Jesus, Thank You So Much For My Children! by Jonathan

Jesus, Thank You So Much For My Children!

Yesterday we had quite a scare here at the Kiehl house in Big Woods, LA. While we were in our lunch study on the book of Acts, our third oldest son Micah (age 5) came running into our session and told us that Elijah (our 7 year old) was laying near our house crying. Teresa went and found him at the house disoriented and crying. When she couldn’t get him to speak to her intelligibly she had him take a bath, which calmed him down a bit. When I arrived 20 minutes later he was sitting in the living room arm chair and upon seeing me began to cry again. I asked him what happened and he couldn’t remember.

For the next 2 hours he complained of a head ache, he was scared, although Teresa and I sat at his side, he continually woke up and would call out “Mommy”or “Daddy”. He would whisper our names until it seemed like he was asleep then began to yell out “Mommy, Daddy”. We had a friend of ours (a nurse) come over and take a look at him. It appeared that he had a concussion but why was a complete mystery.

Eventually Elijah began to feel better. His memory gradually returned. This morning he remembered the whole event and was cheerful with just a slight head ache. Apparently he was out on the rope swing and while he was swinging one of the horses (there are seven on the property) ran by and Elijah collided with the horse’s belly (his words). Praise Jesus he is alright!

This incident made me think of the childlike quality of prayer. Matthew 18:3-4 “Truly I tell you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. For whoever humbles himself like a child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Elijah called out our name over and over and over. He knew we loved him and would help. Why am I so reluctant to call upon my Father when I need help? Why do I call upon Him so little? I want Jesus’ name to be on my mouth and in my heart constantly? I think of Rom 12:12 – Be constant in prayer, Eph 6:18 – Pray at all times in the Spirit, Col 4:2 – Continue steadfastly in prayer, I Thes 5:17 – Pray without ceasing

We need to practice a childlike awareness of the Father’s presence in our lives, calling on Him and our eldest Brother Jesus, for the awareness of the Spirit who makes us cry out “Abba,” Father.” We need to make prayer not simply one of the many things we do throughout the day but the defining action of our lives. Prayer is not something we simply do but what we are called to be. When we invite the Word of God into our lives we become that same Word. Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. “ God is calling us to make our entire lives an offering to Him (Rom 12:1-5)

I am going to strive to use the name of Jesus throughout my day as a reminder not only of its power but as a reminder that we come before God as children repeating the name of the one who has the power to heal us.

 

Our perseverance and attention in prayer must be like the constant striving of an infant for its mother’s breasts.” – St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be the Bacon!

Oh, there’s so much to say!  God is so amazing!  I know it’s been forever since I wrote last, but my days have not been idle.  Our family has been here in Louisiana for about a month and a half and it almost feels like years.  We’ve grown so much.  Have you ever seen a plant that is placed in very fertile soil and tended to by a caring hand?  Before you know it, it is huge and bearing amazing fruit. 

I can’t say that I am “bearing amazing fruit” yet, but every day my spiritual life, and that of my ENTIRE family, is nurtured and cultivated.  We are open to the work of the Spirit and are actively trying to grow stronger and more fruitful with each and every day.  No, that is not accurate enough.  We are growing with each passing moment.  Those of you who have made this opportunity possible through your prayers and financial support, I thank you so much.  You helping to cultivate a catalyst that may very well change the world!

I can hear all of you asking, “What in the world are y’all doing down there?” So, let me give you a little peak into the lives of missionaries in training.  Counting only the adults, there are eight of us.  Jon and I are the only ones in intake (training) this year that are married and/or have kids. The other six’s ages span from 19 to 70, approximately. There are three other girls and three guys.  Praise God for diversity.  It really makes for a great intake.

Our intake began with a retreat two weeks ago, and praise God, it sure started with a bang!  From being challenged to pray everyday WITH Scripture, read through the entire Bible, Catechism, and Vatican II documents within the next year, frequent the Sacraments, practice our “one another’s” (I’ll explain later) and my personal favorite, “Be the Bacon” (again, explanation later), we were challenged to basically become saints!  And that was just the beginning!

We were all assigned one of two work teams to help with meals, individual personal jobs (cleaning/ sweeping and outdoor work) and expectations (keeping your living area clean, make your bed every day, etc.)  So every day we wake up and help with breakfast if it’s our turn (later help with lunch or dinner), eat, then head over for morning prayer.  Everyone participates, even the children.  Then a small break where we get the school work ready for our kids, and some wonderful missionary comes over and does school with our kids while we attend our first talk of the day.  On Monday’s and Wednesdays we begin with our missionary training talks which covers a variety of topics, from prayer to how to go about evangelizing.  On Tuesday’s and Friday’s we have 2 hours after breakfast in which we learn how to prepare talks and practice presenting them.  Thursday’s are our service days where we visit home-bound individuals, visit nursing homes, serve at soup kitchens and offer Bible studies to people who may have no other opportunity to hear God’s word.  Again, the children get to participate in all of this activity.

During lunch we read and discuss Acts of the Apostles and the church document “Mission of the Redeemer.”  We then have a few hours off to rest, study, prepare talks and have our personal prayer time. After dinner prep and dinner we are off to Bible studies (men and women are divided), Mass, youth group, or praise and worship.

Saturday’s are work days for the whole community where we work together fixing up or cleaning somewhere on the 66 acres of Big Woods Mission.  It all ends with a community Lord’s Day celebration and meal.  Sunday we rest. 

That’s the schedule, but it in no way represents the Spirit of our life here.  We were challenged to live the “one another’s” everyday, with everyone.  This in itself is life changing, as far as I’m concerned, so I am going to add the list of “one another’s”, even though it will double the length of this blog post:

List of One Another Commands from the New Testament

Accept one another

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to

God. (Romans 15:7)

Admonish one another

Let 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. (Colossians 3:16)

Bear one another’s burdens

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

(Galatians 6:2)

Bear with one another

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

(Ephesians 4:2)

Build up one another

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual

edification” (original=build up one another). (Romans 14:19)

Care for one another

so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have

equal concern for each other. (1 Corinthians 12:25)

Comfort one another

Therefore encourage each other (original=comfort one another) with these words.

(1 Thessalonians 4:18)

Confess faults to one another

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may

be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Be Devoted to one another

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. (Romans 12:10a)

Encourage one another

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are

doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13)

Forgive one another

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ

God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Greet one another

Greet one another with a holy kiss. (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20;

2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26)

Be Honest with one another

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices . . .

(Colossians 3:9)

Honor one another

Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10b)

Be Hospitable to one another

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter. 4:9; Romans 12:13)

Be Kind to one another

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ

God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Love one another

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another . . .

(Romans 13:8)

Members one of another

So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the

others. (Romans 12:5)

Pray for one another

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may

be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Be of the Same Mind with one another

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity

among yourselves (original=same mind among each other) as you follow Christ

Jesus… (Romans 15:5)

Serve one another

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge

the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Spur one another on

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

(Hebrews 10:24)

Submit to one another

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

Our challenge, from the first day of intake, and actually from the first moment of our existence has been to “Be the Bacon.”  This is kind of a little silly phrase that our director, Joseph Summers, came up with.  He asked us to think about breakfast.  You’ve got your eggs, your milk and your bacon.  Only the bacon has to give up it’s entire life to give us it’s gift.  We are here for a reason, and yes, we can give a little here, a little there, (like the nice chicken, and cow) and when we die we can tell God, look I did some good things while I was alive, or we can be the bacon and when we die we can say, “Look God, I gave up my LIFE for you.”  There is nothing more I could wish to have done because I gave it all!  When we enter heaven we will not walk in the midst of the saints thinking, wow he died for God, and all I can say is I gave a homeless man 5 bucks a couple times.  Instead we will be able to hold our heads high, and walk side by side knowing our lives were given for God, in fact we lost our lives for God, WILLINGLY and this is where I belong!  

May God Be Praised!  AMEN!