THE RITE OF RECONCILIATION-CONFESSION-RIGHT OR WRONG???

Prayer of Love 2012 oil on canvas 53X45.5 cm ................by Yongsung Kim:

Today, I had to take nine year old students from school, to Reconciliation to confess their sins to a priest. Many people nowadays, think that this is just not in keeping with the times, that it’s irrelevant and that it’s a waste of time.

Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, rather than going directly to God?
In James 5:16, God, through Sacred Scripture, commands us to “confess our sins to one another.” Notice, Scripture does not say confess your sins straight to God and only to God — it says confess your sins to one another.

In Matthew, chapter 9, verse 6, Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins. And then Scripture proceeds to tell us, in verse 8, that this authority was given to “men”…plural.

The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. It also tells us that God gave men the authority on Earth to forgive sins. Jesus sends out His disciples with the authority on earth to forgive sins. When Catholics confess their sins to a priest, they are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest…it is God’s power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest.

Jesus Poster:

Funny, because my students didn’t question Why? What? How? They were just a little nervous and anxious about telling their sins to a priest. But once I reassured them that God knows what’s in their heart, that God understands and knows everything about each and everyone of them, that if they forget their sins, God knows them all intimately anyway, they then calmed down. They knew they could do it.

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It was so gentle, quiet liturgical music playing in the background, students sitting and reading while waiting for their turn and then stepping up onto the altar, one at a time to sit with the priest side by side, just like having a conversation.

They sat and pondered, they sat and prayed, they sat and looked at the icons and images around the church, they knelt and prayed for their penance and they seemed calmer after we got back to class.

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Reconciliation is a gift from God. We should all embrace it and practice it because Jesus came to preach the message of love, forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, new life and fullness of life for every person. Jesus came to preach and to bring it about again not through violence, not through power, not through armies, not through war, but through forgiveness and love.

One might say that the students are too young. Wouldn’t you say that children should understand their actions and how they affect others? That their choices can have a huge impact on their family and friends, that in the eyes of God they are accountable? How beautiful is it to receive  God’s grace and forgiveness which can bring about healing? How fulfilling is it that we can all offload our bad choices, our sins and our hurts to Jesus and He will take them all away and restore us and help bring peace into our hearts?

Perhaps the benefits outweigh our reluctance towards this forgotten sacrament. Perhaps there may be less anxiety, less stress, sleeplessness, less fear and doubt, because all these do not come from God. That’s what the sacrament of Reconciliation does, it brings God’s light, love, forgiveness, building up of friendships, restoration, healing and peace through His SON Jesus Christ – the ultimate healer.

 A heart at peace is a heart at rest. Jesus takes away the pain the others can’t reach!

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THE ANSWER TO ALL THIS TURMOIL IS ABOVE

I don’t think I’m alone in  saying that there is turmoil in and around us right now! Increase in crime, suicides, unemployment, family abuse, robberies and break ins, carjacking, disrespect for authority and the law, disrespect for democracy, drug abuse, alcohol,  depression, anxiety, bullying, poverty, sexual/verbal abuse, homelessness.. and more. So  this is where progress and our increased freedoms have lead us to? GET ME OUT OF HERE!! Really…… who needs this kind of progress???? I say…… we are going backwards.

I remember a time when life was simpler, easier, less congested, uncomplicated and orderly. Society is too quick to throw out what was good from our past to make way for progress.

The latest IPhones, IPads, cars, holidays, designer attire, isn’t going to fulfill us(it might for a brief moment) I’m talking about something that is lasting, that inner peace that translates into good sleep, good relationships, happy families and a relationship with God.

I hope this video clip will help put things in perspective, that only when things are right with God can we be truly at peace. A heart at rest is a heart at peace. When our will is united with God’s will, then and only then can we have union with Him.

God gave Jesus dominion over this earth, God gave us His Son Jesus to help fight our battles. We need to have a heaven perspective not an earthly one, because the second brings destruction and the first brings us in union with our creator God.

PRAYER

Dear Father God, we thank You for this beautiful world we live in. Please help us to follow your Son Jesus as He will lead us to the absolute truth and through Him, we will be in union with You in heaven. AMEN

 

 

HE OPENS AND SHUTS DOORS

God has a plan for you,  He knitted you in your mother’s womb. He knows everything about you. Your plan for your life was mapped out before you were born.

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All you have to do is claim your inheritance. God opens doors for you but you have to recognise the opportunity and know that it’s the right path to pursue. How do we know that, you might ask? You have to pray and ask God to show you, if you don’t understand God’s messages, ask again and ask that the answer come in a way that you understand.

If still you have nothing, then you have to repent and forgive, as sin becomes blockages to hearing God’s Word. Our lives can be so cluttered and full that God’s messages cannot get through to us. Persist and the answer will come.

Sometimes the answer may come ever so gently that we miss it altogether, then continue to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to infill you afresh with the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and understanding.(See HOLY SPIRIT )

God does open doors, because He is a God of abundance. Have you had a stranger give you a kind word? A friend that came just at  the time that you needed them? A promotion that came just at the right time? Money, just turned up that you didn’t know you had? Well, I have had all these and I know they just weren’t coincidences. God set them in motion.

God closes doors too, even though you don’t want them closed. Something or someone suddenly stops or is out of your life.Why you might ask? Well, you don’t have the full picture and you cannot foresee what is to come, that door that was closed may not have been the best path for you, it could have lead to destruction or it may have been not what you needed.

This reminds me of a eulogy I heard many years ago of a father burying his teenage daughter because of her choices of partners. The daughter’s partner led her to drugs and on the first hit of heroine, the daughter died from an overdose. God did not interfere with the daughter’s choice and prior, her father gently warned the daughter of his suspicions, but they were ignored. The daughter’s choices and consequence of not listening to someone who loved her and had her best interests at heart, were devastating to say the least.

There was a huge gathering at this funeral and young teenage boys and girls listened intently to the father’s every word. With pain in his heart, the father didn’t even speak evil words about the daughter’s partner, he said….“God took the evil away from her, God the Father has her now and is looking after her instead”.     WOW!!!!! What powerful words indeed. His faith helped him understand that the door closed shut for his daughter because there was prolonged evil to come. As a mother of teenage daughters myself then, my heart was breaking, but the power in those words helped me understand how God permits certain things and removes other things from our lives as well.

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The daughter’s grades at school were excellent. She didn’t deserve to have her short life taken away. She had a very promising future ahead of her, but this highlights how our lives are very fragile and that those split second decisions can make or break us. But God does help us, He wants us all to prosper, but we need to stay close to Him, we need to have a relationship with Him, we need to pray.

Nothing happens in our lives if not to teach us something.

We have to trust God and allow Him to do His work. We have to surrender to HIM .

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When the hand of God is at work all is right!

YES, IN GOD WE TRUST!!!!!

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I write this post after having seen the inauguration of the 45th american president-Donald Trump on TV. During the swearing in and speeches made by Mike Pence and Donald Trump, God was mentioned numerous times. So what does that mean? It means that they are inviting God into all decisions, all appointments in all the choosing and deliberations of the office.

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What a great way to start with the intelligent designer God Himself. When God is at work nothing that’s impossible, is possible with God. God can stop the rain during the inauguration, change minds, policies, offices overnight, He will allow people to make fools of themselves-(just check out the protesters and the inaccurate media reportings). God can move mountains, part the Red Sea and choose leaders who are going to lead others to Him.

The way things have been in the past, God was not part of the picture. Just think! In history, God has used the lowest  to do His most important work, like tax collectors, murderers such as Zaccheus, Abraham, Saul of Tarsus who became Paul, whose prolific writings formed a major portion of the New Testament. In other words, God will often use the most unlikely people for the tasks He chooses. 

I quote from Pére, Jean-Pierre de Caussade…“There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances and tedious annoyances really are. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God and yet His beloved children curse it because they do not know if for what it is. God speaks to all individuals through what happens to them moment by moment. The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams. 

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I wish America God’s protection and guidance over all its decisions making, appointments and alliances, restitutions, changes and support towards its people so that it can bring about the changes that God has put into the leader’s hearts in order for America to become a strong nation in whom God will be well pleased.

IF LIFE HAS DEALT YOU A RAW DEAL……….

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Life is full of problems, ups and downs, no one is immune to it and at times your faith can be shaken or even tested. You may have done everything you possibly could, yet you’ve been dealt with a raw deal that leaves you bewildered, unsure and with the unknown.

But this beautiful and world renowned Psalm 23, is crucial as to how God would want us to live our lives.

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First of all in the historical context of the Hebrews, you have to understand that the role of a shepherd was very important, it brought an income and food for the family. The source of this psalm is pertinent as it was written by David, who was a shepherd boy, the one who fought the giant with his slingshot and won. The shepherd is a metaphor for God. God has given us Jesus to fight our battles on this earth, through the cross  Jesus took all our problems with Him, all our physical, emotional and spiritual ones so that He could make our burdens lighter on this earth and help us resolve our issues. The metaphor for sheep is us, now let’s just look at sheep for a minute, they are not the smartest of the animal hierarchy,

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in fact they are at the bottom. They need to be taken to where there is food and water, they are easy prey, they cannot defend themselves and cannot fight back, they are not well camouflaged either. If there is noise where there is water they will not drink it, they would then die. The shepherd may have to take the sheep high up the hill or mountain to find food, here wolves and wild animals prey on sheep, so with his staff, the shepherd would use the end of it to kill the sheep’s prey, with the shepherd’s crook he would reign the sheep in, away from danger.

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So there’s the metaphor and analogy. Now please don’t take this as you being dumb, it just serves to explain how fragile we are and how much we need Jesus in our lives. It shows how much God cares for us and understands our trials and tribulations.

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Now David knew the role of a shepherd well, hence the relevance to this psalm. David went through many hardships in his life,  he prayed and waited on the Lord to lead him to where he needed to be and to answer his prayers. God prepared him and raised him to be a great king. David trusted God.

This psalm goes into the valley of death, meaning our tribulations where we need not fear(the present). This psalm goes into the future where you may think your enemies have got off scot free, not true. It says that God will prepare a banquet for you (future-afterlife), where your enemies will be the envy.  In other words, God will be the ultimate vindicator and judge.

You need to have a relationship with God, you need to communicate with Him, ask Him for what He thinks is best for you. Ask Him to show you in a way that you understand and to make the path clear for you. You may not get exactly what you want but it will be what you need.

Like the good shepherd, Jesus will meet you where you are and take you through the journey and if you have patience, perseverance and wait on the Lord, your questions will be answered.

Learn this psalm 23(see above) by rote and recite it everyday as a prayer and the answers will come. I know it works because I have seen the good that follows.

God bless you all and may the spirit of Jesus live in you.

ROBBIE WILLIAMS SINGS ….. “GO GENTLE”……EVERYONE DESERVES A FATHER LIKE THIS

I like Robbie Williams, he’s come out of the ashes and risen to love Jesus, to turn his life around and then to write lyrics like these. Everyone deserves a father like this.( see lyrics to song “GO GENTLE” by Robbie Williams-see link below)

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While almost any man can father a child, there is so much more to the important role of being dad in a child’s life. A father’s role is so important, he has to be a:- caregiver, protector,  provider, teacher,  nurturer, advisor, psychologist, nurse, a friend and more. A father’s role is central to the emotional well-being of their children especially during those formative years till the age of about 5 years. A father has to wear many hats and they cannot be good at all of them.

The Christian father is really an instrument in God’s hand. A father’s first responsibility is to acquaint his children with Scripture. The means and methods that fathers may use to teach God’s truth will vary. As the father is faithful in role modelling, what children learn about God will put them in good standing throughout their earthly lives, no matter what they do or where they go.

We live in a broken world, no judgements needed, fathers have issues too.

If your earthly father cannot or could not be the caring, nurturing father that you deserved, allow God the Father to be your father for you, for healing to occur ……..

 LET GO

FORGIVE

SURRENDER TO GOD

ASK GOD TO BE YOUR FATHER

 SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD ROLE MODELS

ALLOW JESUS TO TOUCH YOU AND TRANSFORM YOU

IF NEEDED, SEEK HELP FROM A CHRISTIAN COUNSELLOR

He sings his testimony………………. “I LOVE MY LIFE”                                               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7YVEUhEW2w

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – JESUS IS OUR LIGHT

Image result for jesus brightens this dark worldChristmas lights, fairy lights, candles, flameless luminaries they all light up those dark spaces. Jesus came to us to bring light into this dark world.

So, whenever you light a candle in the name of Jesus Christ He will be there because you are inviting Him into your life. Especially during Christmas, I love to light candles and remember the words of Jesus . So when my family gathers to spend time together this Christmas season, I will be lighting a candle to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. I know that with Jesus on my side the outcome is always better. I know that I am not alone and I have the light of the world to brighten my darkest spaces and I want to praise and thanks the one who died to save me –                JESUS CHRIST.  AMEN

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John 8:12

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PRAYER

Jesus come into my life and brighten my darkest spaces:-

Where there is sadness bring joy.

Where there is rebellion bring stability.

Where there is unbelief bring truth.

Where there is sickness bring healing.

Where there is poverty bring prosperity.

Where there is infertility bring growth.

Where there is death bring life.

AMEN