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Feel the love maaaannnn...

Over Thanksgiving my wife and I ventured on Black Friday for the fun of it. Our day ended with a stop at a Barnes and Noble. Upon entering I made the comment “smell the knowledge”. Chris laughed and honestly, I have no idea what I meant. It was one of those thoughts that just came out. The point is not what I said, but what I felt entering that store. I don’t purchase many books at retail outlets, Amazon has very attractive prices on used and I have grown to love audio books. But, I love going to bookstores to walk around. The smell of coffee, rows upon rows of people that have poured their souls, thoughts and ideas into the wonderfully bound pages waiting for me to meander through to be challenged, entertained, angered and educated. Entering a book store I “feel” surrounded by wisdom and knowledge just waiting to be tapped. It is a great exercise for me.

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Bless Us Oh Lord

The complete talk from guest lecturer Amy Myers at the ITV class September 28. Amy shared her witness of Gratitude as part of class. Check it out it is excellent. 

“Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen” Wow!  What an awesome prayer.
I know you Catholics are used to saying this prayer at meal time, but have you ever said it in the morning?  When you take a shower in the morning or put on your make-up or get dressed.  Try it! 
“Bless us oh Lord, and these thy gifts.”  The day has just begun.  It has been given to us from God…how awesome.  He already has it planned out.  “Which we are about to receive”.    God is ready to share it with us.  The good, the bad and the ugly are gifts that we are going to receive.  How can we get excited about the bad and the ugly…well, it’s hard?  It’s a heart matter of trust and faith and believing that no matter what happens today, tomorrow or next week, these are the gifts given “from thy bounty through Christ our Lord.”  He wants me to share my triumphs and struggles with him.  I think that’s the key.  He wants us to take our day and share it with Him.  So here’s my story. Here is how thankfulness has brought a new perspective to my life and transformed my relationship with God.

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The Power of Thought

Listen to The Power of Thought

On Facebook, I read again the ominous phrase “just wait until she is a teenager”. This well intentioned response was to another person, venting parental frustrations. This scenario bugs me. Number one, I do not believe venting on a public forum is wise, but more importantly, I find it nauseating how we set ourselves up for failure with our words and thoughts.

Case in point, “just wait until she is a teenager”. What do we truly say when we make the catastrophic prediction of our kids? “At 8 years old you are acting pretty jerking but you will be a total mess at 17 so this can’t be that bad”. Who in their right mind wants this kind of relationship with their kids? No one I can think of. But, are we not mentally preparing our selves for the worst when we give this kind of advice or receive it? I can say I’m out of that, I don’t want it for me or my kids. My attitude is they are the kids, and I am the adult. We will both act accordingly. I am not naïve and am well aware that kids are challenging at times, I have three, I got it. Leave no doubt though, mentally I do not want the war that most people expect before the younguns leave home.

 

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The Message is Being Ignored

I have been reading a lot by Seth Godin lately.  This author and speaker has been very successful in the world of business helping a variety of companies and small businesses be noticed by others. At the end of the day, make money. Seth also has the ability to peer over the horizon and see what will be the future. I find his ideas fascinating and very applicable in church.

So we are in ministry, trying to promote stewardship as a way of life, all the ministries in our parishes, and evangelize at the same time. Much of this overlaps but our parishes are actively promoting one very good thing or another. What I am asked over and over is, "why don't more people show for fill in the blank ministry" and a variations of the same question. If you read anything by Seth, you will quickly learn that people are ignoring what we in church are saying. Why? Were are busy!

 

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Ugly to the Bones

For those of us that have been shopping for homes, I would bet all of us have been in a home that is ugly to bones. The type of home that leaves you wondering if the architect dropped acid before putting his thoughts on paper, or a bunch of the builders drinking buddies got together and thought “hey this would look good” and proceeded to build after several cases of Natty Light. Either way, there is no amount of renovation to improve a house that is ugly to the bones.

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Catholic Brats

I hate to write when I am partially annoyed but I need to get these thoughts out so my mind can find peace again. Not too long ago I heard a person say something like “A lot of good praying does, God isn’t answering”. Really? Ever think perhaps you have your answer? Oh, and how much time have you actually devoted to real prayer? Grrr. My knee jerk thought is “you spoiled bratty immature Catholic”!

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Thank you gracious God...

Another quick save the date item. I will be hosting a Pastoral Ministry formation class in September and October titled "Thank you gracious God...".

This will be a lively series of four classes covering the Spirituality of Stewardship and will include video, live teaching with a variety of instructors, and interactive pieces. See the time and dates on the Interactive Television Webpage. Or, download the flier "CLICK HERE".

The Element In the Room

I just finished book titled “The Element” by Ken Robinson. Wow what a great book. This read is not religious to any degree but with no doubt, this is a stewardship handbook. Without giving too much away, the premise is each person needs to find his or her “element”. The element is that activity where our passions reside. Something so natural inside us it comes out and we do not even know it. An easy way to understand our element is this, I am engaged in some sort of activity, I look at the clock thinking only 20 minutes have passed but what I read is 4 hours have passed! Holy cow where did the time go! It is in these moments working in our element that a tornado could tear away our home and we would hardly notice. This friends, is the concept of the element. In great depth the author goes on to explain why every person needs to uncover, engage in, and use our element to live a full life. In addition, Ken gives the reader a full list other areas of life that benefit from each person discovering true passions and living them out.

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The Poo Factor

I’m sure we have all met a person or married couple that, well, they just seem to have their stuff together. These are the kind of people that fall in into a pile poo and come out smelling like a rose. Over and over again life seems to hand them blessings while we fight the daily grind. “Everything they touch turns to gold.” Ever said that about someone?

Here is a radical idea; could it be that some people cooperate with God’s divine plan better than others?

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Singing is Praying Twice

My wife, Chris, will tell you that singing is praying twice. As some of you know, she is indeed talented. She shares her gift of time and talent at diocesan and parish events as well as at community events. I was thinking as I lay in bed tonight, this happens a lot: When a gift is given what can be received?


{rokbox title=|Singing is Praying Twice :: Chris singing on behalf of the Depot Theatre Company during a civic event at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Dodge City| size=|561 350| thumb=|images/stories/Eric_H/chris singing.jpg|}images/stories/Eric_H/chris singing.jpg{/rokbox}
I have often thought that when a person is truly using a gift from God for His glory, unspoken things happen. We have all been in circumstances where a person is sharing of themselves, and the environment changes. The Holy Spirit can be felt when a God-given gift is being shared. That is what happens when my wife sings for a special occasion. Weddings are rather obvious. It is a joyous occasion anyway. But her song at a wedding Mass will take ordinary hymns and turn them into prayers. She gives, then receives the love of the happy couple and their families in return. You can see it in her face.
How are our gifts blessings to others, helping lift their burdens? How does sharing in those times of distress of others help them carry their load? It only occurred to me tonight how that can work.

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Stewardship with Latinos

Parte 1. “Introducción de la Corresponsabilidad Cristiana a la Comunidad Latina”

Eschuchen esta grabación en Español. Aquí Koren Ruiz
Parte 2. “Un buen Corresponsable Recibe los Dones de Dios con Actitud de Agradecimiento”
Eschuchen esta grabación en Español. Aquí Koren Ruiz
Parte 3. “Un buen Corresponsable Cultiva Responsablemente los Dones que Recibe de Dios”
Eschuchen esta grabación en Español. Aquí Koren Ruiz
Parte 4. “Un buen Corresponsable Comparte los Dones que Recibe de Dios en Amor y en Justicia”
Eschuchen esta grabación en Español. Aquí Koren Ruiz
Parte 5. UN "Corresponsable Cristiano Regresa Los Dones De Dios En Mayor Proporcion"
Eschuchen esta grabación en Español. Aquí Koren Ruiz

I don’t think I can be brave for this

December 2009 my daughter Allison came to me with a big bump on the inside of her leg. Thinking it was just a weird bruise I told her we would check it in a couple days to see if it was going down. A few days passed and nothing changed, needless to say we ended up at a surgeon’s office expecting something terrible. This “thing” on her leg turned out to be nothing terrible but did require “Doc” to drain blood

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Just for Men

I receive many interesting books and lectures from folks in our Diocese which have some bit of information I find useful. One presentation I received from Fr. Ted Skalsky. The presenter gave his lecture to a group of priests. The topic was vocations to the priesthood and ways to encourage men to consider

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Forgive me Father

How long do we wait before uttering that sentence in the confessional? From the conversations I have with friends and acquaintances, I glean for most it has been quite some time between visits if at all. I myself do not receive this sacrament as often as I could but do make a point to get to this sacrament several

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I Neeeeeeed

For any Gen X readers out there you might recall the title of this article from the sitcom Friends. Rachel was going on about something or other and ended the dialog with “I neeeeed”. You have to imagine Rachel’s whiney voice to make this phrase truly relevant. So what does a sitcom about 6 buddies in New York have to do with Stewardship?

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The Progress Paradox

I read a book titled “The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse” by Gregg Easterbrook. A quick summary of the book is that we have made great strides in our cultures. People are living longer and healthier, we have more disposable income and free time than ever before, our homes are bigger and we have more televisions that we did 50 years ago. But for all our progress we have made with quality of life, happiness has not risen. The author showed “happiness” overall is at the same level it was when families shared one television, kids shared bedrooms, and people did not live as long or as healthy. Curious isn’t it?

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Diocese of Dodge City


910 Central PO Box 137 Dodge City, KS 67801 | 620-227-1500

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