Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Welcome to my world


Welcome first time readers. This is the personal bog of John "JM" Kraemer. This is an extension of "The Lego Church Project" Facebook page. official blog of "The Lego Church Project". It is also a collection of my own religious reflections and explorations of my Catholic faith along with issues related to disability awareness. 

The Lego Church Project is massive Catholic Parish built out of LEGO bricks. This is an annual project which a new parish built every year. More information can be found on the FB page. 

"Praying at the Bricks" is a term I use often when I'm working on a season's build. Often spending time in prayer as I'm working on things. This blog is about the Catholic Faith. More about spirituality and understanding. This blog is not about politics. Sometimes the lines between faith and politics is blurred. But I do what I can to stay out of those kinds of mind fields. 

If you would like more information drop me an email at kc8wzm@gmail.com. Feel free to check out the FAQ for extra information or any of the other links. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

End of Season 18 reflections




This was hard one to take down. Not from a building stand point. But rather an emotional one. It is always bitter sweet when I take one of the Projects down. A lot of memories tend to flood the heart. This has been an amazing season. I've gone to a few brand new places. Revisited a few. I've done more displays than ever before. I've reached out to people. Had NBC25/FOX66 out at Mt. Zion. In the process I've gotten the time to study the life of Fr Solanus Casey. No matter what I do from here on out. Season 18 will always have Solanus legacy connected to it. He had a personal connection to both of my Grandmothers. So for him to be beatified during the season. It is a deeply humbling experience.

As far as Season 19 goes. I don't have a start date. We have some major renovations to all the apartments in the complex I live in that will be starting hopefully soon. The downside is that throws the date of the build into a bit of flux. I won't have a rough start time locked in until I get a better idea of when my building is going to be worked on. Given everything that they are planning. I don't want to be in the middle of a build. So please keep that in prayer. That God would grant me wisdom on how to proceed.

Thanks to everyone who has given me support for what I do. I am as always deeply humbled by your generosity. Take care and God Bless!

Till Next Time

-JM

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Prayer and The Project


Posted on The Lego Church Project FB Page 1-6-18. Also this is Blog Post 100.


With The Project their is always a level of prayer involved. Prayers for the building of the Season. That am able to tell the kind of story that needs to be told. That I am able to be creative as I can while building something solid. For the passion and love I have Christ shines though. Prayers for the displays. That I can find good locations to show case my work. Along with prayers for the transportation to make them happen. Prayers for opportunities to share the work that I am doing. The message of why I am doing this. Though blog posts, social media, and other unique opportunities.

I also pray for our parishes. That more people would come back to the Mass. That our communities would be thriving and active once again. I pray for our Priests and others who help run the parishes. That God would give them deep wisdom. I also pray for vocations to religious life. That those who hear would answer God's call.

Prayer is the binder that holds everything that I do together. With out it such things would not even be possible. As we are about to end Season 18. Please pray for the direction of Season 19. I also would like to thank everyone for your support of what I do. Means a lot to me. God Bless! 

Till Next Time

-JM


Oh Good! Your still here! If you can please Check out "Donations Revisited"! Thank you!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Saints and Challenges





You look at the lives of the Saints. Especially the ones who faced major challenges in their lives. You have to wonder how they were able to face them and still live in a way that even now we use as examples of following the path of Christ. These men and women lived difficult lives and in some cases faced great rejection for the challenges they had. Others were limited as to what they could do. Yet they still are an inspiration to us. Many of them used their suffering to give glory to Christ in all things. It cannot have been an easy life for them. Reading about them draws us into their stories and perhaps renews our strength for when we face our own challenges and struggles. To be reminded that for many of these Saints. Even in their darkest hour. They always had praise for God in their hearts and souls. Lord give me the inner strength to face my challenges head on. To not be discouraged by what limits me. But to be encourage so I can be a light for others. Help me to be strong when I am at my weakest. So can I can give all Glory where all Glory is due. Amen.

Till Next Time

-JM

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2014 Message



This post was originally written back in 2014 for the Lego Church Project FB page and was shared Christmas Eve of that year. It has the same themes as the last two Christmas Related posts. As I've been rereading it. I am reminded of how powerful the message remains. That is why I've decided to add it to the blog. God Bless and Merry Christmas! -JM

Christmas Eve is here. Soon we will be celebrating with our family and friends. Some of us will have company coming over. Others will be the ones traveling to visit. All Christians across this nation bound by a common thread: The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But as we gather with our friends and family. Let us take a moment to stop and reflect of the kind of world we live in. Why it is an important time to keep everyone in prayer these days. Our world is filled with chaos. Violence in our streets and across the world. Terrorist groups that seek the destruction of any ideal they oppose. Countries threatening harm to other nations that would stand up for basic human rights and dignity.

In some places with in the world Christians must celebrate in secret. They live in a place where they do not share the same freedoms as you or I have. Their is a constant threat of violence or even death. All because they believe in Jesus Christ.

Much closer to home many families are struggling to make ends meet. They can hardly put food on the table. Let alone gifts under the tree. Some have lost family members around this time. Making the holidays much more difficult time. An elderly neighbor who cannot go out because they have no where to go. Or because they have no one around them. Their are many places where people will be spending time in nursing homes or even hospitals.

Christmas is not only just a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. More importantly it is a time for prayer. For those who are suffering. For those who are struggling. That the violence in this world would end. That those who commit such acts would realize that violence does not solve problems. It makes things even worse.

Christmas is also a reminder that we have the power to turn prayer into action. By giving of ourselves. Helping those around us any chance we get. We can do what God has asked each and every one of us. As we celebrate Christmas, let us look into our hearts, to see what we can do to answer that important call. That perhaps this Christmas we can be the answer to someone's prayer. Which would be the biggest present of all...

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Donations Revisited







With out the help of others this project would not be where it is at. Thanks to the donations I've received I've been able to do a lot more than I otherwise would. I'm deeply humbled by the kindness and generosity of others. Because of that with the Season 18 project I've been able to obtain new bricks to replace worn out parts. New parts for added details. Base plates and other items to help with the project. I've also been able to provide gas money for transportation.

I get asked all the time if I take donations. I'm on disability. My income is extremely fixed and the cost of living goes up. LEGO is not cheap. Even on the used market. Which is why I accept donations either in direct cash via PayPal or people sending me LEGO directly.

So here is the current wishlist of LEGO and non LEGO items I can use for the project:

Point and Shoot Digital Camera: This is something that I need to replace. Both the cameras are getting worn out and the quality of images is not that good for the LEGO. Cellphone Cameras are nice but don't work as well as I would like.

Sport Style Video Camera: This is more wishful thinking. I would like to shoot some decent video of me working on the project along with going to some of the display locations. I found when using the point/shoot and cell phone cameras the audio quality was horrible. The idea is to create some videos I can post to youtube.

LEGO (link goes to bricklink): I'm always looking to replace existing parts. Almost 20 years of The Project and those parts get put under a lot of stress with the transport. Stuff breaks. Plus I have some "clone" brick which needs to be sorted out and pitched. The poor quality bricks make building a challenge since they don't share LEGO high level of quality.

You can see the full Amazon Wish List and get an idea of what else I'm looking it.

If you have LEGO that you are looking to part with drop me an email to kc8wzm@gmail.com and I will give you my address. Be more than happy to take it off of your hands.

For Money Donations go here: https://www.paypal.me/LegoChurchProject

The "Support for the Project" Goes into a bit more detail about why I need donations along with other suggestions on other ways you can help.

I could also use some major Prayers. Season 18 had seven displays. The most I've ever done with any of my showings. So please pray that some doors open up and locations with transportation can be secured. Would love to get some locations locked in early so I can really build up this season. The Project is as Passion of mine. A gift that needs to be shared with others. A big thank you to everyone who supports me and helps me out. I am forever grateful.

Till Next Time!

-JM


Revised 1-2-18 (near rewrite)

Project Post 12/23


(cross posted from The Lego Church Project FB page)


Christmas is a joyful time. A time to spend with family and our friends. However not everyone is able to see the joy of the season. Sometimes the holidays have nothing more than painful memories. Their are many in this world who are homeless, home bound, or out right alone in this world. They have no one to help them in their time of need. Their are many who are spending the time in the hospitals. Dealing with medical challenges that we cannot even begin to understand.

As we spend time with our loved ones over the course of the next few days. Take a moment of your time to pray for those who are in need. Pray for those who struggle with this season. For those who have no one in their lives. That the Lord would offer them some comfort in their isolation. That as we approach Christmas Eve that we would be joyful at the birth of Our Savior. At the same time be humble in remembering all who are in desperate need. God Bless and Merry Christmas.

-JM

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Reflection 12/21


(Cross posted from the Lego Church Project Page).

Christmas is a special time of the year. We spend our days gearing up to spend time with family and friends. For me Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Such a small child was given the power to change the fate of the world.

But Christmas for me is also a prayer. For peace in our troubled world. An end to violence on all levels. For the poor. Those who are troubled with issues of money and of spirit. For those in jails and in prisons. That they would find redemption though Christ. A prayer for the lonely and home bound. A prayer for those who are in nursing homes and hospitals. That Christ with be with them always. Of course a prayer for those who are living with disabilities or other health challenges. That though our suffering Christ would open our hearts to a deeper understanding of the faith. For healing of our minds and bodies.

Christmas is a time where all who proclaim Christ should open their hearts to the will of God and do more to help those around them. To avoid sending the message of God's wrath and condemnation. Instead putting our focus into God's love, compassion, and above all else God's unending mercy.

Merry Christmas to you all.

-JM