The Lightning Rod

Ultimate Questions

God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world: and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
How can this happen for us and all peoples?

Make Room

"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse (Deuteronomy 30:9)."

Wonder why we don't get "anything" out of Church?
We have no room to receive.
To make room, start by turning off the negative influences (death) of the entertainment world which can ensnare us into questioning God from the world's viewpoint and not vice-versa. Much of the entertainment world of TV and media crowds our minds with images and feelings of nihilistic despair, immorality, and pointless sensuality - all sin.
Even without the above there can be too much entertainment occupying our mind.
Once we limit the influence of negative entertainment(See parent's guide to movies web-link below), then we will have room to:

Prayerfully read everyday God's Word. The life of God will then have room to indwell.

Acknowlege God and the Four Steps of Prayer
: "God inhabits the praises of His people." I start with the prayer, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit."
One can then sing hymns.
2) LISTEN: God speaks to us everyday through His Word. Daily read a scripture passage. I follow the program found in "The Word Among Us." You can find out about subscriptions through (see web-link below or call 1-800-555-WORD (9673))
There are other publications for Catholics and other Christian denominations.
3) THINK: Meditate on the Word just read. For help I follow along with the commentary found in "The Word Among Us."
4) ASK: God's Word may have convicted you of sin not acknowlegded previously. This is a good time to ask for forgiveness. (Catholics also celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation with the priest counseling us in ways of overcoming sin patterns.)
At this time we ask for the needs of all we know, our personal needs, and for the world as we comprehend them through "reading the signs of the times."

Do this everyday even when you don't "feel" anything. His Word penetrates your conscious and you'll see the choices you make between life and death.

Got Questions?: Use these web-links for answers

Who are you? Fruits of the Spirit
Only God is good. Do an examination of conscience meditating on the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT (see Galatians 5) to see the godliness we strive for.

All sin is a form of idolatry. The examination's purpose is integrity. Integrity occurs when all the mind and senses are under control and ruled by God's revealed reason.
Do not be humiliated by this examination. God sent his only son, Jesus, to save us; but we need to uncover all unrightousness (as best we can), confess our sins, ask for and receive forgiveness enabling freedom from our sinful natures.

-ASK the Lord for help: where have I failed you, others, myself?
-REFLECT (using the list(s) below): "Lord, with your help, I will do an account of my soul: understanding how I did or did not live the Gospel.
-RESOLVE: to grow in the Love of God and man as Jesus teaches us how and to
avoid the near occasion of sin.


According to the two great commands of Jesus:
Do I love God with my whole heart, whole soul, and whole mind?
(Commandments 1-to-3)
Do I love my neighbor as myself? (Commandments 4-to-10)

Am I attentive to others or self-centered (engaged in self-introspection)?

Do I care for others or am I self-seeking

Do I love others for who they are (allowing them to be who the Lord wants them to be) or "love" them for what they can do for me?

Do I avoid hostilities or engage in selfish rivalries?

Do I attend Sunday Mass (3rd Commandment) and engage in daily prayer or do I avoid these things?

Do I pursue and rejoice in Truth of rejoice in what is wrong?

Do I honor my parents or despise them? (4th Commandment)

Do I love others despite their faults or do I "murder" them with gossip?
(5th & 8th Commandment)

Do I love or do I hate?


Joy comes from on high. It is expectation or possession of God's goodness.

Am I hopeful of am I despairing? (Refer to the 5th Commandment against Killing)
HOPE is the confidence of obtaining a future good despite effort and obstacles.
Despair is the shrinking in front of a possible past, present, or future evil or problem.

Do I persist in Hope (the struggle) or am I pessimistic?

Do I see the good in the world or just the evil?

Am I joyful or sad? If sad, I might need to discover what sinful act or attitude is the cause. Sadness is not the same as disappointment.

Am I joyful or brooding over past injuries? Has someone sinned against me?

Do I avoid the near occasions of sin, which can ruin my joy, or do I entertain temptation?

Am I joyful of do I worry? Am I confident or do I worry?

Are my desires from God, or from the flesh and the "false self" in the mind? (Seeking after power, status, money, revenge, illicit sex, etc?)

Peace is the tranquility of order.

Is there order in my life or confusion?

Do I have a reasonable schedule of am I late for activities? Do I have too many activities?

Am I calm or compulsive?

Am I disciplined in my actions, use of time (late), eating (lust), exercise, prayer, and thinking? Or does my mind wander?

Do I apply myself of am I disorganized?

Conflict and tension: Do I have the right balance between work and play?

Contemplation: Do I allow myself to rest in God and not just do actions for God?
Do I trust in God or worry?

Am I an instrument of peace and reconciliation or do I engage in injustice?


Do I realize that God is my Father and all people my potential brothers and sisters in Christ?

Do I realize that all people are still growing or do I engage in spiritual, moral and intellectual pride?

Do I bear wrongs patiently (spiritual work of mercy)? Or burst into a rage? When I am about to lose my temper, do I lean back into the heart of Jesus and ask what I should say: or do I curse and swear?

Do I forbear or do I let situations at work, family, driving, at play control my tongue?

Do I bless and not curse?

Kindness understands sympathy and concern for others.

When dealing with others, do I remember how to handle the timing, manner, and intensity of my actions and words so as not to give rise to possible offense or confusion?
Or am I rude?

Am in considerate or officious and snobbish?

Do I forgive others (spiritual work of mercy) or do I let past conflicts dominate my life?

Generosity is supporting other when and where there is need.

Do I tithe my time, money, and self for God and others, or do I hoard them? (Refer to the 7th Commandment against stealing).

Am I reasonably content with what I have or do I covet other's possessions (envy is against the 10th Commandment).

Do I communicate with others honestly of do I play games with them (8th Commandment)

Do I encourage others on the right path or remain silent?

In what WORKS have I engaged in?
- conversion of the sinner.
- instructing the ignorant.
- counseling the doubtful.
- comforting the sorrowful.
- praying for the dead and living.
BODILY (corporal):
- Feeding the hungry.
- Give drink to the thirsty.
- Clothing the naked.
- Sheltering the homeless.
- Visiting the sick.
- Visiting prisoners.
- Burying the dead (attending wakes and funerals)
(Am I basically PRO-life? Do I counter the abortion culture?)

Am I open the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? Especially the ones, which will build up the Church:
ISAIAH 11: 1-3:
-Counsel (Prudence): To judge promptly and rightly in our case & others.
-Fear of God: Awe of God, sorrow for one's sins, avoiding the near occasion
of sin.
-Fortitude: special strength of will to undergo trials. Perseverance & Hope.
-Knowledge: Ability to judge everything from a supernatural viewpoint. To
Discern between impulses of temptation and inspiration of
-Piety: Giving God affectionate obedience, calling Him "Abba, Father."
Being devoted to those who serve Him.
-Understanding: grasping revealed truths easily. Having certitude in the
revealed Word of God.
Insight into the meaning of Faith.
-Wisdom: The soul's responsiveness to God in the contemplation of divine
truths and mysteries. Love inspires this contemplation; rejoices
dwelling on them and directs the mind to judge all things in light
-Wisdom in discourse (speechmaking).
-Power to express knowledge (teaching).
-Miraculous powers.
-Distinguish one spirit from another (discernment and possible deliverance).
-Tongues (glossalia)
-Interpretation of Tongues.
-Love (commitment)
-Word of knowledge: being able to know something hidden about a person(s)
so as to be able to minister to them.

Am I open to the gifts from the Spirit? Do I let others share their gifts?

Faith is assenting to what God has revealed.

Do I believe in what God says because God says it or do I doubt it?

Do I read the Word (Bible) and put into practice or do I doubt?

Is my live and prayer focused on the Lord? (1st Commandment)
Or do I make idols from TV, movies, money, work, power, the mind, sex, or anything from God's or man's creation? Do I love anyone more that God to the point of obsession?

Do I put on the mind of Christ or do I let anything enter my mind through reading, listening, and viewing? (TV, movies, computer)

Do I pray first in the morning of get involved in something else?

Do I listen to the Lord in prayer and in life or am I distracted?

Do I oppose sorcery, fortune telling, and astrology (horoscopes) or do I join everyone else half-jokingly in this delusion? (refer to 1st Commandment)

Mildness is the perfection of love, tempering justice through avoiding unnecessary action, which might provoke resentment or anger. Of course there will be times when the Lord demands harshness (i.e.: Jesus driving the money-changers from the Temple).

Do I seek the good of others or am I playing with spiritual and moral pride?

Do I correct in love or do in partake in divisive factions?

Do I appreciate myself for what I really am or do I phantasize my greatness or lack-of-self-worth?

Am I humble or are my goals unrealistic?
Do I allow the Lord to stretch my limits?

Am I open to guidance from other spirit-filled (but imperfect as I am) Christians?

Am I open to discernment, growth, and new ideas (compatible with God's Word)?

Do I let the Lord be strong where I am weak, or do I handle all my problems MY way?
(Refer to 1st Commandment)

Am I open to the Lord's healing power or do I hold onto my problems, weaknesses, and faults and repress them?

Is my sexuality Godly or is it worldly?

Do I oppose in mind and body lewd conduct, impurity (unnatural acts), licentiousness (casual sex outside of marriage), salacious (smutty) talk, or do I let myself wander into temptation?

What do I read, listen to, and watch?

Am I satisfied in the life You (the Lord) led me to, or do covet others, wanting to possess them (refer to 9th Commandment against coveting).

Is my sexuality normal of am I enslaved by sexual lust (Refer to 6th & 9th Commandments).

Am I under self-control?

Do I let the Lord help me in my weakness (or am I ashamed to admit to Him what I do?)

Do I speak up for the virtues of Virginity and Chastity?

What are my current gifts and virtues that others and I recognize in myself?

At this time, go to steps four and five of the Examen. Know that as we are finite, God is infinite in His Glory and His Love for us!
Salvation is His gift to us through our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord of our life! Our acceptance of Jesus' Lordship is our openness to the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

CONSCIENCE, excerpt from "Gaudium et Spes" N.16
"In the depths of his conscience, man discovers a law he has not made for himself but which he must obey, a law which always calls on him to love and do good and shun evil, and when when necessary speaks cleary to his heart and says: do this; shun that. The fact is that a human has within his heart a law written by God; a human's dignity lies in obedience to it, and he will be judged accordingdly.
Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of man, where he finds himself alone with God, whose voice can be heard in his inmost being....The more an upright conscience prevails the more persons and social groups move away from blind caprice and seek to conform to the objective norms or morality. Often conscience errs through invincible ignorance without thereby losing its dignity. But this cannot be said of anyone who makes little or no effort to seek what is true of good, or of a conscience that becomes almost blinded as a result of sin that is habitual."

Jeremiah: Repentance and Revival after Terrorists Attack
Many were quick to condemn certain ministers who stated that God was punishing America for its sins.

However, we need to look at the life of the Prophet Jeremiah.

The Jerusalem folk hated Jeremiah, "He prophesies against Judea, God's chosen!"

Studying Jewish Scriptures and God's wrath, I understand that God does not use evil against us.

God's wrath is just withholding his protection, and we reap the whirlwind without his grace intervening.

Pray for wisdom for our president (one suited for leader) and a revival in our land.

Pray for revival in belief in God;
and a personal daily relationship
with His Son, Jesus;
in following the Ten Commandments;
in following the Two Great
Commands of Love that Jesus
gave us.

Pray for a repentant heart in yourself!

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!
Repent and Believe in the Good News!