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Posts Tagged ‘word’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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friend2 About a year or two ago a friend gave me a book to read. It sounded very interesting, it was a thriller and love story and mystery and supernatural all rolled into one. I don’t know the authors name, and the name of the book slips me at the moment, but that’s really not that important for what I have to tell you.

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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Often times it is hard to start this blog, I am not sure what to talk about and sometimes I am not sure if it really matters all that much. But as I have stated several times in the past, this blog is more a benefit to me than to others. This blog allows me the opportunity to workout what I think and feel about issues. Often times I use it to spew my Conservative political convictions or my Catholic faith. I use it as my own little sounding board, and over all I think that is a very good thing.

I have blogged about the importance of writing in a journal, well this blog is that, this is my journal, this is my space…

As of late you will notice that I have been very sporadic in my blogging, days and days go by with no words of wisdom from me, yet the world seems to still go on, and that is a very good feeling, to know that I am not that important to the workings of this world. I would hate the feeling of responsibility to this blog, to know that someone actually depends on this blog and my musings. In a way I think it would detract from the writing of this blog, I would feel the pressure to always at the top of my game, and truth be told, I never what that feeling. I like the feeling of just being average, nothing special.

I am told that I am extremely smart and have an IQ that is in the genus level, yet I strive for nothing more than average. In fact I find it difficult to deal with people who are perfectionist or who feel they must achieve the top score or be labeled the best.

If any one has watched the movie “Amadeus” one of my favorite lines from it

 

 

 

 

Salieri: I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.

 

I love that line, along with hundreds of others in the movie… But that one line, I speak for all mediocrities in the world… What a great line and that is how I feel, that is what I think. I truly feel no need to always be the best, to always be on top, sometimes (well most of the time) average will do.

To what end is it to always be the best, to always be on top of the game? I see none, now I do think people need to work hard to strive for the goal, but I also feel that sometimes the goal is not important. Take Salieri, he wanted to always be on top, to always be the best, yet he never could, Mozart was, yet Mozart’s average was still better than Salieri’s best. So why concern yourself to death with it? Mediocrity is not a bad word…

But in this global economy and the world competing for everything we all to often push ourselves and sadly our children in to a frenzy to be perfect to always be on top of their game to always be the best. But reality is, not everyone can be the best, not everyone can win…. So why are we teaching ourselves and our youth that winning is everything? Why do we keep pushing them to be more than they are? What ever happen to “Just do your best, that’s all I ask” that phrase seems to have vanished from our vocabulary, now its I only expect the best from you, I only expect all A’s, or a perfect game or what every it is you expect.

With great expectations come great failures… Please understand I am not say we do not need to push ourselves or our youth, but we also need to be realistic and expect and accept that no all are Mozart’s that some of us are Salieri’s, and that too is OK…

I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint. ~Salieri

 

Paul

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Aristotle

Stop and think about that for a few seconds, excellence is not an act but a habit… This leads to the logical conclusion that excellence can be and in-fact is  a learned action. Like all habits, good and bad, we must learn to perform the action.

The problem is we have associated the word habit with a negative. Think about it, smoking, over eating, drugs, drinking, all are habits and all are negative. How often do you hear someone state that they have a reading habit or an exercising habit or any other positive act as a habit.

But Aristotle knew the truth, he understands the human nature, any act, be it positive or negative, is a learned act. So if one can learn to smoke than one can learn not to (I know this because I have done both). If one can learn to speak poor English, than one can learn proper English. If one can learn to scam others than they can learn to give to others.

Aristotle’s statement did not give economic status as a prerequisite to creating excellence. In other words he did not state that a person of a lower class can not achieve excellence, he just simple stated that it is a habit.

If we truly believe that all humans are created equal, that logic states that all have the same opportunity to create positive habits.

So start today, create a new positive habit and make it a habit to refer to positive things as a habit, such as I am making in a habit to read more positive books, or I am making it a habit to eat healthy. Make new habits, one at a time, that will change your life for the better.

 

Paul

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"The last of the human freedoms is to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances." -Victor Frankl

 

For anyone who has ever read this blog or my other blog, you know that freedom is a major theme for me. Often times I use the word Authentic Freedom because we all to often mix up what we believe is freedom to what freedom really is. Well I think Mr. Frankl got it right!

Freedom is a slippery thing and has many sides, but we still are the masters of it and we decide how we choose to use or abuse it or is some cases how we neglect it or abandon it. 

I have long been a believer in the you make your own destiny, we choose to react to situations in a way that will give us the outcome we desire. I have seen two people process the same information yet each will tell you a completely different story and will react to it in an almost predictable way. A negative person will always find the bad, the down in any situation and they will project that feeling in to the situation causing it to be a negative feeling or outcome. Were as a positive person will take a negative and turn it in to a positive, they will find the positive in any situation and project that emotion in to the situation causing a more positive outcome. It truly is in our control, I myself have seen it and have participated in it,as have we all.

So what makes one positive and one negative? Why would one choose to be negative? Well there are many reasons or theories:

  • Genetics
  • Hard wiring in the mind
  • Life experiences
  • Attention
  • Born that way
  • Just want to be

All are valid and I thing in some small ways all are true and all play a roll in it. And the same can be said for the positive person, all the same valid reasons are just as true for the positive person, what I think it comes down to is this. I choose to be positive or negative because from being one over the other I gain greater joy, greater pleaser. Yes the negative person gains joy from there negatives. If they did not they would not be negative. Just like a smoker gains pleasure from smoking, a negative person gains please from the negativeness of there life. They create it and nurture it, so they must enjoy it. Now some may be saying well that’s just silly, no one would choose to be negative, but really is it that silly of a concept? People choose to be whipped and chained up for sexual pleasure, and most of us would have to say that, that doesn’t sound like pleasure to us. But to them it is, to them it is a great pleasure the pain turns them on. If this is so, than it stands to reason that a negative person must gain pleasure from there negativeness or they would not be negative.

It is our choosing, our freedom to choose our response to anyone given situation. This freedom to determine our reaction is one of the greatest freedoms we have, it truly is an authentic freedom. We read about people in horrific situations, Nazi concentration camps, torture chambers and such, yet we also hear of the love they felt or offered or the sacrifice they gave and the positive out look on life they still maintained.

The film “I am David” is a perfect example of how our outlook on situations will determine the outcome of the situation. It tells the story of a young boy who, with the help of a prison guard, escapes from a concentration camp in Eastern Europe, and of his journey to Denmark. Along the way he meets interesting people and has many adventures. In this movie David has a very negative outlook on life, with valid reasons, and yet he is met with some very positive opportunities that turn negative, based on his projection unto them. In the film David grows, and as he does, his negativeness changes in to a more positiveness, causing the events in his life to become more positive. Yes I know its a film, but the concept is the same.

We control our outcome, we determine the reaction we choose to give to any given situation. Life is full of opportunities to see good or evil, positive or negative it’s in our power to see it as we please, it is our last freedom, one that no one can take form us.

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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