Tag Archives: Heavenly Father

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Justice for Whom

Advocates for ‘gay marriage’ usually claim no harm can be done to anyone through extending marriage and family rights to two men or two women.

New evidence now exists to show a host of challenges to kids of gay parents.

Professor Mark Regenerus found that, when compared to adults raised in married, mother/father families, adults raised by lesbian parents had negative outcomes in 24 out of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

(See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/10/study-suggests-risks-from-same-sex-parenting/)

More studies are in the works to debunk the myth that kids don’t need parenting from the two who gave them life. To thrive, a kid needs a mom and a dad. Period.

We must take issue with those who, as a result of supporting gay loved ones, fail to see the implications of such skewed advocacy.

A legal change in the definition of marriage is short-sighted and cruel to the most vulnerable ones in our culture—children. Generations-to-come depend upon societal structures that advocate for their best. ‘Gay’ marriage and family is not one of them.

Strange justice: ‘gay marriage’ advocates often cite early childhood experiences of bullying and harassment for their same-sex tendencies as one reason why gay equality is imperative. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that ‘gay marriage’ only perpetuates the destabilizing of young lives.

‘Gay’ marriage and family causes the very ills it seeks to cure.

Christians, take a stand and resolutely refuse to redefine marriage, especially in the face of our president’s decision to do so. Consider those who have come before you. On behalf of the Church, St. Thomas More refused to grant Henry VIII (his king) a divorce, and was beheaded. May we emulate his courage in championing marriage today.

Please join me in this prayer that American Catholics have been encouraged to pray on behalf of religious liberty until July 4th:

Grant we pray, O heavenly Father, A clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome— for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us— this great land will always be ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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Mercy’s Rule

Join us today at 3pm (CST) as we intercede for loved ones in need of God’s mercy.

Mercy’s Rule

40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012 – Day 10

When the battle becomes too much for me, I throw myself like a child into the arms of the Heavenly Father and trust I will not perish…I do not lose heart. I trust God’s grace, which abounds in the worst misery. (606)

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your  eye,’ when you fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to help remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42)

Jesus, we want to see reality the way You do. Give us Your eyes of Mercy, first to recognize our own unfaithfulness then to extend Mercy to others based on Your generous Mercy to us. Help us here, O God. Cleanse our adulterous, accusatory hearts; set us free for Mercy. Make us especially mindful of disempowered ones who are under the judgment of the powerful. Let Mercy have her perfect way in our hearts.

For the complete 40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012, click here to download.  For a paper copy, United States only, please call Desert Streams Ministries at (866) 359-0500. 

Author’s note – Each day’s entry is based a passage from St Faustina’s diary. The passage entry from the diary is the number in parentheses at the end of each opening quote. Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska – Divine Mercy in My Soul (Association of Marion Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263) is available through the publisher or Amazon.com

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Mercy’s Rule

Day 10 of our 40 Days of Mercy Fast

‘When the battle becomes too much for me, I throw myself like a child into the arms of the Heavenly Father and trust I will not perish…I do not lose heart. I trust God’s grace, which abounds in the worst misery.’ (606)

Bad shame can trap us; the traditions of men are tricky. They may have truth on their side, but they forfeit the main rule which governs Jesus’ morality—Mercy for the sin-sick, who in turn extend Mercy out of a recognition of their own moral vulnerability.

How Jesus handled the woman caught in adultery exemplifies Mercy’s rule.

(Jn. 8:1-11) She had violated herself and others in adultery, a serious offense. Such a sin could cost you your life, a truth that the religious teachers and leaders knew and set before Jesus as to expose His aim to uphold both Mercy and Truth.

First, why is the woman brought before Jesus, and not also her male, (presumably) married partner? That may help decode the hearts of the religious. She had no advocate in contrast to the man and his family; in that culture, women (especially single ones) had almost no power and yet were thought to be nearly all-powerful in their ability to seduce men! I believe that Jesus is redressing this inequity here by advocating for her, the weaker party.

He did so by appealing to the moral vulnerability of all the accusers: ‘If you have never had a sinful, adulterous thought, then kill her; let the pure serve judgment!’ Perhaps drawing upon His definition of adultery which equates lustful thoughts with actions (Matt. 5:27-30), he commanded an examination of conscience. To their credit, the men heeded his challenge. Each dropped his stone.

As far as we know, only the woman held out her open hand for Mercy. Though set free from their condemnation, she was only freed from the sin of adultery by Jesus, who commanded her: ‘Go and leave your life of sin.’ (v.11) We presume she did. Mercy cleared away her accusers (the traditions of men), and made a way for her repentance.

Jesus’ love renders us all unfaithful; none are only true. Mercy frees us from ignorant accusers and frees us for a progressively true love born of Mercy.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to help remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Lk. 6:42)

‘Jesus, we want to see reality the way You do. Give us Your eyes of Mercy, first to recognize our own unfaithfulness then to extend Mercy to others based on Your generous Mercy to us. Help us here, O God. Cleanse our adulterous, accusatory hearts; set us free for Mercy. Make us especially mindful of disempowered ones who are under the judgment of the powerful. Let Mercy have her perfect way in our hearts.’

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Reunion

‘He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.’ (Mk 16:6)

Resurrection is reunion: Jesus, torn from His Father, now returns to Him. Evil demanded payment: crucifixion, the vast distance between God and God.
Love crossed over that gap, conquering sin and death.

Resurrection is the ultimate Father/Son reunion.

Every Easter, God extends to us a fresh invitation to reenter that reunion.
Jesus descended into hell to get us out of there.
He rose again into perfect union with His Father, that we might join Him there.

His reunion with the Father becomes ours, His triumph over sin and death becomes ours. The afflicting power of our ‘sin-sickness’ no longer prevails;
the sheltering, empowering love of our Father does.

Resurrection insists on it.
‘The resurrection of Christ is a sign of God’s purpose and power to restore His creation to its full stature and integrity.’ Alister McGrath

Resurrection ‘lays the foundation for a completely new life, a new order. In Christ, we become completely different men and women in the very depths of our beings.’ Christoph Blumhardt

Through His cross, Christ grants us a share in His suffering; how much more does He, the risen Christ, delight in granting us full rights and privileges as beloved children of the Father?

Jesus has transformed the burning sand into a pool, the cross of suffering into reunion with our Heavenly Father. May His triumph be ours this Easter—full of the same comfort, confirmation, and confidence that Jesus now shares with His Father.

Rejoice!

Isaiah 35
“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly, and shout for joy…
Strengthen the feeble hands, and steady the knees that give way;
Say to those with fearful hearts: ‘Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution to save you.’
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs…
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it: it will be for those who walk in that Way…
But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

‘You will go out with joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands…’ (Is 55:12)

‘As You have shown us mercy, O God, in the desert places of our lives, would You show mercy to the beleaguered state of marriage in the USA? As the Perry vs. Schw. case wends its way to the National Supreme Court, prepare for Yourself a victory. We shall render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but we shall prayerfully fight that what is Yours, O God. Prepare the hearts of each justice, especially Justice Anthony Kennedy, to uphold marriage according to Your merciful design. Remember mercy, O God.’

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Merciful Dad

At the core of my same-sex attraction was the struggle to find a father, and so discover my own masculine power and purpose.

I had a father alright, and a pretty good one: Thomas Augustus Comiskey. But for most of my life I could not apprehend that goodness, much less take it on as my own.

In a language familiar to any desert creature in need of living water, I detached from him early on in my life. My own rebellion, coupled with his relational faults, inspired a wall. Behind that wall, I identified myself as ‘other’ than him. I thought myself to be superior to him.

In truth I became blind to my own weaknesses and the strengths he possessed.

In the last several years of his life, God in His mercy prompted me to press into relationship with him. My father and I forged a bond. Our focused times together inspired a genuine affection and appreciation toward him; my aggravation and petty judgments began to fall away. Like Jericho, the wall crumbled, and I could welcome this man into my life.

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