Sunday, February 15, 2009

Renewed in the Spirit

I have been aware of the Renew movement within the Catholic Church for many years.  I have always been either in a forward thinking family or been forward thinking in my own theology and parish selections.  I have been a promoter of Renew International's Why Catholic program and many other up and coming movements within the church.  I am opposed to stagnet worship.

However, as is common with people in the"ministry", I have seen my personal 'walk with the Lord' become somewhat stagnet.  The ministry was slowly becoming a "job".  Ministry can lose its luster if it us not cultivated, but there have been many other outside forces that were at work.  Sure, my ministry load is rather intense and a-typical (I am DRE and YM and a large parish) and I do not have the typical training of most people in my line of work (this is more a benefit than a hinderance), but I have a wonderful staff and I am at an awesome parish.  Still, the past year was difficult and even draining.  My son had more than his fair share of medical issues and surgeries  and I even went under the knife myself.

I think I was able to start the FF year (September) off on a good foot.  I was allowed another staff member (very part-time) to help me with HS Youth Ministry.  YM was my most need area of ministry.  I had lost my zeal for creating and delivering meaningful lessons.  Things have been going very well and the ministry moving right along.

A month ago I attended the Youth Minister's Retreat at The Franciscan University of Steubenville - my alma mater.  I had gone to the same retreat two years ago and loved it.  Last year I could not go because we had 1st Reconciliation schedued for that weekend.  I really needed it this year.

Santa brought me a new iPod iTouch.  As a result I have rediscovered Podcasts  Before leaving for the retreat, I loaded the iTouch up with various Christian/Catholic podcasts.  The 10 Daily Breakfast episodes I downladed sufficed for the 7 hour drive to the retreat.  They were awesome.  Father Roderick is such a pleasure to listen to. The other shows I downloaded were rather weak compared to his show.  So the combination of lack-luster podcasts and salty road spray (it was snowing) made the trip home so much longer.

Leading off an absolutely wonderful retreat with an enjoyable drive really did wonders.  I was able to focus my mind and my soul to allow to Spirit to move within me.  The Lord truly spoke to me and poured his love out upon me.  Since then, so many things in my life are straightening out, lining up and alowing me to do His work.

One of the items I am most eager to get moving in again is HS Youth Ministry.  When my life is in a funk.  By 7pm on Sundays for the past 12 months I have been drained.  The Lord sent me help and I have been gratefully using that help.  Now I have the itch to get back into it.  I now feel I can once again lead the sheep.  I pray my help does not mind - the help.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Set List Shame

I’m posting this worship service review in collaboration with other worshipers in the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival at FredMcKinnon.Com”.

This week my Sunday worship was not my ordinary worship experience.  Typically, I attend the Sunday evening - 5:30 mass.  This week my family decided to attend the Saturday evening - 5:30 mass.  The Sunday evening mass is our contemporary, I know the songs and sing along.  It comes towards the end of a long church day for me.  I generally sit up-front and I am tuned in.  I generally get recharged at this mass.

This week was different.  Saturday I spent the day at Lay Ministry training and was drained when I got home - sitting all day in class is for young people.  We had already decided to go to Saturday night mass as a family - due to the Super Bowl we do not have Sunday evening faith formation programming.  During the school year we rarely go to mass together because I am busy at Faith Formation all Sunday morning and the family goes to 10:30 mass.  The Saturday night mass is the "old person" (older than me) mass.  Music is very traditional.  I basically yawned through the entire service.  I do remember the 1st scripture was from Deuteronomy and the sermon was about mental illness and demonic possession.  Because I am not going to my regular service tonight, I am missing our new priest and his dynamic lessons.

I pray next week is better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is it really that hard?

Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be king to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving you because you belong to Christ. 
Ephesians 4: 31-32

Is it really that hard for us to be Christians?  Too often I come across people "in the service of the Lord" that act so un-Christian.  I am no angel - far from it, but I really try hard to put God first and others before me.  Yesterday I had people making each other cry - all in the effort to God's work.  It was not the first time I have seen this - far from it unfortunately.  Put God first people.  It is his ministry, not yours.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Since when did ministry be come all about me and not He?  It really tweaks me when someone gets all upset me cause the ministry they planned is being ruined by someone else - especially when that someone else is who the minister is ministering to.  Get over yourselves people.  Let God run his plan - not yours.

If someone does something well and your plan is not working out as well, please don't get angry and/or jealous.  Don't try to plot ministers against each other.  Try not to put yourself above all others.

Keep Jesus first.  If other ministers are having trouble or appear to be straying from the path, help them.  Don't bash them.  Pray for them.

When you speak about ministering and you have to use the words I, ME, MY or MINE, you are not ministering to others - or for God.  When you are a minister you need to put yourself last.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

From Disaboom

Elke Wisbey, 6, Uses State of the Art Communication Device to Speak for the First Time

Posted: 10/31/2008 at 05:39 PM

Elke WisbeyElke Wisbey, 6, was born with brain damage and cannot walk or speak. After her community raised funds to purchase a state of the art communication device for Elke, the little girl was able to use tiny eye movements to speakher first words through the machine: "I love you."


The $27,000 MyTobii Smartbox tracks Elke's eye movements with tiny lasers. The device includes a screen with various icons representing words or phrases. When Elke's eyes settle on an icon, a computerized voice speaks the corresponding word or phrase for her. Within a few days after the Smartbox was set up, Elke began looking repeatedly at the "I love you" icon in order to express her affection toward her parents and her nine-year-old brother.


With the help of her family, Elke has now learned to use her Smartbox to speak a number of words and phrases, as well as play games and browse the internet. The communication device has enabled the girl to communicate her needs and exert a degree of independence previously impossible due to her condition.


Eventually, Elke may be able to control her environment using the Smartbox. The device can also be used to dim the lights in a room, turn the television on and off, and set a video recorder, among other uses. Elke will likely never walk or feed herself, and may not survive to adulthood because her condition makes her vulnerable to secondary illnesses like pneumonia. However, the Smartbox allows her to communicate with her loved ones and has improved her quality of life greatly.


I wonder what else children with severe disabilities might be capable of, once technology catches up with them?


October 31, 2008 11:18 AM PDT

From the makers of Bacon Salt: Baconnaise

You know you want it.

(Credit: Baconnaise)

There's a new player in town vying for the attention of your sandwiches and vegetables. J&D, a.k.a. Justin and Dave, first opened our eyes with Bacon Salt, which made everything taste like bacon. But for those of us who don't salt our bread, now we have Baconnaise.

Stemming from a customer suggestion about 6 months ago, it seems inconceivable that the world has been deprived of such a culinary achievement. As a nation of bacon-eaters would attest, it is a concept whose time has come. How we ever got along without Baconnaise is the real question. Some inventions clearly are for the benefit of humanity.

While I was under the impression that bacon went well with everything, apparently bacon and mayonnaise never really got along too well. (Could have fooled me!) They decided to settle their differences in the only way the knew how: mayonnaise wrestling. In the spirit of Halloween, click on through for some prefight smack-talk between bacon and mayonnaise.

s the "Ultimate Bacon Flavored Spread," Baconnaise is available in Regular and Lite. The "Battle in Seattle" was held at the Baconnaise launch. It doesn't really matter who won the wrestling match, because with Baconnaise, we're all winners.