So then FAITH cometh from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
So then FAITH cometh from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
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My Story - How I Got Here

Hi, and thanks for checking out this blog post.  Everyone has a story.  Some are good, some are bad, and the rest are in-between.  Not sure where my story fits on that scale, but I would like to share with you how and why this website came to be.  So, grab a cup of coffee, and read on.

A little background…

I was born and raised a little east of Pittsburgh, PA.  I’ve lived in this area my whole life.  I’m Roman Catholic, and practice my faith daily (or at least try to!).  I was raised by great parents in a tremendous family, and went to Catholic school until 8th grade, then off to public school.  I didn’t realize how great my Catholic school education was until I got into the public school system, and saw how far ahead I was of most of the kids in my grade.  Until then, I had always taken my schooling for granted.  But once I experienced the difference between those two educational systems, I truly appreciated having that Catholic school education, and have ever since.  And, not saying that I am or ever was a saint, but I also saw that I had a much stronger moral compass than many of the kids going through the public school system.  Well, I guess getting cracked on the knuckles with a ruler a couple times by Sister Bartholomew actually worked (not to mention when my parents found out!)!  LOL

So let’s fast-forward a bunch of years…

Starting in my mid 20s, I was employed in the IT (Information Technology) sector for 25 years, as an application developer, data analyst, and Sr. Systems Analyst, all at the corporate level.  The last 20 of those years were spent with the same company.  For the first 15 years or so, I absolutely loved my work.  I felt like I was really helping people in the company I worked for perform their jobs better, and that I actually made a difference. The last 10 years though…well, not so much.

The corporate structure I worked in became corrupted and poisoned with people whose only desire was to move up the corporate ladder by any means necessary.  Slandering and defaming a colleague behind his or her back, simply to make themself look better, became more and more commonplace.  Don’t get me wrong, I made some really great friends with truly good folks along the way.  But year after year, with each influx of new employees, the overall IT culture seemed to deteriorate, along with the friendship and camaraderie. 

With each passing year,  the work I did began to feel less and less rewarding, and I felt less and less inspired…like I was just putting in my time, and not doing anything worthwhile.  When I first got started in IT (back in the early 90s) the companies I worked for actually encouraged creativity in designing applications and solving user problems.  Eventually, that creativity became subdued, and quantity over quality became the norm.  That didn’t really appeal to me.  I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and I was seeing less of that in the work I did.  In many cases, the projects we did actually made more work for the application’s users.  But management always knows what’s best, right? 

Away from the job, I kept trying to think of businesses I could start that would fulfill my desire to help people, make a positive difference in their lives, and be a little creative as well.  I knew I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what. I was afraid to take that next step.  And I was also afraid to give up the security blanket that my well-paying job provided me.

Then, in October of 2014, that was all taken care of for me, as I was unceremoniously let go from my job. Many of the friends I had made there over the years cried when they found out, but honestly, I was actually relieved. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders…like I was finally free!  So, over then next couple of years, I looked into some different things.  First I tried selling on Amazon, which was okay.  Then I tried selling life insurance, which went over like a lead balloon.  I had lots of freedom with that job, but I’m not a salesman!.  Family and friends kept telling me to get another job in IT, but I was burned out on that, and I didn’t want to go back into that toxic corporate world again. 

I wanted to find something that would allow me to earn a living, while truly enriching people’s lives at the same time. Looking at tons of online business models throughout much of 2017, I realized just how many ways there are to make a living online. The “problem” was that, thanks to my Catholic upbringing, so many of those business models seemed either immoral, unethical, or just “seedy” in some way.  One of the things I wanted to be able to do was to help support my parish better.  And I also wanted to figure out a way to help needy families in my area afford a Catholic school education for their kids, since I really loved my experience when I was a kid. My Catholic upbringing and education has always served me well, and I try to always maintain a healthy relationship with God. So yes, my faith plays a big role in my life…Always has and always will.

Eventually, I started looking into creating different kinds of digital products, and eventually saw that a lot of people were interested in printable Bible and Scripture verses. So, the light bulb came on, and I started creating my own digital products (which you see here on the site), with the intention of helping people grow stronger in their faith, and love of God.  Whether this site affords me the opportunity to help kids get a great Catholic education is yet to be determined.  But it will always be one of my goals. 

I truly hope that I, and all who contribute to this site, can build an awesome, supportive, and encouraging community that will benefit all of us, and help each of us to grow stronger in our faith, and from our faith, become stronger people in life!

So that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!    Thanks for reading and sharing!

God Bless,

Ray


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