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Posts Tagged ‘God’

The book I’m reading¹ shows Jesus as a very tender, intimate friend.

My scripture reading² last night shows Him as fierce judge, waging war in righteousness with fiery eyes and he himself will “tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty.”

I know Jesus as a tender, personal and intimate friend to whom I can pour out my heart and with whom I can laugh and be filled. I run into our Father’s arms for comfort and protection. I seek the Holy Spirit to guide me, teach me, advise me.

When I read passages about His power and fury and wrath, I wonder if I will be fearful of Him. I wonder if I have created an image of Him that is more in my own mind than it is reality. And I wonder if it’s like a child who experiences her father as very tender and loving at home while his enemies experience him as powerful and destructive on the battlefield.

The Bible depicts Jesus in many distinct, opposite ways:
The lion … and the lamb
The king of kings and lord of lords … and the suffering servant of all
Ruling with a steel rod … and taking care to not break the bruised reed.
He is creator & commander of great clashes of thunder, seas that roar, and quakes that level mountains … as well as fragile flowers, rainbows, and delicate flakes of frost.
God … and man

I think I do need to take care not to create a god in my own image. I can learn much about God by reading the Bible and believing He is everything it says He is, even when I find it fearful and I don’t fully understand what it means. And I also can trust what I know from my relationship with Him … He is indeed my intimate and tender friend, comforter, teacher.

And I think no matter how well I now Him and how close He draws me, I barely know Him at all. He is so much more than any man can fathom or dream.

While I think it’s good to ponder and wrestle with these things sometimes, I still laugh out loud when I think of the passage He gave me one time when I was demanding an answer:

What is too sublime for you, seek not.
Into things beyond your strength, search not.
What is committed to you, attend to;
for what is hidden is not your concern. (Sirach 4:20-22)

¹He and I by Gabrielle Bossis
²Revelation 19:11-16

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Routines

I have many routines that turn me toward God. Some are daily such as arising early to read and pray; reflecting on the daily mass readings over my lunch half-hour; prayer at bedtime. Others are weekly – Adoration and morning mass during the week.

When I travel I am thrown out of my routines, and it used to trouble me that I could so easily be distracted from prayer and time with God.  But I’ve learned that those times, too, can be used by God to refresh and bring new life into our relationship.

How beautiful is His creation and what a blessing to be able to see some of it anew when traveling, from mountains to oceans to countryside; plants and animals and starry skies.

And when surrounded by the people I most treasure in the world, isn’t their presence and their love an expression of God’s own presence and love?

I miss my routines and set times spent spiritually with Him and am glad to return to them. And I also treasure the times when His presence is tangibly expressed through others.

I am so very blessed.

Love 1 John 4 12

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The love of God

God IS love … love is His very nature. His love is constant and steady – He doesn’t love us “more” because of anything we do … neither does He love us “less” because of anything we do.

(It’s all about Him, and what He did for us!)

I recently read a very cool illustration about the love of God.

Consider a home in a meadow with the sun (love of God) shining warmly upon it. The activity of the people have no effect on the sunshine – it simply “is,” constant and never waning.

Inside the home, however, are shutters. One can throw open the shutters, or step out into the sunshine … or one can close up the shutters, choosing to huddle in the dark.

Outside the sun continues to shine unabated; it is not less.

Inside … have you shuttered your heart? It’s never too late – throw open the shutters and step out into His limitless love!

 

 

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I’ve been on the run all week with lots of little errands. Nothing of importance, just busy-ness.

But my mind has been very still and focused, thinking of Carla and the trial she is facing. Her 26-year-old daughter Amy has been undergoing tests to formulate a treatment plan. Amy, mother of a 1-year-old son, has been diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.

I was thinking of another battle, found in Exodus 17:

11 As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. 12 Moses’ hands, however, grew tired; so they took a rock and put it under him and he sat on it. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady until sunset. 13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword

Generally when we raise our hands to God, it is in praise and thanksgiving. I believe it is so important to look and to see things worth praising and worth thanking Him for, especially in our trials.

Even though this battle my friends have entered may be long, there is much to be thankful for and much for which to praise God. It’s already been a blessing to witness how many people have come alongside the family with thoughts and prayers and support.  I think we all will be their Aaron and Hur, helping support their hands and keeping them raised to God when they grow weary.

From my own experience, I have come to know and understand the Truth of 1 Thess 5: 18:

“In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

I read that passage the very morning my dad was admitted to ICU. I have sure pondered that a lot since then as God as led me through my own trials.

I pray for my friends and for all people who are in the midst of great trial. I ask God to strengthen them and to use their trials to draw them ever-closer to His own heart. Open their eyes and hearts to recognize your blessings and your presence in their lives. Please send the Holy Spirit to strengthen their faith and to fill them with peace. And bring them Aarons and Hurs to help support them.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.

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Sometimes life events really stink – some in large ways, some in small ways. And these can be very revealing … about ourselves, about others, about what we see as silver linings, and about what we hope may come of it all.

Life Stinks #1: Friday morning I learned that my boss’ wife, who is also my friend, was in a very serious car accident. She fell asleep while driving her brand new Highlander, hit a guard rail and was deflected into a concrete bridge support. She had to be cut out with the jaws of life and cracked a vertebrate in her neck. She is bruised and battered from head-to-toe and in a lot of pain … but wow, I think it is a miracle she escaped with only those injuries.

Revealed: a great deal of wonder and gratitude at how she was protected; her family’s faith and support for her and for one another is evident and amplified; my hope is that God will use this in very positive ways especially for their son who was just released from prison and is trying to build a new life.

Life Stinks #2: Friday evening my cousin Julie called with news that my aunt Diana had suffered a brain aneurysm Tuesday evening. Julie had just arrived in Phoenix to be with her and was trying to reach my mom. It’s not known whether Diana will survive. I located mom and gave her the news; I found a ticket for her to fly out of Omaha to Phoenix; I tracked her flights yesterday and know she got in late and was hoping to spend the night in Diana’s room. I’m waiting for a call this morning to find out what’s going on and I’m sure second-guessing myself, whether I should have traveled with her. Diana

Revealed: I am reflecting on the fact that no matter how weary I am of this world and ready to go home to the LORD, death still stinks. I feel so bad for my mom and for Diana’s four daughters; I think of how I will feel when it’s my mom, or my sister. Jesus understood this; he tried to withdraw to be by himself when he learned of his cousin John’s death. As he approached his friend Lazarus’ tomb – even knowing that he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead – Jesus wept. My hope and prayer is that during this time of worry and fear and sorrow, my cousins turn to God for comfort and for answers and receive Him in amazing new ways.

Life Stinks #3: I opened Facebook this morning and saw photos from the yearly office holiday party last night. Only, I had never received an invitation.

Revealed: I know it was purely oversight (no malice or intentional slight) so I’m happy to observe within my self no anger or blame as I might have felt years ago. On the other hand, I’m surprised at how bummed this has made me feel. I think too much pride and too little humility is being revealed in my own heart. While I’m not glad about that fact, I am happy that I very often pray that God will search me and reveal to me the things He wants to work on with me. I feel that I am seeing that prayer answered and am more than happy to turn to Him, to trust Him, and to walk with Him on the path of His choosing.

When my dad died I had just studied this small passage and I have reflected on it often in the years since. I guess this morning is one of those times when I’m able to step back and to review my progress. I’ve come a long way, thank God! But my journey will continue until the LORD calls me home.

Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians, 5:16-18)

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It wasn’t lost on me in my last post, that I was expressing how hard I’ve tried to fight through this depression through my own power and strength.

Then today, at Adoration, I was reading Exodus 14:14:

“The LORD will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Of course. What a blessing; the LORD knows what I need to hear, and He also knows how to speak it directly to my heart, so I’m sure not to miss it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

I wonder why I struggle so much … why do I think that if I were just a little stronger, worked a little harder, had a little more patience, I could do it? I suppose it’s pride.

And if that blessing weren’t enough, at morning mass we had this reading. A 1-2 punch … my spirit is stilled and I feel better. I don’t have to fight this depression, and I’m not alone. ever.

Is 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”

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Gen 15:1  Some time after these events, this word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

I love this promise! I looked up the words “shield,” “exceeding,” “great” and “reward.” Another layer of Truth and beauty are woven in to this promise for me.

Shield H4043
מגנּה    מגן
mâgên  meginnâh
maw-gane’, meg-in-naw’
From H1598; a shield (that is, the small one or buckler); figuratively a protector; also the scaly hide of the crocodile: –  X armed, buckler, defence, ruler, + scale, shield.

Exceeding H3966
מאד
me’ôd
meh-ode’
From the same as H181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated): – diligently, especially, exceeding (-ly), far, fast, good, great (-ly), X louder and louder, might (-ily, -y), (so) much, quickly, (so) sore, utterly, very (+ much, sore), well.

Great H7235
רבה
râbâh
raw-baw’
A primitive root; to increase (in whatever respect): – [bring in] abundance (X -antly), + archer [by mistake for H7232], be in authority, bring up, X continue, enlarge, excel, exceeding (-ly), be full of, (be, make) great (-er, -ly), X -ness), grow up, heap, increase, be long, (be, give, have, make, use) many (a time), (any, be, give, give the, have) more (in number), (ask, be, be so, gather, over, take, yield) much (greater, more), (make to) multiply, nourish, plenty (-eous), X process [of time], sore, store, thoroughly, very.

Reward H7939
שׂכר
śâkâr
saw-kawr’
From H7986; payment of contract; concretely salary, fare, maintenance; by implication compensation, benefit: – hire, price, reward [-ed], wages, worth.

 

 

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