Sunday, June 28, 2009

When Will the Madness Stop...

About 1:30 this morning, my wife and I were awakened by the horrible sobbing of our daughter (15) who was crying uncontrollably. She told me she had just found out that one of her best friends had been killed. The young man was only 15 years old and was sitting on his front porch in Hillsdale, Missouri and was struck by a bullet from an unknown individual(s) running near the home. This is the 4th young person that has had their life cut short within the past 45 days that my daughter has known. Approximately two months or so ago yet another one of her friends was murdered (8th Grader) on a St. Louis street while helping his Grandfather with his BBQ Vending Business.

I clutched our daughter tight and listened to her sobbing and struggled for words of comfort, since I really cannot understand what must be going through her mind at 15 years old. I remember the first friend of mine when I was 16 who passed was Hyman King, in 1981, who was only months shy of his High School Graduation. Hyman was killed in a single car accident when he hit a telephone pole. This was the first funeral I attended for someone that I knew and never had to go through that again until many years later in my life, so what do you tell a child, an innocent child whose close friend, was killed? Yet another young and innocent life cut down for no reason at all.

I asked her what was going through her mind and she stated the obvious... WHY? Why did this happen, why is this happening again, why does God let this happen to good people when the bad people seem to literally get away with murder and doing wrong? I asked her if she was upset with God, and she stated yes. I said, “It’s okay to get upset with God. I get upset with Him sometimes myself, BUT, I come to my senses and get down on my knees, ask God for His Help, Mercy, and to fill me with His Grace, so that I might accept His Will in my life."

So many people, young and old the like, ask, "Why does God allow Evil?" It seems the proverbial question to many people. In my humble opinion, the only answer, the answer I gave my daughter is... LOVE. God Loves us so much that He permits Evil in this world.

In the Beginning, the Book of Genesis tells us, God created the world and all that is within it, and "It was good", said the Lord. God chose to create a creature that He would give free will, to love Him back, and thus God created, "in His Image and likeness, let us create" man, God created Him. When God created Adam and Eve, He gave us 'Free Will' to love Him or not. To serve Him or turn our backs. After the fall of man to Orignonal Sin, the Bible tells us "God so loved the World (all the world - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) that "He gave His Only Begotten Son", as a Sacrifice for all mankind. God loved the human He created so very much that He gave us His Son, to suffer and die as an Eternal Offering for our sins... the sins of ALL... Good People, Bad People and the Ugliness that is sin, within all of us. The answer - God's Love for us - is why Evil is permitted in this world, because He gives ALL mankind 'Free Will' to love Him or turn away from Him... BUT, being that He IS God, the Alpha and the Omega, the Omni-present, Omniscient, ONLY GOD can make Good come from ANY EVIL... because He IS... that He IS!

Brothers and Sisters, I ask YOU...when will this madness stop? When will the killing of innocent women, men and children stop in our communities? When are WE... as a People of God, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Non/Inter Denominational, Christian, Muslim, Jewish... when are we, who were born with the Goodness of the Creator within our hearts, WHEN are we going to stand up and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH... IT MUST STOP!!!

I don't have the answer(s) to the question posed. Last year, I participated in a "Call to Oneness March" in St. Louis where over 20,000 Black Men marched the streets of St. Louis in a Call to Oneness... to stop the violence and innocent slaughtering of human life, but yet almost a year later it grows worse. The only thing that comes to mind is PRAY. We must continue to Pray, but we MUST ACT... somehow, someway, we MUST act. I don't have the answers or the resources to do much, but I have taken the FIRST STEP that we must ALL take and that is to hug our children tight. Hold them close and tell them we love them. The second thing we must do is Pray. Pray for God's continued protection over them and His infinite Wisdom to give us the Courage and the answers to somehow... STOP THE MADNESS.

May God continue to bless you and keep you in His Loving Arms; May the Sacred Heart of His Son, Jesus Christ draw you near; May the PEACE of His Holy Spirit, be with us all... amen, Amen and AMEN!

R.I.P. - Jesse - Willie - Mike and all those who have lost their lives.

Richard Lane - Co-Founder, Qorban Ministries

So many say that Money is not everything, or money is the root to all evil, but in this case, my prayer is that I would have the money to be able to continue to do what I do, and that is Preach the Good News of Christ to ALL People of God. The money to be able to continue to survive and take care of my family and at the same time, be able to speak to Schools all over the Country, encouraging them to STOP THE MADNESS, and encouraging LOVE of one another. I pray for the money to be able to give kids HOPE in life, because they are loosing hope fast, with the madness that is going on in life today. The money to be able to continue the Ministry of being able to speak to and preach to millions of people across this great Nation of ours, who are Hoping against Hope, to just HOLD ON, and have Faith...that God WILL provide for us. God WILL make a Way out of NO WAY for us... if only "Seek ye' FIRST the Kingdom of God..." This is my prayer, in the Mighty Name of Jesus... Amen. If you wish to help answer this prayer, click here and God bless you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Real Catholic Men Catholic Men's Conference Portland...

After the Journey from... I get to the Real Catholic Men Catholic Men's Conference which was founded and coordinated by Mr. David Renshaw. David is such a strong and faithful Man of God to continue this great vision for the edification of others! Thank you David for your Strength and Love of God and His Church.

What a great site it was to see over 400 men gathered together to hear the Word of God. I was first up and have to give the talk inspiring men to go to Confession and I was later told and almost every man went to Confession after the talk was complete. I am so thankful to the Holy Spirit for using me as an Instrument of His Grace.

Next up was John LaBriola whom I have heard of for many years and finally had the chance to meet and h
ear this anointed man of God in person. He delivered a POWERFUL and very inspirational talk to the men gathered.

Batting Clean up was the man who's conversion story make's Father Corapi's seem trivial. Fr. Don Calloway. For those of you who have never heard of or don't know about this man, you really need to look him up on the net and see his DVD. Fr. Don is a true Testament to the Special Saving Grace given by Our Lord, to Our Lady.

Men's lives were changed on that day, and they were truly inspired by God to become better Men for Jesus, better Husbands and Fathers, on this the day before Father's Day.

I am so thankful I had the chance to be in Portland on this weekend and meet so many wonderful men and young men who truly impacted my life. They were so very generous and inspiring to me. Brothers I cannot say thank you enough, for the love and compassion you have shown me and I pray that the Holy Spirit would lead me back to that are to be 'of Service'.

For more pictures of the Conference Click this Link.

I thought since I had a rough trip to PDX, the trip home on my normal carrier would be much swifter and uneventful...afterall, I was coming home on Father's Day! Stay Tuned for part Two... The Journey Home!

The Journey to Portland...

I have been blessed for many years to be able to speak and preach all over the Nation, so I am certain that every 'road warrior' has a horror story about their travel and I am not exception in that I finally experienced mine about a week ago.

I was invited to be one of the Keynote Speakers at the Real Catholic Men Catholic Men's
Conference in Vancouver, WA.
(just across the river from Portland) at St. Joseph's Parish. What a wonderful time I had, but more on that later.

My flight was 'scheduled' to depart St. Louis at approximately 10:00 am St. Louis time, but I was advised that I should take an earlier flight due to impending weather issues in Chicago (ORD) where my connection was. Mind you this is
an Airline to which I have not flown in MANY years, so I was going to see just how Friendly the Sky's were. I boarded my flight to ORD at approximately 8:30am in St. Louis (STL) on a beautiful sunny and hot day. We backed out of the gate and proceeded to the runway for take off, or so I thought. During out taxi, the Pilot said we were going to a 'holding section' in the airport to await take off as everything had been shut down in ORD due to Lightning and Thunder Storms. Three hours later, a truck pulled up to the front of the plane and resupplied us with water and other needed items. About 10 minutes after this, we were told we were headed back to the gate, due to planes being diverted to STL from ORD, again weather related.

We get back to the gate and were advised to get off the plane, to which we did. I had time to run to the 'bucks' to get a Coffee and then heard on the loud speaker (10 minutes after we had gotten off the plane), we were again boarding, to which we did. We loaded up, the Jet Bridge was backed away from the Plane, but the front door of the plane remained open... yes again we were delayed. 30 minutes into this delay, a young man from the back of the Plane gets up, makes his way forward, backpack in tow and states to the Flight Attendant that he needs to get off the Plane. "Sir, I am sorry you cannot get off now", she states. "Lady yo
u don't understand, I MUST GET OFF THIS PLANE", he exclaimed. During this brief confrontation, (I was about five rows behind them and felt my Military Police Skills kicking protect), just as I loosed my seat belt to try to detain the guy, he shoves her to the side and jumps out the door! YES, he actually JUMPED out of the door of the Plane and hit the ground (about 10 feet) and began to run. We were amazed and needless to say, this caused yet ANOTHER 40 minute delay.

The Airport Police finally catch the guy and bring him back to the Plane for identification and then the Pilot says, "well, since we had a guest unexpectedly leave us, we have missed our departure time window and are now delayed for another hour!" You can only imagine how many happy people were on that plane now.

15 minutes after this incident a lady gets up from the back of the Plane and SHE says to the Flight Attendant that SHE wants to get off the Plane! I think to myself 'does the side of this Plane have Greyhound on it, or what?" The guy next to me says, 'Lady, if you don't sit DOWN, we are all going to throw you off the Plane!"

For you Reality Show fan's, I remember wanting to shout out, "I'm a Celebrity... GET ME OUT OF HERE", but I thought that would not work either. We finally departed STL at about 2:45pm, over 6 hours after we had initially boarded the Plane. We touch down in ORD and I not only realize I have missed my connection to Portland (PDX), but there were literally thousands of others in the Aiport who had missed flights and connections as well. The Customer Service counter literally had over 300 people standing in line to find out where they were going. Mind you my laptop crashed while in Houston a couple weeks ago, so just when I really needed security blanket was not there, thus began the mad texting to and
from my wife who was at home in STL. PDX Flight departing in an hour and a half from Gate C19 and I am in Concourse A. 30 minutes later I arrive at C19 and they say PDX departing from B10 in 45 minutes, so I run there. Then board says PDX departing from C29, so I run there.

I arrive at C29 and then again begins all the gate changes for all the flights, so I wait patiently. Finally PDX Departing C31 at 6:05pm, then 6:15pm, then 6:25, 6:35, 6:45, 7:05! Now mind you other flights are coming in and people are departing, well there is the infamous "Red Carpet" for you folk who fly a million miles a year and get special treatment! (you guys stink! (Smile)) Now those of us paupers, back of the Plane folk, are not allowed NEAR, let alone even think about stepping on the "Red Carpet" and the Gate Agent is literally screaming at people... "STAY OFF THE RED CARPET...GET OFF...DON'T STEP ON THE RED CARPET!" She is MAD for us 'Po' Folk' even getting NEAR the Red Carpet.

FINALLY, 7:15pm I get on a Plane for PDX and we back out and head for the Runway! I am looking out the window and see Plane after Plane after Plane sitting on the side of the Runways. You guessed it, soon as we get to our spot, "Folks, O'Hare Airport has just been shut down, due to weather and we are 20th in line for take off. We will be here for at least an hour and then 20 more Planes in front of us!"

We finally take off and I get to my Hotel room at 2:00am STL time. Lord have Mercy! You think this saga is over? NOPE! I have to preach in five hours and could not sleep! More in the next Blog!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Shepherd for the Rome of the West...

Hundreds of the St. Louis Faithful gathered at the Cathedral Basilica today at 2pm for the Installation Mass of the 10th Archbishop of St. Louis. Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, installed Archbishop Robert James Carlson as Pastor of the Local Church of St. Louis, in the Glorious backdrop of one of the most dynamic structures in all the United States of America. St. Louisans are truly blessed to have such a wonderful Cathedral to worship in.
The readings chosen by the 10th Shepherd were those of a true Evangelist, who understands that the Holy Spirit is truly alive in the Church, Who guides Her, and will guide him in his Pastoral Mission.
Hundreds of local Priests and Deacons as well as the lay faithful in the area gathered to welcome Archbishop Carlson, along with Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, Francis Cardinal George from Chicago and numerous other Archbishops and Bishops from around the Country, including Bishop Baker of Birmingham and Archbishop Chaput of the Denver Archdiocese. Among the many community and religious leaders in attendance was the Honorable Mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay.
During his Homily, the new Archbishop left not doubt in the mind of those who were in attendance that he will never give up the fight "for life issues", to which he received a thunderous round of applause.
In my humble opinion, this man has the heart of a Lion, and the Pastoral skills of a wonderful Priest, who will not over react on an issue, and chooses to handle personal issues in a Pastoral, one on one situation with people or groups.

It seems as if the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a truly wise man to Shepherd this Archdiocese containing almost a half million Roman Catholics.
I am also very impressed with the way the Archdiocese of St. Louis has truly embraced technology in it's live streaming of the Installation Ceremony as well as Twittering and putting some outstanding pictures on the website for the local Catholic Newspaper the St. Louis Review, to which I am certain you will enjoy. Kudos to the Archdiocese and the Review as well.

What a wonderful sight it was, to see two Giants of the Catholic Church in America, together in our Cathedral, Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Prefect for the Apostolic Signatura and Archbishop Emeritus, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. These two men continue to fight for the Right to Life in our world as well as stand up for the Truth as it continues to be proclaimed by the Church. They are a true inspiration for Christians around the world to stand up for what Jesus taught, in loving your brother and sister as He Loved the Church.

Since June of 2008, the Archdiocese has been led by Bishop Robert Hermann, as the Archdiocesan Administrator and has done a phenomenal job. So much work that needed to be continued by His Excellency, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, was continued as it could be and the Archdiocese did not miss a beat. Our deepest thanks and gratitude and mostly our prayers go out to His Excellency Hermann for his dynamic leadership.
Catholic St. Louisans can continue to be proud in who we are, and what we have, because prayers have truly been answered in giving us a great new Shepherd to guide Mother Church here in St. Louis, Missouri. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Pray for us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pentecost Sunday - Catholic Preaching in a Baptist Church...

What a blessing it was to be invited to preach on one of the Holiest Days in the Church. The Birth of the Church, Pentecost Sunday.
If I said 'Thank you' to Dr. Michael P. Williams, Founding Pastor of JOY Baptist Tabernacle in Houston, Texas, it would be such an understatement. I am so thankful to this wonderful and powerful man of God, for having the courage to reach over denominational lines and invite a Catholic Evangelist to minister in his wonderful church. JOY Tabernacle is truly a place of Worship and Praise for our Risen Lord and He is truly ALIVE in this vibrant and loving church. "Yes Doc, it is a 'cut loose' church!"
Donna and I were treated like royalty when we arrived in Houston, and they took such great and tender care of ensuring our every need was not just met, but exceeded. On Saturday morning, while completing my final preparations for my preaching for Sunday, my laptop crashed and 90% of all I had prepared was gone. Yes, I basically went into a panic and was completely flustered. After a while of running around the Hotel Suite we were in, acting like an idiot, with my wife laughing at me, she looked at me as she always does and said "would you please stop doing this to yourself, and ask the Holy Spirit, to do what He does."
When we face so many issues each and everyday, many of us forget that God is in control, especially when we are not. More than likely, (I doubt it though, basically my fault, as usual) the Holy Spirit did not want me to rely on my own preparation, but on Him instead. I listened to my dear wife, and said, "Lord, it's up to you now."
Sunday morning came and the Holy Spirit showed up and showed OUT! We had a wonderful time in the Lord and Praising His Holy Name that morning. The message the Holy Spirit gave me for that day was that of the Kerygma, which I had never preached before and was so excited to do so. The main points that were stressed were "Action - Access - Authority." We as a Christian People must realize that we MUST have that personal relationship with Jesus and that requires us to take "Action". Once that Relationship is established fully, we are then granted Access to the Lord, through Prayer. This Divine Access we have, gives us "Authority" through Jesus Christ, to do what He Commanded us to do, and that is to "Go and make Disciples..."
I believe and pray, the People of God, gathered together at JOY Tabernacle on Pentecost Sunday, were moved and inspired by the Holy Spirit, not to just enjoy Pentecost Sunday, but to have a DAILY PENTECOST in their lives. We must ALL take the 'Action' of following Him, and using the 'Access' we have in prayer to communicate with Our Lord, and finally realizing that He has given us the 'Authority' to use His Name, (John 14:13) and ask Him for whatever we need.
Remember, KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON, no matter how hard, or how narrow the road to Hope is... JESUS will make a Way, out of no way. I am standing on His promise, because I TRULY need Him... now, and everyday!
Keep us in your prayers and we will keep you in ours.
Evangelist Richard Lane
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