Teaching our Catholic Faith can hurt : a reblogged lesson

When It Hurts: How To Share the Catholic Faith With Non-Catholics

Three Things to Remember When Sharing Your Faith



HaoJan Chang (CC)

I would add and suggest that this can also apply to teaching some Catholics [PJM]

This is for the broken hearted, those men and women who have risked sharing the faith only to be psychoanalyzed, slighted, even shamed. God knows sometimes you just need a box of Kleenex and a few hours before the Blessed Sacrament. Or a cup of coffee with your parish priest. Or a big bear hug from a friend. Or a word of encouragement like this one. This is a tiny thank you card to all the Catholics who risk telling the story of Jesus and his Church.

Your tears are watering God’s garden. Jesus wants you to share the Catholic faith with everybody, even Christians who are not yet Catholic, even though it’s testing friendships, tearing your family apart, and making you feel like a Grinch. Do not lose heart (2 Cor. 4:16). The Holy Spirit works best through tears.

Catholicism is ultimately not about you. It’s about the supreme glory of the most adorable Trinity. When the going gets rough, here are three things to remember when you share the Catholic faith.


Do not mistake indecision for humility. These days, to believe something to be true is to be arrogant, and to share the truth is to be unkind. If your experience has been anything like mine, sharing the joy of Catholicism with non-Catholics has been met with an almost unanimous: “Stop being so arrogant and unkind!” What begins as an inquiry into truth claims quickly turns into ad hominem speculation about your tone, your motives, your subconscious fear of being wrong.

Do not defend yourself. Be insulted, be diagnosed, and be grateful that you have been slandered for the sake of Christ. This is much easier said than done. But how will God paint something beautiful if you will not let him press you against the canvas of others? God is the artist; we are the paintbrushes. It’s our job to get dirty, to be spread thin, flattened, crunched, and pressed against the world. You are going to be broken—but the truth remains unbroken.

G.K. Chesterton noticed that today people are considered humble not when they are doubtful about themselves but when they are doubtful about the truth. They are too humble to believe something to be true. “Scoffers of old were too proud to be convinced; but people today are too humble to be convinced.”

Do not be humble about the truth. God’s revealed truth is not your truth; it’s the Church’s truth. Be humble about yourself, but do not be humble about the “faith delivered once for all” (Jude 1:3).

No one will think you are being nice for sharing the Catholic faith. But love and niceness are not the same thing. Besides, the niceness of a doctrine is not a measure of its truth.


The Bible is your best tool for sharing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics. Your shared love, your mutual recognition of its inspiration and submission to its authority, make the Bible a great starting point.

But read the Bible with the Church. Do not share your interpretation or your perspective with non-Catholics. Share the interpretation of the Catholic Church. The Bible is, after all, her book. Because of the Catholic Church we know that Paul’s second letter to Timothy is a legitimate part of the Bible, and in that letter Paul says that Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). By “useful” Paul means that Scripture is to be used.

Non-Catholics would contend that the Bible is sufficient on its own apart from the Magisterium. But of what use is an unsinkable ship if the crew cannot agree about the helm, the sails, the captain, the means of navigation, and where they are going? Of what use is an infallible text without an infallible interpretation?

If sola scriptura were true, why were the apostles and evangelists and church fathers unaware of this supposed doctrine? Jesus did not promise his followers that someday—hundreds of years after his ascension—a collection of texts would be faithfully (infallibly?) canonized and accurately (infallibly?) copied and translated so that after the invention of the printing press this book could lay open on any literate (infallible?) person’s lap as the pillar and foundation of the truth. No, Jesus established the apostolic Church to finish his mission of proclaiming the truth (Matt. 16:17-19; Luke 10:16; John 16:13; 17:20; 20:21-23; Acts 1:20). According to the Bible, the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Written by Catholics for Catholics, canonized by Catholics, translated and preserved by Catholics, the Bible is the Catholic Church’s book.

The Ethiopian eunuch could not understand the Bible on his own. So Philip the evangelist explained the Scriptures to him and exhorted him—not to say the believer’s prayer, but to be baptized (Acts 8:26-39). Philip was one of the seven appointed by the twelve apostles to take care of the fledgling Church (Acts 6:1-6; 21:8). He traveled to Samaria to preach and perform miracles (Acts 8:4-6). He converted Simon the magician (Acts 8:9-13) and eventually lived in Caesarea (Acts 21:8). His four unmarried daughters—yes, the first Christians valued celibacy—had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9).

Be a Philip. Run out to the non-Catholics and open up the Scriptures with them. Teach them, but also be willing to learn from them. Non-Catholics know and love the Bible. Assume they are smarter than you, more devout than you, and they probably know the Bible better than you do. But they’re reading it from different presuppositions and wearing different doctrinal glasses. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, they have not yet had the Catholic Church explain what they are reading. They have not yet known the joy of righteous submission to the authority of Christ’s one holy catholic and apostolic Church. Like Philip, your job is to share the truth of the Church’s teaching in humility.


Prayer does more than persuasion can. In an effort to share the truth of transubstantiation, for example, you can explore Revelation, 1 Corinthians 10, and John 6 and it might not be enough. You can appeal to the Old Testament parallels and the witness of the church fathers and it might not be enough. Apart from the Holy Spirit, reason and rhetoric are never enough. That’s okay, because truth is not your gift to give.

Truth is God’s gift to give. Wisdom is God’s gift (Eph. 1:17), faith is God’s gift (1 Tim. 1:14), love is God’s gift (1 Thess. 3:12), salvation is God’s gift (Eph. 2:8), and the bishops of the Catholic Church are merely stewards of God’s gifts (2 Tim. 2:2). You must pray that God would work mightily through his Church. Every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17).

You must pray. Get into apologetics, hermeneutics, and church history, but not until you get on your knees. “Rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). Seek opportunities to share the Catholic faith in word and deed. But most of all, seek opportunities to pray. “Devote yourselves to prayer, watchful and thankful” (Col. 4:2). More often than not, you are not battling ignorance and indifference but the giants of pride and passion.

Only prayer can contend against the giants. As Cardinal John Henry Newman says: “Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and pride of man.” Apart from Christ you really can do nothing (John 15:5). So why aren’t you praying?


To be Catholic is to be in love. Your love for the Trinity and the Church will overflow into a more vulnerable love for everyone. A Catholic in love cannot help but to share the faith.

Point everything to God. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7). God is the jewelry; you are just the box. He is the living water; you are just the woman at the well. The Trinity is the fountain of lasting joy, the top and bottom, the beginning and the end, the whole point; you are just a finger pointing.

The Catholic Church exists to bring glory to the triune God through joining Christ in his mission of salvation. We are called not only to share the good news of Jesus with every single person in the world, but also to invite them to believe, and not only to believe but also to be baptized, and not only to be baptized but also to grow into the full stature of Christ through works and God’s sacramental graces. It’s a whole new Genesis, a new beginning. As the Bride and Body of Christ, we are called to finish the mission of our Husband and Head. God is re-creating every single person from the inside out for their maximum joy and God’s ultimate glory.

Be humble and confident. Be Biblical and Catholic. Be brokenhearted and tenderhearted. Above all, be in love (John 13:35).

Tyler Blanski is praying for a holy renaissance. He is the author of When Donkeys Talk: Rediscovering the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity (Zondervan, 2012) and Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred (Upper Room Books, 2010). www.TylerBlanski.com.


Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

        Sharing God’s truth [singular] for the benefit of all

By Patrick Miron

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed.”

From time to time I hear from someone outside of the Catholic Church who ask “why do we not see evidence of the Holy Spirit [meaning most often “speaking in tongues”] in the Catholic Church? Cf. surely this is evidence that the Holy Spirit is with US; but not them.”

On the surface, this seems to be a reasonable questions, and a self-evident truth; but is there more; is there a hidden or at least concealed, a not-so evident truth that not everyone in enabled by that same Holy Spirit to see?  Speaking in tongues is often found in Catholic Charismatic groups, as one of their charisms.

1st Corinthians 12:

[1] Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. [2] You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. [3] Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. [4] Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; [5] and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; [6] and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. [7] To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. [8] To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of {1} wisdom, and to another the {2} utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, [9] to another {3} faith by the same Spirit, to another {4}gifts of healing by the one Spirit, [10] {5}]to another the working of miracles, to another {6}prophecy, to another the ability to {7} distinguish between spirits, to another {8th}various kinds of tongues, to another {9}the interpretation of tongues.

[11] All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills

[28] And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. [29] Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
[30] Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
[31] But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

In addressing this question; a lot of prayer and an open mind are essential because Satan too is present wherever God, and God’s Grace are present. COME! Holy Spirit, COME!

Paul himself list numerically, “speaking in tongues” as being from the Holy Spirit; but does twice list this Godly Gift towards the bottom of notable [and very often difficult to recognize], Spiritual gifts.

I have encountered in times past, “speaking in tongues” that might have not been God the Holy Spirit inspired. I share this for several reasons: One because it is true; Two to make us aware that Satan can himself cause incomprehensible things to occur**; and Three to point out that the Manifestations of the Holy Spirt are first and foremost for the edification of others and the building UP, of His Body; His Church.  If what is taking place does not, or cannot Build up Christ Body; say for a lack of interpretation, as an example; then that itself is abiding evidence that it is NOT from the Holy Spirit.


Exodus 7:1111] “And Pharao called the wise men and the magicians: and they also by Egyptian enchantments and certain secrets did in like manner.”

Revelations 13: 14[14] And he seduced them that dwell on the earth, for the signs, which were given him to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make the image of the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and lived. “

The lesson here can be difficult to discern if we are only seeking what seems to US, to be evident. … Isiah 55:1-6 teaches us that God’s ways are NOT our ways. … So if we seek proof; we need to look beyond the obvious; and indeed, even question that which does appear to be clear to us, if and when it pertains to Godly manners. Very often God speaks to our hearts more clearly than to our intellects.

1st. Corinthians 14 {parts of verses 19-33}

[19] Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. [22] Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers.

[23] If, therefore, the whole church assembles and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? [24] But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, [25] the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. [26] What then, brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
[27] If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. [28] But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. … [31] For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; [32] and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. [33] For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. …

While it my be good to question other faiths; lacking the total evidence of your claims, missing the BIG picture, can and will very often lead one to conclusions, that are not biblical, that are not factual and whose expression therefore hurts the Body of Christ here on earth. Amen! Look beyond the seemingly obvious

God Bless you,


What changed this Protestants mind about the Eucharist [reblogged]

Dear friends in Christ

What Changed This Protestant’s Mind About the Eucharis

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

As a Catholic, I believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharistic elements.

That is to say, I believe that through a miracle the bread and the wine become Jesus’ real flesh and blood—while still appearing to be bread and wine (and that’s part of the miracle).

Does this sound crazy?

[See also: 6 Reasons This Evangelical Was Convinced ‘Humanae Vitae’ Is Right]

As a Protestant, I believed that the Lord’s Supper — Communion — was just a memorial feast. It was a commemorative ceremony we celebrated as a church or small group of believers to remember Jesus’ once-and-for-all sacrifice. I also believed that when Jesus said, “This is my body,” he was speaking metaphorically and instead meant, “This represents my body.”

But I changed my mind.

Jesus wasn’t instituting a mere memorial feast, He was giving us His real flesh and blood. Jesus wasn’t simply asking us to do something, once in a while, in memory of Him. He was giving us a gift.

I went from believing that the bread and wine were symbols of Jesus’s sacrifice, to believing that the bread and wine were Jesus.

This is why I changed my mind about Communion.

The Early Christians Knew It

The first convincing piece of evidence for Jesus being really present in the Eucharistic was the testimony of the Early Church Fathers. These were the men appointed to positions of authority by the apostles themselves. There were men who were taught by the apostles themselves—and this is some of what they had to say.

St. Ignatius, whose writings are amongst the earliest we have after the New Testament epistles, wrote,

Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.

St. Justin Martyr, one of the earliest Christian apologists, writing around A.D. 148 wrote,

…but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.

And, St. Irenaeus, around A.D. 180 wrote,

[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies.

The witness of the earliest Christians is unanimous and shockingly clear: in Communion, the Eucharist, we receive Jesus’s flesh and blood.

[See also: How This Protestant Came to Love the Rosary]

Jesus’ Followers Knew It

The second convincing piece of evidence for Jesus being present in the Eucharist was, ironically, our Lord’s very words—-and the reaction of those that heard him.

The remarkable episode unfolds in the Gospel of John and I’m sure you know the story. After miraculously multiplying food for a crowd of thousands Jesus delivers what’s known as the “Bread of Life Discourse.”

In this incredible speech Jesus tells His followers that they must eat His real flesh. His realflesh. And He emphasizes it in shockingly graphic language, urging His followers to, literally, “gnaw” His flesh.

As an evangelical Protestant I heard this discourse explained as Jesus speaking metaphorically, but as I dug deeper, I was left wholly unsatisfied. Because Jesus gives no indication He’s speaking in metaphor. And because of the reaction of the crowd.

Remarkably, many of Jesus’s followers question His teaching, they mutter and they complain, and they leave. And Jesus makes no attempt to call them back, to explain. Even to the disciples, to whom He often explained Himself, He makes no attempt at clarification. That’s because, I’m convinced, He meant what He said—and He meant it literally.

And, like I’ve said, this is what the first Christians believed too.

[See also: I Went to Mass Every Day for a Week & It Changed My Life]

The Christian Church Knew It

Finally, I’m convinced of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist because of the witness of the whole of the Christian Church for 1,600 years.

Incredibly, until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, Christians were unanimous in their belief that Jesus was present in the Lord’s Supper. Even the Eastern Churches, split from Western Christianity, maintained this very same belief in tandem.

While many of the early Protestant Reformers believed, and wrote strongly, for Jesus’s real presence in the Eucharist, some, like Huldrych Zwingli, argued in the public square that the Communion elements were merely symbolic.

Remarkably, however, the Christian Church was unanimous in support of Jesus being really present in the Eucharistic elements for 1,600 years and while Zwingli certainly had his fair share of arguments in his favour, and his own theological bent, what he was proposing was a break from what had always been believed.

Incredibly, if Zwingli was right about Communion being merely symbolic this meant, in turn, that the whole of the Christian Church had been wrong for 1,600 years.

I was, as an evangelical Protestant, a product of the Reformation even if I didn’t know it. I stood on the shoulders of a theology whose origin I hadn’t fully understood.

[See also: “Jesus Is In Every Book of the Bible”: A Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob]

Do My Beliefs About Communion Really Matter?


Communion was important to the New Testament community; it’s reflected clearly in the New Testament epistles.

The Apostle Paul writes, extensively, on the importance of how we take the Lord’s Supper—and what we believe about it. He writes about the very real spiritual dangers of taking Communion in an unworthy way—especially of the importance of satisfying any grudges you have against your fellow Christians before taking part. We see this, as well, reflected in the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

Communion is a serious thing. Even if, because of the erosion of time and our inherited theology, we don’t view it as such.

As an evangelical Protestant I balanced the evidence.

I didn’t know the Church was unanimous for 1,600 years. I didn’t know the early Church took Jesus at His literal word. I didn’t consider the reaction of those followers in the Gospel of John who left Jesus after hearing His difficult teaching—and the absence of any kind of clarification on the part of our Lord.

I balanced this, in my estimation, against a theology that originated around the same time as the widespread use of gunpowder—which ignores the witness of the Christian Church up until the 16th century, and the most logical interpretation of Jesus’s words.

I re-evaluated my stance on what exactly was happening in the Eucharist, and what Jesus really meant to institute, and I changed my mind.

The conclusion I came to was shocking, and the rest is history.

Originally posted on The Cordial Catholic

Why “72” were sent by Christ by Patrick Miron

72” Were sent out in Christ name

Why “72”? And WHY are numbers in the bible signifient?

by: Patrick Miron

Luke 10: 1-5 “And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house.”

Anytime one encounters a number in the bible, it’s important to ask if the number itself has significance. This is based on Jewish Tradition where numbers often have a meaning of their own, known by all, and understood by all for who the teaching or message is immediately intended for.


“In sacred Scripture numbers usually have more significance than their quantitative indicators. More often than not, even when a number is used to indicate a certain quantity, the individual number given may point beyond the numerical value to a symbolic significance. At other times the number given is not to be taken literally and may represent an approximate value, a symbolic value, or may represent hyperbole-an exaggerated value. For example, the six day period of Creation may not be literal but may represent a symbolic period of time that was perfected on the seventh day when God rested-7 being one of the four “perfect” numbers. Or the number of the 144,000 heavenly souls marked with the “seal of the living God” in Revelation chapter 7 may suggest, as Bible scholars both ancient and modern have interpreted it, a number reflecting the symbolic perfection of redeemed man in terms of the “perfect” number 12 which signifies perfection of government in Scripture. 144,000 is the square of 12.”

 http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/the%20significance%20of%20numbers%20in%20scripture.htm: Much additional information can be found on this web site.

ONE: In sacred Scripture “one,” ehad, in Hebrew, represents unity and is the quintessential number of monotheism, the worship of one God.

TWO: This number can mean difference, division or double portion.

THREE: In sacred Scripture the number three represents that which is solid, real, substantial, and something in its completeness. This number usually indicates something of importance or significance in God’s plan of salvation by identifying an important event in Salvation History. This number operates as a “sign-post” in Scripture study for the reader to “pay attention” to the significance of the next event.

FOUR: The number four represents God’s creative works, especially works associated with the earth:

FIVE: This is the number of power and Divine grace.

SIX: Both man and the serpent were created on the sixth day, therefore, the number six represents both man and rebellion. In the Greek alphabet the number six is not represented by an alphabetic letter but is instead represented by a symbol called the “stigma.” In Revelation 13:18 the number of the Beast is written not as 666 but is instead is written with the Greek symbols for 600 and 60 and 6. In his book Numbers in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger observes that these three symbols correspond to first and last letters of the Greek word for Christ = CHRISTOS, with the symbol of the serpent in between the two other numbers of 666 [see Numbers in Scripture page 49]. Perhaps this arrangement can be seen to be Christ the Messiah crushing the serpent as God told the serpent in Genesis 3:15: I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will crush your head and you will strike its heel.

SEVEN: Spiritual perfection and fullness or completion. It is the number of Covenant and of the Holy Spirit.

EIGHT: sh’moneh in Hebrew, from the root shah’meyn “to make fat” or “to cover with fat” which means to super-abound. The first of a new series: there are seven days in a week; the 8th day is the beginning of a new series of days. It is the number of salvation, resurrection, and new birth/regeneration.

NINE: This number is related to the number six, being the sum of its factors (3×3=9, and 3+3=6). It is significant of the end of man and the sum of all man’s works. Nine is therefore the number of finality or judgment.

TEN: Perfection of divine order

ELEVEN: disorder: 10 + 1 or 12 – 1; also disorganization, lack of fulfillment, imperfection

TWELVE: Perfection of government. Twelve is the number of the Church, both the Old Covenant Church of Israel founded by twelve physical fathers (the twelve sons of Jacob-Israel) and the New Covenant Church founded by twelve spiritual fathers (the twelve Apostles). This number also has a relationship with multiples of twelve END QUOTES

So dear friends we can now understand the core message in the choice of using “72.” It does NOT necessarily means that Christ ACTUALLY chose “72” additional disciples, even though it might have been?

 Here “72” represents [6x 12] = “72.” The “6” here represents both man, and mans natural tendency to rebel against change and authority. While the “12” represents both the responsibility and the necessary POWER of independent-“GOVERNANCE.”

 The message then becomes that man [all mankind] is commanded by God, to “go forth and preach the [His] GOOD NEWS”; but the 6 x 12 lacks perfection and or competition, that the number “84” [7 x 12] would lend to the teaching. So the entirety of the message then is that this mandate becomes an ON-GOING; NEVER-ENDING task for humanity. It applied when Christ was here on earth, and it applies [perhaps even more urgently] to us today; to [1] Know the Good News; [2] to Live the Good News and to [3] SHARE the Good news as God grants us the opportunity to do so.

The “real-kicker” though is that the ability to KNOW the fullness of God’s “Good News“, and therefore the ability to share it [we can’t share what we ourselves do not have] resides exclusively within the confines of the Catholic Church.

 Mt. 15:18-19 “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, [singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

 Jn. 17:18-19 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth”

 Jn.20:21-22 “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

 Mk. 16:14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 Mt. 28: 16-20 “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

 And NOW dear friends, you know! Amen!

re-blogged from Journey with God

Stand! –A Writing on Freedom


“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and  be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.”  Matthew 5:10-123

Fourth of July is a day in which our freedoms are celebrated in the United States of America; a day in which we honor those who fight bravely for our country, for our rights as American’s, including free speech and beliefs that comprise this great nation.  I am so very blessed to have been born and raised here, in a place where I can speak my mind freely.

However, it is with great concern that I pray for this nation, for our freedom, for our rights to believe and speak about subjects close to the heart and soul.  Little by little, we as a Christian community are being told that our beliefs are not valid, but rather narrow-minded, hateful, and politically incorrect.  Amazingly enough, scripture stated hundreds of years ago that this would happen, and would continue to happen until Christians are persecuted all over the world for their beliefs, as many are in other countries already.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.”  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. ~ John 15:18-21

In America, people from many professions and walks of life, from teaching to the military, are being told to shut up when our views do not match those of others around us, lest we offend someone.  Some churches have even been threatened with fines for preaching moral values from the scriptures that do match the general consensus of the areas in which they exist.  Even military chaplains have been threatened with demotion or discharge for speaking Christian scriptural beliefs that go against socially accepted norms.  Am I the only one that feels that is pretty crazy since military chaplains are part of the very institution which is fighting for our rights and our freedoms as American citizens, yet they cannot speak freely?

Well, let me say, I am offended that I cannot share my belief with others without being called a hypocrite, or worse yet, a hater.  The true fundamental base of Christianity is to love.  We are called to love others, no matter their opinion, no matter their sin (for we are all sinners!).  We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to speak the truth in love and with gentleness.  We are called to hate the sin and love the sinner, for they are God’s creation, made in His image (as everyone is).

My heart cringes when I hear of pastors being sued, or churches being harassed for their moral beliefs and scriptural values.  But at the same time, my soul is angered when I see fellow Christians condemning and judging others.  We are called to speak in love, to call what is right right and what is wrong wrong, but we are not called to judge the person, to condemn them to hell.  Nor are we called to determine their worth or value in the eyes of God.   There is only one judge, Jesus Christ, and on the day that I face him, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  I want to share the love of Christ, not the condemnation that comes through human selfishness and ignorance.

All I speak and all I believe to be true in my heart, mind, and soul are not always going to be the beliefs of others.  I understand that I may offend, or I may upset others by my words, but I too am offended and upset by the words that others speak to me as well.  The difference is that I welcome their opinion, not trying to shut them up, but instead taking the opportunity to learn and converse about our differences, our likenesses, and our systems of belief.  You may not agree with what I say, but we can agree to disagree.  No one needs to shut the other up, but rather through our lives, be witnesses to what we believe and what we know to be true.  I cannot turn hearts toward Christ, only God can do that.  But I can be a light that draws others to Him, makes them want to discuss my beliefs, and creates a desire to know more about the One True God.  If their hearts are to be changed, it will not be through my words, but rather through the reflection of Christ in my life and the glory of God.

One thing I know for sure, no matter how much I am told I am wrong, no matter how many times I am called a hypocrite, no matter how often others try to shut me up…my voice will carry on in the crowds of millions!  Through my belief in the power of God, I will be heard, whether by voice or by actions.  As our freedoms as Christians stand trial and are slowly stripped away and denied public grounds, God’s voice will stand.  He will be heard, and I am ever so thankful to be called one of his children—called to share his love, his grace, his mercy, and his plan with the world!

You can strip me of all that is good, you can take every possession I own, you can drag me to ends of the earth and back, you can cut me down, but I will stand on the Word of God until the day he takes me home to be with him!  That is my freedom, it is my right, and I will stand!

Happy Fourth of July, and may you stand for your beliefs, whatever they may be!  Continue to fight for the freedom to speak your mind, but remember that we all have that right, including the Christian community, and we can agree to disagree.  In God’s love!

“Marriage”: What WAS ain’t no more from a friend

Kenndy writes: 

Only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”   
This I added:
Bwwwwaaaahahahahah! Yeah right
What really happened is that the APA made a POLITICAL decision to pretend that homosexual acts are not sexual perversion with serious physical, mental, and societal health consequences. There have been persistent rumors for decades that Kennedy suffered from bisexual perversion himself, so no big surprise he has this absurd interpretation of the history of the disorder. 
The ruling does two things. It does NOT expand the meaning of marriage. It obliterates it. Marriage, in the civil sense, no longer exists. If anything is marriage, than nothing is. Polygamy will be the law of the land within a year. Incest is already legal in some states. So, we elders can visit New Jersey, “marry” all of our grandkids, and circumvent the estate tax laws!! That would be one silver lining (just kidding…..there is no silver lining). 
The second thing this ruling does is to officially promote one form of religion (Humanism) to the disadvantage of all others. We now have a state religion, in violation of the !st Amendment. This decision has effectively repealed the 1st Amendment. In fact, certain religions are now officially unconstitutional, and therefore, certain tenets are outlawed. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, among others – perhaps Hinduism?, not sure – are now unconstitutionally until they are “amended” or “reformed”. There is already a Supreme Court case on point. Around 20 years ago, the Supreme Court held that Bob Jones University would lose it’s tax-free status as a religious institution if it forbade mixed-race marriages and did not provide housing for mixed race couples. So, that is now the law concerning same-sex couples, too. Any Catholic college that doesn’t provide on-campus housing to “married” same-sex couples is breaking the law. A Catholic retreat center that refuses to book a same-sex wedding is breaking federal law. The owners of that property (the diocese) will be liable for civil rights violation fines and punitive damages. 
The ruling is far worse than most people realize at this point.