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My One Word

I have been reading MY ONE WORD by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen.  On Christmas Eve morning I began reading Chapter 3 ~ Pick Your Word.

I found it very fitting that I at Christmas Eve Mass, God gave me MY ONE WORD.  At first I thought it was DAUGHTER because the opening reading was from Isaiah 62:3:

You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

As I heard that Scripture being read I clearly heard the word DAUGHTER.  However, it must have been the LORD using it to get my attention.   Before the Gospel reading, EMMANUEL was on my heart and mind.  Father Ed’s homily helped me to know for certain.

Father Ed opened his homily asking “what can we do to grow?”  Today is born for us a Savior!  Salvation was born 2000 years ago and again today in 2012.  Salvation lives within us.  Salvation is not a what, it’s a Who.  God is with us – Emmanuel.

Mary and Joseph are the first witnesses of the Who of Salvation.  Salvation was born through Mary and Joseph.  Yet Salvation lives within us now, in this year, Christmas 2012.  This Christmas calls us to live lives that proclaim “God is with us!”  He is with us through caring, merciful, compassion, generosity, and kindness.  We too are giving birth to Salvation through these loving actions.  We see them daily and sometimes we take them for granted, such as a parent tending to a small child, showing compassion.  God among us, transforming us into God’s very presence  for us (being His hands and feet.)

As the Christmas song states “do you see what I see?”  All through the centuries people have been compelled to announce this to others.  Christ is Born! For us a Savior is Born!  We make known that message very clearly by the way we live each day.  Our own priceless gift this Christmas Season and everyday is to bring Christ’s presence to others.    The greatest gift we will ever give to another person – our parents, a child, our lover, our boss, our employer, our neighbors or our friends – is Christ’s presence.  The gift of Christ’s presence also invites us to allow God to live in our lives, to open our hearts to the presence of God within us.

The story of Christmas never grows old.  Perhaps because it tells us of God’s great love of us.  God loves each and every person, with an everlasting love.  Your presence is important to God and everyone!  Believe that!!!  Every one of us are precious!

Father Ed’s homily hit every point I thought of as I was praying for MY ONE WORD.  I want to bring Christ’s presence to others.  i want to be kind, merciful, giving, compassionate.  I want to be those things not only to my family and friends but my co-workers, my boss, my neighbor and the stranger I meet.  I want to be those things not only when I feel good but when I don’t feel like it.  I want others to know God’s absolute, everlasting love through me and my actions.

EMMANUEL ~ GOD IS WITH US!

OneWord2013_Emmanuel

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Words of Affirmations

A friend and I were talking about how important words are – telling the people in your life how meaningful, valuable and important they are. I stated that my love language is words of affirmation. She stated her love language is actions.

It got me to thinking about what the readings at Mass and how Deacon F stated that to know more about God was to love God.

To know Him, we need to know His Word and to know is to love, which leads to action.

“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their host. For he spoke, and it was made; he commanded, and it stood forth. “. ~ Psalm 33:6

By the LORD’s words the heavens were made. He spoke and it was commanded. Our words are powerful; to lift up and encourage or to hurt and destroy.

“Upright is the word of the Lord, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. ” ~ Psalm 33: 4-5

The word of the LORD is upright – He lifts up with His word and then He follows it up with action – loving justice and righteousness. Are your actions supporting your words?

Never take for granted what an encouraging word followed by a loving action can do for those around you. Never miss a chance to speak someone’s love language.

What’s your love language? Do you know God, His word and let that lead your actions?

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mass last night was awesome, from the Scriptures, prayers, songs and homily God was speaking to me – opening up His Truths to me in a big way!

Songs:

  • In Christ Alone ~ such a powerful song, I could feel God’s Presence as we sang.
  • How Can I Keep from Singing
  • You Are Mine ~ there is a personal story here that I will talk about at the end.
  • Blessed Be the LORD

Scripture Readings:

  • First Reading ~ 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
  • Second Reading ~ Romans 9:1-5
  • Gospel Reading ~ Matthew 14:22-33

Deacon Francis’ Homily (points that touched me):

  • On the mountain and in the silence is where God speaks to us.
  • Silence brings us before God
  • Silence brings us to the awe of God
  • Be still and reflective so you can hear God speak, as Elijah did.
  • Silence is hard b/c our minds wander and we are used to the distracting noise of everyday life.  The more you sit in silence the easier you will find it.
  • Don’t be afraid to sit in silence and to meet God each day, there is where you will hear that whisper speaking to you, as the gentle breeze spoke to Elijah.

During the whole Mass I felt tuned to God and felt alive.   I absolutely feel God’s Presence every time I attend Mass and am truly in awe every time I receive the Eucharist! But tonight it was like God was there in person speaking just to me! Everything from the scripture, the prayers, the songs and the homily were absolutely perfect tonight.  Each part of the Mass reinforced my relationship with Him.

During the song “You Are Mine” I first found it fitting that I was just reading through my journals this week and had been reading about the days after mom died and here was this song.  I began to cry but then I felt a sense in me say “no need to cry, listen” and I remembered my mom’s death from the beginning of the song, the middle of the song I felt comforted that she was in such a better place and then the last verse (I have loved this song for over 10 years but tonight it was like I had never heard that last verse before) I felt uplifted and realized how the last verse was a summary of the Hidden Joy study that just ended.  So here I was full circle and a new beginning all because Jesus said to me (and to all of us) “You Are MINE”

I walked out of Church lighter and more free than I can remember in a very long time.  I felt as if I just met Jesus face to face and I had!  I found the Gospel reading (the story of Peter walking on water) very fitting as well tonight.  When I started my Bible study 11 weeks ago I was nervous and afraid but a close friend summed up that Gospel reading for me in such a way that it has brought me peace and comfort each time I close my eyes and imagine it, whenever I am afraid, nervous, needing comfort or peace.  She said:

Take Jesus’ hand, step out of the boat, keep your eyes on HIM, never EVER look down ~ only look at your hand in His ~ He will NEVER let you go or let you drown!!!

If you have a Life Application Study Bible, I would encourage you to look up the notes for the Scripture to all of the Mass readings from this evening. 

In Christ Alone Lyrics by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty:

http://youtu.be/wbcl2TlcX1U

IN CHRIST ALONE my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

How Can I Keep from Singing, this is the original quaker traditional version:

 http://youtu.be/JTmj70mVxZI

You Are Mine by David Haas:

http://youtu.be/Sgm9lkTNQmc

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am near

I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see
In the shadows of the night,
I will be your light
Come and rest in Me

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see, the lame will all run free
And all will know My name

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

I am the Word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name, embracing all your pain
Stand up, now, walk, and live

Chorus:
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine

Blest Be the Lord, by Dan Schutte

http://youtu.be/BW5DHXIU43Y

Blest be the Lord; Blest be the Lord,
the God of mercy, the God who saves.
I shall not fear the dark of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day.

He will release me from the nets of all my foes.
He will protect me from their wicked hands.
Beneath the shadows of his wings I will rejoice
to find a dwelling place secure.

Refrain

I need not shrink before the terrors of the night
nor stand alone before the light of day.
No harm shall come to me, no arrow strike me down,
no evil settle in my soul.

Refrain

Although a thousand strong have fallen at my side,
I’ll not be shaken with the Lord at hand.
His faithful love is all the armor that I need
to wage my battle with the foe.

Refrain