Thursday, September 27, 2007
The winner will receive a signed copy of "The Salvation Controversy" by Jimmy Akin, courtesy of my dear friend, Cindy and her hubby!
The contest begins Friday and ends at midnight on Monday! (Please remember that you must be willing to privately share a mailing address in order to receive the book.)
Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
This was always one of my favorite passages and it helped me deal with a situation I had with a friend. My honesty with her caused her to be angry with me and we didn't speak for a very long time, years in fact. Throughout the years, it has always remained one of my favorites and I refer to it often when I am faced with similar situations.
So, I set up a store at Cafepress.com. I know that, if it God's will for them, He will provide... but I'm being pro-active in the meantime. If anyone would like to purchase something for the cause, please check out the store at http://www.cafepress.com/babyhope. There is also a link at the top of the left-hand column.
I will be setting up a PayPal Donations account soon as well, if anyone would be so inclined to donate that way, the advantage being that they would benefit from the full amount given.
Of course, any prayers you can offer will also be VERY MUCH appreciated...
Thanks in advance to anyone to helps us fulfill the dream they have to parent a child.
I simply don't have much time to write lately and there's not much to say anyway. There is a lot of work I need to do spiritually and I feel lazy... blah.
SO, instead of writing, a new book contest will begin tomorrow and end on Monday at midnight. Tuesday morning, I will randomly select a winner. Tonight or tomorrow morning, I'll announce the book and the requirement for entering the contest.
You won't want to miss it!
*You must be willing to privately (via e-mail) share an address I can ship the book to in order to enter. This address will be kept confidential.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I wonder, if we were at the foot of the cross, would we be swaying, singing and clapping in joy? Is there a reason why people insist on taking the sacred solemnity out of the Mass? Am I the only one who sees the serious problem with this?
What is one to do?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
There was a time, when I was just getting "soft" on Catholicism, when my mom asked, "Is the Catholic Church the church in Acts 2:42?" At the time, I really didn't know. I was just beginning to set aside my misconceptions about the Church so I could learn what they actually teach instead of what I'd been led to believe my whole life. This question, of course, nagged at me for quite some time.
Is the Catholic Church the church in Acts 2:42?
Well, let's take a look...
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship...
For one, it's interesting to point out that this does not say they devoted themselves to Scripture. The apostles at this time weren't necessarily writing down everything they were teaching. They didn't say, "Hey, you can't believe this until it's written in Scripture!" The passed on the teachings orally and the early church devoted themselves to these oral teachings. Today, the Catholic Church devotes themselves to Scripture AND Tradition (the teachings passed on by the apostles')... the word of God comes to us through both means. We see this in other passages like 2 Thess 2:15 where it says, "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."
One cannot sit through Mass and not hear the word of God throughout! The entire Mass is a prayer of thanksgiving! More Scripture is read in Mass than in any other church I've attended... In fact, the entire Mass is based in Scripture. How could anyone say we're not devoting ourselves to the apostles' teachings? They simply cannot!
Fellowship is an association of people who share common beliefs or activities. Catholics gather together every day of the week throughout the entire world. There isn't a time when a Mass is not being said. It's like one continuous prayer making it's way to heaven without ceasing. This was prophesied in Malachi 1:11: "My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty." At the time this was written, God's name was not great among the nations. What other church today has incense and a pure offering (the representation of Christ's sacrifice) in EVERY place, from the rising to the setting of the sun?
...to the breaking of bread...
Every Mass includes the breaking of bread! Holy Communion is offered at every Mass throughout the world. Malachi 1:11 also applies here. This is the pure offering as we continuously remember Christ's sacrifice... It isn't once a month or once a week on a Wednesday... It's EVERY day throughout the entire world! We're definitely not leaving out the breaking of bread in Acts 2:42!
...and to prayer.
The Mass IS a prayer. And within that prayer we say more prayers! Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of repentance, prayers of praise, prayers of song!
Growing up, I'd have a symbol only communion once a month or so. We'd usually have an opening prayer and a closing prayer for each service. We'd sing a few songs and then a pastor would discuss a topic, read a few verses and give us his interpretation of them, which I generally accepted without question. But how could I know that his interpretation was correct? or that it matched what was taught by the apostles and the earliest of Christians? I often wonder why it never occurred to me to find out if what I was being taught was historically understood the same way.
So, is the Catholic Church the church of Acts 2:42? Without a doubt! In fact, it fits this description more fully than any other. I am so thankful to be Catholic!
Thank you, Jesus, for bringing me into the church of Acts 2:42 in all it's fullness! Amen.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Every good thing I believed as a Protestant came with me into my Catholic faith, including the most central message of the gospel. I didn't give up my relationship with Christ; it was strengthened. I didn't have to deny who Christ is as the Son of God; I grew closer to Him. In the process, I felt (and still do) a beautiful connection to the Church of history, to the saints in heaven, and to the body of Christ. I feel like I'm a part of something bigger and more beautiful than I ever imagined as a Protestant.
Conversion was a painful process. Not only did I bring into question the theology I'd held as truth my whole life, but I slowing began to realize that the theology on the other side of the fence made more logical sense... that it put the supernatural back into play and that Christianity was NOT just as simple as "Jesus and me". These ideas rocked me to the core and I honestly began to question Christianity entirely. I begged God to show me truth because I had suddenly realize how relativistic Christianity was... all these Christian churches teaching opposing truths and only ONE truth to believe. I couldn't accept the idea that Christ would leave us with such opposing truths to decide for ourselves what to believe while my own church implies, "we know the truth better than the 'other guy'", "agreeing on the essentials" while "disagreeing on the non-essentials"... all using the Bible as their sole infallible rule of faith, yet coming to completely different interpretations as to what we, as Christians, are supposed to believe.
I spent many nights anguishing over truth... God was speaking to me and I was arguing. Why in the world would He want me to be Catholic? Would that mean I'd have to give up Jesus for some sort of legalistic religion? "Religion" was always a bad word growing up... it was a bunch of "man-made" rules and regulations. In short, I found I did not have to give up Jesus at all... and the rules? Jesus, by His authority, established a Church with the authority to bind and lose. It was right there in black and white in the pages of my own Bible. I only had to find the church that has that same authority today. An accurate look at history revealed that the Catholic Church was and is the longest-standing Christian church in history. It was founded by Christ himself! That's not man-made!
Jesus was waiting for me in the Catholic Church, arms open. I remember my anti-Catholic days when I criticized Catholics for keeping Christ on the cross because "he's alive". True that He is, but without His death, we would not be alive in Christ and Paul says to "preach Christ crucified". So, there He was, frozen in time, a reminder of what my sin did to Him. And He was there with open arms to greet me into the same Church he established 2000 years ago when He rose from the dead!
It was a long and difficult journey that still comes with many challenges but each moment with Him at Mass brings me that much closer to Him. I followed Him there in obedience when He was all I had left to cling to in my despair over Christian disunity. I love Him... and though many have tried to argue with that, the fact remains that, even as a Catholic, I still have Jesus... without Him, I'd be lost.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Maybe I could pose a question or two.
How does one seek out a spiritual director? What exactly is the role of a spiritual director?
And for Bill... Where have you been? Email me or something!