Monday, December 29, 2014


A thick and dreadful darkness came over him. (Genesis 15: 12)

In this Scripture passage, the sun had finally gone down, and the eastern night had swiftly cast its heavy veil over the entire scene. Worn out by the mental conflict, and the exertion and the cares of the day, Abraham "fell into a deep sleep" (v. 12).

During his sleep, his soul was oppressed with "a thick and dreadful darkness," which seemed to smother him and felt like a nightmare in his heart.

Do you have an understanding of the horror of that kind of darkness?

Have you ever experienced a terrible sorrow that seems difficult to reconcile with God's perfect love— a sorrow that comes crashing down upon you, wrings from your soul its peaceful rest in the grace of God, and casts it into a sea of darkness that is unlit by even one ray of hope?

Have you experienced a sorrow caused by unkindness, when others cruelly mistreat your trusting heart, and you even begin to wonder if there is really a God above who sees what is happening yet continues to allow it?

If you know this kind of sorrow, then you know something of this "thick and dreadful darkness."

Human life is made of brightness and gloom, shadows and sunshine, and dark clouds followed by brilliant rays of light. Yet through it all, God's divine justice is accomplishing His plan, affecting and disciplining each individual soul.

Dear friend, if you are filled with fear of the "thick and dreadful darkness" because of God's dealings with humankind, learn to trust His infallible wisdom, for it is equal to His unchanging justice.

And know that He who endured the "dreadful darkness" of Calvary and the feeling of having been forsaken on the cross is ready to accompany you "through the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps. 23: 4) until you can see the sun shining on the other side.

May we realize that "we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" and that "it enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain" (Heb. 6: 19).

And may we know that although it is unseen within His sanctuary, our anchor will be grounded and will never yield. It will hold firm until the day He returns, and then we too will follow it into the safe haven guaranteed to us in God's unchangeable Word.

-- F. B. Meyer

The disciples thought that the angry sea separated them from Jesus. In fact, some of them thought something even worse— they thought that the trouble they were facing was a sign that He had forgotten them and did not care about them.

O dear friend, that is when your troubles can cause the most harm.

The Devil comes and whispers to you, "God has forgotten you" or "God has forsaken you," and your unbelieving heart cries out, as Gideon once did, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?" (Judg. 6: 13).

God has allowed the difficulty to come upon you, in order to bring you closer to Himself.

It has come not to separate you from Jesus but to cause you to cling to Him more faithfully, more firmly, and more simply.

--  F. S. Webster

We should abandon ourselves to God more fully at those times when He seems to have abandoned us.

Let us enjoy His light and comfort when it is His pleasure to give it to us, but may we not attach ourselves to His gifts.

May we instead attach ourselves to Him, and when He plunges us into the night, where pure faith is required, may we still press on through the agonizing darkness.

Oh, for faith that brings the triumph When defeat seems very near!

Oh, for faith that brings the triumph Into victory's ringing cheer—

Faith triumphant; knowing not defeat or fear.

  -   Herbert Booth

Stay Strong! !!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Alleluia. .....

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant.

He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.

Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never had a family or owned a home.

He didn't go to college.

He never lived in a big city.

He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born.

He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him.

His friends ran away.

One of them denied him.

He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.

While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth.

When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race.

I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned--put together--have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.*

*Attributed to James Allen Francis.

 Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

[Stay Strong] "Call upon Mary"

In honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today, I offer this prayer that consistently provides me and many with constant strength and inspiration!  :)

Happy Monday and Stay Strong!

> >>>>>>

"In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary.

Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart.

And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps.

With her for guide, you shall never go astray;

While invoking her, you shall never lose heart;

So long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception;

While she holds your hand, you cannot fall;

Under her protection you have nothing to fear;

If she walks before you, you shall not grow weary;

If she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal."

Say 1 Hail Mary....

Friday, December 5, 2014

[Stay Strong] Ask and it will come!!

Good morning and Happy Friday!! 

I wrote and posted this almost six years ago but felt it was worth a re-print!

The concept and the solution remains the same as does the need to remind ourselves of all our blessings daily - because despite the various challenges on our plates today, life can always be worse!  :)

Enjoy and Stay Strong!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "CIM" <>
Date: Feb 25, 2009 4:38 PM
Subject: [Stay Strong] Ask and it will come!!
To: <>

These days there is a seemingly over-abundance of negative news swirling around our heads!!

EVERYWHERE you turn it seems more bad news, negative situations, and Gloom & Doom commentary is being bandied about to the point of really affecting even the most positive person in a negative way!

We must be very careful to avoid this trap in these troubling and challenging times!

It is far too easy to allow our minds to fall in line with this overwhelmingly negative sentiment that has us in it's grasp!

This is a classic example of the negative "thought compounding" trap we have been discussing all this time and it is imperative that we identify it and snuff it out ASAP!

It is an amazing feeling to know that no matter how bleak things look, no matter how dark and gloomy the present and future appears-- THERE is NOTHING TO FEAR!!!!

Today I caught myself in a joyous and light mood walking the streets of midtown Manhattan at lunchtime - I didn't have a true, specific, identifiable reason to feel that way today or at that moment but the mood overtook me in spite of my current challenges, stresses, etc..

Now sure, I know I am blessed as you all are - with health, love, a great family and tremendous friends in my life -these things are a wonderful and powerful source of STRENGTH and JOY to me indeed! However, there are many days that we do not remember to reflect on those blessings and allow ourselves to develop into a little rut and feel down, apprehensive, fearful, even depressed! It happens to the best of us!

But remember it is only temporary and we can manage these emotions and overcome ANY OBSTACLE if we just try to do so!!

I know that my joyous and spontaneous mood today stemmed from my morning prayer asking for strength and joy and happiness from the Holy Spirit! I know for a fact that if we simply ASK for it, the Holy Spirit will deliver it to us! EVERY TIME!!! Without a doubt!

Do your best to ASK for Strength daily - ask for assistance and aid when in fear or doubt or trouble!

But most of all KNOW that you will be OK - no matter the circumstance you face, the situation in which you find yourself embroiled, or the lack of light you perceive at the end of that dark tunnel!!

IT WILL PASS!! ALL OF THIS darkness will pass!! Happiness is inevitable and unstoppable if you ASK for it, Embrace it, and Accept it as your God Given Right - literally!

Because guess what - it is!!

Stay Strong!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted By CIM to Stay Strong at 2/25/2009 04:38:00 PM

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

[Stay Strong] Be the Bridge. ...

As I waited on a telephone hold this morning, this song came on. 

Despite the fact that I have heard this song 50,000 times over my lifetime, I was deeply moved this morning by the lyrics.

I used to find it a bit corny when I was growing up but now it was as if I was listening to it for the first time!

I think of my own daily struggles with life, trying to find meaning and value and do the right thing for our families and ourselves - balancing it all.

I think of my family and friends struggling with their issues today - fighting courageously against an illness, fighting to keep a marriage or relationship alive, dealing with the loss of a loved one, a setback or disappointment,  searching for a job or for meaning in their lives.

This "hold" song really sums up the Source of Strength we all need in our battles!

I view this song from not only the voice of friends and family who you know are right there in the thick of these battles with you - Always --- but also from a Spiritual perspective!

THIS is what is meant by Faith in whomever you believe in spiritually! 

THIS is what I picture God, or Jesus or Buddha, or Allah, or Virgin Mary, or especially the Holy Spirit communicating to us every morning, day and night!

This is what we need to ask for and to hear, and know and TRULY BELIEVE!! 

Remember..There is ALWAYS someone there along side us during the times of solitude, when we feel defeated, beaten up, in despair and Hopeless, lonely and troubled!!

I strive to be this person on this earth for my friends and family and often fall woefully short due to my own shortcomings and human frailties.

BUT I feel the pendulum shifting as we speak and I know with my prayers for Guidance and Strength and Courage, I WILL be a better bridge and source of strength for all whom I know are in NEED of it today!

For those of you whom I have failed, I apologize -- and WILL make it up to you~!~!

The time is NOW for YOU to be that bridge and shelter as well! 

Despite all YOU have going on in your lives, there is someone in your life who needs you and whom you can ASSIST TODAY!! 

You ARE NOT hopeless - you ARE NOT Powerless -- YOU CAN DO IT  --- starting today!!!

Believe it and it will be Truth! 

I believe in You!! 

Now it is your turn!!!!

Read the amazingly beautiful words below and BELIEVE that there is someone PROMISING you this type of protection and shelter and STRENGTH!!! 

Because there truly is if you BELIEVE there is!!!

Stay Strong!!

>> > A Bridge over Troubled Waters
>> >
>> >
>> > When you're weary
>> >
>> > Feeling small
>> >
>> > When tears are in your eyes
>> >
>> > I will dry them all

>> > I'm on your side

>> > When times get rough

>> > And friends just can't be found

>> > Like a bridge over troubled water

>> > I will lay me down

>> > Like a bridge over troubled water

>> > I will lay me down
>> >

>> > When you're down and out
>> >
>> > When you're on the street
>> >
>> > When evening falls so hard
>> >
>> > I will comfort you
>> >
>> > I'll take your part
>> >
>> > When darkness comes
>> >
>> > And pain is all around
>> >
>> > Like a bridge over troubled water
>> >
>> > I will lay me down
>> >
>> > Like a bridge over troubled water
>> >
>> > I will lay me down
>> >
>> > Sail on Silver Girl,
>> >
>> > Sail on by
>> >
>> > Your time has come to shine
>> >
>> > All your dreams are on their way
>> >
>> > See how they shine
>> >
>> > If you need a friend
>> >
>> > I'm sailing right behind
>> >
>> > Like a bridge over troubled water
>> >
>> > I will ease your mind
>> >
>> > Like a bridge over troubled water
>> >
>> > I will ease your mind
>> >
Stay Strong!!!!!