November 13, 2022

Apostle's Scroll

Timothy and Titus

1 Peter 2:15-16

Matthias

Psalm 103:19

Epaphroditus

2 Kings 17:38-39

Mark

Jeremiah 17:14

Philip and James

Psalm 121:5

Peter and Paul

Philippians 1:6

Thomas and James

Jeremiah 33:14

Bartholomew

Exodus 13:17-18

Matthew

Isaiah 64:8

Simon and Jude

Mark 1:15

Andrew

2 Corinthians 5:19

John

Proverbs 17:22

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The Bible Woman Trilogy

Below are the links to my Bible Woman Trilogy. I was always a really big fan of Bibleman growing up, so I created Bible Woman to be his perfect counterpart shortly after coming into the Church. Bibleman serves as an influential image of the power of God’s Word and the need for devotion to Scripture to non-Catholic Christians, boys, elementary and junior high schoolers (and more recently the preschool and kindergarten crowd too), and the southern half of the U.S., so I designed Bible Woman to serve the same purpose for Catholic Christians, girls, high school and college students and adults, and the northern half of the U.S.. Hailing from the fictional town of Quartzville, South Dakota, this biblically themed heroine fights different demon-monsters representing various sins and temptations that threaten young people and all of us with memorized Scriptures like Jesus did in Matthew 4, and with the armor of God in Ephesians 6. I hope you enjoy the story, and consider giving the Bibleman show a try as well (we’re all kids at heart), which is actually mostly Catholic-friendly as far as I can tell. The three Bible Woman books are linked below:

Bible Woman

Bible Woman II

Bible Woman III

Bible Woman’s Recommended Memory Verses

God bless you!

Announcement of “Friend” Bible Study

What is the highest and most important of human relationships? In our overly-sexual culture, we are most likely to answer “marriage” or we might answer “love”, a word that has all too often become synonymous almost exclusively with sexual attraction and attachment. After all, the Bible clearly places an extremely high value on the institution of marriage: the first human relationship was a marriage (Genesis 2:18-24), and the book of Song of Solomon is all about marriage. Our relationship with the Lord is also compared to marriage in several very key passages of Scripture (Isaiah 54:4-8, Hosea chapters 1-3, Ephesians 5:21-33, Revelation 21:9-11, and more.) as well as throughout the tradition of the Church. Science and logic also affirm the importance of marriage as it is vital to continuing the human race.

However, when it comes to defining moments in Scripture, especially the gospels and more specifically the words of Jesus Himself, the relationship label He uses to describe us is “friend”:

When Jesus defines “Greater love has no man than this….”:

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:12-13 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

He doesn’t say spouse, parent, child, brother, “lover”, but friend. It’s an interesting word choice for those of us who have fallen into little cultural traps like when we say things such as “Oh, we’re just friends.” or “We’re nothing more than friends.” in a way that intentionally or unintentionally puts down a friendship that isn’t also a sexual relationship, because it’s a non-sexual relationship.

Again, when Jesus goes on to define what He calls us….:

“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.”

John 15:14-17 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

It makes sense too, when you consider from a logical and psychological approach too, what category every other healthy human relationship can and should fall under: it’s friendship. Spouses and potential spouses who are doing it right and enjoy a healthy relationship of true love as a result, will not hesitate to use the term “best friend” to describe the other person, whether or not any other labels enter into or remain in the picture. After all, when Scripture describes the nature of how a husband loves his wife….:

“Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the Church, because we are members of His body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'”

Ephesians 5:28-31, quoting Genesis 2:24 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

On the other hand, when Scripture describes how a friend loves his friend….:

“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul,….”

Deuteronomy 13:6 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

And again here:

“When he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

1 Samuel 18:1 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

And here:

“And Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”

1 Samuel 20:17 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

Last I checked, the value of the soul outweighs the value of the body, so if the Bible is comparing the way friends are meant to love each other to the way we love our own souls and the way spouses are meant to love each other to the way we love our own bodies, it sounds here like the Bible is putting the love of friends above the love of spouses. Again, we see an interesting word choice here. (If spouses are friends, though, and not just spouses, they won’t be missing anything either.)

Which seems to reflect another interesting verse here, where David mourns the death of his friend Jonathan:

“I am distressed for you, my brother Johnathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”

2 Samuel 1:26 RSVCE (Emphasis mine.)

I truly believe that if the rest of the world were to understand the value of friends and what it means to be a friend, people would not be afraid of being friends only, or exclusively friends or nothing else besides friends, and that all human relationships would be healthier and happier because we would be friends first, both in order and priority. We would nail down the most important part first before adding on other stuff, and we would also not be so disappointed if it were left at that, because we’d already be enjoying the most important part.

To this end, I am proposing a “FRIEND Bible Study” to my Bible Group, that will start in September of this year. In it, we will look at the value Scripture places on friendship, what the Bible means for friendship to be like, and the true love Scripture calls us to provide for our friends. The Bible study will also be copied to the document linked above if you don’t or are unable to follow my Bible Group. If you would like to participate and prepare ahead of time for this Bible study, you can search “friend” in your concordance (biblegateway.com is an excellent free and online concordance.) and reflect on the listed passages with Bible Study Questionnaire #11:

  1. What is the Bible saying about “friend” in this passage?
  2. Is this passage’s teaching on “friend” being presented as a command, example, promise, statement/proverb, or warning?
  3. What is the lesson intended for us in this Scripture’s teaching on “friend”?
  4. How can I apply this lesson to my life?
  5. Do I know someone who can benefit from this teaching?

God bless you!

The Goal is the Soul

“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.”

Luke 10:20 RSVCE

When considering the subject of spiritual warfare, it is easy to get caught up in the supernatural and unusual nature of the cases looked at, the “oohs and ahs”. After watching “The Exorcist” for the first time and discussing the subject with a good friend, I was inspired to meditate further on the subject. In “The Exorcist”, the two priests battling for the young girl being held captive are surprisingly less interested in the “stunts” being “performed” and far more concerned with the girl’s freedom and well-being as a person. My friend, who is so much like the Lord Jesus, was also surprisingly less interested in the supernatural details of my stories and more concerned with the subjects’ souls as individual people. These reactions led me to consider the question “What does Jesus see He looks at a person who has been subjected to satanic culture or demonic possession?”

As God, Jesus is more mature and focused on what’s truly important than we are as materialistic people. Despite the dramatic insults to His authority as Lord, Jesus’ Sacred Heart sees past the ugliness and the drama. Jesus’ Heart is madly in love with each and every soul and all He wants is to be able to give that soul His love, His healing, and His blessing. A gem that has been dropped in mud does not cease to be precious, however ugly the mud.

The conclusion of my little meditation is that I believe Jesus is challenging me, and all Christians who take an interest in the supernatural, to not be distracted by “stunts” and “performances” on the part of the devil, but to focus on the true mission: — which remains the same no matter how many or how few dramatic and exciting details are involved in the story — that “the goal is the soul”. As the Savior’s hands and feet, we must resist any attempts of the devil to distract us with “oohs and ahs” and pattern our hearts after His, by concerning ourselves with befriending and healing souls instead. No matter the context, we must treasure the human dignity of each soul and regard the particular evangelization scenario the same as any other evangelization scenario. In spite of how angry we may be — and rightly so — at the ugly offenses made against our Lord and others, or the dramatic nature of the story, our concern should be with the person that our Lord desperately loves: the prize, rather than the battle or the glory. Instead of focusing on the devil and giving him glory and attention by doing so, let’s love the people like Jesus does, who cares more about their well-being than about His own reputation or popularity.

I thank God for His grace, and I thank God for my friend. Thank You, Jesus!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 RSVCE

Apostle’s Scroll

pentecost

This new devotional will provide you with bits of wisdom in honor of your birth Apostle. For future posts from this article, see link: Apostle’s Scroll

Timothy and Titus (January)

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

Matthias (February)

then he must confess his sin that he has committed and must make full reparation, add one fifth to it, and give it to whomever he wronged. (Numbers 5:7)

Epaphroditus (March)

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

Mark (April)

And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

 Philip and James (May)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

Peter and Paul (June)

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Thomas and James (July)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Bartholomew (August)

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:37)

Matthew (September)

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

Simon and Jude (October)

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”  (Matthew 21:22)

Andrew (November)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

John (December)

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)

May God bless you through the intercession of His holy apostles, especially the one watching over you!

ascension

8 Steps To A Tougher Immune System

photo of person squeezing lemon

  1.  Vitamin A:  good sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.  (Vitamin A gives Vitamin C the power to do its job.)
  2.   Vitamin C:  good sources include lemons, oranges, broccoli, and potatoes.  
  3.   Garlic  (A natural antibiotic.)
  4.   No dieting.  (Your immune relies on fat to fight illness, and dieting also puts strain on the body.)
  5.  Healthy fats:  good sources include eggs, mayonnaise, avocado, olive oil, cream cheese, and sour cream. 
  6.   No sugar.  (Each tablespoon of white sugar knocks out your immune system for ten minutes.)
  7.   Drink lots of water. 
  8.   Get lots of sleep.  (Your immune system works twice as well when you’re sleeping as when you’re awake.)

orange carrots on table

The Passing of a Prince

Today I had to say goodbye to the truest friend I ever had.

Friends have left, family can turn sour if the moods aren’t right, and when my soul isn’t as strong even God can seem far away, but this furry little angel was always there for me and always loved me unmistakably.

He put up with my teasing and photo shoots, snuggled me every morning and night, celebrated my return from work or Mass, and was always a perfectly groomed and behaved. He was much more to me than just a pet, he was my baby, and I still can’t believe he’s gone.

I hope I’ll see you again in Heaven someday, sweet Prince, because only then will my broken heart be whole again! XOXOXOXO

 

princeandpony

The Pros & Cons of Harry Potter

Witch-Flying-a-Broom-Halloween-Applique-Machine-Embroidery-Design-Digitized-Pattern-700x700

Why people say it’s OK….          & why the experts know it’s not.

“It’s just a story. The witchcraft isn’t real.”….          The author, in her own words, used real spells and spell books in her books for “authenticity”. Those same spells are the ones in the movies too. “Slytherin” is the name of a real demon in wiccan/witchcraft teaching.

“It’s just a story. No one will get hurt by just enjoying the movies.”….          Ex-witch converts admit the movies are a recruiting tactic. Many possession and demonic harassment cases were found to be Harry Potter related upon investigation by deliverance teams and exorcists.

“The author was a Christian.”….       Not everyone who calls herself Christian is actually following the will of Christ. She admits, in her own words, that strange voices spoke the story to her and she wrote according to their dictation. Later, during the exorcism of a possession, the demon identified itself as “one of the six” when interrogated. Upon further interrogation, the exorcist got the demon to clarify that it was one of the six demons that dictated the Harry Potter stories.

“It’s a story of good magic versus bad magic, so these witches aren’t actually working for satan.”….          This is actually a wiccan/witchcraft teaching. High level witches teach that there are seven satanic princes and the one in charge of Christianity is known as “Voldemort”, translated “he who must not be named”. In the Harry Potter movies, Christianity is the bad guy, implying satan is the good guy. Not only is it wrong anyway to suggest witchcraft can ever be good, but the “good force” in this story is satan against the “bad force” of Christianity.

“The movies are OK, just not the books.”….          The harmful content from the books was not withheld from the movies at all. The same teachings, spells, and demon-characters are all there in the movies, and don’t forget the story itself was inspired by demons. Whether it’s the books or the movies, the source of the story is the same in both cases.

“My pastor/priest says it’s OK.”….          The general, uninformed, uneducated population will be split 50/50, so you can’t take just anyone’s word for it. You must talk to someone who’s an expert by experience or authority. Exorcists, the recently deceased Chief Exorcist of Rome, the previous pope, ex-witch converts, and all other qualified experts on witchcraft and spiritual warfare agree that Harry Potter is dangerous — not just bad, but dangerous — for the reasons given above.

“But my kids are really attached to those movies, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.”….          Kids get attached to dangerous things, like smoking and drugs, all the time. That’s why parents have to take charge for their kids and protect them. There are plenty of other movies and fandoms out there for your kid to get involved in that aren’t dangerous or satanic. Smoking might not kill you today, and it’s possible it might not kill you ever, but should you really take that chance? It’s the same principle. Just because you’re kids aren’t possessed or becoming real witches YET, doesn’t mean you should take chances with things you know are dangerous just because their friends like it. It’s OK to want to be your kid’s friend, but you are their protector first. Admitting and amending your mistakes will build character in your kids, so it’s worth the embarrassment to let yourself realize you were wrong or misinformed.

cartoon_devil

St. Michael, pray for us!

st michael

JMJ