MileStones

20120427-202840.jpgIt is not every day that you get to celebrate a major milestone in your life, but for me today is one of those days. I am going to keep this short because, well I have more important things to do today. Today, my wife and I celebrate 17 years together. Over the years we have had our ups and downs. Mostly up. We have moved 6 times, lived in 6 different states, had 10 kids, 4 cars, 3 houses 4 dogs something like 75 chickens and 6 sheep. Like I said it has been a wild ride, but I can’t imagine anyone else I would want to have at my side, and I know I would have never made it here without her.

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I am Torn About NFP

Our new pope, Pope Francis, has said that we need to step out of our comfort zones when it comes to our faith, that we need to challenge what we have been doing all of our lives and look at what the Catholic Church really teaches.

I have been trying to do that, but I admit it is not an easy task. He (the Pope) has been taking us to task on the poor and the oppressed, As well as challanging a lot of people’s conception on what it means to lead a Christian life.

For me this means looking at what I am doing. Looking at what I have been doing and trying, the best way that I can, to understand why it is that I am doing it. That means understanding the churches teachings behind it.

As I have shared before, my wife and I are NFP Teachers. In the last couple of years something about doing this has been niggling at the back of my mind. I do feel called to help people understand NFP. But It was not until I had a conversation with my wife that I think understood some of what has been eating at me.

The conversation was about a question that came up. What do you do / how do you approach a family who is totally open to life. This came from a teaching couple who live in a diocese where the NFP class is part of the marriage preparation. The answer my wife gave, which at first startled me but the more I thought about it the more it made sense was, “You don’t need to do anything with them.”

I understand that using NFP is a choice. Heck if you read my other post, you know that we call ourselves the NFP dropouts, because while we know it, and we teach it, we don’t usually feel called to use it.

That has kind of set me on a path of trying to figure out what it is, exactly, that the Church teaches about NFP. This morning, at my wife’s suggestion I read the following article. (Yes, my wife is very smart) Heroic Parenthood and The Sorrow of Natural Family Planning

NOTE: Below I have stolen (borrowed / Made Reference to) several parts from the article. I highly recommend that you read the whole thing, but here are some of the things that I found important and relevant to my topic today.

One of the things that I was, well surprised is not the right word maybe interested to find out, was that NFP is a dispensation.

the Venerable Pius XII in his Allocution to Midwives:

The individual and society, the people and the State, the Church itself, depend for their existence, in the order established by God, on fruitful marriages. Therefore, to embrace the matrimonial state, to use continually the faculty proper to such a state and lawful only therein, and, at the same time, to avoid its primary duty without a grave reason, would be a sin against the very nature of married life. Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic and social so-called “indications,” may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. From this it follows that the observance of the natural sterile periods may be lawful, from the moral viewpoint: and it is lawful in the conditions mentioned.

(I used wikipedia but this appears to be pulled from canon law)
A Dispensation is defined as In the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases.[1] Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases.

And this is also backed up again by Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II in Humanae Vitae

What does all this mean? In plain simple language that someone like I can understand, Pope Pius XII said that sex, (the marital embrace) has a procreative aspect that cannot be divorced from the rest of it. Despite that, the church recognizes that there are times when a married couple may have serious reasons such as medical or economical to avoid a pregnancy. It is in those cases that the dispensation of NFP is permitted.

That in short means that unless you have a serious reason, you should not be using NFP. (a little side note here, and this is going to be me talking. Keeping up with the “Joneses” economically, is not a serious reason. But tif you can’t put food on the table, cloth your kids and for goodness sakes a roof over your families head that is a serious reason. You might find you are are happier if you are not keeping up with the Joneses, maybe even move out of their neighborhood and find a community of people who, like you believe that the Joneses have it all wrong in the first place.)

Alright so where to I stand:

Up until recently I would have said that I thing all married couples should learn NFP. I still don’t think that is a bad idea. I am a big believer in knowledge is power. I also believe that you can’t make informed decisions without all the information. I believe that having the information about knowing how to read a woman’s body is not a bad thing. But as my wife points out, once you know NFP and know how to read the signs, it is not like you can ignore them. (See I told you she was smart.) So the temptation would be to use them. Even if you are not actually charting or any of that, if you have really learned NFP, then you know what you are looking for and you know when you are fertile or not.

So the argument might come up that NFP can be used to achieve pregnancy as much as it can be for avoiding it. To that I say, “Yes! of corse it can.” But if you are open to life, and you trust that God take care of this, then shouldn’t it be more like, you will get pregnant when the time is right? Again there is the dispensation for couples who are having trouble conceiving.

So how do I plan to approach this in the future? I’m not sure yet. I still thing teaching NFP is very valuable. If nothing else it keeps women from being put at risk by using the really dangerous hormones in artificial birth control. But I really believe that we need to approach it differently, and to do that we need to approach family differently, and to do that we need to approach marriage differently.

One of my favorite parts about the article I read this morning was the suggested way that we approach the subject in marriage preparation. I am guilty of having approached it like this:

Catholicism does not require that you become parents of a large family — rather it wants you to be responsible parents. NFP offers you a reasonable alternative to artificial contraception: a way for you young couples to be responsible while not availing yourselves to drugs or devices that degrade your humanity. You should use these NFP techniques to grow closer, to communicate better, and prayerfully consider whether and when you should bring children into the world in a responsible manner. If that means that you need to delay — even permanently — having children, that is acceptable today with the use of NFP. And what’s more, NFP is proven to be 99% effective for avoiding pregnancy — just as effective as the pill.

I would love to think that I have the strength of faith to approach it more like this:

For you young Catholic people who are marrying in your twenties, you can expect, God willing and absent a physical impairment or grave reason, to have a home filled with many children. You should mentally, physically and spiritually prepare for seven, eight, nine or more children given your ages. You should be prepared to accept the hardships that come with having a large family for two important reasons: children please our Lord and your cooperation with the Lord in bringing forth new souls will in turn please our God, which will bring you many graces. Second, having a large family will help you be saved, it will re-focus your attention from the material attachments that are both rampant today and hazardous to your eternal destination. Your many children will help you to become better and holier people and will stand as a contradiction to a world that has forgot how live the abundant life. You, and your large faithful families, will turn the tide against the scoffers and misanthropes who would revile God’s creation and man’s place in it. We cannot promise you it will be easy because it won’t, but if you persevere in prayer and virtue, you will overcome with God’s grace. And should you live to see your children’s children, you will praise God all the more that he saw fit to give you the gift of faith.

This will not be popular. This will not be easy. But, this, I think, is where we are falling down and where we need to start, with God’s Grace, to pick ourselves back up.

Some Thoughts about NFP from an NFP teacher

nfp-poster-2013-470x363px[1]Some of you might not realize this, but I am an NFP teacher. To others of you, it might not come as a surprise at all. To still others of you, I know you are snickering behind your hands because you know that we have ten kids and you are thinking, “Yeah? and how is that working out for you?” To you I say, “it is really terrific.”

I could talk a lot here about how NFP is not “Catholic Birth Control,” and how what we teach encourages couple to be open to life, but first of all that kind of sounds like sour grapes even to me, and second of all that is not what I want to talk about. Besides you have probably heard all of that before.

samplechart[1]My wife and I have been NFP teachers for a long time, 13+ years in fact. We have been using NFP only a little longer than that. We did not use it when we got married thinking it was one of those things that was really not that important. Boy were we wrong.

Over that time though my view (our view) of NFP has changed. when we started using NFP we were at a rough patch in our relationship. We were young, we had been married for a couple of years and while we had known each other for quite some time before we got married, as any married couple will tell you, that is not the same as being married to the person. There are ins and outs of each other that you have not figured out, and at some point in time in the first five years usually, couples start having some problems getting along. This was were we were.

Picture 36For a long time after we started using and then teaching NFP, I credited it with saving our marriage. I thought it might have been the necessary communication that is required to make NFP work. While I am sure that is part of it, that obviously was not all of it. And that is what I wanted to talk about.

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The method of NFP that my wife and I teach and use, is called the Sympto-Thermal method. This means that, as the name suggests, we look at several different indicators to determine when a woman is fertile and when she is not. The beauty is that the more important it is to the couple that they avoid getting pregnant or that they conceive, the more indicators you can use and therefore the more accurate it can be. If you are one of those couples like us (most of the time) that really just need to know when (in round numbers) there will be a pregnancy and when there most likely will not, you don’t have to be that accurate, and if you need more, then there is more information for you to use.

However, no matter the method you use, and I am not picky, all of the programs that I have encountered tend to make these wild promises in their promotion pitches. NFP couples have lower divorce rates. NFP couples have more Sex. NFP couples are happier. They have smarter, healthier, happier, lower sodium marriages. Ok that last one I have never heard but you can imagine it if you have ever heard a serious NFP pitch.

The truth is some-what less that these things and more than them at the same time. While it is true that NFP couples do tend to have a lower divorce rate, most couples who would bother to take the time to learn NFP already are highly invested in their marriage in the first place. They usually tend to be the ones who really believe those things they said in their wedding vows. So yes, we as a group do have a lower divorce rate but it can’t be attributed to NFP alone.

How about the big one. A better Sex Life. Lately I have seen a couple of posts running around on the internet that claim that Catholic couples have better sex lives. By Catholic couples I think they mean NFP couples, based on the ones that I have read. This again is not really a true statement, well maybe it is, but let’s look at where it is coming from.

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Couples who practice NFP, strictly as a form of birth control, there I said it, will probably find the methods frustrating and even might find that they are having less sex than promised by the articles. SURPRISE! The truth is that NFP, at least the method we teach, is at its heart two things. First, it is fertility awareness. We teach a couple how to read the signs that a woman’s body gives off to help them interpret fertility. Second, it is about respect. Respecting life primarily, but respecting the sanctity of the person as well.

As I said before, if a couple is going to take the time to learn NFP, the likely have some level of this respect for each other already, the classes we teach can’t magically make you respect your spouse any more, but maybe we help couples to understand something new about each other that gives them just that little bit more to respect about each other. Giving couples the monthly, weekly or even some times daily conversation about, are we open to life, are we ready to commit or do we need to wait, is only a stepping stone. And while it might open the door to more and better communication, it is not necessarily going to lead to a better sex life.

20130325-212904.jpgSo what about the better sex life? Those studies can’t all be wrong can they? Again, I point to the couple who is already committed to their marriage. To them, if they have another baby, planned or unplanned, it will likely not effect the state of their marriage. These people, even if they are trying to avoid pregnancy, somewhere in the back of their minds understand this, and so yes, will be more likely to say, something like, well we could interpret today as the start of phase 2 or we could be seeing the evidence of last night. Or Well we have waited and we have seen the thermal shift and it is going in an upward trend so I think we are safe. Or even, well I have always loved the sounds of the pitter patter of little feet. Those couples who think like that, really probably are going to have a better sex life. But once again that is much less to do with NFP and much more to do with the couples attitude toward life.

I am not saying that NFP can’t help these things. But I believe in telling people the truth. NFP will help your marriage, but you have to actually have a marriage I mean a real marriage before it will.

100_2961The last point that I will cover is respect. I am going to be talking mostly to the guys here. Being a guy, I am in the unique position to do that. This is going to be a little off topic because, well it is my own little sales pitch for NFP. While the rest of this has been about understanding what it is and what it is not, this part is going to be about me telling you guys why this is important.

You (as a husband) have to have respect for your wife. PERIOD. But there is more to respect than just flowers on occasion and remembering when her birthday is. There is laundry and dishes and housework even when you don’t feel like it. I am not saying that I am a perfect husband, far from it. I am not saying that NFP is going to make you a perfect husband, but it can’t hurt. Your wife, as you know, has this on again off again fertility thing. Now it can be somewhat controlled using drugs. But that does have some consequences. First, if you have ever used cruise control in an 80’s model car you know that it can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes it creeps up, some times it shuts off, sometimes going up or down hills it can be unpredictable. While cruise control and birth control drugs have gotten better over the years they are still not perfect. And like cruise control there are some dangers. If you have ever gone around a corner at 65 that really should have been 55 or more like 45, you know that cruise control can be down right dangerous. The same can be said for birth control drugs. You are introducing something into a woman’s body, in there fertility cycle, that is unnatural, and can be dangerous. Just listen to the end of a YAZ commercial if you doubt me.800px-Cruise_control_Mercedes_C220[1]

Now, all drugs can be dangerous. This is true. But we strictly regulate them and hopefully we are careful about when we take them and only take them when they are necessary. used all the time the risks go up and well you end up with problems. Life is precious guys. Probably most of you would really get upset if something ever happened to your wife, and life is full of dangers. If you can look at the woman across from you and say, “Hey I want you to take this drug for the next 20+ years that is going to increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and maybe even cancer, without flinching then go for it. That would be like telling her, “Get on the beltway in Baltimore, get the car up to 65 push the cruise button and just keep it on until you reach Denver, because the car gets better gas mileage that way.” Yes, she might be able to make it but the risks of something going wrong along the way that are related to that even speed are pretty darn high, and I would hope that you would have more respect for your wife to understand when to moderate the speed on her own, or even with you. In the same way I would hope that you have the respect for your wife to understand her fertility, and share that with you.

If you would like to learn more about NFP, you can contact me, or feel free to check out some of these wonderful sites.
Couple to Couple League international
I use nfp
The Billings Method
Creighton Model

Cycle Go Pro A Review

Images in this post come from wikipedia, CCLI, USSCB, and some are even from me.

Returning to Something that Feels like Normal

tinyfeet Something that feels like normal. Since I don’t know that I remember what normal feels like, I don’t know that I will know when we get back to that point, but we always hope to get back to something that feels like normal.

For me, that has been what the last year or so has been. Trying to get back to something that felt like normal. That means getting out to run a few days a week, and getting back to writing. It also means remembering to spend time with my wife. That is something I have to admit that I have not been very diligent about. 20120427-202840.jpg While she is almost always on my mind, some times it is very easy to forget that just like everyone else she needs my attention too.

I suspect that it is easy in a marriage, I know it has been on occasion within my own, to forget that the person sitting next to you might desire your attention as much as anyone else. And thinking back to when and why we got married it was because she was my best friend and I wanted to give her my attention. So I am working on that, and it feels good.

Picture 35One of the things that I have been struggling with this year is writing. When I have and idea for something, which was very very rare, guilt would set in and try as I might I could not write it. I would make excuses like not having the time or really just about anything. Or when I did sit down to write I would get bogged down in the details of writing, and not actually write.

I know that this was not a good thing. I know that I am happier when I am writing. Of course there were two problems, and now that I have found some time every day to write (usually on my lunch break) the ideas are coming faster than I can write them. I wrote a story a couple of weeks ago and got it submitted. Since then it has been like the flood gates have been opened and ideas keep coming to me. I am not saying they are all good ideas or anything, but at least I am writing, and it really does feel good to do so.

I really do like to run. I know it is one of those things that not everyone gets, and for those of you who don’t I am sorry. If you like to run, you know what I am talking about. Again there is the guilt factor, I should be spending the time that I am running either spending time with my family, or doing something else for them, and so it is easy to skip running. But like everything else that feels normal when I skip it, something just feels off. There are mornings, likenike-ipod-sport-kit-11[1] yesterday when I run and everything hurts. There are days like Saturday when I can just barely finish the goal I put before myself, but those days the exception rather than the norm. Even if that sink full of dishes does not get washed before I go, it is worth going because I can always wash them when I get back.

So I guess this is what normal feels like. Or maybe, this is just what I want normal to feel like. Either way I am happier.

I am Sick

No, I don’t have a cold, or the flu or even allergies. Well maybe, I do have an allergy but it is not what you might think. Picture 37

Life has kept me more than a little busy. There have been sheep and chickens and children and family life. They have been all been there. Most of that has always been there, and yet, I have managed to write. To say something even it was little more than nothing. But now on top of it all I am sick.

Not sick of the body, but of the mind and of the soul. I see what is happening in the country I love, and grew up believing was the greatest country in the world, and I wonder, how this could be happening.

I am not such a fool to believe that most of it is new. I am not sure a fool that I think that the government has not always been corrupt to some level. After all, fiction writers have been writing about how corrupt and dangerous the government is for decades, and we all know that there is some truth to fiction and that in some ways that truth is stranger than any fiction. What makes me sick now is to the level the corruption has reached. Those in power don’t even try to hide behind the veil of secrecy when they do these things anymore. As the new host of The Daily Show said the other day,

“You misunderstand us Mr. President, It is not that we think that you broke any laws. It is that you didn’t have to, that we think is strange.”

Christmas, Easter and the other important Holiday

PentecostI wish I had the text to our priest’s homily this weekend. First of all because with the little kids I always manage to miss a little bit of it, but also because what I did hear clearly, I would love to share it word for word with you.

So I will share what I think was the most important part, or at least the part that struck me as the most important part. We celebrate Christmas and Easter as the coming and the returning of the second person in the three persons in God, but we don’t normally remember that Pentecost is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit, who is after all the third person in God. And yet there is no huge celebration with a tree, or baskets full of chocolate eggs to find.

Part of it I am sure is that the Holy spirit, unlike Christ, has no physical manifestation that we can understand. Yes, I realize the irony in what I just said. The Holy Spirit has not physical manifestation. But, the truth is, that we as humans have a hard time getting our minds around something that we can’t see or touch. Think about St. Thomas, who did not believe that Christ had risen until he could see Him. A slightly different thing but the same point. He could not see Him, therefore he could not believe.

The other part of it, I think, is that the Holy Spirit, unlike Christ, is still with us in a very real sense. When Christ ascended to Heaven, or really before he did, the Holy Spirit came to the apostles, and the Holy Spirit remains with us today. Like other things in our life, when they are there every day, we marginalize them or even forget about them being there. We forget to celebrate the wonder that they are.

If you will allow me to get off on a bit of a tangent here, I think this is what happens a lot of times with marriages. We get so used to our spouses being there, that we forget to celebrate them. We forget to remind them how special they are, and how much they mean to us. This leads to feeling of alienation and people drifting apart. (By the way this is really a thank you to my wife who is very good at letting me know how much she appreciates the things that I do, and never lets me feel like I am not important to her.)

The same thing can happen with us and the Holy Spirit. We forget It is there. We forget to ask It for help, and we stop being able to feel like It is part of our lives. We don’t celebrate It the way that we should. I know at least, I have forgotten to do this. This is something I hope to be able to fix now that I had a chance to think about it. Thank you Father M. N. for point it out to me, and giving me this to think about.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

At the Beginning of the Journey

Anillos[1]I saw a great saying yesterday, it was one of those pictures with words over it supposed to be inspirational or something like that. To be honest most of the time I just skip over these pictures because, either they are super sappy, or they are offensive. This one was different, and it kind of struck a cord. Maybe I am just becoming a sentimental sap or maybe it is just that this one is a great reminder today.

Why today? Romeo_Juilet Well it is going to sound kind of silly but 22 years ago today, the woman who would one day be my wife and I started our life together. At the time we were young. We didn’t know a heck of a lot, and we certainly didn’t know what was coming. But that day we started our journey together anyway.

I am probably going to loose some guy credits here, and that is ok because I will more than likely will make them up in husband credits. I will be honest here guys, the husband credits are much more important.

Yes, this is our dating anniversary. And yes, it has been 22 years since that faithful day, and yes, we have been married for the last 17 years and yes, I still keep track of this day. Because it is rather important.

That day, the woman (thought at the time she was really still a girl) started to changed my life. And she has been changing it every since. It was not a whirl wind romance, or anything like that. We spent only a short time together until life took us apart. We spent several years getting together only once or twice a year, and learning about each other through the mail. You know, real mail, envelopes and stamps and stuff.

But today is not really about that. Today is about a kiss. It is about a first kiss, how it all got started, and everything that has happened since. It is a long story, but the short version is this. Life with her has not always been easy, but it has always been great, we have had some incredible high spots, and some lows along the way. We have always tried to deal with everything that has been thrown our way, together. She has been my strength when I needed it, and I hope that I have been there for her. But no matter what has happend, or will happen, I hope that we get to spend the rest of our long lives together.

This last year has been rough, I don’t know how I could have made it though it without your strength. I wish we could have skipped parts of this year, but I am glad that I was by your side.

Thank you my dear for my life so far. I hope to have many more happy years with you. I also hope I am a better kisser now than I was that day.
Poll The Princess Bride Kiss

CycleProGo – An App Review

CycleProGo

3.5 of 5 Stars

CycleProGo is the new online and app based charting program from Couple to Couple League International (CCLI.) This is an updated version of the charting software called CyclePro, and it offers some new features and of course the ability to use it online and via a mobile device. This application is based on the Sympto-thermal rules developed and taught by the Couple to Couple League.

I will say right up front that I do work for (Volunteer) CCLI as part of a teaching couple, so as a teaching couple the app costs me nothing other than my time as a volunteer teacher. However, I do hope to offer an honest and fair review of this application.

Warning!

I can’t say this strongly enough. I don’t care what method you use, or what application you like, If you are going to use NFP in any form be that a app like this one, or just basic Charting, please, please, please take a course or at least get the books from a course.

If Money is the problem (because some of the courses are expensive) there are free courses out there, and they are pretty darn good.

Reach out to a teaching couple or provider in your area they might be able to help you find resources that will help you.

It is worth your time to take a course. If you don’t NFP probably won’t work for you as well as you had hoped.

As I noted the app costs me nothing. And you can download it from the Itunes store, or Amazon for your Android Device for free. While It is free to download and get a look at, you can’t actually do anything without paying for it. The price is pretty high at $5 a month or $12 a year. I will refer you to their site as to what you can do with the paid verses the free version I think the app would be much more accessible if the price were not to steep.

One of the best things about this app is the ability to share with other devices. My wife uses a kindle, I have an iPod touch, and we both are in front of a computer quite a bit. For me having the most accurate and up to date information is the key to his application working at all. And I really like being able to check or enter the temperature or whatever else from where ever I am at the moment.

Once inside the app it does offer you a lot of very nice features. If you are a CCLI member or have ever taken one of these courses much of the charts that you are used to seeing will be presented right up front for you. Entering your data is very easy and straight forward.

I have an ipod touch Gen 3 and I do seem to sit at this opening screen for a long time. I Don’t know if it is trying to sync or just that my device is a little old and slow.
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I do like that the first screen after the loading screen gives you a daily tip, shows off new features and just give yous general information about the application. Most of of this information is available in the help screen, but who ever reads those right? It also gives you a place to give feed back about the application.
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Once in the app itself, you are presented with the current month, that gives you a quick view of where you are in the cycle with color coding at the bottom to tell you what phase you are in. Click on or touching any of the days including the current one will allow you to enter or update your information for that day.
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Choosing the Charts button at the bottom of the screen brings up a menu that allows you choose your current chart to add information to, choose another chart to review, change your phase date based on the rules you want to follow, or look at a general overview of your cycle history.

I have to say that the ability to change your phase based on other rules is probably one of the best features of this app over other ones that I have used, especially since CCLI does teach multiple rules that you can use based on your needs.
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The charts screen presents you with what you are probably used to if you have every used the sympto-thermal method. (I have cleared all the data out of this chart since the only way to get a screen shot was to show you our chart, and yeah not so much.)

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Clicking on the connect option at the bottom of the screen probably one of the biggest disappointments with CycleProGo in general. First in the mobile app, the connect button brings you to the screen below, which is not all that helpful.

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Updated As is the nature of software, there has been an update and they have made a change to one of the biggest problems I had with this app. As noted in the comments, there is now an option to share your charts with anyone via a URL that you can send to people. This is a huge improvement as far as I am concerned.

    Attach Chart

  • choose the chart you want
  • scroll until you can see the bottom of the chart
  • click on “Attach Chart to Public Message Board Post”
  • In the middle of the next screen there is a button that says “Create a Public URL.”

This will generate a url you can send our chart to someone.

If you use the web based version if does allow you to set and use some sharing options. Here is were this falls down. It does not allow you to share with any one outside of CCLI members or teachers. You might be asking yourself why you would want to share this with anyone else. (I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere about sharing too much with a bunch of teaching couples, but we will leave that your imagination)

However, let’s say you wanted to share your chart with your doctor, and they were not ccli members? There is a lot of information on this chart that a doctor can use to help you diagnose problems or even just help you determine a due date. In its current form there is no way to share that information with any one outside of CCLI beyond getting screen shots and e-mailing them. Just an example of this, our primary care physician is a Creighton method trained physician, she was interested in looking at my wife’s charts, and we were unable to send our charts to her, or allow her access to our charts so she could monitor the information through out the month without her becoming a member.

sharing

The settings screens and the sync screen don’t have a lot to offer beyond what a standard app would have. The Settings screen allows you to do things like change your password change from Fahrenheit to Celsius and how often to polls data from other sources.

The settings screen also allows to add “events” to the list of things that you can note quickly on your charts. These are broken down into categories that include emotional, Physical, Medical, Pregnancy and custom. If you have ever tried to type a note about anything with a mobile device you know that having drop down lists of things that you use frequently is a good thing. Also being able to control the things on that list is good thing so that you are not scrolling forever.

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The Sync button does just that, it forces a sync with all other devices that you might be using.

As I said at the beginning I give this App a 3.5 out of 5. I think that it has come a long way since the old cyclepro version, and it does have some pretty nice features. But I think there are some definite drawbacks, like not being able to share with people outside of CCLI. There are also seem to be some issues with the web based version and changing the rules you want to use. You are able to select some of the rules sets in the mobile version that although they are options in the web version they are not select-able.

The Courage to do What’s Write – Does Tiger have the Stories?

FIPLogoI have been pretty quiet this week. That is mostly because I have been very busy with other things. Mostly the new book, but more news on that in another post.

I wrote this post for Flying Island Press, The Courage to Do what is Write – Does Tiger have the Stories? Even as I hit the publish button I realized that there were things that I left out. One of the things that strikes me as interesting, and tends to crop up on the less dark shows, (I will reference Star Trek heavily here) is that when people are happy in the future, they seem to all be atheists. Even if that is never really stated explicitly.

I honestly find this line of thinking incredibly disturbing. I know other, pretty popular Sci/fi writers have some of the same thoughts on the subject. I personally believe that there is no need for the two to be separate. For that you can even reference Father Barons Homily from this week, where through Thomas, God leaves room for science in faith.

As far as Flying Island Press goes, one of our stated goals is positive Sci/Fi. Stories that even if they don’t have a happy ending, still have leave you feeling better at the end that you did at the beginning. Stories of hope for the future. That is one of the things that I love about working For Flying Island Press, and the thing that I find most disturbing about the state of Sci/Fi on television.

Courage to Do What’s Write – Getting Back To Writing After A Tragedy

p6270028I wrote this piece for Flying Island Press in hopes of starting a conversation with people who have had a similar experience, so that we might be able to help each other. The goal here was to help, not elicit sympathy, though I know that is sometimes what people need, but instead to start real an honest conversation.

I will add, here because I didn’t feel entirely comfortable doing it there, that faith has been a huge part of coming back to something that approaches normal. Probably it has been the single biggest factor after my very supportive wife who is strong when I need it most.

I wanted to share it here in hopes that it might reach more people who might be able to help or could be helped by it.

Courage to Do What's Write – Getting Back To Writing After A Tragedy.