God works in mysterious ways.

I am continually amazed by the events that happen around me.

Only the other day I was searching for ideas on ways in which I could improve on my rollerblading. By chance. I stumbled across a video which was advertising the ‘skate fresh app’ for my mobile phone. This app looked great so I went ahead and purchased it. Then this morning I was looking for some information on the internet regarding the church calendar and where we are up to. Then recently, I have been thinking about getting my bible from storage. Anyway, again by chance, I spotted the official app for daily prayers, the office, and the daily Mass etc. This app is fantastic; it offers so much.

When I reflect on these events, I cannot help but think that this is another example of divine assistance. I am being guided along a spiritual pathway and these events are examples of how God intimately works within our lives to help transform us. The power of praise has been fundamental to this transition. Without my new found belief none of this would have happened. Possibilities happen when the power of God is unleashed. Expect the unexpected.

I am continually being reminded about the intimate involvement of God in our lives. The signs and the cymbals are there. We only need to acknowledge and respond to this.

Today I was watching Nascar and the winner of last weekend’s race was Matt Kenseth. When the interviewer asked him about his win, his first comments were ‘Praise the Lord’. He was feeling emotional about it but it showed something about his beliefs. Also, Joe Gibbs, the owner of the racing car was recorded as praising God when Matt Kenseth won last week’s race. I witnessed this and I thought that God’s power is definately working with this racing team.

God communicates in all ways

Sometimes it is easy to think that God only communicates in really significant ways, but I am of the belief that God communicates in all ways, so look out for ways both large and small.

Having a personal relationship with God means that God does not take time out. God therefore interacts in all aspects of our lives both great and small. Just as a Shepard watches over his flock, so too does God watch over us. God extends this invitation to us, but it is up to us to accept it.

Up until recently I had been ignoring God’s invitations. It took something a lot more dramatic to get my attention but now I can see it clearly. God works in every detail of our lives for our good and the good of others. We only need to submit.

I was reading an article recently where a mother of a daughter had mentioned that her daughter had escaped being trapped in the Kenyan shopping mall siege because she changed her mind about going there for coffee that day. She always went there but that day of the siege something stopped her from going there. She didn’t know why but her mother believes that it was the work of the Holy Spirit. Her mothers faith and beliefs have helped save her daughter. Her mother then went on to say that she has been praying for both the victims and the terrorists. This stood out for me. God is watching over this family and the mothers faith and prayers tells a wonderful story.

God watches over all aspects of our lives. All we need do is communicate with God in the power of praise. Praising God in everything unleashes opportunities for God to work through us.

I am thankful for the difference this is making to my life. While some things may never make much sense at the time, it is not for us to judge. All we need to do is to praise God for looking over us, just as a Sheppard looks over his sheep.

God has a purpose for us

I am being remaindered all the time that I am to trust God through the power of praise. Regardless of how I am feeling and regardless of the circumstances, I am being guided to praise God for everything.

Praise unleashes unexpected events. I have found this out for myself and through being guided to re read “Prison to Praise”. This was no accident. Fortunately I have been guided to this end. God is communicating his love and I am being called to respond to the love. My life has taken on a different meaning and I find myself reflecting and looking for signs and cymbals along the way. I have been taken back to the roots of my first religious experiences and given assurances that I am on the right path.

For the first time that I can remember, I find myself praying for others, both people I know and people I don’t. I feel connected to others and I feel a purpose and much greater love of life. I feel called to trust my situation and to focus on praising God. Suddening the spiritual world is communicating with me and I cannot allow myself to ignore it.

Recently I was listening to a lady whose husband had passed away unexpectedly on the 9th March this year. He had a heart attack that day. She also mentioned that he was a taxi driver. Immediately I was reminded of our family friend who passed away a week earlier to the day. He also had a heart attack. He was also in his 60’s and he was a taxi driver. This lady was experiencing lots of grief and depression. I have felt called to pray for her, and have felt that there was a purpose in our chance connection. God does work in mysterious ways. Some of these ways can be understood and some can’t. Perhaps the spirit of her husband was asking me to help her find some peace. She needs peace and purpose and a gentle hand to assist her. Perhaps I was the person to assist her. While I might never know the outcome of this, I feel called to continue to pray for her.

God has a purpose for me.

We see miracles in our lives when we praise God with an open heart

There are signs snd cymbals along the way that are guiding me and showing me that God is intimately involved in my life.

Last night I was at the Carina Leagues Club and I placed $1 in a pokie machine. Not long after doing so, I won the mini jackpot of $94.00. I knew straight away that it was a sign. I only ever bet $4 or $5 when l go there, and l always leave when l make my money back or win. I knew that there was a message in this.

God wants me to realise that it is faith that will see me through my financial concerns of the future. God knows my concerns and acts to address them. All I need do is praise him in everything. Winning at the pokies was a sign that l need to continue to praise God in everything and have the faith that l will be guided in all things.

God chooses us, not us choosing God

I find myself rethinking this concept so my times. Ever since that morning of the 7th September, my perspective on things has changed.

I was drawn to the book “Prison to Praise” and spotted a membership card with an expiry date exactly 15 years ago. I knew then that I was being drawn to believe the message of the book. But it did not stop there. Further signs were given to me.

One morning at 4:30am I woke up and had a visual memory of myself as a child in year 3 visiting the convent grotto and praying to Our Lady. A thought came to my head. How is God going to speak to me now? Just then Maria’s mobile phone made a beep. I drew her attention to it. It was a Facebook message from Patricia. She spoke about receiving a blessing from the Pope. Later that day I wrote to Patricia and told her what had happened. She wrote back and told me that the Pope had extended his blessing to both them and their families. In recent months I have been reading lots of e news about the Pope and his words and actions. I have felt drawn to God through reading about him.

Then another morning this week I pulled up behind a car and noticed the number plate with the letters SVD. I joined the Society of Divine Word many years ago. Most people knew the Order by the initials SVD. Furthermore, I had also dreamed about the Order last Monday morning. After that dream, I woke up with a headache which lasted all day.

I am continually being drawn to write about my experiences and thoughts. There are so many other ways in which I am being drawn to a heightened religious experience. It is as if God is calling me, drawing me and revitalising me. And to top it all off, I read an article that Maria was reading on her iPad which spoke about the spirit world and how it communicates with us. I read that article and instantaneously knew that I was experiencing this. I then decided not to go ahead and write in my journal by closing down the iPad but after doing so, it decided to turn itself on again after a few minutes. I knew then that was being drawn to write in my journal blog.

I am being drawn along a spiritual journey. All I need do is follow the signs.

Writing about these experiences and thoughts is a part of the revelation.

Praise is the pathway to absolute happiness

The pathway I have been called to follow is one of praise. Praise is the engine room of change. To be able to praise God for all things, including those things that we find hardest to accept is the way to move forward in God’s love. Miracles happen when we give entirely to God. While this is really difficult for most of us to do, it is essential if we really want the happiness that God truly wants for us. This will test us to the core, but I know in my heart that this is the way to eternal happiness.

Called to a religious life, not a secular one.

Since the 7th September, life has taken on a different meaning. I am beginning to realise that it is God who calls us, not the other way round.

When I reflect back over the years, I have generally ignored my religious influences. As a young adult, I did feel called to a religious life. However, when I think back to those early years, I lived that “calling” in a egotistical way. I lost sight of being God’s vessel. I swapped and changed direction a number of times because of my desires, not necessarily God’s desires.

It is only now that I can understand that the rawness of God’s calling is to be lived out in the very existence we find ourselves in. I am never to lose sight that it is God who is choosing me to transform my life. I find myself wanting to write about this. I have a thirst for more spiritual awareness, and writing about it is a vehicle to a religious awaking.

Last night I was watching 60 Minutes, and Keith Urban was being interviewed. Keith mentioned that he has always struggled to make it to where he wanted to be in his life. Only now he is contentful. He has achieved what he has dreamed about from the time he was a child. I thought about that and reflected on my own life. I am at that stage too. Not long ago, I would have thought differently, but not now. From an early age, I too had a dream. I dreamed of religious experiences of a life where God was intimately involved. Along the way I allowed the influences of life to distract me from this, but only now, I see it differently. Only now I see that my purpose in life was to live my existence in fellowship with God. Nothing more, nothing less. Every other achievement is secondary. Materialistic achievements have never been important to me and now I understand why. My purpose in life is a spiritual purpose. Coming to this realisation changes everything. Just like Keith Urban, I now feel contentful.

God communicates even through Facebook

God works in mysterious ways. Fancy getting a facebook message from Patricia at 4:30am in the morning just at a time when I was laying awake reflecting on the time when I was a child. I was laying there wondering how God was going to speak to me. I was reflecting on the time when I was a child and I use to go to the grotto in the convent grounds of the primary school. Those were the days when life was full of fear for me as a child. The nuns use to scare the hell out of me. I was in year 2 or 3 and sometimes after school I would go to the sanctuary of the grotto and pray to Our Lady for strength and courage. That experience instilled a feeling of being loved. I had a personal experience of being loved by the Devine. The fear of the nuns brought me closer to God.

Having a facebook message from Patricia at that precise time showed once again that God is guiding me. There is no room for fear or doubt. The devine is knocking on the door of my mind and soul. All I need do is to respond to God’s invitations. I am receiving so many invitations. I have been blessed with God’s enlightenment. Our relationship with the Devine is personal. I have been fortunate to experience this. Some people are never gifted to experience this yet I have. I cannot ignore this anymore. It is a gift. For too long I have followed the doubters and disbelievers; it is time to return to my faith. Faith is also a gift from God and not something to be ignored.

Acknowledgement is the first step towards receiving.

Acknowledging that God does hear our prayers is the first step towards receiving.

So much has happened since first reopening the book ‘Prison to Praise’ on the 7th September 2013. For me, that was a significant moment in my life. I was drawn to open that book on that day and to see a Dreamworld annual pass as a book mark in there with an expiry date of 7th September 1998. That date was 15 years ago, and by chance, I found the book in a book store some 15 years earlier in Melbourne in 1983.

When I first read that book, my vision of spiritually changed and the effects were obvious for the months ahead. Every now and again I would retrace my steps and re read parts of the book and again find rejuvenation. However, as the years progressed, I drifted into disbelief and into materialistic thinking only to find myself in ‘no mans land’. My spiritual energy dried up and I became caught up in the ways of our materialistic world. All of the negative effects of this way of being have been felt. Without fully understanding it, I knew in my heart that there was always something more to our existence than just ‘matter’.

My reunion with the book ‘Prison to Praise’ has been a spiritual conversion for me. Just as Saint Paul had his conversion experience, so too have I. Regardless of our circumstances, we can be converted. I have been fortunate enough to have a conversion experience. This is a gift from God and something never to be ignored. God has been knocking on the door of my mind, and I have been hesitant. Opening of the book has been a significant encounter; one that cannot be ignored.

Since that time, life has been different. Suddenly I see again. I feel loved. I witness things in my life which indicate God’s involvement. I feel more love for others. I see beauty around me. My work even feels different. I find myself praying for others. My life doesn’t feel insecure anymore. Things happen in my life which seem to have significance. There is a connectiveness in every aspect of my life. I now feel God’s presence and guidance. It is as if I have been transformed.

For some reason, I feel compelled to write about this. I am being drawn by God to write about my experiences. And today I received another sign that reinforces that notion. I was reading through some Catholic church emails and I read an article about Pope Francis. I was drawn to take notice of a statement that mentioned that Pope Francis is inspired by Saint Therese of Lisieux. I took notice of this and I read up about Saint Therese of Lisieux and I was surprised to find out that she only lived a short life however she inspired others through her writings. Journal writing and reflective writing has always been something of significance for me and this confirmed for me what I should continue to do. God is guiding me and showing me signs along the way of the direction that I should be taking. I can no longer ignore this.

Therefore, I acknowledge God’s personal presence in my life because his and her presence has been shown to me. As Saint Therese of Lisieux has written, God chooses who he reveals himself to. Revelation has been given to me as a gift, and I am not about to ignore it.

No room for fear

No longer is there room for fear in my life. When I was drawn to re read Merlin Carothers book ‘Prison to Praise’ I became so aware that there was no longer a need to hold onto fear. Fear destroys our spiritual being. The more we depend on ourselves, the more fear grows. Fear stifles us from moving forward and limits our vision of the future. Fear limits our potential and stifles our growth. No longer am I to allow fear this opportunity. God is with us. We have a purpose. There is a future. We are more than just ‘matter’ from the earth. We are spiritually connected with a purpose. At that time when I felt compelled to open Prison to Praise, and I saw a Dreamworld pass with an expiry date of exactly 15 years ago to the day, I knew that I was being drawn to read and believe once again the messages of that book. I first found that book in Melbourne of 1983, some 30 years to this month approximately. It changed my life then and it is changing my life again. I cannot ignore the message. There is no room for fear. God prevails.