It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A NEW YEAR PRAYER



Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..
I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name,
Amen
.






A Blessed and very Happy New Year to you all!

'On Ya' - ma

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

REFLECTION FOR TODAY

I’m not doing a specific Bible Study right now,
so I thought I’d reflect on the readings we have for each day.

1 John 1:1-4

We can all become beloved disciples just like John!

What we read about John tells us how intently he listened to Jesus’ preaching and teaching, how closely he watched as Jesus healed and delivered people, and how open and teachable John was whenever Jesus spoke to him. No wonder we celebrate his feast day during the season of Christmas—a season so focused on Jesus’ own passionate love for us!

John’s passion for Jesus stretched back to his initial encounter with the Lord. On the banks of the Sea of Galilee, he left the security of father, home, and livelihood at Jesus’ invitation—and he never looked back.

John was called by Jesus during the first year of his ministry, and traveled everywhere with him, becoming so close as to be known as the beloved disciple. He was the only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Savior in the hour of his Passion, standing at the foot of the cross with Jesus' mother Mary and Mary Magdalene

St. John's love for Christ overtook fear (1 Jn 4:18) as he received the grace to stand at the foot of the cross and was able to share in the Good News of Jesus' resurrection

As we cooperate with the ever-present grace of God, we can come to know him more and more clearly. We can come in touch with his passion for us, and that passion will enkindle a fire in our own hearts.


May I be open to what God wants me to do with this new year. Another year to appreciate and share the love of our Lord just like the 'beloved disciple'.

Our Christmas celebration continues until January 8th and I’ll try to post as often as I can to reflect on the wonderfulness of God’s word.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Twelve Days of Christmas




The 12 days of Christmas

December 25th until January 8th

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Three French Hens The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love
1 Corinthians 13:13

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling Birds

The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...


Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world


On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).


On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. Matthew 5:3-10

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet.
Exodus 20:1-17

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed
1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting

Epiphany is traditionally celebrated as the time the three Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings

The Twelfth Night is January 7th, the last day of the Christmas Season before Epiphany (January 8th), and often included feasting along with the removal of Christmas decorations. French and English celebrations of Twelfth Night included a King's Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi, and ale or wine (a King's Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA). In some cultures, the King's Cake was part of the celebration of the day of Epiphany.

As you can see Christmas isn’t over yet.
We’ve got a few more days to remember the reason for the season!

‘On Ya’ - ma

Friday, December 23, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU FROM ME

Children are gifts too - handle them with care !
Love so easily understands
What you can see is the smallest part;
You don't need Christmas in your hands
When you have Christmas in your heart
Helen Steiner Rice

I said a Christmas Prayer for you
Because the season's near.
I didn't ask for riches
But for gifts so much more dear.
I asked for joyful gatherings
With your family all round,
And for carols to inspire you
With their old familiar sound.
I asked for quiet moments
In your heart on Christmas morn,
For a special time to celebrate
The Savior who was born.
I asked for friends to send their best
That you might know they care;
I asked for peace and love and hope,
And I know God heard my prayer.
~ Author Unknown ~


I am a dreamer. I dream of a time when children all over the earth will know true peace. When innocence is not made fun of and laughter can burst forth from a trouble free heart

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours,
May the Love or our Lord
Wrap you with the many blessings peace and joy and serenity
this holy day and all the days to come.
'On Ya' - ma

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Little Something Extra to Add to Your Advent Devotions


On the evening of December 17 the final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great "O Antiphons" of Advent.

The "O Antiphons" were first used by the Church in the 8th and 9th centuries. They are based on various titles for the Christ and are scripturally-based short prayers for the 17th to the 23rd of December.


In these "O Antiphons" the Church expresses her deep longing for the coming of the Messiah.

It is especially in the final week of Advent that our attention is fixed on the messianic promises proclaimed by the ancient prophets of Israel.

The seven titles attributed to Jesus in the antiphons are Wisdom (Sapientia in Latin), Ruler of the House of Israel (Adonai), Root of Jesse (Radix), Key of David (Clavis), Rising Dawn (Oriens), King of the Gentiles (Rex). and Emmanuel. In Latin the initials of the titles make an acrostic which, when read backwards. means: "Tomorrow I will be there" ("Ero cras"). To the medieval mind this was clearly a reference to the approaching Christmas vigil

They can be prayed at family dinner times or with the lighting of the Advent wreath

For December 17th

O WISDOM

O Sapentia O Wisdom, O Holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation." See Isaiah 11:2-3;28:29

Symbols: oil lamp, open book



For December 18th

O LORD AND RULER

O Adonai: "O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your might hand to set us free
Exodus 3:2, 20:1
.


Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets


For December 19th

O ROOT OF JESSE

O Radix Jesse: "O Flower of Jesse, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid." See Isaiah 11:10; Micah 5:1

Symbol: vine or plant with flower - especially a rose



For December 20th

O KEY OF DAVID

O Clavis David: "O Key of David, O Royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom." See Isaiah 9:6; 22:22

Symbols: key; broken chains.



For December 21st

O DAWN OF THE EAST


O Oriens: "O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death." See Isaiah 9:1-2

Symbol: rising sun



For December 22nd

O KING OF THE GENTILES

O Rex Genitium: "O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creatures you fashioned from the dust." See Isaiah 2:4


Symbols, Crown, scepter


For December 23rd

O EMMANUEL

O Emmanuel, God is With Us: "O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God." See Isaiah 7:14

Symbols: tablets of stone, Chalice and Host




O, Come Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord

'On Ya '

(May the JOY of the Lord be on You !)

MA



Tuesday, December 13, 2005

ADVENT VIRUS - PLEASE READ

WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A loss of interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems.
Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

I found this little snippet at one of the sites with all kinds of Christmas things on it

'On Ya' - ma

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Third Sunday of Advent - A few thoughts from my daily devotions





The Third Sunday of Advent, marks the milestone of crossing the halfway point and entering the homestretch of our Christmas

Listen to these cheers for us from holy scripture at this midway point in our holiday dash! From the prophet Isaiah:

I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul

To rejoice fully in our day-by-day unwrapping of the simple but profound gift of life!

To rejoice fully in the splendor of the Light of Christ which dispels the darkness of sin and shatters the shadow of error!

To rejoice fully in the serenity that, no matter how many Christmas presents are yet unready on our list, the Christmas presence of Jesus is already in our midst

TAKEN FROM REFLECTIONS FOR TODAY - Fr. Rory Pitstick, SSL
http://www.ihrc.net



That which grows fast withers rapidly,
that which grows slowly endures.'

Josiah Holland

During Winter we can walk through any grocery store and see a wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruit. Chemicals and greenhouses allow producers to grow year round ripe tomatoes even with biting frosts outside. Yet a tomato that took only a few weeks to grow will never compare to the one that grew in natural conditions. Similarly with life, all good things do take time. That is why the season of Advent gives us a few weeks to focus in on the real message of Christmas instead of trying to do it in one day, which is nearly impossible

A message from
http://www.todayismygifttoyou.ie/


To catch the real meaning of the "Spirit of Christmas," we need only to drop the last syllable of the word, and it becomes the "Spirit of Christ." It beckons us to follow him,and become worthy of the blessedness which he promised to the most unlikely people—the poor in spirit, the sorrowful, the meek, the seekers after righteousness, the merciful,the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and even the persecuted and the oppressed
Hugh B.Brown

Is 61:10b

My soul rejoices in my God.My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

1 THESSELONIANS 5:16

Brothers and sisters:Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.In all circumstances give thanks,for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.Do not quench the Spirit.Do not despise prophetic utterances.Test everything; retain what is good.Refrain from every kind of evil.


Rejoice – give thanks for all we have today !

I have encluded the links to a few of my daily devotionals above, take a moment to check them out...Lots of good words there.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Sunday, December 04, 2005

2nd Sunday of Advent (Please note that to see my messages on the side bar you have to scroll down to the bottom of this blog)

From my daily devotionals for the 2nd Sunday of Advent
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way
John realized that his role was that of a lowly herald of the glad tidings; he himself was not the message. John was a humble servant unworthy to untie the sandals of his master. His baptism of water was for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus was "one more powerful" who would baptize with the purifying grace of the Holy Spirit.
Last Sunday we lit the first candle in our Advent . Wreath, the candle of hope. We light it again as we remember that Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, will come again to fulfill all of God's promises to us.
The second candle of Advent is the Candle of Peace.
Peace is a word that we hear a lot. It is one of the
things that we hope for. Christ brought peace when he
first came to us and he will bring everlasting peace when
he comes again.Peace is like a light shining in a dark place. As we
look at this candle we celebrate the peace we find in
Jesus Christ.today, and everyday worship
God, hear His word, and to do His will by sharing
your peace with each other

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God,
we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ,
for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,let your blessing come upon us
as we light the first and second (purple) candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.We ask this in His holy name.
Amen

Peace to all of you!
‘ON YA’ - ma

Friday, December 02, 2005

FRIDAY EVENING THOUGHTS



JUST A FEW THOUGHTS ON
A VERSE THAT TOUCHED MY
HEART TODAY





(It is the Season of Christmas from the beginning of Advent until the Feast of Epiphany)


God's Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.

Luke 1:78-79 The Message


With the loving mercy of our God,
A new day from heaven will dawn upon us.
It will shine on those who live in darkness
In the shadow of death,
It will guide us into the path of peace.

The same verse from my Inspirational Bible

The verse from THE MESSAGE caught my eye in one of the e-mails I received today. I always pick up on anything about Sunshine! So I decided to see what was said in one of my other Bibles and compare the two. I love to do this. Sometimes I have 5 different Bibles open at the same time.

Each translation basically says the same thing in a little different way and always brings a new meaning to light.

The other night at our prayer group we talked about praying with the scriptures. Spending more than just 5 minutes with our reading. Reading , reflecting, meditating, comtemplating what we’ve read. Too many times, I don’t take the time to do that.

The more I read the verse above, the more refreshed I felt. After a long work week, this message was badly needed. I may go to bed tonight tired out, but God’s sunrise will bring a new day and He’ll guide me on the path each step of the way.

Sometimes the more alone I am, the more I feel the companionship of our dear Lord.

I encourage you to spend some time with the Word and be refreshed.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Solid Ground

From Isaiah 26

… Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places,and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground,levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy,by the footsteps of the poor

And from Matthew 7

… Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on themwill be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came,and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came,and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined

How we can build our spiritual homes on solid ground.
The foundation for building is Jesus himself
The second level has to do with our personal development
The final “rock,” is how we are building our relationships in the broader world

We should remember that building a house is not an overnight project, but by using these steps we’ll be strengthening ourselves against any storms that may come our way.

Use this Advent to build a solid house based on faith and trust in God.

'On Ya' - ma