Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Be Thankful in a High-Tech World

One might think this action requires complex thinking with elaborate planning.

I believe the opposite; I think it is easy, natural and very simple.

All you have to do is count your blessings.

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
(Author Unknown)

Willie Nelson is quoted as saying, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Just maybe he was onto something important, something quite praiseworthy.

Does your current life need some figuring out? 

“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:6-7)

Count your blessings and also count on God to get you through anything life renders.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trust Issues: Learning To Change

I love it when things work out better than planned. Like when you go to pay for your coffee and someone ahead of you already took care of the charge. Sweet!

Could you give knowing you would be without? Would you be willing if asked, to give your last dollar, your last bit of food, your only coat?

I would have no problem purchasing some stranger’s coffee, wouldn’t even have to think twice about the act, but these other questions, I’m not so sure.

Jesus tells us to trust in Him.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these….” (Matthew 6:25-34)

Oh-oh trust—I may be harboring some unwanted trust issues. Trust means to believe. I know Jesus is talking about more than just giving out some of our surplus. He is talking about believing that God will provide. Feeding the poor. Caring for the sick and dying, helping those less fortunate. 

The hand that gives is the same hand that will receive. All we have to do is trust.

Trust—with no issues. It may require some changes on our part.

Jesus tells us to trust in Him. Will you comply?

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Do's and Don'ts of Life

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Do let God’s grace and mercy enter into your heart.

These are two things I learned while attending a Woman’s Renewal at Saint John Vianney Church.

This year’s theme, just turn the page—His grace and mercy await, was all about persevering in the present moment no matter what our past life stories may reveal. It was about how we can choose what we write in the continuing of our life stories, learning from our life stories, sharing of our life stories to help heal the brokenhearted, the troubled, those who more than ever need God’s grace and mercy.

Sitting there listening to the testimonies of these brave, bold, beautiful women who had the courage to openly share their innermost pain and afflictions, their personal problems, their struggles, their love, their faith . . . all I could see was women filled with grace . . . brave, bold, beautiful women. Women who I want to become more like, women who truly know how to walk the walk.

They radiated the most amazing grace as they talked about receiving undeserved mercy from our Lord. Grace shined its beautiful light as they described the ups and downs of everyday life and how in opening their hearts to God’s word they were able to overcome all sorts of obstacles placed before them. Obstacles like betrayal and dishonesty, heartaches and headaches; we listened to a beautiful tale of a daughter who selflessly put her life on hold to become her mother’s caregiver for what turned out to be years instead of merely months as doctors had predicted. Grace presented itself again and again with stories of mercy pouring out in places where one would think mercy could never surface. Tears formed upon hearing how grace became the way a beloved friendship that ended in death for one now brings hope to others in the sharing of accepting God’s will in our lives.

For me, mercy has so many different meanings. It can mean forgiveness, compassion, love, kindheartedness; it can be a form of sympathy, charity, and trust. On the day of our renewal, mercy was the common denominator in every one of the women’s testimonials.

As I write this I can only speak for myself, but I know these two things for sure:  don’t judge a book by its cover and do let God’s grace and mercy enter into your heart, are two very important things in life that I constantly need to work on as I turn the pages in my own personal life story.

This renewal has taught me something that I hope I will never forget; I have learned that I cannot simply glance at someone and know his or her life story. I can’t and shouldn’t ever judge someone. I’ll never know all the circumstances, only God knows.

And I also came to the realization that no matter how much I have or have-not, I simply cannot live without God’s grace and mercy in my life . . . I would become trapped in a puddle of nothingness without these two gifts.

St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:10 writes, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” tell you my story is to tell of Him
Big Daddy Weave,
My Story

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post. May your days be filled with God’s grace and mercy.
Godspeed, Rose


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Yellow is the New Black

In my neck of the woods, or I should say, in my suburb division, everything is turning very yellow. Green is no longer the majority. Different colors are taking over our small turf of land.

Autumn is upon us. Tis the season of change.

Every year I find myself writing about this season as if Autumn has a personality to match her beauty. Something always draws me to examine what changes are transpiring inside of me as I stare in amazement at what’s developing outside our windows.

Taking in the dynamic changing of color on our trees lures me to change my everyday sameness, to brighten up the dark messy corners of my life.

As I look at the leaves and watch as they crumple and fall to the ground, knowing what purpose they served, and will continue to serve by giving nourishment to the earth, makes me want to give my all to that which God is calling me to do. (This includes even the hard, burdensome, not so pleasant paths I sometimes see placed in front of me.)

Invariably this breathtaking change of season always seems to tug at my heart, filling me with a desire to be more like the leaves that yield to dying of self, allowing new growth to emerge. 

I know God has plans for each of us. He so wants us to choose His will, to surrender our everyday life to Him, in order that He may use us to produce a much better design that will leave an everlasting impression for all to see.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” 
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Autumn . . . . may we learn from her what she has always been about—change and the dying of self—in order to better serve our God.

Enjoy beautiful Autumn!

Monday, November 2, 2015

All Day

Today is All Souls’ Day.

A few days ago when I was researching something totally unrelated, this quote popped up on my computer screen. It made me re-think about how I view death.

“I am not afraid of what happens after death: it is into God’s arms that I am falling!” 
(St. Therese de Lisieux)

I’m wondering if this quote, which seemed to show up out of nowhere, is a sign from God. Is God nudging me to share this beautifully written interpretation with others?

Could there be a few of us, whose hearts ache for someone we no longer see, that need to be reassured of the promises of eternal life? If you are feeling this way, take a few minutes and allow the meaning of these words to penetrate your heart.

“I am not afraid of what happens after death: it is into God’s arms that I am falling!”
 (St. Therese de Lisieux)

Today, as I pray on All Souls’ Day, I shall defer-to this Saint’s foresight on death’s entrance. For me her words bring comfort to a place in my heart where hurt once lived. May it do the same for you.

Prayer for Eternal Rest

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.