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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

God sees all

Do not try to hide anything from God and Jesus, God and Jesus, and everyone can see and if you can hide something from people that remember that nothing ever will be able to hide from God, God sees and knows everything, every step you take, even the thought of what is of God and Jesus may hide something is unacceptable! God is always watching your actions and always rightly assesses them for your every act should be deliberate and before every action ask yourself, “Is it to please God and Jesus?” and if everyone would ask themselves about, and to find the right answer that in life people will make a lot less wrong and wicked deeds, for God sees all and on how you live your life on earth, and what actions are making depends on what will happen to you after the Earth life, simply indulge God and Jesus, and follow the right path!

Know that God Exists

If you know that God exists, show it with his life. Live as the will of God and Jesus, do not sin, do good, try to make people around you joy and love, try to never tell anyone not to envy and desire of evil, remember that there is a God, and God, Jesus always look at you and see your actions and your actions will be given to you in life and end of life, so go on the path of God, the path of love and kindness and always bestow love and kindness and it will return to you, do not sin and do not anger God, do not do bad things, his kind and good deeds are you happy about God and Jesus and the gates of heaven will be opened to you, your good deeds will never be forgotten and ignored God and Jesus, always do good and know God and Jesus love you!

Say to God I’m sorry

” Always remember that you can ask God and Jesus for forgiveness and repent of their bad deeds, to realize their actions and turn to God and to Jesus in repentance and God and Jesus certainly forgive you if your repentance will be sincere, God and Jesus is always with you and always support you if in your heart there is love for God and Jesus, and love for others, if your heart is not evil, and if you sincerely repent of their bad deeds, remember, be sure to repent with all your heart, and turn to God and Jesus and all will be well, in your heart will be clean and bright, and your heart will become warmer and happier repent of their bad deeds, and purify your heart.

Wedding photography

Wedding photography is the photography of activities relating to weddings. It encompasses photographs of the couple before marriage (for announcements, portrait displays, or thank you cards) as well as coverage of the wedding and reception (sometimes referred to as the wedding breakfast in non-US countries). It is a major commercial endeavor that supports the bulk of the efforts for many photography studios or independent photographers.

Types of wedding photography

There's a lot of terminology, and in some cases jargon, used by wedding photographers to describe different types and styles of work. Much of this terminology can be quite useful, but some just seems to be used for marketing purposes more than anything else. Often it is simply assumed that future brides and grooms will understand what these phrases mean, and we all know the famous saying that assuming makes an ass out of 'u' and 'me', so here are a few explanations.

Artistic Wedding Photography

This is the hardest term to tie down in a single definition. I would suggest that an artistic-style wedding photograph is one that you could imagine people hanging on their wall even if they didn't know the bride or couple in the picture. Sometimes this style makes use of effects such as sepia colouration, or darkened corners (vignetting) etc.

Candid wedding Photography

Candid photography attempts to photograph the subject without them noticing. This may also be referred to as the 'fly on the wall' approach.

Contemporary Wedding Photography

This is another tricky one to define. It could be regarded as shooting in whatever style(s) are currently most fashionable. Alternatively, contemporary wedding photography could be said to take aspects from all the other key styles of wedding photography. Contemporary photography and fashion-style photography are often used as interchangeable terms.

Documentary Wedding Photography

Generally, documentary photographers seek to convey the way things are, as objectively as possible, and without interference. This term is used less in relation to wedding photography these days, since it has largely been replaced with the more glamorous term 'Photojournalistic'. Outside the wedding field, 'documentary photography' arguably implies an in depth photographic study, without much text accompaniment, whereas 'reportage' implies a larger degree of accompanying text. This distinction becomes largely meaningless in relation to wedding photography.

Fashion-style Wedding Photography

This is the aspirational style that you will see in the magazines. It is usually semi-directed, choosing the best backdrops and lighting and then partially posing the bride or couple too look 'natural'.

Formal Wedding Photography

Formal photographs are the carefully arranged group shots where everyone looks towards the camera. You wouldn't want your entire wedding photographed like this, but your parents and grandparents will probably expect a few shots of this sort.

Magazine-style Layouts

This refers to book or album designs that use several images over a page or double page spread to create dynamically designed layouts, often telling miniature stories from different parts of the day.

Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

This style of wedding photography attempts to tell the story of your day without interference or direction. This term has largely replaced the term 'documentary wedding photographer' because 'documentary' implies (rightly or wrongly) a more objective, warts-and all-type of approach, whereas the 'photojournalistic' approach will tell the story of your day whilst remaining entirely flattering. This type of photography is often black and white.

Reportage Wedding Photography

This term is almost completely interchangeable with 'photojournalistic', but arguably sounds more up-market.

Spot-colour Photographs

This refers to images in which only part of the image has been left in colour, with the rest of the photograph having been converted to sepia or black and white. Overuse of this effect should be avoided as it can leave a book or album looking 'gimmicky' and may cause your wedding photography to look dated before its time.

Traditional Wedding Photography

This phrase refers to the oldest style of posed photography, dating back to times when camera exposures were several seconds, or even minutes, long and subjects needed to be carefully arranged and stay very still. Whilst this style is not the most fashionable at the moment, family members inevitably want some of this sort of imagery to keep. These formal/staged shots ensure that the happy couple are pictured with all of the key groups of family, friends, bridesmaids and best men etc.

If these loose definitions help you convey your tastes to your wedding photographer, then great! Most photographers now shoot a mixture of the styles above anyway, so I would suggest that you don't get too bogged down in terminology, and instead go with a photographer you feel you will get on well with, and whose work you love!

Sacred Rituals of an Indian Christian Wedding

Christian weddings are known for their sobriety and elegance. The bride’s white wedding gown, the flower decorations at the church, the gorgeous bridesmaids and the cute flower girls, all together make a Christian wedding a treat to the eye.
The Christian weddings in India are a happy blend of Indian and Western customs. The Indian Christians, while adhering to their Indian culture have incorporated some western customs as well. This amalgamation of Indo-Western customs is visible in the wedding rituals. Here are the main traditions and rituals of an Indian Christian wedding.

Pre Wedding Rituals

The engagement ceremony: The first function of the marriage is the engagement ceremony. It is generally hosted by the bride’s parents and is a gathering comprising of only close family members and friends. The couple exchange rings on this occasion. The engagement is announced in their local churches as well.
Bachelor and bachelorette parties: It is a trend that is getting popular in India. The friends and brothers of the groom host a bachelor’s party for him. This party celebrates the groom’s last days as a bachelor. On the other hand, a similar party is organised for the bride by her friends and sisters. This is known as the bachelorette party.
The Roce Ceremony: This ceremony also known as Haldaat relates to applying the paste of tumeric and sandalwood on both the bride and the groom. Haldaat ceremony is prominent among the North Indian Christians. The Haldaat ceremony of North India is known as Roce. Among the Christians of western and southern India like in the state of Goa, coconut paste is applied on both the bride and the groom instead of tumeric and sandalwood paste.

Wedding Rituals

Reception of the bride: On the wedding day, the bride arrives at the wedding venue in a car sent by the groom. His best man receives the bride and escorts her inside. Later, the father of the bride escorts her down the aisle on the other side of which, her groom patiently awaits her. He hands over his daughter to the groom and showers his blessings.

 Exchange of vows: Both the bride and the groom write their own wedding vows which they read out to each other at the time of the wedding. The vows are messages of love and respect that they have for each other.

The 'I Do': After reading the wedding vows, the priest asks both the bride and the groom if ‘they agree to love and cherish each other in health and in sickness for as long as they shall live?’ The consenting couples reply to this by saying ‘I Do’. The priest then pronounces them husband and wife.
The Indian touch: Traditionally, in Indian Christian weddings (especially in south India) the groom places the ‘Thali’ or 'Mangalsutra' around the neck of the bride instead of the giving her a ring. However, the trend of rings is gaining popularity and most couples are going for it now.
The throwing of the wedding bouquet: After the wedding ceremony, the bride tosses her wedding bouquet and all the unmarried girls try to catch it. It is said that whoever does, gets married next.

Post Wedding Rituals

Reception: After the wedding, a reception is held where the bride and groom perform a rehearsed ball room dance sequence. This is followed by a family dinner when the wedding cake is cut and toasts are raised for the newlywed couple.


Preparation for Marriage: 10 Things You'll Wish You Knew

As you prepare to enter into marriage, you will need to unscramble and negotiate all kinds of issues between you and your partner. Therefore, your first task is to see if you can unscramble the ten most important principles and ideas related to marriage preparation below. When you are done, Scroll down for the answers and to learn more about how you and your partner can prepare for this exciting event.

1. Three Stages of Marriage

According to researcher and practitioner Jeffrey Larson (2003), most marriages go through at least three general stages of development:
 (1) romantic love; 
(2) disillusionment and distraction
(3) dissolution, adjustment with resignation, or adjustment with contentment.

2. Marriage Myths

"Never go to bed angry at your spouse" or, "If my partner and I have a disagreement, our relationship is doomed!" are just two of the many myths that we can dispel before we ever get married. Sometimes, because we are tired and stressed, the best practice is to settle down and to get some needed rest before we deal with the issue the next morning. Other myths, according to Jeffry Larson (2003), include the following:

•"If my spouse loves me, he should instinctively know what I want and need to be happy,"
•"No matter how I behave, my spouse should love me simply because she is my spouse."
•"I can change my spouse by pointing out his inadequacies, errors, and other flaws."
•"I must feel better about my partner before I can change my behavior toward him."
•"Maintaining romantic love is the key to marital happiness over the life-span for most couples."
•"Marriage should always be a 50-50 partnership."
•"Marriage can fulfill all of my needs."

3. Marital Satisfaction

Larson and Holman (1994) have identified three general domains of important predictors of marital quality and stability (Note: Marital quality is defined by these authors as "a subjective evaluation of a couple's relationship." Marital stability is defined as "the status of the relationship as intact or nonintact [i.e., separated or divorced])." These domains are (from least predictive of marital quality and stability to most predictive): background and contextual factors, individual traits and behaviors, and couple interactional processes (i.e., traits). Larson calls these three domains the Marriage Triangle. According to Larson (2003), the Marriage Triangle (see below) highlights these three domains and focuses on the interactions between them.

4. Contexts or Environments

Contexts and environments are the settings in which individual and couple traits are developed. These influential contexts are placed at the bottom of the Marriage Triangle because they form the foundation of the development of individual and couple interactional traits. Larson (2003) divides these contexts into two general domains - personal contexts and relationship contexts. According to Larson, personal context characteristics include family-of-origin influences, such as the degree of love and unity in the family in which you grew up, the quality of your parents' marriage, and your degree of autonomy in your family-of-origin. Relationship context refers to the situation or environment in which your relationship currently exists. Examples of relationship context factors include support from in-laws, chronically unresolved marital problems, and stress caused by spending too much time or energy in raising children, dealing with financial problems, and so on.

5. Individual Traits

Individual traits that influence marital satisfaction or dissatisfaction include a person's personality, attitudes, and skills (Larson, 2003). Larson identifies difficulty coping with stress, dysfunctional beliefs (see Marriage Myths above), excessive impulsiveness (e.g., impulsive spending, obsessive compulsive behaviors, etc.), extreme self-consciousness, excessive anger and hostility, untreated depression, and chronic irritability as the major liabilities toward the achievement of marital satisfaction.
Conversely, Larson identifies extroversion (i.e., sociability), flexibility, good self-esteem, assertiveness, commitment, and an ability to love as the major assets toward the achievement of marital satisfaction.

6. Couple Traits

Couple traits that influence marital satisfaction and dissatisfaction include communication (see Happy Talk: Keep Talking Happy Talk) and conflict resolution skills (see 9 Important Skills for Every Relationship) and several other traits specifically pointed out by Larson (2003) that include the following:

Cohesion - time spent together compared with time spent apart that leads to a perception and feeling of emotional closeness.

Intimacy - the combination of self-disclosure, affection, sexual relations, and cohesion.
Control or power sharing - "the ability to influence another person to go in the direction you want" . When there is give-and-take and the power and control is equitable and shared, then a feeling of satisfaction generally occurs. When one spouse tends to "exercise too much power or control in decision making", then dissatisfaction can occur.

Consensus - "the degree of agreement you and your partner experience on a variety of marital issues such as proper behavior in public, religious matters, decision making, and displays of affection". Similarly, Larson states that "consensus can be realized in one of three ways in marriage:
(1) you accept and appreciate that you are already similar,
(2) you accept your differences without resentment or despair,
(3) you reach consensus through healthy conflict resolution"

7. Change Yourself First
Douglas A. Abbott (2003) shares three principles that can lead toward greater marital satisfaction:
(1) Change your behavior: Change first; 
(2) Change your attitude; and, 
(3) Change your heart. He also includes three ways to change ourselves first as follows:

Exercise patience with your partner's faults and annoying habits.
Drop the insistence that he or she must change
Take responsibility to change yourself and improve the relationship. The focus becomes you not your partner. You change first.  Assuming there is good will and love between you and your spouse, your partner may then desire to also change. As you act in loving, forgiving, and benevolent ways, your spouse may reciprocate .

8. The Eighty-Twenty Rule

Dr. Abbott's (2003) 80-20 rule was developed from a story he read several years ago called "80 percent I love you, 20 percent I hate you." From this story he concluded, "to avoid over focusing on the spouse's negatives, you can train your mind to focus on the positives. Overlook the few small things(20 percent) that you don't like about your spouse and continually remind yourself of the 80 percent you like"

9. Change Your Heart

Dr. Abbott (2003) cites C. Terry Warner in his article who discussed the following about the need to change our hearts in our relationships:

A Change of Heart - "Without a change of heart whatever we do will carry the smell of manipulative, selfish, or fearful intent, and other people will readily discern it....The self-help movement that began in the latter half of the twentieth century suffers particularly from this flaw, for the personal and interpersonal skills it seeks to cultivate are almost always designed to get us more of what we think we want, rather than to bring about a change of heart". "To the extent that we can come to see others differently, we can undergo a fundamental change, a change in our being, a change of our emotions and attitudes, a change of heart" . "We do not control the timing of a change of heart. We make ourselves available for it by faithfully doing the right things for the right reasons; that much does lie within our control" . "There is no better means of promoting another person's change of heart than allowing our own heart to change"

10. Seek Marital Therapy

Most relationships "get stuck" at some point and they need a little help (sometimes a lot of help) to "get unstuck". Therefore, one of the best ways we can prepare for marriage is to overcome the stigma sometimes associated with seeking marital therapy. Couples who are proactive and who seek therapy early, before their relationship is falling apart, are wise.

Turn to God

When you feel that you have difficulty, please refer to God, pray with all your heart and God and Jesus will help you sure, God and Jesus always hears the prayers of those who sincerely believe the prayers of those who find it difficult and who need help, God and Jesus always close and will always help you superior believe, most importantly from the heart and sincerely turn to God and Jesus. Never give up, never stop praying, remember that your faith and your prayers will always help you, never lose faith, even if you are very hard to remember that God and Jesus will show you the way out of any difficulties and will help you if your faith is strong, if your heart is filled with faith and love for God and Jesus, pray always and never lose your faith, your faith will save you!

Mothers Love

A mother’s love and the love of the mother is very strong and pure love that connects mother and her child, God teaches us that love, Jesus always said, and tells us that we have to take care of his mother and her love for no one can love as a mother and give motherly warmth, nothing in the world can compare to a mother’s love, it is a special and more it can only be the love of God, no matter where you are, no one will never understand you as a mother and God, the Father’s love is also very important in my life but the We will talk about in our next article, now let’s talk about his mother and about how important it is in life and how strong her love.

Every mother can sacrifice his life for the sake of her child because the mother loves her child more than anyone can love. It is no accident when we are always difficult or painful we utter, the mother, or, God,this is because the love of the mother and the love of God is very strong and well developed in man, the mother has a large role in life, she man is born into the world, she feeds and educates, it protects and gives heat, so a mother’s love is different from all others, it is big and strong.

Every mother loves her child no matter what, she always tries to make sure that the child was better and does everything for the welfare of their child, which is not surprising because the mother of his life trying to dedicate a child, unfortunately there are mothers who leave their children and it is very bad, this is a very big sin, no matter what happens you can never leave a child that God gave and trust, what difficulties did not happen, go to church, ask for help but never leave a child whom God has given you, remember that God will help you as would be hard you may be, do not leave your child, because it is a gift of God, and the day will come when you will regret the fact that they left their child and gave it up so never do not do that because it can not be a great gift of life than a child God trusts you and through you is born a new life that is given to you by God and you sin of rejecting the mother is the most positive person in everyone’s life, and nothing can replace a mother’s love and a mother, nothing can replace God, these two emotions are indispensable in life, a woman is given this, be a mother, to bring to light a new life, and it’s awesome love and grace of God and the happiness of every woman.

Monday, 29 July 2013

How to receive Holy Communion

  1. Stand up and step out of your pew to join in the Communion procession. Often an usher helps to oversee this process.

  1. If you are not carrying a child in your arms or a hymnal or worship aid in your hand, it is appropriate to join your hands in front of you in a prayerful position (traditionally over the heart) as you process forward.

  1. Remain standing for the reception of Holy Communion. This is the standard posture for receiving Communion in the United States.

  1. As the person in front of you is receiving Holy Communion, bow your head and shoulders slightly as a sign of reverence toward Our Lord in the Eucharist.

  1. You may receive the Sacred Host either in your hand or on your tongue. The choice is yours.

  1. If you intend to receive the Sacred Host in your hand, extend both hands palm upwards toward the minister, placing one hand directly on top of the other. You should do this as you approach the minister so that it is obvious to the minister that you wish to receive Communion in the hand.

  1. The minister will hold the Sacred Host in front of you and say, “The Body of Christ.” You respond by saying, “Amen.” The minister will then place the Host on your open palm. Do not attempt to grab the Host from the minister with your fingers.

  1. Once the Host has been placed in your hand, step aside (to allow the person behind you to come forward to receive) and immediately consume the Host as you stand facing toward the altar. You should pick up the Host from the palm of your hand with the fingers of your other hand and reverently place the Host in your mouth. Then either join the procession to receive the Precious Blood from the minister holding the chalice or return respectfully to your pew.

  1. If you are going to receive the Sacred Host on your tongue, keep your hands joined over your heart as you approach the minister. After the minister holds the Host in front of you and says The Body of Christ and you respond Amen, tilt your head backwards, close your eyes, open your mouth and stick out your tongue. The minister will then place the Host on your tongue. Once you feel the Host on your tongue, take the Host into your mouth with your tongue and open your eyes. Do not attempt to reach for the Host with your tongue or mouth. Instead, remain still with your eyes closed so that the minister will have no difficulty placing the Host on your tongue.

  1. If you wish to receive the Precious Blood - the choice is yours - bow your head and shoulders slightly as the person before you is receiving from the chalice. Approach the minister with your hands joined reverently over your heart. The minister will hold the chalice in front of you and say, “The Blood of Christ,” to which you respond, “Amen.” The minister will then hand you the chalice. Grasp the chalice firmly with both hands and bring it to your lips, taking care not to spill any of the Precious Blood within. Take a small sip of the Precious Blood and hand the chalice back to the minister who will wipe its rim to prepare it for the next communicant.

  1. After receiving Holy Communion, return reverently to your pew and either sit or kneel for your private prayers.

What to avoid when receiving Holy Communion

  1. Do not feel obligated to receive Holy Communion just because it appears everyone around you is receiving. Receive only if you are properly disposed morally and spiritually and have fasted for at least one hour before receiving. If you are not prepared to receive Holy Communion, simply remain at your place in the pew. That is perfectly acceptable, and no one will judge you or think twice about it.

  1. Do not chew gum in church. There should be nothing in your mouth when you receive Holy Communion.

  1. Do not wait until after you have responded “Amen” to extend your hands toward the minister to receive the Sacred Host in your hand. Also, do not extend your hands when it is your intention to receive Communion on the tongue. The minister should not have to guess whether you want Communion in the hand or on the tongue.

  1. Do not receive the Sacred Host in the hand by extending only one of your hands. Two free hands are necessary for receiving the Sacred Host - one hand to receive the Host, and the other hand to pick it up and place it reverently in your mouth. If you are carrying a child in your arms or a hymnal or worship aid in your hands, you should receive the Sacred Host on the tongue.

  1. Do not take the Sacred Host out of the hand of the minister with your fingers. An important liturgical principle is that the communicant receives rather than takes Holy Communion from the minister. (The only exception to this is when the communicant is a priest.)

  1. Do not fail to respond “Amen” when the minister says either “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ,” or substitute another expression for it such as “Thank you.” The minister in saying “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” is making a declaration of faith about the nature of the Eucharist and the Church which you as the communicant must affirm with your “Amen” before you receive.

  1. Do not forget to bow your head and shoulders slightly as a sign of reverence before receiving the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood. Do not substitute this standard gesture with some other one, such as the sign of the cross or a genuflection.

  1. Do not wait to make your sign of reverence until you are face-to-face the minister. This delays the procession. Make the sign of reverence as the person in front of you is receiving Communion.

  1. After receiving the Sacred Host in your hand, step aside and consume the Host immediately while facing the altar. Do not begin walking back to your pew before consuming the Host.

  1. Do not carry the Host with the intention of dipping it into the Precious Blood. Communicants may not dip the Sacred Host into the chalice for two reasons: first because of the liturgical principle stated above, that the communicant should receive the Precious Blood rather than taking it (in this case, by dipping the Host into it); second because there is danger of spilling some drops of the Precious Blood.

  1. Do not fail to make an act of thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist when you return to your pew.

35 Reasons Not To Sin

  1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
  2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
  3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
  4. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
  5. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
  6. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
  7. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
  8. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
  9. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
  10. Because my sin saddens the godly.
  11. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
  12. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
  13. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
  14. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
  15. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
  16. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
  17. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
  18. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
  19. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
  20. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
  21. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
  22. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
  23. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
  24. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
  25. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
  26. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
  27. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
  28. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
  29. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
  30. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
  31. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
  32. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
  33. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to   believe.
  34. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because  it is worth anything on its own.
  35. Because I promised God he would be Lord of my life. 
      Relinquish Your Rights - Reject the Sin - Renew the Mind - Rely on God

Why Do We Need to Pray?

Prayer is one of the very basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it's how we communicate with God but why is it so important? Why do we need to pray? Share your answer with us and your reply will be posted here for others to read.

Working in faith

Prayer is wonderful, but remember faith without works is dead, meaning you can pray all day but you must remember to put in the work also.  

                                                                                                                      - Joseph A Mckee

Know Our Own Needs

Too many people use prayer as a last resort for personal needs. Once we bring our needs to God in prayer we are admitting there are certain things outside our control.

                                                                                                                        -  Pastor Ray
I need help

I wanted to pray because a lot of bad things had been happening to me lately and I wanted God's help and comfort for what lies ahead.

                                                                                                                      - Anonymous
Learn How to Pray

We need to know how to pray in order to be able to communicate with and hear from God.

                                                                                                                          - Valencia reid
The Truth

Prayer is food to the soul. We cant survive without food, a hungry man is an angry man, so if our soul is empty we become ignorant, and that causes war among our self and others.

                                                                                                                         - Howard
What We Are Praying For

I'm a convert to the LDS faith, going on two years in Sept. I didn't believe in prayer but the day before my baptism my stomach was in a lot of pain. I knelt down on my knees and started praying to Heavenly Father. I asked him to help me be strong because the other side was trying to stop me from continuing with my choice to be baptized. I prayed so hard that I started crying and soon enough my stomach stopped hurting. That was one instance when my prayers were answered. I have been praying ever since and I do believe that prayer and reading my scriptures helps me a lot. My grandson (11 years old) also converted to the church and prays a lot. I pray while I'm driving- the scriptures say you can pray anywhere. I find myself praying for guidance, seeking help, thanking Heavenly Father for my blessings, and asking to keep the Holy Ghost close to me and my family. I believe in prayer and say this in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.
                                                                                                                                    - Martin
Deepening our relationship over time.

As with an earthly family, the closer our hearts are, the less we want for things to fulfill us. We feel loved whole.

                                                                                                                                 - Bridget
He is our Father

When we were kids we would run and tell our mother or father every thing, whether it was problems at school or life lessons we were faced with. So it is with Heavenly Father, we need to speak with him when we are facing challenges or hurdles in our life. We should also remember we do not need to just go to him for the big things but also for the little things too, this is how we develop a relationship with him. He is our HEAVENLY FATHER and as such he is entitled to our love and respect and a close relationship with us as his children.

                                                                                                                                  - Dan
It Is a Language
A prayer for me is not only on how you will get close to our Lord Jesus Christ it is a language that everyone can speak in remembering how God truly loved us. How? Imagine talking to a foreign individual who you don't and can't understand. What he is trying to say? You cant communicate at all but with the power of prayer you can. Everything you say and ask would let God know that you seek, give thanks, ask forgiveness, and most importantly show your love to our Father Almighty.
                                                                                                                            - Allan Gan
Between Us and God
To thank God for his love and mercy. Prayer is a way we talk to God, our communication between us and God.
                                                                                                                           - Uzozie oge
For the Greater Glory of God
We pray to glorify God. Even before we pray to Him, He already knows what we're going to ask of Him. He knows all our needs and desires. Whether or not we ask Him in prayer, He loves us unconditionally and He takes care of us and all our needs according to his Divine Plan. But when we pray to Him, we glorify Him, we give all the credit to Him, we show our dependence on Him, we submit to his Lordship, we grow in our relationship with Him and of course, we acquire that peace in our hearts - that peace which surpasses all understanding.
                                                                                                                                - Gav

How to Read the Bible

1. Decide your purpose. 

There are a variety of reasons you may wish to read the Bible. It may be that you are Christian but have never read the Bible or have not read the entire Bible. It may be that you are not Christian but wish to read the text so as to understand it and be better able to discuss it with your peers. You may wish to read the Bible for academic purposes, such as to gain an understanding of ancient Near Eastern history. You should decide why you want to read the Bible before beginning, so that you will know the correct approach to take with the text.

2. Decide how much you will read. 

Do you wish to read the entire text or are you only interested in specific books? Do you want to read the Old Testament (the original Hebrew texts upon which the beliefs of the religion are based) or just the New Testament (the portion of the text dealing with the life of Jesus Christ)? Decide how much of the text you wish to read and what order you will read it in so that you will be better prepared.

3 Read a little every day. 

4 Decide which translation is right for you.

Once you have decided why you are reading the Bible, you will have to decide which translation is best for you. Many exist and there are a great deal of difference between the versions.

If you are reading for religious reasons, you may wish to read the translation common to your denomination and then later try another translation to see how the two compare. Knowing what other denominations believe will give you a better understanding of your own version and will lead to more critical thinking about your beliefs.

If you are reading to gain an understanding of Christianity as an outsider, it may be a good idea to read several different translations. This will give you a better idea of the difference between denominations, as well as an appreciation of how the text has changed over time.

If you are reading to study the history of the region, you should read the translations which are the most direct or the original text, if you possess a reading knowledge of the appropriate languages.

New International Version: This translation was done in the 1970’s, though it has been updated since, by an international group of scholars. It has become the most popular translation by far and is widely used.
King James Version: This translation was created in the 1600’s specifically for the Church of England. It is commonly used in the US, especially by Evangelical churches. The language of this translation, though dated, has had a large impact on the English language as a whole.There is also the New King James Version, which is a modernization of the original text and also quite popular.

New Living Translation: This translation, undertaken in the 1990's, focuses not on direct translation but on conveying the original intentions and ideas of the text. The language is modernized so as to be more widely understood and it makes use of inclusive language.

English Standard Edition: This translation, done in the 1990’s by academics, is a literal translation and was intended to be as accurate a translation as possible. It is most commonly used for study bibles, though it is the official text for some churches.

New World Translation: An example of a translation associated with a particular religious group, the New World Translation is the text used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is notable for using the name Jehovah in the text, instead of the word “lord”, when referring to God. (Note: This translation is bias in a way which supports Watchtower doctrine and is not recognised by any Biblical Scholar as an accurate translation)
The Joseph Smith Translation: This version of the Bible includes notes and changes made by Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church. It's meant to be read in conjunction with the Book of Mormon. You may want to read this if you either are Mormon or if you wish to understand Mormonism better.

5 Get a guide.

The language of the Bible can be very complex and since it is very old, much of the cultural context is missing. It is important to understand what the original authors intended, as well as the history of the time in which they lived and how it affected them. Buy a guide, which will help you read between the lines and better understand the text which you are reading.

6 Get supplies.

It may be wise to take notes as you read. The text is long, depending on which books you have chosen to read, and you can easily forget the details. Have paper and a notebook available to write down significant passages, notes, timelines, family trees, significant people, and any questions you have so that you may research the answers later.

7 Get a bible! 

You will need to get a copy or several copies, depending on the books and translations you have chosen to read. These can easily be acquired or purchased at local churches, bookstores, christian bookstores, or online. You can also use a free translation online, if you do not need a physical copy. If you purchased a bible guide, it may be that the guide already contains some or all of the text that you are interested in. Investigate this to ensure that you do not get more than you need.

How to Pray to the Virgin Mary

1. Start with a prayer.

The Hail Mary: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

2. The Salve Regina:

 "Hail, our Queen and Mother blest! Joy when all was sadness, Life and hope you gave mankind, Mother of our gladness! Children of the sinful Eve, Sinless Eve, befriend us, Exiled in this vale of tears; Strength and comfort send us! Pray for us, O Patroness, Be our consolation! Lead us home to see your Son, Jesus, our salvation! Gracious are you, full of grace, Loving as none other, Joy of heaven and joy of earth, Mary, God's own Mother!

3. Prayer to Mary of the Sacred Heart:

"Gentle Mother, How beautiful and sweet you are. Your light is everywhere. There is no place it cannot shine. Through you does confusion transform into a blessed sea of tranquility. Through you are miracles of all kinds brought to pass. Sacred Mother of gentleness and simplicity, You shine your power Into the thousands of worldly possibilities; Into the heart of the innocent, Into the heart of the doubter, Into the heart of those who blame and name, Into the heart of all who love you. Your power is unending. Sacred Mother, I surrender to you, To your sweetness. You are honey that flows from my heart. Mia Mater, Light of compassion, Hail!"

How to Make a Good Confession in the Catholic Church

Before Confession

1. Find out when confession is held.

Most parishes offer reconciliation services by the week, but some churches may have them daily. If your parish does not offer a service that fits your schedule, call your priest and you can make a private appointment.

You can schedule a private session with the priest if you think your confession may last a bit longer (over 15 minutes). This is a good idea if you have left the Church, committed a grave sin, or have not confessed in a long time

2. Be truly sorry for your sins.

 The idea of penance and confession is to feel truly remorseful -- the act of contrition. You must clearly reject the sin you have committed and resolve not to commit it again. To show God that your sorrow is genuine and authentic is to be truly sorry and profess a refusal to commit the behaviors again.

This does not mean that you can never sin again; we humans do it every day. You are simply resolving to try to avoid the near occasions that lead you to sin -- this still counts as repentance. If you want it, God will help you resist temptation, as long as you have the intention to improve yourself as well.

3. Make an examination of conscience. 

Think about what you have done wrong, and why it is wrong. Consider the pain you put God through in committing that sin, and that because of that sin Jesus suffered all the more on the cross. For this you should express sorrow, and being truly sorry is a necessary component of a good Confession.

Consider asking yourself these questions when making your examination of conscience:
  • When did I last go to confession? Was it an honest and thorough confession?
  • Did I make any special promise to God last time? Did I keep my promise?
  • Have I committed any grave or mortal sin since my last confession?
  • Have I followed the Ten Commandments?
  • Have I ever doubted my faith?
4. Search the Holy Scriptures.

A good place to start is the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 or Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Here are a few reminders of how God reaches out to us in loving forgiveness:
  • "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
  • How has it been made possible for sins to be forgiven? "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 2:1,2.
  • To whom should sins be confessed, and why? "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight." Ps. 51:4.
5. Pray often before a Confession.

You want to be honest and repentant. Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you remember and feel true contrition for your sins. Perhaps something like: "Come Holy Spirit, enlighten my mind that I may clearly know my sins, touch my heart that I may be sorry for them, and better my life. Amen."

Try to identify the causes of your sins: Do you have questionable inclinations? Is it a matter of personal weakness? Or just bad habits? Try to eliminate at least one of these causes. This'll be easiest to do by either getting rid of one negative thing in your life or honing in on the most positive

During Confession

1. Wait your turn until you can enter the confessional.

When it's time, choose either a face-to-face confession or an anonymous confession. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, simply kneel down in front of the curtain separating you from the priest and the priest will begin the confession. If you'd like a face-to-face confession, you need only to walk around the curtain and sit in the chair opposite the priest. He'll be expecting you.

Remember that confessions are absolutely confidential -- the priest will never (and can never) share your sins with anyone else. He is instructed to keep the seal of the confessional regardless of circumstance -- even under pain of death. Do not let your worries affect your confession.

2.Begin your confession.

The priest will begin the Confession with the prayer of the Sign of the Cross. Follow his lead. There are a few variants, but the Latin Rite is the most common.

In the Latin Rite: Make the sign of the cross, saying, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned" and tell him how long it has been since your last confession.(It is not necessary to remember how many times, only the the frequency of important sins.)

In the Byzantine Rite: Kneel facing the Icon of Christ, the priest will be seated at your side and may place his epitrachelion on your head. He may also wait to do this until the Prayer of Absolution. Do not be concerned either way.

In other Eastern Churches: Forms may vary.
Regardless of the variant, tell him your sins (including how many times you committed them). Go in order from the most serious to the least. Do not leave out any mortal sins that you can remember. You don't have to go into explicit detail of your sins unless the priest feels it is necessary -- and in that situation, he'll ask.

After Your Confession

1. Listen to the priest. 

He will often offer you counsel on how you can avoid sin in the future. Afterward, he will ask you to make an Act of Contrition. This must be performed sincerely, truly meaning what you say. If you don't know the words, write them down or ask the priest to help you.

At the end of your session, he will probably recommend penance (to be performed as soon as possible). At the end of the absolution he will say, “I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” If he makes the Sign of the Cross, follow suit. He will then dismiss you, saying something to the affect of “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” Reply, “Thanks be to God,” give the priest a smile, and exit the confessional.

2. Complete your penance.

Return to the church and assume your prior seat. When you begin your penance, give thanks to God for forgiving you. If you recall some serious sin you forgot to tell, know that it has been forgiven with the others, but be sure to confess it in your next confession.

If the priest gave you penance that consists of some prayers to be recited, say them quietly and devoutly. Kneel in the pew, hands clasped and head down, until you have completed your penance and have adequately reflected on your experience. Resolve to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often.

3. Leave feeling better and living in the light of God's forgiveness. 

Rise joyful and confident for the Lord loves you and has been merciful. Live for Him every minute of your life, and let everybody see how wonderful it is serving the Lord.

Stay mindful. Don't use confession as a reason to excuse sins. Rejoice that you are forgiven and live as God intended you to to minimize the need for confession.
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