Thursday, August 25, 2005

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Friday, August 12, 2005

"And I'm leavin' OOOooon a Jet Plane!"

So here we are t-minus 8 hours till we depart for World Youth Day! I am less than a day away from probably the most amazing trip of my life. I am a little over a week away from being with the Holy Father. I will be spending the next 11 days with my surrogate family, the Lifeteens.

I pray to the Lord that he will bless us with his grace and protection as we travel to Germany and back again. May the Holy Spirit descend on each of us, not just in our group, but all the teens traveling to WYD and create a new pentecost in our Church.

We are the future of our faith, may WYD 2005 be the start of a brighter future for our Church. Amen.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

He holds our hand...
Sitting in traffic at one o'clock in the morning has become a hobby of mine. Not by choice mind you, but it just always seems to be in the cards no matter what time I leave the theatre. Just when you figure the least amount of people will be on the road and you will just glide right to where ever you need to go....there I was. Stuck.

As I sat there and contemplated my "stuckidness" I started to think about what we believe as Christians. Everything happens according to God's will. Everything happens according to the Father's will and nothing is with out His influence, right? So did that mean that God wanted me stuck in traffic?

As the traffic continued and after twenty minutes I had moved maybe ten feet I delved into my "God wants me in traffic" theory even deeper. So if God wants me to suffer through something as un-pleasant as traffic, does that mean that He also orchestrates the other bad things in our lives? Like catching the flu. Like getting a flat tire or a zit. Does God knowingly give us things that will require surgery? Does He purposely give us asthma or arthritis? If it is intentional what purpose can it mean?

It's un-pleasant to think that God purposely puts us into harms way. It's un-settling to think that God gives us ailments that require surgery or medicine. It just plain old stinks to think that God sticks us in things like traffic.

As I thought of it more something came to mind. My Mother taking me to the doctors as a kid. Not anytime in particular, just my Mom taking me to Dr. Annino's office. Shots and blood tests, sharp objects cutting and poking holes in us, things a Mother should keep her children away from, but instead when we are sick or when we need some help our Mom (or Dad I guess) schedules an appointment and drag us (kicking and screaming in my case) into their offices to be pocked and prodded with all kinds of terrific metal instruments. Where were our folks during that? No matter how much we may have told them we hated them for bringing us there, no matter how many times we may have tried to seperate ourselves from them in those times of trial....they were right there beside us, holding our hand through out the entire thing. God's like that.

I think many times we have to face un-pleasant things to learn a lesson, or to force us to go the next step when its the last thing we want to do. Just like when we are sick and our folks force us to suffer though the terrible ordeal of the Docs office. Just like those times when we need a shot, God drags us kicking and screaming to these situations. We tell him we hate Him for it. We try and break His grip so we can run away and not face the problem. But there He is every time, waiting to take us back. Sure God will still lead us to that problem, but just like our Mom, we won't face anything that He won't hold our hand through.

So maybe God has been hitting me with traffic jams to teach me patience. I guess I will never truly know. I truly believe that no matter what trial we face it is always to make us a better person and will lead us, even in the most round about ways, to being closer with Jesus.

I pray that the Lord helps me to see his face and know that He's there holding my hand, especially during times of trial.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Exploding TVs, Poop, and Traffic.
Yesterday was a very long day. It started with a private show at the theatre early in the morning followed by my normal Friday afternoon shift. It was such a relief to be out of there at 6. I discovered a new short cut home from Quincy that let's me skip almost all of the rush hour traffic. But the night started to take a nasty turn when I sat down for a little "Stargate SG-1" time.

My TV had been acting up, making sparking noises, turning itself on and off, etc. Well I click on the tube and after some of the usual funny noises there was a large spark followed by smoke. My TV December 1996 - July 2005. Rest in Peace

So the night was progressing and it just went further downhill. About 9ish I got a call from the theatre. The women's room toilees were backing up and sewage was seeping in through the drains in the floor. I rush to the theatre, try and fix it myself to no avail. I call Roto-Rooter and they arrived around 12:30 this the time they got there the problem had cleared itself. I was frustrated with the situation to begin with but now that it had fixed itself after all this trouble I was just down right angry.

So I take off down the high way heading for home from Quincy again and get stuck in major traffic. You know how it is. Traffic is inching a long. Everybodys honking. It's just craziness. So I sat there, aggrivated and feeling bad for myself.

As I made a turn, slowly, I could see Police, Fire Truck, and Ambulance lights ahead. Lot's of them. An SUV had flipped over and the top of it, the part where people sit, had been sheered off. While I was sitting there feeling bad for myself and focusing on what a crappy night I was having I was faced with the realization that no matter how dark things may seem someone is always having a worse day.

In that moment I realized that I was blessed. Yeah, it was a long hard night. I couldn't veg infront of my TV. I had to spend an extra few hours at work. Now I was delayed 45 minutes in traffic. But I bet the driver would have gladly given up more to take themselves out of their situation.

Lord, I pray that you help me to be thankful for my burdens, the things that humble us all and allow us to hear your voice more clearly. Help me to focus on the blessing in my life, the good things that come from you. Amen.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

120 hours. That's how long the "retreat charge" lasts. You know how you're all fired up during a weekend retreat and you leave there on Sunday just ready to change the world. It even lasts most of the following week. You are just completely ready to change your whole life for what He wants. Then the charge wears down. Before you even realize it your back to the things you did before, the things you swore you would never do again. That's where I am now, but this time it's more of a struggle. I really need to fight this time.

I honesly want to follow God's will. I know He is calling me to something big, bigger than ever before, but I'm starting to lose that drive to be completely radical in my faith. I'm not fired up.

Today I'm praying that God will help me retain that fire and find it again new every morning. I need to stay the course.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I have a huge crater in my lip. Laser surgery is an interesting way to go if you need something done in your mouth. If you don't mind the burning smell you really can't feel anything at all.