Family and Kids

155491EA-4188-4E16-9881-10854CB4C5D0We are visiting my son Jesse Ray this weekend. We asked our grandson Joshua what he’s been playing on the piano lately.

He asked, “ Do you want to hear one of my new compositions?”

We said, “Of course!“ So, here is what he played for us. He also has his driving permit so he drove us around!

In the picture to the right, Joshua is the second from the left.

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

by JesseRay on April 12, 2019

  1. Contributed by my son Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting…

I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. I guess he thought I was qualified since I had butchered last year’s deer with the help of my family.

It took a while for me to prepare the surroundings, I had never killed something so large, at such close range. During these few minutes I had time think about the gravity of what was about to happen.

Of course my mind took me back to the Jews and passover. Remember, the Bible is not just filled with stories, but with accounts of historical events. These events that we are familiar with actually happened. The Word of God prescribed, no dictated, the killing of a lamb. For the Jews, the lamb was not just dinner. The blood of the lamb was spread on the horizontal and vertical wood of the door frames (of course we recognize this as a foreshadowing of Christ’s blood dripping from His wooden cross).

Samaritan-Passover,-slain-lamb,-tb041106729-bibleplaces

(Picture: Present day slaughter of Passover Lamb by Samaritans in Israel) 

Exodus 12:21-22
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel, and said to them, “Select lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood which is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

We all know that the consequence of sin is death, yet today we do not always see or feel that direct connection. Before Jesus, the Lamb of God, came as our final sacrifice, a cute, woolly lamb <baaa>, had to die in expiation for sins. The Jews symbolically placed their own sins on the head of the lamb before it was killed in Leviticus 1. The male sheep was chosen from the flock for its spotlessness, just as Christ, sinless and perfect, died for our sins.

We Catholics are blessed with the sacrament of confession, a very quick and clean way of cleansing sins from our soul. Well, let me tell you there was nothing quick or clean about killing a lamb. If we had to go through this every time we sinned I would expect people would either sin less, or would carry more sins around on their hearts.

Passover (doorpost)I tell the following story, not for the sake of gore, but because it was a very raw and spiritual experience. You should stop here if the thought of blood makes you queasy.

I was compelled to pause, and say a prayer thanking God for this animal and for the gift of it’s life. At first it all happened quite fast: The the gun popped, a red spot appeared on the lambs head, the lamb dropped. I was glad that was over with.

What happened next surprised me. All living things try to avoid death, and even after the lethal blow, the lamb was not going to die without a fight. I apologize, for the detail, but far more blood than I expected began pouring out of the sheep’s mouth and nose. The famous painting “Adoration of the Lamb” by van Eyck flashed in my brain, (of course in the painting the sheep is standing, but the flow of blood is clearly key in the comparison).

My friend Pat, the instigator of this whole event, took action (and large knife) holding the sheep down with the full weight of his body and slit the throat. As more blood emerged it was clear that the bloody descriptions in the old testament will never be void of imagery for me anymore.

PETA people refuse to eat lamb chops or wear sheepskin because of (I assume) the violence of slaughter. (or maybe they just need some cause to distract them from the evils of abortion and euthanasia that many support). Before any scriptural lessons, I think seeing that this tasty protein-source doesn’t start out in a Styrofoam package at Meijers is good to know.

But seriously, what kind of a “merciful” God would order His people to do something so violent and base? The answer points to the Eucharist, and is so deep that we need to understand God’s plan of salvation is exposed in history and recorded in scripture. Now we just need to know where to look.

Adoration of the Lamb_van_Eyck_insetMy dad, Steve Ray, teaches about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and its Biblical foundations; he can speak for hours about the beauty and reality in his talk entitled Defending the Eucharist: You are What You Eat. The whole talk can be found here, and is really a great listen.

I pray that you will all draw closer to our Lord and find joy in His Cross and Resurrection.

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54256077_10105611876217174_649835814674497536_oWe met on an airplane. I knew I was going to marry him by the time we landed.

I had seen him in the airport. He walked by and I stared in awe thinking he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had no idea he was on my flight. He saw me too.

I chose a middle seat (weird!) on southwest toward the front of the plane and the aisle seat next to me stayed open. He was one of the last to board and when he saw the seat next to me was open he sat down. MY.HEART.STOPPED. We talked the whole flight and the nice woman next to us asked us tons of questions as if she was a matchmaker. He was sweet. He was kind. He was soft spoken and humble. He was so funny. I was smitten.

54437470_10105611876706194_7665989673822453760_oHe was too shy to give me his contact info so I gave him mine. He deployed the next day for Iraq and we emailed each other for the next 6 months. I fell in love. Hard. He did too but it took a little for him to realize it.

I was there waiting to see him the day he got home. The only time we had spent together in person was on the plane, but we were best friends and it felt like a fairy tale getting to finally look into his eyes and hold his hand. Three weeks later he told me he loved me, and I was so glad because I had been dyingggg to tell him how much I loved him too.

We lived 4.5 hours apart but saw each other every single weekend. That whole year was so magical.

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 1.31.15 AMIn 7 years of marriage (and 2 years of dating) we’ve been together thru undergrad, medical school, infertility, adopting our precious boy, moving across the country for residency, a miracle pregnancy that brought us our baby girl, a fixer upper, hours of laughter, hours of tears, and tons of memories in between.

There’s no doubt in my mind that God arranged our meeting on that plane and I’m so thankful. #7yearanniversary #married7years

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I am reposting this because of the huge response two years ago. Thought it would be helpful again for many people who have lost their spouse. My dad died almost eight years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. […]

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A Tribute to My Father who Died Six Years Ago Today

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Never Assemble a Grill

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I will never, ever, EVER again buy a grill that needs to be assembled! Never! Notice it is dark and way too late to grill our dinner!

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Little Charlie & the Big Combine!

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love being a Grandpa!

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Fun and Relaxed 4th of July

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?Happy 4th! Thanks to all those who made our independence and freedom possible! Kids all traveling so Janet & I took 3.5 mile walk, cooked healthy food on the barbie and watched hilarious family-friendly Aussie movie “Deckchair Danny.” Love being a husband/dad/granddad, love being an American, love being Catholic! (Picture from front porch.)

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