Welcome Message

Welcome to my blog about Catholic life and family values.
This blog will center around the beauty of Catholicism and how to raise families, evangelize our faith, and fight the ongoing spritual battles that challenge us daily.

You are invited to share your wisdom on these pages with all the readers. Together we will address important life and faith issues and how to enhance our Catholic identity.

Key areas that you will find me addressing regularly will be about important Catholic doctrine and beliefs and how they help us raise strong Catholic Christian families. My hope is that you will learn, enjoy, and be challenged by my posts. You may be informed, amused, or even annoyed, but I hope it will in some way improve your Catholic faith.



Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve birthday

I've always loved my birthday, especially because it falls on New Year's Eve. Friends used to tell me that it must have been rough to have my birthday so close to Christmas.

Nah...

It's great. I still receive cool presents, everyone celebrates on my day, and I'm very fiscally dated. PLUS...our family gives a birthday week, so I can use it over a two year period!

I've also recently taken a more spiritual look at my birthday. I guess that's what happens when you get older and wiser! It falls right in between the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the Solemnity of Our Blessed Mother. Now those are two of the greatest gifts I can ever receive! It is also a good reminder that another year has passed not only for me but for the world. One more year that was a gift from God and one day closer to eventually seeing Him. Another opportunity for prayer...

My wish for all my readers is for a glorious new year. And, don't forget tomorrow is a Holy Day of Obligation to honor Mary. See you at church!

Vivat Jesus,

Dan

Friday, December 28, 2007

Little Things Mean a Lot


Mother Teresa said, "We are not called to do great things. We are called to do little things with great love."

That favorite quote of mine came to mind this morning at my Rotary meeting. During our "Happy Bucks" segment, a fellow Rotarian (Tom) told the story of an employee (Steve) of his who had lost valuable memorabilia from his high school basketball days. It seems that during our recent flooding, water got in his basement and ruined a video album that included memorable clips from his playing career.

Tom went on to recount that somehow word got out and a fellow Rotarian named Michele took action. She had been a cheerleader at the time and also had a copy of this album, so she graciously gave Steve her copy, feeling that it was more valuable to him. Tom's "happy buck" was in recognition of this kind act. Michele also received a small cake as a gift of gratitude as Tom works for a grocery store!

Here is a wonderful example of a "little thing" done with great love. These small acts of charity may not seem significant in the big picture, but I believe in the grand scheme of things, they are simply huge. It makes you wonder what would happen if we all strive to do more "little things" with great love in 2008. My guess is our corner of the world, and maybe the world itself, will be much improved for it.

Happy New Year!

Dan

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Being Moses' friend...


Being Moses' fishing pal can be tough. I found this on Steve Ray's blog...

Compliments of:



Vivat Jesus,


Dan

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's a Wonderful Life


“No man is a failure, who has friends”.

These simple words written inside an old beat-up copy of “Tom Sawyer” that were presented to George Bailey speak volumes to us. If you’re at all familiar with the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, you remember Clarence the Guardian Angel giving this present to Stewart’s character at the end of the movie. George Bailey had just been shown what life would have been like for his family and friends had he not been born. He came to find out that even though times were tough, he had led a life that impacted countless others.

I love this movie because it truly shows the value of each person. We all create a ripple effect in the world; impacting people around us in so many ways. Regardless of our vocation, the size of our family, or where we live, we are blessed to be able to touch someone else, even without knowing it. You might be a youth coach, a business associate, or even a supportive voice in difficult times. You play an important role to your family and friends and they in return play a great role to you.

Last Saturday, my wife Barb and I went out grocery shopping for the Christmas basket that out local St. Vincent DePaul Society puts together for needy families. It’s one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season. We certainly don’t know the family of four we just provided Christmas dinner for, or why they are in the situation they are in. It doesn’t matter. What we come away with is the knowledge that in a very small way, we were able to give of ourselves that someone might be better off. It reminded me a little of another Christmas favorite, “A Christmas Carol”, when Ebeneezer Scrooge sends the prize turkey to the Cratchit family anonymously. “Mankind is our Business’, right?

Take a look at your life. See all the people who have made a difference you as well as those you have impacted. We don’t have the same chance as George Bailey to see what life would have been without us. However, we should always remember how fortunate we are, whether in good or bad times, that we have friends and family that love and care about us. Every day we have chances to be a positive source for someone. Let’s take every opportunity we have to accept those challenges.

After all, it is a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas!

Dan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confessing sins...

Have you ever been guilty of making the same mistake over and over again?

This morning as I jumped in my car to get to an appointment which I was running a tad late for, I remembered why I had planned on getting up earlier than normal. I was out of gas! I knew it the night before and just figured, "Oh well...I'll leave early before my meeting." Famous last words!

On the way, I had to stop and get gas making me even more hurried. The part that angered me most was the fact that as a risk manager, I knew better. Having such little gas put my family at risk if there was an emergency in the middle of the night. What if I had to run to the hospital, but had to stop for gas first because I wasn't prepared? I had done this before...you'd think I would learn.

As I sat in church this evening waiting in line to go to Confession, the irony of the moment made me stop and think. How many times had I confessed a sin (or sins) and had to come back at a later date and confess the same ones. Ever happen to you?

Fortunately for us, God is merciful. Even as we have challenges and failings by succumbing to the same weaknesses, God will continually fill our tank. If you're like me, you've been driving down the road on "empty" many a time. Reconciliation is the ultimate gas station.

When was the last time you filled up?

Vivat Jesus,

Dan

P.S.
Great news! Doug Strauss is going to be my guest for my February conference call. Information will be out soon on how to take part in this call and ask Doug your questions for FREE!

Don't know Doug Strauss? You need to find out. He and his wife Kristen lost their daughter Gloria to cancer in September. She lived a remarkable life of faith and their story is life changing. To learn more about Gloria Strauss, go to their web site and find out!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Is it the Truth?


That’s the first question in the Rotary 4-Way test. Having been a Rotarian for 14 years, I’ve come to lean on that question a lot.

Last week, former Senator George Mitchell produced his expose of the steroid and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball. It named names; big ones. Over the weekend, news came out that one of those players, Andy Pettite admitted to taking HGH. Pettite has been a star pitcher for the New York Yankees and Houston Astros for many years. His name being linked to the scandal was a shock. The fact that he’s “coming clean” is very refreshing.

Mitchell’s report included Pettite for just a few pages and never linked him to steroids. Pettite acknowledges that he only used HGH back in 2000 for two days while recovering from injury. He was injected by the man who also “outed” potential Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. Clemens has been implicated in a much larger role for both steroids and HGH, which has put his once lock solid election into the Hall now in jeopardy.

What’s most refreshing about Pettite is that he didn’t waste any time confirming his use of HGH. At the time, it was not a banned substance, so in his mind he wasn’t breaking any rules. His sole purpose was to re-gain his health more quickly, and he had heard HGH could do this. The fact that he came out so quickly and corroborated the story, pledged his allegiance to the integrity of baseball, and issued no bitterness towards the report makes me believe him. That and the fact that Pettite has always been viewed as an upstanding guy only add credence to his statements.

This is in stark contrast to Clemens, who issued a tersely worded statement through his attorney that he never used steroids. The preponderance of evidence, plus the fact that Pettite’s story links the same trainer, makes one lean towards not believing Clemens. “The Rocket” is at an age that seems inconceivable that he his body has held out as it has. He has struggled with injuries over the past years and it makes one wonder what steps he would take to perhaps be considered the greatest pitcher to ever live. Now, regardless of whether you believe him or not, or whether there is any firm evidence, his name has been tarnished and sits alongside Barry Bonds with a mental asterisk next to it.

I don’t know Roger Clemens to judge his character. My gut feeling is he’s guilty. My gut also tells me Andy Pettite is a stand-up guy who wasted little time facing the music. The fact his name surfaced will quickly subside.

Think about the power of honesty in your world – personal and business. Have you ever dealt with people who have been, let’s say, less than forthright? How has that impacted you? The bottom line is that in the relationship driven world we will always live in, honesty is more than just the best policy. It’s the most important one.


Vivat Jesus,


Dan


P.S. It's also a truth that time is running out to participate in the Teresa Tomeo interview for FREE. This great opportunity ends in just two weeks! All you have to do is subscribe to my FREE e-newsletter and I will send you the link to the teleconference. Don't wait, register today by clicking here...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Postively Successful


The Seattle Seahawks clinched their fifth straight NFC West Division title on Sunday with a win over the Arizona Cardinals. It was a game they dominated from the start and they finally put to rest all the pre-season talk of another team like Arizona or San Francisco becoming the new “king of the hill” in the division.

What strikes me as special about this team over the past few years is the level of teamwork and unselfishness that they exude. Stories abound about players having to accept lesser or different roles to meet the needs of the team during the course of the season. Shaun Alexander, Bobby Engram and Patrick Kerney were three players named by coaches and teammates. A few years before that, the team had trouble climbing out of mediocrity even though they were loaded with “talent”. What they found was that they had to clean house of some of that “talent” that didn’t have the team attitude and rather the “What’s in it for me”.

Surrounding your “team” with positive and successful people is vital for your success, too. Regardless of whether your “team” is your family, workplace, or a team you coach, attitude is more important than “talent”. Take a look at your relationships. Can you honestly say that the people who surround and advise you are team players? Now, in a family, you may have to work harder at building better dynamics than in a workplace environment. At work, people can be let go, like what the Seahawks did. The bottom line is that for your “team” to function at full strength, the “we” has to be more important than the “me”. When you surround yourself with positive and encouraging people, you will find successes in all aspects of your life.

Think of your individual parish as an example. Do you consider your fellow parishioners, pastor, and staff as teammates? If not, maybe you should. We all play for the same head coach….perhaps if we spent more time working off the same playbook, we could be better players for him. This applies to all of us. Let’s take a lesson from the Seahawks and work together to build God’s kingdom here on earth and be role models for our children.


Vivat Jesus,


Dan

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In Need of Noah's Ark

For the second year in a row, I've been down in Palm Springs when my home state of Washington has been devastated by flooding. I've watched in horror and sadness as many people have had tragedies from the rains and floods. My home is safe and for that I'm thankful. The pictures on the news look straight out of Katrina a few years ago. Let's keep all those adversely affected in our prayers and hope for a quick return to normalcy.

Dan

Monday, December 3, 2007

What are you waiting for?

Advent starts today. What are you waiting for?

The Gospel reading today is a warning. A barometer to check how prepared you are if Jesus was to come today. Advent is a time of waiting and preparation. Most of us understand waiting, but are we adequately prepared?

I spent most of the afternoon waiting in an airport to fly down for a business trip to Palm Springs. The plane was slightly delayed, so my waiting was extended. Now, as I type this post some 30,000 feet above ground, I am doing another waiting game for us to land. The question now is, what should I be waiting for? Jesus could come to me tonight if the plane has problems. Or, it could be another 50 years. Either way, I’m called by today’s Gospel to be prepared regardless. It’s supposed to be a time of reflection.

Instead, most of us (me included) will spend our time this Advent waiting in lines to buy gifts; waiting in airports to travel; or waiting by the phone for a loved one to call. Jesus reminds us this first day of Advent that we should be preparing our lives for his return…we do not know the place or time, right? We wait this season for the coming of the baby Jesus, who will be our Savior. It is a joyous time for sure, but one that should be cherished with family, friends, and contemplation.

My challenge for you (and me) this Advent is to separate yourself from the noise and chaos of the secular world, and find the peace and deep contemplation of the Christmas creche. That is truly where our salvation lies.

Vivat Jesus,

Dan

P.S. Don’t forget to register for my 2008 Teleconference Series opener with Catholic radio personality Teresa Tomeo. For more information, see my recent post with all the details. If you want to learn how to move away from the noise of the secular media, this is the place to be!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Deacons...

Tonight, my family will be attending a celebration for our deacon who just passed 25 years of service. What a wonderful vocation being a deacon is. I'm sure it has been a blessing to him and his wife, however I actually think of all the blessings he has bestowed on others all those years. Deacon Carl is an excellent homilist and we constantly ask him for copies of his talk. My dad came into the Church in 1998 and his formation was led by a deacon. And, in the parish my wife works at, the long-time deacon, Deacon Jim, has been a fixture in the lives of parishioners and students for years and is dearly loved.

Regardless of duty, whether it be a wedding funeral, or other ministry, deacons are a vital pat of the success of a parish and diocese. The month of November marks the ordination of many new deacons, so hats off and prayers to all of them. I know I've been guilty of taking them for granted by just assuming they are always just there. Celebrations like tonight remind me about the time, effort, and sacrifice they make. Next time you see your deacon, thank them for their service...they deserve it!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Register online for Teresa Tomeo interview in January


You are now able to register for my interview with Teresa Tomeo on January 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm PST (9:00 pm EST). Teresa will be discussing her book, Noise, which illustrates the issues of how the secular media is corrupting our children and the impact on our faith. If you have children or grandchildren, this is a must read and hear. Teresa will answer YOUR questions as you have the opportunity to e-mail me questions before and during the event. As soon as you register, you will be sent a link to a web site to get instructions for the teleconference and can immediately send me your questions. I will do my very best to get them all answered, even if it means less time for me to ask!


Your investment is only $29.95. What a great opportunity to hear this great Catholic radio personality and author LIVE. Special Bonus: The first 50 people to register will receive a FREE MP3 copy of the interview, that's right FREE. Everyone else will have to pay $29.95 so you will get to take part in the interview AND get the audio. Is that a great deal or what?


To register, click here. Don't miss this exciting event.
Dan
More about Teresa Tomeo:
Teresa Tomeo is an author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and motivational speaker with more than 26 years of experience in broadcasting as a talk show host, radio and TV news woman, and newspaper columnist primarily in the Detroit area.

Teresa left the secular media in 2000 to start her own speaking and communications company. Teresa’s daily morning program, “Catholic Connection”, is heard on over 120 Catholic stations through EWTN Global Catholic Radio.

Teresa is a regular contributor to “Our Sunday Visitor”, a national Catholic newspaper. She has also appeared frequently on EWTN TV and has also been featured on “The O’Reilly Factor” and Fox News.

As a speaker Teresa travels around the country addressing the topic of media awareness and activism, as well as sharing her faith journey and providing concerned citizens with the tools needed to stand up against today’s culture. Her book, “Noise-How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families” was published in February by Ascension Press.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Big Ouch: Blondie’s Best Lesson Saved for Last


“She’s gone.”

Simple words spoken by Dr. Monica as the shot laced with an overdose of anesthesia gently ended the life of our family dog Blondie at 5:15 pm on November 19. We had scheduled this time because we brought Blondie home as a 6-week old puppy on Monday, June 1, 1991 at 5:00 pm. Sort of a fitting end. The 6,016 days in between were full of love, loyalty, and friendship.

I’ve been compiling for some time lessons I’ve learned from Blondie. Maybe I’ll write a book on them because they are lessons we humans can use at any stage of our lives.

The final lesson she taught me through this process is this – we are blessed with gifts and in some cases there is a time to give them back. The reality of letting go and helping a loved one through the dying process is a fact of life. No matter how well you prepare, until you go through it there is a huge unknown. Now, even though every death in our family will be painful and different, Blondie has taught me that it can be done with dignity, courage and love.

Yes, I know she was a dog, not a human. She was also a binding member of our family for 16 years; a common bond of love for not only our immediate family, but our extended one as well. Parents, siblings, and friends have all shared their sorrow with us. In fact, one of my daughters close friends left a bouquet of flowers on our doorstep last night. That’s one of the many gifts pets bring. They can be the “glue” that brings people more closely together Giving back the gifts are painful, yet always with a lesson to be learned. I want to thank all of my friends and family who have wished us their condolences. Each one is special and appreciated.

Finally, I want to especially thank the wonderful people at Poulsbo Animal Clinic, especially Dr. Monica and her assistant. The opportunity to say farewell to your pet in the privacy of your own home is something I can’t say enough about. Blondie hated going to the vet and this way it was just like having visitors to the house. No other people, no sterile environment; just peacefully passing away at home with your family by your side. Isn’t that the way we would all want to go?

Dan

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Gettysburg Address - November 19, 1863


Today is the 144th anniversary of one of the greatest, if not greatest, speeches ever delivered. It's short...for you fellow Toastmasters, it's about the length of a Table Topics. But its powerful. In honor of this day, please see the text below. You will also see the only known photograph of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg per the Library of Congress.


Dan


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal".


Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground -- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.


It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The ONLY way to go!


That's me at courtside of the Sonics-Pistons game last Sunday. The Sonics are a new client of mine and they were gracious to put me and my family at courtside for the game after we met (thanks to Chris Fryar). This opportunity came about because of sticking to my game plan and goals.


What are your goals with your faith? Have you set them? Maybe its praying the rosary daily. Maybe its getting to daily Mass. Maybe, if you're like me, it's simply trying to make your day more prayerful.


Whatever it is, stick to it. When you set a game plan full of goals, regardless of whether its business or faith, good things generally happen. Stick with your faith game plan and see if it doesn't get you in the front row for eternity!


Vivat Jesus,


Dan
P.S. Set a goal to listen to my 2008 teleconference series. My first guest is nationally syndicated radio personality and author Teresa Tomeo. She will help you fight the battle against the secular media. See my post below to learn more. The opportunity to register online is coming soon. Contact me now to save your spot - dan@danweedin.com.

Monday, November 12, 2007

In God We Trust...

I normally discard most of the Forwarded stories I receive in the e-mail. Many are untrue or just too long. This one I got came from a good friend, but I looked at the length and was just about to hit "delete" when something stopped me. A little voice said, "Read this one". So, I did. Boy, am I glad I did. To be truthful, sometimes I struggle with putting ALL my trust in God. I say I do, but many times in the recesses of my mind, I know I still have work to do - especially when things get tough. This was a great, timely message straight to me so I figured I'd share it with you in this venue. I hope you enjoy...

Dan

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.

He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"Look at it." He said. "Read what it says." She read the words"

United States of America"
"No, not that; read further."
"One cent?" "No, keep reading."
"In God we Trust?"
"Yes!" "And?"

"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS
in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.

It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient…

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Announcing the 2008 Teleconference Series!!!!


I'm very pleased to announce that starting in January 2008, The Catholic Dad will be hosting a monthly teleconference intended to help you become stronger in your Catholic faith. After much prayer and thought, this has become a reality with the announcement of my first guest.

Teresa Tomeo is a nationally syndicated Catholic radio personality and author. Her book Noise is a must-read for any Catholic or Christian parent as it details the dangers of today's secular media. Save the date of January 23, 2008 at 6:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Eastern (and you can figure out the ones in between) for this 60-minute interview with Teresa Tomeo!

Your investment for this teleconference is only $29.95. Not only will you get to listen live by Internet or your phone, you will have the chance to ask Teresa questions via e-mail that come straight to me. What a great opportunity to "Ask the Expert".

The opportunity to register will be on my web site soon. If you don't want to wait, call (360-271-1592) or e-mail (dan@danweedin.com) me and I will personally register you today!

I'm very excited about this series and about Teresa joining me for my first one. I will keep you updated with more information over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Vivat Jesus!

Dan

Monday, November 5, 2007

Finding Balance on Gilligan's Island

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt totally unable to function? Last night, I was staring at my computer monitor trying to get a little work done after a busy weekend. My oldest daughter Mindy had been home from college for several days and my wife Barb was taking her to the airport. I was at home because our old dog Blondie is starting a steep decline and we didn’t want to leave her alone. Lack of sleep, a helter skelter few days, and a debilitating overtime loss by the Seahawks had me completely distracted. You probably know that weird feeling of just staring blankly at e-mails!

That’s about the time I realized that balance was needed right then and there for my life. I subscribe to Alan Weiss’ newsletter, The Balancing Act (which I highly recommend – wwwsummitconsulting.com). Alan is constantly talking about life balance. In my case, sometimes you just have to take a break.

My method for taking a break was to turn off the computer (so as to not be tempted to come back), pour a smooth glass of wine, and watch my Gilligan’s Island DVD. Now you may be thinking “Gilligan’s Island! Is this guy a kook?” Maybe so. But, at that point and time, I needed a good dose of slapstick humor and relaxation to re-charge my batteries. After a relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep…I was able to tackle the next day with more vigor and focus. If I had continued on my path of work the night before, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the same focus.

What about you? Are there times that you need to reward your mind and body with a much needed break to find balance? Now, you may not find Gilligan’s Island to be the right remedy for you. But a nice walk, a game of chess, or a quiet dinner with your spouse or significant other may be just what the doctor ordered.

Workaholics abound in our society. The desire to get ahead at all costs often lead to high blood pressure, stress disorders, and failed relationships. One thing I have learned in my life, and continue to be reminded of, is that balance is good for the mind, heart, and soul. Remember that next time you are staring blankly at your computer monitor.

Dan

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy All Saints Day

At Mass today, Father talked in his homily about using role models to achieve your goals. He used the example of if you wanted to become a professional basketball player, you might model the habits and traits of Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. If you wanted to be an inventor, you would likely model Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. If you wanted to be a musician, perhaps Mozart or Beethoven.

Don't we all want to be saints? Our goal should be heaven and everyone who has made it into heaven is a saint. If that is our goal, then wouldn't modeling the lives of the saints be wise?

I have several favorite saints that I have studied over the years - St. Joseph, St. Augustine, St. Therese, and St. Faustina to name a few. I am beginning a book on a saint-to-be, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. My daughter Mindy is reading the book, and because of a lengthy trip home for a visit, she is almost done with it. I think I will grab it before she leaves (she needs to finish it!) and get started. The term "latter day saint" is appropriate for Blessed Mother Teresa as canonization should be shortly forthcoming. Other than Pope John Paul the Great, I can't think of another person of our generation that would be a better role model to getting to heaven - can you?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Good Samaritan

Yesterday my family and I took a trip to Wal-Mart after church to pick up some quick items. As I got in my Suburban, I noticed a piece of paper underneath my windshield wiper. When I got out to examine I found a free-hand note stating “Your passenger-side tire is very low”. Upon further inspection, I was horrified to find that not only was it very low, it was VERY, VERY low. Fortunately, Wal-Mart has a tire service place open on Sundays because I’m not sure how I far we would have been able to go. Turns out the culprit was a screw I ran over. To make matters worse, the front tires were no longer legal for road use, so I had to replace both of them!

Two things to learn from this; first I’m very thankful to my Good Samaritan who left the note. How often do we walk by a situation like that and don’t take the time to leave a note. I could have been down the road a mile or two with my wife and daughter and been involved in an accident. The question Jesus poses of “Who is your neighbor” was answered by this “guardian angel”.

Second, be prepared. Jesus says we know not the time or place of our death or His coming. We need to be watchful. I had let my tires become hazards and if it wasn’t for a wayward screw I ran over, may have found out the hard way. The final word – check your tires. Check your faith. How’s the air pressure in both?

Vivat Jesus,

Dan

P.S. This was a form of stewardship displayed by this unknown friend. If you’d like to hear more about stewardship, click on my stewardship witness talk from last week located on the right column.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What Can We Learn from the Rich Fool?

Today's Gospel reading comes from Luke 12:13-21 where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool. I won't run the entire text here, so I urge you to pull out your Bible and read it if you don't go to daily Mass. The part that always gets me when I hear this parable is when God says to the rich fool, "Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?"

A friend told me this morning that he heard an amazing statistic. We only use about 30% of our possessions. All I need to do is open up my garage door and I'm sure I'm on the lower end of that figure! Today's Gospel is a reminder to all of us about storing up our possessions instead of sharing what we have. Ironic (or not so) that this is Stewardship week. In a world that tells us to accumulate wealth and possessions, this is a stark reminder about the dangers to our eternal souls of doing this.

Vivat Jesus!

Dan

P.S. I was blessed to be a witness speaker at Mass on October 21 for Stewardship Sunday. If you'd like to see it, click here...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This is FUNNY

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. After the event, I was talking with several attendees as they were leaving, and one gentleman happened to catch my eye. I noticed that his name badge said "Weedin". Not seeing too many people with MY last name, I took a closer look to see what his first name was. To my surprise, it said "Kelli". Why was I surprised? Well, because that's my daughter's name!Turns out this man's name was "Kelly" and he was rushing in as the event was starting. The lady at registration asked his name and he said "Kelly". Well, my Kelli was originally going to come with me, but was sick and couldn't come. She had a name tag all set for her. You can guess what happened! The registration lady peeled off "Kelli Weedin" and gave it to this gentleman who wore it the entire time without realizing it. We shared a good laugh about that one. I told him that the story would definitely end up in a speech somewhere, and of course in my blog.

Dan

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How Wine Can Help a Cause

I caught Teresa Tomeo’s national radio show this morning and her guest was Bill Schneeberger, owner of Bogo Wines. Bogo Wines (www.bogowines.com) has taken on the mission of raising awareness and funds for adult stem-cell research. As a Catholic, you know the Church is actively supportive of stem cell research – as long as it’s ADULT stem cell research! Embryonic stem cell research kills embryos and is as much a horror as abortion. Bill has a terrific web site and I urge you to click on it and learn about his mission. You can also listen to his interview with Teresa (he’s the last half hour of the second hour) on Ave Maria Radio. With other companies supporting causes (many of them valid), it’s exciting to have a Catholic business leader support and lead the charge for this important issue.

By the way, June is being targeted as Adult Stem-Cell Awareness month. Legislation will be going to the President for his support. I’m sure Bill will appreciate your prayers.

The final important piece of the interview was what I learned about the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “Pink” money is dripping with blood. As much as we all want to see an end to breast cancer and will fully support that cause, it’s appalling to learn that the Susan G. Komen Foundation supports both Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell research. In an effort to help with the horror of breast cancer, many of us have unintentionally donated money to the largest abortion mill in the world! What do we do about it? My answer for the short term is two-fold. Pray and raise awareness. Make sure people know that this organization donates money to and supports abortion and embryonic stem cell research. The only way they will stop is if pressure can be applied.

Again, I urge you to visit Bogo Wines web site and support them. Remember that in addition to Breast Cancer Awareness month going in October, it’s also the month of the Rosary. Pray to Our Blessed Mother for her intercession.

Dan

P.S. Remember that my newsletter is now up and percolating! Click here to subscribe to this free service.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Simplicity...

Sometimes you find inspiration in the strangest places. While attending a fundraising luncheon for the local community college, I heard a wonderful speech from a young woman who was a student. It was unpolished yet beautifully and sincerely delivered to a room of about 400 people or more. Sometimes I wonder if we work too hard trying to be "perfect" when simplicity will do just fine, thank you very much.

Dan

Friday, October 5, 2007

Who do you pray to when you travel?

I just spent a week away on a business trip down to Palm Springs. Wow...90 degrees sure beats cold, wet, and windy in the Pacific Northwest for a few days!

Do you do much travelling in your line of work? Maybe you're retired and find yourself taking trips to sunny and warm spots like Palm Springs. As I find myself travelling more, especially on airplanes, it makes me cognizant of praying. I certainly ask for protection for my family while I'm away. I also pray for safe transport by air and vehicle. If you're like me, you like to ask for the intercessory prayers of the saints. Do you know who two of the patron saints of travelling are?

You may be jumping up and down and answering "Saint Christopher" and you'd be right. He is probably the most well-known "travelling saint"! You may be surprised to know that Saint Raphael, the only other archangel besides Michael and Gabriel to be mentioned by name in the Bible, is also a patron saint for travellers.

You see, Saint Raphael shows up in the Old Testament in the book of Tobit. God sent him down to accompany Tobit's son Tobiah, on his long journey to find and marry Sarah. I won't recount the entire story...it's a good one so go read it...but the bottom line is that because of that journey where Raphael helped Tobiah, he is also a "travelling saint".

I encourage you to learn more about Saint Raphael. I make sure on all my trips, both long and short, that I ask for intercessory prayers from both Christopher and Raphael. It never hurts to have a co-pilot with wings!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Little Way

Today is the Feast Day of one of my "Soul Sisters" - Saint Therese of Liseaux. Known as "The Little Flower" she is a Doctor of the Church. More importantly, she teaches us the importance of doing all the "little things" in our day with love and gratitude to God.

It's ironic because she's had an influence on my work today. As I prepare to leave on a business trip tomorrow for several days, my mind is racing with all the things I need to get done before I go. Sometimes when this happens, I find myself not doing any of them very well!

In recollecting Saint Therese's words, "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul", it helps me to remember to slow down and do each task, regardless of its magnitude, to the best of my ability for the glory of God. Saint Therese knew the value of the little way. Do we?

Think this week of Saint Therese when the difficult and mundane tasks come your way. Whether it's at work or at home, take the time to complete the task to the best of your ability. Consider it like Saint Therese did; as an opportunity to convert a soul.

By the way, this is the month of the Rosary. I encourage you to pray a Rosary daily and think of it as your "little way". Just think if we all did that!

Dan

P.S. Starting in January, you will be able to take part in my Monthly Conference Calls. You will have the opportunity to hear great guests discuss different aspects of our Catholic faith. More information is forthcoming, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gloria is the right name

Have you heard about Gloria Strauss? If you’re like me, you’ve been either listening to Tom Curran’s radio program, Sound Insight, or reading Jerry Brewer’s column in the Seattle Times about this amazing young lady.

Gloria Strauss died last Friday after a 4-year bout with an insidious form of cancer. Jerry Brewer, a sports reporter for the Times, began covering it probably because her dad is the basketball coach at Kennedy High School in the Seattle area. It turned into a front page journal that chronicled Gloria and her family. I can’t do justice to the incredible faith journey this was and the lives Gloria touched in this short blog post. Suffice it to say that the faith Gloria placed in the Lord and the immense power of prayer is a lesson in humility, faith, trust, and love for all of us. I urge you to learn more about Gloria Strauss.

To read Jerry Brewer’s journal in the Seattle Times, click here.

To listen to Tom Curran’s interview with her parents, click here.

This week will be the culmination of the celebration of her life. Please keep Gloria and her family in your prayers. I have a feeling we are all in hers!

Blessings,

Dan

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Blondie Rule #2 – Lessons from my dog – The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated



Last month (August 20), the Blondie Rule #1 dealt with overcoming “analysis paralysis”. This month, you will learn how my dog has taught me about perseverance.

The famous quote by Mark Twain listed in the title surely applies to Blondie. In late December of 2004, she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her gum. The veterinarian had taken as much out as possible, but sadly reported that she didn’t get it all. At the time, Blondie was 13 years old and all the treatments were very invasive and costly. We opted to do nothing, except make our friend as comfortable as she could be for the remainder of her life. She was given a death sentence of 2 to 3 months.

Fast forward to today and Blondie is 16 ½ and those 2-3 months are almost 3 years. The cancer has come back and spread some. In fact, just a few weeks ago, she was looking so bad and struggling so much; we began mentally preparing for her to pass on over the weekend. She fooled us again. It’s been almost a month since that day and although I can’t say she’s going on strong, she perseveres and lives to fight another day. Sooner than later we will have to make that difficult decision when her quality of life erodes. Based on how she devoured her breakfast this morning, we’re not quite there yet!

Blondie reminds me that not every day is going to be better than the day before. Some days can bring frustration, pain, and struggle. But persevering, “grinding” out the tough days, and living to fight another day should be our mantra, too. Blondie didn’t understand the diagnosis she was given in December of 2004. She just kept living every day, even when some days weren’t as good as others.

I know I have days where I grouse and complain about things. Blondie reminds me that I need to get over myself and realize that struggle is a necessary part of life; it makes us stronger. Instead of trying to be the person my dog thinks I am, I guess I just need to be more like my dog!




Dan

Friday, September 21, 2007

So Long Cy

Do you remember when you met someone who had an impact in your personal and professional life? I’ll never forget meeting Cy Wyse. Cy was a mountain of a man in his early 70’s. He had been an outstanding basketball and football player in his youth and you could tell that although he was older, he had been an imposing figure. He had the biggest hands I’d ever seen and a powerful grip. He introduced himself to me after my first basketball practice at North Kitsap High School. He asked permission to watch practices, not to critique me he carefully stated, but to watch his granddaughter, who was a junior on the team, play. I agreed and that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Over the course of the next seven years, Cy became a friend and mentor. Now don’t get me wrong, he certainly had his opinions, but he was steadfast in his belief that the coach was the coach, and his or her word was law. Cy was always courtside at our games, even after his granddaughter graduated. He was always available to offer me sage advice, mentor me, and listen when I just needed to vent. He would invite me over to his house for some lemonade that his lovely bride, Alma would fix for us. I don’t think I ever got out in less than two hours! His stories and wisdom were priceless.

Cy passed away on Wednesday (September 19) and he will be missed by a large extended family, including the community he worked so hard to build. He was a champion for the youth, spending countless hours mentoring students, coaching athletes, and lobbying to gain increased parks and facilities. Cy was a good friend and mentor to me and I’m eternally grateful. I will miss him.

So who is that someone that has had an impact on you? Maybe the better question is - whose life have YOU impacted? We’re only on this earth a short time. Being a mentor and friend to someone else is not only a nice thing to do, it’s incumbent on all of us because someone did it for us. The best thing I can do in thanks for Cy’s generosity to me is to give that back to someone else. What about you? Whose life can you impact in a positive way?

Dan

Monday, September 17, 2007

Are You Prepared for the Unexpected Test?

I’m teaching my first class for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research tomorrow in Seattle. The class is for Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) and I’m at the stage of the process to teach the first half of the class. Presenting in front of a group has never been an issue for me; however there are a couple areas that have me nervous.

I’ve got a brand new laptop and projector with great slides that my daughter, Mindy helped me put together. The problem is I’ve never used either in a formal presentation, so I spent all Saturday night making sure I knew how to connect the laptop to the projector and make sure I knew how to use the wireless mouse and laser (I’ve never had control of a little red dot on a screen, but it’s pretty cool). Still, using new gadgets for the first time in a live presentation always makes me a little uneasy. You never know what challenges you will run into with the configuration of the room, the positioning of outlets, or a just Murphy showing up and imposing his law on you.

I’ve tried to learn from experience to bring extra things just in case – batteries, dry erase pens, Kleenex…you never know what challenges you will have to overcome. Most importantly, those people in the class are counting on me to teach them well enough to pass their test.

Are you well prepared to meet those unknown challenges in your faith life? What challenges do you face on a daily basis? Maybe the better question is, do we even recognize them as challenges? One of mine is to make sure I pray the Rosary daily. I have to admit, some days I miss because life happens, I’m tired, or (I hate to admit this) I just didn’t feel like it. I know where those excuses come from…the one person that doesn’t want me saying the Rosary…the Devil. The Devil doesn’t tempt us by just popping in and say “Hey there, I’m the Devil and I’m here to tempt you today!” He is much more subtle; placing excuses in your head for not doing whatever it is that you know is right for your spiritual life. Those are really the temptations we need to be cautious of…the ones that prompt us to take the easy road. We have to remember where that easy road leads. Christ proclaims that to follow Him is a much more difficult road and sometimes we have to do things we don’t want or feel like doing, even if it is difficult or distasteful. Think of Christ carrying His cross and being crucified for our sake. Difficult and distasteful are HUGE understatements. It was a road that had to be taken, even though he was tempted Himself by the Devil not to take it.

Be prepared for the temptations or challenges you face daily by raising your awareness of what temptations are. Persevere and do what is right in your spiritual life, even if you don’t feel like doing it or it’s not convenient. Pack your spiritual briefcase with those extra items you may need because you never know when your next challenge will come.

Vivat Jesus,

Dan

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My newsletter is coming, my newsletter is coming...

Just a reminder that my new e-newsletter debuts this week! If you haven't had a chance to subscribe yet, please click here, and type in The Catholic Dad in the comments section. Don't miss it...subscribe today!

I'm working on a web site and some other neat things over the coming months. You won't want to miss a thing, so keep reading this blog!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9-11...


If you are like me, you will never forget where you were the moment you heard of the attack on New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. I was getting ready to take my kids to school when a neighbor called in and told us to turn on the TV. Not having been around during Pearl Harbor, 9-11 will the "Day of Infamy" for me and my generation.

Many of you know who Father Corapi is and with what truth he speaks about our faith and the world. I subscribe to his newsletter and read a great article he wrote about September 11th entitled "Six Years Later - The Approach of Midnight". With all attribution to Father John Corapi, please take a moment and read his article below. May God Bless and have mercy on all the souls who lost their lives that day and on their families left behind.

Dan

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 SIX YEARS LATER, AND COUNTING

SIX YEARS AGO ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TIME STOOD STILL IN A SPASM OF BLACK SMOKE, DEATH, AND DESTRUCTION. IT HAD NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE, BUT NOW IT HAD, PROVING DEFINITIVELY THAT IT COULD HAPPEN. AN ERA ENDED. INDEED, WE WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME.FOR A TIME, IT SEEMED TO THOSE STILL POSSESSED OF ANY ABILITY TO SEE SPIRITUAL THINGS AT ALL THAT PERHAPS THE WORLD MIGHT CORRECT IT’S BLIND AND HEADLONG FLIGHT OVER A PRECIPICE AND INTO A MORAL ABYSS. PEOPLE RUSHED TO CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MOSQUES. THERE WERE LONG LINES FOR CONFESSION IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES. OTHERS MADE THEIR AMENDS WITH GOD AND EACH OTHER IN WHATEVER WAY THEY COULD, NOT SURE WHAT WAS NEXT, NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES.

THE VERY HEART OF THE PORNOGRAPHY AND ABORTION INDUSTRIES SUFFERED A NEAR FATAL CASE OF CASH REGISTER ARREST. CLOSE PROXIMITY TO DEATH TENDS TO BRING REALITY INTO FOCUS.TIME HEALS ALL THINGS, IT IS SAID. YES, AND IN THIS CASE EVEN MOMENTS OF MORAL LUCIDITY AND SPIRITUAL CLARITY WERE “HEALED” AND REPLACED BY BUSINESS AS USUAL. MANKIND HAS A SHORT MEMORY DESPITE THE CONSTANT REMINDERS OF HISTORY.IN THE SIX YEARS SINCE 911 HAS A SOCIETY CRIPPLED BY EASE, DEBILITATED BY POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, AND CLOSE TO DEATH FROM THE MORAL MALAISE THAT HAS PLAGUED IT FOR DECADES LEARNED ANYTHING?APPARENTLY NOT, FOR TODAY EVEN MOST RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARE LOATH TO LINK 911 WITH THE REALITY OF SIN. THE WORD ITSELF HAS BEEN EXILED, MUCH LIKE GOD HIMSELF, FROM OUR SCHOOLS, OFTEN EVEN FROM CHURCHES, AND, INDEED, FROM OUR VERY CONSCIOUSNESS.THE FACT IS THAT WE REAP WHAT WE SOW. WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. THE GREATEST NATION ON THE EARTH HAS THE GREATEST MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. INDEED, “TO THE MAN GIVEN MUCH, MUCH WILL BE REQUIRED. TO THE MAN GIVEN MORE, MORE WILL BE REQUIRED.” WE WERE ENTRUSTED WITH THE WELFARE OF THE WORLD, AND ALL TOO OFTEN THE TRUST WAS BETRAYED. UNDER THE SPECIOUS PRETEXT OF FREEDOM—WHICH WAS REALLY LICENSE—WE BECAME PURVEYORS OF PORNOGRAPHY, ABORTION, GREED, DECEIT, MURDER AND MAYHEM.THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND MIDNIGHT IS APPROACHING. ILLUMINATED BY THE FALSE LIGHT OF AFFLUENCE AND EASE, SUCCESS AND POWER, WE BECAME BLIND TO THE DARKNESS, AND YET MIDNIGHT APPROACHES, WITH ALL OF THE CERTAINTY OF TIME ITSELF.HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING IN THE PAST SIX YEARS, OR ARE WE YET MORE BLIND, MORE DEAF, MORE STEEPED IN SIN? ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES. 911 WAS A WARNING SHOT FIRED OVER THE BOW OF A SICK SOCIETY. THE WARNING HAS GONE LARGELY UNHEEDED.THE CLOCK IS TICKING. MIDNIGHT IS APPROACHING. PRAYER IS NOW THE ONLY THING THAT WILL AVAIL CHANGE, SO PRAY MY DEAR FRIENDS, PRAY LIKE YOUR LIFE AND THE LIFE OF ALL YOU HOLD DEAR IS AT STAKE.FOR IT IS, IT IS.GOD BLESS YOU AND PROTECT YOU AND YOURS,


REV. JOHN CORAPI
SEPTEMBER 11, 2007SIX YEARS LATER, AND COUNTING

Monday, September 10, 2007

Let Your Dawgs Out and Play


Who let the Dawgs out?

That’s my daughter Kelli and me enjoying a beautiful day in Husky Stadium where our Dawgs were beating up on Boise State. We ended their 14-game winning streak and most importantly, got off to our first 2-0 start since 2001.

As you can imagine, everyone wearing purple in Husky Stadium was ecstatic and looking forward to next week’s match-up with perennial power Ohio State. Visions of bowl games, Pac-10 championships, and Jake Locker touchdowns were dancing in all of our heads.

The funny thing was while we were driving home and listening to the post-game show on the radio, a guy called in and wanted to be the voice of caution. “We’ve seen this before. We can’t get too excited. They’ve let us down in the past”. My response was the same as the reporter. “SO WHAT!” Why can’t we enjoy this time and revel in it, especially since we haven’t had the chance to in about half a decade! Isn’t part of the love of sports based on those highs and lows we experience following and rooting for our teams? Isn’t that what makes sports special? For every New York Yankees, there has to be a Chicago Cubs right?

That got me thinking…which can be a dangerous thing. How often do we do that in our lives? Whenever things are going well, are we too cautious waiting for the other shoe to drop? Don’t want to have too much fun in anticipation of a letdown? Conversely, when we are grinding through a tough time, do we look forward to the time when the tide changes, knowing those good times are around the corner?

Life is an adventure and a journey. I liken it to a round of golf. Through 18 holes there will be some very tough times and some great holes. And, for most holes, you will be on an even keel or at least “grinding” as Tiger Woods would say. Rejoice in the birdies in your life. They don’t always come around as often as we all would like so enjoy. Grind through those double-bogeys, knowing that your next par may be on the next hole. And, most importantly, enjoy the round and who you are playing with because you never know when that may be the last one. Game on!


Dan


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mother Teresa - A Saint for Our Generation

Today is the Feast Day of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Though not canonized YET, her feast day marks the date of her passing from this world 10 years ago. In honor of this day, I will share an article I received this morning from American Minute with Bill Federer. He says it better than I can...

Just five days after Princess Diana was killed, Mother Teresa died SEPTEMBER 5, 1997.

The daughter of an Albanian grocer, she joined an order at age 18 and began working in the slums of Calcutta.
Starting the Missionaries of Charity, which care for the blind, aged, lepers, crippled, and dying, Mother Teresa stated:
"I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene...I serve because I love Jesus."
A Nobel Prize recipient, 83-year-old Mother Teresa spoke to 3,000 attendees, including President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 3, 1994:
"I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"
Mother Teresa continued:
"Please don't kill the child...give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child."
--

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Dan

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about Blessed Mother Teresa's life, click here to visit a web site hosted by EWTN.

Monday, September 3, 2007

What you can learn from Wii®din

We just bought the new Nintendo game Wii® on Saturday and boy, is it a hoot! How many of you have Wii®? For those of you scratching your head and wondering what the heck is Weedin talking about, let me explain. Wii® is basically a PlayStation ® console where you can play video games on your TV. It’s a wireless game that needs YOU to do all the motions in order to make the characters on your TV move. So, if you’re playing golf, tennis, baseball, boxing, or racing cows – you perform all the actions. No more sitting like a lump on a chair with a joy stick, now you have to get up and move with Wii®.

First of all, as a family Wii® provided us hours of fun, raucous laughter at each others follies, and (unbelievably) great exercise. We were all pooped at the end of the evening. If you don’t believe me, go try out the boxing trainer and tell me you don’t work up a real sweat.

So, what can we learn from playing Wii®?

Ironically, the Gospel on Sunday was about humility. My daughter Kelli and I were competing in several games, namely boxing and shooting (not people – mainly space ships coming to take away little characters that look like us). She was regularly beating me (pretty soundly) in all the games that required speed, reflexes, and agility. It’s a humbling thing to be beaten by your 17 year old daughter in a boxing match! Although I was stronger (measured by the speed of your punch), she was quicker, delivering more blows.

The lesson in humility dovetailed beautifully with the Gospel reading. One of the areas of work I need is in humility and sometimes my kids give me a wake up call. Do you think God does that to us? Whenever we start to get a little big for our britches, maybe God gives us a little piece of humble pie (in my case a game of Wii®) to bring us back down to earth. What was the last dose of humility you received? Maybe the more important question is - what did you do with it?

Dan

P.S. My new e-newsletter will debut the last week of the month. If you haven’t already subscribed, please click here to sign up on my Dan Weedin Presents web site and type in “The Catholic Dad” in the comments section. You will soon be able to see a brand new web site just for The Catholic Dad soon. Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What do you bring to Mass?


What’s the largest Mass you’ve ever been a part of? Do you remember the energy you felt? I’m not completely sure, but I believe I just took part in the largest Masses ever for me. While at Franciscan University, Mindy and I were part of what I believe were just under 2,000 people in the Finnegan Fieldhouse (see photo) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to celebrate Masses. The energy that came from that many people who were truly joyous about being there is indescribable.

There were times I felt moved to tears just with the music. On Sunday, the singing of the Gloria was so beautiful that it was like I’d never heard it sung before. It was sung with enthusiasm, feeling, and love by everyone in that Fieldhouse. It was as though all the choir of angels was lifting our voices (and they were)!

As I pondered later on the experience, I started thinking, “I wish all Masses be like that. That’s the way they should be celebrated!” It didn’t take me long however to come to a humbling thought. Every Mass CAN be celebrated with the same enthusiasm and fervor. It’s up to ME to do it, though. It’s impossible to bring a couple thousand people to every Mass we attend, so we have to bring that feeling ourselves. We are responsible for our focus and prayerfulness; for our joy and devotion; and for the energy we put in to the Mass. If we all had our “A” game every time, each Mass we celebrate, whether with 20 or 2,000 of our closest friends, we would gain that same feeling I experienced last weekend. The old saying, “If it is to be, it’s up to me” rings very true in this case.

I invite you to take this challenge and find the inner joy at being at Mass each and every time you go. As the presider at Mass on Sunday at Franciscan reminded us as he pointed to the alter, “He (Jesus) is HERE, He is HERE, HE IS HERE!”


Vive Cristo Rey,


Dan

Monday, August 27, 2007

Final Thoughts from Steubenville


Well, I’m home now and getting used to the Pacific Standard time zone again. I wish I could say the same for my luggage. It seems my luggage was “delayed” in Philadelphia while I came home without it. Fortunately, the only real things of value were the presents I bought and my dirty laundry. I guess my luggage took to the saying of W.C. Fields who said, “All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”.

Thank you for allowing me this forum to share with you a significant event in my life. The lessons I learned from some of the experiences certainly flow into life. The concepts of teamwork, welcoming, family and faith all are integral to the walks in your personal and business life.

Think back to when you were 18 years old and had the world in front of you. Now, whether its 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years later, are you satisfied? Have you lived the life you imagined…are you ticking off those important adventures in your life’s to-do list? If not…why? This trip revitalized me to think ahead to things I want to accomplish and do. These things may be personal or business related, but they all are important, so taking the time to reflect and set goals is vital. I challenge you to do the same, regardless of what phase in life you find yourself. As my friend Jim Key says, it’s never too late to dream.

Dan

Sunday, August 26, 2007

OUCH!

Ouch is the only way to describe how I feel right now as I sit in the Pittsburgh airport after having said goodbye to Mindy about an hour ago. If you have been where I have, you know what "bittersweet" really means. There's a feeling that a part of you is now missing, but not gone. It's hard to describe. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with her to help her get started on her new adventure.

I'm at the same time anxious to get home and see Barb, Kelli and the dogs. Kelli just passed her drivers test, so she's official. Watch out if you're on the roads in Poulsbo;-]

That's all for now. I board a plane to Philadelphia soon and then a straight shot home to Seattle. I will do a re-cap tomorrow.

Dan

Steubenville Journal - Saturday

Today was not as packed with things to do as Thursday and Friday…which was nice. There were several events, including a parent meeting and a brunch with the Franciscan friars. At the brunch, I got to meet some folks who are from Bothell. Mindy was glad to meet another native Washingtonian, especially one who lives so close. Turns out there are nine Washington residents at Franciscan.

I continue to be amazed at the warmth and generosity of this community. It’s a very inviting and welcoming place. If you were like me, your first day of school involved walking to your first class. That’s definitely not the case here. The kids already have an idea of what daily life is like on campus and have met friends. It’s a much better way to begin.

Mindy will get the opportunity to meet with the President of the University tonight at 7:15. All incoming freshman get the chance. After that, since it’s my final night here, we are going out to Dairy Queen for a dessert. It’s starting to finally sink in for me now, just like it did for Barb, Kelli, and Steve a few days ago. Being concerned for her safety is not the issue. I know she’s at the right place…no doubt in my mind. This is the beginning of a marvelous adventure and growth for her. She’s ready for it.

The real issue is I’m going to miss her. She has already left me a voice mail that I’m not supposed to listen to until she’s not around me. I haven’t found the courage to do that yet. I still see myself holding a newborn baby in my arms almost 19 years ago. Where has the time gone?

Many of you out there know what I feel. You have been there, too. In fact, I’m among good company as I see and hear similar thoughts from other parents. Distance doesn’t make a difference; whether it’s 100 or 2500 miles, the pain is still there. I feel fortunate that technology has brought us cellular phones (thanks to family calling plans), e-mail, and webcams. We still will communicate, maybe even better than before, and that will help. It doesn’t change that she won’t be there on Saturday mornings when I make pancakes, or when we are in church as a family, or every night when Barb and I would check to see if she was asleep.

I guess the moral of the story is this. Change happens. We all go through stages in our lives and Barb and I are embarking on a new one. Closing one chapter can sometimes be painful, but always seems to lead to new adventures. As out kids grow up and move on, it will really be like old times again and will give us the opportunity to focus on each other. What changes are you going through in your life? What might you be leaving behind? And, here’s the ultimately important question – what really cool things lay in store for you?

More tomorrow from the Buckeye State..

Dan

Friday, August 24, 2007

Steubenville Journal - Day 2

The university is having IT issues so I have to type this out first and put in my blogs later. Right now, I’m in the VERY cool library. Not only is it a cool place but the air conditioning is very nice as it’s extremely hot and humid outside.

So far today, Mindy has added a class to her schedule, bought her books ($500 smackers) and put money down to go to Austria next Fall. Well, I guess I paid for the books and the deposit for Austria! She and her roomie are all moved in to their dorm room and after a decent nights sleep, all is well.

We had an awesome experience last night. I’ve only been part of something remotely similar at an NBC Team Camp event. All the kids who came back to run the orientation, affectionately called the “brown shirts” since they were all wearing one, formed a type of gauntlet for all freshman and family to walk through to enter the gym for the opening ceremonies. The brown shirts were whooping and hollering and giving High Fives to everyone walking in. We felt like were rock stars. You can’t imagine the faces of all of us as were walked through…surprise and joy. Talk about being made feel welcome. To me, that is teamwork at its finest…to make your new teammates feel welcome, wanted, and excited to be there. It might make you wonder what would happen if everyone who was new to a team (athletic, business, church, etc.) were made to feel that way!

Dan

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Almost Heaven West Virginia

Greetings from West Virginia! We arrived safely and I type this from my hotel room in Weirton, WV. I'm only a couple miles away from crossing the Ohio River over to Steubenville. The plane trip was uneventful as you would want one to be.

Mindy and I will be soon heading over to start getting her settled, so this will be brief.

One quick note. Normally I fly Alaska Airlines but they don't fly into Pittsburgh. I was pleasantly surprised by US Air. It was clean, on time, and the employees had fun, made jokes, and made our trip enjoyable. Customer service is a great thing...especially after my debacle with Dell.

More to come later...

Dan

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Steubenville Journal


Well, I'm heading out today to Steubenville, OH to take my oldest daughter Mindy to college at Franciscan University. She's a freshman so this is an emotional time in our family as you might imagine. Many of you may have already gone through this process and can empathize. Others of you will be looking forward to it.


This will start my daily journal that can be seen on this blog about my trip. If you are interested, I hope you will check in and see how we are doing.


Last night, we had 11 people over for dinner - all members of the family. It was a great chance to see Mindy off and say "see you later" until Christmas break. Family is an important part of life, whether it's your personal family, your faith family, your family at work, or the family you coach. The support you gain from your family in all walks of your life is critical to your happiness. I'm sure Mindy received that last night.


We're off tonight on a red-eye to Charlotte and then on to Pittsburgh. My next blog will come tomorrow.


Cheers,


Dan

Monday, August 20, 2007

What you can learn from a dog - The Blondie Rule #1


The other day I was taking my dogs out for their last potty break before going to bed. It was a miserable evening as the rain was really coming down hard. I put on my rain coat, and started the “leashing up process”. As I was getting Charlie, my black lab ready to go, my 16-year old terrier mix mutt Blondie decided she wasn’t going to wait.

She walked through the screen in the door (Now, how did THAT get there?) and proceeded to the top of the porch step just under cover. It was at that point she decided to do her duty, turn around and come back in. I guess a 16-year old dog has more wisdom than her 42-year old human owner. She wasn’t about to get wet, while Charlie and I got drenched.

So, what can we learn from Blondie? It didn’t take much analysis to determine that going down the stairs into the rain just to get her “job” done wasn’t necessary. She made a “command” decision and solved the problem at the least expense and effort, and still got the job done.

How many times do we fall victim of “analysis paralysis”? Sometimes, we may take an inordinate amount of time to make a decision that was staring us in the face all the time. Instead of using our wisdom and acting, we waste time, energy, and money in over-analyzing. Sometimes, we lose an opportunity because of it! If you’re like me, you have been guilty of this.

I’ve learned that my old dog can teach me new tricks. This was a good example. Granted, I will continue to use the acceptable human way to go to the bathroom; Blondie’s method of decision-making was not lost on me!

Are you procrastinating on a beginning something in your faith life? Is it reading the Bible, praying the rosary as a family, or making a religious pilgrimage, to somewhere like The Grotto in Portland, OR? What’s keeping you from getting started? Take a lesson from Blondie and don’t wait any longer. You won’t be sorry.

Dan

P.S. My daughter Mindy and I head for Franciscan University in Steubenville on Wednesday. We’re catching a red-eye out of Seattle and land in Pittsburgh the next morning (yawn). If you are interested in our adventures, please check in on this blog as I will be keeping a daily journal, hopefully including pictures. Please pray for our safe journey and we will keep you in our prayers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Assume You Know About the Assumption?


This will be a very brief blog to remind all my Catholic brothers and sisters that today is the Feast of the Assumption and a Holy Day of Obligation. Or, as my pastor so eloquently puts it, a Holy Day of "Opportunity". This is a day to honor Our Blessed Mother and ask for her intercession. The photo included in this post was taken at The Grotto in Portland, OR. If you've never had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage there, I highly recommend it. You will be taken by it's beauty, serenity, and peacefulness. On this special day, let's close with...


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee; Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus; Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.


Dan


P.S. Pray for your children today!

Monday, August 13, 2007

What You Can Learn from Tiger Woods


If you’ve ever watched Tiger Woods play golf, you know you’re looking at arguably the greatest golfer of all time. He unquestionably fits that title for this generation at least. Even if you’re not a golfer, you are certainly aware of his dominance in his profession. This past weekend, he picked up his 13th career major victory at the PGA Championship in Tulsa, OK; moving him ever closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins.

So what can we learn from Tiger? No, I’m not talking about his thunderous drives or his precision putting. We can however learn something about work ethic, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence.

Tiger Woods has been called a “phenom” by many. However, his phenomenal play really comes from an endless regimen that strengthens his mind, body, and skills. The mental focus he brings to his game is really what sets him apart from his competitors. Think about this weekend. After 72 holes in temperatures that soured to over 100 degrees each day, he won a tournament by a mere 2 strokes. Two strokes over 72 holes isn’t a lot by numbers, but it’s that little “extra” that Tiger brings from the mental side that puts him over the top time and time again. His ability to focus on the task at hand, without being distracted about what happened in the past, or what will happen in the future, has made him the most dominant athlete in sports since Michael Jordan.

Do you bring that type of focus to your “game”?

If you’re like me, being focused in prayer can be a difficult thing. Distractions are all around us, even in church or in private prayer. Can you imagine if we attacked our prayer life like Tiger attacks a golf course? Being present with God at that moment, without thinking about your past failings or what is to come, is a wonderful goal. In fact, if you find yourself distracted, ask God for help. I did that once in my adoration hour and He helped me solve a business challenge I was facing in about 25 minutes!

Be a champion for Christ. Let’s learn from Tiger Woods about focus, commitment, and dedication and take that into our prayer lives so we can be models for our children.


Dan


P.S. Remember to pray for your children and grandchildren today. Don't have kids...OK pray for your parents!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Going to the dogs?


I love my two dogs. Blondie (pictured) has been a member of our family for over 16 years. When we got her, my daughters were 2 ½ and 1 year old…they don’t remember life without her. Her buddy Charlie has been with us over four years and since being introduced to the “good life” has certainly made himself at home. Most of us understand that these are God’s creatures and He loves them.

The recent tragedy of dog fighting has been in the news lately involving Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. It’s a horrible story and the outcry for justice around the country is warranted. It does however, make me think.

As much as I agree with the majority that this type of violence to animals is cruel (and a grave sin), I am dismayed that the same voices aren’t also decrying the inhumanity of abortion. As a nation, for over thirty years, we have been putting our unborn babies to death. For those of you who know how an abortion is performed, you know that it is an inhumane and ghastly procedure.

Has our nation gone to the dogs? Probably not very fair to the dogs. Abortion is the penultimate form of child abuse. Does the moral decay of our country coincide with the Roe vs. Wade decision? I believe it does. Until we stop the legal murdering of our unborn, we as a Christian community must continue to pray for and fight against it.

I love dogs and hope that justice in this case is served. I also love humans, and pray that human life be respected from conception to natural death. Will you pray with me?

P.S. Remember to pray for your children today!


Dan

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Grace Stands the Test of Time

It was April 8th, 1974 and I was 9 years old. I was watching a nationally televised baseball game featuring the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. Glued to the television and clutching my brand-new Hank Aaron “714” baseball mitt, I was waiting anxiously to watch my hero come to the plate. I can still smell the leather of the glove. Aaron was tied with Babe Ruth as the Home Run King and his next homer would leave him standing alone. I’ll never forget it – his second at bat against Al Downing was hit over the left-field wall and as he rounded the bases, he was mobbed by two fans who somehow managed to elude the police. It was quite a scene and a thrill for this young fan. I remember how gracious “The Hammer” was in his comments before, during, and after the chase. Ruth was a legend and Aaron endured much hatred and contempt. His graciousness under these circumstances was more heroic than his accomplishment.

Now, 12,173 days later, Bobby Bonds stands alone as the new Home Run King. This article isn’t about blasting Barry Bonds. This is his time, plus there are enough people to tackle that job anyway. This is about a man who 33 years later still exudes graciousness. Hank Aaron wasn’t in San Francisco last night for the festivities. He had said all along he had no interest in attending and stuck to his word. However, he did issue a video statement that was played on the big screen congratulating Bonds for his “skill, longevity, and determination.” He considered himself “privileged” to have held the record and sent his best wishes to Bonds and his family. In conclusion, he said this, “My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams”.

It makes mo wonder if I’m always gracious in challenging times. How about you? If we can learn anything from Henry Aaron, it’s this; baseball records will come and go, but what stands forever is the character of a human being.

Oh, by the way, read his final statement one more time. Are you still chasing your dreams? As my friend Jim Key has said, “It’s never too late to dream”! My hope is that you will be inspired to keep your dreams, whatever they may be, alive and well.

Dan

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rosary Online

I love this online version of the Rosary. Adriano Moraes is a Rodeo hero and a devout Catholic. His web site is full of great information about the faith in addition to his life as a cowboy. I urge you check out his web site AND the online Rosary. It's also available under my Links section.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Hail Mary Play Into the Hall of Fame

What do professional football and Our Blessed Mother have in common? On the face of things…not much other than she has a pass play named after her by Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach. But, if you hang in there with me on this article, you may find the same similarities I did on this very special month.

Those of you who know me well know that I’m a HUGE football fan. On Saturday, I found myself at the gym working out on the treadmill and watching ESPN’s coverage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction in Canton, OH (just down the road from Steubenville, but that’s for a later time). I watched as Roger Wehrli and Thurman Thomas gave their speeches and spoke about how faith played a major part in their lives (Note - Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin, Bruce Matthews, and Charlie Sanders were also inducted but they were introduced later). Both men’s speeches started me thinking about what the REAL Hall of Fame might look like. In reality, it’s the only Hall of Fame we should be dying to get into…that eternal Hall of Fame in heaven.

Think it’s a stretch? Let me put it to you this way. Pro football players come and go over the years and toil for different lengths of time. The truly great ones are sometimes blessed with exceptional skills, but you would agree that all of them had to work hard to meet the demands of their job and be able to excel. For instance, newly inducted Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas was a second-round draft pick for the Buffalo Bills. As a 5’9 running back who weighed less than 200 pounds, he could not be categorized as a prototypical pro back. His exceptional work ethic and strong supporting cast led him to become one of the great running backs in the history of the game.

What about us? As people, we all come in different shapes and sizes and live on this earth for different lengths of times with different supporting casts. We all have skills that God has blessed us with and must work hard to improve our game – being faithful servants of God. As St. Paul so eloquently proclaimed, “I have competed well; I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Sounds like a great induction into the eternal Hall of Fame, huh? Heaven is the ultimate Hall of Fame and we are charged to lead our family into it.

So what does all this have to do with Mary? It dawned on me as I was “fighting the good fight” with the treadmill, that this month we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (August 15 – don’t forget to go to Mass). Arguably, the greatest “player” in the Hall would be the Mother of our Lord. Okay, before my non-Catholic brothers and sisters start calling me a “Mary worshipper”, let me explain my thinking. Jesus was both fully human and divine. As the Son of God, nobody else walking the face of the earth can compare. Mary, a human like the rest of us, was born without sin and remained that way throughout her life. Jesus so loved us that he gave his Mother to the world as our Mother on Good Friday. God rewarded her for her “career” by calling her body and soul into heaven. As Catholics, we honor Mary as our mother and an intercessor.

As parents raising Catholic children, we must constantly point to Our Blessed Mother as an example of true faith, obedience, and humility. A poor, young Jewish girl was given the grace to be the mother of our Savior. Not only didn’t she back away from it, she lived it to the end, standing below the foot off the cross while most everyone else fled (see my blog on St. Mary Magdalene). As we recite the Rosary, fifty-three times we ask her to pray for us “now and at the hour of our death”. My ultimate hope is that on my day of judgment, Our Blessed will be my introducer into the great Hall of Fame. Who better to walk into meet Our Lord on the most important moment in your existence, than with your Mom!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Friendship

This past weekend I had my annual opportunity to hang out with twelve of my high school buddies for a long weekend of golf, food, and fellowship. We’ve been doing this for twelve years now and as we get older I realize how important friendship is. We play five rounds of golf over three days and that is the “reason” we get together. But, I couldn’t help but think as we all sat for several meals together about other more important things.

For at least two evenings, there were twelve of us sitting around one large dinner table sharing food, memories, and laughs. Ironic that this is the same number of apostles that sat and ate with Jesus on a regular basis. For just a short time that hit me. Those apostles were men just like us. They were friends who experienced many highs, lows, and just regular days following Christ for three years. I wondered about their meals together and the food, memories, and laughs they all shared. Granted, they didn’t play golf together, but fishing can certainly be a great topic of conversation around a dinner table, too! Even though Jesus was not physically at our table with us this weekend as he was with the apostles, I knew he was there with us in spirit. One of God’s greatest gifts that He blesses us is with is the gift of friendship. I was fortunate to receive a lot of that this weekend…and probably WAY too much food!

How often do you get a chance to share time with friends during your busy schedule? Is it as much as you’d like? I urge you to take some time and think about friends that you don’t see on a regular basis, or that you haven’t seen in a long time. In today’s technological world, God has also given us a gift of ease of communication with cell phones, e-mail, and even text messaging (which I still don’t know how to use). Consider taking a moment to make contact; it may make someone’s day.

Of course, the preferable way to have fellowship is in person. And, there is a special bond when it is shared with a meal. Breaking bread together has long been a standard reason to get together and share time. We do it all the time today – meeting friends or business associates for lunch, eating a family dinner, AND at every Mass we eat our most important meal with our best friend. Next time you have the chance to eat a meal and share time with family and friends, take a moment to think about Jesus being in your presence and sharing it with you. He is there at every meal and calls us to join him personally at each Mass.