FGG-174 Occupational Hazards

May 25, 2017

I just reviewed a survey taken on a college campus.  As part of the survey college students were asked of their religious affiliation.  Over 40% replied “none.”  We know that many of these young adults were raised as Christians and Catholics.  Now they have either left the faith or are too embarrassed to admit to being Christian.  In this podcast, Tony discusses the occupational hazards of being a Christian.

Scripture: Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  –Matthew 5:01-12

“Whoever believes themselves just and judges others and scorns them is corrupt and a hypocrite. Arrogance compromises every good action, empties prayer, distances from God and others.” –Pope Francis

Reflections:  Are you reluctant to call yourself a Christian?  Are there people in your life that you avoid sharing your faith?  Are you guilty of the charges that society levels against Christians?

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FGG-172 A Matter of Trust

May 12, 2017

Did I trust him because he was an elderly farmer in a Buick?  Would I have trusted him if he were younger, Hispanic or African-American? Or, did I trust him, because the day before a woman I didn’t know trusted me with a large amount of cash?  In this podcast, Tony discusses trust.

Scripture: So now, my son, find yourself a trustworthy man who will make the journey with you.”  Tobit 5:3

Reflections:  Did I trust him because he was elderly?  Would I have had the same reaction if he were homeless?  What makes us trust some people and not others?

Reflections:  Have you ever been called an angel?  What things have you done that were a miracle?  Was Tony’s experience just a coincidence?

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FGG-171 She Called Me an Angel

May 5, 2017

Glancing at my busy schedule today, I noticed that I have a strategic Planning Session coming up for the Community Pregnancy Center.  Several times each year, I get to meet with the board and plan their strategy for running this very worthwhile ministry.  In this podcast, Tony discusses his first experience with a Community Pregnancy Center.

Scripture: Let mutual love continue.  Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.  Hebrews 13:1-2

Reflections:  Have you ever been called an angel?  What things have you done that were a miracle?  Was Tony’s experience just a coincidence?

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FGG-170 Bad Company

May 5, 2017

My dad had a simple philosophy; “you are who you hang out with!”  He would argue that if you hung out with complainers, you became a complainer.  If you hung out with drinkers, you would become a drinker.  If your friends did drugs, eventually you would too. In this podcast Tony discusses Bad Company.

Scripture: “Do not be led astray: Bad company corrupts good morals.”  1 Corrinthians 15:33

Reflections: Do you agree with my dad’s philosophy?  Having good positive friends gives you the best chance to succeed? Do you agree?

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FGG-169 Growing Older is a Blessing

April 18, 2017

A few week ago at our Wednesday night men’s prayer group, I made the comment that every year, as I grown a little older, my resolutions have less to do with job and money and more to do with being a better person. In this podcast Tony discusses how growing older is a blessing.

Scripture: The just shall flourish like the palm tree, shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon.  Planted in the house of the LORD, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall bear fruit even in old age, always vigorous and sturdy, as they proclaim: “The LORD is just; our rock, in whom there is no wrong.” Psalms 92:13-16

Should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth. Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:22-25

First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone.  1 Timothy 2:1

Quotes: “The elderly have a rich storehouse of memories, and inner landscape to explore: times lost in idleness, opportunities well used, a fulfilling career, children grown up and suffering gone through with dignity and courage.”St. Augustine Confessions Book X

“There is no reason to pity old people. Instead, young people should envy them. They have realities in the past – the potentialities they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled, the values they have realized – and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.” –Viktor Frankl

Reflections: What are some of the things you do now that you couldn’t when you were younger?  Do you agree that as our physical being diminishes, our spiritual health increases?  How has that changed the way you look at being older?

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FGG-168 Time is All We Have

April 6, 2017

Most of us live as if we will be around forever. We say, “I don’t have time for that” or “I’ll start going to church when I am older, right now I just don’t have the time.”  It reminds me of the Kenny Chesney song, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now!”  In this podcast, Tony discusses the value of time.

Quote: Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. –Unknown

“Time is all we have. You may find one day that you have less than you think.” –Randy Paush

Reflections:  Do you live your life as if you have all the time in the world?  How can we appreciate the time we have? Do you waste precious time doing things that are unproductive?

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FGG-167 A Quiet Ego

March 10, 2017

What ever happened to humility? In the past century it has been replaced with the “looking out for number 1” mentality. Americans have become so self-centered, so self-absorbed that they rarely see beyond their own needs. In this podcast Tony discusses having a quiet ego.

Scripture: “..With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” –Ephesians 4:2-3

“When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom.” –Proverbs 11:2

“Humble yourself the more, the greater you are and you will find mercy in the sight of God.” –Sirah 3:18

Quote: “Humility, the highest virtue, mother of them all.”–Alfred Lord Tennyson

Reflections: What can you to quiet your ego?  How can we be helpful to others and still maintain a healthy ego?  What can we do to remain humble?

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FGG-166 Bitter or Better

March 2, 2017

Everyone at some time in our lives will face bitterness.  The death of a loved one, a divorce, sickness, job loss, or a betrayal can rock your very being and send you into a pit of bitterness, self-pity and defeat. In this podcast, Tony discusses getting bitter or getting better.

Quote: “You either get bitter or better. It’s that simple.  You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down.  The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.”  —Josh Shipp

Scripture: “Hatred stirs up disputes, but love covers all offenses.” —Proverbs 10:12

Reflections:  What steps do you take to shed bitterness and get better emotionally?  Have you been going through life bitter and angry?  Have events of the past clouded your hope for a bright future?  Do you find it difficult to even get up in the morning?

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FGG-165 Be The One

February 23, 2017

In the book of Proverbs we are offered two ways to live our lives. We can be seekers of good or pursuers of evil. We can have a positive attitude building people up, or a negative one tearing people down.  In this podcast Tony discusses being positive.

Scripture: “Those who seek the good seek favor, but those who pursue evil will have evil come upon them.” –Proverbs 11:27

“Who is the man who delights in life, who loves to see the good days? Keep your tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” –Psalm 34:13-15

Quotes: “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.” –Pope Francis

Anyone can find the dirt in someone, be the one that finds the gold.

Reflections: How do you rid yourself if negativity?  Do you seek out opportunities to praise?  Have you ever been involved in spreading rumors?  Ever get caught?  Hoe did that make you feel?

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FGG-164 I’m All In!

February 16, 2017

Last year, for the first time in 52 years the city of Cleveland, Ohio had a championship.  The Cleveland Cavaliers  won the NBA title and all of Ohio was “All In” for the team.  Just like in playing poker being “all in” means to invest everything, put everything on the line for one goal. In this podcast, Tony asks, “are you all in for Jesus?”

Scripture: “…one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” –Ephesians 4:4-6

“But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” –1 Corinthians 15:57

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” –James 1:2-4

“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” –Colossians 3:17

Reflections: What if people had the same enthusiasm for Our Lord?  Are you ALL IN?  What does being all in mean to you?

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