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3/22/20 8:10 P

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Sunday, March 22

“…live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:8-9

Key thought:
It’s not always easy to “live as the light,” especially if you’ve had a bad day, or someone has been critical of you.

Suggested practice:
Instead of choosing the easy route today—such as meeting unkindness with unkindness, or lashing out—practice taking the high road. Ask, “What example do I wish to set for others today?”

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/1/20 10:01 P

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Sunday, March 1

“Just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all.” Romans 5:18

Key thought:
Our faith reminds us that through Jesus’ selflessness, we will enjoy the reward of eternal life.

Suggested practice:
What does selflessness mean to you? Spend some time reflecting on this today, and the positive impact it can have in others’ lives. Resolve to perform one small selfless act each day this week.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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2/26/20 9:37 P

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The Lenten season is upon us.

Wednesday, February 26 – Ash Wednesday

“‘Even now’ says the Lord, ‘return to Me with your whole heart…for I am gracious and merciful…’” Joel 2:12-13

Key thought:
Even when we stumble in our quest to live righteously, God is ready to welcome us back. He is not vindictive; He does not hold a grudge. All He asks is our sincere repentance.

Suggested practice:
Set aside some quiet time to examine your conscience and commit to pursuing your Lenten journey in good faith.


Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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4/14/19 10:52 P

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Second Reflection

“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.” (John 18:10)
The Redeemer acted differently with Malchus. When He replaced his ear, cut off as a result of Saint Peter’s zeal, Our Lord certainly wanted to grant him a temporal good. However, by healing his ear, Our Lord wanted, above all, to open the ear of his soul. So, He Who had healed the spiritual deafness of a few with the forcefulness of His Divine voice, cured the same spiritual deafness of Malchus with words of sweetness, and a physical miracle.

We live in an epoch of terrible spiritual deafness. If there was ever a time when mankind needed to listen to God’s voice, ours is such a time; but ours is also an era that certainly has the hardest of hearts.

Our Lord’s Internal Struggle and Ours

The Divine Master shows us that, if we want to cure our own spiritual deafness, as well as our neighbor’s, He is the only one who can do so, as mere human means are useless.

Let us be one with the blind man of the Gospel who shouted to Our Lord, “Domine, ut videam!”—“Lord, that I may see!”

Let us take advantage of the celebrations of Holy Week to ask Him to help us to hear, “Domine, ut audiam!” — “Lord, that I may hear!” We don’t know how Our Lord will heal our spiritual deafness—nor does it matter. Let us fulfill His Divine will whether He speak with the terrible voice of reprimand and punishment or with the sweet voice of consolations. What really matters is that we beseech Him, “Lord, that I may hear!”

Let us at least listen wholeheartedly to Our Lord’s voice and, by sincerely opening our souls to the graces He grants us, bring about within ourselves the fullness of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which the enemies of the Church hope to banish from the face of the earth.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/7/19 8:04 P

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I have a number of friends who are afraid to pray. They’re afraid of what God might call them to do, and rightfully so.

In prayer, we experience God’s love. In our response, we humbly return that love. And, if we have ears to hear, God always pushes us to go deeper. He says, “I love you, Jurell. Now, these are your brothers and sisters—go and love them as I love you.”

Jesus’ life shows us that prayer always extends to our neighbor; it pushes us to notice the divine spark in all of God’s children, to show love without reservation. It is this love that bears much fruit for the Kingdom.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/6/19 8:06 A

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Today’s Readings

Joel 2: 12-18
2 Corinthians 5: 20-6: 2
Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

Beginning Lent and ending some bad habits. Trying to open our hearts and possibly close our mouths. Improving our morals, spirits, thinking and deconstructing inappropriate behaviors and thoughts.

Today is a great day to remember we are all made of dust with clay feet. Looking at ourselves we may also try to be a little more patient. Looking at others we may extend that patience, too. This is a good way to begin Lent and end some bad habits.

Prayer for Today

Lord, help me to make one good step today, to hold my tongue from hurtful speech and use it to heal and praise. May I praise You and heal others who are made in Your image and likeness. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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4/1/18 2:01 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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4/1/18 8:44 A

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Alleluia!

Today's Readings

Acts 10:34A, 37-43; Colossians 3: 1-4; John 20: 1-9

Reflection for Today

Like a mother after a long, hard labor all can disappear in a moment: the Crucified One is Alive!

Never before, no one could imagine.

Is there any pain, any suffering, any trauma that cannot be overcome by the Risen One!

Even today I don’t fully appreciate how overwhelmingly, amazingly awesome is this fact.

Prayer for Today

Jesus I believe You Rose from the dead! Help me to fully live my life with this knowledge too wonderful for me. Help me to share this Truth in all I say and do and live. Help me to Love because truly that is forever and ever who You are. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/31/18 2:31 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/31/18 2:27 P

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Rocking Out
Numbers 20:1-13

Read
There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. The people blamed Moses and said, “If only we had died in the LORD’s presence with our brothers! Why have you brought the congregation of the LORD’s people into this wilderness to die, along with all our livestock? Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us here to this terrible place? This land has no grain, no figs, no grapes, no pomegranates, and no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron turned away from the people and went to the entrance of the Tabernacle, where they fell face down on the ground. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD said to Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”

So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD. Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill. (Numbers 20:2-11)

Reflect
Thirty-seven years had passed since Israel’s first spy mission into the Promised Land (Numbers 13–14) and 40 years since the exodus from Egypt. The Bible is virtually silent about the 37 years of aimless wandering. The generation of Israelites who had lived in Egypt had almost died off, and the new generation would soon be ready to enter the land. Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb were among the few who remained from those who had left Egypt. Once again they camped at Kadesh, the site of the first spy mission that had ended in disaster. Moses hoped the people were ready for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, the Israelites had forgotten that their wanderings resulted from their parents’ and their own sin. Instead of acknowledging that their faithlessness had brought on their problems, they blamed Moses for their condition. Often our troubles result from our own disobedience or lack of faith. Until we face this reality, we will have little peace and no spiritual growth.

The Lord had told Moses to speak to the rock; however, Moses struck it, not once, but twice. For this he was forbidden to enter the Promised Land. Was God’s punishment of Moses too harsh? After all, the people had nagged him, slandered him, and rebelled against both him and God. Now they were at it again (Numbers 20:5). But Moses was the leader and model for the entire nation. Because he was an example in his obedience, he was now an example in his disobedience. By striking the rock, Moses disobeyed God’s direct command and dishonored God in the presence of his people.

Respond
Both Moses and the people had their own reasons for disobeying God, but those reasons led them away from trusting God. Maybe you’re tempted by “good reasons” to disobey God, but you may be giving up the opportunity to see God deliver on his promises. Take time to decide: Do you want God and his promises, or do you want your own way?



Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/31/18 2:25 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/31/18 1:42 P

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A Sabbath Rest

Today's Readings

Suggested readings: Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

Reflection for Today

On the seventh day God rested. On this Saturday, Jesus, God and man, is in the tomb. He descended into Hell is our common English translation of the Creed. Better translated, “He goes to the place of the dead.” He sets those free who have died and are judged worthy to enter Heaven.

He has opened the Kingdom. Yet on earth, His body is in the tomb. Stunned, grief-stricken, depressed and disbelieving are His friends and followers on earth. Much like we are when we have lost a loved one or friend. Perhaps a tragic or unexpected death of one close to us.

What can I do to help? Sit and listen. Offer time.

When I feel this total loss, what is the best antidote? Pray. Then find someone else to help. Give of my time. The Lord often provides people for us to help.

Prayer for Today

My Lord and My God, help me when I’m stunned, grief-stricken, depressed. Help me to offer myself to others who are themselves at a loss, alone, rejected, feeling untouchable. With You there is no one who is beyond Your Love and care. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/30/18 2:57 P

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3/30/18 2:39 P

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Good Friday

It's Friday morning now. I highly doubt any of them woke up that morning thinking, “Well this is Good Friday,” or, “This is going to be a good Friday.” They had expectations of Jesus, but I'm pretty sure none of them expected Jesus to die on a cross some Friday afternoon. I don't think that was what they expected. That was unexpected. And, you know, they're afraid, they're anxious, they were hiding. And, Jesus was laying down his life for you and me.

So I guess the question becomes, you know, “What are you and I going to lay our lives down for?”

I look around at Dynamic Catholic. It's, I guess, around a hundred full-time employees now, and the great majority of them have moved from different places across the country. They've taken their kids out of school, and they've moved their families, and they've made enormous sacrifices to lay down their lives for this Mission.

I look at The Ambassador's Club. I've never seen anything like it, you know? I've never seen anything like a group of people who say, “You know what? Yes, I'm going to do something, large or small. I'm going to be part of this group of people who are setting out to do this great work.” It's inspiring to me. I see people giving ten dollars a month who can't afford to give ten dollars a month.

Life. It's about laying your life down for something that's bigger than you. It's about laying your life down for something that will outlive you. It's about laying your life down for something that's more important than all the noise we hear in the culture every day.

So what are you going to lay your life down for? Because until we answer that question, we haven't really started living.

Control. I'm always worked up with worry and anxiety, grasping at control. At night, the worries I've been suppressing throughout the day start boiling over, and I start imagining worst-case scenarios. I start asking myself questions like, “Did I lock the back door? Did I turn the stove off? Are the batteries in the fire alarm still working?” And on, and on.

And so, I climb out of bed, and I go check the back door, and I go check the stove, and I get back into bed, close my eyes, only to turn the nightmare back on.

As a wife and a mom, I'm hyper-aware of all that could go wrong in a day, and all that I have to lose. But the truth is, my grasping for control . . . It's an illusion; it's air. But I just keep grasping at it out of fear. And fear is not faithful.

God wants me to trust him, completely. And the only way I can do that is if I learn to take life one moment at a time. Commit to prayer. Be open to his presence around me and within me. And make the best decision possible, in that moment, and in the next moment. And I've got to let the rest go.

So, I am sacrificing fretting over control—and the time that I waste fretting over control (or the illusion of it). You'd think it wouldn't be that difficult, but it is the hardest thing I will do today. Please pray for me.

What sacrifice is God calling you to make at this time in your life?


FOCUS

All love involves sacrifice.


ACT

Spend time today reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, and determine what sacrifice God is calling you to make at this time in your life.


PRAY

Jesus, through the cross, strengthen my resolve to make the necessary sacrifices to serve the mission you have for me.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts - Leader

Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

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3/30/18 2:39 P

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Good Friday

It's Friday morning now. I highly doubt any of them woke up that morning thinking, “Well this is Good Friday,” or, “This is going to be a good Friday.” They had expectations of Jesus, but I'm pretty sure none of them expected Jesus to die on a cross some Friday afternoon. I don't think that was what they expected. That was unexpected. And, you know, they're afraid, they're anxious, they were hiding. And, Jesus was laying down his life for you and me.

So I guess the question becomes, you know, “What are you and I going to lay our lives down for?”

I look around at Dynamic Catholic. It's, I guess, around a hundred full-time employees now, and the great majority of them have moved from different places across the country. They've taken their kids out of school, and they've moved their families, and they've made enormous sacrifices to lay down their lives for this Mission.

I look at The Ambassador's Club. I've never seen anything like it, you know? I've never seen anything like a group of people who say, “You know what? Yes, I'm going to do something, large or small. I'm going to be part of this group of people who are setting out to do this great work.” It's inspiring to me. I see people giving ten dollars a month who can't afford to give ten dollars a month.

Life. It's about laying your life down for something that's bigger than you. It's about laying your life down for something that will outlive you. It's about laying your life down for something that's more important than all the noise we hear in the culture every day.

So what are you going to lay your life down for? Because until we answer that question, we haven't really started living.

Control. I'm always worked up with worry and anxiety, grasping at control. At night, the worries I've been suppressing throughout the day start boiling over, and I start imagining worst-case scenarios. I start asking myself questions like, “Did I lock the back door? Did I turn the stove off? Are the batteries in the fire alarm still working?” And on, and on.

And so, I climb out of bed, and I go check the back door, and I go check the stove, and I get back into bed, close my eyes, only to turn the nightmare back on.

As a wife and a mom, I'm hyper-aware of all that could go wrong in a day, and all that I have to lose. But the truth is, my grasping for control . . . It's an illusion; it's air. But I just keep grasping at it out of fear. And fear is not faithful.

God wants me to trust him, completely. And the only way I can do that is if I learn to take life one moment at a time. Commit to prayer. Be open to his presence around me and within me. And make the best decision possible, in that moment, and in the next moment. And I've got to let the rest go.

So, I am sacrificing fretting over control—and the time that I waste fretting over control (or the illusion of it). You'd think it wouldn't be that difficult, but it is the hardest thing I will do today. Please pray for me.

What sacrifice is God calling you to make at this time in your life?


FOCUS

All love involves sacrifice.


ACT

Spend time today reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, and determine what sacrifice God is calling you to make at this time in your life.


PRAY

Jesus, through the cross, strengthen my resolve to make the necessary sacrifices to serve the mission you have for me.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

Keep Walking With Jesus-Leader

Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts - Leader

Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

Driven by Faith - Leader


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3/30/18 2:37 P

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3/30/18 1:39 P

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Beyond Belief

Today's Readings

Isaiah 52:13 -53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5: 7- 9; John 18:1-19:42

Reflection for Today

No Mass is said anywhere in the world on this day. No meat eaten, fasting, for those of proper age. No one could have ever imagined that God would become a human person like us, live in a human family, like us, and then allow Himself to die the worst death imaginable like too many poor people died. No one would have ever written such a story, thought such a thought, believed such an event could ever, would ever occur. Yet it did.

A disaster, I have come to accept, which I created. My sin is what caused this Crucifixion. Yes, I’m born with original sin, but if Adam and Eve were not the first to sin, I have no doubt today that I would have sinned, without the help of a serpent. Just like I fall today on my own, I certainly am disobedient. Jesus you died for me!

The Cross today represents my sins and my redemption. I have a lot to meditate upon and a lot to be grateful for and a lot to try to do better.

Prayer for Today

Jesus, Thank You for asking Your Father “to forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Even when I know what I’ve done, I know You died today to accept my contrite heart and afflicted spirit. Help me to better accept and share Your forgiveness and mercy and love. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/29/18 11:03 A

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3/29/18 10:38 A

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Thanksgiving

Today's Readings

Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13: 1 - 15

Reflection for Today

Eucharist means Thanksgiving. We also call our worship service the Sacrifice of the Mass, which comes from Jesus offering His Body and Blood both at the Last Supper, which we celebrate this evening as Holy Thursday, and by His physically offering His Body and Blood at Calvary. How completely Jesus gives of Himself to you and me, holding nothing back.

Anytime you or a loved one might be sick in mind or body, there is an opportunity to “offer it up.” This offering is to make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ – our sufferings, your suffering in mind, body and spirit. Your free will to join with Jesus on His Cross is all that is lacking. Our participation is joining with Jesus. (Colossians 1:24) The more we join with Him, the more we are able to give to others, spiritually, physically, emotionally. St. Mother Teresa gave all by humbly serving the one in front of her. “Do little things with great love,” she’d say and any of us can do the same.

Prayer for Today

Jesus, You gave all and deign to stay with us to this very day. Help me to love You more every day in Your Blessed Sacrament. Help me to share You with others more by offering all I can today by joining You in every joy and pain in my heart. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/28/18 10:24 A

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3/28/18 9:31 A

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The Opportunity Clock

There were a lot of banned words in the Kelly house growing up in Sydney, Australia, with my seven brothers. Hate was one of them. It was a word that just was not acceptable to be used. My mother and my father just did not tolerate the use of the word hate. There were a few of them—maybe half a dozen of them.

And so hate hasn't played a role really in my life, or in my vocabulary. But there is one thing I hate. And that is waking up to an alarm clock. It's disturbing. It’s alarming. I mean, who even came up with the idea, not to mention the name?

You know, in the book, I talk about, “Alarm suggests fright, fear, chaos, confusion, and looming catastrophe.” Well that's a great way to start the day, isn't it?

I hate waking up to an alarm clock. So I renamed it. It's an opportunity clock. The alarm clock goes off every day; it's an opportunity clock. And in many ways, that's our first moment of victory or failure in the day. It's the first moment of freedom or slavery, you know? Because how often do we just slap the snooze button? We just had our first failure of the day.

But every morning that opportunity clock goes off, you've got another day. You've got another day—and there's a lot of people who don't. So when that opportunity clock goes off each morning, we should be bounding out of bed, ready to go out into the world to love, to give, to serve, and to spread the contagious joy that God is constantly trying to fill our hearts with through every aspect of our spirituality.

I hope you never, ever, wake up to an alarm clock ever again.

When I was a little boy, I used to love waking up and sneaking downstairs before anybody else got up so I could have some time to myself to read or make breakfast before the day started.

And I love to do the same thing now as an adult. I like to wake up before anybody else. Before I check my phone, before I talk to anybody, I use that time in the morning to work out, read, write, pray, or even get some chores done before the day begins. And it really makes a difference in my day—it changes it for the better.

Something I do every single day is make breakfast. And I sit down, for a few minutes, to eat breakfast. Just having those few minutes, even if I've had the most frenzied of mornings, really changes my day for the better.

So that's how I enter my day slowly. How do you enter your day slowly?

FOCUS

Enter your day slowly.

ACT

Brainstorm with someone close to you about ways to enter your day more intentionally. Then commit to keeping that habit even after Lent is over.

PRAY

Jesus, fill me with calm and build my reflective self.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

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3/28/18 8:40 A

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Even in Darkness There is Light

Today's Readings

Isaiah 50: 4-9; Mat. 26: 14-25

Reflection for Today

Is my life important? Is what I have done worthwhile? Have I made a difference? At any age one may reflect on these questions. How much more difficult to answer when those closest to me have rejected me. When I lose a job or maybe a friend or a relative, by death or by a falling out. It can only be worse when someone close to you also conspires against you. Where may I plant my feet? Maybe the answer is to plant my knees on the floor in prayer.

Prayer for Today

Jesus, when those around me ignore me, reject me, work against me, let me rely totally on You. Let me take my loneliness as an opportunity to fellowship even more with You. Lord in Your great Love answer me. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/27/18 11:33 A

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/27/18 11:01 A

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Traitorous Tuesday

Today's Readings

Isaiah 49: 1-6; John 13: 21-33 36-38

Reflection for Today

Have I wasted my time? Has my life amounted to anything? Even if one or more of my closest friends has turned against me, how bad can I be? If you’ve experienced such, you can be shaken to the core. Your whole world can be upside down.

Christ calls us to love everyone, even when we don’t feel loved. When Jesus was rejected He still gave Himself. He accepted the pain that I should have suffered for my sins. What might I suffer or take on or accept as rejection? I might think I deserve it or maybe not or maybe the truth is in between. No matter, if I may take my pain and rejection and join it with Jesus and keep on doing the good I know I can do, the Lord will always bring forth good fruit.

Prayer for Today

Jesus, when I am alone, feeling rejected and abandoned, have no one to turn to, You are there. You have experienced worse. Help me to unite my feelings with yours and to carry on. Help me to do the Will of My Father in Heaven. Help me to help others as I would help You. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/26/18 3:13 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/26/18 2:55 P

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When you wake up in the morning, what are your expectations of the day? You know, consciously? Subconsciously? If you think about it, most people . . . Well first, they don't think about it. And second, if you could take a tour of their subconscious, you'd discover that most people have a subconscious expectation that things will go relatively smoothly. And I don't know if you've noticed, but they tend not to. Why? Because life is difficult. When you realize that, when you accept that, you approach things in a completely different way.

Life is difficult. There are problems. There are problems that we expect, and there are problems that are unexpected. And there's not like, okay, you're going to have this many problems in your life, and then you're going to be done. Or, you're going to have this much difficulty in your life, and then you're going to be done.

You look at some people’s lives and you think, “Wow, she's had a really difficult life.” And then you might look at somebody else's life and think, “Wow, he sort of had an easy life.” But we have no idea. You have no idea what's going on inside of me right now. And I have no idea what you're struggling with right now, or what you've struggled with throughout your whole life. What I do know is that life is difficult.

And so, it's important for us to remind ourselves that life is difficult. It's important for us to realize that the difficulties of life are opportunities to grow.

Every difficulty in life is an opportunity to grow.

Every difficulty in life is an opportunity to grow in virtue.

Every difficulty in life is an opportunity to grow in character.

Every difficulty in life is an opportunity to become a-better-version-of-yourself, more perfectly yourself.

Every difficulty in life, at some level, is a blessing.

Life is difficult, and that's okay, unless we want to continue in the delusion that life isn't difficult. Because if we want to continue in the delusion that life isn't difficult, then we're going to find ourselves pretty unhappy, pretty quickly.

Ethan Avina

In music, certain notes, when played or sung together, sound like they were made for each other. When you have notes that don't sound well together, don't sound like they fit, that's called dissonance. Ironically, some of the best music comes from dissonance. It leads to something good and something beautiful. This same principle has followed me all throughout my life.

There was a point when I took a new position in the Chicagoland area. I had always wanted to live in Chicago—two of my greatest friends lived there. I remember I moved in to my studio apartment on a Thursday, and that following Monday, one of my friends left for seminary on the East Coast. It seemed that within a month, that other friend let me know that he was going to be quitting his job and teaching English in Taiwan. I had not expected that to happen, but I leaned into being there on my own, and God led me to some great opportunities.

I was invited to sing with one of the choirs in my parish, and before I knew it, I was conducting the high school choir at the parish, and I was extremely involved with the youth programs. They didn't realize, but I had always felt a calling to work with youth and within sacred music at some level.

So I went from not knowing anybody, to meeting some of the greatest people—greatest friends I could have ever asked for. And it even led me to my wife. I knew that God had great things in store for me, I just had to embrace the dissonance. Through the dissonance in my life, I learned that God has a great path set before me, and I just need to be open to it.

Where is the opportunity in your life?



Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/26/18 7:27 A

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/25/18 11:10 P

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The Procession Begins

Today's Readings

Isaiah 50:4-7; Phil. 2:6-11; Mark 14: 1 – 15:47

Reflection for Today

Isaiah prophecies about Jesus and about you and me: we are suffering servants. We don’t turn our backs on those who fight against the Truth of Jesus. Never easy. If you don’t go to any other liturgical service between today and Easter Sunday, which you should make every effort to do, you walk the entire Passion today.

In suffering with Jesus, we may offer all of our sufferings. In offering our sufferings, we share in the sufferings of all others. For every woman today who is pregnant, has scheduled an abortion, has had an abortion, all those in torment and pain, we suffer too. We pray with Jesus “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (MK 15:34). My God, My God... begins Psalm 22, which ends knowing the Lord is near, the Lord will deliver you and me and many we know; together we will praise the Lord to people yet unborn. You also know this death, every death, does not end life but passes us over unto Eternal Life.

Even in suffering and death, unite with the Lord and you will be more than healed, more than satisfied, you will be overjoyed.

Prayer for Today

My Jesus who suffered for me and because of me, let me join my sufferings, and the sufferings of everyone I know especially the babies in the womb, their mothers and fathers, with you on Your Cross for our salvation and the salvation of the world. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/21/18 4:49 P

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3/21/18 1:19 P

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As a parent, I look around the world, and I think it's a bit of a mess. And I think most parents have concern about the kind of world our kids are gonna grow up in.

My little boy Walter, he's seven, and he's starting to notice the world's a bit of a mess. He said to me the other day, “How did it . . . How did the world get like this?”

The reality is the world gets to be a bit of a mess when people don't do their missions—when people don't fulfill their missions. Human beings were made for meaning. We can't live without meaning. We're also made for mission. God made you for mission. I don't know what your mission is. Our missions evolve and change over time—it's not like God gives us one mission for our whole life, necessarily. But I do know that when people don't fulfill their mission, when people turn their backs on God and the mission he's inviting them to, the world becomes a mess.

So as you think about your mission, I think there's a theme that I've noticed that I'd really encourage you to think about: great things happen when your talents and your passions meet the world's—people's—deep needs. What are humanity's deep needs at this moment in history? Or, what are your parish's deep needs at this moment in history? How do your talents and abilities and passions connect with the deep needs of the people and of this time? Because there's an explosion of mission that happens when those two things come together.

It's helpful if we have thought about it, and prayed about it, and talked to God about it, and said to God, “Hey God, what mission are you calling me to at this time in my life?” Because if you turn to God with that question, that question will change your life. That question changes the world. That question cleans up the mess that even Walter notices at seven years of age.

My mission is to know Jesus better every day and help my wife and kids to do the same. To do this, we gather each night as a family to pray or do a devotional or a Bible study. What my wife and I really want is for our kids to remember that Jesus is the foundation of our home, and that a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in life.

More than anything else, we try with our lives and our example to reflect the love of Christ for our kids. As Saint Paul says, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Our actions often speak louder than words, so we try to live in a way that others can see Christ in us each day. Our goal is to be able to bring the love of Jesus to every family, every person we meet, every person we talk to, and that our kids can do the same—and that we may be a good example for them.

Please pray that we will be able to live out this mission!

What is your mission?

FOCUS

The explosion of passion and purpose takes place when unique abilities and needs meet.

ACT

What is your mission? Take a few minutes to write down whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be one thing. It may be many things. Some will be more important than others, but write them all down. (If you have the 2018 BEST LENT EVER Journal, you can use the space provided.)

PRAY

Jesus, guide me to my mission in life. Help me to use the moments of each day to become the-best-version-of-myself by doing all the good things I feel inspired to do where I am right now, by investigating and developing my unique talents and deepest desires, and by listening to the voice of God in my life.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/21/18 12:30 P

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3/21/18 12:19 P

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Glory and Praise to You Forever

Today's Readings

Daniel 3:14-20; John 8:31-42

Reflection for Today

Today’s first reading inspires us to go on as we continue the journey to sacrificial love. How many times have we been faced with temptation to stray from the path of God? Yet, our God gives us the grace to turn away from temptation and seek the way back to Him. God will bring us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Prayer for Today

Tender Hearted Jesus, thank you for always remembering me. Thank you for loving me so much that you were willing to die for me. When I am tempted to be discouraged or stray from your path, shine your light of love into my heart so that I will know how special I am to you. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/20/18 3:24 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/20/18 11:03 A

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Nothing will complicate your life like money and things. We have this strange way of relating with both. I know people who are incredibly wealthy and completely detached from it. I know people who are poor or lower-middle class who are absolutely obsessed with money and things, and completely unable to detach from those realities. And I've seen everything in between. I struggle with it myself every day.

The thing about money and things is that they do have this tendency to grab ahold of our heart. They do have this tendency to burrow into our hearts, and they rent space in our minds. And that's a problem. The reason it's a problem is because the space belongs to God.

Money and things: they're slippery things, they're sticky things, they can be real obstacles to the authentic life.

And so, my challenge to you today is to do something that requires you to give until it hurts. Now, that might be giving money, that might be giving things—or a thing. You might have something that you've become so attached to, or there might be somebody in your life who drives you absolutely crazy. For you to come to that person, and love that person, or do something for that person that demonstrates love, and patience, and generosity, you'd be giving, and it would be hurting.

So get on out there, and give some thought today about how you can give until it hurts.

My relationship with money is definitely not the healthiest. I am a very frugal person, and the idea of giving any money away really frightens me. But I love to give all of my works, and joys, and sufferings, and offer it up for others. That's really easy. It's really easy for me to say, “Okay God, I offer up all of these Rosaries I pray, every good work I do. You can take all of these, and I offer it for this person in my life who's suffering.” I can do that. But the minute it comes to giving financially, I freeze up—it's really a struggle for me.

And then one day it hit me: I am so willing to give my spiritual graces away, but I am so unwilling to give my money away. So which one am I valuing more?

It is still a struggle, but, day by day, I am learning that my money was never really mine to begin with; it's all a gift from God, and there is great joy in offering it back to him.

What's your relationship with money?

FOCUS

Money and things have value only inasmuch as we use them to help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves and to help other people realize their full potential.

ACT

Take an honest look at your relationship with money and things. Discuss with someone close to you how you can simplify.

PRAY

Jesus, motivate my actions with the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Live simply so others may simply live.”

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/20/18 8:26 A

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Wait for the Lord; Be Strong and Stouthearted

Today's Readings

Numbers 21:4-9; John 8:21-30

Reflection for Today

Today the readings tell us that the Israelites complained against God and Moses for bringing them from Egypt into the desert to die with no food or water. How many times have I doubted Your word, my God, and wandered from your way? How many times have I complained about what I have or did not have?

Many mothers have found themselves many times with no food or water but have learned to trust in the will of God. Through patient, non-judgmental listening and prayer, these mothers realize that on the day of their distress, God heard their cry and answered them.

Prayer for Today

Fount of Life, I pray that I never tire to drink from the water you provide and never take for granted the healing love you provide to me. May I always have a grateful heart and spirit Lord. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/19/18 2:46 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/19/18 2:19 P

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You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior

Today's Readings

Samuel: 7:4-5; Romans 4:13-16-18; Matthew 1:16, 18-21

Reflection for Today

On this feast day of Saint Joseph, the beloved spouse of Mary, we are also sometimes afraid of what is to come and do not fully understand the plan God has for our lives. Like Saint Joseph, we learn to trust in our God completely and when we encounter trials, we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. And with perseverance we become complete – lacking in nothing and continuing our journey to receive the crown of life. We have God’s promise.

Many mothers often lack a healthy male role model in their lives. Sadly many have been neglected or never even got to know who their fathers were. That is why the feast of Saint Joseph is a very important day. As we continue to take steps during this journey to sacrificial love, it is important to share with others the happy knowledge that regardless of our upbringing and environment, we have a great spousal and fatherly example in Saint Joseph.

Prayer for Today

My God, help me to understand that when I suffer because of righteousness, blessed are You. Blessed are all of us who dwell in your house, O Lord. May we never cease to praise you. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/18/18 9:36 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/18/18 9:27 P

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O Lord, My God, in You I Take Refuge

Today's Readings

Jeremiah 11: 18-20; John 7: 40-53

Reflection for Today

By the precious Blood of Christ, the Blood of a spotless and unblemished Lamb, we have been redeemed. Even as the waves of death surround me, in my anguish I called to the Lord, and He answered me. In You, I take refuge. Save me from all my pursuers and rescue me.

Many mothers were about to be swallowed up in the world of abortion, a world stained with blood, pain, exploitation, and darkness. But they cried out to God, and He answered them.

Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus, You are my hope. On this day, as I journey toward your sacrificial love, I put my trust in you because I know You are kind and provide full redemption. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/18/18 9:20 P

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Have you ever wished you would hear the voice of God? Have you ever wished you'd hear the voice of God? I know I have. I've had those moments in my life, where I just wish that, that a voice would boom out from the sky—would come down from the clouds—and tell me everything was going to be okay, or tell me what I'm supposed to do next, or tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Yeah, I've had those moments. I've had those moments where I just wished that I could hear the voice of God.

How about you? Have you had those moments? Because in the Gospel this Sunday, we see one of those moments, right? We see this happen. The people are with Jesus, God's voice booms out from the clouds, and he speaks down to the people. And what happens? What happens? Some people say, “Oh my gosh, I heard the voice of God. The angels were speaking to us.” And others, “Nah, I heard thunder. Did you hear thunder? Yeah, I heard thunder. I heard thunder.” They don't believe. They're skeptical.

You know Matthew is going to talk a lot about mission, and how we hear the voice of God, and what God is calling you to do. And I think at the outset of that conversation, we've got to ask: “If you were there,” in this Sunday's Gospel passage, if you were there, and God's voice booms out from the heavens, “which side are you on? Are you with the side with the believes, or are you going to be a little bit skeptical?”

It's up to you. You get to choose. You decide.

FOCUS

God is drawing you closer to him.


ACT

Read today’s Gospel (John 12:20–33), and reflect on what is standing between you and God.


PRAY

Jesus, tear down the barriers in my heart.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/15/18 10:41 A

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3/15/18 10:28 A

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March 15: A Path to Self-Mastery
Day 26

When's the last time you intentionally denied yourself of something? At the core of an integrated life is this discipline. And in order to live out this discipline in the moments of the day, we have to learn to deny ourselves. Of course, we live in a culture that is absolutely allergic to self-denial of any form. We live in a culture that says, “Do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, as often as you want.” And so, the concept of self-denial, or denying ourselves of something, has been lost in the general fabric of our culture—and so needs to be reintroduced.

Fifty years ago, or a hundred years ago, this practice of fasting or self-denial was practiced much more. It needs to come back into our lives. I think that creates a great opportunity for us to really think about, “How am I going to deny myself on a regular basis so that I don't become a slave to my appetites, so that I don't become a slave to my body, so that I don't become a slave to my impulses?” Because, God wants you free. You're created for freedom.

Are you free? Maybe more important than that, what aren't you free from? Because we're all not free from something. And you know what? It might just be your morning cup of coffee. That might be your thing—that you're not free from your morning cup of coffee. But God wants you free, he wants you completely free, he wants you totally free so that you can live life to the fullest.

Recently a friend and I did this thirty-day food cleanse. We couldn't have anything with sugar, or dairy, or wheat, or alcohol, or beans. And originally, I had done it as a way to reset, to get back into some healthier eating habits, but it ended up being so much more than that.

Every day, I found myself having to say no to something I wanted. Donuts were often brought into the office, and I had to walk on by, ignoring them. My friends and I would go out to celebrate, and I had to turn down the ice cream. I had to think twice about everything I put into my mouth.

The discipline of saying no was really hard. I felt like I was spending countless hours in the kitchen preparing meals or doing dishes. But surprisingly, all of this was really empowering. Every no was like a little win and a battle to become a better and stronger version of myself. The cravings were no longer controlling me. And I found that, more often than not, I was choosing to fast from things because it was setting me free—I was feeling so much more myself and better all around because I was able to say no to something.

So what about you? How do you fast?

FOCUS

Fasting in small ways every day is a simple, sure path to self-mastery.

ACT

Establish a habit of fasting. Deny yourself in small ways throughout the day, fasting from certain types of foods, certain activities, and certain behaviors.

If you’re reading Perfectly Yourself, read pages 134–141 (paperback version) or pages 140–147 (hardcover version).

PRAY

Jesus, liberate me through the discipline of fasting.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/15/18 10:12 A

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3/15/18 9:13 A

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Hope in our Lord’s Mercy

Today's Readings

Psalm 51:3; John 9:1-6

Reflection for Today

“Out of the depths I cry to Thee, O Lord, hear my voice... If Thou, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?” (Psalm 130)

In today’s first reading King David admits his grave sin and begs for God’s mercy. He is not arrogant enough to think his past good behavior is enough to put him in a good light now. He knows that he has committed a serious offense. His lamentation is a deep wail of despair, but God hears David’s cry and grants him the virtue of hope, and he humbles himself before the throne of clemency.

A lot of people have experienced severe trials and can fall into despair. Their humble prayers, joined to the prayers of others, reach heaven, and they strengthen the mothers. Our Lord brings them to the light of hope where previous and new sins are forgiven if there is sincere repentance.

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord, help me to reach out, in a spirit of sacrificial love, to those I meet who may be in trouble. Don’t let my timidity or fear define how I respond when others need my help. Give me understanding and compassion and strip me of my selfish ways, because I want to be like you, my God. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/14/18 1:52 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/14/18 11:08 A

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March 14: The Power of Impulse
Day 25

One of the biggest issues in our culture over the next fifty years will be addiction. Because, as we have abandoned the authentic life—or even the desire to live an authentic life—as we have abandoned the integrated life—or even the desire to live an integrated life—we have abandoned this self-control. We have embraced the idea that “I can be happy by doing whatever I want.”

The natural consequence of that is that we do become slave to our appetites, our impulses, our whims, our fancies. And, as we become slaves to our impulses and appetites, it takes more and more of whatever your thing is—it takes more and more of it—to satisfy you with every passing day, week, month, year, and decade. And so, we see this explosion of addiction in our culture.

There's almost no family in our society today that has not been touched by serious addiction of some type. Addiction destroys people. It destroys children of God. It destroys marriages. We are going to have to learn as individuals, as families, as church communities, as civil communities, and as a nation how to best love people who are in the grips of addiction. How do we help reintegrate people into society who have recovered from addiction, or are in the process of recovering from an addiction? And perhaps most importantly, how do we raise our children, the children of our society, in such a way that prepares them to live a life free of radical, destructive addiction? God didn't create us for that, and it is one of the major obstacles of our time between us and the-best-version-of-ourselves—between us and that authentic life.

There are a lot of things in life that can tie me down day to day, but one of my greatest challenges is how I see myself. Oftentimes the insecurities that I feel about my appearance make me feel inadequate compared to others. It's hard to explain, but the person that you see right now is not the person that I see in the mirror. When I look at myself, I see someone who's never going to be good enough, or who isn't deserving of love. I've had days where I've felt so much joy throughout the day, and then I looked in the mirror and everything fell apart. Those moments stop me from enjoying life.

This is a real challenge for me, but I know that it's not something that I have to struggle with forever. I have an opportunity to look in the mirror and to see who God says that I am. I try to remind myself the words in Scripture that I am wonderfully and fearfully made. And because of that, I'm always going to be good enough.

So how about you? What's tying you down?


FOCUS

We all have impulses. And they can all too easily become compulsions and addictions.

ACT

Become a master of your impulses. Whether the impulse is to shop, eat, procrastinate, or agree to attend an event, pause before acting on that impulse.

PRAY

Jesus, help me to be honest with myself and with you about my impulses.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

Keep Walking With Jesus-Leader

Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts - Leader

Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

Driven by Faith - Leader


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3/14/18 10:36 A

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/14/18 8:40 A

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I Will Never Forget You

Today's Readings

Isaiah 49: 8-15; John 5: 17-30

Reflection for Today

Today’s first reading inspires us as we continue the journey to sacrificial love. We are tenderly reminded how much God loves us, even more than a mother loves her newborn child.

Everyday there is a baby born on average nearly every week, so this verse of scripture is quite striking for the new moms to contemplate. A mother is willing to get up at all hours of the night to feed and change her baby. Our God is there 24/7 to listen and answer our prayers, too.

Prayer for Today

Tender Hearted Jesus, thank you for always remembering me. Thank you for loving me so much that you were willing to die for me. When I am tempted to be discouraged, shine your light of love into my heart so that I will know how special I am to you. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

Keep Walking With Jesus-Leader

Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts - Leader

Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

Driven by Faith - Leader


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3/13/18 9:35 P

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There are no great acts of love, only small acts done with great love- Mother Teresa
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3/13/18 9:15 P

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We've been talking about the authentic life. We've been talking about the integrated life and this desire we have for lasting happiness in a changing world—a happiness that is independent of situations and circumstances. And the price of that is discipline. And that manifests in a whole variety of ways, most of which surround self-control.

You know, one of the ways that we are called as Christians to exercise this self-control is through our appetites. We are creatures of appetite. We have all types of appetites that come every day: appetite for food, appetite for drink, appetite for sleep. Many of these appetites are given to us by God as part of his design of us in order to keep us alive. They're survival mechanisms, right? But even something very, very good can be twisted and turned into something very, very damaging or even diabolical.

The reality is that these appetites that we have, they're not going away. There's no making peace with them. We either control them, or they control us. They're either our slaves, or we're they're slaves. There's no middle ground. And so living an authentic life, living an integrated life, requires that we learn to control our appetites. You struggle with some, I struggle with others. I like food, I don't know if you've noticed.

The reality is, we all struggle with something when it comes to the area of appetites. What is it that you're struggling with, and how do you feel God calling you to exercise control over that in your daily life?

Surprisingly, I've discovered the king of my heart through fasting. When I have fasted, I'm always surprised at just (a) how much food I consume, and (b) how often I go to look for something to eat. And I realize how much my appetite controls so much of what I do. And if I'm not careful, my appetite's the king of my heart.

But I found the same thing to be even more true (than food) with my phone. Because when I force myself to take a break or fast from my smartphone, I realize just how distracted I am all the time, how I use my phone as a filler in little breaks during the day, how it makes me anxious not to always be accessible. I'm just always touching that phone. I look around at restaurants, and I realize, hey, I'm not alone in that. I mean, when was the last time you saw two people in a restaurant actually looking at each other in the eye and talking, with no phone, no nothing?

The average American touches the phone more than a hundred times a day. So I'm learning how to fast from that, too. Maybe not have it near my bed at night so I'm not tempted to check stuff at three o'clock in the morning, but actually really rest and sleep. Not to take my phone into meetings or restaurants when I'm with people so that I'll actually pay attention and give them the undivided attention they deserve. Even taking a week off, once a year, from my phone entirely, just to detox my brain and to be completely attached to people. Because I'm hoping to give my full undivided attention, my full undistracted heart—not a distracted heart, my full heart—to be able to love people. And more importantly, to be able to do the same thing for God.

What's the king of your heart?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

Keep Walking With Jesus-Leader

Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts - Leader

Gastric Sleevers - Leader

2018 Summer 5% Challenge for the Shooting Stars Team - EL Leader

Driven by Faith - Leader


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3/13/18 4:20 P

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