IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

6793792090_25bfef7848_mThe gospel of Mark chapter 10 verse 32. And as they were on there way going up to Jerusalem. Jesus went ahead before the apostles. And they were amazed. And as they followed him, they were afraid. And now in the gospel of Luke chapter 5. Starting in verse 5. And Simon said to Jesus. Master we have toiled all night long. And have caught no fish. Nevertheless at your word I will put the net out again. And when they had done this they caught as great amount of fish. So many that the net began to break. And they called to their partners which were in another boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats to the point of near sinking. When Simon Peter saw this. He fell down at Jesus knees saying. Depart from me.. for I am a sinful man.

What we know and read in the gospels. Is but a mere snippet of what Christ and his followers went through together in his three years of ministry. And what we know of the apostles is that they said yes to the call of Christ. We read of no debates and the like taking place between them and Jesus. They simply were told to come and they did. As time progressed they both saw and heard more and more of the miraculous while walking with Christ. They really had no reason to fear Christ at all. For they were in fact invited guests. And they were in training as well. Man in his or her cockiness and arrogance. Tends to think for the most part. That there will never be a so called day of reckoning. A giving an account of so to speak. Of what we have done or not done in this life.

However we can plainly see as the apostles continued along the path to Jerusalem with Jesus walking just ahead of them. The reality was setting in. And the question was ringing in all of their minds. Just who is this we have gotten involved with? Dead people were being commanded to live. Blinded and cloudy eyes were opening to see again. Their nets were bursting with fish on the Masters command. Walking on the water Christ comes to them on the sea. He has command of the very forces of nature. And in their humanity and fleshly weakness. I suppose the thought had entered their minds. What if he gets mad at us and turns this power against us?

I guess Peter was thinking in his finite mind. That when Jesus realizes just what kind of man he had been. Prior to his choosing me. I will certainly be a goner. As if Jesus didn’t know already. It was precisely because of who Peter was and was not that he was chosen by Jesus. And the others as well. The Lord takes us as we are. With all of our baggage and misgivings. All of the sins and anger and lies. And then by his grace and mercy he teaches us and coddles us. He picks us up again and again. Holding us by the hand he urges us to keep going. To keep following him on the road to Jerusalem. And in our case on the road to heaven. He knows exactly who he has chosen. And he has chosen each one of us for a particular work and for a particular reason. We are part of the body of Christ. Hands,feet,toenails,hair,eyes,feet etcetera. All of us have a contribution to make. And all of us are blessed by God to take part. It is a natural thing for the finite to be afraid when confronted with the divine. All through out the bible. We read of when angels came to visit humanity. As was the case in the calling of Mary. The first thing the angel said was do not be afraid. I myself have had numerous encounters with the divine. And each time was as spellbinding and scary as the one before. I was left completely dumfounded and amazed. Just as the gospel said the apostles were.

But to fear a visiting angel and to fear the living God are two different things. In one case we don’t know why the angel has come. But in the second case. We do know that we will all appear before the judgement seat of Christ. To give an account for what we have done. And we do know that God has in store for the disobedient a place called hell. Which is reserved for the disobedient and the devil himself. Friend….place yourself at the foot of Christ’s cross. Confess your sins. Tell him that you love him and are sorry. He will welcome you in to his fold. He will clean you up and set you on a straight path. Do not delay. For you and I are not guaranteed tomorrow will ever come again. And then what? Gods mercy and grace is here for the asking right now. And his forgiveness is everlasting…To be continued

THAT MAN IS YOU

36253739655_b2de165914_m (1)In the Old Testament book of Second Samuel we read a story of a man who found himself embroiled in a tangled web of treachery and lies. But this was not just any man. It was King David of Israel. And as you will see..being royalty does not disallow sin raging in our midst. In fact…money being at the root of all evil. And royalty having the maximum at their disposal. The likelihood and propensity for sinning is certainly in their court so to speak.

The story begins with our being told…that the time when kings go to war had come. This was the time in that region where weather conditions were best for standing marching armies to wage war. And war they did. But David’s problem began when he stayed home while his armies went to fight. This would be akin to General Patton staying in some swanky hotel while his army fought in the Rhine Valley.

As David walks out onto the rooftop of his house. He looks out and sees a nude and beautiful woman bathing. Now if he was out fighting as he should have been. This second step would not have occurred. He would not have been there to be on the roof and see her. And so in the very early stages he still could have stepped back inside.But he stood his ground and allowed Satan’s thoughts to begin rooting themselves in his heart.

Now I will not go through the whole story with you. For that would require an hour of preaching. And this is a blog. But the gist of it is this. He has an underling fetch the woman. Who happens to be married to one of his most devoted military men. He sleeps with her and impregnates her. When she tells him she is pregnant he tries to set up her husband by calling him away from the battle and getting him drunk. In an attempt to get him to sleep with her and think he made her pregnant. But he would not and remained faithful to his king and his fellow soldiers.

Keep in mind that at any time David and or you. When we find ourselves getting deeper and deeper into sins clutches. Could come to a place of repentance with God an let the chips fall where they may. But David did not do this. And neither do many of you. So he now has Uriah who was the husband of Bathsheba the woman. Placed directly into the most heated part of the battle. In a position where he is sure he will be killed…And he is killed.

And so from a lustful gaze he is now the culprit in a case of voluntary man slaughter. Sin is always this way. But the scripture says that when the enemy comes in like a flood. The Lord will raise up a standard against him. And that enemy is Satan. But that is generally only the case when we humble ourselves before God confessing our sins. And asking him for help and forgiveness. And so God sends the Prophet Nathan to David who tells him a parable of a man who performed an evil deed against another man. But unknown to David the parable was told about an entirely different scenario which in fact was representative of exactly what he had just done. And when Nathan was through with the tale.

He asked David plainly what he would do with such a man if he knew of him and his dirty deeds. And David said…I would have him killed. And then God and Nathan dropped the bomb. Nathan pointed his finger at King David and said…..You are that man! And so it is with you my dear reader. You are in fact that man or woman in your own life. The sin that started out as seemingly meaningless to you. Now has full possession of you. And the Lord Jesus Christ is waiting at the door of your heart. Waiting for you to call on him in a spirit of repentance…..You are that man!….Aren’t you?….To be continued

 

 

HAVING A VISION OF VICTORY

7036629915_a552e916e0_mThere is much to be said about having a positive confession. In other words. Speech pertaining to where you want to be…not necessarily where you are. Having said this much. My opinion is that there is way too much time spent on this topic in Pentecostal circles. The gospel of Luke chapter 6 verse 45. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart. Brings forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart. Brings forth that which is evil.. For out of the abundance of their hearts. Both men speak. There is absolutlely nothing wrong so to speak of asking for and expecting good things to happen in ones life.But to sink or swim on a daily basis in a state of expectancy can be precarious at best.

In the Our Father prayer. Which the Lord himself gave to us as a fouindation of how to pray. He himself said to the Father…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Ultimately you and I want Gods will and nothing but his will being done in our lives.For only in and through him being  the priority of our existence. Can we truly find happiness. And so there are certain foundational confessions which all Christains must embibe if we are to be saved and successful in our walks. Without these you have no vision at all. You are in fact blind. First John chapter 4 verse 15. Whoever shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God dwells in him and he in God. If God is in you how can you fail? And if you are living in God how can you fail. The bible teaches us that when we marry. We being the man and woman. Have become one body. When you believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. You have become the bride of Christ and therefore one with him as well. And if Jesus is in you and you are in him.You can do nothing but succeed.

And to succeed means nothing more and nothing less than making heaven your eternal home. Everything else is as they say gravy. First John chapter 1 verse 9. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. A positive and regular confession of our sins is necessary for every spirit filled believer. But its not enough to confess our faults to God alone. We need to come clean to our brethren as well. James chapter 5 verse 16. Confess your faults one to another. And pray for one another that you may be healed. This is exactly where and why we Catholics have confession. Yes I ask God to forgive me for my sins every night. But the last time I went to formal confession before my parish priest. I wept like a baby in the Holy Ghost. Now if you Pentecostals out there think that this was some type of satanic intervention going on. You are out of your spiritual minds. God was moving in a mighty way on me and through the priest being there to hear me. And I left the confessional renewed and refreshed in God. There is power in confession. God moves in and through the act of confession. So increase your vision to include a good confession on a regular basis. And see what the Lord will do for you and through you….To be continued

What Are You Hiding?

5261826705_56bc1a1c70_m5893815228_d1ee7d1640_mMy experience over many years of living and working. Is that when you are at work.At some point in time and in some fashion. The conversation of some if not all that are present. Can and will take a turn for the worse. I am speaking of vulgar communications and dirty jokes. Now although this can be initiated by the most vulgar of the staff. It always seems as though most of those present will at the very least smile or laugh. This is being done as a nod of approval for what was said or done. You or they are giving a sign of approval. When you laugh at filthy communications. What you are actually doing is expressing your fear of man. And your actions are belaying a further point which is this. You fear more being singled out by your coworkers more than you fear Gods wrath.

How many of your coworkers know that you are a Catholic Christian? How many of them have you ever even remotely tried to break the ice with? As it pertains to conversing about Jesus Christ. I have said this many times. The best way to start a conversation with someone is to begin by telling them what God is or has done in your life. But if nobody knows you are a Christian its because you have no guts. You are not really a Christian at all. You are a fake and a fraud. And the dilemma is this. As with the laughing at and participation in the telling of dirty jokes. Nothing is hidden from the Almighty. Or perhaps you think you caught Him napping. Peter… a day prior to denying the Lord. Said to Jesus that he would never deny Him. And that night he denied him 3 times and fled the scene weeping bitterly. He made a bad decision. In very much the same way that you and I can and do make bad decisions as well. Separation from God will always lead to sorrow.

And if its not known immediately. It will become known in the future. Many people say that if there is a God.. than why does this and that happen? And if you were to get  to know them personally. You would find out quickly. That they themselves are doing little if not nothing in their lives to grow closer to the very God they speak of. They are just complainers about God and everything else. When I was young there were depictions of 3 monkeys. Do any of you remember them? See no evil…Speak no evil…and Hear no evil. These were at the time basically created as a public service message. A reminder to all of how we should best lead our lives. For the good of ourselves as well as the good of all those around us. Today most peoples eyes are feasting on evil. Most peoples ears are wide open to any and all smut. And the tongues of even the most sheepish of Americans can be heard slipping into the gutter of perversion. Keep in mind my friend that denial is not a river flowing through Egypt. It is a state of being that if left unfettered will kill you. And there is another thing about D…Nial….Its full of crocodiles!

Repent and believe……To be continued

YOUR MORNING JOE….

79958655_2ed9c20eee_m79958655_2ed9c20eee_mThe title of this blog is really an expression. Its meaning is your morning cup of coffee. In other words what many of us do or partake of to start our days activities. In the New York area which is where I dwell. You cannot turn on an AM radio station before noon. And not be inundated with every form of perverted, demonic and otherwise untoward conversation. This is referred to as your morning joe in the land of media. The stations typically have a team of 2 or 3 people. All of them having a propensity for trash talking. Generally one is the so called straight man. Countering the main pigs jabs and jibes about the latest news articles about some hooker or weirdos activities. One of the so called shock jocks regularly and sarcastically makes reference to the baby Jesus as he calls him.

To me this is out of pure guilt for the way he is making his millions. He knows he is wrong but he cant stop. The lure of money is too great. He also had his number 2 man on the show for many years. Who claimed he was a bible thumping born again Christian. He played the straight man. And laughed and cajoled with the rest of them as slob after slob presented their perverted blend of what they call humor…day in and day out. Millions and millions of people start their work day off filling their minds and souls to the brim with garbage. And many of these so called shock jocks just happen to be Jews. Sons of the promise of Abraham who was called the friend of God. Well my friend God has certainly kept his promise to Abraham. And that was that he would bless his seed after him. But the blessing for most of them is strictly in the monetary realm. For the true blessing which is Jesus the Christ has been overlooked by most of Abrahams seed.

Now back to the morning joe. The book of First Timothy chapter 4 and verse 2…They speak lies in hypocrisy. Having their consciences seared with a hot iron. And now to one of my favorite reads. Webster’s dictionary for the definition of seared…Here we go…To burn or scorch injuriously….To make callous or unfeeling. To dry up or wither away…These people have become mentally and spiritually devoid of feeling. They have allowed themselves to be seared of the natural God given normalcies of human interaction. When they think of love it is lust. When they think of gain it is covetousness. When they think of good its everything that is bad. Their lives’ are antichrist. There are many of us who have someone in our lives like the person I am about to describe. Due to certain circumstances this individual crosses paths with me on a regular basis. Quite possibly they are the most filthy and vulgar person I have ever met. I don’t like them and I don’t want them near me. I don’t want to hear what they have to say. And I don’t want to see what they are doing. And do you know what? Almost all of the other people who have contact with them. Think they are funny.

It is at this moment. That I realize how blessed I really am. I have been eternally altered in a good way. The fact is that I now know sin in all of its ugly forms has no part in me. And it should have no part in you as well. There are no circumstances under which it is OK for a Christian to be lewd, vulgar, drunk, pilled up or anything else you can think of. Here is how I begin my day before work. And for all of my Protestant friends out there. You are going to love this. I am kidding because they hate the rosary. They think I am on the wrong track. That Pope Francis is the antichrist. And that I am out of my mind asking the saints in heaven to intercede for me. They would be and are wrong. I get in my car. The radio is turned off. I bless myself with the sign of the cross. Oh my Protestant friends! Can it possibly get any worse? He blessed himself with the sign of the cross. And I begin to pray my rosary. I want my day to start on the right foot. And the right foot is in prayer. I need and you need to remind ourselves of who it is we are living for. And who it is that died for us. This world and its inhabitants for the most part have no part in me. I don’t like them and Gods doesn’t expect me to like them. Do not feel badly about not wanting to be around the sinful. We don’t belong with them because we have been removed from them spiritually speaking. Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17….Therefore if any man is in Christ…He is a new creature. All of the old things have passed away. And behold all things have become new. The book of Hebrews chapter 10 verse 31…It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Just a little reminder for you vulgar swine. Who think its fun to take your liberal jabs at Gods holy ones. Your day is coming. Just like those who poked fun  at Noah when he warned of the coming flood. You will be dragged kicking and screaming into eternal damnation…..To be continued

Dead Men Walking

4061334601_6de6dff39b_zThere is an old joke. Now I am not one to repeat jokes anymore. But this is actually clean. Believe it or not there was a time when an entire family could sit in front of the boob tube. Without worrying about who was going to hear what. That is not the case anymore. For Satan has certainly secured a well used niche in the realm of video and audio….So here goes nothing. Two men are standing in front of a casket. One guy says to the other… He looks great! To which the second man says…What do you mean he looks great? He is dead….And the other fellow says….Yeah I know he is dead….But he never looked so good when he was alive….Now I now its not much of a joke in the realm of Ha Ha…But the point made is one that I shall expound upon.

The truth as you know. Is the only thing that can benefit mankind. For a lie is nothing more than a discreet covering of what the truth is. And to tell the truth…no matter how uncomfortable it may be for the listeners. Is always, always, always the best remedy for any of life’s situations. Lets read together one of Jesus Christ’s many truths conveyed through the holy writ. Once again he is dropping a holy hand grenade into the Jewish religious leaders camp. And by the way. Deception is akin to a lie. For both divert ones attention away from reality. And for those of you who believe that a little deception is OK..It was Jesus who said that Satan was a liar and a deceiver from the beginning. Of course many of you could care less about aligning yourself with the devil. But as for me and my house it will remain…The truth…the whole truth…and nothing else… so help me God. The gospel of Matthew chapter 23 verse 27….Woe be it unto you oh scribes and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! For  you appear like a well whitewashed tomb. Which on the outside seems beautiful. But on the inside you are filled with dead men’s bones.

Even so outwardly you appear as being righteous to men. But within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Much like our politicians of today. As well as many of our religious leaders. These creeps were scamming their congregants. Mugging for the cameras so to speak. Happy when in public someone said to them… Hello rabbi. Causing their pride to jump within them. They were spiritually dead. While their façade was that of a spiritual leader. I find this to be true in my own religion more often than not. People take the microphone. Wearing their suit and tie. Or religious garb. But as they speak….the words fall out of their mouths like stones to the ground. Their words have no life because they came from a spiritually dead… inanimate being. Dead words from a dead man….Hence the term Dead Men Walking.

But Jesus had a better plan for mankind. And that plan was life. The gospel of John chapter 10 verse 10…The thief comes for nothing but to steal, kill and destroy. But I have come that you may have life. And that you might have it more abundantly…..The emphasis being on the word.. might.. my friends. You might have it if you decide to pick up your cross and follow him. I find it rather interesting that life comes through an instrument of death such as the cross…..Got Jesus?…..To be continued

 

ADVENT

23097559713_9faae5b320_mFor many of you who are not Catholics. The season of Advent is a relative unknown. But the reality is that it is to be an normal part of your Christian life. No matter what group you pledge allegiance to. Which is just one more reason why bashing the Catholic church is such an exercise in futility. For in one way shape or form all of you are attempting in your churches to do or to get back to doing. All of the things we are regularly doing in Catholicism.

The 4 weeks leading up to Christmas are to be a time of introspection and retrospection. We are not to dwell on our past sins. But rather being all to aware of what they are. From this point in time. We are to move forward in a spirit of repentance and humility. Readying ourselves for the coming of our Lord. The people of that time were drawn to the lives lead by Jesus and John the Baptist. Jesus told his disciples that the Son of Man doesn’t even have a place to lay his head down.

John was wearing camel hair clothes and eating locusts and honey. Which was something the poorest of the poor did. They were living the lives that others dared not to do. We are and were unclean spiritually impoverished Gentiles. Who prior to Christ. Had no rights to the riches and blessing of Almighty God. That were imparted to the Jewish people through their lineage to Abraham. And yet in Gods infinite mercy. Jesus Christ is born in poverty. In a manger constructed for animals not humans. Born to grow and die on a cross for our sins. And the sins of the whole world. There is nothing you and I can do about the past.

But there is a good deal we can do about our future. And the future of those in our sphere of influence. And so my friends. During this season of Advent. Looking forward to the celebrated birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.Take a hard look at your own walk. If you have a walk at all. And begin to make the necessary changes . Which are needed in our lives. To draw ever closer to Jesus. Keeping in mind the words of John. Make straight the way of the Lord. Like John..we were and are not worthy to undo the laces of his sandals. But in and through his mercy. We have been grafted into the vine of Israel. And through Him we can do all things  through Christ who strengthens us….Blessed be the name of the Lord…To be continued

The Day of the Lord

3656827180_c65e95caa1_z33784355173_81d700c3af_mNow as it pertains to the specific times or dates or seasons. We as Christians have no need for anything to be written down for us. For we know perfectly well that the day of the Lord will come as suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief in the night. When the world is saying that all is well and peaceful and secure. Then in  a moment unforeseen death, ruin and destruction…will come upon  them suddenly. Like the labor pains which come upon a woman with child. They will by no means escape for there will be no escape.

But we as Christians are not given over to the power of darkness. That the day should overtake us also as a thief. For we are sons and daughters of the light and of the day. And neither darkness or the night have any part of us. Accordingly  let us not be found sleeping as the rest of humanity does. But rather let us remain wide awake, watchful, alert, cautious and on our guard.

For those who sleep..sleep in the night. And those who are drunk get drunk in the night. But we belong to the day. For God has not appointed us to incur his wrath. He did not select us to condemn us. But rather that we might obtain his salvation through the Lord Jesus. Who died for us that whether or not we are alive or dead at the time of his coming. We  might live together with him and share in his life. Therefore encourage, edify and admonish one another as you have been doing….Got Jesus?…to be continued

The Present

4199076008_e1db168333_mToday and every day is a gift from God Almighty. And that is why we call it the present. I can recall as a young man receiving in particular a brand new Spalding basketball. At that time in my life. Myself and many of my friends shot a fair amount of hoops. In fact my friend Joseph Weiss had a dirt court in his back yard…With a wooden backboard nailed to a pine tree. We played so much basketball there… that the ground was hard and almost polished. So hard and packed was the ground. That even when it rained it didn’t affect it. And why do I mention this you may be asking? The best part of receiving a gift is the sharing of what you have received with someone else. I couldn’t wait to put my new ball in the hands of my buddies. To let them experience the feel of the soft rubber dimpled surface of the new ball.

It was awesome. But there is another gift that was given to me…And to you as well. And this gift as is the case with all gifts. Is meant to be shared with others. And that gift was also given to us by God in the form of his only Son Jesus Christ. But herein lies the horns of the dilemma. Very few people are willing to share the gift which they have been given. And even fewer are even willing to receive the gift and say thank you to God. They are thinking in there puny and ungrateful minds and hearts. That perhaps they would have been better served receiving shall we say…a Spalding basketball. In the book of Matthew chapter 5 and verse 15. Jesus said the following.

Neither does a man light a candle to hide it under a basket. But it is to be put on a candle stick. So that it will give light to all who are in the house….Notice if you will the word…GIVE. The candle was lit by one and not two people. But after it was lit is was for the benefit of all of those present. It is a gift that keeps on giving to all of those around it. And so it is that I am sharing the gift that God has given me today with you my dear readers. Jesus Christ the only begotten son of the Father. And for those of you who say you already know Jesus. Than why is it that you are not sharing him with others? Or maybe the fact is that you don’t like the gift…..To be continued

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

34104792910_fb4c6e4ab8_m6448851501_e898c5d706_m (1)One day I saw two roads. One was broad and covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it dancing and enjoying them selves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end there was a horrible precipice, that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it. As they walked they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road or path. For it was narrow and strewn with rocks and thorns. And the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes. And all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down on the rocks and got up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness. And all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all of their sufferings.

This was an excerpt from the diary of Saint Faustina. As I read her diary. She was horribly ridiculed and lambasted by many of her fellow sisters, mother superiors and priests. Because someone wears robes and says they are religious means nothing. Because you say you are Born Again and attend a Pentecostal fellowship means nothing. Because you say you are a Catholic means nothing. It is very difficult to be a witness for Christ. When your co-workers who also say they are Christians. Offer nothing to say about Christ. And are living like the devil himself. Leaving those around to say. Who needs what they have? They are no different than me. Friend…God has a people called to himself. And it just may well be you. There is nothing easy about walking with Christ. It seems that every time I just begin to rebound from one thing another transpires. And yet I am still going. Still praying. Still attending church. And still testifying of the goodness and wonders of God.

One would say why bother if they were to walk a mile in my shoes. Or in Faustinas for that matter. Why does a Navy Seal put themselves through such obvious tests and tortures? To in the end get shot and die rescuing a hostage. I am a slave to Christ. I will and can do anything by the grace and power of God that I have to do to keep on keeping on. I am by no circumstances in life or death going to miss out on my heavenly reward. And if you are sitting on half of your brain and the other half is housed in your skull. You had better come to the realization that your walk is not based on what others are doing or not doing around you. Your walk is your walk. Hand in hand with Jesus. Until you die. And walk you will. And stumble you will. And get hurt you will. And suffer you will. And guess what else? And win you will by God! And win you will! About a year and a half ago I took up the sport of trap and skeet shooting. It is extremely technical and difficult. Nothing comes easy. It tests your metal and requires a tremendous amount of focus, skill and discipline. I scored my first perfect round about 8 months into shooting trap. Perfection doesn’t come easily. It requires one to be steadfast and diligent. You need to pay attention to the details over and over again. Leaving nothing to chance or accident. You don’t accidentally win first place. And you don’t make heaven your home by accident….To be continued