Authority – Part 3

The Holy Spirit prayed through Paul that you would have wisdom, understanding, and authority over demonic powers and the problems they cause in your life. More on this podcast!Lucia continues her series on the power and authority you have as a born-again child of God. The Holy Spirit prayed through Paul that you would have wisdom, understanding, and authority over demonic powers and the problems they cause in your life. John 14:12 reads, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.”  

Jesus didn’t say only a select few would do these works. He said those who believe on Him would do them. God wants people who are mighty in the Spirit; who are full of power. He has no such thing as small measures of men because He has great designs for you, and He’s determined by His power and His grace through His Son, Jesus, to bring you into His Glory. He’s given you a hope and chosen you before the foundations of the World so that He can manifest Jesus in you, and get the Glory over the powers of darkness and the devil, and every evil thing, so that you may reign over the powers of the devil as the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12.  

Lucia will give you examples of how to use your God-given power and authority to enforce Satan’s defeat in every situation in your life.
 

Links mentioned in the podcast: 

LuciaClaborn.com 

Relationships Key To Happiness

relationships Key To Happy Relationships Episode–62

The key to happiness? It features your relationships. I didn’t make this up or even read about it online but I did happen upon this thought over a conversation with our pastor at dinner a few weeks ago. We are blessed to have an amazing associate pastor and he is full of Irish humor and wisdom. He is also one of the most widely read men I know. He has a firm grasp of what is happening today as well as historically and of course theologically.

Father Toner recently discussed many topics and one surrounded relationships. It was one of those tangents that came up that blew me away and I asked him to explain. One of the things he talks about is how limited we are in our vocabulary to describe and understand God. One of his gems is that we should pray, “God I love You as You know yourself to Be.”

Think about that!

He also discussed how our Relationships are directly related to our relationship with God. Here are the three keys.

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with self
  3. Relationship with others

First, our relationship with God must be solid. You must do what… if you said, Spend a Few Minutes with God – the name of this podcast I say, wonderful! Yes! You must spend time with God to have a relationship. Pray, Sing and then wait. Listen. Be still.

Even as a Catholic I have accepted God as my personal savior. The prayer which you can search of online, and I am sure I have spoken about it in earlier podcasts. The scripture sited the most is John 3 where Nicodemus Visits Jesus and they discuss what it means to be born of water and the spirit. Read John 3 it is wonderful.

Basically, you are saying to the Lord,

  1. Acknowledge sinfulness
  2. Acknowledge the need for forgiveness
  3. A belief that Jesus lived and died for our sins
  4. Agreement to turn away from sin and accept Jesus as our Savior
  5. Promise the Lord to commit to him and ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit
  6. To help me be the kind of person He wants me to be
  7. And thanking the Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.

A one-time prayer is not the key, the key is a relationship with God and understanding the importance of His saving grace in our lives. The Lord wants us joyous and spirit filled with His love. How can we love others if we do not first love God the source of all love?

Corinthians – The Gift of Love

The second key is the love of self.

Yes, I know this sounds narcissistic – but bear with me. So many people are unhappy and do not understand where their unhappiness comes from. One key indicator is how they think about themselves.

  1. Do we acknowledge we are a sinner?
  2. Do we forgive ourselves for past sins?
  3. Do we realize that if we have asked for forgiveness – for us Catholics that means confessions – that we are, by the grace of God we are forgiven.
  4. Do we realize that God made us in His image – and that has importance?
  5. Do we realize God knows the numbers of hairs on your head and held you in his palm before you were born?

We are special friends – God does not make junk. We, if we are Christians and believe are redeemed by the power of the Lamb of God who laid down his life – once and for all for our sins. Not multi times – once. That is all it took.

Just as an aside for those who are listening and are not Catholic – we believe at the Mass we are reliving that one event – the one time that Jesus died at Calvary. We are doing what the Scripture says – “Do this in Memory of Me.” When we receive communion.

We realize friends that we must love the Lord and have a relationship – before we can move on and love ourselves.

And last – love others. This love is an outgrowth of the love flowing through us from the Father, being at peace with ourselves and understanding the having a servants heart an doing for others is a gift.

What about those we can’t love? Pray to God to love them. I have this situation in my own life and the Lord created an amazing healing.

Friends relationships are not easy – we live in a broken world. However, I pray that this helps you to begin to study about ways we can love God and have a relationship with Him, ways we must love and forgive ourselves and ways to love others as God leads us.

I pray that the Lord touches your heart and encourages you by faith and His grace to seek Him in a relationship, to have a relationship with ourselves where we are comfortable with who we are and help us to pour into others in a relationship built upon love, grace, and compassion. And, Lord I pray for those listening that you bless them and hear their prayers …. And I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen

 

All Things Fall!

Podcast 23

All things Fall!

 

Let’s talk about all the immune support, amazing diffuser blends, and all the

fall-inspired DIYs and recipes we can make with our oils!

 

Just a quick disclaimer—I am not medical professionals, and am not making any

claims that these oils can treat, cure, or heal a disease.

 

With that being said, what are you most looking forward to this fall?!

 

THIEVES.

 

Thieves will always be one of your go-to for immune support!!

Thieves essential oil is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon,

Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend that fills any

space with a rich, spicy aroma. Inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who

formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other

botanicals used while robbing the dead and dying, Thieves is one of Young Living’s

most popular products.

Diffuser in the household especially during the fall and winter months for all the immune support! Use it in your wellness rollers on the rub on the bottoms of your feet and down your spines morning and night!

What do you love about thieves?!

 

CLOVE, NUTMEG, & CINNAMON BARK.

Amazing fall scents and all the immune support!!

Try them in the diffuser together or on their own to fill your house with all the fall spicy yumminess, with the added benefits of all the immune supporting properties.

 

What is so great about these oils?!

 

Clove oil has a spicy, warm scent that’s instantly familiar because of its connection

to fall and winter holidays. This powerful constituent makes it a potent essential oil, and

Clove oil uses include topical applications such as massage oils and personal care

products.

Nutmeg has a warm, spicy aroma that is energizing and uplifting. Nutmeg oil has

many health benefits, including cognitive function support, immune support, and

powerful antioxidants.

Cinnamon Bark oil is a key part of our proprietary, top-selling Thieves essential oil blend, combining with Clove essential oil to give Thieves its signature spicy aroma.

 

Use a carrier oil to apply these oils topically as they are considered “hot” oils and

may be sensitive to the skin. All of these oils smell amazing and have so many

beneficial properties. Also, be sure to try their vitality oil counterparts for even

more amazing ways to use these oils!!

Have you tried any of these oils before?!

 

EUCALYPTUS RADIATA.

 

Let’s talk the amazingness of this oil and all the glory that is respiratory support!

Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil comes from an evergreen tree native to Australia.

The diffuser on its own, or mixed with your favorite fall scents!! It’s also great to use topically on the chest for respiratory support, or even by putting 3-5 drops on the floor of the shower before taking a hot shower—a relaxing way to enjoy its benefits!

What do you love about eucalyptus?!

 

BREATHE AGAIN.

Speaking of respiratory support…

This is a FAVORITE in our household!

With a refreshing and rejuvenating aroma, the Young Living Breathe Again Roll-On

is the perfect companion for early mornings, long days, and tough workouts. Our

proprietary Breathe Again essential oil combines oils such as Peppermint, Myrtle,

and Copaiba with four different types of eucalyptus!

Keep it in your car, purse, pocket, or bag and simply apply it as needed under your nose or on your head, neck, or chest to awaken and invigorate your senses.

 

R.C.

RC Essential Oil specifically supports and soothes especially when placed on the

bottom of feet or over chest. Make a hot compress to provide more comfort on the

chest during the winter months. This blend of oils includes three different types of

eucalyptus, as well as other oils such as peppermint, cypress, and myrtle for added

immune and respiratory support!

 

RAVEN & RAVINTSARA.

Raven is a cleansing blend of Ravintsara, Peppermint, Eucalyptus Radiata, and other

essential oils. Raven creates a cooling sensation when applied topically to the chest

and throat. Put a few drops in your bath water or on your pillow before you go to

sleep. Sleep well and breathe well!!

Ravintsara is actually a single oil made from a large evergreen tree by the same name that is grown in Madagascar. Helps to clear brain fog and strengthens motivation. Supports skin clarification. Enhances the appearance of healthy-looking skin.

 

INNER DEFENSE.

This is a supplement we make sure to always have on hand!! Can’t imagine life

without it! Young Living & Inner Defense reinforces systemic defenses, creates unfriendly

terrain for yeast/fungus, promotes healthy respiratory function, and contains

potent essential oils like oregano, thyme, and Thieves which are rich in thymol,

carvacrol, and eugenol for immune support.

 

THIEVES CLEANING.

+Thieves Laundry Soap:

Thieves Laundry Soap is plant-based and is as pure and natural as a detergent is going

to get—plus it contains the most powerful essential oils on the planet that not only

make it smell amazing, but really help to get things clean.

+ Thieves Household Cleaner

A favorite and honestly most amazing all-in-one, clean, non-toxic cleaner. This one bottle will

clean everything from your toilets to your car, your toys to your floors. And it’s highly

concentrated, only needing one ounce for an entire spray bottle of water so it will last

you forever!

+ Thieves Foaming hand soap-

It smells amazing, cleans amazing and its safe for those precious little hands it’s washing!

+ Thieves Dish Soap-

Safe, good product and it cleans amazingly!

Have you ditched the chemicals and made the switch to thieves cleaning products?!

What’s your favorite?!

 

OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT YOU IMMUNE SYSTEM THIS FALL…

Make all your favorite fall things with essential oils!

Like…

  • FALL DIFFUSER BLENDS
  • PUMPKIN PIE PLAYDOUGH
  • PUMPKIN SPICE FRAPPUCCINO.
  • PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
  • SPICED CIDER
  • THIEVES PUMPKIN SEEDS
  • HALLOWEEN POPCORN
  • PUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES
  • CINNAMON APPLE CHIPS

 

What is your favorite fall things and how can you add a healthy twist to them?

As always be grateful & have faith,

God Bless!

 

Authority – Part 2

Have you allowed negative things in your life because you’ve not exercised your authority to make them leave? Listen to this podcast!Join Lucia as she explains the power and authority you have as a born-again child of God. She will give you examples of how to use your God-given power and authority to enforce Satan’s defeat in every situation in your life. 

You have authority over circumstances and situations in your life, so when you speak God’s words, you can know heaven will back you up on what you refuse to allow to come into your life, or what you let come into your life.   

Have you allowed negative things in your life because you’ve not exercised your authority to make them leave? Maybe you haven’t done anything about your situation because you didn’t know you have power over Satan and what he brings to you; or you may be waiting on God to do something.

God has done everything He’s going to do for you, because He’s given you His power and authority, and now He’s waiting on you to exercise your authority by speaking His word to the situation. He can’t do anything until you release your authority by speaking faith-filled words. 

The power that’s in you is greater than the power that’s in the world, because the power that backs your authority is greater than that which backs your enemy’s authority.  You can reign in this life because Jesus has already paid the price for you to have victory. Then, he ascended to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of Father God, which is the place of authority. As a child of God, you are now seated with Jesus in the place of authority. 

Links mentioned in the podcast: 

LuciaClaborn.com  

Authority – Part 1

Do you realize as a born-again believer that God has given you power and authority to enforce Satan’s defeat in your life?  Listen to this!Do you realize as a born-again believer that God has given you power and authority to enforce Satan’s defeat in your life? Do you know what your God-given authority is? Why you have authority?  Why you need authority? Do you know how to use your authority?

Join Lucia as she answers these questions and explains the authority that belongs to you once you make Jesus Lord of your life. She will teach you that you have authority, or power, over Satan’s tactics against your life, and you can enforce his defeat in every area of your life!

God created you to reflect His image, and as the reflection of God, you have His creative power on the inside of you. When you speak God’s Word in faith, those words release creative power into your circumstances and situations.

God spoke the universe into existence with His words, and Holy Spirit made it come to pass. God has given you that same power to speak words to influence the outcome of your life and create your future. All the creative power you possess is released with your words. Words that bring life or words that bring death.

This message will be good news to you if you’ve never been told God has given you power and authority over Satan and his plans for your life. It will change your perspective on how you live your life, and how you pray once you realize your God-given authority, which will enable you to live the victorious life God created you to live.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

LuciaClaborn.com

Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace – Part 4

Lucia presents the final message in this series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains that you are a joint-heir with Jesus, and the triumph that belongs to you because you are righteous.Lucia presents the final message in this series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains that you are a joint-heir with Jesus, and the triumph that belongs to you because you are righteous.

You may be unfaithful at times; however, God is true to His Word and He is always faithful! Because you have received Holy Spirit when you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you did not receive a spirt that makes you fearful, instead you received the spirit of adoption as God’s own children and you call him Father.

Every child of God has the same standing with Him because righteousness cannot be obtained through the things you do, or what’s called works. It’s a free gift.  The force of Righteousness, or right living, will produce everything you need in your life – food, clothing, protection, security – just to mention a few. This provision is God’s promise to His children. He seems you triumphant because of your position of righteousness in Jesus.

Because you are joint-heirs with Jesus, what He has you have.  Because Jesus defeated Satan, you can enforce Satan’s defeat in your life and walk in total victory every day of your life!

If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it!  He’s engraved you on the palms of His hands! God is not mad at you; He’s mad about you!

 

Links mentioned in the podcast:

LuciaClaborn.com.

ABC’s of Who I Am In Christ ebook.

EL ABC De Lo Que Soy en Cristo Jesús ebook.

 

The Armor of God

The Armor of God Episode 61

Putting on the armor of God we can fight anything because the battle is not ours. We keep thinking that the battle we are facing is of this world – it is not. We are not in heaven  — I know that is not a news flash, but it is true and we need to remind ourselves … when things go wrong we get upset. Especially those things we cannot control.

We are helping to promote this film to combat teen suicide. It is free along with the resources. Unseen Film –  UnseenFilm.org

The Bible tells us we are fighting a daily battle and it goes on to say, it is not against flesh and blood. Flesh and blood signifies humans. So if not human, then what? The power of darkness leads us to believe it is the fallen angels, those who turned their backs to God at the beginning of time. These enemies get the best of us from time to time.

Want to know how?

  1. Hopelessness
  2. Loneliness
  3. Sadness
  4. Depression
  5. Anger

But God has given us the tools in Scripture and his Church. We have pastors who we can go to for help if needed.

Anyone who plays sports and especially football can attest to the saying that the best defense is a good offense. The same with our spiritual lives. Do you give God time to fill you up? Do you have your few minutes with God.? Are you totally concentrating on Him or does your mind wander? It is human nature to have a mind that wanders but if your mind wanders in those things that upset you it is time for that good offense.

Read Ephesians 6:10-18 – The Armor of God

 The questions is …Whose plan are you going to follow??

Armor of God

  1. The armor – this is a garment that clothes us and keeps us from attack – like God’s Word
  2. Belt of Truth — where does truth lie? In our mind, in what we perceive to be right but unless you are grounded in Christ – who is pure holiness, love and truth we can be deceived, we must strive to honor truth. Psalm 86:11 – Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
  3. Breastplate of Righteousness – The breastplate covers our heart – without love we are nothing. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
  4. Shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace from the good news — we put on our shoes to go out, and in this case to be ready for battle and walk toward the place where the Lord leads us!
  5. Shield of Fath – to quench the darts of the wicked one – our shield defends us and our armor, and it moves no matter where we are being attacked. Fire makes me think of hell – and with the lord giving us the power to defend, we should rejoice.
  6. Helmet of Salvation – is a shield against temptation and a downward spiral – it is a fact that we must put our hope in Christ – we know that Salvation is through Jesus Christ and we belong to Him as Christians! 1 Thessalonians 5:8 -But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
  7. Sword of the Spirit –the sword is the word of God – we are told in Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Our defense against any hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, depression, anger is God’s Word. Read the Bible, listen to praise and worship music! Trust that the Lord will be there for you.
  8. Prayer – our best defense – Pray in the spirit at all times stay alert…

Let’s pray…

Dear Father God, you have given us all the weapons we need to combat the evil one and to protect us and we have them in the Armor of God that you gave us. You gave us the tools we need to live a life that is pleasing to you, that brings us out of sorrow and into joy. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are there for us – your Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. You have given us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace and good news, the shield of faith the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit! And we thank you for the gift of prayer and we thank you for all you do, we lift up our prayers and petitions to you Lord, please grant us the desires of our heart. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

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Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


All the Feelings!

Podcast #22

All the Feelings!

I have ALL THE FEELS for this collection- Seriously!

Emotions and Oils are something I thought I understood.

Especially having felt the incredible grounding from Frankincense, I just didn’t really understand how much feelings and oils belonged together…

Until I learned a couple of little facts:

First- THE EMOTIONAL CENTER OF THE BRAIN ONLY RESPONDS TO THE SENSE OF SMELL WHEN RELEASING STORED TRAUMA AND EMOTION.

“Research at New York University proved the amygdala gland (the gland in the limbic system of the brain that stores and releases trauma in the body) does not respond to sound, sight, or touch, but ONLY releases emotional trauma through the sense of SMELL.”   (From Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils by Carolyn Mein)

Second- YOU CAN INHERIT EMOTIONS

New research has shown emotional responses and fears may be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.

During tests, mice passed on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences to subsequent generations. (From Nat Nuerosci, 2014 Jan; 17(1) 89-96)

So clearly, we ALL need this!

Two books that will help you understand this even more are:

  • Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils by Carolyn Mein
  • Feelings Buried Alive Never Die… by Karol K. Truman

Most of the information that I am sharing with you can be found more in depth in the book: Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils by Carolyn Mein.

Let’s get started!

So, this collection comes with 6 carefully selected and blended oils all in one incredible kit to use for 30 days in a row to restore balance and peace in your emotions!

VALOR | an empowering blend for courage and balance

HARMONY | to support balance all your energy centers

FORGIVENESS | to help release hurtful memories

RELEASE | facilitates the release of anger and hurt

PRESENT TIME | so you can more easily be in the now

INNER CHILD | encourages reconnecting with your authentic self and may stimulate the memory response

You apply, inhale, and say an affirmation every day for 30 days and can watch the big or small shift you have in your emotions and overall well being!

Grab your Feelings Kit here: http://bit.ly/simpleblessingsandoils and then sit down and start oiling!

Step One | VALOR

Apply to the bottoms of the feet and tops of the shoulders. Cup your hands over your mouth and inhale.

Affirmation: I am confident and secure in who I am

Step Two | HARMONY

Apply one drop to each of the seven energy centers of the body. [Tailbone, 2” below the navel, 2” above the navel, over the heart, throat forehead and crown] Cup your hands over your mouth and inhale.

Affirmation: My heart is open to giving and receiving love.

Step Three | FORGIVENESS

Apply 1-2 drops to the naval and massage in a clockwise motion while thinking of someone you may be angry with, this can include yourself.

Affirmation: I forgive and set myself free.

Step Four | RELEASE

Apply 1-2 drops into the area of your liver (on your right side below your ribcage)

Affirmation: I choose joy and peace.

Step Five | PRESENT TIME

Apply 1 drop to the wrists, behind the ears and the throat.

Affirmation: I am present in the moment and grateful for this experience.

Step Six | INNER CHILD

Apply to the belly button and under the nose.

Affirmation: I am Enough.

 

After you finish the final step in the protocol, allow yourself some time to relax and unwind. Be gentle with yourself as you shift into a new normal emotionally. If you feel like you need to do this protocol multiple times throughout the day, feel free! Once a day is good for some and others may need it 3-4 times a day. Also, grab yourself a journal and start writing about how you feel every day. See the shift that takes place from day 1 to day 21- you will be amazed!

Drink lots of water and be ready to take back your wellness!

Be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!

Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace – Part 3

Lucia continues the series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains how to develop a righteousness consciousness. She explains that the greatest blessing of salvation is when you become a new creature in Christ. One that has never existed before.  It’s a though sin has never existed in your life. Lucia continues the series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains how to develop a righteousness consciousness. She explains that the greatest blessing of salvation is when you become a new creature in Christ. One that has never existed before.  It’s a though sin has never existed in your life.

You have to renew your mind with God’s Word – His Love Letters to you – and think about what is true, lovely, and of a good report! That means you have to think about your position in Jesus Christ.

You can’t live a victorious life until you realize that righteousness is a gift from God, just like salvation is a gift from God. As you learn that is doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, God’s Grace covers every sin you have ever committed, are committing right now, or will commit in the future, you will begin overcoming Satan’s lies.

As you get an understanding of God’s Grace, your desire to sin simply goes away.  There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more than He does right now, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you any less than He does right now.

When you settle in your heart that you are righteous, you will begin living a life full of peace, quietness and confidence.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

LuciaClaborn.com.

ABC’s of Who I Am In Christ ebook.

EL ABC De Lo Que Soy en Cristo Jesús ebook.

Peace of Living God’s Will

peace of living God's will | The peace of living God's will is easy with these tips. | #podcast #christianpodcast #catholicpodcast #peaceofLivingGod'swillThe Peace of  Living God’s Will Episode 20

The peace of living God’s will can be found in so many aspects of our life. A number of years back when I was stationed at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was serving as the Director of Christian Renewal and overseeing two small households in the Renewal Center.

Visit the movie we are helping to promote, Unseen Film – it deals with the very real problem of suicide in our culture. The movie is free to watch and download on your computer.

Peace of Living God’s Will can be found in duty.

One of the women in the women’s household was a very capable women leader whose name is Sr. Ann Shields. She is now a part of the Sisterhood in Ann Arbor, Michigan and serves in the Ralph Martin Ministries. Sr. Ann was asked by Fr. Michael Scanlan to pick up women at the Pittsburgh Airport, whose name was Mother Theresa of Calcutta. A  benefactor at the University, a personal friend of Mother Theresa, asked her if she would come to the Graduation and receive the Poverello Medal. A medal of honor in the spirit of the poor man of Assisi, Francis. It is a medal given each year to a person who has made major contributions to the service of the poor. Sr. Ann herself has in public told this story.

The peace of living God’s will is available for everyone. 

Everything went well at the airport and they were on their way back to the University and crossing over the bridge from Weirton, West Virginia to Steubenville, Ohio. At that time all the steel mills were producing at full tilt, and the Ohio Valley was saturated with heavy air pollution. It seems that Sr. Ann was a little embarrassed and mentioned how unjust it was to pour out all this air pollution on the community. Mother Theresa response was something like, I really wouldn’t know because God hasn’t called or asked me to take responsibility for that!

When we are looking to discern and know God’s practical will in our lives we very much need to know two things:

  1. First, the goal of knowing God’s will is to give greater honor and glory to God.
  2. The second is to know what God has given me responsibility for in my life and what he has not!

In a tumultuous time in society when many individuals take self-appointed responsibility for many things and make negative judgments almost about everything, those of us who are concerned about discerning God’s practical will in our lives need to refrain from that thinking and behavior,  “Through the mercy of God offer your bodies as a spiritual sacrifice, pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed in the renewal of your minds, so that you know God’s will, what is good, pleasing, and perfect.”, see Rom. 12: 1-3.

There are many things big and little that we need to consult the Lord about! The big things: vocation, who should be my friends, who do I want to spend the rest of my life with? What is the vision and goals of our family life, what educational opportunities should we seek for our children?

Do we want to homeschool the children? job, what career path should I choose, professional training, where I live, what kind of car should I buy, finances, when should I retire etc. Little daily things, yet very important: What are my priorities? Spending time with the kids, frequent prayer time, vacation, amount of sports activities for the kids, support relationships, exercise, nutrition, special time with my husband or wife, etc. There are many choices of an ongoing nature which we will need to make as time moves forward. However, the fundamental underlying reality is this: If I do not have a continual personal relationship with God in which I daily walk in communication, how is it possible to do discernment and know God’s personal will in my life?

The servant of the Lord needs to try and keep watch over his actions, interior as well as exterior, always being careful and working toward and maintaining “purity of heart.” One should seek to maintain peace of mind and heart, in attempting to always know the gracious will of God, saying within oneself: “Oh Lord what do you will me to do now? Will it please you if I do this or that? For the Lord himself speaks through interior inspiration to a person’s heart, “saying do this or leave that undone. When one feels that the Lord wills or permits him to do anything, one should speak in this way, the Lord does this in me and through me. But if one perceives that this particular thing does not please the Lord, he should immediately deny himself or herself and should leave the thing undone, however small it may seem, see Blosius the Venerable, Magnificat, vol. 20, n. 3, May 2018, pp. 369-370.

The peace of living God’s will depends on our attitude. It is good if we have an open and peaceful attitude in seeking God’s will in our daily life. It is important to be willing to choose what God wants even if it is not what I want. A loving heart desires above all to please the Lord, and listen carefully to God’s guidance and direction. When we choose in faith what God wants, we may feel drawn to an option and we just know with a peaceful certitude this is what God wants. You will feel it when it happens! Some articles on discerning God’s will mention two states of the inner person: consolation and desolation. I actually think it is a little more involved than that.

Peace of living God’s will is sometimes hidden.

I find it useful to identify three states of the inner life or soul: revelation, consolation, and desolation.

Why is that? Because we are speaking about a beautiful dynamic relationship where the Lord and the person are working together to seek and discover the truth of God’s will in very practical circumstances.

  1. Revelation is knowing how to receive and understand all the tender and merciful ways in which God communicates with a person. This requires a personal knowledge and loving relationship with the Lord.
  2. The consolation is the second state. This would consist of an inner peace where the soul experiences the blessing of the Lord. You know it when you feel it!
  3. The third state is a desolation, which can be characterized by a certain sadness, a lack of the experience of heavenly love and grace, spiritual dryness. Sometimes a feeling of a spiritual emptiness and disturbance. It is good to peacefully be attentive as to what state of spiritual experience one is going through. Sometimes there can be a subtle shifting back and forth.

The important thing is to look for a consistency. If desolation seems to be around too long ask the Lord to remove what is causing this gentle sometimes painful darkness. Sometimes it is the Lord who is allowing it because he wants us to grow in trusting him in faith no matter what! The inner action of these three spiritual feeling states is a normal way the person relates to the inner mystery of grace and the action of the Lord and the Spirit in the inner person. For example, discerning the will of God in relationship to deciding to leave one job and take another.

Be patient and look for recurring patterns. Consolation and desolation are a normal part of the spiritual life, and in fact, they come and go interiorly all the time. Our decisions and choices are not just based on feelings but on revealed and reasonable truth communicated to us by the Lord. And seeking the good advice of others. The good Lord does speak to our interior being and to our mind. These states of our human beingness are very useful in discerning God’s practical will for our life. When God reveals his will we just know it. He built us as humans to be in a knowing relationship with him. If we need further confirmation about our decision about what job the Lord wants us to take, we may turn to a more analytical approach.

An analytical approach should be used when it is helpful, or when you are seeking confirmation of decisions you want to make because you believe this is what God’s will in now in this particular situation. I am leaving my superintendent position in Lake Andes, and I am going to accept the offer I have received for the same position in Plankinton. All my prayer, advice, and considerations have pointed significantly to make this change. I see it as God’s will for me and my family at this time in my life.

The pay is about the same, this, is where my family has lived for years, and I feel called to serve the folks in that surrounding community. And besides that, I will have more time to take care of the cattle that I have on my property. However, I want to be sure, and I don’t want to hurt the folks in Lake Andes, they have been good to me, and very supportive of my family. This decision is going to help me and my family give greater glory to God. Tonight my wife and I have set aside a couple of hours to do this discernment, and seek to give greater glory to God in our service here, but again I want to be sure this is what God’s will is for me and my family at this time.

Some say that when you are evaluating the strengths and weakness of a situation, and we are going to use the pros and cons analytical method, It is good to write the pros first and then the cons. However, when we are doing discernment, we are seeking first the glory of God and serving him faithfully, we may want to write the cons first and then the pros. The following is a suggested method which has worked for us in determining God’s will in other situations. We did this a number of years back when we moved from Chicago to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Boy! It worked for us like a charm; we had no doubt about our move here. Tonight we will get the kids settled and retire to the study, and each spends about 15 or 20 minutes thanking and praising the Lord for all the good he has brought into our lives.

With the Bible and notebook in hand, we will seek first the Word inviting the Lord to give us any Scriptures which may assist us in seeking his glory and his will. Then we will write down together the cons, and list everything, no matter how small they are when they come to us. And we will turn the paper over and list all the pros. In these situations sometimes the will of the Lord is confirmed quickly, and his glory becomes very evident.

Then we will have a peaceful and relatively short discussion about what the Lord showed to both of us. When we have done this in other instances his will becomes very clear in a short period of time. We pull together all the specific aspects which give us a clear unified vision for our family, and the specific choices we may need to make. If for some reason the certainty we are seeking does not materialize we will let the discernment sit for a day or so, and then come back and do it again. However, only in a few instances have we needed to do it a second time. In the end, we could confirm what we believed to be God’s glory and will for us in the next leg of the journey of being missionary disciples in God’s call and will for this season of our lives.

This method is a good one to use in periods of tranquility when our hearts are at peace and free from disturbing feelings or passions, which may influence our choices or decisions. The pros and cons should be spiritually based and not centered on personal preferences such as financial conditions or levels of comfort. After we make the list of items there are two ways to arrive at choices or decisions. In a spirit of prayer, we place before ourselves the options. We seek honestly and clearly what the Lord wants, without any attachments or hidden motives. We then humbly ask the Lord to move us toward the option(s) which will bring him the most glory. Then after considering each pro and con, we make our choice at the right time and then ask the Lord to confirm our choices with a gift of peace; assuring the Lord of our love for him and a deep desire to do his will.

Various Considerations:

When we have several goods and equally positive options, marriage or religious life God gives us the freedom to choose. For example, if we are discerning between these two equally good options, God will give us the freedom to choose which one is most in our heart. Whatever the choice and decision one makes, he will bless it with abundant grace and all that we need to gain our salvation. “But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”, see Mt. 6:20-21; 7: 21-22

As I said before consolations and desolations can be experienced for no apparent reason. When both are spiritually in consolation and desolation and you are looking to make a right choice, pray about your desired choice. Look for a pattern to see if it is consistent, then present your choice to God in prayer. Sometimes you may see clearly how God is giving you direction, and it may teach you more about engaging in consultation with the Lord.

God doesn’t get upset when we make mistakes, this is usually rather frequent. The point is to keep seeking God’s will. Most decisions are changeable or reversible. Much of our choices depends deeply on trusting in the Lord and his Providence, and his loving intervention in our life, which in our society today is very difficult for us. If you are having trouble discerning a direction, wait and continue to pray. The Lord will show you the way.

There are specific principles for discerning God’s will. The choice and action I am considering: Is this going to bring me closer to the Lord and advance God’s plan for my life, and for those for whom I may have significant responsibility. My vocational choices are important because it becomes the context for the practical decisions of practicing God’s will in my daily life. There are many goods, which of these are going to bring greater glory to God? The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized. It surrenders our own will to the to the action of God’s loving will. It eliminates from our lives the things that would hinder union with God, and strengthen our desire that all the good things we do shall be done for his honor and glory.

Two important attitudes: What seems to be the best way of these possible goods for me to give greater glory to God? How am I going to serve God and constantly seek his glory in my life and his practical will in my life, or in the life and well-being of my family? The second one is to want to do what God’s wants in my life because I know and trust the Lord has the greatest good for me and my family in doing his will in the practical areas of our lives.

May we pray!

Since we desire to be in communion with you Father in your Son Jesus, we pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate in our personal lives and to be active in us as we make the choices and decision’s which are most pleasing to you. We deeply thank you for your love and care in our lives and relationships. We especially thank you for the spiritual gifts of wisdom, understanding, and discernment. And we pray for abundant peace in our minds and hearts as we move forward to serve and build the Kingdom of God in our world, but most especially in our personal situations. We ask you to be with us constantly in all our efforts to please you and to love our brothers and sisters. We pray this prayer in the name of our glorious risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Is Self Blame Harmful

Self Blame | Self blame is harmful and may be damaging for the soul. #christianpodcast #podcast #self-blameBlame Harmful for Our Soul Episode 60

Is blame harmful to our soul? I believe it is; recently reconnected with a friend who has basically had her life fall apart due to things beyond her control. However, she is stuck in the pattern of blaming herself. She has fallen into depression and has a host of medical issues, and now her faith is hanging in jeopardy.

We are promoting the film during suicide prevention week – the movie Unseen. It is free with information to help.

Blame Harmful For Our Soul

We all have stories – things happen in our life that are beyond our control or if they are within our control we cannot deal with or cope in a way to figure out a solution that is workable. We are all sinners but by the grace of God we can continue onward – and the point of this podcast is the fact that self-blame is actually studied in modern day psychology.

Wikipedia has a definition of self-blame that I will read, and you can find more on their website.

So – if psychology has identified it is really a behavior that has important ramifications!

People turn to faith and the blame – and that often is on the enemy –

Is the devil to blame for our sin and suffering?

We have an example of Adam and Eve in the garden Genesis 3 – The Fall

So Adam blamed the woman and Eve blamed the serpent – but no one admitted to their own guilt. People often blame the devil in order to remove their own crushing guilt, justify their actions, or responsibility. What we forget it that we can learn so much through our suffering —  and the things God wants to teach us.

Listen – satan is a liar and a deceiver — Satan instigated the temptation, but Eve responded with negative volition, unbelief, and disobedience, and Adam failed to stay true to his responsibility as the leader in his family.

But this brings me back to the issue of blame – can we truly blame ourselves for not stepping in to change events or facts – to make things right or better? Sure – and it is natural to put blame on ourselves and take responsibility for it – but it is often time to move on! Regardless of the source of a temptation ,it is up to our own free will to make a decision that is right or wrong. The Lord allows it.

However – God gave us the tools to defeat the enemy – the subject of my next podcast!

Yes – the enemy causes havoc in or world but St. Paul gives warns us – the battle is not with flesh and blood

Ephesians 6: 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Evil is a direct result of our fallen world and the enemy – we know the source of all evil – however so much of our suffering is due to our own self-induced blame.

Friends – we must break the cyle of self blame!

  1. Identify the source. Yes, it may be yourself.
  2. Blame is not healthy and can lead to so many problems – emotionally and medically
  3. Identify the issue and move on. We need to memorize the Bible as a help – when the thoughts of blame surface in our minds we must “resist the devil and he will flee from us”… how? By putting on the armor of God. God’s word can combat any evil – even that of self blame.

But be aware.

  1. Not every evil is a direct result of the enemy.
  2. Not all suffering is a product of our own sin – think Job here.
  3. We cannot carry the burden alone.
  4. Examine your conscience – go to your pastor, if you are Catholic go to a good priest – is there a spiritual lesson you are missing?

I’m not one to typically freak out by something I read online but this came across my search and if you want to see lies – listen to this lie about how wonderful the devil is.

No! I rebuke that! God is victorious – Christianity is the answer against anguish and sin. You must realize that if you can not overcome the cycle of self-blame you may need help.

How much power do we really think we have? God is God and victorious in all things.

Blame is a tool to keep us down and we can be victorious through Jesus Christ – and how do we know this? Because Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, was buried and ROSE on the 3rd day – He opened the gates of heaven for you and for me, and we can be victorious by living a life praising God!

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for those who are hurting today – for those who do not have hope – for those who feel like the awful things that happen in their lives are their fault – they have incredible self-blame, Lord and can’t see a way past this. Dear Lord I ask that you help them to overcome the blame to look at You and Only You for the help they need to let go of this – to confess this blame and place it at the foot of Your precious cross – you died for us Lord but best of all You rose from the dead so we could have a NEW life with you in eternity – I pray a a healing on those who have been hurt by the sins of others especially those close to them in life. Those they should have trusted but who betrayed them. I pray for a healing and for closure and for the blame to go away in Your Precious Name, Jesus. Amen.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


 

Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace – Part 2

Join Lucia Claborn as she continues, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains owning the Kingdom of God and overcoming Satan’s tactics. Join Lucia Claborn as she continues, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains owning the Kingdom of God and overcoming Satan’s tactics in part 2 of this series.

As a child of God, your Righteousness is your position in Christ. It is not how you act, what you say, or the way you wear your clothes.

When you accept the truth that Jesus paid the price for you to be righteous, you will discover that you are no longer a sinner saved by grace.  You are the Righteousness of God because of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ and you are worthy to receive everything He paid the price or you to receive here on earth.

This revelation will enable you can come boldly into the Throne Room of Grace by the Blood of Jesus without a sin consciousness – feelings of guilt, shame, condemnation, or a sense of feeling inferior – to make your requests made known to God

She will explain that it gives Father God great pleasure to bless His children with everything their heart desires, wants or needs according to the Word of God, and that as a believer, you simply have to believe what the Bible tells you.

As you settle in your heart that your actions don’t make you righteous, that it’s the shed Blood of Jesus that makes you righteous, you can overcome all the tactics of the enemy. You can be fully persuaded that God is able to fulfill all His promises to you.

 

Links mentioned in the podcast:

LuciaClaborn.com.

ABC’s of Who I Am In Christ ebook.

EL ABC De Lo Que Soy en Cristo Jesús ebook.

Joy In Living God’s Will

Joy In Living God's Will | The joy in living God's will can be found with these steps. #christian #christianpodcast #podcast #catholicJoy in Living In God’s Will Episode 19

The joy in living God’s will is right before us and we often miss it in our daily lives. Before we look at the practical tools of discerning God’s will in a given situation, I think it can be useful to develop an awareness or atmosphere of worldliness in contemporary society.

Visit the movie we are helping to promote, Unseen Film – it deals with the very real problem of suicide in our culture. The movie is free to watch and download on your computer.

A list of worldly practices or issues which project a negative spirit of worldliness. Within the context of our affluent society, some of us may carry a deep-seated attitude of entitlement. It could go something like this: When I want something I need to get it! I deserve it, and I want it Now! And I should be able to do whatever it takes to get it. After all,  we live in a land of freedom and I should be able to get what I want when I want it, even if some people are inconvenienced a little by my action. Why should I sacrifice and serve others? After all, it takes everything I have,  and I am too busy to spend time worrying about other people’s situations. Some of my friends think I am narcissistic because I always look to my needs first.

The Joy in Living God’s Will escapes so many! Here are some real examples:

We live in an anxious worrisome stress filled society, and some of us are so busy because we have so many things and projects to accomplish. Down deep inside I feel that unless I do all these things I won’t feel happy. A teacher who cares for me asked me the other day why my sense of self-worth is so low! When I get down I just go to the store and buy something. My husband makes plenty of money, and I just feel so compelled to buy so many things. I love nice things and my family always encouraged me to frequently spend and buy many things. My husband kids me about being so compulsively materialistic.

The other day uncle John and aunt Maureen showed up from the coast. What a huge expensive camper they have; they just spend months traveling all over the place. We were having a beer last night and John told me that his pastor was disappointed when he refused to undertake some church responsibilities for mercy work. He said I told him,“I can’t take on those services and still enjoy my recreational pursuits.

Thanks for picking me up Pete. Boy, I need a good workout! Harriet blew up at me last night. She said that she was fed up with my incessant worrisome attention about little details about my life. She said I am so perfectionistic about little details in my life, that I never spend quality time with the two boys, which, in her mind is much more important than the little things I get involved in. Boy, my friends at the club are reality irritated at the pastor. He gave a homily where he mentioned that this country is so addicted to sports that it has reached the point where it has become a false god, or at least obsessive idol worship.

My kids feel that they need to participate in all the sports at school. Do you realize how hectic that is for our family? When I try to limit it, they cry and complain that other kids parents let them do this, and they fear they will be rejected and pushed out of the circle of popularity. Sports is a good thing and has many positive features in its activities. However, it seems that in this country it has become an inordinate preoccupation. All year long some go from one sport to another. It becomes the main manner of socializing, and for some, it has become a necessary escape from the pain of modern life, and the distressing conflicts in contemporary society. It can lead to a significant disorder in the relationships and the well-being of family life. It seems for some it has reached the level of an idol or false god. For some, it has replaced the priority of worship of God on the Lord’s Day, and the good of rest and being with those we love the most.

The joy in living God’s will can be found with several keys:

Here is a key way of determining where I find the temptations to give in to the negative spirit of the world in my daily life: Where are my excessive and inordinate attachments in my life? Is it food, sex, physical exercise, excessive need for comfort and protection, compulsive need to be loved and accepted by others, hidden seeking of approval from others, inordinate fear of rejection, power and control over others, inordinate personal relationships, excessive use of I phones, androids, iPads and other technologies,  workaholism, inordinate need to accomplish, acquiring excessive possessions, living a life of  false pretensions and undealt with addictions, erroneous religious practice and attachment to rigid religious structure without highlighting a personal love and knowledge of God,  etc.

All of these things can contribute to or be containers of a spirit of worldliness. And these challenges directly pertains to knowing and following God’s will in my daily life.  Returning to the preparation Jesus gave to his disciples at the Last Supper. Just as Jesus prepared and pre-planned for his disciples by way of sending them the Holy Spirit, who will teach them all truth and give to them the strength to be the chosen, called, committed, and faithful against the spirit of the world.

And to ensure the disciples that they will have all that is needed to fulfill their mission as they establish the Kingdom of God on earth. They will be empowered with the Spirit and given the wisdom, gifts, and skills the active dynamic presence of Jesus in the world. No small task!

The preplanning of Jesus includes us. We are humbled and privileged to participate in the same empowerment and gifts which sustained the Apostles. Therefore, we are called daily to do the will of God as active agents in renewing the life of the Gospel in the Church, in our families, and in all the situations of our human life, all the decisions, choices, and behaviors.

The joy in living God’s will is shown at the wedding feast of Cana.

It is one thing to hear this taught or preached, but it is another thing to learn how to do it! What is the next step in this process to make doing the will of God a practical thing in our life? It seems we should cut to the chase in this matter. Early in the ministry of Jesus Mary tells the servants to do what Jesus tells them. They did and the water was changed into wine at the wedding feast of Cana.

Therefore, this gives us the basic principle of action, do what Jesus tells us! How do I know what he is telling me? There are some things about doing the will of God which are not hard to understand. But how do I know it is the will of God?  What is it like to listen to the Lord and discern what to do? It seems to me it is easy to make mistakes in this attempt, that possibility makes me nervous. How do I know it is the Lord who is speaking to me? I have always tended to rely on myself in making decisions rather than on God. I was brought up that way. Sometimes I know what God wants, but when and how should I put it into action? There are many questions for sure, let’s get started to try and get as much clarity in this matter as possible.

As we begin the practical considerations of doing God’s will, it is good to remember that the principle of grace always invites us to make good changes in our life. It is a known principle in the life of grace that God gives sufficient grace for whatever he asks us to do.  In view of the original sin of humankind, both personal and social, we tend to our sin and weakness and discover that to do the good is always a struggle. This encounter with the world, the flesh, and the devil the early Church Fathers called spiritual warfare. The psalmist reminds us that our call is to surrender to God and he will do everything for us.

May we turn from evil, learn to do God’s will; the Lord will strengthen us if we obey him. “ If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you find your delight in the Lord he will grant your heart’s desire…commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act so that your justice breaks forth like the light, your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait in patience…Then turn away from evil and do good and you shall have a home forever; for the Lord loves justice and will never forsake his friends”, see Psalm 37: 3-7a.

The areas in our life where it is relatively easy to know God’s will: All Christians know where to go and what to do to find and know what is God’s will and where it is revealed for them. Every Christian needs to be born again from above by water and the Holy Spirit. This experience initiates us into what we know to be life and union with God unto salvation. God reveals himself in a special way through the Old Testament Covenant to the Israelite People. God revealed the natural law as the way he wanted humankind to live. The Old Testament Covenant given to a special people is called the Ten Commandments. Jesus makes it very clear that he did not come to set aside the Old Testament Covenant, but he came to bring it to fulfillment in the New Testament Covenant in his very person through faith in him. The New Testament reveals what Jesus taught and did in his ministry, And his wonderful life culminated in the Paschal Mystery; his Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, and confirmed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Here in lies the vast majority of God’s will for all the Christian People. In our present day and age, it is manifested in various churches and communities. If you really want to know God’s will for your life pray and read the Word of God,  both the Old and New Testament. And become very familiar with the authentic teaching of the Christian community within which you were baptized and have made the necessary commitments. Given this reality which is a good thing! It does not completely answer the day by day practical discernment in one’s daily life.

Need patience and good discernment to do God’s will:   “Be patient, therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient, make your hearts firm…”, see Ja. 5: 7-9. God wants happiness for all. Yet there is the uncertainty of life, its complete dependence on God, and the necessity of submitting to God’s will to help us know and do God’s will and what is right, you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. In terms of what we are going to do, “If the Lord wills we shall do this or that,” this is the condition we should employ to qualify all our plans.

It is part of the personal vision of our life, which we should consider before making choices and decisions for all our plans. In many ways, it is not that difficult to know God’s will in a given set of circumstances. The important thing is to be prayerfully seeking it. The grace of discernment each Christian receives in baptism and in the actual graces that one has because of their personal relationship with the Lord. These gifts are tremendously helpful in knowing practically what God’s will is in a given situation. The charism of the discernment of spirits aids us in knowing if a desire for a particular action is coming from a selfish part of me, or is a deception or temptation from the evil one, or is coming from an inspiration from God, specifically the Holy Spirit.

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit but put the spirits to a test to see if they belong to God because many false prophets have appeared in the world. This is how you can recognize God’s Spirit: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, while every spirit that fails to acknowledge him does not belong to God. Such is the spirit of the antichrist which, as you have heard, is to come; in fact, it is in the world already”, see 1 Jn. 4:1-3.

Now here is the “kicker” and presents quite a challenge for one from time to time. Let me give an example here: In the last five years, I have moved every four or five months to a year to different locations eight times. In every one of those situations, by praying and discerning the circumstances I pretty easily received a sense of what the Lord’s will was. However, there are three aspects necessary to know and carry out the will of the Lord in practical ways. The first is to have a moral certitude, a relative certitude or knowledge of what the Lord wants. The second is to know when to put something into action, and the third is how to go about doing it.

For the most part, after embracing the physical and emotional challenge, being in my later years of life, I knew pretty much what the Lord wanted. Because I tend to look to the future a great deal, I would naturally expect a flexible time frame in regard to action. I would usually get a sense that it was time for a partial action. I thought I would hear, or get a sense that the Lord wanted me to pack, it is time to pack! Yes. In over half of the cases I would spend the next two or three months taking items out of storage containers that I needed to use. I really made mistakes in knowing when to move to action. The how is usually a little easier to handle because things in that realm tend to eventually come together. I would say my track record in doing all three aspects of doing the Lord’s will consistently and accurately is not perfect.

Its okay to make mistakes, it doesn’t make the Lord unhappy, but it is personally humiliating, significantly inconvenient, and sometimes costly. The more we practice discernment in knowing and doing God’s will, the better we get at it. The main problem seems to be to learn how to listen to the Lord’s various means of communicating to us.

And by all means, it is important to consult other qualified people about the matter, especially those who are qualified to give good advice and spiritual discernment, at least in important decisions. Also, we need to learn how to let the Lord lead, and then as a humble disciple to follow behind. The Lord will lead and show us what to do if we are patient and give him a chance. “In waiting and in calm is your salvation, in quiet and trust your strength lies.”, see Isaiah 30: 15. A really important thing to keep in mind is that the circumstances of one’s life are a significant way the Lord communicates his will. When we seek and ask him He will give us guidance and direction in regard to the practical doing of God’s will in the practical arena of our reality.

It really is a matter of listening, discerning, and obediently acting in trust and faith. May we return to the wedding feast of Cana. “They have no wine!” This statement was really hard for Mary, the Mother of Jesus. On one hand, she was full of compassionate love for the young married couple who were running out of wine. A huge embarrassment!  On another level, she knew in her heart discernment that it was time for Jesus to begin his short ministry. It met for her stepping on to the road which would lead to his death. Jesus may have thought to himself, I never do anything unless the Father is working. Jesus says, “woman what is this to you and to me? My hour (his journey to his death and resurrection) has not yet come? Maybe in her heart, she said to the Father, “Oh no Father, please, not now!” Yes, Mary Now! Discerning and knowing what the Father wanted:  Mary told the servants, do whatever he tells you! Jesus knew then, this is the will of my Father, and he told the servants to fill up the water jars with water, go and give them to the chief steward. And the water became wine initiating the will of the Father, the beginning of the final years of Jesus historical life on earth.

And the chief steward said this is amazing most guests give the best wine to their guests first, and after the cheaper wine later. But you have saved the best wine until now! God’s will always does it better than our mere human initiative. In this incident, Jesus knew the will of the Father. In Mary’s question, he discerned the time, now! And he knew it and he did it. It is time for me to begin my hour, the short journey on the road to Calvary, and the accomplishment of salvation for humankind! Knowledge, discernment, and action because of the will of the Father, see Jn. 2:1-11. I would very much like to point out that this discernment process was right in the middle of a marriage situation. It wasn’t in a church basement preparing for a catechetical program. Although that also would be a wonderful time to use a practical discernment process.

Discernment is always easier if we have experienced some degree of spiritual renewal and empowerment by the Spirit. In addition to the overall context mentioned above, discernment of God’s will for my life becomes real when it happens within the context of my vocational life. What is the vocation I choose that specifies the journey of my life unto salvation? In this context the discernment of God’s will in my choices and decisions becomes a frequent occurrence; it is helpful if I grow in mature self-knowledge, and learn the method. If I am living a life of prayer, and always strive to hear the voice of the Lord. I will naturally and supernaturally grow mature in knowing, hearing, discerning, and doing the will of God in my life.

May We Pray!

Father, we thank you for the beautiful gift of your merciful love. It is important to us that we know you will, hear your voice, and do what you ask. You have called us at this time in the Church and world to be the disciples and servants of your Son Jesus. Just as you equipped you Son, Jesus with everything that he needed to do your will. We humbly ask you, your weak and humble servants, to live out your will in our life and in the life of my family. Banish fear, laziness, and pride from our lives. And grant to us the gifts which will bring love, joy, and truth to our brothers and sisters. We confidently beseech you these requests in and through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.


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After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Book of Proverbs 1:1-7

Book of Proverbs 1:1-7 | Read the book of Proverbs 1:1-7 and listen to today’s broadcast for some tips on reading, studying and listening to God’s word, and applying it to your life and helping others. #podcast #christianpodcast #proverbsBook of Proverbs 1:1-7  Episode 59

Read the book of Proverbs 1:1-7 and listen to today’s broadcast for some tips on reading, studying and listening to God’s word, and applying it to your life and helping others.

Thanks to our sponsor the UnseenFilm.org

When we study God’s word remember:

  1. Bible time is between me and God. The Lord wrote the Bible just for me!
  2. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you what He wants you to get out of this study.
  3. If the Bible is only a benefit to you-you can’t share it with others.
  4. Therefore, we must live by example. Character is caught not taught – and we can work toward a common goal, whether it is as an individual, or within a family or study group.
  5. We can share the good news with others! We can bring the Gospel message to others!
  6. The Lord answers prayers. Believe it!

The Book of Proverbs is a wonderful example of how to live our lives. 
Read Proverbs 1:1-7

After you read and re-read Proverbs 1:1-7 ask yourself these questions. If you have a journal you may want to write the answers in your journal and think before answering.

  1. What do you think about the book of Proverbs? Is there a passage that stood out for you? Why?
  2. How can I live the message in the book of Proverbs? How can I make this impact my life for the better?
  3. Ask the Lord what He wants you to learn. Listen as you read the passage. Close your eyes and listen.
  4. Can God speak to you? Yes! He speaks to us in the Word, in prayer, in thoughts on things that happen in our lives. How is He speaking to you?
  5. Ask God how you can serve Him. It might not be right now – we may need some infilling of the Holy Spirit in order to go out and serve, but be listening, learning and ready. He will provide.
  6. Do you spend time with God? If not –make a plan to do this.
  7. What does impacting someone else’s life mean to you? How can you do this with love and grace?
  8. How can we read and share the Bible with others?
  9. Making an impact means leaving anger, disappointment and past hurts behind. Only in love can we share.
  10. In order to receive what you crave you have to show it first. If you want to show compassion you must be compassionate. Respect? You must be respectful. What do you want __________ and how can you show it to others, first?

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace – Part 1

Join Lucia in this series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains the position you take when you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and are re-birthed into the Kingdom of God. Join Lucia in this series, “Who I Am in Christ – The Righteousness of God or a Sinner saved by Grace” as she explains the position you take when you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and are re-birthed into the Kingdom of God. She will explain that once you are born again, you are no longer a sinner saved by grace, but you’re a re-birthed as a son/daughter and you’re adopted into the family of God.

As a child of God, you are given the gift of Righteousness – right standing with God – and this is the greatest blessing of the New Creation man once you become God’s child.  When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a joint-heir with Jesus and have the same standing with Father God as Jesus has.

When you accept the truth that Jesus paid the price for you to be righteous, you will

discover that you are no longer a sinner saved by grace.  You can come boldly into the Throne Room of Grace to make your requests made known to God without a sin consciousness, feelings of guilt, shame, condemnation or a sense of feeling inferior.

If you have a sin consciousness, you need to see physical evidence that God is moving when you bring your prayers to him.  With a righteousness consciousness, you know God is moving on your behalf just because you asked Him to take care of a situation.

To develop a righteousness consciousness, a believer must learn to depend on the free gift of righteousness that he received when he/she was born again.  Jesus shed His Blood for believers to walk in victory over Satan every day of their life.

 

Links mentioned in the podcast:

LuciaClaborn.com.

ABC’s of Who I Am In Christ ebook.

EL ABC De Lo Que Soy en Cristo Jesús ebook.

Spiritual Blindness

spiritual blindness | spiritual blindness is something we must be aware of and avoid. #spiritualblindness #podcast #christianpodcastSpiritual Blindness

Spiritual blindness is mentioned in the Bible. In this episode, we discuss the ways we all suffer from spiritual blindness at times, we miss the little things and worse, sometimes we don’t see the obvious.

Thanks to our sponsor the UnseenFilm.org

Scripture of the blind man – he was born blind and was at the gates of the Synagogue for so many years begging. Jesus took pity upon him and healed his eyes. This caused many problems among the Pharisees. They had to admit that Jesus was indeed the prophet and the Son of God – who He proclaimed to be, but instead, they found excuses.

Do we struggle to see the obvious because that may mean we must change? For those of us who follow Christ, we have an obligation. We must follow Him with all our hearts and not pick and choose.

t wasn’t enough that this man born blind, with no eyes – new eyes were created out of paste made by Jesus and yet the focus on the Pharisees was only that it was done on the Sabbath. The doctor’s of the law should have been so impressed that a man born blind could see – what a miracle!

Do we do this in our lives? Do we miss the miracle because of something that takes our focus away?

We have more fear of men and society than we have of God. We are afraid to stand up for what we believe, we stand still and listen to people who slander the Lord in profanity or sick jokes. How often I’ve had to change the television station because of inappropriate commercials – even while watching sports.

It not real – it’s okay – no, it isn’t okay.

When we fear God it shouldn’t be because we fear what He will do to us – God doesn’t condemn anyone to hell – the soul does it … when a soul is so against God it will not repent, it will not say to God I’m sorry – refuses to do that, even at death, they turn away from God when they see him after life. They can’t accept it or stand it. They turn away from all eternity.

The Pharisees were of the verge of doing this. They were so adamant that Jesus was not the Son of God – they had no knowledge of Jesus. They believed the Messiah would be a military leader who would deliver them from Rome and give them, thPharisee’ses power.

Even faced with the fact of a blind man who now could see they Pharisees did not want to see anyone who was healed because it would require them to change their opinion. The blind man stood up to them, and challenged them. “God does listen to men who are devout and does His will.”

This blind man knew more than the Pharisees—he experienced God’s love in a personal way through the healing power of Jesus. He was blind for so many years and he was never healed. He didn’t know who Jesus was before this encounter but he knelt down and believed.

Jesus came into the world so that those without sight may seen – and those with sight were blind to Him. People today are the same we are either for Him or against Him. We either believe that Jesus came as God/Man – suffered, died and rose from the dead on His own – we either believe it or it is mocked.

We either believe Jesus is in our midst – He will always be with us or we despair. We must believe and hold tight. We must ask ourselves are we like the Pharisees who are afraid to stand up for Jesus. There are many who half believe and that makes for confusion and people who are lukewarm in their faith.

This is a time with so many horrible things happening in our world that we must rely upon the Lord to sustain us with the power of His love.

We can lose our faith by asking the wrong people the right questions. They don’t know the answer but we believe them instead of going to the Scriptures and a spiritual counsel such as a pastor.

How do your eyes come to be open? You know what is right and stick to what is right. Righteousness will bring you peace, love and joy. We are called for holiness. We are called to follow the Lord to go to church.

This miracle shows us how much the Lord loves us in a personal way. He took a direct interest in this man, so much so that He gave him a wonderful gift of his eyesight. He was blind but now could see, and we should pray that He allows us to see the love He has for us!

We should pray that the Lord can give us a deep realization of His love for us – to instill His love into your heart! God thought of us before time began, He knew you and loved you and He knew when you would come to be. Understanding this truth—we can sustain all things. If we know that one truth everything else can fall into place. If you are loved by Jesus, what else matters? Everything in life will come to an end… power of man will end … only the love of God sustains all time.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


God’s Will While Living The Gospel

God's Will While Living The Gospel | Finding God's will in our lives is found when looking at the Gospels. #podcast #christianpodcast #catholic #findingGodsWillGod’s Will While Living The Gospel Podcast 18

How can we find God’s will while living the gospel? Often when a member of a family receives a threatening or fatal medical diagnosis. The tendency in this situation, especially for the individual, is to devote themselves to putting everything in order.  They may update their will, re-deed their property, even preplan their funeral. All of this is to ensure that their loved ones are well taken care of once they are gone.

Visit the movie we are helping to promote, Unseen Film – it deals with the very real problem of suicide in our culture. The movie is free to watch and download on your computer.

Finding God’s will while living The Gospel can be seen in the last supper.

At the Last Supper Jesus does the same with his disciples. In his preplanning to physically leave them, he tells them the following things to remember and do: He tells them to remain in him, if they don’t they will not produce fruit because apart from him they can do nothing. If they remain in him they can ask for what they want and it will be done for them. If they keep the commandments they will remain in his love, especially the great commandment of loving God and loving one another. He tells them that they are his friends and he has given them everything the Father has given him…

“I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them the word and the world hated them.” Then he tells them the world is going to hate them because they do not belong to the world. “because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they may be consecrated in truth”, see Jn. 17: 11-19.

God’s will while living the Gospel…

God’s will while living the Gospel shows up in the consecration in this scripture means being set aside for the purposes of being a sacrificial love offering through suffering and death. Hatred here means to resist, plot against, persecute and kill. And they will do this because they do not know him or the Father. The world will hate them without cause. When this happens they will remember that he prepared them and told them that this would happen. However, he will send them the Holy Spirit and he will guide them and teach them all truth. He told them to take courage because he has conquered the world. They are told by him to remain committed, courageous,  and merciful in the face of adversity, struggle, trial, suffering, and persecution. In this consecration, for the sake of the truth of the Gospel, his disciples will discover the will of the Father.

I was speaking to a close friend a short while ago and he, reflecting on the state of the world at the present time, referring to the mayhem in our post-modern world, he said that the world has become a very dangerous place to live. Many people undoubtedly are perceiving these same realities.

The question one may hear occasionally is, why is God allowing these things to take place? How does this situation reflect on the consideration of God’s will in our daily life? When we look at the world around us and take the time to reflect on the beautiful and wonderful world of creation, we can’t help to be deeply moved by the glorious wonder of God’s creating love. And the truth that we partner with God in the unfolding of his creative love.

How many gifts the good Lord has given us. We all have received many tremendous blessings both spiritual and temporal. Just in the recent years the many new discoveries in medicine and the rapid development of modern technologies. Original, personal, and social sin has deeply marred the beautiful world of creation which is an expression of God’s gracious love for us. This is the world of reality in which we live.

To counteract the broken reality of sin in the world, God’s plan is fulfilled in his beloved Son, Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. “We know that no one begotten by God commits sin, rather, God protects the one begotten by him, and so the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we belong to God, While the whole world is under the evil one. We know too, that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to recognize the One who is true. And we are in the One who is true, for we are in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life”, see I Jn, 5: 18-20.

“Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love has no place in him, for nothing that the world affords comes from the Father. Carnal allurements, enticement for the eye, the life of empty show—all these are from the world. And the world with its seductions is passing away but the man who does God’s will endures forever”, see 1 Jn. 2:15.

What does it mean to leave go of the worldliness of modern reality and do God’s will in all things, especially and primarily in my daily life? If we give up our worldly way of life and begin to follow the ways of the Holy Spirit we surrender our own isolated way of life, our own isolated determination of our human life.

We then take on the supernatural likeness of Christ and imitate the life of Christ, living a life in the Holy Spirit who lives in us and is united to us. Then our nature is transformed so that we are no longer merely human beings, but also sons and daughters of the Father, spiritual human beings by reason of the share we have received in the divine nature. This makes us all one in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We are one in mind and holiness, we are one through our communion in the sacred flesh of Christ and our sharing in the one Holy Spirit, see St. Cyril of Alexandria, Liturgy of the Hours, vol II, p. 873.

It is easily seen in the Scripture, that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell. He so transforms them that they begin to live a completely new kind of life.

“As we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, that glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit, transforms us all into his own likeness, from one degree of glory to another. 2 Cor. 3: 18.  And where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.”

What does it mean to leave the world of modern reality and seriously look to change some things in our modern and post-modern life? The goal is being free from “the negative spirit of this world”, as we live our good and wonderful human life in this material world created in God’s love. The key goal is the seeking and doing the will of God.

It is probably one of the most ignored and neglected understanding of the truth of God’s will in our Christian growth. “Through the mercy of God, offer your bodies as a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to the Lord. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed in the renewal of your mind, in order to know what is good, pleasing, and perfect.”, see Rom. 12: 1-3 How can we know God’s will in our lives, if we don’t directly relate to attitudes, choices, decisions, behaviors, in the practical situations of our daily life?

“Just as the truth is in Jesus, “that you should put away the old self of the former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth”, see Eph. 4: 21-24.  A fresh new spiritual way of thinking! Do we run the risk of mistaken opinions, disagreement’s, and criticism from others? Absolutely! Nevertheless, we really need to cut to the chase here. Can we identify the attitudes and the system of negative values which characterize modern thinking and acting? Which things are opposed to the revelation of God and his most precious will for those he loves?

For the sake of honoring God and loving our brothers and sisters, we should humbly try! The first step in this attempt is to identify some of the idols, false gods, and then look at some of the attitudes and behaviors which are antithetical or hostile to God and his will. And follow and obey what he wants for the nations of the world, and specifically for family life in the Church, and for each individual living in the world of our time.

Of course, it would be impossible to cover everything that may need to be mentioned, but I will attempt to identify some things that may stimulate some specific considerations for us. It would also be helpful if you think about some things that may easily come to you which I won’t be mentioning. These things may point out some areas in your own life which may need some attention in regard to, leaving the world. The Lord may give you some wisdom and understanding in growing in spiritual freedom as you attempt to do the Fathers will in your life, and in the lives for whom you may have some responsibility.

Identifying some idols and false gods in our society: St. Pope John Paul II came to the United States a decent number of times even before he became Pope. He really loved the American people and recognized the potential for American Christians to make a tremendous impact on the international scene in terms of proclaiming the Gospel and living by those values. One time a group of Americans were complaining about all the bad stuff on TV, and asked what should we do? His simple answer was, turn it off. He also took the time to warn American Christians that democracy without a religious base could easily become a new Totalitarianism, which he knew well because of his personal experience in the European situations.

These situations characterized a negative philosophical nihilism, a meaningless and emptiness of life without God, violent destruction of peoples, and two world wars. The leaders of this movement abandoned God and designed new false gods of atheistic humanism and abusive murderous control of individuals. As we today in this country remove God and his values from the American scene, we become victims by tolerating violent destructive behavior and obliterating the dignity and value of God-given human life. A recent article about the toxic destruction of being exposed to third degree of smoking which means living in places where people have smoked for years.

The theory is that individuals living there now are absorbing the toxic poison through their skin. Have we, with little thought bought into our societal values a destructive secular humanism, because we just absorb these attitudes and beliefs, as God’s will is ignored in society and in the media? The commercials on television and movies in a very charming manner promote or present a way of life on TV, which highlights the negative values of unbridled materialism, compulsive buying and spending, liberal sexual behavior, immodest dress and behavior, and programs that foster violence, indecency, killing, materialism, indecent exposure, and paranormal forms of the occult etc.

Ingesting these attitudes unconsciously over a period of time actually changes our way of thinking and our value system. It gets us used to ignoring God and his commandments and not feeling guilty about it as we give in to an inordinate and quiet toleration of all things in society. Do we allow our children to have unsupervised access to watch whatever they want, by having televisions in their rooms? And carry their iPhone computers and TV’s all day long and into the night? Democracy without God leads to bondage and the loss of the dignity of the human person. We see many forms and degrees of destructive behavior very evident in the life of our beloved young people. Many feeling lost and abandoned by others, and open to do destructive things to themselves and in some cases to others.

May We Pray!

Dear Lord grant us the grace to love you with our whole heart, mind, and soul. In love and truth, we seek to know and do your will. Help us, oh merciful Lord to leave the “negative spirit of the world” which fosters destructive behavior and darkness of mind. Give us a Spirit-led discernment of the worldliness of modern life, that we may have the light of your Father and the Holy Spirit unfolding your will in our lives. And grant us purity of heart to do your loving will for ourselves and our brothers and sisters for whom you have asked us to serve. In Jesus Name, we pray! Amen.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Light of the Lord

Light of the Lord | The light of the Lord is my strength and my hope. If we keep our eyes on the Lord only then can we know that there is more to life than what we see here on earth! #christianpodcast #podcast Light of the Lord Episode 57

The light of the Lord is my strength and my hope. If we keep our eyes on the Lord only then can we know that there is more to life than what we see here on earth!

As I share this I think about the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” It is a song that causes us to first smile, and then sing it loudly and of course clap. It is a child’s song and while some may think it is silly I think it is joyous and causes you and others to have joy as they sing the verses.

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

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna make it shine.

The verses go on to say don’t let Satan take it away and don’t hide it under a bushel. God’s light is made to give us hope and we should share it with others, right? But how can we share what we don’t have?

Light of the Lord … light is God calling us out of darkness.

Matthew 5:16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Our light comes from God. The goodness that we show others, the things we do for others, for our family for our friends, for those less fortunate than ourselves. These are the things that happen to those who love the Lord and wait for Him to lead.

Have you heard the saying the “frozen chosen?” It basically means those of us that are given the good news and don’t act upon it. No one could distinguish us from anyone else on the street.

This doesn’t mean you need to go to everyone on the street and proclaim the good news but it does mean we handle our crosses with grace. We can judge by the fruit. Are we demonstrating good fruit in our day to day walk with the Lord or bad fruit? I love the analogy of the fruit tree because the fruit comes from a tree that is healthy, that has the right nutrients and a good and sound foundation – the roots. The fruit takes time to grow, it happens after all the conditions are right and on its own, it cannot reach full maturation or ripeness.

The Father is our foundation, our rock our root. Our words – our fruit – our actions reveal our character.

Matthew12: 33-37 – read on the podcast.

Our faith comes from our relationship with God. We cannot remain the same, similar to the frozen chosen condition. We are chosen by the very nature of being a Christian. It was a calling from God to become a Christian and our free will allows us to make a decision to say yes – to say yes to our faith.

If we are not moving forward in our walk with the Lord – if we are not allowing the light of God to shine through, we are preventing the work that the Lord has for us to go forward.

Matthew 5:13-15

“…You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

Letting your light shine means you are being counter-culture. In a world that is a go with the flow mentality we are to stand up for what is right and God – not to ourselves but to God. Being pro-life and anti-abortion is an example of this.

Letting your light shine means being a light to the people around you and allowing your love for God to show.

Letting your light shine means to give all the glory to God who is the source of goodness.

Letting your light shine means clearing it out from time to time of the gunk that builds up over time, and dulls that light. If there are ways we are sinful or knowingly are allowing ourselves to be tempted. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and allow Him to clear out the gunk and return the full light.

Let’s pray —

Dear Lord, I ask that you allow me to be open so that You may shine through me. Let me be your hands, your mouth, your feet — allow me to touch those that need you the most, bringing them the good news that Jesus lives, Alleluiah! I am nothing without you Lord – and I seek to be all you have for me. I do not know what will happen in the future, tomorrow, or even today – this minute but I surrender it all into your very capable hands. Dear Lord allow me to be less of me and more of you. I know I will be happier if I can listen and learn. I ask that you bless those who are listening today with every good thing – I pray for the intentions of those who are suffering and I pray the joy that surpasses all understanding and the light of the Lord that only comes from You into everyone’s heart. I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Secrets to Victorious Living

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Secrets to Victorious Living with Lucia Claborn

Welcome to Secrets to Victorious Living with Lucia Claborn! Lucia believes every day is a new adventure with God, and that He desires us to live victorious, so we can enjoy life to the fullest, every day!

Lucia’s desire is to help you live the victorious life you were created to live by bringing inspiration to anyone searching for their true identity, peace, comfort and encouragement.

She’s dedicated to helping you grow in your faith; create a deeper understanding and revelation of God’s Word; understand your God-given power and authority; the creative power of spoken words, plus much more!

About Lucia…

Lucia’s learned how to overcome life’s challenges by making God’s Word the final authority in her life instead of turning to family and friends for answers. She wants to encourage you with the fact that you, too, can walk in victory if you will change negative words of defeat into positive, faith-filled confessions.

She began writing more than 28 years ago as she pursued a journalism career in the military and eventually the civilian market. She’s been published in newspapers, magazines and periodicals.  She lives in Alabama with her husband, Danny, and they have four grown children: Daniel, McKenzie; Emily, and Katie.  She is Grammy to Brantley and Jackson.

If you want to live the Victorious Life, I encourage you to tune-in now for an on-time word that will help you become victorious in every area of your life!  For more from Lucia visit her website, LuciaClaborn.com.  You can also find her on Facebook at LuciaClaborn.com.

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Scripture Reflections

Scripture Reflections | Scripture reflections should be a normal part of our study of the Bible. When we read the Bible it is more than just a book, it is the inspired and infallible word of Almighty God. How can you get the most out of reading your Bible, and do you have a personal agenda when you read? #christianpodcast #readingbible #podcastScripture Reflections 56

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

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

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

When reading the Bible here are my top ten points.

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

Let’s pray –

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

 

Seeing God Every Day

seeing God everyday | There is more than seeing with our eyes, it is in seeing God every day in our hearts. #christianpodcast #podcast #ChristianfaithSeeing God Every Day Episode 55

There is more than seeing with our eyes, it is in seeing God every day in our hearts. I believe you can in the wonderful world He created as well as those “God-incidences” instead of co-incidents that happen in our lives.

There are so many concepts about our Creator that it would take a lifetime of discussion to scratch the surface of the awe that He has created all around us. If we really believe in God, we know that He is always with us. Seeing God is more so with our hearts and our desires to know Him in a closer and deeper way, rather than physically seeing Him!

You may also enjoy this podcast here.

 

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Seeing God Every Day in the Scriptures:

1 John 4:12-16– No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. …

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No one has seen God the Father – and in Exodus 3, we read that as well. This is the passage about God appearing and the effect it had on Moses. God appeared to Moses in the burning bush.

Have you thought about the ways we fear looking for God – similar to the way Moses feared actually “seeing” God.?Friends, our day will be so much richer if we have a relationship with God. So many days we walk around with the burdens of the world on our shoulders. We are stressed, we are worried and there seems no way good out of a current situation.

Instead, try this:

  1. Make a habit of talking to God all day long. Maybe not aloud, but privately. We can make it a prayer, or talk to the Lord about the things that bother you. Some people do this in a journal. If you do journal this way, be sure to thank God. If you are only journaling your problems without any solutions this won’t help you if you are sad or disappointed.
  2. What are your deepest wants and desires? Pray about this, yet remember when you do pray that the Lord knows every thought, word, and deed. You don’t need to list out all the things if you’ve asked for them in prayer. Surprisingly the Lord will bless one or more of your requests, keep your eyes open so you don’t miss it!
  3. Be mindful of His answers. We are often our own worst enemies. Some situations are just out of our control, for example, a bad decision someone you love has made. These situations can bog us down with the coulda, shoulda, woulda and we may blame ourselves. God hears our prayers, just know His answer may be different than the one you pray for and seek.
  4. God’s perfect will –or providence. Are we open to God’s will in our lives? I’ve done podcasts on this topic before and I still struggle with this in my own life. Are we obedient children or willful and obstinate? Take a look at your life, can you see God’s hand?
  5. Kisses from the Lord come in all shapes and sizes. We can see God in the beauty of our loved ones, old an young… in the grandeur of the sunsets and the cloud formations, or in a field of beautiful flowers, or the love of a puppy. The greatest things in life cannot be purchased. Have you ever considered that? You can’t buy a sunset, or the ocean, or the clouds, or the sun in the sky. These amazing gifts are all around us and each day God shows His grandeur and glory in the rising of the sun in the morning and the setting of the sun in the evening.

 

Let’s pray for eyes that see

 

Dear Lord I praise you for all the beauty you’ve provided us in this world. All the grandeur of your mountains, oceans and sky. The planet you’ve given us to cherish as well as all those things that money can’t buy. I ask you to open my eyes to see you in all the little things, to hear you and your will in my life. Lord don’t let me be closed by depression or the things I have no control of in my life. Lord I give you my life each and every day and ask you to make it pleasing to you. I ask you to hear the prayers, the ones most close to our hearts and I pray this is Jesus Name. Amen.

Surrender God’s Gift

Surrender | Is surrender God's gift to us or some type of hoax for those who are weak? For those of us that want answers in prayer, it seems that surrendering to God’s will is not something we can do easily. #christianpodcast #podcast Surrender God’s Gift Episode 54

Is surrender God’s gift to us or some type of hoax for those who are weak? For those of us that want answers in prayer, it seems that surrendering to God’s will is not something we can do easily. This is something that takes more than a passing faith. People are in different stages of their faith journey and surrender takes maturity.

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You may also like these podcasts:

Daily Spiritual Growth – here

Path to Spiritual Freedom – here

Surrender means trust and it means our faith is at that next level of complete and unapologetic understanding that God knows best. I remember a faithful nun who had built a television network of religious broadcasts all while she was a cloistered nun. She received special permission to enter the world outside of her convent while she did the Lord’s will. The most amazing aspect of this situation other than the very successful network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) was the fact that this nun was crippled in her walk.

Surrender is God’s gift! 

The Lord had healed her as a young lady of a crippling disease, only later in life for her to have another ailment. When people questioned her faith or the fact that if she had “more faith” she could ask God to heal her, she said and believed that this was God’s will for her at this time. She had indeed surrendered her life to God. Later on, in her old age, the Lord did heal her completely and it was for another undertaking, that of building a much larger church for which she traveled home and abroad to find the perfect pieces for this church which was totally financed by the donations of five wealthy families.

She, Mother Angelica was a perfect example of what it meant to surrender and she did it with humor on her weekly telecasts. Friends this is grace that is given to each one of us by God. This is the grace to surrender to our circumstances and situations which is such an example to believers and unbelievers at the same time!

The reason surrender is a gift to us is because allowing ourselves to give the giver means we can never outgive. Think about it. God gives us everything. Our very breath, our lives, our essence. And by giving God your free will – in essence, the gift you cherish the most, you are gifting God a beautiful part of who you are!

1 Chronicles 29:5

When we are weak He is strong

This should be a huge sign that resides on the wall of each and every home!

Why is surrender God’s gift to us?

God loves you.

He will always be with you.

Yet it is difficult to surrender. We must surrender more than just our mind – it is a total surrender of heart body and soul! We can be reconciled to God by the saving grace of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can’t surrender just one part of us – we must surrender all that we have. This happens over time by studying the Bible, spending time in prayer with God, journaling and listening to the Lord. Living in this world we are separated from God. We will not be fully united until we die in a state that allows, by the grace of God for us to enter heaven and be in a full union with Him the epitome of total surrender.

In this world we are limited and yet we can accomplish much through Christ that strengthens us.

1 Corinthians 13:2-3

If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Surrender is a gift from God – it is the ultimate gift we can give to God as well.

Can you say yes to the Lord, I surrender to you Lord no matter what your situation in life?

  1. Surrender your insecurities
  2. Surrender your sadness
  3. Surrender your loneliness
  4. Surrender your understanding
  5. Surrender all the things you can not surrender

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord only by spending time with you in prayer, in the study of Your Word in the Holy Scriptures, in the ability to understand your wisdom for our lives – only then can we learn to surrender. Lord, I give you my heart, my body and my soul, Lord I give you all of me not just part. I pray that you open my heart to understanding more of the Word as I read it, allow me to hear your small still voice in the Holy Scriptures, send me people who love you and will affirm and encourage me to dig deeper and learn more and give more of myself to you. I praise you and I thank you for all you have done for me and my life – and I pray for those in need of prayer … and I ask that you comfort them, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Christian Music – Praising God

Christian Music | Christian music praising God can bring us so much comfort and peace. #Christianmusic #podcast #praisingGodChristian Music Praising God – Episode 53

Christian music praising God can bring us so much comfort and peace. But, What is it about Christian music and worship that go hand in hand? Music raises us up out of our grief, or melancholy and allows us to enjoy a closer relationship with God. In this podcast, we discuss how music can help us in our daily struggles and bring joy into our hearts.

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Sometimes I feel that I am stating the obvious, I don’t think any of you will find it surprising that music can be uplifting or put you in a better mood, or take you out of depressing thoughts, however, it is always a good reminder to myself and to you that we should surround out thoughts with those that praise the Lord.

Praising God in words and in song is only a benefit to ourselves. There is nothing we can do to make God any greater than He already is – our God is amazing and strong and mighty and powerful. Our God is everlasting and never changing. When we pray or we worship God in song we are the ones who benefit and this is a wonderful thing!

The Scriptures are filled with song and praising using music. King David is the one who comes to mind and is the most associated with song, singing that was pleasing to God.

2 Chronicles 7:6

The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His lovingkindness is everlasting”—whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing.

So many people are struggling daily and music has a way of lightening our spirits. I love to listen to music when I’m driving and I have a playlist on my phone of a mix of uplifting and worship music. Musical tastes vary which is why I won’t share my playlist with you in particular but there are several songs that make me smile and sing along, loudly! I can’t imagine what people think especially if I am parked at a red light singing about God’s goodness forever, or The River by Jordan Feliz –  “I know a place where we can go to lay the troubles down eating your soul, I know a place where mercy flows – take the stains make you whiter than snow…”

These lyrics speak to me and when I am down there is no way I can stay down. I have hope that is in Christ that no matter what today brings he is walking alongside me.

There are so many ways to incorporate music into your day, and it depends on your preference of course, but I look for music that is:

  1. Uplifting
  2. Heartfelt
  3. Speaks to my situation
  4. Praises God’s Name – highest prayer
  5. All-encompassing – getting lost in the hope that is available to all of us

Remember along with prayer and reading the Bible music can add a wonderful element of encouragement to us in our daily lives.

Songs that are very close to the Scriptures can help us

Here are a few of my Favorite songs please go the AFMWG podcast and look for Christian Music praising God podcast and leave me your favorite songs if they are not on this list.5Asa

  • The River: Jordan Feliz
  • The Proof of Your Love – for King & Country
  • Who You Say I Am – Hillsong Worship
  • Shoulders – for King & Country
  • Thrive – Casting Crowns
  • Impossible – Building 429
  • Life is Beautiful – The Afters
  • Greater — Mercy Me
  • How Sweet the Sound – Citizen’s Way
  • Because He Lives – Matt Maher
  • Born Again – NewsBoys
  • God’s Not Dead – NewsBoys
  • Resurrection Power – Chris Tomlin

Scripture songs with allow us to praise God using the words from the Holy Bible are so encouraging and help us to not only learn the Bible verses but make them part of our hearts. There is hope and victory in Jesus and He answers us sometimes through song, to remind us constantly that His word is true and fair! He has redeemed us by his death and resurrection and we can rejoice by singing praises to Him in thanksgiving which allows us to put our cares aside as we shout to the Lord.

Remember, God is there He is with us and we can pray and rejoice and sometimes in song! Don’t forget to listen to music that lifts us up to the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity to praise you in thought, word, prayer and deed – and also in praise in music. Thank you for giving us all the resources to combat the enemy of depression and keep our minds on you, Oh, Lord. In you, we give you the praise and the honor that you deserve. In praising you allow it to dispel the darkness that plagues us the worry and give us the compassion we need as we struggle. Thank you Lord for giving us the help we need just when we need it, and I pray for all of the intentions of those listening today – and I thank you for answered prayer. Amen

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Growing Spiritually Serving Others

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growing spiritually serving othersTools for Growing Spiritually Serving Others

Episode #17

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,

 

 

Overcome Daily Struggles

Overcome Daily Struggles | Does it seem that there is always a new daily struggle to overcome? Do you need help to overcome daily struggles? #christian #podcast #overcomestrugglesOvercome Daily Struggles Episode 52

Is it time to overcome daily struggles? Does it seem that there is always a new daily struggle to overcome? Sometimes the pile gets overwhelming and then we fall under the strain. In this episode of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, we’ll discuss scripture verses that will help as well as the hope that is in store for those who believe.

When I think about ways to overcome daily struggles I remember a book I read years ago I read a book to the kids Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was published in 1972 and even won a series of literary prizes for children’s literature. The reason? It resounded with the old and young alike. We always have to deal with everyday life and some days are harder than others. Each day we struggle. Each day we fall, each day we do things we are not proud of doing. How do we stand up under the crushing weight that is on our shoulders? It is not easy.

Overcome Daily Struggles

I thought that this was the week that would do me in! There was no way I could overcome my daily struggles. This week has been one of the hardest weeks. Actually the last two weeks. I’ve had ups and downs in my life in dealing with situations out of my control. And I truly think those are the hardest. Those are the ones where we have to throw up our hands and ask the Lord to help us. Recently one of my children was waiting for room assignments in a college dorm and instead of the private room she requested she’ll be sharing one big room with two other girls. She also had a hard time signing up for classes as a transfer upperclassman. Things happen, they are stressful but we make do. My other son twisted his ankle while training, and he is playing a college sport on scholarship – so the stress is that he would heal in time to keep training. Then two days later another son fell off a ladder at work and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. One daily struggle then another, then another. We sometimes wonder when it will stop?

The enemy likes nothing better than to kick us when we are down. To remind us of all the bad things happening in our lives while glossing over all the good that comes out of our struggles. Realize that when we struggle we can suffer real pain. It can come first in the sense of worry, anxiety, stress, tears, anger and then translate into physical ailments such as a stomach ache, headaches, or restlessness and insomnia. Anxiety can lead to depression and yet there is hope.

Scriptures Show Us How To Overcome Daily Struggles

Things will get better. One reason? Because we are promised this in scripture. We have to look no further than the book of Job.

Job 14: 14 “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes.

A change will come. It can come in the form of others praying with us, understanding our needs and standing up for us in times when we need help. It can come in the form of relief — a change in the situation and a need that comes from the struggle. Sometimes we become so self-sufficient, we are our own worse enemies. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want anyone to know what we are going through. Just ask. Friends are there for you in so many different ways!

Trials and struggles can help us to grow stronger. We know that if the Lord denied the cross there would be no resurrection. James 1:2 states -Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…

That is a hard verse to read if you are in the midst of struggling. Joy in the midst of trials? Only with God’s grace and only with the help of Almighty God.

What does Ephesians say about ways to overcome daily struggles?

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Our struggles and our daily walk is not done alone. Remember, you are not invincible and you don’t have to carry the burden yourself. If you are on social media on Facebook I have a page for prayers – you can post them here and I will get a notification to pray. You don’t have to be specific – just saying, “I need prayers,” is good enough. A community of believers can be helpful in times when your struggle.

Recently when my son had to go to the hospital after a fall at work I messaged and posted on several private groups asking people to pray. The prayers came pouring in. He was released from the hospital and all was fine – but of course, before we knew if everything was going to be alright it was filed under the classification of “Oh no!” and the stress level was high!

Psalm 34:18 states The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Thank-you Lord for being close to us when we are broken-hearted. For making crooked lines straight. For helping us in knowing that You hear our prayers.

Psalm 23:4 — Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

No matter what you are going through, no matter how horrible or how sad, the “valley of the shadow of death” in our lives we are told to fear no evil because God is with us and He will comfort us. That my friends is the real key. Understanding that we don’t walk alone.

Let’s Pray for help for help to Overcome Daily Struggles:

Jesus, we trust in you – we trust in your providence for us each and every day. We ask you to bless and keep us safe, for our loved ones to be surrounded by your love and your protection. We ask that you help us daily to know that you are there and that you hear our prayers. Please Lord hear us as we pray for these intentions… and thank you Lord ahead of time for hearing us! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Daily Spiritual Growth Tools

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Daily Spiritual Growth ToolsDaily Spiritual Growth Tools

Episode 16

 

Some tools for Daily Spiritual Growth

“Acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God’s image, whose justice and holiness is born of truth. (Ephesians 4: 23-24) Over the last 50 years or so I have met a good number of sincere and well-meaning people who genuinely desire to grow and mature as a Christian. A high percentage of these individuals have experienced significant times of profound graces of conversion, but for various reasons seemed unable to follow through with the necessary activity to grow in the gift of living life in the kingdom of God.

In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is traveling from town to town preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Many had come from the surrounding town’s and a large crowd had gathered. Jesus spoke in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold. After he said this, he called out “Whoever has ears to hear, ought to hear.”

Later, when his disciples asked Jesus about the parable, he said to them.” This is the meaning of the parable: “The seed is the word of God, Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground, are those who when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, bear fruit through perseverance…take care then how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” (Lk. 8: 4-18)  

Living faithfully the way of life I have committed myself to live as a Christian. For some this will be living a “Catholic Way of Life”, for others it will be living according to the requirements of the Denomination or Christian group to which I belong. These commitments are fulfilled specifically in light of the permanent vocation which I have chosen for my personal life. The Christian life is not the life of “a lone ranger”, but a life in community. As I grow in faithfulness to these commitments, I receive an abundance of opportunities to grow in holiness and maturity.

The development of a frequent or daily personal prayer time. Please review the podcast reflection entitled, “A Frequent Personal Prayer Time”. The goal of the Christian is not just to have a frequent personal prayer time. The goal is to live a life of prayer. The key to this reality is to have an ever growing personal relationship of love with Jesus. For the Christian, this experience is lived in relationship with the Father who draws us to live in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. There are many written materials for practical advice designed to establish this objective.

A frequent reading for prayerful study of The Word of God. Almost all the Church Fathers and current writers in the Christian life give strong encouragement for a frequent reading of Scripture, both the Old and New Testament. Our life lived in a Holistic Contemplative Spiritual Journey bears abundant fruit, in light of the fact that each one of us is called to be holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy. Our beloved Father calls each of his children to be formed as sons and daughters by the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The method that best accomplishes this objective is called “Lectio Divina”. In this practice, one takes a short Biblical story or selection from Scripture, reads it slowly and meditatively, and then spends a period of time in conversation, communication, and the experience of communion with our Lord. Realizing it essentially involves being in the presence of the Lord, and listening to how and what he speaks to us!

Designing a Spiritual Growth Plan for my life. The Spiritual Growth Plan is a flexible tool which assists one in growing in the spiritual life and aids in the development of personal maturity. This plan relates to keeping my priorities in good order. For example, I may be spending an inordinate amount of time, on say point number five which is serving in building the Kingdom of the Lord or church work. However, I may be spending very little time with my children. A spiritual plan helps me become aware of this neglect and aids me in making the necessary adjustment in my priorities. The key issue that I may want to ask myself is this, am I generally experiencing a balance in my growth in holiness, my responsibilities, and human maturity? The aim here is to develop a flexible, adjustable, plan that fits my situation, and which I frequently and honestly evaluate. It is important in designing a spiritual growth plan that I am very specific, direct, honest, and patient with myself. I realize that I can keep this personal plan private if I choose.

A Model

Is my relationship with God, my number one priority, in a good place at this time in my life? Do I have a decent prayer time identified in my schedule? Do I frequently use Scripture, and open to use other meaningful devotions? Am I disciplined in my life, and practice the responsible virtue of “self-control”; avoiding inordinate excesses?

Are my personal relationships going well? Am I faithful to my church commitments? Do I spend the right amount of time with my key relationships? Do I participate in a bi-weekly or monthly small group which is supportive and life-giving? Is my work and service relationships in a good place, and in a consistent balance?  Am I free from frequent negative or sinful communication with others? Am I wise in choosing good friends who are supportive of me in my way of life?

Am I willing to do the necessary study, using all the contemporary technologies at hand, which will joyfully and peacefully assist my personal growth, and demonstrate a generous service and cooperation with others?

Am I avoiding spiritual narcissism (excessive preoccupation with spiritual matters) by concentrating on good solid communication at work, in my professional life, service projects, and ministry?

Am I generous in serving others by sharing my faith, doing mercy work, and choosing good projects according to my gifts and talents? Am I also willing to do service which will stretch me in ways in which I feel uncomfortable when I am asked?

Again being reasonable is the key: Do I take the time for exercise, recreation, good opportunities with others? Am I responsible to take good care of my health, nutritional eating is the modern way of fasting, get the necessary rest, and take the “down time” when I need it and do I enjoy my social opportunities and vacations times?

Community and Interconnection. This consideration involves the gift and sacredness of being human. When God created me as a human he gifted me with the joy of intimacy, the happiness of sharing, and the pain of sacrificial love. These values embody the second great commandment: Love in action is the continuous discernment between truth and compassion. Speaking the truth without compassion is not love, even if I call it that. It ends up as possible violence. Acting compassionately without truth is not love, even if I call it that. It ends up as enabling, allowing others to continue their own destructive patterns. Each life situation will ask me to discern what kind of action I must take in order to do the most loving thing—and my action will not be without personal cost. When in doubt, I must err on the side of compassion. (Matthew 12: 1-8; James 2: 13 – Mercy triumphs over judgment). (Fr. Bernie Tickerhoof)

May We Pray!

Lord, I pray that you would give me the resolve and strength to design a spiritual growth plan that is a simple, flexible, concise and effective. I desire to use everything which will help me grow in Christian holiness and equip with the means to generously serve those you have brought into my life. I know Jesus, that holiness is wholeness, and I ask you with the help of the Holy Spirit to inspire me to move forward in a sincere and generous effort to become the best servant of mercy that I can be. I pray this prayer in your name, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Christian Discipleship

Christian DiscipleshipWhat is Christian Discipleship? Podcast 51

Christian discipleship comes in all stages. Is discipleship what you are or what you do? What does it mean to go out and proclaim to all nations that God does exist? How can we be disciples while still leading a life as a single man or woman, as a married couple, as a mom, dad, grandparent? In this podcast, we will look at the practical application of being a disciple and ways to make it happen, even if only in our own homes.

Thanks to our sponsor – the Well Planned Gal and the Bible Planner!

What is a true disciple? The answer to that question may be different for each one of us. A disciple is someone who follows the Lord’s path for their life, who brings others to Christ and whose mission is to live a life that is holy. However, how do I make this work in my life?

When I think of the disciples I think of the original twelve and immediately I am in awe as I contemplate what it would mean to walk with Jesus — can you imagine? Walking with the Lord and learning from Him as he teaches can happen today, and the way we do this is by reading the Bible, and one verse we will discuss today is the book of Matthew.

The meaning of discipleship can be found in Matthew 10:24-33

There is so much information is contained in these words. I wonder how many of the disciples asked Jesus question after question after he spoke. One of my favorite verses is this, Matthew 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are numbered.” Can you imagine that the Lord knows the numbers of hair on our heads? This is not a God that is far away, or uninvolved in our lives. No! This is a God who is very much aware of us on a personal level. How can we not want to serve a God such as this? One who realizes that we struggle against those who hurt us, one who says that even if our body is harmed, our soul will remain unharmed because we belong to Him.

Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Do you belong to the Almighty God, the Father? The Son? And the Holy Spirit? Do you offer your day to God? Do you ask Him how you can best serve?

As disciples of Christ in our own home, we can lead by example, preach without words. How much better for us to show by reading the Bible to our children or reading our Bible in front of our children instead of telling them to do something they don’t see us doing.

We are not all lead to be missionaries, to preach in foreign lands — but some are definitely called. They may decide to become a clergy, a priest, a nun, a pastor of a Protestant denomination or to go on the mission field. For others, we may be lead to donate money toward this cause through our church or a group or organization.

Being a disciple is so much more than believing it is showing through actions. Think about how you can serve the Lord the best. Ask Him into your life if you have not already and ask Him how you can best serve.

Sharing Christian Faith

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sharing christian faithSharing Christian Faith

Episode 15

Practical Ways for Sharing One’s Faith

Sharing Christian faith isn’t always easy. There are a number of ways to do evangelization. One could participate in a program for preparing individuals to practice evangelization such as Christ-Life or Alpha. It is also possible to go through a training program in order to do “street evangelization” or one-on-one personal evangelization. Even some of the current ministries of healing focus on doing evangelization.

How does sharing your Christian faith work in your life?

However, this presentation is concerned with doing evangelization using the method of personal faith sharing in small groups, which can also be applied to personal relationship based evangelization. Therefore, we need to know what specific content of our personal witness and the method that we use when we are sharing.

For example, several years ago two piolets were flying a commercial plane from somewhere on the east coast to the Minneapolis airport. They flew 150 miles past the airport and were immediately fired. How did this happen? The newspaper reported after the inquiry, that they were joking with one another and messing with their personal computers. They missed the vector, a signal that comes from the airport of destination to the airplane that guides the plane to the right airport. When we do evangelization or faith-sharing in small groups we need to know what approach we use, and what content we should share in order to make this opportunity effective and fruitful for the recipient(s) for whom one is giving their personal witness.

From the viewpoint of sharing one’s faith in a small group, it important to understand that if we are going to share our personal faith we need to personally experience what we believe, live it, and understand what we are about to share. It is also important to be attentive to where the others in the group are coming from. Our first consideration is to try and make sure that we have a balanced understanding of the model of Church within which we will approach the sharing of the Good News of the Gospel. In reflecting on this matter in my own life I did a little study of the models of the Church, a book written by Cardinal Avery Dulles, a well know Jesuit theologian who died several years ago.

I specifically consulted a summary of these models of the Church written by Chris Castaldo in regard to the expanded edition written in  2002. This section of the recording may be a little heavy, so listening to this part several times may be a good idea. Since we are currently moving in the Church from the position of seeing evangelization to be giving a good example only to doing various forms of faith sharing and personally witnessing to the Resurrection of Jesus, we need to consider the various models of viewing the Church, some are more conducive to personal evangelization and faith sharing than others.

The first model, Church as Institution, defines the Church primarily in terms of its visible structures, especially the rights and powers of its officers. It is called a hierarchical form of Church government and emphasizes its nature as a visible and palpable community. As instruments of God’s sacraments, the priesthood opens and shuts the valves of divine grace, and is rooted in the apostolic life passed down by Christ’s disciples. The strength of the institutional model is in its public, visible manifestations of solidarity. It presents a tangible communion of faith. The weakness of this model is that it may become rigid, doctrinaire, and conformist. Cardinal Dulles explains that this model must not be primarily because of its nature; structures are subordinate to persons and life.

The church as Mystical Communion: According to this model, the church consists of faithful men and women who are bound together by their participation in God’s Spirit through the living glorified Christ. The nature of this unity is not institutional but “Spirit-filled”, communal, and personal. The goal of this model is a spiritual or supernatural one. The church aims to lead its members into communion with the divine. It is a communion of persons, primarily interior but also expressed by external bonds of creed, worship, and ecclesiastical fellowship. The bond of unity, in this model, consists of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, through the external bonds are also important.

The Church as Sacrament: This model brings the others closer together, retaining structure while also promoting dynamic spiritual life. Accordingly, the church as a sacrament is a sign and transmitter of God’s grace to the world. As an embodiment of the grace that it signifies, the Church exists as the presence of God to the nations. Another important element of this model highlights and affirms that the sacraments are communal realities and not individual transactions. Nobody baptizes, absolves, or anoints himself. It is unthinkable for the Eucharist to be celebrated in solitude. The reality of grace corresponds to human nature and is relational. A man comes into the world as a member of a family, a race, a people. He comes to maturity through an encounter with others. Sacraments, therefore have a relational nature. They take place in the mutual interaction that invites the people to achieve a spiritual breakthrough that they could not achieve in isolation. A sacrament, therefore, is a socially constituted or communal symbol of the presence of grace coming to fulfillment. This is the strength of this model. The weakness is that it has little warranty in Scripture and in the early tradition of the Church, and could lead to a sterile practice and almost an isolated and narcissistic form of contemplation by a few.

The Church as Herald: The herald model related to the proclamation. The herald model differs from the others in that it makes the ‘word’ primary and the ‘sacrament’ secondary. It sees the Church as gathered and formed by the word of God. The mission of the Church is to proclaim that which it has heard, believed, and been commissioned to proclaim. This model looks upon the Church as a herald—one who received an official message from the commission to pass it on. The heart of this model of Church is the activity of calling its members to renewal and reform. The strength of this model is its emphasis on the message of the gospel and the pursuit of the Great Commission (evangelization). Its weakness is that it can often be devoid of incarnational service (mercy work). This can result in appearing merely as ideas without tangible reality. This is especially obvious when it focuses too exclusively on the witness to the neglect of action. It may become too reluctant to give human effort to establish a better human society in this life.

The Church as Servant: The servant model asserts that the Church should consider itself a part of the total human family, sharing the same concerns as the rest of men. Following in the footsteps of Jesus our Lord, the Suffering Servant. The Church announces the coming of the Kingdom not only in word, through preaching, and proclamation, but more particularly in work, in her ministry of reconciliation, of binding up wounds, suffering service, or healing. The Lord was the man for others, and so must the Church be the community for others. The weakness of the servant model is that it can get so caught up in “this world activity” that is would compromise the biblical deposit of faith which Christians are called to guard. I recall a Sister who was preparing about 20 young enthusiastic college girls for a mission trip. After a great deal of training, she said to them, now we must look at the Christian motivation behind all this, and they said, “what do we need to do that for”?

Integrating the models: Each model offers insights and positive contributions to our understanding of the Church. When the most genuinely biblical qualities are preserved from each model and integrated together, we realize a more balanced vision of the Church. Each of them (the five models) brings out certain and important qualities. The institutional model makes it clear that the Church must be a structured community and it must remain the kind of community Christ founded. Such a community would have to include a pastoral office equipped with authority to preside over the worship of the community as such to prescribe the limits of tolerable dissent, and to represent the community in an official way. The mystical community model is evident that the Church must be united to God by grace and that in the strength of that grace its members must be lovingly united to one another. The sacramental model brings home the idea that the Church in its most visible aspects—especially in its community prayer and worship—be a sign of the continuing vitality of the grace of Christ and for the hope of the redemption that he promises. The proclaiming model points out the necessity for the Church to continue to herald the Gospel and to move men to put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The servant model points up the urgency of making the Church contribute to the transformation of the secular life of man, and of impregnating human society as a whole with the values of the Kingdom of God. The sacramental model is the most comprehensive because of its ease in integrating the best elements in the other four models. The goal here is to experience a balancing integration of all five models in order that various groups, big and small, become communities of disciples of Jesus inspired with a missionary spirit.

Here is a little test:  A number of years ago I participated in an evangelization training program. After three days of class and group discussions, the members of the program were divided up into units of two. We were sent to a local mall and moved in different directions. It was directed by the leaders that we should respectfully approach individuals and attempt to share our personal faith with them; hoping that we learned some things that they taught us in our sessions. I have to admit that I was feeling a bit nervous and hesitant. I was with an older woman who had an outgoing personality. We both entered the section of the mall where there were seats for people to sit around. On one bench there was an older man sitting by himself. In a moment the well-intentioned woman went over to him and sat down beside him. She introduced herself and then launched into a series of questions about his faith. These questions were aimed at his specific denomination and his attendance and participation at church. I could sense that he was a little non-pulsed, after a few moments he turned to her and said, “ Lady, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, let’s just leave it at that! What model of church was my colleague coming from in her good intention to share her faith?

May We Pray!

Father, we experience a tremendous blessing from you in giving us the gift of you Son, Jesus. In your Word, Father you led your Son Jesus to found the Community of Believers call the Church. This gift to us is a great means for Salvation. It is in ecclesial communities in which we find great love of you and your Son. For those of us praying on the above reflection may we deeply appreciate the abundant graces which you bring about by the work of the Holy Spirit in all our Christian communities, where you are glorified and the name of your Son Jesus is know as our Lord and Savior. Amen.

 

 

 

Easy Steps to Minimalism

Podcast #21

Easy Steps to Minimalism

 

Increase Your Time, Energy and Reduce Stress

Do you struggle with holding on to too much stuff?

Is stuff suffocating you?

We all have “stuff” that we hold on to because of memories or sentiment but when does it become too much. And I am now a mother of two, and my house is just getting fuller and fuller. We barely buy anything besides food, but somehow the stuff just gets in! These practical steps to a simpler way of living have helped me feel less overwhelmed.

Though it is a work in progress, I am trying my best every day to adapt these tips below, because I know they will help me live a life with more time, less stress and more energy to enjoy life.

 

Who is ready to embrace simplicity?

Embrace minimalism, the practice of living with less and keeping only what you need or love.

 

Why Take Steps to Become a Minimalist?

  • Cleaning will be easier. Less stuff means less mess
  • You’ll be able to find things. Less stuff typically means that there is a place to put the things you choose to keep.
  • You will shop less. Simplifying makes you aware of what you need and this leads to less shopping. When you do shop it is for a purpose.
  • You will have more time. You will not have to work more to pay for “stuff’ and spend your time off cleaning the “stuff” you have. This leaves more time to do the things you love or want to do.
  • Your mind is clearer when you have fewer things around you. Less clutter allows for more clarity.
  • You let go of the past. When we hold onto stuff, it can also hold onto memories that no longer serve us. This in and of itself is freeing.
  • You do things more simply!

 

Ten tips to help you get started:

 

  1. Complete unfinished tasks, don’t leave what can be done now to haunt you later.
  2. Have a designated place to put all donation items allowing for an easy way to get rid of things that are no longer serving a need.
  3. Decrease your knick-knacks, less stuff to break and collect dust.
  4. Turn around the hangers in your closet so you are able to visually see the things that you no longer wear.
  5. Open junk mail next to the recycling bin, open and dispose of it so it’s not stacking up on tables and counter.
  6. Get rid of your “junk drawer”. This is a glorified catch-all.
  7. Clear out your medicine cabinet. This tends to harbor expired medications or things we are no longer using.
  8. Avoid the sale racks, this is a good way to end up with things we did not need or even intend to buy.
  9. Have one location to store kid toys.
  10. Don’t reorganize, we don’t need more places to store thing but instead less stuff to store.

Ready, set, GO!

Ask yourself these two questions as you sort through your things:

  1. Does this item bring me joy? If not – get rid of it.
  2. If my house burned down today, would I buy this item again? If not, I think you know where it can go…

 

As always,

Be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Only One Life

only one lifeOnly One Life Podcast #50

Either you are happy you only get one life or you are ready for a “Do-Over!” In this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast we explore the fact that people tend to wish their current life away for something other than what they have. Are you happy in the moment or does your happiness tend to focus on what is just out of your reach?

Living life in the present moment sounds like something out of a soap opera or novel. In stories, things seem to turn out happy or at least have a satisfying ending. In the commercial sense, if a story fails to deliver whether it is entertainment, special effects, or a memorable main character, it is considered a flop. Only one life is all we have — it is the content of songs, it is the name of books by various authors, and I am by far not the only person who has contemplated this subject.

But we only have one life.

I’ve met so many people who are unhappy or dissatisfied with life, and truthfully I’ve had periods of time in my life where I wanted to spend it in bed, hoping the day would just end.

Yet, I’ve realized, this is it — this is the only life I will ever have, so the way I live my life, the decisions I make, the day-to-day interactions I have all can be impactful. Not only for my own life but for those I meet. This realization is something we should consider when our feet hit the ground each day. Are you ready to take the world on or are you cowering under the sheets and want the day to end?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you ready to embrace the day no matter what happens?
  2. Do you greet those you see with a smile?
  3. Are you aware of your surroundings?
  4. Do you see those around you in need?
  5. Do you hope to be remembered for who you are or what you do?

How do you change if the answer to any of those questions is something you don’t want to face or acknowledge? The first step is to be prayerful, grounded in the Scriptures and a love of God.

Recently I spoke to a friend who shared that the reason people embrace 100% of a what a self-help or how-to book teaches is that they are not grounded in what God teaches. — think, “how to parent,” or “how to have a wonderful marriage.” Sometimes these books or trends take the world by storm and everyone is chatting about the latest-greatest. They try these methods or techniques and find it failing dismally! Why? Because it is not one size fits all — or even most.

As we live our lives, I hope that we glorify Almighty God and give Him the praise He deserves. We only have this one chance to get it right and that is not something we can do well or consistently or well on our own. We can only keep our eyes focused on what is most important and pray that the rest works itself out!

When I hear about the issues and problems in other people’s lives I’m often amazed at the ways that they cope. Either they completely turn their backs to God, they become indifferent, or they turn to God for their strength. In a nutshell that is how I want to live my life, to rely upon the Lord for my strength to combat each issue that happens day-to-day.

And I fail. Miserably.

In those times when I feel that I’ve failed, there is only one thing to do. To pray. To ask for forgiveness. To read the Scriptures.

1 Thessalonians 3:2 … and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith. 

Psalm 81:1 — Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

The Lord is truly my strength. I could not continue a day without prayer, without asking the Lord to help me, without asking for the intercession necessary to do what needs to be done each day! It is important that we feel the hope that is in Christ that no matter what we are up against, we can pray to the Lord and He will hear us. Our prayers do not go on deaf ears. We must continue to persevere and continue onward.

Obstacles will happen every day – as the saying goes, we can count on two things, death and taxes. Well, we can also count on the things that will go wrong each day. But again – the idea of only having one life to live is having a great impact on me and I hope with you as well.

We only have one life to live how do you want to live it?

  1. What is your legacy?
  2. What do you want to be remembered for? What you did? Or who you loved?
  3. Where do you want to go when you die? (Yes, we have a choice.)

I want to encourage you to become equipped — to be ready for those times when all you can do is shout, “Dear Lord, help me!” And the way to become equipped is to draw from your faith–if you don’t have faith, ask the Lord for an infilling of His Holy Spirit upon you, and we will pray specifically for this in just a few minutes. We each have, all of us, the opportunity each day to encourage those around us, to smile at those we meet, to share the good news with each other. We need to stop and think, is this something that I should do or is this something that God would be proud of me for doing? The idea here is to go to the Lord in prayer for things we want to do or think we should do.

Additionally planning your day is important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt let down by the day I’ve spent. We need to focus forward. Focus on the

 

Power Focused Prayer

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power focused prayerPower Focused Prayer

Episode 14

Part One — podcast here

Power focused prayer brings everything in relationship to forgiveness to complete freedom. I want to repeat the summary of this approach which was in The Fire of Forgiveness One. This process leads to complete freedom in relation to forgiveness:

1) A sincere and honest decision and appropriate action to exercise heartfelt forgiveness, 2) Willing to receive the necessary ministry that surfaces surrounding the forgiveness situation

3) Letting go and surrendering all the negative elements involved in the forgiveness itself, and those things that have surfaced around the forgiveness

4) power prayer for the individual(s) who caused the problem. All four of these aspects need to be pursued in order to allow forgiveness let us experience complete freedom.

Some things to think about generated by the content of what I just presented: After going through each step of the process check to see if the negative attitudes and hurts are gone. The memories may still be there, but they have lost the power to hurt or wound. The memories may gradually fade naturally away over time. Be open to understanding that the forgiveness process may need more than one episode of forgiving prayer. Also, consider that the process may happen by uncovering subsequent levels.

This could be the case in long-standing abuse or hurts by others. In some situations, the thought of betrayal or of the wounds “triggers” unhealed hurts, attitudes, and wounds in other areas of the person. For example, the thought of the current event brings up other deep negative feelings; say of self-pity. Self-pity is a subtle form of self-hatred or self- rejection. The feelings of self-pity anesthetizes our pain and it makes us feel good so we indulge in self-pity. Maybe we have a problem with anger that makes us feel vengeful or victimized, so we compulsively want to get back at the one who hurt us. These real issues may not necessarily be directly related to forgiveness.

Therefore, we may need some simple deliverance or healing in adjacent areas so that our freedom from forgiveness can take hold. And power focused prayer for those who have hurt us can bring freedom in our heart by some self-healing prayer. Also, some of us by our upbringing and training may have a struggle with anxious perfectionism, for which there may be a need for some spiritual ministry or pastoral attention beyond the forgiveness process because these painful issues are deeply rooted in our human personhood, they may automatically surface significant other areas which need healing.

If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. Let this be the pattern for all when they practice mercy: show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you. Therefore, let prayer, penitential sacrifice, and mercy be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor. With this offering of sacrifice, the Lord will receive it as an offering, for this kind of a sacrifice to God is a broken wounded spirit; God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart. (St. Peter Chrysologus, Liturgical Prayer, Vol. 2, pgs. 231-232; penitential sacrifice replaces the word fasting.)

Offer yourself to God, make him an oblation of your penitential sacrifice, so that you may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God, “I urge you brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom. 12: 1-3)

A suggested approach for complete freedom through forgiveness:  I mentioned above four steps necessary in order for a person to experience complete spiritual freedom in relation to significant forgiveness. I would like to present a suggestion which would be connected to the fourth step, which is, power-focused prayer for individuals I have forgiven. This approach can easily be used for praying for others for atonement, forgiveness, reparation, intercession. I use the term “power focused” because it has remarkable results in bringing about change in the lives of those we pray for. It is a procedure for cleansing, healing, mercy, and conversion. I am going to present a simple formula, and then I will give further commentary on the specifics.

First, we place ourselves in the presence of the Divine Merciful Love of God. Then we picture the person or group we want to pray or do intercession for. Even though I am praying for a particular person we directly address this formula to the presence of the Divine in my prayer for a particular person or group.  And we say, I am very sorry for all the hard, painful, and difficult things that have happened to you in this particular situation and in your whole life. At this point you have just stepped up into CELP, the compassionate evoking love power of the Divine, thus God’s love becomes the primary and proactive power in this process of forgiveness. I take complete concern and total responsibility for everything you have experienced   

This doesn’t mean that you take on any guilt or negative experiences of the person you are praying for; it simply means that you have become one with the Divine power of the prayer. I sincerely ask you to please forgive me!  This action brings the healing power of the Lord to the recipient of the prayer, and secondarily, but really to you as well. I love you very much, and I thank you for everything.

When you pray this prayer, you become a conduit for the Divine power of the Father, Son, and Spirit to act in the recipient’s life, and yours as well. This procedure should be a Spirit-led experience done with your heart, primarily open for inspiration, rather than your mind. You have placed yourself in the Divine Connection so now the powerful love of the Father, Son, and  Holy Spirit is intimately and proactively present to the person or group you are praying for. When you say “I love you” you are bringing and sharing the infinite love of God for the person you are praying for. When you pray “Thank You” you are grateful for the unique and special person that God has created them to be in this new creation.

MAY WE PRAY!

O Lord spur us on to desire and possess a more abundant life through the healing gift of mercy, and being rich in mercy you constantly offer pardon and call we sinners on to trust in your forgiveness alone. You have never turned away from us, and though time and time again we have broken your covenant, you have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son, our Savior, and Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone.

Even now, in “the Grace of the Present Moment,” this time of grace and reconciliation, and as each one of us turns back to your, you grant us hope and freedom in Christ Jesus, and a desire to be of service to all, as we entrust ourselves more fully to the Holy Spirit, and so filled with love and wonder, we extol the power of you merciful and healing love, and proclaim to others the joy of salvation which comes from you!. We pray this prayer in the power of the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection in Jesus name. Amen.

Summer Essentials

Podcast #20

Summer Essentials

Summer is here!

Let’s start off with the most important info first! Using our oils safely in the sweet summertime sunshine. Did you know that several essential oils are considered “photosensitive”? That basically means that they react with UV rays (whether that’s from sunlight or artificial light like you find in a tanning bed) and can cause adverse reactions with our skin. This pertains mostly to citrus oils (lemon, orange, bergamot, etc) or blends that contain them.

Does that mean you have to put your beloved lemon and bergamot away for the summer? No way! Just apply to areas that won’t be exposed to the sun for at least 24 hours (basically under your clothes). And of course, they are always safe to diffuse!

Let’s talk about protection from the sun!

Did you know sunscreen is FULL of toxins? They are even banning them in some areas due to the toxic effects it has on our waters. I love the effectiveness and convenience of Young Living’s Mineral Sunscreens- that now come in SPF 10 & 50!!

There is also a few great DIY versions but let’s talk about some things to note. Essential oils do NOT contain any SPF protection but some carrier oils do.

How SPF is measured

Sun Protection Factors are measured in the laboratory. They are an indication of how long you can stay in the sun without burning your skin. When it comes to sunburn, the researchers classify four distinct types of skin:

  • Type I – very pale, light skin, usually with blonde or red hair. Type I skin can only stay unprotected in the sun for 5-10 minutes before burning.
  • Type II – slightly darker skin, usually with blonde to brown hair. Type II skin can stay unprotected in the sun for 20 minutes before burning.
  • Type III – darker still, often with an olive complexion. Type III skin can stay in the sun for 30 minutes before burning.
  • Type IV – darkest skin types. Type IV skin can stay in the sun for 40 minutes before burning.

An SPF rating gives an indication of how much longer you can extend your stay in the sun. For example, a product with an SPF rating of 10 will allow someone with Type II skin to stay in the sun 10 times longer before they start to burn – or a total of 200 minutes.

Carrier Oil SPF’s:

Red raspberry seed oil 28-50 SPF

Carrot seed oil 38-40 SPF

Jojoba oil 4 SPF

Coconut oil 2-8 SPF

Another factor in most sunscreens is zinc. This is a wonderful sun protectant but we want to be sure that we are only using non-nano zinc as the nano zinc can penetrate our cells and cause issues.

DIY Sun Stick

1 oz (30 ml) Roller Bottle

2 Tbsp Red raspberry seed oil

1 Tbsp Carrot seed oil

1 Tbsp jojoba or coconut oil

1 Tbsp non-nano zinc oxide

4 drops lavender essential oil

4 drops carrot seed essential oil

2 drops myrrh essential oil

2 drops helichrysum essential oil

After Sun Spray!

Some of us are already experiencing warm and sunny weather. That means more days at the beach and pools. Let’s be real, sometimes we get a little TOO sun-kissed and this may cause some hot skin irritation. Ouch! This spray will soothe your skin and make it feel so much better. The peppermint oil is optional, but it gives that nice icy feeling to it. Last, you can keep this spray in the fridge until you’re ready to use it so you get that EXTRA cool feeling.

  • 1 oz spray bottle
  • 5 tsp pure aloe vera gel
  • 4 drops Lavender EO
  • 2 drops Peppermint EO
  • Fill the rest with distilled water

Shake and spray

Don’t want to go the DIY route and for some soothing relief from too much sun? Lavaderm Spray is our favorite go-to!

Outdoors

Tis the season for some pests outdoors and I am happy to report that the Young Living Insect Repellent works- AMAZING! I like to apply it in a spray bottle or 1 oz roller bottle for a more convenient application. I also like to put a drop or 2 of purification on the bottoms of our feet to help keep the pest away as well.

Summer Bites!

Sometimes…. They just happen.

Another go to is the Itch Stick Roll on- 10 drops lavender to soothe, 10 drops purification to help with the itch and 10 drops copaiba to help with the raised skin J

Seasonal support for the whole family!

Each of these blends is for a 10 ML sized roller bottle. Add the number of drops as indicated below, then top off with a carrier oil.

Child (ages 2-11):

4 drops purification

4 drops lavender

4 drops lemon

Everyone Else (ages 12+):

10 drops lavender

10 drops lemon

10 drops peppermint

For a little extra “umph” add Copaiba to either (4 drops for Child and 5 drops for Everyone Else). We swipe this on our cheeks, temples and upper chest.

Don’t let your discomfort stop you from enjoying this beautiful time of year!! Make a bottle for your home, and your bag so you have it wherever you go!

Beat the heat with Peppermint + Lavender

Because both peppermint and lavender are versatile essential oils, no home should be without them. Lavender is an adaptogen and, therefore, can assist the body when adapting to stress.

To help you cool off this summer, simply put a drop of peppermint on the back of your neck and the bottoms of your feet. If you have sensitive skin, dilute essential oils in a small amount of carrier oil, like almond oil or olive oil, and apply. You can also place a drop of either oil on a cool, moist cloth and hold at the back of your neck.

Adding peppermint to your drinking water is another great way to cool your body temperature. Remember to always use a glass or ceramic container!

Hope you enjoy your summer with these tips!

As always,

Be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Next Level Faith

next level faithNext Level Faith — Episode 49

Next level faith takes work. Next level faith takes time. Taking your walk with the Lord to the next level will be the best time you’ve ever invested in your life — I promise!

Sponsors – Thanks so much – Well Planned Day Prayer Planner

Taking Your Faith To A New Level Show Notes:

Many people are unhappy but not willing to do anything to change their lives for the better. Change takes hard work and a willingness to do the hard things. Whether it is taking more time for prayer or more time to read the Bible or time to go to church.

Are you ready to dig deeper into your faith? Are you ready to take it to a new level?  I pray you are because today we are talking about this very thing.

First of all, faith is a gift that is given to us — yet we have to nurture our faith in a way that allows it to grow. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I happy where I am in my journey with Christ?
  2. Do I feel that I am at peace?
  3. Can I minister to others as God leads?
  4. Do I spend time with God each day?

Why dig deeper into our faith? Faith gives us hope.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight:

Hebrews 11:1 —  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Digging deeper and going to the next level faith grants us the ability to love more deeply.

1 Corinthians 13: 2

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

Often we are not happy in our circumstances due to things we can not change. Right now give those things over to the Lord — take them off of your shoulders and give them to God. Life throws us curves and at times we walk around in circles.

In previous podcasts, we’ve discussed expectant faith, here   and Faith as a gift here but have do you believe that is meant for you. I many times, and I’m guilty of this as well, I think that the Bible refers to others and it is not for me. But that is not true.

Why do you think there are so many self-help websites and books? Because we are a hurting people and unfortunately many people follow the wrong advice and get off the path toward God into a self-focused enlightenment that is not at all in line with Christianity.

Delving into our faith does take self-awareness to leave behind those things that keep us from a deeper walk and a next level of faith. It does not mean we are to be so self-focused that we concentrate on making ourselves mini-gods. There is only one God and He is the Almighty. His message is not for all because it isn’t the path most traveled, it is the path least traveled yet the only path that leads us to true happiness.

Digging into the next level faith means we will spend more time in prayer, spend more time reading the scriptures and if we do, we won’t be able to watch things that are not appropriate. It always astounds me when I hear of Christian women who read filthy novels. I could not stomach to read that type of thing – not because I think I am more holy –not at all, but because my conscience won’t allow it!

My goal today is not to teach you how to go to the next level of your faith but to invite you to pray about going deeper. These prayers, my friends are the ones that seem to get answered. The scriptures are filled with God’s love and His desire for us to live a life that is deeper and holy. Does that mean we are giving up many things to follow Christ? Some would answer yes, but I’d say, “No!” I think we are getting the better deal.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I praise you for the ability to pray and thank you for giving us the Holy Bible that is filled with words about faith, As it reads in 2 Corinthians — “… For we walk by faith, not by sight” I pray that you give me the desire to dig deeper in my faith walk, to desire a next level faith in You. That all I do and say gives You glory and honor. You have given me the gift of life and I thank You for this gift. Not everything in my life is perfect — far from it, but I do hold on to the promises You’ve made to those who love you. Thank you, Lord for every good thing in my life and I pray a special blessing on all those listening that you increase their faith, today and always. Amen.

Fire For Forgiveness

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fire of forgivenssThe Fire of Forgiveness

You may not think about the “fire of forgiveness when you think about this Scripture. When Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud: “For your name sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant. Do not take away your mercy from us…For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. But with a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly, for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, and we fear you and we pray to you. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and mercy. Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord” (Daniel 3: 25, the prayer in the fiery furnace)

Today we are going to talk about compassion evoking love power as a primary gift of forgiveness and healing is given by the Lord to the Church. The key of receiving many transforming favors from the Lord is centered in “wholehearted forgiveness”. We see this directly taught by Jesus in the parable of the unjust steward: Peter asks Jesus how often, seven times, should I forgive, Jesus responds: not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Jesus then proceeds to tell the parable of the unjust servant who had been forgiven by his master a huge amount, because he pleaded for mercy. Then he went out and met a servant who owed him a much less amount, which the unjust servant would not forgive. He took his fellow servants possessions and had the servant and his family put in prison. His fellow servants told their master about this, and he called in the servant for whom he forgave a huge amount. The master said to him, “You wicked servant, I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you.” Then in anger, his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart. (Mt. 18: 21-35)

“Reproduce good fruit as evidence of your repentance…I am baptizing you with water for repentance…Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the FIRE. I am baptizing you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and FIRE.” In contrast to John’s baptism in water for repentance, Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire. By early Christians, the ‘holy Spirit and fire was understood as the outpouring of the Spirit of Pentecost, but according to John, the Spirit and fire are relating to the purifying and refining characteristics of the Spirit and fire poured out at Pentecost. (Lk. 3:16-19)

In the biblical story of the Golden Café which the Israelites made out of all their golden jewelry, symbolizing their sin, worldly revelry, and idol worship, Moses infused all of it in the fire and melted it down, put it in water and made the Israelites drink it as a reparation and purifying punishment for their disobedience and sensual revelry.(Exodus 32: 1-20)

In his mercy the Lord bestows compassion and the purifying fire of the Spirit when he forgives our sin, “for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our Savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3: 3-5) The tongues of the purifying and transforming fire of Pentecost comes upon us when we receive his divine mercy and compassion in forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not always an easy thing! The purifying fire of repentance and forgiveness burns.   Frequently we try to forgive because it is what the scriptures call for, and it is the right thing to do. Sometimes our forgiveness can be very cerebral or superficial. There are times when we say, “I forgive you” when we really don’t mean it, or we are taken by surprise by the hurt of another and haven’t had time to process the incident and thus are not really ready to forgive. Or it is a long-standing wound that runs deep in us and a simple ‘I forgive you’ doesn’t do the job. Therefore, often we don’t truly forgive the offenses of others from our hearts. We don’t forgive the entire debt of another’s words or actions that have been hurtful and wounding. We merely tolerate them. Or we let them accumulate and accrue with interest. It is possible to allow unresolved resentments to fill our scorecard until we can’t stand it anymore, and it surfaces in us in some painful or ugly ways within us. The statement of Jesus, that we have to forgive others from our heart, requires us to erase the full measure of the hurt, pain, loss, or betrayal that others have caused us. This requires our dedication or commitment to reach out and extend a liberating mercy and compassion to others and ourselves, whether it is the first offense or the result of many longstanding and accumulated hurts.

Because we live in an imperfect, sometimes dangerous and sinful world, very few people escape the reality of receiving, intentionally and many times unintentionally, the wounds and hurts from others in the various stages of human development from conception to adulthood. Added to this is the reality of our personal sins and mistakes we make in life. Sometimes we are more vulnerable than we realize. No matter in what manner we come to the understanding of God’s merciful goodness and his deep personal love for each one of us, we automatically desire to respond to the Lord’s initiatives as fully as we can. So when we respond to some degree, we experience the wonderful working of the grace and power of God’s love actively present in our life. The scriptures clearly reveal a personal commitment to Jesus Christ activates for those who are baptized in water, an experiential knowledge that the Father in Jesus through the Spirit dwells proactively within our very being. “Do you not know that you are temples of the Holy Spirit.”; and “God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.”

This basic and fundamental reality sets us on a dynamic path for holiness and human maturity; the narrow way Jesus speaks about in the Gospel. As we begin praying more the Spirit of God begins to gently show us areas of unforgiveness in many relationships and situations in our life. This process can go way back to the time of conception. Life-giving repentance in the Holy Spirit actively leads us to forgiveness of those who have hurt us in the past and even now in the present. And as we forgive others we begin to feel some freedom from various types of darkness and oppression. We are also led to ask the Lord to forgive us for the hurts or harm we have done to others. And most importantly we are called to forgive ourselves. This process of transformation can have many aspects and levels in the Christian growth of our human personhood.

First of all, it is important to consciously realize that the Lord with his compassionate love and mercy is the initiator and sustainer of the gift of forgiveness that leads us to spiritual freedom. It is good to remember that forgiveness is a big benefit to me, and by no means lets the person who has wounded me off the hook. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. We may never be reconciled with the other person, yet we may experience God’s gift of freedom in our self. When we do forgiveness we should try and stand in the living faith, and in the active power and presence of Jesus. The life-giving Spirit-filled repentance and forgiveness is an experience of the Father’s merciful love in our lives. Forgiveness is a process experienced at various levels of our human development, sometimes with the person, we have forgiven before. My personal action of forgiveness is the Mercy of Jesus in action. My personal exercise of forgiveness, as a servant of mercy, is practicing the spiritual and sometimes corporal works of mercy. Forgiveness is at the heart of Divine Mercy.

How do we bring forgiveness to full completion and freedom? In an attempt to do forgiveness in our heart there are various reasons to consider why individuals do not complete their repentance and forgiveness, and as a result, they do not experience the complete freedom of forgiveness. In the first instance, a person may recognize ones unforgiveness or sin, and make a sincere decision to repent by confessing it to the Lord or another authentic person who is able to receive it. And then stop there; they may not check to see if they need healing or deliverance for those hurts which surround the wounded situation or sin. Even when they do this they may still not complete the process of forgiveness by not performing the actions which are going to really give them the closure they are looking for. This next phase of the forgiveness process to completion has two parts. After genuine and substantial forgiveness, and receiving the necessary healing or counsel, it is important to leave go or surrender the negative experience and the hurting event. Some individuals do not want to let go of their hurts and wounds, and as a result, they do not experience total freedom, and painful memories keep coming back. the second and final part leading to complete freedom is power centered praying for the person(s) who have hurt us, not just a superficial prayer which doesn’t penetrate and change the situation. But power centered prayer which brings everything to the freedom of completion. This is especially true in longstanding abuse, hurts, or wounds in the relationships which were the occasion for the unforgiveness. Here is a summary of this forgiveness process leading to peaceful complete freedom: 1) sincere and honest decision and appropriate action to exercise heartfelt forgiveness, 2) receiving the necessary counseling, healing, or deliverance surrounding the situation, 3) letting go and surrendering all the negative elements involved, and 4) power centered prayer for the individual(s) who caused the problem. All four of these aspects need to be pursued in order to allow forgiveness to bring complete spiritual freedom.

May We Pray!

Our Lord spurs us on to desire and possess a more abundant life through the healing gift of mercy, and being rich in mercy you constantly offer pardon and call we sinners on to trust in your forgiveness alone. You have never turned away from us, and through time and time again we have broken your covenant, you have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son, our Savior, and Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone. Even now in “the Grace of the Present Moment,” this time of grace and reconciliation, and as each one of us turns back to you, you grant us hope and freedom in Christ Jesus, and a desire to be of service to all, as we entrust ourselves more fully to the Holy Spirit, and so filled with love and wonder, we extol the power of your merciful and healing love, and proclaim to others the joy of salvation which comes from you! We pray this prayer in the power of the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection in Jesus name. Amen.

The Struggles of Being a Mom

Podcast #19

The Struggles of Being a Mom

 

Being a Mom

 

Motherhood is not easy. Motherhood has its seasons and each one has its struggles. Looking around in life, at the grocery store or on social media, we as moms are struggling and it is normal, but we don’t have to be alone.

 

Everywhere we look there are mom’s struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, loneliness, and so much more…

 

How can we do this “Mom” thing?

 

As we go through the day to day. Knowing the struggles we have and seeing the struggles of those around us, how do we do it? What “thing” can help us? God. As cliché as this sounds, it is something that one honestly can’t go without. Look at your day, start a day with prayer and gratitude and then start a day without. Which one goes better?

 

How do we add this element to our day?

 

Find a friend, a church group, message me. Know that we are all struggling but through prayer and fellowship, we honestly have some of the best examples in our Christian faith- Our Blessed Mother and Jesus. Reach up to them and out to your friends in Christ.

 

There is no better way to do this Mom thing than with Mary as an example and Christ Jesus at our side.

 

As always,

Be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!

 

 

Faith Crisis

faith crisisFaith Crisis  –Episode 48

Why is there such a faith crisis these days? Have all of the believers left or have they decided that fighting for their faith and their beliefs is just too hard? In this podcast, we explore the importance of handing down our faith to our children and those we mentor as well as the crisis that plagues the church today.

Thanks to our sponsor the Well Planned Gal – Prayer Journal

I’m astounded when I hear story after story from teary parents whose children have left the faith of their youth behind. These children know right from wrong, they understand what it means to be brought up with the truth and yet, as young adults they decide that they would rather do it their way. Their way includes calling into question all that things they previously believed.

Early on in my parenting journey, I heard a wise pastor say, “It is important that the faith – your faith parents that you pass on to your children becomes their faith at some point.”

Is our faith just that. Ours? Have we failed to pass down the truth of Christ to our kids or have they been weakened by the “ways of the world” and decided that what we said, what we preached, what we shared is just not so.

Either God is real or He is not. There is no in-between.

I think there is a disconnect. Many church teachings have become watered down and a permissive attitude prevails. God is loving. God is kind. God is forgiving.

Yes. Yes and Yes. God is all of these things. But, God is also just judge.

Friends, I’ve seen miracles. I have been blessed to witness people being healed. It is not something I asked for or even desired. It is something the Lord allowed in my life. I have asked the Lord for years to use me to evangelize, but I didn’t become a theologian or scholar. This desire, I believe was placed in me through my years of praying, witnessing and studying God’s word.

Anyone who spends time with God … and I don’t just mean in church… will realize He is there for us. How do we know that God’s word is real? That Jesus was born, lived, died and resurrected from the dead? How do we know that there is really sin and that God came to give us the keys to His kingdom? How do we know that God is the same yesterday, today and in the future?

The only way to know is for God to reveal this to us – in a personal way.

Luke 16:20-31 New American Standard Bible

Sadly, no matter what you tell your children, your friends, your acquaintances if they are not open to God’s message they won’t hear it.

How do you know if someone is having a faith crisis?

  1. They start questioning everything.
  2. They say, “There must be more to life than this.”
  3. You begin to question life after death. The end becomes real.
  4. Black and white becomes grey and yellow – what was clear previously no longer seems clear.

A faith crisis can be overcome.

  1. You have to realize you have a crisis.
  2. You have to be willing to take the time in prayer and study.
  3. You have to look at the options.

John 6:67-70 Peter’s Confession of Faith

So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

Peter realized that God was the answer – the truth and that all that is good comes from Him, including eternal life. However one of the 12 – Judas who as Jesus said, he chose himself would reject Him.

God has given us free choice. We have the ability to decide for or against Him. There is no in-between – however we are on a journey.

I pray that this journey is one that you are prepared for and that you can bring as many people as you can alongside you to the heavenly reward that has been promised for those who love and serve the Lord.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord, there are many who have hearts that are full of sorrow, from loss or from hurt. I pray that you fill their hearts overflowing with you love and your goodness. That you help them to seek you, you are the truth, the way and the life, Lord. Please open the eyes and the hearts of those who are in a state of sin and do not realize it, let them be anointed with the ability to see – please send yoru Holy Spirit to open their eye to the truth and I ask through our prayers and intercession that you not only hear our prayers but you help us in ways that we can minister to others. I pray a blessing on those listening today that you give them an abundance of grace to combat the wicked one and to do battle for you. I pray this in Jesus, precious Name. Amen.

Five Keys To Personal Freedom

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five keys to personal freedomFive Keys To Personal Freedom

Spiritual Freedom

Five Keys To Personal Freedom are an important part to healing in our lives. Before I speak about a particular Catholic approach to healing and deliverance I would just like to mention two ministries, which have great credibility among other Christian communities.

Five Keys to personal freedom begins with a healing and deliverance ministry developed by Dr. Charles Kraft. It is explained in a little book entitled “Two Hours to Freedom”. He especially emphasizes healing from the moment of conception until infancy. His position, which I support, is that some deep level attitudes of a painful nature, which many times don’t disappear even after much healing and deliverance, are rooted in the time the embryo is in the womb. The second ministry is founded by Dr. Ed Smith, a family counselor,  he developed a healing ministry entitled Transformation Ministry, formerly, Theophostic Prayer Ministry. His approach involves looking for the source and origin woundedness, which is the root of other significant negative memories.

When the source and origin woundedness is discovered it is relatively easy to heal the other wounds. For example, if you are camping in the mountains and you have built a campfire, and you decide to go hiking but you get lost. You can find your way back to the camp (source and origin wound), by following the smell of the smoke trail from the campfire.

Unbound Ministry:  Most Catholics believe that they are saved, but at times are perplexed by an unsuccessful struggle in the area of emotional woundedness and spiritual confusion and darkness. They are plagued by various pressures of bondage and influences of personal evil operating in their lives. Thus some Catholics believe they are saved but do not understand why in some ways they are really not free. So they rely on the Sacraments, devotional practice, and struggles against temptations to bring about the necessary growth in the Christian life, all wonderful means of growing in grace, but why am I not free in the significant areas of my life?

Unbound Ministry founded by Neal and Janet Lozano provides a format for a successful plan of pastoral and spiritual healing and deliverance. It is a non-confrontational approach and also gives attention to the area of ancestral healing as well. It is non-confrontational in the sense that one does not do combat directly or do fighting with evil spirits but totally focuses on the love and charity of the person who is the recipient of the ministry. The effect of this ministry of mercy and charity results in the experience of a deeper freedom from bondages, oppression, and woundedness in one’s personal life. It also teaches us the truth that in addition to the wonderful freedom one may receive, it also calls us on to a process of transformation and freedom in human maturity and is realistic in inviting us to take up the necessary struggle with the world, the flesh, and the devil in order to keep our freedom and grow in genuine Christian holiness. The essence of the ministry is using the Five Keys of Freedom. One is taught how to listen and respond in five key areas as the recipient seeks greater freedom and helps others to do the same. As mentioned above each key incorporates practical direction on how to respond to the grace which unlocks the door and sets one free.

“Picture a locked door. Opening the door represents liberation from spiritual bondage. The door has five locks, each requiring a key. As a believer in Christ, you have all the keys you   need to be free from the influences of evil spirits.”   (Unbound, pg. 53)

Freedom is so fundamental to our humanity that we are told in Gal 5:1b, “For freedom Christ has set us free,” It is through our union with Jesus the Son of God that we are restored to true freedom. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2Cor.3:17). The Holy Spirit is the love of God poured into our hearts. (Rom.5:5) He is the Spirit of the Lord; he is the life of God, making his home within us. The Spirit of God brings us into an intimate relationship with our Father and thus restores us to full freedom. “And because you are sons (and daughters), God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba!’ Father!’ So through God, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son than an heir” (Gal. 4:6-7).

Because of sin, our parents, (even the best of parents) and many others have failed to represent the Father of Love to us. The fruit of original sin causes us to identify more as a slave than as a child of God. We all have areas of our lives that have yet to experience full liberation. These sins, habits, and bondages are the devil’s door to tempt us to think and act as though we were still slaves held in bondage. Freedom is life in the Son of God. The Son has overcome every deception that we have believed about the Father who has always loved us, who has always been present, who has always blessed us. Satan seeking to rob, steal, and destroy, poses as a counterfeit father. Jesus tells us, “He is a father of lies” (Jn.8:44). We know that God’s word has power because it is the Word that comes from God. Deception has spiritual power as well because its source is a spiritual being, the devil who is a liar. Sin entered the world through one man and with sin came the great deception.

Deliverance is removing the power of the lies so that we can hear the voice of our Father that has always been speaking deep within us. Knowing the Father through the Son is our place of deepest freedom; it is where broken humanity is healed, and where we receive all the healing we need at any given time. Unbound ministry lets us experience a deeper life with God and teaches us how to listen and respond in five key areas as you seek greater freedom and help others to do the same. Unbound ministry is really a ministry of Evangelization. Each of the keys incorporates practical direction on how to respond to the grace that unlocks the door and sets us free

The Five Keys to Personal Freedom:

Repentance and Faith: There is no greater deliverance than embracing the grace of one’s baptism in water, by turning from sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus is our deliverer and He is our deliverance. The first key also involves ongoing repentance and conversion as the hidden sins of our heart are revealed.

Forgiveness: If we want to be like Jesus we need to forgive from the heart. Many believers who know that they need to forgive have failed to understand how to access the power of forgiveness that Jesus has given them. As forgiveness is pronounced by faith and the power behind unforgiveness is renounced, it is defeated.

Renunciation: Each Easter Catholics renew their baptismal vows beginning with “I renounce Satan and all of his works and all of his empty promises.” Renunciation is a declaration before the kingdom of darkness that I no longer make a home for sin, deception, and the power behind it. I am no longer in agreement with this lie that has been buried in my heart and my thoughts. Specifically renouncing our enemies brings victory. For example, one  and in the name of Jesus, I renounce lust…loneliness…a spirit of anger…resentment and bitterness…hatred. I renounce the lie that everything is my fault, that I am no good…I renounce the idol of fame and recognition…”

Authority: When the Lord said to Moses, “I will be an enemy to your enemies” (Ex. 23:22), He did not mean that Moses would sit and watch. He meant that as Moses fought, so would to kGod. Moses had God’s authority. In Christ we too have authority over our enemies who seek to destroy us. We can take our stand against them through repentance, forgiveness, renunciation and then declare the truth of their defeat by saying, “In the name of Jesus I command any (or every) spirit that I have renounced to leave me now.”

The Father’s Blessing: The Hebrew sense of blessing means to speak that empower someone to prosper and thrive. They are words that give life and peace. Words carry spiritual power. Ever blessing that the Father spoke to Jesus is ours. The Father reveals to us who we are as we come before him in the Son. What we have longed to hear all of our lives has already been spoken. As we learn to receive His blessing, so we are healed. To be “unbound” means that the obstacles to the gift that has been waiting for us have been removed and the Father’s love and affirmation is made real to us in Christ.

Neal Lozano, Heart of the Father Ministries, www.heartofthefather.com

Freed from the pain we get into the Plan!

In concluding this presentation I would like to share with you the approach I generally use when I pray for spiritual healing with individuals. I primarily use Unbound Ministry and follow the five keys to freedom. I have found this approach very effective and I am grateful to Heart of the Father Ministries for sharing this method with us. I also have been trained in Transformation Prayer Ministry and for a good number of years have found this approach developed by Dr. Ed Smith effective as well. When a person requests spiritual healing and deliverance I set up an initial time for a detailed interview session. I then prepare a ministry plan based on what the person has shared in the first session. The second meeting is designed to use the Unbound Ministry. When the individual has experienced a number of deep emotional wounds I will move to pray directly for those identified areas. I always give careful attention to family bondages and ancestral areas of vulnerability. In light of the wisdom of Dr. Charles Kraft, I specifically check for possible roots or vulnerable issues in relationship to embryonic development and infancy. When a person has experienced deep emotional wounds at the center of their personhood, I will pray for that individual for a healing of a “broken heart”. I do not heal anybody, I do not have a special healing ministry, the solemn glorious truth is Jesus Christ is the healer. Healing occurs in a person when the Lord mercifully acts along with the humble cooperation of a particular individual.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus to know you is eternal life. I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry for all my sins and from withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask you to bless them. In your Name, Jesus I renounce anything in my life that is not of You that I have welcomed into my mind or heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By Your grace, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade, where You restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Amen. (Fr. John Horn, SJ, Director of Spirituality at St. Vincent de Paul Major Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida)

Christian Hospitality

Christian hospitalityChristian Hospitality

Episode # 47

How are your Christian hospitality skills? Is this something that needs practice or do you have an open door policy and invite people into your inner circle, often? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz discusses how hospitality is a gift but a skill that can improve and grow.  Who knows, you may be entertaining angels!

Thanks to our sponsor the Rebecca Farris the designer of some amazing planners, like the Well Planned Gal Prayer Planner. Check out this wonderful journal at wellplannedgal.com.

Hebrews 13:22 is a warning from St. Paul who says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I know we are all busy and the idea of one more thing often tips us over the edge. Yet, Christian hospitality really begins at home. I know many churches are equipped with various ministries and they all have a very important place. In fact, those ministries are a way for people to connect and grow in faith. In the past, I volunteered to teach many classes at church and for over ten years was very involved. As the seasons of my life changed, I began working on Christian hospitality and ministry in other ways. This podcast reflects one of those ways.

The Bible gives us much food for thought. Jesus was an example when he went to a tax collector’s home, someone who was considered a crook by many because they often charged more than they should in order to keep some of the money. Read Matthews 5:46-48 — here Jesus challenges us to extend our Christian hospitality even to our enemies and one line always gets me, “So be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.”

How can we be perfect? The Father, our heavenly Father perfects us – -we can’t do it alone. We are such a mess most of the time, one friend calls it being a “hot mess.” How can we minister to others when we can’t even minister to ourselves? Well, with the help of our heavenly Father!

Here is some suggestions.

  1. Pray. Is there someone at church who catches your eye and perhaps someone you should invite out for coffee?
  2. Ask the Lord for guidance. Is there a particular ministry He wants you involved with or something you should join?
  3. Introduce people you think might get along and see if you can connect others.
  4. If you are Catholic and are able, go to daily Mass. Or, no matter what your denomination, take time to sit in quiet and listen to the Lord.
  5. Pray about ways you can be used by the Lord in Christian hospitality.
  6. If you are in a group setting, speak to those you don’t know.
  7. Invite someone you don’t know into your own group.
  8. Invite someone to listen to this podcast — it is a form of Christian ministry and hospitality. Better yet, listen with a friend!

The simple gesture of kindness and hospitality toward a stranger can be turned into something wonderful by the Lord. Take the time to talk to those you don’t know. If you are in prayer about this, the Lord will provide those wonderful “God-incidents” to connect you with those in need.

Remember to fill up! Go to church, pray, read the Bible and be still before the Lord. You can’t give to others if you are spiritually empty yourself.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for the gifts you’ve given me and to those who are listening to this broadcast. I know that nothing is impossible for you and if you call us to service, you will provide not only for us but for those who we minister to, in Your Name, Jesus. We ask you to send us out in service for You, as your hands and feet. Point us to those who need You the most and let us help in any way that we can. Thank you Lord for giving us the gift of hospitality and bring good for the kingdom of God from our efforts. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Freedom From Unnecessary Suffering

Freedom From Unnecessary Suffering

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Freedom From Unnecessary Suffering

Podcast #11

Obstacles and Blocks In Our Spiritual Lives

Freedom from unnecessary suffering is the second presentation on spiritual healing and will concentrate on the obstacles and blocks which exist in the lives of some individuals. This causes unnecessary conflicts of a painful nature. The first consideration will be to look at the beautiful Mercy of a loving God and review the notion of Christian suffering, and its possible role in the life of a person seeking Christian holiness. Then we will briefly look at why Jesus himself healed, and the fact that he bestowed his power to heal and deliver from personal evil on the Church. The question to ask is this, what are some of the access points where individuals can experience negative forces, pain, and disruptions in their personal lives. In spiritual healing three, we will review the type of ministry that is able to bring freedom for Christians, and also review some of the spiritual gifts which are needed to assist this growth in spiritual freedom.

In the scripture, Jesus encourages us to be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful! A good case in the translation could also say, be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. We see this in the prayer of Daniel, “I prayed to the Lord, my God and confessed, Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your covenant and show mercy to those who love you… we have sinned…Justice, Oh Lord is on your side…we are ashamed for we have sinned against you. But to the Lord, our God, belong compassion and forgiveness. (Dan. 9: 4-10)

To show mercy is a praiseworthy thing to do. It suggests that this approach comes first from the head, and not directly from the heart. For example, when a court shows mercy to a guilty party. In some cases showing this kind of mercy is the right thing to do. Compassion on the other hand, is prompted by the heart. It implies feeling another’s pain and their painful condition, and be willing to suffer with them. In others word, we are being asked to love our neighbor as ourselves with both mercy and compassion. This complete understanding describes the Father’s mercy. God is merciful because he has deep paternal feelings for us. This is so beautifully revealed in the biblical story of the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15: 11-32). Jesus who shares intimately the heart of the Father, himself shares this reality with us as he shares himself. We surely realize that God not only knows us intimately but also has deep feelings for us. All our joys, hopes, grief, and anguish are deeply felt by our God who loves with divine and human compassion and mercy.

All Suffering and evil that is or that ever will exist in this world and all of reality is now objectively taken up and transformed through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, all human suffering introduces a transforming quality initiated through the divine reality rooted in and flowing from the glorified Jesus Christ. This reality is at the center of the Catholic theology of salvation, reparation, restoration, and atonement. In recent years we see this reality modeled in the life and ministry of Padre Pio. He experienced the wounds of the Crucified manifested in his flesh, and it illustrates for us the transforming mystery of healing centered in the Cross. It is a challenge and sometimes hard for us to understand the all embracive and tremendous power available to us in the effectiveness and fruitfulness of the Cross. Yet in the dynamic experience of a living faith, this reality highlights the complete picture of healing in the Church.

Elizabeth Leseur was a French Catholic woman who died in 1914. She and her husband were very much in love. They were from an upper-level background financially. Her husband came under the influence of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and became an atheist. He constantly pressured Elizabeth to follow his path of belief and abandon her Catholic commitment. On one occasion they made a pleasure trip to Rome, and Elizabeth went to the tomb of St. Peter to offer a prayer. While she was kneeling there she became filled with a special gift of Divine love and a new infused experience of faith. From that point on Divine love, mercy, and compassion filled her soul. Elizabeth records in her journal, “Has my life known any unhappier time than this (various forms of suffering and desolation), And through all these trials and in spite of a lack of interior joy, there is a deep place where all these waves of sorrow cannot touch…There I can feel how completely one with God I am, and I gain strength and serenity in the heart of Christ.” Elizabeth was uniquely transformed by the suffering she experienced in her life.

Back in France, her hidden life of love, suffering, and grace was hidden from others. In raising her children and serving others she became known for her caring wisdom, love, mercy, and good counsel. She experienced a tremendous amount of suffering because of the cleavage in the faith stance between her and her husband. She loved him very much and so experienced much suffering. There were other areas of her life where the suffering of the Cross of Jesus displayed itself. She had breast cancer, which became arrested. She eventually experienced very poor health and internal physical sickness. Eventually, the cancer returned and caused her death. She died in the arms of her beloved husband at the age of 48. Her grieving husband was sorting out her things after her death, and he found her two journals. He sat down and read both of them. As a result he converted to Catholicism, eventually, he went to a seminary, became a Dominican priest, and served in the Church for 20 years.

Why did Jesus perform healing? When Jesus was moved with pity he would heal to express his compassion. The raising of the widow’s son from death to life is an example of his great abundant love, mercy, and compassion. In Mark chapter one he healed the leper for the same reason. Jesus healed to lead others to come to faith in him and to believe that the power and authority he possessed was from God. Recall the paralyzed man let down from the roof. When Jesus saw the faith of the friends who brought him he healed him, and to confound the scribes and Pharisees he also forgave the man his sins. He healed Peters mother-in-law and she got up and served. He healed the centurion’s son from a distance because he had Covenant faith, “I have never found so much faith among the Israelites.” Jesus healed and delivered from personal evil, recall the Gerasene demoniac who used to break chains, and the demons would drive him into places of solitude, their name was legion. They found the man sitting and dressed and sitting at the feet of Jesus and in his full senses. All these manifestations of the power of Jesus were signs and wonders to demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom of God, and they occurred to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. And occur now through the ministry of the Church to establish the Kingdom of God on earth as well.

What are the access points where wounds and negative effects of personal evil are manifested in the human personality?

Most authors identify four access points, however, I would suggest there are five. Briefly, they are as follows:

1) Unforgiveness and childhood trauma (wounded identity and self-image)

2) Unhealthy (dysfunction) or sinful relationships

3) Occult involvement directly or indirectly

4) Family bondages and National sin; 5) Primordial wounds of the heart and severe addictions.

  • Unforgiveness and childhood trauma: There may be certain areas in us where un-forgiveness effectively blocks God’s forgiveness and grace, particularly the grace of healing. It is a consistent and well know experience of confessors and prayer ministers that when praying for healing in the lives of prayer recipients, and a problem is not responding, un-forgiveness is most often at the root. Somewhat related to the area of unforgiveness is trauma. Trauma creates a shock to one’s spirit, at least for a time, and develops a belief system in the mind based on serious misrepresentations or lies which take hold in the mind. This experience can lead to convictions or acceptations about truth which causes us to become vulnerable to wounds or lies about self or others. An inaccurate self-acceptance can profoundly influence one’s self-concept, which can develop thoughts and feelings of self- condemnations, worthlessness, inadequacy, abandonment, and self-rejection. This thinking can make one very vulnerable to the influence of personal evil, and the manipulations of Satan. Thus a person can develop a hardness of heart or a debilitating fear that robs one of the goodness of life.
  • The second access point is unhealthy or sinful relationships. Destructive relationships are not physical and emotional they are also profoundly spiritual. What can be called harmful is when the friendship is not enhancing the God-created good in either person, making it an ungodly relationship. This type of relationship begins to have negative spiritual consequences for those involved. Thus there becomes spiritual baggage or negativity between the two people. This negative spiritual influence is a powerful bondage and opens the door to sin, manipulation, and oppression by the evil one. This type of relationship can unintentionally invite the evil one to come and have significant influence in the relationship. Here we could include all kinds of relationships, but especially unhealthy sexual relationships, pornography, and other abusive relationships.
  • The third access point is occult involvement: This topic itself deserves a specific study. I only mention it here to make us aware of its very negative impact on individuals. Simply put involvement in the occult puts Satan on an equal footing with God; not only a simple creature of his but a creature who in his very rebellion against God, wanted to be like God. It is precisely because we confirm Satan in being Satan when we turn the glory and honor due to God to him. He can get significant power over us, which is more than ordinary influences of evil. By the way, some in our contemporary church life ignore, deny, or dissociate from this truth, certainly to their detriment and possibly to the detriment of others as well.
  • The fourth access point is family bondages: The four common areas in which bondages can come into families are circumstances of life, behaviors, diseases, and habits or patterns of difficulty. Look for consistent patterns which identify spiritual, emotional, and physical difficulties that are repeated in ancestral lines on both sides of the family. Just open your eyes to any episodic happenings by any given individual, especially of a negative or destructive nature. Be aware of the results of adoptions. Sometimes the primordial wounds of the heart exist in the hearts of some who don’t know their parents of origin. You may notice that often you may not be able to find “factual proof” for some of these things. However, the painful and debilitating evidence is expressed in symptomatic behavior. If there is a problem consistent for a long time, it is worthwhile working it down to its roots, through the frequency of repetition. Some issues in healing need to be gradually related to through in-depth un-covering level by level.
  • Addictions and compulsive behavior: In the current literature of human development the primary attention is being given to personality disorders and to alleviate the harm caused by the huge number of multiple addictions prevalent in our society. Some say that addiction is rooted in the mind. However, if this is true the emotional upheaval and spiritual disintegration accompanying cognitive dissonance is also a monumental and painful experience. As many in our Nation are moving away from a God-centered society, the values and behaviors are now more infested with the destructive forces of secularism, individualism, and materialism. Most caring people have become significantly more aware of the massive amounts of compulsive destructive addictions and violence in our country and sometimes in our own families. The contemporary opportunities of asceticism, counseling, and spiritual direction as good as they are in themselves have only made a small dent in the cure and advancement for individuals. One of the reasons why freedom from addictions is so difficult is because of its compulsive nature. Some say where there is addiction there is unrighteousness and sin. For our purposes here it is important to note that addictions easily become a major vulnerable access for the oppression and infestation of personal evil, in addition to feeding off of the hurts and wounds of the heart.

Freed from the pain ~ we get into the plan for the freedom from unnecessary suffering!

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus to know you is eternal life. I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry for all my sins and from withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask you to bless them. In your Name, Jesus I renounce anything in my life that is not of You that I have welcomed into my mind or heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By Your grace, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade, where You restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Amen. Fr. John Horn, SJ, Director of the Spiritual life at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida.

Life Goals in Prayer

life goals in prayerLife Goals in Prayer Episode #46

Do you have life goals in prayer? Are you a planner? Do you keep lists so you can check off your accomplishments? Do you make plans or set goals each day? These are all wonderful things, but do you have a goal for your prayer life? In this podcast, we will discuss setting goals daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly for your prayer life and ways to improve each day.

Thanks to our sponsor the Well Planned Gal special planners – and the Prayer Planner is brand new! Visit this website for more information.

Life Goals In Prayer

Planning your day or your goals for work is wonderful but it is also important to plan time for prayer. In these podcasts, the focus has always been time for uninterrupted prayer. When life gets busy it seems that prayer is the first thing to go.

It starts slowly. First, we begin strong. We set aside time to pray each day, we make that prayer time a priority and we look forward to it and then we realize the fruits and blessings that come from our prayer time. Slowly we find we are busier than we expected to be, our well planned day starts taking a downward turn and we learn to make our prayer time shorter, or rush through our prayers, or divide our prayer time in half just to fit it into our already busy and overflowing schedule. Soon we find that prayer time does not take place every day. Instead of moving forward two steps we move backward three…in our prayer time.

Goal setting gives us a target to reach. It encourages us. It gives us something to shoot for and a sense of accomplishment when we do. The goal of making prayer a priority in our lives is one example of a goal

Making prayer a priority is easier said than done. It isn’t just our daily schedule that is the issue it is the enemy that robs our peace or the seemingly endless distractions that happen during our prayer time. Whether the phone rings, someone comes to the door, an unplanned emergency or the kids needing your time. Either way, your prayer time begins to shrink.

Habits are formed through repetition and one of the best bits of advice that I can give you is to make your prayer time a habit. Planning your prayer time similar to planning life goals is important. No one goes to a job without knowing what they are expected to accomplish each day and getting the work done. If we are not good at our jobs we will soon find ourselves without work.

The same without your goals for your prayer time. Let’s take a look at some goals you can implement for your prayer time. Use this as a starting place for setting up your own personalized goals.

Life Goals In Prayer

  1. A specific time to pray each day.
  2. A specific place to pray and read the Bible or a spiritual book
  3. A specific amount of time you will listen for God’s small still voice. If you don’t hear anything don’t worry! Sometimes it is a thought or an idea that comes from the Lord.
  4. Setting up goals for specific activities, for example memorizing Scripture, or reading the book of Proverbs in a month, etc. What would you like to accomplish? When you figure this out, you can set aside time each day to get it done.
  5. Goals for learning. What are you learning? Write down your accomplishments and rejoice! You are moving toward growing stronger in your faith!

Recently I had the opportunity to review the Prayer Journal by the Well Planned Gal, Rebecca Farris. Rebecca by her own admission is a planner and this journal is no different. It maps out an easy way to keep prayer the center of your day. This planner is perfect to schedule your life goals in prayer!

We will discuss five points in this planner:

  1. The planner becomes a keepsake: I love this! I once had a planner that I could look back and see all the answered prayer! This planner allows you to add memories and photos of your family throughout the year. No worries about a crashing computer and lost pictures!
  2. Year at a glance: Upcoming events such as the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, vacations – it is so nice to plan ahead.
  3. Important Information: Important emails or phone numbers, emergency contacts as well as some favorite websites.
  4. Household, Home Management, Chore charts and Family Routine: Have you ever had a sick day, could someone come in and run your home for you? This planner could be helpful as well as a way to teach your children to handle some of these to-dos! These are double-sided and I love that you can tear the sheets out to be laminated and placed on a bulletin board or on the wall. You can use dry erase markers or use them to teach the children.
  5. Prayer Charts: These are double-sided as well. You can place these in a convenient place to access, or in your Bible.

Rebecca is the queen of organization! Her title is the “Well Planned Gal” – she has great advice like the 15-minute purge. I’ve been doing an abbreviated version of this for years. Mine is five minutes! Whatever I can clean up in five minutes while on the phone, or before I leave the house. These timely and concentrated times can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. In her planner, she suggests: making the beds, tidying the bedrooms, starting laundry, switching it out, folding, putting it away, floors, tiding the kitchen in the morning, afternoon, night time, taking out the trash, prepping dinner, etc. So much more!

Praying the scriptures, as well as the virtues, are listed with scripture references. What’s nice is a lesson in journaling basics, or Journaling 101. This is well worth the price of this journal!

You can write down your Scripture study verses for the week, which is accompanied by a “Going Deeper” page.

One thing I do love is the self-care ideas page. For many years I didn’t think I needed to take care of myself and when I got sick complained that there was not “time” to get sick! This could be avoided if I had put myself on the same level as my kids! I require them to eat right, get their rest –yet didn’t expect the same for myself.

This journal is chock full of tidbits and surprises like the page on helping your children hear from God – a subject near and dear to my heart as I authored the book, “A Few Minutes with God,” specifically for that purpose to help my children learn to spend time in a relationship with the Lord.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, please encourage each of us to free our calendars and make time with you a priority in our life. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you have done for us, I praise you and I thank you for looking kindly upon me! Continue to bless us as we seek a closer relationship with you. Thank you for the ability to plan to spend time with you – for giving us the ability to do this and for helping us to teach our children, especially by example to put you first. I praise you and I thank you for all you have done in my life. I pray specifically for those in need, especially for….

Thank you, Lord for answered prayers and for those we are still waiting to have answered. I pray this in Your precious Name, Amen.

 

Spiritual Healing In Our Daily Lives

Spiritual Healing in Our Daily LIves Spiritual Healing in Our Daily Lives 

Episode 10

Spiritual healing in our daily lives is the topic today is the first of three presentations in regard to spiritual healing in the pastoral life of the Church. The first one is a basic introduction to the developing review and survey of the nature of the charism of healing in the daily life of Christians. The second presentation will be about the specifics of the ministry and the removal of obstacles and blocks in the personal life of some Christians, the third offering will discuss the various approaches to the healing of the whole person.

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.

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Awhile ago when I was in my office a person came in experiencing a high degree of distress and some profound fears. When I asked her what I could do for her she told me that she was experiencing so much internal emotional pain that she could not stand it anymore. After listening for a while, I recommended that she consider having one or two sessions for spiritual healing.  There is a growing awareness among those who are sincerely attempting to live a Christian life and others as well in this post-modern world. That there are some painful things inside them that are causing problems in embracing a meaningful and happy life, which won’t go away and present multiple problems in relationships. Many will take some kind of action to do something about this disruptive pain and some won’t. Some try a variety of self-help methods, others go to counseling, which usually is helpful, but the pain and problems don’t go away.

Spiritual healing in our daily lives often hit a wall…

Most of us are very aware of various forms of breakdowns and destruction in relationships in our modern society. Some families are experiencing painful episodes and broken relationships among its members. Marriages are falling apart at an unbelievable rate. Some people just simply dissociate or ignore their inner pain, and others try various types of addictive behaviors that eventually lead to serious addictions to escape their pain, ie., drugs, alcohol, deviant sexual behaviors etc. All are usually an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to deal with or hide their pain or embarrassment from themselves or others as well.

Living in the spirit of “the grace of the present moment” there is the need to determine what is really going on in the context of our situation; in our life and in our heart. Therefore, we seek out what the Lord may want to do in our midst or is already doing. Much of religious literature is identifying these times as a wonderful outpouring of the goodness, mercy, and action of the Lord, God Himself. Within the Catholic communion, the last three Popes have made major contributions relating to the Mercy of God. St. Pope John Paul II wrote his third encyclical on the topic of God’s mercy. Pope Benedict’s first major writing was on God’s love for us, and Pope Francis declared a jubilee year of mercy. These contributions all highlight that this time in the world is a tremendous season of God’s Divine Mercy manifested in the Church and in the world. “…on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’” (Jn. 7: 37-38). The gift of Divine Mercy for the healing of the whole person is an abundance of Mercy for healing within the whole person. It is the compassion of the Lord which evokes the power of love. The extraordinary power of God working within all the dimensions of the whole human person.

Spiritual healing in our lives comes through the life of the Church. What is the nature of healing within the Sacraments? The sacramental system provides a huge amount of healing for every participant and the community as a whole. The Eucharistic presence and celebration is itself the apex of all healing contained in the person of the glorified Lord Jesus. At every celebration of the Eucharist, we experience the complete salvific healing power of the Lord’s love, as we go through in time the very death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. When the Eucharistic celebration is completed many individuals can witness to frequently experiencing the healing power of Jesus in their personal life. The Sacrament of Reconciliation in addition to divine forgiveness and a new start when celebrated sincerely, lifts off the oppression of the effects of sin as we experience the healing power of the Lord’s compassion and forgiveness.

Some time ago a woman asked to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As she began her confession I asked her to give me a quick review of her struggles. Among major emotional abuse from her deceased husband, she had been in and out of mental institutions and told me she had been hearing voices since she was a young girl. She had been under the care of a psychiatrist for a long time. I told her at the end of the prayer of forgiveness it is good to ask the Lord to deliver the person from any other evil, and could I do that with her. Then I said with her a very short prayer to be delivered from every other evil, and in the name of Jesus if any evil spirits are present that they leave her immediately. Several days later she called and said the voices were gone, and then several weeks later I had a conversation with her and she said that she had lost her identity as a person because of all the sin and abuse in her life. And she told me that the Lord had given back her identity as a person, which she considered greater than not hearing the voices anymore.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick through the anointing with sacred oil focuses on physical healing or the preparation of an individual to make one’s Passover into the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Even though a person may not be healed for further life on this earth, every anointing brings the experience of the healing power of the Lord in the grace of the present moment. These three Sacraments relate to healing directly.

The Charism of Healing: There is a direct relationship between an encounter for healing with the glorified Christ in the Sacraments, and the practice of the charism of healing identified in first Corinthians 12: 9. However, the two dimensions are distinct in their relationship with each other. The charism of pastoral healing is designed to alleviate the brokenness in the lives of our brothers and sisters in the Church coming from sin and woundedness from others. It seems that some of the opportunities revealed in the Gospels for using the tremendous healing power of Jesus may have been unintentionally neglected in the contemporary life of the Church. Jesus himself used the “charism of healing” exercised by the power of the Spirit consistently in his ministry to others. The healing that Jesus did was for the most part always connected to his evangelization, his efforts to build the Kingdom of God. When we pray with people outside the sacramental liturgies, we should also do evangelization if the situation calls for it. Many people carry a lot of garbage within, the various wounds of the mind, heart, and spirit. Where the garbage is stored the rats gather, referring to an individuals vulnerability to unnecessary pain and influenced by personal evil. When you get rid of the garbage, the various wounds of the mind, heart, and spirit, the rats go. Also, some individuals have been wounded so much that they experience a “broken heart”. I should mention here that all pain in the heart does not need healing. There exists in the Church in the tradition of the Church an understanding of various degrees of spiritual pain identifying with the pain in the heart of Jesus unto the love-union as a gift from above.

Jesus gave every bit of his power and authority to heal to the Church. “On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn. 20: 19-23) This is the Lord’s invitation and commissioning for the Church to exercise the power Jesus gave the disciples after the Resurrection. This gift was given in a magnanimous manner to be exercised in the pastoral and practical daily lives of its members, beyond the sacramental rites of the Church. This power from Jesus can be performed in other forms of ministry, especially in the healing ministry. The pastoral charism for healing can be exercised also in many other areas of the daily life of the members of the Church. For example, when individuals pray with one another for their individual needs. When fathers and mothers pray for their children when they experience hurts in family life or in school. Also in other legitimate gatherings and groups. Certainly, individuals who pray with and for others really need to be well trained and practiced in sensitive, humble, and peaceful ways of serving their brothers and sisters, always seeking permission from those to whom they are offering prayer, and only praying for the things that the recipient requests.

May we pray for the spiritual healing in our daily lives!

Lord Jesus to know you is eternal life. I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry for all my sins and from withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask you to bless them. In your Name Jesus, I renounce anything in my life that is not of You that I have welcomed into my mind or heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By your grace, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade, where You restore to me the joy of your salvation. Amen

 

 

 

 

What is a Doula

What is a Doula?Podcast #18

What is a Doula?

 

Many people have heard the word doula and have no clue what it means or think that it is “like a midwife or something?” Not exactly. Doulas have been around forever but without the fancy name. They are the numerous women throughout history that come together when a woman was in labor and they were there to “show her the way.” It truly is a beautiful thing.

 

In no way does a doula take the place of Dad but rather helps him to be a bigger part of the birthing process. Dad doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines watching TV or checking his phone but he can more so be a part of helping to bring his baby into the world as well.

 

What Is A Doula?

Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth and are usually mothers themselves. While they have good knowledge and awareness of the birth process, a doula is not a medically trained professional. That is the job of the midwife or doctor. A doula helps the mother-to-be to achieve the birth she hopes for, no matter if it’s a birth with or without drugs, or a c-section. This makes a doula a valuable addition to the birth team

 

What Does A Doula Do?

A doula may provide some of the following services. Often doulas are also qualified in other therapies too, so it always helps to ask when you interview them!

  • Birth education and preparation
  • Birth planning (including creating a written birth plan/birth preferences document)
  • De-briefing previous births (sometimes we forget)
  • Massage, acupressure, and other comfort measures
  • Suggest positions and changes to help ease pain and facilitate a smoother, more effective labor
  • Provide reassurance and encouragement
  • Talking through emotional blockages which may come up during pregnancy and in labor
  • Keep your ‘environment’ how you want – essential oils, light/dim, music/quiet, etc
  • Photography/video of the birth itself, as well as those precious first moments as a family
  • So much more!

 

One of the biggest bonuses of hiring a doula is that fact that she is a professional birth support person. Doulas are trained in the art of birth support.

 

If you are looking to learn more about having a more natural birth, check out Homeopathy for Mommies podcast as well as her new Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond course: http://homeopathyformommies.com/birthcourse/

 

Remember to check out your local birthing community and interview a few doulas to make sure that the one that you choose is what you are looking for!

 

As always, be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Expectant Faith

expectant faithExpectant Faith

Episode 45

Do we really believe that God is listening? Do we have expectant faith when we pray? Do we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord answers our prayers even if the answer is yes, no or not right now? In this podcast, we will examine the idea of expectant faith and the scriptures that show us that God is indeed listening.

I’d like to welcome you today and encourage you to subscribe and share this episode with a friend. If everytime you listen to this podcast you share the show with a friend, you can help me to reach more people and encourage others that God is indeed real – today – right now in our lives. Subscribing is easy, either subscribe on your smart phone or online at AFewMinuteswithGodPodcast.com – if you are on the website you can use any of the share buttons to email a friend about the show.

Every Christian wants a deeper relationship with God – Matthew 7:8-9 states “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.

It seems like such a simplistic request, knock and the door will be opened, but if any of you have seen the picture of Christ on one side of the door, and look closely – you will see the knob to open the door is on our side. The Lord – God, is always waiting there for us –we are the ones that won’t turn the knob to allow Him into our lives.

Are we fair weather Christians? Do we rejoice and praise God only when things go well in our lives? Or do we realize that God is there for us especially when we need Him the most?

We are the ones that are too busy –

Look at your life and examine the times you have been too busy for God? Where are the areas you can improve upon?

When my children we little I could barely get through the day let alone time for prayer, and other than daily Mass it was pretty touch and go, and yes, I was struggling. I wish we had things like podcasts back then!

As my children got older, I was able to spend time with God, my journal or pad of paper and the Bible. I would take the time to pray and they realized early on that if they left Mom they would be so much happier because Mommy was happy. Time with the Lord allowed me to put things in perspective and I felt that when I prayed, the Lord answered me, not always as I wanted yet I felt He heard me.

Do you feel the Lord listens to you in prayer?
Why or why not?

Be honest.

I want to assure you that the Lord does hear you and sometimes the answer isn’t what we want. It is yes – no – or not right now. Currently, I’m praying about a particular need and so far the response is “not right now.”

1 John 3: 1

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

And Matthew 7:11

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

We are called children of God – we know this from 1 John 3:1 – and we know in Matthew 7:11 that God gives good gifts to His children – so shouldn’t this tell us that God hears us?

Expectant faith means on a simplistic level to pray to God expecting an answer, we expect the best. Yes, at times it is not the answer we want. Recently when I prayed for an event that was for my daughter the answer was not at all what I expected, yet it turned out to be the answer that God wanted – and in the end, what I realized was best.

More importantly, does God forgive us? When we sin we want to be forgiven. Does God forgive us? Do we have the faith to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are forgiven?

Acts 26:17-18

“I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

Hebrews 4: 15-16

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[a] as we are, yet without sin.  Let us, therefore, approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

God has the power to do all He has promised and then some – the doubters? Those who don’t believe what God said and promised.

Do you have a simple faith – God said it so I believe it? Or a faith that continues to question, are you really there Lord? Can you really answer my prayers, do you really forgive me of my sins?

God has given us example after example in the Bible – in the passage of Lot and his family leaving Sodom and Gommorah – God warned Lot through the angels who came into town that if they did not leave the city would be destroyed. This is in Genesis 19 – The angels also warned them not to look behind and not to stay in the valley –but to escape to the mountains.

However, as they were leaving his wife looked behind and became a pillar of salt. Did she die because she couldn’t leave her old life behind and it was a punishment for wishing for what could not be or because she did not obey – we will never know. These examples in scripture show us:

  1. Place God above all things
  2. Know that God’s Word will come to pass
  3. Punishment for disobedience is death
  4. To have expectant faith – to believe in God’s Word

We tend to mistrust God’s word and yet, God so loved us that He gave us His only son so that we would live eternally with Him.

God is waiting for us behind the closed door – will we open the handle and let Him in?

Is the Lord helping you to realize today how much you need Him?

Think about the following:

  1. How have you failed to open the door allowing God into your life?
  2. Do you accept the fact that the Lord loves you and wants what is best for your life?
  3. Do you heed warnings in your life and trust in God above all else?
  4. Do you accept that God wants to bless you?
  5. Do you realize that God answers prayers?
  6. Do you have expectant faith? The faith that God forgives your sins and answers your prayers?

Let’s pray – Dear Lord, please continue to prepare my heart for You in everything I do each day, thank you for giving me faith – the faith to expect miracles in my daily life, thank you for being at the door and I allow you to come into my life –Lord I chose you today, tomorrow and everyday from now on. Thank you, Lord, for your promises for your love for me and for granting me the desires of my heart and especially for those I now pray…. I love you – and Jesus I trust in You today and always.

The Fulfillment of What is Spoken to Us from the Lord

The Fulfillment of What is Spoken to Us from the Lord with Authentic Faith and LifeThe Feast of the Visitation

Ever have one of those days when it could not possibly turn out good? Crisis, frustration, events leave you depleted, devastation, or dangerously disgusted? Radical, overwhelming, crazy, insane events take the breath out of you?

How does God show up in this? How does He confirm to you that He is REAL?

Mary and Elizabeth had radical, overwhelming, crazy, insane, likely initially traumatic events (like an angel appearing) happen to them! How did Mary’s visit, in haste, anchor them to know that God was working in their lives? How did their being together give them the ability to handle the unknown, unexpected, and uncertain? God breathed Grace into them, in their holding each other up, and gave them the ability to go forward that day.

Do things happen for a reason? Join Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan as she looks at the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth and their coming together in the midst of the spectacular miracles happening in their lives. How does God work in such things? How does He work in unreasonable things?

Ezekiel 37: 1-14

 

Oh My Soul

Casting Crowns

Oh, my soul

Oh, how you worry

Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control

This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming

And no one would blame you, though

If you cried in private

If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows

No one will see, if you stop believing

Here and now

You can be honest

I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out

‘Cause this is the valley

And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones

And there will be dancing

There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone

This much I know

Hunger For God

hunger for GodDoes your soul hunger for God? Do you feel that something is missing in your life? Are you unsettled? In this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast, we discover what it means to hunger for God and how you can feel your soul!

Hunger For God

Episode 44

Thanks to the sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the novel – “A Few Minutes with God,” available here.

The choices we make each day are something we don’t think much about, we just do them. We are creatures of habit, I wake up each morning and expect to drink a cup of coffee, and sit for a few minutes as I wake up. We do things out of habit more so than actually thinking about it — and habits are formed with routine.

We do the things that don’t affect our salvation either way — whether I drink a cup of coffee or not has nothing to do with how I feel about my relationship with God. But, if we take the time to think and contemplate life, often we feel that something is missing. That could be one of the reasons we keep our lives so busy–so we don’t have to think. Because if we do, we may find we are unsatisfied with an element of our lives.

Why?

Man was created to know, love, and serve God, but how do we love someone we do not know? Unless we spend time with God each day and allow Him to be the Lord of our lives, we will always feel unsettled… that there has to be more, and seek after pleasure in places that will leave us empty!

When we think about hunger for God we think of food and drink.

John 6:35
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

If we come to Him… it is an invitation, and we know it is more than food and drink that our Lord offers up but the offer of everlasting life… we will never thirst. It is a call of eternity with God!

John 7:37-38

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

Jesus is the living water, he came not only to feed the hungry as he did with the miracle of the loaves and fishes but to feed more than our bodies, to feed our souls. Our hunger for God goes beyond the physical which is why we seem unsettled when we are out of sorts with God.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I spent time today with God in prayer?
  2. Have I listened to God today in quiet?
  3. Have I read from the Holy Bible?
  4. Have I journaled anything that comes to mind?
  5. Am I open to God’s leading in my life?

Our soul thirsts for God in the everyday matters in our life, in our decisions in our feelings of despair and dismay.

Psalm 42:2 “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?”

Our soul thirsts for God whether we realize it or not, and we seek after something we can’t attain unless we understand this very fact — our love of God is sustained in prayer and when we feel out of sorts we should pray.

Psalm 63:1  “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

This journey is similar to when people talk about a “desert” experience. Being in the desert paints a picture of being lost and without water and something that would be harsh, yet this is similar to the state of our souls when we yearn for God and find ourselves lost in the desert of our own making due to our free will – those choices may seem right at the time but they leave us feeling empty.

Self Reflection:

  1. How do I spend the majority of my time?
  2. What do I do daily that brings me joy?
  3. Is this joy short lived?
  4. Is there a purpose to my day?
  5. Do I feel happy when I head to bed at night?

What are some things you can do differently each day to focus more on the end result – life everlasting with God than the here and now?

There are always life circumstances that are important, work, family getting food on the table, what appears to be the simple and mundane can be done with joy if you have God in your life. Each day, each breath we take we can praise and give thanks to the Lord we serve.

Hungering for God means filling our souls with every good thing, in the things we watch on TV, the internet, read, or listen to… are we putting things into our body that will help us grow toward love of God or things that will hinder our progress? When we seek after God all the things that previously seemed so important seem so little in comparison.

It’s like the lady who loved her hair, it was her best asset — yet, when she found out she had cancer and would lose her hair, she happily shaved it off in an effort to combat the horrible feeling of losing it in pieces. Her battle with cancer was successful and when her hair grew back, more beautiful than before she didn’t even care that much. Why? Because she realized the preciousness of life and what appeared so important before was now a minor.

If we change our priorities in life and put God first we can satiate the hunger! We will then grow closer to God and strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  The things that were a priority become a footnote – many things still need to be accomplished daily but with God at the head, it all seems to work out for the better.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

By hungering for God we also hunger for righteousness and happily, that is so much more satisfying!

Let’s pray!

I praise you and thank you Lord that any effort we place into seeking a deeper relationship with You is always rewarded so much more than we can imagine. I thank you for putting that hunger for God into my soul — for inviting me to seek you in a greater way! I ask you to help me make you a number one priority in my life, to help me to wake up early enough to pray each day, to help me to think of you last before I go to sleep at night, to help me to see all the ways you help me and are there for me each day. Help me to know you and love you more each day! Lord I ask you for the following intention in my life ….   I thank you ahead of time for answered prayer, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Path To Spiritual Freedom

Path to Spiritual FreedomA Path to Spiritual Freedom

Episode 9

A path to spiritual freedom is available to all of us. In light of the human condition, we face many struggles in regard to a reasonable approach to growing in spiritual freedom. Because of original and personal sin, the Church will always need to be renewed and reformed until the end of time. This is one of the reasons why evangelization is such an important consideration. There are other areas as well which usually need specific attention in relation to spiritual renewal and reform in the Church. Over the last five years, I have spent considerable time at six or seven parishes. Several of them which are large have two priests stationed respectively in those parochial communities. Each week less than 15 or 20 individuals celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and some were repeats. This raises the question as to how the Faithful are relating to the notion of conversion and the sin problem in regard to spiritual freedom.

Conversion and the sin problem are at the heart of sincere effort to grow in Christian maturity. The fundamental issue in this effort is about change. Human change for the better is always a challenge and usually presents elements of painful growth. Many find their best efforts on their own unsuccessful and at times downright discouraging. Powerlessness, helplessness, and failure by purely human effort alone can be very frustrating. Thus the need for abundant amounts of the saving power of grace to accompany sincere human effort. In relationship to prayer for intercession most formal efforts seem to be very generalized, cerebral, and powerless. Therefore, the real issue here is how does one make intercession, reparation, atonement etc. power centered, which brings real change and miraculous results in the lives of those we pray for, and a genuine path to spiritual freedom?

I am going to present the following formula in a simple form and then follow up with commentary: I am very sorry for all the pain and all that has happened to you, the suffering and difficulties in this situation and your whole life. I take 100% limitless responsibility and accountability for all of it. I am very sorry that these things have happened to you. Please forgive me! I love you! And I thank you. This is a beautiful cleansing prayer and is meant to have miraculous results in the person, persons or group for which the prayer is offered.

And now for the commentary: Did you notice the god-like qualities alluded to in some of the statements. For example, “I take 100% limitless responsibility and accountability for all of it? This could be misleading and questionable at first glance. What is the point here? Once you start praying “ I take 100% responsibility etc., you have intentionally and consciously moved from the pure human level or plane to connect directly to the power centered prayer in the  Divine, “ Holy Father keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. I pray for those who believe in me…so that they may all be one, as you Father are in me and I in you…that they may also be in us…so that they may be one as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the love which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (Jn.17: 20-26).

From this point on your primary prayer and reality is in and directed to the Divine, thus your prayer now becomes primarily the Lord’s action and will of love for the person or group you are praying for. It is not necessary for you to know the outcome, but by leaving go and surrendering to the Divine, and secondarily praying for the person you are focused on you are releasing the Divine power and activity of Love, CELP (Divine compassionate evoking love power) for that person, and miraculous things may and do happen. The last phrase, “And I thank you” This phrase is a deep revealed knowledge that all human beings are children of the Father.

Created in the image and likeness of God each person is a special person with eternal dignity. No matter what they have said or done. Therefore, in union with the Divine, we acknowledge their eternal existence and honor the dignity of their personhood no matter what. When we do this in union with the Divine we are honoring the God of all creation himself, and we are opening ourselves to receive the powerful love action of God’s healing power for our own needs. The origin of this approach comes from the work of a clinical psychologist who served in a mentally ill prison. In four years all the inmates were healed to the point where they were able to function in society again, and the prison was finally closed.

“Power centered intercession” is a process of cleansing and love. I love you and cleansing my memories as I pray for the individuals and situations that the Spirit of the Lord brings to my mind. “I love you!, cleansing, I love you cleaning memories, I love and cleaning etc. This is the key to the powerful love action of the Divine. This is power centered intercession, atonement, reparation etc. Of course, it would be a mistake to take on personally the guilt or negative elements present in the other person, such as guilt, judgment, or condemnation. This would be a violation of the process and personally destructive for you. It could also block the Lord from acting in a wonderfully powerful way in the person being prayed for and the healing at the same time which could be happening in you.

Path to Spiritual FreedomWhat are some of the beautiful opportunities and positive features of this prayer? When one practices this method of prayer it eventually becomes “second nature”. The light and understanding in the mind increases by the action of the Holy Spirit. There is also an expansion in its meaning and effectiveness for the person or group being prayed for. Because this prayer of intercession is elevated to the level of Divine miraculous power centered intercession, very positive things can happen to the recipient far beyond our hope and expectation. This prayer may be applied far beyond what we may want for the recipient, and we may not need to know or ever know the wonderful things the Lord may do for the recipient, or what means he uses to bring them about. It is in this mode of merciful trust in which we leave go of control, and open the floodgates for many blessings for the recipient and for ourselves in a secondary but very real happening.

This type of power centered prayer may actually become a mission or ministry, as we mature in the practical aspects of engaging this prayer. In the Christian arena, we enter into a dynamic union with the glorified risen Jesus. It the Spirit and Jesus who do intercession for an individual or group. Both Jesus and the Spirit do intercession for us at the throne of the Father, the throne of mercy and grace. (check out Romans 8 for verification in this matter) Participating in this dynamic power union of prayer, we with the Spirit and the Son become the generating power center in operation. We become missionary disciples of Atonement, at one with the Divine in Jesus, making unheard of wonderful changes for specific individuals, and bringing about the building up of the Kingdom of God in many situations. This method is also very effective for us to receive the freedom of forgiveness and healing, in sense we become self-ministers. Unforgiveness is never an issue. If we use this method in a correct manner; forgiveness even in small matters will occur, and in great things, the surprises of the Spirit will eventually become evident. Give an example of a power-centered intercession situation.

Let’s Pray

Lord Jesus, To know You is eternal life. I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry am sorrow for all of my sins and for withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask you to bless them. In Your Name Jesus, I renounce anything in my life that is not of You that I have welcomed into my mind or heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By Your grace, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade, where You restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Amen.

 

Arms Crossed Across My Chest

What does it mean when you see someone with crossed arms across their chest in the line to receive the Eucharist?Arms Crossed Across My Chest

 

Jesus meet us in the Mass in Mercy, no matter where we are in our lives. He meets us exactly where we’re at. And He loves us there.

 

What does it mean when you see someone with crossed arms across their chest in the line to receive the Eucharist?

 

St. Paul admonishes the Corinthians on receiving Jesus worthily. What did the early church in Scripture teach about the state of Grace? Its all there with St. Paul. St Paul received his marching orders in a direct infusion of grace, unlike the Apostles who were taught directly from Christ Himself, or their disciples who learned it from their actions and oral traditions as it was handed on. St Paul shows us how we are to imitate Christ in what He taught him and “do this in remembrance.”

 

Therefore there must be some definition of being outside of Grace and some definition of sin.

 

Join Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan as she experiences the mercy and love of God, in the Mass, through the ministers of Holy Communion, the priests and the deacons. Listen to two stories of the goodness within us and how that goodness images God, our creator, and how He created us for communion with Him. Find out how we are both the image and likeness of God and what that means for us today.

 

Christianity is founded on a loving God that doesn’t need us but simply loves us, for ourselves, no matter our imperfections. God is Love, and we are His.

 
 

Podcast #17 Summertime Essentials

Podcast #17

Summertime Essentials

 

Summertime is here! Let’s talk about a few ways we can be prepared this summer.

 

Quick notes:

  • You can take essential oils in your carry on as long as they fit in the standard quart size baggie
  • It is safe for them to go through x-ray
  • Apply your oils before you get on the plane, train, or whatever. Make an essential oil mustache J
  • Have a travel emergency kit

 

Some quick and easy recipes that are nice to have on hand.

 

Cool Down Spray (great for cooling down and soothing the skin- put in the fridge for extra coolness):

+ 2 oz spray bottle

+ 2 Tbsp water

+ 2 Tbsp witch hazel

+ 4 drops lavender

+ 4 drops peppermint

 

Too Much Sun:

2 oz spray bottle

15 drops of lavender (can use melaleuca/tea tree or roman chamomile as a substitute)

Fractionated coconut oil to the top

 

When we are ready for a road trip grab:

  • Cedarwood: freshen up your hotel room & get rid of unwanted critters
  • Lavender: to help you sleep
  • Peppermint: to keep you awake
  • RC: keeps you from snoring
  • Digize: helps with any tummy issues- gas, bloating, or anything digestive
  • Frankincense: helps you focus
  • Purification: for any smelly situation
  • Thieves: keeps the germs away

 

Insect Repellent

If we are heading outdoors we want to keep the bugs at bay. Young Living’s Insect Repellent works better than other natural options without the chemical junk! Some oils that help for an annoyance-free outdoors are purification, citronella, coriander, thyme, lemongrass & peppermint.

Ways to use them:

  • Diffuse them around the BBQ
  • Apply them to the arms, legs or bottoms of the feet(or try a DIY insect spray)
  • Apply to your pets too!

 

The must-haves this summer and how to use them

Peppermint:

  • Great for a throbbing head
  • Keeps you from overheating
  • Helps you stay alert
  • Great for motion sickness
  • Keeps bugs at bay
  • Keeps breath fresh

 

Thieves:

  • Use to boost your immune system- apply under the nose
  • Great hand sanitizer (by it made or DIY)
  • Apply to feet daily for immune support
  • Use on a Kleenex or handkerchief

 

Lavender:

  • Great for after being in the sun
  • Helps us to stay calm
  • Sleep well
  • Great on bug bites (make an Itch stick: 5 drops lavender, 5 drops purification, 5 drops copaiba, carrier oil to the top)
  • Amazing on cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc
  • Works to stop bleeding

 

Lemon:

  • Freshen up your room
  • Cleans up anything on the go
  • Great for cleaning residue on your fruits and veggies
  • Takes off the sticky stuff
  • Promotes uplifting feelings
  • Adds flavor to your water
  • Great addition to smoothies

 

Panaway:

  • Great for aches, pains, and muscles
  • Apply to sore muscles
  • Neck tension on road trips
  • Relief for any muscle cramping or growing issues

Melaleuca (or Tea Tree):

  • Amazing skin oil
  • Mix with vinegar to help with musty/mildew smells in the camper
  • Add to a cotton ball and use for ear support
  • Apply below the eye for gooey eyes
  • Aids with bug bites
  • Zit zapper- apply neat
  • Shampoo booster to keep critters away
  • Great for stinky shoes

 

Patchouli:

  • A little less know but great all over first aid oil
  • Aids in keeping body temperature where it should be
  • Wonderful on cuts, scrapes & bites

 

Grab a bag today and fill it with your summertime must-haves. What will you put in your summer grab bag? Will you be prepared?

 

Be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!

10 Commandments Conscience Check

10 Commandments Conscience CheckCan you use the 10 Commandments for a Conscience Check

Episode #43

In this podcast, we’ll examine if the 10 Commandments can help you check your conscience. How do we know if we are on the right path? Are we doing great? Of course! We don’t sin! That is until you take a look at the list below. I’ve listed each of the 10 Commandments and questions to ask yourself.

First, begin with prayer, ask the Lord to allow us to see what is in our lives that need to be forgiven and perhaps if it is an area where you struggle.

Sin causes us to put off doing what is right and what we should do, and it allows us to make excuses for all the times we are not doing what is right. Are the Ten Commandments just suggestions or are they something we should look at when we examine our conscience? I know that we all struggle because we think, “Well, I’m not an ax murderer so therefore I am a good person,” however, that line of thinking is truthfully not accurate.

Thankfully we do not commit murder but there are other things to look at under the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment.

Using the 10 Commandments helps us form a good conscience. 

The commandments are not suggestions, they are serious. The commandments are so serious that after Moses came down from the mountain and saw the sin happening to the people he had left behind, he broke them. God then gave him the Commandments again!

The first three commandments all deal with the way we consider God. Do we put him first, do we blaspheme His name? Do we keep holy the Sabbath?

Here is a look at the Ten Commandments and ways to consider how you have sinned against God…

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
    1. Have I denied God in any way?
    2. Have I taken part in non-Christian ceremony or service?
    3. I have agreed with heretical or blasphemous anti-Christian literature?
    4. Have I been faithful in my prayer life?
    5. Have I made fun of God or His teachings?
    6. Have I presumed upon God’s mercy or doubted it?
    7. Have I placed more importance on any person or creature before God?
    8. Have I cared about material goods over God?
    9. Have I been guilty of irreverence – jokes or other conversations that are anti-God.

 

  1. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    1. Have I sworn against God?
    2. Have I complained against God?
    3. Have I broken a vow made to God?
    4. Have I angered others so that it makes them swear against God?
    5. Have I blasphemed?

 

  1. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
    1. Have I missed Mass or church?
    2. Have I been distracted during church?
    3. Have I been late to church or left early (not due to an emergency).
    4. Have I made others miss church?
    5. Have I done unnecessary work on Sunday?
    6. Have I bought or sold things not of necessity on Sunday?

 

  1. Honor thy father and thy mother.
    1. Have I been disrespectful or disobedient to my parents?
    2. Have I been irreverent to others in positions of authority?
    3. Have mistreated my spouse or children?
    4. Have I mistreated the elderly, the infirmed or the handicapped?
    5. Have I been disobedient or disrespectful of a loved one, a family member?
    6. Have I been disrespectful or irreverent toward the clergy or someone in authority to God.

 

  1. Thou shalt not kill
    1. Have I desired or hastened the death of someone, or caused bodily injury to another person?
    2. Have I oppressed or did I seek revenge on another person?
    3. Did I cause others to fight?
    4. Have I argued with another(s)?
    5. Did I injure anyone else?
    6. Have I been jealous, envious, entertained evil thoughts or hatred against another?
    7. Have I entertained thoughts of suicide, etc.
    8. Do I abuse my body in any way?
    9. Have I harmed my soul by intentional exposure to temptations?

 

  1. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    1. Have I abused my role in my marriage, (marital rights, practicing birth control, or other contraception such as sterilization?)
    2. Have I committed sins against purity?
    3. Have watched indecent movies or internet photos, etc.?
    4. As a single person have I had sex outside of marriage.
    5. Have I worn suggestive clothing, or had thoughts that were impure.
    6. Have I used indecent language, told indecent jokes.
    7. Have I prayed at once to banish bad thoughts or intentions?

 

  1. Thou shalt not steal
    1. Have I stolen anything?
    2. Have I damaged or been negligent with someone else’s property?
    3. Have I refused to repay debt?
    4. Have I cheated my employer or employees?
    5. Have I cheated or defrauded anyone?
    6. Have I gambled to the point that it is an obsession?
    7. Have I refused to pay a bill

 

  1. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    1. Have I lied against anyone, causing them harm, spiritually or materially, or ruined their name?
    2. Have I judged others without evidence?
    3. Have I gossiped about other people even if it is true?
    4. Have I been uncharitable in my talk or actions against another?

 

  1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
    1. Have I wanted someone who is otherwise committed?
    2. Have I had unpure thoughts about someone else?
    3. Have I remained alone in another’s company unnecessarily of the opposite sex that is a temptation to me?
    4. Have I been in lewd company and listened to indecent jokes or stories?
    5. Have I boasted or taken delight in past sins?
    6. Have I caused others to sin?

 

  1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
    1. Have I wanted something belonging to someone else?
    2. Have I acquired something I know is stolen?
    3. Have I failed to return something I borrowed?
    4. Have I neglected to help someone in need?
    5. Have I failed to make restitution for something I’ve taken?

These sins all boil down to sins of pride, vanity, envy, lust, anger, covetousness, envy, laziness or apathy, gluttony… they lead to boasting, duplicity, ambition over others, contempt for others, anger, and resentment and revenge, stubbornness and obstinacy.

Yes, I feel convicted in researching this and sharing this podcast with all of you to change my own life for the better.

Let’s Pray!

Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you sinful and sorrowful and I ask that You help me through an infilling of the Holy Spirit to stay on the path that leads to You. I know Lord this path is difficult but with Your Divine help I know You will be with me every step of the way. Dear Jesus help keep me from pride, envy, lust, anger, covetousness, envy, laziness, apathy or gluttony. Please help me to do what is right and to hunger for righteousness. I thank you for all the ways You have intervened in my life and I give you permission to be a greater part of my life. Thank you and praise You Jesus! And, I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Reexamine Your Conscience

reexamine your conscienceReexamine Your Conscience 

Podcast #42

Is it time to reexamine your conscience? In the last podcast, we discussed why examining your conscience is important to your spiritual well-being, and how to work at forming a good conscience by exercising it—praying, reading the Scriptures, attending church, and being around people who challenge you to seek God. We will discuss how to do an examination of conscience, the points you should consider, and ways to live a virtuous life.

Reexamine Your Conscience – Part Two

When we rely on our conscience to make difficult moral decisions, and our conscience is not well formed – it is a recipe for trouble. Our conscience is trustworthy only when it is guided by God and Biblical principals.  However, our conscience cannot be contrary to God’s teachings.

Romans 13:5 “Therefore it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience”

And, Paul states in Romans 14:23—“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

Our conscience can be suppressed by sin, and we can make excuses for our behavior through a misinterpretation of what the Bible commands and forbids. If we want to act in a positive manner we must practice being positive. This takes practice until it becomes automatic. The same with our conscience. When we sin we reject God and His authority and rules over us – in time we begin to reject God. Commandments soon become “suggestions,” and we can begin to doubt God … prayers to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and keep us on the right path–this is so important.

Timothy 4:2 “ Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

When I was homeschooling my children, at the beginning of each year my husband and I would have a dinner date and we would discuss the different things we wanted our children to learn. We would also discuss each of our children, their strengths and what we felt were their weaknesses. We would pray and ask God to bless our children and help them improve in an area we wanted to specifically work on.  Often we would pick out a virtue, such as charity, humility, love, diligence. And, each year we worked toward that goal stopping mid-year to check, to see how we progressed and then again at the end of the year. Our children didn’t know we were working on that “character” in their life—but eventually, we began to see the fruits.

As an adult, our Heavenly Father has mapped this out for us in the Ten Commandments, in the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and by giving us prayer partners and your pastor to hear your struggles and give you advice on how to overcome.

Sometimes we look at our lives and compare it to others and think, “Well, I really don’t do anything wrong.”

1 Corinthians 8:13 “When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

The older we get, the more the Lord reveals our sinfulness. Knowing something is wrong and consenting – by our will, to do it constitutes a sin.

I once read that mortal sins – bring death; venial or “minor sins” … lying, willful disobedience, etc. are like a disease, while they don’t bring death they still wound us, and sins of omission

We will look at sins in two parts, sins of omission and the sins of willful practice. Omission is like leaving good on the table—it is the ability to do good, but not doing it. The parable of the barren fig tree is a case in point. The tree was alive, the root was strong, the branches covered with leaves, but year after year there was no fruit.

Our lives must bear fruit. Matthew 22:37, 39 – Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”   39–“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We were made to know, love, serve and worship God. If we do not do this, we are as the parable states in Luke 13:7 – “So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

God knows we will sin and it is just a matter of time before we do each day, but it is those sins of omission – it can start off innocently enough. It is putting off prayer because we are busy, or praying quickly to fit it in because we have more important things to do, or praying—just to check it off the list.

For many of us, our sins are minor yet wanting to live a virtuous life we should look at all sins as a way of leading us further down a dark path.

For example look at the virtues and their opposites.

Virtue Opposite
Diligence Laziness
Humility Pride/ Vanity
Giving Coveting
Chastity Lust
Temperance Gluttony
Meekness Anger/ Wrath
Love Envy

Let’s look at one of these issues, pride, and ways we can sin through this:

  1. Looking down upon others as not as good as ourselves, do we judge others?
  2. Hated others
  3. Refused to think anyone has anything to teach us or our ideas are always better
  4. An abuse of power
  5. Thinking we are always right
  6. Stubbornness
  7. Ambition above all else, no matter who we hurt
  8. Boasting, self-love above others

False humility can also be an area we need to work on.

  1. Failing to use the talents God has given me –thinking I’m not good enough
  2. Avoiding difficult situations because I am not confrontational – even if it is for my own good.
  3. Failure to witness to others

Laziness

  1. Don’t follow 10 commandments because it is too hard
  2. Failing to go to church or pray
  3. Neglecting duties
  4. Using foul language
  5. Being late and causing others to be late
  6. Wasting time my own and others
  7. Watching too much TV, on my ph

Have we fallen into a serious sin that we have difficulty removing ourselves from? Or are we looking for excuses?

People don’t realize that by seeking the occult whether it is in games or the advice of a medium we are opening a door to the dark side.

How can we see the person as hypocritical if our conscience is not well-formed?

Acts 23:1 “… My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience this day.”

Acts 24:16 “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before man and God.”

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord we thank you for giving us the virtues to study and emulate, for giving us good pastors, the church, the Bible and allowing us to surround ourselves with things that are good and worthy of your love. I ask that you watch over and protect us and help us to continue to please you in all that we do. Help us to have a well-formed conscience to know not only what is good or bad but to immediately sense danger if it is the wrong thing –for the sake our souls. Dear Lord continue to bless us and I thank you for this opportunity to praise You and Thank You for all You do in my life daily. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Renewal and Reform

renewal and reformRenewal and Reform 

Episode 7

Renewal and reform has become somewhat stagnant. The times have changed, for some, the initial enthusiasm has waned or has been lost by a return to past weaknesses, or a more lethargic spiritual life in a very secularized society. The business,  distractions, distress, and fatigue of modern life can easily draw people away from centering on “the hard work” of spiritual growth, human maturity, and generous service to others. It seems like a good time to look at the possibility of reasonably providing new opportunities for transformation beyond the confines of any specific renewal movements. And also consider supporting individuals who may want to make new starts, and at the same time provide opportunities which possibly could serve others in seeking spiritual empowerment for themselves.

The Church’s Grace of Renewal and Reform:

Mentioning again that Pope Benedict XVI said a number of times at the Council that the reality of the Paschal Mystery is the central message of the Council, and combining that statement with the words of St. Anthony of Padua which was, every Christian needs to bring alive the reality of Pentecost in their life before they die. We find ourselves at the doorstep of the possibility of a “new empowerment” of the grace of the Holy Spirit beyond the confines of the renewal movements in the Church. This is a good thing! While not minimizing in any way the on-going good that the renewal movements continue to do. We can try and design an approach that brings about the same reality in a somewhat extended and altered format. A format which also may be attractive at this time in the Church’s life beyond the positive activity of the renewal movements in individuals very busy and active lives. This effort may also give us the opportunity to broaden the characteristics of this new approach, which can include some elements of growth that are not normally considered in the sound methods of the renewal movements. For example, little effective “spiritual growth plans”, power-centered means of intercession and atonement. This type of thing is really about finding ways of effectively evangelizing Catholic culture.

The Challenge:

The challenge presented here is how should we go about designing an effective program or activity that would accomplish the necessary objectives? I know Jesus told his disciples that a wise servant knows how to bring out of his storeroom things, both old and new. Instead of us using one of the seminars in the renewal movement, which we are all familiar with, and which are very effective when focusing on a renewal in the Holy Spirit. We may want to try and adopt a format which approaches “a broader experience which embraces the Churches Grace of Empowerment.” Here we are not speaking of a new catechumenate or a form of the RCIA, these very good programs are far too lengthy. We need something simple which becomes “the new wineskins” to hold the new wine of our hoped for objectives, and considers the full perspective of the Paschal Mystery. What we are seeking is the full impact of the death, resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost, which is an experience of the full power of the Cross, Resurrection, glorification of Jesus, and empowerment of the Spirit sent by Jesus and the Father at Pentecost. A simple format or program, which brings these crucial graces together as one!

When we give attention to the complete experience of the Paschal Mystery it is necessary to concentrate on “the new life in the Mystery of Christ”. This new life is at the heart of and the core of the form of the Gospel. The starting symbol would be the blood and water flowing from the pierced  Heart of Christ on the Cross. The gift of Paschal spirituality is the gift of Divine Mercy. In this season of Mercy, we seek to live in the new life of the “Power of the Cross” which generates, sanctifies, and consecrates us in the gift of Salvation.

The Lord from the Cross spoke to Francis of Assisi, he had a mystical experience, “Francis you see that my house is falling into ruin, go and rebuild my Church” In a real sense today we have a similar call from the Lord in regard to the Church’s grace of renewal and reform. It starts with a renewed experience of living in “the power of the Cross”. Francis felt that it was truly Christ crucified who had spoken to him. ( Omnibus, 903) His conversion was centered upon Christ on the cross. In Christ on the cross, Francis felt that the deepest and truest root of his choice to be a penitent was touched and made real. The suffering of Christ explained, illuminated, and justified all human suffering. Francis’ conversion fell within the context and sphere of the suffering Christ. It became an effective sign for all those who wanted to abandon their sinful way of life, in order to unite themselves with Christ and in Christ. Francis saw the suffering of Christ was as a superhuman value in the reality of human existence. It was the only power able to give meaning and sense to human suffering, to the point of attracting people to seek this suffering and to accept it freely in order to come closer to Christ and to be one with him in the Father. ( The high priestly prayer of Jesus in John’s Gospel, c. 17) What impressed Francis was the power of the Cross for all who wanted to call themselves Christian, and who wanted their whole life to be freed from living selfishly, as lived independent of God, that is a life not consciously lived in response to God. Therefore, we may want to embrace a life of penance: not specific actions but a conversion of heart, not simply just penitential practices, but a life lived “in God”.

The power of the Cross, the power, and life of the Resurrection, the power and life of the Holy Spirit: The Church’s Grace of Renewal and Reform. Now we need to look at the power and life of the Resurrection. A good approach to this task is to go right to Easter Sunday night: Appearance to the Disciples. “On the evening on the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this he showed them his hands and side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Who sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” The power and life of the Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost was given to them when Jesus breathed on them, for Jesus, who had not gone to the Father when he met Mary Magdalen at the tomb, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not ascended to the Father”. (Jn. 20: 17) Jesus was now fully at the right hand of the Father; exercising his full Divine power of the Resurrection as the Glorified One. Breathing on them he powerfully commissioned them to bring this new life and power to others. He baptized them in the Holy Spirit. Now we turn to what scripture calls the Gentile Pentecost. Peter arrives at the household of Cornelius and begins to tell them about Jesus. Before he could finish, the Holy Spirit fell on the whole household and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. A short while later Peter is back in Jerusalem, and he is being criticized by some of the Jewish priests who had become converts. So he tells them the whole story, and at the end of it, they say, “we see! The Gentiles have been given “Life-giving Repentance”, just as we have!” (Acts 11:18)

The Power of the Cross

The power of the Cross, the gift of the power and life of the Resurrection, and the baptism in the Holy Spirit: The threefold empowerment as one experience of the Paschal Gift of the Church’s Grace of Renewal. It will be the task of all of us to design a dynamic program which may be called, “The Baptism in the Spirit of the Paschal Mystery.” This approach is verified by a prayerful reading of Scripture, and the core message of Vatican II, which message is the proclamation and centrality of Paschal Mystery.

It seems to me a teaching format which can bring Christians who want to receive or recommit to the Church’s Grace of the Renewal in a fresh manner would be necessary. This program would need to contain the substance of the threefold Paschal graces of empowerment. It would also necessarily be adapted to our busy post-modern society. This program would not follow the current lengthy adult education formats, but probably should be designed to a short seminar style, which could be done on a weekend or possibly a three-day approach. The teachings would not be long, maybe about 20 or 25 minutes with an opportunity for some discussion. At the end of the program prayer for commissioning and empowerment would be necessary. And some suggestions on how to keep the graces of the program while using some appropriate and useful tools for growth would be good. To start the teachings from scratch without some preparation would probably not be wise. Individuals should be ready and open to enter the program; therefore some means of preparation would be a good “jump start.” A life review session with a trained person, who could guide a person to necessary forgiveness or other matters of transformation would definitely be a real plus, but not absolutely necessary. Another possibility is that the person making the seminar would prepare by reading some appropriate scripture or some chosen devotional. What would be the content of the presentations? What basic themes would attract us to this renewal seminar?

Some possible themes for the presentations: We would probably need about nine presentations to do justice to the quality of a renewal seminar. This is where I would invite those who are good at designing faith formation programs. Would you be willing to share your thoughts and wisdom with us? Here are some themes to consider:

  1. What is the Paschal Mystery and its relationship to the Word of God?
  2. Who is the Person of Christ who lives and dwells within the Father’s children who have received water baptism?
  3. How do we want to understand the “power of the Cross”, “the new life and power of the Resurrection”, and “the complete empowerment of the Holy Spirit”?
  4. This is a season when God is being super generous with his mercy. What does it mean to know and follow Jesus in this special time of grace?
  5. As I grow in the love of the Lord, what kind of changes do I need to make in my personal life?
  6. What hopes and desires do I have for the future? What are my expectations?
  7. Once I have a clearer direction for my life, and I am living the Risen Life of Christ, what does it mean to share Jesus with others. Am I interested in small group sharing?
  8. How do I believe the Lord wants me to serve him in gratitude for what he has given to me.
  9. What is the mission in being a Christian?

The Fire Movement: John the Baptist told the people, “I am baptizing you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and FIRE. (Mt. 4: 11) If you have made any contact with “Evangelizing Catholic Culture Podcast. Com”, and may have an interest in small group fellowships this possibility will eventually be available through the podcast. What is the nature of a FIRE group?

FIRE

Fire by its nature has the ability and power to cause destruction; it consumes what it ignites and totally changes the object which it consumes. It is used in numerous ways in the Scriptures: In the story of the destruction of the towns of Sodom and Gamora it is used for destruction, because of the depravity of the citizens of those two towns; in view of God’s judgment it is seen as punishment. However, it is primarily used symbolically in the Word of God. For example, Moses wandering in the desert comes upon a bush burning without being consumed. He is warned not to come any closer because a voice told him that he is on holy ground. In this instance fire symbolically represents the active presence and energetic source of God’s holiness. In the book of Revelation the symbol is used as a purifying agent; it purifies from the dross of sin. Symbolically it will test our work of Christian perfection when the Lord comes, “ it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each ones work”(1 Cor.3: 13).   When viewing the work of fire internally in a human person, we see it illuminates the mind, in Ephesians 5:29 it is a light that illuminates and leads us to see the things that are pleasing to God. It illuminates the mind and energies the will as it gives strength to the soul. It warms the heart with the consolations of the Spirit. In relationship to personal holiness, it inflames us with love. And finally, at the Pentecost event tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the disciples. This fire represented the Pentecostal anointing which bestowed on each disciple all that Jesus won for us in the Paschal Event; the passion, death, resurrection, glorification and the sending of the Spirit by Jesus and the Father.

A good number of years back four individuals put together a ministry called FIRE MINISTRY. The reason the acronym “FIRE” was used was the fact that it defined the nature of the ministry. Drawing on the reality that the meaning of the word called upon all the rich meanings of the uses of the word in the Word of God, it identified a preaching ministry and each letter stood for a salient feature in the ministry itself: F stood for Faith, I stood for all the forms of Intercession, R stood for life-giving Repentance, E stood for Evangelization. The FIRE team would set locations in various places, in an auditorium, and schedule a FIRE event. Each individual would give an inspirational talk on the specific topic. It was very popular in the Renewal for several years, but for various reasons, it seems to have lost its attraction.   However, when the four topics are joined as one the word identifies a tremendous process of evangelical transformation, some would use the term Spirit-filled conversion. Taking the dynamic reality of this process of transformation, it is very possible and expedient to identify and apply this work of grace to a fellowship process. In other words, it is the intention of the “Evangelizing Catholic Culture Podcast” to encourage and work toward establishing a “movement” of FIRE Groups as units of growth to provide the development of this fourfold work of formation and transformation. This attempt would definitely be an example of the Podcast’s work of evangelization. “Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12: 29)

May We Pray!

Lord Jesus, to know You is eternal life. I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry for all my sins and for withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask You to bless them. In Your Name Jesus, I renounce anything in my life that is not of  You that I have welcomed into my mind or heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in  Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By Your grace, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade. Where You restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Amen. (Fr. John Horn)

 

 

 

20 Essential Oil Hacks

20 Essential Oil HacksPodcast #16

20 Essential Oil Hacks

 

Let’s talk about 20 quick and easy essential oil hacks that can help you- Every. Single. Day.

 

#1 To remove a splinter

 

Grab 1-2 drops of clove or Thieves essential oil, drop on the affected area, wait a minute or two and watch the splinter come out of the skin. You can then grab a tweezer and fully remove!

 

#2 Freshen up Stinky Laundry

 

Sometimes we forget to switch a load quick enough and other times we just want our laundry to smell amazing! Either way, adding essential oils to a sock or rag is a great way to freshen it up. Dryer balls are also a great way to do this, they speed up out dry time as well as work as a way to effectively add essential oils to the dryer.

 

#3 Make Your Glasses Sparkle

 

Just add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to your sink or dishwasher for clean sparkling glasses!

 

#4 Remove Sticky Residue

 

Just a drop or two of lemon essential oil to anything sticky will help remove it- like fly tape, stickers, etc. a drop or two and it rubs right off- AMAZING!

 

#5 Say Goodbye to Spiders

 

Peppermint essential oil is going to be your new friend! All you need is a 16 oz spray bottle, 20 drops of peppermint essential oil and water. Then spray inside and outside of your house to keep spiders and the likes away. You can also grab some cotton balls and place them around the perimeter as well.

 

#6 Fresh Smelling Toilets

 

No need for toxic Poo-Pourri Spray, instead just add a couple of drops of essential oils to your toilet bowl and it will freshen up the toliet and the room!

 

#7 Getting All the Oil Out

 

Grab a glass dropper to make sure that you get every last precious drop of essential oil out because we all know how those last few drops like to hide in the bottom.

 

#8 Make Your Oils Last Longer

 

Grab your empty roller bottles and some stainless steel roller filaments to turn your empty bottles into roll on’s. Simple add some carrier oil and whatever desired oils and BOOM! You now have a roll on. You can also grab some empty roll on and makeup concoctions as well. This is a great way to blend up what you or your family needs and make it ready to use!

 

#9 Stronger Nails

 

Grab a bottle of tea tree oil and apply to the cuticles to help grow stronger nails. You can add carrier oil if you would like or apply neat. This is also awesome for your toenails and anything funky you may have going on there J

 

#10 Fight Blemishes

 

Lavender and tea tree oil are amazing applied with or without a carrier oil. When you feel like you have blemish coming, just grab a drop of one or both and be amazed at how well it takes care of the issue.

 

#11 Clean Windows, Mirrors, Stainless Steel, & Fruits & Veggies

 

Grab a spray bottle (16 oz), 1 cup of vinegar and 15-20 drops of lemon or orange essential oil. This concoction will clean your mirrors, windows, stainless steel and clean your fruits & veggies (remember the sticky stuff we talked about earlier, well it also takes care of the waxes or coating on the fruits & veggies). One bottle so many uses!

 

#12 Keep Your Car Smelling Awesome

 

Wooden clothespins are a wonderful way to keep your car smelling great. Put the clothespin on your vent and add a couple of drops of essential oil to make your car smell fresh without the toxic air fresheners.

 

#13 Freshen Sticky Shoes

 

We all know at least one person that has some not-so-pleasant foot odors. Grabbing an essential oil like Purification, Citrus Fresh, or lemongrass can help. Just apply to a cotton ball and place the cotton ball in the shoes or gym bag. You can also just add a drop to the bottom of the shoe as well.

 

#14 Support Your Respiratory System

 

Grab some tissues, put them in a baggie and add a few drops of an essential oil like eucalyptus, Raven, RC, or frankincense, then when you need that extra respiratory support you can open the bag and use a tissue to support your respiratory system. This is also a great time to have a roll on such as Breathe Again!

 

#15 After too much Sun…

 

We all have the days where we forget sunscreen or just simply enjoy the sun for a little longer than we thought. Lavender essential oil in a little bit of carrier oil applied after your skin gets a little too sun-kissed works awesome at soothing the skin. If you also want to cool down the skin, apply a drop of peppermint essential oil. This cools the skin as well as drives the lavender oil in deeper for more skin support.

 

#16 Fresh Smelling Vents

 

If you would like to have your whole house smell good and get the benefits of essential oils, grab some cotton balls with a few drops of lemon, Purification or Thieves, and stick them in your vents. This is also a good time to grab you’re AC or furnace filter and add a few drops to that as well.

 

#17 Be Your Own Diffuser

 

While we can’t always be by a diffuser, we can apply our favorite essential oils to our scarf, diffuser necklace or bracelet and have it with us throughout the day.

 

#18 Clean Your Toothbrush

 

From time to time our toothbrush will fall on the floor or get just needs to be cleaned. Grab your Thieves essential oil and add a drop to the brush head- BOOM! Clean!

 

#19 Tooth Discomfort

 

When we are having a dental procedure done, have a sore tooth, someone has braces or maybe you have a teething kiddo, we have some oils that are great for supporting our oral care. Clove (or Thieves blend) essential oil work great and has a very numbing effect. For the littles or for those who do not care for such an intense feeling, copaiba essential oil works great! It is virtually tasteless and has the same results.

 

#20 Use a Mason Jar for Drinking

 

When we start drinking oils in our water like lemon, orange or Citrus Fresh, we want to make sure that we are using a glass or stainless steel container. One quick way to do this is a simple old mason jar. Add your ice, a drop of lemon essential oil and water to the top and you are ready to go!

 

What is one essential oil hack that you are ready to start using today?

 

Be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!

Defining Catholic Culture

defining Catholic Culture

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Defining Catholic Culture

Episode 6

Defining Catholic culture might vary for some. One possible definition of Catholic Culture: In setting up a podcast entitled “Evangelizing Catholic Culture” it is important to try and clarify that some aspects, attitudes, and ideals of Catholic Culture need to be re-evangelized. Most of us have been raised in a Church that has overemphasized the Institutional/Sacramental model of the Church to the detriment of the other three models. Many members of the Church were born and have been raised and possess a restricted idea of the nature of the Church. The institutional model entails high levels of authority, organization, visibility, projects, and encountering Christ in the sacraments, “and make sure you get to church” syndrome. So the next number of paragraphs are somewhat ponderous.

A blended model of defining Catholic Culture 

In the following section, I have tried to present a blended model of the Church in order to get a glimpse of what the Church can be in a broader sense, to see briefly that the Church, some of its operational methods, and it’s cultural expressions’’ really need to be evangelized. Sometimes new wine needs new wineskins in order to manifest vintage quality. The approach I present is an attempt to see that there is a real need to evangelize the Catholic Church in its internal operation and its expression in society of its immediate visible cultural format.

What is the Catholic way of life?

There are a good number of definitions of the word culture. The way I am using the definition here is in the sense of “a way of life.” What are some of the visible elements and components of a Catholic way of life? These elements would consist in specific things which describe what a “Catholic Way of Life” could really look like. First off, it would be a visible organized communal structure with legitimate authority, which exists in our society and is visibly clear to others, both within and outside of its visible reality. It would consist in a world-wide universal ethnicity. Its members would profess a clear set of doctrines based on the Gospel way of life and have different roles in these endeavors. Some would be chosen as leaders, and other would not. The use of authority would be based on the imitation of Jesus as a humble servant of the Father’s mercy and love. Yet many would engage in various roles, works, and ministries. The bond would consist in a living faith in the person of Jesus Christ, the heart of which would be a triune spirituality of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; a plenitude of splendid grace where individuals are drawn by the Father, who is manifested and revealed through the person of Jesus Christ, the splendor of the Fathers glory, personal Lord, and Savior. The relational life of its members would be celebrated in sevenfold sacramental communal rites in which there would be opportunities for encountering the living God in and through the person of Jesus Christ. Its celebration would consist in a dynamic grace-filled worship, individual personal relationships with God, and a multiple series of devotions which would be a prayerful means of a loving spiritual growth and worship of the living God.

defining Catholic CultureExperience of God ~ Spirit of the Living God

There would be a mystical (meaning direct experience of grace) dynamic bond with God and one another in the Spirit of the living God. The members of this Body of Christ would be invited to exercise a missionary zeal, in order to invite and assist others in joining the group identified as the church. The members of this community would have a clear vision of revealed truth as a basis for their commitment and service, and they would be required to reach out generously to others who are poor, broken, and in need of ministry and other types of mercy services. Those who grow into maturity would be called disciples of the Lord, humble servants of mercy, with a call to be missionary disciples of the Lord who would bring a sacrificial transforming love to one another, and all other members of the human community where possible.

The Paschal Mystery: The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, states that “The Paschal Mystery of Jesus, which comprises his passion, death, resurrection, and glorification stands at the center of the Christian faith, because God’s saving plan was accomplished once for all by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI stated during the Second Vatican Council that the most important and central message of the Council: “The Paschal Mystery is at the center of what it is to be Christian and is therefore at the center of the Christian life…” The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a prelude to the work of Christ the Lord in redeeming humankind and giving perfect glory to God. Jesus achieved his mission given him by the Father principally by the paschal mystery of his blessed passion, resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension, whereby “dying he destroyed our death and, rising, he restored our life.” For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth, “the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 5, n. 10, 47, 61).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “The Paschal mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection stands at the center of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. God’s saving plan was accomplished once for all by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ (CCC 571). The Paschal mystery of Jesus is a real event that occurred in our history, but is unique: “The Paschal mystery of Christ cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is–all that he did and suffered for all humankind—participates in the “Eternal Now” as well as divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made intimately and uniquely present in each specific period of time, as well as in all time.

Cross and Resurrection 

The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life.” (CCC 1085) It also explains that “The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all the justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, ‘so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.’ Justification consists in both victories over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. This fact brings about the reality that in Christ we truly are sons and daughters of the Father and brothers and sisters to one another. (CCC 654)

Pascal Mystery – 

All human activity is to find its growth and purification in the Paschal Mystery. Christians believe that all human activity is to find its purification and perfection in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Man redeemed by Christ and made a new creation in the Holy Spirit, can and must love the very things created by God, in a spirit of thankfulness and reverence, he uses and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom, he enters into true possession of the world, as one having nothing and possessing all things, for all things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. Jesus reveals to us that God is Love, and the human perfection of all is the new commandment of love, in this truth is the transformation of all things, including the whole world and the ordinary circumstances of life. Therefore, we share in the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, to whom all power in heaven and earth has been given, and he is at work in the hearts of all through the power of his Spirit. He awakens in us a longing for the world to come, and inspires, purifies, and strengthens each one of us to have generous desires to make our life more human and to achieve this same goal for others. The gifts of the Spirit are manifold; he calls some to directly witness these longings for eternal fulfillment, and he calls others to dedicate themselves to the service of his brothers and sisters here on earth. Yet he makes all free, so that by denying their inordinate love of self, and taking up all earths resources into the life of humanity, all may reach out to the future, when humanity itself will become an offering acceptable to God. ( The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, Lent, vol. II, pp. 331-332)

A Brief History of the Church’s Grace of Renewal and Reform:

I am presenting a selected summary of some of the work and power of the Spirit in the life of the Catholic Church over the last one hundred years, to provide a context for us to understand a little better the working of the grace of renewal and reform in our most recent period of time. Pope Benedict XVI in one of his writings mentions that the Church will always need spiritual renewal and reform because of the human condition and the reality of sin. Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the century in the late 1800’s was concerned about the progressive spiritual movements alive in Europe and the young American nation, and gave scholars permission to carefully study how some of the more positive ideas could further a better understanding for the Catholic laity in regard to the practical application of the work of the Spirit in the realm of the Scriptural, liturgical, catechetical movements, and various other issues in the life and teaching of the Church. He was deeply motivated by an understanding that the Church needed to go through a profound spiritual renewal. For fifty years most of this activity unfolded quietly in the areas of study. This was the time the world was caught up in the devastating period of World War I and II. In the 1950’s many of the Church’s leaders realized that some type of spiritual renewal and reform was most necessary in order to lead the Church forward in adapting to the developments in the modern world. Such as the developments emerging after the turmoil of the two world wars, advances in the industrial revolution, the new discoveries in the sciences, and the various movements of secularization, some detrimental to the life and growth of the Church.

All through the first half of the 20th Century, many leaders in the Church could see that the Lord was preparing for some kind of great spiritual enterprise, which was sorely needed. Pope John the 23rd was elected to the papacy in 1958; a jovial relational leader and open to the work of the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed a surprising worldwide Ecumenical Council which began in 1961 and ended in 1965. He died in the middle years of the Second Vatican Council, and Pope Paul VI was elected to bring the Council to conclusion, and then pastor the many changes necessary in light of the pastoral documents and proposals developed in its four years of preparation. And he was chosen to responsibly guide the implementation after its conclusion. In and of itself the Council was a monumental achievement and an obvious work of Divine grace. However, as central and long-standing as this reform would be in the Church it was by no means the only work and activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and in other Christian denominations as well.

Also in the life of the Church in the first half of the 20th Century under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, a number of spiritual and evangelical movements of a pious nature were developing. Some of these were focused on achieving personal holiness, and others aimed more at catechetical development, humane services, and mercy work. However, at the conclusion of the Council, a surge of the empowering activity of the Holy Spirit also came to the fore in a notable fashion. For example, the Cursillo movement which began in Spain and quickly moved to the United States and other parts of the world. Also Antioch for young people, Focolari and others. However, the one that made the most impact in the United States and worldwide in the Catholic Church was the Charismatic Renewal. This movement leads participants to experience a refreshing empowerment of the Holy Spirit, along with the experience and use of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. Once this “new anointing” of the Spirit is experienced, it begins a natural and supernatural process which significantly affects one’s personal relationship with the Lord. This effectiveness in grace spreads gradually to all the dimensions of one’s spiritual life, and if one is faithful in developing a life of prayer this actualizing grace positively effects the personal growth of Christian holiness and maturity in all areas of one’s human endeavors. However, this consistency is not always the case. It is like many other opportunities of growth, if one does not foster and focus on a process of conversion, growth in personal holiness, and generous service to others, it can easily lose its vitality. Initially receiving this empowerment should lead one to a deeper experience of a personal relationship with Christ, and to a more attentive awareness of the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. For many over the last 50 some years this has been the case. In fact, this refreshing experience of the Holy Spirit has generated a good number of ministries, special communities, and other forms of service and mercy work in the life of the Church. This podcast is presented to provide a context to consider more specific areas in the life of the Church which may need some significant attention.

May we pray!
Lord Jesus, to know you is eternal life. I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I love You and I place my trust in You. I am sorry for all of my sins and for withholding myself in any way from You. Please forgive me as you bring healing to my life, and heal any pain I have caused others. I forgive anyone who has hurt me, and I ask You to bless them. In Your Name Jesus I renounce anything in my life that is not of You that I have welcomed into my mind and heart. Wash me in mercy and fill me with Your Precious Blood and the Holy Spirit. Father, all of my need for love and affection is found in Your embrace. May I never leave my home in Your heart again. By your grace and most intimate love, I resolve to remain in Your shelter and abide in Your shade, where You restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Amen. (Fr. John Horn)

Examination of Conscience

examination of conscience Examination of Conscience

Episode #41

In this podcast, we examine why you should do an examination of conscience and the surprising truth behind why most people avoid thinking about sin! Examination of Conscience is important to our spiritual lives. The truth can set you free.

1 Corinthians 4:4 is a wake-up call for all of us: “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”

If our conscience is the go-to-auto-pilot mechanism that is used in our decision making each day, shouldn’t we think about ways we have strayed and look at ways to get back onto a righteous path? Some believe that you can do nothing to earn your salvation, and this is true. Only Jesus by His life, death, and resurrection can open the gates of heaven, I don’t believe we can accept Jesus and then live our lives in sin.

So for this one reason, to be sure we are on the right path we should look at our conscience – but exactly what does this mean?  Why did God give us the 10 Commandments if we were not supposed to use them to live our lives? Why the beatitudes? Why virtues?

Because we need a guideline for right living.

1 Corinthians 8:7 states: “But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.”

1 Corinthians 8:10 continues on, “For if someone with a weak conscience sees you with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols.”

SO in other words – we must live our lives by example because if you are a professed Christian people will be looking at you and watching – to see if you mess up, and if you do, such as the Scripture above they will take that to mean they too can do what is wrong.

It is a big responsibility for all of us but often we avoid thinking about sin… have you wondered about that?

Why do people avoid thinking about sin? Because if they think about it, they might find that they are annoyed of have a “little check” in their spirit… it is as if like those cartoons of old with the good and bad angel sitting on your shoulder and temptation is in front—the person wanting to do bad, flicked off the good angels.

It was a cartoon of old, but today it is as if we’ve parked our conscience at the door and have decided that all the slogans are good – “If it feels good do it, If it tastes good eat it, If it is fun to watch, watch it. Do what makes you happy, etc.”

These are all in the Bible and they are there to be a guide for living our lives. The following points will help you understand the importance of forming a good conscience so that we can examine it, regularly.

  1. Forming a good conscience is the first step. Do we understand the difference between right from wrong? Is it important to us to do the right thing, or do we think most of life is a gray area? Reading good spiritual books – nothing that is new Age but is grounded in Scripture. Listening to good CDs or radio programs such as this one and the others on the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
  2. Our society has lost the senses of sin. If we don’t have a good relationship with God, and His laws (Commandments) it is difficult for us to find true happiness in our life. Our happiness will also be conditional on external things – a peaceful family, money, a job, a home, etc. If we are to find peace, we must have a relationship with the Creator of the universe—and that is God.
  3. What does it mean to examine our conscience? We think about the past, our thoughts, words and deeds –or actions to see if these things that we do are aligned to God’s plan, or the “moral law.” Examining our past will help us learn if we have done or said things that have allowed us to fall into sin. God is waiting to forgive us, and as a Catholic, I can go to confession for grave sins (John 20:21-23 “As the Father has sent me, I also send you… receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”
  4. Look at the temptation in your life and try (with God’s grace) to avoid it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 – tells us that God is faithful and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength – but the key is a relationship with God. If we turn our backs against God we are not giving God permission to enter into our life.
  5. For our own good. Examine and forming a good conscience is the same as teaching children not to touch things that can burn them, or cross the road full of speeding cars. We want our children protected from harm and our Heavenly Father wants to protect us from the harm of eternal damnation. If we are allow ourselves to be open to temptation on the Internet, in movies, and on television—that, by the way, is so full of the occult now it is very difficult to avoid, we allow a door to the “other world” to be open. And this we must avoid at all costs.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord you have promised to keep us safe, to not let us be tempted beyond our strength, but with temptation provide us with a way to escape so that we can endure – we ask you, Lord, to be our protector. We give you permission to enter into our lives every day, to show us ways we are harming ourselves to allow us to have formed consciences that call evil – evil and good – good. To avoid all those places where temptation abounds, online, movies, books, and television—allow us the grace to pull the plug, to change the channel or walk away. Lord gives us the grace we need each and every day to follow You and Your ways, and will for our lives. And, I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Time Management

Time ManagementPodcast #15

Time Management

 

We are all given the same 24 hours in a day, so how are we spending them and are we spending them wisely. Let’s take a look at the different ways that we can hone in on our day and manage our time more efficiently.

 

Before you start looking at time management, grab an oil, say a prayer, and do some deep four-square breathing to help clear your mind and see what God is calling you to do. Frankincense, lavender, stress away and clarity are all amazing choices.

 

#1 Goals: What are they and do you have any?

 

Goals are super important. Without them, we don’t honestly know what we are working towards. Our goals are ours and they can be whatever we want them to be but typically, they fall into one of these 7 areas of our life: (taken from Oola) field(work/job), finance, fitness (wellness goals), faith, family, fun(recreation), and friends(relationships). Look at what areas you feel happy in and then find the areas that need work or some balance. Write down these goals so you have a solid plan.

 

#2 Make a schedule: what are you telling your day to do?

 

If you don’t have a planned thing are bound to go amiss. Schedules can feel confining but they are absolutely necessary if we want to manage and be responsible for our time.  Can they be derailed? Can they go off course? Yes! But when we have a schedule we can hop back on at any time. We can be the best stewards of our time.

 

#3 Break down your day: Make it manageable

 

When we have our goal and set a schedule, it makes breaking our day down much easier and more manageable. We can see the goals. We can see our schedule. We are able to make sure that we have the break down to fit in all the areas we need to bring us to the life God has planned for us. When we break down our day we can see the areas that we can add the things we want and take out the things that do not serve us.

 

#4 Prioritize: What is taking precedence in your day?

 

When we prioritize our day, we are able to see, by a list of priorities, what actually needs to be done. We are then able to be more efficient with our time and energy. This can even allow us to see, what might be creeping onto the list that shouldn’t be there.

 

#5 Communicate: Tell your family or those around you what the new game plan is.

 

When we are managing our time, it is crucial that we are able to communicate this to our family, close friends or team members, so that they can help us out. They can catch that vision and actively participate in reaching the goals or helping you reach them. It also teaches your family(spouse and/or children), friends or team members to take a look at how they are managing their time. Are they being good stewards of their time or wasting time.

 

Some last minute notes:

+ Be self- aware and self-motivated

+ Stay focused

+ Manage your stress

+ Work effectively- do NOT multi-task

+ Be organized

 

Remember we all given the same 24 hours in a day. It is up to us to decide how we will choose to use them. Are we take time to watch tv or scroll on social media for an hour a night and complain that we don’t have time to read that book, workout, set a budget or make a healthy meal? If so, we might need to look a little closer at how we are truly managing our time.

 

As always, be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!

 

 

 

 

Following Christ

Following ChristFollowing Christ

Episode 40

Third episode in the series on Christian Living

A life following Christ may not be what you think. In the last two podcasts, a Christian Life, and Christian Life Restrictions we explored first, what it means to be a Christian and second why it is a myth that a Christian life means you in a world of do’s and don’ts instead of true freedom. In this podcast, we explore some of those rules and look at how living a life that follows Christ is indeed a life of freedom.

Please follow this podcast on iTunes, Google Play or anywhere you listen to podcasts! Please share this podcast with a friend!

A Life Following Christ and we will explore the freedom, happiness, and joy that a Christian truly has—not just believers!

We strive to live a life following Christ but what exactly does that mean in the everyday? I know that I fail so many times and with this failure, guilt starts to crop up …

As a Christian, I strive for peace yet many times find myself in turmoil due to things I cannot help or prevent. I know in my heart that all that is good comes from God but often we have trials.

Doesn’t living a Christian life mean living a life free from trials, turmoil and living a life that is truly happy?

First, this isn’t heaven. I know that when I looked at a Christian college friend and saw that her life was one big mess – everything that could possibly go wrong in her life went wrong. And I thought at the time, as a believer but NOT as much as her, she told me her entire life was devoted to God… I thought, “If this is how God treats her I’m not sure I want any part!”

I am using my “college self” as an example of lukewarm faith – faith that is not mature and is not tested by fire.

Christians who do walk around glumly are certainly not encouraging those who are borderline or lukewarm Christians. However, that is not what my friend showed me. She showed me that she was going to praise God in all things.

What about all those rules that the Bible gives us on how we should live our lives. Let’s look at some of the Scripture verses beginning in Ephesians 5 do read all of it I’m going to highlight parts of it:

What is Christian Living?

This verse tells us to be imitators of God.

Be Imitators of God

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

 How do we do that? How can we walk as an imitator of a Divine being? Only with the grace of God and His Holy Spirit. Friends, are we really open to God’s will in our lives? Truthfully? I struggle with this daily especially if I am praying – as I am right now for a solution to two problems that have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my family. There is nothing I can do, it is out of my hands, but I do know and believe that GOD is victorious in all things and for Him, the problem is very minor.

All I can do as a Christian is try to imitate God, with the help of the Holy Spirit… be obedient no matter what the outcome and continue to walk in love (not because I want to but because I will myself to – out of love.)

Ephesians 6-11

“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them…” 

I surely do not want to walk in darkness – and I love the thought that we are children of Light which is goodness and righteousness and truth! That makes me so happy – and that is what it means to walk as a Christian.

In Ephesians 20-21, the verse mentions something I talk about often because I have seen the impact in my life when agreeing to do this…

“…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

Thanking God when things are going wrong is something that is a good habit to get into. Each night we try very hard as a family to sit down, pray and thank God for the day. Even if one of my sons says, “I’m thankful that today is over.” He is at the very least still thanking God.

Galatians 5 explains the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

And Luke 6:43 

“…For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.”

Who doesn’t want to have love, joy peace, patience kindness, gentleness, and self-control in their lives? If this is a life following Christ, then sign me up! In addition, the verse in Luke explains that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. So many times we hear, you will be able to identify other Christian’s by their good fruit. Is this something they can do on their own? No—it is by the grace of God and through the Holy Spirit. So, what about people who are not Christians but “good people?” I’ve always wondered what that meant. How can you be good without God?

The Lord once showed me through a very personal example that we cannot put Him in a box. There are people who do not yet know God but seem to have God in their heart. Are they truly saved? That is a question for the Almighty. A person that I knew, who I would call “a good person,” embraced Christianity at some point in his life and it was through the example of someone he loved. This is a happy ending and many times these endings remain unfinished.

I recently spoke to someone who was making excuses for a spouse who is an unbeliever. He explained the same thing as above, that being a good person was important and it was not up to him to judge. And, I agree, that judging is the job of God. Yet, today in another conversation he explained how his spouse loved a show that centered on a medium – and I explained that mediums typically get their information from the “dark side.” He didn’t believe this and explained that while he didn’t agree with Ouija boards and that could open a dark portal this was different. I directed him to speak to our pastor—this is something that he needs spiritual guidance on, and I am not in the position to give it to him.

Yes, we should love our neighbor as yourself and show others the love of God, but friends do not compromise your faith, even for a loved one.

Colossians 3 explains in detail how to live a life following Christ

Colossians 3:1-4 urges us to put on our new self –our Christian self, one that is focused on a life that is waiting for the time we will be reunited with Christ.

Put On the New Self

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

We are urged to put aside all of the sinful and “evil practices” as believers…

Colossians 3: 8-11

“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—“

Colossians 3: 12

Continues with the verse that explains we’ve been chosen by God. In the last episode of A Few Minutes With God I discussed the belief that many have that as Christians we are restricted because of all the rules, but I explained that it is, in essence, a gift – that faith is a gift that we receive if we are open to receiving, because again—a reminder, we have free will.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful…”

Look at the verse above and rejoice! Please take the time to look at the words and see which ones speak to you – if you can add the verses I shared today to your journal – write them out, study them and let them penetrate your heart. The Bible spells out the way to live a life as a follower of Christ – and it is so wonderful. It is truly a blueprint for living life to the fullest!

Let’s pray—

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift and the joy of being called by You to a life following Christ –as a Christian I pray you allow me to have a Holy boldness to proclaim Your Name to others and to allow me to walk, each day on the path of righteousness. I ask that you hear all of the needs deep within our hearts, especially for those we now pray…  I ask that you answer our prayers, Lord and you bless those for whom we pray. Please help us to forgive, help us to have all the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and more – we want every good thing you have for us! Thank you for giving us the time today to spend a few minutes with You and I praise you in everything. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

Importance of Evangelization

importance of evangelization

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The Importance of Evangelization

Podcast 5

In this episode, Father David tackles the importance of Evangelization and how we, as Christians can follow the calling. If the Lord has indeed offered us the challenge, how can we say no? Join Father David weekly as he offers us food for thought.

Show Notes: Importance of Evangelization

In recent years within the Church there has been a clarion call to advance the mission of the Church to “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I  am with you always until the end of the age”. (Mt.28: 18-19) Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he (The risen Jesus) commissioned them to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

The basic ways to do evangelization are programmatic evangelization and personal one-on-one relational evangelization, or small group evangelization. It is a matter of learning how to share our faith, whether we do this in opportunities in programs such as Christ-Life or Christ Renews His Parish.  Or in one-on-one situations or in small group fellowships.

Our Baptism calls us to Evangelize

By the very nature of our Baptism, and subsequently through our personal relationship in Jesus through faith, we are called to witness to His Resurrection and share with others the Good News of Salvation in Christ. Evangelization is one of the major responses of the Church to offset the moral degradation, secularization, and dehumanization of the human person present in our world today in addition to proclaiming that the risen Jesus Christ is our personal Lord and Savior.

Most sincere Catholics want to be holy, but they don’t want to talk about it or to share their faith with others. A missionary spirit and zeal for the Gospel can be hard to find among many of us. We certainly try and live a holy life and witness to the resurrection of Jesus by giving a good example (situation of Kateri Tekakwitha). It is possible that not all of us are called to do personal evangelization because we may not have the natural and spiritual gifts to do it, but some are, and to different degrees depending on our situation. However, at least all of us should be willing to be trained to do personal evangelization. It is good to learn how to do faith sharing in any situation., ie. various parish, congregation, small groups or with our children and other relatives.

All the Popes over the last 70 years have encouraged Catholics to share their faith with others in various situations where personal evangelization is appropriate. Pope Francis recently has consistently encouraged Catholics to reach out to others in every possible way. Also, he warned pastoral workers to be careful and avoid “spiritual selfishness” By that he meant that they should not always be putting personal effort into spiritual things with a  self-centered mindset which attitude concentrates it is all about me, my personal holiness. (The Joy of the Gospel) In Evangelii Nunciandi on Evangelization Pope Paul says, we should expect to personally experience in evangelizing or sharing our faith,  a fresh forward impulse capable of creating with those whom we share the undying strength and power of Pentecost, a new period of sharing the Good News in a way that is understandable and inspiring.

When we share our faith or seek to evangelize another person, what is it we should share?

The first thing that we should consider in a prayerful spirit is this: The glorified risen Lord Jesus is already present in me, and in the person, I am going to speak to. This should give me a certain amount of inner peace. Realizing what is going to happen to the person I am sharing my faith or evangelizing depends primarily on the work of the Lord in that person, and the person’s ability to respond. Therefore, we humbly approach the relationship with a discerning spirit seeking inner light for guidance and direction.

So what is the content which we are going to share? I am going to share what I personally understand and believe about the inner experience of my personal faith in the Lord Jesus. This doesn’t mean that I have all my Catholic doctrine at my fingertips, but should know where the books are that I can refer them to. We should be able to share our personal experience of the risen Christ, and how he is present and active in my personal life. It is also important to experience what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life. St. Anthony says in his writings that every Christian should ultimately end up fulfilling in their lives the full experience of Pentecost. When Peter was asked by those witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, what should we do brothers to receive this experience? He responded, ”Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit.”

So I am going to share with another person that my personal experience of faith is the reality of my personal relationship with Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. That Jesus has given me a personal understanding of God as my Father, and a rich and full life in the Holy Spirit. I know that God loves me, and I am his beloved son or daughter; he has revealed his mercy and goodness in my personal life. I know that I am a sinner and realize it more and more every day. As a result, with his help, I have changed my life through life-giving repentance, forgiveness, and an experience of a new life with the Lord and the Holy Spirit. This gift has led me to a rich and new life of faith and love. My life is not always easy but with this experience of a new faith, I see new growth in my life each day. In other words, I am really different than I used to be, and the peace and joy of the Lord is permanently in my life. I have been truly empowered by the merciful gift of the Holy Spirit.

importance of evangelizationThe Acts of the Apostles could be called the model for evangelization.

There are so many scriptural accounts in the first part of the Acts of the Apostles, which proclaim and identify the significant features, and principles of Spirit-filled evangelization. These stories and events portray God’s purposes of salvation and nothing stands in the way. Of the four marks of the Church, the last one being Apostolic, we see the clear operation of the power of the “Apostolic Charism” in miraculous operation. We see an enlightened work of the Holy Spirit about an experience of the Lord Jesus and his saving power, which results in many people coming to a new faith. New Christians repeating in various ways that God became man in the person of Jesus that we might receive Salvation. That Jesus through his life, death, and resurrection has reconciled us to the Father and saved us from eternal damnation because of our sins. He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, and they sent the Holy Spirit as a gift living within us to assist us in our Christian growth in holiness, and given us the ability to share this Good News (Gospel) of salvation with others. The Acts of the Apostles, by prayer, deeds and words, witness and demonstrate in the power of the Spirit the core truth of Salvation in the person of Jesus Christ.

Attitudes that hinder individuals from doing evangelization:

  1. Thinking that my good example as a Christian is all I need to do for evangelization.
  2. Fear of being rejected, made fun of, making a fool of myself, people won’t listen.
  3. Thinking that I have to know Catholic doctrine very well.
  4. My life is not what it should be; I am not worthy to share the Gospel with others.
  5. I am a sinful person; I would be a hypocrite to share spiritually.
  6. I do evangelize—I always “preach to others” and nag those I know to go to Church.
  7. A lack of trust in the Lord that he will be working in the person or group I speak to.
  8. Laziness or I need deep personal spiritual renewal myself.

Helpful or useful in evangelizing or faith sharing.

  1. Just share simply the good things God has done in my life
  2. That I am sincere in following the Lord and willing to change those things that hold me back.
  3. It is good if I am aware of the presence of the Lord in the event, and open to his gifts.
  4. I believe in God’s personal love for me, and in the events of my life.
  5. To know that I am not focusing on my perfection and holiness, but on the wonderful ways, the Lord has worked in my life.
  6. I understand that I learn by practice and making mistakes. I should know that I don’t always share my whole testimony, but only as much as fits the situation I am in, and the specific persons need.

A general format for giving my personal witness or testimony.

  1. What was my life like in the past that led to a change? (specific elements).
  2. What happened that made me change my life. (describe the change).
  3. What is my new life of faith like now? (give evidence)

A life of prayer is what helps me share my faith and do personal evangelization.

Christian Life Restrictions

Christian Life RestrictionsChristian Life Restrictions
Episode 39

Christian life restrictions are the norm, right? Christians have no fun, Christians have so many restrictions placed on their shoulders, people think it is a list of do’s and don’ts. Christianity is much more than that, and living a Christian life can bring us true freedom. In this episode, we will explore these restrictions and see if there is any truth in the accusations that Christian life is full of rules.

Please share this episode with a friend! As always thanks for your star rating on iTunes, and please follow me!

Show Notes: Christian Life Restrictions

Those of us who consider ourselves Christians do live by a right and a wrong. We believe, through our formed conscience that things are either one way or another. You will find many who consider that to be a form of restriction.

Why be a Christian? What’s in it for us? I don’t want to follow a list of do’s and don’ts – being a Christian is no fun.

Is this true? Let me share with you the truth, that being a Christian and living a Christian life is indeed freeing.

It always amazes me when I hear people who say there is no God because there is no right and wrong and everything goes – well, actually when you get right down to it, that isn’t true. If you ask this same person who believes there is no right or wrong (a moral relativist) if someone broke into their house and stole their computer, money and jewelry if they would be okay with that, they would say, “No! That isn’t fair. They broke the law.”,

How can you have laws, what is considered a law of the land, and not have a moral law? What is the difference? A movie worth watching is God’s Not Dead. In this film, the main character is a college student, a Christian, who takes a class on philosophy with a professor who is an atheist. The first thing he does is require each of the students to fill out a sheet of paper with the words, “God is Dead,” sign it and turn it in because he does not want to deal with the arguments that follow along the line of Christianity in his classroom.

One student refuses to sign this paper and is challenged by the professor to take the end of the class period, in the subsequent weeks and “prove’ that God is truly alive. These arguments come up, and one of them is that rules serve us all and protect us. They are not restrictive to those who are morally right. They only restrict those who want to do what is wrong.

Christian Life Restrictions–No! It is a gift.

Ephesians 2:8:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Through God, we are saved and this is an amazing gift – I’m not sure how you can say a gift is a burden.

  1. A Gift
  2. A Choice
  3. A Blessing
  4. Allows for Freedom From Sin
  5. Opens the gates of heaven

What makes me realize that while God gave us a choice and allows us to make up our minds, many are so biased in their belief.

If Christianity is restrictive in that we cannot do certain things, I would say that everyone is under restrictions in some way or another.

For example, just because you want to run a red light you can’t do it – unless you want to harm yourself or someone else. If you want freedom of speech you can’t just go out and make a racist remark or defame someone else (well these days people are doing this but you should not!) Our society has norms and the evil one is disrupting those norms by causing dissension.

Just because I don’t agree with you—it does not make me wrong. There is a set of boundaries in our world. We can’t travel without a visa or passport, we can’t travel without paying for a ticket, we can’t use a credit card without paying for our bill. Our world, our lives, in essence, are bound by rules and regulations, so why shouldn’t faith also have some guidelines?

When God handed down the 10-Commandments he asked Moses to spread the Word. These are the guidelines we use to lead our lives. These guidelines set us free – they bring us peace, joy and happiness.

Just like any good parent, our God watches over us – it is amazing the same people who accuse Christians as having their freedom restrictive are themselves, restrictive parents. Would any parent allow their child to play in traffic, to play with matches or to stick their fingers or worse in an electrical outlet? No. And why is that? Because of imminent death. Does that mean the person is too restrictive, not the person is loving?

The same way for a Christian we have a God who cares about us and wants us to have everlasting life.

We can never understand the mind of God or anything about God other than reading the Bible, our interpretation and allowing the Holy Spirit to enter our lives in a deeper way. The Bible does talk about how we should live, and we will discuss that in the next podcast.

CS Lewis recounts in his book, Mere Christianity, which I recommend every Christian read, that when he was an atheist he rationalized his belief about why Christians were wrong based upon a set of notions that he later found were false. And, one of them was moral relativism, that there is no right or wrong. That is the crux of this is free will – we have the intellect to decide for ourselves.

Those who believe Christianity is too restrictive are the same people who want to defy all that is good and holy. Or they say that Jesus was a good man but not the Messiah. How can you be good and a liar? Jesus said He was the Son of God – either He is who He said or He is not.

Freedom of regulations does not bring us joy in and of itself. Giving children limitations and rules allows them to flourish. Those who break the rules often find themselves in trouble doing things they should not to the harm of their bodies or their souls or both.

True freedom is knowing we are loved and loving others. The rules help us to live lives that are God-honoring and honoring to each other. What is wrong with Thou shalt not kill? Thou shall not commit adultery? Honor thy Mother and Thy Father? Honor Thy Neighbor? I think we would all agree there is nothing wrong with wanting to live the best lives we can.

Further, the commandments begin with, “I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-6; Deuteronomy 5:6-10), 2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. (Exodus 20:7; Deut 5:11)
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

God is love and while again, we are so limited in our own understanding and human usage of words for a Divine being, we know that he saved us from eternal damnation by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to set us free and the Holy Spirit to reign with us always.

Eternal life can only be found in the true God. Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I pray in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…I thank You for the gift of freedom, the gift of free will, the gift of faith, the gift of opening the gates of heaven by Your death and resurrection. Thank you for setting us free, for giving us a renewed gift of faith—for allowing us to believe in Your Divine Providence for our lives and those of our families. I am blessed that You have called me to live a life that is honoring to You but I can only do this by Your grace in my life, so I pray for an outpouring of Your love and grace to fill me. Please Lord, hear my petitions which I now pray__________________________, I ask that as a community of believers, all those who are listening to this broadcast, that we join together in prayer for each other and for our personal needs. I thank You for all that is good and Holy and I praise You with every breath I take, In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Mom & Life Hacks

Mom & Life HacksPodcast #14

Mom & Life Hacks

 

As I have gone through life, becoming a mom, running a business from home, and being the cook, chauffeur, and manager of the home, there are certain tips and tricks that I have found make being a mom & life easier.

 

Hack #1 Aloe & lavender

 

Have aloe vera (a plant if possible) and lavender essential oil on hand for all things. Lavender is the Swiss Army knife of essential oils just like aloe is a Swiss army cream for all things. Apply to cuts, scrapes, bites, etc.

 

Hack #2 Do a load of laundry every night

 

I have found that starting a load of laundry every night when I put the kids to bed and then moving it to the dryer before I get into bed, helps keep the laundry monster at bay! I then try to fold that load right away in the morning before the kids wake up.

 

Hack #3 Electric pressure cooker aka Instant Pot

 

This magic pot helps to cook everything quicker and healthier! Cooks frozen meats in less than 20 min, makes perfect rice, oats, and beans, great for making homemade yogurt and more!!

 

Hack #4 Sugar water hairspray

 

A healthier way to have a hairspray that is non-toxic and works! Just dissolve 2 Tbsp of sugar in 1 cup of hot/boiling water. I like to add some essential oils (about 10-15 drops) and sometimes a tablespoon of vodka to preserve it.

Hack #5 Wool dryer balls

 

Grab a set of wool dryer balls(4-6 are recommended). This will cut out the use of toxic dryer sheets. This also will help speed up dry time and you can add essential oils to them for natural laundry scent.

 

Hack #6 Extend the life of your natural products

 

We have found that the natural products that we use (shampoos, conditioners, body washes, cleaning products) are highly concentrated. I have found that we are able to dilute these products making them last 3-4 times longer than we would expect. Check out my facebook page to see the many ways we dilute our natural products.

 

Hack #7 Foaming hand soap

After learning how toxic hand soaps are, I needed to find a healthier way. In walked the foaming hand soap trick. Save or buy some foaming hand soap containers(7-8 oz size), grab some castile soap(3 Tbsp), and choose your desired essential oils smell(8-10 drops) and BOOM! Foaming hand soap- check! Non-toxic and super cheap!

 

Hack #8 Menstrual cup

 

This is an amazing little thing that makes that time of the month more manageable and affordable. It takes a couple of tries to get used to it but the fact that TSS(toxic shack syndrome), chemical exposer and the fact that they can hold a lot and stay in for 12+ hours (depending on flow) makes them AMAZING!

 

Hack #9 Long tank tops

 

Okay so long tanks help those of us fashionably impaired to feel more fashionable, aka the layered look, and they just make life easier by keeping all things covered. They are wonderful for nursing and go with yoga pants or jeans- WIN WIN!

Hack #10 Lettuce in Mason Jars

Lettuce is a staple in our home and we hate to waste anything especially food. So one way to keep our lettuce longer was by storing it in mason jars! We just wash, cut and then keep it sealed in mason jars and have found that instead of 3-4 day shelf life, we are able to get 7-10 days!

 

Hack #11 All in 1 cleaner in your purse/diaper bag

 

Keeping your all in 1 cleaner (aka Thieves cleaner) in my purse and/or diaper bag is a game changer. I just store in a 2 oz bottle and now have an on the go hand sanitizer, cart cleaner, spot treatment on me at all times. I also like to keep a few paper towels in a baggie so that I can spray them and have sanitizing wipes!

 

Hack #12 DIY dry shampoo/mermaid hair

 

Depending on personal preference, these 2 items are an amazing life hack for all of us who are busy… aka EVERYONE! These both help to extend the time between shampooing and are ever so helpful on days when showering is barely an option #mommusthave

I hope you found at least one new life hack that you will incorporate in to make the daily grind just a tad bit easier

As always, be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Frequent Personal Prayer Time

prayer time

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Frequent Personal Prayer Time

Podcast #4

A Frequent personal prayer time

Prayer time is one of those things that often escapes us. In this episode, Father David explores setting up frequent and personal prayer time so that you can grow closer to God. Join Father weekly as he explores timely topics and digs deep into the scriptures.

Show Notes: A Frequent and Personal Prayer Time

In one of Jesus’ journeys to the temple in Jerusalem he stood up in the midst of the people and he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink, and rivers of living water will flow from within him.” ( Jn. 7: 37 )

From the pierced heart of Jesus flows streams of living water. Knowing the Heart of Jesus and loving him is the same thing. A life of prayer is rooted in the heart of the One who keeps asking, “Do you love me?” If we do not love him we end up being strangers to our own and God’s heart. It is through prayer that our relationship with the One who first loved us grows and deepens. The goal of having a good personal prayer time is to learn to live a “ life of prayer.” This type of personal prayer is centered on, “the grace of the present moment.”

Prayer time in the midst of family business.

There are four siblings in my immediate family; three brothers and one sister. All three of us brothers have a great love and respect for our sister, Ruthann. Near the top of my list is the fact that she remained single and took excellent care of my father and mother until they passed away. My mother died at 84 and my father at 96; he needed extended and intensive long-standing care until he died. Recently on one my trips back to the family homestead, she told me that she was very grateful to me because after she had made a great conversion and renewal in the Holy Spirit I told her this. If you want to grow more quickly in holiness and prayer you need to build into your daily schedule a frequent or daily personal prayer time. She said I did what you suggested, and I will never regret it because it has proved to be so true for me.

“Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his home ( I will come into him!) and eat with him, and he will eat with me. To those who win the victory, I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, Just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne.” ( Rev. 3:20 ) This passage highlights intimate love, union, and sharing in the victory of the glorious eternal life. Knowing the methods of prayer is not enough to establish a rich prayer life, but the inner dynamics of a heart to heart relationship with the Lord is what is essential. Without a meaningful prayer life, dealing with the experience of the daily issues of our existence will often leave us quickly scattered,  or over-invested in intense and stressful ways.

What keeps you away from prayer time?

Is there anything keeping me from entering into a journey of frequent prayer and union with the Lord? If today the Lord is knocking on the door of my heart, is there anything keeping me from opening the door wide and inviting the Lord in? If I understand that the Lord has an abundant love for me, what could hold me back? Francis of Assisi exhorted his brothers, “pray always and do not lose heart! ( ER, C. XXII, n. 28-31 )

For all of us establishing a frequent or daily prayer time is hard work, and we can usually find many other things to do before we want to do that. We live in a society that thrives on being busy and provides many distractions for us. Also, some experience a real desire to pray often because of special grace they received in some spiritual program or experience; filled with a new found joy and desire they may neglect prayer and sort of lose interest, then their desire for prayer and growth in holiness gradually diminishes.  If we stick with our efforts to grow in prayer, our taste for prayer and personal holiness will gradually grow stronger. And the graces and favors of the Holy Spirit will noticeably increase.

The Practical Aspects of designing a Personal Prayer Time

May we look at the specific elements that can be useful in assisting us in designing a desired plan for a prayer time. It is important to do this in a way that best fits our vocation and life situation at the present time. Some individuals pace of life and schedule largely determines how they bring this time into their daily schedule.  Some people pray better in the morning when the day is just starting; others pray better when the day is drawing to a close. Each of us is different so we should choose the time that best suits us.

The setting for prayer time:

It is helpful to pick an environment that is conducive to prayer. There may be a chapel available that makes the situation peaceful for me. For those whose mission it is to raise families a nice basement family room where it is quiet and all the electronic devices are off, including the cell phone is desirable. I may want to keep a notebook handy where I can jot down key insights. If I do journaling it is probably not a good time to do it all the time. Sometimes journaling during prayer time can draw us away from the more important things the Lord may want to do with me doing my special time with him. Each individual should determine that for himself or herself.

Many find that secondary aids are used to get one started in prayer. The Church has always favored using the Word of God. The scriptures, the Gospel stories or the letters of St. Paul, are particularly useful because they are especially inspired by the Holy Spirit. A good devotional book or something from the life of a saint is also noteworthy. If I am musically gifted and can sing I can use my talents to begin praising. Beginning one’s prayer time with praising is helpful in opening my spirit to the movements of grace in my heart and mind. It also gets my mind off of myself and other distractions.

If I never had a frequent or daily prayer time before, it may be good to start it in a reasonable length of about 15 to 20 minutes. The focus of my prayer at the beginning should be on God and not on myself. I may start with praying and asking the Lord for the grace to have a blessed time of prayer. Then make a peaceful but conscious effort to empty my mind of distractive thoughts and considerations. After a short period of silent reflection, it is good to share with the Lord what is in your heart. During the main part of my prayer, I should be particularly attentive to what the Lord is showing me as I place myself in a listening mode. The Lord will “speak” to you and also the Holy Spirit may inspire you with light and insight about what you reflected on in your heart, those things he has brought to you in prayer. Choose what is most important to you, and make a choice to be influenced by the insights or lights in regard to action or choices which may have a particular bearing on certain aspects of my life. At times, if appropriate, I may seek the Lord about the events or issues of the current day. Towards the end of my prayer time, I may want to thank the Lord for the graces given to me in my prayer time and ask the Lord if there is anyone I should briefly pray for before I finish my time.

Some concluding reflections: My personal prayer time is my special opportunity to have a conversation, communication, and communion with the Lord. It should be a peaceful time for prayer. It is uniquely my time! Therefore, I need to trust in the Lord’s love for me. He really wants to and delights in being with me. The Lord will take the initiative to give me the graces I need to prayer well. The Lord will also lead me to lengthen my prayer time when it is time. The key thing is that during my time with the Lord, relax and let the Lord lead the way my prayer time unfolds.

Hormones & Essential Oils

Podcast #13Hormones & Essential Oils

Hormones & Essential Oils

I am so glad that you are here to learn about happy hormones because let’s be real, sometimes it feels like there’s a dragon roaring inside all of us, and we all can use a little support to tame that wild beast.

Thank goodness for all our oils and all the ways they can support healthy, happy, and balanced hormones!

And just a quick disclaimer—I am not medical professionals. I am not claiming that these oils can cure, heal, or treat any disease or condition. I always encourage you to run these things by your doctor when incorporating something new!

THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM.

Since we’re going to be talking hormones, let’s quickly talk about the endocrine system! The endocrine system is made up of a network of glands. These glands secrete hormones to regulate many bodily functions, including growth, metabolism, and tissue function, sexual reproduction, sleep, mood, etc. Endocrine diseases (over or under-functioning thyroid, adrenal fatigue, etc.) are common and usually occur when glands produce an incorrect amount of hormones.

We want to make sure that we have an endocrine system that is working well! So let’s support those hormones so that they are working well!

Check out some additional information on hormones and the endocrine system from Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton!

SIGNS OF UNHAPPY HORMONES.

Increased anxiety/depression/moodiness

Low energy

Fatigue

Difficulty sleeping/staying asleep

Excessive hunger

Low libido

Fertility issues

Difficulty gaining or losing weight

Brain fog

Acne

And more. So what can we do?

PROGESSENCE PLUS.

Progessence Plus features some of our most-loved essential oils, including Sacred Frankincense and Peppermint oil, to create a serum that perfectly pampers you. Formulated specifically for women, Young Living’s Progessence Plus is a great addition to your day or nighttime routine.

Primary Benefits:

+ Naturally encourages the body’s optimal balance

+ Absorbs more quickly than other natural progesterone supplements

+ Does not require cycling of the application use

Who should use Pro Plus:

+ Menstruating females over the age of 12

+ Pre- and postmenopausal women

+ Women seeking natural balance

+ Women looking for a calming sleep aid

Do not use in conjunction with contraceptives.

ENDOFLEX.

Application:

– Many apply daily over the thyroid area, kidneys, or feet.

– EndoFlex Vitality is often dropped under the tongue or taken in a capsule.

– Both applications can be diluted if needed.

– Often very beneficial for teens and kids who are developing hormonally.

– Ladies, pair with Progessence Plus for a dynamic duo! Guys, pair with Shutran!

LADY SCLAREOL.

Lady Sclareol is an oil blend created especially for women to enhance the feminine nature and provide a relaxing experience when diffused. This beautiful blend of oils brings love to the heart. It has a wonderful scent and should definitely be used as an alluring perfume!

Use it to energize and enhance your evening with your significant other. Wear some on your wrists or neck. This is a great oil to use to support a low libido that may be due to hormone imbalance.

CLARY SAGE.

It has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a great one to use to support and relieve any menstrual discomfort. Supports hormone balance, insomnia related to raging hormones, heavy menstruation, hot flashes, healthy skin, and is a great oil to diffuse when we are feeling those hormonal blues—combine it 1:1 in the diffuser with nutmeg and you won’t be disappointed!!

SCLARESSENCE.

SclarEssence contains a balanced blend of essential oils that align well with common women’s wellness practices.

This oil was specifically designed to support a healthy glandular system, and therefore a woman’s overall wellbeing. This blend is also great to use for emotional support related to hormones, and even as a natural romance enhancer.

FENNEL.

This sweet and spicy oil is great to use to support regular menstruation cycles. If you have an irregular cycle, consider adding this oil into your routine for added support. Use it topically over your abdomen or on your feet. Put a drop of Fennel Vitality in your water or under your tongue. Combine it with Endoflex for an even more dynamic duo!

GERANIUM.

Use this floral powerhouse for all the moody blues that come with unhappy hormones! Diffuse it, wear it as perfume! Geranium supports proper hormone balance and irregularities in menstrual cycles. It also helps with fluid retention that may happen at different times of the month. Use it when experiencing the weariness and moodiness that comes with being a female full of hormones.

DRAGON TIME.

This oil is the perfect choice for supporting normal, healthy emotions during the female monthly cycle. Diffuse it. Put it on your feet or right over your abdomen. Inhale it like your life depends on it. We’ve all seen that dragon roar, right?! Trust me, those around you (and you especially!) will thank you!

A HAPPY THYROID.

Having a happy thyroid just makes us happier people! Our thyroid is one of the major glands in our endocrine system and is extremely vital when it comes to producing happy hormones! When it isn’t working well, there may be increased anxiety and nervousness, hair loss, missed menstrual cycles, trouble sleeping, excess energy or no energy at all, dry skin, joint and muscle pain, and more!

Check out “Taming the Dragon Within” by LeAnne Deardeuff in it she says:

“The thyroid loves Myrtle oil. Myrtle oil is found in Endoflex but sometimes it may be necessary to use more Myrtle in addition to the Endoflex.”

So adding some Endoflex, Myrtle & Lemongrass and applying them topically right to the thyroid gland (right on the throat!)

Caution, some people can be irritated using lemongrass, so be careful in the sun, and use with a carrier oil!

Thyromin is a special blend of porcine glandular extracts, herbs, amino acids, minerals, and therapeutic-grade essential oils in a perfectly balanced formula that maximizes nutritional support for healthy thyroid function. The thyroid gland regulates body metabolism, energy, and body temperature.

LOVE ON YOUR ADRENALS.

First of all, our adrenals love healthy fats. Consider a supplement like Mindwise (healthy fats and brain support!) or OmegaGize (healthy fats and immune supporting essential oils!). Healthy fats help normalize our blood sugar levels, which therefore helps increase our metabolism while maintaining stable cortisol levels! Nothing is worse than a spike in cortisol when you don’t need it!!

A great way to support your adrenals is by using nutmeg, clove, and rosemary essential oils. Combining these three together into a roller bottle has been one of the best ways I’ve been able to support my adrenals! Apply it morning and night!

If you are one of those people who doesn’t just magically pop out of bed in the morning ready to run a marathon while simultaneously cleaning the house and feeding the kiddos-aka if you wake up and struggle to get out of bed in the morning a drop of En-R-Gee on the big toes will also help to kick-start your adrenals and produce that cortisol in your body to help you get going with the day!!

SOME QUICK TIPS

**For any sort of bloating or water retention, apply fennel right on the abdomen.

**For menstrual cramping, layer dragon time with copaiba right on the abdomen.

Consider taking a bath! Add some EOs to Epsom salts and relax your troubles away! Using lavender and stress away for the moody blues, or clary sage for some cramp relief!

HORMONES FOR MEN.

We’ve spent most of this class talking about female hormone health, but let’s not forget to mention our guys! We want them to have happy hormones too! So let’s talk about Shutran!

An empowering essential oil blend specially formulated for men to boost feelings of masculinity and confidence, Shutran is perfect for use as a cologne that appeals to both men and women.

Shutran is great for the men in our lives who are looking for a boost of energy and to naturally support their hormones. Plus it smells amazing and can be combined with Endoflex for an added boost!

 

I hope that you take at least one oily tidbit from this and would love to know one way you will start incorporating some of these into your daily regimen?

 

As always, be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Christian Life

Christian lifeWhat does it mean to live the Christian life? What does the Christian life look like? If you walk along a busy city street Christians are not easily identified. They look just like everyone else. Or do they? In this podcast, we explore what it means to be a Christian, what we have to “give up” to become a Christian and how the blessings overwhelming triumph any perceived restrictions.

In this three-part series we will discuss:

  1. What does this mean
  2. What does this do for us
  3. What does this mean for the rest of our life?

Thanks to our sponsors, Like Arrows – a wonderful movie on family life.

For a Christian life has meaning, it has a purpose and all that happens in life is not wasted. The first step is often some type of profession of faith in God. As I’ve discussed many times we can’t have faith, or love a God we don’t know. God is amazing and He reveals Himself to us. We can’t possibly know anything about God unless He shows us!

Think about that.

John 15:16

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Somewhere along the line, whether it was a faith passed down by our parents (for me I say thank-you mom and dad it is because of your faith, and love of God that I had a hunger in me at a very young age to know more about God.) For others who grew up without faith, it was a profession of faith, perhaps accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a church or with a friend. I did what I considered a re-acceptance of God with a college friend and prayed a salvation prayer with her. In essence I recanted past sins and asked the Lord into my heart in a deeper way, pledging fidelity to Him, and Him alone. Some people call it being “born again.” A personal relationship with God.

John 3:1-21

I believe that God calls us and we have the ability to answer the call with a yes – or a no. And that is in essence what we are called to do – as my pastor says, “Make the fundamental option.” It is fundamental in our walk with God it is fundamental in how we live our lives it is fundamental in everything we do.

We can do nothing without God. Just try it. We long for peace in our hearts and we long for a happy life but a life devoid of God even if you have all the material things of this world do not bring you happiness. We often look at what we don’t have instead of looking at what we do have. (Think about this, pray about this!)

God said we can do nothing without Him (John 15:16)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

This passage talks about bearing good fruit that will last – we can not do this apart from him.

John 15:5

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.

It doesn’t say – you can not do much, it says you can do nothing apart from me. Is this restrictive? Truly for those who believe it is very freeing – which I will discuss more in the next session on what Christianity DOES for us…

Friends, each day is new – each day lived as a Christian is an experience of walking not alone but with God alongside us—He will never leave us.

As a Christian spend time with Him each day, allow God to reveal Himself. We will never fully understand as we are limited with human intellect but we can and should allow the Lord to fill us each day with every good thing relying on Him and asking His help daily.

As my pastor often teaches us to pray – Lord, I love You as You Know Yourself to Be— not as I understand but as he reveal…

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I do pray to love you as You Know Yourself to Be – it is difficult to comprehend all that it means to be a Christian, and in my brokenness I am limited but I do not want to limit your providence and will in my life. Lord I profess you as Lord and Savior as the great, I AM – I ask that you come into my life in a deeper way, each day. I give you permission to reside in my heart, in my will, in my life. I thank you for calling me, and allowing me to bear good fruit that will last, and doing this with You. I never want to be apart from you Lord—please Be a part of my life. I pray for those in my life who are apart from you, those who have wounded me, and those I still need to forgive. I ask for the grace to be healed of any injustices or illness and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

The Grace Of The Present Moment Part II

the grace of the present moment

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The Grace of the Present Moment Part II

Podcast #3

The grace of the present moment part two is still about living in God’s grace. However, the first reflection on living in the Grace of the Present Moment or “hearing the voice of the Lord” was a little heavy.

Biblical teachings for living in grace:

What I attempted to communicate was the context of what this gift entails; the pastoral theological context for the purposes of understanding. In this second reflection, I would like to discuss some of the biblical principles that enable us to put our understanding into action as we live in the grace of the present moment.

In Marks, Gospel Jesus speaks about the parable of new wine being poured into new wine shins, “Likewise no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mk 2: 18-22)  Applying this scripture to represent the Bridegroom who is now present in a direct and personal way for the purposes of our personal transformation.

What does this transformation require?

And this transformation requires direct action by the Lord to bring about both the gift of the new wine of the Spirit and changes in the new wineskins. It is not just a matter of interior change by the new wine of the Spirit, but also a significant change in the personality and character of the person. The whole person has to change when coming into contact with the voice and action of the Lord. The whole person benefits; both spiritual growth and human maturity takes place. Holiness is wholeness! This is our focus when attempting to live in the grace of the present moment.

Living In The Grace of the Present Moment takes living in grace.

Viewing the issue of living in the grace of the present moment, may we reflect on three significant considerations of this reality. Within the context our growth in the grace of the present moment we can identify the following: 1) The wisdom of developing a daily or frequent personal prayer time; the building of a deep personal relationship with the Lord, 2) The challenge of learning how to do “spiritual warfare” against the negative forces of the world, the flesh and the devil, and 3) The need to develop an action plan in order to focus and maximize our spiritual growth and human maturity; the construction of a flexible spiritual growth plan.

1 Jn 2:16

“I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one. Do not love the world or the things of the world For if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust and enticement of the eyes, and a pretentious life is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 Jn 2:16). The meaning of the world in this negative sense is the power of the world under the influence and direction of the evil one.

God shows us his love as we are living in the grace of the present moment:

In Ephesians chapter six, St. Paul gives us the basic principle for doing spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh and the devil. “Finally draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything to hold your ground. So stand fast in faith with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” (Eph.6:10-17)

Our struggle is not with flesh and blood.

The Roman soldier, fully armed with his shield his breastplate and helmet, would have been a familiar image in the ancient world. The Ephesians are to prepare themselves to live the Christian life as the Roman soldiers prepared themselves for combat, but instead of armor and weapons, they are to use what God gives for our protection: truth, righteousness, faith, and salvation. Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, for Christians in every age have experienced persecution at the hands of other people.  But Paul insists that the enemies to fear are the forces of evil in the universe, forces which assail the Christian like an army of invaders. (commentary on Ephesians in the NAB}

The Church today is just getting around to looking seriously at the presence, operation, and benefits of the “spiritual gifts of the Spirit.” Charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly are used for the benefit of building up the Body of Christ. They are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and all members of the Church. (CCC 799) The spiritual gifts of discernment and the discernment of spirits are essential to determine what spirit is influencing us in and at the present moment of time.

“We belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one (the meaning of the term “world” in the negative sense). We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 5: 19-20); Charismatic gifts in  Corinthians, (1Cor 12:1-14: 25). In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays a beautiful prayer for believers, that we may have wisdom and revelation—gifts from the Holy Spirit—to understand more fully the hope of our own call and the greatness and glory of God. In Ephesians 4: 7-13 we see identified the spiritual gifts for an apostolic mission, witness, and service. Gifts given…” and he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ.

Are you engaged in spiritual growth and human maturity?

Each baptized Christian needs to be very proactive in engaging spiritual growth and human maturity; the new wine of the Spirit is poured into new wineskins, the attitudes, behaviors, and maturity of our human person, as we travel on our personal journey of our life. The fundamental choices and decisions primarily take place in the midst of the grace of the present moment! In order to support our growth in Christian holiness, it is essential to develop a daily or frequent personal prayer time. This is the context where we learn how to read the movements the evil one who may be trying to confuse us, or using our personal weaknesses and vulnerable areas of our lives to lead us into sin or other modes of darkness. Again Pope John Paul II reminds us that spiritual combat is a secret and interior struggle in which Christians engage daily temptations and opposition from the “spirit of the world”, our personal weaknesses, and the works of Satan.

Discernment is needed to exercise the spiritual gifts:

I present here a few simple tips using a good discernment or exercising the spiritual gift of the discernment of spirits. When you feel something going on psychologically where negative or compulsive dark thoughts are affecting your mind make prayer your first response. If we sense something taking place in our spiritual realm, where we are sort of out of sorts also turn to prayer and ask the Lord to give us insight and give us a picture to what is going on, and then wait patiently for positive inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Try to recall something positive which came to you in regard to your personal intimacy with the Lord, something based on liberating truth and not just on our personal feelings. Evil spirits just hate to be confronted with the truth, or praises of Scripture or turning to the Lord and praising him. A Christian has a spirit given gift or ability to distinguish between what is from our human nature, and what is from the Spirit of God, and what is from a demonic source or presence. Do not be afraid to use the anointing or gift that God has given you! Take authority in the name of Jesus over what you sense is coming from the dark side of things. Do not be surprised if “things” clear up and peace returns. Don’t forget to be thankful for the freedom you receive, this pleases the Lord.

God acts on our behalf and we can simply pray, using spiritual warfare:

In the Name of Jesus, I bind this negativity (or whatever is plaguing you) and command it to leave. Continue to praise the Lord and ask Him to fill you with His love, His peace, and His joy.

 

 

 

 

 

God Keeps His Promises

God Keeps His PromisesGod Keeps His Promises

Episode 37

The small plaque hanging on my wall has a picture of Noah’s ark and the words, “God keeps his promises.” That is such a powerful reminder to me since Easter Sunday just passed. God’s promises are not like ours. How many times have you promised a friend, a child or even your spouse to do something and were unable to fulfill the promise? In fact, this is why I hesitate to make promises because I don’t want to let those I love down!

The worse thing is a child who reminds you of those hurtful words, “But, you promised!” God’s

God’s promises are true.

God’s promises are everlasting.

God keeps His promises:

Show Notes:

Genesis 24:7

“The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.

Genesis 28:15

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

God keeps His promises!

God Keeps His PromisesOur relationship with God is sometimes one-sided. It is based on what God can do for us. What is in it for me? I want this Lord, give me that Lord. We are like children, in fact, we are children His children. However, we don’t have to be petulant like a pouty or spoiled child! We must realize that God is steadfast and unchanging. We are the only ones who can change and hopefully for the better.

God calls us into service like He did the apostles. He asks us to be His hands and feet to others. He wants to bless us and provide for us in abundance. Not necessarily with money but definitely with His grace.

Deuteronomy 1:11

May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!

The Lord’s promises are vast –
He promised safety to Noah and his family, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the promised land. He promised deliverance to Moses, He promised a land of milk and honey to the people Moses brought out of Egypt.

Exodus 33:1

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’

When the people of Egypt rebelled against God in the desert turning back to the worship of their idols, God did not hesitate to punish them.

Numbers 14:23

…not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.

Our God is a just and righteous God. He is merciful but He will not be mocked. We serve an almighty God and I don’t want to turn my back on Him or let Him down in any way.

  1. Spend a few minutes in prayer with God each day.
  2. Read the Bible.
  3. Write in your journal.
  4. Follow the 10 commandments
  5. Listen to worship music

We can balance the busy lifestyle we lead with time for God and He will more than abundantly provide for us in amazing ways! Each day try to follow the five steps above and your day will be much improved. Look for the promises of God in your life each day, and rejoice! God keeps His promises, He really does!

Dear Lord, I thank you for each day you give us, each day is truly a gift we can not comprehend or appreciate. Each day you fulfill your promise to us by offering your life, death, and resurrection to open the gates of heaven. You have given to us freely and I give you my life, my will and my hope that someday I will be with you in heaven. Lord, I pray for those listening to this podcast that you bless them and bring them to a closer walk with you, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

*Scripture verses from BibleGateway.com

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More about Emotions

More about EmotionsPodcast #12

More about Emotions

Some of the most popular questions we get asked regarding oils are how to use them to help manage emotions. Let’s start by exploring the science behind oils and emotions. I want you to be in charge of your emotions and actually, use them for good! Your emotions don’t have to control you. Get ready to release some negative emotions!!!

THE SCIENCE

We’re going to start with some basic science. This is only the tip of the iceberg but when we heard this info for the first time it blew our minds. It sheds so much light on how our emotions affect us and how oils can help.
A New York University study found the only way to release fear from the amygdala (part of the limbic system) is through smell.

Essential oil compounds can actually work to repair and reprogram cellular memory!

THE HOW

Focus on your emotion and your “why.” What situation, what event, what people- what is the “why”?
Then begin to let go of the negative emotion and start focusing on the opposite side of that emotion, or how you want to feel about the situation or memory.
If you are working through a deep-seated memory, this process will take time.

Now that you understand the root of your emotions, apply your oil and inhale it deeply. Begin to shift your focus to the positive. Focus on connecting and building memories and on releasing the expectations you’ve put on yourself.
Remember, everyone’s body and emotional responses are different. So try a few different oils to see which ones resonate best with you!

 

For more in-depth information, I recommend the book, Releasing Emotional Patterns With Essential Oils.

GUT HEALTH

You might think that it’s strange to talk about your digestive system in this class. But the truth is, your gut and your brain are tightly connected and they communicate back and forth all day long! It is important for you to drink water, eat whole food and get a good probiotic like Life 9.

HORMONE BALANCING

When our hormones are not supported out emotions are affected. Progessence Plus and Shutran are wonderful for supporting our hormones.

Progessence Plus(only for women)
Apply 2-4 drops on the wrists or neck daily.
Shutran(for men & women)
Apply 2-4 drops on heart, wrists or feet.
 

NORTHERN LIGHTS BLACK SPRUCE

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Nervousness and hyperactivity
Lethargy and melancholy
Helps promote Feelings Of:
Harmony and goodwill
Relaxation and restoration
Ways To Use:
Add a drop or two to a hot bath.
Add a drop or two to your chosen carrier oil for massage.
Diffuse during prayer time, yoga, and meditation.
 

WHITE ANGELICA

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Greed
Loneliness
Rejection
Shame
Weakness

Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Protection
Strength
Comfort
Wholeness

Ways To Use:
Diffuse throughout the day.
Wear on wrists and chest.

FRANKINCENSE

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Depression
Anxiety
Melancholy
Dwelling on the past
Worthlessness
Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Freedom
Focus
Calm
Support
Ways To Use:
Apply to the forehead, temples, and back of the neck before relaxing.
Diffuse during prayer, meditation, and yoga.

JOY

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Anxiety
Disappointment
Grief and sorrow
Judgment
Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Love (both for self and others)
Balance
Confidence
Ways To Use:
Wear on wrists, the edge of ears, neck or chest. (Possible sun sensitivity).

GROUNDING

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Chaos
Feeling frozen or stuck
Overwhelming
Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Relaxation
Focus
Balance
Clarity
Ways To Use:
Diffuse throughout the day.
Apply to the back of neck or temples.

RELEASE

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Anger
Frustration
Being held back
Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Cleansing
Freedom
Harmony
Ways To Use:
Diffuse throughout the day.
Apply topically to wrists, the edge of ears and feet.

SARA

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Fear
Unmet expectations
Stress
Weight control

Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Freedom
Positivity
Release

Ways To Use:
Apply topically to wrists, ears, neck, and feet. (Possible sun sensitivity).
Add a few drops to a warm bath.

ORANGE

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Anxiety
Tension
Frustration
Insomnia

Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Happiness
Calmness

Ways To Use:
Great to add to diffuser combos.
Add a few drops to a tissue and inhale directly.
Add a drop to your water for a citrus twist.
*Possible sun sensitivity

VALOR and VALOR II

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Fear
Self-doubt – “I’m not good enough”
Defensiveness
Aggression
Persecution

Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Courage
Confidence
Self-esteem and empowerment

Ways To Use:
Apply to chest, neck, and shoulders.
Diffuse throughout the day.
Add a drop or two to your chosen carrier oil for massage.

BERGAMOT

Helps Release Feelings Of:
Depression and fatigue.
Stress and anxiety.
Nervous tension.
Helps Promote Feelings Of:
Sedation and relaxation.
Joy
Freshness
Energy
Ways To Use:
Place a few drops on a washcloth and place it over your chest while taking a hot shower.
Massage over the abdomen
Diffuse in the mornings for an energetic start or simply put a drop in your hands, cup over nose and mouth, and breathe slowly.
I hope that you have learned about at least one new way to use essential oils to support healthy emotions and if you are looking for a wonderful protocol check out the Feelings Kit from Young Living!

As always,

Be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Living in the Grace of The Present Moment

living in the grace of the present moment

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.

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Living in the Grace of the Present Moment  ~ Episode 2

Do you live in the past? Or are you living in the grace of the present moment? In this episode, Father Tickerhoof takes on this topic head on and explores what it means and how we as Christians can change our look at the past and live a new life in Christ. He explains how to listen to the voice of the Lord, personally, literally and clearly.

Show Notes: Living in the grace of the present moment

Last year I was living in St. Petersburg and assisting the chaplain core at Bay Front Trauma Hospital. The Catholic chaplain on the core shared a talk she gave to graduating physician assistants. She spoke with them about how important it was to live in the present. In the process of her speech, she said something to this effect. If you live your life in the past you will never be able to live fully in the present, and if you live your life primary in the future you will not be able to fully live in the present. She apparently suggested to them that they should try to live fully in the present. Of course, we need to receive wisdom about the past and we need to reasonably to plan for the future.

She encouraged them to live a balanced life fully in the present and give special attention to live in the grace of the present moment. I am sure that at some time we have met individuals who are always looking to the past, proclaiming how good it was in the past, usually preoccupied about their life, events, and experiences of the past Sometimes a fearful rigidity can emerge that betrays a great deal of insecurity. Then on the other side of things, we can run into individuals who are always saying what they are going to achieve in the future. We may be a little uneasy with their preoccupation about the future because we sense a dissociation from living in the present, and have an awareness that many of the things they may be planning and thinking about in the future surprisingly may not really happen.

We want to please the Lord in all things!

The grace which the Lord gives to us to respond to him and live our life primarily comes to us in the present moment. A good reason for this is that God gives us the power and ability to respond to him and to the responsibilities of life exclusively in the general context of the present moment. This is naturally and supernaturally the way he created us as human beings. Love as the hallmark of life reveals itself in the human activity of the present moment. We can communicate about the past and the future but we actually live engaged in the present moment. Therefore, if God gives the abundance of his grace in the present ambient of our lives then we want to be very attentive to that reality, in view of the fact that God’s will for my life is revealed in that context. One of the main goals for personal salvation is the knowledge of God’s will in all things, and generously and gratefully living that out to the best of our ability. Surely we want to try and please the Lord in all things.

Living in the grace of the present moment means listening for the voice of the Lord.

In view of the above reflection may we look more closely at the notion of listening to and hearing the “voice of the Lord.” What does it mean to listen to the voice of the Lord? God speaks to us all the time through Sacred Scripture, liturgy, people, circumstances, events and in other ways. Some would say when you do all the things that Catholics do and follow all the teachings of the Church then you will know what the voice of God is all about. These things do communicate God voice to us; however, there is much more to personally and literally hearing God’s voice in our daily lives.

I am aware of the cautions which St. John of the Cross and Ruth Borrows, a Carmelite sister, present in their writings in regard to special spiritual favors and the practice of the spiritual gifts. When situations involve immaturity, superficiality, or initial spiritual experience, individually or culturally, there can be a problem. However, this does not justify “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” The real question is if you do not know how to listen to the Lord, to hear the word of the Lord and discern it, or the voice of God, why not? There is nothing to be ashamed of, but many well-intentioned and serious Christians do not know how to listen to the Lord. It is very clear that it is God’s merciful intention to intimately speak to every baptized disciple of Christ. It is important to know how to maturely hear and listen to the “voice of the Lord.” What I mean is God speaking to us personally literally and clearly.

Are you living in the grace of the present moment?

“To hear the voice of the Lord” is a natural and supernatural experience, which is important to appreciate and understand for the sake of personal holiness and other reasons as well such as, good discernment, good communication with others, a fruitful prayer time, to know and experience his personal love, to know his will, to receive guidance and direction etc. So then how should we personally try to grasp this notion, especially in our personal lives, pastoral ministry, and Christian service?

The context within which we grow and mature in the practice of listening to the Lord is reading the revealed Word of God and the inspired teaching of the Church. The dynamics of knowing how to listen to the Lord’s word need to be practically taught to individuals; a seminar is needed on the podcast. For example, the practical elements of learning how to follow inspirations from the Lord in our minds and know how to receive “his word” in our heart. We have been naturally created by God to learn how to do this. We have been gifted by our Baptism in water. We can easily learn how to identify the presence and movements of God in our souls. Know the awareness of the presence and grace in our interior life. God is Spirit and Jesus the Glorified Lord, relates to us in our spirit through his active presence, and through the insights, inspirations, and power of the Holy Spirit. This experience of grace in us is humanly intelligible, though a mystery it may be. What a joy it is to understand that we can practically know the Lord and his active presence in our hearts, our lives, and in our relationships, and thus experience communication with the Lord.

living in the grace of the present momentThe great news is that the Lord created us with exterior and interior receptors to be able to receive and understand the movements of the Holy Spirit in our communication with the Divine. For example, if we are walking down the street by ourselves we should not be surprised to realize we are talking to ourselves about many things. This is the same interior faculty in which the Holy Spirit is able to infuse or form words in by the action or work of the Spirit when we give prayerful attention to this reality. The saints experienced this reality frequently and the Church identifies this mode of communication as “locutions.” It is important to know what are the Lord’s methods of communication. We can also receive direct revelation in our understanding as well as in many aspects of communication by the Lord through various forms of inspiration, including the circumstances of life, and yes sometimes even in our dreams.

Of course, any communication from the Lord needs to be tested and discerned, St. John tells us to test every spirit…”

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, 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.

It is not easy to become good at discerning the word of the Lord. We need to relax and be patient with ourselves and realize that it is okay to make mistakes. A good to sense of humor goes a long way. We always need to ask ourselves the question: is what I believe to be the word of the Lord coming from the Lord, my unredeemed part of me, or from a deception by Satan. The devil is good at mimicking the various communication gifts of the Spirit. St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that Satan presents himself as an “angel of light”. It takes a great deal of humility and practice to mature in hearing the word of the Lord and knowing when and how to act on it in a manner that is pleasing to God. The divine/human interplay in grace through the spiritual activity of conversation, communication, and communion with the Lord is what we mean by hearing the word of the Lord and listening to it as he speaks to us, giving us various forms of guidance and direction in a given situation.

The obvious question would be how do we make this happen?  Is there some button we may push? In an attempt to make a response to this question I will only mention briefly a few things about this wonderful possibility. The first and probably the most fundamental point is that the Lord in his great love and mercy for us created us naturally for interaction and communication with Him. An involved and mature communication with God in our life and ministry presupposes that we walk closely with him in all the moments of our daily life, especially in our prayer time. Praying always is one way of expressing this reality. Mary is identified in spiritual writings as the attentive Virgin who is always open and receptive to divine communication. Depending on the situation sometimes the Lord takes the initiative and sometimes we are able to do that. The door to this relationship is a life of prayer. This process is enhanced by an active life in the Holy Spirit, and a practical ability to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit which pertain to what is going on in a given moment or situation, particularly in personal prayer or the context of a ministry situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Mercy

God's MercyGod’s Mercy IS Everlasting

Episode 36

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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

 

 

Essential Oils & Emotions

 

Podcast #11

Essential Oils & Emotions

Essential oils and Emotions

How can oils benefit our emotions?

Essential oils can penetrate cell membranes and cross the brain-blood barrier within SECONDS. This allows them to reach the emotional center of our brain, this is where all of our emotions are stored. Essential oils support the body to come back into balance without harmful side effects or chemical based products. They can have a powerful influence over how we think, how we feel and how we behave. Because of oils bringing balance to emotions, we can do that simply by smelling them, through scents.

The smells of nature leave me feeling uplifted and energized, even just taking a quick walk and getting a breath of fresh air. And nature is essentially what oils ARE so we are going to harness those feelings!

Where to start supporting your emotions with oils?

Let’s start with some of the basic oils. Each oil is incredibly versatile.

COPAIBA:

I add this to body butter or shaving cream!

+ Sweet, warm honey-like scent

+ Often used to improve moods

+ May help relax muscles

+ May help nervous irritability

+ May help on days you feel like you have the blues

+ May promote feelings of contentment and peace

 

DIGIZE:

At first thought, an oil blend designed for digestive discomfort may not come to mind when talking about oils and emotions. But for those who’s emotional stress plays a big part in stomach discomfort this would be a great oil for you to look into!

+ Includes oils such as Juniper which may help bring balance to emotions and the impact of stress of your digestive functions.

 

FRANKINCENSE: I could pretty much talk to you all day about my love for this oil. I use it daily.

+ Grounding

+ May to be supportive of feelings of fear, loneliness, insecure, etc

+ May be calming and relaxing

 

LAVENDER:

I can’t think of hardly anything I DON’T use lavender for!

+ May promote restful night sleep

+ Calming

+ Safe with little ones

+ May support those wanting to combat irritability and frustration

 

LEMON:

Studies have shown that just inhaling lemon essential oil can help with feelings of sadness. I love diffusing this in the morning and adding a drop to my water.

+ May help with clarity of thought

+ May be uplifting

+ May help with focus and concentration

 

PANAWAY:

Another essential oil you don’t think of right away when you’re thinking about emotions but it definitely has more uses than just helping soothe tired and sore muscles!

+ Cool and invigorating smell

+ May promote feelings of energy

+ Place one drop in hands and rub together and inhale!

+ May be uplifting to body and mind

+ May promote feelings of vibrance and ability to letting things go

 

PEPPERMINT:

It has so many uses. I love this oil to help wake me up in the morning and feeling alert!

+ Invigorating smell

+ Smells crisp and clean and cool

+ If you are experiencing emotional stress in your digestive system (ex: knots in your stomach) this would be a good oil to check out

+ May promote clarity and concentration

+ May promote energy

+ May be helpful for combatting stress

 

CITRUS FRESH:

This is one of our favorites in our home for using with laundry and diffusing to help cleanse the air but it also may have uses to help with our emotions!

+ Contains orange, lemon, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit which may be helpful in promoting feelings of happiness

+ May promote relaxation

+ May help with lessening feelings of anger

 

RAVEN:

+ May be uplifting

+ May be energizing

+ Supports lymphatic system

+ May be helpful in feeling rejuvenated

 

STRESS AWAY:

One of my very favorite oils ever! I could sing love songs to it all day long.

+ Lime and vanilla two key ingredients

+ May be helpful in combatting emotional stress

+ May be helpful in combating nervousness

+ May help promote relaxation

+ May promote calming feelings

+ Would recommend adding your roller top to this bottle and roll it on the back of your neck!

 

THIEVES:

It has so many uses for helping to boost our immune system but may also help with our emotions as well!

+ May promote relaxation

+ Smells like Christmastime!

+ May promote feelings of clarity and focus

+ May help with feelings of uncertainty

 

When dealing with hormones and emotions some great ones to grab for are: Endoflex, Progessense Plus & Dragon Time

 

Wonderful diffuser combos for emotions are:

Joy + Tangerine.

Stress Away + Citrus Fresh.

White Angelica.

Release + Purification + Joy.

Frank + Lemon + Stress Away.

 

Every one of us is different:

Definitely try various combos topically and diffused consistently as you seek out the best support for YOU!!!!

Remember that being consistent daily is a HUGE KEY to these beautiful oils.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to join in and listen!! I hope that this little introduction to essential oils and our emotions was helpful to each of you!

For those of you who joined in tonight but have yet to take the leap into getting a starter kit- now is the time! Joining Young Living is hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made for our families wellness journey.

As always be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

God’s Love For His People

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.

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God's Love For His PeopleGod’s Love for His People

Episode 1

God’s love for His people will astound and bless you — in the scriptures, He says, “Beloved let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God is revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love. Not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” (1 Jn. 4: 7-12)

“… who remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (v. 16)

We are called into a  love relationship with God in Jesus Christ through the power and life of the Holy Spirit. We live a covenant relationship in Jesus Christ in the New Creation. Those committed to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ live in a relationship with him in the Father and the Holy Spirit.

We have been created for God

We have been created to naturally live this life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and come to completion or perfection as a human being in the dynamic of this triune relationship of love. In the book of Revelation Jesus says “Behold I make all things new”! Jesus is the source of the New Creation

By love, we become a new creation, a new man or woman in Christ. Jesus invites us into the New Covenant of Love through our Baptism in water

(The story of Dianne) — listen to the podcast for more.

God’s love for His people is unending!

The only way we can grow in love is by the power of God’s love Therefore we are called into a relationship where we are willing to embrace a process and journey of changing. Sometimes change is easy sometimes it is hard, “unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it remains just a seed, but if it dies it bears much fruit.” (Jn. 12) The story of Jimmy Cohen – a little book entitled Love of God by Charles Colson,  in a chapter entitled “Whatever Happened to Son.”

If God is love and lives in us, we need to love others. The basic call of our vocation is love. A successful and meaningful life is a life of love: giving our life away, giving our love away, and giving our death away! Our transformation and growth in divine love and human love brings spiritual happiness and also human maturity.  (The story of Alex Bombara)

Love is a gift from God, both divine and human love, a fruitful life. A fruitful life lived in the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit brings forth in our transformation generosity and gratitude. In humility we need to be patient, learn to appreciate and accept ourselves as we are, and trust in God’s merciful love to achieve all He has planned for us.

Evangelizing Catholic Culture

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Join Father David weekly as he presents inspiring podcasts …

Podcasts that are sure to touch your heart! Father is a retired priest living at Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Evangelization in Pittsburg.

The teachings in these podcasts are the thoughts and prayers of Father David. To contact Father David please reach out at frdavidjt (at) gmail.com to arrange for a talk in your area.

Father David is currently working on his book, “Evangelizing Catholic Culture,” due out late summer of 2018!

He has Risen! Happy Easter!

He has Risen!

Happy Easter!

John 20:1-18

As always be grateful & have faith~ God Bless!


He has Risen!

Jesus Rose From The Dead

Jesus rose from the deadJesus Rose From The Dead

Episode35

Jesus rose from the dead! Why is it that people still don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God and rose from the dead? As CS Lewis said, “Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.” Which is it? In this podcast we explore what over two thousand years of history say about this amazing occurrence.

John 20: 29

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. 

Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

Thanks to our sponsor, LD Entertainment and our featured movie The Miracle Season, if you have a chance to catch this in theatres please do, I highly recommend it! Also, on DVD when it comes out later this year.

What a mess our world is in when we still have people who claim that Jesus did not do what he said he would.

John 2:18-20 

“The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

Jesus was referring to Himself – that he would die and on the third day rise again from the dead. And, if this was not true why does the Bible depict so many who saw him afterward and who later died for him?

Even if you don’t believe the Bible the fact that there are so many Christian followers still today over two thousand years after He lived and died shows us that it happened. Today, all over the world there are martyrs for Christianity. No one will give up their lives for an illusion. Obviously, God does what He says.

Faith is based on things that are believed and unseen.

I have a link to a website that has a spread chart with the scripture references as well as the people who were eyewitnesses – http://factsandfaith.com/the-witnesses-who-and-how-many-people-saw-jesus-alive-after-his-crucifixion/

One of the most read scripture is Matthew 28:1-10 – the two women who saw Jesus on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the “other Mary” thought to be the mother of James. They then went back and reported it to the disciples. Jesus appeared to the disciples, he appeared to the two men on the road to Emmaus, and on and on.

Some say it is made up or hallucination, but all those people? Remember Thomas, he didn’t believe and said he wouldn’t until he had touched his wounds.

Faith is a funny thing, for some, it is a given and for others, it is a hard pill to swallow.

Why does this matter? Because showing that Jesus did not raise from the dead, the entire premise of the Christian faith – that Jesus died for us, for our sins so that we could be justified by His grace and unfathomable mercy!

People need Christianity to go away so that they can feel free to do what they want. Well, news alert! Christianity isn’t going anywhere. Believers are here to stay, and not the lukewarm ones, you know the people that go to church and cut you off in the parking lot – I’m talking about the ones who pray in church, the daily communicants all over the world, those who join prayer chains outside of abortion clinics, those who volunteer in homeless shelters those who put their faith in action.

Since I’m Catholic I’ll address those of my own faith, the Christmas or Easter Catholics, those who for some reason feel the need to go to church on those two days and yet abandon their faith the entire time in between. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy you are there, but I spend my time on those days praying for all of you and that you will come back.

Faith is more than attending church – although we should. It is more than saying your prayers, and we should do that as well. Faith is an actionable term. Would you die for Christ? Would you die if your life was threatened and in order to save it you had to abandon your faith?

I love the movie God’s Not Dead – the first one where a young man’s faith is challenged by an atheistic professor. He loses the support of his girlfriend, his family and yet is conflicted that God is not dead, He is very much alive and He should stand up for his beliefs in a way that challenges modern-day convention.

That, in a nutshell, is the world in which we live. A world that tells us that Jesus did not raise from the dead. A world that points fingers at Christian’s and accuses them of mental unbalance if they hear God – how does this happen?
It happens because we are silent. Well, I’m silent no more, and I pray that all of you rise to the challenge as God asks you to – maybe it is to one person in line at the grocery store who notices the cross around your neck. Maybe you are like my son who doesn’t like to talk about his faith but does the sign of the cross on his forehead before he goes up to bat, even though most of the people in the stands are unbelievers or various denominations of Christian. Whatever that is, however you are called I ask that you stand up for Christ.

He lived.

He died.

He was buried.

He rose on the third day.

I believe it.

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for your life, death, and resurrection. I thank you for taking on the burden of my sins. I thank you for coming for the salvation of all mankind. I say yes to you Lord, I say yes in the belief that you died and rose and are here with me now. I pray for those listening to this broadcast that you infill all of us with the power of your mercy and your holy spirit so that we may spread the good news and live lives according to your most perfect will. Amen.

The Last Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth – Part II

The Last Supper - The Mass as Heaven on Earth - Part 2God had a loving plan for us, to bring us back into communion with Him. He gave His Son for us, who, through obedience fulfilled His Father’s plan. The result of God’s Love and Jesus’ Obedience burst forth on the Cross, in the Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian relationship allows us to participate spiritually and physically, renewing this covenant, each day, every day, in the Holy Mass, the greatest act of worship the world has ever known!
 
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
–Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

Welcome to Authentic Faith and Live with Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan!  Sue Ellen grew up the youngest in a large non-Catholic family and always wanted to be a guidance counselor. Today her life mission is guiding people towards the healing Truth and Love of God.

A convert, Sue Ellen was challenged to find God in the Catholic Church, and discovered the wealth and depth of Catholic Theology and the Tradition of the faith that led to formal study; and a lifelong commissioning in a healing ministry. Through a series of mystical events she was lead through key points in her life to a life of service for God, and to “be about the business of the Church.”   The Identity Series, a cap-stone of her work is drawn from her dissertation based on our Christian Anthropology, from the writings of St. John Paul II, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Teresa Benedicta.

Dr. Nolan has many years of experience teaching in Adult Faith Formation through workshops, retreats, and lectures. Additionally, she has a background of working with adult survivors of abuse, Adult Children of Alcoholics, codependency issues, and a ministry with the divorced and separated.  Sue Ellen is the Coordinator of Adult faith Formation at Our Lady of Light Catholic Community and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology-with a counseling Minor; A Bachelor of Science in Human Services-and an Addiction Minor; Masters in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University; and a Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling.

Click Here to Visit Her Website, Authentic Faith and Life!

The Last Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth – Part I

The Last Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth  - Part 1 with Authentic Faith and LifeWe can participate in Heaven on earth!  The Hebrew people believed God became present to them in the Passover celebration-the memorial meal. We have God’s same presence with us as He renews His covenantal relationship with His people, on the altar, in the Mass!
 
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33

Welcome to Authentic Faith and Live with Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan!  Sue Ellen grew up the youngest in a large non-Catholic family and always wanted to be a guidance counselor. Today her life mission is guiding people towards the healing Truth and Love of God.

A convert, Sue Ellen was challenged to find God in the Catholic Church, and discovered the wealth and depth of Catholic Theology and the Tradition of the faith that led to formal study; and a lifelong commissioning in a healing ministry. Through a series of mystical events she was lead through key points in her life to a life of service for God, and to “be about the business of the Church.”   The Identity Series, a cap-stone of her work is drawn from her dissertation based on our Christian Anthropology, from the writings of St. John Paul II, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Teresa Benedicta.

Dr. Nolan has many years of experience teaching in Adult Faith Formation through workshops, retreats, and lectures. Additionally, she has a background of working with adult survivors of abuse, Adult Children of Alcoholics, codependency issues, and a ministry with the divorced and separated.  Sue Ellen is the Coordinator of Adult faith Formation at Our Lady of Light Catholic Community and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology-with a counseling Minor; A Bachelor of Science in Human Services-and an Addiction Minor; Masters in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University; and a Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling.

Click Here to Visit Her Website, Authentic Faith and Life!

 

Chemical Free Home

Chemical Free HomeSimple Blessings & Oils

Podcast #9

Chemical Free Home

We know this is a very popular topic because we ALL want to know how to clean our homes without exposing ourselves and our sweet babies to all the toxic things in the world! So let’s start with why we should avoid toxic chemicals, what chemicals we want to avoid, and what we use instead!

Chemical Dangers….The Why!

The Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 grandfathered in an estimated 65,000-100,000 chemicals currently on the market today. What does that mean to you? Simply put: these chemicals have not had any safety testing and we know very little information about their effects. Of the chemicals tested, toxic labeling is required only if 50% or more of the animals tested with a chemical die. Scary!

Chemicals to Avoid:

There are so many chemicals in our everyday products that are harmful to our health and bodies without us even knowing. What I want to do is EMPOWER our people and EDUCATED everyone on what to avoid and how to avoid it.

Here are just a few to be aware of:

+Fragrance:

Short-term toxicity can include coughing, skin irritation, rash, wheezing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and irritability. Long-term toxicity can include cancer, lung disease, heart disease and reproductive disorders. Found in: scented candles, perfumes, lotions, and many more just start looking at labels and you will be surprised.

+Triclosan:

Used in many formulations as an antibacterial agent to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination but has been banned in hand soaps in some areas. Sadly it is still found in many other products like soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, shave gel, first aid spray, kitchenware and children’s toys.

+Phthalates:

A low-cost endocrine-disrupting chemical that in lab studies has shown to interfere with hormone production in rats and mimic estrogen in human studies. Found in: plastic food packaging, lotions, skin moisturizers, fragrance, cleaners, glues and nail polish.

+Formaldehyde:

This is a known carcinogen and recognized as such by the Cancer Institute. Exposure can cause eye irritation, asthmatic response, skin irritation, headaches, and nausea. Long-term effects include cancer and possibly leukemia. To make things even more alarming, this isn’t an easy ingredient to find. The ingredients are often listed as it’s fragmented name. Found in: baby shampoo, pet shampoo, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, sunblocks, cosmetics, baby wipes, toothpaste, and more.

So with even just this short list, what do we use now!

I personally have slowly transitioned over the years to more and natural products as I have learned about the dangers of conventional products. I tend to love DIY recipes but the majority of the ones that I will make all are based on cleaning! Why?

1/Because they’re easy

2/Because they’re cheap….like really cheap!

3/Because they’re not dangerous to me or my family.

And that is reason enough for me!

If you took away ONE thing, I hope it’s this one! I use 6 main ingredients to clean my entire house!!! I like to boil down most recipes and use the bare minimum.

So here’s the low down on what you need:

1/Thieves Home Cleaner

2/Water

3/Baking Soda

4/Vinegar

5/Castile Soap

6/ Essential Oils

The Thieves Home Cleaner:

It is formulated with the power of Young Living’s Thieves oil blend, you can get a deep clean without dangerous or synthetic ingredients. Thieves cleaner also includes the scent of Lemon essential oil for an even more uplifting aroma. This all-purpose cleaner can be used on any surface in your home for dusting, spot cleaning, scrubbing, or any other cleaning need. Wherever you use it, you’ll feel good knowing it’s safe to use around everyone in your family, including pets.

+All Purpose: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 2–3 cups water.

+Degreaser: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 1-2 cups water.

+Glass and Mirror Cleaner: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner, 5 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 3 cups water.

Who else has a love affair with the Thieves Cleaner?

Sink and Tile Scrub Recipe:

This recipe WORKS!!!! If you are new to DIYs, then you can always stick with just two ingredients, the Thieves Cleaner and the Baking Soda!! Mix in a bowl and use throughout your whole house on grimy surfaces! Use this mixture on: tubs with tough grime, toilet, sinks, & tile. Who else has tried a million natural cleaners for the bathtub with no success? Who will be trying this one soon? I will post it on the blog!

Bathroom Spray:

A fragrance is what I always want for the bathroom! I only want to smell daisies and roses and a clean tub!! Whip up this recipe to keep on the back of the toilet for your own bathroom of the guest bath!! Not only will it smell amazing but you won’t be breathing in toxic chemicals!

Foaming Hand Soap:

This is the first DIY recipe I ever made! Why? Because it was cheap! 🙂 AND I ordered every ingredient outside of the oils from Amazon! If you want a quick Hand Soap without the DIY, you can always grab the Thieves or Lavender soap ready to go in a pump in your next order! Young Living even has a large hand soap refill container. Create your own oil combination of essential oils for your hand soap- we like Thieves oil with some orange the best!

What else should can we do?

As far as cutting other chemicals out, look everywhere but some other easy DIY’s to start are things like wood polish, dishwasher soap, mattress cleaner. We can also replace things like dish soaps, fruit and veggie wash, laundry soap and more. Speaking of laundry lets not forget dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are one of the top toxins in our home and they are really simple to replace. There are DIY fabric softeners or my favorite, dryer balls! Now, all we use in our home is dryer balls and a few drops of essential oils! Order a pack of balls on Amazon, Etsy, or find it at your local natural grocer and add your favorite combo of oils!

Today I want to challenge you to start with one chemical in your home and find a way to replace it with something better. Take small steps to a healthier home, a chemical free home.

Will it be your hand soap? Your all-purpose cleaner? What will it be?

As always, be grateful & have faith!

 

Love of God

love of GodLove of God

Episode #34

What is the love of God? There are many attributes given to God, but one of the most common is God is love.  How does that translate to us, and how can we embrace God’s love in the everyday? If God is love, why do I hurt so much? In this podcast, we explore the scriptures that discuss God’s love and ways to be open to the love of God in our daily lives.

Thanks to our Sponsor! The Movie – The Miracle Season

Show Notes: Love of God

Love is one of those words that is overused. I love coffee, I love chocolate, I love you. It has become diminished by books, movies, and television shows. People say it without meaning it. Love is difficult in the human sense, it is messy it is sometimes not returned and it hurts when those we love the most don’t return the love we have for them.

There are different types of love and for the purpose of this podcast, we will concentrate on Agape love – the one discussed in the New Testament and the one attributed to God’s love.

Love is the greatest attribute we can give to God, and why shouldn’t we the scriptures proclaim that he is love, 1 John: 4-8 – “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…”

Love is fundamental to all human beings it is the one thing we crave, to love and be loved but also the one thing we so abuse in our brokenness. I remember a friend telling me that when she heard God described as a loving Father she could not relate because her father never told her he loved her. We use words to describe God – his attributes, but we are limited by our language in describing the supernatural. God is the creator. His love is amazing and if we can take a moment to discover, to meditate and to be still before the Lord, He and only He can fill us with the wonder of His love.

We hurt those we love the most, yet God is steadfast. God by his very nature is pure and perfect love. He is unchanging. It is due to His love for us that He gave the ultimate sacrifice and that is life – He gave up His life for us so that we could have everlasting life with Him.

No greater love… John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This love of God is known as Agape, and it is a self-giving love. It is not something that comes naturally to us and that is why it is designated to God because he exemplifies this. There are various interpretations of Agape love – but one I love is that God loves us because He wills it.

God loves the sinner but hates the sin. The scriptures are filled with instances where Jesus commands his disciples. He expects our fidelity and says, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10

Does this mean God stops loving us?

This is where we look to the scriptures for our answers.

1 John 4:15-17 – “And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.”

To remain in God’s love there are conditions but ultimately the Lord loves us even through sin. We are the ones that turn our back on Him, He is always waiting with hands outstretched, inviting us into true happiness. Ephesians 2:4-5 states “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved.”

And, Romans 5:8 – “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So many of us get glassy-eyed, our minds wander and we may not realize the significance of the words… which is why I’ll ask you to use the show notes and go over the scriptures, read them, study them, journal about them and their impact for your life and the life of those you love.

I believe that God is love, His love is everlasting, all-encompassing and His love never changes. God’s love for you is unconditional – He wants you to change if you are in sin for yourself – but nothing we can do will ever change God. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what type of car you drive. God’s love doesn’t hinge on what you do for Him. However, if we love God we will serve Him not in a mediocre way but with all we’ve got!

If you’ve never experienced God’s love, that is what I will pray for you today.

Dear Lord, I pray that You touch the hearts of those listening, that You open minds to truly understand how much You love all of us. I ask that You allow us to experience Your everlasting love, oh God– that You take us where we are but offer, through Your help and grace to encourage us to be better, to strive for holiness, to strive to listen to your small, still voice and align our plans to your plans. I ask that you help us to discern Your will for our lives, for the mission you’ve laid out before us, for the work we currently do and will do in the future no matter what our station in life– whether we are single, a wife, a husband, or clergy. Lord, I thank You for Your love for us, Your people. I know You care about me, and that You love me. And I feel blessed to know that I can count on this love all the days of my life until You call me home. Amen.

More Scriptures to study about the love of God:

John 13:34

1 John 4:10

Ephesians 2:4

 

 

Hope

hopeHope For A Christian

Is hope an option for a Christian, is it rooted in optimism, or is it rooted in the knowledge that our hope is connected to our faith and in this way we can be assured that the Lord will walk the path of life with us? In this podcast, we explore what the meaning of faith is for a Christian.

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

a few minutes with God

Show Host Notes: 

As Christians, we are called to live with joy in this world, so we need the virtue of hope. Hope is a virtue, it is something that some people have in abundance and others have to work towards. For example, the Cardinal Virtues are known by past civilizations and we teach them today are Justice, Temperance, Prudence, and Fortitude. Not until Christianity did we hear the term, “Theological virtues,” and these are Faith, Hope, and Love.

We are encouraged to have hope – not optimism. Why is that? Anyone can be optimistic. Optimism is more on chance that maybe things will turn out well and maybe they won’t. That is not what Christian Hope stands for at all. It isn’t a chance that things will work out. It is a knowledge that if they don’t work out, God is with us.

Therefore, hope is rooted in faith – faith is when we entrust ourselves to another – we place our trust in God. Faith is a relationship I have faith in Jesus I have faith in God myself. Hope is rooted in the belief of a future good.

Hope for a Christian is rooted in maturity. A Christian believes that God’s promise is rock solid! Hebrews 6 is amazing, read all of it, but for our purposes, I want to read you a section:

Hebrews: 3-20

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

This hope is not in ourselves – in our abilities, in what we can do without God, or that we don’t need God. No, this hope is a claim that we need God because our faith tells us that the truth is God has promised us this hope and … “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” God doesn’t lie!

Hope is this trust looking forward to the future. This relationship with Jesus, our trust in God – He won’t fail me. And hope is the knowledge that God will be with me…it is personal!

The opposite of hope is despair. Despair is the thought or belief that we don’t have Him and that He is not here or us, or worse that we can not trust God because I don’t believe he will walk with us through our issues or problems… but he will!

These two Scriptures should help:

Romans 8:24-25

 “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

and this one, I love from Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us”

And we have the hope of the Resurrection! At the end of time we will be raised, those of us who believe, we live in the “Easter” of hope – that is the Risen Christ. God has paid the price and we as believers reap the benefits. It is a belief that we will have eternal life with Christ. It is only possible by the hope that God gives us.

We long for this hope when we look at Jesus on the Cross when we see a cross without Jesus on it when we see the empty tomb at Easter or the risen Christ in pictures. Jesus has conquered death — yet we still worry and doubt. The resurrection showed us the future or what will someday be our future, life in heaven with God. We should not fear, we should know that it will come, in God’s perfect timing.

Let us pray – Praise you Jesus that you have risen and in this, you give us everlasting hope. You give us the hope that surpasses all understanding, please give us the grace to understand and to be strong, the grace not to despair, the grace to believe that you are there for us always and walk alongside us. Continue to give us the faith and the hope that we can do all things through You! I praise you and I thank you always, Amen!

Water Kefir & Kombucha

Podcast #8: Kefir water and Kombucha

Kefir water and Kombucha- what are they and what is the difference between them. Some of you may have heard of Kombucha and maybe you have even tried it but do you know why it is good for you and how easy it is to make? Kefir water is a little less know but similar.

What are they?

Kombucha and Kefir water are both fermented beverages.

Kombucha is made with a scoby(symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), held together by polysaccharides. It looks like a mushroom but is not fungus. Kombucha is known to contain a variety of yeast and bacteria.

Kefir water is made of “grains” which are a colony of bacteria and yeast. They look like small translucent grains. The term “grains” is only used to describe their appearance. Kefir grains contain no actual grains such as wheat, rye. Etc. They also contain a variety of bacteria and yeast.

Preparation and time frame:

Kombucha is prepared by adding starter tea and a kombucha culture (your scoby) to sweet tea (black, green, oolong, etc). This Is then fermented for 5 to 30 days depending on the flavor you desire.

Water kefir is prepared by adding water kefir grains to sugar water (we add a little molasses and baking soda for added minerals). This is then fermented for 24-48 hours.

Do you flavor them?

Kombucha is tangy, kind of sweet and effervescent. The flavor varies greatly depending on how long you allow it to ferment and the tea that you use. The fermenting or culture time really determines whether the kombucha tea has a very mild taste or a strong vinegar-like taste. Kombucha can be flavored or you can drink it plain as well.

Water kefir can be sweet and the longer we let it ferment or culture the less sugary it is. It is recommended that you flavor water kefir because the taste of plain water kefir isn’t as pleasing.

Which is better?

Kombucha can aid in our digestion It also adds to our beneficial bacteria in our gut and it contains some acids and enzymes to aid in breaking down food.

Water kefir is more so a probiotic drink. It contains acids and enzymes to aid in digestion though not quite as strong as those in kombucha. Water kefir does, however, have a greater number of bacteria strains than kombucha.

Both drinks are very beneficial in aiding our natural body systems and both are great for hydration. Depending on what flavor you like and the health benefits you are looking for, consuming one or both is a matter of individual preference.

 

Kombucha Water kefir
Brew time 5-30 days 24-48 hours
Brews in Sweetened tea (black, green oolong) Sugar water(juice or coconut water can be used)
Batch size Quantity not limited by size of scoby Limited to size depending on the amount of grains(usually about a gallon)
Flavor Tart, slightly vinegary. Gets stronger as it brews Sweet. Should be flavored with fruit juice or extracts
Carbonation Effervescent Slightly bubbly(very bubbly after 2nd fermentation)
Drink it plain? Yes, but flavor is good too! Not recommended
Contains Probiotic & yeast Probiotic & yeast
Culture growth The mother scoby always produces a baby which can be given away. Grains will multiply- sometimes slower and other times very quickly.
Health Benefits Detoxifier & digestive support. General health & probiotic supplement.

 

Instructions for making Kefir Water

  1. Pour 1/4 cup sugar into the jar.
  2. Add 1/2 cup hot water.
  3. Swirl to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add 3 cups room temperature or cool water.
  5. Check the temperature of the liquid to make sure it’s room temperature ( 68°-85°F.)
  6. Add the water kefir grains
  7. Cover the jar and place in a warm spot, 68°-85°F, to culture for 24-48 hours.
  8. After culturing is complete, prepare a new batch of sugar water, (steps 1-4 above).
  9. Separate kefir grains from the finished water kefir.
  10. Place kefir grains in the new batch of sugar water.
  11. The finished water kefir is now ready to consume, or flavor.

 

Making Larger Batches

To make larger batches, use up to 2 cups grains and use 1 cup cane sugar per gallon of water.

The best method for removing water kefir grains from finished water kefir is to use a plastic mesh strainer. Simply set the strainer on top of a clean jar and pour the entire batch of finished water kefir through the strainer into the jar, catching the grains. Transfer the grains immediately to the new batch of sugar water.

Kombucha Ingredients & Ratios:

One-Quart Batch:

  • 1½ teaspoon loose tea OR2 tea bags
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ½ cup starter tea or vinegar

Half-Gallon Batch:

  • 1 tablespoon loose tea OR4 tea bags
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 1 cup starter tea or vinegar

Gallon Batch:

  • 2 tablespoons loose tea OR8 tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 13-14 cups water
  • 2 cups starter tea or vinegar

Instructions for Making Kombucha Tea

 

  1. Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.   
  2. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
  1. Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be.
  2. Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
  3. Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
  4. Add an active kombucha SCOBY.
  5. Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
  7. Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
  8. The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain.

Ask on your local crunchy mom’s Facebook group or check out www.culturedhealthforlife.com to purchase kefir or kombucha supplies.

Have you tried either? Which drink are you ready to try? What is your favorite flavor?

As always be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

 

Spiritual Mother

spiritual motherSpiritual Mother

 

I give Mary my heart for her to become my Spiritual Mother after dementia takes my mother on a terrible wonderful journey, with God showing up providentially and profoundly. Our Lady cannot be outdone in her loving Mother’s heart and gives me the greatest gift that  exists.

 

 

 

 


Welcome to Authentic Faith and Live with Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan!  Sue Ellen grew up the youngest in a large non-Catholic family and always wanted to be a guidance counselor. Today her life mission is guiding people towards the healing Truth and Love of God.

A convert, Sue Ellen was challenged to find God in the Catholic Church, and discovered the wealth and depth of Catholic Theology and the Tradition of the faith that led to formal study; and a lifelong commissioning in a healing ministry. Through a series of mystical events she was lead through key points in her life to a life of service for God, and to “be about the business of the Church.”   The Identity Series, a cap-stone of her work is drawn from her dissertation based on our Christian Anthropology, from the writings of St. John Paul II, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Teresa Benedicta.

Dr. Nolan has many years of experience teaching in Adult Faith Formation through workshops, retreats, and lectures. Additionally, she has a background of working with adult survivors of abuse, Adult Children of Alcoholics, codependency issues, and a ministry with the divorced and separated.  Sue Ellen is the Coordinator of Adult faith Formation at Our Lady of Light Catholic Community and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology-with a counseling Minor; A Bachelor of Science in Human Services-and an Addiction Minor; Masters in Theological Studies from Ave Maria University; and a Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling.

Click Here to Visit Her Website, Authentic Faith and Life!

Gut Health

Gut HealthPodcast #7

Gut Health

All disease starts in the gut ~ Hippocrates

Your gut is the cornerstone of your health and overall immunity.

  • The gut is known as our 2nd brain
  • Gut bacteria 10:1 from human cells

Why is our gut health so important?

  • Gut bacteria assist in the breakdown of our food
  • Without the right balance of bacteria, our digestion and assimilation is sub-optimal

All of this has powerful implications for the health and vitality:

  • Immunity & protection from food allergies & intolerances
  • Cognitive memory & brain health
  • Natural detox pathways and so much more

 

Our gut acts as the frontline for our immune system and contains our amazing microbiome. What is our microbiome?

It Is the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body known as microbiota. Our microbiome refers to the complete set of genes within these microbes. These microbial genes significantly influential to how our body operates. We each have a unique microbiota and microbiome. The role of the microbiome is so central to the body’s operation that it actually acts as an organ. It impacts aging, digestion, immune system, mood and cognitive function. Research is also showing a huge relationship between the brain and the gut called the gut-brain axis. Our microbiota also interacts with our central nervous system to regulate our brain chemistry and mediates our stress response to things like anxiety & memory. We are first exposed to microbes during birth. This is why we see a difference in the gut health of those born vaginally vs. via c- section. Babies born via c- section are know being swabbed with mom’s vaginal bacteria to optimize babies all over health.

Gut bacteria is absolutely essential for proper digestion.

What does it mean to have a healthy digestive system and a healthy gut?

Your poop- How often do you go? Do you have discomfort-diarrhea, constipation, bloating, headaches, unusual cravings, or pain? These can be a response to stress or specific foods, so watch for and avoid triggers. Sometimes things might not be as noticeable but still signs of an underlying issue like a weakened immune system, trouble concentrating, mood swings or emotional upset.

 

Some of the common reasons that our gut health is off:

  • Poor nutrition- eating more processed foods and less fresh or fermented foods
  • Stress- mental, heavy metals and environmental toxins
  • Modern medicine- over use of antibiotics, synthetic drugs, contraceptives, etc.

So, what do we do and where do we start?

Watch what we eat- read labels, cut out processed foods, add more fermented, raw and natural food choices. Since we know that by changing our gut health we can improve our immune & brain function, reduce feelings of sadness & anger, obesity, toxin levels in the body, fatigue, allergies, and more.

Here are some easy steps to improving it today:

  • Probiotic-rich foods- kefir, sauerkraut, etc.
  • Prebiotic-rich foods- garlic, onions, etc.
  • Probiotic supplements- Life 9 from Young Living is amazing and works synergistically
  • Cut out sugar & processed foods
  • Enzymes- amylase, cellulose, lactase
  • Digize essential oil- contains the blueprint for your enzymes
  • Ningxia Red- fills in your nutritional gaps
  • Digest & Cleanse- balances gut & supports healthy digestion
  • Open windows-indoor air affects our microbiome
  • Stress less- #1 cause of disease in our bodies 95% of the time
  • Laugh more- improves gut flora
  • Limit use of medications
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep (7-8 hours recommended)
  • Don’t be a clean freak
  • Garden

What is one change you are going to make to improve your gut health?

Remember the 4 R’s: Remove, Repair, Restore & Replace.

All disease begins in the gut and so does your health!

Remember to be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Faith

faithFaith – Is A Gift – or is it?

Is faith a gift given to only a chosen few by Almighty God? Or is it freely given to anyone who wants it? In this podcast, we explore the faith and the hope that it brings.

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

a few minutes with God

Hebrews 11:1 states:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Do you believe in God? In Jesus Christ? In the Holy Spirit? Do you believe the words in the Bible are true? All of them? Do you believe that when God says something it will happen? Do you believe in miracles? In everlasting life? In heaven? In Hell? Do you trust in the Lord? Do you believe, by faith that you can entrust yourself to God? That He will be there for you?

You may enjoy this podcast on Praising God

Faith Takes Work

If you answered these with yes – then, you have the gift of faith. This is a gift of believing without seeing. Even those who were witness to the miracles that Jesus performed during His life on earth turned their back on Him in His hour of need. Faith takes work!

The gift of faith is very tightly connected to prayer. God is a gentleman, He doesn’t force things upon us, He has given us free will. If we ask for faith in prayer, He will grant it. Matthew 21:21-22

Is faith a spiritual gift or is it a gift called “saving faith,” that is a profession of faith we say when we accept the Lord into our lives? (Ephesians 2:8-9). The answer to both is yes they are gifts, and they are freely given but not all accept them from the Lord.

Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but who receives it? If you read all of 1 Corinthians 12 it explains the gifts of the Spirit. We have the capacity to have all of the gifts, but do we want them? Spiritual gifts are given to Christians who will use it to help others, the “body of Christ.” If you look at Hebrews 11 it shows “Faith in Action.” “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” And, so it continues on in verse 5… “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

God will give you faith!

So, there is your answer, if you earnestly seek God he will give you faith, and with faith, you can do so much – you can please God and you can do things through God’s grace and blessings.

Faith includes trust, a trust that what the Lord teaches, through the faith handed down to us through the years as well as the words in the Holy Bible, are true. Do we believe all that the Lord, Jesus taught us when He walked to the earth? Faith comes with a demonstration of this amazing gift. It is accompanied by works. Not so that we can boast as the Scriptures say, but so that we can thank the Lord for all that he has done in our lives.

One of my favorite verses is Matthew 17:20  “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Faith takes trust

Faith takes trust, and trust takes work. It takes relationship. It includes honor!

Read all of Hebrews 11 – it is an amazing testament to the faith that was given in abundance to those who then served the Lord. As a gift of the Holy Spirit faith is powerful. It brings with it an extraordinary hope of the promises, the power and the blessings and grace that come to those who serve the Lord according to His will. Faith allows people who are ordinary in every way to lead an extraordinary life. Without faith, these ordinary people, such as Noah could not have completed the amazing task set out before him.

God gives all Christians saving faith – that is salvation, but the additional gift, the spiritual gift of faith will allow us to walk on a path that is closer to God and in essence, will help us to find His will for our lives. We can pray for others and expect answered prayer. We can pray for healing and expect miracles. Who wouldn’t want this? I know I do!

Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to reach out to someone in need? To pray for them or to intercede? Sometimes someone comes to mind out of the blue, and we think about them. When this happens, pray for them there may be a reason the Lord is asking you to do this, however, step out in faith and do it! If the Lord asks something of you and you do not feel you have enough faith to deal with it, ask the Holy Spirit for more faith! He will grant it.

 

Essential Oils & Kids

Podcast #6 Essential Oils & Kids

Essential Oils & Kids

Let’s talk about kids and essential oils

I am not a doctor, I am just a mom here to share how I have used essential oils successfully.

 

Throughout history, wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation especially when it comes to natural remedies and even essential oils. Essential oils date back to the Bible and were often more valued than money because it didn’t matter if you were rich and sick, without your health, you had nothing. Things like elderberry syrup, onions, & pickle socks are all wisdom passed down from other moms and relatives that care.

 

One way to a healthier family is detox baths

Detox baths: 1 cup Epsom salt, ½ cup baking soda, 5-10 drops of essential oils. Add to the bathtub or foot tub to pull toxins from the body.

Not all oils are created equal check out www.seedtoseal.com and find me on Facebook to learn why Young Living is our oil of choice.

Essential oils support healthy kids- behavior, digestive, skin, immune & mood

Speaking of mood, orange oils is amazing for the mood. It is known as the “let it go” oils. Drinking, diffuse, or apply topically. It is also in our Happy Roll-on: 3-5 drops each of orange, lemon, grapefruit, citrus fresh and filled to the top with a carrier oil of your choice.

So what are the ways to use them with kids?

Topically:

Using the vita flex chart, I love to apply to the bottoms of the feet or area of discomfort.

Aromatically:

This is a quick easy way to start introducing kids to oils. A drop or 2 in the diffuser and then working your way up to get the benefits and desired results.

Internally:

We love to flavor our waters with essential oils and use them frequently in recipes while cooking. This is another way to support their health and well-being. In our family, citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, lime, citrus fresh, and orange make our water a bit less boring and more delicious. Great way to support their immune system!!

Be an empowered parent!

Read, learn and trust your gut. Do research and make informed decisions. Some books I love are Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern and Evidence-Based Essential Oils Therapy by Dr. Scott Johnson. Also making sure that you find a doctor or practitioner that is well versed in natural alternatives like homeopathy and essential oils.

 

Dilution ratio for kids:

Always check labeled recommendation and then dilute accordingly.

Ages 0-1

: 1/8 labeled concentration

Ages 2-6: ¼ labeled concentration

Ages 7-11: ½ labeled concentration

Ages 12+ : full labeled concentration

Grab a high-quality carrier oil for dilution. We love coconut oil and jojoba oil!

General safety guidelines for kids:

  • Do not ingest for babies
  • Diffuse start low and go slow
  • Spot test on kids especially when sensitive
  • Using essential oils in the bath with Epsom salts so that they do not sit on top of the water
  • If babies/kids are new starts out by wearing the oil or diffusing it in a large room

 

As always be informed and trust your gut!

So when in doubt…

  • Start slow
  • Use the bottoms of their feet for application
  • Diffuse on a large area
  • Apply with a carrier oil

 

Some oils to use caution with when using with small children are:
  • Idaho Tansy
  • Hyssop
  • Sage
  • Clary Sage
  • Wintergreen
  • Eucalyptus

Do your research and know your comfort level

 

When 800 moms were asked…

What were there must have essential oils- these are the ones that made the cut!

  • Lavender~ diffused at night for calming and sleep, great for skin support and relaxing to muscles
  • Thieves~ diffuse during school to cut down the crud, apply to the bottoms of the feet for a wonderful immune support, great for oral care
  • RC~ supports all things respiratory and congestion, great diffused for a healthy respiratory system as well as applied topically to the chest and bottoms of the feet.
  • Peace & Calming~ great to support relaxation and calming the stress of the day. Apply to the feet before bed to unwind
  • Purification~ great for anything that itches, any kind of odors, and for an annoyance-free outdoors
  • Frankincense~ one of my favorites for immune support, grounding, and sleep
  • Stress Away~ this one is great for helping to soothe a child’s tough day and helping moms feel more in control when life gets crazy
  • Copaiba~ this is the amplifier, it magnifies other oils 10x, helps with inflammation, and is great for all over health and wellness

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to naturally supporting your children’s health and well-being with essential oils.

Do you use essential oils?

Are you ready to start? And if so- how do you use essential oils for your family? I challenge you to look at an area in your family’s health that could use some support and give essential oils a try.

 

As always, be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond – part 2

Simple Blessings & Oils Podcast #5

Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond- part 2

Pregnancy, birth & beyond with essential oils

Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond part 2

Let’s talk about birth & beyond

Birth can be exciting, scary, & somewhat unknown. What we need to realize is that pregnancy and birth are also natural and God created our bodies for this amazing process and new life. I want to talk about the many ways that we can support our bodies and our babies when it comes to pregnancy & birth. When I was having our 6th baby I had used essential oils throughout my pregnancy and really just steered clear of the hormonal oils. I love when people ask about the safety of essential oils but do not consider the safety of the products that they are already using- shampoos, deodorants, lotions, make-up, household cleaners and more. Pregnancy is one of the most important times to really take a look at what you are using, the chemicals it contains and how it could impact you and your baby. It only takes 26 seconds for what you apply topically to enter your bloodstream.

 

I also want to state that I am not a doctor and I am not here to treat, diagnose or prescribe but instead share tips on things that I have used and learned through the years and pregnancies. I am also only talking about Young Living essential oils as they have the Seed to seal guarantee for quality and purity. If you so choose to use others, I cannot guarantee they will have the same effect.

So what are the oils to use for this amazing process…

Lavender essential oil-  This oil is amazing especially towards the end of pregnancy and during the birth of your baby. I love this oil to support your round ligaments, during those pesky Braxton Hicks

Contractions. Also great for relaxation, sleep, and super gentle for both you and baby.

Frankincense essential oil: It is holy oil! This is great for supporting our immune system, it is very grounding, aids in relaxation and promotes happy feelings, and is wonderful during times of prayer. I love to anoint my newborns head with this while saying a blessing over them.

Sleepy roll-on: 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops lavender, fill with a carrier oil in 10 ml roll on.

Olive oil is wonderful and should be added to your birthing supplies! This is amazing to apply during diaper changes, it makes the meconium wipe off their newborn bottoms super easy and works wonderfully as a non-toxic way to clean and not dry out your newborn’s skin.

Gentle baby essential oil: Very relaxing for both mom and baby. Wonderful for relaxing baby when they are fussy. This is also a wonderful oil to rub on mom’s abdomen while in labor to aid in progression. It is a very calming oil.

Tea tree essential oil: Wonderful to add to your perineum bottle in the hospital/home for cleaning your bottom after delivery. Helps to keep everything smelling and feeling fresh down there after delivery.

This is also a wonderful oil to add to a Tushy Spray(also cloth diaper safe): 2 oz spray bottle, 4 drops lavender, 4 drops tea tree and 4 drops myrrh essential oil and fill to the top with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.

While we talk about down there…

Claraderm Spray: This works phenomenally for preparing the perineum before delivery and helps with healing after delivery. Some women start this spray around 34 weeks and continue until the baby arrives and then as needed after delivery.

DIY PeriSpray: 2 oz spray bottle, 4 drops myrrh, 4 drops frankincense, 4 drops lavender, 4 drops tea tree, 4 drops Roman chamomile(German can be used), 4 drops helichrysum, coconut oil to the top of the bottle.

Popsicle pads(padsicles): Heavy flow pads, Aloe Vera gel, witch hazel, tea tree essential oil, and lavender essential oil. Apply to the pads and stick in the freezer to use postpartum.

Valor: This great for confidence and fear. It is also amazing to help you get solid sleep and it helps you to hold your chiropractic adjustments. It has been coined “Chiro in a bottle.”

Sacred Mountain: This is a high-frequency oil and is wonderful for creating feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection. It is known to one of the most helpful essential oil blends emotionally which is why it is so powerful for during labor and after.

 

These are just a handful

of the essential oils that can be beneficial for you, baby and those around you during this amazing part of life. What oils do you feel would benefit you the most? What oils have you used in the birthing process? I hope you found value and learned something new!

 

As always be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

 

 

 

 

Praise God

praise GodPraise God

Episode 31

Is it a challenge to praise God for everything? It’s easy to praise Him when things go well, but when they don’t it is more difficult. In this episode of A Few Minutes with God we explore how praising God will turn everything around for you, your loved ones and those you meet each day.

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

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Praise God Daily

Each day we journey through life with a schedule that is full and a life that at times seems to hold little joy. In fact, even if we are happy, often we can’t stop to smell the roses because the next to-do must be done on the list. It is difficult to keep a positive attitude when things go wrong and if you are like the rest of us, things go wrong most of the time each day.

I spoke to a friend the other day and the first words out of her mouth were, “It’s been that kind of day.” She didn’t need to elaborate; I knew exactly what she meant. We’ve all had that kind of day! Life happens and we are caught in the wave of despair often when things fall apart.

So, I am going to challenge you on several fronts in this podcast one is giving you homework assignments. If you have kids, you can do this with them.

Keys to Happiness, Praise God

  1. Look up praising God in the Scriptures. One of my favorite quick and easy website to use is BibleGateway.com here you can find Scripture verses topically. I did a quick search and found 134 references to the words “Praise God” and one of my favorites is Psalm 150.
    1. Psalm 150: 1-6
      Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
      Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
      Praise the Lord.
  2. Pray this list of your favorite Scriptures that praise God – go to these each day and read them. Just reading about praising God first thing in the morning can change your day.
  3. Too busy? You can pray anytime during the day. How? By just saying, “I thank-you and I praise You, Jesus.” It’s that simple. Whenever things are going well or wrong, Praise God.
  4. How about a litany of praises? I looked up the meaning of the word litany on Wikipedia and found this: a “litany, in Christian worship and some forms of Judaic worship, is a form of prayer used in services and processions, and consisting of a number of petitions. The word comes through Latin litania from Ancient Greek λιτανεία (litaneía), which in turn comes from λιτή (litê), meaning “supplication”.” You can write your own litany that can be something like this…
    1. Praise You God You are the Almighty One
    2. Praise You, God, You are the King of Kings
    3. Praise You God You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End
    4. Praise You God You are all loving
    5. Praise You God You are Merciful and Mighty
    6. Praise You, God, You are the Comforter, my Rock, and my Fortress
  5. I want to challenge you to praise God for the next 30 days. Habits are formed for some as early as 18 days or a little more than two weeks to up to two months, sometimes longer. What better way to create a habit of prayer, of praising God by actually doing it. If you think you will forget put a calendar reminder out to do it!

This challenge will make you and those around you happier. When we are happier and how can we not be if we are constantly praising God and thanking Him for the good and the bad, it will change us and those around us.

Let’s pray…

Dear Heavenly Father, God the Almighty One, we praise you and we thank you for all you have done in our lives. We were a thought in your mind until the day we were born, you’ve been with us every step of the way in our lives. You’ve journeyed this path with us, right beside us. While we sometimes wonder if you are there, we know in our hearts we are not deserted and we are truly loved. I thank-you, God and praise you God and will praise you until I draw my last breath. I thank you for the gift of faith for truly my life would not be so rich without it. I thank you and I praise you – and I pray this in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond- part 1

Simple Blessings & Oils Podcast #4

Pregnancy, birth & beyond with essential oils- part 1Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond Part 1

Most people are open to the use of essential oils until they become pregnant…. Then they hesitate. Are they safe? Can I use before, during and once my baby is born?

There are lots of question and after much research and questions myself, I am here to share things that I have found to support your body during this amazing time in a woman’s life.

I also want to state that I am not a doctor and I am not here to treat, diagnose or prescribe but instead share tips on things that I have used and learned through the years and pregnancies. I am also only talking about Young Living essential oils as they have the Seed to seal guarantee for quality and purity. If you so choose to use others, I cannot guarantee they will have the same effect.

So, let’s talk application.

Topical:

When you are pregnant and new to essential oil, the feet are always the best place to start. Not only do our feet contain over 2,000 pores but they also contain the Vita Flex points to every system in our body. The skin is also the thickest on our feet and this is the farthest area from our mucous membrane, which can be more sensitive. The feet are also a great place for application on children as well. You can also apply areas to the area of discomfort as well, such as the head for head discomfort and the lower back for sciatica support.

During pregnancy and nursing when applying essential oils topically a 1% dilution is recommended in general (1 drop of essential oil to 1 Tbsp of carrier oil). This is not a hard and fast rule but when one is sensitive or new to essential oils, it is a good guideline.

Diffusing:

Diffusing is another wonderful way to experience the amazing benefits of essential oils. A good place to start is 2-3 drops in a diffuser and adjust accordingly.

Internal:

Ingesting essential oils can be a hot topic and everyone has an opinion. Research shows that in order for an essential oil to be toxic you would literally have to dump bottles of it into the body. This is not how essential oils are ever meant to be used. When using Young Living’s pure therapeutic grade essential oils I personally do not hesitate to add to my water, food or vegetable capsule but every person will have to make this decision and be comfortable with it. Just also know that there are other ways to use the oils without ingesting if you so choose.

Don’t be so Emotional

Supporting out emotions while pregnant is a huge and our ears contain the amazing Vita Flex emotions chart. So when dealing with the crazy hormone fluctuation during pregnancy and post-partum, the Vita Flex chart for the ears can help us keep our emotions more manageable.

Fertility~

When one is trying to become pregnant it is a good idea to find a holistic doctor or midwife, who will run various tests from your hormones to a full thyroid panel and sometimes even a stool sample to check your gut health can be hugely beneficial in a healthy pregnancy.

As far as essential oils to support fertility and hormones naturally, a great blend that I recommend is Endoflex. It is very hormone supporting and balancing. This oil has many testimonies from people who have experienced support with balancing their hormones, thyroid, and adrenals due to stress or cycle changes simply by using this oil regularly.

I would also recommend observing your menstrual cycles. This can contain clues as to how we need to balance our hormones. Do you get headaches before your period and after ovulation? Have you ever had hot flashes? Are there certain times during your cycle that you notice more hair loss? These can all be signs that your body needs some additional encouragement. Clary sage & Dragon Time blend can both be beneficial in supporting these issues. Apply to the outside, inside and on the top of the feet to stimulate the reproductive Vita Flex points.

If you have heavy periods, clots and cramps, these can all be a sign of low progesterone or estrogen dominance. Aging, stress and other factors can take a toll on our bodies natural cycles. Many have found support and relief form Progessence Plus serum created by Dr. Purser. This is a natural progesterone-type supplement that can help benefit many of us who want to promote the best results when conceiving and sustaining pregnancies. Some have reported complete turnarounds in their cycles- from heavy/crampy/PMS to very manageable, from acne ridden to a pimple free. Bonus its natural so it will not have the effects that synthetic hormones are known to have on the body.

Lastly on fertility, consider citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit & citrus fresh. Our liver’s function is to process and eliminate irregularities, toxins, and imbalances in our bodies. With that being said promoting a healthy liver and lymph system, in turn, supports our fertility. You can apply these oils directly to the liver area, diffuse, add them to your water to drink or apply to the Vita Flex points. Some other livers supporting supplements are dandelion root, milk thistle, and red raspberry leaf tea. Ylang Ylang essential oil is also a great “catch-all” for supporting hormonal health.

Where do you start~

I highly encourage you checking out the book Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern and Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy by Dr. Scott Johnson. What areas of your fertility are you wanting to take charge of? What action steps are you going to take to ensure that your body is functioning as God has intended it to? Is it time to take a look at another health care provider that is willing to look at your whole health and not just one area?

Join in next time as we look at essential oils to support a healthy delivery and wonderful start for your new baby!

As always be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

 


The content of the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast post or page, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

Where is God In The Midst Of Tragedy?

where is God in the midst of tragedyWhere Is God In The Midst of Tragedy?

Episode 30

We often hear of a horrific event and we think, “Where is God in the midst of tragedy?” The news is all around us. Our phones send us alerts, and we have instant access to information and the availability of 24/7 news coverage. Days after any tragedy there is a constant barrage of television coverage. While this is understandable it can take a toll on our nerves and those of our loved ones.

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Show Notes:

When tragedy strikes there a sense of shock, disbelief, heartache, and sadness. When something senseless happens like the recent high school shooting, anger is added to the mix.

I remember the Columbine tragedy, the Challenger disaster, the Twin Towers – hijacked planes, the First Baptist Church massacre, the mass shootings in Las Vegas and now the tragic shooting of teens and one teacher at a high school in Parkland, Florida…

Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy?

How do we deal with this senseless act of violence?

So many times we want to ignore it we want to pretend it didn’t happen and we bury the emotional pain and trauma. Especially if we are removed in the sense that it didn’t happen to us. When the situation is closer to home, when it happens to us with a death of a loved one or an accident we often have all of the same feelings, only deeper.

When something happens that is an accident, or if an illness of a loved one is long, we tend to deal with it differently. Accidents happen, they are a way of life, the same with illness and death. If you’ve lived you’ve experienced it, none of us are unscathed this side of heaven.

Evil is real and the enemy is strong, but not as strong and victorious as our God. Free will gives us all the chance for great things. However, some turn their backs on good and opt for evil.

But God is here, He is real, He answers prayer. However, he answers prayers as He wants to in His perfect will and in His time. Friends, we can’t make God into our own image. We can’t expect Him to answer prayers according to our will.

I want to leave you with three points when you wonder where God is in the midst of tragedy…

  1. Identify the grief you are feeling and deal with it.
  2. Realize all evil is not from God, however, we can’t blame Satan. Yes, evil begins with sin, but we are capable of choice – we must take responsibility for our actions. We have free will.
  3. God is good all the time. We need to remember this. All that is good is from God.

Let’s pray—and keep those who are directly effected by this tragedy in your care, Lord – we pray for the families, for the first responders, for all the children effected, for the town, for those who heard about it in the media. Keep us in your care Lord, protect us and allow us to focus on you. And we pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

What are Essential Oils?

What are essential oils?Podcast #3: What are Essential Oils?

So, let’s talk about essential oils! The first question that most people ask is what are they? Essential oils are subtle, aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark, and roots of herbs, trees, and shrubs through distillation. They have been used for thousands of years as a way to keep your body healthy. They are mentioned in the Bible directly or indirectly over 1100 times.

This was a perfect fit for our family on our journey to wellness.

Note– I am not here to treat, diagnose, or prescribe anyone or any condition, I am just a mom sharing what has worked well for me and my family and the only oils that we use are Young Living. Anyone wanting to obtain these oils can go to my website: www.simpleblessingsandoils.com and click on the link on the right-hand side.

 

 

Some general rules when using essential oils:

  • Everyone is a snowflake, what works for one person might not work for the next. Just like medications, peanut butter or shampoo, if you try one and do not get the results you expected then try another
  • Never place essential oils directly in the eyes or the ears. They can cause irritation. If you do (which we have just grab some carrier oil, NOT water, and wipe the area.
  • Use caution when using citrus oils when going out in the sun as they are photosensitive.

You can find oils just about everywhere these days which is actually scary because not all oils are created equally. For our family, purity and quality are very important. This is why we chose Young Living. They have the Seed to Seal guarantee and you can learn more at www.seedtoseal.com.

Why are purity and quality important?

  • 90% of oils you find are classified as perfume oils- Young Living is 100% therapeutic grade, no synthetics or extra stuff added
  • essential oils can penetrate and carry nutrients through the cell walls
  • when placed on the feet, they will distribute to every cell in the body within 21 minutes

How do you use essential oils?

  • Aromatically: diffuse, inhale directly from the bottle, add a few drops to a cotton ball and place in a vent
  • Topically: apply “neat” or diluted with a carrier oil, roll on or apply directly from the bottle
  • Internally: some oils may be ingested (check labels to be sure), great to add to water, food or a capsule. Only ingest oils that are labeled to do so.

 

Essentials oils are a wonderful way to support your overall health and wellness. They are an important part of your daily wellness regimen!

 

As always be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!


The content of the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast post or page, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

A New Year, A New You!

A New Year, A New You!

Podcast #2: A New Year, A New You!

Essential oil for this podcast: Oola Grow was specially formulated to help people work toward their goals for wellness, purpose, and abundance with a dash of vitality too. It Is a powerhouse essential oil that contains 23 single oils to help you feel grounded and confident, it is uplifting, empowering, inspiring, calming, harmonizing, relaxing and envokes positivity!

Welcome to 2018, a new year brings new resolutions!

Do you make resolutions?

Do you keep them?

Most resolutions are made and maintained for only a short period, most quit within the first month of starting them. I want to share some ideas or ways that we can make them stick.

 

  • Create a list of monthly 2018 goals. Each month you commit to trying a new restaurant, read a book, set a budget, etc.
  • Do a 30-day challenge. Something that will gear you to accomplish 12 small goals through the year. They say 21 days to create or break a habit.
  • One yearly challenge
  • Create a list of things to look forward to- a wedding, graduation, retirement, new book, movie, TV show, or gadget.
  • Track or measure one thing- spending, time, weight, food, etc
  • Pick a word for the year. What is something you want to accomplish? Or something you want more of? Fun, simplify, organize, freedom, etc
  • Reboot an area of your life
  • Do a 365 project- photo a day, bible reading a day, new word every day, short story/inspirational reading every day

 

My call to action for you is to spend some time and figure out:

* What area or areas of your life that you would like to see change?

* What change or resolution strikes a nerve with you?

* How will you stick to this goal?

 

Next, make your plan & be the you that you want to be!

 

As always be grateful & have faith!

God bless!


The content of the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast post or page, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

 

Answered Prayer

answered prayerAnswered Prayer

Episode 28

How often are we the recipient of answered prayer? We pray, unceasingly. We ask the Lord for the deepest desires of our heart and sometimes we actually have our prayers answered. Many of us are like little children when we feel that God has not answered prayer. We pout and stomp when we don’t get our way. We say things like, “God doesn’t hear my prayers,” or “I don’t hear God at all, ever!” How do we work on our prayer life, our relationship with God, and get closer to the Creator of the universe in a way that is possible given the fact that we are merely human? In this episode, we explore how even answered prayers don’t always turn out the way we hope! Sometimes the answer to our prayers are even better.

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes:

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.

Show Notes: Answered Prayer

  1. Answered prayer is not always what is best for us. If we call God Father – Abba Father, then He knows best.
  2. Answered prayer sometimes is a “yes” but seems like it is a “no.” When God says yes to us, it may actually be a no to the way we hoped He would answer and a turn in what is, in the long run, a better direction.
  3. Answered prayers can be something we never thought about and ultimately we believe God didn’t answer our prayers.
  4. Turning from spoiled little children who want our own way into warriors of faith.
  5. Your will Lord, not mine. The best way to pray and seek God in all that we ask.

Podcast #1 Introduction to Simple Blessings & Oils

Introduction to Simple Blessing & Oils

so it begins…

Welcome to the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast!

A little bit about me~ My name is Amanda Filla. I am the crazy mostly crunchy mom of 8 kids, wife of farmer and volunteer firefighter, who homeschools, has a passion for healthy living and essential oils 😊

Things started for us on somewhat the other side Introduction to Simple Blessings & Oilsof the spectrum but through the years, the kids and all of the learning, we do things much differently.

I am here to share my journey and encourage you along yours.

In the words of Pope Francis~ “Always remember this: Life is a journey. It is a journey to meet Jesus.”

So excited to share, teach and inspire others on this crazy oily journey that God has brought into our lives!

Find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/simplyoilsmama/

or at www.simpleblessingsandoils.com 

Always be grateful & have faith!
God Bless!


The content of the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast post or page, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

Combating Fear

combatting fearCombating Fear

Podcast # 27

Combating fear is something we all want. Do you worry about things? Join the club –  don’t we all? But in this episode I am going to discuss fear, the result of worry and how we, as Christians, armed with the promises of God can combat the fear and turn it to victory!

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Combating Fear

Fear gets us nowhere. It is a dead-end street that has us walking the same path again and again. It is the place that the enemy would like us to remain in because let’s face it — fear is a bondage. Fear is from the enemy.

2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

Yet, God built us to fear if we sense danger. Fear does in essence help to protect us – if we sense something instinctively it can help us to survive. Fear is natural, it keeps us away from those things that could hurt us or bad choices.

The bible also tells us that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of all understanding,” how do we take that verse? What we fear is the judgment of the Lord. If you are a follower of Christ and want to do His will – you should not fear judgment, but you should remember it as you live your life.

God is our light – He is the guiding beacon in the midst of our fears. We can have the courage to deal with the things that happen in our lives and what that takes is praying to overcome the fear. Prayer and reading Scripture verses and memorizing some can help. Another help is using acronyms to help us.

When speaking about fear in the spiritual sense, when we allow worry to cloud our thoughts and overtake our lives realize we are giving the spirit of fear permission to reside in us. The first step is in renouncing the spirit of fear.

In the Name of Jesus, I come against the spirit of fear and I renounce it – I do not give fear dominion in my life. I break any chains of fear in my life and offer it to you, Lord. Lord, I give you permission to come into my life with joy, the joy that surpasses all understanding and that reigns in the knowledge that you are in control of my life.

Here are some wonderful scriptures to write in your journal under the title of “Combating Fear” and pray, say, and memorize these wonderful scriptures:

  1. 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
  2. Proverbs 29:25:  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
  3.  Matthew 10:31  “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
  4. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
  5. Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”
  6. Psalm 91:14 – “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”
  7. Romans 8:30-31 – “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
  8. Psalm 118:6: “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
  9. Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?”
  10. Luke 1:30: “But the angels said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”

If you are fearful and have never repented of the spirit of fear, let’s pray! (Prayer at the end of the audio.)

 

Relationship with God

relationship with GodIt’s All About Your Relationship With God

Episode 26

Do you have a relationship with God? In this world, there are so many variables that happen every day, every hour and every second. What is your Relationship with God? How do you make it work in your busy day with your crazy schedule? Do you set aside time to put God first or is He an afterthought? In this episode, I explore how to deepen your relationship with God before a crisis happens.

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes:

Relationships take time, they take energy, they take focus, they take determination. Relationships with others are sometimes heavy lifting because let’s face it  – humans are imperfect. So, how do you have a relationship with God? How does that work? How do you determine how much time you spend or how much focus you can put into it?

A relationship with God takes time on our side – God is always there for us – God is omnipresent. He is always there, he is outside of time and space. I think that is why I love the scripture

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

It is one of those mind-blowing scriptures that tells us that with God there is no time – the Word of God is Jesus – He came into being by the Holy Spirit – Luke 35 in response to Mary saying she was a Virgin states: … “The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”

We want a relationship with the God who was at the beginning of creation – who created the world – who is present with us, the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

That seems so out of our capacity, doesn’t it? How can we mere mortals have a relationship with God?

  1. God calls us – He is always near, waiting for us to listen, to seek to learn. We can do this in so many ways, through the Bible or through some of the ways I’ve explained in previous podcasts.
  2. We must be open to His call – if we are in sin, if we are away from God in some way, we must repent and be open to forgiveness allowing the Lord to work in our lives.
  3. God is present in all things, but especially when we call upon His Name when we adore Him in prayer, at Church, when we pray and ask for His grace to get through the day. When we ask for forgiveness or tell Him we are sorry and repent. (Psalm 46:1)

A relationship is built upon many things:

  1. Time
  2. Love
  3. Trust
  4. Honesty
  5. Respect
  6. Openness
  7. Similar focus

These things can also apply to God.

He is always there for us, are we there for Him?

He loves us unconditionally. Can we say that we love Him even when things go wrong?

He is trustworthy. Are we equally trustworthy to Him?

He is honest. We can count on Him. Can we be honest with Him and can He count on us?

He is open with us – we know where He stands – what He offers us. God does not push or force Himself upon us, we are the ones who put up blocks in our relationship with Him. Are we open to God? Does He know where we stand?

Do we have a similar focus? God wants our salvation. He wants us to be with Him in heaven for all time. Is that our focus? Do we want the same thing?

Ask these seven things of the Lord – ask Him to help you to have the time, give you the love, the trust, the honesty, respect, openness to share your heart and similar focus on heaven. And He will. A relationship with others takes so much work but with God, it is surprisingly easy.

I invite you to deepen your relationship with God – let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I ask you to bless the listeners and invite them to a deeper relationship with you. Help them Lord to have increase their time each day, to be more productive so they have time to spend and I ask you, Lord, to give your love to them in overflowing. Give them trust, honesty, respect, openness to share their hearts with you. Give them a focus on heaven. A laser-sharp focus for heaven. And grant us your will, Lord. I want a relationship with you and I pray this for each person listening today – and I pray this is Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast

rsspodcast itunespodcast

Simple Blessings and Oils with Amanda Filla - educating others about essential oils and ways to make small changes every day to live a cleaner, healthier and more simple life.Hello & welcome!

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me in this journey called life.

My name is Amanda.

I am the wife to my best friend and an oily mama of 8.

I believe in seeing the all of the simple blessing that God places around us.

I love educating others about essential oils and ways to make small changes every day to live a cleaner, healthier and more simple life.

In the words of the Oola guys-

Be grateful & have faith!

God Bless!

Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/simplyoilsmama/

Check out my website https://simpleblessingsandoils.com/

essential oils

The content of the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast post or page, including text, graphics, images, or information contained in text or audio, or other content, is offered on an informational basis only. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health professional before: Changing or making any adjustment to any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.

  • Stopping any medication or treatment protocol you are currently using.
  • Starting any new medication or treatment protocol, whether or not it was discussed on the Simple Blessings and Oils Podcast show, page or post on this website.
  • Information on this site is informational and not as specifically applicable to any individual’s medical problem(s), concerns and/or needs.
  • These products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat or prevent disease.

In each audio remedies are recommended. We are not claiming that the product will cure any of these problems or disorders. We are merely reporting that people have used the product to aid these conditions.

 

Journal How To

 Journal How To | The key to keeping a journal is how to be consistent. The missing ingredient is including praise with your prayer. #christianpodcast #podcast #howtojournalJournal – How-To

Episode 25

Journal – how to do it and keep it consistent is the emphasis of today’s podcast. Do you keep a journal in the traditional way or do you keep a journal as a tool to jump start your Christian walk? Journaling is an amazing way to see the truth, answered prayers and your spiritual growth. There are many ways to journal and there is no definitive way, however, in this episode, we discuss ways to journal.

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

a few minutes with God

Journal – How to get started:

You can pick up a book and start writing and that would be considered a journal, but I prefer this method which I will share with you.  I found that the way I set up my journal that the most impact on the way I was consistent or not. When you journal, make it personal.

You can find some very inexpensive books at the store. I found very inexpensive lined-paper, bound books for a few dollars with a hardcover that I prefer.

I set up my journal with a combination of praises and prayer requests. It was a wonderful way to begin to journal and I felt that praising God and thanking him for all he had done for me!

It allowed me to ask Him in prayer without the fear that I had not been grateful for all the ways He has blessed me! I also wondered if God heard me, which was another reason I would Journal. In this way I felt I had a conversation going with the Lord.

Journal How To:

  1. Purchase a small journal and keep it handy.
  2. Keep your journal with your Bible.
  3. Write on the cover of your journal, or inside — make it your own.
  4. Divide your journal if you would like the way I did, in my explanation in this podcast, or…
  5. Just begin writing. It helps to put the date of your journal entry.
  6. Try to write in your journal every day.

 

I wanted to praise God before I prayed. I felt that I wasn’t being thankful.

Answered Prayer Through Journaling

answered prayer through journalingAnswered Prayer Through Journaling?

Episode 24

Only when I began journaling did I see answered prayers. Have you found that by journaling to see answered prayers you can actually see that God has listened to your pleas? In this episode, I discuss journaling as a tool as well as the blessing that I found within the pages.

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Answered Prayer Through Journaling

In today’s show notes, I want to ask you some questions to gauge your interest in journaling.

  1. Do I feel that God hears my prayers?
  2. Do I know how many times the Lord has answered my prayers?
  3. I have journaled in the past and …
  4. Journaling has been a passion of mine because …
  5. I’ve never tried journaling but would consider it, because…

Have you ever journaled? If so you know the impact it can have on your life and those around you. By documenting the answers to prayers, it helps us to see that the Lord hears us. In addition, it helps us by allowing us a snapshot back in time. Was there a desperate prayer, or one you really wanted answered? Was it answered? Was the answer all you hoped it would be or did it fall short.

No one said Christian life is easy, but it certainly is blessed and by journaling, you can keep an eye on ways you need to improve your relationship with God. There are many different ways you can journal. In the next episode of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, we will explore some of those ways.

Chose Happiness

chose happinessChose Happiness – the Best Choice

Episode 23

Happiness is a choice and the way we chose to live our lives is also a choice. We can choose to live our lives miserably or decide that today we chose God and therefore all we have left is to rejoice. No matter what your life circumstance the Lord knows your situation and is there to help.

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes:

Are we happy because of life circumstance or are we happy because we choose to be which is not dependent on our lives or our circumstances?

Joy transcends all understanding – Joy is given to us by the Lord, however, happiness is a choice we can make. We can select that as an option each day. Is it really depends on what is happening in our lives? Yes, but then how about we take charge, chose for God and chose to be happy. In this way the Lord can bless us with the joy that does transcend all understanding and our lives will change for the better. I promise!

  1. Chose Happiness the basis of all other choices
  2. We chose to be happy because of all the Lord has done in our lives.

1 Timothy 6:17
Verse Concepts
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

Psalm 16:11
Verse Concepts
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalm 21:6
Verse Concepts
For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

Psalm 111:2
Verse Concepts
Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.

Time Well Spent

time well spentTime Well Spent

Episode 22

Time well spent makes us happy. If we feel accomplished, if we do things on our “lists,” it makes us feel that we’ve spent our time well. Most of us say we need more time each day, we can’t finish out tasks, we run out of time. How can we add more time to our days?

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

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

a few minutes with God

When I look at my day I think, “What is the best use of my time each day?” Other than with my friends and family the best time is with God. How can you fill up without the One who truly gives us that grace to get through each day? Who do you spend time with and is that time well spent? In this episode, we explore how you can make the time. Let’s strive to make the most out of every minute of every day.

Look at your day, how can you incorporate time well spent? We all say we don’t have enough time each day!

  1. Identify the time wasters. Relaxing is wonderful for everyone and we don’t need to “produce” every day! However often we say we don’t have enough time for prayer because we don’t use our time wisely.
    • What are the things in your day that waste your time
    • How can you avoid the time wasters
    • Does making a list help you
    • We all waste time, and often we all need a break, so enjoy
  2. What is the one thing you can avoid? Is there something on your list that you can eliminate or reschedule in your day so that you can make more time?
    • Social media
    • Emails in the morning or afternoon
    • Shopping without a list
  3. Can you make 5-10-15 minutes or more to spend with God in prayer? Look at your lists above and see where you can add more time to your day. Five, ten or fifteen minutes helps tremendously! Time well spent with God is so helpful in our day. Often we leave prayer time to night time. Praying in the morning, the first thing you do — will change your life and is truly time well spent.
  4. Who do you spend the most time with? Is it family, friends, virtual friends? Ist it fictional characters in books? Truthfully, sometimes we let virtual friends take the place of real ones. I have good friends online, some I’ve never met in person. Nurture your friendships but remember the one who will fill you with faith, love, and joy.
  5. How can you make that time productive? Spending it with God first will increase your productivity all day long.
  6. Can you be a witness or a blessing from the Lord to someone in your life? Do you ask God to use you each day? Do you see the people in your life as a blessing? How can the Lord use you? How can you be an example of God’s love to others?

 

God’s Grace

God's GraceGod’s Grace is Sufficient

Episode 21

God’s grace, is it sufficient for you? Or do you rely on the world for the help you need? In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we read the passage that many sermons are built around, but how do we apply this to our life? In this episode, I’ll explain how I strive to have more of Him and less of me in my life.

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

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

a few minutes with God

How do we live a grace-filled life when most of the time we can hardly get out of bed without being overwhelmed with all that needs to be done each day? Now that my children are older I’ve taken on some extra activities that put me in the path of people from all walks of life. Some are Christians, others are not, but it is hard to tell the difference. Years ago a good friend of mine used to be asked all the time, “What is different about you?” She carried the joy of Jesus Christ with her wherever she went. She was my writing partner and while we each attended different churches, she was an evangelical Christian and mostly attended non-denominational churches, I am a Catholic. We agreed on the solid foundation that without Jesus there can be no joy in your life.

Jill showed the love of Jesus in her life. She showed others that even if she was under a life burden she would still praise God. Jill loved her children unconditionally as she loved her friends and even her acquaintances. She didn’t live a life without hardship. She went through a painful divorce, bankruptcy and she died suddenly in 2007. Before she died she told me she would soon be homeless if things didn’t change in her life. Yet, she told me she was not worried – she had God. And, instead of being homeless, God took her home. I have never publically told that story before, and while I still miss her tremendously I am happy for her because I know that as she lived she was an example of God’s grace being enough.

It is the inspiration from friends that we surround ourselves with that we too can learn about that joy and that grace should be sufficient for us. That grace that surpasses anything that we can earn or attain in this world. Remember friends, it is in Him that we can have true life. As I record this episode it is the end of November and I approach the Christmas season with a sense of expectancy in the true miracle of the birth of Christ, but also in the miracle that we can be, by example for each other.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Another Day

another day another chanceAnother Day, Another Chance

Episode 20

Another day. Have you ever had a horrible day and wondered how you can make it to the next one? In this episode, we explore our feelings when all things happen at once and our ability to cope only with the grace of God.

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

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes:

References – Bible verses: Biblegateway.com

Show Notes: Another Day: Another Chance

  1. This is the day that the Lord has made – let us rejoice!
  2. God is a God of second chances.
  3. Nothing is impossible for God.
  4. Everything is a gift from God – Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
  5. Faith takes trust: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

No matter how bad the day is or if you’ve messed up in some way. Go to the Lord, repent. Ask Him for forgiveness and rejoice! Tomorrow is a new day, let us rejoice and be glad.

Scripture References:

Proverbs 27:1 – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at our right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for me.

 

Living Well

living wellLiving Well

Episode 19

We hear the term all the time. Live well! What exactly does that mean? How can we as Christian’s live well in Christ? Is there a way to live our lives without becoming legalistic in terms of “if I do this – God will do that.” In this episode, we explore the meaning of living well and living for Christ.

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

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

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Living Well

Living well is a cliche, but for some living well is a way of life. If we were sitting all together in a room and I asked you, “What does living well mean to you?” I’m sure the answers would all be different. For some it is financial freedom, for others, it might be finding your true love. For some, it might mean peace within their family or having a loved one who has strayed come back to the Lord.

Living well ultimately can’t happen without wisdom. The wisdom to discern right from wrong and the wisdom to understand that living well means so much more than materialistic acquisitions or ambitions. People think that living a Christian life means compromise but it is so far from the truth. Christianity is not a set of rules and regulations that bind us, however, these ideals set us free.  The fear of Christianity is that if you follow Christ you will lose everything! I remember a faithful girl who was a friend of mine in college, she lead me through the salvation prayer although I followed the Lord, I never professed it in prayer – in that way. Everything that happened to her was horrible! Her new car was totaled. Her major included many sciences and looking into the microscope made her queasy. To an immature Christian, it would appear that following Christ equals problems! However, she showed me Jesus in a real way by the reactions to the disasters in her life. She showed, by her example, how to live a good life when all is falling apart in your world.

However, the focus on living well, in this present age, takes work. It takes learning how to pray and listen. We’ve discussed this on episodes of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, it means taking the time out of our day to spend time with God. Learning how to pray includes learning how to listen. It means seeking God’s word in the Bible and meditating on the meaning. (Ask the Holy Spirit to help you! This is a grace that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us that is there just for the asking.)

Living well means sharing your faith, learning from others with a deep faith and asking those hard questions. What does it mean to live well for Christ, and how can you live in the world without being of the world. Living in the world means living out your vocation in life – is it as a wife or father, a son or daughter, a sister or brother? Is it as a friend? Is it as a co-worker. It also means living a life that doesn’t compromise or succumb to the temptations of this world. Will we sin? Of course, but it is what happens after we sin that separates us from those who do not believe.  Repenting for our sins and asking forgiveness rather than taking pride in our sinfulness. Those who are the most vehemently opposed to Christianity are those who carry around great sins that are unconfessed. These sins are a burden and the only way they can live with these sins and call evil good is to put down others who think differently.

Living well means not putting down those who oppose us, but praying for them daily. It means avoiding those who would lead us to temptation by staying far away, even if it means changing jobs or removing ourselves from those who are toxic in our lives. If a situation is a dangerous one we should seek help or advice from someone trusted.

Living well has nothing to do with wealth or an accumulation of things, this has nothing to do with living. The world will tell you that living well is a wonderful vacation, a spa day or a shopping spree. Yet, what happens once you return from that fabulous vacation, spa day or shop? The real world awaits. Things break. Work is still waiting for use each day. So, isn’t it better to embrace each day, be thankful for what we have or don’t have and focus on living for the Lord?

Living well does not guarantee we will no longer have trouble. It does mean that the trouble will ultimately be fleeting. No matter how wonderful the things of this world are that nothing compares to the love of God. Living well means praying for God’s wisdom to follow His roadmap for living a good life through the words in The Bible. Do you take each time to read the Word?

God wants to use each one of us – spend time each day in prayer and ask Him to come further into your life. Let’s pray – Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you in all things and I thank you for all things. I thank you for the small and the large inconveniences, and I thank you for the gift of life. Mine and those you’ve brought into my life. I ask you, Lord, to help me understand the meaning of living well through you, help me in my Christian walk and help me in all I do, let it bring you all the glory and honor you deserve. And, I pray this in Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Scripture verse references:

Matthew 6:34

Psalms 16:11