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Posts Tagged ‘christian’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...

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Yesterday was Fathers Day, so to all the dad’s Happy Fathers Day! The word dad is a lot larger than the 3 letters that make it up, the word dad encompasses a whole concept and radical idea, or at least in today’s world it seems radical. As of late the media has been hot and heavy on the idea of downplaying the rolls of dad’s in the family life. their have been several articles published about how the man is not a necessary part of family life, and some that have even gone so far as to state that the dad is a detriment to the family. Now I will admit that most have been written by anti-male femi-Nazi’s but still the media has taken and run with it. They have published the reports as if they came from

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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The famous Droeshout portrait of William Shake...

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I have had to write a few blogs on saying goodbye, I have had to say goodbye to both of my parents, to my grandparents and to a nephew along with my dog. Each of the goodbye’s offered me a lesson in life, and each, in there own way took a part of my

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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bildeCAPI4JRM Yesterday the City of Detroit mourned the loss of a great man, Ernie Harwell, the voice of summer. Ernie was the broadcast announcer for the Detroit Tigers for years. His voice on the radio meant that summer was here.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator ...

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As part of my job, my 9 to 5 job, the one that pays my bills, I get to travel the world. I love that aspect of my job, I love going to new places. Not only do I get to go to new places, I get to make new friends. I now have friends in five countries around the world and have traveled to seven different countries. So on this next trip I get to visit my friends I have not seen in over a year. It will be nice.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Abraham and Isaac (detail), 1645, by Rembrandt...

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I am sure as Catholics you have hear the phrase “Offer it up” as in offer up all your pain and suffering to Jesus. I know I have heard it and to me it often sounds like “Suck it up” a phrase we often times tell our kids when they get hut playing a sport or are unhappy about some work they have to do. It’s a phrase we use to tell them, some times life is hard, sometimes life ain’t fair, but get use to it.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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A monument dedicated to the unborn victims of ...

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In a soft voice, full of concern it was spoken. “This is my body”. It was spoken with a love that was felt by all and it lofted lightly in the air waiting for the soft breeze  to carry it away.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Thomas Aquinas stained glass window.

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I am finding more and more the richness of the Holy Bible, the more I learn the more little nuggets of truth I discover. As I was listening to Catholic Talks on CD’s (yes I know I have been on about these CD’s for days’… but I just keep finding something new in them) I have be re-wakened the the depth of knowledge each little passage contains. It amazes me that one word or phrase can contain a life changing truth.

As the owner and creator* of STATIC Solutions, a Catholic company the produces educational materials for middle school youth, I am always on the look out for new ideas, new bits and pieces of truth that can be used to excite and deepen the faith life of the youth and the adults who are charged with imparting the truth. I find that it’s not hard to find that one passage or phrase the hard part is deciding what one.

I have just started to develop some new material, I am in the beginning stage were I need to play the concept out, I need to define what it is I am looking for (or as the case maybe, what God is trying to get me to do). This process involves the selection of the main theme that is to run through the book, what basic idea or truth is the book to depart. It is a long process, one that sometimes takes months or even years, yes I have a few ideas that have been sitting in my head for years.

It’s interesting, because as I listened to the CDs I discovered that I could write whole books, teach a whole class on just on passage or phrase. The depth of that phrase or passage could fill volumes. I could take the simple phrase “I Thirst” or “You are Peter” and build a course around them. This is my new dilemma…. What phrase or word or passage do I use, how do I use it and what do I do with it.

The concept of STATIC Solutions program is to take the youth deeper in to the faith, to really look at one area, to show them the richness of that phrase or person or book. Each of our classroom books look at a subsection of the over all concepts. For example the one of the books is entirely on the Exodus of the Israelites for Egypt. We spend five sessions doing nothing but recounting the Exodus and it’s meaning to us today and it’s part in Salvation History. We dive in to the mindset of the Israelites and Mosses, we place ourselves into the moment and feel the desert heat on our backs and the aches and pains of the long walk. Our hearts break over the sinfulness of Gods people, yet we can see ourselves in the humanity of them all. It is five sessions that truly take us back in time. Each of our course books deals with a subset such as that, rather than covering the whole Old Testament in five weeks or even fifteen, we choose to create an experience that will envelop the youth, take hold of their imaginations and souls and with God grace, create a conversation moment for them.

Our philosophy is why “dump” thousands of years of Salvation History on them, it is better to give them nuggets of truth that will excite them and enlighten them, than it is to drowned them is Christian history. If it has taken the Catholic Church over two thousand years to come to Her understanding of the faith, why should we expect our youth to do it in eight years? Is it not better to give them the thirst for knowledge and truth than to drowned them in it?

So as you can see my dilemma is how to take the beauty of the book of Job and turn it into a five session gem, or to take the phrase “I Thirst” and keep it to only five sessions. The glory of God and the Catholic Church can never be contained in the mind of man, yet alone in books. Yet this is what I attempt to do, this is the calling I have answered and the challenge I am tasked with.

The CDs are examples of this, year of the speakers could have went on for hours and hours, if not days. Yet they were confined to thirty minute or one hour at most. To take the vastness of Gods glory and condense it into a book or talk… The concept is truly, well its just mind blowing.

This is what I love about my faith, the fact that each day I can learn and grow, that a passage I have heard one hundred times before can suddenly take on a whole new meaning.  That the truth of the faith keeps growing or should I say that my understanding of the truth keeps growing. That the smallest of details sometimes are the greatest of truths.

The challenges given to me to create the programs I create are a life lesson in humility and faith, and yes the CDs I listened to reminded me of this very fact. They have created in me a new desire to research and learn and to create. As the STATIC Solutions tag line reads “Educate ~ Innovate ~ Create… that is me calling and one I am willing to answer.

God Bless

Paul

Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith
1 Corinthians 15:55-57“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

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Today I had to practice keeping my anger under control, in fact that’s how I started my day. A part of my life currently is dealing with a bankruptcy, due to the failing of our store and helping other people out and getting taken advantage of. But that’s for a different blog. 

What happened this morning to start my day so well… My Jeep was repoed, now if it was expected I would be fine with it, but as part of my bankruptcy is the protection of the Jeep. So my anger quickly came to the forefront. Trust me it took all I have to hold it in check. I am currently working to get my Jeep back and continue on my way to repay all my debt. Yes, I am repaying it all, not all bankruptcy’s are the same, I will be paying off all my debt, the bankruptcy is just to protect me in situations like this. But it failed me, so far. With any luck I will have my Jeep back soon, if not I will be getting a new vehicle.

God finds ways to test us, or is it better to say, we find ways to test ourselves. It is up to me to keep my anger in check, God did not create the situation I am in, I did, God did not make me open up a Catholic/Christian book store, I did, God did not make me help out a family member nor did God make that family member abuse my kindness. God didn’t do any of that, but what God did was to be with me at all times, he offered His comfort and graces to me. And this morning I took them and held my anger at bay. It was hard, and to tell you the truth, I really wanted to let it all out, to use words that are not very nice, but I didn’t.

God has a funny way about Him, he finds the oddest moments to show His love. In the mist of a bankruptcy He chooses to show His grace to me, He chooses to send HIs calming love to me.  God seems to like to use situations like this to show his saving grace.

It seems God has a sense of humor, because I am sure someone finds this all funny, and others will find it justice, thinking I am trying to get out of paying my debt, but as I have stated, I will be repaying my debt 100%, I just need the help in restructuring it, allowing my time to pay it. In three years it will all be paid off, and I will continue along my way. So Ha Ha very funny does not apply here, it’s more like, well here we go again, yet another bump in the road.

I know that God is with me, and that is love and grace is always with me. And with His love I will make it, I will survive. I just hope with a little less bumps and a little less drama. I just want to get on with it, move on and enjoy life.

Now truth be told, I am enjoying life, and I am getting on with it, but I really would like to be done with all this, the stress is sometimes unbearable, and it makes it hard to keep an upbeat personality going. I am, by nature, an upbeat person, so to add this stress to my life is like adding an anchor to me, keeping me down, and this weight last for three years… As Charlie Brown would say UGGH! It is at times like this that I do feel like good old Charlie Brown, I feel like a BLOCK HEAD!

But I know that it will all be over one day, that soon I will be debt free and out of bankruptcy, but I am sure something will replace that, there seems to always be something going on in my life, death of a parent, taking in a youth and now bankruptcy, So what will it be next? I guess I will just have to wait…

Sometimes the excitement is just to much for me… NOT! Truth be told, I could use a little non-excitement in my life, it would be nice to know that noting is happening, that nothing is going wrong. But I am convinced that my life is not meant to be boring, that in to my life strife must come.

But in the end, I was proud of myself for keeping my cool this morning, I was pleased to know that all the bad words stayed in my head, and in the end this little life experience has taught me a life lesson, and for that I am thankful, but its still not funny!

Paul

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As a Catholic I am getting ready to start Lent, a time of reflection and fasting. Lent offers us chance to look back over our life and reflect on what we have done and what we have become. Lent also offers us the opportunity to look forward to reflect on what we want to do and become. Lent is a time of reflection, a time to make new, to be reborn. Lent leads up to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, It is a time for Catholics to prepare for a new life. As I think about lent, I thought that in truth all of us, Catholic or not, Christian or not, we all can us a little lent in our life. So I thought I would use this blog space to talk about the power of reflection, both back and forward.

Reflection, like seeing an image in a mirror, we have the opportunity to view ourselves as we are, and how we want to be. A little like playing dress up in front of the mirror, like you did when you were a kid, we all did. Put on mom or dads close, look in the mirror and pretend to be the parent, the one in charge. Well reflection can be sort of like that, it allows us to try on new selves, and it allows us to look at past selves.

As I stated above, the Catholic Church sets aside 40 days every year for us to do just that, to reflect. What wisdom the Church had in doing so. And what wisdom we all have gained from it. Weather we do this personal secular lent now or when the Church does it matters little, what matters is that we do it. We set the time aside and we reflect, we take stock in who we where, who we are and who we want to be. We try on new selves, see how they fit, mix and match old with new and reflect on what we see.

This process is used everywhere, from the Church to major corporations to small family run operations. Families do it as well as individuals. This is not a new concept, but one that I feel needs to be restated every now and then. If you are a reader of my blogs you will know that I often return to the idea of reflection. I often call it by different names, but the idea is the same. Take time to look at yourself, take time to learn from your past to create your future. If you are a Christian, use the time of Lent to reflect not only on God, but also on yourself, your relationship with others and God. If you are a non-Christian, set aside some time to reflect, follow the Christian calendar and start on February 25 and continue until Easter Sunday, or set your own dates. But do it, allow yourself the opportunity to reflect, to look back and forward.

Journal about it, keep a record, start a blog, track you progress. It is important that we know we are moving, that our efforts are not stagnate. Lent, a time to prepare for a rebirth, yours and Christ, and a time to reflect on what was and what will be.

Paul

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