Thursday, November 30, 2017
Come After Me
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
WOYWW: Can’t Take it with You!
On my desk today is one of our papemelroti journals that I am preparing to give to a dear friend.
I painted her portrait and made some collages to start her off.
This is the journal I picked for her. I am so proud of our art journals. You can find them here if you would like to see the designs-
Small Wonders, Testimony Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesdays,
Count Your Blessings, Word Art Wednesday, Wildly Original
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Our Long-Suffering God
Monday, November 27, 2017
Investing in God’s Business
Sunday, November 26, 2017
The Lord is my Shepherd
Saturday, November 25, 2017
God of the Living
nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) The key to the door is love, love for God and love for others. While we live, each and every day, we have the chance to become more and more that person who can possess the key to enter the door. We cannot find that key lying around in church, or while praying thousands of Hail Marys. But every single day, God gives us Himself to love, and if we find it hard to love Someone we do not see, we can love the beggar we do.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Just a Prayer Away
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
“Zaccheus, hurry and come down...”
We must never give up on people, and we must never ever give up on ourself. Just one touch, one call from Jesus can change everything. No matter how bad, selfish, or proud, a person is, there’s a God shaped hole in them that only God can fill. Hurting people are those that most need Him, especially when they are intentionally mean, insensitive, or cruel.
Zaccheus is a comic character. He was a chief tax collector in Jesus’ day and he was very rich. That meant that he was corrupt, and mean and insensitive to people’s plight. But that God-shaped hole inside him yearned for something, someONE! When Jesus was passing through his town, short Zaccheus ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree, the better to see Jesus.
“Zaccheus, come down,” Jesus called, “I must stay at your house.” Did Jesus really say that? I must stay in your heart and fill that gaping hole where only I belong! You don’t have to go searching anymore for what you need. You don’t have to keep harassing people, and amassing wealth. I will teach You that I am your treasure. I am your joy.
So if there’s anyone we know, insecure, grasping, cursing all the time, threatening, or bullying us or someone we know, pray. Get plenty of people to pray that Jesus will call him down from that lonely tree and fill his heart with what he needs. He may become like funny Zaccheus and turn his life around and follow Jesus! Nothing is impossible with God!
Monday, November 20, 2017
The Shushing Crowd
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:38
This was the shout of the blind man as Jesus was passing by on the road to Jericho. There was a crowd shushing him, telling him to stop shouting and calling out to Jesus.
Is there anything or anyone stopping us from calling on Jesus? From praying? From reading His Word? Perhaps we wake up too late. We have too much to do or think about. We only want to do what is important and useful. Everything is all right with our world and we don’t have anything to ask God for. Nothing is right with our world and we think God can’t or won’t help anyway. What a crowd of shushers!!!
But the blind man kept shouting and asking for God’s answers anyway, like the persistent widow in Luke 18, or Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. The Bible is one long long story of God answering His people’s prayers and He continues to do so today.
When my son Josh graduated from Computer Science, he told me that all the good start ups were in BGC. That was a long way away, and would require 2-3 hours to just get there. I knew that nothing is impossible with God, and prayed. Now, my niece Elyse accuses me of praying too hard because Josh got a job with a really good company and he works from home! Thank You Lord for listening to our prayers and answering them! Thank You for having mercy on us!
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Impossible Proverbs 31 Wife
“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.” Proverbs 31:10
I literally cringe when I read Proverbs 31. The Proverbs 31 wife is far beyond my powers! But there is one verse that I particularly like: “She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.” The one thing I know which will bring my husband the ultimate good is prayer. And so I pray, and pray, and pray, like the persistent widow in Luke 18. I may not be the perfect wife, but I sure know how to pray! It comes from the conviction that all families have an enemy and that enemy has a strategy and a goal to destroy families. Why?
Marriage was instituted by God to be a billboard, a metaphor, a sign of God’s love for us. God chose us to be His bride, and gave Himself sacrificially for us. We respond to Him by submitting to Him, by loving Him, by serving Him, by entering into a covenant bond with Him. The devil absolutely hates the covenant of marriage. He hates families. So we may not know it, we may not see him in our homes, but he and his minions hang around and wait for every opportunity to bring evil into our families.
The enemy wants us exhausted, bitter, miserable, ready to flare up at any small hurt. To bring good and not evil into our homes, to be a wife worth more than pearls, we need to be aware of the war going on FOR our marriage, FOR our family. We need to be aware of the arsenal we have at our disposal. We need to go inside our prayer closet, wherever that may be, and be like the persistent widow in Luke 18. “Will not God then do justice to His chosen who call out to Him day and night?” Luke 18:7
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
“Jesus told His disciples a parable on the necessity of praying always...” Luke 18:1
Jesus told His disciples that they should always pray, and never ever give up. They should not lose heart, never turn cowardly. Today is the Feast Day of a saint who did just that. Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was given an affectionate nickname by the American Indians she was serving. She was called Quahkahkanumad, which means Woman Who Prays Always. The children who would find her praying, would put leaves on the hem of her black habit. The next morning, the leaves would still be there.
Saint Philippine came from a very rich background. Her family lived in Château de Vizille, one of the most prestigious and important castles in the Dauphine region in France and it is now a Museum of the French Revolution. She left her privileged background against her father’s will to enter the Visitation Convent at 18 years old.
In 1818, at 49 years old, Saint Philippine and other Sisters from the Society of the Sacred Heart set sail for the New World to become missionaries to Native Americans. They set up the first Sacred Heart School outside of Europe in the small remote village of St.Charles, Missouri. It was free and it was the first Catholic School in America. 10 years after, they had grown to six communities operating several schools.
In 1841, when Saint Philippine was seventy-one, they were asked by the Jesuits to join them in a new mission with the Potawatomi tribe in eastern Kansas, along Sugar Creek. Father Verhaegen insisted that Saint Rose come along. "She may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us." Sure enough, Saint Rose found it difficult to master their language, and was unable to teach, but she would spend long periods in prayer.
Sometimes we may be frustrated because we were unable to fulfill our plans, or we were not successful meeting a target. We need only turn to God in prayer like so many saints before us. Nothing is impossible with God. Like Saint Philippine, we can pray unceasingly over a map, a plan, or a picture of a person, and trust that God in His infinite wisdom and love will answer us in the best way.
Friday, November 17, 2017
“The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1
There is no doubt that a Rolex was created by a great designer and master craftsman. No way can the intricacy of the watch be put together by flinging the parts on the ground or putting it inside a shaker and shaking it around. In the same way, the teleological argument or the “argument from design” states that we know God exists because we observe that the magnificence of space, the beauty of the flowers, the amazing wonders of the varied animals and even our human body, cannot have been put together by luck. There is an intelligent, and to me, caring, intelligence behind it.
Just take our skin. I find it amazing that I paint, and glue, I clean and rub dirty things, and I can wash it off and my skin is as good as new! My fingers are awesome! Can you imagine if we didn’t have our thumbs? Or lacked one joint in our fingers? If we go through the human body, one part at a time, our hair, eyelashes, nails, nose hair, lids, the list goes on and on and on, and we will just marvel at the care and love our Master Potter lavished on us when He made us from mud and dirt. And that’s just man! There are approximately 950,000 species of insects in the world! I can imagine God crazily putting together the most outrageous colors and shapes and configurations one after the other! I don’t think He’s finished enjoying Himself yet because 10,000 species of animals are discovered every year! 😉 I cannot put enough exclamation points when I think about the amazing plumage of birds, the awesome colors of fish, and the pictures we see from outer space!!! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Father, may I never ever take Your love for granted. You gave us a beautiful, awesome world! May we slow down, appreciate Your creation, breathe in Your goodness and be filled with gratitude always!
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Jesus at the Inn
“The Kingdom of God is already in your midst.” Luke 17:21
Many of the Pharisees were very curious about Jesus and would invite Him into their homes and ply Him with questions. One of those questions was: “When would the Kingdom of God come?” Then as now, people were preoccupied with the end of the world. So what, if we know when Jesus comes again? For each of us, there is an inevitable end, when God deems it is our time to leave earth.
Jesus answered the Pharisees, “The reign of God is already in Your midst, it is within you, in your hearts, it is among you, surrounding you.” That’s a perfect description of where Jesus is. He was right there in front of the Pharisees, and today, He lives in the hearts of Christians everywhere. As Advent nears, it is time to examine ourselves. Is there a room at the inn of our hearts for Jesus?
The world is starving for the immanent, the indwelling of God. “Entheos”, God within, is the root word of enthusiasm. Are we still inspired by God’s Word so that others catch it from us? Do we get a fire in the belly such that we desire to know more and more, and have more and more of the treasure that Jesus said is within our reach? Do we wake up early in the morning eager to know what gifts God has for us each day?
Holy Spirit, You are our teacher. Bring us to a place where we delight in Jesus, the Word made flesh. May we make more and more room for Him in the inn of our heart.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Taking the Time
“Praise God I am healed!” Luke 17:15
Jesus healed many, many people in various kinds of ways. Here in Luke 17, he met 10 lepers who asked Him to have pity on them. He instructed them to go and show themselves to the priests. They obeyed, and on the way, all 10 were healed. Only one of the lepers went back to look for Jesus to thank Him and give praise to God in a loud voice.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten made whole? Where are the other nine?” Then he turned to the Samaritan man who was healed and declared, “Your faith has been your salvation.”
There are countless things to thank God for. A few years ago, I decided to number my thanks to God in my journal. This was after I read Ann Voskamp’s best seller, “A Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”. I am now in #6318.
In her book, Ann writes, “Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
It seems the nine lepers were in a hurry. Perhaps now that they were healed and whole, there were a hundred and one things they wanted to do. They wanted to see their families for sure. Being lepers, they were pariah, and they were supposed to stay away from people. Whatever it is, they did not take the time to go back and thank Jesus. Because they did not take the time to be grateful, they missed a most precious gift that only Jesus could bestow: salvation.
In the midst of all my rushing, I need to take the time to slow down and thank God. My Father has all the time in the world for me. Silly, absurd, crazy me. He has time for me and my challenges, my rants, my idiosyncrasies. I should stop, savor His presence and love, and thank Him.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Broken and Redeemed
Monday, November 13, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Waiting for the Bridegroom
And the foolish said to the prudent, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” Matthew 25:8
People believe what they like, and those who believe in heaven, believe they are going to end up there one day. Of course we all desire to end up in heaven if heaven really exists. But are we doing all we can to ensure that for us and for our children?
If life was an adventure movie like Indiana Jones and there was a map to this awesome treasure that was more valuable than any unicorn 🦄, everyone would be searching for that map 🗺, wouldn’t they? But here and now, in our real life, the map is everywhere! In all the bookstores, sitting on our shelves even! All we need to do is sit down, open it up, and ask God to help us find our treasure and He’ll guide us through step by step!
In the parable Jesus told about the 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise ones, all 10 were waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. All of them were eager, expectant, vigilant. But alas! 5 of them did not have enough oil for their lamps and their flames were sputtering! They had to leave their waiting post and buy some more oil, and while they were gone, the Bridegroom arrived and they were left outside.
The lamps may represent our spiritual life, and the oil everything that keeps our faith burning brightly. We cannot borrow prayer or studying the Bible from others. We cannot give it to our children. We have to have our own oil so we don’t run out.
Father, thank You for the treasure You have reserved for each one of us. Thank You Jesus for pointing the way and leaving us the map. Thank You Holy Spirit for never leaving us alone as long as we take the time to listen and read Your Word.