Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What you need to know about angels

Insight Scoop (the blog of Ignatius Press) has a great post about angels that draws from Peter Kreeft, the brilliant philosopher and thelogian from Boston University.  Kreeft's book Angels (and Demons) explores the topic in great detail.  Here's an excerpt:
The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them

1. They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.

2. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.

3. They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.

4. They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.

5. They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.

6. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.

See the rest of the list and some Q&A by clicking HERE.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Food for Thought

Great article by Michael Josephson that highlights a couple of very simple keys to success for children.

If you want to help your children do well in life, there are a few things you can do. A high proportion of high achievers have two things in common: lots of books in their house and an emphasis on reading, and a family tradition of regularly eating dinner together.
Filling a house with books surrounds children with endless and varied opportunities and challenges to explore and learn. Books provide knowledge and seeds of wisdom about morality and character.

Eating dinner together assures that parents have an opportunity to participate in their kids’ day-to-day lives and help shape the way they think and react. Coordinating schedules so everyone eats together requires an effort to elevate family time above other things and instills in children a sense of belonging.

But we can do more than promoting reading and family discussions to offset the bad influences to which our kids are exposed. Everything we do to or in front of our children matters; what we allow, what we encourage, and what we do ourselves teaches our children how to live and conveys powerful messages about values.

So be sensitive with what you say and how you say it, what you read and what you watch on TV. And be careful with how you handle relationships and deal with emotions like disappointment, anger, and frustration. Because what you do is what you’ll get.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School - for the first time!

Tonight marks the last night of freedom. The kids are getting ready for bed, preparing for the big day back. This year, the youngest of the 3 will start Kindergarten. He gets a bit of a reprieve - he doesn't have to start until Friday. Although he's the only one excited about it. Since I work from home, I'm really going to miss having him around. Mom, however, will be an absolute wreck! At least for a day or two. Then, we'll be like empty-nesters for 3 hours each morning. Granted I'll be working, but it's NEVER just the two of us in the house. OK, very seldom. It should be very interesting, to say the least!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

First Communion Gifts

My son (2nd of 3, oldest boy) made his First Communion last weekend.  We had a small party for him afterward, and he received several rosaries, prayer books, and a crucifix.  

On Monday, my wife helped with the 2nd grade's reading program, and a lot of the kids naturally shared what they got.  One little girl said she got $550!!  My wife asked if she also got a rosary or a prayer book, and she said no.  While she didn't get any religious items, she did get a Webkin and some pajamas.  I thought that was sad.

I don't mean to judge, but I would just expect that the gifts would match the occasion.  I stressed to my son several times that this was just the first of many, and they're all just as important.  Hopefully more so as his appreciation for the Eucharist continues to grow.

What about you?  What kinds of gifts did you or your kids receive for First Communion?  Do you have any favorite gifts that you like to give for First Communion?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  Personally, I'll be praying a little extra today to St. Joseph.  In the past, his intercession has been directly responsible for a job change that came with a nice pay raise, and separately, another pay raise.  Each of these times, our family was facing the prospect of our stay-at-home mom having to go back to work.  

I didn't often pray to the saints for intercession for specific things, but in these cases I did.  And St. Joseph answered!  Less than a month after my first "direct" ask of St. Joseph to intercede, I was offered a new position at work that cam with a 25% pay raise.  I wasn't looking for this job, I hadn't heard about it, it just fell in my lap!

St. Josephe was a wonderful Protector of the Holy Family, and he protects our families today.  I'd encourage anyone to make St. Joseph the patron saint of their career!  God Bless!

And thank you, St. Joseph!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Michael Dubruiel

Michael Dubruiel, author and husband of Amy Welborn has passed away. This LINK to Amy's blog explains that he collapsed while working out and couldn't be revived.

Please pray for the repose of his soul, and for his wife and children.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bigotry against Kentucky homeschoolers

An article in the Cincinnati Enquirer describes a bill proposed by Jack Westwood that would allow homeschool students to participate in high school sports. The key to the issue is this:
"These families still pay taxes," said Westwood, one of the Legislature's staunchest conservatives. "It would be fair to let them play."

But here's the opposing view:

Grant County schools superintendent Mike Hibbett believes it should stay that way.

"I have nothing against home-schooled students if they feel that is what they need," said Hibbett, a former coach in the Boone County schools.

"But if you choose to home school, you choose not to be a part of the public schools. Why should a home-schooled student be allowed to pick and choose what they want to be a part of?

"I'm all about the fairness, and this wouldn't be fair to our students," he said. "I'm absolutely against it."

These people "choose" not to be part of the public schools because they feel it is in the best interest of their child. So how it is not "fair" to the students in the public school? What is it that they're being deprived of? And for what it's worth, Grant County isn't exactly know for academic excellence in the state of Kentucky. (Did he really say he's "all about the fairness?")

And then we've got a board member from another Northern Kentucky school district:

Campbell County Board of Education member Mike Combs of Alexandria said Northern Kentucky legislators should concentrate more on equitable funding for local school districts "instead a bill about kids who do not even go to the school being allowed to play for the school."

"How can a school have an athletic program that is OK for the home-school student but be so bad it cannot be considered for academic reasons?" Combs said.

"To preclude the academics from our schools but take advantage of the athletics and have a law passed to force our cash-strapped schools to deal with the desires of a 'few who asked' is not the answer for success in the field, the classroom or on the court."

Combs answers his question with the quality of his own school. Any parent who cares about their child, AND is able to homeschool them, would either do so, or find some other option. There is NO WAY in hell I would EVER send my child to Campbell County High School. It's a last resort for those with no other options.

First of all, it's not a funding issue. These parents are paying their taxes to fund the school. The issue is one of misplaced pride in a school that isn't deserving of any. Mike should worry more about getting meth and heroin out of his school, and less about good families who want to provide athletic options to their children. The school is ranked 68th out of 169 in the state. In case that sounds decent, keep in mind that this number includes many districts below the federal poverty level, which Campbell County is not.

(Grant county is 74th. Also, these rankings don't include private schools, which would push them even lower. In contrast, Highlands High School, also located in Campbell County, was ranked 4th in the state.)

Secondly, the district's job is to ensure that every child in their boundaries receives an education. Why take offense if someone feels that they are better able to provide that education in the home? If funding is truly his concern, these people are doing him a favor! Their paying their taxes, but not receiving the service. Since they would pay their athletic fees like any other student, how is this a problem?

The problem is low-level beauracrats wanting to maintain a system that is broken. They don't like it when folks realize it and find a better way to solve the problem. I live in Campbell County and send my kids to parochial school. If that wasn't available, I'd homeschool them. The public schools in this county aren't fit to teach my children.

Finally, I love the Tim Tebow mention. I would have thought that would shut a lot of these idiots up, but apparently not. Given the lack of success of these two schools, I'd think either of them would take all the help they can get!

The truth about the "green" movement

From the Times in Britain:
Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.

These people simply hate their own humanity. I love the environment, but I'm careful to identify as a conservationist, not an environmentalist. The key part of that word being "mental". None of these liberal issues stands alone.

I'm so sick of the term "environmental footprint". One of these days, someone's going to say it in front of me and I'm going to snap. This world was made for us. And it's to be used by us - responsibly. Killing people because of an imagined danger to the planet is, literally, insane.

Click HERE for an excellent column on the origins of the "global warming" crisis. It's from the founder of the Weather Channel, and is eye-opening.

Bias is all in the wording

Here's how the Reuters wire story words it:
The Obama administration and Democrats have already cut two provisions in the bill passed by the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote. Dropped from the bill was $200 million to fix up the National Mall and millions for family planning that Republicans said would fund contraceptives. [Emphasis added.]

Here's what the proposed bill, HR1, actually said on page 147:
1 (4) not less than $335,000,000 shall be used as
2 an additional amount to carry out domestic HIV/
3 AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually-transmitted diseases,
4 and tuberculosis prevention programs, as jointly de-
5 termined by the Secretary and the Director;

What is easily the #1 way that Democrats prefer for "preventing" the spread of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases? That's right, contraceptives. Specifically, condoms. But this is just a Republican accusation. And cutting it is a concession to show that Dems are reaching out in a spirit of bipartisanship. Give me a break.