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Showing posts from September, 2010

Raising an Electronic Generation

While out to dinner last week with friends, we observed three families being seated around us; the six parents sat to one side of our table while their children sat at a large round table to the other side of us.   We looked at that group of eight boys under 12 sitting unsupervised and visibly cringed. The looks on our face conveyed to each other that we all anticipated a certain amount of chaos and noise from that children’s table.   I even said a quick prayer that the expected chaos would not influence the seven kids at our own table who were happily coloring on their paper menus. Several moments later, someone mentioned that it was really quiet at that all boy table.   We glanced over and noticed no one at the table talking or moving.   There was no goofing off, joking around or noise at all from them.   To our surprise, each child held a handheld video game or phone.   Throughout the entire dinner, this table of eight young boys remained silent, completely absorbed in their own

Social vs. Fiscal Conservatives - Can They Merge?

Over the last few months, I've heard many social conservative pundits concerned the GOP was too heavily focusing on fiscal and economic issues to the detriment of pro-life and social conservative issues.   The concerns were not assuaged by Gov. Haley Barbour or Gov. Mitch Daniel's recent remarks that the only important issues in this election cycle are unemployment, the economy, and other fiscal issues.  To spend any time debating social issues this election cycle is to take your eye off the ball according to them and many others on the right. S everal social conservative groups have issued petitions in attempts to remind the Republican establishment that fiscally concerned, conservative voters are also focused on conservative social issues.   The American Principles Project , a Washington Advocacy Group in D.C., started the Plank 1 Petition to notify the GOP that "We will not accept a party that cannot see the link between moral values, fiscal conservatism, and a stron

GOP Unite

Over the weekend, establishment Republicans continued to disparage GOP candidates.  Even those like John Cornyn, R-Senator from TX, who states he now supports all Republican candidates, reveals he might not believe his own words by his lack of enthusiasm for the candidates.   In an interview with Laura Ingraham on Friday, John Cornyn, the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said he just wants to support the most conservative candidate who can win.   But to use that litmus test of “who can win” you need a crystal ball. It is a subjective argument with no way to prove who is right. The Republican voters in each district reviewed the candidates and, right or wrong, they made their choice.  The time for arguing over which candidate with the “R” behind their name has the best shot of taking the general election in November is over.  The Republican Party may be divided on which candidates should represent the GOP for a win in November, but the party is unified in the g

Rome Sweet Home - An Inspirational Journey

Rome Sweet Home Rome Sweet Home, Our Journey to Catholicism is the beautiful story of conversion to the Catholic faith in the words of the authors, Scott and Kimberly Hahn. The couple is very well known and both are inspired speakers, authors and defenders of the Catholic faith. In co writing this book, they combined the stories of their very different journeys home to the Catholic Church. Every chapter starts with Scott’s perspective and then switches to Kimberly’s words regarding the same time period or events. It is fascinating to hear their voices, sometimes at very different places in life, next to each other, revealing the distinct paths that brought them both to Catholicism. It surprised me to learn that they came to the Church separate from one another. Dr Hahn’s journey was one of intellectual honesty. He struggled accepting the scriptures when he realized they led him away from his Protestant faith and his career as a minister. Though, his love of Christ

Constitution Day Celebrates "We the People"

Today public institutions of higher education receiving Federal funding are holding educational programs pertaining to the U.S. Constitution, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. This document is the most enduring written Constitution ever created, giving power to the citizens, with a series of checks and balances designed to prevent the Executive, Judiciary, or Legislative bodies from growing out of control. James Madison wrote , " In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." The Heritage Foundation created this short video reminding us how the Constitution guides and protects our freedoms to this very day, while reflecting on how we can return our country to its First Principles . Last month my family spent time in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. allowing us the opportu

There Be Dragons

Keep an eye out for There Be Dragons , a new major motion picture written and directed by Roland Joffe , the Academy Award nominee who brought us the highly acclaimed and deeply spiritual film The Mission . Scheduled for worldwide release in Spring 2011, There Be Dragons is a powerful story of war, tragedy, love and redemption. Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), one of the most violent periods of religious persecution in the history of the church, Dragons tells the story of two childhood friends who become separated during the political conflict to find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts. One chooses the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chooses the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart. The film, rated PG-13, is based upon the life of St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, whom I have never read much abo

The Voters Have Spoken: Is the GOP Establishment Listening?

Last month we reminded you that, “We the people DO have a voice to Congress. It’s the power of our vote.” The power in a free republic is right of the people to vote. Yesterday Delaware's Republican primary voters cast their ballot, expressed their voice and soundly rejected the “establishment” candidate in favor of an unknown, unproven, pro-life, Conservative. In a 53% - 47% decision, primary voters told their U.S. Congressman Mike Castle (running for Senate) when you vote against our beliefs and interests and vote against the GOP platform, we will not vote for you. They chose a new face who promises to vote in alignment with the Republican party platform and Tea Party beliefs. In her victory speech, Christine O’Donnell noted that, "The people of Delaware have spoken. No more politics as usual." In response to the primary election results, Republican aides announced Tuesday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee will not be funding O'Donnell's gene

Why God Matters

Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life , offers us insight to our Catholic faith through personal stories, life lessons, and Scripture. This unassuming slender volume is both comfortable and comforting. Deacon Steven Lumbert and his daughter, Karina Lumbert Fabian team up to provide reflective short stories, offering their witness in recognizing God and His influence within their everyday lives. Though the accounts vary from serious to playful, all will have you nodding in recognition, agreement, or understanding. Each story follows with a short, thoughtful, Life Lesson segment inviting the reader to consider how we also might see God at work in our own daily lives. The personal stories and life lessons fit so cleanly with a quotation from Scripture and the Catechism that you can’t help wondering which came first in writing and arranging the book - the story or the quotes. Powerful in its simplicity, with many layers, each reading offers something new to consider. One ca

On 9/11 All Americans Must...

On this 9 th anniversary, all Americans must remember the twin towers falling in flames. All Americans must remember the thousands of people who died in American airplanes and on American soil. All Americans must remember that we cannot be safe in our own country when we forget that evil people live among us who seek to vent their rage on the innocents in our world. We, and our loved ones, are kept safe by the actions of our leaders, our military, our neighbors and ourselves. We must be vigilant and aware of the evil realities of the world we live in! I was angry then, and I am angry now! But, more so, I am concerned that too many of us have forgotten the innocents flinging themselves to certain deaths from the tops of those two buildings because of the fire burning behind them; the innocents in the jetliners who sat passively as the evil ones used those jetliners to kill themselves and others; and the brave souls that gave their lives to prevent their jetliner from being used t

Hold On To The Emotion of 9/11

On the morning of September 11, 2001, we woke to the ringing telephone when my good friend Karen called to tell us that while watching the Today Show, she just saw a plane hit the Twin Towers.  Hearing her words, my first thought was a small, single engine plane had gotten lost.  As the pictures appeared on my television, Brian and I sat there stunned.  It was unbelievable.  
 
 After watching for a few minutes, I called my office in Austin to see if my coworkers knew what was happening.  No one answered their phones, but later I received several emails letting me know the entire company was watching coverage from the conference rooms. Needless to say, no work was done that day.
 
 When the first tower collapsed, I could not control the wave of emotion that overtook me. The thought of people still trapped in the building and those on the ground nearby started me sobbing uncontrollably.  My husband came running in from the other room where he was working, to console me.  I found the

Where were you 9 years ago?

This morning our local radio station is asking people “Where were you?” Nine years ago I was driving to my new job listening to a classical music station. Just before the top of the hour news, the DJ said they had reports from New York City that smoke was coming from one of the World Trade Center towers. Apparently there was some fire there - and they would bring us more information when it became available. I parked, walked into the Bayou Building, where a cluster of staff, students and faculty were gathered in the Atrium under the suspended television. All stood in shocked silence. I wasn't sure what was happening; both of the World Trade Center towers were burning. It wasn't until much later that I realized they had just witnessed the second plane strike the tower live. The person next to me said a plane flew into the building. My mind raced - thinking how does a private pilot miss the tower? When I voiced this, the person next to me shook her head and said, they didn

Catholic Mom introduces "Casual Fridays"

Recently the Catholic Mom, Lisa Hendey, introduced a new video segment "Casual Fridays" on Faith and Family Live. I think she must be very organized in her life, because her office doesn't appear that "messy" when compared with many others I've seen. Whether you work out of the home part-time/full-time or from the home in any respect, do you keep your personal life organized separately from your work/volunteer projects? Having an office away from home makes it easier to keep my work & personal lives separate, relying on the bag I carry daily for that "important stuff” I can’t leave behind: calendar, books to review on my sometimes non-existent lunch hour, manila envelopes holding necessary school papers, and work-related papers I optimistically hope I’ll get around to reading at home after dinner. While I maintain a decent sense of organization at the office, the home suffers greatly. The dining room table serves as the ultimate “catch-all,” h

Bad Economic Policies, Not Time Prevent Economic Recovery

New polling reveals that 61% of Americans believe our country is headed in the wrong direction . Another poll released yesterday shows 57% of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the Economy .   The MSM would have you believe that the economic problems our country is facing, including the non-existent “Summer of Recovery”, is the fault of former president Bush and his Republican Congress . However, if you take a look back at the state of the economy while the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and President Bush was in office you would notice a startling contrast to the present .  The media fails to recognize that Democrats have been in control of Congress for the last 4 years, starting when the economy was still strong, and that the current President has been shaping and enacting economic policy for 20 months.   During these last almost two years that Democrats have been in complete control of the federal government, the economy has not improved, b

Mom, I Don't Feel Good...

There are five little words that any working mom shudders to hear between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. “Mom, I don’t feel good.” It’s my experience that those words are usually followed by someone throwing up in the bathroom. Sometimes it includes fever, coughing, congestion – any combination that means someone isn’t going to school or daycare that morning, and – just as importantly – one of the adults is staying home from work. A sick child in our house brings a carnival ride full of emotion, and it’s not a “fun house.” While making my daughter comfortable I’m simultaneously running through the day’s schedule in my head. What’s happening at work today? Can I postpone an 8:30 a.m. class presentation? What about that 2 p.m. meeting with a donor… can my assistant handle that? What could I handle from home? As the clock ticks down the minutes towards 6 a.m. the bargaining-negotiating with my husband begins. Can he stay home in the morning while I make the classroom presentation? I

Offer a Prayer for the Unemployed

Last week I heard through the grapevine that a family in my neighborhood had lost their job and subsequently lost their home. By the time school started last week, they were living in their car. This morning I woke up to the news that the National unemployment rates have once again risen to 9.6% with a loss of 283,000 jobs over what the President called, "The Summer of Recovery." In addition to talk of a new possible trillion dollar stimulus bill , President Obama and the Democrat majority in Congress will also impose a $921 BILLION tax hike on families in 120 days . How is the largest tax hike in American history and a new possible trillion dollar stimulus bill going to help Americans find work? We need jobs. We need lower taxes and fewer regulations on corporations and small businesses so they can expand and hire more workers. Working families need to keep more of their paychecks to save or pay for rising bills. Unemployment affects all of us in different ways,

Karl Rove is Compelling in Courage and Consequence

Hearing Karl Rove, noted republican strategist , speak last Spring inspired me to read his recently released book, Courage and Consequence, My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.   His book is part biography and partly a peak into the behind the scenes happenings during the George W. Bush administration.   Not knowing much of anything about Rove’s personal life, the first part of the book was extremely intriguing.   Not at all what I had expected.   As a political junkie, I was then fascinated by Rove’s detailed account of elections, policy decisions and the inner workings of D.C. The author’s tone and perspective on his involvement in a slice of recent American History is personable, thoughtful and extremely humble. He leads you through defining events not only in his life, but also in regards to his role in the White House.   Rove’s detailed analysis of many front burner issues during the Bush Administration give you a peak into the decision-making and interpretation from some o

Together We Build Our Parish Community

As our Parish prepares to move into its first permanent building this weekend, my thoughts are drawn to those special conversations with my children that happened because we've attended Mass in a sports complex/workout facility for the last few years. ***** While visiting another Catholic parish recently, my Birdie turned to me and asked, “Where is the workout equipment?" As I laughed and tried to explain that this is what a normal church building looks like, she remained puzzled. Her only memories of Mass are of sitting in folding chairs on a basketball court surrounded by treadmills and other workout equipment. ***** We spotted our parish priest on the sidewalk outside the dry cleaners about 2 years ago.   As the kids and I approached Father John to say “Hi”, my then 4-year-old son appeared very confused.  When I discreetly reminded Daniel this was Father John from Mass, Daniel exclaimed, “But he’s not wearing his uniform!" After another minute