Social media – whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Parler, has a way of drawing me in so that my time is sucked away and my mind starts to look like the inside of my vacuum bag – full of the debris of my world – ominous and darkly troublesome for my soul. Before I know it, I’ve wasted 2 hours.
Two hours later, I feel overwhelmed by a deep sense of sadness. From this I start to feel angry. I see the great divide between the truth and the narratives being pushed on social media and main stream media outlets. I see one side pushing a narrative that hides corruption, and lies to cover it. After the anger, a feeling of helplessness sets in. Then depression as I feel the demised of our humanity. Is what I am reading real or fake? How can we discern the truth from the lies?
I recently deleted FB, Twitter, Snapchat (I miss taking cute pictures with it!), and use only Instagram, Pinterest (for sharing recipes), and Parler. I also adjusted my browser settings (on my laptop) so that I don’t see the newsfeed (MSN news).
One thing for sure – I can only put my absolute trust in Jesus. With the Holy Spirit working in me, I am thankful, I can discern the difference between light and dark. The word of God – Bible – becomes my foundation for Truth. It also ignites within me a fire to seek out the truth, and that means doing my own research and being responsible for what I believe in.
I pray for God to give me the confidences to live in these stressful times, and despite all the negative news around me, guide me to grow deeper each day in Faith in HIM.
The Gospel reading for today’s Mass (Luke 21:5-11), gives me the confidence that what is unfolding in front of me is expected to happen before His return. I don’t know Gods’ timeline, and it may not be in my lifetime, but it gives me the confidence to know that HE is in control.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 NIV
Thanks for reading. I pray each of you find the confidence to follow Jesus. Peace and Love to all of you. God Bless!
Today was one of those hectic Mondays where I went totally off schedule – all because I decided to stay in bed for one extra hour. That snowballed into a manic Monday! I worked through lunch, and at one point was multitasking between my iPad, laptop and my iPhone. I also didn’t walk the dog. What was my excuse? “It snowed the night before, and it’s too cold and slippery out!”
I really think the one thing I got right today was reading todays scriptures while I was still in bed (I am being a bad role model here). Another was logging online to participate in my daily morning Mass surrounded by my devices. I had to mentally slap my hands a few times when I heard my iPhone ding with incoming text – “Ignore them” I said to myself. I had this mental image of me in front of God on judgement day – of my hands moving towards my tablet or iPhone. Oh Lord God, forgive me…my flesh is weak!
Partaking in the Eucharist is a daily must for me (virtually these days) – to let the Body and Blood of Jesus spiritually heal and grounded me for the rest of the day.
Alone my flesh is weak, and I thank God for His Grace and Gift of Faith.
Your love for me is something my mind cannot totally phantom
It’s depth and magnitude too much for this mere mortal to comprehend.
I imagine it to be as far reaching as the endless sky above me
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24NIV
I have always painted, sketched and took photographs, but I hated the gallery process of submitting my work, and every rejection was a blow to my ego. I have often incorporated narrative in my work as well. As sharing with others was never really my goal or intent, hence I put minimal efforts in showing my work. I was happy to simply express creatively and silently. However, since I have been called to walk closer to Jesus – He probably also got tired of my many request for “signs” – I feel the push to step out from being a lukewarm believer, to one who will gladly share my faith. The “Parable of Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30), and the another in Luke on the “Parable of the Money Usage” (Luke 19:11-27) reminds me that Faith is freely given by God. We are call to invest and build up our faith and share it. Just as the “nobleman” in this story calls his servants and gives them “ten minas”, what they do with this “gift” is up to each servant. However, there are consequences. Those that reap more are given more “authority” over cities, and the one who beget nothing more is cast out.
I don’t want to find my self before God with empty palms.
This is my main motivation for creating a resource page. The goal is to help those who would like to explore their own spiritual journey. My testimony can be found by clicking this link: https://rejoiceandpraise.ca/testimony/
I also created a Portfolio page, and this actually arose out of a discussion with my son who is an active social influencer on Instagram. Our discussion centered around photography. His aunt had given him a digital camera, and we were discussing all the difference between the old days when I studied photography and today. In my days, using a manual camera meant understanding the mechanics of a camera. One also had to understand how and when to use different features such depth of field and aperture settings, along with a slew of filters and lens. Developing negatives was another thing the purist in me had to do. To get special effects, also meant hands in toxic solutions. Special effects was based on trial and error. Today, special effects are easily achieved by a touch of a photo apps. Whether using a digital camera today or one on any phone, one can create awesome images which would have taken me hours to achieve in the dark room.
With the handy apps and camera on our phones, I/we can literally create beautiful images out of the most mundane. This literally changes how I/we view my world.
I enjoy my daily walks with Candy our keeshond. It gives me the opportunity to look at the beauty of God’s creation – the life around us, and to see or capture some of that beauty in every day snapshots.
Snapshots and the photo images I create are used as conversations in my journey to God. Sometimes I work with an idea or theme, and sometimes, questions arises out of this journey. It is another vehicle in my walk with Jesus: https://rejoiceandpraise.ca/portfolio/
This week the “The Parable of the Talents” surfaced a number of times for me. It was discussed in a book I was reading, upon which I looked it up in the Bible (Matthew 25:14-30). It was also the Gospel reading in both yesterday’s and today’s Mass.
Three times the charm so to speak! What is God trying to tell me?
Needless to say, this parable was on my mind.
Who am I in this parable? Am I the one with the 5 talent? Am I the one with the two Talent? Or am I the one with 1 talent?
After praying on this Parable and rereading 3 different interpretations of it (NASB, Passion, and the NRSV) I can discern many different ways to look at this verse – from the standpoint of popular financial management to the more profane and spiritual.
But what does this parable say to me specifically?
I believe God is asking me, as well as all of us, to step out and use my/our “gifts” in praising and serving Him.
God knows us, and He will never give us more than we can handle. To those who can take on more, He will give more responsibility, but the fact remains, God does not want us passive and living in fear.
What skills or gifts?
In my case it could be through writing, my art, or my ability to time manage or multitask. It could be through the simple act of giving donations to your Parish or your Church.
Many local churches along with parishes are having a hard time financially especially in light of the restrictions imposed by the government due to COVID-19. Many parish, like mine have laid off staff, yet despite all these challenges, Gods work is being done. That’s thanks to volunteers who serve God and their community with love.
In many neighborhoods many families have been hit hard financially especially in the service industry or restaurants. Giving groceries to your local church and parish will allow them to send out food baskets to those in need. This is much needed as we head into December and the holiday season.
Believe me when I tell you receiving a food basket makes a difference to a family in need. 10 years ago my husband lost his job, and we were in deep financial difficulties. We were at rock bottom. A stranger from an organization sent us 2 bags of groceries along with gifts for our children. It was one of the most touching and humbling experiences in my life. I remember praying in thanksgiving to God. Sometimes it’s only when we experience pain, that we can see the salvation of Jesus. Nothing could contain my tears.
Gods immense love for us in the Holy sacrifice of His Son Jesus – a man who was sinless and divinely perfect – is a mystery many may never fully comprehend. I am unworthy, yet God calls me and you to his presence. He gives us the freedom to decide if we want to be a part of His family or not – how can I not shout with happiness and joy.
I have the freedom to chose. I can do do nothing, like that man with 1 talent, or I can be proactive and use all the skills and gifts I gave to glorify Him and make a difference.
We all have talents – whether it be the art of story telling, teaching, blogging, or something in the creative field in web design, painting, drawing, or photography. Then there are those with musical talents who can sing like an angel. Some are musically inclined, while others have talents in other areas. Cooking is another skill, one I wish I had. I do try cooking up a meal using Pinterest, but somehow it’s never as tasty as my sister-in-law’s cooking. Of course there are other skills like being able to manage time, multitasking, or use a computer. Some have the talent to make money through their investments. The skills and gifts we have is unique and different from one another.
There are also many of us who possess skills we may not be aware of. Why? We never challenged ourselves to step out of our comfort zone. I bet many of us have skills burrowed within us – and not yet actualized.
God calls for us to use our gifts.
So what does the “Parable of the Talents” mean to me? It means showing how much I love God in all that I do, whether it be in writing, making a meal for the family, or stepping out of my comfort zone to show kindness and love to my family, my neighbours, my Parish community, my colleagues and the people around me. It is to make that 1 talent double, triple and grow by using the gifts I have with a sincere heart to glorify God – My Master!
The Parable of the Talents
14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents,[f] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:14-30 NRSV
Aside: Basically we give and help where we can. My son asked me if we were having take-out tonight. For a family of four that’s almost $75 plus. I told him instead of take out, I’ve donated the amount to our local parish. Seeing his disgruntled face, I explained to him I could cook a meal. I furthered explain, how would it look if God were to ask me, “what did I spend on this month?”
“I Am Alpha And Omega, The Beginning And The Ending,” saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8 KJV
What a wonderful attestation!
I was feeling lazy today especially as it snowed last night and it’s a bit cold outside. I was enjoying the cozy comfort of home, and really had to make an effort to go out.
From the many sound of children’s laughter in the park enjoying the first snow, to the dotted footprints in the snow, and the sun shining its warm rays, I felt the presence of God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
In my journey call life, He was with me in the beginning, He was with me in the past, He is with me now, and He will be with me in the future.
Today, I just want to offer up a prayer for all of humanity, especially my brother and sisters in Christ in the U.S.A. I pray for the Hand of God to be upon all Christians regardless of denomination or creed – May my fellow Christians have the strength to stand against the darkness that looms over them in the U.S.A., as well as for those of us in other countries. I pray for protection for those of you who are facing challenges for your belief in the truth, and for believing in what is right and just, and, as you stand in solidarity for Jesus.
I pray to God to open the hearts and minds of those who do not know you. May your breath of life open their hearts to see and awaken from the dark veil that blinds them.
Finally I pray the Lords Prayer:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
My favourite season is Fall, especially when it’s sunny and the skies are a beautiful shade of cyan blue. The air is fresh, and even though it’s a bit nippy, with a warm jacket, a scarf and boots, I feel snuggly warm.
I used walking the dog as an excuse to get my 14 year old to accompany me. Like every teenager, she delights in staying in bed until 11:00 am on weekends. After some insistence along with the promise she can chill and have a lazy Saturday, she agreed.
I love the sight of leaves falling. It creates a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of yellows, ochre, red and rust. Although all the trees in my neighbourhood are starting to look bare, there is a silent understanding that God’s hand is the maestro behind the intricate design – the masterpiece is called life. For me, it is the profound realization and sense of awesomeness that it is God’s majesty.
God is the Breathe of Life
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2: 7
I imagine God’s Breath of life upon my birth. This understanding gives me great joy – life is wonderful because God’s Breath (Holy Spirit) was within us from the very beginning.
The realization we all start with God’s Breathe at the onset makes me realize that it’s our choice whether we remain close to Him or not. God’s Breath is free.
I pray to God in thanksgiving for your grace and love. You gave each of us Your Breath of life.
I pray your Holy Spirit continue to guide me throughout my day – filling it with an inner happiness. It is an attestation that life is wonderful.
I pray for those who for whatever reason do not have Your Breath of life. I pray the Holy Spirit opens their heart and fill them with Your abundant Breath, that they may experience the joys in knowing you.
Out of the dark I call to you, Lord God hear my prayer.
I pray for strength for your people, and that your hand covers and protect them from all those who works behind the scene to hurt them.
Let me/us not be pulled in different directions with worries. I know you have your own timing – I/we need to be patience and trust in Thee:
6 Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, Philippian 4:6 The Passion Bible
I pray to my Heavenly Father that the truth which is suppressed by the cloud of darkness can come through into the open.
I pray that you open the hearts and minds of all the citizens of this world to see the truth, and let the breath of the Holy Spirit awaken them.
8 “I can assure you of this: If you don’t hold back, but freely declare in public that I am the Son of Man, the Messiah, I will freely declare to all the angels of God that you are mine. 9 But if you publicly pretend that you don’t know me, I will deny you before the angels of God. 10 If anyone speaks evil of me, the Son of Man, he can be forgiven. But if anyone scornfully speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will never be forgiven. 11 And remember this: When people accuse you before everyone[d]and forcefully drag you before the religious leaders and authorities, do not be troubled. Don’t worry about defending yourself or be concerned about how to answer their accusations. 12 Simply be confident and allow the Spirit of Wisdom access to your heart, and he will reveal in that very moment what you are to say to them.” Luke 12:8-12
Be strong and confident in Christ. I realize there is a nefarious world wide movement to silence the truth and Christians. I pray The Hand of the Holy Spirit continue to guide, strengthen and gives each of us the wisdom and confidence to stand tall in the Light.
High above the earth we will gaze into our Lords eyes, and be comforted.
The time to prepare is now.
As this day draws near, Lord guide me to talk to those around me. Let me sing and shout with joy, “Jesus is coming soon.” “Get ready!”
The time to put my to my house in order is now!
Family! Friends! Strangers!
Jesus forgive me for all my sins past and present. Most of all, help me recall the sins I have forgotten.
I pray that the hand of Jesus is upon each of us, as we prepare for the return of Jesus. I feel in my heart the time is near – days, months – it is very soon.
Am I ready? Yes! I want to be with Jesus! I worry about my children and husband, and I pray for God to open their hearts so that they can be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Trust in Jesus.
I remember as a youth asking Jesus to come into my life, and since that moment, He has never left my side. He has guided me throughout the course of my life. There were many times I didn’t listen to Him and went astray. God has always guided me back. He is the Shepard and takes care of his herd. God has always placed people along with serendipitous situations in my life and guided me back. I am continuously awakened by the Hand of God – to walk the path of His light and not fall onto the path of the wicked.
5.Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
I lift my prayer to you today so that you can open my mind and heart to your will. In the coming days show me all the sins that I’ve forgotten so that I can repent each and every wrong I’ve committed. Let my sins be cleansed with the blood of Jesus.
I pray for my loved ones. I pray for The hand of God to open their hearts and mind. That in the coming two days they will feel your Holy Spirit awakening them to your love and grace.
Jesus, I pray that no loved one is left behind.
I also pray for those around me – friends, colleagues, acquaintances and strangers. I pray for my nation. I pray for my world. Please open all hearts to Jesus. Awaken all to walk towards the Light of God.
Please help me reach out to them with sincerity and love through this blog, through my words.
It’s not too late!
Out of the depth I call to you, Lord God hear my prayer!
After writing this blog post, in my quiet time with God, I was directed to this verse:
In Christ Jesus, we are
being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:11 EVS
I am given the strength by God to endure my day with joy in my heart. I praise God for his mercy and everlasting love for me. Let me give thanks to God.
I pray for those who have caused me pain. I pray dear Lord that you let me put these people behind me. That I move beyond the hurt, and walk in joy and freedom. I pray for blessings upon who have hurt me. I pray that you may open their hearts to the joy of our Lord Jesus.
Praise be to God!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
The above study arose out of my quiet time with the Churchome app.