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Showing posts with the label Scripture

5 Scripture Verses that Helped Changed My Life

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How Scriptures Helps Me Overcome Anxiety and Insecurity By Allison Gingras, Reconciled To You
Most of my life I have struggled with anxiety and insecurity. There were days, if I could get myself out of bed, I would not leave my home afraid of what evil or injury may befell me. Honestly, there are still days my Germaphobia paralyzes me at the entrance of a building afraid to touch the door handle or hinders me from even shaking people's hands. When fear is not wrestling with me insecurity is. Unsure of my abilities and fear of failing has left many a dream incomplete or unfulfilled.

Discovering the Word of God has been this empowering gift! While I continue to battle my fears and phobias, the Scriptures have given me strength that nothing else was able to. I can stand on the Word of God to battle those demons that threaten to steal my joy and derail the plans God has for me. Listening to Jesus in the Gospels teaches me how to trust in Him, have hope and discover that I am loved be…

The Sin We Don't Like to Admit

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The Sin I Hate to Admit to is Envy A few years ago I was sitting in a conference hall awaiting the next speaker.  It was Jeff Cavins and he was coming up to speak about envy.  I actually contemplated going to do something else for that hour because although I knew I had an occasional issue with jealousy, I was all set in the envy arena. OH my, was I wrong!!  Probably why the Spirit sat me mid-row that day; and as I looked down the row and realized how many people I'd have to vault and navigate to leave, I decided to leave my bottom planted and listen.

5 Ways to Reduce Your ADHD Symptoms

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In the early 2000s, when I first began to uncover my own ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from the World Wide Web (see below), with all my notes jotted along the margins. In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life. Educate yourself

“Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.” (Hallowell & Ratey)

Nonfiction is my preferred reading. Ironically, the origins for this preference most likely comes from living with ADHD. When I start to read fiction, my mind wanders; sometimes it goes so fa…

You Cannot Fail at Lent

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Plans are Meant to be Altered All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement…

Gifts Not Being Used are Simply Useless

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Prayer is a Gift that is Only Useful when Being Used When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads: “Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit  ... Read What Simple Change I Made to Revolutionize my Prayer Life
All Rights Reserved. Allison Gingras 2017

The Gift Of Prayer - Only Useful When Being Used

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Gifts are Meant to be Used“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.

When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s…

Walking Together - Small Group Know-How

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STEP ONEPick a time, date and location for your small group to meet.  My recommendation is to commit to meeting weekly; especially if the group is being formed only for Lent.

Location can be either in your home, a rotation of homes, or at your parish.  My advice - weigh the pros and cons to decide which is best for you and your group - then trust your instincts! Some of the cons for a home meeting include having to limit attendees due to space, having to clean for company ((my primary obstacle), or limited parking.  Small group size is typically 8 to 10; although 12 -15 is doable especially for a short period of time like the 6 weeks of Lent.  If you are blessed with a high response rate - consider creating more than one small group either at the same or various locations.

Pros for meeting in a home include it's often cozier and may be less intimidating for some who do not typically attend church related events.  The most important part is remembering the goal of the group to grow…

#MusicThatMoves - Faith Sharing Series

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God does 'Impossible Things'  Spend just a few minutes learning my story and you'll know without a doubt that God truly does impossible things.  He mends the broken so they are able to forgive the seemingly unforgiveable. Prepares the unqualified and anxious to be soldiers in his army.  Jesus worked miracles to allow the blind to see and lame to walk; today he continues to give sight, but now perhaps moreso to those who are spiritually blind.  Offering strength to walk in His ways to those stumbling due more to circumstance than physical ailment.  He raised Lazarus from death to life; and awakens our hearts to new life in him.
Close your eyes (after you hit play of course) and allow Sarah Kroger's beautiful voice to transport us in this moment to a place in our hearts where we believe - that God can truly do Impossible Things. CONTINUE HERE for the Seeking Scripture and Reflection ... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

Pope Francis' Recipe for Holiness - One Part Grace

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The Grace TrifectaStanding before a room of 30 or so women facilitating my first faith sharing back in 2006, I fumbled around for the proper words as I tried to answer one participant's seemingly simple question on the grace of God.  What is grace?  While I had this innate understanding, I could not formulate the right words to express what I believed it to be. I realized, I had no definition.
Fast forward a few years, I am sitting in a small chapel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (aka Jesus in the Eucharist). In my reading I once again face the question, what is grace? This time I open the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.   That day the Allison abridged version of how I define the grace of God, was born (see image above) and I discovered the GRACE TRIFECTA ... Read More

All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

Resistance - Is There Hope to Ever Change

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So ... Where Are We in this Process I thought I would take this week to share where Kevin (my hubby of 26 years) and I are mentally in this process. As I begin my Weight Watchers journey this month, I realized the similarity of the discipline the Lord is trying to create in my heart.  This mind shift from spending as we wish on what we wish, much like my eating what I want and when I want, is a process.  IT is not overnight.  As we say in the weight loss world - YOU did not get 20 lbs over weight overnight, you will NOT shed it overnight.

It has been literally 32 years of mistakes and missteps; along with some serious emotional and mental baggage that has brought us to be this over our heads with debt.  Add to that my desire to serve God in the ever lucrative (read only for Joel Osteen) ministry world - and this is not going to be a quick fix.  The Navigating Your Finances God's Way  study has truly been a God Send - but it has not been the miraculous fix all I had hoped.  IT WIL…

Seek the Lord and HIS Ways

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Seekthe LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.   Isaiah 55
The women’s hand was not even completely in the air before the question came bursting forth, and the tears welled in her eyes.  “How can we let go of wanting to hear we are forgiven, when we’ve begged for it, but the other person is not willing to extend it. As a human person, I want to hear those words not from God but from the other person.” My heart truly ached as I heard in her voice the depth of her pain and her desperation for an answer.

Can I Be a Good Steward and a Good Samaritan?

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Another week of life usurping my time with the Navigating Your Finances God's Way  and our small group gathering - I guess Easter evening not the best time for such things.  We are scheduled for later this week - so I better get caught up on my reading!!   Though, truth be told, it is not really difficult for me to be drawn into this study.  The text, scriptures and questions are not only engaging but also RELEVANT!

This week is GENEROSITY ... as Jesus teaches, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)  I have often thought of myself as generous to a fault, it will be interesting as we move through this chapter if others would see me that way too.  It will also be interesting to discover if my generosity has played any role in where we are financially - both to the positive and the negative.  Without reading a word - I am going to speculate on something.   My giving when done with the purest of intentions and through the counsel of the Holy Spirit - I wou…

Pray with Me, during Holy Week and Easter

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Brilliantly simple! A letter from Seattle contains practical wisdom for praying through Holy Week and the Easter Season.


Click over to Praying with Grace to read the letter.

Money Matters: Everything I have Lord, Is Yours

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Week 2 of Navigating Your Finances God's Way .... 

My first discovery this week.  We don't own as much of value as I thought but what we do own I am rather possessive of (verses recognizing that all is a gift and essentially on loan from God). This week called for a completing a list of assets.  I have realized that much of our debt came during the PRE ~ DVR/On Demand and electronic music days.  WE have spent thousands of dollars in music CDs, videos and books - that cluttered our home and were watched, read or listened to once at best.  I used to spend so much money on Amazon (mostly for those 3 types of items) that I would (legit) get a Christmas present from Amazon every year! I also realized I spent a great deal of money on toys, clothes and shoes - the majority of which was barely played with or worn.  SEE A pattern here ... I KNOW I do!!

This week's lesson focused on recognizing GOD'S ownership over ours.  Having attended a funeral this week, that lesson was all th…

Ideas for Refilling Our Grace Well

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The most effective way to refill the ‘grace well’ at the heart of how we may more easily choose the things of God over that of the world is by participating, in what I affectionately refer to as, the “Grace Trifecta”. The secret is simple – immerse yourself in God’s abundant grace through the frequent, it not daily, practice of prayer, sacrament and scripture.

For specific ideas on how to embrace the grace God has abundantly available for us through prayer, sacrament and scripture - read more ...

Keeping Watch with Jesus in Holy Week

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Prayer is the place where "heart speaks to heart," as John Henry Cardinal Newman says. Using Scripture, we can enter into Jesus' experience of Holy Week; we can place our hearts into his. We can read the Passion accounts of the Gospels and ask Jesus for the gift of compassion, of suffering with him in his agony. Jesus himself invites us to do this when, in the midst of his agony in the garden, he calls to his disciples and to us:

Remain here and keep watch with me. Matthew 26:38

St. Ignatius of Loyola proposes a deeply personal and imaginative way to remain with Jesus. A master strategist and student of the human soul, St. Ignatius articulated a process of praying with Scripture that allows us to encounter Jesus personally. This kind of imaginative prayer engages all the senses and has come to be known as Ignatian Contemplation. At the Apostleship of Prayer, we call it praying with the heart.

Join me at Praying with Grace for a mini-retreat in imaginative prayer!

Heart Check-Up

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A couple of weeks ago, I shared an excerpt from Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2015:
During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: "Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum": Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.
"Make our hearts like yours."
How's that going?

We're more than halfway through Lent, so it's time for a cardiac check-up. In what ways have our hearts grown more like the Heart of Jesus these past weeks?

To reflect on this, we pay attention both to our own hearts and to the Heart of our Lord. Please join me at Praying with Grace for a heartfelt reflection.

One of the Glories of Scripture

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'One of the gloriesof Scriptureis that it can embrace manymeanings in a single passage.'

St. Thomas Aquinas








From The Breadbox Letters




I Permit No Woman to Teach a Man.....1 Timothy 2: 12

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I was in a debate the other day on another blog about the meaning of 1 Timothy 2: 11-12.  Here is what it says "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.…"  When I asserted that it didn't really mean what it seems to mean, that women were never to instruct men in matters of faith, the debate was on.

  I tried many ways to show

that early Church Doctors didn't understand it that way that men did learn from the writings of the women saintsan understanding of the authority of men in that it's only given through the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony and did not endow authority on all men just because they are malethrough trying to make them understand how the Church views men and women together as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ and those being equal, they both could teach each other. I made no headway with these arguments,…

Love Letter

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"The Bible is a letter from Almighty God to His creatures,"  wrote Pope St. Gregory.

What a missive!  The length of it, the poetry, the repeated declarations of total and absolute LOVE. 

"I have loved you with an everlasting love... I am constant in My affection for you."  (Jeremiah 31:3)

"Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, My love shall never leave you."  (Isaiah 54:10)

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one shall snatch them out of my hand."  (John 10:27-28) 

I can turn page after page of Scripture and find such love.  Love that would suffer and die for me, declaring itself over and over and over - a definite sign of not at allsecret Love....

from The Cloistered Heart

Samuel Melton Fisher painting