Tag Archives: SIGN OF THE TIMES

WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC LIFE? 2

authentic lifeWHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC LIFE?

An authentic life starts with a prayer: “I offer you this half hour of my swim for … who is struggling… or any other cause.” So that you “pray continuously” 1 Thessalonians 5:17  So while you are cleaning windows, you simply offer this hour of cleaning for thanksgiving for your family. You offer the actions of your life to God as a prayer. This is the secret on how the busy modern person can find intimacy with God. The interior effect of the work we do becomes more important than the exterior fruits of our work.

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Henry Thoreau in Walden Pond. We all know how people’s lives have become faster and busier every day. It seems as though many people are living merely to survive. The treatment for depression today is ten times greater than previous times.

We lose the reason why we are here: what is the meaning and purpose of our life? If we become distracted from our purpose long enough, we become miserable. Our modern life has become a distraction from our real Christian goal in life.  We either don’t know what this goal is or we cast it aside. Even worst — this goal seems to  make people uncomfortable so the goal is watered down. Ironically, if you take away the goal of the Christian life, you don’t make it easier to live — you make it harder.

You are much happier when you have a higher standard to look to and strive for. Having a meaningful goal flood your spirit with hope and fills your mind with determination.

In truth, holiness is something that God does in us and not something we achieve. God is still the perfect Gentleman.  He invites us to participate in His life, but He never forces Himself on us. He wants our consent because he desires our loving cooperation.

Those who respond to God’s call to holiness are the most joyful people on earth. They have richer, more abundant experience of life and they love more deeply than most people. They enjoy life — all of life.

How do you know that you are close to holiness? You have an insatiable desire to become all God created you to be: and unwavering commitment to the will of God and an unquenchable concern for unholy people. You are continually answering God’s invitation to grasp the moments of your life — perhaps being sensitive to a divine appointment that God has aligned for you. You tap into the grace of God, which is never lacking. In this way you are giving glory to God.AUTHENTIC LIFE

The Idolatry of Wealth and Reevaluation of Treasure

Our holiness is compatible with every state in life. Even the rich are called to live holy lives by using their wealth in productive ways that foster their own growth and the growth of others.

Idolatry? Who can tell me what that word means?” A nine-year-old’s hand shot into the air. “It’s like what some people do with money—they make it more important than God.” The wisdom of these simple words reverberated through the Sunday school classroom.

Christians are called to reject the idolization of wealth in the modern consumerist society. Instead, they are invited to make productive use of material wealth for the ministries of God.

 So long as individuals maintain a greater attachment to worldly possessions than to God, they will find it harder to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to pass through the eye of the needle.

WEALTH IS NOT GREED!

Continue reading WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC LIFE? 2

The World Problem 2

World Problem

–Bertrand Russell

THE WORLD PROBLEM

The World Bank estimates that the world problem is that a quarter of the world is chronically under nourished. It is shocking to know that this problem has been with us for centuries. This problem seems too remote for most people. Hunger continues to initiate the most violent wars. People who are out of work and are starving are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. Yet, no one truly desires anyone to suffer or starve.

A Meaningful Existence

Most of us live for tomorrow: it will be better, richer, wiser and more secure. We are all searching for something that will make our existence more meaningful. Even the ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would have to answer two questions: “Did you bring joy?” and “Did you find joy?” We truly have an obligation to be the best person that we can. Any new learning, which will aid us in obtaining that goal, will benefit  everyone. Each of us has something special to contribute. There is something that each of us can do if we are willing. Finding ways to become involved is a good beginning. We can use the time that we are given to give birth to our potential — our human trademark. We are challenged  to see new possibilities. We are living at a time of abundant new beginnings.  It is actually exciting when people come to grips with their own uniqueness as individuals. We are constantly told that nothing is free and that every investment has to have a return. Yet, over 50% of people volunteer their time at something to improve society.

An Earthly Paradise

The Buddhist tell a story of the frog lodged at the bottom of the well, which cannot  ever understand the limitless expanse of the sky. If we can only step out of our own perceptual traps, we can begin to see the beauty and goodness. An earthly paradise is not some far-off impossible destination. It can be a loving voyage in the here and now. We are responsible for creating our own paradise and the time to start the voyage is NOW.

The Save-the-World Mind Set

We are living through a period of an unprecedented social and technological change.  This rapid advancement in technology and human networks have exponentially opened up new pathways to actualizing one’s passions. People want to broadcast and express themselves and even cultivate a following. There is an increased global awareness and connections to others in remote areas. Many people do not associate helping the poor around the world as a calling from God. They think that Christianity is a laundry list of vague beliefs that have little meaning on how they spend their time. Actually, they lack a deep understanding of their faith and that following Jesus is a way of life..

Many people aspire to science-related careers. Some people assume that science has cornered the world on knowledge: things are only true when they are tested with scientific methods. There is a name for this: scientism. This thinking must not become more important than obedience to God.

Here is what Sir Isaac Newton said about his belief: “ I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” He credited his Creator with the existence of the universe. Each moment has a life upon itself with as much potential for joy and happiness as we are willing to bring to it: life is wonderful; joy is our birthright and love is what it is all about.

Love

Having more of anything other than the love for God and neighbor will leave you dissatisfied with relationships and possessions. To love is the greatest of human experience and sooner or later we discover that life without it is empty and meaningless. Love is always worth the effort. Kindness in giving creates love. Each of us bears a torch but we must keep it lit. The hope of tomorrow is that these blazing torches will provide hope for tomorrow. We want to leave the world a better place for our having to be in it.

To Build a Team

Today people don’t want to be only hearers of faith but also doers — to put feet to their faith: action on behalf of others. This is empathy: the ability to understand and take on yourself the burden of others to serve and restore God’s world. God has made all things and He is making all things new for you. So what has God called you to do in partnership with the community of Christ-followers?  How can you be on a mission in the world for Christ, based on what you are gifted to do? Continue reading The World Problem 2

THE PROPHECY 2

Prophecy

The Prophecy

The Prophecy: “It will all come about when history has been completed. God will then bring together all things in heaven and on earth under one ruler. The ruler is Christ.”                      Ephesians 1:10

The Timing and Seasons of God

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”                                                                    Corinthians 14:1

The Prophet, Isaiah, prophesied in his day 700 years before Christ: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.         Isaiah 9:6

“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”                                            Matthew 24:34

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”                                                                                                 Isaiah 55: 8, 9

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”                                                                                                                                                      2 Peter 3:8

So what is God saying to us through his Word?

“After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence.” Hosea 6:2 This means that God has a plan and a purpose in His will: a restoration and release of all things spoken of by the apostles and prophets: “for time is at hand” Revelation 22:10 “For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”                                                                     Romans 9:28

See, I am doing a new thing!

“Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 A new thing? Wow!  God is about to do things in and through His Church.

If we will hear God’s Word and believe in it, we can be God’s prophetic pioneers who will help God fulfill it. After all we are co-laborers with God. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.”                                                                                                                                              1 John 3:1-3

So Christ suffered and died for our sins so that He might bring “many sons unto glory.” Hebrews 2:10 That means that God has predestined that there will be those who will think God’s thoughts, manifest His majesty, portray His power and glorify His grace without pain and confusion. This will come about like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

 Yet every restoration brings a revolution. New wine cannot be contained in old wineskins: it will burst forth. ”They pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”                  Matthew 9:17

How will this begin?  

Continue reading THE PROPHECY 2

PRAISE WORKS 2

PRAISE WORKS

Praise and Thanksgiving

Praise and thanksgiving are often united in the same text. We enjoy being loved and thanked, as does God. God is worthy of our praise daily because of all the wonderful gifts that He gives us.

God doesn’t want groveling subjects. He wants love and friendship. Genuine praise and prayer is the act of loving. Be moved to love God with your whole heart and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.

The prayer of praise is the highest form of communion with God. It releases a great deal of power of God in our lives. There is a ladder of praise. Climb it by learning to praise God in all things. Those who make it will find a way to live in continual joy and praise on earth now — not at some distant future.
Praise Him for the mighty things He has done!                  Psalm 150:1

They must thank Him for His constant love, for the wonderful things He did for them!                                                                     Psalm 107:8 Continue reading PRAISE WORKS 2

CLOSE TO GOD 2

HOW CLOSE TO GOD DO YOU WANT TO BE?

CHRIST’S MASS: HOLY COMMUNION

The Sacrifice began in the Upper Room, where Jesus voluntarily offered Himself as the living High Priest, the victim and the Lamb of God to be sacrificed at Calvary, which took place with His death. Jesus was celebrating the Jewish Passover, where from the days of the Passover and the Exodus, the Israelites commemorated God’s words. This one “Sacrifice of Praise” (Hebrews 13: 15) transcends time with the words Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Do this, in commemoration of Me”. This is known as Holy Communion and this is where you can become close to God.Holy Communion CLOSE TO GOD

At the mass, as at the sacrifice of Calvary, Jesus Christ, God/man is offered in sacrifice. A Victim must be offered and partaken of. Our Lord, the living High Priest is standing at the altar during each consecration: “A Lamb standing, a Lamb that had been slain “(Revelation 5: 6). He shows his wounds to the Father on behalf of the assembly at mass lead by the priest so that He “might lead you to God. He was put to death insofar as fleshly existence goes, but was given life in the realm of the spirit.” (1 Peter 3: 18) So we participate with “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ “(1 Peter 2: 5). Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is with us. Christ will come again in glory.

Try to imagine the scene of the Last Supper and imagine Jesus speaking His Word to you personally and uniquely, “This is My body … this is My blood.” St. Paul writes, “Is not the cup of blessing we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10: 16). The Savior spoke of the need for us to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have life (John 6: 54). We come to the One who overcame death, the Living Lord, whom we receive. What a presence!

Historically, Jesus came to restore communion between God and man that was lost in the Garden of Eden. He came from Bethlehem (House of Bread) to Jerusalem to give us the Bread of Life. It is this “daily sacrifice” (Daniel 11: 31) and this “pure offering” (Malachi 1: 11) that brings us so close to God. What a moment! What a feeling of love and peace! What a gift from your Friend on your journey!

The Eucharist represents the presence and the absence of Our Lord. It makes the past become present to us and keeps our sights on the future.

You usually value the intimacy of human friendship. Actually the Lord Himself fills you with the love, that your heart craves. He is your faithful Companion and your most gentle and compassionate Lover. When everything seems to be against you, you still have your God. The trust in His strength is the only weapon that you need.

So we all must travel a spiritual journey — the journey of our own lifetime. The bread of life in the “daily sacrifice” is our spiritual food. For some to accept this way of thinking requires something called faith: the belief in what may appear to be the unknown: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in Me will live, even though they die: and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this? Continue reading CLOSE TO GOD 2

OTHERS WILL NOTICE THE CHANGE   2 

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I ASK GOD IN PRAYER

Prayer in itself allows us to recall that all of life is lived in the context of God’s life, and so daily commitment to prayer is essential. A minimum of five minutes in the morning puts God in charge of our thought forms throughout the day. Otherwise our mind wanders too much. The effects are cumulative not unlike physical exercise. You may not notice it but others will notice the change and respond accordingly.

Rather than saying the right words, prayer is more a matter of trying to live for the right reasons and to express this in our prayer. If we are a person who tries to be present to life, then we will find ourselves present to our prayer in just the same degree.

So why get caught up in some “religious fanaticism” that demands so much: “To you the mystery of the kingdom of God has been confided.”

The reason is because actually the load is surprisingly easy and the peace it brings is surprisingly peaceful.

We become totally immersed in faith to the extent that we become prayer. We begin to think and act differently every day because we believe. We do not relinquish anything of our lives except what is foolish, time wasting or useless. We live with eagerness, and with a possibility of adventure and joy. We wait for God in each day with urgent patience. We begin working and praying in common with other people in the church and we begin to share our faith. Continue reading OTHERS WILL NOTICE THE CHANGE   2 

Amazing Gift from God 2

NEW EARTHThunder of Justice 
           
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Everyone has an Amazing Gift from God

There are going to be some sheepish souls in heaven when they find out what gifts of God that were handed out to us during our stay on earth. The Amazing Gift of God is known as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and there are seven in number.

A recovering alcoholic discovered his gift quite by “accident”. His teenage daughter was suffering a severe virus attack with an extremely high fever. After prayer over her in the wee hours of the night she got up the next morning surprised to find that she was feeling normal enough to return to school that morning. Since then this man has spent many evenings in a church basement praying over people for their cure. He knows the “accident” was nothing more than an answer to his own prayers and trust in God.

We don’t have to be down on your last dollar to discover God. Although it seems that this is the only time when we have the courage to give the Holy Spirit the permission to come into our lives and help us to follow God’s will. Remember the Our Father Prayer “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That comes right out of the Bible when Jesus was asked how does one pray.

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GIFT of MY PEACE 2

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PEACE of GOD: A GIFT TO YOU    

Our mind is split into two: one part stays in touch with love, the other wallows in fear. The way out of fear and anxiety is through opening the mind to love. Love casts out fear the way light casts out darkness. The peace of God is a Gift to you.

At the last moment when things look the worst, God usually appears only when we bother thinking of Him — not because of some sadistic sense of humor. We thought we were waiting for Him, but He was waiting for us to begin.

In God’s world, which is the real world, the more we give, the more we have. The people who have achieved more are only a half step ahead of you in time. Bless them and their gifts.  God’s plan has room for everyone. It’s not my career and my money anymore; it is our devotion and our work.

We don’t ask God for too much; we usually ask for too little. The help might not come in the form we expect but it will come. We recognize it by how we feel: an inner peace. Continue reading GIFT of MY PEACE 2

HEALING AND GROWTH 2

HEALING AND GROWTH

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ALL EXPERIENCE CAN BE POSITIVE.

If I had damaged my spirit, I need to approach God and feel His growth of healing love. If I had broken laws or sinned, I need to change my heart, forgive myself and then move onward. If I had hurt someone, I need to start loving them – honestly – and seek their forgiveness. Repentance can be as easy or as difficult as we make it.

If we fall down again, even if it is a thousand times, we need to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving again. We’re growing more than we think. All experience can be positive.

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HEALING AND THE SPIRIT

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A JOYFUL HEART IS THE HEALTH OF THE BODY. Proverbs 17:22

The spirit in us is powerful. It can give strength to the body, ward off illness, or, once the body is sick, to cause it to heal. The spirit has power to control the mind, and the mind controls the body.

All comes from within. All misery comes from within. We can create our own spiral of despair, or we can create a trampoline of happiness and attainment. Our thoughts have tremendous power.

We do not deny the presence of the illness or problem; we simply deny its power over our divine right to remove it. We are to live by faith, not sight. Sight is involved with the analytical mind. Faith involves the spirit. To gain faith, one must practice the use of it.

The spirit communicates with God; it is the receptive device that receives insight from Him. The source of energy is God and is always there, but we must tune Him in. Continue reading HEALING AND GROWTH 2

CHRISTIAN MEDITATION 2

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“Be Still an Know that I am God”

 A strong believer in Christian meditation, Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds Him”.  

Meditation involves coming to a stillness of spirit and a stillness of body. The extraordinary thing is that, in spite of all the distractions of the modern world, this silence is perfectly possible for all of us. To attain this silence and stillness we have to devote time, energy, and love.

The way we set out on this pilgrimage is to recite a short phrase, a word that today is commonly called a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a method of drawing us away from our own thoughts and concerns. The real work of meditation is to attain harmony of body, mind, and spirit. This is the aim given us by the psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God“. In meditation we turn the searchlight of consciousness off ourselves.

In meditation we are not thinking of or imagining God at all. In meditation we seek to do something immeasurably greater: we seek to be with God, to be with Jesus, to be with his Holy Spirit. In meditation we go beyond thoughts, even holy thoughts. Meditation is concerned not with thinking, but with being. Our aim for Christian prayer is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become the reality which gives meaning, shape, and purpose to everything we are. The task of meditation, therefore, is to bring our distracted mind to stillness, silence, and concentration.

To meditate, seek a quiet place, and find a comfortable upright sitting position. Close your eyes gently. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single work. We recommend the prayer phrase “Maranatha”. It is utterly simple. Say it like this, MA-RA-NA-THA. Four equally stressed syllables. Some people say the work in conjunction with their calm and regular breathing. The speed should be fairly slow and fairly rhythmical. Continue reading CHRISTIAN MEDITATION 2