Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Introduction to Natural Family Planning...Which method is right for you?

Want to start practicing Natural Family Planning but don't know which of the three methods would be best for you? Avoid hours of research and attend an evening of introductions as the three different methods of Natural Family Planning -- Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System, Sympto-Thermal Method and Billings Ovulation Method -- are introduced at St. John Neumann parish! I'm helping plan this event with our Culture of Life Committee. We'll have teachers from these three methods give a brief overview of how their method works, and they'll be available for questions and with an upcoming schedule of classes that will be offered throughout the coming year at SJN.

The event is Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the St. Timothy Room of SJN. All diocesan-approved methods will be available to discuss this great gift from the Church. Come see which method will work for you and your marriage! RSVP here.

Not yet married and are wondering why you should come to this event? Engaged couples can start taking classes at any point before marriage, but we usually recommend that you start taking classes and charting at least four to six months before you get married. NFP isn’t just Catholic birth control either – it offers a great overall picture of a woman’s health AND her fertility. It’s not just for married women and not just for women in their prime childbearing years. NFP charts in the hands of a physician who knows what he’s looking at are an incomparable tool to help diagnose many health issues. Many single women have taken an NFP class simply to gain more knowledge about their own body! There's no such thing as starting too early.

If you're already practicing NFP and are happy with which method you've chosen, please attend to support our event and Natural Family Planning awareness campaign and / or invite your friends to help us spread the word!

5455 Bee Cave Rd.
Austin, TX

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Books I'd like to read

I'm not a big book reader these days, but whenever I run across a title or review that looks worth my while, I make a note of it. Books on marriage that I'd like to skim through sooner rather than later include:
  1. "The 100 Day Promise: Radically Transforming your Marriage by Living with Complete Concern for your Spouse's Happiness" by Brian King
    See what happens when a regular husband and father of four promises to totally love and serve his wife for 100 days. What will happen to him, his wife and their relationship? Is it really worth the effort? More than just just hearing marriage platitudes, this book shows the reality of the stresses family life can bring and demonstrates the power of trusting someone enough to love them completely.
  2. "Married Saints and Blesseds Through the Centuries" by Ferdinand Holbock
    Countless saints have been priests or religious, living out lives of penance and sacrifice for the good of the Church. But many Catholics don't realize that married couples are called to holiness as well. Fr. Holböck's tells the inspiring stories of over 200 married saints and blesseds from the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph to Margaret of Scotland, King Louis of France, Thomas More and modern examples like Gianna Molla and Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The example of these holy men and women is essential to living a truly Catholic married life.
  3. "Designing Your Dream Husband: How to Build Your Husband Up and Release Him to His Full Potential" by Amie Dockery
    God has given women a gift that is so woven into their nature that they approach everything—from homes to husbands—with the thought, “Wow, I could do great things with that!” To see potential is a great good, but the downside is the propensity to compare reality with the expectation. This is especially harmful in marriage if a woman tries to “show” her husband his potential in all the wrong ways, such as comparison or suggestions for change. So how does a wife encourage her husband to become what God has placed within him to be? It requires an understanding of her own need for repentance and restoration, as well as working with the right team and the right tools. The right team is God as architect, Jesus as supplier and the Holy Spirit as builder. The right tools include prayer, declaration and action that bring restoration and that also reveal her own need to change. Each chapter will explore a case study of a biblical character’s life in the areas of “Making the Mantle”--an action that gained him authority, “Missing the Mantle”--an area of vulnerability, and “Modeling the Mantle”—the most memorable moment this person wore the mantle. There will also be a pattern for prayer--questions from which a woman can build the blueprint for repentance, restoration and declaration. There will also be application in the form of “Putting Your Words to Work”—a written vision statement or declaration, and “Seal it with a Gift”—practical ways to gently yet generously introduce revelation of a husband’s skills and abilities through a tangible gift.
  4. "The Respect Dare" by Nina Roesner
    Ephesians 5:33 in the Bible says that wives shall always respect their husbands, but most women struggle with this concept. Are you one of them? The truth is that women get married with dreams, hopes and aspirations that are often never fulfilled. More than half of marriages end in divorce in the United States, and many women that stay married are unhappy. "The Respect Dare" is a 40-day devotional guide that will take away the mystery that is keeping you from speaking the language of respect with your husband. It provides real life examples from women who have developed closer relationships with God and their husbands. In it, you will learn how to build confidence, methods to positively handle conflicts, keys to better communication, how to develop a more intimate connection with your spouse, ways to deepen your relationship with God and much more!
  5. "The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples" by Alex Kendrick
     "The Love Dare Day by Day" encourages and challenges couples toward new steps in faith and love with 365 marital encouragements, reminders and action points worth repeating year after year.Unconditional love is eagerly promised at weddings but rarely practiced in real life. As a result, romantic hopes are often replaced with disappointment in the home. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, "The Love Dare Day by Day" is a journey you need to take. It’s time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy.
  6. "The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional" by Gary Chapman
    Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? He sends you flowers when what you really want is time to talk. She gives you a hug when what you really need is a home-cooked meal. The problem isn’t love—it’s your love language. The Love Languages Devotional is your daily guide to how to express heartfelt love to your loved one.
Have you read any of these? Any sound interesting to you?

Aug. 17, 2008 at the Iguana Grill in Austin

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