Through Good Times and Bad

As a former youth minister, I remember how exciting Steubenville Youth Conferences were. Thousands of passionate people, on fire for God, devoting an entire weekend to worshipping the Lord and coming to know Him better. That is powerful stuff!

Six-Pack Jesus Loves You

As a high schooler, I was a scrawny, ghost-white toothpick with very little strength but a lot of stamina. (Oh, wait . . . I'm still like that.) I loved to play sports and I certainly had the genes for it. Unfortunately, my build made it easy for the opposing team to crack me in half before the referee had any time to notice what happened. Good thing I was fast.

Recalculating… Life

It's fair to say that my driving is always an adventure full of surprises, disappointments, and apologies to my passengers.

Whether you're directionally challenged like me or not, life is pretty tough to navigate. Everyone has moments where we are unsure of who we are, where we're headed, and if there is a voice that we can trust to get us there. Even prayer can be frustrating as we go through different periods where God may seem close or distant, loud or silent.

Living Forgiveness

Perhaps the toughest part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. This Lent, I've made specific efforts to forgive myself for past wrongdoings. I've reflected on what lead me to those sins or mistakes. I've confessed them and have felt Jesus take them off of my shoulders. The freedom that comes with Jesus' forgiveness is life-changing. But we have to let it change our lives. We have to accept that He forgives us. He doesn't hold a grudge, so who are we to hold one?

Where Have You Been?

We, like the Samaritan woman, continually ask God, 'Where have you been?' or 'Where were you?' when relationships or life don't go the way we planned.

The thing is God never asks us, 'Where have you been' because He knows where we've been. He knows the websites, the parties, the rooms we have entered, and the bottles we have opened to satisfy our thirst. He knows the relationships we have been in and the lines we have crossed emotionally, physically, and sexually. And yet, He sits at the wall of the well waiting for us to discover Him and accept His mercy and love.

You’re Kind of a Big Deal

Think about the coolest thing you've ever made and how excited you were to show it to your friends and family. You didn't find your best creation to be boring, stupid, and ugly. If you had designed the iphone 5, you'd be pretty stoked to show the whole world your handiwork.

Now imagine you had the power to create a person who could think and feel . . . and possibly love you back. I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty obsessed with my person.

Give Me More

So often I grasp for more and more. Things are good but I want them to be better. I have so much . . . why do I always want more?

This week has taught me to slow down and receive what God is giving me, and not complain that I want more or less. He knows what I can and can't handle today. And He won't give me more than I can handle – with His grace.

You see, more isn't always better. I used to always focus on achieving, but now I want to focus on receiving. Our Lord is the Giver of all good gifts.

Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling

The man in my life is Jesus. On a scale of 12 to 89 He weighs in at about a million. Some girls and Tumblr accounts, I'm not naming names here, think Mr. R. Gosling is the epitome of the male gender.

Just look at this face. But wait another 200 words before you agree because I'm about to do a Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling throwdown.

Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling

The man in my life is Jesus. On a scale of 12 to 89 He weighs in at about a million. Some girls and Tumblr accounts, I'm not naming names here, think Mr. R. Gosling is the epitome of the male gender.

Just look at this face. But wait another 200 words before you agree because I'm about to do a Jesus vs. Ryan Gosling throwdown.

I Have Everything I Need

It's not that shopping is bad. Sales are one of the ways God loves me. I just have to be careful to use the money I have wisely. Do I really need that pair of heels in the same color I already own? Or do I need that throw pillow that spends more time being thrown to the floor than it does on my bed? Probs not.

The truth is that buying more 'things' is so silly in the grand scheme of life.

I Have Everything I Need

It's not that shopping is bad. Sales are one of the ways God loves me. I just have to be careful to use the money I have wisely. Do I really need that pair of heels in the same color I already own? Or do I need that throw pillow that spends more time being thrown to the floor than it does on my bed? Probs not.

The truth is that buying more 'things' is so silly in the grand scheme of life.

Hustle

I went to high school from 1994 to 1998, which makes me . . . well, old. During those four illustrious years, I met some cool people, got good grades, and pretty much stayed out of trouble.

Altogether, I'd say I lived a pretty good life in high school. But there's one thing I wish I had done more.

One thing I wish that I had taken seriously . . .

Hustle

I went to high school from 1994 to 1998, which makes me . . . well, old. During those four illustrious years, I met some cool people, got good grades, and pretty much stayed out of trouble.

Altogether, I'd say I lived a pretty good life in high school. But there's one thing I wish I had done more.

One thing I wish that I had taken seriously . . .

Do You Have Insecurities?

First of all, if you answered ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏyes' to the question posed in the title, you are not a bad person or a bad Christian. It's almost a rhetorical question seeing as most of us have little things here and there that we may be slightly insecure about.

I Am Not Leaving.

Then I thought, “This is for me.” Isn’t this what I long to hear from our Father in heaven “I will never leave you”? Don’t our hearts burn when we read the promise in scripture that God will be with us, He will never leave us, He will never forget us, He will never abandon us.

I Am Not Leaving.

Then I thought, “This is for me.” Isn’t this what I long to hear from our Father in heaven “I will never leave you”? Don’t our hearts burn when we read the promise in scripture that God will be with us, He will never leave us, He will never forget us, He will never abandon us.

My Youth Group is Boring

Step up and be a leader. It's easy to participate if the year's activities are planned out and all you have to do is show up. But do you have what it takes to work with the youth minister and other members to plan community service and prepare faith formation? It takes commitment and perseverance, especially if you know only a few people will be at meetings.

Embracing Poverty

As the new year began, I was still jobless and doubting that it was God's plan for me to make such a big move in just a few months. However, I went to daily Mass one day and found myself begging God to help me understand what He had planned for me. I remember praying over and over, 'Lord, give me the grace to follow you, even unto death.'

What Does Poverty Mean for Me?

St. Paul says in Ephesians 4:4, 'Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.' The reality is that for a lot of us the calling we have received requires us to have 'things' in order to carry out what God wants us to do and be who God has made us to be. It's different for everyone, because everyone has a different calling.

How to Have a Perfect Vacation

Vacation. A time to get away and relax on a beach somewhere . . . A time to be with family and reminisce about old memories while making new ones . . . A time to hang out with friends, walking up and down Main Street and eating pizza and ice cream til sundown.