The Story of Salvation – Part 6

+JMJ+ Welcome to The Story of Salvation, Part 6: Blessings and Curses. Boils down to this: one can live according to the covenant and keep it and reap the blessings, or live in a way that violates the covenant (covenants can’t actually be broken it but can be violated it) and so trigger the curses. Think of it this way: If I keep my hand off the stove when it’s on, I don’t burn my hand and I can cook my food. But if I put my hand on a hot eye of the stove, I’ll get burned. That’s a simplistic and very imperfect analogy but my point is that it’s not God being vindictive. He gave us a world and said, Live this way and you’ll be blessed, live this other way and you’ll bring all manner of deep, deep trouble upon yourself. And mankind has been awfully bad at following these simple instructions for thousands of years, proving to us that sin damages the one who sins and ripples outward to damage everyone and everything else, too. No sin is private.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 5

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 5 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. I found something to share with you, well, two somethings. It’s two talks by Scott Hahn (author of A Father Who Keeps His Promises, the main text, along with the Bible, that I’ve been using for this series, though I plan to use some other ones, too). And he managed to get almost everything about the story of salvation (well, a lot of it, anyway) into the first talk which lasts a little over an hour, and when he finished, I was not ready for him to stop. So I watched another one. I’m linking them here so you can watch them both, too.

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The Story of Salvation – Part 4

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 4 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. I should probably rename it to Rambling Rambles About Salvation, or Rambling Through the Bible, or Rambling Tangentially About the Bible When I’m Even Talking About the Bible At All. But that would be a really long title, though undoubtedly more accurate. As usual, notes and links are at the end of the post.

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40 Days for Life, God Works Wonders When We Stand Together To Pray

What if Mary had not said Yes? What if Joseph had turned away from Jesus and Mary?On Monday and Tuesday of this week two parishes had adopted the days so the sidewalk outside the abortuary was covered with a blanket of prayer. A veritable shield of prayer. I think there were two saves that day and I witnessed one of them. Since we had so many there, volunteers were able to talk with the couple while others prayed, and a few minutes later were able to lead the couple all the way to a place where they could get real help without leaving the vigil site unattended. And did we pray! We were filled with joy as we watched the cars pull away heading to a place that welcomes and cares for life, leaving that place of darkness behind them. Praise God! We all knew that He was working mighty works before our eyes. God is so good!

Tuesday was quieter while I was there. There was a moment when a police car came up. Two girls had gone in together (one was very young and the other was older, but I’m so old now that they both looked young to me), and the older one kept coming back outside then going back in. Finally the girls came out and the police did, too. We don’t know what was going on there but we need to definitely keep both of those girls in our prayers and any other life that may be in the picture.

Later a sour-looking woman drove up, probably in her fifties, maybe older. A. approached her with a brochure and the woman told her that she was there to make a contribution to Planned Parenthood and was going to contribute every day that we were out there. A. told her very pleasantly that she was going to continue contributing to God. (Good on ya, A.) We prayed for her and I’ve added her to my ever-lengthening list of folks who show us kindness and who show us hostility during the vigil.

Wednesday was quiet the whole time I was there. One couple drove down the street slowly and parked around the corner and went in while I was walking up the street with my back to them and without me speaking to them. When I realized they were out of their car, they were nearly to the door. I felt so bad about not speaking up that I prayed that they would come back out really soon, for any reason at all, just come back out real quick and I said I promised that I would speak to them and offer them the brochure with the ultrasound coupon in it. As I prayed for them, I grabbed some brochures from the cooler.

Then, almost as soon as I finished this prayer, the door opened and they came out and walked down the steps. “Here goes,” I said. I had promised, after all, and God did send them back outside. So I offered the brochure to them but the man said, “We’re good.” So I continued praying for them. They got in their car and sat there talking for a long time. I kept walking up and down the sidewalk, praying the rosary, and sometimes I would nod in their direction, sometimes not, as I reached the corner and turned to walk the other way. They sat there a really long time and I prayed for them the whole time, pleading for them to choose life and not to have anything to do with Planned Parenthood.

At last the engine started up and the car backed out and they drove away. I don’t know what choice they were facing. But I know they left that dark place. And I know that several people are praying for them tonight because I texted some prayer warriors about them, but please keep this young couple in your own prayers, too. May they choose to welcome life into their hearts and their home, now or whenever God so pleases to grant them this gift. And may they be drawn closer and closer to our precious Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, in Whom we all move and live and have our being. Amen.

Peace be with you. You and I may not see each other out on the sidewalk but we can keep each other in our thoughts and prayers. And please pray for the couples I mentioned (and all others like them) that they may resist any pressure from those around them and the temptation to reject the beautiful gift of life! May Christ Who is the Light of the world enlighten their minds and fill their hearts with His love and joy. Forever. Amen.

What if Mary had not said Yes? What if Joseph had turned away from Jesus and Mary?