Sunday, May 6, 2012

Darkness Into Light

Here's what occurs to me I look at I Peter 2:9

O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him who called you
out of darkness
into his wonderful light, alleluia.

This is the Opening Antiphon for Mass today, May 5th, the 4th Week of Eastertide.  What a beautiful "phon" to begin worship with.....a real call to worship.

It saddens me to realize though, that so many souls are not thankful for being called out of darkness.  We, people living today, and many past generations, were not the people whom God directly called out of the darkness of sin and of not knowing him, and to whom He revealed himself.  So, if we were not walking in darkness, how could we be thankful for being called out of it.  Truly, we were, when we were baptized and the stain of original sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve, was removed from our souls by the pouring of the Holy Spirit into us.  But, we were infants, and others prayed for us, and we ourselves were not able to truly celebrate outwardly this great gift of sanctification.  Our parents and godparents and family, friends, and the priest prayed it over us.  I am not stating that infants should not be baptized.  My observation is that I think we must live out our baptism by being more thankful for this incredible gift.  We must frequently take stock in what Jesus has achieved for us through his death on the cross, and that gratitude for it all must be the rule of our lives.  Can we ever say "Thank You, Jesus!" enough?

We are blessed to live in His wonderful light!  This light allows us and reminds us to love one another:  the husband who doesn't always do things the way we think they should be done, the child who keeps giving the dog his peas under the table at supper, the sister who is a chronic complainer, the co-worker who does things that makes our job more difficult, the boss who is too demanding, the woman on the train who coughs during the entire commute every single day.   Regardless of annoyances, we can be thankful for them.  Each person is God's beloved creation, and though we need to practice the virtue of patience, we can still pray to Jesus, Thank You!

Of course, there are the easy things to be thankful for:  roofs over our heads, food on the table, cars, jobs, church, good schools and teachers, friends, relatives we are fond of, the kind note received in the mail, prayers that are answered, unexpected blessings.  That's easy and fun to be grateful for, and again we can pray, Thank You, Jesus!

Yet, EVERY THING is something to be thankful to Jesus for.  So, as we go about our day, filled with blessings, banes, baubles, foibles, aggravations, and laughter, may our inner and outer prayer express our gratitude to Jesus.  He knows what He's doing, and we can all be thankful for that!

Thank You, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus.

Thank You, Jesus, for everything!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

God Help America

Here's what occurs to me today....

     .....that as we begin a new era due to the midterm elections, may we continue our prayers for our great nation, that our freedoms would be preserved under a smaller, stronger central government that upholds the Constitution and provides health care options that are agreeable to the way we, as citizens, live our lives.

     We stepped up to the plate yesterday, swung our bats, and voted our choice for governmental representatives, and now have to continue in being upright, responsible citizens who voice our concerns to our reps in constructive ways.

     THE most important thing we can do is pray for our nation, our government, those who serve us there, that God would fill them with HIS wisdom, not the "different kinds of wisdom" that Pres. Obama just mentioned in his press conference.  We know from the Bible, that any wisdom that is not of God is evil wisdom.  That is not what our nation needs.  We need God's wisdom, God's Truth, God's guidance, God's light, God's ways of doing things.  We are a country of large and diverse needs, and we can only fulfill those needs with God's help.  It is bigger than any government can handle on its own.  So, let us invite God into the scenario and follow His guidance in government.  That's the vision our Founding Fathers had when they wrote the constitution.  That's the vision that must be restored.  "....if the people have no vision, they will perish."  That's what will continue to happen...people will suffer even more if God is not invited in to help.

    God Help America!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Souls Day

Here's what occurs to me today....

  Today is All Souls Day, the day of the church year when we remember ALL those souls who have passed from this world into eternity.  Eternal life either with Christ in His heaven, or to the state of being separated from Him, in hell.  Now, that's not a cheerful thought is it?  No...quite sobering.

  Jesus had a very important conversation with the Pharisee, Nicodemus, wherein Nicodemus asked him how a man could be born again, and what Jesus meant by it.  You'll read it in the 3rd chapter of St. John's Gospel.  It's a wonderful conversation to read!  Especially reassuring for us believers is Jesus statement in the 16th verse:  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."   There, for Nicedemus, and for us, Jesus drew the line in the sand...the demarkation of choice to believe in Him and the coming sacrifice He would make through his death upon the cross, (or for us HAS made),  or to not accept it and believe and be in covenant relationship with him and therefore choose to spend eternity in the fires of hell, which will never cease and from which there is no respite.

  Oh, come on, Liz, surely it can't be that might say or think.  Well, I'm telling you what the Bible says, and it could not be clearer.  This is what Almighty God said (says), and He is a loving, merciful, gracious, and also just God who will sort us all out....believers from non believers....the goats from the sheep, the wheat from the tares...and in the end all souls shall be judged and sent to their place of choice that He has already established.

  If you do not know the Lord, or you want to learn more about salvation through Jesus the Christ, let me know, and I will be glad to answer questions and send you a Bible that you can read and we can discuss.  You see, there's God's TRUTH, and there's man's truth.  God's TRUTH reigns.  It is the wall against which all salvation is beaten out.  To decide against believing in Christ is to decide for eternal damnation.  To decide FOR believing in Christ is to choose eternal life with Him, never to be parted.  He wants us all with Him.  That's what He's planned for.  That's the provision He has made for you.

Will you take it?

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints' Day

Here's what occurs to me today....

  This is a great feast day in the church year, as we celebrate all those holy saints, canonized and noncanonized, who have gone before us into the Kingdom of Heaven and who there, daily serve the Lord Jesus in His very presence!

  St. John the Evangelist wrote about his vision of them in the Book of the Revelation, "Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, 'Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?'   And I said to him, 'Sir, you know.'  So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.  And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.  They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore;  the sun shall not strike them nor any heat;  for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

  Such is the life of the holy saints.  It can be the yearning of every Christian to be there with their Savior and God their Father!  I pray my mother and father are there, my baby brother, my grandparents, my best friend from high school, Stephanie, and other relatives who have passed on.  It will be like no earthly will be Heaven!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Here's what occurs to me today....We Like Sheep Bags.  

Check this out for uniquely beautiful handmade bags and Bible totes made by my dear sister in Christ, Ellen Loomis.  Nothing like them in any store, and they make the perfect gift, or even a treat for yourself.  Don't miss out!

All Hallows Eve

Here's what occurs to me that Halloween was originally known as All Hallows Eve.  "Hallow" is not a commonly used word in our contemporary lexicon.  Though we do say it in The Lord's Prayer..."hallowed be Thy name."   President Abraham Lincoln used it in his Gettysburg Address when he said that "we cannot hallow this ground."  Only God and the blood of soldiers could do that.  "Hallow" means "holy" which means "sanctified" which means "set apart for special purposes by and for God Almighty."

Centuries ago, All Hallows Eve may have been special for Druid pagans, but for Christians, it was a time to celebrate the lives of the saints who had gone on before them to Heaven.  All Hallows Eve was the night before All Saints Day.  Fires were lit within and without homes and castles, jack o' lanterns and gourdes were carved and burned oil or tallow candles for both outdoor and indoor light, and the poor and indigent of the rural and village communities would go door to door begging for alms.  An outdoor lit jackolantern indicated the residents of a home would be generous to beggars.

There is much mixed history on this topic, and I simply offer one of several Christian perspectives.  I very much can do without halloween, but always look forward to All Saints Day....a high holy day in the church wherein we remember great saints who served their Lord Jesus Christ with great love and abandon.  We ask their prayers as they are near the throne of God, and we trust in their faithful intercessions for us, as we hope to one day join them at the throne of the Holy One, where we will lay down our crowns of victory before Him and sing, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord!  God of power and might!  Heaven and earth are full of Your glory!  Hosanna in the highest!

Will you be there?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Joined to the Lord

Here's what occurs to me today....what a marvelous thing, a truth indeed, that we are joined to the Lord!

  In I Corinthians 6:17, good St. Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him."

  At the moment of our belief in Jesus' sacrifice for our sins and acceptance of Him as Lord over our life, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us.  Through the Holy Spirit's residence, we are together, joined, married (in the spiritual sense) to God the Father forever.  Is it not like our loving God to think of, create, and make every provision for us to be in complete union with Him?  How much greater a love could we discover?  None!

  This is not like a 3-legged race in a gunny sack where we are joined in a sack and try to run along, stumbling, bumbling, legs coming out, and the race is lost.  No!  It is a joining of hearts, of souls, of spirits, that strengthens us for the race that we complete without hitch, all because God has enabled us to be in union with Him!  This makes Him constantly available to us....24/7.

  Isn't that a complete blessing to enjoy and think upon?