This morning I listened to a reflection from Immaculee Ilibagiza. She is a survivor of the Rwanda genocide and is a speaker on faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is an author of many books including Left to Tell. She talked about how she and a dozen others were hidden in a tiny room in a pastor’s house. Every day they heard the horrors going on just outside as they prayed and remained silent. I could not even imagine being in that situation. Even my most difficult and stressful moments cannot compare to her burden. And yet, she didn’t loose her faith. Even moreso, she now spends her life helping others to know God. What an amazing demonstration of faithful service.
I Found God today in faithful service.
I have been wanting to try to make sourdough bread since I saw a video of a friend making it. I don’t eat much gluten because it upsets my stomach. But i understand that the sourdough is good for digestion because it is fermented. When my sister was taking care of a friend’s house, one of the things she did was to feed a batch of sourdough starter they had. They actually made it two years ago from an Aspen tree on their property in the forest. When she left, they sent some of the starter with her. We fed it today by adding flour and water and read up on what to do with it. I was amazed at the fact that it started with a tree, and now it continues to grow. We’ll be able to make bread and pancakes for a long time as long as we take care of it.
I Found God today in the wonders of the world.
This morning I listened to Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily for today’s Mass readings. It included the account of when Jesus went into the wilderness, fasted for 40 days and was then tempted by the devil. From Jesus’ example, Fr. Mike gave realistic, sound advice for all of us when we find ourselves being tempted. He said first of all, we should expect it. We should not be surprised when we are going along just fine and seemingly out of nowhere we find ourselves being tempted. This is especially true when we are doing God’s work. The second thing to do is when the trial comes, eliminate the option. This requires discipline. When the thought comes to do something wrong, or you see something that’s going to lead you astray, turn around as fast as you can. The third thing to do is to “rewrite the script”. Many times we fall into the same sin over and over again. We need to be mindful of that and change our habit or behavior that keeps bringing us down the same path. And finally, we should keep scripture in our minds. These guidelines came directly from following Jesus overcoming Satan’s temptations. He teaches us what to do. Thank God!
I Found God today in sound advice on resisting temptation.
Today I put on my tie-dye I ❤️ Jesus t-shirt and was blessed to be able to go to the movie, “Jesus Revolution” with a group of people from the community where we live. It is based on a true story of the relationship between a street preacher, pastor, and young people looking for their way in life. The events took place in the 1970’s when hippies were rejecting the mainstream propaganda and wanting more – seeking truth. Many found that truth in Jesus Christ and helped others to do so. As a matter of fact, at least 2 evangelical churches that were started due to the revolution are still going strong. The plot was moving, tragic, charismatic, hopeful, and joyful. A couple lines have stuck with me – “The truth is quiet, it’s the lies that are loud.” And a conversation, “I feel like worshipping alone tonight.” “I don’t think it works that way.” Since I was wearing my t-shirt from the youth group I was involved with, I also found myself reflecting on how humbling it was to be part of a revolution on a smaller scale. I witnessed so many young people – and adults – experiencing God’s tremendous love as we prayed, sang, worshipped, and participated in events. I wondered how God is currently working in their lives and prayed for them. The day was like a mini retreat.
I Found God today in a Jesus Revolution.
When I was getting ready to run some errands the other day, I walked into the garage and saw one of the cars had a flat tire. I was happy that my son and grandson came over and were able to take it off. They put it in the back of the other car. Mom and I went for a little outing this morning and dropped it off at the tire place. The tire had a screw in it and they were able to fix it. Mom and I went back this evening to pick it up. The people there were super nice and besides getting me all taken care of, I had some good conversation. I felt very grateful and blessed.
I Found God today in helpful men.
I met with my prayer group tonight and we talked about the scripture reading from Matthew when Jesus was tempted. There is much to gleen from this passage. But one thing that we really discussed was the difference between temptation and sin. Jesus was tempted, but he didn’t sin. So, when I am tempted to do something that I know is the wrong thing to do, I don’t need to feel upset or ashamed. The sin happens if I act upon that temptation. In the scripture, Jesus said, “Get away Satan!” And that ended it. I actually have said those words out loud in particularly difficult situations. They are powerful, especially when you use them in the name of Jesus. Reading the scripture was a good reminder of how to combat temptations.
I Found God today in His example of how to fight temptations.
Our new caregiver came over this morning and stayed with mom while I took my sister to a doctor’s appointment. We were gone for a short 3 hours. When we arrived back home, the caregiver had given my mom breakfast, gave her a shower and fixed her hair, did the dishes, washed and dried my mom’s bedding and made her bed up. It was amazing and felt so good to come home to have all of that done. After she left, I took mom to church for Ash Wednesday. It snowed today, but we were able to get there and back before the roads got bad. I was feeling pretty blessed to begin a season of Lent.
I Found God today in His blessings.
We decided it was a good idea to hire a caregiver to come in for those times when we need a little extra help. She came for a few hours this morning. We had time to talk for a while before my mom got up. I told her my history of caring for my parents and how I tried my best to care for my dad. She told me that she was caring for her mom who had dementia and died last year. Our experiences and current feelings were very similar. It was so validating. She was super sweet and both my mom and I felt very comfortable with her. She was indeed a blessing.
I Found God today in an empathetic caregiver.
Today was my mom’s friend’s birthday. She came over today as usual to play piano. My mom wanted to get her some balloons, so yesterday we stopped by the party store and picked some out. One had a giant note on it, so that was particularly fitting. It was a fun surprise. I asked my mom what she thought helped them to be such good friends for so long. She said first and foremost was that they had the same interest – music and piano playing. That is how they met. Her friend was the director for the church choir and they needed an organist. And so it began. They have committed to getting together on a regular basis for years. They both lived the lifestyle of a military wife and even lived in some of the same places. They have a lot in common. But besides all that, they have been helpful and supportive to one another in good times and in difficult situations. Their friendship is quite a blessing.
I Found God today in a beautiful, long friendship.
I have been continuing to listen to the podcast of reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a year and trying to stay caught up. Today I listened to and read a couple paragraphs about angels. According to scripture, God created Heaven and Earth. Heaven is everything spiritual, including the angels who have will and intelligence. They are personal, immortal, and more perfect than anything our senses have encountered. Those who have chosen to love God do so continually and serve Him. We have a guardian angel, who watches over us all the time. They are present, but we can’t see them. God also created the earth and everything made up of the matter that we can see. Then, God created us. We are unique in that we are both physical and spiritual. We can choose to love and serve God with both our body and our spirit. I would say most people know that there is more to this world, this life, than what we experience with our senses. To ponder the spiritual world happening around us without most of us being aware of it is a lot to take in. But, I think that the more we remember that we are spirit also, the more we are aware of the spiritual realm and God’s ever present goodness. It’s a lot to ponder, but worth pondering.
I Found God today becoming more aware of the angels around us always.