Faith, work boots and a few stories

God has a plan for all of us, that’s for sure. Even if it seems like things won’t work out, they definitely will eventually, because they are meant to.

Our earthly lives are pretty much a big ride we get to enjoy. God is the driver and we are the passengers. All we have to do is to just have faith in Him and to follow the path He made for us.

Worries we sometimes experience are just a blindfold that falls over our eyes and makes us forget who is the driver on this journeys. He knows where we are going and that we’ll get there soon enough, so we just need to try and keep that in mind.

When I start talking about this topic I always remember one special event in my life. Allow me to share that story with you today.

Our church has a program that is designed to help the rehabilitation of convicts. A while ago, we had this gentle giant volunteer for us through that program. At a height of 6 feet and 6 inches and with a shoe size 18, he could have easily played in the NBA had God intended so.

The people from his jail told me that he doesn’t have much, which is the case with most of the guys there. Unfortunately, they don’t lack just material items, they also don’t have any family or friends due to the circumstances of their lifestyle.

One day we were sorting out the stuff we had and we were deciding what to send for recycling and what to send to our thrift shops to be sold. When I started sorting shoes, one of the volunteers from the program spotted a pair of breathable work boots asked me if he could take them as they will be perfect for his sweaty, smelly feet. I said of course and he happily put them on right away. After seeing that, the gentle giant I mentioned before looked at me with puppy eyes and asked if I had a pair in his size. Not only did I lack the shoes in his size but I honestly haven’t even seen a shoe that big in my life until then. I told him that and he walked away in his old work boots, the only footwear he owned.

A few days before he had asked me if I had some talcum powder to give him. The inside of his boots smelled really bad and he wanted to take care of that. I didn’t have the powder but I gave him a box of baking soda from the food drop off. He filled his boots with it right away and we were all so grateful that we had the baking soda to give him.

We all went back to work and continued sorting out stuff. Then I found a box of these gigantic pair of sneakers, the size I have never seen before. I called out the guys and told them to come. These big size sneakers were a perfect fit for out gentle giant. He put them on right away and they fit like a charm, with a bit of space left to grow. His eyes teared up and he was so happy and proud of his new shoes.

God has a plan for us all, we just have to wait for it to play out.

Footwear and its place in the Catholic church

The devil wears Prada as the famous movie states. Rumors say that popes wear Prada, too. But is it true?

The old rumor stated that pope Benedict XVI wore Prada shoes. Rumors fueled gossip. People talked and discussed that at great lengths. However, it turned out that the rumor was fake. No matter how great the pope bright red leather slippers looked, they were not Prada’s. In fact, the pope’s cobbler made them.

The different popes have different twists on the color of their slippers/shoes. Let’s see the recent history of papal shoes.

Pope John Paul II

He wasn’t much concerned about his shoes up until he fell ill in 2002. His cobbler Adriano Stefaneli undertook the task to make the pope at least a bit more comfortable. And then made a business out of the task. He designed the famous red papal shoes we are so much addicted to seeing adorning the pope’s feet. The bright red slippers are made of the finest nappa leather. They are made for walking and are quite comfortable. After all the elderly Holy Father has to walk a lot. The think pope John Paul II changed was the color – he opted for the simple brown instead of the ruby red.

Pope Benedict XVI

The pope who fueled the rumors actually was the one to turn back to the old tradition of wearing red slippers. Stefanelly jumped on the opportunity and presented the pope with a fine shoe creation – ruby red slippers for his public audience in Sept 2005. Those were the unfortunate slippers that fueled the prada/devil rumors.

It looks like Stefanelly’s slippers were extremely comfortable. The holy fathers are men of age, usually with many ailments and conditions, but have to walk on hard surfaces most of the time. That reason prompted the businessman to make proper slippers for hardwood floors and hard tiles that will alleviate the pain in the feet and prevent slipping.

Pope Francis I

The current leader of the Catholic Church is a strong advocate for the poor. He wore plain black shoes on his very first papal mess. His passion to simple life might have cut the strong connections the shoemaker had with the popes. Who makes the papal footwear remains a mystery. His shoes are not stunning or breathtaking. No longer anyone speculates about fashion brands and ultra-expensive footwear. The holy father has eyes for the simplest of things and prefers more ordinary boots.

Teaching Children to Forgive

Forgiveness is something which many adults find nearly impossible to do. This is a relevant issue even among devoted Catholics. The problem with the ability to forgive can begin in early childhood, which is why it is essential to do our best to teach our children, or any children we are responsible for to learn how to forgive. Here are the steps you should take if you want to help your kids learn how to embrace the idea of forgiveness so that they can grow up being more compassionate and understanding:

  1. Make sure you take the time to explain what exactly forgiveness means and what it is definitely not. Make it clear that being a person who is able to forgive someone does not mean that this person is weak or is giving up on their pride and rights to fight against unjust and wrongful treatment. Also, let the child understand that forgiving doesn’t mean just forgetting what happened with a blink of the eye, nor is it a form of retaliation for someone hurting another. It is essential that children come to understand that forgiveness is an entire process and how long it takes and the course it takes depends on the specific circumstances.
  2. Explain what “turning the other cheek” stands forChildren need to comprehend that this key phrase for all Catholics means that we should not return evil for evil, and yet does not mean that we should allow others to abuse us either. Kids should be taught that the proper way to respond to somebody who is physically or emotionally hurting them is to walk away and avoiding them rather than “hitting” them back – physically or verbally.
  3. Teach children how to properly respond in dangerous or bad situations. They need to adopt non-sinful ways to respond when they are in a dangerous situation or are being wronged. You can easily play out various scenarios with the children so that you show them that it is perfectly acceptable to walk away or stick up for themselves in certain situations. Also, make sure that the children understand that it is alright to call out someone for their wrongful behavior as well as talk to their parents or to a trusted adult about such issues.
  4. Help your children learn how important praying really is. Encourage them to draft their own prayer for forgiveness to God, or teach them a forgiveness prayer for children which can be found in various books for forgiveness
  5. Setting a personal example as a forgiving adult is probably the best way to teach a child how to become a forgiving person as well. Make sure that you do not set a bad example by arguing with others, holding grudges or speaking ill of others because children tend to adopt this kind of behavior pretty fast.

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Applying the Choice Theory as a Better Form of Motivation for Students

Children in secondary school are well aware of the rewards and punishment based educational system. They will get a sticker for doing their homework and will be sent home with a note to their parents if they have failed to complete it.

This system for rewarding good behavior and task completion and punishing bad behavior or failure to complete a task has been used in the education system for ages for motivating students.

Actually, there is another way to help motivate students by teaching them how to develop intrinsic motivation, or in other words to be motivated from within rather than from rewards and punishments. This type of motivation where the student actually feels motivated from within to learn or behave properly can be stronger than the motivation which stems from fear of being punished or striving for rewards.

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