Did we forget?

We have Halloween coming our way. It is sad that all religious connection has been lost. People only think of parties with costumes and children trick or treating. Even the churches which offer alternative options don’t usually talk about the origin of the holiday. It is fine to have fun with the day but we should not forget the connections with our faith. Here is the history of that day from History.com.

all hallows

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2019 occurs on Thursday, October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

 

 

Concentrate on the good

Philippians 4:8 [Full Chapter]

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,  whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
What do we spend our time thinking about? I’d be willing to bet that a lot of the time it does not fit the list above. Too often we are concerned about what someone else has done. We are quick to point out flaws in others. We can also concentrate on all the negative things instead of the positive.
good-gifts
Consider the good things. Remember the gifts that we have been given by God and praise him!

Sing a new song

Colossians 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

SING TO THE LORD

Today I’m reminded of how important it is to be grateful for everything that you have. God has given us so much. Many of us have so many things that we don’t appreciate. Many of us need to remind ourselves that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, family and friends and lots of other things. Do we remember each day to thank God for those gifts? I don’t think we do. Somehow we spend time praying for other things. The things we pray for may not be bad. We may be praying for others which is important. But let us not forget each day to thank God for the gifts that he has given us.

The passage from Colossians reminds us to sing hymns songs from the spirit and sing our gratitude to God. St. Francis says that those who sing pray twice. So if you can sing songs of gratitude to God

God is waiting

Psalm 94:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

waiting

Sometimes we are overwhelmed with problems. Worry takes over our thoughts and easily escalates into anxiety and possibly panic. When our emotions take over it is hard to take a breath and remember our real strength doesn’t come from us.

It is God who is there for us just waiting. All we have to do is call out and we will receive the consolation we need. Turn toward God. He is there.

Do we really see them?

Psalm 41:1

Happy are those who consider the poor;[a]
    the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

We don’t want to see the poor and needy. It disturbs us. Probably because we feel guilty about not doing something. We see homeless people on the streets and they are dirty, wear layers of clothing (have everything they own on their backs) and often smell bad. They are not pleasant to be around. They often beg for money and we generally assume that they will use the money for liquor or drugs. Hoe much we assume! I wonder if we would fee the same way if we knew their story.

see the poor

Christ calls us to give out of our abundance. Maybe we think we don’t have much to give but by comparison we are very rich. The psalmist tells us that we will be happy if we help…that help will come to us in our time of need if we do. It reminds me of the saying “what goes around, comes around!” If we do nothing that could be a scary thought.

Prayer. God of the homeless and needy . Help us to not pass by when we encounter the poor. Le us see the incredible plenty that we have and inspire us to share. Remind us that we, also could be one of those in need but for your grace. AMEN

NO fear

The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.

fear-is-forgetting

Psalm 23: 4 NRSV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

or from The Message

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.

He heals

Psalm 103: 1-5

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live[a]
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

I always cling to this Psalm when things are rough. It is so perfect when I am stressed. What could be better than verses 3-4. I need my sins forgiven and my illnesses healed. David was right on target. This is a God of goodness and mercy. Thank him every day.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

Psalm 95:6-7 NRSV

listeingforgod

It is so easy to forget to give attention to our God. Church is not the only place to worship God. We should be thanking God and giving praise through every moment. We must stop and be silent long enough to hear God’s voice. We are so good at putting everything else first. Praise, thank, and listen to God at all time.s

When you believe

I heard this song today and absolutely love the words. It is so true. We can do things we never thought we could when we believe.

 

When You Believe
Many nights we prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hope for a song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there’s much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could, whoa, yes
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
Its hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe
Mmmyeah
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seems like the summer bird
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here
My hearts so full, I can’t explain
Seeking faith and speakin’ words
I never thought I’d say
There can be miracles
When you believe (When you believe)
Though hope is frail
Its hard to kill (Mmm)
Who knows what miracles
You can

God speaks

God Speaks

god_speaks_sunset

When I was a child
I heard God calling
and freely, I answered
For I knew that God
would want to talk
to me and I to Him

The teen years
made God more distant
for I had learned the rules
that those in charge
were supposed to speak
for me

but God spoke again
in the darkness
in moments of fear
and trial
and I answered
in spite of the rules

God spoke
in the halls of ivy
for his voice was there
in the loneliness, triumphs
and testing of my self.

his voice grew faint
during the breeding years
for children’s voices
were more easily heard.

but God was there
waiting for me
longing for the day
when my ears
would once again
tune in.

God called and broke
thru the barriers
I erected to keep Her out

She spoke in words too
loud to miss
and I listened

Now God speaks
in many ways
in other’s voices, deeds                                                                                                                    and in silence

And I have learned
to hear each voice
that she uses