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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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Don't Break People Down. Thursday, July 17. 2014.

A girl made fun of me today.
She didn’t just make fun of me in passing
but rather,
she made sure to make eye contact with me
and then proceeded to mock me
as I was doing one of my favorite things ever.

It brought up a lot of emotions,
and feelings.

There were a lot of things I wanted to say.
And even more things that I wanted to do.
But Fr. Dan’s homily inspired me this morning,
so I said none of what came to mind
nor did I do any of the things I wanted to do.

This morning,
Fr. Dan said,
“I love God.
I pray that my
and life
reflect that.”

Despite what I was thinking and feeling at the moment,
and despite all of the things that I wanted to say and do,
I was more interested (at that moment) in my actions reflecting my love for God.

At that moment,
the most loving thing I could do was simply to ignore her and continue on.

I wasn’t in a position to sit and talk with her and share the Gospel.
But maybe my actions, or lack of, were enough.

Maybe ignoring her made her think twice
or maybe she continued and made fun of the next person she saw.
I don’t know nor will I.

But I do know how much she must be hurting.
It’s pretty bad to find enjoyment in making fun of people.
A happy person does not do that.
A person who knows their identity is in Christ does not do that.

There was hurt there.
There was pain.
It’s the only reason for her finding enjoyment in others’ pain.

Despite what people may say or do,
regardless of how much it might hurt,
it is a moment to show the world how much you love God
and it is a moment to show them that they are worth more.

There’s no formula for showing others that you love God.
It might look different for each person in each situation.
But it’s no doubt the most important thing in each situation.

It is more important to walk away knowing you reflected your love for God
rather than reflecting your emotions and thoughts at the time.

And to the girl who made fun of me,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you feel the need to hurt people. I hope that the hurt in your life can be healed. I hope that you can find healing in the Healer. And I hope that you can love God ever more each day. I hope you learn how to build people up and not break them down. And I hope that you find people in your life who build you up.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Truly Seeking Christ. Thursday, July 10. 2014.

When I was little,
there was this ‘cool’ family that I wanted to be friends with.

They had things that I did not have
and they lived a life that I was interested in at the time.

I kind of weaseled my way into their family
by making friends with one of the kids around my age.
It didn’t last for very long though.

I had ulterior motives when befriending that girl.
It wasn’t my true intention to be her friend,
but rather,
to be able to spend time with her family
and hang out at her house.

Truth be told,
we were very different people
and we had a forced friendship,
one that did not last long at all.

I had obtained what I wanted
but the thrill of it all was over.
It was nothing as I expected.
I was disappointed
and embarrassed by the way I acted.

But I still do the same thing today.

‘Ask and you shall receive.’
Okay then,
I want this,
Jesus I will be Your best friend now.

I go to Him in times of need or want,
far more than I go to Him to have a relationship with Him.

And then maybe I get the thing I’m praying for,
I might say a quick thank you
and move on.

But then disappointment sets in.

This search for Christ is limited to what I can get.

Once I have clarity,
or peace,
or someone,
or something,
my ‘search’ for Christ is over.

If my ‘search’ for Christ has a goal of gaining something
and then it ends,
that’s a pretty lousy life.

If all my life amounts to is getting what I want
and that’s it,
I’m in trouble.

That is not a life worth living or pursuing.

There is so much more than my wants and desires.
Life goes beyond that.

Our search for Christ should be driven by who He is,
not by what He has to offer.

As with my previously mentioned friend,
we did not have a real relationship,
we did not truly know each other.
The same is true in our relationship with Christ.

We cannot truly know Him
or have a real relationship with Him
if we are concerned with what He has to offer.

Be focused on who He is.
And who you are in Him.
Let what He has to offer just be an added bonus.

What work I have to do in truly seeking Christ and 
learning who He is!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Speak Less. Thursday, July 3. 2014.

Being in the Verizon store for hours gives way to lots of people watching.

There was an older couple there learning how to use their brand new iPhone.
The wife was the caretaker.
The husband was a Navy Veteran.
In a wheelchair.
Who had undergone a tracheotomy.

Anything that this man wished to say took work.
He couldn’t simply just speak like the rest of us.
He would need to close the opening in his neck
in order to create something that barely qualified as words.

Multiple times while I was there,
I noticed that he would lift his hand as if to begin the process of saying something,
but then he would just drop his hand,
almost as if he were thinking,
‘Forget it, it’s not important anyways’.

With that being said,
he did not appear to be sad or depressed.
He and his wife seemed very happy.

Their love for each other was abounding,
despite the fact that they did not communicate much verbally.

Their example proved something.

Sometimes we don’t always have to have the last word.
Sometimes more words is not the route to go.
Sometimes less is actually more.

Maybe there is something to the saying,
actions speak louder than words.

Maybe there is a reason we hear more about Jesus doing rather than
Jesus saying.

The world tells us to never shut up.
We must be constantly logged into social media.
Letting someone else have the last word means you’re a wimp.
And we are seen as rude or shy or depressed if we aren’t the life of the party.

Though it may seem insignificant,
it is just another area where the world clashes with the Savior of the world.

What if we just shut up and listen?
What is God saying to us?

What if we just shut up and did?
Does the social media world really need to know you volunteered at the homeless shelter or that you cracked open your Bible this morning?

Guilty of it all.
Not accusatory.

St. Francis of Assisi made this point,
‘Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words’.

If I had sum up the Gospel in one word, it would be

How can we speak love through our actions?
How can we humble ourselves to love another?
How can we preach the Gospel without words?

‘If I speak in human and angelic tongues but I do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.’
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

‘But if all that we do is absent of Jesus then this so called love is completely in vain.’
Mercy Me

Can we choose what is important to say?
And leave out the not so important?
And focus on loving through action?
Preaching through action?
What if we shut up and did today?