Spiritual Journey
 
 
Unity in Community

By Lory

I know that there are many unhappy people in this country, who feel that their politics or way of life is the better for us and thought that most of the country felt the same way. Well, after the presidential elections on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004, they were very much disappointed with the results. There was a depression across the country and in my opinion a great need for healing.

In Revelations 22 verse 2 it states…on each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding it’s fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Many more people came out to vote than ever before and I commend them for doing so. We have been given the right to vote, and we ought to exercise that right and privilege. America has spoken and we ought to listen. I only wish that more people under the age of 26 years would become more active in the voting process. If you think that your vote does not count, think again. I believe that it certainly does count. You do have a voice and you will be heard, one way or another.

It is written in Psalm 35 verse 15 that the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.

We all grow up with different morals and values. Sometimes people forget where they came from, as they get older. People do matter, morals and values matter, God and country matter and creating history matters. As a Christian who grew up Catholic, I was taught to put your life in God’s hands in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My mother was Charismatic and my parents taught me well.

In Ephesians 6:4, the bible says that Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I was also raised liberal, but I turned out to be more moderate. I have a great deal of respect for my Catholic parents and thank them for bringing me up in this way. They did a great job. Not one of my seven brothers or sisters has ever been divorced. We are a close-knit family, including our cousins. Our parents and their siblings would always make a point to bring us to family functions periodically during the year to keep us together. In fact, our families are getting so big that we need to rent out a hall to have our Annual Family Christmas Party.

In Proverbs 22:6, it states, train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Now that I moved to Colorado, from Pennsylvania about five years ago, it’s more difficult for me to get back home to visit my family and close friends. So, I try and go back once a year or two for quality visits. Meanwhile, I have made many good friends here in Colorado. I discovered the Christian Singles circuit and joined a protestant church. So, I guess you could say that I am an Irish Catholic Protestant, which can be a contradiction in terms!! But I found a home that I love and believe that I am meant to live here in unity for the rest of my life.

The bible states in Psalm 133:1, how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.

I have discovered that there are many more conservatives here than there are liberals. Could I be able to live here and still feel welcome? The answer to that is YES. I have a home here and feel comfortable once I found my own way. Even though we may disagree on some subjects, we agree on others. There was a mutual respect for one another and we are all God’s children, striving to be more Christ-like. This was the first step at our unity.

In Hebrews 12:14 it states, make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

We need to find common goals in order to live together in harmony. I believe there will always be differences, but we all need to try to find those common denominators in order to all get along. It takes time to develop relationships and I’ve got plenty of time to devote to this effort. I also have a great deal of respect for my Christian friends. If I give them the respect they deserve, I will receive respect in return. It’s OK to agree to disagree, as long as it is done with dignity, respect and grace.


It is written in 1Corinthians 12:4-6, there are different kinds of gift, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

If God were to make us all the same, it would be a very boring world. Adversity makes life more interesting. I love learning about other cultures and meeting new people. People can be fascinating if you just give them a chance. Everyone has something good to offer in this life. Sometimes they need a little more time to figure out what it is. God gives us many gifts and He gave me the gift of networking. I only hope that I can live up to His expectations.

I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that…from 1Corintians 7:7

It is important for this nation of ours to be united. That means we all have to get along in a more peaceful environment starting with our individual states and local communities. I believe in order to make any progress; there must be negotiations involved. There is too much division and not enough common denominators to bring us together. So, I think we may have to create them. If you don’t take the time to get to know people, then how are you going to find any common ground? You need to make the time to understand how the other half-lives.

Philippians 2:4 states, each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Good relationships may be hard to find if one or both parties are unwilling to effectively communicate with the other. We need to help one another, not hurt one another. God certainly wants us to have relationships with others. However, I do believe he does not want us to carry such a heavy burden. Instead, give this relationship to God, let him handle it and ask for guidance.

It states in Psalm 32:8, that I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Sometimes unity in community can be challenging, yet necessary. Instead of concentrating on what divides us, focus on what unites us. Take the time to get to know people, promise not to judge and if you do find opposition, respectfully disagree and move on. Practice the art of unity and you’ll be able to make progress not only in the country, but also in your own neighborhood and local church.

In Romans 15:5, the bible says, may the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.

Remember, Jesus loves you, ALL of you. Let us pray that God grants us the acceptance and guidance we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and spread unity in the community and throughout our nation.

John says in 16:13, but when he the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Other bible verses:

Psalm 48:14
Proverbs 17:17
Proverbs 18:24
Isaiah 28:26
Isaiah 30:21
Isaiah 57:19
Ezekiel 47:12
John 15:13
Acts 2:38
Romans 10:12-13
1Corinthians 12:4
1Corinthians 14:12
Galatians 2:20
Galatians 5:1
Ephesians 4:3
Colossians 2:2-3
1Timothy 3:5
1Timothy 5:8
1Peter 4:10





Friends for Life

By Lory

Relating to one another is what I believe God wants us to learn more about in this life time. Developing friendships is a great way to do just that. However, most of the people we call our friends are associates or acquaintances. But true, loyal friends are really hard to find. In fact, as time goes by, it's even more difficult to keep those good friendships as we move on with our lives. In Proverbs 18:24 tells us that a man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Trust and friendship go hand in hand. How can you be friends with someone you cannot trust. Well, you cannot. I found out that I cannot be friends or even associate with those who gossip. As far as I am concerned, it can break up a friendship. People who gossip can never keep a secret, therefore they can never be a loyal friend. In Proverbs 11:13 it states, a gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.


I have two very dear friends that are married with children back east, while I live the single life here in Colorado. No matter how far apart we are, we always manage to make time to talk to one another. We have gone through a lot together from our teenage years to the present. There is a bond between us that cannot be broken. What we have is trust, honesty, loyalty and of course love, which are all very important in a friendship. We do not see each other that often, but when we do, we are still very close friends for life. The bible tells us in John 15:13, greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Since I moved across country, it has been a constant learning experience for me. I had to get a new job, find a place to live, meet new people, make new friends and start a new life for myself, NO PRESSURE! Fortunately, I love socializing and networking, so it only took me a few months to get started. Little did I know at that time I would be meeting some of the closest friends that I have now, most of which are Christians. I do thank God for bringing these people into my life. I put my trust in the Lord and He came through for me. My new friends here in Colorado have made me feel welcome and I have earned their trust. We have helped each other many times and I know that we will be friends for life.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 it states to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on our own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I have two younger sisters, one lives across country and the other lives here in Colorado. No matter where we live, how many kids we have or whatever our status, we will make time for one another. We three sisters are as close as sisters can be, loving, caring and listening to each other in times of need. Growing up we learned how to express ourselves creatively. Each one of us is different and unique in our own way. But we have a sisterly love for one another that will live on long after we are gone. In Romans 12: 9-10, the bible tells us that love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

There is so much to be thankful for, especially when there are others in the world who do not have the love, respect, friendship, trust and bond that I share with my two sisters. If my sister that lives across country wants to talk to me, all she has to do is call me, no matter what the time of day or night. Sometimes Danielle and I will talk for hours to catch up on lost time. We encourage one another to do the things that we love and help others in the process. We speak as though we lived only minutes away from the other. She and I are both artists, share other things in common and we take turns visiting the other. In 1Thessalonians 5:11, 18 we read, therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.

Here is an interesting story about my other sister who lives here in Colorado. I was living in Pennsylvania and wanted to move to another state for a change of pace. Maria suggested that I move to Colorado. Ever since I came back from vacationing in the beautiful state of Colorado, I believe that it was my calling to live there. My sister said if I moved there, I could easily get a new job and stay with her and her family until I got on my feet. So I took a chance and moved across country. My nephew was delighted with the idea. It only took one month for me to get a good job and 3 months to move into a new place. Maria even got some of her friends to help me move into a new apartment.

What would I do without my sisters? Not one of us would even hesitate to help the other. For us it is only natural to come to the aid of her sister. We will always and forever be friends for life!


His message to us in 1 John 3:18 states, dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.

Other bible verses:
Proverbs 17:17
Proverbs 27:6
Psalm 40:4
Psalm 125:1
1Peter 5:7
John 14:1

Gods message to us: You can never have too many friends.

 





Make Time with God

by Lory

Why are we so busy doing other things, when we could be spending some quality time with God? The best relationships are the ones where we get to know one another better. When you have a best friend, how did you develop that relationship? Isn't God good enough to be a best friend to?

Scripture states in 1John 4:19, We love because he first loved us.

Relationships take time. I think a lot of people will agree with that statement. So, why not spend more time with God. You'd be surprised at how well your disposition changes for the better. If people matter, than why doesn't God matter?

In 2Chronicles 15:2 it states, The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Think of all of the things you can learn, by spending time with God. I personally get lots of great ideas from him. To become successful and prosperous in this life, I need to slow down and spend time with God.

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2

I have always had a good relationship with God. As time goes buy and the older I get, the more I feel like our relationship gets stronger. It also helps to have bible studies, but I need to do my homework first to prepare for it. That all means spending time with God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

I'm really not a morning person, but I can spend time with God in the evenings during the week. I usually make time for God on Sunday mornings as well. I like to go to church on Saturday evenings or early afternoon on Sundays. My point is, I do make time for God.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Proverbs 8:17

Bible studies, reading bible teachings and looking up bible verses keeps me grounded. Listening to Christian music gets me through the work day. It makes me feel good to know that I can share experiences with other Christians. At bible studies we can teach and learn from each other. God loves this and it keeps me grounded.

In Psalm 143 verse 10 David states, Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

If we keep saying that we are too busy to find the time to spend with God, then something's wrong. So, why not make time for him, because he always has time for us.

The bible says, But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Other Bible verses:
2Chronicles 15:2
Lamentations 3:25
Acts 17:27
Psalm 9:10
Hebrews 11:6





Work for God

By Lory

I am about to loose my job and the question is, who do I really work for? The answer is, I work for God first. As long as I work for Him, I will always grow and prosper. In Job 36:11 we read, “If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.�

At first, I felt a little threatened knowing that someone else half way around the world would be doing the work that I was getting paid to do. Well, I don’t feel that way anymore. God has shown me that I must move on with my business life. It is obvious that I am not meant to work for this company anymore and God will find something else for me to do. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I do it for Him. 2Chronicles 15:7 tells us, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.�

God has convinced me there are certain core values that I will carry with me no matter where I land and they are as follows:
Commitment, Dependability, Fairness, Faithfulness, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Quality, Righteousness, Service, Truth and Vision. The bible tells us, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you’ve learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.� (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

It is important to demonstrate good work ethics no matter where I happen to work. Businesses that have good work ethics attract those who feel the same way. It is important that my next job be with a company that put into practice these same good core values, even if it is my own business. So it is advisable that I focus on their mission statement and the reputation of any potential companies no matter how large or small they are prior to accepting a job offer. If I do not agree with their corporate culture, products or services, there is no sense in working in a place that will make me unhappy. God’s message to us in 1Thessalonians 4:11-12, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.�


Finding the right job, with the right company and being able to GROW is all very necessary in finding long term success in my business life. Having good benefits and achieving my financial needs is also very important. I believe that God wants me to be happy, so I’d better listen to Him. Holding on to bitterness will only cloud my judgment. I need to be ready to hear God’s Word. After all, He knows what is best for me. In Psalm 37:3-4 we read, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.�

Fear is not an option. It is not the end of the world. And I look forward to my new business life. God says in Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.� I pray that God will grant me the wisdom needed to get a new job, comfort me when I get discouraged and guide me down the right path, so that I may grow and prosper. In Isaiah 30 verse 21 states that Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “ This is the way; walk in it.�

Meanwhile, I am still working for a few months, I look forward to spending more time with family and friends and I have this website to spread His word in many different ways by using the gifts that God gave me. In Ecclesiastes 5:19 the bible says, “Moreover, then God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work " this is a gift from God.�

If anybody asks, I work for God. Life is Good!

Here are other bible verses for this month’s devotional:
Isaiah 41:13
Hebrews 6:10-11
Proverbs 14:23
Psalm 3:5-10
Psalm 128:2
1Timothy 6:17-19

 





Freedom from Sin

by Lory

I was always made to feel guilty if I did something wrong while I was growing up. But then again, I was raised catholic. I was one of those do-gooders. Very rarely did I fail at anything and I always obeyed my parents. Well, most of the time. My brothers were the ones who always got into trouble. But we always came clean with mom. She had a way about her that made you want to confess. In John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The truth is, a sin is a sin, no matter how big or how small. In Galatians 5:19-21 it states, the acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, fractions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Do we have the right to judge others? Aren’t we all sinners? Be careful, in Matthew 7:1,2 the bible says do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

How do we free ourselves from the sins of the world? The bible states, for God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ~ John 3:16-18.

First we need to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and ask him to forgive us our sins. “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.� 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Wouldn’t you like to change your corrupt way of life and ask God for forgiveness? Live your life here on earth with a clear conscious? To be able to say to your family and friends that you can truly be happy with the new life you have chosen because you have accepted Jesus into your heart? In Ezekiel 18:30,31 it states, Therefore, O Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.

My advice is to not be so concerned with others and learn to be humble. Try swallowing your pride and fear only God. If we become more childlike, our father in heaven will welcome us with open arms. Remember what is said in Matthew 18:1-4, at that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?� He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.�

And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.
~ Acts 22:16


Other bible verses:
Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Isaiah 43:25
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.�

Micah 7:18
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Psalm 103:3
…who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases…

Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told his parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men " robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.�


Romans 6:18-23
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.





Check Your Baggage in with God

By Lory

Everyone has baggage because we tend to hold on to the past much too often. The trick is to let go of that baggage. Learn from your mistakes, don’t hold onto them and do better next time. For God doesn’t hold you against this. Once he has forgiven you, it’s forgotten.

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. ~ Hebrews 8:12

Stop feeling guilty about what you did 5 years ago or even a week ago. Ask God for forgiveness and try not to do the same thing over again. Why beat yourself up about something that happened in the past. You can’t change it. We all make mistakes. There’s no sense in dwelling on the past. Let it go, forgive yourself and ask God to forgive you.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. ~ Matthew 6:14

A friend of mine called me the other day because he was being haunted by his own actions. He made a comment to me that may have come across very critical in a negative way and he wanted to apologize to me. Well, I knew how he was and really didn’t take offense by it. I told him not to worry, that I knew he wasn’t a bad person. He had a tough time trying to get his message across to me. We work together sometimes and he wanted to clear the air. I tried to let him know that it wasn’t a big deal to me and he would feel better if he would simply let it go.

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ~ Isaiah 43:25

Sometimes we carry our baggage from childhood with us wherever we go. From one relationship to another acting the same way each time. But where does it get us? If the answer is nowhere, then I would suggest making some changes. First change by checking your baggage in with God. Let him watch over it for a while. Let him guide you in your new relationship. This will allow you to create other relationships in the future.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths. I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. ~ Isaiah 42:16

Since your present is beside you and your future is in front of you, why look behind you? It’s good to learn from your mistakes, but it’s even better to practice what you’ve learned. Thank God for all that you have learned and never look back, always look ahead.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. ~ 2Corinthians 5:17

Other Bible Verses:
Isaiah 41:13
Proverbs 20:22
Mark 11:25
Luke 6:35-38
John 14:27





Let Him be your Guide

By Lory

One of the hardest things for me to learn is to stop trying to do everything myself, and let God be my guide.
I have always got to remind myself to let go and let God. This usually happens when I work too much. However, if I can be still for a few moments, stay in for the evening or take the day off and relax, all of a sudden I start getting many new ideas. Later I find that these new ideas had to be messages from God. I know that it was all meant to be. In Isaiah 30:21 it states, whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “that is the way; walk in it.�

On the other hand, when I start analyzing too much, trying to figure out every little thing, becoming too independent for my own good, is when I start getting into trouble. It’s like living my life against the wind or not following the natural course that God has in store for me. Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.� ~ John 16:33.

There are times when I go through growth periods. Most of my day is going great with the exception of this one thing. As if God were trying to get his point across to me and I wasn’t listening. So he allows me to stumble and fall in an effort to allow me to see what the problem was and correct it. As it states in Isaiah 28:26, his God instructs him and teaches him the right way.

Now listening to God is like listening to other people. It is helpful to be open-minded and give him your undivided attention first. I like to listen to music to relax and get all of my thoughts on paper. Once I clear my mind of my thoughts for the day, I am ready to receive God’s message. Every good idea comes from him. After all he is my creator. The bible says, in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9.

Did you ever get a great idea and didn’t know what to do about it? Ask God next time. It could be that you are meant to tell someone else who can fulfill his request. Remember, God uses people to “Spread His Word.� In Proverbs 3:6 it says, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

When I was younger I was working in a mall. I had volunteered to take some merchandise to the post office to mail to our main warehouse. The items were not packaged correctly and the man at the post office offered to help me. Well, something told me to say NO, take them back to the store immediately. So I did. When I got there I explained the problem to the manager. Shortly after that we heard loud popping noises coming from the mall. It turns out that a woman in fatigues had been firing an automatic weapon in and just outside of the mall. If I hadn’t listened to my inner voice, I would have been caught in the middle of that massacre. A few people died that day. I counted my blessings and thanked God for my life. Ever since then I knew that God had a purpose in mind for me and I did not want to let him down.

In the Bible God states, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.� ~ Psalm 32:8.

Other bible verses:
Psalm 25:5
Psalm 37:23,24
Psalm 48:14
Psalm 73:23,24
Proverbs 11:5
Isaiah 42:16





Practice Hospitality

By Lory


In my line of work there is a growing need for hospitality. Whenever you go on vacation, it is customary to be more sociable and courteous to others. And we expect the same in return. So why are we lacking in these traits at home or at work? The bible says, Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. – Romans 12:13

I believe that many people are very unhappy at work. Most of us like what we do for a living, but do not like how we have to do our jobs. So, we tend to complain a lot and forget why we applied for the job in the first place. Everyone has something good to offer. And sometimes we need a reminder. So, offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:9-10

I remember working in the corporate world with their downsizing, multi-tasking, wanting quality and quantity, make it fast and you better be accurate because we need to make our quota. What we really need is to be 2 reps in one! And by the way, train this rep in your spare time, while making the same money you did 2 years ago. How can people keep up their morale with all of that pressure? In 2 Chronicles 15:7, it states, but as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

Sometimes you simply need to let go of all that fear and worry and enjoy the rest of your workday. Do the best that you can without wearing yourself out and continue on the next day. For the Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strong hold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. – Psalm 27:1-3

Even I work too much on my own business, because I need to pay the bills, make sure everyone is happy and plan events for the future. With all of that in mind, it’s difficult for me to stop working and start having some fun of my own. When I do stop, relax and enjoy myself, I am in a much better mood to work the next day. In Philippians 4:19, it states, and my God will meet all of your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

A well balance life is the key to being happy and in turn projecting a nice healthy attitude towards others. It’s easy to be hospitable when you are happy with your life. Then we tend to want to share with others in their time of need. Matthew states in Chapter 25 verses 35-36, for I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

There are times when we need to be friendly towards others that we work with or have clients we would like to keep when we are not exactly in the greatest mood. In this case I think that prayer is in order. Ask and you shall receive. The bible says, If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. – Matthew 21:22

Another way to get out of that bad mood and into a good mood is to change your way of thinking and accept all that God has to offer you. If things aren’t going the way that you planned, take it in stride. Thank God for bringing it to your attention and learn from it. If you try to fight it, I believe that you could make matters worse. If you cannot understand what God is trying to teach you, then ask Him to show you what you need to learn. In James 1:2-4 it states, consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of you faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Once you see the error of your ways, you will know what to do if it happens again. When you discover the problem and how to correct it or prevent it from happening in the future, you end up feeling much better about yourself. When you are in a better mood, it’s easy to become more social and welcoming to others, even strangers. So, do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. – Hebrews 13:2

Generosity can be very rewarding. I love trying to help others find better jobs. There are so many companies laying off these days and it’s nice to know that I can help others in the process. So I started a recruiting service. As a result, I believe that God wants me to have a Job Fair in the Fall. Of course, I will accept a finders fee for my services if my clients gets hired. This could turn out to be good for all concerned. The bible states, good will come to him who is generous and tends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. – Psalm 112:5

Other Bible verses:
2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Matthew 25:40
James 2:15-16
Mark 9:41
Acts 20:35
1John 3:17
Proverbs 22:9




Don't Worry, Follow Me and Be Happy

by Lory

To worry is to disrupt our peace of mind and to invite anxiety into our lives. Not a very admirable quality, I must say. There are times when I worry far too much. Money, work, social life, you name it! I doubt very much that God put me on this earth to worry. For instance, I woke up in the middle of the night worrying that I might not be able to afford medical and dental insurance after I get laid off. Here there is no medical coverage through the car insurance companies anymore. What if I get into a car accident? I am use to working for big companies with good benefits. Soon, that’s all about to change. Philippians 4:19 tells us “and my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.�

Sometimes life here on earth can be scary. Why should I worry about things I cannot change? What good will that do? Instead of worrying about what may be, I should just give it to God. He knows what’s best for me. That’s easier said than done. In Psalm 46:1-3 it states, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, and through it’s waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

Let’s face it, bad things happen to good people. So what do you want to do about it? Feel sorry for yourself or do something about it? Do you think that a “worry-wart� would choose the latter? Would you have enough confidence in yourself to do something about it? Remember, He would never abandon you in your time of need. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.�

Instead of creating your own agenda, simply ask God what is righteous and noble of heart. Ask Him how you should proceed and what would Jesus do in a situation like this? Rest assured, you’ll get your answers. In Psalm 5:12 it states, “For, surely, Oh Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.�

Stop worrying about what other people think. What you do, shouldn’t really matter to them anyway. The choices that you make in life are between you and God. Of course, you have to live with those choices. Sometimes you make bad choices and worrying about it is needless. Could it be due to the eagerness to please others? It’s a well known fact that you can’t please everyone. So why worry about it. God says in Isaiah 54:4, “Do not be afraid, you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.�

I believe that God doesn’t want us to worry about the future or even dwell on the poor decisions we made in the past. I think He wants us to listen to Him and choose wisely. Maybe He wants us to learn from our mistakes and ask His forgiveness when we do something wrong. We do need to thank Him for teaching us this valuable lesson and move on with our lives. In Philippians 4:6-7 it states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.�

When you move too fast, it’s difficult to learn without listening. Just slow down long enough to open your mind and heart and allow the Holy Spirit guide you down the path of righteousness. God says in Psalm 91: 14-15, “Because he loves me,� says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. I will answer him, I will be with him and honor him.�

Other bible verses for this month’s devotional:
Jeremiah 17:8
Psalm 9:9
Psalm 32:7
Romans 8:28
Isaiah 32:17

God’s Message to Us:
Don’t Worry, Follow Me and Be Happy.





Put on the Full Armor of God

by Lory

Sometimes we allow ourselves to become angry by reacting to what someone else has said or done of an evil nature. They twist your words to make you look guilty. But don't fall for it.

In the bible, Job states in chapter 27 verse 4, "my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit."

Do not be fooled by Satan. He uses people, even other Christians to try and hurt you. He figures out your weaknesses and will try to use your own friends to get to you. He'll do just about anything to keep you from doing God's work.

DON'T LET HIM! Reject him and Put on the full Armor of God.

In Ephesians 6:10-20 it says,
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

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.

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.


Don't forget to ask God for guidance....
"let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance"
~ Proverbs 1:5

Be courageous, God will never leave your side. I read Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."


Never fear, In Psalm 27:2-4 you will discover that it's important to have confidence in the Lord.
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

(Click on Power of Prayer and schroll down to
Prayer for a Spiritual Canopy.)





Forgiveness It's a Choice

by Lory

Did you ever feel like you wanted to forget the past and move on with your life?
Why bother when the future has so much to offer?
Maybe if you ignore it, it will go away.
Out of sight, out of mind. Besides, who wants to listen to you complain about your past
Relationships anyway! Been there, Done that!

The truth is, you can’t really move on with your life until you come to terms with you past starting with “forgiveness�. What a difficult thing to do. Now that you have to
“let go� of your anger and “give it to God�. Don’t worry, He can handle it. Bitterness will only eat you up inside. It’s not worth carrying around all of that pain, misery and unhappiness. Not only is it beneficial to forgive the one who hurt you, but you need to forgive yourself as well. That could be the most difficult task of all.

Try this " Write down the following information:
Who hurt you "
What was done "
How you felt about it "
What actions you took "
Now, give it to God.

Be honest with yourself and God. Now write down the following details:
What did you do wrong "
How you felt about it "
What actions you took "
Now, give it to God.

Remember, I believe that forgiveness is a choice. Jesus Christ died for our sins. If God can forgive us our sins, why can’t we?

Don’t forget to thank God for teaching us the art of forgiveness.

Trigger Affects:
If Satan brings up these bad memories, don’t forget to tell him that you had already forgiven that person for hurting you. Remind him that he is not allowed to enter into your thoughts and trigger these old feelings.

Don’t be afraid to enter into another relationship and at the same time, don’t allow someone to walk all over you. Accept that other person the way that Jesus Christ accepts you.

Here are some bible verses for the Monthly Devotional:

Matthew 6:14, 15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you,
Your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jeremiah 31:34
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord, because they will know me, from the least of them to the greatest�, declares the Lord, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.�

Matthew 6:12
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

Psalm 103:8-10
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abound in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

Matthew 18:21, 22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy seven times.�


 





You Gotta have Faith

By Lory

Do you have the faith and trust in the Lord to get you through the next day, month, year or a lifetime? Sometimes I believe that I am being put to the test. I tend to be very independent " doing things on my own and say it’s for God, but am I really listening to his word? This is why I started to slow down and make time for God. He always has time to listen to me, so the least I can do is make time for him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Usually in order to trust someone, first they must earn it. In order to have faith in someone, you usually trust them. So how is it that we can have faith in God, if we don’t trust him? Could it be that we would prefer to carry out our own agenda, instead of His?


Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust. ~ Psalm 40:4

God is our creator and he knows what is best for us, even though we think that we know everything. Stop trying to solve the world’s problems and start listening to God. Trust in his word and he will get you off that miserable path and point you in the right direction. But first you must have faith and trust in him because he cares about you, just as a parent cares for their children.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he does exist and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

Ask and you shall receive. God always provides for me. I never want to loose faith in him. He never lets me down, never. So why do I worry at times about one thing or another? I guess that I am only human and in need of some improvement! I should not allow the weight of the world sit on my shoulders, but instead, give it to God. For He is my strength in good times and in bad. So there is no need to worry about what I don’t have and truly be thankful for what I do have.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

You do remember the story of Noah’s Ark? Noah had such faith in God, didn’t he? Just suppose he doubted God, especially around the time when others ridiculed him for building a large ship on dry land. But then the rains came for 40 days and 40 nights. And the rest is history. If he didn’t have faith in God, he would never have lived to tell the story, nor would his family live to be fruitful and multiply.

By faith, Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an Ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteous that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7

Other Bible Verses:
Hebrews 11:1
Galatians 3:26
1Corinthians 16:13
Psalm 37:3-5
Psalm 46:1-2
Mark 6:31-32
1Peter 5:7
James 1:5-6
Colossians 2:6-7
Ephesians 2:8
2Timothy 3:14-15
1Corinthians 16:13
Ephesians 3:17-19


 





Money or Great Wealth

By Lory

What makes a person successful? Is it money, popularity, power? It’s nice to be successful in what you do for a living. We all strive to be perfect in our skills. To be performance based is quite the trend in the corporate world.

More over, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work " this is a gift from God. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:19


So I guess there is nothing really wrong with doing your best to achieve your goals. Making money to pay your bills, get out of debt and put money away for a rainy day. But it would be best to not get stressed out, just to get rich. You miss out on what God really has to offer you in this lifetime.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. ~ Proverbs 23: 4-5

Society seems to dictate to be wealthy, means to have lots of money, to be rich. What does wealthy mean to you? I know that I am rich in friendships. I know several people here in Colorado and back east that I love very much. I put a high value on friendships. I also have family members that I am devoted to. I learned loyalty through my family growing up. It’s important to me to have quality relationships with family and friends.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13

OK, so the wealthier you are, the happier you’ll be? I don’t know about that. Do rich people have bills to pay? Do they have to juggle their schedule to meet the demands of the day? Do they have problems with relationships? Is it difficult for them to meet people and make new friends? The truth is, people have problems and concerns in life, no matter how much money they make. I understand that money can be a help to those who owe creditors and take that big weight off your shoulders. But it cannot make all your problems go away. Wouldn’t it be better to be happy with what you have? After all, money can’t buy happiness.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.� ~ Hebrews 13:5

Other Bible Verses:
1Timothy 6:9-10
1Peter 5:2
Proverbs 3:9-10
Proverbs 18:24
Luke 12:13-15





Living Faith Daily Devotionals, Prayers, Books & Tapes
LIVING FAITH: Daily Catholic Devotions provides daily spiritual reflections from such sources as the published works of Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Pope John Paul II, and Mother Teresa, as well as such regular contributors as Sr. Joyce Rupp, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Elizabeth-Anne Stewart. Drawn from the laity, priests and religious women, LIVING FAITH writers provide a variety of perspectives and insights. Each daily devotion is a personal reflection on a Scripture passage from the day’s Mass readings, a format that encourages readers to pray and meditate in spirit with the seasons of the Church year.

Click on Welcome Sign....




Belonging

By Lory

Everyone needs to feel as though they belong to something greater than themselves. Sometimes we try a little too hard to belong. We get caught up in the world, it’s possessions and what others think, instead of what God wants for us. We forget that if it weren’t for Him, we wouldn’t be here.

“If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.� Romans 14:8

My life is not my own, it’s in God’s hands. He alone will decide my future. I belong to Him, for He is my true father. I am a part of a larger family and a higher power watches over me. However, I don’t always listen. Sometimes, I go astray and feel like I don’t belong.

In John 8:47 it states, “He who belongs to God, hears what God says. The reasons you do not hear is that you don’t belong to God.�

I have learned that when you need help, just ask for it. Not only do we need help from God, but we need the support of our family and friends. It’s important to develop a good relationship not only with others who are close to us, but with our co-workers and other Christians as well. Sharing our time, experiences and gifts God gave us with others can lead to a sense of belonging. It makes us feel safe and secure.

In Romans 12:4,5 God tells us, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not at all have the same function, so in Christ, we who are many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.�

Some people put on airs, pretending to be something they are not in order to feel like they belong. They want to be part of the in-crowd, be popular, not a loser. At other times, they envy someone else for what they possess. Some act conceited, putting others down, just for being different. And they do this to gain another’s favor - Not God’s favor.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with it’s passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envy each other." Galatians 5:24-26

Sometimes it’s not easy living in this world God gave us. There are times when you may feel the world is against you, everything you do is wrong and nothing is working. Maybe it’s because you try too hard to belong. You cannot please everyone. What do you do about this?

In John 15:18-19 it states, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it’s own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.�

I believe that when you stop trying so hard to please others and start listening to God, you begin to do things to please Him. By following God’s plan, instead of our own, we become happier with our lives, doing what we were born to do and glorifying God in the process. If you listen to your heart and follow God’s plan, you can’t go wrong. For it is God who speaks to our hearts and our soul belongs to Him.

Other bible verses for this month’s devotional:
Psalm 95:4
Romans 1:6, 7:4
1 Thessalonians 5:5-11


 





The Man Who Would Be King

by Lory

He was born a Savior
In a small town
Who rulers feared
And the needy wanted around

He had many followers
Who heard his every word
He spoke truth with wisdom
And promised a better world

He met a woman in the street
They called an adulteress
He urged those without sin
The first stone to cast

He never did judge
But looked the other way
And when they confessed
Their sins he had forgave

He healed the sick
Gave sight to the blind
He gave food to the hungry
And brought someone back to life

He was arrested and betrayed
By those who stood close
He wore a crown of thorns
And carried a heavy cross

He suffered and died
To save all of mankind
They took his body
But his soul they could not find

The man they called Christ
That some had called King
And after three days
He rose to live again

The Man Who Would Be King






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