Change the Channel

“For the weapons of our warfare are not merely human but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” –1 Corinthians 10:4-5, NRSV)

Today started out rough. My morning routine passed by easily, but I’ve felt out out-of-sorts since waking up today. Depressed. My husband, too, is grumpy. I can’t slow down long enough to feel sorry for myself though… I have work to do.

I continue trying to “bring my thoughts captive into the obedience of Christ,” and as I do so, I notice more and more when my morning thoughts are off or the people around me are acting strange. When my daughter called today, I voiced the hurt I’m feeling. I feel hurt, neglected, unwanted and unloved by God and those close to me, and I don’t know why this is surfacing now. “I don’t know why I’m feeling this way,” I said to her.

Of course, these feelings and thoughts can’t be from God.

In the past, the hurt that this morning’s thoughts and feelings bring to the surface within me would immobilize me for a whole day, maybe longer. But thank God I’ve learned to tell God quickly how I truly feel. (My sweet aunt says, “Lay it down at the cross.”) To me, that means to be honest–frank–with God, and ask for His help. A problem must be named before it can be corrected.

Then I ask Jesus for forgiveness for my own sins ( of thoughts, words, and deeds done through my own fault), and I ask for His mercy and give Him praise, remembering special times He has been at my side.

I don’t stop there. I ask Jesus for deliverance from the evil stronghold attempting to prevent me from prayer and moving forward in Christ, and by the authority I have as His disciple, in His name, in the name of Jesus, I pull down the stronghold attempting to imprison me through thoughts. Explained another way, while in prayer, I separate myself from the lie (unloved, unwanted, stupid…) attempting to take root in my mind through thoughts, and instead of focusing on the thoughts or the hurt, I offer God praise.  I change the channel, so to speak. I bring my thoughts captive to God’s truth that is found int he Bible. God loves me. I am wanted.

Our battle is not with men. Our battle is not against one another. Though men may do Satan’s work, we war against evil.

It’s good to ask for help from St. Michael, too, in times of spiritual battle!

SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

 

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Love Your GIFTS and Encourage Others

Found alEnvyong my journey today…Well, Sts. Gregory and Thomas Aquinas have one answer to the question so many of us keep asking lately. Why has hatred drastically increased around us? Envy. Hatred is the result of envy. If we’d all stop keeping up with the Joneses… (Also learned that spiritual envy is a sin against the Holy Spirit.) Be thankful for, love, and develop YOUR beautiful gifts from God, and encourage others to do the same!

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Running ahead of the storm…

meandjessblogI’ve been trying to pray the Holy Spirit Chaplet¹ often lately. And I know I shouldn’t be surprised when God responds or answers prayers by now, but I always am. It’s really His responses that encourage me to continue seeking Him.

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Time for a Fresh Start

Perhaps getting rid of internal clutter while clearing away the holiday decorations is a good idea. Time to take out the trash, so to speak. By this I mean get rid of bad feelings, negativity, in other words, all the remaining residue of the times you had to “Shake It Off” this year. Here are a few thoughts on how best to move forward to accomplish your goals with an open heart.

1. Let your light shine

Remembrance of past hurts and stress often resurface during holidays, especially New Year, because the holiday itself begs for newness. You can’t begin anew if you are harboring old hurts. Let go. Consciously release the feelings and open your heart to receive good things. Be yourself and let others love you, or not, just as you are.

Prayer: Jesus, please help me fully forgive any past hurts that take away my ability to love self and neighbor as You would have me do. Abba, please help me begin anew as the child you created me to be, loving and open to receive your abundant life.

2. Don’t let hurt take Truth

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this or not, but, the events we face every day can take away our peace–and our closeness to Jesus. That must be why Satan attacks hardest when we are becoming closer to our true identity as His children. Ask for forgiveness and make a firm resolution to not allow a moment of hurt or stress (for any reason) take away the Lord’s peace.

Prayer: Abba, may your peace remain with me and my family and those who treat us with love and respect in truth. In moments of stress please be close by our sides to see us through the moment without losing Your peace within our hearts, minds and souls.

3. Live with integrity

Prayer: Jesus please help me live with personal accountability for my actions towards others. Let me be a voice of love, faith and hope. Please help me not to purposefully harm another with words or deeds and protect me and my family from those who would harm us. Amen.

Folks live the Truth you espouse and, please, don’t take that ability from another. Be accountable for your actions and words. I lit a candle today, the first of many this year, for just that. Justice.

 

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A Little Chalk Art

bradswallThe sun and moon just sort of came to me tonight in separate pieces as I was goofing off on my son’s chalkboard wall. (I did add the Blessed Mother on purpose. I intentionally add or alter lyrics of my son’s favorite songs to include our faith in some way.) When it was done,  I saw a picture of Revelation 12:1. The woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.

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Presidents, Betrayals, and Priorities

This past week or so the events and news surrounding the American presidential campaign has struck a chord with voters. Friends on Facebook have begun to “come out” with their personal stories of groping (usually high school boys or worse, rape, or betrayals of different types-divorce, lies and the like.) Many, unfortunately, possess these experiences. If a person lives long enough, they get hurt, and their belief in an ideal world is torn. I heard last night that 31 percent of voters in this election are single women. I can say this, my friends (mostly women in their 40s) are falling apart over this. Friendships are split; old hurts are emerging, etc.

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Just one question…

(Draft written October, 8 2016) Today’s God sighting was unexpected. Brad, my son, and I went to Panera for lunch. My dark roast was empty, so I went to the counter to ask the employee if a new carafe was available. It was. After I had filled my cup to the brim, I noticed the gentleman who was making his tea. He was familiar to me, a man I met at morning Mass one day at church.

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