Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Not to mention that we are totally surrounded by boxes!!!! This time however, we are moving in...and planning to stay for a long long time.
It is hard to write about how crazy it gets around without sounding ungrateful however I have to say that I feel grateful to be going through everything we are experiencing. It is by Gods grace that we have everything we have!
But it is crazy.
So here is the tip of the day....
Purchase a slow cooker. Out of all the kitchen appliances we have, the slow cooker is one of the best for making good meals when life is crazy. Just place the meat in the pot, at seasoning and liquids...and 5 hours later..... You have a tasty meal with only one lot to clean.
Slow cooker. Best thing ever.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
I wasn't wearing gloves when I should have been and as a result I've got a couple of nice razor cuts on the palm of my hand.
There is something a little unnerving about getting cuts in the palms. After all they are one of the more sensitive areas of the body. Actually it's amazing how significant the palms of your hands are. They are used to greet and dismiss, they can communicate a myriad of emotions, they are sensitive to even the slightest touch. In fact, palms have hundreds of pressure points which can be used to affect every area of the body, from headaches to nausea!
Getting cut in the palm of the hand is not fun. In fact it is downright inconvenient. Do you realize how many things you do require the use of the palms? Opening jars, pushing brooms, polishing, catching stuff...pretty much everything!
Anyway, before it seems like I am whining, getting cut in my hand has caused me to reflect deeply about the one who willingly took the nails in His hands....
out of love for me.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
One thing I can say about transitioning between a job to self employment, whilst selling your home, moving into a temporary abode, renovating said abode, closing your new home, and now beginning the move to the new home, is that it can make for not so much blogging time!
That last paragraph pretty much summarizes the last 5 months of the TiPSI D household.
However, I have to say that what has inspired me to write this post is that the Blogger App finally has a landscape function! You have no idea how much this excites me ;)
Anyway we are in our second last week here in our house in Richmond Hill and are slowly making the move back up to Alliston. Contracting work is starting to come in, and our HERBALIFE business is taking off like crazy! BTW I am so excited to say that Liz has lost 39 lbs and I am down 15!
I am just finishing installing hardwood in room number three, one more to go! I can't wait to get back to some sense of normalcy. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been able to stay at my parents, but it will be nice to be back in our own home.
Which means (hopefully) back to regular blogging!
See you soon
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
You would think the solution is simple right? Go out side and play, right? I mean that's what we all did when we were kids...right?
Well not if you live in the suburbs just north of Toronto! Don't get me wrong, I really love the diversity and all the amenities that are available to us here and I am also really grateful to be living here, but I will be super thankful when we move back to our home in Alliston.
By far the biggest frustration I have living here is that it is totally unsafe to just let my kids go outside and ride their bikes. I mean, riding a bike is one of the biggest joys of childhood isn't it? The freedom, the excitement, the sheer joy of coasting for hours on end.
But when you can sit on your front porch and watch maniac drivers whipping by while talking on their cell phones...Sure there are plenty of parks in the area, but the problem is you have to DRIVE to get to them!
It is no wonder that kids spend so much time playing video games indoors. I used to think that it was a sign of bad parenting. However as I type this I am watching the fifth car in ten minutes to blow through the stop sign at the top of the street. I wish my kids would ride their bikes more, but in the interest of their safety, I am just going to let them stay inside.
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Today we went to a couple of unexpectedly inspirational places. The first being the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Former students of mine will recall my love of the theological principles expressed in architecture, especially those who completed their church projects ;)
The Basilica was no exception. It was beautiful inside and out. I also took advantage of the massive bookstore where I purchased a whole bunch of books, a couple of them being recipes from a monks kitchen. Many people have the (wrong) impression that monks live on only bread and water, not so! Sometimes they even have beans! But on special "feast" days, they put on quite a spread. Actually having worked at a monastery in one of my previous career directions, I know first hand that monks eat pretty darn good.
The second inspirational stop we made today was the national art gallery, where I got to stand beside the works of one of my favorite artists, Mark Rothko.
Mark Rothko is an artist who I have come to admire, although I will admit, that I did not really get his works at first. However after getting to know the man behind his paintings I have to say that I see them in a different light.
In fact there are many who say that Rothko's work has the ability to touch the very soul of a person.
Any way here are some pics of Mark and me :)
His paintings that is....
More to come!
Thursday, 23 August 2012
major road trip of the summer!
As a former boy scout, I am a bit of a "be prepared" freak, which by the way is the reason I always carry some sort of multi tool. I used to exclusively carry the trusty Swiss Army Knife, but lately my tool of choice has been my Leatherman Charge.
Driving trips are my favorite. There is something to be said about driving through the hills in Pennsylvania over winding roads and seeing the scenery unfold before you.
Friday, 17 August 2012
Aileen placed first overall in her age category!
But one of the highlights has got to be the random jam sessions....
So what do you get when you cross a bunch of drummers, pipers and an old green school bus?
Saturday, 11 August 2012
Just a tip, when long driving with children, cookies and ice tea do not make for a good mix. Peaches and prunes are not a good idea either.
Anyways, this weekend is all about kilts and tartans. Hey now, this is a family blog.
We are staying in the middle of a field surrounded by other tents and RVs and the weather has been shall we say appropriately cultural.
Thankfully, it hasn't been raining all day . In fact, it cleared up just in time for the festivities to start.
And here is a taste of the weekend festivities!
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
That's because I just got 1) a new iPhone about a month ago and 2) the new blogger app for iPhone!
What I love about the app is that I can post stuff to blogger without having to worry about the interface etc.... And what I love about the phone is that now I can type on the go wherever I am, except in traffic of course!
The only thing about the blogger app is that you can't type in landscape mode which is a bit inconvenient and crowded on the fingers but I usually compose using Pages anyway, and then I just cut and paste.
What I would like to know is, how to get paid to try out new stuff? I mean you hear about it all the time, testers for this and for that, but what I want to know is, how to people get those jobs?
While we're at it, how the heck do you get your own reality show anyway? I mean, do you need to send in an audition tape? We could call it: Seven for Now.
Anyway, I don't know if it is a temperament thing, or if she gets it from her two closest in age older brothers, but Bernadette has started to make her displeasure known much in the same way as her brothers... By head butting the floor before wailing like a banshee.
I'd like to see some sound guy deal with that!
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
But along with growing our team, building longboards, taking on carpentry jobs, not to mention paying bills, and feeding kids, there is also the fact that we have two family road trips coming up!
Well, better busy than bored! Anyway, I won't go too much into it right now but the other exciting news is that Liz and I are down 30lbs between us! We are pretty excited and to tell you the truth, we have never felt better.
I have to admit, while I still don't know where this journey will take us, I am still glad that I took that leap of faith a year ago. It has been one heck of a ride. All I know is, one year from now it is going to look totally different again!
Its amazing what kids will do with stuff. Today for example, we shooed the kids outside to play in my parents back yard. Without using 1000 words to draw you a picture, we have several plastic slides, a plastic picnic table and a teeter toter thing. What did our kids do with this assortment of toys? Well, Keira, who takes after her grandfather in the engineering department, decides to stack one slide on top of the other to make a mega slide....which Raphael promptly wanted to try out. The thing is, just as Nathan is Mr. Durability Test Man, Raphael's special gift is for finding safety flaws. Luckily his guardian angel was working overtime today.
The treat of the day was that we actually got a chance to sit down and watch most of a movie together with the kids! Well almost all the kids, Nathan fell asleep in his dinner....which is probably the only reason we were able to sit down.
I have no idea what I am going to write about next, but I am probably going to be doing it standing.
Monday, 6 August 2012
It's easy to sit on the other side of the keyboard writing about all of the benefits of working from home and being self employed (fully reliant on the providence of God) but the truth is, sometimes it's not all about asking and receiving. Sometimes you feel like cursing the fig tree.
In reality, I spend a good chunk of time doubting. Now, I have experienced too much of God's miraculous provision to doubt that He will come through. But I have to admit that sometimes it is pretty hard to wait for the 11th hour....and 59th minute. Especially since sometimes He comes through at 12:01.
I find it funny that even after all this time, I still have moments of insecurity, but just goes to show, that even if you have been on the same ride hundreds of times, there can be still parts of the ride that make you nervous.
I have to admit that right now is one of those times. I am confident that things will fall into place, but I would be dishonest if I didn't mention the fact that at this moment in my life, I sometimes find myself wondering what the heck God is doing!
Today was not a good day, for reasons that I am not going to get into. However, it is enough to say that today was an emotional roller coaster.
There are times in a person's life when they find out that perhaps they are carrying more baggage than they realize. Today was one of those days for me. The thing that scares me the most is the realization that there is a small part of me that wants to stay angry and broken.
What I really need to do is work on putting the baggage down at the foot of the cross. My problem is, I think I want to carry both my baggage and my cross. Or perhaps it's that I want to carry my baggage instead if it.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
The first few weeks Keira was born we started arriving to mass just as the organ was starting to play the opening notes of the processional hymn. The first time we were late I resolved to start waking up at 6:30 in the morning for to get to 10:30 mass.
The second time we got there just as the cantor was announcing the opening song, and I was not sure if it was still permissible to receive communion. So after the third time we got to mass "late" I did what any good Catholic should do about it... I went to confession.
I told Father that I was going to confession because we were getting to mass late, and he asked why, so I explained that we had just had a baby and that we were just having a hard time adjusting etc etc. So he explained the importance of trying to work as hard as possible to get to mass on time. Then he asked me if this was our first child, to which I replied, "actually Father, she is our fourth". Pause. After that brief moment of silence he replied with the wisdom only the Holy Spirit could have inspired. "You are an idiot." He then explained that although punctuality is a virtue, at this season of life our obligation is just to get the kids to mass...and to cut myself some slack.
It was an awakening moment.
Now I only need to get there 4 minutes early.
Like putting kids to bed for example. Sometimes the best way to describe it is like playing whack-a-mole. And now that we have kids who range from teenager to barely toddler, bedtimes have totally become more political.
While it would be so easy to send them all to bed at the same time, you can't really give a thirteen year old an 8:30 bedtime. In any case we are very much appreciating our temporary stay in Richmond Hill, but we are really looking forward to moving in to our new home in Alliston, which we definitely miss.
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Friday, 20 July 2012
"Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
Friday, 15 June 2012
“If any of you lacks wisdom, heshould ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault,and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
I originally posted this on my Longboard blog, but I figured I would re-post it here to start a five post series on financial management using biblical principles....
So there are a lot of businesses outthere...so what makes mine different? Well for one thing, instead ofusing a conventional business model...where one makes a businessesplan and presents it to the bank and gets a start-up loan, I startedTipsi D longboards using a biblical model of finance.
But I guess that I should probably putthings in to context. Just over seven years ago, like many otherNorth Americans out there, we were swimming in debt.....with acapital D. One time I actually sat down and figured out that if Ionly worked to pay the principal...never mind the interest on ourcredit cards, it would take 15 years to pay off what we owed oncredit cards!!! There comes a time when a man is faced with the starkreality that he can not do things alone. When that time comes...itcan cause a man to fall. Which is exactly what I did....to my knees.
I realized that if I was to ever getout of this mess, I would need to turn to God for help. Around thistime several things happened within months of each other...in a waythat can only be described a providential. First, we went on a familyretreat that totally blew us away! We were pretty devout already, butthis retreat brought our faith to a whole new dimension! It was thereI pleaded with God to help us out of our Debt Crisis.
Next we heard about this family calledthe Duggars who at the time had 17 kids and started to watch theirreality show....which I where I first learned about the Scripturalprinciples for financial management.
To make a long story short, after about4 years of following the financial principles laid out in Scripture,we are credit card free. Line of credit free. Car payment free. Checkout this site for some ofthese principles I mentioned.
Anywayhere are some pics of a board that I am working on:
Gavinis also working on a board of his own:
See you next post:
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
You know, with all of the false images of manhood there are out there in the world today, it was really refreshing to see a convention hall filled with 150 boys aged 13 to 19 behaving with dignity and respect. It was amazing! I know a ton of youth ministers who would say that to conclave 150 boys in a stuffy convention hall to listen to hours and hours of speeches would result in an all out riot. I will fully admit that before this weekend I would have agreed, but after what I saw at the convention, I have completely had a change of heart. Sure we weren't playing “get to know you” games or icebreakers or Knights, Horses and Cavaliers, but what we did do was conduct business meetings, develop long term visions, and hold elections that would rival the conduct of any corporate entity.
I have always held the not so popular view that you do not necessarily have to be entertaining to be engaging. I think that there is a growing trend towards “edu-tainment” as opposed to real academic growth and intellectual stimulation. Case in point, there are a bunch of experts and studies that would say that attention span of the average teenager is about 14 1/2 minutes...heck I have quoted the same studies myself! However I had a revelation a long time ago that these same teenagers will spend hours and hours on end playing video games while sitting stationary in front of the game console.
There is a difference between being engaged and being entertained....
Never was that more clear than at the Squires convention. Here was a bunch of boys who you would have normally expected to be sitting in front of the computer screen watching the latest uploads at failblog.org. Instead, these boys behaved in a manner fitting of their motto “Esto Dignus” (Be Worthy)
I know that there has been some confusion about the role of the Squires and how they fit in the world of Youth Ministry....and it would be understandable if someone were to think that Squires is the "youth ministry wing" of the Knights of Columbus.
But Youth Ministry is about Catechesis, spiritual formation, and the development of the individual. Squires is about developing the discipline, drive and leadership skills needed to succeed in any worthy endeavor. It is about learning how to put their formation into practice as Catholic gentlemen.
Now some would say that I am an idealist always looking at the bright side of things. And I will not deny that in any human organization there is always room for improvement.....but at the end of the day, this room full of boys, these Squires, whose friends were all probably sitting on a couch and playing Call of Duty, managed to raise, in one hour, $1200 for a boy with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma who was one of their own.Now that's Worthy.
Monday, 11 June 2012
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Its been a while since I have posted an actual tip so I figured I would post one that is both a money saver and space saver....using plastic bags instead of vacuum bags! Here is how it works:
Here is the math:
A box of 30 clear blue recycling bags costs $9.99
A box of 6 official vacuum bags cost $22.99
Which is a cost savings of thirteen bucks, which is just enough to get the perfect moving food.....PIZZA!
Untill next time
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Keep it up! And remember, if you forget, just start again where you are, no need to try to catch up.
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Needles to say, finding the right wallet is not such an easy task. So when my wallet bit the dust a few weeks back I was actually a little bit relieved. My last wallet was actually a transitional wallet that I bought to replace the one before that....which was my perfect wallet. The previous, previous wallet was one that I bought in Florence in 2001 and it was perfect. It had the right number of pockets to house all the plastic that lives in my wallet, kind of like hermit crabs. But it was still thin, even when the wallet was full of cards and receipts...cash doesn't like to stick around for too long for some reason...its sort of like a free spirit.
Anyway, I was literally scouring the internet for my new perfect wallet, when I started to think outside of the box...and then I stumbled on to this: www.capsulcase.com
This cool little case can hold a deck of 12 credit cards or 50 business cards and at $6.00 a case at the MEC, I can get a couple of these cases for the different categories of cards that I have at any given time.
On a slightly different note, things have been pretty crazy as of late. If you have been following Liz's blog, www.tipsimom.blogspot.com you would have heard about our latest leap of faith. We have listed our 1367 sqft house in order to move to a slightly bigger space.
..... Thanks to the magic of the internet, you are reading this after a few seconds of reading the last sentence....however as I was typing that last sentence, about a week ago, we got a call from our real estate agent! So I am pleased and grateful to God to be able to say that we received and accepted and offer for our house! The sold sign just went up the other day. Gotta hand it to those novena's to St. Joseph!
Thats it for now...I am posting this the day after a confirmation retreat I just helped to direct....so I am in that post retreat haze that anyone who has been part of retreat ministry will all recognize. Slightly euphoric, slightly on auto pilot.
Monday, 16 April 2012
As if life is not busy enough, I have decided to start yet a new adventure! Check out my new site: www.tipsidlongboards.blogspot.com
One of the things I love to do in the winter is Snowboard, however the summer months make it difficult to pursue that hobby...however, I do love to canoe.....which I know is a random juxtapostion however, when you take a big stick and put it together with a longboard, you get a sub group of longboarders called Landpaddlers....which combines both the sensation (somewhat) of boarding, and canoeing all in one package!
Anyway, I also want build these boards with the same Christian principles that I live by, and perhaps, God willing, draw some income as well! So keep on the lookout for new designs and setups. Also feel free to support us by making a donation on this blog!!!
Next post: what is harder to find than the Holy Grail?
Sunday, 1 April 2012
People have a hard time admitting when something is broken. Marriage, properly lived, should be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable and sustaining experiences a person who is called to that vocation should ever experience. If it isn't then it is broken. Sure there will be ups and downs, hard times and good times, disagreements and differences of opinion, but in the long run, a true marriage will make your life better.
Olympic athletes are often praised more for the dedication and hard work they put into their sport than they are for the medal they receive. It is amazing to me that people think that marriage can work without the same level of dedication and perseverance. It is not possible. Marriage takes just as much commitment, dedication, and perseverance as training for the Olympics. If that sounds like too much work, then perhaps the person you are dating is not the right one for you.
Marriage is a commitment to carrying it out for the long haul. For better or worse, richer or poorer. It is the promise to help your spouse become a stronger person by becoming a stronger one yourself. It is knowing that you are 100% responsible for the success of the relationship.
True marriages are not 50/50. You can not be 50% committed to a relationship. Just try being 50% committed to your work. In a short time you will be 100% fired. Why people think that a 50/50 relationship will work is beyond me.
It drives me crazy when people use the most dysfunctional examples of marriage as if they are the norm. I have news for you people....they are NOT the norm. You don't describe a computer by saying it is not a toaster. Some will say, "but the statement is true"...yes, that statement is true but it does not bring someone closer to the true definition of a computer.
Likewise with marriage, one does not describe what true marriage is by comparing it to what it is not. Most people would agree that marital intimacy is one of the most pleasurable experiences a person can have. If it is not....there is a good chance that you are doing it wrong, or there may be something medical that needs to be checked out. Either way, there is an issue that needs to be resolved, if it is not resolved, as unfair as it is, one will not be able to have the full experience of making love.
There is something wrong when people look at my marriage and assume that it can't be working as well as it seems, as if we must be hiding something. The fact of the matter is, my marriage works, because I work at my marriage.
If you are not working on your marriage, you can be sure that sooner or later it is going to get broken.
Friday, 23 March 2012
Greetings everyone. Spring is definitely in the air! As much as I love the crisp clean winter air, I have to admit that 25 degrees (Celsius) in the middle of March is not too bad at all.
When I was a teacher, one of my classroom traditions was to break into song on the first day of spring....what a way to perpetuate the stereotype of the guitar playing religion teacher....except I most definitely did NOT wear a habit.
Anyway I thought I would carry the tradition on my blog....
Here is a personal favorite of mine, apropos to the season.
Monday, 19 March 2012
It is a pretty well known fact that the closer you get to the source, the less expensive a product. Chocolate chip cookies are a great example of this. A bag of cookies can range anywhere from $2.99 to $4.99 a bag, and will contain at most three dozen cookies.
A bag of chocolate chips can be purchased for about $3.49 and can be used to make 150 cookies....depending on the recipe.
The advantage to making your own cookies is that the list of ingredients is about 1/5th of the ingredient list of store bought cookies....if you know what I mean.
Here is the recipe we use for our home made cookies, which we got from an old friend many years ago:
1lb margarine melted
3cups brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
3 cups chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in order. Drop spoonfuls on a baking sheet. Preheat oven 350 F and bake for 8-10 minutes
Yields approx 150 cookies
For an extra tasty treat...try this...
1 tub of cream cheese
Roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Ok, so I know that last post I said that my next post would have something to do about chocolate, but I still needed to post this months pushup challenge extra.
So this month, the pushup challenge extra challenge is Spiderman Pushups!
Here is what they look like:
More on chocolate next time
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Well this has been an interesting week. I have been on reading week from my college courses an the break could not have come at a better time! Something definitely Norwalky has been going through the house the last few days. Today I pulled out the chicken soup recipe and the laundry has been going non stop.
However it has also been a day of simple blessings. I was able to go through some things that have been piling up.
One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility. Yesterday there was a freezing rain warning, which resulted in school closures in our region. So seeing as the rest of the county got a snow day, the kids got a snow day today as well.
I am definitely enjoying parental leave and I am positive that given the choice, most parents would also choose to stay home more often with their kids, but the biggest concern for mot people is probably finances. When I began this year long experiment, I wanted to show people that it was possible to stay at home and not have to sacrifice too much...which I can confidently say that we have so far been able to do by the grace of God. But I will also say that it has not been easy.
Probably the biggest challenge has been choosing healthier food choices while living on a limited budget. The truth is, it is far less expensive to by the regular vegetables (which have probably been genetically modified in some way) than it is to buy the organic stuff. Same goes for cereal and just about everything in between. I was getting sleepy driving home the other day and wanted to get a snack to keep me a bit more alert. My preferred choice would have been sunflower seeds...but they were about three times more expensive than the Cheetos that I ended up buying. I know that eating healthy is about making conscious choices but when every dollar counts chances are you are going to spend your five bucks on the GM peppers, carrots, apples and corn instead of the organic broccoli which costs $3.99/ bunch.
But for the most part, I really do think that having lots of kids is more affordable than people think...in fact I like to think that our family is living proof of that.
Incidentally, as part of the transition from traditional to non-traditional employment, I have decided to change the tithing model for this blog. A while back I said that I would be reverse tithing any income we received from this blog, giving the tithe to charities that fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless and clothed the naked. While we are still going to tithe to the same causes, I have decided to apply a more conventional tithe model (%10) to any of the donations we receive from here on.
Also I want to send a public note of thanks to everyone who has donated to either TiPSI Dad or TiPSI Mom, you have been instruments of God's provision in more ways than you know.
Next post: For the love of Chocolate!!!
Sunday, 26 February 2012
I have always said that if I was going to pursue theological studies at the graduate level, I would do it in the area of Angelology. Specifically with regards to the question "When are we assigned our Guardian Angel?"
Angelology, if the name does not speak for itself is, of course, the study of Angels. Yes I do believe in Angels. Many of the various popes in the history of the Church have encouraged us to frequently pray to our guardian angel. I pray to my guardian angel all the time. I know that my kids' guardian angels put in a lot of over time. If any of you have ever seen a precocious two year old narrowly miss smacking his face off the kitchen table as he leans just a little too far over to reach the jam, you know what I mean. There have been many amazing stories, both anecdotal and historically verified about how angels have come to our aid throughout history. The Church teaches that each one of us is assigned a guardian angel, but what I would like to examine is, at what point does our angelic guardian get assigned to us?
You see, much of what the church teaches about angels comes from the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, who wrote extensively about the nature, intelligence, origin and substance of angels. While I would not presume to take on the Seraphic Father, I would argue that what he wrote regarding when we are assigned our angelic guardian was technically inaccurate.
The Church clearly teaches that ensoulment (the moment in which we are given a soul) happens at conception, which is incidentally when science clearly states that life begins. By the way, the question as to whether or not human life begins at conception is really just a philosophical debate, because anyone who has taken grade 9 science knows that as soon as an organism is fertilized it is considered a zygote, which is scientifically recognized as a stage of life for that particular organism, whether it be a plant, or an animal.
According to the Summa, a person is assigned their angel at birth, (Summa 113:5) under the assumption that while in utero they are protected by their mother's guardian angel. However we know that the conventional scientific explanation of human gestation at the time the Summa was written was erroneous and has since been scientifically proven wrong.
So, it stands to reason that:
If a guardian angel is assigned to every soul, and if ensoulment occurs at the moment of conception, then it is reasonable to presume that our guardian angel is assigned to us at the moment of our conception.
The thing I love about academics is the process by which an argument or position is reasonably proposed and defended for the sake of pursuing knowledge. However there is a danger in academia to become disconnected with any real practical application for such knowledge. So what practical application could such a question be applied too?
Well, I think that the application of this pursuit is a pastoral one. If we can reasonably assume that our guardian angels are assigned to us at conception, then we can confidently invoke the guardian angels of the unborn. Because God knows, in this day and age, they need all the help they can get.
Now, I fully admit that given my limited knowledge, I might be totally off base. If there is a theologian out there who can give some insight (fully supported of course) about our guardian angels, I would really appreciate it! In the mean time,
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Thank you all very much for all the birthday greetings! As I write this post, it is the day after my 38th birthday, which is usually not so much cause for celebration but it happens to also be Pancake Tuesday or by its other name, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the connection between Mardi Gras and the liturgical season of Lent, allow me to clarify. Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of lent which is the period of forty days of fasting and abstinence in preparation for Easter, which also last forty days. In time when there was no refrigeration, it was customary to "clean the fat" out of the pantries by having a great big feast the Tuesday before ash Wednesday...hence Pancakes!!!
By the way, in case some of you don't know, Sundays do not count as days of fasting or abstinence which is why if you did the math, the forty days of lent always seem longer than the forty days of Easter (yes that means that you can have chocolate on Sundays during lent)
I have always found the correlation of science, psychology and religious practice fascinating.....
The purpose of the lenten season for adults is to examine any particular vices we have that may be impeding our relationship with God, our families or our personal growth and to "give them up" in exchange for behaviors that are healthier, more positive and lead us to become better people. And we actively, consciously practice these behaviors for the forty days of Lent.
Incidentally, psychological research has shown that it takes between three to six weeks to create a habit, which is precisely the length of the lenten season! Hmmmmm
Anyway, over the years I have come up with several creative lenten practices however for this post I thought I would pass on suggestions of what NOT to give up for lent:
- Shoes, especially if you live in Canada at this time of year.
- Brushing your teeth, unless you want everyone else around you to do penance too.
- Fibre (that was probably my worst lent ever)
- Sarcasm (that was actually harder than giving up fibre)
- Your job
- Complimenting your wife, unless you like sleeping in the garage.
- Cleaning around the house
Incidentally if you want to be particularly penitential this lenten season, give up coffee cold turkey.....
Enjoy your pancakes!!
Monday, 13 February 2012
In her classic work of spiritual literature, "The Interior Castle," St. Teresa of Avila explains that God's providence is often revealed through His timing. Personally, I have come to the realization that God's timing often reflects the way we tend to do things, which in my case is very last minute.
Waiting for God is not easy. We live in a world of push button convenience, I can't tell you how impatient I get heating coffee in the microwave, or when it takes longer than two seconds to load a webpage. In a lot of ways, we have been conditioned to rush through life. Haste makes waste, goes the old adage. This is true for any endeavor, whether carpentry or accounting. In fact, one can also say that a rushed life is a wasted life.
One of the results of this perceived urgency is that it makes waiting for God that much harder. It is easier to reach for the credit card to make purchases and waiting for God to provide either the resources, or even something better.
The reality is, waiting is exactly what we are called to do.
Living according to scriptural financial principles involves a surrendering to God and trusting that He knows what you need more than you do. He also knows when you will need it. I remember reading Kimberly Hahn quoting her father in "Rome Sweet Home" that Jesus is either the Lord of your entire life, or He is not. This is true for every aspect of your life, whether it is in the area of fertility, or finances. As I have said before, you either believe in God, or you don't. If you do believe in God, then you either trust Him, or you don't.
One of my favorite scenes in Return of the Jedi is when Lando and Nien Nunb are flying the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor. Just after they take out the main generator they fly out at breakneck speed through the exploding Death Star as the flames are overtaking them.
I can personally say that waiting for God's timing, while living on a single income can be like flying the Millennium Falcon out of the Death Star. There have been times when we were down to our last dollar, and payday was still a week away, when we have received financial blessings in ways that can only be described as God's timing. It takes courage to wait for the Lord, not just patience.
There are tons of scriptural passages that give examples of God's provision...."Ask and you shall receive" (Mt 7: 7-8) "Do not worry" (Lk 12: 22-31) but my personal favorite is an obscure passage found in the Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 17 Verses 24 through 27. Allow me to paraphrase:
Tax collector: HEY YOU! Do you think talk is cheap? You guys gotta pay the temple tax!
Peter: ummm....let me check with the Boss... Uhh Jay Cee? The guy says we gotta pay some sort of temple tax.
Jesus: Dude, do kings make their own kids pay taxes? I don't think so. But just so this guy doesn't get all uptight about it, go down to the water, throw in a fishing line, and you will catch a fish, in its mouth you will find a gold coin. Give it to the guy and let him keep the change.
How cool is THAT??
Friday, 3 February 2012
Welcome to month two of the TiPSI Dad push up challenge! If you have been following since the beginning, congratulations for completing 499 pushups! (at the time of this post)
Now, chances are, if someone told you to do nearly 500 pushups just over a month ago you would have probably shook your head and said they were crazy, however, just by doing a little more each day you were able to accomplish just that.
If you think about it, many of the accomplishments we achieve in life happen just like that, as a result of doing just a little more each day.
If you joined us a little late in the challenge, worry not! Just join in when ever you read this and you too will be doing 500 or so pushups a month in no time!
So each month I am going to post an additional challenge for days one to ten for those of you out there who are feeling especially ambitious, however there is no obligation to go beyond doing one push up for every date of the month.
Here is this months extra challenge:
For days one to ten, make every pushup a ten second pushup.
Here is what it looks like:
More TiPSI Dad videos to come!
Next post: Flying the Millennium Falcon
Monday, 30 January 2012
One of the reasons I felt called to start this blog was to witness to God’s provision and to the culture of life by demonstrating that it IS POSSIBLE to raise a family on a single income, even in this economy. You either believe in God or you don’t. You either believe that God was telling the truth when He said “ask and you shall receive” or you believe he was lying. You either trust Him when He said “if you say to this mountain ‘throw yourself into the sea’ and if you do not have doubt in your heart…it will come to pass……whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it shall be yours (Mk 11:23-24) or you don’t. Faith of a mustard seed. That is all God has ever asked. Our level of hesitation only reveals the depth of our faith.
This year…while on parental leave benefits alone I have: gone back to college, taken my kids to the science centre three times, gone skiing, had my kids in archery lessons AND swimming lessons. Liz has started painting again (check out her blog: www.tipsimom.blogspot.com) and the list goes on and on. All WITHOUT GOING INTO DEBT OR MISSING A MORTGAGE PAYMENT!!!
Anyway, what I am trying to say is, God really does provide. What we did not have the money to pay for, we have been given….truly providentially.
This has been an amazing year so far! Here is an outline of what I have been doing since last September:
Home schooling the (school age) kids: While I do believe in early education, I figured I would wait a bit before I tried teaching Bernadette…who is nine months….how to read and write Latin….her older brothers and sisters however are well aware of the various declensions and cases…..Liz and I have an ongoing debate on pronunciation as she was trained in classical Latin whereas I was trained in Church Latin, however the kids prefer either to learning Hebrew…but hey, you have to walk before you run right?
Some of you may know that I also went back to College this year! I am currently in the second and last semester of the General Carpentry program at Georgian College in Barrie. Actually this is not too far off the beaten track for me as some of you know that I have been banging nails, ripping out toilets and putting up walls since I was sixteen.
Some of you also know that I started contracting on my own a couple of years ago….so if any of you in the Greater Toronto Area ever need a painter….or are thinking of renovating your basement, let me know.
The most exciting thing is that we have become distributors of essential home services (ie high speed internet, local and long distance phone service, gas and electricity packages and more!) The company is called ACN and our experience has been amazing! Check out our online store:
I cut my phone bill from $130/Month with our last provider to $75 dollars a month for unlimited high speed internet and unlimited calling to 60 countries by switching to our product….oh and our monthly gas bill is down too. I would consider it a huge favour if you checked out our store and recommended our services to anyone you know….the details are on the site.
And if you happen to be in the market for an awesome home-based business opportunity give us a shout!
And lastly, a few posts ago I mentioned that I had exciting news, which I would be sharing. The time has come to announce.....that I have decided not to return to education to pursue other adventures!
I just want to say that it was an honour and a privilege to work with such an amazing group of people for the last seven years. I consider them some of my favorite people in the world. I have grown so much from their wisdom and guidance. Many of them have inspired me in ways that are beyond words.
I am excited to see what God has in store for me and my family next!
Next post: Taking the push up challenge to the next level!
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
So I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day , and the guy in front of me jokingly remarked about how much food his two boys ate in a week. So I casually mentioned that I knew all about the consumption of food....with seven kids and all. I love the look of stunned disbelief mixed with slight admiration and slight "what are you crazy???" that comes over their faces when I say that.
But, with food prices the way they are these days, I guess it is no wonder that people wonder how we manage to feed everybody without getting eaten out of house and home.
Part of living within your means involves understanding the difference between shopping for ingredients versus shopping for prepared foods...the grocery store version of fast food.
With a little creativity and some planning, it is possible to eat nutritiously with out breaking the bank! For example, instead of chips we make popcorn top of the stove which saves us quite a bit, both in money and in calories.
But buckets of popcorn do not a health diet make, so how do you eat well without breaking the bank?
Anyone who has read anything about investing has probably heard about a technique called dollar cost averaging. Basically the principle of DCA works like this, if you constantly spend x amount of dollars on any given investment, sometimes you will get more, sometimes you will get less.
If you know what to look for, you can find some great deals on food that goes on sale. For example, turkey goes on sale at our local grocery store for $1.00lb....which means that we can get two 20lb turkeys for about $40....which is a lot of turkey.
Each one of those turkeys translates into a week of meals for our family of 9! So that works out to $10 a week! Throw in some salad ingredients (3 romaine lettuce heads @$5...) so that is 1.42 on turkey, 0.71 for salad, throw in a few cents for rice and frozen veggies and that works out to less than $3 a meal for the family....that is 0.37 per person!
Now someone out there has probably said, I don't want to eat turkey for a weeks on end and truth be told neither do we. However, that is what freezers are for. There are a bunch of turkey recipies that freeze really well. We make a batch of cream turkey, freeze it and then use it as a base for turkey pot pie, turkey a la king, pasta and turkey cream sauce...and the list goes on.
Using the principle of dollar cost averaging you can get some really great food deals AND it give you an opportunity to expand your pallet.
By the way, for those of you who are taking part in the TiPSI Dad Push Up challenge, welcome to week two!
If you have been doing your pushups you will have done 55 push ups at the time of this post. Keep up the good work! If you are just hearing about the challenge for the first time, feel free to join! No need to try to catch up, just join now and follow the directions for the rest of the year. The more the merrier!
Monday, 2 January 2012
- This challenge is between you and yourself. Nobody else. You may choose to do this challenge with a friend, which I recommend, but do not push yourself to the point of self injury!
- Speaking of self injury, please consult your physician if there is any question about your physical health! I will not be held responsible for any injury incurred should you choose to take part in the challenge.
- I will not take any credit either for any attention garnered for your improving physique. Also, what you chose to do with that attention is up to you. Please act responsibly.
- Feel free to share the challenge with your friends...and please post comments about your progress!! It would be great to hear your stories.
- There will not be any prize at the end, but the satisfaction in knowing that in the year 2012, you will have done 5,580 push ups!