Showing posts with label Scripture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scripture. Show all posts

13 Feb 2017

Walking Together - Small Group Know-How


STEP ONE

Pick a time, date and location for your small group to meet.  My recommendation is to commit to meeting weekly; especially if the group is being formed only for Lent.

Location can be either in your home, a rotation of homes, or at your parish.  My advice - weigh the pros and cons to decide which is best for you and your group - then trust your instincts! Some of the cons for a home meeting include having to limit attendees due to space, having to clean for company (
(my primary obstacle), or limited parking.  Small group size is typically 8 to 10; although 12 -15 is doable especially for a short period of time like the 6 weeks of Lent.  If you are blessed with a high response rate - consider creating more than one small group either at the same or various locations.

Pros for meeting in a home include it's often cozier and may be less intimidating for some who do not typically attend church related events.  The most important part is remembering the goal of the group to grow closer to Christ.  After 10  years of leading Bible Study, 
I now host one at the parish (yearly and co-ed) and one in my home (seasonal and woman only); finding both can be advantageous. Like me, you may find that there is a place for both in your plans.  Hosting at the parish has given me some freedom in the commitment that we can hold the group all year long and my home group has provided opporunity to expand my outreach.


Now which day of the week?  .... for the rest of the steps visit ReconciledToYou.com
CLICK HERE for more about the WINE Lenten Book Club:  Walk in Her Sandals
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

5 Dec 2016

#MusicThatMoves - Faith Sharing Series



God does 'Impossible Things' 

Spend just a few minutes learning my story and you'll know without a doubt that God truly does impossible things.  He mends the broken so they are able to forgive the seemingly unforgiveable. Prepares the unqualified and anxious to be soldiers in his army.  Jesus worked miracles to allow the blind to see and lame to walk; today he continues to give sight, but now perhaps moreso to those who are spiritually blind.  Offering strength to walk in His ways to those stumbling due more to circumstance than physical ailment.  He raised Lazarus from death to life; and awakens our hearts to new life in him.
Close your eyes (after you hit play of course) and allow Sarah Kroger's beautiful voice to transport us in this moment to a place in our hearts where we believe - that God can truly do Impossible Things.      
CONTINUE HERE for the Seeking Scripture and Reflection ... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

12 Jul 2016

Pope Francis' Recipe for Holiness - One Part Grace

The Grace Trifecta

Standing before a room of 30 or so women facilitating my first faith sharing back in 2006, I fumbled around for the proper words as I tried to answer one participant's seemingly simple question on the grace of God.  What is grace?  While I had this innate understanding, I could not formulate the right words to express what I believed it to be. I realized, I had no definition.
Fast forward a few years, I am sitting in a small chapel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (aka Jesus in the Eucharist). In my reading I once again face the question, what is grace? This time I open the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.   That day the Allison abridged version of how I define the grace of God, was born (see image above) and I discovered the GRACE TRIFECTA ... Read More 


All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

19 Apr 2016

Resistance - Is There Hope to Ever Change


So ... Where Are We in this Process

I thought I would take this week to share where Kevin (my hubby of 26 years) and I are mentally in this process. As I begin my Weight Watchers journey this month, I realized the similarity of the discipline the Lord is trying to create in my heart.  This mind shift from spending as we wish on what we wish, much like my eating what I want and when I want, is a process.  IT is not overnight.  As we say in the weight loss world - YOU did not get 20 lbs over weight overnight, you will NOT shed it overnight.

It has been literally 32 years of mistakes and missteps; along with some serious emotional and mental baggage that has brought us to be this over our heads with debt.  Add to that my desire to serve God in the ever lucrative (read only for Joel Osteen) ministry world - and this is not going to be a quick fix.  The Navigating Your Finances God's Way  study has truly been a God Send - but it has not been the miraculous fix all I had hoped.  IT WILL bring us to where we need to be, of that I HAVE no doubt, but this week during our small group meeting I become VERY aware of my resistance to these much needed and necessary changes.   This was made EVEN more evident, when  ... read more.All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

6 Apr 2016

Seek the Lord and HIS Ways


Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.   Isaiah 55

 The women’s hand was not even completely in the air before the question came bursting forth, and the tears welled in her eyes.  “How can we let go of wanting to hear we are forgiven, when we’ve begged for it, but the other person is not willing to extend it. As a human person, I want to hear those words not from God but from the other person.” My heart truly ached as I heard in her voice the depth of her pain and her desperation for an answer.

29 Mar 2016

Can I Be a Good Steward and a Good Samaritan?



Another week of life usurping my time with the Navigating Your Finances God's Way  and our small group gathering - I guess Easter evening not the best time for such things.  We are scheduled for later this week - so I better get caught up on my reading!!   Though, truth be told, it is not really difficult for me to be drawn into this study.  The text, scriptures and questions are not only engaging but also RELEVANT!

This week is GENEROSITY ... as Jesus teaches, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)  I have often thought of myself as generous to a fault, it will be interesting as we move through this chapter if others would see me that way too.  It will also be interesting to discover if my generosity has played any role in where we are financially - both to the positive and the negative.  Without reading a word - I am going to speculate on something.   My giving when done with the purest of intentions and through the counsel of the Holy Spirit - I would imagine have been a blessing to us; just as when my giving has been purely for show or recognition, while it surely blessed the receiver was not a blessing to me or our family's financial well-being.  Read more on how to be a balanced giver? 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

2 Mar 2016

Money Matters: Everything I have Lord, Is Yours


Week 2 of Navigating Your Finances God's Way .... 

My first discovery this week.  We don't own as much of value as I thought but what we do own I am rather possessive of (verses recognizing that all is a gift and essentially on loan from God). This week called for a completing a list of assets.  I have realized that much of our debt came during the PRE ~ DVR/On Demand and electronic music days.  WE have spent thousands of dollars in music CDs, videos and books - that cluttered our home and were watched, read or listened to once at best.  I used to spend so much money on Amazon (mostly for those 3 types of items) that I would (legit) get a Christmas present from Amazon every year! I also realized I spent a great deal of money on toys, clothes and shoes - the majority of which was barely played with or worn.  SEE A pattern here ... I KNOW I do!!

This week's lesson focused on recognizing GOD'S ownership over ours.  Having attended a funeral this week, that lesson was all the more powerful  ...  click here to read more of this week's lesson 

All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

22 Jan 2016

Ideas for Refilling Our Grace Well


The most effective way to refill the ‘grace well’ at the heart of how we may more easily choose the things of God over that of the world is by participating, in what I affectionately refer to as, the “Grace Trifecta”. The secret is simple – immerse yourself in God’s abundant grace through the frequent, it not daily, practice of prayer, sacrament and scripture.

For specific ideas on how to embrace the grace God has abundantly available for us through prayer, sacrament and scripture - read more ...

24 Mar 2015

Keeping Watch with Jesus in Holy Week

Prayer is the place where "heart speaks to heart," as John Henry Cardinal Newman says. Using Scripture, we can enter into Jesus' experience of Holy Week; we can place our hearts into his. We can read the Passion accounts of the Gospels and ask Jesus for the gift of compassion, of suffering with him in his agony. Jesus himself invites us to do this when, in the midst of his agony in the garden, he calls to his disciples and to us:

Remain here and keep watch with me.
Matthew 26:38

"Gethsemane" © Deror Avi / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

St. Ignatius of Loyola proposes a deeply personal and imaginative way to remain with Jesus. A master strategist and student of the human soul, St. Ignatius articulated a process of praying with Scripture that allows us to encounter Jesus personally. This kind of imaginative prayer engages all the senses and has come to be known as Ignatian Contemplation. At the Apostleship of Prayer, we call it praying with the heart.

Join me at Praying with Grace for a mini-retreat in imaginative prayer!

17 Mar 2015

Heart Check-Up

A couple of weeks ago, I shared an excerpt from Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2015:
During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: "Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum": Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.

"Make our hearts like yours."

How's that going?

We're more than halfway through Lent, so it's time for a cardiac check-up. In what ways have our hearts grown more like the Heart of Jesus these past weeks?

To reflect on this, we pay attention both to our own hearts and to the Heart of our Lord. Please join me at Praying with Grace for a heartfelt reflection.

29 Jan 2015

One of the Glories of Scripture

'One of the glories of Scripture is that it can embrace many meanings in a single passage.'

St. Thomas Aquinas









From The Breadbox Letters




6 Dec 2014

I Permit No Woman to Teach a Man.....1 Timothy 2: 12


 
 I was in a debate the other day on another blog about the meaning of 1 Timothy 2: 11-12.  Here is what it says "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.…"  When I asserted that it didn't really mean what it seems to mean, that women were never to instruct men in matters of faith, the debate was on.

  I tried many ways to show

  • that early Church Doctors didn't understand it that way
  • that men did learn from the writings of the women saints
  • an understanding of the authority of men in that it's only given through the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony and did not endow authority on all men just because they are male
  • through trying to make them understand how the Church views men and women together as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ and those being equal, they both could teach each other. 
I made no headway with these arguments, all of which were true and clearly showed their interpretation was wrong.  I should have started with the writings of the Church Fathers.  This is where apostolic Tradition is preserved.  
To see why I should have started there, and the amazing clarity given for this verse of Scripture, read more at The Sincere Gift.

16 Feb 2014

Love Letter

"The Bible is a letter from Almighty God to His creatures,"  wrote Pope St. Gregory.

What a missive!  The length of it, the poetry, the repeated declarations of total and absolute LOVE. 

"I have loved you with an everlasting love... I am constant in My affection for you."  (Jeremiah 31:3)

"Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, My love shall never leave you."  (Isaiah 54:10)

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one shall snatch them out of my hand."  (John 10:27-28) 

I can turn page after page of Scripture and find such love.  Love that would suffer and die for me, declaring itself over and over and over - a definite sign of not at all secret Love....

from The Cloistered Heart

Samuel Melton Fisher painting

2 Nov 2013

The Cost of Peace


Peace between warring nations comes with a hard-fought truce. Peace between the oppressor and those afraid to resist comes at the price of slavery.
Peace pursued constantly through pleasure and consumption is a fantasy that leads to obsession with whatever it takes to live stress-free:  comfort foods, constant distraction of entertainment, addictions. We strive to live so that we don’t hurt anywhere. Our relationships work to our advantage. We have everything we want on our happiness checklist. For now.
Are we depending on ideal circumstances for a transient peace? Peace on our terms?
We ask God for peace. We ask him to take away our pain and struggles so that we can have peace. Yet in the middle of a health crisis, a faith crisis or a relationships crisis, where is God? We find him there with us. Like the soldier in battle or the cowering slave, we stay poised to discover the peace that defies our understanding—and our control. No one can take that peace away from us. Peace that doesn’t depend on shifting circumstances. Peace that isn’t vulnerable to the enemies of joy that snatch that conditional peace from us.
There's more to the Cost of Peace at JoyAlive.net 

13 Oct 2013

On Human Freedom: Our Son, The Lector

Tonight at the 5 p.m. Mass, our high school freshman was trained by an older woman to become a lector. He sat beside her, a few pews in front of us, and listened as she whispered directions and instructions. In a few weeks, he will share the lectoring responsibilities with her and then, if all goes as hoped, he's at the ambo on his own. It was moving to witness her sit beside him during Mass, passing on the faith. Keep Reading Here

12 Oct 2013

Six Ways to Encounter Jesus in the Mass by Nancy



Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me. (Luke 22:19)
Although God’s presence is everywhere, mass is my favorite place to come into his presence. Every part of the liturgy helps me experience a personal encounter with Jesus. It will provide the same relationship with Jesus for you.
·            Christ is present in the assembly of the body of Christ in the pews, for he has promised “where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20)  So sing and pray knowing that Christ is among us, gathered as the body of Christ.
·            Christ is present in the priest or bishop who presides in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. When they vest before celebrating Mass the priests  "put on Christ" in a special way.
Find more ways to encounter Jesus at JoyAlive.net

1 Jul 2013

Opening Our Hearts to Our Enemies. Now.

We live in divisive times. Sometimes, that grieves me.







 How do we reconcile these two perspectives? Can we? A homily I heard yesterday gave me hope.




Keep Reading...

5 Sep 2011

The Sword in My House


Wisdom builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
—Proverbs 14:1
I was clueless as a young wife mother and– on top of my naivety…I was alone a lot raising the boys while my husband traveled extensively with the corporation that owned us but paid our bills. We had moved far from any family or friends, had no church yet and nights were very difficult for me because I was still in the throws of PTSD and those dreadful nightmares. It was a really difficult time in our marriage and I had a choice to make;
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding..
—Proverbs 3:5
Or, become a noisy, contentious, irritating wife that would make her husband prefer to live on the corner of a roof, rather than in the house with her.
—Prov 21:9
Contentiousness doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but there was only one heart I could do something about. God will have nothing by halves….all my heart meant,
All.
This is when Scripture became practical for me. Proverbs and Psalms were my daily bread .. I would lay my Bible on top of the kitchen counter and in between diaper changes, frazzled nerves from functioning on no sleep, and languishing loneliness– I found a friend in Jesus. No background in Hebrew or Greek, no masters degree in theology, no study on the historical roots of a passage, just a woman’s heart that feared God and believed He was the beginning of wisdom, crying out for Him to teach me His ways. He met me in my kitchen and taught me lessons I still look back on today.
I was reflecting on this this past weekend because the book of Proverbs was our assignment for our Oblate meeting with the Abbott.
By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established,
by knowledge the rooms are filled
with precious and pleasant riches.
—Proverbs 24:3
It didn’t always look or sound like that was what was happening, but by grace I kept on trusting Him and taking Him at His word.
I fell more than seven times, but I kept getting up strengthened by His promises ( Prov. 24:16)
You know what I took away from the study this weekend? I may have more knowledge and life experience now, but I have lost some of that childlike trust I knew in those early days. Sad to say, many of the homilies I hear don’t treat the Scriptures as,
living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
—Hebrews 4:12
But I’m fired back up, because I know…no, I mean I really know, that were it not for the blade of that two edged sword in my life,
I’d have torn my house down with my own hands.
+PAX
from my blogpost at bellofthewanderer