Accepting a challenge

The Challenge Over the last few weeks I examined my limitations, faults and outstanding obligations pretty hard.  I could look at it as a time of trial and woe..but that would be wrongheaded.  I know this is a chance to grow in ways I would not normally force myself to do.  For the moment, I am doing it in an environment where the people helping me through challenge are doing so out of a desire to see me grow in my day job.

Reflecting on it tonight I remembered that my best supervisors prior to this little challenge all did the same thing.  One company commander told me straight out I was not his choice for the job as his XO, but he'd work with me and see what I could do.  Every week he fed me more and more assignments until he left seven months later, and I was able to run the company myself as the CO if needed.  He smirked later when he told me "You did alright."  In one contractor job I pulled, the supervisor looked me in the eye with a hard message.  If he was in town when I applied, no interview or job would have flown my way.   That being said, he decided to work with me.  Every day for three months I pulled odd task after odd task until I knew my job cold.  Seven months later he told me to come back if I needed a better paying job in his company!  My growth was part of those bosses plans from the get go.  I just did not know it at first.

So the cycle repeats itself again at work.  A supervisor calling me to expand my mind, my capabilities and mission to reach his goals and expectations of my position.  I am grateful for the opportunity, I have a job and I need to hold it tight in these frightful times.  I also know that my growth could determine the fate of my company.  If the challenge comes and I am not ready, those we serve could suffer greatly.  The wrath of that failure should fall where the fault lies, and if it is me it will be me who starts walking home.

I could not help but to think of this stained glass window from St. Fedelis in Victoria when I thought of this.  Here was Mary Magdalene begging for a job, the job of disciple of Christ.  She humbled herself to wash Christ's feet with her hair!  Here was Christ who challenges each of us to get out of our comfort zone, and do what is right by God's plan even if it is not written anywhere as the law of the land.  Each day and night a challenge like those set forth by my best supervisors greets us with a chance to grow as a disciple of Christ.  We can embrace the challenge, or walk away.

I beg of you, to take up the cross with a smile.  For the rewards of being with him forever are pretty good ones if we bare the cross with as much honor as we can.  I'll do my best to join with you in the walk.  I hope we can share it and grow together!


The Challenge

The St Fedelis - The Sanctuary

2013 Vacation 2013 Vacation St Fedelis Sanctuary

The sanctuary of St Fedelis in Victoria, Kansas is simply amazing.  Flanking every image of Christ or altar are saints we can admire for their piety and service to the Lord.  Many of them built up devotional techniques, and I am sure one of them will suit your personality, which point you right at the Lord and all the wonderful things only he can provide.

So I hope you enjoy these images from St Fedelis as you head off to church today!


Just the way it clicks

Coming to the water! Coming to the water?  Can you imagine how John felt when Jesus asked him to baptise him?  Here was the man sent to lead us to heaven asking one of us fallen ones to lead him by example!

The good people of Victoria, Kansas have this lovely statue giving us a look into that moment of service.  What I enjoy the most about these statues is the ability to walk around, below and above a scene.  When I remember or read the story of John the Baptist and then view this statue, I feel that I am starting to live the moment.  I find it easier to put myself in the scene, watching the interplay of these two great men...the great prophet and the one he was to announce at the River Jordan.

As with all things spiritual and artistic, the moment it clicks comes not from reading the story but rather from the moment it touches your personal soul.  Maybe your mind can grasp it from the words, maybe a picture might make it stick...or just maybe this three dimensional image puts these two men into our lives with the same power those people at the river bank received.  As fellow Christians we must all help each generation find the path that will connect them to Christ.  There is no right or wrong way...there is just the way it clicks.


P.S.  I forgot the Holy Spirit dropped down and added an audio dimension to the story the statue does not..but hey we can add that today when join the chorus to sing our praises to God on high!

Looking up to Heaven

Spires draw you up to God Vertical elements in churches main function it to have you look up, hopefully towards where we perceive heaven to be.  This is a reflection of our natural tendencies.  I have yet to find a culture where when they are happy they look down, or when in a defeated stance look up.

Each stone you see weighs 50 to 100 pounds.  Estimates say they moved over 125,000 cubic feet of rock.  Some fathers and grown sons hauled as many as 70-80 loads of stone to help raise this from the ground.  By the automatic lifts or power tools!



PS All the info is coming from the parish information sheet...check out their website at

Treasures in plain sight

St Fidelis Catholic Church from the highway As we drove across Kansas both east and west I saw beautiful churches rising from the plains.  I found myself intrigued, and driving home my daughter gave me a chance to see one of them.  When given a choice of Eisenhower's Presidential Library or the "Cathedral of the Plains" she said try this...and we made it a pilgrimage.

This is all you would see from the interstate...

St. Fidelis Catholic Church is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.  It nickname, Cathedral of the Plains came from William Jennings Bryant after a campaign stop here in 1912.  What is really is though is a testimony of the faith and dedication of Volga German immigrants to build a faith inspired community on the harsh landscape of the high plains from the 1880's to the turn of the century.  What makes it even more remarkable, is that the current parish continues to care for and restore the church to keep up to the standards of their ancestors.

So come on in, and see the testimony of faith built by farmers at the great personal cost because they believed their house of worship needed to be a grand home that tells their story of faith through form, function, and art.  In all ways it is a pleasure in plain sight.

Welcome to St. Fidelis!

Welcome to St. Fidelis!