Archive for July, 2012

The Hotel Hallway Door Slammers

July 31, 2012

As a business traveler I’ve been relatively lucky.

I’m almost always able to travel with an overnight bag, so that I can do “carry on” and not risk losing luggage.

In fact, I’ve never lost a bag after several hundred trips.

There is one thing though, that’s a pet-peeve of mine, mainly because it always seems to happen when I’m in my deepest sleep.

That is the dreaded hotel room door-slammer.

There’s something hauntingly loud and obnoxious about the way hotel doors slam shut, especially in the middle of the night.

Generally they’re people coming in from a late night of travel, or sometimes just drinking at the hotel bar.

In spite of the good news, that they’re not drinking and driving, the bad news is the way the dream shattering slamming sound echoes through the hallways into my room.

So many times in life we think we’re cruising right along doing all the safe things that Christians must do.

Bible readings, attending Church regularly, fellowship etc…

But then, without even realizing it, we carelessly let our guard down and unknowingly hurt those who may be close to us.

It could be something as simple as ridiculing a loved one, or giving in to temptation in an area of weakness, while others are watching.

And, just like that hotel guest, who has no idea that their slammed door startled people in every direction, our mistake does similar damage.

Help us Lord to remember always to gently move from room to room in our lives, never allowing our ego’s to make us so self-absorbed that we hurt those who need us to be good witnesses.

My dear hotel guests…it’s OK to allow that door to shut behind you as gently as possible.

God can forgive you, but my vivid dream of scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl you just interrupted may never come back.

The Biker’s Last Warning

July 30, 2012

From time to time my wife says to me; “you call the police too much.”

Here’s my theory;

If I don’t call, about a neighbor misbehaving, my temperament is such that I might try and correct the problem myself…then regret it.

I call that “experience born from bad experiences.”

That’s another story for future blog…

Western Massachusetts is famous for mild summers.

Most homeowners don’t use air-conditioners…we enjoy sleeping with our windows open.

A month ago, one of our neighbors at the top of our street, decided he’d ride his motorcycle like a “bat-out-of-hell” several evenings in a row–past midnight–and wake up everyone in his noisy path.

Since my 9-month-old grandson was in town, my tolerance level was exceptionally low.

I soon made my way up the hill and spoke to a few neighbors, who were also upset.

From one of the houses on the street, we called the police together, to confirm our need for intervention.

It worked.

The biker told the cops he’d try to be more responsable…he also wanted to know which neighbors were upset.

Cops know better and he never found out who I was…until now.

Here’s the reason I’m speaking so freely…our biker friend, who seemed to heed the warning about our street, never internalized the dangers of his speed.

He was killed a block away on Friday night, doing the same thing…racing on his motorcycle in a congested area.

It’s heartbreaking.

Here’s the bottom line–Truth is always True–and when one submits to it, righteousness and hope are obliged to follow.

When ignored…well.

We neighbors know in our hearts we gave this young man the best chance possible to live a normal life…by calling the cops.

Never fear reporting a person behaving badly…the Truth about their risky lifestyle might be the best hope they have.

He and his family are in my prayers.

Rest in Peace neighbor.

The Phelps Effect

July 29, 2012

Every one of us are aging.

The idea for Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps, that his skills and speed may be diminishing a bit, has to be difficult for him to digest.

He just lost his first Olympic race in 8 years.

Those of us above 50 don’t need an explanation.

We get it.

The Lord calls us to be His servants.

When we’re young, our skills differ from those we have when we’re older.

Check out this passage from John 20:4-8:

The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.

At some point, every one of us realize, like Peter did, that we may not have the speed we once had.

Yet…we have the experience.

Teaching, coaching, preaching; these are not the things the youth usually do.

This blog is dedicated to you Mr. Phelps…to inspire you to help Team USA win and to get you through your inevitable transition.

It’s a team effort…promoting Truth that is.

God Bless America…all of us play a part.

First Chick-Fil-A–Then Your Local Catholic Church

July 28, 2012

Now that Mayors Tom Menino of Boston and Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago have declared that the fast food restaurant, Chick-Fil-A, cannot open restaurants in their respective cities, how long will it be before these same mayors begin shuttering Catholic Churches?

Remember, Chick-Fil-A does not have an official position regarding its definition of marriage–the Catholic Church does.

President Obama is really the ideological leader that these podunk Mayors should be following, if they want to be true to their convictions.

Barrack had no problem violating the freedom of America’s largest Christian religion, when he and Kathleen Sibelius declared that every Catholic institution in the country must provide abortifacient pills as part of their health insurance program.

Who cares that it violates our conscience?

Wow…that just makes my mouth water right now for some succulent dictatorship on a Kaiser roll.

Mayor Menino and Mayor Emmanuel…don’t be chicken…start attacking Catholics too…we need you to be as brave as Obama…otherwise you come off looking no smarter than a chicken with her head cut off.

Facebook Expertise Plunging

July 27, 2012

One cannot deny the brilliance of the people behind the social media giant we all know as Facebook.

The mathematical equations and computer formulas used to make it work are way beyond anything I’ll ever understand.

Since the idea is part of the free market system, I also have no problem with the way the owners have accumulated profit.

What makes me snicker a bit, is now that they’ve gone public with a stock offering, criticism of their business skills has started to bubble up.

Especially since the stock has done little else but nose dive. ($24.05)

Here’s the bottom line.

In business, when you’re publicly traded, every mistake is front page news, especially to the investors.

In contrast, when you own it all, your dirty laundry has a chance to wash itself, come clean and then smell like roses again.

Even if your employees gossip about you, it’s only here-say.

In today’s Gospel, it struck me that even the sower of good seed doesn’t bat 1000.

In fact he barely hits .250.

Check this out from Matthew 13;

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

God calls every one of us Christians to pour ourselves out to a lost and dying world.

What He does not do is score us based on results…only obedience.

Unlike stock holders of Facebook shares, the Lord is just as pleased by the honest effort we make, and since free-will is so important to the creation of mankind, He doesn’t body slam everyone who hears the Truth.

Lord, we thank you that you’ve given us something so easy to spread around, like seeds, we just have to walk and share what we have.

Your Word does the rest.

Enthusiasm is the Best Indicator

July 26, 2012

The President’s re-election chances are tied directly to the level of enthusiasm his base can muster.

Here’s the problem with that.

There isn’t much evidence of high hopes.

The first time around, appearances by Barrack Obama, almost anywhere in the country, meant standing room only.

Now…the stadiums are almost one-third empty.

The ironic thing about that number is not the one-third that’s missing, which can easily be tallied, it’s the hoards of crowds turned away from the ’08 events,  that no one counted the first time.

So, to be fair, one could almost say, the enthusiasm level might be fifty percent less than what it was at the rallies compared to now.

Here’s the bottom line.

The President has very little to say about his own record.

Most Americans don’t like mean-spirited negative advertising either.

So, if you plan on going to an Obama rally, negative talk about Mitt Romney is all you’re going to hear…unless of course you enjoy speeches about how rich people like Obama should want to pay more taxes.

Please Mr. President….the American dream is not a sin.

Attacking it is…and your polling numbers in the area of enthusiasm are proving it.

Finally, for those who say that the enthusiasm for Mitt Romney the candidate is relatively low, I say, “who cares,” the enthusiasm for beating Obama more than makes up for it.

It’s not easy being mean.

Hierarchy vs. Humility at Penn State

July 25, 2012

One of the most important subjects Jesus taught was that of humility.

Though Christ was, is, and always will be, the Person to whom every knee will bow and confess as Lord, even the damned, His life embodied that of a servant…yet unto death.

It’s painful to watch the news of now discredited Penn State hero/Coach Joe Paterno, as every celebrated victory and accomplishment of his football career has been expunged from the record books, because he refused to expose an evil assistant coach who secretly preyed upon young boys to satisfy his deviant sexual desires.

Coach Paterno was “the hierarchy” at Penn State…but no more, as both he and his underlings may have believed Joe was too high up the food chain to be bothered with such subservient matters.

Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 20 is a great place to start for guidance on this subject.

Jesus was just asked by the mother of the two sons of Zebedee to allow them to sit at His right and left hands when they get to heaven (I think her name was Marie Barone)…He rebuffs them and then says this.

Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

The Catholic Church’s protocol for Sainthood is a much safer way to go than Penn State’s.

One has to be deceased for several years, then nominated to a committee, then a full investigation of the life of the person in question, before they can even begin the road to Sainthood.

Once beatified, then statues commemorating their humble victories are “kosher.”

Everything we do in life, if it’s not grounded in the service of others, chances are it’s grounded in self-gratification.

But remember, there are little people every where we may be stepping on to satisfy our greed.

God sees it all…even though we may think it’s private.

Help us Lord, to do good in secret, not evil, so that your Father will build for us our mansion, in which we can celebrate victory for eternity.

Satan is Done with Him

July 24, 2012

It’s interesting to watch the transition of the Batman Movie killer.

For the past year at least, the Devil has had his way with this ruthless murderer and now that he’s wreaked havoc on the lives of so many innocent people, the thrill and adventure for James Holmes is gone like a spent shotgun casing.

Today’s headlines are about how stunned and dazed he appears.

No surprise.

My theory?

No more vain illusions about his greatness.

Now that he’s killed, the euphoria he expected to feel is nowhere to be found.

Satan’s work is spelled out clearly by Jesus in John 10:10 below:

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Satan and his friend for a time, accomplished just that.

But now, Satan’s hatred for James Holmes is unfolding. 

He was just a pawn.

Amazingly, even this idiot killer can find forgiveness, but only through Christ and complete repentance.

An abundant life will be difficult, only because human nature, once it realizes Truth, is less likely to forgive itself than someone else.

To be clear…the families crushed by Holmes’ evil attack deserve justice here on earth and I support the death penalty as swiftly as possible, once convicted.

Putting the pieces together on this tragedy is hard because the left is screaming about gun control and the right is screaming about more concealed weapons.

Here’s the bottom line…God is screaming about less Truth control.

The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and fills us up to the brim, when we let Him.

It’s with that power alone that we can make the world better.

Then we can turn our swords into plow shares.

A Catholic Priest or Ronald Reagan?

July 23, 2012

I can’t think of anything to say that would be more important for you to hear than what’s in this video.

As you watch, imagine the Priest you’re hearing is speaking with the voice of Ronald Reagan.

If this is what the Catholic Church has to offer, I believe our future is brighter than ever.

Lectures From My Father

July 22, 2012

In spite of the way they sometimes made me roll my eyes, I wouldn’t trade the memory of a single lecture my father talked me through.

In today’s Gospel reading, something interesting happens as Jesus sees a crowd of people–reminding me of Dad’s countless lectures about life.

Here’s the excerpt from Mark 6;

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.

The Lord God Almighty owns it all.

When He saw the vast crowd and was moved with pity, He could’ve given them anything.

Yet…it’s teaching that He provides…and the Scripture tells us there were “many things” He wanted them to know.

Boy does that sound familiar.

Here’s the bottom line.

If you’re close to God and you don’t have a desire to share Truth with those you love, then something’s wrong.

Money, cars, vacations, smart-phones; they don’t compare to the wisdom you’ve gained through experience, that your children can’t buy anywhere else.

If you really care, sit them down and tell them what you know.

If they roll their eyes, you’re on the right track.