Bob Rice

An internationally famous speaker, musician, and writer, Bob Rice looks at the beautiful and the bizarre of life through a Catholic perspective. Also includes articles and excerpts from books he's working on.

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Location: Steubenville, Ohio, United States

My desire is to share the love of God to everyone I meet through the many gifts God has given me. My full time job is teaching evangelization and youth ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. About two or three times a week I travel around the country proclaiming God's word or do a concert/lead worship. I've published many articles and I'm working on my first novel. 12 years ago, I married the love of my life and now we have 5 beautiful children. You can find out more about me and download lots of free stuff on my webpage-

Monday, February 19, 2007

Welcome to 2007

Hello everybody!

Well, it’s 10:30 PM central time and I’m flying from Denver to Birmingham, Alabama, sitting in the back seat on a very loud jet so I can’t recline my seat back, but at least no one is sitting next to me so sometimes you’ve got to look on the bright side. The guy in front of me HAD to recline his seat into my lap, so I’ve got my computer set up on the empty tray next to me, but it kinda hurts to lean over and type because of the car accident I was in today. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Welcome to 2007. I’ve gotten quite a bit of traveling in these past few weeks. Halifax, Chicago, Georgia, Denver. Hello to everybody I had the pleasure to meet or talk to over these past few weeks. It is such a blessing to be with all of you. Thanks for letting me share the love of God with you. It’s the greatest honor of my life.

January began and found me in sunny Florida with a family vacation with my folks. I was supposed to go to Arizona for the Life Teen Advanced Training in AZ, but there wasn’t enough folks and I got dropped the last minute. But God is good. The day after I found out that I wasn’t going to AZ as planned, I got a call from Halifax, Nova Scotia asking if I could fly up for a last minute gig to promote their upcoming Steubenville youth conference. I got to hang out with Archbishop Terry Pengergast, and was honored for the time I spent there. It was a pretty gray time weather wise, but I bet it’s one of the prettiest places on earth when the spring comes. It was also a fairly big press event. I got interviewed by a few papers and ended up on the evening news.

The next weekend I got to travel back to my old stomping grounds and do a retreat for a few parishes in Chicago. It was also the weekend Chicago played the Saints in the conference championships, and I got to see it crashing at a friend’s house who was in my wedding party and hadn’t hung out with in years. Weather was crummy, flight got canceled, but it was still a great time. Got to met another great bishop at the retreat. And hung with some amazing kids that did an incredible job helping lead the weekend.

Back in Steubie, I was a part of the annual Youth Minister’s retreat on campus. It’s great to hear the stories of people who give so much to share the message of God’s love with the youth. They get paid poorly, often feel unsupported, but keep fighting the good fight. I’m inspired by you guys. Keep it up!

Turned 35, got some cool comic books, and ran 10K in 49 minutes.

Then I got to go to Covecrest, a Life Teen camp in Georgia. I had heard a lot about it, and was totally honored to lead a retreat for yet another group of youth ministers. Saw some people I hadn’t seen in years (including someone who was a teen when I volunteered in college who is now a youth minister! I am getting old). I talked about contemplative prayer, and then we spent some time in silence trying to hear the whispers of God. It was pretty cool. I love leading a retreat where there is silent time, because I don’t have to do anything and I can pray, too. It was great working with the Life Teeners there, too. I’ve missed Life Teen since leaving St. Ambrose in 04. It felt like coming home a bit. Thanks for making me feel so welcome. Wait a sec, plane is landing and I’ve got to go.

Okay I’m back. It’s the next day now and I’m flying from Birmingham to Chicago so I can connect and fly to Pittsburgh for a short drive to Steubenville to see my wife and kids. So where was I? Oh, Georgia. The next weekend was quieter but got a visit from a friend from Baltimore who came and spoke to some of my students (Kristin- you did an awesome job!). And last Friday I got on a plane with Chris Padgett to speak at a Jr. High retreat in Denver.

It was our first official “Decaf” gig, and it went really well. The only other thing we had done was that 5 minute “Hand Motions In Heaven” skit we did in Las Vegas. I was a little nervous facing last weekend. I would have rather gone from a 5 minute skit to an hour show, rather than a full weekend where we were scheduled for, well, a lot more time. But it was awesome. Chris Padgett did an incredible job, and I got to hang with many cool folks from Denver, especially Chris Stephanic and Michelle Peters. Thanks for a great weekend! And hello to all those who were a part of the weekend. Follow in the footsteps of Christ!

Stephanic was driving us to the airport when a Jeep pulled out in front of us at about 60 MPH and slammed our car. Chris was sitting in the front and I right behind him, and that’s the same side the car hit. First of all- good job, Honda. Your minivan lived up to its 5 star rating. Stephanic was okay, Padgett was a bit stunned but cool. I wasn’t wearing a seat belt (because I am such a genius- I usually do but didn’t when I needed to) and I got thrown forward a bit, pulling a muscle in my side. The only thought that went through my head as I lurched forward was, “I bet this is going to hurt in the morning”. BTW, it did.

Now I know this sounds like a bad thing, but something incredibly cool came out of it. The EMT brought me into the ambulance to check my vitals, predicting they’d be off the charts because I was just in a fairly serious accident. As she checked out my pulse and blood pressure, she said, “Your vitals are incredible! Are you an athlete?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that, and said, “Well, I run and bike a bit, so I guess so.” She said, “Well, you have to be, because your pulse is 55 and your blood pressure is perfect. These results are stunning.”

Did you hear that everybody? I’m STUNNING. And that’s from a professional in the field, NOT my own opinion. Cool as ice under pressure, and my body is clearly in peak athletic form. Do you think Richard Simek would have a pulse of 55 and perfect blood pressure under those conditions? I think not. (If you don’t know who Richard Simek is, check out the August 06 blog).

So yes, I’m sore today. Sore, but STUNNING. Seriously people, my body is like a machine. A sleek, toned, hairy machine.

I got on the plane after I signed a waver that said I might suffer internal bleeding, a coma, or a slight case of death (apparently, they make everybody sign that), and I was off to Birmingham, AL to record at EWTN this morning. It’s for a show called “Backstage”, and I got to play 5 songs and tell some stories between them. I hope to get some raw footage and get it on the net, ‘cause the show won’t air until ’08 for some reason. Man, they plan ahead at EWTN, don’t they?

My good friend Katie Rose flew in from Chicago to sing a few songs with me. It was magical. I think it came together really well, and the folks there seemed really excited about it. EWTN is has a very cool, peaceful vibe to it, and I got to spend some good time in prayer while hanging there.

And now I’m on my way back home. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I’ve got some down time coming up. And March doesn’t look too bad. Just a trip to South Carolina. Oh, and Michigan. And Wisconsin. Did I mention I’m going Israel?

I’ll tell you all about it at the end of March. In other breaking news: LOST is getting really good again! I just Ana Lucia doesn’t come back from the dead…

May God bless you all as we head into Lent.