Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today, on the local radio station, we were well advised to not complain, especially, if we failed to vote in our candidate of choice. We participated. But, is that good enough if our candidate will not support human life? As Christians, we have that obligation, don't we? Are we just as much to blame as the politician, if we elected him in office? Are they really going to reflect our views 100%?
My suggestion is to do what was suggested on the radio today because I simply don't want to hear it any more. Your complaining is fruitless. You voted, now deal with it. Don't change the subject. What does it have to do with your political affiliation? We have loving Christians on both sides.
Oh by the way, I do know what side of the isle I sit on, I don't need a constant reminder, I've been there a very long time and intend to stay where I am comfortable. I am not easily influenced or to put it in another way, wishy-washy. My "vote" and my actions are on the side of "all life." There is no double standard with me.
If your waiting for Republican's to cross over to the other side, like Arland Spector, (at 79, what took him so long), you might be waiting for a long time, and if you think we will miss him, we won't. So don't hold your breath.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Last week we learned some good advise, watch out who you hang out with. "Influence" is another way to put it mildly. I can't change anything. Revolution is not in my vocabulary. Prayer is. I am called to Love. Part of that calling is to forgive. People will make mistakes, it is part of our humanness. As a Christian I must turn the other cheek.
A long time ago, a story was told to me during a class, like the statue of Christ, whose arms had been removed by shelling during a war, we are to be His hands. It was said that someone erected a sign which read "I have no hands but yours." It was placed in front of the statue so that people would get the message.
A very wise Orthodox priest named Fr. Dennis, gave an eastern interpretation on this story saying, that while it was intended to show that we are to serve Christ, it erred by placing us above Him. You could not even take a breath if it were not for Him. So what is our purpose then as we live through all the madness presented constantly in every direction as it seems today? Make Him your Lord and God again. Don't try to do His work. He still has everything in His control. He created all things and knows well the ending.
So render good for evil, love for hate, and above all put on Christ. Let His light show forth through the darkness.
If you have anything to say at all, say this: (Psalm 21:13)
"Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power."
(taken from the Orthodox Study Bible)
The truth is that we must let go and let God.
Monday, April 27, 2009
He is one of three brothers. The middle one seems to have settled down some from last year. Anyway, I wouldn't say he is aggressive in nature, just shy and the language barrier did make a difference last summer. He would just come to the fence and smile at me, then say something in his own language that I didn't understand. It was sort of sad that I couldn't reply to his question.
This year it is a different story as he has learned to speak some English. Every time he see me he says Hello very enthusiastically, waving at the same time.
Last week he even had the courage to sit with me on the swing in my back yard. We were listening to the radio, I think it was the oldies show.
I went to the church today to plant a few flowers, perennials mostly and some mums that were still in their pots from last fall. It was hot, and we're not used to it, I think I got stung by a bee, at least it felt like one. Couldn't wait to get into the shower. As I drove into the driveway, there he was waiting for me. A big hello and a wave. He said, "do you want to play?"
Doesn't it make you feel good, when someone is happy to see you? Oh ya, I forgot to mention in this post that Carlos is a toddler, almost the same age as my grandson Nathan.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
They look great either in a barrel or in a flower bank, and they require nothing more than water and fertilizer. You've probably guessed that they are called Impatiens. I used to refer to them as impatients, close enough. I think that we have more to do than squawk over flower pronunciations. No matter how you say it, the translation is beautiful. They are one of the first flowers in my garden and last, until the first frost. They say they are also called "touch me nots" or, "patience plant." The ones I like to grow are 10" to 12." They are not really cut flowers and because their stems are thick, they contain a lot of water like a cactus. I like the Australian variety best. Here is a site you can visit to learn about impatiens.
Go to this site to learn more about this wonderful flower.
Since I was a very little girl, outdoors in the spring, swinging and loving life, I enjoyed one flower over and above all else, the lilac. It is very fragrant and has amazing shades. Only second to the lilac are roses, also beautiful and aromatic. I found a site with a gallery of lilac images to view, take a look here. The family across the street from me has a beautiful tree in which the lilac's leaves are just starting to come through. I can't wait to see them. It's my favorite one, lightly purple, shaped like little crosses with a yellow center.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Several nights ago Dave Ramsey made it clear that much of the economic situation was exacerbated by fear mongers. Now its a pandemic upon us. Swine flu. The trouble is no one seems to be telling the truth these days. Is it a case of global warming? If it is, why is it that many scientists disagree with the theory?
The world is coming to an end, so say many, based on what? These are fear tactics that cause panic. The so-called religous gain huge followings by spewing that type of information, filling their pockets. That language has been going on for more than thirty years. Saying so doesn't make it so.
I recall during my childhood, my friend and neighbor Ray would sit on the porch and play his accordion or radio. One day he was all worried that a tornado was coming. In the fifties there was a tornado that hit Worcester, other than that, they are rare in these parts. He was over reacting, fear is catchy. When people heard there was going to be a thunderstorm, they would sprinkle holy water all over, especially on the window sills, then hide in a closet. Some went under the bed. Give me a break. You could hear the little old ladies scream after each and every strike. My dad would sit through the storm outdoors watching it, sometimes dragging us out there with him. No we didn't like the lightening, but you cannot live in fear.
Fear can devastate you. Saint Peter walked on the water, until he became afraid that he was going to die by drowning and in his fear called out to the only one who can help any of us, Jesus.
Remember this famous quote: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."---Franklin D. Roosevelt
So how should we be thinking about the impending swine flu? Probably the same way we encounter flu each and every year. Keep clean, wash your hands, avoid contact as much as possible with those who appear to have a virus (cold symptoms). Get plenty of rest, and eat good foods to keep your immunity to disease in check. Virus are thawarted by zinc and vitamin C. Beyond prevention, do what you should be doing, pray always and put your trust in the only one that can help you. That way you can avoid the pandemic fear which seems to be upon us at all levels and in all places these days.
Replace fear with faith and move on. Just simply tune it out before it tunes you out.
Go here for an interesting clip by Dr. Marc Siegel.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Do you pray, do you go to church to worship? Or are you to big for that? God sees. (Moms words). We should focus on the word hope. I hope to... We know hope comes from God alone. No one else can save us. If you lose all you have, hopefully you will still have your faith. Do not Limit God and what He can do for you. "He will give you your heart's desire, if you let Him." So, with that in mind, irregardless of the work climate, and all that the media and statistics tell you, do not believe them, find out for yourself. Do you want to make it? Then DO IT.
Words from my mom. And for those of you who know me, it will sound familiar. "I will not take NO for an answer." "Did you try? TRY AGAIN." "Just do it." "You can do it if you want to."
Take a negative and turn it into a positive. Everyone still needs services. Food, child care, elderly care, home cleaning and maintenance, and a host of other jobs that maybe you can do on a part-time basis. If not paid, still the work has got to be done, so keep busy in the interim. Maybe you will see that with our different skills and talents we can all help each other, setting up sort of a bartering system. "You wash my back and I'll wash yours."
Let's get those gardens going, think of a way to keep warm, look for alternatives. In short, stop crying and do something!
You are not helpless and it is not hopeless. God only knows what you are to become with His help.
I have not worked for money in a little over a year. Does that mean I have not worked? Absolutely NOT. I've just not been paid for my services. You can always find something to do for someone else. Dave hit on something big when he said to get busy. He is really an inspiration because he had it all and lost it, only to rebuild. Do something positive. After all it is only paper. "This is how it works, give and it will be given to you."
The whole thing is we need to help each other. Rise above it. Get out, move. Otherwise you can get depressed which leads to illness. When is the last time you got together with people that make you laugh? You become the product of your environment. Be careful who you hang around with.
Failure is not in my vocabulary, stand strong. Learn to share, learn to care and be the best product you can be and that is Love. So get going and love one another.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Following Dave Ramsey's presentation, a question and answer period from across the nation brought about interesting questions from various modes of communication.
He said many interesting things which our pastor Fr. Peter Preble entered onto face book to inform non attendees as to what was being said.
Every point was of value but one thing stuck in my mind because it was something that I had been dealing with all day.
What is the most important two letter word that you do not use enough, that had been used in the past more and needs to make a comeback? The word NO.
My grandson has that word down. I've been telling him not to use it all day. So from the mouths of babes, once again comes the answer to resolving some of the basic problems of fixing this economy.
Many people need to learn to say no, when they know that they cannot afford something in order to avoid the debt that gets you into trouble, financially.
Now in the case of a three-year old, the No is a different matter. I've always been taught that the word no is a negative remark.
No matter how you slice it, one of the smallest words, has a mighty big impact.
We should not allow our Government and leaders to make decisions unwisely. We need to tell them to say NO. While your at it join me in saying NO to the recession. Hope does not come from Washington, DC. Hope is not man made. I'm standing for HOPE.
For more information go here.
Thanks to Fr. Peter Preble for bringing us this opportunity to participate in the Town Hall style presentation for "hope." It was good to be able to share with our local community our thoughts and ideas over a cup of coffee and a tid-bit or two.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
On our local radio station, the subject came up on what people call "Webster Lake," simply because not many can say the correct name. Nor was it said where the source of the name came from or what it means. I guess you have to be from this area to know that. I remember learning it in school. It is an Indian name and has (45 letters). I think it also has the distinction of being the lake having the longest name. The meaning goes something like you fish on your side and I'll fish on my side, and nobody fish in the middle...Now that brings me back to elementary school, a very long time ago.
This is how we learned to say it. Lake
The chau is pronounced cha
Practice makes perfect...Makes for a fun word at a party or spelling bee. They must have had an interesting language. Webster lake is an absolutely beautiful place to visit. A nice spot to get away to. I haven't been there for awhile. There are some nice eateries and night spots as well. Check it out.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here I sit, after watching the political news stations that I frequent each evening after dinner, writing. It takes time and sometimes I spend a good part of the evening on the Internet. Never thought I'd be saying that. But, I surf the net. LOL. I'm up late reading. I will have to change my ways in order to listen to the station in the morning, while having breakfast. I am still feeling the effects of the services, cleaning, cooking and partying from last week.
We had a house full of people on Sunday, and I was still cleaning out roasting pans on Monday. The rest of the day I was able to keep at a reasonable pace. Today I had Nathan to watch and because I promised my mother-in-law a spinach pie and oatmeal cookies, I had my hands full. Cleaning up after a three year old was a job all by itself. Tomorrow I've got the day to myself, and then he'll come to grandma's on Thursday and Friday.
Today, I practiced the one, two, three method of discipline. I find it works out well. Debbie a mother of two from my church gave me the book she used successfully, as she is done with it. When I first started using this method, which they suggest as young as two or three, I would start to count and he thought I was just counting so he would tune in counting to ten. Now, with the tone and the counting, he gets it. Most of the time it is not needed. But there are times....like when I ask him to do something, and there is either a NO or no response. Typical male, they start young. I am trying to teach him what the word No means. For an example, one cookie is enough. But he tries. I recall when I was a young mother there were some who had the opinion to just take everything out of the way, like coffee table items and sweets that they would scream for if seen. My mother's view and mine is that it is far better to teach them "limitations" and the meaning of the word "I said, No!" Many children today expect their own way or they throw themselves down on the ground, cry or sometimes scream. I do not give in to bad behavior. The visible cookie, must be earned by good behavior. You should see the stories I get in order that he deserve a cookie. Like, I pooped at home for mommy and daddy. Girls are usually toilet trained without a problem. I still would like to know why going to the potty for boys is such a difficult accomplishment. Everything takes time I guess.
I have found a secret way to get him to eat new foods, trying to expand on the same old menu items. I bring to the table a card or small stuffed toy, who is to eat with us. Today it was a bunny card. So I simply said show the bunny how you eat sweet potato. Of course like all men he is anxious to show what he can do. Problem resolved. It also works to pretend to feed the bunny because the bunny likes it so much, then save some for Nate, or Nate's turn. It is called the expanded meal time. Make sure you have plenty of time and patience.
I plan on listening to the radio again in the morning, so this means early to bed and early to rise, will make this grandma, healthy, and wise. And perhaps, just a little closer to EDT and all the fun that springtime brings with it.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Several educated parishioners read in various tongues. I went expecting to hear the priest read in his own language, as he stated last year and since, that he was practicing. I was a little surprised that he spoke only in English.
The languages presented were: Latin, French, German, Spanish, Greek, and English. A message was given to the disciples after receiving the words "peace be with you," by the risen Lord, who breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit, giving them the ability to retain or forgive sins.
Thomas, who was absent, made a very important statement,"I will not believe, unless," when told that Jesus had appeared to the apostles, showing them (the apostles), His hands and His side, and offering proof to His fearful followers.
The book ends there with the doubting Thomas.
Why does Thomas place a condition on the news that he received from the disciples? Didn't he believe them?
No, he has to see for himself the print of the nails in His hands and place his finger in the mark of the nails, and place his hand in His side.
One has to stop and ponder, why? It isn't that he doesn't believe the disciples, I think, but rather to impress upon those reading, that this is an incredible story. The resurrection of Christ to this day is the most remarkable event that ever happened on this earth. Yes, Thomas knew that Lazarus was raised from the dead after four days, decomposing and stinking. The author of life, Jesus had performed his greatest miracle on his own friend as he grieved, showing His humanness and love.
Thomas, in his reaction shows me two things: He was afraid for his own life and, secondly, will proclaim that Jesus is "Lord and God," when he is invited by the Risen Christ to place his hand in His side, testifying to Lordship and the deity of Christ. Thomas provides the "evidence" for future readers, "confirming the testimony" of the disciples. I believe that this was done to verify as most people would require, like Thomas, that this story is incredible, but true.
Scientists to this day are still trying to prove this biblical and historical account, with their many tests. While for some, no proof is necessary, just trust.
Yesterday, my grandson greeted me at the door with the words "Christ is Risen." I wonder at three years old how much of those words he really understands. It takes some a whole lifetime to get it, while some people never will simply because they like Thomas, will need to "see it to believe it". And, that is just not possible on this side of the fence.
Information is taken from the service book for Holy week and Easter.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
One of the questions I had since my youth, was how can you celebrate when your not happy. When your life is filled with suffering? How do you go through the motions knowing that there seems to be no visible change for you personally. Maybe someday the answer would come. But, for many years it was Why? The victory is won, so many do not believe because there seems to be no victory for them, yet. (One of my grandsons favorite words, yet). Or another way to say it in modern terms "What's in it for me?" You cannot feel the joy in that state. Yet, this is not about feeling. This is about fact. What does circumstance or emotion have to do with it? Can your feelings alter the truth? Just as Pilot says, "What is Truth?" The truth is that faith is required to understand the whole picture. This is history, and it did happen. No one else will ever be required to accomplish what Jesus did for us. It is finished. It is the greatest event that ever was or will be, period.
We are living in a time of uneasiness and fear. If you are sick, or if your circumstances are such that all you see is your own pain, then pray to God and He will show you someone else's suffering. It may be because of your actions or in actions. Provisions have made for wholeness through confession and through prayer and attentiveness, and sometimes, bitter tears.
The truth is that God manifests Himself in others to allow you to see Him through "circumstances." He allows pain and suffering for your own growth and benefit. No one would die on a cross, unless they loved you. He told his disciples to "observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." God sees and allows your struggles sometimes to uplift and help others, for their spiritual growth or need. God will strengthen all of us in our journey if we ask Him to help us carry our cross. Your situation may not change, neither did His. But He overcame the world, and carried His cross, choosing it, joyfully, for us.
This knowledge, irregardless of present circumstances, should bring about a peace that passes all understanding in an imperfect world. Rise above it! That peace is the message of the Risen Christ's Victory that must begin with you. It is the reality that you can cling to, hope for, and believe in. It will cost you nothing, yet, you will gain everything, forever.
If you attended the services clearly you heard the message, not as the world gives it, or understands it. If no matter what, you have love for one another and that love were spread around, just think of how beautiful and peaceful His kingdom would be here on earth.
Yes, peace begins with you. Do you have the peace within you of the Risen Christ? Has he Risen in your heart, yet?
All references were taken from the Holy Week and Easter Orthodox Service Book.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
A question posed by Judas to the lawless men, "what will you give me to turn Him over to you to be crucified?" The wily Judas, possessed by the love of money, sold out the priceless one for thirty pieces, becoming alien from grace, then hanged himself. The Harlot, giving the gift of perfume and of repentance by weeping and wiping His feet with her hair. The Noble Joseph (the Arimathean), aided by Nicodemus, lowered You from the Cross, O Christ and wrapped Your body in clean muslin with fragrant spices and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. The women disciples mixed spices with their tears giving of their sorrow. The angels gave their message saying "The time of the lamentation is over. Do not weep, but proclaim the resurrection of the Apostles."
His ever virgin mother Mary, shed her hot tears, crying out in anguish, bearing her pierced heart. She gave her only begotten son.
This is an important fact often overlooked by many. "The elders gave to the soldiers a sum of money and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep,' "and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day."
Lastly, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, and when they saw Him they gave Him their worship. Jesus told them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;"
So I ask you once again, as everything has a price. What will be the price for you and how do you fit into this picture.
Jesus paid the ultimate price for love. No one was ever abused or humiliated more. His price for you was death.
He gave up everything for you, as love requires. What have you done for Him lately? The feast of the joyous Resurrection is tonight. Will you be there?
All references were taken from the Holy Week and Easter Orthodox Service Book.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Kids can be quite entertaining. I've also learned that men like woman who are most like their own mothers. His mother, by the way is a blonde and so is he.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It is said that things will go well for you if you know how to laugh. My dad used to say silly things and he'd make me laugh. My mom tried to tell jokes, and she was pretty good at it. I never was. I always admired a person who could not take life so seriously and felt at ease, finding humor in all things. That's the kind of person I like to hang out with. As our radio host suggested today in these times we all need more laughter.
Even Bob Hope's jokes were not funny to me. I think laughter is great medicine. So, in keeping with the day, I'm trying to think of something that was funny recently. I'll let you know if I can think of any, but in the meantime here's a cute story.
Nathan has a very fine sandbox at his house, needs work, but, I'm sure after his dad gets done working on the lawn he'll find time to clean it up so that Nathan can enjoy playing in the dirt. That was one of my favorite things to do as a child. I recall my mom would tie us up with a rope, (today they have harnesses) and we'd play in the dirt, making mud pies. Currently in our backyard we do not have a sandbox, but under what was a clothesline, in which the dirt is topsoil mostly, he likes to play with his huge trucks. He has a cement mixer and he gathers little stones to listen to as it goes around. He made a road with the equipment and then brought little trucks and cars to drive on the road. Then he used some stones and dirt and created a house nearby the road. Clever for three. All you need is something to dig with and of course, dirt. So much for spending tons of money on non-essential sandboxes. I heard him making his truck noises which are so entertaining. Then, he surprised me when I heard him sing. He has the most incredible voice. It wasn't the words, which he made up, but it was a tune. Not a baby song. When he got tired, after an hour or so, he and I sat on the swing, which we have done since he was born. He loves to be outdoors and the swing is his favorite activity. This time I had my radio outside and he just listened and was so content. Then he snuggled up to me, it was time for a nap. So I suggested that grandma was getting cold and needed to go inside. No fuss, along he came, mud and all. The sun was bright but the wind was growing fierce and made it seem cooler.
Going in, there were muddy tracks, so we quickly sat on the rug and removed the sneakers. Now Nathan is a big boy and it was time for the potty. No he doesn't want to use the baby potty because daddy uses the toilet. Nathan wanting to show grandma what a big boy does, grabbed the footstool and placed it in front of the toilet bowl, lifting up the seat, stepped up to the occasion. One hand holding the curtain in the process. I started to laugh. No one else would be able to get away with holding and wrinkling grandma's curtain. He is so proud of all his accomplishments. And so am I.
I enjoyed making him his favorite meat loaf with (trees) broccoli and sweet potato and tomatoes. He wasn't as accepting with the oatmeal and raisin cookie, but grandma knows it is better for him. A great snack with warmed chocolate milk, especially coming in from outside on a cool day.
I enjoyed his little stories about the Easter Bunny coming to visit with eggs. We had our usual time of conversation in the living room, where I reminded him that when mommy and daddy ask him to pickup the crumbs from the floor, it's so the ants don't come in to eat them. He doesn't like bugs too much, but worms are okay. He says he and his friend play with them at daycare. They are okay because the birds eat them. And the fly, well this time he understood that it came to play trucks with him. He is so well behaved at my house. But there again, he gets all the attention that he needs being the only child.
Grandma was very busy yesterday, lugging toys around, and cleaning up after muddy shoes. I noticed that when Nathan was told that his dad was coming to pick him up, knowing that Uncle Steve needed a ride to the garage where his truck was being serviced, he couldn't wait to get his shoes on and his coat. He likes to help others as he helps grandma all the time.
Grampy was disappointed that he didn't get to see him as he had to leave before he got home. His job was to go out and bring in all the toys we brought out to play with that day. (Grandfathers are very special people). He noticed the house that Nate built and was amused by the cleverness of the work of a three-year-old. I can see him grinning now!
This is holy week for us, so we will not have our family dinner tonight as the church service begins at 7PM. Called "The Bridegroom service." It is where we are reminded about our filthy rags and our need to constantly be aware of our relationships. And, first on that list is our relationship with our Creator.
One of my favorite Hymns featured tonight is: The Hymn of Kassiane, which has beautiful words, and comes from the Service Book of Holy Week and Easter, it concludes by saying the following:
"Eve heard those footfalls in the twilight in Paradise, and hid herself in fear. Who can fathom the magnitude of my transgressions, or the depths of Your judgments, my soul's Savior? In Your boundless mercy, do not reject me Your handmaid."
As you become older you can look back and see the change that has occurred in you as a person. Love does that. You can see the change in a person who was hard, despondent, often acting out and now softened. Love does that. There is no accounting for the transition except for love. You can see it in his or (her) face, and there is a softness toward you, no matter what your actions. "The unconditional love", is noted in one who is quick to forgive and overlooks faults, does not seek revenge, nor does show anger. Yet, possesses a great deal of patience toward someone else, while bearing their burdens.
Years ago, I would have been steaming mad at the mud, and messes that my kids made, magnified by all of the the other problems in my life, but, now I see that it doesn't matter. It was as in the movie I just saw on television, where Charlton Heston, who was enraged, realized that the person who gave him water, was the same person who was crucified for him. And that is Love. In the story his mother and sister are healed from leprosy and he has had a sword removed from his hand. Having peace finally in his heart he can now learn to love the maidservant who Loves him. All great miracles.
In the end, in God's great mercy, does He really care about all the mud? Someone willing to die so that you can live, would care little about the mud. But would care a whole lot about you. Now that's love. And, love sort of grows on you.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Today you will hear one of two messages. If your celebrating Palm Sunday, then Lazarus was raised from the dead, confirming our general and last Resurrection, and in recognition of the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, we sing Hosanna in the Highest, while palms are being waved.
Maybe it is Easter Sunday that your celebrating, when we proclaim that Jesus has risen from the dead, trampling down death by his death.
This is the greatest sign of Love, when a person gives his life for another. That was the reason Jesus came into the world, so by His death we can live. It is not about Easter colored eggs and the Easter bunny.
A person must be willing to give of themselves for the sake of another in order to experience love. The problem for many is that self gets in the way. You cannot be a Christian and not love your brother. This generation unfortunately is the me, myself and I one. Everything is self-serving. That is how you know you are a Christian, if you can find it in your heart to love someone other than yourself, and realize that this is not of your own doing, but the Love of God dwelling within you. You will be judged by h0w well you loved someone else. Simply, God is Love. Love is the only ticket, open your eyes to the truth. It is the only thing that matters in the end, and the only thing you can take with you.
We took a course not too long ago which suggested that if you love you will be crucified. That cross that you carry as a result of loving someone else, will enlighten you as to what love is. Then you will know who God is. People need to step out of the box of themselves to learn about the mystery of Love.
Jesus waited, knowingly four days to raise his friend Lazarus from the state of death. He commanded him to come forth from the darkness because God is Light, and darkness is overcome by light. He ordered that he be fed, so we would understand that he is not a ghost. Jesus witnessed the pain of separation, when one of his sisters reminded Him if He had been there her brother would not have died. Separation from a loved one is great pain and you experience a helplessness in which there is no comfort. This pain stems from "loving someone" and of which Jesus understood having had been cut-off from His creation since the time of Adam and Eve. This pain would be felt by His own mother, after His death. In many ways you cannot love deeply until you experience these things, especially the death or separation from someone you love, irregardless of the reason.
Jesus raised Lazarus to life, because He is the Life. That is why He gave up His life freely, to give us the "free gift" of eternal life. Like in the case of Lazarus, death stinks, isolation and hopelessness are the permanent result. Because of Love, Jesus wept.
This week, beginning with today, we will hear stories of a great love, and in preparing for the Bride groom services, I read stories of deep and intimate love. You will not be able to grasp the account and deepness of the message unless you've been there and know what Love is, by experience. For example, the tearfully kissing someone's feet, shows the desire to touch someone you love, searching their eyes, looking into their soul and embracing. What would that be like knowing they were going to die. (Facing the fact that you will not see them anymore). Now can you even imagine that you knew that the person you love was the Christ, sensing His divinity? Like that woman, how would your heart groan? And would your tears fall automatically, and uncontrollably? She was like the woman at the well, Jesus knew all her thoughts and actions. The only words that could be appropriate, would be to ask for His great mercy and that He would not reject her because of her sinfulness. We all fit in the category of that woman, who is caught in a multitude of sins.
What is keeping us separated from the Christ? Nothing keeps Him from loving us.
It is not to late. He is waiting for you, come just as you are and be counted amongst the many Christians in this great nation. It is a celebration that extends all boundries and is in every sense Love forevermore.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
It always brings back happy memories of my mom making an Easter bunny cake and there were treats where we sat at the table for each one of us.
Years ago, we wore gloves and a hat with a nice Sunday coat. Today's parishioners are not into bonnets. Most people do not wear jeans on Easter Sunday. But they do dress down, unlike in our day. It was typical to get together for Sunday dinner. Today I saw that my neighbor put up a small white fence around the red mulch that they just put down. Low and behold there are silk flowers, I believe put in for the occasion. Possibly company coming over tomorrow for a family gathering.
What to get the mother-in-law is always the question. She of course wants nothing. Yet, how can we let any holiday go by, especially this one without coming up with something to bring over to her. She is so limited on what we can give her. In fact, yesterday she lost a tooth on a grape. At almost ninety, and on a restricted diet, she prefers to stay at home. She told me that the fudge that her daughter brought over on Christmas ended up in the basket. She chooses to not water plants, and therefore it is a challenge to come up with something for someone who has everything.
So, I decided since everyone needs to eat, the best gift is homemade food. I made her favorite soup, and spinach pie, and for dessert, oatmeal raisin cookies. We'll get it into a nice little basket and maybe place a flower or two, to brighten up the day.
Needless to say, I've had a very busy day in the kitchen, and hopefully will have a quiet day of rest tomorrow. I can't believe it will be Palm Sunday already for us. The lenten season flew by. This is our big week coming up and I'm tired already. We haven't finalized our plans yet for next Sunday. It is hard to accommodate all the working schedules and activities.
I hope your day will be just wonderful.
Friday, April 10, 2009
The last few days have been very busy ones. After my doctor's appointment, in which he was running one hour behind, and after my walk, I got a call to pickup my grandson from day care as his mom was unexpectedly tied up in traffic. He was so surprised to see his "grandma." Of course, he assumed that we were going to grandma's house. No dice. Daddy was coming home for a few minutes, having found coverage at work, to let us in. In the meantime, he showed me all around, looking at his sand box and playhouse. Then, he threw sticks into the tree well. I recall showing him how to do that last year, when we were outside together. Then, I showed him how to toss acorns in as well. It was fun. Daddy arrived, and pulled out the basketball and hoop. So we played for a while, (grandma, had to chase the ball), of course. Next came the dump truck and scoop combination with a shovel. He scooped in dirt from in between the set stones in the front walk. Does he enjoy playing with his truck. And Oh, another mess his parents are going to have to clean up.
Along came mom, and he said the magic words she longed to hear from him, "I didn't have a time out today." Mommy was so happy. Dad had to get back to work, and I had to go home and see grampy. I thought he had forgotten all about going to my house when he said to his mother, "daddy said I could go to grandma's house"... Of course, I knew that was not the case, and boy's will be boys. They looked at each other. You have to hand it to him. He may be three, but he is smart. It kind of reminded me of when he outsmarted us while his parents were on vacation, because he didn't want to go to daycare, and preferred to get a new toy at Wal-mart. Any child that can do something that merits a time-out and then put himself there, I'd say outsmarts his parents. Now that's using psychology. Clever! Imagine being bright and cute too.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I finally met his little friend, Shiv. I introduced myself, saying "You must be Nathan's little friend that I hear him talk so much about." Children are so precious and they really make your day.
Speaking of day, yesterday our local radio station, collected approximately $23,000. for "food share." A program designed to help those in need throughout the year. Our priest, Father Peter, worked in that endeavor and we are pleased with their accomplishment. It is a sad day when people in this country or anywhere in this world are hungry. The effort speaks to the fact that we still have caring individuals who are willing to extend themselves on behalf of their neighbors. They do this with the knowledge that someone was helped, someone that they didn't even know. That is something to think about especially during the hard pressed times that have been afforded some, due to the recent recession. Others on a fixed income need not suffer because of the generosity of many. This is still a wonderful community, and a great place to live. I'm happy to call it my hometown.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
God in His wisdom created the female because the male had a need. She provided for that need and if it were not good God would not have created them in that way. I get tired of the put down by some men.
Being humbled in such a manner has won us females a great advantage with the God that made us. He chose a woman to be his mother, in complete trust. A vulnerable young child herself.
So while some men pride themselves in positions of authority over women, let us remember the truth and that is we are really the stronger sex. They need and want us more than they'll ever admit, because like Adam, without women, their life is lonely and unfulfilled. That is why Adam gave in to Eve which was I believe, expected and part of the overall plan.
I believe that our Creator knew that Adam would have a weakness for her.
A smart woman knows where her place is, under the protection and care of her man, not out of dominance but out of his need. All things work according to His plan and purpose.
It is a great plan called Love. A love that is shown in the relationship between the man and women. In the end, what the women in the bible know is the only opinion that really matters, is our Creators. We are right where He wants us.
Monday, April 6, 2009
When there is love present, no words are necessary. We still like to hear someone tell us that they love us, but, we know through the eyes. The eyes have wings to the heart.
Today as I was reading the words to the CD jacket, Thy PASSION, Byzantine Chant of Holy Week, I came across the following words that I thought I'd share with you.
The Hymn of Kassiani talks about a women who has fallen into many sins. These are some of the words, "Woe is me, for the love of adultery and sin hath given me a dark and moonless night." She goes to Jesus having perceived Thy divinity. She is the ointment bearer. (She knows).
The first stasis of Lamentations gives us this verse.
"Who will give me water for the tears I must weep?
So the Maiden wed to God cried with loud lament,
"that for my sweet Jesus I may rightly mourn."
In the second stasis we note that even the earth responds when we read: "Earth with trembling shook and the sun concealed his face in darkness, for the light unwaning that shines from Thee with Thy Body sank to darkness and the grave."
As His mother looked up at Him nailed on the cross:
These words from the second stasis: "Thou was pierced, and thus Thy Mother saw Thee and was smitten with the nails of most bitter grief; and her soul itself was pierced as with a sword. Wailing bitter tears, Word of God, Thy spotless Mother mourned Thee."
Finally from the 2nd Stasis Lamentations:
"That I may renew Man's lost nature now from beauty fallen--Gladly in my flesh, I take death on Me.
Wherefore, Mother, slay me not with
bitter tears." (clearly Jesus reveals his feelings for his mother).
Coming from the 1st. stasis:
How unspeakable the mystery of Thy love.
The 2nd. stasis ends with this message.
"Now do we behold a most great and awful sight, O Savior; Thou who are the cause of life dost submit to death, wishing to grant life to all mankind, O God."
Saturday, April 4, 2009
People who know me, know of my passion for working in the kitchen, cooking up delicious meals especially during the lenten season, for those I love.
As I prepare these wonderful dishes, I will try to share the recipe's with you.
One of the greatest Classics of French homemade soups is the "Soupe Au Poireaux Et Pommes de Terre," Or commonly known as Leek and Potato Soup. In Canada, they use bacon, which is not permitted during the fast, nor any other time for us due to a food allergy, so I will use the recipe which will be found at the end of this post.
The potatoes that I will use come from Canada, and are Gold. I buy the small organic potatoes, which I will cook some with the peel on so as to retain the valuable vitamins from the skin. I will use my food processor to puree the end product, and then add to that mix very fine pieces of the red and gold potato, which I have set aside, along with very thinly sliced leeks for color just before serving. It is my favorite soup and I know I probably say that about all of them. Go here to learn why eating the skin of the potato is needed in your diet. My mom used to throw them away, unfortunately.
I'm also fond of clam chowder with lots of potato in a thick creamy base. One other change that I noticed from my original French version is the chicken broth. I substitute Smart Balance spread instead of the butter in my house in all recipe's. Coconut milk can be used instead of milk for lenten recipes.
I'll let you know how it comes out. Of course, you know I'd like to be able to share some with you. Here's the next best thing, the recipe.
No, the sky is not falling. Turn on TV and you would guess it was. If turning on the TV makes you feel gloomy, don't turn it on. Tune inside instead. Say the prayer that I posted a while back, O Lord, grant me to meet the coming day in Peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will.
It's as simple as that, now go and have breakfast. The truth is that you can create your own illness, knowingly or unknowingly. The root of all sickness, causing a spillover of imbalances which leads to disease is STRESS. Stress will kill you, if you let it. How do you prevent it from taking over your body, soul and mind? Let go and let God. God will lead you, if you humble yourself and let Him.
Relax, nothing is going to happen to you today that He doesn't know about.
Someone called me yesterday, he is suffering from depression. It is completely debilitating and requires quick action, and rest, before the entire body will suffer. Learn the warning signs of becoming stressed out and change your life style. Diet is not the problem. (A stressed body, from not eating correctly and eliminating the toxins, can leach into your blood, creating a host of diseases, which will have an effect on your mind). The problem he has is worry. Worry plays on your mind and does not allow you to sleep deeply enough to rest your body for the physical work that needs to be done. Lack of sleep short changes you in serotonin and dopamine, which calm and control your body. Having the stress of the job, and travel is enough, but compounded with monetary losses and illness in the family causes an overload of major proportion.
It was interesting how Dr. Vincent Fortanasce hit on the same four factors that defines when the body, mind or soul is out of kilt. Sleeplessness, obesity, hopelessness, and sedentary.
It's like climbing up a mountain with too much on your back in the hot sun. Your too tired to go back down, and too tired to keep climbing. You feel like you can't anymore.
Your mind plays a huge role in your health. You can't afford to ignore the symptoms, eventually you may reach a point where you cannot handle it.
It begins with "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Getting unplugged means your arteries as well. (It's all about plumbing). Some people are not taking statins because they understand the danger (risk), in known side effects and have chosen to get the problem under control, naturally. I came across a story of a man that impressed me. I have placed a link below in order that you can read it for yourself. Just about everyone knows that bad cholesterol is both caused by diet, and can be raised by eating trans-fat, then there is your family history.
What lowers LDL cholesterol is soluble fibers like, steel cut oats, eggplant, soybeans, Brussels sprouts. They are called Complex Carbohydrates, found in the structural components of plants. Learn to associate the word eliminate with soluble fiber. Then remember the rule an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Don't forget the cranberry, is great for eliminating toxins by filtering them from the blood. Other sources are: beets, dried beans, barley, carrots, peaches, peas, plums and rye.
We eat apples, and peas because they are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Insoluble and soluble fiber helps with weight control which helps to manage diabetes).
So bulk up, keep yourself regular. Most disease has a relationship with your colon. Keeping it healthy, will keep you healthy, wealthy and wise. Just as important, is the eight glasses of water a day rule.
Go here to read a fabulous story. Do something relaxing today.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
People who know me understand how Prevention of disease is pertinent to and has been the subject of my research for more than ten years.
Dr. Vincent Fortanasce, guest speaker today, acknowledged what we have all known for many years, and that is we are responsible for our body, mind and spirit. The three work together and to achieve wellness we must be in balance with all three.
I will not attempt to quote but summarize some of the things he said over radio 970AM today.
There is a relationship between our spirit and body. Being humble strengthens our spirit and mind. He focused on two important areas.
- prayer and meditation
Breathing techniques light up your brain, turns on the hormone serotonin (calming) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter, anti-addictive, which stops cravings and keeps us in control. Lack of sleep depletes it. We must be sleeping deeply to create these essential substances.
He says we must pray, take care of stress, and exercise. Prayer gives us the ability to forgive. Having regrets and worrying kills you and ages you. Giving it to God is a decision. Concentrate on what you do have control of.
Adrenalin and cortisone are aging hormones, caused by stress.
Causes and risk Factors: sleeplessness, sedentary lifestyle, hopelessness, obesity.
Your risk factor of Alzheimer's can be reduced as much as 2600% by doing the right things.
Some of those things are to lose weight if you are a woman with a waist of 35 or greater, a man 40. Staying away from refined carbohydrates, white bleached flour, bread, pastry. Eating bread first makes you eat more and increases food cravings. Watching your weight is a must. Insulin resistant, pre-diabetics over 50 years old have a greater chance of developing dementia.
Some suggestions are to: eat Boca Berger's, dark chocolate, red wine, turmeric (lowers rate of Alzheimer's Disease causing Amyloid). Use supplements like 1,000 mg. fish oil, folic acid 400 mcg. If using statins, take coenzyme Q, 81 mgs. aspirin, and correct foods, (leaves, roots and fish), a harmonic diet.
Avoid vitamins with Copper. Drink green tea having antioxidants, (adding no milk). Exercise and pray.
People 60 and 70 wear out joints walking, and develop back problems, so it is suggested that they do strengthening exercises to release stress and to create new cells.
This neurologist has been in practice for 32 years and was calling from his California practice to share his thoughts with us. We also appreciate his book and web address. Please find it here.
So what is Beta-Amyloid that some people produce too much of? It is a protein, a sticky plaque, which accumulates in the brain, and this plaque triggers an inflammatory reaction from the brains immune system, which kills off innocent nerve cells. It's progression may be stopped.
- The importance of mental activity helps the brain to ward off Alzheimer's. This was the result of a 21-year study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY, made public in June 2003.
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer's by 79%, confirmed by tests at St. George's School of Medicine in London.
In 2002 residents of Utah found that aspirin and the drugs known as non steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers, seemed to help protect the brain against Alzheimer's.
In short, use your brain or lost it.
For more information go to here.
Other months you can take in the sun five to fifteen minutes a day, and then use sunscreen. Too much vitamin D is toxic. Another great source is Sockeye salmon. If you like cheese try Kerrygold Imported. Other good sources are mackerel, tuna fish, sardines, eggs, and beef liver.
Just think about the Eskimos, they didn't have any other source but the natural. Eat fish, and in the case of Sockeye Salmon eat the small and soft bones for a healthful source of calcium, too.
What compromises vitamin D? Air polution blocks some of the ultraviolet rays of the sun, compromising vitamin D.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It pleased him today that he was able to make what we used to call, "mud pies." Here I was making mud pies with him. Something I spent hours doing as a child. (I see where they get the expression, "second childhood.") He wore me out watching him fill up his backhoe with dirt and dump it. A typical boy getting his knees dirty and enjoying every minute of being outdoors. Through the generations the knees of pants have been wearing out. I remember my mother putting patches on jeans before my brothers wore their pants outside, and I did the same with my sons.
As I raked the leaves, he did also with the little rake. He wanted to throw the leaves back on the ground like he did in the fall. I knew somehow that was what he had in mind. Funny how we can anticipate their every move.
Unlike most days when I lift him onto the swing, today, he was brave enough to try and get on by himself. Another first. Being proud of being able to do it, I found him practicing several times.
I find that he does not hesitate to try to do feats that are quite challenging without fear, but see a small bug, and it's grandma. Somehow I've been through this before. I begin to sing shoo-fly don't bother me. And I ask him always who's bigger?
Lunch was appreciated by him today after being outdoors, no one had to coax him into eating. Then, after getting off the dirty clothes, it was time for bed. I could hear him talking to his little toys, then out like a light.
I didn't know where to begin, with all the muddy toys, and mud in the sink from soaking his hands, dirty dishes and crap all over the rugs.
I remember that my mother used to use a broom to sweep us off. We used to throw dried cow dropping at each other out in the field.
When grampy came home, he rinsed the larger trucks with the garden hose, and then he and Nate went to play basketball at the hoop located on the end of the street.
I still have raking to do. Yet, I have accomplished so much already. Today was an adventure for both of us. Nathan found beautiful purple crocus growing around the mailbox. It made such an impression on him that I noticed he excitedly told everyone he saw about it. I remember Billy doing the same thing in the spring. He'd pick the violets, flower only and bring them to me, "saying for you ma". I'd place them in an ash tray with water and we'd watch them float around. As he got older he'd pick them with the stems and I'd place them in a toothpick holder.
I finally got to see Madagascar today. A fantastic movie about animals in a NY zoo, ending up taking an adventure to the wild life. Now I know where the song I like comes from. "I Like To Move It, Move It."
I can hardly move tonight though, so after a few dishes and a little reading this grandma is going to bed.