Archive for July 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUBBIE

July 31, 2010

Hope you enjoy the show !!!!!!

Back to Turkeyville for a dinner theater afternoon:   Dinner (turkey dinner with all the trimmings, of course!)   and the theater show (Johnny Cash, et al.!!)

Advertisements

FRIDAYS and FRANCIS BORGIA

July 30, 2010

A pause, today, between all the Road Trip fun and tomorrow’s Big Day, to remember what  Fridays are for … to restore our perspective as people who live but a short time and who will soon step into Eternity.

Queen Isabella died in great riches and power and in relative youth.     Francis Borgia who lived at that time and knew the Queen, said concerning her death:   “Thus, then, end the grandeurs and crowns of this world;  I will henceforth serve a Master who can never die.”

He resolved to give himself entirely to God.    He died a saint.    If  the Son of God gave His life for us, can we not also resolve to give ourselves entirely to HIm… 

… Just a little perspective before I get too distracted. 

 My thanks to St. Francis Borgia.

        … and to St Alphonsus Liguori and his book:    Preparation for Death, for that little quotation above.

Cowboy Kris, Lasso Louie & Daniel Boone

July 29, 2010

They say we don’t change much as we grow older:

That’s me  (with a bigger cap gun than I showed you in the last posting!)        Our personalities, outlooks, and interests stay with us throughout the years.    I wrote in my last posting how delighted I was to find a man who is as interested in the West as I am.     I tend toward pioneering and exploring,  he is more into cowboys,   but we “understand” each other!  This  last portion of our Road Trip was a big interest of mine.

So come along with us, on miles and miles of roads like this;  narrow two-lanes with names like “O”  and “FF”  and “D”  and they all intertwine up and down winding hills.   I guess you have to be a SCOUT like Daniel Boone to get where you want to go!And we found it:   his last home where he lived on his son’s estates in Defiance, Missouri.    After Boone left Kentucky in the late 1700’s,  the Spanish government who owned  the Northern Louisiana Territory granted him 850 acres along the Missouri River to help develop and draw more settlers to populate the wilderness.(I re-post the lovely Boone countryside photo.)

Given that it was a hundred degrees these days while we traveled, Hubbie and I marveled that Daniel Boone was 65 years old when he made this move — and then helped build the home and all its furnishings, while at the same time hunting for the family’s food and fending off the unfriendly Indians! 

This is some of his lovely farm.   Way in the back you can see a spire from a church which has been in business for several hundred years.   You can still reserve a day to get married there:

For some reason, as we walked along, I thought this was very, very important, but I didn’t know why:It just seemed to have a feel of “people.”     It had to do with water, which I know is important to a pioneer home.    It turned out to be indeed a waterway catching some of the spring water which overflows at times from the original spring used by Daniel Boone, his wife and children and friends.   

At last we came to his home.    (I say “at last” because my shoes had worn off the skin on the top of my feet and each footstep was….noticeable!)  The Marker for his house: 

I didn’t step back and get a picture of the whole Georgian manor house that they built from their own quarried limestone and hewn lumber, but I got this close-up for a reason:It really was a lovely home.   That is just one-quarter of the front, to the left of the front door.   But I focused on it so you can see the little square holes next to each window.    Those are gun holes, for defense when they are under attack by the Indians. 

The guided tour was not an eye-popping, heart-stopping movie-entertainment type of experience, but it was just quiet and leisurely enough to give you time to think about the people who lived here and what their lives might have been like, day to day.    Gun holes by my front windows…..   No, they had a lot of different kind of issues to deal with….

No picture-taking allowed inside the house, but you can imagine what it looks like:  a lot of beautiful floors made of red oak planks;  hand-hewn beams overhead;   carved and decorated wooden doorways, cabinets, furniture;  “old” implements all over for everyday living;  hand-crafted, special made personal items, bedspreads, curtains, clothes.   Everything made with care and elegance, everything uplifting the human experience above the mere utility of the object.   Nothing impersonal and mass-produced.   That means a lot…..

Here is the man himself.   Daniel Boone (or an actor who looks quite close to the portraits of Boone at this age):There was a good, short, informative film of Boone’s life.   One scene showed him sitting under what became known as The Judgment Tree just outside his house.  People came from all over the Territory for him to hear their cases;  the Spanish government had given him the authority to make judgment in their behalf.   The actual Tree still exists….sort of:Oh !!   It looks tiny in the photo.    It isn’t.    It was a Dutch Elm which succumbed to the Dutch Elm disease of more than a century ago.   People thought they could preserve its diseased life if they poured a kind of cement into its trunk, but that only killed it faster and made it heavy enough to topple over.     To the bottom right of the picture, the dark green is a depression which goes down into the spring which you saw from its other end.    That part of the spring had water bubbling up into it:  the Water Descendant of the water the Boones drank?

Many of us grew up with stories of Daniel Boone.  As a girl I especially liked the story of his daughter Jemima who wandered too far from home with her girlfriends.  They were captured by Indians, but being pioneer girls, they knew how to attract attention and leave a good trail.    Here’s their capture:Always a “scary moment” for me in the story!    After a few days, they were rescued by Boone and friends.

Well, they built “Necessaries” too.         Here’s a peek into one of them:

Glad they didn’t “modernize” it!

There was a nice butterfly garden, abounding with all kinds of  richly colored flowers and butterflies — of the most reluctant kind….or else I’m not a very good nature photographer.  Got one, though:

I would have stayed there longer with my camera but I was getting a small crowd around me, cheering my picture-taking (or else rooting for the butterflies) — but it was apparent the  butterflies scattered just when I thought I had a good angle!   

That’s all….I’ve put away my beautiful cap gun years ago, but it helped me share some of Daniel Boone’s experiences.   Now I’ll go search out more information about him and his life from an adult perspective, at my local library.

I took away from this visit to his home a deeper appreciation of those Americans who came before us.   I know they would be astonished and somewhat ashamed at how we live today.  We are de-emphasizing the necessary virtues which built up this country, but we still know them and we can still choose to imitate the good qualities of these early Americans.   I think we must.

I took away something else…totally “useful,” of course, but  a good likeness of perhaps something the Boone girls could have used:

Pretty, no?    I couldn’t decide on the color, so I chose this one because it had both colors, front and back:

Brown and white;   winter coat and summer coat.   

Oh –  I said it was “useful.”   So:

It’s certainly a handy pouch to protect such a thing as this from the bottom of my purse!

I’ll always remember Daniel Boone.

MID-TRIP IN THE MIDWEST

July 27, 2010

Yeah…so many photos I’d like to show you.   I’m taking the “western” Daniel Boone ones out until the next posting, and just present the ordinary, everyday Midwest –  the prairie – us – common American life.      Fly-Over Country.

After leaving Amish country, our next destination was a small town in western Illinois, right into the Great American Prairie, if you remember your geography books, and overrun by cornfields.  

That’s a cornfield at the end of the street.    The little town was completely surrounded by vast cornfields on all sides.   Drive too far on the street and you’re in a cornfield.    (It was easy to start thinking Stephen King.)    But it was a good little town, friendly, hard-working, proud Americans. 

  Nearly every home displayed our flag!

Flag banners:

.

I know these aren’t “exciting” pictures, but the first thing I said to Hubbie as we drove down Main Street (which was actually called Main Street) was, “What a wonderful street for a Fourth of July parade!”    So..not “exciting,”  but moving visions of everyday American homes, proudly flying our flag…so many, so many.

We found the home of Hubbie’s relatives, said our Hellos, and enjoyed the conversation and the good ol’ American home cooking….lots and lots of it!    Hubbie’s uncle was so interesting and so talented in a hobbyist sort of way.  He’s done excellent wood-scrolling pieces;  exquisite designs that look like fine lace done in wood. 

He also does this:

This is a belt buckle that he made, done in sterling silver.   Maybe you can see it better in its box:

The thing is, you can take the tiny little guns out of their holsters and SHOOT with them!   They take a round of little caps, so technically these are cap guns.   What fun he must have had with those — and, yes, he said he’s worn them as a belt buckle many times!

And, in addition to silver smithing, he works with semi-precious stones.  Here is a bolo tie done in silver with turquoise…accompanied by interesting stories of obtaining turquoise, fire opals….this man is a treasure of experience!Of course, the part I like best about this piece is the three bear claws under the turquoise stone.   That’s where bear claws belong, in my opinion.    The bears shouldn’t have them……

This uncle of Hubbie and I discovered we have a common love for reading Westerns, and enjoyed discussing authors and plots.

We discovered so many things in common, including we’re both “from” Chicago.  He went to a few night clubs, as a young man, when my own Dad was playing in the dance bands in night clubs in Chicago….They didn’t have any in common, though.  Too bad.   This man was off fighting in the Philippines by the time my Dad got to Chicago.     My Dad was all set to join him nearby in Okinawa, except August 6, 1945 occurred just before he was shipped out…..hence, I am here.

 One tiny little town, containing so many precious, interesting people.  Who would have known?

There’s the gentleman I was talking about, walking down Center Street in front of the historical museum which we visited next.   He walks with energy and strength.  He’s 89 years old!

Hubbie in front of that museum.

This historical museum is probably typical of every small town’s historical museum…mildly interesting (to me).   I should appreciate our recent past more.    We live such unadorned and restricted lives today, with so few choices, so little beauty and purpose in our lives and homes.

Here’s a party room-ballroom-dining area in the old home that doubled as the museum:

There were many rooms like this that called the eye to notice details:

Do I own anything as beautifully made and special as this?   We puzzled over this object for a while.  It’s like a soup tureen but with matching mugs.  Soup from mugs?    The docent explained, finally, that it was a Wassail set, from Germany, which the family used.   The lady next to me didn’t understand, but knowing she was Scandinavian, I said, “You know, like for Glogg.”   Since the docent agreed, I laughed and said she must be both Swedish and German to understand that – and she said matter-of-factly that she was indeed Swedish and German.   

The origin of many Midwestern pioneers.

But many such objects in the home reminded me of a time when what we owned were things that were crafted…before Henry Ford, mass production, and the separation of the “worker” from his product.

Lest you think I’m sentimental about the past, we had to walk by this horrific display several times:Yeah,   I’m the one who doesn’t believe in modern “painless” dentistry until AFTER my appointment is over.

Okay – moving on…..more quickly now.   Leaving Illinois, after miles more of cornfields….

We crossed the Mighty Mississippi.    Strong, complex bridges.   The River itself is so powerful.   When we got to St. Louis, this mighty River was level with the street.    Walking to within a few feet of it was a strange feeling:

Apparently it was higher than usual.   We tried to get to the Arch, which you can see on the right…

The Mississippi covered the street, so we found an alternate route…..

Postcard type photo in my own camera.

After the Boones (next posting)  we visited wine country in Missouri.

This was the countryside.  Daniel Boone owned 850 acres of it.     But our last destination was to meet a friend in a lovely “wine country gardens” restaurant:My two men in red and yellow….followed by a wonderful salmon dinner.    Friday.

Here is the view from our dinner table.  There were many lovely cafes and eating areas outside, overlooking the beautiful countryside, but at a hundred degrees there were no takers.

So….that’s almost all.     Nothing heart-stopping except for the wonderful, precious ordinariness of America and all the nice Americans we met on the way.

Heading home after dinner….

Not exactly “into the sunset” this time, but eastward, out of the prairie.

THE INFAMOUS CHECKER BOARD

July 27, 2010

Here are some photos of our Road Trip….Welcome along!

Oh – why did we take the exact route that we did on that first day?   There’s a Reason.     But first, the Reason took us to our first stop…a little village entirely devoted to turkeysReally, I have better photos of that long brown building which is a turkey restaurant, a turkey-dinner theater,  ice cream shop, historical objects, gardens, etc.  – Delicious turkey food! – but I post this one with a view of The Big Red Car (and Hubbie’s head just above it) and that was our home base for a week.  

And when we stepped inside, this is what greeted us:

The Good Shepherd!     I felt right at home.    And then there was this, which strangely made me feel comfortable too.   Perhaps a small family who is also traveling?    The husband is on guard…..

Well, it all sets the mood.    There was a big model train village that held Hubbie’s interest, but…well, being a former girl,  I guess I didn’t take a picture of it.   It was nice, though.    We had to have a big hot turkey sandwich for our lunch.   Here’s the dining rooms:

We were heading west for a little history, so again, this took us back to the old days.    So,  Local Friends,  a trip to Turkeyville is well worth the time and trouble….good food, good entertainment, a family-owned business, and many, many little treats to look at.  Even the gardens were interesting, with this vine encircled tree trunk:

Into Amish Country…and closer to the “Reason”:

You know when you’re in Amish country when the oncoming traffic looks like this!

And this is parked in the driveway:The Amish homes and farms were every bit as neat and clean and industrious looking as one hears about, and most places had horses:

I did a lot of daydreaming and pondering as we drove by mile after mile of Amish homes….

We passed several of these round barns.  I’m sure there is a history to know here, but I haven’t looked it up yet.    Hubbie went to a local historical society lecture once, Topic:  barns.   He came home quite enthused.     (?)

And one of the best eating places:  Das Dutchman Essenhaus — which just happens to contain the Reason why we “had to”  take this particular route:

We had to go upstairs, in order for Hubbie to reprise his greatest triumph….There were horse things on the wall and an interesting hex pattern – maybe.   This was not a six-sided hex, so I’m not sure what kind of hex this is.    The dining room is below;  it’s hard to see the people eating way down there, but it’s a huge area — to go with the huge helpings of Amish food! —

And now to the Reason!

Hubbie found it….the Infamous Checker  Board, which has become legendary in his mind.   We came by this way a few years ago.   We sat down to play a nice game of checkers.   He moved.    I moved.  Again.  Again.  Again.   Again.    Single moves.     Then  it was his turn again.   He jumped one of mine…and another…and another…and another….and another…and to our astonishment,  he jumped over EVERY ONE OF MY PIECES !!!!!!!

He’s a good checker player,  but neither of us knew that was even possible!

So he wanted to do it again.

He couldn’t do it the on the first try;  I won.  One of my very rare checker wins.   Of course we had to play a second game, because there was…well, there was Murder in his eyes!    (Um … or determination.) 

And then triumph:

Okay.  So that’s it.    That’s the point at which he said “I’ve GOT you!!!!!”

Well….it was fun watching him enjoy his win.    Hmmmmph.    Never was interested in checkers anyway.

Next posting I’ll show you the rest of our trip…not so much detail, I think.   I told you before we’d be heading into Dante’s Inferno.     Must be boring in Hell.    Too hot to do anything,

Good-bye.   Night clouds closing in.

100 DAYS TO GO

July 25, 2010

In just 100 days America will hold its elections.     Hopefully.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and all the instruments of His Holy Passion that Thou mayest put division in the camp of Thine enemies, for as Thy Beloved Son has said, ‘a kingdom divided against itself shall fail.’  Amen”

(Sister  Marie de Saint-Pierre) 

To the best of my ability I will include that short little prayer in  my Morning and Evening Prayers.       Perhaps it’s not too late.

The prayer was given to the good sister to help confound and conquer the Revolutionaries who were overtaking Europe in the 19th century.    They have now overtaken our country.

I had no idea who Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre was until a little while ago, but since her fight is our fight, I’d like to learn more.

Of course, the power to confuse and divide the Enemy is His…if we care enough to make supplication keeping  His Holy Face in mind.     

 

ROAD TRIPS AND ENDINGS

July 25, 2010

Here we are, driving away into the sunset.   Our route took us west and south.   Except for family necessities, this may be our last road trip.  Hubbie and I mentioned that spontaneously a couple times.  

So … this road trip was like a metaphor for our life spans.  Whether you are young and reading this, or in the prime of your life, or seeing the end of your life approaching, all of our life spans have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

I know life on this Earth is a journey to another existence;  another “world,” so to speak.  

Today is our first full day back at home.   It’s the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, the way the Church has always reckoned it.    The Gospel for today is from Luke 19, and it seems mighty appropriate for what I’m thinking today.  Jesus looks down on the City  which He has come for and with great sorrow says:   “If thou also had known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.”   Jesus knows the people don’t perceive what is important for this brief life.

I like to tell my classes that this life is a journey, but we are not supposed to be tourists, racking up happy, interesting experiences.   We journey in order to get to our goal, our Eternal Home; and to get there, we need to be working hard to search for the things which are hidden, and then hold on to those things that are for our Peace.

Thanksgiving

One hour after we got home, it was time to go to the Chapel:

 It was nice to end our road trip, giving thanks, and being very grateful for a little more time to get ready for the end of my real journey.  

 The postings before we began our trip showed my attention was on some pretty dire things.   I had hoped to gain some perspective on these days away from the news and the Internet.  I think I did.

A few regular “traveling” photos next (next) posting.

VEINS OF BLOOD

July 19, 2010

Yet another   posting before our road trip.   Some things need to be said.   There are such grim and dire things developing in my personal family life as well as  in my country right now,  that I’m hoping a week’s passage of time will give me a new perspective.  Here is one tragedy:

Veins of Blood in the Gulf:

Those who know me personally know that I am a person of faith, and that I am in the Faith, the Faith that was handed down from the time of Jesus and the Apostles.    That puts me out of step with the world, but I’ve made my choice.   This world is not all there is, and  I’m not “falling to pieces” in the face of  these rather serious developments, family, political, nature, or otherwise.

The Bible has been called a Guidebook, for good reasons.    I read about people who think that current events have been predicted in some of the books of the Bible.    I’m withholding judgment on that one….but I teach the Bible, and I know some of its words:

The Apocalypse is often called the book of Revelation:   In chapter 8, verse 1 it says:   “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour.”   I don’t know what this means, but I know it is a solemn moment before something of horrendous, cosmic, tragic meaning.     

The angels were busy in this vision, and John saw more:

“…and as it were, a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea…”  (as the oil rig burns)

“…and a third part of the sea was turned to blood…..”

You’ve seen these photos on the news.   Great mounds of red oil filled the Gulf.   The boats looked tiny floating over the red “mountains” of oil that ascended from the bottom:

John goes on to say:   “…and a third of the rivers….”   Rivers affected by the poison of Wormwood:

“Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the Earth.”

HURRICANE TRACK MAP

July 18, 2010

Again, before I leave on our road trip, I leave you with another thing to ponder.   I don’t get my news from television or radio, but those who do seem unconcerned about the outcome of this Oil Blowout in the Gulf.

It affects us all, and there are several ways in which we will all be impacted.   Here is one way:

That’s a hurricane track map from NOAA.   It shows the tracks that actual hurricanes have taken in the past.     I drove through one of them in 2003,  I think it was.    The Little Red Car and I were on the Ohio Turnpike, by ourselves but in the midst of huge semis.  All of us were battling 60 – 70 m.p.h winds, heavy rain, and with that characteristic hazy over-saturated warm air that comes with a hurricane.

We’re pretty far north, but driving in the remnants of that hurricane was a challenge that I got through only with a little help from on High.      I was hydroplaning all over the place and found safety only by staying about ten feet behind a semi, driving in the tracks he was leaving behind.

The hurricane remnants brought the Gulf air and rain right over us.    The air and evaporated water over the Gulf right now will reach us sooner or later, and perhaps already has, in some measure.

Here’s a little science:   When water that is salty with salt and other minerals evaporates, the minerals stay behind.   It rains fresh water, not salt water.   When water that is filled with chemicals evaporates, the chemical molecules have formed a chemical bond with the water molecules, and the rain delivers all of those chemicals.

In the Gulf today are dangerously high concentrations of poisonous gases and chemicals, and the amount is increasing.    No human body is immune from their destruction;  no human body, no animal body, no birds, no fish, no plants, no flowers, no crops.  

We’re all in grave danger.

6,000 to 6,000,000,000,000

July 18, 2010

Quite a ratio, those numbers represent.   Bottom line, they mean our time is up.

I’ll be gone for the next few days.    There is much I want to say, much I want to express in “black and white,”  and much I want to ignore…. We’ll see how a week changes things.  

But here is one thing my mind has been observing and working on, for quite some time:    I watch the growing fascism in our country.  I hear the shocked warnings of  people who lived under socialist, communist, and various fascist regimes – they urgently warn us not to continue down the path we have been going down;  to rise up and fight before it’s too late.    

There is a wonderful and sad warning given to us by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the ACT! For America conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 28, 2010.    The name of her speech is:  My Warning to America.    It was posted on the Gates of Vienna website, but I think this is the LINK to the full text of her speech.

She ends her speech with these words:  “Do not let freedom slip away.  Because: After America, there is no place to go!”

In many places I have read that there are only a few corporations, only a few hundred families, and only about 6,000 people under them who run the world’s economies and governments.   I’ve read too much now not to believe that that’s close.    6,000 people to control over 6 Billion people who they regard as “under” them, who are our Rulers.

How would you do it if you were one of the elite and you were charged with keeping things under control?

See, they’re already here.   The laws, rules, and regulations and penalties are already in place.    NancyPelosi was asked how the Congress could get away with such an unconstitutional power grab over our country via the “health control” bill that was passed.   Her answer?   She laughed.   That’s all – she just laughed.   She didn’t have to have an answer.

Think “jackbooted” thugs are not being used?    I was appalled to watch videos of these guys in 2008:

They were thugs hired to intimidate voters as they entered the voting place.   There were more like them at other places.   Several of them got charged with crimes, among them Voter Intimidation.   What’s the problem?   This is America, right?   Even if something like this happens, it’s against the law and we are a nation of Law, right?   Everyone equal before the Law?

Although I was appalled at the use of these people  (from the New Black Panther organization, by the way),  words can’t explain what I feel when I heard what happened to our so-called rule of the Law….They were charged with a crime all right.   Some of them hired lawyers to defend them.   The  judge ordered them to appear in court.   NONE of them appeared in court.   According to law, the charges are then deemed as true;  it’s an admission of guilt not to appear in court.   They were scheduled for sentencing.

So what?    Orders from our Rulers:   DROP THE CHARGES.    Charges were dropped.   Jackboots are untouchable when they do the Rulers’ bidding.    

Few people know when the Rulers control mainstream news outlets. 

.

 “Do not let freedom slip away.  Because: After America, there is no place to go!”

DESTINATION – DANTE’S INFERNO

July 18, 2010

(I’m going to write a few posts – I think – “ahead of time.”     I never know if we’ll have Internet access when we’re on the road.    Good-bye for a little while.)

It has to be now.   We have to take a trip into the Midwest in the depths of summer.   It’s a little like jumping from the HOT frying pan of home  into the FIRE —

That’s from the Weather Channel’s Website, on Missouri local TV.    112 degrees is predicted.

I’ll let you know if I get back.

CLEVER WITH YOUR MONEY – 8th SUNDAY P.P.

July 18, 2010

It’s the 8th Sunday after Pentecost.   This Sunday has been called that for well over a thousand years.   That’s part of what being “traditional” means.”   Good things don’t change but they deserve to be considered by each succeeding generation.

But today’s lesson seems to be a Bad Lesson!    The Greek word that describes the guy in today’s action can be translated “clever” or “smart”  or “cunning.”    Bottom line, he was deceitful.

The Gospel Reading is from Luke 16 and it concerns a certain employee, an accountant, who has been cheating his employer for a while.  Just like Bernie Madoff who said he knew he’d get caught sooner or later, this employee knew time was running out for him.    He’d be fired, no unemployment check, no welfare in those days.

So, totally in character, he cunningly set about to win friends, earn good will, and by any means possible, to create a network of people who would owe him something in the future.  

He did this by cheating his employer in a series of shady deals, good for the customers, and good for him because these customers of his employer would be obliged, then, to help him in the future.

And THIS is the man who Jesus told us to be like!

I could teach this passage in a little Bible study, or I could “preach” on it, if you want….but if you hear the Voice of Jesus telling you to be like that employee and it makes you wonder why,  then that could be motivation enough to search out the meaning yourself — and that process would be very good for you.

And that would be the very first level of understanding of this part of the Living Word of God, the Bible.

The value of  Tradition is that there have been centuries of deeper thought on the Bible, including this passage.   Tradition seeks to lead modern man out of shallowness, and all the dire consequences that follow shallow, easy living.

I give you a short excerpt from just one Traditional sermon (that can be found here, if you’d like the whole thing.)    The sermon explores the fact that God cares very much how and why we act and what we do while we are on this Earth.

Here’s the little excerpt:  ”  God’s eye is more searching than the light of the sun; it sees all the ways of men, penetrates to the depth of their hearts, and beholds all, good and bad, wherever they may be. God is present, everywhere, providing for all His creatures; He observes all our steps, watches over us day and night, and witnesses all our actions, as if, forgetting heaven and earth, He were caring only for each individual amongst us. He regards each individual as if he alone existed; He sees all collectively as if they were but one. He is with us wherever we go, so that He is always the source of our life, and for this reason, because He is constantly mindful of us, we ought likewise to be mindful of Him….”

It matters to Jesus what’s in our hearts.   He is not telling us to DO what that clever, dishonest employee did;  He is telling us that He hopes our actions are strongly motivated by our desire to look to our future, always “being mindful of Him.”    

The “future” of human beings is grim, indeed.

MESSAGE FROM SON… DUDE?

July 17, 2010

That’s it.   From his cell phone to my email today.  

A Mom takes what she can get.

To be fair, the “information” came in the Subject Line….First coat of ClearCoat, two more tomorrow.   You wouldn’t believe how much information is contained in those words!   A lifetime…..ahhhhh……you have to be a Mom or a Dad to understand….

ON THE OTHER HAND —

What IS it with guys in 9,000 degree heat?   

Son is in the process of tearing down an entire house and rebuilding it — hence the beautiful floor in the photo —  and apparently a hot summer day is not reason to slow down.

 Hubbie has been out mowing the lawn – two stripes across the lawn and he swoons with heat prostration….until he gets up again….two more stripes….and I’m glancing at the telephone, fingers ready to find 911….

Blogs, emails, and other contact with guys indicate there is a lot of building, repairing, maintaining, and otherwise hard physical activity going on this week.

I’ve got a little smile for you all:

Just kidding.   You guys need to take a break.   Will you not have houses and lawns and lumber and little machines in the Fall?

.

9,000?     Whatever.   What’s a couple extra zeroes in this heat….

FRIDAY – 600-YEAR-OLD MESSAGE

July 16, 2010

It’s Friday.  A joyful day!    Because it’s all true!!!!    Not “my” truth;  just my response to Truth.    Lots of people have told us about this same Truth.   Not their version of the truth;  their experience with Truth.  

Here’s one message to us about Truth:

Delicate…and precious.    Especially if you and all your loved ones are the ones inside the eggs.  The picture doesn’t exactly match this message, but it’s the same idea:

“Also in this He showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazel-nut, in the palm of my hand;  and it was as round as a ball.   I looked thereupon with eye of my understanding and thought What may this be?    And it was answered generally thus:   It is all that is made.   I marvelled how it might last, for methought it might suddenly have falled to naught for its littleness.   And I was answered in my understanding:   It lasteth, and ever shall last, for that God loveth it.”

“Indeed, God so loves this creation that He re-causes it at every moment.”

“God, who has created everything in nature, also governs all things and directs them towards good.”

Fridays – the Crucifixion – is part of that “direction towards our good.”

Thus, does Our Lord speak to us through His gentle  message to Julian of Norwich, about 600 years ago.   It’s the same message heard in every century by all “who have ears to hear.”

WHAT’S IT — 13

July 14, 2010

Back to “pretty” again:

I said before in my WHAT’S IT series that I like pretty lights.  I think #1,  #2, #5, and #10 were pretty What’s Its.   Here’s another.

This is a photo of the moon taken from some space vessel, but not from our country.   They saw a light glowing from a distant crater, and when they flew over and aimed the camera down, this is what they got.

The consensus is that it’s an artificial structure, lighted from within, by an unknown light, unknown power source.  With a  military satellite computer software program they can analyze aerial photos and determine what is a natural formation and what is an “unnatural” formation, i.e. constructed.    The round object and some “formations” near it don’t meet the mathematical criteria of “natural.”

What’s it?   I don’t think we’ll know the answer in this life.     Just…enjoy.

.

Not sure what Category to choose for this posting.     How about – Travel!

WHAT’S IT – 12

July 14, 2010

Do you know about this?

Well, it knows about you.  Those balls are gigantic, really, like 20-story high golf balls.

Here is an overview of  the system.   Do you know its name?

Well, it knows your name – literally.

The complexes that maintain these systems are also huge;  they are well-guarded technological cities which sift through all words, data, and information that is transmitted electronically:  emails, cell phone conversations, your banki transactions, your purchases, your library books and videos, your text messgaes,  anything picked up by a microphone, anything tapped out onto a keyboard.

I know —  this is 30-year-old news, and there is far more capable and powerful technology in place that captures our electronic footprints – several times a day for those who avoid computers, several thousand times a day for those who like their gadgets.

Oh, it’s quite illegal, and also unconstitutional. …at least at the time these things were built.   But there were ways around that.  They were constructed in the five English speaking countries, and then each country spied on the other country’s citizens — and then just shared the data.

They don’t have to do that now.   Since 9/11 we’ve been told that we’re really frightened half to death about another “terrorist” attack, and so we were told they had a Plan waiting for us — a pre-written Patriot Act, just waiting to take care of us — as long as we gave up our constitutional rights. 

The things in the photos above nullify our Fourth Amendment rights.   

But it was just an infant.  First baby steps really.   It’s name is Echelon.  

.

No comments from me, I guess.   

This is #12 in my “WHAT’S IT?”   series.       I thought I had only ten.

.

TREADED ON

July 13, 2010

Know what this is?

I hope we all know what this is and what it means.   In the living memory of some American citizens, Americans used to be known as a free people, independent, can-do, stand-on-your-own-feet problem solvers that were guaranteed no government interference or restrictions on their pursuit of happiness.

Thomas Jefferson, understood that, though Liberty is “endowed by our Creator,” it is difficult to maintain among men. “The natural progress of things,” he wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”   (italics from the Patriot Post newsletter)

In other words, the children of those people who proudly wrote “Don’t Tread On Me!” will likely allow their own government to tread on them.

The Founders rightly affirmed that because our rights are inherent by Natural Law as granted from our Creator, as such they can’t be arbitrarily alienated by those who believed that the rights of men are gifts of government.  (Patriot Post)         

We are a free and independent people.

Here are the people who led our young country with freedom and independence in mind.    Don’t Tread On Us!
And here are the “leaders” of today’s America…..

As I wrote in the title of this posting:  I think we’ve gotten “treaded ” on and  hoaxed and alienated from our God-given rights. 


 “Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” –John Quincy Adams

UNDER 65 – EXPECT GRUMPY…

July 13, 2010

65 degrees north latitude.   (or anywhere 60 -90)

X marks the spot where my ancestors came from.   Move a tiny bit west and you get the other branch of  my family.

There is absolutely NO REASON to expect their granddaughter (and great-grandaughter) to thrive in the south.  Three generations is just not long enough to adapt to southern heat.

Expect grumpy postings……

BROTHER OF CHRIST

July 12, 2010

It’s been like this around here lately.

Cooking and eating is a chore in this heat.

I guess that’s what elbows are for:

I live way too far south for my own good.   But some things have been resolving by themselves.   I recovered the ability to blog from the big PC (where all my photos are.)    Somehow my WindowsMedia player came back online.    

And our Friday Class Mystery course has been resolved!

The ladies informed me that they would like to study the book of James this summer.  They didn’t take a vote.  It was more or less a Suggested Consensus.   There are a few ladies gone on vacation, so when they return they will find out what Consensus has been Suggested to them.

That’s fine.  I like James.  That will give me yet one more chance to try to memorize which biography of St. James belongs to which St. James.   It’s not for lack of knowledge;  it’s that their information is hopelessly conflated in the shelves of my brain.

I got a phone call this weekend from a former student who lives across the country and is about to relocate in Asia.   We had a nice talk, and then she threw in a random question.   “Kris, I was listening to someone on the radio” (uh-oh) “and they said that Jesus had brothers and James was one of His brothers.   How can that be?  Is that because St. Joseph was an older man and these are his children? “  She went on about the kindness and generosity of St. Joseph and then we were down all kinds of roads, so I’ll gently email my answer to her.

St. James on Chartres Cathedral

It was the bishop of Jerusalem, St. James, who wrote his pastoral letter to all the Christians.  Since it was “to all” Christians, we call this epistle a “universal” (catholic)  epistle, meaning it’s written for us.   

This St. James was certainly a kinsman of Jesus and also brother to St. Jude.      His mother is named and it is not Mary, the Mother of Jesus.   As many of you probably know, in different languages, the word kinsmen, or relatives as we would say in English, can be translated with different English words.

Lot, for instance,  in English Bibles, is described as the brother of Abraham, but we know that Lot was the son of Abraham’s brother.   Even today, I understand that in order to say “cousin” you must say “the son of my father’s brother” …etc.,  the precise legal definition of “brother” being not as important outside of the Western world.

More importantly than dictionaries and translations, we can go to Jesus Himself and find out what He meant by the word “brother.”  –  “For whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.”  (Mark 3:35)

The question is not “Was James the brother of Christ?”    It’s:  “Are we the brother of Christ?”  

Time to scrape myself up off the deck, and get to work studying so I learn the will of God.

WATCH YOUR WAGES! – 7th Sunday Post-Pentecost

July 12, 2010

 

For those of you who are church-goers –  You can trust the Church to enrich your Faith — and to warn about being too sure of yourself!    And although Sunday is just about over, this whole week is characterized by its Sunday – so there is a whole week to benefit from the graces and teachings of this today.
  
I was delighted today with the obvious complementarity of the elements of the Propers.  “Propers” are those changeable parts of what we hear at Church that are “proper for” or “appropriate for” that particular day.  They are all the little prayers and the Epistle Reading and the Gospel Reading that are appointed for that day in the Liturgical Calendar.  
 
Throughout the year, then, we will have heard all the Readings and prayers that take us in an orderly and rational fashion the development of the message of the Gospel, which is manifested in the Life of Christ.  We cover it all – in one year!
   
So (in English) the first “little prayer” for this day from Ps 46, 2 and 3:   “Clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy.  For the Lord is most high, He is terrible; He is a great King over all the earth…”     And, later,  the second little prayer follows from it; we ask this Most High God for His aid:  ” O God, whose providence faileth not in its designs, we humbly entreat Thee, to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us all things which be profitable for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, …”

Know why you’re working and who you’re working for:


And then comes the Epistle, from Rom 6, which in effect says to “serve justice unto sanctification,” that is, work for the fruits of justice, which is to your sanctification.  And turn away from serving and working for wickedness, because: “For the end of them is death.”  And:  “For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, is life everlasting; in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 The Gospel warns us to be very discerning about what we’re working for, for there are those evil ones who are out to trick us, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
 
Jesus gives us a way to tell the difference:    “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Work to produce good fruits!   We want the work that “will be profitable for us” !

 Working for wages is a fundamental part of human experience.   No matter how we are paid, in money, credit, goods, or something more intangible, whatever we do results in wages of some sort.   How dangerous is the Enemy of our Souls who would rather trick us into working for things that are not good for us.   Watch your wages!   Watch what you’re working for!     At the end, you’ll be judged by your fruits.