For the financial needs of Elizabeth Ministry, especially in the next two months.
For the Mother-and-Daughter Retreatants who will be growing together at the retreats to be held at EMI during the month of April.
For the health and continuing recovery of Jeannie Hannemann, founder of Elizabeth Ministry.
For “Tina” and her husband whose baby, MacKenzie (suffering from anencephaly) was born prematurely and died. Please also pray for MacKenzie’s 5-year-old sister, who struggles with her baby sister’s death.
For the continuing growth of baby Pliya Aneal, who was born at 25 weeks gestation, is now out of an incubator, but not at home yet. Jesus, please strengthen his lungs!
For “Sandy” and her fiancé who has struggled for years with a porn addiction, as they rebuild trust and prepare for a healthy porn-free marriage in July.
For Bonnie and Chris — and all couples who have suffered miscarriages — as they relate to friends and relatives who are expecting babies.
For RECLAiM students and all who need God’s grace in overcoming the use of pornography and other unhealthy sexual behaviors.
For those who struggle with mental illness, depression, poor self-image and insecurity, that they may seek appropriate help and healing.
For a respect for all life, from natural conception to natural death.
For the needy of the world, especially refugees and those affected by terrorism.
For healthy and strong families.
For governmental leaders.
For all who pray for our needs.
Does Jesus Live at Your House?
Another Easter has come and gone. The Cross with Jesus’ shroud left behind will be the focal point in our churches during this next period of forty days. “Christ is Risen!”, we proclaim. “Jesus is alive!!”
But do you see Him alive, living with you at your house?
One day when our son was about three, his daddy was having a prayer time. Our son found me in the kitchen and asked, “Where’d Daddy go?”
“Daddy’s having a prayer time.”
“Daddy’s talking to Jesus and Jesus is talking to him. It’s important to talk to Jesus and take the time to listen to Him.”
Our son looked at me for a moment or two, and then went to the head of the basement stairs, and called with his pre-school voice of authority, “Jeezee, You Come Up Here!!!!” He waited for a moment, and then looked at me with disappointment on his face.
“Jeezee no coming……!”
Although we chuckled about it — and still do — we marveled at our son’s sense that Jesus was a real part of our family. We started most days talking to Jesus in a brief morning prayer time; we invited Jesus to our meals. We asked his help when sad things happened. We talked about Jesus and we talked to Jesus.
How can a child’s memory recall Jesus? None of us is old enough to remember the living, breathing, historical Jesus! How can you or I, even in our adult memories, remember Jesus? It is our everyday conversation that makes any person “real,” even Jesus, just as real as one’s grandparents or a beloved friend, whose picture we display or who visits us only occasionally, but who is spoken of or spoken with regularly and with affection!
The apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ personal friends, tells us, “Although you have not seen [Jesus] you love him; even though you do not see [Jesus] now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9) And in Peter’s next letter, he reminds us:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, ‘This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:16-19)
In this liturgical season, as we move forward from Easter, we have the opportunity of “real-izing” Jesus truly among us. We need to accept the responsibility and privilege of ensuring that each of those for whom we are responsible (or interact, including our grandchildren, nieces and nephews!) has a healthy supply of age-appropriate and up-to-date on-line and in-print Jesus-centered materials that will continue to answer the more “meaty” questions that our ever-maturing children will certainly ask. As time goes on, they will certainly need the foundational knowledge of a Person who always cares deeply about them, lives in the world in which they live, and can handle the challenges that they will face.
To accomplish this daunting task there are two things necessary:
1. A personal relationship with Jesus that YOU feed on a daily basis. (Think: Who’s most important to you and your family?)
2. A living, breathing, social network of like-minded Christians (preferably with similar-aged children!) who can help your family to stay abreast of all the gadgets, gizmos, programs, videos, music, apps, etc, that will help you to reach the most important goal of your life: “Life on high with Christ Jesus”!! (Colossians 3:1-4). (Google “raising strong Catholics” for many excellent articles and a few negative or sarcastic ones!)
The world around us needs Jesus! Those around us need to hear us speaking of Jesus; they need to see us reading about Jesus and speaking to Jesus! Our co-workers need to hear about Jesus! When problems arise, “to whom else can we go?” Jesus has the words to calm our fears! Jesus has the words of everlasting life!
How easy it is to become apprehensive, considering all that is happening in our current world! “When evildoers come at me,… even then will I trust.” (Psalm 27) We have seen the evildoers making every attempt to destroy Jesus, even to this current day! Jesus has always trusted in his Father’s power; so must we trust in Jesus’ own power to save us!
Easter has come! Jesus is alive!! Let us tell of his presence and his power to save! But let us remember: In the truly short time that we can have a positive, life-giving effect on our children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews, if they haven’t met Jesus by our presence, what are the chances of them recognizing him and building a relationship with him when they have moved elsewhere?
Besides, in the process of introducing Jesus to the next generation, we can be sure of enjoying his company here and now as well as for all eternity! What a deal!