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Chris Lyford

notes from a pilgrim

Month

August 2011

The Pilgrimage continues

As we approach the completion of 4 months of traveling, the patterns of the Holy Spirit are beginning to present a clear vision of where Our Lord is leading us. Always he has been calling us to work for healing of marriages and families. The importance of being in contact with the Bishop and with those other laborers in the vineyard who serve the Church is continuing to be affirmed. We are called to serve God with our lives and grow in holiness each day. ALL OF US. Holiness is not just the calling of the few.

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The one I love at the place I love…

As a kid when I used to sit here pondering life I never thought I would return with my wife just before our 22nd wedding anniversary. When I was a kid I used to sit right on this spot and ponder life as I gazed into the seemingly infinite Pacific Ocean from the view at my parent’s cabin in Yachats, Oregon. Little did I know I would return with my wife as we approach our 22nd wedding anniversary on Sept. 3rd. This month I got to return and walk through with Vickie and James – my third of four kids, (the cleaning ladies let us in).

We have been on an adventure these past 22 years, with challenges, high points, low points, and graces of love poured out through the hearts of friends. I am sure you too have had times when you could look back and count the blessings. If you have some time today, go to a quiet place, let your heart settle for a minute, and then just start counting your blessings. I see friends of mine on facebook doing the same.

Vickie and I have been through so many challenges, though you might not know it to see us from the outside. But I have to say, I can see how God has permitted each one to make us stronger. And we have been so blessed with the ever-present Holy Spirit (the harder times have been when we have not yielded to the Holy Spirit). I want to encourage each of us to not take our spouses, our children, our health, or anything else for granted. Spend that time with God today while you sit in your favorite ‘quiet place’. I’ll see you there!

Kolbe, Mary, McDonalds, brilliant grace

We continue on our pilgrimage.
Thursday a very powerful evening of prayer in Buellton with Sr. Jean Marie and friends at Sue & Rusty’s Barn (hey Todd there are some angels still hangin’ there).
Jesus is present in the praises of His people. Such a gift to enter the presence of God through worship in song!
We went to confession this weekend to prepare for the Feasts:
Maximillian Kolbe – saint of Auschwitz

And the  Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Aug 15th)

God is pouring out His graces in the form of brilliant light which if you permit, will penetrate into the darkest, most secret caverns of your soul where fear like a parasite lives on the walls. when His light enters, that which is darkness is gone, peace warms the soul, and love allows healing and rest.

We are a family who has gone “all in” for Jesus and His call for us to spread the message of His Divine Mercy. Now is the time to get right with God folks; don’t wait for the stock market to fall, gold to pass $3000, or the dollar to crumple.

Get right with God right NOW! Go to confession, receive his body and blood worthily, and as His Mother tells you “Do whatever he tells you”.

The wine He wishes to pour out in your life demands NEW wineskins. ‘Cause it’s the ‘good stuff’!

More this week (this was entered in a booth in a McDonald’s with @ 12 kids screaming in various states of loudness. Life is good – don’t miss out!

Read about the latest in the Lyford Chronicles

I am sending out a request to all my friends to please pray for our mission to families (The New Life Family Mission). And for our little family as we continue along this journey. Now don’t just say “O.K. I’ll pray for Chris and Vickie” and then forget to pray :)! Read my previous post on the blog’s main page to hear what’s going on. Let’s stay connected in the Holy Spirit!

“Well for three months we’ve been on our own”

The lyrics from “American Pie” are appropriate for us Lyfords as we have now entered into our fourth month in this ‘journey of transition’ pilgrimage.  Just so you know, we are ‘house-less’, and for the moment ‘job-less’ for this short time, on purpose, because it has been made very clear to us that we are being called to something great.

Our mission is for the healing of marriages and families – starting with our own. Using the gift of our faith, prayer, radio production, as well as the practical tools for communication in marriage, we have been called into service in a new way. With each new day God’s grace confirms this path for us, and for many who know us this is just a continuation of the journey we began 22 years ago on September 3rd when we dedicated ourselves to a ‘Harvest of love in God’s Vineyard’ (words from our wedding invitation).

We had concluded that the ‘slavery of schedule keeping’ with school, violin lessons, lacrosse practice, symphony, and everything else had slowly eroded away the intimacy in our marriage, and our relationships with God. So during the last three months we have been able to go to daily mass every day (almost) and we have prayed the rosary as a family every day, as well as the chaplet of Divine Mercy and completed a 33 day preparation and consecration to Jesus Christ the success of this work to which we have been called. We have done it as a family: Vickie and I, as well as Luke, James, and Shaina (Selah and Josh are on their own wonderful Pilgrimage as they come close to their first year anniversary on Sept 5th). No it has not been easy, but we have never been closer to our faith and to each other in 22 years of marriage. And we have been able to encourage the marriages of all the people we have met along the way. Just by being who we are.

One thing continues to ring clear: Purification is in process!
Everyone we have met from married couples, to single people, to churches, parishes, schools, businesses and every combination thereof speaks of a process of purification that they have been experiencing in their lives. For each it is experienced as an invitation, not an infliction; in other words Our Lord offers a series of paths into the future of ones’ life, each bringing a purification of spirit and relationship with God, yet each path differs in difficulty depending on ones’ acceptance.

You know how it goes; you experience a gentle ‘tap’ on the shoulder and then a series of ‘taps’ in your life that point to the fact that God is trying to get your attention to tell you something. If you postpone acknowledging the ‘taps’ they get successively more intense because God in His great mercy wishes you to ultimately respond to His invitation.

What’s the invitation?

It is the invitation to be completely reconciled to God. In your relationships, your business dealings, your interior life, your imagination, and ultimately your very soul. Put simply, it is His personal invitation to “get right” with God.

But why is this happening now? How does it relate to what is going on in the world? Is Jesus coming back soon?

The truth is, yes He is coming back soon: your life is but a flash and you will be reviewing every single second in high-definition with Jesus standing right next to you sooner than you think. Compared to eternity (with is a really really long time) your life is short! So yes, He is coming back soon!

Let me tell you it is not easy!  Every day brings new challenges both material and spiritual. All I can say is “Thank God for the power of the Sacramental life of the Church. Simply could not do it without such unending grace.

Our journey continues on this week as we travel back to Buellton to help facilitate the mission of Divine Mercy and healing of families with the people who have come into our lives to pray for this journey (including Carmelite nuns, and non-catholic evangelicals of all kinds).

Please pray for us, and for our faith to continue to be strong in Jesus Christ, as He leads us with each new step!

You can find out more by clicking on the New Life Family Mission link on the top of this page.

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