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Scenes from my first Christmas

Yes, this is my First Christmas.....as a Deacon of course. Fr. Andrew reminded me and the entire congregation of that, along with the story ...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Encourage each other daily!

For those of you who recite the Morning Prayers you might be aware of this little phrase. In the Invitatory Psalm 95 there is a small quote...."Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13). I have been reading this for over a year now and only this week has this small phrase made a real impact in my life. Why does this seem to happen?

Yesterday I was reading the Word Among Us reflection and the following  quotes really stirred up a well spring of emotions...

"You have every reason to be a minister of Jesus' love and mercy.
In a world that has grown jaded, positive and encouraging people
are exceptional-and deeply needed!
wau july/August pg 82

When you mix these two messages with a guy who thrives on a positive outlook in life, you can create a challenge to make this happen. Today at work I had to check up on a repair order for a window treatment for one of my customers. I was wondering why it had taken so long. I called and there was some confusion about the order, the company changed their repair order numbers and couldn't locate my order. The receptionist asked me to track the order with the shipping company and call them back. I called the shipping company and it took a while and finally I received the information that I needed. I called the company back and the receptionist was investigating the situation and throughout the conversation I sensed a nervous and hesitant person. She seemed afraid that I was going to blow up about the situation. She kept asking me to be patient and to wait a few minutes and I assured her that wasn't a problem at all. She seemed to calm down and she was able to locate the order and explain that they were waiting for a part to complete the repair.

I then put something into practice, I thanked her for her patience and for the very nice work that she did. I praised her, encouraged her, and I could tell through the conversation that she was thankful, and feeling really good. Working in sales I am well aware that we get more criticisms than praises. I really don't know who felt better from this phone call. I guess we were tied on the feeling great meter.

"So go ahead and encourage one another.
Build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Talk about what God is doing in your life.
Comment on the good things you see him doing in
someone else's life.
Be positive, supportive, appreciative."
WAU july/August page 82

Adieu mes Amis!


PS Don't waste any time, do it today!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You ain't seen nothin yet!

Yes, I know very poor English on this headline. While reading the Gospel this week we find Jesus talking to Nathanael..."Keep watching. Have faith. You haven't seen anything yet!" (wau July/August 76)  Honestly when I read the passage I thought of the song from BTO "Baby you ain't seen nothin yet!" Remember I am over 50 for those of you who don't remember BTO!

In the past few weeks there have been some incredible things that have happened to me, that have left me in awe. I have been in the middle of situations that without a doubt in my mind the Holy Spirit put me there to be Christ's voice, His touch, and sometimes just his presence.

Mike called me this week to touch base on the weekend and to let me know how his weekend went. We then got on the topic of how special events have been occurring in our lives, Mike made a comment that I won't forget..."Amazingly events have been going on in our lives, and now I am more aware of them!" He mentioned that as great as it has been, it's also sad that many are oblivious of Christ's presence in their lives and of all the wonderful things they could see and be a part of if they became a little more aware of Our Lord.

So to all of you out there....."Keep watching. Have Faith.

You haven't seen anything yet!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Terry and I were looking forward to gathering with all the Deacons and candidates at a picnic gathering on Saturday. I spent some time planning everything, checking the location and punching it into my gps. I had all the bases covered, we should arrive at the gathering around 10:30. I missed a turn and then followed with blind allegiance the gps. We headed down a dirt road and Terry kept telling me..."maybe we should ask directions?" My response was "I'm going to trust the gps". After seeing a few cars turn around and scraping the bottom of mine a bit I saw a hill and said..."I'm not going up there!"  Well we back tracked and traveled down a dead end road and a lady gave me directions to turn around and head to Raymond. Funny, it seemed to me that this wasn't the first time that this had happened to her.

I stopped at a local hardware store and received directions to get to the park. Again, the gps wanted us to go another way, but this time I listened to the directions I received. The directions were awesome and we were soon at the park. As we got out of the car a nice gentlemen said..."you must be a candidate!" Wow, was it that obvious? Well we made it just in time for dinner. Everyone was so nice and asked us how long it took us to get there. Our answer..."four hours!" "Huh, what happened" was there response. I said I have a new gps called "dumb-dumb!" After all the laughs, we ate, and reminisced with everyone. It had been a long time since we were together, and it was great to just be there! The time passed along quickly and soon everyone was leaving.

Terry and I had called Tom and Lynne to say "Hi" and to ask if they were up for a visit later on. With an early departure we were soon at their home and spent time with them.We were treated to a great supper that we won't soon forget. The evening was just beautiful, a gorgeous sunset, a fire, but best of all...... "time" spent with friends. 

It was a very full day for the two of us and I wouldn't have changed a thing....eh, correct that, I would have listened to Terry instead of the dumb-dumb!

Bonsoir mes Amis!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vous avez un bon coeur!

Yesterday I happened to run into my seventh and eighth grade parochial french teacher at the IGA. The grocery store has been a magical place for me for many years, after all that is where Terry and I met and the rest is history. Well anyways, I saw my teacher there and of course I said hello in french to her. She was a little surprised but definitely happy to see me. She said congratulations on your new career! Of course I said "merci beaucoups" and told her that I will soon be returning to classes and I still have three years of studies to go through. She said with a smile...."vous avez un bon coeur"( you have a very good heart), and you will do very well.

Of all the compliments and the words of encouragement that I have received this one was indeed very special. I began my french studies in Kindergarten and this teacher introduced Parisian french to all of us. She was very precise, and patient in her delivery, but most all I remember her as a very kind and loving person.

Of all the messages Our Lord has sent to me this was definitely not a whisper! This all occurred in just a few moments and all it took for me was to say "Bonjour Madame....!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Monday, August 15, 2011

What can the Spirit do with you????

Yesterday was my day to go to the hospital here in Berlin. This day was an unusual day, the weather was somber, and I have learned to be prepared for the unusual to happen. I did say prepare, which means I'm learning to understand that almost anything can and will happen.

I walked through the entrance door and the receptionist was ready for me and she handed me the lists and said..."better late than never." Wow, I wasn't ready for that one. I looked over the list and recognized only two names. I saw a couple of people that were there a few weeks ago and though the looked better, I'm sure it was tough on them. I met a young lady who was in great spirits even though she had a herniated disc in her back. She then was in quite a bit of pain and I felt helpless and offered to call someone, she didn't respond. Then I reached out for her hand and prayed with her and asked Our Lord the Great Physician to heal her in her time of pain and suffering. She was still in pain but she was different, I saw her smile again and her eyes lit up. Something special happened there through the Holy Spirit.

The rest of the patients were either sleeping or unable to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Just before leaving I always make it a point to talk to a particular receptionist who is really a delight to talk to. She always has a smile and a very positive outlook, I really love that in people. Then as I was walking outside to my car I met a woman who was going into the hospital. She looked familiar to me. I really thought I had seen her in Church on Sunday morning, and then I said....."Didn't I see you in Church this morning?" She said you probably did, she is on her usual two week  camping trip at Dolly Copp  and she was visiting a relative who was sick from a hiking trip. She commented how much she enjoyed Fr. Kyle and how fortunate we were to have such a good Priest. We spoke for only a few moments, and when I look back I think...."What made me do that?" I've always been friendly, but to just reach out like that! I guess the best word to describe the feeling is that I was compelled to reach out to this person. I will never know the impact of the connections that I made yesterday, but I do know how it has affected me.

I have accepted that the unusual can and will happen, and often times without notice the Spirit will do something with me!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

A foreigner, a gentile, a dog!

Preparing for Mass today I read all the readings and the Gospel for the day. A common thread that I found was that everybody was welcome in God's kingdom. All foreigners, all the gentiles, and even the dogs! Wow!

How would this be viewed in our politically correct world in which we live in? In Isaiah we are welcomed to the house of Prayer, in Paul's letter to the Romans he is speaking directly and welcoming the gentiles, and in today's Gospel Jesus rebukes a Canaanite woman who in His time were viewed as the very low, a dog. Obviously not with the same affection that we view dogs today.

I was struck with the way the woman was persistent with Our Lord and not giving up. She was literally arguing with him and defending herself in a very humble way. Would I have acted the same way when I would have heard these words. I would hope that I can learn to be as persistent, humble, and faithful whenever I really need Christ's help.

My heart has been stirring ever since this morning and to hear Fr. Kyle's take on this was just wonderful.

We are all welcome in the House of the Lord, say Hi to someone today!

Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is your treasure?

I'm sure in the past that I have mentioned that a single word, seems to find it's way inside of me and takes me over. So what is the word at this time? Treasure! A few weeks ago in the Gospel of Matthew we hear the Lord speaking of acquiring a valued treasure. I have been reading the Book of Sirach in the Old Testament and the word treasure jumped out again a couple of times. I read the value of a great wife being a treasure to her husband, and the same goes for an excellent friend. Today in the Word Among Us I read where the author discusses Jesus as our ultimate treasure.

 My wife is away at a conference tonight so after work I popped into the Church to do Evening prayers and just to sit, reflect, and be in His presence. I thought about all the treasures that I have and how much each and everyone of them is so important to me. In this time of economic distress and confusion, where it's really easy to worry about our 401K's, it's even more important to really value the treasures that we have been given.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, August 7, 2011

a tiny whispering sound.

It's Sunday morning and I'm preparing to read at Mass today. I generally look over the readings before morning prayers. Amazingly the first reading really grabbed my attention today. That one little line, ....a tiny whispering sound. All I could think about was this reading and especially those words. We are faced with so many distractions and fanfare and it seems that when we are searching for God, we're looking for  something spectacular to capture our attention and we're missing out on the little things.

So many thoughts have been flooding into my head today. I attended the 9 am Mass and decided early on that I would take my folks to Mass at 11 also. Fr. Dick was our " rent a Priest " as he called himself and he was right on with his homily on today's Gospel. After Mass I went to pick up my folks and still couldn't get the first reading out of me. I remembered one of our classes where Sr. Monique mentioned that she would love it to see someone preach about the Old Testament reading.

Fr. Kyle was the celebrant at 11 am and in his introduction he offered us a "tip", pay attention to the First Reading. He preached about it and needless to say it was very moving for me. He mentioned that where all searching for God, sometimes in a big way, or for some of us in our own obsessions; food, drink, sports, etc.

So many distractions, so much going on and to think we often miss the boat. Elijah didn't miss the tiny whisper, because he was ready and open to God. To quote one of my old professors one more time....." relax, relax, turn the radio off and the radar on!"

I pray that we all hear the tiny whispers of the Lord and be His voice out there!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Has it already been a year?

Now that were getting all this information about the upcoming year, I've been thinking about what has been going on in my life and realized after looking at the Reversion Story blog that it's also been a year for me. I don't think I will ever forget the call from the Diocese to write a blog about my journey. I was really surprised and honored to receive the invitation, and those feelings haven't changed a bit.

I have really loved sharing my feelings, thoughts, and prayers with all of you. I hope that over all I haven't disappointed any of you. Everything inside of me has been from the heart. I could use many cliches but I'll share something with you that I recently read in my Scripture readings.......

"Then, too, heed your own heart's counsel;
for what have you that you can depend on more? Sirach 37:13

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Do you keep a checklist?

I've been reflecting on this past year, probably in anticipation of the on coming year. There is so much to think about and one little thing popped into my head. One of my best friends in the company mentioned something very interesting to me. We had a discussion on the journey that I'm on and she mentioned that she had grown up Catholic and is very happy with her Protestant Faith.

Then came the comment, one thing that she felt was that most Catholics were more interested in keeping a checklist of things to do than to dive into their faith. Knowing the kind of person she is I took the comment in the spirit it was given. She wasn't malicious or judgemental, she said the following....
  1. Morning prayers- check
  2. Go to Mass on Sundays-check
  3. Evening Prayers-check
  4. etc. etc.
I'm sure you are all getting the message. I really had to think about it. Do we really live that way? Honestly, I would have to say yes. Most  Catholics feel that we have a list of things to do and trying to be good is what is needed to be close to God.

So if this is probably the case, how do we change this? She offered her answer, it's great in a sense to do all these things, but where is your relationship with Jesus. Ah, that personal relationship comment. You know what? I would honestly have to agree with her. I know in my life I have tried to step it up quite a bit, and I know it's working with me. I liken this to my relationship with Terry, when we first met and then fell in Love we couldn't get enough time together and we still can't. I want that with Jesus! I want to know Him as much as He knows me, and I want to share more of my life with Him.

So the question is "Do you keep a checklist?"

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!