PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Monday, October 22, 2012

 

"The paradox of our time"



(by George Carlin?)

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh  too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

 

Top 20 motivational quotes

From http://ph.she.yahoo.com/top-20-motivational-quotes-093452959.html

1)It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog − Archie Griffen.
2) Nothing lasts forever. Not even your troubles − Arnold H Glasgow
3) There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle − Albert Einstein
4) Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave – Mary Tyler Moore
5) Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections − Margaret Woodhouse
6) If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place − Nora Roberts
7) I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed − Michael Jordan.
8) The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary − May V. Smith
9) Where hope grows, miracles blossom − Elna Rae
10) A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing − George Bernard Shaw
11) Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent  − Eleanor Roosevelt
12) It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes − Sally Field
13) I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down  − Allen H. Neuharth
14) Hope never abandons you, you abandon it − George Weinberg
15) Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you − Ralph Waldo Emerson
16) Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust − Jesse Owens
17) People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within − Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
18) Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance Bruce Barton
19) Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it − John Maxwell
20) Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway − Mary Kay Ash

Friday, October 19, 2012

 

Txt msgs

Many lessons are learned through pains, trials, and difficulties.
Sometimes our vision becomes clear only after our eyes are washed with tears.
Sometimes we have to be broken so we can be whole again.

If God meant the day to be perfect, He would not have invented tomorrow.

Whatever mountain stands in our path, whatever obstacle blocks our way, whatever difficulty immobilizes us, prayer and faith can remove it.

God says, Write your plans in pencil but give me the eraser. I might have something better, nicer and more beautiful to write for you.

Grace is the only force in the universe powerful enough to break the chains that enslave generations. Grace alone melts ungrace. Philip Yancey

Our steps and stops in life are guided by the Lord. We may not know where we are going. What matters most is that we know who's leading us.

The way to heaven is ascending. We must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh. Jonathan Edwards

When challenges are so big that we feel our strength is not enough to bear them, keep on going. The extra mile is where the grace of God begins.

Being human we are imperfect. That's why we need each other when we falter. To encourage each other when we lose heart. Some may lead, others may follow, but none of us can do it alone.

Just because it's stormy now doesn't mean we aren't headed for sunshine.

Jesus is the perfect best friend. The voice when you cannot speak. The strength when you are weak. The hope when you are down.

Life never seems to be the way we want it. But we should live it the best way we can. There's no perfect life, but we can let God fill with perfect moments.

God's concern is not the length of our prayers nor the correctness of our language but the attitude of our mind and the kindness in our hearts.

Whatever mistakes we have made, our only way out is to move forward.  This is life's proven formula. Don't look back in regret but move on with hope.

A person's most sueful asset is not the head full of knowledge but a heart full of love (an ear open to listen and a hand wiling to help).

We really only get to keep three things in life: our memories, our love and our faith in the Heavenly Father.

Life is a great road trip. If we spend too much time looking back at where we've been, we'll surely miss what's ahead and never get to really see and apprecaite what we're passing through.

Don't assume you have to be extraordinary to be used by God. He specializes in using ordinary people  whose limitations and weaknesses make them ideal showcases for his greatness and glory. Nancy Leigh DeMoss

When you help someone who is lost and confused, when you hold someone who is sad and grieving, when you hug someone who is unhappy and hopeless, God will also ease the pain in your heart, create joy in your soul, and add more blessings in your life.

Happiness is not found in having and acquiring for ourselves, but in giving to and helping others. Adam Jackson

Happiness is a habit. Cultivate it. Elbert Hubbard

We have our own crosses to bear and we should be thankful for them because it gives us strength and make us better persons in the eyes of God.

The greatest technique for bringing peace into your life is to remind yourself to always pick being kind when you have a choice of being right or being kind. Wayne Dyer

Gaano kabait and Diyos? Bago ka pa humingi ibinigay na niya. Bago ka pa umiyak yakap yakap ka na niya. Higit sa lahat bago ka pa kumapit sa kamay niya ay inaabot ka na.

God made friends because stories, dreams, hugs and prayers are meant to be shared. God made friends to remind us to laugh a lot and to be silly sometimes. God made friends to help us feel loved and accepted just the way we are.

Every small work of kindness and every thoughtful gesture is like a tiny seed. When it is planted, wonderful things can happen. Smiles appear, dreams blossom and love takes root and grow. Keep sowing beucase God knkows what we are doing.

Receive blessings with silence. That's humility. Help those with more difficulties than you. That's compassion. Work with happiness. That's enthusiasm. Understand that not everybody is at your level. Tha's tolerance. Give to everybody the best of yourself. That's sincerity. Trust that everything will be alright. That's faith.

In every hectic day, God is our quiet rest. In every painful experience, God is our healing touch. In every disappointment, God is our certain hope. In every turbulent storm, God is our calming peace. In every hurtful action, God is our forgiving love. If you have God, you have it all.

We won't know God as our healer until we experience and recognize his healing in our lives spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically. We can't know him as provider if we are not in need. We won't know him as our banner unless we need him for victory.

Niloob ng Diyos na maranasan natin ang maraming pagsubok sa ating mga buhay, ang mawalan, masaktan, mabigo, mapahiya, magalit, magkasala, magkamali, hindi upang wasakin ang buhay na patuloy na pinagkaloob sa atin, kundi ang matutunan natin ang magpakumbaba, magpatawad, umunawa, magbigay, magmalasakit, at magmahal ng lubos. At sa bawat pagsubok na ating napagtagumpayan, ay kaloob nito ang ibayong sigla at pag-asa upang harapin ang hamon ng bukas, kasama ng ating Dakilang Diyos.

Kung alin sa palagay mo ang di mo kakayanin, may lalo mong pagsikapang gawin, sapagkat kung magagawa mo ito, lalo mong mapapatunayan na ang Diyos  ang gumagawa sa iyo.

Teachable attitude: The people who learn the most aren't necessarily those who spend time with the smartest people. They are the ones with a teachable attitude. Every person has something to share - we just need to be willing to listen.

If we rely on the Holy Spirit, we shall find that our prayers become more and more inarticulate; and when they are inarticulate, reverence grows deeper and deeper. O. Chambers

Do what makes you happy. Life is not based in the money you got and the success you achieved. It's all about being happy with who you are, who you love and who makes your life worth living.

God has given us eyes not to insult but to look beyond situations. Mouth not to criticize but to speak for truth. Hands not to punish sinners but to give a helping hand. Ears not to be insensitive but to hear voices in pain. Everything he gave to us has its own purpose. It's just a matter of choosing what is right.

There are only two days in our lives that we can do nothing about. One is yesterday which is gone, and the other is tomorrow which is uncertain and might not come at all.

In the race towards excellence, there is no finish line and no age limit. If wrinkles are to be  written on our face, so be it. But let it not be written in our hearts for our spirit should never grow old.

Our highest privilege is having a Father God. There's absolutely nothing that will prevent him from keeping his promises and realizing petitions.

We have not yet learned that we are more powerful on our knees than behind the most powerful weapens that can be developed. Billy Graham

Great doors of opportunity swing on the tiny hinges of obedience. Ike Reighard

In life what matters is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you shared, not your successbut your significance and not what you learned but what you taught.

God has put you hwere you are gith now for a reason. You are there bless, to inspire, and to create a positive influence. YOu are there because God can use you to be his hand, feet, and mouth to carry out his work.

Forgiving makes me feel free and light. It is with joy that I learn to love myself more and more. The more resentment I release, th emore love I have to express. Louise Hay

The words that we hear or read have power. Choose to listen only to words that will empower you to be better.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you Lord that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.
Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you Lord that I can see. There are amny who are blind.
Even though I huddle on my bed and put off rising, thank you Lord that I have strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.
Thank You Lord for this day.

Seven Cardinal Rules of Life

Make peace with your past so it won't disturb your present.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals all wounds. Give yourself time.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Don't compare yourself with others and don't judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Stop thinking too much. It's all right not to know all the answers. They will come to you when least expected.
Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

Be sure to make someone happy before the day ends, even if that someone is yourself.

Grace is the only force in the universe powerful enough to break the chains that enslave generations. Grace alone melts ungrace. Philip Yancey

Our steps and stops in life are guided by the Lord. We may not know where we are going. What matters most is that we know who's leading us.

The way to heaven is ascending. We must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh. Jonathan Edwards

Whatever mountain stands in our path, whatever obstacle blocks our way, whatever difficulty immobilizes us, prayer and faith can remove it. 

(Thanks to my textmates: Ate Mitz, Kuya Mel, Ate Precy, Waldy, et al.)






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

 

Humbled, but not humiliated

I have brand-new realizations. It's liberating to know that:

I am not really as intelligent as I thought I was.
I am not as good in writing as I thought I was.

Thirdly, all the spiritual insights I've been sharing are not even mine! Credit must be given where credit is due: to God's lowly priests in the pulpit and His chosen spiritual writers and layman who are much ahead in their faith experience and their practice of the faith.

But what's most important to say is this: And that's perfectly alright. Someone will always be less intelligent and mature and more intelligent and mature than somebody else.

 

Lord, teach me to love You aright!

Now it can be told. Or now I can tell it straight to myself: I serve and follow God more out of fear than our of love.

[Insert the explanation later.]


Lord, teach me to love.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

 

Txt msgs

Heavenly Father, into your hands, I place my worries, cares and troubles. Into your wisdom, I place my path, my direction, my goal. Into your love I place my life. Amen.

When we remember God's faithfulness and His ability to bring good out of any situation, we find our fears calmed and our confidence renewed.

When we are in deep trials, sometimes we want to give up and not to move on. But God said I am bigger than your problem.

The finest hour in our life is when we have done good things to nameless people without expecting them to remember our acts of love and kindness.

The mathematics of life is not the multiplication of wealth but the division of task, the subtraction of greed, and the addition of humility.

When a person is consumed by concerns that have become anxieties, the peace of that person is destroyed. It is through trust in prayer -- knowing that someone greater than we holds our lives in His hands -- that will give us internal peace. - Bishop Chito Tagle

A person entrusting everything to God always has beautiful thoughts that no room remains for anxieties and worries despite life's difficulties.

You are my God. You trained my eyes to see the beauty of life. You tuned my ears to the music of your spirit. You opened my mouth to sing your praise. You renewed my mind with the wisdom of your word. You filled my heart with the pureness of your love. You clothed my soul with the riches of your grace. You are the light of my spirit. I thank you and praise you because you are my God.

Each day is full of reasons to praise and thank God even when life seems empty of comfort or joy. It's when our cups are empty that God fills them up. Real happiness comes not on achieving big things but enjoying the simple blessings in life.

Be thankful for yesterday because you have wonderful memories to think about. Be thankful for today because you are able to wake up to celebrate life. Be thankful for tomorrow because you will be able to fulfill your dreams and wishes. But most of all, be thankful to God for He was with you yesterday, He is with you today, and He will always be with you tomorrow and forever.

The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but how happy others can be because of you.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy. - Lauren Huston

The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you. WIth long life the Lord will satisfy you and show you his salvation. Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you will always dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Blessings God has given us. Eyes not to insult but to look beyond situations. Mouth not to criticize but to speak the truth. Hands not to punish but to give help. Ears not to be insensitive but to hear voices in pain. Everything God gives us has its own purpose.

Start to speak blessings to yourself everyday. Say, in Christ I am happy. I am protected. I am guided. I am healed. I am healthy. I am strong. I am filled with the Holy Spirit. I am deeply loved. I am extremely blessed. Draw strength from these words. Believe, receive, and be empowered.

Nothing can take the place of knowing your purpose. Each of us has a purpose for which we were created. Our responsibility -- and our greatest joy -- is to identify it. In the coming days, know what questions you can ask yourself to help you identify your purpose.

The Lord is watching nearby to give us His grace and send us His love. Whatever our cross, whatever our pain, God always sends a rainbow after the rain. Never a weakness that He can't feel. Never a sickness that he can't heal. Never a sorrow that he doesn't share. Moment by moment, we're under Jesus' care.

There's a luggage limit for every passenger on a flight. The same rule applies in our lives -- the lighter the luggage, the easier our journey.

When we remember God's faithfulness and his ability to bring good out of any situation, we find our fears calmed and our confidence renewed.

If you are on your way out and it starts to rain, at least you don't have to water the plants.

If today you are picking grapes, tomorrow you will be drinking wine.

If you ask for apples and you get lemons, make lemonade.

Every day is a blessing! Gifts don't come on special days. They come day by day. Open your eyes and see how God loves us, not by material things,, but from the goodness of the people around us.

Bible reading can be habit forming. Regular reading can cause loss of anxiety and fear, decreased appetite for lying, cheating, stealing, hating, anger, and envy. Symptoms include increased sensation of love, joy, peace, compassion and contentment. If symptoms persist, just praise the Lord!

This is life. It can never be absolutely happy. It can never be perfectly made. Sometimes it makes us cry, suffer. But it will make us stand and learn that no matter how difficult it is there will always be many reasons to live.

God doesn't promise to overflow your bank account, but promises to provide for your every need. Paul Chappell

When you feel like quitting, ask, Did God stop doing good in my life? If not, then why should I give up?

God always repays caring acts. It may not be with money or goods, but more often he repays it with happiness, health, friendship and love.

No one is hopeless whose hope is in God.

There is no failure more disastrous than the success that leaves God out.

Understand how God has beautifully added one more day in our life -- not because we need it, but because someone else needs us.

Give it all to God: your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, your dreams, your weaknesses, your habits, your hurts, and your hang-ups.

Put God in the driver's seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel.

Don't be afraid. Nothing out of his drive can ever be out of control.

Friday, October 12, 2012

 

Confronting death

Why do I remain scared to death of the subject of death, despite the many close brushes I had with it? I should have been used to the feeling of almost dying by now, after I choked on a lychee alone, ran into an oncoming vehicle's path and missing the thing within an inch, ate something poisonous without knowing, figured in several falls, and so on.

Everyday, there is death. It comes as sure as there is birth. I just have to open the TV or log on to the Internet. Even around me -- babies are born, old people (or not even) pass on. Shoots sprout, and dry leaves fall. Insect lay eggs by the thousands, and I slap an offending intruder that attempts a bite at my skin.

There's this award-winning Japanese movie titled Okuribito (Departures) that points out that, whenever we eat to sustain life, death is there, a life is sacrificed.  The rice grains had to die, as do the vegetables, fruits, fish, and beasts. They must all die, so you and I could live.

Again, why am I so scared about death? I will die -- that's for certain. It could be anytime from now or after several decades more. It's okay. It won't be the end of me. There is life after this life. (Not "life after death," or so said one college professor of mine.) God's love will see me through.

Meanwhile, I savor life, knowing how precious it is in its frailty. But I shouldn't overdo it, as though manically fearful that my time here is much limited. I'm only human, not God; I can only take so much. May God forgive me for my greed for life, which is perhaps due to my thinking that I almost lost it at birth.

Well, I didn't, and truth be told, I've had a fuller life, compared to most people. (Yeah, I would say that.) Maybe not in the conventional way, but I've gone through my 42 years with so much life -- the many ups and downs of it, I mean. I still have a lot to dream of, such that I am unable to say, "I can die anytime now," but the point is, what more can I ask for, considering everything I've been given? It's true that, had I a choice, I would want to live several decades more, but that choice is not mine to make. All I can do is wish.

I believe it is best to surrender my life to God, no matter at what state of completion or incompletion death will find me. God will meet me where I am in my journey.

Dear God, my life is in you. Why am I so afraid to surrender to you? I am not just afraid, I am also very angry.

I've been angry at you, Lord! For why did some of my friends had to die like that? Dove, Cesar, Malou, Marc..I don't want to die. Or I don't want to die yet. Or I don't want to die like that -- too sudden and too young.

Oh, death! Death, death, death, death, death, death, death, death, death, death.

In my great anger, I even uttered a curse at you, like someone possessed. I don't know why I did that, but the reality is I did; I was capable of it. Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, even more, for assuming, that I am a saint who's incapable of going that low. 

I wasn't just afraid and angry at you. I was terrified of you. But why should I be in terror of a supposedly loving Deity? It's probably because I thought, wrongly, that if I died suddenly, I would go to hell because of unconfessed sin. I'm terrified of dying all too suddenly and of dying alone, thinking I would be alone at it and no one would care. I'm afraid of dying without the money and health card for the hospital. I'm also terrified of possibly leaving my family behind, especially my parents, and the great heartache that would entail for them. I'm terrified of dying at this age because I assume I haven't accomplished anything yet. (This has made me envious of people who I thought are accomplished (forgive me, Lord, for my envies). This perhaps means that I'm terrified that, with physical death, I would also disappear into oblivion. This is another way of saying I'm terrified of death itself, the kind that's forever.

Oh, I'm terrified of so many things. And yet I'm not terrified enough of God. Actually God is my greatest terror -- He who can send me to hell. Nevertheless, I'm terrified of so many things without bothering to question my assumptions at all. Will I really be gone forever and forgotten? Will I really disappear into nothing? Will I really die now, alone, suddenly?

But so what? So be it! When I die, I will no longer fear, as my friend Aline naughtily puts it. I will no longer have to fear, ever. I will no longer have to face the burdens of the living -- including life's many little and big terrors, foremost of which I have listed above.

When I die, God will take care of me, because I have commended my spirit to him. That means I will not really die, I will not die a lone, I will not die unprepared since it's God who wills my earthly end by calling me home. I will not be forgotten and will not dissolve into nothingness.

Take all of me, Lord, take all of me. I surrender my all to you, right here and right now.

Forgive me, Lord, for the temerity of thinking that I am in control, that I can extend my life for one minute with a new-found food supplement or drug. I forget so easily, Lord, that you are the one who's taking charge, that you are the author of everything -- science, medicine, my body. You govern all the atoms and molecules in the universe.

Sometimes I wish I would never wake from sleep again, but I know this is more a desire borne of desperation than a leap of surrender in blind faith. If I want to wake up again or 'pass away,' I want to wake up again for God and pass away for God.

Oh, God, please give me hope, be my strength.

I pray that I won't grow old alone or suddenly faint or die of a heart attack, stroke, heat stroke, aneursym, anaphylactic shock, car accident, or plane crash, but in case I do, so be it. Thanks for breaking my will, Lord.

Take all of me, Lord, take all of me. I surrender my all to you, right here and right now.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

 

Angry at God

This is a nice article: http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0790.asp

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

 

Best quote against fear of death

"If you die, you will no longer have fear!" - Aline P.

Monday, October 08, 2012

 

Remember Jonah

When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out all right. -- Thomas Edison

Sunday, October 07, 2012

 

Dream sequence

I was with several people atop a building when suddenly some people start screaming Landslide Landslide, pointing to a volcano or Mt. Mayon. It turns out to be a great lava flow that engulfed entire towns like a tsunami. At first, we in the building freeze and don't know what to do. Other people in taller buildings start to use cables to get down but realize they are fellow survivors too. No one on the ground seems to have survived because everything along the wide lava swath got scorched.

I wonder what this means. I refuse to think of it as some kind of a prophetic vision. I don't think I have the gift of clairvoyance, or is that something else?

Friday, October 05, 2012

 

Forwarded email from Jesus







From Jesus to All:  
                                                   

If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I am a Healer?  



If you never had to pray, How would you know that I am a Deliverer?



If you never had a trial, how could you call yourself an overcomer?



If you never felt sadness, How would you know that I am a Comforter?



If you never made a mistake, How would you know that I am a forgiver?


If you knew all, How would you know that I will answer your questions?



If you never were in trouble, How would you know that I will come to your rescue



If you never were broken, Then how would you know that I can make you whole?



If you never had a problem,How would you know that I can solve them?




If you never had any suffering, Then how would you know what I went through?



If you never went through the fire, Then how would you become pure?

If I gave you all things, How would you appreciate them?



If I never corrected you, How would you know that I love you?



If you had all power, Then how would you learn to depend on me?



If your life was perfect, Then what would you need me for?


Love,
Jesus





God our Father, walk through my house and take away all my worries and illnesses and please watch over and heal my family in Jesus name, Amen.  



 

 






Tuesday, October 02, 2012

 

Defining success

We each have a different definition of success. Each definition is revealing, because it gives a clue to what a particular person values the most.

So far, this is the best definition I've ever heard: Success means following the will of God.

We may have become very successful at something through our own effort, but it means nothing if it is not according to the will of God.

Defined this way, "success" also becomes our destiny, which is none other than to be with God forever in heaven together with all the angels and saints.



Monday, October 01, 2012

 

Talk 1: God’s Love (or God the Father)




God is not beyond our contact, but someone who loves us and wants to be in a personal relationship with us and who wants to give us a better life.
Our misconceptions of Christianity prevent us from discovering God’s love.
-          Christianity as a restrictive morality or set of rules to keep so we go to heaven.
-          Christianity only as loving your neighbor (As long as I live a god life, it doesn’t matter what I believe)
-          God as someone whom we can not contact, who does not do anything that we can experience or know to be his work.
The truth is:
-          God loves us.
-          He wants to make contact with us and make a personal relationship with us.
-          He wants to give us a new and better life; for this reason, he sent his only son Jesus.
An authentic Christianity leads to an experience of better life through:
-          Knowledge of God and power to live the Christian life
-          Happiness, peace and joy, better personal relationships, healing
-          Genuine community
What we can do to deepen our personal encounter with God?
-          Be baptized in the Spirit and experience spiritual gifts
-          Acquire knowledge of God and the power to live the Christian life
-          New and fuller personal relationship with God
-          Deeper life in the Spirit

You can begin right away to turn to the Lord.
-          The Lord will reach out to you, but you must reach out to him. Jer 29:12-13
-          Starting today, pray everyday to the Lord, meditate on his words, and read Scriptures.


 

Talk 6: Growing in the Spirit: The Empowered Christian Life


After baptism in the Holy Spirit, we need to grow in the Holy Spirit. How? Through prayer, study, service, community, and evangelization – the means of growth, ways of staying in contact with God.
1.       Prayer and Study
-          We need to be in contact with God to receive His power, to be strengthened, and to grow.
-          We spend time with God to know Him better, to reveal Himself to us, to know Him through His word/the Bible.
-          Prayer time should have a fixed schedule and place, and a basic format.

2.       Service
-          Christian service is one way of thanking God and expressing our love for God through our neighbor (family, officemates, community). The tasks may not be glamorous and we may not be noticed for it, but we persevere, believing that we do it for God, not men.

3.       Community
-          We should be part of a Christian support group for mutual support in living the Christian life. In this life, we can’t do it alone; we need the rest of the Christian people. This means regular participation in the liturgy of the Church and in community gatherings.
-          Community is not optional but essential to the life in the Spirit. God’s plan is for us to come to Him with others, in a body.
-          The Holy Spirit works through others to build us up – this is what spiritual gifts are for.
-          Pentecost created a community of Christians. Acts 2:41-47
-          The current state of parish life is not enough. We need more active interactions with other Christians. God wants us to become more active members of the Church.

4.       Evangelization
-Sharing with or passing on to others what we have found, serving others by giving them, via words and deeds, what we have received. Example: Sharing with family and friends the kind of love that we have received from God, and the fruit of our changed lives.  If they are open enough, we can also share more about the Lord without being pushy or frightening.

 

Talk 7: Transformation in Christ





1.       The Holy Spirit is at work in us to change us and make us holier.
-          He is working to draw us into deeper union with God and one another, to give us a fuller experience of the new life.
-          He is working to make us realize the need for us to turn away from wrongdoing, to reorder our priorities, to take away all those things that make us less loving.
-          (Share on how the Lord is changing us.)

2.       We can expect to experience difficulties and trials as we grow. They can be a means of growth.
- Problems, difficulties and trials are normal and to be expected.
- The Lord uses them for our growth.
a. “God works for the good in everything with those who love him.” Rom. 8:28
b. We now have a new power to deal with difficulties.
c. The Lord will teach us things through overcoming difficulties.
- Help is available from the leaders of the community and from members of the community, especially those more mature in the life of the Spirit.
- (Share how you have overcome trials and difficulties as a Community member.)

3. In order to grow, we need much more. The LSS is just the start.
- We need to learn a great deal more about Christian life. Many teachings are available in the Community.
- We need strength and support of others, the sharing of experience, advice.
- We need a situation in which we can learn how to serve the Lord.
- (Share your testimony on the value of community and its importance for growth in the life in the Spirit, the life of the community or a prayer group and how to get into it.)

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