On the Inside; On the Outside


Being an Evangelist is Not What You Think

Posted by | Everyday Life | No Comments

Who wants to be an evangelist? Typically when I ask this question when giving a talk somewhere, no one raises their hand. On very few occasions one or two people have.

It seems evangelism has become a scary word for us. In general, it is a word with which we do not want to be associated. For some, it comes from being on the receiving end of someone else’s evangelism, often coercive, even threatening. For others, it may be that religion isn’t something people talk about; or that one’s faith is private; or simply the desire not to be perceived as one of “those” people.

Whatever the reason, most people not only have little experience in evangelism but are downright frightened of it. And that, of course, cripples our ability to reach out to others with the good news. Today’s story of Jesus’ baptism (John 1:29-34) might be the perfect reading to invite us not only to admit our discomfort with evangelism but also begin to overcome it. Read More

Living the Way God Intended

Posted by | Discipleship | One Comment

Whenever I ask a group of teenagers to share their favorite story about Jesus, today’s Gospel is the one that always comes up (Luke 9:11b-17). “So much food!” they say. I think one of the reasons this is also such a memorable miracle story is the “go big” nature of it. Jesus doesn’t just give the hungry crowds a little to tide them over, but fills them with so much food that there are leftovers. Read More

Are You Life-Giving or Life-Taking?

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A few years ago, my wife Stephanie and I took a group of our parish teens on a summer mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. We were blessed to spend the week working with an organization called Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly. This is a group that works with elderly people who have lost ties with family, have no family at all, and face the reality of simply being alone. Read More

Nothing for the Journey

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20150917_115009Over the years, I’ve met several people who have decided to temporarily leave their everyday lives in order to travel. They would travel to Europe, moving from town to town with no plans, no set destinations, no reservations and no particular schedule. They often needed to rely on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter. Read More

I Am So Stressed (Blessed)!

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I am so stressed! I am stressed out beyond belief! In fact, if stress burned calories, I’d be a supermodel. I am being bombarded from so many different directions that it’s beginning to take a toll on me mentally and physically. I am in the midst of moving my mother out of her home into a smaller place; my daily job has been insanely busy and hectic; the band that I play in has been working every single weekend; my responsibilities at church have been steadily increasing; and family and household obligations are thrown into the mix as well. It just doesn’t seem to stop. I am running nonstop. I am so stressed! Read More

Do I Trust God?

Posted by | Prayer | No Comments

Having spent three days this week with our parish teens at Youth Ministry talking about vocations, you can imagine that this topic is still fresh on my mind. The very fact that each one of us is called to a vocation is a powerful thought; but to be able to discern your vocation and live it out is an entirely different story. Read More

I Am Tired!

Posted by | Emotions/Feelings | No Comments

2015070995114515Last week, I was with a group of teens from our parish on a mission trip in Detroit, Michigan. There we lived in community and helped the people of Detroit with various acts of service and charity. What a fulfilling way to put our faith into action and truly experience Christ in those we served. What a blessing it was for our teens to have such an awesome experience.

But during that one full week of hard labor – of long days and short nights, I have to admit that I was really tired. My body ached, my muscles were sore, and my head throbbed from the heat and exertion. And suddenly I recalled an old proverb that I came across long ago: One can go a long way after one is tired. And that became my mantra for the week. Read More

Moving On with the Mission

Posted by | Discipleship | No Comments

Today would have been my father’s 87th birthday. But as many of you know, he left this world last November. Tomorrow, it will be the six month anniversary of his death. I’ll be honest with you, I miss him dearly. I miss the talks we had, both in person and on the phone. I miss his advice. And I miss his warm embrace when we hugged. And I’ll never forget the last words he said to me the night before he died. When we were done talking on the phone, he said, “So long.” It was his way of saying goodbye. How ironic that these were his final words to me. Read More

Love, Serve, Transform

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What would you like to own more than anything else in the entire world? Would it be a sports car, a yacht, a beautiful mansion? What are these things worth to you? Jesus is telling us that following him and seeking the kingdom is worth even more than the thing we want most. As we learn more about the kingdom, the desire to attain it grows in us. We want to be in a place of perfect love and perfect peace, where there is no war or disease, no hatred or violence, no discrimination because of the color of our skin or the origin of our family, where people are respected and treated with dignity, and where all of us can live as sisters and brothers in Christ. What we need is what Solomon asked for: an understanding heart, so that we don’t judge others, but we love and serve one another and do what is right. And that’s not always an easy thing to do! Read More

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