Still Terrified? – Good News for June 30

30 06 2009

Matthew 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us!  We are perishing!”

He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” 

Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.

The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

The Daily Path: Just nine days ago we read Mark’s account of this stormy test of faith ( See Squalls – Mark 4:35-41). Can it be the lesson requires repeating, especially during the challenging days ahead?

Once again it feels as if Christ is talking directly to me. “Kin, how many times do I have to tell you? I’m right here with you. Stop worrying. You’re going to be okay… O you of little faith.”

Room to Chat: Lord, calm the storm within me and everyone else who is terrified. Bring us your peace.

Rocks – Good News for June 29

29 06 2009

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Room to Chat: Last night Our Lord answered a prayer. No, that’s not quite accurate. I believe He answered MANY prayers that have originated from this most prodigal of sons and those who are keeping me in their intentions during this difficult period in my life.

A couple of weeks ago in my GNTG! posting I revealed that I’ve been suffering from depression. This is foreign to me, so I’m fortunate that my family and some good friends have been there to help me deal with it. (I’m amazed at just how many people who I previously thought were on solid bedrock are actually in the same rocky boat with me.) I’ve been praying that Our Lord will grant me peace and in doing so  “show me the way” out of this mess. 

Very early this morning, I was jolted from sleep as the anxiety of my life situation crept into consciousness. It festered there for a bit trying to take hold. When this happens, as it often does, I try to find peace by thinking of God. Shortly after doing so I began a thought process that led me to something that may be the answer to the problems I face. I felt as though this inspiration had come from God in answer to my prayers.

I can’t say for sure if this is the answer, but I do have faith that God listens to my prayers. There is certainly hope in what came to me this morning, and for that I am grateful.

I’m in your hands, Father. And with You, I know that all things are possible. Help me to find bedrock.

Talitha Koum – Good News for June 28

28 06 2009

Mark 5:21-24, 35b-43 

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.  One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 

When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out.

He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.

At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

A Centurion’s Faith – Good News for June 27

27 06 2009

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: How is it that a Roman Centurion, someone of great stature and essentially an enemy of Jews and Christians alike, could display one of the greatest acts of faith ever chronicled? Yet for me, someone who professes to love the Lord, the ability to always hand my burden over to God with complete faith remains such a challenge. 

Room to Chat: Lord, please hold Dominika close in the days ahead as she resumes the battle with cancer. Take away this infirmity for with You all things are possible.

Cleansing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2009

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it.  Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.

Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The Daily Path: We all have a little leprosy in our life. Some cases are worse than others. I’m no exception. I also believe that God can provide the healing we need.

When God does heal us, should we buy a bird for sacrifice and then shave our heads as was prescribed by Moses? No, not in this age. But I would guess that offering something up to God in thanks and recognition of His act would be a modern version of the gift that Moses called for. (NOTE: See Leviticus 14:2-32 for gift details)

Don’t Call Chuck – Good News for June 25

25 06 2009

Matthew 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

The Daily Path: In today’s Gospel, Jesus provides a timely reminder that our lives on earth will be shaken periodically. It’s become obvious during these troubled times that very few of us are immune to anxiety. Our earthly house of cards seems ready to topple at any moment despite every attempt to remain in control. But in this passage Jesus provides the key. He tells us the only way to survive everything thrown at us is by putting our true faith in God and to live by His teachings.

Who do you trust more? Ben Bernanke or Our Father in Heaven? It’s time to reassess the portfolio. I have to remember this is not the time to diversify. Rather, it’s an opportunity to solidify. Put all my eggs in the one true investment with a guaranteed return.

When things get tough, don’t call Chuck. Call God.

Room to Chat: Step out of the storm today. Find real time for God.