Fear does not come from the Lord

1fear of the lord

Last weekend, I had a hellish time. I was anxious and worried. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I was so worried about. Just the week before I was writing about being joyful and in the next few days, my mind was filled with anguish and uncertainty. I was unsettled, terribly unsettled. I couldn’t sleep properly, I kept getting up in the middle of the night, sometimes around 3 or 4 am.

I was not feeling good. And I was not praying regularly. Usually when I don’t get a chance to devote some time to the Lord I feel like I’ve not done something, it’s always at the back of my mind, like my day is not complete. But this time, the feeling wasn’t there. I was prioritizing other things and prayer was just not on top of the list.

So when I finally made my visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the church, I told the Lord, to take it all. To take my burdens and help me through whatever anxiousness had taken over my heart, as He has promised. I remembered Mathew 11:28 when I said this. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Lord was not slow in responding. That same day, I got up in the middle of the night and this sudden thought came to my mind. Fear does not come from the Lord. Its 3.30 in the morning, and now I’m having this dialogue with the Lord. He’s telling me fear does not come from Him. And my faith and trust, which had taken a back seat lately, reared up and agreed. Fear is not from the Lord. The gift of the Holy Spirit is joy. I was troubled that I had doubted. Here I was, profusely apologizing to the Lord in the middle of the night, for not having trust and faith in His goodness, for giving in to fear and anxiety.

Truly, fear does not come from the Lord. I cannot say it enough! It is a lesson I’ve had to learn again and again, this time in a way I will not forgot anytime soon.

Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.
Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
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Be Joyful!

joyful

Be happy and joyful, mirthful and content,

for what’s a life that’s filled with discontent?

Hatred and bickering are fine friends for a while,

but they’ll ditch you as soon as other’s they find.

Peace and bliss are fruits of labour,

when all you do is good for your neighbours!

Be joyful my friend, I can attest,

this spirit is definitely a force to contend.

It spreads and spreads, faster than you know

when you focus or even when you just don’t know.

Contagious it is, generous too,

you can’t take the joy out of joyful, try as you may.

Anger and pride try to latch on for a ride,

but if joy is strong, they have a bumpy time.

They jostle and hustle and give up the battle,

if joy insists and persists in the fracas.

For joy wells up without any trouble,

it’s there for the taking, free and unending.

No worries, there’s no charge,

just reach out and grab your part.

For joy to be taken, it must be given

to all about, there’s no conserving.

The well of joy never runs dry.

It’s full and plentiful, abundant and overflowing.

Take what you must, don’t be shy,

it’s a gift that keeps giving,

come back for more!

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From a Mother to her Child

22from mother to child

Dear Child,

Thank you little one, you have inspired me,

to be the person I am, now. 

If not for you, where would I be? 

Lost in a world of fun and nothingness, 

where every day is a repeat of the same, 

no newness, no insight, no desire to aspire 

in a direction not of my choosing. 

There was no choice. 

You forced me onto a pathway, unseen, hidden 

found only by a few, because they had to.

Little child, you found my vocation, or dare I say it, my vocation found me.

A vast sea of learning awaited me. 

Action and insight, hand in hand, 

led by my friend, the Holy Spirit, 

my invisible partner in this journey. 

Thru promptings, one by one, step by step, 

always moving; forwards, sideways but never backwards. 

On and on, from one thing to another. 

See little child, what you have wrought. 

Your very presence, an encouragement, 

for, in seeking to change you, I have been changed. 

In seeking to move you, I have been moved. 

What greater influence, no man can muster, 

that it came from a child is a wondrous thing to ponder.

Come little one, it is I who holds your hands. 

For you have led me to myself.

Without you I was lost in my own desire.

Without you I may not have found my way.

You made it easy. 

I had to. 

To not do so is not an option I want to contemplate.

Thank you little one, for coming into my world.

You helped me find my way.

I cannot thank you enough, 

You saved me from me!

And in doing so, gave me meaning and life.

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Endurance in Prayer

endurance

I like reading Mark Mallet’s blog. The wisdom in his words is unmistakable. His thoughts are profound and they make you think and reflect. They sink into your psyche and one cannot deny his deep spiritual connection. This particular verse struck a chord within me. It provided a reason, the answer to the ‘Why’ that has plagued me for such a long time.

You see, I am convinced of the need to setting a time aside every day to commune with the Lord. To seek Him in prayer, to talk to Him, to tell Him of my day, my thoughts, my desires, my wishes, my dreams and yes… to listen to Him as He tells me things, or provide an answer to my many questions. I long for a snippet, a word, 2 words, maybe 3 and more. I want to hear from my God.

So, having read all the things I’m supposed to do; select a specific time, preferably the same time of day, in a silent place and focus my mind and heart on communion with the Lord. To pray, praise and worship Him, read His Word and listen to the still inner voice. Determined to follow through on my convictions, I did just that and proceeded to devote that hour in the morning to dialogue with my Creator.

It all sounds fine and cool. I’ve done this with some success. But, ah yes, the big ‘but’ in all this, I find I’m not consistent with this intent of mine. Because all mornings are not the same, and early morning appointments on some days interfere with my prayer time agenda. However hard I try, once I’ve missed my morning date with prayer I just can’t find an alternative time. The desire is there. But the distractions are even greater. There’s always something else to do and perhaps I’m not just trying hard enough. And every day thereafter, I am regretful and ask pardon from the Lord for my lack of attention. It happens often enough that I am quite frustrated with myself. I know I must do these things, I want to do these things and yet I’m unable to explain my inaction. Sorry just doesn’t cut it anymore. I mean, if my kid repeatedly didn’t do things I asked her to do and kept saying sorry time and again, I know I would want to teach her a lesson in commitment! And here am I, ignoring my own inclinations again and again and blithely saying sorry umpteen times……I sound like a teenager. Lord have mercy on me!

When I read this verse in Mark’s blog,

“you need endurance to do the will of God and receive what He has promised… We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life.” Hebrews 10:36, 39

my mind had an instant, ‘voila’ moment. That’s it, ENDURANCE! It was my buzz word for the day. I did not have the endurance to persist with my intentions. A simple word with a big meaning. A quick check of Thesaurus gave me; stamina, fortitude, resolution, durability, strength, survival, patience, staying power, persistence, perseverance, tenacity, continuance, survival. All these are good. But I want to add one more comment… to prevail.

So now, I’m going to pray for endurance 🙂 to continue to keep my rendezvous with the Lord God of Hosts. Not because I have to, but because I genuinely want to!

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Positivity…where art thou?

positivity

I usually catch a bit of the US news in the mornings while preparing breakfast and lunch for my school going kid and recently I’ve been noticing that the stuff spewed by the anchors’, is downright negative. It’s amazing how white is black and up is down. A spirit of deception and fog envelops the world. My favourite catch phrase; you can say one thing in 5 different ways depending on your audience or frame of mind, positive or negative. The news anchors’ take this to a whole new level.

Bias is inherent in every view point and I’ve come to believe this is not a conscious choice. I have seen many a person make decisions and utter opinions that are so contrary to facts and realities that it seems unreal. They do so with utter conviction that I’m left scratching my head in frustration and disbelief. But they genuinely believe they are right. Once negativity takes hold of a person, they can no longer see when they’re hurting another, or lying or doing the myriad things that we call little white lies or minor sins. And my only recourse to this nonsense is the belief that a deep spirit of deception and negativity has permeated our universe. It causes obfuscation and manipulation to fit the agenda of the evil one who is very subtle in his ways to cause confusion and chaos in our world.

Once negativity and evil get in the door, it just spreads. Its tentacles move slowly like a slithering snake, gliding in and out. A friend once told me, in the natural order, negativity packs a lot more weight than positivity and is human’s first natural inclination. I was not sure I believed her, but looking around me, I wonder if perhaps there is some truth in that.

How can one get out of it when one doesn’t even recognize that it’s there? I mean, I see it in people around me. But let me back up here lest I sound arrogant and self-righteous. The million dollar question, am I a negative person, is it in me? Maybe I just can’t see it in myself. I think of the verse in Mathew, chapter 7: 3-5 – why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

How can one be sure we don’t have it and its not colouring our perception or actions?

Upon reflection, I can conclude that a good way to minimize its impact is to pray to the Lord for the gift of love to fill our hearts. To pray to the Holy Spirit that He may guide our every thought and action.

I tried this a long time ago and can attest to the manifestation of the fruits of such a prayer. I was surrounded by some people whom I just didn’t like. Not as in hate or anything more detestable, I just didn’t like them in a passive way and I went about each day with the thought, I don’t like them, every time I saw them. Until I had had enough of my wayward thinking and turned to the Lord and said, can you help me love them? I asked the Lord every day for long while. And lo and behold, I gradually stopped thinking the ‘I don’t like them’ mantra. Soon after, they didn’t bother me anymore until I realized I actually began to care about them. Love had indeed replaced the negative emotion of dislike. The change was drastic enough for me to notice and I realized the power of prayer. God does listen to prayers, I have no doubt. He heard my cry and answered me. He actually filled my heart with love for them. It was a tangible thing. No longer did they irritate me. I went out of my way to do things for them.

Now I like to pray for everything. Even for families who are hurting or shrouded in mists of negativity. And I pray for myself too, that my mind be filled with good thoughts, my mouth will bring forth good sayings and my heart be filled with love. I still falter from time to time – but then again I realize I’m human and subject to all the frailties and faults that being human entails. This gives me the incentive to pray the same prayer every day, for love to overtake my heart. For the gifts of wisdom and discernment; to be able to see right from wrong. And you know what, I hope the Lord hears me. I think He does!

Silver and gold are not mine to aspire… but love from the Lord is all I desire.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 7:1-2Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Matthew 6:23 – But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
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Prayer Time…

1 family prayer final.jpg

Christmas is about family and in our home, this time is always busy with…. family (of course!) and friends, presents and parties. This year we were lucky to have 2 days of quiet time and what did we do? Watch ‘family’ movies!

The War Room is a movie that will stay with me for a while. Truthfully, it was a bit mushy and sappy at times, but the message resonated enough that I want to share it.

In the movie, the central theme revolves around the importance of a mother’s prayer for her husband and kids. It tells of the necessity to devote a certain time in your day to asking God to protect your family against evil. A mother’s love for her family is a beautiful thing and I’m certain God listens to mothers’ (and fathers’) earnest petitions.

Prayer is equivalent to conversations we have with our friends. But it is directed to God. In a nutshell,

You        +        conversation with friend           =            strong relationship

You        +        prayer to God                               =            strong relationship

To build successful relationships, regular ‘keep in touch’ moments are important or friends drift away. Similarly an active prayer life is necessary to maintain your relationship with the God who created us.

Common types of prayers include; intercessory prayers – where we pray for others, praise, worship and thanksgiving – wherein we exalt Him who is the Almighty and thank Him for our blessings, and pleas – give me, give me, give me. There are others as well.

Essentially, these steps can be a good start to a fruitful prayer life.

  1. Set a time for everyday worship/prayer.
  2. Talk to God about anything. We might not always like His answer. It can be a yes or a no and even a maybe, but answer He will. Pray for your family, specifically.
  3. Listen to His Word, as He speaks. It could be through a word, a thought, a song. Be open to hearing from Him and remember, sometimes He may choose to be silent which is an answer in itself.

So, watch the movie and begin your journey to a fantastic relationship with our awesome God.

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Pass the Baton!

2 baton.jpg

A couple of weeks ago I listened to a charismatic speaker who was addressing a small group of people. I was a little pre-occupied, I had just started this blog and the big question on my mind at the time was, why do I think I should write a blog when there are so many others out there writing far more powerful stuff than me? People who are deeply knowledgeable about the faith, know their Bible well and are incredible thinkers as evidenced by their writings. There are so many voices in the wilderness, what does one more mean? My question to the Lord, was; Why me, why now and what can I possibly contribute to the blogosphere that isn’t already out there?

Today, in my prayer time I asked the Lord, what do you want me to do now?

And then I remembered the speaker and his talk so many weeks ago… at that time I was startled at the realization that the Lord had actually answered my question right there and then. Sometimes the response is pretty quick!

“Pass the baton!”. The speaker said, and explained that the baton symbolizes the Kingdom of God. The baton was given to John the Baptist who went about preaching of the One who was to come that was more powerful than he, and he wasn’t worthy to untie His sandals. The baton was then handed to Jesus who came to earth to complete His divine ministry at the will of the Father. Jesus handed the baton to His disciples. The disciples gave the baton to all believers, with the expectation to pass it on to others. Who are these believers?

It is us. You and me, and all who believe in Christ. It is up to us to take it firmly, use our talents while we have it, and work for the Kingdom of God in whichever way we are called to do so.

I personally know of a lot of people who believe that it is enough to be okay with God and stop right there. But I’ve come to realize, if you have the Good News, you can’t keep it to yourself, you have to share it. Sharing is caring!

This blog is a vehicle to pass my baton. I never thought I could write. I always wanted to but never had anything to say. But now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to stop. I find inspiration everywhere. While I’m doing the dishes, cooking or watching TV. It’s amazing how ideas come through and I have to write it down immediately or it’s gone. My mind is a sieve, honestly.

My remembrance of this event today, reaffirmed what the Lord wanted me to do now. Spread His Word. I hope to use this blog to share the news of God’s love, grace and mercy. This avenue has the potential to reach far more people than I would otherwise meet which makes it so effective.

So, pass the baton! Find your talent, and use it to accomplish His will for you.

Romans 10:13-14 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Jeremiah 26:2 “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word.”
Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”.
Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
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