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That was Yesterday

That was Yesterday

September 30, 2020

My friend was an atheist and a struggling alcoholic.  In one of several attempts to overcome his alcohol addiction, he placed a 3X5 card on our shared bulletin board with the words, “That was Yesterday.”  In this podcast, Tony talks about experiencing a metanoia, and turning away from yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow.

Scripture: On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”  He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.  The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.  Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.  For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.  Acts 9:3-9

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. –Romans 8:18

Reflections:  Was there an experience that turned your life around?  Have you put your old self behind you? Can you say “That was yesterday” about a time in your life before Christ?

You’re Gonna Serve Somebody

You’re Gonna Serve Somebody

September 23, 2020

One evening, while driving to the jail, I realized that, in my haste, I hadn’t prepared anything to talk about. As I began to reflect on what might be a good theme for the night, Bob Dylan’s old song, Gotta Serve Somebody, came on the radio.

Jesus Take the Wheel

Jesus Take the Wheel

September 16, 2020

Then, my navigation screen flashed, the car slowed to 40 mph, and the message on the navigation system read, “Powering Down, Seek Service Immediately!” In this podcast, Tony talks about a breakdown in South Carolina on a trip to Florida, and how everything worked out, as if by divine intervention, once he surrendered to God’s will.

ScriptureHe who plans a thing will be successful; happy is he who trusts in the Lord!  Proverbs 16:20

But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.  Proverbs 28:25

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord is safe.  Proverbs 29:25

Reflections:  Have you ever thought you were in complete control and found out you weren’t?  Have you ever been in such a tough situation that you simply had to turn things over to the Lord?  Is is difficult for you to give up control?

Healed Not Cured

Healed Not Cured

September 9, 2020

In this podcast, Tony discusses the difference between being healed and cured. He talks about the paralytic and his encounter with Jesus from Luke’s gospel. As we live our lives, with the trials, diseases, and infirmities we might experience, it’s OK to pray for a cure, but more importantly, let’s pray for healing!

Scripture: One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”  Luke 5:17-20

Reflection: Do you understand the difference between healing and a cure? What is more important, you are cured or your sins are forgiven? What do you think was going through the minds of the friends of the paralyzed man following his encounter with the Lord?

You Give Love a Bad Name

You Give Love a Bad Name

September 2, 2020

As I pulled into my office parking lot, I was approached by a man with a gasoline can.  “Hey man, can you help me with a few dollars for gas?” He asked. “No,” I replied hurriedly, as I made my way into the office.  What he didn’t know, is that he has approached me three times with the same gas can story, and that he has been observed in our parking lot and a few  of the nearby lots with the same story for the past month.

In this podcast, Tony discusses the question of what we should do when approached by a panhandler on the streets.

Scripture: And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.  When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.  Luke 16:20-23

Reflection:  What did you do the last time you were asked for money on the street?  Do you ever stop and give a donation to a panhandler on the freeway exit or street corner?  How can you tell if the person is really in need or just a scam artist?

Two Dollars and a Bus Pass

Two Dollars and a Bus Pass

August 26, 2020

It was a cold winter day and I decided to stop at the local fast food restaurant for a roast beef sandwich and a coke.  Although it wasn’t yet one o’clock, the restaurant was nearly empty and I was the only person in line. In this podcast Tony talks about what happened next, and how it changed his view of generosity.

Scripture: When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a widow putting in two small coins.  He said, “I tell you truly, this poor woman put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.  Luke 21:1-4

Reflections:  What can we learn from the poor widow in the gospels?  Do you find that the people who have little and more inclined to share what they have than people with more?  The young girl didn’t have much but she offered to share what little she had.  Have you ever been in this position?  How did you react?

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The Homeless Bible Study

The Homeless Bible Study

August 19, 2020

As the season of Advent began, my friend, Jeff, asked if I would facilitate a Bible Study for the homeless on Friday nights, after dinner.

“Who would go to a bible study during the cold winter months,” I asked.

“I really don’t know,” he replied.  “But we could set it up, announce it at dinner, and see what happens.”  And we did.

In this podcast, Tony recalls the miracles that happened during the homeless bible study.

Scripture:  God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Reflections:  Do you ever feel stuck in your current situation without a way out?  Do you trust that God will not test you beyond your strength?  Do you agree that God is faithful?

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My Little Black Book

My Little Black Book

August 12, 2020

Growing up in the 60’s, I realized that no self-respecting bachelor would be caught dead without his little black book. The little black book was the place where he kept track of all the beautiful women he was dating at the same time. I have to admit, I never had a little black book, until now! And, my wife is aware of it and even approves! In this podcast Tony discusses his “Little Black Book” and why you might want one too!

Scripture: And the prayer of the faithful will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.  James 5:15

Reflections: Do you believe in intercessory prayer? Do you keep a prayer list of people you are praying for? Are you a member of a prayer circle? How does praying for others help you in your own faith journey?

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A Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith

August 5, 2020

In this podcast, Tony talks about our personal leap of faith and what are the things keeping up from taking the leap. He discusses the could have, might have and should haves.

Scripture: When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:26-31

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Quote: “The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” —Louis E. Boone

Reflection:  What is keeping you from making a leap of faith? Do you hear God calling you? Do you have enough faith in God to jump?

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Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen

Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen

July 29, 2020

When we think of beautiful people we generally think of physical beauty, a beautiful young girl, a smiling baby, a handsome athletic man.  Beauty, as defined by Hollywood, the cosmetics companies, and clothing lines, are now the norm.  Their image is what most people describe as beautiful. In this podcast, Tony talks about real beauty and beautiful people.

Quotes: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Reflection: How do you define true beauty?  Can you name a beautiful person in your life?  Who would that be and what makes them beautiful?  How does the Hollywood version of beauty fail?

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A Life of No Regrets

A Life of No Regrets

July 22, 2020
A palliative nurse wrote an article a few years back about the research she had done with the elderly. The article talked about the five regrets of the dying. In this podcast, Tony’s explains how we can all have a life of no regrets.

Scripture: It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ [Jesus]. Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:12:14 NAB

 

For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

 

Reflection: How do we live a life of no regrets? What re the top five things we can do to live a life of no regrets? Is Tony’s list relevant to your daily life?

 

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God Grants Mulligans

God Grants Mulligans

July 15, 2020

Every week, when I tee it up with my buddies, we have an unwritten rule that everyone get a mulligan. A mulligan is basically a do-over, a second chance to redeem ourselves from a really bad shot. God is that way with sin. In this podcast Tony’s discusses forgiveness.

Scripture: If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me. Psalm 51 NAB

If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14-15

Reflection: Do you ever think that your sins are unforgivable? We all have core sins, do you confess the same sins over and over again? Does that fact that God forgives a humble sinner give you a feeling that with God you can do all things?

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Trust God, Don’t Worry

Trust God, Don’t Worry

July 8, 2020

In this podcast, Tony discusses worry. Americans spend so much time in their lives worrying. We worry constantly. We worry about unimportant things, things we have no control over, things that we can’t change. What can we do to stop worrying?

Scripture: Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. Matthew 6:27-29

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

Reflection: Do you spend time worrying about things that are out of your control? Have you ever worried so much that you made yourself sick? What do you think of the idea that faith is the antidote to worry?

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In the Blink of an Eye

In the Blink of an Eye

July 1, 2020

Time flies is an expression we hear all the time. And it’s true. In this podcast, Tony discusses how time flies and how we need to understand that in the blink of an eye things can change. He offers several suggestions. too.

Scripture: To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, or like a watch in the night. You sweep them away like a dream, like grass which is fresh in the morning. In the morning it sprouts and is fresh; by evening it withers and fades. Psalm 90 4:6 (Grail Version)

“Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.”  Hebrews 13:5

Quote: In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance, when you least expect it, sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined. –Nicholas Sparks

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“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” — Albert Einstein

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” –Walt Whitman

“Life can change in the blink of an eye. All you have is right now. So don’t ever put off telling someone how you feel about them, don’t assume that they know, because they might not and it might be too late.” ― Alexandra Potter

Reflection: Have you blinked you eyes and a year has goon by or even a decade? What can we do to savor the time we have together? Do you try to live in the moment? How difficult do you find it?

Debbie, the Good Samaritan

Debbie, the Good Samaritan

June 24, 2020

In this podcast, Tony tells a story of people that crossed the street to avoid a homeless man, yet stopped to help a lost dog. Everyone, except Debbie. Where are our priorities Tony asks in this story.

Scripture: But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37

Reflection: Have you ever crossed the street to avoid a homeless person? How did it make you feel? Or, have you ever found yourself in the role of Good Samaritan?

Special On Father’s Day

Special On Father’s Day

June 24, 2020

Father’s Day; it is the one day each year that we honor fathers, a day to tell dad just how much he means to us. But, it is a shame that over 24 million kids, one in three children, growing up in the United States today, have no father present in the household to honor. In this podcast, Tony discusses the Father crisis in America.

Quote: People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father.”  –Vincent  DeCaro

Tony’s Prayer: Heavenly Father,

…Help me to become a better father.

…Make the way I treat their mother be a model for their future relationships.

…May I find quality time to spend with my children and understand that “any time” is better than waiting for the “right time.”

…May I nurture and guide my children, passing along my faith by making God, church, and service to others, a priority.

…Lord, give me the ability to provide for my wife and children and protect them for any harm.

…And, may my kids look at me as a shining example of God’s love, that one day they will say, “I want to be just like dad!”

Amen.

Reflections: How do your kids view your relationship with their mother? What do you think of Tony’s comment that kids spell father T-I-M-E?  Do you view yourself as a role model?

 

To Have a Father

To Have a Father

June 17, 2020

In this Podcast, Tony relates a story of a young man going to prison for 25 years. How passing judgement on this young man proved to be an eye-opening experience for Tony. Let’s not be so quick to judge. We never know the circumstances that get someone to a particular point in their lives.

Reflection: As you listened to the story, did you pass judgement on this young man?  Once you understood the circumstances, did it change the way you will approach judgement in the future?

Scripture: We have become orphans, fatherless; widowed are our mothers. Lam 5:3

Note: *Dr. Ray Guarendi is the father of 10, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and nationally syndicated radio host. His radio show― “The Doctor Is In” can be heard on EWTN.

Is Chivalry Dead?

Is Chivalry Dead?

June 10, 2020

In this podcast, Tony discusses the golden rule and how good manners have almost disappeared in this self-centered world we live in. What can we do? Tony offers some suggestions.

Scripture: Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

Reflection: Do you still open doors or give up your seat for an elderly person? If so, why? And if not, why not?

Who Do You Say that I Am?

Who Do You Say that I Am?

June 3, 2020

In this podcast, Tony talks about the two questions Jesus asks of his disciples at Caesarea Phillipi. They are just as valid today. We need to ask the question, Who do you say that I am?  Our answer speaks volumes of our understanding of Matthew’s gospel.

Scripture: When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”   Matthew 16:13-17

Quote: “Right is right even if no one is doing it, wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.”  St. Augustine of Hippo

Reflection: Who do you say that Jesus is? Who do your friends say that Jesus is? Are you a Christian first, before liberal or conservative?

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Enjoy the Mangos!

Enjoy the Mangos!

May 27, 2020

In this podcast, Tony discusses God’s gifts and how sometimes a simple thank you is better than answering every question through worry and anxiety.

Scripture:
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Matthew 6:27

Quotes:
“Aam Khao, ped, kyon ginte ho?”  (Enjoy your mango, and don’t worry about what particular tree it comes from.)

Reflection:
What are you going to do to recognize God’s gifts and enjoy the mangos?

If you have enjoyed listening to this podcast, please subscribe by clinking the Follow Link on the lest hand side of the page. Don't miss a single Five Minutes with Tony Podcast!

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