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Chris Lyford

notes from a pilgrim

Month

August 2012

So Much for Love

Our friends from the Wrecking just released their new album “So Much For Love” It hit the top ten in iTunes; such high production value! God bless these humble, talented, family men who have offered up their talents in a blaze of God’s glory!
Let’s see if we can get them to number 5! Go here to listen to a sample:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/so-much-for-love/id538549547

(I am talking with them about the possibility of an appearance at Marin Catholic – to share their music and to promote their mission to end human slavery and sex trafficking though the Not for Sale organization – perhaps in November)

Here is an interview I did with them last time they were here:
Daren Elder of the Wrecking
ethan from not for sale

Something New is Happening

Do you feel the grace being poured out from God? The grace to open our hearts to the gift of Mercy, the grace to allow God’s august presence into our humble heart with unabashed freedom? To know that when He says “I love you” that he stands there ready to receive our sins, failings, foibles, and fears into His hands and in return generously lavish wave after wave of mercy over us until we finally surrender?  Perhaps  for me it’s the grace to know how I have hurt Him and my brothers and sisters though my action and inaction, and squandered the resources he has made me steward over through selfishness, and even still pour mercy upon mercy; love upon love; peace upon incomprehensible peace.

He really is faithful.

Perhaps it’s because about 10 years ago when the Holy Spirit told my wife and I that we would be hearing him speak ‘on a new frequency’ it wasn’t just the prophetic announcement that there would be a new Catholic radio station in San Francisco that I would have the privilege to be a part of facilitating. But that the gifts of the Holy Spirit that everyone talks about when the get ‘Confirmed’ are actually very real. More ‘real’ than anything in our own human ‘reality’ in the sense that they work on a supernatural level rather than on simply the natural level we are so wrapped up in; unable to be studied empirically save for the effects that are manifest in the heart and spirit; the fruits. We are now beyond the era of the ‘conference’ when scores of people show up to a convention center to hear exhortations and apologetics. We are stepping into the ‘real’ game for which all that has gone before has been simply training. We are in the time when God wants us all to ‘not be afraid to open our mouth to speak because He will put the words into or mouths’. A time of anointing. A time of reconciliation. A time of deep intercessory prayer to soften the rocky ground in the hearts within which God has been trying to plant the seed of His Word but to no avail.

It’s moving time.

Fourteen and a half months ago we put all of our belongings into three storage units and set out on a pilgrimage that led us into the palm of God’s hand even though we knew not the earthly destination. In the last Thirteen and a half months I have been without a job, doing only the occasional retreat for pre-married couples to sustain ourselves.Countless families and individuals have been watching us, praying for us, and even supporting us by letting us sleep the night in their ‘extra rooms’. They also blessed us financially. All that we have been given has been offered up to God as we filled our gas tank over and over again. We have slept in campgrounds, trailers, cabins, hotel rooms, living room floors and all the combinations for four hundred and thirty eight days.

And God has still been faithful.

We attended daily mass (usually), prayed the rosary at least once a day, and the chaplet of Divine Mercy (which sums up our spirituality). Countless times we called families to join us as we gathered for evening prayer in their homes, and we prayed over dozens of families our ‘little blessing’ prayer (St. Michael + Memorare).

We talked with our kids more in the past year that in the 23 years of our marriage combined. Our kids are not only on the ‘same page’ as us, but are now (all four) challenging us to live holier, humbler lives. Our son Luke graduated from High School and is now in the midst of preparing to go to the college he has had his heart set on (since he concluded his final year ‘on the road we call him a ‘Road Scholar’).

We have seen miracle after miracle. The kind that matter; the ones that spark forth in the hearts of all those we saw receive inspiration and opened up to allow the billows of God to fan into flame the fire of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and watched as it began to catch everything in their life in the conflagration of it’s consuming love.

We have been challenged. It’s 10:30 pm and we are sitting in the car in the Safeway parking lot and we do not know where we are going to sleep that night. Just after we pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy the text message alert rings and it’s our friend getting back to us to invite us to drive the 15 miles to sleep in their home.

We have had the high honor to be welcomed into the heart of people’s homes. Even if that home was an adjoining camp site! You all are so beautiful to us! It has been interesting to see it confirmed that the ones who have very little have been more generous at times than the ones who have abundance. We began this journey 438 days ago having recognized that dynamic in our own lives. We were furiously running on our own hamster wheel and noticed that we were missing opportunities to show generosity to others. Jesus was calling us to detach from our possessions. Not to give them away; just to detach our hearts from them so that we could truly ‘take or leave them’ knowing that the important treasure was that of our salvation, and our family.

We went to Medjugorje in August of 2007 due to the generosity of a very good friend.  We had to travel light since it was half way around the world. Our lady has specifically shown us her maternal love in her mission to prepare the world for her son’s return. Conversion is what she wants. Conversion is NEVER over. We can never say this side of heaven that we are ‘done’ converting, and we are all set to meet Jesus face to face. The fact that she began to appear to 6 high school kids in the middle of ‘nowhere’ was her way of saying ‘you matter; no matter how hidden and unknown you think you are’. She came to those who as she said ‘weren’t perfect because she wanted to invite every single person on earth to experience the Love of God. And when you truly experience the Love of God (his omniscient presence looking you in the eyes with mercy), your life will be forever changed. That process started for us around 1985. And it’s not over. but it is ramping up into a new season of blessing. The blessings may come as trials, but for us now that we have been without a home and a job for over a year we are able to see that even the trials can be turned into gold if we attach them to the cross of Jesus Christ.

She showed us her unique love for us in that on the 31st anniversary of her coming on June 25th I got an email from a former colleague who offered me a full time job at the place where we worked together in the late 90’s.

And on the next day, June 26th, the anniversary of the death of my oldest sister Lynne (she died when she was 33 of a cerebral hemmorhage after having given birth to her 5th child) I got another call.

To bring me the news that I will in fact be teaching full time at Marin Catholic high School in Kentfield, CA

Starting tomorrow!

I Can’t wait.

Tough prayer to pray

Humility leads us to pure love of neighbor. I find it a blessing to realize that Jesus, the Creator of the Universe,  is also the most humble of all us humans.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/humility.htm#ixzz234e7YsfF

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