God In Nature

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!

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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

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 the Lord, to become infilled and empowered by the Holy Spirit?

Recently I read something that really caused me to analyze my own relationship with the Lord. It said that if we are short-tempered, finding ourselves quickly annoyed, or unable to deal with the detours of life, we need to look at our relationship with the Lord. The people who are on track, who have a good relationship with God, and who feel that they spend time in meaningful prayer, learning, sharing their faith, and giving of themselves in service to others are the ones that can handle most things calmly.

Wow, that was eye-opening. In fact, I had just shared with my husband shortly before that the opposite. I asked him why I was unable to deal with all of the minor issues, many of them computer related that normally didn’t cause me to become upset. In the space of two weeks, my husband’s website was hacked, junk emails were created and sent from his account, and we had to move our server to a more secure one including this podcast network and the other one I owned, and website. Not only that, but the accounting software my husband’s business uses was giving me issues! And, I had no patience at all.

Sure, we all have things that happen in our lives and sometimes we handle them better than others, but this type of thing never bothered me. I was attributing my irritations to getting older! But, the Lord set me straight. If I truly believe, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my savior, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 then I have to live my life in this way. And, the best way to begin is by filling back up and renewing my relationship with God.

And, today we will discuss a customized retreat just for you!

First, if you have been on a retreat, think about some of the things you enjoyed. I’m going to share my list with you, be sure to add to this or subtract things that don’t interest you. You may need to tweak or adjust it to fit your schedule.

My favorite aspects of the retreat are the following?

  1. Quiet.
  2. Time for prayer.
  3. Praise and Worship.
  4. Solitude.
  5. Time for confession.

Retreats usually contain some type of guest speaker who gets us started on the journey of turning our hearts toward God. This may be several talks or one key talk. I spent the weekend at a retreat that started with a keynote on a Friday evening, then the silent part of the retreat. We were asked to go back to our rooms, and if we had a roommate to still remain silent. We could break our silence the next day at breakfast. The focus was on giving our thoughts to God and reading, praying or spending time in that quiet thinking about what the speaker said that was impactful but more importantly to train our busy minds to slow down. When you take communication out of the equation and are forced into quiet it is amazing. It allows you a chance to breathe and relax.

When you are in the car, can you just drive in silence? If the answer is always no, maybe it is time to begin your car trip with prayer. I plan to do another podcast on this very topic at some point soon. I use my car trips always the very beginning of one to pray. Once I am finished with my prayers, then I can flip on the radio or podcasts. But first I must have time with God.

The point of a retreat is relationship and communication only with the Lord. It can be a time of prayer and petition for yourself, wait another time to pray for others, unless you are really led to do it during this time.

So, your dream retreat what would it look like? Here is a thumbnail outline to start you off.

  1.  First, ask the Lord to fill you to overflowing with His love joy, and peace or whatever the goals are for your retreat.
  2. Find a quiet place. Somewhere you will not be interrupted.
  3. Have a journal, a pen, your Bible, and something to drink.
  4.  Praise God – either in word or song. If you can sing, do it! Have a favorite playlist? Play it.
  5. Wait until you feel the joy or the sense of peace and allow that to fill you in the quiet. Remain in this way as long as you’d like or time permits.
  6. Write down any thoughts or words. Don’t be in a hurry with this. Close your eyes and just wait upon the Lord.
  7. Read scripture if you are led to a particular scripture. Again, write down the words that touch you, and in the quiet and listen. Mediate on what they mean in your life.
  8. Ask the Lord, in prayer to strengthen your faith (or whatever it is you want to ask the Lord).
  9. Write down any thoughts or goals you want for this day or the future. Make these goals reachable!
  10. Praise God and thank Him for this time with Him.

Create your own retreat and you will be blessed.

 

Christian Journey

Christian Journey ~ Life’s Journey With Christ – Episode 212

Have you heard the saying if life hands you lemons make lemonade? Sometimes that is what our Christian journey feels like, a constant struggle to make that lemonade when all we want is to sit with a sour face. In this podcast, I talk about how we can make our journey better, one step at a time.

Visit MediaAngels.com for books and curriculum to aid you on your Christian Journey.

When was the last time you picked up your cross and followed Christ? For some of us, it is every day. Or, just when you think you have a break in your life it begins all over again! Our Christian journey is one that is filled with love, and laughter but also with the cross. Yet, our cross is not so heavy if we allow the Lord to help us carry it. More on the podcast.

With a plan such as reading the Bible, taking time to pray, journaling, and spending some time in quiet with God, we will be prepared for those arrows from the wicked one. God is a God of blessings!

Ephesians 1:3-6 (Read on air)

Wow – to the praise and the glory of His grace! If that doesn’t make you smile nothing will. Our faith journey is littered with hardships, yes but it is filled with praise, we are the adopted sons and daughters through Jesus Christ what else could we possibly desire? Jesus himself showed us how to be a true servant, the master served the disciples. He taught them and he lifted them up. He shared the food He had and He spoke to them of a time when there would no longer be tears. The disciples truly walked with the Lord and yet after he died, they did not recognize Him. The walk to Emmaus is an example of this. Our walk to Emmaus is our daily journey of faith. You can read about this in Luke 24:35-48 but here is an excerpt – Luke 24:44-48 (read on air)

Because of what Jesus said, the repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed and in His Name, all the nations would witness this, because of what Jesus did for us there is this Divine power, this is the power of God that turns horrible things into something wonderful. The tears of sorrow become the tears of joy. Without hardships, we can not appreciate the wonderful things that happen.

We need to remember this on our walk that as Jesus kept coming back to his apostles to teach them, He comes to us through His Holy Spirit, holy men and women that God puts in our path and in our churches, and the Holy Word of God. In this way, the Lord keeps coming to us on our faith journey and we should thank the Lord for opening our eyes and sharing in that journey in the breaking of the bread. Each meal should begin with a prayer of thanksgiving. Each day should begin in the same way. This relationship of ours with Jesus Christ, true God, and true man is such a gift and one we should cherish.

Fill in the blank of the following sentence: “As we travel on the road of faith, I will continually seek:__________

What would be on your list? Think about this, and create a list of five to ten things (or more). This will help you to see where you are and it will help you to make a plan. Light, true light dispels the darkness of the soul but in order for this light to penetrate, we must be willing to open our hearts to God. Lying is one of the ways that keeps the light out and sometimes people fall into the trap of lies because they want to say what is pleasing to others without thinking about the truth.

The light of Christ breaks down the barriers of selfishness and pride, it breaks down greed and sin, it opens us up to what needs cleaning and it gives us a chance to do it before it is too late. Today at Mass the pastor urged us to think about our final day on earth as one of the things we do each day. If it was our final day how would we live? This puts our life into perspective and hopefully leads to our transformation.

Our faith journey should include a conversion and a transformation but also growth and conformity into the life that God has for us, a life that is far more splendid than anything we can imagine. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. That is what we pray in the Lord’s prayer and that is the challenge for you this week. As you travel the road of faith, pick up a friend or two and proceed toward Him, who is there with open arms. May God be blessed, now and forever.

 

Renew Your Faith

It is time to renew your faith in God. Today. There are so many things we renew but often our faith is left behind.Renew Your Faith ~ Episode 211

It is time to renew your faith in God. Today. There are so many things we renew but often our faith is not one of those things that we think about in that way. In this podcast, we will discuss ways to recharge your faith and how to do this in a way that makes sense for your life.

Visit MediaAngels.com for books, curriculum, and other offerings, just for you. Check out the books One More Child and A Few Minutes with God there as well. Available in print or digital.

When we renew things such as our auto, health or life insurance, it causes us to pause in our lives to do something that is sometimes painful. Shopping for insurance is no fun. What about our faith? Does your faith need renewal or a recharge? When we stop and look at our faith we may see places that need shoring up or other places where we spend much time but maybe do not see as much fruit in the way of change.

Many times we have not matured into our faith. Our years move on but our faith remains stagnant. I can see the evidence of this when I go into a church and see few people in attendance. Sure, you can watch many different services online, but it is different than participating in purpose, especially if there is no physical reason that you can’t. And, on the other hand just because you go to church doesn’t mean you believe. It can be an obligation you fulfill or you go to make someone else happy.

We go and we worship because it is one of the commandments of  God, “Keep Holy the Sabbath,” and the wisdom of God trumps anything else, or it should.

In Christian homes, a child may believe because of their parents, and their faith is their parent’s faith. Faith is a personal decision, it is a fundamental option to choose God, follow God, and live a life that is holy. What does this mean to you?

Take a look at your daily walk with the Lord and ask yourself the following:

  1. Do you wake up praising God or in some way thinking about the Lord?
  2. Do you pray?
  3. Do you spend time in God’s Word, at church or with the Bible, or another app?
  4. Do you spend time in quiet with God?
  5. Do you journal or are you in a Bible study?

If you find yourself falling a bit short, don’t worry. We can look back to see where we want to improve, but then move forward in how we want our lives to look. All of us want joy, peace, and love in our lives, and these come directly from the source of all love, and that is God. Renewing our faith means renewing our dedication to doing God’s will.

Renewing Your Faith ~ A New Beginning

Where do we begin? With a profession of faith. We can start with a prayer such as the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed, but I would invite you to take it a step further. Write the Lord your own love letter, a pledge to love, honor, and follow Him. It can look something like this:

“I praise you and I thank you my Lord for all you have done in my life. I want to dedicate my life to you in a new way, in a deeper way, and in a way that is pleasing to You, my Lord. Come into my heart Lord and fill it to overflowing with your love. Jesus, I trust in You. Help me to place You before all else. Help to keep me on the straight path, do not allow me to stray, and keep me from sin, my God. I dedicate all that I do and say to You and ask that You help make it pleasing. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

You can add or take away anything you want, but make it a heartfelt prayer that tells the Lord you trust in Him and His divine will. When we fill ourselves with thoughts about God the darkness is dispelled. We can not live in fear and faith at the same time. God has already overcome the enemy and we need to place our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

We can easily look at examples in the Bible of people who turned their back on God, the Israelites come to mind. God’s people suffered in exile and yet they continued to be unfaithful. If we trust in God we can not serve two masters.

Examine your life and look at the way that you spend your time. Is there anything you can do to place God first? Is there something you can avoid, or move in your schedule to make more time to learn more about your faith? What can you do to surrender your time to God?

I learned that to be more productive during the week I needed time to recharge. Renewing your faith is like a “recharge” of your faith battery. Keeping holy the sabbath is a way to enjoy the world that God has given to you, to enjoy your life in some small way. Enjoying a beautiful day or finding beauty in a storm with the lightning flashing in the distance. Basically praising God in all things.

While we live in a time of darkness this weariness with the world can get us down to a point that we can not see the light that is God through the sin in the world. We can’t help anyone else if we do not help ourselves first. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new.”

God can make us new, each and every day. You can renew your faith daily with a quick prayer and ask the Lord to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the trials that come with each day. Faith or religion without a relationship is hollow. Jesus wants a relationship with us, we know this, but we don’t seem to have the time. We make time for all things except this most important element in our lives.

God loves us with a love that is nothing something we can understand or grasp. Our human love by way of comparison is so inadequate. It falls short of the glory and wonder of God. We look to others for this love and find ourselves disappointed. People will disappoint us, this is one of those things we can count on. Each of our lives has some type of sorrow, tragedy, or hardship. Some of us have harder lives than others. Yet our Father who is in heaven looks to us with open arms.

Read 2 Thessalonians 12 – the entire chapter. It is a teaching to those who suffered, but this verse stands out for me, verse 13: “We also unceasingly give thanks to God because, when we handed on the word of God to you, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it truly is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

Accepting faith, accepting the Word of God as truth, and accepting the truth that belief in God will help us in our lives is just the start of our faith journey, not the end. You see our struggles become insurmountable when we put our trust in others or in ourselves over God. We can do nothing without God. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

The best news is that each day is a new day and we can look to the Father for a faith recharge anytime we want or need it. We grow in our faith in the same way as we mature in body. Our faith grows deeper if and when we invite the Lord in, and pray more of you Lord, and less of me.

Read the scriptures and see which verses jump out at you and write them down. Think about them and see what it is that you can learn or what you feel the Lord is telling you.

The challenge this week is to take the time to renew your faith in a meaningful way. Whether it is to purpose to read the Bible each day or spend time with the Lord. What is a way that you can be open to the blessings that can come into your life? This week the focus is on you, not someone else (yes, I know that is hard). Recharge you first and watch the worries and cares fall away! May God be blessed, Amen and Alleluiah!

Personal Journey – Holy Spirit

Personal Journey: The Holy SpiritPersonal Journey ~ Episode 210

I had a podcast I wanted to create on my personal journey closer to the Holy Spirit and deeper faith. Yet, it was scheduled to play a few months ago. But I postponed it. Truthfully, I was stuck. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. However, I prayed and felt that the time was right. So, I’ll share with you a bit about my journey.

Please check out my books, A Few Minutes with God and One More Child as well as the Truth Seekers Mystery Series (for tweens). Visit my website at MediaAngels.com

The Third Person of the Trinity  – Holy Spirit

My personal journey closer to the third person of the Trinity happened when I least expected it and during a very busy season of my life. I wasn’t looking for a closer relationship with God, but as always the Lord seeks us with open arms. When we talk about the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit we are referring to one God and three persons. Yeah, don’t ask me to explain it. That is one of the mysteries of the Christian faith. Nowhere does the word Trinity appear in the Bible, but it was a truth that was taught throughout the ages? Just like Jesus asked his disciples to go out and preach to the nations, he left us with a teaching body, the Church to explain those complicated truths.

The Holy Spirit Invites Us

My personal journey began at the library when I saw a friend of mine with a pile of books ready to check out. The children and I made frequent trips to the library and often ran into friends. However, my friend was alone without her children and she also was checking out books with religious titles. Puzzled, I asked her what she was doing and she explained she was prepping for an upcoming talk at church and invited me to come. It was a strange request and how could I say, “No thank you I don’t want to hear you speak at church.” So of course I politely agreed.

I went because I felt an obligation to support my friend, nothing else, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at what was called a “Life in the Spirit, Seminar.” I had no idea that this group of men and women were on fire with the love of God and the songs before the talk my friend gave was all spirit-filled and enthusiastically sang, complete with accompanying guitar, and tambourines.

For those of you listening who are Evangelical Christians, this is very common to your gathering, but for me, I was pretty much taken aback but was interested in learning more. My friend proceeded to speak and to this day I can’t tell you the content of the talk, but whatever it was pierced my heart with a hunger for more of God.

Hebrews 4:12 (read on air)

I was invited back the next day for an all-day session. … So once again I went solo and wow, was I blown away. The talks were anointed with the power of God, and I felt that many of the speakers were talking to me in such a clear manner. I wanted what they had, a love of the Lord and a willingness to put aside the ways of this world and join them on the road, that narrow path. Matthew 7:13-14 (read on air)

Before I left, two people prayed over me for an anointing of the Holy Spirit – they lead me through a prayer of asking the Lord for forgiveness, and an opening of my heart to whatever gifts the Lord had for me. We learned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 – and some of the talks I’d heard that weekend spoke about these gifts. I wanted select gifts, for example, the gift of healing or prophesy, or the word of knowledge. Yet, I knew I should be open, and so I kept silent and just opened up myself for God’s power, and received my prayer language or the gift of tongues. Believe me when I tell you that was not the gift I wanted and it is considered one of the lesser gifts.

Some people gauge their spirituality on whether or not they have the gift of tongues (again you can read about it in 1 Corinthians 12), yet that is not a test to see if you have the Holy Spirit or not.  Obviously, that is not how the Almighty works and I can’t tell you why some people have the gift and others don’t. God is willing to give us the gift, but we must be open to receiving it. All I know is that I entered with expectant faith, and God gave me a wonderful anniversary present.

I couldn’t wait to tell my husband (more on air)

I was challenged through this infiling of God’s love to read the Bible every day and spend time with the Lord in prayer and quiet. You could say it was the preparation I needed. Many years later I would have a Christian ministry, I would begin to write books with a Biblical foundation and this podcast network is dedicated to spreading the good news, that Jesus Christ is Lord! I felt led by the Lord and this experience helped me to be open to what God had in store for me.

1 Peter 4:11 (read on air)

in a deeper way, ask the Lord and watch Him provide for you. To begin with, it may just be reading the Bible more often, journaling, and opening yourself up to the power of the Holy Spirit.  In retrospect, it should have come as no surprise to me that it was not that long before this “chance encounter” with my friend at the library that I had been told all I needed to do was kneel down beside my bed and ask God to give me the gift of tongues. I was talking to several friends who attended the Assembly of God church, and her suggestion surprised me. Really, I could just kneel down and ask God for this gift? Truthfully I was a little concerned that God wouldn’t give me this gift. I believed I was unworthy.
Friend, the Lord loves us where we are and I have no doubt now that He knew I needed an entire weekend seminar/retreat to be open to first learning more about the Holy Spirit, but also be surrounded by believers who were willing to pray for me.
I have a challenge for you and it may be something you work on for some time to come. The first is if you are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ask the Lord in prayer to gift you with this infilling of His grace. The second is to write down your own story of your encounter with God, your testimony, or your growth in your faith. We each have stories and God continues to write our stories each day that we walk with Him. You never know when you might share your personal testimony with a friend or on a podcast someday! I pray a blessing on you and your faith journey.

Supernatural Faith

Supernatural Faith - What is supernatural faith? It is faith that surpasses all understanding. Join me as we delve into the topic of faith.Supernatural Faith ~ Episode 209

What is supernatural faith? It is faith that surpasses all understanding. Join me as we delve into the topic of faith especially when times get hard. We are called to live in the hope that is in Christ, but in our humanness, we often fail.

Please visit my website at MediaAngels.com for books and products for Christians as well as homeschooling.

Have you heard is a tragic story and then the person who lived through the trauma thanks God in some way? This should give us more faith but do you feel like you are not enough, or don’t believe enough? Do you doubt and think, “I am not sure I could have gone through the trauma and come out ahead with my faith intact?” What you may not realize or remember is that when God allows these things to happen in our lives, He equips us to handle them, especially if we pray.

Supernatural faith is following when the times get tough. In the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) we learn what it takes to be a follower of Christ. Once we commit there is no going back, and if we do turn back there are consequences. Think about what happened to the Israelites who were freed from slavery in Egypt. They saw miracles, for heaven’s sake the parting of the Red Sea should have been eye-opening, and then the ten commandments, and the manna in the desert. But many turned their backs on God and worshipped false gods. All the time that these people were in Egypt, they saw the worshipping of false gods and pharaohs treated as gods. Did they leave it behind when they left? No. And what happened to the people in the desert? Only their ancestors were able to go to the promised land. They all died beforehand.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We can not have one foot in both worlds because God’s world is a supernatural world. The gospels reveal the truth and the way of holiness. What is at stake? Only the entrance into the Kingdom of God…heaven. God is calling us, each and every one of us to give 100% and for any of us as Christians, we know that the other side is pulling for our demise.

It is seeing the hand of God in all of the places in our lives that need help and restoration, and it is in knowing that God wants redemption for our world and the hope that comes in that belief. We should not be surprised when we see the evil in the world. The Lord tells us He will save us from evil. The mercy of God is for everyone even those who have done evil if they will repent.

Friends the way ahead for us is very treacherous with the overturning of the law that finally, finally stated that abortion was not a constitutional right. Can killing your child ever be a right? The pagans long ago used child sacrifice to their gods and that was what abortion was, a child sacrifice on the altar of a mother’s right over their child’s right. Should we help those who struggle and are less fortunate? Of course, but the church already does so much for those in need. Sadly, many not connected to churches are the ones who struggle.

Whenever we struggle and look for that supernatural faith, think about the apostles on that boat with Jesus in the midst of a storm. I love that story of Jesus telling them not to be afraid, and he ordered the seas to be calm. This is a wonderful picture of what would we think about when are lives are unsettled, or there is turmoil in our life. We should remember to be calm. The faith we crave takes a connection to Christ. It is a personal encounter with Jesus that will help us in our time of need.

When we have this personal encounter we hope that our lives will be easier. But that is not the promise of a Christian. The promise is that there is hope in our salvation and everlasting life. But, this is not heaven. The last four things are death, judgment, heaven or hell.

Matthew 16:23-28

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

The reward my friends is worth it. The reward is life everlasting. When we look for that faith that surpasses all understanding we must remember that the words, “Be not afraid,” are in the Bible over 365 times. We can’t fear and have faith at the same time. We will be tempted and the evil one is really good at making us second guess and overthink.

So, here are a few tips for you to practice this week as we all work toward that supernatural faith that surpasses all understanding.

  1. Every day pray the words, “Jesus I trust in You.”
  2. When we are overwhelmed we thank the Lord for being there with us. (He will not leave us orphaned!)
  3. Take a few minutes daily to rest in God. This means closing our eyes, thinking about the Lord, and allowing our minds to focus on the beauty of God and the hope that is in Christ.
  4. Journal. If you are not keeping a daily journal consider doing one, if not daily then often. Start with what you are thankful for and end with a prayer request. Be sure to thank the Lord for answered prayer.
  5. Remember Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

May God be praised today and always!

Memorize Scripture

When was the last time you attempted to memorize scripture? This is worthwhile and beneficial to our spiritual growth.Memorize Scripture

When was the last time you attempted to memorize scripture? This is worthwhile and beneficial to our spiritual growth. By memorizing the verses we can ingrain them into our hearts and call them to mind in times when we struggle. Here are some tips for memorizing with ease.

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When the children were younger I would assign them scriptures to memorize. Most of the time they were a verse or two, often nothing longer. I had friends whose children could quote sections of the Bible and I was amazed! And while memorization is great for children, it is important that we as adults also spend time on memorization. In fact, it can really help us as we get older.

I have a list that I call life verses, such as Joshua 24:15 – but the entire verse is not what I quote. Here is the entire verse:

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
When I think of the verse, it is this part… As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Another is John 1:1-5 –
What I will quote having memorized it is this part, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.”
I love that verse because it is one of those mind-blowing verses – in those words I can see the Almighty God, Father, and Son. The Word is Jesus, God is God the Father and nothing is done without the Spirit. For some reason, that verse makes me very happy!
It is almost like I have a tiny glimpse of the creation of the world.
Then there is what we call the Magnificat – Luke146-55 when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and the baby in Elizabeth’s womb lept for joy. Here we read Mary’s answer to Elizabeth: And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, …

Another version says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

and another the King James – My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

I love all of those versions, but my favorite is My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…

You can look up various scripture verses on a website such as BibleGateway.com or your own Bible translation.

I’m making a point to memorize some new verses, do you want to join me in the challenge? Let’s get started with some simple techniques for memorization.

Memorize Scripture The Easy Way

  1. Scriptures that are important to you.  The first step is to look at the Bible and find the verses that are important to you. You can begin by listing some of your favorites, even if you have already memorized these verses. I shared some with you.
  2. Write them down. Reinforces the words. Using seeing, hearing, and writing helps us in remembering. While typing is tactile it really is beneficial to write the scriptures out and say them out loud. Seeing them in print helps as well.
  3. Read them often. Put the scriptures you are using in one spot. Several of my children used flashcards to help them when studying for a test. You can do this with the scripture verses. Put the words on the lined side of the card, and the verse number on the back. By looking at the verse such as John 1:1 – you should be able to recite,  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  4. Create a sign or banner. This is one of my favorite things and I love receiving gifts that are plaques with Scripture verses on them, in fact, I have many throughout my home. I also hang them from the bedroom doors, I use those sticky plastic hook things. Okay, so sometimes it does bang on the door when you open or close it, but it is so worth it to see those verses and it reminds me to live them!
  5. Test yourself. How are you doing? You can set simple goals like one new verse a week. Just think in a year you can memorize 52 new verses! Wouldn’t that be great?

Will you join me? That is this week’s challenge, one verse! Be blessed and in the Name of Jesus I ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit to be upon your family today and always. Amen.

 

Godly Dependence

We pride ourselves with be independent and able to handle life on our own. But for Christians, we soon realize...Godly Dependence and Choice ~ Episode 207

We pride ourselves with be independent and able to handle life on our own. But for Christians, we realize that Godly dependence is the most important thing in our lives. How can we depend on God and allow ourselves to grow in faith? Listen in to find out.

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We are independent self-sufficient people. We enjoy the ability to pick and choose where we live, shop, and what we do with our time and resources. Being independent sometimes holds us back when it comes to faith. In fact, we look for God only when we need Him, placing him on the proverbial shelf when we don’t. If you told someone you were dependent on God you might receive a strange look, or criticism that God made you, so stand up for yourself. Dependence is not a cross, it is a necessity.

We should be dependent on God, we should make choices that focus on not only what is best for us physically but what is best for us spiritually. Making good choices starts with a good foundation, and it does not happen overnight. Once God was removed from the public schools and education took a turn for the worse, it also robbed our children of the foundation that is so important to the well-being of a civilization. When man looks upon itself for salvation, then the civilization devolves, dissolved, and becomes no more.

We can look to the scriptures as an example of the power and might of God. Just like the burning bush that burned in an extraordinary way, it was not consumed, yet the flames were real. We read this account in Exodus 3:18

Even Moses Had Godly Dependence

The bush was sustained by the power of God and in this passage, God revealed His name. I AM. I am who exists in everything, God was showing His power and might with the promise of saving the people who were crying out to Him. God heard their prayers. Moses had Godly dependence. Moses was fearful of God but in this fear, there was something greater. There was reverence. There was obedience. There was a Godly dependence and a choice to believe and follow the one true God. This power and might overwhelmed Moses and humbled him.

When was the last time that the power, the might, and the overwhelming significance of what Almighty God has done for us has put us in a place where we fear but we revere God? I think fear comes from a place of guilt when we think we should do something for God. Have you felt that way? Look, God, I’m going to church. Look, God, I’m praying to You. What we do when we go to church or pray is not for God, it is for us. Think about this.

Fear in the case of Moses meant awe and reverence. Fear is of the Lord and is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which translates into awe. Moses becomes the face of God to the Israelites and was able to lead them, they respected him because they saw his face and it was radiant. Later they would learn to depend on God for their food and as we know they grumbled and complained and still worshipped false idols even after being given the 10-Commandments. We can learn from the scriptures to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to learn from the mistakes of others.

Do you fear the Lord? What does it mean to us? We are in danger when we do not hold God in awe and when we lose that fear of God, the fear of retribution. God is not vindictive but He is just. He will not be mocked. The danger we have as sinners is when we repeat the sin and lose that fear of God and in doing so we put our souls in danger. Sinning is a choice, it is a willful act.

We are dependent on God for the air that we breathe, for holding our earth at the perfect distance from the sun, not too close and not too far, and for keeping us alive each and every day. We are dependent on God for our daily bread, for the roof over our head, for the transportation we take, and for the blessings, He has given us small and large. We are dependent and if we try to go through life independent from God we will find ourselves in dire straits fighting depression and worse.

Ask God every day to give us the fear that leads to awe and to reverence for Him. The great I Am. Are we standing on Holy Ground? Do we treat our church as a sanctuary, a place of prayer, or are we looking around to see how people are dressed and if we know anyone nearby and visit, instead of focussing on Him. Jesus asked the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Could you not stay with me an hour?” Many church services are just an hour, can we not give Him that time?

I believe as a Catholic that while I am in church God is present (yes, God is everywhere and present always), but in a sense when I am in church and I have time in the quiet, I can sense the Almighty in a deeper way. We must pray for more of God and less of us, we need more reverence which is lacking in us as a Christian people. Friends that is the challenge for the week. Can you seek God in the quiet of your heart? Can you ask the Lord to give you more of Him? Can you ask the Lord for an increase of reverence and respect for the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? We can’t change the entire world, but we can change ourselves and it is a choice. It starts with one person, will you join me on this journey?

I pray a blessing on you and your family today and always.

 

Spiritual Realm

We don't know much about the spiritual realm in the sense of Christianity, other than what we've read in the Bible, learned in Church...Spiritual Realm ~ Anchor Yourself to God ~ Episode 206

We don’t know much about the spiritual realm in the sense of Christianity, other than what we’ve read in the Bible, learned in Church, or studied on our own. Yet there is so much more to learn!

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When you search for the spiritual realm (don’t!) you will find lots of new-age half-truths out there and some outright lies. Even evil gets it right some of the time, and when it comes to spirituality everyone wants in, they want to have the answers.

1 John 4:1 -Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Well, true spirituality comes from God. We are given a body and a soul. The Holy Spirit is what was sent at the time of Pentecost after Christ rose up into heaven. This is a way for us to experience the true God.

The true sense of God is in what you experience and what is demonstrated in your lives. How many times do we miss seeing God in our everyday lives? It calls to mind the rejection of Christ as recounted in the Gospel of Mark when the people in His hometown rejected him. They saw Him perform miracles and yet they doubted it was truly the Almighty because they were not expecting a simple (in their minds) man. Jesus came to preach the good news to the poor and today many of us are poor in spirit.

People are thirsty for God yet do not know it, and they look in all of the wrong places. That satisfaction is fleeting and causes guilt, depression, and more. Jesus came to set us free from sin and God knows that we are a people who are enslaved. What is the one thing you have trouble avoiding? Is it eating a particular snack or treat? Is it staying away from the daily consumption of social media, or television? Is it playing games on your cell phones? What is it that pulls your attention daily that keeps you from living the life that God wants you to live?

The spiritual realm is filled with the hosts of the heavenly as well as those who wish us harm.

Ephesians 6:12  states, “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.”

If each person would anchor themselves in God we would be unified and allow Him to enrich our body, mind, and spirit. Every person’s body plays an amazing role in our lives. In the next podcast, I’m going to discuss Godly Dependence and Choice. We have the choice to look at ourselves and ask ourselves, “What am I enslaved to?” and the answer is one only you can give.

The truth is that the only one who can set us free is Christ. Jesus has to do that for you, but the only way is to be repentant and ask for forgiveness. A simple prayer, “Lord, I want to be free and serve you, only you!”

God sent the prophets to tell the people what was to come and to warn them. In the early church, Christianity was strong, yet over time Christianity became and is today very weak. People say they are Christians yet live a life that is far different than any true Christian should. As a society, we have become so evil but it does not have to be that way.

Hebrews 9:28-so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

God is waiting. Are we anchored to Him? Are we seeking the Lord each day? Do we place ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ before all others? Another simple prayer is, “Dear Lord, come into my heart in a deeper way. I give you my YES, please lead me toward the work you want me to do. I praise you and thank you and I pray this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen!”

Dear friends, it is a journey, isn’t it? Understanding that we are not alone and God has called each one of us by name. We do not have to live life on an island, yet you may feel that way. Even those who are surrounded by friends and are still lonely. But we as Christians should be too busy for self-dwelling. We have a vocation, a mission from God! It is our duty to discern our vocation and many won’t take the time to do it. We feel unworthy or that others are so much more skilled than we are. That last statement applies to me. Who am I to take on this podcast? Who am I to start a Christian podcast network? Who would come and listen?

Well, guess what? I decided if God was in it the work would continue and if not, it would fail. And, we are still here after five years. Podcasters come and go, some are here just for a season. Yet, God does not ask us to succeed He asks us to try.

I challenge you to seek God and anchor yourself to Him. Search for Him each and every day, it is a choice and it is a decision. May God continue to bless you and your family.

 

Army of God

The army of God is here and ready! Are you prepared to do battle the spiritual way? In this episode I share ways...Army of God ~ Episode 205

The army of God is here and ready! Are you prepared to do battle the spiritual way? In this episode, I share how we are not alone! We have an entire army ready to battle for us, and here is how to do it!

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A Christian friend shared her hope that one day the Lord would use her to do spiritual battle. I was appalled! Why would anyone want to seek trouble? Isn’t there enough to pray for in each person’s life? Well, I’ve learned so much since that conversation now about twenty years ago. The first is that God uses those who seek Him. My friend was willing to do the Lord’s work at this time in her life and she was way more spiritually mature than I was. She knew that if the Lord required this from her He would provide. The second thing I learned is that we have an Army of God to do battle for us. The battle has been won and we as adopted sons and daughters of the Almighty need not worry.

Have you ever felt that no one understands what you are going through or that the cross is too difficult to bear? Each person’s cross and difficulties are different and life spares no one, especially the longer you live. But God has not only equipped us He has supplied a heavenly host. When we think about the Lord and the angelic force behind him, we should have no fear. Does that mean we are fearless and do stupid things? No.

It also means we are not to be vengeful. There are so many people that do hurtful things in the name of Christianity that are just wrong. Remember we can not serve two gods, there is only One True God. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end and only in the one true God will we be freed.

In Revelations 19:19 we read Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.

The battle in our lives is mostly a spiritual battle. It is the times when things are really hard to handle and overwhelm us. It is at these times that we cry out to God.  So what do at this time? Start by reading Ephesians 6:10-18

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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Amen and Amen!

What is your state of mind when you hear that? It should be one of rejoicing. Pray the armor of God prayer daily if need be and realize God is in your midst. He is the one who will do battle for us. In Chronicles 20:15 we read… This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

If that is not enough remember in Exodus, those disobedient Israelites? God didn’t leave them forsaken.

Exodus 14: 19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,

and in Deuteronomy 20:1 –  When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.

So let me leave you with this thought. If as we read in the Bible God could deliver entire nations what could He do not only for our own Nation that is just as fallen and evil as any past generations but for us. Friends He cares about you He loves you and He sees all of your hardship and tears. Your challenge this week is to look for the things that God does for you without you even asking. And call these praise reports. I’d like to share that I didn’t even ask the Lord for time with my son who just graduated from college and enlisted as a 2nd Lutientant in the Army. I thought would be leaving immediately after graduation for a work assignment. But instead, he will be home for two months before he leaves for training. What a blessing is that? God knows my heart and I didn’t even ask.

Friends, can you recognize these times and praise God? There is an entire army of the spiritual realm and we need to pray for protection for ourselves and our families and put our trust in God. Amen!

 

Pentecost

The truth can set you free, and on Pentecost, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and became embolden speaking in tongues.Pentecost Beginning For Christians ~ Special Replay

The truth can set you free, and on Pentecost, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and became embolden speaking in tongues, in languages they did not know. How can we be filled with this spiritual influence and use it in our everyday lives to go out and proclaim the good news?

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I have several other podcasts on the topic of the Holy SpiritGifts of the Holy Spirit and Family  of the Holy Spirit  

As I shared in a previous podcast I had a revelation that without the Holy Spirit it is difficult for us to understand faith, and to understand Biblical principles. What is so clear to me seems fuzzy to some, and what is so clear to my pastors or teachers sometimes seems difficult for me to understand. We have different levels of understanding in academics, right? For some calculus or maybe writing a 20-page essay may come easy, but others may look at these two topics and say, no way! I can’t do either! For academics, we need to study, but sometimes studying doesn’t mean we can understand the material – we need to study about faith as well and expose ourselves to readings and a good book.

With faith, we understand what we are capable of understanding at that time and place. But one thing I’ve always been in awe of is the faith of a child. My grandchild sometimes says things to me that leaves me breathless in their faith and thoughts about God.

Faith is a gift and it is given freely. The answer to this call is totally up to us. If we look at the Holy Word of God the Bible we will see that throughout salvation history, God the Father revealed Himself to us. How did He do this? We see it in the garden when he walked with our first parents. Can you imagine walking with God the Father? We see it when they sinned against God and he prophetically shared in Genesis 3:15 – This was the foreshadowing of the coming of Christ who would defeat evil. In the Old Testament, we continue to read about a God who lead an imperfect people. But we also read that when we see Jesus, we see the Father. And, after Jesus rose from the dead He sent the Spirit. Pentecost Sunday is celebrated seven weeks after Easter. It is a reminder to us about the ability to be ready at all times, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit will open your mind and heart to all that is good and Holy.

Where is the Holy Spirit in your life? On Pentecost, we Christians celebrate this awakening of awareness and understanding of God – we see that in our imperfection we are made whole and we are loved by the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. When we pray, we are opening ourselves up to gifts that are greater than anything we can even imagine on earth, and if you are like me—your imagination can be grand! How can we stay in our complacency when our eyes have been opened to the glory that is available, freely from our God? He is ready with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and waiting for us to open our hands in the ready for what He has to offer to us! Not the neighbor down the street, not to other people who you think are more worthy, but to us! If we continue to live our lives on our own terms there can be no change in us for the better. I hear all of these talks about being the “best person you can be,” but at what cost? So many people walk around miserable and unhappy. Happiness, true happiness is based upon faith! It is a deep-down realization that we are not alone and we are in the care of a Heavenly Father.

Do we live life on our terms? Are we really open to the glorious blessings that the Almighty has in store for us? The gifts of the Holy Spirit — God is greater than all the kings and kingdoms of this world, all the great men and women that we see or know about because they are famous, and God does not puff Himself up sharing His importance with us—no, He comes to us in humility. Do you want to get to know God? Humility is your key.

Years ago I met a man whose father held very important positions and was a remarkable man in intellect. He was knighted by the Queen of England and was now know with the title of “Sir” … so teasingly I asked this man, who was sitting at the table in our home, if we had royalty in our midst. He humbly smiled and said something like, only in Christ are we truly heirs to the Kingdom. That resonated with me… only in Christ are we heirs.

Christ did not shy away from humility in the life he lived with Joseph and Mary. The life of a poor carpenter. God could have claimed all the riches of the earth, yet he lived among the people who were detached from worldly goods. He also didn’t leave us alone. He promised and advocate – the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 2 – you should read the entire chapter, but it talks about the effects of the Holy Spirit among the 12 that were hidden in the upper room, where it was believed that Mary was with them. She had been left under the care of John, the Apostle by Jesus at the foot of the cross. If he was hiding out in the upper room, I’m sure he would not have abandoned the mother of our Savior! You can read about the apostles speaking in tongues because that is what we typically read and hear – but I want to point out Acts 2: 17-20 It was a reminder of the prophet Joel from the Old Testament – the New Testament we are reminded over and over again is a fulfillment of the Old.

Some think the Holy Spirit was only for then—not now, but that is not true. First let’s look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. But let’s look at what comes after these gifts! After these gifts come to the fruits – especially for those who are open to God in their life Scripture always tells us we can judge others, their motivations, and intentions by their fruits. If you say you are a Christian how are you showing it? Just in words or in deeds?

… In Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Friends we can’t do it alone. I pray this for you, today is a new beginning and all things for us are impossible but with God all things are possible

Let’s Pray – Dear God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit we ask for an infilling of all of the gifts of your Holy Spirit not so that we can boast but so that you can be glorified. Help us to grow deeper in the love of You – help us to be detached from the things of this world and know that you hold the meaning of joy and a fulfilled life… I ask for the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit so I can better serve you each day. I ask for the following prayer requests and intentions… Dear Lord if it is your will I ask that these requests and intentions be heard. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is at hand... what does this mean? I struggled with this concept for years, yet I made it so much more complicated...Kingdom of God ~ Episode 204

The Kingdom of God is at hand… what does this mean? I struggled with this concept for years, yet I found that the more complicated I made it the more elusive it became. In this podcast, I share what I found in my search for the Kingdom of God.

The bible is filled with so many mysteries but the saying, the kingdom of God is at hand is one of those for me. In this podcast, we will look not only at the scripture verses but also at what this means for us.

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I was driving to church one morning and was stuck on the thought of the kingdom of God. What did this mean? Did it pertain to the time that Christ walked the earth? Was it pertaining to now, that Jesus after raising from the dead, walking among his disciples, and then leaving us to ascend to heaven left us with His Holy Spirit?  So is the Kingdom of God now? Is it in heaven? And how does it impact me?

So many questions! As I arrived at church and the service began, the Gospel reading was on that very topic and the sermon that day was on the Kingdom of God! Isn’t God amazing?

In Matthew 3: 1-3 we read (listen to the audio)

The kingdom of God

Are we ready for it or are we like the people of Israel that needed to prepare the way of the Lord? The people were expecting a prophet – a King to rid them of the tyranny of the rule of Rome and Caesar, but instead, God sent something greater to rid them/ and us of the tyranny of sin. Because the people lacked understanding they rejected the cornerstone – Psalm 118:22.

Are we too rejecting the King similar to the Israelites? It wasn’t until Jesus died and rose from the dead and appeared to various people before He rose up to heaven that people realized the huge mistake that had been made.

The arrival of the King of King and Lord of Lords was missed. And unfortunately many are still missing it today.

In Mark 1:14-15 we read: [On Audio]

Here we learn the way to the kingdom is to repent and to have faith. Is that something we can do? How is your faith holding up under the barrage of the world’s events? Each time we think we can take a breath something new happens. How do we continue on under the weight? We give it to the Lord.

The people then and now need to hear that to enter the Kingdom of God – heaven, we must repent and change … we can not continue to be the same after understanding and hearing the Word of God. People don’t change when they decided that following their own way is better.

The proclamation of the kingdom of God is the news that Jesus Christ, true man, and true God came as an infant, grew up among the people, preached, healed body and mind, and died for our sins. Read Matthew 12 and 13 – the entire chapter and you will learn more about this and how the old testament ties into the new, as Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy.

In Revelation 19-20 we learn that Jesus will return to the earth as King to judge the living and the dead – no one will escape from judgment. The kingdom of God will continue for eternity.

To enter the Kingdom we must believe in the saving grace of Jesus – the saving work of Christ on the cross for our sins. It isn’t anything we can do, but we can join our hands with Christ and offer up all of our pain, sorrow, and misgivings, the crosses we carry each and every day – think about the burden you carry…is this something of your own making or is it something that has been asked of you? This takes time and consideration because I’ve found that many times I carry a cross of my own making. I worry about things that may not even happen!

Read Colossians 1:13 and Colossians 3:1-4.

It is time friends to make a decision if you have not already or have made a decision a long time ago to follow Christ and it is time to renew this decision. We need all of the graces that the Lord can give us through these trying times. We are to do as Christ commands to “feed my lambs” and we are to lead others to the Lord.

How do you do this? Ask the Lord and you will not be surprised when He presents an opportunity for you to do this.

We should be jumping out of bed each and every morning once we realize the truth that the Kingdom of God IS waiting for us – Our Savior Jesus Christ is waiting for us with open arms. It is not us HIM that is keeping us away it is all on us.

How will you serve God this week? Will you lead others to the Lord? I pray you do and I pray you are blessed!

 

 

Presence of God

Presence of God | For a Christian the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling we have faith that God is with us always.Presence of God – Special Replay

For a Christian, the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling, we have faith that God is with us always. How do we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

The ascension of our Lord is talked about in the Scriptures and often we don’t give it more than a passing thought. Yes, Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead, yes Jesus ascended into heaven after forty days – yet this was the first time after the birth of Jesus that the presence of our Lord was no longer physically present. His apostles felt what we feel today – we can’t just turn around and say, “Lord, what do we do?”

We have spent our entire life in this way. Each one of us has a different story about how we came to learn about God. Maybe you chanced on listening to this podcast and you don’t really know God or believe if He even exists. Maybe you learned about God from your parents and are not sure He is real enough to you – maybe you believe but still, have many questions.

Each of us didn’t know God at one time of our lives – we all began one day at a time, one Bible story or Scripture verse or someone sharing the God news about God that really loved Him and wanted to share what God had done in their life. Faith is a gift if you have faith never discount it or consider it unimportant – you have faith because God has called you by name. You grow in your faith because you take the time to pray, spend time with God in quiet, read the Bible, go to church, surround yourself with Christian readings, or podcasts. You grow your faith by believing but also by doing something about your belief.

Think about this – our lives even those who are not Christians surround two major Biblical events. Christmas (the birth of Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Christ). Even if the world has tried to secularize these holidays (Winter Break, Spring Break, etc.) we Christians really understand the meaning and significance. Our lives have been impacted by these events and especially the ascension of Christ into heaven.

I’d love for you to Read Acts 1 yourself – especially Acts 1: 1:12

The power of the Holy Spirit was poured on the apostles in order for them to be given the strength to be witnesses at a time that being a Christian was a death sentence – but I love this part when the Angels – two men in white garments questioned the apostles and said, “Why are you looking at the sky?” – in other words, get going you have work to do!

They carried on their mission. Do we carry on our missions in the same way – do we make haste as those in the scriptures do to share the words of everlasting life? They were like us – men and women living their lives, eating, sleeping trying to make the best of things. They had the one advantage over us – they had witnessed Christ in their midst!

Yet, we are just like them in many ways. We have our doubts, our trials, our problems that bog us down daily. But we also have hope and without hope, the human condition is doomed. We have hope for a better tomorrow, hope that everything will work out fine, hope that God is with us today – He is here in this present grace-filled moment to give us encouragement and the blessings to face even our harshest challenges. We are called in our baptism to be the witnesses of Christ’s love and providence. We are in a time that shuns all that is holy – a time where evil is called good and good evil. Now, friends, it is our time to be that light for a hurting world.

Call To Action:

  1. Spend time in prayer and quiet with the Lord.
  2. Seek the Word of God – fill yourself up with the wonderful words of the Bible each and every day.
  3. Ask the Lord how He wants to use you each day. Is there someone lonely that needs a smile or a helping hand? All little things are mighty if they are done with a spirit of love and humility for God.

Some people just look at things as in the “what is in it for me,” and never try to look at how they can bless others. Maybe your burdens are too heavy right now to care for others – but if that is the case, that my friends is how the Lord is using you – to minister to your needs or those of your family. Selfishness is never a right but it can be changed and it happens slowly and with purpose.

Sometimes we get complacent, God doesn’t need me He has so many others so much more capable (friends, this is what goes through my head when I get ready to sit down and podcast). Why am I doing this – I am no one – why me Lord, why me? And, the answer I get is that He asked and I said yes.

What are you saying yes to? Have you prayed and said, Lord how can I help, or are you standing around looking up into the sky and wondering where are you, Lord?

He is here. He is now. This my dear friends is a grace-filled moment… understand it and believe.

Dear Lord, I thank you for all that you did during your time on earth so that your actions, your words, your miracles, and even your death and resurrection could be read about so many years later. I thank you for the gift of faith, for ascending into heaven so that through not only Baptism of water but also of the Holy Spirit we can be filled with the grace to share the good news with others. Dear Lord, I ask you today how you would use me, please Lord help me to understand your will for me and the ways I can let others know more about your goodness and mercy. Dear Lord, I pray for the following intentions … please hear my prayers and help me in the answers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Holy Spirit Spiritual Journey

A spiritual journey is personal and it is different for each one of us, what is your story? How will your journey look in the future?Holy Spirit – Spiritual Journey ~ Episode 203

A spiritual journey is personal and it is different for each one of us, and it begins with faith and a large dose of the Holy Spirit. God promised He would not leave us orphans and the infilling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was this gift to us and it continues today.

Many Christians remember the exact date when they “came to the Lord,” had a “Come to Jesus moment,” or accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Today I will share part of my spiritual journey with you and how you can walk with the Lord daily.

I wrote a short book about my spiritual journey entitled “One More Child,” which is available on Amazon. This wasn’t an easy book to write and yet, I felt called to share my story in case it would help others.

Everyone’s journey toward God is different. Some are more exciting than others, my story is one that is mediocre in the sense that I didn’t come from a place of great sin or loss, but I believe that those of us who come to the Lord in a deeper way find that for us the transformation is no less astounding. I was born a cradle Catholic in a family that loved God. We served an Almighty God and my parents were great believers. In our home, we had a family with several Bibles a few were in Italian and some in English. Coming from an Italian family that is no surprise.

Having been brought up with faith, the real test is leaving home and carrying on with this faith in our young teen and then later adult lives. I ask my kids and young people that I have taught at church – is your faith yours or your parent’s faith? It is interesting to hear the different responses. If we do not make it our own faith it will not be sustained and some of us, even adults still struggle with our faith.

As a young child, I often spoke to God, in a conversational sense more than in a way that was holy. As an eight-year, old I asked God to move a mountain as we were driving down the road, because of the scripture about having faith more than mustard sees – Matthew 17:20 states:  [Listen to the audio.]

As you can imagine, that didn’t work. And that is when doubt seeped in. What happens when our faith is tested? For many of us it is a time of reflection and contemplation. For an eight-year-old, it leads to disappointment.

When I was a child I received Baptism and professed my faith at the time of Confirmation. Fast forward into my adulthood and I found that going it alone was not so great – I was relying on myself and when things failed there was nowhere to go and no one else to point to, but when I realized I needed to rekindle my childhood relationship with God and place it on a new and deeper level, that is when faith began to blossom, and just in time.

I truly accepted the Lord during a time in college when a friend reached out to me about salvation. I believed I was saved since I had always followed the Lord, but I felt that accepting the Lord in front of someone else was a testimony to this faith. The scriptures tell us whoever is in Christ is 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!  Jesus wants to make us a new creation through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is His power over us to bless our lives. We become spirit-filled and then the fruits of the spirit among them love, peace and joy come into our lives.

Yet, religion without a relationship is hollow, it is to have knowledge with no heart. A relationship with the maker of heaven and earth is the key. The relationship is meant to bring us closer to God. Faith should be demonstrated, taught, and it is truly our inheritance, yet it must become our own, and our relationship with the Lord is at the front and center. Getting there is a journey.

When I finally re-gave my life back to God and prayed for God’s will in my life that is when things began to turn around. When I began to think seriously about marriage I prayed to the Lord to provide and in this prayer, I shared with the Lord that if I was to remain single that was fine as well –and I meant it. It gave me a sense of peace and freedom.

I learned that wanting control in life was a lost cause, our lives are not always controllable, our actions and choices yes, and we must make wise decisions, but sometimes things just happen and bad things happen to good people. There are questions in this life we can not answer. My spiritual journey has hit some roadblocks where I felt stagnant but then continued to persevere.

Do I wish I could spend more time with God? Yes. Do I always do that? No. The choice and decision to spend time with God in contemplation is one way I have learned to get closer to the Almighty.

My spiritual journey has had many ups and downs. There were times I struggled or I was upset with the Lord, as I believed He had given me more than I could handle. During these times, I wallowed in self-pity until I was able to realize the greater truth and the lesson in my struggles. The truth was I could not do life alone without God and I did not want to. I wanted to travel the road well worn, but that path did not take me toward God but away from Him and instead of happiness all I felt was dissatisfaction.  The Narrow Gate Matthew 7:14-14.

The narrow gate leads to the way, the truth, and the life which is found in the love of God. Jesus picked up His cross not for His sins but for ours. When we follow the Lord we expect everything to go well, after all, we are Christians, and as the song says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” But, what happens when things are not wonderful and glorious?

Walking with the Lord is wonderful but it is a journey. As I work on my journey, I pray you will work on your own journey and I invite you to join me! The challenge this week is to spend time with God and grow closer and write down your story about your personal spiritual journey. I pray you are blessed.

 

Love Of God The Father

The love of God is one of those mind-blowing ideas that will take the rest of our lives to fully grasp, and even then, we fall short.Love Of God The Father ~ Episode 202

Do you understand the love of God the Father? If so, I applaud you! The love of God is one of those mind-blowing ideas that will take the rest of our lives to fully grasp, and even then, we fall short. I feel the Creator God is so amazing and I’m in awe of Him (as I should be!) In this podcast, we will discuss God the Father and how we worship Him, even when we don’t necessarily think of Him.

Visit my website at MediaAngels.com for books and products for the entire family. Keep praying for the Ultimate Christian podcast network and I pray you share this podcast and the others on this network with friends!

Gosh, God the Father! I remember one year our church had a challenge, the first year was God the Father, the next God the Son, and the next year God the Holy Spirit. This challenge made me realize that my main focus is on Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but not so much on God the Father. Intellectually, I understand there are three separate persons and one God, but do I truly understand that? When my children we little we often listened to and read Christian books for kids, and I have to say, it helped me as much or more than them! The concept of God was explained as the properties of water. Water is an element but it’s form changes, it is ice- a solid, vapor – which is steam, and liquid – water. It is all water but in different forms and the same idea is God. When I pray I usually begin with a prayer that encompasses all – the sign of the cross, “In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Still, a difficult concept to grasp, but it does help us to wrap our minds around the persons of God. And, when we look at it this way we are always worshipping all three, not just one. But, for the sake of argument, this podcast focuses on the Father.

We think about God the Father when we pray the Lord’s prayer, the prayer that Jesus taught us, Matthew 6:9-13 “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; …

The Nicene and Apostles Creeds both taught to early Christians as a profession of faith, teach the truths of the faith and focus on the first, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty…”

But, while the concept of God is not foreign I think it is crucial to concentrate on the Father’s love for us. His love created the universe for us, He created us and wants us to live with Him in eternity. He sent His son to die for our sins, and ultimately break the curse of sin and death with His resurrection, and new life in heaven. This is what we celebrate at Easter.

How do we celebrate this love for us? Do we live it out each day? Do we deny ourselves from sinfulness – or sinful acts? For most of us our sins are not grave, but all sin leads to more sin. The entire Old Testament speaks to God the Father and His love for us and over and over, some are righteous, those who try to follow the Lord, and others are not. Those who fail lose heart and courage to continue to follow God’s law and commandment. The laws and the judgments seem harsh but the result of sin is being lost forever in the fires of hell. With that looming ahead can you see why the harshness was there? For the sake of mankind not for God.

Truthfully, God does not need us. Anything we do is for ourselves and our eternal well-being, and while it pleases God and it is His will for us, it does not change the Almighty. Think about the Ark of the Covenant and when that was lost, the people cried. Did they cry because they lost the Word of God in the 10-Commandments that was in the Ark? Or did they cry because they had lost their protection from God. Either way, God was still with them, and yet they wanted that outward sign. They also lost the Ark of the Covenant because of disobedience to God’s commands. You can read all about it in 1 Samuel 4:7 – but in 1 Samuel 4:10 it says,

So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home; and there was a very great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, HoFiny and Phin′ehas, were slain.

Death came to those who disobeyed – and Isreal lost the Ark of God – the Ark of the Covenant.

God loves us – ultimately and without reservation. But God is also a God who is just and loves us even while this justice may hurt. When we reprimand someone we love in correction, we do this from a love for their well-being, and so it is with God – and yes, it hurts! How can we love God? By following Him, and sometimes we can do this by denying ourselves. As I record this episode we are past Easter, and now in the celebration phase of our Christian journey the time after Easter, with Pentecost soon to come. Yet, we should always consider, yes the joyous Resurrection but also the love of Christ’s sacrifice for us – I talked about this in the last podcast. (here)

Sometimes God’s love is demonstrated in the oddest of places, and in chance meetings. I met a young man who is a street evangelist, and he was explaining that he would go to the beach to share about the Lord, in a laid-back way. Not aggressively, but with love. I was so impressed by his calmness and his calling. He invited me and my sister-in-law to join him on the beach during the weekend to share in this ministry. My first inclination was no. But truthfully, I need to pray about this. Will I go? Maybe, someday. But the thought of this is hard for me. And, I have plenty of excuses and they are all valid. Sunday is our family day and we get together with extended family. It is a great excuse, but I can rearrange my day, or go early. So, I will pray.

God’s love calls us to be love to others, our family, our friends, and those we meet on the street as that young man is a witness to faith. He has a calling, yes, but God calls each one of us in many different ways. How is God calling you? A great book I recommend is Experiencing God, Knowing and Doing The Will of God, by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. I haven’t finished the book yet, as it is a Bible study, but it is very good, especially for those searching to unite your will to the Lord’s, and it is a very basic study.

Total Surrender

Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful...Total Surrender – Special Replay

Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful to let go and let God.

Thanks to our sponsor – MediaAngels.com

How can we give God a total surrender of our concerns, worries, and problems if we do not trust? This is a question I’ve had time to reflect upon lately and I am not happy to say that after thinking about it, I’ve come been helped by certain realizations I’ll share with you. One is that we sometimes use God only in the sense of need – when we need him we pull him off that figurative shelf.

While this sounds sacrilegious we have all done it from time to time. Think about it – when all is going well do we cry out to God. No, because there is no need, but when we need him, we “cry out,” and wonder why He does not appear to answer. So we resort to that very human element in our lives worry.

Surrender it is not weakness it is a necessity. It is the only way we can survive in a world that wants to bring us down. Sometimes we just can not change our life circumstances – they are what they are. We have to pray – Lord, you take care of it for me, because I can not. I recently prayed, “Lord I pray a blessing on this person because you love them and I can not love them right now.”

Believe me, it helps!

I asked myself these questions and invite you to do so as well:

  1. Is there something that will change if you worry?
  2. Is there something you can do about the situation you worry about?
  3. By insisting in prayer to God that he changes the outcome to the one you want, are you convinced He will hear and answer your prayer the way you want Him to?

Truthfully that last one is what hit me. I wanted to know why God was not answering my prayer and it was for someone else. I found out that I could not control the situation (I’m sure you’ve already figured that one out) and while I could pray — and I am positive the prayer was heard, the outcome was not what I hoped for. The good news, it was not a life and death situation.

Sometimes what we love the most is what is taken away from us in order that we turn to Him. I’m talking about a career, an achievement, or something that is more on the superficial human level here. My husband always said, “God gets my attention when I don’t have much work.” He is self-employed and our work is steady only by the grace of God – to Him we give all the glory.

Is God getting your attention, and instead of total trust we worry?

Giving Up Worry – Total Trust

I decided this year for Lent (the season of 40 days before Easter) to fast from worry. For the most part, it has worked. Whenever I began to feel worried I gave it to the Lord, I realized very quickly that I could have a life that was calmer and focused on what matters and that is God’s will over mine. I’m sure you’ve all memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 and if not you should commit it to memory:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Total surrender takes:

  1. A decision – I will totally surrender to you, Lord.
  2. A recommitment daily if not minute-by-minute to total surrender.
  3. A realization and acceptance of a different outcome than what we hope for.
  4. A peace – knowledge that God IS always there for us.
  5. The belief that God will give us the grace we need to do this!

Let’s pray with expectant hearts!

Dear Lord, total surrender to you is an absolutely freeing idea and I pray that you give me the grace to surrender all of my problems, my concerns for those in my family, for myself, for those who are struggling. I place all of the issues I have into your very capable hands. You Lord know all things and I know you have my best interests at heart. You care is for my salvation Lord, and I pray a total trust in you. Jesus, I trust in You! Dear Lord, help me especially to surrender the following prayer intentions: (family, friends, work, home, etc.) Lord, I know that you hear me and I especially pray for the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit to shower upon me and bring me that peace that surpasses all understanding. And, I pray this in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ – The Ultimate Sacrifice

The work of Jesus Christ - the Ultimate Sacrifice, the death on the cross for our sins is learned by Christians very early on...Christ – The Ultimate Sacrifice ~ Episode 201

The work of Jesus Christ – the Ultimate Sacrifice, His saving death on the cross for our sins is learned by Christians very early on, but what have we done with this information? How has this transformed our lives? How can we look at this sacrifice as a gift and with joy for what He has done for us? In this podcast, the challenge will be to live out the good news.

Check it out! MediaAngels.com has books based on Christian topics for the entire family. And you may want to listen to this podcast on the Ultimate Love – here.

The ultimate sacrifice is one that we tend to avoid thinking about because it makes us sad. It is not a popular topic. To think that original sin first, and the addition of a sinful culture was the root cause of the death of Christ, seems too much to handle. When we experience the love of God, we must realize it came with a cost. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

He is the reparation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 22 – “The cost was reparation for our sins.”

It is the entire concept of cause and effect. When something happens there is an outcome, sometimes good and sometimes bad. The cause of a broken window is that the window must be repaired, which requires a cost. The retribution or payback is the “cost” and the “fix.” What is the cost of sin? Think about this for a minute.

The death of animals in the old testament to atone for sins was an unwilling sacrifice on the part of the animal, for sure. The sacrifice that was Christ replaced this type of sacrifice with a willing sacrifice of His life for ours. This giving of His life is so hard to understand. To give your life for another. Why? Because of sin.

The cost of sin is sadness, anger, brokenness, depression, retaliation, and of course death. Maybe not the death of our body but the death of our soul! It is the reason that we look for other ways to forget and many of those are not good. The ways to everlasting life are spelled out in the scriptures and the teachings of the church, oh so clearly.

Yet, while we have verses memorized such as – 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.” Do we believe them and realize that this means us.

When you think about Christ’s life, death and resurrection do you think you had a hand in His death? Surprisingly there are many who do not, because Christ died long before we were born. This is where we must remember that with God there is no time, no beginning, middle and end, no past or future, only now. The effects of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice is for now, for us. For those who lived before us, for those who died before Christ, and for those who will be born long after we are gone.

Mind-blowing, I know!

Here is what I’d love fo you to join me in contemplating:

  1. What does the ultimate sacrifice of Christ’s death on the cross mean to you?
  2. How do you live your life with this knowledge?
  3. If this fact (Christ’s sacrifice) has changed your life, in what way?
  4. If this fact (Christ’s sacrifice) has not changed your life, why is that?
  5. How do you live your life according to God’s plan?

I do not profess to have any or all of the answers about this topic, but I do know that I have considered this sacrifice in a personal way. When I pray I say, Christ died for my sins, not… Christ died for the sins of the world, or Christ died for sinners. While all of those statements are true, it is important to personalize, to own, to realize the great magnitude of this fact. Jesus died for me, a sinner. A repentant sinner (often daily) but a sinner nonetheless.

The older I get the more I realize my sinfulness. I try to look at myself as the Lord must see me, and I shake my head. I’ve often wondered how the Lord puts up with me! Thankfully, He does as I am still here and speaking out for the glory of the Kingdom of God as He allows.

God’s will whether we are united to it or not will come to fruition, if you pray the Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” My friends, we have a choice to make. Are we for Him or against Him? The world as we know it today is in shambles. I believe much of it is because good people stay silent and wait for others to speak out. We must ask the Lord to use us within our capacity, and always in love.

Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…” Read John 15 and you will see the scriptures relating to the Vine and the Branches. It is an example of the good fruit that comes from following God, and His will for your life. So many times I wonder, “Am I doing the will of God?” and I know when I am not. It is easy to be complacent but we must be a people of action. How will you work for the Lord in His vineyard? What has He called you to do. It does not have to be extreme but we should be doing something.

When we fast, as we do in the 40 days leading up to Easter known as Lent, we deny ourselves. This reminds us that when we sin we give in to whatever “it” is in the lives that bring us down. Fasting brings us closer to God.

Your challenge this week:

  1. How will you appreciate the sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of Christ each day?
  2. How will you be ready for the challenge of the call to make a change (big or small) in your life each day?
  3. How will you share the good news of what Christ has done?

It is a blessing to share the love of Christ with all of you, weekly. I pray you are blessed in abundance today and always.

 

 

 

 

Faith and Hope

Where do we find faith and hope in our lives? We tackle our mountainous to-do lists daily and find ourselves overwhelmed and floundering.Faith and Hope

Where do we find faith and hope in our lives? We tackle our mountainous to-do lists daily and find ourselves overwhelmed and floundering. And then we wonder where does our hope comes from, surely not the things we turn to daily for escape. Tune in for the answers.

Thanks to our sponsor

I wish I had all the answers for every struggle you are going through right now. But, while I don’t have all the answers I know someone who does. And, that is the focus today, where do we find our faith and where do we place our hope? Is it in the escape of a movie or a book? Is it in micromanaging the lives of others, or reading social media posts in order to find humor or join in a discussion that will surely bring anxiety before it brings peace?

Where does your faith and hope come from? It comes undeniably from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But, that does not mean we do not have to pray for it daily. Here are some helpful ways to pray with the scriptures:

Daily pray: Lord helps me in my unbelief. Give me faith and hope!

  1. Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  2. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  3. Leviticus 26:12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people
  4. Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee though no one pursues, the righteous are as bold as a lion.
  5. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we pray with those scriptures as well as others we will find that faith and hope is renewed. Recently I was messaging a friend on Facebook, they sell my books when they travel to speak. And he left me with this – God is good all the time. So I responded in a message back, “And all the time God is good.” – that is so uplifting. It is like a secret handshake when we can acknowledge with another believer that we realize that only in God’s goodness are we redeemed and are we happy. Because even with faith we find ourselves at a loss from time to time. Floundering.

When we find ourselves stressed and out of sorts it is due to relying on ourselves instead of asking our gracious Lord for help. I learned that when I am overwhelmed it is time to Stop. Drop. And Pray. It is the SOS to the Lord that I need help and I need it now. Even in times where there is nothing pressing or weighing on us we use it as a pick-me-up.

In the Scriptures, we feel a sense of urgency often when Jesus is surrounded by crowds. They are urgent to rush him and ask him for a healing or a prayer or some type of favor. Why is there this rush? Because the people who did not fully understand – or had less of an understanding then we do today could sense the holiness surrounding him and they thirsted for this. Just as we thirst for more of Him and less of us in our lives. We pray Lord I do believe, help me in my unbelief. We pray in a way that is foundational for all of the times we have lacked the faith to see our ways through a tough situation. God will not leave us orphans. He is our Father and at the time of challenge, He may be stretching us to grow us in our faith.

God challenges us to grow in our prayer lives as well. Our eternal happiness is in heaven and it awaits us. We must die to self to fully appreciate and understand that this world lacks, by a pale comparison to the bliss of heavenly life. Friends we have absolutely no conception of this life and that is why we cling to our lives here. We have the free will to choose daily. And what do we choose? Matthew 16:26 says “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

I choose the life that the Lord has for me. I choose God. I choose everlasting life.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I ask you to continue to increase my faith and my hope in You. You are the answer for all joy, peace, and love in the world that has turned upside down. I thank you, Lord, for giving me clarity eyes that see and ears that hear. I pray that you continue to give me a sense of discernment and sound judgment. Dear Lord, please continue to bless me, my family, and my friends’ and I pray specifically for the following needs: And I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Renewal of the Mind

Following Christ takes the renewal of the mind, and this is harder to do in today's culture. In this podcast, Father David shares a personal testimony as well as how the Lord showed him the missing piece in his life, regarding faith.Renewal Of The Mind – Episode 44

Following Christ takes the renewal of the mind, and this is harder to do in today’s culture. In this podcast, Father David shares a personal testimony as well as how the Lord showed him the missing piece in his life, regarding faith.

Evangelizing Catholic Culture – The Book.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

In my first year at the College of Steubenville now Franciscan University in 1968, and after one year of Ordination to the Priesthood, I was teaching theology. In those days when the students got sick, it was only a matter of time until the faculty got what the kids got. In looking back, I realized that I was very personally unsettled. I knew there was something missing in my life and I wasn’t sure what it was. However, whatever it was it was interiorly very painful. In one of those episodes of poor health, I went out to the hospital for a double shot of penicillin. On the way home I realized I was going into shock. I just got into the doors of the hospital when I collapsed.

When in my weakened condition I returned back to my dorm I sat in my chair in a depressed state and wondered if I had made the right decision in my life. Several nights later in the middle of the night, I awoke to experience the presence and peace of the Lord in a most profound way. The thought that went through my mind was this “you are trying to run your own life! Why don’t you let me run your life?” I saw the radical roots of sin in my life so I repented and fell back to sleep. Two weeks later after listening to a talk on the Church’s Grace of Renewal, I had some folks pray with me for that gift of grace and transformation, and I experienced a major powerful change in my life.

Immediately I was attracted to the healing ministry, so I studied and practiced it in the following years, the key two or three major healing methods available. Usually, in these methods, the concentration was in the repentance and emotional healing of the heart, with some exception, usually with a fair amount of success. In this last year, I related here at Franciscan to a woman who is a trauma therapist. One day she mentioned that she would do treatment with me if I wanted it. After a little struggle with pride and self-revelation, I consented. The ministry took the better part of the week. On Saturday morning as I arose from sleep, I felt tremendous freedom in my mind, like I was a new person. I experienced new freedom to discern and choose God’s will and the joy that comes from that.

I realized that the healing of the mind was very important because the mind is the rational power center of the human person. In retreat talks on mind renewal, Margaret (the retreat leader) gives a talk on the physical activity of the brain, which sheds light on how trauma affects and damages the operation of the brain. After a person receives healing about this matter, there is further healing necessary, which entails the process mentioned by St. Paul (Rom.12:1-2). The real issue is personal transformation, which involves a connection overview of the specific features of the process from the false self to the true self. Namely, we all need to understand and feel the reality of being called, chosen, known, valued, right personal boundaries, etc. Let’s talk about them!

Faith Challenge – Episode 200

It’s time for a challenge, a faith challenge! When was the last time you asked God for more of Him and less of you? When we look at our faith is it something we take for granted, or is it something we need to cherish? Felice shares three faith challenges in this 200th episode of A Few Minutes with God!Faith Challenge ~ Episode 200

It’s time for a challenge, a faith challenge! When was the last time you asked God for more of Him and less of you? When we look at our faith is it something we take for granted, or is it something we need to cherish? Felice shares three faith challenges in this 200th episode of A Few Minutes with God!

Visit my website for great faith challenging books, such as One More Child and A Few Minutes with God.

What is a faith challenge? It is a way to increase our faith in good times and in bad. It is a time to grow, to become stronger, and to be light to others. It is also helpful to be prepared and get your faith-kit together. Something you can pull out in times of need that will help you to overcome with God. God is here for us all of the time, yet in times of crisis, we freeze up and forget we have many tools in our arsenal!

Perhaps your faith has been challenged when something terrible happens in your life or the life of someone you love. What do you do during these times? Usually, we drop to our knees and pray, but sometimes we feel like God doesn’t hear us. Has this happened to you? For many Christians when our faith is challenged we get more of God, not less. We may not feel Him, but we know without Him we would fall.

First Faith Challenge Prep:

  1. Be prepared. Do you have a prayer you can pray to calm yourself down? If not find one or write one.
  2. What are your favorite go-to scriptures when you are in need? Write them down with the subheading for each topic. Have your Bible handy with marked passages to read.
  3. Be ready to use your praise journal (and prayer journal) and have it handy.

Faith Challenge 1 ~ Hard Times:

  1. Pray for strength and wisdom.
  2. Pray with someone else and if necessary, pick up the phone and text or call someone who will pray for you.
  3. Put your need on a prayer chain. If you do not have one, ask around. There are many eMail prayer chains available as well as on social media. The Facebook page here is just for that need.

All of us have been challenged by recent worldwide events. I don’t need to list them, I am sure you have a mental list of your own. It was and has been a horrible time with fear the number one ingredient that everyone in the media keeps pushing. Are you fearful? What do you do when you experience fear?

Faith Challenge 2 – When Things Are Out of Our Control:

  1. Know that God is in control, remind yourself of this.
  2. Remind yourself that God always wins.
  3. The enemy is a liar and fear is one way to manipulate us, pray this verse: 1 John 4:4 “…for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Another challenge in our lives is when someone lets us down. This is more difficult when it is someone we know or love. We feel abandoned and alone. We feel misunderstood. We feel at a loss. During these times where can you turn?

Faith Challenge 3 ~ When People Let Us Down.

  1. Remember that God will never let you down. God is always there, even in the midst of difficulty and trial.
  2. Focus on today, don’t let past hurt or future what-ifs bog you down.
  3. Pray Jeremiah 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.

The biggest challenge we have as Christians is to get out of our own way and allow the Lord to work in our lives.  We often give the enemy the credit, but truly it is our own obstacles that are the most deferential to our spiritual growth. If things are not going as we planned we are quick to blame (or I am quick to blame, and maybe you are a bit like me?) but I’ve realized the older I get that the only person responsible for my spiritual growth or lack, of growth, is me.

Ask yourself these quick questions:

  1. Am I taking time to pray and read the Bible?
  2. Am I spending quiet time with God?
  3. Do I praise God in all things?
  4. Am I allowing the Lord to work in me?
  5. Do I surround myself with like-minded Christians?
  6. Am I spending time ministering to others (even if it is your family – that counts).
  7. Do I share what God has done for me with others?
  8. Do I see the miracles of God’s grace in my life?
  9. Am I appreciative of all that I have?
  10. Am I loving and kind to my own family or Christian support group?

These are just a few of the ways we can check our own hearts and motivation. If we are striving to become more faithful in thought, word and deed we are working toward a goal and not becoming stagnant. The challenge for you this week and in the next is to grow in faith and challenge yourself in this way! May God be blessed.

Generosity and Faith

Some people are just naturally generous and in this episode, we are going to talk about generosity and faith.Generosity and Faith ~ Special Replay

Some people are just naturally generous and in this episode, we are going to talk about generosity and faith and a way to deepen your love for God which in turn will translate into your love for others.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Other episodes you may enjoy:

Thanksgiving and Faith 

Thanksgiving and Trust

Recently I was thinking about the book the Five Love Languages. In this book, the author, Gary Chapman discusses the different ways that we say I love you, and this is especially important for couples.  I’m going to share just two with you that actually apply to my life and that of my husband. My husband‘s love language is to spend time with me, he thinks that expresses his love for me and he does this with something he considers valuable, and that is his gift of time. My love language is to bake you something or to give you something I am a gift-giver I love thinking about what will make someone else happy whether it’s something that I put effort into in making or something that I buy. As you can see these two things are different. And as my husband likes to say isn’t it wonderful that God made us so different. That definitely is a positive spin to what could possibly be a difficult situation.
But when I think about generosity it comes in all different shapes and sizes. When we look at each other in the human sense generosity comes from something that we personally think is valuable or important and often if we are honest it is something that makes us happy. So, it that really being generous if we get something out of it? That is food for thought. But, when I think about generosity as a focus of faith it is so much deeper.
When we look at our lives objectively we can see that often we gather things that we can’t possibly use. Have you ever cleaned out a closet of clothing? Have you ever looked at things that you may have purchased for your children and more than half of the things were never worn? We gather these things so many of which we can never use. But the gift of faith the gift that God has given us? That is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Let’s look at just one tiny aspect of the generosity of God and that is faith. Faith is freely given to all, but few accept it. If you are thinking, Felice you are wrong! My church is huge, many accept the gift of faith–then, my question is where were all the faithful when they shut our churches down? We hid in our homes afraid. I was one of them. However, if I told you in January of 2020 that our churches would not be at full capacity by November 2020 when I am recording this show, what would you say? You would have a hard time believing me. I am not condemning you -or me, it is just what happened in our lives and some of our church leaders and pastors are now in court suing for the constitutional right to worship, freely. This is a gift of the generosity of our faith that we took for granted. Never again will we do this. So, back to faith–yes, it is freely given by God but what do we do with this gift?
I personally want a deep sense of faith, and I am going to pray this for you.
1. The faith of knowing that God is in charge of our lives.
2. The faith of knowing that the Lord will never leave us.
3. The faith of knowing that God is in the here and the now.
4. The faith of knowing when we are weak that Almighty God is strong.
5. The faith of knowing that the battle against evil has already been won by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
If we know these things we will have a deeper sense of the generosity of the gifts God has given us and the truth that these become in our lives.
God’s gift to us can never be repaid and that is another thing that is different about the gift of faith. Usually, if someone gives us something we can gift them with something back. In a way, it almost negates our generosity. And if you give with the thoughts of what you were getting back, that further dilutes generosity. Generosity from the Lord is in the fact that he died for our sins, that he gave us everlasting life. Look around you, is this all there is? For those who are Christian, we believe there is more.
This world that God has given us has its ups and downs and many of the ups are from Him and the downs are from things and choices that we make. The saying that “God is good all the time and all the time God is good,” is a refrain the Christian say, but the question is do we believe it? If you have strong faith the answer is yes, and it’s not because we say it over and over again so that then we believe it. No, it is because we truly believe in our hearts that God can only give us things that are good. Do bad things happen in our lives? Of course, they do, because God has also given us free well.

Another amazing gift of the generosity and love of Almighty God is the gift of free will and how that allows us to do what we want in our lives, and that want can include the love of our Lord, but we love the Lord because we want to. We can choose not to do that. That is also part of our free will as well. Whenever I have a hard time grasping the concept of the free will that God gave us I think about forcing someone to love me. We all crave love in this life. We want people to like us and those close to us, to love us. However, we want this freely, right? We don’t want this to be forced and so it is with Almighty God.

We can never understand the mind of God all we can do is strive to do the best that we can do each day. As the holidays are coming up as I record this show, I think about all of the things that I will do soon and maybe you as well. I will shop, I will bake, I will buy or make some gifts, and I will be with those I love. But what will I do as a gift for Almighty God? The one thing I want to share with you again and again because to me this has been an a-ha moment and one gift that we can give Almighty God is to give Him our will. Why? Because we have the free will do to this and HE gave us free will, so we can give it back to Him as a form of humility. Do this takes deep faith. Do you have the faith that surpasses all understanding?

Friends, that is what I’m going to pray for you during this season. To have faith to have trust in Almighty God and all that he will provide for you!

Let’s pray
Dear Lord, I praise you and I thank you and I give you all of my will to do with as you please help me my God to understand the gift of generosity, to understand the gift of faith, to understand the gift that you have given me and allow me my God to be aware of these gifts. I ask my God, for the prayers that I have in my heart for those I love in my life and for myself… and I praise you and I thank you in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

Penitent

Does any want to be a penitent? What does this mean to a Christian in a life that seems to be full of all types of hardships? Tune in as Father David works us through this difficult concept but will bring you closer to Christ.What Is A Penitent? Episode 43

Does any want to be a penitent? What does this mean to a Christian in a life that seems to be full of all types of hardships? Tune in as Father David works us through this difficult concept but will bring you closer to Christ.

Evangelizing Catholic Culture – The Book.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

The goal of the culture of compassion is to provide for an individual to become a modern Catholic penitent. The penitential life is characterized as a life of evangelical conversion and penance lived out in some kind of pattern, in order to bring forth the fruits worthy of penance.

In the Gospel, the Lord Jesus asks us to abide in him as he abides in us. Those who do such bear much fruit, and fruit that will remain, because apart from me you can do nothing, the Father is glorified by you bearing much fruit and becoming my penitent disciples. Being fruitful depends on the indwelling of the divine life in my heart, and our fruitfulness increases the quality and degree of this precious life within us.

The starting point of a life of penance is overflowing gratitude for the gifts and benefits which the mercy of the Father has bestowed on us in his Son Jesus the gift of Crucified Mercy. A life of penance does not depend on willpower alone for doing various types of penances and devotions. But a life of penance depends on the action and power of God bestowing his mercy, and for our part humbly and openly receiving. It is necessary to be humble and poor to receive the divine life of the Kingdom.

In the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Lord trains us to live lives that are self-controlled upright, and godly, and we develop attitudes that produce fruit in our personality and character. The power of grace in natural abilities and acquired skills bring forth fruit. This experience initiates an action of purification which accompanies a life of virtue for the penitent. The penitential life is a graced call within which one lives a life of penance. This is the time of fulfillment repent and believe in the Gospel (Mk.1:14-15). The penitential life is a process of conversion that completes us in Christ with overflowing love, gratitude, glory, and praise. The call and mission of a merciful penitent draws its transforming power from the passion of Jesus Crucified in the life of the Holy Spirit. The call to be merciful penitents is a distinct counter-culture stance to be sure. Francis of Assisi arrived at a definite point in his early conversion where he concretely recognized a call to do penance. A penitent in the way of conversion is a permanent dynamic reality.

Spiritual Motivation

In this episode, we will look at what motivates us as Christians and how to be sure the motivation is for the right reasons.Spiritual Motivation ~ Episode 199

What is your spiritual motivation to live a life as a Christian? Have you given this question any thought? Is it important to you to live a life that is pleasing? Pleasing to whom? In this episode, we will look at what motivates us as Christians and how to be sure the motivation is for the right reasons.

Please help me in sharing this podcast with family or friends! Thanks so much for your continued support. Visit my website MediaAngels.com for Christian books and classes for the entire family.

We are motivated by different things. In the Christian spiritual realm, we are motivated by the goal or the reward at the end of the journey.  What is the end? For a Christian, we believe it is heaven. Motivation takes on different forms and levels of effort as well. Are we motivated to read the Bible? Are we motivated to pray? Are we motivated to do works of mercy, feed, and help those less fortunate? Motivation is the force or the action behind the scenes.

When I think back on this podcast and this podcast network (The Ultimate Christian Podcast Network) I think of my motivation for starting this work. The motivation had to do with using my knowledge and expertise to help others to succeed in reaching the Christian community, collectively, with shows that were uplifting, Godly, and informative. They were to be food for the soul and based upon sacred Scripture as a foundation. The motivation has kept me going through now, the 199th episode.

Some people are motivated by money and that is what keeps them working hard or up late at night. Some people are motivated by fame or power. People are motivated into action, the doing of activity by something bigger than themselves. But no matter what your job or position, no matter what your focus in life, the ultimate motivation is spiritual motivation.

Jesus left us and rose to heaven after his resurrection but He promised to send us His spirit. God loves us 100% no matter what we do or no matter what – John 15:9-10 As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

Jesus also promised not to leave us orphans but to send us the Holy Spirit. John 14:15-17

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. 

This is the motivation that Jesus gives, another advocate and one that is in us, how? By keeping God’s commandments and being open to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a great motivator! When we keep our eyes on Him when we keep our eyes on the prize (everlasting life) that is when we will find success.

Things that squash our motivation is second-guessing, getting caught up in the things of this world that we can not prevent, and thinking that we know better than God. When we are confused the first thing to do is to get on our knees.

I’ve learned the hard way that when I start a project without prayer or direction it falls flat. We are motivated by working within our strengths, the gifts that God has given us. I could never be a public speaker without the grace and mercy of God. I am a shy person and no one who meets me believes it! Why is that? Because God also gave me another gift and that is passion. If I am passionate about a topic then I will work hard to bring it forward with God’s help. Without Him, I would flounder and be at a loss.

What is spiritual motivation to you? What is that that God is leading you to do? Is it to speak to a friend or co-worker about the Lord? Is it to take more time in your daily prayer time? Is it to read the Bible each day? What is it? What is it that will get you out of bed with a joy that surpasses all understanding? Finding that motivation is important but not necessary.

Let me explain. Motivation comes from within and it is also a choice. We may not feel that motivation all the time but if we are determined to change for the better and improve then it takes work. The enemy works overtime trying to destroy us but we can focus on the Lord and ignore the rest.

Spiritual Motivation:

  1.  Praying and asking God for an infilling or re-infilling of the Holy Spirt. My simple prayer is more of you God and less of me.
  2. Reading Bible quotes and making a list of your favorites.
  3. Visiting motivation websites and writing a collection of quotes that touch you. Positive Christian quotes here.
  4. Reading the life of the saints, such as Mother Theresa – we read in her life story that there was a time when she didn’t hear God but she still persevered and kept to the mission He had given her at the beginning of taking care of the poor in Calcutta, India.
  5. Being open to the Holy Spirit and praying for direction.

Do you surround yourself with Christian friends and other people who are like-minded? This is helpful when we are trying to grow in our faith because spiritual motivation is just that – growth.  If you do not have like-minded friends ask the Lord to bring you some! (Share my prayer and fulfillment.) As I have shared whether or not we feel like it is true the Lord does hear our prayers and He does answer our prayers especially those to grow closer to Him and to grow in our faith.

Praying for others can also bring us spiritual motivation. We want the grace and blessings upon those we pray for and if we pray daily the Lord will call to mind people we can pray for their needs.

Psalm 107: 1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; or his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let us give thanks each day and ask the Lord for the guidance we need to live lives that are an example to others but also realize that He is there for us. We are not alone we are in good company.  There is always going to be an internal struggle for our time and focus. The presence of God in our lives gives us the added will to do His will, to allow us to forgive ourselves and others. To pray the Lord’s prayer daily, and to persevere! Nothing worthwhile is easy and it does take effort. That is why it is important to pray for help. Daily we renew our covenant with Christ, and we renew our faith by praying. We can pray, “Here I am Lord.”

May the joy of the Lord be in your heart each and every day – that is what I pray for you! Your challenge this week is to look at the Christian spiritual motivation in your life and the ways that you are answering the call of God.

 

 

 

 

 

Culture of Connection in Christianity

Culture of Connection in Christianity with Father David TickerhoofCulture of Connection In Christianity ~ Episode 42

What is the culture of Connection? Have you heard about this as related to Christianity? In this podcast, Father David takes us through the importance of connection in regard to faith.

Evangelizing Catholic Culture:

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church. This book discusses the culture of connection as well.

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

The traditional Catholic culture that great-grandpa and grandma knew about, is based on stable and supportive relationships. Unfortunately, this is almost gone: disintegrated and still dissolving. The replacement for many Catholics and other Christians is the new neopagan religion in society called Secularism Humanism; its is all about me, we don’t need God or religion. In short, we need to develop a new Catholic Culture of Connection. The question is what should this new Culture look like?

What does this mean to us as Christians?

Faith cannot exist if it is not rooted in the culture. Culture is used here to mean a way of living. The last Popes have all maintained in one way or another that God is about a new work of Mercy. This new culture needs to be built on that experience of God’s current revelation and work in the Church, which highlights the reality of relationships that engender connection. Relationships survive only if they are rooted in connection. The foundation of a new culture of connection entails a threefold connection: a connection to self, God, and to others, what does this mean? Divine Mercy is the context within which the goal needs to be a Culture of Compassion.

Culture of Connection:

The threefold focus of connection to self, God, and others occurs by highlighting personal transformation. The key objective is the healing of the whole person! In our attempts to do this we have emphasized the healing of the heart; even to the extent of neglecting the healing of the mind. Now the vector has shifted to the mind; we see this clearly illustrated in trauma therapy. Since not everyone can take trauma treatment, we need to transfer some of the features of this ministry into retreat and workshop formats: “Through the mercy of God offer your bodies to the Lord as your spiritual worship; do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind so that you may know what is good, pleasing, and perfect, the will of God.” (Rom.12:1-2).

In the threefold connection of compassion, we relate first to “self-compassion”; secondly receiving the compassion of the Father through the pierced heart of Christ; thirdly when these two are alive in our minds and hearts, then one can give compassion to others. The vehicle for developing a new culture of compassion is the renewal of the mind. In this personal transformation, we pass from our false self to our true selves. We experience becoming calm and holding the peace of Christ in our hearts; confident, and compassionate, our true self.

Speaking with Love

Speaking with Love ~ Christian Love. Episode 198

Speaking with love, Christian love is difficult at the best of times and during the best of conditions. How can you speak to others with the love, easy if you do not have the love of Christ in your heart?

Visit the Media Angels website for books on Character Qualities for children and Christian novels. MediaAngels.com

Speaking with love is a gift. It isn’t always easy to speak kindly especially when we are annoyed. I fight with myself over what I want to say and what I actually say. Why? Because our human nature, if it is not grounded in Christ is one that is concerned with self. We want to be right, we want things to be fair (especially as they apply to ourselves) and we believe that we have a right to speak our mind.

Why do we speak out in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord? Mainly because we are upset or feel justified. Usually, anger gets in the way of clear thought or speaking kindly. Another reason can be fear. Fear is a gripping sensation that may make you feel out of control and when this happens our speech may reflect this fear and insecurity by taking it out on others. This is never acceptable or okay but we can change, and it first takes wanting to change to make it happen.

Recently I read a post on social media that a friend of mine who has written quite a few books commented on another book that was recently released and had a movie as well. She talked about the hateful comments, from fellow Christians, that she received when she gave the book and movie a review. I know nothing about the book or the movie but what I do know is that people are entitled to their opinions and as Christians we are held to a high bar. There is never a reason to be personal in our speech in a hateful way. There is just no excuse.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 talks about love. This is the love that speaks of God’s grace, God’s promise, God’s example.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

That my friends is what Christian love talks about and how we are to speak.

  1. Speak with patience.
  2. Speak with kindness.
  3. Speak without envy.
  4. Speak without boasting.
  5. Speak without being proud.
  6. Speak while not dishonoring others.
  7. Speak in a way that is not self-seeking.
  8. Speak in a way that is not angry.
  9. Speak in a way that doesn’t point fingers or accuse.

But there is more. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. The truth, we are told will set you free. John 8:31-32

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Our words should be ones that protect others, trust in truth and encourage with hope and continue on through the tough times. When we speak with love and kindness we are following the example of Christ. In the Bible, we read that Jesus often said, “Go and sin no more,” but He was not disparaging of the sinner, he didn’t call them out or use crude terminology. He didn’t point fingers and tear the people down. No, he lifted, encouraged, and taught using parables and stories so that the people could relate and understand.

Ephesians 4:25-32 – gives us an example of righteous anger but it also gives us a reason to be careful with how we speak. We are to put off falsehood and speak truthfully but we are admonished in anger not to sin. (Read).

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Is there a time when you were angry and then regretted what you said? We’ve all done this but in the verses, I just read it tells us to get rid of bitterness, rage, and anger and to have compassion. When we are in prayer we can sense the goodness of the Lord and feel his love, forgiveness, and compassion. Yet when we are in trying or difficult situations we may find we are at a loss and may fail to speak with love. Speaking with love takes practice and it takes faith. But there is hope because the power of God, the power of Jesus in our lives is real. How is this real? By the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and many of the fruits of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Podcast here on Fruits of the Spirit.)

How do we get more of that spirit of God? By prayer and by asking for it. We can ask the Lord to help us to see the ways that our words hurt others, and repent. Repenting from sin should be something we do at the end of each and every day (or more often if you can). Jesus said we should forgive others seventy times seven. He did not say we should hold a grudge for the rest of our lives. God gave us the gift of life and the miracle of our lives is the ability to touch others in a way that is uplifting and helpful.

This week look at the words you use, with your family first and then with your friends. Are you speaking in a way that builds people up or does it tear people down? Can you speak kindly? Can you speak the truth but in a way that people will actually listen? When those who profess to be Christian can’t even speak with Christian love then what hope do we have for humanity? Christians have a common and unifying Father. We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are not orphans but we are children of the Almighty and we should reflect the love of God in our lives and the way we live our lives. John 14:15-20

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Our actions and our words should both reflect this love. We love in a way that reflects the joy in our hearts and if we are lacking this joy, we need to get it back. How can we do this? We need to focus on reading the Bible, taking time each day to pray, and focusing our thoughts, especially (if we can) first thing in the morning and last thing at night in giving God the praise He is due. Without praise and gratefulness, there is no joy. Without joy there is no hope. Without hope there is despondency and that is when the enemy creeps in and takes hold.

Love by its very nature is sacrificial and speaking in love means speaking with sacrifice to self. Our speech is a reflection of what is in our heart, and if our heart is lacking it will be obvious to those who listen to us speak. If you have difficulty in this area pray to the Lord and ask for help, ask Him to give you the words you should use. I often do this when I pray for other people. I have no idea what they really need in prayer, but God does! God can give us those gifts of the spirit and guide our speech so that we are a reflection of God’s love and an example of Christian charity!

This week your challenge is speaking in love to others and using your words or uplift and encourage. May God be blessed!

God Loves You – Special Replay

I probably don’t need to tell you that God loves you, but if you find yourself overwhelmed you need to hear it again and again.God Loves You ~ Special Replay

I probably don’t need to tell you that God loves you – however if you suffer from stress or find yourself overwhelmed you need to hear it again and again. In this episode, we will discuss God’s love and how closely tied it is to who we are and our relationships.

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When I think about God’s love the refrain from a popular Bible song resonates although the words are slightly different than, “God loves you,” the words go — “Jesus loves you this I know because the Bible tells me so…” Yet do we really believe this and if we do why do we live a life that isn’t trusting that God’s got this – whatever “this” is in your life.

We take God’s love for granted. How do we know that He loves us?

  1. You exist – so the very fact that you are here is because of the fact that you were created. Your parents had to meet!
  2. You are who you are because of the love of God – our relationships hinge on who we believe God is – think about it.
  3. God has a purpose for you – yes, you. He created you for a reason and some understand it better than others but our entire life is striving to grow closer to him.

I purposely left out the fact that God sent His only son – to become man, in order to be born, suffer and die for our sins, and ultimately resurrected into to heaven. That is the number one reason I know that God loves me – but for me to know this I must be a professed Christian. John 3:16 is a favorite Bible passage of so many. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We know God loves us because He loves us unconditionally. We do not need to perform good works or deeds in order to have God love us. He just does. Of course, we should do good things, please don’t misunderstand that it isn’t needed – the point here is that it isn’t needed for God’s love. We try to understand God with a human mindset. We love those who love us – we love those who are kind who gift us things who are welcoming and generous. But we can’t understand the mind of God – because for us it makes no sense.

Can we love unconditionally? No – it is very difficult to do – but for God all things are possible.

In the Bible, we read again and again about the mercy of God through the actions of his son Jesus. We read about mercy. We read about the Pharisees who often criticized him. Yet in Matthew 9:12 it says, “It is not those who are well who have need of a physician but those who are sick.” We are sick as sinners – we have a sickness in our souls and it is that sickness that causes us to doubt, to stress to be overwhelmed by this thing we call life. We need mercy and we need a Savior and it is in this Savior that loves us just because.

Think about that. Someone who loves you just because you are. Just because you exist. Who knew you before you were born, who knows the number of hairs on your head, who held you in the palm of His hand. Wow. Psalm 84:8 reads – “Show us, O Lord, your mercy; and grant us your salvation.” This is repeated again and again in our Bible readings during the time of Advent the days leading up to Christmas. We are reminded of this time and time again.

To receive the mercy and compassion of God we must show others mercy and compassion. This is not to be confused with God’s love. God’s love is unconditional. But there is, for a Christian a recourse if you will for sin. God teaches us in the parable of the Good Samaritan that because of sin (a man who was a Jew was robbed and left for dead. We learn that two people walk on without helping him, one man – the Samaritan stopped and helped the Jew – and he did this without a repayment. The Bible uses this as a lesson because the Jews and the Samaritans were adversaries – you can read more in Luke 10:25-37

The point here goes further that God knows our hearts. He knows what drives us – we can lie to the world but God knows our motivations. It is important for us to have compassion for others and if we have the love of God in our hearts this should come naturally.

Friends, for those of us who are believers we should go around looking joyful and hopeful with a smile on our face. Who would want to be a Christian if they think that Christians are a bunch of judgmental and depressed people! We need to open our hearts to God’s love – He is waiting with outstretched arms and all we have to do is say yes, Lord. More of you Lord and less of me.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, first I thank you for your unconditional love – I thank you for allowing me to be created and for giving me the opportunities to share the love you have given me with others. Pour into me oh, my God – your love and your mercy. Help me to be compassionate to others to be in the right place at the right time to be used by you! Help me to show this love to others. Take away my stress, my anger my feelings of being overwhelmed and replace them with the peace that surpasses all understanding knowing that you are right beside me. I pray particularly for the following intentions:  Thank you ahead of time Lord for all the blessings and provisions you send and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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Ultimate Love

The ultimate love of Christ is something we can not possibly comprehend. It includes the creation of man, and His sacrifice for us.Ultimate Love of Christ – Episode 197

The ultimate love of Christ is something we can not possibly comprehend. It includes the creation of man, the love He pours out to us in our lives, and the ultimate sacrifice of His death on the cross. Thankfully we have His resurrection to bring joy to our hearts. In this episode we will discuss the ultimate love of Christ and why this should bring us joy.

Check it out! MediaAngels.com has books based on Christian topics for the entire family. And you may want to listen to this podcast on the Joy of the Lord here.

The word ultimate means the highest bar, the top of the heap, the best or most sought after. I even used the word Ultimate in naming not only this podcast network – the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network but another one as well. Ultimate says, pay attention, this is important for me and for you.

When we mention the word ultimate along with the love of God that surpasses all understanding as the scripture says. His love and His forgiveness are things that we learn about in the Bible. What we do with this information can be life-changing.  Do you remember the time you thought about the ultimate love of Christ in a way that changed your life?

In prayer, I have felt the Lord’s presence and sometimes it is overwhelming and I want to capture the feeling with words. But, words are so lacking. We should meditate on the fact that God’s love transcends time, space and even our understanding. God does not condemn us – (hate the sin love the sinner) but He does call us to that ultimate, the higher and deeper level of faith.

Romans 8: 1-4 [on audio]... keep reading Romans. It goes on to explain the spirit of Christ that is in us, and with this spirit we can live a life that is amazing.

Special Replay: Faith Under Pressure

In today's world, our faith is under pressure.Faith Under Pressure

In today’s world, our faith is under pressure. There are so many things pulling on our time. We are bombarded with the news, the things happening in our day to day work, the pressure of home and family. Everywhere we look we just can’t catch our breath until the next onslaught of issues comes barreling into us. It doesn’t have to be this way, and in this episode, we take a look at our faith and the pressure of the world, and the good news? God is victorious!

In the Scriptures, we read about the fate of the prophets. The prophets by definition are rejected. Whenever the Lord asked a prophet to give the people a warning most of the warnings fell on deaf ears. The people thought they didn’t need to change, they thought they were doing fine. Jeremiah told the people of Judah that they must repent on their infidelity or God would destroy their temple. They responded by threatening to put Jeremiah in jail.

In the Gospels, Jesus also faces similar opposition. He was not what the hometown people expected. They knew him and his family. They possibly watched him grow up. They rejected his teaching and drove him out of town. Jesus was able to bear all of this – and I can’t imagine how it felt to him to be rejected by those He loves. Saint Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things –It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Because of God’s love, he served the people and continues to serve us each day. What do we give him back? Our faith and when we are under pressure whether it is from family, pain, illness or from things we can not help, our faith can be tested. We are able to bare all things only by the grace of God only by the help we get in every day of prayer and time with God. We need to be shored up to be infilled and to be created more in His image than our own. Our faith survives when we die to self, putting others first. When we look at things as black and white that is when the filters of this world tend to come crashing in and threatened to overwhelm us.

Put on the armor of Christ daily, rely on God and even the hardest day can be victorious because as we all know – God has already won the battle.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you for all you have done for me in my life. I thank you ahead of time for listening to my pleas and calls in prayer. Dear Lord, I ask that you help me when my faith is under pressure and ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit to overflowing so that I can withstand all the evil that happens daily.  I need your help Lord each and every day. I ask that you listen to my prayers for the following needs:

Thank-you Lord for all of your blessings, thank you for all of your answered prayers to come and those of you have already answered and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

The Joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord is... can you fill in the blanks here? The joy of the Lord is so many different things to different people!Joy of the Lord Episode 196

The joy of the Lord is… can you fill in the blanks here? The joy of the Lord is so many different things to different people but in this podcast, we will explore how God’s joy can bring us to a greater and deeper commitment with Him!

Please visit my website for books and classes at Media Angels.com

Check out these our podcasts on the topic of Joy: Joy in Living God’s Will and Daily Joy here.

What did you answer when I asked you what you would say when asked, “The joy of the Lord is…”

I can give you so many such as the Joy of the Lord is my strength, Nehemiah 8:10

The joy of the Lord is my rock, He is my Savior and my Lord. How can I thank the Lord who created the heavens and the earth and who knows every hair on my head and every need I have beforehand? The only way I know how is by giving him all the praise. And, when we praise God, what naturally follows is a thankful heart.
The world is trying to weigh us down and watching the news is enough to depress even the most joyful. There is nothing that surprises the Lord and there is nothing, no event that He does not already know the outcome.  Throughout the history of mankind, we see the same mistakes made over and over again, beginning with the fall of the garden of Eden. Things have not changed significantly in the sense of people continuing to sin!
We read in  Psalm 92:4
Each day we have a challenge, and that challenge is to keep the joy of God in our hearts. Ask ourselves the following questions:
1. What can you offer the Lord today?
2. What can you thank the Lord for today?
3. How can you show the joy of the Lord to others?
Think about these questions and what is key is that whenever we are in the mindset of trying to please the Lord we are receiving blessings. We can not outgive the Lord. Try it. The Lord will not be outdone and we can see that as evidence in our lives. The disciples followed Jesus not because it was easy, but because there was no other way to light, truth, and love. Jesus was compelling, He drew them in with His unconditional love and forgiveness. They were transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
How can we be transformed each day in our ordinary lives? Think about this? It is the theme of this podcast and that is to have the joy of the Lord in our hearts. We can study the Word of God in the scriptures, memorize scripture verses to help us when we are down, turn to God in prayer whenever we have a need or just because we want to praise and thank Him. We can be transformed by the everlasting love of God and the joy that thought brings to our hearts.
Have you gotten off course? We all go off course at some time in our lives. We feel that the Lord is too busy for our needs so we will go it alone. This is not the way to live life and when that burden seems to heavy to carry we will see the evidence in the fruit and that is the wrong path or the path of least resistance. Friends this is not the path we want to be on, we want to be on that narrow path that leads to God and that joy we talk about, the joy of the Lord.
Is there something that is weighing you down? If so, release it and give it to God. That is why over the course of the years I’ve asked you to try a journal, first a praise and thanksgiving journal because that is unbelievably helpful. The second is a prayer journal so that you can go back at some point and see all of the prayers that have been answered. It is truly a faith booster. I have one that I started in 2008 and that thing has pages that are bent and highlighted words and sticky notes. I keep it around to remind myself that while not all prayers were answered, the ones that were important were answered better than I can possibly imagine.
What is the end of this story? We need to keep the focus of Christ in our minds daily, to focus on the blessing we have in our lives, those simple things, the comforts of a home of a family of the blue sky and green grass or even a snowy vista…whatever that is that God brings to us in nature. Nothing can hold back an attitude of gratitude if we will it to be.
The joy of the Lord is my strength and I pray that for you today, and my challenge to you is to increase that joy in your heart with song and prayer, daily! May God be blessed! Amen, and amen.

Special Replay: Judgmental Christians

In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God.Judgmental Christians

In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God. In this episode we are going to take a hard look at ourselves and ways we can improve upon our nature to forgive and repent for pointing the finger at others when the finger should be directed at ourselves.

In the last few podcasts, we’ve listened as the Lord taught us first in the Beatitudes about how we should live and then in the verse about turning the other cheek and going above and beyond what is expected of us by normal situations. Today we are going to look at ourselves and the tendency we have of blaming others and not taking the blame that most squarely falls on our own shoulders.

Friends I am talking to myself here and don’t want you to see this episode of pointing fingers at you!

Luke 6:43-45 New International Version we read about A Tree and Its Fruit

What we produce depends upon what is in our heart – and that is unfortunately typically hidden from the world until something sets us off. I have to admit that I am not happy with my younger self. I was quick to follow Jesus in all things but then believed I had to correct all those around me. I was involved in a Bible Study focused on the Book of Corinthians and I was so excited with what I was learning. At a meeting with my CPA who had been Baptist but now was not practicing I was attempting to find out how to get her back to her faith.

I realized that not everyone was going to lead a life that was pleasing to me. When another friends’ marriage was ruined by infidelity on her husband’s part she went off what I would consider the “deep end” and began to live a life of promiscuity herself. It was retaliation on the hurt she felt by betrayal and the way she reacted was just the same. I thought it was my job to point out these issues and became self-righteous. After all, I told myself I was concerned for their souls. What if they died in a state of sin?

I looked at these friends and thought I am not doing anything remotely wrong in comparison, but judging them was wrong. “Every tree is known by its own fruit.” And my fruit was tainted. We think we are being compassionate but we are not.

In our family, we fall into this same trap. Whether it is an extended family member or someone in your immediate family. Yes, we want to help our children but at some point it is time to release them to God and allow the Lord to work in their lives.

Just for clarification – Being judgmental is putting someone else down to elevate ourselves – to make ourselves feel like we are holier and better than they in a spiritual sense. That is why it is sinful. Being helpful, loving guiding is not the same. As much as it pains me to admit I was judgmental in the bad sense of the word. And, I want to praise God that I finally “grew” out of it – and it was a spiritual immaturity that leads me down that path.

Can we pray for those that we feel are going down the wrong path? Absolutely… we can storm heaven for them. However, always reprimanding, nagging and chiding them for incorrect behavior is going to push them further away.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

How are we doing? What does our life look like to those around us? Are we showing good fruit while we are harboring unforgiveness and condemnation toward others inside?

A splinter or a branch or maybe an entire plank can be blocking all the goodness in our lives and the ability for the Lord to work within us.

I know that when I prayed blessings on those who hurt me (I have podcasts on forgiveness and if you haven’t listened go to AfewminuteswithGodPodcast.com to find them), I was set free.

When someone who bothers you or you have judged comes to mind, pray a blessing upon them. Ask the Lord to bless them beyond measure and leave it at that. Do you think you love these friends or relatives more than the Lord does? No, not at all.

Now, what if someone asks you for help or asks your opinion on a matter that might be sinful? That is different, then it is advisable to pray to the Holy Spirit first for an infilling of His wisdom and help and then pray with the person first and then listen.

I want to warn you about being too scrupulous. Sometimes we are so focused on the outer trappings that we forget what is inside. That does not mean we need to lower our principles.

Recently dress has become more and more suggestive on television. My husband and I love to watch some of the cooking shows. We had to change the channel recently because the show host had a very low cut dress on – totally unnecessary. We will see more and more of this I am sure and it is time for us to take control and turn the channel and perhaps turn off the television.

I’m not suggesting you lower your own morals but in this episode, I pray it has given you food for thought. I’d like you to journal about the following questions or take them to prayer.

  1. Have I been judgmental of someone recently?
  2. Did I do it out of compassion or to show I knew more and was superior in my faith?
  3. Did I share my beliefs with this person in a harsh way?
  4. Did I condemn their actions?
  5. Did I pray with them?

Looking at ourselves:

  1. How am I living my life according to the gospels?
  2. Are there places that I need to improve?
  3. How can I forgive those that hurt me?
  4. What is in my life that is a flaw and fault that I need to change?
  5. How do I plan on making amends to those I have hurt?

Take some time and go through these questions, pray, ask God to forgive you and pray a blessing on those you have hurt! And watch the miracles happen.

Let’s pray:

Dear Jesus I thank you for the hard life lessons we must learn to be new creations. If we do not grow and change for the better, we cannot develop into the people you want us to be. Please help me to show good fruit that is from the heart, increase my heart with love especially for those who have hurt me. Help me to pray an abundance of blessings upon those who have hurt me. Help me to stop condemning or judging others and allow me to focus on myself and my family and allow me to be the best example of your love to them. Dear Lord, I pray specifically for the following intentions … I ask a blessing upon those I pray for and I ask you to hear and answer my prayers. Come Holy Spirit, infill me with your love and goodness and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Christ Included

Do you suffer with anxiety stress the inability some days? Is Christ included in your life? If not, this podcast will help!Christ Included ~ Episode 195

Do you suffer with anxiety stress the inability some days? Is Christ included in your life? In this podcast we will talk more about a sure fire way to turn all of this around
Visit my website at mediaangels.com you can find more books and products that I have written with Christian content that you will enjoy.
Well, who doesn’t suffer from anxiety or stress or any of those things that hold us down from time to time? But, we can face these challenges, how? Include Christ. Is Christ included in your daily struggles. Why would you include someone you don’t know that is why it is important to have a relationship with our Lord?
1. Relationships take time and effort.
2. Relationship with God takes time and effort.
If you are a believer this is not far fetched, but it you are not–it may be a harder issue to grasp.

Christ Included:

In order for Christ to be included in your life it begins with a relationship and a trust that He will be there for you. Start with the Scriptures 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith and not by sight.
Think about this, what does this mean to you? If you are walking by faith that means that we are trusting in what we cannot see we cannot see God. There is an analogy often used about the wind in comparison to faith. You can feel the wind and see the effects of the wind. So, how do you know that wind exists exists if you can’t see it? Because you can feel it and see the effects. The same with God when we walk by faith and not by sight we are relying on faith and a greater entity than ourselves. When we bring Christ into the equation not as a lucky charm not a something that we hold out and say, “Okay Lord perform now the way we want you to.” No, we bring the Lord into our life not as a crutch but as the Almighty, the God of heaven and earth, the God who cares about the number of hairs on our head.
Include Christ into you life by:
  1. Align your will to God gods well.
  2. start each day praising God.
  3. look for the good
  4. Spend time in prayer
  5. Spend time reading the Bible
If we bring God into the equation I promise you it will lower your stress your anxiety and your inability to move. If we are with God who can be against us? If we are walking knowing that our Lord is with us why do we fear? More faith is one of those prayers God will answer. I pray that you include God in your every day, you include God in your decisions, you include God in your prayer life, and you include God in all that you do and I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen!
The challenge for you my friends is to bring the Lord with you and I pray that you are blessed

Faith Tested By Fire – Special Replay

We all want faith, but our faith must be tested. Faith tested by fire withstands as we have seen through the many example of the goldy men...Faith Tested By Fire – Special Replay

We all want faith, but our faith must be tested. Faith tested by fire withstands as we have seen through the many examples of the goldy mean and women who have gone before us. In this episode, Felice discusses that trials do make us stronger and what we should pray instead of, “Lord take this cross away.”

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Faith is not faith until it is tested. 1 Corinthians 13:12
I head a sermon this weekend that changed the course of today’s podcast. I wanted to talk about faith as we are in a season of our Lenten journey as I record this we are walking toward the time of celebration and Easter, but most of us do not feel like celebrating because we can’t help to focus on the day to day goings on in our world. We have faith, and yet for many, our faith withstands but by the grace of God. It is often tested and we are in a sense of working within the will of God. It is amazing to think that faith well freely given is something we have to work through. For anything worthwhile in this life takes work. Jesus reminded us that faith is not faith until it is tested. Jesus reminded his apostles of A time when he would be sacrificed for us the disciples did not want to hear this and Jesus this response was frightening to us get behind me Satan. Why is this? Because the enemy does not want us to have faith because true faith cannot be broken.
I think one of the things that really has an impact on me the most is when I think about the disciples who walked with our Lord, who experienced the miracles of Jesus, who saw in him neon The Almighty. And yet during the time of his passion, they deserted him! If those who had experience Jesus fully did not know God, how can we? The only way is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Unless God opens in aluminates our minds we cannot experience true faith. We are tested every day there are obstacles in our life there are tragedies in our life we have disappointments in our life and we often ask where is God?
But what we always see in the Scriptures is that God transforms evil into God. Even in the worst evil, we can see the greater good. Jesus talks about refining us just as the finest gold must be fired so that the impurities can be taken out. – Zechariah 13:9
1 Corinthians 15 reminds us without the cross and crucifixion there could be no resurrection. Verse 50-52 states… 
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
I think one of the greatest things that we as Christians have the help of the Almighty and the Hope that is in Christ, and without hope we would be despondent. If we know that God and only in Him and His infinite wisdom and mercy knows what is best for us–and remember, He knows every hair on our head … if this is that same God then, of course, we have the confidence to believe that He knows what we need in our lives. We think we know better. We don’t.
I often find myself in situations that are of my own doing. I often find myself saying yes before really thinking things through and when things fall apart, I always wonder, Where is God? But God hasn’t left, He is at the same address, he is there waiting for me, expecting me to go to him in prayer, and truthfully maybe I did, but I’m not even sure.
And, in the quiet, in the silence of our heart, we hear Him and He says, “Did you?” No condemnation just a simple question. That dear friend only we can answer ourselves. Today our focus as our faith is tested by fire is that instead of asking that our cross be removed, we what our Lord for the grace to face the difficulties in our lives so that we too may be winners and survive the trial. We should pray that while we believe in faith that God is there and always hears our prayers, that we pray that we can feel the hand of Almighty God around us, holding us up when we are too weak to do it on our own. In this way, our faith will be purified through trial and fire but God, while allowing these tests also allows us to have a deeper understanding of faith!
Let’s pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I think you and I ask my God did you send me the tools I need to withstand the evil one that you help me in my every day to focus on you on the greater good and eternity instead of the here and now. I know God you are here and today not asking my God to be with me in every step on me to shine a light before me so I know which steps to take. And I ask for a blessing on the following people that I pray for in my life and I pray this in Jesus precious name amen!

New Year For The Glory of God

As a Christian, do you live your life for the glory of God? Did you dedicate this new year for the glory of God?New Year for the Glory of God – Episode 194

As a Christian, do you live your life for the glory of God? Did you dedicate this new year for the glory of God? I believe this new year will be your best ever and my hope is not in the world but in God!

Visit my website at MediaAngels.com for special offers on books and classes for you and your family! MediaAngels.com

First we will begin with a prayer and I will end this podcast in a new way this year, with a spiritual challenge – let’s begin. Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you and I thank you for the gift of life and I offer this New Year to you, my God. May I be ever faithful and may I learn to be in your precious Will, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

How can we live this new year as the best ever? By being in God’s will – the will of God is the one where we know without reservation that our will is joined to His, but often people ask how can we know God’s will for us. Will God’s will line up with what we want in our life or how we want our plans to go? Not always.

The Glory Of God Each Day

How do we live our lives? Many of us have no choice but to care for loved ones, our family and put others first. It may be a choice but a small part of us, maybe buried deep down wants the freedom to pursue other things. I remember wanting the time to write and realizing only after I was married and had my first son, that I loved the idea of writing books. Why did it take me so long to realize this? Perhaps because I never sat down and thought about what I really wanted to do and in life. There was not time to write and when I finally had the time, I had another baby just as I was launching a media company. God’s timing is not always our timings.

I didn’t stop but forged ahead because I felt that it was God’s will and He provided the help and the people to move forward. Yet it was not easy and there were many late nights when the baby slept and giving presentations when I was six months pregnant! Yet, I know that many of my books have been used by missionaries and the words of faith have touched people’s lives through my yes to an idea. But without the grace of God nothing could be accomplished!

The truth is the books I wrote, curriculum, had nothing to do with the books I wanted to write. I wanted to write fiction and had two book ideas. Yet, these were left unwritten in the pursuit of what could be considered a higher calling the education of children. The idea for communication to other Christians is what brought the idea of a world-wide podcast ministry. First to the homeschool world, the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and then the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network, where this podcast resides. These ideas translated into thousands of hours of teachings for the world to access for free. Again, only possible by God’s grace and the yes from so many other people who have aired podcasts on this network.

Again, this endeavor did not come without a cost. When we say yes to God, it comes with a cost but the reward far outweighs the yes. Do we say yes in the hope of a selfish outcome? A reward perhaps in money or honor?

If we live our lives a way that is joyous but it is focused on selfishness pursuits, you can be sure the result will not be good. How should we live this New Year? Begin with an eye toward eternity.

The focus on this New Year for the Glory of God should be:

  1. Prayer for a greater faith.
  2. Prayer to seek the will of God first.
  3. Prayer to be open to God’s will.
  4. Prayer to listen to God’s leading.
  5. Prayer for the joy that surpasses all understanding.

So, in focusing on prayer we open ourselves to God in a way that allows Him to work in us. Through the grace of God we too can find that in living for others we will true happiness.

Often I have wondered how to do God’s will and I am reminded of the Lord’s prayer. Do you pray the Lord’s prayer daily? Some call it the “Our Father” … Jesus gave us these verses in Matthew 6:8-15 – but read the entire chapter of Matthew if you wonder what the Lord thinks about prayer and those who pray without really meaning it as worship. [More on the podcast.]

But deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

There have been many very good articles and sermons preached on the Lord’s prayer – but as you read it what comes out to you? For me it is:

  1. Do not be like those who say words but do not mean them.
  2. Revere the Name of the Almighty. God’s Name is powerful.
  3. Pray for the return of the Kingdom of God – meaning the return of Christ!
  4. Pray that God’s will is done here on earth and lines up to God’s will in heaven.
  5. Pray that we are provide for –our daily needs.
  6. Pray that if we have harmed others they will forgive us.
  7. Pray that we forgive those who have harmed us.
  8. Pray that we are spared from evil.
  9. Pray for forgiveness.
  10. And the Key – if we can not follow this, we will not be forgiven by the Father!

Which brings me to the final point, and that is if we are living for the glory of God and not for our own glory we will realize that God knows best. If we truly believe that God is our Father how can we not believe that He wants what is best for us – which means that in living for the glory of God we are giving Him our free will and attempting in our humanity to unite to His Divine will – think about that for a minute! Wow. This makes me joyful and it also encourages me to pray that I am able to accomplish this by His grace.

So, the challenge friends for today and this new year for the glory of God…

The challenge is:

To examine your life and find the ways that you can live for His glory—what are the things you would change, and what are the ways you hope to live a life that is pleasing to the Almighty. Spend some time in prayer, give your life to the Lord and renew your Baptismal promise and I pray you have the peace, love and joy this year and it is the best year ever! Amen!

Thanks for listening to this podcast and I encourage you to share it with a friend and give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app

Clear Choice – Special Replay

The clear choice is obvious for a Christian who is faced with obstacles, debates, and sadness that threatens to push us into depression.Special Replay: Clear Choice For Christians

The clear choice is obvious for a Christian who is faced with obstacles, debates, and sadness that threatens to push us into depression. What can we do? The choice is clear. Listen to this episode of A Few Minutes with God.

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

The noise is deafening all around us. There is an upheaval that is unparalleled in my lifetime and people are asking, “What is happening to our world?” The short answer is when you take God out of the schools and you secularize life, you end up with godless people who are easily swayed by thoughts of free money and government handouts. The long answer is that it is way more complex.

A familiar scripture is, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” And the clear choice is to follow Him and to imitate Him. How do we do this? There has always been and will always be until the end of time a conflict between good and bad, right and wrong, evil and righteousness. When things seem unfair we can look to the cross and see the ultimate injustice upon a sinless redeemer.

The end of the story is that God wins. All the time. And that is our hope and where our salvation rests. We see the hand of the Lord in every day in our lives. In the beautiful weather, or after a rainstorm when we see the glorious rainbow. Or where I live we see those beautiful sunsets.

What is robbing you of your peace? Think about this and jot down those things that make you anxious or angry.

Here is a quick list:

  1. The news. Social media. Turn it off.
  2. The latest text, or email. Wait to answer it. Set times when you do this and keep to schedule.
  3. Lack of time in prayer with the Lord. Prayer works. I promise.

In real life, it isn’t practical to believe we can be peaceful twenty-four-seven, yet when we are stressed we should be able to take a deep breath and regroup. In the night if I wake up I begin praising God, simply saying, “I praise you and I thank you, Lord God. Jesus I trust in you.” Or something similar to this and it calms me and soon I am back to sleep.

The level of anger and helplessness felt in the lives of many the past few months has been overwhelming. This past year in fact has been one for the history books. And so many have fallen prey to depression and anxiety. In fact, for a time I personally pulled away from social media and all news, except for short recaps on a news outlet I follow online. With so much disinformation — a word we barely used a few years ago, who knows what to believe. And it is best to continue on with my work and to focus on what is important in my own life.

We see family members at odds. Friends at odds. And it seems to only get worse every day. Who profits from this anger? No one. In fact, my next podcast is on that very subject. How to talk to people who are at odds in a way that is befitting a Christian! Kindness with Words.

As a Christian, the choice I make every day is very clear. I chose Christ. But for those who are lost who do they choose? I meet people on occasion that are confused, sad, and frankly, scared. They are worried about what is happening in our world. And the news sensationalizes it all to keep us in a state of fear and panic so we are glued to the screen to see the next latest greatest word. Believe me, I’ve been there. But now. I chose God. I chose peace. I chose joy. As I write this it is a new year and the calendar has turned. Our life is a choice, our free will is in force and our free will is a gift that is given to us, that no one can take away.

But what does that mean, “chose God?” My definition is very simple. It means to allow God to work in our life by giving Him our will and asking for His. About ten episodes or so ago I titled a podcast, “Knowing God’s Will,” Which even by my own admission is a very bold statement. The way to know God’s will is to give God our own, and in doing so we will know if we listen to our conscience the right path to take. Do we go left? Or do we go right? Or do we stay right where we are?

Perhaps things of this world can be taken away. But our faith can never be taken away. Mark 8:36 states “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The things of this world remain behind when we die. We should not put our faith in things, in man, but in the Almighty because only the Almighty God will not let us down.

Maybe you do have faith but it has been shaken lately. Remember what I said about choices? Habits are formed by doing the same thing over and over again, and if we make a decision to chose God, daily (it is a daily choice), this will become a habit. It is faith in action. The choice gives us a sense of peace that transcends all that is happening around us. It allows us to focus on the task of the day whatever that is in your life. Even the mundane, doing the dishes or fixing a meal can be joyful and give us a sense of peace if we thank God for those little things.

Let us pray and ask that the Lord helps us to show through our actions that He is indeed Lord of all!

Dear Lord, I praise you and I thank you for all that you have done in my life each and every day. While the choice is clear we need your help, we need your help my God to follow you to open the door to make the path straight. Dear Lord I ask you to help me each and every day. Please help me to find the peace that surpasses all understanding today and all the days of my life. I pray for the following needs:   And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Christmas Is Real

Christmas is Real - Is Christmas real? What about the date, wasn’t Jesus born in the spring? When we get right down to it, what does the date matter, and what is the bigger and greater message of Christmas?

Christmas is Real – Episode 193

Is Christmas real? What about the date, wasn’t Jesus born in the spring? When we get right down to it, what does the date matter, and what is the bigger and greater message of Christmas?

Visit the website at MediaAngels.com. If you have children you may be interested in the Character Counts planners, these are geared for school-aged children to be aware and exposed to character qualities that often go unnoticed. In addition the books One More Child and A Few Minutes with God, both are great additions to your Christian home library.

Christmas. What do you think of when you hear that word? For many, it is the overwhelming thoughts of the commercial aspect of Christmas, the preparation, the decorations, and the gifts to buy. I often asked my young children, “Why is it when Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus that you get presents?” Of course, no one could answer that question. Through the years we have worked on making the meaning of Christmas real in our hearts and in our lives. One year I gave my children an envelope filled with one blank strip of paper with each person in our family’s name on it. I asked my children to write down what gift that person has – spiritual gifts as well as gifts of character. In other words, was there evidence of generosity, or joyfulness – did the people in our family have the gift of kindness or service? I gave everyone in the family – myself and my husband included, a week to think about this and come back and share together as a family. It was a thoughtful assignment but also brought home the true gifts are ones that we can not buy.

Christmas is Real!

Many would like you to believe that Christmas is not real but a fabrication. There are all kinds of movies that point to Santa as the true spirit of Christmas with miraculous interventions in the lives of others through the kindly, fat, jolly guy. Many encourage their young children to believe in Santa and when kids finally learn there is no Santa, other than the true St. Nicholas, they usually feel that they have been lied to by their parents. I was one who felt that way, it was the only time I can remember being disappointed in my parents for lying to me!

The things that happen to us as children usually translate into how we feel as adults and I never encouraged the belief in my children, but told them that Santa was a representation of the gift of giving. I also encouraged them to not tell their friends there was no “real” Santa as that was not our place! Each family makes decisions that are best within their own household.

How we celebrate Christmas shows us an insight into our hearts and our faith … are we more interested in the decorations, the food, and the presents? Are we sucked into the vortex of buying that stretches our budget or do we look at the gifts and the true meaning of the Christmas message? Despite what the world tells us Christmas is real, the birth of the Savior did take place, and the exact date is irrelevant. The truth is that the Savior was born to free us from sin, the Savior came in humility to parents who were humble to show us without words but with example what true love looks like.

God could have come into this world in any way He wanted, He could have been born to a King and Queen and commanded an army to get rid of those who oppressed the Jews, but who were the Jewish leaders when Christ was born?  [more on the podcast]

Why is it so hard to believe? [More on the podcast]

Why do we follow them instead of the true light? Where does your faith come from? This Christmas seek the Lord in the scriptures read all of the book of Luke to yourself, and with your family. Read the book of Isaiah and the prophecies that came true in the time of Christ.

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the gift of hope. Without hope in this life, there is nothing. The joy of Christmas can last a lifetime; we can count on it when we feel hopeless or are suffering the loss of loved ones. In the last six months, I have lost four dear friends, they were younger than I or the same age and when people we love are gone it brings home to us that life is precious and it is short, it not forever. We are here for a short time and the question is how will you live this life? Will it be in pursuit of selfish pleasure or with an eye to the everlasting life that comes from faith in God to rejoice in eternity with Him?

I pray that the blessings of Christ and the realism that comes with the Christmas message is in your hearts. May the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding come upon you today, and may the love, peace, joy, and hope of this Christmas be with you today and always.

A blessing from all of us at the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network for a Blessed Christmas and New Year!

 

Christmas Blessings

Blessings of Christmas - Christmas blessings come to us all year long, yet are we aware of the beauty of the Christmas message? The message of peace, love, joy, and most of all, hope!

Christmas Blessings Episode 192

Christmas blessings come to us all year long, yet are we aware of the beauty of the Christmas message? The message of peace, love, joy, and most of all, hope!

Visit my website at Media Angels for wonderful books and classes that glorify God in all things. MediaAngels.com

What comes to mind when you think about Christmas?

Think about this. You are so special in the eyes of God that He sent a Savior just for you. This child did not come with a mighty army but was born to humble parents. A young woman, a Virgin, and her betrothed, Joseph known as a carpenter. This working class of people was not nobility, but their example resounds through the generations.

What do we learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary and her spouse, St. Joseph? We learn the true sense and meaning of the words: unselfishness, love, humility, and faith in the face of severe consequences (Mary could have been stoned to death for being “with child” without a husband.) The scriptures talk of visions and dreams. The angel Gabrielle came to Mary and told her she was the chosen one. She didn’t have to say yes, but she did, knowing full well the consequences. Joseph, who Mary had been promised to wed, could have divorced her quietly, but then the Lord sent another angel in a dream so that he would know this was the will of God.

Why were Joseph and Mary so different? They really were not different but given extraordinary graces. They had faith, it was the faith that was taught to them all of their lives and they lived this faith. It was in every breath they took and the lives they lived. It was a simpler but harder life than what we live today. They had hardships but they knew that their goal was not a comfortable life, but one with an eye to eternity. And, they knew that they had been given a gift, what we consider a Christmas gift today – that of the birth of a son, who became Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Mary and Joseph were the caregivers of the Eternal Word of God – and we by way of faith are given this gift each and every day. How? By our belief not only in the miracle that happened over two thousand years ago, but by the increase in our faith each day.

What is the Christmas blessing to you? Think about this:

  1. Do you think you are worthy of blessings?
  2. Do you realize that the blessings of the birth of the Savior were for you?
  3. Are you aware that faith is a gift?
  4. Are you open to the gift of faith?
  5. Are you open to the miracles that happen all around you each day?

Is your heart open—and can you spend some time in silence to search for this you will find it! You will see that the gift of faith and the birth of the Savior was for you – you are that special in the eyes of God!

Our world is one of darkness, our world looks at the ordinary and makes it less than – there is a big emphasis on tolerance but only when you follow belief as they do. What they believe is not acceptable to a practicing Christian.

Let me just say quickly that if you believe in God as the Creator of the world we are all one flesh – there is not a difference in the human race and we are all created equal in the eyes of God – so if we are all equal and the Almighty Creator of the universe says we are, who are humans to say that men are not? Who is sowing the seeds of discontentment in our world and in the hearts of men? The prince of this world, the evil one.

So then, how will you live your life? Is it to love and serve others, or yourself? Sometimes we can only put one foot in front of the other and think about the day at hand. So many people struggle with illness, or sadness due to things that are out of their control. All we can do at times is to pray, hope, and trust that God is God and He has a perfect plan for our lives.

[More on the podcast – read Luke 10:17-20].

The battle has been won, but the fight remains and therefore the blessings we receive at the time of the celebration of the birth of our Lord – Christmas blessings …

 

Let’s Pray!

Dear Lord you are the Savior of the World and I thank first, God the Father for sending you His Son, and You, God the Son, and also God the Holy Spirit for remaining with us always. With the Holy Trinity, we are assured the faith that will withstand the trials we face in this life and pray that we will remain for all time in eternity with you. I ask you my God for your blessings and to listen to these prayers I have in my heart … during this time of Christmas blessings and miracles I ask for miracles to happen not only to fortify my faith but to increase the faith in others, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

Rejoice In All Things – Special Replay

We celebrate Christmas once a year - the birth of the Savior, but what do we celebrate daily? Are we rejoicing in all things?

Special Replay – Rejoice In All Things

Can you really rejoice in all things when everything seems to be falling apart in your life and all around you? Yes, you can. And in this episode, I will share with you the secrets of Christian living.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God 

TruthSeekersMysterySeries 

Oscar Wilde is said to have said, and I am paraphrasing here, but that Religion was a fashionable substitution for faith. When we focus on what we are to do and not do we can become bogged down. When my children were little we would read the books of the saints and we loved these stories. They depicted young men and women who loved the Lord and though example, even in the toughest times and situations always showed the love of the Lord to others in their lives. They were wonderful stories that were true of heroism and virtue. Oh, to be like the saints. But, my young daughter said, “Mom, I love reading about the saints but the books are so sad because they always die at the end.”

Out of the mouth of babes, right? Yes, they die at the end after living heroic and virtuous lives. Yet, to us death is sad. This year my husband lost his parents, both of them, I lost my inlaws, and my children lost their grandparents. We think about the loss instead of the joy. They are in a place that knows no pain or sorrow. A place that is what we strive for all of our lives. As we live our lives we must seek God while we can and rejoice in all of the glorious things that happen.

To rejoice in all things can easily be explained like this, “Make lemonade out of lemons.” How can you apply this principle in your life. God’s ways are not our ways and if we are striving to be more like Him I want to remind you – as I forget to do this daily like I want to and that is to give your will to God each and every day. Lord, I give you my will. Please give me your will. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! It is a reminder of the Lord’s prayer that we too should pray each and every day.

God said follow me. When you find yourself saddened or miserable think about who you are following, or what are you following. Is it the news, the events of the day? It is best to turn it off! The only way we can rejoice in all things is to think about today. Not yesterday with the should-have-could-have or tomorrow with the what if this or that happens. Just today. Focus on today.

In Isaiah 25:9 we read, In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

and in Isaiah 29:19 we read: Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Think about these passages and realize this is the Old Testament it was foreshadowing the coming of our Lord and Savior. We celebrate Christmas once a year – the birth of the Savior and we celebrate Easter once a year, the resurrection of our Savior, but what do we celebrate daily? Are we rejoicing in all things?

Put a smile on your face each day and ask the Lord for that grace to be joyful and appreciate the things that are the most important in your life. What are the graces you need each day? Is it the grace to go to work, to do the things you must do for yourself or your family? Very few people love their jobs and yet they get up daily and go to work so they can support their families, and even in this very act of giving they are an example to others. With our actions, we are a greater example than all of the words we can use.

Let’s pray!

Dear Lord, help me to have the gift to be able to rejoice in all things. Give met the gift to focus on today on the here and now. To think about each of these things and not worry about the other things that might or might not happen. Dear God I want to praise you each and every day and I ask for this gift. Dear Lord, I pray for the following needs in my life, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

True Charity

What is true charity and how can we give with a selfless heart asking nothing in return? Well, with God all things are possible.True Charity – Episode 192

What is true charity and how can we give with a selfless heart asking nothing in return? Well, with God all things are possible.

Check out the books A Few Minutes with God, The Truth Seekers Mystery Series and One More Child. Great for Christmas presents.

As the holiday season is upon us everywhere we look someone is looking for a donation for something and most of us give without a thought. I know it is easier for me to give a donation and that is why I like things such as the giving trees or angel trees where you are given a choice of buying a specific gift for someone in need. Many churches spearhead these types of donations and others offer sponsoring a family.

I remember one year a friend from church was so excited about her experience of sponsoring a family. She and another friend combined families so that they could give one special family in need a very merry Christmas and her experience was so touching. The next year she related that the family in need was not thankful, and did not want to interact with them at all but rather just have them drop off the packages with a request of leaving receipts for returns as well. These two experiences were very different and the latter left her with a very bad feeling about participating in the future.

I started thinking about this. And, I could see her point because her purpose was not for accolades but to show her children that there was more than buying a wrapping there were real families in need. The first family she continued to check in with and helped as needed, the second she did not.

But the more I thought about it I began wondering about the word charity and really its true meaning. To give and expect nothing back is a heroic virtue – and yet, we naturally want to feel that our efforts are appreciated. Yet, there are times that we will not be thanked and our efforts will feel that they are not appreciated and it is in those times that we can cry out to the Lord for His love and mercy – Read Psalm 86:17 this really shows us the love of God and how we can be the servant of the Lord… I’m going to read the first few verses but encourage you to read the entire chapter.

If we have God’s love who else do we need? True charity begins at home with our family. It begins with serving each other without a thought of a thank you or any appreciation. How often do we as parents make a meal without anyone saying they are enjoying it – or at other times there are lots of praise for our work. Either way, we do not boycott family dinner because of appreciation or now – we just do the work out of duty.

So too true charity that comes from our heart that we do not because we should or we have to but because of the love of Christ within us. True happiness, true faith come from this love that we can not contain, it is overflowing and it is wonderful because it is divinely inspired. We can write poems of praise to our God because of how often we forget to thank Him and praise Him each and every day for the wonderful blessings He has given to us.

Psalm 86 8-9 “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

There is no one like Almighty God! He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – we have a wonderful season of Thanksgiving and Christmas to give all the glory and the honor and the praise to God and at the same time, we enjoy our lives with family and friends. What a wonderful life we have when we focus on the things that are not of this world. Not the glitter or the presents or the state of world affairs. These things take our mind off of the true charity that we should be focused on to our fellow brothers and sisters to those in our family that we love, our neighbors, and yes, even ourselves. We can give God all the glory, and remember that with His love, His grace, we will have the joy that surpasses all understanding!

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for all you have given us in our lives, please teach us that true charity is putting You first and everything else will follow in. Give me an overflowing of your love and your joy so that I may minister to those in my life. And, I praise you and thank you for all you have done… I ask for the following prayers and petitions if it is your will and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

Cure For Fear – Special Replay

There is no cure for fear, or is there? Everywhere we look, no matter what time or place there is something to fear, but there is hope...Cure For Fear – Special Replay

There is no cure for fear, or is there? Everywhere we look, no matter what time or place there is something to fear, if we allow it to creep in. Fear is a tool of the enemy. There is indeed a faction out there that wants us to be fearful. But, with Almighty God we can combat fear, we have weapons and tools!

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Do we recognize Jesus in the everyday? He promised to be with us always. And while we understand so many things on the intellectual level our hearts are often heavy and burdened. The first thing I would like you to do is briefly think about what is your fear, what are you carrying on your shoulders? What is it that is weighing you down? Is the state of our world? Is it your children? Is it fear of fires, hurricanes, floods, disease, viruses, tornados, or other disasters? What is it in your life that has caused you to fear? If we look at Psalm 10 the beginning verse may sum up how you feel: “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide in times of trouble?” Is that how we feel that the Lord is a far way off?

Sometimes I catch myself thinking way too much, psychoanalyzing things and wondering and worrying. I think we do more harm to ourselves in overthinking things at different times. What does God expect of us? I can’t talk for the Almighty but I do know that the Scriptures are clear on what He expects. The Israelites were a prime example at the time of the prophet Jeremiah in showing us what turning your back on all that is good and holy does for a kingdom. It destroys it!

We have an everyday choice to obey, love, and seek the Lord, to give him our hearts. Everything I have, everything I am, is a gift from God. So, in other words, what I am is God’s gift to me. Think about this. What I am is God’s gift to me. Many times we think we are not enough but if we consider that we are a gift from God it changes our perspective.

Evil on the other hand is a very frightening thing and the way we respond to evil says much about ourselves and our state of being. in Mark 3:22-30 we read:

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

We can not credit the evil one with what belongs to God. At the root of all evil is pride. Pride is the root of all sin. Do we find ourselves prideful? Do we think we know better than others how they should live their lives? Do we choose the world over God?

We read here the Lord’s admonishment is that we can not be a house divided. And. let me pause here and say that we need to form our conscience on the rock of truth. Not truth as the world tells us but truth as it is presented by the Christ, the living Word of God. If a kingdom is divided against itself that kingdom can not stand. If a house is divided against itself the house cannot stand. We must be unified and. we must be in prayer with Almighty God.

Once again, how much time do you give the Lord? Is he foremost in your thoughts daily? Do you begin and end the day in prayer. Set reminders if you forget in your busy day, but truthfully our Lord takes precedence over every other thing in our lives.

Once again do we choose the world over God? God wishes us to resist the tactics of the evil one and those are the things that rob our peace. Recently I was blessed with an outpouring of pure joy. It made no sense. I was just joyful! It wasn’t something I was thinking of something I was doing it just was. These times are far and few between, and please Lord bless me with more of this because it was heaven! It was a sense of security, and love that surpasses all understanding and just a sense of well being that all was right in a world where all is wrong.

So, friends the cure for fear as I have found are the five following points:

  1. As a believer, you are NEVER forsaken. Realize that the Lord is Lord of all. He knows everything. He will not leave you floundering or wanting. He is there for you.
  2. Be grounded in the word and the Scriptures. Memorize Romans 8:28Proverbs 3:5-6 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.2. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.3. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
  3. Choose Christ over the world. Choose God each and every day.
  4. Surrender your will to God – more on this in upcoming podcasts – Daily – Lord I give you my will, Lord please give me your will. They Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  5. Trust. Trust God with your life and your future. This of course takes faith but God will give you the gift of faith. Just ask!

Simple right? Of course not. It takes a daily walk and a large dose of faith. The faith that surpasses all understanding. And, for that my friends, we will pray!

Dear Jesus. You are the Lord of Lords and we know without a doubt that you have us in the palm of Your hand. We love you and we praise You Jesus and ask that you watch over us and give us that dose of joy that sustains us through any dark times. We give you our fears and lay them at the foot of your cross – you have overcome death and with your resurrection have conquered evil once and for all> evil has no power over you, and I pledge my allegiance you to my God who are good and deserving of all of my love! I pray for those I’d like to life up today… and I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

 

Photo Credit: Copyright 2020. Samantha Moss. Permission to use granted by subject and photographer for use as a marketing tool for this broadcast. Graphic Credit: Emma Moss

 

Resist Evil

How can we resist evil when it is all around us?Resist Evil – Episode 190

How can we resist evil when it is all around us? During certain times of the year, the stores are filled with spooky sounds and scary voices that are used in homes and businesses to celebrate a day that I try to avoid!

Check out MediaAngels.com for more books by Felice

People say that making fun of evil is what they are doing, but is this true is is it embracing and enjoying the idea of scaring others? I was in the store when a little girl was so fearful and her mother kept bringing her back to the spooky display. The little girl looked at me with fear in her eyes, and I said to her, “I agree with you, sweetie – I don’t like it either.”

The mom was a little put-off and she told me in her defense that she was trying to show her daughter there was nothing to be afraid of – and I shared my take on the situation. That while she was trying to desensitize her daughter the opposite was happening, and that God puts in our souls a desire for what is good and holy – and obviously her daughter had a built-in sense of fear of evil… the mom shared that she was a Christian and had not looked at the situation in this way.

Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the obvious – and whatever the case is whether or not you celebrate certain holidays the main point here is that God has given us a spirit not of fear but of sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7. …”for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”

A few weeks ago I recorded a show on avoiding sin, but this one is so much stronger in the sense that resisting evil is something we are often unaware of!

Recently I was listening to a video [the link is in the show notes YouTube Avoiding The Enemy here… the pastor talked about ways we can let the door open to evil – and some of the ways are very surprising, and others not so much. The obvious ones are to avoid séances, tarot card readings, or crystal balls – using crystals or other practices, avoiding occult games.

These seem like no-brainers but on a recent trip to St. Louis outside of a beautiful Catholic Church in what is known as the French Quarter, there were tables set up with people doing these things. It was horrible! People were paying money to have someone tell them about their futures, which are all lies only God knows the future, and no one else. These people were opening the door to evil. Not only that, people were paying tour guides to tell them places where ghosts could be found! People were eating this up … why is it there is a fascination with evil when we should be avoiding it! I believe it is because as the mother was trying to do with her little girl – we are being desensitized.

  1. Many people do not really believe evil exists. Greatest lies of the enemy.
  2. People think even if it does exist it is harmless fun.
  3. Entertainment is filled with evil and the occult.
  4. School libraries contain books with evil chants and stories.
  5. People think that yoga and other exercises rooted in Eastern mysticism are perfectly fine.

I remember someone telling me that they loved a very popular talk show host and this person was rooted in Eastern mysticism, and had at one time been a Christian but abandoned her Christian roots long ago. This friend loved how this person made them feel – and that in itself is a warning. When we place our trust in man over God (not saying she did –but just as a general warning here) we are looking at the wrong place for our assurance.

The media is filled with stories that borderline entertainment with witchcraft or magic and, watching or reading books that can lead us into sin should be avoided. The same with certain exercises that many Christians think is perfectly fine. Yet these are all doors that open us up to eastern cultures that are deep-seated into other beliefs that are not Christian.

Christians fool themselves when they look at what they believe is a cultural trend of mediation and relaxation and put a Christian spin on it saying that the focus is on Christ or God – however, when something is rooted in another culture that leaves out God, then it is truly not something you should participate in, and prayerfully take before the Lord.

Even Jesus was tempted in the desert we read about this in Matthew 4, but what did He use as a rebuttal to the evil one? He used the Word of God that He had memorized in His heart

In the last episode on avoiding sin I recommended a playlist of Christian uplifting songs or scripture verses, and if you have not had time to do this yet this is something you can do that will help you keep on track. Sometimes it is better when we put our own verses together and really take the time to seek the Lord in prayer. If we are concerned or worried about something we can take it to Him.

Read Psalm 12

Let’s Pray –

Lord I want to avoid sin, I want to avoid evil and I want to fill my heart with every good thing that is of you my LORD – please help me as I live each day to give you all the glory and the honor that is due to you! Please, my Lord, I ask that you help me …. I ask also for the following prayers and petitions…. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Prayer Partner – Special Replay

One of the biggest blessings that can come in our lives is to have a prayer partner, someone you can go to and pray with for your special needs. In this episode, we will discuss how to use this for the advantage of focused prayer.Prayer Partners – Special Replay

One of the biggest blessings that can come in our lives is to have a prayer partner, someone you can go to and pray with for your special needs. In this episode, we will discuss how to use this for the advantage of focused prayer.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Prayer Partner Defined

So, what is a prayer partner? As you can imagine it is a person you can pray with from time to time or even daily for the needs of those closest to you or for the needs of others. Typically it is one person instead of a group of people. This can be someone you know from church or a friend. It can even be your spouse. This person should be someone who is close to God or who wants to grow closer to God.

Why should you have a prayer partner? It isn’t necessary but it is nice to have someone to lean on and help you through a rough spot. Matthew 18: 19-20: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

What a wonderful promise! God created us as social beings and he even honors and gives grace to us when we partner in prayers.

A prayer partner is someone who:

  1. Is available to pray via the phone or in person.
  2. Is not a gossip
  3. Is not judgmental
  4. Is someone who can keep a confidence
  5. Is someone who is faithful and follows God

While there are no rules to praying with a prayer partner for me the outline below helps tremendously since it is not a time for visiting with a friend, which can actually come later after prayer. Some people don’t want a spouse as a prayer partner and would rather have a friend. It is whatever you feel comfortable with as well as the other person.

  1. A place that is quiet and you won’t be interrupted.
  2. Reverence, going before the Lord takes a time of praise and worship, praying something like this, “Please Lord help to clear my mind of the busyness of the day and help me to focus on you.” I also begin to pray in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity.
  3. Thank the Lord and praise Him. In worship, we can be in the presence of Almighty God.
  4. Sometimes I pray Matthew 18: 19-20 – and then each person takes a turn in lifting a need or petition. It may be a prayer for someone else or yourself. Let your needs be known. At this point you do not need a bunch of details – God knows. You can ask specific, like for a healing or a general, “Please Lord I pray a blessing on ___ as she graduates please provide a job and help her in her new journey.”
  5. Does something come to mind that might be helpful in this situation or is God leading you to another way to pray – speak it out and ask, “Lord I’m not sure if this is from you but please provide…” Or you might feel the Lord is prompting you to pray a specific way.
  6. End with thanksgiving and praise once again.

This is a thumbnail or a brief outline and you can pray in any way you want to – sometimes there is not time to go through each stage and it might be a quick text to your prayer partner asking for a specific prayer request. Many of us are on prayer chains where we get requests from people in need and many times we get so many emails we are unable to pray for each and every one. We pray a generalized prayer for those needs daily – and that makes having a specific person to pray with so important.

Your prayer life will grow as well. And, your prayer partner may change over time. I’ve had various prayer partners over the years and some close friends that I can text for prayers. I have a Facebook Page, A Few Minutes with God with the intent of those in need of prayers. I get notifications and pray!

Prayer, in general, keeps us grounded and it gives us the hope that is in Christ to overcome the evils of this world. Let’s pray!

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for reminding us that where two or more are gathered in your Name, you are here in our midst. I praise you and thank you for being here always for us. Thank you for providing for our needs and helping me to grow in my love for you. I see that through prayer I feel closer to you and I thank you for this. I also ask specifically for the following needs: Thank you, my God, for your provision for your Divine Will and for the grace you give me each and every day. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Avoiding Sin

Avoiding sin (even those small ones) is something we try to do as a Christian and for some it is easier than others.Avoiding Sin – Episode 189

Avoiding sin (even those small ones) is something we try to do as a Christian and for some it is easier than others. There is a secret weapon to avoiding sin and it begins with the idea that God’s grace is key.

Reminder to check out my books at MediaAngels.com  – if you have not picked up a copy of A Few Minutes with God you may want to check this out as well as One More Child.

Sin – it is something we shudder to think about, honestly no one wants to be in a state of sin! We use different tools at our disposal whether it is reading God’s word in the Holy Bible, or praying daily. We can do an examination of conscience https://ultimatechristianpo I created a podcast (the link is in the show notes) some time ago that helps us to look at our lives and really ask the Lord to reveal areas where we need to repent and ask forgiveness. And, even in the Holy Gospel of Luke – 11:1-4 we read…

This is the prayer we know as the Lord’s prayer and I know many of you pray this daily. Yet, the main part of this prayer is one we gloss over and that is – Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us – We are forgiven in the same measure we forgive.

Wow – it reminds us each and every day that only by the grace of God can we ever forgive in the same measure, only with God’s help. And, that is the purpose of today’s podcast. If we are not going to the Lord daily and asking Him for His help in our daily struggles there is no way we can succeed. Oh, sure – we can succeed for a while with small attempts or heroic virtue thrown in to help us out, but often after a daily struggle especially in an area where we are weak we will find ourselves falling down that slippery slope.

What are these sins we should avoid?

  1. Lying – even small lies. Many times we lie to ourselves – watch this.
  2. Gossip – this can hurt not only ourselves but those we are sharing the information with. (Warning as Christians saying: I am not gossiping I am only telling you this so you can pray is a co out unless someone has asked you specifically to share a prayer request.)
  3. Putting others down – negativity. Using words in a harmful way.
  4. Failing to forgive or ask for forgiveness.

This is a shortlist of five things but. If you take the time to pray and ask the Lord I’m sure your list will have items that are specific to you and your needs.

Take time to put together a list of scripture verses that will help you in a time when you are down. Recently I was filled with a heaviness I could not explain, I was coming off of weeks of not feeling well and just as I was getting better I had another two setbacks. I was feeling down and ready to get out of the house, but instead found myself still struggling. It wasn’t until I was able to play some praise and worship music and sing to the Lord that this heaviness left.

What are your favorite songs, be sure to put them in a playlist for a time when you need to be joyful or uplifted. What about a list of scripture verses?

John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” I always love to remind my children they are not suggestions, they are commandments.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68 is a beautiful passage… here is an expert 28:1-9 but please read the entire passage it is beautiful!

And there are the warnings – James 4:17 “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. “

We have been warned and we do not want to be in SIN –

It is those little insidious things that cause us to fall and if we are right with the Lord, we pray daily for HIS will, not ours, that our will is united to His – then and only then will be free!

Let’s Pray

My Lord, I ask as I pray the Lord’s prayer to deliver me from evil, to protect me and my loved ones, and to watch over us daily. Help me to avoid sin, my God, and to focus on all that is good and pleasing to You. Help me to watch shows that are good, and read books that are good as well, help me to make time daily for Your Word. Dear Lord I pray for the following people and intentions …. And if it within your Holy Will I ask for you to grand these desires of my heart, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Overcoming Fear

Overcoming fear is something that is important and real for all time, but especially for this present time in which we live.Overcoming Fear – Special Replay

Overcoming fear is something that is important and real for all time, but especially for this present time in which we live. In this episode, we will discuss how we can allow fear to rule our lives or combat it with the spiritual tools we have freely available to us.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Are you fearful? If so, join the club with many of my friends on Facebook. It seems that everyone is fearful of something and angry and upset. Fear is something that creeps in without us even expecting it and then it quickly turns to anger, because fear is a great motivator of self-preservation. And if we are fearful we tend to lash out.

Do you know about the tools you have in your arsenal as a Christian? The spiritual tools? Well, let me introduce you to a few:

  1. The Word. The Bible is filled with the tools we need to overcome the evil one. The armor of Christ comes to mind – Ephesians 6:10-18
  2. Our faith. Our faith will sustain us but needs to be shored up – that is why we watch uplifting shows or videos and we listen to podcasts that will enrich and encourage our faith journey.
  3. Our community. This is our family first, then our friends. We have a prayer force that is very strong if it is used wisely (no gossip – just the prayer request, and it does not need to be specific. God knows.)

Let’s start with the Word of God. The word became flesh and dwelt among us – why wouldn’t we call on the Holy Name of God?

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.

Friends, as I share these scriptures with you write them down and read and memorize the verses that you can call to mind in a time of need. If you need a quick prayer, try the Jesus prayer. Invoking the name of Christ is all you need. Another quick prayer is, Jesus I Trust In You – this comes from the Divine Mercy prayer.

At the Name of Jesus – every knee will bow and tongue profess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

We know that perfect love cast out all fear, or as the Scriptures so eloquently puts it in 1 John 4:18 But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.

Fear is horrible and it is crippling. Every time you are fearful turn to the Scriptures. And, this is food for thought. If we do not fear death we have nothing to fear. If our life with God is on a solid foundation why do we fear? Nothing will happen without the permissive will of God, especially over the elements. God is the God of all. He parted the waters of the Red Sea. I believe there is a time of persecution coming – and it is already here in some places of the world – but I also know that if we stay vigilant and in prayer HE will protect us. If not we get to see Him sooner! I know that alone will cause some of you to become worried, but we do not know the time or place, the hour when the Lord is coming back. If we are a Christian our hope is in Christ. Period.

So many people today are paralyzed with fear and are angry. They are angry that people don’t understand or see their side of things or are just plain evil. Groups and sides are aligned with no middle ground. What happened to brotherhood, sisterhood, and praying for each other? Only the silent majority is silent. I’m not saying to go out there and slam into people as people slam into you. I’m saying that our voices can be heard where they really count, in prayer, and in the Divine will of God. Do what he tells you. This is what Mary said, the mother of Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana. She said to listen to the Lord and then you can watch miracles happen, in your own life and in the lives of others.

We are in a time where the scriptures say that we will be against each other this level of anger is unprecedented. I have never seen more sparing of brother against brother and sister against sister. We are in a war of words where right is considered wrong and wrong is right. You can not post an opinion on social media without the people who know better swoop down to tell you you are wrong. The question is not of right and wrong it is of principalities of darkness.

The Bible warns us of this in Matthew 10: 21-23

 “Brothers will turn against their own brothers and hand them over to be killed. Fathers will hand over their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and will have them killed. Everyone will hate you because you follow me. But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved. When you are treated badly in one city, go to another city. I promise you that you will not finish going to all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes again.”

The Son of Man, the second person of the Trinity has already come and as we read in the Scriptures, will come again. God told us in the 10 Commandments – Thou Shalt Not Kill.  Yet abortion is still running rampant in our cities – and people today even Christians do not think that pro-life politicians is the only issue we should be concerned about. Friends, Pro-life as the ultimate issue. We look at our conveniences and our livelihoods but we do not think the murdering of innocent children is evil? No wonder we live in fear.

Do we have love? Does perfect love cast out all fear? Let’s look at 1 John 17-20

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Let us Pray:

Lord help us to love each other – give me the words to mend fences, to love my neighbor to love those who persecute me for righteousness sake. Dear Lord please cast out the fear in my life. I ask for the following prayers – and I pray this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Spiritual Children

We were adopted into the Christian family as followers of Christ, so why can't we have spiritual children?Spiritual Children – How To Pray for Others – Episode 188

We were adopted into the Christian family as followers of Christ, so why can’t we have spiritual children? These are people that we pray for each day, often many times a day. This type of focused prayer has amazing results.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child.

Have you ever thought about praying for someone, or maybe someone asked you to pray for a specific person. Recently this happened to me and what I found was very surprising. I was praying for a friend, off and on and this person ended up having some things happen in their life, and that was very sad. Sometimes we call this bad luck, or we can this spiritual warfare, and while I don’t believe in luck – only God incidents, I was struggling for this person just hearing what was happening.
And when I thought about this, I started thinking that this person I asked the Lord how He wanted me to pray. What I got from the Lord was surprising, in fact, I’ve never done this before, and I felt like the Lord was saying, “adopt this person as your spiritual child.” And this way you will make more of an effort to pray daily for this person. What I found was this person came to mind more often. And not only that, I added another spiritual child to my prayers. Being that I am a mom I knew what it was like to have a child and to pray for my children. And, while I pray for my children each day the prayers are not very specific – which is fine, but then it is as if I’m not spending much time asking the Lord how to pray.
It is not like I hear from the Almighty, but I do feel a certain way to pray. Whether for protection, or consolation, or maybe just for their own prayer intentions. And, I try to pray daily as well. Spending a few minutes with God for their intentions. As I shared with you many times before, I try very hard to attend daily Mass, and while at church and I’m praying for the needs of various people, my spiritual children come to mind.  I don’t necessarily know what they need and I don’t need details about their problems because who doesn’t have problems? Even committed prayer warriors! But what I want to share with you is something you may want to try. The praise report is that the Lord calls these people to mind and the fruits of the prayers have shocked me. For the better.
This past weekend I also learned that a good friend of mine from college died, and I remember her fondly as a prayer warrior. In fact, if anyone had something that could go wrong in her life, she did! But she was so joyful and she loved God with all of her heart mind and soul. She was an amazing example of Christian love. She asked me to pray the salvation prayer and I remember telling her that I was Catholic and therefore knew God. Yet, she was insistent, and she wanted me to accept the Lord as my personal Savior. When I read the prayer she wanted me to pray I thought it was beautiful, and so I did. I prayed that the Lord would be my personal Savior. I was a  Christian whose life was not perfect and who could’ve been upset with God on more than one occasion, but this friend of mine taught me that instead, we should praise Him no matter what. She was joyful loving and I will always be indebted to her for bringing me to a closer relationship with the Lord. Think of all the opportunities we miss in life because we are worried about what people think of us!
This situation, praying for spiritual children has taught me many things and I want to share them with you.
  1. If you’re praying for someone ask the Lord how are you should pray. Sometimes you get a sense of a specific thing to pray for and for other times it is just a general intention. For example, something like, “Dear Lord please bless and keep them in the palm of your hand and protect them.”, Or, “Dear Lord I pray for their specific needs… if something comes to mind, lift that up, or just pray in general for needs and intentions.
  2. Life is too short to aimlessly live. We must spend time each day in prayer, asking the Lord what he wants us to do. Even if we don’t get a clear direction and we have chores such as laundry or dinner or cleaning, we can thank and praise God as we work through our daily chores.
  3. When people ask you to pray, do it right then. How often have we gotten a text or even a message on social media, and you think post praying hand, but then forget to pray. If you can, stop right then and pray for this person. Sometimes I don’t have time to type out a whole prayer, especially if I’m somewhere public when I see this prayer request, but as soon as I can I pray for this person, and I can send up a quick prayer at that moment, “Dear Jesus please protect, provide and bless this person, Amen.
Let me challenge you today – adopt your own spiritual children. This person can be younger or older than you. Age has no bearing. What if we take back social media and start covering our comments and our posts with beautiful thoughts about the Lord, don’t you think we could change our outlook and that of others. If we focus on the negativity and all of the things that upset us it is difficult to have a clear thought about what we should do and getting upset never helps. It plays right into the enemy’s hands. You’ve heard me say this before you’re a long-time listener to this podcast, spend time with God, praise God in all things.
As I record this I’m not feeling great but the thought of not getting this done was upsetting to me. So as I sit here on the couch with my phone dictating into it and I pray that the Lord provides the words for me to share with you. I want the words to encourage and bless you. Is there someone that you could adopt? Romans 8: 17 states- “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” We are the adopted sons and daughters of God. We are heirs to the kingdom of God. God knows the number of hairs on our head, God knows Everything about us. And so I encourage you to praise God in all things. And if you pray for people often, adopt them as your spiritual children even if they are your kids, giving the title of “spiritual children” elevates your prayer one more notch. If you don’t think this is true, try it. And, then share all of your praise reports with me!
Let’s pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and all the things I ask that you watch over and protect us, I realize that even Christians struggle, and yet you are there for us. Where two of or more are gathered in Your Name you are there in our midst, so as I pray now with you, listening at the other end of a computer or podcast app. The Lord is here and in our midst. I pray for all of your intentions and needs, please add anything you want to pray for in this prayer and I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Glory and Praise Forever – Special Replay

Recently I was reminded that we don't talk enough about giving God all the glory and praise, and honor He deserves. In this episode of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, Felice shares the importance of praise in worship in our lives.Glory and Praise Forever ~ Special Replay

Recently I was reminded that we don’t talk enough about giving God all the glory and praise, and honor He deserves. In this episode of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, Felice shares the importance of praise in worship in our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor – 40: The Temptation of Christ

We are so busy with our own lives and our own problems that while we might consider God from time to time in the sense of asking for something. We more often than not throw up pleading prayers and say, “Please, Lord – can you do my will?” I am guilty of this, and I am sure that many of you would agree as well. Of course, we should believe, and we should pray and ask the Lord for help. But what about those times we feel like he is not answering us or we don’t feel he is even near?

The keyword here is “feel.” Please know that if you have confessed that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life and you have attempted to live a life pleasing to the Lord – He. Is. With. You. And He is with me! How could we not want to give God the glory and praise He so rightly deserves?

As Christians, we should live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God because we know that what matters is the next life as nothing in this life is constant or stays the same. This life is fleeting. Nothing is meaningful without God – and He is our help and support in times of darkness and trouble. Jesus wants our hearts even when we have sinned and are ashamed; sin isolates us from God. It keeps us away from Him. Sin requires restitution – it requires some type of forgiveness. And, Jesus gives this freely if we ask.

I did some reading of spiritual books during the time of Lent and was so blessed to re-read a book by Sr. Briege McKenna, who I’ve talked about in a previous podcast, who is known as the healing nun. She did not want the gift of healing even though she was completely healed from a crippling disease of arthritis. She was wheelchair-bound at this point, and in a time of prayer, she felt God heal her – she said it was like a banana being peeled. While she was grateful and stood up and gave God all the glory and praise, she immediately started putting conditions on her healing and asked the Lord not to tell anyone.

Yes, she was a nun, but she was not in a cloistered order – meaning that she was around people, she was a teacher and lived in a community and had many chances to interact with people. Yet she still resisted this gift. At a certain point, she finally realized that it was indeed a gift of God, and she would try in her humility to allow God to work within her. She also spoke about the times she spent in prayer no less than three hours each day. She explained that in this time of prayer, she learned about healing and why some were healed, and others were not and also, how she could be an instrument of God’s love in all cases.

She also shared about her times of temptation when she went to “prophet,” who turned out to be a false prophet and an instrument of the devil – and how she encountered Satan that night, and her life was almost taken. When we open ourselves to evil, it allows the door to be opened, and this was a warning to us all.

Do you feel a block in your spiritual life that keeps you from praise and worship? Look at the scriptures and the warnings – 1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.

There is so much demonic influence in our world today with all of the occult movies. I’ve seen some of the commercials, and those are horrific. Why would anyone watch them? Even things such as ESP (extra sensory perception), haunted houses, astrology – which by the way is scientifically proven incorrect, vampires, zombies and on and on and on. Can a movie be considered evil? No, but leading one into sin can never be good – we have to be a willing participant in that sin, and guard our eyes from everything that is not going to be of benefit for us.

Matthew 6:22 – “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.

And Genesis 3:5 Genesis 3:5 (Read online)

For many, our eyes are closed, and praising God is the last thing we want to do – yet did you know in your praises God resides, and if you have ever wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, it is time to use your tongue for good! Miracles happen when we are praising God. Sister Briege spoke about what she does in her three hours of prayer, and she said she begins with a time of praise and worship because that helps her to forget the cares of the day.

Can we do that in our lives, begin the day with giving God the glory and praise and leave aside just for a short time the cares of the day, our schedules, what we are supposed to do next? When we pray, we are often distracted right? And, those other thoughts come into our minds – even when at church. We should pray the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:10 reminds us, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Psalm 26:8 – “Oh Lord, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.”

When we praise God, He shows up; He is in the midst of our praises. Some time back, I did a podcast on the praise and worship songs that lift me up, and after hearing them, I am ready to do anything the Lord wills! I am so excited to start my day in this way. Yet, life starts to creep in, and our habits change, and then we find ourselves in despair. You are not alone! I’m right there with you from time to time.

As I’m writing this, a funny story comes to mind. I was in labor with my third child, and I was super excited to be able to be in the deluxe birthing suite! Years ago, with my first two children, no such thing existed—I was in a sterile, surgical room where surgeries were performed. Well, the hospital was full, and there was no room in the proverbial inn – so instead, I was placed in an intensive care unit – while waiting for a room to open up. The nurses were super sweet and told me that I may have ugly accommodations but the best nurses and for any of you who have been in ICU, they are amazing. When the nurses left the pain became stronger. As the pain intensified, I started to praise and worship the Lord! I was really getting into my praises when my husband, who was sitting beside me holding my hand, squeezed it and asked me to lower my voice – apparently, as the pain levels were rising, so were my praises. Yet I did not feel the pain as much at that point and went on to deliver a healthy baby boy who will be twenty-five this year.

Our praises should be from the heart, and we can look at the Scriptures to give us reasons to praise God. 1 Chronicles 16:23-27

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day-to-day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are [a]idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place. Do we only praise God when we believe?

Take a look at how you praise the Lord. Make your own list, and truthfully you can begin to praise God anywhere, even in a line at the grocery store!

I tend to start with a litany of praises? Mine tends to be the same… “I praise you, and I thank you, Lord! You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Bright Morning Star, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end – you are the Name above all names… we can find litanies in prayer books, and I’m sure online if you search, but I feel the best ones are the ones that come from the heart inspired by the Holy Spirit if you have a prayer language use it!

Let’s Pray:

Lord, you inhabit our praises, and I ask that you, please inhabit mine – I know you are here with me now – help me to worship you more frequently and in all things. Thank you, my God, for the gift of faith for the gift of love and for the gift of trust that You are in control and love me greater than anyone else because I was specially chosen and created by you – my Dear Lord I ask you for blessings and for the following people and intentions I pray for now… and I ask this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Promise of Faith

The promise of faith is filled with hope! In a secular world that has turned its back on God, we know that He has not forsaken or forgotten us but He can use us to bring others back to Him.The Promise of Faith ~ Episode 187

The promise of faith is filled with hope! In a secular world that has turned its back on God, we know that He has not forsaken or forgotten us but He can use us to bring others back to Him.

It’s our birthday! Our sister network the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network is celebrating its 8th year. Join the celebrations over on the other network page.

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Promise of Faith

Our free will allows for all things, many that are great and others that are…well, not so great. As we live our lives many of the promises or hopes that we have in the things of this world, material acquisitions, or friendships let us down. People we love are gone, and those we love have hurt us. Not all the time but on the occasion that we are afraid to put all our hope or trust in anything and that even means our faith.

The promise of faith is purely a gift, it is freely given from the Almighty for no other reason than God is love – He is justice, He is peace, He is everlasting and steadfast in our life, but more than that He holds us in the palm of His hand.

We are the ones who turn our back, who run away, who decide that pleasure even short-lived is worth it in the end. I had a very stubborn son, and after a punishment, I would ask him, “Was it worth it? Was it worth being disobedient and getting punished?” and he would answer, “Yes.”

He was a child and soon learned that with disobedience comes punishment and the same is true for us and our journey in faith. However, we have a hope that can not be diminished or taken from us and that hope is in Christ.

He died for us, for our sins so that the gates of heaven would be opened to us. But, He did this out of free will. I once heard that the nails and the soldiers did not keep Christ on the cross, it was His will and His love for us that kept Him there to endure excruciating suffering.

Let’s do this quick activity to see where you place your hope.

  1. When you wake up what are your thoughts?
  2. Do we give glory to God for every good thing? Or yourself?
  3. Do you lift up your life challenges to the Lord or take them upon your own shoulders?
  4. Do you suffer quietly or do you complain loudly?
  5. Do you live your faith out in the open only to live a lie in the quiet of your own home?

Think about this, and if you answered in a way that is not God-centered, then there is work to do. Sure faith is a gift and it can not be earned. However, James 2:14-18 paints a different picture than the once saved always saved. He says…(listen to the podcast).

What is our hope? The psalmist knew read all of Psalm 16.

Ultimately our hope is in the Lord the creator of heaven and earth. Community is important and having and surrounding ourselves with like-minded friends. Putting ourselves in dangerous situations with friends who are living lives that are focused on themselves is putting our faith in our own strength which is a recipe for failure.

Is it easy to be virtuous – to live a life of compassion, gentleness, courtesy toward others? Friend the greatest gift we have is the hope that Christ is always with us until the end of times. We don’t have to do us – or do you which is the latest nonsense I’ve heard. We need to do Christ and look at our faith as a gift that keeps on giving.

Want to see a true believer? How does this person act when no one is around? How would you feel about seeing someone kick a puppy? That would be considered cruel. But someone who considers an unborn baby a commodity is considered within their rights. Amazing how rights are only one-sided – we are finding more and more of our rights taken away. What will we do?

We will look toward the Lord and say, “What do I do,” or “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” Ask the Lord before reacting negatively. Remember anger is not from the Lord and we should look at our fellow brothers, as misguided if they are in sin. Pointing out sin in others is so not our job! Unless it is a spouse that you can loving encourage, or a child under your care.

We are not the God-police, we are a soldier in the Army of Christ, with the hope of knowing how this battle ends. It is won and God is victorious. God came as a child not only to die for our sins but to conquer death – the gift from our first parents and the evil one. Our legacy is everlasting life and for that, I have great hope!

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, I praise you in all things and I thank you for the gift of faith and hope in what is unseen. Faith is demonstrated through good works and I ask you Lord to bless the works I perform so that it gives you all the glory and honor! Dear Lord I pray for the following intentions and needs… and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.


 

A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Courageous Movie

 

From the Kendrick Brothers, creators of the No. 1 box-office movie WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, comes the remastered re-release of COURAGEOUS Legacy, in theaters September 24. Celebrating 10 years of impact on families and fathers, this updated version of the film includes new scenes and an enhanced look and sound.

Filled with action-packed drama, COURAGEOUS Legacy will once again have viewers laughing, crying, and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. Protecting the streets is second nature to these men. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.

Check out the trailer here!


Courageous Faith

Courageous Faith – Episode 186

Courageous faith by its very definition makes us believe that we can do it! It is believing without seeing. Yet, many times we as Christians struggle with pride, we don’t need God and we can do it alone. Until we can’t. Resisting pride is an uphill battle without the Lord, and in today’s podcast, we will delve into the topic of faith in the face of our struggles.

Thanks to our sponsor the re-release of the movie Courageous – it is the 10th anniversary of the original airing of the movie and this is Courageous the Legacy with a revised ending. If you missed the movie the first time, do not miss it again. It is a true story of heroic service and faith told in an inspiring story of true heroes of our time. This movie has helped millions of people and it is timely that it is released now when our current culture shuns true heroes in the face of false narratives. Be sure to check out the movie in our show notes link.

What is courage? It is stepping out of your comfort zone and sometimes into the fire but what about courage that is challenged when your faith is not as strong as it should be? Everyone goes through hardships in our lives. Let’s look at a thumbnail sketch of how hardships can affect us.

Hardships can be:

  1. Unavoidable, for example, an illness or an accident
  2. Avoidable – something that we caused.
  3. External – something that happens to us deliberately from someone we trust or love.

These are the hardships we deal with in different ways and the stress and anguish that comes from our struggles is really what makes us who we are, the trial by fire. Isaiah 48:10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. We often point to the Old Testament where Isaiah is found and say it is no longer applicable because now we have the New Testament the fulfillment of prophecy. Yet, the Old Testament is our heritage and God knows everything that happens in our lives, and like it or not there is a purpose for this, if we have eyes that can see the topic of a podcast a few weeks ago here.

It is when we are filled with pride that we can not get beyond ourselves to where we need to be. Pride is one of those sins that rears its ugly head when we least expect it – it is a great sin and it is the opposite of humility. It is because of pride that our first parents sinned – it is because of pride that great men fall and take down entire kingdoms with them, and it is because of pride that the devil gets into the midst and causes havoc.

Pride is thinking that only we are important, what we think, feel, and want – and we bring everything right back to us. It is all about me. Well, no it is not – and those who have faith realize that pride is not good it is evil. No one is perfect and we all have to combat things in our lives that are vices and that bring us down. Pride can cause us to doubt God and His providence for us. Especially when bad things happen to good people.

Some years ago a friend of mine went to a medical check-up thinking that all was well. She was a physician and the attending physician was a friend of hers. When the lab work came back the doctor’s office called and she made an appointment thinking, my friend is going to tell me how great I’m doing physically. What she heard was the opposite. She had an aggressive form of cancer. Can you imagine your good friend and doctor telling you – another doctor who understands what this means that she has cancer? I’m sure there were many tears in that room.

My friend had amazing faith. I knew her when our kids were little. She was our pediatrician for a short time until she switched to her specialty which was as a pediatric allergist. By some God-incidence, I had to take one of my children to the office where I didn’t even know she worked, and there she was! Do you have that in your life? People God puts in your path and even if you do not see them for years you go right back in time and pick up where you left off? Well, this lady is special.

She spent many years combatting cancer, she had physical trials, chemotherapy, and aggressive drug treatments, yet she had unwavering faith. Courageous faith! Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from her and her husband (also a doctor) who threw a large party with all of her friends. I was blessed to attend. This was a celebrate life party. That shows real faith in the glory of God. I was thinking about this friend while doing the episode of the Glory of God a few weeks ago, because she would see God in so many things.

She told me once that as she was looking outside one day she saw a magnificent rainbow and the thought came that God was showing off of her – he did this for her because he knew she would appreciate it – unwavering faith – seeing God in the beauty of the creation. She showed us her friends what it meant to have faith, courageous faith in the midst of adversity. I’m happy to report that through a series of miraculous events she is today cancer-free.

How many people lay their lives down for their faith, for their belief that there is something greater than them and this world is a blip on the radar of life. How many of us can claim the same? We are blessed no matter where you live or what surrounds you to have the hope that God reigns. And if we open our hearts that He will reign there as well. Our success is not with what we have in the bank or what we wear or drive, our success is what we feel when we think of Christ who died to set us free.

The ultimate courageous faith was Jesus Christ himself who gave us His life so that we could live. And, the question is friends how are you living this life? I hear the slogan living your best life – that is so narcissistic… we should be living and giving our lives over to Him.

Romans 4: 20 – Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God…

Psalms 16: 5: Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;  you make my lot secure.

Today people are living in fear, they are afraid to die. News flash – no one dies until it is your time and this is not from me but from the Almighty God. It is a time to turn away from the television, the computer, and the news and to turn into your Bibles and to fill your soul with the knowledge that God is in control, no one else.

Let’s pray:

Dear Father, you are the one who offered the ultimate sacrifice for us – and for your life, death, and resurrection I am forever grateful. Please, Father, give us the gift, the grace, and the hope of courageous faith in the face of struggles and hardships in our lives. Let us know that we know beyond a doubt that you are here in our lives. I ask you Father for the following needs in my life and those for who I pray… and I pray this in your precious name, Almighty God and Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.


 

A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Courageous Movie

 

From the Kendrick Brothers, creators of the No. 1 box-office movie WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, comes the remastered re-release of COURAGEOUS Legacy, in theaters September 24. Celebrating 10 years of impact on families and fathers, this updated version of the film includes new scenes and an enhanced look and sound.

Filled with action-packed drama, COURAGEOUS Legacy will once again have viewers laughing, crying, and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. Protecting the streets is second nature to these men. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That’s courageous.

Check out the trailer here!


Mere Christianity

What is up with Christians? The classic by CS Lewis, Mere Christianity is a must-read for any of you who are searching. Are Christians really any different than everyone else? Well, they should be and if you tune into today you will hear why.Mere Christianity – Episode 185

What is up with Christians? The classic by CS Lewis, Mere Christianity is a must-read for any of you who are searching. Are Christians really any different than everyone else? Well, they should be and if you tune into today you will hear why.

Thanks to our sponsor the movie Show Me the Father.  A different take on fatherhood with the focus on God as the ultimate Father and His impact on parenting in our lives. This movie – even the movie trailer will make you take a hard look at parenting. For current showings check your listings and afterward it will be available on streaming services, this is a movie you should not miss.

Mere Christianity in CS Lewis’s famous words shows us the human condition in a classic way. The book actually came about after a series of radio broadcasts and it was compiled at the time and has undergone some revisions. I was blessed to read the book some years ago – and I say blessed because it greatly impacted my life. I mean how can the author of the Chronicles of Narnia write other than painting a picture with words. Recently on a road trip with my son heading back to college, we listened to this on audiobook and we were both riveted at times, with me taking copious notes and overwhelmed at times when we had to stop the tape to just think about what he was saying and let the deep thoughts sink in.

Lewis talks about free will and that because we have the will to choose that God is real. To believe that this is all there is that there is no God takes a greater leap of faith than in believing that we have new life in Christ, that Jesus is who He says he is and that we believe it on the authority of Christ. This Christ-life is inside of us once we believe and Christians are in a unique position because everything we do that is good is done in Christ – through Christ. We believe that no man can be saved without Christ. And, at the end of time, it will be too late to decide, the time is now.

Perfection is an ideal that holds some people back because it is not attainable on this side of heaven. We all live in a space and time that is influenced by good and evil and this is distilled down into morality. We as men have morals that either tend to the right – the left or somewhere in-between which God tells us in His word is not a good place to be – Revelations 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

We will all fail – that is a fact of life, but inside of us is a sense of peace when we do what is right. The general purpose of why we were made is to know the Lord God, Almighty.

In the book, he talks about morals in the sense of fair play, harmony, and the general purpose of life. I urge you to get a copy of the book and read it for yourself because I can not do it justice. But he talks about this in the sense of who we are as persons and how Christians are called to a higher standard.

What good is fair play if inside us we are morally corrupt? We are doing things just so others think we are good and honorable when that is the farthest thing from the truth. You see, God knows our hearts. God has given us the sense of right and wrong and those who do not have this are morally bankrupt. For those of us who have faith, we base our faith on what we consider truth and fact. We are not going to believe in a counterfeit – although there are plenty of watered-down Christianity in name only churches out there.  But our faith is based on the Holy Bible, the truths handed down to us over generations, and the purpose that we were made to know, love, and serve God.

Let’s back up to that last statement. If you were not a Christian, that could bother you – not so much the knowing and loving part but the serving. Why should we serve God? Well, if we know and love a person how could we not be thankful and in their debt and therefore want to serve them? The fact that God made us for His own purpose is so that we could also share in His Kingdom because we are talking about the King of Heaven and Earth – the everlasting kingdom where we have the opportunity and the invitation to live forever. Isn’t that amazing and that should be our goal.

CS Lewis speaks extensively about morality as well – and in this case, he talks about the differences between morality and immorality. Morality deals with serving others where immorality Lewis says is when we think we, the individual, and our wants and needs are more important than others. That is immorality at its core. It can be hurting one other to hurting entire nations of people and bringing down civilizations. Sounds like something we are going through right now.

In listening to this book I could draw so many parallels to what is happening today to the breakdown of the moral code and religious beliefs to serve an anti-God. It starts with sexual sin and devolves into gender idealogy – so, follow the science and then throw it out the door when it does not serve your purpose. Food for thought.

Man by his very nature tends to be self-centered, me-first like a little kid, but if we stay in that position without knowing and treasuring our Christian heritage we will fall short. Lewis says even the right actions for the wrong reasons are still wrong.

This book should be required reading for every high school student whether a believer or not. The truths and the way he causes us to think not only about ourselves and the ways we have fallen short but also our world around us. As an aside here- if you are looking at this world and placing blame on others, and believe me I’ve done it as well, we have to first look within. The question is what are you doing? Sitting and ranting at the television, video, or even reading the news is not going to help our world. The only way we can help is to pray and ask the Lord where he wants you in this fight. In this case, we are all needed, men, women, and even children. This is a battle not only for our souls but the souls of our children and grandchildren.

And, while we think our world is a mess, it has been unfortunately since the beginning of the first sin, so let us pray.

Dear Father in Heaven, we your children are crying out to you and unlike the Israelites who did not want to listen to you, we. your children want to find you in the midst of our lives and ask you to lead us where you want us to go. I pray that you help us to listen, read and see the things you want us to see and do the things you lead us to do. Help us Lord and protect us and our families. Please, Lord, bless us and keep us safe and I pray for these specific needs… and I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

 


A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

The Kendrick Brothers, creators of WAR ROOM and FIREPROOF, have some exciting news to share: they have TWO films coming to theaters this fall—SHOW ME THE FATHER on September 10 and COURAGEOUS Legacy on September 24.

Featuring a variety of amazing, true stories, the Kendrick Brothers’ new feature film SHOW ME THE FATHER takes audiences on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Their first documentary film has something for everyone and invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father story and also how you personally relate to God.

Check out the trailer here!


 

Glory of God

We see the glory of God everywhere we look and even during a storm from the safety of our homes. Yet, when we look at devastations such as recent hurricanes we wonder where God is in the midst of tragedyGlory of God – Episode 184

We see the glory of God everywhere we look and even during a storm from the safety of our homes. Yet, when we look at devastations such as recent hurricanes we wonder where God is in the midst of tragedy (and let’s not get started about world events). God is always with us. Even when we do not feel His presence. Join me as I share a reminder for all of us that HE really cares.

Thanks to our sponsors! The movie – Show Me The Father

This is more than just a heartwarming movie, this is a real look of ordinary and extraordinary people and the affect that parents, have on their children.  I teared up just watching the trailer and you will too! The links to the movie trailer are on the show notes page – you can find more information about local airing on the website as well as streaming in the near future. This is not to be missed.

We are told that we have new life in Christ when we embrace the Christian message, but what does it mean? Think about this. If you are in a place where you can turn off this recording and ponder this, I invite you to do so now. What did you come up with? What thoughts came into your mind when you thought about your new life in Christ? Well, it can mean many things but a shortlist could include the following:

  1. A change in the way you acted before you were a Christian to the way you act now.
  2. Embracing the thought that God’s grace and love will sustain you.
  3.  Have a spiritual experience.
  4. Want to know and learn more about God.
  5. See God in everything.

And the last is what we are going to talk about today, seeing God in everything and realizing that the glory of God’s love is everywhere! We see God in the little things in our life. You can find out what is on your heart when your thoughts come to you when you first wake up. Are you praising God for the day or are you annoyed that you have to wake up and deal with the events of your day? If this is the case, it is time for self-reflection and to get on your knees in prayer. God hears you and He is waiting for you to go to Him!

To see the glory of God, His miraculous hand in the world in which we live – the joys that surround us that we do not see (often because we can’t get past the things that are weighing us down), we will see that God is in the midst of the good and the bad things that happen in our lives. I heard the news of a friend of my son’s who recently had a car accident and totalled a car that had already undergone quite a bit of money on repairs. While this was devastating news, all I could think about was that the friend had not been harmed and no one else was hurt.

This didn’t happen to me, so maybe I would have thought of things differently, but to see God in all things we must have a different mindset.

It reminds me of Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

How much better to see things in what the secular world would call a positive spin, rather than a negative one. Whatever you want to call it I’m happier when I consider all that God has done for me. Who am I? I am no one. I am nothing. Yet in Christ I am everything. It is He who shines within me and it is my duty to share his love for me with you. I do it through this podcast, this is my mission field. I don’t know who is listening or when you listen to this show, all I see are numbers not faces, yet I know you are there and that motivates me to continue.

What are your gifts? What has God given you that is unique and special. We each have a purpose and a mission to fulfill.

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

When we serve others the thoughts of depression go out of our minds, we are in a place where we are not thinking about ourselves and our problems. We can enjoy where we are at that present time. But let’s get back to the topic at hand – seeing the glory of God all around us.

Just like we can pray for more faith, more patience, more perseverance, strength, grace, love, and hope, we can pray for eyes that see. We want to live our lives with wonder and joy like a child, yet as we live and the longer we live we have hardships and often fear and anxiety creep in. No more. Stop the cycle, today! Read this scripture in Ephesians to begin with and do a search for more. We want eyes that see and do not miss that God is all around us in the difficult things and in the wonderful things that happen.

Ephesians 1:18-19 states:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength…

Here I want to share what has helped me in life. And what triggered this thought was reading about the riches of his glorious inheritance… when we see the word riches or inheritance we may stop and think about our current financial situation. If this happens thank God for what you have and I usually say in my mind – thank you Lord I need nothing else. Think about this, what more could we want than the love of God and the hope of salvation in Him? Any bright and shiny new toy eventually gets old. So focus on the inheritance in his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe! I believe Lord and I say yes! I chose you each and every day.

Let’s pray:

My Lord, you are the Almighty and the King of heaven and earth. I give you this day, this afternoon, this night and I ask you to give me eyes that see you in the magnificence of your creation. In this world of terror and strife, in this world where greedy men and women try to oppress, I know that you reign supreme and this is just a distraction from the inevitable glory of the kingdom to come. I praise you and I thank you, Lord, God Almighty and I believe you hear all of my prayers, and especially these I lay at your feet… I thank you for listening and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 


A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

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Special Replay: Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

Overcoming Distractions

Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

Spend Time with God

Prayer time and overcoming distractions isn’t easy. Do you want to spend time with God and find yourself overcome by distractions? We all have and we can end our time frustrated and angry or take charge. In this podcast Felice suggests ways to turn that distraction into a praise report.

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Overcoming Prayer Time Overcoming Distractions

  1. Feel left behind
  2. Not enough time
  3. Speed of life is sometimes unmanageable
  4. How do you slow down enough so that you can focus on God?
  5. How do you combat distractions?

Categorize Distractions:

  1. Personal
    1. Something that has been bothering you
    2. Something you struggle with
    3. Something you feel guilt over
  2. Duty
    1. Kids or spouse
    2. Household
    3. Work
    4. Meeting or appt.

 

Set up your prayer time with a methodology – like any of these ways where you feel the most comfortable…

  1. Praise and worship
  2. Proclaiming and glorifying God in words
  3. Singing
  4. Prayer

 

Pleasing God

Pleasing God is easier than you think! Is there any way that we can be pleasing to God? Is there anything we can do to earn God’s love? Is this something we should even attempt? In this podcast, we will discuss several ways.Pleasing God – Episode 183

Pleasing God is easier than you think! Is there any way that we can be pleasing to God? Is there anything we can do to earn God’s love? Is this something we should even attempt? In this podcast, we will discuss several ways.

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Okay – pleasing God, can you do it? Should you do it? IS this attainable. Pleasing God seems like a formidable task. But the good news is if you do not believe in God is that you can’t.

Hebrews 11: 6 states … And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

So, let’s say for the sake of argument you want to please God … the first place to begin is with your relationship.

When you look at our relationship with God what do you think? If you can stop this audio to think about this for a minute please do… okay so what came to mind as you considered this question?

Maybe you said:

  1. Pleasing God is doing what is right and just.
  2. Pleasing God is not doing anything I want to do.
  3. Pleasing God means having self-control.
  4. Pleasing God is impossible. Or…
  5. Pleasing God is like is like trying to please a parent.

When we talk about faith there is room for feelings and for some of us, we feel like we are a lost cause and swimming against the flow. Here is the thing…

When was the last time you tried to please a parent? As a parent (if you are one) when was the last time your child did something that was pleasing for you?

We don’t think in those terms, do we? We do not act out of respect, or concern or even of love just to please someone we do it just because. If we love someone we want them to be happy, we want to share the love we have for them with time, with gifts or with giving of ourselves. When we love God how do we show the Almighty our love for Him? This may be something you have never considered before because we are so caught up on the Thou Shall Nots instead of the amazing gift of life and freedom that God has given to us.

When we look at the Fall – the Garden of Eden and the beautiful world God created without sin, we only see the sin – we think about that tree – of Good and Evil. God did not want us to suffer, He wanted us to live in paradise. And, we hope and we pray that this is what heaven is – a paradise that has been created for the righteous which can only be justified by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Christ asks us to turn from sin and to follow Him. That’s it.

That is why Hebrews 11:6 starts by laying the groundwork of faith. Praising God isn’t as hard if our faith is at the center, and with faith comes what? The Holy Spirit is our guide. Not in the new age way of spirit God, please!! Heaven forbid. But in the third person of the Trinity – sent by God – After Jesus rose from the dead and spent time with the various disciples and Mary his mother and Mary Magdelene he rose up to heaven. We read about this in Acts 1-9 [on air]

God sent his Spirit – and this was called Pentecost. Today, we can receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts, in church Sacramentally or in prayer. Again we read about this in 1 John 3:24

We know by the Spirit HE gave us!

When we think about things in our life we can see that pleasing God is not as difficult as we think. Think about the joys of your life. Are you content? Is there an issue in your life if it could be handled or changed that would make you happy? Or how about happier? Of course, in each of our lives, there is something that could add to our happiness. But, the true things that bring us happiness are the things that money can not buy. Buying more things usually brings a short-term happiness, contentment or joy but not long-term!

Romans 8:9

You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Pleasing God starts with faith and after that, it is way easier than you think – pleasing God is something we want to do – no, we crave doing because of our relationship with HIM – there is an old saying about trying to outgive God, we can’t. It is impossible, the more we give God the more we receive.

Lately, my life has been filled with miracles some big and small – one is a serious surgery we thought my husband would need concerning his spine – not only is the surgery unnecessary, but the doctor’s words were…. Well, you had a serious problem, but your body healed itself. Wow, how does that happen? It is a miracle. And the small things like a toothache and when calling that day, an opening for a dentist appointment was available later in the afternoon. That never happens!

Pleasing God, friends is living our lives and worshiping the creator and it can’t get any better than that!

Let’s pray. Dear Lord thank you for all the blessings and the miracles that surround us each and every day, those we see and those that happen in our lives without us even knowing. I praise you and I thank you and I ask that you help me to be pleasing to my family, my friends, and most of all to you dear God. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. We praise you and are in awe of your gifts. Dear Lord, I ask for the following needs: and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God’s Love is Sufficient

Uncertainty surrounds our lives yet with God we know that His love is sufficient for all of our needs. In this podcast, learn how you can live a life that is free from worry, stress, and anger.God’s Love Is Sufficient – Episode 182

Uncertainty surrounds our lives yet with God we know that His love is sufficient for all of our needs. In this podcast, learn how you can live a life that is free from worry, stress, and anger.

Thanks to our sponsor CTCMath for all of your children’s (grandchildren or friends and neighbors) math needs. Check out CTCMath.com for more information.

If you know your scriptures you are probably thinking – why is she talking about God’s love being sufficient when the scriptures say, my grace is sufficient: Read: 2 Corinthians 12:9

God’s grace is his love and his forgiveness – it is empowerment by the Holy Spirit that makes us strong in, as the scriptures say our time of weakness. Seriously God’s grace and love is sufficient? Really? When are we weak? When are we scared? When we have infirmities – illnesses?

God’s Love IS Sufficient

No one thinks their life is ideal. But if I asked you to take some time to design your ideal life what would be included? Would it be a house on the beach, listening to the waves crashing on the seashore? Or would it be a mountain retreat? What about an unlimited bank fund or maybe good health and happiness in your family? Each of our lists would be very, very long. But for most one of the missing elements is a relationship with God. Our ideal life surrounds our health and welfare, our temporal or temporary needs. We are often more interested in taking care of today, the right now rather than the forever.

We hold on tight to the things that don’t matter in the end.

An ideal life is free from worry, stress, anger, and heartache, to be free from illness … and the only way for this to happen is to have confidence in Almighty God. A stress-free – worry-free life is almost unimaginable. In fact, it is a difficult concept to grasp. Yet God’s love is all we need to live a life that is fulfilling.

This may be again, easier said than done. God is the God of Creation – He is after all the Creator God. Before original sin our lives would have been more astounding than our greatest dreams. One of the things that our first parents shared with the Creator was the gift of communication with Him. Communication is a form of relationship – communion is beyond speech, it is beyond what we can explain with words. This is what was recovered by the life – the example Christ gave to us, His death for redemption and the resurrection. The miracle. God is the only one who can restore us. This communion with God takes us to a level where we can let go of the things of this world. As a Catholic, I believe Holy Communion is the key because it is healing.

Recently we had a medical scare concerning my husband. We thought he might need surgery on his back – the neck region… and we know how back surgery can be – it can be great or the worse nightmares can happen. Well after months and months of tests, MRI, more scans, and even some he still has to go to later this month, we are at peace. The neuro-surgeon basically said my husband had a major issue but that his body had repaired itself, and the vertebrae he would have had to fuse in surgery was already done for him! What a miracle! What a gift from God.

It also turned out – which shows God’s sense of humor, that the surgeon and I chatted about his hometown which is also my hometown (I’m one of these people who read a doctor’s bio on their website), and it turns out he knew me, and I was his teacher in the 4th grade when I was a college student and student-teaching in his classroom. Of course, I was blown away, and we laughed about the chances of meeting up again.

God is amazing and in this life, we can either praise God for all things – those we are scared and uncertain about and those things that are truly happy and amazing blessings in our life. God cares in everything we do even if we think that only bad things happen.

We are called to love God and realize that His grace and His love are all we need, but without a relationship, we cannot love someone we do not know. How do we know someone? We communicate with each other. Some may feel speaking to God is a one-way street. We talk, He listens. We hear nothing back. This takes practice and it takes the Holy Spirit. Have you availed yourself to the Holy Spirit? I attended what is called a Life in the Spirit Seminar in the 1990s and this changed my life. Here I learned that God not only wanted a personal relationship with me but that He wanted to pour His Spirit into my life in a way that I could experience, more fully what it means to be a Christian. People talk about finding faith and the honeymoon period. That is a period when they can’t get enough of reading the Bible or spending time in prayer or just meditating on the goodness of the Lord. They are so excited to share their faith and everything that God has done in their life with anyone – and I mean anyone who will listen.

The Holy Spirit allows Scriptures to become alive. When we read about Jesus healing the Lepers we think about this in terms of being there on the side roads and watching this take place. We feel the elation of those healed and we want to shout from the rooftops – God is a God of miracles. Everything else pales by comparison. We also realize that the things of this world are fleeting.

Sure we need money to live, to buy food, to pay for our bills – but that is not enough for most. Everyone has big dreams that include bigger homes, cars, and vacations, and a bigger, deeper relationship with the Lord is not necessarily high up on the list.

No wonder we are depressed, defeated, and feeling like no one cares or listens to what we have to say.  So what can we do? Put aside all of our world aspirations – of course not, but maybe intersperse them with other goals and focuses.

First, when you read Scripture always pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of knowledge, and ask that the Lord allows you to see the parts that really speak to you. Our lives have a way of refining all of the impurities and all of the things we need to release, but our strength is in that grace from God and that Knowledge that God’s love is all we need.

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord we thank you for all of the miracles in our lives for those things we see and for all of those things that are unseen. I praise you for the grace you give us and that is indeed sufficient and I thank you for the love you give for that is sufficient as well. I ask you Lord to bless those I pray for now and provide for all of their needs.. and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Holy Dependence

What is holy dependence and how can you use this in your life? In this podcast, we talk about how we can find peace that surpasses all understanding.Holy Dependence – Episode 181

What is holy dependence and how can you use this in your life? In this podcast, we talk about how we can find peace that surpasses all understanding.

Visit the website at MediaAngels.com for books…

How often do we find ourselves floundering when instead we should put our trust in the Lord?

Often, right? Well, that is going to change now. When we think about dependence we consider this a weakness. We want to be self sufficient and independent. But, depending on the almighty or Holy Dependence is actually a good thing.

 

I love it when family and friends ask me to pray. Does this happen to you? How often I’ve said yes, and then proceed to forget. Now if someone asks me to pray via text or email, or social media I stop right then ask the Holy Spirit for the right words and type in a prayer. Once I’ve written it I ask the Lord to call to mind those who need my prayers. Sometimes I find that someone in need of prayer keeps coming to mind, like recently when a good friend’s husband fell, he kept coming to mind and my husband and I prayed often together for our dear friend.

 

Our family and friends depend on us. And, we depend on our family and friends—sometimes daily. They are there for us to hear us when we are happy or upset. They are there to offer advice and support. Yet more than that we have a spiritual family that we can rely on for the help that we need in a way that is greater. Years ago I began a Facebook page which is still there, A Few Minutes with God – it was a place that people could go to ask for prayer and then, the best part to share what God has done for them. I am sharing this now because we are going to start posting again regularly there. It is a community of believers, and hopefully will be a help and an inspiration for you.

We hold on to this life and cling to the things that will not last. Where do you put your hope? Is it your family, your friends, your job? Maybe it is the things that you have a home, car, or the extras we fill our lives with.

 

This passage is called the Dead to Sin and Alive in Christ passage on Biblegateway.com

Romans 6: 1-5

 

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? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

 

If we know that we know that we know that there is an everlasting life then we should live this life like it counts, and that means place our trust in the Lord and the things of will give us joy. Jesus is the perfect representation of God in all that He does and it is captured for us in the Scriptures. Jesus is the manifestation and the revelation of God and Jesus’ love mirrors the love of the Father and His mercy. A mirror is a reflection and we can see the truth when looking into one. It is said that only a fool holds on to what he can not keep – but it is more important that we hold on to what we can not lose. We can not lose our inheritance in Christ if we live a life that is godly and pleasing to the Almighty. When we grow in our faith we begin to imitate our Lord.

Scripture if full of stories and miracles of things that happened that gave the people faith. Jesus warned those who were in sin to go forth and sin no more, after He healed them. Jesus can cleanse us in everything that is not good and harmful in our lives. No matter how sinful we are God has his arms opened to us.

 

Let’s think about this – do you know of any other instance in this life that someone says, “Come if you are sinful and I will take you in?” Of course not! In this world there is evil, there is sin, there is a hardening of heart. There all all types of challenges we have as we face each day, and for some those challenges are much greater than for others. We must place our trust in God in God and in this way our dependence becomes holy. It becomes sanctified if we ask for forgiveness for our sins.

 

Today take the time to really think about the things that you are dependent upon, the conviences in our life and be sure that your hope and trust is not of this world, but of the next.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord we come before you and we ask for the holy dependence that is centered around You have the gift of everlasting life, you have the answers to our needs and our prayers those we ask of you and those in our hearts, Lord please show us your will and help us to bridge the gap of the here and now to the everlasting – help us to follow you each and every day and say yes Lord, and I pray for the following intentions and needs… and I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name, Amen!

 

Special Replay: God’s Mercy

God's MercyGod’s Mercy IS Everlasting

God is good. And God is merciful. But do we really understand the amazing power behind the Mercy of God? In this episode, we will discuss God’s mercy and the fact that He can forgive your sins if you just let Him.

Thank you to …the movie Like Arrows. This family-friendly movie deals with marriage, children and aging in grace as a couple. You will love this movie! Look for it at a theatre near you, and save some money to buy the DVD for your home library!

Do we trust in God? Do we trust in His mercy and forgiveness? If we do we wouldn’t walk around with the burdens of the world on our back. We’d be happy and joyous and hopefully, after listening to today’s episode we will all feel that way.

Forgiveness of sin is a funny thing and it combines so many elements of the human nature. One is guilt, we are guilty we sin. The second is blame. We often blame others for our sin and it isn’t our fault. The third is unforgiveness, we can’t forgive others or ourselves.

The greatest of sinners can go to the feet of Jesus and beg for mercy and He will grant it! We are made up of body, and soul. For more information about this – go here for a balanced view that Catholics and Protestants agree upon. It is the soul that is wounded when we sin. Our souls live beyond this life while our bodies die. It is for this reason that our faith in God’s love and mercy are so important.

If we appeal to the mercy of Jesus he hears us! God is compassionate and He wants us to repent. He wants us to go to Him with everything. With all our hurts, with our failures, with our sins. Especially with our sins. God will grant us more mercy and grace than we can ask for – because He is God.

This calls to mind the Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32 This young man had it all riches and a father who loved him. He threw all of that away to live the life he wanted without his family and obviously in sin.

He had to reject his family in order to live a life of sin. We too reject God in order to sin.

My mother left me this book that was one of her favorites. I read it over the course of three years because it was the diary of a cloistered nun from Poland. It had so much information that I digested slowly over time. The book is The Divine Mercy by Sister now Saint Faustina, In it she says that the Lord asked her to write:

“…before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…”

This makes so much sense in the light of who God is – He is mercy and He is justice.

If we don’t repent, turn back to God and ask for His mercy then we must expect His justice. I would rather ask for mercy and the grace to “sin no more.” The scriptures are filled with Jesus healing people.

Bible.org has a wonderful explanation of the places in Scripture where Jesus healed as well as a comparison of the different accounts in Scripture that not only showed the authority of Jesus to heal as the Son of God but also His ability to forgive sins, the most important aspect. The authority to forgive sins from Matthew: this is a great reference from Bible.org. 

God's MercyWhat would we rather have, the forgiveness of our sins or the healing of our bodies? I hope we all say mercy from God to justify us, to make us clean to grant us mercy. This is such an important part of God’s plan for us, His Mercy. His mercy is Divine, His mercy is more than we can understand.

God’s arms are always wide open we are the ones who won’t step into His embrace. We turn our backs, we say…not right now God but maybe in a little bit. We are always busy. I think being busy is one of the greatest sins we have – we are too busy to deal with the important things in life and the most important is the love of God, then our spouse, then our children, then our friends. I think most of the time we have it wrong putting work above all things.

God’s mercy endures the ages. We only have to lay down our sins and ask for His mercy, that brings excitement and joy to my heart!

Let’s pray.

Lord, you have given us your love and mercy and for this, I am forever grateful! Thank you for opening wide the door of your mercy! Lord, I place my trust in your mercy, I find comfort in the fact that you delight in me trusting in Your mercy and You will grant me more graces than I ask for! I find comfort in the thought that you will not judge me harshly if I trust in Your mercy. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy… Jesus, I trust in You, today and Always. Amen.

 

 

Special Replay: Scripture Reflections

Scripture ReflectionsScripture Reflections

Scripture reflections should be a normal part of our study of the Bible. When we read the Bible it is more than just a book, it is the inspired and infallible word of Almighty God. How can you get the most out of reading your Bible, and do you have a personal agenda when you read? Do you go back to those tired and true Scriptures, reading and re-reading the same ones? Do you play Bible roulette where you “test” the Lord and pray for a particular thing and then open the Bible to see if God has answered you in His Word? Or are you willing to listen, to be drawn to the Bible and read through a particular book of the Bible stopping and reflecting?

There are many Scripture reflections already completed for you – these can be short Bible verse that has an accompanying story either a true account or a fictionalized account that gives you an understanding of the main points of the verse. These are great especially if you want a daily reading that is short for each day. I really like these for the children. Some of our favorite books were geared to specific things the children liked for example sports. My son’s favorite was one that had a sports theme. My daughter liked the shorter books that really pointed to the main emphasis of the Scripture in a heartfelt manner, Jesus Calling.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – Try the book A Few Minutes with GodA Few Minutes with God | #ChristianBook #faith

Scripture reflections should be part of what we do each and every time we read the Word. Scripture is one way to get to know God better, to interact with the Holy Spirit because we should pray to the Holy Spirit to open our minds, our hearts, our eyes and our ears to what the Lord is teaching us during our reading.

When reading the Bible here are my top ten points.

  1. Pray first. Ask the Lord into your heart. Pray for forgiveness for anyone who has hurt you or you have a hard time forgiving and focus on repentance.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom to understand the Bible verses you read or at the very least to teach you something you can apply to your life.
  3. Try for consistency – each and every day plan to read.
  4. Use a highlighter – or underline the verses that jump out at you. There are special highlighter pencils you can use on your Bible that won’t bleed through.
  5. Write in your Bible – there isn’t much room, but sometimes a special note will help you in the future when you read this passage again.
  6. Write a Scripture verse that moves you – or you feel is important.
  7. Close your eyes and listen … is God speaking to you? Write what you feel.
  8. Don’t jump around if you can help it. Try to read through a book of the Bible – you can begin in Genesis, in Proverbs. Or the book of Luke.
  9. Keep track. Keep a list of the books you are reading.
  10. Share with others. It helps me to remember and often gives me more insights when I share what I’ve read with my family or a friend.

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord, I ask you for an understanding of Your Word as I read the Holy Bible. I pray for direction on where to start, and for the ability to be impacted so that I want to change my life for the better as I read and learn more about You. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit, give me wisdom, understanding and the fortitude to read the Bible each and every day. I ask for inspiration as I journal about what I read and the ability to clearly express what I learn with others. I pray that the Bible becomes my resource and guide to learning more and growing in my faith and love of you, and I pray this in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Striving For Holiness

Holiness looks different for each one of us, but the one constant? We can strive for holiness. It is possible to work toward a goal of a deeper relationship with Christ.Striving For Holiness -Episode 180

Holiness looks different for each one of us, but the one constant? We can strive for holiness. It is possible to work toward a goal of a deeper relationship with Christ. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? That answer is up to you.

We strive for holiness every time we pray, and ask the Lord to become a part of our lives. We can learn about the Lord, study the Word and spend time doing the “right” thing – but an encounter with Christ is an experience and it is the only way that we will have the motivation to keep on when times are hard.

Jesus began his public ministry with Baptism. He gave us an example. He was baptized symbolically, but when we are baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, it is truly the initiation into the Christian life. We believe that it is a remission or forgiveness of prior sins and a clean slate. We are baptized with water, and the further explanation by Christ was in his conversation with Nicodmeus when he said, if you are born by water and the spirit you would be saved. It was a beginning not an end.

Many believe going through the Christian rituals or checking off the boxes of faith is all that they need. In my church—we believe it is a sacrament of initiation… that means the beginning. Yet many people think it is a get-out-of-jail-or hell card. No need to do anything else … they are saved. There is some truth in that… we can not do anything to earn our salvation, only Christ by his life, death and resurrection could purchase eternal life for us, however not working toward holiness is not recommended… if we do not move ahead and work toward a goal, if we do NOT strive for holiness then we cannot really say we are saved.

Leading a Bible study is good – going to a Christian focus or encounter group, sharing your faith with like-minded Christians, attending church, all good… but what is the result? It is a deeper relationship with Christ. It is that transformation that only faith can give you, and in this way, it pours out in all that you do. It is like looking outside after a rainstorm and seeing all the dirt washed away. Another expression is a new spring time when things are growing and spouting and looking toward the sun, in this case SON with an o.

Let’s look at what Paul said in Acts 19: Read all of it but I will stop at Acts 19:1-7

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.

 

The baptism was repentance, meaning a forgiveness from sins… which is what we believe still today and laying hands on them and praying for the Holy Spirit is what we call Confirmation or a baptism in the Spirit in some churches. This infilling of God’s grace is the Lord giving us the tools we need to do the job.

 

Further on in Acts we read that Paul got frustrated with the people. He encouraged them that

when we make a commitment – being baptized and infilled with the Holy Spirit it mean denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him – Jesus, not Paul! Many who are less committed think, forget this, that is too hard. I shared in my earlier podcasts that this was me… I knew a committed Christian friend whose life was a mess. If it was bad, it happened to her…but she still praised God in all things and looked at life as a blessing. My thoughts back then were less than holy – something along the lines of… well I’m glad I’m not an over-the-top Christian. And, look at where I am today… an over-the-top Christian with a podcast talking about spending time with God and an entire Christian podcast network that I started several years ago… God can take a half filled vessel and make it whole, and what does it take? Being open to God’s will in your life and saying that yes. To cut myself some slack, even with those thoughts I had about faith I never once denied God or felt like I didn’t believe. I just thought I could believe on my terms.

 

Do you follow the Bible of whatever your name is? The Bible of Agnus, or the Bible of David, or John? The Bible of Jan or Frank? That means we follow the things that are easy. But that is not growing in holiness – growing in holiness is getting out of our own way, our insecurities and worries and allowing the Lord to infill us with His way – the way of truth and light.

 

When we allow ourselves to go through a process of purification, giving up that sin in our lives that is making us miserable anyway, we can more clearly follow the Lord. Read all of Romans 8 but here is Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

Friends do not get confused by the church as in what people in charge are doing – the Church as I believe it was ordained with an unbreakable succession from Christ to Peter – and yet men mess up all the time and people lose their faith in the Creator God the Father, the Son – Jesus and the Holy Spirit because they look those who are fallible and say, there is no God. There is a God but there is sin and it is entrenched in our world – the enemy, the liar works overtime in corruption of those who are weak.

 

And then we have Ephesians And then we have Ephesians 6 – The Armor of God

10 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Again, read all of this book and you will see how this can help you to grow in holiness.

I wanted to end with a checklist for growing in holiness instead of starting with one, because this way you can make it your own after hearing this podcast – make it tailored to you!

1.     Make a goal. Take little steps. Is it prayer? Is it reading scripture? Is it journaling?

2.     Work on this goal each day.

3.     Repent each night before you go to bed.

4.     Wake up each day praising God.

5.     Ask the Lord daily for direction.

That’s it! No walking through fires or coal. No writing on the board 100x I shall pray, I shall pray. The love and joy that is available freely for all who believe, is a gift that keeps on giving, and through this giving gift to us – we can then pour into others. May God be blessed!

Let’s pray – Oh, Lord I want to grow in holiness but I am just not sure how you want me to approach this goal. I want to know you love you and serve you in a deeper way. Please show me how and bring me opportunities so that I can be a blessing to others, and grow closer to you. I pray for the following people in my life… and I pray this in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!

Special Replay: Divine Appointments

Divine AppointmentsDivine Appointments

Have you missed Divine appointments? Have you experienced one? What is a Divine appointment? All this and more will be discussed in this podcast.

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What is a Divine Appointment?

It is a time when the Lord allows you to meet someone who you can help – perhaps by sharing the Lord, something He’s done for you – or perhaps just listen and pray for someone. You will know it is from the Lord because:

  1. The person will say, “How did you know?” or something similar.
  2. You can’t remember saying that –or you feel lead by the Lord to pray for the person.
  3. The person expresses an improvement in their situation – perhaps you’ve helped them by praying, or shared a situation with them that the Lord is urging you to share and it is just what they needed to here. Or, perhaps you tell them about the Lord and lead them to a prayer of acceptance of the Lord Jesus as Savior!

Have you experienced one?

  1. Someone has helped you through a situation and you feel so blessed by it.
  2. Someone responds to a need without you even sharing you had this need.
  3. A person calls who you meant to call – possibly lead by the Lord because the Lord has put you on this person’s heart… and that person helps you in some way.

How can you hear the Lord to intercede for someone else?

The entire theme of these podcasts is listening to the Lord – hence the name of this podcast – AFMWG … are you spending time daily in prayer? Are you growing in your walk with the Lord each day? I heard a wonderful sermon where the pastor taught if you are not moving ahead you are moving behind!

Keep praying and asking the Lord to use you – to use you to intercede for others in prayer, to use you in ministry to others, however, you feel prompted to be used by Him. If you have someone you can pray with for discernment if it is something big – like street ministry (share Sue Ellen’s invitation to me…) etc. do pray with a pastor or friend.

Keep an open mind – hearing the Lord takes practice if we are so busy talking it is hard sometimes to discern HIS voice over our own.

Know by the fruit if you mess up – if you reach out and someone is not open to hearing anything or you don’t feel like you are helping that was from YOU and not the Lord. It happens – just learn from this experience but don’t shut the door! It is better to be a fool for the Lord than to just be a fool!

Sometimes a person may not be ready to hear and you are only planting seeds – just quietly pray first before calling or approaching a person and the best advice I can give you is to say nothing unless you are prompted by the Lord to speak! Sometimes the best advice is no advice and just a listening ear… (share Gina’s listening ear to me!).

  1. You keep thinking about this person – and you pray for them, but the Lord keeps bringing this person to mind. This may mean you need to reach out to them – check in and say, “hi!”
  2. If you do reach out – listen!
  3. Pray as the person talks – ask the Lord to give you the words HE wants you to say

Share the story about “Mary” – waitress – led her to the Lord.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to let me know when I should be your hands, your feet and your voice to someone in need. Father, use me to do your will – use me to help others – use me to be an intercessor in prayer by calling someone to mind who needs prayers. Lord help me to learn to discern your small still voice so I can know it is from you and not my own thoughts. Lord I pray for all who a, e listening today, that you send your Holy Spirit with every good gift – renew the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives, stir up the Spirit to minister to others, and I pray this in the precious Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Freedom in Christ

What does true freedom in Christ look like?Freedom in Christ

What does true freedom in Christ look like? Many believe religion is a set of rules, a thou shalt and thou shalt not, but it is so much more. True freedom comes from a deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ. This show examines your personal journey.

Thanks for staying tuned. First downloads were around 8 and I have to thank my friend Geri because I truly believe many were of her listening to the show… but, not there are hundreds and hundreds of downloads and I have to thank each of you because that means you share this show with friends, and our outreach for the UCPN now is taking root, so thank you! There are so many great shows on this network, please check them out. Go to UCPN –

So, freedom is our topic and it seems appropriate with July 4th being celebrated here in the US that our freedom is so pivotal to our lives. What does freedom mean to you? Is it doing anything you want to do whenever you want to do it? What does that look like to you? Each of us has a different idea of what freedom means.

Freedom can mean leaving sin behind. You may not realize that sin is slavery. Whatever that sin may be and there are many, the addiction to sin without the ability to break it is truly a struggle. It can be something simple like an addiction to chocolate, gluttony, or even shopping or more severe like pornography or drugs.

The end result of sin is death, the death of our souls. Just like an addiction to drugs or even smoking can hurt our physical bodies, so too a sin can hurt our mortal souls.

When we sin the first thing that we do is rationalize it. In our minds and then in our hearts. Well, it isn’t that bad, or it is okay if that is what I want it is not hurting anyone. Or, we are consenting adults and can do whatever we would like. The amazing thing about sin is that God does not force His way on us. We choose to be in that sin.

So when I hear people say that religion is too restricting, I can easily answer that no, sin is too restricting because often you can’t leave it behind. But freedom, true freedom is knowing that God forgives and gives us the free will to sin no more, or to continue in our destructive behavior.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Slavery to sin is all around us, and we see it clearly now. Before it was shrouded in a dark, smoke-filled room. There were inklings of sin, there were little hints here and there, but now? Now it is a free-for-all, and sin reigns in the hearts of many. The idea of self-preservation has taken hold like never before. Fear is our greatest enemy and it can be used by the enemy to control. Think about this.

What does sin give us? It gives us many byproducts. It gives us guilt, the guilt of indulgence. It gives us sickness and disease, it gives us moral corruption.

What does freedom in Christ give us? It gives us the truth; it gives us joy – the joy that surpasses all understanding. It gives us the ability to wake up each morning without guilt, and it gives a clear vision of where we are going. I heard one of my favorite speakers share that we should weep and ask for forgiveness each night for our sins. And when we do, the Lord will forgive us. With this knowledge of forgiveness, we can begin each day with joy – because we have repented before the Lord. If it is a serious sin, one that can hurt our mortal souls, we should seek counsel from clergy in confession for a Catholic or a pastor for a protestant.

Just the other day I was delighted when a young man approached my friend and I after daily mass and asked what time confession happened at the church – he shared he had been away from the church for some time and wanted to come back. He wanted to talk to a pastor and work through his forgiveness. This is what freedom looks like. He was fearless and it looked like the Lord was already working in his life.

When we ask for forgiveness we are acknowledging the need for repentance. This thought is our conscience speaking and it can only speak if it is well-formed.

Read 1 Corinthians 10 – here, Paul is saying that while food and drink were no longer banned as in the time of the Old Testament, that did not mean that everything is beneficial. We know that overeating can make us sick, or eating the wrong types of foods if we are allergic. Would we willingly eat something that can make us sick? No—of course not, but then why can’t we refrain from the things that are evil and can hurt our souls?

Sometimes people think that if they give up sin they are doing it for God. It goes something like this, “Lord—I am giving up evil for you, now please do this and this for me.” We bargain with God – I’ll do this if you do that. Giving up sin will give us freedom. It is not a bargaining tool. I learned this a week ago when I felt the need to repent and I thought about fasting. I would fast all day and eat one meal at night. After the first week, I decided to do it another week, and felt that the Lord said, “Did I ask you to do this?” My second week of fasting was not for any particular reason, whereas the first week was… and I felt called to do it. So, I listened.

This voice is one that we have to learn to hear, we hear it in our hearts and we can answer with a yes or a no – sure, it would not have hurt anything or anyone to fast each week, but my purpose was not to lose weight, it was repentance.

The freedom we want in our lives and the joy can only come when we are free of guilt. When we do what is right, when we are in communion with God, when we seek the eternal good over the temporal we will discover that joy that we crave. Many of the sinful acts are ones that bring temporary enjoyment. But that is not the same as joy – or happiness that is free from guilt. Even the most hardened sinner who thinks wrong is right and right is wrong, is often very angry when they spew their nonsense. I listed the other day in passing to a man who was claiming that what he believed should be elevated among all other things – but then, he completed the sentence condemning the Christians for their bias and Christianity had been foisted on those and forced.

You can not force someone to believe – in fact, there is no way humanly possible to force Christianity, true Christianity that changes a soul. That my friends is a gift, it is a pure gift from the Almighty that calls to us and brings us to that higher place that is where we stand with God and not against Him. True freedom is deciding for ourselves if we will answer the call if we will accept the gift from the Almighty and in this way, open our hearts for even more blessings in our lives.

Let’s pray – Lord please teach me what true freedom looks like – what is true freedom in Christ and how can I lead a life that is beneficial to my soul. Lord allow me to hear your voice, and lead me, show me the joy that true freedom from sin can bring and I pray specifically for the following needs… and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

Special Replay: Where is God In The Midst Of Tragedy?

Where is God In The Midst Of Tragedy?Where Is God In The Midst of Tragedy?

We often hear of a horrific event and we think, “Where is God in the midst of tragedy?” The news is all around us. Our phones send us alerts, and we have instant access to information and the availability of 24/7 news coverage. Days after any tragedy there is a constant barrage of television coverage. While this is understandable it can take a toll on our nerves and those of our loved ones.

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Show Notes:

When tragedy strikes there a sense of shock, disbelief, heartache, and sadness. When something senseless happens like the recent high school shooting, anger is added to the mix.

I remember the Columbine tragedy, the Challenger disaster, the Twin Towers – hijacked planes, the First Baptist Church massacre, the mass shootings in Las Vegas and now the tragic shooting of teens and one teacher at a high school in Parkland, Florida…

Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy?

How do we deal with this senseless act of violence?

So many times we want to ignore it we want to pretend it didn’t happen and we bury the emotional pain and trauma. Especially if we are removed in the sense that it didn’t happen to us. When the situation is closer to home, when it happens to us with a death of a loved one or an accident we often have all of the same feelings, only deeper.

When something happens that is an accident, or if an illness of a loved one is long, we tend to deal with it differently. Accidents happen, they are a way of life, the same with illness and death. If you’ve lived you’ve experienced it, none of us are unscathed this side of heaven.

Evil is real and the enemy is strong, but not as strong and victorious as our God. Free will gives us all the chance for great things. However, some turn their backs on good and opt for evil.

But God is here, He is real, He answers prayer. However, he answers prayers as He wants to in His perfect will and in His time. Friends, we can’t make God into our own image. We can’t expect Him to answer prayers according to our will.

I want to leave you with three points when you wonder where God is in the midst of tragedy…

  1. Identify the grief you are feeling and deal with it.
  2. Realize all evil is not from God, however, we can’t blame Satan. Yes, evil begins with sin, but we are capable of choice – we must take responsibility for our actions. We have free will.
  3. God is good all the time. We need to remember this. All that is good is from God.

Let’s pray—and keep those who are directly effected by this tragedy in your care, Lord – we pray for the families, for the first responders, for all the children effected, for the town, for those who heard about it in the media. Keep us in your care Lord, protect us and allow us to focus on you. And we pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

Blessed Assurance

There are few things in life we have assurance in but with the Lord, we have the blessed assurance that He is there for us. In this episode, we look at the ways that we know, that we know, that we know that God is in charge and there for us.Blessed Assurance – Episode 178

There are few things in life we have assurance in but with the Lord, we have the blessed assurance that He is there for us. In this episode, we look at the ways that we know, that we know, that we know that God is in charge and there for us.

I’d love for you to visit my website MediaAngels.com and to look at some of my books, for example, a book that will help kids with faith: Print version or download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Great for summer reading: The Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

And, my book that tells how one big mistake translates into three more blessings — One More Child: Book

So many things in life are unknown. In fact, each day is like an adventure we never know what to expect or what we will find. Even if we have everything planned and scheduled the unexpected can throw us off. In fact, this happens to me all of the time. What about your life? Is it predictable? Or, like many do you have unexpected surprises (not the good kind) that take away your peace and sometimes even your joy. My daughter reminded me recently that in my quest for making sure that things go according to plans (mine not necessarily God’s) I tend to rush things. Recently something was not turning out the way I had hoped and she reminded me that it was God’s will and not mine that needed to take a front and center role. And, she is right.

What is the ultimate goal in our lives? The eternal and the salvation of our souls. Not what goes the way we hoped or planned and definitely not what we think should happen rather than what does actually happen. Sure, we can still plan and we can still hope. Hopefully, we are praying with a focus on what is truly important

There is blessed assurance in:

  1. Eternal life for those who follow the Lord. John 10:28 states – I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
  2. God’s enduring love – Psalm 107:1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever…
  3. Unfailing love – Psalm 36:7 – How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  4. Faith without sight. We know that we know that we know that God is there for us: 1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  5. God is always with us. Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is with you, he is might to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Read these scriptures and study them. Write then in a prayer journal. Look them up and the verses that surround them and tell me how you feel after you read them after you allow the words to permeate your heart, and after you rest in the assurance, the blessed assurance that you are not allowed. By opening yourself up to the love of God you will realize that any pain we have or disappointments are already known by the Lord.

When we have hardship and disappointments we typically learn from these experiences. It is after the fact that we realize the growth and the lessons learned. Of course in the midst of the struggles we won’t see this nor will we look at the situation with fondness. None of us want to struggle and hurt. But just as we grow we see that there is no way we would learn what we now know without this effort. This love of God and his provision and this assurance allows us to expand our horizons and to understand that with the Lord we can come as we are.

There are no illusions or false faces we put on because God knows us better than we know ourselves. We can live our lives trying to do the best that we can but the assurance we have is the safety net that is God’s love for us and his providence. We can trust ourselves to His capable hands and realize that He does have plans for us and is willing to allow these plans to unfold if we only ask. We ask Him into our hearts as Christians but often fail to ask Him into our lives.

The ultimate goal? Heaven and we can be assured, John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” What a blessed assurance our salvation is to us as we traverse this obstacle course of the life in which we live avoiding the traps, going around the hardships, and learning from our mistakes.

Let Us Pray – 

I praise you and thank you my God for you are good and gracious. Lord, I trust in you and realize that all that I have and am is known by you… I can rest, rest assured that you are there for me and that in my times of need you are holding me up, even if I do not feel it. Thank you, Lord, for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for loving those I care for and I ask a special blessing for the following… dear Lord please hear my petitions and even those I did not mention, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Special Replay: Time Well Spent

Time well spent makes us happy. If we feel accomplished, if we do things on our "lists," it makes us feel that we've spent our time well. Most of us say we need more time each day, we can't finish out tasks, we run out of time. How can we add more time to our days?Special Replay: Time Well Spent

Episode 22

Time well spent makes us happy. If we feel accomplished, if we do things on our “lists,” it makes us feel that we’ve spent our time well. Most of us say we need more time each day, we can’t finish out tasks, we run out of time. How can we add more time to our days?

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

When I look at my day I think, “What is the best use of my time each day?” Other than with my friends and family the best time is with God. How can you fill up without the One who truly gives us that grace to get through each day? Who do you spend time with and is that time well spent? In this episode, we explore how you can make the time. Let’s strive to make the most out of every minute of every day.

Look at your day, how can you incorporate time well spent? We all say we don’t have enough time each day!

  1. Identify the time wasters. Relaxing is wonderful for everyone and we don’t need to “produce” every day! However often we say we don’t have enough time for prayer because we don’t use our time wisely.
    • What are the things in your day that waste your time
    • How can you avoid the time wasters
    • Does making a list help you
    • We all waste time, and often we all need a break, so enjoy
  2. What is the one thing you can avoid? Is there something on your list that you can eliminate or reschedule in your day so that you can make more time?
    • Social media
    • Emails in the morning or afternoon
    • Shopping without a list
  3. Can you make 5-10-15 minutes or more to spend with God in prayer? Look at your lists above and see where you can add more time to your day. Five, ten or fifteen minutes helps tremendously! Time well spent with God is so helpful in our day. Often we leave prayer time to night time. Praying in the morning, the first thing you do — will change your life and is truly time well spent.
  4. Who do you spend the most time with? Is it family, friends, virtual friends? Ist it fictional characters in books? Truthfully, sometimes we let virtual friends take the place of real ones. I have good friends online, some I’ve never met in person. Nurture your friendships but remember the one who will fill you with faith, love, and joy.
  5. How can you make that time productive? Spending it with God first will increase your productivity all day long.
  6. Can you be a witness or a blessing from the Lord to someone in your life? Do you ask God to use you each day? Do you see the people in your life as a blessing? How can the Lord use you? How can you be an example of God’s love to others?

 

Spiritual Fill Up

What happens when you need a spiritual fill-up? It is time to go to the source of all that is good and holy!Spiritual Fill UP – Episode 177

What happens when you need a spiritual fill-up? It is time to go to the source of all that is good and holy! In this podcast we will discuss getting a spiritual fill-up and why it is good for us to recharge each day.

I’d love for you to visit my website MediaAngels.com and to look at some of my books, for example, a book that will help kids with faith: Print version or download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Great for summer reading: The Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

And, my book that tells how one big mistake translates into three more blessings — One More Child: Book

This year I took on a big project that was bigger than I could imagine and made my time even scarcer (if that was possible) than before. I was miserable during part of it and while I loved the project itself, I hated the timeline and deadlines that were required to finish it, quickly. However, once I was done I discovered that I needed a big dose of God and a refreshing of my spirit. It is not that I didn’t pray, or go to church, sometimes daily. It wasn’t that I didn’t spend time with God… no it was more than that. It was that I needed to be refreshed from the inside out and the outside in. I needed an infilling of the Holy Spirit in a mighty and powerful way.

  1. The first way is to just ask!

There are many ways to get a spiritual fill up but one of the best ways is by just asking the Lord, to refresh and renew us. This can be a prayer we say each day upon waking and it can begin with a simple, “help me Lord,” to a more complex, “Allow me to do your will today, my God.” Our Lord will direct us in the ways we should go, the direction we should head, but may times we forget to ask.

  1. Another fill happens when we praise God in song.

Listening to praise and worship music is one thing that always helps me. I become joyous and start singing along. We can fill the spirit being stirred within us. And, spiritual health check-up

A spiritual fill-up also means spending time in the word, daily readings can infill our souls with the amazing goodness of our God. When I take the time to journal about something that has touched me and I started – thanks to my sister-in-law, bringing a small book to church where I can jot down something that touched me that was in reading the Bible or something that the pastor said. I always think I will remember and I find that writing it down does help me. I can go back and read it during times when I need the renewal.

  1. Prayer.

Spending time with God and making time to pray each day. Sometimes we spend time reading the Word or going to church but prayer time is so important. I am blessed that when I walk into my church it is so quiet. I can kneel and pray and ask the Lord’s forgiveness for anything I’ve done to offend him as well as take the time to thank and worship Him. Allow the Lord to lead us in our prayers and it is another way that can bring us closer to Him. We will feel that lightheartedness when we consider the Lord and his amazing works and deeds!

Ephesians 4:20-25

Spiritual renewal is a renewal of our minds – if there is an area where you need to repent do it. If God calls it to min, allow yourself to be humbled and ask for forgiveness. The word says holiness of truth – and laying aside falsehoods. It also says speak truth each one of you with his neighbor which brings me to the next point

  1. Scripture Time.

Do a keyword search for specific things you need help with and use the word scripture. For example, overcoming sadness scriptures or encouragement scriptures. You can write these down and look them up in your Bible. Make a list of these and use them as you can as your go-to verses. Sure it is easy to look them up but writing them in a journal is helpful and we will remember them better when we write them down.

  1. Like-Minded Friends

Surround yourself with like-minded friends, those who are encouragers and allow you to share but also point you to the source for the answers. Some friends will pull you down or involve you in their problems to an extent that you can’t get to the surface because you are drowning in their problems. Friends point you to the Lord and keep you from going down the wrong path – temper this too with those friends who tend to be overly critical!

So to recap:

  1. Just ask the Lord.
  2. Praise and Worship music.
  3. Prayer
  4. Get into the Word and journal
  5. Like-minded friends.

Let’s pray:
Dear Lord, we all need a spiritual tune-up and infilling from time to time… I praise you and thank you that you are available for me to go to in times of need, to be infilled when I ask, and to provide for me and answers to my prayers and requests. Thank you for giving me a heart that is open to you and your will for my life and I pray for the needs and requests of those I ask for today – and I praise you

Special Replay: WRAP Yourself in Scripture

WRAP Yourself In Scripture

What happens when you wrap yourself in Scripture? You will find yourself in a closer relationship with God! Why wait? Learn what the acronym WRAP means and some great resources to get you started.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

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Great Resource!

Where to find the book ~ WRAP Yourself in Scripture by Karen Dwyer

There are many ways to pray and prayer is different for each person. Some people pray with words, others are with the Lord listening to his small, still, voice and others may sing or talk to the Lord as if they were talking to a friend. Prayer is two-way communication with the Lord. In this way, we are able to grow closer to God.

Recently I attended a conference and heard Karen Dwyer speak, and was really blessed. In one of the books she wrote, she explained a concept about called WRAP, wrap yourself in Scripture. I felt that this process helped me to not only read the scriptures but to allow the words to touch my heart in a deeper way. Reading the scriptures allows us to be in fellowship with God and brings us joy. We should want a deeper encounter with the Almighty God in daily prayer.

Wrap stands for:

  • W stands for Write
  • R stands for Reflect
  • A stands for Apply
  • P stands for Praise

According to Dwyer, the WRAP process takes the same skills we use when we worry and transfers to prayer. She goes into this in detail in her book. But this process really works!

I think what I found the most encouraging is that she said we should spend time after reading the scriptures to allow the Lord to love us! Just think of it! We know God loves us unconditionally. But when we pause after reading the scriptures and try to seek what the Lord is telling us from His word, we are allowing His love to flow upon us! What a blessing!

There is power in prayer, in praise and in reading scriptures. Our Lord Jesus quoted the scriptures many times. The scriptures were memorized and made part of their lives. Do we memorize the Word? Do we commit verses to mind so that we can recall them in times of darkness when we need the Lord the most?

In order to wrap ourselves in scripture, we need to make an effort, and as in past podcasts, I’ve discussed setting aside time, using a prayer journal, finding a good place that is quiet to read the Bible and to pray. These are simple directions in how to get the most out of your time with God.

Let’s pray.

Dear heavenly Father, we praise you and we thank you for every good thing in our life and in the lives of those around us. We thank you for all the people who never appreciate or thank you for what you have done in their lives.

Being Present In Prayer

What does being present in prayer have to do with your spiritual life? Well, this is an amazing insight into getting closer to God that was recently shared with me during a sermon, and it really hit home. I hope you are blessed as well.Being Present In Prayer – Episode 176

What does being present in prayer have to do with your spiritual life? Well, this is an amazing insight into getting closer to God that was recently shared with me during a sermon, and it really hit home. I hope you are blessed as well.

I’d love for you to visit my website MediaAngels.com and to look at some of my books, for example, a book that will help kids with faith: Print version or download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Great for summer reading: The Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

And, my book that tells how one big mistake translates into three more blessings — One More Child: Book

Being present sounds like it could be some type of new agey hype, and before you pull the plug on this podcast, here me out. I shared a podcast on this similar topic with parents recently on my other network for moms (VintageHomeschoolMoms.com) and discussed how it would change the relationship parents have with their children, and it will! Being present is an amazing concept that is not new but so important now because we are so wired and plugged in! Examples of out to dinner, etc.

We know that we were born to love and serve the Lord. The things of this world will not fill us up, and so when we do not spend time with the Lord we feel lost. The things of this world are like dust – when we pray to the Lord do we want Him to hear us, are we expecting he’ll be busy with someone else or something else, that are problems are too trival. Let me read Exodus 12-15 and poor Moses is having a time with the Israelites that God placed him in charge of leading through the desert- when you think your life is hard think about what Moses had to endure!

Exodus 12-15

We know that the presence of the Lord leads them in the day and in the night – God was there. He is omnipresent – he is with us always and He is everywhere. So, how do we as mere creates become present to God? It is actually very easy – in prayer and in quiet. (Hint: A Few Minutes with God!)

Our pastor told us a story of a holy man who saw someone in the chapel just sitting there with the Lord in prayer but his lips were not moving (longer explanation on the podcast). The pastor realized this was the highest form of prayer, just being there for and with God. Does God need us? No of course not but we need Him! Look around you – this world we currently live in is a world that is without God – they took God out of the schools, out of many churches even – pastors have lead their sheep astray. How do you know the truth? Well, through discernment a gift was freely given by the Holy Spirit. Be present with God and watch your life change!

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, I ask that you help me to be present to you. increase my time so that is not an obstacle, help me to identify the ways that I am avoiding prayer or putting up obstacles so that I can’t hear your voice. I realize Lord you talk to us in different ways, through others, in your most Holy Word in the Bible, and in our hearts. Thank you, Lord, for always being present to me and I pray for the following needs – in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Special Replay: Combating Fear

Combating fear is something we all want. Do you worry about things? Join the club -  don't we all?Combating Fear

Combating fear is something we all want. Do you worry about things? Join the club –  don’t we all? But in this episode I am going to discuss fear, the result of worry and how we, as Christians, armed with the promises of God can combat the fear and turn it to victory!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Combating Fear

Fear gets us nowhere. It is a dead-end street that has us walking the same path again and again. It is the place that the enemy would like us to remain in because let’s face it — fear is a bondage. Fear is from the enemy.

2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

Yet, God built us to fear if we sense danger. Fear does in essence help to protect us – if we sense something instinctively it can help us to survive. Fear is natural, it keeps us away from those things that could hurt us or bad choices.

The bible also tells us that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of all understanding,” how do we take that verse? What we fear is the judgment of the Lord. If you are a follower of Christ and want to do His will – you should not fear judgment, but you should remember it as you live your life.

God is our light – He is the guiding beacon in the midst of our fears. We can have the courage to deal with the things that happen in our lives and what that takes is praying to overcome the fear. Prayer and reading Scripture verses and memorizing some can help. Another help is using acronyms to help us.

When speaking about fear in the spiritual sense, when we allow worry to cloud our thoughts and overtake our lives realize we are giving the spirit of fear permission to reside in us. The first step is in renouncing the spirit of fear.

In the Name of Jesus, I come against the spirit of fear and I renounce it – I do not give fear dominion in my life. I break any chains of fear in my life and offer it to you, Lord. Lord, I give you permission to come into my life with joy, the joy that surpasses all understanding and that reigns in the knowledge that you are in control of my life.

Here are some wonderful scriptures to write in your journal under the title of “Combating Fear” and pray, say, and memorize these wonderful scriptures:

  1. 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 been perfected in love.”
  2. Proverbs 29:25:  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
  3.  Matthew 10:31  “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
  4. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
  5. Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”
  6. Psalm 91:14 – “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”
  7. Romans 8:30-31 – “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
  8. Psalm 118:6: “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
  9. Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?”
  10. Luke 1:30: “But the angels said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”

If you are fearful and have never repented of the spirit of fear, let’s pray! (Prayer at the end of the audio.)

 

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

The idea of positive thinking, such as turning lemons into lemonade has been around a long time. So, how can you apply this concept to your life as a Christian? Turning Lemons into Lemonade – Christian Perspective Episode 175

 The idea of positive thinking, such as turning lemons into lemonade has been around a long time. In this way, taking something that is otherwise sour and making it more palatable and sweet is plus. So, how can you apply this concept to your life as a Christian? Stay-tuned as we discuss this topic today!

Check out for immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Turning lemons into lemonade? It can happen.

Are you as tired as I am about the news and negativity all around us? I know that we are in the midst of a struggle, good against evil that is nothing new and has been going on since the beginning of time. However, I have found an increasing amount of my friends are dwelling on the negative. We talk about how we are going to avoid social media, video links we are sent, and all of the other links we are given to read about how our world is falling apart around us. But the enticement is too much and we have to know! We tend to look at things negatively and keep thinking, this is just so unfair. So, it translates into us being upset and we struggle. Now add to that the normal daily struggles of life and what happens? We find ourselves stuck in this vortex of lies, deceit, and serious problems even among our leaders of faith. Interestingly, I was watching a favorite Catholic network on television, and one of the speakers graduated from Harvard years ago, and he said the emphasis in learning back then was holding to an ideal of truth.  However, today truth is considered subjective. Even Pilate asked the Lord what is truth?

This philosophy that truth is subjective and the truth is whatever you think it is is emphasized and pervasive in today’s culture especially in the university settings. What you believe is not what I believe or better yet you should believe what I believe. But there is no absolute truth. And that’s the problem–the problem is we look at things with this idea that there no one way. But, what did Jesus tell us? He is the way the truth and the life and he said in verse 37 everyone who believes in truth believes in me. So what do we believe?

When life hands us lemons what do we do with them? Well, usually there are three things.

  1. We complain because that’s the first line of defense
  2. We try to look for alternatives or solutions of how to resolve the issue
  3. We make lemonade out of these lemons we are handed.

I realized the way I look at life is really how I am living my life. Am I showing my faith and my love of God to myself, my family, and others? Do I believe what He says and trust in Him? Am I living a life that is pleasing to the Almighty? Or am I leading a life that is filled with stress anger and self-righteous annoyance at how unfair life is?

Have you ever heard anyone say everything bad happens to me? Well, it’s almost like it’s a self for filling prophecy. Rebuke that thought in the Name of Jesus if you have it! And, how about turning it around and saying everything good happens to me? Because as Christians the Lord does not allow anything in our lives that he has not given permission to. This is a very difficult concept to grasp. Because how can an all-loving God allow things to happen that are negative in our lives?

And that my dear friends is a question I cannot answer because it is only the Almighty who has that answer. And that’s when we go to our knees and we pray, we ask for relief, we asked friends to pray. And, we begin to look –baby steps, at life as an opportunity to bless not only those in our own family but others as well. There are many of you listening to this that are self-sacrificing every single day for the betterment of others. Please don’t think it goes unnoticed by the Almighty.  Realize that in your everyday struggles the Lord knows and understands and provides for you in many ways that you do not even see.

A friend of mine who is an amazing Christian man and follower of Christ has posted many of his trials on social media – not so much for pity, but to show us that no one escapes the difficulties in life. His family is struggling not only with medical trials within members of the family but also in the home in which they live. So they are psychological, physical, and mental challenges. And it reminds all of us of Job. However, through his postings, he has shown that while everything seems to be falling apart, he knows in his heart that the Lord loves him and it is through this witness that others will be saved. And when everything is going right it is easy to get praise God, but how about when everything is not going well? Look at your lives today, this week, this month, and this year, and let’s all turn those lemons in our life into lemonade.

Let’s pray.  Almighty God and Father, we praise you and we thank you for everything in our lives we thank you for all the blessings you have given us and we thank you for all the times that we struggle. Please help us and give us the knowledge that we need in the midst of the struggles to continue to follow you, to follow in your footsteps, and ask that you carry us for when we are weak you are strong my God~and I know that You will provide for each one of us and we praise You and we thank You, Lord and we lift up the following prayers and petitions to you…and we humbly pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

New Life & Power

We all want a new life power of faith and grace that is given by God. But how do we go about doing this? In this episode, Father David goes deeper into the heart of the matter that there is power in prayer and the graces of God are just waiting for us!New Life & Power of Grade ~ Episode 41

We all want a new life power of faith and grace that is given by God. But how do we go about doing this? In this episode, Father David goes deeper into the heart of the matter that there is power in prayer and the graces of God are just waiting for us!

Check out Father David’s Book!

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

 

 

In this podcast, I am continuing the themes and harmony of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. However, we cannot pass this day by without mentioning that this is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Most Catholics probably do not know much about this day. I would like to lead in by presenting a brief explanation of Our Lady of Lourdes, a universal shrine for healing near Lourdes, France.

New Life Power of Grace

In 1858 the Virgin Mary Immaculate appeared to Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes, France within the cave of Massabielle. Through this humble girl, Mary called sinners to conversion and enkindled within the Church a great zeal for prayer and charity, especially service to the sick and poor. The following is what Bernadette briefly tells us: “I had gone down one day with other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river Gave, but the trees seemed quite still, and the noise was evidently not coming from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale, yellow rose, the same color as her rosary beads. The Lady asked Bernadette to pray for the conversion of sinners…after a while in her time she told me that she was the Immaculate Conception”.

Conversion and life-giving repentance truly bring about new life and power. The Church as an ecclesial body needs to do repentance for numerous things, no repentance no restoration: sexual abuse both sacerdotal and laity, excessive institutionalism, clericalism, materialism, buying into the neopagan social religion of secular humanism and all its moral abuses, allowing the abuse of modern technology (all members of the Church), mistrusting the leadership of women, very poor pastoring of the clergy for the laity. You may have a few other issues in mind. In listing these concerns I am not trying to bring condemnation, but an honest and open look at our sin, and then doing what is necessary to travel the path of change in order to experience the blessing of Restoration.

There are at least three important things to embrace, in addition to life-giving repentance, in order to move along the path of change toward restoration: all three are interrelated.

  1. We as the Church (all segments of the Church) need to bring the spiritual power of the New Covenant in the new creation out of the dry dock and place the practical theology and spirituality of the New Covenant at the heart and center of all spiritual and pastoral growth and formation in the life and relationships of all the segments in the life of the Church, including the teaching about the Sacraments. The notion of the Covenant exists in the scriptures and office books for sure, but in catechesis and in individual formation it seems to be ignored. The New Evangelization is almost impossible without making this change. The teaching of the New Covenant is what places the Scriptures as the foundation for living the Gospel.
  2. The Second Vatican Council II is the tremendous work and the overflow of grace of the Holy Spirit for our time. I am not speaking about the many goofy interpretations of the Council that emerged after its close in 1965. You may hear a good number of people criticizing the Council, and some have gone so far as to try and remake the Church like it was before the preparation and promulgation of the Documents of the Council, and some who believe this are among the Episcopal leaders in the Church, and many priests have ignored preaching about the content of the Council in their homilies. Here is the litmus test: when you ask individuals who are critical of Vatican II, have you read the documents? You will hardly find any person who has or even read a few of them. How can your criticism be legitimate, if you do not know what the Vatican Council teaches?
  3. The impartation of the grace of the Holy Spirit in the practical lives of members of the Church. In the years following the close of Vatican Council II, there were spiritual renewal movements and programs, which promoted a new life in the Holy Spirit, and anointed teaching that made a notable positive difference in the spiritual lives of many individuals within the Church and other Christian groups as well. This powerful actual grace led to many endeavors of corporal and spiritual works of mercy as well as groups of prayer, praise, and community relationships. Many years have passed since the close of the Council, individuals have gotten older and some have moved on to a life of glory in heaven. There are many young people searching for something more than those graces of the recent past because naturally, they are distant from the youth. Those who are still involved with the spiritual journey of life have had many experiences. Modern life is a very demanding and complicated existence. Many of those who started well have tired out and lost momentum, enthusiasm, and zeal. If God so chooses, it may be time for a second refreshing outpouring of the Holy Spirit; a new conferral, bestowal, impartation of the actualizing grace of the Holy Spirit centered in the Churches Grace of Renewal and Reform. In addition to various groups and communities celebrating life-giving repentance satisfying the Lord God’s expectations, it would be necessary to design a program or some type of structured experience that would hold and promote the necessary elements of transformation that could move us forward in a grandiose yet humble and grateful manner. What do you think? May we hear from you! What kind of a program would you design?

 

May We Pray!

Holy Father in each age of the Church’s existence you have been most faithful in pouring out your graces and power. We know and believe that you love us, and you desire us to experience a mystical transformation in this time by the direction infusion of your love in the power of the Holy Spirit. For this divine impartation, we are hungry and thirsty. While living in this earthly reality we desire to rise above the challenges that beset us, but through this empowerment may we continue to know, love, and serve you with our whole heart. We pray this prayer through the intercession of Mary our mother and in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gift of New Covenant

The tremendous grace of the gift of the new covenant comes to us each and every day and Father David once again gives a clear and concise podcast on the topic, to renew our faith!The Gift of the New Covenant Episode 40

The tremendous grace of the gift of the new covenant comes to us each and every day and Father David once again gives a clear and concise podcast on the topic, to renew our faith!

Check out Father’s book!

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

The scripture in the Old Testament that is most quoted which declares God’s promises for his people is Jerimiah 30:31-34. Since it is the foundation that declares restoration for God’s people it is worth quoting: The days are coming says the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant, and I had to show myself their master, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts, says the Lord; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. “No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the Lord. All from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” This wonderful promise is all about restoration! However, that is not where we are as a people at this present time of crisis, which is suffering in a pandemic, which shows no sign of conclusion. It seems there is more purification which is ahead. What will it take for the human community, and specifically the Christian community, to satisfy our Lord?

In the recent past we Catholic Christians have over-emphasized the Church as an institution, and narrowly presented a singular picture of the Sacraments as the only path to living in grace. There certainly is the truth about all this, but we just assume that devotions will somehow to pick up the rest. All awhile not really explaining to our people how this all works in the realm of the practical realities of daily life. Rarely, in our catechetical and homiletic presentations is the word Covenant mentioned. Viewing all this from a spiritual and biblical point of view it seems we need to go back to the experience of the Covenant and seek the elements of the meaning of the New Covenant as the heart of our Christian way of life. A solid balanced spirituality is not just built on praying devotions and prayers that other people have written. These things are good but clearly incomplete. Through and in the New Covenant we need to go to the heart of the matter in the personal experience of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Covenant of the New Creation, and the root of it all is a profound personal experience and relationship with Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

Before this recent pandemic broke into the life of the human community we experienced some concern that so many of our churches were closing or being amalgamated with other worshiping bodies. Our Catholic members who go to church did not seem to realize just how drastic this process is because it happened so gradually. Our Catholic communities in the United States, for the most part, are comprised of older people. I saw a statistic recently, and I hope it is not true, that seventy percent of our youth who have been raised in Catholic families leave the practice of their religion by the age of twenty-seven. I am also very aware that there are many young people who are experiencing a wonderful renewal of their Christian life. Still this pandemic has shut the churches down. Some people have not been to Mass for almost a year, and some have not seemed to have missed it. The lengthy process of this pandemic crisis has many people bewildered! Pope Francis mentioned recently in his new book “Let Us Dream”, the path of a better future, that the human community is going to come out of this extended crisis for the better or worse. We certainly hope for the best!

We find in Hebrews seven that Jesus became the guarantee of a better covenant. He is the mediator of the New Covenant. Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, just as he is the mediator of a better covenant. Jesus tells his disciples that he did not come to set aside the Old Covenant, but he came to fulfill it, and establish a new covenant of power and life. God’s goodness and graciousness is an expression of the Covenant. God is our Father because of the covenant relationship. The messenger of the Covenant whom you desire is like a refiner’s fire and he will purify his sons and daughters. As we are called by a transforming, grace we are called to offer a response of faith and love. Christ instituted the New Covenant in his blood and water which poured forth from his side. He has joined each member of his Body in an everlasting covenant. Therefore, the Church as the New Covenant People of God, and each member is alive and in the union in a covenant relationship with the glorified Christ.

This mysterious union is entitled the Paschal Mystery, a New and Everlasting Covenant, and the action of the Holy Spirit is at work continually in the People of the New Covenant. This mystical covenant between God and his people prepared the way for the new and everlasting Covenant in which the Son of God by becoming Incarnate and giving his life has united to himself in a certain way all humankind saved by him, thus preparing for “the wedding feast of the Lamb”. The entire Christian life becomes the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Christian marriage becomes a beautiful and endearing and efficacious sign, the sacrament of the Covenant of Christ and the Church. The spouses celebrate a true sacrament of the New Covenant.

May We Pray!

Dear Lord, the struggles and trials of Christian marriage at times become hard and challenging. We know you will not abandon us when these trials occur. For we have received the covenant grace of Christian marriage. The vision given to us by the grace of the Sacrament, an everlasting assurance that you will lead and guide us in our vocation within the New Covenant Church community. With this assurance, we pray for a special charism of renewal and refreshment of the espousal grace. When we hunger for a deeper love with you. May this special charism be given to us at times when we desire to pass from a good Christian marriage to a more mystical experience of the Divine union of love. We pray this prayer in the spousal relationship of Mary and Joseph, as we thirst for a deeper union with our God who is Eternal Love. Amen.

 

 

 

Hearing The Shepherds Voice

Hearing The Shepherd's Voice | Have you struggled in your relations with God? Is hearing the Shepherd's Voice too faint? Sometimes in our humility, we believe we are too sinful to ask to be in the presence of the Almighty. In this episode, we explore that the voice of God is a whisper away. #podcast #christianpodcast #hearingGod'svoice #hearingGod #goodshepherdHearing The Shepherd’s Voice – Episode 173

Have you struggled in your relations with God? Is hearing the Shepherd’s Voice too faint? Sometimes in our humility, we believe we are too sinful to ask to be in the presence of the Almighty. In this episode, we explore that the voice of God is a whisper away.

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Is it true that we are not worthy? Yes, and yes. But isn’t it also true that by the death and resurrection Jesus set us free, saved us from our sins, and has welcomed us with open arms to everlasting life with Him? The Scriptures are filled with the invitation from the Almighty to grow closer to Him. Why do we struggle to hear Him? There are too many reasons to list but the biggest is we can’t get past our own sinfulness and believe that God actually wants to speak to us in a personal way.

I’ve spent the bulk of the past several years on this podcast sharing with you all the ways to be open to the voice of God, to understand His love for us is beyond measure, and to explain that He is always waiting for us. But all of these words will fail to convey the depth of His love for us because we do not have words sufficient in the entire world to do it justice.

How can I a mere creature explain God’s love to you? I can’t. Only you can experience it in a personal way but it takes humility and an openness to understand that we hold the key. Yes, God has given us the ability to go to Him or to turn away. We are so busy with the nonsense of this world that we won’t even stop for five minutes a day and just listen. Sure we pray, we talk, we may even witness to others, but do we listen?

So many of us are truly sincere and want to do God’s will, and I do not doubt that for a minute. But, we go on our own steam, using our own wants and needs and prioritizing the “have-to-do list,” first. When you think about it, what is more, important on any list that would supersede time with God? Recently I listened to one of my favorite priests on YouTube, Father Goring. He gives short homilies and teachings and one recently was about hearing the Lord and doing His will. He explained about a man who was healed miraculously and then went to the hospital and prayed for the sick wanting them to explain the same miracle of healing that he experienced. The results were a failure and when the man cried out to God asking why, the Lord answered, “I didn’t ask you to do this.”

In our inexperience, we want to help save the world, but that is not our job. What is our job? For each of it is different, but can you imagine working in any job with any boss and not waiting for instructions before completing our tasks. We’d be fired on the spot. In a sense, our Creator gave us a manual, and it is filled with examples and verses that show time and again that God desires a covenant with man. What is this and how do we achieve this relationship with God? By spending time with the Lord and praising Him, and accepting what happens in our lives. Yes, this is easier said than accomplished, but I for one am blessed to offer you the podcasts on this network as a labor of love. From me to you, as we continue on the road least traveled.

 Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

John 10:11-18 states:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
But what does Jesus do? He lays down his life for the sheep, and why is that? What did we do to deserve this type of unconditional love? Nothing. Not. One. Thing. But, Jesus gives it anyway. The ways of God are not anything we can possibly understand and so it is very often something we justify away. My kids use to say I expected too much every time I asked them, “What would Jesus do?” and the answer was, I don’t know because I can’t be Him.
As Christians, you are given the spirit of the Almighty and it may be deep, buried in your hearts. As a Catholic, I have received the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, and Communion as well as Confirmation, my yes to God to be a soldier in His army, to commit to Him, to accept Him into my life as my Lord and Savior. It is more than just a one-time commitment. It is a daily yes, a waking up and recommitting my life to Him again, and again and again.
The thief on the cross is an example of what is called a Baptism of desire when he asked to be remembered.

Luke 23:39-43One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us! But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom

Hearing God means making a commitment to Him, to repent and sin no more, and to follow His ways. Asking to sin no more takes a grace from God, we can not do it on our own.

When we listen to that prompting in our spirit, a leading that seems to come from nowhere, a push if you will to do something outside of our comfort zone, that may be the Holy Spirit. It is the idea of going right instead of left, the idea of talking to the lady who seems distraught in church and asking if you can pray for her, the idea to give of yourself in some small way for another. When we do what is right and just what is our reward?

Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

How do we hear the Shepherd’s voice? If we are expecting a booming voice that shakes the foundation of our home we may be disappointed. The Lord speaks to us in many ways, and you can ask Him for a word, or a sense of His presence. It is the burning in our hearts that He is present, and an overwhelming sense of peace. A joy that surpasses all understanding, a knowledge that you know that you know that He hears you and is present. Are you welcoming or are you putting up barriers?

  • I’m not good enough.
  • No way do I hear God.
  • He can’t be talking to me.
  • I never hear God.

We have a book of thousands of words that Christ spoke and these are not just for the people of the day they are for you, and for me.  It can be when we are lead to read a particular Scripture verse, or during our time of prayer when we stop and listen. Is the Lord leading you to write something down? It can be when we really want that snack and decide to forgo it and pray for those without. It can be a time when we are lead to pray for someone that keeps coming to mind, it can be reaching out to others outside of our comfort zone and inviting them to church. It can be in praising God daily, it can be in focusing on the positives in our life or it can be in the small success of practicing self-control.

In all of these things, we praise God and ask Him for his help!

Dear Lord, we want to do your will and we want to hear your voice but we need Your help and grace to do this. Please, dear Lord, we want to follow your ways. I repent from any way I have sinned against you and I ask for your mercy and your forgiveness. Thank you for dying for my sins, Lord. Please expand my time and give me the burning desire to spend time with you in silence. Open my ears to hear your voice and help me in my everyday walk with you. I ask for the following needs:  … and I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Presence of God – Special Replay

Presence of God | For a Christian the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling we have faith that God is with us always. How we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode. | #podcast #christianpodcast #christianPresence of God – Special Replay

For a Christian, the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling, we have faith that God is with us always. How do we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode.

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The ascension of our Lord is talked about in the Scriptures and often we don’t give it more than a passing thought. Yes, Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead, yes Jesus ascended into heaven after forty days – yet this was the first time after the birth of Jesus that the presence of our Lord was no longer physically present. His apostles felt what we feel today – we can’t just turn around and say, “Lord, what do we do?”

We have spent our entire life in this way. Each one of us has a different story about how we came to learn about God. Maybe you chanced on listening to this podcast and you don’t really know God or believe if He even exists. Maybe you learned about God from your parents and are not sure He is real enough to you – maybe you believe but still, have many questions.

Each of us didn’t know God at one time of our lives – we all began one day at a time, one Bible story or Scripture verse or someone sharing the God news about God that really loved Him and wanted to share what God had done in their life. Faith is a gift if you have faith never discount it or consider it unimportant – you have faith because God has called you by name. You grow in your faith because you take the time to pray, spend time with God in quiet, read the Bible, go to church, surround yourself with Christian readings, or podcasts. You grow your faith by believing but also by doing something about your belief.

Think about this – our lives even those who are not Christians surround two major Biblical events. Christmas (the birth of Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Christ). Even if the world has tried to secularize these holidays (Winter Break, Spring Break, etc.) we Christians really understand the meaning and significance. Our lives have been impacted by these events and especially the ascension of Christ into heaven.

I’d love for you to Read Acts 1 yourself – especially Acts 1: 1:12

The power of the Holy Spirit was poured on the apostles in order for them to be given the strength to be witnesses at a time that being a Christian was a death sentence – but I love this part when the Angels – two men in white garments questioned the apostles and said, “Why are you looking at the sky?” – in other words, get going you have work to do!

They carried on their mission. Do we carry on our missions in the same way – do we make haste as those in the scriptures do to share the words of everlasting life? They were like us – men and women living their lives, eating, sleeping trying to make the best of things. They had the one advantage over us – they had witnessed Christ in their midst!

Yet, we are just like them in many ways. We have our doubts, our trials, our problems that bog us down daily. But we also have hope and without hope, the human condition is doomed. We have hope for a better tomorrow, hope that everything will work out fine, hope that God is with us today – He is here in this present grace-filled moment to give us encouragement and the blessings to face even our harshest challenges. We are called in our baptism to be the witnesses of Christ’s love and providence. We are in a time that shuns all that is holy – a time where evil is called good and good evil. Now, friends, it is our time to be that light for a hurting world.

Call To Action:

  1. Spend time in prayer and quiet with the Lord.
  2. Seek the Word of God – fill yourself up with the wonderful words of the Bible each and every day.
  3. Ask the Lord how He wants to use you each day. Is there someone lonely that needs a smile or a helping hand? All little things are mighty if they are done with a spirit of love and humility for God.

Some people just look at things as in the “what is in it for me,” and never try to look at how they can bless others. Maybe your burdens are too heavy right now to care for others – but if that is the case, that my friends is how the Lord is using you – to minister to your needs or those of your family. Selfishness is never a right but it can be changed and it happens slowly and with purpose.

Sometimes we get complacent, God doesn’t need me He has so many others so much more capable (friends, this is what goes through my head when I get ready to sit down and podcast). Why am I doing this – I am no one – why me Lord, why me? And, the answer I get is that He asked and I said yes.

What are you saying yes to? Have you prayed and said, Lord how can I help, or are you standing around looking up into the sky and wondering where are you, Lord?

He is here. He is now. This my dear friends is a grace-filled moment… understand it and believe.

Dear Lord, I thank you for all that you did during your time on earth so that your actions, your words, your miracles, and even your death and resurrection could be read about so many years later. I thank you for the gift of faith, for ascending into heaven so that through not only Baptism of water but also of the Holy Spirit we can be filled with the grace to share the good news with others. Dear Lord, I ask you today how you would use me, please Lord help me to understand your will for me and the ways I can let others know more about your goodness and mercy. Dear Lord, I pray for the following intentions … please hear my prayers and help me in the answers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Sign of God’s Love

In this episode, we will explore the idea that God’s love is all around us, and within us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear!Sign of God’s Love – Episode 172

Do Christians act any different than non-believers? If not, how can we see the sign of God’s love in them? We can’t. In this episode, we will explore the idea that God’s love is all around us, and within us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear!

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Being a Christian means giving up something, right? I mean all this sacrifice and for what? A possibility of eternity with God. Who is God and why should I care?

That is what it looks like from the outside, and when we act like just like everyone else in dress, word and deed we can see that professing to be a Christian alone is not enough.

So many times, people look at us as an example and yet the example we show falls short, way short. Our pastor once told us that he was highly offended by off-putting jokes and he would walk away, and sometimes these were told by people he held in high esteem. And we wonder why the churches stand empty. What do you expect when you go into a church? What do we expect from the Almighty God creator of the heavens and the earth?

When we look only for signs and wonders but miss the obvious love of God’s that right in front of us! What is this sign, you may be surprised.

The very fact that you exist is a sign of God’s love. The people God has brought into your life the lifestyle you live … I’m not talking about extravagance here, I’m talking about a warm bed, and food, clean water, and a place to call home. I’m talking about the way that things no matter how horrible at times of our lives seem to work out in the end.

Death and taxes are the two things that we are told we can do nothing about – but the most important of our lives is the thing we neglect the most. We are all searching for love because the Almighty when He created us put this into our hearts. And, where do we seek this love? Sometimes in the wrong places. And the search for love and the sale of love in the sense of movies and books is big money because we are seeking a love that can never quench the fire in our hearts. Something is missing.

The Lord our God has given us the greatest gift and that is deep within us, it is to know, love, and serve God. This is something that every Christian school kid was taught at an early age – and Catholics especially memorized in the Catechism. We were even quizzed on this. How many memorize Bible verses and can quote chapter and verse? But, do you really have and understand that this, this gift is a sign of God’s love?

If we know God, if we trust that His love is never-ending and if we serve the one true God that made heaven and earth, that gave us His only Son in selfless love to take on our sins and die for us so that we might have eternal life and, as if that is not enough… gave us His Holy Spirit so that we could actually feel the love of God – well, then. If we do this, we will live forever in the next world.

We know things about God’s love intellectually. We know there is hope and power in the love of God by the very fact that He gave us His only begotten Son to take our sins and die for us. Not for our neighbor or that sinful person we see on television – no, for us. When we can personalize this love of God we have a new insight into His love for us but still we struggle. And, we look for those signs.

Lord, I need this or that. Lord, can you please? Lord, are you listening?

Is it bad to ask for a sign? Well, we know that the Old Testament is filled with signs of God’s love and His just judgment. And, the same in the New Testament. God showed us in John 10: 31-42 that it was important that we could see in Him the Father’s love because of the works He performed. Let me read the passage: (on the recording)

They had Jesus in the flesh, He was performing the signs of the Father – and they said, sure, yes we see those signs and that is not why we are stoning you… it is because you say you are God. What a contradiction.

The truth is that even if the Almighty comes down from heaven and shows the world signs and wonders for most they will not see it. And…what about us?

How many things have you seen in your life that would be considered miraculous? Have you seen someone healed or perhaps an answered prayer that you never thought would be answered? We’ve heard about atheistic doctors who have witnessed someone dead who has come back to life and while they did not deny it was a miracle, they did deny it was by God.

The only thing that is blocking the love of God and the sign of God’s love in our lives is us. God is waiting with His arms open and we are too busy. So even if there are miraculous happenings all around us we will still not see or appreciate it and call it what it is – God’s love for us!

The truth is we equate the love of God with getting what we want and our prayer is please God I need this or that. But to see the hand of God and His love clearly, the only way is during a time of persecution, and only then can we see it clearly. When we look into the face of evil and we sadly do not have to look far, it is all around us, we will clearly understand that evil is devoid of love.

A pastor said the opposite of evil is not God – God is so much greater than evil. But the opposite of evil is love. Evil is ugly, evil is lies, evil wants to condemn and evil wants to kill. God is beauty (look at the world around us to see the beauty of God), God is truth, and God wants to redeem us and God wants us to live forever.

When we look at salvation history – which is the story of the Bible – the beginning of creation to the end in Revelations, this book shows us that during certain times where there was extreme persecution there was an abundance of signs showing the Almighty hand of the Father.

What was happening during those times? Persecution. Terrible persecution with temples destroyed and those of faith being persecuted and put to death. Sound familiar? Oppression is happening all over the world and we do not see it… and if we do we think we can’t do anything about it.

Well friends, stay tuned. I believe God’s hand will be shown and evil will not triumph of this I am sure. It is like reading the best story ever written and knowing the ending.  Spoiler alert! God wins!

Let’s pray and pray this along with me – it is in the first person, and I want you to think about these words and make them your own!

Almighty God and Father, Creator of heaven and earth, I pray that you give me an infilling of the Holy Spirit. An abundance of your love and grace and joy. I ask you my Father that you fill me to overflowing… I ask that you give me the grace to say yes when all I want to say is no, do not abandon me in my time of need. I ask that you help me to see your love and to give this love to others who are hurting and in need. I ask God that you hear my prayers, and answer these prayers if it is in accordance with your Holy will…. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Blessing of Purification

Blessing of PurificationThe Blessing of Purification ~ Episode 38

Is purification a blessing? Can the blessing of purification happen in our own lives? In this podcast, Father David looks at how we are purified each and every day and the ways that the Lord works in our lives to bring about a change, a renewal and a deepening of our faith.

Check out Father David’s Book!

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

There are plenty other examples which we could site to illustrate the challenge and magnitude of this crisis. Sometimes the last one we look at is the spiritual opportunities, and the divine intervention and possibilities which may be available for us. About a month ago slowly awakening from a fretful sleep I became starkly aware of the Lord’s communication: “my Mercy is in your wounds and hurts.”  I followed in response: “I am a poor man, I have not a thing I give you my heart”. Awake now, my mind went back to the time in my life when, a year after Ordination, I experienced a tremendous conversion and empowerment by God in my life. A huge blessing for sure! And in joy a gift of the Church’s Grace of Renewal

However, that experience happened almost fifty years ago. Many years plus various assignments and commitments have passed. Laying there I started to seek out the meaning and truth of that journey in my life. What stuck out in my mind was this: What was once a powerful grace-filled intense transformation in my life gradually lost its impact, and slowly I experienced a fatigue and weariness in my life and ministry. For sure some of this was a result of naturally aging, and many changes and challenges in the Church and in our current sometimes traumatic society. But in the last 10 years a too frequent change in my assignments, both locations and ministries. and a lack of vibrancy in my commitment to serving God’s People sapped the spiritual energy in my life. These challenges and obstacles surly call me to a deeper repentance. And require a personal generosity in being open to healing and atonement for sin. Reparation and prayer for a Church deeply influenced by “the negative spirit of the world” and unfaithfulness in bringing forth the light and power of the Gospel to its members is also necessary.  It seems that many Catholic Christians need a second installment of the Church’s Grace of Renewal; a second empowerment and impartation even more powerful than the first empowerment that many in the Church received over the last fifty years or so. Has the salt lost it flavor in your spiritual life as well? The present trials and vicissitudes of the current Pandemic may be one of the Lord’s ways of purifying his people to receive a powerful new Divine gift of a second installment of Spirit-filled empowerment and impartation; a Pandemic Blessing for sure!

Three things need to come about and are necessary to give God an open door to bestow a follow up impartation of a new empowerment of grace. Are we hungry for a new refreshing ability of personal transformation, and enthusiasm to continue the mission of building the Kingdom of God on earth? The following are the three requirements:

  • Is this the time and place for the Divine Plan of God to be manifested in a unique manner to meet the desperate situation we experience at this time in the human community, but more importantly in the Church?
  • Are individuals open and hungry to receive such a precious impartation of gifts and grace?
  • What are the structures which may be able to contain and hold such a Divine impartation, and are we willing to sacrifice to provide those entities which would advance God’s powerful work anew on the planet earth and within the Church?

If our response is yes!  Yes God, please pour out you Spirit anew upon our lives and relationships! Then let us boldly storm the heavens humbly with prayer and pleas for a time of impartation and bestowal of God’s powerful gifts and graces.

May We Pray!

Blessed Lord Jesus we recognize that over the last fifty years many things have changed in our society. Moral compromise and loss of faith have reached such a high peak that it has been necessary for your Holy Spirit to bring about a second installment of the full empowerment and renewal of the Holy Spirit in the Church and our society. New forms of neo-pagan religions have infiltrated the very depts of society, also within the Church. We are very grateful for the early experiences of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit given to many after the close of Vatican Council II. However, much more is very necessary to move the Church and each individual more deeply into the necessary repentances and conversion to meet the devils work in souls and to counteract the infusion of the “spirit of the world” which is about the destruction of Christian family life. Come Holy Spirit and re-anoint and refresh your people to embrace the spiritual warfare necessary to defeat the tremendous evils emerging in our world. We pray this prayer in Jesus name! Amen.

Special Replay: Transforming Faith

Transforming FaithTransforming Faith

Do you have a transforming faith? A faith that withstands persecution or a faith that would leave everything behind to follow God? We have many excuses for following God The disciples left everything, family, and home to follow Jesus. In this episode we will discuss following God will transform us.

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Friends, let’s be real here – we are attached to the things of this world, our homes, our sense of security and of course comfort, and every technological toy that helps us in our daily lives. And, why shouldn’t we be attached? We are living in this present age, right? We should have the things we need to survive.

In Matthew 8:20, Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Jesus left home to preach, teach and heal. He was sent by the Father. He called simple men to follow him, and they did. Once the men followed they changed, they learned, they became transformed.

Faith will transform us! We see it in the lives of the disciples, and that God equips those He calls. Did they get it right the first time? No, it was over and over again.

What hits home is when we read that not all those who were called followed. Why?

Some had good reasons – one had to bury his father, one wants to say goodbye to his family, and we know the point being made is that follow Jesus requires total commitment. Like Elisha Jesus’ disciples are called to leave everything behind – even home.

In Luke 9:60 we read – Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

We are asked to leave everything and follow him. The question is can we? The next question to ask is do we follow him in our daily lives?

Friends, when I think about what the disciples went through I am amazed and in awe, but then I remember, again that God equips those He calls.

Luke 10:3 – Jesus sends his disciples “like lambs among wolves.”  Jesus asked the disciples to depend on the kindness of strangers, as they travel without belongings or money. If people did not welcome them they were to dust off your feet their feet –

Luke 10:9-11

 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

So many people think that Christianity means, “what you give up.” No. This is an untruth. Christianity is all-inclusive, it is about redemption, but remember it is about the cross as well. Faith in the power of the cross, the redemptive power of Christ’s crucifixion for our sins – not the sins of our neighbor’s but our sins.

How can you thank someone who died for you? For the sins that you committed yesterday, today and tomorrow? We become new with our Christian faith and it is transforming faith.

The door is open and everyone is able to receive salvation – yet are we willing or do we have excuses. Yes, we can be laborers for the kingdom, this means to our neighbors to our friends to those who have hurt us the most. We forgive as we are forgiven. We are transformed.

Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for today, for all the blessings and for those blessings that are yet to come. I thank you your provision, for keeping us safe, for protecting marriages Lord, for coming against the evil one who wants to harm us and to break up marriages. I thank you for all the things you have done that I do not know about…and Lord I ask that you give me transforming faith, the faith that allows me to leave behind the old creation and become a new creation in Christ. Dear Lord, I ask for the following prayers … please, Lord, I ask that you help those I pray for that you help me and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Victory Over Sin

Victory Over Sin | There is victory over sin and in this episode we will talk about the true victory that comes from a relationship with Christ! | #podcast #christianpodcast #victoryoversin #sin #victoryVictory over Sin Episode 171

There is victory over sin and in this episode we will talk about the true victory that comes from a relationship with Christ!

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Why do we have trouble with certain sins in our lives? Most people look at their lives and compare them to others, and think – hey, I’m doing pretty good! But we all struggle from those little sins that can be insurmountable. What are they? The most common are gossip, envy, pride, lies, anger, unforgiveness, and lust.

Sometimes that sin seems like an insurmountable mountain and we can’t see the victory that is just over the summit on the other side. Usually, the sin that gets us is those pesky little ones like gossip. I remember a time in my life where I really enjoyed gossip. It was fun to hear details of other people’s lives, especially in high school. I realized at some point when I heard something repeated about me, that this was a sin. It was out of the blue – I wasn’t in prayer or on my knees. I don’t even remember the exact situation, I just knew that it was a sin. And I wanted no part of it. To this day I detest gossip. That is not to say that I never participate in gossip – I’m not perfect, but I seriously avoid it.

 

The same thing with drama – I can not handle drama and over-the-top situations that leave me feeling upset and angry. There are only so many things we can control and someone else drama is not one of them.

Friends there are only so many days in our lives and our days are numbered. Only God knows the time yet if we waste our time on the frivolous and believe me those little things soon become a mountain we are talking our eyes off of God and wasting them on the ridiculous.

There is nothing in you life that can not be conquered by the Almighty and our trust must be in Him – He is victorious! He is the king of King and Lord of Lords and There is victory in Jesus and over sin and we know the battle has been won.

Victory Over Sin The Battle Has Been Won

Colossians 2:15 “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

  • Did God defeat the evil one? Yes and Amen.
  • Did God rise like he said he would on the 3rd day – Yes and Amen.
  • Did God send us His Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives? Yes and Amen.

We are heading toward the goal and the prize, and that will be our time in the glory of heaven.

You know, today I was thinking that we hold on to this world so tightly – and believe me, I’m not ready to leave yet… but the thought came that we hold on so tightly and if we knew, just had a tiny inkling of what heaven would be like we would be begging God to take us.

Thessalonians 4:13-15.  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep [a]in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive [b]and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life – we must be focused now on the end, and the journey that is the hard knocks of life are the things that are the obstacles that later we will consider trivial. When we have overcome sin we look at it and are amazed that it even had a hold on us – and we know that we can be victorious in Christ.

The best things in life are those that are the most difficult at times to overcome. Christianity is not for the faint-hearted. But the problem is that we think we have to do the heavy lifting when we don’t — it has been done for us!  Let’s remember this as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ each Sunday and remember it each day – may God be blessed!

Let’s pray – Oh Lord by your cross you gave us an example of what we may need to overcome in our lives. Give us victory over sin, help us to truly see sin for what it is the temptation by the evil one – help us to renew our covenant with you my God and see in you the wonders of the glory of your Name. And I pray for these specific needs … and I praise you and thank you, In Jesus Name I pray. Amen

Absolute Moral Principles

Absolute Moral Principles | What are the absolute moral principles that Christians especially Catholics must believe? In this episode, Father David explains the five clearly without any doubt or confusion. While some want to push falsehoods, there is a big difference in what we must believe. #christianpodcast #podcast #MoralPrinciples #Christianmorality #christianmorals #morals #Christianity #Christians #CatholicAbsolute Moral Principles Episode 37

What are the absolute moral principles that Christians especially Catholics must believe? In this episode, Father David explains the five clearly without any doubt or confusion. While some want to push falsehoods, there is a big difference in what we must believe.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

Since Biden has been elected the Christians, especially Catholics may be confused. It has been no secret that his administration leaders would be chosen to reflect President Biden, who is a Catholic, socially progressive philosophies and attitudes towards moral behavior in American life. This matter is important for Catholic Christians because he has not always supported authentic Catholic moral teaching, especially in the recent past. For example, his clear and public endorsement of Planned Parenthood in the recent election campaign.

Therefore, at this time in our society, it may be helpful to examine what really is the moral teaching of the Catholic Church in relationship to certain non-negotiable absolute moral principles that pertain to the sacredness of human life. For the sake of our reflection and discussion, we can identify five non-negotiable absolute moral principles from the Catholic point of view. They are as follows: abortion, euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage. Always and everywhere the belief and practice of any one of the five is objectively a serious grave moral evil.

Over the last one hundred and fifty years in Christian churches in American society, there has been a history of gradual moral comprise, especially in the moral practices of infanticide (abortion), contraception, and homosexual marriage. Little by little each of these moral issues were gradually allowed. As society became more secular humanistic, it evolved into a total acceptance of these moral issues as completely allowed in modern civilization which has come of age. For example, one of President Biden’s appointments to a cabinet post is an individual who publicly identifies himself as a partner in a homosexual marriage, whose husband supports his appointment.

In the second part of this Podcast, we will look briefly at the above five non-negotiable moral issues to present the Catholic Church’s teaching about these challenging principles. To begin with, we will not be considering moral culpability or specific judgment on any individual. We will simply restate what the Catholic Church holds about these moral issues. Abortion is a grave moral evil contrary to the natural law. The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual from the moment of conception to natural death is held by the Church and has not changed. Any state approving abortion is denying the equality of every human individual. Just recently the law in the United States is permitting abortion clear up to full term. This is one of our Nations greatest evils, if not the greatest. Abortion is the practice of child sacrifice! The next absolute moral evil is Euthanasia, which consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, elderly, the sick, or dying persons. It is a grave moral evil. The present form of Euthanasia which is practiced in the United States at the present time is physician-assisted suicide. Some of the States laws in this regard are weak, and thus in some places, it is being practiced at the present time. Denying the truth that it is God who remains the sovereign Master of all life.

We will treat Embryonic stem cell research together with Cloning human beings because they are related by the fact that they are both a part of the stem cell development process. The Catholic Church supports ethically acceptable and responsible stem cell research. What the Church opposes is deliberately destroying innocent human life at any stage for research or any other purpose. It opposes embryonic stem cell research. Stem cells are cells that develop very early in the human embryo after fertilization. The Church opposes any research that exploits or destroys the human embryo. It opposes destroying some human lives now, on the pretext that this may possibly help or save other lives in the future. In the case of embryonic stem cell research, it is impossible to remain true to moral principles and at the same time destroy potential human life in the process. To obtain embryonic stem cells, the early embryo is destroyed. This means destroying a potential human life.

In cloning human beings, to achieve the necessary stem cells the embryo has to be destroyed. The Church’s document on Christian views of cloning, entitled Declaration on the Production, the Scientific, and the Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells; all three approaches of proposed solutions are morally unacceptable.

The Church teaches that from the moment of conception begins the development of a human being; therefore, the embryo cannot be considered just another clump of cells. As an individual, it has a right to its own life. And any negative action no matter for what purpose is a moral violation of an individual’s right to life. Any intentional damage to the embryo is a grave immoral action. No end believed to be good can justify an intervention to the embryo that destroys its life. A good end does not make right an action which itself is wrong. A human being is to be respected and treasured as a person from the moment of conception to the finality of natural death.

In the issue of human cloning: it is morally erroneous and unacceptable for anyone to engage in this process for the creation of human beings. It is morally unacceptable to develop a cloned embryo and then destroy it in order to produce a new cell structure moving towards the development of a human being. Because this process violates the sacredness and dignity of a God-willed and man-made human being. It consists of grave moral evil. In conclusion, it is not hard to see the serious gravity of the ethical problem posed by embryonic development and the attempts to clone other human beings. Where this has been attempted in the animal world serious and devastating problems have arisen. Some of the animals have developed major disproportions of structure, size, and organs. This process has made some extremely susceptible to viral depletions and vulnerable diseases.

The last topic for consideration is a huge hot button issue in our contemporary society, namely “Same-Sex Marriage”. First, may we say that the Church has a deep commitment to human dignity and the equality of all human persons. Why then is Same-sex Marriage disallowed in Catholic teaching? In Gaudium et Spes, the Council maintains that childless marriages are still truly marriages. The United States Catholic Bishops reflecting on this teaching state that the rightness of male-female marriage is demonstrated in the possibility of reproduction, maintain that there are also “personal and spiritual dimensions” revealed by that espousal union that are equally essential. There are deeply personal, social, and affective aspects of masculinity and femininity that are seen in males and females. Each person is complete in himself or herself, yet there is a complimentary and the communion of persons that is essential for marriage. This genuine complementary is impossible for same-sex couples.

The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex (gay and lesbian) marriages are not possible. Even though the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex ‘marriage’ is legal. The Catholic Church does not accept this court ruling. The reason why is that the Church believes and accepts that Marriage is, was, and always will be the union of one man and one woman, in a permanent, faithful, and fruitful union. God is the author of marriage, not man and not society or the government. Marriage is a sign of a covenant between God and his people, between Christ and His Bride, the Church. Men and women complement one another, emotionally and anatomically. Adoption and artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, or surrogate parenthood, are not viable means to render a relationship capable of married fecundity and espousal communion.

Homosexual unions contradict nature. They imitate but do not complement and that is key. The Church holds that same-sex inclination is objectively disordered. (the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2358). There may be no culpability if there is no activity but the orientation itself is irregular. That does not mean that persons with a homosexual orientation cannot be outstanding citizens or saintly persons.

Every human being regardless of orientation is called to live a life of personal holiness. While the inclination is disordered, only the activity itself is sinful. Homosexual acts as well as heterosexual acts outside and/or before marriage are all sinful and immoral. Only sex between a husband and wife is morally permitted. Deliberate and willful impure thoughts are also wrong as they lead the will into an area where the person because of their current state in life should not go and stay far away. The family is the foundation of the church and the state. Civilization is built upon it. Family is also rooted in the marriage of one man and one woman, committed to a permanent, faithful, and fruitful union. Same-sex unions are not marriage and can never replace it, they can only imitate it.

  1. In this regard, the ruling of the Supreme Court is nothing more than a travesty. A court cannot change Natural Law nor can it change God’s Law, nor can it change the nature of marriage, no matter how many judges rule in favor of the change.
  2. making homosexual marriage a moral reality by legal decision is the same as deciding that the Law of Gravity is unconstitutional. The words may be changed, and people may fool themselves, but the reality of marriage remains the same, just as the law of gravity exists.
  3. In this country we have been participants in moral compromise for a long time. We should not allow ourselves or others to confuse and deceive us into accepting same-sex unions as marriage.
  4. It is a revealed principle that the Good God bestows on us all the grace we need to know and practice his will and truth in our lives. We all should beech him for the wonderful light of grace and the consequent actions of truth to guide and confirm his love and will in our understanding, guidance, and choices we make to live and act in his truth.

(Much of this teaching has been taken from an article by Fr. John Trigilio, Ph.D., ThD. In Catholic Action.)

May We Pray

God our beloved Father we are so thankful for all the gracious goodness you have bestowed on those who love you. We thank you for the unique way in which you created human beings in your image and likeness. Above all, we thank you for becoming man in the person of your beloved Son Jesus Christ. In these confusing and unfaithful times in our society, we stand firm rejoicing in your revealed truth, giving light and wisdom to your Church holding to the Revelation of scripture and the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church. We so desire to be faithful to you and the teaching of your Son, Jesus. Fill us even more with the power and light of the Holy Spirit in whom we continue to seek and live in the Truth. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Special Replay – Fearless Faith Journey

How do we have a fearless faith journey when our lives are fearful and full of confusion? In this episode, we will discuss how our journey...Fearless Faith Journey

How do we have a fearless faith journey when our lives are fearful and full of confusion? In this episode, we will discuss how our journey should be one with hope instead of fear, and we should not be afraid.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Our fearless faith journey looks different depending on where we are in our lives. If we are young, our journey has just started and as we age we are wiser (I call wisdom learning from our past mistakes and making an oath not to do them again!) And, in the sense we now see this journey with a rearview mirror and some of us like what we see and the others want to forget. There are some things that keep us pinned down unable to move forward in our faith journey. These things are:

  1. Fear
  2. Regret
  3. Paralysis

Many people base their feelings on emotion and what is happening in their relationships but if our relationship with the Lord is on a solid ground out a relationship with our loved ones, our friends will all fall into place. (Podcast on Relationship with Christ here)

Life is a journey and so is our faith. We plan for our lives, our retirement our vacations. We plan for futures but we don’t look at our faith the same way. For some, it is a one-time acceptance. I’ve accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior, I have repented of my sins and I promise to sin no more, Amen. And that is it – then they live their lives as if they don’t have a care in the world and no outward sign to others of what they have been given. A gift of eternal life. How can we not want to shout it from the rooftops? “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!” This is a precious gift that some have accepted on their life journey and they don’t ever tell anyone about it!

We begin as baby Christians on a path where we don’t really know what we are doing or what is expected of us. Many think that Christianity is a list of what we need to give up! In fact, the list is more extensive the more someone has lived. God doesn’t say, don’t have fun and live your life in sackcloth and contemplation of your past sins. No, Jesus has died for our sins and all we need to do is release them.

Fearless Faith Journey

Faith is freeing and sin bogs us down, it gives us anxiety it makes us feel horrible. We are built with a conscience whether you like it or not. Let’s say you steal and you are not caught, how does that make you feel? If you have a well-formed conscience you will feel horrible. Picture this, a clear glass that is brilliant and multi-faceted. The light that is pure can flow through the glass and in the glass. Now put the glass in a pit of mud, and what do we have … we have glass that is dirty and the light filters through there and there but mostly is blocked from entering. That is the state of our souls when we sin and have an absence of God – and for many of us, we don’t even see it. Lying. Gossip. Anger. Self-Righteousness. Stealing. Killing. and so forth.

When we see rioting or looting we think, “How can people do this?” We see evil for evil. We see good for good. Others may not see this as clearly or if they do, they chose evil.

Our faith journey has ups and downs but that happens when we forget that Jesus is Lord and God reigns. We forget and we become sad or despondent. We take the cross of illness, anxiety, stress, and allow it to bog us down to the point that we are indeed paralyzed and fearful. The question is how do we get past these roadblocks in life?

Write them down. Right now. Stop this audio and write down what is preventing you from your travels, your personal life journey. What are you holding on to? What can you not let go of? What fear is overwhelming you? What is the issue in your life that has no solution? Our fearless faith journey begins with these five point:

  1. Remember that we have been redeemed by the Lord ~ Revelations 5:11

    11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

    2. Jesus has already died and paid the price for our sins – do you believe, truly? If so, why are you fearful?

    3. God the Son, the eternal word became flesh and dwelt among us in order to share in our life in all things except sin. Have you given your life to Christ and invite Him to walk alongside you?

    4. Every issue in life has a solution, but sometimes the answer is not we want.

    5. Our hope is in the Lord and in no other.

    Recently I heard a sermon and it was beautiful in that the Priest reminded us that our hope is in Christ he talked about praying and I felt that sometimes when we pray we can use different words. We can learn so much from the Scriptures – what did Martha and Mary say to the Lord when their brother Lazurus was sick? “Lord, the one that you love is sick.” Take those words and apply them to your own prayers – Lord the one that you love is fearful, Lord the one that you love is worried, unemployed, hurt by the words of someone they love…” We can use these words as we pray and the needs in our life and the needs of others.

Our journey in life should be joyous and fulfilling. It should be rich with the knowledge that we are not going it alone. Who do you have in your life? Even though I can not see you I know that you are listening and I have so many of you in my life, I pray for you and you pray for me. It is a journey we are talking together. This journey of life is not lonely if we have the Lord. It is full of richness and love, a love that flows our of us and can’t help but spill onto others.

I pray that your journey begins to improve that those uphill battles begin to even out, that those dips in the road become filled with the sweetness and joy that comes from knowing that God has not forsaken you, and He is right there alongside you – only if you have asked Him to come into your heart and onto the road of life.

Let’s pray:
Dear God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – thank you for filling me with joy as I teach today’s session and I ask that you allow this joy to filter through the airwaves to those who are listening. Give them a sense of you alongside them on this journey of life, allow them to see your hand in their lives and be thankful. Dear Lord help us and come with us as we continue on toward the journey of life and our faith journey. Allow it to become deeper and deeper with more of you and less of us. I pray for the following intentions: And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Faith Tested By Fire

Faith Tested By Fire | We all want faith, but our faith must be tested. Faith tested by fire withstands as we have seen through the many examples of the goldy mean and women who have gone before us. In this episode, Felice discusses that trials do make us stronger and what we should pray instead of, "Lord take this cross away." | #podcast #Christianpodcast #Christian #fithtested #faithFaith Tested By Fire Episode 170

We all want faith, but our faith must be tested. Faith tested by fire withstands as we have seen through the many examples of the goldy mean and women who have gone before us. In this episode, Felice discusses that trials do make us stronger and what we should pray instead of, “Lord take this cross away.”

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

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Faith is not faith until it is tested. 1 Corinthians 13:12
I head a sermon this weekend that changed the course of today’s podcast. I wanted to talk about faith as we are in a season of our Lenten journey as I record this we are walking toward the time of celebration and Easter, but most of us do not feel like celebrating because we can’t help to focus on the day to day goings on in our world. We have faith, and yet for many, our faith withstands but by the grace of God. It is often tested and we are in a sense of working within the will of God. It is amazing to think that faith well freely given is something we have to work through. For anything worthwhile in this life takes work. Jesus reminded us that faith is not faith until it is tested. Jesus reminded his apostles of A time when he would be sacrificed for us the disciples did not want to hear this and Jesus this response was frightening to us get behind me Satan. Why is this? Because the enemy does not want us to have faith because true faith cannot be broken.
I think one of the things that really has an impact on me the most is when I think about the disciples who walked with our Lord, who experienced the miracles of Jesus, who saw in him neon The Almighty. And yet during the time of his passion, they deserted him! If those who had experience Jesus fully did not know God, how can we? The only way is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Unless God opens in aluminates our minds we cannot experience true faith. We are tested every day there are obstacles in our life there are tragedies in our life we have disappointments in our life and we often ask where is God?
But what we always see in the Scriptures is that God transforms evil into God. Even in the worst evil, we can see the greater good. Jesus talks about refining us just as the finest gold must be fired so that the impurities can be taken out. – Zechariah 13:9
1 Corinthians 15 reminds us without the cross and crucifixion there could be no resurrection. Verse 50-52 states… 
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
I think one of the greatest things that we as Christians have the help of the Almighty and the Hope that is in Christ, and without hope we would be despondent. If we know that God and only in Him and His infinite wisdom and mercy knows what is best for us–and remember, He knows every hair on our head … if this is that same God then, of course, we have the confidence to believe that He knows what we need in our lives. We think we know better. We don’t.
I often find myself in situations that are of my own doing. I often find myself saying yes before really thinking things through and when things fall apart, I always wonder, Where is God? But God hasn’t left, He is at the same address, he is there waiting for me, expecting me to go to him in prayer, and truthfully maybe I did, but I’m not even sure.
And, in the quiet, in the silence of our heart, we hear Him and He says, “Did you?” No condemnation just a simple question. That dear friend only we can answer ourselves. Today our focus as our faith is tested by fire is that instead of asking that our cross be removed, we what our Lord for the grace to face the difficulties in our lives so that we too may be winners and survive the trial. We should pray that while we believe in faith that God is there and always hears our prayers, that we pray that we can feel the hand of Almighty God around us, holding us up when we are too weak to do it on our own. In this way, our faith will be purified through trial and fire but God, while allowing these tests also allows us to have a deeper understanding of faith!
Let’s pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I think you and I ask my God did you send me the tools I need to withstand the evil one that you help me in my every day to focus on you on the greater good and eternity instead of the here and now. I know God you are here and today not asking my God to be with me in every step on me to shine a light before me so I know which steps to take. And I ask for a blessing on the following people that I pray for in my life and I pray this in Jesus precious name amen!

A Few Minutes with God – Special Replay: Asking God

Ask God | Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way. | #podcast #christianpodcast #askGodAsking God – Episode 107

Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

So many times we begin the day with our to-do list running in our heads and frantic with all the things we need to do each day. I found myself in this mess in the not too distant past and I finally had to reevaluate my life as I found myself unintentionally clenching the insides of my mouth as I silently stressed over things I could not avoid and had no control over.

As a Christian, I carried on the guilt that I was not living up to the ideal. All Christians are happy they walk with inspiration from the Lord and have a ready smile for all they meet. Sure, that was me on occasion but more times than not I hid behind the discontent. I was frankly too busy.

Well fast-forward to today and I am still extremely busy but guess what, I’ve learned from my past mistakes the biggest one? I forgot to ask God.

  1. I forgot to ask God if I should take then next big project.
  2. I forgot to ask God if I should implement the “great idea” I had about work.
  3. I forgot to ask God about the little things as well as the bigger things.

Friends, you have often heard me say, “Pray about this, or pray about that…” and now I am reminding me and you that this is necessary!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned James 4:3 before, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Or James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We all know talkers, and I am one of those, but if we don’t do what we recommend then we are as bad as those who do not believe. Many people want to say that faith is a one time commitment to the Lord and a one time decision, and to some extent it is, but if we do not walk in faith or do the good works that the Lord has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10 -For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.) then we are talking the walk and not walking the talk.

James 4:7-8 is another wonderful example of asking God.

Friends, study James there is so much wisdom in that book as well as all the books in Scripture – it is not only for teaching but for blessing us and bringing the Christian faith to us in a very real way.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, please remind us daily to ask you for our daily bread, our daily needs and to test all things first through you. Dear Lord, we humbly come before you and ask that you use each one of us as you have called us to be lovers of the word and to increase our faith each day. Pour out your blessings upon us and upon those who we now pray … I praise you Jesus for every great thing and I pray this in your blessed Name, Amen!

 

Kindness With Words

Kindness | How do we speak with kindness? How do we use our words to bless others instead of joining in heated conversations that can only hurt? In this episode, we will discuss using the beautiful gift of communication to uplift others. | #podcast #christianpodcast #kindness #kindnesswithwords #kindnesswithactions Kindness with Words and Actions ~ Episode 169

How do we speak with kindness? How do we use our words to bless others instead of joining in heated conversations that can only hurt? In this episode, we will discuss using the beautiful gift of communication to uplift others.

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Can we show others kindness with our words and dare I say our actions – can look at you and say, wow, that person must be a Christian because of the way they act? In this episode, we are going to talk about how the world really, really needs our Christian example, because friends our world is hurting right now.

No matter where we are in history our world has always been hurting and it will remain hurting and why is this because we are in a state of sin when we are in a state of sin we are going to mess up and they were going to be problems and not to mention all of the things that are happening in our world that are out of our control. How do we deal with ourselves and how do we deal with those who have opposing views especially the views that are going to affect our everyday lives.

As Christians shouldn’t be an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth? Should we call them out on Judeo Christian principles question? Should we look at this world and be disciples of Christ? First, we can’t call people out in a way that would be displeasing to the Lord. Remember the old saying which is still a current saying, what would Jesus do? While the Lord is loving and forgiving and has mercy beyond measure, the same is not true for us: Read Mark 8: 36.

Tips:

  1. Do not react quickly. Wait for a leading from the Lord.
  2. Ask God what to do whether to respond or not.

Even if I can win the argument With words, my Christianity was not really showing. And above all, we want to focus on ourselves on our families and our Christian example which brings me to verse 5:22 in Galatians.

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirt is love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness, goodness, faithfulness –

Was I showing that with showing love to my brothers and sisters was I helping them to have joy and peace without being patient and kind did I show goodness and faithfulness sadly the answer is no. So I decided that I would just pray specifically for situations that the Lord would put in my path and then I would answer those and I would take a deep breath and say Lord help me or some quick prayer and go forth and do whatever it is I wanted to say or do. We must stand up for truth but we must do it with kindness we must be examples of God‘s love and God‘s mercy

Proverbs 21:21 – Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

I want that for me I want that for you. What is it going to profit me to win an argument and lose a friend?

My job is to show the love of Christ my job is to raise my family to love the Lord my job is to walk in righteousness my job is to lend a hand to a friend my job is to be uplifting think about this when you talk to your husband when you talk to your kids when you talk to your grandchildren when you talk to your friends do you lift them up? Or, to do you praise them do you find something that is good do you encourage them do you love them? We love conditionally we love and we look at things and say what’s in it for me.

Unfortunately, we live in a narcissistic society we live in a place where people only look at themselves and what they can gain out of things instead of what is right and true and just. We look at our media and we see that fear and discourse are being sowed so would we do the opposite.

In a sense, we let go and we let God. It is ultimately up to Almighty God to make the right wrong. Do we still stand up for ourselves of course do we still protect our integrity absolutely do we still pushed back if we are unjustly accused of course we do but that doesn’t mean we do it with harsh words or in a way that would be displeasing to our Lord.

Friends, ultimately we need to be kind and loving not only with our words but with our actions as well we need to show the love of Christ our world needs us it is hurting it is crying out and it doesn’t know where to turn. We will help them why are examples and point them upward to Almighty God who IS ALL love, joy all kindness, and every good thing that is lacking on earth is fulfilled by his love.

Let’s pray. Almighty and just judge our Lord Jesus Christ I praise you and I thank you and I ask you, Lord, for that gift of discernment to know when I should speak and when I should stay silent, I pray for that gift of knowledge Lord to know what to say when you call me to speak I pray for those who are hurting for those who do not know you for those who are seeking but do not know what they are seeking for and I pray that by my example by my walk by my words I will leave them to you my God and I pray for the following intentions…

Job 6:14 – He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty

 

 

Jesus Calls

Jesus Calls Us To Transformation | In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! | #podcast #christianpodcastSpecial Replay: Jesus Calls Us To Change — Transformation In Christ

In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! I’ve done another podcast on Christian Transformation, and the link for that is here. However, in this podcast, I want to think about the charge, the call to action in the Beatitudes. In the different books of the Bible, the author had a specific inspired message by the Holy Spirit directed to the children of God. As Christians with access to the entire text, we see that there is a difference between Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and Matthew’s version. In Luke’s, it is not the poor in spirit who inherit the kingdom of God, but the actual poor. It is not those who hunger for righteousness who will be satisfied but those who are actually hungry. And it goes on to the rich. Not only is there an admonishment to the rich but the words, “Woe to you who are rich…woe to you who are filled now.” (Luke 6:24-25)

Jesus Calls Us To Change

I want to read both versions, the Beatitudes in Luke and in Matthew. Here you will hear how Jesus calls us to change. Allow the words to touch you and focus on what the Lord wants you to do about it. Let me just say that as a young and immature Christian I looked at the Beatitudes and said – okay, well there is no chance for me to even get into heaven because there were verses like Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven… I didn’t feel that I was poor in spirit, I didn’t understand what this meant. Friends,  pray to the Holy Spirit – like I will before I read these to you that you will be blessed to understand what the Lord wants you to understand.

Dear Lord, I praise you and thank you and I ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit that you can help us to discern your calling and your will in our lives.

Matthew 5:1-11

Luke’s version 6: 17-49

The requirements of the kingdom of God is different than those that we look at in our current world, our society, even our homes. It is a call to change. To become a new creation. In Baptism we are made new, our sins are washed away by the cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit, but we also die with Christ. In the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we receive the promises…the promise of eternal life for those who believe.

Jeremiah 17:8

We can be assured that we are transformed in Christ by the power of His being – we are believers and as believers in the Word of God that is infallible, we know without a doubt that we are on the path that leads to heaven because we believe.

Believing has its own set of requirements and not to get denominational here – but know that just believing is not enough. No, you can’t earn your way to heaven but we are called to disciple others to share the good news. If we as believers keep our thoughts to ourselves we will continue to have a world that is sharply divided where good is called evil and evil is called good.

Let’s look at the right of an infant to get help after birth if it was due to a failed abortion – that was ruled against recently by our government. We the people need to stand up and take note of every person who voted against affirming the right to live. Friends this is satanic worship – it is worshiping the god of death and destruction. This is a sacrifice a human sacrifice to evil. Please pray for our world, pray for yourselves and pray that you are transformed by Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit to minister to a hurting world.

Jesus Calls Us

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord Jesus we live in a time that breaks my heart, a time when good is not revered when life, as we know it, has changed for the worse. Please Lord, help us, fill us with your Holy Spirit – help us to do what is right and live a life that gives glory to you every single day. We do not want to do anything Lord but we need your help and direction. Thank you for all you have given us, thank you once again for the gift of faith. I ask for the gift of discernment and I ask that you fill me with the ability to share the good news of the gospel with others. Bring me people that I can minister to, Lord. I pray specifically for the following intentions…

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing my prayers and for answering them, and I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen!

 

Stress and God

God & Stress | What happens to stress when we let God in? Well, when we stress there are so many things that happen, and sadly none of them are helpful to our mental or physical help or our lives.| #podcast #christianpodcast #stress #Christian #helpforstressStress and God Episode 168

Stress and God are not compatible. When we stress there are so many things that happen, and sadly none of them are helpful to our mental or physical health. In this episode, I discuss the root cause of stress and how you can make changes for the better in your lives, with little steps.

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

Why do Christians have stress when they believe in the Almighty and that His hand is on the universe? There are so many reasons for this and while I can give you all the platitudes, it’s okay and God’s got this, for many of us it falls on deaf ears. Why do we worry? Why do we care? Does worry help you? Does worry make things better? Does complaining?

I love Luke 12:22-31 – here is the first admonishment from the Lord…

For life is more than food and body more than clothing… of course, we must provide for our families but often we get caught up in the external to the detriment of the internal. Where is your heart? Where do you store your treasures? Is it in the things of this world? I have to admit that I don’t like the way our world is headed and for me and my house we will serve the Lord, but unless I put my faith into action, it is only words. We must love others and focus on our own families before we try to fix the world. Everything sadly does not have a solution.

God has His hands around us and we know it and we need to make that connection between our minds and our will. We let our minds take control, we let our fears run rampant and we worry about the future. How can we change our fear into praise? It is easier than you think, make a decision where you are fearful to chose God, and here is a brief plan on how to do this.

First, we have control over our minds, we can allow garbage in watching videos that put us on edge and rob us of our peace. Do you know what I mean? We can allow this information into our minds and therefore it tends to put us on edge. Just as we turn things on we can turn things off, and it is time to turn off the stress. Quit watching the news, quit watching those videos, and work on your relationship with the Almighty God.

Do we trust God or not? Maybe this is a time of chastisement, maybe this is a time when everything we hoped for will not happen, and maybe it is a time of new beginnings. Sometimes things have to burn to the ground in order for new growth to occur. And this is a time to pray. We as Christian people have been comfortable with one foot in both the secular and the other in the spiritual world. The word of God never changes, but the other is fraught with uncertainty and change. And, when our foundation is shaken we fall in a heap of despair. But our God is God of the Universe and in His permissive will, for the benefit of our eternal soul He allows our lives to hit those bumps and what does that do? It makes us open our eyes and see that only our eternal souls are what is important.

Relationships come and go. Money comes and goes. But our Lord, He loves us no matter what, and no matter how much or how little time we give to Him. Where is our hope? Our hope is in Christ. I pray that you continue to put your hope in Christ, delve into the word and pray. Yes, cry out the heavens, for our world is desperately in need of a revival.

Let’s pray.

Dear Jesus you know our hearts, you know how terrible the world is right now, and like the cry of the people in times past, we cry out to you! Your will Lord, Your will… please let me see your hand in my life, in those little and big things. Give me discernment in what I should look at and what I should spend my time and focus on, and all the rest let it fall to the wayside. I love you Lord and I ask a blessing and protection on my family and those needs I pray for now… And, I offer this up to you, Almighty God, Amen.

Clear Choice

Clear Choice | The clear choice is obvious for a Christian who is faced with obstacles, debates, and sadness that threatens to push us into depression. What can we do? The choice is clear. Listen to this episode of A Few Minutes with God. | #podcast #christianpodcast #clearchoiceforchristians #christians #christianpodcast #christianityClear Choice For Christians Episode 167

The clear choice is obvious for a Christian who is faced with obstacles, debates, and sadness that threatens to push us into depression. What can we do? The choice is clear. Listen to this episode of A Few Minutes with God.

For immediate download: A Few Minutes with God plus study guide

Truth Seekers Mystery Series – Entire Set and Study Guides

One More Child: Book

The noise is deafening all around us. There is an upheaval that is unparalleled in my lifetime and people are asking, “What is happening to our world?” The short answer is when you take God out of the schools and you secularize life, you end up with godless people who are easily swayed by thoughts of free money and government handouts. The long answer is that it is way more complex.

A familiar scripture is, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” And the clear choice is to follow Him and to imitate Him. How do we do this? There has always been and will always be until the end of time a conflict between good and bad, right and wrong, evil and righteousness. When things seem unfair we can look to the cross and see the ultimate injustice upon a sinless redeemer.

The end of the story is that God wins. All the time. And that is our hope and where our salvation rests. We see the hand of the Lord in every day in our lives. In the beautiful weather, or after a rainstorm when we see the glorious rainbow. Or where I live we see those beautiful sunsets.

What is robbing you of your peace? Think about this and jot down those things that make you anxious or angry.

Here is a quick list:

  1. The news. Social media. Turn it off.
  2. The latest text, or email. Wait to answer it. Set times when you do this and keep to schedule.
  3. Lack of time in prayer with the Lord. Prayer works. I promise.

In real life, it isn’t practical to believe we can be peaceful twenty-four-seven, yet when we are stressed we should be able to take a deep breath and regroup. In the night if I wake up I begin praising God, simply saying, “I praise you and I thank you, Lord God. Jesus I trust in you.” Or something similar to this and it calms me and soon I am back to sleep.

The level of anger and helplessness felt in the lives of many the past few months has been overwhelming. This past year in fact has been one for the history books. And so many have fallen prey to depression and anxiety. In fact, for a time I personally pulled away from social media and all news, except for short recaps on a news outlet I follow online. With so much disinformation — a word we barely used a few years ago, who knows what to believe. And it is best to continue on with my work and to focus on what is important in my own life.

We see family members at odds. Friends at odds. And it seems to only get worse every day. Who profits from this anger? No one. In fact, my next podcast is on that very subject. How to talk to people who are at odds in a way that is befitting a Christian! Kindness with Words.

As a Christian, the choice I make every day is very clear. I chose Christ. But for those who are lost who do they choose? I meet people on occasion that are confused, sad, and frankly, scared. They are worried about what is happening in our world. And the news sensationalizes it all to keep us in a state of fear and panic so we are glued to the screen to see the next latest greatest word. Believe me, I’ve been there. But now. I chose God. I chose peace. I chose joy. As I write this it is a new year and the calendar has turned. Our life is a choice, our free will is in force and our free will is a gift that is given to us, that no one can take away.

But what does that mean, “chose God?” My definition is very simple. It means to allow God to work in our life by giving Him our will and asking for His. About ten episodes or so ago I titled a podcast, “Knowing God’s Will,” Which even by my own admission is a very bold statement. The way to know God’s will is to give God our own, and in doing so we will know if we listen to our conscience the right path to take. Do we go left? Or do we go right? Or do we stay right where we are?

Perhaps things of this world can be taken away. But our faith can never be taken away. Mark 8:36 states “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The things of this world remain behind when we die. We should not put our faith in things, in man, but in the Almighty because only the Almighty God will not let us down.

Maybe you do have faith but it has been shaken lately. Remember what I said about choices? Habits are formed by doing the same thing over and over again, and if we make a decision to chose God, daily (it is a daily choice), this will become a habit. It is faith in action. The choice gives us a sense of peace that transcends all that is happening around us. It allows us to focus on the task of the day whatever that is in your life. Even the mundane, doing the dishes or fixing a meal can be joyful and give us a sense of peace if we thank God for those little things.

Let us pray and ask that the Lord helps us to show through our actions that He is indeed Lord of all!

Dear Lord, I praise you and I thank you for all that you have done in my life each and every day. While the choice is clear we need your help, we need your help my God to follow you to open the door to make the path straight. Dear Lord I ask you to help me each and every day. Please help me to find the peace that surpasses all understanding today and all the days of my life. I pray for the following needs:   And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Secular Humanism

Secular Humanism | Secular Humanism introduces a spirit and way of life which engages in various aspects of unbelief in the supernatural. | #podcast #christianpodcast #secularhumanism #CatholicPodcast #Christianthemes #secularThe Spirituality of Secular Humanism ~ Episode 36

Secular Humanism introduces a spirit and way of life which engages in various aspects of unbelief in the supernatural. It renounces or ignores the presence, action, and the expectations of God in our human endeavors of life, pushing God out to the margins of life and removing his existence, awareness, and influence in our minds, and in the daily practical actions of our human choices and development.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

And so now we live in a spiritual fog, atmosphere, and social environment with many former Christian believers, who still identify with some degree of Christian affiliation, which affiliation makes no or little difference or impact in one’s practical daily human existence. Everything is focused or centered on the I or Me because I am totally in charge of my human life for the search of the truth. I effectively answer to no one about anything in the framework of my human life and relationships. Even though I need to be accountable for civic and social aspects of my life and relationships, God is not in the picture. In a sense, I have replaced God, revealed truths, and the supernatural with myself as the central meaning of life. One living this way of life embraces a lifestyle of a humanistic spirituality or religion.  The new developments of science, modern society, and my personal achievements are more than sufficient to accomplish the human fulfillment of my existence, maturity, and ultimate happiness, so goes the refrain. Many different degrees of this spirit of secular humanism mix with other values of an individual’s convictions. In the end one can easily feel that there is really no need to worry about spiritual emptiness or what will happen to me when I leave my time on earth!  Along with this thinking goes a spiritual darkness, which most are unaware, that opens the door of one’s human being to all sorts of negative and destructive possibilities. This range of experience may eventually include personal unraveling, demonic influences, and the loss of my integral dignity as a human person, and ultimately the loss of my soul.

May we review a biblical story that illustrates this reality. Omri the King of Israel contracted a political marriage for his son Ahab with Jezebel the priestess daughter of the King of Phoenicia. She moved to Israel bringing her pagan religion with her. Most writers hold that she became the power behind the throne. Ahab and Jezebel ruled in Israel for twenty-two years. During that time Ahab with Jezebel almost wiped out the Covenant that God made with Israel, replacing it with the worship of Baal, the god of fertility, and Astarte the feminine counterpart. This pagan religion consisted of all possible types of sexual immorality as worship.

The goal of this worship being child sacrifice. The people would burn their children in the fire before an image of Baal as a sacrifice to appease the gods and receive their blessings, which would be all aspects of materialism in addition to depraved sexual license. Ahab built a huge temple to the gods, plus many shrines throughout the land. In short Ahab and Jezebel fostered and replaced the worship of Yahweh with this pagan worship. The “religion” of Secularism Humanism in all its negative forms today is a modern replica of the ancient pagan worship of Baal in the time of Ahab and Jezebel. Case in point, over 60 million abortions in the United States since 1973, is not that child sacrifice? Our Country today has adopted the obvious patterns of the major sexual revolution which embraces confusing gender identity and numerous sexual values and practices which are clear violations of Christian morality. These attitudes and practices find their way into all walks of life. And to some sad degree also within the Church. These audacious practices are germinated in our adherence and attachment to the false god of materialism, which bears fruit in adopting a spirit of narcissism while adhering to a quasi-religious way of living a human life. This in a sense could be defined as a social secular humanistic religious approach to human living. Western Civilization and our own Nation is replete with these attitudes, values, and practices, which results in a very worrisome spiritual sickness within our society and also within the Church.

 

 

 

 

New Year And Faith

New Year and Faith | Try these things to jump start the new year. #podcast #christianpodcastNew Year and Faith – Special Replay

Beginning the new year with joy and a plan of focusing on increasing our walk with the Lord in the best way possible is the topic of today’s podcast. A simplified approach is the best for busy people, and here are some pointers to help you.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always – Philippians 4:4
  2. Gratitude – 1 Thessalonians 5 — Be thankful for the small things and the big things be grateful for the faith
  3. Focus – on one thing — what is the one thing you can do to increase your faith? Your prayer life?
  4. Begin anew. Something you were doing but stopped? Journaling? Reading the Bible? Praising God each day?
  5. Attitude recheck. Are you upset or depressed? Give it to the Lord  — Philippians 4:6-7
A prayer to help you in the new year:

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much and I thank you for the simple message today to refocus and renew my love for you, for all things that are good and holy and let the rest drop away. I ask that you infill me with your Holy Spirit, that you give me the wisdom for the things I should do as well as those things I should not do. I ask that you bless those who I pray for now ….

Dear Lord thank you for the gift of faith and the opportunity to praise and rejoice in your goodness. I ask you to bless us as we prepare for a brand new year and give us the fortitude to do your will. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Historical Roots of Secular Humanism

Roots of Secular Humanism |  What are the roots of secular humanism? Where do they come from and why should they matter to Christians? Listen as Father David explains the roots and how this humanism has entered the lives of those even in the church. | #podcast #christianpodcast #christiantruth @secularhumanism #CatholicPodcastHistorical Roots of Secular Humanism ~ Episode 35

What are the roots of secular humanism? Where do they come from and why should they matter to Christians? Listen as Father David explains the roots and how this humanism has entered the lives of those even in the church.

The stress and process of the current pandemic place many unexpected challenges in our lives that are not always easy to handle. Shutting down of churches, government mandates, confusing reports, fear of infection, and lastly our own personal faith responses to name just a few. We did not just arrive at this cultural dilemma recently; this societal breakdown has been coming for some time. What are some of the significant movements that have contributed to our current “state of affairs”?

Roots of Secular Humanism

What are the roots of Secular Humanism? It begins in Europe.

In Europe, in the 17th and 18th centuries, a major movement emerged entitled the Enlightenment. This social event happened in strong reaction against the mandates, prescriptions, and controls of Christian belief systems, especially Catholicism. For some academic professionals, this was an honest attempt to search for the truth beyond the rules and regulations of current society. Acting against the societal faith norms in control, it eventually led to an abandonment of essential established ways of life producing a complicated ferment against the peaceful balance of the age. In short, it consisted of an aggressive attempt to separate the principles and values of humanism from their Christian foundations. This movement emphasized a purely scientific and rational approach to human realities and the truths of life.

The Enlightenment held and promoted an exclusive approach to truth that did away with biblical revelation, supernatural beliefs, the Ten Commandments, and no need for God to live a moral, meaningful, truth-filled way of life. If God remained in the picture He was pushed off to the outer margins of existence. Of course, the Church soundly resisted this movement, sometimes violently. This movement impacted all the domains of human reality. Specifically, in the French Revolution, its aggressive momentum ignited the fire of violent rebellion against the Catholic Church. Bishops, Priests, religious, and many laypeople were brutely put to death. Even though several Popes and Church leaders proclaimed their errors this philosophy of life caught on significantly affecting the thinking and lifestyle of Europeans, and by the way made major inroads in the emerging way of life of many Americans.

The European brand of the Enlightenment influential among the French tended to fuel the thinking and ideals of the Foundering Fathers of our Country, along with the ideas of Deism. The beginnings of the American ideals, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were encouraged by France who supported the Founding Fathers in their efforts to be free from English domination. The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from France. Benjamin Franklin made frequent lengthy visits to France. He was very comfortable with the more modern view of an enlightened life and personally espoused those principles in his lifestyle. Many of our Fathers really held the belief system of Deism, which is the core of the Unitarian faith. This religion holds to faith in unity in the One God, however, we are left to develop a humanistic spiritual or religious way of life without any or very little demands on the individual. One is pretty much free to carve out a good and moral life stance by humanistic efforts alone while placing our efforts in deciding our own truth about life or one’s self enlightened humanism. Thus, the principles and values of the Enlightenment and Deism infiltrated the spirit and reasoning of our Nation.

Over a relativity short period of time, the spirit, principles, and values of enlightened human liberalism captured the social atmosphere, the thinking, and development of “the American Dream.” Wealth, and attitudes of comfort, affluence, scientific advancement, social, and economic control infused and infiltrated the American way of life. Over the last seventy years, these accepted and promoted realities have nurtured and matured in our society expanding and deepening among the peoples of our Country. All the while infiltrating the minds, hearts, and relationships of our citizens and our young people and subtlety producing a new religious or spiritual humanism called secularism humanism.

Secular Humanism is a world view and way of life. It believes God is not necessary to be moral. As a spiritual state of being it presumes that human beings are capable of being ethical or moral without being religious or believing in a deity. Along with this is an understanding and conviction that secular humanism is a way of life that continually adapts searching for truth through science and human experience and various philosophies. It consists of a world view that is primarily concerned with the promotion of human welfare in this world. Secular humanism denies the subordination of human dignity and happiness to supernatural realities. It would reject religious faith and hold distrust in absolutes when they are religiously proposed, rejecting moral absolutes in any form. Our moral sense of which concluded in a blind alley leading to mental confusion. Secular humanism would lead to moral relativism, ethical bankruptcy, and religious indifference.

In the later part of the 19th Century, secular humanism emerged in the world and specifically in the Church as a movement entitled Modernism. It was a strong effort to liberalize the “tight” laws, principles, and practices of Catholic life. The Popes of the time engaged in an aggressive effort to eliminate its influence from Catholic life. Pius X took a fearful shut down approach to this invasive cultural influence. Leo XIII who followed him in the Papacy was more open to defeat this cultural disintegration by opening the doors to evaluation, study, and constructive adaptation. This approach encouraged an intellectual reassessment of scripture, liturgical development, and a review of pastoral theological considerations. This was an honest attempt to curtail the negative effects of the Enlightenment and its brainchild modernistic secular humanism. Some would say that this effort would unintentionally open the door for its advancement in the 20th Century and its 21st Century maturation. For example, a case where a prominent official publicly referring to the grace of God while supporting and promoting the practice of abortion and the enterprises of Planned Parenthood.

Roots of Secular Humanism started long ago.

Years of study and planning transpired before Pope John XXIII announced the opening of Vatican II in 1961, which concluded in 1965. The Documents of the Council are a sound presentation of teaching designed to move the Church into a fresh authentic adaption of the Church in the modern world. The aftermath in the Church a major struggle. Pope Paul the VI did his best to steer the ship in a positive and fruitful direction, but the inroads of the Enlightenment and Modernism caused controversies so that this positive effort would not be the case. Eventually, confusion, reaction, and misrepresentations emerged, which we still suffer from today with even an increased intensity. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI firmly promoted a “hermeneutic of continuity” as a standard for the implementation of the authentic traditional teaching of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is committed to the teaching and values of Vatican Council II. His approach appears to be on an emphasis to adapt the Council’s teaching to the areas in the Church and world where human life is taking place, and where justices are ignored, and the poor suffer the consequences. Therefore, without compromising authentic traditional Catholic teaching he attempts to move the Church where human life is happening. In this regard, he appears to be a supporter of meaningful and just socialism. Obviously, this approach is not going down well with some members of the Church led by some members of the hierarchy. This opposition has become an intense battle that has reached the position of a new scandal. It has become a complicated mess. This battle has some relationship to society’s struggle and adherence to the pseudo-spirituality and religiosity of contemporary secular humanism. Pope Francis’s hesitation to present clear Catholic moral teaching, especially in the areas of sexuality and family life is very upsetting to some sincere members of the Catholic Church. This concern needs significant attention.

May we ourselves do a life review to discern if we have been influenced, adopted, or caved into some aspects of the religion and spirituality of secular humanism; even if we unintentionally ingested these discordant values to some degree into the ambient, environment, or culture of our American life.

Rejoice In All Things

Think about these passages and realize this is the Old Testament it was foreshadowing the coming of our Lord and Savior. We celebrate Christmas once a year - the birth of the Savior and we celebrate Easter once a year, the resurrection of our Savior, but what do we celebrate daily? Are we rejoicing in all things?

Rejoice In All Things – Episode 166

Can you really rejoice in all things when everything seems to be falling apart in your life and all around you? Yes, you can. And in this episode, I will share with you the secrets of Christian living.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God 

TruthSeekersMysterySeries 

Oscar Wilde is said to have said, and I am paraphrasing here, but that Religion was a fashionable substitution for faith. When we focus on what we are to do and not do we can become bogged down. When my children were little we would read the books of the saints and we loved these stories. They depicted young men and women who loved the Lord and though example, even in the toughest times and situations always showed the love of the Lord to others in their lives. They were wonderful stories that were true of heroism and virtue. Oh, to be like the saints. But, my young daughter said, “Mom, I love reading about the saints but the books are so sad because they always die at the end.”

Out of the mouth of babes, right? Yes, they die at the end after living heroic and virtuous lives. Yet, to us death is sad. This year my husband lost his parents, both of them, I lost my inlaws, and my children lost their grandparents. We think about the loss instead of the joy. They are in a place that knows no pain or sorrow. A place that is what we strive for all of our lives. As we live our lives we must seek God while we can and rejoice in all of the glorious things that happen.

To rejoice in all things can easily be explained like this, “Make lemonade out of lemons.” How can you apply this principle in your life. God’s ways are not our ways and if we are striving to be more like Him I want to remind you – as I forget to do this daily like I want to and that is to give your will to God each and every day. Lord, I give you my will. Please give me your will. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! It is a reminder of the Lord’s prayer that we too should pray each and every day.

God said follow me. When you find yourself saddened or miserable think about who you are following, or what are you following. Is it the news, the events of the day? It is best to turn it off! The only way we can rejoice in all things is to think about today. Not yesterday with the should-have-could-have or tomorrow with the what if this or that happens. Just today. Focus on today.

In Isaiah 25:9 we read, In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

and in Isaiah 29:19 we read: Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Think about these passages and realize this is the Old Testament it was foreshadowing the coming of our Lord and Savior. We celebrate Christmas once a year – the birth of the Savior and we celebrate Easter once a year, the resurrection of our Savior, but what do we celebrate daily? Are we rejoicing in all things?

Put a smile on your face each day and ask the Lord for that grace to be joyful and appreciate the things that are the most important in your life. What are the graces you need each day? Is it the grace to go to work, to do the things you must do for yourself or your family? Very few people love their jobs and yet they get up daily and go to work so they can support their families, and even in this very act of giving they are an example to others. With our actions, we are a greater example than all of the words we can use.

Let’s pray!

Dear Lord, help me to have the gift to be able to rejoice in all things. Give met the gift to focus on today on the here and now. To think about each of these things and not worry about the other things that might or might not happen. Dear God I want to praise you each and every day and I ask for this gift. Dear Lord, I pray for the following needs in my life, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Holy Family Our Family

Holy Family Our Family | What a beautiful example the Holy Family is in our lives and in this episode we will explore the examples of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and how to live lives that are filled with hope! | #podcast #christianpodcastHoly Family Our Family –  Special Replay

What a beautiful example the Holy Family is in our lives and in this episode we will explore the examples of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and how to live lives that are filled with hope!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

At Christmas time we decorate our houses with scenes of the Nativity. These scenes are familiar and if you are like me, it brings me great joy to see them around my home. I have several that are in different rooms because for me the focus of the holiday surrounds the birth of Jesus. It causes me to consider the holy and the things I hold sacred in a way that is tangible in my life.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah: Isaiah 11:1-7

It hit me recently when we read this exact scripture with my family that there was a great parallel between the verses… Justice shall be a band around his waist and faithfulness a belt upon his hips with Ephesians

Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare – Ephesians 6:10-18

1It is at times like this that I wish I was a scripture scholar. I’m not. But what I can tell you is that the parallel really spoke to me – The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah and in the New Testament Christ is the fulfillment of the prophecy and the key to winning over souls out of the hands of the enemy.

The opening of the kingdom – the eternal kingdom and our salvation comes from Christ. And what an example the Holy Family is to us –

Do we consider ourselves in that situation? The Holy Family gives us an example of overcoming hardship for the greater good. Mary and Joseph were scorned in their own town. Why? Because Mary was “with child” before she lived with Joseph. She was betrothed but then went to visit Elizabeth. When she returned, they could see she was pregnant. She explained in her own words that an angel had appeared to her. Can you imagine what her parents thought? Can you imagine being Joseph?

Take time to think about this and apply it to your life. How do you face those hard decisions in your life? Do you do it with faith and help from the Lord or do you do it on your own without thought of God? Look at the lives of the Holy Family. I came up with five things I’ve learned from the life they lived.

What we learn from the Holy Family:

  1. Dying to self. They took upon themselves the hardships of what the yes to God would mean – a huge disruption in what they envisioned for their life.
  2. Ability to persevere – in the face of hardship they forged on having to travel to Bethlehem for the census (God knew this, right? Again it was a fulfillment of prophecy but how difficult for Mary and Joseph.)
  3. Understanding the truth. They believed. They may have questioned, who wouldn’t? But, they believed that God would provide for them, and He did. Even if it wasn’t easy.
  4. Responsibility – can you imagine being in charge of the upbringing of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus? Many of us can barely raise our own children and to have this mind-blowing responsibility put on our shoulders. Wow. Just wow. Friends, think about this!
  5. The faith that we read in the Scriptures that surpasses all understanding. That is the faith I want that I crave. I want to believe without a doubt, I want to follow God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in every single thing I do in my life.

Can you add to this list, is there something that speaks to your heart as you contemplate this most Holy of Families?

We know the end of the story and we celebrate this story every year. The prophecy was fulfilled with the yes from Mary in response to the request of the angel, archangel Gabriel – it comes again from the yes when Joseph, once he realized through a dream that Mary was telling the truth and indeed carried the Word of God soon to be made flesh that he had a responsibility to care for them both.

It also shows us that faith is a belief in that which is unseen and resonates truth in our hearts. Today we hear the media talk about “individual truth,” – for example, “she spoke the truth as she believes it.” But, truth is not subjective, it does not change, it always is. God gave us the intellect to believe in a truth higher than we could possibly imagine. Yet we think we know better. We twist the truth to meet our expectations of what we want it to say.

There is only one truth, friends. The truth that God came as a babe in humility for me, for you, for all. God is not exclusive. Do we hunger for truth and righteousness? That is truly what God is – He doesn’t lie, He doesn’t make unfulfilled promises. He came, He lived, He died and He rose.

The intelligent always think they know better. God sent his Son to live with a humble carpenter and his poor wife. Jesus wasn’t born to a king. He could have been, right? He is God, He could do whatever He wanted. We are shown that the Kings, the three Kings paid him homage. What an amazing proof that is—even to King Herod who sent out his men to kill all of the firstborn sons. But as we read in Ephesians evil will not triumph.

Friends, death is not the end. Think about this – those holy innocents, those poor souls who were murdered were vindicated once the gates of heaven were opened. They received their glory not on this earth but in the next. We look for our glory here – how many toys can we buy, how many events can we experience, we need this we need that. We do need to enjoy our life, God gave us this beautiful world in which we live, but not to the exclusiveness of all else.

God’s word is everlasting it is our rock. If we trust God and His Word we can be grounded in righteousness. We can use this rock to build our lives.

Even the gifts the Kings brought of gold, frankincense and myrrh are rich in meaning. Gold we are familiar with – it is a valuable commodity even today, frankincense as well is used by many of us as a potent and valuable essential oil – and incense, and a symbol of deity and myrrh was a symbol of death used as an embalming oil.

Again the Scriptures give us so much to think about to meditate on.

As we remember this precious gift, the birth of Christ and his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph let’s purpose to live our lives in a way that includes the Almighty and how much better off we will be!

Let’s Pray:

My God, there is so much to be thankful for even in times of hardship but we have faith the faith that you give us. Please God, during this very wonderful season, increase my faith, that is the gift I ask for to have more of You in my life to bless me with an abundance of Your grace to overflowing so that I can pour out this grace to others. All that is wonderful and righteous is in You my God, and I thank you for the gift of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Please, Lord, I ask for these special intentions for my family and friends:     I love you my God and I thank you for all the answered prayers and the miracles in my life that come from you and I thank you in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

Amazing Grace

God's grace, HIS Amazing Grace is a gift that just keeps on giving. In this episode, Felice shares how the grace of God is all you need during any time of your life because you can be sure HE is always there for you. Amazing Grace – Episode 164

God’s grace, HIS Amazing Grace is a gift that just keeps on giving. In this episode, Felice shares how the grace of God is all you need during any time of your life because you can be sure HE is always there for you.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Other episodes you may enjoy:

Thanksgiving and Faith 

Thanksgiving and Trust

God’s grace is amazing and it is free. Every time you go to the store to buy food or other necessities it seems as if the prices have gone up, and sometimes it is truly a struggle to get the things we need when we need them. But, with God, His grace is there for anyone who is open to it! It is here today. Right now.

God is a generous God and there is no way we can ever outgive His grace and providence – His provision for us. And, that makes me think that I am so blessed knowing and loving God, but it also calls to mind a time when I thought that if I followed all of God’s commands, that would be too much! I was much younger and in college at the time and I remember having some friends that were what I would consider very holy. And, it appeared to me that God gave them more than what they could handle in that so many things I considered bad happened to them. For example, one friend finally got a car to drive and within a week it was totaled. She was okay but not her car. And, I thought why would God do that to her when she loves Him so much.

I later learned that the grace God gave to her in that moment to deal with this crisis in her life was not the same grace He gave to me as a concerned friend. This incident didn’t happen to me, I didn’t need to deal with it, she did and God gave her an abundance of joy over the fact that she wasn’t hurt badly and it was only a “thing.” That my friends is what God does in our lives. He give us the grace, the Amazing Grace to deal with our burdens and our issues when they happen in our lives. We do not have the grace to deal with problems that are not our problems.

What an amazing gift that is when we really take the time to think about it.

Many people think that Christians have to give up things in order to get their heavenly reward. They think it is a bunch of thou shall nots rather than do-whatever-you want. Now, think about this. If a good person — and this is just a general person out there, not necessarily a person of faith. Let’s say this person wants to run a red light or steal something from their neighbors home, or do something else that is against the law, they know that the punishment will be bad if they get caught. So, they will abide by the traffic lights and driving laws, and not break other laws that could land them in jail. This is following the law and everyone agrees it is a good thing. So, why would following God’s law be so difficult?

Almighty God realizes that we are frail human beings. We can cling to our anger and have thoughts of revenge or we can be hateful to others and wish them harm. But if we feel this way we are no better than those that do not believe. We are called to be the light of the world, to show the light of Jesus in our lives. How do we do this? For Christians, forgiveness is not an option.

The life of a Christian is one that begins by showing charity to others, loving our enemies, being good to those who hate you, not being judgemental, condemning, or gossiping. How can we love our enemies or those who have hurt us? It is a decision of forgiveness and I have several podcasts on A Few Minutes With God Podcast that deal with those topics.

We are called to reflect on all that God has given to us, and that isn’t always easy but it is truly the right thing to do. Recently I did a podcast for children on being joyful and we talked about the things that bring a child joy, and all of those things, if they are being honest are things that center around what they want whether it is a thing or something they want to do. When we are honest with ourselves we will realize that we can never outgive the abundance of gifts that God has given us, for one thing, our very lives. How precious are we that the Creator of the universe actually cares about us.

In  2 Corinthians 13:14 – the scripture reads: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

It was a greeting of the early Christians to pray that the fellowship and love that comes from knowing the one true God resonates not only in our lives but in the lives of others. To be a Christian, to have that joy that surpasses all understanding, to live the life fully that God has called us to have in Christ is a gift that no other gift can ever surpass.

The song Amazing Grace is one that is sung in churches all over the world and this song is one that should resonate in all of our lives. We once were lost but now we are found. May the grace that surpasses all understanding be in your lives today and always.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, I come humbly before you as a sinner and I know that you hold the keys to the gift that is the only gift I should want while on this earth and that is the gift of faith in you. Dear Lord, I renounce sin in my life, and I rebuke the enemy, I believe in you, my God, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. You have the gift of eternal life, and I ask for the grace and the blessing of faith. The faith that surpasses all understanding and the grace that is freely given if I ask, and I ask this now. And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Church in the Pandemic

Church in Pandemic | Are we a church in crisis? What is the church in the pandemic? As a Christian what do you do in this time of confusion? Where can you find the truth? Here Father David talks about the church and how you can find strength in Christ. | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #catholic #pandemicandfaith Church in the Pandemic – Episode 33

Are we a church in crisis? What is the church in the pandemic? As a Christian what do you do in this time of confusion? Where can you find the truth? Here Father David talks about the church and how you can find strength in Christ.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

The Church in the Pandemic

Coming from the Temple: “…Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. (Ezekiel: 47: 8-9) Most Catholics living today struggle with what is happening in the Church. This stress and confusion has developed it into a Church in crisis. This is not something new caused by the pandemic; it has gradually been developing ever since the close of Vatican Council II. However, it has reached the level of a crescendo. Before the Council, most of us were content to live in a Church that viewed itself as an institution which dispenses the Sacraments. This view emphasized stability and external clarity. One writer stated in his book entitled, “The Models of the Church” That the main model of the Church should never be primarily viewed as an institution. It is true that the Church needs to be a visible organized structure existing in society, but there are other very important ways to view the Church. Since the close of the Council, a tremendous grace has been given for renewal and reform in the Catholic Church.

The change of focus has been a move away from the institutional model of the Church towards a “mystical communion” understanding. This approach would emphasize internal nature. In short, it may be called the Church as a Mystical Communion, which would highlight the inner work of grace in the power and activity of the Holy Spirit. In our Baptism of water, each one of us received the gift of the Divine Indwelling of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we all have the potential to live in a magnificent union of love and grace with each other. In the words of St. Paul, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? …for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. (1Cor 3: 16-17)

Can there be a church in the pandemic? Will it survive?

At the close of the Council, this Church’s Grace of Renewal began to manifest itself in various ways. The main experience focuses on interior transformation and the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This process of spiritual renewal has been occurring for over fifty years. However, in recent years the renewal of the Church has moved from spiritual renewal to reform. Reform basically deals with the structures, forms, or visible expressions of the Church. Reform always initiates a significant crisis. We human beings love the security of what we were born and raised with. What is unfortunate about reform is that it usually becomes messy, and things are changed too quickly, or changes are made that are unhealthy or sometimes destructive. It is not surprising that reform engenders a crisis of faith and calls forth the validity of truth. We usually do not enjoy this experience, for some of our closest friends think very differently about matters that are very important to us. This obviously puts a strain on our relationships. This volatile confrontation happened to Jesus. He went up to Jerusalem for Passover and went into the temple. He found that the central courts of the temple were desecrated with animals and money changers. Jesus took a whip of cords and made the money changers move everything out of the temple. He was confronted by the Scribes and Pharisees, who were financially profited from this enterprise. When asked by what authority do you do this, Jesus said “Zeal for my Father’s house will consume me”. Jesus then prophetically prophesied about his own body, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” (Jn. 2: 13-22) A classic example of confrontation when reform is at stake!

The infamous Pandemic that arose in our midst last February and March added significant stress and chaos to already pastorally charged issues in the life of the Church. Our leaders in the Church had to give a major amount of time and energy to work with civic leaders to try to bring this cultural crisis under control. This is not to obscure that there are already multiple uncomfortable issues and other events occurring in the life of the Catholic Church. The sexual abuse crisis since the last part of the twentieth century and the first twenty years in the twenty-first century has been a scandal in the Church that most Catholics who are alive today never had to deal with in their lives’. Much suffering has been experienced by all living in the Catholic Church at this time. In addition to these occurrences there arose in the Church a major conflict and disagreement between those who give a strong place to Church external law and traditional teaching matters and clear doctrines, and those who believe that the Church needs to reach out to the poor and disenfranchised. The present Pope’s care for creation and emphasis on socialism, plus statements made that are confusing and unclarified have added fuel to the fire. These differences have intensified an already unclear doctrinal mismatch.

Some might say the Church’s teaching already clearly exists in the New Catholic Catechism. It has been about forty years since it has been published. Realistically who has really read much of it or seriously studied it?  Teaching and pastoring go together. You cannot have one without the other! The last point that I want to make is this. I believe the lack of personal pastoring of the flock of Christ in the Church is itself a scandal. In these negative occurrences in society and in the Church, which has happened to the lay faithful. Our leadership, for the most part, has been silent, unavailable, or ignoring matters that needed good communication. I need not mention the difficulties the lay faithful have experienced since the close of the Council. I believe they are clear to anyone who gives a little time to think about what has been happening in the Church over the last sixty years or so. I also realize that it has been very difficult for our leaders for many reasons, and they may be working on many things of which I am unaware of. However, when the lay faithful go to youtube and talk shows to get an understanding of the crisis of truth and the teaching on faith, it is a sad day indeed in the pastoral life of the Church. American Catholics need clear upfront teaching on the five non-negotiables: Abortion, Euthanasia, or physician assisted suicide, Embryonic Stem-Cell Research, Human Cloning, Homosexual marriage. Is it possible that a written moral compendium or a pastoral letter by the USCB to the American Church might be helpful?

May we Pray!

We pray for light, wisdom, and understanding from the Holy Spirit at this challenging time in the Church and in the world. Dear Lord, we pray that each and every one of us will spend the time needed to reflect on oneself and ask the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit to show what we can do to bring love and peace for those who have especially a hard time with what is currently happening. Give healing, truth, and a more profound faith to us as we continue the journey of this troubling age. We make these prayers in the heart of Mary given to her son Jesus. Amen

True Meaning Of Christmas

True Meaning of Christmas | The commercial aspect of the holidays almost destroys the true meaning of Christmas. In this episode, I want to share an easy way to bring Jesus to the front and center where He belongs! | #podcast #christianpodcast #christmasTrue Meaning of Christmas – Special Replay

The commercial aspect of the holidays almost destroys the true meaning of Christmas. In this episode, I want to share an easy way to bring Jesus to the front and center where He belongs!

Thanks to our sponsor to learn more and get today’s show notes to visit AFewMinuteswithGodPodcast.com. And, please share this episode with a friend, that is one of the ways that you can spread the word!

The beautiful decorations and lights are uplifting to our spirits and the idea of gift-giving is symbolic of the gift that God gave to us by the birth of His only Son. Yet when we get distracted by all the symbolism that is a time to recall the true meaning of Christmas.

Here are three very easy ways to keep our focus on Christ.

  1. Take time each day to read John 1
  2. Spend time with God. Just a few minutes each day.
  3. Close your eyes and listen.

If you have a journal take some time and write your thoughts. How do you feel? Are you excited or do you lean more toward depressed?

Christmas can be a time of anticipation and excitement but it also tends to be a time of disappointment and depression. Especially if we dwell on the past or on what could have been. Or if our expectations surround materialist things. We feel that we are not doing enough or perhaps can’t afford the things we want. But that shouldn’t be the focus.

Life happens each and every day and we can look at it as what we have or don’t have or we can look at each day as a blessing from God.

Recently two of my friend’s husbands died suddenly of heart attacks. Both were robust and active. Both full of life.

Only God knows the reason for taking them home. Only He knows the time and place when we too will be called home. I think it is especially difficult during the holidays to lose a loved one, but I also know that the Lord is not surprised by any of it. These families need prayer as well as all the families who are saddened or struggling during this time. It is hard to be joyous when we struggle with loss.

That is why the Scriptures are so inspiring. They speak to that part in us that longs for relationships and what better relationship than with God? I want to read part of John 1. This is one of my all-time favorite Scriptures and it is the one I always read at the beginning of Advent – the days leading up to Christmas.

John 1:

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.

Just stop and think about these first sentences! The Word – which is Scripture is also God! And the Word was there at the beginning. Imagine! This really helps us to understand and put into perspective the mind-blowing aspect – and that is, God and Jesus are one … it is one of those verses that give us a glimpse of the deeper mysteries of faith. It is also one, that for me is so uplifting it gives me joy and it gives me a deep abiding hope.

And it goes on… In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

True Meaning of Christmas

Jesus is referred to as the light of the world – the fact that God became man was an act of humility! He came as an infant to save us – to give us eternal life by his life, death, and resurrection. We should rejoice because we know the end of the story – the Scripture tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – the darkness, the evil in this world is uncovered for what it is when you shine the true light – the goodness of God upon it, we find that we, who are called by name can not turn our backs upon what is right and good.

When we feel down when we feel depressed when we don’t feel we want to get out of bed and face the day we have only to look at the Word of God for our inspiration. Write out the words, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” What joy those words give us!

Our focus is not on the glitter or the gift-giving, or even the baking – which I love! The focus is on Almighty God who came as a babe to conquer sin and set us free. Friends, Christianity is a joy! It is not what those who don’t believe say, “Oh. My. Gosh. You Christians are so boring. You have to give up this and that.”

Friends Christianity is freeing because of the joy of knowing that I am living a life without regrets. I am not giving up anything. I am gaining so much.

Think of it this way. In fact, close your eyes for a minute. Imagine a gift that is so amazing – take a few minutes and really think about this gift. What would you do with it? How would you share it?

Now – consider this. God gave us a gift that is so much greater than anything you can imagine! It is 100 thousand times greater. How could I not want to go to church and thank him, and worship Him?

Isaiah 9:6 (read)

How can I not want to live a life that is pleasing to God? How could I not say thank-you Lord, each and every day for the gift of life – yes, but everlasting life? I will live my life on earth but will have full confidence that I will live a life eternally with Him!

This time of joyous celebration that comes around every December reminds me that the real meaning of Christmas is to give all the honor and the glory to Jesus – the Divine One.

Celebrate with your family with your friends but know that the opening of gifts is a small symbol of the greater joy in the gifts that God gave us. This joy of giving gifts to those who are important to us is a symbol of our love for them and their love for us! God gives us an abundance of love and it flows from God – to us to them! Allow the Lord into your life today!

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Let’s Pray:

Dear God the Father, thank-you so much for gifting us with the Son, and then leaving us with the Holy Spirit until the end of time. Thank you for helping me to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for allowing me to understand that the truth of the season comes in the love that is shared from you to me! Dear Lord Jesus, today I ask you in a deeper way to come into my life. I repent from the sins of the past and ask for your forgiveness. I choose you, my God. I choose you today, and tomorrow. I ask you, Lord, to bless me and cleanse me. I ask that you fill me to overflowing with joy and your love. Help me to sin no more. Help me to follow you in all of the ways that are pleasing to you, my God. Thank you, Lord, for this gift that is more precious than any gift I can imagine. Dear Lord, I ask you know for these specific prayers for those I pray for now…

Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers and for answering them and I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

 

Generosity and Faith

Generosity and Faith | Some people are just naturally generous and in this episode, we are going to talk about generosity and faith and a way to deepen your love for God which in turn will translate into your love for others. | #podast #Christianpodcast #Christianfaith #faithpodcast #believeinGod #Generosity #trustinginGodGenerosity and Faith ~ Episode 164

Some people are just naturally generous and in this episode, we are going to talk about generosity and faith and a way to deepen your love for God which in turn will translate into your love for others.

Sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – One More Child book — A Few Minutes With God

Other episodes you may enjoy:

Thanksgiving and Faith 

Thanksgiving and Trust

Recently I was thinking about the book the Five Love Languages. In this book, the author, Gary Chapman discusses the different ways that we say I love you, and this is especially important for couples.  I’m going to share just two with you that actually apply to my life and that of my husband. My husband‘s love language is to spend time with me, he thinks that expresses his love for me and he does this with something he considers valuable, and that is his gift of time. My love language is to bake you something or to give you something I am a gift-giver I love thinking about what will make someone else happy whether it’s something that I put effort into in making or something that I buy. As you can see these two things are different. And as my husband likes to say isn’t it wonderful that God made us so different. That definitely is a positive spin to what could possibly be a difficult situation.
But when I think about generosity it comes in all different shapes and sizes. When we look at each other in the human sense generosity comes from something that we personally think is valuable or important and often if we are honest it is something that makes us happy. So, it that really being generous if we get something out of it? That is food for thought. But, when I think about generosity as a focus of faith it is so much deeper.
When we look at our lives objectively we can see that often we gather things that we can’t possibly use. Have you ever cleaned out a closet of clothing? Have you ever looked at things that you may have purchased for your children and more than half of the things were never worn? We gather these things so many of which we can never use. But the gift of faith the gift that God has given us? That is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Let’s look at just one tiny aspect of the generosity of God and that is faith. Faith is freely given to all, but few accept it. If you are thinking, Felice you are wrong! My church is huge, many accept the gift of faith–then, my question is where were all the faithful when they shut our churches down? We hid in our homes afraid. I was one of them. However, if I told you in January of 2020 that our churches would not be at full capacity by November 2020 when I am recording this show, what would you say? You would have a hard time believing me. I am not condemning you -or me, it is just what happened in our lives and some of our church leaders and pastors are now in court suing for the constitutional right to worship, freely. This is a gift of the generosity of our faith that we took for granted. Never again will we do this. So, back to faith–yes, it is freely given by God but what do we do with this gift?
I personally want a deep sense of faith, and I am going to pray this for you.
1. The faith of knowing that God is in charge of our lives.
2. The faith of knowing that the Lord will never leave us.
3. The faith of knowing that God is in the here and the now.
4. The faith of knowing when we are weak that Almighty God is strong.
5. The faith of knowing that the battle against evil has already been won by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
If we know these things we will have a deeper sense of the generosity of the gifts God has given us and the truth that these become in our lives.
God’s gift to us can never be repaid and that is another thing that is different about the gift of faith. Usually, if someone gives us something we can gift them with something back. In a way, it almost negates our generosity. And if you give with the thoughts of what you were getting back, that further dilutes generosity. Generosity from the Lord is in the fact that he died for our sins, that he gave us everlasting life. Look around you, is this all there is? For those who are Christian, we believe there is more.
This world that God has given us has its ups and downs and many of the ups are from Him and the downs are from things and choices that we make. The saying that “God is good all the time and all the time God is good,” is a refrain the Christian say, but the question is do we believe it? If you have strong faith the answer is yes, and it’s not because we say it over and over again so that then we believe it. No, it is because we truly believe in our hearts that God can only give us things that are good. Do bad things happen in our lives? Of course, they do, because God has also given us free well.

Another amazing gift of the generosity and love of Almighty God is the gift of free will and how that allows us to do what we want in our lives, and that want can include the love of our Lord, but we love the Lord because we want to. We can choose not to do that. That is also part of our free will as well. Whenever I have a hard time grasping the concept of the free will that God gave us I think about forcing someone to love me. We all crave love in this life. We want people to like us and those close to us, to love us. However, we want this freely, right? We don’t want this to be forced and so it is with Almighty God.

We can never understand the mind of God all we can do is strive to do the best that we can do each day. As the holidays are coming up as I record this show, I think about all of the things that I will do soon and maybe you as well. I will shop, I will bake, I will buy or make some gifts, and I will be with those I love. But what will I do as a gift for Almighty God? The one thing I want to share with you again and again because to me this has been an a-ha moment and one gift that we can give Almighty God is to give Him our will. Why? Because we have the free will do to this and HE gave us free will, so we can give it back to Him as a form of humility. Do this takes deep faith. Do you have the faith that surpasses all understanding?

Friends, that is what I’m going to pray for you during this season. To have faith to have trust in Almighty God and all that he will provide for you!

Let’s pray
Dear Lord, I praise you and I thank you and I give you all of my will to do with as you please help me my God to understand the gift of generosity, to understand the gift of faith, to understand the gift that you have given me and allow me my God to be aware of these gifts. I ask my God, for the prayers that I have in my heart for those I love in my life and for myself… and I praise you and I thank you in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

Mercy and Thoughtfulness of Our God

Mercy and Thoughtfulness | This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both. | #christianpodcast #podcast #mercyMercy and Thoughtfulness – Special Replay

This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both.

Show Notes: Mercy and Thoughtfulness

Who else but the creator of the universe considers the sinfulness of man yet gives us mercy to overcome thought His ever-present Spirit and His love for us in the small and simple things. When you think about the things that bring us joy on an ongoing daily basis it isn’t looking down on your fingers and a piece of jewelry you are wearing, or admiring a handbag – or if you are a guy, success in business, being a good provider or perhaps winning at a game or having a team win or something similar.

The things that give us joy are those things that are fleeting like family, friends, love, and those more everlasting like faith, and hope. God thought of everything. God is thoughtful!

God is merciful and God is truth – God is everything that is good. But do we realize this in our everyday life or do we allow our situations to get us down? If you look up the word thoughtfulness in the Bible you won’t find one entry – try it! But we do know by definition the Lord is thoughtful because He has provided for us in so many ways that we can never thank him enough or repay him!

Mercy and Thoughtfulness takes grace from God!

I love the Book of Proverbs because if you want to see morsels of truth you should read it end to end. I’m going to read you some wisdom from Proverbs 18 – just a few verses because I invite you to read it for yourself in your quiet time and meditate on the words…

Do we have the heart to discern – to acknowledge that God is the seat of mercy and thoughtfulness for our lives – that we want to seek out the wise and not the foolish. SO many times friends we are wiped out because of something we have no control over.

Think about it: Are there things in your life you are holding on to that you can not control? Are there people in your life that bring you down to your knees? For all of those things, we can not control that hold us bound – put them on paper and release them to the Lord. For all those people who upset or bother us – pray for them. In fact, I am taking my own advice and some people that I do not know personally but are upsetting to me are going to be the recipient of my prayers starting today!

The human spirit in Proverbs 14 talks about how we can overcome illness but our spirits become crushed by so many things in this world. Our spirits are our reasoning powers – they consist of the ability to make decisions, have insights and judgments, to reason and understand, to be aware and have feelings, emotions – and passions! But our souls – our souls will not die. Our bodies will die and our spirt might be crushed but our soul, if we are a believer will rest with God – and that my friends is the goal of my life to do everything I can each and every day to be held to account by a merciful God.

Do you praise God for His Mercy – for His thoughtfulness – for His creation? Remember this when we are down or “crushed” as Proverbs reminds us by the weight of the world.

God is the giver of all gifts – as I record this we are coming into the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas times that either bring you warmth and joy or make you sad. Why are we sad? Usually, it is for things we can not control, such as the death of a loved one or someone we are missing. And, yes – we remember as we should and keep those we love close to our hearts but not to the point that we can not move forward and be present for those who are here and need us.

Every single one of us is needed – do not let the enemy rob you of your joy and peace. We are needed as prayer warriors as those who help our families, those at church or our neighbors. Ask the Lord each day – how do you want to use me today, Lord?

Proverbs 18:16 says a gift opens the way – who is not receptive to gifts? But, maybe you are like me and like to give gifts rather than receive? Interesting side note here – the Lord taught me that it was okay to receive gifts. There was a time when money was tight and I could not give as I wanted and someone gifted me. Instead of being grateful I was horrified and wanted to refuse the gift! But, then a wise pastor reminded me that in time past when I gave the recipients were grateful. The gift was ultimately from God. God knows our hearts and He does provide – not always as we want but as He wishes.

If we are filled by God’s love we can’t help to be overflowing with love for others. Think about it. God’s love spills over on us and it gives us so much joy we can not help to share this joy with others.

Let’s Pray: God you gift us with so many things but your mercy and thoughtfulness for the little and big things in our lives often go unnoticed or overlooked by us. You are the author of life. You are the giver of every good thing. During this time of giving thanks, we ask you, Lord, to help us to remember those who are less fortunate, and to bring to mind people you want us to pray for on a daily basis. Dear Lord we pray for these people right now, and those near to our hearts … Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with your love, your joy, and your mercy. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!


Christian Mysteries of Light

Christian Mysteries What are the Christian mysteries of light? No, this isn't some new-age ideal. This is actually meditation of the active life and ministries of Jesus Christ. It allows us to think about and contemplate the Lord's work on earth. | #Christianpodcast #christianfaith #catholicfaith #luminousmysteries #LifeofJesus #JesusChristThe Luminous Mysteries: Christian Mysteries of Light ~ Episode 32 

What are the Christian mysteries of light? No, this isn’t some new-age ideal. This is actually meditation of the active life and ministries of Jesus Christ. It allows us to think about and contemplate the Lord’s work on earth.

This inspiring book by Father David Tickerhoof, Third Order Regular (TOR), on the role of Merciful Penitents in the Renewal and Reform of the Church

Father David’s book is available! “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” get your copy today.

Some spiritual writers identify the Mysteries of the Rosary as the compendium of the Gospel. Pope John Paul II identified five special events in the public ministry of Jesus as unique mysteries that involved Jesus as the light. He wrote an Apostolic Letter proclaiming these five events as additional mysteries of the Rosary. He believed these five mysteries called the Luminous Mysteries gave monumental evidence of Jesus as the light of the world, focusing on the active ministry of Jesus. Adding the luminous ministries would complete the other three sets or categories of the Rosary, which would then present all four as a unique completion of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christian Ministries of Light

The four sets of the mysteries of the Rosary are:

The Joyful, the Sorrowful, the Luminous, and the Glorious Mysteries. The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary are called “mysterious of light” because they shed light on who Jesus Christ is. He brings light into the world and into each soul who believes. Christians understand the whole person of Jesus as light and the fulness of spiritual life; his mission one of light and life. Being light in the world Jesus brings us true freedom through spiritual transformation. Each of these Luminous mysteries emphasizes the unique aspect of the truth of who Jesus is during his public ministry. Each mystery reveals the Kingdom of God present in the person of Jesus who proclaims a call to conversion, and an invitation to enter the Kingdom of God.

I will present in this podcast each individual mystery of light and a brief reflection on each one. The first Luminous Mystery is the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Jesus in and of himself did not need to go through the baptism of water for his salvation. However, he submitted to the baptism of John receiving the Holy Spirit for the sake of doing his mission. In another place, Jesus tells Nicodemus unless a person is baptized in water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God  This fact is confirmed by the Father when a voice called out “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” John and those around saw the Spirit of God like a dove