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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 ...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living like the prophets!

Our current course for the deacon candidates is an on line course about the prophets. My first experiment into this way of learning is actually going quite well. It takes a little more effort on my part to keep up with this, but I actually am enjoying a little more free time in the process. We have the opportunity to post reflections on a regular basis and all the students in the section get a chance to review it and add comments.

This app called Catholic One is available at no charge. So I figured if it's free, this one is for me. What I have really loved about this one is the daily podcasts that are meditations from Pope Benedict XVI. Today's podcast centered around the theme "Living like the prophets" and the meditation states....          
  "They are not to be understood as seers, but as voices who understand time from God's point of view, and can therefore warn us against what is destructive, and on the other hand, show us the right road forward!"

 A very timely meditation indeed!

I strongly suggest that you should try it out.  It's available in the Daily readings section of this app at the bottom of the list!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm Back!

Well, I got home last night about 6:30 from my National Sales Meeting with Sherwin-Williams. It was a great week for learning about new products, new innovations, and I am fired up. Speaking of fire, I tried to use my Kindle fire last week to post something and I didn't have any luck at all. It was either too slow, or I had to pay to use the Internet. Needless to say I didn't post anything.

Terry had a great supper waiting for me. We talked for a while and soon it was time to get back on the computer and log into the chat session for week #2. I'm starting to like this a little bit more. I worked hard last weekend to get my paper in on time and meet the requirements for the second session. We had a lively and challenging chat to boot. Wayne and I discussed the use of metaphors in the Old Testament. We both were comfortable with this, but it seemed that some had a little problem with this issue. It still was a great night.

I thought I would sleep in today, but I got up early anyways. I first stopped by the Adoration Chapel to do Morning Prayers and spend some time in His presence. I had so much to be thankful for and it helped kick start the day. I then shared some of the details with the staff about the week I had, and began planning the events for next week.

Tonight we are going out for supper with my best friend and his wife, and then we will come back and watch "the bucket list". It should be another great night!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bon Voyage!

These were the words shared to me by someone special. I will be away for a
few days on a business trip. I will try to post something, even if it is short.

Today I met with my pastor and he shared some very good wisdom with me that I won't soon forget. Our associate share about the prophet (timely isn't it) Jonah and how stories were metaphors for larger ideals. Ironically this was something I added to my paper this week on the prophets.

I wish nothing but the best for all of you and.....

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Friday, January 20, 2012

The first time!

I'm trying something new, for me anyways! Technology hasn't been my thing. I'm doing this one on my kindle fire. Really too slow for me.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's that time of the year again!

January is usually one of our slowest months of the year sales wise in my store. The slower times allow for more open times to go out selling. Today was one of those days and we packed it in with cold calls and meeting some of our regular customers. My rep and I had a lot of fun out there!

What also makes this month a little crazy is that I'm getting ready for my National Sales Meeting with Sherwin-Williams in Nashville Tn. next week. I've been attending these for over 24 years now and I still love them. It's really a business retreat to gain some knowledge, bond with my co-workers, check out new products and recharge those batteries to help grow the business in the coming year.

It's also now week two in our step on line course through Notre Dame. So far I love this course. I keep hearing "you really need to be disciplined to take those courses." I guess so far so good. I turned in my paper on Monday, on line of course, and tonight is session two to participate in a chat. Again, this is very different experience for me. I'm getting to share with people across the nation and I can do this in the comfort of my home with no traveling involved. Though I really miss the time with my travel partner and the Plymouth team.

So, even though it is a little busy with what is coming up, it's been very enjoyable so far. I'll try to post something again before I leave and maybe, just maybe if I can figure it out i'll try to post something while at my trip. I love my kindle fire!

Well, the best to all of you!


Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

"And He stooped toward me...."

It's early Sunday Morning and I'm praying for some guidance on my first paper for The Prophets course we are all taking. I seem to always get a little worked up about the first paper. You know, first impressions are important!

I've finished all my readings and I have really enjoyed them all. I started writing the paper yesterday and it was OK, but it really didn't excite me. At Mass I listened, I prayed and then it all started. I remembered that the paper was about how I would explain Biblical prophecy and what was a Biblical prophet to someone.

As I listened at Mass I heard the words that entered into my heart....."and He stooped toward me and heard my cry. And He put a new song into my mouth, a Hymn to God."
and then again more....."but ears open to obedience you gave me."

It's like I heard the Lord talking to me, telling me to relax, I hear you! Don't worry so much, just listen.......and He began to put a new song into my mouth!

I just got back from the hospital, and again I was reminded how much this formation is preparing me for the future. I met someone who was struggling with the loss of her Independence. I mentioned to her about how St. Paul also struggled, having to accept the generosity of others for his ministry. I mentioned to her that at times in our lives as independent as we may be, we may need to depend on others to get by. I asked her to pray to St. Paul and asked for his intercession on this issue. The words seem to offer comfort to her and then she received a call from her daughter and I left. She sounded better!

Looking back, I could feel and hear that He put a new song into my mouth!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


PS, it's going to hit 15 below today here in Burrrrrrrrlin!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sometimes I can be a little too persistant!

Yesterday, we were being covered with a snowfall way up North. Supposedly this was to be a MAJOR snowfall according to the National Weather Service! BEWARE.....dangerous conditions! Yeah right! I'm tough, I was born here, bring on the snow.

I got a call from a customer who needed some paint for a job that he needed to finish for Monday. I thought for a moment and decided that I was heading to Rumford Maine to visit a great friend of mine and tint and pick up this specialty product in his store. After all, this should be a piece of cake right? So what if it took a little longer than usual.

I called Terry and asked her if she wanted to join me on a road trip. Within an hour we were off. The roads were a little greasy but I kept well below the speed limit. I had to stop a couple of times to clean off the wiper blades, but no big deal at all!

We were a little less than 5 minutes from the store when  the truck started twisting and turning. Amazingly, instincts and training take over and after a couple of twists I thought I had it covered. Luckily, with twisting into the other lane, there were no cars or trucks coming our way.

Then it happened we were sliding sideways! In moments I thought we were going to hit the guard rails, and we missed them. Were still sliding and then I thought we would be all right and then we were heading down a small embankment. I thought we were going to hit a tree. I looked around, quickly put the truck in reverse and backed out of the ditch.

We didn't really hit anything, and I couldn't believe how we got out of there without a tow truck. The truck behind us saw us getting out and continued on his way. I then drove to the store and quickly got out and didn't even see a scratch on the truck. Terry, looked at me and said..."well at least we were together, and this will be something we can tell our grandchildren!" (if we get any!)

I talked to my buddy Larry and told him what happened. He said and not jokingly...."Mitch, you are touched by God!" I actually thought I was really "touched" in the head for making the trip.

This is the next day and I'm still stunned as to how quickly this happened and how blessed we are for coming home safe.

The next time this does come up again, and I'm sure it will, I will make sure that this time I say...."let's wait until tomorrow!"

Bonjour, et Adieu mes Amis!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The two P's!

It's the second night for our on line course the Prophets and there are definitely two words that are being embedded into me. First perseverance, a word that has been given to me several times in the past few weeks.

I've been a little nervous and frustrated with the problems I have encountered. Honestly, they haven't been as bad so far as what we encountered earlier in Plymouth.

Each time I have had a great go to person, that I had sent emails to, and both times he was able to walk me through the problems successfully.

Oh yeah, the last p! That would be Patience! Remember that's one of my goals to work on for this year. Honestly, there were a few times that I failed in that department. Fortunately we have our God who is Loving and Forgiving...and obviously Patient!

I'll post a little more later.....as it's getting a little late!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's the end of our break and the beginning of a new adventure!

It's time to go back to our studies for all of the Deacon Candidates. I personally had a very wonderful break, but on Monday evening we are back at it with a twist. Mike and I won't be doing the tag team travel routine. We are continuing our year of technology by taking an on line course through the University of Notre Dame. For a very traditional person this change will be very different. I'm being honest when I say that I'm a little nervous and unsure about this, but I'll trust that the Lord has something special for us. I ask for all your prayers for all 23 of us and the wives for those married. Your support is essential for us throughout our journey.

Continuing on this hi tech topic, I received a Kindle Fire from my family for Christmas. I really love this gift. I've been using it for my prayers, for the day's readings, for reflections, but what I really love is a podcast on daily reflections from Pope Benedict XVI!  The reflections are very wonderful, and it's something I found on a free app called Catholic One! I highly recommend it.

My final words for today center upon a letter I received from my pastor. He thanks me for accepting this call and he is encouraging me to persevere through this journey. There's that word again! Persevere! I guess someone is trying to tell me something. I can't say enough about the support that Mike and I are receiving by the Berlin/Gorham community.

May you all encounter many Epiphanies each and every day!

Bonsoir et Adieu Mes Amis!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's the end of the beginning.....!

Terry suggested that I post this video.....it's really great......check it out!

By David Phelps!

Bonsoir et Adieu Mes Amis,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My First Day!

The first day of the year offers excitement, but most of all hope for a better year. I attended the 9 am Mass and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Fr. Kyle was in his usually good form and there was one word that resonated in my heart. HOPE! Hope drives us to believe, to push ourselves harder in anticipation of that final reward.

This would be day one of new hope, and definitely no excuses! It's my turn to minister to the sick at the hospital and I made sure I was prepared. I wanted this to be a special day and I wasn't disappointed. Time is very precious in people's lives and it's often times not something that we share very well. I kept thinking of another word before I got to the hospital, presence. By listening, sharing, holding some one's hand I could feel the Lord's presence and healing.

I wasn't going to be a clock watcher with a stop watch in hand. There were no time limits for me. I wanted to make sure I got to be with these people, hear their stories, and offer the comfort of Our Lord.

The best part of all of this was that I gained so much from this. I realized even more that these people needed Jesus and that through me they felt Him alive inside of them, and so did I.

Later on that day I started cleaning up a bit and came across the business card of a dear friend. I haven't seen or heard from him in a while and he had been someone that I've been thinking about quite often. Well again, no excuses, so I sent him an email to wish him and his family well. I heard from him today and it really made my day.

I'm off and running in the first of many days this year. I'm sure they won't all be as exciting as this one was, but I guess they could be if I don't make excuses!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Celebrating in Berlin!

There was a buzz in our community for several days now, and I'm sure the anticipation was at a high level. After all we would soon be celebrating the beginning of a another year in our very resilient community. Things are starting to look up in town, we have the Biomass project just getting underway with the promise of 40 new jobs and much needed tax revenues. In the spring we will also have the opening of the new federal prison that promises a few hundred jobs. Wow! That's actually quite a bit for our little city.

On Thursday a different buzz was circulating in our city, and it wasn't a rumor at all. We would be getting a visitor here on Saturday. No it wasn't Newt, Ron Paul, or Mitt Romney it was much better than that.

Bishop Peter would be the main celebrant at his first visit to Berlin, and he obviously was well coached as he pronounced it flawlessly! He is a magnificent homilist and his presence created such electricity. It was wonderful! He pronounced..."I have come to celebrate the New Year in BERLIN!" Needless to say we were all thrilled to have him so quickly after his Installation. I take it that he will be a traveling Bishop, reminiscent of Bishop O'Neil. I sense his need to be close to the people and the feelings were mutual.

He spoke of wanting to be here after hearing how many vocations have come out of Berlin. He called it a "nest" for vocations, and God willing two more eggs will hatch in two and a half years. Sorry, I just couldn't resist putting in that line.

On top of all the attributes I've mentioned about the Bishop, he really endeared himself by speaking french to the faithful.

Welcome Bishop Peter and thank you for ringing in the New Year in Berlin!

Finally our Church Choir sang a French Canadian Traditional song,...."Mon Dieu Benissez la Nouvelle Annee!" (My God Please Bless the New Year!)

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!