7 Quick Takes Friday (set #145)

This week: Courage has released a wonderful new film: Desire of the Everlasting Hills. Planned Parenthood provides an abortion to a 13 year-old then returns her to her rapist. Despite spending $1 TRILLION per year, the “war on poverty” has failed (but for political advantage, it has morphed into a “war on work”). Matthew Archbold has an interesting observation on the media’s choice of nomenclature. Thailand produces some of the best TV commercials. An “IRS Love Song”: What are the Chances?. World Order produces…   you just have to see it.

— 1 —

Courage has released (free) a truly excellent film on homosexuality and Catholicism: Desire of the Everlasting Hills. Here it is in its entirety:

Anthony Esolen has written a review of the film at Crisis Magazine. Professor Esolen’s piece is outstanding and I highly recommend it. National Catholic Register also has a good review.

— 2 —

This is nothing new at Planned Parenthood, but I draw your attention to the suit by the mother of a 13 year-old child. The young girl was taken to PP for an abortion by the step-father who had been raping her since she was 6. PP did the abortion and returned the young girl to her rapist where the sexual assaults continued. Of course, they kept mum about the whole thing in defiance of the law. LifeNews has the story.

— 3 —

In Economic Activity and Social Justice, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.

Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.

Charity providing only for basic needs does not help the poor beyond the very short term. It removes their independence, which some would argue is often a hidden goal. Welfare reform signed by Bill Clinton in 1996 included work requirements. That is, it sought to effect a “hand-up” and not just a “hand-out.” The current administration has significantly undermined that law. People are now far more dependent on the largess of government. For their own political ends, they have in essence launched a war on work:

— 4 —

An interesting media observation on nomenclature from Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report:

Isn’t it funny that a man who wishes to be called a woman by the media is immediately called a woman but pro-lifers still can’t get the media to call them pro-lifers?

And practicing Catholics who publicly speak about the faith are labeled “controversial” while pro-abortion and pro same-sex marriage Catholics are labeled “devout.”

— 5 —

Thailand has the best commercials. Last September one of my 7QTF notes was on a wonderful advertisement for a Thai telecom company. Here is another Thai commercial for an insurance company:

— 6 —

I wrote two weeks ago about the unlikely odds of 7 concurrent disk drive failures as the IRS has claimed (1 in 78 billion). I understand they are claiming even more sudden failures of drives sought by investigators. This guy (Remy Munasifi) has taken another, more humorous approach to explaining it – an IRS love song entitled What are the Chances?. (The “chances” are astronomical that this is the obvious criminal conspiracy it appears to be.)

— 7 —

In my day, way before music videos, acts performed highly choreographed dance in their stage performances to promote their music. One of my favorites was The Temptations.

A modern analog of them might be World Order. Not my cup of tea, but I give them props for their dancing (or whatever it is they do):

They have “music videos” on their YouTube channel, including this one for their Machine Civilization hit:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler to address this blogging need, but is guest hosted this week by Carolyn Svellinger at Svellerella. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen (and Grace) for hosting this project!

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The Narrow Gate: Introduction

Guest contributor:   Ed Trego

We live in a society that is dependent on rapid transportation. Automobiles, trains, and airplanes carry us all over the world. If given the opportunity, we will almost always chose the fastest and easiest route to our destination.

Unfortunately we also tend to look for the path to heaven in the same manner. We want the high-speed eight lane interstate highway, not the two lane dirt road. However, if we believe what Jesus tells us, the highway may be the way to ruin and damnation. The dirt road, though more difficult to travel, may very well be the most direct route to heaven.

In Matthew, chapter seven, Jesus told his disciples that they would have to enter via the narrow gate. The wide, easily entered gate is the way to destruction. He also admonished them that the way that leads to life is hard and those who find it are few. That admonition is as applicable to us today as it was to the people of Jesus’ time. The way to God may not be easy, but it is well worth the journey.

My earlier book, Thoughts of God, focused primarily on the spiritual. This time I’ve tried to look more at the practical. Our society is on a road to destruction and we need to be aware of that fact in order to change our direction. God and faith have been pushed aside and are continuing to be removed from the public square. We must not allow our Christianity and our faith to be limited to our Churches and homes. Jesus told his apostles to “make disciples of all nations”. We too have that mission. It can’t be accomplished from behind closed doors.

Find the narrow gate and prayer for the courage and strength to enter through it. Share your faith with others that they too may find their way to heaven. May God bless you, protect you from evil, and lead you to eternal life.

Scriptural references in this book are taken from the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

The above text is the Introduction from Ed Trego’s new eBook The Narrow Gate:

  1. The Narrow Gate
  2. Children of God
  3. Childlike Faith
  4. A Well Formed Conscience
  5. The Spirit Within
  6. The Potter and the Vase
  7. Seeking God’s Help
  8. Make Disciples of All Nations
  9. Believing Christ
  10. Christian Strength
  11. A Spiritual Relationship
  12. Against Evil
  13. Trust In God
  14. The Garden of Gethsemane
  15. Simplicity of Faith

This book will appear exclusively here on Convert Journal over the next 18 months, at a rate of 1 chapter (more or less) per month.

Why wait? Show Ed your support and enjoy the convenience of the eBook format. The Narrow Gate is available NOW for only $1.99 on Amazon and Smashwords. It will also be available soon from many additional fine publishers.

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #144)

This week: Nancy Pelosi presents the hard-hitting facts of the Hobby Lobby decision (and of course, gets it completely wrong). Steve Ray is asked if he is saved. The Chosen faith formation program. EWTN offers an excellent alternative to biased evening news programs. An ex-terrorist places blame for the Palestinian / Israeli conflict. Input on the administration’s carefully crafted border crisis from Chicagoans. Bill Whittle also takes a look at illegal immigrants and history.

— 1 —

Nancy Pelosi speaks about the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. As usual, few truthful words are manifested. Same ole same ole, easily addressed by Megyn Kelly:

— 2 —

Last December I wrote about the question Are you saved?. Steve Ray talks about a friendly dinner party “ambush” where he is asked this.

— 3 —

I recently posted one of my Resources pieces on the excellent Ascension Press Chosen faith formation courses. In future weeks, individual preview videos will be featured here. To give you a flavor, here is Chris Stefanick with an overview of the program:

— 4 —

I have written often about biased news reporting. It is blatantly so and frequently anti-Catholic. EWTN (with the support of the Knights of Columbus) launched News Nightly last September and it is very good. This half-hour program is broadcast weekdays (6pm, 9pm and 2am ET for me; check your local EWTN schedule).

If you still enjoy paying for cable, EWTN may be one of your channels (or at least available channels).

If you “cut the cable” like me, watch it free online or via the free EWTN mobile apps. If you use a Roku box to receive Netflix or Hulu+ (or a zillion other things) on your TV, EWTN is available as a free channel.

All of these free means of watching EWTN live also offer archived copies of the show. It is similarly available on YouTube (this link works nicely). I watch the most recent archived version on YouTube at my convenience via my Google Chromecast. For example, here is a recent show:

— 5 —

Who causes the Palestinian / Jewish turmoil? Not Israel and not Palestinians (at least directly). It is Hamas. Much of the Arab world admits this. Here an Egyptian doctor (and terrorist in his youth) explains:

— 6 —

Residents from the southside of Chicago weigh-in on the administration’s manufactured border crisis and the president’s related and extravagant spending proposals:

— 7 —

Bill Whittle looks at that carefully engineered border crisis and finds some parallels in history:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

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Resources: Chosen courses

We fail to reach too many children with outdated and boring catechetical programs. This is beginning to change with excellent programs from publishers like Ascension Press. Their Chosen offering is outstanding. It is available in two 24 lesson formats, one for faith formation and a modified version for confirmation preparation.

While both are targeted at teens, the faith formation series can also be used in any setting people are learning or refreshing their knowledge of the faith. That could be classes welcoming people back, RCIA, parish rediscovering classes or even religious education.

These lessons are exciting, fast-paced and include excellent videos from some of the best young apologists out there. Here, Chris Stefanick (whose videos I often feature in my 7 Quick Takes Friday posts) introduces the program:

The course also has a boat-load of heavy-hitter endorsements, including bishops:

This is more of a parish resource than a personal one. That is, it is probably something that you individually will not buy but is perfect for your parish. Talk to your Religious Education director or pastor about this. Send them the URL for this program: http://ConfirmationStudy.com/. There they will also find previews of the program’s exceptional videos. Watch these videos to see how they will appeal to young folks. They will appeal to you too!

Chosen Introduction

What are you looking for? (Chris Stefanick)

What Happens at Mass? (Brian Butler)

The Problem of Suffering (Fr. Mark Toups)

The Symbols of Baptism (Sarah Swafford)

Where Am I Going? (Chris Stefanick)

“Are you talking to me?” (Jackie Francois)

The Power of Confession (Fr. Mike Schmitz)

What Happens at Confirmation? (Chris Stefanick)

What is a Sacrament? (Sr. Maris Stella)

What is Marriage? (Jason Evert)

How Do I Build Virtue? (Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers)

The Beatitudes (Mary Ann Wiesinger)

Building the Kingdom (Chris Padgett)

This is the new evangelization.

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #143)

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly is ready and calling you. NOW adds The Little Sisters of the Poor to their Dirty 100 list. The adult life of one downs syndrome man. A pro-abortion representative speaks frankly with those supporting life. Dinesh D’Souza’s America is in theaters now and has been very […]

New Evangelists Monthly – July 2014, Issue #19

This is the July 2014 issue of New Evangelists Monthly. With this announcement, participating Catholic bloggers link their best stories from last month right here at NewEvangelists.org. Revisit anytime to see up-to-the-minute posts in this dynamic format! Contributor links are accepted beginning at noon (ET). Most contributions are received in a day or two. To […]

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #142)

This week: Happy 4th of July! Food City has a wonderful, word-free advertisement for the occasion. We in America (and all the Western world) owe so much. An info-graphic overview of the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. Chris Koch was not aborted: this is how he turned-out. Father Barron takes-on the shallow, anti-religion arguments of […]

Elsewhere: Hobby Lobby wins

Yesterday the Supreme Court, voting along their usual ideological lines, voted 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby. This is wonderful news for religious freedom, but still very far from rolling-back the numerous, unprecedented attacks on it by the current administration. The good news in the Hobby Lobby decision is that (in at least some circumstances) […]