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It is Time…

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Devotional Thought of the Day:

7  Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8  You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” 9  Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! Psalm 27:7-9 (ESV)

12  Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
Hosea 10:12 (ESV)

540         You neither want to be an evil man nor a good one. And so, limping on both legs, you will have mistaken your way and filled your life with emptiness.

When I read the psalm above, I feel guilty. I resonate with the words in my heart, oh how I long to know the grace of God, fully in my life. ANd yet, I don’t seek his face enough. It is not as much God hiding his face from us, as we don’t look for Him as often as we should.

We try to get through life on our own, we try to act like we are mature Christians, we try to walk in His steps, but without His help. We are like the 3-year-old, trying on her mom’s high heels, (or his dad’s boots) And when we fall, we wonder why God abandoned us, why He allowed us to gt hurt, why our lives are so empty.

We need to hear God, we need to take Him seriously on the fellowship He desires to have with us. It is how we need to live, really live. To live and walk with Jesus. To abide in the Spirit, to realize the righteousness, the holiness that rains down upon us.

God is with us, and the more we can seek Him, the more our brokeness is revealed to be a place where His comfort and peace powerfully is at work.

Stop what you are doing, spend a few moments seeking God, letting HIs mercy and peace wash over you, a demontration of the love …anad live a full and abundant life. For it is time

Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 2333-2335). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.


The Only Real Hope for the Dying Church…

Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 O God, you are my God— it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
3 I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
4 For your love is better than life, my lips shall ever praise you! Ps 63:2–4 NAB-RE

Let me know Thee, O Lord, who knowest me: let me know Thee, as I am known. Power of my soul, enter into it, and fit it for Thee, that Thou mayest have and hold it without spot or wrinkle. This is my hope, therefore do I speak; and in this hope do I rejoice, when I rejoice healthfully. Other things of this life are the less to be sorrowed for, the more they are sorrowed for; and the more to be sorrowed for, the less men sorrow for them.

About twenty years ago, there became a movement known as being “seeker-sensitive.”  The problem is that they were looking for the wrong seekers.

The seekers were the people in the pews already, the members and regular folk who came to church, seeking God.  To learn that they could pray like David did in the Psalm above, or like Augustine in the quote in blue.

The seeker-sensitive movement, later re-defined as the “attractional model” didn’t change the course of the Church.  Nor did the counter reaction to it,  which focused on purity of teaching and practice before doing anything else.

In the meantime, the people who could have been seeking the presence of God, who could have learned that God would answer their desire, their yearning for His presence, were given academic studies, and told to save the world. And the Church suffered, having lost her First Love, the one She was betrothed to marry at the wedding feast of the Lamb.

What would happen if we realized God was waiting for us, yearning for our company, desiring our love, wanting to enter our souls, making them fit for Him, and holding them in that condition?

What if we realized that in sanctuaries, we could find the stillness that would allow us to know that He is our loving God, our refuge, our impenetrable fortress?  That there we would see the glory of His love for us, pouring out in the words fo scripture, and through the waters of baptism, and in the celebration that His body was broken, and blood poured out for us?

My dear brothers in ministry, my dear fellow believers walking with Jesus.  Seek Him out!  Know that the Lord is with you!  Yes!  Revealed in Word and Sacrament, there incarnationally, and truly present with you, even when the sanctuary is your body.  For you are the temple of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a broken world that the Spirit would bring hope and healing too.

If what you desire is to see the Church stop its death spiral, seek Christ.  Dwell in Him.  Rejoice in His love and mercy.

Years later, you will look back in awe.. amazed at what He has done.

(1)  Augustine, S., Bishop of Hippo. (1996). The Confessions of St. Augustine. (E. B. Pusey, Trans.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Making Ready for the mission.. today’s

Devotional Discussion Thought of the Day…

 34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evilMatthew 6:34 (NAB)

Tomorrow evening I head to the airport – I am travelling to a foreign land, where i will be sharing God’s love with others.  Will proclaim God’s word to some, will worship and pray alongside others, will teach and share as I am able.

I am looking forward to it, as I try to work on what the messages will be each day, and wonder how best to reveal to them the height and breadth, depth and width of God’s love for them in Christ.  It is my first oversees mission experience, and I am looking forward to it.

It is no odd thing, that among my devotional readings this morning, this came up:

When you are preparing for a work of apostolate (this is his and an ancient term for a mission endeaevor), make your own these words of a man who was seeking God: “Today I start to preach a retreat for priests. God grant we may draw profit from it—and, first of all, myself!” And later: “I have been on this retreat for several days now. There are a hundred and twenty on it. I hope that Our Lord will do good work in our souls.”  (1)

We know that God will do these things – yet we pray that we are realizing it is done around us, that God is doing this here!

But even as I planned to plan, I had to encounter that quote from Matthew, and realized, my mission, my apostolate doesn’t start when I land in Asia, today there is a mission. Today’s mission has begun…. Today I will encounter people that need, desperately need to know God’s love.

Are you ready for your mission? Are you ready to be sent – to be God’s apostle to your workplace today?  It is not as much “work”, as it is simply realizing that you dwell in God’s presence, realizing that He brought you into His presence. That everything you need, He provides, the cleansing of sin, the removal of guilt and shame, the love and peace that makes life truly abundant….

Living the mission, living the apostolate, is simply living in and depending on God’s grace.. and that occurs whether you are in Cerritos, or Hong Kong…

Godspeed

(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2435-2438). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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