Tuesday, December 31, 2013

THIS DAY'S . . . HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I could not say it better that this "Thought" AND "Verse" ....... I wish you all a 2014 filled with God's Infinite Love, His Blessings, and His Graces!  YOU are a child of God, we are all His.  Turn the light that emanates from your Soul toward Him, you'll find a narrow path, the the earth is very soft and you will find footsteps of those walking before you.  Once you're on this narrow path, don't stop, EVER!  Whatever befalls your small piece of the world, know that God is working on your tomorrow; your today was planned yesterday.

Blessings, Peace, Love & Joy,
ABBEY
~*~

This Day's Thought from The Ranch
There is a wealth of unexpressed love in the world. It is one of the chief causes of sorrow evoked by death: what might have been said or might have been done that never can be said or done.
Arthur Hopkins

This Day's Verse
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing brides, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.
Isaiah 33:15-16
The New King James Version

Monday, December 30, 2013

SHORT AND SWEET - THIS DAY'S . . . .

 

This Day's Thought from The Ranch
 
I can seldom read scripture now without tears of joy and gratitude.
Hudson Taylor

This Day's Verse
 
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Proverbs 28:26
The English Standard Version

This Day's Smile
 
My life is my message.
Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, December 29, 2013

WONDERFUL READ!

I receive d this from a very wonderful and dear friend, and just had to share it. I don't know the author; maybe it is my friend, I don't know, but I loved it!

The wonderment in a small child's eyes,
The ageless awe in the Christmas skies
The nameless joy that fills the air,
The throngs that kneel in praise and prayer
These are the things that make us know 
That men may come and men may go
But none will ever find away
To banish Christ from Christmas Day,
For with each child there's born again,
A mystery that baffles men

Saturday, December 28, 2013

WHERE IS ABBEY? LIVING A LESSON ABOUT OUR LOVING GOD!

My dear friends, I know that I let you down in my absence, but please trust me that it was a matter of great concern, it had to be addressed and it is ongoing.  BUT, it has all served to strengthen my faith in God.

In years past, I see a young woman who could not see past her nose.  She was an idealist, and still is, still wearing those very worn rose-colored glasses, because I have FAITH that one day, things will be rosy again.

Through several years (approximately 7), I have experienced numerous life changes, too many to tell in detail, events, people coming and going, and very slowly I was drawn to something not very familiar to me. Okay, I go to Mass all these years since coming into the church in 1985.  I think of myself as being a good individual and that God is surely pleased. But you see, I was raised in the Pentecostal church.  As long as you attended Sunday service and Sunday School, I had the idea that all was great between me and the Man Upstairs.   I didn't say my prayers before bed, nor in the morning; at best, there was Grace before eating a meal.

 Speaking of prayer, and then I'll get back to my point, I see more and more people praying over their food at restaurants, and I think, "how grand! They love God completely and are giving thanks in public places." So, I don't make a big deal with everyone around me, but I close my eyes in the midst of conversations, the clanking of forks around me and stop just a moment and thank God for His bounty.

Getting back to my upbringing versus my adopted faith, I decided one day to purchase The Catechism. Oh it's a large book allright, but I set out in earnest to browse it's topics and I would read things that appealed to my questioning mind.  I, in no way, profess to have read ALL of the Catechism, but I have done some research and taken a class or two at church.

Over this blessed time, CHRISTmas, there have been a lot of dynamics in my family that have had some serious and sad repercussions.  While going through these things over the past few days, my mind has been awash with negativity, anger, compassion, self-analyzing, and coming to a conclusion that I never expected.

My children's father is a victim of Viet Nam and suffers PTSD.  While we were married, I was able to help him through the holiday of Christmas fairly well.  But we have been apart of 19 yeas and his situation in his own home has digressed dramatically.  All he has is his children,  My son lives with him since becoming unemployed. Their lives are, sadly, wondering from where the next dollar was going to come, and they grew very tired of eating bologna sandwiches long ago.  The Dad grew so depressed that he let his beautiful home to go into disrepair, it is filthy inside and out.  He has been retired for a long time, but he has no business acumen and has always lived beyond his means.  Charge cards, several, have been charged to the max.  He continued to try to help my son, when I realized through therapy that I was being an enabler, and I shut off the bank.  The dad got angry at me and chided me that he would always give to his children whatever he has that they need.  That's great when they are growing up, but when a person is 30 years old and refuses to accept that the job market in his area has changed and he needs to find something else, he allowed his dad to continue giving him money, even asking for it, and asking me for it, and it hurt to say "no" but really, if you read this and you know someone who is involved is a similar situation, the answer is this: "If they need something and know you're not going to give it to them, then maybe, just maybe that light will come one that says 'I need to get a job, doing something, anything".  At this point, I'm sure you agree.

Christmas is a very hard time for my former husband, I lived with it for 15 years and why I didn't think about it is beyond me.  I just don't know.  Not until the texts about "God take me so my children can have better lives. It's all my fault. I'm going to hell and I know it."  Of course, my response was that he should not talk that way.  He is a victim of the Viet Nam war and he doesn't feel God has forgiven him, which you KNOW is wrong! God always forgives, just ask.

This has affected my children and for them, I am trying to be strong.

So, I could not sleep to save my life last night.  As I lay there, this whole situation consumed my thoughts.  I could not shut my mind down so I could sleep.  As I began to pray, the words were stuck somewhere in the annals of my mind and soul; I just didn't know what to say anymore. I've said it all to Him over the last three years.  Is He wanting me to move on to something else?  I don't pray my Rosary as I should, but when I do, it feels so wonderful.  I don't go to confession; it is a doctrine that I have not reconciled myself to follow; I feel I communicate directly, why tell someone my darkest secrets and receive absolution?  But I am a good Christian, even if I may not be a good Catholic at all times.

I've made extreme advances in my Faith, Trust & Love of God and Jesus Christ.  So many prayers have been answered, except one that I've prayed religiously for three years.  Now I have a family where everyone really does need some help in some way.  Suddenly, I imagine it came from The Holy Spirit as I invite the Spirit to be with me whenever I pray, but the thoughts began to form and this is what I concluded.

I believe and have faith that God has allowed all of these dynamics to occur, and to affect the entire family, each in a different way.  But, I KNOW in my heart that God is at hand and He knows that what has transpired over the last few days is going to be a lesson to each of us, all different, all tailored to fit our lives.

This diatribe is more about seeing the whole picture when you involve the Lord.  People wonder "why" all of the time, and they don't realize that the Psalm "be still, and listen . . . ." is what should be practiced, as well as patience, which will be a by-product of FAITH!  If God can be so attuned to the minute details of the purpose of a worm in the earth, create something so complex as the human being, then surely He is like an admiral during war.  The war is fighting all that Satan tries to spoil! It is essential to pray Satan away every day of your lives.  I have this vision of God with a huge table and maps of sorts and figures everywhere.  He moves them around and he puts certain people together at the right times where if each could only understand Him and know that it is Him working in our lives, oh what a better way of living life.

God has allowed several things to come together within my family over a long period of time.  I can now see how all of the dots are connected and it makes sense.  All I am doing is waiting to see how each is resolved; and, I do BELIEVE in Him and that He is working in all of our lives. These dynamics had to occur, and we will be saved in the end because our Heavenly Father will not allow us to fall and not pick us up!

My prayers last night were simple.  I prayed to God Almighty, Jesus Christ, my Heavenly Mother, and all the saints that I could name, "Help, please help us."  It was that simple but it pretty much covered it for our entire family.  Help us God, Help us Jesus ......

I never intend to be so wordy, but when the Holy Spirit starts guiding me, this is what comes.  My gratitude to The Holy Spirit for giving me the words and my Guardian Angel who is sitting beside me, for holding me up and making me stronger.

May you seek to learn to see the big picture where it concerns your relationship with God and with other human beings.

May He touch you today with His Mercy, Love and Graces,
Amen.

ABBEY

Friday, December 27, 2013

THIS DAY'S . . .


This Day's Thought from The Ranch
Apart from Christ we know neither what our life nor our death is; we do not know what God is nor what we ourselves are.
Blaise Pascal

This Day's Verse
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
2 Samuel 23:3
The King James Version

This Day's Smile
The miracles of Jesus were the ordinary works of his Father, wrought small and swift that we might take them in.
George MacDonald

Thursday, December 26, 2013

DEEP THOUGHTS

Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself.
Francis de Sales

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 9

Peace be with you!
 
Today is Christmas Eve and the last day of our Christmas Novena!
 
I hope and pray that you have a blessed and holy Christmas. 
 
Today, let us continue to pray for an end to abortion and for a greater respect for all life as we celebrate the birth of our Lord!
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
 
Opening Prayer:
 
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
 
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
The Journey in Egypt
 
O most sweet infant Jesus, who dwelled as an exile
in Egypt for seven years, where spoke your first words,
and, first begin to walk upon this earth. 
 
Have mercy upon us.
 
Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.
 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
 
Amen.
_________________________
 
Have a very Merry Christmas! 
 
God bless your family and friends as you celebrate this holy day tomorrow!
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Sunday, December 22, 2013

GOD ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING FOR YOU

Many thanks to my sweet Sister in Christ, Jules,  for sending to me.


 


CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYERS - DAY 7

Peace be with you!
 
Today, let us pray for all parents and godparents. They have an important role in bringing up a child who is brought into the world. 
 
Just like the Lord was presented in the temple, our children are presented in the Church for Baptism. There, parents and godparents take on the responsibility for bringing up a child in the faith. 
 
So, today we pray for all parents and godparents. We pray also for those children who have no one to present them in the Church for Baptism. We pray that God will eventually bring them to His family and that they may be welcomed with open arms!
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
 
Opening Prayer:
 
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
 
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
The Presentation
 
O most sweet infant Jesus, presented in the temple
by the Virgin Mary, embraced by Simeon, and revealed
to the Jews by Anna the prophetess. 
 
Have mercy on us.
 
Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.
 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. 
 
Amen.
_________________________________
 
I just wanted to remind you that you are praying with thousands of people from around the world.
 
Don't forget to pray for their intentions today too!
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Saturday, December 21, 2013

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 6

Peace be with you!
 
Today we meditate on the 'Adoration of the Kings.' The three kings came to worship the child Jesus. They set out on their journey seeking this new born King of Kings. 
 
Today, let us pray that in the same way, the leaders and 'wise men' of today will seek out Jesus and adore him. And, as we pray for an end to abortion in this Christmas Novena, let us pray that our leaders may also respect and protect the life of the little ones who are made in God's image.
 
I'd like to especially pray for the leaders in countries where there are efforts to expand abortion. May God preserve the people and their leaders from the scourge of abortion.
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
 
Opening Prayer:
 
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
 
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
The Adoration of the Kings
 
O most sweet infant Jesus, who was made known
to the three kings, who worshiped you as you lie on
Mary's breast, and offered you the mystical presents
of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 
 
Have mercy on us.
 
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
 
Amen.
 __________________________________
 
Thank you for joining me and thousands of others in praying this Christmas Novena!
 
Can you think of anyone who would benefit from or enjoy praying this novena with you? 
 
Please take a moment to think about it and send them an email. 
 
Asking them to join here:
 
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

BLOGGER PROBLEMS

If you have had any trouble entering Abbey's Road this week, I would very much appreciate you leaving me a message in the comment section with the exact message you receive upon entering the path for this website.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Blessings,
Abbey

DEAR OLD MAXINE



THIS DAY'S THOUGHT AND VERSE FROM THE RANCH



This Day's Thought from The Ranch
God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself where I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him… When people say they have had a call to foreign service, or to any particular sphere of work, they mean that their relationship to God has enabled them to realize what they can do for God.
Oswald Chambers

This Day's Verse
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
Isaiah 32:17-18

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 4


Peace be with you!
 
Today, the Christmas Novena prayers focus on the Holy Nativity of our Lord! 
 
Let us pray for an openness to life and an expectation for new life from God.
 
Pray that you and I (and everyone in this prayer community) will be open to the Lord when He comes to us each day. Pray that we will be open to His answers to prayers and to all of His blessings. 
 
Pray that all of us and our society as a whole will be more open to the gift of new life from God! 
 
And pray that we will not allow abortion, contraception or anything else interfere with God's gift of life to us. 
  
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
 
Opening Prayer:
 
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
 
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
The Holy Nativity.
 
O most sweet infant Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary in
Bethlehem, wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, laid
in the manger, glorified by angels, and visited by
shepherds. 
 
Have mercy on us.
 
Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.
 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. 
 
O Jesus born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee;
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally.
 
Christ is at hand. O come, let us worship him.
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
Amen.
 
__________________________________ 
 
Thank you for joining me and thousands of others in praying this Christmas Novena!
 
Can you think of anyone who would benefit from or enjoy praying this novena with you? 
 
Please take a moment to think about it and send them an email. 
 
Asking them to join here:
 
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A GIFT FOR JESUS ON HIS BIRTHDAY

My focus for weeks has been, and will continue to be on the greatest Celebration of the year, the Birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Praise God!

First, God did not have to send a redeemer, an incarnate of Himself, into this world.  God did not have to command the woman-child via an Angel that she was the purest woman on His earth, so pure that He had chosen her to carry a child conceived by Immaculate Conception.  I cannot imagine sweet virgin Mary saying "no" to God, can you?

Have you ever spent any time really thinking about all the dynamics involved in this pregnancy to a supposed virgin?  And Joseph!  He accepted her carrying our Savior for the good of the world, as designed by God Almighty.
   
Imagine living in that small village where everyone knows everyone.  The word gets out that the woman-child, Mary, is pregnant and not yet married.  Just think about that single fact for a moment .....

Of all the things that have been "passed down" in millions of families over a period of 2,013 years, apparently morality is not one of them. But I was talking about the sweet virgin, Mary, Mother of God.

I can envision the scrutiny of the people in her village; the initial lump that swelled in her mother and father's throats when she told them the "good news"; moreover, the reaction of St. Joseph that his betrothed was already with child, and they were not even married.  But, Joseph married Mary as God had planned.

I don't know; maybe people didn't gossip back then? Naw! People have gossiped since the beginning of time, don't you think?  It's horrible; but, it exists.  Mary and Joseph began their lives together and when the time came to go to Bethlehem and be registered with the tax man, there was no way to "call" the tax office and tell them that you had a baby due any day and could you come later. No.  It was the law and to Bethlehem they must go.

Mode of travel - for Mary - a donkey.  Have you ever seen a REAL donkey? You might confuse a Burrow with a Donkey.  Burrows are larger than a donkey, loud snorters and mean as Scrooge.  But a donkey is a very short and very fat animal.  On a donkey's back, Mary would ride for days, sleeping on the ground at night (where we have our comfy beds today) to obey the law.

Women, if you've carried a child, I don't care what time of year it is, when that last month comes around, all the fun is suddenly gone on vacation somewhere.  You are irritable, you feel awful and big as a refrigerator, you don't sleep well because there's no way to gain that coveted position of tummy down while you sleep.  I think the first thing most women do as soon as they give birth is to roll over on their tummy to sleep that first night. It feels soooo good!

But back to sweet Mary, the virgin mother carrying our Savior conceived through Immaculate Conception and to Joseph, her dutiful and loving husband.  It was cold that time of year, especially at night.  I'd just love to see a group of women from all walks of life today to take a two-day trip on a donkey in their ninth month of pregnancy, and sleep on the cold ground and not complain.  I really would.  Any volunteers out there?

We don't give Mary enough homage as concerns what she went through giving Jesus life and then watching him crucified.  Yes, we revere her and she is seated at the right hand of her son, Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of his Father, God Almighty.  No other faith that I know of reveres Mary as we do.  Moreover, we are accused of idolatry for our reverence to Mary.  Ignorance is bliss.  'Nuff said!

The stable that was offered to them for the night wasn't all pretty and nice like our nativity scenes that we arrange for Christmas either in our place of worship or our homes.  I can imagine the stench was awful, not to mention unsanitary.  But people were not spoiled to comfy beds and blankets, doctors and nurses to aid in delivery, and a nice bed to recuperate and send the baby to the nursery because you need a nap.  I'm sure it was freezing, and a bed made from hay could never be acceptable to society today.  I'm fairly sure that the donkey ride induced labor; perhaps even before the couple arrived in Bethlehem.  By the time they were settled in the stable, Mary was in full labor.

Not to be insensitive, but to be sensitive, in those days women were aided my other women in the birthing process.  A small, circular hole was dug in the home and filled with hay, and a post was set for the pregnant woman to lean against.  When labor came, the woman would squat and lean against the post and push with all her might.  The idea, I assume you see, is that the baby comes out and the bed of hay is a safe place for it to fall when the birth was accomplished. Then there was the afterbirth, etc., and that's enough about that.  I wonder, did they cut the tube and tie it near the origin in the tummy of the baby or vice versa?

People don't stop and really think about the birth of Jesus.  The last couple of weeks, everywhere I go, I say "Merry Christmas - Jesus Loves You!"  The majority of people are taken aback just a little.  Why is that?  You can answer that for yourself.  Where I am so excited about Jesus' birthday that I bought a NEW tree this year and decorated it to a "T" for Him.  I look at it while I am watching television at night and in my thoughts, I ask Jesus if he likes his gift.  And He does, a lot, in fact.  While others are busy buying presents and trying to find the right gift for the couple who already has "everything", and do we have enough money to buy that expensive electronic gift that our children are begging for?  And what do we buy our spouses; what would please them?  This is all good and well, but why are we buying them for each other; why do you not think to give Jesus a gift?

Jesus came into this world in the most primitive of circumstances, he was raised by Joseph and Mary and even as a young boy, God had probably already spoken to him about his destiny.  Joseph and Mary knew his destiny, but surely they put it out of their minds as they raised the Son of God. Just thinking about it is so overwhelming, I could not imagine God asking such a thing of me, but you never know, do you?

But back to giving a gift to Jesus.  I have come up with the perfect gift, and EVERYONE can afford it.  You don't have to get in the car and drive to the department store, you don't have to search for it on the Internet.  The only place you must search is deep inside your heart and soul.  Have you given your heart to him?  If not, Jesus would absolutely LOVE to receive your heart for his Birthday!  And if you have already given Him your heart, and if you're practicing your faith all year as you should, then your love for him has multiplied who knows how many times.  Give it to Jesus for his Birthday. 

"Dear Jesus, over this year, I have grown in my faith enormously, and I want to give that growth to you in honor of your Sacrifice for me."  How does that sound to you?  Some of you will read this and think, "that's a great idea, that's what I'm giving."  What if someone were flogged today, and carried a railroad tie on their shoulders to the post where they would be crucified, I cannot imagine it.  But you knew/know your Father very well and you had to do as He asked of you.  My heart breaks at the thought of how your precious mother felt as she observed your crucifixion.  I have a son; I would die from my heartbreak and grief.  But your Father kept his Word, didn't he?  And you are in paradise for all eternity at the right hand of the Father.  Jesus, when I die, do you think you could meet me half-way to heaven? I promise to work and increase my faith in the coming year, also!"  Wow!  Jesus is SO HAPPY!  I can feel it!  Can you?
"Dear Jesus, do you know how much I love you?  Yes,I know that you do. I want to tell you how very thankful I am for your ultimate sacrifice for me and the whole of the world!  I am so sorry for the extreme pain you suffered through barbaric methods such as the scourging.  It breaks my heart.  And to think that you could meet me on the way to Heaven?  I am doing my best to be a good child of God.  I want to bring other souls to you, too.  I love the Holy Trinity and worship it faithfully.  I revere your precious mother, The Holy Mother.  Oh, Jesus, you know how I love you; help me to be a better child of God and you.  Show me how to increase my faith, trust and hope in the next year as a gift for your birthday.  Forgive me for my faults and the things that I have done or said that hurt your feelings.  I didn't mean to; I just wasn't thinking, but I'm going to do better with Your help.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS! I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART, WHICH YOU ALREADY OWN!"
 Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 3

My apologies for failing to post days 1 and 2 of the Christmas Novena.  At this most wonderful time of the year, I can't believe that I missed the first two days, but will make every effort to post the rest of them.  John-Paul and Annie of PrayMoreNovenas.com are so dedicated to getting these Novenas out to us all.  God bless you! 
~*~
 
Peace be with you!
 
Today, let's pray for all the people who work to uphold the dignity of life in our culture. 
 
I know that it is not an easy job. 
 
How do I know? 
 
Well, I have worked full-time in the pro-life movement for nearly a decade helping to spread the message of life to college students in Illinois. 
 
Doing this work, I've been blessed to meet tons of pro-life heroes who have devoted years to helping mothers in need and saving lives of babies in the womb. 
 
Many of them do this work with little or no thanks or recognition. So, I want to ask you to pray for those who work with great love in this important ministry.
 
Please pray for their strength, courage and for more people to support them!
 
Here are the novena prayers for today:
 
 
Opening Prayer:
 
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
 
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
 
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
 
The Expectation of Birth.
 
O most sweet infant Jesus, who waited for nine months
enclosed in the womb, and inflamed the heart of the
Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with the most powerful love
and expectation, all for the salvation of the world. 
 
Have mercy on us.
 
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
 
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
 
Amen.
____________________________________
 
Thank you for joining me and thousands of others in praying this Christmas Novena!
 
Can you think of anyone who would benefit from or enjoy praying this novena with you? 
 
Please take a moment to think about it and send them an email. 
 
Asking them to join here:
 
 
God bless you!
   John-Paul & Annie - PrayMoreNovenas.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FINDING YOUR WAY THROUGH PR PRAYER - MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

"Always pray and never give up." - Luke 18:17

 
~*~
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND PEACE, LOVE AND JOY TO ALL!
 
When I left off yesterday, my surgeon and I.D. doctor had told me that "there is a change in your bone marrow and there's a small pocket of fluid at the surgical site, which is staph."  You know, when you're lying there all alone and you say as my doctor has ALWAYS so casually said, "we'll just do a little surgery, take out the hardware and give you some high doses of antibiotics and you will be fine."  This was Friday.  Surgery was not until Monday.
 
When my husband arrived, I was in tears and scared out of my wits.  All I could think about was dying and leaving my family.
 
The surgery was more hellacious than the first, probably because of the infection.  Oh, and by the way, it caused me to ponder down the road, when a patient is having major surgery and they are going to have need for a morphine pump, why is this not already in the recovery room when you awake?  I awoke screaming, "Dear God, help me, help me, O God, I cannot take it ...." while holding onto the rails of the bed so tightly that my knuckles were white.  It made me feel better, and every time that nurse peeled my hands off the rails, I put them right back up there.  I was being "shoosed" by a nurse because I was disturbing other patients.
 
"I don't care! Do you know that I feel as though I am dying? Dear God, help me. Where is the morphine pump ......"  "It's been 'ordered'" said the nurse.  You mean, just now ordered?  I could have strangled her at that moment.  There was no thought to formal prayer; only the constant yelling for my God to help me.
 
The pump came and was started.  It did not eliminate the pain, but rather, it masked it.  When I was rolled into my room, my husband and mother-in-law were on either side of my bed and all I could do was cry.
 
I was there for 12 days.  I could not go to the restroom because every time I took my leg off the pillows that elevated it, this throbbing hot fire poker pulsed from hip to toes.  My husband was at a loss.  He tried, but after several days, he just sat and read the newspaper, through my heaving and throwing up, through the endless adjustments to pillows to comfort my body.  I can truthfully say, this is the very worst experience in pain that I have ever experienced.  I couldn't eat anything; it all nauseated me.  I became a clock-watcher keeping track of exactly when I could request more pain meds.  I dreaded waking in the morning because reality hit me; it wasn't a dream; I was really here and really sick.
 
After 12 days I was sent home with a PICC line in my arm. We were met at home by a nurse who hooked up my PICC to a 24-hour bag of powerful antibiotics that had to be changed every day, along with all of the lines, and the little computer restarted. It was a daunting thing and I recall crying yet again from being so depressed that I was in this state to begin with.
 
Slowly I began to walk with a walker, one trip to the living room and down the hall back to my bedroom.  This grew over time, but eating was still a problem, so I relied on Boost.  I lost over 40 pounds during this ordeal. Wish I'd kept it off; I sure looked better!
 
The last thing was weaning me from the all the narcotics and cocktails that a reputable pain manager had me on.  We did this slowly over a few weeks time and during the day, I just laid in the recliner in my bedroom or in the bed.
 
To get to the end of this, the PICC was removed after 8 weeks (late July) and I eventually weaned off the drugs, but not without about a 3-day period where I felt, I know, like a drug addict and feel I could related to why they go back time and again for the drug - it is depressing, the most depressing thing you can imagine. In your mind, you know by reason that you are okay and this doom and gloom feeling that you can't shake is temporary, but who's listening - I wasn't.  I freaked for about 3 days with bouts of crying and finally came out of the dark tunnel.  I was not completely on my feet until fall of that year.
 
I made it; I'm alive and the back problem is healed, as well as cervical spine, and the bone marrow infection long gone.
 
What I have to say to you is what you've been waiting for - what about prayer?
 
I prayed every day; I said my rosary and clinged to my beads, my daughter brought over CDs of beautiful voices singing the Rosary - they were so depressing!  Instead of comfort, I felt just awful and in the depths of despair.  I turned them off.  And one day, The Holy Spirit came to visit my heart.  I was meditating in the silence in my bedroom and just wondering, millions of things, but mostly how I came to have this unfortunate circumstance and where was God when I needed him.  "Ask and you shall receive."  Yea? Uh, when, may I ask?  I had been angry at God; he'd abandoned me and left me to suffer on my own, and all alone for the most part.
 
But that voice in my heart kept urging me on "be thankful to God, for  He is kind and Merciful."
 
Considering that for the better part of a decade, I had turned my back on God and that thought never entered my mind.  No, it was He who was not keeping his word.  The Holy Spirit was relentless; the voices in my head were coming from my heart.  And I began to take account of my life, a true and unprejudiced account of the last decade plus some.

Dear Ones, I didn't give a thought to God, Jesus, the Holy Mother, death or anything related thereto. I was in the decade of my twenties and going through my thirties now.  I suddenly had visions of very specific times when I could have been killed (I'll write about those another time), but for some reason, the beast was pushed away from me, by me, or so I thought.  The realization that in spite of myself, and most assuredly, the shame came over me that I had ignored God, influenced by other Agnotics, yet who was there to see to my life and save me from horrendous things - even murder?

Revelation (sort of): GOD!  The Holy Spirit ran reels of films through my mind, a story pieced together of the life that I had been living, a very sinful one, and I had hurt God and Jesus Christ by ignoring them.  Truth is, I was following others, the wrong people in my life.

That day is forever burned into my heart and soul; that day that I got down on my knees and thanked God for always being there, even when I didn't acknowledge him, when I was sinning right under his watchful eye.  Oh I was so very ashamed.  How it came, I do not know, but I just began having this conversation with God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit.  I saw how I had been saved and finally came full circle, back into the fold of His loving and protective arms.  We had a very long talk, mostly me apologizing an asking forgiveness.

When you realize that you have not prayed for 15 years, yet these bad things were diverted, if you have a lick of sense, you have to now that it was because of Him.

For some reason, God felt that I was worth saving.  I was raised Pentecostal, but converted to Catholicism in 1985, a place, a spiritual place where I felt that I belonged; felt more of the presence of the The Holy Spirit than ever - In God's House.

There were many tears and when my husband came home that day, I didn't even talk to him about it. I didn't talk about it to anyone for a while.  I wanted to savor this most holy time that I had spent with God and The Holy Spirit.  I cried with both Joy and shame.  I asked for His forgiveness, and He forgave me.  It took a very long time for me to forgive myself.  Forgiveness is a whole 'nother topic. I began in earnest to learn more about this faith that adopted me and I began to practice it.  For you pray until the cows come home, but there are two things you must keep in mind. (1) You must believe and have faith in God's Divine forgiveness; and (2) You MUST walk the walk, i.e., you have to LIVE IT!  One can go to Mass every day, pray every day, but if you do not lead a Christlike life, what good is it to you, certainly God will be scratching his head thinking "He/She doesn't get it ... how can we show this to them?"  Well, he came up with a doozie for me!  The health experience that I went through start to finish was 7 months.  But I was HOME, and it sure felt better than where I'd been for ump-teen years!!

The lesson that I tell people, and they may not get it right away, unless they, too are faced with a very difficult trial:  GOD BROUGHT ME HOME, BUT NOT BEFORE HE BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES AND SAID "BE STILL AND LISTEN, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!"

And hence, I have traveled the narrow path more and more as time goes on.  I feel good about my relationship with him, Jesus and Mary.  I'm making up for lost time, though it's not necessary, He loves me anyway.  He knows what is in my heart.  I pray in a room alone, sometimes, most times, out loud.  I talk with God and Jesus as if I were talking to you.

So if you're hung up on that feeling "I don't know what to say", just get on your knees by your bed, begin with Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.  Cry if you feel like it, laugh if it feels good, give thanks ALWAYS, pray for others, pray for those in Purgatory so they might be accepted into the gates of Heaven sooner.  Pray for peace, and never forget to pray for the lives of the unborn who are callously murdered every without a thought to the FACT that they are LIVING BEINGS and they are being murdered mercilessly.

God bless you for reading my story.  I have many; I just have to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me in putting the words down.

Eight days and counting to the BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION FOR CHRIST! I gaze at my beautiful tree that I have done just for Him, it is like one of his candles on his cake. His birthday is the most important birthday every year.  Me?  I ignore mind .... I'm just getting to where Christmas is about Christ and Santa for the little ones.  Make your commitment to prayer today and begin with this Advent and you will see God works, but in His time - you must have FAITH that is strong as a boulder.  God didn't tell us it would be easy; and we are spoiled to many things on this earth, but we all must come to conversion before it is too late.  If you read my posts of the Holy Mother's words at the apparitions in Medjugorje, she is coming because she wants us to bring as many souls as possible to her son.  And she loves us all and does not want to see not one of us perish.

GOD BLESS YOU,
PEACE, LOVE & JOY!

ABBEY




 

Monday, December 16, 2013

FINDING YOUR WAY IN PRAYER - MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

"Always pray and never give up." - Luke 18:17
 
~*~
  
He's been giving me a really hard time, and for quite SOME time!  We talk of prayer a lot.  And the bottom line is always "do you believe?" and "do you have faith?"  I can talk the talk, but I haven't always walked the walk, to my own consternation and detriment.  And we are learning to not allow each other to escape one another's scrutiny in matters of faith! Thanks be to God!
 
In matters of faith, it is as clear as a "yes" or "no" answer.  There is NO middle ground!  I've professed my allegiance, my love, my devotion, my adoration .... all for God and Christ.  I am a self-professed, solid believer in all things heavenly and the Word written in the best selling book ever - The Holy Bible.

 
 
I've told this story before, but it links into PRAYER, as a whole.
 
I had spinal surgery in 2005.  This was about the time I decided (many years late) that I would embrace my faith of Catholicism.  I was going to put my faith to the test.  When I came home from the hospital, I prayed faithfully and sincerely for healing, no doubt that I was experiencing pain.  I was dutiful and faithful, and I went to physical therapy ("PT") on three scheduled days and times.
 
However, as time - a few weeks - went by, I began to suffer more pain instead of less.  I continued my prayers, saying the Rosary, practicing something I've never known in my life - PATIENCE!
 
However, after about six weeks, my pain was so excruciating that I could not walk without assistance, I couldn't sleep, I writhed in my bed from the pain, had six pillows that I would assemble in various configurations so as to take pressure off and relieve pain.  I watched television most all night, and slept in small, short naps.  My husband took to sleeping in one of the guest rooms.  Never in my life have I been so depressed, in so much pain and felt so alone.
 
I gave up quiet prayers and rosaries to shaking my fist in the air toward heaven and screaming, "WHY WON'T YOU HELP ME?"
 
I had been back to my doctor several times and even went through two very painful MRI's (painful because I had to lie on the table and be still), and still, my doctor casually remarked, "I don't see anything except a 'little' arthritis, certainly nothing to indicate why you would have this type pain". I learned to loathe those words - "a little arthritis".  I schooled myself quickly on keeping count of the pain pills, when they should run our and if I had taken too many, I had to break them in half and suffer a little before I could get some more.  Still, the pain increased daily. My surgery was January 17, 2005.  We will quickly move forward to the last week of April 2005.
 
My surgeon exhibited obvious frustration with me and passed me off to a "Pain Management Doctor", who turned out to be a total freak of a doctor. He took my bottles of meds one by one and called them garbage and threw them over his shoulder.  He prescribed some extremely heavy narcotics and a block in a couple of days.  I won't say what the narcotics were, but I will say that taking them frightened and alarmed me.  I went for the block and I lay on an examination bed for THREE HOURS waiting for my turn, never checked on a single time.  Oh, but when they took me for my block, I was so excited. You cannot imagine that this wasn't happening soon enough.  When I awoke, Sweet Jesus in Heaven, I could barely walk.  I was in more pain than ever.  I felt like someone was literally twisting a knife in my spine.  Oh how I cried.
 
My husband and daughter cannot be blamed; I've been known to be dramatic, but geez!! This was way beyond reason.  April 28, 2005, I called my daughter and I was sobbing.  I told her I was dying from the pain and something had to be done.  She came over immediately.  She and my husband tried to call the pain clinic and left two messages of extreme urgency explaining the situation and after two hours, still no phone call.  In fact, I'll go ahead and tell you that the call NEVER did come.
 
I made my husband take me to the ER.  I twisted and moaned and hurt and cried and finally they stuck me with morphine which took off some of the edge.  But still, I waited.  My exact words were:  "I am checking myself in and I am not leaving here until the source of my pain is properly diagnosed."  It took quite a while to get me a room, but the hospital bed and the morphine were my best friend that night.
 
My surgeon appeared bright and early the next morning, which was a Friday.  I was told there would be a number of tests run and then we'd see what showed up.  I was bombarded with every possible test you can imagine with some of the most intricate machines and technology you could possibly imagine.  The next morning, my husband had not arrived before my surgeon entered my room accompanied by another doctor who was introduced as an "infectious disease specialist".
 
I was told that there was a pocket of staph at the surgical site, and the hardware needed to come out as it could have been what caused the staph, but I also had osteomyelitis (please look it up) in my right hip and leg.  Basically, an infection of the bone marrow.  I suppose his first words are what alarmed me most and I didn't hear everything after that, "there's been a change in your bone marrow" and of course, I thought "cancer!"  And the infectious disease doctor had such an awful bedside manner that they both left post haste without me asking but one question: "Am I going to die?"  The I.D. doctor looked at me and said in the most condescending way, "You're NOT going to die!" as if I were an idiot for asking.
 
This story cannot be shortened, and for the impact I intend by telling this to you will be lost if I don't cover it sufficiently.  Sooooo, I do pray (optimum word "pray") that you will return for Part II tomorrow (I'll do my best!).  Suffice to say, I was in critical condition and near the point of no return with this issue.

Please, say your prayers every night.  Prayers do not have to be formal, just talk to God, Jesus, our Holy Mother, the Saints, as if you were talking to your best friend.  Speak with your heart, not your head.  Ask The Holy Spirit to come into your heart, repeat as many times as it takes for you to get that most wonderful feeling in your heart and soul of the arrival of The Holy Spirit - you will know it when it happens to you, I promise, and I cannot describe the sensation - like I'm having it right now!  I could not write without The Holy Spirit and am continuing at the prodding (every day) of my dear friend! Thank you, my dear friend.  God bless you all until next we meet ..........
 
Lovingly in Christ,
Abbey


THIS DAY'S THOUGHT, VERSE AND SMILE

I could not resist this one (This Day's Verse and Smile especially). Then something from dear old blue eyes, some real, authentic Abbey work!

~*~
 
 
The Ranch » Daily Inspirational Quotes
This Day's Thought from The Ranch
 
Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.
Henry Drummond

This Day's Verse
 
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8
The New King James Version

This Day's Smile
 
My main ambition in life is to be on the devil’s most wanted list.
Leonard Ravenhill

WHERE IS ABBEY?



I'm so sorry; writer's block is worse for me that it is you, trust me.  So sorry for the absence, but I have been trying to find my center, the one thing that I want to do with cyber-space more than any other that I have been engaged.  I will look at Facebook once in a blue moon; I've practically given up on Twitter - you know, it got to be a group of us (and it was my fault, also) and we were blessing each other, praying for each other and thanking for same, etc., etc., but I wasn't feeling The Holy Spirit.  I will try to rectify those two and focus on the one thing I want most: To win souls for Christ via my writing.  I cannot promise you that I will be here every day; but, if you enjoy what you are reading, come back tomorrow, it may be something totally out of left field, or some other inconspicuous place.

I love to write, I write for Jesus and for your soul's nourishment.  Be happy, pray often, smile at those whose eyes meet yours in passing, be patient with the elderly, especially in traffic, be kind to children, be loyal to family second, God first!

Merry Christmas, Y'all!!
Abbey

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LIVING A LIFE NOT WASTED

But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.
John Piper
 
~*~
 
There are six (6) pre-requisites, according to John Piper, that will lead one to a life that has not been wasted.  In short, I WANT IT!  Just reading his words, the phrases, fills me with excitement.  Most likely because it has given me a new fire, or the old embers were kindled and are burning once again. Throw another log on the fire, because I am a woman on a mission!
 
I feel that I am very near the "God-centered, Christ-exalting", but I have not been as dedicated to my "Bible-saturated" passion of my life. 
 
This is where I hit a brick wall.  "Find your way to say it" - I suffer from writer's block. Although I write like I speak, which is usually detailed, when it comes to putting down here for the world to see, I fall short.  It is true that READING the Bible makes me feel great, especially the Psalms.  And I have more fondness for the New Testament where I see more of Jesus, the man, the disciple of his Father, placed on this earth and knowing his eventual end.  Yet that did not deter him, did it?
 
I have given much thought to "end of times" and what we might face in my lifetime.  And I can tell you without any reservation, I will die for Him if I am given the opportunity via persecution. I would be quite proud to die for Christ, as he died for me.
 
Making a difference?  That is something that will only be revealed once the other five phrases have been fulfilled.  Not everyone thinks about leaving this world having made a mark on history.  I do.  I do not aspire for fame or fortune; I aspire to bring souls to Jesus Christ.
 
The hug is something that seems to throw people the most. But I was born and raised a "hugger" and one to say "I love you" to my family and friends.  And I do not mean it casually whatsoever; if I say that I love you, you can count on it, I do love you.  Even if you smile and they don't reciprocate, know that it is their human failing and not yours.  In fact, you may have helped them to move forward a step or two toward more Christ-like behavior.
 
In a conversation with a priest who lives far away but is a friend, these gestures represent "Christ-like" behavior.  What?, you say.  Yes, you heard me right.  To even attempt Christ-like behavior is something that will bring you closer to Him.  You know he sees you, he knows what you are doing - at the very least, it is a compliment, but that is not what Christ is looking for.
 
While here on earth, Christ tried to educate in his image, which was also in his Father's image.  Christ-like behavior represents to the Heavens that you are conscientious of your behavior and managing it to be friendly,
 
Are there really six degrees of separation.  Say this young man goes home, or out to eat, or just walking through a store, and he sees someone and says "God bless you!" OR "Merry Christmas" - mind you, NO "Happy Holidays" allowed!  This is an ill-conceived, politically correct form of taking more of Christ out of our lives.  It's infuriating.  I find someone who is a Happy Holiday-er, and I will do my best to go out of my way to wish them a whole-hearted MERRY CHRIST-MAS!!
 
So, perhaps I have worked out my answer in the midst of this writing. My life will not be wasted, for I will bring Christ into everything that I can.  And otherwise, I will simply behave as Christ would, with gentleness, kindness, understanding, compassion, empathy and love.
 
I give God and Jesus Christ all the Glory! 
 
Jesus is my rock, my savior, my brother, my friend, and God is the Alpha and the Omega.  Who would not want to go to heaven?
 
There are those who never give one thought to what kind of difference they might make on another human being's life, or if they leave a legacy for people to remember.  That's a shame because it is these kinds of things that make you a more Christ-like person, and which will guide you as you walk the narrow path that leads to heaven. I like, no, I love the narrow path.  I am not much for crowds. I can feel Jesus walking beside me and I need nothing else. And if I leave this world a little bit better, someone's heart touched by The Holy Spirit, or just a change in general that is softer, happier, more tolerant and more giving - well, wouldn't that make you want to be good? It does me!
 
Remember the Reason for this Season, please.  Your destiny may depend on it.


The narrow path to heaven & eternity.
 
PEACE, LOVE & JOY TO ALL,
ABBEY