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

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

Ryan and friend

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

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are You Afraid To Swim

When I was a young one, I recall being afraid to swim. Yet, unknowingly my dad was not an average swimmer, but swam in the Quinnebaug River and deep ocean. I clung on to him crying. If you want to be successful in life then you must learn how to swim or you might drown, he'd say.

Often, the priest of the parish I attend reminds us that you must get out of the boat, trusting that God will save you if you start to sink, as did Peter. Trust is the beginning of finding your way in anything that you attempt to do in life. Knowing you have a safety net helps in all situations. Who is that safety net, makes all the difference.

Christ is that safety net in my life. If you push out into the ocean, eventually you will tire, and this is when you come to the realization that you are not alone and never were. Then and there, you find Christ in your life. He is the only one that can save you.

So venture out, unafraid and trusting because that is when you begin to live and go forward. He will be there to catch you if you sink, when you call out to Him.

Call out to Him, the only One who truely can make you whole. Most of us are sinking from our brokenness and failures of life. The cross that we must carry, whether of our making or not, is real and heavy at times. See (Matthew 11:28)

Your deepest hour may be your best hour when you "let go and let God." To swim, then, or to step out, you must first "trust in Him", as did Peter.

Proverbs 3:5-8 "Trust in God with all your heart, and do not exalt your own wisdom. In all your ways know wisdom. That she may cut a straight path for you; And your foot will not stumble. Do not rely on your own discernment, but fear God, and turn away from every evil. Then there shall be healing for your body and care for your bones." (The Orthodox Study Bible)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Response

Seems like yesterday that the young men and women vowed to go where few have, to hell and back, to hunt down those who would hurt our own. They pledged to avenge those who gave their lives helping those whose lives were being stolen from them, unexpectedly and without just cause. The over 400 response teams willingly sacrificed themselves, for folks unknown to them. We say they went straight to paradise. Other's call them heroes.

Courage pure and simple. The truth is, that God was watching and justice will prevail.

Ten years have gone by, and I recall at that time my son was a first responder and I was working for a newspaper. My oldest son was just married on the seventh, and the newly weds never expected to be escorted by fighter jets on their honeymoon. Things like this, do not happen in our Country.

The neighborhoods were full of American flags flying and stickers were also purchased for cars in support of our nation in duress. People were donating money, and supplies to be trucked where they were needed. Rescue on the way....

Shock and awe to put it mildly. Ten years have not removed the horrible images from our mind and heart. We still weep for the family's who have suffered so much loss, and it still pains us to remember.

Our response was, and still is, they were one of ours, and were not going to forget them. No we are not going to forget (period).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Lacking...

Yesterday's blog talks about a young, sincere man, wishing to change his life and follow Jesus, having "eternal life" as his prize. Yes, I'm still on it..., this little passage says so much to me and it's one that many can relate to in this modern world. Yet, it begins with "At that time," The gospel reading is from Matthew 19:16-26. The young man having the privilege of not only seeing the Master, is found to be "kneeling" in front of Him, and is allowed to address Him, calling Him "Good Teacher."

We know that the only one that can be called "Good" is the only One that is "Good," the only sinless One, Christ our Lord. After establishing who the young man is talking to, the young man asks how he can gain heaven. Simply put, he is to observe the commandments and "follow Me" that is, Christ Jesus.

There is a point in this scripture where we hear something familiar..., it reminds me of the story of the Publican and the Pharisee. This gospel lesson deals with a man who is always pleased with himself, and thinking he meets all the religious requirements, the Pharisee, unlike the Publican, is anything but humble, and is standing proud and arrogant in the presence of Christ. Matthew presents the young man on his knees, in the reading of Matthew 19:16-26, like the example of the "humbled" Publican. The mind and heart have yet to receive the perceived message of humility, as he says to Christ, "All I have observed; what do I still lack?" It was then, that Jesus answered to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." None of us are "perfect." We are all sinners trusting in God's mercy.

If you can take your eyes off of yourself, you will see Christ. "we" get in the way of knowing Christ and following Him, Is it about Him or "us?"

It would be better to have nothing, and possess the love of Christ. People often talk about wanting to be "filled" with His love. How can anything be filled unless it is empty first?

One of my favorite readings about the woman, who's role was the myrrh bearer, was on her "knees", knowing her disposition, was humble, lamenting. She, full of sin, desired to be healed. She had a fountain of tears to cry. Enough tears to wash the feet of our Lord and Saviour, who allowed her to kiss His feet and dry them with her tresses. He heard the groaning of her heart. The Saviour of her soul knew the multitude of her transgressions, and to her, He granted peace and great mercy.

When you lose yourself, like the myrrh bearing woman, you will find Christ. Then, you will hear Him (your only Saviour) say, "Come follow me," and I will give you life and life eternally.

What is the disposition of your reality? Can you truly be happy if you are still lacking?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Women

This past Sunday's sermon must have been good because I find myself thinking about what Father Peter said concerning the boy in the scripture verse. Two thoughts come to mind. It wasn't that he was rich, as God bestows blessings as He wills, that getting into heaven would be made a problem. The young man "desired" eternal life and wanted to know what he "must do." Jesus clearly said to him, "If you be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor," (His treasure would then be in heaven). "And come, follow me."

Do you desire salvation? The boy wanted to be saved, but could he follow Christ's directive? Accomplishing this goal would have taken from him perhaps, more than he was able to "freely give." "He went away sorrowful for he had great possessions." He did not choose to follow Christ, like the Women.

Today, I was reading my newest book, "Happy Birthday," A Novel --by: Danielle Steel. She has captured my attention each and every day with her dynamic books which I read like a sequel, while peddling my bike. It's what keeps me looking forward to the dread daily exercise, and I must give her the credit for my fitness endeavors. Delving into her chapters has become one of my favorite past-time activities. It was of interest to me how two characters, both sharing the same birthday, have something in common with the boy of Sunday's scripture. Jesus tells the young man, "If you would be perfect, go". The lady, now in her sixties, must strive to look like the perfect younger woman, with no roots showing, and having a superb figure, must be elegant and fashionable. There is even her so-called Botox treatments. The 50-year-old man is suffering from possibly a herniated disk, which he blamed on a night of "acrobatic sex", and a young woman of twenty-two. All he wanted for his birthday was no more suffering and the continuation of his lifestyle of sex and women. Girls were excited to go out with him, he's the "perfect man", a retired quarterback and sportscaster.

I suppose that this has become the sort of reality of life. We must live up to expectations which exceed our reality. But in reality, who we really fooling? Have we become like the scriptural reference of the woman, who had fallen into many sins. Prideful and perfect.

As father explained, in his sermon, "What is keeping you from the love of Christ?" Is it your possessions, passions or pride? Or, something else? We must be humbled to find the way to our Lord, like the Women, "caught up in a multitude of sins," as we learn from the hymn of Kassiani, who "perceived Christ." (Obviously, she had been studying Him.)

What she "perceived about Christ is His Divinity." She was a myrrh bearer. Seeking to kiss and embrace His sacred feet and wipe them with her hair, as was her role, before His burial.

Lamenting, she did not take her eye off of Christ, as Peter did and began to sink, but said, "Do Not Disregard me your servant....You, whose mercy is boundless."

We are too self-centered, in a self-centered world, who have often lost sight as to why we are here and where we are going. Have you ever thought about what your role is? Jesus, tells us clearly. "Come, follow me." The gospel message of Sunday teaches us that there is only "One who is good, and humble" and the myrrh hearing woman tells us that "His mercy is boundless."

The scripture ends with the words. "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

The scripture reference is taken from Sunday's bulletin and reading. (Matthew 19:16-26) Sept. 4, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Aw Sweet September

I thought I was much too tired to write tonight, but today was too special in the way of "firsts" to ignore it.

First of all, it was a very special birthday for baby Ryan William, his "first one." And each day now, I see that he is losing his baby ways. Standing alone unaccompanied, it won't be long until we see him walking along. I heard him say "give" the other day, an addition to this and that. Vocabulary although limited, is surprising which includes his trying to carry a tune. Car and carriage rides are his thing, and you don't hear a sound, except when he is trying to sing to the radio.

He's like his brother, when he was little. He loves music and making all kinds of sounds, even the "car" sound, "Broom, Broom". He's also quite the ballplayer, wants nothing to do with being fed, he'll feed himself. And, he has the most adorable and warm smile, to go along with his huge eyes.

He's a keeper, happy birthday, sweetheart, grandma loves you.

Today, we also resumed our Community Meal. Yes, it was a very busy day. I noticed how dark it was already becoming at 7:30 P.M. on my way home, and, in looking toward the sky while driving, I noticed a V formation heading South. We know in these parts, what that means. The Canadian Geese are heading away, as they do at this time each year. Just as in years past, it marks for us the unofficial ending of the summer and the anticipation of another season, Fall. It went quickly this year, and we wonder where the time went. Nathan will enter school soon, another first.

I will look forward to Loon Mt and the Scottish Festival, once again, and football, where my nephew Matt is anxious to show them all what he's got. I'd say he is a powerhouse all by him self. Go Matt....

Today, on the way to the hall, I noticed that the leaves are already starting to turn. The moss is thick on the trees, and we wonder if that means we're in for another intense winter. Apple pie, spice and everything nice. Sweet September has arrived. The porthole to a new season of welcomed coolness, painted landscapes, and the scent of burning wood.

Hey,'s the pumpkin coming? Children are so smart today. My one year old grandson was playing with the computer with his daddy, yesterday. And his older brother, told me all about the bus route and the numbers on the buses he will be taking, with much anticipation, in sweet September. That is, after he gave me all the details on the past hurricane and car show that he just attended. I understand that he gives weather reports now to his day care classmates. I think that soccer is now getting his attention. Last night, he met up with teammates old and new, wearing his sponsored team's shirt and spiked shoes, to play his first game.

Yes, it's sweet September, and I haven't even picked my first tomato yet. But we do have electricity and cable and all the comforts of life, following the recent hurricane. Life is good!