Archive for November, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Come and See

St Andrew the Apostle Pray for Us

He was a  disciple of John the Baptist, a fisherman from Bethsaida in Gallilee.  Andrew heard John’s words about Jesus and was one of the first to follow Him. Then he recruited his brother Simon …whom Jesus of course renamed Peter.

“Dearest brethren, you have heard that at a single command Peter and Andrew, leaving their nets, followed the Redeemer. Up to that time they had not seen Him perform any miracles . They had heard nothing from Him concerning a reward of eternal joy, and still, at a single bidding of our Lord, they forgot about that which they seemed to possess. What great miracles have we seen, with how many scourges are we afflicted, by what great anxieties of threatening things are we disheartened, and yet we scorn him who calls us to follow? “

St Gregory the Great                     

At a single bidding they leave everything to follow Christ. What an invitation to stir us from apathy.


posted by Caroline  |   2:57 AM  |   0 comments
Monday, November 29, 2010

Christians in North Korea


“God knows how it feels, to cry like a baby and die like a criminal ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Maryknoll   Magazine

I can’t help it. This time of year while people are at the mall, pursuing the Christmas bargain of the century, I wonder about those around the world who may not live to see tomorrow’s sunrise simply because they love Jesus…..the baby, who shows us the face of God and came to save sinners.

This year our brothers and sisters in North Korea come to mind.

“The North Korean communists tried to build a substitute for God for more than half a century–complete with a father, Kim Il-Sung; a son, Kim Jong-Il; and a Juche flame tower (holy spirit). The father is dead, the “son” is dying and Juche is a corrupt ideology. ”

Voice of the Martyrs

“The North Korean government has no tolerance for Christians — when one is discovered to be a Christian, they are simply executed.  The article said that the life expectancy of a Christian in North Korea is three months.  I’m assuming that three months is from the time they see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe, until their new-found faith is discovered and they are dealt with.”

Countries like North Korea are totally closed and sealed from the outside world. Yet, there, in secret Bible studies our brothers and sisters in North Korea read the Bible by flashlight while elsewhere a mother prays in the attic so her children will not accidentally report her to their teachers; many are forced to hide pages of the Bible inside hollow walls or under floors. Christians there say, it’s better to know the meaning of life and the satisfaction of their hunger for God even though their lives are so short. Missionaries tell of North Korean Christian converts in China who returned to North Korea to evangelize and were never heard from again.

Thank God for Christian organizations who are committed to the suffering church around the world.

Thank God we here in America don’t have to hide pages of the Bible in walls, or pray hiding in attics …or flee our churches in fear of government retaliation……yet.

But, we who are free have a duty to support those who courageously name the name of Jesus in the face of persecution and death.

Enjoy fighting the crowds at the mall and blessing your family and friends with the fruits of your efforts. That’s a beautiful illustration of charitable love.

Just don’t forget about our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who, on Christmas morning, may secretly pull a page of the gospel out of the hollow of a wall …

To read by flashlight.


posted by Caroline  |   2:18 AM  |   0 comments
Friday, November 26, 2010

Time Is Short-Get in the Ark

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:37-44

God’s command is peace.  But all our present age seems to do is advance determinedly onward toward darkness and night.

Thomas Merton said,

“Man is not at peace with his fellowman, because he’s not at peace with himself. And he’s not at peace with himself because he’s not at peace with God.”

Jesus knows our human weakness– our tendency to prefer to live on in illusion , out of touch with what’s really going on. That mindset often causes us to suffer tragic consequences.  In Matt 24:38-39, Jesus is warning His disciples that the Day of the Lord is coming, but it will be when they least expect it just as it was with the flood of Noah.

“They didn’t know until the flood came and carried them away. So it will be also at the coming of the Son of Man. “

I’ll tell you exactly when I realized how far we’ve turned from God as a culture . It was two years ago, when I was mentoring teens at the local high school.  We were enjoying a lively exchange when the principle announced the school was going on lock down. We all knew the drill. It would be my third time and more for the children. For them it was almost routine.

We were under the library tables together, blinds closed, doors locked, no one allowed to speak.

Total silence.

It was one of the longest hours of my life.  But, it wasn’t for me I grieved. It was for the children.

Afterwards, one of them approached me, his pale face revealed a young man awash in pain and anxiety. He mirrored the neglect of a society which refuses to deal with reality.

“Mrs. C”, he asked, “”Do you think I should even TRY to go to college ? I mean, like I’m probably not gonna live to see graduation.”

This is the reality:  Christ is King and He is coming again.  No amount of huffing and puffing from the world’s blog-roll of critics will change that fact any more than the people of Noah’s day could argue that he was crazy to believe a flood was coming.

However, the Lord never leaves us to just hear the warning about our illusions. There’s no hope in that. Only more despair . No. He is the Light that rises out of the darkness.

And His light continues to shine in His church….the New Jerusalem promised by Isaiah.

Time is short …get into the ark…

Oh Come,  Oh Come,  Emmanuel.


posted by Caroline  |   9:02 PM  |   0 comments
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alms of Forgiveness

There are many kinds of alms……..

The giving of which helps us obtain pardon for our sins;

but none is greater than that by which we forgive from the heart

a sin that someone has committed against us.

St. Augustine of Hippo


posted by Caroline  |   8:01 PM  |   0 comments