Saturday, September 30, 2006

To You from Jesus as you prepare to pray together

This is something Jesus wants to say to you as you prepare to spend time together with Him in prayer and reflection~

Before you were born, I knew we would be sharing this time together. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and I am so happy that it is finally happening. There are so many things I have wanted to tell you about my love for you. I needed this moment to gather you all together so I could have your full attention. Please listen to what I have to say to you. I have asked my Father, the Holy Spirit and many of my angels to be in this room with me to help you understand my message. I want to speak to your heart and to your heart alone. I am waiting at the entrance to your heart. I am at the door. It is up to you to let Me in.
Can you remember the time you took your first two steps? I can because I was with you. Oh, you were scared all right. With your baby way of thinking it was much safer to crawl than to try to walk. It was a lot faster, too. When you crawled, you could visit every room in your house. But trying to get to one place from another on just two could you manage such a stupendous achievement? And what if you fall down and break your nose? And what if your family laughs at your clumsiness? And what if you never learn to do it right? Such was the beginning of your fears, remember? Even so--even with all those anxieties hovering over you--you set your face steadfastly toward the arms that were waiting for you and you mastered the most difficult art of walking on your own two legs. See how well it turned out! You still know how to do it! Aren't you glad you trusted life? Aren't you glad you tried--even though you were frightened at the same time?
Then came other challenges. Can you remember how you met them? Do you remember the people I sent into your life to help you? Think about all of the good things that have happened to you. It is the story of your life at its best.
There were other times too. No one in all of creation has ever said life would be fair. I know and I understand and I still feel what it's like when your world turns against you. In the Garden of Gethsemane, everyone turned against me that night. Everyone. All of my followers left me and ran away. Peter did exactly what he said he wouldn't do. I called Judas, friend, when he approached Me.
That night, I looked to my friends, and my friends did not look back. Where there is opportunity for love, there is opportunity for hurt. I know you have been hurt. That's why I so deeply desire to speak to your heart. I love you more than you will ever understand on this earth. Your mind and your heart cannot contain the depth of my love for you. Please believe me, I love you. I chose to die for you because I love you. I was surrounded by enemies and betrayed by friends, because I love you. I was abandoned on this earth because I love you. Are you slowly beginning to understand when I say to you, I love you? All I ask is that you love me too. I want you to keep your eyes on me when all of earth begins to turn against you. My father's loyalty to me is my Father's loyalty to you. When all of earth turns against you, all of heaven turns toward you. You are not walking alone. I promised you that I would always be with you. Stand on that promise. I have given you myself in the Eucharist. Please allow me to enter your heart. I left you my body and my blood. It is my most precious gift to you. Please do not reject me again. I want to live within you and help you to trust me and have confidence in me. You cannot do that on your own. I am here to help you. I am begging you to love me. There is nothing more that I can do. It is your choice to put me first in your life. And until you make that decision, I will wait and I will wait. And my friend, I will never stop loving you...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Book of Job

“Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job.” (Victor Hugo)
I copied this section from the Internet….
While Job’s questions and complaints often come close to charging God with wrong, he never crosses the line and humbly submits to God when told that the answers to his questions are beyond his ability to understand. Thus the book shows us how the righteous should bear up under suffering (“You have heard of the perseverance of Job” - Ja 5:11).

Man is unable to subject the painful experiences of human existence to a
meaningful analysis - God’s workings are beyond man’s ability to fathom. Man simply cannot tie all the “loose ends” of the Lord’s purposes together. We must learn to trust in God, no matter the circumstances.

Suffering may be allowed as a compliment to one’s spirituality - God allowed Job to suffer to prove to Satan what kind of man he really was. What confidence God had in Job!

Why did I choose this Book?
1. We will learn more about God’s omnipotence and artistry so we can offer an awed and grateful response
2. We can examine the relationship between God and Job as insight into our own relationship with God.
3. We can understand our need for humility when considering how we fit into Gods’ Big Picture

Relationship Issues Job was a sound and honest man who revered God and shunned evil. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. When his kids had parties Job would get them up at dawn the next day and pray for their purification and then offer up a sacrifice.

God really believed Job would never turn on Him and that Job would continue to lead a good life no matter how he was tempted. God bragged about Job. He felt so strongly about it that God allowed Satan to test Job.
Would God have as much confidence in your faithfulness? Would you like God to brag about you? What would you like Him to say? What can He truthfully say now?

In Job 42:7 God gets really angry with Job because He thought Job knew better. God saw Job’s potential and believed in him.
What could your potential produce?

In the beginning of the story (2:10) Job says: “If we accept happiness from God’s hand must we not take sorrow too? Job uttered no sinful word.” Then by Chapter 3 vs 1, Job curses the day of his birth.
Job is 42 chapters long and much of that is filled with complaints and arguments from Job. What percentage of your life have complaints been?
Job had a choice and responded by moaning with his friends and answering God back saying things like: “Not for nothing, but…” and “ With all due respect…”
Job thought he could speak as honestly as he wanted with God… and did. Job’s complaining was described as “long-winded blustering” in 8:2. Would you want God to describe your conversations with Him that way? Have you ever been this honest in your conversations with God? What’s your normal choice about how to deal with extreme frustration or suffering?

(Ch 7 vs 20) Job moans to God: “What have I done to you, you tireless watcher of humanity? Can’t you overlook my fault?” and in Ch 10 vs 1 Job goes on, “I will let my embittered soul speak out and say to God ‘Is it right for You to injure me? You know very well that I am innocent.’ “
When did you ever doubt God’s actions and question Him about it?
The people of the times thought that suffering was punishment for guilt.
(Ch 13:15) “I have no other hope but to justify my conduct in God’s eyes.”
Do you perform this practice? Does it work for you? (It didn’t seem to do so well for poor ole Job.)
Job pushes on in 16: 12 “I was at peace until God shattered me. He took me by the neck and tore me to pieces. He made me a target for His archery and shot arrows at me from every direction.”
Are you thinking:
That’s right Job! Speak on the issue! Right is right!
Ooooohhhh you’re gonna be in soooo much trouble! You’d better shuttup Job and take it like a man!

True friends aren’t necessarily people who moan with you (as Job discovered). Give an example from your own life.

God’s Creative Artistry as Described in Book of Job
1. He shakes the earth and moves mountains (Job 9:6)
2. The sun rises at His command. (9:7)
3. He set the stars and stretched out the skies (9:8)
4. God keeps the raindrops back from spilling over in floods onto humankind. (36:27)
5. The nations are filled with food. (36:31)
6. His thunder gives warning of the lightening in His hands. (36:33)
7. He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.” (37:6)
8. God breathes and ice is there. (37:10)
9. He Himself directs the seasonal changes. (37:12)
10. God says “Who decided the dimensions of the earth?” (38:5)
11. What pillars support the earth? (38:6)
12. Who keeps the sea pent up behind closed doors? (37:8)
13. Have you ever given orders to the morning? (37:12)
14. Have you an inkling of the extent of the world? (37:18)
15. From which direction does lightening fork when it scatters sparks over the earth? (37:24)
16. Have you seen where snow is kept or hail is stored up? (37:22)
17. Can you guide the morning star season by season and show the Bear and its cubs which way to go? (37:32)
18. Is the wild ox willing to serve you or spend a night beside your manger? (39:9)
19. Are you the one who made the horse so brave and covered his back with flowing hair? (39:19)
20. Does the eagle soar at your command? (39:27)
21. Has your arm the strength of God’s? Can your voice thunder? (40:4)

6. Are you committing cosmic plagiarism, i.e., taking responsibility and accepting thanks for work God did through you during the day? How can you rectify that? (or do you want a repeat of Job Ch 38 that starts out with God saying “Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty headed words?”)

7. Spend some reflection time appreciating God’s artistry. List your favorites from among all of God’s creative marvels.

8. What things has God done in your life or the lives of your immediate family that show his omnipotence?

9. A grateful heart is a heart that is humble and can say WOW. It can be awed at the wonders beyond itself. From all that you know about the person of God, what gives you awe?

10. What did Job teach you?

For more info on the Book Of Job~ (very easy reading)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Are You Awed?

A grateful heart is a humble heart. It's a heart that can say WOW! It can be awed at the wonders beyond itself. Of all God's wonders what gives me awe?

  • His unconditional love despite my ingratitude
  • His constant mercy
  • His hope and confidence in each of us
  • His Body and Blood in Eucharist.

What makes you say "WOW, God! Great work" ?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mary and Cinderella

If God had asked me to be the Mother of God (I'm just making a comparison between my own weaknesses and Mary's fiat) it would have gone something like the story of Cinderella and her mean, ugly stepsisters. Mary is Cinderella, of course. She is the quiet gentle one whom the Prince of Eternal Life embraced. She is hidden, humble and self sacrificing.
I, like the stepsisters, am selfish. I am concerned about my own needs and wishes. Example: I'd not have settled in giving birth to God's Son in a manger for animals. I'd have pushed Joseph to find something more befitting. But that would have been more about my desire to do a good job than acquiescing to God's will. God wanted the manger so as to display Jesus' glory and co-inciding humility.
In every Bible story Mary responds gently and gracefully. Indeed she was gracefilled. Like Cinderella she was obedient and willing to let her own will go. And in the end she lived with the Prince of Eternal Life happily ever after.
I have much to learn if I'm ever going to change from my self-appointed role....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

Surrender and be at peace

My heart is pained and shriveled. It is dry and crusty. I feel like I've been walked over by hiking boots. Emptiness within except for the heaviness of my heart. To work is a struggle. To smile is great effort. Calm and peacefulness seem like far away dreams. I accept that sometimes life on earth is hard. So I go to my Jesus for strength.

Lord, I need to be infused with your grace. I need to be surrounded with your protection. Like a child's toy tossed around in the ocean I feel lost and useless. Jesus, I know you love me and that you see my pain. I've tried to heal myself. I've tried to control and not be so needy. But I recognize finally that I am nothing on my own. I am useless and empty without your love and grace. It's OK to be dependent on You. And so at this moment, my Lord Jesus I surrender. I submit my all to you.

Jesus responds: When you submit you allow me to help you and you offer no resistance. My daughter I want to love you and hold you in my protective arms. Can you believe that? I really want to support you. So rest here daughter. Just put your head on my shoulder and rest peacefully. I promised my unconditional love when we began our relationship and I will keep my promise. Let me do that for you. Surrender and find your rest in Me.