Following Jesus ~ The Gate

I have tried to think of a time in my life when I have felt as overcome by sadness as I feel today, if there was a day it alludes me.  The recent news of clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has hit the news again – and again in recent days.  I will be honest and admit the scandal of 2002 went unseen by my eyes, unheard by my ears.  I really first learned the depth of it just a few months ago after reading about the movie “Spotlight” in American Magazine and watching the movie.  It has torn away at my heart for the innocent and even the very, very broken guilty.

Over time I gradually came to realize the stories I had heard of a now deceased Priest were most likely true.  It has touched my own home and family in ways I never would have imagined.  Because I refuse to speak ill of this deceased Priest and to protect any innocent I will say nothing more than I do know he was moved from one parish to another.  I see other moves that have been made over time and even, sadly made the comment to one Priest that they always move him to the trouble spots to clean up.  I said that long before I had a tiny clue.  I am so, so very sorry.

I have spoken out against mandatory celibacy for clergy and religious after this topic came up, years ago now at a summer retreat. Today I extend that to include female and male.  There are multiple reasons that clergy should be allowed to be married; the first being this is how Jesus founded His church (which was not even really a word at the time, I do find myself wondering what the word was and how He has intended its use).  I have written extensively on this topic and most of that writing can be found in a link on the menu of my home page.

I have not had the time to read the full report that was issued from Pennsylvania, but I have read several   excerpts that make it very clear inside the walls of the church, lies and secrecy – anything to protect the appearance of a holy church.  This has gone on for decades and honestly, I would wager this has gone on for centuries.  There have always been rumors, and proofs of abuse.

Recently we hear the news from Pennsylvania – over 1,000 children, 300 Priests and the claim this happened long ago.  These are confirmed cases, they expect the numbers would be much higher but for lost records, and those who never came forward. – Then we learn it’s not all so long ago.  Then more news on Buffalo, then one seminary, now two or three even in my state – and it is just exploding.  Behind the lines, off the national and world-wide news for the most part.  It seems some must be assisting in keeping things as quiet  as they can.

Those seated within the church have known all along how deeply rooted the sin against sexuality has been.  Raping of children, novices, nuns, seminarians, priests being “hit on” (raped?), by even Cardinals, tunnels in Europe between the nuns and the Priests, A Bishop funding the abortion of a Priests child and then offering condolences on the child’s death.  The sin of forced complicity.  The sin of telling Gods children they are not to have their (as created by God) emotional, spiritual and physical needs met by a spouse, but :wink: :wink: it’s okay to take in an elder, widow housekeeper etc.  The church has made it “dirty” to act like Jesus.

Innocent clergy have been looked at skeptically for decades – now it is worse.  It is not Godly and it is not what our Father wants.  Today I read a piece from a Priest who stated “Anyone who wishes to be saved must risk the hostility, punishment and humiliation that our rescuer first experienced. Whether that risk leads to the death of the body or only the death of the ego makes no difference. Any who follow Christ must accept that to rescue others, one must first accept a cross. The temporary humiliation of some can ensure the eternal salvation of many.  In regards to this Sundays readings.

The issue I have with this is I know that God does not want those who love Him to feel humiliated for the sin of others – and no – the sins of others are not their cross to carry.  Jesus Christ has already done that – there is and will ever be only one Jesus Christ. We must all be responsible for our own sins, this includes those responsible for what has happened within the church.  Loving children of God who entered a church and took or made vows or promises were also deceived – this mess is not theirs to carry.  Their task is to follow God forward on whatever path He leads them on, and trust that the act of His discipleship at the end of the day is all Jesus really asked for.  Go forth and spread the good news, Love the lord our God with all your heart, mind and soul, Do unto others and you do would do for yourself.  The beatitudes.  Jesus – was simple and loyal to God.  That is all He asks.

I don’t intend to rant about the details, the sin, the ruined lives.  Only a dolt would be unable to grasp the seriousness of this though  in all seriousness, saying that it is also clear there are many ranking clergy who do not “get it”.

I know my very “simple” Christian background is fully responsible for my strong faith in God.  My grandparents took me to the “Gospel Hall” for a reason – for me to love Jesus and all that He represents.  I’m not sure today what they would think of my spirituality and our Trintarian God. I have practiced to the best of my ability and conscience the Roman Catholic faith for decades now.

When we read the bible it is really quite clear, from the beginning of the bible through out that our Trinitarian God – The Father, Son and Spirit intended a married clergy for the church.

The original disciples/apostles were all married.  Even in those days where that meant traveling to spread the word these men had wives.  God valued/s joined unions.  He saw the need and value of a life partner for Adam and going forward two by two – pairs in Noah’s story.

Our Father created us.  Refer to Psalm 139, He created us to complement each other, lifelong companions, family, growing through life in Him.  His gifts to us.  His gifts no institution, no church has the right to even consider to suggest a celibate life is the only way one can serve the church as clergy or religious.

I read a blog earlier today on marriage.  It was a short story – a love story.  Telling of meeting each other, staying up more than half the night talking, sharing, breaking up and getting back together in Him.  Marriage – a call to wholeness, a call to holiness.  When two become one in Him.

Intimacy in marriage is not “sex”, it is those late-night hours one spends staying up late talking, getting to know each other.  It’s dinner – and it’s dishes!  Who’s taking the trash out and where will we go on vacation and explore together, physically caring for a sick family member, serving at the soup kitchen, sorting through clothes to donate, helping a single parent care for their children.  It is planning  (and praying) a future together with each other and with your family and friends.  It is something to carry forward with you in all of your day thru to our physical death in His Kingdom on earth with the joy and hope of carrying that love forward in your heart.  Marriage in Him changes a person.

A married clergy offers our clergy life experiences and it offers others the witness of life and love, marriage in him.  Men who have close intimate relationships with women, who have children in their family would not fare well with the secrecy and lies of the church.  A Priest who is a father would not tolerate a clergy or religious who abused someone, because living Gods life of family you learn and see things differently.  You grow in ways you cannot as celibate.  In marriage there is the trusted wife/husband.  The pillow talks at bedtime, the quiet time of night conversation that may not offer any real details but a confession of problems or issues of  sorts, sharing and support as that is what spouses do in an emotionally intimate relationship.

This church as greatly failed its people.  It has failed laypersons, but it has also failed its religious and clergy of both sexes.  It has stolen away a life given by God by telling His children this is the only way you can serve God as religious or clergy is to be celibate (unless you are a “chosen” convert).  It is a lie.  We know that.

I know I am sounding like a broken record but Jesus founded His church on a married clergy.  If He wanted a celibate clergy, the story would have been written that way and it was not.  Perhaps marriage is not for everyone, but it is for a large majority of His children.  It sickens me to hear the Pope will allow bishops to ordain married men – and know the church has literally thrown away over 120,000 Priest who married.  They have gone off to live and teach Gods love in new ways.

I have a habit of reading some of the daily readings ahead of their days.  I almost always read the following Sundays by mid-week.  This week two of the readings really stand out in my heart and my mind – my soul.

slide_13

The second reading for Sunday August 26th

Reading 2EPH 5:21-32 (adding 33)

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

33In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.

Sadly, though Christ is to be the head of the church He is not treated as such as there are so many man made rules and laws that have been made.  He weeps.  There is nothing clear or pristine about the Roman Catholic church – to me, this evening.  It has caused a worldwide hurt (which the church  appears to be hiding again, I will state it does seem that this huge news is being squashed by someone.  Those “across the pond” were not aware).   Also, St. Paul reminds us of Genesis and how God stated a man will leave his parents and take a wife – and cherish her as Jesus will cherish the church. “two shall become one”.

The Gospel reading for this week:

GospelJN 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Who cannot grasp this writing?  Jesus told us living  as God asks is not easy. The beatitudes would not be easy and there were those that left His teachings.  I submit there are those that run the church – that left a long time ago.  Centuries.  They have forgotten how to be every day citizens of the world, men.  Walls and secrecy – walls between the church and the world, between the walls and God.

Do you want to leave?  Should I leave, or should I stay?

I wrote a portion of this on a post online yesterday and I believe it is fitting.  We have been called by church leaders to pray and fast.  I believe that does nothing more than pat everyone on the head and force innocents (clergy included) to pray for the guilt of others, a practice that is made for Priests in that they must serve penance for each confession they hear.  (Jesus has already forgiven, and the sinner must grasp their own sin, correct their ways, make things right).

Jesus, believing in and loving Jesus is very simple, pure.  It has become muddled and mucked up and sullied through this church.  His teachings are simple, kind and loving – the church is not.  There have been so many hurt.  I see many wanting to try to fix this mess.

This scandal will bring portions of the Roman Catholic church to its knees.  It may drop it to the floor.  Perhaps this is a time to consider the “what we want” and “what we need”.  We may “want” to fix something incredibly intrinsically broken.  We may “believe” we can do that, we can make it happen – but the very truth is that the Roman Catholic church has carried this luggage around for close to two-thousand years.  Is our Father leading us somewhere new?

Seeing the depth and knowing more of the sins against child and man – against God and the continuation thereof. Men in high places who will not admit where the issues began and laugh at the thought of a married clergy which would have given us many Priests. The inability to see outside of a box with the love and joy given by our Trinitarian God.

With each day passing we see more and more deceit and sickness within the church revealed. – I do not believe the church will make the true corrective necessary changes at this time.  For some strange reason they seem to think a shrinking faith is what God wants.  The tares and the wheat, those that believe in less followers, squelching the growth of His Kingdom – or those that follow the path that leads to God in His growing Kingdom.  There are so many who need to learn of and experience God’s love out there.

The church is not fully our God, that is the blessing we have. Our Father loves each one of us as created in Psalm 139.

We have hope in our Father when we accept His gifts and walk with the Son. I do not have an answer today.  I am overwhelmed with information and rather than make a rash decision to flee, I am following my heart and know to be what God asks of me. I also know He offers us many paths that lead to Him, all with wide and narrow gates.  14717049_10209299619395248_4202024409840928460_n~ Laurie

Who is God? Faith Formation & 8th grade.

Tell me one thing that you are grateful to God for . . .

I taught my eighth grade faith formation class this evening.  I love the kids – I really do.  They are a sweet bunch, variety of personalities and backgrounds.  Tonight I had four regulars, one extra and was missing one.  One or two I don’t even bother looking for any longer.  As far as  I know they are no shows.  My DRE (Director of Religious Ed) was surprised that one was not showing up.

The topic for this evening was Prayer.  The problem with discussing prayer is these kids really have no clue who God is.  Eighth graders.  They have made it through seven years of CCD or Faith formation to be in my class.  I can’t help but wonder who taught them before me.  What their classes were like.

They don’t know God.

They don’t pray.

They are sweet kids.

The lesson book tells me to have them follow seven steps for prayer – which include saying the “Our Father” in closing.  The side notes tell them a short prayer a Saint said and tells us they should use this in their prayers.

Clueless.  Those are prayers of others that I am being told (through the material provided to me to teach with) to teach them more rote prayers.

No.  Enough already. 

They don’t know God.

We talk about God and prayer every week.  Most of the kids rarely go to Mass.  The local kids don’t pray at home though one in tonight group remember praying with parents at bedtime “many years ago”.  One boy attends my class from out of town.  He prays with his family at night.  I asked him how they pray.  He is Vietnamese.  He smiled then shrugged and said “just a bunch of Vietnamese prayers, then the rosary, then more Vietnamese prayers’.  I asked if they say personal prayers and he said yes they follow a format, though I’m not so sure the way he spoke that they did, and certainly not the private personal prayer we were discussing.  More rote prayers.

Okay, regroup I tell myself.  – Back to the book.  Back to the seven steps.  As I read through them with the kids I realize how absolutely ridiculous this is.  The author has no idea what he is doing.  Much of the book seems okay but when it comes to real life practice – not so much.  I’d need the darn book and have to read steps one through seven just to be sure I covered everything he thought was important.

These kids don’t pray.  Why would I make it harder than it has to be.  Did Jesus tell us we had to pray a certain way?  No, I think to myself – not that I recall.  I love God.  I pray throughout the day.  It’s just part of me at this age.

I smiled at the kids and told them the truth, prayer shouldn’t be a chore.  Prayer is about having a close relationship with God.  Conversations.  Three steps.  Prayer of gratitude and worship, thanks for all He is, all He does and all He is.  Next, prayer for those in our lives and things in the world that need our attention and the attention of our Father, ask Him for guidance in these matters.  Lastly – pray for ourselves.  Ask for guidance and that He show us, guide us in His will.  Help us to be good people, speak to him of special intentions.  Thank him.

I tell them I know there is a five step list I have read from Pope Francis and that I will look it up and bring this with me to next class.

Going through review questions, we didn’t get very far.  The first was “if you make ten minutes a day to pray for the next thirty days how will that change you?”

I was reminded that we already talked about this – only one in the class prayers.  So I steer them toward prayer and share different experiences that I felt were age appropriate to share like the early birth of my grandson and being concerned because he was early (no need to share details with them) but how God has been with him, how well he has grown in two months.  … Of the time I was out of work for a long time and prayed and prayed and just when I needed it – I had a job offer and I knew that was God.  These things caught their attention.  An adult sharing experience.  It also helps know that I respect them enough to share little glimpses of my own life.  I remember being that age.  Not long ago my own sons were.

Last question . . .

Tell me one thing that you are grateful to God for . . .

No answer.

How can they be grateful to God…

When they don’t know Him???

My heart hurt.  These are good kids.  Smart, loving.  Lacking God in their lives. 

I answered. 

I am nothing without God.  He created me.  Psalm 139 tells us that He created us an knows us from before we were born, He formed us, knows us, our thoughts, fears, loves, hopes.  He is with us always.  I am grateful.

I smiled looking each in the face . . .

I am grateful for God, because if it were not for Him we would not be in this room and I never would have met you and I enjoy learning from you – very much.

The sweetest expression on the faces of my eighth graders.  They were not expecting to hear that.  They’re at the age where life becomes a tug o’ war at home, grasping for some freedom that they are too young to have.  Too many don’t have long conversations with their own parents.  Too seldom are they told they are respected for just being themselves.

As we’re gathering books they begin to talk about a paper they have to write on President Trump.  Only one began with how great he thought he is.  I told them we probaly shouldn’t talk politics and the boy who loved him said why?  Lockerroom talk?  {ack}  So we had a very short talk that went like this… “If you are talking about what I think you are, you would not want anyone to speak to your mother like that, your sister – or your daughter”.  It is unkind, ungodly and a real gentleman would stand up to that.

To  my left a student in a choked voice said I am afraid, have you heard what he has said about GLBT?  He said he will use shock treatment on all of them, do you know what that means?  Conversion therapy?    She looked truly frightened.  A young person that I was not surprised at all to hear this from, sometimes you just know.  She said – “you know, my hair is short he may think….”   I looked at her and promised he would not get away with hurting anyone like that, don’t worry – it will be okay.

As I said that I thought of the program my own religion has “Courage” for those with same sex attraction, to help them be celibate.  En-courage for family members to assist them with.  She is worried about the president of the United States wanting to use shock therapy to “fix” GLBT,  as I turn away, sadly I think of the church that will not love and accept people for the way they have been born . . .

What Would Jesus Do?

Love & accept.

At home writing this tonight, I think of my own childhood.  Attending Sunday church services (Protestant) with my grandparents.  Little ones were encouraged to learn and memorize bible verses at home during the week (I was no older than five!), on Sunday we’d be invited up in front of the congregation to recite our verse.  If we got it right (and even if we slipped up a bit) we got a life saver.  A nice way to involve families in their education of little ones.

I read and prayed with my own boys.  Admittedly grace at the table was lacking.  My ex-husband and his family made fun of me when I brought it up one time.  My older two are agnostic (though I keep an open conversation going about God).  My youngest attends an Evangelical church and is quite adamant that he will never attend Catholic Church again.

My grandson is two months old.  I talk to him about God and Jesus.  I’ve mentioned the Holy Spirit.  I sing him lullaby’s and I sing songs from my childhood that we sang in church (adults with the kids) and my grandparents and I would sing on car rides or in the kitchen preparing or cleaning up a meal.  Jesus Loves the Little Children ~ Jesus Loves Me, this I know…

I love the kids I teach.  We only have a few more weeks together.  What I posted last night about my religion, The Carpenters Son? Mary’s Son? ~ The Begotten One. (revised)  is true The church places Catechism, tradition, rules before God.  This is why our young people have no relationship with God, yes, their parents should be teaching them at home, but God must come before religious teachings.  It is useless to push teachings on people who have not yet even learned who God really is and that He is in our lives every single second of our lives.  Isn’t it?

God is about relationship. 

He is Love.

 

 

 

 

Choice, Chance, Change & God

I was talking with a friend recently.  We found ourselves thinking about our lives, the paths we chose,  the knowledge that we have been graced with the ability and options to make choices and decisions to travel different roads.

We are all gifted with the ability to make choices in our lives.  Often, we put a lot of time and thought into decisions that are going to affect not only ourselves but other people.  While we have to look at how it will affect others, the truth is we have to discern what is really best for ourselves because God is within.  I add caution to say not best for ourselves in a selfish way, rather – in a true honest and loving way.  Too often people put their unhappiness on God, but God is such an awesome loving being – all we have is from His abundant love.

Earlier today I read this reading from today’s DO.

Mid-morning reading   1 John 4:16

“We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.”

I have read through this a few times today, each time my eyes read this a little differently from the way it is written.  What I read is more like this;We know and trust God loves us.  He is love.  He loves us.  We know He knows us intimately, inside and out.  Our thoughts, desires and our human needs.  Our needs to be truly cared for and truly loved.  Our need to have and participate in loving relationships.  He created us this way, this is why it is written all throughout the bible that he created pairs of humans and pairs of animals to live and share life with.  This is natural, this is His gift to us.
Needs are not to be confused with. . .

Noon reading  Galatians 6:7-8

“What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.”

. . . Needs are not to be confused with self-indulgence.  There are times, particularly within strict religious teachings that teachers will confuse the two and suggest that the true gift of desire that God gifts us with is not a true gift but something self-indulgent.  It is not the same at all. 

True Godly desire of caring, loving, intimate relationships is pure and both self emptying and filling back up by those we love.  Like that power exchange we hear about and that I wrote a bit about in my article on marriage.  Our weakness may be found in our love and our strength may be found in the same love – we exchange.

Self-indulgence is when one acts upon a whim with no consideration of others, their needs, it’s not give and take – it becomes “take”.

When we sow our seeds, plant ourselves firmly in Spirit we are reaching God, we walk toward light and goodness with one another.  That caring, loving intimate relationship with another will find eternal love with our creator, our Lord.

Afternoon reading  (Galatians 6:9-10)

“We must never get tired of doing good, and then we shall get our harvest at the proper time. While we have the chance, we must do good to all, and especially to our brothers in the faith.”

What happens when we live our lives bringing good into the lives of those around us?  Good flows back to us.  Gods design – not?  I am not thrilled with the words “especially to our brothers and sisters in faith” because that doesn’t sound Christlike – it sounds Paulish but after all St. Paul was human so I suppose I have to overlook that.  You understand what I mean though – no?  We should always work to do good, not matter who it is for, as we are on this earth are all children of God.  No one better than the next.

 

When we look at our lives at the beginning as young people our eyes are big and we are excited and so very sure our lives will play out in a certain way.  Our parents will be proud of us and God – our Father will be proud of our choices and decisions.  As a mom looking at my sons right now (22 – 28) I realize an innocence they had (as did all of us I suppose).  I also realize looking at my 22 year old who is taking on the responsibility of being a dad (etc.) that he is at the very beginning of a journey.

 

tworoads

While he thinks he sees all that may lay ahead, I know as an older experienced and wiser person that he is in for a heck of a ride.   He has had options thus far and has chosen the path that is right for him right now.  A path I hope will work out well and be the correct one for all concerned.

The truth is there are going to be times that he feels like he is traveling that road alone but for God and – he will be. path-pic Wet, muddy, fog down the road.  Not quite clear on choices.

 

 

Among our choices we really do have more than one path that can take.  The easiest is two-paths-same-destinationusually to remain in the place in which we are most familiar, with  very little chance of change to our lives or growth.  

Sometimes we may make a choice to change our path, merge with change and others on a different path.

 

When we consider and embrace we have the choice, to take a chance to make change in our lives it can be a really scary realization.  When I left my marriage after twenty years, 754fc4071c3255a51244d0cdeb0b371aI made a choice to take a chance to change my life and the lives of those in my life and – I did.  What a growth experience this has been!!!  I realize now how courageous I really am.

d166c6ba2fc430cc9da00131adf9436bPlaces He may want you to be. 

Discern what you want.  Discern what the God you know are or are really beginning to see in a new light may want.  They say there is more than one way to skin a cat – and there is more than one way to arrive at the same destination. 

When we consider changing our lives, we look at those closest to us, and those whose lives we touch but not in the same intimate way.  Remember God created us to be loving human beings with … needs and desires to be with others in caring, loving relationships

Jesus calls us to be disciples.  We can do both within our homes and without and we can very definitely share God, teach, evangelize and most likely reach people in deeper ways when we are able to have true friendships and relationships with them.  Let the walls down.

I have Miss Little in my midst.  How many ways has my faith touched her life?  How many ways will it touch Baby Little?  How many people will God reach throughout them over their own lifetimes.  It is less about the masses of humans and more about the individuals that we touch and reach in life.  Consider the parable of Jesus sending the disciples out into the world.  We will reach who He intends us to and how that works in His plan is His knowing.

34886d5ae6bf24027dcaad738d325b79Always turn to our Father.

Remain open, listen and He will make paths straight.  Change can be scary no matter what it is.  Staying in the same spot can be scarier. 

Jesus Christ did not teach planting seeds and growth for amusement.  It is fully the intention of our Father that we grow in faith – and in truly living life.  No matter what  a choice is He loves us and we are loved by others.  Real love allows our loves to be free to make choices, support them – but we can still say, hey – I am here too.

My choice of allowing Miss Little into our lives and hearts is to become a Nona (with not a drop of Italian blood I must admit) in just a matter of a few weeks.  I’ll be holding a little tiny baby boy – something I have barely ever honestly considered.  Even with all of the shopping and planning and – even making an appointment for the kids to meet with (my sons) Pediatrician in two weeks.  A nona.  Noni.  Hmmm.

What change will your choice bring into your life?  The lives of others?  So many options, so many doorways to step through.  With love, support of others who have walked in your path is there – as is support from a love no matter what.

~Blessings

His Silence

Is God silent?

I often hear people say that they don’t feel God is with them.  They don’t hear God.  Where is He?  Does He love only certain few?  Does He have favorites?  No.  He loves all of us the same.

Jesus told us the greatest commandment:

greatestcommandment

I have come to realize that it is in the complete surrender to the Father that we find Him.

Often words will be spoken;  “I pray to God, I asked Him to fix this”,  “I love God, why doesn’t He love me?”, “Where is He?”, “Why does He leave me alone?”.  I need a job, I need a car, I want a house, My kid is a mess, fix my marriage, etc. etc.

Do we go to Him with a laundry list, expecting him to wave some magic wand, kiss a wound and make it better?

The truth is – too often that may be the approach made.  The approach made to our Faithful Father, who really is with all every second of the day – but for our asking.

daily-image-122812

God is not sitting on a chair up in the clouds, He is here among us, He is here in us.  He is not some far off deity.  Jesus walks among us, the Holy Spirit is within.

Something that gets lost, especially in religions that have laundry lists of “how to” be a Christian is the fact that we have our very own relationships with God – if we work on developing one.  We have to give of ourselves too.  In our human relationships we must give of self.  In our relationship with God, we must give of self.

687474703a2f2f69313136322e70686f746f6275636b65742e636f6d2f616c62756d732f713533332f42616259656c6c6f7730342f3139393136375f31303135313132383538393835343333395f3430353537323931365f6e2e6a7067

Absolute truth. Without my relationship with my Father, I have nothing.  I am nothing.

It is important when we spend time with our Father to offer praise for all He is, all He does and all He will do.  We acknowledge His power.  We offer thanks for all He has done for us and we need to think about things that we can mention – not a blanket “thank you”.  We pray for others and their well being, health and joy.

Lastly, we pray for our own personal intentions, not like a birthday or Christmas list, and we need to remember to ask God to help us help ourselves.  Give us strength, guidance, wisdom.   After all we are also responsible to take actions or make changes that we know God would want in order to help ourselves or those in our lives grow in God, love and life.

Listen, watch for His guidance.  While going through difficult times, lean into God, walk with Jesus and be open to guidance from the spirit who is the helper God sent to us.  Remain open, pray to remain open.

and . . .

Do your other leg work.  Do you spend time reading your bible?  If you don’t own a bible you can find online versions (I refer to all the time, my own bible is too large to carry everywhere – but I have access on my cell phone or any computer!).  Reading the Bible is one part of our responsibility in our relationship with God.  There really is a lot of love and wisdom within the pages.  You will find guidance in His word.  Are you helping others too?

a38a3f1f1632116693e04e6702ad643d

While we’re working on growth, learning, healing, loveHe is too!

Our triune God is ever present.  We are never alone.  If we are doing our part – and often when we fail to do our part, He is still working actively in all of our lives. Be prepared for surprises, what we think is not what He thinks….

isaiah-55-8_9

Trust in Him.  He knows what He’s doing

maxresdefault

Above and before any human.  Bring your loves to God and, allow your loves to bring you to God.  Trust in Him.  He places people in our lives for a reason.

He may be silent – but He is here