Showing posts with label gifts from god. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gifts from god. Show all posts

7 Apr 2017

Gifts Not Being Used are Simply Useless


Prayer is a Gift that is Only Useful when Being Used
When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads:
“Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit 

All Rights Reserved. Allison Gingras 2017

31 Mar 2017

The Gift Of Prayer - Only Useful When Being Used

Prayer is a Gift are Meant to Be Used a Reflection by Allison Gingras part of the Walk in Her Sandals WINE Lenten Book Club series

Gifts are Meant to be Used

“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.

When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads .... 
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All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017 

28 Aug 2012

Starting a Woman’s Study is Easier Than You Think!

Wrapped Up Companion Journal
Wrapped Up
A woman asked me how to start a study for her friends in her parish. After that a young college girl inquired about starting a bible study in her sorority. That was followed by a mother wanting to begin one, in her home, with her friends. It got me thinking...How many women would like to start a study but feel it might be more than they could handle?

The good news is, starting a woman’s study is easier than you think! 




Here are a few guidelines; and, I would be more than willing to answer any questions as well. I can be contacted at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com or by calling 248-917-3865.

Getting the group together:

If you already have a group of interested women, your best bet is to look at your own schedule and offer a couple of options for getting together. I would suggest an hour and a half to two hours, once a week. So, for example if Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. work best for you, send out emails, or make phone calls, to everyone sharing these options and ultimately go with the most popular choice. Too many options will muddy the waters; just a couple is fine.

If you do not have a group of interested women, ask your church paper to put in a small article stating that you are starting a study while also send out inquiry emails to your own friends and family. Ask them to send the email on, as well, to their friends and family. I’m not a math person but I know that there is some general idea that to get, say, 5 women, you may need to contact 50 (the 10% rule or some such thing). Anyhow, if you are advertising in your church paper or through email, give a “reply by” date and an idea of how many women will be your minimum and maximum.

Once you have your group, you will give a start date that gives you enough time to buy the supplies. This is whatever book will be your resource and, of course, you’ll make sure that everyone brings a bible. I wouldn’t discourage different Catholic bible versions because your group can have beneficial discussions on different words used in a variety of translations. It is usually best when the “leader” orders the resource books and I always suggest that the leader order an extra copy or two for people who are bound to join the group after they hear how wonderful the study is! My last parenting workshop started with eight people and ended with fourteen! Buying an extra book or two allows new people to start right away versus waiting another week or so to get a book, but it is certainly not necessary.

Your books and resources:

Once the group size is known, the leader orders books and resources and then typically collects the money on the first night of the study. All this is, of course, just a guideline. If you have four people signed up, you might feel comfortable buying the books and resource materials up front and then collecting the money. But if you have a fifteen people signed up, you’ll probably want to collect the money first.

Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women is structured so that it can facilitate the group in any number of ways. There is an audio version of the book with both myself and Teresa each reading her section of each chapter. That may be the perfect way for the leader to begin each section—with the participants listening to the chapter together. It is a perfect supplement to the book which can be read through the week at each person’s leisure. The companion journal is where the ten gifts identified in the book are explored in depth. Scripture verses and Catechism excerpts are used in both the book and the companion journal—which has room for personal reflections.

For your first meeting you might provide a light snack and beverages and have a sign up sheet for the following three of four get-togethers. If you try to sign up too far into the future, people tend to forget. And it is always good to recognize that a reminder email is helpful as we all get caught up in our schedules and sometimes forget these things that nourish our souls! Something that goes out to everyone a day or two before the meeting and is a simple message like; Blessings…I just wanted to remind everyone of Tuesday’s bible study and that we are looking forward to Sue’s snacks…

For the Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women study, the companion journal has instructions for conducting the study as well as prayers for each of the ten gatherings. There are reflections and questions that are meant to engage the heart and mind of each participant. All in all, studies make for great times! They immerse you in the Word of God and allow you to help others on their journeys with Christ.

30 Jul 2012

Vanity Has Nothing To Do With It

“So basically you are a ‘vanity press,’” was the question posed to me that really sounded more like a statement of fact—and an unattractive one at that.

“Well, we offer a variety of publishing services and some of those services are that authors do, indeed, pay to have their books published with us,” were the words I said that didn’t even begin to cover the true response.

What I’ve come to see over these past six years working with different authors is that there isn’t a vain one among them. In fact, what I’ve come to know and be blessed by are the men and women who have made the conscious choice to answer the call the Holy Spirit has put upon their hearts to bring a work of fiction or non-fiction to fruition. These are men and women who have taken the “new springtime of evangelization” to heart and have responded. They aren’t in positions of power where their names can open doors; rather, they are the simplest and most humble of people who have prayed and discerned to know God’s call upon their lives. Each and every one of them is a truly gifted writer and has brought to me work that I am proud to publish; work that I have enjoyed reading and can recommend to others with full confidence. Without exception each is a work that entertains, edifies and enlightens.

Thinking about the inquirer’s question-framed-as-a-statement, I realized that not once has it ever been the case of someone whose vanity propels them forward, wanting to see their name in print and their words bound together for profit or for gain.

Not once.

It is always about serving God and uplifting brothers and sisters in Christ in compelling prose.

In fact, I have been so blessed to work with these men and women that I know my life is better having known each of them. I marvel at what they’ve brought to the world through their work; sharing their tales—whether fiction or non-fiction—has been a labor of love. Paying to have their work published has been a sacrifice they each have been willing to make because they believe it is what God has asked of them. They rightfully believe that this time in our Church isn’t about just a few being called but about all of us being called to step up and serve with our God-given gifts and talents. It is a time for each of us to open a door for another, through whatever means or situation in which God has put us.

They understand that now is the time to join together—being bound as believers—and serve one another. These men and women are taking very serious their responsibility as part of the body of Christ.

Their rewards?

Since these men and women have not pursued their publications out of vanity, their success, I am sure they will tell you, is measured on a different scale. They humbly ask themselves such things as:

1. Was I obedient?

2. Did I use the gifts God has given me the way He has asked me?

3. Did I willingly sacrifice as I was asked?

4. Has one person been affected by my witness, my work?

I am in awe to know these men and women of all ages and backgrounds and experiences. They are what the new springtime of evangelization is all about: taking leaps of faith as they witness and work to share the Good News through their God-given talents.

I hope these men and women encourage you to wonder and then respond to the question, “What is God asking of me right now in this exciting time in our Church?”

Take Greg Willlits Survey to see how you are part of the new evangelization:


Cheryl Dickow

11 Jul 2011

Make a Joyful Noise: Garbage Cans in Picadilly

Delighted to discover someone passing by had taped my friend's son while he was visiting Picadilly Circus with his American family. Gabriel is the youngest of four boys. 

-Allison Salerno

9 Jul 2011

When A Sassy Remark Shows Me a Sure Thing


 By Allison Salerno

"Mom. Stop blaring your music. I'm trying to read." 

So said our 11-year-old yesterday as he lay on the comfy blue couch, reading, and I sat in the nearby armchair, listening on my macbook to my new favorite music: Iron and Wine. His sassy comment was its own kind of music.

If you know our son in real life, you know what a triumph this comment is. You see, our son struggles with a language-based learning disability. When he was four, his speech was unintelligible, even to me, his stay-at-home mom. The only person in the world who could understand L. was his older brother, who for years served as a translator for him to the rest of the world.

25 Jun 2011

A Love Deeper than Any of Us Can Imagine


Morning came too early for me; I had stayed up very late at a neighborhood block party and had to rise with the rest of my family as we scattered in different directions - my husband to lector at an early Mass, and our 10-year-old son to a Little League baseball playoff game. That left G. and me at home, where I attempted to supervise his remaining homework before the 11 a.m. Mass, where he was an altar server.

This was a morning of poor parenting; my frustration with his disorganization devolved into my raising my voice, speaking to him harshly, and then  dissolving into tears of regret and exhaustion. Mass and the Penitential Rite ("I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault...") could not come soon enough.

28 May 2011

Gifts from God

The unusual bouts of rain in the dry season have contributed to the rapid blooming of poui trees across the country, creating a breathtaking sight. The poui, one of my country's (Trinidad and Tobago) most spectacular trees normally flowers a brilliant yellow or mild pink between April and May or nearer to the middle or end of the dry season. Whenever the poui tree shed its leaves in the dry season and a shower of rain occurs, usually a few days later they start to flower.

When in bloom the yellow poui creates a carpet of yellow flowers especially around the Queen’s Park Savannah and on the hills of St Augustine. There are two species of yellow poui—yellow and black, while the pink specie, native to Venezuela, can be seen in abundance up the Islands. 

 I always look forward to my first sight of this unusual tree and the enormous pleasure it gives me. A truly splendid example of nature at its best. The Poui tree is surely a gift from God. 

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