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


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


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


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