In this issue:
• Reflection for Saturday: Healing your image of God's fatherhood
• New video: Do you know how much the Father loves you?
• Update: Our members-only vacation-retreat in the Cayman Islands
Saturday August 19, 2017
Matthew 19: 13-15
Jesus said, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Jesus said (Matthew 18:3) that unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. But how can we have the faith of a child if we don't have a good relationship with the Father? We cannot truly trust like children (blindly) nor love like children (unconditionally) without first knowing how dear and important we are to the Father. And we cannot really, truly know this (we are handicapped in our faith life) until we are healed of our wrong images of God's fatherhood.
For example, do you see Father God as a disciplinarian who's disappointed in you because of your sins? Or is he a doting provider who's always encouraging you and pointing out what's delightful about you? Sure, he knows what you've done that's sinful, but he also knows where your strengths lie. The truth is: By building you up, you'll grow stronger in holiness much more quickly than by punishing you and berating you.
Many years ago, long before Ralph and I founded Good News Ministries, my spiritual director led me through an inner healing that made a huge difference in my relationship with Father God. Prior to that, God himself led me through an inner healing when he pointed out, through a religious sister who counseled me, that I'd been projecting onto him the failings of the humans in my life. What I learned from these two life-changing incidents became a workshop and then a WordByte on Healing Our Image of God's Fatherhood. Please allow this to minister to you and free you to be the child of God that you're yearning to be: totally loved and embraced by and safe within the arms of your doting Abby-Daddy-God.
Do you know how much your Father God loves you? Really, really, really loves you?! Usually we don't know that, because we project onto God the way human fathers have been, the way authority figures have been, the human failings that we've witnessed. To understand God the Father better ....
So begins our newest video. You can watch it by clicking on the video snapshot below.
Have you seen the new format for videos on our website? If you are blessed by the videos we produce, it includes an opportunity to sign up to receive notifications as soon as new videos are posted. Under each video is a sign-up form.
Please post a comment under this video so we know how it ministers to you. This will help us plan for the future.
If the idea of joining me and my husband, Ralph, on a vacation-retreat in the Cayman Islands triggers an "Ahhhhhh, that sounds so relaxing, and I need time out from normal life for some restoration of my spirit and my creative energies", then please take this short surveyto help us know when to plan it.
Here's the story behind it:
One of GNM's long-time members (Fiona Pimentel) lives in the Cayman Islands (located in the western Caribbean Sea) and has recently started a small resort with her husband. She would love for Good News Ministries to use it for the glory of the Lord. In fact, she and I have been dreaming of this since 2009 when she told me that she had "a tiny apartment which has been blessed as a retreat guesthouse, but is as yet unused for this purpose. It is deliberately very simple, i.e. no phone-line or TV subscription, but there is a TV set for religious movies and a library of Christian books, mostly about relationships because my idea was for married couples to have a retreat away from children."
What's a vacation-retreat?
There are three cottages available. Ralph and I will use a 4th cottage for short, inspirational retreat sessions after a lazy morning of waking up, one-on-one time with us if you want a personalized retreat, and evening prayer. Most of your day will be free time for the beach, exploring the island, tourist attractions, relaxing in the pool, or whatever ministers to your need for restoration from the stresses of normal life.
What's the cost?
Fiona has been inspired by the Holy Spirit to offer to Good News Ministries a 50% discount. That means the retreat is only $220.80 per night during off-season months of September through the middle of November. (There is also a refundable deposit of $500.) By sharing a cottage with a friend or couple that you bring or we place (there are two bedrooms), the price gets split in half.
Add in your cost of meals and airfare and hopefully a donation to Good News Ministries. We'll even pick you up at the airport and carry your bags! Ralph and I feel delighted when we get to serve those who are worn out from serving others. That's why we call our retreats "restorations".
The place is awesome! It's an ideal site for relaxing, renewing your spiritual energy with the Holy Spirit, restoring creativity, and finding adventure. Look! https://www.seaorchardretreat.com/gallery/.
And remember, if you're even just thinking about going but you're not sure yet, take this short survey.
Every morning, I lift up in to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the fire of the Holy Spirit everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Good News Ministries
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel of joy!
(Wisdom by Pope Francis)