Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Victory

I have not seen or heard much news the last two days, especially today, as I spent all day with my 6 year old son before he goes to Hawaii for a week with him mom. We spent all day playing mini-golf, riding go carts, bumper boats, and a few racing video games. A Great Day!

I want to take this time to congratulate the United States military for taking the lead the last eight years in the battle to bring freedom to the people of Iraq.

Today, the US Military is virtually leaving all urban areas in Iraq! This is a day of VICTORY! It has taken many years, and many sacrifices, including many, many lives. We have now reached the point that was envisioned several years ago, to bring freedom to the people of Irag, and to have them provide for their own ongoing security and protection of their new freedoms. It is great to see the people be able to realize this freedom.

So thank you to all who have served and sacrificed and died for the people of Irag, and their freedom.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering Michael Jackson

As I stated on facebook.com/sajman21, I can vividly see the cover of the Jackson 5's Greatest Hits album, which was the first album I owned in my life.

I remember listening to that album over and over again. My favorite songs were ABC, and I'll be There! Those two songs, being my favorite at the time, have helped shape my life, even today. I know everything is not as easy as ABC, 123, and I realize that I am not always there when needed, however, I do make an honest effort to live my life in these ways.

After hearing the news this afternoon, while exiting Sam's Club in Sacramento, my arms were filled with goose bumps, and I was chilled, despite the 90 degree summer day. As I was putting the items in my car, it was really a weird feeling, the goose bumps just wouldn't go away.

This is indeed a sad day. I am sure I will remember where I was when I heard the news, similar to when Elvis died while I was at my grandparents house in St. Louis on vacation preparing to head for Florida, and when the 9/11 attacks occured, while I was at morning mass at St. Joseph's Church in Vacaville, CA.

Michael, Rest In Peace. May your music and legacy live on forever!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pictures from Nascar Race!




Here are a few pictures from the race, today. Wow, we really had fun! We were able to see an air show with some stunt jets, parachuters, a stunt helicopter show. We walked to the fan area to check out the drivers trailers where they sell their stuff! We got a Jeff Gordon car and a small Dale Earnhardt #3!

Of course, it was fun to sing the National Anthem, and then have two fighter jets zoom right over our head at the end of the Star Spangled Banner....way cool.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines....and were ready for action!!

We left with 30 or so laps left, so we could be home in time for Christopher's mom to pick him up. That was a bummer, but...hey we beat the traffic!!

A little Nascar Thunder at Turn 7




Here is a little Nascar Thunder as seen from our seats at turn 7!
Counting down to green flag
Stuck in traffic on way to race track

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, my brothers, Bill, and all the other Fathers that I know!

It's race day!!! My Father's Day will be Great, spending it with my son at his first Nascar Race! Look for a couple updates throughout the day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Judging

Went to 5:30 pm Mass tonight. Father Humberto spoke wonderfully about judging and not judging during his homily. As he said it, "Just because it shines, doesn't mean it is gold."

Congratulation to Father Humberto for his Pastorial assignment in St. Paul Minnesota. We will really miss you!

Mom & Dad on the road again!

Mom & Dad are on the road again, on their way to visit Steve, Amy and kids in Spokane. Have fun with the visit!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting Closer to Nascar

We are getting more and more excited about seeing the Nascar race on Father's Day!

I was telling Christopher that the last time I saw the Nascar race at Sears Point, was when his mom and I went before he was born. In that race, I told him, Jeff Gordon (mom's favorite) won the race, beating Mark Martin (my favorite).

Strange thing is that Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin qualified 13th and 14th for Sunday's race, so they will be starting next to each other on the 7th row.

Tony Stewart will be starting in row 2 in the number 4 spot.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Have Faith - Do not be afraid




This Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus calming the violent sea while he and his disciples are in the middle of the storm. The disciples woke Jesus from his sleep and asked if he didn't care that they died. He questioned their faith, and then calmed the storm and the sea. With the grace of faith, he can also calm the storm in our life.

Jesus started his church more than 2,000 years ago when he gave the authority and responsibility to his disciples and their successors to lead and teach every person in every nation.

Today, the priests in his Church continue to fulfill his demands. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." And of course, the hugely important function of the priests to provide us with the body and blood of Christ in the most important prayer .... the Holy Mass.

Friday, June 19, begins the "year of the priest". Make sure you thank your priest and thank God for the wondrous gift of the priesthood. For without priests, their would be no eucharist.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Countdown to Nascar Weekend!

Just 4 more days until the thunder at Sears Point! "Let's go racin' boys!"

Four things you can't recover!

Thank you to my Aunt Paula for this little, but important email message!

Four things you can't recover:



The stone.........after the throw. The word........after it's said.



The occasion........after it's missed. The time........after it's gone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Am I?

 


Can you guess who I am? I only have one day left in first grade, then I will be a second grader. Today, I spent the afternoon with Daddy! We went to the R/C Hobby Store to check out all the cool stuff they have. This store is ten times bigger than the Vacaville Hobby Store!

We also ate lunch in the back seat of a '56 Bel Air in Burger King!!! Pretty cool...they have two seats that look like classic cars. The 1956 Chevy Bel Air. We think the other one is a Cadillac.

We had ice cream for a snack, and looked up some Plymouth Fury's online!

** If you are viewing this on Facebook, you may need to click on "view original post" to see the picture.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist

I heard a true story this evening.

The man telling the story said that it was a cold winter night and he was using his fireplace to help warm his house. One of the logs just didn't seem to be burning very well. It only had a small whiff of smoke. He decided to remove the log to make place for another log that might burn better to give him better heat.

He carried the log outside. The log was not even warm. He put it on his front porch and went back inside.

A little while later, he heard a thug sound out front. He went to the door, opened it and found that the log had burned a hole in his wooden front porch. He thankfully got water on the burning porch before it spread to cause more damage.

A similar event happened a few years ago to friends of my parents. He placed ashes in a metal container, along side his house. Somehow, these cool, already burned ashes sparked, raced up the side of the house and into the attic. The house was burned to the ground. Thanks to God, no one was hurt. A nice side note: when they rebuilt their house, they used a paint color in their living room called Greystone. I have used that color in my houses for the last 8 years!

Anyway, during this week leading up to Corpus Christi this Sunday, I wanted to compare the stories here with the power of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist (The Body & Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord) Corpus Christi.

You may be at a point in your life, or know someone who is, and be similar to the cool log with just a hint of smoke, or the already used ashes. Just because one thinks they are either burned up, or lack what it takes to live a holy life, it may not be so.

When you open yourself to the power of the Holy Spirit, and really ask God to come into your life, or more into your life HE will. He may just be waiting for you to ask. Take the step, Come Home! Through the Grace of God, we can be saved. If you are like the log with a whiff of smoke, let the Holy Spirit blow like the wind, that sparked the fire in that log. Come home to the Church, and allow yourself to partake in the Holy Eucharist, the true body and blood of Christ. (See blog entry from earlier today). It is the ultimate blessing to be able to take our Lord into our body each week or more often, in the Eucharist.

May you truly be blessed in the name of the Father & the Son & the Holy Spirit so that the small whiff of smoke will be fanned by the Holy Spirit, and that no one will ever extinguish the flame burning in your heart and soul.

Gospel of St. John Chapter 6, 51 and following

51
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
52
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"
53
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
54
Whoever eats 19 my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
55
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
56
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
57
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
58
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
59
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
60
20 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
61
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you?
62
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 21
63
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh 22 is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64
But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
65
And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father."
66
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
67
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
68

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Love Letter From Your Father



Well, yes I did cry! It is really amazing to know that the awesome, amazing, endless, unquestioned, deep and true love I have for my son, is multiplied to infinity when it comes to the love my Heavenly Father has for me and YOU!

As we get a day closer to the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ, may you be always touched by God's Love. May your heart be as receptive as a small child.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My Hands are Holding You



This is the week, eight years ago, that my spirit was awakened, and I came back to full communion with the Church. I was never too far away, however, my spiritual life had become something that I did and had on "my" terms. This week, eight years ago, as it is this week, was the week leading up to the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, or the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ. I didn't realize, of course, that it was during the week of Corpus Christi, until Sunday. During that week I went to confession for the first time in 20 years, and when I attended the first Mass after that confession on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi at Our Lady of Grace in West Sacramento, the Holy Spirit was alive and well in my heart and soul that day. Thanks be to God, it is still alive, and I pray it always will be.

Four years ago, I was blessed to be in St. Louis on Vacation on Corpus Christi Sunday. It was another awesome experience to attend Mass that Holy day at the New Basilica of St. Louis. I look forward to coverage this week on the ordination of the new Arch Bishop of my home town - St. Louis!

May this week bring many blessings to my friends and family who I pray for always!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

65th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy




Sixty-five years ago on June 6, 1944, our brave brothers landed on the shores of France and began the end of tyranny in Europe and the world.

I don't believe in fighting and war for the sake of fighting, however, it brings me a lot of patriotic pride to know that our country has fought for liberty and freedom throughout our brief history.

My nearly seven-year old son will be traveling to Hawaii in a few weeks with his mom. I have been talking to him about the sacrifice that people in America have made so he could live the way we live. I really hope he is moved, even at his tender age, when he steps foot on the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial. I wish I was going to be there with him. My love and prayers will be with him and those who fought and gave their lives for us...Let us never forget what those before us have done.

It was good to look back at President Ronald Reagan's speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. Some feel that this speech is one of the best speeches given EVER by an United States president.

Thank you to all of those who still understand and fight for truth, whether in uniform or out!

Friday, June 05, 2009

My Caring Son

People amaze me, sometimes. I am sure that maybe some people think I do stupid things....all is good. Opinions of one are just as valid as opinions of another.

Here is a story of true love from my son!

When I picked up my nearly 7 year old son from first grade today, he excitedly told me that his class was going to have a picnic next Wednesday. I would not know that, since his mom does not leave me copies of the memos and news that he gets from his teacher.

He told me that his mom was going to buy juice boxes for the picnic, so he could take them to school on Monday. Then, out of the blue, as he often does..."Daddy, I have a Great Idea." "Why don't WE buy juice boxes and surprise mommy." Wow, he never ceases to amaze me. He is so very thoughtful. As he continues to grow and learn, I am certain his thoughtfulness will help many many people. I told him that was a terrific idea, and I asked what kind of juice boxes he wanted to get. He told me the kind that we get. We normally get the Honest Kids juice packets. We decided that we would check out Wal-mart, then Sam's Club, then Target. If all else failed, we knew there was some at Lucky's, but that was too long a drive, according to my wonderful son!

We checked out the juice isle at Wal-mart. They had an 8 pack of grape. That was all they had. He said that there are 20 kids in the class, and that he wanted the box that had all three flavors.

We then moved on to Sam's Club. I have purchased the Honest Kids juice there before, and they had plenty. We got the 24 pack with the three flavors, grape, tango punch and berry lemonade. He was really happy, and really excited that he could do this for his mom!

At the end of our day, I took him back to his mom's. He yelled from the car to her standing near the front of the house, "mommy, did you get juice boxes yet?" She answered, "no". He was overjoyed, now. He said, "WE did!". He grabbed the box of Honest Kids juice and brought it over to her. That is when she decided to suck every bit of excitement and joy from his thoughtful caring heart.

"How are you going to get these to school?" His mom asked. How was he going to get the juice she bought to school? She then asked me the same question. She had already deflated our son's happiness and joy, and by asking me, she squashed the last ounce of joy from him. I just don't know if she realizes how she affects his little psyche, when she does this stuff. I could see his shoulders immediately slump...he was truly hurt.

I then told her that He really wanted to surprise her by getting the juice. "But how is he going to get this box to school, along with his backpack?" Christopher chimed in with a solution. "We can put the juice in my backpack!" No, that was not going to work according to his mom. Again, I ask, how was he going to get juice boxes or juice bags that she bought to school along with his backpack.


He carefully picked out eight, but I could tell he really wanted a couple extra to bring into her house. She was rushing him, telling him to put the rest in the box. He did select two more for a total of ten for his backpack, and I told him that he should take a couple for him, if he wanted. Of course, he did...I could see it.

I am so very proud of my little guy. He is really growing up to be a very caring, loving individual. I am so happy that he loves his mom so much. As I have said many times, that is one of most important roles as his dad, to always teach him about the importance of loving his mommy!

As we departed each other for the day, I told him that I was proud of him and that he did a great job! Which he did. Love you bud!

Pictures from our trip to San Francisco last weekend

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pro-Life and wondering how anyone is not

I know that I am a very simple minded person, however, I don't see the hot issue of today as being as controversial as some claim that it is. The argument between those who promote life and those who promote death is really very, very odd.

From the highest educated person to the person who is "ignorant" of the most elementary teachings of things of this world, there should not be any one who can truly believe that killing an innocent human person is justified.

The exception to that are those who actually hate people, those who are emotionally unstable, or those who kill to defend their own life. Those people who hate others enough to murder someone who is not threatening their life can come to that state due to jealousy, revenge, or a variety of other reasons. I don't personally feel that there is any justifiable reason to kill another person, unless your life is in immediate threat of death. From my experience, limited as it may be due to me being simple minded, people and organizations that are truly pro-life do not just throw that term around, they and I are truly PRO-LIFE.

The recent killing of Dr. Tiller is a terrible and horrific act. I don't know how many innocent babies he killed in his life, however, no matter of that total lives he took, make his life any less important as a human being and should not have been snuffed out by the person who hated him and/or was emotionally unstable.

I have not encountered a single person or organization who claim to be pro-life, who has supported the killing of this one man who had himself harmed and killed so many.

There are, unfortunately, many, many people in this country that support the killing of innocent people who have harmed NO-ONE.

A really strange thing has happened this week. Those who openly support and work to allow and to actually kill the innocent people in our culture, are OUTRAGED that Dr. Tiller, one man, was murdered.

Those who say they are pro-life have proved, once again, that they are truly pro-life...you see every pro-life organization and person I know are also OUTRAGED that Dr. Tiller, one man, was murdered.

Those who are pro-life know the natural truth that life is valuable, no matter what the state of that life is in.
Those who support or promote the killing of innocent human beings somehow know and understand that truth, sometime, and completely forget it at other times.

So, I don't believe that those who support or promote the millions of innocent deaths are people haters, or have emotional illnesses, because, they too seem to understand that the killing of this ONE man was wrong. It is truly sad, that many of those same people three minutes after condemning this terrible and horrific action, can turn around and then support or promote and justify the killing of oh, so many of our brothers and sisters.

If one is outraged that this ONE man was murdered, then how can one not be completely and totally OUTRAGED beyond compare that ONE innocent person, who has harmed no-one is murdered....then multiply that by MILLIONS. How then can anyone support or promote the killing through the procedure labelled abortion.

The president of our country recently said this issue is controversial and complicated.....nothing is farther from the truth....it is actually quite simple, and very uncomplicated. There will be those who do their best to make this controversial, but it just really isn't so. Life is Life, Death is Death. Do you deserve to live / Do you deserve to die. No human being should have that CHOICE or power over others.