See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Prize of the Upward Call of God

What is the upward call of God, so that we shall inherit the prize? Certainly in Philippians chapter four we learn that many walk not in the way of the cross of Christ. They are those whose god is their belly, glory is their shame, but most of all they set their MIND on earthly things.

They do not receive the prize but, destruction.

Soon we will celebrate Thanksgiving and in doing so we are once again called to look toward our neighbor. It is a time for thankfulness and sharing, not gluttony.  Sunday, during the Liturgy we sing a hymn that tells us "to lay aside all earthly cares". We are not meant to carry the world upon our shoulders and it is enough for us singularly to try to transform ourselves with God's help, our lowly body. Understanding that only He can change us from the corruptible to the incorruptible, by following His example, that is: putting on Christ.

Today the light shines dimly but, with single mindedness we must look for the pattern to attain the goal which leads to the prize, the upward call in Christ Jesus, which God will reveal to you.

I leave you with this thought? What have you done lately to love your neighbor? Let's let the light in and let it shine forth in a world of darkness, reaching for the hope that there is --and let generosity shine, one person at a time, forgetting those things which drag us down, reaching towards those things which are meaningful and helpful, then, just ahead and to come....the Prize.

Love, joy and Peace can be yours if you are willing to take on the "Light" and let it shine forth in a darkened world, "Let it begin with me."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hearts Desire

Have you ever made a wish for something and wanted it so badly that you could perceive how it looked, tasted, and desired it to the point of almost seeing it before it happened?

If someone gave it to you, surely you'd be compelled to say "how did you know"? Certainly that person would have to know you quite well, and really want to please you, whether or not you deserved it. That is unconditional love.

I have just described Jesus to you and His ability to know what it is in your heart of hearts. He knows all your secrets and all your desires. When you least expect it--there it is, and it's perfect. You might not even be asking at the time, or maybe it's something that you may even have forgotten that you had once wanted, or even asked for. He didn't forget or wouldn't forget as He lives to please you.

I've gotten things that only He could give me. No one else knew. He makes all my dreams come true.

He has a perfect plan for you too. Have faith, and in time you will see what a friend we have in Jesus.

Taste and see that the Lord is Good, that the Lord is Good!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Entered into the Wedding Feast

Perhaps the most popular prayer, recited by most religions is the "Our Father." One of the lines says,  Thy Kingdom come. Today the gospel reading is helpful in our understanding of the kingdom. Matthew 22:1-13 tells us who is invited, where the kingdom is, the wedding garment, and more. But in the final verse (14) it says --"For many are called, but few are chosen." The next question should be what happens to those who are not chosen? and clearly in verse (13) it says "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" in a place called outer darkness. To be cast out will be by your decision, one unchangeable and eternal, having rejected God.

Sadly, people are being misled to believe that heaven is automatic and it is not necessary to go to church to attain salvation, also, their confession of faith will be enough to enter into through gates.

(5)"But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business." Are we to busy for God.  We see many who are invited to the Wedding Feast to worship God in His Kingdom, which is on earth as it is in heaven, but have not the desire or time. They are not willing to come.

If you have been baptized and chrismated, you have entered into the marriage or union with Christ, now and to come. We receive the body and blood of Christ at the banquet table each Liturgy. The kingdom is where the King is.

Worshiping God is His first commandment. We must enter in with humility, having been given the invitation and ability to serve in what ever way we can with thanksgiving, true repentance and walk in the way of righteousness, through the grace of God.

Only then, can we find salvation in God's Kingdom, through Christ for all humanity, for all time.

The Gospel of Luke 14:23 "Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.' "

His desire to fill His house will not be frustrated. We must all do our part by invitation and prayer for the salvation of all mankind.

Scripture readings taken from the Orthodox Study Bible


Monday, July 27, 2015

Compassionate One

Yesterday's reading was so meaningful and insightful. It was the one in which people gathered to hear our Lord Jesus speak to large crowds of 4,000 or 5,000 men excluding in its count the women and children. I used to think how could they get the numbers right when reading different versions of this story, missing the whole point. It is NOT about the numbers, it is about the way the Lord sees each and every one of us within those numbers with compassionate eyes.

I like looking at shows such as the survivalists, where we are taught how to create fire in various ways. Yes, fire can be made from many materials both man-made and natural. Knowledge is power and essentials are needed to survive. God supplies us out of his compassion, as he did feed the multitude.

The interesting part of the story is that grown men were given the task by Jesus "You give them something to eat." (Matt 14:16).
They had said previously, that it was a "deserted place." Jesus maintains that they, (the hungry people) need not leave.

Five loaves and two fish, were given over to Jesus to feed the multitudes. After the distribution, there was twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. (Mark 6:43). This means to imply that God can fulfill all our needs with great abundance.  His abundance is never exhausted. He is enough.

Three type of people are found here, beside the needy. One who says, we can't, and they don't even try. The other who says perhaps, we can if we try. The last type just gives everything over, knowing and trusting that whatever they have is enough, whether physically or spiritually, and gives it to God to multiply for everyone to receive.

God provides the blessing and we the distribution.

Everywhere you turn people are concerned about futuristic things. During my recent travels, I met an old woman, who was from the Russian Church. She pulled out a cross like the one my husband wore around his neck, saying that it was given to her for a baptism gift. She was saddened by the way people have turned away from the Church and by their lifestyle choices. I told her I believed in the power of God and His ability to do all things in His love and plan for us. Luke 12:5, paints for us a picture of current events, especially verse 4-6.
(vs 7) says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows."

Today, I am grateful for the God who loves me and loves you too. Who not only sustains us in the here and now, but has an everlasting plan for us, when we like the crowds, draw near to Him. He is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

(verse 8) "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God."

The one thing that you can depend on in life, is that God loves you, and He will provide for you, if you seek and ask Him.

references taken from the Orthodox Study Bible

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The scarlet days of summer

Wherever did they get the expression cool as a cucumber? Whenever I think of a summer salad, I see as one of the basic ingredients, cukes. It's summertime, and it's anything but cool lately.

According to the latest map, the states are heating up. Fortunately, not in New England, at least weather-wise. Otherwise there is shit in the caboose, as my mother-in-law used to say, problems everywhere. I've noticed that "heat" triggers many short stacks. Like it or not, the heat will be soon upon us. I for one, cannot stand the humid hot nights. There used to be a song about the hazy, lazy, days of summer. Days where you lose your appetite and want to sip on ice  or whatever, barefoot.

What has changed you wonder as the sun is so intense burning your skin mercilessly while the water drips down your forehead? I never used to sweat like this, perhaps, it's my age. I find myself wondering--was it always like this? Or, has something radically changed? Somehow, so much is and has become different.

That's it! It's summertime and the liven is not easy anymore. Maybe we've become the new south, and why not when the snow we had this winter was more than what they got in Alaska.

What happened to the "good 'ole summertime"  maybe that was just a myth. We wait all wintertime for it to get here and here it is--the dog days of summer are back. On snowy freezing days I dream of the beach and ice cream treats. On hot summer days, I think that we are experiencing a  foretaste of another unknown place.

Today, the huge black carpenter ants have retreated after weeks of spraying and battling them inside and outside our home, only to be replaced with the upcoming relentless mosquitoes. Seriously, this is paradise, where else would I want to live, compared to those who battle much worse situations, just check the news.

I have everything, a nice screened-in area with beautiful gardens, you name it--and still I complain. Guess I have the "summertime blues". Why? because we want perfection on this side of the planet and I know that ain't going to happen anytime soon.

So the question remains---Is it worse than ever? Who knows. The good news for New Englander's is we are blessed with changing seasons, one of life's blessings. June has been a busy month for birthdays, fathers day, graduations, weddings, summer camp, and our anniversary. It's time for church picnics and boating, hiking, walking on the beach, vacations on the shore, and so much more. The days are longer, and no winter boots or attire. No shoveling snow and I love my husband's barbequed meats. Concerts begin this Sunday on the common. What can be better than the Summertime?

I wonder what it will be like when my grandchildren get older with the talk of climate change? I remember how hot it was when I was a kid. And yet, it feels so much hotter now. The storms seem to be intensifying as well.

One thing is true.... it's like a song that was sung when I was a young girl. Kay Serra, Serra..whatever will be, will be... the futures not ours to see...Kay Serra, Serra. What will be, will be.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How Do You See Jesus of Nazareth

The Jesus that I've come to know requires little from us. First we need to ask ourselves who is He, why did He create me and why does He love me? These difficult answers do not come to us overnight, and will require communication (prayer), on our part. As evident in the gospel at the Temple, Jesus demonstrated by the overturned money changers that worshiping God is never to become commercialized, its much more than that. We've all heard it before, grow your attendance and the revenue grows with it. Almost like a business, and all about power and numbers. The truth is the Kingdom of God, is all about love of God and neighbor and self.

The fact is that things were in need of change then, as well as now, as Mike Slaughter in his book Renegade Gospel so correctly stated: "Following in the way of the cross will mean a radical reordering of our priorities."
Change, not because any religion dictates this action, but the following of  Christ and your new found love for Him will be the reason for its mandate. It is the mystery of God at work, for the working out of your salvation.

Some will focus on the whip. I say of those that do, it is more a telling of how they are perceiving Jesus based on their own physical and mental condition at the time. This is not repeat not the Jesus that I have come to know. We all need reminders from time to time. Jesus came not to force us to love Him, but to enable us to see Him so clearly that we cannot help but Love Him hopefully, for all eternity.

Many years ago, I came to know my Savior, who revealed Himself to me in Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

He is not the tyrant as some need Him to be, but a nonjudgmental loving God who cannot help but find you to be the apple of His eye. We are called to become like Him.

Certainly, those who choose Him and desire to be His followers, are committed even unto death. We live in troubled times, as they have always been, but one thing is certain, He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In The Twinkling of an Eye

In the Twinkling of an eye you will be changed is a phrase that I've heard somewhere, and at the moment, I'm at a loss to remember where. This rings true in our back yard today. I have never seen long-dead plants come back to life as fast as this year. What appears to be budding in the early morning is in fact fully grown by evening, like my weeping cherry tree.

Instead of nice spring weather, we got a very humid ninety degree day, with pollen all over, making it miserable for many hay fever suffers. It happens so fast, that you do not have time to adjust to the temperature change of instant summer. Even the snow disappeared quickly leaving the ground very dry, and in some communities red flagged. 

Needless to say, we wanted to drag out the pool already, but settled for just getting wet with water cans and the like. Some potted plants are just now starting to develop tiny baby leaves as most perennials return. They are growing quite fast even before we can finish putting down our mulch in the back.

Mother's day was great. The lilacs were already in bloom, and it brought back many happy childhood memories and I remember I used to bring some to my mom every mother's day. We bought my mother-in-law a cute ceramic birdhouse planter, which has a straw nest and ivy growing from the top. On the house sits a lovely yellow ceramic bird on a stick, making it the ideal choice for her.

While in her room, a young woman from Kenya, told us that she cannot stand this heat which was far worse than anything experienced in Africa, much to my surprise. Once she finishes her education, she is planning to return to her homeland. I was surprised to hear that as I always thought nothing was hotter than Africa and some of the desert parts of the world. She claimed that the heat was very different.

It's been getting hotter in the sun, like the sun has grown in intensity, causing burns. And, it feels more like summertime than spring. What is really odd is that the butterfly's are out before the butterfly bush. Yet, the pesky May bugs are out right on time. It may all be in the twinkling of an eye, but it certainly is not paradise.

Not sure what is going on, but I feel things are very different here in New England.