Monday, April 15, 2013

Bible Timeline Session 11 - The Royal Kingdom

As usual, I am weeks behind on my bible study posts, so this is going to be quick. I have been so good up to this point about doing all the optional readings, and looking up all the references, taking care to do the homework in depth, etc. But... work has been kicking my butt lately. It is pretty much expected we are to work overtime and some weekend time to meet all the deadlines. I'm being pulled into other programs to help meet their deadlines also. I start getting resentful when I have to work more than 50 hours a week. If I get a spare moment late at night, once my kids are finally sleeping, I would rather be leisurely reading my bible, than doing work. I also don't like working on Sundays. (Well, now I'm doing just that.)  Anyway, due to the work stress, I didn't get a chance to answer the questions for last week (Session 12). I was surprised how huge of a difference it made, not being as prepared, and I didn't get nearly as much out of it, as I normally do. Hopefully I can get back on track soon.

Session 11 is talking about the Royal Kingdom period of Salvation History. We learn about Samuel, the "13th Judge" and the rise and fall of Saul, the first king of Israel, and the introduction of David, son of Jesse, who is anointed as Saul's successor. I really like the story of Hannah and Elkanah in 1 Samuel 1. I was touched by Hannah "pouring out her soul to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:15). She was so intense in her prayer and desire for a child, that the priest thought she was drunk. If only we could all pray like Hannah. She is so grateful for God's answer to her prayer that she "lends Samuel to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:28). But she remains at home and nurses him, until he is weaned, probably at the age of 3, before doing so. Hannah, in my mind, is the ultimate stay at home mom.

In 1 Samuel 3:1, right before little Samuel hears God calling him in the night, we read:

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. 

This just makes me wonder, is the word of the Lord rare today ? With all the distractions, the work, the television, the music, the hustle and bustle, the responsibilities, the activities, the Internet, facebook, blogging, email, google, pinterest, twitter, linked in... does the word of the Lord get drowned out?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What does the church parking lot say about the church?

Driving home from Mass this evening in our used mini van, I couldn't help but comment about the appearance of all the cars rolling out. A BMW and a Mercedes were next to us. Expensive cars all around us. Nothing unique was identifying any of these family vehicles as Catholic, or religious in any way. It looked no different than being at a high end shopping mall. I looked at the bulletin. Last Sunday, $44,394 was collected during the Sunday collection. $35,106 was the prior month's e-giving. This parish is pulling in over $2.7 Million dollars a year in collections. It has many wonderful people and the programs and services it offers are top notch. The other church we like to go to is not in a prestigious community. It is down town across the street from a scrap metal recycling center and homeless people are frequently walking along the street. Would you believe that almost every single car, and I am not exaggerating (well, most of them are vans, and many are the large 15 passenger vans which make our mini-van look like small potatoes)...the huge vast majority of vehicles are older, beat up, and have pro-life bumper stickers, Catholic Radio stickers, visible Catholic paraphernalia, Nobama health care signs, rosaries, etc. you name it... in or on their windows and bumpers.  If you pass by one of these cars, you know you are dealing with someone who is a Fool For Christ and The Church. I have never seen a BMW in this parking lot. Last week's Easter collection was $8669. This church tithes over 7.5% of its weekly collection to St. Vincent de Paul and its very active pro-life committee. I love this church. I don't have to even tell you which one of the two has the longer confession lines...

Using Facebook to Fight Abortion

I don't have a Facebook account... but my husband does and he will occasionally post pro-life articles to his network of secular friends. A few months ago I received this email plea from my best friend from high school:

Can you join Facebook? Please?

 I’m friends with James so I can see when he posts pictures of you and the girls, but I wish he could talk about non-political topics.

I admit, my first reaction, which is the coward in me, thought, "Oh No.. what is my husband posting NOW??? And what will my friends and family think?" But, I know he needs to just keep on posting. And maybe I need to get a facebook account in the near future. You just have to be prepared to take the heat. Sometimes I lack the guts.
In the underground Pro-Life media world right now, people are discussing the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. I am still trying to piece together the full story, but all I know right now is that he is an abortionist/"doctor" in West Philly who plead guilty to third degree murder for killing babies after they were born alive and is now on trial and possibly facing the death penalty. Pretty big news, no? Main Stream media is not covering this. Have you heard any of this on the 10:00 news? Or on talk radio? Or in the newspaper? No, of course not. is an amazing resource for things that are happening that you need to know that nobody wants to talk about. (And it's not always an easy read.)

This comment from "ConservativeAmericanMom" tonight in the comment section, really has me thinking tonight and I wanted to copy and paste it for you:

One important thing to do is to try to change the national opinion about abortion by using social media. "Friend" everyone you know on Facebook and then go to organizations like Lifesite news and other pro-life sites on FB and "like" them. You will then get their "memes" (pictures with messages) that can easily be shared with your FB friends. Then it is so easy: Click share or like on those memes and perhaps write a little message to your friends in your own words . Social media is POWERFUL!!! Whole governments in the Middle East have been overturned because of social media during the Arab Spring.  
It doesn't work if people are too shy to speak out about it, though. I am always shocked when my Christian/ pro-life friends that are on Facebook are quiet about abortion; they share or say NOTHING. Too many people are worried about offending their friends. Give me a break! If your friends can't respect you for speaking up for innocent babies, then let them "unfriend" you for God's sake. Putting messages on FB is the least we can do for these children!
When you share and speak out, you can do it in a calm, kind way. The culture has had too much exposure to the other side for far too long. This is how we can help change minds and hearts.

What about you? Do you have a facebook account? Have you lost friends for speaking up on controversial topics like abortion or anything else?