“He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ” Gen 28:12
Climbing up a staircase takes some effort, going up a narrow and spiraled one is even harder. So is our daily struggle to reach heaven, step by step, with the Grace of God.
Going down a slide takes no effort; we just let gravity do its job. Giving up or letting go in our endeavour to lead Christian lives is also an easy slide that leads us everywhere but Heaven.
Dear Lord, please give us the strength to carry our crosses every day after You. Amen.
An interesting wall that I came across last week:
It’s a reminder of the Holy Spirit’s untiring effort in working within us.
We are a work-in-progress, if we are willing, until we are ready to be offered as an aromatic cup of morning coffee for the Lord. By Ben
Therefore beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not when I am near to you only, but now when I am far from you, all the more, with awe and with trembling, do the service of your life. For God is carefully working in you both to desire and to do that thing which you desire. Phil 2:12-13
Which fruits are real? This, of course, is pretty obvious.
Not so with the world today. Everything seems rather vague and ambiguous. Photographs can be faked or enhanced. News can be dubious. Even people seem unreal, what with all the camouflage and facades we put on.
It takes a discerning eye and a discerning spirit to tell me what to believe, what is true and what is good. That’s why i need God to grant me the spiritual gift of discernment, to tell good from evil, to read below the surface and to see the untainted truth.
I need Him to help me make the right Godly decisions in my life.
Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments. Psalm 119:66 (NASB)
Godnote: This post was supposed to be put up yesterday, but after publishing it, it simply disappeared! It neither appeared on the Blog nor the Reader. After prayer this morning, we managed to put it up again. So much for discernment. Praise be to God!
“Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones…
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
Prov 3:7-8 , 11-13 (NASB)
Ironically, i found myself painting more after i had eye problems. Funny how it’s only when we know we may lose something valuable that we start to cherish whatever we have. Far better to use it now than regret it later.
In order not to strain my eyes too much, i started painting smaller pieces. I also joined a group doing Still Life as well as en plein air. I found myself appreciating more of God’s creations when painting actual scenes instead of using photo references. There is a certain kind of joy painting live objects, under the warmth of the sun and amidst the atmosphere of a place.
I feel peace when i’m completely absorbed in my painting, even when i’m surrounded by people or other distractions. For once, I no longer have to worry about how others may judge my painting but just simply enjoying the process.
What’s more important is that i have since stopped asking God whether painting is really what He wants of me. Now, i simply ask Him what else He wants me to paint. Is there a message that He wants me to convey through my paintings?
In spite of my blurry vision, the doctor recently told me that the condition of my eyesight was still stable. I was surprised. But knowing that everything is in God’s hands, i decided to place my trust in God.
So here i go, letting my humble brushes paint whatever God inspires. Praise be to God always! By Renee
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
Jesus said to the woman : “Then neither do I condemn you,”
“Go now and sin no more.” John 8:11
As the saying goes, “God has a soft spot for sinners”. Jesus is longing for our return and repentance. And we are indeed very blessed to have the sacrament of reconciliation where we can hear Him saying to us – “neither do I condemn you”. By Ben
“It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!
‘Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!” Matt 7:21-28
Perhaps this is one of the most soul-gripping pictures painted with authority by Jesus to us as disciples. For I may be a regular church-goer, giving donations to the poor, healing the sick with prayers, or calling the Lord’s name in praise and worship – and the response from the Lord on the last day is: “I have never known you!”
Sensible men will choose the Rock.
Stupid men will decide for Sand.
They are not far apart.
We just need to act on them…wisely.