About the Spirit

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This blog started out with "about me" in the title. My whole life has been "about me". I hope that the entries that I make will be about the Spirit and how He has changed my life because it has always been about Him and how He works through us.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What a week!

I'm reading a book titled "From Image to likeness" by William A. Simpson. The general theme of the book is that through our journey God is an image but as we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit we become a likeness to God. There's a chapter that deals with seeing God in our everyday lives. I surely have seen Him this week. I have a friend whose husband goes through dialysis treatment on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of every week. Well, I saw her yesterday in the patient waiting area and stopped to say hi. I knew something was bothering her as I asked how she was doing. Suddenly she grabbed and hugged me as she explained that her husband's cancer had returned. She broke down in tears as she told me that he had lost the use of his right leg. He was having an MRI done as she waited. I left her there after a few minutes and was leaving the hospital as I saw her husband in the x-ray waiting room, he was sleeping in his wheelchair. I stopped and put my hand on his shoulder, feeling his shoulder bone through his shirt. I just said hi and left. I went to St. Mary's Chapel to say a Prayer for this wonderful man and woman and you know I don't even know their names. As I sat in front of the Eucharist I remembered how I first met them over two years ago. She was taking him to his treatment on Thursday morning and I was in my coffee shop with "Swing" (WWII era) music going full blast out of the CD player. After she took her husband in she came out and told me that the music I was playing was his favorite. That afternoon I saw my brother Steve and asked if he would make copies of the CD and he took them home and brought them in the next day. I saw her the following Tuesday, gave her the CD and watched as tears welled up in her eyes. I never said much to her after that knowing that she had many things on her mind and everything revolved around her husband and I didn't want to appear like a pest. We just smiled as we saw each other every other morning. Well, today is Thursday the day of his treatment and what a wonderful day in turned out to be!
First I want you to know that I love the hospital where I work, some wonderful things occur there everyday. Today we had a blind person playing the piano and singing Christmas carols at the top of her voice. Someone opened the door to Dialysis so then patients could hear the music, I looked over and saw that it was the lady whose husband was sick. I walked over and asked how the MRI turned out. She looked at me with tears of relief as she told me that it wasn't as bad as they thought, the symptoms were brought on by a recent bout with the flu and the cancer hadn't returned. She hugged me then and thanked me. I went to Chapel today and thanked God for this wonderful job, for the wonderful people I get to know, for my family, and for my wife...all of which I surely do not deserve.
I could go on and on about the things that happened today and I think I'll add some more but I think its time for me to stop for now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Been Busy!

This is a very busy time for Mom and me with Christmas preparations at our Church and being busy at my coffee shop. The hospital had their Christmas party this week and I caught up in moment decided that I would stay and help. Well, just to let you all know that good things do happen to those that have good intentions, after the party began and the high school choir took their first break I heard a voice yelling "grandpa! grandpa!" I turned to look to see who it was and saw my number two granddaughter running towards me with her friends. Allison ( Allie Oopie) was in the choir and at her first chance came to say hi to me and to share a loving hug. The choir began to sing again and the Ooper and I traded smiles as she sang and I served coffee. I am truly Blessed and it is moments such as these that Jesus nudges me in the ribs just to let me know that he is always here. The love that I and a believe Allison felt for one another as we smiled is proof that Jesus shows his presence through Love. I think that I was being reminded that the Christmas Season is about the one true gift that God gave the world...His only Son!
So, slow down and remember to always look for those little "knowing" smiles" because that is Jesus' nudging you in the ribs...and heart.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Well, it's over...

After a pretty hectic day we arrived at the Va Hospital in the cities at about 2 pm. I waited around for just a few minutes then was taken into an office and asked a lot of questions and blood pressure was taken 155/77 pulse 98...thanks city traffic! Driving in the cities isn't like driving at all, its more like a competition on just how many people you can cut off at 70 miles per hour!
Anyway, after the questioning I sat around to about 3:30 (little over an hour) then taken into the operating room. Mom went with me and held a wonderful conversation with the doctor (a first year resident) as she (the doctor) was cutting into the back of my neck. It took a lot longer and was more complicated then I thought and lasted for over an hour. Another biopsy will be taken to find out it they got it all, if not then I'll have to go back and do it all over again.
I took today and tomorrow off from work, mainly because I have this huge bandage covering my neck and I can't take it off until tomorrow night. Plus, I'm in a little pain but it's not too bad. I hope this is the end off this...I don't want to go through this again!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I'm sorry I haven't been posting lately, it's been a very busy and very long week. Next Monday I go to the VA Hospital in the cities to have my skin cancer removed. No big deal, I was assured that it is a very common cancer and once removed won't come back. I took Tuesday off just in case I have a stiff neck or something so I'll be home all day Tuesday if anyone would like to call.
I have a new Hospice patient. He has throat cancer and is unable to talk. Well, I guess it's ok because I probably couldn't hear him anyway:) He's a destroyer sailor just like me. I printed a picture of his ship and took it to our last visit, he really enjoyed it.
I go on Retreat next weekend and will spend this week preparing myself Spiritually for my three days there. I've been going for the last twelve years and it is a wonderful experience. I would like to suggest that if you have a chance, go on a Retreat it will change your life.
As Mom wrote in her blog, we finished up on our Bible study Thursday afternoon. Just like our study last year, this was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed talking to other men about our journey, it was very enlightening. I guess what really stood out for me is the realization that not all Catholics are super critical of other Religions nor are they (most anyway) judgmental. Just like many in other Religions, most of us are just trying to find our way to Christ . The strange thing about this journey is that it isn't a "road trip" of self denial, although for some of us that have been "of this world" for most of our lives it is certainly that, but it can be a very rewarding very happy time . I guess for me, realizing that there is more to life then the horror, selfishness and the egoism of my former self was a wonderful awakening for me. I attribute this awakening to the Holy Spirit that, at a time when I knew I couldn't continue on my own, I asked (Prayed) would enter my life. He did, and I will never look at life the same way again.
I love you all, thanks for "hanging in there" for me. I truly don't deserve you and I Pray in thanksgiving for all of you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Boot camp picture

Just wanted you all to see what I looked like right after I graduated from Navy Bootcamp. I was only seventeen when this picture was taken and believe it or not I gained fifteen pounds while in bootcamp. Do any of my children or grand children look like me?

I don't remember any childhood pictures taken of me, this is the only one. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Foundation Talk 2007

Foundations Talk

I wanted share with you all just how powerful these past three years have been for me. I Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me in my attempt to explain my feelings.

So many things that have occurred to me and around me in the past that didn’t make sense, came to complete clarity during this course. To give you just one example:

I was a police officer in a major city on the east coast for fifteen years. I worked one of the deadliest, crime ridden ghetto districts on the eastern seaboard.

I must admit that during that time, when things really got rough, I questioned the existence of God. Being a cop I only saw people at their worse. Everyone was a crook until they proved otherwise.

I’ll never forget the case that turned it all around for me, the case that showed me that there indeed is a God but why He did what He did for me I didn’t and thought that I never would understand...

I was working the day shift on the 24th of December when I received a fire call. I knew the area where it was located and knew that it was a vacant house. I thought I would go there, direct traffic around the fire scene, write a small report, then go home and get ready for Christmas.

Things were going pretty much as I thought they would except for the size of the crowd. People and traffic were everywhere, all the streets were blocked in every direction. I still thought it would be a quick fire and everything would go back to normal.

I was standing near a fire truck when suddenly a shot rang out. All of us at that fire scene had been conditioned since the Baltimore Riots to do just two things at the sound of gunfire and that was to dive to the ground and Pray.

When I dove it was right into the gutter where the water was draining from the fire hoses. Firemen jumped off ladders, dove under fire trucks and hid in the burning house. After what seemed like an eternity, I could hear people screaming and looked up to see what was going on. I saw a large crowd standing on the corner and in their mist, lay a body on the ground.

I ran to the corner and found a very young male laying, unconscious, on the sidewalk. He was wearing a heavy jacket which kept me from seeing if there were any injuries. I unzipped the jacket, ripped open his shirt and found a small bullet hole right in the center of his chest. I had been a cop for a long time and knew what this meant but I wasn’t going to let this boy go without a fight...so I started CPR.

I, like everyone else, dislike cases where children are involved, but I really detested them because they tend stay on my mind for a long time.

Inside, I wasn’t just Praying to God, I was screaming at Him, “Why, why Lord did you do this to me? You know I can’t handle this sort of a case! Why didn’t You put someone here that can handle this...why me?!

Then my Prayers turned to: “Please help me get through this Lord, because I know that I can’t get through this alone.”

I continued CPR in the back of a squad car until we got to the hospital. The child was pronounced dead on arrival. I left the trauma room and walked around repeating that Prayer but now with a new twist: “If only You would have sent someone else to handle this maybe this child would have lived, but no You had to send me, half a basket case, to handle this, the most important thing a man can do, save a human life, and I failed.

I was in the waiting room trying to get information together for my report as I observed the boy’s father, who was in a state of shock, say mostly to himself: “What am I going to do with his bike, I just got him a bike for Christmas, what am I going to do with his bike?

I had to get away. I couldn’t handle anymore. I went into the men’s room and locked the door. I went to the sink and looked down at my hands they were covered with blood. I took a deep breath and looked in the mirror.

I didn’t recognize the man staring back at me. My uniform was caked with mud and dirt and I was soaked to the skin, I had lost my hat and eyes were bloodshot, I truly didn’t know me anymore.

I looked in that mirror and vowed to turn my life around, to start going to Church, and to try and make some sense out of what just happened.

I went to Church that Christmas morning and every Sunday after. I met a young Priest who helped me to understand that our God loves everyone, even a guy like me who not long before questioned the existence of our Savior.

Then one Saturday during this course I listened as Dr. Bobertz explained how Genesis 1.1 the creation, Genesis 6.5 the flood, Matthew 8.23 the calming of the sea, were all examples of God’s new beginning for mankind.

He explained that in these examples the water was Chaos and with Christ chaos can be calmed and there will be a new beginning for those who believed in Him.

I had tears in my eyes as I remembered that little boy and my awakening in that men’s room. Now I know what I was looking at in that mirror...it was pure chaos.

I went from chaos to a new beginning. I realize now that there was nothing I could have done for that little boy who died, so very long ago.

In 2001 one year before I retired I delivered a baby girl in the Stearns County jail. She had the cord wrapped so tight around her throat that she almost died. We untied the knot in the cord and she began to cry. I thanked God for letting me a part of her birth.

I believe that He was saying to me...”Forget all the tragedies that you have seen, and if you must remember your police years...remember this baby.”

I would like to close with a passage from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation, behold new things have come!”

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coffee Shop

I thought I'd write a few words about the coffee shop closing. Last year I was told by my boss that if we didn't show a profit by the end of October of this year that it was pretty certain that we are going to close. I guess that we haven't shown a profit since we've opened. This is not unusual. The cafeteria never shows a profit and they throw more food away everyday then they sell. In our case however, we are not a necessity and because of the "supposedly" financial problems that the hospital is having right now they can't afford to subsidize us as they have in the past.

There is good news. I guess everyone in the hospital has heard about our possible closing and business has doubled this past week. (I just love the people here) If this keeps up I think we'll stay open. Also, Jeanne (Mom, Aunt, Grandma) tells me that the nurses are thinking of starting a petition if closing is imminent. Plus, I spoke to someone who is in the know and was told that the closing of my shop has never been discussed at any of the finance meetings.

I'll keep you all posted on what's going to happen. I love it here and it will break my heart to have to leave. My boss told me that she will hire me in the kitchen but I don't know what I'd be doing. She stated that I could wash pots. I don't know if I'll do that. I love working with people and don't want to spend my time in the kitchen away from everyone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Like a Seed...

Like a seed in the cold, frozen
Like a winter tree reaching to the

So desolate, so lonely, so empty, no
Oh, the sorrow, the pain, the suffering,

You come like a whisper, a warming of
The buds burst forth, a dawning, a new

A break in the ground ,dare I look, dare I
Leaves so tender, trust in Your warmth, or die

The warmth, Your warmth! Oh, Your infinite
How could you care so much to Forgive me my

Like a flower full bloom, I was reaching
All the years searching and I find You

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the past two weeks

The neat thing about this blog is I can write anything I want and hope that everyone that reads it will understand.

I've had a real very emotional and heart-wrenching two weeks. First, I was turned down from the Deaconate Program by a very uncaring and dispassionate Archbishop. I'm not going into specifics but lets just say I was almost in tears when I left his office. Second, I went to the VA Hospital in the cities and was told I have skin cancer. No big deal but lets say it put me back a little. Third, I just found out that they're planning to close the little coffee shop that I love to work at. And fourth and the most important...While I was visiting Chris I was made aware of the fact that I sent my girls, while they were very young, down to the grocery store to get me cigars while I laid on my butt at home. I don't remember sending them and I'm ashamed of myself. I remember when I was little and my dad sent me to the store then screamed at me if I didn't come back with what he wanted. I hated that experience and it stayed with me all these years. I can only hope that my girls don't feel the same way about me. As I wrote above I am ashamed of myself...my dad probably didn't know nor remember what he did to me. This is one time when I can say that that trait that I received from my dad, I'm not proud of.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Grief Retreat II

This is going to be the second and last segment of the Grief Retreat I attended. Just after lunch on that Saturday all the chidren were given shoeboxes that had been covered with white wrapping paper. The idea was this: to cut out pictures from magazines that reminded them of the person that died and paste the picture on the shoebox. The little guy that I was helping first cut a picture of a tractor and glued it in the upper right hand corner of the box. then he took a picture of a corn field and glued it next to the picture of the tractor. This went on with a picture of a farm, a vegetable garden and finally an apple pie.
He then drew a line from the tractor to the corn field then to the rest of the pictures then back to the tractor, drawing arrows through them all. He explained: My Mom first learned how to drive a tractor then she was allowed to plow the corn field. He explained all the pictures and how they related to the others.
He looked at me as he drew the last line back to the tractor and said "This line brings my Mom's life to full circle. She started out learning to drive a tractor and last Mother's Day she was accidently killed when her tractor accidently rode over her." He is eight years old.
It took a few minutes for me to get my voice back and I thanked him for sharing his thoughts of his Mom. I will never forget that weekend. Anyone that wants to sign up as a volunteer next year...let me know.

Saturday, October 6, 2007



I first met Elaine during my first week working in the coffee shop. She was in a wheelchair and had just finished a grueling 5 hours of dialysis. She could hardly hold her head up, she was drained of all her energy.

As I watched her, she started wheeling the chair in my direction. She was a little woman, white haired and pale, with a small frown on her face, the type of frown that comes from dealing with years of pain. I decided right then and there that she and I were going to be friends. For all I know, she was probably thinking the same about me.

She came up to the counter got out of her chair and asked for a cup to get herself some coffee. We started to talk. I think we were “feeling” each other out to find out what sort of person we were.

We became friends. She was coming for dialysis on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of every week which pretty much meant that she was housebound and couldn’t do any traveling.

Over the many months of our friendship I became very fond of Elaine and began bringing her coffee to her. I couldn’t bring myself to charge her, knowing that she (and I) looked forward to our meeting I wouldn’t spoil it by taking her money. She was a friend not a customer.

Almost a year in to our friendship she told me that when she was younger she played the piano at her church. Her community was the Tripolis Lutheran Church which only about five miles south of Kandiyohi where my church, St. Patrick’s is located. I had been in her church one year for a service celebrating Thanksgiving. She was very happy to hear this and I asked her if she would play the piano for us on her next visit. She promised that she would if she felt up to it.

On her next visit I anxiously waited for her to finish her treatment so she could play for us. She was pushed out of dialysis and she sat there with her head down, so weak she couldn’t hold it up. I poured her the usual half a cup of coffee and she couldn’t drink it. She told me that it gets like this sometimes, she got sick during treatment and couldn’t hold anything on her stomach. I was very concerned for her as she was being pushed to the elevator and I Prayed.

I know that we were brought together by the love of Christ, as Merton wrote: everyone is brought into our lives by the Spirit for a purpose. We may not know and we may not ever know why but sometimes He shows us His love through others and I think that is what I was experiencing, God’s love in the eyes of Elaine.

I waited for her at her next visit and found that she had been admitted to the hospital. I found out what room she was in, fixed her a cup of coffee, and went to her room. She was so happy to see me, I thought she was going to cry, I thought I was going to cry...

After a couple more days in the hospital she was allowed to go to a nursing home to recuperate before going home. I asked her how she liked the nursing home and she stated that it was alright but she had to get home because her husband was lonesome and needed her. Listening as she spoke of her husband, I realized that her statement could be turned around, she truly missed her husband and their home. She went home after a week.

On her next visit to dialysis, I was very busy which is unusual for that time of the day. Suddenly I heard someone playing the piano. It was a hymn, one that I have heard a thousand times and it was being played so well that it made me want to sing. I looked up and there was Elaine at the keyboard with a wonderful smile on her face, doing something that she loved to do, play her favorite music and she played it wonderfully!

Elaine has had her ups and downs over the past year, in and out of the hospital and nursing home. She took all of this with a smile and never complained. She just wanted to live a somewhat normal life with her husband and to be able to go to her little country Church and worship her God.

Once she told me that she really didn’t know how we became such good friends but she sure was glad we are friends because she cared a lot about me. I was thinking, I know how we became friends; because God brought us together to understand His love for us through each other.

One day as I was giving Elaine her coffee, she looked up at me, smiled and started singing. It was beautiful hymn. The years melted from her face as her voice traveled throughout the lower and first floor of the hospital. She was a wonderful singer. I can see her sitting at the piano in her Church playing and singing. It must have been a joy for everyone that heard her. As I watched her sing tears welled up in her eyes and I couldn’t focus either. I think that at that moment both of us knew who had brought us together.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Grief Retreat

This past Saturday I volunteered to help at a grief retreat which was held at St. Marys Church in Willmar. It was held for children from kidnergarten through the six grade that had lost relatives during the past year. It was a wonderful weekend. Just one example: As the day was starting a young lady who was a volunteer was asked if she would like to share her story as to why she became a volunteer (this was after we were all paired off with one volunteer per child). She said that when she was eight years old her dad died and she went to a grief retreat which really helped her in her grieving process. She decided then that when she grew up she was going to volunteer. As she was finishing her story and went to sit down, the little girl that she had been paired off with grabbed and hugged her to console her! What was that short Prayer of St. Francis? "Let me be an instument of Your peace and to console then be consoled" (something like that).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Your Love

I felt Your love
within me deep
but wanted no one
to know.

My friends would
not understand
the compassion
I dare not show.

It’s terrible to
hide who you are
share not the pain,
hide the scar.

I thought it would
be easy,
just hide the hurt
with a trip to the bar.

Years went by
You and the pain
were always there
Oh, God what am I to do?

I prayed that
little Prayer a lot
never thinking
I would hear from You.

I remember that
wonderful day
when I became
the man I am suppose to be.

I look in the bars
and see my
Could they be just like me?

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Just a young boy..."


A single shot in the dark rang out,
on that cold and dreary night;
Running ,screaming they began to shout
nothing but heartache, chaos and fright.

Feeling so lost in fear and pain,
alone in my despair;
There was no one but Satan there to reign
never thinking that You would be there.

A dying child I held with dread,
a small hole in his chest;
helplessness, grief and tears as I plead
please, please don’t put me through this test!

“Dear God, please help me” I cried aloud,
so insecure, so full of doubt;
I was no longer vain, I was no longer proud
we faced this alone, there was no way out.

He in my arms took his final breath,
so very small, an angelic face;
I looked into his eyes and saw only death
just a young boy...so full of Grace.

Suddenly I knew that You were there,
I heard but a whisper inside my heart;
where my feelings lay bare
as I stood there spent, unable to part.

“From earthly things he now will go,
no longer hurting, no longer in pain;
he’s with Me now and I love him so
through my Son’s salvation, heaven he will gain.”

In all this anguish, pain and fear,
into my heart You come, like a dove;
like a soft wind, the Spirit appear,
to show me the infinity of Your love.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I wanted Buvvers wife to know that he was more then a hospital assignment to me. He was a great friend. I planned on reading the letter below at his funeral but didn't have the opprtunity.

I met Buvver over eight months ago. It’s funny how God brings someone into your life just when you need them. I’m glad that He brought Buvver into mine. We became fast friends. I always enjoyed our time together. It was wonderful to see his face light up when I came to visit. He never complained about his illness although he was in severe pain most of the time.

Once, while he was a patient in a nursing home I came to visit while he was in pain and heavily sedated. He was moaning softly. I put a CD in his player and started his music. Suddenly he stopped moaning and began to hum along with the music. Our Lord was in that room with us that day I could feel His presence. He took the pain away from Buuver so that he could enjoy his music and He allowed me to be there to witness His healing. It was a very special moment in my life that I will never forget.

When I came to visit I had the privilege of listening to his stories about his family. He never talked about himself or his accomplishments. He only spoke of family. He was very proud of his Dad, his brothers and his children. As we talked I began to realize that his was the example that his family was following. It was because of his example that his family are who they are today.

As I wrote above, I’ve known Buuver for about eight months and he changed my life. It was a honor to have known him. He helped me more then I could ever help him.

I read somewhere that you are reconnected with those you love after you die and I believe it. If I am right then I’ll see you later Buuver!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Friday before Retreat 2006


I spent all morning while I was at work looking at the clock and couldn’t wait until I could leave and finally be on my way to pick up John and then to the Retreat house.

I felt guilty about this weekend because there are so many things happening. First, and foremost, Sawyer is getting Baptized and I really should be there for that. Plus, Danielle is getting her Masters in Nursing and what a proud moment for her and us. The third thing and a really important one, Jeanne is feeling sick and has to go to the clinic for tests. I guess when you start to get around our age you start to worry about aches and pains, wondering if it is a major illness.

Jeanne knows how important this weekend is for me and she insisted that I go to Retreat. I did feel guilty as she left to go for her tests while I waited for Augie to come and pick me up. All these things were going through my mind as I waited. I also knew that if I didn’t go then three guys who were counting on me to drive them to the Retreat Center weren’t going to be able to go. All three of these guys are sick and want to spend time alone with Christ. I couldn’t take that away from them so it was tough decision to make and I’m not sure I would have went if it were only me going but I couldn’t let these guys down.

Augie picked me up in his new six passenger van and we started on our trip to Sauk Rapids to pick up John and Harold. We started talking about church and all the problems we’re faced with from complacent to the down-right nasty individuals that are a part of our parish. Augie wasn’t the only one talking. I was doing my share of griping too. It really is hard to keep from saying anything when there are people that don’t want me to do the Rosary on Sunday before Mass. I feel that if they want to do the Rosary they certainly can, but when asked to do so turned me down flat, advising me that I should be looking for someone else, preferably a young person, to do it. I asked why it was my responsibility to find someone and was told that I think that I’m such a big person at the Church I should find someone. I just couldn’t understand that kind of reasoning. So, I vented to Augie thinking that maybe he might have an answer. Or, was that the reason I told Augie? Maybe, I was just my way of agreeing with him, that there really are some nasty people at our Church. When I “go there” I am reminded of the writings of Merton who wrote that we are all the Body of Christ with all our faults and limitations. I am reminded that without everyone of us there would be no Christ on earth. We through our Church are the body of Christ on earth. I can go on with the many gripes that we both had and talked about but I won’t because I’m ashamed of myself for falling into that pit of self pity. I am a better person than that. I Pray that our Lord will forgive me for my shortcomings.
Whenever I feel the urge to “vent” my feelings about any individual in my community I will think back to Holy Thursday.

I was reading Merton and came to the part where he writes that we are all a part the “universal” (Catholic) Church, that we all need each other to bring the love of Christ into this world. That night at Mass I watched as people of different ages, sex, nationalities and even political views went to the front of the Altar and kissed the Cross as it was being held by two altar servers (politically correct). I had tears as I watched people who could hardly walk bend down to kiss the foot of that Cross. I knew then what Merton was writing about. We are all so very different, we all think so differently, we all look so different but in Christ’ eyes we are all the same. He came here for our salvation, ALL of our salvation. No, I don’t always agree with some of the decisions made by others as I am sure they don’t agree with mine but we all have a right to make them be they right or wrong. We’re not here to judge one another but I know that I’ve been guilty of that not only in our Community but in my family as well. I certainly am not perfect but when I start to “vent” in the future I will remember that cross and all the people that came to it. I will also remember Calvary and all the people that let our Lord down, all those that judged Him, all those that abandoned Him and how utterly alone He was.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Dad

As most of you know I didn't have a very good relationship with my Dad during my teen years. I am not going to go into the specifics of our relationship but I guess any teenage boy can sit and write about all the "bad" things their Dads did to them. Lets just say I was a typical teenage boy.
After my Moms death and much Prayer I decided that I needed to make ammends to my Dad because I didn't know how long he would be around and I wanted him to know that I loved him. I wrote him a letter after Moms funeral and this is what he wrote me back:

Letter from my Dad
( date is unknown, but it was after the family re-union in 2000)

Just a few lines to thank you for the money you sent me and the card that I received from you telling me how proud you were of me and that made me the happiest man on earth. I am saving the card for the rest of my life and I would not take a million dollars for it. I am so proud of you that you are my son. I always proud and love you very much and you know how hard it is to raise 10 children. I want you to tell Jean that I am so happy that she my daughter in law and I love her very much.
I am not very good at letter writing and I hope you can read it.
I don’t know a lot about your family but tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren that I love all of them.

Well, I don’t know what else to say=Just to say that you made me a very happy Dad and very happy to have a son like you.

I love your family
Love your wife
And I love you with
All of heart.
Happy Dad

Needless to say, I cried when I first read this letter and now that he's gone I cry every time a read it...I am crying right now. I thank God for giving me the insight to write my Dad that final letter. I have his letter framed and in my den. And like he wrote "I will save it for the rest of my life and wouldn't take a million dollars for it".

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hospice Retreat

Last Thursday I spent the whole day attending a hospice retreat at the Holiday Inn in Willmar. It was a day of compassion and deep thought. Generally, it dealt with the care, needs and emotions of people that are in the last stages of life and their families. I won't give a full synopsis of the day but I leave you with this. One of the speakers Father Nick Mezacapa, an Episcopal Priest from Rochester Mn. said the following:

" Without Mortality there would be no need for forgiveness or
asking to be forgiven.
We would keep putting off forgiving those who wrong us
or asking to be forgiven for our wrongs...until the end of time."

What I believe he meant was, At the time of impending death most people wish to mend relationships which is the most important thing a person can do...to ask to be forgiven and to forgive those left behind...which is the most wonderful gift of all.

Old Draft that I forgot to post

As some of you know I'm a Hospice volunteer. I had a patient with the nickname of "Buvver". Buvver and I became very good friends for the ten months that I knew him. He was a very special person and I will miss him. I wrote a little message that I was going to read at his funeral but I did not get the opportunity. I thought I would share it with you:


I met Buuver over eight months ago. It’s funny how God brings someone into your life just when you need them. I’m glad that He brought Buuver into mine. We became fast friends. I always enjoyed our time together. It was wonderful to see his face light up when I came to visit. He never complained about his illness although he was in severe pain most of the time.

Once, while he was a patient in a nursing home I came to visit while he was in pain and heavily sedated. He was moaning softly. I put a CD in his player and started his music. Suddenly he stopped moaning and began to hum along with the music. Our Lord was in that room with us that day I could feel His presence. He took the pain away from Buuver so that he could enjoy his music and He allowed me to be there to witness His healing. It was a very special moment in my life that I will never forget.

When I came to visit I had the privilege of listening to his stories about his family. He never talked about himself or his accomplishments. He only spoke of family. He was very proud of his Dad, his brothers and his children. As we talked I began to realize that his was the example that his family was following. It was because of his example that his family are who they are today.

As I wrote above, I’ve known Buuver for about eight months and he changed my life. It was a honor to have known him. He helped me more then I could ever help him.

I read somewhere that you are reconnected with those you love after you die and I believe it. If I am right then I’ll see you later Buuver!

I sent a copy of the letter to Buvvers wife who called me the day that she got it. She was choking off tears as she thanked me. I feel very honored to have known the family and thank the Spirit for bringing us together.

Brand New

I'm brand new at this so I hope you all will be very patient with me. It took me half an hour to figure out how to put a picture on the blog site. I like that picture because it reminds me of all the good times I've had with the McArthur family. If things were fair my last name would have been changed to McArthur when Jeanne and I got married instead of the other way around because they really made me feel as one of the family.
I guess that you all know by the name of this blog that I will be writing about how the Spirit has made Himself known in my life. I hope I can explain myself properly because it means so much to me that you all understand how the Spirit has brought Joy into my life and how He has taken the pain away.
I will post experiences both from the past and present that I feel were and are Jesus reminding me that He has been and always will be a part of my life.
I hope you like it and that by reading this you will realize that He has been calling you too...