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Monday, February 3, 2014

Natural Inclinations

Hello, Happy New Year and all God's blessings to everyone. I apologize for the long absence...a whole year long!  So much has happened in that time, I cannot account for it all right now, but first let me say that I have truly missed blogging and I am still without a computer. This post comes to you courtesy of my little kindle, so I hope you bear with any errors...it is tedious and very much not to the standard I hold myself to.

I want to thank Velia from my bible study group since it was her interest that prompted me to attempt this after not wanting to try...perfectionist that I am. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, I have come to the realization that my pride should not stand in the way of spreading God's love and His Word.

This post is about just such a tutorial and conviction from the Holy Spirit. Our bible study
 this session is called Intentionally Focused. This is our third week.



 It is leading us to become more intentional and passionate in our walk with God. Simultaneously, I am also doing a book study on Courtney Joseph's book "Women Living Well". I find that the two are complimenting each other very well.  Check it out...I am learning so much!


This morning I prepared to have my quiet time with God and decided that I wanted the biggest cup of coffee I could have so chose a mug my husband had given me a few years ago with a scripture verse and proceeded upstairs. Before starting though I decided to strip my bed and somehow managed to let the tail end of my quilt knock the cup off my bedside table. Coffee everywhere...my cup chipped and my bed and pillow soaked. I was ANGRY...cursed the devil (for who else would want to disrupt my time with God) and decided to beat him at his own game by putting on some worship music while I cleaned the mess.

As I settled into a worship session with the music my tears fell and I could not understand why...now I know that the Holy Spirit was convicting my heart. I know that I seem to be rambling...I'll  get to it...this lot of words is rather painful to type on a kindle let me assure you!

As I read the scripture for today (Romans 8:1-8), this leapt out

"Those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God." Romans 8:8

 I had just finished begging God to help me with my weaknesses using those very words! As I read this  I reflected on  just what are those natural inclinations.  Pride, selfishness, envy/greed, self-indulgence, laziness. Oh, the list is never ending!  It is most definitely easier to give in to our weak and selfish natures, but scripture tells us that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we CAN control our natural inclinations.

We can conquer our pride with humility, our selfishness and self-indulgence with a desire to serve and give joyfully of ourselves.Through the Spirit we will hunger and thirst for godly rather than earthly things. God can help us to overcome our weariness with the zeal that the Holy Spirit will put into us. Fear will be replaced with boldness in the Spirit.  One thing is clear.

 WE CANNOT CONQUER OUR SINFUL NATURES WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Yet, we foolishly try. I have been very foolish indeed in forgetting that and it is not surprising that I have felt weary and resentful, beleaguered and discontented. I did not have strength because I have failed to go to the one who is the source of my strength. My thoughts went to Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

 and then to  2 Cor. 12:9

"And He said to me 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness..."

Yes, Lord, without you I can do nothing!

 I ended my session and went about my chores, but when I picked up my poor coffee mug I saw that it is cracked and unusable, whereas I had thought it only chipped. I couldn't help but reflect that this is the sorry state of our souls too. Ah, but through our beloved Lord, we may be cracked and rendered useless to the things that we filled ourselves with before, but we can now be used in a different and better way. Just like my mug, which will now stay on my prayer altar as a reminder of this valuable lesson.

The events of this morning were all His doing, even the coffee spill and my cracked mug. How am I so sure?  Well, the scripture verse on my mug is none other than 2 Corinthians 12:9. How's that for Holy Spirit power?

To Him be the glory...FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!!!






Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life is like the Ocean

Greetings to all my friends out there! I cannot believe its been over a month since I last wrote anything here. Today is the last day in February and if I didn't write this piece I would have skipped the month entirely.

So much has happened to keep me busy, so many little trials and triumphs...life is very much like an ocean's surf (I share more on this below) constantly ebbing and flowing, never staying still. I have found myself more and more distant from cyberland...reading... less, writing...none!

So, let me just give you a quick update...that is if I have any readers left at this point!

January

I began my bible study with the Good Morning Girls on the Book of Luke. In this month I also crossed my two-year mark as a blogger. No fanfare... but quiet revelations on my priorities. I began my blog from a transitional place, from a time of great healing and blessings from God. I wanted to share these things, to be a part of communities. I have come to question if I can be an effective blogger. I do LOVE to write...at this point, prioritizing my writing in the face of all else that is going on seems to be an issue for me. I also question my motives...do I write for attention or to glorify God? My small and spontaneous sabbatical is teaching me a lot, as is my bible study.

February

A month that has been full of joy and full of pain. This month we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. It was also the first time we have had to remember my mother-in-law's birthday since her death last year. It has also been a time of much trial for us. I cannot begin to tell you how much our faith has been stretched, pulled, tested. In one weekend alone, our refrigerator went down, our water pump began to give trouble and my car's air-conditioning system stopped working. This is just part of all that has been happening...I have started to feel as Job must have felt.

In this season of Lent, I have vowed to spend more time with the Lord...He alone knows how much I need it! I have been doing partial or whole Holy Hours of Reparation, where I meditate on His passion and offer prayers of reparation and penance. During these quiet times, the Lord has ministered to me and here is something I got recently. This is written in the second person because this is how I received it.

Life is like the ocean...it never stands still. You will never be in one place all the time. Sometimes there is calm and peace.



These are the times in your life when you become complacent...everything is going well, so you don't feel that you need God as much. Do you pray as often when you are content? Do you think of sacrificing or offering anything to Him? Do you remember to say thank you during this time? It is easy to lie back and drift in the smooth undulating motion of the waves now.


Then there are times when the waves get stormy and toss you about.
Jesus Christ saving in water a person lost faith prayed for help lord saved beautiful Christian religious picture download free ship sink cried stretched hand save me
Save me Lord!
You cling to your lifesaver, Jesus. You cry out for help, you prostrate yourself begging to be saved. You are willing to fast and do not let a moment pass when a prayer of supplication is not on your lips.


Then there are the tides...at high tide, the waves rush to shore...the beach may become impassable. The surf crashes upon the rocks violently.
the lord on high mighter than the noise of many waters than the mighty waves of the sea psalm 93:4 yeah sexy christian Jesus wallpapers Christ download free gallery on the sea verse desktop background hot snaps
The Lord is mightier than the noise of many waters...
It is difficult to hear the voice of the Saviour then, you feel abandoned. You think "Why isn't God hearing my prayer, why is it so hard to feel His presence."  It is during these times that you are vulnerable to a crisis of faith, when we listen to the enemy whispering to our souls.  It is now that you question God "Why, what have I done to deserve this? How much more can I possibly bear?"

The low tide comes...  the tide ebbs and leaves behind debris and treasures from the sea. Ah yes, this is when the crisis of faith passes, you have come through to the other side. You can now walk along the beach and see what this time, this trial has brought to your life. Believe it or not...there ARE treasures there!

Treasures in the flotsam and jetsam?



Trials are not meant to break you, but to make you stronger, to shape you and to make you grow in your faith. During these times, you must lean heavily upon God and not give in to the temptation to turn inward. Scripture says:  Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding."  God loves us and knows what is best for us. If we could but trust in Him to see us through, He will make the way Proverbs 3:6 "in all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight."

How you react to trials and hardships is what determines the level of your growth. You must keep strong in the faith. Even in the darkness of these trials, there is the brilliant rays of His Divine Mercy and infinite love shining upon you. If you expose yourself to this light, you will blossom and grow as a bud that is slowly opening under the rays of the sun.  Be joyful and give thanks and praise, even in the midst of suffering for nothing frustrates the enemy more than praising God!

 Psalm 34:1-3 "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord, let the afflicted hear and rejoice! Glorify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together"


So dear friends, in the light (or darkness rather) of all these trials I am finding  my way slowly but surely and learning new things each day. As we say farewell to February, I hope that you are all well and wish you all God's blessings and, God willing, I will write more in March.


Linking with:



 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sharing Faith in Marriage





I'm joining with a group of wonderful ladies in doing this Marriage Challenge over at Courtney's place. I find that one can never stop trying to create new life in marriages...especially when you hit the 23 year mark as we will next month!  If you look over at the side bar you will see some other great marriage challenges that you can try.  Its a new year...time for us all to try on some new attitudes!


This article was originally written for the Marriage Monday community on the topic of...Sharing our Faith in Marriage. If you would like to you can click on the link below to visit with the other MM ladies...lots of wisdom in this community!

When I pondered this, the first thing that came to mind is the many, many people who enter marriage in differing stages of spirituality. If anybody reading this can honestly say that you were on the same page...congratulations to you! You are one of the fortunate ones.

During our courting days I realised that my husband did not have the same level of spiritual growth that I had, but I wasn't a burning ember myself so his wanting to stand outside of an afternoon Mass with no singing and  me enjoying a two hour mass in my own parish didn't really phase me.

Early in our marriage, my faith blossomed and grew and I became passionate for Jesus Christ, while my husband's remained like an unwatered seed. My zeal was tempered by the needs of my young and growing family and I stopped attending prayer meetings and praise and worship sessions.   Some time later, my husband's faith bloomed and he was on fire for the Lord...I was in hibernation.
www.clipartheaven.com
I resented that he was able to grow in faith and had the freedom to attend meetings and serve in the Church and be part of a prayer group, when I had given it all up to put the family first. This really hurt our marriage for a while...it didn't help that his zeal blinded him to how much he was NOT giving at home. The children all felt upset that he was not there for them, but giving of himself  to perfect strangers and I became all worked up every time I realised that he had an obligation outside of our home. Church became a dirty word in our house.  In case you didn't know it, this is a spirit of  religion which causes people to be overzealous in their church activities while other aspects of their lives deteriorate.

One day, after a few years of this, we realised that we were supposed to be in a faith partnership, each one encouraging and helping the other along the road to heaven. I had felt left behind while he had forged ahead and this was not what God wanted at all.

I believe that each spouse has the responsibility to boost the faith of the other. We may not worship in the same way, or serve in the same way...our spiritual walks are very personal ones,  but we need to pray together and for each other.

 We need to be united in the core of our faith in order to pray for our family, for our needs and to break any spiritual strongholds by using spiritual warfare. My husband chooses to serve the Church in a tangible way...I like to be in the background. I'm not comfortable being in the public eye, so though we both may write a piece for our parish newsletter, I wouldn't put my name on mine but he is well-known for his articles.

As we all know, there are many ways in which marriage is tested and passed through the fire. It is faith that is the anchor in these times when life's stormy seas toss us about.  There have been times when I am the weak one and it is my husband who will be the one to encourage and bolster my sagging faith. At other times, he is the one floundering and it is I who can be the strong one.

In summary, though we may not walk the path in exactly the same way, by holding hands on our journey, we are stronger... by walking together and allowing God to be the center of our marriage, we have the key to a faith that will see us through.  Standing on my own, I'm vulnerable, but with my husband's support I have accountability and stability and when you have the Lord as the Head of your marriage...you have a whole lot more!  Ecclesiasticus 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" 

Cord of Three Strands

There are many in spiritually unequal marriages...your spouse either does not share your faith at all, or has so little of it that you despair that he will ever be the spiritual head of your home. If somebody reading this happens to be in this position...do not despair!  Keep praying for your spouse.  My mother prayed for my father for nearly forty years. His conversion came about shortly before he died of cancer...too late for them to enjoy it together but just in time for him!  If you need a little encouragement, please consider visiting Lynn and Dineen over at http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com/. They are a wonderful duo of ladies in the same position and full of wisdom and encouragement for you.

Blessings to everyone until we meet next time!


Blind Faith, Obedience and Surrender - Lessons from Luke

Hello everyone!

Its been awhile and I meant to have this published last week when I wrote it. Life takes over...you know? I am yet to get back to some kind of order and my online time has been limited to my bible study. The Good Morning Girls have begun our study of the gospel of St Luke, with the theme of  "Living Like Jesus".

So, let me share what I've been learning. What stands out for me in this first chapter are the themes of blind faith, total obedience and surrender to God. This is something I need to keep on growing in...its not easy, is it? This surrendering to God and giving up control...this trusting in Him when life seems to press around you from all sides. Let's take a look at what the first chapter has revealed.

We see Luke, himself, choosing to believe what was handed down by the true eyewitnesses on events that occurred about 60 years before.  He sought after the truth so he could record the truth for others to believe. This, in itself, is a type of blind faith and brings to mind Jesus' words to Thomas in  John 20:29 "...blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe".

The most perfect example of this obedience, trust and faith, however, is Our Lady, Mary the mother of Jesus. A young girl who was too humble to believe she could be elevated in any way was addressed by an angel of God. She listened to Gabriel's message and she believed and immediately surrendered herself to God's will, wondering out loud how God would accomplish this in a virgin, but knowing in her heart that "nothing is impossible for God".
The Annunciation by Fra Filippo Lippi c. 1450
www.freechristimages.org
What a direct contrast to Zechariah, who was punished with muteness because he disbelieved the same Gabriel when he visited him to tell him that his wife would conceive in her old age. Zechariah not only disbelieved but he laughed! An angel of God appears to a 'priest' and he is incredulous! Poor Zechariah! He did not believe in the promises of God until they came to pass, but Mary did.
Zacharias and the Angel
www.freechristimages.og
Mary is the role model of every Catholic woman who holds her up as the perfect example of womanhood. She was the first Christian and set a very high bar for the rest of us. She was wholly obedient to God, loving Him, serving Him, laying her life down for Him. Whatever came into her life, she had no Plan B...Plan A was always "do whatever He tells you".  These may have been her words to the servants at the wedding in Cana (John 2:5), but they are also her words to us.

In my quest to emulate her in perfect obedience to the will of God, I will sometimes be called to my own following in the footsteps of Jesus. Mary suffered alongside her son for our redemption. What courage must any mother possess to see her son suffer brutality, humiliation and death and yet she remained at the foot of  His cross.  I too may have to suffer, be humiliated or have to put to death the things in my nature that keep me separated from Him and His will.

I pray to humble and gentle like Mary...my wayward tongue often gets the better of me.

I pray to be able to love the Lord with all my heart and to put Him first above all things...this age we live in has so many things to pull at us and take our focus from Him and I sometimes succumb to these temptations.

I pray for the grace to surrender completely  and to trust in Him...my desire to be in control often makes this difficult.

I pray that I will be able to accept whatever He has for me, even a Cross...at times I shy away from situations with a fear of the unknown and willfully cling to my own decisions.

This is why I wish to emulate Mary, this humble, gentle yet strong and courageous woman who pondered things in her heart and chose to trust and be obedient.  May we ponder things in our own hearts, being open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

What does God want of us? What does He want us to do? What does he want to heal in us? Where in our lives is He asking us to obey or trust in Him? Where is He calling us to have courage and step out in faith?
We can only know these things if we open our hearts in honest and deep communication with God.

He speaks...may our ears be attuned to the sound of His voice.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marriage Monday : Sharing Our Faith In Marriage


Hello Marriage Monday sisters! I wish you all a Happy New Year and all of God's blessings. I am late with this post but that old adage of "better late than never" is still as relevant today as it ever was.

So, our topic this time around...Sharing our Faith in Marriage.

When I pondered this, the first thing that came to mind is the many, many people who enter marriage in differing stages of spirituality. If anybody reading this can honestly say that you were on the same page...congratulations to you! You are one of the fortunate ones.

During our courting days I realised that my husband did not have the same level of spiritual growth that I had, but I wasn't a burning ember myself so his wanting to stand outside of an afternoon Mass with no singing and  me enjoying a two hour mass in my own parish didn't really phase me.

Early in our marriage, my faith blossomed and grew and I became passionate for Jesus Christ, while my husband's remained like an unwatered seed. My zeal was tempered by the needs of my young and growing family and I stopped attending prayer meetings and praise and worship sessions.   Some time later, my husband's faith bloomed and he was on fire for the Lord...I was in hibernation.
www.clipartheaven.com
I resented that he was able to grow in faith and had the freedom to attend meetings and serve in the Church and be part of a prayer group, when I had given it all up to put the family first. This really hurt our marriage for a while...it didn't help that his zeal blinded him to how much he was NOT giving at home. The children all felt upset that he was not there for them, but giving of himself  to perfect strangers and I became all worked up every time I realised that he had an obligation outside of our home. Church became a dirty word in our house.  In case you didn't know it, this is a spirit of  religion which causes people to be overzealous in their church activities while other aspects of their lives deteriorate.

One day, after a few years of this, we realised that we were supposed to be in a faith partnership, each one encouraging and helping the other along the road to heaven. I had felt left behind while he had forged ahead and this was not what God wanted at all.

I believe that each spouse has the responsibility to boost the faith of the other. We may not worship in the same way, or serve in the same way...our spiritual walks are very personal ones,  but we need to pray together and for each other.

 We need to be united in the core of our faith in order to pray for our family, for our needs and to break any spiritual strongholds by using spiritual warfare. My husband chooses to serve the Church in a tangible way...I like to be in the background. I'm not comfortable being in the public eye, so though we both may write a piece for our parish newsletter, I wouldn't put my name on mine but he is well-known for his articles.

As we all know, there are many ways in which marriage is tested and passed through the fire. It is faith that is the anchor in these times when life's stormy seas toss us about.  There have been times when I am the weak one and it is my husband who will be the one to encourage and bolster my sagging faith. At other times, he is the one floundering and it is I who can be the strong one.

In summary, though we may not walk the path in exactly the same way, by holding hands on our journey, we are stronger... by walking together and allowing God to be the center of our marriage, we have the key to a faith that will see us through.  Standing on my own, I'm vulnerable, but with my husband's support I have accountability and stability and when you have the Lord as the Head of your marriage...you have a whole lot more!  Ecclesiasticus 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" 

Cord of Three Strands

There are many in spiritually unequal marriages...your spouse either does not share your faith at all, or has so little of it that you despair that he will ever be the spiritual head of your home. If somebody reading this happens to be in this position...do not despair!  Keep praying for your spouse.  My mother prayed for my father for nearly forty years. His conversion came about shortly before he died of cancer...too late for them to enjoy it together but just in time for him!  If you need a little encouragement, please consider visiting Lynn and Dineen over at http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com/. They are a wonderful duo of ladies in the same position and full of wisdom and encouragement for you.

Blessings to everyone until we meet next time!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year to All!

Hello and Happy New Year to all of my friends out here in blogland! I have been on a long break...I know! When last I posted here I believe I mentioned that I would be heading to Florida for my daughter's graduation from university and its been quite a whirlwind few weeks for me...and it isn't going to slow down any time soon!

Remember, I mentioned doing a Bake Sale with my daughter? Here are some of the cookies we did. I was really proud of my daughter...she did an awesome job of decorating them. They also made some pretty unique Christmas presents which kept us really busy.





Last Sunday was the the 12th day of Christmas, the Feast of Epiphany, and so our decorations were not taken down until after that...in fact I'm still doing it a piece at  a time and our Christmas tree is still up! I'll be rounding up the family on Saturday to take care of this(not my favourite task).

My children went back to school on Monday and I've been taking this week to get my life/house back in order and try to make some plans for what my goals are for this new year. It is very hard to think when the house seems to be bursting at the seams with noise and bustling. Any order went out the window quite some time ago and, being the somewhat lover of order that I am, I am itching to get back to some level of non-chaos.

So, let me share a little of what I've been up to since last we met. We flew off to Florida for my daughter's graduation and hoped to get in a little R&R at the same time. My husband was as excited as a little child for this 'vacation'.  He and my employed daughter were the financiers of this trip and they wanted it to be the most wonderful experience for all of us.

Of course, things seldom go according to plan, but despite some hiccups and last minute stuff to do with my graduating daughter (like her shipping which was supposed to be organised weeks before!) we still managed to get in a day at Disney and a day at Universal Studios.

My daughter's graduation was beautiful...long (800 graduates) and you know I cried!  I have been forbidden by the lady herself from putting up pictures under threat of dire punishment (in fact I've been warned about using pics of anyone in this blog except for my youngest and, of course, myself) but I figure if its blurry or faces unseen it doesn't count (crossing my fingers, toes and all that they see it that way too!). Having said that,  I share with you a little of our adventures.


There she is, with her gold Honors stole and her red international one. How could a proud momma not want to share? Seeing that she's practically unrecognizable I hope she'll let this one pass!

Our days were hectic and fun-filled, exhausting but happy.  It was cold! Well, it was for a Caribbean girl like me, but the rest of the family enjoyed it and three of them walked around in shorts and didn't complain once. Me? Well, I had to endure the indignity of wearing a Mickey Mouse sweater because that's all I could get in Disney World. I felt a little vindicated when my daughter caved and bought gloves and scarves the next day.


Getting a piggyback ride (check out those cute ears!)
Being entertained by the Dr Seuss characters

Lil& Mom on Merry-go-round

Mom & Dad take a break!

Lil & her sisters on the Teacup Ride




 The girls had a wonderful time(so did the parents) and my youngest surprised me with her lack of fear on the roller coasters and rides she wanted to go on. She (and the other girls) obviously has the genes of some adventurous ancestor since neither my husband nor I are thrill seekers. You should have seen the size of the roller coaster my girls went on at Universal...the Hulk! Maybe some of you are familiar with it? It looked like a heart attack waiting to happen... to me!



Lil met the princesses...the highlight of her day. Of course, she had to use the bathroom while we were in a long line waiting and, while Daddy took my place, I had to hop over some cords to get her there ASAP, whereupon I promptly fell trying to cross over one. Don't worry...nothing got bruised or broken...much! If you were in line waiting that day...yep...I was THAT mom! When we left the park that evening, she said "This was the best day of my life!" How happy that made her dad and sister, who paid for this adventure. (and to her momma who suffered a bruised ego...at least it was worth it!)






Of course, there is so much more that we did, but you have better things to do I'm sure!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and the good Lord blesses you and yours with health, strength and happiness for this new year. I'll be back to regular blogging soon...I have missed this little spot of cyberspace and I'll be coming by to check out your blogs as I catch up with each of you. Until then...be blessed!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jesus is the Light that never goes out!


 

Darkness...the darkness of sin enveloped the earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Yet, even on that dark day, as God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and banished them to a life of blood, sweat and tears, He had a plan for salvation. Later He would make His people a promise...a promise of salvation...He gave them Hope!

Darkness...David descended into darkness when he sinned against God, but God's love prevailed. David repented and God also made him a promise...that His covenant with him would remain forever. 2 Samuel 7:12-16 "When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house in my name and I will establish his kingdom forever...your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever."

Jeremiah 33:15"In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land".  Another gift of Hope!

Darkness...it descends upon me too...whenever I choose to let my sinful nature prevail, when I feel trapped in the burdensome net of worry and doubt and fear, when I feel myself descending into despair or depression. Does it also descend upon you at times?

This week we started our beautiful Advent Study, but my heart was descending into that pit of darkness. My youngest daughter has been ill and at home. She is on medication that is adding hyper-activeness to her already active disposition. My heart was desperate for peace and instead I was thrown into a noise-fest. I tried to play my music, but had to turn it off because it was just adding to the noise level and my battered nerves could not endure any more. Closing around me in its death grip was anxiety about an upcoming bake sale my daughter and I are about to do for the first time this weekend(I'm desperately off schedule at this point and close to panic) a car that would not start and worry about our finances, to name a few!

Oh, but our God is so faithful...He continues to minister and teach lessons even in the darkness we occasionally find ourselves in.  This morning I lit my candle....and it went out. This regularly happens to me because I ought to take it down from its stand first so the air does not have a chance to blow the candle out before it gets into its chamber. As I lit it again, the proper way, and hung it back on its stand, my heart filled with tears as I felt the peace invade my soul and the truth that shouted loud and clear:

Jesus is the Light that never goes out!

No matter how dark things may seem at times...there is always Hope! Jesus is that Hope! He is that Light, that beacon, that guides me back to safety, to truth and to joy. It is to Him I must go to be refueled and refreshed. It is to Him I must go to be reminded that if I keep my eyes on the Light, I will see through the darkness that's threatening to blind me and disable me. I don't need to stumble through the darkness, lost and afraid and overwhelmed...neither do you!

Here is a little piece of the prayer altar that is in my bedroom.  There is my little light, a blessed tea light...small but it burns its way into my heart. Do you see that rose beneath the candle? There is a little story about that rose. It was blessed about a year and half ago on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. For my non-Catholic friends, you can click on the link to learn more if you like. When Father blessed these roses, he told us to take them to those who were sick and pray with them. I had three roses, one for my mother and mother in law and one for my family.  

Last year, my husband gave me roses for my birthday. Within a few days, their petals began to fall and soon I was left with only the stalks. This rose, on the other hand, remains intact...not one petal has fallen off, despite the fact that my air condition unit blows directly onto this altar. Why hasn't it fallen apart too? I can only believe that this is another little thing that God does to keep giving me Hope. Hope so I can continue to trust in Him, so I can continue to have faith in Him.

Dear Friends...if any of you are stumbling in the darkness, do not despair. Jesus is the Light that never goes out and I want to be mesmerized by Him. I want to be drawn in, like a moth to the flame. I want the Hope that He gives to me for a better tomorrow to light up my dark little world. This I pray for you as well.

God's blessings to you and yours...may His Light shine brightly upon the darkness!