Monday, March 31, 2014

Lent Day 27 - Hardening of the Attitudes

"The world's most deadly disease is 'hardening of the attitudes." Zig Ziglar 

Last weekend I was speaking with a local consecrated individual regarding some frustrations I am experiencing within our local diocese. This person's frame of mind was, "It may not be right, but this is just the way it is. You have to accept this is never going to happen." My response? "Well, I believe God can do anything. Don't you?" Their response? A quiet head shake in agreement. This Lent I have been praying hard for patience. But when it comes to "hardening of the attitudes," I still find myself to be very impatient . . . and I'm ok with it in this case. Because I believe Jesus is calling us to act with a sense of urgency in reclaiming His Church here on earth. I believe everything Jesus says in the Bible and in the Volumes. He is with me through every frustration, every joy, every pain. I am willing to go through anything for Him. God has a plan . . . 

In todays Gospel (John 4:43-54), I can imagine Jesus thinking . . . another sign? Really?

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The royal official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.” The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.

In Volume Five, Jesus puts it all together very clearly for me:

"Now I wish to tell you about something that concerns Me. There are many who claim to be My followers. Some follow My lead, but others do not. They follow their own will, but do so behind a guise of obedience. The reason this obedience is a guise and not a genuine obedience is because they have rejected My Church in that they feel they have a greater wisdom than the soul whom I chose to represent Me. Children of God, you are accountable. Do you think that I made a mistake when I asked this current man to be My earthly Vicar? Well then you must take that up with Me upon your entry into My Kingdom. That will be the appropriate time to discuss what you may feel are the mistakes I have made. Until that time, I am calling on you to be respectful, obedient, and supportive of this man, your Pope. Priests, in particular, are not serving Me when they lead others to doubt the Holy Father. Souls feel that priests have a greater wisdom than others, and if a priest is following My voice, this is usually true. But priests who are following My voice are not behaving in a disobedient and disrespectful manner toward the leader of My Church, even if they do not always agree with how this man is leading. The true spirit of God does not manifest in cynicism, dear souls, so when you see cynicism, you may be assured that I am not present and I am not directing the conversation. This will increase in your world. I do not like to tell you this but I must. You must be alert always for these signs. I would like you to respond with quiet firmness in the face of cynicism. When souls criticize My Church and its leaders, you must direct them to Me. They should never spread disunity among My

Lay apostles, do you believe God has limitations? Or, is your God a God of limitless possibilities? God is still as powerful as the day He parted the Red Sea or the day He rose from the dead. It may be time to have a spiritual checkup . . . if you find you have hardening of the attitudes, go to Jesus for the cure!

Thank you, Lord, for giving me gumption to overcome obstacles thrown in my way by Your enemy. 

God bless,

P.S. Thanks to my love Jay for helping to edit this . . . he softened it up a bit!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DFOT Prison Ministry

The St. Francis Prisoner Rescue Project
a message from Direction for Our Times

Dear lay apostles,

Working together we have already reached 75 more prisons. The average cost per prison box of booklets is about $15-35. This pays to ship the box of booklets from our shipping warehouse to the prison or chaplain themselves. For example, we have a prison right now in Tabor City that is waiting for 1100 Booklets but needs to have the shipping covered as the prisoners and chaplains can not afford this. Right now as I look at the pile of back orders, there is still a big stack of prisons (at least 100) that are waiting for these grace filled messages.  

(Make sure to choose increments of Dollar Amount you would like to give)

(click to watch video) 
Or Call to Pick a Prison Near You!

Jesus gave us the messages to give to Prisoners but it is up to us lay apostles to reach out to them! The messages have been written, they have been printed, they are sitting at the warehouse and they just need a few people to help cover the expense of shipping them. 

Call us today at 1 708 496 9300 to pick a prison that is right for you or just let us choose. Click here to help us a ship a box of booklets today.

Ryan and the Prison Rescue Mission Team

St. Francis, Pray for us!

p.s- UPDATE as of March 26th, 2014- We have had a lot of the prison back orders covered over these last four days. Since Saturday we have been able to ship to 150 new prisons that are waiting for books. We are hoping to get help with all remaining prison back orders. In order to do that we need assistance to cover another 100 prisons with amounts from $15-$35 dollars. You may pick a prison by calling us or just donate to any prison by visiting link.

Here are some of the prison locations that still need shipping covered in order to get them sent out:

-Lovelady, Texas (200 Booklets)
-Huntsville, Texas (2o0 Booklets)
-Beumont, Texas (200 Booklets)
-Bonham, Texas (200 Booklets)
-Dallas, Texas ((200 Booklets)
-Edingburg, Texas (100 Spanish/100 English Booklets)
-Amarillo, Texas (200 Booklets)
-Tabor City, North Carolina (1100 Booklets)
-London, Ohio (1100 Booklets)
-Marion, Ohio (Sample Set)
-Marysville, Ohio (150 Booklets)
-London, Ohio (700 Booklets)
-Leavittsburg, Ohio (550 Booklets)
-Chillicothe, Ohio (Sample Set)
-Mansfield, Ohio (600 Booklets)
-Lancaster, Ohio (Sample Set)
-Marion, Ohio 2nd(600 Booklets)
-Toledo, Ohio (250 Booklets)
-Grafton, Ohio (250 Booklets)
-Caldwell, Ohio (600 Booklets)
-Waymart, PA (Complilation Book)
-Houtzdale, PA (100 Booklets)
-Graterford, PA (600 Booklets)
-LaBelle, PA (300 Booklets)
-Lino Lakes, MN (75 Booklets)
-Still Water, MN (25 Booklets)
-St. Cloud, MN (350 Booklets)
-Leesburg, NJ (60 Booklets)
-Lovelock, NV (200 Booklets)
-Trenton, NJ (Sample Set)
-White Sulphu, WV (50 Booklets)
-Jamestown, ND (200 Booklets)
-Goffstown, NH (30 Booklets)
- Tennesse Colony, TX (12 Booklets)
-Huntsville, TX (200 Booklets)
-Laurinburg, NC (325 Booklets)
-Clinton, NC (40 Booklets)
-Hoffman, NC (110 Booklets)
-Brunswick, NC (700 Booklets)
-Raleigh, NC (25 Booklets)
- Raleigh, NC 2nd (Sample Set)
-Lexington, NC (Sample Set)
-Bayboro, NC (30 Booklets)
-Maury, NC (225 Booklets)
-Newport, NC (312 Booklets)
-Manson, NC (50 Booklets)
-Raleigh, NC (100 Booklets)
-Butner, NC (420 Booklets)
-Nashville, NC (250 Booklets)
-Smithsfield, NC (250 Booklets)

plus another stack of about 50 you can choose from, here is a pic :) !

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lent Day 22 - Rules For a Reason

Nothing good ever happens after midnight. This is a sentence I used with the girls when they were in high school . . . actually still use it today when necessary! My rules were quite strict and they surely let me know how unfair they were, especially when their friends had 2:00am curfews. I would hear "well, such and such's mom lets her stay out past midnight!" My comeback . . . I'm not such and such's mom! If looks could kill, I would have been gone a long time ago! Little did my girls know my rules were to create structure and safety. They were a way to protect them from untold dangers lurking in the world. My rules were out of love for them. And, to help them make good decisions when I wasn't physically around. Now my two oldest daughters have children of their own, each pregnant with baby #2. After my daughter Whitney had Colton, I asked her when looking back, would she have the same rules for her children. Her answer? "I'm not letting them out of the house!" As a parent, this sounds familiar, right? Well, apply this to our Heavenly Father. He has created guidelines for our protection and safety from evil. When we don't try to live within His "rules," we tend to follow the crowd, not Him. He only wants what we want for our own children . . . to live in safety, joy, peace and loving Him.There are rules for a reason. I am doing my best not to break curfew!

Todays Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19) shows the importance of following God's guidelines:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, she asks us to dig a little deeper and see why "rules" are important:

"We must take each moral teaching and follow it all the way down to its furthest possible consequence if ignored. Church positions then make more sense and can be viewed in truth as protective in nature, as opposed to restrictive. Love of God begins with, at least, a respect for the necessity of obedience." 

Lay apostles, we all face challenges every day. Jesus, through this apostolate, lovingly and thoroughly shows us how to live in closer communion with Him. Things won't change overnight. It takes practice and faith. I promise you, once you live His Words fully and to the best of your ability, things become easier. I find I forgive quicker; love more; listen better. I am peaceful and joyful (99% of the time!). I feel protected, fearless, and loved. This is what God has for us right now! So, stop fighting the rules and understand they are there to protect us. We are loved.

Thank you, Lord, for the ability to see Your rules for what they are, love and protection of Your children on earth. Continue to help me be obedient!

God bless,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lent Day 21 - Fear is Faith in Reverse

"Fear is faith in reverse." Zig Ziglar  

The Lead and Succeed seminar we attended a few months ago propelled us to search out the great motivational speakers in history. Well, let's say it inspired me to learn more, as Jay was already well versed in this area! I never realized how many gifted men and women aspire to motivate others. Today I came across the quote above when I googled fear and Zig Ziglar. It was perfect in combination with the Gospel reading on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. If Mary let fear take over when the angel Gabriel appeared, this world would be a different world today. But God chose Mary because He created her pure and faithful, knowing her love for Him would overshadow any fear of what she was about to be asked. Stop for a moment and imagine being in Mary's shoes. Now think about your life as it is today. Would you say "yes" to God if He asked something of you? Lay apostles, He is and has been asking us to love and follow Him for a long time. It's all in the Gospels; it's in every piece of writing through Anne a lay apostle. Leave fear behind today and take a stand for our Heavenly Father. Commit to Him and witness the graces He has waiting for you!

In todays Gospel (Luke 1:26-38), Mary overcomes her human fear for God's Will:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

In Volume Three, our Blessed Mother Mary gives us strength and comfort when fear seems to be getting the best of us:

"Children, I know it is difficult for you at times. Remember that I lived the earthly life and drew much comfort from faith. I was often unsure of what the future held for my Son but I knew it was suffering. I lived with that reality, despite which I remained cheerful, dutiful, and joyful. You may ask how I did that. I tell you that I did it through prayer. I constantly asked our Heavenly Father to sustain me. When I felt the grief of my Son’s future, I stopped whatever I was doing, and made an act of obedience to our Father. This became my life habit and it served me well, even during the most difficult hours. You will find this too. Whenever you feel unsure of yourself or afraid, make an act of obedience. Say the following: “God in heaven, I pledge my allegiance to You. I give You my life, my work, and my heart. In turn, give me the grace of obeying Your every direction to the fullest possible extent.” That is all, children. That simple prayer will draw consolation down to you, consolation which will steady you and prepare you to proceed in His will. We do not judge you for your mistakes. We do not criticize. We want to guide you and if you turn the wrong way, we will simply correct you. Do not be afraid of failure, because, with God, failure is not possible. Step forward now with joy, enriched by my words. Jesus, your Savior, also has much to say to you, and will continue this heavenly direction. My children, humility is your watchword and love is your compass. You are being placed under my mantle of protection." 

Lay apostles, what are you fearful of? Write it down. Make a list. Be honest with yourself. Then write down what you believe the outcome would be if what you fear was to come true. Does your answer have anything to do with pride? Fear of the unknown? Death? Choose faith over fear . . . it works every time!

Thank you, Lord, for helping me get over my fears. I know I haven't completely eradicated them, but I know the graces are available!

God bless,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lent Day 20 - In My Own Town

About a month ago, Jay and I decided to check out the new library in downtown Ft. Myers.I had brought a copy of my book (Can You Text Me Directions?) and headed for the young adult (YA)/teen section of the library. A woman sat behind a desk and Jay encouraged me to ask her about having my book available for local teens/YA. She seemed nice enough and seemed very excited about my book. She went on and on about another local YA writer who wrote a book on the paranormal. I was hopeful the library would be supportive. The librarian said she would take it home and read it and get back to me in a few days. Well, as you can guess, I have never heard from her. I have sent her several emails as follow up with no response. My initial reaction was surprise/frustration that a paranormal book was promoted while my Christian book wasn't. But then, Jay lovingly pointed out we must move on as Jesus did in todays Gospel (Luke 4:24-30). As disappointing as it is, Jesus is very quick to show me where to go next. I just received a beautiful letter from a woman up north whose brother I met at a business lunch with Jay. He had asked me if I could send a copy of my book to his sister. She leads (non-Catholic) a youth group in her local church. She was so impressed with the book and said she was excited to share it with her young people! So, the lesson is . . . keep being the invitation, keep evangelizing, and keep my eyes on Christ . . . for only He knows the way!

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

In Volume Two, Jesus beautifully and perfectly gives us reason to let go of disappointment quickly and move on: 

"Perhaps you have a disappointment today. Taken alone, without My assistance, you might feel down, sad and discouraged. If pride is a problem for you, and many suffer from pride, you might not share your sadness and disappointment with even another soul. It remains on your poor heart and, after a time, this turns to bitterness. Now, earthly life being what it is, and human beings being flawed, as they are in their search for perfection, you encounter yet another disappointment or betrayal. Pride asserts itself and again you do not adequately share your grief. Another patch of disappointment turns to bitterness and covers another area of your poor little heart. My child, when this process continues, you have a heart enclosed in bitterness. A heart needs love, in the same way your lungs need oxygen. Your heart was designed this way, dearest, and if your heart is enclosed, the love is blocked off. How handicapped you are in the spiritual sense. How it grieves Me to see you so disturbed and unhappy. My little one, I am coming to clean every mark from your heart so that you will love freely, as I love. Do not think this is an impossible task. I am Jesus. I am God. I can cleanse your heart in no time at all if you are willing to let Me. I will restore order to your soul, I will adjust your thinking, and I will place the kind of love in your heart that is so genuine and abundant that this love reaches your eyes."

Lay apostles, the more I read the words of Jesus in the Gospels and in the Volumes, the quicker I give up disappointment and move on. The old Bonnie hung on to disappointments taking them personally. Not anymore. I choose to focus on where my next adventure is . . . and marvel at how He gets me there!

Thank you, Lord, for turning disappointments into acceptance so quickly in my heart now. Most importantly, thanks for the kick in the behind when I let it get to me!

God bless,

Helping Prisoners?

Helping Prisoners?
It's as easy as A,B,C...

A-ll the books are ready! 

Prison chaplains from around the country have requested us to send Heaven Speaks booklets to their prisoners. A generous donor has paid to print these booklets already. We just need donations to ship these booklets to the prisoners. 

B-ack orders! 

By helping us ship them, they are sent to prisons right away. We have obtained the necessary permission and are ready to get these booklets into Prisons across the U.S.A! Most of them are going directly to Prisons or to Chaplains and lay apostles who have been given permission to bring them in.   

C- all!

Call today to pick your prison and help inmates receive these healing messages from Heaven. 

There are over 200 prisons waiting right now... Call today and pick from an area near you or a shipping amount that is right for you. The average cost to ship each box full of booklets is $25-30 dollars. In some cases, multiple boxes are being requested by the prisons or chaplains. They are finding the prisoners very receptive and often times the prisoners themselves will write to us requesting more of the materials after they read one of the booklets.


Office Hours M-F 9:00 am to 5:00 pm 
(please leave name, number, and say PRISONER RESCUE MISSION and we will call you back with list of Prisons available) or alternatively you may donate to our specific ministry link by clicking image below:

The default donation is set to $1.00. Please change the quantity to the amount you wish to donate to this prisoner rescue mission. Remember, every single bit helps us reach more prisons because right now we need help only with the shipping costs. 

"I was in prison and you came to me."
(Matthew 25:36)

Many prisoners are receiving extraordinary healing graces and chaplains have noticed!

We are sending the "Heaven Speaks to Prisoners" booklets to prisons across the U.S.A. In most cases, DFOT does not receive compensation for these materials which is why we are asking for your help for the shipping costs.

As alway, thank you for all of your support. We know Jesus is relying on lay apostles to share these words from Heaven. Dont miss this Lenten opportunity to help today.

The whole team is very excited about this project. We know Heaven will bless all of us who try to reach out to our incarcerated brothers and sisters in this beautiful way. 

St. Francis, pray for us!

(Our Prison Rescue Mission Patron Saint)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lent Day 18 - Jesus Was Brutally Murdered . . .

Guest blogger: love of my life, Jay!

Jesus was brutally murdered by those who knew DOCTRINE better than . . . GOD!

Recently, I was in a group of people discussing how Pope Francis is spontaneous, humble, kind, and solid. The discussion was how his leadership style mimics that of our Lord’s. As the positive discussion continued, one person was quick to interject that they were hopeful . . . but believed his efforts would be thwarted by his own cardinals and Church doctrine.

Sell Vatican assets to aid the poor? Nice idea in theory. Focus on the commonalities of people of different faiths? Try to actually mend bridges versus pointing out our differences and the isolation of those who have not met some of the people in the Church’s expectations? Christ welcomed all . . . forgave all . . . and encouraged all! He instructed sinners to repent and sin no more. His words were "welcome back." But more importantly, His actions demonstrated His unconditional love and the genuineness of His love.

If you are one of the fallen away Catholics or know of Catholics not practicing their faith, encourage them to come back. If they resist because of their local church, encourage them to change parishes.  If they are hearing, “welcome back, Catholics” but experiencing “come on back and we’ll be the ones to judge your worthiness,” then it's time to make the change.   There are so many Catholic Churches following the Pope’s lead. Those returning don’t need to tolerate the intolerant. What they are experiencing is not what Christ intended and not what our Catholic faith is all about. They are experiencing humans using their judgments to achieve their will, not Our Lord’s.

Your invitation back to the Catholic Church and back to an intimate relationship with Jesus is one of the greatest gifts we will ever share. There are thousands of people waiting for the invitation back. Do what you can to help their return be successful . . . pray . . . and then let Him do the rest.

In today’s Gospel (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32), Jesus was being criticized for welcoming and eating with sinners:

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable. “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’“

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she reinforces we are ALL one body:

"It is not a divine mandate that we agree in all things. There is a tendency to ‘hang around’ with only those who are on our exact page. This is counterproductive to unity and will, believe me, please, result in ugly teaming and superiority. Better we reach out in love and establish relationships where we should. “But they do not like me,” the apostle protests. We are not saying to establish best-friend relationships, but periodic interactions where the apostle loves unconditionally will move us all toward unity. Yes, we will put up with something to make this happen. We will accept jibes, perhaps, maybe teasing, ridiculing and we will answer with love. Dear apostles, I knew an apostle who once decided to love unconditionally to such a degree that he was certain the recipient thought him an imbecile. There was no let up in his love, however, and eventually this resulted in capitulation and a mutually loving relationship with a person who formerly had nothing but antipathy toward him. God’s kingdom came in this situation and it came through love!"

Lay apostles, continue to be the light we want to see in the world. We are called to be the invitation and the time has never been more ripe. People are ready. Support your local Catholic Church and the leadership. Do your part to bring others back. Our Lord has shared that it gives Him great pleasure when one of His that is lost finds his/her way back home. We all have the privilege of doing something easy and giving Our Lord great joy!

Lord, thank you for Your great love! It reminds me of the Mercy Me song ”I Can Only Imagine” because the more I learn of Your love for me, the more it is both awe inspiring and overwhelming. Thank you, Jesus!

In gratitude and humility,


Grace by the Case: Featuring Volume Six

"Grace by the Case" is now focusing on
Volume Six: Heaven Speaks to Families... 

...which includes messages with extraordinary graces available for motherhood.

Are you or your prayer group considering adopting a "Grace by the Case" box? Then help us now by pre-ordering your box today...  

"The days may seem tedious, dear mothers, but when stitched together they make the most beautiful tapestry that illustrates growth of a little soul."

- Mary an unknown saint, Vol. Six 

Can you think of any families or mothers in your life that would benefit from Volume Six? This Volume is especially helpful to new couples, couples expecting a child, or a family you know that would like a helpful way to know how to practically become holier and happier. This Volume offers great heavenly insight, tips on purity, motivation toward better parenting and more. "Grace by the Case" is one way to bring this Volume to many families and we need your help! 

Each Box contains 60 copies of Volume Six: Heaven Speaks to Families and allows lay apostles to help us spread the Rescue Mission to families in local parishes, communities and neighborhoods.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lent Day 17 - Turn Rejection Around

As a writer, I am used to a little rejection. It's not fun, but I have learned to ignore the negative comments of those who don't agree with what I write. What motivates me to continue writing is the positive feedback (and I don't mind constructive criticism!) I am blessed to receive. After reading a negative comment recently, I received this email from a wonderful gentleman, Al Napleton, President of the Catholic Marketing Network regarding Can You Text Me Directions?:

"Hi Bonnie,  I received your book and thank you for it and the kind note.  I like the way you have woven the YouCat Catechism with Anne's messages all under a chapter on a particular virtue.  I think it would be an excellent tool for any young person as it it gives real life examples that are easy relatable to experiences that all young people go through."

We have a choice every day . . . to be happy or sad; positive or negative. We can let rejection affect our day, or, turn rejection around by seeing all the beauty God has to offer us. For every negative comment, I receive 99 positive ones. Little by little, I am erasing the old tapes that were set to replay for so many years in my head. With Christ, anything is possible!

   In todays Gospel (Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46), Jesus uses the vineyard owner parable to enlighten the chief priests and elders that He knows of their rejection:

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

In Anne a lay apostle's book The Mist of Mercy, Jesus lets us know His Arms are always open and waiting for us:

“I speak to My beloved apostles today from the pain of My wounded heart. I suffer for each soul walking the earth without knowledge of My love. Despite rejection, My love cannot be limited and overflows into the world. Those who do not welcome the love of the Savior continue in loneliness. Those who welcome My love are deluged with it. Dear apostles, I know that you are weary. You do not see the full impact of your service on the Kingdom but please believe that one day you will experience the fruits of your labor. You will exult in each act of service and each act of self-denial because you will see the act attached to all of the graces obtained from it. At that time you will marvel at My generosity. You will also thank Me for obscuring this from you during your time of service because it is through this trust that you gain both merit for your eternity and conversion graces for souls. How many sinners are pulled back into My Sacred Heart through your smallest act of trust and love in the face of scorn and mockery? Dear apostles, you must consider whether or not you yourself were called back to Me through the selfless action of another. It is in this way that we are a family. Each apostle is indebted to others for his progress up the mountain of holiness because the service of each supports and sustains others. How blessed is the plan of God. My gratitude to you will endure forever."  

Lay apostles, there is always going to be a critic within earshot. Remember, do everything for His Glory and quite frankly, nothing else matters. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to accept rejection so much easier than I used to take it! And, helping me to focus on You, not the world!

God bless,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lent Day 16 - Believe It or Not

Have you ever seen the fruits of your labor? If you pay attention, Jesus gives us little glimpses every now and then. A few weeks ago I received a text from a young woman, a student at Ave Maria University, asking if I would be able to meet a friend of hers who was touched by my book, Can You Text Me Directions?. She particularly felt connected to the chapter I wrote called "Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up." I have to give my daughter Taylor credit here . . . I had her read over the sections I wrote to make sure I was speaking her language . . . young adult. In going over the chapter above, she suggested I dig a little deeper, explaining "what" my difficult childhood consisted of. Just a little more detail. The little detail I added is what touched this young woman. We had very similar backgrounds, and she had made similar choices to deal with her situation. Fast forward to my meeting with "Mary." I think we sat for 3 hours in front of Barnes & Noble! Such a lovely young woman dealing with a parent sick mentally and physically. I was able to tell her how this mission (Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King) saved me. How blessed she was to have found the Volumes at age 21. A few days after meeting with her, I received this in an email: "After speaking with you yesterday I felt a peace and resolve I haven't had in years. So thank you!"  My prayer when writing this book was to touch just one soul (if not many!). It's hard to believe something I have to say matters sometimes. But Jesus has a way of choosing who hears what we have to say when we are working for His Glory, not our own. I am so thankful to Him for this little grace He showed me. And thankful "Mary" is in my life!

Todays Gospel (Luke 16:19-31) teaches us we need to believe at all times, signs or no signs:

Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’“

In Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, she professes what we hear in the Gospels . . . believe that we can affect others with our faith:

"There is great beauty and value in our crosses, dear apostles. Based on the value of each soul, the value of the cross we carry is priceless. And we are saving souls. Believe it because it is true. Therein lies a portion of our joy in service."

Lay apostles, do you believe you can change the heart of at least one person by your words and actions? Whether it is your spouse, child or a business interaction today, know what you say and do is significant in the lives of those around us. Believe it or not, we are being observed by those around us. How do you appear in the eyes of others? 

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to have the confidence I need to touch others with Your Words in the Gospels and Volumes. Continue to send me those in need of Your Love.

God bless,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lent Day 14 - Make Sure Your Actions = Your Words

I trust Jay with all my heart and soul. When he says he loves me, I feel it in every cell of this earthly body. He lovingly encourages me when I need a kick in the pants, and he is the first to congratulate me when I accomplish something, no matter how big or small. His actions = his words. I know he would say I do the same for him. I am allowed to be vulnerable. God is the center of our life. His Will is the consideration for every decision we make as a couple. This is what Jesus asks of us. Not only in our marriages, but in every relationship . . . love fully, speak the truth, serve each other, be humble. Listen to what He has to say in the Gospels. Then, begin acting as He instructs.

In the Gospel for 3/18/14 (Matthew 23:1-12), Jesus is pretty clear in how we should act:

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, she encourages us to take action:

"Jesus Christ was acutely aware that He was here to set an example. And that is the first thing we must always consider in our days. We, like Christ, are setting an example. Are our daily actions an appropriate example to others? We should read Scripture and soak up everything Jesus said and did because it was all intended to show us exactly how to live and how to love each other. When we read about Him, considering what He must have been thinking and what He must have been feeling, we will fall for Jesus more and more, as so many have before us. Love of Jesus is as natural as breathing for a child of God. It is personal to Him and we must make it personal to us." 

Lay apostles, vulnerability is honesty. Honesty is Truth. Truth is that which is . . . and He Is! It's never too late to change, to begin living as Jesus teaches us in the Gospels. Make sure your actions = your words.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me how to make sure I live what I preach. I know I am a work in progress, but it is getting easier every day!

God bless,

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lent Day 13 - Seeing With His Eyes

Here we are at Day 13 of our Lenten journey. What changes have occurred in your heart so far? For me, I am discovering patience is easy when you trust Him and His perfect timing . . . the problem is sometimes He takes a little longer than I desire! Which, in turn, challenges me in achieving my goal for Lent . . . patience. Ah! Such a vicious cycle at times! Jay and I have started reading Anne's book Lessons in Love this week. This morning, this statement by Anne really hit me, "We are, each of us, an ongoing heavenly project after all and we are, each of us, called to cooperate with heaven on the projects that are the people around us." To me, the message was to stop focusing on my wants/needs, using His heavenly gaze to help those around me . . . to bring Him to every person I encounter. In His mercy, He will make sure I have what I need. He always has. So, the question is, how can I help another today? By seeing with His Eyes, not my own.

Todays Gospel (Luke 6:36-38) is key to live our lives as Christians:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she gives us the profile of a lay apostle and how to see ourselves and others with His Eyes:

"How do we separate ourselves from those who are destructive? We all have similar temptations, if the truth be told. We may crave attention, want to be admired and have rebellious thoughts against authority. So it is good to see that often our claim of holiness is not one we can back up in every moment. But here is the difference between your average struggling apostle and the one who is a fake. The average struggling apostle (most of us fall into this category) knows he is no saint. He has a realistic attitude about his gaps in holiness and he is striving to do better. He understands that to protect God’s interests, he has to exert himself and even then God’s interests are at risk from his humanity. The average struggling apostle will have the ability to laugh at himself when he is ridiculous and he will have a good working knowledge of his weaknesses and temptations. These others are not in touch with either their capacity for good or their instinct for destruction. They destruct at will. Wherever they go there is tearing down, drama, condemnation of others and judgment. Superiority comes out in regular waves like the rings emitted from a tracking device. They move, the superiority shifts to others but it keeps coming off them. Regardless of how much praising of God they do with their lips, eventually anger shows up because there is not enough attention in the world for them. Perhaps those reading this will wonder if in writing about this I am passing judgment. Be assured, I am convinced there are mitigating circumstances which will result in merciful treatment of those who behave this way. My goal in illuminating these things is to warn apostles to be alert to false representatives of holiness. They are a danger to our peace and to God’s work. They infiltrate our organizations and groups and create all manner of upheaval. How often we witness a holy apostle being compassionate and accepting ill-treatment in these situations, consistently returning love for hostility and overlooking attacks. It is good to try to achieve a good outcome and give others every possible benefit of the doubt but, at some point, one must tell a holy apostle, “This person holds ill will for you. You cannot fix this person.” There are times when we have to move decisively to protect ourselves or our work from such impostors." 

Lay apostles, today, look at others/situations with His Eyes instead of your own. See as Jesus sees . . . with love, kindness, and patience. Practice what He tells us in the Gospel today. Live as Anne describes above. But be alert . . . I have had to disconnect from toxic people in order to keep focused on Him. I know what you're thinking . . . if I'm a Christian, shouldn't I keep trying with toxic people? Think about the life of Christ. Did He stick around waiting for people to believe? If you listen, He will direct you. 

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to develop more patience this Lent. In my heart, I know Your timing is perfect. Can you please relay that message to my brain? 

God bless,


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lent Day Ten - Forgive Quickly

There is a reason I rarely get on Facebook anymore. Negativity abounds and there is no escaping it! I don't mean joking around with a member of my family or close friends. It's acquaintances who I knew in high school over 30 years ago! One of my nieces posted a video of a 3 year old boy negotiating with his mother about a cupcake. It was adorable and I shared it on my Facebook page, tagging my two oldest daughters with almost 2 year old sons. It wasn't intended for anyone else, just my girls. But a woman I knew in high school made a negative comment about how this kid should be taught about respect, and for people not to think it was cute. OK, I am all about teaching children respect . . . ask my daughters! Then I started thinking . . . this woman doesn't have any grandchildren! I guess I was thinking about how smart the little boy was in his negotiating technique . . . nothing other than that. So, it irked me for about 10 seconds and I thought I better start writing my next blog post in advance. (If you want to see the video, please enjoy it as merely a determined 3 year old wanting a cupcake!

Lo and behold, the Gospel (Matthew 5:20-26) was waiting there for me to read:

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgmentBut I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqawill be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

In Volume Two, Jesus asks us to forgive others as He forgives us:

"Because bitterness often originates from another soul, I want you to examine any bitterness in your heart closely. If indeed you do, and you can identify this person who has caused you harm, I want you to spend this day praying for that individual. My child, ask Me to have mercy on this person. My just wrath is a terrible thing to behold and you would not like it to be directed at you. Therefore, you must also seek to spare others this destiny. Love of neighbor delights Me. Mercy and compassion given freely to others delights Me. Forgiveness? I need not even tell you about the happiness that comes to Me when I see souls offering forgiveness to each other. Understand, little souls, that I place people in your path with an intention and with a hope, a heavenly hope. Do not be quick to run from a soul, simply because he does not please you. Consider My will and be certain to ask Me if I have a heavenly task for you with regard to each person. It is in this way I will bring love to each soul, through love of neighbor." 

Lay apostles, are you spending too much time worrying about what people are posting on social media sites . . . or what they are not posting? I had someone call me one time complaining that certain people hadn't "liked" her post! Yikes! My mother always taught me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Smart advice, but hard to do. So, what's the alternative? Forgive quickly. It really doesn't matter what others think of you, only what God thinks of you. So next time you feel the urge to bite back, stop and remember todays Gospel and quote from Volume Two above! I know I don't want to miss one heavenly task Jesus sends my way!

Thank you, Lord, for all the challenges in my path. I know You send them my way so I will learn to love and live as You did on this earth. 

God bless,