Prudence A Holy Virtue

The Gift of Discernment and Self-Control! 

The Cardinal Virtue of Prudence represented by a seated woman holding a snake in her right hand (possibly a modern impression), ca. 1480-1520Italian, Engraving, printed from a plate engraved in the niello manner; Sheet: 12 3/16 × 8 1/4 in. (31 × 21 cm)The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Leo Steinberg, 1991

THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – WK IV

Ant. 2 (Evening Prayer) “Praise God, all you who serve him, both great and small, alleluia.”

And if anyone loves righteousness, her labours are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.

The Wisdom of Solomon 8:7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

This past week was filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and more senseless death.  This past week took the lives of twelve men and women who had gifts they were sharing with the world. This past week violence broke the sounds of joy, pushed down the innocent, and trampled on the young.  A crime of epic proportions and the ramification is permanence.  In researching these twelve remarkable people my heart broke as I read about their life before this, the good they all where doing in this world, and the talent and God-given gifts they all had within them to share. Each of them were special and filled with life and offered something so profound that I can’t put into words. This crime is unwarranted and sadly is in the purview of local, state, and federal governments to stop. It is past time we do so before more of our brothers and sisters are made to pay with their precious blood. I will vow to post and pray for all victims of gun violence here on this blog, I will write to our leaders, and do my best to support organizations who are actively trying to bring an end to gun violence in our country as a whole!  I invite you my brothers and sisters to join me in that endevour. So let’s now bring ourselves to the presence of the Lord as one community of believers in a prayer for the innocent.      

Prayer for the Innocent 

Thousand Oaks Victims 2018 -RIP 

Dear Lord, My Holy God, hear the voices of your children, hear their cries and torment, hear their pleas of mercy from the sudden unexpected pain bestowed upon them. Hear O’ Lord our cries for the innocent. 

Ant. Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life.

O’ Lord today we pray for the victims of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Here we have yet another senseless loss of life which is for many too much to bear. Hear O’ Lord our cries for the innocent. 

Ant. Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life.

Dear Lord,  hear your children who call out to you for comfort, for stregnth, for your healing touch, we know you make all things right and your prudence is a measure of your wisdom. Accept all those who now are in your loving  hands; 

  • Sgt. Ron Helus (54) – 29 year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department
  • Telemachus Orfanos (27): 2017 Vegas Shooting Survivor
  • Sean Adler (48): Owner of the Simi Valley Coffeehouse, Rivalry Roasters which opened less than three weeks ago.
  • Marky Meza Jr. (20): Busboy and Food Runner
  • Cody Coffman (22): Aspiring Army Recruit
  • Noel Sparks (21): Art Major, Moorpark College
  • Daniel Manrique (33): US Marine Veteran & Hospital Volunteer – A life of service.
  • Justin Meek (23): Graduate of California Lutheran University, worked at Channel Island Social Services as a respite caregiver, supporting families with children with special needs, mostly developmental disabilities.
  • Jake Dunham (21): Truck & Off-Roading Enthusiast
  • Blake Dingman (21):  Played High School Baseball & Was a Truck & Off-Roading Enthusiast
  • Alaina Housley (18): a promising student at Pepperdine University with plans to study law.
  • Kristina Morisette (20):  Borderline Bar & Grill Employee

Hear O’ Lord our cries for the innocent. 

 Ant. Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life.

O’ Lord we pray for the families and friends of the dearly departed as they grieve. O’ God allow their hearts to not be turned away from you and help them to remember to always trust in your love, mercy, and grace. Knowing thy will O’ my savior God, that you shall fulfill your promise to always be present in their hearts, always guiding, consoling, and uplifting their spirits for all time. Hear O’ Lord our cries for the innocent. 

 Ant. Let all those be put to shame and confusion who seek to snatch away my life.

My God, knowing your will we, your children, are now left to commemorate the lives of the young, brave, loving, and caring men and women that you have called home. May your peace be upon them forever and ever. Hear O’ Lord our cries for the innocent.  Amen.

Reflection of Prudence

Virtue of Prudence

The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 

Proverbs 14:18 Modern English Version (MEV)

Dear brothers and sisters, it had accrued to me this past week as all the chaos slowly inched along that morality and decency are what America is fighting for right now! Our culture has smashed hard against the world of technology, instance reward, polarizing hard-heartedness, and the fool hearty pursuits of wealth, fame, and attention! So, this week in the wake of another shooting and more California fires that it is fitting that we should explore the Cardinal Virtue of Prudence.

The word, ‘Prudence’,  in the context of leading a spiritual life begins by understanding the simplistic but yet complex meaning and purpose this powerful word embodies. Prudence appears in the Holy Bible 5922 times, it is described as being careful, not rushing into a rash behavior, the practice of wise discernment, the ability to use tact and wisdom in relationships, and the good management of personal and or corporate resources. But to Plato, his narration was likened to that of a good city, “where the following is agreed upon. ‘Clearly, then, it will be wise, brave, temperate [literally: healthy-minded], and just.'” The Republic, 380 B.C. Some 700 years later after Plato, 300 years after Christ, during the formation of the Christian Religion, the Bishop of Milan, Aurelius Ambrosius would repurpose this word giving it a very catholic definition, “And we know that there are four cardinal virtues – temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude.” (Commentary on Luke, V, 62)  Later Saint Augustin of Hippo would write as to define further the four cardinal virtues, ‘For these four virtues (would that all felt their influence in their minds as they have their names in their mouths!), I should have no hesitation in defining them: that temperance is love giving itself entirely to that which is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of the loved object; justice is love serving only the loved object, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it.’ (De moribus eccl., Chap. xv) With further development of the idea of the four cardinal virtues, three more were added to the list but because these were based upon the famous verse, 1 Corinthians 13, they became known as the three theological virtues, that being – faith, hope, and love (charity).

What is Virtue Apart from Prudence?

The Four Cardinal Virtues

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 

Luke 17:10-12 (NRSV)

Consider this my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, if we show temperance apart from prudence what do we have? I would argue that we would have self-re-straight –  but to a fault. If we have justice apart from prudence again what do we have? Once more we would have moderation and a sense of selfishness and selflessness – but again to a fault. Finally, if we exhibit fortitude apart from prudence what do we really have? Again, we could show courage – but to a fault. It is prudence that gives all other virtues depth, a time and place to exist, it is the framework of the doorway that allows all other virtues to pass into the here and now that which gives our lives meaning! Morality is nothing if we do not have a mechanism in which governs the action of being moral, of being temperate, and believing in justice. Together, they are the building blocks to our society with prudence being the cornerstone. Moreover, our faith is either honest and sincere or dishonest and insincere. Faith with prudence allows us to be careful with our beliefs while being tolerant of others beliefs and allows us the wisdom of time to discern right from wrong. It is that mechanism that allows others to trust in our abilities, knowledge, and in our tact. Hence, faith without prudence is faithful disobedience, untrustworthy faith, and rip with division and conflict which leads to total corruption of a person. Now I ask, my brothers and sisters, do you know anyone who is apart from prudence? Do you know of any laws in our society that are apart from prudence? Finally, in contrast could you point out a specific religion that is apart from prudence? Could you say that our Lord and Saviour is apart from prudence? 

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LET US PRAY!


Prayers Art Print – by Piet Flour

Prayer for the Gift of Prudence

From Catholic Online 

Jesus, artful Master of Parables,
Your prudence eluded the hypocrites.
Your actions were known before creation,
Displaying all the wisdom of Your prudence.
Eternity must have attended to minutia.
Being prudent in Your best interest,
You considered all potential consequences,
Securing the outcome of Your earthly life.
Grant me the prudence to always be cautious
And sensitive to the basic needs of others.
Jesus, You have shown great foresight,
Prudence truly originates from Your Being.

Doxology

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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Reflection 2: God's Mindset…

God and His Mindset

“Happy are you who are hungry now, you shall be satisfied. Fortunate are you who weep, for you shall laugh.” ~ Q10, Lost Gospel Q.

Mindset is everything.  Simple but true.  God’s mind is sharp and focused on one thing, that would be you, me, and all of humanity.  This is evident from the first page of Genesis of the Bible to the last page in Revelations, all 66 books of the standard Christian version and all 81 books of the Catholic Bible, not to mention all 82 scriptures of His son’s teaching which were recorded and passed down to us in the form of The Lost Gospel Q.  God chose to make us in His likeness, He chose to make a place that would support our every need and gave us dominion over the Earth, He chose to love us no matter the cost, and God chose to forgive us and to ultimately save us.  Since these decisions every action God has taken has been to support those specific promises all of which He was so confident in that He had it written so everyone could see for all time His devotion to us.  Because God’s mindset is so focused on us it affects our personal lives and relationship with Him.  It is the primary reason why God also stresses the need for every person to be focused upon Him and His word.  God’s heart is set upon a real lasting personal relationship with you and everyone around you spiraling out to encompass the entire planet.  God wants a relationship so as to build you up and to make you strong.  His grace is focused on your sin and the forgiveness of those sins in such a way that it makes each and everyone of us sinners worthy of God when on our own we could never be truly worthy.  God’s mindset is one of hope and love, you could say that God is the creator and chief among the optimists always seeing to good in everyone and thing always seeing the opportunities through the calamities we face.   God’s mindset is to be there with us through those calamities holding our hand, giving us the strength to make it through to the finish line.  God’s mind sees what we cannot and His spirit is eternally seeking the path that will mould us into a more perfect version of ourselves, individualized personal development plans if you will that only ends with our absolute purification of our heart, mind, and soul.   God’s mindset is set upon giving us the length of years to see the truth, to testify to it, to live by it,  to live a Godly life, and yes to ultimately return to Him and to live with Him in Heaven forever.  So it is that when we are hungry He gives us food, both to nourish our bodies and our spirit. So it is when we cry He wipes away our tears and gives us a reason to smile and laugh.  God’s miracles support His love for us, His words have never been broken, and His mind is filled with thoughts of your eternal happiness.

God’s Mindset vs Our Mindset

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

First and foremost there is no comparison between God’s ability to continue to see the positive through the pain and heartache when times get hard verse our ability which is infinitesimally less than, so much so in fact we don’t even rate on the universal scale of positive thinkers or believers.  This was made completely evident in the willingness for God to send Jesus, His only son with one mission and for that mission to have only one out come, Jesus’s death!   For that to even be on the table so to speak was far and beyond anything we humans or even Satan himself could ever comprehend let alone pull off.  With that said,  I can only testify that  it is this one singular thought that converted me as a child and has played a major role in my life ever since.  How could a god, a perfect being, an entity so powerful and magnificent need and love our drama? How could God need our ungratefulness, our sneakiness, our filth of mind and soul, our lack of courage and willpower to always do the right things in life regardless the outcome, and our pride and selfishness which is the root cause to so much chaos in our world?  The short answer is that He does not need us, but rather we need Him.  When a person first realizes this one point it is a transformational thought because what happens is for the first time we become aware of our own mortality and sin.  It brings to mind our unworthiness, it makes us responsible for our sins, and it also reinforces in every-way possible of how blessed we are to have a God who loves us anyway.  Then there is the small idea that comes next, the door opens and we see how many times in our life we have given-up on God, not God giving-up on us.  Millions of years have gone by and yet every action and promise of God has been to make our life and world better day by day, hour by hour,  minute by minute, and it is us who do not have the time to notice or even to say thank you in return.  It is mankind who has often given-up on God, and still our Lord is there loving us and providing for us – despite us.  This makes God’s words real and tangible,  ever lasting,  and never changing,  because they are perfect in every application in every manner and interpretation for God has made known what and who is on His mind, the what and the why that is in His heart, and more importantly the how we fit into His master plan.  For when we apply Gods teachings into our lives we do the right things and in turn those actions glorify God, when we love others it glorifies Him, when we forgive our enemies it glorifies Him, and when we reach out to God it glorifies Him.   God made us, He alone protects us, and provides for us.  It is God who chooses to remember us and to honor us by His grace.  Because these are the truths about God then we as Christians need to filter everything in our lives and thinking through his Holy filter and through His holy words and promises.  Because there is so much immorality in our world due to our imperfect nature we need to cling to the mercy and grace of our loving all powerful God.

 God’s Mindset Equals Strength

“Look at the lilies that grow wild in the fields. They don’t weave clothes for themselves. But I tell you, even King Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed as beautifully as these flowers. If that is how God clothes the grasses, which are green today and burned in the sun tomorrow, how much more will God provide for you. How little faith you have!” ~ Q52, Lost Gospel Q.

Faith in God is at the core of our personal strength in life.  Faith is the bedrock of our actions we take, what we think, how we feel, and how we apply our new and old knowledge no matter the source.  This is proved true every time you debate others, to the side you defend, and to the manner and tone you use when debating.  If a person has no faith in God then their arguments tend to be in the negative excepting modern teachings which are contrary to the Bible and to the will of God thus their personal beliefs tend to be based upon false teachings.  Therefore,  when we compromise on the truth of God, the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus and all his disciples who uniquely owned the moral authority to preach the word of God which has been written down and spread across the world, we fall into the worlds trap of acceptance of unholy beliefs and compromise ourselves in the most unholy of ways.  In this trap we find ideas that degrade our bodies, our minds, and our soul. Within this trap we hear unholy music, unholy words, unholy sounds that invade our personal space and warp our perceptions of the very word of God.  To this end what we allow in unfiltered by the teachings of the Bible, (which are the very words of God), and unfiltered by His moral principals do we then assign ourselves to the notion that it is us who have to become accepting of the world, instead of the world changing to accept God.  The side-affect of this is seen in our societies as we assimilate these false teachings into our beliefs and thus begin to comprise the teachings of God.  It always starts very innocently with a song, or a joke, or a law passed by a government or constitutions written and then changed by governments and like a computer virus working in the background unchecked it begins to change our vocabulary and it warps the very meanings of words we once held as holy and changes them to mean something completely different and unholy.  Thereby the words that you use to placate others so as to fit in or to not offend them, which would have been against your personal beliefs and suddenly now do not reflect God in your words, then you in deed compromised  God, compromised your faith in God, and fallen short and have missed the opportunity to share as a witness for God.  Therefore, faith is a mindset you burn into your every action, into your every words, and within that you share God’s holy message in order to help inspire others to become followers, and eventually for them as they study the Bible to become the children of God as He had intended.  Faith is God’s mindset!

Take this as proof, God created Adam and the garden of Eden so as Adam would be taken care of with more than enough to eat and drink and to be happy. God loved Adam so much that He gave to Adam all the wild animals and plants of the garden so as to fill Adams mind with the love of God expressed through all he saw and heard.  God then created Eve so Adam would not be lonely and feel unloved, thus with each embrace of Eve, Adam felt alive and could feel the love of God in the most holy of ways.  Eve too shared in this experience and was Adams equal sharing in all the fruits and rewards of a life given by God.  These two people knew God in a way we could never experience,  they saw God in a way we can never replicate, and they heard the very voice of God in a manner our ears will never in this life hear.  Though they were not perfect, and made mistakes and fell from grace, God in his punishment of them never stopped loving them and never stopped believing in them nor has He ever stopped believing in us.  God’s Mindset has never attempted to placate Satan, He has never changed His beliefs to become more popular, God is not guilty of adopting a superficial life style that is more in tune with the world and modern dogma.  God did not become more  accepting to sinful acts and more willing to negotiate on holy principals, nor has God  changed the meanings of words to make them mean something completely contrary to their original meanings to suit a new belief so as to entrap us further within our sin.  God has not stopped spreading His divine message nor has He changed the facts or purposes of the events of our history so as to be more easy on our conscience.  God didn’t send Jesus to save humanity and then half way through changed His mind because it was too hard or would hurt to much. Nor did God abandon Job when Satan destroyed His life, or when King David fell to lust and had Bathsheba’s husband killed.   Therefore, we need to adopt God’s mindset and allow Him full access so that our faith in Him will grow and our spirit can bathe in the full glory of the Holy Spirit.  God so wants to dress us up with faith, with love, and arm us with the knowledge of truth so as to protect us  for ever and ever.  The world is very much like grass which is green today and burns in the sun tomorrow, but God’s mindset never changes, never tires, and never turns away or forgets His promises.  For God’s mindset is perfect, strong, and equals strength and wisdom, character, devotion, purpose, courage, and love if you accept God and adopt His word as the truth, the life, the pure and only source for all eternity.

Amen,

If you liked this Reflection on God’s Mindset… please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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Reflection 11: What You Can Expect From Life: According to LAZINESS

12 “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made them both. 13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread. 14 ‘It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts. 15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” ~ Proverbs 20: 12-15

The Level of Laziness

It is truly amazing how many people disassociate themselves from the word, “LAZINESS”, and instead use excuses to mask their behavior with the words, “Relaxation or Freedom”. People in the Western World cling to their freedoms and in many instances forget that those freedoms are not free but binding and carry a heavy cost. We have the idea that relaxation is freedom, freedom from responsibility, freedom from work, freedom from life and reality. There is the real threat that though we all need to unwind, it becomes a habit and laziness takes root and takes over your life. Many people fall asleep in there life both personal and spiritual. The truth is if you are lazy in your personal relationships; be it with your parents, friends, siblings, relatives, spouse, children, or in your professional life; with your co-workers, boss, or your career opportunities, then your also lazy in your spiritual life with God. Ask yourself this one question and depending upon the answer you will see clearly your level of laziness, “Would you die for Jesus?”  I know… I know… many will use the argument that this is not necessary. There is no reason to lay your life down for God. But is that the truth or is it the deception? Think about it from the view point of God; He made humanity, he made the Earth, the stars, the universes, He alone made everything we know and do not yet know of, and seeing that God was this proactive to send His only son to die for you and me, then shouldn’t we return the favor and live for Him? Shouldn’t we then defend His word, His promises, and teach others to live as God would have us all live? Is it not to much to expect that we become just as proactive in spreading the, “Good News”, as He was in our salvation? See many people refuse to do the right thing out of laziness and use the excuse that it wasn’t their fault, they refuse to do simple tasks and use the excuse that it wasn’t their turn, and when the mayhem and destruction rains down they again refuse to see the signs plainly written upon the wall and go into full fledged denial and say, it wasn’t their idea to do this or that. Wouldn’t it be easier to say, “Damn, I was lazy in that instance.”?  But instead of accepting the responsibility for their part, they refuse and in that refusal is found the roots of laziness. It is easier to deny the obvious truth, because then you don’t have to take action which in many instances could become labor intensive; but yet would be the right thing to do. It is easier to fall asleep in your life and close the door and ignore the hurt and bad feelings you personally have caused rather than to keep the door open to those you love and say instead, “I am sorry for my actions. How can we fix this?” It is easier to wallow in our poverty of spirit than it is to stand up and help those around us and climb out of the denial which binds our hands and feet and profess the words of God. By opening your eyes you are also opening your heart and through this process you begin the awesome journey of destroying laziness in your life and living for God. I say to you do not be deceived and cling to your freedoms as if were gold or jewels, because the question God will ask you upon the “Day of Judgement” is extraordinarily simple, “Did you live for me or did you instead live for yourself?” 

Laziness Equals Cutting Corners

19 “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.” ~ Proverbs 15:19

I see this with my students when it comes to studying for their test; often they will take the notes but forget the notebook. I see this with my adult friends as they will talk a good game but then take no actions they had promised. It seems in both instances that the taking action is harder than the task, but the task is made out to be impossible or to stressful and so the first response is to quit before they start, or to cheat and cut corners. “Yes” the task may have been accomplished but it was not done to its fullest extent so it’s foundations therefore were laid upon sand rather than bedrock. This obvious laziness is very much like a hedge of thorns because it pricks the skin of all those who come in contact, and it often times is the cause to so much strife. It is more rewarding to to have studied then take the test confidently knowing you will pass with flying colors then it is to fret and feel defeated before and after the test. Remember that God is constantly testing us, testing our character, testing our loyalty, testing our love, and testing our fortitude by allowing certain problems to take place within our lives. God is molding us into a more perfect version of ourselves, but this process will never take root if you fall into denial and practice the art of refusal, because eventually you will have been given more than your fair share of chances and the door will close and you will pay for your sins and your many refusals. Doing things half-way is like not doing them at all. Part of your mind and spirit is in refusal to the full way, the right way, and rebellion takes over in your heart. Remember also that,  “Laziness”,  is another word for, “Slothfulness”, and slothfulness is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Laziness detracts from your efforts, keeps you prisoner, and keeps you complacent. But on the other hand those who are not lazy, who take action, who face their fears, and those who make bold moves in the name of God are counted among the wisest of the wise. Their actions are plain, easy to see, noticeable because of their fortitude, and they are seen for their strength of character, and are unshakable in their faith. These wise people are Gods righteous disciples and they hold the word of God in their hearts, minds, and soul.  God’s righteous people do not worry about the task at hand, even though it may seem impossible, they know it is not. It is an inner knowledge, (comfort), given them by their faith in God. In truth many stray from God and become lazy in their spiritual life because they claim it’s borring to go to church weekly, or they develop a disconnect with the other worshipers in that church, and they use these excuses to stop going completely. When this happens the faith they once held within God is broken and laziness takes root. But the wise and righteous fill this time with God, whether in church or on the street or in their houses alone, every moment is filled with God. Again the task of being active should envelop  every aspect of your life, it should melt seamlessly in and become singular actions that happen without thought or concentration on your part. Saint Peter did not think about his death, rather than His example of living for Jesus. The last thoughts of James, Son of Alphaeus was not of the stones being thrown that would end his life, but the fire for Christ he was lighting with his death. In every instance the disciples who died for their faith by the brutal actions of the non-believers they were preaching too was not of themselves or else they would never have gone so willingly to their deaths. In all the instances of those disciples who fell asleep in peaceful places, died after giving their entire life over to Jesus and spent every waking moment preaching the Word of God. Here is the description of “WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS” presented by Ichthus. 

Plenteousness vs Hastiness

5 “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty lead only to want.” ~ Proverbs 21:5

Those who rush through their lives, or give bad advise hoping to manipulate others thus wasting those peoples time and energy lead only to despair and wanting. Ironically all those who are affected by these manipulators also find nothing but wanting. In part it was the act of laziness which provoked this vicious cycle of hastiness and manipulations because it would have been harder to have been diligent and followed the ways of God. I say to you those who rush through activities also rush through everything giving no thought or concern for others in all areas of their life. Some will claim that they just wanted to get it over, some will claim that it didn’t matter any way, and still others will claim the experience would not have had any other conclusion, but I tell you these claims are false before the eyes of God. These people cut corners, cheat, lie, scheme, and do not care who they hurt. To see through this deception the simple test is to ask yourself if they saved any time by their hasty actions? Was there anyone hurt by what they did or was there anyone not accounted for in their hasty plans? Odds are someone was forgotten, someone was hurt, someone was cut off. In many instances there will be many people affected indirectly and  wether they realize it or not, their time has been stolen by the lazy selfishness of another. Whereby the exact opposite of hastiness and manipulation is that of living in plenty, living within the rules given by God and always doing your do diligence. When you meet a person who carries these attributes their goals and careful thought of others is easy to see. They do not rush into action, they instead take their time to consider all outcomes and to be frank, this takes time and effort. Some of us would say that we fit safely into this category, but truth be told many do not. It takes a certain level of maturity, wisdom, and love for your fellow man to be put within this very small group of people. These people of plenty are again ruled by the laws of God, and they do what is right, not what is convenient or fun. They keep the focus on God and give God all the glory when miracles happen in their lives. They are the most happy people you could ever hope to meet because they indure regardless of the hostility of others towards them and or harshness of their environment. They convert the non-believers and are methodical in action always persevering when others say it’s impossible. The people of plenty are the jewels of God, they are His most honored and the richest in the world as their hearts are filled with perpetual happiness and love from God. In the end we all have a choice, to be filled with plenty every day for the rest of our lives or to cheat and steel, making everyone around us miserable and accomplishing only despair for ourselves and others. We can take our time and smell the roses God has for us in His garden (so to speak) or we can rush through life chopping down every opportunity that could have been that singular flower that changed your life and way of thinking for ever. You can be diligent and patient or you can be rude and hasty, the choice is yours alone to make.

Laziness is Self-Limiting

7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” ~ John 15:7

Many people use excuses that  blame Jesus for their own laziness. According to Dan Waldschmidt’s blog posting tilted, “Jesus Doesn’t Do Lazy”, he points out that waving religion around as an excuse to not doing what it takes to succeed is not going to get you anywhere in life. Waldschmidt plainly states, “No amount of religion or spirituality can replace good old fashioned hard work. There are a lot of excuses that we  use to justify not working as hard as we should. One of the most deceptive excuses is religion. Instead of getting back up after a failure or trying a little bit harder along the way, we use the excuse that “if it was supposed to happen it would have happened” — inferring that some Higher Being controls how hard we try or not. Which is just silly. And self-limiting.” ~ Waldschmidt, Dan (Jan.23, 2013) Found online at: http://danwaldschmidt.com/2013/01/attitude/jesus-doesnt-do-lazyWaldschmidt has a point, for the Lord helps those who helps themselves. God rewards good behavior, not bad behavior. To many people assume because they pray, (sometimes),  or  look religious to others they will be rewarded. This is not the case. Praying is an activity you should be doing anyway, religion should be a personal matter between you and God and not used to impress others. Your walk with God is a special relationship that is between you and God, and if someone asks and you share then let Gods words do all the talking. One does not need to push religion to win an argument or make appoint  rather God is way to sophisticated for his words and promises to be used in a cat-fight. We share our faith to enhance our brethren’s faith, not to force your thoughts, beliefs, and ideas upon them. Truth is that, “There’s a direct connection between how hard you work the success that you achieve. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. Hard work always gets you better results. Laziness always ends up in failure.” ~ Waldschmidt, (2013). Laziness is self-limiting because you place an artificial cap on your own efforts expecting to fail, coupled by blaming God for the failure you have placed a mark of failure upon your heart. Failure can drive many people to laziness, to blame others, to ignore the obvious truth of the lack of their own efforts. Case in point: The Listening Faithfully Blog was not a popular blog in the beginning, but over time and writing many posts there came a point when people came, read, and came back week after week. 98% of all the comments I have received over the past five years has been positive and encouraging. In this time Listening Faithfully went from last page of the Google search results to number one. There are thousands of people around the world in almost every country that has logged in and visited many of our posts. Now imagine had I stopped after a January 2010 when I only received one view, or after the entire year of 2010 where I only received 1,090 views. In that case Listening Faithfully would never have grown into the success it is today tripling those stats every single month and gaining more and more follower, readers, and friends worldwide and changing lives in the process. Now, do I boast about this success, No, rather I thank God for His kindness and grace, and tell everyone who reads this blog to thank God for all the awesome blessings He has bestowed in your lives. In this action, when the miracles happen, you are proactive enough to thank God immediately more blessing are sure to come your way. But if laziness takes root, those blessing will never come, then the blaming and finger pointing begins, and your efforts will seem to have no effect. Hard work is the key, diligence is the key, belief in your future accomplishments is the key that lazy people are missing. Don’t falling to false teaching, not looking for a shortcut, not forcing others into misery, not being lazy is also the keys to defeating laziness and banishing it from your life forever. 

 

Amen

If you liked this Reflection on LAZINESS please leave a comment. Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

Brian Keith

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P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!

  

Special Prayer for a Sibling In Need

The special connection one has for a parent or sibling is certainly one that should be founded upon honor and love. It is these special people in your life which you truly spend your entire life with, through good and bad, richer or poor, and in sickness and good health. Thus it is the will of God that we move mountains for each other when we are asked to or when it is needed. For it was that Jesus treated everyone like this, he loved everyone, and cared about all of us equally. He even went to such lengths as to call us His brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of God. Therefore, when one of our brothers and sisters in Christ is in need we need to come to their call in every manner; with every special talent we have to answer that call.  So with this in mind I want to offer to this world community:  “Sisters and Brothers”,  I have created here with Listening Faithfully an opportunity to come together and send a special prayer for one of my brothers in Christ Jesus who’s sister has Leukemia and is fighting a good fight, running the race to the end. Please pray for my brother Neil McCarthy, and his sister Leslie Frankenheimer who has been at The City Of Hope Hospital since Thursday, September 27, 2012 and all their family during these trying times. I ask that you pray for his sister as she endures the medical treatment to save her life. So I ask everyone to pray twice tonight, and twice tomorrow, this special prayer;

 

Lord God in heaven, we pray to you through your son Jesus Christ, we ask that you hear our cry’s and our words of concern for this remarkably caring and beautiful woman who has served you by being a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, and mentor to all that Leslie Frankenheimer has known and loved. Lord God in Heaven we call on you in this hour when dark clouds gather, we call on you to light our darkest day, Lord we as a community of the faithful call upon you to give us hope; to shine your light of love so our path is less dim, thus we call on you. Lord; My God; I know you are with me; I know you are with Leslie and her entire family and friends; and I also know that you hear all of our prayers. Lord; I also know we can count on you when no-one else will answer; Oh’ God of love it is you who is responsible for giving us a reason to go on despite our cup of joy sometimes has become a cup of sorrow; Lord it is you that we call. Lord we humbly ask you  to place a calming hand upon Leslie and her family, let them now proclaim your goodness within this time of trouble and hardship, let everyone see your glory, your blessing, your wisdom, and your forgiveness, and good works as you transform Leslie’s soul and mold her to be more like you as you prepare the table before her. Lord I ask for your voice to be heard in the hearts of all who pray this prayer on behalf of Leslie’s sake, as we all pray these words that had been joyfully shouted out by your servant King David:

1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice  goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” ~ Psalm 19:1-4

Lord we ask for your healing hand to be extended upon my brothers sister Leslie Frankenheimer and that you are there with her holding her hand,  reassuring her, building her up, showing her your path as you gently guide her through the rest of her journey. Please Oh’ God take away all her fear and doubt, rescue her completely with a full recovery that which is complete in your most powerful grace. It is to you Oh Lord; God in Heaven; Father Almighty that we turn, that we pray this prayer of healing and of recovery. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

While praying this prayer feel free to say “I” in place of “we” and “my” in the place of “our” where appropriate, but please do pray.

As always if you have been moved by this prayer, I invite you to leave a comment to show your support to my two sisters and their family.

Amen

Prayer of Strength

ImageEach day you get out of bed pray this simple prayer, I promise it will fill you with the holy spirit: “Dear Lord, in Jesus’s name I pray; I ask you to give me the strength I need to do your will, I ask you for the words from your loving heart to spread to those who would do me wrong, and to uplift those who need it the most. Lord, God in heaven I beg you to fill my heart with your wisdom so my actions reflect your divine purpose, and Lord I humbly require the courage to make all this a reality in this day and every day for the remainder of my life. Lord I surrender completely to you. Amen”