If you haven’t noticed it by now, you will. Life just doesn’t turn out like a love movie. And because sin has infected and infested every facet of life, we always face two choices in bad or sad or tragic situations: We can carry our cross, or fling it to the ground and go our own way. We can take the chalice of suffering God has given us, or we can spill the contents on the dirt and mix our own drink. And may God help us to not do something we will terribly regret later.

But what can we do when our trust in God is just not up to some of the desperate challenges we face? What can we do when we believe God has given us too much to bear?

You can read the full text of my message here: thecontemplativecatholicconver

Or you can watch the recorded message here: youtube.com/watch?v=XtfBuZzQFD

Take Five with Jude
Part Thirteen

“Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” (Jude 1:11)

God chose Moses to lead His people from slavery in Egypt. But Korah had a problem with that choice. “You have gone far enough,” Korah accused. “For all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”

In a word, Korah was jealous. Spitting-mad jealous. And his jealousy destroyed him, his wife, and children, and all those of the 250 who followed his rebellion against God’s anointed (Numbers 16:25-33)

You can find the rest of this study, along with lessons one through twelve on my blog: thecontemplativecatholicconver

Kymberly: It is very easy for me to counsel you in this way because I am happily married. But I also have been in a whirlpool of terrible emotional upheavals. That is why I can also tell you that on the other side of the upheaval, in retrospect, you WILL see God's loving hand in all this -- but you will see it ONLY if you trust Him and obey Him. Even if you cannot trust Him (and I know what that is like because I lived a while WITHOUT trusting Him) -- even if you cannot trust Him, then OBEY Him anyway.

Obedience is an act of the will. What do you CHOOSE to do? I will add you to my prayer list that God will strengthen your will to obey -- and yes, also to trust. It is easy to believe when we see. It is much harder -- but more valuable -- to trust when we do not see.

May God hear your heart's cry.

Kymberly: I will not insult your or offend you by telling you everything will be okay, that you will find a loving husband. I do not know that. No one but God can know that. But I will caution you in this way:

You and I always face choices in situations like this: Carry our cross, or throw it down and go our own way on our own terms. We can take the chalice of suffering God has now offered you, or spill the contents on the dirt and mix your own drink.

Please do not do what you will terribly regret later. God would not have sacrificed His son for you if He did not love you with an everlasting love. He only asks you and me and everyone reading this to trust Him in and through this terrible storm that is tossing you about.

Again out of my allotted characters so I will continue in the next post:

I thought to write again about the eventual return to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not like you’ve not heard of this before. But as Martin Luther once remarked, “We need to hear the gospel every day because we forget it every day.”

The first time Messiah Jesus came to us, He came as a Lamb – John the Baptist called Him the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But this time when He comes to earth, He is not coming as a lamb. He is coming as a Lion – the Lion of Judah.

His return might be imminent. I believe SO imminent that we could hear that trumpet before I finish this message. But even if He does not return for another 100 years – everyone on this planet will meet Him one day when our souls stand before Him at the judgment seat of Christ.

That ought to be a fearful thought for everyone who does not follow in obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

You can find the rest of my message on my blog here: thecontemplativecatholicconver

If you read about Uzzah’s death only in 2 Samuel you’ll miss a critically important piece of supplemental information.

In the sixth chapter David and “all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord.” They placed the ark of God on an ox cart to bring it to Jerusalem. But as they drew near the city the oxen stumbled and knocked the ark off balance. Uzzah the priest reached out to keep it from falling. But “the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him . . . and he died.”

If that’s all we know, then we should have some questions, not the least of which would be: Why did God kill His priest for trying to protect the ark?

You can read the rest of this essay on my blog: thecontemplativecatholicconver

I may have posted this a few months ago, but here it is again in case you missed it. Here are the free links to the tv series, The Chosen. They are refreshing episodes of Jesus and His ministry. You may have to advance your scroll to the following times to avoid the introductory remarks by the producer -- although those remarks are interesting. I tried to get these times right, though.

The Chosen Episodes

youtube.com/watch?v=craeyJdrCs episode one

youtube.com/watch?v=zEc2zgJtp- episode two Movie starts at 12:05

youtube.com/watch?v=0xMfU-YY3E Episode three Movies starts at 12:05

youtube.com/watch?v=Y-YFzEI8Gt episode four Movie starts at 3:00

youtube.com/watch?v=GcvcDDrW0s episode five Movie starts at 4:00

youtube.com/watch?v=pGvWrSwIES Episode six Movie starts at 8:00

youtube.com/watch?v=K09a7l48VD episode seven Movie starts at 9:10

youtube.com/watch?v=8lk4yq1f6D Episode eight (finale)

If you have not yet heard of the series about Jesus called, The Chosen -- here is a link to the first program (first of eight). These are all FREE on YouTube. Nancy and I love this series and eagerly awaiting the second season. Each episode brings a freshness to the gospels.

Throughout my nursing career I trained RNs at the bedside and in the classroom in both the art and the science of nursing.

One important detail I drilled into their minds had to do with making a proper “Room Assessment” at the same time they do their patient assessment. It is not enough, when the nurse comes on shift, to simply assess the patient – vital signs, level of consciousness, wounds, and so forth. They needed to ALSO assess the availability of the emergency equipment, such as the suction canister and tubing that must be at the bedside.

I repeatedly told them – based on my own experiences – “The time to learn you need suction equipment for a choking patient is NOT when you actually need suction equipment.”

That principle is valid in other areas of life. Read the rest of this essay on my blog: thecontemplativecatholicconver

Unworthy, or worthless – how does God think of us? And just as important, how do WE think God views us? Those are significant questions, because our answers unerringly inform our relationship with Him.

I use those words as defined in any modern dictionary. Worthless means to be of no use, of no importance, of no value, whereas unworthy means to not be deserving of something good.

It is clear throughout the Biblical text that we are all unworthy to receive from God what He gives us by His wonderful grace. We do not deserve an iota of His grace and love and forgiveness.

BUT – we are not WORTHLESS. We are not valueless to God. We are in no way unimportant to our Creator. Jesus didn’t die for the worthless, the valueless, the unimportant. That wouldn’t make sense on any level for God to send His Son to die for worthless beings.

You can read the rest of this message on my blog: thecontemplativecatholicconver
Or you can watch my recorded YouTube message: youtube.com/watch?v=o5FKRuKREu

Stressors all around us notwithstanding, when I step back and unemotionally consider what is happening in our country, I think it fascinating to watch God’s plan unfolding right in front of our eyes.

I told my Bible study group today – and I am firmly convinced of it – that we are actually living in the days -- the last hours -- before the Lord’s second advent.

It's exciting – but not a little fear-provoking. This is a time we should be consistently praying for each other – for Perseverance in walking closely with Him, and BOLDNESS to stand for Him in the face of Satan itself (I purposely neutered the pronoun).

There's not enough room here to quote Revelation 12:10-12 for context, but here is verse 11: "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death."

This pithy quote by Oscar Wilde bursts with truth. Think it through:

“It is what you read when you don't have to, that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”

What are you reading?

This attached essay is long, but very informative:

My take? It will only be the mercy of God that we do not race unimpeded down that road, as we are surely headed. We've been praying for another 'speed bump' in November to slow it down (I don't think it can be stopped -- America turned a moral corner some time ago with our continual murder of babies in the womb and the arrogantly boastful sexual immoralities paraded even in the Supreme Court).

But if God is at the limits of His patience with America, and He is finally giving us over to our sins (See Romans 1) -- then surely the Lord has something for His TRUE church -- aka the Body of Christ -- to do during this time.

True Christians have always run the risk of persecution because the devil's children hate truth, they hate the Cross, and they hate those who adhere to truth.

The Advocate

In one fell swoop Job lost his ten beloved children, his fortune, and then his health. Making matters much worse, his so-called ‘friends’ relentlessly accused him of all manner of sins – for which God was making him suffer so badly.

And what does the devil say to you, especially when you are chronically sick, or desperately lonely, or in unrelenting pain? As Job’s feckless counselors accused Job, does the devil or his servants tell you you’re suffering for your sins? That God has forsaken you?

You can find the rest of my message here: thecontemplativecatholicconver

You can watch the recorded message here: youtube.com/watch?v=OHCsaSZApu

In our preceding study, Jude referred to fallen angels and Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God’s LIMITED patience, and His inevitable judgment on those who persist in sin. Jude now turns our attention to three examples – one might call them prototypes of common sins – Cain, Balaam, and Korah.

"Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever." (Jude, verses 11-13)

This is part eleven of our journey through Jude. You can find the entire study to this point on my blog at:



I was received into the Catholic Church in 2005 after 33 years as an Evangelical Protestant. Perhaps the reason so many Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence is because we are generally not taught it from the pulpit. I have never, in my 15 years as a Catholic, heard a homily taking the congregation through the Biblical reasons to believe in the Real Presence. I don't think simply using circular reasoning such as "Catholics believe in the Real Presence because that's what Catholics believe and the Church teaches" is sufficient. Clearly, according to the latest statistics -- it is not sufficient.

Pastors, TEACH us why it is true.

This is part ten of our journey through Jude. (Include very disturbing pornography factoids)

You can find the entire study to this point on my blog at: thecontemplativecatholicconver

"Yet these men are defiling their bodies by their filthy fantasies in just the same way; they show utter contempt for authority and make a jest of the heavenly glories. But I would remind you that even the archangel Michael when he was contending with the devil in the dispute over the body of Moses did not dare to condemn him with mockery. He simply said, the Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 1:8-9, JB Phillips)

While the Greek word for ‘dreams’ in verse eight means ‘dreams’ as is normally understood, many translators understand Jude’s use of the Greek word to be a metaphor for being ‘beguiled with sensual images.” That’s probably why JB Phillips translated the word as ‘filthy fantasies.” The KJV translators rendered it, ‘filthy dreamers.’

You can find the rest of the study on my blog at: thecontemplativecatholicconver

Sunday Sermon for June 5
The ‘If’ Depends on Us

My text today is from a relatively well-known parable about the sower who sows the seed which lands in different kinds of soils.

You can find the edited text on my blog thecontemplativecatholicconver

You can view the entire message at this YouTube link:

Take Five
Jude 1:5-7
Part Nine

We come back to the same text we examined in the last study, verses five through seven. We do so because although written to the first century readers, this section carries an important warning to the 21st century church as well.

You can find the entire study to this point on my blog at: thecontemplativecatholicconver

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