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Posts Tagged ‘lesson’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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I love to read, I read books, magazines, newspapers and anything else I can find to read. I love to read different types or styles from Stephen King to Bishop Fulton Sheen. Give me a Catholic book, magazine or

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

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With the political session to start in full swing soon, I thought I would take the time to mention a few things. As any reader of this blog knows, I am a concretive both in my faith and

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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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2316677591_6654e4ce6f With Mothers Day upon us, it is time to reflect on our mother, both earthly and those that are no longer with us. The other day I posted a blog about having parents, or better yet, the blog was tong in cheek about needing to prove I had parents on my

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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calledtoministry This past weekend I spent my time reading and listing to Catholic radio. Of course I cleaned the house, did my wash and other such tasks, but I spent a lot of time sitting and reading. It was nice, I have not had a lot of time to do that, or should I say I have not made time to do that.

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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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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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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What ever happen to  the concept of responsibility? It seems we have lost that somewhere along the way to enlightenment. As we grab onto those lofty ideas of inner growth and walk down the path of opening our minds, we seem to forget that we have an obligation to self, that we are responsible for our own actions.

In the modern world, all-to-often we hear people state “Not my fault”, “I didn’t know” or even “But, I wanted too” or something along those lines. the basic underling theme of each of them is the same, the lack of personal responsibility.

And the sickening part of it all is that we as a culture now think this is an appropriate response. We now expect and accept the concept that it was out of our control, that we had nothing to do with it, that a great force overtook us and we could not stop it, we were at it’s mercy, that we are the victims (because everyone loves being the victim).

My 17 year old nephew is a perfect example, or for that matter, any teen will prove the point. Ask a very direct question, such as did you_(fill in the blank)_? and 9 times out of 10 you will get the response of an excuse, a reason why they did not.  The question required a simple yes or no, nothing more nothing less, but what you get is reasons why they had no control over the situation. Now you may be saying, well that’s just teens, they all do that… And I will respond by saying, Yes you are correct they all do do it, and that’s my point! We, the adults, allow them to, because we, the adults, accept that, we nurture it in them. If we, the adults, did not allow it, than they, the teens, would not do it. Example, when my nephew, or any other teen, responds to a simple yes or no question my response is “That’s not what I asked you”. I didn’t ask for the six million reasons why the dishes are still in the sink, or why you lost your phone or anything else, what I asked was “Did you _____?”. Simple question requiring a simple response. And the funny thing is, he now knows (for the most part) that he needs to respond to the question, and not play the victim of his own lack of responsibility, in fact, the scary part of all this is, that most youth I deal with learn this lesson rather quickly from me, because I do not allow them to skip over personal responsibility when they are responding or talking to me.

But as long as we, the adults, allow them to continue placing the blame elsewhere, as long as we accept and expect them to do so, they will continue to do so. But, and this is a big but, we must also take stock in our own lack of personal responsibility. We as adults do the same exact thing, I wave worked with and still do work with many who never take the blame, the blame is always place on someone or something else. I have the same exact conversations that I have with my nephew with adults, ask a yes or no questions get a five minute dissertation on why they did not or could not or would not, but the same theme runs through it all, it is never, under any circumstances there fault. Funny how that works, with so many perfect adults in the world one must wonder how we ever got so screwed up.

The challenge before us is one of paramount responsibility, in a world were the Nanny State is on the rise, and were the populous wants and expects the government to take care of them from birth to death we are entering in to a world of no responsibility. We are entering a unprecedented time in American History, it is a defining moment for us, as our President (Mr. Obama) likes to keep telling us, and he is correct! The defining moment is now, and it is all about responsibility, our own personal responsibility. We have to decide if we want to keep passing our responsibility to the government or do we want to keep it for ourselves. Do we want to be truly free (keeping our own personal responsibility) or do we want to be slaves (giving all our responsibility to the government).

Personal responsibility is walking towards a slow death, so far it has been an uphill walk, but we are now at the top of the hill, and what we choose to do at this moment in our history will determine the direction and speed of our walk. If we choose to continue to negate our personal responsibilities we will run, not walk down the back side of the hill in to slavery to the government, but if we choose at this pivotal time in our history to turn back towards they way we came from, if we choose to re-accept our personal responsibilities, that we can start our slow, responsible walk back down the front side of the hill towards our personal freedoms once again.

We have a choice to make, it is our responsibility to make the correct choice, not only for our today’s but also for our children’s children’s tomorrows.

Paul

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Last night I went to a concert, I saw Colin Hay, the lead singer from Men at Work, an 80’s mega group. One of my favorites from the 80’s. I have followed his career from the band to his current solo work. Great stuff, but that not the point, the point is what he had to say, with his songs and with out.

Mr. Hay uses words and music to relay his message, his dreams and nightmares are played out for us in songs we tap our feet to and sing along with. But what really impressed me was what was not sung, what Mr. Hay did not say with words or music.

For all who don’t know, Men at work shot in to stardom with there big début album “Cargo” with the smash hits “Land Down Under” “Who can it be now” and “Over Kill” the follow up album did ok and there last did nothing.  they went from the top to the bottom in a matter of 3 years.

Mr. Hay, a talented singer and song writer went on to  record 2 solo albums than was dropped from the major labels leaving him to ask himself “what now”. As he tells the story, we decided he needed something to do after he drank his morning coffee, so he decided to play in small clubs and record his own music. The result was a man willing to accept what he was compared to what he use to be.

Over the years I have worked with ex-rock stars, and the reason they remain part of the past is because they remain in the past, they refuse to let it go and to embrace the present. My. Hay decided differently, he understood that men at work was a part of his life, but now it’s Colin Hay with out the band. He let go the part to embrace the now.

Mr. Hay may have let go of the past, but he has not forgotten it, his songs often times are reminders of what use to be, looking at the past with new eyes. Sure there is regret and sadness in some of the past, but there is also joy and happiness. But the same is true for the now, we experience sadness and joy all in a matter of a few moments.

Now I do not know Mr. Hay beyond his music and from what I saw last night on stage, but from what I can tell, Mr. Hay has not only accepted his life, he has embraced it. Sure he wish for the success that once was, he is looking for the fame that use to be, but he is also enjoying the moment that is.

We all can learn a lot from this ex-rock star, and enjoy the music that the lesson is at the same time. As Mr. Hay himself states, “My My My what a beautiful world”. I would have to agree!

Paul

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