No, not THAT "F" word! Did you really think that I'd use that naughty word?!
How about these "F Words" instead? Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Fun and Freedom.
I've been absent from my blog for the past couple of months. This is due to my very overflowing plate of working full-time, completing 2 graduate level classes, raising my children, hosting house guests and making sure to spend quality time with my husband. I having been living on very little sleep. My husband has some of the best work ethic that I've ever seen in an individual. He is known for saying, "We were made to work. We're supposed to be tired. If we're not tired, then we're doing something wrong." Amen to that! With that being said, let's examine those "F Words."
Let's start with my favorite topic- Faith! Without Faith and Hope in God, we cannot effectively accomplish everything that God has called us to do. When we feel overburdened, we know that we can always turn to God for His comfort, strength and protection. God loves each and every one of us and He has created us for specific and unique purposes that we must fulfill in order to bring about the Glory of God. For my part, I have been called to be a wife, mother, caregiver and evangelizer. My sole purpose in life is to help bring many souls to God. This can be accomplished by prayer, spiritual sacrifices, Christian actions of service and hospitality, and telling others of the Word. One of my favorite quotes is from St. Francis of Assisi. "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words." No matter how busy life gets, we must always remember to follow St. Francis' advice. There is always an opportunity to preach.
Summer is upon us. It is a time to join in fellowship and fun with family and friends. Merriam-Webster defines fellowship as "meaningful communication for building trust." Examples of fellowship range from community events at Church or in your own backyard. There is a daily fellowship in my front yard where more than 6 children can be found on most summer afternoons playing basketball, riding bikes and scooters and blowing bubbles. This youthful fellowship allows for a bonding between the neighborhood kids which leads to a bonding of their parents. Children are some of the best examples of preaching the Gospel through actions when they run into the house to grab popsicles for everyone, when they watch out for each other as cars pull into the cul-de-sac or when they show concern over scrapes and bruises. May we all be like these little children. "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14. May we follow the children's example when we see our neighbors in and around our community.
Leviticus 19:18 says"...you shall love your neighbor as yourself..." Summer is known in many states as "road work season." Do you see those crewmen/women sweating in the heat of the day? Keep a cooler of cold water in your car. If you see a safe place to pull over, hand out the cold bottles of water with a smile and a "God bless you." I assure you that they will be grateful for your kind action. Put yourself in their shoes, wouldn't you be grateful for a strangers smile, greeting and cold water as you toil in the heat of the day? Don't forget about Mother Teresa, her friendly smile and her loving actions. Don't forget about the woman at the well. The loving actions and the service to others are always opportunities to evangelize. You never know what doors God will open for you to evangelize to others. Seize those opportunities. We are in a constant spiritual warfare. Fight to bring love to others. Jesus did this and we must follow in His example. It is essential that we work to bring souls to God and leave Satan in a losing position. Love always wins.
When we are with God, we maintain our freedom. Freedom is mentioned at least 5 times in Sacred Scripture.
1.) Isaiah 61:1
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners"
2.) John 8:32
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
3.) 2 Cor. 3:18
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
4.) Galatians 5:1
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery."
5.) Galatians 5:13. (This is one of my favorite Bible verses!)
"For you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, serve one another in love."
Let's examine the common underlining theme of these verses- use your freedom for love and service to others. When you use your freedom in this manner, you will have the wisdom, strength and protection of the Holy Spirit. Do not be slaves to this world. You will always have freedom in Christ. And what a beautiful freedom it is!
May we all embody the attitude of service and love to others. As my pastor said in his homily last weekend, do not take a vacation from your vocation. Go ahead and enjoy vacations with family and friends! But always observe your surroundings. I assure you that you can always find people to evangelize to with your loving actions.