Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Send Your Rain/Reign

Rain rain go away,

Come again another day.

Little Johnny wants to play;

Rain, rain, go to Spain,

Never show your face again!

This is a popular nursery rhyme. This is the sentiment of many people right now in Northern California, as we have been pummeled by day after day of rain for about a week. It seems we have already forgotten that only a few weeks ago, the government was talking about, and instituting, water rationing because of the lack of rain. We were and still are in a drought. We need the rain.

I think it is no coincidence that we use the homonyms Reign and Rain when we talk about God. There are many songs that speak of God sending his rain as well as his reign. When our lives and souls become dry, we pray for God to shower us with the rain of his love and mercy. We beg for the Waters of Life reign over us.

"O God, you are my God, I seek you,

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." - Psalm 63:1

God lovingly complies and sends us his grace and blessings. Careful what you wish for, as the old adage goes. Living in the rain/reign of God is not always easy. There is a cost. Letting go of our desert ways and clinging to flow of the waters of our baptism brings challenges of dying to ourself. Sometimes there is a fear of drowning in the flood. Even with the promises of new life, we are afraid to die and rise to that new life.

Reign, Reign come our way

We need your grace this day

We kneel down and pray;

Reign, Reign! In you we trust,

Let your face shine on us!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nothing New

Now, I know that my last blog entry was not some drastically new idea, but now I know where it was probably planted in me. Check out Philippians 1:21-26

Philippians 1:21-26

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Reaching for Heaven, Clinging to Earth

Do you ever have visions of your death? I am not trying to be morbid, I just sometimes think about dying. A lot of times it is while I am driving (What if I get into a car crash?) or traveling (What if my plane crashes on that trip without my family?). Sometimes I wonder if it will be a "good" death. Will I get killed helping someone else? Will I be martyred someday for standing up for the Truth. Will it be a stupid death like slipping on my dog's pee on the tile and cracking my head open. These thoughts lead me to think of Heaven (not so much the dog pee, but the other stuff). What will it be like? On some days I think I am sooooo ready to leave this world and move on to eternity. I realize in my heart that this world is not my home, it is just the place I live. I think my soul is sometimes homesick.

Then I think of my wife and kids. I suddenly feel selfish or sad or scared. How could I leave them? Yes, I am hear to prepare for eternity with God, but I am also tasked with making sure that they join me. I am not done yet. I love them too much and pray for as much time with them as I can get. I want to grow old with my wife. I want to watch my kids achievements and discoveries while being a safety net for them when they fall.

This life may be temporary, but it is filled with so many blessings and beauties. Sure, life can also be filled with suffering and sadness. We sometimes have to say goodbye to loved ones before we are ready, but that is really just our soul reaching for Heaven as we cling to Earth.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vows and haircuts

Wow, what a year 2008 has been. I have been busy to say the least. I really had to throw myself into my work this past year, but I am now taking a much needed break. You know it is a good vacation when you lose track of what day it is.

Many people have been asking what happened to my hair? Did I lose a bet? Of course, I have been so remiss in keeping this blog that most of my readers (all 5 of them) may not have even seen my long hair and my new do.

I had not cut my hair for over 2 years, but I had a reason.

I was unemployed for 12 months (2 - 6 month periods) over 2 years in 2004-2006. I have now been with Digidesign for over 2 years. I had started there as a contractor and when I was offered regular, full-time position, I was also assigned to manage my first Pro Tools project (Digidesign's flagship product). I was honored and humbled that I was offered this project so quickly. I decided to offer up a this program to God. I decided to take a Nazarite vow. Little did I know that this program would evolve into the biggest release of Pro Tools ever and take 2 years. What a ride, and what a product. I am really proud of the work that our team did. It also is great to know that this product will be used to glorify God in the Christian music recordings that will be made with it.

Vows and promises are important. They help define who we are. My wedding vows, for example, define me as my wife's spouse for life. God exemplifies this in the covenants he has made with us. This past Sunday, we heard of the covenant with Abram/Abraham Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3) Whenever we see a rainbow we are reminded of God's covenant with Noah (Gn 9: 9-17. We recall our baptismal promises when we recite the Creed. At every Mass, we receive and take part in God's everlasting covenant with us in the Eucharist. Our faithfulness will never match that of our heavenly Father's, but I hope in some small way, I was able to honor Him in my work.

May God bless you and yours in this new year.

Grace and peace,


Thursday, March 13, 2008


I recently have had the honor of being introduced to the thoughts of a man with great perspective, Professor Randy Pausch. Prof. Pausch is best known for his Last Lecture, which he gave about achieving childhood dreams. He has even appeared on Oprah where he gave a condensed version of the lecture. So what has this got to do with time? Prof. Pausch has terminal pancreatic cancer and has been told that he will not be alive much longer. This makes his talk on time management all the more gripping.

I do not know Prof. Pausch (although my manager took a class from him), but his words have definitely touched my life. He has made me stop and think about how I spend my time and what is important to me. He has also reminded me that you are never to old to work on achieving your dreams. It is this that has reminded me that you have to make time for the things that are important to you. This blog is an important stepping stone to one of my dreams, so I am going to make time for it.

I have also been thinking about Time and God. During this time of Lent, I have been thinking a little more than usual about the person of Jesus and the time that he spent on earth. God, who is without beginning or end, chose to create time and step into it as a human being. He not only humbled himself in becoming one of us, but he did so at a time when life was really hard. Why choose to be human when there was no indoor plumbing? Why come under the oppression of Rome? Why at a time with no mass media?

I can't say that I can answer these questions, but I believe it probably has to do with faith, hope, and love. Jesus taught us about trust. Jesus taught us about sharing peace and bring healing. Jesus taught us about a personal encounter with our Creator. Our modern technology and conveniences are wonderful, but I think they sometimes get in the way of listen to God.

He also gave us a few good lessons about another aspect of time - patience. If you actually have been checking this blog on a somewhat regular basis. Thank you for your patience. It is very biblical.

This past Sunday we heard the familiar, yet still glorious, story of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45). What a miracle! What a promise! What a gift of hope! Yet my pastor pointed out something I never really pondered before - the waiting. Jesus decided to keep Mary and Martha waiting because he still had work to do and "remained for two days in the place where he was." He knew when the proper time to go to Bethany would be. He knew his priorities and showed that with patience and faith that waiting on God is in our best interest. There is a time for immediate action and there is a time to wait in prayer and let God work his wonders.

So make the most of the time you have with your loved ones, you never know when you will be called home. Why spend your life on anything less than the gifts and desires God instilled in us. It is never too late to dust off those childhood dreams and re-prioritize our lives around what is truly important. Thanks be to God!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Church and State

So, I continue to be dismal at updating my blog. I really can't wait till I get a new lap top. That would enable me to write during my commute.

Anyway, it has been an eventful week. Election time is always an emotional and intellectual stimulant. This was a pivotal election. Unity has been a big issue in our country for quite some time. Remember 2000? Sure we united over 9/11. It is easy to unite in a common anger/grief during a time of tragedy. Anger is a better uniter than grief, just look at Katrina. I recently saw a bumper sticker that read "We are definitely not united and most of y'all are sitting". The truth of this statement brought many thoughts to my head. Are we sitting in apathy, are we sitting in protest, are we "sitting on the fence", or are we just struggling to get by and trying to keep up with this crazy world is just too much? To steal a defense from a lawyer friend, "I am just doing the best I can."

Something hit me on election night, when my son asked me who I voted for in one of the "lesser" California races. I could not remember the name of the candidate I voted for just an hour before. With so many different government positions to fill, I did not have time (or the desire) to investigate the candidates enough to make my choice. So in some cases, I gave my vote away by going with a recommendation. In other cases, I gave my vote away by just confirming judges that I knew nothing about. In still other cases, I gave my vote away, by not voting for any candidate. Now this is not to say, I gave everything away. I knew exactly who I wanted as Governor, and I did research the propositions (some more than others). These were the reasons I voted, but how much of this countries leadership and direction is determined by people voting for someone or something that they know nothing about. That can be as bad as not voting at all. I think that is why campaigns hit us so hard with ads and mailings and recorded phone calls. I had Arnold, Bill, and Al all call me in one night (I figure since they know my home phone number we are on a first name basis). They hoped that we would remember just enough to vote the way they wanted us to, based on hearsay.

All this only related to what I really want to write about. I want to write about how we seem to separate Church and State in our personal political lives, just like we do in our business lives. A lot has been written about the politics of Evangelical Christians. I think this has had a negative impact on the views of Catholic Christians. I think Catholics are afraid to stand up for our beliefs because we don't want to be associated with the "religious right". Catholics are generally more low key. I could argue this is really because a lot of Catholics are struggling with their faith and don't know if they want to be associated with their religion at all, but that is another blog entry (State of the Church?).

The problem with the "religious right" is that they are focused on the wrong issues. They have been drawn into the areas that divide our country the most and have taken the stance that God is on their side, so vote for this candidate or this issue. I don't believe they are necessarily evil hypocrites, and I do believe they are trying to defend against real issues. They are just not the core issues. We have all lost sight of God's will, especially when it comes to politics.

So what is God's will? I would start with these two principles:

1) I believe the primary will of God is His command to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself(Mark 12:29-31). Another way to look at this is Micah 6:8
2) Our primary social charge is to take care of those in need (Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and James 1:26-27)

We have forgotten these principals. This is not to say the issues of Abortion and "Protecting" Marriage and the war in Iraq are not important. I believe we are approaching them wrongly. We have forgotten the poor, the fatherless, and the widow. Some have begun to notice this and remind us, even in the "religious right".

I believe until Catholics reconcile our crisis of Faith and stand up for the forgotten as Jesus taught us by his actions, we will continue to let this great nation become more divided or maybe even worse become so luke warm that we will crumble in apathy. May God place conviction and compassion in our hearts and mend our nation.

Grace and peace to you all.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How Great is Our God

Wow! Gina, Christian and I just got back from Joyfest at Great America (local theme park). Gina and I have been going to this day of Christian music together for years. Chris Tomlin was the headliner and his set was the most amazing concert experience I think I have ever had. I have been to a lot of concerts. I have had a lot of "worship" experiences. I was blown away by this night. It all began with one of the few covers that Chris sings. It was very cool that this prominent worship leader, who has written more songs that are used in worship than I can count, started off with our friend's song "Your Grace Is Enough". Although I generally prefer Matt's version of the song, this rocked. I was blown away with the thought that here were thousands of people, most of whom not only don't identify with the Catholic faith but might even have some animosity towards the Catholic Church, singing a song by a Catholic artist - loudly! Praising God through the words and music of an awesome, loving, faithful Catholic. God's Grace is indeed enough. Now Matt Maher would be the first to say that he hates the walls of misunderstanding and bickering that divide God's people (so do I) and I was honored to part of this event that blew all that away and allowed us to worship the Almighty God as one Church for a couple of hours. Thank you, Matt, for the song. Thank you, Chris, for sharing it with even more people and leading us in WORSHIP instead of performing a concert.
It was a concert for God, and we were all the performers. This was made clear from the beginning when the screen used to project the lyrics for every song said just that. Chris Tomlin's music is such a gift to us, as is Matt's. It is so singable and approachable. He sang a couple of songs from his new album that I had never heard before but I was singing along with him instantly. I hope that I am able to sing tomorrow at Mass, I was singing so loudly. I couldn't help myself. How great is our God!