Saturday, May 26, 2018

Love...


 Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)   Love one another.  It sounds simple, but unfortunately, many of us have complicated it.  We do so by adding one extra word to the end of Jesus' commandment.  Most of us have added the word "except".  Love one another except..... and that is where all the trouble begins.
 Unfortunately, we don't even realize we are doing this.  We are so much better at judging and excluding people who are different from us, then we are at embracing and loving them.  I wonder why that is? 
  This week try to spend some time reflecting on who you have not been willing to love, and then ask God to help you love them.  Ask God to transform you into one of His disciples of love.

-Susan

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Are You Serious?


  Being a parent is not an easy job.  A parent's perspective can be so different from a child's.  Sometimes the way I remember a particular event is completely different from my kids.  I love reminiscing about our family vacations.  I will be remembering how much fun we had, and my kids will bring up the one thing that went wrong.  My usual response is, "Are you serious?  Do you know how much time I spent planning everything for you?  Why would you focus on the negative?"
  A parent's perspective can definitely be different.  I wonder how many times God has wondered the same thing about me?

-Susan

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Little Spring Cleaning


  I was vacuuming the kitchen when I noticed the crumbs weren't being picked up.  I shut off the vacuum, got down on my knees and took a closer look.  That's when I saw the problem.  One of the tubes wasn't completely connected.  
  My daughter was watching me and commented, "I noticed it wasn't working very good for me either."
  "Why didn't you tell me?"  I asked.  "I even asked you if you had vacuumed your room."
  "I did vacuum," she answered.  "It's not my fault if it didn't clean anything."
   I shook my head. "Well if it wasn't working, you should have asked for help. You can't just go through the motions and say you cleaned."  And so it is with our sins.  We can't just say we are sorry and not change our habits.  Sometimes in order to clean up our mistakes, we need to get down on our hands and knees and take a good look at what is causing the problem.  We need to be honest with God and with ourselves.  
  This week try to spend some quiet, one-on-one time with God reflecting on your life.  The better your connection with God, the better your chance will be of avoiding sin in the future. 

-Susan
  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mary's Love


    This Sunday is Mother's Day.  It is a perfect time to remember all the little and big moments you have shared with your Mom.  I remember when I was very young, I would go out into the yard and pick dandelions for my mom.  My mom would always thank me and smile, and then put them in a special vase.  It made me feel so happy and loved.
  My moments in prayer with Mary make me feel the same way.  Mary always has the time to listen to my little bouquet of prayers.  She gathers them in her gentle hands and then carries them to heaven for me.  My prayers look so much more beautiful in her hands because she adds her love to them.  A mother's love is a gift you should never take for granted.  Find some special moments to love and be loved by Mary this weekend!

-Susan

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Knocking Down Walls


  As I knelt to pray, I looked around and wondered to myself, "When did these walls get here?"  They were tall and wide and obstructed my view.  "Lord, where are you?" I called out.
  "I am here, my child."
  "But I can't see you."
  "That's because you built those walls."
  "I built these walls?  I don't remember doing that. Why would I build a wall that separated me from You?"
  "I wonder about that, too," answered God.
  "My Lord, I want nothing to come between us."
  "The power to remove these walls resides in you," replied God.
  I thought about this for a minute. I very slowly and deliberately made the sign of the cross as I said, "I believe in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." I saw one wall crumble to the ground.  "Jesus," I cried out, "I place all my trust in You."  Instantly, another wall came crashing down.  I began thinking about some of my recent decisions, and with sorrow I said,  "Lord, I desire Your Will over my own." The third wall smashed into pieces.  "God I want to love you with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul." The last wall completely disintegrated and my Lord was standing there with His arms wide open.  In an instant I ran to His arms and was completely immersed in His love.  "My Lord, please never let go of me."
  "My dear child, it is not My arms that ever let go. It is your arms that let go of Me."

-Susan
  

Friday, May 4, 2018

Don't Under Estimate It


  As I was walking down the beach I came upon this beautiful site.  Someone had drawn in the sand a very large Christian fish or Ichthys. Since the very early days of Christianity, the fish has symbolized one's belief in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.  The sight of this of course made me smile.  I loved knowing that I was not the only one thinking about God as I walked along the shore.  
  Sharing your faith with the world can never be underestimated.  Believers and non-believers need to be reminded of Christ's Presence in this world.  I love when I am having a bad day and I am suddenly struck with someone's inspiring words or actions.  God allows His love to shine through each of us--when we give Him our "Yes!"  As I continuing walking I thought of the quote attributed to Saint Francis, "Preach the Gospel at all times.  When necessary, use words."

-Susan