How to Become an Epic Lover

3 09 2021

Do you wish to become the husband that your wife could brag about? Do you wish to be an epic lover, then watch this video of the twenty advice from Gerald Rogers, a man who lost his wife of 16 yrs on the advice he wished he had received.

How to become an Epic lover





Hero moms dominating Olympics

5 08 2021
Allyson Felix

Mothers are dominating at the Olympics, and their children are only encouraging them to reach greater success. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Allyson Felix of the United States are just two women who work double duty as track and field stars and devoted mothers to their children.

In a progressive culture that consistently demonizes motherhood as a setback or as less than advantageous, they both serve as a wonderful testament to the beauty and purpose found in motherhood.

Fraser-Pryce, a 34-year-old sprinter and “Mommy Rocket” won silver on Saturday in the 100-meter final with a time of 10.74 seconds. Above all else, Fraser-Pryce prioritizes her 3-year-old son, Zyon, who often travels around the world with her to meets.

Fraser-Pryce reminisced on Facebook, “All my focus heading into training for my 2017 season was on getting healthy and putting myself in the best possible fitness to successfully defend my title in London 2017, but . . . here I am thinking about being the greatest mother I can be.”

American Allyson Felix also finds immense joy in her daughter as a track and field star. The 35-year-old has won nine medals across four Olympics, the most of any female athlete in U.S. track and field. Wednesday morning, she secured a spot in the 400-meter final. Felix is also scheduled to compete in the 1600-meter relay and 1600-meter mixed relay.

Giving birth to a child as an elite athlete is not easy, and it was made even more difficult because Felix was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and had to deliver her daughter, Camryn, two months early via Cesarean section. Camryn is now a strong and healthy 2-year-old.

Felix attested to the beauty and purpose found in motherhood on Tuesday after she qualified for the 400-meter dash, saying, “It’s changed everything. It’s given me a different drive. I’ve had so many challenges because of it and so I think it’s even more meaningful now to be on this stage as a mom.”

During her pregnancy, Felix wrote a May 2019 New York Time op-ed accusing her longtime sponsor, Nike, of penalizing her and other pregnant athletes, and said her “natural desire for a family” resulted in the “kiss of death” from the company. Though the athletics brand made changes regarding its policies for pregnant and parenting athletes, Felix left to sign with Gap’s Athleta.

Fraser-Pryce and Felix both set compelling examples as career women with children, but Olympic hopeful Brianna McNeal provides a sad example of an athlete who decided to prioritize expediency over what’s right.

The 29-year-old, who won gold in the 100-meter hurdles in the 2016 Rio Olympics, experienced a series of setbacks and poor choices that barred her from competing at this year’s Tokyo Olympics. McNeal was provisionally suspended in January and consequently given a five-year ban two months ago for skipping a January 2020 drug test. McNeal said that she missed the drug test because she was on bed rest recovering from an abortion when the official knocked on her door.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed McNeal’s appeal and upheld its decision on July 2, barring her from competing at the games. She rebuked the appeal, explaining that she was “under physical and mental trauma” the day of the drug test.

She lamented, “Right now I feel excommunicated from the sport itself and stigmatized, and to me it is unfair. I just don’t believe that this warranted a suspension at all, much less a five-year suspension, for just a technicality, an honest mistake during a very emotional time.”

Yet the ban followed a track record of McNeal missing these tests. Four years ago, she received a year-long ban for missing three tests in a 12-month period. Gabbi Cunningham, who finished fourth in qualifiers, replaced McNeal.

Though perhaps inadvertently, Fraser-Pryce and Felix exemplify pro-life values that transcend their vocation. Instead of terminating their pregnancies to extend the trajectory of their track careers, they bravely faced the challenge head on, all while benefiting from the fulfillment of motherhood.

Articles from spectator. org





An African Gift: The story of Anja

6 06 2021

This 5 mins video demonstrates that when we help we are helping ourselves.

An African gift: The story of Anja




What if Christians were one?

17 04 2021

There is a saying that fiction has to be believable but real life may not. Hence, I was barely was able to get through watching the movie “What if (2010)” endorsed by Pureflix as good Christian film, because of the myriads of unbelievable elements it contains. The story is about a business man, Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo) who, at the peak of his career gets whacked by an Angel into a “future” life he would miss if fails to be faithful to God’s call to become a preacher. The problem is that this life, the life of penny pushing pastor of a small town parish is nothing to compare with the power job he presently has but in the end he ditches it for preacher’s life and left me wondering if this isn’t a mockery Christianity.

Are the makers of this movie really saying that you can’t be a successful business man as well as a good Christian? Are the two really incompatible?  If that is so, then no should be surprised when Christianity is scorned in intellectual and artistic circles. But even more seriously, it would negate the very words of Jesus, “Go you therefore and make disciples of all (Mathew 28: 19), which would be impossible if only pastors could be good Christians. How about when Jesus talked about trading with the talents God gave us when he told the story of the man who about to engage in travel called his servants and entrusted them with talents with the expectation that they would trade and make profit (Luke 19:13) It would be impossible if all the talent that needs trading was that of a pastor. Furthermore, it would also negate the life of the early Christians many of whom where business people like Priscilla and Aquila(Acts 18:2-3), or Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43)  and  many high ranking members of the Roman society who later converted to Christianity.  

Consequently, I would argue that the producers of this film misunderstand the basic tenets of biblical Christianity and that their misunderstanding has its roots in the crises of Christian division and disunity that became definitive in the 15th century with the protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther who broke with the Catholic Church (the only church exiting in the world since the time of Apostles) and founded the Lutheran church with separate doctrines and teachings. As a consequence, today, there is probablly perhaps up to 50 thousand different Christian sects all with conflicting interpretation of scriptures a great obstacle to understanding what Christians really believe. And this incoherence introduces a profound dysfunction such that Christians end up producing movies that are contradictory to scriptural teachings.

In the movie, for instance, an angel who happens to be a mechanic and who delights in whacking people over the head to get them do what he wants kidnaps Walker and forces him to become a pastor, with wife and kids he does not want all in the name of a God who is love? How in the world would atheists watching this film ever take God or Christian faith seriously. How I long for Christian films like Hollywood’s greats like the “Ten Commandment (1956)” by Cecil Be De Mills with masterful dialogue and great stories. In contrast, “What if”, though styled like “It’s a wonderful life (1946)”, is simply artistic dwarf.

 As the movie progressed, Walker easily ditches his successful life and accepts his new life as a pastor and his pastor’s wife (Kristy Swanson) all smiles she wakes up to find him reading the bible, a transformed man. The problem is that real life does not work that way, it takes much more than that to get someone to change his life. Usually, such transformation is a slow and painful process. Besides it can be argued that there is really no reason for Walker change. His life as a successful business man was fascinating, even altruistic and progressive, and there was no real mission or great commission he had in abandoning it to become a pastor, and besides according to St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, every noble human work can be a path to holiness

In the final scene, Pastor Walker goes to the hospital to save the soul of a dying man, telling him to repent. Usually this is the ultimate price, or golden globe of spiritual life for every pastor, but the moment was marred when the dying man looks up and seeing a man with a bible and thinking him to be a catholic priest says to him, “I did not ask for priest.” Walker replies “I am not a priest— same league different teams”. Walker meant that as a protestant pastor he was playing the same leagues as a catholic priest but in a different team. Pastor and the priest both profess the same Christianity yet have opposing views, different doctrine and different teachings.

When the dying man, a little embarrassed, says to Walker, “How are we going to do this”: what if I repent, how are you going to forgive me if you are not a priest? Only the Catholic church claims the power to forgive sins in the name of Jesus based on the power that Christ handed down to his apostle in John 20:23, ” Who so ever sins you forgive they are forgiven and who sin you retain they are retained”. The Catholic Church teaches that this power is transferred down through apostolic succession to the Pope and bishops in communion with him and the bishops delegate this power to the priests.

Walker says to him “I believe that God knows your heart and he can forgive you.”  I think this is a pitiful assurance to give to dying man in place of powerful sacrament of reconciliation as instituted by Jesus Christ and contained in the deposit of faith uncontaminated and unchanged for 2000 years in the Catholic church . Christian disunity is the reason that Christian teams are consistently losing out to the worldly teams in the all the game of life, politics, movies, science and arts, as Jesus predicted and leaves one wondering:  What if Christians were one?





Three teen girls who killed a Nun weep because of her love by Hannah Brockhaus

31 10 2020

 

catholicnewsagency.com
October 22, 2020
CNA).- The three teenage girls who killed Sr. Maria Laura Mainetti 20 years ago attested afterward that, while they were stabbing the 60-year-old religious sister to death, she told them she forgave them.

“The sister cried out. She said she would not report us. That she forgave us,” Milena De Giambattista, Ambra Gianasso, and Veronica Pietrobelli told police when they confessed to killing the woman as part of a Satanic ritual.

In May, Pope Francis declared Venerable Maria Laura Mainetti a martyr, killed in “hatred of the faith” in Chiavenna, Italy. She will be beatified on June 6, 2021, the 21st anniversary of her murder.

Born in a small town in northern Italy, Mainetti entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross at age 18. In 1984 she moved to the convent in Chiavenna, where she became superior.

Mainetti was known in the small town for her social and charitable commitment to dispossessed youth and poor people. According to a person who knew her, Mainetti had “an unconditional love for the weak. A life that was a real witness of love for Christ.”

“She never said no to anyone: she always opened the door ready to listen,” the person added.

The sister displayed this quality on the seemingly ordinary Tuesday night when the teens drew her out of the convent with a call claiming that a girl was pregnant by rape and needed to speak with her. They brought the sister to an isolated and dark street, near a cliff called “Paradise,” which originated from an ancient soapstone quarry.

According to local legend, a 160-feet tall and nearly 500-foot deep opening in the side of the cliff leads to the “inferno,” and was the work of the devil, who created the fissure to escape to hell while fleeing the Virgin Mary.

The three teens, dressed in black, then stabbed Mainetti 19 times with a kitchen knife and beat her, while shouting abuse. They had, according to Italian media reports, intended to stab her 18 times, six times each, to form by their violence the number 666.

“I deceived her by drawing her into a trap and then I killed her, and while we were doing this she forgave us,” Milena De Giambattista wrote to Sr. Mainetti’s religious community some years after the act.

“I can have of her only a memory of love. And in addition to this, it also allowed me to believe in something that is neither God nor Satan, but which was a simple woman who defeated evil,” Milena wrote.

“Now in her I find comfort and the grace to endure everything. I always pray and I am sure she will help me become a better person.”

Milena’s letter is included in an Italian-language biography of Mainetti written by Sr. Beniamina Mariani in 2005.

Sr. Mainetti was known to the girls, who did not have any prior history of violence or crime. They confessed that they had originally planned to kill the parish priest, but decided that, because he was larger, it would prove too difficult. Investigators said that the girls’ notebooks were filled with Satanic writings and they had made a blood oath some months earlier.

The three served sentences in different juvenile prisons. After their release, between six and seven years later, at least two of them spent time in community recovery centers. According to media reports, the women changed their names, and now have jobs and families.

After her release from prison in 2006, Milena was a guest for several years of the Exodus communities in the area of Verona — residences for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction, founded by Fr. Antonio Mazzi.

Mazzi once said, as recounted by Amedeo Mainetti, the murdered nun’s brother, that Milena “is fully aware of what she did and at the same time repentant and convinced that she can be reborn and recover better and better.”

Speaking to Il Giorno Milano newspaper in June this year, Mazzi said that Milena had been an active participant in the communities, though she never spoke about the murder and they never “fully faced the fact” with her.

The priest also noted that Milena “never declared herself a believer and neither the opposite.”

“She did not want to give testimony for the sister. However, she radically changed her life, and with her actions she clearly showed that she was repentant and that she understood that she had made a great mistake,” he said. “Today she has her own life and her own job.”

In a 2008 interview in the magazine Panorama, Veronica asked the public to forget her.

“Prison, psychologists, and the recovery community have allowed me to become the person I otherwise would never have been,” she said.

“It was decided to kill at age 16 while sitting for six hours over a beer in a small village bar,” she recalled. “Everything we said, thought and did was worthless. What was I terrified of? Of Sr. Maria Laura’s gaze? Of blood? I don’t know, because it was dark and I didn’t look at her face, just as I didn’t look at the blood. At that moment and only then, I was afraid of everything, even of Ambra and Milena.”

In her biography of the slain religious sister, Mariani wrote that when she was among young people, Mainetti felt “at ease and loved to entertain them both in scheduled meetings and in casual ones.”

Someone who knew her said in an interview for the book that “only God can know how much she sacrificed herself for young people! Meetings, talks, school camps, world youth days, catechesis, individual accompaniment.”

The biography reproduced what Mainetti wrote in her journal on the day of her perpetual profession in 1964: “Give me your feelings, Jesus, those of the Beatitudes: the poor who trusts, abandons himself/the child who feels loved by him/the affliction that is participation in that of Christ and is salvation/Mercy, Benevolence, Purity of body and heart, Humility. To serve Christ is to reign: Here I am… The joy of my service every instant in conformity with Your Divine Will.”

From this life, “a spring gushes out, a gush of evangelical life,” Sr. Kitty Hiriat Urruty, the superior of her congregation, wrote at the time of Mainetti’s martyrdom.

“This spring speaks to us of our consecration, of our life offered to the Trinity, of our desire of identification with Jesus Christ, of our choice of the poorest, of the wounded in life. And this leads to the origins of our Congregation,” the sister said.

“She showed that our charism is alive and very current,” she continued. “In this style of love and gift, she gave herself with both hands, without calculation, just like someone who knows that all she has is a gift of love, to be shared and made to bear fruit.”





Lessons from the Danfo girl

26 04 2020

Here’s a story that shows how love conquers even the hardest hearts.

Something interesting happened on my way to Oshodi this morning. At the motor park, this rough mean-looking conductor was screaming for passengers, his vernacular oscillating between Yoruba and Pidgin English. ‘Oshodi! Oshodi!’ he shouted angrily as I, along with some other passengers, struggled for seats.

There was this beautiful young lady who waited patiently until the bus was almost filled. Then she pleaded to sit by the conductor until somebody came down, when she would have a proper seat.

The bus conductor didn’t even look at her pretty face; he hissed and shouted at the driver to move, while asking the girl why she didn’t rush like the other passengers. The girl started pleading in Yoruba interspersed with English before saying, ‘I know you are a good man, never mind the fact that you have been shouting’, (that elicited laughter). ‘Let me sit by your side, please’, she added.

Finally, with much frowning of face the conductor relented and she sat beside him. It was a tight squeeze but she didn’t complain. Instead, she started praising the conductor who in turn started teasing her, speaking (and sometimes spitting by mistake) into her face but the girl never looked away as she kept smiling.

He asked her where she worked and she replied that she was a student at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) studying accounting. The conductor teased her in Yoruba about why her boyfriend didn’t drop her at her destination but the young lady laughed it off and continued to gist with him in Yoruba.

When she reached her destination, the conductor alighted from the bus for her to come down. She did and paid her transport fare. Then the conductor told her to give him a peck on the cheek for being so ‘gentlemanly’, although he was really not serious about it.

Then it happened! The lady jumped forward and gave him a peck on the cheek! She then waved bye and ran down to her street.

The driver and other people began to hail the conductor who started joking, saying he knew he was irresistible etc. and others were taunting him. But not long after, the conductor put his head down and became uncharacteristically quiet.

The driver soon asked the guy why he wasn’t calling out bus-stops anymore, wondering whether the pretty girl had cast a spell on him. At that point, the conductor said something in Yoruba that I didn’t quite understand and then his voice became emotional and believe it or not, he started to cry. Others were now consoling him in Yoruba.

When I asked what the problem was, the lady beside me explained that the conductor said he just realised he would never be able to get a girl like that in his life. He was weeping because he knew no girl of her class might ever do to him what that girl just did, to touch a dirty person like himself; that the girl is nice and well brought-up and that if he had money he would have chased after her.

So the passengers were consoling him in Yoruba that he would go higher in life and be able to marry a girl like that and that he should not cry because it was not the end of the road for him. That really touched me.

For a moment in that conductor’s life, his facade of a street thug fell away and he was a vulnerable emotional aspiring young man, just like everybody else.

If you wish to bring out the best in others: love and affection is the only way. The girl changed the danfo “agbero” to a human being, simply by treating him with love an affection.

Original story by Segun Adeniyi Thisday Newspaper





Stop making everything perfect for you kid

26 02 2020

There was a kid running at the neighborhood pool the other day. The pool attendant asked him to walk, as pool attendants have done since pools existed. The boy’s dad — a big-chested, serious kind of guy — came over to the attendant and told him that, as the child’s father, he’s the only one who gets to tell his kid what to do. If the attendant had something to say, it should be directed at him, not to his kid. He’ll decide if his kid needs direction.

I would have rolled my eyes, but the attendant kept his cool and carefully replied that it was his job to make sure people follow the pool rules, and “no running” is pretty much the universal pool rule. The dad pushed back and added some aggressive posturing to intimidate the pool guy. He didn’t see anything wrong with what his kid was doing, so, as far as he was concerned, the pool guy needed to back off. The kid was free to run at the pool because Dad said so, so fuck the pool rules. This is America! Nobody tells my kid what to do except me.

Uh, okay.

There’s a strange fear spreading amongst reasonable grownups. My sister’s family had some friends over. One of the adults gave one of my sister’s kids some polite direction about sharing, or something basic like that. You know, stuff people tell kids. Then the grownup realized the grave error she had made, and apologized to my sister for shamefully overstepping.

“Are you kidding?” my sister said. “I absolutely want you to tell my kids if they’re doing something you don’t think they should be doing! In fact, do more of it! They need to learn to hear things from people other than me.”

If I’m the only one who can tell my kids what to do, I’ve failed them by giving them completely unrealistic expectations of the world. Also, I can’t ever die or leave their side, because my kids won’t be able to take care of themselves. Following Big-Chested Dad at the pool’s logic, a lifeguard can’t lifeguard, teachers can’t teach, coaches can’t coach and, later in life, managers can’t manage. You see where this is going, right?

If I’m the only one who can tell my kids what to do, I’ve failed them.

The New York Times recently called this style “snowplow parenting” — affluent parents who resemble “machines chugging ahead, clearing any obstacles in their child’s path to success, so they don’t have to encounter failure, frustration, or lost opportunities.”

We all know that mom who’s always at the school, escalating everything to make sure her kid gets an A, is chosen for student council, or gets placed in the gifted program.

I’m striving to avoid that. My middle schooler and his project partner recently failed to turn an assignment in on time, after many reminders of the deadline. The other kid’s mom came to my house and wouldn’t leave until I talked with her for nearly an hour about the injustice. She was heartbroken about the disappointment her kid must be feeling at the failure, and wanted to fix it somehow, or try to convince the teacher to reverse his (entirely fair) decision.

I don’t mean to brag, but my high schooler fails at quite a few things. None of them have been too epic, but there’s still time. I recently told him it’s my job to let him fail while he’s still at home with me, because he needs to learn how to lose his shit and then pick it up and move forward. In my experience, that’s the most important of life skills. I’ll be damned if any kid of mine is going to fall to pieces his first semester in college when he doesn’t ace an exam.

This is an open notice to people who know my kids: Go ahead and tell them what to do. It’s really, really okay. Tell them not to put their feet up on your coffee table. Tell them to stop running, not to play with that knife, or not to touch your things. Tell them not to eat all of your potato chips, and not to take that drink onto your freshly cleaned carpet. Whatever the rules are at your place, tell my kid to fall in line. I have a selfish motive.

susan.speer

Written by
susan.speer

Courtesy of https://forge.medium.com/stop-making-everything-perfect-for-your-kid-bfba8ccc70a7





An Oscar & BAFTA For Igbo Documentary Film

20 02 2020

In 1950 documentary style film ‘Daybreak in Udi’ won an Academy Award (Oscar) for best feature documentary , BAFTA Film Award [Winner] (1950)Best Documentary Film and the UN Award [Nominee] (1950).

This 47-minute documentary, financed by HRH’s government “Day Break in UDI” (1949) highlights the effort of a small community to build a maternity center amidst the opposition of some village men. The British colonial officer in charge of the Udi and Awgu, Enugu district was asked to help in the project. He helped and provided materials and motivation for the community. But in the end, it the villagers willingness to bring change and improve their community that triumphed. Filmed in Nigerian village of Udi in 1949, it is the first Nigerian movie to win an Oscar .

Most of the it was later edited into a 1953 two-segment documentary called “Savage World” by the same crew of film-makers listed on this film.





School principal felt “called by God” to donate kidney to students’ father

17 02 2020

Two years ago, principal Sarah Schecter, Ph.D, found out the father of three of her students needed a kidney.
Nate Jones is the father of Aaron, Sydney, and William, students at The Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas.
In spite of not knowing the kids’ father personally, Schecter began to feel like God wanted her to donate her kidney to him. “I know this sounds weird, because I’m not the type of person who hears the voice of God, but I just felt called to give him my kidney. I did not want to. It was not on my list of things to do. So, I just kept thinking that someone else would give him a kidney and that it would work out. … But it kept being on my heart, that I was the person to do it.”
Over the Christmas break in 2018, Schecter talked with her family about what was on her heart. They responded by encouraging her…. Continue reading >https://t.co/SFKomksuWW





Sex is for married heterosexual couples only, says Church of England

6 02 2020

The Church of England has stated that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage, and that sex in gay or straight civil partnerships “falls short of God’s purpose for human beings”… Continue reading >https://t.co/GFABBXrfmC





Freedom of Speech, a growing concern

23 01 2020

Here’s a video I found interesting about freedom of speech, a growing concern in Europe and America where freedom of thought is about to be annihilated, rendered meaningless and incoherent.





12 Tips for Writing Clearly

2 12 2019

by Simcha Fisher

On Tuesday, I insisted that people learn how to write well.  Today, I’m offering some practical tips that I have found useful.  Most of these apply to less formal pieces, like blog posts, short articles, or even comments—anything where you’re trying to make a point.  If you’re working on a research project, though, you’re on your own.

APPROACHING THE TOPIC

1.  Make sure you know what the heck you’re talking about.  You don’t have to be an expert: often, the things that need to be said are the things that people already know, but have forgotten—or things they don’t realize that other people are thinking.  So it’s okay to be simple, as long as you know exactly what it is you want to say.

If you’re still hashing it out in your mind, be upfront about that, and ask questions of the reader.  Don’t pretend to be more sure than you actually are.

2.  Make it clear why your topic needs to be addressed.  You’ll look silly if you get all worked up clarifying something that no one was confused about.  If you are righting a wrong, introduce your piece by summing up the wrong, citing at least one example.  One easy trick is to literally ask a question, and then answer it.  Or start with a short anecdote which explains what started your train of thought.

3. Don’t resort to defensive writing.  Nobody wants to read about what you’re not saying.  Say what you do mean.  Say it as clearly and firmly as you can —and then let it go.  After a certain point, if people hear what you’re not saying, then it’s their problem, and not yours.  You don’t owe them a second essay restating your point.  Do your best, and move along.

4. Don’t be afraid of trivial ideas.  Don’t hold out for the obviously profound.  If you are an intelligent person, then an image, idea, or phrase rings your bell for a reason.  Go ahead and write about it—you may be onto something.

5.  Be honest.  If you’re afraid your idea isn’t holding up, your readers will notice, too, so don’t force it.  On the other hand, “I used to think so-and-so, but I’ve changed my mind—here’s why” essays are always interesting.

6. Have you noticed that you write about the same three ideas over and over and over again?  That’s okay.  The best writing comes from insatiable fascination with a particular theme, not from fleeting infatuations with passing ideas.

EDITING

1. Editing should make you sweat.  It’s okay to write down every last thing you can think of . . . on your first draft.  Often “covering the page” is the only way to figure out what you’re actually trying to say, and sometimes your main point doesn’t emerge until you’ve written around it for several hundred words.  But don’t leave it that way.  Even if a passage is brilliant, funny, and flows sweet and clear like Grade A honey—it may not belong in this piece.  Every word must work in service of your point, or else it’s gotta go.

Even if I’m delighted with what I wrote, I cut out about 10% just on principle.

2.  Read it out loud. This is the best way to root out dumb phrases, snootiness, babbling, repeated words, and pronoun trouble.  If it’s an important piece, ask someone else to read it, and be ready to accept criticism.

3. Often, an essay doesn’t sit well because the right elements are all there, but are out of order.  Try putting your last paragraph at the beginning, and see how that settles.  If I’m really muddled, I make an outline that describes what I’ve written.  Reducing it to bare bones often shows the flaws hiding in the verbiage.

4. Not sure if you have a unified idea?  Try coming up with a descriptive title for the finished piece.  If this is hard, then you may not have said anything, or tried to say too much.

5.  Clarity before fanciness.  It’s fun to write the occasional sentence that makes people go, “Whoa, let me read that again—it sounds cool, but I’m not quite sure what it means.”  But that must be the very rare exception.  Most of what you say should be plain as plain can be.  You’re supposed to be drawing attention to your ideas, not your fancy, fancy self.

6.  Remember the Five B’s:  Be Brief, Boy, Be Brief.  I love to read, but I’m lazy, I’m tired, I’m distracted, and I rarely read a piece that’s longer than 1,000 words.  Most of your readers are even lazier.  Try breaking up perfectly good paragraphs into mini-paragraphs, just to make them easier to swallow.  Cheap, but it works.

BONUS TIPS:

Try to make the sentence structure express emphasis, rather than resorting to italics.

Pretend exclamation points and ellipses cost you $65 per use.

If you find yourself using emoticons, chop your hands off.

I believe in splitting infinitives, writing incomplete and run-on sentences, and generally murdering the language from time to time, if it gives the writing more punch or better flow.  So sue me.





Pop star, had it all, felt empty and this happened –

25 11 2019

His music group has sold over 50 million records worldwide.

At twenty years old he was a teenage sensation, a huge rock star and lived in a 17th century castle in Europe He had all the riches, fame, fortune and the adulation of millions.

His name is Paddy Kelly.

His band, The Kelly Family, sold out the huge Westtaleanhalle in Dortmund, Germany nine times in a row. A feat no other musician has since accomplished. They filled football stadiums, some shows with over 250,000.

He was born in Ireland to American parents. He has eleven brothers and sisters and most of them sang in the band. They started out singing in the streets of Europe, but quickly their incredible singing talents took them to the top. Paddy Kelly became a huge idol with adoring female fans. He needed body guards in public. He was hounded by paparazzi where ever he went and traveled by private jet and helicopters. He was recognized everywhere.

He “had it all.” But despite the fame and money he began to feel empty and isolated.

He felt lost. He felt his soul was dying.

Even with the love of his family, he began to fall into depression, even despair. He lost the sense of who he was and all his ideals and false securities began to break down. He felt like he wanted to end his life. Nothing made sense to him anymore. Material goods and money, not even his music made him happy.

This was when a deep search for the truth began. He asked himself, “If all this doesn’t make me happy then what is the sense of life. Why do I exist?” He eventually asked the question, “Who can tell me who I am? Who has the true answers to my questions?”

At a moment of deep crisis, standing on a ledge of his room, ready to kill himself, he sensed in him a voice telling him to “hold on, hold on,” and after this moment passed, he wept bitterly at what he had almost done.

Soon, after he began to search his spiritual side. He read about eastern religion like Buddhism, and even the Koran, but it was the Gospels that seemed to pull him in a new direction. He felt the Gospels were alive. At a chance meeting with a gathering of priests near his palatial home, he felt his spirit grow. Still, he struggled with depression and sadness.

Then one day, he was “zapping” his television and by chance he came across a program about Lourdes, the shrine dedicated to an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

His first thought was that shrines of the Virgin Mary were “only for blue-haired grandmothers and naive people who believe anything”. But he felt pulled to Lourdes like a magnet. He decided to go. But he was certain that the town would be filled with “horrible plastic statues” and would be no place for a “rock star” to find God. When he arrived at Lourdes, to his surprise not only were “gray haired grandmothers” praying the Rosary, but many young people dressed in a way he thought was “cool” and they liked rock and roll. He therefore joined the youth program.

Then that evening hanging out with the youth group there came a moment of “Prayer and Silence” and during that moment he felt a simple, yet deep peace in his heart. He was experiencing a deep presence of someone inside of him. Wow! He thought God is accessible and this came to him through the Blessed Virgin Mary. He realized that Mary was not some Christian myth, but a person.

He felt she was asking him to give life a second chance. He felt she wanted to help him and he no longer felt alone. He had grown up Catholic, but now he knew that he could meet God and that night he gave life a new chance. He decided to live his life according to God’s will. He knew Mary had planted the seed of faith in Lourdes and now he also knew only through prayer could his faith grow. As his spiritual quest moved forward, he found his brothers and sisters also saw that money and fame did not bring happiness.

A few years ago, he and two of his brothers and sisters decided to go to the youth festival in Medjugorje. Here he met Fr. Jozo and quickly through his words, counsel and abundance of graces a deep movement of conversion with God came to his brothers and sisters and in the months and years to follow. Through Mary, through Medjugorje, he finally came to know Jesus.

He believed that God existed, but he had not yet experienced the Holy Spirit in a deep and powerful way. He wanted to know if Jesus was truly the Son of Man. He wanted to believe it and not just tell himself so or because the Church said so. He wanted to feel the interior confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Then one morning the Holy Spirit entered his heart in a real way.

On a quiet sunny morning, the Holy Spirit came to him. He believed and then with great excitement he called his brothers and sister that he loved so much and said to them “Jesus is God, Jesus is God, Jesus is God!”

Today Paddy Kelly tours with his band bringing his joyful music and love of Mary to happy audiences around the world.








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