Roasted honey red stretch

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flyleaf performs Red sam

Here I stand
Empty hands
Wishing my wrists were bleeding
To stop the pain from the beatings

There you stood
Holding me
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
I worship
I worship
I worship

You are the truth
Outscreaming these lies

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Faithfulness of God

I have a cat that i rescued from the street in front of my house years ago. She is totally dedicated to me. When I am gone she is invisible, and when i arrive home she comes near the front door to see me arrive. If i sit in the living room she comes in there to see if i am going to stay and if it looks like i will she curls up in the chair next to me. Likewise if i sit down at the computer. She either sits at me feet or on the chair next to me if it is there.

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.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Papa

My impression of this man they call the pope. He is the reluctant scholar, who would prefer to retire to the German countryside and write books till the end of his days. He is a thoughtful philosopher, who loves cats and to play his piano.


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

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

Cats are a gift from God

One of my fav sayings is "Cats are from God, just read The Horse and His Boy by C.S.Lewis". In the novel, a Narnian Boy is escaping slavery through the Country of Calormen. He is sometimes chased by a Lion or Lions and sometimes comforted by a cat.

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

Fidelity to the Church

Was reading a story today about the parishioners in a Boston parish that has been closed for some time. Apparently, as good Americans they believe that they have the right to keep on having a Church service there though they do not have a priest or deacon to even perform a sanctioned prayer service.

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

Jesus and the Battle

So I am writing this paper, for a Biblical studies class (I attend a Free Methodist University and this is a required course). Today I am looking at the New Testament commentary and it really hits me, the commentator says that, of course the Jews in Jesus time are looking for a military leader, in their Messiah, one who will lead them out of Roman oppression, but instead they get someone who heals the sick and raises the dead.

Yes, ok.

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)

Jesus came to restore Israel and teach people how to fellowship with the Father. He shows us by His very presence among us how highly God regards us. He proves God's love and compassion over and over. The tears He sheds for Lazarus, in the shortest verse in the Bible, are an example of His loving heart. I think he wept, not only because Lazarus had died, but that all men must die. Those tears were shed for all of us, for that broken Eden, that shattered paradise. Those tears were wept for the loss of relationship with the Father.

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


Concerning MakeMeaSpark

MakeMeaSpark probably came from the old Christian Camp song "It only takes a Spark". The gist of the song is that it only takes a spark to get a fire going. Google it and you will see what it is really talking about. In my life, I have found that as the singer Misty Edwards says, The only safe place is in the Center of the flame. She means the flame of God's love. I have found this to be true in my life. Though there are many times when i feel scorched, by it, i seek the peace and comfort of drawing close to God. I began this journey as a disaffected Catholic who found God more interesting in Protestant worship and music.

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.

The Big Mac