I’m off early in the morning to a ladies retreat with CRHP. I would appreciate prayers. I believe strongly that the devil doesn’t want me to be there, which makes me believe even more strongly that the Lord has something specific for me to receive in it.
I’ll be back next week to share all the wonderful things I learn with you, thank you for remembering me in your prayers.
I saw this post got a few hits in the past few days, and after looking through the comments, decided to reblog it. It is a good reminder, especially lately for me. Enjoy.
I was reminded of this poem yesterday, and recommended it to a friend. Thought I might as well share it here. It is written by Amy Carmichael and has been used on more than one occasion to bring clarity and peace to a situation/test/trial I was in, and has blessed me tremendously. I hope it does the same for you.
In Acceptance Lieth Peace
He said, ‘I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.
He said, ‘I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace.
He said, ‘I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life’s riot?
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I was thinking tonight how often Christians are put on the defense regarding their faith. It’s true we are to contend for the faith, and to be ready with an answer when we are asked. I have never been good at this, as a rule, I tend to shy away from confrontation, and I do not like to argue, and this is especially so when the person on the other side is articulate and eloquent, and on the offensive. Seriously, I just shut down.
When I first was confirmed in the Catholic Church, it caused a lot of questions from my Protestant friends that needed to be answered. For me, faith comes easy, once authority is established. Often my answer consisted of “I believe the Catholic Church is the authority that Christ established on the earth before he ascended to heaven, and I’m still learning all the particulars”. As I have continued to learn and grow in my faith, I have still been overwhelmed at the challenge to defend it. I’m still working all that out, but I think the fault of that lies somewhere in between my nature, and the nature of the questions hurled at me. I don’t know where to start with a vague question like “how can you believe in purgatory”? My eyes glaze over and roll back just thinking about all the information and misinformation there is about purgatory, I mean, where does one even start with that answer?
I have determined from now on, my answer will be a question, something like “what about ______ do you find hard to believe? How do you define _______, or what do you believe about it?” and go from there with my answer, addressing what I don’t believe and affirming what I do believe.
I was thinking about how we are instructed to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind. And how different people are wired differently, but we all have the same command. It’s easy for me to love with my heart and soul. I am an emotion-driven believer. That doesn’t mean I don’t engage my mind, but that it doesn’t come as naturally to me to do so, as emotions do. But I am still instructed to love the Lord with my mind, and so knowledge is important in a proper defense of the faith. As I’ve grown and learned, I have tried to follow the advice given in 2 Peter 1:5-11
…support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.
A list! I love lists!
When I first read this passage, I thought faith was the foundation, and onto our faith we add goodness supported with knowledge, and so on…but the more I look at it, I believe I read it in the wrong order…love is the foundation, and love supports mutual affection, which supports godliness, which supports endurance, which supports self control, which supports knowledge, which supports goodness which supports faith.
Love is first…then all the other things are added on and should be increasing in us, building our faith. As long as they are, we are effective and fruitful in the KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ. This line of thinking reminds me of 1 Cor. 13…where without love, I am nothing.
I love the next part of this passage. Peter basically says, “I know you know this, and are already established in the truth, but this is so important, I’m going to keep reminding you of it anyway.” I think we should be reminding each other as well, this is important. Love, mutual affection, godliness, endurance, self control, knowledge, and goodness need to be increasing in us while we are growing in our faith, in truth.
Momma Mary, when the angel Gabriel came to you, you had a choice. You could have chosen the easy road, the one inside your comfort zone, without scornful judgment, without painful loss. You received him, willingly, and graciously into your own body and soul. You carried our Lord Jesus to full term as you journeyed far with him growing and moving inside you. It had to be painful at times, uncomfortable at least, but you carried on. You birthed him into an animal stall, and made His bed in a food trough, a place where the sheep came to eat.
Thank you for saying “yes” to God’s wonderful plan. Thank you for the gift of life that you gave to my Lord and Savior. Thank you for your complete surrender to God and for a worthy example of a woman after God’s own heart. Thank you for carrying the Bread of Life, who gave Himself for me. Thank you for your participation in God’s wonderful plan of salvation.
As a Christian, we also have chosen to carry our Lord Jesus on our journey. His presence is growing and moving inside our spirits, causing discomfort and pain at times. Those around us may not understand our gentleness and protective nature of the gift of life that we carry inside us; they may look on our devotion and zeal as a distraction from their own preconceived notions of what a personal relationship with Jesus looks like to their understanding and way of thinking. We should not be dismayed at the difficulties and judgment, nor should we give up when we feel discomfort, pain and loss, or faint at their disapproval and limited understanding. We must carry on.
And as we carry Him, we know that He also carries us. We find ourselves in Him, and carry on.
This is the perfect reminder for me, at a perfect time. I love how God does that.
Have you ever been misread? Misheard? Misunderstood? What is it about being wrongly accused that makes me wince from the pain, doubled over like I’ve been slugged in the gut?
…and not just any pride, but the spiritual kind…the kind that envisions myself in a very different light than what others are perceiving in me…and it hurts…my pride…to think that I am not all that, like I thought I might have been…like I was trying to be.
And the funny thing is, I’m usually more thick-skinned than that. Criticism usually just rolls off, but this time, it hurt me…to think that I was not showing Jesus to others.
I was in Mass on Sunday, and I was pouring out my heart to God. How I desire for Jesus to live in and through me. It is my deepest longing to show Jesus to others by my choices, my attitude, my heart-cries.
Lord, I want you to be in me, and shine through me, so that others will see you…and it humbles me to hear that is not the case.
Wanna know what He said to me? I heard him, plain as day:
Find yourself in Me, Lyn.
Focus on remaining in Me, and let me worry about who I reveal myself to.
I was so worried about showing Jesus to others, I had missed the point that I cannot bear any fruit, unless I am found in Him.
It’s not about what others see, it’s all about being FOUND in Him…by Him…for His glory, not my own.
I can’t tell you how freeing this thought has been for me.
Lord, let me be found in You. Reveal your will to me, and welcome me into the life beat of Your heart. Empty me of my spiritual pride, and fill me with Your Holy Presence. Give me Your thoughts, guide me in Your paths, teach me Your ways.