Risk it all and Follow Jesus

06-30-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This week’s Gospel reading wraps up with Jesus saying, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

That is a heavy statement. It implies quite a risk. You could lose everything you had yesterday if you go to work for Him today. He is asking us to go “all in” on Him.

Let’s take a moment to ponder “everything.” It includes our profession, our retirement account, our check book, our reputation, our health, our hurts, our hopes, our families, our security, our pride, and so much more.

Can we risk it all and follow Jesus Christ’s plan for us... completely?

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A Faith that took Jesus at His Word

06-23-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Some things are up for debate. Other things are not up for debate.

A few things that are no longer up for debate: the earth is round, humans need water to survive, and molten lava is unhealthy when consumed.

A few things you can debate: the best fans in the NFL, the best flavor in the world, and why we live where it is over 100 degrees for such a high percentage of the year. (I’d argue Green Bay Packer fans, gooey chocolate chip cookies, and we are all crazy.)

There is something else that isn’t up for debate on this Corpus Christi Sunday: the Catholic Church didn’t make up the whole thing about the Eucharist actually being the Body and Blood more than three centuries after Christ’s death.

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The Holy Spirit

06-16-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

The sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of John contains an interesting late slice of dialogue. Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.”

He is holding things back from His disciples, but only until they are ready for it.

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."

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Faith and Peace

06-09-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I was speaking with a self-described hoarder recently. She said she wants to get rid of stuff, but then the thoughts of “what if” start flooding her mind. When she moved into her last home, it came with several appliances. She now owned two microwaves and two range ovens. Instead of selling or donating one of each, she kept the extras in her garage in case the other one broke down. This idea that she might need something someday has spread to every corridor of her life and every room in her home.

She finally looked at me and said, “I think I just suffer from a lack of faith.”

The great thing about a lack of faith is how easy it is to diagnose. The exhibiting symptom of a faith deficiency is a lack of peace. Jesus longs for us to have faith so we can know peace.

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For what would you be willing to die?

06-02-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

It’s official: I’ve gone viral. Unfortunately, I don’t mean I’ve created some internet content that is making me boatloads of money because it is so popular. I’m talking about “get me antibiotics, spray me down with Lysol, and wear a face mask” viral. As a result, I’m writing this from my home in a room where I’ve been quarantined for the past three days.

There are positives and negatives to most things in life. Let’s start with the negatives: When I get sick, I don’t go halfway. I will spare you the details, but I’ll just say I look like there should be plastic sheeting on every wall and my dirty dishes should be incinerated. Illness that involves coughing, violent sneezing, and more makes sleep next to impossible. I like sleep. I miss sleep.

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God Has You

05-26-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

As I write this week’s column, everything that has been kept in the parish hall is being moved to other areas. Most of it is being taken to the Faith Formation building found just east of the preschool playground and southwest from the church. It is a building most parishioners don’t even know exists (as it is a bit harder to get to), but it will be used extensively during construction.

By the time you read this, I expect there will be unattractive fencing surrounding the hall and interior demo will be underway.

I remember when the church was recently closed for its remodel. As it began, it felt like it would take forever. The Our Lady of Joy campus wasn’t as beautiful and every parishioner had to make the best of it.

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Love as He Did

05-19-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In John 13, Jesus talks about love. This probably doesn’t come as a shock. (He tended to do that quite a bit.) Yet, I think this Scripture might be worth a moment of deeper reflection.

Judas had just left Jesus’ company to betray Him. And Jesus immediately teaching His remaining disciples about love!

Jesus obviously knew what Judas was up to and what fate awaited them both as He said, “I will be with you a little while longer.”

I find it astonishing how easily I get thrown off mission when life throws a few hurtful words or actions my way. I seem to get stuck in the hurt like quicksand as I let it slowly consume me.

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He has a purpose for you

05-12-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I have some kind people who occasionally use the email at the bottom of this column to write in and say very affirming words about the things I’m inspired to write. (As I have a “puppy dog disposition,” it always means a lot to me.) Yet, in God’s monumental effort to get me to heaven, He sees fit to humble me every few months.

During this past year, I wrote a challenging article that some found a bit harsh. It was accidentally printed a second week in a row. I was mortified and fearful someone might’ve thought I did it intentionally.

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Follow in the Footsteps of the Saints

05-05-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Let’s need to revisit the fifth chapter of Acts. Around verse 27, the apostles are dragged before the high priest for preaching in the name of Jesus.

"We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name?”

I can’t help but think of how I talk to my toddler. "I asked you repeatedly, did I not, to stop throwing your sippy cup when the milk is gone?” (She resembles a hard drinker in a pub who smashes her pint glass in the fireplace after chugging it in eight seconds.)

It is a Biblical slap on the hand and Peter isn’t having it.

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The Light of the World

04-28-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

There are so many impressive accomplishments in our world. Jadav Payeng planted a 1360 acre forest over the course of a few decades after he saw the local wildlife losing their habitat. Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the choppy waters of the English Channel after being told a woman couldn’t survive the harsh conditions. Hiram Revels became America’s first African American Senator. He was from Mississippi and the year was 1870.

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The True Beauty of Easter

04-21-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Easter represents several things. Many people can finally go back to whatever they gave up for lent, provided it isn’t harmful to their souls. (Drink that coffee! Eat that chocolate!) Families often gather from near and far. Parents snap pictures as adorable children search for eggs. All these things are beautiful, but they don’t begin to describe Easter’s true beauty.

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Talk about the Popes

04-14-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Catholics seem to talk about Popes like other people talk about athletes...

“Sure, John XXIII was fine, but I prefer John Paul II.”

“John Paul I had so much unrealized potential.”

“Benedict XVI retired too soon.”

Here is a scenario I’d like you to imagine: during Holy Week, the Pope is asked about Jesus. He responds, “Who?”

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(Being) Catholic Matters

04-07-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I heard a phrase get tossed out again the other day and I must confess, I’m feeling a bit triggered. (I might need a safe space.)

My Christian brother said, “Hey man. I don’t know if it’s a sin. We aren’t supposed to judge.”

This kicked off quite a conversation about the difference between sin and sinners. I brought up the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John (which is often used by the relativistic don’t-you-dare-judge-a-thing crowd). Jesus comes up on a group of men who are about to stone a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Most of us remember Jesus turning the tables by essentially telling them to “go ahead and do it - with one catch - the guy without sin had to throw the first rock.” One by one, they drop their weapons along with their judgement.

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