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Showing posts from October, 2014

Three Saints to Know in October

All around us people are gearing up for Halloween this coming Friday night. Did you realize that the name “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows Eve” the vigil night before the Feast Day of All Saints? Catholic Education.org reproduces a good article about the development of All Saints Day and the connection to Celtic Samhain.  It was common practice to honor each martyr, each saint, with a feast day, but there were more martyrs than days in the year, so a common day honoring them all evolved in the early 300s.  This day was originally observed in May, but in the 700s Pope Gregory IV officially assigned November 1 as All Saints Day. It’s a great time to start learning more about the Saints, so I flipped through my Catholic calendar and realized there are so many saints the calendar can’t possibly list them all. It would be really easy to learn something basic about a few new saints each month. Three Saints to Know in October St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4) Many peo

7 Quick Takes: Building Community

 - 1 - Social Community - This past week our Life Teen took a little break from the semester's Social Justice curriculum for a Social Night. Instead of our traditional proclaim (subject lesson lecture) followed by small group discussions, we gathered the teens in the church, lifted our voices in Glory and Praise (singing), asked them to count off into teams (surprisingly harder than it sounds) and sent them outside. A simple hula-hoop relay race got the blood moving before setting up the Color My World paint powder main event. Everyone was told in advance to wear white shirts and old pants. The game resembled Capture the Flag, with the object being to throw paint on another team's leader, while protecting your own. Thankfully, we had enough post-Confirmation teens available to lead, so we adults didn't have to get dusted. What chaos! What mess! The paint powder covered not just their shirt, but arms, neck, face, hair, glasses, etc. I hated it.  The kids loved it

Five Lessons from Pope St. John Paul II

Today we celebrated the first Feast Day of our Santo Subito – Pope St. John Paul II. For Lisa and me, John Paul II was THE POPE; we knew no other growing up. His life, as a whole, teaches us so much and inspired us to reconnect with our faith. Here are five lessons we can learn from Pope St. John Paul the Great. God Calls Each of Us “If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.” Today's Gospel reading from Luke recounts the parable of being prepared for the master’s return. It concludes with Jesus saying, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Despite the global unrest and uncertainty experienced in his late teens and early young adulthood, John Paul II always said Yes to the Lord. He studied the seminary in secret during WWII, though discovery meant death. His courage and fortitude brought people hope during the Communist oppression of Poland. Surprised an

Texas Early Voting Has Begun

Early voting in Texas begins today Monday, October 20th and runs through Friday, October 31st.  There are many reasons to early vote or to wait until election day, but registered voters in Texas are allowed to early vote in person for any reason at any voting location within their county of residence. Because you can vote at any location in your county of residence during early voting and most location include weekend hours, it is usually the easiest time to vote.  Harris County alone has over 41 early voting locations that are open on the weekend!      You can check the early voting locations for your county and their times by visiting the Texas Secretary of State Online Voter site   here  or on VoteTexas.gov .   November 4th is the Texas General Election. Don't forget your TX ID to vote - the US Supreme Court ruled Saturday allowing the Texas Voter ID Law to remain in place for the November general election, which means it is in effect for early voting as wel

Parenting Young Athletes

Throughout a long weekend with two children playing in a soccer tournament, my mind kept coming back to the book Changing the Game.  It seems the perfect time to share my reflections on the Changing the Game and the difficulties in raising young athletes. This post originally appeared on CatholicMom.com   -------------------------------- Over 21 million kids in America are involved with youth sports programs and 70% of these kids will drop out of organized athletics by the age of 13. We as parents have so much to learn about this increasingly competitive and intense world of youth sports if we are to keep our children playing longer and playing because they enjoy the sport. So where do we as parents turn to educate ourselves on raising athletes in today’s world? A good friend of mine with three successful athletes who always seems to handle the competition, disappointment and expectations with grace told me to read a book that really helped their family. It is the national

I'm Not "Just" a Blogger

If you follow us on social media, you probably noticed that Shelly and I attended Blog Elevated Conference in Galveston, Texas. Blog Elevated started hosting their conference last year in Houston and I’ve felt really blessed to attend both years. Last year I left the conference blown away at the idea that blogging can be a business in the way they presented. As a predominately faith-based blogger, I wasn't sold then on the idea of turning Of Sound Mind and Spirit into a business. This year I approached the conference a little more open to the idea of how and if we should blog as a business. Shelly and I attended together so we could really be on the same page discerning the next step forward for our blog. CONFERENCE TIME Blog Elevated! First, let me say that the ladies behind Blog Elevated really KNOW how to put on a conference! Lisa and Bobbie understand what is important to bloggers and how to make it happen over a 2 1/2 day event. They planned everything bea