Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2015 Bulletin: A Silent Sermon

Lead article from the March 2015 bulletin, online now.

This month I couldn’t find the right words and had an extreme case of writers block. Every time I started to write I just stumbled and couldn’t finish a thought, so I went searching for some inspiration. I found this light hearted story and immediately thought of our very own Father Richards.
A Silent Sermon 
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.  It was a chilly evening.  The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. 
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.  The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. 
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.  Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.  The host watched all this in quiet contemplation.  As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.
Soon it was cold and dead.  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. 
The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave, he slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire.  Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. 
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon.  I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
Author Unknown

We are very fortunate in the quality of priests and deacons that we have at our two parishes. They inspire us to continue to grow in our faith and challenge us to invite and be warming to others.

I hope you found some humor in this article and have a great start to the Lenten season!

God Bless,
Jim Wiegers

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 
-- Romans 12:13

Thursday, January 29, 2015

February 2015 Bulletin:
Proving God's Not Dead

Lead article from the February 2015 bulletin, online now.

I watched a movie with the family this past weekend, and it got me thinking about the world today and what we can do to make a difference.

First let me tell you about the movie. I’m sure many of you have watched it already, or if you haven’t, I would highly recommend it. The movie is God’s Not Dead.  It’s about a young Christian man in college and a conflict with a professor. The professor at the beginning of the class wants all the students to write on a piece of paper that “God is dead" and sign it. This young man struggles with this and won’t do it  The professor challenges the student to change his and the other students mind and prove that God’s not dead. That is all I will tell you about the movie in case you have not had a chance to see it.

Now, on to the world today and all that is going on. What can we do to prove that God is not dead?  It starts with realizing that many people truly believe that there is no God and that is why bad things happen. We need to change that and let people know that God is not dead, and one of the greatest gifts He gave us was free will. 

If there was no God, then would there be a right and wrong moral compass? I think not. He set the standard and gave us the choice to follow or not. Which brings me back to what we can do to prove that God is not dead.

The easy thing is to continue to be Knights and show what we are about: the men in blue. We are strong and can continue to lead by example! We should be like the young man in the movie. When challenged about our faith, we should not waver, but accept the challenge, defend our faith, and prove that God is real.

I know that sometimes I don’t have the confidence in myself to defend my beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try. All it takes is listening to that voice in your heart and let the Holy Spirit guide you. Many of you are much better at finding the right words or able to quote scripture passages off the top of your head. This is great, but if you are like me, the words don’t come that quickly and you need time to process ideas.

The main thing I want to get across is to continue to help form our youth in the faith, and slowly we can change the perception that God is dead.  So, I have a challenge for you: the next time someone dumps on faith or religion, stand up and defend your beliefs.

Together we can change the world.

God Bless,
Jim Wiegers

He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.  He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded. -- Psalm 105:7-8

Monday, December 29, 2014

January 2015 Bulletin:
Don't Give Up On God

Lead article from the January 2015 bulletin, online now.

Lyrics from Casting Crowns, “Praise You in this Storm”

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen,"
and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

It is easy to Praise God when everything is going well for you and your family; on the same token we find it all to easy to curse God when things don’t go the way we planned.  I know all too well from experience how easy it is to get frustrated and give up on God.  Many of you know part of my story and for those who don’t, you soon will.  The Holidays are always tough on us for my wife and I have lost many pregnancies over the years, the hardest of which is the loss of my son Connor who was still born at 36 weeks.  It took me a while to get over this loss and I did a ton of blaming everyone from my wife to the doctors to God.  It has been over 10 years already and I can’t help but think how things could have been.  As I reflect on this and the other losses I see that this helped form me into who I am today.  It helped me to realize that I was on the wrong path and I needed to bring God back into my family.  So I guess what I am saying that even in your darkest hour, God is still with you and will help you along your journey if you help him.  I still find myself wandering and from time to time; I am still a work in progress, I guess.  But I know that if I stay strong in my faith and help my family stay strong in their faith we can make it through anything.

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

My little words of advice: even though you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, keep your faith and keep moving forward.  No matter what life brings you -- the ups, downs, twists, and turns -- don’t turn your back on your faith and know that God is with you on your journey.

God Bless,
Jim Wiegers
Grand Knight