Tag Archives: faithfulness

To Be Alive.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10

I celebrated my birthday recently. I’m not going to tell you how old I am…Most people are shocked at my age anyway, since youthful genes run in my family. Additionally, I’m quite petite. Put simply, the number doesn’t matter. These days, I’m pondering life and the lessons I’ve gained more than before.

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Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I no longer put societal expectations about age and the timeline for God’s plan for my life together. God has given us each a different story to write. It’s refreshing that none of us is exactly the same. We can always learn from one another and the different ways that God works in each our lives. It can be difficult to understand why the Father gifts one person in a certain way and not another person, but He is sovereign. Only He knows why, as tough as that can be for us to swallow.

In the past year, I had many opportunities to actually “walk in faith.” By the world’s standards, I went about a lot of things in a way that isn’t normally recommended. I think some people think I’m crazy for the peace I’ve gained from Christ about certain areas of my life. But you know what? We serve a faithful, all-powerful God. He has never let me down, and I know that same faithfulness will continue this year and forever.

I am astounded when I think upon the gift of life. Earthly life is definitely not perfect and there are always struggles of various types. Yet when I ponder that this life is a gift, and I could have never existed at all, or even not been given the chance to live…It puts it into a whole new perspective! What a tremendous gift, to live, learn, and love.

I was an idea of the God of the universe! So were you, and every other person in existence at any time. I don’t think our minds can fully comprehend it. What is also profound is that each of us were created for a specific & unique purpose!

I can’t wait to grow closer to Jesus Christ during this next year of my life and to see how He leads me further into the purpose I was created for…

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Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash
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The Word on Wednesday

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”~Habakkuk 2:3

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So many times I have attempted to plan the timeline of my life. It is fruitless because life has never happened according to my timeline. I know that my God knows the timing of each detail of my life. Other translations of this verse, instead of saying “it will not delay,” say it “will not be late.” The timing of the Lord is perfect! Many times I’ve been tempted to think I am “late” in certain regards, but that thinking is not according to my Lord. Again, the Father’s timing is rarely, if ever, our timing! Remember that He has plans for your welfare and not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). It is difficult to trust in the moments when we can’t see. Even though we can’t see one step in front of us, He has a vision. Every detail is working together. And He has given us a vision, too. But we must wait. We must continue to work in His vineyard faithfully, as we await the proper time and the fullness of the revelation. It will not delay-it will not be late.

 

The Persecuted Church

On Sunday mornings, I get in my car and drive to attend Mass, to worship the Lord with my brothers and sisters. It’s the highlight of my week. Though I know the times are perilous and anything can happen, I know that my church in a suburb in the U.S.A. is much safer than many of the places my brothers and sisters worship. I always have a thought for my brothers and sisters all over the world who are persecuted for their faith. They realize that any public act of worship may well be their last. They step into a church that they know could be a target, or crowd into homes or secret places where someone may have followed them.

Today I arrived home and read the sad news of the bombing of a cathedral in Egypt, where more than 20 people lost their lives. Then I read about Pope Francis praying for the victims of terrorism from this weekend. Egypt was not the only place where people lost their lives the past 2 days. Persecution and terrorism are widespread in this world. This map gives an idea of the places where Christians are persecuted and the severity of the persecution.

Don’t forget to pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world. And remember that religious freedom is not something to take for granted. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters live daily with persecution, and we need to be prepared for the same. Today we mourn and remember the victims and their families, as well as pray for the conversion of those who carry out attacks.

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“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”~2 Timothy 3:12

The Word on Wednesday

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”~Hebrews 10:23-25

The huge theme of this passage is encouragement. The author encourages the reader (you!) to hold fast to your hope in Jesus without wavering. This means that our hope protects from doubt. We are reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. Even in difficult times, our God is faithful to us and upholding us. We are exhorted to encourage others and stir them up to good works. Christian community and its necessity is mentioned. We cannot neglect a faith community, and must hold strongly to it. Community strengthens all of the individuals within it, thus strengthening the Church as a whole. The book of Hebrews gives strong advice to us about running our race and enduring even in difficulty.

(It’s been a long time since I did one of The Word on Wednesday posts. I will try to be more consistent about this! Thanks for reading!)

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Walking into Rainbows

This week was one of the most trying I have had in a long time. I was in survival mode, at work and at home. I felt out of my element and exhausted, emotionally and physically. The cold and rainy, dark weather did not help my energy level or my mood.

Then came the long-awaited Friday. I made it through the workday, where once again nothing seemed to go successfully. I looked forward to finally going home and take care of personal business that needed to be done, and to unpacking my new place and making it feel like home. I was so drained and questioning many things. Then, I noticed this sight.rainbow-september-30th

I felt clearly the presence of my Father, and His love. The sight of that rainbow, a sign of His promises, gave me so much strength. We think we can’t do it on our own, and it’s true: we can’t! But leaning on God’s grace, we can do it. We can trust His faithfulness and that He is working even through the storms and rain. One day, when you think you simply can’t walk another step, you just might yourself walking into a rainbow.

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”~Genesis 9:13

“The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”~Lamentations 3:22-23

All For His Glory.

Everything won’t always go the way we hope it will. The important thing is that we do it all for God’s glory. We must live for His glory, and not our own.

It’s easy to get caught up in society. So easy, in fact, that too often we don’t realize that we’ve gotten caught up in the trap until it’s too late. We are doing great at work, great in our personal endeavors, and all is well. We are proud of ourselves. Our motivations have strayed from our Creator, to our success. We forgot Who brought us there. Because, though we put in hard work, it wasn’t all us: God empowered us and gave us all that was necessary to do what we have done.

As Blessed Mother Teresa famously said, “we are not called to be successful, but to be faithful.”

Let us pray for each other, that we may do all things for the glory of God!

7 Quick Takes-Fruits of the Spirit for 2015

This seven quick takes is brought to you by Galatians 5! This year, resolve to pray for and seek the fruits of the spirit! (Note: this isn’t the whole list, but it covers most of them!)

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1. Love. Love for God and our neighbor–that is what should drive us this year and always. In fact, even love for yourself might be a goal–if you don’t feel confident in your own skin, how can you extend that to others? Seek to love in each moment, in big and small ways. 

2. Joy. Joy is not the absence of trouble–but joy will be present even in times of trouble. As you seek a closer relationship with the Lord, you will find joy to sustain you. It doesn’t mean being clappy-happy all the time; it does mean that you know the Source of happiness and goodness and find your nourishment in that. 

3. Peace. If you are walking in the Spirit fully, you will possess His peace. Be His fragrance everywhere you go. Bring peace to troubled situations. If you feel lacking in this department, ask God for His peace, which surpasses all understanding. 

4. Forbearance. The times will get tough at some point this year. Maybe they are already. Lean on God to get you through. Learn patience and strength in suffering. Though painful, trials teach us many important lessons. These trials can strengthen our relationships with God and others. 

5. Faithfulness. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is quoted as saying that”God did not call us to be successful, but to be faithful.” We won’t always be successful. Everything we set out to do this year won’t turn out the way we expect. What matters is faithfulness–in the small things and the big things. It’s the way we love our families, and the way we focus on doing our job right down to the little details. It’s in turning to God even when don’t feel His presence.

6. Gentleness. Seek to control your temper. When something upsetting happens, calm down and pray. Ask for the strength to react with grace. Be a good example to those who are berating you for your beliefs. Show not anger, but gentleness and truth. 

7. Self-control. There are too many of us who don’t make prayer a priority. Prayer is the most important thing, and that should be our center. All else should fall around prayer. Make time for prayer. Beyond that, exercise prudent time-management. It will go a long way into creating a balanced life for you.

May the Holy Spirit give us the opportunity and the grace to possess these fruits of the spirit in 2015 and always!

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