Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saint Leo's / Saints Peter and Paul - Eric

What's Happening:
If you would have asked me about 'fellowship' in mid-March this year, I might have scoffed. I would have understood that we most see Jesus in the faces of the people surrounding us in our lives, but I would have thought that nothing special was happening when I hung out with the people I go to church with, I mean it's not real, right.

I was wrong. Here five months into this project, I have learned just how important it is to have fellowship. It is skeletal structure around with faith is built. Without these people in my life, people who pray for me, encourage me, inspire me, and reflect the love that God has for me, I absolutely could not have grown in the manner that I have.

I scarcely know who I am sometimes anymore. I am painfully aware of many of my faults, and I have, until these five months, tried to build the structure of my life around controlling what goes on around me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I realize I do not have control, but that hasn't stopped me from trying my best to have more of it. The phrase that we hear is to 'let go and let God', and I find that I've found, once again, that regardless of the fact that God can do anything, He most often chooses to work through the people that are right around you every day. This is probably why Jesus emphasizes how to treat your fellow humans, you are the presence of God in the world.

I experience God's presence in my life on a daily basis, in the presence of the people in my life. By spending time with them in worship and fellowship, I've learned to see God in them. With God presence, I've learned to trust them. In experiencing both of these things, I've been slowly replacing the skeleton of control that I encaged me over the last few years with a skeleton made of fellowship. Saying 'let go and let your friends' doesn't have the same appeal of 'let go and let God', but in a way, it's the same thing; they are in Him, and He in them.

Lord, teacher of our souls, help me to recognize your holy presence in these people you have blessed me with.

Us at Saint Leo the Great: Me, Patrick, Jen, Frank, and Joe.

Us at Saints Peter and Paul: Joe, Brianne, Kevin, Julia, Frank, Me, Ron. Most epic picture ever.

Location and Architecture:
Saturday evening we went to Saint Leo the Great, 1920 North 102nd Street, Omaha. We went to Saint Leo's on because we received an invite from the Saint Leo's YACHT (young adult) Club ... I was quite amused at being referred to as a 'young' adult. The church itself was a nifty piece of engineering, with a large worship area supported by what appeared to be not enough steel posts. The result is a nicely lit, football field sized church with a flat, 'low' ceiling that enhances the feeling of horizontal space.


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You can see all of my pictures from Saint Leo the Great here, yes, I had a little help.

Immediately after Mass, we joined the YACHT club in their meeting room and got fed. The people there were very kind to us and their 'kickoff' event was just like that, we played kick ball.

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You can see a few more shots from the kickoff event here.

Sunday morning we went to Saints Peter and Paul, 5912 South 36th Street, Omaha. Saints Peter and Paul is one of the most unique churches we have been to. It has bold lines and shapes, and incredible artwork. Occasionally when the artwork is awesome, the space can seem distant or sterile. It was neither. I thought the worship space was approachable and intimate. Unfortunately, the acoustics were less than ideal, making it difficult to hear what Father had to say. I'd love to see an acoustical engineer work with the church to provide a better environment for the parishioners.

We got to welcome two newcomers to Mass Chaos, Kevin and Julia. Welcome, we're glad you came.

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The gentlemen for whom the church is named.


One of seven amazing stained glass pieces representing the sacraments.

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You can see all of my pictures from Saints Peter and Paul here.

"Then he said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment." Luke 14:12

Like last weeks Gospel, the second half of this one is difficult too, but not for the same sort of reasons. This one is just difficult for the practicality of it. We are very blessed where we live, and almost all of my friends have decent or better jobs, decent or better housing, and probably would scoff at the prospect of someone buying their lunch, they'd probably pick up the next check, and if they couldn't afford it, it would take some convincing to get them to come.

I know what the town is like I live in, so it would not be too difficult for me to go and find someone who is unable to repay me, and probably not to terribly difficult to take them to dinner and get them a hot meal ... but given the structure of our society is this really the best idea? Probably not. Yes, people living on the street here in Omaha may need a good meal, but in all likelihood, they need longer term solutions than I am going to provide. Places like Siena Francis House, Open Door Mission, or others provide help in a manner I cannot.

As I was thinking about this, I realized what the answer is, probably I am taking Jesus too literally here. It's not necessarily about inviting people to a party, it's about living your life with a willingness to give and help. To give without the expectation of return, and to help without the hope of return.

Lord, please teach me to hold nothing back and help me to be a willing servant when you place people in front of me.

Please pray for:
My mommy (Judy) who is having leg issues for healing.
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy for protection on her mission.
Shannon for protection on her mission.
Frank who is looking for meaningful employment.
Kevin as he prepares for his final year of seminary and the priesthood.
Marcus as he has been accepted into seminary and will be discerning the priesthood.
My friend M., who is pregnant, please pray for her and her baby.
Me, I applied for a new job.

September 5 @ 0900: Saint Joseph's in Springfield (102 South 9th Street)

Peace, Eric

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saint Leo the Great / Saints Peter and Paul

Well, prepare yourself for a double blog. This is not because I forgot to blog or anything like that, but because we were double booked for this weekend and went to mass Saturday and Sunday. I'm not having the best weekend personally, but it only showed me how nice it is to have fellowship. I am thankful for all my friends and even more thankful to God for putting these people in my life and shaping them in His image.

Saint Leo the Great (1920 N 102nd St)

I forgot to take an external shot again, well, not exactly forgot, but I didn't remember until after we were done playing kickball and I couldn't get a good one without better light. Instead I took this picture to highlight how open and bright the church felt inside.
A co-worker told me to look for this, and I wasn't disappointed. Super neat!
The Altar while it still was lit.
Our Group for the week:
Left to Right: Eric, Patrick, Jen, Frank and Joe

Saint Leo's Yacht Club (website). We joined the Yacht club (Youth Adult Coming Home Together) for their kick-off event last night. It's for group for the young adults to have the ability to "work, play and pray" together, and I enjoyed my first experience with the group. It was more of a play night, as we went outside to get some kickball in after eating dinner together. If you are interested in joining their next event, you can e-mail John for more information or check them out on facebook.

The group shot from the Saint Leo's Yacht Club event

Saints Peter and Paul (5912 S 36 St)
Thanks to Julia for reminding me to take this.

We were told that this Jesus came in 3 pieces from ...er somewhere in Europe.
Also Interesting was that there used to be a screen to hide the organ

Eric was very concerned about taking a picture using Ron's tripod. It resulted in one of my favorite group shots of the tour so far.

I enjoyed the light coming in from the top.

The group shot for the day:
Left to right: Kevin, Joe, Frank, Julia, Eric, Brianne, and Ron

This Week's Gospel:
It is a parable from Luke (14:1, 7-14), where Jesus tells us that as guests we should not over-think our importance as guests, and when we are hosts that we shouldn't look to what we gain for inviting people.

The best part about parables is that the ideas are wrapped up with stories. I always feel like hearing stories from people is one of the best ways to get an idea across. It allows you to step into the story and see how you would feel about the idea.

When I step into this parable, I always feel humbled. This is Jesus not only telling us to be humble, but IS Himself. If there was ever a person who could just pull out the holier than thou card, it'd be Him. The thing is, it makes sense. It is easy for us to think that we are the center of the universe, and we would deserve that top spot. But is that where you really are? I also agree that it does make you feel rather fantastic to find you are given that upgrade in seats.

In the second half of the parable, it discusses being a good host and giving that which you cannot be repaid for. I think this is a harder concept to employ. Not that it is difficult to think of ways which we can be in this situation, but it can be harder to give and not let ourselves be exalted.

So, we are challenged to be humble in multiple ways. I hope that I can be forgiven for the ways which I haven't been humble or humbled lately.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Holy Family - Brianne

Now that I'm looking at Mass Chaos not only as a chance to do the "3 F's" (Fellowship, Faith, and Food), but as a "parish shopping" experiment, I'm starting to look at the churches a little differently. Going into Mass Chaos, I fully expected to be returning to St. James after Easter. I know that isn't the case given the changes in my life lately, so I think my perspective has shifted slightly. I'm looking at how I would fit into parish life at each church - whether there is a place for me to be involved.

Holy Family is the sort of church I could imagine making a permanent home once Mass Chaos is complete. Eric did a great job explaining our experience there, so I will not go into detail about the actual day, but rather, share why I feel this could be a great home for myself.
  1. The friendly congregation: At many of the other parishes I've enjoyed, the congregation has been very welcoming. This was an understatment. Not only were the members here welcoming and friendly - there were so many people who took the time to introduce themselves, ask questions about Mass Chaos and myself personally. I'm terrible with names, but for the gentleman who offered some words of wisdom surrounding my divorce and made me cry, THANK YOU.
  2. The feeling of community: It didn't matter we were having mass in a basement with people sitting on chairs, the kitchen countertop, the floor, piano benches - the actual church space was inconsequential. The sense of being a church community was overwhelming - how close the parishoners were to one another and to parish administrator Deacon Hueser (who gave a great and accidentally funny homily) blew me away!
  3. The service oriented church: We did have the opportunity to help make sandwiches (okay, actually we were the "cookie helpers") for the parish to distribute to the poor. Holy Family's mission is to service those who are less fortunate, and I think it is beautiful to see a church that doesn't have "much" in comparision to some of the larger Archdiocesan parishes give what they do have to serve the community around them. They are also an OTOC congregation, which is important to me.
  4. The music: I enjoyed the small group who sang/played guitar & violin - they did a very nice job, and I was welcomed to join singing with them if I return! Finding a parish where I can be involved in music ministry is also really, really important to me!
  5. The location: Though it is not convenient to most, Holy Family is actually a short jaunt down Cuming Street from where I'm living, and I appreciated that.

I'd like to thank the parishoners of Holy Family for making this such a great experience for me - and I will be back!!! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holy Family - August 22, 2010 - Eric

What's Happening:
What is Mass?

This weekend was planned to be the busiest weekend of my year, hands down. I was Brianne's 'plus one' at a wedding on Friday, Saturday was the big party on our house, and Sunday I had things going on all day. So when I looked at the Mass Chaos schedule, and saw 1000 Mass time, I was wondering what I was thinking when I set the schedule. I knew sleep would be at a minimum.

Sure enough Sunday morning came around, and I had only slept about four and a half hours, and my old bones were creaking and protesting. I thought to myself, just get through Mass and go sleep right away. I parked my car, saw Brianne and we walked up to church, and we went up the stairs, and saw a sign saying "Mass in basement" with an arrow pointing to a door on the side. We went over and went in and there were about twenty people in a hall (with air conditioning) with a small altar.

Mass began and we had the rest of our group joined us, other people came in, and soon we had run out of chairs. Mass was a little on the informal side, after we ran out of seats, I ended up standing behind the choir, and found out later other visitors thought I was in the choir (so what if I was reading the words/music from the music stand). I met and/or hugged everyone in the room during the passing of the peace. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Things were a little chaotic, but as usual, everything worked itself out. It was particularly enjoyable when the gentleman serving as the 'usher', gave the collection to two little girls to take up to the priest, I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

What is Mass? Mass is about Communion, not just the body and blood of Christ, but being one with every other human, not just on the planet, but every other Christian who has ever lived. I only 'knew' five of the other people in the room, but I felt intimately connected to everyone there. There was a common purpose, a common thread, and that thread was love. I never did go back to sleep, I was too energized with what was going on in my heart to be tired.

Me, Teri, Brianne, Frank, Ron, and Joe

Location and Architecture:
Holy Family (links to Wikipedia), 1715 Izard Street, Omaha. Holy Family is the oldest Catholic church in Omaha and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After Mass in the basement, we were given a tour of main church. The church was built with money donated by the Union Pacific for the Irish workers they had brought to Omaha. I'm not quite certain how to be politically correct here, but Holy Family is not going to have the resources that other churches have. Yet still their artwork, particularly the wood carving of holy family is amazing.


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After the tour of the church, we helped out with some lunch making.

The altar in the basement.

You can see all my pictures from Holy Family here.

"Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough." Luke 13:24

To say that this is a challenging Gospel (Luke 13:22-30) would be a bit of an understatement. How do we determine what is the wide road and what is the narrow one? Just because something is popular doesn't necessarily make it bad, and just because something is different doesn't make it good. One would think that you could just take a look, a large highway doesn't look a thing like a narrow door, so there shouldn't be any trouble, yet it's easy to slip, slide, and/or be confused.

Jesus is warning us that many of us will attempt to enter Heaven but not be able to. Exactly how is this the 'Good News'? It sounds more like bad news. Not only is it difficult to find the narrow gate, but now when we get there we may not be strong enough to enter. Jesus wasn't one to sugarcoat, he wants to get our attention, and although He had mine already, He sure makes me think.

The Good News is that God has not abandoned us to wander around in the dark fumbling for that narrow door. He has sent His only Son, his heir, to us to provide instructions, guidance, and light ... indeed His Son IS the light of the world. The effort is important (it builds up our spiritual muscles), but it is not the only thing we have going for us. God has given us every tool we need to find the narrow gate and avoid pitfalls on the way.

Lord, please guide me on the way to the narrow gate, correct me when I'm wrong, encourage me on the path, and show me the way. Amen.

Please pray for:
My mommy (Judy) who is having leg issues for healing.
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy for protection on her mission.
Shannon for protection on her mission.
Frank who is looking for meaningful employment.
Kevin as he prepares for his final year of seminary and the priesthood.
Marcus as he has been accepted into seminary and will be discerning the priesthood.
My friend M., who is pregnant, please pray for her and her baby.
Me, I applied for a new job.

August 28 @ 1730: Saint Leo's in Omaha (1920 North 102nd Street)
August 29 @ 1030: Saints Peter and Paul (5912 South 36th Street)

Peace, Eric

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blog Catch Up - Brianne

Playing Catch Up
I know I've been behind in blogging lately - it is another bullet point on my "To Do" list. However, lately I just can't seem to muster up the energy to take the time to sit down and write. I've had a rough time of it lately, and blogging just seems to drop lower in my list of priorities. I do want to catch up though - in some ways I've found working on the blog to be theraputic. For those of you who know me well, you already know I'm in the middle of a divorce. For those of you who don't - now you know. Though I am the "divorcer" in this situation, it doesn't make it any easier, despite what people may think. I've found myself doing a whole lot of doubting lately - doubting my decisions, my friendships, my life path, my career, and most difficult, my relationship with God. I feel very, very small and very, very out of control.

A friend said to me not long ago, "you are so precious to me." That statement blew me away. These days, I'm not feeling precious at all. Then, reading Eric's blog this week, he used the word "cherish."

Both of these words make for a good reflection on this week's reading in which Mary says, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (Luke 1:46-49) I found comfort in this passage - Mary recognizes her own lowliness - but also knows that God finds her precious and cherishes her, and therefore, she is blessed.

God has done many great things for me as well - I am blessed with an amazing family, great friends, health, a job that provides for me, many hobbies I find joy in, and the list goes on. Perhaps I should spend a few more minutes focusing on God's blessings - and remember I am precious in his eyes - and then also remember how much I cherish those around me.

St. Mary's Bellevue (could have been Sts. Peter & Paul) & St. Stanislaus

St. Mary's taught us all a lesson in letting God (or someone else) take control. Both Eric and I tend to be a little uptight when it comes to planning, and making sure we are in control. The misunderstanding of mass times (note, the Archdiocese website has the wrong mass time listed for Sts. Peter & Paul) left us scrambling at the last minute. However, I was pleased with the result - we had a large turnout, and got to eat ice cream before mass! I think it taught us all a lesson in "let go and let God."

St. Stanislaus gave us the opportunity to witness what is a major event in Omaha - the Polish Festival. I enjoyed the fact we had the opportunity to get to run into so many people there that aren't part of the Mass Chaos crowd - my roommate Christmas and her boyfriend Adam, my friend Keri from Swimtastic, and some other faces whom I smiled and waved at. The food was fantastic - pierogi, sausage, kraut - and I love my "Polish and Proud" mug. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a really, really fun day!

Mass Chaos Week Off

While everyone else was off enjoying themselves during our week off, I attended Flatland Church with my friends Christmas and Todd. I forgot how much I appreciate a good contemporary Christian service - the music was uptempo, the preaching was powerful, and the congregation was really friendly. I appreciate them bringing me with!

Prayers, Please!

I know the prayer requests are a rip-off from Eric, however, there are a few people (including myself) in need of prayers. Please pray for:
  • My mom, who is currently unemployed and searching for a good job.
  • Both myself and Andy, as we go through our divorce. Please pray for us to have both the grace to be kind to one another and also the strength to adjust to the changes in our lives.
  • My best friend Carrie and my cousin Melissa, both of whom are getting married this month, and their soon-to-be spouses, Ben and Matt. May they have all the joy that marriage brings!
  • Shannon and Amy, our FOCUS missionaries as the school year starts for them!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saint Stanislaus - August 15, 2010 - Eric

What's Happening:
Last week there was no Mass Chaos because most of us had originally had vacations scheduled. Mine was with a large group of friends going to Valentine, Nebraska and canoeing down the Niobrara River. The beauty of God's creation showed through amazingly. The waterfalls, the river, the trees, the bluffs, and the weather.

One thing amazed me more than any other though. The sky at night. There was no clouds, no moon, no light pollution, our campsite was at 2200 feet in a valley, and we had clear, dry air. The milky way was prominent across the sky, horizon to horizon. We moved away from the fire and sat out watching the stars and shooting stars. I couldn't get enough, so I woke up at 3:45 and walked around for a half an hour. The big dipper sat low in the northern sky, I tried to get a picture of it, but the results were questionable at best. I don't know when the next time I'll see all those stars like that and I cherished the moment.

Cherish is one of my favorite words to describe my feelings about God's creation. If this life is so full of God's beauty and majesty, what will the next one be like? I certainly want to know. If that means foregoing a few of the temptations of this life, what does it really mean in the long run? Not much, if anything at all. Heaven is like that game show where the prize keeps building up and up and you have to decide when to take the money and run before it all comes crashing down ... only with Heaven, there is no crashing down, the treasures that you store up there just keep multiplying and multiplying ... forever. Do the math on that.

Lord, I pray that you help me to cherish every thing, every moment, every creature, and every child of your creation.

Frank, Lindsay, Frank, Brianne, Patrick, Me, Joe. Vesper was there, but couldn't stick around for the picture.

Location and Architecture:
Saint Stanislaus, 4002 J Street, Omaha. The statuary of the church was amazing, kind of two dimensional, kind of three dimensional, and painted boldly. The architects did a fine job of drawing attention away from the box shape of the church with traditional elements like the archways and pillars on the side. I also am a big fan of the very subtle slope of the floor from back to front. As always I wish I had more time to go and photograph the churches we visit.

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You can see all my pictures from Saint Stanislaus, including the Mass Chaoser's enjoying the Polish festival here.

"And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." Luke 1:46-55

There is a reason that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. She sets the example for how to respond to God, trusting in Him completely, so instead of fearing for the future, she sings His praises. I've sat and thought long and hard what I could possibly add to what Mary has said above, and really, I got nothing.

Lord I pray that you find me as willing as Mary when you ask me to do something, and as happy to sing your praises regardless of what is asked.

Please pray for:
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy for protection on her mission.
Shannon for protection on her mission.
Frank who is looking for meaningful employment.
Kevin as he prepares for his final year of seminary and the priesthood.
Marcus as he has been accepted into seminary and will be discerning the priesthood.
My friend M., who is pregnant, please pray for her and her baby.
Me for the courage to do what God is putting in front of me, and (go ahead and laugh if you want but still pray) that I am able to kick the soda habit.

August 22 @ 1000: Holy Family Parish in Omaha (1715 Izard Street)

Peace, Eric

Monday, August 2, 2010

Saint Mary's, Bellevue - August 1, 2010 - Eric

What's Happening:
Surprise, we went to Saint Mary's in Bellevue! This was quite the shock to me also. I got an excited phone call from Brianne at 11:15 saying the Mass at Saints Peter and Paul was at 10:30 and it's their parish festival. I pulled over a few blocks from the church and we quickly reformulated a plan. Unfortunately, it wasn't just the issue of attending Mass, we had our FOCUS missionaries with us, Amy and Shannon, and this was when we were going to meet with them and 'formalize' our support. Plus we had people that hadn't come before, if we missed you, we are so sorry.

Fortunately the group of people that go to Mass Chaos make being flexible easy. I am probably the most uptight one in the group. I suggest that Saint Mary's in Bellevue had a 12:30 Mass, but it turned out that Amy and Shannon couldn't stay that long, and Frank wouldn't be able to go either, but we did have time to meet ... at Dairy Queen in Old Towne Bellevue. So off we went.

I am so thankful to have the friends that I do. They make regular occurrences seem adventurous, and missteps like today seem easy to adjust to ... I am particularly thankful because I like to plan, and can get flustered when things don't go the way I thought they would. My friends and the people I have met on this adventure have taught me much and well. God has so blessed me with the people I have in my life, what more could I possibly want or need? I'll store these treasures up in Heaven, and then I can take them with me when I pass.

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Frank, Teri, me, Amy, Shannon, Brianne, Ruth, Frank, Joe. Some might ask why we are outside a Dairy Queen, but I ask 'why not?'

Location and Architecture:
Saint Mary's, 2302 Crawford Street, Bellevue. Saint Mary's in Bellevue is my home parish, and so I'm obviously very comfortable there. Instead of something about the architecture, I'd like to tell a story with a picture.

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Not long after I began to attend Saint Mary's I was at church one Sunday, sitting about in the spot where I took the picture above. I was sitting during the Homily listening when I got this feeling that someone was standing behind me, it wasn't a bad feeling or a 'someone is watching me' feeling, I just felt the presence of someone. I turned around and looked up, expecting to see someone standing there, but instead what I saw was the sun shining through the halo surrounding baby Jesus in the picture above. I still get chills every time I think about it.

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You can see all my pictures from Saint Mary's in Bellevue here.

Several weeks back Joe and Brianne started thing about a service project that we could do. As we prayerfully considered the options, we went to Saint Columbkille, we had the pleasure of hearing from FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary Shannon Zurcher describe her mission, and it was fun to see Frank perk up when she said she'd be at his alma mater at the University of Illinois Chicago. The next Mass Chaos we were joined by Amy Brammer, a FOCUS missionary who will be at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois this year. After meeting them both, it became apparent that, although this is a little bit of a stretch to call it a service project, it was what God was putting right in front of us to do ... and if I needed any other sign, at Saint Mary's today there was another FOCUS missionary there to make his pitch for help.

Mass Chaos and myself have committed to supporting Amy and Shannon this year as best we can financially, but more importantly through prayer. I invite you to do both. Their mission of helping college students to establish or keep a relationship with Jesus Christ is not just a great way to find to keep young adults connected to God, but it will help to establish the next generation of leadership in the church.

We hope to bring you some stories from Amy and Shannon here, and we'll have a blurb about each of them on them side, and how you can help to support them too.

Lord, I pray that you watch over your servants Amy and Shannon, bless them with your Spirit that they made be good guides, and protect them from all that would harm them during their missions.

"Then he said to the crowd, 'Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions.'" Luke 12:15

Did you know that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with being wealthy? There also is nothing fundamentally wrong with being poor either, or anything in between. Why is this? Because all that you possess, be it little or much, is meaningless to God. Anything that you own, anything you have, anything you desire, God can make, or unmake for His own reasons anytime He so desires.

When I first came back to God, I was in a small group, and in this group was a man who described a time in His life when he was very concerned about money. My friend said he was praying and discussing this with God when he said he heard a voice in his head that said "Don't you think I have all the money you need?"

Jesus does not warn against wealth, he warns against greed. Greed is not limited to just the wealthy either, it affects people of every socioeconomic background. Greed is when we place money and/or possessions ahead of our relationship with God, we supplant our desire for God with desire for something that cannot bring us to Heaven.

My friends, don't do it. There is nothing in this life that can replace an eternal relationship with God. What we actually need is God, desire Him alone. He will supply us with everything we need, and by everything, I mean everything.

Please pray for:
Tom who is being deployed to Afghanistan, and his wife and two daughters.
Amy for protection on her mission.
Shannon for protection on her mission.
Frank who is looking for meaningful employment.
Kevin as he prepares for his final year of seminary and the priesthood.
Marcus as he has been accepted into seminary and will be discerning the priesthood.
Me for the courage to do what God is putting in front of me, and (go ahead and laugh if you want but still pray) that I am able to kick the soda habit.

August 15 @ 1030: Saint Stanislaus in South Omaha (4002 J Street) - followed by their annual festival (Polish food!)

Peace, Eric