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Archive for July, 2009

Well I did it, this pass week I entered a new part of my life. One part I entered kicking and screaming the there I entered smiling.

Last week marked a new era for me, one that I created, and one that, if I could do over again I would have hoped for a different outcome, but I would have done everything the same.

As I have written I am currently in a bankruptcy, and it is now official, the courts excepted the plan. This is a good thing, it means I can stop worrying about weather the courts will adjust the plan. But it also meant that I must surrender my current car, well Jeep Commander to be specific, and get a used car with no payments. I did this, I am now the proud owner of a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one that over all is in good condition, it needs work, but she runs. By the way, this was the kicking and screaming part… I was not happy about giving up my Jeep, I like it and I wanted to keep it, just pay it off and not get a new car. But the courts had a different take on it all. Such is life.

When my niece saw the new Jeep she asked what I named it, now for the record I do not name my cars, she was being a smart butt, but after she left I thought about it. What would I name this new Jeep, this car that is now part of my new life…

The second thing that happened this past week was of my own doing, I entered in to is with a smile, I canceled cable, I went and purchased a converter box and over the air antenna and canceled cable. This has been something I have been thinking about for over a year, but each time I would decide to do it, I would come up with a million reasons not to. But this weekend I said to hell with the million reasons not to! And I went and did it, in fact tonight the cable company is coming to pick up there equipment.  Now I must confess that my nephew was not to happy with me, but he will get over it. And yes I will miss some of my shows I like to watch, but I will survive. I have a few “bugs” to work out of the system yet, but all in all, no problems so far. My next goal is to purchase a free to air dish or powerful outside antenna. This basically allows me to view any free to the air ways TV station, and there are tons of them. But that will have to wait, they are a little bit of money.

Also this past week I had a meeting with my new sales team for my company. STATIC  Solutions (my company) has just released its first product (as you have read in this blog). So to market it I needed a sales team, and now I have one.

So to review my week:

  • New Car
  • No Cable
  • New Sales team

A week chop full of changes… So back to my nieces question, what is the name of my Jeep, well based on my week, and based on what is ahead of me I would have to say her name would have to be Phoenix. You know the bird that burns up and is reborn from the ashes. Well in a way that’s what I feel like, I feel like I am burning up and starting to be reborn from the ashes. So Phoenix it is, my goal is to fix this Jeep up making sure she is safe and replacing or fixing what ever I have to on her, and to place on her the name Phoenix.

Rebirth is hard and I am not going to lie to you, it was extremely hard for me to give up my Jeep Commander but in the end I had to and in truth I am sort of glad, a lesson has been learned, and this lesson was one that I needed to learn.  So with my cables house and my new 1994 Jeep along with all the other changes I will freely choose and the ones that will be forced upon me, I will emerge from the the ashes as a new creation, stronger and better if not because if it all, at least because of in spite of it all.

 

Paul

From Wikipedia: A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends[1]). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (sun city in Greek).

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Gross National Happiness coverI just finished “Gross National Happiness” a book by Arthur C Brooks who also wrote “Who Really Cares” (also a great book to read). But back to the new book, Gross Domestic Happiness, this book looks at the national happiness of our country, what makes us happy and what doesn’t. It is a fascinating look at America and Americans, how we think and see event that help shape us.

Mr. Brooks uses research data, not his opinion to form his conclusions on who and what makes America happy. He delves in to politics and religion takes a look at race and economic situations and delivers the facts as they fall, not as he wishes them to be.

His argument is that the happier America is the better off we all are. A simple argument, but one that is all to often left  out of the policy making or the discussion of America and her future. Arthur lays down the facts, backs them up with the research and draws logical conclusions from them, often they are conclusions that he was not striving for, but the facts lead him to them. He is an author who is willing to place his own needs aside and allow the fact to lead him, and not his own predetermined outcome.

Arthur followed the same pattern in his first book, “Who Really Cares” allowing the facts to lead him, in truth we all can learn from him, we all should allow the facts to lead us, and not try to skew them to fit in to our own predetermined outlook.

All of us do it, in our faith life, our work life and dour political views. We vote Democrat or Republican not because we agree with the candidate, but because of the party they are with, we change faiths to find one that better fits us rather than us changing to fit the faith we live in a society that allows us to justify the means to achieves the ends.

In his books Arthur refused to allow his own political and religious views interfere with the facts, using raw data to formulate the outcomes he allowed the data to speak for itself.

The Happiness of America and each of us individually is extremely important to our economy, communities and national security. It plays a roll in diplomacy and helps elevate national tensions. This book, well in truth both books, should be required reading by all Americans, they both are books that will help focus our national and personal affairs on what is truly important.

For more information visit his website at http://www.arthurbrooks.net/index.html

 

Paul

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Life comes at you sometimes a little fast, that’s is how I have been feeling as of late. Like life is on the fast track, and well as for me, I am sort of just sitting on the sidelines.

I use to have a sires of dreams about being chased, but the problem was I forgot how to run, no matter how hard I tried or what I did, I could not run. I completely forgot how to run.

The feeling I had, in this dream, was a feeling of total loss of control and deep despair. I would wake from this dream feeling lost and confused. Life was coming at me to fast and I could do nothing about it.

Well that’s the feeling I have at the moment, life is coming and I am unable to run after it, to keep up with it or do anything about it. It’s a hard feeling to truly put in to words. I’m not depressed, nor am I over worked, sure I have a few things going on in my life, but nothing more than what I have a year ago. It’s just like I have forgotten how to live this life, like I have lost my way and I am having a hard time finding my way back.

It’s a strange feeling, it’s in the pit of my stomach and in the center of my mind, i cope and deal with the daily life issues that come up, I am at work everyday, and for the most part and happy with all that I have and with who I am. Sure I have issues, money concerns, job concerns family issues, but really no more that anyone else, and in some ways less than others.

Forgetting how to run is truly what this is all about. I have forgotten what is important, I have forgotten how to run…

Anyone who is a runner will know that you must run properly or you will injure yourself, that is true for any activity such as running, swimming or playing baseball. The proper stance or stroke is needed for you may throw out your arm, or rotate you cup the wrong way, wearing it out. Well the same is true for living your life. You have to know the proper stance in life, you have to understand when you are wearing out your life from to much wrong usage. I feel that is were I am at, that my excess weight is starting to wear on me, that my mind is drifting away from the truth of life and that I need to relearn how to live this life, to save myself from injury. Plane and simple, I need to learn how to run…

In my dream I never seemed to get away from what ever was chasing me, it never got closer, but it never faded away. The harder I tried the more I failed. I would wake in soaked and out of breath with the dreaded feeling that if I turned around I would see my advisory directly behind me. This dream would last for weeks sometimes, leaving me mentally drained and emotionally on edge.

The good news of all this is sooner or later I would remember how to run, and I would out run my pursuer, and life would return to a more normal ebb and flow. Currently I am waiting for that feeling, the feeling of running once again, it will return of this I have no doubt. There is a life lesson in all this, I am sure, there always is. And if I allow it, that life lesson could change my life for ever… But first I must learn to run… again…

Paul

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My frustration levels are at an all time high, I feel the effects of no control and am ready to scream… This about sums up my current mood, if I twittered I would have posted it, and most likely received responses from friends and people I don’t know offering me words of wisdom I don’t want. But as it is I do blog, and so I will post my frustrations here, but unlike twitter I can express myself with a few more words, I will not be limited, my power to say as much or as little as I like is not taken away from me on my blog.

This over all feeling stems from the fact that power, my ability to make my own choice has been taken away from me. I am being forced to do something that I do not wish to do.

I think as humans we cherish our freewill, we consider it to be one of the most important aspects of our lives. I know I do… The ability to make up my own mind, to chose what I want or don’t want is, to me, the most important freedom I enjoy. All other freedoms stem from this one. Freewill is the mother of all others…

If I do not have the freedom of Freewill, than I could not choose to believe or not believe in God, with out freewill I could not choose to remain faithful or not, nor would I have the freedom to decide what kind of life I choose to live.

When we perceive our freewill is under attack we react, we fight back, if we can. The current problem is I have no ability to fight back, I have no freedom from this decision, and that weighs heavy on me.

The idea that I can not control the situation, the fact that I am being made to feel helpless is a very taxing idea, real or not, it is all the same. Since freewill is not a tangible object, not something that Wal-Mart sell, we are left with only or “feelings” and “perceptions” of what freewill is or does. To me, it is the essence of all other freedoms, it is the greatest of gifts from God and it is the very being of our humanhood. To have this freedom striped away from me, to have my ability to exercise it or not trampled on is a travesty.

In our current society we see this happen all the time and we see the effects of it in our everyday life. For me it is the fact that as part of my bankruptcy I must turn in my current vehicle and purchase a new vehicle with very limited funds (like I said I am in bankruptcy). The fact that the courts do not seem to care, that they seem to make it almost easer to just walk away is in it self a shame, but that’s another blog. The simple fact that I am being forced in to a situation that does not serve me and my interest the best, the simple fact that they have taken away my ability to use my freewill is dehumanizing. And before any of you start saying, “Well what did you expect, your in bankruptcy, it was your own bad choices that got you there in the first place”, all I can say is Yes I know, and You have no idea why I am in my current situation… My complainant is not about bankruptcy, but rather about the dehumanization of the process.

Example:

I my case I have to get rid of the current vehicle, it’s lease runs out in September, but the courts want me to return it now, fair enough. To be able to continue to work I need a dependable car, so I looked in to a  Kia, and inexpensive vehicle with a warranty. With the credit market tight, and the fact that I am in bankruptcy the payment would have been over $400 per mount, about what I am paying for my current lease. I asked for a used car, or the cheapest payment, but the condition of the bank would not allow it. I looked at a Ford dealership, won’t even consider me. So my options are limited.

So in-order to make the payments on the new vehicle my payments to the courts has to go down, logical I would say. Well the courts don’t seem to think so, in fact they won’t even allow me to skip a payment to have the down payment needed to get the new vehicle I need to get to work.

My lawyer than recommends that I just turn in the current, skip this payment and purchase a used vehicle with the whole $2000.00 I have. Here is the problem:

1. Not many reliable vehicles for that kind of money

2. By skipping my payment the courts can decide to toss out my case, leaving me holding the bag

3. I have a total breakdown due to the fact the our court system is (insert bad word here) up!

 

So, and I started off this blog, I and extremely frustrated, and ready to blow! I woke up at 3am this morning and was wide awake until 4, dozed in and out until 5:30 when my alarm went off… My 3am wake up call was a good time for me to practice my deep breathing skills and to say a few prayers to a select few saints… It will all work out, of this I am certain, like I have sated in this blog, we must have a positive attitude for a positive end result.

 

 

Paul

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Yesterday, I will admit it, I watched the services for the King of Pop… I had to see it for myself, and all in all , it was well done. But it does bring up some questions that we as a society must answer.

The media and fans and even some nonfans have turned Michael Jackson in to a saint a world peace maker a ambassador for race relations, and well the truth be told he was a troubled man with many issues.

I too think that he was a very gifted and multi talented person, and I agree that he brought happiness to the world through his gift. And yes he should be praised for this, but the out pouring of grief for this man, whom most of us did not know on a personal level is, well jest just say its a tad bit overboard.

King of Pop or not, Mr. Jackson had issues to deal with. In the limelight or not, he is human and should be held to the same standard as all others are help too. It seems that we often times forgive the sins of the famous with all to much ease. Lets look at a few of his:

  • Accused of child molestation
  • Drug use
  • Self hatred

I do not list them to be disrespectful, but to point out that MJ was not a saint, as most of us are not. That we must be willing to accept him as a whole being. He was not a monster as some would like to make him to be, but nor is he a saint as others would like us to believe, but what he was, was human, like all of us are.

To counter balance the short list of his sins, lets look at his humanity, he was:

  • A Son
  • A Brother
  • An Uncle
  • A friend
  • A Child of God’s
  • An Entertainer like no other
  • Listed in the Gunnies book of world records for the Pop Star to give the most to charity
  • and lets us not for get a Father

To be fair to him we need to list all his traits, good and bad, but we mustalways keep in mind that he, like us all, was human. Mr. Jackson was a frail little boy locked up in a mans body, the issues run deep with in his soul and in some ways we all have a little responsibility for this, we as fans place him up high, create a god of him than we abandon him in his hour of need, we play to his vulnerabilities to fulfill our needs, leaving him empty and spent. We treat our stats as our own personal play things and disregard them when we are done with them. Mr. Jackson, like all of us was given the gift of free will, he chose to do the drugs and other acts of self pity and hatred, but lest us not forget that we all, in someway, enabled him to do so.

You may not be a Jackson fan, so you may be saying, “Not Me”, but I would say to that, “Yes You” because if you did not do it for Mr. Jackson you did it for some other star. Indirectly we all all played a roll in this, in someway we all enabled him, in some way we all can take a small bit of reasonability for his demise just like in some way we all can take a bit of responsibility for his rise to stardom.

 

RIP Michael… May God Bless your soul…

Paul

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It has been some time for me to write an original blog for You Can Be new, I have either posted the same blog to both of my sites or just not posted. Well today that will stop, I will post once again an original thought….

I have been extremely busy as of late, with the release of my companies product and with my 9 to 5 job… But I will make time, either at night or in the morning to post. I know that no one depends on my post for there life, that they can survive a day with out reading what I have to say, in fact I would say some people as most likely happy I stopped posting. But I will go back to a statement I made early on in this blog, I blog for me, know one else.  It is for my benefit that I spend the time blogging, it helps me hone in my skills, fine tune my opinions and in someway allows me the small feeling of being part of something larger than myself. 

We all need to belong to something that is larger than ourselves, we all need to know and understand that we are not the center of the universe that we are not the alpha and omega but rather we are just one small part of the over all.

Humility is a strong and powerful ally to have. He who is humble is truly at peace with themselves. The humility to admit that you are not the center of the world, to admit that your are nothing but one piece of the over all puzzle will place you in the position of power.

Now I am sure most of you are scratching your head at this very moment asking yourself, How can be humble place me in a position of power? Well good question, and I am glad you asked…

Humility allows you, the humble one, to remove yourself from the moment, allowing you to see the events that are taking place as they truly are, and not as you wish to see them as to benefit you.

Read read that one more time, make sure you grasp that concept… I’ll wait…

Ok, good, now that you have read it once more, lets look at it again.

If I am truly humble, than in any given situation I will not place myself at the center of events, but to remain humble I would remove myself and my concerns for self from the event and look at the concerns of others. If I am not the center of the universe, the do all and end all or the alpha and omega than I no longer need to concern myself with how I would feel or look or whatever, by true concern would be for the others involved, and there are always others.

If I except the fact that I am but one small part of the over all, and I am humble than my concern turns to the other small parts of the over all.

Just think about that for a few seconds, the possibilities of it. By humbling ourselves we have allowed ourselves to be used for the greater good, and in doing so, we have shown ourselves to be leaders, thus gaining great power over ourselves and others.

The irony of it all is this, we have gained great power, but as a humble being we will never use it to advance our own personal agenda. A truly humble person has the ability to change the world.

  • Jesus
  • Gandhi
  • Fr. Solanus Casey
  • Mother Teresa

All are examples of great humility, and all have changed the world, some to greater effects than others, but change the world they did.

Humility is a powerful thing, and one that can not be missed used, by it’s very nature, one can not be humble and full of themselves, one can not be humble yet seek to harm others, one can not be humble and see only themselves. To truly be humble one has to truly deny themselves to themselves. One can not serve self and others at the same time, as Jesus said, One can not serve to masters…

I strive for this perfect humility, I fail more than i achieve, but i continue to strive.

Paul

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The Challenge

Well I told you that I was working hard to launch the STATIC Program, and as you can see by the press release I posted, The STATIC Portal is launched. Now I would love to say I have had hundreds of churches sign up, but that would be a lie, and I would love to say that my email have been flooded with request for more information, but that would be a lie, but what I can say is, I have launched what I consider to be a very well thought out and produced faith formation program. One that truly challenges the youth to new levels of faith, not only the youth, but also the teacher. The STATIC Program is one program with many faces. It is, in a way, a traditional class room (well not really), but it is much, much more. The STATIC Program challenges all who participate to in the program, the youth, the teachers, ministers and parents, all are challenged to examine there faith. We ask them to open up there minds and hearts and to allow there souls the ability to breath, to take in the Holy Spirit. STATIC allows for this growth, encouraging  it and fostering it. Like no other program, STAITC truly challenges the participants to examine there faith to grow in there faith and to learn and discover there faith.

Now the question is, what do we do as adults to do the same? How do we challenge our faith, how do we grow in our faith? What action do we take, what steps to deepening our faith are we currently one?  We, as Catholics, are called to learn more, to deep out faith and to always be ready and able to defend out fait, can you? Are you ready to defend your faith? Are you studying more, reading more, attending more and being more? Are you fulfilling your calling to the faith?

I would say no, most of us are not, I know I could be doing more, we all could be. But as a youth I was never challenged to own my faith, my options and    questions were never of value to others with in the faith, I as a youth truly had no opinion. STATIC is trying to change that, we are challenging the concept of youth should be seen and not heard, and sadly in some churches they should not be seen nor heard. Sad as that may sound. But I was always one who questioned, I wanted to know more, I have always had a love for my faith and because of that love, I have always wanted to know more. So I developing this program, I have had to studied and learn more, to dig deeper in to the faith.

The youth are a vibrant part of our community, they give us life and add a layer of light heartedness, they are part of the body of Christ, they are the very children Christ himself called to him, remember Jesus tells us that we must be like children to enter in to the kingdom of God.

We read this passage and forget it as fast as we read it. It does not fit in to our world view of youth, it flows counter to our culture. But wasn’t that just like Jesus, to challenge us to be more, do more and live a fuller life in Him.  But ain’t that just like humans to pick and choose what part of the teachings of Jesus we want to follow, believe in and take deep in our hearts.

The youth of our parishes are the life line and the blood of our faith community. Yet we all to often choose to push them to the side, to ignore them. All to often the youth are seen as the clean up crew, but we at STATIC see them as much more. We see them as active, vibrant and essential to the faith life of our faith life. We view the youth as not the clean up crew but as part of the over all parish life.

So, even though I can not say that the STATIC site has been overwhelmed with hits, and churches are just clamoring to sigh up, but they are not, but I also know that they will, in time they will sigh up, when they decide that the youth are important to them, they will sign up, I know…

So this is the challenge I face, how do I show the Church the value of youth, and of the STATIC Program?

Paul

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