Amen, Amen, Amen

I am writing this post for all those who have crossed my path, and many more I will meet and share in the love of Jesus. Some were part of my RCIA and Camino family, Alpha, strangers in passing, friends, family, and there are also my spiritual director, church leaders, deacon and priests whose guidance have lead me to the foot of the cross. There are also those who are online – readers and subscribers from different parts of the globe. I share with each a virtual hug and heartfelt joy in the name of Jesus.

Many from my RCIA and Alpha groups have moved on, as they walk in their own journey with Jesus. Some have picked up and are starting new lives in another city. Others have moved due to work, while others are studying in different cities.

I miss them!

I would like to send an heart felt blessing in the name of Jesus to each and every soul who has crossed and touched my life. They all had a hand in creating a greater me in my own existence. May the hand of Jesus bless them in their walk down the narrow path towards his light.

God Bless 💕🙏


The Blessing

Written by: Christopher Joel Brown, Steven Furtick, Cody Carnes, Kari Brooke Jobe

The Lord bless you 
And keep you 
Make His face shine upon you 
And be gracious to you 
The Lord turn His 
Face toward you 
And give you peace

Amen, amen, amen 
Amen, amen, amen

The Lord bless you 
And keep you 
Make His face shine upon you 
And be gracious to you 
The Lord turn His 
Face toward you 
And give you peace 
Amen, amen, amen 
Amen, amen, amen

May His favor be upon you 
And a thousand generations 
And Your family and your children 
And their children, and their children

May His favor be upon you 
And a thousand generations 
And your family and your children 
And their children, and their children

May His presence go before you 
And behind you, and beside you 
All around you, and within you 
He is with you, He is with you

In the morning, in the evening 
In your coming, and your going 
In your weeping, and rejoicing 
He is for you, He is for you

He is for you, He is for you 
He is for you, He is for you 
He is for you, He is for you

Amen, amen, amen 
Amen, amen, amen

May His presence go before you 
And behind you, and beside you 
All around you, and within you 
He is with you, He is with you

In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you

Milo Yiannopoulos: Finding Peace and Strength in God’s Loving Will

A must watch into the heart and soul of one of the most iconic thinkers in our world today. He and Jordan Peterson’s recent return and conversion shows first hand God’s amazing grace and divine mercy at work.

Please take the time to watch both parts, as they are an insightful look into God’s hand in a life of a sinner (which we are all too!), and the transformation that comes with seeking to live God’s divine will. Milo Yiannopoulos is both sincere, funny and insightfully reflective as he tells his story.


Part 1 o Milo Yiannopoulos speech.

Part 2 of of Milo Yiannopoulos speech.

God Bless 💖

Aside: All of us have a unique and personal story to tell of our conversion or coming to faith in the Triune. They represent the beauty of God calling to us. Our coming to faith fills that empty hole created by the sins of our first parents. For since the creation of mankind, we were meant to be in relationship with God. God’s love for us in becoming man through Jesus is a testament of His love for us. Jesus defeated death so that we may be set free from our sins.

Praise be to The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit 🙏

Live The New Life

Reading the Bible and meditating on God’s word has helped me establish a deeper relationship with him. Reading and rereading a Bible verse over a period of a few days and visualizing it within my minds eye (placing myself in the scene/words), allows me to pray and meditate over a word or phrase which pops out at me. Sitting in silent prayer allows the Holy Spirit to pour forth graces of understanding and insight.

For many coming to know Jesus, the Bible is a source of not only comfort, but a foundation in our faith journey. It helps us stand strong in our faith, so that life’s curve balls don’t strike us down. From my own personal experience, knowing specific Bible verses has helped me overcome doubt, spiritual attacks, and depression. Specific Bible verses have saved me from myself.

I have compiled Bible verses for those on their faith journey. My hope is that these verses will help each of us establish a deeper relationship in our daily walk with God.


christ the center

2 Corinthians 5:17 (RSVCE)

17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST

Romans 12:1 (RSVCE)

12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

John 14:21 (RSVCE)

21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

the word

Joshua 1:8 (RSVCE)

This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

2 Timothy 3:16 (RSVCE)

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Prayer

John 15:7 (RSVCE)

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

Philippians 4:6-7 (RSVCE)

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Fellowship

1 John 1:3 (RSVCE)

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Planting seeds/working for God

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 Corinthians 15:58

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.


God bless 💖

Jordan Peterson’s Incredible Journey to God

I first came across Jordan Peterson’s writing and work when I read “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos“. At the time I remember sharing this book with my teenage son and his friend – wanting them to put into practice 12 wise and profound rules for life (my personal favorite rule was “Make Your Bed!”

At the time, I recall he was an atheist.

His recent video moved me to tears and joy, as he discusses intimately and sincerely his journey to God. I was moved! It hits at the heart of our own journey to God, especially those of us who have sought God through the world of intelligentsia, and academia.

I recall a time in my journey when I looked deeply within all “isms” seeking a knowledge that I later realized I will never know because ultimately knowing GOD is beyond the scope of my human understanding. It exists out there – eternal and beyond our reach. We can only understand him within our human grasp of understanding through faith, hope and charity/love, and, ultimately through Jesus.

Jordan Peterson’s journey echo’s many of the moral load we experience, carry, and think of, but have not articulated. Instead this psychological burden is held silently in our heart. Peterson’s self realization is a testament to the Holy Spirit moving in him.

The journey to God, is something that many disenfranchised has sought after finding the emptiness in all the “isms”. We are in an age where the temporal satisfaction is short lived, leaving a gapping empty hole. Hope, is something that is slowly being crushed by the chaos around us. To watch the rise of Jordan Peterson on social media platforms and through his writing, it is gripping to see God’s hand in his life as he shares his story.

With Bishop Barron:

Bishop Barron on the Jordan Peterson Phenomenon:

As children of God, we are called to help our Heavenly Father and participate with Him in lending a hand in shedding light into the world in courage, trust, truth and love…even unto our enemies:

God Bless and may our journey to God be a testament for all 💖.

Hope and Faith

Since the closure of all churches in Quebec (Canada) since Christmas, I have no other choice but to celebrate my faith via the internet or zoom. Tuning in for daily Mass and making an Act of Spiritual Communion and Thanksgiving within the confines of my home has started to take its toll on me. I miss going to Mass! I miss being in God’s Home.

I find myself having self talk dissertations with God about the craziness we find ourselves in, and asking if the Hybrid (in person/internet) the future of worship? Is this the new normal? What happens if there is a blackout? Has anyone ever thought about what would happen if there was a world wide cyber outage?

I think back to Jesus, His apostles and the beginnings of the early Christian church, from small in home gatherings to the feeding of 5000. It is about community, socialization, communication, and it also is about being present – it is about one another – people. I thought about organizing in home worship, but in Quebec, the restrictions limit the numbers of “bubbles” allowed. Not only that, but most are living in fear – of catching Covid, or one of it’s variant. People have become afraid of getting together.

Fear!

Urgh!

So I sit here and muse about the early church, and feel a sense of sadness, as I reflect on what I miss most about being in God’s house. I miss seeing the faces I always see during the week – mostly the elderly, along with young mothers. I miss the occasional crying of a child in the background. I miss walking through the church and taking some time in each area – the Divine Mercy statue, pictures of past popes, the stations of the cross, and saying a silent prayer after I light a candle. I miss greeting members of the congregation, “How are you?”

I miss standing before the altar and kneeling – giving thanks to God. I miss adorating the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I miss watching the candles flicker on the altar, and I miss being in awe.

No virtual mass can replace the feeling of Holiness in God’s house. No virtual mass can replace the feel of the Holy Spirit moving through the congregation. No online service can reproduce the tactile feel of receiving the body of Jesus. I miss gnawing and chewing the Holy Host and saying to myself, “You are mine, and I am Yours”.

We are part of the family of God, and being present in Mass is very much about love for one another, community, along with all the dynamics of social interaction. I pray for an end to forced isolation and vaccine passports. I pray for the right of each Christian to some way, somehow, connect again socially – not by zoom, or via online mass, or chat boxes, but in person so that we can lift up our praise, adoration and love of Jesus and worship him as a family.

I hold on to the belief that we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and, whose death on the cross as given us the way to the Father. So the little struggles I have now of being isolated from my family in Christ, is making me stronger (Romans 5:1-11):

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we[c] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Let us remain strong in Jesus. I know that it has been hard for many around the world who are experiencing the same lockdowns and restrictions. I also know many are suffering emotionally, mentally, socially and financially. Let us give our suffering to Jesus, for that little pain is nothing compared to the suffering our beloved Jesus went through when He died for me and you.

Let us lift our voices, and ask God to ensure that each of us is provided for – that our daily bread is met.

God Bless 💖

Mary’s Visit

How do I share the Gospels with my friends and family?

For those of us who walk with Jesus, grace overflows within us, and it is only natural we want to share and embrace those around us into our joy. Jesus changes us. Jesus has healed us. It is natural we want to let others know.

The journey to the cross has been a long and winding one for me. When I think about it, Jesus has always been with me – at times walking beside me, and at other times holding me in His embrace as I meandered here and there in secular life. There were many times, I pushed Jesus away. He was always there. When I was ready – I fell upon His feet – humbled and in awe – for finally, I was ready to submit all of me to Him.

Healing comes from the grace of God – “a stronger ME in my own existence.”

A sketch for my series “a stronger ME in my own existence.” May 24, 2021

Healing from Jesus is the willingness on my part to give into God’s will for me, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit. For my own journey with Jesus, this means daily meditation and contemplation into His words – The Bible and in prayer. In the beginning it was daunting to find a starting point, and there are many vehicles to guide us. I chose to follow along daily with The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) – available in many podcast online. Having the Sacraments became important to me, and I try to make it to mass at my local parish at least once or twice a week, but when I can’t receive the Holy Eucharist daily, I watch online via Divine Mercy – YouTube. Sometimes I watch the morning mass broadcast online from my local parish (Holy Name of Jesus Parish | Laval, QC, St. Ignatius of Loyola MTL | You Matter to God. You Matter to Us. (stig.ca).

Prayer is the most important part of my walk with Jesus. Each morning I take the time to praise and talk to Him. I also pray the Rosary after. This sounds like a routine, but it works for me. Praying the Rosary is an important part of getting to know Jesus. It is through contemplating the mysteries of each decade that I have come to have deeper insights into the passion of Jesus. I find when I let the Holy Spirit guide me in prayer, there is a rich understanding and depth into the life of Jesus that is heart felt.

Coming from a Protestant background that denied Mary’s holiness, finding the Holy Virgin Mary through the Rosary was an intense awakening for me. It gave me a Holy Mother who bespeaks to me the importance of being thoughtful and mindful.

I have got to say that I feel such a burst of joy within me, that it is only natural to want to share that light with others around me, especially those with whom I love, and with friends with whom I know are having challenges in their lives. It is natural I want to share with them the wonderful love and grace of Jesus. I want to shout out and let those around me know that in Jesus, there is Divine Mercy – forgive and healing.

Well, I have come to realize that sharing the Gospel means praying for them – those around us may be too invested in the secular world to want to hear about Jesus. I know I was! They may not be at a point in their life journey to think about their soul or eternity. They want to enjoy the now.

I invited many to join Alpha, and even after sharing my own story, not one of my friends or family members signed up. It took me some time to realize that they just were not ready, or too invested in “life” to want to know about Jesus. Their “no”, had me reflect upon my own journey to Jesus. I thought about my mom who never stopped praying for me.

How I can be effective is be a light through my own example – in the way I live my life – and continue to pray, love and care for those around me in my own actions, words, understanding and kindness. When others are ready or being called by Jesus, perhaps then, I will be the one used by Him to be there for them as one of the many “angels” there for them when they are at a crossroad.

Jesus, I trust in You 💖

Sharing with you an awesome homily from Fr. Chris on Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1:39-56)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

This post is part of my series on Holy Virgin Mary. Here is a link to all the post:

Mary’s Month – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Mary’s Trust – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Mary’s Thought – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Why Mary? – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Know Mary – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Who is Mary? – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

You Know Me

my soul yearns for You

seeking to know you with my heart

which overflows with adoration

i am nourished

fed by Your bread of life

freely given to me

all i had to do was ask

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

There comes many moments in our lives when adoration pours out of our hearts and soul for Jesus. Rereading some of my favorite psalms echo the joys and love for our Almighty God. I can imagine in my minds eyes the fullness of David’s adoration for God. It is riveting, and touches a deep chord within the depth of our being. His passion filled words lift our spirit up high, and embraces us in worship and song for God.

Pure and simple love flows upwards into the stratosphere for our beloved Savior.

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

In our world today of unfiltered music that often runs in opposition to God’s Holiness, it is truly a gift when I can find worship music that sing praises to our Almighty. They are Contemporary praise and worship music from hearts that bespeaks the challenges and love of Jesus in our world today. Just like in the Old Testament, today’s lyric and songs are from the heart – cries of hope, redemption, and love. Share Elevation Worship with those who don’t know Jesus. Play this and close your eyes, letting these songs take you on a journey with Jesus:

Elevation Worship – YouTube

What a friend I have in Jesus, He has my heart. As He draws me nearer to Him, He heals me of all my pain and the baggage that has weighted me down. Praise be to God for giving us His precious son – to die on the cross for me.

Start talking to Jesus, in Him you will find a friend:

Mary’s Trust

The Birth of Jesus Foretold (Luke 1:26-38)

the annunciation of the lord

Perplexed, worried, concerned, or deeply shocked are some of the emotions that must have played in Mary’s mind and heart upon Gabriel’s message to her from Almighty God. Her response is a normal human one – of confusion along with a medley of amplified feelings of not only humbleness, but uncertainty.

How?:

Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?

Luke 1:34

Gabriel’s response:

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

Luke 1:35

Mary accepts her new fate. Her path from that moment onwards is based explicitly on trusting God to lead her. The very act of stepping out of her “comfort” zone or previous life, and into a new journey based on faith is the true essence of coming to God. All previous notions of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are stripped away, as she lets God take the lead.

How would I react if God calls me?

How willing am I to let go of my life to follow Him?

How much do I trust God to take the driver seat?

Food for thought!

God Bless 💖