Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Prayer That Makes ALL the Difference!

Well, I made it through last week! Last week was VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church. I was asked to lead the craft area. I said "yes" even though I wasn't sure what all it entailed and I was nervous because my mornings are usually rough. Especially after having the flu a couple months ago sent me into a flare-up with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and bursitis in all my joints. The Lord was faithful however and like always gave me the grace and strength I needed. Sometimes I forget that he will do that but he always does!

On a different note, I want to talk about intercessory prayer; what it is and what it is not. It seems there is a great need for prayer. Social media especially is providing a means for people to make known their desperate prayer requests. Intercessory prayer is a great way to grow in empathy for one another and help carry one another's burdens.

When interceding for our self and others however, it is important to have a correct view of God and proper mindset. How do we see God? Do we see him as a loving Father who has our best interest at heart or do we see him as a distant god, withholding his grace and gifts unless we jump through certain hoops?

We do not need to beg him to act! His mercy and gifts are abundant!

Scripture talks about Jesus interceding for us before the throne of the Father (Romans 8:34). That tells me his heart is for us and he has our best interest at heart. In light of this, I have been asking the Lord to show me how he is praying for me and for others.  Once I receive a revelation of this, I partner with him and pray in agreement. It's amazing how quickly prayers are answered when praying this way!

Lately, I've been praying for a little boy from my daughter's first grade class. He recently had a brain aneurysm.  I've been asking Jesus how he is praying for him. Two things have come to my mind. One was that a heavenly blanket of healing, love and protection would cover the boy. The other thing I saw was a cactus that has water in the center and praying that the family would discover the Living water and sweetness of God's Spirit that can be found even in the midst of suffering. Well, the grandmother keeps reporting updates with how God is blanketing this boy with his love and protection and how God is healing him. She is also reporting the many consolations she is receiving and ways she is seeing God move in this situation. Pretty cool!!!

Now, getting in touch with Jesus' prayers for us and partnering with him is different than praying, "Lord, if it be your will, please grant my request." That type of prayer is praying out of hope instead of praying with faith. We are called to pray with expectant faith! What father would give his son a stone when he asks for a fish (Luke 11:11)? 

One example that comes to my mind of someone using expectant faith is the Loboda's story. Their toddler daughter, Joy drowned in a pool and wasn't responsive when her father found her. He immediately started praying for her with the gift of faith. I believe he was in touch with God's heart. In one interview, he even talks about an experience he had: In the ambulance he found himself before the throne of God. He was bold and told God, "Yes, she is yours but she is also mine and it is not her time!!!" She ended up being miraculously healed!

That took boldness and courage! God likes it when we feel free enough to approach his throne of grace with all confidence, trusting in his mercy and goodness and our relationship with him (Hebrews 4:16)!

The Church also gives us many tools to use for prayer. When used properly, these tools are powerful. Two powerful tools are the Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet. The proper way to use these tools is to enter into the life of Christ, recognizing the Holy Spirit within us and pray with Him; getting in touch with His heartbeat. An improper way to use these tools is to view God as distant, praying toward him and striving to say as many prayers as we can so he will possibly hear and answer us.

Do you see the difference? When interceding properly, our relationship with Christ is also deepened. Then intercession isn't just intercession. It becomes a devotion and way to gain a better understanding of God's heart and way to grow in our love toward him and one another. What a wonderful gift that we are able to partner with the Living God!

Now, if you haven't always viewed God correctly or prayed the right way, don't beat yourself up! We are on a journey. We are learning! God makes up for where we are lacking and he can redeem anything! He still performs the miraculous in spite of our lack of faith and let's face it, sometimes things just don't turn out the way we think it should. God's ways are higher! What is important is what we do with the knowledge we have now and how we move forward from here on out!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

All Hands on Deck!

"It is coming! It is coming! It is coming! A great harvest of souls is coming! Now is the time to get ready!"
That was a very intense and powerful word the Lord gave me through an angel a few years ago.

It was coming back to me this morning as I was praying, along with a few other things I am supposed to share.

I can be shy about sharing prophetic words the Lord gives me but He gave me 1 Tim. 4:14 this morning, about not neglecting the gift within. So, out obedience I will share:

As storms pick up in the world, worldly people who don't know the Lord are going to be looking to Christians for answers. 

We have a choice to make as God's people.  We can coward and go back to our old ways of thinking and doing things or we can stand, walk in the knowledge of who we are in Christ and share with people the hope that lies within us.

Perhaps you have been discouraged, wondering if God is going to use you.  You see others doing and stepping out in the things you have always desired to do. Believe me, he is going to need all hands on deck! This could be your finest hour and you were made for such a time as this!

If you have been spending time resting in the Lord, growing in Him and allowing him to do a work in you, the time has not been in vain! If you have neglected this, it is not too late! Ask the Lord to multiply and make up for lost time!

Like a caterpillar in a chrysalis, you may be dormant now but He is saving the best wine for last! You are about to be released as a beautiful butterfly, full of His glory!

Did you know there is such thing as an arctic butterfly. These butterflies can endure and survive through extreme temperatures and circumstances. These are the kind of butterflies the Lord has been creating in us. No act of suffering and difficulty, joined to the heart of Christ has gone unseen or has been wasted!

He is especially going to need those who know his heartbeat through entering his rest. Those who know they are beloved by no merit of their own but because of God's goodness, love and His mercy! The joy that comes with knowing the Father's love and mercy will be contagious and will be a magnet for those who don't yet believe!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Revert's Perspective

It is no secret that my husband has struggled with deep regret over us leaving the Catholic Church and being away for 10 years. He has since worked through it and has forgiven himself, especially now that the Lord has restored him and he is doing what he is passionate and gifted in. I on the other hand have not dealt with the same regret. I can honestly see how the Lord used our time away and coming back to give us a deeper appreciation for what we had. The Lord can work good out of anything! Also, sometimes, you have to go to the other side to realize the grass isn't always greener. 

I hope I don't offend my Protestant friends. I did gain some valuable friendships during the time we were in a non-denominational church. There were also some things I really appreciated. I appreciated the often passionate worship, sense of community and the openness to hearing God speak. 
 Also, I often enjoyed bridging the gap and dispelling myths Protestants have toward Catholics.

My list however for what I appreciate now that we are back is longer. I share this with you because there are many Cradle Catholics who don't realize what they have and is why converts often make the best Catholics.


I appreciate that when we go to Mass, the focus is not on socializing, but on prayer and preparing ourselves to encounter the Living God!


I love and appreciate the Mystery that is there!

I appreciate the sense of the Sacred and the visible signs that point to the invisible. 


I appreciate the beauty, the statues, the incense... These things magnify God and they draw my attention upward, helping to open my heart to the things of Heaven.


I appreciate that Catholic worship isn't just about the music. There are many ways to worship God. The highest form of worship for Catholics is the sacrifice of Mass.

I have a deeper appreciation for the Eucharist and the depth of intimacy that is available through receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. The Eucharist also helps me have a deeper awareness of the habitation of God within me at all times.


I appreciate, that surprisingly, I am more accepted now with the ways I hear from God than I was when we were in a church that is supposed to accept those things. I guess that shouldn't surprise me. Many of the Catholic Saints had dreams, visions, prophetic words, etc. 


I appreciate that Catholics recognize the Communion of Saints. There are some Saints that I feel very close to and that's not considered weird. I know they are praying for me and helping me draw closer to God.

I appreciate the authority of the Church. I appreciate that, when it comes to doctrine and moral issues, it's not just left up to my own interpretation of scripture, especially because there are many modern issues that aren't even addressed specifically in scripture. 

I appreciate that there are boundaries and a correct understanding of grace; A cheapened form of grace goes around the cross instead of through it. It makes allowance for every kind of sin instead of offering people redemption and freedom. 

I appreciate the safety and protection that comes with the covering of the Catholic Church. I never experienced so much spiritual warfare as I did when we were Protestant. 

I appreciate that I no longer have to defend certain doctrines and morality. The Church does that for me so I can just focus on loving people.

Just like natural seasons, I appreciate the liturgical seasons. There is always something to look forward to. There is a rhythm but it is never the same.

I appreciate that before Christmas and Easter, we recognize the season of Advent and Lent as a time to prepare our hearts.

I have a deeper appreciation for Mary. Catholics do not worship her like some Protestants suspect but in honoring her and recognizing her beauty, I think Catholics have a better appreciation and respect for women, their role and their femininity.

Now I do recognize, sadly that much of the Catholic Church got away from Orthodox Catholicism in the 70's. Like St. Pope John Paul II predicted however, we are coming into a new spring time in the Church. The Church even looks different than it did twenty years ago. I guess, people are realizing that throwing out the baby with the bathwater wasn't such a good idea. The Holy Spirit is definitely at work! There is a new desire and longing, especially among young people for the Sacred, Holiness, and Truth. 

As I am writing this and reflecting on the things I love about being Catholic, I feel a deep anticipation especially for Mass in a couple weeks.  

This year, Sunday, June 4th is the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the day the Church was born. Tom and I were here, in Indiana last Pentecost for his interview. We got to attend Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel last Pentecost. It was definitely recognized as a high feast day! They had lots of incense, chanting, and beautiful music! It was very beautiful and you definitely could feel the presence of the Lord!

I also am very hopeful for the future of the Catholic Church and anticipate what the Holy Spirit still has in store!


Matthew 16:18 - ...And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!

*I had to edit because I originally thought this Sunday was Pentecost Sunday because last year it was the middle of May :).

Monday, May 8, 2017

Recognizing God's Presence in the Familiar

Last week the Gospel reading was from Luke 24 about the road to Emmaus. It is one of my favorite stories in the bible. After Jesus died on the cross, many of his disciples became sad and discouraged. In this story, two of his followers were headed back to Emmaus, to their old life, from Jerusalem because they were disheartened over Jesus' death. Jesus appeared and even walked with them along the road but at first they didn't recognize him.

I have often found it baffling: How could they NOT recognize him?! Yet, how often have I been in his presence and also didn't recognize him?

Like many Catholics, I was born into the Catholic Church. I was baptized as a baby. Catholics believe baptism actually does something. We believe at baptism, we receive the presence and fullness of God through the Holy Spirit. So, because I always had the Lord in my life, I didn't know what it was like not to have him.

 I also spent many weekends at my grandparent's house in Frankenstein, Missouri and often went to church with them. My grandfather helped lay the stones of the Catholic Church there. It is a very beautiful church, but when I was younger, I don't think I appreciated the beauty of it. There were a few things about the church however, that even as a child, left me in awe! One being that when you walk into the church you are greeted by two huge angels holding holy water fonts. Another thing I remember is the beautiful stations of the cross and big mural paintings on the wall. They seemed to draw me in and I remember often staring at those instead of listening to the homily.

When I was 19, I had an "Emmaus" type experience and recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, through the consecration of the Eucharist. That was the first time I realized Jesus was in the bread we ate at communion. It also was the first time I realized God knew me and wanted to have a relationship with me.

As many of you know, Tom and I left the Catholic Church a couple years into our marriage and were away for about 10 years. We stopped recognizing that he was there and gave up hope that he could resurrect what appeared to be a sleeping giant.

When my grandma died, I went back to Missouri for her funeral which took place in the Frankenstein church that I attended a lot as a kid. Through the beauty all around me, the memories came flooding back. I then recognized that he was there and he had always been there, even when I wasn't aware of it.

After being away for 10 years, Tom and I realized the grass wasn't greener on the other side. We missed the sense of the sacred, the beauty and the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Being away gave us a longing for these things that we once took for granted.

In 2007 we came back and gained a deeper appreciation for the beauty and the presence of the Lord in the Catholic Church.

I think there is something to be said for beauty. God created us with a physical body, not just a spirit. He gave us senses. He often speaks to us through our senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. The physical world can draw our eyes upward and point us to the supernatural and something bigger than ourselves. There is something to be said for using incense, bells, sacred music, chanting, beautiful art, and what appears to be bread in liturgy. The things of this earth can mirror and magnify the things of heaven. We can know that whatever beauty we encounter in this life, it is only a glimmer and taste of what awaits us in the next!

Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - meditate on these things." 


Friday, April 28, 2017

Mindsets are Powerful but Mercy is More Powerful!

So, I have 6 kids - not because I have good pregnancies, but because Tom and I believed that to be God's will for our life. I actually had very horrible pregnancies! I would have 24 hour a day nausea, gestational diabetes, and preterm labor, to name a few distressing side effects. The worst side effects being the strong contractions and preterm labor that would go on for months! The pressure was so great at times, it was hard to walk; I felt my babies were going to fall out of me!

When we were engaged, before we got married, the Lord showed me a baby boy we would have someday. Well, I kept having baby girls. I love baby girls and would have been just fine to just have girls, but I believed God promised us a boy and so I wanted to see God's promise fulfilled. 

After our 5th baby girl was born, I went to see a priest. I told him how I believed God promised us a boy but I had 5 girls and wasn't sure my body could handle having another baby. He then asked me a question that caught me off guard. He asked if I had ever considered an abortion. What?! "NO!", I said emphatically.

I left the confessional with the priest and reflected on what he had said. I realized it was very plausible that in my teenage, pagan days, there was a very likely chance that I had the attitude- if I get pregnant, I can just abort. After realizing, I may have had that heart attitude, I repented to the Lord.

Tom and I became open to having another baby. I got pregnant and ended up miscarrying at 9 weeks. I offered that baby to the Lord and felt like that offering was like a mustard seed that Jesus talked about in Matthew 17. I felt, mysteriously and supernaturally, that offering was going to produce abundant faith and fruit in my own heart and life.

Two months later I got pregnant again. At 20 weeks, to our great delight, we were told we were having a healthy baby boy! Amazingly, I didn't experience any strong contractions before it was time to have him. This is the first of all my pregnancies that I didn't experience that! 

I really believe, not experiencing preterm contractions and pressure with my last baby was because I repented of having an abortion mindset. I never had an abortion but Jesus said, having anger in our heart is the same as murder (Matthew 5). In my case, having a heart attitude of abortion was the same as having an abortion. That attitude was also manifesting itself physically, as my body was trying to reject my pregnancies.

What I really find moving, is that I didn't need to jump through hoops to receive mercy or healing! All I had to do was repent! Once I repented, Jesus was able to come in and bring healing!

This past Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a feast day based on the revelations of Saint Faustina. She had a vision of Jesus with rays of mercy flowing out of his heart.

God's mercy is bottomless! When we encounter his mercy, we are filled with joy! It is the joy of the Lord that gives us strength (Nehemiah 8)!

And I will leave you with this to chew and meditate on:
Habakkuk 3 - His brightness shall be like light itself, rays shining from his hands - there is strength hidden...But I will rejoice in the Lord, take joy in God my savior. He will make me as sure-footed as the deer. He will lead me up to the heights.
May you encounter Christ's bottomless mercy in your own life today! His mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)!!! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Receiving the Gift of God

Okay, I'm going to ask a personal question: Are there sins you continue to struggle with over and over again? Do you get discouraged because you just can't seem to overcome them?

The root cause of our addictive heart and our struggles is that we don't understand the gift of God; we don't understand that we are His Beloved; we don't understand His bottomless mercy or His love! Therefore, we turn to stagnant water that does not satisfy instead of springs of living water that only God can give.

A couple weeks ago, the Gospel reading was about the woman at the well (John 4). That story wasn't just about that woman. This past Sunday the Gospel was about the raising of Lazarus (John 11). Again, that story isn't just about Lazarus, it is about us!

Like the woman at the well, we also have a tendency to run to wells that will run dry and never fully satisfy. Like Lazarus' body was bound, our souls are often bound by sin. Our eyes are bandaged and prevent us from seeing.

We don't see the gift of God that is available to us (John 4:10).

The problem with sin is that when we choose it, we become less of who we were meant to be. We become less human and less like Christ; we are left feeling sad and incomplete.

We are called to give it all; give our whole lives! We are left feeling sad when we give less of ourselves and settle for temporal pleasures. Just look at the story of the man who asked Jesus what more he could do to acquire eternal life: Jesus told him to go sell all he had and come follow him. The man couldn't do it and was left feeling sad (Mark 10:21-22). Money and material possessions was the vice of this man.

There is nothing we could give up that God would not bless us with 100 fold (Mark 10:31)!

If we recognized that we are the Beloved of God; the Bride of Christ, we would also expect daily bread. His daily bread is every word that comes from His mouth (Matthew 4:4) and is also available in Holy Communion (John 6:35). Let us taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8)! We can seek an encounter with him daily (Matthew 6:9)! He desires to speak to us daily! Nothing else will truly make us happy and fulfilled like encountering him daily! May our eyes become unbound so we see His workings in our daily life! He is the eternal Word! He is always speaking; He speaks through His creation; He speaks through other people and situations; He speaks through Holy Scripture; And yes, he speaks directly to our heart!


Let us have ears to hear and eyes to see! Let us daily drink from Springs of Living water that will never run dry and will fulfill our restless hearts!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Core Fact

So, if you have been following my blog for any length of time, you have probably figured out that I like analogies. It is also the way God gets my attention and speaks to me.

I believe the Lord gave me an analogy that some people reading this blog post may need to hear. I share it in order to encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

You may especially need to be encouraged during times like Lent when you are fasting and trying to draw closer to the Lord. It can almost feel as if you are going backwards instead of forward. Be encouraged however and don't trust your feelings; you are probably closer to Him than you think!

Imagine your soul is like a body of water and Jesus is an anchor. We are called to allow this anchor to go deep into our soul. The way to do this is through fasting and prayer. As we fast, pray and draw closer, eventually this anchor is going to hit bottom. When the anchor hits bottom or the depth of our soul, it stirs up all kinds of muck. It can even uncover creatures like crabs and such. The crabs don't like to be uncovered and brought into the light so they may try to pinch and attack.

If you will persevere, find a quiet retreat in your soul to commune with God, the light of his face will cause the enemy to flee and the mucky water to become clear again!