Monthly Archives: March 2012

Evolution of a Rose……………………………….

Some pictures from the rose bush in the garden at our mission house

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allow me to be sappy for just a moment. My girlfriend is like this rose. As wonderful and loving as she already is, she hasn’t fully bloomed yet, which means the best is yet to come. 🙂

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Desert Day, Crystal Rocks, & Kitty Cats

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Me and Senor Schlemann, one of our local friends

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scenery on the way to a prayer service

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the mountain at Estacion Marte, the one I wanted to conquer

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Luis’ praise & worship music turned into an impromptu guitar lesson for about 15 kids

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another look at the mountain i wanted to conquer. Oh yeah, on the left, the chapel at Estacion Marte. On the right, our dear old rickety grey missionary van

view from halfway up the mountain. even just halfway up, the van and chapel are barely discernible specks in the center of the picture

view from the very top of the mountain

another mountaintop view of beautiful desert scenery

view of the railroad track that passes through Estacion Marte, disappearing into the horizon

cheese!

God was trying to show me what book of the Bible to read from

my mission partner Luis

some cool crystal rocks I found up on the mountain

cute cat with purty eyes. Came across this senorita at one of the local tiendas in town

he’s the boss of the tienda, and protector of the old lady. quite a friendly fellow, I must say

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Este semana en fotografias

A picture tour of some of this past week’s activities

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Me and Benito, the sacristan at our local church parish, St. Francis of Assisi

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scenery on the way to rancho La Rosa

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courtyard and chapel at rancho La Rosa

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inside the chapel

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the reason I do what I do

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ashes to ashes, dust to dust

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apple empanada deliciousness

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fresh homemade flour tortillas, cooked by a mexican lady named Marta. yep, they’re legit

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St. Francis of Assisi church steeple

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General Cepeda’s local graveyard, the Panteon Santa Ana

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the graves here are either very colorful, very big, or both

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Cold Day in the Desert

Friday – 3/9/12 – 2:02pm – On a mountaintop in General Cepeda, Coahuila, Mexico

The moutain we’re on this week is the one right behind La Colonia, which is a neighborhood very close to our casa. In fact, this mountain is close enough that we can walk to it. It is the highest mountain in town, but don’t let that fool you. Climbing time to the top was 15 minutes max. Nonetheless, the view up here is gorgeous. From here we can even see the other mountaintop where we did a Desert Day during La Entrada (Intake) in February. It (the other mountain, not the one i’m on right now) is the mountain that’s right next to the farm that’s owned by the same lady who owns the Las Portales restaurant next to the church in town. Perfect spot to come and pray for Desert Day. Now that I think of it, this is my first “true” Desert Day for me and Luis since we arrived in Mexico over a month ago. It’s just the two of us today.

A few minutes ago as I was reading my Bible, I was at the beginning of the book of Judith. It starts off by saying how King Nebuchadnezzar wanted everyone in the land to basically say and act like “Hey dude, you’re the man and the best ever and so much so that we wanna pay you homage and worship you.” When they didn’t do that, he basically wiped out alot of them, and plundered and terrorized so as to strike fear in their hearts and force them to submit to him and worship him. And that story got me thinking about fear, both good and bad fear. King Nebuchadnezzar’s fear was the bad kind of fear. It’s the fear that makes you afraid, the fear that removes your free will, the fear that FORCES you to submit. Then I got to thinkin’ about the fear of God.

The fear of God, properly viewed, is a GOOD fear. The way I see it, it’s not a fear of death, revenge, or horrible suffering. It’s the fear of offending a love so great, that its’ a love completely unrivaled. THAT’S the kind of fear we should have towards God, and the fear that should be a guiding factor in our lives. It’s a fear that leads us to love, not despair.

We also had a great week this past week. Last Saturday for our free day, me and Luis decided to take a bus to and from Saltillo. We did it because A.) we wanted to learn how to get to and from Saltillo by bus, and B.) so we could walk around town a bit. Our handicapped friend Hugo whom we met in November 2009 on a short term mission trip, was not in his usual spot in front of the Cathedral and the Cathedral was closed. We checked out the market and the surrounding area for awhile before heading to the bus stop on the edge of town where we caught the bus back to General Cepeda. Don’t think we’ll be doing that every week though. Even taking the bus is an expense that really adds up. On Sunday we did morning Mass, and then went to La Puerta, our Sunday rancho visit. We’re gonna visit that rancho on the Sundays we don’t have communion services in other ranchos. The plan is that we’ll do some songs and prayer, lead a reflection on that Sunday’s reading, and close with some more prayer and song. We also continued to integrate more and more into our weekly schedule. We are now in full-swing with our door ministry, home visits, and rancho ministry. I think from here on out it’s just a matter of fine-tuning how we do things and figuring out the best way to minister to people. We’ve also been blessed to be able to go to Daily Mass during the week. This week we’ve also been participating in a series of talks given by the priest in preparation for a Lenten mission that we’ll be giving next week. All in all, we’re experiencing a good balance between busy-ness and rest, and I look forward to things getting better and better.

God Bless!

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Theology is the ultimate science

“The medieval idea about learning, that theology is the ultimate science and all the others are “ancillary” – in humble service – is, to me, absolutely correct. Every issue, no matter how secular it appears to be, has a sacred dimension. If you press anything far enough, you will come up against either the holy or the demonic. Our secular sciences of physics, sociology, psychology, and the rest stop short of theological categories, thus preserving their scientific “objectivity”, but also losing soul. Religious sensibility and soul are inseparable.”

an excerpt from a book I just finished reading, “Care of the Soul: A guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life”, by Thomas Moore

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More Mexican Missionary ‘Mazingness

Ok, so ‘Mazingness was just my silly effort at having an all “M” title. But, if you didn’t like that, hopefully you will enjoy my latest pics. God Bless! Please pray for me and my mission partner Luis!

missionary lunch of champions

beautiful mountain pass on our way to Allende

lick lick lick lick NOM!

me and simon-peter hammin it up

come holy spirit

the funny thing is that in real life i have chicken legs

what happens when a 30 year old bachelor/missionary tries to cook fried eggs

some faithful ladies at one of the rancho prayer meetings

my latest desert day spot

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Missionary Reflections and Tidbits

3-2-12 – Friday – 3:54pm – Desert Day – same location as last time, except just a bit downstream

Utterly peaceful. Gentle breeze. Babbling brook. Nice spot in the shade. Praise the Lord for this time of prayer and recollection. Alot has been going on the past few weeks. We finished up La Entrada (Intake) 2012 for the missionary families. Had a few hiccups along the way, including people getting sick and our shirts not being ready on time.

Allende mission trip was a huge success. Our Life In The Spirit Seminar and other ministries went very well. People received us with open arms. Living in community was a challenge and was starting to wear me down. Still have a ways to go before I can say I do a good job at living in community. But God didn’t give me more than I could handle. La Entrada ended at just the right time.

Me and Luis have our own place now. Bonding as a mission team and integrating ourselves into our weekly ministry schedule. Been able to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist alot. Helped some people during Door Ministry hours by buying/supplying meds, food, and praying with them. One home visit and one rancho visit so far. Lenten sacrifices of exercise and fasting going well. Start my spanish lessons with Profe this coming Tuesday. Been blessed to be able to keep in touch with my girlfriend and parents. The Lord is really blessing us here……………

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