Thursday, April 11, 2013
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
This was so good! I wanted to share. We had many of the same experiences in the Protestant world, certainly not in confession but in conversations. But many Protestants, especially homeschoolers, have a conviction about God being Lord of the marriage bed and that means many children.
Colleen Duggan: What I Learned From My Parish Priest's Criticism of Our Use Of NFP
Colleen Duggan: What I Learned From My Parish Priest's Criticism of Our Use Of NFP
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Relentless Pursual of God.
November 1, 2012
By Alan Harris
What is an ordinary life?
You have parents
You get dedicated or baptized
You go to school
You go to church
You watch TV
You listen to music
You play sports
You relate to your siblings
You do a bunch of fantasy activities that aren't reality.
You start to like the opposite sex.
You become aware of your sexuality. Body matures
You start working
You experiment with sin
You refine your adult attitudes and beliefs
You graduate from High School
You go off to college or maybe into work
You graduate from College
You get a cookie cutter job
You get married
You buy a house
You may go to church (because you're supposed to)
You watch TV & Movies, sports
You have kids
They get baptized
The cycle continues
At a Catholic Mass they pray for vocations, for priests and nuns. That's one road to take. People who are sensing a religious feeling might do that. That's cool. We need to collect money for seminarians. I just go to church on Sundays, take communion and go home. Makes me feel like I did something good.
Lay missionaries? What's that? People should just live their life and show their faith by how they live.
What do you need to be a full-time missionary for? Get a job. Support your family. Work for a living.
My kids? They don't care about God. I drag them to church on Sundays. A youth retreat? They wouldn't want to do that unless their friends were going. I can't make them go. They're too busy with school activities and sports. We have a conflict. They need to get ready for college. Friday's a football night. We're going out of town. We're just real busy.
I was a Jr High and High School teen once. We were Methodist. My parents didn't force me to go to anything spiritual other than going to church and Sunday School. God still drew me toward Him. I was sensing that religious feeling myself. There were meetings and places I could go to get deeper with God. Somebody was there to minister to me. Someone had dedicated their life to impacting young people with the Gospel. First was my high school youth leader, then lay missionaries entered my story when I was older. God interrupted the status quo. My homeo-stasis. My ordinary life was altered. I haven't felt part of the rat race since. I began looking at the world through God's eyes.
How many people at my High School went nuts for Jesus? None of my friends. How many college friends are in serious ministry? There's a lot actually.
Now I'm part of the Catholic church. They're nice people. They are faithful about going to mass. I don't know a whole lot about what they believe on the inside. They seem to like their religion to be predictable and a have a steady routine. They like what they have. They might not take to people coming in with a lot of new or fanatical stuff. Their kids are raised in the church. They go to keep their parents happy. They're Catholic. That's what they are. They don't seem to be very emotional about their faith, from what I can tell. I don't hear God brought up in their daily life much.
We want to show them how to be relentless pursuing God and then be used relentlessly to touch their world.
Otherwise they will remain in the routine, or maybe blow God off altogether.
I don't want an ordinary life.
This is my quest. This is my passion. How can we reach them? What youth age is too old to still be captivated? How young to we have to dive down to before they are lost on the secular conveyor belt of life? What is the age of accountability? We are asking those questions. Will you help me find the answers? Here's how you can help.
- Pray. Intercede. We have one elderly friend who prays for us twice a day – on her knees.
- Do you want to come help us?
- Will you commit to monthly financial support? We still have 3 children to get through school and bills to pay. We are sacrificing our 60 hour work week to the Lord. That is our job, our vocation.
Friday, April 13, 2012
CALLING ALL CATHOLICS! Share your faith on the streets of London! Join others who want to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.Mission/Outreach projects will include: Assisting with a local church outreach program. You will be assigned to Community Festivals in various Parishes e.g. entertaining kids with face painting and balloon sculpting, painting nails, washing people's feet, serving food and drinks to the public and showing the Love of Christ to all you meet.
Joshua Camp to House Olympic Missionaries
With our Spring Break SST Mission Trip complete, we now turn a greater focus on the next adventure, the Olympics!
What? We have been asked to lead a team, or teams to minister together at the 2012 London Olympics from August 1-13 this summer. The amazing project is finally coming into focus as we get closer to needing actual bodies to go with us.
When? August 1-13, 2012 It begins on the 1st, so we would obviously need to be traveling by July 31.
What is it? The Joshua Camp - a Catholic oriented ecumenical gathering working together to minister alongside Protestants around the Olympic sites.
Where? Our Kerygma Teams will be hosted at the Joshua Camp:
Joshua Camp Accommodations
Our housing will be will be school classroom floors!
St. Bonaventure's Catholic School , Boleyn Road, Forest Gate, London E7 9QD
(Within walking Distance to the Olympic Village!) You will have access to a shared bathroom and will need to provide your own bedding and towels. The cost includes breakfast and a packed lunch during the 13 days.
Figure $2000 US per person, as of 3-25-12
$700 meals, housing, fees, ground transportation$1300 air fare (Based on Dallas to London)
What will people do at the Joshua Camp?*
3 day International Catholic Festival (includes outreach training)
Mission/Outreach projects will include:
- Assisting with a local church outreach program you will be assigned to
- Community Festivals in various Parishes e.g. Entertaining kids with face painting and balloon sculpting, painting nails, washing people's
feet! Or serving food and drinks to the public
- Sharing in leading sports clinics/missions and holiday clubs
- Doing Street Evangelisation around
- Christian Street Entertainment
- NIGHT FEVER! (Adoration and Music in the Churches around London)
- BIG SCREEN Festivals (where the Games are being watched!)
- Giving out free bottles of water to thirsty tourists with the
Salvation Army all around London.
- Being involved with a STOP THE TRAFFIK! Campaign against Human
- Performing Creative Arts - solo or as part of band, dance, or
drama group, or doing street art at great venues around London.
- Prayer and Intercession for London and the Outreaches (Ensuring
*The role each volunteer plays will depend on their skills and experience.
All interested participants need to contact us. We need to meet you and spend time together to learn each other’s giftings, personalities, callings and to become a team. Please contact us at (903) 343-3567 . If you are in the East Texas area, we want to see you in person. We hope to have a training weekend very soon to pass out applications.
Please call today. If we’re going to be a team, then start talking to us!
If you are interested in going with us to the Olympics, please call 903-343-3567 (you can email too at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Festival of Lights....
Today is the First Day of Channukah and the Harris Family celebrated with latkes, applesauce and sour cream just like my favorite bubbie taught me. Exposing my kids to customs about Judaism is not only good for the belly, it is good for the soul. Remembering the miracle of the oil and how God gave the Macabees Eight Days of Miracles. May you have yours on this night.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
THE FORGIVENESS PRAYER
Fr. Robert DeGrandis
Lord Jesus Christ, I ask today to forgive everyone in my life. I know that You will give me strength to forgive and I thank You that You love me more than I love myself and want my happiness more than I desire it for myself.
Lord Jesus, I want to be free from the feelings of resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness toward You for the times I thought You sent death, hardships, financial difficulties, punishments and sickness into our family.
Lord, I forgive myself for my sins, faults and failings. For all that is truly bad in myself or all that I think is bad, I do forgive myself. For any delvings in the occult; Ouija boards, horoscopes, seances, fortune telling, lucky charms, for taking Your name in vain, for not worshiping You, for hurting my parents, for getting drunk, for taking dope, for sins against my purity, for adultery, for abortion, for stealing, for lying. I am truly forgiving myself today. Thank you, Lord, for Your grace at this moment.
I truly forgive my mother. I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, resented me, was angry with me and for all the times she punished me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.
I forgive my father. I forgive him for any nonsupport, any lack of love, affection or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving me his companionship, for his drinking or arguing and fighting with my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for any running around, I do forgive him.
Lord, I extend forgiveness to my sisters and brothers. I forgive those who rejected me, lied about me, hated me, resented me, and competed for my parents' love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant in any way, I do forgive them.
Lord, I forgive my spouse for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention, communications, for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other acts or words that hurt or disturb me.
Jesus, I forgive my children for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support, warmth, understanding, their bad habits, falling away from the church and bad actions which disturb me.
My God, I forgive my in-laws, mother, father, son or daughter-in-law and other relatives by marriage. For their lack of love, words of criticism, thoughts, actions or omissions that injure and cause pain, I do forgive them.
Please help me to forgive my relatives, my grandmother and grandfather who may have interfered in our family, been possessive or my parents, who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against the other.
Jesus, help me to forgive my co-workers who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won't cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.
My neighbors need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run through my yard, not taking in their trashcans, being prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.
I now forgive my clergyman, my congregation and my church for all their lack of support, pettiness, bad sermons, lack of friendliness, not affirming me as they should, not providing me with inspiration, for not using me in a key position, for not inviting me to serve in a major capacity and for any other hurt they have inflicted. I do forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive all professional people who have hurt me in any way: doctors, lawyers, policemen, hospital workers, for the things that they did to me, I truly forgive them today.
Lord, I forgive my employer for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work, for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry or unfriendly, for not promoting me and for not complimenting me on my work.
Lord, I forgive my schoolteachers and instructors of the past, as well as the present. For those who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly, made fun of me, called me dumb or stupid, made me stay after school.
Lord, I forgive my friends who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me, were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not return it, gossiped about me.
Lord Jesus, I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for that one person in life who has hurt me the most. I ask to forgive anyone who I consider my greatest enemy; the one who is the hardest to forgive or the one who I said I would never forgive.
Thank You, Jesus, that I am free of the evil of unforgiveness. Let Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.
Friday, July 29, 2011
How do you explain Mary to unbelievers? Why would Mary want to come to the middle of a mountain town in Bosnia to a bunch of kids? Why would this phenomena draw millions of pilgrims from around the world for the last thirty years? We made the journey last month with those very same questions.
In search of what it all means, I asked Jesus to show me himself there and I asked for the eyes of understanding. The eyes I got were those of a mother. I tend to look out of mother eyes quite a bit with seven kids of my own and a lot more that I love and call mine.
Mothers tend to have this problem. They like to take care of everybody. I do. It's a “built in” thing. The older I get, the stronger it gets. I saw thousands, yes, thousands, of people in search of a Mother and the Son that she introduces them to.
These are truly pilgrims. I don't think I understood the word pilgrimage until I became a part of this. These millions who come are on a search for something. I know I was. I want to understand why it takes something like this phenomena of Mary appearing to a bunch of kids to get people right with Jesus? Most of these pilgrims go to church most Sundays, I think. Probably more than that do. Why do they have to go across oceans, then clear into the middle of nowhere to really get converted to Jesus Christ Himself?
Part of the mystery is in climbing to the top of the mountain where the girls first saw the vision. As I climbed Apparition mountain, I thought about how hard it was. It is a tough climb to the young or old. Here we were trudging up a mountain with no solid footing anywhere, nothing but rocks the size of your head everywhere and for what were we doing this? Everywhere around me people of all sizes, shapes, ages, and languages were doing the same. What was running through their minds?
We didn't need a guide. They didn't exactly offer them. You just maneuver on your own. You can't see where you started and you don't know where you are going. (It is sorta like, shock here: REAL LIFE!) The way is nothing but rocks and trees and unsure. Sometimes you might need a little help from someone else. Everybody is on their own path. You can't take another's, although you can sometimes almost trail them, you can never exactly put your foot right where theirs has been. You can't really watch what the other guy is doing either. If you do, you will lose your footing and might fall.
There is something very peaceful about climbing this unknown. People are quiet and reverent. It is an almost surreal feeling. Lost in my own thoughts I wondered about innocence and purity. Most people view life through their own filter: rich, poor, city, country, jew, gentile, protestant, catholic. Everybody has on a different pair of glasses.
Thinking about puberty age kids in an obvious third world culture, it's easy to imagine true innocence thirty years ago when they encountered the Madonna giving them messages. The culture then was even more primitive than today. Why? I think it has to do with hope. That is a really great word. I hope my car doesn't die. I hope my kids live a good life. I hope. For what? I hope that the world knows Jesus. The Savior who hung on a cross for them.
Have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Whether or not anyone believes it or not, it really doesn't matter. Thirty years ago a bunch of kids in Bosnia started having visions of Mary telling them terrible things were going to happen to their land. There would be war, people needed to quit playing around with God and get right with Him. They needed to pray for the conversion of sinners to Jesus. That is not a message I can argue with.
If it takes a pilgrimage to Medjugorje for life long Catholics to be converted and get right with Jesus, then so be it. The Muslims have Mecca. Protestants have IHOP and Bethel. I don't know about other places because my glasses work ecumenically, American, Catholic and Protestant. I know that God is BIG and has a lot of variety. That is why He is God. He can do as he pleases. He does not have to work on someones presupposed theology. HE IS GOD AND I AM NOT. That should be enough for anybody.