Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Christmas greetings to everyone - everywhere. To believers and non-believers - I wish you a Merry Christmas - the blessings of the Author of Life - The God Who Loves You - The Lord Jesus Who Died For You. Whether we believe - or not - God freely sends His blessing upon all.  Not everyone will be open to reception of His blessings - to those who are - His presence is constant - to those who are not - His blessings are like an unwrapped Christmas present - waiting for you to pull at the ribbon - to reveal all that He has for you.


Santa Claus is the expected giver of gifts - for all. Toys - clothes - electronics - gift cards - all freely and happily received. Acceptance by most - the majority - gladly. Digging deeper - Santa - Saint Nicholas - a mortal in whom God was very much alive - a mortal who reflected God's generosity - in ordinary human acts.  Today we who give - reflect too God's love - compassion - forgiveness.  As we share this day with family - friends - strangers - may each of us - through ordinary - extra-ordinary acts of kindness - be reminded of the One Who Loved Us First.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Year of Mercy

We are now in the fourth day of the special Jubilee Year - Holy Year of Mercy - proclaimed by Pope Francis earlier this year. Starting on December 8th - this Holy Year continues until November 20, 2016.  Between those dates - many opportunities for everyone to become involved - either in their home parish - or across the world. In our diocese - nine parishes have been designated as "Pilgrimage Churches" - sites which may be visited as an exercise in personal piety. Pope Francis has asked us to focus on the Corporal Works of Mercy - feeding the hungry - giving drink to the thirsty - clothing the naked - sheltering the homeless - visiting those in prison - comforting the sick - burying the dead. I am happy to report that my homes parish has an excellent track record in all these - except visiting those in prison. For some reason - mostly red tape with entering prisons - we have not addressed that particular ministry.  Perhaps going forward - this will become a new and vibrant ministry of our parish.


Jesus asks us - when did you feed me - give me drink - clothe me - visit me in prison - BAM! Stopped dead in our pious tracks - no Lord we have not visited those in prison - there is so much red tape - it is dangerous - these people are the lowest of the Earth - they scare us. I would have to agree - to some extent.  Then again most of us have never visited a prison - nor do we wish to - intimated - afraid of the consequences. Our personal filter about prisons - mostly fed by movies - makes us shy away form this important ministry. We all know of the success of prison ministry - many others are visiting one daily - but not us.  In this Holy Year of Mercy - we must remember that to receive Mercy - we must show Mercy - to all.  Something to think about this Advent - as we seek to make changes in our own lives.

Deacon Dale






Monday, November 16, 2015

Reflections On A Pilgrimage

We are back! It has been three days now since we returned from our Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage. Our group of sixteen joined up with a Florida group of seven and six pilgrims from Canada at Rome for an awesome spiritual travel experience.  Our tour guide was one of the best we have ever encountered. Contrary to predictions - we had warm sunny days every day while there - our tour guide commented that it was unusual to go for so long without rain or clouds - we were all happy that we were blessed with excellent weather. We started in Rome - ventured to Assisi - Florence - Loreto - San Giovanni Rotondo - Pompeii - Salerno - Cava de Tirenni - Montecassino - back to Rome - visiting the shrines of St. Francis - St Clare - St Benedict - St Scholastica - St Matthew - Michael the Archangel - St Mary - St Peter and St. Paul. Most of us also ventured around Rome to visit the Coliseum - Plaza Navona - the Pantheon - the Roman Forum - Trevi Fountain - all spectacular sights. In our evenings and free time in the afternoons we enjoyed the wines and cuisine of Italy.  Friendships developed quickly among the group - the shared experience blessed everyone. Holy Mass was celebrated almost every day with Father Dennis - Father Terry and Deacon Dale - delivering inspiring homilies - complemented by special meditations from Chaplain Arlene. Eleven days focusing on the Divine - inspired by the words of Pope Francis at the Wednesday Audience - drawing each pilgrim closer to Jesus - Our Lord - closer to God - the Author of Life.

Deacon Dale's Pilgrims at St. John in Lateran Basilica - Rome, Italy 

Pilgrimage is as old as the Church - since the time of Christ - people have been seeking God's presence everywhere in the World - in simple - grand places - in peoples from all walks of life - at every turn of the corner. Participating in a pilgrimage is one of the most rewarding adventures anyone will benefit from  - following in the steps of Christ - following in the steps of fellow pilgrims.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mirror Mirror

Almost everyone is familiar with the phrase - Mirror Mirror - on the wall - who is the fairest one of all - from the story Snow White. When seeking answers to questions - where answers elude - alternate sources are sought. Most of us would be very happy to have a magical mirror - provide answers. Owners of modern iPhones - have - Siri - a component of the iOS computer program that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator.  Siri is accessed thousands of times daily - seeking directions - answers - providing information in a moments notice. Siri will not provide personal information - her phone number - her age or weight - focusing only on whomever asks the question - information for and about them. Helping inquirers - the prime directive.


When we seek information from God - His answers - rarely spoken.  God does not perform magic tricks - does not hang on a wall - waiting to be called to service at the whim of an individual.   God is there - waiting for each of us - to draw closer to Him - to His Son - Jesus. We only have to seek Him - in prayer - no mirror needed - in silence - in meditation. Some will pray before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration - others on knees before Holy statues - all focusing their deepest attention on - God - waiting in silence for the answer which always comes - in His time. If you have a special need - forget magic mirrors - forget computer programs like Siri - instead turn your focus on the God who waits - for your attention.

Deacon Dale 



Monday, October 5, 2015

Messy

If you are like me - you like order - tidy - everything in its place - order. I find it difficult to achieve that - especially on my desk - in real life. Today I have to lead two funerals - two persons - related - died in the same auto accident. An error in judgement - a distraction - nobody knows for sure - except for two who died. Leave it to say - it is a mess. If we think about it - life is always a mess - order - disorder - plans made - plans broken - life changed. What we thought was under control - out of control - in seconds - life changes. As Christians we participate in Rites of Passage - rituals that move us from one reality - to another. When we were born - a Rite of Passage - moving from an intimate relationship with God - to life on Earth - birthing - messy - sloppy - in His time - not ours. Life - as we know it - always messy - sloppy - constantly changing - constantly challenging. At the end of our life - another Rite of Passage - dying - always inconvenient - unplanned - mostly messy - not on our calendar - only in His time - returning back to an intimate relationship with God. Wealth - poverty - cannot - will not - alter these Rites of Passage.


Jesus told us - (Matthew 11:28-30) Come to me -  all you who labor and are burdened - I will give you rest. In this scripture we see the gentle mastery of Christ -  Jesus - always available to each of us - believers and non-believers - any time of day - any day of  the week. While on this Earth - we are never alone - even when we want to be alone - He is there - close at hand - waiting on us - ready to act in an instant - to clean up our mess - to straighten out - organize - to bring order into our messy lives.

Deacon Dale 




Year Of Mercy


Pope Francis has dominated the news media for the last few weeks and as we approach December - it is important that we reflect on the Holy Year of Mercy - declared back in March. In an article published by The Catholic Herald from the U.K we read

"More than a dozen individual celebrations will be scheduled for the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, giving pilgrims the chance to celebrate their own holy year with Pope Francis in Rome. Consecrated men and women; deacons; priests; catechists; the sick and disabled; teenagers and prisoners have specific days on the calendar set out for them. Young people will be able to celebrate their jubilee with the Pope at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization , which is organizing events for the Holy Year of Mercy, published a full calendar of events online. The Holy Year is meant to be lived as a pilgrimage, people taking part are asked to prepare themselves with prayer and sacrifice, and make a portion of the journey on foot. Efforts also will be made to offer concrete signs of God’s love and mercy by offering tangible assistance to those in need, and bishops and priests around the world are asked to conduct “similar symbolic gestures of communion with Pope Francis” in their dioceses by reaching out to those on the margins. The motto, “Merciful Like the Father,” is an invitation to follow the merciful example of God, who asks people not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love, the council said. One way the pope wants to show the church’s “maternal solicitude” is to send out “missionaries of mercy” that is, specially selected priests who will preach and teach about God’s mercy. They will be given special authority, the pope said, “to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.”  The following is a list of some of the major events planned in Rome for the jubilee year:

• Opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and in the cathedrals of the world, December 13.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, January 1, feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God and World Day for Peace.
• Jubilee for those involved with guiding or organising pilgrimages and religious tourism, January 19 – January 21.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, January 25, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
• Jubilee for Consecrated Life and the closing of the Year for Consecrated Life, February 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
• Sending forth the Missionaries of Mercy, St. Peter’s Basilica, February 10, Ash Wednesday.
• Jubilee for the Roman Curia, February 22, feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
• “24 Hours for the Lord” with a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica, March 4th.
• Jubilee for those who are devoted to the spirituality of Divine Mercy, April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday.
• Jubilee for teens aged 13 to 16 to profess the faith and construct a culture of mercy, April 24.
• Jubilee for deacons, May 27-29, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
• Jubilee for priests, June 3, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
• Jubilee for those who are ill and for persons with disabilities, June 12.
• Jubilee for youth, July 26-31, World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
• Jubilee for workers and volunteers of mercy, September 4, the vigil of the memorial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
• Jubilee for catechists, September 25.
• Marian Jubilee, October 8-9.
• Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in memory of the faithful departed, Nov. 1, feast of All Saints.
• Jubilee for prisoners, November 6.
• Closing of the Holy Doors in the basilicas of Rome and in the dioceses of the world, November 13.
• Closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica and the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, November 20, feast of Christ the King.


God's Divine Mercy is present in the world constantly - this is not a once in a lifetime event - rather a reality of His awesome Mercy. Participating in special prayers - act of kindness - mercy - traveling on a pilgrimage - all afford everyone an opportunity to go deeper into their relationship with God - deeper into the mystery that is His Divine Mercy.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Too Old

There is probably nothing more frustrating to people of all ages - youth - young adults - seniors - to be told that they are too old to do almost anything. As children grow older they are told - too old to play with dolls - too old to pretend - youth - too old to act certain ways - too old - to grow up - young adults - told that is child's play - they are too old to do almost anything that seems fun - seniors - too old - to do almost everything. As a senior - I am constantly reminded that people my age don't do this or that. I am reminded that I don't act - old - that I insist on acting - doing things - reserved for those much younger. When people learnd that my wife and I walked almost 400 miles in Spain on the Camino de Santiago - concerns were expressed that weren't we too old to do that? Today we bike - not your normal - ride a bike around the block - first of all we don't have a block - we live in the country - our block is miles long and encompasses highways that any intelligent person would not bike on. We seek bike paths - much safer - for anyone - of any age. Today we biked from our home to downtown Aurora and back - some 26 miles - 42 kilometers. We are waiting for the - you are too old comments which will surely come.

We were baptized as babies - dedicated to God - as infants - recommitted ourselves as followers in our youth and again as young adults. On October 5, 1980 - we attended a marriage encounter weekend - again we rededicated ourselves to God as modern day disciples. At my ordination in 1988 - I again made that same commitment - this time to serve Him as a member of the ordained Catholic clergy. Now 27 years later - having just celebrated 70 years of life - I and my wife - continue to rededicate ourselves to serving God. You see - when it comes to serving - worshiping -God - Jesus - the Holy Spirit - you are never too young or too old. If you have never made a commitment - feel the call to do so - simply offer Him - the Lord of Lords - King of Kings - the Author of Life - this simple prayer - Have Mercy On Me A Sinner - then profess with all your heart - mind - soul - spirit to serve Him - in anyway He calls you to. You are never - too old.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, September 11, 2015

I AM

I AM - what?  Now a days it seems that nobody is who they seem to be. Famous people reveal they are not who everyone thinks they are - saints become sinners - sinners become saints - trusted dignitaries show they cannot be trusted - men become women - women become men. For most of my life I thought it was only people - like me - born as a twin - who had to cope with confusion about who they were. As an infant - I was the skinny one - my twin a bit heavier - you could see in our faces who was who - as long as you remembered who the skinny one was. As toddlers we grew more similar - the issue compounded by mom dressing us in identical clothes. Even when we started selecting our own clothes to wear - making an obvious effort to look different - people still could not tell us apart. We both chose the same career path - the same occupation - similar wives - both having two sons. It has only been the last five years - since my twin died - that I have been a single person. Even his death did not solve the issue of who I am. To this day - I meet people who still think I am my twin - dead or alive - it will never end. Inside - I know who I am - God knows who I am - and in the end - that is all that matters. I never had to wander - never had to worry - about who I was.  I feel sorry for those - today - confused about issues - created by unreasonable expectations - unreasonable demands - unreasonable attempts to be politically correct - to define individuals. We are who God made us - pure and simple. We may not fit into - the same box - pigeon hole - predetermined niche - that makes others comfortable - at the expense of our comfort. That is their problem - not ours. What we are - who we are - belongs to only one person - concerns only God - period.
When asked what His name was - God replied - I am - Who am - period. No definition needed - no explanation provided. A simple - complete - outrageous - statement. God does not fit into a box - is not limited by our fragile minds. He is - He was - He will be - I AM.  As we grow in our faith - as we understand His - I AM - we come to know the reality of what He is all about. For most of us - this will be a lifetime journey - no problem - we have our entire life to learn.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Pilgrimage

It gives me great pleasure to announce a new pilgrimage opportunity for 2016. This trip will take us to POLAND - flying to Warsaw - traveling around central and southern Poland visiting shrines - churches - cultural sites - ending in Krakow before returning home. This is an updated trip similar to the trip we had planned for 2014 - at a price $500 less than 2014. Everything of significance related to Saint John Paul II - Saint Maximilian Kobe - Saint Faustina Kowalska - Divine Mercy will be covered. In addition we will visit the Auschwitz concentration camp - the Market Square in Krakow - and an option to visit the famous UNESCO Salt Mines. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

POLAND Pilgrimage 
June 20 - 28, 2016
Chicago & Orlando $3299*
Phoenix - Los Angeles - San Diego $3399*
Above Prices Reflect a $150 Early Registration Discount

More Information At

To Register Call 1.630.334.5065







Saturday, August 15, 2015

Painting In A Corner

It is a common joke when discussing painting of rooms - houses - lack of planning - painter ends up going in the wrong direction and finds themselves painted into a corner - trapped - forced to wait until the paint dries - before they can move. In reality - a story about planing - thinking a project through - before beginning. The saying - failing to plan - means planning to fail. Whenever we begin any project - all aspects must be considered - plans made - materials gathered - reviewed - before starting. If a project begins with no thought - the door is opened for chaos.

Chaos

God has a plan for each of us - His concept - His design - perfect. As we seek to understand God - we fail - time after time. No one has the mind of God - no one understands God's plan - for us - for the world. Seeking answers to the impossible - fruitless - time waster. Faith teaches us - acceptance - of that which we cannot understand - comprehend. With faith - we believe - with faith we trust - with faith - we come closer to God.

Deacon Dale 



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Finding Denise

Denise Thiem - #DeniseThiem - #helpdenisenow - an intensive search has been going on now for four months - seeking to find a forty-one year old woman last seen walking the #CaminodeSantiago in Northern Spain. Like many people seeking guidance in their lives - Denise quit her job and started traveling the world. Her last journey was walking the popular Camino de Santiago. Photos have been posted on social media showing her on various stages of the Camino. Her appearance - use of credit cards - contact with family - suddenly stopped. For months now her family has been searching - hospitals - areas along the Camino - through search groups - personally going to Spain to seek her - with no luck. Notices have been posted here in the USA - internationally - with no results. At this point foul play is suspected. Our best efforts - as people of prayer is to pray that she is found - soon. You can read more Here



God knows each of us as intimately as how many hairs are on our heads - God knows where this woman is - that place yet to be revealed. Although lost to her family - she is not lost to God. Pray that she is found and returned to her family soon.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sign Of The Times

In life everything changes - very little stays the same. How we apply for jobs no longer requires walking into a shop or business to speak to the manger - it is all online these days. Many items and services can no longer be paid by cash or check - credit and debit cards or electronic transfers only. Every day new changes appear out of nowhere. Newspapers have gone electronic - no home delivery - no "paperboys" - for most of the country. All of this is driven by the need to become consumer friendly - adjusting - modifying - to reach a larger audience - to be more effective in what we do.  I am just as guilty as the next fellow - if you looked at the title of my blog - its has changed - no longer "Deacon Dale's" - rather "The Eye of God".  As I continue to write - attempt to reach a larger audience - I have questioned why a person would be attracted to an obscure deacon named Dale - so I am changing - with an eye on God - an I on God - seeking to see as God sees - commenting on simple things - that we make complicated.


The only thing that I know that doesn't change - God. God the same today - as yesterday - the same tomorrow. God - Jesus - The Holy Spirit - the only constant - the only simple answer - for all complex issues. Nobody will ever know - understand God. Rather than seek complex and confusing answer - sticking with the simple truth - all we really need is - Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Vacations

Vacations - time off from work - getting away for the summer - traveling to fun destinations. Everyone looks forward to a change in the daily routine - sleeping late - visiting family and friends - relaxing - not working. All too many people do not know how to relax - take their work home - carry their work on vacation. The whole idea of a vacation is to get away - from everything - to allow yourself time for - yourself. Americans work too much - too long - little time for the things that really matter. Those who take work home with themselves - miss the point. The body - the mind - needs time away - away from everything that burdens them. The best vacation - time away from the daily obligations - to focus on yourself - your family - your life.

Even in His life - Jesus - had to get away - away from stress - away from concerns - away from the crowds. Just like us He needed time by Himself - to find Himself - His purpose - to focus on His goals. Jesus calls each of us to a place away from the daily commotion - away from the World and its issues - to a place alone with Him. In Jesus alone - will you find rest.

Deacon Dale 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Put It In Writing

Put it in writing - a common phrase - often when something is spoken - unbelievable - out of the ordinary - worthy of remembering. This morning I received a call from a friend - a parishioner - seeking information - advice. I did not have a clue what I would be asked - told - requested. Whenever I am in this situation I do the only thing I know to help prepare myself - to speak - listen - react - appropriately. I pray. This morning I prayed - God guide me - help me - to be present - attentive - receptive. As I drove to our meeting point - driving through the ongoing construction in our area - I came upon a flashing road sign - warning drivers of the current construction conditions. The sign flashed three messages - Be Alert! - New traffic patterns - Focus on the road. To anyone driving that route - warnings that - once again - the lanes had changed - again - ignore everything else - focus on the road - the barriers - the flashing lights. To me - a different message - immediately I saw in that sign - God's hand in the construction of those three messages - preparing me for my meeting - Be alert - paths are changing - keep my eyes on the road - on the journey. As I met my friend and discussed his concerns - I shared with him - God's message to me - the same message I left with him. Pay attention to his situation - there were changes happening in his life - how he would act and react to those changes - challenges - had to be carefully discerned - with eyes on the road - the journey - the end goal he was seeking. He wrote those three messages down - God's advice to me - in writing - shared with him as a brother in Christ - the message - the answer to his questions. Our meeting - an awesome time - spent together - sharing our lives - sharing the one message - for each of us.


God does not always write His answers down - most often when we seek His counsel - we hear nothing - see nothing - we wonder if He heard our request. As a firm believer - I know God always hears us - the answer normally - a work in progress - often manifested only at a later time. Jesus assures each of us that He - His Father - are always there for us - listening - guiding - answering. In faith we wait - in faith we rest - knowing that in His time - not ours - He will answer our prayers - our requests. Very rarely will we get our answer in writing - always - His answer - written in love - will be etched in our hearts.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jurassic Monsters

Monsters - Dinosaurs - Jurassic World - all the rage right now. This movie is packing theaters like crazy. This is one movie franchise that seems to never end - thrilling - exciting - scaring - viewers of all ages. I think the attraction  is our basic connection as humans to animals. We share this world with all sorts of animals - from the very smallest insects and one celled amoebas - to giant billion celled animals such as giraffes and elephants and - maybe - dinosaurs. There is a bond - a special connection - between man and animal. Keeping pets - dogs - cats - birds - gerbils - fish - in and around our homes. Feeding them - caring for them - watching them grow - sharing our lives - together. If possible - more than one person - one family - would own a dinosaur - just the idea of being able to communicate - to share life with another species - is exciting.


God's simple message - spoken by Jesus - the same message of sharing life well. We are all one family - different colors of hair - eyes - skin - many languages - one hope - for a peaceful - fruitful - existence - among family - friends - strangers. No one better than another - no one more gifted than another - all blessed by God - in different - similar ways. Sometimes it works - sometimes it does not. Something worth working at - to create a world where everyone is seen as a gift - no one a monster - not even in Jurassic World - not even in our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

In Search Of A Hero

Recently - in social media - there has been much talk about heroes - what makes a hero - what gender may be a hero - past - present - future. I will not debate that issue as recently presented. Heroes come in all sizes - shapes - forms - gender - species. One of my favorite heroes was a dog - yes a dog - who saved another dog's life.  Most people would immediately say a dog cannot be a hero - I disagree. Heroes are those who go beyond normal limits - to excel at one specific task. Heroes do not have to repeat an event - once is enough for most to be recognized. It might be a firefighter - carrying a person from a burning home - a high school youth - rescuing a young swimmer - a dog - dragging an injured companion out of harms way - a parent - showing their children by example - how to live a good healthy productive life.  Some years ago a study was done with high school youth - asking who their heroes were. A small percentage - named Michael Jordan or another sports figure - an overwhelming 98 percent - named their parents - as their hero - who they most admired - wanted to grow up to be like. Nobody named any of the popular Super Heroes as their real life hero.


Jesus did not want to be a hero - He came - as the obedient Son - following His Father's wishes - to share the Good News - with all.  Some listened - followed Him - became disciples - students - others - ignored - turned away. Although He came for all - not all accepted Him. That same situation remains today - we have believers - non-believers - accepting - rejecting. In the big scheme of things - not ours to worry who accepts or rejects - ours is to stand firm in our faith - to live lives - that inspire - create hope - sharing the Truth.
We do not have to be heroes - Super Heroes - just ordinary people of God - doing a super job.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Road Trains

On our recent trip to Maryland one thing we noticed very frequently were the road trains - long haul truckers pulling two or three trailers behind the tractor unit. In Illinois we do not see those - in the east a lot more frequently. That prompted research on these very long units - hauling goods over land that might be more often shipped by rail. In doing my research I discovered that three trailers and one tractor is not uncommon at all in some parts of the world - Australia - Sweden - Germany - Denmark - on the Ohio Turnpike - Indiana East - West Toll road. Three trailers is not the longest - in Australia - seven trailer road trains with multiple engines totaling 1,000 horsepower haul ore on private property in mining areas. To drive one of these trains takes special skill - training - assistants. 


Road trains may be compared to prayer partners - those who agree to pray together - two - three - four - six persons - all praying for the same intention. In numbers there is strength - in all things - including prayer. By joining a prayer team - one affirms their common belief in prayer - God - each other - common faith - common hope - common trust. Jesus promised us that when two or more are gathered in prayer - He will be in their midst - the power source - more powerful than a 1,000 horsepower engine - to move mountains - to see results from the faith shown by those in prayer. Prayer by oneself is great - prayer in groups = a moving experience. Either way - through prayer - we remain connected to God - to the source - of all that is.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Falling Rocks

Falling Rocks - one road way sign that you do not want to see - warning drivers of potential danger - from above. On long road trips - for many drivers - exhaustion - poor road conditions - unfamiliar roads - increases the risk of injury. It is imperative that drivers on these roads exercise due diligence- pay attention to all warning signs.  Observing all the signs on the path - assures a safe trip.


God calls each of us to a special relationship with Him - He sends us messages - some obvious - others not as obvious. Normally He works  through the everyday events of our lives - not dramatic - out of the ordinary. Some look to the skies for - spinning suns - other to dramatic events of nature. In reality God more often - whispers - does not shout. He is present in the gentle breeze of a summer afternoon - the soft ringing of outdoor chimes. In all of life - God is always there - quietly sending signs - quietly calling our names.

Deacon Dale 



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fireman

A fireman is a specialist trained in the art of battling fires - learning the life of the fire - how it acts - reacts - to that which helps it grow - that which stifles - causes it to die out - to go cold. Fire is one of those things in nature that can be friend or foe - sometimes both at the same time. It radiates warmth - light - heat - to make comfortable - to light the path - to cook meals.  It also is capable of extreme heat - burning people - possessions - homes - causing massive destruction - loss. To control fire - one has to draw close - to learn - what it likes - dislikes - how it lives - how it dies.


God is the original fireman - sending the fire of the Holy Spirit - upon the disciples - at Pentecost - to us - at baptism - confirmation - moments of grace. His fire does not harm - rather it empowers - men - women - to live lives of faith energized - by His Spirit - faith fanned by the flames of the Holy Spirit - strengthening - guiding - enlightening - His disciples. As the Church celebrates Pentecost this Sunday - may we - His modern day followers - celebrate the gift freely given to each of us.  May we draw closer to the light of Christ - to learn - to understand - to become one - with Him - as we seek to share our faith - as we seek to bring others - to their own personal day of Pentecost.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Lost in Time

I cannot believe that I have been lost in time - lost with chores - lots of chores. Returning from Arizona - time consumed with yard work. In spite of the fact that my neighbor had mowed the lawn for me - twice - I have been doing battle with little green blades of grass since I returned home. In two weeks I have mowed the lawn no less than five times - only now is the lawn finally under control. In addition to mowing the lawn - time to edge the flower beds and spread some 150 bags of mulch around the property. Luckily - that ritual is only done once every other year or so. The lawn looks good - nicely trimmed - new plants in place - time to relax and take a little road trip - praying that it stays as is for five more days - until our return.


Jesus - in many ways - lost in time - lost in peoples' hearts - minds - thoughts. Too many seem occupied with everything - but - God - salvation - redemption - being Christian.  To some - Christianity worn like a jacket - to be taken off frequently - cast over a chair - not worn often at all.  Placing their - faith - hope - in themselves - playing with fire - the devil's brew.  Thankfully when that does not work out - Jesus - will be there - to save - rescue - from the fiery pit of damnation. When your life is in  a hole - when you have nowhere to turn - turn to Jesus - He is there - just for you.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Part II

On occasion part II is never reached - part I being too frustrating - boring - uninteresting. Many great books have never been completely read - due to a slow beginning - loaded with details - boring - not catching the reader's full interest.  Many projects are also like that - early assessment - quick start - slow or no progress - put by the wayside - waiting for another day - another bit of inspiration. Today I was attempting to solve an issue with a shower that stopped delivering hot water. All lines were checked - no leaks - bit by bit took the faucet assembly apart - tried to see where the part had failed. After purchasing a new cartridge - installing - testing the outcome - issue still existed. After a failed second and third attempt - finally looked further. Discovery - the cartridge system has two parts - the first cartridge was fine - the second - overlooked cartridge - the issue - sold as individual parts - not as a set.. Replacing the proper part - assembling the complete set - testing the shower - success. When all else fails - go to the beginning and start from the basics - works almost every time.

Many people become obsessed with Jesus' crucifixion - His suffering - His agony - His hanging on the cross - His death. Part II - overlooked by some - resurrection - the rest of the story - the complete package. When looking at Jesus' life - all parts must be considered - not just the beginning - not just the middle - not just the end. He is a total package - His entire life - how He lived - what He did - How He died - what He taught after resurrection - all important. You cannot have a victory without a struggle - you cannot have a battle without a result. Jesus is the real deal - beginning to end. To really know Jesus - is to know His entire life - His entire story - only then can you really accept Him - as your Lord and Saviour.

Deacon Dale 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mum's Day

Mum - mother - mom - mommy - all variations of affection shown to our mothers. This Sunday we celebrated Mother's Day - in the USA - around the world this special day recognizing mothers - many various dates of celebration. According to Wikipedia Mother's Day has a somewhat complicated history and understanding. The celebration in the USA is only 101 years old since Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation in 1914 - creating Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. It is important to note that it is Mother's Day - singular - not Mothers' Day - plural - leading observers to focus on their own mother and not all mothers in general - honoring the woman who gave you life - who made uncounted sacrifices in helping you to grow into the person you have become.


In the Church - on Mother's Day - Catholics - in particular - focus on Mary - the mother of Jesus - the mother of the Church. Through her self sacrifice - taking the risk of an unwed woman - in Israel - subject to the law of the time - she bore the Christ child - the One sent by the Father - to save mankind from their sins - from themselves. Whenever we recognize Jesus - we also recognize Mary - His mother - Joseph - His step father - His Holy Family. Accepting Jesus as Lord - we also accept Mary - Joseph as part of our Christian family - following in their footsteps - learning how to live - as a Christian family.

Deacon Dale



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Cum Laude

Anyone attending college graduation in the United States - Indonesia - Philippines - many countries of continental Europe - may notice in the ceremony program that some graduates receive certain honors - Cum Laude - with praise or honor - Magna Cum Laude - with great honor - Summa Cum Laude - with highest honor - indicating that the graduate not only met the requirements for graduation - due to extra effort - excellent results - have been awarded the distinction of laude - praise. Attending my granddaughter's graduation this Saturday - her father - mother - entire family - excited to learn that she was granted the Magna Cum Laude distinction. Gaby is a very hard worker and not surprisingly - deserving of this distinction.


As a simple carpenter - local boy - known by everyone - most people not completely comfortable with the praise - laude - heaped upon Jesus. Stating that a prophet is not readily recognized in his home town - Jesus - had to travel outside Nazareth to have many take Him serious - accept His teachings.  Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph and Mary - just a boy from the neighborhood - unbelievable that one of simple origins could possibly be the long awaited Messiah. Eventually - after time - Jesus was recognized for whom He really was. Today - we honor Him - we give Him the praise due to Him - King of Kings - Lord of Lords - Summa Cum Laude - the only one to whom all praise and honor is due.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, May 8, 2015

In The Thick of It

Now that we are back home in Illinois - spring chores to tackle. The first task - mowing the lawn - getting the yard in condition for the family. While we were gone - our friend raked and mowed the lawn. Keeping the grass at a reasonable length. Friday my first time to take over the mowing task - grass much longer than anticipated - some patches very thick - causing the mower to stall - too much grass - to heavy to quickly cut the grass. On top of the heavy growth - the threat of rain - mowing halted half way through. Rain in the forecast for the next few days so resuming mowing will mean recutting that area already mowed. Best estimate a solid week to get the length down to a manageable height.


As Jesus' disciples were walking the road to Emmaus - in the thick of it - confused with the issues of crucifixion - rumors of resurrection. Trying very hard to hold to their faith - not sure exactly what had happened - confused about mysterious reports about an empty tomb - strange sightings of the risen Lord. As modern day disciples - we too - end up in the  thick of it - sorting out fact - fiction - rumors - myths - trying to understand our faith. Through all of this God constantly speaks to our minds - hearts - lovingly leading us along the Way - the path to Truth. We are called to be faithful - to not worry about things we cannot comprehend - to be people of faith - trusting that Jesus walks with us constabtly - through thick and thin.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BIGAWIND

When I was little - my one uncle used to say "bigawind" - which was his way of saying " big wind" - referring to hurricanes - tornadoes. The other day - on our way back to Illinois - we experienced a "bigawind" - driving through Oklahoma City. Had we not turned on the radio - we would have never known how close we were to the tornadoes in Oklahoma. With the aid of an iPhone and Google maps - we were able to determine the location of the towns being threatened and our risk of encountering one.  Happily we were a good two hours ahead of the storm and quickly driving away. When we checked into our hotel for the night we learned of the flooding in Oklahoma City and the damage that had been caused. Mother Nature - not one to fool with - need to take precautions and observe warning signs.


Unlike a tornado - Jesus did not whirl into town - like a "bigawind" - rather He was unassuming - a normal person to any casual observer.  It was not until He began performing miracles - using powers out of the ordinary - that people started talking about Him - who He was - where He came from. His power - the Holy Spirit- from His heavenly Father - more powerful than any tornado - hurricane - monsoon. Unlike Mother Nature's display of power - His was to heal - cure - teach - forgive - create New Life. Those who live in fear of "bigawinds" - need to connect to the real source of the greatest power - God - Jesus the Saviour. When life seems like one giant whirlwind - the calming affect of Jesus needs to pervade your life. Peace - trust - faith - combat the daily problems the world gives. Only in Jesus - may your soul be at rest.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Setting The Hook

Everyone who has gone fishing - lost the big one - knows how important it is to properly set the hook. Timing - reeling in excess line - using enough force - while being securely planted on your feet - in your seat - all important factors. Ignoring these basics improves the chance you will lose your catch. Once set - important to reel in with steady force - strong enough to keep your fish on the line -not so over powering that you rip the hook out of its mouth. Set - reel - catch. Sounds easy but not always what happens. Timing is critical for all your actions - otherwise you end up with just another - fish story.



Jesus' disciples had to follow the same tactics when evangelizing - spreading His Good News. Drop a line- a few words about the Messiah - mention a miracle - set the hook - get them interested - continue to share the miracles - reel them in slowly - catch them with - resurrection. Modern day preachers need to follow the same tactics - fishing for men -women - youth. Drop a line about God's love - set the hook with unconditional forgiveness - lovingly but strongly bring them into the flock - catch them with Jesus' promise of New Life. Sounds simple - worked for Jesus - worked for His disciples - not always for today's preachers. Too many put the cart before the horse - celebrate success before the work has been done - pulling in the line before setting the hook - feeding them fluff when they wanted solid preaching - leaving slack in their line - treating the new Christian too casually - letting them slip off the Jesus hook - drifting away.  Jesus asks us to be fishers of men - women - for Him - following the basic rules of fishing - hook - line - sinker.

Deacon Dale   


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo - May 5th - according to Wikipedia - a day to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 - under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin. In the United States - Cinco de Mayo - frequently mistaken to be Mexico's Independence Day - the most important national holiday in Mexico - celebrated on September 16th - not May 5th.  It boils down to a day of celebration - by Americans - Mexicans - celebrating a win over opposing forces - a day to rejoice - with friends - family - no matter your ethnic background. The festivals - the food and drink - the camaraderie - is what makes this day so special. We should all celebrate friendship more often.



Jesus loved to gather with people - all kinds of people - thieves - prostitutes - tax collectors - people shunned by society - invisible people- those who had no voice - those who did not matter - except to God. It was not to the rich and wealthy - to the ordinary - those with no hope. Jesus gave those people reason to celebrate - to rejoice - hope for the future - hope for a better life.  Crowds gather around the world - celebrating favorite saints - patron saints - of different towns - villages.  In all these gatherings - Jesus is present - in the hearts and minds of those not afraid to publicly display their faith - their joy in God's blessings. Pick any day you wish - Jesus is waiting - to celebrate - with you.

Deacon Dale 


Monday, May 4, 2015

Preparation Day

So today is - preparation day - the day we have scheduled to pack up our things - load them in  the car - stage the house - prepare to leave in the morning for the trip back to Illinois. It has been an experience - to say the least. I never thought that we would have so much to take back - the trip here after Christmas was to bring things for the new house - the trip back - just as heavily loaded - bringing new things to Illinois. In addition the house has to be cleaned - top to bottom - in anticipation of a potential renter. Meeting with neighbors - giving them contact information - checking in with our house manager - pool guy - making arrangements with our realtor and leasing agent - preparing photos for advertising - more than I want to do - but must be done.


Preparation Day for the Jewish community - not a relocation experience - rather preparation for the Passover - a celebration of God's blessing on the entire community - the people of God - spared by the angel of death. An event so great - demanding special gatherings with family and neighbor - honoring God. Significant for Jesus - on the cross - removing His body and placing in the tomb - so the people - His disciples could - mourn His death - His sacrifice - honor the holiness of the day - observing Passover. Little did they know that Jesus would experience His own personal Passover - in His death and resurrection - His transformation from a mortal human body - to His new glorified body. An event - none of us should pass over.

Deacon Dale  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fruitful

If you look up the word fruitful you will see that it literally means being full of fruit - filled with fruit - a good yield of fruit - a good harvest - an abundance - positive results. This does not have to apply only to farmers - gardeners.  Anyone who toils - works hard on any project - who sees great results - positive outcomes - may claim a fruitful yield. A teacher whose class all earn an "A" on a test may be sited as a fruitful yield - very positive results from concentrated effort.  To experience a fruitful yield - a sense of pride - positive affirmation.


Although Jesus only ministered publicly for a short three years or so - His yield of converts - beyond expectation.  Like a farmer - He planted seeds of faith - took root in hearts of men and women - yielded results beyond belief.  He reminds us that He is the true vine - as long as we stay connected to Him - we will produce results just as He did.  We are the branches - connected to Christ - our outcomes as great as His - as long as we stay connected.  Just as a grape withers and dies once it falls away from the vine - so may we wither - lose faith - grow weak in our own lives if we distance ourselves - disconnect from Jesus. Connected to Him - all things are possible - with God connected to us.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Uno de Mayo

Last night we enjoyed an evening out with friends at a local Festival de Mayo in Avondale. Many of our friends on Facebook were teasing us that we had the date wrong - that we were suppose to celebrate May 5th - Cinco de Mayo. We quipped back that due to our impending departure from Arizona - we had to take advantage of the opportunity to spend a relaxed evening with friends. It turned out to be a smaller gathering - the entertainment was excellent - great mariachi music - young girls in colorful outfits dancing their hearts out - a good celebration.


Anytime anyone celebrates their new birth in Christ - the right time to celebrate. We do not wait until it is - proper - we seize the moment - here and now - announcing to the world - anyone nearby - the saving act of our Lord.  Christmas - Easter - great times to celebrate God's loving act for His people - any day - worthy of celebrating - His love. 

Deacon Dale 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Large Garbage Day

The city of Goodyear, Arizona offers free pickup of large items - tree branches - furniture -  which do not go into the standard trash containers. The first Monday of each month - the trash crews patrol each neighborhood for these items and remove them from each residence. Rather than refuse to pick up large items at all - this is a routine monthly service - keeping the community - individual homes - trash - garbage free.  


Jesus offers a similar service - for spiritual garbage - trash that has collected in our hearts and souls. He has no limits - how much you need to get rid of - when you want to cleanse your heart.  He is available 24/7 - no need for an appointment - no need to arrange schedules - He is there - constantly on duty - waiting for you to ask. Sacramental cleansing - has a timeline - availability of a priest - talking it out with Jesus - no restrictions. Working through His priests - you have the ability to clean your spiritual house from top to bottom - completely cleansed - refreshed - to start over with a clean slate. Your priest - Jesus - wait for you.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Carry Tiger To Mountain

Carry Tiger To Mountain - one of 108 Tai Chi moves - the peaceful form of exercise developed by the Chinese - practiced by people of any age. Through the practice of tai chi - relaxation - development - peace.  Jane Moss - a Tai chi instructor affiliated with Harvard Medical School offers tai chi moves that can bring down stress level and enhance your immune response. Click here for full article. Anything that can help a person to reduce stress in their life has to be good.  Stress is one of the major killers of Americans.  I love the various names of the tai chi moves - thus - Carry Tiger To Mountain.


When people come to Christ for the very first time - things change in their lives - drastic changes - bringing peace - rest - calm.  For many - stress quickly flows out of their life - in its place a new sense of purpose - a regeneration of their inner spirit - a new view as how life is to be lived. Just as God raised Jesus from the cross - so will He raise us up - not just at the end of our days - also as we grow closer to Him. He - the author of life - will carry us to any mountain we need to climb - to any height we seek - as long as we keep our eyes - focused on Jesus.

Deacon Dale 



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dirty Secrets

Dirty secrets may mean lots of different things - nasty little tid-bits nobody knows - hints and tips on how to manage dirt removal - tricks of the trade - especially for landscapers and lawn care specialists. Recently we finally finished our landscaping at our new home in Arizona. Landscaping here is very different from Illinois - the basics are the same - good soil - proper planting techniques - water.  Some things are very different - using a pick axe to dig a hole in solid rock  instead of a shovel in soil - to create a new home for your plant.  Raking rock - decomposed granite - instead of grass - irrigation systems in front and back yards rather than using an above ground sprinkler and hose.  Our lawn care specialist is a funny young man - always a smile on his face - always ready for a challenge - even if it means using a small jackhammer to run irrigation lines - all in a days work - no secrets -  just part of the job.


With Jesus - no dirty secrets - everything He did - an open book.  No falsehoods - no misdirection - no false assumptions - just honest - straight forward words.  His love for mankind - His Father's love for mankind - His plan for the world living in harmony - peaceful - honest - open. As a disciple of Jesus - each is called to live their life in an honest and open way - just as Jesus did.  We are called - He expects us to follow - no secrets to hide - simply sharing the gift we have received.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Home Security

Home security is a big business today - alarms - cameras - sirens - wireless - glass break sensors - everything to help us feel more secure inside our homes - protecting us - our property. When away - alarm systems guard our empty homes from smoke - fire - flooding - home invasion - safety issues. Newer systems can be monitored - controlled by newer smart phones - providing peace of mind.
When God sent Jesus to the world - His message - to rest secure - knowing that He would take care of all the people - protecting - nourishing - nurturing them. As a child of God - we have the best security available - on the job - 24/7 - no downtime - no system failures. The system is free - Jesus paid the price - on the Cross - for each of us.  

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Network

Everybody has some sort of network these days - people in similar fields - sports - activities - communities - electronic devices. Our community in Arizona recently joined a new network - Nextdoor.com - a private social network with a limited number of homes in a designated area. The idea is to help involve neighbors with each other - finding lost pets - promoting school projects - looking for reliable trades people - searching suggestions for interesting entertainment - helping neighbors with needs - wants - security.  The network has only been active for a few months but already has over 300 members - people reaching people.


Jesus had His own network - His twelve disciples - other followers. Even though they had no modern  technology - they were still able to get His message out - word of mouth. One person reaching one other - who reached one other. Because of His message - how it impacted daily life - His message spread rapidly - considering the times. With the advent of the printing press - radio - television - Internet - His message is now broadcast and shared hundreds of thousands times a day. The technology has changed - the message has not. Jesus loves you - God has a plan for your life - you are important.  The next time you check your email - Facebook - Twitter - remember - you have been called to share the most important message you have ever received - God loves you.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Feeling Sheepish

Everyone of us has had that moment - a time we would like to forget when we felt sheepish - embarrassed - bashful - having done something silly - wrong - foolish.  Trying to get that special person - to notice us - pay attention to what we were doing - hoping to impress. On other occasions - opening our mouth - putting foot in mouth - wrong on all accounts - embarrassed - sheepish. It is only human nature - to want to excel - to show off - to impress - family - friends.  It is all a part of growing up - becoming a mature individual.


Jesus - the Good Shepard - the One who loves us - cares for us - directs our lives - along paths of peace - joy - asks us to be like sheep. To follow - without question - to comply with His requests - to live as He asked. Not all comply - Peter - with head hung low - after denying Jesus on the Cross - asked three times - do you love me? Three times - told by Jesus - feed my sheep - feed my people. As a shepherd cares - loves - his sheep - so does Jesus love each of us. Not all will respond to His offer of love - His offer of healing - His offer of peace.  Most will accept - come into His fold.  A few - turn away - reject His offer - leaving them - only later to realize the gift they threw away - leaving them - to feel - sheepish.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rocky Times

We are veteran hikers - to some degree - not experts - experienced - long walks - blisters - wrong turns - lost trails - sore feet - legs - backs. It all comes with putting oneself out there - lost in nature - no distractions - no crowds - smelling roses - creosote plants - fresh rain. As romantic as it sounds - not always romantic - sometimes - tiring - cactus needles - in legs - feet. The other day on our hike - trail disappeared - in the mountains - searching for paths - none to find - crawling over rocks - looking for footprints - signs of other hikers - alone by ourselves. Our hiking partner had a sense of where to head - she had never trekked the path previously - just kept walking - in dried up river beds - the last traces of the previous monsoon gone - rocks bleached white from non existent waterfalls - boulders to climb - watching for steps carved by the sands and waters of previous ages. It was the hardest trek we have ever attempted - eight hours - too long - too soon - sore feet - tired legs - rest not an option. Tired - exhausted - we completed the hike.

White Tank Mountains - Arizona

Coping with the crowds - the people - the curses - ridicule - Jesus had to face very rocky times. His path - down the hallways of people's hearts - through their souls - over the mountains of sins - into the fleshy - loving part of their beings. His strength - the Holy Spirit - the love of His heavenly Father - the support of His disciples - friends. Along every path that we may walk - God is constantly with us - helping us - protecting us - guiding us - according to His plan - not ours. Jesus calls each of us to walk with Him - to face the rocks - the boulders - in our paths - to victory - with Him.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Trail Mix

When most people think of trail mix - they think food - fruits and nuts - mixed together - snack food - party mix - energy food for hiking - outdoor activities. When I think of trail mix - I think of hiking trails in the mountains - desert - winding paths - uphill - downhill - through river beds - over boulders. Today my wife and I hiked the White Tank Mountains in Arizona - one trail after another - after another. There was a lot of ascents - descents - walking in sandy river beds - climbing over rocky boulders - seeking the trail path. On a number of occasions - sure we were lost - trail markers - few and far apart - not completely clear on the correct direction. After a lot of switch backs - trail reversals - trekking over lots of rocks in the path we finally finished. About 10 miles - over the course of 8 hours - much slower than we normally hike - stopped frequently so look at desert plants - observe the surprises and beauty - the desert holds.


When Jesus walked His trail - town to town - village to village - over rocky terrain - through sandy deserts - He experienced a lot of switch backs - changes in direction - in people lives. As He shared the Good News - lives transformed - paths - trails - mixed - altered - changed. As His disciples today - we are called to walk that same trail - to mix peoples lives with the goodness of God - the blessings of Jesus - to  share the wonders of life - to reveal that even in a personal desert - there is beauty - surprises mixed in the sand - mixed in lives. Jesus calls each of us - to mix it up - to become trail guides - leading others - to Christ.

Deacon Dale  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Waiting

Waiting is very much under rated - it builds character - provides time for other things - balancing your checkbook - following up on Twitter - Facebook posts - verifying your winning lottery numbers. In truth - nobody likes to wait - for anything. We are impatient - seeking instant answers - immediate results. Waiting stops forward movement - it is the boulder in a roadblock. While it may - at times - prove beneficial - most people are not big fans of waiting.
Jesus told His disciples that He would return - take them to His Father's house - to a place filled with peace and harmony. For most - still waiting - still seeking - that final gift. The issue has to do with the concept of time - God's time is not our time - one day with God - like a thousand days in our lives - a minute - like a lifetime   God has promised - God will honor that promise - in the meantime - we need to learn patience - we need to learn how to wait - the value of waiting. For true believe we know it will happen - in God's time - for now - we encourage you to just wait - a minute.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Did It Hurt?

Did it hurt - a line used by men - women - when trying to introduce themselves to someone they wish to meet. When asked - did what hurt - the response - when you fell from heaven - indicating - that the person who asked the question thought the other person was beautiful - handsome - heaven sent. It is a funny line - has to make one laugh - a compliment paid - to create interest in the one asking. 



In Holy Scripture we never read if anyone asked Jesus - did it hurt. They knew - common knowledge - scourging - crucifixion - hurt - very painful. His disciples questioned Him - how was it possible that He was alive - how did He survive - never - did it hurt. Modern disciples - rarely ask - did it hurt. We know - we understand - we realize the pain Jesus endured for each of us. That is why we believe - why we worship - why we adore Him - the One who took all our sins upon Himself - who accepted death - death on a cross - for each of us. Because we know - we proclaim His death - His resurrection - His promises - to all we meet.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pilot Light

A pilot light is a small gas flame which serves as an ignition source for a more powerful gas burner. Originally - kept permanently alight - now - more common to light a burner electronically - only when needed. As a child when we entered a room and smelled gas - we knew the pilot light had gone out - needed to be safely re lit. With electronic ignition - the gas does not constantly flow - only when intentionally turned on - conserves gas - saves lives from unlit free flowing gas. Like many natural resources gas has the power to be friend or foe. It is up to us to see that it is used wisely - for the benefit of ourselves - others.


When God sent His only Son - Jesus - He intended Him to be His pilot light - the spark to ignite the fire of His love among His chosen people. Jesus came to start the fire - to fan the flames of faith - to draw the embers - growing dim - together as one body - in Christ. Just as kindle that has lost its flame - flickering itself into extinction - when mixed with other kindle - draws on the heat - the fire inside - to once again - glow with the light within - to become a fire burning brightly - so does Jesus draw us together - Christians around the world  - into one family of believers - creating a fire that cannot - will not be extinguished. We - the believers of today - are that flame - that fire - our flames burn brightly - to spread His message to the world. You are called - to burn brightly - to harness the power of God that is inside you - to radiate His love - to all you meet.

Deacon Dale