By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 5 Apr 2024

MARCH VETERAN OF THE MONTH

The Match veteran of the month is Paul Plourde from Windsor, California. Paul was introduced to military life at a young age since his father was in the U.S. Air Force. He and his family moved every four to six years. His first six years of life were spent living in Florida, then he was in Holland for four years, attended elementary school in Hawaii, and when he entered high school, he was back in Florida.

At age 24, he joined the US Coast Guard, knowing he would be stationed near the ocean. This would be helpful to him since the end goal was to become a marine science technician. After joining the Coast Guard, his basic training was in Cape May, New Jersey. When choosing his MOS, the wait list for marine science technicians was too long, so he decided to go with Information Systems Technicianbecause it would be beneficial even after he got out.

Paul’s time on the Coast Guard gave him the opportunity to travel to many unusual places, taught him life skills, and gave him moments to be proud of. For basic training, he was in Cape May, New Jersey, then during his Nortel Networks training in Georgia and Texas; lastly, his work orders gave him the chance to travel to Maui and Kauai for work tickets. Along with travel, his time in the Coast Guardalso gave him something to be proud of. Finishing two months of boot camp and six months of Information System Technician School was his proudest achievement. Through the months of training and learning to become a good active-duty member, he learned that attention to detail is a skill that would stick with him throughout life and continue to be useful after he got out. He was Honorably discharged on October 13th, 2009, as an E-5.

The most emotional part of his time in the service was a rescue he took part in on Kodiak Island, Alaska. They received a May Day call from a 14-year-old boy’s uncle that his nephew had fallen overboard. They helped to look for him for roughly an hour. He was found tied to a crab trap that took him under the water. They were responsible for bringing his body out of the water and back to land.

One thing that Paul wanted to share was the importance of mental health when it comes to veterans. He stated that twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day. This is a good reminder to check in on loved ones and ensure they are doing well and receiving the proper help and support they need.

THE WITNESS WITHIN by CZ Olayemi                                 

The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

                                                                                           Romans 8:16

       Many who claim to be Christians, including young people, often experience inward conflicts as to the genuineness of their salvation. Thay are active in church but lack assurance of their salvation. Genuine salvation follows the acknowledgment and confession of sin and receiving Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior by faith.

       When we turn our lives over to God, “He has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts…” (2 Corinthians 1:22), it is a foretaste of the expected greater measure of the Spirit at baptism; hence, the Spirit can bear witness to a new convert’s spirit that he or she is God’s child.

       Beloved, do you have an inner witness to know that you are God’s child? If you do, then when Satan makes you doubt the genuineness of your salvation, resist and rebuke him. But do not allow sin to enter into your life. 

MAKE GOD HAPPY by CZ Olayemi

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

                                                                   Romans 8:8

It is natural in families to see parents show more affection to the child who makes them happy. A story is told of a family with two boys. The younger son from childhood was gentle, humble, obedient, and respectful, while the older son was self-willed, stubborn, disobedient, and troublesome. Although the older son performed better academically, the younger son received more love and care from their parents because he made them happy. The parents’ attitude toward the younger boy was so obvious to the older brother that eventually he changed from his rebellious lifestyle.

Like these earthly parents and children, God expects everyone to try to please Him. When Jesus is baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God declares: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

 Do you want to make God happy? You cannot please God if you live in sin. To make God happy, surrender to Him.


CHRISTIAN MEDITATION by CZ Olayemi

 

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. “

Psalm 1:2

 Dick Eastman asserts, “The person that spends time thinking about the thought of God will find great depth and understanding that will touch all areas of his life. It is after all in meditation that you rise above yourself –and the world–for the purpose of seeing God’s plan in proper perspective: “Truly you can only rise above yourself and the world to know the will of God for your life through diligent meditation on God’s word.”

       Many higher school institutionss are polluted by myriad social vices that pose dangers to the spiritual life of the students. Do not waste your God- given time in clubbing, partying and other meaningless social gatherings. God says you are blessed. If you delight in His word and meditate on it day and night, put it into practice: No Bible, No Breakfast; No Scripture, No Sleep.

                                      

I SHALL NOT BE MOVED  by CZ Olayemi

     

My soul, wait though only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.

                                                                                            Psalm 62:5-6

A story was told of a boy crossing the ocean with his father, the captain of the ship. They ran into a storm, which frightened everyone except the boy. When asked why he was unafraid he said, ” I have my eyes on that window. Through it I can see the bridge, and on that bridge is my father. He is the captain of this ship. He has taken it through many storms, and I know he will take this one through.

 “What a confidence! In the Bible , King David refused to be moved by persecution from his enemies because God was his Rock, Salvation, and Defense. Beloved, are you facing challenges in your physical or spiritual life? Like King David, fix your eyes on God. Do not be moved. Consecrate your life to God and trust in Him. Surely He will see you through every storm of life.

                                                                            

March Homily by Deacon Richard Benkovic

Leprosy was one of the most feared diseases in the time of Jesus. The disease would start as a small spot on the skin and soon spread. It rotted the victim’s fingers, nose, lips and gave off a disgusting smell. We hear it explained in our First Reading, how lepers were excluded from society and left to die a slow and painful death. They were prohibited by law from coming within 100 yards of healthy people. The disease was looked upon as a sign of God’s punishment. Theologians and spiritual writers have always seen in this Old Testament conception of leprosy a symbol of sin. Just as leprosy starts small but spreads and grows, so one sin starts to grow and cut us off with our relationship with God. So, when Jesus reaches out and touches this leper and heals him, it is much more than just another miracle. It is a revelation of Jesus’ mission here on Earth. Jesus came to the leper, and he still comes to us–not to condemn us, but to save us. And this is exactly what every human heart needs to know: that we are loved even though we are sinners. And if God forgives us, should we not treat all people like God treats us?

          When I was in my late twenties, one of my friends who worked in a prison asked me if I wanted to join a basketball team that he was getting together, to play a game in the prison against the inmates. I agreed to play. I remember signing a release form and a guard telling us what to do if there were any problems in the prison. As we walked through the prison and the doors closed behind me, I thought What am I getting myself into? I remember the basketball game was close and very competitive.When the game came to an end, we shook hands with all the players, and you could see in their eyes that they saw themselves as basketball players instead of inmates who have done something wrong in society.

          Following Christ’s example of forgiving is hard for us at times. Understanding why it’s so hard for us is a big step towards making it a lot easier. There are at least two reasons. The first comes from original sin. We live in a fallen world and suffer from a fallen human nature, so we have a built-in tendency to be self-centered instead of self-forgetful. The second is the culture in which we live. Our culture tends to measure the value of people more by what they have or what they can do than by who they really are as children of God. Saint John Paul II used to describe it as the “culture of death.” Is there any hope for us to learn to accept everyone as children of God? Of course! Jesus himself is our hope. He dwells in every Christian heart, redeeming our fallen nature and strengthening us to do his bidding to treat others as Christ treated us, even when we fall from grace.

Judalion777 – ‘Perspective’ By Sean Thurman

Emerging rap artist Judalion777 uses his formidable lyrics and storytelling to depict the journey from a tough life on the streets of Washington D.C. to a life of love and prosperity. Being completely raw and honest about the challenging origins of his story gives listeners an authentic look into his life and shows how you can use art as a path to a better existence. Judalion777’s music revolves around themes of redemption, resilience, and personal growth, proving that the only way to triumph over a difficult past is to look it dead in the eye and face it head on. Using all of his personal and artistic strength he pulled himself up toward a better future. Now with that past firmly behind him, Judalion777 uses his newfound position to help empower fellow artists and lead them down a more positive path to success and accomplishment.

On the single “Perspective” the rapper lyrically lays out these foundations over a classic instrumental. Cool jazzy guitar chords float on top of a hard thumping drumbeat while lush layers of synths fill in the sonic landscape. His voice is overflowing with purpose and integrity, preaching street poetry and philosophy with style. The overall message is a quest for unity and transcending the differences that drive us apart. In a world where we are driven to battle each other, Juda’s strive towards peace through empathy is a tall task but he understands the power of music and art will help ease those divides. He explores the ideas and undeniable truth shifting our perspectives can have an enormous effect on the way we relate to each other and the perception we have of our position in the world. Above all, it’s a catchy track with a dope beat that has a beautiful message. Judalion777 has learned from his experiences and is using those lessons to provide insight to guide future generations toward a better understanding. “Perspective” is just one single in a long line of tracks that make up Judalion777’s musical catalogue, all throughout he continues to use his art to push toward a better world for all of us.  You can listen to “Perspective” on our Prime Cuts Playlist and follow Judalion777 on the links below. Please continue to support acts like Judalion777 and share his music with everyone you know.

GOOD THINGS FROM GOD  by Cz Olayemi

 

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no alteration or shadow caused by change.

                                                                                                        James 1:17

       I like the way God qualifies the gifts He gives. They are good and they are perfect. He gives material things and financial wealth for our enjoyment. The gift of life, salvation, and other Christian experiences are from God. So are such virtues as wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and various abilities.

       However, Elizabeth Elliott said, “if we hold tightly to anything given to us , unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul…if God gave it to me, we say, ‘ It’s mine. I can do what I want with it.’ No, it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him.” Your life and everything you have comes from God and belongs to Him.