Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Fingerprints of God

The heavens declare the glory of God,
  and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
  and night to night imparts knowledge;
Not a word nor a discourse
  whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
  and to the ends of the world, their message.
                              Psalm 19:1-5

God is not silent. He speaks to us in many ways. One of the most obvious ways is through the beauty, variety, and intricacies of nature.
  Look at the stars, the moon, the sun, the other planets; the vastness of the universe beyond which man cannot see.
  How many varieties of trees are there in the world? An online Reference website states: "The exact number of tree species in the world is undetermined because only a small percentage of plant or animal species have been discovered and classified."
  How many varieties of fruits are there? The exact number is not known. It's estimated that there are approximately 400,000 types of flowers in the world; and 10,000 species of birds. But these are only scientific estimates; no one knows the exact number.
  Each and every part of the natural world--trees, flowers, fruits, plants, birds, insects, etc.--point to a Creator beyond our human ability to comprehend.
  I like calendars and purchase several each year to post in various rooms of my home. I always choose a few with pictures of nature especially birds, flowers and butterflies. When I look at each picture, I marvel at the intricacy and variety of God's design. Perhaps you would like to do the same. Or perhaps you prefer to view nature shows or online videos. It's a great reminder of who God is.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Exercise Your Spirit As Well As Your Body

Many people are into exercising a keeping fit. Some are even obsessed with it. Keeping our bodies physically fit is a good thing. God wants us to take care of our bodies so we will not be prone to illness or injury. Sickness and injury can detract us from doing God's will.
  But focusing on keeping our bodies healthy without devoting at least as much time to our spiritual lives is not a good thing. Actually, the spiritual life is much more important than the physical life.
  St. Paul says: Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. 1 Corinthians 9:25. So we should devote just as much time and effort to exercising our spiritual lives as an athlete does in training for a race. The Finish Line of our race is Heaven.
  We will all get old. Our bodies will weaken and deteriorate no matter how much we exercise, eat well, take supplements, etc. But our spiritual lives only grow stronger with time if we spend time nurturing them. That is definitely the better investment of our time and energy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Are You Filled With the Holy Spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;...  Galatians 5:22-23

Reflecting on this Scripture passage from time to time is a good way of accessing how you are progressing spiritually. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to grow in holiness. The fruits of the Spirit are indications of how far we have progressed.
  So spend some time in meditation thinking about whether you show love and kindness. Are you usually joyful and peaceful. Are you patient and kind and gentle. Are you a good person. Are you faithful to God and others. Do you have self-control. Perhaps pick the fruit you have the least of and pray for a period of time that the Holy Spirit would help you grow in that area.
  Growing in holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit is not an option for Christians--it is God's Will for us.

A Note to Someone from Poland

I noticed that someone from Poland was viewing my blog. I would be interested to hear from you. Almost all my grandparents immigrated from Poland in the early 1900's. Two of my husband's grandparents were also from Poland and his stepfather was the son of Polish immigrants.
Pathway Peace

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Work of Prayer

Could you not watch one hour with Me?  Matthew 26:40
Many years ago, when I was initially baptized in the Holy Spirit, I was praying about how much time God wanted me to give to prayer. After some time, this passage from Scripture stood out for me as my answer.
  The Holy Spirit may have a different answer for you--perhaps even longer! Over the years my hour of prayer has developed a pattern; not exactly the same each day, but including praise, spiritual warfare, surrender, repentance, quiet time, intercessions, petitions and thanksgiving.
  I have learned that prayer is a ministry; and a job. I don't always feel like praying. It's not always rewarding, although most of the time it is. Often I doze off, especially if I'm short on sleep. But like any other ministry or job, it's what God calls us to. Not just me, but every Christian.
  Setting aside time for prayer is not an option; it's not "if I have time left in my day". It's a priority!  Because I am a morning person by nature, it's my first job of the day. If you are a night person, it's a little more difficult to set aside time to pray at the end of a busy day. There's always the temptation to relax or watch TV. On my "To Do" list, it takes first place. Some people have their prayer time during their morning commute or in the car while driving. This never worked for me since I am a very meditative person and would find myself veering off the road! But for some people it works.
  There's no excuse for not setting aside time to pray. When my children were small (and up very early) I had my prayer time very early in the morning before they woke. People who work outside the home can often find time to pray on their lunch hour. If there's no quiet place in your home, there are always churches or chapels open. If you have small children, naptime might be a good time.
  There's always the temptation to put off prayer time. Or to say to yourself "my service to my family or to others is my prayer." But there's no substitute for setting aside a specific time to pray.
  Of course, setting aside a specific prayer time is not the only time we should pray. We can read a devotional while we're eating. When someone comes to mind, we can pray for them. We can say the rosary or attend services at church. St. Paul said "Rejoice always, never cease praying, render constant thanks; such is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17.
   We should always be ready to pray; for others, for ourselves. To always be listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit within us--guiding us, leading us, showing us how to pray and who to pray for. This is God's Will for everyone.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Miracle of a Child

One of my daughters is pregnant with her first child. As with each of my children and grandchildren, I enjoy tracking the development of the baby week by week. It's a marvel to see how quickly and intricately the baby grows in the womb of his or her mother. By the end of the first trimester all body systems have developed and are working. The only thing left is for the baby to grow in size and weight.
  It's good to reflect on the growth and development of a child inside it's mother for it helps us to remember that it is not just a fetus or a product of conception but a person, a little human being, a marvelous creation of God.  The following is that development, week by week.

Week 1: Conception; the baby is smaller than a grain of sugar, but the instructions are present for all that this person will ever become.
Week 2: The baby attaches and burrows securely into the wall of the mother's womb.
Week 3: The baby's blood vessels and sex cells form. Foundations of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system are laid.
Week 4: The baby's heart has begun to beat. Eyes, ears and lungs begin to form.
Week 5: Tiny arms and legs appear, as well as the baby's face. The baby's blood is now separate from the mother's.
Week 6: Tiny fingers and toes develop. The baby's brain is divided into 3 parts for emotion and language, hearing, and seeing.
Week 7: Buds of the baby's milk teeth appear. 99% of the muscles are present, and brain activity is detectable.
Week 8: The baby begins spontaneous movement and is now well proportioned, about the size of a thumb. Every organ is present, but immature. The skull, elbows, and knees are forming.
Week 9: If prodded, hands and eyelids close. Genitalia become visible, indicating whether the baby is a boy or girl. Muscular movement begins.
Week 10: The baby's fingerprints begin to form. Nerve and muscle connections have tripled. Eyelids fuse together temporarily to protect the baby's delicate developing eyes.
Week 11: The baby "practices" breathing and facial expressions, even smiling. The baby can also urinate and stomach muscles can contract.
Week 12: The baby is now 3 inches in length and weighs 2 oz. with fine hair on the face. The baby is able to swallow and feels and responds to skin stimulation.

Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. Psalm 139:13-14

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When God Doesn't Answer Our Prayers

"For man it is impossible; but for God all things are possible."
 Matt 19:26, Luke 1:37, Jeremiah 32:27, Genesis 18:14

  If God doesn't answer our prayers in the way we think He should it doesn't mean He can't grant our request; it means that God is saying "No" or "not right now" or perhaps something is blocking the power of God and needs to be removed. It doesn't mean that He doesn't care or that He doesn't want us to be happy.
  The Bible, the Old Testament but especially the New Testament, is filled with illustrations of how much God loves us. When we look at the intricacy and complexity of all of God's creation, from the tiniest molecule to the vast universe, it's kind of silly to even imagine that God, who created all this and keeps it in motion, cannot grant our little request. So that tells us that there's some other reason why our prayer is not being answered as we would like it to be.
  The Book of Job in the Bible is an excellent answer to why God seems not to answer some prayers. Chapters 38-41 are God's response to Job trying to figure out why he has been subjected to such awful suffering. It can be summed up by saying "If you cannot understand God's creation, how can you hope to understand why God doesn't answer our prayers in the way we would like Him to ."
  With God all things are possible. We just have to continue to pray, trust in our all-powerful God and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit for our lives.