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Not Done Yet

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.” ~ Acts 4:33

EASTER!!! It’s over!

Well, actually it isn’t over- we have many days of celebration left. Easter is actually the longest season of the church year- 50 days. Easter continues until the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. So, now what? The Savior rose from the dead, we’ve spent forty days reflecting on our faith lives. What comes next? I think that we have hit the “fun part”.

As many of you know, I’m not a super quiet person. So the idea of spending 40 days in reflection makes me want to cry. But once Easter has come, it is like we have been released out into the world. We are warned not to hide in the chamber like the disciples did. We need to go forth, and show the world that something has changed. The world has been made new!

Easter is not done yet! So let’s get out there and continue with the celebration of new life!

God Bless,
Kim

Already Here

“You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” ~ John 14:17

We have this mindset of Jesus, that “He’s coming”. We always speak as if he’s on his way back, and we need to be ready. Even Palm Sunday has us prepped for the arrival of Jesus with flair, singing, and of course… palms. But even with that famous entrance into Jerusalem, there still seems to be this feeling that Jesus is coming.

The uncomfortable reality is that he’s already here.

JESUS IS HERE

Give it a minute to sink in. Jesus isn’t going to come knocking at your door, he’s sitting in the living room waiting to see what your going to do. Lent is pretty much done. We’re right in the middle of Holy Week, and the time for reflection has come and gone. Now is the time to step up and put into action all those words of faith that we know so well.

So, as Easter approaches, how will you celebrate with our Savior, who art already on the couch?
God Bless,
Kim

What Desert

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness… After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” ~ Matthew 4:1-2

The season of Lent is historically based on the 40 days and nights that Jesus spent in the desert. We focus a lot on the fact that he prayed and fasted alone, in this place devoid of people and distractions, but we don’t often reflect on why Jesus went there in the first place. Jesus didn’t enter the desert as a punishment. He was not fasting prayer to “make up” for some sin that he had committed. Jesus went to the desert to spend time in prayer to recharge, refuel, and renew his own faith. I will say it again for the people in the back- Jesus’s time in the desert was not a punishment. So, perhaps we need to adjust our understanding of the Lenten season.

Lent is not meant to be this season of colorlessness, drudgery, and punishment. Lent is supposed to be the time when we retreat to our own “deserts”- places of quiet and reflection, to renew and recharge our own faith. Perhaps solitude doesn’t renew your prayer life- so go out and join or lead a bible study with your friends. If fasting doesn’t help you to feel connected with God- go out and serve at a local soup kitchen. Lent is all about YOU renewing your own relationship Jesus.

So, what is your desert?
God Bless,
Kim

Lessons From A Toddler- Apology Accepted

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” ~ Ephesians 1:7

My children have the “apology” down pat. They know that when they get in trouble and have a time-out, they can signal that they’re ready to rejoin the family by declaring “I’m ready to be nice”- repeatedly, and very loudly until I let them come back into the room. They have no problem saying that they’re sorry. My kids have even learned to go a step farther by defining being sorry to mean that they won’t do it again… which we know isn’t exactly the truth, but as a parent, I figure it’s a start!

However, the older that my kids get, honestly they aren’t toddlers anymore, I have realized that the apology needs to go even further. My kids know all the “right” things to say, but now, I have to take them a step further. Now, we have to move beyond what an apology sounds like, and start working on what an apology looks like. We have to show with our actions that we understand our mistakes, and are actively working on not making them again.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? I cannot be the only person who knows exactly what to say when I get to the church parking lot… It’s been busy, my youngest was sick, Jesus loves me no matter what, I’m ready to be nice now. However, just like every other parent out there, God wants more than words from us. He wants our actions. We have to show him that we’ve learned from our mistakes.

My kids know that I am going to forgive them, just as we know that God forgives us. But now, I want them to show me that they have learned from their mistakes. The Lenten season gives us the perfect time to give God more than our words. Now is the acceptable time…

How are you giving God more than words this Lent?

God Bless,
Kim

Ordinary Time, Not

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” ~2 Corinthians 5:7

It’s that time. We’re stuck in the middle of a CNY winter, with no end in sight. The magic of the first snow, and Christmas is gone. It is that time that we, as Catholics, mostly ignore- Ordinary Time. Even the name sounds so… well… and I really hate to do this, but ORDINARY! It’s in the title of the season! No special colors, holidays, just every day times. But as believers in the infant King, born of a virgin, is any time really, that ordinary?

Maybe if we look around there aren’t any obvious signs of miracles, but we know that we must life by faith, and not by sight! So, even if those wonderful Salvation Army bell ringers have headed home, shouldn’t we be donating to them anyway? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a baby being born to a virgin mother- it is, after all, the yardstick by which we measure miracles! But now- now is the time when we have to double down, and start looking for miracles all around us!

“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” ” ~ John 11:40

My son shared his brand new Legos last night, without being told! Anyone with kids knows, that is a miracle!! That’s really two miracles all at once, because he shared AND it was voluntary.Actually, three miracles because they didn’t fight at all during the 45 minutes that their Legos were out and being played with. No, they didn’t clean up after themselves! How many miracles do you expect in one day?

Now is not the time when we can see the colorful, blatant examples of God’s miracles in christmas trees, lighted nativities, and special services. Now is the time, when we have to make those tiny, everyday, and yes, ORDINARY moments into the miracles for everyone else to see!

So, what miracle are you going to work on today?

God Bless,
Kim

Do Whatever He Says

“Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.” ~Isaiah 1:17

This Sunday’s gospel was about the Wedding at Cana. Jesus goes to a wedding with his mother, and performs the first miracle at her request. It is considered, at least by Catholics, as the unoffficial start to Jesus’ ministry. You can talk about the symbolism of where he started, discuss whose wedding it may have been, and even why that was his first miracle. However, we can all agree that this was the beginning of a ministry rich in diversity, and life changing acts that have reverberated for almost 2,000 years. That ministry is the reason that our church exists all these centuries later.

As miraculous and amazing as the birth of Christ was, it is not the reason for our church. A miraculous birth alone could not sustain the church, we needed the mission. The mission that Jesus started, and gave over to our keeping. Mary started it off at that long ago wedding, “Do whatever he tells you.” And Jesus had the final word,

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” ~ John 13:34

It doesn’t take much effort to take a look around our current world to see that not everyone is following that command. What would the world be like if we actually put those words into action? Maybe let’s channel a little more MLK Jr. and try building a better world not better walls.

God Bless,
Kim

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