Special Prayer for Bailey Prets

A Humble Heart

1 “My heart is not proud, Lordmy eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. 3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” ~ Psalm 131:1-3


I write to you today my brothers and sister on behalf of a dear friend who I love with all my heart and soul who contacted me some time ago.  She wanted me to compose this special prayer for a family member and loyal friend that happens to have four legs.  So, today I ask everyone to pray for Bailey Prets, a Dachshund that for many long years has been the inspiration and focal-point of my friend’s love who has requested to remain anonymous and the apple of her eye.  Bailey has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and as of yet we do not know what can be done.  So, with this news, I am greatly saddened and hope there is a cure for Mr. Bailey Prets.

Let Us Pray

Dear Lord in Heaven hear our hearts as we reach out to you with our mortal concerns, with hearts that are not proud nor are they longing for the greater things in this life. No, Lord we reach out to you in prayer with calm concerns that are like a weaned child from our mothers; for we are almost content.

Dear Lord our savior who loved us with all your heart, who through that love defeated death, and who has redeemed us with love and divine mercy. It is to you Oh Lord that we pray for the inspiring love to be sent to our loyal four-legged friend Bailey Prets, for we ask for you to set your hand upon his head to heal him and give him consolation within your spirit as you heal him of his ailments.

Dear Lord hear the many who pray to deliver Bailey into your loving arms as you set his soul at ease and give him everlasting life, but not before his time here is done. Lord, it is to you we pray with the deepest of concerns and love for Bailey that we ask these things for we put our hope in you Lord, Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’s name … AMEN!


9 “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'”~Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

My brothers and sisters if you pray these words for Mr. Bailey Prets I believe God will heal him, I believe God will give Bailey a new leash on life. I urge you my brothers and sisters to join me in prayer this next week May 1- May 7, 2016 at least once per day for our loyal four-legged friend who desperately needs your prayers.


Ye of Two Minds!

Power of the Tongue

 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly,” ~ James 3:1 (NABRE)


The Lord see’s our sins, see’s our reproaches, he knows your heart!  We as teachers in both common education and of the education of the Lord have a sacred responsibility that influences those whom we teach in a stricter manner.   Therefore, temptations to mislead are among us in every manner hiding around every corner.  It takes a strong character indeed to repress the desire to put your own thoughts above those found in the Bible which have been written to guide our behaviors of a moral nature within these things I speak today. For I am deeply moved and concerned about some whom I have witnessed in my community of believers who have acted out in a grievous and spiteful manner to mislead and in doing so have done the works of Satan while claiming to do the works of God.  I know this is harsh language but God demands that we admonish our brothers to help them stay straight in the ways of our God.  Now many of you may be asking what was it that I heard?

In My Hearing Point 1

11 “Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?” ~ James 4:11-12 (NABRE)


What I heard were several teachers who felt they had the right to scorn our community, saying that the wheels have come off our community, that teachers are not teaching, that teachers do not communicate with each other.  To this I say, many of the first year teachers I have lead try to control their classrooms with a heavy hand.  They try to extend this range of control through boasting about their successes which may not be complete as a sufficient amount of time has not yet passed to have developed a baseline to prove success.  Their ideas sometimes are lacking the experience of implementation or understanding in what they are trying to teach.  This specific teacher is new to our community and in fact has on many occasions boasted of how they wish to change our community.  Again, without the sufficient training or experience affecting positive change is simply out of range of this specific teacher’s ability to make happen.  Therefore, speaking about other teachers in a very public space in the presence of a small parent population allowing everyone to hear a very scud perception of what he / she thinks is true is very troubling not to mention unprofessional as this is how rumors are started, for this action on this teacher’s behalf will, in fact, bear the fruits of gossip and more strife for everyone in the community.  For it was written the Lord hates, “A false witness that utters lies and the one who sows discord among brethren.” ~ Proverbs 6:19 (NABRE)

Indeed, I say to you my brothers and sisters everyone experiences troubles in their practice, and everyone feels a certain level of frustration in their practice.  But yet this teacher has gone one step further than most by making a scornful public announcement of what they think they see, while never coming to me nor others in our teaching community with these complaints.  Not to mention that it was this specific teacher who blocked all my efforts to help solve many of the problems they seem to now be feeling. Not one piece of advice was taken, not one suggestion listed to, not one constructive comment from my lips did this teacher accept, and nor have they shown contrition in knowing their place among the community.  This teacher’s willingness to speak in public without the permission of our Principal and or Pastor shows the desire to be more of a renegade than a team player.  This bothers me greatly because you cannot have positive change come from scornful comments, nor can you have lasting change if the efforts where done in a scud manner and jealous heart. For I have seen all too often in the past teachers try to change their school without the support of the administration and every time the change the teacher wanted failed as the administration chose to let them go to find employment elsewhere.


Therefore, by not seeking, this teacher will not find, and this teacher’s words are mired in ignorance of how to truly lead. What I took the most offense to was the comment that teachers are not teaching.  To this I say, turn in your lesson plans for all to see your teachings as I have, lead through doing and affect change through positive means not by blaming and not knowing of what you speak about but rather educate yourself by having an open mind and building a partnership with every teacher not just those whom you feel comfortable as I have.  For I teach not by words but by my practice which is steeped within professionalism and love for all I serve.  Thus, I advise once more to this specific teacher, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” ~ James 1:22 (NABRE) For I say to you my brothers and sisters I always have an open door, I will always be ready to help, to give advice that is just and moral, and I welcome this teacher to come talk with me in hopes they may see that there is a better way forward.

Once more to the second teacher whom I am very disappointed in and surprised to the depths they have sunk to speak falsely about their colleagues practice to parents without the knowledge or foresight of what their actions may bring is simply uncontainable.  For to be a rumor starter, to allow jealously to overtake reason is not professional and what makes their actions worse is they are trained in peace making, they are trained in the Biblical Theology, they are currently engaged in being a Teacher Leader as I am, and know all too well the responsibilities we now have to unite our community under one flag, not divide it by petty disputes and a hardened heart.  For far too often I hear this teacher condemn the community, placing themselves higher than the community, to act independently claiming a moral cause to condemn others while they in their own practice is hoity and misleading, bearing falsely about their fellow teachers whom which they have targeted and yet keep this vailed is the actions of a none Christian and are not deserving of the moral cause claimed, rather the actions of a hypocrite caught in their own hypocrisy. I return the comments I heard in church, for if they have a problem with me then do what Jesus commands them to do, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.” Matthew 18:16 (NABRE)  I say to this teacher whom I have known for years – come and win me over so that I may show you a better way.


I write these things not to start controversy but to end it.  To put into the light, the things which are keeping all of us from that great achievement which we aspire too. For as long as we all act with two minds that constantly countermand the other we will never become truly successful. As long as there are those in our teaching community who air private problem to the community in public spaces there will never be respect, nor the avenue made for mercy and contrition will never be apart of what we strive to be as a community.


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Thank You to my Readers!

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.” ~ Author Unknown.

Each year my reader base grows thanks to you who faithfully come back and read new posts and or share the posts with others; for I am truly inspired by you the readers.  So I want to reach out and thank everyone who reads Listening Faithfully Blog every week, month, and /or year. The following is a map of the world for 2015 that shows all the countries that have found Listening Faithfully Blog online.

2015 LFB MAP

2015 Views per Country

3,209 visitors and 4,382 views

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If you come from one of these countries listed above I urge you to share Listening Faithfully Blog with everyone you know if you have not done so already.  Also please visit Listening Faithfully Facebook and Listening Faithfully Community

New Features

Finally Listening Faithfully Blog via Facebook can offer a forum page where questions about the current blog posting can be discussed by you the viewers, with me, the author – Brian Keith. To take part in our discussions please click the following link – FORUMS

I look forward to sharing the results from 2016 with all of you in 2017!

Again, thank you for taking the time to read my posts as well as for your support. –Brian Keith

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The Seven Gifts From God

The First Gift Given Freely

55 “The Lord says, ‘All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.'” ~ Isaiah 55:1

The Lord God does not need our money, He does not require us to repay Him for all that He has done for in truth there is no way that we ever could with earthly goods. From the goodness of His divine heart God created us from the dust of the earth, He feed us; gave us food and drink freely and without cost.  Thus, in every measure God gave to us life and allowed us to make our own choices freely independently with free will. In this He gave to all mankind dominion over the earth to take freely our food and drink to sustain our earthly bodies. All this was done outside of our power and monetary abilities and no matter how much we as people think we are great there in truth is nothing more great than our one true God, the giver of life, and the only true nourishment of the spirit.

The Second Gift Given Freely

30 “God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith?” ~ Matthew 6:30

The Lord God created everything in your sight, everything in your hearing, everything you eat and drink, and everything you use for shelter. Yet when you walk into the far-off places still untouched from the hand of man you can see His truest work the beauty in nature. God created every tree, every flower, every blade of grass and every creature giving to them exactly what they need and dressing up in such magnificent colors that would put any work of mans to shame. Yet our loving God did the same for us and in His eye we are called His most magnificent masterpiece. For God dressed us up in His image and His likeness giving us intelligence and the ability to have faith. The second most important gift from God we all receive from birth is hope and the ability to believe in Him who has created all thinks no matter how long it lasts, it comes from His divine hand.

The Third Gift Given Freely

9 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” ~ Luke 11:9

God gives to us our hearts desires, look at King David who was given strength to slay the giant Goliath, his son Solomon who asked God for wisdom in saying, You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”  in 2 Chronicles 1:8-10. From the mouth of God Solomon was given what He asked for and many thinks more that he did not ask for, all given to him freely by our loving and gracious God. Therefore from Jesus Christ’s own lips was this gift also extended to every human on earth, thus the third gift was the ability to speak directly to our one and only God. For it is His divine desire to speak directly to us from His eternal throne in Heaven. God so desires a relationship that consists of much more than one way communication, for our God gives us a voice and an audience with Him alone to ask of Him our hearts desires and to come to Him humbled asking for forgiveness. For this gift of a voice and an audience is our greatest gift for this is our direct line to the divine, our safety net when we are in raging waters, and our comfort when we pray.

The Fourth Gift Given Freely

34 “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” ~ Luke 23:34

The Son of Man could have never applied to God the Father had it not been for the very forgiving nature of God Himself. Evidence of God’s forgiveness is everywhere in every book of the Bible to every word in Christ’s plea for those who nailed Him to the cross. God is so ready to forgive and restore our sinful ways and touch our harden hearts with His divine love. God knows all the pain we endure for Him and so it was within His divine will to give us the ultimate path to salvation through His only son Jesus Christ. In the last hour when Jesus breathed His last forgiveness was no longer in the hands men, but rather given freely to every human being on earth by God through Jesus Christ sacrifice. No longer was the burnt offerings acceptable for the sins of man was placed on the blood of the most High. Forgiveness is yours for the asking, as every action God has made is to bring you closer to Him, to mold you into the most-perfect version of you through His divine forgiveness. If any proof was needed then we only have to look at one sentence Jesus uttered while he was riving in agony when asked by a murder for forgiveness,  42 “Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ 43 Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'” ~ Luke 23:42-43.

The Fifth Gift Given Freely

12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12

The Lord God gave the gift of Salvation, through His only son Jesus Christ. In truth nothing else needs to be written, nothing more said, for no one could ever out do this gift from God, no other work is greater than this. God send Jesus from Heaven to fulfill something no man could ever do on his own and that was to wash away our own sins. God saw our desperation, our separation and filth, He saw the state of abuse in both the Laws of Moses and in the Laws of God and washed us clean. God in one single act saved all of humanity from ourselves and He did so out of love. For it was this message being so important and great out weighed all other divine messages and thus it was commanded of us to spread it throughout the world that we are saved through His only son Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. For the message and gift of salvation as we wait for His return is to be said as found in Titus, 13 “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people who are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” ~ Titus 2:13-15.

The Sixth Gift Given Freely

10 “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

The Lord they God freely gives to all people His divine protection from the evils that which we could never properly conceive. The Lord thy God has stretched out His hand as a shield to protect us from all manner of sin and vile things. God has shielded us from our enemies who are both present and not yet present, from those who have threatened us in the past and in the future for goodness and holiness shall reign under the Lord for ever and ever. Put on the armor of God for He freely gives us this most magnificent protection and if we truly believe in Him we will be under His shield which nothing can penetrate. This is the sixth gift of God we can realize in our persona walk with Him, and it is one of the most precious as again it comes from God alone.


The Seventh Gift Given Freely

54 “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’  55 ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:54-58

In death Jesus Christ was raised from the grave in a perfect resurrection body. His is what ours shall become, from death we shall rise and become more like God. Therefore, the sixth gift will be that of renewed life in God, a life with God, and a the reward promised through salvation.  In this way we are given the hope of life ever after. The hope of walking with God the Eternal Father, the maker of all things for nothing is impossible for God.


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Cultural Foods of Thanksgiving 2015


Special Spanish Treat

18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ The Puritan’s Mind

From the start Thanksgiving has deeply rooted the American Christian Tradition and the need to bring the family together. This was especially true when the Native American Indians and the First Settlers came together to celebrate their joint efforts in a successful harvest way back on June 20, 1676. Yet, it never occurred to me when I was growing up that there was different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving, let alone different foods people ate in different places around America.  But this was brought to my attention when I first came here to California back in July 1991 where I was to met people from different places especially from the Hispanic Culture. Though the American born Hispanics largely celebrate Thanksgiving as the rest of Americans those who come from Mexico celebrate in giving thanks for a completely different reason that is largely related to many of the same reasons as that of the first Americans; that being to bring the family together and to create community; though it is called Thanksgiving an American Holiday mainly for the kids. So like every feast of celebration the Hispanic Community eat foods on Thanksgiving like – Tamales, Pozole which is like a Stew, a fruit salad with Beetroot juice soaked with Apples, Beetroot, Jicama, Orange slices and whatever other fruit you want to add in. Pollo enchilado, carne asada, menudo and is another Mexican Dish that Hispanic people would want to eat for Thanksgiving among many more. It doesn’t have to be these specific types of dishes, it could be other dishes too like tacos, Mole de Olla, or Mole. Other side dishes like dessert would include Flan, yogurt, and fruit salad or like any other dinner it could include other American desserts like pie, corn or Jello. Normally, the drinks would be wine, soda, juice, champurrado, ponche, tequila, and beer.




Church on Thanksgiving 

8 “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” ~ 1 Chronicles 16:8

The Hispanic culture at large is very devoted to their faith and can been seen going to Church on Thanksgiving Day. It their Mexican American children who are largely absent if given a choice. There are many families who have developed a Thanksgiving – Church Going tradition and to those families the Mexican Americans generally attend church in a variety of special hours, starting at 7:00am – 9:00am – 12:00 noon – 5:00pm – 10:00pm and then some have 11:00 – 12:00 midnight. These masses are setup to create the feeling of community and to give thanks, to have that togetherness within both the biological family as well as in the extended families. The idea is to give thanks for everything for what they have and do not yet have. In fact in the earliest mass church goers within some of the churches in the inner city of Los Angeles especially in the lower economic areas actually set up a feast for the entire community; all are welcome, from any denomination. However, I have to say that food is very important to the Hispanic culture so much so it is used to create the “Spirit of Thanksgiving” not just on Thanksgiving but in all celebrations they hold dear year round! As a teacher running the Summer Technology Team the last day is set aside to celebrate the students accomplishments and the parents would bring food of every kind quit literally it was a feast every year! I can not say this about other cultures of America, and I often reflect on this with a smile because wasn’t the Pilgrims and Native Americans who are accredited with the having the first Thanksgiving for many of the same reasons the Hispanic community celebrates it? The giving of thanks for a successful harvest, the giving of love within a community setting, to bring two cultures together that worked together to survive, the giving of thanks for things they did not yet have and of all the wonderful things they were given from above. In reality food is the constant that binds us together and it is this commonality that is truly being celebrated.
















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 Special Note


As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team Click Here for more details and to show your support.

Special Posting: Veterans Day 2015 (Thank You for Your Service)


20“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’” ~ Deuteronomy 20:1-4

The other day the choir came into my room to practice their songs for church and one song  I had forgotten as I have not heard it for a very long time. It goes something like this:

 I sat in my chair in the computer lab at my school and smiled from ear to ear.  As a veteran myself I think it is an awesome song. I also think it ties in great with our faith because let’s face it, if you serve you have to believe that  you will survive your service.  For me it was about family, it was about having a family, I had an idea of kids, a wife, and a house with a white-picket fence. I thought my children would be waiting for me at the front door when I came home from my service. For many of the men and women who service this is a reality, and it is a beautiful one. But to also have God in your heart and to feel secure within your service then you really have something there. So to all the veterans I wish you well and hope all your dreams come true, I shall pray that God blesses you daily for all that you do for this great and wonderful country.

For all my Listening Faithfully Followers please click on the link below and submit your wishes to all our veterans. MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK



If you enjoyed “Special Posting: Veterans Day 2015 (Thank You for Your Service)”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.


Email: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

Facebook: CLICK HERE


 Special Note


 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team Click Here for more details and to show your support.

Relationships pt. 3 – Relationship Modeled After Christ

Relationship Truths

16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” ~ John 15:16.

Relationships are tricky and in some regard takes a lot of hard work to maintain. In light of this it is always amazes me to how awesome God is and how hard he works to maintain a relationship with His people. The greatest of these efforts on behalf of God was the act of sending His only son to our sinful and selfish world with only one goal in mind, that of salvation out of grace.  The love of God is so enormous so astonishingly perfect that His desire has always been to pull us closer to Him, protect us from evil with His most beautiful love and His most forgiving nature that always extends to us His most-perfect grace.  I know in many of my past posts I have written about how much God loves us, how awesome His grace is, and as many times as I write it I still find it hard to imagine how this – God’s perfect love – could ever truly be real, but I know it is. I know because God chose us and despite our sinful nature He continues to be present in our everyday lives. 

4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Each relationship we have should be modeled after the relationship God wants to have with us. Every relationship no matter the type will have four main elements in common that if explored will enrich our own lives and help bring us closer to God the Father. The first of these four elements is obvious, for it is love. For in everything we do there must be traces of love in it. The best place to begin looking for traces in our love is by examining how we fight with each other, how we argue with each other, how we disagree with each other. For it is easy in those moments of great heated emotion to say things that would completely damage the person to whom we are fighting with. It is all to easy to bring up painful events or to never let a topic go, even to be judgmental for the sole purpose of winning the argument. I have seen in some people how they plot and plan to create events that they can later use against the person to whom they are constantly fighting against and in that example those who would plot to bring another person down and to purposefully destroy the relationship certainly does not know that their own fruit has already fallen and is rotten to the core where it lays. For in every argument, disagreement, fight, we need to show our love for God by being graceful and kind, by showing restraint, by being purposeful with each word, by using our body language to show inclusion and not rejection.  For who are we to reject another person or to point out their sins when we have plenty enough sins of our own to contend with. For I tell you now my brothers and sisters that God is the final judge, His is the final word, His will is the final objective.  So, instead of dealing with our anger as children, let us be mature and deal with each other out of love by demonstrating restraint with our words and actions and in this manner we demonstrate love for others and for God.  Another excellent place to examine our own love for others is in what we do for others without them asking for it. I call this random acts of kindness, and in this we should always practice giving to others things they would not expect or think they would receive from you.  It doesn’t have to be big or be purchased from a store, rather it could be something as simple as a smile, a hug, a handshake, saying hello, asking the other person if they need help with something, or it could be listening to them when they need you to just listen. In fact the name of this blog is Listening Faithfully because I make it my practice to take time out for God to just listen to His voice, read His words, tune into His will. In practicing this it’s not to hard then to do the same for others whom you claim you love. For love in it’s purest form listens, it is kind, it builds, it is forgiving, and it is the most powerful emotion we experience in this life and in the life after this one for it is of God for God is love. 

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” ~ Matthew 6:9-13 

The second element comes with love for if you love and know God’s perfect love then you will naturally desire forgiveness and will naturally forgive others.  In this desire words like suspicion, motives, and mistrust falls away to a child-like love, unselfish, and pure.  Your forgiveness will grow to include all wrongs done against you no matter how painful no matter the person or people who were involved.  True forgiveness comes from the heart, it comes from the deep desire to not harp, but rather move past the harmful or hurtful event. In this we must surely focus our attentions on the idea that when we forgive it is more for ourselves, rather than the wellbeing of others.  In addition to this point I must forewarn you my brothers and sisters that not everyone will ask or want your forgiveness. Again in those moments it is better to purify your heart, do not take stock in the unwillingness of others rather the purity found in the act of forgiving and knowing that God will help you to reach this point.  Those who are locked into the cycle of not forgiving and or not accepting or wanting others to forgive them generally have a hardened heart and thus, they are not rather cannot be open to this most gracious act you would bestow, and thus once again they are blind to the idea that their fruit has fallen and is rotten to the core upon the ground where it landed. Let this not be your fruit, for God wants all fruits to be good and lasting.  

15 “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” ~1 Peter 2:15-17  

Relationships cannot be forged if respect is not present, nor can there be a real relationship if fake respect is given. In this there was a fraud of the heart and in that you have not only defrauded yourself, the other person, but also God, the one who made you. Therefore, in all your relationships treat them with the respect you would like to receive and rejoice in the grace which follows. For it is God’s will for every man, women, and child ought to revere the works of the Lord, to respect every human being without prejudice, and to celebrate the whole of natures bounties as one work, and accepting all these things as the singular work of God; thus, in the denial of these truths is the same as renouncing God Himself. Again, to show respect is also demonstrating love, it is demonstrating forgiveness,  it is demonstrating the Godly lifestyle we all are called to by Our Lord Jesus.  Remember that God though is merciful he is also the one whom we are always answerable too, in this respect God first, yourself second, and mankind third, but the division between them is so slight not even the finest hair can be pushed in between.  This is where the work becomes harder because there will be times when your respect for a person will begin to erode because of things they may have done in the past. In these moments love takes over, your forgiveness becomes anointed, and then your respect renewed, but it takes time and it takes the love you gain from knowing God first.

37 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.” ~Matthew 22:37-38

Commitment is God’s legacy, one that he graciously gave to all of us, a promise that he has kept from the word words spoken that created Adam to the last word which will wipe away humanity within the rapture.  For if nothing else God is committed to saving every last person that he can and His message has always been a faith message of salvation. So too should our words in our relationships resemble the words of God in that they are never-changing and reflect true commitment in every thing we do. Words made into action is the strongest testimony others could ever give on our behalf once we have passed away. Those words we all should aspire to be words of love, fond remembrance, and of true commitment. For in all relationships if you are committed to them will build you up, make you stronger, and will be blest by God. It is through this commitment in others will love be able to take root, when we make mistakes our loved ones will forgive us, and when we are renewed find a higher level of respect. Commitment is the one element most people seek and few of us every really find because it take work to maintain. Hence coming full circle we find the root of Gods commitment with us. Again there is no greater advocate, no greater protector, no greater savior, no greater love, and no greater devotion than that which we receive from God. In that fact if we make others feel this way in our relationships then surely goodness will follow you all the days of your life.


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 Special Note


 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team Click Here for more details and to show your support.

Special Reflection – All Saints Day



9 “What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:9-11

According to the Roman Catholic Church, we are all saints, like we are all teachers. However, there are some who have demonstrated a special ability to impact others in such a way that it leads to the conversion of many.  So it is these people who we uphold and celebrate their life lived for our Christ Jesus,  a life lived unselfishly, and perhaps a life lived with purpose and grace which shines like a beacon throughout the world in every culture, country, race, and creed; for there is a Saint for every one of us. So the question I think which is most important for those who are not Catholic or Orthodox; “How can we, people of many beliefs, and many religions connect our faith to Saints?”

To start with if truth be told, Saints are ordinary people who lived and died and were venerated long before the Catholic Church was formed, and the tradition of veneration was one that came about because of the Roman persecution of the Christians. Those who died at the hands of the Romans were called Martyrs with which after their death were celebrated as being Holy, One with Christ because they died for Christ. As written in the The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) to answer the question, “When did the custom of canonizing saints start, and is it true that canonizations are infallible?”, this being a question that many Catholics were asking at the time, and was answered by two unnamed experts who wrote, “The faithful of the primitive Church believed that martyrs were perfect Christians and saints since they had shown the supreme proof of love by giving their lives for Christ; by their sufferings, they had attained eternal life and were indefensibly united to Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body.”  Therefore, to celebrate the life a person who died for Christ is in a way celebrating the life of Jesus because Christ Himself died for us. On the other hand I have heard it said that it is wrong to venerate a person who was sinful in their life and who “Yes”, was a believer, and “Yes”, was a Christian who did wonderful things for others, and who was loving, caring, merciful, and gracious during their life, but “Yes”, was a sinner none the less. To this charge I must advocate the following after much contemplation, that we are all sinners, we are all in need of God’s divine mercy and forgiveness. But the idea that a person can be so stead fast in their love and faith for Christ, exhibiting the same love Christ showed for us, then “Yes”, they indeed should be remembered and their name written down for all time. The example we celebrate has to do with the exhibition of love and faith in Christ, and less to do with the sins that is common among all of us because Christ forgives us our sins, because Christ died to cleans us of our sins. In this way we are all connected to those who are officially and unofficially canonized as a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church, by the Pope. Because if we look past the religion, the man made traditions, and look at the humanity within the celebration of a life lived for Christ, then in this special and most basic way are we all connected in the celebration. In this way we are all sitting at the same table in observance of a feast for Christ.

Mary – Mother of Jesus a Saint?

26 “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’” ~ Luke 1:26-28

In the history of Saints there are many who died and martyred on behalf of their faith and belief in the sanctity of Christ. However, the Roman Catholic Church maintains that Mary – Mother of Jesus is the first Saint. To many who are not Catholic the veneration of Mary is troubling because many religions acknowledge that though Mary was Holy, being chosen by God to give birth to Jesus, she served her purpose and after the events of the Nativity became a mother and a wife rearing other children of Joseph’s and in a large degree lived an ordinary life doing nothing more than the rest of us. So when the Catholics hold the May Crowning, a veneration of the Holy, Blessed Mary, and call her the Queen of Angels this upsets people from other religions who do not see or celebrate what the Catholics do on behalf of Mary. I know all this because I was one of them. However, it is my policy to be open-minded and to study the facts and try to see the viewpoint of other people as they see them. I urge this of everyone, especially those who follow Listening Faithfully.

So as written by J.C. Tierney and modified by Michael Duricy, on behalf of the The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio, who declared, “Following Christ means doing as he does, and as much as possible being as he is. Early Christians believed that martyrs were perfect followers of Christ and saints because they had shown the supreme proof of love by giving their lives for Christ. Later on this was extended to people who defended the faith and excelled in Christian faith (doctrine, charity, virtue, austere life, etc.). In all of this the likeness, proximity, intimacy with and the following of Christ remains of paramount importance. Here is the real reason why Mary is a Saint.  Mary has been the first and faithful disciple of her son as his mother, educator, follower to the foot of the cross, and steward of his legacy and mission among the first Christians. Mary’s cooperation for the sake of the world at the side of her son continues even now and until the end of times. All of this was and is possible because of God’s special love and help, promised to her by the angel at the Annunciation and reiterated by Elizabeth during Mary’s visit. To be blessed or full of grace means to have the Spirit of God, which is also the Spirit of Christ. We all receive this Spirit that Mary had received in a special way. It helps us to make our lives ever more like that of Christ, in other words, to become Saints. It is in this sense that the Church recognizes in Mary the greatest of all Saints.” (2008)  Therefore, it is these things which enabled Jesus to be born, lived and was able to die on our behalf, thus if it was not for Mary, His mother we would not be saved. Again by celebrating these facts in a sense do we also celebrate all mothers who give life to the world by being present in their child’s life, teaching them, loving them, and by raising them up in the ammunition of the Lord. In this model we see the humanity, we see the non-religious reasons why we love, if it was not for God who first loved us, allowing us to receive the Holy Spirit we would not be able to celebrate Mary our mother through Christ, which is an idea we all can rally around regardless of religious affiliation.

How Should We Revere a Saint?

43 “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”  ~ Luke 23:43

The argument many non-Catholics have against the Saints as the Catholic tradition celebrates them is for many non-Catholics a stretch. Why? The best answer for this question comes from the website, Got Questions.org, Where the question, How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching?  Answer: “Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.”  These statements, in general make the common man/women argument against Saints in general. Still another argument which is also popular among non-catholics goes something like this, “Who gave the right to the Catholic Church to make Saints?” Again, these issues come form a lack of understanding about the subject matter in general and the lack of knowledge of Christian history. In addition, before the Roman Catholic Church was created by the Roman Emperor Constantine who also established himself as the head of the church in 313 A.D by issuing the Edict of Milan that decriminalized Christian worship, and which made this new “Christianity” the official religion of the Roman Empire. Secondly, in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was held to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. The major outcomes of the First Council of Nicaea was to settle two issues of the early church, that being first the nature of the Son of God and his relationship to God the Father and then second the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea which established the uniform observance of the date of Easter and the creation of early canon law.

The New Definition

27 “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” ~ Romans 8:27-29

In short, the Romans created the Catholic Church as we know it today. However, more importantly the root of all Christendom does not being in 313 – 325 with Constantine, rather it begins with the acceptance of  Mary to be the Mother of Christ Jesus as written in Luke 1:26-38, it begins with the our Lords birth into this world of sin, and His message that was delivered to the world through His ministry which lasted three years and is validated through His death and resurrection and ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. To believe in the life of Jesus, in his message to mankind, to understand the significance of the work of which He accomplished here on earth is the foundations of which every human being is too aspire and is the true justification of how we should revere people who bring others to God. In this every one of us is a Saint, every one of us receives the same message from God through the Holy Spirit, and this message spans beyond any time frame of man. So, we as Christians with this new definition can look at any religion and see past the man-made laws and traditions to reveal the Godly message to which we aspire too exhibiting them in our own lives. “Yes”, Saints are here on earth, for this is the proving grounds, and “Yes”, Saints are in heaven because this is the promise of Jesus as he died on the cross as written in Luke 23:43, and “Yes”, Saints are also sinners because they are human beings just like everyone else born here on earth with the important exception of Jesus the Son of God. To say someone is a Saint – to revere them – to honor them – to celebrate their actions as mortals is just and is right. But, to set aside legal means to declare someone a saint isn’t necessarily a biblical edict but it does satisfy mans need to assign categories over his surroundings that which gives him power and sets his mind at ease. In this regard we should dismiss legality and celebrate the attempt our earthly Saints have made, the sacrifices they were willing to endure, and the message they send as it connects all of us to our creator. This is how we should properly revere Saints, and so in doing this observance of All Saints Day we are truly celebrating the known and the unknown men and women who gave their life for Christ as he gave his life for us so that we could have the hope of salvation. One does not need to be a martyr, or hear special messages from God, or be a Catholic, but rather believe in God, believe in Jesus, believe that Our Holy Father works His divine will through us and for us and in that even Gandhi – a man who lead the peaceful Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, Pope Francis – a man who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and devout Catholic and who was named the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and the first Pope from the Americas, and even the 14th Dalai Lama – a man who is the longest-lived head monk of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and who’s message is of peace, and finally even Mother Mary – a women, ( a Jew), who was given the choice to be the mother of God and in doing so became the mother of the world; thus all can be called Saints for Saints are universal. For there is room for everyone from every  walk of life in the eyes of God to be saintly and to be revered as a Saint.


If you enjoyed “Special Reflection – All Saints Day ”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.


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 Special Note


 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team Click Here for more details and to show your support.

Relationships – Where We Begin

The Beginning of Any Relationship

18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~1 John 4:18

Take a deep look into your heart, think about all the relationships you have ever been in. What was your first relationship? Was it with your parents, grandparents, were you adopted, did you have any brothers or sisters whom you became very attached too as a child? Did you have a favorite teacher who you wished would be your teacher for life? Who was that person that you could say that what you had was real? I ask this because the answer for me was God. Yes I loved my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and I will never forget my 3rd grade teacher Miss Rice who broke not just my heart but all the boys in the class when she got married. I fondly remember we all got together and refused to call her by her married name. My point is that all the relationships I had in my life as a young boy was not real. What do I mean by that? I mean the relationships where not forever relationships. Remember what Jesus said about things of this earth: everything shall wither and die, everything on earth shall pass away, nothing here is forever and that includes your relationships.

19 “We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” ~ 1 John 4:19-20

Relationships start with love, every relationship in our lives always begins with fearless, open, non-judgmental love. Think about the new born babies and how they lay in anyone’s arms. Think about how their heart is absolutely pure, this is the closest we will ever come to experiencing  perfect pure love. They only cry for two reasons, when they are hungry and when they are in need of a proper changing. But God in his infinite wisdom also hot wired us to crave love, so babies tend to grow and be healthier when they are touched, held, and when they have two parents that supply this love. “Sarah Tufano, a nationally certified massage therapist, certified educator of infant massage and owner of Massage Therapy of Boston in Boston, Massachusetts, notes that infant and preemie touch and massage are “a powerful means of teaching children, from day one, that they are loved and deserving of love.” ~ Budzienski, Jaime (The Effect of Touch With Preemies: The power of touch helps preemies to thrive). We love because God first loved us, our spirit comes from God, therefore our first relationship is with God.

21 “And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” ~ 1 John 4:21

As a professional educator in an urban inner city school I see on a daily bases children who are not and have never been told they are loved. Ruffly  20% of the children in my school crave hugs,  and when I give them these hugs they hold on for dear life. I am blessed to work in a Catholic School because I can tell them all that I love them and that I want only the best for them. In many instances these children focus better, work harder, try to excel once they know I am there for them. In my humble opinion that is what is wrong with our schools and our society at large. Our children are not being given the attention they need to grow and be successful. Parents instead give them electronics and call this love, they sent them on their way to play and entertain themselves and in the end because our children crave love they grow up not understanding what love is nor what a real relationship should be. A good example of this is when my older students say to me when I assign homework, “What do I get for doing this work?” Because some of the older kids have younger brothers and sisters this mentality  rubs off on them. Some of my younger students say to their teachers, “What do I get for cleaning my mess? Are we going to get a prize?” Because they are not taught about love they also do not have respect: respect for themselves, nor others, because again their parents and our society has accepted this norm and we as a nation cannot fall in love with God let alone with each other. We see in our early lives that love equals fear, fear of being punished for something our children will never understand nor will be taught if it first does not come form their parents, the educational system, and from our churches. This is the beginning we have as children when it comes to relationships and love in the 21st century. How can we possibly love one another if we don’t begin practicing with our families, with our parents, and with God.

Today’s Challenge: Parents – write a letter to your children telling them that you love them. Children – write a letter to both of parents telling them how much you love them and are grateful for all the things they do for you. Everyone – write a letter to God telling him how much you love Him and need Him in your life. Ask Him for His divine mercy and everlasting love.


If you enjoyed “Relationships – Where We Begin”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.


Email: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

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 Special Note


 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

Support the Boy’s & Girl’s Tech Team

 Click Here for more details and to show your support.

Feeding the Multitude

Matthew 14:11-20

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. ~ Matthew 14:13-14.


God see’s what we need. He see’s not just the physical but also the spiritual needs of every human being. In this God cares for use through grace, and it is this grace we call compassion do we the human race find true healing. The crowd followed Jesus not out of curiosity, but through the hunger they felt deep inside. The spirit within them needed to be feed. This crowd Jesus took compassion upon and healed the sick, but through their faith in him so too was their soul also mended. If you read the scripture just before Matthew 13 you will discover that Jesus had been told about His cousin John being beheaded. It was this which made Jesus seek seclusion. But even in this state of mind of grief Jesus was very much aware of the multitude and of their many needs. It was not His grief which took center stage but it was the needs of the living. Our God loves us so much He puts all other things aside and tends to us filling our heart, mind, and soul with the spiritual food we crave. For our God is truly a loving and compassionate God, one of grace and compassion.

15 “As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’” Matthew 14:15


In this we see the compassion of man for the disciples of Christ noticed only one need, that of the flesh. For the people had by this point been following Jesus for some time, they had not gone home to eat, to take a bath, to tend to their flocks nor had they brought provisions. For the disciples, food took center stage in their compassionate plea to Jesus. But again as mentioned before God see’s all of our needs. So Jesus argued against not sending the multitude home for food, but rather argued to keep them close to tend to all their needs personally.

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” ~ Matthew 14:16.


Let’s take a moment and break this statement down as the disciples must have. There were hundreds of people of all ages. They were all in the wilderness nowhere close to any immediate food source and night was upon them. So to the disciples the question of feeding the multitude became one of,  “how”, shifting from their first concern of, “where”. For in this one statement by Jesus the responsibility then shifted from allowing the people to feed themselves to the disciples feeding them just as God feeds us.  Their confusion and misgivings, or lack of faith in both Jesus and in themselves prevented them from seeing this miracle which was to unfold and replaced it with blindness making it impossible for them to comply and is seen most readily within the comments they make next to Jesus,

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.~Matthew 14:17


Here we see two concerns happening, the first is the amount of food, which is to be the disciples dinner. Secondly, the amount of food was not enough so logically it made no sense to keep the multitude with them.  Therefore, what must have struck the disciples the hardest was if they give what they have away then how or what were they going to eat. This disbelief of the disciples is the failing of every human being as we all tend to see the facts and discount the possibility of things we do not or cannot see in those facts. This then leads to lack of faith in God and His ability to see past the facts and pull forth the impossible. This also leads us to forget the love God holds for us, his caring nature, and his want in taking caring of all our needs. These two things lead us to falter and stumble even when we have seen His love in action before as the disciples had. The power which gripped the disciples in this moment was rooted in their inaction to believe in what they could not see, it was their refusal to look beyond the physical or to admit that they could feed thousands with so little food and this instead lead them to question if it could work even with the Son of God present, for this is called the power of doubt.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. ~ Matthew 14:18-19.


In all things our God is one of order, He is one who takes great care to account for each instant perfectly calling out each detail of our lives, deeds, misgivings, loves, worries, and triumphs. Our God is one of prayer, giving thanks for what you have for it was so delivered to us by God. Our God is one that provides everything that we need, in every instant that we live for all things belong to God. Our God is one that calls us forward to be His helper, teaching us what we need to know in every facet of our complicated lives. The lesson we see here is that God can do anything for His people, He can move mountains, build empires, create planets, and die a brutal death to cleanse us our sins, for there is nothing our God can not do. In giving the disciples the responsibility of feeding the multitude He teaches them how it is possible within the right frame of mind, heart, and soul to connect to our loving father in heaven who feeds us making the impossible possible.

20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketful of broken pieces that were left over.21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. ~ Matthew 14:20.


The miracle was in the belief that so many could be feed with so little food, with the prayer of thanksgiving, and with the compassion of God. For the Lord left no one out as everyone was feed and within this so too did the servants of Christ find that the love of God even extends to those who doubt such as they had. Our God leaves no one out from his gift giving as he keeps everyone in his sights like a good Shepard. Our God is fair and unchanging in his love that he gives to everyone of us. He calls each one of us to Him by name and within this He again knows what we individually need and so He cares for us the same. He leads us not astray but rather holds us close to Him and shelters us from evil and forgives us our sins in the same manner.


If you enjoyed “Feeding the Multitude”, I invite you to stay in contact with me through the following ways and please do not forget to rate this posting below.


Email: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

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 Special Note


 As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.

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