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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, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Prayer. Thursday, November 27. 2014.

Lord, on this day designated to giving thanks,
please help me to truly be thankful from deep within.

Help me to acknowledge the good,
help me to be thankful.

Help me to recognize the maybe not so good
and help me to be even more thankful.

Teach me that challenges are Your way of changing me
and help me to be thankful.

Show me the areas that I could be doing better
and help me to be thankful for second chances
and the opportunity to try again.

Thank You for all the opportunities to serve others,
remind me to use those opportunities well.

Thank You for this life here on earth
to prepare me for life eternal.

Thank You for those who fought
to keep our freedom.

Thank You for the ability to be thankful.

Help me to remember to use this gift every day. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Adventure. Wednesday, November 19. 2014.

“Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.”
St. Pope John Paul II

Adventures tend to be exciting.
New things to see.
People to meet.
Experiences to experience.

Often there is some sort of setback that occurs.
A challenge.
A hurdle to overcome.

But in the end,
we are stronger than that challenge.
We come out on top
and have the story to tell
and the memories to recall.

Our relationships can be thought of as adventures.
The excitement.
The highs.
The lows.
The memories.

Being the humans that we are,
we don’t expect our friendships to sail smoothly all the time.
There will be some bumps and bruises.
And we know that.
When the time comes,
we decide if it is a relationship worth fighting for or not.

I think that often,
we don’t apply the same generosity to our relationship with Christ.
We expect it all to be smooth sailing
and when it’s not,
we throw a fit.

Instead of accepting life with Christ as an adventure with highs and lows,
we expect it to be a ride set on cruise control.

We perceive the lows in our lives as times Christ doesn’t take one for the team
when in reality,
everything He does or doesn’t do,
is for our good.

We pray for Him to change our circumstances
when He might be using those circumstances to change us for the better.  

When life doesn’t go according to our plan,
we question Christ’s plan for us.

Life with Christ is an adventure.
The excitement.
The highs.
The lows.
The stories.
The memories.

We embrace adventurous experiences.
We embrace the adventure of friendship.

Could we do a better job embracing life with Christ?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gas Station Witness. Wednesday, November 12. 2014.

I really dislike gas stations.
I wait as long as I can until I have to fill up my tank
and I make a concerted effort to get gas in the 6am hour
with the hopes that no one else will be there.

Nothing good ever happens at gas stations.
Too many cars.
Too many people.
Too many weird people.
Too many things that could potentially go wrong.
Just not my cup of tea.

This morning I had to get gas.
And heaven forbid it was in the 7am hour.
I was supposed to be there BEFORE 7am.
But no.
I didn’t leave my house until 7am.
Meaning I had 20 minutes to get gas and get to work,
which, by the way,
it takes 20 minutes to get to work on a good day.

So I begin filling up my tank.
Most all of the other pumps are open
and lo and behold a car pulls up to the pump riiiiiiight on the other side of me.
My mission to avoid people failed in the first 30 seconds.
And what’s more is the guy then proceeds to talk to me after he pays.
This is just going horribly wrong.

“Hey, I really like your HE>i (He greater than I) bumper sticker!”
Sometimes I forget that my car is my witness.
Thus a conversation about Christ ensued.
Right there.
At the gas station.
At 7am.

Eric and I talked about our love for Christ
and how greatly He has blessed us.
There was unity.
In Christ we are one.

There was a reason I was late to the gas station this morning.
Christ had someone I needed to meet.
As we wrapped up our conversation,
I got in my car and noticed a third person getting gas,
he was without a doubt listening to our conversation about Christ.
There we were witnessing to the great love of Christ.
At the gas station.

I see this as such a pivotal moment
but in reality,
this witnessing goes on constantly.

If you claim to be a Christian,
have a Rosary hanging from your rearview mirror,
wear a cross,
pray before your meals,
have a Christian bumper sticker,
you are being watched.
You are witnessing.
People notice.
You might forget about your cross necklace
but it does not go unnoticed.

This morning was such an eye-opener for me.
Each moment,
each action,
each breathe
is an opportunity to witness.

The fact that I was so excited about this morning,
tells me that I don’t take up the opportunity to be a witness to Christ very often.

We are either for Christ
or against Him.

Our actions.
Our words.
They all point towards Christ.
Or they point away from Christ.
There is no in between.
No lull.
No grey.

This morning I was blessed enough to be able to point to Christ.
What a gift to be able to do so.
What if we all chose to point to Christ at least once a day?

Pray for the opportunity to witness to your God!
Let’s knock this witness thing out of the park!
Let’s point to our God.
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!

(Catherine of Sienna)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Talk to Your God. Thursday, November 6. 2014.

“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit itself intercedes…”
Romans 8:26

For most of us,
our phones are buzzing and beeping all day long.
The number of emails that we send could be breaking records.
We talk with our coworkers throughout the day,
whether we want to or not.
We get home and run through the day with our families.
We talk to the other families at evening church or sport activities.
We plop in front of the TV and gladly yell at the politics or sports.
And say a 30 second prayer before bed,
if that.

Communication is breeze for us.
We might argue it is becoming too technology-oriented.
But we are communicating with each other nonetheless.

Prayer is communication with God.
We do not practice this nearly enough.

In fact, it is pretty sad how well and often we communicate with others
and how poorly and little we communicate with our God.

We often shy away from the things that we feel like we do not know how to do.
How do I even begin to talk to a God so big?
I’ll start tomorrow.
Let me just send this e-mail first.

Romans 8:26
The Spirit comes to our aid.
Prayer is a weakness of ours.
We do not communicate with God as we should.
It would be a ‘Needs Improvement’ on our life report card.
But the thing is,
the more we do it,
the better we become at it.
The more we type,
the faster we become.
The more we exercise,
the healthier we become.
The more we pray,
the more natural it becomes.

We keep away from the things that seem less important.
How is taking time to pray going to help me reach my work goals?
Providing for my family is more important.
God will understand me going into work earlier instead of praying.

Prayer helps us.
Morning prayer sets a tone for our days.
Taking 5 extra minutes
to crack open the Bible,
read a book written by a saint,
to read some morning prayers,
will help you reach your goals.
Once you slip into a routine of morning prayer
and then miss a day,
you will notice.
You will miss your time with the Lord.
The few minutes that once seemed so awkward
are now a necessary part of your day.

Don’t shy away from communicating with your creator.
He wants to check in with your throughout the day more than your boss does.
Talking with Him is more important than your beeping cell phone.
He will give you strength throughout the day to meet your goals,
to be and do the best the you can.

Take the 5 extra minutes.
Start small.
Talk to your God.