The Kick-Off BBQ is over and you're just starting to get into the swing of being back on campus. You're incredibly impressed with yourself for approaching all of those strangers and actually talking to them at the BBQ! What's even better is that you got some of their contact information. On top of that, some of them want to join your Bible study! Can it get any better than this!? You are crushing fall outreach.
What if I told you that, after reading a book about trust—Consoling the Heart of Jesus—I was inspired to drop a $100K job, buy a one-way ticket to Ethiopia and go work with the Missionaries of Charity? What if I told you I heard about FOCUS by stumbling across a video on YouTube? And what if I told you I decided to apply to become a FOCUS Missionary when I saw the recruitment slogan, “Live the Adventure. Trust the Way”?
Why is it sometimes so hard to do the small things? Think: picking up that one piece of trash, replacing the toilet paper roll, taking out the garbage… And isn’t it even harder to do them with love? Yet one woman who spent her life doing the small things with great love ended up changing the world in a huge way. How did she have the mentality to serve in small, loving ways?
If you had told me as a senior in college that my post-college adventures would take me to Malaysia and the Philippines, I would have asked you where the heck Malaysia was—and then smiled politely and asked why the heck you thought I would ever have a reason to go somewhere halfway across the world.
Can you think of a time in your past when your life got significantly better?
I remember mine well: it was a hot August day, and I stood outside the freshmen dorms during the first week of classes at the University of Nebraska. I felt nervous, excited, and ready to run away all at once. It was my sophomore year, and I was about to invite total strangers to join my Bible study that didn’t exist yet.
Despite over a year and a half after his election, the praise for Pope Francis continues from people of all sorts of backgrounds. The media, the public, and the members of the Catholic Church continue to hang on to his words and his actions.
Pope Francis has the amazing knack for preaching while embodying this preaching with his own life. He is not simply a great marketer for the Church; he is a model of evangelization for us that we can learn a lot from.
Mission trips. Maybe they sound cliché. Maybe you’ve been there, done that. Maybe you’re thinking, Why travel half-way around the world when there’s plenty enough to worry about in my own backyard? Maybe you’re right—but before you decide for sure, take a minute to read why you should go on a FOCUS mission…
So many times over the past week I’ve sat down to write about beauty, but instead my mind kept turning to the international horrors going on across the world and the unspeakable suffering that our brothers and sisters now face. It’s hard to think about beauty when evil seems to reign and graphic images fill our newsfeeds, especially while knowing that those images represent a daily reality for so many.
Persecution. Death. Disease. War. I found myself wondering, Is there anything good happening anywhere in the world right now? Doubt is heavy. Despair, heavier.
A good friend described to me her own battle with doubt this week: “I pray, and it’s quiet.”
Why the silence from Heaven? And what role can beauty possibly play when all goodness seems to have been driven from our world?
The hype, the fame, the pressure – sports provides it all. When this high school football team, De La Salle, stood at the tip of the longest winning streak in American sports history, it all became too much. At the same time, though, it was never about the winning. What coach Bob Ladouceur cared most about was forming high school kids into men. Life is what mattered. Community is what mattered. For athletes, these lessons can be hard to hear through all the noise.
All right, baseball fans: this one’s for you!
Well, actually, it’s for everyone. Because I like baseball, I just fell in love with Stan Musial. When I told a friend about this “Lessons in the Art of Living” series, he suggested Stan “the Man” as my next feature. As I researched, the more I was amazed at the life of this great man and player. He had 3,630 career hits (still forth in MLB history), and when Musial retired after the 1963 season, he held 17 major-league records, 29 NL records and nine All-Star Game records.
But one thing confused me. Why hadn’t I heard his name like I’d heard many others? Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth….It seemed as though his accomplishments were comparable, but there was one thing Stan didn’t have that everyone else did: drama.
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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