Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Enemy Has Made His Latest Attack...And I'm Singing

In the wake of the enemy's latest attack, my first response was depression. A horror of what's to come. Anger at the foolishness of mankind. And then I realized that, by my reaction, I was making the same mistake that many Christians make in the face of seemingly hopeless situations We inadvertently give the enemy more credit than we give God. And that's a mistake.

My God is massive. He's HUGE. In the words of the song, He is "Indescribable. Uncontainable... All powerful. Untameable." Which is why "Awestruck, we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim, You are amazing, God."

When I give glory to God for His goodness and recognize that He is the one in control, that He is all powerful, then I can get proper perspective. Too often, I think in little terms, the terms of the world around me. But in the right perspective, my troubles are so small. The government is so small. Even our world is so small compared to our humongous God.

Our prayers shouldn't be troubled, fearful whispers asking Him to save our world. They should be bold proclamations of His marvelous works. Joyful shouts telling of His unconditional love. Awestruck professions of His complete and absolute power. And song.

And I think that He is just waiting for us to turn our gazes on Him where they belong, and when we fall to our knees and humbly proclaim that our God is AMAZING, we will see the enemy recede into the darkness where he belongs. Then we will witness the power of God.

And that's why I'm singing.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Fallacy of Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness.  It's a phrase that bothers me. Every time I catch sight of a bumper sticker proclaiming these out of control impulses, I cringe.  If I replace the word random with some of its definitions, maybe you'll understand.

Accidental Acts of Kindness

I can't imagine how we can be kind accidentally. Our kindness may have unintentional consequences, such as when we are kind to the checker at the grocery store. The next person in line who witnesses our actions may feel better about the world. But we were intentionally kind to the checker in the first place.

Haphazard Acts of Kindness

This brings up images of someone stumbling around and spilling splashes of kindness paint on passersby, creating a Jackson Pollock-type world.

Hit and Miss Acts of Kindness.

While I admit that acts of kindness don't have to be accepted by the intended target, the actual act itself has to be directed at a recipient, even if it's ourselves. Try being kind to an empty room. 

So, why does this bug me? It belittles kindness by turning into some kind of tick. 

It takes an effort to be kind. It take practice. Kindness is like a muscle we develop through use. If someone cuts you off in traffic, which is more difficult? To wave your fist in the air and grumble about incompetent drivers, or to wonder if the poor soul is lost or late or frazzled and then follow with a quick prayer for the person's peace of mind? 

You have to work at being kind, especially in our knee-jerk reaction world. You have to have self-control, which requires discipline. 

We really should be kind to everyone we meet. If we practice Intentional Acts of Kindness, it could spread. We might even develop a sense of peace and a reputation as a nice person. Nice is underrated, but that's another topic.

Have you performed any Intentional Acts of Kindness?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cherry Jam and the Good Steward

My cousin, Susi, is a blue-ribbon winner at state fairs for her jams and such.  She recently sent me samples of her cherry and apricot, and boy are they worthy of awards!  She makes the apricot from the trees in her backyard.

It really is a simple process. Not making jam. Being a good Martha.

First, you recognize the gifts you have been given, like the apricot trees in the backyard.

Then, you use those gifts, just like the top guy in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.  God doesn't give us gifts so we can admire them and then forget about them. I think He's happiest when we take them and run, like Susi with her jam.

It's homemade, so it's wholesome compared to something with chemicals you would pick up in the store. It's efficient, because now you don't have to buy jam.  And it's a celebration of creation, making something wonderful out of something beautiful.

But then there is the third part, and that's sharing. Susi could have hoarded her jam and had a private taste-bud festival, but she shared her wealth with others. She shared her talent, and she shared her joy.

And let me tell you. That jam is bringing us a lot of joy.

So, the secret to being a good Martha?

  • Recognize the gifts all around you. 
  • Use those gifts. 
  • Share them with others. 

Sounds like a plan.

(I may remind Susi of this when I run out of jam.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Walking Through The Rosary Meditation Guide

As I've matured in prayer, my Rosaries have gone from concentrated recitations of the prayers to personal meditations on the mysteries. I often apply the particular mystery to the challenges I'm facing for the day, and I've found great peace and solutions by doing so.

For example, if I'm worried about finances and the mysteries for the day are the Joyful Mysteries, then focusing on how Mary had complete trust in God during the scary times can really help. Or if I've been struggling with something I don't really want to do, knowing that Jesus followed the Father's will and was baptized by John, even though it wasn't necessary, helps put things into perspective.

I compiled some general meditations into a book, Walking Through The Rosary, and it's finally available on Amazon. I plan more books, such as meditations for brides and meditations on the Our Lady of Sorrows Chaplet.I like the Kindle cover shown here. The paperback has a different cover.

I originally came up with it as an addition to the Rosary decade bracelets I make, and I think it's pretty cool

Has meditating on the Rosary helped you to solve problems?