Thursday Renewals

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Daily Prayer for August 2

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NIV

Father in heaven, we thank you that we may feel your leading, your lordship, for you have blessed us with every spiritual and heavenly gift in Christ. We thank you that we may be among those who receive true life always anew, who praise and glorify you, exulting even in difficult days. For it is just in the difficult days that we need to belong to those who are thankful and joyful, who always find new certainty in their lives. With them may we experience the good you give on earth so that humankind may be blest and come at last into your hands. Amen.

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

leaftwig11When we look into the heart of a flower, we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth, and everything else in the cosmos in it. Without clouds, there could be no rain, and there would be no flower. Without time, the flower could not bloom. In fact, the flower is made of entirely non-flower elements; it has no independent, individual existence. When we see the nature of inter-being, barriers between ourselves and others are dissolved, and peace, love, and understanding are possible. Whenever there is understanding, compassion is born.

Source: Living Buddha, Living Christ

 

 

 

<em>Santo Eusébio Ressuscitando Três Pessoas</em> | Raphael

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli

Saint of the Day for August 2

(c. 300 – August 1, 371)

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODAug02.mp3

 

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli’s Story

Someone has said that if there had been no Arian heresy denying Christ’s divinity, it would be very difficult to write the lives of many early saints. Eusebius is another of the defenders of the Church during one of its most trying periods.

Born on the isle of Sardinia, he became a member of the Roman clergy, and is the first recorded bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont in northwest Italy. Eusebius was also the first to link the monastic life with that of the clergy, establishing a community of his diocesan clergy on the principle that the best way to sanctify his people was to have them see a clergy formed in solid virtue and living in community.

He was sent by Pope Liberius to persuade the emperor to call a council to settle Catholic-Arian troubles. When it was called at Milan, Eusebius went reluctantly, sensing that the Arian block would have its way, although the Catholics were more numerous. He refused to go along with the condemnation of Saint Athanasius; instead, he laid the Nicene Creed on the table and insisted that all sign it before taking up any other matter. The emperor put pressure on him, but Eusebius insisted on Athanasius’ innocence and reminded the emperor that secular force should not be used to influence Church decisions. At first the emperor threatened to kill him, but later sent him into exile in Palestine. There the Arians dragged him through the streets and shut him up in a little room, releasing him only after his four-day hunger strike. They resumed their harassment shortly after.

His exile continued in Asia Minor and Egypt, until the new emperor permitted him to be welcomed back to his see in Vercelli. Eusebius attended the Council of Alexandria with Athanasius and approved the leniency shown to bishops who had wavered. He also worked with Saint Hilary of Poitiers against the Arians.

Eusebius died peacefully in his own diocese at an advanced age.


Reflection

Catholics in the U.S. have sometimes felt penalized by an unwarranted interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and state, especially in the matter of Catholic schools. Be that as it may, the Church is happily free today from the tremendous pressure put on it after it became an “established” Church under Constantine. We are happily rid of such things as a pope asking an emperor to call a Church council, Pope John I being sent by the emperor to negotiate in the East, or the pressure of kings on papal elections. The Church cannot be a prophet if it’s in someone’s pocket.

 

Another Saint of the Day for August 2 is the Dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels.

The Story of the Dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels

Francis rebuilt this chapel with his own hands and died less than 50 feet away from it.

The chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, down the hill from the walled city of Assisi, was built out of devotion but had deteriorated by the time of Francis’ conversion. Although it belonged to the Benedictine monks on nearby Mount Subasio, few people then lived close to the Portiuncula, “Mary’s little portion.”

After having rebuilt the small churches of San Damiano and later San Pietro, which no longer exists, Francis rebuilt this chapel. In time, it would be called the “cradle of the Franciscan family,” important to the friars, the Poor Clares, Secular Franciscans and members of the Third Order Regular.

While attending Mass here one day, Francis heard a reading from the Gospel of Matthew; Jesus was sending out the apostles without gold, silver, or money; they were not to carry a traveling bag, food, or a walking staff and were not to wear sandals or have two tunics. Instead, they should preach the kingdom of God and penance. Francis exclaimed, “This is what I wish; this is what I seek; this is what I long to do with all my heart” (1 Celano, #22).

A few years later, Francis and the other friars received the Lady Clare here on Palm Sunday evening, gave her a religious garb, and cut her hair as a sign of entrance into a new way of life. The Benedictines gave Francis the chapel, which soon became his headquarters. Here the friars assembled in annual chapters to report on what they had accomplished with God’s grace and to decide on new territories for evangelizing. Here Francis resigned in 1221 as minister general of the friars. Because this chapel had a special role in Francis’ conversion, it became a place very special to members of the Secular Franciscan Order. A few feet from this chapel, Francis died just after sunset on October 3, 1226.

By that time, Francis had gained from Pope Honorius III the “Pardon of Assisi,” a plenary indulgence for everyone who visited and prayed in this small chapel on the anniversary of its dedication. In 1569, construction began on the basilica that now surrounds the chapel. The hillside city of Assisi has stopped growing geographically; expansion now occurs on the plain near Our Lady of the Angels Basilica. Thousands of pilgrims come here every year to pray for their own intentions, for family needs, and for reconciliation throughout the world. On October 27, 1986, Pope John Paul II and 235 leaders of the world’s major religions began their Day of Prayer for World Peace with a prayer service in front of this tiny chapel.


Reflection

In this chapel, Francis of Assisi began to understand more about the truth of his life, his service of God and how both of those connect with service to other people. Truth and forgiveness provide the only lasting foundations for genuine peace.

 

 

Daily Wisdom: Proverbs 6:10-11

Illustration of Proverbs 6:10-11 — A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

 

Morning & Evening: Morning Devo, Aug. 2nd

Illustration of Ephesians 1:11 — "Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."

Morning Thought

Our belief in God’s wisdom supposes and necessitates that he has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been without his design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation? Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland, and blood-vessel, you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace? Shall the new creation have the fickle genius of free will to preside over it when divine counsel rules the old creation? Look at Providence! Who knoweth not that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father? Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales, and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a God in providence and not in grace? Shall the shell be ordained by wisdom and the kernel be left to blind chance? No; he knows the end from the beginning. He sees in its appointed place, not merely the corner-stone which he has laid in fair colours, in the blood of his dear Son, but he beholds in their ordained position each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by his grace; he sees the whole from corner to cornice, from base to roof, from foundation to pinnacle. He hath in his mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared space, and how vast the edifice shall be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it.” At the last it shall be clearly seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did as he willed with his own; and that in every part of the work of grace he accomplished his purpose, and glorified his own name.
Illustration of Ruth 2:17 — "So she gleaned in the field until even."

Evening Thought

Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation. The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me; I fear I have lost much already-O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence. The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I. High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment. What the gleaner gathers she holds: if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day’s work would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.
The Door of Full Surrender
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
August 02, 2018

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:10I was recently sitting with the leader of a workplace organization as he described a question he poses to workplace believers. “What if there were two doors to choose from; behind one door was the complete will of God for your life and behind the other door was how life could be according to your own preference. Which door would you choose?” The struggle for most lies in the desire to follow God completely and the fear of what might be behind the door of full surrender. Most of us desire to follow God, but few of us will do it at any cost. We do not really believe that God loves us to the degree that we are willing to give Him complete permission to do as He wills in us.

If we desire to fully walk with Christ, there is a cost. We may give intellectual assent and go along with His principles and do fine; however, if we are fully given over to Him and His will for our life, it will be a life that will have adversity. The Bible is clear that humans do not achieve greatness without having their sinful will broken. This process is designed to create a nature change in each of us, not just a habit change. The Bible calls it circumcision. Circumcision is painful, bloody, and personal.

If God has plans to greatly use you in the lives of others, you can expect your trials to be even greater than those of others. Why? Because, like Joseph who went through greater trials than most patriarchs, your calling may have such responsibility that God cannot afford to entrust it to you without ensuring your complete faithfulness to the call. He has much invested in you on behalf of others. He may want to speak through your life to a greater degree than through another. The events of your life would become the frame for the message He wants to speak through you.

Do not fear the path that God may lead you on. Embrace it. For God may bring you down a path in your life to ensure the reward of your inheritance. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17)

Listening to the Father’s Heart – August 2
by Os Hillman

Son, storms have a particular purpose in my nature and order. They bring stress upon the environment. Weak limbs yield to the wind and fall to the ground. My major storms bring down entire trees and those things that have weak foundations give way to wind and rain. In essence, storms reveal the strength of any foundation. You will find me in the midst of the storm. It is there I do some of my finest work in my sons and daughters. Struggles in life allow you to learn about yourself and move to places with me you would never go on your own. Son, remember this, life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. You are never alone in the storm. I am always in the midst.

The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:3,7

For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble, They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. Psalm 107:25-28

When Others Disappoint You
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
August 02, 2018

“Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica”(2 Tim 4:9-10).

Adversity molded the apostle Paul into the greatest warrior for Christ the world has ever known. But there were times when adversity and disappointment took its toll on this rugged warrior. We can sense Paul’s hurt and discouragement near the end of his second letter to Timothy:

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica… At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me… Do your best to get here before winter (4:9-11,14,16,21).

Do you hear the pain in those words? Twice he urges Timothy to come to him. Do you feel his anguish when he twice speaks of being deserted by his friends?

In most of his letters, Paul seems to have an invincible spirit. Yet he was a man who suffered, felt betrayed, and was at times very lonely. However, Paul chose to look at life from a heavenly perspective. That’s why he could write:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Cor. 4:8-10).

Paul had experienced a level of opposition and suffering that you and I can scarcely imagine. People said they would do things but did not follow through. He could not depend on certain people. Yet he was not crushed, and he refused to give in to despair. He viewed his life as a continual process of dying. His goal was to live in such a way that the life of Jesus would be revealed in his response to adversity.

Beware of placing too much expectation on others. Realize that people will let you down from time to time, but do not let that impact your faith. Trust God to work even through these disappointments.

 

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of James 1:22

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

What we know and what we believe are not all that significant if they do not show up in the way we live our daily lives. Pure and simple, faith not lived out in everyday life is not faith; it is facade. Just as Jesus had told us to put into practice what we have learned from him, his brother James reminds us the same thing: when we learn the truth of God’s word, there is only one thing left for us to do: put it into practice!

My Prayer…

Holy God, help me put into practice what I know is your will and your truth today. In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day August 2

NATIONAL ICE CREAM SANDWICH DAY

Observed each year on August 2, it is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.  This food holiday is one that will refresh each one of us on a warm summer day with a delicious frozen ice cream sandwich.

The original ice cream sandwich sold for a penny in 1900 from a pushcart in the Bowery neighborhood of New York.  The vendor, who was never identified in the article printed in papers across the nation, sandwiched the ice cream between milk biscuits. Soon, push carts popped up around the city and country during the summer months selling the portable treats.

The modern version of the ice cream sandwich was invented by Jerry Newberg in 1945 when he was selling ice cream at Forbes Field.   There are pictures from the early 1900s, “On the beach, Atlantic City”, that show Ice Cream Sandwiches were popular and sold for 1 cent each.

There are alternatives to the classic ice cream sandwich using chocolate cookies, oatmeal cookies or a rice crispy wafer in place of the original chocolate one.

Ice cream sandwiches are known around the world by a variety of names including the Monaco Bar, Giant Sandwich, Maxibon, Cream Between, Vanilla Slice and many more.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy an ice cream sandwich today! Post on social media using #IceCreamSandwichDay.

HISTORY

Within our research, we were unable to find the creator and origin of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

 

 

 

Charisma Daily Devotionals

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1-2

In the early days of my Christian life, my friends and I read Romans 12:2 in the negative sense. We thought it meant, “You will be transformed mostly by staying away from sinful movies,” and we had a whole list of bad things to stay away from so that we would end up transformed. But there is much more to this principle than clamping down on ourselves and staying away from bad things. Your mind is not renewed primarily by staying away from bad things but by filling your mind with the truth about God. You don’t need better sin-avoidance techniques but a new vision of what God’s heart looks like. Flowing from that vision will be a new vision of what you look like to God. When I fill my mind with what God’s emotions look like, I experience new dimensions of grace to stay away from the “bad things.”

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Give me a vision of Your heart, O God, and the things of this world that used to defeat me and cause me to sin will no longer have any appeal to me. Flood over my heart and mind with Your presence.

You don’t need better sin-avoidance techniques
but a new vision of what God’s heart looks like.

 

 

 

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