Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Your Way Tuesday
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put on the whole armor...
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from reader LM
Ephesians 6: 11 - 17
"Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast, with your loins girded in truth, clothed with the righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

Today was the day where Satan showed me just how sly he can be -- trying to get me to veer from the path of God.

Test #1
My director asked us (everyone in my department) to take the Myers Briggs temperment test. We were then going to have someone come to our retreat (this Friday) and discuss the different temperments in our department and how to "get along." Actually, we all work very well together - we all are courteous, helpful, and willing to assist in any way needed in order to get the job done.
At first, it seemed kind of cool and very interesting - trying to see if I changed from my college days. Yes, I had to take this for my bachelor's and master's degrees - both were the same - ENFJ. Taking it again was exciting because I know I had changed but I was unsure in which way - and yes, the results came in - INFJ. To me, this makes sense since I am in the discernment process and I need to be more introverted, relying on God's Word and Love to guide me on my path.
What I didn't expect was how I started reading into the test...reading the INFJ characteristics and attributing these to myself. Wait a minute! What started out as fun & exciting has just taken a sharp turn to the left! Was I now relying on the test results to determine how I would react in certain situations? Define my career choice? I soon found myself questioning the validity of and need for this test. Do I really need something temporal to determine what / how I should act & be? NO! My desires should not be of the earth, but rather for God...to become holy in the Lord! Ephesians 6..."Put on the armor of God."
Test #2:
A co-worker just came back from Asia and brought us all little buddas. What's interesting is that my co-worker knows that I want to join an Order and I am trying to stay strong in my faith (although it is a daily, sometimes hourly battle). When the budda was handed to me, my co-worker asked me not to take too much into it - it's just a trinket from the trip. I thanked her politely and put it on my desk. (mistake #1) At the end of the day, I left it on my desk & went home. (mistake #2) Satan works in very sly ways! On the train on the way home, I was praying for a friend who was having a difficult time preparing for a class. When I got into my car, I remembered the budda and the thought of rubbing the budda's belly will bring good luck. WHAT??? Satan will try any which way to get us to move ever so slightly away from God...once we take that first step, it's so much easier to take the next one and the next one, until we are so far away from God that we can't remember Him or see Him any more.
Every since then, I have been praying, asking God to forgive me...for the slightest doubt I had. How easy it is to be swayed - ever so slightly. Satan masks the evil inside the good so well. We need to keep the armor of God to protect us, without the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit on and with us at all times. We don't know when, where, or how the evil one will try to attack us, but we need to be ready, with the Word of God on our lips ready for battle.

Lillian Marie

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it'sno big deal
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Fr. V over at Adam's Ale has a couple of posts in the last 3 days about the weather in Cleveland OH. Misery loves company, so I sent my son to join him.

Since last July 4th weekend, our youngest son, his wife, and their now 3 year old daughter have lived a mere one hour and 10 minutes aways from us. They moved to Ft. Wayne IN from the Ann Arbor MI area. Because we are so close, we now get to be used as babysitters. This past FR afternoon, our daughter-in-law drove to our house and dropped off their daughter for my wife to take care of [I was out of town until Sunday attending a conference].

That allowed our son and his wife to leave Ft. Wayne IN on Saturday morning early and head to Cleveland OH. They were celebrating his birthday with a visit to see friends who live in the Cleveland area. Plans included staying at a very nice Hyatt in downtown - visiting the Rock-'n-roll Hall of Fame - eat out at a really nice restaurant.

Their report was that by the time they got into downtown Cleveland, it was already beginning to look like a ghost-town. A foot plus had already landed and more was falling. Plans quickly changed. Winds were gusting over 30mph and sustaining at 25. The Hall of Fame, and everything else around, 'closed-up'. Through Saturday and into Sunday, they became captives. In-room movies were available and a hotel restaurant was open.

By Sunday morning, they ventured onto the streets, went to Mass somewhere, and by afternoon were able to tour the Rock-'n-roll Hall of Fame. They made it back to Ft Wayne several hours later than planned, but sort of enjoyed the adventure ... complete with pictures of drifts taller than they.

Thanks Cleveland!
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unending possibility
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This past Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Lent, John's gospel told the story of Lazarus being brought back to life. This is a story that Matthew and Mark and Luke do not tell. It is the first time in John's gospel that he has Jesus confronting death ... and we read His response to have been marked by sighs and weeping. Jesus was worked-up, perturbed, troubled. He asked His Father to remove this misery and to restore Lazarus to the living.

John doesn't tell the story of the agony in the garden - Matthew and Mark and Luke do. It is there they tell of Jesus confronting death - HIS own. He accepts it and passes through it and onto resurrection.

Death troubles me - and I suspect it troubles most of us. If I could but recall leaving my mother's womb, might I not have been fearful then - fearful of leaving that life behind? Just as surely, I was actually being born into a new life - a new life that is much fuller that that which I had been living in the womb. I wonder how well I will leave this life behind for the next greater and more full experience that awaits me.

uncle jim
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Buddhist, RN said...

I throw salt over my shoulder for good luck. But if it makes you feel like you're moving away from God, I guess the best thing is to not do it. I think my superstitions are fun, just because I get to throw salt over my shoulder and pick up my feet going over state lines (it's even more fun when you're the one driving!). But I don't put too mcuh real stock in them. But heck, if it helps me psychologically, great! A lot of things people believe in just work because you THINK they're going to work (but I won't even get on that soapbox).

I hope you keep the Buddha though, I love little pieces of culture. If you don't want it, I do! :)

I'm an ISFJ. I'm very much like what the description says. I don't think it's meant to tell you how to act unless you take it that way. That just helps me figure out why I may react the way I do so I can do something about it. I think it's a handy thing to have when creating teams of people to see who might work best together. Dad has taken one a few times at work. I think I could see you as an INFJ...though I think I've missed where you turned from an E into an I! You were always very extroverted and outgoing. What kind of Order are you talking about? Maybe I missed somthing big. 'spose that's what happens when I move.

uncle jim said...

Hi em,
those comments re the tests were made by a regular reader 'LM' = "Lillian Marie" ... not me.

Fr. V said...


In Cleveland? This past Sunday? Tell them to try a "Make Up" trip when the weather is a bit nicer!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments, Emily! I think what really got me was my reaction to the test & the 'trinket'. Neither are inherently bad they are actually good - since God would never allow anything bad to be created. But my reaction to those had me doing a double take. My faith was definitely being challenged!

The Orders that I am currently in discernment about are Trinitarian Sisters (located in Euclid, OH) and Sisters of Reparation of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (in Steubenville, OH).

Lillian Marie

Buddhist, RN said...

Oh I see now. Whoops. Thanks for the clarification.

God totally lets bad things be created. If he didn't, the world wouldn't be as much of a mess. We sin and create bad things all the time. And hopefully we learn from our mistakes. I think some substances are just inherently evil (GHB, for example) and God doesn't really do much to stop it because that's not really how it works. He lets us make our own mistakes and realize that we do need him so that we can choose him freely out of love and necessity. Maybe we're just misunderstanding each other though, that's a definite possibility. I'm kinda dense sometimes.

*steps off of soapbox*


Anonymous said...

Emily - God can't create bad things - this is against His character...He is all good. You're right though, WE are the ones who create the bad out of the good. It is us, mankind, who turns the order of things around. When we sin, we are in effect, turning our backs from God - away from His glory and grace. He won't stop us from doing this because He gave us the freedom to choose. This is His design from the beginning.

Yes, your right when you said that "He [God] allows us to make our own mistakes and realize that we do need Him so that we can choose him freely out of love and necessity." How awesome of a God is that - that He would allow us not to choose Him if we so desire, but is always waiting for us to return to Him...just like the Prodigal Son. God is the Father, watching for us each and every minute of the day, waiting for us to walk down the path toward Him. And when we do, He sees us miles away and runs to greet us before we have even reached Him. With contrite hearts, we plead for forgiveness, which He is ever so willing to give, so that we can live with Him in Heaven.

Just remember - our sins are no deterrent to God's forgiveness and grace! Pretty awesome! Lillian Marie

Adrienne said...

I once worked for a company (small two owner place) that got scammed into hiring a “management firm.” They paid 25K to have these people them how to make more money. When they returned from their first seminar, the book they were using was by L. Ron Hubbard. Oh now, there’s a real management expert!! (sarcasm intended.) The first thing they wanted to do was give us all personality tests. I refused. These tests have been introduced into the workplace as a result of the New Age infiltration of our society and are being used improperly.

Anonymous said...

there's a great free resource at www.INFJ.com
(PS: You never change your type; it's innate. Only your test *results* might change because you don't answer the same every time. That's why you're supposed to *verify* whatever results you get.)