I Believe

I believe that most people are good

I believe that most people are kind

I believe that most people care

I believe that mainstream media has an agenda

I believe that mainstream media works towards keeping us divided

I believe that mainstream media wants to keep everyone scared

I believe that social media molds individuals into puppets

I believe that social media also strives for division

I believe that social media is not so social anymore

I believe in God and look to him for strength

I believe that most people believe in a higher power

I believe that most people live by the “golden rule.”

I believe that people will wake up one day and realize that we need to become more dependent on each other, instead of depending on politicians who care about power and money instead of the people they serve.

I believe that we can come together and mend the brokenness of this country, only if we don’t listen to the haters, dividers, and non-believers.

I believe that we can make the United States of America great again, but not through any political party or any politicians, but through our own hard work, determination, and God’s grace.

God help us.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

Thankful

Every year around this time, people start to look inward and share what they are thankful for. Some do it in person and many do it through social media. It’s that time where the year is coming to an end and we look back on all the things that have taken place in the world, our country, and our lives.

This year has been a rough one to say the least. The majority of our country has been shut down since Early 2020 due to COVID-19 and that has impacted millions of Americans in one way or another. People have lost jobs, businesses, hope, and there are those who’ve died from the virus or underlying conditions with the virus added to them.

Add to that a presidential election that brought out the ugliness in many people on both sides of the aisle. Friendships ended and family feuds started or escalated all because people have forgotten how to disagree and move on.

What are your thoughts at this point of this year? Are you hopeful? Are you scared?

I think that 2020 gave us an opportunity to take a step back and be thankful for the smallest things in life, like waking up this morning. Sadly, many people have missed that message because they were too caught up in the election, or being told what to think from mainstream or social media.

Since the start of this virus, I’ve managed to keep a positive attitude, even in the face of losing our business, I remained optimistic. Months later with a new job and new challenges, I still remain optimistic. Why? For me, it’s keeping my eyes on Christ. I can’t do it all alone but as Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

What or who is it that strengthens you? Is it working? Are you content with the way your life is going?

This year, like every other year, I’m thankful for my beautiful bride, my wonderful children, family and friends. I’m also thankful for my new job and new opportunities but most of all, I’m thankful for having Jesus Christ at the center of my life because without him, none of this is possible.

May you be blessed, safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Religious Freedom & Knights on Bikes

With the presidential elections right around the corner, now more than ever, it is important to make your voice heard. With our national and local candidates running on so many platforms, there is one that Americans are forgetting to find out where each candidate stands on in regards to our freedom of religion.

If you think that our religious freedoms can’t be taken away from us here in the U.S., think again. Look at what happened to The Little Sisters of the Poor, the baker who didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and the photographer who didn’t want to take pictures for a gay weddings. Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars were spent in these court battles. These example may not affect you directly, but if we continue to allow our government and others to chip away at our religious freedoms, soon there won’t be any left.

There are a group of men who through their actions, decided to bring attention to this issue. A few weeks ago the Knights on Bikes held a “Freedom Ride” to bring attention to our rights of religious freedom. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of these men, and the young lady who filmed the video below, on previous projects that have aired on EWTN and have been seen by millions around the world.

Recently I learned about “shadow banning” – Shadow banning, also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting, is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community, so that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned. For instance, shadow banned comments posted to a blog or media website will not be visible to other persons accessing that site from their computers.

By partly concealing, or making a user’s contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favour user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site. (Taken from Wikipedia)

I believe this is something that is happening with my FB account, and many other conservative social media users that I know. That is why I have shared this on my personal blog page.

My goal is to share this video with as many people that I can and to ask you all to do the same. I also ask you to please hit the thumbs up button. In the words of the Mexican people, the Cristeros who fought for their freedom of religion during the Cristero War (1926 – 1929), may our battle cry be the same as theirs, Viva Cristo Rey! Long Live Christ the King!

Knights on Bikes: Protest for Freedom

To learn more about Knights on Bikes, contact Bob “Ace” Bagley.

Come Together

Good vs Evil

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

The time has come, to set differences aside and come together as Christians for the betterment of our nation. No petty bickering of “He’s a Catholic and they….” Or “Well they are Mormons and they…..” There is a war going on in our country, a spiritual war of pure unadulterated evil, and we are called to fight!

If you profess Christ as your savior and you do your best to live out a life like his daily then you are a Christian! There are more “Christian by name” people in the United States than there are Christians. It isn’t only our job to make sure that we get to heaven but we have to try to lead our family and others to Christ as well. The more Christian brothers and sisters that we have in this war, the more we will succeed in setting things straight again.

Off Balance: Mom & kids on one side, the Father on the other.

Our country is off balance and we need to start fixing it. In my opinion, one of the reasons that it is off balance is due to the fact that the “nuclear family” model is no longer applicable in today’s society. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Black Lives Matter website and look under “What we believe”, you will read the following: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” Did you notice that not only do they admit to disrupting the nuclear family structure but, they fail to mention “fathers” in their statement!

BLM, ANTIFA, NFAC, KKK, etc, these are all racist, hateful, and evil organizations that have set themselves apart, by choice, from the rest of society. They want their own version of what the United States should look like. Are we going to just stand there and allow this to happen? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

So here is my challenge to all of you who profess to be Christians. Gather a group of Christians together at your Local Park or square, and come together for a day of prayer for our country. Go from church to church advertising what day you will do this and then, do it! There are power in numbers and we have God on our side. Whom should we fear?

Go out there brothers and sisters and educate your fellow Christians especially now before the elections take place. Do they want to continue to live in a country where unborn babies are killed by the hundreds of thousands, where rioting and looting is allowed, where anarchy is looked to as normal, and where law enforcement is being defunded due to pressures from racist organizations? This is not the nation that I want to live in and I’m sure many of you don’t want to either. If the Democratic Party wins, this is what we have to look forward to and possibly a new civil war.

Pray that God the Father gives you the will to fight. Pray that Jesus Christ the Son gives you the strength to fight. And pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge to encourage others to fight.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

30 Day Retreat Follow Up: Epic Fail or Lesson Learned?

My 30 day retreat ended after 2 days and let me tell you, those were the most intense two days of silence and prayer that I’ve ever experienced, which was a good thing. Overall I’m not looking at this as a failure but rather a taste of things to come in the future. Who knows, maybe next time I will do 3 days or a week.

When I was alone without distractions and my mind started to clear, the more important things in my life started to come up to the forefront. It gave me time to think about what I need to be doing like spending more quality time with family at home and those not at home. I could step up my game at work. I can improve upon my prayer life. I can do more around the house than what I do.

The most important thing that I learned though in those 2 days was to take some time, every day to spend in quiet prayer. That is hard to do for a lot of us with distractions at home, etc… but it can be done, you just need to make it happen.

There is so much more to this 30 day plan that I didn’t get to experience because I stopped so soon. Like I said earlier, maybe next time I’ll shoot for 3 days or a week. Maybe next time I spend those 3 days out in the wilderness with no distractions? Or maybe, I don’t do it at all? Which leads me to my final observation during those 2 days. I asked myself, “Were you doing this because you felt God calling you to do it or was it because a friend of yours did it and you saw the changes in him?” Basically, was I doing this for God or for me? 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

So ask yourself, “Do I do all to the glory of God?” Something to think about.

Until next time, Buen Camino and God bless.

30 Day Retreat

Picture yourself driving down a highway during the summer and it is early morning, the sun is beginning to rise. As you are driving you hear or see the splat of a bug hitting your windshield. If you’re quick enough you rinse the remains of the bug off. After driving for an hour you pull off into a rest area. You notice that your windshield is a mess. Bugs and remnants of them have left their mark on your windshield. You get back in your vehicle and start to drive away noticing the mess on the windshield. You can still see the road but it’s not as clear. You get to a crossroad and make a turn, the wrong turn because you could not see clearly.

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Sometimes we allow things to get in the way of our journey with Christ. People, material objects, vices, places, situations, they all can create a blurred vision of the path that leads us home to him. That is when we need to stop, clear our vision, and get back on track.

 

I am at one of those times in my life where I need to clear my vision. I need to get away from the world as best as I can, and clean my inner windshield. A friend and Catholic brother of mine introduced me to a program, “Freedom Through Christ” created by a Catholic Deliverance Ministry.

I saw the changes that he went through and although I know that I may not experience those same changes, I know that changes need to be taken in order for me to continue my journey with Christ. This is my time to reconnect with God in a deeper more intimate way than what I’ve ever done before.

Tomorrow July 16, 2020, I begin my retreat. I will be off the grid per se for at least 30 days, maybe more, I have no idea how this will go or where God will lead me during this time.

I’d like to ask you all to pray for me during this time. Pray that God will deliver me from whatever it is that is holding me back. Pray that his will be done in my life. I will pray for all of you and your intentions during this time and when I return, I pray that I am a better man than who I am today.

Thank you, God bless you, Buen Camino, and I’ll see you all later.

What Have We Learned So Far?

We are now weeks into this epidemic and what have we learned from all of what’s going on with the coronavirus in the United States?

We’ve learned that when push comes to shove, Americans are still strong. Our hospitals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and rescue personnel are placing themselves in harms way for the health and safety of their communities first. They deserve our thanks and prayers for their health, safety, and for them to continue their work.

We should also thank and pray for our truckers who are working to bring supplies to those in need. Thank and pray for the American worker, who’s job has been deemed “essential” and are still doing their part to keep the country going.

Pray for and look after those who’ve lost their jobs and businesses. During times like these, stress, anxiety, and depression can hit home hard leading to drinking, drug use, and sometimes suicide. Be kind to and look out for each other. Help your fellow man.

The biggest thing that I’ve noticed throughout this whole ordeal, in my opinion, is the fact that we to place God back in the center of our lives. I honestly feel that he’s been warning us over these past few decades and instead of getting better, as a whole, we are getting worse. Disobeying his laws, making a mockery out of the sacrament of marriage, the continued murdering of the unborn, and countless other acts that snub our noses at God. God is a loving God, but he is also a just God.

What have I learned about myself during this time? A lot! I’ve noticed where the lack of God is in my life. I’ve learned that although I’ve come to grips with certain areas in my life, more work is needed to attain the peace that I’ve desperately searched for. Day by day and with the grace of God, I will achieve my goals too.

God bless you all, be safe, and Buen Camino.

Negative Influences

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This is the day. This is the day that I say “NO” to negativity! This is the day that I stop falling for the nonsense that enters into my life. This is the day that I stand by Jesus Christ and ask him to help me be a better man.

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This journey with Christ has not been an easy one but then again, nobody ever said it would be. As a matter of fact, some of the most influential people that I have met so far in my journey with Christ have told me how hard it is and how much harder it will get for me. One of my earlier spiritual directors told me, “The closer you get to God, the harder Satan will try to trip you up.” Some days the devil can’t trip me up for nothing, and others days, it’s not even a challenge for him. So what is a person to do?

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Ugh. There he goes again

There are some people in my life who I dearly love but at times, they can be a negative influence on me. I fall into their trap and end up acting the fool. I know the problems that have been plaguing me lately. Listening to gossip or doing it myself, feeding into negative actions such as cursing and being inconsiderate towards others feelings or being spurned onto these actions by friends and family. It’s as though I can hear my guardian angel say, “Hey look out there’s a ….. never mind, too late” and I fall again. This is the day that it ends. As my bride likes to say, “one can not walk with the Lord while holding hands with the devil.”

 

sin kills

Sin kills. When we give into what the devil is feeding us, we die. Sin kills, plain and simple. Have you ever payed attention to your sinful patterns? One little venial sin here, another one there, and another and another and another until there is this big pile of venial sins. When there is no more room for venial sins we end up giving into mortal sins, sins that separate us from or push us away from Christ. The more we give into venial sin, the easier it is to fall into the trap of mortal sin. Sin is the thing that keeps me away from the peace, the peace of Christ that I am looking for. That quiet, peace. Only through the grace of God will I be able to turn over a new leaf. And although I have calmed down quite a bit compared to my old self, that “old self” likes to try and sneak in from time to time to cause havoc.

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I want that peace of Christ and I want it now. In a world full of noise, sometimes noise that I create myself, I want peace. I’m tired of the negativity. It’s like carrying a heavy load and I don’t want to carry it any longer. So, to my family & friends who are having issues in their lives, I’m sorry you are going through what you are going through and I pray that you get through it soon, but your negativity is not helping me so I will take a step back, I will pray for you, and I will be there when you need to talk. If I want to find peace in myself, I need to look for it through and with Christ. You are always welcomed to join us.

 

 

 

 

One Size Does Not Fit All

 

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One Size Does Not Fit All

One of my favorite experiences along my journey with Christ so far has been attending a men’s retreat. The funny part of it all is that “retreats” are also a pet peeve of mine when it comes to our Catholic Faith. Let me explain why.

My first men’s retreat was Into the Wild, a retreat put on by The King’s Men (TKM); a Catholic men’s lay apostolate created in PA. I absolutely loved it! It was rough, manly, and rugged. It was Christ centered and it revolved around male spirituality and the lack of it in the Church today. When the time came that Into the Wild would be holding a retreat near my neck of the woods, I invited a few men from our local TKM group to attend. I showed them the video explaining what Into the Wild was and they said yes.

When it was all said and done, a couple of the men who had been to other retreats before didn’t care for Into the Wild and a few who had never been to a retreat loved it.  When I asked the men who didn’t enjoy why they didn’t enjoy, they told me why and I said, “Cool. I understand” and I thanked them for joining me during that weekend.

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I’ve been approached to attend other retreats and when I respectfully decline, I am looked upon as though I am lacking in spirituality and in some cases, I have even been told that, just because I declined to attend. I can appreciate the zeal that these individuals have for the retreat that they are trying to promote but to demean a person because they don’t want to attend is not Christian at all.

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Retreats are a great tool that we can use in our walk with Christ but they are by no means the “be all end all” of a Catholics spiritual life. They are a tool and should be used just as that, kind of like a walking stick.

A walking stick can help lift you up when you fall, it can help you to keep your balance, it can help you climb those hard paths, and it can be used to rest on when you need a break.

walking stick

When it comes to retreats, one size does not fit all and if you are involved in planning or running retreats, here are a few things to remember:

  • Retreats aren’t for everyone. Just because a person doesn’t want to attend a retreat does not mean they are lacking in their spirituality.
  • Don’t Be A PUSHER! It is great to be excited about your retreat but don’t push it on people. Invite them and be ready to answer questions they may have about the retreat.
  • Don’t be secretive. There are a few retreats who would rather not tell you what goes on at their retreat and will use terms like “you have to live it” or “I can’t tell you about it.” You can sell a product easier when you are able to list all the highlights about it. The more questions you answer the better the chance that someone will take interest in attending.
  • Be helpful and attentive to the needs of the individual during the retreat. Be observant of what is going on with each individual and if they need time away for reflection or a break from activities, don’t force them to adhere to the schedule. They are on a spiritual retreat that works on Gods time, not yours.

So the next time you are asked to go on a retreat or you are the person doing the asking, I pray that it is a positive experience.

A Time For Healing. A Time For Action.

Yesterday my fellow brother candidates and I were installed in the Ministry of the Lectorate. It was another great day and another accomplishment on our journey towards the Holy Order of Deacon.

As we sat and listened to a Bishop Cantú’s homily, he reminded us that we are to go out and “profess the word of God” and how we need to do so, not only by words but through our actions. Our lives should reflect the word of God in everything we say and do, in every aspect of our lives, at home, at work and in our communities. This isn’t just a good reminder for us deacon candidates but for everyone especially during this dark time of the Church.

This is a time where we need to step up and lead the Church back into the light, to encourage others not to despair and to be that light of Christ for others to see the path that leads back to Jesus Christ and His Church. This is not a time to sit back and ignore what happened, nor is it a time to remain in despair because of the horrific actions that happened at the hands of a few. I am not diminishing the events that took place. Even if it was one person who committed these acts, that is one too many. It is time to start the healing process.

Let us pray for those who were victimized, that God will heal them. Let us pray for those who committed these atrocities, that they will ask for forgiveness and atone for their sins. And finally, let us pray for our Church, that during these dark times people will turn to Jesus and his Church instead of turning away because of what the world says. The voice of a God speaks louder than the voice of man.