Category: Special

Our church included a collection each Mass. Mom furnished us a dime, and we quickly put it in our envelope. We mindfully marked ‘ten cents’ on the line below our name. In the church bulletin each week was listed what everybody contributed the week before. Mr. Leonard offered the most each week. He owned Leonard’s motors and sold Mercury’s. Mr. George was often close behind, however; he owned George’s book store in Charleroi. Mr. George shook hands with people at church; we heard he converted from Protestantism. No one in our church shook hands but Mr. George. Collection was brilliantly handled with the long-baskets. These were wicker pannier types featuring a broom like pole attached. They stood probably 6-7 feet or more, top to bottom. The usher managed to skillfully navigate the basket down each pew, hand over hand, extending basket and then arm to reach the end group, as…

Read More Growing up Catholic

I knew a man in Christ, a father, a friend, a counselor, mentor and inspiration. I knew a man in Christ, he taught me how to think, how to live, how to die. He taught me the Bible, removing all gray areas;  preciseness was his forte, accuracy his norm. He taught dogmatically, leaving no room for doubt; exposing the foolishness of inferior systems. Yes, I knew this man in Christ. When my pastor spoke, there was an anointing, clear, distinct, heavenly, penetrating. Sometimes came tears, sometimes a display of authority. Often the message pin-pointed the exact issue of my current experience. I sensed the ministry tuned into me, to me personally — adjusting my thinking, feeling, and conscience. I was a part of it, my listening perpetuated it, my heart embraced it, my soul bathed in it. Many times, I wept. I sensed something very deep happening — A healing, deliverance,…

Read More I Knew a Man in Christ

“,,, one of the functions of oxytocin is to separate the experience and the excitement from the intensity of the shame.” According to neuropsychologist Dr. Jes Montgomery, “,,, the function of oxytocin is to tell the brain, ‘Wait a minute. You don’t want to remember that. You want to hold on to this excitement and this amazing magic that you just experienced.’”   The Advancements in modern science related to the brain are remarkable, to say the least. Oxytocin is a substance released in women, which creates a bonding effect. Men have a similar release and both men and women gain this release during sexual intercourse. The chemical releases (including dopamine) enable the two to move beyond any pain, fear or guilt inhibiting, into ecstasy. Memories of the past and even negative experiences are all forgotten in the state of euphoria created. The whole experience is designed by God to…

Read More Oxytocin

Boiler engineering challenged the faculties; spirit soul and body. We had to stay sharp, sober, and watchful; at the same time, we tried to dodge anger, resentment and bitterness. As the last five years plodded onward, steam plant reeked negligence. Budgetary frugality inhibited any real maintenance, and with this stance came the digression. No longer were all six boilers ever in operation, no longer was the coal of adequate BTU’s. Warning whistles and flashing lights functioned accurately less and less, as the steam output meter registered just above warning. Folks know what a rake is because of their yard or garden. Our rakes, 40 pounds of tempered steel, measured eight feet from hand to claw. With these we made coal burn and effected tubes full of treated water to sometimes find evaporation; sometimes even steam. Thermostats that regulated water level in the tube–fed drums were often gummed up or broken.…

Read More Boiler Operator

    Some aspects of Christmas disclose themselves covertly: The Christ-child, tiny babe, was also Mankind’s Savior and continues our Personal Defender. You see, justice precedes love in God’s saving scheme, and we must see this. Justice and judgment must factor in, or we lose realness. Without grounds for judicial release in the objects of love, love has not much meaning. Moses, in Exodus 15, led Israel three days without water toward Mara. The waters there were bitter and the people shrieked. Who could blame them, but was there a meaning? Moses begged an answer from God, crying with body prostrated. God showed him a tree and Moses threw the tree into the water, and the waters were made sweet. First thought is: God, using God’s man, leads them, but they hate the bluntness of circumstance. Number two, God wants to demonstrate justice and truth, so he judges the bitter…

Read More The Christmas Cross