Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Only God Could Use a Bible Geek to Reach Me

Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, Hugging them as he carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.
~ Isaiah 40:11, The Message

Baby Jesus pose.
Since I technically became a Catholic in 2007, I have often complained to my wife about how the church is kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the meaning and reverence of the mass. Once I understood what every little thing meant, I embraced the mass. But what about “fun”? At least when we went to protestant churches we could count on being “entertained” while worshiping the Lord.

So my wife did a little research—without my knowing. She ran across this young man who was a leader in the Catholic media realm. He happened to work with an extremely knowledgeable man, Jeff Cavins, to produce these things called Life Teen studies. She asked me if she could buy this “for the kids” and after the initial shock of $100 for the set I said sure—happy wife, happy life…right?

God works in mysterious ways.

After we received the DVDs, we sat on the study for about two weeks before I caved in and agreed to finally do it “for the kids”. After the first video I was hooked. You see, I still consider myself a very young Christian in my faith. I know some people look up to me and that’s very humbling, but I realize my limitations and sins. The best I can do is try to live more like Christ every day.

If you read yesterday’s blog, then you’ll know this was the man who challenged me through the television. His name is Mark Hart, or better known as the Bible Geek. He reminds me of a few youth leaders I have had the privilege to know—Jeff Costello and Kevin Alexander. This guy had charisma, smarts and funny as all heck. If I could emulate a youth leader, it would be this guy.

We finished the Life Teen series and come to find out he’s an author and has a weekly podcast that focuses on the readings for Sunday mass. Because of this man, our family now will read the Sunday mass readings before we leave the house. Then on our way to church we will listen to Mark’s six or seven minute podcast that digs just a little bit deeper into the mass readings. By the time we get to mass we actually look forward to the readings and the priest’s homily.

Amazing. Amazing how a man who produces these videos and books “for the kids” was able to reach out to me when I needed God most.

A year ago I couldn’t have cared less about church. Six months ago I couldn’t have cared less about the mass. But because God cared enough to gather me into his arms and lead me towards good pasture I am filled every Sunday with the goodness of the mass. And because good ol’ dad has finally “grown up”, my kids are starting to believe that there’s more to going to church than being bored…there’s living water ready for the nourishment of their young souls. That in itself is the greatest blessing of all.

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