Showing posts with label Trust. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trust. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

To Taylor Swift or not to Taylor Swift - That is the question!

I recently returned from a trip to Paris - France.  I went to Paris with one of my daughters to celebrate her 15th birthday.  In my country when you turn 15 you call it "Quinsianera" and you either have a trip to Europe, or have a giant party or do something truly memorable.  My oldest daughter's 15th was during "Covid" and we were blessed enough to have been able to have a beautiful party, when things were loosening up a bit in our city.  My other daughter's Quinsianera is this year.  She is a huge Taylor Swift Fan.  So my daughter decided, she did not want to have a party, or anything other than to go to the Eras Tour to see her beloved Taylor Swift.  

I was a bit divided in making a final decision, because although I love many of Taylor Swifts songs and I consider myself a fan, there were a few things worrying me.  First of all, well the Eras tour is so expensive!  When the "cheap tickets" go out for sale in "Ticket Master", you have not even blinked when they are all sold out.  Then our only chance is to buy from someone who is trying to get rich out of us, in a place like Stubhub.  

Second there are at least a couple of songs that I do not like from Taylor Swift, specifically "Willow" and one from "Vigilante ***"- the choreography for them in the concert is not conducive to holiness if you know what I mean!  And in a way also some of the lyrics are not exactly the best if someone is trying to be holy, remain pure or and be modest.  

I am not going to lie, it took me a while to decide what to do. We all prayed about it and discussed it, in the end we figured we could have a good time and pray for the conversion of Taylor Swift, while at the Eras Tour.  

We purchased excessively overpriced tickets and decided to go to the Eras Tour in Nanterre France.  For a bit we had a huge scare because the Stadium's web site said that they would only accept tickets purchased in "Ticket Master" or directly from the stadium, and that any others would be denied entry. 

When I read this my heart sank.  I though we had made a huge mistake and wasted a lot of money.  

I talked to my daughter and told her what I truly believe:  that God's will is always for our good and that if it was His will we would go into the stadium, and that if He was protecting us from something - well He would make sure to keep us out of the Eras tour.  

So in the end we took our plane to Paris and we tried to enjoy the week as we waited for Friday (the day of our concert), without knowing if we would be able to enter the concert or if we would be turned away and lose the money.  The day came and we realized that at 9:00 am, there were already long lines for the concert which was starting at 6:30 pm!  We decided to get in line at 1:00 pm, because I figured that is all I could survive lol.  We stood in line in the sun, sitting on the hard cement side walk from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm when the doors opened.  

I know it must sound crazy to be in line for so long, but the truth is that time passes fast when you are with great people!

 And Swifties are sweethearts!  

Swifites are fun and friendly and full of joy!  

We made friends, we chatted exchanged bracelets and before we knew it we were ready to go in.  While in line, some of our new found friends took a look at our tickets - which were floor tickets but the first come first serve type, at least that is what we thought.  But, when they looked at our tickets they gasped and told us that  we had what they call"Golden Tickets" - and they guaranteed us that with these tickets we would be in a special area, where we would be so close to Taylor, that we would almost be able to touch her !

Any normal person would have been ecstatic to hear this, but we still were not sure if we were going to be allowed in, so it was bitter sweet.  As we approached the gate, our hearts were pounding, we truly did not know what would happen.  They had already re-directed us to a different line, because of our "Golden Tickets", everyone was singing, the mood was raising, the anticipation was killing us..

I again reminded my daughter we might be turned around.  

She looked at me and smiled and told me not to worry, and she said with her beautiful sweet eyes shining. that it had already been worth it!  That, being part of such an amazing experience, had already made her so absolutely happy, and that she would offer it up for Tylor Swift's holiness.  I was amazed at her willingness to accept God's will in a situation that honestly she could have chosen to be having a tantrum.  She was full of faith and joy and she did not let anything ruin that precious moment!

We arrived to the gate and the time came to scan our tickets!  We looked at each other with hearts pounding, I put my ticket under the scanner and bam!  Green light, I felt my knees get weak, I scanned my daughter's ticket and bam!  Green light again, we were in.  Our eyes got full of tears ,only a Swiftie would fully understand.  We literally ran inside after being handed a golden wrist band and given another wrist band that light up.

We were amazed to see that our area allowed us to stand literally next to the security fence.  We had absolutely no one in front of us!  We looked around and it was like a dream.  Both of us stunned and shocked at God's grace and love for us.  Let me tell you, I can honestly say I am pretty sure Taylor Swift has never gotten so much prayer in her life.  Bot my daughter and I enjoyed the concert, but as we enjoyed the concert we prayed and prayed.  For the protection and conversion and holiness of both Taylor Swift, her team and her beloved Swifties!

PS :  Make sure you keep your eyes open to more stories from the Eras Tour Paris Trip, and many many  lovely pictures!

Monday, September 29, 2014

If We Want Help: We Must Do Our Part!

In life, when we go through trials, often we pray. But often we pray with doubt and fear in our heart. These things are the opposite of faith. How can a prayer without faith be effective? When we pray, we must pray with confidence and know that prayers are always heard.

If the answer that comes back is different from what we expected, it does not mean it is not the right one; it only means that there was a better solution to our problem. It is important for us to give the benefit of the doubt, to recognize the fact that we might not always know what the best outcome for a situation is. After all, there is a chance that there can be moments in our life when we might not know the best road to follow. We should not be stubborn, obstinate or inflexible, stuck to a specific idea. We need to trust and be aware of the fact that everything is perfect because God is in charge of our lives.

We must let things flow, with the certainty that in the process we are learning and growing. We must be confident that our prayers are being heard by a loving Father who would never ignore us and who has promised to give good things to those who ask. He reminds us in Holy Scripture: Would we ever ignore the request of one of our children? Now, if we, who have so many faults and defects, are not able to deny our kids anything, then what are the chances that He will ignore our requests? Think about how God is perfect; He is love Himself. Now think about how He has made us, His children. Think about all His promises and about His amazing love. It is simply impossible that He would ignore our prayers.

Therefore, we need to make sure that we understand and know in our hearts that even though at times it might take longer than expected, and even though from time to time our need might be met in a way less than hoped for or anticipated, our prayers are always answered. When we ask for help, we must do it with the absolute certainty that help will come, and we must know that invariably all things will come to us, with our welfare as a first priority.

Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9) If we pay attention to this scripture verse, we will realize that it requires action on our part. We cannot just pray for something to happen. We cannot just wish things were different. We cannot just sit and hope for something to happen. We need to contribute to the miracles in our lives by asking, seeking and knocking. We need to try our best to make things happen. We must take an active role in our lives and be participants in the miracles that we will experience.

We cannot just passively sit and wait and complain about how we pray and pray and hope and hope and nothing changes. We need to be more involved and take responsibility for the direction our life is going. And we must know that through prayer that direction can always change. It is up to us; it is up to God. Let’s learn how to pray and work on improving our relationship with God. Let’s strengthen our faith and work hard at doing our part. And, as St. Paul advises in Romans 8, let’s hope and eagerly wait with perseverance for the best to happen. I guarantee you that then we can never be disappointed, because hope in God does not disappoint. 

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Learn to savor how good the LORD is; happy are those who take refuge in him.” 
(Psalm 34:9)

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.…We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:24-25,28)

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

 “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The dangers of fear

Fear is normal and natural. Many times, our fears are even well founded. So it is not good to deny our fears or to try to suppress them. Our fears should be confronted and beaten. Sometimes what we need to do to defeat a fear is to share it with someone¾a loved one, an advisor, a teacher, a friend. Other times, we can do research and read about the subject and see how others feel about it. Many times, sharing with others and realizing that others go through the same fears help us deal with our own fears.

            Fear is something we all have to deal with at some point or another. It can be fear about events in our daily life, such as losing our job, getting sick, getting into an accident or losing our loved ones. Or it can be fear about more intangible things, such as fear of certain unexplained experiences. When we were younger, many of us have suffered from fear after watching scary movies about Dracula, Freddy Krueger or poltergeists. Many of us have spent nights without sleep. Many of us have had horrible nightmares or strange dreams, and some of us might even have had weird, unexplainable experiences while we were awake.

            Fear can be our worse enemy. The best way to beat our fears is to call on God’s help. He is the Almighty, and under His wings we can take refuge. All we have to do is pray and call on the power of His name, and He will deliver us from our fears before we know it.

But still, as always, we must do our part. One successful way to protect ourselves from our fears is not to obsess about them. There are many unexplained things here on this earth. We do not need to look into all of them. If we knock, the door will be opened…but we must be careful where we are knocking. Let’s be careful about what we mess with. Some things can easily get out of our control. Let’s set boundaries for ourselves, so that we do not accidentally fall victim to what we are most afraid of. We should stay away from the dark side of life, in other words we should stay away from the occult. If we choose to stay in the light, we will minimize our chances of getting hurt physically or psychologically. Let’s not mess with the esoteric. Let’s let some mysteries remain mysteries. And let’s put our focus and our trust on God. Our Father in heaven loves us and wants to keep us safe under His umbrella of protection.

            We must trust our instincts. Every time we get a bad feeling about something we cannot explain, we should try to listen to it. There are many reasons why we might get a feeling about a particular thing. Not everything can be explained logically, but this does not mean that it is not real. If we become people who rely only on facts, then we will limit ourselves to the five senses, and that will not give us a complete picture. Quantum physics has demonstrated that nothing has been proven for sure and that everything is possible. Time after time, something scientists believed to be the absolute truth has been proven wrong. Now scientists know only one thing is for sure, and that is that nothing is for sure.[1] We cannot choose to ignore the fact that life is a mystery, and therefore we must always leave room for the benefit of the doubt even for those things we don’t want to believe in.

            Fear is something to be respected but not something to be intimidated by. Fear is something to be watchful for, but not something to obsess about. Feeling afraid can sometimes be a warning signal, to advise us not to go in a certain direction or to act in a certain manner. Our fears can be our best friends because they can warn us about areas in our lives we need to be careful about. Other times, fears are the products of our imaginations, and they must be controlled.

            One thing is essential and that is to not let ourselves be conquered or frozen by our fears. We need to have faith and trust that God always takes care of us. God is more powerful than anything, and He loves us and protects us. When we are afraid, we need to think about how God is our refugee and our fortress, and repeat that to ourselves. We who are sheltered under His shadow and are protected by His loving wings must cling to Him in our darkest moments. If we call upon Him, He will protect us. There need be no doubt in our hearts.

Wisdom to contemplate:

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ God will rescue you from the fowler's snare, from the destroying plague, will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God's faithfulness is a protecting shield. You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.

[1] Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters (Harper Collins, 2001).