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Posts Tagged ‘hearts’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Bachalpsee in the morning, Bernese Alps

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Each and everyday we all wake with the opportunity to make a difference in our lives. We awake with an newness that only exist in that moment. The moment before reality sets in. What we chose to do with that moment can make or break our day.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United S...

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Ok, so here it is, I have been listening to talk radio on the way into work, and the big topic The Arizona law on illegal’s.  The Catholic Bishops seem to think the law is inhuman and some how degrading. The liberal bleeding hearts feel that the law is unjust and takes away the

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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.”

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Let us never forget the sacrifice of Americans in the fight for freedom. The firefighters and officers of the law, the office managers and the custodians alike. Let us never forget the lost of mom’s and dad’s in the fight for freedom, the aunts and uncles and the friends that never were.

Let us never forget the cries of pain from inside the planes and the cries of anguish with in our own hearts as we witnessed the attack on freedom. 

Freedom is to be cherished, it should be praised and protected, on all fronts and on all levels. Freedom is ours to hold on to and ours to waste away, ours to give freely to others and ours to nurture.

Let us never forget the cost of freedom, eight years ago 3000 people paid that price and today our brave men and woman of the US Armed Forces are continuing to pay that price.

Today, stop and say a prayer for America and the world, today pray for the conversion of the hearts of our attackers and for the families of all who were lost in the fight for our freedom. My God bless them….

Paul

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The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
    One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.
    He argued, ‘What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided
His best option in life was to become a teacher?’
    He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about
Teachers:
    ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.’
    To emphasize his point he said to another guest; ‘You’re a
Teacher, Bonnie..
   Be honest. What do you make?’
    Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
     ‘You want to know what I make?
    (She paused for a second, then began…)
    ‘Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they
Could.
    I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their
Parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
    "You want to know what I make." (She paused again and looked at
Each and every person at the table.)
    ”I make kids wonder…
    I make them question.
    I make them apologize and mean it.
    I make them have respect and take responsibility for their
Actions.
    I teach them to write and then I make them write..
    Keyboarding isn’t everything.
    I make them read, read, read.
    I make them show all their work in math.. They use their
    God-given brain,not the man-made calculator.
    I make my students from other countries learn everything they
Need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
    I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe..
    I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the
    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in
The United States of America .
    I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were
Given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.’
    (Bonnie paused one last time, then continued.)
    ‘Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money
Isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because
They are ignorant… You want to know what I make?
I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What do you make Mr. CEO?’
His jaw dropped, he went silent.

 

Me, I am a teacher, in my daily job an din all I do. I have always practice the concept of using every moment as a teaching moment. Now please don’t get me wrong, I don’t quiz or question the youth about everything we do, I don’t spend time looking for the hidden teaching moment, but I approach all I do as a moment to teach and to learn.

I do make a difference because I choose to, If I was that Mr. CEO in the story above, I could have held my head high and stated that I to teach, but also if I was that Mr. CEO I would have never equated money with usefulness, I understand that the two do not go together.

Can you say you teach, for that sake of our children and of this nation I pray that you respond with a yes.

Paul

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Today I am going to ask you a question, and it is my hope that you will leave a response here on this blog. Often times the act of writing something down allows our mind to leave it, to rest in it or to be a peace with it. Today’s question is concerning others, but is deeply rooted in your soul.

We often times define ourselves based on the actions of others. We give ourselves value or diminish our value based on the ones we surround ourselves with. This question is going to ask you to look deep with in, and to place your heart and soul out in the open for all to see. This is a risk for most and an everyday occurrence for others. Some of us naturally “wear our hearts on our sleeves”, but this question, this exercise is different, I am not going to ask you to state something personal about you, directly, but rather to look at others in your life, now or in the past, and to place your heart out for them.

Take your time, think deeply on this question, and than respond.

 

Who in your life should be acknowledged more?

 

It seems like a simple question, a one or two word response and your on your way, but that’s not what the question is calling for, what its calling for is a deeper response, one that calls for the emotion of the soul to be heard.  Use this space to acknowledge them, offer them your praise and empty bear your soul to them.

Paul

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