Friday, October 2, 2015

Who am I?

This could well be the million-dollar question some of us are asking ourselves right now.

“Who am I to pray for the Pope?” (John Boehner)

“Who am I to judge?” (Pope Francis)

So just who are you?

I know who I no longer am. I’m no longer the person of my past. That person fortunately can’t live here in the present moment. That person is no longer in existence.

That thought makes me rejoice. (I did some crazy stuff way back when!)

Who among us can look in the rearview mirror of life and not have any regrets?

Regrets because we believed that we were trapped, we felt afraid; we became too stubborn to change, we liked being comfortable versus doing what was right. I made and still make a lot of bad choices, so I’m grateful for second chances, new beginnings.

2 Corinthians 5:17 reads:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!”

This verse makes me ask a different question. Not “Who am I?” but “Who am I in Christ?”

In Christ, I become different in a new way, a better way, the old me has been washed away with my sins.

Pope Francis has asked us all to pray for him—from young school children to high-ranking Government Officials. We all got our homework assignment from Pope Francis. PRAY.

As I get down to the business of praying for the Pope, I also pray for others and myself and our earth . . . and soon enough it starts to sink in, this act of praying, and before long, I too stir up emotions deep within that asks: “Who am I to judge?”

Find Jesus—let Him recreate a new you.

The old has gone, the new is here!

Thanks for reading my blog.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pass it On

I like it when people pass on advice, tips, and warnings about . . .  well just about anything and everything. I feel like it gives me an edge. (Not that I always agree 100% of the time, but the times I take the advice offered or heed the warning sent forth, I’m grateful to have known that knowledge beforehand.) I also like this this age-old advice: all you need to know is right in front of you.

So when I read this news flash in our church bulletin, I knew I’d be passing it on in a blog post.

Everything we need to know about life, we can learn from Noah’s Ark…

1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead! It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For Safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. When you’re stressed, float a while.
10.  Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting. 
(Author unknown)

Personally, number 9 and 11 reach out to me.

I know how stress can do a number on our bodies and souls. The long-term effects of stress are—well stressful. Listen to these known conditions brought on by stressing ourselves out: high blood pressure, increase risk of heart attacks and strokes. If that doesn’t scare you, how about knowing your stress can speed up the aging process, along with making you vulnerable to a host of mental and emotional problems. Oh, I need to go float in a boat, or lie under a tree. Somewhere, where I can breathe in the good and breath out the bad.

Somewhere, where I can meditate for a long while and let myself concentrate on breathing in love, and breathing out hate, peace in lieu of war, faith instead of fear, truth verses lies.

Somewhere, where I can come to grips with realizing that no matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting. 

Wherever you are all you need to know is right in front of you.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cullen O'Donnell)

Thanks for reading my blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Rising of the Sun

For me this ritual always involves a cup of steaming hot coffee. Super hot. So hot, that I must first just take in the aroma for a minute or two.

I’m not a big fan of iced coffee, but if I had to choose between warm, such as lukewarm coffee, or iced coffee I’d go for the cold.

Nothing is worse than a cup of lukewarm coffee. (I’m sure many will agree.) I simply detest it. It makes me sick. I want nothing to do with it. I’d rather have tea or go without.

I’m sure you’ve read or have heard this Bible verse mentioned in sermons . . . anything but lukewarm.

“I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich and well off; I have all I need.’ But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind.” (Revelation 3:15-17)

Makes me question just how warm is my faith? I’m not cold, but am I warm enough to be considered hot?

Our Lord continues with:

“Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear My voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Have you checked your temperature lately—your faith temperature?

The rising of the sun should involve a ritual where we meet and greet Our Lord, Our Savior . . . with much heat and devotion!

Always keep the faith.

Thank you for supporting my blog with all your special, encouraging words, notes, messages and comments. (All are well appreciated and much needed!)
Enjoy life!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Time Marches Slowly Forward

Certain events in life I don’t need the help of being reminded, I just know. Like today’s date, I know without looking it up or having to have someone remind me, I know that today is the anniversary date marking the end my mother’s earthly life, and the beginning of her eternal life.

Not just today, but many days I’m reminded of her faith, wisdom, and love.

Like, when I heard Jimmy Carter’s press conference telling the world how he felt regarding his health issues, I was once again reminded of my mom. Both seem to have held the same deep sense of faith for the God they worshipped.

“I’m perfectly at ease with whatever comes.” Jimmy Carter

“Whenever the good Lord wants to take me, I’m ready . . . I’ve led a long life.” Julie Nagel

“It is in the hands of God, whom I worship.” Jimmy Carter

“Whatever bad happens, God will always find a way to show some good.” Julie Nagel

I was blessed to have had such a beautiful role model that I could look up to and try to mimic. Her faith was our family’s backbone that we leaned upon.

When I became a mother myself, and whenever the situation presented itself where my family would attend church together with her, I would somehow make sure both of my kids were situated one on each side. I would then secretly take up more elbowroom than needed as we kneeled in the pew so that my kid’s arms and hers would have to touch—wanting some of her faith to rub onto them. (That’s how holy she was!)

Romans 12:2 also brings her memory to my mind as I read, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.”

If you too are remembering someone you loved dearly that has passed from this life to the next, take refuge in the fact that they are in good hands, “the hands of God.”

I can almost see her shaking her head in agreement with Carter’s words, “I’m perfectly at ease with whatever comes.”

Dedicated to the
loving memory
Julie Nagel
November 3rd, 1925 – September 7th, 2013 
as time marches slowly forward.

R.I.P. Mom!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Plain as Day

It is a simple statement, it makes total sense, and it has been put in writing, which should clear up any unheard-of confusion anyone could have whatsoever.

Jesus tells us:

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

There it is . . . plain as day.

I just wish it were as easy to carry out, as it is to comprehend. I totally get it, but I don’t totally live it.

I don’t want the reason I’m not allowed into the Pearly Gates to be because I’m not forgiven for my errors that I committed as a parent, a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend and also as a living and breathing member of the human race.

Am I okay with not letting God forgive me of my guilt because I’m holding on to what I think are the wrongdoings of others? Seriously, who can claim to be perfectly perfect, to hold the record for never having made any mistakes, and who in life has not slipped up?

Jesus tells us:

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

Letting the power of these words enter my heart, I close my eyes for a brief second and an obvious vision of Jesus appears. I see Him. I see Jesus, who hangs on a cross, looking down at me with utter kindness and pure love. He showers me with His grace, hands me undeserving mercy, no questions asked.

I can feel Him urging me to not just hear His words, but to live the message. To try it out, to keep His instructions in the forefront of my mind—since none of us will know when our hour shall come to pass.

Can you see Him?

Will you listen?

He pleads for all.

Thank you so much for reading my blog posts. Wishing you much peace and happiness as you travel through your life journey.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Why Did You Doubt?

“Between three and six o’clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. When they saw Him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear.” (Matthew 14:25-26)

If I’m awake between three and six o’clock in the morning it is usually because of fear. I’m frightened of a storm that sounds like it is getting closer with each lightening strike, or I’m dealing with insomnia, terrified of what might or might not happen regarding something I must soon face. I’ve opened up the door and let doubt in.

Somehow or another I’ve forgotten that with God nothing is impossible.

“Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” He said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”
Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really You, order me to come out on the water to You.”
“Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried.
At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:27-31)

My wild imagination can easily get the best of me—if I let it. Remarkably, it has no power over me as long as Jesus remains in the picture. It is when we move Jesus out of the picture that doubt moves in. If He were there next to us, would we still be afraid of the many storms life puts in front of us? Would we once and for all be able to break fear’s grip?

“Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” He said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”

Good words to remember when you start to doubt don’t you think?

Thanks for viewing my blog!
Godspeed, Rose

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cullen O'Donnell)