Category Archives: Inspirational

Sunday Devotional: Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live

John 11:1-2, 5-8, 11, 17, 25-27, 32-35, 38-44

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill….
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”….
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”….
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days….
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”….
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept….
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

We don’t need fanciful or elaborate prayers to talk to our Creator, as this humble factory worker named Ben shows. The video made me weep….

So, join me today in saying this simple prayer:

“I just came by to tell you, Lord,
how happy I have been,
since we found each other’s friendship,
and you took away my sin.
Don’t know much of how to pray,
but I think about you every day.
So, Jesus, this is (your name),
just checking in today.”

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love

Love Eternal

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

Comfort In A Time Of Shaking

Lord Jesus, you said heaven and earth will pass away, but your word will never pass away. Your word will also not fail to produce that for which it was sent. It will not return to you void.  Having believed the gospel, we base all our hope on on you, and commit to you our way, and our lives. ~ Amen

~TD

 

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Sunday Devotional: Night is coming

John 9:4-5; 8:12

Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

“Night is coming when no one can work….”

What a prophetic and apt description of the terrible times in which we find ourselves, gripped by panic and fear of a new virus pandemic that has shut down entire cities, states and countries, rendering countless millions jobless, plunging stock markets and economies into utter chaos.

And the antidote?

It is Christ our Lord.

Always.

Psalm 23:1-4

The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.

And the best way to overcome the night is for each of us to be a light to the world.

Be kind. Be cheerful.

Help those who are suffering and in need.

Be a light in the darkness.

Ephesians 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light…
and Christ will give you light.

In many cities and states, there are no public Masses because of “shelter in place” quasi-martial law. But you can still celebrate the Holy Mass online:

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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What we need right now: A Christian Attitude in Times of Widespread Sickness and Rumor of Death

Yesterday I avoided reading news websites that I normally view for blog posts. I avoided checking the stock market. I checked my Twitchy app headlines and saw the normal bi-partisan hyperbole, especially after President Trump gave his speech last night on the Wuhan Virus. Heaven forbid, he mentioned it originated in China so now he’s being called a xenophobe, racist, etc., etc.

The progressive media will NOT abandon their hysterics and politics for ONE minute. They have only ONE agenda. But you can spend some time this morning abandoning THEM.

I decided to check out some Twitter timelines of a few of my favorites and came upon this tweet by Mollie Hemingway: “A Christian Attitude in Times of Widespread Sickness and Rumor of Death.”

From the post: “When sickness and death test the foundation of Christian trust in God’s mercy, the Scriptures teach a four-fold attitude of faith, prayer, compassion, and mercy.”

The post is a quick read and includes the following excerpts:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

“Once our hearts have been set at peace, we can consider how to best serve our neighbors. There is a two-fold danger of recklessness on the one hand and debilitating fear on the other. The Christian avoids both by faith.

Read the whole post here.

Faith, prayer, compassion and mercy are very much needed today.

Ignore the media, news, Twitter and take a deep breath. And remember that we are all in this together. With prayer and calm heads this too shall pass and together we can weather the storm.

DCG

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Sunday Devotional: The eyewitnesses of the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-8

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

In law, there’s an important concept critical to the determination of truth.

The concept is “percipient witness”. According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things she or he actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”

Today, the universal Church celebrates and remembers a particular event about which the Apostles were percipient witnesses — the Transfiguration.

2 Peter 1:16-18

Beloved:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.

Do you doubt these percipient witnesses?

This is how the Apostles — percipient witnesses of the transfigured and later resurrected Christ — died, testifying to the truth they’d witnessed until their last breath:

  • St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity, was stoned to death in Jerusalem, c. AD 34.
  • St. James, son of Zebedee and brother of St. John the Apostle, was the first Apostle to be martyred. King Herod had St. James beheaded in 44 AD.
  • St. James, son of Alpheus, was reported by the Jewish historian Josephus to have been stoned and then clubbed to death in 62 AD.
  • St. Jude Thaddaeus was crucified in Syria, c. 65 AD.
  • St. Simon the Zealot ministered in Persia and was sawn in half, c. 65 AD after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
  • St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. St. Paul was beheaded. St. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, because he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
  • St. Mark, a rope around his neck, was dragged to death in Alexandria, Egypt, in AD 68.
  • St. Thomas was pierced to death in India, 72 AD, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder.
  • St. Matthias, who was chosen to replace Judas, was burned to death in Syria, c. 80 AD.
  • St. Bartholomew (identified as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John) is believed to have been skinned alive and crucified. He ministered in India with St. Thomas, in Armenia, Ethiopia and Southern Arabia.
  • St. Philip was crucified in Hierapolis, Asia Minor, 80 AD, for converting the wife of a Roman proconsul. He also ministered in North Africa.
  • St. Andrew was crucified in Patras, Greece. He also preached in Asia Minor and modern-day Turkey. Christians in the former Soviet Union say he was the first to bring the Gospel to their land.
  • St. Matthew was beheaded in Ethiopia. He had also ministered in Persia.
  • St. John was the only Apostle who died a natural death from old age, after surviving an ordeal of being thrown into boiling oil. He was the leader of the church in Ephesus and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. In mid-90s AD, he was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation.

Below is an account of the Apostles’ martyrdom by Dean Jones in the stunning one-man play St. John in Exile. Though filmed in 1986, I had never heard of or seen it until I discovered it two years ago.

I urge you to watch St John in Exile, which reduced me to weeping, in its entirety.

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 18-20

“Everything is lawful for me,” but not everything is beneficial….
The body, however, is not for immorality,
but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body….
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore, glorify God in your body.

As a temple of God in which dwells the Spirit of God, therefore, we are called to be holy! As St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:2:

“to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus,
called to be holy”

The Oxford Dictionary defines “holy” as a person who is dedicated to God, who is morally and spiritually excellent.

God created us so that we eventually will join Him in Heaven for all eternity. Since only holy people will see God face to face, that means we are all called to be holy.

That sounds so daunting, doesn’t it? How do we become holy?

The answer: By putting on the armor of God.

As St. Paul counseled us in his letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

St. Paul gave us the manual!

Here’s the manual on how to be holy:

  1. Resist and fight evil — the Devil and human evil-doers.
  2. Love and speak the truth.
  3. Be righteous, i.e., be morally right and good — the opposite of our PC culture’s “judge not” moral relativism.
  4. Have faith in and be faithful to God.
  5. And remember we can’t do this by ourselves, but only by drawing our strength from the Lord, for “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Ask Him to help you.

I want to be holy, and I want you to be holy. Let us help each other to become holy!

And may the peace and truth and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Choose to be good

Matthew 5:17-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Sirach 15:15-17

If you choose you can keep the commandments,
they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.

AN EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me:

Do I accord more importance to creation — to people and things? Do I idolize entertainers or politicians, idealizing and placing them on a pedestal? Am I my own god — grandiose, arrogant, and do as I will? Do I subscribe to a self-serving moral relativism– that what is right depends on the situation and on what benefits me? Do I practice humility by serving others? Do I ask for forgiveness when I have wronged another?

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain:

Have my words denied, devalued, or insulted God? Do I use His holy name as a profanity, or as an emotional outburst?

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day:

Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday? Do I say “Thank You” for all that He’s given me — my body, mind, work, family, friends, and for life itself?

4. Honor your father and your mother:

Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have? Do I blame them for my own flaws and problems? Do I honor that which they gave birth to by treating my body and mind with respect, and refraining from impairing and corrupting myself with drugs, indolence, and pornography?

5. You shall not kill:

Have I killed the body, no matter how small, of another? Have I injured another’s body, spirit and emotions with my actions and words?

6. You shall not commit adultery:

Have I stayed true to my marital vows? If unmarried, have I honored another’s marital exclusivity? Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself, and of the institution of marriage?

7. You shall not steal:

Have I taken or wasted the possessions, resources or time that belong to another? Have I dis-respected God’s creation by being wasteful and profligate?

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor:

Have I told lies or embellished stories at the expense of another?

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse:

Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love? Have I, instead, longed for or lusted after another, including fantasy figures?

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods:

Am I content with what I have, or do I compare myself to others, and feel envious, resentful, or entitled to what others have?

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Éowyn

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Valentine’s Day and the meaning of true love

Today is Valentine’s Day — the day when TV commercials nag men to buy roses, candy, and jewelry for their wives or girl friends.

But did you know that the day is named after a real person, St. Valentine?

At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14th. But the man for whom Valentine’s Day is named most likely was a priest at Rome who, in the second half of the 3rd century, was arrested and killed by the Emperor Claudius for secretly marrying Christian couples during a time of persecution in the Church. Legend has it that while he was imprisoned and waiting for his martyrdom, he sent letters to his fellow Christians signing them, “From Your Valentine.” (See joandarc’s post, “St. Valentine“)

The popular customs associated with Valentine’s Day probably came from a conventional belief in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. [Source: Catholic Encyclopedia]

So what is love?

I can find no better definition and description of true love than the words of St. Paul:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,

it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

And here’s the true meaning of Valentine’s Day:

The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and with all your strength; and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today!

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Be the light of the world

Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

We are called to be the light of the world.

The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, aka Diogenes of Sinope, who died c. 320 BC, literally brought light — the search for truth and honesty — to his world.

Called a familiar figure in Athens by none other than Aristotle, it is said Diogenes would wander around the streets of Athens carrying a lighted lantern in broad daylight in search for just one honest man.

Forced into exile from Sinope with his father, Diogenes adopted a life of asceticism in pursuit of moral excellence, and made it his mission to to expose falsity. The program for life advocated by Diogenes began with self-sufficiency, or the ability to possess within oneself all that one needs for happiness. To self-sufficiency Diogenes added “outspokenness” — an uncompromising zeal for exposing vice and conceit and stirring men to reform.

Diogenes’ followers positioned themselves as watchdogs of morality. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Isaiah 58:8-11

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.
Then the LORD will guide you always
and satisfy your thirst in parched places,
will give strength to your bones
And you shall be like a watered garden,
like a flowing spring whose waters never fail.

Have the courage of your convictions!

Speak out!

Be a light to the world.

And may the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Is Christ divided?

1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 22-24, 30

I urge you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree in what you say,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,
by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
I mean that each of you is saying,
“I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”
or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”
Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus.

“For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters…that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas’….”

In our time, the above passage from 1 Corinthians 1:11-12, would be:

“For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters…that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, ‘I belong to Roman Catholicism,’ or ‘I belong to Protestantism (Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist…),’ or ‘I belong to Eastern Orthodoxy’….”

Christians number 2.42 billion in the world today, divided into countless Christian denominations, of which there are five main groups, each group divided into subdivisions and sub-sub-divisions:

  1. Catholicism (1.313 billion).
  2. Protestantism (900 million).
  3. Eastern Orthodoxy (270 million).
  4. Nontrinitarian Restorationism (35 million).
  5. Miscellaneous branches (2 million), including Messianic Judaism.

Why must the denominations vilify and bicker with each other?

Cui bono (who benefits)?

To quote FOTM‘s Grif in his recent comment:

“Christians, true Christians, those who truly believe in and love the LORD, have set themselves against other true believers. Christians are fighting Christians over things of the flesh, and are forgetting in the process, things of the spirit. These machinations echo throughout Christendom.

Satan laughs.”

Are we not brothers and sisters in Christ?

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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