March 2nd World Day of Prayer

For me, I know prayer works. It may not for you and it does not always bring me what I hope for but it does bring me what is best for me (funny how what we want is not always what is best for us). Today is sponsored by “Church Women United”.

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The day was founded by Mary Ellen Fairchild James, a Methodist from Brooklyn, NY for home missions in 1887. Forty years later, in 1927, the day was established on the 1st Friday of March. After another 40 years the Second Vatican Council accepted the day allowing all Catholics to participate in the day, 1967.

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We are taught that saying prayers in a group works better – that when enough voices pray for the same thing they are more often acted upon, not because they mean more than your private prayers, but because they are brought to God by more voices that care. That makes sense, but I believe your individual prayers are heard just as clearly.

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When you think no one is listening to you, you are wrong. You are always heard but you have to believe. After-all, if you don’t believe in who you are praying to, then why should you believe your prayers will be answered.

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How to celebrate – Say a prayer today.

 

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January 9th National Play God Day

Well lets start out this one with the fact that no one claims having created this day… I wonder why? In theory, you are supposed to do today what you can to help people, to make their lives better and to bring them happiness. So, how’s that working out for you?

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We all know from the movies what happens when we try to play God. We aren’t very good at it. Maybe because most of the time we are thinking about ourselves and how we can benefit from something. I don’t think that is how God works though.

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The idea is to help others accomplish goals that they might not be able to do by themselves, or for themselves. To reach out to them and pick them up when they fall, and we all fall. I hear a lot of celebrities that think they were able to get where they are without God’s help. That puts them on a fool’s errand. If you do not believe in God, then don’t act like you are a God.

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Somehow over time many of us look at the world and forget who created it. Yes, we created the mess but we did not create the trees or the birds or the oceans. We are so busy looking at the surface that we can no longer see what the surface rests on.

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So if you think you can do better than God or that there is no God, then take the day and show all the wonders you can create.

How to celebrate – Do something good for someone else today. Look around for the things that you can not explain away by science or math… those are the things God created. Imagine how you could make the world a better place (and then do it if you can).

September 8th Pardon Day

Today is Pardon Day, the day we need to forgive and forget. September 8th was selected because it was the day that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his crimes (Real or imagined). His crimes seem very minor compared to what has followed, but then… they weren’t any better before him either. It seems like all we ever do is pardon those who lead us as a nation.

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However, if you really look at it closely, we all have something to be forgiven of. Some, naturally, worse than others but none of us can escape blame for something. And then we all know people that have done something to us that we find hard to forgive. We should though, because hanging on to that anger and rage does no one any good.

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Most of us realize that the only one who can truly forgive us is God. If you don’t believe in God then you really have no one to answer to. For some, that may be a good thing but for most of us, it keeps us in check and causes us to forgive as well. Remember, to forgive is divine.

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We pardon that mess in a grocery store, we pardon our pets (hopefully) for the accidents our pets have so why do we find it so hard to pardon each other? Maybe it’s because we should know better but we don’t. Anyone can make a mistake, sometimes big mistakes, but the sooner we get over them the sooner they can get over them.

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So pardon all those who have wronged you, or you believe have wronged you. It does no good to hold that grudge. It only makes you feel worse, and the person you view as an enemy.

How to celebrate – Call someone you have been mad at for a long time and begin to make amends. Think up all those you have committed some offense to and ask for their forgiveness. See if you can find any reason to agree with someone who holds a different opinion than you.

August 22nd Be An Angel Day

We typically think of Angels as God’s helpers, soft and kind on the gentle side, warriors on the more aggressive side.  They are capable of doing great things, both large and small. They can guide us, protect us, lead us and watch over us but you do have to believe.

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On the more human side, they are those who generally do good, are good and fill our hearts with joy. In my opinion, you can’t make yourself an Angel, that is fake, but you can become an Angel (And still be alive) you just have to let your heart guide you through your day. Jayne Howard Feldman believed an Angel helped her create this day on August 22nd, 1993.

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Most of us don’t stand a chance. We look at what is happening around us, to us and the anger builds up until we lash out. An Angel rarely lashes out but when they do, watch out! You don’t stand a chance against the power they hold.

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You can be kind and caring, loving and generous and still not be an Angel. It is indeed a lofty goal to reach for. And for those non-believers, when an Angel touches you, you will believe and become that there is more to life that the little bitty part of this world that you occupy.

How to celebrate – Create your own definition of being an Angel. Try to be an Angel by putting others ahead of yourself. If you do have a Guardian Angel (Which you most likely do)  try and figure out who it is.

March 1st Ash Wednesday

Today is the 1st day of Lent, a special day in the Christian religion. It marks a time of prayer and fasting, primarily for Catholics but most other Christian based faith group also participate. It leads up to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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The symbol of the cross (Commemorating the death of Christ) is placed on the forehead to indicate that we, as people, will one day return to ash. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” This marks the end of the physical body but not the soul. On Wednesday we are to go to a service, normally somber to remember the last supper, receive the ashes and proudly wear them to show our faith.

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As we mark this time we are also supposed to give up something we enjoy (but is probably a bad habit) for between 40 and 46 days. This should lead up to Easter when as with Jesus, we should be renewed in our faith. There is nothing said that after the 46 days we cannot go back to whatever it is we gave up, but it would probably be well to give up whatever it is we chose forever.

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The ashes are to be made up from the palms used for the prior season. They are to be burned, the ashes retained for use on Ash Wednesday. Palms were laid at Jesus’ feet as he entered the city of Jerusalem, the symbol here was that he was a kind and gentle King of men. He rode into the city on a donkey, not arriving in a chariot or making some grand entrance.

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These 40-46 days lead to the highs and lows of Jesus’ time here on earth. From the cheers to the jeers and back again to cheers. He came for mankind, died for mankind and returned for mankind to save us from ourselves. If you are a Christian this is a very important and sacred time.

How to celebrate – Go to church and get ashes as a symbol of your love for Christ. Be humble and thoughtful. Say special prayers for all those you know.

January 9th Play God Day

If you could play God for a day, what would you do? Let’s forget about the power to choose between life and death, that’s too complicated and too controversial. Just the power to do little things, like make someone happy or change the course of events. God is love, therefore your job would be to bring love to everyone possible.

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We all have our own version of what Heaven might be like. But what if you could create a little bit of Heaven on earth? Well you can, maybe only for a moment, but isn’t that worth it? God offers us our dreams and hopes… sometimes you have to wait for them, or maybe the master plan will change when we aren’t even aware of it. But how nice would it feel to create a situation where you could be at least a small part of making someone’s dream come to life?

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And playing God might also include helping our four legged friends. Do you think they have dreams? If they do, and I choose to think they do, the most they dream for is someone to love and someone to love them. That’s easy enough to answer. Whether it’s a person or an animal, giving them a reason to live is certainly playing God.

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And love sometimes comes to us, when we least expect it. What makes one person love another? There is no logic, no reason, no explanation. It just happens. When you fall in love with someone you give yourself completely, maybe not because you want to, but because you have to. So loving someone else is God like. You cannot see love, you cannot see God, therefore both, or either, are miracles.

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And if you are going to play God, you have to live in a kingdom. It may be a kingdom no one else can see but that doesn’t matter, if it is real to you it is real enough. So in a way, don’t we all play God a little bit everyday? If you care for someone, help shame a dream, give someone else a reason for living or just love them with all your heart you are already playing God. You are a miracle making everyone you come in contact with another miracle of their own.

How to celebrate – Imagine how God might handle something and try your best to do the same. treat everyone you meet as though they were God, after all you don’t know that they aren’t! Create your own Heaven on earth, a place you can go when everything seems to be going wrong.