About this journal
This Journal is the place I tend to write my general thoughts and feelings about all things in life....as they cross my path.
On Tuesday at work several of us often get together for a Bible study. During this time, we often ask for prayer for a life problem or two.
Yesterday one of my co-workers mentioned a friend of theirs that was a very deep atheist and held a very bad view of anyone believing in God. So strong a view that it actually results in their treating that person badly because of it. (a prejudice)
They have known this friend for their entire life, and feels they need to help them see their prejudice to just generally help them in life, and as a Christian, they feel a duty to move them along a path to Christ.
But even though this person has been almost a life-long acquaintance, they have yet a second prejudice against this co-worker because of their gender. So this co-worker feels helpless as a friend and Christian.
Now, I don't mean to fall into the trap of knowing what to do....but I did try to consider the issue. The only suggestion I could make to my friend and co-worker was to let God work on the situation along with them......and so I suggested prayer and that they perhaps just consider what Jesus would have done.
I also noted that we humans often want to be the "hero" that fixes problems on their own, and at the time they want....but that there are often times when our part of a solution is much more like one tumbler turn in the opening of a much larger combination lock. Even so, our part is still key to opening up the lock holding the person's issue locked up tight.
Sometimes we are just called to plant to seeds, and we might perhaps never see them grow into a final resolution.
Either way, this doesn't mean not trying, but perhaps rather trying hard, but always being mindful of what Jesus would do....opening our heart to the full guidance of the Holy Spirit and being a perfect following. (not with expectations, for we never know how or when problems are resolved....we still need the faith that God is ultimately in control and we have but a part in creation)
We prayed.....for my co-worker and their atheist friend, and for all of us that we might always be mindful of God in absolutely every thought and move we make. (though as humans, perhaps an almost impossible task when you consider it)
Ok folks, why have I suddenly started to get these headaches!
Honest, I had not head a headache for perhaps 35 years....and now, I get a major one about every two weeks! I started out Sunday (Yesterday) with one....and that continued through the night and pretty much through today.
Ouch.....no fun. I suppose this is the way things will be from now on.....such is life.,
Well, this past Saturday, I attended the Catholic New Media Conference in Boston. (Actually, Braintree, Mass)
From the Website: "The Catholic New Media Conference is the world’s leading conference about Catholic new media and evangelization, bringing together people from all over the world to learn and to share their experiences."
Well, my experience there was wonderful. I learned about the even from Fr, Roderick Vonhogen, who is described on the website as:
Fr. Roderick Vonhögen is a priest from the Netherlands, television and radio host and
new media entrepreneur.
My introduction to Fr. Roderick came from a friend of mine suggesting I listen to his Podcast back in 2005. Back then it was a daily show called "The Daily Breakfast".....but since then, he publishes it about weekly, and it is called "The Break".
But the Saturday agenda was loaded with plenty of other speakers besides Fr. Roderick, and I actually only went to one session given by him.
The Opening Keynote by Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary of Pontifical Council at the Vatican spoke about his role, and the general outreach at the Vatican into New Media. He talked a lot about the Pope and his Twitter account. Very cool stuff, and lots of inside insights...check it out here!
I attended a session on Blogging, presented by Maria Johnson, Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Her insights, and those of some of the other Bloggers in the audience made me think again about the conversation I had in my mother's hospital room where her friend (that I didn't even know) exclaimed to me: "Maybe you should think about writing!"
A second session I participated in around Video Media Production was held by Dom Bettinelli, Creative Director of New Media in the Archdiocese of Boston and Fr. Roderick. It turned out to be even more interesting than I first thought, and that wasn't because of low expectations, but rather because they hit on all the questions and issues I had in my mind. I for one am a very visual person, and the idea of a video BLOG has always interested me!
My third session was "How to (re)connect with inactive Catholics through Social Media - Bet Practices" - by Scot Landry. Scot Landry is the Secretary of New Media of the Archdiocese of Boston. He put forward many ideas and recommendations for regular Catholics and how we can use our new media activities to connect with others and spread the message of the Gospel.
The bottom line....I want to get back to the work of Blogging......so I hope to post here much more often, and not just when I am moved.....but perhaps EVERY DAY! (or so :-)
I have not seen Sister Helen in about two years, thought I had thought about going up to Manchester for a visit a few times during that period. You know how things get....life gets in the way.
But I didn't go, and now I feel bad because although there was nothing I could probably have done to help her with her cancer, a visit might have helped her know how special she was to me.
Well, she is in a better place today....without pain and hopefully sitting with God and conversing once again with Cheryl. But like my own mother, I am sure Sister Helen isn't just "hanging around", for she spent her entire life happily in the service of others, and I expect she has asked to be put right back into service, even in heaven.
To me, she was a wonderful role model. She certainly knew math, and taught that for quite some time....but she morphed into the PMA computer teacher, and computers were not something someone who grew up back when she did had any experience with. Trust me when I say that other teachers back then were taken back by he fact that their students often knew more about the computers in the class than the teacher themselves, but this never bothered Sister Helen. She bravely moved forward with her knowledge and was truly THRILLED when a student of hers excelled with them.....even if they ended up teaching her things too.
None of this stopped her desire to give the students the best Math and Computer education she could.
Oh, and she was wonderful and supportive if here parent volunteers. She accepted advice and encouraged ideas that made the over all class outcomes better. She knew this was all being done for the kids, and it didn't matter to her who's ideas were being used to make things better. She loved her students, and like all the classes at PMA, she taught with love and the love of God in her heart.
Sister Helen passed away on December 24th, 2012.....the day before Christmas. I suppose is is fitting that a person who committed her entire life to God and serving as the hands of God helping mankind would be taken at the time we celebrate the birth of Christ.
She is no longer in pain.....but as I felt with my own mother, I suspect her meeting with God was one where she asked to continue her work of prayer and helping of those who are still here on earth. She was a wonderful person, and I hope you will say a prayer for her soul in heaven.
God Bless you Sister Helen.....
Quentin J Lewis
95 Network Drive
Burlington, Ma 01803
PH: (781) 442-2849
I have not snapped a photo for a while....so I did!
It is always refreshing to see people from the entertainment world who go against what must be the typical Hollywood mindset. Good work Chuck!
Today I attended a 2nd Amendment rally in front of the State House in Boston. I am very bad at sizing up crowds, but the crowd was huge....much large than I expected. Someone estimated it at about 2000.....I have no clue.
The issue at hand is the wave of gun control legislation being proposed at the state and federal level. The proponents of this legislation don't seem to be actually concerned with the issue at hand, that is how to respond to the terrible violence by a person with mental health issues who was able to secure firearms. (in this case, from his mother who paid the ultimate price for her doing so)
If you look at the proposed state Legislation, you will see that very little of the proposed changes would have had ANY effect on any of the recent tragedies. They are simply meant to "put the squeeze" on law abiding gun owners in an attempt to further marginalize them and making it more difficult (read that to mean expensive with more hoop jumping) to be a firearms owner.
I think the average person is essentially told that firearms owners are dangerous, paranoid, skinheads who need to be controlled. This seems to be how the press paints us, and this is the only way I can explain the sort of legislation coming forward.
But gun owners are just regular, average people. We are calm, caring parents and grand parents. We are teachers, engineers, plumbers, firefighters, accountants, doctors....we are just a regular cross section of America...not so scary.
The 2nd Amendment is important.....and the founding fathers probably understood that better than we do now, but that does not change the fact that it is. (that is too deep of a subject for this short post, but I might cover it later.....GOOGLE it if you can't wait :-)
So, while at the event....I can honestly say that I was moved to try and get even more involved. I was moved to write the letter below, which I forwarded off to the Worcester paper, as well as the Boston Globe and Herald. I urge you to get involved too! (come to the next rally!)
______________________________________________________________Calling all 2nd Amendment Supports, make yourself known, GET OUT OF THAT GUN SAFE!I write this letter to all firearms owners and 2nd Amendment supporters of our country. (I realize that not all 2nd Amendment supports own firearms)
Today (Saturday, January 19th) I attended a 2nd Amendment support rally held right in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. A very large number of regular, law abiding people attended, and this moved me to pen this letter. I was moved because it was so obvious to see that the people there were basically like me.....regular, average, friendly, normal......that is, a general cross section of America. They weren't scary....they weren't paranoid.....they were regular people like those I know at my work, at my church or in my neighborhood.
One person's speech in particular called me to write this when they said that we 2nd Amendment supporters typically think of firearms in terms concealed carry. But we do not just stop with our concealment of the firearm, we continue on to totally hide the fact that we are firearms owners. He noted that it is time we let the rest of the world know who the typical firearms owner is.
No, no, he was clear that he did not mean by brandishing a gun! No, he was just suggesting that we simply make it known to friends, neighbors, co-worker. After all, people who get their information from the TV, Radio or print news are likely to have a distorted view, and probably don't know that we firearms owners are regular, law abiding citizens.I suggest that when you bring it up, you be as friendly and assuring as possible. Education on the Constitution and 2nd Amendment is always a good thing, after all, the highest law of the land which guarantees our freedoms is something that ALL American's should be proud of and support.
Other suggestions, letters to the editor are great.....for those who are more vocal, radio talk show call-ins are always good. Why not invite a friend to the shooting range and show them the ropes. They might just enjoy it and come to be an avid shooter as well. Oh,and when there are other rallies, by all means show up and bring a friend! However you do it, get involved!
Show the world.....firearms owners, and 2nd Amendment supporters are good people. We are probably their good neighbors, and the people they already know as friends.
Spread the word!
-Quentin J. Lewis
OPINION (and worth every penny you paid for it :-)):
I am happy to see the attention and interest in firearms rights, ownership and the 2nd Amendment. I am also very happy to see people organizing to make a public display of their support for this and against the onrushing tidal wave of gun control legislation. But I also believe our success is going to come from a "laser focus" on our 2nd Amendment rights, and it must NOT be diluted by the injection of so many other issues and aspects of what you might call the liberty movement.
For a time, the Occupy Wall-street people attracted quite a crowd to their protests, but IMHO they were *NOT* particularly successful in affecting change or swaying the masses because their message was so diluted. They did not have a single message.....they did not have a single focus.
You can't exactly blame any individual in that movement though, because the issue was not so plain and focused. They simply could not come together on a single focus.
But in our case, we have that focus.....it is the 2nd Amendment, and all we have to do is educate (remind really) the masses on the lessons of the founding fathers. We HAVE a connection to all citizens in the country....gun owner or not, and that connection is our 2nd Amendment and our freedoms defined by our Constitution.
I hear people say that the gun control people are "not letting a good crisis go to waste" in their rush to use the tragic school murders by a disturbed individual to push gun control. Well, we must *NOT* do the same by trying to use these 2nd Amendment demonstrations to embark on other issues or agendas. (as attractive as they might seem)
I believe the purpose of our demonstration is to win the hearts of the average American and to bring them into the fold as a lover of the 2nd Amendment, and giving them a larger appreciation for the Constitution. Bringing in other messages, other problems, other agenda is a form of mission creep that will in the end be harmful and make our message as diluted and in-affective as the Occupy group.
Once again.....I think we need to make America see that firearms owners are not scary, not paranoid and in fact are their neighbors....regular people. I think we need to encourage people to think of firearms ownership as normal, and a strong positive to society. (good people with guns)
So I urge people to keep the focus, in signs, shirts and message to the press. We have a focal point that groups like Occupy Wall street only wished they had....we have the 2nd Amendment, and it is a rallying cry with a lot of history and our freedom is something all American's can be proud of.