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

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Up to You

Our annual yard, bake and lunch sale will be held on Saturday at our church and it is in conjunction with the entire town. How it works is that everyone wanting to participate, sets up and registers to have their name added to the list. People purchase the sheet on the day of the sale, managed by a town representative, or shop owner, which places your name or organization alphabetically on the sheet. Then you go from place to place, utilizing the sheet, until mid-afternoon.

Today, I spent most of the afternoon transplanting pots to seasonal plants, colorful mums and getting the church grounds ready for fall events. Every season has its own special look. We will ad a scarecrow and pumpkins here and there, and then foliage planters indoors with spicy scented candles. I usually bake many apple and pumpkin desserts. And unlike summer bake sales, we reintroduce fudge and chocolate goodies.

Every year I drag out this poem, which was found many years ago on the computer signed anonomous. It gets quite a few comments, and makes one think. Wednesday a group of us will begin to go through the donated items, price and sort. It is a lot of hard work, but also a fun day where we get to meet new and old friends, raise a few dollars, share thoughts and ideas and make some people smile. There's something for everyone!

Here's the poem:
"It's up to you
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start each prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what's true
One life can make the difference
You see, It's Up To You!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spreading Lies

It has become clear to me that if there is money involved, the ad or story is run. Free-bee ads and stories are often used in the fill-in sections, or canned altogether. I read with interest this story and am passing it on to you.

"Ten Swine Flu Lies Told by the Mainstream Media
Mike Adams
Natural News, September 19, 2009
The mainstream media is engaged in what we Americans call "bald faced lies" about swine flu. It seems to be true with this issue more than any other, and it became apparent to me recently when a colleague of mine - a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist - told me their column on natural defenses for swine flu was rejected by newspapers all across the country. Many newspapers refused to run the column and, instead, ran an ad for "free vaccine clinics" in the The media, it seems, is so deeply in bed with the culture of vaccinations that they will do almost anything to keep the public misinformed. And that includes lying about swine flu vaccines. There are ten key lies that continue to be told by the mainstream media (MSM) about swine flu and swine flu vaccines." Go here to read more.

I am tending to believe his theory. Another blogger, named Artintel reported the following remark: posted Sep 24, 2009:
"I watch web-TV internationally. Watching Canadian-Ottawa TV, where autumn brings in its flues, it's been discovered that those who took anti-flu shots are now more vulnerable to swine-flu. In the last two years we had to review all we knew about nutrition and 'label' information. All has been revised to cryptically enter questionable substances into food. Among the older suspects –Sodium Fluorides we find that all artificial/substitute sugars cause havoc with our nervous system – tumors, cancers… billions in profits to the medical industry."

The rest is up to us, what do you think?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What question will Jesus ask you when you die?

This is a relationship question. When you die what question will Jesus ask you? This is the question that Fr. John posed to the many listeners at the funeral service of my friend Cindy Sophia, today.
The church was filled to capacity on a Saturday mind you. And a lovely day here in New England. It was fitting that it should be so for a lovely lady Cindy who deserved the very best "send off."
I wonder if she knew how many beautiful flowers surrounded her casket amongst the green grass and sunny sky with a hint here and there of foliage. Still fresh in my mind the smell of incense and the cross sprinkled over the wood-like structure which contained my friend, which was all done in three's. Then came the wheat, which we are all familiar with.
There were no tears for her today, I was at peace, because of the dream I had. I was in a large mansion, with many rooms being escorted around. Such beauty I could not imagine. No furniture, no cars. Just a knowledge of water, but none visible. The natural foundation was made of clay like sand, beige, light blue and pink stone. The feeling was happy and then I saw him. He was a child about five who had been ill with what looked like the measles, but he insisted he had the mumps. I laughed saying he didn't look like he had the mumps. Then I realized that he was talking in a language I did not know, yet understood. He had died but was very much alive. Someone else was with us translating for him, yet I understood him without understanding how. Next, we were in another large room and he was sitting on the floor with a towel or something like it over his head and he turned to me saying, "get out." I knew I didn't belong there. I woke up, thinking "in My kingdom there are many mansions".
Yes, sometimes I have strange dreams. This dream was a tie in to the message of Fr. John when he said last night at the funeral home, that God was not through with Cindy, yet. This was just but a beginning for her. I'm convinced that this is true.
I recall that she was ready to meet Jesus, and when Fr. John said that one question that Jesus will ask all of us: "Do You Love Me?" No doubt in my mind that since I'd encountered that same question thirty years ago, while in church, and that He asked that same question to Saint Peter, that He indeed will ask each and every one of us the same one. Because we do, we will tell of our deeds. Cindy, loved Jesus. The Icon which was to the left of her casket, was the one of Jesus saying, "I am the Resurrection." He is the only way to life. (period). How appropriate, I thought.
We sang over and over, Memory Eternal, and I realized the many times she would sing it for others while a choir member. I wondered if she knew how many people loved her, just the way she was.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Compromising Your Health

Frankly, this comment took me totally by surprise. I commented last night about how we no longer can be sure where our food sources will come from, and how unreliable the product may be. As you read the information below for yourself, you may be suspect from here on in as to what the "norm" is any more. It makes me all the more cautious and sceptical about what is good for us and what is not. It is my religious belief that we must care for our bodies and those we love. I will not compromise the health and safety of my family. I try to give them only the best and am watchful of "dangers" such as: added antibiotics, hormones and artificial anything. It would take too long to list the many ingredients that I avoid. What bothers me is that manufacturers of our products do not have to let you know, for an example, if you are eating a genetically altered product. You don't know what your eating! My celery leaves turned brown yesterday while cooking it in the oven. Of all the years I've been baking, its never done that before. Get a better and closer look on vaccines by reading about the process below. I haven't decided if I'm going to get vaccinated or not yet. Most of my family and friends are not.

"Contact: 615-898-1070
FDA Approves 4 New Swine Flu Vaccines - None use aborted fetal cell lines
(Tennessee) Children of God for Life announced today that four new H1N1 (swine flu) vaccines approved late last week by the FDA do not use aborted fetal cell lines. The four vaccines are made by Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, CSL and Medimmune and all are using chick eggs.
"We are pleased that the pharmaceutical companies have chosen these cell lines for this year's H1N1 vaccines," stated Executive Director Debi Vinnedge. "There are enough concerns about public health and safety without compounding the problems with moral issues."
She noted that there are two methods of possibly producing flu and H1N1 vaccines: chick embryo or cell culture. Chick embryo is the standard method that has been used to produce all flu vaccines for several years. The problem with this method is that every time a new batch of vaccines is needed, fresh eggs must be used, making it more difficult to get vaccines to the market in a timely manner for the flu season each year.
Because of this, the pharmaceutical industry has been working on a method that would speed development and processing time by using an established cell culture. Unlike chick embryo, cell lines are developed, FDA approved and then frozen for future use so production time is considerably shorter. Several pharmaceutical companies such as Medimmune, Protein Science and Novavax are developing these future flu vaccines using a a moral cell culture, such as MDCK or insect cells. But some manufacturers like Sanofi Pasteur and Vaxin are developing their cell culture vaccines using aborted fetal cell line, PER C6.
"It is completely unnecessary to use aborted fetal cell lines," said Vinnedge. "If these companies truly cared about the health of the public they would take into consideration the moral concerns of millions of families who are going to refuse their products."
Vinnedge has been keeping a close watch on the cell culture process and early clinical trials show the morally produced vaccines may hit the market first - a welcome relief for both parents and medical professionals who have been urging the industry to use ethically produced cell lines. (See and )
Earlier this year, the FDA also approved regular flu vaccines for the 2009-2010 season, which likewise are morally produced on chick eggs.( ) Long term, it is a matter of waiting to see which company's cell culture vaccine will win FDA approval first.
She noted that if the Centers for Disease Control and FDA want to ensure as many people as possible receive these future vaccines, it would be wise to encourage the drug companies to use moral cell lines.
"There is no reason why anyone should have to compromise the health and safety of their families because of their deeply held moral and religious beliefs," Vinnedge stated. "It's high time our government and the pharmaceutical industry start listening to the public!"

This information came from OrthodoXCircle:Blogger, Manoli.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Worship Service

Beneath the New Hampshire Concert Tent the Minister conducted a Worship service at the top of Loon Mountain, where we witnessed the "Kirkin' o' the Tartans." This is where Clan Representatives carried their tartans to the front of the congregation for the blessing. Impressive plaids of many colors were presented before Almighty God, asking for His blessings on those, "His servants."

Here are some of the words of the Several Hymns that were sung--(The Lord's my Shepherd):"Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale, yet will I fear none ill; for Thou are with me; and Thy rod and staff me comfort still. My table Thou has furnished in presence of my foes; my head Thou doest with oil anoint, and my cup overflows. Goodness and mercy all my life shall surely follow me: And in God's house for evermore my dwelling-place shall be.
(Amazing grace): Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; "Tis grace hath brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within a veil, a life of joy and Peace. Amen.

Flowers of the Forest lists were read. These are the names of cherished friends and family who have left us over the past year. "The Flowers of the Forest are all withered away."

It was hard not to think of Cindy throughout the service knowing that she was failing from the cancer that has been seeking her demise for so many years. Praying that God would be merciful to her.

Our prayers were answered up there on that mountain, for today she became a Flower of the Forest. Cindy (Sophia) was a young mother who leaves behind a teen-aged daughter and husband. She was my friend. I'm a better person for having known her. May her memory be eternal.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

Each day is a good day, right? No matter what, we count our blessings. Blessing extend ten fingers and then some, if you really take the time to think about it. Christians, despite all must be able to put a smile on their faces, accepting God's will for us. He doesn't make mistakes. Any given moment we can cry out for His mercy and He hears us.

One blog spot today reminded me that we all have our days, don't we? Well, today was mine. It just seems that even in the worst of situations we can learn something. We must always be ready for the unexpected. As Christians we never know when we will be called upon to respond quickly to something or someone in need.

I know that there is a shut-off on the side of the toilet tank, and I was told that in the event of a water emergency, I'm to reach down and turn off the water. Unexpectedly, as the water came to the top and spilled out over the seat, I watched with amazement, and as it spilled across the room, I wondered what I should do. Never thinking of the shut-off valve, I reached for the plunger, and with one blow, it all stopped and corrected itself, instantly.

My guardian angel must have been whispering in my ear, because honestly, I was just nonreactive at that point. Tonight, I am happy to report that all is well and my bathroom got some unexpected attention.

I am convinced that when you trust in God, He is right there with you, and He takes care of you. You are in good hands because He wants all good things for you, expected or unexpected.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the mood for FUN

I have my own built-in clock. Today, it said time for fall. The first change, after finding my slippers and bathrobe, as it was chilly this morning, was the item on my front door. Then, out came the greens, golds and oranges to replace the summer shades, in my combination dinning and entertainment room.

I checked out my drawers and all the summer clothes which will not be warm enough now will be neatly packed away tomorrow and replaced with my fall attire.

I find I'm a person that likes black. Everything goes with it. It says sophisticated. And, I'm in a mood for warmth. Fall shades do just that. Perhaps, because I was born under the sign of Scorpio I like change in my life and look forward to the four distinct seasons. I like the cooler air as well. Make up this time of the year is back to the red shades, a contrast to healthy pink cheeks.

Cooking is especially fun, and somehow I can picture my cut-out cookies. These are fun when you have children or grandchildren, or maybe for the elderly who participate in our community meal once a month. They are so much fun to make and nice additions to any dessert table. I've never seen so many pears on my trees as this year. Soon leaves will begin to fall and then the smell of wood stoves. I can hardly wait for all the football games and evening services at church. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spring and summer, but I was born in the fall and that is my favorite season of all.

I'm looking forward to all the fun times ahead. Maybe I'll do some canning this year. Makes great Christmas gifts. After all, variety is the spice of life.

Survey Says

Tonight we gathered together for dinner as we usually do on Tuesday evening, with the family, to share our events, stories and general topics.

Let's see, everyone was impressed by the Patriots opening game win, yesterday. Good things come to those who wait. Then of course, Bill and Ange finally got to see the Red Sox on Sunday, (that was the game previously rained out). They got to go to Boston twice, lucky them!

John is all talk about cars and car shopping yet, still very undecided. And Nathan sat on the potty at daycare today, a major step which earned him a cookie for a reward. He talked about the fish hatchery, airport and mostly the whistle stop train station and trains. We are teaching him to engage in conversation. Ange is going to be running in the Wings of Hope in CT, a fund raiser for a children's medical center, and Jean is back to managing the office at a school near Boston.

We touched on the flu shots and who's going to get them. The survey is split. Most of the family will choose to get the shot, but not all are convinced that they were or should.

Everywhere you look life seems to be so confusing lately. Maybe its just me. So much to think about. So many paths to take, so much indecision?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Janitorial Services Must Be Provided

When you eat at any facility do you wonder how long its been since the chairs were washed with soap or a disinfectant, or perhaps you've been sitting down at an unclean table. It isn't just the plastic utensils or plate that you should be concerned about if you are following the "established rules" for serving food to the public. We must be concerned for our brother's safety.

It has been concerning to me that people will kiss an object and without wiping it, another will do the same, spreading whatever germs they may have to the general public, ignoring the subject matter or making light of it, having no change to alter the fact that this is known to be unsanitary. As well, people do not all wash their hands as commonly believed. Once more, sitting on the toilet seat offers its own hazard. (Sorry, I didn't know how to say this delicately.)

You can get germs touching door knobs, pushing doors open and from stairwells, elevators and grocery carts.

Table settings need to be refreshed once people have been allowed to place their utensils on the surface. In the event of an epidemic flu or otherwise, I hope people in charge will use common sense in dealing with this subject matter and make sure that janitorial services are in place. (Linens are not practical).

Precautions have been discussed by the pastor of our church, in which we appreciate his concern. Our parish has a feeding program and we also have fellowship on Sunday after church. It is a known fact that sickness does not extend from Communion, because of what it is. But, what of the germs outside of the common cup? Is our community of believers and the general community ready? Have we, and are we truly prepared to take on what could be a challenging season ahead? This is the season of anticipation and preparedness. Are you ready?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Entertainment means different things to different people at different ages. The past few days have provided a variety of which I hadn't done in a while. Such as: visiting the train station, fish hatchery, airport and car dealers, all because of our grandson's interest in "guy" things.

We of course ate at each of these places, except for the fish hatchery. That was very interesting, as I saw it through the eyes of Nathan. He was fascinated by the water systems, that looked like a huge fountain on one side, or sprinkler, and a huge sink or basin where the water coming through the hatchery emptied down what looked like a large sink drain. Of course the water filtered through the falls. As many times as I'd been there, I don't recall actually paying attention to such detail. He sees everything! As a matter of fact, at the train station, while sitting in the renovated depot restaurant, he not only viewed the large fans above the tables, but the burnt out light bulbs.

The dealership for cars sported his "favorite" the Ford Mustang. Rear wheel drive and sleek body, bright blue. He all but got under the car to observe its design and operation. Of course, that is the car he wants when he grows up, and at three, that's many years to come.

At the hatchery yesterday, the wind blew up part of the netting placed over the small fish, and in entered a very large-wing-spanned bird, slate grey and very similar to the blue Heron, if not in fact one. We saw it enter, but not come out. I'm sure it ate it's fill. There was no one around and the area was clearly marked "no visitors. etc," so we wonder what happened to the uninvited winged intruder? Nathan distinguishes between fish, there were beautiful rainbow trout, brook and brown trout. He enjoyed watching them swim, of course he has a fish tank at home, but these were much much bigger.

Nathan, looking down saw a white clover flower and remarked, that's what the bunny that we saw at the dealership, ate. How he remembers all is remarkable. He is quite entertaining. The bunny was cute, it watched us intently but was not about to run away giving up its meal.

I got to see Peter Pan in return to Never Land, pixie-powered Edition. I didn't care for it, neither did he. But he loved 101 Dalmatians, and we watched it twice. I observed that he got quite mad when the two hired men were going to hurt the puppies, noticing his protective side and tone, as he explained what he was going to do to the bad men. My little man at three.

It was finally time to go home, and with that came the big tears, which always breaks grandma's heart, but I consoled him with big chocolate chip cookies to take with him, because he was such a good boy. He even managed to put on his own shoes, with the velcrow strap. It wasn't until much later in the day when I discovered that he had been wearing them on the wrong feet.

He is so entertaining and as well he will entertain his friends at the day care with a fish tale or two.

That evening we went with friends to dinner and see a play called, "DOUBT" A Parable, at the Bradley Playhouse in Putnam, CT. The production, with a cast of four, magnificently proved that after hearing gossip and trying to determine if a person is innocent or guilty based on your own conclusions, without evidence, one's belief can go too far, leaving you to doubt.

That leads me to today. This evening we are entering into The Exaltation (Elevation) of the Precious and Lifegiving Holy Cross. If one does not possess the "faith" to believe, the cross which was recovered serves as testimony to the fact. Without a dispute, gives us the physical evidence that Christ was crucified, and as scripture tells, us we are to believe in His resurrection from the dead, as eye witnesses to His Ascension into heaven, by those who knew Him, seal the deal, for those who "doubt."

It was interesting to hear the story about gossip from the young priest who was the primary actor and played an impressive role. It went something like this: A woman after receiving confession for gossiping, was asked to rip open a feathered pillow up on a rooftop, allowing its contents to spill over and blow everywhere. Then, to retrieve all the feathers in order to undue the harm done. It is impossible, no doubt.

We are called to preach only that which is true. We examine the evidence through someone else's eyes and in faith, we must shout from the rooftop "Christ Risen From the Dead." In the end, when you think about it, we will be as accountable as the woman with the feathers, have no doubt about it.

Show others what you believe by your actions. Release the feathers of your faith.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pondering 9/11

It has been a while, but an event that can never be forgotten. Tonight at our church we prayed for those whose lives were taken from them unexpectedly.

I recall the sacrifice of the people aboard an aircraft learning what the intention of cowardly people was to be, and altered that decision with their lives. Service individuals entered burning buildings knowing that their chances were nil, yet their concern was not for themselves.

People needed other people and helped others whom they never met. I have worked in the Pan Am building. Many nights we would go up to the top and take the elevator. Looking down, we would see the vehicles, which were as small as matchbox cars, and as well, felt as if we were in an airplane, looking down on all Manhattan. There is no way to describe what the feel is going down the elevator at the speed we would decline. Being up that high can feel frightening.
Things are scary enough on a good day. I cannot begin to imagine the nightmare that was encountered that day. Massive terror at a proportion hard to comprehend by the human mind.

There are no words of consolation for the dead, just prayers. Prayers that they are in a better place, where all pain suffering and sighing are gone. And that they be at eternal peace.

Tomorrow, take a minute and think about the courage and love and the blood that was spilled of our brothers and sisters on this, our land. And, remember what it meant to them, because we can never forget them, their bravery and courage. May their memory be eternal.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Conquering Fear of the Unknown

Today, Nathan my grandson, husband John and I went to the church before taking off on another excursion. Our objective was to water the plants, especially the new fall Asters, which replaced the Hydrangeas. We knew it would take a while to accomplish this task, but it is good to teach our grandchild to help with chores and at the same time, it gives us a bit of exercise. He always likes to go to the church, and maybe next year we will get him a bigger water pot. At three he can manage the small yellow plastic one, but it requires many fillings. While there, I decided to pass the broom and believe it or not, there are signs of an early foliage, as the color is starting to develop here and there. Anyway, low and behold there it was with one sweep a baby snake. I knew immediately by the yellow ring on its neck that we were not in danger, so I called our three-year-old Nate over to see it.

He is getting braver, and said something about his mother liking it, I laughed because I know better. It is my hope to teach him that unless it presents a potential for harm, all God's creatures are good and have a purpose in life. Even the bees which we carefully go by without disturbing, make honey which is good for us to eat.

Yesterday, he was very well behaved at the Liturgy. I later learned that he observed Linda ringing the bell and he helped hold the door open for Fr. Peter. He told grampy that he liked it when grandma sang in church. He observed grampy reading the Epistle and holding the sensor. Not much was said but he takes it all in. After I took Communion, I gave him a small piece of bread. After church we all went to breakfast at the airport, where he watched the small airplanes come in. And along the way, small farm animals, ponies and goats.

He had a quick swim in the kiddie pool and then snuggled on the swing to keep warm while he rested, which was followed by a picnic lunch on a big green blanket. Grampy had the best part picking up and taking out all the toys and filling the pool, adding extra hot water to a warm temperature. Later in the day we took a ride to see the new vehicles in stock and he decided that he wants to own, (when he gets big), a blue Mustang. While grampy gathered brochures we spotted a bunny in the wood, chomping on grass. So, we went for a little visit to engage him.

Of course, he was fascinated by the drains, and wanted to see the water go down them as the cars were being washed at the dealership. The sales representative let him sit in the new version of the FUSION-hybrid that Ford has out, a 2010 in dark green metallic paint. Things couldn't get much more exciting for a little guy. Except for the ice cream on the way home and a quick stop at the lake.

I was hoping to sleep in late this morning, yet the one toy he did not play with, the lawn mower, was the first thing in hand this a.m., as he went around the house and loudly cut the grass. I was up in a flash as he was hungry. The big event today was going by the largest in New England, antique and flea market in Brimfield. It was exciting to see all the things displayed in tents endlessly. Our destination was Palmer to the train station which had been reviewed on TV recently. It was well worth the trip, the museum and restaurant was unique and good. We enjoyed watching the trains go by, (his first experience up close and running). The Amtrak which went a little fast, sort of scared him. So I said it was a good thing he was holding my hand because it scared me a little bit. Then he admitted he liked the slow ones and not the fast ones. They tooted the horn, and he did well for a three-year-old.

We got home and watered grandma's plants, and then watched a favorite movie, while he had ice-cream with blueberries and chocolate bits. The only thing that could have made it better was a balloon, that is remembering to take it home as grampy bought him the lightening McQueen one.

All this and he didn't forget to pick a flower for his mom, because he loves her so. Come to think of it, he was so happy to see his daddy when he picked him up after work today, Nathan had so much to share with him. His only disappointment was that we didn't have time to go to see the "fish" at the fish hatchery. Since we are on vacation, I think that could be arranged, perhaps on Friday when his parents take in a Boston Red Sox game, provided the weather is good.

Pondering the day, we all get scared of unknown circumstances. The only way to resolve fear is to conquer it with faith. Belief that we are all in "good loving hands." We learn to understand "His love" through those who surround us with their love, right here and right now.

Freed from Barrenness

A couple long awaiting a child, yet not able to have children, must be one of the greatest sufferings. Yet today, the feastday of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Anna gives birth to Mary, and is freed from barrenness. Anna and Joachim celebrate. Never give up hope, for God's plan for us is perfect, according to His will, and timetable. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Life is always the best gift anyone can receive. Theirs was "life in abundance", for through the Birth of the Theotokos everything is changed. The Kontakion says that Adam and Eve are freed from the corruption of death, and we from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you.
I believe every life has great purpose. Today, we brought our grandson to church. I thought about how his young life has touched us all and brought us great joy. I wonder what will he be when he grows up. I can imagine how Anna must have thought the same thing.
This is the Troparion for today: Your Nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole universe. The Sun of righteousoness, Christ our God, has shone from you, O Theotokos. By annulling the curse, He bestowed a blessing. By destroying death, He has granted us eternal life.
Wow, and all this came from a barren women, along with God's plan for mankind, through the Virgin, Mary, the Theotokos and the Nourisher of our Life.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sometimes you feel like a nut

I just read an article that was entitled, "Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't," and there is a cute logo of an Almond Joy, which is my favorite chocolate bar, as I enjoy eating anything coconut. The subject matter was the way we are made to feel as Orthodox when for an example, we pray before we eat. I've copied a little bit so you can get the idea.

"Ramblings of a Redneck Priest"
"Being Orthodox today can make you feel like a “fish out of water.”
You should be with me on a Friday night when I walk into Wal-mart. Being a Russian priest, I am dressed in my black prodrasnik , ryassa and skufia (long robes with big sleeves and a black hat). With my long white hair and white beard, I am quite a sight. People have never seen anything like me. The reaction can go something like this: “Hey, Bubba, take a look at that! Is that a woman? Of course, if I have a chance to talk to them, I try to make them feel more at ease with humor. Lifting up my cross, I tell them that I am a “cross dresser.” That usually breaks the ice." ( credit to: frj1951)
You can go here to read the post in its entirety.

It's funny, when my husband and I were first married we got questioned a lot as to why we wear our wedding bands on the right hand. Maybe I do a post on that at a later date.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Find out why this post is echoing all over tonight.

Who knows where this came from initially, but it seems to be making its way around because, it seems to be representative of how most people feel about health care.

This from, Revpeter-Michael Preble, on face book, "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

I totally agree with this statement. Given the standard that we live and believe in, we must set the example by caring for our brother. Life is valued here in the states, and I believe from birth to natural death. We have always helped others, and we believe that we should treat other's the way we would like to be treated. That is: love one another. It's that simple.

So let's do it. Find a way to care, because it is the right thing to do.

Moment to Moment

I have had the opportunity to review and recommend a site that deals with Momemt to Moment Optimism. I have been stressing over and over the importance of having this attitude. It would be great if this approach would catch on, largely.

I have always believed that you catch more flies with honey. I don't know how sweet I am, but I desire to be for the most part. More importantly, its the approach I desire to take with other's and especially my grandson. It's the attitude that breathes success.

Everyone has their own technique, and I have mine. I believe if you make a person feel better about themselves then they will do all they can to live up to a higher expectation, "yours". I don't believe in "time outs." Rather I begin with I know you are a good boy, and you want to help grandma and I appreciate all you do for me. He feels so good about himself he wants to help and learn and behave appropriately. Grandma's so proud of him. These are all moment to moment decisions. Goods boys get rewards not punishments. Sometimes I even give him the reward, first. That is because I believe in him and know that he will live up to my expectations and his. Sometimes its more of the parent or provider's fault than the child, putting too much of a demand on them. They have to be able to fulfill your request or they become discouraged with the request at hand. Who doesn't make mistakes, Oh well, we'll do better next time. Remember, punishment gives a child the notion that he has done something bad, and some children process that to mean that they are bad, not the action or decision that got them in the hoosegow. Negative people often come from an environment of like people, and it is destructive, learned behavior which can be overcome. Negativity can ruin your life.

Optimistic little and big people, do well when we have confidence in them and they know it. So, if you have a chance, check out this page by going here. It will just take a moment, a moment that may change your entire life.

How Long Will God Waste His Time On A Fruitless Generation?

How long will God waste His time on a Fruitless generation?
Only He can answer that question.

Does this sound familiar, "Its always the same ones who do everything." Or, "I know I can depend on them." "Where is everyone?" "They want the title but they don't want to do the work." "I'm too busy or tired?" Excuses, excuses and more excuses.
As a young Catholic I used to hear a story about a statue that had no arms. A sign was placed on it that read "I have no arms but yours." It was a directive to remind all of us of the work at hand. (The truth is we need God, God does not need us).

We're all so busy, too busy to even find out how we could benefit our parish by working for God's Kingdom. We're too lazy to pray, and even get out of bed to attend Liturgy. Saturday night's the night out which you deserve, no time for Vespers. Too tired to take in a class or two? And, most importantly, give 'til it hurts, I think not. Yet, there are some that have a few bucks lying around and it's easier to throw money at something than give a hand. There are those who can only give if recognized by a plaque with their name on it.

I was attending a bible study in the home of a priest, years ago. We read the passage about the withered Fig Tree. I was ignorant of the message, and saddened. Father explained it to me and now it has become one of my favorite scriptures.

(Matthew 21:18-19) "He was Hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." "Immediately the fig tree withered away."(Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible.)
Our faith should make us hungry. We're here to be productive for Him. The fig tree withers because of its fruitlessness. In this passage after three years of preaching, the Jews are destitute of "spiritual fruit". If we believe what we say we believe, having an undoubting faith, then we must Worship and Serve Him or become withered "immediately" as the fig tree. Dead as a door knob, permanently.

We have been given the power with our faith to move mountains, will the time run out on this fruitless generation, who has little or no time for Him. What about His expectations of us. We have work to do so, lets get with it. It's now or never

Stranger in the Building

Mary and Martha were at it again, watering plants and moping up the hall after a gathering on Sunday in which a buffet was prepared in honor of a parishioner who had gone to his rest last year.

The tablecloths needed to be shaken and washed so Martha and Mary decided to go to lunch, taking a break from the unfinished work. While we took nourishment, someone in the area was also looking for the same.

Upon entering the church hall, Martha encountered the stranger, who with dashing eyes glared back at her having been caught off guard. It seems entrance was made through an open window, one that had been previously opened as Mary, as she is otherwise called, can not reach to close even with the help of a broom handle.

They locked eyes. A frightening moment as she was sure to be charged. She being of small stature, had just purchased a new floor mop to wet wash the floor. The new twist type that works well in a pail. (It saves her from sticking her hands in the bucket of hot water). So there she was at the door having just entered with a stick (handle) in her hands.

Then, complete silence, no one was around except for the intruder. The group of two who frequently tidy up, were separated and Martha stood alone to encounter the stranger.

Suddenly, the decision and was made, as the stranger dashed back toward the window, and with a significant effort managed to squeeze through the window entrance. The wooden handle would not be used to serve her in defense today, and the only job it would have would be to clean up the floor. Luckily, the windows were closed and the trash was taken to the dumpster, by her husband, John.

It was not a time to dig for her cell phone to take a picture, (hind sight, that would have been nice). It was not a moment for panic but one for composure. She had her handle, and she was bigger, (words of wisdom told to her grandchild many times before). But once again, someone was looking over her that was bigger than both of them.

We all have something that is bigger than us at times and at times, we get scared. It is a time to remember that we are really never alone when we called upon the name of Lord. As in many previous times, she was protected and felt secure.

Martha or is it Mary, will always wonder if this was in fact, a bobcat.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The half full or half empty theory

Yesterday began the Church New Year, and with it we turn a new leaf. Has anyone ever told you about the half full or half empty theory? It goes something like this: placing water in a cup to the half line marker, you decide if it is half full or half empty. They look the same, but the difference is perception.

Pessimists see clearly that it is half empty, while optimists see it as half full. Pessimists expect the worse, meaning that if your glass is half empty, it won't be long before it is all gone, and you thirst. Optimist say wow it's half full and I can add more to the cup, looking on the bright side of it. Hoping and sure to find more.

What does this perception have to do with Christian attitude? Plenty! Pessimists are gloomy, and see mostly the bad side of things, while optimists see the hope for things better.

Pessimists, say whoa is me, I'm not going to make it, I'm failing. Optimists say, yes I'm a sinner, but Christ died for me and therefore, I place my trust and hope in Him.

You get the picture. What a new perspective could mean to your life. What you can do is change your perception by altering your focus. (After all you may be a product of your past experiences, from which you draw your conclusions.

God wants us to have a creative mind by looking for ways to support our well-being in order that our lives be improved.

So, this is how I see mine. EMPTY. I learned that I can do nothing without Christ. If I have none I'm grateful because I do not deserve to have any, except through the Grace of God will I receive living water. And unless, like the wine skin I empty myself, how can I expect to be filled? Trusting in Him, I've never been disappointed. I will think on the promise of Jesus (John 7:37-38) "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

(John 6:35)"And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (Scripture references are taken from the Orthodox Study bible).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Church New Year

Today marks a New Year for the Church. As in every New Year we resolve with God's help to do better. It's September first and many of the children will go back to school today, marking a new beginning for them in a new classroom, with old and new friends. Maybe today would be a good day to renew old acquaintances and make new friends. Maybe its a good day to revisit our priorities in life and it might be a good day to change our ways, putting off the "old man" and taking on the new. Giving all this new prospective, is the change in the season with a nip in the air. Time to buy some new fall flowers and change the color scheme around here to prepare for the coming fall. Warm clothing and wood stacking. Fall cleaning, and football. This is my favorite time of the year. Apple and spices fill the air and good home cooking. Yes it is....time for change, in more than one way, it's a new beginning. I like change. Mostly, we will need a change of heart, and for that we ask God's blessing.....

Apolytikion in the second tone
Creator of the universe, setting times and seasons by Your sole authority, bless the cycle of the year of Your grace, O Lord, guarding our rulers and Your nation in peace, at the intercession of the Theotokos, and save us.
Kontakion in the fourth tone
You who created all things in Your infinite wisdom, and set the times by Your own authority, grant Your Christian people victories. Blessing our comings and goings throughout this year, guide our works according to Your divine will.

Wisdom from St. John Chrysostom

Much thanks to the blogger Byzantine,Texas for posting this excerpt from St John Chrysostom.
It is from a book called Living Simply.

"Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person's gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold form the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm. Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change people's hearts first - and then they will joyfully share their wealth."

This article can be found here.

Not much could be added to the above, except that a spirit of sharing is just what is needed but cannot be forced and must be truly from the heart. So the big question is can the hearts, which have grown cold bare fruit? If children can be taught, why can't we be more like them?