Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life Takes Over AGAIN!

Sorry I'm not blogging regularly right now...we have volleyball games, baseball games, church activities...life is crazy!

Hugs to all my bloggy friends! :o)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Back to life!

Sorry I'm back to not posting every day. I had to work some extra hours this week...kids are having baseball practice and volleyball games...we had special activities at church this weekend (evangelization day)...just busy, busy, busy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Season

So now that Lent is over, it is time to stop once again and reflect. God showed me a lot of things during these past few weeks. But the key is to integrate them into my life. For those of you who have traveled this Lenten journey with me, I hope these lessons are something God will help you weave into the fabric of your Christianity as well.

1. Forgiveness--given freely to all, as many times as needed. No limit. Christ's forgiveness toward us knows no bounds. Ours should reflect His.

2. Servanthood--Jesus gave of Himself over and over. That is what He calls us to do.

3. The cross--we should go through it, not try to go around it or just be near it. Jesus called us to the cross, even as He knew His destiny was the cross and all that meant.

4. Obedience--no matter what. Whatever He calls us to do is what we MUST do.

It's time to move on from Lent, and, as our deacon said so eloquently at the vigil: Let's be resurrection people every day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Happy Resurrection Day! Rejoice! He is alive! Alleluia!

"...they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that He was alive." Luke 24:23b

"Resurrection Morning" by Ron DiCianni

"But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep." I Thessalonians 4:13-14

My offering to God: I will rejoice in Christ's victory over death and His gift of eternal life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lent, Day 46--Holy Saturday

I'm making a departure on this, the last day of Lent. The reading for this day is actually an Easter reading, and, well, I'm just not ready for the resurrection "quite" yet...it's only Saturday.

There is a wonderful old hymn that we always used to sing on Easter when I was growing up. I think the first two verses capture the essence of this day so well:

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior!
Waiting the coming day--Jesus, my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus, my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead--Jesus, my Lord!

During family prayer this morning, we talked about how we, as modern-day Christians, have the benefit of knowing the "rest of the story." We know what's coming tomorrow! But those first disciples did not. All they knew was that their Master was crucified, put into a tomb, and, for all they knew, they would be next on the Pharisees' hit list. That Saturday was a quiet day of mourning and contemplating what the future might hold for each of them.

But..."It was not possible that He should be holden of death." Acts 2:24 Thanks be to God!

Tonight is the Easter Vigil, which really begins Easter in the Catholic Church. We will begin the evening in complete darkness. Then, those who are to be baptized and/or received into the Church tonight, will enter with candles. As we progress through the evening, readings from the Bible will progress from the sin in the garden to Christ's crucifixion. And, of course, to the resurrection. Light will flood the church as we celebrate Christ's triumph over death and darkness. Bells will ring. We will witness the baptisms, confirmations, and first reception of communion, of those who are coming into Christ and the Church. It is a glorious occasion. And after our Lenten season without it, we will once again declare, "Alleluia!" The Mass ends around midnight, which is truly the beginning of Easter. An amazing time of rejoicing.

Thank you to all who have joined me on this Lenten journey...especially to Pat who has been so faithful! This has really been a good discipline for me, too. One I would like to continue, if I can find the time.

God bless you all...I'll be here again tomorrow! Join me on our day of great celebration!

My offering to God: Today I will give thanks and praise to the Lord for all He has done for me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lent, Day 45--Good Friday

"Jesus therefore... said: 'It is consummated.' And bowing his head, He gave up the ghost." John 19:30b~Douay Rheims Bible

My offering to God: I will honor Christ's great sacrifice by making sacrifices for others.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lent, Day 44--Holy Thursday

" 'Do you realize what I have done for you? You call Me "Teacher" and "Master," and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet.' " John 13:12b-14

My offering to God: Today I will humbly serve another person.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lent, Day 43

" 'I say to you, one of you will betray Me.' " Matthew 26:21b

This follows closely with my post from yesterday. What is the difference, though, between denying Christ and betraying Him? Honestly, I don't know if there really is a difference.

However, the results of Peter's denial and the betrayal by Judas seem to be worlds apart, don't they? After all, Peter only said he didn't know Jesus. Judas gave Jesus over to the Jewish leaders, which resulted in Jesus' crucifixion.

I wonder, though. The servant girl and the others who heard Peter's denial...did it keep them from believing in Jesus? Did they look at Peter and think, "Wow. If someone who knew Him that well turns on Him, how good could He really be?" That, coupled with the fact that their leaders found Him guilty...did it keep them from faith, too? We will probably never know the answer to that question, as far as Peter is concerned. But what about us? Do those who know we profess to be Christians ever have cause to wonder if we really follow Him? How does it affect them?

Of course, we do know the outcome of the actions Judas took. We know Christ was condemned and crucified. We know Judas took his own life out of remorse for what he had done. So tragic to me. Judas gave into his greed for money. Maybe he thought he was doing something right, and ended up doing something terribly, terribly wrong. Either way, he could have repented. Jesus' forgiveness would have been his.

Therein lies our hope, too, friend. Amidst this season of introspection and repentance, we have the privilege of knowing the end of the story: the resurrection, forgiveness, life...! No matter how many times we have denied Him or betrayed Him, forgiveness can be ours, if we repent out of a broken and contrite heart.

My offering to God: I will reflect on the many times I have betrayed Jesus by not following His commands.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lent, Day 42

" 'I say to you the cock will not crow before you deny Me three times.' " John 13:38b

I cannot imagine the way Peter must have felt when he heard the crowing of that rooster.

And yet, maybe I can...

How many times have I denied Him? I have never said, "I do not know Him." But how many times have my actions said that?

My offering to God: I will have courage in witnessing my faith in Christ, even when there is opposition.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Lent, Day 41

" 'You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.' " John 12:8

The oil used in anointing Jesus was not wasted...it was poured upon the Lord as a great gift of sacrifice.

My offering to God: I will serve Christ by giving a gift to the poor.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lent, Day 40--Palm Sunday

"...they took palm branches and went out to meet Him.." John 12:13a

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna!

My offering to God: I will welcome Jesus into my heart with renewed faith and reverence.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lent, Day 39

"...he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God." John 11:51b-52

We pray something called the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy in the Catholic church. This is part of that prayer:

"Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

And because of His mercy...He died for all...

My offering to God: I will reflect on Christ's tremendous sacrifice of love for us.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lent, Day 38

"And many there began to believe in Him." John 10:42

Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could say that of the city where you live? What if that were the headline in your local paper tomorrow? What if the national news media caught wind of the story and broadcast it on the evening news: "And the breaking news from [your town], [your state], is that many there are beginning to believe in Jesus Christ!"

Whew...now THAT is news worth reading and hearing about!

My offering to God: I will pray that those who are far from God will come to believe in Christ.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lent, Days 36 & 37

Yes, it's true that I didn't post yesterday. It had nothing to do with April Fools Day! We have had a crazy week here. However, yesterday's reading and today's reading go together so well, it's best to post them at the same time anyway! I'll just combine the readings, and get on with this post...

"If you remain in My word, you will truly be My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free...Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps My word will never see death." John 8:31b-32, 51

Those are truly potent words, aren't they? They clearly show us how powerful every word Jesus spoke is for our lives. When we read "in My word" today, we automatically think, "the Word of God--the Bible". And while that is true, we have to remember that at the time Jesus was telling these things to His disciples, the only Scriptures they knew were the Old Testament. There was no "Bible", per se. He literally meant the words He was speaking to them. His teachings. So let's take it from that perspective first.

* Remain in His word...keep believing and keep learning from everything He taught. You will know the truth, and you will be set free!

* Keep His word...don't stop doing it. You will never see death!

Hold on! What?! No death? Right! That's the joy of life eternal!

And where do we find these teachings? Starting at Matthew, work your way through the New Testament. In the first four gospels, you will find Jesus' life and teachings. That's the best place to start. If you continue into Acts, you will read the lives of His disciples, as they began teaching Jesus' words to others, and began living out what He had taught them personally. Then keep going...don't stop there! As you move into Romans and the books that follow, you will find more in-depth writing about how to live out the things Jesus taught. You will be free...and you will never see death? Yes. Not just because you're reading something. But if you're obedient to what you're reading (which is the whole point, after all)...then the freedom and the eternal life part will be evident. Diligence followed by true obedience. That's what it really means to trust His words. Trust Him enough to obey Him.

Because, the beauty of it is, we do have the Bible now...

Let's get started!

My offering(s) to God: I will read and study God's word daily. I will trust Jesus' words.