The Prodigal Son

03-31-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This past Thursday, I turned 45 years old. I’m pretty sure this earns me full admission to the Midlife Crisis Club.

(No. I did not buy a red convertible.)

Life is already beginning to throw several mortality reminders in my direction. New band names sound completely made up. (“Hey mom! Can I go see Ziplock Baggy G in concert?”) I’m struggling through some major sciatic nerve symptoms. And have you noticed I shave my head? That is necessity, not fashion.

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(Being) Catholic Matters

03-24-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I’m sure we’ve all heard “hate the sin, not the sinner.” It is an expression that helps us keep things in proper context and to see the world as Christ sees it. Unfortunately, we usually only apply this attitude, even on our best days, to other people.

At the start of Luke 13, Jesus calls us to repentance. Google defines this as “sincere regret or remorse.” So, the question becomes, what does Jesus want us to sincerely regret? If you read the first nine verses of Luke, the answer becomes obvious: sin.

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(Being) Catholic Matters

03-17-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Sometimes, it can be difficult to be Catholic. People who aren’t Catholic hear horror stories about the worst of us. I remind you of something I wrote months ago, “Judge a medicine by looking at the people who follow the prescriptions.” Look to the saints. There aren’t too many people who look at St. Mother Teresa and think she was a jerk.

This is Catholicism.

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(Being) Catholic Matters

03-10-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

During Lent, Catholics are told we need to pray, fast and give alms. Why?

Yes. Prayer helps us grow closer to God. Fasting helps us recognize our need for God. Giving to others helps us recognize the blessings we have received from God and pass that blessing along to others.

Fine. Great. ...but there needs to be more. ...and there is!

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The Blind Cannot Lead the Blind

03-03-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In Luke 6:39, Jesus suggests the blind cannot lead the blind. On the surface, this is common sense. In youth ministry, we used to do trust walks. One teen would be blindfolded and the other would guide them through an obstacle course. These would’ve gone horribly wrong if both teens were blindfolded. (In truth, they sometimes went wrong anyway. My youth group teens got easily distracted - while guiding a blindfolded friend through an obstacle course. Truestory. ...but I digress…)

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Examination of Conscience Madlibs

02-24-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

When I was a kid, Mad Libs were very popular. They were books of single page stories with words missing. You had to write in the words based on something as simple as “name a large animal.” What you didn’t realize until you filled it in, was that the result might be: “I was so hungry, I ate a water buffalo.” The absurdity never failed to get giggles from me and my elementary school pals.

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Being the Catholic Family

02-17-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I want to affirm a very specific group of people who are vital to our parish community and I want to challenge the rest of us. If you attend Mass alone, I see you. I thank you. I am inspired by you. I know it might not always be easy—being surrounded by couples and families and groups—but you are faithful and you are there.

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God Needs Your Humility

02-10-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In Isaiah 6 and Luke 5 we get a real strong example of the Lord being drawn to humility. In Isaiah 6, the prophet sees the Lord and is convinced he isgoing to die. This is because you couldn’t be anywhere near God with sin and live. He cries out, “Woe is me! I am lost!” His sin is then purged with a spiritual burning coal.

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He Always Loves Us

02-03-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Years ago, I drove the best vehicle I ever owned. It was a used hunter green extended cab F150. I loved that truck. Thing was, I never noticed how many F150s were on the road until I owned one. Suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere. We tend to recognize the familiar.

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A Period is Stronger Than an Exclamation Point

01-27-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Many people in the pews mistakenly see Jesus as meek and mild. They hear His beautiful message of love and forgiveness, and they can’t conceive of this message being compatible with strength and power. Yet, when we read the words of Luke’s fourth chapter, there it is.

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Comparisons are Poison

01-20-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Comparisons are poison.

I’ll never forget the time I was completely content with my salary until I accidentally stumbled across a co-worker’s salary. Suddenly, I felt disrespected and massively underpaid. It was nearly twenty years ago. What changed? Nothing – except I was comparing myself to someone else.

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Live Lives Pleasing to God

01-13-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I can’t stop talking about goals in January. I think it is part of my American DNA. I’ve rattled off several of them recently. Most of them are good and worthy of our efforts.

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A Time for Change

01-06-2019(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Merry Christmas Season everyone! It’s the first Sunday of the New Year! It’s a time of resolutions. It’s a time to avoid the bathroom scale. And it’s often a time for change.

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