Common Supernatural Experiences

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This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.

Have you ever read stories about the apparitions there and wished something like that would happen to you? Have you ever thought about St. Bernadette at Lourdes or Juan Diego with Our Lady of Guadalupe and desired a similar experience?

I used to. I used to think how wonderful it would be to see the Virgin Mary with my own eyes, to be able to see Jesus and talk with Him.

Sometimes I would dream about making even a simple pilgrimage to a shrine where such occurrences had taken place, but I knew I would never be able to afford it. Or maybe, just maybe, I would someday be graced with a miracle.

Then I realized I have something better. Not just a little better, but outstandingly, amazingly, incredibly better. Continue reading

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Rain from Heaven Free on Kindle

From October 12-16, my Christian novel Rain from Heaven will be free on Amazon Kindle.

About the story: What would you sacrifice to save the eternal soul of your enemy?

Dellan Whitcom has every reason to hate Eliat Rebysh, the man who has unleashed a deadly virus on the world. It has not only killed Dellan’s parents and friends but threatens all of mankind. Rebysh also controls the only vaccine that can save everyone from certain death.

God chooses Dellan to destroy this nefarious evil, and the young man is delighted with the opportunity to exact revenge. But the more he strays from God’s path of love, the more Dellan becomes like Rebysh, the object of his hatred. Before it is over, the life of the woman both men love hangs in the balance.

Only by making an extraordinary sacrifice will Dellan be able to destroy Rebysh’s evil and free the world from a heinous plot that enslaves the entire population.

For ages 13 and up.

During this promotional offer, my other Christian novels—Nearer the Dawn, Amaranth, and Cherish—will also be just 99¢ each on Kindle with all net profits going to charity.

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Amaranth Now in Paperback

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My third Christian novel, Amaranth, is now available in paperback.

Here’s the story:

Would you take an elixir that made you perpetually young and physically immortal?
What if the price for it was your eternal soul?
Billionaire Desmond Sceller acquires such a wonder drug. But when eighty-year-old Marie Long is rejuvenated by it against her will, she quickly discovers unending beauty and youth is not the paradise it seems. Sceller, however, intends on using the elixir to entice all mankind into submitting to his tyrannical control. When Marie and her grandson Peter unearth this evil scheme, they soon discover that only an extraordinary sacrifice on their part can free humanity from Sceller’s nefarious plan.

https://www.amazon.com/Amaranth-J-Avila/dp/1548712744/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506886437&sr=1-1&keywords=avila+amaranth

Also, right now the Kindle version is on sale for just 99¢.

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On Being Bullied

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Not too long ago, I published a blog post about how I was spurned in church during the Sign of Peace (see https://reflections911.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/spurned-at-church).

Then I made a huge mistake. I mentioned the post on a forum.

You would not believe the negativity I got. I was told what a horrible person I am, how being spurned was my own fault, and how I should have been more sympathetic to the woman who had treated me so poorly.

Silly me. I thought it was a teachable moment. I thought I made it clear this was something I needed to work on, that since St. Paul had rejoiced in his sufferings, I should learn to do that too.

I guess I should have known better than to mention what happened since you would not believe the reactions I’ve gotten when I disclose that I used to be bullied as a kid. I’ve grouped those responses into seven categories: Continue reading

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Demanding the Impossible

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I spent a miserable year in the eighth grade (see https://reflections911.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/as-we-forgive-those-who-trespass-against-us). Capping it off, at the end of the term, was a little incident with my P.E. teacher.

She showed us her grade book, and the lowest in it was a C. There was only one C, and you can guess who was getting it.

What she didn’t know was that in my house, even a straight A report card wasn’t good enough. (“What? No A+? Not even one?”) Getting a C was akin to getting a Z minus, if there were such a grade.

I wanted to know why I was the one selected for this honor. She explained, “You didn’t make any baskets when we played basketball. Not even one!”

I could scarcely believe what I was hearing. “But,” I protested, “you made me a guard every time. I begged and begged you to make me a forward, but you never would. You wouldn’t let me make any baskets! And now you’re marking me down for not making any baskets when you wouldn’t allow me to make any?” Continue reading

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A Slippery Slope

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I’ve seen society skid all the way downhill from 1 to 7 in just my lifetime.

 

  1. We’ve vowed our lives to each other in marriage. Only now is it acceptable to have sex.
  2. We’re engaged to be married. Let’s have sex to see if we’re compatible in that department.
  3. It’s okay to have sex if you’re in love with each other.
  4. It’s okay to have sex if you’ve been dating each other exclusively for a while.
  5. It’s our third date, and everybody knows that means we should have sex.
  6. It’s our first date, and everybody knows that means we should have sex.
  7. We just met and don’t even know each other’s names. Let’s have sex.

 

When a baby is conceived, God reaches down from heaven and creates a new image of Himself. It’s a sad state of affairs (sorry, no pun intended) when one of the holiest acts in the world is reduced to mere recreation.

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How Evil Works

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When I was a kid, I used to play board games with my siblings. I almost never won.

It wasn’t because I had no luck or skill. I simply was not allowed to win.  Continue reading

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Admonitions

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Don’t you hate it when you see somebody, especially a friend, doing something that’s just plain harmful? And, no matter what you do, you can’t convince him he’s hurting himself?

Take, for example, a woman I know. While visiting her home, I couldn’t help but notice a huge wasps nest in the corner of her kitchen. This is one of those times when you gaze at something and think Am I really seeing that? because it’s so bizarre you just can’t believe it’s true.  Continue reading

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The Last Penny

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When I was a teen, like most girls, I babysat. It was a way to earn a little extra money. I say “a little extra money” because my mother would not allow me to charge more than 50¢ an hour (75¢ past midnight), regardless of the number of children. It was only about a fourth of what my friends earned, but because of my mother’s insistence I was just plain stuck with it.

As you can imagine, at that price I was in high demand but had to work plenty of hours to make much of anything. So when I was hired to watch some relatives of one of my mother’s friends, I jumped at the chance, even though it meant babysitting four young children.  Continue reading

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Contradictions

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Being born second can sometimes be a challenge. Up to that point, the firstborn has had Mommy and Daddy all to herself, and then here comes this usurper grabbing their attention. There’s bound to be a bit of animosity and good old-fashioned sibling rivalry.

Take, for example, the relationship between my older sister and myself. One day, when I was still quite young, she brought me the family dictionary and made a great deal of pointing out the fact that her name began with an “S” and my name began with a “K” (A.J. Avila is my pen name), and as anybody can see, there are more “S” words in the dictionary than “K” words.  Continue reading

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