Category Archives: Christians/Christianity

How to Become a Millionaire (Part One)

Money

How to Become A Millionaire (Part One)

The following story comes from pages 100-103 of the book “Self-Made in America” by John McCormack with David R. Legge. The entire book is excellent and this story has always stuck in my head.

Compare the attitude and actions of the couple described below to that of so many Americans today – hundreds of millions, actually – who belittle the rich, while they moan and cry about their “right” to food stamps, section 8, welfare, “free” health care, etc. I think this story will provide excellent food for thought and many revelations on How to Become a Millionaire.

When Maryanne and I were building our Greenspoint Mall salon thirteen years ago, a Vietnamese fellow would stop by each day to sell us doughnuts. He spoke hardly any English, but he was always friendly, and through smiles and sign language, we got to know each other. His name was Le Van Vu.

During the day, Le worked in a bakery, and at night he and his wife listened to audiotapes to learn English. I later learned that they slept on sacks full of sawdust on the floor of the back room of the bakery.

In Vietnam, the Van Vu family was one of the wealthiest in Southeast Asia. They owned almost one third of North Vietnam, including holdings in industry and real estate. However, after his father was brutally murdered, Le moved to South Vietnam with his mother, where he went to school and eventually became a lawyer.

Like his father before him, Le prospered. He saw an opportunity to construct buildings to accommodate the ever-expanding American presence in Vietnam and soon became one of the most successful builders in the country.

On a trip to North Vietnam, however, Le was captured by the North Vietnamese and thrown into prison for three years. He escaped by killing five soldiers and made his way back to South Vietnam where again he was arrested. The South Vietnamese government had assumed he was a “plant” from the North.

After serving time in prison, Le got out and started a fishing company, eventually becoming the largest canner in South Vietnam.

However, when Le learned that the U.S. troops and embassy personnel were about to pull out of his country, he made a life-changing decision.

He took all of the gold he had hoarded, loaded it aboard one of his fishing vessels, and sailed with his wife out to the American ships in the harbor. He then exchanged all of his riches for safe passage out of Vietnam to the Philippines, where he and his wife were taken into a refugee camp. After gaining access to the president of the Philippines, Le convinced him to make one of his boats available for fishing and, again, Le was back in business. Before he left the Philippines two years later en route to America (his ultimate dream), Le had successfully developed the entire fishing industry in the Philippines.

Nevertheless, en route to America, Le became distraught and depressed about having to start over once again with nothing. His wife tells of how she found him near the railing of the ship, about to jump overboard. “Le,” she told him, “if you do jump, what ever will become of me? We’ve been together for so long and through so much. We can do this together.”

It was all the encouragement that Le Van Vu needed. He decided to fight one more time.

When he and his wife arrived in Houston in the 1970′s, they were flat broke and spoke no English. In Vietnam, however, family takes care of family, and Le and his wife found themselves ensconced in the back room of his cousin’s bakery in the Greenspoint Mall. We were building our salon just a couple hundred feet away.

Le’s cousin offered both Le and his wife jobs in the bakery. After taxes, Le would take home $175 a week, his wife $125. Their total annual income, in other words, was $15,000. Further, his cousin offered to sell them the bakery whenever they could come up with a $30,000 down payment. The cousin would finance the remainder with a note for $90,000.

Here’s what Le and his wife did:

Even with a weekly income of $300, they decided to continue living in the back room. They kept clean by taking sponge baths for two years in the mall’s restrooms. For two years their diet consisted almost entirely of bakery goods. Each year, for two years, they lived on a total of $600, saving $30,000 for the down payment.

Le later explained to me his reasoning: “If we got ourselves an apartment, which we could afford on $300 a week, we’d have to pay the rent. Then, of course, we’d have to buy furniture. Then we’d have to have transportation to and from work, so that meant we’d have to buy a car. Then we’d have to buy gasoline for the car as well as insurance. Then we’d probably want to go places in the car, so that meant we’d need to buy clothes and toiletries. So I knew that if we got that apartment, we’d never get our $30,000 together.”

Now, if you think you’ve heard everything about Le, let me tell you, there’s more. After he and his wife had saved the $30,000 and bought the bakery, Le once again sat down with his wife for a serious chat. They still owed $90,000 to his cousin, he said, and as difficult as the past two years had been, they had to remain living in that back room for one more year.

I’m proud to tell you that in one year, my friend and mentor Le Van Vu and his wife, saving virtually every nickel of profit from the business, paid off the $90,000 note, and in just three years, owned an extremely profitable business free and clear.

Then, and only then, the Van Vu’s went out and got their first apartment. To this day, they continue to save on a regular basis, live on an extremely small percentage of their income, and, of course, always pay cash for any of their purchases.

Do you think that Le Van Vu is a millionaire today? I am happy to tell you, many times over.

As I write these words, Le is in the process of starting or acquiring six substantial companies. Newspapers and magazines have written articles on the “miracle” of Le Van Vu. Recently, he met with the deans of several major business schools at my house, and they were in awe of what Le has been able to accomplish with his life – again and again.

Mike

St. Adalbert of Prague, Martyr (956-997)

St. Adalbert of PragueAdalbert was born to a prestigious family in 956 in Bohemia. At the age of 27, he was chosen as the Bishop of Prague in Czechoslovakia. As Bishop, he instituted a program of reform as to the clerics of his day, which was opposed by those clerics. As a result of his action, Bishop Adalbert was exiled for approximately eight years.

Because the people of Prague loved Bishop Adalbert, they requested that his exile end and that he would be returned to the important position of being their Bishop. Adalbert, again, enforced the Gospel by excommunicating those individuals who violated the right of sanctuary in a Church, because they had dragged a woman accused of adultery from the Church and murdered her. What immediately comes to mind is Our Lord Jesus Christ’s protection of a similar woman who was also accused of adultery, inviting the Pharisees and other accusers to cast the first stone if they had not sinned. As we recall, they all walked away. Accordingly, Bishop Adalbert was once again exiled because he exercised excommunication against these self-righteous criminals.

Bishop Adalbert ministered to the people in Hungary, and then went in 997 with two companions to preach the Gospel to people who lived near the Baltic Sea. All three of them were martyred by pagan priests from that area. Bishop Adalbert’s body was ransomed and then buried in Gniezno Cathedral in Poland.

It is never easy to stand up for what is right against the people you love or the people of your Faith. St. Adalbert of Prague was exiled on two occasions because of his reform of clerics and his upholding of the right of sanctuary wherein he excommunicated those people who violated that right and who murdered a woman as set out above. That is the mark of true love of God and His Gospel, that we always put Our Lord first, and conduct our behavior accordingly. Our Lord told us, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

And finally, St. Adalbert of Prague spread the Gospel to the people of the Baltic Sea, with his companions, which cost them their lives at the hands of the pagans. Clearly, St. Adalbert and his companions stored up their treasures in heaven as a result of their fearless preaching and their love of Jesus.

Let us follow the example of this wonderful Saint, Adalbert, putting God and His Gospel first above anyone and anything. Pursuant to the Roman Missal, Common of a Martyr in the Easter Season:

O God, you bestowed the crown of martyrdom on the Bishop St. Adalbert, as he burned with zeal for souls. Grant, we pray, by his prayers, that the obedience of his flock may never fail the shephered, nor the care of the shepherd be ever lacking to the flock.

St. Adalbert of Prague, pray for us and help us!

Respectfully,

Joan

Source: Franciscan Media; EWTN website

Painting the Resurrection

The Resurrection by Ron DiCianniFrom “The Resurrection” wall mural, by Ron DiCianni

Ron DiCianni is a Christian artist who dedicates his talents solely to the task of proclaiming the good news of the Gospel. His artwork has won him national recognition with  ABC, NBC, the  Smithsonian, and McDonalds, leading to a commission as official artist of the U.S. Olympic Committee for the Moscow  Olympic Games.

Ron DiCianniRon DiCianni

Given his accomplishments, one would think that DiCianni would merit an entry in Wikipedia. Not so.

Here’s a video of DiCianni describing and explaining his wall mural depicting our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.

H/t FOTM’s swampygirl

~Eowyn

Monday Morning Quickie!

HOW CATHOLICS KNOW THEY’RE DRIVING TOO FAST .

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~Steve~                                              H/T   Hujonwi

 

Easter toons!

Easter2Easter3Easter6Easter4Easter5Easter7Easter8EasterEaster1

H/t FOTM’s Wild Bill Alaska

~Eowyn

The Empty Tomb

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.” So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They…saw the linen cloths lying on the ground…and…believed. Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. -John 20:1-9

Here’s a reconstruction of what happened from the book The Truth About the Shroud of Turin (Regnery, 2010), pp. 189-191, by my friend Robert K. Wilcox. No matter how many times I read this, it never fails to move me to tears.

The tomb, a rocky chamber carved out of a hillside, a stone rolled against the door, is dark and silent. Lying on a slab is a long, rectangular cocoon, the hills and valleys of which are clearly the contours of a human body. The body of Jesus lies there, face up, a ribbon around the head and chin to keep the mouth closed, packed on all sides with bags of spices.

At some unknown moment in the dead of night, the air in the tomb becomes electric.

At first the vibrations are minute, the sort that could be detected by sensitive twentieth-century instruments; then they dramatically increase until they shake the ground and blow the boulder from the door.

A glow, faint at first, emanating from the shroud suddenly intensifies until rays of light shoot through the threads, star-filled golden rays filling the tomb and pouring out the door.

For thirty seconds — no more — the blinding, pulsating movement continues.

The source of the activity is the corpse, the body, somehow being revitalized, dematerialized, its mass being converted into energy, pure energy, which in the material world is radiant white light.

The body rises from the slab through the cloth, hovers for a moment in midair, then disappears.

The cocoon collapses. Darkness returns. Shouts of “Earthquake! Earthquake!” diminish as the guards run for their lives. And in the air, the distinct odor of scorched linen.

When dawn comes, the women in Jesus’ life draw tentatively toward the tomb, look in the opening, and see the shroud unopened, still wrapped, but definitely deflated. The body is gone. At sunrise the disciples come. John enters the tomb, puts his hand on the cloth, and presses it to the slab. Jesus is there no longer. The disciples and the women quickly gather up the burial garments — the chin band is still in the shroud — and the spice bags and leave before the Romans can return.

At another time, in another place, when they have a chance to gather their wits, they will discover the figure of their master imprinted on the inside of the shroud. The images would be faint, probably not as dark as the passage of time and exposure to air have made them; and the images would be negative ones, a phenomenon that would also become clearer with the passage of time. Regardless, they would view these images as holy — imprints of their precious Lord. The disciples would pay more attention to the images on the shroud if they weren’t already waiting, with the greatest anticipation, for Jesus himself, who, before his death, had promised to visit them after he rose from the dead.

lilies

Our Lord is Risen!

A Joyous Easter to all!

~Eowyn

Saturday Morning Truisms.

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Most of my generation were HOME SCHOOLED in many ways.

1.. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2.. My mother taught me RELIGION
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3.. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4.. My father taught me LOGIC
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5.. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6.. My mother taught me FORESIGHT .
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7.. My father taught me IRONY
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8.. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9.. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”

14.. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING
“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My father taught me HUMOR
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

25. My father taught me about JUSTICE
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you !”
*******************************
Quote of the day:  “Faith is not about everything turning out ok. It’s about being ok, no matter how things turn out.”

~Steve~                                            H/T Hujonwi

Music for Good Friday night

Psalm 51, set to music by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri in the 1630s as “Miserere Mei, Deus (Have mercy on me, O God),” hauntingly sung by the choral group, The Sixteen.

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion
wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

H/t friend of FOTM, Patriot USA

~Eowyn

Remembering His Passion

Good Friday, April 18, 2014.

Though strong as an ox, my erstwhile friend, the faux socialist Stephanie, is allergic to work. She would take a temporary job and, when it ends, apply for unemployment benefits. When the benefits run out, she’ll go find another temp job. And so on…. She diagnosed herself as bipolar and got her therapist to sign her off as “depressive.” No doubt, she now collects Social Security Disability.

Though raised a Christian, Stephanie is a goddess cultist, wiccan witch, and rabidly anti-Christian. In a fit of self-pity, the perfectly healthy Stephanie once blurted to me: “Don’t tell me how Jesus had suffered. I’ve suffered more than Jesus!”

Blasphemy

This post, “Remembering His Passion,” is for Stephanie, the “artist” Michael D’Antuono who painted the above blasphemous portrait of Obama in 2009, and all malignant narcissists who cheapen His memory by having the gall to compare themselves to Him.

He sweated blood.

After He and his disciples had observed the Passover meal in an upper room in a home in southwest Jerusalem, they traveled to the Mount of Olives, northeast of the city.

There, in the garden of Gethsemane, for 12 hours (from 9 PM Thursday to 9 AM Friday), He prayed. He saw all the sins of humanity — past, present, and future — and knew that the time of His death was near. Suffering great mental anguish, He sweated blood (hematidrosis). As a result of hemorrhage into the sweat glands, His skin became fragile and tender. In the cold night air, His hematidrosis would have produced chills.

He was scourged at least 39 times.

Scourging or flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution. The usual instrument was a short whip (flagellum) with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. Occasionally, staves also were used.

He was stripped of his clothing, His hands tied to an upright post. His back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers or by one who alternated positions. The scourging was intended to weaken Him to a state just short of collapse or death.

As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck His back with full force, the iron balls caused deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones cut into His skin and subcutaneous tissues.Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations tore into His underlying skeletal muscles and produced quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss set the stage for circulatory shock.

His scalp was pierced with thorns.

The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had claimed to be a king, began to mock Him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on His head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in His right hand. Next, they spat on Him and struck Him on the head with the wooden staff.

The crown of thorns was not a crown at all. It was probably a bush roughly applied, and tied on with rope.

The thorns probably came from the Lote Tree, a wild bush that still grows freely all over the Holy Land. This bush had thorns between one to two inches long. There are over 70 scalp wounds visible on the Shroud (of Turin).

The soldiers’ beating with the rods to His head covered with this crown would have caused severe bleeding. It is probable that the clump of thorns was removed before His tunic was put back onto His body, and then reapplied during the Crucifixion. The blood trickling down from the newly opened head wounds suggest that the thorns were reapplied before the Crucifixion.

Imagine the pain you’d feel if just one thorn, measuring 1 to 2 inches long, were stuck into your scalp.

He carried his own cross, weighing 125 lb.

The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Him in a pre-shock state. Moreover, hematidrosis had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to His generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, His physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical.

It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross from the flogging post to the site of crucifixion outside the city walls.

Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 lb., “only” the crossbar or patibulum — weighing 75 to 125 lb. – was carried. The patibulum was placed across the nape of His neck and balanced along both shoulders, His outstretched arms tied to the crossbar. The processional to the site of crucifixion was led by a complete Roman military guard, headed by a centurion.

He was nailed to a cross to die

The Romans did not invent crucifixions, but they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering. It was one of the most disgraceful and cruelest methods of execution and usually was reserved only for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals.

At the site of execution, by law, He was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) as a mild analgesic. He was then thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the patibulum.

His hands were nailed to the crossbar at the wrists. The nails were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 inches long with a square shaft 3/8 in. across.

After both arms were fixed to the crossbar, He and the patibulum, together, were lifted onto the stipes. Next, His feet were nailed to the front of the stipes.

Every breath He took was a struggle, seared with pain.

The weight of His body, pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders, fixed the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Accordingly, exhalation was primarily diaphragmatic, and breathing was shallow. This form of respiration would not suffice and hypercarbia (abnormally-elevated carbon dioxide levels in the blood) soon resulted. The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and hypercarbia, further hindered His breathing.

To exhale, He had to lift His body by pushing up on His feet, flexing His elbows and adducting His shoulders. However, this maneuver placed the entire weight of the body on His tarsals, producing searing pain. Furthermore, flexion of His elbows caused rotation of His wrists about the iron nails, causing fiery pain along the damaged median nerves. Lifting of the body also painfully scraped His scourged back against the rough wooden stipes. Muscle cramps and paresthesias (pins and needles) of the outstretched and uplifted arms added to the discomfort. As a result, each respiratory effort became agonizing and tiring and led eventually to asphyxia (depletion of oxygen to the body).

After “only” 3 to 6 hours hung on the cross, He breathed his last.

He suffered terribly, unto death, for each one of us.

Remember His Passion today with the Stations of the Cross. Go here.

In memory of His love,

~Eowyn

Holy Thursday: The Last Supper-Institution of the Holy Eucharist; Institution of the Priesthood

last supper

Today, Holy Thursday, April 17,2014, the universal Church celebrates Holy Thursday, the Last Supper, when Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, instituted the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood.

St. Paul tells us in Corinthians 11:23-26:

Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Jesus loved us so much, that he gave us this Sacrament of Love. We partake of Jesus, body, blood, soul and divinity, when we partake in this most Blessed Sacrament, the true presence of Our Lord, in the Sacrifice of the Mass. As St. Athanasius said, “God has made Himself accessible to us.”

We also celebrate the institution of the Priesthood, the Servants of the Servants of God. St. John tells us in today’s Gospel, 13:1-15:

Before the Feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to Him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered Him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to Him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, He said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

In this manner Jesus illustrated that his Priests are the Servants of the Servants of God, that they must take care of His flock, and are charged with the absolute ministry of service, the action of true love.

I look forward to attending this beautiful Mass tonight and I will pray that everyone in the world comes to Our Lord Jesus, who is Love and Mercy itself.