vices, Advent is a time of preparation as well. I listened to one of my favorite YouTube priests, Fr. Alar and he talked about the messages that are varied from other pastors about what this season means.

For many of us, it is a time of parties and eating those goodies we only see this time of the year. I believe that God knows we live in “this world,” and we must balance our lives with the obligations of family and even friends. That doesn’t mean we can’t keep our faith in the forefront of our minds during this special season, leading up to one of the greatest miracles God coming to us as a child!

There are only two times of the year when there is a countdown if you will remember an event important in the lives of Christians. One is Advent the birth of Christ and the other is Lent a remembrance of the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior. Both times we prepare, and both times we celebrate the day in commemoration of Christ.

I like to prepare for Advent with the small book, “The Season of Light” by Jay Cormier. It contains daily prayers for the lighting of the Advent Wreath as well as time for contemplation and personal prayer. A key element is praising God in all things. I also like to spend time each day being thankful and that helps to put things in perspective.

Lately, I’ve had a rash of techie issues, and usually, I don’t get upset, but this time I was beyond annoyed. So, as I begin complaining I think instead, praise God, praise God, praise God! Otherwise, I’ll spend my time in frustration. These are little things we can do that make life so much better and put the focus off ourselves and onto God giving Him praise.

I love John 1:1:5 and John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This was one of the Scripture verses that hit me hard at one low point in my life. The Word was with God and the Word was God – the Word of God is Christ, and He was there at the beginning of the Creation.

As Christians one thing, we can do is mediate on God’s word, and you will find as I often do that passages you’ve read before take on an entirely different meaning. Sometimes it is because of what is happening in our lives and other times it is as if the Lord gives us a new awareness of the words. My heart just soars with thanksgiving and it is so wonderful to think that God cared for us so much as to send His only Son.

How exciting that we can pray as we await the celebration on Christmas Day and rejoice! Your challenge this week is to place God as the focus of your thoughts and prayers and celebrate Advent the weeks before Christmas in a way that gives all the glory to God.

Greatness of God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Greatness of God | The greatness of God is all around us and we see it in the miracles of life.| #Christianpodcast #podcast #miraclesofGod #greatnessofGodGreatness of God ~ Episode 230

The greatness of God is all around us and we see it in the miracles of life.

God’s greatness is nothing we would dispute and a loving God grants favor to us. But what happens when we are overwhelmed or inundated with the holiday sales (yes, Cyber Monday and every day until Christmas is upon us!) How can we be disciples of the One True God and remain faithful in the glitz of the season? By pondering the Greatness of God and His love for us as we approach Christmas. I pray that the Lord is with you and you are filled with the love and peace of Christ.

Little children get it right when it comes to simple faith more times than not. Do you remember that early song you learned or maybe taught your children, “My God is so great, so big and so mighty there is nothing my God can not do?” If you have never heard this song I put a link in the show notes for this episode. (Here)  This last stanza of the song goes like this, “My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do, for you!”

This hits home for many young children and along with the catchy tune it sticks in their heads and hearts. It is at times like the holidays that we see the true meaning and share it without family and friends. It is a time to share what we have whether it is little or big (and my favorite gifts are the ones that money can not buy).

We see the greatness of God in big things – the awesomeness of nature or perhaps in works of charity but these tend to be things that we enjoy or we do for ourselves. The greatness of God is in giving of self. That is what God did for us – not only the world He created for us to enjoy but also in giving us our lives. Think about this for a minute. What was in it for Him?

We learn that God created because of love and love by its very nature creates. A simple sentence that packs a punch. Let me say it again. (repeated on air)

For me, love is the essence of the greatness of God. Make a list of what you believe is the essence and greatness of God. I so wish you could share your list then Isaiah 40.

Titus 2: 11 – 15 states – (read on air).

Isaiah 40:12-31 Read on your own, read on air: Isaiah 40:21-23 and Isaiah

Do we, even today with the Bible in virtually every translation a finger click away understand the ramifications and essence of the greatness of God? He is greater than anything we can even imagine. We’ve been told to imagine heaven, and whatever you come up with it is so much better than we can comprehend. I shared in past podcasts something my pastor says, “God I love you as you know yourself to be.” Unpack that! In other words, we can not comprehend the greatness of God which does not mean we should not try to understand so that we can better worship.

Isaiah goes on in verses 25-26 (Read on air.)

We are reminded that God has called us by name. Not only did he create the heavens and the earth the Almighty cared enough to create you and me. You are not an accident. Your life is not for nothing. Your hurts and your worries are not trivial. The Almighty Lord has heard your prayers and your cries. Because … “he is great in strength and mighty in power.”

Then Isaiah does on in verses 29-31 -(Read on air.)

The Lord will never weary even though we do, the Lord does not need to replenish because from Him all things originate. The greatness of God can be comprehended in this way, he is always there for us. He cares, He loves and He is the Almighty. We may think God is not approachable, my husband use to say that praying is bothering God. This is not true. We look up to the heavens but He is here, beside us always. Even when we don’t feel him, even when we feel let down, even when we feel we can not go on. God created and God cares for you and for me.

During this season in your life look at the greatness of God with joy and while trying to comprehend His vastness is not a prerequisite for salvation it does help us put our problems and our life in perspective. We are important yet many of the things we want and crave our not important in the grand scheme of things. Does this mean we don’t live our lives? No, of course, we do – but we live our lives with an eye to heaven and joy in our hearts.

The challenge this week is to look at the greatness of God and place your wants and needs before the Lord and discern what is important in your life. May God be blessed and rejoice today and always!

Miraculous Prayers

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Miraculous Prayers ~ Episode 229

Miraculous prayers are all around us, yet no one but the Lord knows what will be answered and what will not. In this podcast, Felice discusses the prayer that the Lord gave us as well as prayers that are always answered.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels. Visit the website to learn more about the books and products available and the sales.

There are some prayers that are always answered. Do we believe this? In a past episode 227- Miracles of Faith I shared how God uses miracles to increase our faith. However, it seems that at times our prayers go unanswered.

However, I believe the prayers that are always answered are the ones we ask for a deepening of faith. Don’t you think this prayer will be answered? “Lord I pray that my faith is increased and there is a deepening of love for you!”

Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…

And what a gift! What better gift is there than salvation? To spend this life happily as a Christian knowing that the Lord has redeemed us and living our lives in a way that is pleasing to God—with the benefit of happiness.

A prayer that I pray to the Lord and He often grants is for more time. This prayer has been such a blessing especially when I am stressed or have too much on my to-do list. Recently I needed to attack very unsavory plans that I had put off for months. One was updating a will and our final cemetery preparations. Yes, eww! No one wants to think about death but as Christians, we should consider the end and our eternal rest with God.

What miracles have happened in your life? We all have them. I’d ask you to stop this recording and make a list of miracles if you can. If not, do this later. Here is a short list of some of the miracles in my life.

  1. I’ve witnessed the healing of illness.
  2. I’ve witnessed the healing of chronic issues.
  3. I’ve avoided car accidents (multiple times).
  4. The Lord saved me from a bad relationship in my younger years.
  5. The miracle of healthy births to five children and eight miraculous grandchildren.

And I could go on and on and on. As you listened to this list did you recall miracles in your life? When we pray we give glory to God, but God also blesses us in remarkable ways. In the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus we read in Matthew 6 so many gems that are hidden in God’s Word. If you have ever wanted a short, quick list of what we are to do according to God’s will and God’s word, read all of Matthew 6 – the synopsis for this would be

  1. Give to the needy
  2. Prayer
  3. Fasting
  4. Treasures in Heaven
  5. Not to worry

I believe prayer is essential for our souls, to keep us on the right path and to be united to the will of God – as I shared in the podcast on the other podcast on miracles, the act of prayer, especially for something we really want is a lesson in patience and fortitude. Patience in that God may or may not answer our prayer – or not yet – and in fortitude to keep praying without ceasing and maybe in the process our hearts will change and be united with God’s.

Jesus himself taught us how to pray in what we call the Lord’s prayer – in Matthew 6:9-14 [Read on Air.]

Before I read this to you I’d like to challenge you to pray it yourself – most of you have a version you pray, meditate on the words, and take them to heart. The Lord said…

  1. We learn the awesomeness of the name of God – Hallowed be your name!
  2. We learn the miracle of true piety
  3. We learn to unite our will to God’s will
  4. We learn to unite our will to God’s will
  5. God knows our prayers before we ask
  6. The Lord will provide for our needs
  7. We are to forgive others
  8. We are to pray to be delivered from temptation
  9. We are to pray to be delivered from the evil one
  10. If we do not forgive the sins done against us – we are praying that our heavenly Father will not forgive yours!

This is SO important and one that is often forgotten in prayer – we must forgive it is imperative and I’ve created several podcasts on the topic.

The Lord’s prayer is truly a miraculous prayer and one we always pray in Church, but I pray this prayer daily. It reminds me that my first obligation is to God and not self.

Another important point concerning prayer is in Matthew 6:5-7 but before the Lord gave us His prayer…[Read on Air.]

Interesting – we are to pray but not so we can boast about how great we are… I believe that works go hand in hand with faith. But works by themselves are hollow. I think that at many services instead of prayer it becomes a social hour. I am all for socializing but before the service – outside and after the service – outside! Last week my husband and I were early because he had foot surgery and he needed to get into the church before it got crowded so he didn’t have to hurry. The people behind us were so loud and talking about making spaghetti and meatballs, and all kinds of things. I had a hard time focusing and praying to the Lord! I love time to pray before the Mass begins. We need to be careful of those around us.

Many times, our prayers take fasting. This is for us, not for the Lord…but it takes our eyes off of our temporal needs and places them squarely on the prayers and on our Lord. Matthew 6 addresses this as well.

Concerning Fasting – And with fasting, we are to… (Matthew 6:16-18) Read on air.

Fasting is important but I will admit this is very hard to do – when I was younger I tried to pray with bread and water one day a week, then I increased it to two days! It was very difficult. I still try to do this on occasion, and I try to abstain from meat on Friday – especially during the Lenten season. It is a way to keep our focus on God.

The miraculous prayer that will be answered today is for the Lord to give you more faith and to give you a greater love for Him! That is your challenge this week, to say the Lord’s prayer daily and to pray for additional faith!


Worship and Thanksgiving

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Worship and Thanksgiving | What do worship and thanksgiving mean to you? Your definition may be similar to many Christians, yet where is the challenge? | #CHRISTIANpodcast #worship #christianworship #givingthanks #thankstoGod #podcastWorship and Thanksgiving ~ Episode 228

What do worship and thanksgiving mean to you? Your definition may be similar to many Christians, yet where is the challenge? The challenge is living lives that show that we worship the One True God and, in that way, our faith is permeated in all that we do. Listen to the challenge this week, by your host, Felice Gerwitz.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, and the wonderful books and products such as A Few Minutes with God.

As we discuss worship and thanksgiving today remember that the key to everything we do is to make it workable for us. What works for me may not work for you and that is important. I’ve read blogs over the years that list things that are so not doable in my life. This is why I try to simplify things for myself and for you! Which reminds me.

Have you heard the saying, “Do as I say, not as I do?” At times when I record podcasts, I feel a nudge from the Lord with the thought, “Are you living your life in the way you are challenging your listeners to live theirs’s?” Unfortunately, the answer is not always, “Yes!” Yet, podcasting on topics that point to the Lord also challenges me as well.

As we head into the months of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations the theme of thanksgiving resounds in my mind. I ask myself the following questions:

  1. How am I worshipping God daily?
  2. How am I giving Him all the praise and thanks He deserves?
  3. How am I living my Christian life to the fullest?
  4. Am I allowing myself to be used by the Lord (those gentle nudges).
  5. Am I giving myself time to pray?

Giving ourselves time is the biggest obstacle in our life, so in this busy season, we need to cut ourselves some slack while placing a focus on the most important things. What have you learned from past mistakes and how are you leading a life that does not parallel the old? Think about this and consider ways you over-commit.

Years ago I found that if I quit one ministry or volunteer position to make more time for my family, I soon found I was volunteering for another position somewhere else that might not take as much time, or perhaps was for a better cause. This is great to give in some type of ministry but look at your life, your family, and your time commitment. Be sure you are not sacrificing your family.

Worship is an important facet of giving praise to the Lord. If you have a smartphone it is worthwhile to set up a praise and worship album. At one time I had about five songs and my kids would tease me because I had so few, yet these songs spoke to me. They filled my heart with love for the Lord. Today I have a mix of faster-paced songs with some contemplative tunes. I have new favorites depending on what is going on in my life. I shared with you the song “The Motions,” by Matthew West in a previous podcast and for the longest time that was my song, it was an important one to me because I felt like I was becoming complacent, and I wanted to change. Then my song was, “Joy,” by For King and Country. I wanted to be sure I was choosing Joy, and that was my focus. My next favorite was “He Reigns,” by Newsboys. Of course, I love many other gospel hymns and I go to a traditional church where we often sing songs like “Amazing Grace.”  I believe you can tell your spiritual mood by looking at the songs you like to play frequently.

Take time to do this, and create a song playlist. What songs speak to you and what songs lead you into worship? Currently, my new favorite is “Blessed Be Your Name.” It makes me consider God’s precious Name and how we should worship Him not only in song but in our lives.

Music is a huge part of helping to set the mood which is why many churches begin with praise and worship. This opens our hearts to the Word of God spoken to teach us and challenge us. If you do not have a playlist make one, either on your phone or on a computer. It is not that difficult to do, and if you do not know how, ask someone to help.

I’m not sure who began the saying when we sing we pray twice. But I believe there is truth to those words. Singing allows us to rejoice and music lowers our inhibitions in a good way and the roadblocks we often put up keeping the Lord out. We can use music in a way that enhances our prayer time and allows the deeper meaning of the words to speak to us in a way that just saying or even reading the words can accomplish. God knew what he was doing when he created music!

I believe that worship music allows us to live our lives more fully. The scriptures are filled with references to music, we read in 1 Chronicles 6:31 “there are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there.” And we know the Psalm is a sacred song or poem used in worship such as the book of Psalms.

In what ways do you like to worship? Think about this and then when you do, make a point to make this part of your life. Worship can be serious and there is a time for this, but it can also be lighthearted. I think laughter is great and I believe with all of my heart that the Lord has a sense of humor. If He is truly Lord of Lords and created all things he created humor (the good kind) as well. Remember anything good can be perverted by the evil one.

I think one of the reasons I like music that I play in the car is because it fits my lifestyle when I am on the go. It puts me in a good frame of mind when I get to my destination. We use the tools at our disposal to make things work for us! In this way, we can more easily add worship and thanksgiving into our lives, daily.

The challenge for you is to look for a way to implement worship and thanksgiving not only during the holiday season but daily in your own life.



Miracles of Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Miracles of Faith | What miracles of faith have you considered at length? Do you recall various scripture verses that discuss God's healing power? | #christianpodcast #miraclesoffaith #christianfaith #miracles #faithandmiracles #podcastMiracles of Faith ~ Episode 227

What miracles of faith have you considered at length? Do you recall various scripture verses that discuss God’s healing power? Or the ability of Jesus not only to heal the physical body but more importantly the spiritual, the soul. In this podcast, join Felice Gerwitz and the challenge of the week to delve into the mystery and miracles that will change your life.

Thanks to our sponsor  Media Angels to find out more information visit the website here.

Gosh, where do I begin? There have been so many miracles in my own life that I could take hours recounting story after story of healing, answered prayers, and events that would strengthen your faith and have definitely strengthened mine. In a few minutes, I will share a few with you. But first, let’s address what miracles of faith mean to you.

Meaning – Miracles of Faith

When we discuss miracles of faith it can mean many different things. The miracle of having faith to the more extreme. What do miracles of faith” mean to you, what comes to mind? Is it something spiritual; such as a deepening of faith or even a willingness to be open to faith such as a faith proclamation, (“Accepting Jesus as your personal Savior), or miraculous in the sense of healing?

I actually consider it to be both. Miracles of our faith happen when we least expect them and when we are open to seeing them in our daily life. Having a prayer journal that I’ve talked about before and a praise journal (even better) helps us to see with not only our eyes but with our hearts and give credit where it is due.

When I consider the miracle of my faith, it happened as a child, seeds planted by my parents, it floundered and then grew deeper when tested by fire. It could have withered and died but instead, it became stronger because I prayed the prayer of Peter, “Lord to who can we go?” But before I read Peter 6:60-69 it comes on the heels of the discourse Jesus gave when he told the twelve they must eat his flesh and blood – John 6:57-58- (Read on air.)

Can we truly say to the Lord, “Lord to who can we go? You have the words of eternal life – we have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” If that is true and you can say those words you will definitely see miracles in your life and attribute them to faith in God.

We should no doubt in our minds that God is who he says He is – but what about when prayer does not appear to be answered? We are told we should be confident in our faith and pray, but when it seems to have no effect then what? Read all of Luke 18 but in the parable of the Just Judge Jesus took us to task (and I say us because the Scriptures are for each one of us, not just the people at the time!) Here is Luke 18:1-8 (Read on air)

Wow, if the judge would grant mercy how much more will God? God cares about our suffering but God wants us to persist in prayer. Does this mean He wants us to work for it? Not at all – it means the more we pray the more our hearts will change and our desires will become more closely aligned with his over time. He may lead us to pray in a different way or to see that His ways are the best. I did a podcast sometime back about prayer and one of the ways the Lord answers is Yes, No, or not right now. Sometimes the healing we crave is deeper down in layers that need to be healed before what we ask for can be achieved. It’s the big picture we don’t see.

A better way to understand is to think of this as a parent to a child. We know how kids can ask for things or demand things that are not good for them, the most obvious is being with friends who will steer them in the wrong direction, such as toward drugs. Our child may consider us cruel, and unjust or a “punishment” for keeping them apart. Yet, after time maybe many years later they may see the benefit of the punishment and thank you. The same for our Lord. What looks like the most wonderful thing may be wrong for our eternal soul.

We know we can ask anything of the Father yet the Lord teaches in John 5:19-24. (Read on air.)

I think this Scripture is one to ponder and it makes me consider how amazing and awe-inspiring is our God!  God can do anything. The prayer, “Please Lord make me a billionaire.” can be answered immediately but what would that do to our eternal soul?

Miracles happen I believe to increase our faith. I prayed once as I heard a tornado very close to my home (those thankfully are rare in my area), and as I did I received a sense of peace and it passed my home without any damage. Recently I shared about how our area was impacted by Hurricane Ian, and every time we prayed through that seemingly never-ending storm, individually and as a group I felt a sense of peace (and we did share in the destruction to our home and surrounding property) but we were all safe.

If I had to select one miracle in my life that really astounded me to the healing of God it would be a young man we prayed for that was struggling in his life. He had left a life of sin and was making an effort to include young adults to minister to the homeless by buying food and distributing it while sharing the gospel message. He was a friend of my daughter’s and she was always so encouraged when a group of her friends did this. And as a  parent, I was rejoicing that my prayer, “Please Lord, let her find good Christian friends,” in college was answered. Yet, he was in pain, and one time while at my home on a Friday or Saturday evening, he really looked uncomfortable and asked for some over-the-counter pain medication. I supplied some, but on a whim, I asked if my husband and I could pray for him. He agreed. About a week later he called and asked if he could come to our home. He shared a miracle that happened. Apparently, he had some torn ligaments in his shoulder and was waiting to have surgery at some point. He was given shots for the pain and it had worn off, which was evidenced by the pain he exhibited when he was at my home. Well, he said later after he left our home the pain was excruciating so much so that he asked a friend to drive him to the hospital. Of course, we were in shock! Our prayers caused pain – oh, no!! But he quickly explained that while in the hospital they gave him a warm blanket but basically said they could not do anything for him because they did not have his records on his last cortisone shot and they didn’t know if they could safely give him another and he had to go to his primary care physician. So he did it first thing Monday and they were puzzled at his pain level and took exrays – it showed that the ligament in his shoulder was regrowing and that was why he was in such pain! His shoulder had miraculously healed. We began praising and thanking God! Nothing like that has ever happened in my life since then! But wow – what a miracle and how much so that this young man went to his young adults’ group and witnessed to what God had done in His life.

Friends I was hesitant to ask him if I could pray for him – and afraid that he might reject my offer. Have you done that, asked people if they want you to pray and they say no? I am so happy that I listened to that prompting of the Holy Spirit!

This week the challenge is to see the ways you can be used by God to pray for others and to document the miracles of faith you see in your own life and in others!

Add your own miracles of faith here for us to read and rejoice in God with you!


God First

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

God First | When was the last time you put God first? The first thought in the morning, noon, and night? The struggle is real especially when life is overwhelming and seems to get in the way.| When was the last time you put God first? The first thought in the morning, noon, and night? The struggle is real especially when life is overwhelming and seems to get in the way.|#podcast #christianpodcast #puttingGodFirst #GodFirstGod First – Episode 226

When was the last time you put God first? Is God in your first thought of the day? No? How about the last thought? The struggle is real especially when life is overwhelming and seems to get in the way. Join Felice Gerwitz as she shares how she puts God first and the way she accomplishes this daily.

Our wonderful sponsor who helps bring this network to you for free, visit for a great math curriculum for grades K-12

An elderly friend once shared that as she grew older, her understanding and awareness of her sinfulness increased. This self-awareness should not be limited to age, but due to the nature of most of our lifestyles, this unfortunately is the norm.

If we take time to reflect we will all realize we fall short. Yes, it is difficult to admit but true. We all have shortcomings but the way we handle them is the difference between living a life for God or against Him because somewhere in the middle does not count. The Scriptures remind us that G0d will spew us out of his mouth! In fact Revelations, 3 verses 15-22 will give you so much to unpack. There are five main themes that we hear in entire sermons based on this scripture. First let me share it with you. (Read on air.)

Unpacking Revelations 3 -A Few Points

  1. Lukewarm faith
  2. Don’t need God – own ability
  3. Refined by fire
  4. Repent
  5. God knocking at the door
  6. Ability to hear God’s Word

Let me read the verses in  Revelations 3:15-22 (Read on air.)

Lukewarm faith – going through the motions. There is a song that really resonated with me for some time, the song’s title is The Motions by Matthew West. This was a song that hit hard because one of the lines says: (read onair.)

Matthew West was quoted as saying  “The song is about complacency and a desire to “break free from the average, ordinary, lukewarm Christian life”  – and that is what we need to do, break free of complacency. The thought is there is always tomorrow to pray, to read the Bible to attend church. But the saying goes that today is the “first day” of the rest of your life. We should look at each day as an opportunity not only to grow closer to God but to ask the Lord how to best serve Him.

Is this true of you? Don’t need God – own ability. There is a popular saying, “we make our own luck,” and I think I have always hated that phrase because to me it means I don’t need God. Yes, we should work hard, strive to do the best we can, get up and get going and not wait for handouts. However, we need God in the same way that we need air to breathe. That too is a Christian song, you may know it by its title “Breathe” (The Air I Breathe), and the original author Marie Barnett didn’t even mean to sing the lyrics (as a song leader) but was led to sing it spontaneously in church one Sunday. *You can read here story here.  It made it to a Vinyard’s album and later was recorded by many artists such as Michael W. Smith. The words go like this (read on air). (Lyrics here.) Without God we would not even have air to breathe, so all the glory and honor go to Him! (Read Onair.)

Refined by fire – Interesting the Scripture states – counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich – we are refined by fire but usually, that is a painful process and if we do not learn anything from the pain we will suffer again and again. In order to be rich we must learn from this refinement and praise God in all things, even those hardships.

Repent – The obvious here is to ask the Lord for forgiveness, but I want to take it one step further… we stay away from deepening our relationship with the Lord and putting God first when we are in sin. Like Adam and Eve were afraid to show their faces to the Lord, because of their sinfulness and their lack of repentance at that point, so too we are afraid of the justification for our sins. For every sin, there must be a payment. And sin, unfortunately, affects us all not only the person in sin.

God knocking at the door – We have discussed this in many other podcasts and it calls to mind a photo I have of the Lord knocking at the door, but the handle is on my side. God is the Almighty and can do anything, but God wants our hearts only when we give it to Him willingly. Unbelievers will say that religion is forced and there are all these rules and hoops to jump through — however, God has given us free will for a reason and a choice to follow Him, to let Him, to put God first or not.

Ability to hear God’s Word – recently in a prayer ministry meeting a friend recounted a story and said over and over again, “But I told this person specifically…” and she said this more than one time. It is interesting that we can talk to people and they do not hear or comprehend what we say even when we think it is crystal clear. The same with God’s word. It is crystal clear if we have our minds and hearts open to putting Him first.

There is so much more to unpack in those few lines of Scripture and I urge you and challenge you this week to meditate upon the words and make a plan, today to put God first in your life and to get yourself out of complacency and fire for the Lord, the Creator of Heaven and Earth! May God bless us today and always.

Evil Tactic

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Evil Tactics | What is an evil tactic? It is something employed by the evil one to take souls to hell. Harsh? Maybe. But, this is something that few of us want to talk about or consider. | #podcast #ChristianPodcast #combattingevilEvil Tactic  – Combatting Evil ~ Episode 225

What is an evil tactic? It is something employed by the evil one to take souls to hell. Harsh? Maybe. But, this is something that few of us want to talk about or consider. In this podcast, Felice will explore the tactics used and how to prevent being led to the dark side.

Visit this month’s wonderful sponsor who helps bring this network to you for free, visit for a great math curriculum for grades K-12

Few people realize the greatest tool of evil is to convince people that evil does not exist. Everything is fine, it’s good, there is nothing to worry about. Everyone gets a free pass to go to heaven. Don’t worry, proclaim God once, claim Him and go on and live your life in whatever way you see fit. I realize we all come from different faith walks. Some are non-denominational and others adhere to a specific denomination. Some teach it is faith alone and others that it is faith and works.

In the previous podcast, I cited James 2:14-26, Faith without works is dead. With this thought, we must look at the ways that evil sets to destroy not only others but specifically our lives.

I see evil glorified everywhere I look during the month of October, whether I am in the grocery store or at a restaurant. Some people celebrate fall with leaves and such, but many, enjoy what they believe is making light of darkness with evil-looking and scary decorations. While spoofs are fine, being surrounded by evil-looking decorations is not something I enjoy. Walking into a hair salon while hearing an evil cackling voice is not my idea of fun, and believe me, I soon went to another hair salon.

Here is a short list of things that are considered evil tactics:

  1. Not believing evil or satan exists. John 8:44 (read)
  2. Fearfulness (in a minute I’ll read from Matthew 10 which helps us to combat fear)
  3. Deception and lies, Confusion, Twisting of words – reproductive freedom, no big deal, not for us to judge
  4. Division – because when we are divided we are weak. John 17:20-24 (read)
  5. Diversion – an overload of information, social media, anxiety, and distractions of everyday life Matt 10:26-32 (read)
  6. Discouragement and depression – personal setbacks, always wanting more, if “this” happens, I’ll be happy. (humility)

There is so much packed into these verses, first, we have nothing to fear, the next is that we should not fear the body because what is most important is our soul, and the only person to fear is what can destroy us -that is giving into evil tactics and ultimately hell. Then there is the wonderful verse about the Father’s intimate knowledge about each one of us because he even knows the number of hair on our heads. We have value to God, my friends more than we know! We must also acknowledge God, we must not be afraid of our Christian faith or deny him unless we want to be denied before the Father in heaven. Powerful words!

5. Humility – the key to discouragement and depression is humility. Realizing we can do nothing without God. This is not a way to push off blame or alleviate our guilt, it is a way however to realize that when we do things under our own steam we are setting up ourselves for failure. Have you ever wondered when your life falls apart, and you can’t seem to handle anymore that you are “doing” it yourself and without God? Sure, we are all gifted in some way, but those gifts should be attributed to the Almighty.

In our humility we ask the Lord for help, to come into our lives in a deeper way (I know – I must sound like I repeat myself over and over) but it is a truth that when we grow closer to God we find things that are so important in our life or that we think are important fall way. All the people who suffer loss realize in the end that these are things they can not take with them when they die. That is why we are taught to look to the end, to look at our lives and when we do, when we grow closer to God we can see the areas where we have sinned.

Evil tactics are lost on those who are grounded, who surround themselves with like-minded Christians, and who immerse themselves in all that is good and holy, beginning with your relationship with Christ and the Scriptures. This week make a list of the evil tactics aimed at you and work at ways (with God, Scripture, and prayer) that you can combat the evils.


Spiritual Light

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Spiritual Light | Does your spiritual light shine through to others so that there is no doubt you are a Christian? | #podcast #christianpodcast #spirituallight #christianspirituallightSpiritual Light – Episode 224

Does your spiritual light shine through to others so that there is no doubt you are a Christian? Join Felice Gerwitz as she explores how we can point people to the light that is goodness and truth which is only found in Christ.

Visit this month’s wonderful sponsor who helps bring this network to you for free, visit for a great math curriculum for grades K-12

Darkness is dispelled by the light of Christ in our lives and in the lives of others. We are reminded of this in John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Light refers to God and darkness to the enemy. We see proof of this darkness all around us but especially when it comes to confusion.

Without being specific we all know there is confusion in this world. We hear it and we are amazed that no one seems to push back. The best way we can push back is by increasing our dedication to the Lord. Throughout history, we are aware of times of persecution. We’ve seen evidence of the persecution today. Innocent people are being harassed and fear is the one factor that controls them better than anything else.

Perfect Love Casts Our Fear – 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

There is no room for fear if we trust the Lord. Recently, as I mentioned in a previous podcast, we faced a category 4 hurricane. The predictions had it passing close by but no one predicted until it was too late to leave how close it would pass. The eye itself we heard was 30 miles wide. We looked at storm and weather maps before we lost power and what they showed was devastating. The eye was so, so close and the side of the storm that hit us was the side with the most winds. Yes, we have Flood Insurance we have Home Insurance and we even have Life Insurance, but all of those protections don’t keep you from fearing and worrying.

Once this realization that it was hitting nearby (landfall would be miles from our home), we knew the best insurance was prayer. We prayed as a group and miraculously the fear dissipated. When we were the most fearful, we prayed again. We could see the storm through our hurricane (impact glass) windows and that in itself was not reassuring. The blessing to me was that it was during the day and not at night. This was the longest storm I’ve been through. It began at about 11 am and we lost power around 1 pm (and for five days afterward). The storm raged until at least 7 pm when the worse was past but rain and wind gusts still blew.

By praying that light of Christ that dispels darkness, that perfect love that casts out fear came into play in our lives in a real and powerful way.

How do we keep ourselves in the light? By reading Scripture, attending church, joining in Bible studies, and reading good Christian books. When we surround ourselves with a focus on God our lives become richer. This became real for me several months ago, when my husband had surgery on his foot, and I became his caregiver. He had a three-month recovery and is at the end of it at this point in time. I was depressed because I realized, I was not attending daily Mass, nor praying as I did before. My routine had been shaken. I asked if he’d pray with me daily and he readily agreed. My outlook improved dramatically.

Identifying the reason, we are in the dark rather than light is half of our problem. I pray you can identify the darkness in your life and eradicate it with prayer. How are you praying? We typically petition when we pray. “Please Lord, I need this – or I need that.” Remember that praying is two-way, we pray and we listen. Even if we don’t think we hear the Lord, we can if we open our Bibles, these words are for each and every one of us. Not just for random people years ago, but for you and for me, today!

After the storm, while we had no power or internet (as I share this with you we are two weeks after the storm and still have no internet other than hot-spotting our phones), we could not see the pictures of the devastation on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island or Captiva. But once we did tap in and look we felt hopeless and distraught. We did not know how we could possibly help our friends, even though we were able to help a few right after the storm. Our pastor’s home was flooded.  So once again, we prayed, asked the Lord how we could help, and proceeded again. And, once again the darkness was dispelled.

What are the Bible verses that have an impact on you? What are the words that resonate and help to dispel darkness? Do you have a journal where you can list these? Sure, we can use a topical list but the verses that have the most impact are those that you read and seem to leap off the page.

One of my favorite Bible verses or the verse that really had a great impact upon me early on when I began to read the Bible regularly is John 1 – 5. I love it!

The answer is to allow that light to penetrate our hearts. Another verse I love along the same theme is Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Most of us do not realize how important our works are in regard to sharing the light of Christ in our hearts with others but as it pertains to our salvation and our faith. We must have faith, in Christ and understand the ramifications of salvation but we also must realize that works are important. Without our works, glorified through Christ so we do not boast or brag but give GLORY to our Father in heaven, and without works faith is dead.

We read this in James 2:14-26  (Read online.)

The idea here is to put action behind our faith. Peace be with you is wonderful, but without following through, the light of Christ in us will remain dormant. Lastly, in Phillippians 2:12-13 (Read online.)

These verses show me time and again that I don’t have to do things on my own. I can have the light of Christ within me if I just allow it to penetrate my heart. Which in turn brings me such joy, just talking about this is giving me joy right now! The Lord dispels darkness and for that, I am eternally grateful!

May God be glorified and this week, please gather those scriptures that touch you about God’s light and share them with others. Amen!


Christian Harvest

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Harvest | What is a Christian Harvest? It is a time for a harvest of souls for Christ. #podcast #christianpodcast #harvesting #faith #ChristianityChristian Harvest and Faith – Episode 223

What is a Christian Harvest? It is a time for a harvest of souls for Christ. We can only plant seeds, and the Lord reaps the harvest. So what is our duty as Christians and are we even obligated? That will be our focus in today’s episode.

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I love fall and where I live there is green-green-green all around me. Yet, I can still celebrate the fall season with decorations around my home. Fall is a time for harvesting after the hard work of planting seeds, nurturing, and caring for them. We celebrate harvest time in many ways, maybe you decorate as I do, or you can look out your window and see the glory of the changing leaves and the beautiful scenery that God has given you. Another way we celebrate is with food, especially pumpkin. Is it just me, or is there “pumpkin” everything now?

How do we look at harvest in the spiritual world? When we think of harvest, we think of it in terms of the harvesting of souls. Souls for Christ. As a young Christian, I focused on sharing the good news, but I also want to see the results or the “fruits” of conversion. You can imagine how that worked out. It was not my job to plant and reap, only the Lord can reap the harvest. But it is our job to share the wonderful works of the Lord and in our hurting world, the people are hungry for good news.

I recall a sermon that taught “faith is not faith until it is tested,” and so too our faith is tested daily. We are given a chance in our lives to plant the seeds of faith so that others too may be saved.

As a follower of Christ, you are a disciple and you are tasked to share the good news. So what do disciples do? We receive instructions from Scripture. In Luke 10:1-5 we read (on air).

Is it possible in this current time to leave everything, go two by two and visit homes to share the good news? No. But, there are other ways that we can serve the Lord as laborers. One is to pray! I know there are many of you listening that would love to be used by the Lord to spread the good news. As I’ve shared in the past, if we ask the Lord to use us there will be opportunities that come to us. I’ve had repair people that have shared their struggle with faith and how they either left a church or left their belief altogether. I could listen and instead of sharing a bunch of what I thought were good solutions, I asked if I could pray with them. In my prayer, I asked the Lord to intercede, to heal the hurt of their heart, to open their eyes to sin in their life in need of repentance and I asked them if they wanted to rededicate their life to God. Some said yes and others, not right now. All I can do is plant the seeds.

One thing I could share with people I’ve met who are hurting because of wrong against them is to share that the greatest evil was the unjust crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and out of that horrible, evil tragedy and sacrifice was the greatest gift given to mankind, our salvation. Some people accept that as truth and others do not.

Some time ago I read a book written by an atheist turned Christian and she gave the clearest reason she remained an atheist for many years. She was forced at around the age of 10 to become a Christian and accept Jesus as her Savior. She had no idea what this meant. All she could see were angry, judgemental people who were upset she would not accept Christ. She was scared and had questions but she was afraid to ask. The lady asked said, “If you do not accept Jesus you will not be like us – you will go to hell and you will not be a Christian.” All this young girl could think was… “okay I won’t be like you who I find scary and hateful and I will be like my parents who are not believers? I chose them over you.”

It took her many years to understand they were well-meaning but their approach was all wrong. They used threats, fear and intimidation instead of openness, love, and invitation.

We are all refined in this life – in Malachi 3:1-3 we read (on air).

As the Lord uses us to help as laborers for the Kingdom of God we are open to learning, and understand that we should not be afraid, that God will provide for us, and that God will give us the tools we need when we need them. Our journey is one we do not take alone but with the Almighty beside us.

When we personally encounter Jesus, we can’t help but want to live our lives in a way that is pleasing. We are filled with the Holy Spirit and that overflowing of God’s love is too hard to contain! We are called to love and to have compassion, we are called to be there for others. If you can just listen. Being a good listener is a gift. We don’t need to come up with solutions we need to be open to hearing and discerning. Maybe something that is said will spark an idea that might be helpful. We are called to be faithful and to be bold! We are witnesses to the faith.

In Scripture, we find the times of harvest were usually when things were going badly for the people and they turned their “hardened hearts” back to God.  Now is a time for people to turn back to God. People are sad, they are afraid, they are confused.






Integrity and Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Integrity and Faith ~ Episode 221

How can we pray in an effective manner? And where did integrity and faith go? So few people have both! Listen in to learn more about how we can pray for our family, our pastors, our church, and those in the world in a powerful way.

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What has happened to truth, justice, integrity, and faith? The core issue is that God is removed as much as possible from our lives beginning with our children. The long game by the evil one required the abolition of God from the schools. What better way to change a generation? Begin with the children. Even Christian schools that take government dollars find that they have a specific way they must teach and act, because – you know, you don’t want to offend the non-believers who attend Christian schools.

Why are children disrespectful to authority? It would take me an entire podcast to share my take on this as a past educator, with a degree in Elementary Ed and Early Childhood, but let me share that it is a multi-generational issue. For one thing, parents don’t follow through and teach children that obedience is required or there will be consequences, the second is that children don’t trust authority figures because they have been hurt. If we want to have respect it must be earned. It is not, “do as I say but not as I do.” And that is a major problem.

Christian children don’t know their faith, they are not taught the Bible and they do not know how to pray. If they pray it is often, “please God give me the following”, rather than beginning with praise and thanksgiving for what the Creator, the Almighty, has done for us.

Once we took God out, secular humanism crept in with all that entailed which was a skewed look at humanity with all its depravity. The job of faith was then left to the parents, where it should be. However, parents were overwhelmed with work, home, and raising kids. Many mothers were forced to go to work to help provide for their families.

Then this job of teaching the faith was left at the door of the church, which often was not attended by the very people who needed faith the most. And, let’s face it our pastors and hierarchy of the church have let us down. I was sharing with my son the other day that the evil we see unleashed on this world would not be happening if the clergy stood up in force and united against the push from evil men who want money and power. It use to be the Catholic church that stood up against evil in so many instances throughout history. And with the revision and rewriting of history, we see blame rather than praise where it was due. I don’t normally go on about the evil in this world, because I like to focus on the good and the graces that God gives, but I feel we are at a tipping point. I believe there is more good than evil in the world, but that saying about good people doing nothing rings true today due to fear tactics by the enemy. Think red background, need I say more?

As my son asked, “So what are we supposed to do, pray and do nothing?” My answer? “Absolutely not.” Sure, we could throw up our hands in defeat with the thought that there is nothing we can do but that is not true. Just as I shared in the last podcast on planting the seeds of faith, it is with prayer that we can be led forward and encouraged in what we should do.  What does that mean? It means the connection to our Lord and our prayer life is so important more than in days past.

If I could make a wish list of what I would like to see happen in Catholic, Christian, and other faith communities it would be the following:

  1. Band together in prayer for the end of this hostile takeover of the good in humanity.
  2. Prayer for those who are confused about their own worth in the eyes of God and fall into what the scriptures call Sodom and Gomorrah.
  3. Focus on our own sinfulness and not point figures toward others.
  4. The motto, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord,” throw out anything that is contrary to a strengthing of your soul toward good.
  5. Live a life of integrity and faith. Do not allow the love of money and it’s lure of evil. Money in and of itself is not evil, it is the love of money that is the root of evil.

By living an example each day for others even if it is for your own family, people at church, your neighbor, and the checkout person at the grocery store, you are doing your part. Some years ago a friend was visiting and asked me to bring her to the local variety store to get a few things she forgot. We decided to get coffee when we arrived at the coffee shop and since we only needed a few things, we decided not to get a cart. Well, a few things turned into more things and both of us had full hands by the end. So, she stuck a small container of deodorant in her pocket. Yes, that’s right, she forgot to remove it to pay until we got home. So, in the next day or so, we headed back to the store to pay for the deodorant, and it took forever. First, she had to explain to the returns that the receipt with her purchase did not include the deodorant (and yes this girl was shocked) then the girl had to call her supervisor – same story, same shock. Finally, it was all sorted out and my friend made the payment and we left. It was an ordeal but one that I believe blessed people’s lives, because yeah, that just does not happen. That is integrity that goes hand in hand with faith.

So, friends, this week let’s join together and pray for all humanity that the shining light of Christ is renewed in each person’s heart. We will do our part in our own corner of the world to make it a better place, to vote responsibly, and to be silent no more. May you be blessed by the love of God today and always.

God’s Word Revealed

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

God's Word Revealed | We often read the Bible and are left unmoved, but through the words of scripture, God's word is revealed. | #christianpodcast | #podcast | God's WordGod’s Word Revealed – Episode 220

We often read the Bible and are left unmoved, but through the words of scripture, God’s word is revealed. Why is that? What are the tools you need to get you into the right frame of mind before praying and delving into the scriptures? Stay tuned and find out.

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When was the last time you read the Bible or listened to the Bible read to you in church and found your mind wandering or the words had less of an impact than you hoped? God’s word teaches and instructs us and it can reveal truths to us that will help us in our daily lives and we are taught are good for our eternal soul. What is revealed in God’s word is more than can we usually unpack on our own and that is where the commentaries are helpful.

A quick guide to reading scripture.

  1. Pray to the Lord for the forgiveness of past sins.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit for a blessing upon you to open your mind to the words the Lord wants you to hear.
  3. Close your eyes and pray thanksgiving for all the Lord has done for you.
  4. Put on the “mind of Christ,” and pray for understanding.
  5. Open your Bible and read!

As I was preparing this podcast I thought about some of the highlights of which there are many but these were earth-shattering revelations about the sovereignty of God.

God revealed His name in Exodus to Moses in the burning bush – we learn that it was a miraculous event, the bush was not consumed in fire and by the power of God, he sustained it, and revealed Himself with the promise of liberating the oppressed people.

Exodus 3: 1-8 [Read on air] The bush was sustained by the power of God and in this passage, God revealed His name. I AM. What a miracle and one that we wish was happening today – a miracle to set His people free those of us who are believers who are crying out to the Lord for help. Not as I want my God but as you want for me. That too is takes a miracle of faith to trust in God and His insight and knowing what is best for us.

The Lord revealed His plan of a Savior through his prophetic word, and even through Mary. We may not consider the Mother of Christ sharing a prophetic word but she did and we know this because we read her prophetic word in what is known as the Magnificat, in some translations I read Mary’s song but I feel that falls short of the magnitude of her words: Luke 1:46-56 Please read those words and think about them, friends.  My goodness, when I read … my soul magnifies the Lord we should pray for that blessing and grace. To trust as Mary trusted what a gift! Sure, she was visited by an angel of God, but we all know that the punishment for an unwed woman in those days was death. I’m sure she was afraid but still, she went to tend to her cousin, Elizabeth and we further read the baby in Elizabeth’s womb lept for joy. That baby was the future John the Baptist.

I think that is why so many of us feel so strongly about abortion that we never know who the future child that will be born is, and all are gifts from God and created in God’s image. Again, we have to suspend our thoughts and put on the mind of Christ as the scriptures teach.

And another prophetic word by Zechariah – the father of John the Baptist. Because he did not believe the word he received from the Lord when he was in the temple offering the sacrifice of the people, he was struck mute. Yet once his wife Elizabeth argued about the name that should be given to their child, the Lord gave him his voice back. Luke 1:67-80 (this was soon after Mary’s words).  His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that his son would be a prophet called by God the Most High. The miracle next to that of Elizabeth being barren, and old and still giving birth to a healthy child.

Those prophetic words and the many that the Bible contains are not just for your neighbor, your friend, or the people down the street, no. These words are for you and for me! There are prophets of today some are sound and teach truth and others I believe want to sow fear in our hearts. We do not need to have a spirit of fear but we must be of sound mind and that comes from putting on the armor of Christ!

Your challenge this week is to pray to discern God’s Word in the scripture and to pray to only hear the truth and discern when it is not of the Lord. May you be blessed today and always.


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Plant Seeds of Faith

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMW - Planting Seeds of FaithPlant Seeds of Faith ~ Episode 219

Do you plant seeds of faith or do you keep all those wonderful blessings for yourself? It is easier than you think and the good news is that not the Lord harvests and not us! In this podcast, Felice Gerwitz shares the joys of faith planting.

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When I became on fire for the Lord, Christian I was so good at sharing about the Lord, yet I also wanted to see the fruits. I had to learn early on we plant, God reaps! I’m not a very patient person and that was a hard lesson to learn, but learn I did. How many times are we are asked to pray and never hear the end of the story? But, that is okay for one reason it encourages us to remember the people and pray for their intentions.

We are called to pray for each other and to share the good news: Mark 16:15-20

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The Lord gives us the gifts we need when we need them. Sometimes it is that friend who picks us up when we are down, other times it is the person we least expect, and other times it is the Lord who speaks to us through His word. I think that is why when you are filled with the graces that God gives you, you want to share the good news with the world. But what happens when you are rejected? What if you are so filled with the love of God that you want to share it with someone who is close to you and then learn that they don’t want any part of what you have to say? How does that make you feel? We can’t take this as a personal rejection although I am sure that is hard to do, it is not a rejection of us, it is a rejection of God.

The issue is that when we are excited we want others to be excited, but that too is a grace from God. It is freely given but some refuse to accept this gift and would rather rely on their own understanding and their own ability. Because let’s face it, to an unbeliever faith is considered a weakness. They may believe that a Christian can do anything by asking God for help or intercession. But little do they know that calling out to the Almighty is a recognition of that which is greater than us and in humility, we cry out to God in an act of thanksgiving, love, and hope. Faith by its very nature is hope.

When we think about the Lord and how he planted the seeds of faith, we recall Mark 4 – The Parable of the Sower. I will read a portion to you, Mark 4:3-8 and Jesus said:

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

But when reading further we find that the apostles were puzzled.

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

And that, dear friends, is how we are as well. We as Christians can be so excited when things are working out for us, and other times we fall short because things are hard. Once we received the word with joy we hear, but the roots were too shallow. Maybe we have heard the prosperity gospel that teaches among other things that if you are a believer only good and blessings will come to you. Yet, we know that is a shallow root because what happens when bad things happen to “good” people? We blame God, we shake our fists and say things like, “God, I’ve always followed you and this is how you treat your servant?” I know this first hand because sadly I’ve said that more times than I care to admit. The good news? We can repent and start again, each day is a new day with God. God does not hold grudges, and God is in the present moment as are we, however, we think about the past and it still has a hold on us.

What about the seeds that fall upon the thorns? The Lord teaches that they fall on those whose lives are filled with the goal of wealth and the desires for other things that don’t allow that person to grow in faith, that “choke the word” and become “unfruitful”. Look up the word fruit on any Bible app and you will find many, many references. In Matthew 21:43 we read: “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

The production of good fruit is through the grace of God, again freely given but not accepted by some. Lastly, we learn there are those seeds sown on good soil, and those who hear the word accept it and produce crops. The crops are as Matthew declares the fruit of faith. This fruit must be shared. But I want to caution you to wait upon the Lord.

As I shared earlier in this podcast, I was ready to share the good news with everyone and yet it was met with resistance. I think I was at fault in that I was doing this under my own power, my own idea of what the person should hear, and without the grace of God. Because we can plant seeds the best by the way we live our life. And where do you begin? With your family and then with a nudge from the Lord. We know when we should say something and we don’t. You have that feeling that you should say something and you let the moment slip away.

One of our pastors shared that when people would share jokes that were inappropriate, he would say he didn’t want to hear it or walk away. His example to others that as a man of God he was held to a higher standard, but he also shared that often it made a difference and the joke teller would apologize. How we stand up for our faith is a way that we plant seeds. A car weaving in and out of traffic or speeding with a Christian bumper sticker that says, “God Saves,” or “Christian on Board,” or something similar, needless to say, would not be a good example.

Pray about what the Lord wants you to do, and the best thing is to listen in the quiet without the distractions of the world. I know, my mind wanders too, start by reading the Bible, and allow the words to fill your heart. I challenge you this week to pray and seek the Lord and ask Him to bring you people so that you can share the Good News, as he leads you to share. May you be blessed this week and always.

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Word of God

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMWG - Word of GodWord of God ~ God Speaking To Us – Episode 218

When we think about the Word of God we consider The Holy Bible as the source, as we should. But what about internal thoughts or feelings that God is with you? In this podcast, we will delve into the Word of God not only

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The Great Commission ~ Word of God

Does God talk to you? Think about this. He promised not to leave us orphans, He promised to be with us always until the end of time, and he asked his disciples in what is known as the great commission to make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:16-20

Many of us go to church weekly at the minimum, and some daily. We hear sermons and we listen to the Word of God read to us as well as reading the Scriptures in our own quiet time. Yet, how often do we stop and reflect on the words we are reading? Do we consider our life a journey? That we are just passing through. When we look at our life as Christians we are elevated to a place that is beyond this world. And having this perspective puts us in the frame of mind to believe.

What do you believe? I believe that God does talk to us. To begin with, we start with His Word and go from there. As we read the Bible and a specific passage, what are the words that resonate with you?

There are so many glimpses of God’s love for humanity, first with the creation of the world, then with the trials of humanity when in opposition to God. I read something that said quit trying to find out God’s will for you and just live your life as a godly Christian. That is a nice meme on social media, but God’s will for our life happens whether or not we are in tune with it, everything in our lives happens not only because of our free will but because God allows it. That is hard to take in, especially because of our own sinful nature and that is why we turn to faith in times of great need and turn our backs when all is going well.

In learning to obey the Word of God we are taking that first step, that action to do God’s will by learning and loving God as He loves us. We can never compare with the love of the Father, Son, or Spirit for us.

Jesus spoke to God the Father and we read about it in John 17:20-26. It is a moving passage and it gives us an example of how we should pray.

Jesus Prays for All Believers ~ Word of God

What resonates with you? Which of those words touches your heart? Write down those words in your own journal and underline phrases that have an impact on you. I love the words, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

What more can we ask for in our life than to have the love of God within us?

Some Bibles have the words of Jesus highlighted or in red. He spoke so clearly in many places and in parables or stories in others. Write down the verses that touch your heart and meditate on them.  You will be filling pages and pages in your journal because you can not help but be touched and changed by His Word.

The Bible is filled with Salvation history but it is also filled with a call to action and to change for the better.

In the book of Hebrews verse 4:12, we read For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

God’s word changes us. It makes us strive to be the best we can be. When I read the Old Testament I am heartbroken by the choices that many of our ancestors made. Think about the Garden of Eden, think about Moses, think about the Israelites, and think about the call of Jeremiah for change. Now, fast forward to the New Testament and we see that evil man are in power and that the people are crying out to God for relief.

Now, look at today. Evil men still try to rule the world and still try to bend the will of the people. Yet, we know the outcome because of the difference between us and those who lived within the Old Testament time is we have a Savior and His name is Jesus Christ!

We must repent, believe and change for the better, but we must do it with a Christian foundation. We have all been chosen to serve and it is no accident that you are tuned in today. God is not going to leave us stranded and we have His Word. Let me leave you with this thought, Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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Transformed Family

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMWG Family Transformed

Family Transformed – Episode 217

Are you ready for a transformation within your own family? How about a challenge for a transformed family? This is a follow-up to the last episode of Heart Transformed 

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Why is it we can see the faults in other people so much easier than we can see the faults in ourselves? Did you know when we focus on ourselves first (the opposite of what we have been taught), and get our own spiritual house in order, the rest of the family will see the change and want to be a part of what you have? If you didn’t catch the last episode, Heart Transformed  be sure to check it out.

St. Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:1-4 [ Read on air]

When our family is at peace, when we are serving the Lord as a group, we will all get along so much better. I taught my children that God put us together as a family on purpose. There are no mistakes in Lord’s plan for family life. Each person was selected to be together because of what they could learn from each other. It is a beautiful thing when it works the way God designed. If we focus on the things above we are so much happier.

The best teacher is the example we set If we want our family to read the Bible, we need to read the Bible. If we want our family to pray, we need to lead in prayer. Years ago I wanted my husband to be the spiritual leader of our home, and he is in so many ways, but not in the way I wanted him to be. I wanted him to lead the Bible studies and the prayer sessions we had as a family and while he contributed to these, he is not a leader. So we became co-leaders, I would initiate the studies and he and I would contribute to the discussion. We can become upset or bitter because things do not go our way rather than take on the leadership ourselves if that is what God leads us to do. Don’t box yourself in with your own ideas, but rather what works best for your family. Never, never compare your family to other families. That will surely set you up for failure. Many people put up a good front when everything is falling apart. So don’t judge by exteriors.

Here are some simple things to do, for yourself if you do not have a young family and with a family, if you do:

  1. Start each day by giving thanks. By doing this we are giving God all the glory (Colossians 4:4 – When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.”) That is enough for us to rejoice daily.
  2. Family prayer. Begin each meal with thanks to God. Keep it brief. Have a nighttime routine that includes prayer.
  3. Encourage each member of the family to have their own time to pray.
  4. Participate in helping. Whether it is each other or contributing to the family needs. Meals, cleaning up, helping when needed.
  5. Participate in ministry outside of the home. Volunteering, visiting the elderly (neighbor), etc.

Talk to your family members and add to this list. As the children grew and left home we had a big gap in our lives, and my husband and I found we were no longer praying together because our nightly routine was changed. Even when our children were younger, the two of us would pray each evening together. This habit changed as our lives became busier. For anyone who has children, you always think you will have so much time when the kids grow older, but soon find that our lives just change and often become even busier. We must make the time to pray together.

If you are alone in your home and have a good prayer life, that is wonderful, now invite a friend. I pray with my friends often. Sometimes it is in church, sometimes it is a friend in need. I am part of several email prayer groups that send out prayer requests. I set up a Facebook group – A Few Minutes with God years ago for prayer requests. It was used to help people who needed prayers and also to post their praise reports.

And that is really the crux of the transformed family, and that is you will have so many praise reports! A praise report is where we thank God for the blessings in our lives. My son was hit by a falling object that was large and metal off of a single-story roof. The injury could have been so bad, but it turned out that while it bled profusely, the damage was minimal and mostly a scrape. That was a miracle. No swelling, no concussion, no brain damage, or worse! So thank you Lord for your blessings. If you think about it each day you can come up with so many things to thank the Lord for and to praise His Name. But, it takes time to stop and think.

What do you do when you enter a church? Is it a time to be social, or is it a time to listen and pray? Can we pray and be social? Of course! But I feel that often church is used as a social outlet rather than a time of worship. Going to church for me is a time to get on my knees, for as long as I am able, and begin by thanking and praising God, asking His forgiveness for the ways I have offended Him, and petitioning Him in prayer. However, you serve to worship it is an individual choice.

This week I challenge you to work within your own family no matter how big or how small and make positive changes. Small to begin with and grow as your family grows and adapts to a time of prayer, worship, and growing closer to the Lord. I pray this is a blessing to you and your family.

Thank You to our Network Sponsor – CTC Math!

Heart Transformed

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMWG - Heart TransformedHeart Transformed In The Lord ~ Episode 216

Is your heart transformed in Christ? In the past few episodes, we’ve looked at ways to grow closer to the Lord, with an at-home Christian retreat, looking at nature and seeing the hand of God, serving the Lord, and renewing our faith. But how do you have a heart transformation?

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math – for all your math curriculum needs.

The heart knows what the heart wants and sometimes that isn’t for our spiritual well-being. In the past months on this network, I noticed that many of the podcasts are focusing on renewal and getting closer to the Lord. I think we all feel that our hearts need to be focused on above and not within. Definitely by turning off the television and turning to your Bible and prayer.

Do you have a list of go-to Scriptures that are helpful when you want your heart transformed?

Psalm 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love.

and Mark 9:23-25 – [ Read on air] Help me in my unbelief – this is the scripture about the Lord casting out the demon from a child.

Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd – that is a wonderful joyous scripture. This is one to have memorized. [ Read on air]

When we want a perspective of not sweating over the small stuff look no further than 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 – [ Read on air]

We are made for heaven, what a wonderful truth we can hold onto, and yet we hold on to the things of this world. Even when they like us will turn to dust!

What is it that you need? Do you need to be uplifted? Do you need to rely on the Lord for all things? Do you need to feel that you are not alone? Turn to the Bible. Our Bibles are the best resource we have to be filled with each and every day. In our lives, we often have things upside down. Man (in general, not you) strives for power and control, greatness and notoriety, and love of self above all others. And does that them happy? No. Money as we know can not buy happiness.

Think about a time when you were the happiest. For most of us, it is when we are surrounded by family and friends. Sure we can be happy when we have a sense of accomplishment in completing a goal or reaching a level that we thought we’d never reach. But it is not the same. One fills our hearts with love that is overflowing while the other is satisfying but different. Even the children’s stories got it right, think about the fictional character the Grinch. He stole Christmas and he realized that the people still sang and were happy. He realized the truth, that the real gift is not the tree and the gifts, it is faith, family, and friends. So, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day. Of course, then he returned everything.

Oh for our hearts to grow to be transformed in Christ. We can be a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 – So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! Giving our lives to Christ one time is great, but giving our hearts to God daily is that transformation we all need. Anger can’t stay with us, disappointment can’t stay with us, and judging others can’t stay. Not if our hearts are aligned with God. Acts 8:10 – All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’ and Luke 9:48 – and said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.’

So, friends putting others first is wonderful but if our hearts are not filled to overflowing with the love of God we can’t serve others. If we are a dry well and there is nothing how can we give? I know there are tons of blogs and articles about self-care, and that has unfortunately created an entitled society. But where there is some truth in taking care of yourself in your walk with the Lord in order to serve others. For me going to church daily is the way I fill up.

Let’s face it, some of those God-called saw amazing things. Moses with the burning bush, Elisah, and Elisha with the chariots of fire being taken up to heaven, and the apostles after the death of Christ seeing Him walk among them in the flesh. And, while they were fearful they were not afraid of God. I think sometimes we fear what we don’t know. We are afraid to lean on the Lord because if we do we fear what He will ask of us. The fear of the Lord means awe and reverence for God’s power and might. So, when we are overwhelmed we can lean on the Almighty and hold on to the joy that comes from knowing, loving, and serving Him. We need to pray daily for the Lord to fill us up with fear and awe for Him!

This world needs more reverence for God. It needs more humility. And the wonderful news is we can begin with ourselves! This week fill yourself up with the words of God in the Bible and make your own go-to list of Scriptures that will encourage you in those times when you need it the most!


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Serving the Lord

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMWG _ Serving the LordServing The Lord ~ Episode 215

Serving the Lord is something we are all called to do yet so few answer His call. Surprisingly most don’t realize it begins at home. Are you blessed with a servant’s heart? Are you ready to spend time in witness to others by God’s love for them? Join Felice Gerwitz as she explores this topic in today’s podcast.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math – for all your math curriculum needs.

When I realized all that the Lord had done for me I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I was ready to hit the road and begin evangelizing to anyone who would listen. There was one major issue, and that was I was a mom with small kids. There was no way I could do this and not neglect my family. There is a season for every ministry and I realized (by God’s grace) that my first ministry was to begin at home.

How did my children view me? How did I show them godliness and how did I parent? These few things are important in regard to how my children see Christ represented in me. If we hope to have a family that follows the Lord we have to be the example and oh, how hard this is during different seasons of our lives. It was during such a time that I prayed for a family scripture one that I could hang on the wall and point to and look at for strength. The scripture I loved was found in the book of Joshua.

Joshua 25:15 is a verse many of us have memorized, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” This is one of my life verses and I even have a wooden plaque prominently displayed in my home with the verse. But, what does it mean? To me, it means that nothing entering my home is going to be against what the Bible teaches. And, one step further we will not pollute our minds with the filth that is passed off as television programming. Long ago my husband and I decided if our kids couldn’t watch it we couldn’t either. What we put into our minds can help or hinder our spiritual walk.

It also is a scripture that points to being service minded. How are we to serve others? Not all of us can go to soup kitchens to feed the poor but we can participate in food drives and donate to these causes. Our church has a bin right near the front doors where we can bring in canned and packaged foods to donate. There are poor boxes set up as well for our donations that go to a specific charity set up for the poor in our town. Our church is also known to help people from time to time with their bills, everything from utilities to mortgage payments and more.  We are blessed to have a large parish that is service minded, and best of all the message is solidly Biblical and faithful to the teachings. [More on audio]

The success of the removal of God from the schools was the first step to a pagan culture – the culture that you and I live in today. So, we are called to pick up our cross and follow Him. The road is narrow, it is treacherous and it is not for the fainthearted. How will we share the good news with the unbelievers? Well, let’s start by asking the Lord how He wants to use us.

Years ago I had all of these ideas on how I wanted to serve the Lord, and then I’d meet other people who were already serving the Lord in that capacity way better than I ever could! I would pray to the Lord and thank Him for having such capable people at the helm, but I would also lament, “Lord you don’t need me.” I soon fell into a pity party and felt unneeded by the Lord, until He reminded me that I was telling Him how I wanted to serve instead of asking Him. And here we are today, with a podcast network that spreads the good news, not only for this podcast but for others.

One of our pastors gave a teaching beginning with the words, “Can you imagine being called by God on your worse day?” He was referring to the book of Isaiah and in particular Isaiah 6 where the prophet sees a vision and realizes his sinfulness. 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” This is known as the “holiness, sinfulness, grace and service,” chapter. Only after we recognized the Kingship of God can we recognize our unworthiness and then in humility God can use us. God uses the humble of heart not those who think they know all the answers, and for me, this is a wonderful thought because there is hope for me! We see this with the apostles that Jesus called to follow him. Andrew, James, and John were given the experience of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. They realized their limitations and even around the Lord and witnessed miracles they still doubted.

Only after we have acknowledged our own sin, our own unworthiness, can we follow God’s call. We as Christians have a vocation, first to serve in our capacity in our job. Are you a mother, a father, are you a son or daughter, are you a single sister or brother? It is our duty to discern our vocation and to follow as we are led. Where is your gifting? Remember we all begin small and grow as the Lord asks us to grow. Your ministry can begin at home, at church, with a neighbor or friend, at a soup kitchen, or volunteering in some other capacity.

Maybe someday you will have your own podcast (Fill out a form to apply for a podcast here).

One thing I want to warn you about, the enemy always wants to remind us that we are not worthy and can not do it and that we are undeserving. Rebuke this and remember that we are all of those things without God’s calling and grace. If God calls us he will give us the strength the fortitude and the charge to continue on, and hopefully we will persevere. When I began this podcast I had a steady eight downloads, and I think at least half were one of my friends (thank you, Gerry!) But now some episodes are in the hundreds and thousands and thousands over the years. Can you imagine if I had stopped with one? Not too long ago, I was praying about the number of times to release new episodes, I had started with one a week and then dropped back to replays and two new ones a month. I started feeling less than, and why would anyone listen to this show, and I truly felt I was dried up there was nothing else to say. I prayed and prayed and within the span of a week or two I received two different emails that were so encouraging. I showed that yes, the Lord was touching people’s lives through the words He gave me.

Think of the Bible and we are in good company, we are in with the unworthy, the sinners, and those who were humbled by life. Yet we too are given this commission to make disciples of all nations, and in this day we are needed more than ever. You are never too young or too old to share the good news.

And I pray that you too want to serve the Lord in all that you do. And I ask that this week you pray for the Lord to lead you in some way. I pray that you are transformed by faith and do not be afraid! God is with us.

Thank you to our Sponsor

God In Nature

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

AFMWG - God in Nature

God In Nature ~ Episode 214

Have you ever looked outdoors and thought about God in nature? When we take the time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation we are astounded at what we see. In fact, on most cable networks there are several shows that feature nature and the workings of our world and the creatures God created. When was the last time you watched the birds in your yard or took the time to study the clouds? Our Almighty God shows us each day that He loves us and has created a vast universe to show his handiwork!

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math – for all of your math curriculum needs.

One of my pastors, a family friend use to go on and on about how he saw God in nature. He would explain sitting on his back porch and just feeling the presence of God. He would watch as the birds nested in the trees, or the wind blew through the leaves. And the look on his face was one that is difficult to describe. Suffice it to say that he looked like he was in the presence of the Almighty.

I thought I would try it myself, but I’m often distracted by what is happening around me. Does your mind race when you are trying to be still and pray to God? I decided to start with something simple, a prayer as I walked around my backyard, and then I sat in the quiet. It was not successful and I felt that I was trying too hard.

I believe that when we try to force our faith or copy what someone else does, it sometimes falls flat. Instead, I decided to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and ask the Lord to help me to see Him in the beauty of the outdoors. As I’ve shared with you many other times, when I find myself stuck I ask the Lord for help and He never fails me. All of a sudden it was as if the glory of God’s handiwork was revealed.

As I was driving I saw the most amazing cloud formations in the sky, or flocks of birds swarming and re-swarming on the highwires of the traffic lights. [More on audio.]

We become so complacent in our lives that we ignore the signs of an amazing God that is all around us. We get bogged down with the events of the day and wonder why we feel a heaviness we can not discard. In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” But, first friends before the good Lord can use us we need to let go, and allow the Lord to use us.

The point I am trying to make is that the way we perceive the world shows us a microcosm of our own outlook. We can either see the beauty in God’s creation or dwell on the ugliness. we have this choice each day, and in our lives. We can focus on the beauty of the sky, even when a storm and lightning is flashing. The area in which is prone to hurricanes from time to time. Have you ever looked at the vastness of a hurricane, especially over land? It is awe-inspiring as well as deadly. It is a time to take shelter, and carefully prepare. We see the danger coming and can make provisions for our life. It is a warning.

Just as we prepare for a hurricane or lightning storm, we prepare for our spiritual wellness. In 2 Corinthians 5 we read, “…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Our faith is in God and in God we see the greatness of his creation in the world He gave us. The new movement has made a god out of creation and the elements, with talk of forces and auras and other counterfeits. Yet, we need to take back authority to speak of creation as seeing it as His handiwork. The creation is good, not bad. Man has turned his back on God and therefore sin entered the world. How do we know that the world is created good? We read it in the book of Genesis as we read about the creation of the world. Genesis 1:31 sums up God’s creation, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” God said it was good – very good. Why wouldn’t it be good if it was God who created it?

The vastness of the universe is also a sign of God’s immense greatness. Have you ever stargazed on a clear night? Another awe-inspiring look at nature. The universe makes us appear like a micro-speck or insignificant. Psalms 8:1-4 [Read on air.]

God created us in His image and learned men throughout time have tried to understand exactly what that means. We can again see God’s handiwork in the marvel of the human body, a single-celled organism is not simple at all it is highly complex. And think of the human body with trillions of cells.

What an amazing God we serve! So, friends, rejoice. When you are down look outside, look at the beautiful world that surrounds you. This week, look at the creation of the universe and praise God in everything! I pray the Lord blesses you and infills you with joy and the peace that surpasses understanding.


Christian Retreat

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Christian Retreat ~ At Home – Episode 213

It is time to fill up your spiritual tank with a Christian retreat. No matter what time of the year a refilling is good and that begins with a good Bible Study, or you, the Holy Spirit, and a pad and paper. Have you ever tried to listen to God and then had a sense of something you wanted to write down? In this way, we can communicate (in our own fallen way) with the Almighty. While it is not the same as face-to-face, we’ll have to wait for that time at the end of our lives, it is still a way to have a Christian retreat in our own homes.

– and if you missed my podcast on Renewing Your Faith you can catch it here.

Not all of us can leave to go on a weekend retreat, but if you have ever had the opportunity to go on a really good one, you know the blessings are unsurpassed. In the past, we’ve talked about spending time with God, the entire purpose or theme of this podcast, but this takes it one step further. Prayer is a communication of some sort, many times we feel it is one-sided. We talk, we listen and we hear silence. Or we look for a particular feeling, one of joy, thanksgiving, or peace. When we try to find these things and don’t we feel that we’ve failed in some way, or perhaps given up.

If you could go on a retreat what are your goals? What is it that you would want to get out of it? Is it getting closer to God? Growing in your relationship? Is it learning, listening, or perhaps making a point to rely upon the Lord? Or, is it to rest in th