Archive for December, 2012

2012 Not for the Meek

December 31, 2012

So many sad things occurred in 2012, it’s no tragedy to see it go.

The invasion of our U.S. Embassy in Libya, and death of our Ambassador, along with three other Americans, was and still is a crime that goes completely unpunished, falsely investigated and under-reported.

For those of you who think there’s no connection to the President and the Libya debacle, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you may want to purchase.

For conservatives, regarding who America sent to the White House…need I elaborate?

As far as weather events are concerned, my faith in meteorology was about the only thing that took a positive turn.

Their prediction, nearly a week ahead, of a Halloween Day/Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, was spot on.

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

The left has decided the problem was caused by an inanimate object, forgetting that the removal of abstract ideas from our schools, 50 years ago, like prayer and the 10 Commandments, might be the far more guilty culprit.

For those of you wondering how I can not blame guns, go to any State or Federal Penitentiary, the guards still carry firearms and the best behaved prisoners have found the Lord.

Their faith is encouraged to grow, with free Bibles, prayer meetings and Scripture studies, and, best of all, the ACLU has no power to stop it.

At least not yet.

Lord, thank you for helping us get through this difficult year.

May those seeking Truth in 2013 be rewarded with blessings that help us all know You better.

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Dad’s Hard Drive

December 30, 2012

For those of you who knew my father, you most likely also know he had written several books on faith.

Here are their titles.

  • Reflections of Life
  • The Miracle of Love
  • The Miracle of Hope
  • The Miracle of Courage

Yesterday, as I was opening a wonderful Christmas present, a packet of six white v-neck undershirts, I couldn’t help but think of him.

Inside that packet of shirts was a white cardboard insert.

Since he suffered from a bit of joint pain, he needed a relatively stiff surface like those cardboard inserts, on which to write, as he sat up in bed each night.

I have no idea where he got so many of them.

He may have made a deal with England Brothers for all I know.

Unlike me, conveniently storing daily thoughts into a computer and publishing them seconds later, my dad would take up to a year to compile his ideas, hand written, in a very difficult to decipher cursive, then have them typed up, proof read by several people, before bringing them to Marion Press in Stockbridge for printing and binding.

Here are a few excerpts taken from The Miracle of Courage, published 1987.

If a man is 60 years old and he has refused to grow and learn truth then he has lived 1 year 60 times.

The body is the instrument of the mind.  The mind and the heart look to heaven for inspiration; therefore, the purer the mind, the greater capacity the ideas and instruction of God.

I consider myself blessed to have been raised by someone with a mind running that hard after God.

Though his thoughts are not so easily found, the ripple effect of his ministry are like the apples in a seed.

Only God can count them.

Post Christmas Deals

December 29, 2012

It takes patience to wait until after Christmas to shop.

With technology changing so rapidly, it’s also risky to buy techie gifts now for next year’s surprises.

There are however, many simple things one can buy, like candles and scarves, which never go out of style.

My wife’s friend Dee is the expert who motivated her to go out after the big day to save for the next holiday.

Speaking of prepping for future Christmases, today’s Gospel reading–Luke 2–is the story of a man who prepped an entire lifetime for that First Noel.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.

This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother;

“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
(and you yourself a sword will pierce)
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Simeon’s joy was so overwhelming, to see the Savior, that he was even able to celebrate his now pending death.

His message to Mary was not so easy to hear, that a sword would pierce her heart.

Though a painful and costly death was in Jesus’ future too…faith in the Resurrection was the gift Mary and the rest of her children would, God-willing, soon open with glee.

Old Memories Make the Best Presents

December 28, 2012

This year our daughter took a pile of old 8 mm movies from her childhood and converted them into digital format, so we could watch them on our computer and flat screen more easily.

I knew about the gift, but it was a surprise for my wife.

She was overwhelmed.

Any present that brings back memories, like a photo album rarely looked at from decades past, is going to have that same effect.

It’s hard to describe, but in every generation it seems as though life gets more complicated and less innocent than past times.

Old memories always seem to be from a better era.

Could it be that our faults and missteps make us more jaded about life today?

Or, do troubles in the world sour our perspective of the present?

Maybe it’s just that things we deemed worthy to record, like baptisms and Christmas parties, are that much more joyous than regular events.

With so much being chronicled today, by cell phone cameras etc…one wonders if our grandchildren will even find old movies unique?

I know one thing…I’m looking forward to seeing all the events of our lives replayed in heaven.

And as for the bad memories…thank God for the Sacrament that works like a “delete button.”

Liberal Paper Tramples Gun Permit Homes

December 27, 2012

In one of the most sanctimonious acts ever by a liberal newspaper, the Journal News of upstate New York has posted an online map showing the home addresses of law-abiding citizens who have gun permits in three NY counties.

Have you ever seen a car flash their headlights at you?

That’s code for…slow down…cop ahead who may ticket you.

In most states that’s illegal.

Using the freedom if information act as a weapon against the same thing our President does, employ firearm protection, the Journal News has decided that not only can self-righteous Pharisees like themselves look down their noses at those with guns in their homes, but now, bad guys can focus on homes without guns.

Here’s an excerpt from NY State Senator Greg Ball pushing back against the press…thank God for someone with guts enough to say “enough.”

“The asinine editors at the Journal News, have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law-abiding firearm owners throughout the region. The immediate elimination of the information posted on the Journal News Website is the only way we can ensure the safety and liberty of these New Yorkers. This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately. The same elitist egg heads who use their editorial page to coddle terrorists and criminals are now treating law-abiding citizens like level three sexual predators. Am I surprised? No. Should every person with commonsense be offended? Yes. Furthermore, the Journal News has placed the lives of these folks at risk by creating a virtual shopping list for criminals and nut jobs,” said Ball. “Publishing this information on a website provides criminals with a map of where they can steal firearms from lawful owners for later use in the commission of crimes. Preventing the theft of guns and their criminal misuse is an important public-policy goal. This map is bad for the good guys and good for the bad guys.”

http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/breaking-news-senator-ball-issues-statement-journal-news-gun-permit-map-and-introduces

The Feast of Stephen–Preaching Against Darkness

December 26, 2012

For those of you wondering when the Feast of Stephen is, which we hear sung about every Christmas season, it’s today; December 26th.

For many years across Europe, especially England, Christmas Day was not that highly celebrated.

It’s not that Christ wasn’t revered, it’s just that his death and resurrection, Good Friday and Easter, were considered the highest of all Holy Days.

When one looks at the feast of Stephen, in historical context, it’s clear that the death of a Christian Martyr was and still is the day in which their new life in Heaven, with God and Christ, began.

Darkness and death, by the world’s standards, for one in a State of Grace, is light and birth by God’s account.

Check out today’s first reading from Acts 6 and 7

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

The words of Stephen, as he spoke out against sin, irritated the ultra religious leaders of his day.

Too often, we are tempted to toy with darkness, having the attitude that because of our skill and knowledge of good vs. evil, we won’t be hurt by it.

This morning, since my toddler grandson is visiting, I nearly broke my neck tripping over a gate between the kitchen and the living room.

I knew it was there, but since it was still dark…well you know the rest…stubbed toes…spilled coffee…Lebanese cus words…

Don’t play around with darkness.

And…don’t underestimate the power of a Saint preaching against it.

Truth can move people, even unto death.

Christmas…Peace or War?

December 25, 2012

One of the most famous quotes from American History is by writer Thomas Paine, from his pamphlet Common Sense, when he said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Yet it was not that line which historians attribute most for the courage to start the American Revolution, it was the following, also from the same pamphlet;

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

As my family and I were sharing gifts on Christmas Eve, it was impossible not to think of our New England neighbors in Newtown, who really aren’t celebrating Christmas this year.

They have too much sadness to call this a holiday season.

And, like how most families feel about their young, they’ve lost something very valuable and dear to them.

Where does wickedness this diabolical come from?

Like America, Evil has a history too.

Millions of years ago, through jealousy, Satan tried to make himself equal to God.

The most blinding of all lights is that which we shine on ourselves.

In defiance and self-love, the Devil tried to overcome his Omniscient Creator.

And, like the “Shot Heard Round the World,” in Lexington and Concord, which began the American Revolution, a War between Good and Evil began when Satan first fought with God.

Our Creator’s ultimate remedy for this war, which eventually entangled mankind, was Himself, through the person of Jesus, sent to die for all men who rebelled against God.

When John the Baptist was first asked about Christ, he said this in John 1;

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'”

The word “rank” is a military term, denoting an order of leadership and power in an army.

Christ battled His way through His ministry and crucifixion.

His Words were His weapons and He is the General who did not fail.

The Sword all of us must take up, to overcome the tyranny of Evil which continues to try men’s souls, is that same Word.

Though invisible, similar to many other great things one cannot see, like wind and electricity, God’s Word has unlimited power.

Those of us with the strength, must raise our Spiritual Swords to defend those too weak to defend themselves, like the children of Newtown, killed indirectly by an Evil General who outranked his foot soldier.

Even so, Truth will eventually defeat Evil.

It is so powerful that even the things we’ve lost, so dear to us, shall some day be returned.

We are God’s army.

Holiness is our way of life.

Victory is our promise.

Do not rest.

Fight.

Will the NRA’s Dream Come True?

December 24, 2012

I could not help but imagine what might have happened, just as NRA V.P. Wayne LaPierre mused, “had Adam Lanza been confronted by trained security at Sandy Hook Elementary?”

The question remains though…who exactly would have been armed?

Lunch ladies?

Custodians?

Teachers?

The mayor of Marlboro Township, with a nine school district in New Jersey, has taken the matter to the next level.

I like a guy who doesn’t wait to be told what to do.

Time will test this idea.

When it comes to protecting our children, far more parents will veer right, toward Mayor John Hornik’s security guard concept, than left, toward Code Pink protests that do nothing to shield children today from attackers with blood lust on their minds.

Scripture Leads Intellectual Bible Christian to Rome

December 23, 2012

Last night it dawned on me, while looking through my list of friends on Facebook, the largest percentage of my “friends” are Bible Christians.

Many of them one time had a Catholic heritage.

(Considering Church history, we all do really.)

For those wondering how it’s possible a practicing, yet lukewarm Catholic, can become a zealous Bible Christian–then–go back to being a Devout Catholic, I have two words to say–Scott Hahn.

If you’re a former Catholic, or have a Catholic heritage that you want to better understand, please listen to Scott, a one time Presbyterian Minister, give his testimony.

He may be one of the most influential Christians of the late 20th and early 21st Century.

It will take you a bit of time to get through, but, I guarantee, you’ll hear God’s voice…and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If this testimony has peaked your interest please check this out…Scott Hahn answering common objections to the Pope.

New Secretary of State Helps Republicans

December 22, 2012

It seems odd that the President would do something that could potentially aid the Republicans with another seat in Congress.

But yesterday he did.

By nominating John Kerry to be our next Secretary of State, the vacated seat in Massachusetts now must be filled.

For those of us who love irony, the man who just lost to Elizabeth Warren–Scott Brown–is the odds on favorite to regain that seat in the Senate.

With no Obama on the ballot, to raise the numbers for whoever the Democrats pick, this has the potential to be another 2009 Martha Coakley wipe-out.

Except this time Martha is staying home.

She’s committed to her job as Attorney General.

Even more ironically, the only Democrat name that jumps out as a viable candidate is our Governor, Deval Patrick.

Again, should he jump in then maybe Scott Brown jumps out and runs for Governor, where again, Scott’s the biggest name.

Only the President would come up with a plan that hasn’t been thought through.

Tell me again Mr. President…what does John Kerry have that hundreds of other potential candidates for Secretary of State don’t have?

Thanks for helping us oust another liberal in Massachusetts.

With the redistricting that sent one of our Congressmen to Texas last year, this latest one is just as bizarre.