Need Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 12-19-14

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Ready for joy?

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
(Luke 12:35)

Advent reminds us to stay ready to serve our Master when he comes.  Do you feel ready for your Master to come and knock? Are you ready to immediately open your heart?  Are you excited? Anxious? Grateful?

He wants to give you something wonderful, and he’s trying to get your attention. With all the secular signs of Christmas in the streets and malls and over the Internet, it’s refreshing to walk into church and see the purple banners and the Advent candles surrounded by a wreath of greenery.  Do you sense the coming of something wonderful? Are you excited as a child on Christmas Eve? Vigilant as the shepherd? Expectant as the kings?

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Behold, I make all things new (Rev 21:5)

I dreamt I was in the loving arms of my grandmother in her big old house on Summit Avenue. Only my older sister Betty Clare was with us.  Suddenly we were jumping up and down and trying to hug each other at the same time.

As I looked more closely at the scene, I noticed that Betty Clare and I wore our school clothes. We hadn’t changed into our play clothes after school.  I was young, 6 or 7, and Mother wasn’t there, or Kathleen, my younger sister.

I realized that this was the day Kathleen was born, when I was barely seven. We were celebrating her birth with great joy.

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ACWB: Fathers, Daughters and St. Thérèse

If you missed my recent interview with Connie Rossini, author of Trusting God with St. Thérèse, it is on The Association of Catholic Women Bloggers today.

Connie gives practical advice for overcoming fears and frustrations that hamper our relationship with God. I asked her about her father-daughter relationship as compared to that of Louis Martin and his daughter St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

The interview starts on The Association of Catholic Women Bloggers

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Friar’s Corner: Is Christ’s joy alive in you?

Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-1; Luke 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thess. 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

I prayed for the Holy Spirit to enlighten me before I read this Sunday’s scripture readings. Then I read and underlined the sentences. In the first three readings, I underlined almost every sentence. As I thought, I almost rose from my chair. My mind exploded and my heart was burning with amazement and love for God. Our Father sent his Son into the world to be with us and that we could see and be with Him more fully. Once Jesus came to earth, He has never left us. So let us look at this joy. Take your Bible and find the texts and prayerfully read and underline what stands out for you.

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Need Joy? Latest posts from JOYAlive.net 12-12-14


Posted in Books, Community, Evangelism, Family, Fr. Bob Hilz, Nancy Ward, Patti McGuire Armstrong, Prayer, Quotes, Renewal, Writing | Leave a comment

CWG: Big-Hearted Families, Inspiring Stories from everyday families

by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas

Editor's Note: When my review was posted on Catholic Writers Guild blog, Patti commented: 

Thanks for the beautiful review. Theresa and I, together with Scepter Publishing, are donating 100% of the proceeds to LifeNews.com during the entire month of December. The book has an inspirational pro-life message and we and we want to support a pro-life cause.

 “I joined with (cancer survivor) and mother of nine, Theresa Thomas to write Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families,” Patti told me. “This collection of 22 stories is a recipe for happiness and love for families of any size.  We've included some of our own stories including how my family came to include 2 AIDS orphans from Kenya.  Big Hearted is a glimpse inside the struggles and joys of ordinary families with generous hearts.”

Big hearts that welcome life are not just in large families. Sometimes big-heartedness comes as the family deals with a tragedy such as miscarriage, infertility, alcoholism or financial devastation regardless of family size. “When a family opens its collective heart to love one another fully, there is no end to the gifts that God will bestow,” Patti said.

Read the review on Catholic Writers Guild blog

Posted in Countercultural, Family, Healing, Nancy Ward, Parenting, Patti McGuire Armstrong, Prayer, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Featured Favorite: Learning balance

Learning balance in our lives is like learning how to ice skate. I discovered this truth as I observed the young and old skaters at the Lloyd Town Center rink in Portland, Oregon. Some skaters strive to excel, a few hope to just survive. All the skating couples and those content to dance alone seem unaware of their audience seated on wooden benches on the sidelines. I’m unnoticed as I look down from the Food Court above. Continue reading

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