Friday, February 20, 2009

Standing Up For Our Father

"...Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." Mark 8:38

I listen to a Country Worship CD quite often and there is a song on there called "I Can Only Imagine" by Emerson Drive. It's a very heartfelt song that expresses wonder about what we will do when we are face-to-face with our Lord. Will we stand or will we bow? Will we sing or will we be silent? I can't even imagine what it will be like to be able to see our Father, in all of His perfect glory. Talk about a humbling experience.

That experience won't happen though if we don't live our lives here on Earth according to Him. Jesus is telling us that if we express shame in this life of Him and don't speak His truths, then He will be ashamed of us when we face His Father. And rightfully so! He suffered greatly for us. He put Himself out there to be scrutinized for us and our eternal life. How can we turn around and deny Him or hide our faith in Him?

But believe me, I have done it. It hurts to say it, but I've definitely done it. Sometimes it can be embarrassing to say you are religious nowadays. It used to be the norm, but now we are considered crazy, rule-following snobs. It's that hate that scares me. I don't know what these other people, obviously overtaken by Satan, will do! But God will be glorified in our truths, in our ability to speak out for Him and the path He has laid out for us.

So how will you speak up for God the next time you are faced with shame or fear of your religious convictions?

Lord, I believe in you wholly. Please help me to shake off my sin and stand up with You.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Human Thinking

"Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Mark 8:33

What does it mean to think as a human being? Well, I'm not really sure how to put this into words, but I can put in an example here.

I was talking with a good friend of mine, about a week ago I guess, and we were talking about why people leave the Catholic church. And she had just learned of an insight from someone else about this. A lot of times, people leave the Church because they don't like the priest, or they don't like all the rules. I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are all human reasons for leaving the Church. The examples I listed here are not guided by God, they are guided by Satan.

Satan will do everything in his power to keep us from getting closer to God and doing what we need to here on Earth to be with Him eternally in Heaven. We must be conscious of those efforts and tell him to get behind us! Tell him to get out of the way! Stand up and fight those human urges guided by Satan to deny God and His Word.

Have you recognized events in your life where you let Satan guide you in human responses rather than with Godly ones? How will you resist those temptations in the future?

Lord, when Satan gets in my face, help me to put him behind me so I can follow Your ways.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to Him a blind man and begged Him to touch him. Mark 8:22

"Mommy, do you need a hug today?" Those are the words of my soon-to-be seven-year-old sweetheart of a daughter. And every time she asks me, of course I say, "YES!" It's very healing. She typically asks me if I'm having a tough day with them. You know how it is. The hormones kick in and the kids are just on your last nerve?! And then I get a hug. It just all seems to melt away and I remember how much I love my babies. And this behavior passes on to my younger children and my four-year-old son will ask me if I need a hug too.

Touch is so very powerful. And I never thought about how touch is all through Jesus' teachings. That's how He healed, is through touch. That's how we can heal each other, is through touch. We are afraid to touch each other nowadays, and I am one of them that is afraid, or maybe I should say, cautious. We don't want to invade the others' personal space. And to be honest, some of us just aren't touchy kind of people! But just the touch of someone's hand on your shoulder or your hand, says something, doesn't it? It tells you that that person cares about you. Touch makes things more personal between us human beings and it can have that therapeutic affect, just like Jesus.

How will you reach out and touch your brothers and sisters today?

Lord, teach me to touch my brothers and sisters as You did.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts not hardened? Mark 8:17

Jesus warns His disciples against the actions of the Pharisees. He warns them not to get caught up in their ways and in their doubts about Jesus and His power. The Pharisees do not realize why He says these things. They think it is because they did not bring bread as they were told.

Jesus did a lot of teaching when He was here on Earth. He taught for about 3 years and there was a lot to teach us in that short period of time. So when His followers didn't listen to everything He told them, I can imagine He may have gotten a little frustrated.

But we all still need reminders don't we? We all have times where we need to be reminded to stay on the right track. I know I do! We fall off the bandwagon. We skip a prayer now and then, and then that prayer time is gone and we have to get it back. We start gossiping about others, being jealous of what others have, or disrespecting our parents. These are all human characteristics, but they are all works of the devil too. And it's human nature to get caught up in that and forget His ways. And our lives are different when we give in to those temptations isn't it? I know for me my thoughts are more clouded and my irritability increases. That's my little reminder that I have gotten off track.

The important thing though is that we come back to Him and His commandments.

So how are you reminded that you have fallen away from our Lord? How do you get yourself back on track?

Lord, I feel so much better when I follow Your teachings. Help me to stay on Your path.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Seeking Signs

[Jesus] sighed from the depth of His spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign?" Mark 8:12

So why do we? Why do we seek signs from our Lord? I know for me it's because I want to know I'm doing the right thing. I want to know that I'm making the choices He wants me to make. Then when I get a sign, I wonder if it's His sign, or if it's the devil. It can be so confusing!!

So then I sit back and think about it some more. The outcome of our decision may not come right away. As long as it stays consistent with His commandments, we must make our decision and just do it! I'm a very impatient person though, so waiting to see what is going to happen is not easy. I want to see those results right away.

I was recently finishing my book by Mother Angelica and she talks about getting into projects without figuring out the details (like if she's going to have enough money). She said that when money got tight, she would get some sort of big donation and all would be well. Her efforts were rewarded and supported by our Lord, so He paved the way for her success.

Now I'm not saying to go out and buy a house without knowing whether or not you can afford it. But He will clear the path for our success if it is in His plan.

So what is on your mind today? What do you have to decide to do? How will you wait for His signs?

Lord, I want to do Your will. Please be with me as I make my decisions today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Let Go of the Reins

But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it [the tree] your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad. Genesis 3:4-5

I feel like I'm in English class sometimes when I read the Bible. This particular passage in particular because the whole scenario of Adam and Eve is one big metaphor. The tree that Eve was tempted to try the fruit from is a reminder to us that the devil is out there tempting us all the time with promises of power. He wants us to think that power and control over our lives comes from us, and not with God.

I lived for a long time thinking, and trying very hard, to control my life. I was making decisions based on the life that I wanted to live. I wanted my life to be what I wanted it to be. I wasn't considering God's wants. And do you think it was a happy and good time of my life? NO!! It was full of turmoil and fighting with family and friends. The devil loves that and will let you go at that.

But when I relinquished that control to Him, and let Him guide me in the direction He had planned for me, things became easier. Everything seemed to fall into place and it all was truly starting to make sense. It's not easy giving up that control, don't get me wrong. We all want to feel like we have control over our lives. But really, it is God who has a special plan for us.

So how are you going to relinquish that control today?

Lord, I want to live by Your way. Take the reins of my life and show me Your plan for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From the Rib

The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that He had taken from the man. Genesis 2:22

God created us women from man's rib. Some may say that makes us less than man, but I couldn't DISagree more. God created man first. When he saw that this man was lonely, He created many other creatures in order to provide him with a suitable partner. The man named all the creatures, but none of them proved to be suitable.

So God put him into a deep sleep and created woman.

Did you notice the use of the word "partner" here? Man and woman are partners. We were given different qualities so that we could work together. Man is not meant to be woman, and woman is not meant to be man. We each have qualities about us that enable us to live together and raise children and to be able to participate in society.

It's hard to work with someone who is just like you isn't it? If you both want control, the partnership doesn't work. If you both want the other one to make all the decisions, the partnership doesn't work. That's why God set man as head of the household. It doesn't mean that women are any less than them, just that we have different, but also important, roles.

So how will you show your spouse that you want to follow God's order today?

Lord, I realize that you created us in Your image. Please stay with me and help me to be that for You so that I may have a happy, healthy family.