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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Must Subpoena the Conscience of America

I watched last evening’s news in stunned disbelief as the media outlet I was viewing reported about the Houston Abortion Factory.

“In Houston, the country's biggest abortion clinic is "shaped like a cash register"--and set to act like one. Despite plenty of opposition, construction continues on Planned Parenthood's "abortion super center," a six-story building meant to end the stories of thousands of unborn children.” (Tony Perkins, Washington Update)
15 seconds into that segment, a black man who looked like he might have been a preacher used the following exhortation in response to the atrocity under construction: “We must subpoena the conscience of America.” That’s the best line I’ve heard all year and truly, it is a mandate we must follow.

Days ago, our nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was impossible not to ponder Planned Parenthood's role in butchering the very basic civil rights for which Dr. King fought--and died. Under the pretense of "better health" and "family planning," Planned Parenthood has mercilessly targeted black children for abortion, fulfilling--not Dr. King's dream--but that of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. Since 1973's Roe v. Wade decision, 14 million black children have been casualties of the racial agenda of Planned Parenthood. This 14 million represents a genocide of little over one-fifth of the total number of unborn who have died in the post-modern ‘slaughter of the innocents’.

We must subpoena the conscience of America. We actually need to abduct it and detoxify it, similar to what we do with rescuing our loved ones from the clutches of cults. The abortion issue, along with every other pro-life issue, seems hopelessly complex to most Americans. Polls consistently show that the American public does not understand that abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. And what’s worse, we usually can’t find any common ground to have a thorough discussion of the arguments that comprise the pro-choice vs. pro-life battle. How many times have you been embroiled in the “it’s just a mass of tissue” argument and can’t find your tonsils from your toes? Or how do you answer the aggravating: “I think abortion is wrong but who am I to tell a woman she can’t have one”. Or, “it’s the law of the land” and therefore legal makes it moral. Most people step over that one like it’s a pile of cow manure. I challenge you, just because these arguments don’t come easy, does not mean that they can or should go unanswered. We have an obligation to speak the truth in love to our brothers and sisters.

So if we are to subpoena the conscience of America, just how and where do we begin to learn the language of conscience? How do we raise our conscience to the moral and ethical issues that confront our age…our generation and the generations to come? I’ll tell you how. EDUCATION. It is our responsibility to know, learn, speak and articulate the facts with conviction and LOVE to those around us. We can no longer remain content with the unchallenged notions that find their way into our universities, schools, churches and homes. The culture of death has become predatory and, like a cancer, will continue to fester until it is stopped. How many more millions must die before we indignantly shriek “no more”?

We must subpoena the conscience of America…so won’t you join me in a morning of education? If you’re in the Phoenix area on January 30, Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church in Carefree, partnering with Arizona Right to Life will present…

Abortion: Inside the Choice; Intelligently, Graciously and Effectively Defending Innocent Human Life
Saturday, January 30

Continental Breakfast

Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church, Carefree, Arizona

approximately 15 mins north of Loop 101/Pima Rd. Exit on the northeast corner of Pima and Cave Creek Roads.

A documentary will accompany honest interaction and dialogue, along with expert testimony. The workshop seeks to give clear, factual answers to an issue that has divided many along socio-political and religious lines. The morning’s purpose is to discover the truth about abortion, when life actually begins, if women really need abortion, what “choice” really means and if abortion truly hurts women.

On Friday, January 22 we will sorrowfully gather to pray in a Day of Penance for the evil that is abortion. We will unite our tears with Rachel’s as we mourn the 50,000,000 children who are no longer. We will link arms also with all of those who long for the day where we shall be free at last. Let us ponder the charge of our reverend friend who so graciously planted a worthy seed into the bosom of the soul that is still the land of the free and home of the brave: We must rouse her from her sleep.

We must subpoena the conscience of America.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pray for our Haitian Brothers and Sisters

Please pray for the thousands of Haitians struggling to survive, that help would reach them in time.  Please also pray for the people who have offered their lives, resources and time to help those who are in need of great mercy.

Go to Food for the Hungry at and make your donation today.

Gracious God, we cannot rely in our own strength, only in Yours.  We place our trust in your mercy that you would bring healing, restoration and end of suffering to the people of Haiti.  We call upon you as our refuge and with all the strength of our hearts, confident with faith that you will grant peace and victory.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aquarium 1, Phone 0

My secret Storm fantasy:  This is what I would really like to do to my phone. There, I said it.  I don't feel bad.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A big hairy problem

Dude, If you're going to make really stupid, inflammatory, racist remarks about the president, at least be conservative enough to step down from your very lofty "ivory" tower.  I've got one word in response to the public option for Nevadans in November:  TARKANIAN.

"GOP Chairman Michael Steele, in appearances on two Sunday news programs, compared Reid's predicament with the circumstances that led Senate Republican leader Trent Lott to step down from that post in 2002. Lott had spoken favorably of the 1948 segregationist presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond, and in spite of apologies for those remarks at Thurmond's 100th birthday, Lott was forced out as leader.

"There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it comes from the mouths of their own. But if it comes from anyone else, it's racism," said Steele, who is black. "It's either racist or it's not. And it's inappropriate, absolutely."  AP

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fire Up Chips!! (Okay, so this is NOT Sparta)

My brother Brian, a CMU grad now living in Missouri (that really frigidly cold place), sent me this story. If you're from Michigan, you would understand the gravity of this piece. Fire Up Chips!...

Central Michigan’s football team finished among the Associated Press’ top 25 teams in the nation for the first time.

The Chippewas (12-2), double-overtime winners over Troy in Wednesday night’s GMAC Bowl, finished 23rd.

CMU junior receiver/returner Antonio Brown, who was named the GMAC Bowl MVP, announced that he will enter the NFL draft. Brown finished with 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Alabama (14-0) was voted No. 1, earning its seventh AP title after beating Texas, 37-21, in the BCS championship game. Only Notre Dame has more AP national championships, with eight. Oklahoma also has seven.

Texas (13-1) was No. 2 and Florida (13-1), last season’s champion, was third.

The only other unbeaten team in the nation, Boise State (14-0), wound up fourth. Ohio State finished fifth followed by TCU, Iowa, Cincinnati, Penn State and Virginia Tech, giving the Big Ten three top 10 teams, the most of any league.

Poor postseason showings in recent years have hurt the Big Ten’s reputation nationally, but this season Ohio State and Iowa won BCS games as underdogs and Penn State beat LSU in the Capital One Bowl.

The USA Today coaches’ poll had the same top five as the AP.

Michigan State and Michigan were not ranked. The Spartans (6-7) last made the cut in 2008, when they finished 24th; the Wolverines (5-7) last made it in 2007 (18th).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Joe the Jogger

Live your life and be open to its possibilities...

That was my message today, Thanks to Dr. Joe Gibson. 

December 29, Jake's 13th birthday.  Last Tuesday the four of us accompanied by 2 of Jake's buddies celebrated at PF Chang's. Driving home on Ranger Road we encountered a grisly scene.  A car was stopped and straddled the yellow line as the driver shone his cell phone light onto to what appeared to be somebody down on the side of the road.  We pulled over and discovered that a jogger had been hit in the bike lane and lay completely motionless on the pavement.  His wife, who had been jogging at his side, was crying inconsolably and the teenager who hit him was practically hysterical.  It was hard to tell if the victim had any pulse and from the looks of it, he was in very bad shape.  A gaping wound on his ankle caught my eye as I noticed the man had completely come out of his running shoes which were strewn in the bushes and in the middle of the road.  There was blood coming from his mouth and I could not see his chest moving whatsoever.  It's hard to know what to do at a time like this.  I whispered the beginning of an Our Father.

I hugged his wife and asked her name.  Amidst sobs, she answered "Jennifer". I asked what her husband's name was to which she answered "Joe".  I tried to ask some basic questions to buy some time until the emergency crew arrived.  I learned that they were both running in the bike lane when Joe was hit. They had been married almost 9 years.  We knelt down and talked to Joe and asked him to stay with us.  A very long 20 or so minutes later, paramedics arrived on the scene.  Seeing Joe's face, I was becoming more aware that this man may have died.  His eyes were half closed and there was absolutely no movement.  My oldest son was nearby. He tried to see if he could get a pulse from Joe.  He was young.  38 years old.  A good looking guy who I later learned was a tri-athlete training for the Rock N Roll Marathon.  Paramedics were giving chest compressions; wailing from both Jennifer and the teen was now pronounced. It was an unforgettable scene. 

Jennifer didn't have her cell phone.  We talked about getting it from the house but the fire truck was ready to roll and take her down to John C. Lincoln Trauma Center. There wasn't time for anything else.  I told her to go with her husband and I gave my telephone number to fireman to give to her. I told her to pray and I would pray too.

Cake and ice cream did not go down so well at the house.  I phoned the hospital about an hour after the accident.  Word from the RN came in a call or so later and I was asked to go to Jennifer and Joe's condo to retrieve Jennifer's cell phone.  Karsten and I went quickly.  I grabbed a set of rosary beads to pray on as we traveled. 

We got down to the hospital as quickly as we could.  My son and I had a great conversation about life, death, Joe and the medical profession where I learned that my son has a possible interest in working in this kind of profession.  This was the first time I had ever heard him express this kind of interest.  Down at the hospital, our visit was very brief.  Joe was hanging on but he was in bad shape.  Jennifer, sitting in a quite room with friends, gave me a huge hug.  In the light, I could see she is a beautiful woman with long blonde hair. Still in running attire, she was grateful for the phone and her purse that I had also found in her condo.  I gave her the rosary beads.  Her friend accompanied me to the hallway where he gave me his card.  He is an emergency room physician with Joe at their company (Emergency Physician Services) run out of Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.  We offered our sympathies and were on our way. 

Next morning, Wedesday, the report wasn't good.  Joe was pronounced brain dead and they were keeping him on life support until his parents arrived from visiting family in Germany. 

I got a call from Jennifer on Sunday. I was humbled that she called me. She told me that Joe died on December 30 after his parents said goodbye.  She told me that Joe was a beautiful soul and everyone who knew him, loved him.  She invited me and my family to the funeral which was today.  A packed house, I've never been so moved by a memorial service as I was at today's.  Joe the Jogger was a superhero of sorts and the testimonies of his family and friends was an enormous witness to this.  He loved to help people.  He was there for people.  Many people referred to Joe as their 'best friend'. He was a patriot.  He served our country in the U.S. Navy for 3 years.  He sacrificed for others.  He was an adventurer and he loved to live life to its fullest.  As his father so eloquently said of him: "Joe remained open to all of life's possibilities.  He left behind 2 parents, a brother, 2 sisters, neices and a nephew,aunts and uncles, friends, colleagues and patients.  And Jennifer.  His best, best friend.

I didn't know Dr. Joe Gibson in this life, but I have this pleasant, tranquil feeling that I will know him in the next one. I am struck by the fact that Joe may be acquainting himself with all of the folks that he has helped during his medical practice.  I am also humbled by all of the crossing, overlapping and intersections that bring people together.  There simply are no such things as coincidences.  On the night he died, Joe saved the lives of 4 other people via organ donation. 

Was it chance to be driving down this road?  No.  I think we were supposed to be there.  What a sacred, holy place to be.

Joe died as he lived.  Enjoying an evening run with his wife at his side.  He probaby didn't even know what hit him.  I will take the lesson of his life though gratefully and apply it to my own...Live your life (emphasis on the live part!) and be open to its possibilities.

Thanks Dr. Joe Gibson, I wish I would have known you during your life.  I am grateful for the fragment that I was able to participate in. May you rest in peace and may the angels lead you to paradise.

Joe Gibson, RIP
July 11, 1971-December 30, 2009

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Epiphanous Indeed

St. Francis De Sales was dubbed the "Saintmaker" and Patrick Madrid has wisely quoted him below with a post that I am happy to repost on this great Feast of Epiphany. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!)

"As soon as worldly people see that you wish to follow a devout life they aim a thousand darts of mockery and even detraction at you. The most malicious of them will slander your conversion as hypocrisy, bigotry, and trickery. . . .
"Philothea, all this is mere foolish, empty babbling. These people aren't interested in your health or welfare. 'If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you,; says the Savior. We have seen gentlemen and ladies spend the whole night, even many nights one after another, playing chess or cards. Is there any concentration more absurd, gloomy, or depressing than this last? Yet worldly people don't say a word and the players' friends don't bother their heads about it.
"If we spend an hour in meditation or get up a little earlier than usual in the morning to prepare for Holy Communion, everyone runs for a doctor to cure us of hypochondria and jaundice. People can pass thirty nights in dancing and no one complains about it, but if they watch through a single Christmas night they cough and claim their stomach is upset the next morning. Does anyone fail to see that the world is an unjust judge, gracious and well disposed to its own children but harsh and rigorous towards the children of God?
"We can never please the world unless we lose ourselves together with it. It is so demanding that it can't be satisfied. "John came neither eating nor drinking," says the Savior, and you say, "He has a devil." "The Son of man came eating and drinking" and you say that he is "a Samaritan."
"It is true, Philothea, that if we are ready to laugh, play cards, or dance with the world in order to please it, it will be scandalized at us, and if we don't, it will accuse us of hypocrisy or melancholy. If we dress well, it will attribute it to some plan we have, and if we neglect our dress, it will accuse of us of being cheap and stingy. Good humor will be called frivolity and mortification sullenness. Thus the world looks at us with an evil eye and we can never please it. It exaggerates our imperfections and claims they are sins, turns our venial sins into mortal sins and changes our sins of weakness into sins of malice.
"'Charity is kind,' says Saint Paul, but the world on the contrary is evil. "Charity thinks no evil," but the world always thinks evil and when it can't condemn our acts it will condemn our intentions. Whether the sheep have horns or not and whether they are white or black, the wolf doesn't hesitate to eat them if he can.
"Whatever we do, the world will wage war on us. If we stay a long time in the confessional, it will wonder how we can have so much to say; if we stay only a short time, it will say we haven't told everything. It will watch all our actions and at a single little angry word it will protest that we can't get along with anyone. To take care of our own interests will look like avarice, while meekness will look like folly. As for the children of the world, their anger is called being blunt, their avarice economy, their intimate conversations lawful discussions. Spiders always spoil the good work of the bees.
"Let us give up this blind world, Philothea. Let it cry out at us as long as it pleases, like a cat that cries out to frighten birds in the daytime. Let us be firm in our purposes and unswerving in our resolutions. Perseverance will prove whether we have sincerely sacrificed ourselves to God and dedicated ourselves to a devout life. Comets and planets seem to have just about the same light, but comets are merely fiery masses that pass by and after a while disappear, while planets remain perpetually bright. So also hypocrisy and true virtue have a close resemblance in outward appearance but they can be easily distinguished from one another.
"Hypocrisy cannot last long but is quickly dissipated like rising smoke, whereas true virtue is always firm and constant. It is no little assistance for a sure start in devotion if we first suffer criticism and calumny because of it. In this way we escape the danger of pride and vanity, which are comparable to the Egyptian midwives whom a cruel Pharaoh had ordered to kill the Israelites' male children on the very day of their birth. We are crucified to the world and the world must be crucified to us. The world holds us to be fools; let us hold it to be mad."
— — Saint Frances de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

Saturday, January 2, 2010

One candle short of a candelabra

Nancy Pelosi, Catholic Without a Clue
by Elizabeth Lev

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to be planning a second career as a theologian. Unfortunately, she never gets one Catholic fact right. Interviewed by Eleanor Clift for Newsweek's year-end issue, Pelosi capped an 18-month succession of clamorously incorrect public statements about what Catholics believe with her own take on the meaning of freedom....

Had Pelosi chosen to do a minimum of research before speaking, she might have consulted the users' manual for the Catholic Church, the Catechism, which some American bishop or other must have sent her as a stocking-stuffer this year. There our aspiring theologian would have found a different definition. Freedom, according to the Catholic Church, (CCC article 3) is the person's ability to choose between good and evil. He can choose to do something good or something evil but he cannot choose to make evil good. To take responsibility for one's actions is to recognize that one has chosen evil and to accept the consequences both in this world and the next.....


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I reviewed my goals from 2009. Without detailing what my resolutions really were, let's just say that I was at a pretty dismal 30% completion rate. Only 8 of 24 items were "done" and some of those were pretty fact, I had forgotten that I even kept my resolutions list so the simple fact that I could even find it was a pleasant surprise.

So this year, I resolved to RESOLVE the resolution situation and commit my objectives to paper once again. This time I want to increase my completion rate though (50% would be a huge improvement). And so I've decided FIDO here will suffice as canine inspiration. Fido is expecting that the hat he's wearing will somehow materialize into real cheese if he sidelines his pride and goes along with the program. I'm seeing the similarity here - work with me: if I don the resolution "get up" and go along with the program, I might experience the fruits of goals satisfactorily accomplished.

I've even gone one step further and shared my list with my accountability partner: a new innovation for 2010. Said partner will gently encourage me to share my updates on my resolution list. (I get to do the same). I'll keep you updated on how this all pans out. I have a really good feeling about it this year.

Lord, you gave us the blessing of time. Please bless all who pass by this blog in your new year. Bless their eyes, ears and hands as they traverse the internet. Protect them and keep them out of harm's way. May You continue to prosper the work of our hands and hearts and unite us under your bond of love. Help us to know what to do and grant us the courage to do it. Amen.