Living And Sharing My Faith

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In the early church, a dispute arose because the newly Jewish Christian believers thought it necessary that all Gentile Christians be circumcised and follow the Mosaic Practice or they could not be saved. To solve the dispute, the issue was brought to Peter and the Apostles. And guided by the Holy Spirit, a letter was written and this is the decision that was made.

“It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.” (Acts 15: 28-29)

My thoughts are that either I trust completely in everything the church authority teaches concerning faith and morals in the power of the Holy Spirit or I pick and choose what I like and do not like and trust the Holy Spirit to guide me personally. I can look at these teachings as a burden like Mosaic Law, rules that I have to follow or I can see them as a gift from God, revealed by Jesus to the church that allows me to live in the freedom he has given me.

I am not a teacher. It is not a gift I possess. I do not write to open up controversy of why I love my catholic faith, to convince you that I am right or for others to tell me I am going to hell. I pray, study, read and reflect on my journey. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I love you. I make lots of mistakes and surely do not have it “all together” in my life. What I do have is faith that God is guiding me on my journey and the best way for me is living a Sacramental life where I find fulfillment in the church.

“O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me; tell me what I should do, give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will.” Amen.

Image from http://www.swordofthespirit.net on google.com images
Mike Burke; Sunday, May 1, 2016
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Living And Sharing My Faith

18 thoughts on “Living And Sharing My Faith

  1. In the ‘olden days,’ people ‘rung a chicken’s neck,’ before chopping off the chicken’s head, plucking it, gutting it, and frying it for Sunday dinner. I consider ‘ringing it’s neck,’ to be a form of strangulation. (After checking a few sources on the internet to see if chickens are still ‘strangled,’ and I am now giving up my absolute favorite food: fried chicken. In fact, I may be giving up meat, altogether.)

    A lot of judgement, criticism, and condemnation is supported by scripture, particularly from the Letters. I am going to go way out on a limb here and opine that the Apostles were not always right. They were not Jesus and they counted on the Holy Spirit to guide them…as do we, now. In Galatians, in fact, Paul has to correct Peter in a matter of judgement and scriptural interpretation.

    I would also like to highlight the term “unlawful marriage,” in case that gives anyone heartburn; whose law? which law?

    My yardstick? Unless someone is breaking a commandment, starting with the two Jesus gave us, i.e, hurting on or hating someone or not loving God, judge yourself ONLY. Other than that, love.

    Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

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      1. You know Kitsy I used to care about that but I do not anymore. I can only think that the Holy Spirit gives me this desire to reflect every day so whatever God wants, even if it is just for me, so be it. It is very refreshing to not care what the non-choir members think. That’s between them and God. I am glad you asked that. I needed to think about that!

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      2. She does make some valid points though. Bully tactics are used often to gain power and leverage especially in politics. Jesus touched nerves and sometimes we will do the same. I think it is sometimes the way we have to plow through the crap to see some light of truth. Some issues just bring out passion!

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      3. You may not fully approve of my reply to her. I got less than 4 hours sleep last night. I had a ‘protector of the persecuted’ accusing me of “(sitting) in comfort” while “Islam Erased Christianity from History;” my feeble neighbor is facing the possibility that her husband, currently in the ICU, may not recover from an apparent stroke and she may lose her home (when her step-daughter leaves tomorrow, I am all my neighbor has to count on); I bought a pellet rifle yesterday (and I don’t do guns!) because I have coyotes trotting down the road not 15 feet from me, my elderly dog, and my cat; and this person is telling me to “be productive.”. I don’t doubt she meant “constructive” but I prefer to be “instructive.”

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      4. Kitsy, your plate is full. I am not the best at giving advice because what I often want for others I struggle with myself. But these crosses you are facing have some purpose that is for God’s glory. I hope you can find some comfort in that.

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      5. Oh dear. Now I have a fellow blogger telling me to try harder. I had said that I “sidestep a lot of the controversy and debate because I do not have a clear answer.” This person replied that I should “step up my faith meter”, pray for more guidance or wisdom or something, and they would check back with me in a month.

        Am I being tested? Is the evil one playing games with me again?

        Btw, I sat with my neighbor’s wife yesterday after church and after telling her to hunch up close to Jesus, we discussed all the differene scenarios and what her options were, emphasizing her need to build up her own physical and emotional strength in preparation for whatever. I ended by pointing out she was at a crossroads, “What do you want to do?”. ” I want go straight ahead,” she said. “I want my husband back and in better shape than he was in.”. Without hesitating , I said, ” okay Jesus, you heard her. That is her prayer.”. We found out later yesterday that he was still in ICU on an Ativan drip to keep him sedated so they could do a CT scan last night. This morning, the results of the scan showed no sign of strike or brain damage of any kind. The expectation is that he will have improved cognitive ability when they wean him off of the Ativan, they plan to move him to a regular room and start physical therapy. Ann and I spent time this afternoon thanking Jesus.

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      6. Really good news! Thanks be to God! As far as blogging comments, really good new! Thanks be to God. Whether we are wrong or right, putting our thoughts and beliefs out there will help in hopefully finding truth which is Jesus. Kitsy, you desire truth so keep sharing in love. Blessed are those who are persecuted so accept God’s gift with joy and do not lose anymore sleep. Even you and me will not always agree as we seek truth but let’s do it in love and mercy.

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  2. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart and soul and to love each other. Only the Holy Spirit in our heart can give us this love. It all begins with God. I enjoyed your post and I share your testimony. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I see you quoted Cardinal Mercier’s prayer. Coincidentally, I included it in a post I wrote about the Holy Spirit that I will be publishing during the week before Pentecost. 🙂 I’ve said that prayer for years and I believe it’s very powerful.

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  4. Me again. Just wanted to add my two cents to Kitsy’s comment: “Mike, do you ever feel like the only people hearing you preach is the choir?” I was thinking about this very thing for the last couple of days. I wondered if when we post things, it is only being seen by other spiritual bloggers. Mike, you’re right, this shouldn’t matter — if we feel called to write, we should write. We have to trust that if God wants to use our writing (or any of our gifts) to reach the people He wants to reach, He will put the right person in the right place at the right time for this to happen.

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