WORDS RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 13 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you  may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord  forgives  you and overall these virtues, put on love which binds them altogether in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body, you were called to peace and be thankful that the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God and whatever you do, whether in word or in deed , do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God,  the Father,  through Him. Amen. - Colossians 3:12-17
 
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From John 4:4-29 – Jesus talks about a Samaritan woman. The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing  more disciples than John  although in fact  it was not Jesus who baptized but His disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now He had to go through Samaria. So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son, Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.  When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her. “Will you give me a drink?”   (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food). The Samaritan woman said to Him. “You are a Jew and  I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (for Jews do not associate with Samaritans). Jesus answered her, “if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
“Sir”, the woman said, “You have nothing to draw with  and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well and drank from it himself and so with his sons, his flocks and herds?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks the water I gave him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I gave him will become in him a spring of water bubbling up to eternal life.  The woman said to Him: “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water”
 
He told her: “Go, call your husband and come back”. “I have no husband, she replied.  Jesus said to her: “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five  husbands and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true. 
“Sir”, the woman said: “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped  in this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”    Jesus declared: “ Believe me woman, a time is coming when you will worship the  Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming  and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father  in spirit and truth for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.  God is spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.
 
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Transcription by: Tess Lagrito 17/09/2015

WORDS RECEIVED ON JUNE 5 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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In my prayer time, in my discernment prior to leading this worship and also going back to the worship ministry, the music ministry, I just really got a sense of the Lord reminding us to come and not delay and really come to Him even though we are not perfect because the Spirit will give us the grace to be worthy and to do our part even though we are not perfect. I think the Lord is just urging us to set aside our concerns and all the lies about nothing worthy because the Spirit is already upon us and in the Lord's eyes we are worthy. So the sense I got brothers and sisters is the Lord telling us not worry about being imperfect, just to come without any delay.
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To confirm what Voltaire says, a reading from Romans 8:14 it says -  "those who are led by the Spirit of God is truly children of God". So I think that as it is in the scriptures, I feel like the Lord truly is calling us, He adopted us as His sons and daughters, we are called to love Him as a response and the way to do is just to trust Him and that the Holy Spirit lead us closer to Him so let us pray that God gives us the grace to commit our lives to the Holy Spirit
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I forgot the exact verse but it says - we don't have to be righteous but the laws, we don't have to be perfect to come to God, we just have to have a  willing heart. 
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Psalm 42 – “ As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you my God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God. My tears have been my food day and night while people say to me all day long ‘Where is your God?’. These things I remember as I pour out my soul how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why my soul are you downcast. Why so disturbed within me.  Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan, in the heights of Hermon from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls.  All your waves and breakers have swept over me.” I just want to confirm the sense of Voltaire - the Lord further says: "I will  not come when I am not invited. I want you to thirst, to quench, to find for Me as I will not come if I am not invited in your hearts. Let this song be your song - to quench, to thirst, to hunger for Me because I will not come if you don't need Me. Make sure that you are aware of your need of Me and I will come. I will come without delay but you have to invite Me and you have to be hungry and you have to find, you have to thirst and you have to quench for Me,” says the Lord. 
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Transcription by:  Tess Lagrito 06/15/2015

WORDS RECEIVED ON MAY 1 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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I have a sense from the Lord, it’s from Phil 2:3-8 “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit rather in  humility, value others above yourselves, not looking on your interest but each of you to the interest of others. In your relationship with one another, have your mind set at Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature, God, did not consider  equality with God, something to use to His own advantage rather He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross”. Brothers and sisters, I think this is just a simple reminder from the Lord. He just wants to remind us to be selfless, to look after the concerns of others and to put others above ourselves.
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Brothers and sisters, I also sense that the Lord says “My sons and daughters I want you to  upbuild  one another, don’t tear each other down.  You are my daughters and my sons and it makes me happy having  upbuild one another  and when you love one another,  you love me too.”
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That when we do everything in the name of love and you die to yourself and give glory to God, then success is guaranteed. The work of your hands is anchored in God’s love and death to oneself always will be guaranteed success and glory in Jesus Name. 
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I also have a sense from the Lord that the Lord  is calling us to be with Him – “ I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that there is no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you, remain in Me as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me”. The Lord is inviting us to continue to  be with him and stay with Him.
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Transcription by: Tess Lagrito – 05/07/2015
 
 
WORDS RECEIVED ON MARCH 1 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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From Matthew 16:24   “For anyone  to follow me, he must deny himself,   take up his cross and follow me”.  Lord it is always hard to take up all my crosses  for the pains and sufferings will be heavy, it is hard to follow you Lord God and we know that to in order for us to have a vibrant spiritual life, it must be intentional. In loving you , we must build our  heart’s desire so that we may know you, love you and serve you
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A reading from the 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 – There was a man named Jabez who was the most respected member of his family. His mother had given him the name Jabez because of his birth that had been very painful.  But Jabez prayed to God of Israel – “bless me oh God and give me much land, be with me and keep me from anything evil  that might cause me pain”,  and God gave him what he prayed for.  Brothers and sisters, have we asked ourselves lately when was the last time we saw miracles happen on a regular basis in our lives? Were we vigilant enough to  recognize that piece of miracle that God is doing in our lives? When Jabez in the reading asked for God’s blessings, God granted what he asked for. Let us not limit God’s bounty for us because it is God’s nature to bless us in so much abundance that it overflows to unworthy lives. Our yearning for God’s plenty has always been his loving will for all of us.
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Brothers and sisters, I just want to share with you the readings or the scriptures that I heard  yesterday from the retreat that we attended, the retreat  for the presentation for  the changing lives together. It’s a day of spiritual repression regarding the regional rates renewed and transformed.  It is about Isaiah 55 –  “my ways are not your ways nor are my thoughts your thoughts”. True, you must serve, to gain you must give, to live you must die to yourself. To overcome your enemies, you must forgive them. To be free you must surrender your will. This world’s way  hate this. Jesus seeks upside down, the problem  Is we are upside down, we want to run our lives, we don’t want to serve, we choose revenge, resentment but deep down, we know God’s ways, the only real way. When Jesus met Peter, he amazed him with unbelievable catch of fish. Peter was smart enough to know it wasn’t about the fish. He knew it was about God calling him and he fell on his knees. Jesus said –  “Peter, come follow me”.    Peter said – “yes”.   But what  most of us say is –   “Lord I see you bless things so please be in my life to bless my will, my plans, more income balloon” -  that is truly upside down.  We don’t really trust that God knows better what’s good for us. Do I do that with God? Do I truly give Him the steering wheel of my life or do I take it back? God’s ways are not our ways, they are far better because we are upside down. Brothers and sisters, as we reflect to this passage or message let us continue to trust and have faith and believing Him.  Let us continue to let God maneuver our life because His grace is truly enough and sufficient for all of us. Thank you Lord for the gift of forgiveness, healing and prosperity in our lives.
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Just to confirm the words we just heard  -  From Psalm 25 – “In you Lord, my God I put my trust in you. Do not let me be put to shame nor let my enemies triumph over me.  No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths,  guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long. Remember Lord your great mercy and love for they are from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways. According to your love remember me for you Lord are good.  Good and upright is the Lord, therefore He instructs sinners in His ways, He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant. For the sake of your Name Lord, forgive my inequity though it is great.”
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I was struck  by the first reading today and this is about the Sacrifice of Isaac better known as The Testing of Abraham. As we know, the story goes like God told Abraham to bring Isaac, his only son, to become his offering in Mt. Moriah and Abraham obeyed.  He placed Isaac in the place of sacrifice and before he could strike his son, the Lord told him “do not lay your hands on the boy”, said the messenger. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from  me your own beloved son”. I have a sense from the Lord that the Lord calls us to fully surrender to Him and if there is any area in our lives  still that needs to be surrendered, ‘cause we all say “I surrender all Lord” but not this one, because I’m weak on this one and I can’t do it yet, but that is exactly what the Lord wants us to surrender.  Surrender that weakness to Him because when we surrender to Him, God’s Power is going to be perfected in our weakness, He is going to show his Power when we surrender that one weakness that we always hold on to be always called  back and God calls us again just like Abraham.
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Like Tita Annie, I was also struck by the first reading today at mass about Genesis and I reflected that there are times that we are still growing in our faith and because of that, the Lord is always asking us to do something for Him for His purpose but there are times that we are not mature enough, we give our 10%,   we give our 20%, 50%, 75% and the Lord always meets us wherever we are out of His love for us. But there will also come a time in our faith journey that the Lord will require nothing less than our 100% and also because of our growing love for Him and our maturity in our faith journey,  that the only appropriate answer is our 100%. So Lord God we pray to you that you bless us with your grace to be able to step out of our comfort zone that when you ask for 100%  that we will give you our off.
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From Ephesians 2 – sense from the Lord  - “for it is by grace that you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves  but it Is a gift of God, not by works that no one can boast”. This is a sense that the lord is telling us to have humility before Him and again a sense of surrender. It is not of what we are doing but God  blesses us because of His love for us, His grace, unmerited. He wants to give it to us,   all we have to do is to surrender and be humble before Him.
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I was drawn to the battle between David and Goliath. During the season of Lent  special, it is a battle      ground for prayer and I was reminded of a teaching that we received during the pilgrimage. We were taken to the Valley of Elah were David slewed  Goliath and our teacher then asked us – “David had 5 stones with which to slay Goliath and so our Lord  God asks of us. He understands we are in battle and we are in constant battle. We are at war. What five stones have you selected that God has armed you with? Have you picked the stone of prayer? Have you picked the stone of spending quiet time with our God? Have you picked the stone of access to our sacraments? When was the last time you went to Sacrament of Confession or to holy mass or whatever service it is that you are obligated to do? When was the last time that you put on the garment of truth, the Word of God? It is within which we battle with the sword of truth and at all times, He wants to remind us no matter what your battles I am with you always. I am with you always. It is your God who speaks to you.
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Transcription by: Tess Lagrito 03/04/2015
 
WORDS RECEIVED ON FEBRUARY 15 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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JANUARY 3, 2015 GATHERING
 
I heard from someone saying "I look at myself in the mirror and see nothing of myself anymore" and it struck me because sometimes I feel that way. But upon further reflection, I feel that is not a bad thing because really, it is from dying to oneself that we become transformed to the Lord and I think this is a call for each one of us to really allow the Lord to have His work  done in our lives,  to die from our own selves so that we will be transformed to what the Lord wants us to be. There is this passage from the bible  "when a seed falls on the ground and dies is when it becomes fruitful" and I think it is the same for us. So I pray to the Lord that He will give us that freedom to fight what it is that is holding us back from being in the right place where He wants us to be, to die from our own self to be able to be transformed
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From Psalm 34 - Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is he, the one who takes refuge in Him. Fear the Lord for those who fear him lacks nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Come my children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 
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Just a confirmation of the senses from the Lord especially for those who are anxious of things. This is from Psalm 55:22 - says "cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let  the righteous to shed." Just comes to me as well the word  righteous - that's our responsibility  for the Lord is taking care of us. With the words coming from Bro. Don, following God's commands and decrees that is how we become righteous that's why He takes care of us. He will never let us forsaken
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I'll tell you again my children, if you have faith, faith as small as a mustard seed, it can move mountains. And I call you to greater faith, a greater trust in me, to know the Almighty God and how powerful He is, if what takes the size of a mustard seed brothers and sisters and we can move mountains. With the Lord everything is possible.
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The word that I heard came in Filipino - the Lord said - "naparito ako upang bigyan ka ng buhay na ganap at kasiya-siya". In English - "I have come to give you life, a life that is full". I have a sense from the Lord then that the Lord wants to give us  life and He has a call for us to put Him first then our God who is all-knowing, all-mighty, all-powerful and who owns everything will take care of you.
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I am thankful because of being here in CADA. This is a scripture from Hebrews. Since we are surrounded by great   cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that cling  to us and persevere in running that race of life before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of that joy that lay  before Him, Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame and has taken His seat at the right hand of throne of God, seeing  Him who endured such opposition in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In a struggle against sin, you have not yet persisted to the point of shedding blood. As struck by the last word, I struggle with sin, I feel most of us still struggle with sin. Brothers and sisters we have not yet persisted to the point of shedding blood so we can do this. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus. Let's be surrounded by people, brothers and sisters, by friends who share the same point of view, who share the same faith, who share the same race that we are running and live our lives according to God's will.
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Early this afternoon, I was praying and I was talking to the Lord. I knew I am going to have a very busy week ahead of me. I'll be gone for two days, I am going out for sales call and I need to prepare and when I come back, I don't know what to expect on my desk, on my table. So I told the Lord, "Lord, I am sorry I don't think I can go to the prayer meeting again. I have a lot of stuff to do, I am so busy and I need to prepare, I cannot go to Chicago unprepared. I have to be prepared, I have to be ahead of the game. But brothers and sisters the Lord spoke to me and said - "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Do not worry about tomorrow" Honestly, I don't know what is going to happen if I go to Chicago unprepared but I know, I know for sure, I know  that the Lord will give me the wisdom to prepare for everything that I need to do. The Lord will give me the courage and the strength to be able to do my job and whatever happens I know that He is with me.
 
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I think at the start of this year, I sense like they try to find out what was the most used verse in the bible and this is what the verse is Phil 4:6-7 - do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding  will  guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ. I think that's just a way for God to remind us all that as a Christian you will never have an easy life. You will always face challenges because that's what the enemy wants for us to get away from God but if we just put our faith in Him we will always have Him by our side and everything will be okay.  With that I would like to thank you Lord God for giving us all these words of wisdom and for giving us Lord the ability to share what we are experiencing with our
 
community. We thank you Lord God for this community for all the prayers that they offer, for all the support that they offer Lord God and as we go to the main part of our meeting today, we pray that you will give each and every one presenting their ministry the right words to present their ministry so as to inspire other people to join them and share their God-given talents.
 
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Transcription by: Tess Lagrito 02/21/2015

 

 

JANUARY 3, 2015 GATHERING

I have sent you my own begotten son, when my word became flesh. How about you  my children? in your life, have you chosen to abide in me as I have  chosen to abide in you? Abide in me, be with me, remain with me, as I have chosen to remain with you. It is your Father that speaks.
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Hebrews 11 - That's  about faith, it has long verses but I’m just going to read some of the verses.  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command so  what is seen  was not made out of what was visible. By faith, Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith, he  was commended as a righteous man when God spoke well of his offerings and by faith he still speaks even though he is dead. By faith, Abraham, even though he was  past age and Sarah herself was barren, was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise and so from this one man and he, as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons and worshiped as he leaned in the top of his staff. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead of his reward. By faith, he left Egypt not fearing the king's anger, he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. By faith, he kept the Passover and the sprinkling  of blood so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. And what shall I say, more shall I say, I do not  have time to say about  Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice and gained what was promised;  who shut the mouths of the lions, quenched the fury of the flames and escaped the edge of the sword, whose weakness was turned into strength and became powerful in the battle  and routed foreign armies. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them receive what had been promised. God has planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. So brothers and sisters, as we heard earlier, the Lord wants us to remain in Him, to remain faithful as He has plan for each one of us, a better plan if we just remain faithful to Him. And brothers and sister, don't be discouraged because we might not see the fruits but God saw the big picture and He could each one of us for His glory and be part of His salvation plan. So brothers and sisters, just don't be afraid to participate in God's plan and make people abide in Him.
 
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A word from the Lord taken from Hebrews Chapter 2 - that is why must hold on all the  more for the truth we have heard so that we will not be carried away. The message given to our ancestors by the angels are shown to be true and those who did not follow it or obey it, receive the punishment they deserve. How then shall we escape if we pay no attention to such a great  salvation? The Lord Himself first announced this salvation and those who heard it proved to us that it's true. At the same time, God added His witness to theirs by performing all kinds of miracles and wonders and by distributing the gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will. Brothers and Sisters, as we welcome this new year, let's strive and do our very best to put everything right and to always place our trust in the Lord who is our salvation and it was clearly said  that as Jesus was lowered down by the angels, through God's grace He will die for us and He will be crowned again as King and will bring salvation to the whole world. So as we claim this year as the year of salvation, we also claim that we are indeed redeemed of our sins but we have to strive harder to be more deserving of that by staying away from sin and putting away to the right place by  honoring our God all the more.
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Brothers and sisters, we should seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and everything will come into place. So as this new year begins let us always remember to put God first in everything that we do, sanctify and glorify the Lord and He will take care of everything for us. Continue to trust in the Lord.
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JANUARY 18, 2015 GATHERING
Blessed are those who are concerned for the poor, the Lord will help them when they are in trouble, the Lord will protect them and preserve their lives, He will make them happy in the land. He will not abandon them to the power of their enemies. The Lord will help them when they are sick and will restore them to health. All the things that we do to help other people and to love our brothers and sisters, the Lord notices, the Lord is going to pay us back, He will give us all our needs. The Lord has been listening to us, taking from us all our troubles, taking us out of our deep, deep, deep, deep place very close to help for  some people to help mentally and physically. The Lord can take us out. Let's help all the people around us. Let us hope that this prayer meeting as the year ends, the unity that we are looking for reflect in our own life, let's work that the unity continue in this new year. I dare you to keep your eyes open for the need of others that they may not need to ask for help but rather you  might  feel comfortable when you see they need help just go to help them because the same might happen to you.
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Transcription by: Tess Lagrito 02/12/2015

 
 
WORDS RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 9, 2014 GATHERING
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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Brothers and sisters  from 2 Cor 6:16-17 “Surely you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you. God will destroy anyone  who destroys God's temple. For God's temple is holy and you yourselves are His temple.”  Bros and sisters, I could sense that the Lord is telling us that when we naturally look where God leads us, our life is active and abundant. When we give our body, mind and soul, we display joy that people are attracted towards us. But when we submit to bad influences, and take our garbage, we destroy our life. As a reflection of this scripture:   is our life like a dead river that needs rehabilitating? Let us ask our dear God for forgiveness for all the things we do that slowly destroy our life in relationship with Him. Oh God remain with us as we seek the path of redemption.
 
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I just want to share something that confirms those last couple of words that God wants us to be faithful and wants us to look to Him because there's a whole field out there where we reap the harvest. It doesn't mean that we have to be perfect or we have to do great and glorious things. It means we do what the Lord ask us to do, He's going to make it bear fruit. Example is what happened in our Word of Life Community just this  month. One of our commitments in the Sword of the Spirit  is to support the churches and last summer, we have a couple of young people in our community that went to an Anglican church, both got married in that church so the whole bunch of community went to the wedding and the two Anglican priests were so impressed with the people from the community that came that they started asking about our leaders. We invited them to our men's retreat and then they asked us if we would put our arm, actually yesterday it happened.  W e called it “Men into Flame day” and pray over people that they would be more open to the Holy Spirit and so they got  25 people from there in the congregation to come.  Another thing that happened was that there was a guy who grew up in the work of Christ in Lansing. His family was there since he was a boy and grew up to a teenager and now he is in the Capitol of the Diocese of Lansing as a Director of Evangelism. He loves the communities  because he grew up with it, he knew what it is all about and so he talked to the bishop and the bishop there is telling people to come to the 2-day conference, there shall be speakers on evangelism and the bishop asked the two communities, one in Lansing and us in Ann Arbor to come and be there and to talk to the people who are coming to that conference. There's over 500 people that signed up for that conference from the Diocese of Lansing. The priests  from every Catholic parish and some of the lay people are helping them. So all we did was to do what the Lord told us to do. You can see eventually the Lord can bring great fruit on things He told us to do, just be faithful and He will turn it to some good for other people too.
 
 
Transcription by: Tess Lagrito 11/22/14

 

 

WORDS RECEIVED ON OCTOBER 05 & OCTOBER 19 GATHERINGS
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
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OCTOBER 5, 2014
Psalm 147: 1-6. God is encouraging us to give him praise under whatever circumstances we are in.  In doing this, we are also allowing him to remind us our place and reminding us of how great he is and that there is no need to be anxious of anything.  Start to focus on him instead of ourselves too much.  In hope that he is a God of healer, he will heal our wounds.  He will save us from any harm.  Let us praise the Lord whether we are happy or not.
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My children, I say it to you again and I've said it to you before and I say it to you now and I will always say it to you, hear me.  Hear me.  Seek me, ask and knock.  Seek, keep on seeking, keep on asking and keep on knocking and the door, the door will be opened to you.  You have fought to seek, to ask and to knock and the doors will be opened and the heavens will be opened to you my children.  You have fought to seek to ask and to knock.
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Psalm 150: 1-6
1 Hallelujah!  Praise God in his holy sanctuary; give praise in the mighty dome of heaven.
2 Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty.
3 Give praise with blasts upon the horn, praise him with harp and lyre.
4 Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with strings and pipes
5 Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath give praise to the LORD! Hallelujah!
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OCTOBER 19, 2014
This is in response to the gospel today that was given.  It was talking about giving Caesar what is Caesar's and God to God.  Just a sense of the Lord wanting us to give everything we have and all that we possess belongs to the Lord.  Just wants us to give that to him.  This is a prayer from St. Anselm.  I just want to read it out in response to God asking us to give to him what belongs to him: 
 
"Lord, because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you all my being. Moreover, I owe you as much more love than myself as you are greater than I, for whom you gave yourself and to whom you promised yourself. I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding. I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more, and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you. Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of love. I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love."  (prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109 AD)
 
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Lord because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my life,
Because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself,
Because you have promised so much, I owe you all my being,
Moreover, I owe you as much love than myself as you are greater than I am;
For whom you made yourself to whom you promised yourself.
I pray Lord make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge
What we know by love, what I know by understanding
I owe you more than my whole self.
But I know more by myself, I cannot render the whole thing to you.
Draw me Lord.  Draw me to you in the fullness of love.  I am wholly yours by creation.
Make me all yours too in love.
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Galatians 5:13-26
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
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Lord we thank you!  We thank you O Lord that you have created us to be in your image and your likeness O Lord.  We really belong to you O Lord our God.  Everything that we have, everything that we are, we belong to you Lord Jesus.  Because you are the one who created us and we bear the image and likeness; and we thank you O Lord for that privilege.  Help us, O Lord? to choose to belong to you.  Help us O Lord to choose to be set apart for you O Lord O God.  To be set apart for your kingdom; to be set apart for our brothers and sisters; to be set apart O Lord for your purposes.  Lord we belong to you and help us to choose to belong to you, to be set apart for your kingdom.
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I was feeling today that I am not worthy to praise our God but for some reason, he keeps calling me by name asking me to praise him, to lead you brothers and sisters in worshipping him.  How could that be?  I am a sinner but still he calls me by name.  Who am I to deserve that? Who am I? But still he loves me no matter what.  He keeps calling me by name.  I believe that he also calls you by name.  Just listen to him.  Listen to what he has to say. 
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And those of you who do pay what belongs to Caesar, what do you return to him who in his great majesty had made you in his likeness.  What have you returned to the creator in whose likeness he has made you to be?  If you give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar for fear of legal ramifications, what do you return to him?  Him who has created you in his own likeness, what have you returned to him?
 
 
Transcription by:   Jing Demetria 23-10-2014
 

 

MAY17,2013
Proclaim and Live the Truth in Jesus’ Name
 If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
 
 
A Word from the Lord taken from the book of Ephesians 6:10-18 -  Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of His Mighty Power, put on all of the armor that God gives you so that you will be able to stand up against the devil's evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world; their rulers, authorities and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God's armor now, then, when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. So stand ready the truth as a belt tied around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate and as your shoes, the readiness to announce a good news of peace.  At all times carry faith as a shield for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the evil one, and accept salvation as a helmet and the Word of God as a sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all these in prayer, asking for God's help.  Pray at every occasion as the Spirit needs. For this reason, keep alert and never give up and pray always for all God's people. The Word of the Lord.
 
 
Gospel from John 21:15-19.  After Jesus have dined with his disciples in eating breakfast with them,  he said to Simon Peter - "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" Simon Peter answered him - "yes Lord, you know that I love you". Jesus said to him - "feed my lambs". He then asked Simon Peter for the second time - "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter answered him - "yes Lord, you know that I love you". He said to him - "tend my sheep". He said to him the third time –“ Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed, yet he said to him the third time, Lord you know everything, you know that I love you". He said to him - "feed my sheep".
Lord we thank you Lord for giving us a chance, a chance to say "I love you". Lord, forgive us Oh Lord in the first time you ask us if we love you. Lord, we were so arrogant saying "yes Lord we love you",  first and second time you asked us, we are still arrogant  Lord and we responded "yes we love you". But on the 3rd time you asked us "do you love me?"and we answered "you know everything Lord". Yes, oh Lord, forgive us oh Lord. We know that we are coward like Peter, we denied you oh Lord many, many times. Lord, we flew away oh Lord, we escape oh Lord from the soldiers oh Lord who were lying  at the foot of the cross. Lord we know our human frailty, but Lord we thank you Lord for the first, second, third time asking us "do you love me". Lord you know everything, you know our human frailty and amidst our human frailty, Lord we say "yes Lord we love you" and you know everything Lord; our fear, being coward,  denying  you a lot of times, fleeing from the agony oh Lord. You  know all of these oh Lord and still we responded "you know everything". We love you Lord.
 
 
My dear children in CADA. do you know where you are going? Do you know where your home is? Is your home with me? Is it your desire truly to be with me? Do you know where heaven is? Do you know where you're going. Do you know that you could have heaven right now? You know what heaven is right now? Heaven is when you say yes to my presence in your life.  Am I truly in you or is just a portion of me in you. Is my home truly there? Is our home together in heaven together with me? Remember this my children - you could have heaven now. I have said from the beginning, I sent my son Emmanuel -  God is with you, nothing has changed.  The Holy Spirit is with you, He is truly alive, but you want Him in you. Do you know where you're going? Do you cleave to me? Do you truly want to go home with me? Lord, have mercy on us oh Lord!  Increase our faith, increase our trust. We need you oh Lord and you know we need you far more than we know that we need you oh God. Have mercy!
 
 
Transcribed by Tess Lagrito 05/28/2013
 

MARCH 3, 2013
 
From Psalm 31:9-10, 21-22 - Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.
 
Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His loving kindness to me in a besieged city.
As for me, I said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.
 
Father in heaven, we are a sinful group, Oh Lord. You know that you created men with a faulty heart. We cry out to help us, Oh Lord, help us to accept the gift of a new heart that you offer us. Help us to recognize that sin is sin, that our minor irritations harm relationships, Oh God. Help us set aside our pride and recognize the fact that we are nothing except for what you give to us. Be merciful to us, help us, Oh God. Thank you for loving us.
*
 Are you thirsty? Come to the table. Are you hungry? Come and eat without price. Why spend your wages on what will not satisfy? Come to the table of life.
Ask ourselves have we allowed ourselves to be immersed in the glory of God in the holy Eucharist or in any gathering we go to? Have we allowed ourselves to be embraced by God’s love, that whatever we encounter right now, that whatever trials and tribulations we have right now, whatever is lacking in our souls will be satisfied by the very presence of God in the Eucharist? Let us ponder on that. This lent, it is time for us to look into our hearts and dig deeper in our faith to show God how much we love Him and how much we yearn to be with Him.
*
For somebody going through some difficulties, wants to be reassured by the Lord. A reflection by Joseph as he forgave his brothers.
From Genesis 50 - Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…
For every reason that a hardship you’re going through and difficulties, there is always a reason and God uses it for good. The Lord is saying, “Do not be afraid.”
 
Transcribed by Rhoda Simon
 

FEBRUARY 17, 2013
 
If Today You Hear God's Voice, Harden Not Your Heart.
*
I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord.  Have you forgotten my children?  Do you really know the way, the truth and the life?  I lay this thirty some  days before you.  This thirty some days, I come to visit you again to spend time with you.  Have you forgotten? Have you forgotten my love for you? Are you willing to grasp me by the hand and lead you to the way everlasting?  Are you willing to trust the one?  Are you willing to be led by this strong hand whose feet never falters and whose arms are there to catch you.  I come to visit you again.  D you hear me? Do you know me? Come to me, this is your father who speaks
*
The Lord further says, I come to you in glory.  Again, I come to you in glory, not with fire, not with wind, storm, I come to you in gentle whisper.  I come to you in glory.  Not with fireworks, not with special effects, I come to you in gentle whisper. I come to you in gentle whisper in your heart and in your conscience.  I come to you through the people around you. I come to you through the circumstances at work.  I come to you through your children. I come to you through the strangers that you see in the mall, in the grocery stores. Yes I come to you in glory but not in fireworks, or storms but I come to you in gentleness.
 
Transcribed by Jing Demetria

FEBRUARY 2, 2013
 
My children, I know your heart is burdened when you suffer but you should know I sent my only son to suffer for you because you're somebody to be saved. I also want you to know that when you suffer, I am there with you and when you suffer with me , I transform you into who I want you to be. Know also that through your sufferings the truth, and this is my truth, is then revealed in a very special way for you and for you alone. Because when this is revealed to you, you then testify to those around you who do not know me still and so suffering is there for a purpose and this suffering is for you and for the greater good of all to bring them all home to me. This is your father who speaks to you. Heed me, embrace me still further, more tightly, grip my hand when suffering comes, because suffering brings gifts and it's my gift for you.
*
Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you to make you clean from all of your idols and everything that has defiled you. I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away the stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart.
 
A period of indecisiveness can cause us to lose the opportunity to act in faith.
Be more diligent in your faith so when the opportunity arises you will be able to act in faith. 

*

Brothers and sisters, God has spoken.  There's some of us here that stumbles upon a situation where you see in front of you a brother or sister, a family member, a co-worker, or a stranger and you can see from that person how much that person needs God and still our hardened hearts will not do anything.  And so God calls us to be more deliberate to be more emboldened to do the right thing, to reach out to that person, to evangelize, to be a mirror, to be a witness.  And for those of us who are called to do this and yet we are suffering and that we are brought down by trials and challenges and all the discouragements from our daily lives and all the discouragement a from our daily lives and from things that are happening around us, let us not be saddened, let us not be pressed.  Instead, let us be hopeful, and let's hold on to God's hand and believe that The Lord truly will use the experiences that we have to reflect God's greater love and glory that will overcome any of these trials and challenges.  And with that I want to share last week's reading in church and it talks about when Jesus opened up the scroll and read a passage from Isaiah, "The spirit of The Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind; to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. (Luke 4:18-19)
 
God is calling us this year to evangelize, to be more than just members of CADA.  We should be witnesses of Christ each year, every year God has called us to do that but I believe this year, particularly this year God calls us to reach out to every family member, 
to reach out to our co-workers, to your friend or even to a stranger and not to bring people here in CADA but to bring people closer to Christ.

 
*
Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It does not envy.  It does not boast.  It is not proud.  It is not rude.  It is not self-seeking.  It is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrong, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The Lord is calling each one of us to love one another, to love our brothers and sisters.  I know some of us are having a hard time loving one another but I think we are all called to love one another.  I know some of us have been discouraged by some people but we are called to reach out to people and show them our love.  We might not receive their love or what we are expecting or any response but we are all called to love, to continue to trust the Lord and always hope and always persevere and to continue to love.
 
Transcribed by Rhoda Simon and  Jing Demetria

JANUARY 2013
 
 
Hear God’s word, harden not your heart.
 
From Rom 5:20, “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
As we sing the song a thousand times we may fail but we end up in God’s grace. He looks in our hearts, He knows our heart. He has mercy, that divine mercy, for those who try to walk in His way. It’s a promise from Him, his grace is sufficient – in all our cares, in all our sins, in all our worries. He is there and His grace is sufficient in all that we need. His grace is sufficient.
*
I want to share to you…’Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, theirs is the kingdom of God.”
I sense, now more than ever, we are persecuted for our faith. As one community, the Lord wants us to be ardent wherever we are, not just when we’re here in St. Priscilla but wherever we are, wherever the Lord wants us. Let us stand up for what we believe in what we believe is the truth. I pray, Lord God, to give us the strength being firm, being Christians. I pray also, Lord God, bless the men in CADA, my brothers, that we lead our household, our lives accordingly.
I also lift up to you fellow Christians, priests, missionaries, pastors, laymen risking their lives in foreign lands preaching the Gospel. May you bless them, Lord God. May you allow them to touch more souls.
*
That we may be able to live for Christ - in CADA, outside of CADA, in the place of work, when we’re seen and not seen. Only the Lord our God can see our hearts.
 *
When we were praying, there are two images. One was a pointer and one was a mirror or a reflector. God seems to be saying, “Will you be the one who will point others to the truth or will you be the one to reflect the truth to others?” Either way, we will stand and be Christ’s truth for others. We can either point others who are lost to the truth of Christ or reflect the truth of Christ to others.
 
 
Compiled and Transcribed by Rhoda Simon