- Blog Post written by Bobby Conti, Legacy Retreat attendee and now volunteer.
Far-off, unknowable, unrelatable. Are these words you use to describe God?
It is not uncommon for people to feel that God doesn’t know what they are going through, especially in times of suffering, or when an illness strikes. The most common questions in such a case are “Why did this Happen?” “What am I going to do?” and “Does God even know how hard this is?”
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- Blog post written by Daniel Carillo
In the first chapter of his Gospel, John gives an account of how Jesus selects the apostles. Interesting approach – John doesn’t give an account of each apostle’s first encounter with Jesus. Instead, he focuses on four – Andrew (Peter), Simon, Philip, and Nathanael.
Nathanael first hears about Jesus from Philip, who tells him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael’s response is shocking – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Doubt. Nathanael was saying, “I doubt it!” He was questioning. He could not believe. This was impossible.
Doubt. What is it, and how is it able to, so easily, grab hold of us? Twist our thoughts? Fill us with dread and anxiety?
Written by Andrean Maier (She is attending the May 2013 Legacy Retreat with her family.) I am the middlest child. I am 10. And I have another perspective. You know that over the last few months my mom has been struggling with stage 4 ovarian cancer. It was strange because I would have never thought anyone in my family could have cancer. I remember the day when my dad told us. It was the worst day of my life. I thought he was kidding. When he told us he was serious, then I thought she was going to die and I was scared. I am still worried, but I know that God has a plan for her and for me. Everyone has been helping us so much and we are thankful. My friends write nice notes that encourage me. My teachers at school tell me they are praying for me. My brother and sisters are getting closer because we are all helping mom and dad together. It is also helping us to not fight (at least not as much). My faith has grown in this. I believe God will protect our family. I take church more seriously now. I always listened to the sermons, but now I understand them more. I wish my mom could come out and jump on the trampoline with us. But dad says she has her own ups and downs even without the trampoline. On her Legacy Retreat, Andrean is going to meet many other kids who know how she feels and what she is going through. She is going to make life long friendships and grow even closer to her own siblings and parents. She is also going to have a blast riding rides, seeing characters, playing games, swimming, and making memories!
My dad was diagnosed with very rare stage 4 lymphoma in his eyes when I was 15. It was a pretty tough time for my family. Doctors didn’t think he was going to make it, but thank God he did.
My family had gone through a lot of tough things in the past, but I always knew everything would be okay. But this... This was the first time in my life where I just didn’t know.
Several years ago in 2005, my wife Heather was diagnosed with cancer. She had malignant pleural mesothelioma, a very rare and deadly form. It was devastating to our family, particularly because we had just celebrated new life. Just three months prior to her diagnosis, she had given birth to Lily, a beautiful baby girl. We thought that we would be spending the rest of that year celebrating the holidays with our new bundle of joy, but we were in for something much different.
Spring! Here in the northeast, spring has finally sprung! Temperatures have risen into the 70s. The sun has reintroduced itself, thawing the weary denizens of winter’s harsh sting. Tiny buds can be seen on some trees and bushes, barely perceptible, but nevertheless very encouraging. A symphony of bird songs fill the early morning hours in a glorious counterpoint of unrelated melodies. Cardinals, blue jays, robins, sparrows, woodpeckers, and the rest, all sing their triumphant songs of perseverance and their joyous songs of hope. Spring brings the fulfillment of so many desires and so much anticipation. And – the baseball season begins.
Baseball – the national past time. I don’t know what it is about this game that captures the imagination of so many. Perhaps it’s just a nostalgic, backward glance. A longing for a time when life was slower paced, simpler. Perhaps it’s just a rite of passage – a loud bugle blast announcing to all that yet another spring is here and that summer is on the horizon.
LOOK! THERE IT IS – OFF IN THE DISTANCE. I CAN SEE IT COMING
I read an article this week that really impacted me. The writer sat at a playground with a friend/acquaintance and they chatted as they watched their kids play. They had spent many hours at this playground on different days and yet they barely knew each other. I mean, they knew the superficial basics about each other but they didn't REALLY know each other.
There is a beautiful blond 7 year old girl named Ana battling a brain tumor. She already fought it once when she was three and then was given a break until this past Fall when it reared it's ugly head again. Her parents are facing some very tough decisions regarding treatment and care. I love what her mom writes in one of her updates. (Elsa is Ana's little sister.)
Elsa taught us about our invisible bucket one day after school.
I live in Minnesota and we have had quite a wintry March. We had several feet of drifted snow everywhere we looked, and temperatures in the single digits as the calendar flipped past March 21 . . . Spring! It is hard to believe in the promises of Spring when Winter is still lurking all about.
But I had a friend remind me that things are not always what they seem.
This morning I woke up to a very dense fog. It was so foggy, in fact, that I could not see my next door neighbor's house. I knew that it would not remain like that forever but it sure was gloomy and difficult to get on with the day when I couldn't see past my front yard.
I knew the sun was still shining somewhere beyond the dense cloud cover. I didn't doubt it's existence or the power that it had to heat the day and light up all the shadows. But while the fog was sitting heavy it was very difficult to imagine a beautiful day.