Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts

2 Jul 2017

Sweet Tea and Jesus

Welcome

Here with me, today guest posting is Steve Sawyer. He has more than three decades of experience as a writer, editor, reporter, technical writer and writing teacher. He graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama with a degree in journalism studies. He and his wife Marie, co-parent their two granddaughters, four and seven.
He sings in his church choir and remains active in his men’s prayer group. Since he retired in 2010 he enjoys writing for his family-friendly, Christ-centered blog Monday through Friday. He is passionate about writing to help readers know, understand, believe, and live out of their true identity in Christ.

Sweet Tea and Jesus 

Folks who live outside the Deep South don’t understand Sweet Tea. If you go to most restaurants or truck stops north of the Tennessee read more

10 May 2017

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean





Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

10 Apr 2017

Christ's Humility: A Teaching Moment, Then and Now


Jesus didn’t enter Jerusalem on a beautiful stallion, or better yet in a covered canapé. No, He entered Jerusalem on the back of an ass; one of the simplest and hardest working creatures known to man. In Christ’s simplicity, we see Christ’s humility.

Throughout Christ’s entire Passion and death, He consistently placed the wellbeing of each one of us ahead of Himself. He thought more about us that He thought of Himself.  For example, He took the verbal abuse of His accusers in silence, not wanting to draw attention to His followers. When tensions escalated, He took... Read more... 

5 Mar 2017

The Wounds of Love

Wounds on Hands of Married Couple
During our storms of turmoil, our descents into hellishness, we cry but fail to see that everything in a watery drop is distorted and or inverted, subject to our perception; up is down and white is black. Humor me this, picture a mountain behind a pond of water and for some that same mountain is laid before their feet…or not.

We’ve passively learned to trust our eyes, like our hearts trust those we love all the while missing that “love” like God, just “is” and makes no distinction to quantify what it is attached to or by whom.

Our love is never wrong, I’ll repeat that; our love for others is never wrong and I would even dare say it is always right. 
This is a guest post by Poet of the Light. To continue to read his insight and discover the 5 Wounds of Christ and the 5 Stages of Grief in Divorce, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com. 

Thank you for following, liking, and sharing! God Bless...

2 Mar 2017

How To Win the War Against Sin


Every human being is basically blind to their own faults and sin. There are many reasons we cannot seem to die to self and enjoy communion with God – psychological reasons, inherited sin, pride, the tendency to control and other self-defeating behaviours. However, I think the biggest barrier to receiving the Love of God is egocentricity; we are centred on ourselves, on our own efforts to perfect ourselves instead of admitting defeat, taking our eyes off our own efforts, and allowing Christ to work out His salvation in our hearts.

continue reading

26 Dec 2016

Winter Blessings Bear Much Fruit


We officially entered the winter season last Wednesday, and are now in that time of year when life slows down dramatically, in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We welcome the opportunity to come in out of the cold and seek the warmth of a roaring fire. Unlike many people, I love this time of year! I appreciate a good snowfall, especially when I get to stay inside, all cozy and warm. As an avid reader, I love sitting by the fire, curled up with my favorite afghan and a good book. I appreciate the solitude that winter blessings bring!

Even in winter, when all life seems dormant, God is at work, renewing us. The lull of winter is a gracious gift from God, filled with winter blessings. Read more...

26 Oct 2016

Autumn Winds; Hearts Afire - Is Your Heart Afire for Christ?


I love this time of year, when the leaves turn from green to magnificent hues of gold, orange and red; when the air turns crisp; and the holidays beckon. It’s my favorite time of year! For me, this is the last autumn of my life, as I turn 60 in March, and will enter the winter of my life.

Time is short, and every seasonal change reminds me that my time on earth is limited. As the seasons change, I take of stock of what I have accomplished and where I have fallen short; where I have excelled in virtue and where I could have done better.

Autumn Winds; Hearts Afire


As I celebrate this last autumn of my life, my heart is afire for Christ. Having left Corporate America, and the stress that went with it, I now work for Christ. Jesus is the best boss ever! The monetary salary is nothing to write home about, but the serenity, joy, and peace is priceless! My job also comes with increased trust, faith, patience and perseverance! Bottom line is that when... Read more... 

22 Aug 2016

My Heart Beats for Christ! For Whom Does Your Heart Beat?


I was recently at the doctor’s office for my annual visit. While sitting in the examining room, with nothing to do but wait, I read the ad on the door. It showed a picture of an older woman, holding a placard that said, “My heart beats for______.” She filled in the blank with “my grandkids.” She had a huge smile on her face. The ad promoted preventative health exams.

As I sat there looking at the ad, I asked myself, for whom does my heart beat? I hope my husband isn’t too disappointed, but my first instinct was to answer, “My Heart beats for Christ!” Sitting there in awe for a minute, I realized my response, as well as my accompanying relationship with Christ. I love my husband very much. We’ve been together almost 40 years (married more than 37 years). Yet my response was Christ. I live for Christ; to do His will.

My Heart Beats for Christ


I cannot say that Christ would have always been my first response. In my early thirties... Read more...

21 Mar 2016

Jesus, What Were You Thinking?


It was just another day of the week, or was it? Jesus knew, as God, that before the week would end, He will have given His life, for many, to conquer death.

What must Jesus have been thinking?

He arrived in Jerusalem the day before; greeted with fanfare; literally, with palms waving in the springtime breeze. Jesus knew, only too well, how fickle man can be; how in the blink of an eye, they would turn on Him. He would be turned over to the authorities and would be put to death. Jesus only had a few more days to... Read more... 

21 Dec 2015

Peace: Got to Get Me Some


Christ’s Peace

Does it elude you? It seems that during this time of year, everyone wishes each other “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). Do you view this sentiment with hope, or do you think it falls flat?

If you have Christ’s Peace within your own heart, I think you view this sentiment with great aspirations of hope, because you wish for others what you possess for yourself. If it falls flat, then perhaps you do not have the amount of Christ’s Peace within your own heart that you desire.
How would you know if you actually had Christ’s Peace within your own heart? Well, for starters, you... Read more... 

13 Sep 2015

Getting To Know The Saints


St. Cyprian. (Image via Catholic.org)

I decided a few months back to sign up for a service that sends me the biography of each day's "Saint Of The Day". 

Over the last few months since I signed up for the service, I've found that I look forward to seeing the emails in my inbox every morning. Not only have these informative emails helped me to be prepared in advance for daily Mass, but more importantly, I've been able to get to know the saints on a human level. 

It was such a comfort to me, for instance, to learn that St. Cyprian struggled with patience and anger - things I struggle with, also. And I loved reading that St. Thomas of Villanova did not bow to peer pressure "...he wore the same habit that he had received in the novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but they could not convince him to change."

I've been daily inspired (and mentored!) by these human examples of imperfection and their striving to be better, holier, more Christ-like. 



I cannot recommend enough taking the time to get to know our saints on a human level. 
If you don't already, why not begin today to study the life of our saints?

Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed Sunday,
Sabrina 

10 Feb 2015

Five Words That Will Change Your Life

Have you ever really paid attention to your vocabulary?

Does it match your faith life?

Or is your faith life a bit stalled and you wonder how to jumpstart it?

Your vocabulary is the key to it all and understanding these five simple words can drastically change your life.

Word One: Disordered

Our world gets a bit crazier every day. More things take up our time and energy and consequently leave us less time for God. Our dreams, desires and longings get caught up in the ways that we experience the world. So, instead of dreaming God’s dreams for our lives, we live with and pursue disordered dreams and desires. We keep ourselves on Satan’s treadmill where our disordered existence exhausts us and steals our joy.

“Lord, remove the disordered desires from my mind and heart so that I may experience your peace and dream your dreams for my life. Do not allow the illusions of the evil one to infiltrate my heart or mind where I unwittingly allow them to undermine or replace your plans for me and my life.”

23 Jan 2015

Refusing to Play Games


I do not want to die, only to discover I was playing society’s games, games which were dependant on the time and place I was born, rules which changed constantly. 
 I do not want to be so caught up in work, business, squabbles about doctrine and ritual, that I lose sight of Truth.
How devastating to stand before Christ and realize that I could have been His presence on earth, a window of light and joy, radiating His love and mercy but lost my way.
I can be His hands and feet and ears and whisper words I hear the Father speak to his little ones
 I need to allow Love to transform me, so Love flows through me. Period.
I flooded my mind with these verses from scripture today to remind myself everything turns to ash when we die, everything but His Love in us. continue

4 Jan 2015

Small Victories: A Good Way to Celebrate Epiphany

I began reading essayist Anne Lamott's new book, Small Victories,  after  hearing her speak in November  at the Free Library of Philadelphia. My friend Shannon, an author and a  jail chaplain in Tacoma, suggested this would be a great book to read for Advent.

Well, even though it's under 300 pages, I just completed it today. Lamott's  is an authentic voice, one that does not sugar coat reality but which helps me find God in the smallest moments. Finishing the book is a good way to celebrate the Epiphany, that time when Jesus revealed himself to the world beyond his circumstances.

Lamott is a writer  we writers are supposed to love and one whose work I have not taken the time to read fully. While I have read bits and pieces of her illuminating work, this is the first full book of hers I have read from start to finish. She labels herself a "left wing" Christian and I suppose she is, but the label, as any political label does, reduces the value of her insights.

Keep Reading...

28 Jun 2014

Storm The Gates! (Part 1)

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18.



"...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.".  What does this mean? How can a gate prevail?  Wouldn't it be demons that would prevail, but that isn't want our Lord said, He said 'gates'.    


A gate is something to keep something in, or to keep something out.  It can also be used as a passageway.  


From the scripture we know there is more than one gate. ('gates' plural).  There are supposedly 12 gates into heaven the same as the number of apostles, the demon loves to mock God, so their must be more than one gate into hell, but how many?

To Find out How Many.. Click HERE!!

30 Dec 2013

The Catholic Prayer of Silence

The words prayer and contemplation intimidate many people but the reality is that prayer is simple, so simple that it eludes many adults.
Rest in God and enjoy God in the silence. Sometimes we need to simply cease our activity, live in the moment and breathe in God. This is reality. When the Spirit flows in and through us we are in sync with everything and everybody. We are part of the Trinity, part of the human community and part of the communion of saints.
How do we relax into this state? In and through prayer. Have you ever noticed that every liturgy begins with a blessing of peace and simultaneously a call to prayer because they are intricately connected.
L: “Peace be with you”
P: “And also with you.”
L: “Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord”
P: “We lift them up to the Lord”
L: Faithful and gracious God, we seek to draw nearer to you in this time of devotion and prayer. Open us to your word that we might be guided in your Spirit toward all truth and love, for we pray in Christ’s nameP: Amen.
Sometimes we need repetition, written prayers because we are in such turmoil that it is impossible to unwind and come to a place of inner silence without the familiar. Sacred music helps shut down crazy thoughts and connect us to God. Of course God initiated moments of grace are the most effective. Slowly I am discovering that I can centre on Him when I simply breathe the Holy Spirit in deeply and relax into reality because I am always connected to God. The reality is simple. I am in God and He is in me. I am just not always aware of that fact.
Relax.
Be Quiet.
Breathe in Deeply.
Connect.
Soak in His Presence.  read more>

25 Dec 2013

An Unexpected Christmas Gift



A religious acquaintance of mine recently told a friend of mine he didn't think I should waste my time trying to alter the direction of our local public schools because even if this latest problem were solved, another problem would crop up. 


The thing is, God calls us to do His work of justice and mercy, places outside church doors. Sometimes, the work we do unexpectedly helps to draw those we encounter back to Christ. That's God's doing, not ours. This was today's Christmas miracle at the 11 a.m. Mass for me.

28 Nov 2013

Illuminating Orthodox Icons of Christ


St. Joseph and the Infant Christ
Christ the Great High Priest icon

 top left-       Christ the Good Shepherd
 bottom left- Byzantine icon of Christ Pantocrator (Savior of the World), “Christ Enthroned,” by Isaac Fanous,                           Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Los Angeles
right column The Church is the sacrament of the Kingdom, the Good Shepherd icon by Fadi Mikhail,
                      Jesus with John by Ann Chapman

17 Nov 2013

A Surprise Gift

Today, on Vivificat, Teófilo de Jesús posted a quote by a Carthusian monk. Interestingly enough, when I tried to visit his site, Google told me to stay away because his site was infected by Malware. I don't understand computers but this was all bogus and it was soon fixed. When I got to the site and read the message, it was as if God was speaking just to me.
What a consolation and encouragement. Tears of relief come to my eyes with this quote because my private prayer has been a wordless encounter with Light and Joy for a long time. No effort on my part; I just glance in His direction and Christ takes over.  Praying like this, it is easy to feel  slack, lazy.... .

The Wound of Love By A. Carthusian

 "Solitude is the place of prayer" first published in 1994 by the Carthusian Order in England
Solitude is the place of prayer. The only true prayer which radiates there is that of Jesus: all other prayer is a reflection of the light that shines forth from his face.

Let us, therefore, follow Jesus in solitude, relying only on the power of his call; it is not our competence or our virtues which give us access to the Father, but the invitation of Jesus to follow him up the mountain.

This is our ideal: to enter into the Paschal Mystery with Jesus and to receive from the Father the revelation that his Son has given us and is ours to welcome. We have no other call here below than to bear this mystery, in silence, in our heart.

13 Nov 2013

Spirituality: Child’s Play

A relationship to the living God is child’s play.  Children are open to the Spirit in a simple and natural way; their spirituality is not only taught, it rises from within them as they listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in their own hearts.
St. Paul assures us that all men have the basic laws of God carved into their hearts. In modern language, we all have an awareness of good and evil or a conscience.The problem is tapping into and living out from my core where God has inscribed a moral code on my heart. It is  hidden in my deepest self. Actually, first we must recognize that our own ego and selfishness are a barrier between us and God. Thank God for Christ because He offers an easy way to love and easy way to live in His Spirit as saints.
Relax. Give up striving in your own strength, self-righteousness and pride and accept that you need Jesus as your Saviour. St. Paul understood that only Christ had the power to deliver him from himself. In Romans 7: 24
…. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! 
Surrender to Christ’s saving love,  and let it saturate every cell of your body.Then simply let His love flow through you. However, it ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds. read more>

Worth Revisiting: Art Celebrates the Presentation

In the apoc ryphal Infancy Narrative of James, Mary’s parents,  Joachim and Anne,  had been childless but received a heavenly message- t...