Thursday, May 15, 2008

Deal of a Lifetime

What if I were to offer you a deal that stated if you were to go for a year without swearing, speaking bad about any family member or friend, or telling a lie, and if you did it that then I would buy you a great house to live in for the rest of your long life? Are you willing to make that deal?

What if I were to offer you a deal that stated if, for a six month period, you would take care of your ailing neighbors, worked regularly in a soup kitchen, and visited the elderly every day in the nursing home, that I would guaranty your health benefits for the rest of your long life? Are you willing to make that deal?

What if I were to offer you a deal that stated if, for three months, you spent a portion of your paycheck buying food for the local food shelf, or send it to an overseas organization that helps to feed the poor and hungry, and that once you complete that I would supply all the food you would need for the rest of your life? Are you willing to make that deal?

Well guess what. Someone has already offered you a better deal then those I have listed here. God has already offered you a beautiful home for eternity. He has already promised to give you all the nourishment you will ever need. He has stated that you will always have great health and never shed another tear in pain. He has offered all this and more to everyone who is willing to accept his "deal".

We must live by his commandments. We must except that Jesus, God's only Son, did come to this Earth, suffer, and die for our sins. We must except the words of Jesus, and that the only way to get to Heaven is through Him. We must except that God does exist, and so does Jesus. We must except that God is merciful and willing to forgive us of all our sins if we but come to him and try to live our life as he commands.

Our lifetime is less then a year, or a month, or even a minute to God and his Son. They ask that we spend this short lifetime we have living our life following Their way. If we do, They will take care of us for an eternity. The deal will not be easy. It will test us. There will be hardships.

Are you willing to make the deal to spend eternity with Him?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Heavenly Football Game

The following post is from the assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 68, who also serves as the troop's chaplain. The troop current has only Catholic members. He based this chaplain's talk on an article he found in a brochure that he had received. I thought is was very good, so I wanted to share it with you...

True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of history, science, literature, or art, but in the development of Character. What do we mean by character? What is character? It is a desire to conserve health by keeping the body clean and free of sin. It is that of self denial and self mastery. It is the control of temper and being obedient to social laws and moral order to guide principles of life.

How is this attained? It is attained by viewing everything that we do in the light of eternity. In other words, to get to heaven. It is a very foolish person who thinks that this world is meant to be a stopping place. We are only on this earth a little while and then we will pass on to eternity. Where do we get the guide to fulfill our destiny, which should be heaven? Here is a good example.

We call it heavenly football.

Our life on earth resembles a football game. We are playing against a powerful team. Our invisible coach is Jesus Christ, our God and savior. Our visible coach is the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church. Our assistant coaches are good parents, good and true priests, and the good Catholic books and papers.  The invisible coach of our opponents is the Devil. His assistant coaches are the bad men and women, the bad magazines, bad nightclubs, bad company, bad DVD's, movies, videos, and music.

The referee is our conscience, which tells us wether we are right or wrong. Our cheerleaders of Jesus, the angels, the saints, other good parents, and our sincere friends.  The opposing cheerleaders are the devils of hell, and the enemies of religion, the Spirit of the Word and of the flesh.

The football field is the whole earth. Our goal is to the right, namely heaven. The oppisite goal is to the left, namely hell. The kickoff begins when we are approximately seven years old. That is about the time we start to know good from evil. That is when we begin to know the difference between the two goals. That is where we begin to win or lose. Our signals are the ten commandments of God, the just laws of the country, the duties and obligations of our state of life.

If we obey these signals, then we are sure to win. The ball is Sanctifying Grace. Every time we do, we gain yardage. Every time we commit a mortal sin, we lose the ball and the other team takes over. By making a good confession, we regain the ball. The Sacraments refresh us during the game and help us to gain yardage. Half-time resembles our summer vacations, when we rest up and come back refreshed and determined to do better. 

We play only one game, but it lasts a lifetime. There is no clock to tell us how much time we have left. Death will mark the end of the game. There is no chance of a tie score. We either win, or we lose. If we win, we win forever. We will go to heaven. The whole court of heaven will rush out to congratulate us. Our reward will be so great that no one has ever seen, heard, or experienced anything to equal it. Our names will be inscribed in the Hall of Fame forever.

If we lose, then we lose forever. All of hell will be loosed and all the evil spirits will rush to throw us into the hell of the damned souls. The pains of hell will be everlasting suffering. Our names will be inscribed in the Hall of Shame forever. 

So play the game, but be alert. Play Hard. Play with confidence. We have the best coaches. If we follow their advice our victory will be certain. We will go to HEAVEN!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Everything On Loan

Ten years ago I bought a house. Maybe I should say, I took out a loan to buy a house. It was my first real house, a home with a foundation and a basement. I had lived in a trailer home park for sixteen years before buying the house. Even though I owned the trailer home, I still rented the land it sat upon. I dreamed of the day when I would own an actual piece of property: a home and a yard.

It took several years to find a house I liked. I knew I did not want a big expensive house.. I would not be able to afford it. Besides, I did not want to clean a big house. I do not like cleaning. I wanted a house with a garage so I would not have to leave my car sit outside during the Minnesota winters. I wanted a house with a decent, and dry, basement in which I could build a family room. I wanted a living room that was larger then the one in the trailer house. I just wanted a house that had a few features I was missing in the trailer park.

One day the real estate agent called me. She had a good idea about the type of house I was looking for. This house turned out to be a 28' by 40' one story home with a full basement and a detached one stall garage. It was located in the middle of the city, two blocks from downtown. It had two decent sized bedrooms, and a third room off the kitchen that could be used as a dining room, office, or extra bedroom. 

It was the basement that sold the house. There was a family room and a laundry room that were already finished. The family room was perfect! I wanted this house, so I stopped at the bank to check on a loan. They tried to tell me that with my salary I could afford a much bigger home. I told them I wanted to have some money left over after making a mortgage payment to enjoy the house. They gave me the loan.

I owned a house! Well, the bank and I owned the house. I would own it after thirty years of payments. I refinanced the loan a few years later and was able to knock about ten years off the payment schedule, and at a lower interest rate.

Even after ten years of "owning" this house, I still find it amazing that it is mine, that I own such a thing. It is my homestead, my dwelling, my castle. I have made several improvements to my castle over the years, putting on my little touches.

Then a funny thought occurred to me this summer. In less then ten years I will give the mortgage company my last payment and the loan will be payed off. Or so I thought. It suddenly dawned on me that even though I will have paid for the house, it is still on loan. In fact, everything I own is really on loan. My car, my furniture, my towels, and even my dvd collection. It is all on loan.

God, our heavenly father, holds the final mortgage, and he always did. As far as society is concerned I do own all this stuff, but I really do not when you look at the bigger picture. A fire could reduce it all to ashes. A tornado could turn it all to rubbish. A thief could steal it. Then I look at an even bigger picture. Someday, I will die. Suddenly, I will not own the car, the dvd's, or the house. Someone else will own it all.

God actually owns it all. He has loaned these things to me while I live on this earth. Someday, he will loan these things, and my home, to someone else. I suppose I better take care of things for the new "owner".

(By the way, that is not a picture of my home, but it is one from the city I in which I live. The house in the picture is much larger then my house.)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Who Am I?

Who am I?

I am a Christian who lives in central Minnesota, someone who has a few thoughts to share with those of you who are interested in reading them. I am a Catholic Christian, but do not worry, my goal is not to convert you to being a Catholic. No, my goal is to simply put into written words some ideas that have been stuck in my head.

At the time I write this I am forty seven years old. I am male, unmarried, and a bit of a nerd. I like classic rock, some alternative rock, some musicals, some country, and a sprinkling of other music. Lately, I find myself listening to more and more Christian rock. I do like watching movies, mostly of the action or comedy genres. I am not against seeing the occasional "chick flick". I seem to have outgrown most of the slasher and graphic violent movies.

I was raised a Catholic and still consider myself a Catholic even though there are a few points of the Catholic faith that I have questions. I am by no means an expert on the Catholic faith. I know more then some people do, and less then others. 

Am I some sort of Bible scholar? No way! I have read portions of the Old Testament. I have read all four of the gospels but not all of the New Testament. During the last few months, I have developed an interest in learning more about heaven and hell. Maybe the Left Behind series has had something to do with that.

Currently, I have about ten subjects on my list of posts to write. I have a feeling that once I get started on this blog more things will begin to come to mind. I plan to write about experiences I have had, thoughts about my own faith, and even a couple of very vivid dreams I have had.

I invite you to come along on this journey and read read my posts and comments. Maybe you will even share your thought with me.