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This blog is simply meant to bring God the glory; no more and no less. I'd love to hear from you! Comments, questions, conversation. rebecca.labriola@gmail.com

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter! Sunday April 24. Easter Season 2011.

Alleluia! He has risen!
He has fulfilled His promise!
He has conquered death!
It is through Him that we may live!

The time of waiting and praying and fasting is over!
We can look back upon this Lent and see how strong we truly are.
How strong we are in the Lord.
This Lent I gave up something slightly extreme.
I gave up solid foods and stayed on a liquid diet.
For the most part, I did really well.
Towards the end of Lent there were a couple of times when I would sneak in some vegetables or rice but all in all I was able to hold to my sacrifice pretty well and it was solely by God’s grace.
I learned a lot of things this Lent.
I learned that I make delicious soups. ;)
But far more importantly, I learned how dependant we are on things of the world when we need to be depending on God.
Obviously we need food but it was such a dramatic change to go from worrying about what I am going to eat to just pouring some soup in a bowl or making a shake. I never realized how something as simple as food takes up our thoughts.
I was also amazed at how our source of strength is truly in the Lord.
So many times, especially at the start of Lent, I just wanted to chew and gum wasn’t cutting it. I wasn’t hungry but yet I just wanted something to chew on.
Or the afternoon boredom. I just wanted something to snack on.
And it was in these times that I turned to the Lord, asked Him for strength, and offered up my wants and desires.
It was so amazing to watch Him pull me through this Lent step by step.
I hope and pray that this Lent was a fruitful one for you as well.
I pray that you were able to begin parting with something of this world or that you are able to continue doing whatever you added on this Lent.

Easter is upon us and it is a time for celebration, family, and thanksgiving.
I hope and pray that you have a joy-filled Easter day and Easter season.
May we go and carry the good news of the Lord with fear of the Lord and His joy filling our hearts just like the hearts of Mary and Mary Magdalene.
Happy Easter!
Christ has risen!
Praise God!

I want to thank each person who has taken the time to read this little blog during Lent.
It truly means so much that you would take your time to read the words written here.
Also, a huge thanks to my dad who, almost daily re-posted my blog on Facebook. Katelyn and Francis, thank you for being support systems. For reposting this blog all on your own. I feel honored that you promoted this blog.
He is working.
He is moving.
He is doing great things.
Praise God.
I will continue with this blog, though most likely not daily, yet, I ask that if you feel called to, please continue to follow along.
Please pray for me as I will pray for you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday Evening and Holy Saturday. Saturday April 23. Lent 2011.

Friday night began preparation day for the Sabbath.
The bodies were not to remain on the cross during the Sabbath.
The soldiers had the duty of making sure the men that hung on the crosses were dead.
The soldiers went to each of the thieves and broke their legs.
With their legs now broken, the men could not press against their feet to breathe and thus died of cruel suffocation.
When the soldiers came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead.
They did not break His legs thus fulfilling scripture.
“Not a bone of it will be broken.”
As solider thrust a lance into Jesus’ side and a combination of blood and water came flowing out.
“They will look upon him who they have pierced.”
The blood that flowed from Christ was the very blood that washed over all of our sins.
The water signified the complete and unending mercy that Jesus has toward us, regardless of our continuous sins.

Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus.
Nicodemus brought a mixture of aloe and myrrh, spices and burial clothes as was the Jewish custom.
When Jesus was taken down from the cross, His mother was given the grace to hold Her Son once again.
“on the hill of calvary
woman behold your son
she watches Him nailed to a tree
the child she bore grasps for air
a loud cry and her heart is pierced
the child she held has gone from her
His body hangs without life
they take him down from the tree
they lay him in His mother's arms
they lay him in her arms
she won't understand
why her son had to die
But she said, "Come hold my son,
Come hold my son."
The Thirsting-
Come Hold My Son

I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and grave and deep sorrow that Mary experienced on Good Friday. I think the greatest pain of all was for Her to see Her Son suffering and She can do NOTHING. There is nothing She could say or do that would change the situation and ease Her Son’s sufferings. When Jesus was placed in Her arms once He was taken down from the cross I would imagine it was the most intense moment of mixed emotions. Mary was still in sorrow and pain that Her Son had died. Yet, He was no longer suffering physical pain. She could hold Him once again but do nothing to change what had just happened. Some say that She knew exactly who Jesus was, what He had come to do, and what would soon happen but that does not take away Her motherly love and desire to care for Her Son.

Jesus was buried and laid in a tomb close by.
The stone was rolled in front of the tomb.
The Sabbath was upon them.

Holy Saturday.
For the Jews, Sabbath.
They could do nothing.
But sit.
And wait.
Despite the events that had taken place the day before, the apostles rested on the Sabbath.
They obeyed the law despite what would have been going through their minds.
I can’t even imagine how hard it would have been to rest when their minds were probably racing a million miles a minute.
Thinking back on every word Jesus had said to them
Playing back His suffering and passion from the day before
Wondering if He really was going to come back
And if so, when?
The apostles probably had to muster much self-discipline to obey the laws of the Sabbath that day.
The important thing here is that they did obey the law.
Regardless of their thoughts, feeling, and emotions they obeyed.
Regardless of what was going on inside, in their heads and hearts, they had FAITH.
And obedient.
Maybe they weren’t exactly sure what they had faith in at the moment.
Maybe they did have their doubts.
Maybe they did have their moments where they just wanted to give up,
To stop playing the waiting game,
And to break the law on the Sabbath.
But they didn’t.
They waited in silent, quiet, and obedient faith.
And it was in this moment when their God, OUR God was working.
It is often in moments of silence when our God works.
When we finally shut up and just LISTEN to Him.
Or maybe He doesn’t have anything to say but that we are open to Him.
That we have the faith that He knows what He is doing, even if it is complete silence.
There are moments in our lives when we are communicating with other people when the most effective and correct response to their words is silence.
It is in the silence and the stillness and the peace that our God does great things.
Help us to be silent and filled with peace on this Holy Saturday as we wait for our Lord.
Help us to have silent faith in our lives when we need it most.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good Friday. Thursday April 21. Lent 2011.

Good Friday.
The day of Our Lord’s suffering, passion, and death.
There are not words enough to do justice to the pain and suffering and glory of this day.
However, using very few words, the movie, The Passion of the Christ gives incredible visuals of the torment and suffering that our Lord experienced all because of His love for us.
This is another day that contains so much detail and depth.

Barabbas was chosen to be released over Christ.
This choice was so that the Lord’s will would be carried out.
And the passion of Christ begins.
Christ was chained to a post and scourged.
His body brutally beaten with cruel weapons.
Weapons that sliced His sacred skin.
Weapons that when thrown upon His body took a hold of His flesh
and ripped it off of His body.
And He went through this because

A crown on thorns was placed upon His head.
Actually, people believe that it was more of a cap of thorns.
The 2 inch thorns were forced into the sacred head of Our Lord.
Blood ran down His face joining with the rest of the blood that covered His body.
And He tolerated this all because

Jesus carried the cross to Golgotha.
The heavy physical burden.
The wood rubbing against Christ’s skin, irritating it even more.
The dirty wood shoving splinters through Christ’s bloody ripped skin.
He falls on the gravel three times.
The gravel pushing up through the gaping wounds all over His body.
The burden of the cross falling down with our blessed Lord.
He carried His cross all because

When Jesus reached the place called Skull, He was rudely placed upon the cross.
Nails that are thought to have been 7-9 inches long were hammered to Jesus’ feet and His hands, just below the wrist.
A block of wood was fastened to the cross under Christ’s feet which left His knees slightly bent.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The nails driven through His hand and wrist area did not break a bone but they are thought to have hit a major nerve that controlled movement and feeling of the shoulders.
Because of the strain on the nerve, Jesus lacked the ability to lift up His head to breathe.
To be able to breathe, Christ had to put force on His feet that were nailed onto the block of wood so that He could force the rest of His body up to breathe.
He went through this pain because

The soldiers mocked Jesus and made fun of Him.
They told Him that He should save Himself.
And He could have.
He is God.
He can do anything.
But He chose to stay on the cross.
Obedience brought Him to the cross
It was love that kept Him there.
His love for YOU.
Love kept Him on the cross.
Staying on the cross showed extreme humility.
His love brought about humility.
He humbled Himself to death, even death on a cross because

Jesus was crucified between two criminals.
One on His right.
One on His left.
One criminal joined in with the soldiers in mocking Jesus.
The other one repented of His sins and asked for Christ’s forgiveness.
Right there.
On the Cross.
“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
He instituted the sacrament of confession and is gracious enough to forgive us of our sin because

Mary standing at the foot of the cross.
Her pain inexpressible.
Her motherly desire to reach out and help her son was a desire like no other.
But She could do nothing.
It was in this moment that Her fiat was required to be a silent one.
Her yes had to be quiet.
She could only pray.
And then listen to Her son when He said,
“Woman, behold your son.”
He would not leave His mother alone.
He will not leave us alone simply because

At about ,
The hour of mercy,
in Jesus’ great pain and agony He cried out to His father,
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Jesus then proceeded knowing that His time was almost finished and said,
“I thirst.”
He was given some wine on a sprig of hyssop.
This completed the fourth cup of the Passover from the night before and Jesus said,
“It is finished.”
Thus, that line has many meanings.
The Passover was now finished.
Christ’s time on earth was almost finished.
The suffering on the cross was almost finished.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father into YOUR hands I commend My spirit.”
Jesus bowed His head and died.
The earth quaked and people came to believe.
“Truly this was the Son of God!”
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
This man was innocent.
Yet He was obedient to the point of death on a cross so that we might live.
Truly He loved us.
Truly He loves us.
And truly He always will.
He gave His life for us.
The least we can do is live our lives for Him.

Just as a side note, some of the information from yesterday’s blog and today’s blog came from a talk that David Calavitta gave the other night on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. He came up with some outstanding insights. So a huge thanks to him! Please pray for David and for all other church ministers that they may continue to do the work of the Lord and that they may continue to let the Lord use them for His glory. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Thursday. Wednesday April 20. Lent 2011.

And so we enter the Triduum.
Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
Holy Thursday is my favorite day of the whole year.
Hands down.
Without a doubt.
My favorite part of this day is after Mass when we all process into the hall and have Eucharistic adoration.
It brings me so much joy to see the hall jam packed with people praising their Jesus.

There are so many details and so much depth in these next three days.

Holy Thursday is the day when we remember the Last Supper.
Very significant.
Jesus celebrated Passover Seder with His 12 apostles.
Before the Passover celebration began, Jesus, in humble service to His apostles, washed their feet with His own hands.
Christ led by example.
He washed the feet of His apostles to bring to light many things.
Washing the feet of the apostles showed extreme humility.
It exemplified Christ’s parable that the greatest must become least
And that the exalted will be humbled.
The humility shown by the washing of the apostle’s feet was a prelude to the humiliation of the crucifixion.
The washing of the feet also symbolized the cleansing of sin by the death of Christ.
The tradition of the washing of the feet is a tradition that is still carried out at the Last Supper Mass.

And now begins the Last Supper.
The institution of the Eucharist.
The beginning of the most important part of our lives as Catholics.
“Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you; do this is memory of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.’”
This was the institution of the Eucharist.
It is for this reason that we live and breathe.
We live and breathe for the Eucharist.
Our hearts, minds, and lives should be centered on the Eucharist.

It was at this moment that the priesthood was instituted as well.
Christ took the bread, blessed it, and broke it.
He gave it to the apostles and said,
“Do this in memory of Me”.
Christ made His apostles priests so that they could continue to carry out the mission of the Church once Christ was gone from this earth.
It is unclear whether or not Judas was present when Christ made His apostles priests.
If Judas was present when Christ made His apostles priests, it just shows even more so how much prayer our priests need.
If Judas was made a priest, then from the moment the priesthood was instituted, human nature and jealousy and betrayal crept into the sacredness of the priesthood.
Regardless of whether Judas was made a priest or not, our priests still need prayer.
A tremendous amount of prayer.
Priests are still human.
Yes, they have been blessed with many graces but much is also expected of them.
They need our prayers!

And on we continue with the Last Supper.
Another most remembered event of the Last Supper is the betrayal.
Judas betrayed Jesus.
We all know this.
The betrayal began the events that led to the crucifixion.
Judas was jealous.
It is said that Satan entered Judas.
Judas just did away with His relationship with Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
Judas left at some point during the Last Supper and did not fully participate.

A traditional Passover dinner consists of four cups of wine with food in between each cup of wine. During the Last Supper, Jesus and His apostles partook in 3 of the required 4 cups of the traditional Seder meal. They then sang as song, per tradition, and then went to the Mount of Olives. It was unheard of to not complete the Seder meal. Interestingly enough, that last part would be completed on Good Friday.

The Garden of Gethsemane is located on the Mount of Olives.
It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Agony in the Garden took place.
Christ was under so much stress and in so much agony that His capillaries burst and He began to sweat blood while He prayed this prayer, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done”.
Jesus was then betrayed by Judas and arrested.
The next day would be a lifesaving, world changing day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Christ Ride. Tuesday April 19. Lent 2011.

“There are days my head is spinning
Wishing I could hit the switch and end this ride
If it came to a stop and someone let me off I know
I would just get right back in line”

This is one of the verses to Mercy Me’s song, Back To You.
I have been thinking about these lyrics all day long.
I was thinking about this ride that they are talking about.
I personally picture it as a roller coaster.
With the ups and downs and thrills and scares.
The abrupt stop and the jerk forward and the loops in the air.
A roller coast is a great example of the Christian life we live.
There are ups and down.
There is joy and pain.
There is happiness and there is suffering.
Roller coaster makes sense.
I like the analogy.

So, if we are on this ride;
Who is controlling our ride?
I think there are two choices of operators-
Christ Himself and something or someone of the world.

I think if something or someone worldly is controlling our ride, then when we mess up or are tired of the ups and downs, the worldly thing would either let us off the ride or ask us to get off. I feel like there would be no tolerance for mistakes.
Such as in our life.
If we are allowing something or someone of the world to control our lives, it will not go smoothly.
If we fail, the worldly thing will disapprove.
We will fail the worldly thing and it will become angry.
The relationship of the worldly thing being superior and controlling our lives will never work out. We will eventually be kicked off of the coaster. And then we must go wait in line for the next worldly thing to grant us acceptance into the same old trap once again.

However, if Christ Himself is operating your coast, then the story is a different one.

Christ is all forgiving.
We can scream and become tired of the ups and downs and we may be rude to the person next to us on the ride and we may feel at times like we are just done and want to hit the off switch but Christ will never let us off of His ride.
We may consciously CHOOSE to get off the ride but He will never ever let us off.
He loves us too much.
It would not be of His nature to let someone off His ride of a Christian life.
How much better does the Christ ride sound already?
No being kick off?
Complete love and forgiveness?!
It already sounds so much better.

And if we choose to get off?
Well then that would be our loss and a bad choice.
To turn away from Christ as our operator would be a faulty decision
But we do it
Every time we sin, we are deliberately turning our backs on God and telling Him we don’t need Him.
When we realize we have sinned and hopefully humbly go back to Christ, what does He do?
He certainly does not tell us to get in line.
He receives us with open arms and gives us the best view on the ride.
He fastens the belt with His own hands of safety and protection.
And He says,
“I love you. Yes, you.
I always have and always will, no matter what you do.
My love for you is unconditional.
My arms are wide open waiting for you to come running.
I am so glad you have turned back to Me My child.
I am so very glad you are back”.

What ride are you on?
Get on the Christ ride.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday. Sunday April 17. Lent 2011.

Today begins Holy Week.
The best week of the year in my opinion.
Today is Palm Sunday.
The day that we stand for what seems like hours on end for the Gospel reading (which, by the way, is only about 20 minutes, yes, I did time it.)
The day we don’t listen to the homily because we are making crosses with our palms
and the day we tickle the random person in front of us with our palm
and the day we continuously poke our family members with our palm.
Ah, yes Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday is the first day of the most contradictory week of the year.
This is the week where Christ suffered more than any of us could ever imagine and died a painful and gruesome death so that we all may live. Oh glorious day.
This is the week where we enter into a deeper understanding and connection with Christ and His passion and death.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people greeted Him with their palms and praises exclaiming, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel”.

The Jews wanted Jesus to be their king.
They shouted out praises and laid down their palms in front of Jesus.
The palms were a symbol of victory.
The victory of good over evil.
Christ is, was, and will always be that victory.
He is the victory over sin and death.

The Jews did not know exactly what was coming.
They didn’t know that the man that they wanted to be their king would change the world.
But they did know there was something special about Jesus the Christ.
They laid down the palms in humble victory at the feet of the donkey carrying the Christ.

This week is a beautiful time to take OURSELVES and lay ourselves down before Christ.
This is the week that Christ lived for.
He lived to die.
His life all comes down to this week.
The week of His death.
His suffering and death.
He deserves nothing less than ALL of our hearts this week.
He deserves for us to lay ourselves at His feet in humble self-giving.
He deserves our empathy this week.
Empathy is one of the most challenging emotions to express
But there is no one who deserves our empathy more.
This week I pray that you find it in your heart to walk with Jesus.
Follow Him in each step that He takes this week.

I hope and pray that this is the most fruitful and amazing holy week that we have experienced. 
I pray that we become closer to Christ 
And that we may truly learn how much Christ loves us
And that He makes us new people, in Him.
God bless you and your Holy Week.
Make it a truly holy week.
Let Christ show you the way of His passion.
Let Him show you, by His death, how much He loves you.
Let Him break you down so that you may be built up for Him.

All I am I want to lay down at your feet
All I am I want to lay down at your feet
All I am I want to lay down at your feet, yeah
I want to
I want to

I give You all of me for all You are
Here I am
Take me apart
Take me apart
Well I give You all of me for all You are
Here I am
Take me apart
Take me apart, yeah now

Tenth Avenue North-
You Are

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thought For The Night... Friday April 15. Lent 2011.

If we hated abortion as much as we hate cancer then maybe we would have a cure for cancer.
Think about it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

JOY. Wednesday April 13. Lent 2011.

My favorite word is joy.
It always has been.
I don’t know when I decided that was my favorite word.
I don’t know why it is my favorite word but it is.
If I have kids one day- one of their names will probably contain the name Joy.
That begins to tell you just how much I love the word.
Growing up, joy was simply a word that I just adored but two years ago that changed.
Two years ago, around this time, I went to a Chris Tomlin concert.
This man KNOWS joy.
I can’t really explain it.
He just simply opens his mouth and joy comes flooding out with each syllable that comes from his tongue.
He is happy. Yes.
He is excited. Yes.
He is hyper. Yes.
He enjoys putting on the concerts. No doubt.
But greater than each of those is his pure JOY.
From the very first MOMENT I saw him, before he even spoke, all I could think was JOY.
There was never a doubt in my mind that I was being slightly biased to my favorite word.
This man was the greatest example of joy that I have EVER seen.
After that concert, joy became more than my favorite word but it became a goal to reach.
I am definitely still working on attaining that joy.
My guess it’s a lifelong process.
It’s a long road.
I sometimes fail at being joyful.
In fact, I OFTEN fail at being joyful.
But it is a place I am still striving to be in.

Last night, I went to another Tomlin concert.
I was so excited to see him.
But I was a little worried.
There was a great possibility that I had worked myself up into thinking he was so joyful.
Maybe it was just that one concert that I went to that he was so great.
Or maybe he wasn’t that great, maybe it was just me exaggerating.  
Doubting Chris Tomlin’s joy is a mistake.
The man walked out on stage and there was JOY in the whole stinkin’ Gibson Amphitheater in secular LA.
It was once again, just BEAUTIFUL.
He did not disappoint this year by ANY means at all.
He was fully consistent with his concert two years ago.
His constant joy means his source of joy is from one place and one place only.
It is our God who is
Nothing of this world is stable.
Even a split second of stability cannot be guaranteed.
But our God, our God…
He IS joy.
Therefore He is the source of joy.
Tomlin’s joy is found in our Lord.
Praise God.
I can only begin to imagine the deep relationship Tomlin has with Christ.
His joy is truly like no other.
I could go on for days about his joy.
Not even kidding.
Seriously, if you eve have the chance go to one of Chris Tomlin’s concerts.
It is very much so well worth the money.
And then you won’t think me crazy for going on about this man’s joy!

How cool would it be to just be purely joyful?
I don’t think it’s easy.
In fact I know it’s not.
And it is a journey for sure.
But regardless of the time and work it will take to obtain joy, it will be beyond worth it.
I invite you to enter into the joy that Tomlin humbly boasts of.
Yup, humbly boasts.
He is completely humble
Yet, in his joy he is boasting of the greatness of his God.
OUR God.
Let us pray for the grace to obtain such joy in our joyful God.
You are my joy.
Help me to become joyful in You.
And You alone.
Joy in You will last forever.
Joy in the world is merely momentarily happiness.
Joy in you is forever.
Help me gain forever.
And with joy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Help Us To Be Hardcore Loving Christians. Friday April 8. Lent 2011.

“Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me”
This is the first part of the chorus of Casting Crowns’ new song called Glorious Day.
I heard this song for the first time today.
It really is a pretty awesome song.
And while I don’t disagree with the above lyrics, I don’t quite fully agree with them either.
I just think that there is more to it.
When Jesus died, He saved us.
No doubt.
His earthly death destroyed eternal death for us.
But His death was the ultimate self sacrifice.
When one self sacrifices to the extent that Christ did; isn’t that the ultimate show of love?
So, did He show us love more by living or by dying for us?
Or did He show us His greatest love by choosing to come to earth in the first place KNOWING He was going to die?
Or did they all clearly show His love on the same level.
The quick answer seems to be the word infinite.
God is infinite.
He is the alpha and the omega.
The beginning and the end.
He always was and always will be.
If He is infinite then He is purely infinite.
There can be nothing finite about Him.
Thus, His love must be infinite.
Christ deciding to be obedient in coming to earth
And living the ultimate Christian life
And dying a tortuous death-
All these actions and missions were completed with
an infinite,
and unending

We are finite beings.
We have limits and bound.
We cannot love the way Christ loves infinitely.
But we can try.
What if we aimed to love to the best of our ability in every situation of our lives?
Sure, it’s easy to love friends and generally family as well.
But what about the place where we don’t want to love.
Or the people we don’t really care for.
The one person who just drives you insane.
Or the trouble maker who is always the center of attention.
Or maybe it is the family member that you don’t get along with.
What would happen if Christ’s love was conditional?
If He played a game of picking and choosing and decided who He wanted to save.
And the left some people out?
We might possibly be doomed.
But even if we were the chosen one we would feel short changed.
We would feel like, this great God who is supposed to be a loving being is picking and choosing people that He wants to save?
So how does that co-worker feel when we are unkind to them and exceptionally nice to the co-worker in the cubicle next to us?
How does that family member feel when we exclude them from gatherings?
And we claim to be Christians.
If Christ claimed to be of love; it would seem wrong of Him to act in any manner other than love.
So why is it acceptable for us to claim to be Christians but when that one person walks into the room we turn into a cold hearted person?
We cannot love God and then act like a jerk to the person we don’t like.
It would be hypocritical.
We are Christians.
We are Christ followers.
Christ loved unconditionally.
We must follow His lead.
We must love to the best of our ability.
And love everyone.
Christ did not love in a fluffy manner though.
He loved in a hardcore manner.
He loved so much He gave His life.
He loved the temple so much He would not allow for social activities in a sacred place.
He loved so deeply and genuinely that the little children were not afraid and they came to Him.
Let us be hardcore loving Christians.
His love changed the world.
Why can’t our love, through Him, do the same?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Glorify the Lord. Thursday April 7. Lent 2011.

…”whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31

I was at work today.
Just listening to music.
And filing.
And thinking.
I was thinking about how I spend at least a few hours every single day at work and then I find myself too tired to stop in at adoration.
Sure, I do go to morning mass but I am generally half asleep.
How often to I actually spend time in prayer?
And in prayer while I am awake for that matter?
I was feeling guilty because I really do enjoy work yet I don’t make time to stop in at church.
But I also know that Christ wants us to enjoy our daily activities.
It was like a tennis match going on in my head.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Or Jesus?
Can it be both?
After I finished filing, I moved on to stuffing envelops.
Well, these envelops are being mailed to individuals.
I had hundreds of envelopes to stuff.
There was no way I was going to be all these done in a timely manner.
So I decided to make the best of it.
I decided to try and give glory to God by stuffing these envelopes.
Each letter that I stuffed, I prayed for the person that would be receiving the envelope. 
Seriously, it was such a blessing.
I think I looked like a crazy person.
I was smirking for a good while as I was stuffing envelopes.
I was so excited that the Holy Spirit had given me such a brilliant idea!
It was so cool to be able to pray for all these people.
I was so excited to take work, something that needed to be done, and make it and act of giving glory to God.
It was such a simple act.
Yet, hopefully, by the glory of God, He was able to touch many people through those short little prayers.
So simple.
It reminded me of The Little Way of St. Therese.
It’s just the small simple things that make the difference.
As Mother Theresa said, “we can do no great things, only small things with great love”.
What WILL the Holy Spirit inspire YOU to do today?
How can you give glory to God through your work or daily chores?
We were created to know, love, and serve God.
How can we serve God through our daily activities and in turn come to know and love Him on a deeper level?
Can we be Christ to those at work?
Can we answer the phone with a cheerful voice?
Or have patience with the person who is frustrating us?
May we truly come to learn how to glorify God in all that we do.
May others see the Lord in us.
And bring glory to God.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Texting, Driving, and....Jesus? Wednesday April 6th. Lent 2011.

So, within the last few days I have heard a number of different people talk about how the cops have just been out everywhere enforcing the no texting and driving and no talking on the phone without a hands free device and driving.
I was driving to school this morning and the DJ on the FISH was talking about how the cops have just been swarming Southern California ready to distribute tickets.
As I was listening to the DJ talk about the cops, I made a right turn and there was a cop sitting on the sidewalk ready to launch.
I think it’s great.
I think it needs to be enforced.
But what does this have to do with Christianity?
Bedsides the fact that we should obey law?
I think it coincides with the 5th commandment and the sanctity of life.

For as much as people text message, texting and driving shouldn’t be that different but it is.  Aside from the fact that it occupies at least one of your hands, it distracts your train of thought and your focus. Obviously many studies have been conducted and the statistics are outrageous. But yet, it is still so easy to just send one quick message.  Often times it goes beyond just a simple message.  A lady on the radio today said that she checks Facebook while driving and has to log in to do so!  This is all too common and dangerous.

The 5th commandment is thou shall not kill.
For most of us we are not going out and physically kill another but that does not mean we should just disregard the commandment. 
This commandment goes in to much more depth.
The 5th commandment forbids even reckless driving. It forbids reckless driving because reckless driving has the possibility of ended in death.
I think texting and driving could be categorized under reckless driving.  
Deuteronomy 30:19 says “choose life”.
By texting and driving we are not necessarily choosing to kill someone or choosing to disrespect life but we are indirectly not choosing life.
The only other option besides life however, is death.
We are indirectly choosing the possibility of death with every key we touch while driving.
We are called to be a people of life.
I think putting down that phone while driving is a simple but effective way to promote a culture of life in our culture of death.
There is no word that you are texting that is of greater importance than your life or the life of another.

There have been so many people who have lost their lives due to texting and driving.
There are so many families suffering over the loss of a loved one that could have been so easily prevented.
Please join me, and hopefully many others, in putting down our phones while driving and in praying for the souls of those who have died as a result of texting and in praying for the families of those souls.

Lord, please help us to obtain greater knowledge of the true sanctity of life and help us to promote a culture of life through each of our actions.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Come, O Healer. Monday April 4. Lent 2011.

The beautiful painting that I posted yesterday was creatively painted by Ben Lee.
He painted it on Saturday night at the 242 Revolution conference.
As a side note- 242 Revolution is a new and outstanding ministry.
Please, please pray for the ministry and if you feel called to- check it out!

On Saturday afternoon, Ben got in front of a room of about 90 people with a blank canvas.
He asked everyone to do something pretty personal and pretty profound.
He suggested that we all write on this canvas.
He wanted us to write about what was blocking us from a closer relationship with Christ.
That might be a word, a sentence, or a paragraph.
The one thing that is holding us back from entering that deeper relationship with Christ.
Whether that be fear, or distractions, or pride, or anger, or lies, or rage, or money, or power…
The list is endless.
The canvas was covered.
Each and every person is hindered by something of this world.
That something is taking away from a close bond with the Divine.
We all need healing from our earthly attachments and hindrances.

Ben took the white canvas covered in words and prayers and pain and painted on it.
He painted a hand.
The hand of Christ.
He thrust a wooden beam right through the heart of the hand
And smeared powerful red paint all over the hand’s wound.

How ironic.
There is always something in our lives preventing us from gaining a deeper relationship with Christ.
The thing itself may change throughout our lives but there is always something.
We need to be healed from this.
Christ is that healing.
Christ is the healer.  
He is the one that helps us overcome the object that are preventing us from being closer to Him.
Definitely ironic.
But how beautiful.
Christ is beauty.
Christ is healer.

Turn to Him and let Him heal you of whatever worldly object is preventing you from becoming closer to Him.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Take A Look, What Do You See? Sunday April 3. Lent 2011.

Take at look at this picture.
What does it say to you?
Does it speak to your heart?
or is it just another picture?
I was blessed enough to watch the dramatic painting of this picture.
I will share in more detail about this picture soon, for now, just let the Lord speak to you through it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Be A Fool. Friday April 1. Lent 2011.

Well, today is April 1st which, we all know means April Fool's Day.
For many people this day means playing small pranks or jokes on people, or big ones!

A couple of years ago when I got home from the gym, my youngest sister said she had put a drink in the fridge for me. I thought that was fairly odd but I gladly accepted that cold drink. Well, it was not green Gatorade but rather water with green dye. She pulled a little bit of St. Patrick's day in there as well. It was a fun little prank. Playing pranks is a fun way to enjoy the day and of course making the other person look like a fool. But I wonder if we could give April Fool's a different meaning.

I wonder if we could use 1 Corinthians 4:10- "For we are fools on Christ's account."
To be a fool for Christ.
I think that this means standing up for what you know is right, not going with the flow, not giving in to what others are saying, begging to differ, not conforming to the views of the world.
All for Christ.
It won't always be easy.
In fact, often times it will be hard.
It is hard to stand up for what you believe in regardless of what it is.
If you stand up for your faith(all in love, of course):
People will disagree with you.
People will make fun of you.
People will think you are a fool.
But isn't that the goal?
Be a fool for Christ.
This day and always.
Be bold.
Stand up for the gospel.
Stand up for your faith.
Be a fool.