Branching-Out

Reception Challenges

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 13, 2021 6:00:00 AM

I still remember the phone call. My husband and I had just moved into our first apartment together, and I had the landlord on the phone. That was before cable TV, so people were dependent upon roof antennae and rabbit ears for their television reception. I was complaining to the landlord that every time trucks or heavy traffic passed by our abode the television picture would go kaflooey. The landlord said I should go out and buy a big box of nails and throw the nails onto the road surface outside the apartment. Of course, I did not follow his tongue-in-cheek suggestion.

I got to thinking about what can cause interference and poor reception in our spiritual life. Just as antennae reach upward, it is important for us to seek out God’s voice, to extend ourselves beyond ourselves, to reach out for the connection. A verse in the book of Lamentations encourages us:

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him…. (3:25) 

And the book of Deuteronomy says,

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. (4:29)

We also have a promise in the book of Proverbs:

          I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. (8:17)

We can conclude that we have to be willing and active seekers of the Lord. So laziness or distractions can certainly slow down or inhibit our reception of God’s communication with us.

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Topics: listening to God, RENEW International, Sharon Krause, daily prayer, seek the Lord

Olympics of Love

Posted by Sharon Krause on Aug 4, 2021 6:00:00 AM
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Topics: RENEW International, Sharon Krause, daily prayer, Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Pillows and Prayers

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 30, 2021 6:00:00 AM

The other day, I was cleaning out and rearranging items in a closet in my upstairs hallway. My husband was helping because he is much taller than I. He was passing down to me things from the upper shelf, and he just kept handing me throw pillows. I realized that I have a very large number of these decorative pillows, but I chose not to give away or dispose of any of them because they help me to decorate for different seasons and holidays. Their variety gives me choices and opportunities for different looks in my living room.

Leave it to me to think about correspondences between prayers and such mundane objects as throw pillows. Please take a comfortable seat, maybe with assistance of a throw pillow, and keep reading.

In our ideal daily prayer routine, we probably pray certain prayers in the morning and before retiring at night. Throughout the day, even if we are busy, we certainly can offer up little prayers for different people or circumstances.

What is it about throw pillows that I like so much? For one thing, they can offer support for your back. They are movable and flexible enough to stuff behind you as you nestle in to watch a television show or share in a conversation. With this same idea of support, you can offer a short prayer at any time of day for someone in the midst of a struggle. If that person know that you are praying for him or her, I am certain your support is a comfort. It is good for a troubled people to know that someone “has their back.” Prayer is a proven good way to do that!

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Topics: RENEW International, Sharon Krause, daily prayer

Ready and Waiting

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jul 26, 2021 6:00:00 AM

The young man who resides next door to my husband and me has something hanging from his car’s rear-view mirror that caught my eye. Instead of fuzzy dice (Remember those?), a set of rosary beads, or a shiny crystal ornament that refracts the sunlight, he has a face mask or two dangling in their protective glory. I am sure he doesn’t misplace his virus shield and even has a spare if he does. It hangs there ready and waiting to be of service.

Nowadays, when we enter a store, we often see a jar of hand sanitizer or a sanitary-wipe dispenser ready and waiting for germ-laden customers’ hands or shopping carriage handles.

Meanwhile, bags nestle on the back seat of our car ready and waiting to be filled with groceries or other purchases because the stores we visit now have to sell us new bags if we don’t supply our own or choose to somehow juggle our treasures to our car. In many cases, we are asked to pack our own purchases in the bags we have brought. Safety first!

Extra air-purifier machines are strategically placed to frequently recycle the air we breathe. These machines are in medical buildings for sure, but not exclusively.

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Topics: RENEW International, Sharon Krause, daily prayer, God is our help

A Matter of Time

Posted by Sharon Krause on Feb 12, 2021 12:00:00 PM

So much has been written and sung about time. We spend time, check time, do time, make use of time, run out of time, take meds a number of times a day, and are at the mercy of time. But I have a few suggestions about another timeprayer time.

We have a charismatic prayer group at my parish. I suggested one week that we break down into teams of four or five and become “Take 10 Teams.” Each team would pick one of the prayer intentions from a list I would provide, and each member would take 10 minutes a day to pray for that specific intention during the upcoming week. Instead of just praying for world peace, for example, a Take Ten Team would pray for the people of North Korea—for their freedom and human rights. Another team might pray for peace for the people of Iran. And another team might pray a for poor children in the United States.

With Lent approaching, might make decisions about how we spend our time. Let’s say we are up and about for 12 hours a day. We might have a job outside the home. We might be working from home. We might have children at home. I suggest that prayer can be worked into those 12 hours in creative ways.

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Topics: prayer life, priorities, RENEW International, spontaneous prayer, Sharon Krause, daily prayer

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