Tag Archives: God#

The Top Ten Reasons to Believe in God

There are a lot of publications and articles about personal power and how each of us, as an individual, is part of the universe.  As part of the universe, they say one may  attain “Universal Truth” and the attainment of the highest individual human potential.  This say this can come from a combination of cosmology, astrology, esotericism, alternative medicine, music, collectivism, sustainability, and nature.  This spirituality is characterized by an individual approach to spiritual practices and philosophies, while rejecting religious doctrine and dogma.

I’ve never seen a guidebook or blueprint of how you combine these universal attainments to pursue happiness or fulfillment.   It is true that, as individuals, we can attain a self-actualization of our talents, as described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.   But is this the Universal Truth?   We can combine all of the ‘ologies’ above, but is this the Universal Truth?   Isn’t there a broad interpretation of Universal Truth and different ways for different folks to embrace it?   Or define?   Or live it?   Who created the universe?

God has made it very simple for us in terms of Universal Truth.   In His wisdom and guidance, He has provided a Guidebook and Blueprint for us to find and embrace the Way, the Truth and the Light — God’s Universal Truth.

God, through inspired men, and the Holy Spirit, and in His mercy and wisdom, has made it possible for us to learn about Him.   God has passed onto us, his instructions for life and happiness, His laws and His commandments. The universe, which God Himself created, stands silent.  Silent.  What is beyond the universe?   God is.  Our Father blessed us with the Bible, His communication with us.  His Word.   Many people try to undermine it or interpret it differently, or add things to it, or condemn it.   If these same people  studied the Bible, they would see that it is a masterpiece that fits together unquestionably.   All they have to do:  is read it.   The universe is barren, cold, and limited.   God is all encompassing, warm in His Love for us, and unlimited.   The universe cannot promise what God promises us.

The Top Ten Reasons To Believe in God:

10. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

9. “The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too.” Isaiah 58:11

8. “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalm 100:5

7. “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace”.Psalm 29:11

6. “For nothing is impossible with God“. Luke 1:37

5. “Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.” Psalm 55:22

4. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears  us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

3. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

2. “But remember, that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” 1 Corinthians 13

And the top reason to believe in God is because, He promises…..

1. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Jeremiah 29:11

Marie Coppola  December  2015

Are Your Prayers Answered?

 

“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full” John 16:24

Have you prayed and not had your prayers answered?   If your feel your prayers aren’t being answered the way you want, God may have another Plan for you. His Will may have different directions for your life. God’s delays are not God’s denials.

I’ve heard people say that God doesn’t answer their prayers. I’ve heard some, but fewer people talk about the prayers that God DID answer for them. God listens to ALL prayers; and all are answered, but sometimes not in the way we’ve asked for them.

Here’s How Americans Pray:

U.S. News and the Internet site Beliefnet funded a poll to learn more about why, how, where and when people pray. Here is a summary of the findings:

· 75% percent were Christian.
· 64% say they pray more than once a day.
· 56% say they most often pray for family members, with 3.3% saying that they pray for strangers.
· A little over 38% say that the most important purpose of prayer is intimacy with God.
· 41% say that their prayers are answered often.
· 1.5% say that their prayers are never answered.
· Over 73% say when their prayers are not answered, the most important reason is because they did not fit God’s plan.
· 5% say that they pray most often in a house of worship.
· 79% say that they pray most often at home.
· 67% say that in the past six months, their prayers have related to continually giving thanks to God.

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows that prayer is a common religious practice in America, with nearly six-in-ten adults in the U.S. saying they pray at least once a day.

Americans still pray a lot. Ninety percent say they have a spiritual conversation with God daily, according to a recent study released by Brandeis University. Forty-five percent pray several times a day. The experience is very personal, with eight out of 10 beginning their prayers with a familiar greeting, like “Dear Lord” or “Hello Jesus.

I say little prayers all during the day. Sometimes, I say ‘God, I hope I shut the coffee off’, or ‘God, please let me pass this test’. These ARE little prayers. And the majority of them are answered. And then there are the big prayers, ‘God, please make things right between me and my brother; or ‘Please, God, help me with this floating anxiety’; or ‘God, please let someone be there to pick up the phone’ in an emergency. And the major prayers, ‘God, please let him get well; or ‘God, let my test results come out OK’; or ‘God, please don’t let her die’.

They are all prayers and they will all be answered, but some not in ways we want them to be. God knows what we want before we even pray for it. And sometimes he answers them the way we want……and sometimes they seem to go unanswered or denied. But, they aren’t.

He hears us and His Will be done. God has a plan for all of us. And sometimes the things we pray for are not part of the plan He has for each of us. If our prayers aren’t answered the way we want them to be, it’s not because we are being punished or God is teaching us a lesson or He’s not listening. He may have an entirely different outcome planned.  Some of my greatest joys in life have resulted from unanswered prayers. And some of my greatest emotional growth spurts have resulted from unanswered prayers. And some of my greatest memories and happiness are from God’s answered prayers.

If you think about all the things we take for granted every day, and believe that ‘All Good Things Come From God’, you will find that your life has so many answered prayers every day that go unnoticed. Until you really think about them. Be patient; God has plans for all us. If it seems He is not answering your fervent prayer, He probably has another Plan in mind for you.   Father really knows best.

Marie Coppola © Revised 2017 Ref: National Day of Prayer

 

Do you Have …. or Have you Not?


 

When I graduated from college, someone asked me what was the greatest thing  I learned?   In truth, the greatest thing I learned was how little I knew about all there was  to know.

Faith works like that, too.   The more I learn about God, the more I feel  there’s so much more to learn and know about Him.

If you live in a country like the USA, as I do, the average person has a home, a car, clothes, and time to travel and to entertain.  If the average American wants something special for breakfast, he can go to a restaurant or a food store and buy it.   To people who live in poor countries, they might not have any of these things ~ they may not even know what or when they are going to eat from one day to the next.

How blessed we are.  Do you ever wonder, like I do, why I live here in comfortable conditions, when others live in poverty?

We know God through His Word, the Bible and His Reasoning.  Our Life Plans for us aren’t written in contract form. He does give us many mandates, commandments, parables, and teachings from His Son, Jesus, to give us a pattern and way of living. It doesn’t say anything in the Bible about having the biggest house or the best furniture or making the most money. He does tell us how to have traditional relationships in marriage and love; he tells us how to raise our children, and what makes us happy in life and what is good and what is not good for us. He is our Father.

He sent His Son, Jesus, so we would know what The Father is like so we can communicate with Him.

I ask why has God blessed me so?   I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations, but my faith in God has always sustained me.   He has given me an abundant life – why does He do that?   He loves everybody and we’re all equal in his eyes….why are some in unfortunate situations and others always griping they want more?   And why do some who have plenty want more and more?

What about you?   Do you live an abundant llife?   Do you always want that new car, latest technology, or fashion design?   Do you feel blessed?   Or are you OK with what you want and have but need something else to make you happy and fulfilled?

Perhaps a quiet time with Our Lord seeking his Will and Plans for you would put your life in a different perspective.   The more you get out of your time with Him , the more you will seek it and understand it.

© Marie Coppola June 2014

 

wordpress counter

Try Singing – It’s Good for Your Health & Soul


 

Many of us like to sing. Some of us sing well, and …. well, some of us sing like Lucy Riccardo on I Love Lucy. That’s me. Some of us hum and sing when we are nervous; my brother does that.  Humming actually helps relax you as you breathe differently when you sing. And some of us only sing in the shower where the acoustics help us out.

It’s a fact that singing is good for you.  It has a positive effect in that it reduces stress levels which helps our well-being.”It can also be considered a good work-out, even if sitting because it is an aerobic activity that brings oxygen into the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body. It’s also psychologically beneficial as singing together in a chorus or group promotes a sense of community, sharing and belonging to a common cause.” Ref: Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London

“Regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. Not only can it increase lung capacity, it improves posture, clears respiratory tubes and sinuses, and can increase mental alertness through greater oxygenation. It even tones the muscles of your stomach and back, that is if you’re singing correctly.” Ref: guardian.co.uk

So, singing even helps you live longer, enhances your mental state and even helps keep wrinkles off your face. A study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins upon singing/choral participation.

Ahhh, then there are the songbirds we all know, who sing well, and what a delight they are to hear.   What does singing have to do with ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord?’ Psalm 100 says…” Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.”

Does God like us to sing to Him? What does the Bible say?

Singing is also a delight to our Lord, who mentions throughout His Book about singing praises and thanks to Him. He doesn’t care about acoustics or if we sound like Lucy; He takes pleasure in our devotion of singing. Zephaniah :17 tells us – “…He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

We have grace in our hearts when we sing to the Lord. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col. 3:16).”

When we sing to God, we sing with our spirit and mind. ” What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also.” 1 Cor 14:15

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:19)

“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to God all the earth.” Psalm 96

Lift up your heart to the Lord by singing songs in gratitude and praise. It will improve your life and your health and delight the Lord.

Here is a pleasant, relaxing example of praise to the Lord by Laurie Klein – Maranatha – who sings “I Love You, Lord”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5DnUvrxpeM 

SING ALONG – IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! AND IT MAY MAKE GOD SMILE…….

Marie Coppola  February 2014

 

How to Find Time to Pray


Friends tell me they don’t have time to pray. It’s a busy life, working, spending time with family, going to school, social activities, etc. Besides, they tell me they don’t ‘know’ prayers; they feel disconnected. When you do offer up prayers, you are connecting with God. The more you send up even little prayers, you are opening yourself up to Him; the little prayers will turn into personal prayers and you will soon be having dialogues with Our Lord – and you will both enjoy it.

You don’t have to pray in “thou shalt not” or “thee are”; you pray in plain old English or whatever language you speak in. You can pray in the shower; start by thanking God for that great hot water – if you’ve ever had your water shut off for a couple of days, you will be even more grateful.

Gratefulness makes prayers special. You can pray while stuck in traffic; Maybe God is keeping you from an accident a couple of miles up the road. Look around and find a person nearby to pray for – there will be one there fidgeting with two hands clenched on the wheel, with a red, annoyed face. Pray for them; they need it. Nothing formal; just talk to God — “Lord, please keep that guy there from having a heart attack; give him peace”. Now, that wasn’t hard, was it?

        

Pray while waiting in the doctor’s office – you can spend lots of time waiting your turn. It’s better to pray for someone in the room with you (I’ll bet there will be someone with a more serious reason than why you are there) — don’t read that old Newsweek from 2006 – pray for someone instead. It may help heal him or her.

 

Pray while waiting in line at the grocery store. Stop counting the items of the person in front of you to see if they are ‘legal’ for the speedy register and forget about the Enquirer tempting you to pick it up and read it. Look around – especially for older, widowed ladies – you’ll know them – they are alone and don’t smile much. Smile at them and then pray for them. It will lift them up and you, too.

God tells us to give special attention to widows and orphans. Just a “Bless them Lord, and give them hope.” Yes, that is a prayer.

Pray for the kids you see; they’ll have cell phones hanging out their ears and text away like mad; say a pray for their happiness and that they find love and relationships other than through technology. Yes, they dress funny and their underwear is showing, but they are children of God, too. Pray they find their own unique personalities and not need to be just like their peers.

Please pray for your family – they are closest and dearest to your heart – they each have issues in their lives – pray for them – you’ll feel like you’ve helped them. You can say to our Lord, “Please watch over my family and keep them in good health and free from harm”. Short prayer. But God hears it.

 

And pray for yourself. Ask God to guide you in your life; help you with that presentation that you really don’t want to do; or soften your heart to call your partner who you really yelled at this morning more than you meant to. Become aware that you can contribute to the well-being of so many others. You can open up your heart to Him and He can become your Best Friend. Just by a simple prayer. I’ve just prayed that you will be open to this idea….. can you feel it?

© Marie Coppola June 2013

The Three Persons in the Happiest Marriages


I truly love weddings. There’s something about wedding ceremonies that invoke emotions of love and commitment to celebrate the joining of two people into a new life path. Sometimes the couple express their feelings towards each other, in a spiritual or scriptural setting. The blessing asks for happiness, joy, commitment, sharing, and always love.

It is sad that many marriages break up – between 40% and 45% of them. But, what about that beautiful wedding and all the emotions that got stirred up? Where is that couple who vowed to love each other forever, forsaking all others? Where and why did 40 to 45% of them falter?

They may have forgotten something. They may have left Someone out.

The traditional wedding ceremony usually involves a religious setting, asking God to bless the union, free it of jealousy, anger, infidelity and selfishness. Church weddings include God in the service and He is a part of the day’s happiness and union. A large part. One in which the entire family partakes.

It has more chance to succeed if they remember to include God in their relationship from the very beginning. We did just that. And we have been blessed with a happy, loving marriage.

Having God in your marriage is like being part of a tripod. It won’t stand on just 2 feet. It needs the 3rd foot for balance. It is an essential accessory for holding a marriage steady at slow-moving speeds or when we plan long, hoped-for ranges. A God-tripod is the best way to prevent a problem marriage. Otherwise, it may cause out-of-focus problems or topple over and have to be discarded.  With God in the tripod loop, it is certain to photo many happy, shared memories.

We attend and work at church activities together. Doing so keeps us aware of keeping God in our marriage. Scripture heard at mass reminds us to: Accept one another; Care for one another; Carry each other’s burdens; Forgive one another; Encourage, build up one another; Spur one another on to love and good deeds, Confess your sins to one another; and Pray for one another.

Pray together. It is difficult – almost impossible – to feel anger or not forgive someone when you pray with him or her. We work at not ‘holding on’ to any anger overnight – it will still have embers that may flare up in the morning. “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Taken all together, these Scriptures are a blueprint for a happy marriage. Include God in the blueprint, and you will be blessed with a mate who will love you as much as you love him/her.

A happily married couple once told us their secret: You have to feel that both of you are giving 125%. Include God in that percentage and your odds will go way up.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy… husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies…….each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

© Marie Coppola June 2013

 

Have an Attitude of Gratitude


Some might ask: How can I praise the Lord when everything is tumbling down? How can I give thanks in all circumstances? My life is upsidedown.

We all do things in love for people. Whether it’s loving, cooking, shopping, repairing, teaching, listening, sharing, or whatever you give of yourself for another’s good; it’s a gift.

Parents spend many years raising children, instructing them in life’s ways. Besides teaching them the rules of life, parents also share their love by supporting, encouraging, and nurturing. Although they are not seeking pats on the back for things they do, it is always joyful to parents when a child appreciates their efforts and shows gratitude and thanks them.

Wikipedia defines ‘thanks’: “gratitude, appreciation, or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive”.

It is a positive emotion to give or receive thanks. Do you give thanks? I don’t mean the polite, politically correct and etiquette kind of thanks. I mean thanks that come from positive emotions of gratitude. Wikipedia describes ‘gratitude’: a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation; “he was overwhelmed with gratitude for their help”.

It’s hard to give thanks or feel gratitude when the economy is poor; there are wars and rumors of war; heated disagreements over how the government should be run; yours or another’s job loss, foreclosures; and that’s not even counting personal problems caused by these things. It is disheartening that there are mega problems that surround us today. A hopeless feeling might come over some of us. Have you even thought of giving thanks for anything recently?   What are you thankful for?

God talks to us via the Bible and tells us:

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalms 100:4

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent and surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the stringed instruments and organs, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalms 150

Some might ask: How can I praise the Lord when everything is tumbling down? How can I give thanks in all circumstances? My life is upside down.

Again, the Bible speaks to us:

The Lord tells us in Psalm 32:8 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

God wants us to be happy. His Word in Scripture reflects this. He instructs us in His Ways in the Bible and His instructions pave the way to happiness, peace and prosperity. How do we know that God wants us to be happy? He tells us in Proverbs 17:22:

“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

One of the ways you can get happier and over the disillusionment of life’s events is to start praising God and thanking Him. There are uncountable things we can thank him for and show true gratitude for. They can be little things; in fact, it’s the little things that change your heart from downtrodden to a cheerful heart. I thank God for opening my eyes to see every morning and being able to get out of bed. I thank Him for the capability to drive, work, exercise, read, share love with my family and friends and for every meal I partake. These are all gifts and blessings from God. Not everyone has them.   We all have so many blessings we take for granted.

I don’t pray every minute – but I do give thanks a lot. It’s a habit now. For every close call in a car, or every misstep that didn’t end in a fall, or even if I get to the bank just as they are closing the door, but let me in, I give thanks to Him and Praise Him. ‘All good things come from God’. They don’t have have to be lottery wins, or windfalls or extraordinary happenings. The more I praise Him and thank Him, the more cheerful I become. The negative things in my life become less prominent. Two matters cannot occupy the same space. My praises highlight the thankfulness; my thankfulness highlights the good and negates the bad; my gratitude is mind-changing.

Become aware of all the good things in your life. Start praising God for all the good things; give Him genuine gratitude. And you will find that you will achieve a happy heart and a cheerful mind. And when you become uplifted, don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for that, too!!

Marie Coppola June 2013

Do we really understand all that Mary suffered?


 by Ron Quinlan

Today we hear a lot of criticism of Mary and the denial of her role in Redemption. There are novels and movies that portray Mary as the stereotypical Jewish Mother, far from perfect. Many Christians feel that Mary shouldn’t be considered any better than one else especially the Apostles. Peter who denied Jesus and Paul who persecuted the Church are held in higher esteem. I’ve even heard a sermon by a Catholic priest critical of the Miraculous Medal Novena.

If we really understood all of the pain and suffering Mary went through for our sakes we would be sure to honor her. Probably no one but Jesus suffered more for the Church. Mary suffered emotionally for almost the entire life of Jesus.

We might as well start at the beginning. Most of us think it was probably exciting to have the Angel appear with his message. But who would believe such a message? Joseph didn’t. He was going to divorce her quietly. How would you like to be pregnant and not married in a society where you get stoned to death for it?

Only the appearance of an angel in a dream to Joseph and Joseph’s decision to marry Mary saved Mary from that possibility. It didn’t save her from the gossips and backbiting. Think about that! People were speaking negatively about Mary right from the start. All through the life of Jesus there was gossip about her.

We all know about the journey to Bethlehem and the birth in a stable. We can imagine how hard that was. We read in Scripture about the Feast of the Presentation when Simeon held Jesus in his arms and prophesied that a “sword will pierce” Mary’s heart. Simeon confirmed that the prophecies of Isaiah applied to Jesus. He would not be a glorious king like David as many of the contemporary Jews thought but a suffering servant destined to die for our salvation. Would it ever be possible to Mary to forget that her son would suffer so bitterly?

We know about the Flight to Egypt and the deaths of the Holy Innocents. How did that feel? Your son isn’t even two years old and they tried to kill Him. On top of that women you knew had to suffer the murder of their children.

How would it feel later to watch your Son leave to begin His Mission knowing that it would end in the Cross? How would it feel to hear of the attacks of the Pharisees? How would it feel to hear of so many people who rejected Jesus and to see this happen personally in Nazareth?

How did it feel to go to Jerusalem for the Passover, knowing what was coming? How did it feel to hear from John that Jesus had been arrested? How painful must it have been to hear the crowd thunder “Crucify Him”? How painful could it be to see your only Son carrying the Cross after having endured the Scourging and Crowning with thorns, to see the blood running down His face and the stains all over His tunic? How would you feel to see rocks and other projectiles strike your Son, to hear Him cursed, mocked and called illegitimate?

What was it like to watch Him fall and hear people cheer? What was it like to see His hands nailed to a cross and then His feet? What was it like to see His body jolt as the Cross was placed in its hole? What was it like to watch His body convulse in pain? What was it like to see Him unable even to hold His head straight because of the thorns?

As bad as it was to watch all this Mary had to listen to the mocking of the Pharisees and others, to her Son cursed and mocked but also to hear herself abused. Think about it the one way to increase the pain of Jesus would be to abuse His mother in front of Him. Think about how Jesus felt then.

Think about how Jesus must feel now to see His Mother mocked in plays and books, to hear her role denied and degraded, to hear that she was a sinner as Protestants claim. Think about what we are doing as we do such things. We join with those on Calvary who hurt Jesus by mocking her.

Do we really want to do that? It is bad enough that Jesus had to suffer for our sins. But do we have to join those on Calvary mocking His Mother?

Jesus, we thank You that You chose Mary to play a special role in our Salvation and that You choose to continue to have Mary play a part in the Salvation of mankind. We ask You to open our hearts and the hearts of all to the love that You desire for us to have for Your Mother. Amen

ronquinlan | May 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Tags: Bleesed Virgin, Mary | Categories: Mary, Our Lady | URL: http://wp.me/p3b6q6-13

 

A Valentine to You from God ~

By Ron Quinlan, a special guest writer. 

A Valentine to You from God  

My beloved child,

Yes, you are my beloved child. I know this is hard for you to believe. You see all your mistakes and failures, all the times you lost your temper, all the times you’ve hurt people, all the times you stayed away from me. You look at yourself and see your failures.

I look at you and see your beauty. I see the love you’ve given to those you encountered in your life. I see the times you tried to love others, all the times you’ve given of yourself. I see a beautiful person struggling to become the person you were created to be.

There is a beauty and love deep inside of you. Right now you may not see it but someday the whole world will look at you and see this rare beauty, someone very special and unique, a gift to the world, my gift and my beloved child.

So often you’ve been afraid of me. You run and try to hide, hoping that I won’t notice your mistakes. You run, doing everything you can to stay busy, too busy to think, to talk to me. You run but I long for your company. I long to shower you with my love, to pour my blessings upon you. I yearn to comfort and console you, to be there for you in your pain. My desire is to take care of you. My passion is for you to come to me, seeking me, to know and love me.

I want you to know that I know everything you ever done and I love you with a passion so intense that human words can not describe it. Your past is forgiven and forgotten. I remember nothing you confessed. I passionately desire to forgive you everything. All you have to do is repent and confess.

Come to me; come so that I may pour my blessings upon you. There is so much I want to give you. I want to do so much for you. I want you to know my peace. I want to set you free from the guilt that robs your joy; from the fear that plagues you, from the worry and anxiety that is tearing you apart. I want you to know my joy, to know my freedom and love.

Come, now! There is nothing you have to change or do, no improvements you have to make before you come to me. Come as you are. I love you exactly as you are. Just, come!

Marie Coppola  February 14, 2013

Where was God last Friday? A Response to Newtown’s Massacre ~

By Andrew Wommack | December 17, 2012

While many ask, “Where was God last Friday?”                                                          The answer is that He was right there.

Jamie and I have shared the shock and sadness with you over the terrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, where twenty children and six adults were brutally massacred. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their precious children. We can only imagine what they are going through. But I know that the Lord loves them even more than we do, and I’m confident He is moving to comfort their hearts. We mix our prayers with yours that although the Lord didn’t do this, He will bring good out of it.

Such evil is hard to understand and shakes our sense of security. We want to understand how this could happen so we can fix it and move on with our lives without fear.

In the coming days, all kinds of causes for this senseless act will be put forth with corresponding solutions. Much of the talk will center around how we protect ourselves and those we love from tragedy like this. While it’s prudent to adjust to the reality of the world we live in, I don’t think any of us want to surrender our freedoms and live in a rigid police state. And I don’t believe we have to.

As the governor of Connecticut said Friday, “Evil visited us today.” This wasn’t just natural. This was pure evil. It was demonic. Certainly, government is an impediment to evil, and there are things that need to be done. But the only way to truly beat evil is to change the hearts of people with the power of God’s love. God’s kind of love works no ill to his neighbor (Rom. 13:10), therefore the antidote is to inject people’s hearts with God’s love.

I know that many, or even most people, will reject what I’ve just said and say it is impractical. But in reality, this is the only solution that is practical. We can’t build fortresses strong enough to keep evil out. This is not just a physical battle (Eph. 6:12); this is a spiritual war.

And this reveals why there is an increase of these terrible acts. Our society has systematically rejected God by rejecting His standards of morality. Although morality hasn’t been banned in America, immorality has been legalized and promoted. Its prevalence has weakened and in some cases eliminated the fear of God from public life. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…” It’s now “politically incorrect” to hate evil in this country. This moral vacuum allows and encourages demonic activity.

And make no mistake, this kind of act can’t happen without demonic involvement. No human being would kill an innocent child without being controlled by evil. The devil and his demons are real. Anyone who believes the New Testament would have to admit that. This is a spiritual battle, and our best weapons are spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

The ultimate weapon against evil is the power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). This most recent incident is a reflection of the church’s failure to influence our culture as we should.

But as bad as all this is, it could have been worse. While many ask, “Where was God last Friday?” The answer is that He was right there. He was in teachers who made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of the children entrusted to them. He was in a janitor who ran down the halls giving warning and saving lives. He was in the first responders who entered the school cutting short what the shooter wanted to do. He had hundreds of rounds of ammunition left and obviously planned to do much more than he did.

God was in all these people who resisted and ultimately stopped this rampage. The Lord didn’t cause this to happen or allow it to happen. He gave us a free will, and He doesn’t control us like pawns in a chess game. This shooter gave himself over to evil. Others resisted the devil in him and eventually stopped him. It could have been much worse.

It’s easy to see the evil that has already happened, but we will never know until we are in eternity just how much evil was thwarted by all the godly influences. John 10:10 says the thief ONLY comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s after nothing else. There isn’t any good in the devil. If he was unchecked, we’d all be dead.

But there is much good all around us. I can show you hundreds of people scattered all over the world who are giving their lives to confront evil every day. I heard Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott who was murdered in the Columbine School shootings in 1999, talk about how he and those associated with him have spoken to over three million students since that terrible tragedy. They know of three school shootings that have been thwarted and over 500 suicides that have been prevented through their efforts.

I have friends who have left the comfort of America to travel to impoverished nations where they are sacrificing their lives to make a difference. Thousands are being impacted.

One of our Bible college graduates who lost her husband while she was in school continued on, raising six children by herself, and is now supporting twenty-nine children in an orphanage in the Congo. My good friends, Darey and Karen Jolly, have laid their lives down to minister to thousands of children in Nicaragua. The first graduates of their K-12 schools are now entering college. Only the Lord knows what tragedies they stopped and what good will be done through these children who have been loved and shown the true Gospel.

Our Charis Bible Colleges are impacting thousands of lives. We now have more people actively participating in CBC right now than all those who have gone through the colleges over the last eighteen years. The numbers are growing, and I believe this is making a difference.

Our students in Uganda have impacted that nation. I met with the president and first lady of Uganda who have totally embraced what we are doing there. President Museveni recently addressed the nation and publicly repented of his personal sins and the sins of the nation and dedicated the nation of Uganda to the Lord. Praise God!

There are people all around us who are resisting the devil and his influence, but obviously there is much more to be done. We are in a battle. We live in a fallen world and evil is everywhere. But so is God. However, He can only flow through us to the degree that we seek and submit to Him. He doesn’t sovereignly control all things.

I think it’s good that terrible things like this, shock and sadden us. We should always hate evil and grieve with those who grieve. I pray this never becomes so commonplace that we are insensitive to atrocities. But we should not be discouraged to the point of thinking, What can I do? Each one of us is a soldier in this war, and every godly thing we do makes a difference.

I don’t know what toxic mix of things caused this shooter to break and do what he did. There is no single cause that will ever be identified. But we have read that he was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. One in eighty-eight boys are afflicted with this disorder in the U.S.A., and it is said to be incurable. Yet we have seen that condition healed by the power of the Lord. If you believe the medical profession alone, you are in despair. If you believe the power of the Word of God, nothing is incurable. What do you believe?

Finally, I want to once again say that Jamie and I weep with you and the entire world over the slaughter of these innocent children and their heroic teachers. Our prayers are that these families will be comforted by the Holy Spirit in ways beyond our understanding. At this Christmas season, I am reminded that our Lord Himself, as a mere infant, barely escaped such a slaughter of children in Bethlehem. Scripture reminds us that He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and that He is a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He is near to the brokenhearted, and He is their healer.

By Andrew Wommack | December 17, 2012   website:   http://www.awmi.net/

Reprinted by Marie Coppola February 2013