Who Do You Say That I Am

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
~Luke 9:20

Isn’t that a big question? A simple, but deeply thought provoking question. “Who do you say that I am?” There are so many names for the Lord, that they fill verse in the bible. And yet, if you ask my children, they scoff at me, because it is such an easy question- Jesus is God. Jesus is our friend. Jesus is the one who saves us. One of my favorite answers is from my very literal youngest- He’s the one on the cross! (said while rolling his eyes).

And yet, we as adults, hem and haw over this question. And sometimes we are afraid of the answer. Jesus the King, who will punish us for our sins. Jesus the Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth. Those sound very intimidating! Not someone I would want to bring around with me every day, and yet, as so many of our youth get ready to start new parts of their life with college and beyond, that is a question they need to carry with them. Who do they say that Jesus is?

I wonder why he can’t he both. Why can’t he be the Almighty Lord of all, and my friend? Having a friend, someone you are comfortable talking to every day, who just happens to be Lord of Heaven and Earth can’t be a bad thing! The Lord didn’t say that life would always be easy, but he did promise to be with us always, even until the end of time.

 

So, I’m going to go with my kids on this one. Jesus is God, my friend, who saves me. Who do YOU say that he is?

God Bless,
Kim

A Solitary Place

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
~Mark 1:35

I can’t remember the last time that I went to a solitary place. I’m not even sure the last time I got to use the bathroom without the door being banged upon. And as we take on more responsibilities in life, there seems to be less and less time to go off and pray in a solitary place. But it was always a priority for Jesus. He is mentioned going off to pray over 22 times in the gospels. So, if Jesus kept doing it, there must be a reason, right?

Of course there is! How can you take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself? The short answer is, you can’t! Not for very long anyway. As the weather has finally gotten nice out (Hooray for the end of a looooong CNY winter!) Take a few minutes to find a solitary place and do some quiet reflection for yourself! Better yet, if you can, take a vacation! Take a few days, and retreat with your disciples… or whoever else will help you to relax, and rejuvenate, to prepare for whatever the Lord sends your way!

Now, before you accuse me of being the “Pot” that called the “Kettle” black, I promise that I am actually practicing what I preach by being (That’s correct- I am ON VACATION RIGHT NOW!) on vacation with my husband. Something we haven’t done in at least 4 years. So, now you have no excuse, I’m setting such a good example! Grab your disciples friends, family, dog, or whoever will help you and find a mountain to hang out on for a while. Or maybe the beach… Jesus spent on awfully lot of time on mountains or at beaches!

Where are you headed to find your “Solitary Place”?

God Bless,
Kim

Did You Find Him

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
~Isaiah 55:6

The wise men have delivered gifts, and the choirs of angels are no longer visible in the sky. Before long we will be asked to journey through Lenten sacrifices to be closer to him, so did you find him? Did you find the Christ child among your gifts, family, trips, and vacations? Was he found in the the quiet moments in between the rush to find presents? Or did you find him amidst a boisterous Christmas celebration? How did you find the Christ-child this season?

I found the Christ-child in the smiles of my own children, as they hugged me on Christmas morning. I found him in the laughter I shared with my siblings as we played games on Christmas Eve night- Robbie somehow cheated, and I’m not sure how, he ALWAYS wins at Catan. I found Christ in the annual Christmas Day nap amidst as many cousins who can fit on my grandmother’s couch as always. And I even found him in the thankful sigh of relief I admit to feeling as I put ALL the children on the bus for the first time after New Year’s.

I found him in all those things of joy. And now as we approach the season of Lent, I find myself looking forward to all of the places I can find him during Lent. Will I find him on Friday at a fish dinner? Will Christ be in the faces I pray for as I prepare packages for Emmaus house? I hope to find him in the simple soup supper that I will enjoy with my family and church community on Wednesday? Maybe it will be in the quick prayer you mutter under your breath about traffic.

The point is that Christ can be found anywhere, at anytime, and in any place… if you look.

So, did you find him?

 

Blessings,
~Kim

It’s Your Choice Now

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
~Jeremiah 1:5

Before we were born, the Lord chose us as one of his children. I take a certain amount of comfort in that, don’t you? The creator of the heavens chose us to be one of his children. And after we were born, our parents brought us to church, presented us, and had us baptized- promising us to the Lord. It makes sense that the next step is to complete that first step in the church by promising yourself to the Lord at your Confirmation.

God loves us, he has chosen us from birth, but because he loves us we have a choice. We ALWAYS have a choice, because we have been given free will. The creator of the heavens and earth loves us so much, that we have been blessed with a choice. Because the Lord knows how important decision is, when made with free will.

Please keep our Confirmation candidates in your prayers this weekend, and help them to celebrate their choice, in saying “Yes” to the Lord through the Sacrament of Confirmation!

God Bless,
Kim

 

Find the Joy

I thank my God every time I remember you.
~Philippians 1:3

I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me how my day went the first 3 things that pop up in my head are the frustrations or struggles.  It usually takes a minute before the good, which is usually the overwhelming majority of my day, to finally make it to the top of my list of how my day went. Sometimes, it is harder to remember the good than the bad. When it comes to illness and death, the same reasoning seems to apply.

We don’t think of death in good terms. It is scary, sad, and signals an ending. No one smiles when they think of a loved one having died. But the Lord tells us that our loved ones will be with us again. Not only will they be with us again, but they feel no pain or loss anymore. Faith in the Lord means that death is not an end for us. So, we despite the loss and sadness we feel, we can also find joy and comfort.

During this All Souls Day, let us remember the loved ones who have gone before us with joy.

God Bless,
Kim

faith treats

Faith or a Toddler Trick or Treating

I found this back in the archives from 5 WHOLE YEARS AGO- Can you believe it?? And as is the case with faith, it still applies, so ENJOY!

I realized something while trick-or-treating with my 2 year old daughter tonight. It had nothing to do with commercialism or obesity or any other strange, angry topic that the news would have, it was about faith.

I watched my daughter walk up to each and every house, and instead of saying “Trick or Treat” (we tried, oh how we tried), she simply opened her bag, presented it to the adult with the candy, and said “Thank you.” At first I was certain that this was a sign of entitlement, and how my daughter was simply demanding candy, but I realized after a few houses, that it was all about faith.

She didn’t care what the adult put in her bag, but she had absolute faith, that she was going to have something placed in her bag.  We received chips, popcorn, and even kiddie dental floss at one brave soul’s house, but the point was she got something at each house- her faith was rewarded.

Aren’t we all a little like a 2 year old trick or treating? We approach the Lord’s house, Society’s house, a friend’s house and we present ourselves and say “Thank you” expecting to be filled with something. Sometimes it is good- like a full sized snickers bar, sometimes it’s those old fashioned popcorn balls, and sometimes it is something that a parent had to confiscate and throw away because it was questionable.

Remember to take care with what you fill yourself, and perhaps visit the house of the Lord a few more times as we “trick or treat” our way through life. And also, it might be nice if you thanked the Lord, because I guarantee he’s the one giving full-sized candy bars to all the kids on the block, and he’d probably give you a second, and third if you made the trip again.

God Bless & Happy Halloween!
Love, Kimmy

I’m the Older Brother & You are Too

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. My son, the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” ~Luke 15:28, 31

Recently, I was feeling a little grumpy thinking about some upcoming events. I had the pretty common complaint, to myself, about people showing up late, but still getting the “prize bag”. You know, that feeling that you have followed all the rules, and someone else just breezes by you and gets the same prize as you. And as I was congratulating myself on being such a ‘good person’ I came to the uncomfortable realization that I am the “older brother” from the Prodigal Son.

We all know the parable of the Prodigal Son, and we love it! Who doesn’t love a story where someone screws up royally, sees the error of their ways, and then heads home to forgiveness and open arms? We love that story because we know that we are the prodigal son! We do have our screw ups, and we do come to see the error of our ways, and the Lord is always waiting with open arms and forgiveness. However, the other side of that is inevitably we may have our days when we become the older son.

There are days when we feel like we have it all together. We just know that we are doing everything the way that we should, and it is easy for resentment to creep in. There we are following all the rules, doing the right thing, just rocking at life, and then some rule breaker just skips past us to get the same thing! And we begin to wonder if it’s really worth it. Yet, the story tells us that the father welcomes and loves both. The father goes outside, and pleads with his older son- “Everything I have is yours.”

We can be the prodigal son and the older son. So, despite the difficulty, if we keep working at that older son’s path God tells us that everything he has is ours. Sounds pretty good to me!

God Bless,
Kim

 

everything in time

Everything In Time

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

I saw a post online the other day, that bothered me. It wasn’t anything overtly insulting so it took me awhile to realize why I had found it upsetting. It spoke of a 14-year old who had chosen not to participate in a fall sport; naturally the parents didn’t want them “vegging out” so they asked for places in need of volunteering.

Now, at first it might seem like there is nothing wrong with a parent asking for places in need of volunteers. Obviously, I am always asking for volunteers myself, so I am pleased to see that these parents wanted their child involved. But I found myself struggling with the concept that because their child didn’t participate in a sport, they would need something else to do. When did free time become “vegging out”?

We have lost our quiet. The idea that there should “doing nothing” as an activity that we should add to the schedule no longer exists. We no longer have the time to pray in quiet, to sit and reflect on our hopes and dreams. The art of waiting in silence, for anything, let alone the Lord’s whisper is gone. Maybe the 14-year does just want to veg out. But, even if that is the case, this 14 year old took the initiative to recognize that they needed time to do nothing. And instead of recognizing that as a need, a well meaning adult decided that the time must be filled.

I know that parents fear what their child will do when we are not around, but maybe we should spend a little more time filling our spiritual lives, instead of filling our calendars. When was the last time your family was in church, or at class, or at the parish picnic together? Life is only as busy as we allow it to be.

Maybe instead of filling the calendar, we can cancel a few things and spend time together. Let’s all try.

What is your favorite way to spend time together as a family?

God Bless,
Kim

Your Life Depends On It

Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.
~ Romans 12:9

I was in the process of sorting through e-mails when I came across this bible verse and it struck me hard. “Pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.” I had to think, because I cannot remember the last time I pursued anything, let alone good, as if my life depended on it. When is the last time that you pursed anything as if your life depended on it?

It can be easy in our society, which is so busy all the time, to accept that some things just don’t get as much time as they should. Good things get pushed to the side, or the bottom of the list. We will get to them… eventually. I know, I am with you! I am the queen of pushing things to the side, and then accomplishing everything in one night, at the cost of sleep.

Life has gotten so busy that I think the only thing that I pursue as if my life depended on it is coffee, but that is going to change now.

Lent is coming, much like winter for Game of Thrones fans, and this time I am going to start a little early. I am going to pursue good as if my life depended on it, not in a few weeks, but now. I am going to pursue prayer opportunities with my family. I am going to pursue time to reflect and grow with my husband. I am going to pursue patience when dealing with my children. I am going to pursue all of those things as if my life depends on it… because it does.

Jesus told us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So, I am getting on board a little early for Lent, and I invite you to do the same. Maybe make a Lenten sacrifice or change be a lifestyle change. Who knows what amazing things will come of your pursuit of all that is good!

God Bless,
Kim

Close Encounters

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
~Matthew 28:20

I encounter Christ in the smiles and laughter of my children, and the embrace of my husband, and those encounters fill my heart with joy daily. They blend seamlessly into my days, almost without notice. I think it can be easy to let our joy-filled “Easter” encounters with Christ fade into our memories. Not because they aren’t profound, but because joy seems so transient to us, something that we can’t quite hold on to.

The times I remember an encounter with Christ more vividly are often the painful, heart-wrenching days when I feel that I cannot go on anymore- Good Fridays of my life. The days when I just don’t have any more patience, when I don’t have a plan; the day when I want to channel Pontius Pilate- wash my hands of everything, and go build a blanket fort and eat cookie dough!

I  remember the encounter with Christ very profoundly on those days because those are the days when I can’t, and HE must. Those are the times when Jesus picks me up and carries me down the beach- or as it more accurately feels- carries me through the minefield of stressful situations, unfinished tasks, and drama-filled arguments. He carries me toward the times I know are right there waiting for me, the times I vow to value more, and hold closer to my heart. Towards the smiles of my children and embrace of my husband- my extraordinarily ordinary daily Easter encounters.

Where do You encounter Christ?
~Kim