Author Unwraps Biblical Truths which Cause Marriages to Thrive and Prosper

October 18, 2010

ENUMCLAW, Wash. (MetroCatholic) — “Broken relationships, lies, and cruel consequences, sadly, the early dream has sometimes become a nightmare. Many marriages are falling apart for lack of the tools to strengthen and repair them. God intended womanhood to be a ‘regal’ experience, and has detailed guidelines for us to follow!”

Author and speaker Patricia Dodsworth is a passionate student of the Bible. Her Hebrew and Greek study has uncovered principles with enormous relevance to everyday life — specifically to womanhood and marriage. Her research was originally a personal quest of spiritual discovery:

In her own words, “In the beginning I searched from source material for answers to the question of what God’s thoughts were about me. I never stop being amazed at the response of women of all ages to what I discovered in the scriptures.”

Patricia’s new book, “Transforming Keys” (WinePress, 2010) is both compelling and controversial. Wonderful sexuality, modesty, and respect are all covered along with brokenness, forgiveness, and restoration. God has given us truth to answer our burning questions and we can win against the devil on the battleground of our minds! Patricia fearlessly wades through the issues to a triumphant finale at the cross of Christ. “Our mother’s never taught us this stuff!”

“Women learn to see their husbands through a biblical lens, the results are spectacular! Small changes in both action and attitude have proven to be dramatic in marriage relationships.”

Married for 37 years, she teaches courses on Relationships and Christian Womanhood and has woven her own vulnerable journey into these chapters. Born in Canada, Patricia and her husband Steve have two married children and three delightful grandchildren. They make their home in Calgary, Alberta. Both avid travelers, they have journeyed extensively in Eastern Europe, as a family and with summer mission teams, variously visiting Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia.

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview, please contact Abigail Davidson by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at [email protected], or by fax at 360-802-9992. To purchase a copy of this book visit www.winepressbooks.com or call 877-421-7323.

A Blast of Mercy from the Past

August 30, 2010

So, I got a call from a boy that I dated 20 years ago.  I don’t know if you can really say that I dated him.  We were in the sixth grade and I wasn’t allowed to go on dates at such a young age.  He was the boy that sent me the note asking me to “go out with him” that included the big square for “yes” and the little square for “no”.  What girl doesn’t dream of getting that note passed to her during math?  So, he was my first boyfriend.  But shhhhh…. I didn’t tell my Daddy about him because I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend.  This forbidden relationship was quite exciting for me and my envious girlfriends!

Anyhow, we “went out” during 6th grade and part of the summer after.  I moved just after starting 7th grade.  I am a Navy brat and my Daddy started a new tour in Washington D.C. that school year.  I remembered that we broke up during that summer but I didn’t remember why.  In fact, I find that I have a hard time remembering a lot of the details of my childhood.  Since I moved so much, I was always adjusting.  I was always saying good bye and then having to make new friends all over again.  I didn’t hang onto people because they were always leaving my life.  Because of that, I don’t have the luxury of old friends to talk about the past with so the memories stay alive.  Also, there wasn’t a lot of closure in my childhood relationships.  If I had a fight with a friend right before I moved, then that was that.  There wasn’t opportunity to possibly work things out and have that closure.  My closure was that I didn’t have to see that person again, which wasn’t always the healthiest way to go about living life and learning about relationships.  And that brings me back to my 6th grade boyfriend.

He found me on Facebook.  When I saw his friend request, my first thought was “why does he want to friend me?”  That should have been my first subconscious clue into the past.  Flattered, I accepted his friend request.  Then we started e-mailing back and forth with all the usual “how are you” and “what have you been up to all these years” and it almost seemed as if 20 years had never passed.  Then he brought up that infamous summer of ‘89.  Even though my memory was failing me, I didn’t have a good feeling about it.  When I admitted to him that I didn’t know what he was talking about, he called me…on the phone.  Now, before I go any further, let me say that Mike is a really nice man.  He and his wife are raising beautiful children in the Catholic faith.  He serves in our Armed Forces and dreams of being a math and science teacher when he leaves the service.  He is a really great person.  So, imagine how embarrassed I was when he very politely told me about the nasty note he received in the mail during the summer of ‘89.

Way back in the olden days, we didn’t have computers or cell phones.  At my house, we didn’t even have a cordless phone, which meant that any conversation you had on the phone was overheard by all who wished to be in the kitchen.  This probably made it difficult to maintain a forbidden relationship during the summer.  Anyhow, I must have decided to send him notes in the mail as a way to communicate.  The problem was that he didn’t write me back.  He also never tried to risk his own safety by calling me on the phone.  Now, you also need to know that I had a team of advisors to coach me through this relationship.  Me and my equally-psychotic girlfriends must have been taking notes from the unwritten book of How Boys are Supposed to Behave When They Are Your Boyfriend.  And since we didn’t have any attempts at communication from him over the summer, we decided he must be dumped.  So I fired off a nasty letter giving him the boot.  I am sure this letter was met with great enthusiastic approval from my team of advisors before hitting the post office.  After I mailed that letter, Mike and I never really talked again.  I saw him at school that fall and I remember being embarrassed.  Even though I had gotten approval and admiration from my girlfriends, I knew I probably hurt his feelings.  And, like I said earlier, I moved shortly after school started that fall, so moving away from the situation was my closure.  I never needed to see Mike again - until he found me on Facebook and called me on my iPhone.  How ironic.

Embarrassed is just not a big enough word.  Here was a very nice man telling me about my psychotic behavior all those years ago.  I must conclude that if he remembers what I did to him 20 years ago, then he must have been impacted by it.  I must have hurt his feelings.  I apologized many times.  After we got off the phone, I started to wonder why he brought this up.  The whole situation put me in a very reflective mood.  And what do I do when I am reflective?  I clean, or organize, or find some project that needs attention.  This time I assaulted the garden.

The morning after his call, I found myself elbow deep in dirt, weeds, and dead flowers, all while pondering what I did to this boy all those years ago and wondering why he chose to contact me.  I certainly would not want to find me if I were him.  He was clearly a braver person than I could ever be.  As I was pulling the weeds, I realized that even though I didn’t understand why he called me, he gave this Navy brat a rare opportunity.  He gave me a chance to ask for forgiveness.  He gave me a chance to pull those weeds I planted 20 years ago and find a little closure.  He gave me the gift of mercy.

I have to say that Catholics talk a whole lot more about mercy than my Baptist church ever did.  In my Baptist church, you asked for forgiveness when you prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into your heart.  Beyond that, we didn’t talk much about asking God to forgive our sins.  All of our sins were forgiven in that one prayer.  Catholics don’t see it that way.   We are encouraged to always examine our conscience.  We are encouraged to acknowledge our sins and then take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation where we ask for forgiveness of those sins.  It is a necessary ongoing process that brings us closer to the Lord, each other and heaven. 

As an adult convert, the whole idea of confession to a priest was a hard sell for me.  I now understand that our lips have to speak our shortcomings and our ears have to hear our shortcomings in order for true acknowledgement to take place.  And when we acknowledge that sin and ask for mercy, our ears need to hear that we are forgiven.  That is how the Lord lifts the burden from our shoulders and nails it to his cross.  And from that cross, love and mercy flow and carry us to His presence.  I understand with my head and heart the importance of the sacrament, but that doesn’t make it any easier to wait in that line.  It doesn’t make it any easier to look at myself in the mirror and admit who I really am. 

Lately, I have been feeling very unworthy of God’s presence.  No matter how hard I try to be worthy, I fall far short of the goal.  And I have been frustrated by my inability to be the person God calls me to be.  This experience with Mike has made me realize that I can’t be who God is calling me to be unless I weed the garden.  Just as Mike called me, the Lord is calling me and offering me the opportunity to ask for forgiveness.  Even though I don’t deserve it, He is offering me mercy.  Weeding the garden will always be a dirty, but necessary, task.  I must not let the weeds choke out the flowers God is trying desperately to plant in my heart.  I must ask for His mercy and live in His love so the flowers have a chance to blossom for His glory.

Author’s Note:  This article was written and published with Mike’s blessing.

Lori is a stay-at-home mom to her two boys and the children she loves on during the day at her home daycare.  She loving supports her Husband’s calling as a High School Band Director.  Originally from New Orleans, she was raised in the Southern Baptist Church and converted to the Catholic faith while in college.  When she has a rare free moment, she publishes her thoughts and musings at www.lorislifeandtimes.blogspot.com and is a volunteer columnist for www.catholicmom.com.

Details Unveiled About U.S. Publication of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Children of God Storybook Bible During Worldwide Launch at Cape Town Book Fair

July 12, 2010

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (MetroCatholic)- Annette Bourland, senior vice president and publisher with Zonderkidz(tm), will join Nobel Peace Prize Winner — Archbishop Desmond Tutu — and other publishing partners to provide details about the U.S. publication and worldwide launch of Tutu’s first children’s storybook Bible at the Cape Town Book Fair in Cape Town, South Africa on July 30th at 11 a.m.

The Children of God Storybook Bible, written by Tutu, retells more than fifty of his best-loved stories from the Old and the New Testament. This Bible artfully highlights God’s desire for all people to love one another and to find peace and forgiveness in their hearts.

Joining Archbishop Tutu and Annette Bourland for the international launch will be Ivan Siegelaar, musician; Lynn Franklin, of Lynn C. Franklin Associates, Ltd., Archbishop Tutu’s literary agent, and foreign rights agent for this project on behalf of Lux Verbi; co-publisher Stephan Spies from Lux Verbi.BM; plus a children’s choir from South Africa.

“I am honored to participate in this worldwide event and share details about the scope of publishing required for a project of this magnitude,” said Annette Bourland, adding, “the various stages of publication development have spanned more than a year-and-a-half.”

Bourland’s remarks will highlight such steps as manuscript preparation, creative direction, research, marketing, and proofing required for this children’s Bible to meet the U.S. publishing deadlines. The Bible is scheduled to release from Zondervan’s warehouse in July for delivery to retail stores throughout the nation. Publishing month is August in the U.S.

The worldwide launch event is designed for members of the international book trade, media and invited guests visiting the Cape Town Book Fair to hear firsthand about what makes the Children of God Storybook Bible unique. It is designed to help children read the Bible not as part of a system of belief to know the theology of the Bible and doctrines of the different churches, but to help them understand Christianity as a “Way of Life.” Archbishop Tutu is expected to give his perspective about why this is a “global” Bible for children.

All members of the U.S. news media should contact Pam Mettler at Zonderkidz to obtain news coverage information at: [email protected].

“One of the greatest things about the Children of God Storybook Bible is that this is a global effort and it celebrates the church family worldwide,” said Annette Bourland.

Written for children between the ages of four and seven, it is being dubbed as the “biggest children’s Bible project the world has seen.” All told, ten publishers worldwide have already signed up to be part of this exciting publication, and the number is growing. Publishers include: English — HarperCollins UK, Zonderkidz, Lux Verbi; World Spanish — Vida/Zondervan; The Netherlands/Dutch — Jongbloed; Denmark/Danish — Forlaget Alfa; Brazil/Portuguese — Editora Vida Melhor S.A.; Italy/Italian — Arnoldo Mondadori S.p.A.; Germany/German — Pattloch Kinderbuch.

The Children of God Storybook Bible will be available in multiple languages: Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa, Zulu, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Danish.

About the Illustrators
Twenty of the finest artists from around the world have been selected to illustrate the stories. In an attempt to create the first truly global Bible for children, the artists have been invited to portray the stories with the style and richness of their own culture. Their stunning color illustrations allow readers to experience the Bible stories as if they were there — with Adam and Eve in the garden, with Noah on the ark, with Abraham in the desert, and with Jesus on the mountaintop. (Contact Zonderkidz for names and photos of illustrators.)

Scope of U.S. Product Availability Zonderkidz is publishing the Children of God Storybook Bible in a hardcover, jacketed edition (ISBN: 9780310719120) for $18.99, along with additional product. An Ebook, ePub (ISBN: 9780310578338) will be available for $9.99, and an Audio Download, unabridged, (ISBN: 9780310578345) also will be available for $15.99.

Visit www.zondervan.com on the Children of God Storybook Bible product details page to view a special book trailer featuring Tutu or go to childrenofGodBible.com to watch a free video featuring Tutu reflecting on the project and to download two of the stories read by him.

Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, and Harper Collins, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children’s communications, it produces bestselling and award-winning Bibles, books, board books, graphic novels, audio, video, and digital products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 16 and the people who love them, from family members to educators. Zonderkidz is the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the 3rd-grade reading level edition of the NIV that is ideal for children and those who speak English as a second language. Visit Zonderkidz on the Internet at www.zonderkidz.com.

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EDUCATION: HELPING NEW GENERATIONS RELATE TO THE WORLD

May 27, 2010

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - Today in the Vatican’s Synod Hall, the Holy Father met with participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), who are meeting from 24 to 28 May to consider their general pastoral guidelines for the period 2010 - 2020.

“The Holy Spirit guides the Church in the world and in history”, said the Pope. “Thanks to this gift from the Risen One, the Lord remains present in midst of historical events. It is through the Spirit that we can recognise the meaning of human vicissitudes in Christ”.

“Supported by the Spirit and continuing down the path shown us by Vatican Council II, in particular with the pastoral guidelines of the last decade, you have chosen to adopt education as the principal theme for the next ten years. This temporal horizon is proportioned to the importance and breadth of educational requirements, which call on us to take responsibility for the new generations with a united, integral and harmonious witness which helps us to think, propose and live the truth, beauty and goodness of the Christian experience”.

Benedict XVI went on to speak of modern culture, where sometimes “the dignity of the person, the value of life, and the very meaning of truth and goodness” are placed in doubt, and where “nothing beyond the individual is recognised as definitive”. In this situation “it becomes arduous and difficult to present new generations with the ‘bread’ of truth’ for which it is worth spending one’s life and accepting, when necessary, the rigour of discipline and the fatigue of commitment.

“Though aware of the weight of these difficulties”, the Holy Father added, “we cannot resign ourselves to lack of confidence and despair. Education has never been easy, but we must not surrender for we would fail in the mandate the Lord Himself entrusted to us when He called us to feed His sheep with love. … Education means forming new generations that they may know how to relate to the world, strengthened by a significant memory, by a shared inner patrimony of real knowledge which, while recognising the transcendent goal of life, guides thoughts, emotions and judgements”.

Pope Benedict continued: “The inner thirst of the young is a call for meaning, for authentic human relationships which can help them not to feel alone in the face of life’s challenges. … Our response is to announce God, the friend of man Who in Jesus approached each one of us. The transmission of the faith is an indispensable part of the integral formation of the person. … The personal meeting with Jesus is the key to understanding God’s relevance in everyday life”.

The Pope explained how “the quality of our witness remains a decisive factor” in the duty to educate in families, schools and parishes.

Going on them to mention “the weakness and sin” of some members of the Church, he highlighted how “this humble and painful admission must not, however, make us forget the gratuitous and zealous service of many believers, first among them, priests. The special year dedicated to the clergy has sought to be an opportunity to promote their interior renewal as a condition for more incisive evangelical and ministerial commitment”.

“What gives rise to scandal must, for us, translate into a profound reminder of the need to re-learn penance and accept purification; to learn, on the one hand, forgiveness and, on the other, the need for justice”.

Benedict XVI encouraged the bishops “never to lose faith in the young. … Frequent all areas of life”, he told them, “including those of the new communications technologies which now permeate culture in all its expressions. It is not a question of adapting the Gospel to the world, but of drawing from the Gospel that perennial novelty which, in all times, enables us to find the best way to announce the Word that does not fail, fecundating and serving human life. Let us, then, again present the young with the exalted and transcendent measure of life as vocation”.

Referring then to the “current cultural, spiritual and economic crisis”, the Pope concluded by renewing his call “to the leaders of public life and to business people to do everything they can to lessen the effects of the employment crisis. I exhort everyone to reflect on the premises of a good and meaningful life, which lie at the basis of that authoritativeness which alone educates”.

DECLARATIONS CONCERNING RESIGNATION OF BISHOP OF BRUGES

April 24, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - Given below are the texts of two declarations, one by Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium, concerning his resignation from office, and the other by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium. Both declarations were delivered during a press conference held at midday today in Brussels.

“When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment. The victim is still marked by what happened. Over the course of these decades I have repeatedly recognised my guilt towards him and his family, and I have asked forgiveness; but this did not pacify him, as it did not pacify me. The media storm of recent weeks has increased the trauma, and the situation is no longer tenable. I profoundly regret what I did and offer my most sincere apologies to the victim, to his family, to all the Catholic community and to society in general. I have presented my resignation as bishop of Bruges to Pope Benedict XVI. It was accepted on Friday and so I retire”.

Declaration by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels.

“We are facing a particularly serious situation. Our thoughts go first and foremost to the victim and his family, some of whom have learned the shocking news only today. For the victim this has been a long Calvary, which has clearly not yet ended.

“As for Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, as a person he has the right to conversion, trusting in the mercy of God. However, as regards his function, it is vital that, out of respect for the victim and his family, and out of respect for the truth, he should resign from office. This is what he has done. The Pope immediately accepted the resignation of the bishop of Bruges, which is at this moment is being published in Rome.

“The Church thus underlines the importance of not procrastinating in such cases. We hope to contribute to the rehabilitation of the victim.

“The decision of the bishop of Bruges, and the calling of this press conference, express the transparency that the Catholic Church in Belgium rigorously wishes to apply in these matters, turning a new page with respect to the not-so-distant period in which the Church, and others, preferred the solution of silence or concealment.

“It goes without saying that this event will cause great suffering in the whole Catholic community of Belgium, especially because Bishop Vangheluwe was considered a generous and dynamic person, much appreciated in his diocese and in the Belgian Church. We, his confreres, are aware of the crisis of trust this will provoke in many people. Nonetheless, we dare to hope that wisdom will prevail and that the bishops, and especially the priests, of this country will not be unduly discredited as a group, because the vast majority live a lifestyle coherent with their vocation, with a faithfulness for which I here publicly express my thanks”.

Saline Infusion Abortion Survivor Speaks

April 7, 2010

SIOUX CITY, Iowa, (MetroCatholic) - “On August 24th, saline infusion for an abortion was done but was unsuccessful. On August 27th, Pitocin drip was started. It was also repeated on August 28th. Pitocin drip was continued on the 29th. The baby was delivered spontaneously in bed by a nurse.”

So began the life of Melissa Ohden, who survived the onslaught of the aforementioned saline infusion abortion, over the course of a five-day period, in August of 1977. What Melissa thought for years was her “birthday,” is, in fact, her day of survival, her day of triumph over the certain fate of death by abortion.

Melissa was blessed with the gift of life and the healing power of God’s grace, of forgiveness and love, and she now passes this on to others through her role as a mother and as a Christian counselor and Pro-Life speaker and advocate. Melissa will be sharing her testimony at right to life and college events, a Christian women’s conference, and a pregnancy resource center fundraiser in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri in upcoming weeks, and will also be speaking at the Canadian March for Life in May.

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