Wednesday, June 9, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  On Tuesday evening a friend mentioned to me about the recent loss of a family member.  That makes two people in less than a week that shared with me that their aunt had passed.  As I prayed with her, it really got me to thinking about this journey we call life.  But life is not a singular journey.  Just as our body is made of many parts and each part plays a roll in our development as a person, your life is made up of many journeys.  Each journey you travel plays a roll in your development, how you think, react, and approach your next adventure.  Right now, in this life journey, you may have 50 or more other journeys in play.  Don’t believe me?  Start counting.  Your journey with:

God

As a child.  Yes, every single one of us is a child to someone.

A sibling.

A spouse.

Children.

Children’s spouses.

Friends individually.

Groups of friends.  There is definitely a different dynamic in a group compared to one on one.

An aunt or uncle.

A Godparent.

Grandparent.

Work.  This is a journey that encompasses a lot of hours.

Coworkers.

School.

Vacation.

What you choose for entertainment.

Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness.

Where you live.

Where you shop.

Random encounters.

Go on.  Keep listing them out.  There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll get to at least 50.  Take a moment to reflect on each of these journeys you are on.  Okay, you don’t have to do them all right now.  Take a few days and next to each of your journeys write a little about how it is affecting your life journey.  Is it positive or is it having a negative impact?  Do you pray about and for each of these journeys?  To be truthful, I would have to say no.  Should I, absolutely.  Sitting here looking at my hands as I type, it made me think of Brian and I.  We are the palms and our five children and their spouses make up the 8 fingers and 2 thumbs.  I’ll let you kids decide which you are.  😉  Each finger can work independent, as two independent hands, and also fit nicely, folded together, joined as one. 

Within the Catholic Church, this past Sunday we celebrated Corpus Christi.  The Solemnity of the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  In Mark 14:22-24 Jesus institutes the Sacrament of Communion, in which He gives us His Body and Blood as a final covenant of love to us.  Take note of what He proclaims.

“While they were eating,
He took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is My body.”
Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them,
and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
“This is My blood of the covenant,
which will be shed for many.”

“This is My Body.”  “This is My Blood.”  He did not say this is a symbol of or this represents.  IS

He offers this covenant of His Holy Body and Blood to each and every one of us.  But He won’t force us to accept it.  He willingly offers, then leaves it for us to discern to accept or reject His offer.  There are many journeys, even within our journey with the Lord.  Pray about your journey.  When you’ve got the Real Thing, no substitute will do.  It’s just not the same. 

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#Leeland – Better Word

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  The answers can seem so simple, once they are actually presented to you.  Over the past few weeks Brian and I have been trying to come up with the best economical and secure way to address mowing our new land while were in our building phase, before we actually get to move in.  Granted, we used to own and run a lawn care company and are very capable of cutting grass.  The issue we were working through was purchasing and storing a mower and trailer.  Working through the different scenarios, there just didn’t seem to be one option that seemed to be the best.  They all seemed to have a high degree of security risks regarding storage.  While visiting with family on Sunday, my dad very bluntly said, you could pay someone to mow it.  In that moment, it was almost like slow motion in my mind when God said, “Just ask the Father, He’ll give you the answers.” 

It’s crazy how blind we can allow ourselves to become to the options God has for us.  In this particular situation, we had mowed grass for years, so why would we even think about asking someone else to mow for us?  Sometimes, we just need to figure out the correct questions to ask.  Should we be asking how or who?  They are the same three letters, just in a slightly different pattern.  The easy part is knowing that The Father is who we need to ask those questions to.  But what I need to remind myself is that He should also be the first person I run to with my questions.  Matthew 6:33 reminds us, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you.”  What things you ask?  Ask the Father and dig into the Gospel of Matthew.  I believe you’ll find the answer.   

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#CodyCarnes – Run to The Father

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  Sunday during the homily, Father Pat said “Don’t be successful, be faithful.”  Wow, isn’t that freeing?  After all, what is the definition of your success?  I’m sure your determination of success is different from my determination of what would make you successful.  And God’s determination of your success is different than both of ours.  Are you just checking the boxes to justify success?  Are you showing up with a half-hearted attitude and calling it good?  Consider your actions.  The reasons you choose them.  And the attitude with which you approach them. 

I receive daily reflections from Dynamic Catholic, which lately I’ve been then sharing with my core group of friends.  Thought I would share some of the quotes and my responses to them.

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron  

This is an interesting thought.  I guess if we want to be free from our past, we have to seek how it fits into our future.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

This is your beginning.  Let this be a clean start to the rest of your life.  The past may partly define who you are, but it doesn’t have to haunt you.

“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” – Isabelle Lafleche

How many times has this happened to you?  It’s so true.  What is your lack of courage holding you back from?

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle

What we do is typically 20% head knowledge and 80% heart.  If your heart isn’t moved by what you’re doing, it very much limits the knowledge you bring to the table.  The heart is what brings inspiration and creativity to what you do. 

May our unconditional loving Lord bless your every thought, action and breath.

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#DynamicCatholic

#CoryAsbury – Dear God

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  There’s been many days that I’ve come to the front bedroom, put my glass on the table and sat down on the bed to write.  But this time, God gave me a gentle reminder and a perfectly timed gift.  It only lasted a couple minutes before the sun dipped a little deeper into the horizon and the rainbow was gone.  Fleeting as it was, it brought a smile to my face. 

Speaking of smiles, Alleluia, alleluia!  He has given us His Spirit.  Filling our every cell, our every breath.  Saturating us so that we can ooze the Word and Works of the Lord in every minute moment of our lives.  For many, it’s much easier to let God be present by expressing Him in our actions.  Our actions are like statements of fact, but there are times that actions just don’t ask the needed question.  Are you hearing God speaking with you?  Is now the moment to open your life and allow Him in?  Do you want to proclaim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?  If we aren’t confident in the Lord’s promptings and bold enough to allow the Spirit to speak through us, then we think it’s just us asking those questions and we become fearful and refuse to ask.  But when we step out of the way and allow the Spirit to move in and through us, walls will be knocked down, hope will rise, lives will be healed, and souls will be saved.  Will you confidently take a step back so that He can boldly speak?  As Father Dan Meyer stated in his homily this past weekend, “It’s all in the ask.”

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#TheBelongingCo feat. Danny Gokey – Every Victory

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  On Monday morning I read the following quote from Napoleon Hill, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in great ways.”  In life, there are many more opportunities to do small things greatly than we typically have to do great things.  Looking at these opportunities individually they may not seem to add up to much, but they can have a domino effect tipping the next and next and next until you start to see and feel the movement and flow one small, greatly completed action turns into.  I envision a swarm of birds.  You may have seen this before, how hundreds of birds take to the sky in a dance of flowing majesty and power.  A magnificent presence shifting and stirring.  In just an instance an individual becomes a massive whole being that can and will deter the greatest of enemies from pursuing its prey.  How would we Christians appear to the enemy if we closed the divide, stop battling each other and united to become one flowing, massive, elegant, and grace filled presence against the attacks of the evil one and his band of demons?  We are easy prey when we allow ourselves to be picked off one by one.  There’s a reason why we’re shown by the disciples the strength of living within a community of believers.  Find your community of earthly saints to soar the skies with.  Watching this video, just let your mind and body flow with the birds, feeling their movement.  I found it a little mesmerizing watching the images they formed.  Watch it a time or two and let them take you to a place of loving peace with our Lord.    

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  Last Wednesday was a grey, dreary, rainy day.  After dinner Brian and I went for a ride to see how much standing water we had on the parcel of land we’re purchasing.  It wasn’t until we arrived back home, and just in time for sunset, that the clouds started breaking up.  The beauty of the sun’s rays and the blue of the sky absolutely made me smile.  After such a gloomy day, this scene really cheered me up.

Take a moment to observe all the different colors and movement in the clouds.  It’s as if you can see the patterns of their movement. 

This past week, I listened to a podcast from Matthew Kelly called Finding Joy in a Messy World, in which Matthew discusses the challenge of living a holy life.  As I listened to Matthew, I envisioned this picture and the emotions I felt as the sky began to open to the beautiful blue sky and joyous sunset.  Matthew was saying how it’s impossible to live a holy life, but holy moments are something within our capabilities.  So how in the world did Matthew’s conversation lead me to this picture.  Imagine a holy life being represented by a beautiful sunny, bright, blue sky.  It’s very desirable, with a feeling of possibility and joy.  When the grey, dismal, clouds cast a shadow on our day, it’s easy to feel less joy, possibility, and desire.  There really is something to say about the effects of darkness and light on our attitudes, mentalities, and actions.  As Matthew continued to talk about choosing to live holy moments and how they make a difference in life and lives, I envisioned the clouds being cotton balls and every time you choose to live out a holy moment it’s like pulling a cotton ball to reveal a small piece of the sunny blue sky.  Some brightness appears in the darkness as a ray of light begins to break through.  This glimpse of purity carries with it a breath of hope and a desire for more.  Which leads you to choose to live another holy moment, pulling another cotton ball cloud to expose a little more of the clarity and hope that lies just on the other side.  Unlike a holy life that has no darkness, there will be moments of failure in your future, which will place another cloud in your sky.  And there will be the clouds from your past that just seem to blow in unexpectedly from nowhere, dragging with it darkness you thought was long gone.  Like that blue sky filled with the sun, our Lord is just beyond those clouds and if you allow the breath of the Holy Spirit to blow in and through your life, you will find that those holy moments with Him will blow the clouds from your life that are concealing the promises He has within your reach.  The thing about clouds is…you can reach right through them.  Trust in Him, that what you are reaching for is far greater that the fear and darkness that tries to hold you back.    

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#MatthewKelly – Finding Joy in a Messy World

#JoshBaldwin – Evidence

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  It’s so nice to be sitting outside while writing today’s message.  The sky is blue with slight whispers of clouds.  The birds are talking.  The plants and trees are leafing out.  And there’s a very gentle breeze.  It’s so peaceful.  You may have noticed Monday night and Tuesday morning, the incredibly beautiful moon lighting up the dark sky.  It was one worth taking a picture of.  As bright as it was, it still amazes me that it’s not its own light source.  It’s purely a reflection of the sun.  As I stood there looking at it, both at night and in the morning, it seemed clearer than before and as if I could distinguish new and different contours to the surface.  Yes, it’s the same moon I’ve been watching for many years, yet my eyes were open to a newness about it. 

Acts 9:1-20 shares with us the encounter of Saul’s eyes being literally opened to newness, so that he could finally see the true reflection of the Son, unincumbered by the darkness that previously held him prisoner.  Can you understand Ananias’s reaction and questioning the Lord when He told him to go lay hands on Saul?  Heck, Saul could imprison anyone that simply called upon the Lord’s name.  That would be a cause for concern.  Who would want to potentially set themselves up for what seemed to be a definite prison sentence?  But the Lord proclaimed to Ananias, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel…”

Like this week’s full moon and Ananias’s obedience to the Lord’s request, you are a radiant reflection of the Son.  For you are a chosen instrument of the Lord to carry His name before ALL.  Not just some.  The Father wants every single one of His children back with Him.  Who can He depend on, if not you, to speak His words of truth, love, peace, purpose, and the true meaning of family?  He will never ask you to do it alone.  Just like Ananias, He will give you very clear instruction.  I imagine your obedience to God’s call to action will also allow you to witness some incredible miracles.  At the end of my Walk to Emmaus weekend experience, I was presented with a cross at which time these words were spoken, “Christ is counting on you.”  At which I responded, “I’m definitely counting on Christ.”  He will not leave you or forsake you.  Trust in the goodness of Him and all He has for you. 

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#BrandonLake – Just Like Heaven

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  Will one drop make a difference?  It may not seem like much, but a single drop consistently over time will cut a path for others to follow with the least amount of resistance.  You can picture it, right?  Every time that single drop falls into place, it smooths the way just a little bit more until it allows a steady, unrestricted flow of water.  So, my question for you today is, how is that living water moving and flowing through you?  Is it one drop at a time?  Is it dripping for a couple days or weeks, then it shuts off and you have to start all over again?  Is it a slow steady drip or trickle?  Is it rushing like a spring flood, then dry like the summer drought?

Jeramiah 29:11 proclaims, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

That can bring you a sense of comfort, but it can also invoke stress and provoke second guessing yourself.  What am I supposed to do?  Where am I supposed to be?  Who am I supposed to be with?  We are on this journey our entire lives.  From conception until we are back in the loving embrace of our Lord.  Just as you get a steady foot in place, it’s time to move the other one forward.  Why though?  Where are you going?  Maybe it’s not a matter of where you are going, but about the lives you encounter and interact with.  We’ve all had encounters, that in the moment, we knew they would be life long impacts.  Then again, the smallest of moments and words spoken that seemed fleeting, uneventful, and unmemorable at times can turn a life.  I’ve been told that some people don’t like or want to worship at a church because they are filled with hypocrites.  Yes, we are all a work in progress, there’s no doubt.  But what do you expect from a broken world?  There was only one perfect man and it was by his consistent and authentic nature that He smoothed the trail and paved the way for us.  The cure for hypocrisy is consistency.  Be the same in your home, as you are with your friends, as you are while at church, as you are in the work place, as you are in public.  This type of consistence will free you to be who you are at your core.  It will bring peace to your nights as you talk with God about your day.  It will make you more approachable if people don’t have to first try to figure out if you are being Thing 1 or Thing 2 that day.  Your words and actions will become more believable. 

 Take a moment to access what you see as your hypocritical actions and traits.  

Are you willing to let go of them?

Others are watching and taking their lead from you.  Will you choose to be a consistent Christian?  It can seem like a daunting task, but take it one moment at a time and before you know it, you won’t have to remind yourself to be consistent.  And if you stumble, just start again and remind yourself to be consistent.  You can do this.  I trust the power of the Holy Spirit in you to guide you in your decisions and ways. 

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.  Click subscript to receive your message every Wednesday.

#DCTalk – What if I Stumble

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  Play along with me if you would.  You’re blindfolded and I give a large gift.  Now, there’re a few ways you can go about trying to figure out what’s inside this gift.  You can feel the size of the package.  How heavy is it?  You can shake it.  You can open it up.  But all the while you’re blindfolded.  Your past experience may be able to help you figure out what it is.  But what if it’s something new?  Something you’ve never experienced before?  Still blindfolded, what if you asked and I told you is was a very elusive Thingamajig.  Would you believe me?  Everyone else around you are so excited to see the Tingamajig and can’t stop talking about it.  It’s amazing!  How do you react?  Do you take our word for it?  I mean, this is a pretty special Thingamajig.  Are you going to trust that we’re telling you the truth or are you going to have to see it for yourself? 

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So, the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””  – John 20: 24-29

How easy it is to doubt.  Heck, you’re just being human, right?  If that’s the case, why don’t we all get that label…Doubting Shelly.  It’s not a very becoming name, but it’s not all about how others look at you.  It’s about who you are when no one is watching and it’s just you and God.  Then, what will you do?  Who will you be?  Who will you become?

There is so much in this world that we learn and believe as truth because we were told it was true.  As a young child someone told me this was BLUE and GREEN and RED.  I was also told that this was 4 and 7 and 23.  And so I believed.  At times, that’s not so easy with God.  Is it?  We’ve got history showing us what’s true, but we choose not to believe.  God tells us, “You’re life won’t always be like this.”  But we choose to believe in the moment we’re living in.  God tells us, “You’re faith will lead you.”  But yet we choose to go only where we can see.  God tells us, “I love you and desire no harm for you.”  But we choose to see the hurt and pain we are experiencing and ask, “God, why are you doing this to me?” 

Personally, I think doubt is the easy way out.  Will you trust or will you doubt?  Ask the Lord to turn your doubts and fears into faith and excitement.  Now, act upon your decision with authority.  For if you don’t bring authority to your decision, you may find that doubt will very quickly take back over.  You have to be strong in your decision and ask Him many times over.  “God turn it around.  God turn it around.  God turn it around.”

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.

#ChurchOfTheCity – God Turn It Around

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

😎🐫🎤 May the peace of Christ’s glorious resurrection be with you.  Happy Easter!  It was so great to be back in church this year to celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass.  The Easter Vigil Mass, above all others, fills my spirit beyond words.  It’s usually twice as long as a regular Mass, but we get to start with a fire and assemble the new Easter candle, work through more Bible reading, and renew our Baptismal Promises.  You know, those promises aren’t necessarily something we think of too often and it’s even less that we say them out loud.  Saturday night, when we renewed our Promises, what overwhelmed me was the sound of authority in the voices around me.  That’s what God needs from us, sold out believers.  I thought about that again at work yesterday when I was working in a system, I hit the + key to add a new code, but the screen didn’t shift down so that I could see the new line.  In the past, I would stop what I was doing to scroll the page so that I could see what I was working with.  But yesterday I thought to myself, “You know the line is there.  Trust that it is and keep moving forward.”  Immediately following that, “Just like your faith.  You don’t have to see to know that He is here.”  Trust and keep moving forward! 

You’re Baptismal Promises have opened up many doors for you.  Some that you have seen and purposefully chose to open and others that to this day, you never knew existed.  But none the less, your decision to choose Christ has paved a way for you.  You don’t have to live, as Cara Whitney puts it, “Waiting for the show to drop”.  Live in the moment you’ve been given.  Don’t spend your time “…letting the devil steal our joy.  Waiting for something bad to happen in our lives…”.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or not, today I would like to give you the opportunity to denounce Satan as the ruler of your life and affirm Jesus Christ, the Father, and Spirit as your source of salvation.  Say it aloud and proclaim your decision with authority.

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Bless others and be blessed. 

If the Lord has touched you in some way with His message today, I ask that you pay it forward by sharing this message, so that you and He may also bless others.

#CaraWhitney – Unbridled Faith Devotions for Young Readers

#HillsongWorship – This I Believe (The Creed)