December 24, 2016
WHAT IS FAITH?
When you hold a balloon in the palm of your hand it is a tiny small thing. Seems unlikely that if I toss it from my bedroom window that it could drench my kid sisters with water, yet when used, that balloon becomes “enough” to serve my purpose . . . faith is like that.
I find myself praying for more faith yet last night when the question “what is faith” was asked at study group, the Spirit spoke to me saying “Faith is trust in action.” Like that small balloon, my small bit of faith “is enough” for Jesus to use for His purpose . . . if I trust Him. Martha L Shaw
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April 10, 2014
I am happy to share this link to Christian Healing Ministries where you will find a link to their free publication!
August 24, 2012
My life, while containing a huge question mark in one way, has been rich with blessings which provide me with the assurance of my Savior’s love and fill me with hope in Him.
For some time now, as some of you know, I’ve been praying and prayed for in the need for provision and my desire to be His minister in a new vocation which He clearly has prepared for me. His timing is not our own yet we know it is perfect. Many times it has been revealed to me in my own spirit from HIm and through others praying for me that a new door will be opening. I believe that as we grow in Him and surrender to His will we find many new doors along the way as we grow ready for more and more work . . . I am excited to serve in the ways He leads me. Yes, fear comes but with His hand holding me, I can walk in fear and not be held back by it.
As I stood in my dining room the other day, I saw the doors to my sunroom and thought of them in a new way. Yes, it did remind me of the “door” or “doors” the Lord is leading me to and through, but also of a puzzle to be solved. We’ve all seen those puzzles in which we are to count how many squares we see . . . well as we follow Christ, the puzzle pieces that are our life come together in beautiful ways as we are blessed to serve Him.
Now, a puzzle for you. No, I’m not asking you to count the “squares” as those familiar puzzles ask. I’m asking you to count the crosses! When our Lord died on the cross, we were awarded Eternal live. The doors to Eternity with Him were flung open! So, ponder that and look at these doors. How many crosses do you see?
August 23, 2012
Good evening, friends! I was recently invited by Pastor Richie Castaldo and Kathy Castaldo to write devotionals for their “Cry of Worship Ministries” website. I’d like to share the link with you and invite you to check out this great website which is full of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and sure to bless you. Check it out at http://cryofworship.com/gift-of-sadness/
August 22, 2012
I just received a piece of mail which made me cry. On the surface it was a simple letter from a dear friend from church. I am part of a ministry at church which she leads – Lay Eucharistic Ministers. She wrote a cover letter and slipped it into the envelope with our new schedule. There was something in the way she closed her letter to us that was so real . . . a blessing to us all and the words “I love you.” How often do we seek love yet not find it? Oh, I’m not saying it isn’t being offered to us, but I for one can be caught up in my “stuff” and not “feel” it even though I really do “know better.”
I am so totally in love with Jesus and church has always been a key part of my life, but one Sunday afternoon a friend and I were chatting after services and I followed her to the altar as she took care of the linens and things and at one point I couldn’t hear here speaking because I suddenly truly felt blown over by the feeling that I was on “holy ground” as I stood behind the altar. I started to shake and my eyes burned with choked back tears. As my friend took the chalice to be washed for the next Mass, I instantly knew there was a ministry for me. The one which suddenly seemed to call me was Lay Eucharistic Minister.
The next chance I got I asked to be permitted to joint and was licensed and trained. This grace filled position means that I administer Jesus’ precious blood to communicants during the Holy Eucharist. There is not a single time I serve near the altar when I do not shake and choke back tears. But there is also not a single time I serve the Lord in this way in which I am so in awe of the Holy Ground on which I stand that as I serve Him and my fellow worshippers, I cannot help but smile. It doesn’t matter what challenges I’m facing nor whether the sun is shining or not. The minute that chalice is in my hands, I am so filled with the presence of my King, my precious Lord, that I can’t keep from smiling and have to fight not to break out in song and dance to Him.
That being said, I realize that even on the Sunday’s when I’m not scheduled to serve, I can’t help but fix my eyes on the cross at the altar and my priests hands as they become vessels to consecrate that bread and wine to be Jesus’ body and blood.
The special relationship I have with my Lord rises above anything else in my life and so as I reflected on this in my quiet time just now after reading the letter from my Sister in Christ, I found myself reflecting on the cross and all it means. So, I now begin a new series called “reflecting on the cross. Today along with this testimony, I offer you the photograph at the top of this post taken in the room I sit in as I write this. I call this image by the same name I’ve given to this series. I ask the Lord’s blessing on each one of you . . . you have no idea how much of a blessing you are to me.
August 3, 2012
Have you heard recently about how “the church” is failing in its mission? How about those priests and pastors? Seems there’s a lot of discussion on how they should do their jobs . . . it doesn’t matter which denomination or “church” you belong to. If you are slowly walking to your car after services and aren’t overhearing criticism of what “they” should be doing and how “they” have failed . . . get your hearing checked. More is often said in lunchrooms, bars, and so forth. I’ve heard plenty said by folks who don’t go to church at all. Seems the comments against the work of the church (and I question their source of information) are many from folks who may not know what a pew looks like. I’m not judging, just repeating what I keep directly hearing. There’s always some newspaper article, television news report, etc., and it’s rarely a shout of “hallelujah.”
So, in thinking about this and in thinking about my role, about the load carried by those in ordained leadership roles within “the church” and the like, I did some reading. I had a preformed answer but was seeking “higher authority” for facts. Well, folks, we may not be living into the vocation, but as baptized and/or baptized and confirmed Christians (depending on your own denominational doctrine) we are all ministers. Those sacraments and the promises made by and for us gave us that role. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost enables us and we have much to do. Not some vague “they” at all.
Seems to me that when those who are not part of a church body offer “reasons” related to all the “church” is doing wrong, their words sound a bit like “the dog ate my homework.” I can’t know what’s in another’s heart, but my ears sometimes hear it that way. It also seems that if we spent just a small percentage of the time we devote to lamenting “what’s wrong with the church today” we might come to realize we yes WE are the church and WE have a vocation and commitment made with the Lord to be His ministers.
My church has hundreds of members yet 2 fulltime priests and 1 part time priest. How then can the ordained clergy fulfill their own roles AND the roles we ourselves have formally and sacramentally committed our lives to? It is time to do our part. What’s wrong with the church these days? It might just be that the answer is OUR idleness in not meeting our commitment. It is time to prayerfully step up and live as Christ has called us to.
Acts 6:2 ” “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God”
June 12, 2012
Greetings friends! I thank you so much for your faith, your continued prayer support for Mom, Me, and for others I’ve seeked your support for. The update on Alan reflects some encouragement yet we need to keep those prayers heading up. This wonderful man of God is suffering from pain in his back, his hip, and his knees daily, often in tummy as well. A recent blood test and physical find him in good health, yet there seems to be little the medical profession can do to relieve him of the pain which prevents him from leading the life he was anointed to live for Jesus.
Please pray for his total healing and for him to be placed, if the Lord desires it, in the correct hands for healing should the Lord choose to use medical professionals for His purposes. Please pray as well for Alan to know the Lord’s hand in this and to feel the Lord’s joy and peace. Please pray, as well, for his wife Erica since we all know how the struggles of one we love can weigh heavily on us.
Please pray as well that during this time of healing Alan will continue to be able to serve the Lord in ministry in the ways of the Lord’s own choosing and that Alan will know His hand is upon him.
May 31, 2012
Many of you have seen the post a week ago about what a blessing it was for me to have had a recent visit from my dear friend and retired priest Alan. What you may not know is that this eternally young man lives in constant pain in his back, hip, and knees. In the last few days this pain has grown worse and worse. There seems to be nothing doctors can do to help him. He is a very special man of God and hungers to serve Him. He, in fact, responded to an email from me about HIS health and pain by telling me he was PRAYING FOR MY SITUATION. I know the level of pain he is in which has been steady, so this tells y0u how special he is. His stomach, not surprisingly, is also sick now. He described his pain as “like I am being stabbed over and over with a knife.”
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I need you to join me in blanketing this man in prayer. Even though the medical professionals cannot help him, we know the source of all healing is the Lord and that He can change Alan’s life instantly. PLEASE join me in prayer for this man who is suffering beyond measure!
Thank y0u so much!