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REFLECTION: God’s Feelings

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

More often than not, God speaks to me through the scripture reading which another quotes from the Bible.  Last Saturday, many of us gathered at St. Mary’s Parish for Adoration and to worship and to praise God.  Roy, the master of ceremonies, quoted from Hosea 10:11-12.  That particular reading didn’t speak  to me then, but I thought it would be good to reflect on it the following day.

Once again, that particular scripture didn’t speak to me, but I continued reading until something “spoke”.  I began in Chapter 10 on verses 11 and 12, but by the time I reached Chapter 11, my pen was out and I had begun to underline one sentence after another.   To my surprise, I kept on until Chapter 14!

Have you ever wondered how God feels?  Read on.

When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called My son out of Egypt.   The more [the prophets] called to them, the more they went from them; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to the graven images.  Yet I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms or taking them up in My arms, but they did not know that I healed them.   I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them as one who lifts up and eases the yoke over their cheeks, and I bent down to them and gently laid food before them.

They shall not [literally] return into [another bondage in] the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be their king because they refused to return to Me.  And the sword shall rage against and fall upon their cities and shall consume the bars of their gates and shall make an end [of their defenses], because of their own counsels and devices.

My people are bent on backsliding from Me; though [the prophets] call them to Him Who is on high, none at all will exalt Him or lift himself up [to come to Him].

How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I surrender you and cast you off, O Israel!  How can I make you as Admah or how can I treat you as Zeboiim [both destroyed with Sodom]!

My heart recoils within Me; My compassions are kindled together.  I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not bring back Ephraim to nothing or again destroy him.  For I am God and not man, the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in wrath or enter into the city.   Hosea 11:1-9 Amp

But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt.  You shall acknowledge no God but me,  no Savior except me.  I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat.  When I fed them, they were satisfied;  when they were satisfied, they became proud;  then they forgot me.   Hosea 13:4-6 Amp

Notice anything?  Although they are chapters apart, the two Scripture readings flow into each other.  Notice anything else?  God’s love for His people is immense and oh so extensive.

The individuals mentioned in the passage are the descendants of Abraham.  Israel, originally named Jacob by his parents, was Abraham’s grandson.  He was the second son born to Isaac. Isaac, the son miraculously born to Abraham and Sarah in their senior years; the very same son Abraham was willing to sacrifice when God put him to the test.  Ephraim is Jacob’s grandson.  He was the son of Joseph, the youngest of 12 brothers who was thrown into a dry well and then sold into slavery in Egypt.

Did you notice God’s relationship with them?  He loved Israel in his youth and took him out of Egypt (slavery to sin); it was He who taught Israel’s grandson to walk (in faith)!   From one generation to the next (5 generations), He was with them.  He took them into His arms; He healed them; He led them and loved them; He lifted the yoke (bondages) from their mouths and He fed them.  How much more intimate could He get?  And yet, the more He called (through the prophets), the more they turned their backs on Him.  They continued to turn to and worship other gods.  Although they were taught to worship the “One on high”, no one exalted Him.

As you read, some may have become frustrated and exasperated by the lack of gratitude and callousness of God’s children.  Unfortunately and sadly, not only does the story recount the lives of Abrahams’ descendants, but it tells our story as well.  Did you turn your back on God during your adolescent and/or early adult years?  Have your children and grandchildren done likewise?  We quickly forget the blessings we have been given, often times assuming God’s obligation to send them our way, but instead, we focus on our trials and how God appears to have failed us.

Did He really fail us?  How could He, if we’ve barely known Him all these years?  We may know His name and know of Him through the teaching of others, and yet, can we say we know him… personally?

God clearly recognized something.  He said, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”  Sound familiar?  Notice how we turn and plead with God when we need something, but not long after, we forget what He had done and we go off our worldly way until the next time a desperate need arises?

God finally expresses His anger, but very quickly, He realizes… “My heart is turned over within Me, all My compassions are kindled.  I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again.”  His gentleness… His mercy… His love rises far above His anger.  He exclaims,For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.  They will walk after the Lord, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west.  They will come trembling like birds from Egypt and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord.” Hosea 11:8-11 Amp

Time after time, God’s mercy triumphs over His judgement and yet, sadly, He notices… “Ephraim surrounds Me with lies and the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is also unruly against God, even against the Holy One who is faithful.” Hosea 11:12 Amp

Our God is a God of second chances.  Through generations, multitudes have turned their backs on Him, and yet He repeatedly gives us chance after chance.  Have you wondered why?

“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:8-9

God bless,

Melissa – July 29, 2014

REFLECTION: When time stood still…

Friday, July 11th, 2014

I would have missed it had a friend not sent an e-mail asking about the funeral Mass of Mama Ho this morning.  Mama Ho was the 88 year old mother of friends of mine.  We didn’t speak much, but we always greeted each other with a nod and a smile.  Although she didn’t understand English, she seemed to be a regular at many of our charismatic gatherings, clapping along as we worshipped and praised God in song.   As her granddaughter described her this morning, Mama Ho was like the shadow of her daughter, Cecilia.

The call to intercede for her health came on June 14 and on July 2nd, our Father took her Home.  She had cancer and during the most part, she wasn’t even aware she was sick.  In truth, her battle only lasted 18 days!  It was quick!  As we celebrated her Resurrection Mass, a terminology chosen by officiating Fr. Peter Chang, I thanked God for preventing her from suffering long and for also allowing her family their chance to bid her farewell.  Deep down within, I and I believe many others knew that God would protect her.  In fact, many of us were quite surprised that she had fallen ill.  It is a known fact that everyone would die, but I am not sure why the element of surprise was there.

I had returned home at 10:35 this morning and after realizing her Resurrection Mass was today, I had sped out of our home at 10:44.  As I dressed, I had thanked our Father for giving me a chance to catch at least a portion of her service and to pay Mama Ho my respects.  As I drove, my eye kept checking the clock on the car’s dashboard.   To my surprise, the clock seemed to have stuck on 10:47.  I was tempted to strike the clock as I asked, “Lord, did time stop?”  It seemed like a while before the digit finally changed to 8 and by that time, I was already parking at St. Stephen’s Parish!

As I shared this incident with a few others afterwards, Cecilia, another friend, commented that she, too, had told our Father the same thing earlier this morning as she headed for the Resurrection Service.   Time has never “stopped” for me before and I believe time has never “stopped” for Cecilia either.  I’m not sure what was going on, but somehow I sense God had a twinkle in His eyes as He ensured we got to the Church on time.

Fr. Peter mentioned that family and friends would experience sadness when Mama Ho’s presence was missed.  However, the joy  that radiated out of Alfred, Cecilia and Eliza as they attended St. Stephen’s Prayer Group the day after her passing cannot be overlooked.  Without a doubt, that joy is a true and living testimony of the great faith this family has in the living God.

Until we meet again Mama Ho.

God bless,

Melissa – July 10, 2014

 

 

REFLECTION: The mental torment

Monday, July 7th, 2014

My intent was to assist.   Instead, I caused harm.   I apologized immediately and sincerely when the error was brought to my attention and I asked our Father to correct the wrong.  “Father, I trust in You.  PLEASE cause all things to work together for good for the one I had wronged.”  I intended good and I sincerely wanted to help, but unfortunately, I lacked wisdom because I had failed to ask our Father for guidance.

But the torment continued.  Accusing thoughts began to bombard me and I wanted to run.  But where was I to run if my thoughts continued to follow me?  There was no way to disconnect from the accusing thoughts.  I ran to our Father and I asked what I was supposed to do.  I “ran” further as I drove to the Mall to do some errands and just as I entered the parkade , the big blow came.  “You have to pay.  You can’t get away by just saying you’re sorry!”

“Pay?  PAY?!?”  By then I realized, without a doubt, I was being tormented by a spirit.  It was time to do battle.  “Jesus paid the price for my sin.  He paid the price by dying on the cross once and for all.” I declared out loud.  “I rebuke you spirit of torment and all other spirits in Jesus’ name.”

My mind was quiet for a while as my mind was distracted by the sidewalk sale (shopping therapy?) but my emotional well-being was still shaken.  Having brought my laptop and Bible along for an intended quiet time, our Father prompted me to sit and write at the food court.  “Be still and know that I am God.” He reminded me.  Accusing thoughts came and went, but God’s grace prevented me from entertaining them further.  Then, out of the blue, an acquaintance came forward in the middle of the food court and asked, “You’re not sending me an e-mail, are you?”  “Not at the moment”, I replied.  He was receiving more than he could manage and so I asked if he wanted his name deleted from the mailing list.  His first reply was “yes” but he immediately added, “Send the odd one.”  I thanked him and we bade goodbye.  Then my mind began to roll… again.  “Lord, where did that come from?  Are you telling me to stop transcribing, writing and sending e-mail?”  Condemning thoughts came and doubts began to rise once again.

This time, our Father prompted me quickly to my intended destination, one of the “golden arches”, where we normally spend our time together.  He reminded me of the book I had brought along and I sensed Him say, “Read.   Just read and learn.”  I opened the book and these words immediately caught my attention, “Naturally the good people are the Devil’s first target.  They often find themselves in temptations which confront them when they least expected.”.  Comfort and understanding came with that and as I then reached for my Bible, a random slip of paper tucked within caught my eye.  It was the prayer for putting on the full armour of God!   And so I prayed…

“I will be strong in the Lord and, in the strength of his might, I put on the full armour of God, that I may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil; for my struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, I take up the full armour of God that I may be able to resist evil (personal sin and the attack of the enemy) and, having done everything, to STAND FIRM.  I gird my loins with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, and shod my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.  In addition to all, I take the shield of faith, with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.  I take the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, with all prayer and petition.  I will pray at all times in the Spirit, I pray that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth to make known the boldness the mystery of the Gospel.  In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.”

Several days have passed since this event and I continue to reflect on what had happened.  I’ve never experienced an attack this strong!  A brief chat with an older and wiser friend (Lennie David) disclosed the torment she endures when she prepares conferences and seminars for our Lord.  She then reminded me of the great need to pray for our Priests and for others doing our Father’s work.

Hosea 4:5-7 comes to mind.  “You shall stumble by day, the prophet also shall stumble with you by night…  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge…”  In his teachings, Fr. John Hampsh has repeatedly warned his listeners to be prepared for the times of tribulation.  In truth, I was not prepared for this attack.  I repeatedly stumbled and I ran, I failed to stand firm.  I had learned a lot from Fr. Hampsh’s teachings, but they remained head knowledge.  Perhaps God had allowed this trial to come my way to test if I was ready.  Are you?

God bless,

Melissa – July 7, 2014

p.s. – Thought you should know that God is faithful and He has provided for the individual I was attempting to assist.  Thank YOU Lord!

Reflection in the Garden: The uprooted shrub

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

I pulled out a healthy shrub several weeks ago and had forgotten about it.  I encountered it again a few days ago in a terminal state and I was afraid I would have had to toss it out.  It wasn’t one that grew from a seed packet.  In fact, it was among a group of others I had chosen as a special purchase a year before.  It cost some and so it had greater value than one that could be readily replaced.   Noticing some remnants of green on its foliage, I quickly dug a hole, replanted it and gave it a healthy dose of water.  I’ve been visiting it and attempting to nurture it for a few days now, but nothing seems to be happening.  Nevertheless, I continue to water and pray, asking our Father to bring it back to life.

Is the life of a shrub too petty for God to be concerned about?  I don’t think so.  I noticed my efforts were based on my discretionary attachment.  However, I believe God doesn’t play favourites and He is concerned with the life of all.  (Does this include the mosquitoes, Lord?  Sorry Lord, I just had to ask.)

I asked our Father what I could learn from this and gradually, I began to see.  The shrub was still in the same surroundings as all the others.  The sun still shined above, the rain still poured and the soil still remained beneath it.  All the shrubs remained healthy except for the uprooted one.  What was wrong?  Didn’t they receive the same nourishments?  Yes they did!   The difference was the roots of the uprooted one remained on the surface and it was exposed to the elements.

Our Father began to reveal that a similar thing takes place in the spiritual world.  Many of us are like the shrub.  In our younger years, our parents brought us to Church and they and a few others taught us about our faith walk.  Although we rebelled some, we were nourished, protected and unknowingly, we grew.  Unfortunately, as adulthood came around, many of us chose to rebel.  We uprooted ourselves from our faith foundation and we exposed ourselves to the ways of the world.  We may have still been exposed to the same elements as those who walk closely with God.  We attend Mass… seasonally.   The Bible is still part of our library and over the years, it has accumulated interesting layers of dust.  We pray, some… especially when we need a favour from God.  We get “nourishment”, in a limited sense, but it remains limited because we are not rooted and grounded in the way which allows us to grow.

Father God, thank you for the many lessons you teach us from nature.  You, alone, know the state that we’re at.  We ask for your grace to renew our faith in You and we give You permission to be our friend.  Many say that You are real.  Show us that you are real.  In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – June 24, 2014

REFLECTION: That was definitely God…

Monday, April 14th, 2014

 

Yesterday, I received the 3rd part of a L..O..N..G e-mail sent from someone who was not pleased with me.  I was surprised she had decided to contact me as she had asked me not to send her anything further since November, last year.  In truth, she had attacked me and I was taken aback.  I had not made contact for almost 5 months and somehow, something triggered her memory and I was now under her scrutiny.  My first reaction was to slash back and to block her from my site.  God thought differently and gave me the grace to act accordingly.

After I completed responding, I re-read what I had written and immediately I knew that was definitely God.  There are many times when anger bubbles within, but when I offer the reigns back to God, He manages to soften the rough edges and He manages to turn angry words into love.  Thought I’d share His latest transformation…

May the peace of Christ be with you.
 
Based on your request some time in November of last year, you clearly specified that you no longer wanted to receive any e-mail from me because of the limited storage on your phone. I am surprised you have not deleted my previous e-mail to give you more storage capacity.  Perhaps that would be a solution for you?

Rest assured that parts 1 and 2 of your e-mail have not been 
lost.  I have received all 3 parts in total now. Your efforts have NOT been wasted and I have read and reflected on your comments.
 
I have prayed about what you have written and I would like to address some things.  You wrote… The Church, (us,) is falling apart around us, and people are not seeing it.  Are you? And…do you not see wolves around you in sheep’s clothing?  Where is the compassion shown that you are writing about in the Missions you attend?  I had told you that  my cell phone is not adequate, not enough space, and  poor communication, can’t download or view docs, etc.  and you! got insulted!   Went into a snit.

I personally do not believe the Church is falling apart.  We all go through trials 
and it is evident, the Church is being shaken too.  To me, this is a good thing as we need to clearly see what is going on.  

Do you remember the parable of the farmer who had wheat seeds planted in his 
field and then later, the enemy had planted weed seeds among them?  The workers had asked the farmer if they should pull out the weeds and he said “no”.  His reason was so that the wheat would not be accidentally pulled out with the weeds.  He also mentioned that at the end, the wheat would be separated from the weeds.
 
The Catholic church is made of living human beings.  Although it is made up of beings who believe that Jesus died for their sins and He rose from the dead to free us from perpetual death, we are still humans.  We still have the capacity to fall but we also have the capacity to change.  God has not instructed the Church to cut off all the weeds from itself.  Otherwise there would be no one left because we ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  It is only as we daily and moment by moment submit to God and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to live victoriously.  God wants everyone to be saved and so He has been very patient with mankind.  He gives us chance after chance to repent and live fully in His grace.
 
Yes, I agree with you that there are wolves around us wearing sheep clothes.  They have been around for a long time.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of discernment so we can recognize them.  However, these “wolves” are still human and so we are still called to love  them, just as Jesus loved the Pharisees.  We are called to pray for them  (love your enemies and pray for them).  If we choose to respond with God’s love, perhaps the kindness and love we offer them will open their spiritual eyes
and they will eventually turn around.  Isn’t that the way our Father deals with us?  I thank God for His patience and His overflowing love and grace because I know I fall repeatedly.  I am also thankful our Father gently picks me back to my feet and He helps me walk once again.  Because of His continued love for me, my desire to walk His way towards eternity grows.
 
I am sorry you do not feel compassion and empathy flowing through me.  I do apologize for that.  Thank you for praying for me and yes, please pray that God will bless me with more of each.  I do need every bit of prayer lifted up for me to walk in His ways.

 

I am sorry you felt that I went into a snit.  I don’t think I did, but it is apparent you felt I did.  My comment was that I was surprised of the way you had asked me to stop sending you e-mail.  I had thought you would ask in a kind, gentle manner.  In fact, I was surprised of the rash manner in which you did it and hence my comment.  Once again, may the peace of  Christ be with you.

You write well and you have a lot of potential.  Use it to build up others.  I believe that would bring so much joy within as you minister and bring healing to others.
 
I am sorry to hear about your ribs and about your recent fall.  I am also sorry to hear about your cat.  I will ask our loving Father to send His blessings and graces your way.
 
Please note that I work from a laptop.  I do not have the same fancy phone that you have.  I still use a flip-up phone from the yester-years.  Hence I only have access to Wi-Fi in selective places.  I am typing at McDonald’s now and although they have Wi-Fi, I still cannot access it.  
 
Once again, may God’s peace be with you.  Please, when you have time, delete the extensive e-mail I have sent you in the past.  They do not seem to benefit you and so there is no reason to have them in storage.
 
Now, wouldn’t you agree that was definitely God?  May our Father continue to give us the grace to seek Him even BEFORE we have time to react.  I know that when you do, you, too, will be able to say “THAT WAS DEFINITELY GOD!”
God bless,
Melissa – April 13, 2014
1) Parable of the Wheat and Weeds – Matt 13:24-30
“Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.  But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.  When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’  “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.  “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.  “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.  Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
2) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” - Romans 3:23

3)   ”The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”-
 2 Peter 3:9
4)  Love for Enemies – Matt 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

 

REFLECTION: Are you talking or walking THE WALK?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

 

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Son of God…  Do you recognize these titles of Jesus of Nazareth?  If he wanted to, one would expect that he could have chosen to walk in the path of royalties, but instead, he chose to walk and to sup with tax collectors, the outcasts and the other visible sinners… the very ones the elders, chief priests and scribes turned their backs on.

Where do you walk and with whom do you walk with?  Has the financial status of your family determined who you choose to associate with?

In his public life, we learn of Jesus casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead and calming the wind and sea with his spoken word.  One could assume that if He had wanted to, Jesus could have spoken one single word and mankind’s heart and the generations to come would have instantly been reunited with the Father’s heart.  But that was not the path Jesus had chosen.  He was aware that the Father had given mankind the gift of freely choosing to follow Him.  He knew that a word spoken would not and could not accomplish what the Father had called Him to do. A single word or even multiple words would not suffice to reveal the unconditional and expansive love of the Father.  Jesus realized that speaking of God’s love was not enough.  He realized He needed to demonstrate love in order to draw them back to the Father’s heart.

Jesus lived love and He was love.  Repeatedly, He denied himself of His entitled status.  As He walked with and among His people, He responded to each as if he/she was the only person before him; lovingly responding so the individual realized that he/she had value, self-worth and he/she was truly love.

Do you know the names of the individuals you encounter on a daily basis?  Do you walk by them, looking the other way and hence not acknowledging their presence?  How do you treat those within your family?  Do you vocalize your love and yet your actions “speak” contrary to what you say?  Do you truly see the person you speak to, recognizing his need to be heard, understood and acknowledged?  Or do you half-heartedly listen out of politeness without realizing and recognizing the hurts and needs of the other?

As His journey on planet earth drew to an end, Jesus denied himself to the utmost, taking on physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual anguish in the form of all the sins of mankind upon himself, as He was nailed on the cross, and then he died.  But in three days, through the power of the Holy Spirit, nothing could stop Jesus from rising again, forever conquering death so that He was, is and will forever be The Way, bridging mankind back into His Father’s heart!

Before he returned to the Father in Heaven, Jesus called and commissioned each of His followers to share how their encounter with Him had transformed them and to share this good news with the rest of the world.  Just as he did, He invites each of us to demonstrate the gesture of our love by voluntarily dying to self, setting aside our self-centred desires, motives and passions as we pick up our cross, making room for the needs of others to rise above our own, so that the overflow of His love that had healed and transformed us, can flow THROUGH us and heal and transform another.

Father God, by our own strength, it is so difficult to set aside our personal needs and desires and to put the needs of another before our own.  We ask for your grace and strength to do this Lord and we freely choose to give you permission to use us as your channels of love, joy, peace and hope.  In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – March 6, 2014

p.s. – Luke 9:22-25

22 He said, ‘The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests andscribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

23 Then, speaking to all, he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.

24 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it.

25 What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self?

REFLECTION: Whose hand?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

 

In the midst of our discussion, my heart palpitated.  I’m not sure what triggered it.  Perhaps caffeine and I no longer see eye to eye?  Nevertheless, as we continued, my “clock” ticked a little harder, a little louder and a lot faster than it normally should.  I grabbed the hand beside me, hoping it would calm me down some and later on, as the DVD teaching began, I longed to grab for another.

Just as I was about to grab the nearest hand (that was your hand Jack!), I sensed our Father say, “Whose hand are you grabbing for?”  I realized it was His hand I should be reaching out for because it is only His which could bring me peace.  Giving Him my concerns and discomfort, peace gradually filled my being and He then prompted me to move to the back of the room where I was able to stand.

How beautiful it is to be able to call out to another to silently pray for me.  As I asked one after another within the room to intercede, His love began to surround me.  Unknown to others, a long extended hug came with prayer as the teaching continued and then a little later, even though I didn’t ask her for prayer, a special calming tea was brought by another.  In such a short time span, our Father had showed me that I no longer was alone in my temporary trial and He had sent forth His earthly angels to minister to me.

It was so beautiful to witness how quickly our Father stepped in to look after His child.  As always, He leaves it to our free will to invite Him into the situation and when we do, He takes care of the rest.

Whose hand will you be reaching out for when trials come your way?  May our Father give each the supernatural grace to reach out to Him.

God bless,

Melissa – February 21, 2014

p.s. – Thank You Lord for answered prayer and thank you so much to the 4 who had responded so beautifully.  I am so blessed.

REFLECTION: Did you miss Christmas?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

 

 

Did you miss Christmas?  In the hustle and bustle of the festivities, did Christmas slip by?  In the midst of the activities, a passer-by had asked, “Are you ready?”  I looked at her with a momentary puzzlement, attempting to discern the depth of her question, and then with a smile, I answered “yes”.  But was I truly ready for Christmas?

During one of his homilies, Fr. Xavier had mentioned that the season of Advent was a time to prepare for Christmas.  The first 2 weeks was to prepare for the arrival of the Jesus’ birth and the latter two were to prepare for Him in our hearts.  Had I actually prepared my heart?  By then, the decorations were up and the tree was trimmed and lighted.  But, what about MY HEART?  I asked our Father and this is what I sensed Him say…  “If Christmas is truly the celebration of my Son’s birth, would anyone be ready for His second coming if I sent Him again on Christmas?”  I didn’t reply, but the heaviness and grief in my heart spoke clearly… “No Lord.”

Year after year, we celebrate Christmas, but as we do, have we been swayed from celebrating Jesus’ willing decision to come down to earth as a human to bring mankind back to the Father (the Creator), but instead focus on the material (the created)?  Multiple religious activists in North America are attempting to obliterate the name of Christ in the seasonal celebration.  Will the obliteration of the word “Christmas” eventually obliterate the true celebration in the memories and in the hearts of the people?

How will God find our hearts when Christmas rolls in again at the end of the year?  Will he find us no different than where we were last year?  Will we wait for Advent to come around again before we make a change?  Only the Father knows when Jesus will return a second time and by that time, it’ll be too late to change.

Lord, please give us the grace to develop an intimate relationship with You.  Help us to realize how much You love us and help us to share the overflow of that love with our neighbours. And Father, please give us the grace to ALWAYS be ready for Jesus’ return.  IN Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – January 21, 2014

REFLECTION: Joshua’s Fight for Life

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

 

At 1:16 p.m. on September 5, 2013, Joshua “Ughchicken” recreated his Facebook page “Joshua’s Fight for Life”.   At 3:49 p.m. he posted…

“Hello everyone my name is Joshua and I am 14 yrs. old. I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, that’s right cancer in Dec. 2009 right after my 11 th birthday. My first chemo was in Dec 18, 2009 by New Years eve I had lost 15 pounds because I could not stop throwing up and was not able to eat so they placed a tube through my nose into my stomach and that was how I was getting all my nutritional intake for the next ten months while I was getting chemo. I was getting four different types of chemo.

I also had radiation five days a week for six weeks with the chemo it made me really sick. I had to stay in the hospital for two months. I was so bored but most of the time I was sleeping because of all the medication they gave me so I will stop throwing up and also for the pain.

I was in remission for 15 months …I was very happy that I would not have to take the chemo again but unfortunately in January 2012 my cancer came back. This time my oncologists did not have cure for me so I had to take different kinds of chemo to see if it made the cancer go away . I had a 14 hour surgery to take it out in June 2012 then I had to have radiation five days a week for four weeks . The surgeons thought they were able to get all the cancer away but again it came back in April 2013.

This time the only thing they could do was chemo to stop it from growing. I get tired easily so I usually stay home which can get really boring so I play xbox and go on my laptop alot. I also like my legos it keeps me busy.”

At 4:47 p.m., in response to his post, Sasha Pemberton replied “Always here josh I wouldn’t want a 14 year old getting upset every couple of minutes bcause of a dreadful disease so always here if u need me mate:)xxxxx”  I am not sure if they knew each other, but it was so good and loving of Sasha to stand with Josh.

Joshua died on October 23, 2013… 44 days short of his 15th birthday.  During his funeral service, Fr. George had mentioned that his family was an example of steadfastness, never leaving Joshua’s side from the onset of his cancer 4 ½ years earlier.  “In the midst of pain and great suffering and in a state of hopelessness, his parents had great faith in Josh and in God… the latter who sustained them through.”

Fr. George spoke of the time he visited Joshua at Children’s Hospital.  He mentioned seeing him curled up and coughing like an old man, with Cheryl by his side.  Unable to bear the pain elicited by what he saw, his visit was cut short.  Angry and upset as he began his 70.6 plus kilometers drive back home, Fr. George mentioned that God began to reveal that Someone else had set a previous pattern for us.  2000 years ago, there was a sinless Son, Jesus, who endured intense and immense pain with His mother by his side.

Fr. George mentioned that “God did not answer our prayers.” as Joshua’s cancer progressed.    Nevertheless, he shared that “right to the end, Joshua came to Mass, even with the cancer protruding from his mouth.  Joshua never failed to receive Communion.  That was a testimony of this young boy’s faith.”

Fr. George recounts visiting with Joshua 2 days after he gave him his last rites.  Joshua was sitting on the couch as if nothing had happened… as if he had recovered.  Fr. George adds, “It makes no sense to humans if we only focus on this world.”  He reminded us of the Scripture reading from Ecclesiastes 3 where there is a time for everything.  It appears as if there is no meaning in life, but in the end, the tone changes.  God has put timelessness (eternity) into the hearts of man.  Jesus beautifies us like gold for the Father.  He prepares us for the time beyond.

Fr. George then referred to 2 Timothy 4:6-8 “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me — the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.”

“Perhaps his death reminds us of the cancer of the soul.”   He then quoted “…consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18  “We conquer all through Jesus Christ who loves us.  Joshua has conquered all that he as been called to conquer in his life.”

Before we bade Joshua farewell, his beautiful mother, Cheryle, shared the many antics of her shy but humorous youngest son.  She expanded that Joshua attended Mass to show all those who were praying for him that he was fine and when the strength left him, he created his Facebook page to continue to show the others that he was holding up strong.

As if to honour Joshua’s beautiful life and with a twinkle in His eye, as the hearse drove across, what looked like the horizon, we began to hear honks.   God sent 2 sets of Canadian geese to fly over the hearse in V-form,  cheering Josh on as our Father welcomed him into His loving arms! May you rest in peace in our Father’s arm Joshua. It was a true honor to pray for you and your family!

God bless,

Melissa – November 1, 2013; 7:31 p.m.

REFLECTION: Don’t bother God with that…

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

 

While rambling about my search for a new shovel, a friend commented, “Oh, you shouldn’t bother God with that.”  The words didn’t fully register then, but unknowingly, my heart had already begun to scrutinize what was said and it was waving a red flag.

Is God bothered by what we tell Him or ask Him?  Does He get bored by what we say and does He glaze over when we get long winded?  Is He too busy to be interested when we lose something or when we accidentally pound our finger with a hammer?  Is He too busy to help one find a well-priced shovel to replace a broken one?  I believe the answer to each is NO.

As I pondered over these, our Father reminded me of Genesis 3:8-9”And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden (Eden) in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

Was God actually walking in the garden?  Was He actually calling out to the man?  I am sure many of us could readily dismiss this as fiction, but isn’t this exactly what Scripture has disclosed?

Why did God walk around the garden calling out for man?  It was because Adam and Eve were not there at their regular meeting place?  “He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:10

Within the last few months I have heard two individuals quote a saying…  “If you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved!”  The implication is that God never changes so it was you or I who must have moved.

I believe God is never bothered by what we share with Him.  He created us to enjoy a relationship with Him.  Without a doubt, I know He is yearning to hear about every sentiment we have, be it positive or negative.  He doesn’t mind us yelling at Him if we are truly expressing our heartfelt sentiments.  Talk to Him.  He IS waiting to hear from you.

God bless,

Melissa – October 23, 2013