Father Desmond's Weekly Thoughts and Actions

September 11, 2017
Thought for the week:
Yesterday from our Gospel reading we emphasized that;
Community is indispensable for a church's Unity and Reconciliation,
Community is indispensable for a church's Service,
Community is indispensable for a church's Prayer life,
And, Community is indispensable for a church to experience the Living, Active, Presence of God.
The question for you and for me is, What can I do to foster unbreakable Community life in my church?
1. Prayer daily for each other.
2. Encourage one another all the time, every time.
3. Be grateful for each other and what a blessing it is to belong to each other in the House of God/the House of faith.
4. Express gratitude for each other's life and services....(some of us do more and need a lot of thank you's)....Don't miss an opportunity to say "Thank you," to _______ for their Service in the life of the church.
5. Speak words of hope and healing for one another all the time, every time.
6. Be an instrument of healing to one another.
7. Share your story of faith and grace with one another.

Action for the Week:
Take at least two - three opportunities to tell someone in Trinity that "You ______, are a blessing to us, at Trinity.

September 5, 2017
Thought  for this week:
Our Collect for this week asks that:
"God will graft in our hearts the love of His Name,
Increase in us true religion,
Nourish us with all goodness;
And, bring forth in us the fruit of good works." 
Is such a request answerable? Off course, this request is answerable. But, how? 
When we give to the Lord, our egos; such a request is answerable.
Unless and until, the Lord's Will becomes our will and our way of life; it is simply impossible for us to become "proper consumers and beneficiaries and examples," 
of true faith worthy of the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Action:
"Give to the Lord, your will and in exchange take His will and choose intentionally to live for His honor and for His glory today and everyday by the power of the Holy Spirit." Amen and Amen. 

August 28, 2017
Thought and action for this week:
Who is responsible for all the flooding we see in Texas?
A flippant answer may be, the devil is responsible for all the flooding we see in Texas and all around Texas. But it is not the correct answer. Another flippant answer may be, God is responsible for all the flooding we see in Texas and all around Texas. Another flippant answer may be, Global warming and atmospheric changes taking place may be responsible for all the flooding we see in Texas and all around Texas [it may be too soon to tell....and, we must not rush to judgement].
But, the honest answer may be, we simply do not know. As the Scripture says, "Today, we see through a glass darkly. But the day is coming when we will know as it ought to be known."
This much we do know - that we live in an imperfect world that is groaning for wholeness and healing as Paul reminds us in Romans 8: 21ff, "All creation anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us." 
The challenge for us is, Do we wait with a sense of fatalism...."whatever will be, will be"; or, "do we wait with a real sense of hope and redemption of a new creation?" The obvious answer is, "We wait we realistic hope and redemption." This perishable world will become imperishable and this mortal world will become immortal and then, we will see the ushering in of the new heavens and the new earth. Because, our God reigns even in the midst of the loss! And, let me let you in on a secret which is; God does not conquer in spite of the loss; but always through the loss. That is what the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us. The cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us that God always takes the worse and makes it His best; God takes the death and turns it into life; God takes the pain and suffering and transforms it into perfect salvation....As the adage says, "The Best is yet to come and it is coming soon, Christian!" So, today, live fearlessly, confidently, joyfully and sacrificially.

Action for the week:
Be the hands and the heart and the legs and the mouth of Jesus to our hurting world....Play, and live and practice the Good Samaritan principle in season and out of season for the glory of the Lord. Amen & Amen.

July 24, 2017
Thought for the week:Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas in July and what a celebration it was.
Twin thoughts of Christmas in July are Worship (O Come, Let us Adore Him, Christ' the Lord!) and Joy (Joy to the World, the Lord has Come.) Did you notice, that the key to both Worship and to Joy is Jesus! Who do we worship? We worship Jesus! And, who brings joy into our lives in spite of all the "crud," around us? It is Jesus and Jesus only.Therefore, our thought for this week is let, "Jesus be your all in all," and there will be both greater joy and greater worship in your life....in our lives....in our parish, in our families, in our homes...in our work....in our relationships....in our eating and in our drinking, and in all our living.

Action for this week:
Take a special moment this week and read, the first chapter of Hebrews and identify all the pictures and images of how Jesus Christ is described [You are in for a pleasant surprise]. Thank God for Jesus and celebrate each image/picture of Jesus today and always.

July 10, 2017
Thought for this week:
Yesterday, we preached on Matthew 11:25-20, where Jesus makes three claims and offers two invitation.
The three claims Jesus makes are:
1. Jesus is the only way to the Heavenly Father.
2. The Father is fully revealed in the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, fully reveals the Heavenly Father to all of us.
Based on who Jesus Christ is, Jesus Christ offers us:
1. A full "rest," from our restlessness of sin and failures and loss and fragmentation and everything else that makes us less that what God wants us to be.
2. A full "rest," to know and to do the will of God in our lives.
The question is, how do we enter into the double "rest," rest, Jesus offers us?
The answer is, "Come unto me!" When you and I come to Jesus and offer ourselves to Him, we enter into the double rest He offers us.
This coming to Jesus is a one time coming to Jesus; but, we follow up our one time "coming," to Jesus, by "coming," daily and "comings," subsequently to Jesus. In other words, Jesus is saying to you and to me;
Watch me,
Walk with me,
Work with me,
Worship with me,
Learn the power of grace powerfully work in you;
And, you will find the "rest," you need, the "rest," you want and the "rest," I will gladly share with you.

Action for this week:
Just "come," and keep on "coming" to Jesus and you and I will find our rest - the rest of full forgiveness of all our sins and the rest of doing the will of God in our lives. Amen & Amen.

June 19, 2017

T
hought for this week:
Yesterday, from the reading of our Psalm for the week, Psalm 116:10, which reads, "How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things he has done for me?" we suggested that the pivotal question for a follower of Jesus Christ is, "How do we live to please the Lord?"
From the rest of Psalm 116:1, 10-17 [which you will do well to read during this week both in the morning and in the evening,] we suggested that the Best and the Only way to live to please the Lord is to "Worship the Lord in season and out of season!" I believe, along with the Westminister catechism that, "God has made us for Himself and we are to worship Him and to enjoy Him forever!" What are the elements of great, meaningful, joyful, fulfilling and God centered Christian worship? These include:
Freedom - Freedom from sin and freedom to know God, to love God and to serve God.
Trust - Trust of God and Trust in God 24/7/365 days.
Gratitude and unceasing thanksgiving.
Obedience and discipleship.
Prayer - Prayer as petition [we pray for ourselves and for our blessing] and Prayer as intercession [we pray for others and the blessing of others].
Here is the conclusion of the matter: For you and me, to live and to thrive in God's blessing zone; the secret is, Worship the Lord in season and out of season!
Action for this week:
May I encourage you to read and re-read and to re-read, Psalm 116:1, 10-17 and mine its golden nuggets for your soul [and feel free to share with me and with others what you have discovered].

June 12, 2017
Weekly thought and action:
Yesterday, was Trinity Sunday! What does the Church celebrate on Trinity Sunday?
We celebrate the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We celebrate the LOVE of God!
We celebrate the COMMUNION of the Holy Spirit!
In a nutshell, what does each aspect of our celebration, celebrate? 
The GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ celebrates freely our forgiveness of all our sins because of the death and resurrection, exaltation and reign of Jesus Christ.
The LOVE of God celebrates God's magnanimous kindness and goodness and gentleness and mercy towards us; in spite of our unkindness, our badness, our rashness, and our unforgiving nature and attitudes. This LOVE of God transforms and begins the work of making us like Jesus Christ who "graces," himself to us and for us.
The COMMUNION of the Holy Spirit celebrates our reconciliation and friendship from God to us and our's to God for ever.....Nothing, can separate us from the Love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Action for this Week:
Either in Word or in deed, tell/show a stranger your celebration of the LOVE of God, the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ and the COMMUNION of the Holy Spirit (Thank you for doing this for the glory of the Lord).

June 5, 2017
Weekly thought:
Our thought comes to us in the form of a very simple prayer:
"Heavenly Father, we ask you for a new and unceasing filling of your Holy Spirit in my/our life/lives that we may be like Jesus and do his works for the greater glory of his Holy Name. Amen and Amen."
Action for the week:
Please offer this prayer to God each day for the next thirty days, three times a day...once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.

May 30, 2017
Weekly Thought:
Let me share with you two verses of Scriptures that jumped out at me in this morning devotions:
"And on that day you shall say, 'give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; make his deeds known among the people.'
They said among the nations, 'the Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.'"
What is a Christian's Vocation? Possibly, to be a Thanksgiving people and to be a Proclaiming people! I pray, that we would live into our Vocation by the power of the Holy Spirit this day, daily and always.

Action:
Find an opportunity or ask the Holy Spirit to create an opportunity for you to give verbal expression to "thank God," for something very particular and special in your life and tell a friend that the God we worship is a Good and a Gracious God....Seize the moment now for the glory of the Lord!

May 22, 2017
First our Thought:
Who is the Church and what is the Church called to do?
One description of the Church is that we are a community of Good News!
And, because we are a community of Good News; we are called to proclaim the Good News to all people. And before we can verbalize the Good News, we must know the Good News. So, what is the Good News? It is the story of Jesus which includes his life, his words, his works, his claims, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his reign and his "soon to come," return. After, we have shared the Good News with all people, we must "seal the deal" -  conclude the presentation by inviting people to follow Jesus Christ and serve him as Lord in and through the Church. Sometimes people will accept the story of Jesus, and sometimes people will reject the story of Jesus. Our focus must not be on the results of our proclamation but on faithfulness in season and out of season to proclaim the story of Jesus with all people. I pray that God will give us much grace and wisdom and courage to be a community of Good News and to proclaim the Good News with all people.

Our Action for this week:
1. Do everything possible to be completely familiar with the Good News - the Story of Jesus.
2. In your own style and method find a way - a means to proclaim the Good News to at least one person this week....In so many different ways, let people know that God in Jesus Christ is good all the time, every time.

May 16, 2017
First our Thought:
Followers of Jesus Christ live, breathe and work in the sunrise and in the sunshine of God's totally awesome Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! When we do -by the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit - God transforms our no's into yes's and our nights into days and our despair into hope and all our darkness into light. Choose this day to live and breathe and work in the Sunshine and in Sunrise of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How?
Now, our Action Item:
If there is an "irritant," in your life learn to forgive "that" or "those" or "him/her" or "them." Christ will release you from being an "invalid," or "ineffective," to being fully alive to God and to the world for the glory of the Lord. Receiving the forgiveness of the Lord and sharing the forgiveness of the Lord with all people is a powerful and effective panacea for living well today and tomorrow. It is certainly not easy to forgive; but with the help of the Lord, we can and ought to forgive those who are not on our side or who are against us. This, my friend, is God's story and my story and I am sticking to it. To the Lord be the glory this day and always!

May 8, 2017
Thought for this week:
Yesterday being the fourth Sunday of Easter, we prayed together;
"O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In our prayer, we asked God that (a) we may know Jesus the Good Shepherd who calls us by our names and who leads us out successfully and that we (b) Follow Him.
The prayer petition is two fold:
1. We may know Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd and as our Good Shepherd.
2. We may follow Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd and as our Shepherd.
What does it mean to know Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd? To know Jesus Christ is both to possess full and almost complete knowledge of Who Jesus Christ is, and what His mission was/is. As a result of this knowledge, we will learn to trust in Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd. Second, as a result of trusting in Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd; I/we intentionally commit ourselves to obeying Jesus Christ 24/7/365 days [whether we like it or not; understand it or not; and, agree with it or not]. Christian obedience or obedience to Christ is never conditional; it was, and is unconditional.

Action Item:
Can you think of a particular arena in your personal life that you need to bring under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and begin obeying Him? Do it now, and do it today for the glory of the Lord. Much blessing as you pursue obeying the Lord.....be fearless and, at the same time, be joyful in your Christian obedience. 


May 1, 2017
Thought for this Week:
Question: Where do you and I live these days?
Answer: Certainly, we have a physical address which indicates our earthly "residence." But, the question is a little deeper; which is, where does a Christian live? The New Testament suggests that a "Christian lives "in," Jesus Christ. The preposition, "in," makes all the difference where you and I live. As a follower of Jesus Christ....as a Baptized, Confirmed, follower of Jesus Christ; you and I live in Jesus Christ 24/7/365 days. To live in Jesus Christ is to live "in," the God of grace, in the God of peace, in the God of Goodness, in the God of hope, in the God of truth, in the God of righteousness and in the God who daily transforms all our "no's," into "Yes's," because our God is the Living, active, triumphant, reigning and resurrected God. Our God has conquered all our "sunset's," into "unceasing "sunrises's." May I encourage you to claim what is yours today and live in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Action:
All through the season of Lent and especially when we are part of the Stations of the Cross we say, "We adore You, O Christ; and we bless You. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world."
Now, in the season of the Resurrection, may I encourage you to affirm and to daily pray [morning, noon, early evening, and night],
"We adore You Risen Lord and we bless you. Because by your mighty resurrection, you have redeemed us, resurrected us, and you are empowering us daily to live, to breathe, to move back forth and to do; in, and through the sunrise of your resurrection." Amen & Amen.  

April 24, 2017
Thought for this Week:
Jesus' Resurrection Benefits:
In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul "reveals," several Jesus' resurrection benefits.
In verse 14, it is "revealed," to us that if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead then, "our preaching is void of content and our faith is vain." Here is our thought for this week: As a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the Church (a) Has Good News - God news, Grace news, Goodness news, Godly news, Glorious news to share with the whole wide world; and, (b) Christian faith is both meaningful and relevant for life and for living both here and in all eternity.

Action for this Week:
Write a letter or send a card [not just any card, but a card with a Christian theme to a friend or a family member and share with them the "grace and the goodness of God in your life and through your life and encourage them to trust in the Lord for their day to day living.

 April 17, 2017
Thought for this Week:
What may be the best evidence that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and is alive and well and strong and still accomplishes the impossible for us and fulfill the Mission of His Heavenly Father?
The best apologetic that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and is alive and well and accomplishes the impossible for us is the Changed and Transformed lives of all his followers.
Peter the denier became the fearless and number one spokesperson for the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over Jerusalem and he eventually became the founder of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Catholic brothers and sisters recognize Peter as The First Pope. And, all Apostolic Succession is traced back to Peter and the Apostles [the exclusive 11 followers of Jesus Christ].
Paul the blasphemer became the fearless and number spokesperson for the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over Asia Minor and the first to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the gentile [non-religious] world.
When you and I return love for hatred; forgiveness for false accusation; light for darkness; truth for everything that is false and untrue both in word and deed and tell the world in some many different ways that God in Jesus Christ loves the world; we become the best apologetic for the historically truth that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead.

Action for this Week:
Tell somebody this week that God in Jesus Christ loves them. Do a redemptive act for someone that they come to know that God in Jesus Christ loves them unconditionally.

April 9, 2017
Thought for this week:
What is a Christian's pride and joy?
Paul says in Galatians 6:14 that a Christian's pride and joy is the Cross of Jesus Christ which is the heart and soul of Holy Week.
Why is the Cross of Jesus Christ a Christian's pride and joy?
In the Cross of Jesus Christ we see and we experience God's righteous anger against sin and evil and death and darkness.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ we see and we experience God's holy Love for us sinners.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ we see and we experience God's radical solution for the problem of sin...God in Jesus Christ takes sin on to Himself and offers us His righteousness.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ we se and we experience God's defeat of Satan.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ we see and we experience the sanctification of our Lives to live unto the honor and glory of the Lord.
In the Cross of Jesus Christ, you and I are made whole in mind, in body and in soul!
As a result, be proud of the Cross of Jesus Christ in all your comings and in all goings.

Our Action for this week:
1. Read the last two chapters of each of the Gospels where you will come face to face with the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the riches of grace it offers you. 
2. I would encourage you to take full advantage of the different Worship opportunities we offer at Trinity and "come and be a vital part of our celebrations and worship."

April 4, 2017
Thought for this Week:
This week, one of our Collect prayer petitions is to "Set our hearts, where true joys are to be found." Where may I/we find true joys?
In the Old Testament we read, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." And, Jesus says to us, "He will give us His joy [unlike the joy we find in the world." May I suggest that "true joys," are not to be found in pleasure or in pain or in products or in people or in principles or in any other kind of provision? But, "true joys," are in the great and in the blessed "Trinity." True joy is found in the Father! True joy is found in the Son! And, true joy is found in the Holy Spirit! For you and for me to find "true joy" permanently, we must place our faith and trust in The Trinity and flourish in this relationship. And, may I quickly add; nothing, in all creation, is able to destroy this unbreakable relationship.

Our Action for this Week:
In all you say and you do, be bold and be faithful to your witness to The Trinity and for the glory of  The Trinity.' This includes all your "comings and your goings and all the people you meet with at home or at the work place or in the market place."

March 20, 2017
Thoughts for this week:
May I share a prayer most relevant for Lent as well as for our Christian discipleship:
"Heavenly Father, this is what I ask of you this day:
May I please you in all things, all day long for all the days of my life and living;
may I have the grace, the wisdom and the spiritual power to carry my cross and follow you always;
and, may I bear the fruit of your Holy Spirit which is, love, joy, peace;
patience, kindness, goodness;
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Action for this week:
1. Discover where your strengths and weaknesses are in reference to either pleasing God?
Holy Spirit? 
2. Now that you have discovered your weaknesses and strengths in reference to pleasing God, make a plan to strengthen your strengths and devise a plan to transforming your weaknesses into strengths.

March 13. 2017
Action for this week:
A way to define and describe "American Exceptionalism," is to say that we are a nation of "overachievers." What about "Christian Exceptionalism"? May I suggest that a way to define and describe "Christian Exceptionalism," is to say that we are "overcomers."  And, if Lent means anything at all or should mean anything at all; Lent, reminds us and teaches us that just like Jesus "overcame," the testing's and the trials and the temptations of the devil; you and I can also "overcome," the testing and the trials and the temptations of the devil by unceasingly wearing the "whole armor of God," which includes the following weapons in "spiritual warfare:"
Truth, Righteousness, The gospel of peace, faith, The Word of the Lord, and Prayer. To this biblical list; I would add, The Blood of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Sacraments and the Community of Faith.
The point of "spiritual warfare," is than we are (a) not alone in this warfare; (b) Jesus is with us in this warfare and (c) we do not fight for victory; we fight from Victory, the Victory that Jesus achieved for us in His life, death, burial, resurrection, His reign and His return.
In this "spiritual warfare," we are guaranteed Victory. So, be Victorious in Jesus Christ today and always.

An action item:
1.Read, Ephesians chapter 6 and share one truth with someone - your family member, your friend, a stranger and you can do this directly or indirectly.
2. When you are tempted or tried or tested, tell the devil, "Get behind me, Satan; for I am the servant of the Lord."

March 6, 2017
Thought for this week:
Yesterday, the first Sunday in Lent [this makes it the first week in Lent], we collectively prayed,
"Let each one find you mighty to save!"
If the Scripture teaches us anything at all, Scripture teaches us that
Jesus Christ is our Savior
Jesus Christ is our Sanctifier
Jesus Christ is our Strength giver
Jesus Christ is our Soul Keeper
Jesus Christ is our Song giver
Jesus Christ is our Suffering overcomer
Jesus Christ is our Sufficiency in all of life and living
And, Jesus Christ is our Sovereign King.
This season of Lent; allow Jesus Christ to be all the above to you this day and every day of your life and your living.
To Him and Him alone, be all the honor and the glory; now and always.

For our Action:
Read, the Gospel of Luke 4 and delineate the ways and the possibilities; Jesus Christ "sets," you free to live to the uttermost plans and purposes of God.


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