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!

Thanks to our sponsor CTC Math – for all of your math curriculum needs.

One of my pastors, a family friend use to go on and on about how he saw God in nature. He would explain sitting on his back porch and just feeling the presence of God. He would watch as the birds nested in the trees, or the wind blew through the leaves. And the look on his face was one that is difficult to describe. Suffice it to say that he looked like he was in the presence of the Almighty.

I thought I would try it myself, but I’m often distracted by what is happening around me. Does your mind race when you are trying to be still and pray to God? I decided to start with something simple, a prayer as I walked around my backyard, and then I sat in the quiet. It was not successful and I felt that I was trying too hard.

I believe that when we try to force our faith or copy what someone else does, it sometimes falls flat. Instead, I decided to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and ask the Lord to help me to see Him in the beauty of the outdoors. As I’ve shared with you many other times, when I find myself stuck I ask the Lord for help and He never fails me. All of a sudden it was as if the glory of God’s handiwork was revealed.

As I was driving I saw the most amazing cloud formations in the sky, or flocks of birds swarming and re-swarming on the highwires of the traffic lights. [More on audio.]

We become so complacent in our lives that we ignore the signs of an amazing God that is all around us. We get bogged down with the events of the day and wonder why we feel a heaviness we can not discard. In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” But, first friends before the good Lord can use us we need to let go, and allow the Lord to use us.

The point I am trying to make is that the way we perceive the world shows us a microcosm of our own outlook. We can either see the beauty in God’s creation or dwell on the ugliness. we have this choice each day, and in our lives. We can focus on the beauty of the sky, even when a storm and lightning is flashing. The area in which is prone to hurricanes from time to time. Have you ever looked at the vastness of a hurricane, especially over land? It is awe-inspiring as well as deadly. It is a time to take shelter, and carefully prepare. We see the danger coming and can make provisions for our life. It is a warning.

Just as we prepare for a hurricane or lightning storm, we prepare for our spiritual wellness. In 2 Corinthians 5 we read, “…for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Our faith is in God and in God we see the greatness of his creation in the world He gave us. The new movement has made a god out of creation and the elements, with talk of forces and auras and other counterfeits. Yet, we need to take back authority to speak of creation as seeing it as His handiwork. The creation is good, not bad. Man has turned his back on God and therefore sin entered the world. How do we know that the world is created good? We read it in the book of Genesis as we read about the creation of the world. Genesis 1:31 sums up God’s creation, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” God said it was good – very good. Why wouldn’t it be good if it was God who created it?

The vastness of the universe is also a sign of God’s immense greatness. Have you ever stargazed on a clear night? Another awe-inspiring look at nature. The universe makes us appear like a micro-speck or insignificant. Psalms 8:1-4 [Read on air.]

God created us in His image and learned men throughout time have tried to understand exactly what that means. We can again see God’s handiwork in the marvel of the human body, a single-celled organism is not simple at all it is highly complex. And think of the human body with trillions of cells.

What an amazing God we serve! So, friends, rejoice. When you are down look outside, look at the beautiful world that surrounds you. This week, look at the creation of the universe and praise God in everything! I pray the Lord blesses you and infills you with joy and the peace that surpasses understanding.

 

Simple & Ordinary

A few weeks ago I interviewed Rachel Balducci about her new book, No Such Thing as Ordinary and we talked about how oftentimes, we are waiting to do something big and important for God and miss what is in front of us.

Reminder from God

I have lots of insomnia lately and so the middle of the night is time for prayer and deep conversation with God. He reminded me of a few things, in particular, that he uses the ordinary things of life to help and sustain us.

As an example, there is Elijah, beaten down and afraid after his encounter with Jezebel. He wanders off, whining and complaining. God sends an angel to him and encourages him to sleep and when he wakes up gives him food and drink. Then he sleeps again to prepare himself for the next journey. He goes to the mountain of Horeb and there meets God.

Again, God was not in the dramatic weather but in the quiet.

“He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. ” 1 Kings 19:11-12

In the Ordinary

It is a reminder, isn’t it? Stop looking out there and look inside. Yourself. Your home. Look to what is reasonable, a nap, a snack, time with God.

Living Not Lukewarm is not about setting out each day to accomplish a great list of tasks that bring hundreds to Jesus. It is about doing what is in front of us, relying on Jesus to lead us and fully entering into the task at hand.

Whatever your tasks are this week, do them with the same zealousness as Elijah did what the LORD asked him to do!

Introduction to Trauma Series: Avoiding Spiritual Identity Theft

Introduction to Trauma Series: Avoiding Spiritual Identity TheftEpisode #2 – Introduction to Trauma Series (Avoiding Spiritual Identity Theft!)

Have you or someone you love endured sufferings in which you continue to feel stuck?  Does this leave you feeling confused or even fearful, perhaps even rejected or abandoned by God?  Unfortunately, there are so many types of trauma and such experiences are so prevalent that it’s difficult to imagine someone who hasn’t been traumatized at one time or another.

 

Have you ever been told or thought that if you only had greater faith you’d be able to overcome feelings of abandonment, rejection or insecurity?  In this series Margaret will help unpack how the neurophysiology of trauma can leave us trapped in the emotions from traumatic experiences regardless of how great our faith is.  Come to a deeper understanding of what happens in the person during traumatic experiences and deepen in your sense of God’s love.  Grow in compassion for yourself and others.

 

Due to a very specific biological reaction during trauma, even decades later we can default to a mode of fear leading to cortisol (a stress hormone) and shutting off oxytocin (a feel-good hormone associated with love, trust, and friendship) when we encounter reminders of those traumatic experiences.  Knowing the body responds in this way can help us to cling to the truth and not give into a skewed perspective that is fear-based.

 

The evil one wants to divide you off within yourself, disconnect you off from others, and even give you a sense of separation from God by spiritual identity theft!  He wants you to think that your symptoms of feeling fearful and rejected are really who you are.  The truth is they aren’t who you are.  They are only how you are doing in a moment.  Understanding where those feelings come from can help unmask the lies we can take on and operate out of and even more it can help us stay grounded in the truth of our identity as God’s beloved children!

 

My first book, More Than Words:  The Freedom to Thrive After Trauma, is available on Amazon.com and will provide you with more information about how traumatic experiences can impact us even decades later.

 

 

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.

 

A Prayer of Surrender

Suscipe or Surrender Prayer

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my will, all that I have and cherish you have given to me; I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and strength are wealth enough for me. I ask for this and nothing more. St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

What else besides God?

What do we need besides God? Nothing. If I give, willingly, all that God has given me, back to God can you imagine what will happen in your life? Our surrender –  of material goods, worry, the desire to control – all that can be given to Him and then we allow ourselves to be guided by God’s will.

God only wants our good. Surrender though is a daily process. We sometimes forget to pray, “thy will be done” or we give our concerns to God and take them back. We don’t want to wait on His answer, convinced we know better.

Pray this prayer when you are worried or have a problem or make it a part of your morning prayer time. Pray it this week and watch what happens.

 

 

Join the Live Not Lukewarm community and receive the video series, 4 Ways to Pray with Scripture!

 

 

The Ambition of James & John Matt.20:20-28 Deacon David Hockwalt

A Moment in Scripture- ‘The Ambition of James & John Matt. 20:20-28  By Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

 

What is Wholeness and Holiness Podcast?

What is Wholeness and Holiness Podcast?Episode #1 – What is Wholeness and Holiness Podcast?

Have you ever wondered how our natural human lives and the spiritual life are connected?  Would you believe that the study of psychology and counseling can actually serve to illuminate and deepen our relationship with the Lord?  It’s true!  He made us in such a way that our human and spiritual lives are intertwined.  The more we live lives of human and spiritual integration the more we will deepen in the sense of peace and fulfillment He has for us.

In this podcast, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Certified Trauma Therapist Margaret Vasquez shares with you many of the insights she has gained through over 16 years of providing intensive trauma therapy to clients of all ages and seeing the world through the lens of her degree in Theology.  Author, TV and radio guest, trainer and retreat master, Margaret is passionate about bringing people to a deeper participation in the intimacy the Lord has for them.

Tune in weekly for a greater understanding of the spiritual life, religion, Church, and what it all has to do with giving your everyday life greater peace, joy, and purpose.

 

Wholeness and Holiness Podcast

Join professional counselor and certified trauma therapist Margaret Vasquez for an inspiring and practical look at human and spiritual integration from a Catholic perspective.  Gain practical understanding, tips, and tools for personal integration and healthy relationships for lives of wholeness and holiness.

Margaret is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Certified Trauma Therapist, Certified Intensive Trauma Therapy Instructor, both a Certified Traumatologist and Field Traumatologist and is Certified in Myers-Briggs.  After over 15+ years treating trauma clients of all ages, presenting to a wide variety of groups in-person and through guest appearances on EWTN, radio shows, and podcasts, Margaret Vasquez founded Sacred Heart Healing Ministries which provides intensive trauma therapy, healing retreats, and trauma-informed care certification training.  She began serving as a consultant for Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Institute for Diaconal renewal, and presenting workshops and retreats to religious, priests, deacons, and lay people.  She now makes these same retreats and workshops available to you in her new book Fearless and through in person and online retreats and workshops.

Margaret suffered for many years as a traumatized person before finding healing and freedom through a variation of the therapy she has honed over the years.  Due to this experience coupled with a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, she sees the challenges of life from a perspective of human and spiritual integration.  Understanding that wholeness and holiness are inextricable interwoven, Margaret has a passion for helping you live in the freedom and peace the Lord has for you.

Visit Margaret’s Website at: https://sacredhearthealingministries.com/ for more information on intensive trauma therapy, healing retreats, and trauma-informed care certification.

Father David Tickerhoof is a retired priest living at the Holy Spirit Friary at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Reviews for Margaret’s Books

Fearless: Abundant Life Through Infinite Love

If prayer and meditation are a means for developing a relationship with God, this book will not only help you to do that, but it will also challenge you to connect with Him with all of your being. Margaret is eloquent and yet writes in a clear easy to understand down to earth manner. Many of us find ourselves struggling in our prayer or we may find ourselves feeling alone even when we are surrounded by people and engaged. Others of us live in an inner world of anxiety and chaos because we are disconnected from our true selves. Each of these issues are addressed in Margaret’s book, FEARLESS. As you seek out wholeness and connection, Margaret challenges us to live beyond our fears towards a deeper ability to give and receive love through a deeper connection to God, others and ourselves.

More Than Words: the Freedom to Thrive After Trauma

Great resource for parents, teachers and others who work closely with people struggling with the effects of trauma on their lives. Full of inspirational stories and hope that there is a way to move on from trauma. I cannot wait for follow up books!

 

 

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.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven by Deacon David Hockwalt

A Moment in Scripture- ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ Matt. 13:44-46 by Deacon David HockwaltA Moment in Scripture- ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ Matt. 13:44-46 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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!

The Value of Friendship as We Age

How to Be Happy as You Age

There are 7 indicators, based on a Harvard Study that indicate how happy and well you will be later in life. A full explanation is here.

Briefly, the 7 are:

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Do not abuse alcohol
  3. Maintain healthy body weight
  4. Exercise
  5. Adaptive coping style
  6. Education
  7. Stable, long-term relationships

Focus on Friendships

“With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the Lord and to human beings: Harmony among relatives, friendship among neighbors, and a wife and a husband living happily together.” Sirach 25:1
“The people most satisfied in thoier relationships at age fifty ere the healthieest at age eighty.” Robert Waldinger
Here is Waldinger’s TED talk on this topic.
Call a friend and make plans to spend time with them this week!
Join us in the Live Not Lukewarm Community for this 10-day challenge! Registration and information are here. 

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.

Meet Rachel Balducci, Author of No Such Thing As Ordinary

A New Book

It’s always a treat to interview authors whose books I’ve read. Rachel Balducci is a speaker, writer and co-host of The Gist on Catholic TV. She teaches journalism at Augusta University and is married to Paul. They have five sons and one daughter. Her latest book, No Such Thing as Ordinary: Unlocking Your Extraordinary Life Through Everyday Encounters With Jesus, is published by Ave Maria Press.

Rachel chooses the story of the Woman at the Well from the Gospel of John, chapter 4 as the guiding scripture to discuss what means to have an extraordinary life through your encounters with Jesus.

Rachel reminds us that we don’t need to wait to do the great, important life-changing work for God. Simple living each day with the knowledge that we are doing what God asks of us at this moment is a response to Jesus’ invitation and is extraordinary.

Some Important Mentions

Rachel talks about Catherine Doherty and the Duty of the Moment.

The Cloud of Unknowing is the book Rachel read that helped her learn about contemplative prayer. That link takes you to a site where you can download a free copy. Please keep in mind that I cannot vouch for the translation.

Notes from the Conversation

We all want a deep union with God and a longing to do something great for HIm. We cannot wait for the opportunity to do the one, big thing, but do what is in front of you. That’s what God asks of us.

“Holiness is the best gift you can give your family,” a priest told Rachel this many years ago, and it took her some time, but she fully believes this to be true.

Outside the will of God, you will never be happy.

Your identity comes from God.

Spend 10 minutes a day in quiet with God. Simply open your soul to hear what He has for you.

Here is her website and be sure to follow Rachel on Instagram, @rachelbalducci 

 

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!

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C-Bread of Life Bible Study

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C-Bread of Life Bible Study

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C   July 10, 2022 –Bread of Life Bible Study

The question Jesus puts to the lawyer, “Who do you think was neighbor to the man?” Is the same question that is being asked of you and me. God’s love is so great that anyone who is in need is eligible for his help.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

Are you participating in your faith life?

Scripture

He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” Matthew 9:1-6

Do you accept what is offered?

Do ever feel as if you are not participating in your own spiritual or faith life? Maybe waiting for Jesus to do it all? In the passage, we can see that yes, Jesus is forgiving but the man accepts what Jesus does for him and acts on Jesus’ words. (I’m saying man, but it could be a woman.)

Do we ever sit there with a great idea, thinking, not me, nope, it’s for someone else? Let’s stop thinking Jesus isn’t offering us the best or the forgiveness or healing or a gift. Why can’t it be you?

Faith and Action

We can do both. And if our action seems daunting, pray this prayer, “Lord, I believe you have asked me to do what I am about to do, but if it is not what you want me to, please stop me.”

This week, pray to put fully participate in your faith life. If you get a direction from God, do it!

And, please, drop me a comment about how it goes or suggest a topic for discussion! I love to hear from listeners.

 

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C. The disciples were not trained in any special categories, nor did they have any unique qualifications.14th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C   July 3, 2022 –Bread of Life Bible Study

The disciples were not trained in any special categories, nor did they have any unique qualifications. What made them different was their awareness of Jesus’ power and their vision to reach all the people through him. There is no unemployment in Christian service. The Lord Jesus has work for everyone.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

 

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.

Visit Media Angels and the books and services provided for Christian Families. Books such as the Truth Seekers Mystery Series, A Few Minutes with God, One More Child as well as the 24 different Character Planners for the entire family.

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.

 

Is Spiritual Direction for you?

What is Spiritual Direction?

“It is the guidance of a person into a life truly under the dominion of the Holy Sprit, who is the primary director.”
from Seeking Spiritual Direction by Thomas Dubay, S.J.

“Spiritual direction is concerned with helping a person directly with his or her realtionship with God…the most fundamental issue is that relationship and its underlying questions: “Who is God for me, and who am I for him?”
from The Practice of Spritual Direction by William A. Barry & William J. Connolly

What is the purpose?

Just as we seek help in other areas of our lives, why not do the same for our spiritual life? Direction provides a time and space to learn how we can know, love, and serve God more fully and deeply in our life.

What happens in spiritual direction?

Listening to the directee (the person seeking direction), prayer, quiet, deep conversation, being open to the Holy Spirit, spiritual growth, affirmation, and transformation all occur during both the prayer time before a spiritual direction appointment and during the time the director and directee are together.

Of course, they don’t necessarily happen all at once but occur over time as people grow in their relationship with God.

Links and Books for More Information

Live NotLukewarm Spiritual Direction Page

Cenacle School of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spiritual Direction, A Ministry of the Marian Servants of Divine Providence, and in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville. This is where I went to school.

  • Seeking Spiritual Direction by Thomas Dubay, S.J.
  • Navigation the Interior Life by Daniel Burke

Discern if you would benefit from spiritual direction and please contact me if you’d like to discuss this further or want help finding a director.  Use this form to start a conversation.

13th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C

13th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C : Today's gospel gives us an example concerning the vocation to follow Christ. Vocation entails a "totality."13th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C   June 26, 2022 –Bread of Life Bible Study

Today’s gospel gives us a third example concerning the vocation to follow Christ. Vocation entails a “totality.” By this I mean that once we set out to follow Christ we do so wholeheartedly,  no half-way measures. We cannot chase after other pursuits; we should not be distracted so as other pursuits gradually become more and more important at the expense of the vocation to follow Christ.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Enjoy all of the books and products on MediaAngels.com such as the Truth Seekers Mystery Series, A Few Minutes with God, One More Child, the Character Planners for Kids, and much more.

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.

 

A Eucharistic Revival

Catholics having a revival

Yes, we are, starting on June 19, 2022, until July 17, 2024. That is two years to unpack the riches of the Eucharist, grow individually in your personal relationship with the Lord, and change the world!

Take a look here at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival website to keep up-to-date and informed as to the why and how of the next two years.

Scripture

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
(John 6:51)

Jesus is present in the Eucharist

In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, when many people left because they could not accept what Jesus was telling them and offering them, he does not correct them or soften the truth. Jesus can only speak truth because he is the Truth!

Three ways to get Close to Jesus in the Eucharist

  • Go to Mass and receive Communion. You can do this every day, not only on Sundays.
  • Spend time with Jesus in a church or chapel, where he is present in the Tabernacle.
  • Go to Adoration.

This week, do one of the three suggestions as to how to get closer to Jesus. I encourage you to do this in person, not virtually. There is something you receive from being physically present with Jesus. Ask him what he wants for you. Ask him what he wants from you. Spend time in his prescence and your relationship with him will greatly benefit.

 

 

Fruits of Human and Spiritual Integration

When we live lives of personal and relational peace, there is abundant fruit on both a human level and in our spiritual lives. Fruits of Human and Spiritual Integration

When we live lives of personal and relational peace, there is abundant fruit on both a human level and in our spiritual lives.  We are actually able to live the “abundant life” in the “peace the world cannot give”.  The overflow of the calm and stillness we experience removes the distractions that vie for our attention and enable us to foster the attraction our souls have for God.  There is more we all naturally long for and the more is the person of Jesus.

Living in the More, we begin to move from the initial conversion of removing big, glaring sin from our lives into living in loving Communion with the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit who came to make His home in us at our baptisms.  The freedom to respond more deeply avails us of even greater experiences of joy and freedom.  We move from a downward spiral of confusion, hurt, and brokenness to an upward spiral of freedom, peace, joy, and gratitude.  No longer fearing our powerlessness we are able to be embraced by the loving arms of our infinitely Loving Father in the kingdom of Heaven that is at hand.

Human and Spiritual Integration Series Podcast Summaries
Fr. David Tickerhoof, TOR and Margaret Vasquez, LPCC, CTT, CITTI

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

In the Catholic Church we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This worship service is called "The Mass," and it is a celebration of Word and Sacrament.In the Catholic Church we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This worship service is called “The Mass,” and it is a celebration of Word and Sacrament. It is also an act of fellowship among all Catholic believers. Our faith is strengthened through fellowship with Christ and with all other believers.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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!

Visit my website at MediaAngels.com for more information about my books, A Few Minutes with God, One More Child as well as the Character Planners for kids.

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.

 

The Trinity-A Mystery to Embrace

Thoughts from St. Hildegard

“But the Father is revealed through the Son, the Son through the beginning of created things, and the Holy Spirit through the incarnate Son. How is this? It is the Father who before time engendered the Son; it is the Son through whom all things were created by the Father at the beginning of creation; and it is the Holy Spirit who appeared in the form of a dove at the baptism of the Son of God towards the end of all time.”

A Mystery, but we can still think about it

We look at the Trinity through the lens of our faith. Do we fully understand it? Most likely not, but through the eyes of faith, we can embrace it and grow in our understanding as we grow in our faith.

In John 16: 12-15, we see the line of God the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit.

Pray the Glory Be this week to ask for the intercession of the Trinity:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Wrap Yourself in Joy Podcast

Wrap Yourself in Joy Podcast with Karen DwyerJoin award winning speaker, teacher and author, Karen Dwyer as we search for joy together. We will explore how to find true JOY, how to awaken JOY, how to defeat JOY Busters and how to create a JOY-filled prayer life – from a Christian perspective, a Biblical Perspective, a Catholic perspective. We will especially focus on God‘s love and God‘s truth, and what we can do to be filled with more JOY.

Do you need more joy in your life? Who doesn’t?  It seems everyone is seeking more joy, yet it is often elusive. Every day we face challenges to our joy, but they can be overcome. WRAP Yourself in JOY will help you live a life filled with abundant joy and tackle the challenges we all face in a changing world.

Join our journey and discover how to:

* Receive a greater capacity to accept the joy and the love of God.
*Awaken to joy from our joy-filled God who wants to share His joy with you.
*Develop a plan to resist the joy busters of fear, worry, anxiety, discouragement, anger, busyness and more.
*Stand strong in adversity.

In your quest for true joy, you will not be disappointed!

Karen’s Website: https://wrapyourselfinjoy.com/

Get a copy of Karen’s Books here

About Karen:

Karen Dwyer is an inspirational speaker and has been an award-winning college teacher, specializing in helping students and adults of all ages conquer their public speaking anxiety.

Karen is the author of 10 books including WRAP Yourself in JOY: Find the JOY & Fight the Fear, WRAP Yourself in Scripture,  Esther for Such a Time as This: Prayer, Reversals & Joy, Nehemiah—Rebuilding Hope & Joy in Your Life, The Joy of Advent—Journey with the People, Events &, Prayers at the First Coming of Jesus Christ, and iConquer Speech Anxiety.

Karen has been a guest on EWTN’s The Choices We Face and on several Catholic radio programs, including programs on Spirit Catholic Radio. She is the Coordinator for Magnificat-Omaha, founder of the Heart of Jesus Prayer Groups, a Council Member of USA Pentecost Today and has served on the Board of Directors for KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio and the national Mission Advisory Council for the Institute of Priestly Formation (IPF).

Karen says, “The Lord Jesus Christ wants to share His joy with you (John 15: 11).  He is the One who sustained me through great tragedy and gave me His JOY.  Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit want to give YOU more JOY. “

Karen and her husband Larry are active members of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Omaha, NE.

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday: Our relationship with God has begun in faith which reveals to us that we are delivered from our past by Christ's death.Trinity Sunday-C June 12th, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Our relationship with God has begun in faith which reveals to us that we are delivered from our past by Christ’s death. Hope grows as we learn all that God has in store for us, and God’s love supplies all our needs and enables us to reach out to others.  In the future we will become, but now we must overcome.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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!

Enjoy all of my books at MediaAngels.com/store. For more information about A Few Minutes with God or One More Child.

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!

 

The Feast of Pentecost

Come, Holy Spirit

The Feast of Pentecost is a theophany, a manifestation of God! Luke, the writer of Acts, uses the retelling as a way to remind us that the Jews also celebrated Pentecost. For them, it was the celebration of Moses receiving the Torah from God on Mt. Sinai. The same wind and fire are present in both events.

Holy Boldness

Peter and all who receive the gift of the SPirit are filled with a boldness to go forth and proclaim the Good News. We have that same call, by virtue of our baptism, to do the same.

The Birthday of the Church

Yes, it is the birthday of the Church!!!! So celebrate.

Wear read. Have a party. Light some candles.

This week, you have options.

  1.  Wear red to church.
  2. Step in boldness in a way the Holy Spirit has been nudging you. Pray, “Come Holy Spirit” and do it.
  3. Throw a party!

 

Pentecost Sunday-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Pentecost Sunday: Today is, in reality, the birthday of the church, and the Christian religion was to be a church for the whole world.Pentecost Sunday-C June 4th, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Today is, in reality, the birthday of the church, and the Christian religion was to be a church for the whole world. Let today be the day you fall on your knees and invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and become the Lord of your life. Take a few moments and confess to the Lord all that is twisted within you, and then ask him to let his Holy Spirit fill you with the power and peace that surpasses all understanding.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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?

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

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.

Spiritual Reflection on Mother Mary

Spiritual Reflection on Mother Mary: Fr. Pat Crowley, SS.CC., MAS, is a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and MarySpiritual Reflection on Mother Mary – Fr. Pat Crowley SS.CC MAS – North County San Diego Magnificat Chapter 5.21.22

Fr. Pat Crowley, SS.CC., MAS, is a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the Western United States Province. Father Crowley is the Spiritual Advisor for the Magnificat North County San Diego Chapter. He is a retreat director and conference speaker who brings a holistic approach to the healing ministry. Since 1972 his healing services have moved Christians into a deeper faith experience in the healing love of Jesus Christ. Father is He resides at the Sacred Hearts House of Prayer, Hemet, CA., 92544

Human and Spiritual Connection

Fr. David and Margaret Vasquez discuss how we can break the cycle of fear and hurt and allow ourselves to be more fully embraced by Perfect Love who casts out fear.Human and Spiritual Integration Series Podcast Summaries
Fr. David Tickerhoof, TOR and Margaret Vasquez, LPCC, CTT, CITTI

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that what we receive we receive according to the mode from which we operate.  Unfortunately, that mode can be one of fear due to very biological effects of past hurts and woundedness.  However, it does not have to be so.  In any battle, it is key to know who the enemy is.  In the battle for integrating our spiritual lives, fear is the enemy!

In this podcast, Fr. David and Margaret Vasquez discuss how we can break the cycle of fear and hurt and allow ourselves to be more fully embraced by Perfect Love who casts out fear.  Key to doing so is coming to understand the four factors (chosen, known, valued, and boundaries) that foster openness and prepare us for the bonds of unity through the Holy Spirit.

You’ll learn tips for how to foster healthy relationships in your own life and how to avoid common pitfalls.  Applying these tools to growing healthy relationships can help you not only avoid unnecessary hurts and confusion, but instead foster peace and joy in the lives of each one of  of the people you touch.

As we make our default mode one of self-compassion, it begins to become more naturally and consistently how we relate to all and by doing so we become conduits of grace ministering the compassion of the Lord to each other and facilitating their ability to be compassionate with themselves.

In this process, we deepen in our personal and interpersonal wholeness and grow in greater holiness as we imitate the Lord’s compassion.

 

 

7th Sunday of Easter-C & Ascension

7th Sunday of Easter-C & Ascension - Jesus physical presence left the disciples when He lifted up His hands...7th Sunday of Easter-C. & Ascension – Bread of Life Bible Study

It is more natural for people to be divided then united. It is more natural for people to fly apart then to come together. But real unity between all Christians would require a “supernatural solution, and that solution is loving one another as Jesus has loved us.

Ascension – Jesus physical presence left the disciples when He lifted up His hands, blessed them and was taken up into Heaven. You receive this blessing each time you attend Mass.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Visit MediaAngels.com

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!

 

 

A Moment in Scripture- Feast of Dedication by Deacon David Hockwalt

A Moment in Scripture- ‘Feast of Dedication’ John 10:22-30 by Deacon David Hockwalt. We pray you experience the presence of Jesus Christ.A Moment in Scripture- ‘Feast of Dedication’ John 10:22-30 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

6th Sunday of Easter – Bread of Life Bible Study

6th Sunday of Easter: Living a life conforming to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is not easy. We have so many distractions in our everyday living.6th Sunday of Easter-C. May 22, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Today, living a life conforming to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is not easy. We have so many distractions in our everyday living, that only the Holy Spirit could empower us to remember with clarity the obedience that’s needed to walk the Christian walk.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

5th Sunday of Easter

5th Sunday of Easter: Jesus's love for us shows us that there is no glory like that of being loved. Let that sink in for a moment.5th Sunday of Easter-C, May 15, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Jesus’s love for us shows us that there is no glory like that of being loved. Let that sink in for a moment. He died for you because he loved you just as you are, not as you should be.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

 

5 ways to Care for your Soul

Our soul needs care just as our body does. This week, I’m offering 5 suggestions that help me be the Christian witness I want to be and live notlukewarm!

Five Ways

  1. Start your day with a prayer.
  2. Read scripture.
  3. Spend time in nature, noticing the beauty of God’s creation.
  4. Sit in silence for a short time.
  5. Practice gratitude.

Why do this?

As the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” Our ability to give to others is often determined by our internal state. And while taking care of our body is important, we cannot forget about our soul. In fact, from my own experience, I will say that my soul comes first, then I can do the rest of what is needed.

The challenge this week? Do it all! I guess I’m feeling a bit motivated or in need of soul care? God knows!

Need a speaker

Take a look at LiveNotLukewarm for ways to connect and have me come to your group.

 

 

Faith and Trauma

Fr. David Tickerhoof, TOR discusses the effects of trauma and what you can do about them with trauma therapist Margaret Vasquez.Because the particularly hurtful events we endure can become encoded in the brain in a way where they continue to be experienced as current rather than past, we can be effected in a wide variety of ways without even being aware.  We can end up stuck in a fight or flight response that can significantly limit our freedom to act or respond from love rather than fear.  This knee-jerk reaction mode can lead to a breakdown in our sense of connection to our very selves and this most often flows out to others.  As it turns out, “love your neighbor as yourself” is as much descriptive of how we tend to relate as it is prescriptive of how we ought to relate.  That is, we do tend to connect healthily to others to the extent that we are healthily connected to ourselves.

Since the spiritual life is about relationship to the Holy Trinity, the Church triumphant, the Church militant, and the Church suffering those relationships can, too, become quite muddled, unnecessarily complicated, and breakdown when we live out of the emotions and mindsets of painful and threatening experiences.  The good news is that it need not be so!

In this three part series, you’ll come to understand the effects of trauma on yourself and on others, what you can do to lessen or eliminate those effects, and live in the peace, joy, and freedom of the Love who casts out all fear.  Human and spiritual integration is essential to bring those spiritual concepts into our daily lives and relationships.  When we operate from a place of compassion we build the culture we were made for – one of connection, Communion, and personal integration.  Fr. David Tickerhoof, TOR discusses the effects of trauma and what you can do about them with author and veteran professional counselor and trauma therapist Margaret Vasquez.

Human and Spiritual Integration Series Podcast Summaries
Fr. David Tickerhoof, TOR and Margaret Vasquez, LPCC, CTT, CITTI

 

 

 

Nicodemus Seeks Answers Jn. 3:7-15 Deacon David Hockwalt

Nicodemus Seeks Answers. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God.A Moment in Scripture- ‘Nicodemus Seeks Answers John 3:7-15 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

4th Sunday of Easter – C

4th Sunday of Easter. The role of a shepherd was very well known. A flock of sheep knew their master by the sound of his voice.4th Sunday of Easter, C – May 8, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

The role of a shepherd was very well known in Palestine, and they knew that a flock of sheep knew their master by the sound of his voice. When God speaks we  must listen to him, or else we risk pushing the truth out of our lives. Jesus says, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

Growing Spiritually Serving Others

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast or listen to this here – online. You can download this talk on your computer or you can listen on your phone. Share this podcast with a friend.

Growing Spiritually Serving Others: In this episode, we will explore ways to grow spiritually and serving others.Tools for Growing Spiritually Serving Others

In this episode, we will explore ways to grow spiritually and serving others.

Show Notes: Tools for Growth in Serving Others

In the First Letter of John, the writer speaks of the anointing we who are baptized have from Christ. “But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you have knowledge…As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you. But his anointing teaches you everything and is true and not false, just as it taught you, remain in him.” (1 Jn.2: 20-27)

The “anointing” referred to here is the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the baptized, source of wisdom and understanding. The Jerusalem Catechizes, presented in the Liturgy on the Octave of Easter Friday also speaks about the anointing with the Holy Spirit.

“When we were baptized into Christ and clothed ourselves in him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God. Having destined us to be his adopted sons and daughters, God gave us a likeness to Christ in his glory, and living as we do in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.” When he said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us…But we too have been anointed with oil, and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in his life.

This year we are now in the midst of celebrating the great season of the Pascal Mystery. It is the heart and core of the life and power of our Christian life. As Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed, during the Vatican Council II,  the Paschal Mystery is the heart and center of the Council’s teaching, and as such is the heart and core of a Christian’s life. How should we view this very clear teaching in relationship to the Church’s Grace of Renewal? In the spiritual renewal movements, the approach is usually a seminar which prepares one to be prayed for “a new empowerment of the Holy Spirit.” There is plenty of evidence of the wonderful things that happen for a person who has had this experience, and if one feels drawn in that direction of renewal, seeking to receive an empowerment of the Holy Spirit, a new special grace of spiritual refreshment, I highly encourage it.

However, I am proposing a different approach to a similar reality, which I have called the spiritual experience of the Church’s Grace of Renewal and Reform. The basic scriptural reference that I suggest is the Easter Sunday night experience of the disciples gathered in the upper room, recorded in St. John’s Gospel (Jn.20: 19-23). The heart and core of this approach is the full gamut of the Paschal Mystery, which includes the sending of the Spirit by the Father and Jesus. Certainly, we would need a preparation program including a series of teachings. The prayer of spiritual anointing and commissioning at its conclusion could be termed, the Baptism of the Spirit in the Paschal Mystery. The starting point of the threefold empowerment of the Resurrection, the Cross, and the Spirit would be the experience of the Glorified Risen Lord and Savior. It would also certainly include the empowerment of the Spirit and the Spiritual Gifts.

It is with this understanding in which I am presenting four opportunities to provide for others some tools for growth. In a previous reflective teaching, I presented some tools that focused on spiritual growth for individuals. Now in this teaching, I want to present a few tools that focus on group opportunities for others who may be seeking a relational program that is ongoing and growth producing in holiness of life. This reflective podcast teaching is going to concentrate on four opportunities which the podcast sponsors or supports for serving the spiritual growth of other brothers and sisters. In outreach, to others, this teaching is going to review the possibilities of serving a person or a group of individuals, who may want to be in relationship with others for the ways and means of spiritual growth and/or service to others. These four opportunities are ways of doing Evangelization.

The first tool which we want to consider is Power Focused Intercession. This means of growth, healing, and empowerment for others is looked at in some of the other podcast presentations. (The Path to Spiritual Freedom) Some of us may feel a real disconnect when we pray for others, or In the “Universal Prayers of the Faithful,” when it is hard to connect with the petitions. So we may settle for a dry cerebral or a disconnected prayer. We don’t seem to have a dynamic connection with the individual or group we are praying for.

This doesn’t mean that our intellectual prayer recitations for others are not blessed by God, they are! But what we want to try and do is proclaim and promote that we can have a connected grace-filled experience when we pray for others, which comes from our hearts and is experientially based. Where real change and miraculous results in the lives for whom we pray are happening.

Recognizing that in this approach we are exercising the beautiful truth that we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, and Jesus wants to give to us an invitation to join him in ministering a powerful happening in grace for the benefit of others. The key is in knowing how to connect up with the powerful working of the glorified Lord’s grace for the specific needs of an individual or group.

The simple formula: I am sorry for all the hard, painful, and difficult things that have happened to you. I take limitless responsibility for all that has happened to you! Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. Now before we are tempted to begin a rationalization that finds some difficulties, let’s take a look at how this formula is prayed in a direct union with the Lord himself.

We are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, by virtue of our water Baptism. We are in a dynamic personal relationship with the glorified Lord Jesus and one another. We are all the Body of Christ. This truth is the foundational truth in which we begin our intercession for another person or group.

The night of the Resurrection the glorified Jesus, who had already ascended to the right hand of the Father appears and says, Peace be with you! (Shalom!) It is done! I have accomplished it all! It is over and done with! Jesus gives the disciples and us the full experience of the Paschal Mystery. He breathes on them and says: “Receive the Holy Spirit…”, and commissions them to do also with others what he has accomplished and gives to them, and he will do it in them! In Romans chapter 8 it says, that both Jesus and the Spirit do intercession for us.

When we express our sorrow for the person we are praying for, we immediately leave our mere human desire and place ourselves in the heavenly plane; in total union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have just entered the supernatural realm. We then picture the person or group we are praying for and we enter into union with our glorified Lord and all that this means in light of that event, the Lord does the actual intercession, reparation, atonement prayer in which we are with him for he has accomplished it all!

So when we take limitless responsibility we are doing so in union with the Lord. So we should never take on the negative or destructive attitudes of the one we are praying for. So as we say, “please forgive me” it is the Lord who is acting in power. When we say I love you we are doing so truly with our human ability but now joined with the love of the Lord for that person. In this is the power we have of sharing in a miraculous power of love to change and heal another human being. And when we say “I thank You” we are “divinely” acting to affirm and identify the full purpose in which God has created that person.

This prayer of “power focused prayer” is a ministry and mystery of Love! When this procedure is a Spirit-led Experience and performed primarily with the heart, one will actually feel the powerful presence of the Lord working in a mysterious manner. Now, this is so good! When one does this prayer of cleansing, the individual will also feel the cleansing and healing going on in oneself. Therefore, while we are doing this mission of love for another person, the Lord is doing a work of tender healing and cleansing in the one praying. “Two sides of the same coin” The way to really learn the experiential truth of all this is by practice, practice, practice! The more we do this the more we are drawn into the power and the more we experience the cleansing power in our own life.

Unbound Ministry: An approach to healing and deliverance that fits well in Catholic Life: The approach to healing and deliverance which seems to fit best in the ambient of the Catholic Church is the ministry developed by Neal and Janet Lozano entitled “Unbound Ministry.”

It follows a similar approach to the general basics of praying with individuals for healing and deliverance. However, its uniqueness consists in the fact that the ministry operates from a position of “non-confrontational deliverance,” and the recipient of the ministry does the renunciation and takes personal authority of the specific aspects of personal evil. It uses common sense and the exercise of practical wisdom, which does not permit one to fight with evil spirits, but ministers truth in love to the recipient. In short, it is a ministry of evangelization, which provides deliverance from personal evil, and also aids the recipient in receiving spiritual healing and the gift of genuine freedom. Essentially it involves the “five keys to spiritual freedom”:

  1. The first key is to stand in the experience and truth of faith and practice life-giving repentance.
  2. The second key involves forgiveness: seeking forgiveness from God, forgiving others, and forgiving oneself. It also means giving forgiveness to others in all situations of life where I have been hurt or offended. The follow through in this key is after forgiveness then let things go and surrender them to the Lord, the icing on the cake is praying for those who have sinned against and hurt me. The fourfold features of completed forgiveness. Because all four are exercised it brings closure in the process of forgiveness.
  3. The third key is the acknowledging and renouncing in the name of Jesus, the identified attitudes and the spirits of darkness, which have been oppressing, harassing and working in one’s life.
  4. The fourth key is taking authority in the name of Jesus over these entities and commanding them to leave.
  5. The fifth key is finally praying with the recipient for the Father’s love and blessing. This blessing confers grace for the recipient in which they experience that they are a beloved son or daughter of the Father, and they are especially loved by God.

Fire Groups: A source for helping people make changes in their life, and living the Christ-Life.

Fire by its very nature has the ability to make changes in things. However, it is primarily used symbolically in Scripture. One may recall Moses seeing the bush on fire but not burning up; representing God’s awesome holiness. It purifies one from the dross of sin. It illuminates the mind and enables one to see what is pleasing to God. In the human person, the symbol of fire illuminates the mind, energies of the will, and gives strength to the soul. In relationship to personal holiness, it inflames us with love.

In the recent past in this country FIRE was used as an acronym to identify changing ones life and living a new life in Christ. At this time it is useful to identify a flexible small group opportunity that meets occasionally to help one another grow more deeply in the Lord.

A salient feature in a small fire group is this:

F stands for Faith; I stands for all the forms of Intercession. R stands for life-giving Repentance. E stands for Evangelization and doing mercy work. These four topics are joined as one, and they represent a process of opportunities for growing in Christian maturity. So FIRE represents a small group fellowship. These groups could be made available to those who are interested. These groups would be useful for spiritual growth, formation, and transformation

Merciful Christian Fellowship Groups: Fields of Compassion.

I served at Franciscan University of Steubenville from 1968 until 1990. In those years the Friars, members of the faculty, students, and members of the lay community worked together to develop spiritual renewal. Individuals at that time were trying to grow in holiness and serve others to grow in holiness and human maturity. Many were talking about “eating right” and losing weight and bemoaning the frustration of consistent failures in their sincere attempts. Someone mentioned about a group program started in the Boston area that claimed to be very successful in achieving the goal of weight loss. It was called, “Diet, Discipline, and Discipleship.”

Some decided to research and then provide the opportunity for those who desired to develop this approach of small groups, where individuals kept track, openly reported results and failures, and were held weekly accountable. The results were amazing! Individuals lost weight easily and consistently. The success of this communal relational endeavor was quite impressive. One of the lessons of this group centered accomplishment was the huge success that happened when individuals quit trying on one’s own and joined in a group effort.

The Church in this country is just beginning to appreciate the value of small fellowship groups developed to aid one in growing in Christian holiness and maturity. “Evangelizing Catholic Culture” Podcast will eventually be providing two types of small group fellowships for the purpose of growth and support in the Christian life. The first one is FIRE Growth Groups mentioned above, and the second one is Merciful Christian Fellowship Groups. The Merciful Christian Fellowship Groups are designed to help individuals grow in living a committed Gospel form of life. The MCFG’s are designed to provide a flexible formation experience as a modern penitent, to assist individuals to grow and share one’s faith, and training to do some type of evangelization or mercy service. Who may want to take a look at this opportunity?

  1. Anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus, and feels called to deepen their skills in prayer and outreach to others.
  2. Anyone who wants to grow in the use of the spiritual gifts and qualities of mercy by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
  3. Anyone who enjoys prayer and desires personal transformation, and formation in the life of grace.
  4. Anyone who wants to grow more comfortable and skilled in sharing their personal faith story.

May We Pray!

Lord, we trust in your abundant Mercy and ask that you would fill our hearts with the desire to grow in holiness. May the Holy Spirit move us to become aflame with a desire to bring your love and mercy to those we serve. As missionary disciples give us a willingness to reach out to those who are suffering and struggling to live a happy life in this post-modern world. Let the joy of the Gospel and our humble acts of mercy bring your goodness and love to others. We ask this prayer of our Father who is ever ready to lead us more deeply into a union with Jesus Christ, his beloved Son. Amen,

 

 

The Courage of St. Catherine of Siena

About Catherine

Catherine of Siena was born in Siena, Italy in 1347. She was a twin but her sister died shortly after birth. The following year the Black Death entered Siena.

She had a vision of Jesus as a young child and from then knew she wanted to give her life to God and renew the Church.

She took a vow of virginity and cut her hair; her desire was to avoid marriage.

In 1363 she joins the Mantelatte, a lay Dominican order of women in Siena.

Bold and Courageous

She wrote to Popes and civil leaders, telling them to do what was right and necessary to fix the problems in the Church and community. She ministered to the sick and dying. A story I tell in the audio is about her helping a man who is to be executed.

Her Writings

We have letters, prayers and her most well know, THe Dialogue of Catherine of Siena. The Dialogue is a series of conversations between God and Catherine while she was in a deep prayer state.

Pray Catherine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit when you find yourself falling into despair.

 

 

Mary at the Tomb – John 20:11-18 by Deacon David Hockwalt

Mary at the Tomb - John 20:11-18 by Deacon David Hockwalt: We pray that you experience the presence of Jesus Christ today.A Moment in Scripture- ‘Mary at the Tomb’ John 20:11-18 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

3rd Sunday of Easter

3rd Sunday of Easter: He whom God has exalted at his right hand as ruler and savior is to bring repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 3rd Sunday of Easter, C – May 1, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Better for us to obey God than man! He whom God has exalted at his right hand as ruler and savior is to bring repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those that obey Him.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

A New Book: Joyful Encounters with Mary

A new book!

Maria Gallagher has written, Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary, a wonderful way to learn more about the joyful mysteries, virtues and the saints while living out your faith every day!

5 Joyful Mysteries

The 5 joyful mysteries are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. Each mystery is discussed in light of Mary, a virtue, a saint and how Maria has seen this mystery in her life.  The chapters also have questions to reflect on how your faith is present in your life. To learn how to pray the rosary, go here.

Why a book about Mary?

Maria has been blessed with many role models who helped her in her own faith adventure, modeling the love and care of Mary for her. MAria also reminds us that Mary leads us to Jesus and is always there for us – listening, helping and untieing the knots in our lives. We both like the Undoer of Knots Novena.

Where can I find this book?

The book is published by the Marian Servants and is on their website. You can read more of Maria’s work on her website.

Maria suggests, for our challenge this week, to actively cultivate a deeper relationship with Mary, our Blessed Mother.

2nd Sunday of Easter-C Bread of Life Bible Study 2.24.2022

2nd Sunday of Easter-C Bread of Life Bible Study 2.24.20222nd Sunday of Easter, C – April 24, 2022 – Bread of Life Bible Study

Meeting their Resurrected Savior transformed eleven terrified apostles into courageous “keepers of the flame.” The secret of their power is also our secret, and that is the peace of mind and heart. The real power is the Holy Spirit, who gives us the Peace of Christ, and sends us out to fulfill the Great Commission, “His living presence in our life.”

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

Easter Sunday-Bread of Life Bible Study

Easter Sunday: Alleluia is a Hebrew word that means "praise ye the Lord." On this Easter Sunday we give praise to our Lord.Easter Sunday. April 17, 2022, Bread of Life Bible Study

Alleluia is a Hebrew word that means “praise ye the Lord.” On this great day of Easter Sunday we give thanks, gratitude, and our complete joy in the form of praise to our Lord. We can only accept the fact of the resurrection when we have first personally encountered Jesus Christ. The understanding of the resurrection takes on a special meaning as we commit our life to Jesus and His presence remains with us. Alleluia- He is Risen – Alleluia – He is alive.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Faith at the Empty Tomb

Happy Easter

I hope that if you pull this up on Good Friday, you wait for another day to listen. This is a resurrection meditation! Filled with the good news of Jesus’ triumph over death.

A Fresh Hope

Each year we celebrate Easter to remind ourselves, yet again, that Jesus gave us our salvation.

The Meditation

The mediation is based on John 20:1-9.  Here are the questions I pose for reflection:

  • In times of grief, do you want to be alone or need others around you?
  • Have you ever not known where Jesus was in your own life?
  • What helped you find him?
  • I have had many resurrections in my life, how about you? Find some time to think about those, maybe write them down and praise and thank God for them.

I didn’t give a Not Lukewarm challenge this week. Instead, I encourage you to spend time in prayer with the reflection questions and scripture passage.

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.

 

 

 

 

The Four Women Church Doctors

Who are they?

Saints Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux are the four women Doctors of the Church!

Why are they called Doctors?

In honoring these women with this title, the Chuch is recognizing that the work and contributions each of these saints made has withstood the test of time. It is just as valuable to us today as it was to those who spoke, wrote, and mentored when the women first put forth their efforts.

To learn more…

Click on the name of each saint to learn more about them.

And your challenge this week is to learn more about one of these great women saints!

Don’t forget, if you’d like to study the Book of Revelation, we begin on April 20. Also, join the newsletter to find out when we being the Set the World on Fire retreat.

Palm Sunday: Bread of Life Bible Study

Palm Sunday: Bread of Life Bible Study. Jesus manifested to the whole world by being on the cross the core of healing is through forgiveness.Palm Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

The way to the Kingdom is the way of the Cross. Jesus then manifested to the whole world by being on the cross the core of healing is through forgiveness. Jesus asked the Father to forgive all those who were putting Him to death.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Ask God for the Plan

Scripture

“I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” John 5:30

Reflection

If Jesus, who is the one speaking, makes the point that he cannot do anything on his own, how much truer is this for us? Jesus is showing humility and by his example is telling us to do the same. Turn to God the Father. Ask him before you do anything so it will be aligned with his will, not yours.

Free Will

Free will, we all have it. And for some, it means doing whatever we want. For others, for me and probably for you, we want to do the Father’s will. Let’s face it, he is a much better planner than I am. The way Jesus knew his Father’s will was through prayer. It is how we stay connected to him.

This week, before you make a major decision or changes to your previous plans, go to God first and ask for his plan.

Interested in more?

Join the Revelation Bible Study with the Live Not Lukewarm Community.

Want to dive deeper into praying with scripture? Sign up for the Live Not Lukewarm newsletter to receive 4 Ways to Pray with Scripture.

 

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!

5th Sunday of Lent

5th Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study. Jesus offers to all of us the second chance, the gift of forgiveness.5th Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

In Jesus there is the gospel of the second chance. He didn’t say that what the adulteress had done did not matter, broken laws and broken hearts always matter; but he was interested in her future more than her past. Jesus offers to all of us the second chance, the gift of forgiveness.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

A Reflection on the Annunciation by Donna Ross

Reflection on the Annunciation by Donna Ross Mary was chosen by God the Father to birth His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit! She is the daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit!  Donna Ross is the Coordinator of the CST Magnificat Ministry. A ministry to Catholic women.Reflection on the Annunciation by Donna Ross

Mary was chosen by God the Father to birth His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit! She is the daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit!

 

Donna Ross is the Coordinator of the CST Magnificat Ministry. A ministry to Catholic women.

10 Reasons to Study Scripture

Begin with Scripture

“Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

10 Reasons

  • It is the Word of God. What’s better than that?
  • You will get the best advice.
  • Spending time in the Word helps you to slow down and live in God’s time.
  • Yes, the sword is sharp as St. Paul says, but it is for a reason. To reveal what God wants to heal, root out, change in you to become who He created.
  • God’s Word is deep, meaningful, real and honest. Often the interactions we have in real life are less than deep, meaningful, real and honest.
  • It will help you figure things out in life. The big questions that need time and space and discernment.
  • God’s Word shapes and fills us, so then we can share it with the world.
  • Spending time in the Word teaches us who God is and who we are.
  • It reminds us of how much you are loved and cared for by God.
  • By spending time with God in the word you become a better person, the person He created you to be!

This week, spend 15 minutes a day reading, studying, praying with scripture. Start here with the daily Mass readings.

Want to dive deeper into praying with scripture? Sign up for the Live Not Lukewarm newsletter to receive 4 Ways to Pray with Scripture.

Join the Revelation Bible Study with the Live Not Lukewarm Community.

Forgiveness Matt. 18;21-35 By Deacon Dave Hockwalt

Forgiveness Matt.18:21-35 by Deacon David Hockwalt. We pray today is a special day as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ.A Moment in Scripture- ‘Forgiveness’ Matt.18:21-35 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

4th Sunday of Lent

4th Sunday of Lent: Who do you relate to in the Prodigal Son? The one who squandered his inheritance? His Father? The other son?4th Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Who do you relate to in the gospel on the Prodigal Son? Is it the one who squandered his inheritance then recognized the need to be obedient to authority or the Father extending compassion, love and forgiveness to those who have hurt him or the son, hopefully, learning from his anger that it puts everyone in bondage especially himself?

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Denunciation of the Pharisees

Denunciation of the Pharisees Matt. 23:1-12 Deacon David HockwaltA Moment in Scripture- ‘Denunciation of the Pharisees Matt.23:1-12 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

Ditch the Heaviness of Life

Life can be heavy

All of us in this world has both good and bad things going on. There are moments of joy and despair, all intermingled, sometimes in the same moments. And where we focus often determines our attitude.

Scripture

“Then all who trust in you will be glad and forever shout for joy. You will protect them and those will rejoice in you who love your name. ” Psalm 5:12

GLAD

What is this GLAD technique? First, this is not something I came up with on my own. Here is a good explanation, especially in terms of mental health.

G – Gratitude

L – Learned

A – Achieved or accomplished

D – Delight

 

Use GLAD every day this week! Bonus if you do this with others, in person or via text or phone call. Let me know how GLAD you are!

Interested in studying the Book of Revelation? Find out all about it by subscribing to the Live Not Lukewarm newsletter. 

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.

3rd Sunday of Lent -C Bread of Life Bible Study

3.14.2022 3rd Sunday of Lent: We need to hear what is being said in the Gospel...Jesus died for us; he has left his Spirit to help us grow.3rd Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

We need to really hear what is being said in today’s Gospel because we are like that tree and we need to repent. We need to be watered and re-cultivated or we will be ripped out and thrown away. Jesus died for us; he has left his Spirit to help us grow.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

 

 

 

 

 

We Have Given Up Everything – Deacon David Hockwalt

‘We have given up everything.’ Mark 10:28-31 by Deacon David Hockwalt. We pray that you experience the presence of Jesus Christ.‘We have given up everything.’   Mark. 10:28-31 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

2nd Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

2nd Sunday of Lent: Jesus is knocking at your heart's door. He will wait as long as it takes. Open the door and look into his radiant face.2nd Sunday of Lent-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Jesus stands knocking at the door of our heart, and He will wait as long as it takes. Open that door of your heart today and look into the radiance and dazzling brightness of His face. You will be transformed as you look into His eyes of love and mercy.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

Imagine You Walked with Jesus, A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer.

Teaching Prayer

Teaching a person to pray using Ignatian Contemplative Prayer is not an easy task. It takes time and repetition to learn. The other point to consider when teaching someone is that you want the person to enter into the prayer based on their needs, not the person teaching. In his new book, Imagine you Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer Jerry Windley-Daoust does an amazing job of guiding you to a deep experience of prayer.

In this episode, Jerry and I talk about what makes his book unique, how it leads you through Jesus’ life with 40 different scripture passages and gives you a format you can use with prompts and suggestions to enter into prayer.

Don’t skip

Jerry starts the book off with 2 important chapters, the first an introduction to imaginative prayer and a brief tour of first-century Palestine. Both will be of help to you as you begin.

I also suggest moving through the scripture passages as Jerry has organized them. That way, you will see Jesus’ life and ministry unfold as you pray with the scripture.

Learn more

Find out more about the book, find journaling resources, more scripture suggestions and other help in getting started on the Guide to Imaginative Prayer website.

Our challenge this week comes from Jerry: “Go walk with Jesus in imaginative prayer! Choose a Scripture passage that reflects your situation, and go meet Jesus there, and see what happens.”

Stay up to date on all that Deanna has going on by subscribing to the Live Not Lukewarm newsletter. 

 

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.

First Sunday of Lent – Bread of Life Bible Study

We must have faith in God's promise that he loves us so much that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to die just for us.First Sunday of Lent – Bread of Life Bible Study

 

Knowing Scripture is not enough to defeat Satan because he also knows Scripture. We must have faith in God’s promise that he loves us so much that he sent his only begotten Son into the world to die just for us.

 

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

 

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

 

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!

Asceticism

Asceticism – not a word you use every day

Lent is approaching and I’ve been considering the idea of asceticism. Which is different from minimalism.  But rather than my words, let’s look a the definition from A Concise Dictionary of Theology.

“Asceticism is the ways and mean sdopted by Christians under the action of the  Spirit to purify themselves from sin and remove obstacles in the way of freely following Christ. Genuine asceticism brings a growth in contemplation and the love of God that is not detrimental to personal maturity and socil responsibilty.”

And Lent…

The three pillars of Lent are prayers, fasting and almsgiving. Deacon John and I talk about how to decide what to both give up and do for Lent. We do not divest ourselves of attachments to worldly things for the good of our own self. We do it to grow closer to God and better serve others.

The steps to a plan

First, we pray. Then we consider our options. Add one act of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and give up something that allows you to have more time, money, energy – whatever is needed to do the acts you will do.

 

Lent begins on Ash Wedensday, Marh 4, 2022. Prepare for LEnt this week so you are ready when it begins. If you are listening outside of this time frame, pick something anyway to do for a week.

 

 

 

Who Do You Say that I Am – Matthew 6:13-20 – Deacon David Hockwalt

Who Do You Say that I Am - Matthew 6:13-20 - Deacon David Hockwalt. We pray that you experience the presence of Jesus Christ.Who Do You Say that I Am – Matthew 6:13-20 – Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

All through the ages, no matter what type of situation may have been present, almost everyone would agree that if you are critical, rather than compassionate, you will also receive criticism. 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

All through the ages, no matter what type of situation may have been present, almost everyone would agree that if you are critical, rather than compassionate, you will also receive criticism. If you treat others generously, gracefully, and compassionately, these qualities will come  back to you in full measure. Jesus does not mean we should ignore wrongdoing, but we are not to become critical of others that we begin to become one of God’s frozen people instead of one of his chosen people

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Thanks to our sponsor – Overcomer Movie to learn more about the DVD.

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.


Thank you to our Sponsor -Overcomer Movie

NOW AVAILABLE: OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.

Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box-office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson.


With the Lord’s Help

A Saint and some Scripture

We are reading The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila with the LiveNotLukewarm community.  The book is filled with wisdom, which is why she is a Doctor of the Church!

This struck me: “May our Lord assist me in everything that I shall do, that all things may be done according to His will, for such have always been my desires, though my actions are as imperfect as myself.”

And, thne we have the Letter of James, chapter 1, 19-22, though the entire letter is excellent.:

Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

Control the Tongue

Is it difficult to do? It is for me, how about you?

Invite God in more frequently, the more we ask for help the better off everyone will be. We can’t be a good example if we are not speaking with kindness.

Not Lukewarm Challenge

Read the Letter of James or say this prayer!

 

 

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Jesus makes known, very strongly in this reading, that love is a decision and not some sentimental sloppy emotion.7th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Jesus makes known, very strongly in this reading, that love is a decision and not some sentimental sloppy emotion. He was not talking about feelings, but about the use of our will.  We make a choice to love someone with our mind. We also make a choice to forgive someone with our mind.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary

Author Introduction

I had a fun conversation with Claire McGarry, the author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, published by Our Sunday Visitor. Her website is Shifting my Perspective and you can find links to her books and recent writing there.

Instagram                                                                                                                                                   Facebook Author Page

Why Martha and Mary

In her repeated readings of the story from Luke 10, Claire senses her own frustration with Martha and Mary, not understanding why she is in tension over someone else’s story. In prayer, God reveals to her a process to learn how to face the tension in our lives and use it to help us uncover what is going on within ourselves.

GIFT (from page 19 of Grace in Tension)

  • Gauge, identify and name the tension I was feeling
  •  Invite it in so I could look it in the eye, robbing it of its hold over me
  •  Filter it through his lens, which sees the whole picture with love
  • Transform it by inspiring me to make the necessary changes in my life and in myself

By using GIFT, we can have a choice in how we react to the tension around and in our life.

Claire invites you to try her G-I-F-T acronym in the midst of your stress and tension, it would naturally lead you to God and a life that is not lukewarm.

 

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C: The beatitudes show what Christians can expect from the world, and what God will give them.6th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

The beatitudes show what Christians can expect from the world, and what God will give them. Like a very sharp knife, the beatitudes cut away false piety from true humility.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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 Father’s Love

Back home

I’m back home after two weeks away to finish my spiritual direction certificate. I graduated on January 30, 2022, and received my Spiritual Direction Certificate from the Cenacle of Our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spiritual Direction in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville. It was a grace-filled time with lots to unpack and think about.

But this quote

We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son. (St. John Paul II)

Kept coming up again and again. I tucked it away to think about later and now it’s later. so a few thoughts.

My thoughts

This quote is from Pope John Paul II’s homily at World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada in 2002. I read the homily here, it’s not very long. I also was struck by these words:

Jesus offers one thing, and the “spirit of the world” offers another.

The “spirit of the world” offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness.

The Lord is calling you to choose between these two voices competing for your souls.

All of this is very Ignatian, choosing between two worlds, one which wants your good the other, not really interested in you at all. I’ve been struck this week with feelings of total inadequacy, which I know is the world playing with my mind after being immersed in the Father’s love for weeks, attacks come. To sway us, to confuse us, to pull us away from the truth.

How to overcome

First, pray with scripture so you can hear God speak to you. Then, I offer this not lukewarm challenge: make a list of all that God has done for you that reminds you of his great love for you.

Interested in reading a great book?

3 reasons to read The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila

You will grow in your spiritual life

It was written during a time of upheaval in the Church

St. Teresa gives practical ways to incorporate prayer in your daily life

We will begin on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:30 pm (EST) via Zoom. The cost is $8 for non-members (register here); LiveNotLukewarm members no need to register, but please email me that you will attend.

 

 

 

Jarius & the Hemorrhagic Woman Mk. 5:21-43 Deacon David Hockwalt

Jarius & the Hemorrhagic Woman Mk. 5:21-43 Deacon David Hockwalt ‘Jarius and the Hemorrhagic Woman’ Mk. 5-21-43 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Peter knew about Jesus' healing power, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs. God is interested not only in saving us, but also in helping us in our daily lives.5th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

Peter knew about Jesus’ healing power, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs. God is interested not only in saving us, but also in helping us in our daily lives.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

Conversion of St. Paul – Acts 22:3-16 By Deacon David Hockwalt

A Moment in Scripture- ‘Conversion of St. Paul’ Acts 22:3-16 by Deacon David HockwaltA Moment in Scripture- ‘Conversion of St. Paul’ Acts 22:3-16 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

365 Dates to Renew your Christian Marriage

Let’s talk

That phrase could be the answer to “how to strike fear in the heart of my husband?” But it isn’t. Honest. Dating your spouse and keeping your marriage at the forefront of your life can be difficult. What you might need is to take a look at this book from Dana Nygaard for 365 sets of questions to ask on a date.

Why this book?

At times, it is hard to think of what to talk about besides the necessary or tedious or mundane. Dana had put together questions that vary from fun to serious to silly that you can ask each other on your date. And “date” is loosely defined here. It can be a walk, a drive, dinner, or quiet time at home when the rest of the house is sleeping.

Each date has 3 questions: Ready, a warm-up; Set – while you are on your date, deep but can still be talked about in public and then Go – this is the time for privacy as you go into the topic more deeply. Prayer is also included, to be used individually and together.

Who is this for?

Any couple who wants to know and learn more about each other.  You can purchase the book on Dana’s website, follow her on Facebook and Instagram too!

Dana has a great challenge for us this week. She says, “protect your marriage by intentionally pursuing your spouse on date nights.”

Stay in the Not Lukewarm loop by signing up for our newsletter.

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of LIife Bible Study

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study: There can be no renewal unless there is first repentance.4th Sunday of Ordinary Time-C Bread of Life Bible Study

There can be no renewal unless there is first repentance. Jesus told them that in him everything is complete, and they did not believe him. In rising above their expectations, he began to reveal the mystery of the resurrection.

“There is a famine today that is raging across this great land of ours. There is a deep hunger and thirst for the healing Word of God … With humility, boldness, and energy, we must personally hear the Word, pray the Word, study the Word, proclaim the Word, and live the Word of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Introduction for The Bread of Life Bible Study)

Today’s podcast is based on the Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study and presented by the coauthor, Marie Finn. Please visit the website: www.StDismasGuild.org for more information and for supplemental materials.

We pray that today maybe a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this podcast. May the Lord speak to each heart the words He wants us to hear!

Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this sharing will help us better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness, and are called to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16). Join with us as we come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me. Holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org

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.

 

 

All in with your spiritual life

What does ‘not lukewarm’ mean?

To me, it means being all in, first with my spiritual life so then, the rest of life will follow. Life will never be perfect, but when grounded in faith, especially prayer and scripture, we all stand a better chance of dealing with life.

Scripture points

but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:6″The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.” Luke 16:19

“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.” James 5:12

A plan helps

As boring as it may sound, a plan helps. Commit to specific times to do certain things. And once you have made the commitment, stick with it. Don’t allow laziness or inertia to stop you. You have God on your side!

Not Lukewarm Challenge

Make a plan for your spiritual life. Contact me if you’d like to discuss some ideas or have a conversation.

 

 

And don’t forget, sign up for my email newsletter to stay up to date with Live NotLukewarm!.

Teaching with Authority – Mk. 1:21-28 Deacon Dave Hockwalt

A reflection on Teaching with Authority Mark. 1:21-28 by Deacon David Hockwalt. We pray that today may be a special day in your life...A reflection on Teaching with Authority Mk. 1:21-28 by Deacon David Hockwalt

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

We pray that today may be a special day in your life as you experience the presence of Jesus Christ among us through this reflection. Magnificat, taken from Luke: 1, is the great hymn of praise that Mary prayed while visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. We trust that this reflection will help us all better understand that we are truly children of God, made in His image and likeness. We want to come together in God’s presence and proclaim that the Almighty has done great things for you and me and holy is His Name!

To find out more about Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, visit us at www.magnificat-ministry.org