Holding on

I started Faith Circle with 5 teenagers. I wanted to help them grow in faith, give them a place to ask the hard questions, and have them taken seriously. So, I started. And, in order to keep it in my comfort zone – because I love being in my comfort zone – I started small.

As He usually does with me, God allowed me to think that was all that I was going to do. Continue reading

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Carry your cross or lay it down?

Psalm 23, The Lord is my shepherd, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

What does it mean to accept things with grace? When we are given a cross to bear, do we just carry it no matter what?

We are told in numerous ways to carry what God gives us. And, while that is absolutely true, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t supposed to do anything BUT carry it. Sometimes, a relationship needs to change in order to be healed. Sometimes, a physical ailment has a cure. Sometimes, an emotional trauma can be treated.

So, what is all this stuff about carrying our crosses? How do we live with both of these realities? Continue reading

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Just a touch

I have always loved the story of the woman who fights through the crowd only to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak. She doesn’t even try to actually see Him or talk to Him. There’s no way He would ever acknowledge her, and it’s just a little touch. He wouldn’t even notice.

Yet in this crowd of people, He notices. He stops dead in His tracks, having felt power leave Him. That’s some crazy stuff right there. She felt it, of course. But just imagine knowing that you are healed, knowing on a deeper level than you could ever explain to anyone, and while you are still processing that feeling, Jesus turns and seeks you out adamantly.

I probably would have fainted.

Because He knew Continue reading

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Music Monday: Oceans

Okay, I usually only do Music Mondays in the summer, but I have to add this one today. I love the faith and confidence that comes in this song. When we step out, when God calls us to something difficult, something new, or something that we are unsure that we can handle, this song is a great reminder of where our gaze needs to be. Where our trust needs to be. And where our strength truly lies.

My prayer for me and for you today is this verse Continue reading

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The eyes of faith

If you don’t believe that God is real, if you don’t believe that God can be an intimate part of your life, then you can’t possibly see that He is. You take all of the signs and explain them in a myriad of ways. Or you don’t. Because you can’t.

Then, sometimes, something changes, and your eyes are opened, and you finally let go of the explanations you’ve been struggling to hold on to.

I love when people make Continue reading

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Great things

Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things, St. Catherine of Sienna, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

I realized recently that I am one of the most reticent people I know. At least when it comes to God. He keeps leading me to things, and every time I look at Him and say, “I don’t think I can do it. I don’t know that I want to do it.” Every time.

Of course, I eventually move into His plans for me, but not without protests and complaints galore. It is also with a knowledge that, in spite of my protests, what He wants of me can and will be done with His grace.

So, I’ve decided to stop Continue reading

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The greatest of these is love

I have not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them, The greatest commandment, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

We make things so difficult sometimes. We have stacks of law books dictating what we can and cannot do in our society. We have libraries of books telling us how to live lives of faith. Even in Jesus’ time, people were asking Him, “What must I do to be saved?” His answer was different every time, but in some very crucial ways, it was very much the same.

We can look at faith as a thing to “do” as we work our way to heaven, or we can see that all that we “do” must be based on a couple simple things. Namely, to love God with all of our heart, souls, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Paul explains it well when he talks about how the law hasn’t gone away, but has been put in perspective.

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Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Continue reading

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Acquire the Spirit of Peace

Find a peaceful spirit, peace, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

 

It’s amazing how often my bad mood or high level of stress is exacerbated by the people around me, and especially by those in my family. If I am short with them, they are short with me and with each other. There’s a reason for the saying, “When Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy.”

Whenever I find myself and my family in one of those negative, complaining, criticizing modes, I know that I’m the one who has to change my attitude. And every time, it changes the attitude of the whole house.

How much more then will a spirit of peace in our faith change the world around us? If we look at the world Continue reading

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As you forgive…

If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive, Mother Teresa, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

On Sunday, we will read the story about the servant who was forgiven his debt, but refused to forgive those who were indebted to him. (Matthew 18:21-35) This servant had such a large debt, that in order to pay it he, his wife, his children, and his property would all be sold to pay it back. That’s a pretty big debt.

The king has pity on him, and erases it completely. You have to wonder, then, why this servant, who has just been released from all that he owes, would go to those who owe him much less and demand payment with no pity or generosity. It seems like he wouldn’t even need the money, and would have more of an inclination to release others from their obligations rather than less. It makes no sense.

But, then we bring it forward and look to ourselves. Continue reading

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Construction Zone

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. Be presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of ­– throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. – (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

 

God builds a mansion, C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

 

It is great to make plans for our lives. I think it is wonderful to be purposeful as you look to your future. C.S. Lewis reminds us, Continue reading

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