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Memorial Day
Forever His.
The Persecuted Church
Finally ordained!
The Joy of Spiritual Discipline

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Advent, 2012
Daily Living.
Insights of the Heart
Memorial Day
News around the Order
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Memorial Day

Our Country has a tapestry of graves containing the remains of warriors who have fought and died for our freedom. Each grave holds someone's son or daughter, possibly a sibling, father, mother, husband or wife.
Many of us see Memorial Day as a three day weekend and the start of Summer - a time to celebrate. May we take time to be especially kind to others this weekend? Rarely do we know that the person in line at the grocery store lost a son in Afghanistan, or that the old man driving way to slow in front of us saw his best friend killed beside him at Normandy.

Forever His.

There is debate among the Christian community whether one can lose their salvation. Certainly in the Roman Catholic Church the doctrine of mortal sin is an example of this concept. Yet, if we live in fear of losing fellowship with God, we let Satan win. There is little the Evil One wants more than to make us believe we are not beloved by God - that our Father is on the verge of rejecting us at any given time.
While always understanding the immensity and glory and omnipotence of God, we do well to remember that He loves us so intimately that He has counted every hair on our heads.

The Persecuted Church

For the last several months we have been aware of the persecution of Christians by ISIS  in the Middle East. For decades Christians have been persecuted in Asia and in African countries. And yet, Christianity is thriving in these areas.
I often think we in the West (I live in California) have a very shallow understanding of what it means to be a Christian. We are concerned over which church has the best worship music, the shortest sermons, and the most people attending. In some ways, the church we attend is "trendy.

Finally ordained!

My lifelong dream of becoming a Catholic Priest was fulfilled on August 24th, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri when +Bishop Thomas McKenna, presiding Bishop of the Celtic Rite of the Old Catholic Church conferred upon me Holy Orders.
The Celtic Rite allows priests to be married. so my great joy was to have my wife, Debbie, present and supportive at my ordination. And to be ordained by such a kind and holy man as +Bishop Tom was a special blessing. Each time he laid hands on me and when he anointed my hands with chrism, I felt the Holy Spirit touch me in a powerful way.

The Joy of Spiritual Discipline

The Joy of Spiritual Discipline
Modern American culture, and increasingly within the walls of Evangelical Churches, finds a wide chasm between “discipline” and “joy.” Spiritual discipline often brings to mind such exercises as reading the Bible in one yearand (to a less comfortable extent) tithing.
In this blog I will briefly discuss the origins, purpose, necessity and benefits of spiritual discipline.

            We can begin in Genesis, chapter four, where Cain and Abel offer their sacrifices to God and tithing has its origins.

Psalm 27:4

 
“One thing I have asked of the Lord, that shall I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple” Psalm 27:4.
 
When I first fell in love with this verse, I isolated it from the rest of the Psalm. After quoting it a few years ago, a friend pointed out how it was sandwiched in between adversities. It wasn’t until today that I reflected, meditated, and contemplated this verse in the context of the entire psalm.

Advent, 2012

Today begins the Advent season for the Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church (CROCC). It is, quite simply, what we make of it.
 
As Celtic Carmelites, the Advent season is a holy time to contemplate the many events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. In the coming days, I hope to comment on the holy angel delivering Mary the message of her role as mother of the Savior. We can consider Joseph's reaction and obedience. Surely the dusty trip to Bethlehem and disappointment in not finding suitable lodging can take a great deal of contemplation.

Original Innocence

Throughout history, theologians have debated the extent of "Original Sin" on the soul of man. St. Augustine was the champion of total depravity and mainstream churches have held to some degree of original sin in their doctrines.
 
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and the world has never been the same. We toil, suffer death, strife, sickness, loneliness, and a disharmony with nature. Yet it was God Himself who clothed Adam and Eve. It was God Himself who spoke to Cain after the death of Abel and marked Cain so that he would not be killed.

Labors of Love

Today in the United States we celebrate Labor Day. For many it is a day of rest from a grueling, fast-paced schedule. For others looking for work, it is bittersweet. We have deep within all of us the desire to be contributors to our family, community, and nation.
 
I read once that the second question men are asked at an introduction is, "what do you do?" For those unemployed, this question feels like a knife to the heart. Perhaps during this recession we can refrain from asking this sensitive question.

Eternal Perspective

Living life with a deep and longing desire to be with the Holy Trinity in heaven (when God's purpose for us here is complete) helps keep us grounded in the turmoil life on earth inevitably sends our way.
 
Let us pray for the elderly who are confined to their homes or in convalescent centers. Let us pray they have assurance God has them in this season of their lives for a purpose, even if it is as simple as showing kindness to their caretakers.
 
If you have time and feel the good Lord directing you, stop by an elder-care home and bring a smile to the forgotten ones in our midst.
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