Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Right now I am reading a delightful book called "Man and Woman in Christian Perspective" by Werner Neuer. I suspect that it is far easier reading than the much lauded "Man and Woman in Christ" By Stephen B. Clark, even though he is Catholic. I don't think i am ready for anything that heady.
Though I am familiar with the concept of man being the head of the family as shown in Genesis this writer digs much deeper and it is amazing stuff. For instance He points out that a man named J.T. Walsh came up with the theory that God has four levels of Authority in Creation. The first is of course God, then man, next is woman, and last the animals. He brings out that God only spoke to Adam about His regulation to not eat from the tree in the "midst of the garden", in Eden. Additionally he points out that when Adam and Eve fell into sin, God came to Adam about it. He had given the regulation to Adam and He held Adam accountable.
The sin had reversed the authority structure in creation. Woman had obeyed the serpent and man obeyed woman. Walsh also points out that in God's judgment that He specifically restored this order again. Telling woman that he will place the serpent under her feet and that she will desire to submit herself to her husband again.
Of course we know that the fulfillment of this prophecy is in Our lady and her submission to God that brings about the Incarnation of Christ.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
When i dropped the poor sick child at the house(she is 18) I ran down to the local Meijers store after a long day at my job. They quickly provided the medication and i charged a humidifier for her also. When I arrived home i was notified by phone that my ex-husband had our 21 year old son at the local Urgent Care for a bad cough and may need me to pick him up. I told him I would be on call as it is only a mere 5-6 blocks from the house. I picked up my son about an hour later, when he called for a ride and HE needed an antibiotic too! I drove him back to Meijers and told him to run in and see if his was free also. It was. I waited in the parking lot in the cold to spare my poor tired feet, with only the heat and radio running. After some time I pulled up in front of the store to have my son come out ready to go and my car would not start!
With a dwindling battery on my cell phone my son called a friend of his who is a "car guy". When Dom's friend arrived he knew immediately that i needed a battery jump and proceeded to do so. Then he could not open the hood of the old beater that he drives around town! He had an idea, to buy a battery from the store and jump me. I told him i did not want to know, he bought the battery and jumped my car and drove off with the excess battery.
The next morning, when i woke up for work,with my sick daughter sleeping soundly and restfully in her warm bed, it was only 61 degrees in the house and the furnace was blowing cold air! At the lowest the house should be at 68. I changed the batteries in the thermostat, fiddled with it and approached the basement. I found one side of the basement full of sewer water(!) and the furnace seemed fine, had a flame and was running constantly. My girlfriends husband came over that evening to access the disaster scene.
His verdict was that i should start calling charitable agencies first thing in the morning(Friday). I started in first thing with sick child back in bed, to call programs that were out of money and full of weatherizing advice. Then one furnace company told me that they would not look at it until the sewer situation was cleaned up.
Finally my girlfriend called to say that her husband had ordered her to research sewer men first thing for me and there was one on the way and she would meet him at my house to pay the BILL!!! Hallelujah! The Lord cares for widows and orphans!
Next I reached my other friend finally, who helps me maintain my finances, and is committed to helping me stay afloat, she accessed the situation and said she would call back.
In the meantime the sewer man came and was very excellent and thorough and was extremely grateful for my good coffee as fast as i could send it to the basement. I was happy that i had made too much that day. My accountant(that is what i call her) called back to say that she and her husband had decided to pay for the furnace repair if I arranged for it!
In the long run we could not get the furnace repaired until Monday but with borrowed space heaters, sweaters and warm socks we did quite well. Additionally,the furnace company gave us about 50 dollars off the bill because i took care of one of the owners sons for about a year.
Truly God cares for the poor, He lifts the needy from the dung heap to give Him a place with princes of men!
Monday, December 15, 2008
What are "traditions of men" as Paul calls them? Men deciding that they can abort parts of scripture that they disagree with, and then claim that what is left is the only acceptable source for all knowledge.
St. Jerome, pictured here, is often depicted by artists with a skull "The skull represents the seat of thought, and also symbolized spiritual perfection. Death of the physical body (symbolized by the skull) enabled one to be reborn at a higher level at which the spirit could rule."
Friday, December 12, 2008
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring [a] and hers;
he will crush [b] your head,
and you will strike his heel."
here in Revelation it says:
"3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days."
It strikes me that if, as Jehovah's Witnesses and some other small cults claim, Jesus was simply a man, as it seems the serpent was expecting Him to be, He would have been devoured by the serpent.
There are so many many reasons why Jesus had to be both true God and true man. This is only one.
There are so many Christians out there who in their niavate' believe that they can reinvent Christianity just by reading their own Bible at home. But there are so very many revelations and so much wisdom that God's Holy Church has gleaned over 2000 years of study and sacrifice for God's Church. People are truly missing out when they claim they don't need a Church or they don't need tradition.
Tradition (including well known facts about The Virgin Mary in the land where she lived out her final days, Ephesus Turkey) tells us that Mary never died. She just disappeared. Never has anyone claimed a grave site or anyone claimed to have been with her when she died.
So did Our Lady, go into the desert for 1,260 days and then was she "taken up". Or was she buried tenderly by God himself like Moses(Deuteronomy 34: 5&6)?
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I would postulate that it is virtually impossible to do almost any "pure" research that does not have confirmation bias.
Confirmation Bias is defined as "the tendency to selectively look for information that conforms to our hypothesis and to overlook information that argues against it"(Goldstein, Bruce, Cognitive Psychology, 2nd Ed. 2008, Thompson Wadsworth. Now many scientists think that if they go into research assuming nothing that they have no bias. But I would say that by assuming that there is no mover of events or maker of matter they are using their own Bias. Likewise persons of faith assume that there is a creator will use that assumption behind their research.
Of course opinion pollsters are subject to their in the way that they word their questions or just the tone of voice in which they are couched. I have taught my new voters(a 21 year old and an 18 year old) to be intelligent voters and to read between the lines. Always ask what were the questions asked in the poll, what were you actually trying to measure, support for your candidate or the mood of the nation, and how did you go about measuring it?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Our grubby city needed this softening. My stress level goes down immediately just from the beauty of it all.
Of Course my stress level increases when I try to walk on the slippery surfaces but it is well worth the extra effort to stay afloat.
I love snow. I feel sorry for those who only have a rainy season in winter, and must look out on the grubby damp landscape. Snow is one of God's wonders, it provides insulation for all the animals that do not hibernate, it softens the sounds of the city. Everything is less sharp, less harsh, easier on the eye.
Thank you God for snow.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
But as a Christian and a Roman Catholic I would like to put in my little paddle here.
The lifelong goal(vocation in Catholic terms) of a Catholic Priest is to save souls from the eternal fires of hell. By informing his congregation that support of a grave moral evil(abortion), makes one complicit in murder he is fulfilling his calling. Now many were not aware because of media flak, that Barak Obama is THE most pro-abortion candidate to run for President of all time, this is unfortuntate, because many lives will be lost simply because of rulings by judges that he will appoint, without even passing the Freedom of Choice Act.
His promise to pass the Freedom of Choice Act as his first act as President is disturbing in nature. This act(FOCA) would make abortion a civil right and strip absolutely all protections from vulnerable women and vulnerable babies. It would make it a civil right and therefor subject even Religious hospitals to being forced to perform abortions. It would repeal laws that require abortion clinics to give care to babies accidentally born alive, and laws that keep minors from obtaining a major, and dangerous surgical procedure without consulting their parents. Additionally, it would take away requirements to inform women in crisis the grave consequences both physical and emotional of the procedure. The implications could be even more far reaching, it is even possible that a physician who is morally opposed to killing could be forced to perform these procedures if the woman insisted that her rights were being denied.
In the Roman Catholic Church, scholars have researched the implications of our behaviors for 2000 years and have abundant, sound Christian teaching behind their assertions. This man should be supported for his stand. He has never refused to give communion to anyone but left this matter up to the consciences of his parishioners, who know their own hearts. If a parishioner were to feel that they were unaware of this horrible stance of Obama's they should probably just mention their inadvertent support for this in the confessional just to cover all the bases with the Almighty. Better that then face eternal hellfire.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I was thinking how Galadrel, without the ring is just another elf lady. WIth it she is powerful and helps to protect and shield all who take shelter in her. Nenya is the name of her ring and its power is one of protection, preservation and concealment from evil.
The past year or so i have been pondering and observing the power of love in people's lives. When people Feel loved, they behave differently. They are more optomistic, stand taller and can accomplish more, they have more courage and treat themselves better. If they loose that faith, it is like Galadriel without her ring, they fall back into grayness and are just people. If it is stolen from them or meanly taken away abrubtly they are lost, they find it hard to look up into the sun any more. They have trouble feeling motivated and caring about success or others.
Much of the time this is all a perseption. A co-worker whose husband is suffering a lot physically and has to go in for another surgery, told me yesterday that she felt suicidal becuase of the lack of acknowledgment from her husband recently. Now standing on the outside of this situation i can easily see why he would not be able at this time to be terribly appreciative of anyone. But i am carefully choosing the time and the words. to break this news to the wife who is hurting also. Perception. Perception.
Image is everything they say, much proven by our resent election.
If we see ourselves as loved individuals, even if we only know that God alone of all people loves us, If we are truly convinced of who God is and how much he loves us, it is a truly transforming thought. I am loved. I am loved beyond what I can imagine. I am loved to the depth of my being by the most incredible being ever! That is a ring that you can put on and it will conceal you from evil.
Monday, October 20, 2008
here are the lyrics:
As for me I was dead in my transgressions,
I was bound to my sin,
bound to condemnation,
As for me I was the object of His wrath,
Fully deserving of death,
Fully deserving of death,
But you saw me there,
because of Your great love,
You saw me there because you're rich in mercy,
You saw me there
because of Your great love
You saw me there because you're rich in mercy,
And you made me alive,
when I was dead,
You raised me up,
and seated my with Christ,
And By Your Grace,
I am saved,
and its through faith
Its the very gift of God.
Yeah oh yeah
update: this song is called Gift of God by Justin Rizzo! I will get it on my playlist As soon as available.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Pale ocean of clouds
As he ponders the earth beneath
He looks thoughtfully down
On those of us who struggle
To carry on with our lives
Putting things away
Setting things aside for someday
Someday when we can
Be who we want to be
Someday when we can rest
Time for reading and thinking
Love is an illusive thing
If you grasp onto it once
It may slip away and cheat you
Or it may show its true colors
Interrupting you with the gray
Once in a lifetime or less
The perfection of consummation comes
When souls meet that soar together
And make the music that stirs hearts
Inspiring those around it to hope.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I started out my Adult life as a sold out, on fire Christian. I was very careful who I chose to marry, I thought. But I ended up divorced. With two children.
Financially we have been places that I never thought I would go. I have stood in lines and sat at agencies with hat in hand to my great embarrassment a number of times.
I WAS a giver, I have always been a hard worker, I like being independent. I enjoyed giving to the St. Vincent De Paul Society or helping my group at work sponsor a family at Christmas. It was very humiliating to be called by St. Vincent De Paul and Asked how they might help ME. It was also very humiliating to have a group sponsor me at Christmas one year when the kids were little. I put a few things for me on the list they asked for because they said I should, thinking that I would give them a few choices, a pair of boots for me, some bubble bath(my only get-away), and a few other small items I could think of. Whoever the anonymous group was that sponsored me got every single thing that i put on the list for me and the kids! I cried and cried--they did discreetly deliver things in the evening and hid them on the porch so that I could play Santa Claus.
Now I don't really advocate jumping on the band wagon for toys-for-tots since i have heard that some kids get sponsored by so many groups they sell their extra toys at school. But groups like the Old Newsboys group, buy winter coats, boots and hats for your kids--they are great, you get a voucher and go to the assigned stores, like Sears or Burlington Coat factory and you can get the assigned items with a reasonable price tag, all paid for by their donors. I thank God for these type of programs.
Even more helpful for poor single moms is to be noticed by a friend or family at church, who get to know them and take them shopping for their needs. I say this because most agencies require so much paper work to get help, and it is demeaning and frustrating, you often get sent away to research more paperwork before you get help, you must expend a lot of time to drive around getting forms and certificates for every family member.
However, the personal touch of getting to know a single mom helps her emotionally too. She sees that people care about her needs. She isn't given the standard care package with the requisite 6 boxes of Mac and Cheese and 1 can of peas and 1 can of fruit cocktail.
What if you really need toilet paper? or cleaning supplies for the house, or deodorant? Those are things you can't buy with food stamps. You can't buy garbage pick up or gas with them either.
The times that a friend took me to the store and she could see that everything I bought was a necessity, and then urged me to get a few things for me, were unforgettable. They were healing, when the man that committed his life to me forever, kicked me to the curb like a used Kleenex, it is very healing to have a friend say, "Hey I will always be here for you, lets go out to lunch or a movie, my husband will watch the kids."
Thank you to all those heroes in my life who made it bearable along the way. Thanks to those of you who watched my kids for peanuts while I went back to college. They are now 18 and 21 and they are not on drugs they have not gotten pregnant, or gotten anyone pregnant and they attend church regularly. Thanks most of all to the God who made us and watches over us faithfully.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
For instance one young lady that i know is stuck in rebellion. If life is too calm for her, she rebels, and it is not turning out well for her at all. She has kicked the proverbial door too many times and it is all coming down around her.
I also know a man who is so used to failure and rejection that he cannot seem to pull up out of that rut. My image is of the pilots in that first star wars movie making their bombing runs at the death star, one of the wing men informs the other fighter that the enemy is on his tail, and yells "pull up! pull UP!" but the man is already in the furrow and already has set in his mind the mission and he dies trying.
It is good to keep your eye on the goal, and even to die trying, for a noble purpose. However it does not bless God to refuse His love, or His gifts, in fact in the long run many good things for the kingdom are probably not accomplished because people refuse God's gifts or refuse to use them.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I need you Jesus, I am a sinner and I am so glad that you are there for me, to wrap your arms around me every night when I sleep, when I loose myself in weariness.
I am yours Jesus, pimples and all, I am not sure why you made me, but perhaps together, You and I can sing a few songs and heal some hearts.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
In my studies recently(current class is on marriage and family), I read some information that particularly made sense to me.
Apparently women in a dating or marriage relationship need primarily to feel secure in the relationship. This explains a lot to me. It explains why women are distressed by men's silence. It also explains why a woman who normally has no trace of jelousy in her is extremely threatened by other women when she is involved in a relationship that is very tenous.
In a video series that we were watching the other night by Gary Smalley, he encouraged husbands to always do little things to make thier spouse feel secure in thier relationship. Just little things like calling from work daily or always letting thier spouse know where they will be and who they are with. Though Dr. Smalley recognized that it is difficult for him, as a man, to share about his day, he forces himself to do this becuase it is something that his wife values she reports that it makes her feel more a part of his life and ministry.
I hope that in my capacity as a family life educator that i get some opportunities to strengthen and encourage good healthy marriages and even help to save marriages in distress. I believe that it pleases the heart of God to help support the marraige covenant.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
It passes and fades and comes back to haunt after a certain word or situation. This could be sparked by seeing something that the beloved would have enjoyed, or laughed at. Something that should be shared with them....but cannot.
It fades again, and dims and you make a decision to go on. If you are really a healthy emotional animal, you choose to function, and move on, mechanically at first. Later, as you process your grief, over time, you begin to direct your thoughts into new channels and eventually look doggedly into the face of what happened and defy it to kill you. You start to force yourself to think in new directions, but make no plans, and take no prisoners. This is the path out. Push forward, look to God and cling to Him. He will carry you when you cannot walk.
Psalm 34 ~~Those that look to Him are radiant, their faces shall never be covered with shame.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
One time grandma found out we liked to walk in the grain bin and we got a whippin' from her for getting our shoes in the grain. I think that gramp never told her about letting us ride on the wagon.
Nance and I loved to play around the farm when we visited grandma and grampa. We used to climb up into the hayloft and play house. Making the bales of hay into different furnishings, depending on which way we arranged them. Bales of hay can really look like furniture if you are ten and it is twilight dim in the loft.
Nancy was the first person in my life to call me by my most common nickname. And I called her Nance. Cuz Nance if we were really being extra cool. Her stepdaughter met me for the first time this evening at the funeral home and when she heard who I was said that her "mom" often talked about me and the troubles we used to get into. Like how grandma broke yardstick after yardstick on our behinds because we always broke the rules. If grandma said don't go past the back fence into the neighbors property(there was a nice woods back there) we did it first thing, if grandma said don't jump in the hayloft, we found a way. She was my best bud growing up, we were like peas and carrots.
Why did we never get together in recent years my cuz? I am so sorry. I will see you tomorrow for the last time, on this earth, but I will spend all the masses for the rest of my lifetime praying for the repose of your soul. May you rest soon in the arms of your Savior and receive the peace that you never found in this life, my Nance.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Here is an excerpt, from Jesus summation of the story:
"The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.” "--Luke 8
What really struck me today was the final sentence ...the ones who...embrace it with a generous and good heart and bear fruit through perseverance.
I just had a sad conversation with a person that I care about a lot, who told me that she has ruined her life with her choices recently. I encouraged her by saying that Jesus will always take you back in His loving arms, no matter what you have done. Her sad response was "that doesn't work for me".
She had recently went through a phase where she was gung ho for Jesus this past spring. She seems to go through this every now and then in her life--try out the Christian life for a bit and then something happens... I don't know what, and she falls away. I don't know exactly what are the ingredients that help some people push through all that happens in life and still cling to God with all their might and the ones who do not. If I did I would bottle it and give it away for free!
I accepted Jesus over 32 years ago, and have been clinging to Him tightly ever since. There have, of course been times that I have had a wanderlust, but they don't ever get a real grip on me. Its like the value of knowing and walking with Jesus for me is beyond anything else in this life. And the more I get to know Him the more valuable He becomes to me.
Perhaps my friend has never been wholly convinced that Jesus really really loves and forgives her completely, from tip to toe. Perhaps she just does not have the eyes to see the love and forgiveness in His eyes for her.
I wish I knew.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I worked in the Home Improvement industry, and busness was just starting to roll that fall, and that day started out with promise. As the events unfolded on that day the store went dead. And the Fall Home Improvement Season never re-started that year.
The terrorists wanted to hurt us, as badly as possible, and the reverberations have been rippling outward ever since.
The following February we were just on the cusp of the Spring Home Improvement season and it looked promising again, as many people were feeling like they could resume thier lives from the fall.
Then we went to war in Afganistan. People held thier breath. We earnestly wanted to capture Bin Laden in that opening wave of fighting. The spring season was bitten with sober thought. Not as bad as 9/11 but still dampened.
On the national scene, travel and tourism industries had been gravely harmed by the terrorists and that was having its own ripple. As we have ground along, it seems to me that the ripples of 9/11 continue to hurt our economy, the fear and mistrust and divisiveness only stirred and made worse by politicians who undermine all that we are working towards with blaming and divisiveness.
All of the above has also been grievously exacerbated by the liberal media in conjunction with Hollywood who whittle away at our feelings of security and respect for our leaders.
When I was young, A president was respected and behaved respectfully just because he was the President, regardless of who voted for or against him. If we had been supportive of our president after 9/11 and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and worked together to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem we would all be better off and more secure now.
Lets elect an honorable Military man for President and a hard working, sensible Christian lady for Vice President!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Last Sunday Speaker Pelosi made some misleading and ignorant comments about the Catholic Church stance on when life begins. I have nothing against the lady, myself, I don't like to condemn anyone or be against anyone. But I have to stand up for the truth. The truth was misrepresented in her comments and needs addressing.
Some charitable Catholic bloggers/commentators have noted that Pelosi may have done the best she could with an unexpected question for which she was obviously seriously unprepared.
BUT, that does not free her from the blood-guilt of unborn children who have been murdered senselessly becuase of her choices as a Congressperson.
Question for you Speaker Pelosi? What do you call a lady who is pregnant?
Most people I know call her a mom or a mom to be. WHY? Becasue we all know that what is going to come out of her body is a baby. When did it become a baby? Is there some magic moment when it becomes a baby? at birth? Is that at nine months then? what about a test tube "baby". We call IT a baby? hmmmmm. why?
When we teach children about how they grew inside their mothers uterus, we call it the development of a "baby" don't we? That's because even young children know that there is no magic moment when the cells become a baby.
Once the miracle of sperm and egg come together and cell division occurs the "baby" has everything it needs to be a human but nourishment to grow. If something is wrong with the umbilical chord or Uterine sack then we worry about the "baby" and intervene medically to save the child.
If a murderer kills a pregnant woman and the unborn child dies, we call it a baby or child, do we not? That is because in our heart of hearts we KNOW it is a child.
SO my point of view is not very scientific, others can give you lots of the scientific argument, I am telling you that when a woman looses a "baby" to a miscarriage, she and the father mourn the loss. not of some cells, but of their unborn child.
Let us as a society mourn the loss of our innocence and integrity and repent of the horrible deeds we, corporately are guilty of in murdering these children since 1973, lets start our healing process as a nation and support those who were victims of this crime by teaching them that every child is a "wanted" child!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Just to address one of the most glaring problems with your endorsement(though the pro-death stance of this candidate should be enough for you).
Universal Health Care is one of the scariest propositions ever put forth to the American people. Putting Government in charge of healthcare gives to the secular state a control that has apocalyptic implications. In future it would be all to easy for the state to decide to withhold healthcare from people of a certain age, or have diseases that would not be cured by the care. It would be all to easy for government to decide to let persons die who would not have the "quality of life" that some decision maker thinks they should have.
I have one friend who was in a dune buggy accident at 18 and has been unable to hold a job outside of menial work for many years, his health care has been astronomical over the years to pay for. He cannot converse with you and looks to the world to be stupid and in articulate. He is even in recent years unable to fingerspell or do simple signs any more because of the deterioration of his health.
However he is a valued member of our faith community, and his repertoire of moaning a bit to a song or worship is heartening to those of us who know he is openly and without shame expressing his love for God. He quick and snappy moan to a joke from someone he knows can make us all laugh. He has suffered for about 30 years looking weird and unable to date or even make friends outside of those of us who know him well. He drools easily and coughs in a gross way at times, becuase he cannot control these things. Yet when he survived a recent bought with Pneumonia there were several hundred people including Bob who were grateful for the "miracle" that kept him alive.
Think about it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
--Knocked this off from a Nike Olympics commercial--fit my mood well
Monday, August 18, 2008
The color gone
I look at my hands
what do they say?
they tell a story
but who will write it?
They want to caress
but no more.
No more will they dance gracefully
they fade to
black and white
and shades of grey
its hard to see
hard to hear
Sunday, August 17, 2008
It has been very frustrating to be going to college in a Bachelors completion program, and then getting bumped by faculty with more seniority and not teaching at all. This drops my income by 2/3 of what i made last year. So I work doing part-time work at one or two other jobs to make ends meet.
I have a lot of frustration in my personal life too. So I have to confess I have recently looked at my store manager at Macy's, a lovely, competent and kind lady, who is much admired, and about ten years my junior. She is a Christian that i have always been grateful to for creating a very pleasant and quality atmosphere at our store.
After a particularly frustrating day at home with my kids. I looked at Stacy(our store manager) and I thought, "God, why does this lady have looks, success, a loving Husband, money, and nice kids and I have kids that still struggle from my divorce, over 17 years ago, I struggle to survive and i have no one in my life to love and cherish me. Here i am in the latter half of life and I never did get to travel, or take my kids on the trips I wanted to take them on as children. My kids have never had the traditions of vacations as a family, and keeping the holidays that i would have wanted to keep with them as a family. We are a broken family. Why God, does this lady have it all?"
Wednesday night, when I arrived at work, I was pulled aside and told to "sit down for this". Our beloved store manager, Stacy, only 39, with 4 children at home, and a loving husband, was killed in a car accident the day before.
I feel guilty for envying her and her family. Now her children will not grow up with a mom.
What more can I say? Her life was cut short. I feel guilty for thinking that my life is so terrible.
Friday, August 8, 2008
RED MEANS Stop! Not caution, or roll carefully or yield a bit!
I have seen drivers, who are plenty old enough to know better, ROLL a corner with BOTH a stop sign and a RED flasher! Like did they miss that part of growing up?
I think that at some point we passed a road mark where we chucked too many taboos in this culture. In the 80's we were all about getting free. We were into getting "in touch" with our feelings. We all had all this repressed anger, then we got "in touch" with it. Heaven help us now fully 1/2 of us have anger management problems. Perhaps some things are best left untouched?
Freedom is great but lets acknowledge that laws were made to protect people, including you! You don't want to end up like this poor soul:
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
As a volunteer at a Christian nightclub, I am respected and loved by the young poeple there. And the feeling is mutual. There is a core of wonderful young men and women there who love Jesus with all their hearts and will do anything for Him.
Occasionally, however, I hear an enthusiastic, if misguided, song about how we are "freed from tradition". It seems as if Paul's admonition to not be like the scribes and Pharisees who added to God's law has been warped into an unrecognizable rebellion against the very legacy that God has sustained in the Church for 2000 years.
I am saddened by this. Not only that, i see what a deception it is. This attitude by some Christians cuts them off from others and justifies divisions, when the proponents of it are using just as much "tradition" as those they accuse.
Does your church perform weddings? Where is that found in the Bible? Does your church sing the same songs from time to time, even if they were written as recently as 1960 through today? OH NO you might be guilty of a Tradition!!
Has your church studied and made decisions about doctrine? Isn't that YOUR tradition? Do you have a cross on the wall or a dove? Do you celebrate Christmas? Easter? Traditions all, and good ones to. Let us "hold fast to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
The Church which is called The Bride of Christ will grow in Unity and love for God as the Great Day approaches.
One evidence of that is in the news today. Though this comes about because of the continued discouraging actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the news today that a large and very Orthodox group of Anglican Churches have requested full communion and acceptance into the Roman Catholic Church is very welcome.
I don't believe all Unity in the body of Christ will come about because all other Christians accept Roman Catholicism but this is a very good sign that many, many Anglicans seek to heal the divisions in the Church that came about because of an adulterous King(Henry VIII).
I am sure that in the days to come, Benedict 16 will find other ways to bring more unity in the Church in the world today. He is a man of great respect and honor for not only the traditions of our Church but the traditions of all of Christendom.
And no, Virginia, tradition is not evil and Paul never said it was.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I realized that the whole ordeal that Jesus went through took more than half a day. He was arrested in the garden on Holy Thursday evening/night sometime, dragged into the city, taken to court. I am sure they either had to wait for Ciaphus to get up and question him.
Then he was insulted and mocked an dragged away to Pilate to be questioned there, All i would presume without benifit of food or water or sleep, at this point. He was whipped with the maximum allowable amount of strokes thought to be short of a death sentance. Taken into the courtyard had a garment thrown over his fresh cuts and had thorns forced onto his head.
At this point Jesus must have been feeling like, " I am thirsty and in pain and want to pass out in the worst way" But I beleive that God sustained him physically just enough to finish His task. For everything to be fulfilled about Jesus, He had to be marred beyond all human recognition(psalm 22) and He had to be crucified over the bones of the first Adam upon Golgotha. Anything that kept Jesus from the Via Delorosa and Golgotha Hill would not fulfill all of the necessary things arranged by the Father. Jesus blood had to be shed over Adams bones to redeem Adam and Adams sin.
Jesus had to survive and be conscious throughout the whole ordeal until between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. He could not have His bones broken or cry out in pain("He opened not His mouth").
ANd what about the Father? He and Jesus are One, The Father must have felt every stroke of the whip just as you would if it were your spouse or child, only more so. The Father must have had to restrain Himself and all the host of heaven, there must have been weeping in heaven that day. We know from Genisus how much Abraham did not want his son to suffer, how much more so was Jesus God's son and how much more could the Father agonize that His son must bear sin and pain and death.
Friday, May 9, 2008
"I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone." From the Hippocratic Oath.
This used to be a required Oath for anyone graduating from Medical school, it included a clause that said that the practitioner would not perform abortions or provide medicine that would kill.
It is from the 4th Century BC. So a code that is over 2000 years old, that has kept physicians involved in life-giving activity's only, has now been thwarted, in the past 50 years.
What is so wise about our society that it can do away with such wisdom? Didn't the ancients recognize what we are missing somehow? That those who are sworn to "do no harm" should not be involved in killing? That they should always do what is best for their patients?
God's laws as put forth in the Bible had this thought in mind long before Hippocrates. The Ten Commandments kept people happier and healthier and more self-actualized. God did not set forth laws just to test men's obediance. He set them forth to protect humans from living unhappy lives, full of stress and anxiety and guilt. The Ten Commandments gave a direction toward life. Lying, cheating and stealing are stressful activities, being honest and living your life in the light of day are happier and more relaxed ways of life. Loving your own wife and pleasing her, brings happiness, forsaking the wife of your youth for another brings about the collapse of happiness for the entire family and for the new spouse also.
Worshiping God instead of yourself, places all the care and stress of this world and its troubles onto God's great and magnificent shoulders.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Flyleaf performs Red sam
Here I stand
Wishing my wrists were bleeding
To stop the pain from the beatings
There you stood
Waiting for me to notice you
But who are you
You are the truth
Outscreaming these lies
You are the truth
Saving my life
The warmth of your embrace
Melts my frostbitten spirit
You speak the truth and I hear it
The words are I love you
And I have to believe in you
But who are you
You are the truth
Outscreaming these lies
You are the truth
Saving my life
My hands are open
And you are filling them
Hands in the air
In the air, in the air, in the air
And I worship
You are the truth
Outscreaming these lies
Thursday, April 24, 2008
God is more faithful than that. My cat will flee if i go in the kitchen because once she got underfoot and i stepped on her. God is there always.
When i am very sad, alone on my bed at night, I ask Him to wrap His loving arms around me, and I am comforted.
You may ask, legitimately if I can feel God's arms around me, no, I can't, but I am comforted.
When my car went totally out of control on an icy highway and I cried out a simple "oh God, Oh God, Oh God!" I bounced off the guard rail twice and was able to drive home and call AAA from my warm house. I thanked him all the way from the nearby exit, for not letting me land in the river that icy night.
At the turn of this year, my better paying job, as a College instructor, did not run. I was down by about 2/3 of my income, at a time when i was still struggling to play financial catch up from a period of unemployment. As a single mom, i did not now what to do, and i increased my hours as much as possible at my other, not so hot, paying job. I started selling my college books off. I turned it all over to God in prayer and prayed and prayed. My house went into foreclosure. Then i humbled myself to ask for help from a good Christian sister. She and her husband are very wise with finances. She disclosed to me that they had a large net worth, though they do not live like they do, and that she and her husband, were committed to me as if i was a widow that scripture talks about(to take care of the widows and orphans in your midst).
She offered to go over my accounts and try to help balancing them and they committed to stepping in financially to keep us from ending up homeless. That first month, they paid my mortgage that was due. Then she got on the phone and pled my case with the mortgage company. She solicited funds from members of her church and mine to help pay for my car repairs( both a Catholic and a Protestant free church). She also prayed with me about this every time we got together.
Then 500 dollars came in the mail. The state offered 1/3 of the foreclosure amount if I could come up with the other 2/3. Someone else sent me a loan of the other 2/3, no interest. She found back tax money i was owed--a substantial amount. The college i attend decided that instead of my owing them 788. dollars, they owe ME 505. dollars. Our parish St. Vincent De Paul Society, who does not help with car repairs as a rule, decided to pay for a 125. dollar repair anyways.
I am in the process of going through and annulment. Which is a sensitive and spiritual subject. I needed to pay my parish off the 200 dollars they had covered for me. I was embarrassed to ask anyone for this money. I did not know how different people feel about annulments, I believed that I was in the right requesting it, and my pastor does also. But I really did not want to go there. I cried out to God and said. "Lord, no one will donate 200 dollars to this? How can I ever pay it?" 200 dollars exactly came in the mail two days later. From a brotherhood of men who live single for God. They sometimes take up a collection among them for someone they hear is in need.
I cried and cried, here was a group of faithful Christian men, who were the instruments of God to help to heal the wounds a man had inflicted on me.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
A couple of excerps of articles about the Pope and Cats:
"But, says Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, who was in Rome for the pope’s inauguration, “The street talk that the pope loves cats is incorrect. The pope adores cats.
According to local news reports, the pope used to walk the streets of Borgo Pio, his former Roman neighborhood just east of the Vatican, where neighbors likened him to Dr. Dolittle with a Pied Piper charm. Stray cats would run to him when they saw him coming and he used to prepare food for them daily on special plates.
The pope’s publicly announced fondness for cats has once again put Rome's felines in the spotlight. Currently one of the hottest selling tourist mementos in the city is a little cardinal hat for cats that goes for $15 in stores such as Barbiconi, which specializes in clergy robes and accessories. Mahony’s cats both have cardinal hats, gifts given to him during his recent trip to Rome.
Mahony, who owns two silver tabbies named Raphael and Gabriel, believes that cats are perfect pets for clergymen “because they are wonderful companions. There is almost a spirituality about them. Their presence is very soothing.".” ~from a 2005 MSNBC article.
And from the Friends of Roman Cats this excerpt:
"Stories abound how he visits Rome’s street cats, and how they respond to him.
He has shown particular attention to a colony of cats that live in a cemetery near Campasanto Teutonica, a German-language church not far from St Peter’s, where he used to deliver sermons when he was a cardinal. German theologian Konrad Baumgartner described one visit. The cemetery “was full of cats and when he went out they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there petting some and talking to them for quite a long while.”
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that the Pope talks to cats whenever he sees them, “Every time he met a cat he would talk to it, sometimes for a long time." Bertone wondered if the Pope used a special language to talk to cats. “I tried to understand the language he used with cats, who were always enchanted when he met them. I thought maybe it was a Bavarian dialect. I don’t know." Bertone told of one occasion when 10 cats started following the cardinal into the Vatican but they were stopped by one of the Swiss Guards who protect the Vatican.
I had read some 6 months ago that an order of nuns keeps the Popes former apartment in Borgo Pio with, I believe, three of the popes cats. Lastly, of course there is the book written by Chico the German cat:
"Chico is a real cat who belongs to a German couple in the German city of Pentling, where the Pope lived until he moved to Rome in 1981. The couple are caretakers of the house where Ratzinger had hoped to retire had he not been elected Pope.
Chico tells the story of the life of "my best friend" from his birth in Germany in 1927, through his days as a young man, priest, bishop and cardinal. It ends with his election as Pope on April 19, 2005.
It recounts the Nazi era in Germany when the Pope was a teenager, calling the war years "one of the most dramatic and shameful times in the history of man"." from Cathnews.com
You have to love this man, who is forced, like Peter, when he is old, to go where he is told, and his life is no longer his own. May he always have the comfort of cats.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Of course all who travel in Narnia frequently know who The LION is, and the Lion only chases the party when they need to move along and quit dawdling. The cat is there when there is comfort and reassurance and warmth needed. C. S. Lewis understood a lot about suffering and human nature. His Lion is not a gentle peace-nick, and many characters in the series will remark "He is not a TAME Lion you know"?. In fact at one point in this novel he scratches two of the characters a bit, reminiscent perhaps of Jacob's wrestling with God.
In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, my favorite in this series, the Lion must painfully press his claw deeply into one characters skin to remove his dragon-ish tendencies. I have always felt a kinship to the petulant character of Eustace Scrubb, and feel that God has mostly gotten rid of my dragon-ish temperament.
Ready to rumble!! Sparks --<~
Monday, April 14, 2008
This is where American Culture and Christianity clash. The New Testament, believe it or not says more about Obedience than the Old. Jesus, though He was the Incarnate God, models humility and obedience to parents and governing authorities. We are no better. We must learn obedience to rightful authority in order to draw close to God.
If an authority in our lives asks us to clearly contradict scripture in a sinful way, we should obviously not obey. But if they ask us to wear Orange one day or celebrate our birthday the day after, we need to trust God that He gave us earthly authority to teach us and train us in obedience and humility.
Now my friend the theologian takes exception to this idea when it comes to our representational government. He feels that in America, we are the governing authority. Well ok--going to have to think this through--what would Jesus do? (sorry about ending in a preposition, just borrowing the phrase).
Sparks~feeling a spark of life again.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Then it all comes together in my mind. God creates the heavens and the earth, it is all very orderly. He sets limits for the waters and the land. He tells man that he is giving to him all the plants to eat but one. It is all very orderly and organized, peaceful and harmonious. God is very laissez faire with man. They all get along.
Then man and woman blow it, God sets more guidelines, organizes the beginnings, at least, of a plan to get man out of this mess. God tries to give some pointers to man, for instance, when he warns Cain that his attitude is leading to trouble. Trouble happens anyways. Entropy is starting to occur in relationships, they started out organized and are getting out of control.
Man gets into more and more trouble(as sparks fly upward man is born to trouble~Job 5:7). God takes the controls off the waters and lets them flood the earth. Then God tries again to start a new relationship with man. He tries to lend more order. Man is told not to shed the blood of men, and animals who shed human blood are put under the same restrictions. God also allows man to eat flesh, for the first time. God sets some other food guidelines, probably for protection from diseases is my guess.
All this time, man needs no leader but God. When God makes His covenant with Abraham, He still deals directly with men and women with no special leadership. As God moves into a relationship with Moses He adds a lot more order and recommends a hierarchy of relationships.
Eventually the people, much to God's great disappointment, demand a King. What I see is that God has been trying all this time to cultivate a relationship with mankind. By demanding a King they are saying that they want an earthly representative instead of God. God allows them to have Kings that disappoint.
Now David pleased God, not because he was sinless, but because of His faith in God's love for Him. His sin was far greater than Saul's, and yet Saul,when confronted about his sin just hung his head, he seemed to have no faith in God's love and forgiveness. David, who sinned in such a dramatic and horrible way, truly repented and expected God to receive his repentance, he seemed to know more about God's character, God's love nature.
By the time we get to Jesus time in the Bible, the Kings have failed God over and over, until Jeremiah prophecies,
31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] "
declares the LORD.
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."~(chapter 31)
Later when faced with taking on all of our sins, Jesus weeps so hard blood mingles with His tears. I think that He looks at us and knows what our sins do to us, the pain they cause to us and to each other. Lastly I believe He wept in Gethsemane because as He accepted the our guilt He accepted the separation and rejection of the Father, for the first time in His incarnate existance. His separation from the Father without the comfort of the Holy Spirit must have been the most horrible loneliness ever felt by a human being. He knew that in His complete Humanness He was destined for Hell and only He can fully know what that really means. And in His destitution He knows that though He will conquer death and hell, He must leave behind those who cannot.
Well some of this will go into my paper, it needs refining. But these are my thoughts today.
I feel more like cold ash today than a spark............
Friday, April 11, 2008
At age 18 I was challenged by my sister to choose a church and stick with it, and after some prayer I felt that I should remain Catholic, and be salt and light in the Church. I really felt that the Church needed reform and I could help. Well what I have discovered(mostly in the flames), is that I need the Church.
As I have made Holy Scripture my delight and my life's study, It has drawn me closer to the Church also. Scripture for me, is life, and at first I naively believed that protestants had more of that life. Here again I was wrong. Though my theologian friend, who is much wiser than I, insists that Catholics are not a people of the Book. I am a person of the book. I live for Scripture, The Bible sustains me, animates me, and grants me wisdom. If I accomplish nothing else in this life, I will memorize all of the book of psalms. I have found a patron saint in this endeavor in Harriet Tubman.
So this blog is dedicated to the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ and his Word to Mankind, contained in the Holy Scriptures.
Yes i said mankind, this should tell you a bit about me also.