2012 Predictions

My predictions for 2011 were unusually off the mark, but that never stops a charlatan from making more.

Hence, my predictions for 2012:
1. A reinterpretation of the Mayan calender will reveal the world will not actually end in December 2012. Rather, that is the Mayan prediction of the start of a new hit series on NBC. The Mayans were really into Dramedey.
2. I will be offered a $10 million publishing contract, but I will not accept it because I refuse the publishers demand to change the lead character from a bearded district attorney battling city corruption into a clean-shaven district attorney battling city corruption. My artistic integrity will not allow me to make a revision that will alter the entire feel of the narrative. Come on, beards are in right now.
3. I’m hungry.
4. You will soon find an item you have misplaced. (This should be sufficiently vague to ensure at least one win in the prediction game).
5. Steve Jobs will not die in 2012.

6. Some famous Hollywood actor will die in 2012. (Shocking, I know).
7. Tim Tebow will continue to be more reviled for praying where other people can see, than other football players are for raping women where other people don’t see it.
8. George Lucas will release yet another revision to the original Star Wars trilogy, this time adding a CGI bikini to Chewbacca.
9. Political activism and sports entertainment will collide when the famed basketball team changes its name to “The Harlem Globalwarming Trotters.”
10. Barack Obama will be a one term president.

Catholic Dads Online Podcast #5

I interviewed Catholic Answers Senior Apologist Jimmy Akin for Catholic Dads Online podcast. He answered questions about the birth of Jesus told in the Bible.

Listen here:

or download here.

Anyone know how to sew?

About mid-morning my daughter’s preschool teacher called me. “Sorry to bother you at work, but Bailey fell off a stool and bumped her head. She is OK, but I think it will need a stitch or two.” She had fallen off a stool and hit her head on the door stop on the door frame. Ouch.

Thankfully, the teacher’s demeanor set me at ease, so I wasn’t too worried but you never want to hear about your kid bleeding.

When I got there, Bailey was in the school office with the administrator, her teacher, and the nurse. The administrator was holding her as Bailey was holding some gauze to her head and a few drops of blood were on her shirt. I tried to act nonchalant as I moved the gauze to see the wound. I think I pulled it off pretty well.

I said, “Yeah, you got a little cut there.” Inside, I’m thinking, ‘MY LORD. LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE KNOT ON HER HEAD. I’VE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH BLOOD! MY CHILD IS GOING TO BE SCARRED FOR LIFE. Oh no, I hope I don’t throw up.’

What came out was “Yeah, let’s go to the doctor and get you fixed up.”

Honeybun met us and we went to the urgent care clinic. We only had to wait a few minutes to get into the exam room. The nurse cleaned the wound. It was only about 1/4 inch long, but it went deep and was laid open pretty wide for such a short cut.

The doctor was a woman from Nigeria. She had a great bedside manner. Honeybun was worried about scarring of course. The doctor explained her young son had a similar cut and they used Dermabond (essentially a glue) to put it together. They like to use that because it is quick to do. The problem with it is that it tends to make a bigger scar.

Then the doctor said, “But she’s a girl, so I won’t use that. We’ll do it the right way.” Stitches it was. It takes longer to do and so is a little more painful, but done right, the scar shouldn’t be noticeable in the long run.

The worst part was the Lidocaine. The doctor asked me to hold her head, but even though she was crying, she didn’t jerk her head. The kid is tough. Near the end of the stitching, she cried again complaining that it hurt, but she didn’t move her head. Even the doctor was impressed.

So, we got stitches. A right of passage of sorts. Even better timing. School pictures are in two days.

Bailey stitches

The passing of an icon

Steve Jobs passed away two days ago. He was only 56.

He has been lauded as the man who invented the 21st century. He is considered a genius for giving the world products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. He was an indisputed a man of vision.

He was also a man of faults. Earlier in life he fathered a child out of wedlock and refused to recognize her and leaving his child and mother to resort to welfare. He also was infamously hard on his employees.

At the same time, he could be generous to strangers and was known to have intensely loyal friends. When he did marry, he stayed married and had 3 more children with his wife.

Steve Jobs drive and vision in business was not the only mark of the man, but will be what is remembered as his legacy. And that is probably as it should be. Everyone has faults. Their achievements are not lessened by their shortcomings.

Where love lives

Earlier this week Pat Robertson told his viewers on the 700 Club that it was morally acceptable for a husband to divorce his wife who is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease because that person is “not there anymore” and that the disease “is a kind of death.”

Robert McQuilken found himself in the same situation. He was the President of Columbia Bible College and Seminary when his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. People close to him advised him to arrange for institutionalization.

He chose to resign in 2004 so that he could care for her. In his words,

She had, after all, cared for me for almost four decades with marvelous devotion; now it was my turn. And such a partner she was! If I took care of her for 40 years, I would never be out of her debt.

Listen to his resignation speech and you can hear in his voice the love he has for his wife.

Pat Robertson is wrong. “A kind of death” is not death. Robert McQuilken’s choice is where true love lives.

From the mouths of babes

One night last week, Honeybun was watching a TV show about 9/11 while I got Bailey ready for bed. When Bailey went in to give her mommy a hug and kiss goodnight, Honeybun paused the show. We try to be careful about what we let Bailey see. This show was more than we want her to see right now, but it just so happened that she paused the show as there was a picture of the remains of FDNY Ladder 3 on screen. The firetruck had been crushed when the World Trade Center towers fell. All 12 firefighters who rode the truck that morning were in the North Tower and died when it collapsed.
Remains of Ladder 3
Bailey noticed the picture on the screen and asked why the firetruck was broken. Not really a conversation you want to get into at bed time, but these situations never occur when you are ready for the discussion, but talking about a damaged firetruck doesn’t seem like the stuff of nightmares. So, I explained that some bad men made a building fall down on the truck.
“Did people die?”
Great. I didn’t really want to go there, but I’m not going to lie about it either. Best to just say the truth and not go into detail.
“Yes, people did die that day.”

“Did a lot of people die?”

(Sigh) “Yes, a lot of people died.”

“And they broke the firetruck. Will it ever work again?”

“No. It will never work again.” At least we got off the idea of so many deaths.

After that, we said our good night prayers and said a special prayer for the people who died that day.

She didn’t really seem to be bothered about the conversation and didn’t bring it up again the following week. But that wasn’t the end of deep topics.

This past Sunday, I took Bailey to church. I decided to take my copy of Magnificat. She saw it and was mesmerized by the cover. This month’s cover is Marco d’Oggiono’s The Archangels Triumphing Over Lucifer.
The Archangels Triumphing Over Lucifer
She began by questioning about who the angels are. That led to the more menacing figure.
“Who is the man being put in the ground?”
“That is not a man. That is the Devil.”
“Why are they putting him in the ground?”
“He is bad.”
“Does he want to hurt and kill people? Is that is why they are putting him in the ground?”
“Yes. God told the angels to put him in the ground so that he can’t hurt anyone.”
After a bit more questioning, she was satisfied. (And yes, I realized the picture depicts an event that is generally considered to be a prophecy, but that whole conversation is a lot more than she is ready for at 4 1/2 years old).

That night I was putting her to bed and she brought it up again after her prayers.
“Daddy, why is the Devil bad?”
“He was an angel and he wanted take God’s place. But no one can take God’s place. Wanting to do that is disobeying God.”
“Is that why he is bad and wants to kill people?”
She was silent for about a minute.

“Daddy, Daddy! It was the devil who knocked down those buildings and killed all those people and broke the firetruck.”
I was stunned at that statement.
“Well actually it was some bad men who knocked down the buildings.”
“But the Devil told them to do it.”
I couldn’t find the hole in her conclusion that time. “I think you’re right.”
“We need God to protect us from the Devil.”

Right on Sunshine.

Great work if you can get it

Marketing genius Seth Godin recently sold access to a small group coaching session to be held next month. Attendees are told to bring their marketing, business model or other challenges to work through.access to the the best marketing mind in the country was available for the bargain price of $3,200 per person.

That is a high price for most people. So I’m going to do one better. Act now and you can get tickets to the Always Jason small group coaching session for only $1,000 per person.

Not only will you get some great advice, you will have all the comforts of home, because I will host this session in my own living room.

The event will even be catered. My wife makes great finger foods. We’ll even throw in dinner and cocktails. I’ll fire up the grill in the backyard. Tempting?

Act now. Tickets are limited.

Archbishop Chaput

The news across the Catholic blogosphere today is Archbishop Chaput’s new assignment to Philadelphia to replace retiring Cardinal Rigali. Traditionally, the archbishop of Philadelphia has been a Cardinal, so this move is seen as an imminent elevation for the archbishop – one that is long overdue.

I lived in Denver until the beginning of this year, still visit there frequently, and hope to move back soon. I can say this is sad news for the Denver church. Archbishop Chaput is an amazing man. He welcomed me into the church in 2005 during the Rite of Election. Last year, he granted me a private meeting, during which I received his blessing, and I have been able to exchange correspondence with him.

Whispers in the Loggia describes Archbishop Chaput as “brash, outspoken and fearless — energetic, colorful, cultured… indeed, even hard-core….” I agree with all of those except for the first, he is not brash. Yes, he is unapologetic in being an orthodox bishop. He stands for Catholic faith, but does so in a gentle way. His statements are always measured and thoughtful. He is not unnecessarily confrontational. Yes, he is “pastoral.” Then again, no one thinks a response is gentle when that response opposes one’s own beliefs. No matter how gentle he is, the pro-abortion, and gay lobby will call him “mean.” He has taken unpopular positions and is criticized by both conservatives and liberals.

Still, no other bishop has been more open in reforming the Church in the aftermath of the priest abuse scandal. It is no wonder the Pope is rumored to have picked Archbishop Chaput over the candidates he was offered. He is the right man for the situation in Philadelphia where his biggest challenge will be to heal that church in the wake of a renewed abuse scandal.

But there is more to Archbishop Chaput than that. The Catholic Church of Northern Colorado (the archdiocese of Denver) is growing. The growth of vocations continues as well. Last year, the archdiocese had to expand the St. John Vianney Seminary, which is located on the same campus as the archdiocese’s headquarters. Thanks to his leadership, the church in Denver is healthy.

Archbishop Chaput has the heart of a shepherd. Anyone who claims he is aloof has simply not met him. He is approachable by anyone. I’ve seen him greeting people for about an hour at the front doors of the basilica after mass to greet anyone who desires to meet him. He didn’t leave until everyone had the opportunity.

Philadelphia, Denver’s loss is your gain. You are about to be blessed more than you know.

Stuff about me.