Monday, June 30, 2008

Saint Paul

Catholics around the world are celebrating the life of Paul for the next year, starting June 29, 2008 to June 29, 2009. It is a time of reflection and study on his many writings. He wrote one of my favorite scriptures, well really many of them, but this one is special to me.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Gal 2:20
In December 1981 I was in a hotel room with two men, I was loaded and had been up for a few days, and I was sick but didn't know it; for my body it was the perfect storm. I overdosed and the two men, who had been fighting with each other, walked out leaving me alone. For years I had tried to change my life, to stop doing drugs by using will power, cults the occult, my mind and anything new I heard about. Nothing worked for very long, and that day I knew I was going to die. But Jesus met me right there, in the hotel room when I couldn't breathe when I felt like my heart was going to explode in my chest and He gave me his breath and his heart and I left that room a new person.

In these chapters of Galatians, Paul is speaking about the law. The law is a stop sign that tells us this far and no farther. The law points out where we have gone wrong, but it can do nothing to save us. All those times I tried to stop doing drugs because I knew it was against the law of our country and the law that was written inside me; I couldn't do it. I thank God that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. When He died on the cross He took all our sins, all our addictions, all the times we broke the law and gave us the power to walk away and start over. By the power of the Holy Spirit I have been set free from drug addiction for over 26 years. Now I live by faith and I am alive because God came down from heaven to live as a man; to know temptation and not give into it and to conquer sin once and for all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works.
Psalm 104: 31

Last year there was only one large bloom and a couple small, what a difference some rain makes...

Monday, June 9, 2008

The News Blues

We were watching the world news and local news and it struck us again how many depressing stories there are right now. Gas is almost $5.00 a gallon, foreclosures everywhere, record amounts of people without health insurance, tornado's, earthquakes, war and rumours of war. Fear comes creeping in and hope is pushed aside. In the face of such overwhelming problems what can one person do? I know what I must do; stand fast and face fear head on. We are suffering along with alot of other people, I don't have health insurance, we didn't budget for these kinds of gas prices when we bought our house 30 minutes from my job, bills pile up, income decreases, and I know people in the service in Afghanistan and Iraq. I want to send money to China, and to other people who need food and housing, and it breaks my heart to not have the finances to do more. So when I say I must stand fast and face fear it is a reality in my life. We are in a battle to keep hope alive. To live hopefully in the face of fear. To point the way to the One that is Hope. Every time the spirit of fear comes, you must knock it down with the word of faith. Jesus conquered fear. God tells us to fear not. In Psalm 34:19 it says "A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all."

The problems that are happening in the world are real, we are effected by them in all sorts of ways, but there is a bigger picture one that includes you and me. How do we respond to our circumstances? How do we reach out to help each other? How do we become God's hands, feet, and voice? I like this scripture found in 1 Chronicles "Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord, my God is with you."