Archive for January, 2016

REFLECTION…  The testimony of another…

Friday, January 29th, 2016

As I listened to her speak, my interest grew.  The clip was longer than what I would normally be able to listen through in one siting, but the coughing fit of the host was entertaining enough to carry me through.

I have since been informed that the content of her testimony is New Age and now I can see why, but while I was driving home after the correction, I continued to ask God why her testimony touched me.  In truth, I’m still asking our Father about it.

She mentioned…”I had learned how every decision I had made in my life led me to that point, dying in that hospital bed.   I Learned why I had cancer… it was because I had lived a life of tremendous fear.
Fear of being myself, fear of authentically expressing myself; I was a people pleaser.   I was afraid of not meeting expectations.  I completely lost my identity; everything I did, I did it to be liked rather than because I wanted to do.  I lived my whole life suppressing who I am.”

Prior to learning how to set healthy boundaries, I had lived similarly.  In my younger years, I was reprimanded for living carefree.  Unlike my better behaved siblings, I was boisterous, emotional, excitable, inquisitive and I often got into trouble.  A family picture with the space left open for me among us five siblings spoke volumes of my childhood days.  Once again, I was “missing in action” because I was marching to my own drum beat.

During my unbearable months of anguish through my last two bouts of depression, God had taught me so much about myself.  He had brought tremendous spiritual, mental and emotional healing through prayer ministry, through quiet, personal prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, through Scripture reading and through books and the promptings of others.  Our Father also showered me with unconditional love through my family, even when their eyes showed fear and concern.  Thank You Lord…

During the last bout, as I was walking victoriously away (hopefully for the last time) from clinical depression, God helped me realize that I was and I still am a true gift from God.  In their elementary years, each of my children had received 2 series of teachings on “I am a gift from God”.  I had dutifully wrapped a box symbolizing themselves, but I failed to grasp the concept for myself.

More so during the bouts of depression, I had self-loathed and I doubted my capacity and capabilities.
During one session of prayer ministry, I was told that I loved God so much, but there was something there that was preventing me from receiving His love.  I later realized that that block was myself.  I felt I didn’t deserve love nor was I worthy of any love.  It was my childhood promises I had built up to protect myself from reprimands that prevented me from living my adult life to the fullest.

In her TEDx address, Anita Moorjani shares…

“Now that you know the truth of who you really are, go back to your body and live fearlessly.  (NOTE:  I did not grasp who had spoken this to her.)  I had to pick my my life from that point.  Life felt completely different.  I had changed my view of the world.”

“Let me use this metaphor to describe what I had learned…  Imagine that you are in a pitch black warehouse.  It is totally dark.  In your hand is a little flashlight.  With that little flashlight, you use that beam to navigate through the dark.  Everything you see is restricted by the beam of the flashlight.  Everything else is in darkness.  Now imagine that one day, the whole warehouse is illuminated.  The warehouse is huge and is lined with shelves with everything you can and cannot imagine.  Some beautiful, some not so beautiful.  Some colours you never imagined existed.  You recognize things that you have seen before, but many you have not seen.  The main light goes off again and once again, you are restricted to the beam of your flashlight.  Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean that they do not exist because you have already seen them.”

“Let’s play a game.  Look around to everything around the room that is red.  Now turn back and look at me.  How many things can you recall that is blue in colour?  (laughter)  You didn’t see them because you were not aware of them.  It can be right underneath your nose, but when the beam of light isn’t on it, you will not be aware of it.  The beam of the flashlight is your awareness.  When you flash your awareness on something, it becomes your reality; it becomes your experience.”

These are the five biggest lessons I have learned:
1)  The most important thing we have is love.  I didn’t love myself.  When we love ourselves, we value ourselves.  When we value ourselves, we teach people how to treat us.  There is no need to control or bully others and vise versa.

2)  Live life fearlessly.  I was brought up on a diet of fear… fear of displeasing people, failing, eating the wrong food, etc…It is love that keeps you safe, not fear.  If you love yourself, you will keep yourself safe and others.

3)  Humour, laughter and joy.  We were born knowing that it is important to laugh.  Kids know that.  It is conditioned out of us.

4)  Life is a gift.  Most people live as if life is a chore.  It shouldn’t be that way.  It is only when we lose something that we learn to value it.  Don’t wait to realize this too late.  Even the challenges that come to you are a gift.  I was “killing myself” even before cancer.  In the end, you will find that your challenge is a gift.

5)  Be yourself.  Shine your light as bright as you can. Love yourself unconditionally and just be yourself.”

As I typed out the 5 biggest lessons Anita had gleaned from her experience, I realize that what she learned was similar to what our Father had taught me.  To me, depression is similar to death.  Once in it, you are devoid of any positive emotion and no matter how hard you try, everything remains bleak while the body’s chemical balance remains unsynchronized.  It is only when depression lifts that you have the ability to see things clearly again.  The sun is shining and the colors of the grass and everything else becomes more vivid than they had been before.  You begin to see things that you had not noticed before because you were once too busy.

Perhaps being diagnosed with cancer or another terminal disease brings about a similar realization of life.  Once grief lifts, the individual has a tendency to live a more meaningful life.

As I close, I am reminded of John 10:10.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  Although she may not have realized it because she had not known Him then, to me, I believe Jesus revealed this truth to Anita.  He had revealed the shackles that were holding her back from living a full life.  I pray that, with time and with the patience and gentle love of strong Christians, Anita will be guided to realize that it was Jesus who had brought her that peace and that truth.

May our living God bring us freedom from fear and give us new purpose and hope as we draw closer to Him and as we invite and allow Him to bring healing into our lives.  Come Holy Spirit.  Fill us with Your presence.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – January 27, 2016

p.s. -



REFLECTION: Your grace is enough…

Monday, January 18th, 2016

In the midst of worship and praising God, before our time in Adoration last night, I opened my Bible to Psalm 97.

The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let all the islands celebrate!
Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
    His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
Fire proceeds before him,
    burning up his enemies on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees it and trembles!
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of the whole world!

Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
    and all nations have seen his glory.
All those who worship images,
    those who are proud of idols,
    are put to shame.
    All gods bow down to the Lord!
Zion has heard and celebrates,
    the towns[a] of Judah rejoice,
    because of your acts of justice, Lord,
    because you, Lord, are the Most High
        over all the earth,
    because you are so superior to all other gods.

10 Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
    delivering them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
    Give thanks to his holy name!

I had not visited that passage before and I struggled to grasp the message while the others around me continued to praise.  It was only when the congregation began to sing Chris Tomlin’s song, Your Grace is Enough that the relevance of the Scripture began to sink in.

“Your grace is enough; Your grace is enough;  Your grace is enough for me.”

My mind questioned, “Is God’s grace enough for me?”  My heart reaffirmed that it was, but my mind continued to question “Why?”  And then, as if to answer, some Scripture began to jump out at me.  I quickly underlined…

God’s grace is enough for me because He rules!  His throne is built on righteousness and justice.  Fire proceeds before Him, burning His enemies on every side.  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord.  Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness, and all the nations have seen His glory.  Because of His acts of justice; because He is superior to all other gods.

I then realized that God had also had His promises penned…  God guards the lives of His faithful ones.  He delivers them from the power of the wicked.  His light is planted like seed for the righteous person and His joy fills those whose heart is right!

I wondered about the mountains, but as we were ministering to another in prayer, my partner had mentioned about the mountains our recipient had to climb.  I quickly grabbed my Bible and  and as I read, I declared that God would melt down those mountains like wax for that individual.  THANK YOU LORD!

Father God, we thank You for your living Word!  We thank You for speaking Your love to us through your written Word.  In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – January 18, 2016


REFLECTION: Will you enter the rest?

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been encouraging struggling friends to “enter the rest of God”.  The truth is, as I reminded them, I myself had failed to enter the rest.

A few days ago, we had another unexpected visitor.  The RCMP had come around again, asking if someone in our home had called 911.    This is the second time the RCMP had visited because three unsolicited calls had come from our home.  (The problem was later resolved from the exterior.)

As I prayed about it, I had sensed our Father say…”A lot of 911 calls HAVE been coming from your home.  You’ve been making a lot of heavenly 911 calls from your end for others.  I have sent these “earthly angels” your way to show you that I have heard your prayers and the prayers of others.  You may not be getting the answers your heart desires, but I have heard your prayers.”

That message came loud and clear.  I had shared it a few hours later with another and she reminded me that I had to send 911 calls for myself so that I, too, would enter into the rest.  She was aware of my fuzzy mind and as we talked, she recognized the hyper activity of my mind as I jumped from one topic after another without finishing the last.


Since then, I have asked others to remind me to ENTER THE REST as I encourage them to do the same.

As if God knew this was the topic of the week,  Jeff Cavins’ Bible study just so happened to touch on the same…

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day. So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; 10 for whoever enters God’s rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. Hebrews 4: 6-11 NRV

Jeff Cavins explains… The reason why God declared the Sabbath rest was because He knew we would need a break from our daily toil.  He didn’t and still doesn’t need to rest, but WE DO.  We need a day each week when we can cease from striving and from carrying our burdens,  where we can cast our cares on Him.  We need  a day to enter into a familial relationship with the Father .

It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that we can rest and give Him our cares and burdens.  We cease to carry our burdens; we lay them down at the foot of His cross and we enter His rest through the Mass.  There, we are nourished by His Word and by His body and blood.  When we leave Mass, we should be resurrected with Him and free.  If not, is it because we have failed to enter into His rest?

Notice that I typed “can” in bold letters?  The truth is, each Christian can enter into the rest, but that is still a choice each needs to make.  How many are sitting on the pews while still clinging onto their burdens?

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it.  For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.  Hebrews 4:1-2 NRV

Father God, forgive us for trying so hard to carry on without You.  We often try to push ourselves forward by sheer will, but in truth Lord, we become more disheartened and frustrated.  We ask for the grace to surrender our will to You Father.  We often fail to realize that as we surrender, we receive more freedom because You begin to guide us and give us the strength to carry on.  Teach us to enter Your rest Lord.  In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – January 17, 2016

REFLECTION: Whose hand are you holding?

Saturday, January 9th, 2016


Of late, I’ve had dizzy and woozy spells and I trudge forward in a fog.  Perhaps this is just a short spell, but there are times when it gets to be more difficult to forge on.   Perhaps anxiety has slowly crept in, causing me to “stumble” more often than not.  Errors are made and self-condemnation starts to natter…

I reach out in desperation and He grabs my hand…

You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Isaiah 41:9-10

When He holds onto my hand, I can go forward, even if it is blindly, because I know Him.  I know from experience Who I have reached out to and have learned to trust Him… completely.

Yesterday, I rediscovered songs that He had used to bring comfort in the yester-years.

Son, you are my treasure, son
Love beyond measure fills my heart for you 
My son, I want to be your friend
to walk close beside you till all time will end

And every song you hear
Will whisper that my love is near
Golden notes and melodies
Touching you in harmony

Son, your life is precious, son
You need to know this truth will never die
My son, whenever you feel afraid
When shadowy twilight falls across your way
(Lyrics by Brian Doerksen – – Father to Son song )

These lyrics remind of why I hung on and why I can’t let go.  He is every bit the strength, the source of my being.  He had found my heart and He had shown me beyond all doubt, the depth of His love.

From then on, I was amazed when I realized that I truly heard His whisper of love in every song I chose to listen to.  He serenaded me, He wooed me, He comforted me… and He loved over and over again…

Maker of this heart of mine
You know me very well
You understand my deepest part
More than I know myself
So when I face the darkness
When I need to find my way
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

Keeper of this heart of mine
Your patience has no end
You’ve loved me back into Your arms
Time and time again
So if I start to wander
Like a lamb that’s gone astray
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

You’re the beacon of my nights
You’re the sunlight of my days
I can rest within Your arms
I can know Your loving ways
So let the cold winds blow
Let the storms rage all around
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

Giver of this life in me
You’re what I’m living for
For all my deepest gratitude
You love me even more
So as I walk through valleys
Listening for the Master’s call
I’ll trust in you
Shepherd of my heart

You’re the beacon of my nights
You’re the sunlight of my days
I can rest within Your arms
I can know Your loving ways
So as I walk through valleys
Listening for my Master’s call
I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart

I’ll trust in You
Shepherd of my heart
(Sandy Patti - )

Who’s hand are you holding onto?

God bless,

Melissa – January 9, 2016

p.s. –

Psalm 63:8My soul clings onto You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 37:24Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Isaiah 42:1Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights: I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Psalm 119:116-117 – Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!


REFLECTION – Mary, did you know?

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016


I wonder whether Mark Lowry, the author of this beautiful song, “Mary, Did You Know?”, realized that his lyrics clearly describes why the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Solemnity of Mary.  Being a young girl, did Mary truly understand the impact of her “yes” to being the Mother of God?  I wonder…

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”  

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.  Luke 1:26-38

How did Mary comprehend and grasp what was asked of her?  Even in my midlife, such a visitation would have overwhelmed me and yet, young Mary freely and willingly replied, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May your word to me be fulfilled.”

How did Mary explain her pregnancy to Joseph?  He must have exploded and they must have fought and argued for days! He must have thought she cheated on him for didn’t he plan to send her away secretly?  

 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been [v]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:19-21

How did the town folk treat Mary when her pregnancy began to show?  Did they taunt her and did they attempt to harm her and to stone her for her assumed scandalous act?

Mary must have been so broken and so distraught.  She must have felt betrayed, scared and confused.  How did young Mary carry on?

As I search Scripture and as I pray and pray even more, I gradually begin to comprehend…  Out of all the women of her time, God had specifically chosen Mary.  She was full of His grace and His Spirit.  And yet, just as her Son, she was also fully human.  My mind wanders on to the time when Jesus, at the tender age of 12, had gone missing for 3 days…  I had “lost” my little one in a crowd for a few seconds and in that short period, fear and panic had already stricken me.

God leads my thoughts to Mary at the foot of Jesus’ cross…  Mary had journeyed along with Jesus as He dragged the 300 pound cross through Via Dolorosa. (  She watched in anguish as her son was tormented and tortured.  Although she could do nothing to physically alleviate his torment, I know with all my heart that Mary was doing something.  Mary was praying.  Mary was pleading with our Father for the sake of her son.  His Son.

A speaker had suggested that while He was on His cross, Jesus had asked His mother what He should do.  He suggested that Mary had encouraged Jesus to stay on the cross.  The people were taunting Him to bring himself down from the cross, but Mary, knowing God’s will, had encouraged her son to stay put so that God’s will would be accomplished…

And now, as I recite the Hail Mary, I begin to appreciate more what Mary had done to fulfill God’s will and glory.  I begin to appreciate what her prayers can and will do for me…

And the angel came in unto her, and said,

Hail (Mary), thou that art highly favoured (full of grace), the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  Luke 1:28 KJV

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!   Luke 1:39-42

God bless,

Melissa – January 2, 2016

p.s. –

Traditional version:

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

    – Contemplating Mary, at the foot of the Cross.