Thursday, December 19, 2013

Not so Happy Happy thoughts on Phil Robertson

Although you may not know it, I am a huge Duck Dynasty fan. My family thinks that it is hysterical that I like this show so much.  Yet one of my favorite things to do to unwind after a day at work or a hard homework session is laugh and learn with the cast of Duck Dynasty.  Our family went to the set of the show over the summer vacation, and my little sister Olivia has worn her shirt that she purchased there into the ground.

So, it should not surprise you that A&E's decision to "suspend" Phil Robertson from their show due to his comments concerning homosexuality has gotten me pretty upset.  If you haven't heard about this so called controversy, let me explain.  Phil, the head of the Robertson family, was interviewed by GQ for their January 2014 issue.  In the interview, he touched on quite a bit of subjects.  He also offered some comments concerning the subject of homosexuality.  He had some graphic content, but basically condemned the practice of sexual relations with someone of the same gender.  He also made a point to show the slippery slope that sin can have, saying,

"Start with homosexual behavior, and just morph out from there.  Bestiality, sleeping with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

The most resounding part of the article, however, was when he provided a thought from Corinthians:

     "Don't be deceived.  Neither the adulterers, the idolaters,
       the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy,
       the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't    
       inherit the kingdom of God.  Don't deceive yourself."

Let's really look at this paraphrased Bible verse.  This is not saying:

     "Don't be deceived.  Neither the adulterers, the idolaters,    
       the male prostitutes, ESPECIALLY the homosexual

No - in fact, it's right up there with the drunkards! Christ wasn't singling anyone out in their sin.  SIN doesn't get into Heaven.  It doesn't matter what sin, it's not getting past the gates of Heaven.  So if you constantly lie, do not think you are any better than a person acting out on homosexual tendencies.  Without God's grace and contrition on your part, Heaven isn't going to be something for either of you to enjoy.

As I've stated before - Christians do not hate gays.  They don't enjoy seeing them hurt or abused, or living in sin when Christ offers freedom from sin and addictions in every shape or form.  The fact that Wilson Cruz, who is a spokesperson for GLAAD said the following proves that he knows nothing about true Christianity:

     "Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies  
       about an entire community fly in the face of what
       true Christians believe."  

Christianity's statement on this issue - a belief that should not only be verbally provided but LIVED is that people do not go to hell because they are "gay" or "straight."  More importantly, having sexual feelings towards someone of the same gender isn't a sin.  But, acting out on those feelings with full knowledge of the weight of that sin is a mortal sin.  (BTW, so is having sexual feelings towards someone of the opposite gender and then acting out on those feelings outside of marriage with full knowledge of the mortal sin effect.)

People struggle.  Everyone has their cross. Mine is my temper and quick snarky remarks.  Do you think that's going to be welcome in Heaven?  Nope.  Although Saint Jerome could sure have at it. So if people struggle with homosexual tendencies,

The Catechism does a beautiful job of explaining the Church's stance on the subject of homosexuality:

     "The number of men and women who have deep seated
       homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination,
       which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them
       a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion,
       and sensitivity....homosexual persons are called to

Translation?  There most definitely are people who struggle with homosexual tendencies.  And their struggle isn't fake, so it should be treated with respect and love.  As children of God they should be accepted into a community with love (NOT their sin, THE PERSON.)  More over, they are called to chastity

Yet not just homosexual people are called to chastity.  All of God's children are called to chastity.  

So, in regards to Phil Robertson's comments and consequent hiatus from the show, I think his comments couldn't have come at a better time.  I'll close by sharing my Dad's thoughts on the subject:

"John the Baptist was a manly man out in the wilderness preaching repent and come to does Phil.

John the Baptist made people be curious about the does Phil.

John the Baptist told Herod the truth about his does Phil.

John the Baptist paid with his head...Phil was suspended from the show.

Jesus gives me my hope..Phil is just one example of Godly men standing in the breach of the city wall with evil attempting to come into the city.  God is calling all of us to stand in the breach.  Is your faith making people uncomfortable? Every pastor and priest needs to be standing in the breach and preaching the truth...whatever that may cost."

God bless!

Chloe M. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

These Boots Were Made For                       Holiness

  What Wearing One Pair of Shoes for 3 Weeks Taught Me.

So, I'm on a glorious 38 day break from college classes and I have an enormous amount of time on my hand.  What better time to write a blog!  (Since it has been over a month since a new post appeared on this poor, neglected page!)

Three weeks ago, in Bible Study, my youth group decided to pick three things to work on to grow closer to God until we met again for the next study.  After much deliberation, and, let's be honest, a lot of goofing around, we finalized our three:

1) Eat only bread for lunch of Fridays

2) One random act of kindness during the three week time period.

3) Pray for 30 minutes a day.

After deliberation after Bible Study, the guys jokingly suggested that the girls should only wear one pair of shoes for the entire time.  This came up after they pointed out that some of us, (yours truly), had over 50 pairs of shoes. The guys said they would take cold showers for the 3 weeks if the girls wore one pair of shoes.  Who could say  no to that kind of offer!  So, I committed to one pair of shoes, my boots, for the 3 weeks.

I didn't know it would be this hard, to be honest.  There have been many days during this time that I have gotten mad that I couldn't wear what I wanted to for work since it didn't really look that great with boots.  Shallow, right?  After a week of trying to stifle thoughts of cussing in my head at the youth group boys who suggested this challenge,  I realized that the opportunity for grace and growing closer to God was passing me by.

So, every time I was frustrated with that pair of boots, instead of getting angry,  I got my prayer on.  During a parish mission, a priest had told us a story from St. Therese of Lisieux's life.  She once said that she would "prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifices to all ecstasies.  To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."  If simply picking up a dropped pin can save souls, what could one pair of boots do? 

The lesson learned from these three weeks is perfect in it's simplicity: Even the littlest things can bring your closer to God.  You can offer up anything to the Lord and He can perfect it in His amazing way - transforming your small gift into graces for others.

May your Christmas season be full of the blessings of the Lord and your New Year bring with it opportunities to grow closer to Our Lord!

God bless,

Chloe M. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Declarative Post


Well, I have to come on here (this poor, neglected blog) and tell you dear readers a little something.

I'm no longer an undeclared major.  I know, I know, you thought this announcement would be concerning a all cute bloggers do.  They disappear for 6 months and come back to post and ta-dah! they're married.  This is not that type of announcement.  Yet please do continue reading, despite the lack of cute marriage proposal pictures.

No, really.  I'm not an undeclared anymore.  It's not that I declared for the simple fact that I hated indecision.  I declared because I think I (finally) figured out what I want to do with my life.  I declared a major since I believe that this path will be wonderful regardless of my primary vocation.  

History Secondary Education (high school level).  This is something that I have always loved.  My favorite subject has always been history.  (and Theology, but we'll get to that soon).  I bemoaned the fact that we have never had cable at our house on for the the simple fact that I couldn't watch the History channel.  Yes, I am that girl at the gym who is running her little heart out on the treadmill...and watching the assassination attempts of JFK on the good ol' History channel.  I read historical fiction, non-fiction history books, history articles online, and in general anything that has to do with interesting elements of where our world has been...and is going.

"But wait!" You cry, anxious to help, "You said you were going to be a theology teacher!  You were for sure and certain! You said that was where God was calling you to!"  And you'd be right.  I thought for sure that God wanted me in the high school classroom, teaching the Church's dogmas to high school kids.  I still think I would be great at that, with God's help. 
 Yet theology degree typically means a Catholic/private college education.  And right now, it doesn't seem as if God has that in the works for me at this time in my life.  I'm trying to not bang on a door that God has closed for the time being only because I know that right around the corner is a beautiful open door that I can just run through and know He's got a plan.    

Believe it or not, I do want to be a stay-at-home, typical homeschool mom with all my babies lined up in the pew on Sunday morning.  I know, right? Who would've guessed? With that feeling to such a vocation, I can't in good conscious accrue $80,000 worth of Catholic college debt and still want to stay at home with my kids and not work to help my family pay that off.

When I was in my future Theology teacher kick, I asked around among my friends in attempts to find a good Theology teacher to shadow for the day.  When I inquired who was the best to follow around at our local Catholic high school, I was given two names.  I asked why those names were given, and I was greeted with laughter, since "Well, they're really great Theology teachers...and they're about the only Catholic ones there."  Wait...what?!  You mean to tell me that at a Catholic private high school, out of all the Theology teachers present, only TWO of them are actually Catholic? Lo and behold, it was true.

So, if that was true, it isn't completely necessary to have a degree in Catholic Theology to teach high school level courses in that subject.  Quite the opposite, really.  You didn't even have to be a Catholic to teach Catholic theology.  This was an eye-opening discovery though.  If you didn't have to belong to the faith you were teaching about, this means that I still have my "dream job" without the hefty degree price tag from the "dream college."  I could major in history, and then go into a teaching job that emphasizes Church history and theology at a private school.  Or I could become a history teacher and work my way into a Theology teaching position.

You have no idea how much this has changed my outlook.  At the beginning of the semester, I was positive that my current school was just a step on the way to my "dream college."  I just had to put in my time here for general education credits and then I could be on to my ultimate goal.  I could then drive off to my Catholic college and make all my Catholic friends and run into my future Catholic husband.  This wasn't necessarily true, though.    With the realization that the degree I so desired was not even a necessity,  I have been able to completely change my outlook on my current school.  I feel like I'm free to enjoy it, to make friends, to get involved.  To realize that if God is wanting to introduce a certain person into my life at the right place and the right time, than He'll find a way to work around the fact that I'm not surrounded by Catholics.

So, that's the update for the day.  Let me know what you think / advice about the situation in the comment box below.

Thanks for all the prayers...God bless!

Chloe M. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

What are You Living For?

From Lifeteen's Chris Faddis today:

What if I told you that your life was halfway over?

I’m guessing you’re 15 or 16, maybe 17 years old. What if I told you that your life expectancy was to live until you were 32 years old? I know what you’re thinking – “dude, most people live past 32. You’re being way over-dramatic.”

I felt the same way for a long time. Then one day, the reality of how short life really is hit me when I was least expecting it. My wife was in the emergency room after having been sick for over a week. After a long while and a few tests, the Doctor asked to speak with me. Basically he said, “it’s cancer, it’s all over, and we’re really late.”

In an instant the long life we expected for her was no longer a given.

Angela lived 17 months after that diagnosis and her last 17 months were something miraculous. She didn’t crawl up in her bed and cry and complain. She lived those last months of her life with passion, with purpose, and with intention to be the best wife and mother she could be and ultimately the intention to trust that God would make good of this horrible situation (Romans 8:28).

So what if I told you that you too would only live until 32?
I mean, it’s a morbid thought, but maybe it’s something you and I should be thinking about? Having been a youth minister for many years, including several years with Angela by my side, I’ve thought many times about what Angela would say to you teenagers today.

So here is Angela’s letter to you (actual quotes from Angela underlined):

Dear you,

I remember being young and full of life. I remember thinking I could live forever. I remember thinking I could do anything I wanted. I remember being so focused on being perfect and getting everything right that I would stress out to the point of feeling sick. I remember being so excited to compete, to be the best at something, to achieve something. I also remember 
feeling worthless when I didn’t quite do my best.
I remember being so in “like” and thinking someone felt the same, and then feeling so used when he moved on to the next pretty girl he saw. I remember feeling like nobody in my family cared or understood me. Truth is they cared a lot – but it sure didn’t feel that way at times. I remember struggling with depression and feeling like I just wanted to die.

I also remember being invited to youth group and Bible 
study. Faith had always been a part of my family – we went to Mass regularly, but it was going to those Bible studies where I truly came to understand God and his desire for me. I remember the first time I realized that God designed me to ultimately be in heaven. I never wanted anything more than to be with God, to be in union with him, to have complete joy.

I remember coming to understand why the Mass was so important. I remember that this feeling of desiring 
heaven kept me from allowing those feelings of wanting to die go any further, because I knew that God loved me more than I could ever imagine and even though it didn’t feel that way when I was sad and depressed, I just knew I had to trust in His love.

I think back on my life and you know what? The things that really mattered in my life, the things that lasted, the things that I remembered in the end – they were the things that drew me closer to God…

All of that stress I had put on so many other things for so long – success, appearance, money, career, being perfect – those things really don’t matter in the end. Yes, I think you should always strive to be the best 
version of yourself in all areas of your life. But what really matters are those things that will bring you closer to God and ultimately the only thing that matters is your relationship with God Himself.
What would I tell you today? What would I tell 17 year old me?
I’d tell you the same thing I want my kids to know. The one thing that matters in this life, the only thing that matters is that you know Jesus, that you love Him, that you desire to be in union with Him and that you seek that above all else.

Now is the time to make Jesus the center of your life.
Don’t wait until you are older. Look at me… I died at 
32. What if I had waited until later? What if I had waited and it was too late? I am so grateful to God that He put people in my life that invited me to Bible study, that taught me about prayer, about a relationship with Him.

I’m so grateful that I was able to take time to build up my prayer and faith life while I was young, because in the end, it was that faith and all of those prayers I said before that helped me through the pain and suffering of cancer and the pain and suffering of saying goodbye to my children and my husband.

Take the time now to deepen your prayer life, because you just never know what’s going to happen, and to know the love of Jesus before encountering something like this is something I am so grateful for, and I wish everyone could experience.
With love from heaven,

Angela Faddis

Friday, October 25, 2013

So, our TAP retreat was cancelled because
of a scheduling issue with the host of the weekend.
Its okay though, since I'll still have an opportunity
to see everyone that I was looking forward to meeting up
with again this weekend at another event.

Youth group Bible study tonight!
We're bringing doughnuts, which
automatically means we will have quite
a few new best friends.  Everybody
loves the bearers of food, you know.

Homecoming weekend!
I've never been to homecoming of any
sort, so this is all new to me.  Unfortunately
because of work schedule, the only event
I'm going to be able to make it to is
the parade tomorrow morning.
It'll be tons of fun though!!

We've been writing a lot of interesting
papers in Freshman composition. This week's
paper is based on the comparison and contrast of
craft beer vs. factory beer.  The guy who sits
next to me thought it was hysterical that
I selected that topic, since he knew I obviously
have no experience with anything concerning beer.
He then advised that I go out this weekend and sample
some for research purposes.  No thank you, sir.  That's
quite all right.

We've been studying long term
memory in Psychology this week.
The sheer amount of 1980's classic
rock lyrics that I know is
actually scaring me a little.

Family pictures this weekend!
I've been creepin' on Pinterest to see
if I can find any inspiration.
I've decided that as long as it doesn't
look like this, I'm okay.

As per my personal quick takes
tradition, here are my favorite
Catholic memes of the week:

The Dominican Habit

The Response Will Be...


Last one....

What Gamers See in Church

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

No, it's not Christmas.  (Although I'm definitely looking forward to that!) It's fall.  Beautiful, wonderful, see-God-in-every-minute Fall.

Here are some of my favorite things going on in this season that I just have to share with you.

Number One: It's leaf spinning time.  Not leaves spinning to the ground.  Me, spinning with leaves falling.  Here is a photographic demonstration.  I remember doing this a lot as a kid.  I'd rake all of the leaves into a gigantic pile and just throw them everywhere.  We have family pictures this weekend.  I will absolutely be doing this pose.

Number two: Comfy sweaters.  I live for comfy sweaters.  I pull out my sweaters in August out of anticipation.  I am absolutely positive that everyone who knows me secretly laughs at the fact that I am always cold.  Yet fall gives me an excuse to layer up.  Some girls you may know will look for sweaters that that you can still see their figure in?  That sweater that looks like a gigantic piece of knitted blanket with sleeves?  Yep, its hanging in my closet right now.  Long live shapeless sweaters.

Number three: Coffee.  Oh how I adore it.  Just like sweaters, I keep hot coffee around all year long.  It's a 
nightly ritual around our house to simply brew a huge pot of coffee at 11:00 pm at night and sit around and talk before we go to bed.  Sure, we are so hyped up on caffeine that none of us really go to sleep until 1:00 am, but still.  Coffee.  Even better is pumpkin coffee. Yes, this includes a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I'm talking about the ground coffee infused with magical pumpkin goodness. This is fall...

Number four: All Saints Eve.  We've never done Halloween around here, but we dress up as our favorite saint and see if we can get siblings and parents to guess who we are.  Needless to say, I haven't picked out what saint I am going to be this year.  Hmmm....put that on the ever growing to do list!

Number five: Open windows.  This may sound like the dorkiest thing you have ever read, but I love waking up to a cold house.  I love having to set my alarm early twenty minutes so that I can spend that time crawling out from under all my blankets and into the cold room.  To some this may seem a horrible and miserable inconvenience   To me it is an incredible sign that fall is here and winter is coming!!

Number six: Football!  Guys, I've really been getting into this lately.  I used to be the person who had no idea what was going on in football but still liked the experience.  Now I'm the person who knows a small percent of a smidgen about football and still like the experience.  

Number seven: Cold apple cider. To some this seems so wrong.  'What?  You don't heat up your apple cider?!"  No.  No I do not.  I do, however, love cold apple cider.  Even more I love apple cider slushies.  Yes, they do exist. Your welcome , your life is now complete.

Number eight: Holy cow, I love jeans.  For the same reason that I love sweaters.  And yes, of course, I wear jeans all year.  Fall and Winter is when I can really go jean crazy, though.  Colored jeans, textured jeans, boot cut, skinny, you get the point.

Number nine:  Beautiful leaves.  Every time I drive home from work I am positive that red leaves are my favorite.  Then I see an absolutely stunning yellow or orange tree and my favorite alliance switches just like that.  I'll just like them all.

Number ten:  Leftovers.  I love me a good Thanksgiving feast.  But even more I love cold turkey sandwiches (with cold apple cider!) and sneaking bites between games and parades later after dinner.  I would say I love leftover pie, but my house doesn't have "leftover pie" in it's vocabulary.   

And that's what I love about fall!

God bless!

Chloe M.