On The Journey, Judy Bowman

“Be a saint!”

Friends are one of God’s great blessings to us. They give us love, support, helpful advice and the dearest ones challenge us to become the best versions of ourselves. It’s long been said that you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. For Catholics, our best friends can be the saints. We believe that these heroic men and women lived lives full of Christ’s love and mercy and are great examples to us of virtue and perseverance. Their lives and writings light the way for us, showing us how real people can fully live out the Gospel.

If your life’s goal is to love and serve God in this life and spend eternity with Him in the next one, then study the lives of the saints. Becoming holy is the calling of every Christian believer because to become holy is to become like Jesus. The path to holiness is well-known and well-traveled. Contrary to Hollywood, it’s not a secret that only a few can know or understand. The problem is that most people are looking in the wrong places. If you want to follow Jesus, read the Gospels and the lives of His greatest followers. The saints are no different from you and me in all things but one: they never gave up. Virtuous and sinful, faithful and doubting, they gave their lives to Christ, messed it up, and turned to Him again and again and again. Sainthood doesn’t happen in an instantaneous thunderclap of holiness. It’s a journey with Jesus and a path well-trodden by the saints who have gone before us.

Saints come from every walk of life, in every age and culture and every social class. From noblemen and warriors to peasants, teachers, kings or little children…and everything in between. The saints are our guides to heaven because they’ve already made the journey. They’ve navigated the pitfalls of sin and doubt and we can learn from their successes and failures. They’re practical examples of how your life can be transformed through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their stories challenge us to radically embrace our faith–not just to “slip by” doing the minimum. Sometimes I think we subconsciously ask ourselves, “What’s the least I can do and still get to heaven?” What a selfish response to the One Who gave everything to save me! The saints are demanding and many of us don’t like that. When we look at their lives we become uncomfortable with our own. And isn’t that the first step in a real conversion of the heart? It’s when you realize you aren’t making it on your own and you need to change. I’ll go a step further and say that if the lives of the saints make you uncomfortable, you’re probably just as uncomfortable with Jesus. Because the holiness, the goodness and the virtue you’ll find in a saint’s life ALL belongs to Christ. God doesn’t have favorites—He’s calling you to be a saint, too. It’s what you were made for. If you need a place to start, read about St. Francis of Assisi or Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Both these remarkable people are wonderful partners for our journey to heaven. Put your hand in their hands and let them lead you to Jesus.

“If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.” — St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

We look forward to being able to return to a full schedule of events and ministry. Due to the virus, we are unable to do so now.

Pleasant Valley Baptist invites you to in-person Sunday morning and evening worship services. Services request social distancing and mask-wearing. Please join us worshipping the Lord. Wednesday in-person services continue to be temporarily suspended.

Much to pray about. Remember our country with pandemic, economy, and social upheaval, our leaders, our citizens. Special request are family of Mike Cross, family of Jeep Mitchell, Richard Comer (missionary), Dianne Hullender , Debbie and Brian O’Neill, Betty Pitts, Denise Pitts, Larry Armstrong and his family , John Bryson and his family, Dot McAllister, Brian White, and for our pastor and his family. Pray for our shut-ins Carolyn Denton and Lula Petty and others with high-risk situations shut-in. Pray for our churches, missionaries, and evangelists.

Pleasant Valley Baptist continues to live-stream Facebook and YouTube Sunday morning/evening services 11 AM , evening 6 PM, and streaming mid-week Bible study. Visit or view our services for encouragement from God’s Word.

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