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Why You Should NOT Give Up Anything for Lent 2014

Lent 2014 is here. It’s a period of fasting and reflection during the most spiritual time for Christians. A period to meditate on the origin of the foundation of the Church. When Jesus Christ took on the burden from mankind, and returned to it, a covenant of eternal life.

With this 40 days of fasting, you’ll most definitely hear people talking about giving up certain things during Lent 2014. No chocolate….no Facebook….no Shark Tank. (well, maybe scratch that last one)

Maybe those things are a worthy ‘sacrifice’ for God. But instead, how about giving God an offering by DOING something. What if we focused on bettering ourselves and realizing our potential to glorify God? Would it not please God to see us, whom are created in His image, use the gifts with which we are bestowed?

It may be considered ‘new age spirituality’ to some, but even Saint Augustine spoke of turning toward our inner self for truth. For the power of God is within each of us. Maybe I’m not interpreting it correctly, but if I have the power of God within me, then I am actually offending God by subduing this power and not unleashing it.

Memorable Lent 2014

If you give up chocolate every year, that’s O.K., but it becomes mundane after awhile, doesn’t it? And who did you really affect around you? Whose life was made better by you giving up chocolate? However, by DOING something, we can add a uniqueness to each Lent, memorialize it, and do our part to change the world.

Here is an example: (but hopefully a future true statement)
In Lent 2014, I learned Spanish. With that knowledge of the Spanish language, I was able to volunteer at an orphanage in a Spanish speaking country.

For the rest of life, even when the language comes easy, you would be able to look back to Lent 2014. The focus and work you offered up to the glory of God will be easily remembered.

lent list | lent 2014

Lenten list on my door.

Personally, for this Lent 2014, I will be

  • completing the Pimsleur Spanish Course Level 1
  • staying on a strict workout schedule
  • covering the entire Foundations to Stocks and Options Course from TradeSmartU
  • updating this website weekly

Each day during Lent 2014, I will allot time in order to see each objective through. And I will do my best to use each objective to serve God. Though the hardest of these will be to sleep by 10:30….


Ask Yourself the Question

This idea of doing otherwise secular tasks for the Greater Glory of God was reiterated by Father Byrne at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill recently. Click play for a few minutes of his homily. (about 8 minutes)

The jist is that whether we are at work or talking to a neighbor, that we should do everything for the Greater Glory of God.

This thought also circles back to one of the previous Thursday Thought’s….Sin and Salvation. At all times we should be asking ourselves, “Is this bringing me closer, or separating me further from God?” Constantly asking ourselves that question will force us to either justify what we do, or turn away from it, and back to the Almighty.

Also in Father Byrne’s homily was the mention of living for today and not in worry. Again, we can reference a Thursday Thought …..Finding Balance | Ignorance vs Worry. Being prepared and taking action is not the same as being worried.

I struggle with this at times as I have decided that I will live abroad in the future. Anybody who has read the content on this site knows the reasons behind this decision. However, personal conditions don’t currently favor such a change. I could let the angst effect me…. Will I get out in time? Will my preparation be enough? …But what purpose would that worry serve? So I just take each day as it comes until that opportunity to act presents itself. Weeks, months, years….I don’t know, and it’s no use worrying about.


Make Lent 2014 Your Best Yet

ashes | lent 2014

ashes selfie.

This all ties in to a great correlation between this Lent 2014 and our lives as a whole. In both, we should absolutely prepare for what comes. Yet, in both, we know what awaits at the end. The road to get there may be uncertain, but if we know where the ultimate end lies, then worry is just an obstacle which can prevent us from getting there.

So I urge you all to take on DOING something for Lent 2014. Make it something difficult. Make it something you aren’t even sure you can do…..then do it. And do it for the Glory of God. Please comment below on what you’ll be DOING this Lent 2014.

Finally, remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return. So if you have to give up anything during Lent 2014, give up worrying about all the clutter in the meantime.

With God’s Will



US Economic Collapse on March 4, 2014? Doubtful, but….

I know, I know. Another US Economic Collapse post. These are getting as numerous as the ‘Banker Suicide’ posts seen elsewhere. And yes, we have spoken before about the fools game of trying to call the ‘stock market top’ or the ‘crash’ or the ‘economic collapse.’ But yet again, as unlikely as it is, I want to bring your attention to the next ballyhooed date of March 4, 2014. But first, let’s take a look at a few things leading up to the supposed US Economic Collapse.


US Economic Collapse Lead Up

US Economic Collapse | collapseA few months ago, “The stock market top will occur on….” was published. It brought to attention the McClellan analog comparison of 1929 and current day. They determined the market top to occur on Jan 14, 2014, give or take. Tom Demark has been singing a similar tune as well.

Additionally, Procinctu ran it’s own Crash 2013 series. It covered fundamentals, chart analysis, and ways to short the market in the event of a US Economic Collapse. The jury is still out on whether I need to eat humble pie or not. If we see a ‘higher high’ in the Dow Jones from here, then I will have been wrong in the timing. As of now, the market top occurred on December 31, 2013.

US Economic Collapse Brewing

Beyond resistance lines and charting, by now, you are probably aware of other interesting news coming out.

  • Lindsay Williams has been talking of a global currency reset around March 2014. (Take that for what it’s worth.)
  • Numerous bankers are having odd deaths or ‘suicides’ over the last several months. The normal stuff like a 34-year old with a heart attack….a 39 year old with an alleged suicide leap…..a 33 year old allegedly leaping to death….a 57 year old shooting himself with a nail gun. While suicides alone may not be all that suspicious, when the name JP Morgan is mentioned with many of them, then…..
  • The US-EU coup in Ukraine is provoking Russia to act…..leading to murmurs of World War 3. (1, 2)
  • The emerging market scare from a few weeks ago has eased, but is not solved.

Then there are all the normal fundamental problems in the US and abroad which point to the US Economic Collapse.

ukraine | US Economic Collapse

US Economic Collapse on March 4, 2014?

This leads us to a US Economic Collapse article found on the Washington Times website back in October 25, 2012. In it, the date of March 4, 2014 was specifically named. While it’s likely this is just another date which will come and go, I’ll still include it below for you to decide that for yourself.

U.S. economy on schedule to crash March 4, 2014 – America’s fall will take global economies with it:

Those wild and crazy Mayans put down their marker that the end of the world would occur on Dec. 21, 2012 — about two months from now. There is, of course, some small chance that they might be right. On the other hand, there is a very large probability that the real end of the world will occur around March 4, 2014.

The doomsday clock will ring then because the U.S. economy may fully crash around that date, which will, in turn, bring down all world economies and all hope of any recovery for the foreseeable future — certainly over the course of most of our lifetimes.

Interest rates will skyrocket, businesses will fail, unemployment will go to record levels, material and food shortages will be rampant, and there could be major social unrest.

Any wishful thinking that America is in a “recovery” and that “things are getting better” is an illusion.

The problem is not Medicare, which won’t quit on us for another six or seven years. Nor is it Social Security, which will not be fully bankrupt for another 15 years or so. The crisis is much more immediate and much more serious.

The central problem is that America is the bank of the world. What this means, simply, is that the dollar is the world’s currency (often termed the “reserve currency”).

Throughout the world, nearly all traded goods, oil, major commodities, real estate, etc., are denominated in dollars.

The world needs dollars, and the U.S. provides them and provides confidence that the dollar is the “safest” currency in the world. Countries get dollars by trading with us on attractive terms, which enables Americans to live very well.

Countries support this system and cover their risk by investing in dollars through T-bill auctions and other mechanisms, which enables us to run budget deficits — up to a point.

The central issue is confidence in America, and the world is losing confidence quickly.

At a certain point, soon, the United States will reach a level of deficit spending and debt at which the countries of the world will lose faith in America and begin to withdraw their investments.

Many leading economists and bankers think another trillion dollars or so may do it. A run on the bank will start suddenly, build quickly and snowball.

At that point, we will need to finance our own deficit, and we will not be able to do so. We will raise bond rates to re-attract foreign investment, interest rates will go up, and businesses will fail. Unemployment will skyrocket.

The rest of the world will fully crash along with us. Europe will continue to decline, and the euro will not replace the dollar. Russia will see a collapse in oil prices as market demand softens, and Russia will collapse along with it.

China will find nowhere to export and also will collapse. The Russian and Chinese governments, which see all this coming and have been stockpiling gold to hedge against such a dollar collapse, will find that you cannot eat gold.

There will be uprisings — think of the streets in Spain and Greece today — everywhere. Technological advances that traditionally drive productivity increases and economic growth will not be able to keep up with this collapse.

When might this all happen? Paul Volker indicates we might face a mess like this in the next year and a half.

David Walker, former U.S. comptroller, i.e., the former chief accountant of the U.S. government, has suggested similar time frames for economic catastrophe.

Most agree that the budget sequestration approach won’t work from either economic or political perspectives, and mindless across-the-board cuts in spending will only exacerbate a mess.

The Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing, in which we print money to buy our own bonds in order to goose economic and employment numbers, means we are floating our own debt, a good formula for sudden hyperinflation.

The next president will have about six months to fix this problem before it is too late. He must be fully prepared, able and willing to work with Congress and move quickly and decisively.

During the election, the most important question to ask is, who understands all this and is prepared to prevent it? Everything else is noise.

Grady Means is a businessman, former assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and former economist at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

So there it is. While I don’t know how exactly he comes up with the date of March 4, 2014 for the US Economic Collapse, I still thought you should know of it. Use the info however you see fit.

With God’s will.


Letters to My Teenage Sister – Does he EVER make you cry?

Hey Sis,

I noticed the other day you appeared to be distraught after talking on the phone. In fact, I notice this to be a regular occurrence. What has been making you feel so bad? Have there been a lot of deaths recently? Are your friends having serious problems? Health issues? What could it be?

letters to my teenage sister | does he ever make you cryI trust that this is not the result of any one person. You would not put up with anyone being mean to you, right? You deserve much better than that. But then, you are doing a pretty bad job of hiding those tears. And I gotta think that if the reason for sadness was a death or illness, you would be open about it.

This leads me to think that there is a guy in your life causing these tears. This is unacceptable.

If he EVER makes you cry now, what makes you think he will ever stop later? There is no reason to be regularly mean enough to someone to drive them to tears. Especially you, my sister.

This is the time he is supposed to be courting and showing you the best he has to offer. If the best he has to offer is, to regularly denigrate you, then that is a huge problem. It’s a problem you can and must fix.

If the man in your life ever makes you cry, Get rid of him immediately. If he belittles you, talks down to you, is mean, threatening, unappreciative, overly-argumentative, etc. You MUST move on. It will not get better. He won’t just change because you wish him to change. He is toxic.

I know you want to be married someday. So understand that any dating you do now is an investment of your time and energy towards marriage. He is giving you a preview of what your life will be like, if you so choose to spend it with him.

Follow me on this part, sis. We have seen society sneer at and undermine the nuclear family. But the nuclear family itself actually provides the foundation for a strong society and culture. A great marriage will feature the husband and wife working in unison to create a masterful symphony. The wife will need to be submissive and subordinate to her husband. And the husband will need to love his wife, treat her like his queen, and avoid ANY bitterness towards her. This only works if both parties fulfill their obligation to each other and to themselves.

I know you just want to be loved. But don’t accept mistreatment from a guy, just because you are in love with the IDEA of ‘having’ a guy. He is not holding up his end of the deal, so neither should you. You deserve better, so expect better, and don’t put up with anything less. Period.

If you don’t fix that last part now, you will find yourself unable to escape a marriage in which you are mistreated. You will be imprisoned by the fact that you are in love with the very idea of marriage, but not to your actual husband.

Sis, now and in the future, I hope that you remove any guy in your life that does not treat you with utmost respect. But also realize that it’s up to you to earn that respect. If you accept being a doormat, then a doormat is what you be regarded.

Instead, I pray that you become part of one of the greatest symphonies in our age.


Your brother Travis


Letters to My Teenage Sister

Letters to My Teenage Sister – 1 – Does He EVER Make You Cry?

Letters to My Teenage Sister – 2 – Leggings (and Yoga Pants)

Sin and Salvation | Thursday Thought

This week’s Thursday Thought is about sin and salvation. Many people would much rather ignore that such things even exist. But if sin and salvation exist, what constitutes one from the other? What are the ramifications of each?

Before getting into it, let’s first define sin and salvation.

Sin – the separation from God

Salvation – the reunification with God

If you believe in God, then you very likely believe in another realm. And most believers anticipate leaving this Earthly life, to be reunited with their Creator in that realm. So if we want to be honest about it, EVERYTHING we do on Earth is in preparation for that FINAL destination.

And so these definitions of sin and salvation become agonizing. Why? Because in every decision and action we take, we need to be in a constant Q & A with ourselves asking….”Is this action going to separate me from God, or unify me with God?”

It’s a really difficult question to ask so many times….simple….but very difficult, because the answer is almost never one we want to hear. But through addressing uncomfortable topics, hopefully we can grow, in this case spiritually.


Walking into Sin

Obviously, not EVERYTHING we do will bring us closer to God. So we have to be aware of this on a deed by deed basis. Watching Toy Story probably won’t bring you closer to God, but at the same time, it probably won’t separate you all that much from God either.

But there are movies that contain elements that DO separate us from God. When the answer is obvious that a deed, or time spent, will separate us from God, then it’s best to avoid that certain occurrence.

walk into Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtYou may have heard it said that you ‘fall’ into sin, but that’s not exactly how it works. Instead, it’s more like we WALK into sin. Sin is very much progressive, and more often than not, you will have many opportunities to turn around from the direction you are heading. However, for some reason, once we start walking away, we just keep going.

It’s not like sin is a sinkhole that just appears, and we fall into it. But there is actually a road we must travel down to put ourselves in the position to sin. Sin doesn’t sneak up on you and say, “Boo! I caught you!” No, we open ourselves up to it and are drawn to it. All along the way, we have ample opportunities to turn around.

It’s like seeing an uninhabited building on fire, sure people can try to put out the flames from a safe distance, but would you run into the building to save it? What purpose would that serve? It’s just suicide if there is nobody there to save…spiritual suicide. What else can we expect but for the building to collapse in on us.

So we voluntarily put ourselves in the position to sin.


Sin and Salvation GAS GAUGE

gas gauge | Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtAnother way to look at Sin and Salvation is as a gas gauge. “E” represents being really far from God, “F” represents being really close to God. Throughout the day, our spirit is pummeled with impure thoughts, temptations, venial sins, etc. All these things aid in taking gas out of our spiritual tank. The further we are from God, the weaker our defenses and spirit will be to the onslaught.

So going back to the example above, Toy Story will only drain a drop or two of gas. But a porno movie will use up almost all of your tank, leaving your soul in peril. And in this state, you will be susceptible to other mortal sins.

Luckily, we are able to fill the tank back up as much as we want.

As a Catholic, I take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After confessing sins, I literally feel my tank being refilled and immediately feel closer to God..

That’s why during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we ask for God’s grace in AVOIDING THE NEAR OCCASIONS OF SIN. It’s always near, but it’s up to us to actually make an effort to walk towards it, or not.

Another way to come closer to salvation is through our interactions with the lowest and least fortunate among us. Really, we should be thanking groups like homeless people, the needy, and even our enemies. The manner in which we positively treat them can provide us simple steps in walking back to God. Focusing on bettering ourselves in this area will help in setting our path in the correct direction, and refilling the tank.

Sin and Salvation aren’t necessarily permanent, but the tank is in constant fluctuation. The goal is to be mindful of keeping it as full as possible, for as often as possible. Always remain cognizant of the fact that less harmful venial sins can lead us to soul jeopardizing mortal sins.


What to do?

walking  Sin and Salvation | Thursday ThoughtIf you find yourself on the wrong path, you aren’t automatically damned for all eternity. Take the STEPS towards refilling your tank.

When you are walking down the wrong path…..stop…..ask for guidance from God…turn around…..and walk the other direction. It’s not all that easy, but it really is that simple.

Whichever stage we find ourselves in life, we are preparing to be something else or go somewhere else. Whether an elder on the deathbed, or a babe in the womb…. the short term destination may differ, but ultimately, we all strive for the same final place.

Recognizing sin and salvation in everyday life will aid us in reaching that destination.


With God’s Will


It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here’s Some Real Music

Since we are now in the thick of Christmas, I wanted to share a piece of Nativity music that I find spiritually fulfilling. But before continuing, I know some readers may be confused, thinking…”Huh? Wasn’t Christmas, like, 2 weeks ago?”

Though the popular thought is that Christmas ends at midnight at the start of December 26th, as we see with most other modern conventional wisdom, this is NOT true. In reality, the SEASON of Christ’s Mass extends much longer. It is STILL Christmas Season.


Still Christmas Season

Yes, it is Still Christmas Season. In the Western Church, the actual season runs until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, celebrated January 12 this year. Though some even regard it as Christmas Season until Candlemas on Feb. 2. In addition to that, some Christians don’t even celebrate the Nativity until January 6 or 7 (December 25 on the Julian calendar).

epiphany three kings | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real MusicOriginally, the Nativity,  Three Kings (magi), Baptism, and First Miracle were all celebrated as one. And even now, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Nativity along with Theophany. But over time. the celebrations were eventually separated out by the Catholic Church and each event given it’s own day. So while many Eastern Churches still celebrate Theophany as part of Epiphany, the Catholics celebrate each event separately.

Epiphany for the Western Church focuses more on the story of the Three Kings, and the following week, they focus on the Baptism of the Lord. In the Eastern Church, Epiphany and Theophany are the same with more focus on the Baptism. The name Theophany is derived because of the revelation of God in three persons at the Baptism…God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

nativity | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real MusicToday, January 6, 2014, is the Epiphany in the Western Church (celebrated on nearest Sunday, yesterday). Yet for the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Nativity is celebrated. And for most of the rest of the Eastern Church, it is Christmas Eve.

Note: Some may wonder why I used ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ church instead of ‘Catholic’ and ‘Orthodox’. Really, they could be interchangeable. But I found that some Orthodox churches in the west used the Gregorian calendar, and some Catholic churches in the middle east used the Julian calendar. So it’s not definitive one way or the other.

Sorry if I confused you even more. I’ll include a list below to give an idea of the Christian Christ’s Mass calendar, but hopefully we are at least on the same page as far as it is STILL Christmas Season. So on to the music.

Sister Marie Keyrouz – Kathisma of the Office of the Nativity

sister marie keyrouz | It Is STILL Christmas Season | Here's Some Real Music

I wanted to share Sister Marie Keyrouz performing ‘Kathisma of the Office of the Nativity‘. Her music has been featured on this site before, and it’s well deserving. I find it unparalleled in ancient sacred music and I hope your soul can find strength in it. Enjoy…

Blessings to you and your family in this (continuing) Season of Christ’s Mass.



Christmas Schedule using Gregorian perspective

  • December 24th Christmas Eve (west)
  • December 25th Christmas Day (west)
  • January 1st Solemnity of the Mother of God (west)
  • January 5th Epiphany observed (west)
  • January 6th Christmas Day and Theophany (Armenian Apostolic Church)
  • January 6th Christmas Eve (east)
  • January 6th Epiphany (west) (celebration moved to Sunday Jan 5)
  • January 7th Christmas Day (east)
  • January 12th Baptism of the Lord, Christmas Season Concludes (west)
  • January 19th Theophany/Epiphany  (east)

For the Eastern Orthodox churches using the Gregorian or UPDATED Julian calendar, their celebrations will coincide with those labelled at ‘west’

The Stock Market Top will occur on……..

Ahhhh (a relaxing ahhh), the STOCK MARKET TOP. It has always done quite a commendable job in making jackasses out of wanna-be-prophets, shills-on-TV, doomsayers, etc. But for one to gain immortal status in the prestigious “remember that time I called the stock market top” group, they only have to get it right once.

Calling the stock market top will give license to be wrong indefinitely, yet still get paid for an opinion. That is so modern American, eh?

Stock Market Top

I don’t pretend to know the ‘exact’ date of the stock market top. In fact, I’ve run a Crash 2013 series since August 2013. And guess what? No crash yet!

But like all other ‘prophets’, we gotta justify predictions and skew the timelines. For example, the distribution phase started in May 2013, which is technically the beginning of the crash, right? But you see….with Quantitative Easing, stimulus packages, antitrust evasions, debt ceiling, Obamacare, government shutdown, bank bailouts, bail-ins, free money, Illuminati, aliens, comets, Santa Claus,  n’at……it’s tough being a prophet nowadays.

Though I will cut myself some slack. If you go back to the Crash 2013 launch, it was specifically said that 2013 was to include the Year of the Snake.  ‘Crash 2013’ was used for SEO purposes, because really, how many people would do a Google search for “Crash in the Year of the Snake”? (while there are many variations, that exact phrase appears twice in internetdom)

So now that you know there will be no humble pie here until Jan 31st (if at all)……when exactly is the Stock Market Top?

1929analogV2 | The Stock Market Top will occur on........Well according to McClellan Financial Publications…..really freaking soon! Like January 14 soon! Though in the article, the difficulties determining such a number are addressed. So we will say Jan 14, 2014, plus/minus  5 days.

Hey, that works for me. The Crash 2013 series would be validated, and I could at least associate with the “remember that time I called the stock market top” group. But enough rambling. Below is the article in it’s entirety. Take a trip over to their site and see what else McClellan has to offer. As for me, I’ll soon be preparing for Crash 2013 update #7…. yes, even though it’s January 2014.

With God’s Will.