30 Day Retreat Follow Up: Epic Fail or Lesson Learned?

My 30 day retreat ended after 2 days and let me tell you, those were the most intense two days of silence and prayer that I’ve ever experienced, which was a good thing. Overall I’m not looking at this as a failure but rather a taste of things to come in the future. Who knows, maybe next time I will do 3 days or a week.

When I was alone without distractions and my mind started to clear, the more important things in my life started to come up to the forefront. It gave me time to think about what I need to be doing like spending more quality time with family at home and those not at home. I could step up my game at work. I can improve upon my prayer life. I can do more around the house than what I do.

The most important thing that I learned though in those 2 days was to take some time, every day to spend in quiet prayer. That is hard to do for a lot of us with distractions at home, etc… but it can be done, you just need to make it happen.

There is so much more to this 30 day plan that I didn’t get to experience because I stopped so soon. Like I said earlier, maybe next time I’ll shoot for 3 days or a week. Maybe next time I spend those 3 days out in the wilderness with no distractions? Or maybe, I don’t do it at all? Which leads me to my final observation during those 2 days. I asked myself, “Were you doing this because you felt God calling you to do it or was it because a friend of yours did it and you saw the changes in him?” Basically, was I doing this for God or for me? 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

So ask yourself, “Do I do all to the glory of God?” Something to think about.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

30 Day Retreat

Picture yourself driving down a highway during the summer and it is early morning, the sun is beginning to rise. As you are driving you hear or see the splat of a bug hitting your windshield. If you’re quick enough you rinse the remains of the bug off. After driving for an hour you pull off into a rest area. You notice that your windshield is a mess. Bugs and remnants of them have left their mark on your windshield. You get back in your vehicle and start to drive away noticing the mess on the windshield. You can still see the road but it’s not as clear. You get to a crossroad and make a turn, the wrong turn because you could not see clearly.

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Sometimes we allow things to get in the way of our journey with Christ. People, material objects, vices, places, situations, they all can create a blurred vision of the path that leads us home to him. That is when we need to stop, clear our vision, and get back on track.

 

I am at one of those times in my life where I need to clear my vision. I need to get away from the world as best as I can, and clean my inner windshield. A friend and Catholic brother of mine introduced me to a program, “Freedom Through Christ” created by a Catholic Deliverance Ministry.

I saw the changes that he went through and although I know that I may not experience those same changes, I know that changes need to be taken in order for me to continue my journey with Christ. This is my time to reconnect with God in a deeper more intimate way than what I’ve ever done before.

Tomorrow July 16, 2020, I begin my retreat. I will be off the grid per se for at least 30 days, maybe more, I have no idea how this will go or where God will lead me during this time.

I’d like to ask you all to pray for me during this time. Pray that God will deliver me from whatever it is that is holding me back. Pray that his will be done in my life. I will pray for all of you and your intentions during this time and when I return, I pray that I am a better man than who I am today.

Thank you, God bless you, Buen Camino, and I’ll see you all later.

A Warrior’s Cry: A Prayer Before Battle

A man holds a rosary in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

In days of old, warriors used to pray before a battle. As a Christian, you have been fighting a battle ever since the day that you were born. It’s not a physical battle or at least not always; it is spiritual warfare, a battle against Satan and his demons.

Now the time has come to pray to the Lord Our God, to protect us from the evil out there and to give us the strength to go into battle. Are you ready to fight? Let us pray.

For Protection

Psalms 7

O LORD my God, in thee do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me, lest like a lion they rend me, dragging me away, with none to rescue.  O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands,  if I have requited my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause,  let the enemy pursue me and overtake me, and let him trample my life to the ground, and lay my soul in the dust. [Selah]  Arise, O LORD, in thy anger, lift thyself up against the fury of my enemies; awake, O my God; thou hast appointed a judgment.  Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about thee; and over it take thy seat on high.  The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the righteous, thou who triest the minds and hearts, thou righteous God. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day.  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow; he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil, and is pregnant with mischief, and brings forth lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole which he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own pate his violence descends. I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

For Strength

Psalms 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Psalms 28:7-8

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

 

 

Chastisement or Not?

 

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Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, more serious discussions are arising within the Christian community on whether or not this virus is a chastisement from God. I can’t say yes or no for sure but I tend to lean towards the “yes” side. I do see this as a wake up call though for the entire world. The question is, are we listening?

We hear things all around us but do we ever listen to what it is we here? Our lives are surrounded by so much noise, both audible and visual; TV, radio, computers, cell phones, traffic, etc. somewhere out there within all that noise is the voice of God. He is trying to talk to us but we don’t seem to have the time. We are too busy at work and at home. And others would rather listen to what the mainstream media is selling them as the truth. Psalms 101:7 “No one who practices deceit can remain in my house. No one who speaks falsely can last in my presence.”

Romans 13:11-14 “And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of flesh.

“It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.” It is time for you to pull your head out of wherever it is and recognize what is going on around us; listen to what God is saying; “for our salvation in nearer now.” In other words, times is running short.

“Throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” What is the darkness that has encapsulated your life? Is it lust? Lust for flesh, money, food, recognition? Now is the time to sit down and take a good hard honest look at yourself and see what it is that is keeping you away from the grace of God. Cast it aside and repent. If you are able to in these times, go to the sacrament of reconciliation. If you are unable to, pray a sincere act of contrition and pray that God will show you mercy if you were to pass away right now.

“Let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.” Conduct yourselves as you would while at work or while at Church. Don’t be one person during those times and another person while at home.

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” Now is the time for you to let Jesus Christ into your life. Now is the time to get to know Jesus Christ intimately. Now is the time for you to rid yourselves of desires of the flesh, of the world. As I mentioned before, take a good look at yourself and find what it is that keeps you from putting on Jesus Christ. The desires of the flesh are things that will not get us to heaven and they keep our us distracted with their noise so that our attention is diverted away from Christ.

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During the past few weeks I’ve had plenty of time to read articles and watch videos by priests who I feel are brave and honest and they are trying their hardest to lead their flocks to the kingdom of God. They are trying to help us to “listen” to what it is God is saying. They are not conspiracy theorists. They provide scripture, Church history, and many have talked about the most recent Marian Apparitions (Fatima, Akita, Garabandal) and the messages associated with them. They are not crazy nor are they trying to scare us. They are being shepherds, they are doing their jobs, they are being priests. Let us pray for Pope Francis, all our Cardinals and Bishops, and all of the clergy that they will listen and do the will of God. 

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So is this the end of the world? Is this a Chastisement from God? I don’t know, I am not God. Unlike in the days of young Samuel when the word of the Lord was scarce and vision infrequent, God is trying to get our attention, he is calling each of us by name. Let us answer the Lord as young Samuel did; “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10

 

Until next time, buen camino and God bless.



Fear of Truth

Psalm 27:2-3

When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

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There are times when I am asked, “John, as a small business owner in a small town, aren’t you afraid of posting your religious and political views on social media? Don’t you know that people will use that against you and your business?” My answer is always the same, “I am not afraid to speak the truth.” Why am I not afraid? I think the aforementioned Psalm says it all; in a nutshell, God has my back.

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Why are so many “Christians” afraid to speak the truth? In a previous post I talked about Christian Passivity but I think it goes deeper than that. There is a certain fear that keeps people from speaking the truth. Fear of being labeled a bigot, a racist, a hypocrite, etc… If someone is placing a label on you and you know that it is not true, then why be afraid to speak the truth?

FearisALiar

Fear is not of God; fear is a lie and comes from the father of all lies, the devil. 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” Don’t quote me but I believe the phrase “be not afraid” or others like it are mentioned 365 times in the Bible. That’s 365 instances of God letting you know that he has your back, be not afraid. Testify!

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“The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side.” – G.K. Chesterton. Right is right and wrong is wrong, it’s that simple. When you are afraid to speak the truth, you allow the darkness to creep into the world that much more. Be not afraid, speak the truth boldly with fire and conviction.

Until next time, buen camino.

Catholic Vote: You Can’t Just Vote Based on Abortion. Want to Bet?

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You would figure by now that most “Catholics” would really have some clue about their faith right? Wrong! I don’t place all the blame on them, although it is “our” responsibility to know our faith or learn more about it but,  when the majority of our ordained don’t talk about the evils of abortion or they downplay it as not being that important, how is the flock supposed to know the severity of it?

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The USCCB came out with their own (in my opinion) weak version of helping parishioners know how to vote called: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. I’m going, to put it bluntly here. Most “Catholics” fall under what I refer to as “nominal” and they are not going to take the time to read a 42-page booklet informing them how to vote. Why? Well besides the fact that most are lazy when it comes to their faith and don’t want to know more, they instead depend on their priests or deacons to tell them what is right and wrong. The problem is when you have priest and deacons who are liberal, uneducated in Church teachings themselves, that don’t want to piss off the high dollar donating parishioners of their church, and/or are weak and timid and afraid of their flock, the message never hits the ears of the parishioners.

pope francis

It all starts from the top though with Pope Francis, our Cardinals and Bishops. I personally feel that Pope Francis has placed more emphasis on the plight of migrants and ecological issues than that of the unborn although recently he and the bishops of the USCCB have stated the importance of abortion being the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when it comes to voting.

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When it comes to the USCCB, we don’t have enough Cardinals or Bishops who go out publicly emphasizing how important the issue of abortion is when it comes to voting. There are however a few good men that do; men such as Arch Bishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities. [1]The American bishops and Pope Francis both affirm that the “preeminent priority” for Catholics when voting is the protection of the child in the womb, said Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his homily for Thursday’s vigil Mass for the March for Life. And while Catholics must consider “many important societal issues with great moral significance,” such as immigration reform, care for refugees and the poor, health care, religious liberty, and the “care for creation,” the bishops “affirmed that the protection of the unborn remains the preeminent priority,” Naumann said.

He also cited Pope St. John Paul II’s “landmark and prophetic” encyclical The Gospel of Life, issued 25 years ago this March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. The sainted pontiff noted that the “vast array of threats to human life” included poverty, the arms trade, drugs, and the promotion of “certain forms of sexual activity,” but “spoke clearly that special attention should be given to the issues of abortion and euthanasia,” Naumann observed.

Bishop Naumann went on to say that Since 1973, 61 million unborn children have been killed by abortion and each had a father and mother “who’ve been starved by the death of their child.”

Naumann also related that when he and bishops from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska met with Pope Francis one week ago for their ad limina visit, “I told him that we received some criticism, even being accused of insulting the pope.”

The pope “appeared stunned,” and asked why.

“And I said because we called the protection of the unborn a ‘preeminent priority,’ and his immediate response was, ‘It is a preeminent priority’. Pope Francis said if we do not defend life, no other rights matter,” Naumann said.

“God and 14 other bishops are my witnesses that Pope Francis was passionate in the support of the Church’s pro-life efforts. My friends, the successor of Peter has our backs,” added the archbishop.

CCC

So there now you’ve heard it, straight from the horse’s mouth, well…sort of. For some of you all out there, I know that if you don’t hear it straight from Christ himself, it means nothing to you. For those of you who do think that way, quit being idiots! This is deeper than Republican and Democrat and if you can’t get that through your head then you better drop on your knees and ask God for forgiveness for the sin that you will commit when you vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. If you don’t think it’s a sin, let me drop a little bit of knowledge on you.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1868

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
– by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
– by orderingadvisingpraising, or approving them;
– by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
– by protecting evil-doers.

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I want to finish off with scripture and something else to think about. The Judgement of the Nations – Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

When your day comes to be judged and you are in front of the King of Kings saying; “when you were hungry I fed you, you were thirsty and I gave you drink, a stranger and I welcomed you, naked and I clothed you.” And you hear the reply, “When I was conceived and in the womb, you did not fight for me, you did not stand up and defend my rights, you voted for those who oppose the sanctity of life-based on pro-choice, and you allowed me to be killed.”

When you die, do you want to hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” or do you want to hear “’Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

 

Until next time, God bless and buen camino.

 

 

[1] Abortion is the top priority at the ballot box, U.S. Bishop tells March for Life by lifesitenews.com Fri Jan 24, 2020 – 7:49 am EST

 

Passive Christianity

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Today is the 47th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Let that sink in for a bit. 47 years of people marching for the dignity of life and, this is the first time in 47 years that the President will address the attendees in person! Yet, people still claim that President Trump holds no Christian values.

Trump praying

For a man who supposedly doesn’t have any Christian beliefs, then I suppose it is purely coincidental that he uses the words; “Jesus Christ, Christian, Christian beliefs, and Religious rights” so much. The man is not just a talker. He is not a passive Christian.

He has put his money where his mouth is and everyone hates him for it. No matter what good he does, those who appose him will always be critical of him and his actions. I’ve already seen people on social media saying, “Instead of addressing the people at the March for Life, he should be leading the march.” Good is never good in their eyes or never good enough.

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Do you know why those who hate and appose President Trump do so? Because they are told to do so by the mainstream media. These are people who can’t think for themselves. Don’t believe me, go online and look at some of the interviews that are conducted with these individuals when asked why they dislike our POTUS. Most can not come up with a coherent answer. It’s sad, disgusting and troublesome at the same time. When provided with factual information, they tend to get irate and immediately take to personal attacks on him and those of us who support him. But by all means, those of you who appose President Trump, keep following and listening to the media on how to live your life. Nobody will have the boldness to confront you. Why? Because they are passive Christians.

hell fall

The path to heaven is narrow and full of twists, turns, and obstacles; while the road to hell is wide and open. 47 years of marching and what have we learned? Instead of this country getting better we see Sodom and Gomorrah being revisited again. Why? Because we’ve allowed it to happen; passive Christianity. Nobody seems to have the fortitude to stand up and say “ENOUGH!”

Think about this; the LGBTQ movement. Within the past 10 years if not more, they have taken to the streets and demanded that their voices be heard. They’ve protested against the way they’ve been treated by telling some truths and some lies. 20 years ago before this movement we knew who were and weren’t homosexual and, it really didn’t matter to us. They were treated the same as any other person, equal. I personally have never seen a homosexual treated any differently in any Church that I’ve attended yet, there are all these claims on how the Catholic Church does not recognize the dignity of the homosexual person and how nondenominational Churches persecute homosexuals. LIES! Now, it’s thrown in our faces, demanding us to bow down to them and their way of life. Why? Because of passive Christians.

Michelle Lujan Grisham
Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham wearing the “pink ***** hat.”

How about another example of idiocy in our country. Let’s take a look at the “me too” movement or the “women right” movement. First off, it’s hard to take a person seriously who is wearing a pink ****** hat and yelling obscenities such as “My vagina my rights.” Once again, displays of incoherent ramblings by those seeking attention…AND IT WORKS! Why? You guessed it, because of passive Christians.

Now how about the women who are screaming, “Oh I was a victim of his sexual advances” such as those allegations made by actresses like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan. Now I’m not saying that those men are innocent of their behaviors, they are sexual predators, but, why didn’t these women just say no? Because it would affect their acting careers that’s why. So in essence, their careers where more important to them, at the time, than their dignity and self-worth. And I’m supposed to feel bad for them because they were taken advantage of? I’m supposed to feel bad for these women who went on to make movies with nudity on their part…I don’t think so! But, like everything that is wrong with the world today, people will feel sorry for them, people will support them as they have and, nobody will hold them accountable for their actions. Why? Because of passive Christians.

christian vs secular

For far too long we, the Christian community, have stood back and watched as our nation falls to shambles. If we continue to do so, we will see our religious freedoms disappear. As in the picture above, we are always portrayed as the angry looking evil Christian when in fact, the picture should be one of a man, cowering in the fetal position, hiding behind his bible. Look at what is taking place in the Methodist Church. Look at the problems that we have with the “Lavender Mafia” in the Catholic Church.

What will it take? What else has to happen before Christians stand up and start to shout themselves that ENOUGH is ENOUGH and we will not tolerate our religious beliefs being trampled on as they have been? Hit your knees hard friends and pray. Pray for courage. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and give you the words to defend your faith.

In closing, quit being passive Christians. Take a look at Jesus Christ on the cross. Does that look like a passive man? I think not. That is one thing that I’ve always taken pride in when asked why I wear a Crucifix when I do. It is because it is a symbol, a reminder of the courage, the perseverance, and the love that Jesus Christ has for us.

Until next time, buen camino friends.

 

Negative Influences

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This is the day. This is the day that I say “NO” to negativity! This is the day that I stop falling for the nonsense that enters into my life. This is the day that I stand by Jesus Christ and ask him to help me be a better man.

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This journey with Christ has not been an easy one but then again, nobody ever said it would be. As a matter of fact, some of the most influential people that I have met so far in my journey with Christ have told me how hard it is and how much harder it will get for me. One of my earlier spiritual directors told me, “The closer you get to God, the harder Satan will try to trip you up.” Some days the devil can’t trip me up for nothing, and others days, it’s not even a challenge for him. So what is a person to do?

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Ugh. There he goes again

There are some people in my life who I dearly love but at times, they can be a negative influence on me. I fall into their trap and end up acting the fool. I know the problems that have been plaguing me lately. Listening to gossip or doing it myself, feeding into negative actions such as cursing and being inconsiderate towards others feelings or being spurned onto these actions by friends and family. It’s as though I can hear my guardian angel say, “Hey look out there’s a ….. never mind, too late” and I fall again. This is the day that it ends. As my bride likes to say, “one can not walk with the Lord while holding hands with the devil.”

 

sin kills

Sin kills. When we give into what the devil is feeding us, we die. Sin kills, plain and simple. Have you ever payed attention to your sinful patterns? One little venial sin here, another one there, and another and another and another until there is this big pile of venial sins. When there is no more room for venial sins we end up giving into mortal sins, sins that separate us from or push us away from Christ. The more we give into venial sin, the easier it is to fall into the trap of mortal sin. Sin is the thing that keeps me away from the peace, the peace of Christ that I am looking for. That quiet, peace. Only through the grace of God will I be able to turn over a new leaf. And although I have calmed down quite a bit compared to my old self, that “old self” likes to try and sneak in from time to time to cause havoc.

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I want that peace of Christ and I want it now. In a world full of noise, sometimes noise that I create myself, I want peace. I’m tired of the negativity. It’s like carrying a heavy load and I don’t want to carry it any longer. So, to my family & friends who are having issues in their lives, I’m sorry you are going through what you are going through and I pray that you get through it soon, but your negativity is not helping me so I will take a step back, I will pray for you, and I will be there when you need to talk. If I want to find peace in myself, I need to look for it through and with Christ. You are always welcomed to join us.

 

 

 

 

Me? Why Me?

 

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All of us are on a journey of some sort. Some people know what that journey is and some people don’t have a clue but, they go with the flow. Which category do you fall into?

If you are on a spiritual journey, then there is no doubt that God is leading you where he needs you but, you must be open to what it is He wants from you and you must be ready to reply “Here I am Lord” when He calls. Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am” I said; “Send me!”

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Whether you know it or not, you have been chosen by God and you have been called by His Son Jesus Christ to go out and make disciples of all. Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” But there is something else that God gave you and that is “free will.” It is completely up to you if you choose to hear and answer Him.

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You might be asking yourself, “why me?” Why you? Because you were made for this. That was Gods plan all along and He sent His Son to prepare you for this. Just as in the story of The Vine and the Branches, Jesus has been pruning you, getting rid of the junk so that you can go out and bear good fruit. John 15:16 It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.

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So go out, be strong and have courage because God is with you, Jesus is with you and they are counting on you to go out and be that living example for others, to be that light shining in a dark world, to be a disciple. Joshua 1:9 Be strong and steadfast! Do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.

May God continue to bless you and all that you do for His Kingdom! Viva Cristo Rey!

 

Chosen


John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Being of the world is so easy to do. Everyone loves you! You are a voice for the oppressed! You are a hero of the people! There are plenty of people who share the same views as yourself so you must be right! You speak your mind on social media sites and get dozens if not hundreds of likes! When you are of the world, life is good right? 
I too used to be of the world. I lived for the day. I lived for the unholy trinity of me, myself and I. When Facebook came around I was like “Great! Finally a place where I can post my opinion and have it mean something!” Eventually it became a place where I could boast and brag about things that really didn’t matter. But to me, at that point in time….oh yeah, they mattered. Fast forward a couple years later and something drastic took place. I chose to stop living for the world and I choose to live for Christ. Little did I know back then that He had already chosen me.
We are all chosen. It’s just a matter of whether or not we want to accept it. Living of and for the world is easy. There are no expectations. But, living for Christ…that is a challenge. The expectations are high and no matter how hard you try, the bar just seems to be set higher and higher and higher. It’s all a part of Christ plan. He knows what we can achieve and how much we can take so he is always challenging us to do better, like any good parent would do. We do this because we know the reward will be the greatest reward ever. We will get the reward of eternity with Christ. Those who choose to live for the world, they already have their reward, the cheers, approval and admiration of their worldly peers. Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. Those who live for the world, that is their form of prayer. Praising one another for speaking their minds. Placing a man or woman on a pedestal as a hero to be worshipped and admired. Putting themselves before Christ and others. So yes, they have received their reward. 
Now, I can say that I’ve been on both sides and I like where I’m at. It’s never easy. It’s always a challenge but one that I am up for. Sure I would like the respect and admiration of family and friends but only if it is coming from a place of Christ. Only if I have been Christ like or shown Christ to others. That is what we are called to do brothers and sisters. To speak the truth, the truth of Jesus Christ. For those of you who are doing so already I say to you, keep sharing his love. For those of you who are living for the world but deep inside yourself you know that there is something better, you are right and, you know what that something or rather, who that someone is…Jesus Christ. He is waiting for you with open arms. Turn your back on him no longer and go on in for His loving embrace and accept the fact that you too have been chosen. Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.