Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sorry I've been gone for a while.....

It's just that life gets in the way sometimes, you all know how that is.

Lately though, I feel God has been trying to tell me something, and I thought here would be a good place to let it out.

Are Christians getting lazy?

I ask this because I notice our churches getting more lavish, but our charities lacking.  There once was a saying that asked "If you were brought into a court and accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"  This is a profound question I have come to believe.

Christians nowadays are very good at "talking the talk".  We say the right words, we buy the t-shirts, we share all those "share if you love Jesus" pictures on Facebook.  I have since come to realize that is not enough.  I guess  I have always known that, it just finally "God-smacked" me, as a preacher I know once put it.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required" Luke 12:48

God does not want us to merely say the right things, or listen to the right music, or watch only the newest "Christian movie" (Don't get me started on those).  He expects more from us, because he has given us "much" namely his son.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying we have to "earn" Heaven, that can't be done.  What I am saying is that we are Christians, and we should bring the light of God into a dark world.  What should we do?  The Bible is clear:

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father,inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 34:34-40)

Jesus is calling us to do the right thing, he is calling us to more than prayer.  Don't get me wrong, we should pray for people, they need it.  But if it is in our capacity to do more for them, we should do it.  And, doing more does not mean inviting them to church on Sunday, sometimes that needs to come later.  There is a quote often attributed to St. Francis that goes:

"Preach the Gospel everywhere, and when necessary use words".  Sometimes it is more important for us to show people Christ, than to tell them about him.

So I call on my fellow Christians, go out into the world! Do the things God calls us as Christians to do, not because you will get something out of it, but because others will.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A real cowboy church!

St. Ann's Catholic Church, Petersville, Texas.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The media is getting better

Something has caught my eye lately. The way Christians are being portrayed in mass media appears to be improving, throughout the 2000's Christians in general were portrayed usually as either fundamentalist wackos or giant hypocrites. But just in the last year I have seen two notable exceptions.

First, is my favorite TV show, Psych. This show is smart and funny and full of pop culture references. But most noticable is the character of Gus (played by Dule Hill), not only is he the only Black lead on a prime time basic cable show, he is also one of the few (if not one of the only) Christian characters on TV.

Also on Psych, is the recurring Character of "Father Wesley" (played to perfection by Ray Wise), here is a Priest that is just a normal guy, he is not an alcoholic, or a sexually repressed psychopath.

But by far one of the best portrayals was on last years season finale of "In plain sight". This show is the story of a US Marshall who works in the witness protection program. In the season finale she is assigned a priest who witnessed two brutal murders. At first he is all to happy to give up his collar. But as the show goes on, he finds himself conflicted and looking for a "sign" from God for what he is supposed to do. In usual tv twists, the killers find him, and try to take him out before he can testify. What is the most powerful is the shows climactic scene, where after the US Marshalls have shot the killers, one reaches out for the Priest he just tried to kill, and as the man is dying, the Priest grants him, forgiveness, absolution and performs the final sacrament to the man who moments ago wanted him dead.

In the end, he returns to the priesthood and gets his sign, Mary, the US Marshall gives him a actual sign with Hebrews 7:17 written on it "You are a Priest forever....". This show was noticeable as it showed the priesthood as a vocation, not just a job. This is clearly what this man was meant to do with his life.

You can watch the full episode online at: http://www.usanetwork.com/series/inplainsight/video/fullep/

Giving up online debate.

Several years ago Dave Armstrong gave up online debate. He stated that life was too short and he had run out of patience. For the last several years I have taken part in the online debates over at CARM. At first they were edifying and enlightening, I even made some good friends there of all different theological slants. (Ric, Julie, Paul, Fr. Pomeroy). Lately though, it has just become downright nasty. Personal attacks replaced critiques, there is not a single anti-catholic myth or conspiracy theory that isn't promoted as truth.

It has brought out the worst in me on many occasions. So, after thought and prayer, I am returning to my blog to put out my thoughts.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Catholic apps for the Android Part III

Well, since my last post, some more great Catholic apps have trickled onto the Android. (and I do mean trickle). Let's take a look.

One that is not really a Catholic app, but a Christian App with Catholic content is the Bible Reader from Olivetree. This is a simple Bible Reader App that I use, it has both the Douay Rheims (free) and the NAB (not free) available it even has the Clementine Vulgate as well as the Latin (St. Jerome) Vulgate, as well as any number of other translations.

Next is the "Daily Readings" app from Aycka Soft, that is exactly what it says. It is the daily readings from the mass as well as daily reflections from Don Schwager's website. It also has the Mass prayers. Not as complete as imissal, but better than your average missal in the pews.




Then comes a pretty sparse offering called "Lectio Divina" a fairly simple app that offers the daily readings as well as the saint whose feast day it is. The downside to this app is that it appears to be merely a front for the browser. So unlike ibreviary or Scincere Prayer, it doesn't download the readings into your phone (great for those of us who place our phones in "airplane mode" during Mass.

As I said, the apps are just trickling in, hopefully we will see a burst of offerings like there is for the iphone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For Ellie....

UPDATE: Little Ellie went to be with our Lord at 1035 EDT Today, May she rest in peace.

I just recently found out about little Ellie Potvin. I lit a candle for her and her family at adoration last night. No 8 year old should have to suffer like this, nor should any parent have to watch. But not our will, but thy will be done Lord.

Eternal rest grant unto her o Lord and may your perpetual light shine upon her.

Read Ellies heart wrenching story at Caringbridge.org

Follow her struggle on twitter at: http://twitter.com/liftupellie

And her mother at: http://twitter.com/amypotvin

This is for you little angel, may you rest in the arms of the Lord:

Monday, May 10, 2010

The things God puts in front of us....

Something happened at church last night that has stuck with me. My family and I were sitting in the front row of the church, and when time came for communion we dutifully got up and received the blessed sacrament. As we were returning to our seats, I saw the elderly woman that was sitting at the end of our pew struggling to get up, it was then she reached for my hand, with her husband on one side of her and me on the other, we helped her to make her way up to the extraordinary minister.

Here is this woman who walks with a walker, barely able to move without help, was not going to be denied receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. How many times have we waited for God to come to us? How many times would we have been perfectly justified in just staying where we are? This woman did not have to get up, the EMHC would have gladly come to her, but she was not going to be denied. It humbled me, to this woman, receiving Christ was the only thing she wished to do. Anyone who says communion is purely symbolic, that it is nothing more than a piece of unleavened bread and a sip of wine, should have seen the determination in this woman. She was not going to be denied.

It reminded me of the story in the Bible of the woman who forced herself through the crowd just to touch the hem of Jesus' garment (Luke 8:40-48). Jesus pulled her to her feet and said "Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace".

I will remember that woman in my prayers, and never forget the powerful lesson she taught me.