Courage in the Face of… Friends? – Good News for November 24

24 11 2010

Luke 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd, “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony.

Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

The Daily Path: I’m reminded of something that I have touched on here in GNTG and among the fellowship of my men’s spirituality group. How often are we afraid to bring up our faith in the midst of those we consider to be “friends”, let alone people we interact with to a lesser degree?

Even some of my best friends would give me the eye roll and move quickly to a conversation transition. I accept this and would never hammer them with the evangelical thunder of a tent revivalist. (Actually, now that I think of it, that would kind of funny to see the look on their faces as I chase them around the room, out the door, and down the street, bellowing, “Hallelujah, brother! Don’t run from the LORD! Come back!” LOL)

My point here is that while we may never have to face physical pain or death for upholding our faith, perseverance is needed through other more common trials. Perhaps more painful than imprisonment is the isolation that might be caused for our willingness to openly give testimony to our faith and spiritual journey. This is where another of Christ’s promises comes into play: I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.





Yes, Lord – Good News for December 4

4 12 2009

Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.

Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

The Daily Path: “Do you believe that I can do this?”

It strikes me that Jesus asks these blind men the question of all questions. A question that I, as a follower of Christ, should ask myself everyday. Perhaps every hour. For how can I surrender myself if I do not believe that all things are possible for God?

It’s easy to say the words “Yes, Lord. I believe,”, but in those moments of fear and anxiety when I try to take back control… are my actions really saying something else?

Room to Chat: Yes, Lord. I believe that you can do all things. I also know that as a human I am weak. Help me to prepare during this Advent season by awakening Your grace in my heart so as to remove the doubt (blindness) born of worldly anxiety. Let me be like the blind men who’s faith brought them into Your light.





Peace For Troubled Hearts – Good News for May 12

12 05 2009

John 14:27-31

Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.

I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

The Daily Path: “Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.”

Anxiety and fear seem to be the topics of the day. Although worry appears to be everywhere and etched on many faces, these are not subjects that most of us feel comfortable sharing with others… especially men. Once again, let me share with you that it was a willingness to turn my worries over to God that changed my life dramatically. The anxiety was lifted. Fears that kept me awake at night were eased.

Jesus left the disciples His peace. The good news is that He left you that same peace if you believe in Him. This I know to be true.

Room to Chat: Have you considered talking to God about the anxiety in your life? Start with a simple hello and just see where it leads. You may be very surprised. 

Lord, thank you for watching over Bill last night. The cancer surgery went well and now his healing can begin. Amazing things happen when we put our trust in You. AMEN!





The Formula – Good News for February 6

6 02 2009

Hebrews 13:1

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.

Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body.

Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.

Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.

Thus we may say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The Daily Path: Here’s another reminder of the simple way God asks us to live our life. Another roadmap to quickly reference and get our bearings straight. I’m glad that these keep popping up. It’s so easy for me to forget this basic formula while dealing with the world around. Earlier this week I talked about the discipline I need. Remembering love and mercy has to be part of my daily workout as I continue to build my strength on the journey home. One repetition. Then another. 

The playing field may change but these guidelines are a constant… just as Christ is always there for me and for all of us.

Room to Chat: Do you have 10 seconds somewhere in your day? Try this 10 second connection to God: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?





Lifeboat – Good News for January 31

31 01 2009

Mark 4:35-31

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” 

They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

The Daily Path: Today’s Gospel from St. Mark is not only timely for many of us, but it also mirrors recent events in my life. Very few remain untouched by the stormy global economy. Deep cost cuts are the focus of every business. Consumer confidence is dropping and jobs are vanishing. The bottomline is this: like the Apostles in today’s Gospel, people are afraid. 

I was afraid, too. I would lay awake at night wondering how to feed my family and keep a roof over their head. I prayed and prayed. Many other people were praying for me. And as I prayed I kept trying to work out a way to regain control over the situation and emerge from the serious financial trouble I was in. But the downward spiral continued. My boat was sinking fast.

As the months progressed I was encouraged to “turn these worries over to God.” This theme began to appear in more and more places in my life. God was actively using His marketing team to get through to me. Some of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met provided great counsel. Each in their own way put some of the weight I was carrying onto their own shoulders. Each of them told me that no matter how smart I was or how hard I threw myself at the problem, I was not in control and never would be. Like Jesus in the boat, each of them pointed to the only thing that could help… absolute faith that “God will take care of me and my family.” I had to hand my worry over to God with complete faith that He would provide.

Guess what? The message sunk in. Old Mr. Stubborn finally gave up. One Sunday at Mass I said to God: “I can’t do this anymore. I’m putting my burden up there on the altar. I’m leaving it behind. When I walk out the door… it’s yours.”

That’s when things began to change. A sense of peace replaced the  growing despair. I finally got some sleep at night. Other things began to happen. Encouraging signs here and there. Little positives that began to build into greater things. Friends and strangers rallying behind me. I was suddenly finding abundance where before I could only see an empty hole. Removed from the outcome I was growing strong again. God was taking control. 

I’m not completely out of the squall, but I’m no longer afraid. I now know that God is at the helm of my little boat. Not only is He steering a safe course home, He’s given me a blanket to keep out the cold. 

My friends, give your worries to God. Have complete faith that He will wrap you up and keep you safe. No matter how violent your own storm may be at the moment… turn it over and God will provide. I know this to be true.

Room to Chat: God, Thank you sending your advance marketing team my way. You really know how to get superior message retention, don’t you?