Of all the nerve

I CANNOT Do Anything.

As humans, we don’t like certain things; negativity and limitations rank high on the list. What I’m about to say may come across as negative and/or limiting but that is not my intent but I offer no apologies.

During a conversation with my dad I had a thought, voiced it and it stayed with me. Later that night, I couldn’t sleep because this thought was still on my mind sooo, I googled it and found some interesting information. I took this information and had another conversation with my dad and gave my thoughts on it and he his and oddly enough, he said he’d never looked at it that way.

Philippians 4:13, I’m sure everyone knows it but have you ever really thought about what it means? Chris DeRoco of Christianity.com has thought about it and he gives a nice explanation that is exactly what I was thinking. Again, I’m no theologian scholar, I’m just a sinner trying to make it in this world but Mr. DeRoco advises that what Paul meant is (and I’m paraphrasing) that when things are going well, we remain faithful to Christ and when things aren’t going well, we remain faithful to Christ. As I interpreted, the remaining faithful in all situations is where and when you receive strength from Christ.

Now, since I never REALLY understood it, I was mindful of its use. I have a running shirt with the scripture on it but honestly, I bought it because it gives me high visibility at night but I notice people use it a lot and for various reasons and that’s when it all came together for me. I saw a post from someone who was gearing up for her first race and she wrote of her anxiety and then followed it up with “I can do all things…” Now, as Mr. DeRoco points out and I whole heartedly agree, the scripture is not implying that whatever we want to accomplish, whatever we put our minds to we CAN DO because of Christ and we will be successful because I CAN DO. If that were the case, with all the praying saints around the world, wouldn’t we be in much better shape than we are now? I mean after all, it says, I can do ALL things, so ALL means just that, doesn’t it? Yes, there’s nothing too hard or impossible for G-d but there are things too hard and impossible for man (that’s another scripture) but as it pertains to this particular one; I (you nor me) CANNOT do all things. I mean, I can because I have the will, maybe some knowledge and strength but even those have limitations and when you have limitations, you cannot do all things. Yeah, yeah, we all know G-d is limitless but we’re not talking about him, we’re talking about ourselves and humans have limits, do we not?

By no means as I saying I’m correct (although I probably am 🙂 ) but it does and should give you pause. Take the sport of Triathlon. Doing 3 different disciplines back to back to back requires a great deal of training (knowledge and strength) and will. Depending on the distance, you need more strength (mental and physical) than others. So, if just 10 athletes (out of all the hundreds) doing a 140.6 distance subscribe to Philippians 4:13 and for whatever reason 5 DNF, what happened to the strength they received from Christ? I don’t know about you but it would make me stop and wonder, as it did.

Honestly, I do believe that I can do all things and it is because of Christ. I can do all things because I have knowledge, wisdom, courage, understanding and faith and even a lil bit of physical strength and it was all given to me by G-d, through Christ, so I guess I was wrong, huh. I’m not too familiar with the sensation.

Day 11 – How can we fully enter Adent?

In his notes, Fr. Robert Barron notes that “Vatican II called for a revival in biblical studies, but I don’t think that’s happened yet, at least among average Catholics.” I believe this to be true, not only of Catholics but of many denominations simply because most people don’t know how to study the bible and those who do, don’t know how to teach it.

I participated in RCIA last year and I was amazed how some people who call themselves Christians really have no solid knowledge of Christ. I’m not judging because I’m no theologian scholar but I know what I know and IMHO every Christian should know or have some idea of the very basics. The director of the RCIA class even noted that people who convert to Catholicism are better Catholics than “cradle” Catholics and the “cradle” Catholics in the class were in 100% agreement. They spoke about the information presented in the class are things they never learned about; at home or at church. Turns out, they too learned under the “it’s always been this way” thumb of religious learning.

It is quite difficult to re-acquaint yourself with someone or something when you really may not have an idea of who or what it is you are trying to acquaint yourself with. Since Advent is the season of waiting, why not spend that time acquainting yourself with the reason for the wait. Once you understand that, then join the rest of us in the daily process of re-acquaintance. Christianity; The Original – Who’s on First.

Day 10 – The Highest Mountain

In his reflection, Fr. Robert Barron notes “ For when we give glory to G-d in the highest, we rightly order all our desires: we love G-d first and then all other things for the sake of G-d.” Since this is Christmas time, this is the only time when TV airs A Christmas Carol, I’m talking the original BW movie or even the one with G.C. Scott.

The scene that comes to mind in reference to Fr. Barron’s note is the scene where the Cratchit family is gathered round the table and about to make a toast when Bob proposes a toast to the founder of their feast, Mr. Scrooge. There is bemoaning and disgusted outcry at this request but it is Mrs. Cratchit who, in a round about way, gives glory to G-d in the highest. She says, “I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s”. Now I know, we’re supposed to “love thy neighbor” and in a twisted way, that is what she is doing. She’s “loving” Mr. Scrooge, not for his sake but for the sake of her husband and the Day’s and the day is Christmas, so, there you have it. Giving glory to G-d in the highest, at least that’s how I see it. Often we do this without realizing it. What you do or give someone may not be for their benefit or on their behalf but you may do it out of love – or a great deal of like – for someone else who is connected to that person.

Everything has a source, does it not? The food that was prepared, was bought from a store, paid for with money, money earned for work performed, money paid by employer, money obtained by employer through (insert means), (insert means) provided by (insert source) and it goes on and on. Whatever you have, whatever you have received, whatever you give away came from somewhere; it has a source. It’s no coincidence that the old dowsing rods were often Y shaped. You have to be open to be able to receive.

Why, why why

Can’t we get it right

Just can’t get it right…MJB

Day 8 – A New Beginning

“A new creation, some new and unheard of order is emerging out of chaos.” Fr. Robert Barron

In his daily reflection, Fr. Robert Barron notes that “opening lines matter, especially when dealing with a great writer.” THAT is such a true statement. First words matter. I won’t say they can make or break you but they can certainly cause you equal amounts of joy and pain. As a great writer, IMHO, it’s important for me to peak your interest right from the start, hence my use of weirdly unassociated titles/headings at times. It’s all relative but in my own way. People often talk about new beginnings but I doubt if we really give much thought as to what it really means. If we did, we’d need less therapy to help deal with/get over the past.

At night, when we retire to bed, this, I believe, is the start of our new beginning. Our bodies and mind, hopefully are at rest and thus in the process of rejuvenating themselves to prepare us for a new creation (day) because regardless to what we see and think, this day is unlike any other. There are those who say the bible is just a story and that I don’t argue, for it is the best storybook ever written, IMHO, but is it really just a story? If it is, the writer(s) definitely is The GOAT because from Apostolic to Atheist, it seems everyone has read the story or some parts thereof and in that, the writer(s) achieved their goal. They got you to turn the page. Sucker!!!

Advent Day 7 Love Both Gentle and Fierce

“There is no contradiction between God’s gentleness and God’s fierceness: they are both expressions of his love.” Fr. Robert Barron

In a Rom/Com featuring Meg Ryan, her character (I can’t remember which) quipped “Change is just something you have to get used to that you weren’t expecting” or something to that effect. It stayed with me because when you strip away all the unnecessary, isn’t that all change is? Change, is really a troublemaker. What is a troublemaker you ask, well, it depends on how you look at it. Of course we have “formal” definitions for everything but MW doesn’t recognize troublemaker as a legitimate word, hmmm. Google results give dictionary.com definition as – a person who causes difficulties, distress, worry, etc., for others, especially one who does so habitually as a matter of malice.

Let’s take that run with it shall we. EVERY BODY. EVE-ER-RY BO-DY is a troublemaker at some point and time in their life, errbody!! People at work who do (insert action), people at home who (insert action), people in public who (insert action), people on the road who (insert action). Want more specifics, ok. This past Thursday I worked out with a new trainer who, caused me difficulties (I hate V-Ups on the ball) distress (trainers are really bad a math/counting) and worry (I had no clue what was coming next) only thing missing was malice and that came from me because I asked for it, so if my application is correct – just as it is, then my trainer is a troublemaker. But the beauty of it is that is how great change comes about and in a weird, twisted way, we are expecting change but it has to look the way we imagine it, if it doesn’t then we want no parts of it.

In his Advent message Fr. Robert Barron likened Jesus as a troublemaker because He came to bring about change and well all know how that ended. But before the end: the foretelling of his coming, his coming/arrival, stay and departure caused a lot of people a great deal of difficulty, distress, worry, etc but there was no malice, only the purest of intentions. He did and does want us to get used to something that we weren’t expecting and in His case, I think it’s a good thing. The person or situation that brings about change is most definitely, IMHO, a troublemaker.

See, the Sanhedrin had it right all along, Jesus was (and still is) a troublemaker and yep, he means to cause harm.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in

What ails you?