New Things This Week

I’ve recently happened on a few different blogs that had a recap of their blog week.  I like that idea a lot, and have decided to do my own.  If it catches on, I’ll try to make it a (another) regular “new thing” here.

Welcome!

I’m seeing some new “faces” here, and want to extend a warm welcome.  I hope that my thoughts and brainstorms can be an encouragement to you, and that we would enjoy sweet fellowship together.  Please don’t hesitate to jump in and contribute to the conversation, and please, bounce some of your ideas off my wall while you’re here.

I’d also like to point out the link  to my facebook page on the sidebar.  If you like what you see here, please like me on facebook to receive updates and related content.

What I’m writing:

I have some random thoughts still rattling around in my brain on the subject of suffering.  Nothing that’s come anywhere close to being able to communicate yet…I’ve been a bit preoccupied this week with my Baltimore Catechism series.  I have three entries set to publish and am currently working on my fourth and fifth.  This is a record for me, as I am usually blogging by the seat of my pants, just trying to have something…anything that will pass for content.  I’m enjoying the instruction in my faith, as I dig around the Word of God and the Catechism to answer questions for friends and family members regarding our decision to become Catholic.    As I mentioned before, I’ll be posting this series on Thursdays, and I would LOVE to have feedback both from the perspectives of Catholics, new and established…as well as dialogue with my Protestant brothers and sisters.   If you haven’t yet done so, please read  A Letter to My Christian Friends, the introduction to this series, and the first installment.

I’ve also finally working on a little story for my grandchildren.  When we first moved here, we had a terrible problem with mice, and not just any mice…these ones could lick a mousetrap clean and never set it off, it was mindboggling.  I told my husband I was going to write a story about a little family of mice who are grateful for the food provided to them by the sweet people that just moved in…well I’ve got a rough draft, and am thinking about how I’m going to illustrate it.  I want to publish it for my grandchildren, if nothing else.

Recommended reading:

A Holy Experience’s “Letter to the Wounded” was such a soothing balm to my soul.  If you’re weary and feel like you’re barely hanging on, it will comfort you.  Go read it, and be blessed too.

Called to Communion has a great article on one of the legitimate differences between Catholic and Protestant teaching, Sola Scriptura…it’s a little heavier than I usually attempt, but very informative and well written.

Catholic Cravings’ “When the Earth Was Flat” sets the record straight on age-old misconceptions and misinformation.

In my “spare” time

I’ve started walking.  It feels good and allows me to disconnect a little bit and reconnect to God in prayer.  One of these days I will get a play list set up on my MP3, and enjoy some tunes while I walk.

This week on Netflix:  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Skeleton Key, We Were Soldiers and my husband’s favorite, Star Trek the next Generation.

On my prayer list:

If you would pray for me, I have a couple requests.  One:  My arm is killing me.  I’ve had decreased range of motion, pain and swelling in my shoulder and upper arm for going on two months now.  I keep thinking it’s getting better, then I do something to re-injure it again.  Two:  I have two grandbabies due in May.  I would very much appreciate prayer that my girls would carry to full term and experience a speedy and safe labor and delivery.  A former neighbor girl and friend of my girls had a baby this week.  It seems like yesterday they were just kids riding bikes through the neighborhood and playing “PigPen”, and now they are becoming Mommies of their own children.  I am thanking God for a safe delivery and a healthy baby, and continuing to pray for this family, that they would know God’s love for them and walk in His ways.

That’s pretty much it for this week.  Have a great weekend, God bless!

~Lyn

Baltimore Catechism – 61, 9, 10 (Who is our Redeemer, What must we DO and How shall we know?)

The first two issues brought up are Q & A #9 and #10 in the Baltimore Catechism.  The issue is underneath in italics…and my answer is after each question/issue.  Clear as mud?

OK.  Here we go:

9. Q. What must we do to save our souls?
A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity;
that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our
heart.

*What must WE do to save OUR souls? Sounds like works to me. No mention of Jesus at all in this section.*

In Acts 2, we find the question asked of Peter, “what must we DO to be saved?”  And Peter doesn’t hesitate with his answer, check it out!

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

It’s important to note that these  questions and answers are not an end all/be all;  remember, this format is for the sake of educating young children in the basics of Church doctrine; let’s take it for what’s it’s worth in it’s context, and not fail to recognize the whole of the Church’s teaching.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.458

619      “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3).

620      Our salvation flows from God’s initiative of love for us, because “he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19)

Look further down in the BC:

61. Q. Who is the Redeemer?
A. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.

Because of this knowledge, the answer to what must we do, is accurate and true.  We have a choice, and we must make a response.  We can either choose to accept this gift of salvation, or reject it.  I don’t see this as a “works of righteousness” dilemma at all.  I see it more as a “His gift/My response” dynamic.  The gift of salvation is offered, but never forced on us, right?  And if I accept it, or rather, because I’ve accepted it, I must (and do) worship God by faith, hope and charity, and believe in Him, hope in Him and love Him with my whole heart.  (Which is the first and greatest commandment).

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10. Q. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?
A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

*No Bible reading?* 

Where did the Bible come from?  The Bible as a collection of books came FROM the Church, not the other way around.  And before there was a Bible, God’s Word was passed on orally.  Incidentally, this is one area where Catholics and Protestants disagree.  I was taught as a Protestant that God’s Word, the Bible is the source of all truth.  This is not biblically accurate, not according to St. Paul anyway.  Consider this:

1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

He teaches us here it’s the Church, not the Bible that is the pillar and bulwark of truth.  The answer in the catechism is true and accurate…and it includes a vital phrase, did you see it?  “…through which God speaks to us”.  We can trust God to speak through His Church, just as He always has from its start.  God spoke through His Church in matters of doctrine, in the bringing about of the Bible, and He speaks through His Church in how to properly interpret the Bible.  Of course, we know what we believe through God’s Word, and through the Church.  My husband stresses one of his favorite phrases here, “it’s not either/or, it’s both/and“, and states that separating the two would be like trying to have a KFC without having the chicken.

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To sum up.  We are saved by grace through faith in The Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ.  Apart from Him, there is no other way to get to heaven.

 

BYOC–Bring your own chair

We had our first BYOC game night here last night.  My daughter said “what a nice way of saying we’re so broke we can’t even offer you a place to sit, you have to bring your own” LOL.  Truth is, we don’t have room in this tiny duplex to store extra chairs, and it makes cleanup so much faster and easier…everyone pitches in and half of the stuff is completely removed at the end of the night…win/win!

It was so much fun.  I made a pot of chili and everyone brought something to accompany it…enough to share.  We had cookies and candy galore (I’m thinking my plans to lose weight are being sabotaged, but gladly played along for the sake of “fellowship”), and played farkle, a variation of a dice game we learned when we were kids.

I have a special journal for our game nights.  We keep score on one side of the page, and on the other, everyone gets to doodle and record funny moments from the night’s happenings.

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We had “red solo cups” and everything!

These are the things that memories are made of.  I love these kids, and am enjoying getting to know them better.  I am so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to spend some time down here, and am going to miss them terribly when He moves us on.