OLS Kicks off New Season of Adult Education

Our Lady of Sorrows Church associate pastor Father Jaya Reddy (far right) joins members of the Adult Education class in thanking Lt. Col. Bruce Bright, USMC (Ret.) (center) after he presented a talk on Leadership, the Church, and the Family
Our Lady of Sorrows Church associate pastor Father Jaya Reddy (far right) joins members of the Adult Education class in thanking Lt. Col. Bruce Bright, USMC (Ret.) (center) after he presented a talk on Leadership, the Church, and the Family

Examines Leadership, Faith & Family

Christianity is not part of your life, it is your life according to Lt. Col. Bruce Bright, USMC (Retired) who believes that, if you are a Christian, whatever your station in life, you are a Christian first. “We don’t just pick and choose when and where, but have it always. I find that the closer I get to the Church the stronger I am in every facet of my life,” said Bright, the founder and chief of On Target Leading. He spoke about Leadership, the Church, and the Family at the fall kickoff session of Adult Education: Year of Faith & Beyond at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Homewood on September 8. He said, “Ninety-nine-percent of your leadership should be you leading you. If you do that then you may lead others.”
Bright said there are five essential positive characteristics necessary to lead: being calm, cool, collected, clear-headed, and well-rested. Without them, he said, “something is going to suffer. In a business cash is running out the door. In a family it may be a child going astray or a relationship issue, a wife or husband.”
Bright told his listeners tangible things they can do to be better leaders at home and at work. He said to have one thought when preparing for a new day. “Each morning I encourage you as you shave or putting on your makeup look at that mirror and ask this question: am I living my life like I think I should? And ‘I think I should’ I‘ll translate: that it’s how Christ thinks you should.”
He pointed out that the average lifespan of American males is 72 years and 80 years is the average lifespan of females. He said the difference is because men internalize their emotions and women show their emotions.  The key to a long life is “to take care of your temple,” he said. “You get one temple and God gave it to us.” He said there is a sense of urgency to living a fulfilling, Christian life because of the finite time each person has on earth and he advised making the most of it. “When you’re doing things you don’t love with people you don’t love, stop. Stop doing that. Do the things that you love with the people you love and you will love life. You will be a better mother; you will be a better dad, a better Christian, a better businessman if you’re being the best person that you can be.”
Bright said it’s possible to pick what to do in life to be the strongest Christian possible thanks to the choices one makes regarding excitement, energy level, emotions, and execution. He calls it “E to the fourth power.” Excitement: “If you’re not excited about what you’re doing stop doing it.” Energy: “Energy’s here. We can’t create it, we can’t destroy it. We can move it around, we can choose what part of it we want.” He spoke of five energy levels from lowest to highest: victim, conflict, justification, concern, and opportunity. “Let go of the negativity…. Pray about it, let it go and focus on from this moment forward,” he advised. Emotional awareness: “being in charge of your emotions.” Execute: “If you’re in charge of these first 3 concepts, excitement, energy and emotional awareness, you may then do the fourth one which is to execute. I mean execute in life,” Bright explained. “You’ll execute the way you want to execute which should be the way Christ wants you to execute….”
Bright said emotions should be used in a positive way. He said women are not the only ones with emotions. “We are emotional beings just like they are,” he said to the men. “We just don’t use it. If you want to know how powerful you are as a man, start using your emotions.” He continued,
“The emotional connection is where the power is in every relationship, including your relationship with Christ. Most of us don’t have a problem having an emotional relationship with Christ because he’s open. He’s in our hearts, he’s in us. We struggle sometimes with our emotional relationship with our friends, and the POWER is in the emotional relationship.”
Bright asserted that behavioral changes are possible. “It is a constant effort to make changes happen each and every day. Small, small baby steps. But every single day you reinforce it,” he said.
The gun control debate, faith in college, and traditional Christian meditation are among the topics to be explored. Each gathering begins Sundays at 9:45 a.m. with light refreshments and the class begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall beneath the church. There is one special weeknight session scheduled.  OLS is at 1728 Oxmoor Road in Homewood across the street from the public library. The fall schedule is below.

September 15 – Rev. Jaya Reddy, OLS associate pastor – Spreading the Gospel with a Passion: St. Francis Xavier in India
September 22 – Marc James Ayers – Catholic View on the Gun Control Debate
September 29 – Ginny Jost, OLS Director of Youth Ministries – Holding onto Faith in College 
October 6 – Rev. Anthony Weis, OLS associate pastor – Eucharistic Adoration     
October 13 – Adrianne Price – Maternal Might: Confraternity of Christian Mothers
October 20 – Rev. Msgr. Martin Muller, OLS Pastor – Letters from the Pastor’s Desk (His newest book)
October 23 (Wednesday) 7:00 p.m. Special Evening Session – David Anders, PhD – Juggling Act: Faith, Family, and Commitments
October 27 – Lee Ann Self – Traditional Christian Meditation   
November 3 – Gary M. Gray, PhD – Biblical Insights: Deuterocanonical Books 
November 10 NO CLASS (Veteran’s Day)
November 17 – Dave and Kathy Rennie – Our Missions in China & India   
November 24 – Gary M. Gray, PhD – Biblical Insights: The Catholic Letters
December 1 NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Break)
December 8 – John Wright, Jr. – Heroic Woman: Dorothy Day, Servant of God  
December 15 – Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco, PhD – Insights: Coping with Stress and Loss during the Holiday Season