Walk Boldly With Jesus

Catherine Duggan

Does life feel extra hard right now? Is it difficult to find joy in your day to day living? Do you feel like something is missing? I did. I was struggling with all of it. Life seemed so hard. Then one day I realize what was missing. I needed more Jesus in my life. Our home needed more Jesus. This may be just what you are missing too! This podcast will give you tips on how you can become closer to Jesus. It will talk about scripture and how those stories can relate to your everyday life. It will help you find joy in life again and teach you to be bold with Jesus by your side. If you would like to reach me you can email Catherine@findingtruenorthcoaching.com or go to my website findingtruenorthcoaching.com Music: "Adding the Sun" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Chapter 9 Calming Our Anxiety In The Moment
4d ago
Chapter 9 Calming Our Anxiety In The Moment
Today’s episode will be a bit different. Today I will be reading one of the chapters in my new book titled Abandon Anxiety: Techniques to take back control. Yesterday in prayer group a lot of the ladies were saying they knew people who were struggling with anxiety, so I thought I would read this chapter as it is called Calming Our Anxiety In The Moment. There are lots of things that go into anxiety, and there are ways to decrease it. Yet some of them take time to learn and implement and become habits. I wanted to give people strategies they can use when they are in the middle of an anxiety attack and need some immediate help. I hope you find them helpful.I have talked a lot about our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves.  I discussed how important it is we shape those thoughts and are conscious of the stories that we tell ourselves.  I have talked about the RAS, which serves as a filter for our brain, and how we can work on setting our filter so that we don’t worry so much.  I have discussed scripture verses that you can turn to and different prayers that can help you both at the moment, such as the St. Michael prayer, and long-term in developing more trust in the lord, such as the Litany of Trust.  However, all of these things, except for the St. Michael prayer, take time.  You probably won’t change your thought patterns overnight.  You won’t wake up tomorrow having forgotten these deeply held beliefs you have had for years.  Worrying less is definitely possible, and I truly hope after reading this book, you are motivated to begin your journey to getting rid of your worry.  I also know some people reading this book have anxiety/panic attacks.  I know that some of you reading this are looking for answers to what to do at the moment.  You don’t have time to focus on changing your thoughts because, at the moment, when you are overcome with worry or anxiety, you can’t think about anything.  I thought it was important to address this matter as well, as I have several friends who suffer from panic/anxiety attacks, and I know how debilitating they can be.  I know how scary it can be, and if I can provide any help to make it easier at the moment, I want to do that.  I want to begin by saying I am not a mental health counselor.  If you are having panic/anxiety attacks, it might be advisable to speak with a counselor, as they could help you out with your particular circumstances.  I have seen a counselor for years, and I think everyone could benefit from seeing someone and talking about any issues.  The techniques I am going to talk about in this chapter are techniques I have found over the years from research to help my friends.  I also talked to my sister, who is a mental health counselor, to make sure I wasn’t steering you in the wrong direction or telling you something that wasn’t true.  I have been told the important thing is to try to get back to the present moment.  There is no anxiety in the present moment.  When you are anxious, you are thinking about what will happen or what has already happened, but there is no anxiety in the present moment.  In order to do this, you can try a variety of different things, depending on what feels right to you and what you can remember to do in the moment.  I would suggest if you are prone to attacks, you have a list of techniques you look at often and even practice when you are not having an attack.  From what I understand, you will not be able to think of much in the moment, so the more you have prepared in advance, the more likely you will be to think of these strategies in the moment you need them.This is similar to anything that you want to get good at.  When you want to be good at something, you need to practice it.  If you want to be good in a crisis, you need to practice the techniques when things are calm.  Let’s think about it in terms of sports for a minute.  If you want to be really good at baseball, you can’t wait until you are in the middle of a game to practice working on catching a ball or even throwing a ball.  This is why athletes need to put in hours of practice before the game days.  Think about surgeons.  They need to go to school for a long time, and then they need to do a residency where they are under the supervision of surgeons who have been practicing for a while.  We wouldn’t expect a surgeon to just walk into an operating room and know how to perform a surgery without lots of practice.  We do not expect people to be good at things without practicing them.  And yet when it comes to mental health, we just expect people to know how to handle it.  When our children are little, we expect them to be able to handle their anger without hitting others.  However, how much time do we spend teaching them and practicing other methods with them?  Often times, when they are acting out, we try to give them options of what they can do to express their anger.  Has this happened to you?  Have you had well-intentioned people try to give you all sorts of advice on how you should handle your anxiety when you are in the middle of it?  How well did that work for you?  I guess it worked as well as it did for my kids when I tried to help them with their anger in the middle of it.  The techniques I am going to talk about here can help you when you are in the middle of an anxiety attack, or they may even be able to cut it off right at the beginning if you think to use them.  There is the key, if you can think to use them.  You will not think to use them if the only time you try to think of them is when you really need them.  If you do not practice these things when you are not in the middle of an attack then I doubt you will think to use them when you are.  Think about your last panic attack.  When you were experiencing it, how likely were you to use the logical part of your brain?  How much of the attack was instinct, and how much of it was planned?  If you want to use these techniques out of instinct, then you need to practice them.  You need to build up the muscle memory of the different activities.  What comes to mind for me as I type this is my typing classes in High School.  My teacher would always say we were working on our muscle memory so that, eventually, our fingers would just know which keys to press.  I was very skeptical; however, now I type the fastest when I don’t think about it, and I just let my fingers do what they were trained to do.  If you always react the same way in a situation, then you teach your body that is the reaction to that circumstance.  Your body will continue to act that way until you interrupt that thinking, and give it a new response for that circumstance.  For instance, when my kids used to say inappropriate words to me, I would get angry and yell at them and then give them a punishment.  They soon learned this was my reaction and so they would say those words even more.  Eventually, I learned to ignore any words I didn’t like them saying, and eventually, they stopped saying them.  It wasn’t easy.  It was a process, and it took time.  This will take time too.  I don’t want you to think I am giving you any quick fixes here.  I also don’t want you to think I am saying this will be easy.  If you have been having panic/anxiety attacks, then I am sure you are ready for some relief.  I don’t want to mislead you to believe this is a one-and-done remedy for panic/anxiety attacks.  I don’t know the cause of your panic/anxiety attacks.  I don’t know the cure for them.  What I am offering in this chapter, are a few techniques you might be able to use in the moment which will help the attacks end faster.  My hope and my prayer for you is that you will give some of these techniques a try and see what you think.  I hope you will try them when you are not having a panic attack.  If you are prone to having panic/anxiety attacks, I hope that you will practice them. Take a few minutes each day or a couple of times a day and practice these techniques.  We never know when the enemy is going to strike.  We need to be prepared at all times.  If you think of this as training for when you need it, you will be much more prepared the next time you have an attack.  Trying to get yourself back to the present moment when you are anxious can be just the trick you need.  However, how do you do that?  There are several different activities that you can quickly do when you are noticing that you are starting to worry.  Actually, even if you are in a full-blown panic attack, you may be able to do these activities to calm yourself down.  I will go over some of these now.1.) The first and probably easiest to explain is to count numbers out of order or backward.  When you do this, you are shifting focus from one part of your brain to another, and it is harder to be anxious when you are using this other part of your brain.  Let’s all practice this now.  Everyone counts down backwards from 10.  Awesome, nice job!  You can also count numbers out of order.  For instance, 3, 10, 15, 4, 8, 22, 17. Again, this forces your focus to start using another part of your brain.  2.) The next one is to enlist the help of your senses to pull you back into the present moment.  The Mayo Clinic calls it the 5-4-3-2-1 Countdown to make anxiety blasts off.  Here is how you would do it.  You take a moment and look around at your surroundings.  Now you would list:5 things you can see: Your arm, a pen, your computer, the rug, the window.  4 things you can physically feel: Your face, the ground, your hair, your shoe3 things you can hear: The rain outside, a car passing by, your fridge buzzing2 things you can smell: your feet, a plant1 thing you can taste: your chapstick, your drink, gum. These will obviously be different for everyone.  It depends on the room you are in or the place where this occurs.  It depends on what you are doing and what your surroundings are.  However, this is something you can practice and get good at when you are not in the middle of an attack.  You could silently do it in various familiar surroundings. For instance, when you are in your car on the way to work, or anyway, you could quickly run through this exercise.  When you are making breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you could run through it.  The more you practice it when you are not in the middle of a panic attack, the more likely you are to think of it when you are.  Going back to counting backward or counting numbers out of sequence. These two things require concentration, and when you are doing this, you are accessing a different part of your brain, and so they are distracting you from your thoughts.  Again, this brings you back to the present moment.  These may seem like something that you don’t have to practice.  I am sure we all know how to count backwards or list numbers out of order.  It is not the action that we are practicing.  It is getting used to the idea that we can do this when we need to forget about our anxious thoughts.  This is another one I think you could easily practice when you are not in the middle of an attack.  Just maybe try once or twice a day to count backward or to count out of order.  If you have anxious thoughts a lot, but they aren’t to the level of a panic attack, then try to implement this technique right when you realize you’re thinking about something that is making you anxious.  This doesn’t have to be something you do outloud.  It doesn’t have to be something that anyone else is aware that you are doing.  If you can get in the habit of recognizing the thoughts that are causing you anxiety, that would be the first step.  Then, try counting backward or out of order to distract yourself from those thoughts.  The third one is extreme sensations.  For instance, eating a fireball or a lemon head.  This shock to the senses might be just enough to bring you back to the present moment.  Also, the sensation of touching ice.  This would be one that I am not sure you could practice when you are not in the moment.  However, it is one that you need to prepare for.  If you have tried the other two techniques, and you have not found the relief in the moment that you are looking for, you may want to try this one.  In order to try this one, you would have to have something on hand.  If you are at your house, you likely have access to ice.  If you are thinking that you would like to try one of the other things you would have to buy those ahead of time so that you have them on hand when you need them.This is another way we can help ourselves in the moment.  We can be prepared for them when they come.  If we know we are prone to panic attacks, what can we do to be prepared?  What if it happens when we are out with others? What can we do in that situation?  How would we want to handle it if we could plan in advance?  What about if it happens when we are alone? What will our plan be?  What if our kids are around?  There are many different circumstances where panic attacks can come about. Can we come up with a plan for the different circumstances?  Is it possible to run through these scenarios in your mind ahead of time so if you find yourself in one of these situations, it won’t be the first time?  Almost like you are doing a dress rehearsal in your brain so that you can practice the best way to respond.  I have been told that our brains believe what we tell them and that the reason visualization works so well is because our brains can’t tell the difference between what we are visualizing we are doing and what we are really doing.  For instance, the best athletes run over their plays or their movements in their heads, even when they are not at practice.  A golfer will visualize holding the golf club; they will visualize swinging it, it hitting the ball, and then the ball going into the hole.  They do this over and over again in their mind, and even though they are not actually doing it, when it comes time to do it on the course, their mind thinks they have been here before.  Their mind feels like it has done this tons of times before, and they act as if they have.Wouldn’t it be great if you could train your mind to react to these anxious thoughts in a more productive way?  Wouldn’t it be great if your mind automatically started one of these techniques when you felt a panic attack coming on?  Wouldn’t it be great if you were prepared for these attacks before they came?   I believe these things are possible.  It won’t be easy, and it will take work, but it can happen.  You can gain some control in the midst of these attacks if you do the work to prepare ahead of time.ACTION STEPSPractice these various techniques daily when you aren’t in the middle of an attack.  Even if it is just once or twice a day, you will be more likely to think of them when you are in the middle of an attack.Visualize yourself reacting to how you want to react when you are having a panic attack.  Don’t just do this once, do it often.  Again, this doesn’t have to be all day, every day.  Just take a few minutes a day and visualize yourself in great detail handling the panic attack in the way that you would want to.Try to notice the thoughts that are making you anxious and try to practice the techniques with these thoughts to try to calm them before they become full-blown anxiety attacks.Thank you all for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I hope you enjoyed this chapter of my new book. If you know someone who suffers from anxiety, please send this to them. They might find something that works for them. I have not published this book yet, but if you know someone who is struggling and really needs some help with anxiety, I would be happy to send them the PDF or the e-reader version. I will not be posting the podcast next week as I am taking my middle son to England to look at colleges and I want to be fully present with him for that time. I still can’t believe he will be going off to college next year. There are plenty of episodes you could go back and listen to if you still want to start your day off with this podcast. I like just randomly picking one, and it is usually just what I need to hear that day. I feel like when I am doing it randomly then it is really the Holy Spirit picking it for me. I hope you all have an amazingly blessed week, and I look forward to meeting you here again on April 22nd. Please pray for safe and uneventful travels. Remember Jesus loves you, and so do I!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in December 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “In my peace, children, you will find strength, courage, and boldness. It comes from peace."
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 2)
5d ago
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 2)
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 2)Hebrews 6:16-20 “ Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute.  In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.  We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,  where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”I started talking about The Certainty of God’s Promise on Monday. Today I want to finish the section as I think it is important that we all know we can count on God and all of His promises. God can not lie. If He says something, it is true. Today’s verse starts out by talking about how humans swear by someone greater than themselves. I am sure you have done this before. You were telling someone something, and you really wanted them to believe you, so you probably said something like I swear on my life, I swear to you I am not lying, or something to that effect. This first sentence in the verse is saying that when an oath is given as confirmation, it puts an end to all disputes. This means the person no longer questions if you are telling the truth or not. The next line is pretty long and covers a lot, so let’s break it down. The first part says, “ In the same way when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose.” This tells us that God is unchanging. It is not as if he was one God in the Old Testament, One God in the New Testament, and then a different God now. God is the same yesterday, today, and always. God’s character does not change. It also says that God wants to show us even more clearly this unchangeable character of His purpose. Change is not possible with God. He does not develop or grow. He always remains the same. Since God is an absolute perfection, no change for the better is possible since you cannot improve on perfection. Consequently, there is no inconsistency in God. The Scripture makes it clear that God does not change in his character or purpose, his fairness towards humankind, or in his promises. Next, it says, “he guaranteed it by an oath so that through two unchangeable things.” When I read it, I was wondering, wait, what two unchangeable things? I am not sure if you had the same question. When I read through on my own, I tend to skip over things I don’t quite understand. However, since doing this podcast, every time I stop and look up the meaning of something, I am so glad I did. When I looked this up, the two unchangeable things were the promise and the oath. Here is what the website said: “When God made His promise to Abraham since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants.” And so Abraham, after waiting patiently, obtained the promise. Then in the verse above it says, “Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and their oath serves as a confirmation to end all argument.” So when God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath. Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. The author of this response also wanted us to “note that the oath to confirm the promise has validity because God does not change and His purpose does not change. Thus, the promise is confirmed by the oath which cannot change because that which it is sworn by is God Himself.” When God swears by Himself, it signifies the absolute certainty and unchangeable nature of His promise. God, being perfect and unchanging, is the most reliable and trustworthy entity, and His promises are, therefore, infallible. That may have been a lot of words, but basically, it says that God is always the same and that He wanted to make doubly sure we would believe his promise, so He swore it in an oath as well. This goes to show how mistrusting we are as humans. You would think the Lord almighty promising us something would be enough for us to believe it, and yet He knew some wouldn’t, so He also gave us an oath. That is how much God cares about us.Next, the verse above says, “In which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.” We covered the first part above. The second part says that we should be encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We can all seize the hope that comes with God’s promises because we know that God will keep his promises. He is not like us. We make promises all the time that we don’t keep. We make promises to ourselves, we make promises to others and yet we don’t always keep them. God is not like this. If He says He will do something, He will do it. The verse ends with, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,  where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” This hope is a sure and steadfast anchor or the soul. One website I found said, “For the believer, it is possible to wander from faith, but the hope we have in Christ should be an anchor to our soul, keeping us from drifting from Him. An anchor is a weight; it keeps whatever object it’s attached to in place. An anchored ship cannot move. This hope, both sure and steadfast, keeps us firmly abiding in Christ in our daily walk.It goes on to say, “A hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,  where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” This is in reference to the curtain/veil that separated us from the Holy of Holies. Only one priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies, and I think even he could only go once a year. This part of the verse tells us that our hope goes behind that curtain. When Jesus came, He removed that curtain. There is no longer anything separating us from God. We have full access to God. Each one of us can go directly to God. God is so good!!Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless each person listening to this today. Lord, we love you, and we ask you to help us continue to hope in you. Help us to see that there is nothing keeping us from you. Jesus removed the veil separating us. Thank you for restoring that ability to have a close relationship with you. Lord, we ask that you heal our hearts and teach us to have hope in your promises. We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen.Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in December 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “Give me your hand this day. Give me your cares and all that bothers you, and you will be overwhelmed by the peace of the Lord who loves you. Loves you beyond your imagination. Come beloved, come and be close to me. Come and open more fully to me, to my love, to my hope, to my deep peace.”
Witness Wednesday #107 More PopWe (Depression & Anxiety)
6d ago
Witness Wednesday #107 More PopWe (Depression & Anxiety)
Witness Wednesday #107 More PopWe (Depression & Anxiety)Today’s witnesses are from Matthew West’s website called popwe.org. If you don’t know who Matthew West is, he is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. This website is for the non-profit that he has with his father, a pastor. Matthew and his father encourage people to share their stories. They have various categories of stories. Today I chose four testimonies from the Depression and Anxiety Category. I know so many people who are struggling with this right now. Oftentimes, we can hear our own story in someone else’s story. When we hear others tell their story it helps us to see we are not alone. We are not the only ones who have struggled with depression and anxiety. We aren’t the only ones who struggle with wanting to be alive. Other people feel as we do and when they are willing to talk about it, we feel less alone. I pray when you hear these testimonies, you can see not only how God has helped them in their life but how He could help you in yours and in your loved ones’ lives, too. Blair: My story begins in a very bad place, full of shame, regret, and sadness. I had a very overbearing mother who made my life miserable. There were many days of “walking on eggshells.” As I grew into a teenager, I started really feeling very low self-worth and self-esteem. I felt ugly. I was bullied and I felt like I had nowhere to turn. My family went to church but only to be seen. There was no Bible visible in my house and God and Jesus were not talked about. As my life progressed through college, getting married, and having kids, my faith remained surface level and weak. I developed depression and anxiety that I have battled with for 24 years! It’s taken many therapy appointments and appointments with the psychiatrist. It hurts me to say, but I spent several times in the hospital and had two suicide attempts before they finally got my medication right. My 4 children, all boys, were met with the most tragic event in all our lives. My husband and their father passed away suddenly in the ICU on December 24th, 2015. My boys were 17, 15, 11, and 9. Prior to his death, as well as after, I attended a contemporary service at a local church. The music was inspirational. I began listening to my local Christian music radio station. I began going to Bible Study. I felt like a sponge because I wanted to learn about Jesus and His life-giving strength, hope, and comfort. Along with doctors and medication, Jesus brought me out of the hole I was in and He led me to the Lord. If my life was going to end up like it has and I knew that it would, I wouldn’t change a thing, because it was that long and arduous valley that brought me to the mountain top with God. I still have days of sadness and grief, but with God’s unconditional love, grace, and mercy, I now know that every day my God empowers me to keep going step by step and minute by minute. I’m still on my faith journey as we all are, but through friends, my church, my pastor and the list could go on and on, I am stronger than anything that Satan tries to throw at me. The battle is the Lord’s and I am so happy that I let him into my broken world. All the trials led me to the Lord and He broke the chains of depression and anxiety, giving me hope for a brighter future and the knowledge that I am not alone. “There is another in the fire” with me and He will never, ever leave my side. Kaitlyn My name is Kaitlyn, I am from the Houston area and I finally got to go to a concert for the first time Friday (March 17th, 2023). And of course, I went to a Matthew West concert! I have faced anxiety my whole life (all 18 years of it so far). In 2020 is when I finally realized I needed to get control of how to handle it. I was a freshman when covid hit, which can explain a little bit more about why I wanted to try and find coping mechanisms to help me.I was on Spotify one day when Matthew West’s “Truth Be Told” started to play. Now at first, I was laughing because I was like, “wow, thank you for calling me out like that” but then I heard “Nobody” play and that is when I flat-out lost it. I couldn’t control the tears. I knew that I was struggling because when I had panic attacks at school, people just started to ignore me and made fun of me.Because I couldn’t really explain what was happening, it got to the point of just not wanting to go anywhere, including church. I started to listen to more of Matthew’s songs when covid really shut things down because I ended up going through a lot of issues with my hip and it just felt like no one really heard me screaming in pain. I have always listened to Matthew West, he was one of the people that played on the radio when I was little, but I never really LISTENED to the words until I became a teen because I was little and liked to sing the songs back then. Now I like to hear the message inside the lyrics.Jason: I wasn’t sure whether to put this under Broken Chapters or Anxiety/Depression but you now see which won. I spent 7 years in the army living through some unthinkable situations. Now don’t get me wrong- I loved the military and would gladly do it again. The truth is, the army broke me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Due to this, my body is broken due to the grueling training, my mental and emotional bodies broke after seeing the horrors of war. For years after and even still some today I have fought depression, anxiety, and anger issues. Since I met my wife, the issues have calmed substantially. Life seems bearable again. Don’t get me wrong- I still have issues but they are far less than what they were before. She brought me back to Jesus and that was the first step to recovery. Everyday is a new adventure now. I have been away from home for way too long now. Praise God Everyone. He is the Rock of Salvation.Aidan:  A while ago, I lost the will to live. I was broken. Days felt like years, and I could hardly stand the pain. I kept going, but I didn’t know why. Every week or so I would see a glimpse of hope and God working in the mess but my soul was just broken.One day, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and I just broke down and asked God to help me, save me. I just said it over and over again: “Help, help, help. Help me, please.” Sure enough, He came through.
Later that day, like I normally do, I was wondering what would happen when we got to Walmart, wondering if my friend would be there and how he would get there, etc. I came to the conclusion that his sister would have brought him there. It was a strange thought so I put it out of my mind and told myself I was crazy. Just as I was about to break down crying in Walmart, there they were. My friend and his sister walking past. We didn’t talk, just said ‘hello’ to each other and walked on, but something in me had changed. No longer did I want to die. I just felt it in my bones to look to Jesus and I did. And while I’ve had moments of depression, pain, brokenness, and everything between since then, I haven’t gotten to that place again. That soul-wrenching place is no longer there. God came, and I know that for you He’ll do the same.The road for healing is long, and I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but He has you in His hands. If He’s got you this far, He won’t let go now. Believe. Trust. And even if you can’t, that’s ok too. Remember: it doesn’t matter what you do, how you feel, or anything else. God’s taught me time and time again that you don’t have to be anything other than how you are at the moment for Him to work. He will. Love you all.Thank you all so much for being vulnerable and sharing your stories. I pray you continue to turn to the Lord in your hard times and that He continues to keep you from the pit of despair. I pray you know how much He loves you and how proud He is of you. Thank you again for sharing!
Who May Abide In Your Tent, O Lord?
1w ago
Who May Abide In Your Tent, O Lord?
Who May Abide In Your Tent, O Lord?Psalm 15:1-5 "O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.”This verse resonates with me as it directly addresses the question of how to stay in God's favor. I appreciate the clear instructions, as they allow me to ensure I am following them correctly. The Psalmist's inquiry to the Lord about who can abide in His tent sets the stage for the list of actions we can take to secure an invitation to the holy hill. Let’s explore these requirements to abide in the Lord’s tent.First, there are those who walk blamelessly, do what is right, and speak the truth from their hearts. Is this you? Are you walking blamelessly? No, me neither. We all mess up, and we all sin. But when we do mess up and sin, are we going to confession? Are we turning back to the Lord and asking Him to forgive us, or are we just living in that sin? Are we taking that sin on as our identity and getting comfortable with it? If we want to be invited into the Lord’s tent we need to do our best to walk blamelessly and to do what is right. This means going to the Lord, confessing, and repenting so you can be reconciled with Him.This first point also states that we must speak the truth from our hearts. How often are we doing that? How often are you speaking the truth from your heart? I know I get stuck at times. I want to speak the truth, but I get nervous, and I don’t say what I am thinking. I let peer pressure get to me at times and I don’t say the thing I really want to say. I even get sucked into gossiping at times. That is not speaking from the heart. When I just looked up what it means to speak from your heart, it said to speak from your soul. It is said to really know what the message you are saying means for you and for the person with whom you are talking. Are we stopping to think before we talk? Not thinking before we speak can get us into some real trouble, and we end up hurting people even when that isn’t our intention.Second, the verse mentions those “who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors.” This can be a tough one. I have talked before about how devastating gossip can be. Our words have the power to make someone's day or ruin someone’s life. Our words are very powerful. We need to make sure we are using our words for good, to build people up, and not for slander or harm. I would hope it would be easy not to do evil to our friends. I mean, they are our friends, after all. However, sometimes the enemy can get in and spread seeds of discontentment and division. He can tell us things that are not true that make us lash out at our friends. I see if often with my oldest son and his friends. We need to be on the lookout for this and correct it as soon as we realize it.The second point also points out that we shouldn’t take up a reproach against our neighbor. This one was a bit unclear to me. I looked it up; one place said it means to gossip, another place said it means disgrace, and another place said to say or show that you are disappointed, upset, or angry because they have done something wrong. I think what helped me understand this one the most was looking at synonyms for the word reproach. Those are blame, censure, condemnation, disapproval, and rebuke. Does this give you a better picture of the meaning of the word reproach? If we are following the commandment to love our neighbor, then we won’t have to worry about reproaching them, as none of those synonyms match up with love. They are more the opposite of love.Third, those who are despised in the eyes of the wicked, but who honor those who fear the Lord. Those who stand by their oath even to their hurt. It is no secret to Christians that they may be despised for their beliefs. It seems like in the world today, it is perfectly acceptable to be anything you want to be, except Christian. If you believe in Christ, you are automatically in the wrong. You are automatically labeled as unaccepting of others and unloving. It is a really crazy time we live in right now. Jesus was despised in his day, so why should we be any different? Why should we suffer less than our Lord and Savior?It also says, but those who honor those who fear the Lord. It’s ok if the world despises us, but we must not despise each other. We must not let our differences get in the way of loving and respecting our fellow Christians. There is only one Jesus. The same Jesus all Christians love. The same Jesus that died on the cross for ALL of our sins. Yours and mine alike. Let’s honor each other, even if we don’t have the exact same beliefs, because we all fear the Lord, and we all know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior!!The third point also says those who stand by their oath even to their hurt. This one is a big one because I have seen the devastation it leaves when we don’t do this. Sometimes we can be tempted to lie about something because we don’t want to get in trouble. I remember a parent once lied to a child about what really happened because they didn’t want the child to get mad at them. However, that just taught the child that if I don’t want to get in trouble, it is ok to lie. Sometimes, we mess up, but it is just as important in these times to keep our oath. It is important to keep our promise even if it means we lose out in some way.Fourth, the verse says those who do not lend money at interest and do not take a bribe against the innocent. If you are helping someone out, they don’t charge them interest on what you are letting them borrow. They are in need; they are struggling, and you are doing a kind thing for them. It is not a problem to ask them to repay you, but do not add anything extra on to what they owe. If you give someone $50, ask them to repay you $50. The last thing this verse talks about is taking a bribe against the innocent. If you know someone didn’t do it, don’t be bribed into lying about it. Bribes don’t just mean money, either. Someone could try to bribe you with objects, with power, with respect, with a job position. Whatever it is, it is a trick from the enemy, don’t fall for it. Don’t lie about the innocent.The last line of this whole section says, “Those who do these things shall never be moved.”  This means that if you do these things, you will never be moved from your faith. No matter what the circumstances are, your faith won’t be shaken. You won’t be removed from the sight of the Lord. You are in His presence, and you will remain there. Thanks be to God!Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless each person listening to this episode. Lord, we ask you to help us do each one of the things you are calling us to in these verses. Lord, we ask you to help us not do the things you ask us not to do. We want to be drawn closer to you, Lord; please help us. We love you so much and we want to abide in your tent and live on your holy hill. We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I look forward to meeting with you again tomorrow to bring you another witness. I hope to see some of you on live mentoring tonight. It is not too late to join. I will place a link in the show notes. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in December 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “My children, I am your God. Release all your cares, your anxieties, your sorrow, your pain to me. The more that you release all that bothers you, that is when my peace enters deeply within you. I am the Lord, and I keep telling you that I love you. I love you, and I want the best for you, my children.”
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 1)
Apr 8 2024
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 1)
The Certainty of God’s Promise (Part 1)Hebrews 6:13-15 “ When God made a promise to Abraham because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,  saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.”  And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise."I was going to talk about his whole section of the Bible today, and then when I got writing, I seemed to spend a lot of time on these first few verses. I will talk about the other verses in this section tomorrow. The title of this section in the Bible is called “The Certainty of God’s Promise.” This sounded like something we could all use. I know a lot of people who are not doing so well physically right now. They feel discouraged because their bodies seem to be failing them. I also know a lot of people who have financial struggles right now and could really use some help. I know a lot of people who are struggling emotionally also. If you are struggling in any way, or you know someone who is struggling in any way, this episode is for you.This verse begins by saying, “ When God made a promise to Abraham because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,  saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” God is saying this to Abraham, and He is also saying it to us. He is saying it to Abraham and all of his descendants. I know many of you are waiting for God to bless you, and some are waiting for him to multiply you. You can count on this promise by God. It says he swore by himself. This means it is an oath, and God always keeps His oaths. It is like a promise from your heavenly Father, and unlike anyone we know here on earth, our Heavenly Father does not lie, and He does not break His promises.The next line definitely stood out to me. It says, “And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.” When I read it, I wondered two things. First, is this the key that many of us are missing? Are we missing out because we are not waiting patiently? Second, how does one wait patiently when they have so much on the line? For instance, what if they are really sick and they are waiting for a healing? What if they have been waiting to get married and have children their whole life, and now it is looking like they might be too old to have children?Did you know that Abraham had to wait a long time for his answer to this promise as well? God told Abraham and Sarah that He would make his descendants number more than the stars in the sky. He promised they would be the parents of nations. Now, remember, he promised this was when Abraham was already 75 years old and Sarah was 65 years old. Can you imagine how hard it must have been for them to believe in this promise?Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years for this miracle to happen. Can you imagine how long that must have felt to them without knowing the plan? Each year, wondering if this was the year. Each month wondering if she would be pregnant. 12 months a year for 25 years is 300 months. If you have ever wanted a baby before, you know how devastating it is to hope each month that you are pregnant, and then you find out you aren’t. This happened to Sarah 300 times after God promised her that he would bless her and multiply her. I don’t know why she had to wait so long, but I am sure that was one of the first things she asked God when she got up there in heaven with Him. I am sure you are asking yourself the same things as well.One thing we can start to tell ourselves in the waiting is that God isn’t looking upon us, and/or He does not favor us because it has been so long, and we don’t see the answers we wanted. We aren’t seeing the answers that we feel God promised us. This is a lie from the enemy. He wants you to believe that God isn’t looking out for you. He wants you to stop believing God will answer your prayers. He wants you to take matters into your own hands.If you have already taken things into your own hands and messed it all up and are now worrying about whether God will still bless you, the answer is yes. Abraham and Sarah took things into their own hands as well. It is hard to wait 25 years for the answer to a promise. The enemy gets in your mind and tells you all these lies. He tells you God doesn’t like you. He tells you if God were going to do it, He would have already. He tells you that you don’t have to wait for God. You can do it on your own. He is very convincing, and we want to believe that we can do it on our own because waiting is hard.Sarah persuaded Abraham to try to have a child with her maidservant. They were successful, and Abraham and the maidservant had a child together. However, this was Sarah’s plan, not God’s plan and Sarah got jealous of the maidservant and was not very nice to her after that. Do you see how we can mess things up when we decide to stop waiting on God and do it ourselves without God?However, even though they tried to take things into their own hands, God still kept His promise. Twenty-five years after he promised to make Abraham and Sarah the parents of nations, Sarah was finally pregnant with Isaac. They finally had their first baby, Isaac. Now, if you know the story of Abraham and Isaac, you know that waiting 25 years for this baby was not the end of the story.  Several years later, Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac to the Lord. Can you imagine? God promised you would be the father of nations and then He only gives you one child, and then He asks you to sacrifice that child.God required a lot of trust from Abraham. Abraham had to have trust over those 25 years that God was going to come through and give him a child. He had to have trust in God when God asked Him to sacrifice His only son. The verse above says that Abraham endured patiently.  I wonder how this was possible. I can’t imagine waiting 25 years for something. Although, if I really think about it, I did wait a long time for my family life to get better. Our house was filled with anger and violence for a long time. I prayed for things to get better, and when I think about it, I probably waited for a good 7-10 years for things to get better.I definitely endured, but I can’t say that I endured patiently the whole time. Although it doesn’t say Abraham endured patiently the whole time, it just says having endured patiently. There was that time when he gave in to Sarah’s plan to sleep with her maidservant. If you are enduring a hardship right now, if you are sick, or you are struggling in one way or another I want to assure you that God sees you and that He will keep His promise to bless you and multiply you. It may take a long time, hopefully not 25 years, but He will keep His promises. He always does! It may not look like you think it will. For instance, I am sure when told she would be the mother of nations, Sarah probably expected to have more than one child. However, God’s ways are not our ways, and He had His own plan. However, it happens. Be on the lookout for the answers to your prayers and the blessings God has promised because they are coming! Tomorrow we will continue in this passage as there is more to say about “The Certainty of God’s Promise.”Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless each person listening to this episode. Lord, we thank you for all your promises, especially your promise to bless and multiply us. We thank you for keeping those promises no matter how long it takes. Lord, we ask that you give us patience and perseverance in the wait. We ask that you help us keep hope in your promises and give us the strength not to take matters into our own hands. Help give us the trust we need to wait on your timing Lord. We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. Just a reminder tomorrow is week 2 of this month’s mentoring theme of praise. If you have been struggling with anything, praise could be the answer you didn’t know you needed. There is a link in the show notes if you want to join us for mentoring tomorrow night. I look forward to meeting you here again tomorrow to continue our discussion on “The Certainty of God’s Promise.” Remember Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in December 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “My children, the world, and the people around you will try to steal that peace from you. Satan trembles when he sees you enter into My gift of peace. You can foil him in his efforts by living in that peace. And when you feel your knees shake and you tremble because of events and things around you grab deep within you because I am there and so peace is there. So, hope in me, trust in me, rely on me. Give up your self-sufficiency. I am strong, and I am within you.”
His Blessing for A Thousand Generations!
Apr 5 2024
His Blessing for A Thousand Generations!
His Blessing for A Thousand Generations!Exodus 20:4-6 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,  but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.”I really liked this verse for today because it reminded me of one of my favorite songs. Originally I was just going to start with verse 5 as that is what was given at prayer group. However, it started with You shall not bow down before them or worship them and in my mind, I wondered who we were talking about. This is why I included verse 4 as well.If we look at verse four, we see that God is telling us not to make idols. He is saying it doesn’t matter what we make the form/idol to look like. We just shouldn’t make them. Now, I remember hearing this and wondering about all the statues, pictures, and medals we have of Mary and Jesus nowadays. I mean, it says, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.I remember Father Mike talked about this during the Bible in a Year podcast. I couldn’t remember exactly what he said, and I didn’t want to give you misinformation, so I looked it up online this morning. I found an article called Do Catholic’s Worship Statues? It was found on the website Catholic.com.  The author states, “People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold [i.e., two gold statues of angels]; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat, shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be” (Ex. 25:18–20).” He gave a few other examples.He goes on to talk about the religious use of Images. He said, “During a plague of serpents sent to punish the Israelites during the exodus, God told Moses to “make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:8–9). One had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations.”Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church, they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas. I had no idea I was going to mention that today, but that is where the Holy Spirit led me. It is important to stop and explain things when they come up. If I had a question, I am probably not the only one who had the question. If you want more info on this topic or more detail, I will place a link for the article in the show notes. It was really interesting to read.Moving on to verse 5, it says, “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me.” When I first read this, I was thinking how it didn’t seem fair that God would punish children for the iniquity of their parents. I looked up the meaning of this verse to see if someone else had the same thought that I had, and it turns out others thought the same thing.Here is what BK Shiroma had to say in the article DNA of Sin. “Now, at first glance, this seems unfair.  It seems as though God is saying he punishes children for their father’s (or mother’s) sins.  But God makes it very clear later that this is not the case.  In Deuteronomy 24:16, God commanded the people, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.”  In Ezekiel 18, God rebukes the people who quoted a proverb that seemed to imply that God would punish children for their parent’s sins. So if God doesn’t punish people for their parents’ sins, what does he mean by punishing the children for the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generations?The author goes on to explain that sin and its effects tend to be passed on from person to person, especially in families. For instance, if we grow up in a broken family, then that is all we know. We tend to act the way our parents act. If our parents are divorced, we may end up divorced because that is all we know. If a child is abused by their parents, they may grow up and find they are doing the same thing to their children. A lot of children who have parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol also become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The author states, “Each person is punished for their own sins which they commit, suffering the pain and heartache that comes from sin, and yet passing on their sins to the next generation for which they themselves will be punished.”Hearing this may cause us to feel hopeless. We may feel like we are doomed to repeat our parent's mistakes, and that can feel overwhelming for us. However, the answer to this overwhelm, and hopelessness is found in verse 6, “But showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” If we love God, and we keep His commandments, then he will show us, steadfast love, not only to us but to the thousandth generation. The author states, “If the cycle of sin is to be broken in our lives, we need a relationship with the living God.  We need his transforming power in our lives.  We need to say, “God, I need you.  I need your healing.  I don’t want to be a slave to sin in my life anymore.  I can’t do this on my own.  Help me.”  And if we repent of our sins, reach out to Him, and let him take the throne of our lives, he will give us victory over the sin that is destroying us, and that cycle of sin will be broken.  Instead of passing on sin to your children, you will pass on the love of God, which he shows to a “thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”This brings me to one of my favorite songs. If you have not heard it, I invite you to look it up on YouTube today, or Spotify probably has it as well. It is called The Blessing. I am not sure who originally sang it as I found it online from Elevation Worship and from Bethel Music with We The Kingdom. If you search for The Blessing, I am sure you will find it. All of these Lyrics are repeated several times. Just listing the lyrics loses so much of what makes the song great. However, I wanted you to hear them in case you don’t take me up on the invitation to hear the song. At least this way, you hear the words. I pray you listen to them and you take them in. God is talking to you right here. This is His blessing for you. I will pray these lyrics over each one of you today as our final prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode today. Lord, I pray these lyrics are a blessing to each person listening to this episode.The Lord bless you and keep youMake His face shine upon you and be gracious to youThe Lord turn His face toward youAnd give you peace Amen, amen, amenAmen, amen, amen May His favor be upon youAnd a thousand generationsAnd your family and your childrenAnd their children, and their children May His presence go before youAnd behind you, and beside youAll around you, and within you He is with you, he is with youIn the morning, in the eveningIn your coming, and your goingIn your weeping, and rejoicing He is for you, he is for youHe is for you, he is for youHe is for you, he is for youHe is for you, he is for you Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I look forward to meeting you here again on Monday. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed weekend! Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “My children, when I tell you I want you to use you, do not tell me I am too small for you to use. Do not tell me to call someone else. It is you who I am calling, and I tell you I can enable you to do whatever task I ask. Take a step of faith. Take a step of trust. I am your God. I know what is best. If I tell you I want to use you, say yes, Lord, and do what I tell you, and you will marvel at all you can do. It is I who am God. It is I who enables anyone that I wish. Move forward in faith today, today, and every day. I am your God, and I love you.”
Proclaim The Message!
Apr 4 2024
Proclaim The Message!
Proclaim The Message! 2 Timothy 4:2-5 “Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.”I was surprised when I read these verses this morning. I had just finished writing some declarations from my Encounter School of Ministry class. Last quarter was called Power Evangelization, and it was all about how we can go out and share the Gospel with our spheres of influence. We even had a street ministry practicum where there were at least 30 of us going out 2 by 2 or 3 by 3 onto the streets of the North End in Boston, MA. The declarations that I was writing were all about going out and sharing the Gospel, and then I read these verses, which were given at prayer group by someone who is not in the class with us.  It’s funny to me how God provides information even if we don’t want to hear it. He tends to tell us something and then reinforces it in many different ways. Even just this first line in the verse is something that He has been telling us in class and in Prayer Group. “Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time be favorable or unfavorable.” This is telling us that it is not ok just to proclaim the message when it is convenient for us. Sometimes, we might hear the Lord telling us or urging us to share the gospel with someone, and yet we don’t want to because we already have plans, we are going to be late for something, or we don’t feel we know what to say. There could be lots of reasons why we tell the Lord, I am sorry; I just can’t do that right now.However, this verse reminds us that when we hear God prompting us to do something, we need to do it when asked whether it is a good time for us or not. Another verse I always go back to is “God’s ways are not like our ways, and His thoughts are not like our thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8). God knows more than we do. Yes, you might be late to where you are going, but would it be worth it if you were saving this person’s life, or better yet, their soul? God knows what He is doing.Deacon Joe, the director of the Boston Campus of Encounter, told us a story the other day. He has a friend who was out with his wife this past weekend. They were out of a walk and the Lord told him to go into McDonalds and buy this specific meal for the homeless person they just passed on the street. This man is used to listening to the Lord, so he told his wife what he thought he heard the Lord say, and she told him they better do it if the Lord said it. So they went into McDonald’s and bought the meal they were supposed to buy. As they were walking over to the man, he got excited when he saw the McDonald’s bag. He told them he loved McDonald’s. Then, when the homeless man looked inside, he said that was his favorite meal there! He was surprised that these strangers knew his favorite meal. This gave them the opportunity to tell him about Jesus and show him just how much God loves him. As the couple was walking away, the Lord revealed to this man that he was the 37th person God asked to buy that man a meal. What if he had been too busy to listen?The verse above goes on to say, “Convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” This can be hard for us. We can be so passionate about saving our loved ones that we forget to be patient. If you have been praying for your children or other family members for a long time, you might be frustrated with the lack of progress. You might be frustrated that after all this time, you don’t see any changes. In this frustration, you might try to rebuke their ways or what they are doing. God is reminding us in this verse that we must approach everyone with the utmost patience. If we are trying to convince, rebuke, and encourage when we are in a state of frustration or anger, they won’t hear us. If we expect to make a difference, we need to do it with patience.The verse goes on to say, “ For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.” I would say we are currently in this time. Maybe there have been other times in the past as well. However, this definitely speaks to our current times. People believe what they want to believe right now, whether it makes sense or not. As the verse says, people are looking for teachers who suit their own desires instead of listening to the truth. People are searching for someone to tell them that what they are doing is right, even when they know in their heart it is wrong.The sad thing is that they are finding what they are looking for. They are finding people to tell them that what they are doing or what they are saying is right, even when it isn’t. There are so many people claiming to teach the truth, and yet it is not the truth of the Bible. It is not the truth from God. It is a man-made truth, and that is dangerous. We are all broken, and so truth based solely on what we think is right and wrong is not true truth. This is one of the reasons God gave us the Bible. The Bible spells out the truth of God, the truth of His promises to us, the truth of who we are to Him and in Him.The verse ends with, “As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.” God is sending us out to evangelize to those around us. This means He wants us to bring the good news about God to one and all. He wants us to speak truth into people’s lives and to do it with the utmost patience. The Lord wants us to carry out our ministry fully. God has given us each a ministry, and this verse is reminding us to be all in. It says to carry it out fully. Don’t be half in and half out. Don’t do it sometimes and not others. Do it fully.This verse also reminds us that there will be suffering. When we follow Christ, we will encounter suffering, just as  He did. This is a good reminder because sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that once we decide we believe in Christ, our life will be easy. Once we decide to make Jesus our Lord and Savior, he will take the reigns, and life will be perfect. This is not the case. Jesus was fully God and fully human and even He didn’t have a perfect life. He faced ridicule, he faced danger, and was eventually crucified. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we must take up our cross too. What is that cross for you? What hardship do you have to endure? What hardship did you have to overcome?Can we still spread the good news of the Gospel even through our hardships? This verse tells us to endure the suffering and do the work to evangelize our circle of influence. Your suffering might be the thing that brings people to you. They might see how you are suffering and yet still serving the Lord and ask how you do it. They might see your suffering and yet also see you are filled with joy, and they might want that same joy. One of the declarations we received about evangelization says, “It is easy to share the gospel with others because they want to know the God that is inside of me.” When you have God inside of you, others will see it, and they will want it. However, they won’t want it if you are impatient, frustrated all the time, grumpy or angry. They will want the God you have inside of you when you are patient, and you show them the love God has for them. Be filled with joy, and others will see it and want what you have.Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode. Lord, help us to be persistent with your message, whether it is a good time for us or not. Help us to say yes to your call each and every time you ask. Help us to have the utmost patience when we are teaching your word. Lord, help us to endure the suffering and not to let is stop us from passing on the truth to others. Help us hear you, Lord. Help us to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that the Spirit comes spilling out of us onto all those we meet. We love you, Lord, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s mighty name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I hope you are all staying warm as we are getting snow and rain again here in Massachusetts. I look forward to meeting you here again tomorrow. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “My tongues of fire I place on you so I may enflame your heart so that you may share my love with each person that you meet. My children, my spirit is so powerful, so very powerful. Have no fear that all I want you to have I give to my spirit so he can help facilitate everything that I want for you to share. Be open vessels of my love; my children open vessels. Ready to be touched by the spirit. Ready to be guided by my spirit, ready to be innovated in a new way so you can find unique ways to share me with each and every person you meet. All can be my children when my Spirit touches you profoundly.”
Witness Wednesday #106 More PopWe (Salvation)
Apr 3 2024
Witness Wednesday #106 More PopWe (Salvation)
Today’s witnesses are from Matthew West’s website called popwe.org. If you don’t know who Matthew West is, he is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. This website is for the non-profit that he has with his father, a pastor. Matthew and his father encourage people to share their stories. They have various categories of stories. Today I chose four testimonies from the Salvation Category. I love to hear about how people found Jesus and what their journey was like. Oftentimes, we can hear our own story in someone else’s story. When we hear others tell their story it helps us to see we are not alone. We are not the only ones who have struggled with God, faith, and religion. We aren’t the only ones who have been mad at God, frustrated with life, and so on. I pray when you hear these testimonies, you can see not only how God has helped them in their life but how He is helping you in yours and in your loved ones’ lives, too.Bob: My story is so trivial compared to those you share at concerts and on TV, but I wanted to share. In 2014, after 35 years of marriage, 2 grown boys, and several grandgirls, I faced an unexpected divorce. During those days, I relied on a long-distance friend I knew from my job who would listen to my daily drama and provide feedback. At one point, she asked if I listened to Christian Music radio. I told her I did a little around Christmas, but otherwise, I did not. She recommended your friends at K-LOVE for support and a lift. I’ve been obsessed with CCM and K-LOVE ever since.Since then I’ve joined a new church, which included a new member class and presentation of my faith journey. I was preparing a small visual aid to use with my journey, and I turned on the TBN app, and the first icon was YOUR Ryman concert. The title of my presentation appropriately became “My Story-Your Glory”. WOW, what an experience to share my life with others I barely knew.After attending your awesome concert in Grove City (Columbus), OH, in October, I had a southern trip on my calendar. When I saw you were going to be in Ashland, KY, I contacted that long-distance friend who helped me years ago, who lived nearby, and asked if she would attend the Paramount Theater with me. On November 2, together, we sang and prayed and had a great time with you and Micah! The prayers you and your father presented were perfect and your interaction with the crowd was amazing. Definitely different crowds in Columbus and Ashland!!!! Thank you for sharing your music. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.Melissa, My testimony is that I finally believed God’s truth enough to receive the miracle I have been hoping for my entire life (and I’m already 42) : “To know God’s truth without a doubt and to clearly see the face of God in ALL things.” This happened while listening to the CD “My Story Your Glory” shortly after buying it at the Crystal Lake, IL concert. I was listening to “Miracle” in my car and realized for the first time God’s perfect goodness despite my traumatic sufferings (and that God makes all things good, and in turn, I was good enough to be HIS) and this knowledge was completely transformational, something that spoke of the “kind of healing that comes swiftly” and it drenched my soul with joy in Him. It was as if suddenly I knew God’s every word to be true and that I could clearly express it in writing. I felt compelled in a way I never could have guessed to forever display this holy love to others as best I could.Awestruck, I wrote the following poem:If only you knew the beauty I see,
not just in you, but in everything,
you’d come sit awhile and ask what it meant
and I’d happily tell you it was heaven sent.
Now, I’m just a girl, no one would guess,
deserved such a treat to be so thoroughly blessed.
And I’d tell you it’s true, cause I was way worse than you,
just a wandering wanderer, not sure what to do.
And here is the answer, the thing that you seek,
to step into God’s power, you’ve gotta be weak.
And so thoroughly so, you’ve got nowhere to go,
but to sit in your mess, and just endlessly weep.
You may not believe it, but trust me it’s right,
that looking and looking, will never give sight.
But there is sight for the blind, BUT God’s gotta speak.
And as soon as you listen, you’ll find all that you need.Thank you, Matthew West. Your music was the missing piece that gave me the wisdom I needed to finally put all the missing pieces together. I had been struggling to do so forever. I know others are sure to experience this beautiful shift from your wonderful songs as well. May all glory be to God, the author of all good things, and to the wondrous keeper of my heart, Christ Jesus our Lord!Sammie: Ever since God entered my life, there has been healing, love, joy, celebration, restoration, peace, & His presence. The more that I’ve let Him into my life, the more of God I’ve gotten to see, know, experience, & share all of these things! This means through elementary school, middle school, high school, & now into college. When I asked God to come into my family, problems, sickness, friendships, relationships, and my heart, I got to see God save, heal, restore, & give. A lot of the time, it was so hard, but with or without God, life is hard.I can say from experience though, with God, life is abundant, abundant with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, hope, and freedom. Without God, life is full of heartbreak, sin, emptiness, hopelessness, doubt, worry, anxiety, fear, lust, & it doesn’t get better. The enemy keeps stealing, killing, & destroying. Jesus came to earth, brought life abundantly & won a victory over the enemy and death & is offering right now and always to do the same in your life! The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy, and that means what He did for another, He can do it again!! He loved you, loves you, & will always love you for eternity! In Jesus’s name, Amen!Bella:  My name is Bella, and I’m 15 years old. I went to church when I was younger, but I questioned God. And I was like, ‘If other religions have a book like the Bible, how do I know Christianity is real?’ At Vacation Bible School (VBS) one year, I prayed to Jesus with a group leader for Him to save me and be my Savior, and she told me when somebody gets saved, all the angels start singing hallelujah. I went on living my life, and then I got baptized in the Methodist church, but not really for the right reasons. So I went on with living.When I was in seventh grade, I started to have friend problems. During eighth grade the girls I thought were my friends had practically ditched me, all except for one who caught onto that friend group not really welcoming us anymore. That one girl became my only friend. The church I was going to on Wednesday nights got a new youth pastor named Emmett and I started going to church. There were some days when I didn’t want to go to church because I felt like I didn’t have any friends there, but I kept going. I downloaded the YouVersion Bible App on my phone for when we would read Scripture. I started looking on the app one night and saw all the devotionals and verse of the day things and I wanted to start doing that stuff, especially since it was Christmas time and I wanted to do Christmas plans.Jesus found me and gradually had me cultivate a relationship with Him. I started to do devotionals, pray, and do the verse of the day. I started to live for Jesus. That summer, my youth group went to a church camp called Fuge. It was one of the greatest things ever because I started following Jesus, and I didn’t worry about friends because I can’t make them accept me. But Jesus calls me His child. Lord Jesus actually gave me friends on that trip and I now have a friendship with a girl in the grade below me. I rededicated my life to Jesus that summer. Then I started having sin problems, and I finally had to open up to my dad and just tell someone what I was struggling with. Things got better, so don’t keep things to yourself.Later that summer, I felt like I needed to be baptized, and I asked God for a sign if I needed to be, and He gave me one. I ignored it and put it off for a while, but one day I had finally decided I wanted to be baptized. I didn’t want to have to go up to the front of the church, so my dad got me to talk to the Senior Pastor about getting baptized, and he wanted me to come up to the front of the church during the invitation when I was ready. And, finally, I was going to do it. I prayed to God for His Holy Spirit to be with me and help me to do it. Because of God, I was able to go up to the front of the church with my dad and tell the church I wanted to be baptized. It was one of the best feelings ever. I got to be baptized by my youth pastor on November 6, 2022. I got baptized for real that time- I got dunked and came up clean.I hit a dark patch that Christmas with barely being able to believe God because my mind just denied so much, but I kept praying, and God eventually pulled me out of that season. Prayer became my lifeline, and God would answer my prayers. I thought I was all alone in what happened to me that Christmas, but earlier this year, I got a book called “Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen, and she went through something very similar. We aren’t alone in our struggles.Now, in 2023, I’m trying to live for Jesus each and every day, and I’m struggling sometimes with how to do that. But God has pulled me out of the unthinkable, and God has never left me. God really loves you. No matter what, Jesus loves you! Just keep praying. God is faithful; just trust Him.
I went to a Matthew West concert (it was awesome!) and got to pray again for Jesus to come into my heart.  I got to hear the song “Me On Your Mind” performed live, and that is one song that I can connect with and just sing. I learned from that concert that God loves to hear the sound of our voice no matter how long it’s been and that we just need to trust and believe in Jesus.I’m proud to say I believe in Jesus, and I trust Him wherever He’s taking me. Let God define you, not your sin.Thank you all so much for being vulnerable and sharing your stories. I pray you continue to walk with the Lord and that each day you grow closer and closer to Him. I pray you know how much He loves you and how proud He is of you. Thank you again for sharing!
Prayer For Victory
Apr 3 2024
Prayer For Victory
Prayer For VictoryPsalm 20 “The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion. May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.  May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.  May we shout for joy over your victory and, in the name of our God, set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some take pride in chariots and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God. They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O Lord; answer us when we call.”I don’t usually do a whole Psalm. I usually just pick a verse or two. I went to this Psalm because Psalm 20:6 was used for teaching at my prayer group just before Easter. However, when I went to read it, I liked the whole thing, and I thought you would too. What I liked most about it is that it is a prayer for Victory. I feel as though we could all use a little victory in our lives right now. My mother and father-in-law came over for Easter, and my mother-in-law mentioned that she has 25 different people she prays for each morning. I bet she could use a little victory with those prayers.Every time I go on Facebook, there are lots of people asking for prayer requests. In the Facebook group I am in, there are so many women who feel as though they are struggling. They feel as if they just can’t catch a break. It feels to them like the whole world is against them. They are experiencing one disappointment after another. There is one woman who has two young girls. Out of the blue, her ex-husband, their dad, died. Then she took her daughter to the ENT doctor to have her ears checked because the tubes came out. They said she has 10 % hearing loss in one ear and 20% in another ear. That is not what any mom wants to hear.This Psalm is all about victory. It begins by saying, “The Lord answer you in your times of trouble. The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion. May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.” This is a great prayer. It is asking for the Lord to answer our prayers when we are in trouble and also to protect us. We could all use some of our prayers to be answered and some protection from our Dad in heaven.Psalm 20 could be a great prayer when you don’t know what to pray. Have you ever had a time when you just didn’t really know what to ask for? Either things were so bad that you couldn’t see a way out, or you were so angry, sad, and upset that no words would come to your mind. If this happens to you again, you could keep Psalm 20 in your back pocket and pull it out when you don’t know what else to say. This Psalm touches on all the important things.The next part is my favorite part. It says, “May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.  May we shout for joy over your victory and, in the name of our God, set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.” Yes, please! I pray he grants my heart’s desire and fulfills all my plans. I pray he grants yours too! I also love that it says, “May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God, set up our banners.” When I hear it, I picture a parade. I picture people waving around banners and flags and shouting for joy. It is important that we are joyful when our petitions are granted to us. It is important that we rejoice and we thank God for it.The last part of the Psalm says, “Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some take pride in chariots and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God. They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O Lord; answer us when we call.” I like that it says he knows the Lord will help his anointed. It says He will answer from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Who could use a mighty victory right now? Who is waiting, praying, and hoping for something important right now? This verse says that the Lord will help his anointed. Guess what? You are His anointed. The Lord will answer your prayers with mighty victories.The verse also points out where our pride should be. It says some take pride in chariots and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God. We have a God who answers our prayers. We have a God who grants us great victories. We have a God who grants our heart’s desires and fulfills all of our plans. We definitely have a God we can take pride in. God has done so much for us. This psalm is definitely one to write down somewhere and remember where it is so we can take it out and pray it when we are in need of a victory.Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode. Lord, we love you, and we are so grateful you answer our prayers, grant our heart’s desires, and fulfill all of our plans. Lord, help us to keep faith that a victory is coming. Help us to keep hoping when all seems lost. Help us to keep looking at you when things get bad. Help us to keep turning to you and trusting you are taking care of us. We love you, Lord, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. The theme for mentoring for this whole month is praise. I decided if we have a theme for a whole month it will allow me to go deeper into each topic instead of briefly touching upon a bunch of topics. Praise has made a huge difference in my life, and I can’t wait to share with you how much a difference it has made. If you would like to join us tonight in mentoring, CLICK HERE, or you can message me on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you tonight or tomorrow morning. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed night!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “There is a river deep and wide, and it flows from my throne in heaven. It brings healing, wholeness, mercy, and holiness to all who bathe in its life-giving water. Jump in, my friends, and bring others with you. Frolic and play and enjoy this river of my deep-abiding love. Don’t be afraid of its depth, for I will help you stay afloat through its rapids, its turns, and its challenges. I long to wash you and cleanse you completely with my living water. Come. Come. Come and frolic with me.”
In The End, I Am Still With You
Apr 1 2024
In The End, I Am Still With You
In The End, I Am Still With YouPsalm 139:17-18 "How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!  I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.”This is a great verse! It reminds us that the Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts. In this verse, David reminds us that God’s thoughts are worthy of spending some time pondering. He is also saying that if we were to count God’s thoughts, they would outnumber the sand. We could spend all day thinking about God’s thoughts and how much He knows. I mean, He is the God of the universe. There are over 8 billion people on the earth, and God knows each one of us by name. Can you even imagine that?If we truly sit down and think about how amazing God is, we could get overwhelmed. When we think about all the thoughts He has to keep at one time, it can seem impossible. Over 8 billion people, and he knows your name. He knows everything about you. He knows about your marriage, your kids, your divorce, your struggles with your job, your struggles with your kids, the abuse you have received, and the successes you have achieved. God knows all of it. There isn’t anything about you that God doesn’t know.He even knows about all the things we try to hide from Him. He knows about that shame we keep stuffing down deeper and deeper. He knows about that anger we are holding onto because He took our loved ones, and we can’t see the reason. He knows about the hurt that was caused by someone or something in the church. He knows about that thing that we did that we don’t want anyone to know about. He knows. There isn’t anything we can do that God doesn’t know about. And that is a great thing!The reason we don’t want God to know certain things is because we think He will judge us. We think He will stop loving us if He knew the real us. Who we are down deep inside. The one that we don’t show anyone because we are afraid if we do show anyone, they won’t like us anymore. This might be true for some people, but this is not true for God. He made you who you are. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He hand-picked you to be you. God doesn’t make mistakes.I know there are parts of you that you wish you could change. This is true for all of us. Yet, God made us who we are, and he put those parts in us, and I am sure He had a reason for it; instead of looking for the reasons we want to change all the things we don’t like, how about if we ask the Lord why he gave us those things and how He wants us to use them. God has a plan, he has way more thoughts that we could ever imagine.Nothing is ever by chance with God. God made you specifically like you are. There is a purpose for each and every detail about you. That is how magnificent God is. Even though there are 8 billion of us, God knows each of us individually and intimately. We could ponder all day and night and not truly understand or grasp that, and that is okay. I don’t think we are meant to understand everything God does. There are some parts of God and the things that He does that will always be a mystery, or at least they will be on this side of heaven. I believe when we get to heaven, the fullness of God will be revealed to us.The second part of today’s verse says, “I come to the end—I am still with you.” This is a short sentence, and yet it is an important one. King David was secure in his relationship with the Lord. He knew he was never far from the Lord. If we look at the Psalms David wrote, He knew God was always with Him. He knew no matter what he did, God was still with Him. David excelled at repenting and turning back to the Lord. He knew God was always by His side.The same is true for us. God is always right there by our side. He is helping us, loving us, and being there for us each step of the way. When we mess up, when we sin, when we do something to hurt our relationship with Him, He does not go anywhere. We are the ones who turn away. We turn our backs to Him because we don’t want Him to see us in our sin, our shame, or our guilt. We turn away, and yet He still stands there waiting for us to return. This is why I love this verse so much. It shows us the confidence that David had in his relationship with the Lord. It shows us the confidence we can have too.“When I come to the end—I am still with you.” This can be true for each one of us. All we have to do is believe it, and then, when we mess up, repent and turn back to the Lord. He is there waiting for us with open arms.  God never leaves us. He is always right there by our side. It is up to us to repent and turn back to Him. He is always right there, just waiting for us to come back to Him. Can we do that today? Can we turn back to the Lord and repent?Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode. Lord, we thank you for never leaving our side. We thank you for knowing each one of us intimately. We thank you for knowing so much more than we ever could. We know we know so little compared to you in any given situation. Help us to see this and help us to rely on you to guide us and to point us in the right direction. Lord, we ask you to open the doors you want us to go through and to close the ones you don’t want us to go through. We love you, Lord, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to Walk Boldly With Jesus. I look forward to seeing you here again tomorrow. Mentoring is tomorrow night. If you would like to join, CLICK HERE. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “I am taking your mind and giving you my mind.”
What About The Waiting…
Mar 29 2024
What About The Waiting…
What About The Waiting…1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.”Today is a very sad day. I know that without Good Friday, we have no Easter Sunday, and yet today is still a very sad day. Thinking about all the Lord went through for us is a bit overwhelming. To think about all he suffered and the fact that He never sinned. He was completely blameless, and yet He suffered immense pain for all of us. That can be overwhelming, too, if we really let it sink in that it was our sins that killed Jesus. My sins and your sins. That is a lot to take in.I remember Father Mike saying that he was at an event once, and someone came up to him and asked him two questions. The first was, why do Christians blame all Jews for Jesus’s death, and the second one was, if you believe that Jesus’s death saved you from sin, shouldn’t you be thanking us? Father Mike wasn’t sure what to say, so he called upon the Holy Spirit. Then he explained that, yes, some of the Jewish people conspired with the Romans to put Jesus to death. However, the Catholic Church does not blame the Jewish people for Jesus’s death. Jesus would not have had to go to that cross if we were blameless. Jesus went to that cross for my sins and your sins. We are the reason Jesus was crucified.This wasn’t news to me. Of course, I knew that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. However, it did hit me in a different way when Father Mike said that our sins are the reason Christ went to the cross. I don’t know if those sound exactly the same to you or not, but for me, they were slightly different. It was almost as if I was recognizing the redeeming factor of Christ going to the cross without realizing the blame I had for it. I don’t know if I can explain what I am thinking in a way that will make sense, but I am going to try, so please bear with me.I know Jesus died from my sins. I am so grateful that because of his sacrifice, we have been set free from sin and bondage. I focused on that part of it in the past. Good Friday was about Jesus taking our sins to the cross. The focus was on Jesus and what He sacrificed for us. And the focus should be on Jesus. However, I don’t think I allowed myself, or I don’t know if I ever thought to think about my part in Jesus going to the cross. I don’t know that I ever really felt the guilt of sending Him to the cross. I don’t know that it really sunk in that it was my sins that caused Him to go to the cross. I am not sure if that makes sense, and it may be a subtle difference but it is an important one.Another thing that I am reminded of each Good Friday is something I heard about at a conference in Germany. I unfortunately didn’t get to see it. I was at a conference in Ettal, Germany. This is not far from Oberammergau, Germany, where they hold the Passion play every 10 years. In 1633, the Oberammergau villagers promised to perform the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ every tenth year, in so far as no one was to die of the plague anymore. God answered the villagers, and therefore, in 1634, the first Passion Play took place. The promise has been kept until today. During some free time at the conference, some of the people took a ride to Oberammergau to walk around the village.One of my friends went to this town. Her friends walked into a church, and she was outside. She entered just a few minutes after them, and she walked in, and they were all crying. She wondered what she missed, what had happened. Then, they pointed to a display at the back of the church. It was Jesus waiting in a cell, and it hit her, too. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to wait in a cell for the time to arrive? We tend to think of the physically demanding times, such as the scourging at the pillar, the carrying of the cross, or the actual crucifixion. But what about all the times in between all of that? What about the times when He was all alone, left with His own thoughts?We know that when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, thinking about all He would have to endure, His sweat became like drops of blood. We know the pain of thinking about all of our sins was overwhelming to Him. What about when He is waiting to meet Pilate? What about after the scourging and before the crucifixion? Was He waiting alone in a cell somewhere? What was going through His mind? Did you ever take time to meditate on that? I know I haven’t because I never really thought of it before. The quiet part, the waiting part, isn’t really talked about.I just looked up Jesus’s waiting to see if maybe it was talked about but I didn’t hear about it. I found an article  from a woman named Christina. Christina has visited Israel and was telling about what she saw when she went. Here is what she said: (Click Here for full article)"On our trip to Israel, we went to that courtyard where a statue of a rooster now stands. We then went to an underground prison beneath Caiaphas’s home, where Jesus was likely held the night of his arrest. It was a deep, dark pit. There was one light dimly illuminating the room for us, but I could easily imagine what it would have been like turned off. I thought about the time our family went on a tour of a cave in the mountains of Tennessee. At one point on the tour, the guide turned out the lights so we could experience what it was like for gold miners when their lights were extinguished. It was the darkest place I’d ever been. Complete darkness. That’s what I imagine the pit in Caiaphas’s dungeon would be like without electricity."As we know from our own lives, sometimes waiting can be the hardest moment. I invite you into Jesus’s waiting today on Good Friday. I invite you to ponder what it was like for Jesus in the waiting. What was going through His mind? What kept Him going? What gave Him the strength to remain silent and not call out in pain? I invite you to ask Jesus what He wants to show you today. I invite you on this Holy and somber day to spend some time with Jesus. Thank Him for giving His life for us. It says in the verse above, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed.” I invite you to spend some time with that verse today if you don’t know what else to ponder. “By his wounds, you have been healed.” That is a pretty powerful statement. Maybe spend some time with that one line.Today is a day when we remember all Jesus sacrificed for us. We all have different ways of remembering Jesus today, and that is wonderful. It doesn’t matter how you remember Jesus today. What is important is that you spend time remembering Jesus and His sacrifice. I hope this has been a great lent for you this year. I hope it was challenging in all the right ways. I pray that you have an amazing Easter weekend and I will meet you back here on Monday! Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless each person listening to this episode. Lord, we are so grateful you sent your only son to die on the cross for our sins. We are forever grateful that you saved us and redeemed us. Help us to thank you for the way we live our lives. Help us never forget the price paid for the blessings we receive. We love you so much, Lord. Thank you! We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I pray you have a very blessed Easter! I look forward to meeting you here again on Monday. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “All is possible when you come to me. There is no problem that needs to overwhelm you. I am with you always, ever ready to help you in your times of need. Your first response should be to me. I am the one you should seek first. I am your Lord. I am your God, your Savior. I send my spirit to guide you so that life can be easier for you. Please take advantage of the help that I send.”
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
Mar 28 2024
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"Matthew 27:46 “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).I just opened the Bible to a random place this morning, and this is what I read. I found it fitting since it is Holy Thursday today. I also found it fitting because I am listening to the Catechism in a Year podcast again this year, and Father Mike just talked about this line in the episode I heard yesterday. Father Mike explained that although Jesus asked God why He had forsaken Him, it is essential to know that Jesus was not actually rejected by His Father. God never turned His face away from Jesus. Jesus always lived and continues to live in the eternal gaze of love with His Father. “At the same time, in the redeeming love that always united Him to the Father, He assumed us in the state of our waywardness to sin to the point that he could say in our name from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He had such solidarity with sinners that he experienced what we experience when we are away from the Lord. He experienced what it was to be rejected, but he was never rejected. He experienced what it is to be cut off from the Father, although he never was cut off from the Father. His solidarity with us was so real, was so great that his experience and his humanity was that of he could say, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? But we recognize that he never, never, was away from the Father. He was never disconnected, just like in so many ways; I mean, we can have analogies here, right? We can experience this distance from the Father. We can experience the silence of prayer. We can experience dryness in prayer. That does not mean God is absent. His silence does not mean that His is absent. But we experience that. Jesus experienced what it felt like to have lost his Father, but He never lost the Father, and the Father never lost Him.”Father Mike goes on to say, “God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love. He talks about paragraph 604 in the catechism and how it says by giving up his own son for our sins, God manifest that his plan for us is one of benevolent love prior to any merit on our part that is a mission of love. This is what God wants for us because he loves us. And so we just recognize that Christ’s redemptive death is in God’s plan of salvation. Yep, here’s God’s predestination and here’s God’s will working with our free will. Here’s our grace working with our brokenness. And yet grace still is operative and our free will is still operative. That Jesus Christ took upon himself the guilt of us all in such a way that he had this solidarity with sinners. He identified himself with sinners, although he himself never sinned, in order to reconcile us to God and that is God’s initiative. That is God’s prerogative that we did not deserve it, we did not do anything to merit it and we could never do anything to merit it. But God himself takes the initiative, which is just an incredible, incredible note.”The Catechism has so much that I would love to share with all of you. It is so good! I recommend that you listen to this podcast if you have ever wondered what Catholics believe and why we believe it. I want to take a minute to read you paragraphs 604 and 605 in the Catechism, as I believe we all need to hear this, especially today, the day before Good Friday. It will give us more perspective tomorrow.604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins." God "shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus recalled that God's love excludes no one: "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." He affirms that he came "to give his life as a ransom for many"; this last term is not restrictive but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.”Did you catch that last line? "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.” Do you know what that means? That means that the devil is a liar. It means that when he tells you that God forgives people but that your sins are too great, he is a liar. It means that when the devil whispers in your ear that Jesus died for other’s sins but not for yours, he is a liar. It means that when the devil whispers you couldn’t possibly be forgiven, accepted, or whatever else he is telling you, he is a liar. Jesus died for your sins, every single one of them. Tomorrow, on Good Friday, I invite you to offer your sins up to Jesus! I invite you to spend some time thinking about all the ways you have offended the Lord. I invite you to think of all the ways you haven’t been faithful to the Lord. Then I invite you to turn all of that over to the Lord. Tell Him you are sorry, and then release all of that to him and let Him take it all to the cross. Then I invite you to take some time to praise Him and thank Him for taking your sins to the cross. Thank Him for taking every sin you will ever commit to the cross in advance. Thank Him for the unending love He has for us. I want to leave you with the last sentence in paragraph 605 because I really don’t think we can hear it enough. “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.”Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode. Lord, we ask you to remind us of any sins you want us to bring to you today. Lord, we ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins, not so we can feel guilty, but so we can release them to Jesus and allow Him to take them to the cross for us. Lord, we thank you for loving us so much that you sent your only son to die for us so that we may be forgiven. You are amazing, and we are so grateful. We love you, Lord, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’ holy name, Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to Walk Boldly With Jesus. I am so grateful I am not on this journey alone! I pray each one of you has an amazing holy week. Tomorrow will be sad, but we know the ending, and we can all celebrate on Easter Sunday! I look forward to meeting you all here tomorrow morning. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “Vision: “The Lord is calling us because when you feel the world is overflowing your boat and the waters are filling it up and you are bailing and bailing but you can’t stop the waters from rising. The Lord is saying Stop bailing. Let go and float; let Me do the work.
Witness Wednesday #105 More PopWe (God's Glory)
Mar 27 2024
Witness Wednesday #105 More PopWe (God's Glory)
Click Here for websiteToday’s witnesses are from Matthew West’s website called popwe.org. If you don’t know who Matthew West is, he is a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. This website is for the non-profit that he has with his father, a pastor. Matthew and his father encourage people to share their stories. They have various categories of stories. Today I chose the three they had on the front page. I don’t think they are all in the same category. The first one is about a young girl who had enough disappointment from her earthly Father but found her heavenly Father. The second one is about a mom who survived a car accident and her journey to find God. The last one is about a young man and his journey to find the Lord as well. I guess they are all about the journey to find God. However, they all have their different twists and turns. I pray when you hear them, you can see not only how God has helped them in their life but how He is helping you in yours and in your loved ones, too.Reyna: My head fell into my hands and I was crying uncontrollably. I was about 6 years old when I learned what prison was. The guards had just brought my dad out and between the thick glass separating us I could see his hands and feet in shackles. I felt hopeless, and ashamed. I spent the rest of my childhood watching my dad go in and out of prison due to his alcohol and drug addiction. When I was about 10, someone invited me to church. It was there I learned about my Heavenly Father; the one who would never leave me and who had a purpose for my life. It was on a Sunday when the nice church people gave me a ride home that I found Christian music on the radio. The songs breathed life into my chaotic world and taught me the depths of God’s love. In my teen years I fell away from God and at 17 became a teen mom. A few years later my dad came out of prison and met my now 2 young daughters. I had high hopes that despite him not seeing me grow up, now he’d be the best grandpa to them. That dream was short-lived. A few years later he was back in prison and was handed a 35 year sentence. The pain became too much and I vowed to close that chapter of my life. I wrote my dad a final letter letting him know how much of a disappointment he was and that I would never visit him in prison again. Over the next few years God spoke purpose into my life. I rededicated my life to Him, and became the first in my family to graduate from college. I landed a good job and life was full. One day while I was thanking God for all he had blessed me with, I heard the still small whisper, “It’s time to go see your dad”. It had been 6 years. I went to see him and began telling him about Jesus and what he’d done in my life. After every visit we’d pray that God would allow my dad to come home, to our surprise my dad received a pardon. Today he’s home and has surrendered his life to God. As for me, the girl that vowed she’d never walk into a prison again, today I do prison ministry. I go to maximum security prison yards all over and tell prisoners about the freedom that can only come from a life fully surrendered to Jesus.Tammy: In 2019, God saved me and my son from what should have killed us. We were in a really bad car accident that left me with a broken hip and a blood clot in my neck from the seat belt that all of the emergency personnel said I was “lucky” to have survived. I told them, no, I wasn’t lucky at all, I am “blessed” by a great Big God who loves me so much to save me! This accident had me off my feet for a few months, in which time I felt depressed, sad, and worthless. I felt like I didn’t deserve anyone’s love, especially the love of God. I felt like such a burden to my family and church family because of all they were doing for me to help me recover. During this time of recovery, I heard the song “Truth be Told” by Matthew West. I heard the lyrics and I related so much to this song. I was broken. Not just bone broken, but emotionally broken. Spiritually broken. I felt so far from God. Whenever anyone would ask how I was doing, I’d always say, “I’m fine” but deep down, I wasn’t fine, I was so broken. BUT GOD!!!!God led me to listen to more of Matthew West’s music and the more songs I’ve listened to, the more I started to feel healed! To this day, Matthew’s music is on replay on my Spotify! 🙌 God picked me up from my deepest darkest thoughts and He took those thoughts of worthlessness and turned them into worthiness! I started reading my Bible more, I started praying more. I knew my healing was a gift from God! I am now almost four years from our car accident, and I’m still living my life with a great outlook on how far God has brought me and am so thankful for God’s protection that dreadful night. I may have lost my car, lost my job, and my sense of independence at the time, but I gained my relationship back from Jesus, and for that I will always be grateful for my car accident! God is good ya’ll! He just wants the best for us. He loves us so much! If you’ve turned your head from Him, look back! He is still there, and He still loves you! ❤️ God bless you for reading my story.Luke: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit healed my heart and healed my brain. Every time I had a seizure, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was there with me and He will always be there with me all the time. He will be there day in and out and what I say is it’s like chapters in a book, but with music. I know every single person has their own story to tell and decisions to make and it definitely happens to me. I listen to tons of music and Matthew West was on z88.3 when he released the song “More” and “Next Thing You Know.” When I got a chance to listen to the song, “Next Thing You Know,” it changed my music career life because Jesus put me in the right direction. There is this part in the bridge that says, “So, what’s your story about His glory? You gotta find your place in the history of grace. Yeah, what’s your story about His glory? Come on and find your place” and I concur with you, Matthew, because that bridge is definitely correct and it is definitely one of the coolest song structures to add to the bridge in the song. He changed my story and the decisions I make along the way. And that is My Story Your Glory.I remember being baptized in 2019, and I felt like God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was touching me and they heard my voice and it blew my mind when I got baptized in water. 💧 It changed my story around and helped me make good decisions instead of bad and that’s because God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit resurrected me.Thank you all so much for being vulnerable and sharing your stories. I pray you continue to walk with the Lord and that each day you grow closer and closer to Him. I pray you know how much He loves you and how proud He is of you. Thank you again for sharing!
Just Ask, You Are Not Bothering The Lord
Mar 26 2024
Just Ask, You Are Not Bothering The Lord
Just Ask, You Are Not Bothering The Lord Mark 11:24 “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”I saw this was the verse of the day today, and then I heard a brief description of it, and the man talking said that Jesus said this to his disciples on the Tuesday before Good Friday. Since today is Tuesday before Good Friday, I thought it would be a good verse. It is a verse I rely on often, and it is just after a verse that I love and struggle with. It is just after verse 23, which says, “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.” I struggle with that one because I have a hard time believing I could have enough faith to throw a mountain into the sea. I have also prayed for things that I truly believed would happen, and they didn’t, or they didn’t happen the way I thought they might.However, today’s verse says, “Whatever we ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” So, this verse is not much different than the verse right above it. Here the Lord is telling us in two different ways that if we pray with expectant faith, our prayers will be answered. What really piqued my interest about this verse today is when Brad, from Passion, the man who talked about the verse of the day on the Bible app, said this verse came right after Jesus was explaining why the fig tree that he cursed had shriveled up and died. In Mark 11:12-14 it says, “On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it” When they passed by the fig tree the next day they noticed it had withered away to its roots. This is when Jesus started talking about our prayers being answered when we truly believe.What this made me think of this morning is how powerful our words are. Actually, not just our words, but our prayers. Do you know you can ask for things that might seem impossible? Did you know you can pray for amazing miracles? Did you know that God loves it when we ask for big, amazing things? God is constantly telling our prayer group that we are not asking for too much we are asking for too little. This isn’t to say that God doesn’t care about the little aspects of our life. He cares about every detail. I think we get stuck in our heads too much when we are thinking about prayer. We don’t want to ask God about little things because we don’t want to bother Him. We don’t want to ask God for big things because we don’t want to ask Him for too much. I think we are too afraid of offending God or inconveniencing God.What if we truly thought of God as our Dad? Is there anything too big or too small to ask your dad? I know we have all had different experiences with dads. Maybe yours was great, and you could ask him anything. This was my dad. I wouldn’t feel bad asking him to come over and fix a lightbulb, and I wouldn’t feel bad asking him to come watch my kids for a week. It’s not that I don’t know that would be inconvenient for him, but I know he would love to help in any way he can because he is my dad. Maybe you didn’t have that experience with your dad. Maybe you couldn’t rely on him to come through for you. If this is the case I want you to know our heavenly father isn’t the same.He was not born with original sin. He was not a part of this broken world. He can be there for us in ways that no person ever could be. The closer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we will trust that we can ask Him anything. If you are still tentative with your prayers. If you are still thinking you are bothering the Lord with your prayers, you are asking for too much, or coming to Him too often, I invite you to take that to the Lord today. I invite you in this very holy week to ask the Lord what is getting in the way of your relationship with the Father. What is preventing you from trusting Him fully?When I say trusting Him, I don’t just mean trusting that He will answer your prayers. I mean trusting that He wants to answer your prayers. Trusting that He loves you and that nothing you could bring to Him would be a bother because He loves you that much. Trusting that He cares about all the little details of your life. Trusting that you won’t be asking too much of Him if you ask for the impossible. Trusting that He isn’t too busy to deal with the things you consider little things in your life. God wants us to bring Him everything. He doesn’t get tired of us talking to Him. He could listen to us talk all day and not get bored, not get annoyed. When I just thought that I got this strong impression in my Spirit that some of you are thinking that very same thought. You think that because people you know have told you that you talk too much, God thinks the same thing. He doesn’t. He wants you to know He never tires of hearing your voice, of sitting and talking with you. He wants you to bring Him everything you have.I feel like I can’t come up with the words to help you realize how important you are to the Lord. How powerful our prayers can be when we pray them with expectant faith. Expectant faith is when we pray like the verse says, believing that we have received what we asked for. My sister described it once as praying, not as if you are asking God for something, but praying like you know he will say yes. Praying like it is not a matter of if but a matter of when. When we can learn to pray like this, our lives will change. The power of the one living inside of us will be unleashed. I don’t think it is something that happens all at once, at least not from what I have seen. It is something that we practice, and over time, as we begin to see the power of this type of prayer, we begin to trust the Lord more, we begin to grow closer to the Lord, trust Him, and turn to Him more, and then we see our faith grow.I pray I can help each one of you realize the power you have inside of you. I pray I can help you all believe that you can pray for miracles and see them happen. I pray that the Lord gives me the words and scriptures for these episodes that help teach each and every one of us to walk boldly with Jesus.  Dear heavenly Father, I ask you to bless each person listening to this episode today. Lord, we ask that you show us how to trust you more. We ask you to impress upon our hearts how much you love us. Help us believe that we are not inconveniencing you or bothering you with our prayers. Help us to truly believe you love when we come to you with our prayers. Help us to know there is nothing too big or too small a request for us to bring to you. Help us feel your love for us. Lord, I ask for you to put on our hearts anything that might be getting in the way of us growing closer to you and of us believing these things. We love you so much, Dad, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’ holy name. Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. I will be on live for mentoring tonight at 8 EST, talking about the power of the Holy Spirit that we have living inside of us. If you would like to sign up for mentoring, you can click on the link below or go to my website, walkboldlywithjesus.com. If you want to check it out before joining, you can reach out to me on Facebook or email catherine@findingtruenorthcoaching.com, and I will send you the Zoom link. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow! Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or about these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is, “My children, I want you to call out to me. I long to bless you, to bless your families, to bless your communities, to bless your world. When you call to me, you open the floodgates of my love and my mercy. Ask for more you are asking for too little. I have much to give you. I have much to bless you with. Trust in me.”
You, Too, Have The Power To Choose God’s Will
Mar 25 2024
You, Too, Have The Power To Choose God’s Will
You, Too, Have The Power To Choose God’s WillLuke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”This is the beginning of Holy Week. We are getting closer and closer to the day Jesus died on the cross for our sins. In today’s verse, we see that Jesus struggled with this. If you have ever doubted Jesus’s humanity, this is a great witness to it. Jesus knew what was in front of Him. He knew the pain, the agony, the betrayal, the mocking, all of it. He knew, and He really didn’t want to go through it. He asked the Father if He was willing to take this cup from Him. He asked His dad to save Him if He was willing to. Yet Jesus said, “Still, not my will but yours be done.” Jesus, even though He knew what was coming, He still submitted to the Father’s will. This is the ultimate witness of obedience and of love. The reason I say obedience is because Jesus was still willing to be obedient to the Father’s will, even though the cost was great to Him. I say love because Jesus was doing this for not only love for his Father but also for His love for us.He asked the Father to let this cup pass from Him because He knew how awful it would be. Yet, He also knew it was the only way to free us from our past mistakes, to put things right, and to repent for our original sin. Ellen G. White said, “Christ was treated as we deserve that we may be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “By His stripes, we are healed.”When I read this verse, I immediately thought of how many times we are not willing to do God’s will. I thought of how many times we know what God wants us to do and choose to do something that we want to do. I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to all of you today. Take a moment to think about it. If you are honest with yourself, I bet you can think of plenty of times when you knew God wanted you to do something, and yet you chose to do something else.I will give you some examples that come to my mind. When I was in college, I knew God wanted me to be at church on Saturday or Sunday, yet I wanted to be doing anything else but being in church. Or when I first got married and we would want to sleep in, even though we knew God wanted us to be in church. When it was a Friday during Lent, and someone invited us over for some sort of meat dish. Or, we decide to go out to eat, and the meat dish looks better than the fish dish. When I knew the Lord wanted me to fast an hour before communion, and yet I really wanted to drink a cup of tea or have a quick bite to eat before mass. These are just a few of the many examples that I can think of when I knew what the Lord wanted me to do and I didn’t do it. These are a few examples of many when I decided my will was more important than the Lord’s will. I am sure you have your examples too.What I find amazing is that these are all instances where following God’s will really wouldn’t have cost me any great sacrifice. At most, I would have been inconvenienced or inconvenienced someone else. There would not have been anything more than a bit of discomfort on my part, and yet I still chose my will over the Lord’s will. I would like to claim that I was young and really didn’t know what I was doing. However, I can remember distinctly knowing what God wanted me to do and choosing to do what I wanted to do, so I can’t even claim ignorance.Yet, Jesus, who knew exactly what was coming His way, was able to say, Yet, not my will but yours. This was at a great cost to Jesus. He was going to have to suffer pain; I hope none of us have ever known. He was going to have to suffer humiliation like I pray none of us have ever seen. I am sure he suffered heartache as well. I can’t imagine what it was like for Him to watch as one of His very own disciples betrayed Him. I can’t imagine what it was like for Him to watch as those who followed him now yelled crucify him. I can’t imagine what it was like for Him to know His beloved Peter, whom he made the cornerstone of the church, would deny Him 3 times.Christ knew all of that was coming, and yet He was still able to say, not my will but yours be done. I think sometimes we can minimize this because we tell ourselves things like, “Of course, He could do God’s will; he is fully God and fully Human.” The thing is He did not use his divine powers while He was on earth. The only divine powers He used on Earth were those he received from the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of Him. And guess what? We have that same Holy Spirit living inside of us. Do you know what this means? This means we are capable of choosing to do the Father’s will also.The only difference is that Jesus knew His identity and His authority in the Father. He knew He was the Son of God. We are still learning this. We tend to believe the enemy when he tells us we don’t have any willpower. When he tells us, we aren’t strong enough to say no to our wants and desires. He tells us we are weak, and we believe him because we don’t know the power we have living inside of us. However, if the Holy Spirit could help Jesus accept the cross because it was God’s will, He could surely help us give up the things we have been refusing to give up. He could help us make the small sacrifices God is calling us to make. We just have to realize the power we have living inside of us and start relying on that power instead of our own power. Can you do that today? Can you acknowledge that, yes, on your own, you are helpless to make the changes God is calling you to make? However, when you partner with the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you, There isn’t anything you can’t do. Stop listening to the enemy telling you that you have to keep doing that thing you don’t want to do. You are stronger than you know. You have the same power that Jesus had living inside of Him. You have the same Holy Spirit He had. You are strong!!Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those listening to this episode today. Lord, help us put your will first. Help us realize that you gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us. Help us see that you have already given us everything we will ever need to do whatever you ask us to do. Help us see that your will is for our best. Help us realize our identity and authority as your sons and daughters. We love you, Lord, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen!!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus! I look forward to meeting you again tomorrow. Mentoring is tomorrow night. I will be teaching on the Holy Spirit and the power we receive from it. I hope you can join me. I will put a link in the show notes. CLICK HERE for mentoring. Or you can go to my website, WalkboldlywithJesus.com. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup. Today’s Word from the Lord is (Continued from yesterday’s image of the back of the washer) “In my mercy, I will reconnect you to the flow of my life-giving waters. When we are reconnected together, the power of our hearts flowing together will wash, cleanse, and make new many who are wallowing in the muck and mire of the world. Stay connected to me so that grace and mercy will flow out to all who need it.”
Stay Close To Christ, He Is The Living Water!
Mar 22 2024
Stay Close To Christ, He Is The Living Water!
Stay Close To Christ, He Is The Living Water! Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”I really like this imagery. I can see this tree being planted by the water and can envision it sending its roots out to get the water. It doesn’t have to fear when it gets hot because it has ready access to water. It is not worried when water is scarce as it has its very own supply. I think this is a great metaphor for our trust in the Lord. When we trust in the Lord and trust the Lord, we have access to the Living Water that Jesus talks about to the woman at the well. Jesus is all the spiritual nourishment we will ever need for our souls to thrive. Yet, we need access to it; we need to be close to Him. The tree in this water was planted near the water. However, it still needed to send out its roots to get the water. We need to do the same if we want the nourishment that God is happily willing to provide for us. We live in a time where access to Jesus is easily accessible, at least in the United States where I live. We are free to worship as we like. Bibles are not that expensive, and if you have a smartphone with apps, you can get the Bible App for free. This will not only give you the Bible, but it has almost all, if not all, the various translations. It also has the bible in 130 or so different languages. On this You Version Bible app, there are also countless Bible studies for free. Then you also have rosary apps to help you say the rosary. There is a Divine Mercy app that helps you say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. There are numerous apps to have prayers, meditations, talks, etc. There is no shortage of ways that you can connect with God through His Word and through prayer. There are also daily masses where you can go and receive the body and blood of Christ every day. You can also go to Eucharistic Adoration when it is offered at your church. There are also more and more Perpetual Adoration chapels opening. Perpetual Adoration means that you can go and love on Jesus any time of the day. These chapels are open 24 hours a day. However, some have a policy only to let scheduled adorers go throughout the late night hours, so call ahead and let them know if you want to drop in during the middle of the night. Then there are also YouTube and Podcasts. You can find someone talking about pretty much any subject you want to hear about on these two platforms. You can find podcasts where priests and ministers put their Sunday sermons for all to here. You can find podcasts that talk about Scripture, almost like a Bible Study. Exploring My Strange Bible is a great one for that! YouTube, you can just put the topic into the search bar, and you will find several videos to watch on each topic you type in the search bar. As you can see, we have access to many ways to connect with God. It is not difficult, and yet we still need to reach out, just as the tree above needed to send out its roots. If the tree had just stood tall right where it was and hoped that the water would reach out to it, then it would have died. We can have all this free access to information and yet do nothing with it. The information is there but we need to read it, watch it, go to it, whatever it may be. It doesn’t matter how often they offer masses if I am not going to them or how many translations of the Bible I can get if I am not even looking. We need to actively search for ways to connect to the Lord. He is our nourishment, our peace. He will provide us with what we need to get through the storms, but we need to be prepared. We need to have our roots set down deep, right next to Him. We need to be in God’s Word, whether it is a printed Bible you hold in your hands or if it is in the Bible app. Or you could do the Bible in a Year podcast with Father Mike. He reads a bit of the Bible to you each day and then describes what he just read. He explains in a way that is easy to understand. I listened to that podcast for the first two years it was out, and then I switched to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That is also a great one to help you learn more about the Catholic Faith. We need to be connected to the Word of God. We need to read it, study it, and memorize some of it. The Word of God helps us learn more about God; it helps us understand Him better. We can’t trust His promises if we don’t even know what He promises us. One easy way to connect with God is to just talk with Him. Bring Him all your cares and worries. When you are trying to make a decision about something, bring it to the Lord and ask Him what you should do. Then listen for what he says you should do. If you ask God, He will answer; we just have to be ready to listen. You can talk with the Lord anywhere. You don’t have to talk out loud, although you can do that too. You can have a silent conversation with the Lord while you are in the grocery store waiting to check out or just while walking through the aisles. You can talk with God while you are driving to and/or from work or when you are stuck in traffic. I like to start my mornings talking with God. I don’t do it every morning, unfortunately, but I would like to. However it is that you want to reach out and search for the Lord is great. Your way of reaching out can be different than my way. I just thought I would list a few ways in case you weren’t sure how you could do it. I know we are all busy, and it seems we don’t have enough time in the day to reach out to God. Trust me when I say everything gets easier when you take the time to reach out to God, kind of like the tree in the verse above. Its life was easier because it was planted close to the water, and it could just send out its roots to collect the water. What if it had been further away? What if it wasn’t anywhere near water? How hard would it be for this tree to get the nourishment it needed? This is true with us too. What if we aren’t anywhere near the Lord? What if we aren’t sending out our roots to gather that Living Water to nourish us? Where would we be then? How hard would it be for us to get the nourishment we need? Stay close to the Lord! Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those who listen to this episode. Lord, we ask you to help us stay close to you. If we are struggling to fit this into our schedule, I ask you to give us clarity. I ask you to send the Holy Spirit to help us make this a priority in our lives. We need you, Lord; we know this. Help us to spend more time with you. We love you, and we ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. If you are wondering how you can increase the time you spend with the Lord without adding anything else to your already busy schedule, CLICK HERE to get my free audio training on how to invite Jesus into the everyday things you are already doing. I look forward to seeing you on Monday. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 from someone in my Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. If you have any questions about the prayer group or the Words received, please email CatholicCharistmaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word from the Lord is “When you think you have nothing left, there is more. When you think you are at the end of it all, there is more. You are my warriors. You are my children. You are my love, and I honor you because you honor me, and with that, I give you more.”
Chapter 8 Pray Without Ceasing
Mar 21 2024
Chapter 8 Pray Without Ceasing
Chapter 8 Pray without Ceasing“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)I don’t know about you, but I am sort of a perfectionist and rule follower. I like to do things the way they are supposed to be done. I am not a fan of recipes that say add a little of this and a lot of that. I like recipes that lay out the instructions step by step with exact measurements. I do not like to add things that are not in the recipe, and I don’t like to leave things out. I like to follow the instructions exactly. This is why, when I first heard this passage, I was stuck on the pray without ceasing part. How does one pray without ceasing? What about work, sleep, taking care of the kids? How can I pray all of the time and still do everything that needs to get done for my family? Have you ever had thoughts like these?Over the years I have heard various ways to pray without ceasing and I thought I would share a couple with you to help encourage you, and to help you realize, especially any fellow perfectionists, you are probably already praying without ceasing. And if you are not already doing it you will see you could easily begin doing it.In preparing for this chapter, I read a few articles and looked back at some sources I had seen before. They all pretty much agree it is not formal, audible prayer you need to do all the time. It is more of a “heart attitude.” Psalm 34:1 says “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praises will continually be in my mouth.” Isaiah 26:3 says “God will keep them in perfect peace whose minds focus on Him.”Praying without ceasing is about shifting your thought process and turning every day moments into prayer. There was one analogy I found that said, “It’s like keeping the radio playing in the background.” It is not that you are audibly praying to God 24 hours a day. It is more that you are thinking of God, and he is in the background of all your thoughts throughout the day.After reviewing all the things and getting ready to write, I reread the verse at the beginning and realized the answer is contained in the 1 Thessalonians verse. Rejoice always, is having an attitude of joyfulness, and in everything give thanks, is having an attitude of thankfulness. How do we rejoice and give thanks? Through prayer! Therefore, effective prayer is a proper heart attitude: a mental outlook of joyful thanksgiving.Now some of you may hear that and instantly know you are already praying without ceasing. You may know you have a heart for God and you are praising and thanking him throughout the day with your thoughts and words. However, some of you may be like me and may be thinking, yes, that is great, but what exactly can I do to pray without ceasing. I am someone who likes exact steps to follow to make sure I am doing something correctly. This is why I will give you a few examples of ways you can pray without ceasing.First, I will summarize a video I watched called “3 Steps to Unceasing Prayer” by Father Mike Schmitz. If you google this, you can watch the video yourself. It is just over 5 minutes long. In the YouTube video, Father Mike Schmitz lists three steps he learned from St. Francis DeSales that you could do to transform everything you do into a prayer.Ask God to be present. Yes, God is always present and attentive to you, but by asking him to be present, you are letting him know you will be present too.Offer this moment to God. Offer him all the joy, the suffering, whatever you may be feeling, offer it to God.Accept –Resolve to accept whatever comes out of this moment.This will not only transform your relationship with God, but it will also transform how you live. When you ask God to be attentive to you, you allow every moment to be a sacrament. You invite God into that moment, which makes it a channel of Grace. Then, when you offer the moment up to him, you make each moment a sacrifice. When you choose to accept the outcome, you make every moment a moment of surrender. For instance, you can do this when you go to bed at night. God, I ask you to be attentive to me, and I am attentive to you. I offer this night’s sleep to you as a sacrifice, as a gift to you, and I accept whatever comes out of it.Another person I admire, Matthew Kelly, in his book Resisting Happiness, also talks about transforming every moment into a prayer. He suggests you pause for a brief moment before a new task or before another hour of work and offer that work to God as a prayer for a specific person. For instance, God, I offer you this task of doing the dishes as a prayer for my husband, or my parents, etc. He also mentioned if you are studying or reading, you could write the initials of those you know who need prayers on the top of each page, and before you read or study that page, you can offer it up for that person.There is also something called the Jesus Prayer. This is something you can train yourself to have playing in the background of your thoughts. You can say as you breathe in, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” and say as you breathe out, “Have Mercy on me.” This is something you practice, and although it takes conscious thought while learning, it could become something so natural that you do it without thinking. Did you ever notice some things that seem strange at first can become a habit? One thing that comes to mind is counting my steps. When I joined the marching band, we had to learn to count our steps because while we were marching, we were making different shapes on the field. This was strange at first, but 20 years later, I find myself counting steps occasionally.There are a few other ways you can pray without ceasing. You can begin each day with a conversation with God. You can just sit down with Him and talk to Him as if you were a close friend. Tell Him all about your day, what you have planned and what you are excited about, maybe what you need help with. Yes, I know God already knows about your day, and He knows what you are going to say before you say it. However, there is something intimate about you telling Him anyway. As your day progresses, you can continue this conversation and let Him know how your day is going.You can incorporate prayer into your daily tasks. While you wash dishes, you could pray for a different person with each dish you wash, or you could offer up the task of washing dishes for one intention. This is also effective with any task you do throughout the day, especially if it is a task you do not like doing. Offering up one’s suffering for an intention is a wonderful way to pray. If you have something you feel needs a lot of prayer, then you can attach that intention to something you do a lot throughout the day. For instance, you could tell God that every time you wash your hands, you are offering it up as a prayer for your children. Think of how many times you would be praying for your children throughout the day.You could use the time you are stuck in traffic or waiting in a long line at the store to say a prayer for someone or something. Another way to incorporate more prayer into your day is to listen to music. St. Augustine said, “To sing is to pray twice.” I used to put on praise and worship music while I was cleaning or if I was driving somewhere, and I would sing along. It made the task go by faster, and I was able to turn that time into prayer time.Another way to pray is to admit it when we mess up and then move on. Sometimes we spend too much time focused on all that we do wrong. When we confess to God when we mess up, he forgives us, so we do not need to stay in that place of guilt and shame. It is important to take a moment to let God know we are sorry, but he does not want us to dwell there. This prayer does not eliminate the need to go to confession, but it helps us not to hold onto that sin and get stuck there.Another way to pray without ceasing is to give up worrying. Worry is the opposite of faith.  Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We waste so much time worrying. Next time you want to worry, just imagine yourself extending it up to the Lord our God and letting Him hold it for you. You can ask if you have a role to play, something He wants you to do, but do not take back the weight of that worry. Then start thanking God for who He is and all He has already done for you.One last way I will share with you is to stop talking once in a while and just listen. The number or quality of words in your prayer doesn’t matter because prayer is about God, not about us. Spend some time just being, simply sitting and resting in His presence. You won’t hear anything if you never stop to listen. This is something I feel many of us struggle with. We find asking God for the things we need or even thanking Him for the things He has done for us, comes much easier than stopping and listening to what God has to say to us.I have always struggled with hearing God and understanding what that even meant. This can mean different things to different people. Most people do not hear an audible voice; it’s more of a thought in their head or a sense about something. I have come to know that a small voice deep inside is the Holy Spirit guiding me. If we never stop to ask God to speak to us, how can we be surprised He doesn’t. If we don’t step outside the noise and chaos of the world to really listen, then how will we hear Him?I will end with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson “It is not only when we address our petitions to the Deity that we pray. We pray without ceasing. Every secret wish is a prayer. Every house is a church; the corner of every street is a closet of devotion.”Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. If you liked this chapter please check out my book at walkboldlywithjesus.com or amazon.com. If you enjoyed the ideas of various ways to include prayer in your everyday tasks, then I have a free audio training that goes into more detail on this idea. To get this free audio training, you can CLICK HERE, or you can go to my website walkboldlywithjesus.com. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Remember Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day.Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of the Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group during one of our meetings. For more information about the prayer group or these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. “My children, you are my heart. You are the song of the morning and sweetness of a spring day. Forget yesterday; it’s ok. I know you, every fiber of your being. I have knitted. I love my children, and I am gentle with them. Just don’t stop talking to me. We’ll work it out. “
Witness Wednesday #104 Jess
Mar 20 2024
Witness Wednesday #104 Jess
Today’s witness if from my friend Jess. I have only known Jess for about a year and a half and yet it is clear to see how much the Lord loves her. She has a very intimate relationship with Him and spends a lot of time cultivating this. She spends time talking with Him, praying with Him, and in Adoration with Him. She has been a part of the unbound ministry for 20 years, which sounds crazy to me because she definitely doesn’t look old enough to have been doing it that long. I asked if she started Unbound when she was 10, she did not.  Jess has a very kind soul and is a powerful prayer warrior. Her testimony reminds of of at least two very important things. First, everyone is going through something, and you never know what someone is going through. Just looking at Jess, or even spending time with her and getting to know her, you would never guess she has been through all that she has been through. The second is that we are never too broken for God to use. Sometimes, we think we have been through too much, we have done too much, and God can’t use us. God can and will use any of us if we are willing. Listen to this witness and how, even in really hard times, Jess knew God was looking out for her. I will read her testimony to you. There has always been someone watching out for me, sometimes more than one person watching out for me. This is how I know God has big plans for my life and will be using me many times over.    I have always felt like I am on borrowed time, and maybe I am. Borrowed time to do the work of the kingdom and bringing it to earth. Before I was born, my nana had consecrated me to Mama Mary, that would explain why my birthday is a Marian feast day! My parents divorced when I was a few months old, and When I was about six months old, I was sitting in a chair at my Grammy and nano’s house in the living room. My nano was cleaning his gun, and it went off and missed my head by mere millimeters. I had fallen and split my head open on a brick fireplace by the time I was 1 year old. I started having seizures shortly thereafter. One seizure nearly killed me. My temperature 🤒 got to 104.5*F, at 105- your brain turns to green jello and it literally starts frying from overheating. I was thrown into a cold bath of ice 🧊. It took a long time to cool me down. At this point, I was too “young” to comprehend that I had a spiritual target on my back- because the devil didn’t want me to grow into my full authority and potential in Jesus!  My life over the next 12-16 years was going to be a tug-o-war, a version of a real life Cinderella, physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse. But I found out how to handle most of it, just let go and let God and Jesus take care of it! But my mom and I wouldn’t get along. My mom was Catholic, she remarried and had two more kids and I got pushed on the back burner. My biological dad was Protestant, and would eventually pass away when I was 19. My mom was the abusive one and still is to me, even as an adult.  Some things my mom did to me were threatening my dad if he didn’t have me home by exactly 5pm on Sunday, I wouldn’t eat (there were many Sundays I didn’t eat because I was home at 5:01 or 5:02 pm), get into physical fights and make me bleed, went to school with bruises and hand prints on my face, walk 15 miles to school as a 13-year-old. There were more, but these were some biggies. They didn’t phase me; they didn’t bother me…. Why, you ask? I lived in the shadow of the most high… all the evil things my mom did to me didn’t affect me because I gave everything to Jesus! But some days, she got to me… and there were a few days that I tried to kill myself just to get away from her. The first time I tried to kill myself, it was a Friday night. I was on 300mg of a certain med. I researched this med, and I knew how much I had to take to make it kill me- I would basically have a seizure that I wouldn’t recover from, and I wouldn’t wake up the next day. In order to accomplish this, I took about 2550mg right before bed. And wasn’t planning on waking up. When I woke up the next day, disappointed, to say the least, that I “failed”, I felt like I was totally drunk. The room was spinning and turning sideways. I got up and walked into the living room, holding onto the wall and walking sideways down the hall. When I got to the living room, I saw my stepdad on the computer with headphones on, and my sisters were watching Barney on TV. I looked to my left and saw the clock on the stove; it read 10:32 am. The next thing I remember is my eyes rolled into the back of my head, and I blacked out and fell backward. I remember hearing a huge thud when I hit the floor. After that, I remember waking up, still feeling drunk. I saw my dad was still on the computer, and my sisters were still watching Barney. No one had noticed me; no one seemed to care if I lived or died… I looked at the stove, and the time was 11:32 am. ONE HOUR HAD ELAPSED! I crawled on all fours back to my room; I was a freshman in high school. The next year as a sophomore, I became a cutter. I cut my arms with glass, broken glass, to be precise. I cut my arms so deep they would bleed all over the place; no one knew. I always wore long-sleeved shirts, so no one knew what was really going on. One night I cut so deep that I could see a few inches down into my arm, and I don’t remember cutting that deep. The next day, there was blood everywhere! All over my sheets, my pillow, clothes, quilt- everywhere! I got nervous and made a promise to God that I wasn’t going to play God anymore, but I was going to make one. Final. Cut. So I would always remember where I came from and where I never wanted to be or go again. I made that Final Cut, and 22 years later, I still have that cut on my arm, and it has always served the purpose of being a reminder. But that day when I saw all that blood, I woke up and was scared, didn’t want to play God anymore, went to confession and mass, and never looked back! There is someone always watching out for me. I have a job that I need to accomplish before I leave this world. It’s a powerful job that the enemy doesn’t want me to complete. And this is why I have to keep going, why we all have to keep going. Every day is a spiritual battle. But every day that is given to God, the more He can use you in His plans for the kingdom! I have overcome much in my life, but without the help of Papa God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mama Mary, and all the angels and saints, I wouldn’t be here! My papa always had a saying that rings true; one just has to believe it is true! If God has ordained something for your life, there is nothing on earth, above the earth, or under the earth that can change that! What could be a more protective statement and guarantee than Jesus’ protection? Amen!Wow, wasn’t that an amazing testimony? Thank you, Jess, for being vulnerable and sharing your story. I know it will touch the hearts of all who hear it. I pray that those who are in a similar situation hear your testimony and see that they are not alone and that they can make it through. I pray that everyone listening hears the message deep in their heart that God has ordained something for each of our lives and there is nothing that is going to get in the way of it. Thanks again for sharing. Feel free to share more of your testimony, as I am sure you have seen God at work in many areas of your life. We look forward to hearing from you again!
Trust & Thanksgiving In The Hard Times
Mar 19 2024
Trust & Thanksgiving In The Hard Times
Trust & Thanksgiving In The Hard TimesPsalm 3 “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”Yesterday, I was listening to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a Year podcast with Father Mike. He was talking about this Psalm. He was talking about how usually we are good at thanking God and trusting God when things are going really well in our lives. We thank God for giving us the answers to our prayers. We thank him when things go our way and when we are seeing success. However, how often do we praise Him, thank Him, and trust Him in the hard times?David and God have a very intimate relationship. God chose David to be king when he was a very young boy. Even before he was chosen, David knew how powerful the Lord was. He used this knowledge to kill a giant named Goliath. He knew God was more powerful than anything on this earth. David was a great king most of the time, although he made some pretty bad choices as well. He was not a great father, and at one point, he was on the run from his son Absalom. It was at this point that David wrote this Psalm of Thanksgiving.It wasn’t when he was safe in his castle, and God was giving him everything he wanted. It wasn’t when his armies were conquering all the other nations. It was when his own son was trying to kill him. He was fleeing his castle, his land, and his people, all so he could remain alive. This is when David wrote this Psalm. This is what David was saying about God when he was in trouble.What do we say about God and to God when we are struggling or when we are in trouble? What about when our child is sick, and it feels like we haven’t had any prayers answered in quite some time? Are we still talking about how God is our protector? What about when we have been out of work for a long time, and there is no money coming in? Are we still talking about how God is our provider? How would we react if we were told that we needed to flee the country because a family member wanted us dead? I don’t think we could truly know how we would act until we were in that situation.I would love to praise God and say how much he has done for me. I hope to be able to trust that the Lord will get me out of whatever circumstances in which I find myself. Let's take a look at the way David was praising and thanking the Lord. “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”First, David asks the Lord how many enemies he has. How many have risen up against him? Then David explains that these enemies are saying that God will not deliver him this time. I am sure this made God sad. He has saved His people time and time again, and there are some who still doubt that He will show up. David goes on to say, “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. This is a great part of the verse because it shows us that even though David is running for his life, he still believes that God will protect him. He still believes that God will answer his prayers.I wonder if we can say the same. Can we still say that God is our shield when we feel we are under attack? What if it feels like we have been under attack for years now? Do we still believe that the Lord is our shield? Do we still believe that He answers our prayers? Next, David said, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” David is showing us here that the Lord is sustaining him. I believe he is also showing us that he knows if he wakes up each day, it is because the Lord willed it. None of us are guaranteed to wake up each day. If we do, it is a gift from the Lord! David knew this. This part also shows us the trust David has in the Lord. He is being chased by an army led by his son. He has tens of thousands of people on every side of him, and yet he does not fear because he knows he has the Lord on his side.Do you see how strong and fearless we are able to be when we understand the strength of the Lord and when we turn all things over to Him? David knows that God is in control of all things. He trusts God with his whole being, even to the point of death. He knows that if he dies, God has allowed it to happen. He is not afraid of his enemy.The last part of this Psalm says, “Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.” In this last part, David is asking God to act in a very specific way. He is not just asking for them to be defeated; he is asking for God to strike them in the jaw and break their teeth.  I looked up online if there was a specific significance to this specific request of David. Here is what I found in the article:  Break the Teeth of the Wicked (Part 3) (Click Here for the article)“Consider the memorable prayer after which I’ve titled this series of posts: “Break the teeth of the wicked.”  David makes this request twice in the Psalms (3:7; 58:6).  Is David asking God literally to knock out the incisors of the wicked?  Is he hoping that God will deliver a blow to the jaw of the wicked, literally shattering their canines and crushing their molars?  The answer seems obvious.We must remember that the book of Psalms is poetry.  David is praying in metaphor.  And what does the metaphor of God breaking the teeth of the wicked mean?  It means God takes away the power of the wicked to bite and devour.  Keep them from harming me and others.  Thwart their plans to do violence.  The second instance in which David prays this prayer makes the point particularly clear:O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! (58:6)David envisions his enemies as young lions seeking to devour God’s people.  His request is that God would defang these wicked men.  In short, David is appealing to God to stop the wicked.”As you can see, David trusts the Lord and is able to praise the Lord even in times of great difficulty. What if we tried this? What if, no matter what we were going through, we trusted that God had our best interests at heart? What if we truly believed this? Think about that for a minute. Would it be easier to trust the Lord if you knew without doubt that God had nothing but your best interests at heart? What if instead of being so angry at the Lord, we took some time to praise him in the hard times? Would that change anything? Would we be more equipped to handle the hard times?Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless all those who listen to this episode. Lord, I pray your blessing on each and every one of them. Lord, we pray you protect us and you love us. We pray that you help us trust you even when times are hard. We pray that you help us praise you even when times are hard. Lord, we love you so much, and we ask all of this in accordance with our will and in Jesus’s holy name. Amen!Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. Tonight is mentoring! The topic for tonight will be why our forgiveness of others is essential. If you would like to join us send me a message and I will send you a zoom link! I look forward to meeting you here again tomorrow. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day!Today’s Word from the Lord was received by a member of the Catholic Charismatic Prayer group in November of 2023. If you have any questions about the prayer group or the words given please email Catholiccharismaticprayergroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word is, “My children, I long to give you my heart that weeps over this world. That weeps over those who are suffering needlessly because they do now know that they have a God who loves them.”
The Lord Will Fight For You!
Mar 18 2024
The Lord Will Fight For You!
The Lord Will Fight For You! Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”I heard this verse the other day, and I thought it would be perfect for an episode, as I know so many of you listening are going through some pretty hard stuff right now. Being still is not easy for most of us. We are doers, and we want to go, go, go. This is compounded by the fact that we live in a world that never stops. I know so many people who are doing so much, and they never have time to rest. They have jobs that are so busy they can’t finish all they are supposed to finish in the allotted 40-hour work week.Being busy is not a bad thing in itself. Benjamin Franklin said, “Idle hands are the devil's playthings.” If we sit around doing nothing, we get bored, and who knows what we might get ourselves into. However, being too busy becomes a problem when we no longer make time for the Lord. Being busy becomes a problem when we stop recharging our batteries with the power of the Holy Spirit and start relying on our own power.Something we have been learning in Encounter Ministries is that all fruitfulness flows from our intimacy with Christ. Fruitfulness means success. The success of all that we do flows from our relationship with the Lord. Think about this in terms of your other relationships. Let’s look at family life. Doesn’t it seem true that the fruitfulness or the success of your family depends on your relationship with those in your family? What if you never talk to your spouse, you never spend time with him or her, and you just go about your day? It is not necessarily that you don’t want to spend time with them, it is just you don’t seem to have the time. You don’t make the time because there are so many other things you have to do.  How successful would that marriage be?What if you never had time to spend with your children? They have sports games or dance recitals, but you don’t have time to go because you are always working. When you are at home, you don’t spend time with them because you are trying to catch up on all the things to do around the house. If you never make time to spend with them, if you don’t ever talk to them, how successful do you think your relationship with them will be?The same is true with your relationship with God. We need to make time for Him, and He will take care of all of our worries. When we spend time with Him, we can tell Him all that is going on. We can give Him our stresses, our cares, and our worries. We can hand them over to Him and let Him take care of them. Who else can we entrust our cares and worries to?The verse above says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” After we talk to the Lord about what is going on in our lives, we can sit there in silence and let Him come into our hearts and heal us. The Lord has told us many times in our prayer group that He is coming in during the silence and healing our hearts. It is great to talk to the Lord. It is great to pray to the Lord and to do the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and all the other devotions that we do to grow closer to the Lord. These are all amazing and will help develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord.The Lord is also calling us to a time with Him that is spent in silence. He just wants us to sit with us and minister to us. God can do all things. He can minister to you anywhere and anytime. Yet, He likes to come in the stillness. He likes to come to us when we make the time just to sit and be still with Him. I know it feels like you don’t have any more time left in your schedule. However, if you spend quiet time consistently with Jesus, I am willing to bet you will see more time open up in your schedule. God can’t be outdone in generosity. If you give him 20 minutes, He will give you 10 hours. He is that good.God's math is not the same as our math. It doesn’t make the same kind of sense that our math does. If he can feed 5,000 men plus women and children with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, then he can certainly replace the 15 or 20 minutes during the day that you gave to Him in quiet time. My sister Dee gave me a plaque once with a poem on it and I feel like it is the perfect poem for reminding us how important it is to start our day with the Lord. It shows how important it is to check in with God before starting our day. Here is the Poem: The Difference By Alan Grant. I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day; I had so much to accomplish that I didn't have time to pray. Problems just tumbled out about me, and heavier came each task.“Why doesn't God help me?” I wondered. He answered, "You didn't ask.” I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak; I wondered why God didn't show me; He said, “But you didn't seek.” I tried to come into God's presence; I used all my keys at the lock.God gently and lovingly chided, “My child, you didn't knock.” I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take to take time to pray. As you can see by this poem, God is ready to help us, He is just waiting for us to ask. Then, once we ask, He is waiting for us to give Him the time to work on us, to heal us. If you are going through a really tough time right now, I want to invite you to some quiet time with the Lord today. Sit with Him and ask Him what He wants you to do, and then listen for His answer. If you need to be filled up with energy, strength, hope, love, power, or anything else today, just ask the Lord and then sit there for a few minutes and receive it. The Lord says when we ask, He answers, so when you ask for something, expect to receive it. I know sometimes, maybe most of the time, it feels like we are all alone in our battles. We feel like we are the only ones fighting our fights. This verse this morning reminds us that we are not in this alone. Not only is God in it with us, but He will fight our battles for us if we let Him. If we turn our battles over to the Lord, He will take care of them for us. Isn’t that amazing? This reminds me of 2 Kings 6:17. It says, "And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Imagine all the Lord surrounds us with. There is so much we can’t see when it comes to the Lord. We can’t usually see His angels, we can’t see the reason He allows some things to happen, and we can’t seem to make sense of things at times. We might be sad that we can’t see these things, and I often wish I could see into the spiritual world. However, we have to remember there are also evil spirits in the spiritual world, and I think we would be very frightened if we saw all that goes on in the spiritual world around us. Even though we can’t see God’s horses and chariots of fire ready to fight for us, we can trust they are there because the Bible is the Word of God. It is fact, and it is God’s promises to us. So, when we read in the Bible, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” We can take that to the bank. We can count on that. We can be still and watch as the Lord fights our battles for us. Can we be still and allow Him to do that today? Dear Heavenly Father, I ask that you bless all those listening to this episode today. Lord, we ask that you help us to be still and allow us to fight our battles. We ask that you teach us how to be still and that you give us the power to do so because we really struggle with it. Lord, we thank you for all you do for us each day. We thank you for fighting our battles. We thank you for surrounding us with protection and an army to defend us. We want to call on that army, Lord. We want to hand over all of our struggles to you, Lord. You are the almighty one; you are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. We love you so very much. We ask all of this in accordance with your will and in Jesus’s holy name, Amen! Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to walk boldly with Jesus. This is a reminder that tomorrow is mentoring. If you want to join, you can click on the link below or go to the website at WalkBoldlywithJesus.com. I look forward to meeting you again tomorrow. Remember, Jesus loves you, and so do I! Have a blessed day! Today’s Word from the Lord was received in November 2023 by a member of the Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group during one of our meetings. For more information about the prayer group or these words, please email CatholicCharismaticPrayerGroup@gmail.com. Today’s Word is, “My children, I long to give you my heart. I long to mold your heart to be like mine. That you may see your brothers and sisters and you may reach out to them, pray with them, give them words of hope, pray for healing, give them food if they are hungry. Give them shelter if they have nowhere to stay.”