3-4-21 CAROL MADDON

I haven’t felt very Quenched lately.
 
For the past few years, there seems to have been an over-abundance of pain and
struggle in my family… with no happy, victorious end in sight. It has been and
still is pretty all-consuming and sad. But, I committed myself to submit a Lenten
Devotional about being Quenched and so I pondered…
 
I picked up my Bible and read about Job. He didn’t know why he was suffering so
much loss. He didn’t understand why all this pain and upheaval was happening
in his life. I don’t think he ever received an answer from God as to Why.
But perhaps the book of Job is not meant to provide an answer to why Job
suffered, but maybe to teach us to serve God through the unanswerable
questions of life. Maybe the reason for his suffering was a lesson for all of us…
an example of how God blesses those who persevere. I believe God used Job to
encourage others who go through trials. Read more…


3-3-21 ANN VAN WINKLE

It was when I was sitting on the floor playing with my 12 month old twins that everything slowed down as if it were a movie. The house was full of activity – firemen and policemen wandering around, whispering and moving with purpose. In the distance was a fireman in full gear making his way to our small play area. He knelt down next to me and said, “I’m sorry.” As if it were just another day, I told him, “It’s ok, thank you.” He asked me if I had called anyone to come over and I asked him, “Oh, is he gone?” He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Yes, I’m sorry. I think it’s time to call your family and friends to come over.” But what he said next changed my life. He took my hand and said, “Now I need you to look at me and really hear what I’m about to tell you.” He drew me in and I was suddenly able to focus. “I saw that you had a Bible in your bedroom and so I want to say this to you. God made you strong for a reason. Now you need to use that tremendous gift… now.” Read more…


3-2-21 REV. DAVE CARPENTER

“Take, eat, this is my body, broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.” – Luke 22:19

 (As Pat, Lora and I sat in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, in Simi Valley today, listening to the beautiful Spanish language funeral service for our dear custodian’s beloved wife, Margarita, and especially as the chimes rang, signaling the moment, as the Catholics believe, that the spirit descends, transubstantiating the little wafers into the actual blood and body of Jesus Christ, I was reminded of this experience I had back in 1997):

My stomach dropped and my brow broke into a cold sweat, as alternating waves of embarrassment, shame and anger washed over me.  The five elderly Irish nuns, draped in their “burqa-esque” habits, the ones my new friend Thomas had warned me about, had all just stood in unison and made quite a show of deliberately marching down the aisle toward the exits. Read more…



3-1-21 JANICE MCQUEEN WARD

 

“Start children off on the way they should go,

and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

There are many times that I have felt the presence of God in my life. He has been with me through the loss of my mom and dad, and then again with the more recent loss of my mother and father-in-law. The loss of those you love unconditionally is traumatic and life-changing. His guidance and presence in my life keep me strong and resilient.

When I lost my mom in 1996 to cancer and my dad in 1998 to a broken heart, I was a young mom, and I had to be strong for my little family. Instead of retreating, I decided to share my loss and heal through volunteering and sharing my story with others. My mom and dad always encouraged me to strive for my dreams, to speak up, and to be unstoppable. I now coach others to do the same in my daily life. Read more…



2-27-21 BONNIE MACNEILL

When I was walking my dog Skylar this morning, I thought about how lucky I was, in the middle of this terrible pandemic, to be able to just take a walk with her on such a beautiful morning. How connected I felt to God and blessed I am! 

 

Then I thought about another time with my beloved dog, Lucy. There was a moment in my life when I was feeling sad and sat down on the floor of my closet to cry. Along came Lucy…kissing away the tears on my face. No one can convince me she was just licking the salty flow! I will always believe it was God comforting me, through my faithful Lucy.

The unconditional and steadfast love of these beloved family members is a reminder to me of God’s unconditional love and mercy. 

 

 “Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; for his faithful love endures forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34



2-26-21 MARY GARBESI

Please read Psalm 139

Reflecting on our theme for Lent, “Quenched”, and the focus on “God moments” in our lives, many have come to mind. But as I continued to contemplate this theme, I became aware that, for me, there is more to it. I realize that those moments only stand out because of my heightened awareness. I was tuned into the present moment and open to the presence of God.

As I look back over this pandemic year, I am offered something precious and important. The “God moments” have blurred as life has become both simpler and more difficult. If I believe that God is present here and everywhere in this moment and all moments, then every moment has the potential to be a “God moment”. It all depends on my presence, level of awareness and how I interpret what is happening. As a spiritual director, I often ask the person with whom I sit the question, (and have been asked many times by my spiritual director!) “Where is God in this?” and then begins a deeper exploration. Read more…



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