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Archive for February, 2012

Farmer’s Almanac ….Understanding Trials and Faith

I have been interested in people who do things by the farmer’s almanac…. it is really cool. farmers don’t compete….they just do what God gave them to do. they live in the light..and they know that sometimes a whole year of tilling the land, planting the seeds, watering, weeding, etc…. and their crops manage to survive until the harvest time…. and then a massive storm hits and washes all their effort and intense labor of love away in an instant…. well, farmers usually don’t commit suicide and they don’t have time to drown their sorrows in wasted pity…. they are just thankful the family is safe and able to continue life and start over. farmers just do what they do because it is who they are at heart.

God doesn’t make us start over and over to punish us…He makes us start over and over again to teach us about life and real labors of love. if we quit the first time we have a failed crop we are not trusting God or ourselves. a failed crop may bring shame by the pain of a deflated ego but that doesn’t really help matters when there are things to get done. but the lesson of the farmer is..if we keep going and moving through our trials, tests, failures, and losses, and if we keep doing our labor of love no matter the outside prestige, we win something greater than we could have ever had with a first run success…. we win our ability to endure trials and tests and we learn about the deep well of love and faith inside our heart that we pull our strength from to begin again… we win authentic self-esteem and we win knowing who we really are when everything feels dark and dead and hopeless. ….we win our own authentic self and God’s complete respect by understanding His teaching…”the seed always returns its intention.” love will grow again and again and again…. no matter the devastation. only love makes us real. – (c) shannan suzzette taylor

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and that may be all there is to know..

i don’t know much…but i know i love you

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learning discipline
(c) shannan suzzette

I tried to hold my horses and trot
I tried to hold my tongue
in a language that would not offend
yet both spirits challenged their space
in me and wanted more than a knot
I rode into his heart to recall
a sadness and a joy
a life and a love we dreamed in wide open spaces
houses with picket fences, blue skies over green meadows
endless fields of daisies
stretching into open arms
moonlit nights fueled by striking light
and thunderous passionate storms
truth beyond reason
leaving no doubt
nothing unsaid or undone between us
I tried to sit in a spot
containing my soul within this vessel of his time
and I did then learn to hold these spirits within
to grow
and come to know
real love is patient, enduring, and kind

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peace

peace
(c)shannan suzzette

in the spaces between blue, brown and green
we find heaven on the horizon
pouring golden rain through crimson prisms
soaking us to the bone
searching for the soul
we thought we lost
pieces scattered to the wind
did not fall into hands unclean
but were held in drops of tears
in between happiness and sorrow
look to the horizon of what has been
and what will be
unfolds
a new day sails
with no time wrapped around its feet
let the sweet dove sing
and let our heart know peace

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Saint Bernadette and The Message of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes
http://whatisgarabandal.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Warning: Lourdes

Lourdes: 1858

In 1854, Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four years later, Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen-year-old girl whose family was the poorest in Lourdes, France, declared she had seen a Lady in the village dump, where she and two other girls had been gathering firewood. The vision had issued from the heart of a massive rock formation next to the river Gave, in a place called “Massabielle,” which literally means “old rock.” After several visits, the Lady asked Bernadette to return fifteen times, which she faithfully did, whereupon she and the whole world received a message and a gift. The message was simple and direct: “Repentance! Repentance! Repentance!”
The gift was a beautiful clear spring, coming forth from the base of the rock at a point where Bernadette had obediently dug with her bare hands in the mud, for the Lady had directed that she drink at The Spring. The waters soon displayed miraculous healing properties, and pilgrims began their journeys to Lourdes to bathe in the water and drink at The Spring. Ever since The Spring appeared, countless millions have found living waters at this spot where the Blessed Virgin spoke to a little girl of no account. When Bernadette at last asked the beautiful Lady who she was, the vision confessed, with awesome simplicity, “I am the Immaculate Conception!” Unburdened from sin from the beginning, she showed what the Lord wants for us at the end. Her battle is ours, a fight against sin. If we would only repent of our sins, the calamities that threaten the humans would never occur. There would be healing and peace that issues from the heart of God, like water from The Rock. Like Mary, we dwell within the “old rock” of the Church, the Rock of Christ. The waters flowing from it in the mystery of Baptism would cleanse us and refresh us with grace.

The miracles at Lourdes continue until today to confront us with the message of Mary and the constant availability of God’s healing and forgiveness. The Spring is a reminder that the springs of “living water” are waiting for the people of the world, that they may come and “drink freely, without pay.” The burden of sin upon us will be lifted, its stain washed away. The message grows more emphatic with Lourdes. Sin is the core of the problem. The world must change. The Darkness is gathering.

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One of the NBA’s hottest players, New York Knick Jeremy Lin, shows off his beliefs on the court with Christian wristbands made by former basketball pros at Lakewood Church, USA Today reported.

http://blog.chron.com/believeitornot/2012/02/lin-wearing-christian-wristbands-made-by-lakewood-members/

Lin plays with a thin, rubber bracelet by Active Faith, the Christian sportswear company founded by Lanny Smith, who played for the University of Houston, and Anthony Tolliver, forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the newspaper wrote. The company’s motto: “In Jesus’ name I play.”

Both Smith and Tolliver attend Lakewood Church, where pastor Joel Osteen himself is an avid basketball player and fan.

Lin has been making headlines for his unusual background in the NBA—an Asian-American Harvard grad with a Christian testimony.

According to its website, Active Faith aims to “use the platform and visibility that athletics gives to bring glory to God’s name…. More than ever it seems athletes are more open about expressing their faith and being bold about their love for Christ. We are proud to be at the forefront of this movement that is spreading the Gospel to so many people.”

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Catholic church growing, Baptist and mainline Protestant numbers decline
By Kate Shellnutt
Kate Shellnutt is the web producer for HoustonBelief.com.

http://blog.chron.com/believeitornot/2011/02/catholic-church-growing-baptist-and-mainline-protestant-numbers-decline/

The Roman Catholic Church continues to see its membership increase in the U.S., while most Protestant churches are shrinking, according to an annual report by the National Council of Churches.

The trends match last year’s: “Churches which have been increasing in membership in recent years continue to grow and likewise, those churches which have been declining in recent years continue to decline,” said the editor of the report, Rev. Eileen Lindner.

Catholics–the country’s largest church body, with 68.5 million members–grew slowly but surely, 0.57 percent last year.

Membership for the Southern Baptist Convention decreased for the third year in a row, by just 0.42 percent, to 16.1 million members.

“We as Southern Baptists continue to show signs of drifting from our historic commitment to evangelism, as reflected in the fact that it still takes 46 Southern Baptists to lead one person to faith in Christ,” said Thom Rainer, president of SBC-affliated LifeWay Christian resources, after previous reports of declining numbers.

According to LifeWay, 2008 marked a 20-year-low in baptisms for the Southern Baptist Convention, and though baptisms are rebounding, membership and Sunday school enrollment are down.

Mainline Protestant denominations–United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Episcopal Church–all experienced declines between 1 percent and 3 percent, according to the National Council of Churches.

The country’s best-known door-to-door missionaries boosted membership, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the fourth-largest in the U.S.) up 1.42 percent to 7.7 million and Jehovah’s Witnesses up 4.37 percent to 1.2 million. A few Pentecostal groups also have grown.

Four of the nation’s 25 largest churches are Pentecostal in belief and practice, Lindner reported. “Strong figures from the Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) suggest an increase in the number of adherents to Pentecostal groups, though it is impossible to state unequivocally from this table since the other two charismatic churches in the ranking have not reported in some years.”

Here’s the list of the top 15, as reported in the 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches:

1. The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members, up .57 percent.

2. Southern Baptist Convention,16,160,088 members, down.42 percent.

3. The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members, down1.01 percent.

4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members, up 1.42 percent.

5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no updates.

6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000 members, no updates.

7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,542,868 members, down1.96 percent.

8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no updates.

9. Assemblies of God, 2,914,669 members, up .52 percent.

10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2,770,730 members, down 2.61 percent.

11. African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no updates.

11. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no updates.

13. The Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,312,111 members, down 1.08 percent.

14. The Episcopal Church, 2,006,343 members, down 2.48 percent.

15. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.

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