Born Again??? Links should be included this time.

An article, which you can read below, speaks about being Born Again.  This article jumped out at me simply because I and other Catholics are bombarded with this statement – “Are you born again”.

At first, I couldn’t understand what they were talking about – what does that mean?   I checked Scripture and there is a Scripture Passage that talks about being born again–but I don’t understand how they are interpreting this passage to what they are saying.  They say if you are born again you have accepted Christ.  I have to admit, this really kind of irks the heck out of me when they ask this.  It just seems so demeaning,  irresponsible and judgmental to assume that even though we love God and follow Him they still think we haven’t accepted Christ into our lives.  What do you have to do to accept Christ I wonder?  They tell me,” just ask Him, Then you will be saved.”  Now, this too is overly simplified and erroneous.

It seems to me three very important themes throughout Scripture are being forgotten. One- Repentance of one’s sins; second- Loving one another;  and third – doing the will of God.  Anyone can say, Lord, I love you,  I accept you into my life, then turn around and commit sinful deeds without ever repenting.   The good thief who died on the cross repented at the last moment, and that is what got him into heaven.. And, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”, were the words of John the Baptist, a very important Prophet who was preparing the way for Jesus.   If I love God, pray,  obey His commandments, try my very best to work on being Christ-like, and repent daily of my sinful ways I would say I have accepted Christ into my life—wouldn’t you?

All Christians must stop judging each other.  We must treat each other with love and respect and stop this nonsense.  I am not going to give up my faith for anyone or anything.  I have great respect and love for my non-catholic friends and I believe, for the most part, they respect me and my beliefs as well.  But, there are far too many out there who simply do not have any respect for other peoples beliefs – They are like the Pharisees who have no love in their hearts.

Without love we will not get into heaven.  A heathen would stand a greater chance of entering heaven than a self-righteous Christian who has no love in his heart.

Did the Lord not say:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
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Many will say to me on that day,o ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
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Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.* Depart from me, you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

The True Meaning of ‘Born Again’ Isn’t What You Think
STEPHEN BEALE

Most of us have heard the phrase ‘born again Christian.’ It is usually employed by evangelical Christians to refer to those who are viewed as authentically Christian—usually defined as involved as making some sort of personal commitment to Christ.

This definition isn’t actually too far off the mark. But ‘born again’ actually has meaning both a more specific and also deeper meaning than this when considered in its context. In case you didn’t know, the phrase comes from John 3, where it is sometimes also translated as ‘from above’ instead of ‘again.’ Here is some of the important context:

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit (John 3:1-6; NABRE). Read rest of article here.

I also want to share  a special testimony – life after death experienced by an African Priest.

Father Jose’s Life After Death Experience
by FR. JOSE MANIYANGAT | JULY 28, 2016
FrJoseManiyangat

On Sunday April 14, 1985, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital about 35 miles away. On the way my soul came out from my body and I experienced death. Immediately I met my Guardian angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me. At this time my angel told me: “I am going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you.” He also said that on the way he wanted to show me hell and purgatory. Entire article here. 

God’s Plan Isn’t always our Plan

Hello once again.  It has been a few weeks since I have written anything.  But, two days after I wrote my last posting, my brother died.

We did not get the kind of miracle we were hoping for, but, after I pondered the situation for awhile (a few days), I came to realize what a great God we have.  He is full of Mercy and Love and always looking out for our best interests.  We do not know the future.  Only He knows.  Yes, I wanted my brother to live so that he could witness to God and have new beginnings.

However,  like I said, we don’t know the future.  God, in His great Mercy knew that Dan was at his best right now and it would be the best time to take him.  I totally accept that.  My greatest desire and hope, afterall,   was that his soul be saved.  His soul was saved.

He wrote a letter before he died, which we found after he died, and he stated in that letter what his desire was in regard to his faith and God.   What a heartwarming gift for his family (well some of us anyway).  I mentioned earlier that our family is divided in regards to Catholicism, so the ones who are Catholic received a very beautiful gift from Dan.   I will miss him and think of him all the time.  But now he and Dad can intercede for us down here.  Charlie Johnston did say that every family would be affected by these times, and so it is.   I am of the belief that we haven’t even seen or felt all the graces that will come from this suffering (for Dan and our family).

My hope is that  those of you who are going through your own trials right now will just totally give it to Jesus through the Blessed Mother.  They will bring you through it.  Remember, we cannot control anything and it is not for us to control.  We are to submit our will to God’s will.  Yes, if God decides to take someone we love and cherish,  it will be very difficult, but,  it will be for their greater good as well as our greater good.

We must love God above all others, not the other way around.  I have shed my tears of sorrow and will now move on.  All I really need to do now is get my mental and physical energy back.     This takes a lot out of a person;  more than I could ever have imagined.

I have found that those who really do trust in God and willingly want to submit to God’s will  handle sufferings much better than those who rely on themselves or who cannot submit their will to God.  The sting is really taken out of the suffering when given to Jesus through Mary.

I also want to point out something very important here.  Throughout the past 7 months, we were given so much hope for Dan, simply because of what we were being given through prayer.  I am in total agreement with Charlie (Johnston) on this matter – He said that it took him decades to truly discern and understand what God was saying to him.  It may seem and sound like one thing to us but totally different to what God is telling us.  I have been wrong before and I was wrong this time as well.  We really don’t know the mind of God.  I want to know the mind of God, but, like Charlie said, it takes years of trial and error.   Everything the Lord had given to someone in regard to dan was meant for spiritual healing, even though it sounded like there would be a physical healing.  We were all stumped – and we were all 100 percent wrong.

My one clue however was when the Priest came and prayed with us and Dan.  The first thing Fr. Mike said he was hearing from the Lord, was that the Lord wanted us to abandon all to Him.   At that moment, in my heart, I thought,  oh boy, this doesn’t sound too promising.  So, I guess I got that part right.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know the outcome and now I am going to get some rest and try to regroup.

God Bless all of you.

 

Will we have a Miracle????

I spoke to you a few times about my brother, Dan, who has throat cancer.  I also told you that he had decided to try the “natural” route to healing.  I said I would get back to you and let you know if it worked.  Well, today as I was driving I was convicted that I needed to be bold and let people know what I was really thinking about my brother – that in spite of the fact that Medical Science can do no more, I am still hopeful for a miracle.  Just saying that is scary for me, because I don’t want to give him false hope and I guess I am putting myself out there and on the line for my convictions.

Well, nothing has worked so far.  He had tried naturals for 6 months and the tumor only got bigger.  He never did make it down to Florida to one of those places that claim healings for cancer.  Now, its not that I don’t believe in “naturals”, but after seeing my father die after using the traditional methods of chemo and radiation, and seeing my brother not fare well with the Naturals, I am convinced that dog poop would heal cancer if God willed that person to live.

From the first moment my brother told me had cancer I was convicted of one thought and one thought only.  God could use him as a powerful witness.  He could have a miracle if he changed his life and came back to God and would witness to the Truth of God and His Mercy and Love.  He could bring many souls back to God.

My brother has been away from the Church and God for more than half his life.  But, soon thereafter, he did start coming back, little by little, to God.

He spent most of his time searching for “cures”, which wasn’t the best thing to do when you have little time left and when really the only way he was going to be cured was through God’s intervention.   He was sorely disappointed when he didn’t get the healing in Medjugorje….but, as the visionary said, there was a block to his healing.  This told me that God, indeed, wanted to heal him.  I told Dan, get back to confession and forgive the one person you have not been able to forgive for the majority of your life.  He did.   Lack of forgiveness on our part is the one thing that will block healings.

Last month, his tumor began to grow quite vigorously and he could barely breathe and could no longer eat anything.   He ended up at the VA where they put in a tracheotomy  (sic)and a feeding tube.  The Dr’s could not believe he was still alive.  He had only 10 percent of space left for breathing.  He was getting terribly thin for lack of food and nutrition.  He has been in stage  4 since he found out in early December.  They gave him a couple of months back then.image

My husband and I drove down to see him ( 9 hour drive) and he was looking pretty good.  I was still convinced he could have a miracle if he would just give himself totally to God, but he really wasn’t quite there yet.  I watched him pour liquids down his feeding tube and he was in pretty decent spirits.  He was feeling hopeful and so were we, although the Dr’s told him he would never work again and that there was nothing that could be done for him.  The tumor had already wound its way around major arteries and the brain stem with only a sliver of space left for breathing.  They didn’t think they would even have room to get the breathing tube in, but they did.  They could not believe he was still alive and they kept telling him this.

So, My husband and I just get back home and a few days later he ends up in the hospital with horrific pain and a feeding tube that is leaking.  That same day I receive a call from the Nurse telling me that Dan has only a few hours to a few days left to live.  That he is “actively dying”.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  I thought this can’t be true.  I had way too much peace within me, even though I was crying and thinking I must be nuts for believing he is going to be healed.     A number of family members drove down to be with him and rallying him.    My sister calls me the next day and says the nurse is again saying that he had declined over the night and it is only a matter of hours.  So, I decided I needed to go down once again and be with him and say my goodbyes.  My sorrow was great, yet I still had peace within me.  I told myself I am either in real deep denial or God is giving me a peace about this whole thing.  A peace I couldn’t understand, and still don’t understand.

I drive down the next morning and when I get to the hospital, my brother is wide awake and looking quite well.  Apparently, he came out of his non-responsive state and was now alert.  But, they said he is dying and they are treating him as though he is dying.  They will only give comfort to him which means lots of meds to ease his pain.  No more food.  The feeding tube isn’t working and if he regurgitates anything it would block his tracheotomy which would mean he would die of suffocation.   He is  too weak  to have surgery to fix the feeding tube.   While there we had lots of laughs and gave him new hope.   All of us have this belief that he is ripe for a miracle.  He was even  hooking up his computer to the T.V.  that day.   This is a guy who had only hours to live.

Dan has been without food for 12 days now.  He is getting weaker and in the last few days has been sleeping quite a bit more.  However, when I was there this past thursday I saw something that really gave me even more hope and conviction.  My brother and his friend prayed with Dan and they asked if he was ready to give himself totally to the Lord.  Dan opened the door by jubilantly raising his fist in the air, mouthing yes, yes yes.  Next, in comes the janitor, who happens to be Reverand  Kevin Smith.  He told one of us in the hallway that God can heal and miracles do happen.  He wanted to know if he could pray with Dan.  We all were yes, of course, please do.  He is convicted that God is going to heal Dan.  Even today, when Dan is getting worse and worse, he walks in and talks to Dan and begins praying with him.  Then, Fr. Mike, the Priest that Dan really likes, walks in and he starts praying over Dan.  All these individuals, different denominations, coming in and praying over Dan for a healing and all three of them are convinced that God would heal Dan if Dan would work for God and His Church.

Then yesterday, Some woman from the Church came to give Dan the Eucharist.  She told Dan that God wants to heal.  She gave him a prayer to say for inner healing and then she told him to speak to God and ask for a healing and tell God what He would do for him in exchange.  I was like wow, people off the street who don’t even know Dan or love Dan are all acting and thinking like He is going to receive a miracle.  They are all praying for a miracle for Him.  They all say that Dan could be a great witness for God.  So,  Here again, someone in the hospital coming by and praying with him and letting him know that God wants to heal and that He can be used to witness for God.  Just when everyone was beginning to think, oh I don’t think we are going to get our miracle after all.

I spoke with someone who is with Dan today and they told me that everyone on that floor is praying for Dan and they keep wondering if there is going to be a miracle happening.  The Dr’s have been unbelievably patient and gracious to us, the nursing staff is phenomenal and so so so kind.  Doing everything possible to make Dan and us comfortable.  They even found rooms for a few of us, bringing food for everyone, etc.  This is the VA by the way.

I was exhausted and had only about 5-6 hours sleep in the past 48 hours and I was not feeling particularly happy this morning with all the problems going on.  I decided to take a nap and when I awoke a few minutes to 3 pm, I felt refreshed and light as air.  I felt like all was good with the world again and my hope was gaining momentum once again.

It was at this point that I felt the Lord telling me I needed to express my beliefs.  Not hide them for fear of being ridiculed for thinking he will receive a miracle.  When I spoke with the Dr’s about his condition on tuesday they said that yes, only a miracle will save his life.  He is receiving nothing more than meds and some fluids.  Today, after a few quiet days, he woke up and opened his eyes when Kevin (the pastor) walked into the room;  Dan smiled and motioned for him to come over and talk to him.  Apparently this has been the first response from Dan in a few days.  He has been unresponsive for the past 3 days.  Then, in comes Angie, who gave Him Holy Communion once again and she too is reiterating to Dan that God wants to heal.   I have no fear of him dying from starvation for the Eucharist will sustain Him if that be God’s Holy Will.  Many Saints have lived on just the Eucharist for years.

Time will tell, but I will be sure to let you know the outcome of this situation.  I may be in tears of sorrow or joy….I don’t know which at this point, but I still believe with my heart that something beautiful is going on here.  Something out of the ordinary for sure.  We don’t know God’s ways and that is an understatement.  But, now God can work.  No one can say that Dans healing was because of Medical Science.  God is stretching all of us and is really asking us to Trust in HIM.  This is more difficult than we think.  Right before our eyes we are seeing one thing, but God is asking us to believe something else that we do not see. Hope, is after all, something that we cannot know or see.  I mean, when you think about it, can you imagine yourself going into someone’s room, someone you don’t know and telling them you believe God wants to heal them — even though the Dr’s say they are only hours away from dying???  It seems to me God is trying to rally us on and encourage us to keep on trusting and hoping in Him.  So we are.

God is also asking our family to come together united.  To repent.  This isn’t just about Dan repenting.  There is so much division because half the family has left the Faith and they do not like Catholicism one little bit.  They think we are basically from the devil himself.  lots of tension because of this.  They really dislike the Virgin Mary and so I told Dan…you have got to choose Dan.  Will you believe as they believe or will you witness to the truth of Catholicism, the Blessed Mother and the Eucharist if you are healed.  You can not ride the fence on this one.  I said it is the Blessed Mother who will be interceding for you and so you can be sure, if you are healed, you will need to witness to her intercession.  God knows what you will do or say so make your choice now.

Yet, the beautiful part is that I am seeing the Protestants and Catholics coming together because of  Dan.  Both praying for him, praying over him, believing in His Miracle.  We have one God.  we pray to one God.  We must all love and respect each other.  Will we have a Miracle….I don’t know for sure, but the VA hospital staff sure seems to think so and my heart tells me yes, but, I surrendered it all to God.  He gets to decide.  He knows what is best.  We will know soon.

I do believe that because of the times we are living in right now, God can use all the witnesses He can muster up.  Plus, we are all being challenged in a huge way to trust God like never before.  When things get really rough, that is all we will have….Trust in God when things look like evil has won.  This situation, I believe, is part of our training ground for what is to come.  Perhaps you are going through the same thing.  If so, lets all hang in there and not give up.  Trust in God is the only thing that will protect and sustain us.

 

Blessings to all