BanksShot

Thoughts off the Glass

Archive for the tag “love”

Lent 2016……..steps

Put one foot in front of the other, you’re walking.  You’re moving forward.

Jesus did this.  He put one foot in front of the other and walked into the wilderness to be tempted.  Not to give into temptation but to overcome it.

Do you remember when the Devil tempted Jesus?  …I am waiting….. Okay – at the END of the forty days (and nights) the Devil tempted Jesus.  Only in His human nature when He was weak is when the Devil approached.  For some reason I never put two and two together, then on Sunday at yet another parish (in our quest to find where we should be) did I hear that “and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

We are only approached by the Devil in our weakest moments.  That is when he can take advantage of us.  That is why we need to train like athletes, keep tuned up, stay in shape, keep strong in the faith.  By doing this we at least have fewer temptations and when they do appear we are more equipped to defeat him.

 

The Basics

I was sitting at my favorite bar talking to the bartender.   He is taking some college courses right now so I asked him how he was liking it,  “It’s boring”  “Why do I have to take these basic english and business math classes again that I took in high school?”  So I ask what his major is, “General Business”.    I’ll take another beer and here’s my advice to you.

Learn the basics.   The three R’s;  Reading, Riting and Rithmatic.  (maybe our elected politicians should be tested on the basics….)

These things you will carry throughout your life. You are giving me change back from my bar tab, learn how to count it backwards without the use of a computer.  You need to add four beers to my tab, how much is that?    I would like to leave a 20% tip, would you add that on my bill please.  Are you able to read the pamphlet of information on the drugs you about to take?   Can you write down directions for me?  Now I know that there are other things or lessons that we should learn, that will enhance our lives.   But let’s be honest here and say we need these everything tools first.  These MUST be in ingrained in our memory first.

Acquire some skills.   Everyone one of us has the ability to learn some type of skill.   What skills do you possess?  Maybe you are mechanically inclined and like to take things apart and put them together (mechanic, engineer, carpenter, welder, chef ).    In today’s world it is so easy to learn a new skill, all you need to do is YouTube it and someone has made a video showing you how to do it.  (See where learning the basics comes in handy here).

Have Faith.   You need to have faith, trust and love.   Have faith that you already possess all of these, you were born with them.  All you need to do is find them.   Have faith in your family that they are raising you the best they know how.  Have trust in your teachers and leaders that they are doing the best they can for you.  Love your family, your friends, your neighbors and even love those you hate to the best of your ability.  What I mean is not to seek revenge but extend a hand when they need help.   For most of our kind acts we do not need to exchange words, our works will suffice and send a more significant message of love, faith and trust to those who need it.

That’s my advice – take it for what it’s worth.   I’ll take another in honor of my brother.

2015 Lent Day 39

We all have encountered those family moments of bliss, laughter, love, anger and regret.    And the fact that it can usually occur within a few short hours is what makes each family unique.

The Holy Family may have had the same family dynamics, but possibly with less anger.   Most certainly there was love, laughter and bliss.

We are nearing the end of lent, let us all hold ourfamlies up with our love, laughter and joy of each other.  Reach out with a phone call, email or even a text can make a difference today.   Go make a difference.

 

 

2015 Lent Day 38

Today’s Readings

Music is the universal language.   It breaks all barriers and can heal all wounds.   It is passionate, loving, joyful, soothing,  tingling and simply amazing.    Each area of the world makes, creates and is passionate about their music.  They are also willing to share when asked or when they are feeling anyone of those emotions.

Jesus sings a new song that we all should listen to and if you feel one of those emotions or you begin to dance then share it when someone asks you!

2015 Lent Day 32

Today’s Readings

March madness is all around us.  We pick our teams based on their record, RPI, BPI, FBI and grade point averages. We discount those teams that we have never heard of and we have to do a little research.     The problem with making logical picks is we discount what those teams possess in their heart and soul to thrive.

People discounted from where Jesus was from as well.

“What good could come out of Nazereth?”

“Isn’t he the carpenters son?”

“This is the Christ?”

But blessed be those who believed with their heart and soul!!!   For it is by their faith that they passed down to each generation that we believe that this IS the Christ that is among us even today!!

 

 

2015 Lent Day 31

Today’s Readings

It’s the first day of spring.  The sun is out, the flowers start blooming, grass is turning green and we have new hopes for the rest of the year.    We start to clean up the basement, garages, yards and begin painting or remodeling.   We plant new trees, flowers or gardens for the future.  We begin to get in shape, tone up, tan up (well not all of us, maybe freckle up).  In the words of Michael Bublé – “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and I feel good!”

The hour is coming when it will be a new dawn, a new day and a new life for all of us!   We do not know the hour but it will come.  Only thing we can do is do our best to be ready by living our lives according to His word.

2015 Lent Day 18

Today’s Readings

I am the number four child of five.   I don’t think I was lost in the shuffle, maybe sometimes not always feeling the love at the time, but then again I was/am all about me 80% of the time.    Our reading today is about the prodigal son, you know the story by heart ( if not, please take time to read!).   We all need to know that we can turn around our ways and God will be there.   We need that reassurance.

But how do you practice this?  We need to be there for our children, our friends and our family members.  Turn the other cheek and welcome them back into our lives and homes.   This is how to show them that God loves them!!

Why I am catholic ……. the crucifix

I grew up in a “non-denominational” church, Church of Christ.   Our building had no decorations or windows.  We did have a very large baptismal pool and vaulted ceilings.  It was never decorated for any season or purpose ( maybe weddings had some decorations).    The outside was just as boring.   All brick and no signs that it is even a church, other that the road sign that says “Church of Christ”.

So why do some churches profile a plain cross and the catholic church show a full crucifix?    Well I grew up with neither.   So here is my observation, years and decades later.   The plain cross is a “nice” reminder.  It reminds us of Jesus’ death, that it He suffered on the cross for our sake.  It helps us to remember His sacrifice.  The cross was once a symbol of suffering and ultimately death by cruel methods.  But Gods use of it has turned  that symbol upside down for us to be able to see  past the suffering and death.   The cross is now a symbol of hope, love and the life to come.

So why is it so important to remember this?  What can the cross do for me?

When I read the bible and it details the not so pleasant events of the process of torture, hatred, humiliation and the hammering Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross.   When we reflect upon Jesus hanging there on the cross one does wonder why did God do this?  Why would God put His Son through this human suffering?   In Luke 23:35    “The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.””   So the question is why do we need reminded of this?  Well, I, us, we tend to forget.  We want to look past the suffering and only be reminded of the positive.   Well that is what I usually want to do, I want to look past my past.  I only want to look at the positive, never the negative.   I do not like to look in the past and the mistakes I have made in life.  Now God did not make a mistake, but we need to be reminded of His sacrifice and His love for us.  Remember that He came down to us, to show us how to live, love, laugh and to follow Him.

So now we begin to understand the crucifix, not just a cross, but we see Jesus’ agony on the cross.  We are reminded that He was 100% human and 100% divine, we need this reminder.  We need to see the suffering,  we need to see that our agonies and sufferings are miniscule compared to His!   So we need this not-so-nice reminder.

God may we begin to understand your love and mercy for us through your Son who died on the cross for us!

Why I am catholic ……. I confess

Let me tell you a secret.

Close the doors.

Pull down the shades.

Turn off the sound on the computer.

I ……. am ……. not ……. perfect!!!!

Okay…phew! 😉    I feel better.     That is such a relief to be able to confess to you.   And if you said this out loud with me it would be even better because misery loves company.

Some may think that confessing your sin to someone other than the Lord is ridiculous or just a way for the church to “control” you.   Why not just confess your sin(s) to God directly?    To which I say – “I do!”  and I did.   (I think God is one of my followers – I know I follow Him, I just don’t read “every” blog, sorry God – another confession!)   So let me try to give you my point of view on this.

I always thought I could handle it,  I’m a man, I’m an old fart, I can correct my sins and turn it around.   (insert chuckle here)

I am not the first one to think this way, nor are you.   Remember Adam and Eve in the garden,  they had it made – they had hit the jackpot.  ( I wonder where we all would be if Adam and Eve would of said “No thanks we’re good!” )  Well they thought they could handle it on their own and they didn’t need someone else to tell them what they could and could not do!  (dang it “free will”).     This is what Satan does to us,  scatters our thoughts, makes us think we are better off doing it ourselves.    After all don’t you feel good when you buy that new bookshelf at Target, open the box and follow the instructions and “Shazzam!”  it’s done and you do not have any parts left over!   I know I feel good – “I” did it!  Well yes and no,  did you catch what I did?   I followed the instructions (these had pictures!!).  Mmmm.  Simple.

Why do we complicate things?  God spoke to Adam and Eve with instructions of how to live in the garden.  Satan took a big red crayon to those and scribbled all over them to confuse us!   So then God spoke to Noah and gave him a set of instructions to build an ark – it worked!  Then Satan came along and kicked our ball away and we were confused once more.  Along came Elijah and Moses – they mostly followed but since they did not it fell apart.   Then along came Mary.

Who better to give us instructions (be it with words and examples) than God himself, Jesus (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).    He not only lived liked us so that He could sympathize  with our struggles, but He could also heal us right on the spot if He so choose.  But more importantly by selecting 12 men to be with Him 24/7, He taught them not only by words but by deeds and He taught them privately as well (Mark 4:33-34).  The most effective way to teach anyone is by example.

I will assume at this point you know a little bit about Jesus’ life (If you do not please say so and I will do a follow-up post).   So when Jesus arose from the grave and appeared to the 12 apostles;

Gospel of John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The apostles received the gifts of the Holy Spirit from Jesus himself.   And in James 5:15-17 we are told to confess our sins to one another.

Have you ever gone to apologize for an error of words or acts that you did?  It is difficult and causes a big lump in your throat or stomach.  It’s easy when you say it to yourself in the mirror or in a room by yourself, but put another person in front of you it is not so easy.   When you confess to a priest it can sometimes be difficult because he is representing Jesus, our Lord and God.   The priest has professed to do his best to imitate Jesus and walk in His footsteps and be a living example for us.

Reconcile with God; open your heart and reach out for God’s forgiving, loving mercy.

 

Lent Day 2…….

I believe in one God

You can believe in apple pie and fourth of July.   You can believe in sunrises and sunsets.  You can believe in the air you breath is good for you or the water you drink.

We all desire to know more than we know.    And I find myself pulled in many directions at times wanting to know how things are done, even getting in there and getting dirty.  Kinda my own little version of “Dirty Jobs”.

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.  Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.  ccc 27

So when we find ourselves seeking something, seeking a guiding light, a yearning to learn about something, maybe it’s God who is calling us in.

 

Post Navigation