THE DEVIL LIES Series | Lie #2: I Can Only Count on Myself

When someone disappoints us, the Enemy whispers “you can’t count on other people.” We don’t like being vulnerable. We are fearful and anxious. We try to control situations focusing mainly on ourself, refusing to let others in. This is the Enemy’s aim. We need each other. God’s kingdom is not about individual salvation. His unity with the baptized community brings salvation. Like charcoal briquettes which ignite only when they touch, those not connected die out. Philippians 2:1-4 encourages us to love in unity, in humility.

Excerpts from The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy, Deacon Keith Strohm.

THE DEVIL LIES Series | Make your weapons fruitful

In order to make your weapons fruitful, be open to Jesus, to the reality of His Kingdom. Pray: Holy Spirit, reveal the Enemy’s lies; illuminate the Father’s love present in Jesus Christ. We are broken people living in a broken world. It’s crucial to know the Enemy’s tactics. Satan can wrap lies around our brokenness. This gives his lies greater control & power over our lives. At his rising Jesus said, “Be not afraid.” Nothing can separate us from the love of God when we follow Jesus.

Excerpts from The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy, Deacon Keith Strohm, p.34

THE DEVIL LIES Series | You are not defenseless against Satan

You are not defenseless against Satan. You have weapons to break his hold on you, to draw down God’s kingdom into you. These include fellowship & communion with others who share Jesus’s divine life; Sacraments, those particular encounters with the Father’s love which require our response; the Bible, God’s living word speaking to us; intersession & the communion of saints from those who successfully responded to God’s grace; service to the world, returning God’s love to others; and renunciation, using our free will to reject Satan’s lies.

Excerpts from The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy, Deacon Keith Strohm, chap. 2.

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THE DEVIL LIES Series | Christians live on a battlefield

Christians live on a battlefield. God’s truth vies with Satan’s lies. Satan is a liar. In him there is no truth. The battle is for our hearts which “shape how we think, speak, act & feel.” Satan deceives the human heart, your heart. He wants you to come to wrong conclusions about yourself, to internalize lies which blind you to receiving God’s love & grace. Jesus Christ has won the victory. He has given us weapons to ensure our victory. Next week you can learn about these weapons.

Excerpts from The 10 Biggest Lies of the Enemy, Deacon Keith Strohm, p.7.

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On this day...

On This Day…Anonymous Author
Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Worship God. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still again. Speak it still once again.

ENCOUNTER Series | But I don’t have time for prayer!

But I don’t have time for prayer! If we value our relationship with God, then we will commit our time to him. Did you know that if you took ¾ cup of beans and ¾ cup of rice, you could fit them both in just 1 cup? Only if you put the beans in first! Then, the individual grains of rice can fall between the cracks of the beans and take up less space in one cup. Similarly, if we make prayer a top priority, the other essential things will somehow still get done. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” – Matthew 6:33. Excerpts from “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri.

ENCOUNTER Series | Make me a channel of Your peace

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace. This is so much more than a beautiful song. We are called to be a channel of God’s love to the world. How do we become this channel of peace? With prayer, through prayer and in prayer. When we pray, we grow closer to God. As Mother Teresa said, “Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.” Excerpts from “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri.

ENCOUNTER Series | I don't need a Church!

Has a friend or family member ever said to you, “I’m spiritual but I don’t need a church”? Hopefully, you can find fellowship and friendship here at St. Francis de Sales Church where we can run the race together! As Proverbs 27:17 states, “irons sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” This fellowship keeps us on track, strengthens us in our most noble pursuits, makes us better, sharpens our swords and continually rekindles the fire of our faith. Excerpts from “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri.

ENCOUNTER Series | Amazing Signs, Amazing Grace

Amazing Signs, Amazing Grace. Many seekers want to see signs from God. Remember, our Sacraments are grace-filled encounters with Christ. From the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist to his forgiveness in the Reconciliation, we can draw closer to Him in these Sacraments. The Eucharist is the most profound union we can have with our God here on earth! As for Reconciliation, that’s where Jesus meets us in the valley of humility to free us and heal us. As Scripture promises, “seek and you shall find!” Excerpts from “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri

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ENCOUNTER Series | Mind matters

What we put in our mind matters. What we put in our mind changes us. You can take your own assessment…What books do you read? What TV shows/movies do you watch? What social media sites do you frequent? What thoughts occupy your mind? Then consider what St. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Excerpts from “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri

ENCOUNTER Series | Jesus forgives us!

Jesus forgives us! More importantly, he wants to change us. He can remove our blindness to sin. But do we really want to be healed? (Jn.5:6) Are you attached to a sin? Does it require too much work to uproot it? Jesus wants us to want change. God works profound little miracles in souls who seek to live in His eternal image. His grace accomplishes what we can’t do by ourselves. It takes time to grow, to reach Christian maturity.
Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.85,89.

ENCOUNTER Series | Satan the Accuser

There’s a reason that Satan is called the “accuser.” He wants us to be ashamed of our sins, think we can’t be forgiven. Jesus always stands ready to give us endless second chances. The heart of discipleship is forgiveness. Try to live like Christ even as we fall short of the mark. Through repentance we encounter God’s eternal love and forgiveness.
Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.82,83.

ENCOUNTER Series | How long does it take?

How long does it take to be holy, to be an intentional disciple? Months? Years? A lifetime? Yes. It requires patience and hope; your heart must sense how much God loves you. If we measure our spiritual advances, we come up short. Our pride is hurt. Don’t count your achievements. Count your blessings. Fall into God’s heart. Be lifted up by His grace. He loves you just as you are, not for what you do. God is waiting to lead you, move you and shape you.
Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p. 66-67.

ENCOUNTER Series | He Delights in YOU

You are God’s beloved daughter/son. He delights in you. Believe it! Mother Theresa said…”only open your heart to be loved by him as you are. He will do the rest.” Deeply encountering God’s love changes everything. It roots you in a solid foundation. You see the truth about yourself. You see the truth about how God sees you. Thus your confidence is based on God’s love, not on yourself. Ask for the grace of a personal encounter. He longs to have it with you.

Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.78,79

BE A DISCIPLE Series | You Want to be a Disciple

You want to be a disciple.
You try to climb the mountain
of holiness: do good things, pray, do all you can to be a good disciple. But your striving isn’t producing the results you want. Why? You can’t earn God’s love. When you realize you can’t “do it” alone, that
you still sin, that’s when you meet God – in your humility.
He meets you in all your messiness and loves you just as you are. If you humbly meet Him in the “low, fertile valley”, he will take you to the mountaintop.

“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5

Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.68-69

BE A DISCIPLE Series | Do You Want to be Like Jesus?

Do you want to be like Jesus? It’s a struggle; trying to be good.. As you strive to be holy you become a disciple. If you want holiness, ask Jesus to change you, shine His light into your darkness, form you into His disciple. Sometimes his invitation to be a disciple inspires us, sometimes terrifies us, most times it’s both feelings together.  Pope Francis invites all Christians to open themselves to a daily personal encounter with Jesus. Our exterior life needs to draw from our interior growth in Jesus. Lord Jesus, change me from the inside out!!

Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p. 36, 41

BE A DISCIPLE Series | Into His Likeness

Following the teachings of Jesus as passed on through the Church is just the starting point. Edward Sri says in his book, “Into his Likeness:” If I believe all the right things but don’t grow in prayer, kindness, purity, patience, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, and care for the weak and the poor, I am failing in my life as a disciple. Without love, all the outward badges of faith do not render me a faithful disciple.”

See 1 Cor. 13:1-3   Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.38

BE A DISCIPLE Series | Who Do You Say He Is?

Jesus chose his first disciples. He chooses you. Throughout your life he pursues you through various people, conversations, events and situations. He promised to always be with us; we are never alone.  Some people think Jesus was a great man but not God. Some say Jesus was crazy, a liar or a confused man. Who do you say He is? If Jesus is God then we must follow him. Individually each of us must choose to surrender to His will, allow Him to finish the work He has begun in you, make you the best version of yourself.

Into His Likeness, Edward Sri, p.41, 46

BE A DISCIPLE Series | GRACE

Do you want to be holy? Christian holiness means being a disciple. Disciples try to imitate Jesus’ entire way of life. Saints are not models of perfection. They’re models of a life-long process of gradual conversions.  Despite their doubts, fears, and weakness, they were slowly transformed into becoming more like Christ. GRACE, Christ’s sanctifying, divine life, strengthened them. It strengthens you to do things beyond your own expectations. Holiness expands your capacity to reconcile, to forgive, to begin again and again. The great news: you can learn the way of holiness!!

Into His Likeness, Edward Sri p.47,48, 49