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treasure

 

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I have been thinking about this verse a lot lately as those in Louisiana deal with the aftermath of the devastating floods that have left people homeless and grieving for all they have lost. So, how much is to much? Where is that line between storing up treasures on Earth and storing up treasures in Heaven?

I guess for me, it is when you start working to support your lifestyle. Instead of enjoying life, you are working to live. You are exhausted from working to pay your bills and are to tired to enjoy life when you are off. When you have material possessions that you don’t need, but you had to have just because. When you buy, buy, buy just to stay up with a current fad. When your stuff starts to suck the life out of you and you have no time or energy left for what’s important.

You get stuck on the hamster wheel of life and don’t know how to get off. So, how much is too much?

Luke 9:3

He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.

This is what Jesus commanded the 12 to take with them. Jesus, himself, owned nothing. I’m not saying that I think Jesus wants us all to be homeless. I’m saying that Jesus wants us to live simply. He wants us to live within our means. He wants us to have the time, energy and resources to give to others who are in need. Do you really NEED that big fancy house? Do you really NEED that luxury car? Do you really NEED a 60 inch flat screen T.V. with surround sound? It is all nice to have, but is it a NEED?  Could you give up those things and give the profits to those in need?

Let the Holy Spirit guide you. If you feel the Holy Spirit is calling you to downsize then do it. Let the disaster in Louisiana lead us all into reflection on how much is to much. Let the grief of millions of people in other man-made and natural disasters challenge you to live simply. It could happen to any of us. You could lose everything you own tomorrow and there is nothing you can do about it. Is it all worth it? How can you simplify your time? How can you simplify your possessions? How can you simplify your life and have more time for the things that are important to God?

I am reflecting changes in my own life. If you would like to share what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, feel free to contact me. I would love to hear your story.

Kiowasiouxburris

 

I watched her disappear down the boarding ramp. My heart ached. As the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t help but remember when she was 2 and stuffed worms in her coat pockets. I found them when I did the laundry, all shriveled up. She still has the crack in her tooth from a stunt she tried on her bike when she was 10. Always the dare-devil, she would ride her bike down the porch steps, nearly giving me a heart attack. She ran her first half-marathon when she was 14 and finished in the top 4 percent. When she was 17, she defended a classmate who was being bullied at school. A week before her 18th birthday, she ran her first marathon. She finished just 8 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I shouldn’t have been surprised when this courageous, risk-taking, defender of justice announced that she was joining the Air Force. She had served four years of JR ROTC in high school, but had always sworn up and down that she would NEVER join the military!

Yet, there I was, my heart pounding with a mixture of pride and fear. I gave her a farewell hug, whispering, “Stay strong and trust God.” As I watch her plane take off, taking her to a far away land, I whisper the same words to my own heart, “Stay strong and trust God.”

Easier said than done. How can I trust God to protect this daughter of mine? How can I trust Him to keep her safe from harm? Matthew 10:30 tells us that God has numbered the very hairs on our head. I love my daughter with all of my heart and soul, but I have not numbered the hairs on her head. How much more must He love her, to have every hair on her head numbered? As much as I love her, He loves her so much more.

Do I still worry? I would be lying if I said I didn’t. These are troubling times. I think some worry lurks in the heart of every military mom. I remind myself that I serve a God that is in control of ALL circumstances. Nothing happens on this earth that He doesn’t know about. I pray for her safety, as she does her job as an electrician. I pray that God will keep her out of harm’s way, here and abroad. I pray that God will continue to give her courage as she serves this beautiful country that we call the United States of America. When the worry creeps in, or missing her becomes to much for me to handle, I feel the whispering of the Holy Spirit in my own heart, telling me to, “stay strong and trust God.”

 

 

love2love

 

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

There has been a phrase running through my head lately, “Love them where they are.” We, as Christians (and I’m talking about myself here too), are in a bad habit of only loving those that we perceive as being like us, or on our level. We have a tough time of loving those that we think are less lovable; Alcoholics, drug addicts, the mentally disabled, homeless, or poor. We say that we will love them when they are sober, on medication, have a home or when we don’t feel so uncomfortable around them. Our discomfort is OUR problem. We ALL have skeletons in our closets that we feel would make us unlovable. We are ALL imperfect. So, why does it cause us discomfort to love those who may be different than us? We all have sin in our lives. Is it fair of us to sit in judgement of another human being who may simply want to be loved? Is it fair of us to withhold love from one of God’s children, because he or she is not “worthy” in our eyes? We are to love one another. Period. No conditions. We are to love them where they are right now today, sin and all. Isn’t that the way God loves us? What if God decided that we weren’t “worthy” of His love? What if God decided we needed to be perfect in order for Him to love us? Fortunately, He won’t ever withhold His love from us. Jesus loved the Woman at the well in John 4, even though she had had 5 husbands and was living with a man that was not her husband. Jesus loved the woman in John 8 who had been caught in adultery. Jesus never judged anyone. Jesus was about building relationships with people where they were and encouraging them with love to be better. He encouraged them to want more for their lives than what they were living. Jesus was all about loving people where they were.

We are not in the position to love people when they are “fixed” or “living up to our standards.” We are in the position to love one another NOW. I am challenging you to reach out and love someone this week right where they are, without judgement, only with love. Open your heart and allow God to love others through you, right where they are now.

Injustice Wins

justice

 

Injustice Wins

Injustice wins…

when children are sold into slavery.

Injustice wins…

when women are beaten by their husbands.

Injustice wins…

when people are starving on the streets.

Injustice wins…

when undocumented workers live in third world conditions

in the richest nation in the world.

Injustice wins…

when single moms are forced to raise their children in poverty.

Injustice wins…

when refugees are treated like criminals.

Injustice wins…

when violence replaces compassion.

Injustice wins…

when we live in apathy.

Injustice wins…

when we are guided by our

hardened hearts.

Injustice wins…

when we refuse to feel the pain of someone else.

Injustice wins…

when we care more about our own station in life.

Injustice wins…

when our voices are silent.

providence

 

I have worked in the food service department of the Sisters of Providence for 5 years. In 2011, I started the journey to become a Providence Associate. On the day of my commitment ceremony, it all fell apart. I’m not going to go into the details of why it fell apart, but at the heart of the matter, was the simple fact that I was not ready to make that commitment. During my life, I have built walls around myself to protect my heart from the pain and heartache that life can bring. Because of those walls, I have isolated myself from the very community that I long for. I am 46 years old and have never allowed myself to have close friends. I have always been afraid that if people saw the real me, they wouldn’t want to be friends with me. I have lived with a fear of rejection all of my life. I feel the need to please people to get them to “like” me. Anytime I felt myself getting to close to anyone, I would sabotage that relationship. I push people away to protect myself.

In the last 5 years with the Sisters, I have learned that community is made up of all kinds of people with different personalities and imperfections. Community is made up of people who realize that no one is perfect and accept that in each other and they love each other just the way they are. They don’t call each other worthless when one member makes a mistake. They don’t call each other pathetic when one member has a differing opinion or does something the other person doesn’t agree with. They don’t belittle each other or hurt each other just because. The Sisters have loved me when I felt unlovable. They have loved me when I was going through tough times and was less than lovable. They have prayed for me and encouraged me and shown me that they accept me despite my many imperfections. They have made me feel like I belong.

So here it is 5 years later and I am starting the process of becoming an associate all over again. Why? Because I really feel that I belong here. I believe in the charism of the Sisters of Love, Mercy and Justice. I once thought of becoming a nun. But, I’m not Catholic and life took me down a different path. I still feel that call to religious community. It’s to late for me to become a Sister (still not Catholic, divorced, children still dependent on my care), but I can still be a part of this community of amazing, compassionate women as an associate. I can still work for justice through the ministries of the Sisters. I can still be a part of a religious community. I am terrified of tearing down the wall. I am terrified of taking the risk and letting others get to know who I am. I am terrified, but I am also ready to be transparent and let this awesome community of Sisters and associates get to know me. I am ready to start this wonderful journey and see where God leads. I am ready to trust in providence and know that I am where I am supposed to be. I am ready to stay put and not run from forming close relationships. I am ready to become a Providence Associate.

I invite you to come along on this journey with me. I want to share this journey with you, as I grow in my own relationship with God and His will for my life. I am excited to see where it takes me.

 

 

purpose

 

To read my Bibleverses.com post on purpose, click here

buildingchristiancharacterbox

 

To read this blog post on http://www.bibleverses.com, click here.

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