Archive for the ‘Faith’ category

A HEARTBEAT AWAY

June 9, 2017

(Blogging has given me some bad habits;   it’s created an urge to take a picture of everything and blog blab about it.)

We’re  all only a heartbeat away from a very serious crisis —

Hospital cr

Chances are you’re having  ordinary days right now;  some good days and  some bad days in which you have to deal with a flat tire,  a lost checkbook,  a missed text,   a bad attitude from a friend . . . .

Today we here in The Spruce Tunnel were struck with a very serious crisis.   Someone we love, someone so close to our family she may as well be a part of it,  someone far too young to be in critical condition,  is on a ventilator and many other machines in the photo,  seemingly  overnight.

Cause soon to be determined.

One day she is interviewing for a brand-new job;  less than two days later she’s in ICU fighting for her life.

Out of the blue,  unexpectedly, we are all reassessing our lives,  our relationships,  our loves,  and what’s really important.     We have a God-given need to make sense out of things.

And the honest quest for answers will lead back to God.

 

________________________________

 

Please pray for the young lady.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 20 – LASTING IMPRESSION

January 20, 2017

From what I’ve seen and heard on this day I can’t escape the one final and lasting impression:   we have a president who seems to be genuinely proud of his country, the United States of America. 

And all it stands for.

amer-liberty

All its history.

amer-betsy

All its beauty.

amer-mountains

All its geography,  “from sea to shining sea.”.

The Moorings Village Pearl of Florida Keys resort, Islamorada Key, Florida Keys, Florida USA

All its ordinary industry and small family enterprises.

amer-seaside

All its abundance.

amer-grains

All its normal, everyday people.

amer-city

All its goodness and faith.

amer-church

All Americans.

america-all

I saw all the new people coming into the government, and they seemed to be glad and proud that they are one of us, among us.     I think they’ll do their best.

Makes me want to be a good citizen.

These new ones have their job, now, and I have mine.

 

BURYING COOPER AGAIN

January 12, 2017

Cooper, the grandson.   Living in the High Sierras.    In the WINTER!

6-snowed-in-400

I wrote a few posts ago about the five or six feet of snow Cooper and his family got last weekend.     And now they have another six feet.

And no electricity.  No cell phone.   I got one last short text from them – and a photo!

I presume school is closed again, because it’s hard getting around on those roads.

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I  know this place.  It’s where you try to find the exit leading into their little mountain village.

You can get around with chains on your tires.

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After the snowfall, you can get around in the village too:

5-downtown-truckee

But when you leave the village and want to go home,  you’ll have to drive on those mountain roads again.

7-driving

Say a little prayer for Cooper’s Mommy.    She’s supposed to return home from a business trip today, and it’s quite likely she’s out there on these roads just as I am writing this.  She needs to drive   UP about 3,000 feet of elevation from the airport to her home.

Into the snowstorm.

 

 

THE END.

November 20, 2016

I’m beginning to like my fuzzy moon pictures.   They have an interesting . . .  charm.

moon-lines

“Moon lines.”  Looks like a black and white Jupiter on edge.

I’ve got some “end of the year” resolutions to take care of soon.    I’ve got to accept my good friend’s offer to teach me something about photography.  Then I have to install my new editing software so I can do useful things with the photos.

I’ve got to get serious about  getting my summer and fall clothes packed away and my winter clothes out and ready —  and sewn!

sewing

I need a couple new vests.  Here’s fuzzy black velvety one almost made.  I had to create the yellow tissue paper pattern so the vest will come out with the right shape and length.   The sewing up will go fast but I need to bring  this  winter wardrobe issue  to an end.

I need to do the end-of-the-year holiday planning,  company,  decorating,  parties.

Lots of things are coming to an end now.   Autumn chores.   NASCAR.  Football season.

You can learn a lot about life from football –

end-at-the-end-zone

After all,  the whole game is a series of drives and the goal is getting to the  “end”  zone.     (The Bears made it this time!!)

And today we arrived at another end,  the end of the Liturgical Year:

lit-yr

We’ve come full circle, and have finished up the green patch at about 11:00, or 11:30.   11:59, actually.      Next Sunday we will be in the blue.

It’s an orderly way of keeping track of time,  which at the same time instructs us in keeping track of  our journey  throughout the year, with Our Savior,   as the major events of our Faith unfold,  one after the other.

It’s like a circular timeline.     And when we reach the end of the year,   the 11:59, so to speak,  it’s appropriate to think more on   those all-important “Four Last Things”  which we all will confront, at the “end”  of our time on earth.

I’m sure you’ve thought of them throughout the year,  perhaps without even realizing that these are “end time considerations” that are common to all.    The Four Last Things are:  Death.    Judgment.     Heaven.     Hell.

Obviously,  we’ll be intimately caught up in only three of those Four Last Things.

We all have common experiences with these things.

Death.    Perhaps you’ve known someone who has died this past year.  Or almost.    Or perhaps you had a close brush with death.    What might have, could have happened, if you didn’t get lucky.

Judgment.    Those twinges of guilt,  self-judgment,  an “oops, I shouldn’t have done that.”       All fundamentally pointing to the existential certainty that we will experience our last and final judgment.   Perhaps you think it will be a glorified self-judgment.   But,  nevertheless,  the judgment will result in . . .

Hell.     Perhaps.    You probably heard Hell referenced at least a few times during this past year without really thinking about it.  Someone nearby curses:  “Oh,  Hell!”    “Damn!”    It’s a curse word because . . .  well,  it’s a curse that is a reality.    It’s just that we don’t often “think about it.”   Why is the entire human race so “fallen”?    So damned?

Heaven.    A hoped-for glorious End,  but one which we’re entirely incapable of producing by ourselves.

Incapable:     Remember the miners in South America who were trapped by a massive cave-in?   All escape routes solidly blocked.   They had little water,  very little food,  no electricity, no light. 33 men trapped deep below ground.  And they were incapable of getting out of there.

They had no way of knowing that a multi-national effort was underway to attempt to reach them.   

But weeks went by.  Weeks with not enough provisions, not much oxygen.  

How do you think they passed that time, knowing they could not help themselves out of that deepest, darkest pit?

69 days later!   It took 69 days to reach them,  and miraculously  all the men were still alive.

Help had come from Above, by means of which the miners did not have,  by efforts that the miners were incapable of accomplishing.     Can you imagine how beautiful the sunlight must have seemed to them?      And they saw the Light and lived again!

The Fourth Last Thing:    Heaven.     Available for us,  by means of the Cross reaching down to us and reaching out wide to all mankind.

Advent,  next Sunday,  begins that process.

THERE’S KNEELING AND THERE’S KNEELING: CLINTON BIGOTRY

October 11, 2016

(From the keyboard of a “Deplorable”)   –

 

Two men, both known for “kneeling” . . .

teb-two-men

        . . .   for different reasons.

One man’s kneeling got him the praise of “America”  as seen through the lens of the entertainment-news media.     Poor oppressed guy.     (Poor oppressed rich guy.)

The other man got nothing but scorn and ridicule for his kneeling.

The poor oppressed rich guy’s kneeling got him a renewed and lucrative contract as the head quarterback of the San Francisco  49ers.   He will bring much value to . . . us.

The scorned man?  There’s something more to his life than  football   sports.

teb-in-crowd

Just recently at a game (where he is employed)  he saved the life of a fan in the stands who fell into an epileptic seizure.    The man had stopped breathing, according to witnesses.   Tim Tebow, the tall handsome man in the photo who likes his fans, ran over to the man,    held him,  prayed for him —  and shortly the man began breathing again.

YOU tell that man that it was mere coincidence.

But that’s not the first time.  A similar incident happened on an airplane in which Tim Tebow was a passenger.  A fellow passenger was in life-threatening trouble — and seemed to be not breathing.

You can guess what happened next.    It was prayer.    YOU tell that man it was just coincidence.

But I wanted to think about kneeling,   whom you’re kneeling to,  why you’re kneeling.

teb-kneeling-men

Men kneel.

Men now and before now  –

teb-knights-kneeling

Men kneel even when they don’t have a church to kneel in.

teb-soldiers-kneeling

You all know I like cowboys!

teb-cowboy

MY kind of cowboy!   –

teb-fond-of-rosary

Wouldn’t you rather have your king (or your Ruler or your president)  acknowledging that he has a Higher Power –  the same Higher Power that everyone else has to answer to?

teb king kneeling.jpg

 

Even The KING OF KINGS prayed –

teb-king-of-kings

I’m not  a man, and yet I can  pray –

teb-me

 

Because in the end,  our end or the world’s end,   that is all we have,  it’s the true source of strength.

teb-in-the-end

 

bar-cross-in-middle

Wikileaks:     All those praying people,  any Catholic that you know,  any evangelical that you know,  any person who prays,   you, me,  she and he —  have been mocked and made fun of,  disparaged and called names  by those high up in the Clinton campaign, according to their own emails.

Let’s see . . .    some hate-powered phrases from those recently leaked emails:     we people who pray  are totally unaware of Christian democracy (their idea of Christian democracy, I guess);   we who pray are:   attracted to severely backward gender ideas;  we “throw around Thomistic ideas and subsidiarity just to ‘sound’  sophisticated”;    Mr. Murdoch is ‘Friggin Murdock’  because he had his children baptized in the Jordan River;    we are ‘bastardizing’ the faith.    And don’t forget from before:   we’re the people who are “bitter”  and clinging to our guns and our Bibles.    Catholics are weird,  reactionary people out of step with the times.

This from the Democrat Party which “weaponized”  the I.R. S.  against conservative  patriotic and Christian groups.    This from the campaign of the Poor Sick Woman who stated that it’s smart to have one persona for the public and another one in private.   Someone who holds herself leagues above the common people, and drops the “f”  bomb on those in her way, including her security staff – and their canine helpers.

They are bigots as well as hypocrites –  and please don’t think they like you.

 

“BY THE SHORES . . .”

July 16, 2016

  Just for my own record,  I made it.

 

3 Shores whited 350

“By the shores of Gitche Gumme . . .”

3 shores of gg 400

By the Shining Big-Sea-Waters –

3 ShiningWaters

It  might look like all “water” to you,  but I spent the day flitting from this spot along the Lake to that spot,  like a butterfly,  sipping in sweet experiences; all varied, all blues,  all waters.

The shores were different from place to place –

3 red shores 400

I climbed down to these red  shelf-rocks,  and then I walked way out onto a breakwater to get more views –

3 out into waters 400

The forest back there covers a partial island,  a “presque isle” in French,  and it holds the grave of  an Indian chief who lives there.    I’m  in   Hiawatha’s native land.

Doesn’t that passageway just seem to beckon a canoe to travel forward into it?

3 canoe there 400

Forth upon the Gitch Gumme
On the shining Big-Sea-Water
With his fishing-line of cedar
Of the twisted bark of cedar
Forth to catch the mighty sturgeon
Mishe-Nahma, King of fishes
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.

‘Though Hiawatha can exult as his canoe speeds along,  he must be skillfully aware of hidden dangers.   The lake holds many  hidden boulders, sandbars,  floating  tangled logs,  shipwrecks, shoals,  islands,  and snaggy inlets.

Here’s one very noisy seagull island.   At times it is covered in white (seagulls)  as though there were snow on it  –

3 sea gull island 380

He looks like he has many tales to tell –

3 Ready to Tell380

And, as I said a few posts ago,  I’m here to tell myself my own tales.  Tales of my own life.  Tales that will make sense of my own life.

This is the Lake that I first saw when I was a newborn baby.    I come back to sit by its shores.

Ah, my son, exclaimed the Old Man
Happy are my eyes to see you!
Sit here on the mat beside me
Sit here by the dying embers
Let us pass the night together
Tell me of your strange adventures
Of the lands where you have traveled;
Then I’ll tell you of my prowess
Of my many deeds of wonder . . .

 

 

A 12-YEAR OLD GIRL DIES (I)

May 25, 2016

Here’s my involvement:

. 1.  Once I was a 12-year-old girl.  I know what it’s like to be a girl with her whole life ahead of her.

.2  I worked my way through college, four years, in a hospital.   Pediatrics.   We were very understaffed.  Sometimes it was only an RN and myself for 30 – 40  young patients.  If it became life-threatening, of course they’d send over another person;  a “floater”  who could do some of the routine things.  I got to learn a lot of medical procedure in those days.

One summer evening  there was a terrible accident on a lake shore.   Parents had tucked  their children into their sleeping bags;  hung  the kerosene lantern up high, out of reach;  and when the two children were sound asleep,  the parents left to go out for a short rowboat ride,  staying close to shore.

Not close enough.   Somehow the tent caught on fire and the parents couldn’t get there in time.  The 12-year-old girl and her 4-year-old little brother were rushed to the hospital,  to us.  

I saw them when I came in on my next shift.  They shared a hospital room.    They were burned pretty badly, but at this stage their burned skin was only pink.  The blackened skin had been scraped off, but even the pink skin was dying.   They had to be scraped down every few hours, and a silver nitrate solution poured over the open skin.

Many nerves had been killed, so they  felt horrifying pain only while the scraping was going on.   Brother and sister even talked to each other.   I don’t think they realized how seriously they were burned.

One day,  the little boy was talking to his sister, his sister answered,  but the little boy didn’t answer back.   He died – just like that.    Shock, they said.     The sister did not die,  but . . . .

I was young.  19 years old, I think.   I was in shock too, and I’ve never forgotten this event

. 3.  (of my involvement)   I am a Christian,  and here’s what happened last week to a fellow Christian, a sister in Christ:

Radical-Islamists in the Middle East have stated they want to wipe out all Christians who live in their territory.    Their words,  not mine.    Spoken fairly frequently.    Those who haven’t been exterminated yet are, for now,  paying a very, very high tax.  Ruinously high – unless they convert to Islam.

It’s called the Jaziyah, in case you aren’t familiar with that term or that concept.   Many Christians can’t afford to keep their homes or their businesses.

And one family  missed a payment.   They didn’t pay on time.

So their house was set on  fire with the family inside.     The mother and her 12-year-old daughter escaped out of their burning house and were taken to a medical center.

Now I have seen a 12-year-old girl who has been badly  burned, lying in a hospital bed,  quite close to death, and yet able to talk a little.   I can imagine . . .   this one.    She was about to die;  she wasn’t going to make it.

She  was a devout Christian.    She spoke a little to her mother.   And  “with her dying breath”   she spoke her last two words:

    (“Forgive them.”)

A Christian who is devoted to his Lord will say The Lord’s Prayer daily;  or twice or three times or more daily.    “. . . And forgive us our trespasses   as   we forgive those who trespass against us.”

I think this little girl in the Middle East got it.

Have  any Americans heard about this incident on their entertainment-news media?   Because it’s important.   Because it’s emblematic.     That is,  it’s a signal event, a symbol,  of what is happening   in general,  commonly.     It illustrates the dangers that Christians face all over the Middle East;  It illustrates the brutality of those who are intent on conquering the known world.

They are on the move again.

Which brings me to a question and to the next post . . . .

 

Bar Cross in middle

 

Many sources have carried this story:

One here.

Another here.

Another here.

There’s more, but it’s not necessary to dwell on this story.    Oddly – or horrifyingly – enough,  there are worse stories out there about what the Radical-Islamists are doing to Christians.

But I can’t let my imagination start going to “dipping Christians in acid.”

Et cetera.

 

NOT KNOWING THE FUTURE

April 22, 2016

(I need to keep this focused.  A difficult task these past few hours.)

I always told myself,  if there were a Mack truck  barrelling down on me . . .

mack

. . . .I’d want to turn and face it and see it coming!

You know,  you’d want to see something big coming so you have time to prepare.

bar dissolve er

But today,   the Blue Beauty and me had to go downtown for the class I was teaching.

SAMSUNG

And afterwards,  we had to drive back home.     Familiar roads through the city.

About three-fourths of the way home I was rear-ended  — by a truck ! —  with a great big noisy Whumpf!     It was a tremendous jolt,  and somehow I crossed some lanes of traffic without getting hit again and found  a place to pull over.  The big truck followed me.

It was one of those big service trucks.  Kind of heavy.    The two young men got out of their truck to see if I was all right.  They were so sorry, so apologetic, so solicitous of my well-being.   Just honest, open, sincere,  honorable young men.

I got out of my car holding my chest and coughing a little, which seemed strange,  but I think the seat belt hit into my sternum.    I was also feeling “heat” on my neck and down my shoulder,  but just a little.    The young men’s attitude helped a lot, and I didn’t want them to know I was feeling a little shocked.     Dizzy . . .  or dazed, maybe.

So we cheerfully  examined the car, amazed that there was no apparent damage to the bumper.*     They insisted on giving me their  contact information; and I told them  I was fine,  I’m  healthy,  I’m pretty strong,  and after we were done making sure everything was all right,  I told them to “have a good rest of your day,”   which seemed to amaze them.

24 hr

Twenty-Four hours

(Something’s  going to happen in each of these coming 24 hours.)

On the rest of my somewhat shaky way home,   I thought,  “I wish I had known this would happen so I wouldn’t be feeling so shocked right now.”

After a while, I thought again.    If,  when I was leaving class,  saying good-bye to everyone,  if then I had known   when and where that accident was going to happen,  how would I have acted differently?

“Six more miles to go….”      (I’m all right so far.)

“Just a couple more miles now.”      (hmmmm)

“Around that next corner . . . .”      (But I’ve got to go that way . . .)

“Up ahead at that next traffic light. . . .”     (It’s getting real close now. . . )

“There’s the big blue truck behind me in my rearview mirror.”

“There’s the traffic light coming up where it’s going to happen . . .”   (I’m out of time. )

“I’ve gotta stay stopped here. . . ”

“Yeeeeowwwwaaaaarghhhhh . . . .   whumpf!”

Yep.   It would have been a real tense ride home.    The present moment of that accident would have been my experience all the way home,  or maybe all day, if I had known this right away when I woke up.

Do we really want to know the actual bad things coming up?   Do we really want to know what difficult times are coming?      We’re supposed to live in the Present Moment.    “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”      “Don’t borrow trouble.”     “A coward dies a thousand deaths.”

Having intermittent “bad occurrences”  is part of living in this Fallen World.    They test us and allow us to “prove”  what kind of people we are.    The really bad things aren’t pleasant,  but they  let us demonstrate the strength of our character and the firmness of our faith.

We have to live freely and fully in the times in between the bad occurrences.

I saw this sad picture and it made me think about my own death:

SAMSUNG

Will it be like that?   Will that be me some day?    In a bed?   With a concerned friend or family member nearby?

Maybe not in a bed.

No.  It’s best to not know the time and circumstances,  because if I did know,  knowing me,  I’d be thinking about it all the time.     Counting down the miles, so to speak.

I’m okay with not knowing,  because Someone does know , and He’s waiting for just the right time, the best time for my life here to end.     And I thought someone should write a poem about this idea. . . because a poem is “a transcendent thought, common to all mankind,  that is wrapped  in beauty.”

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Then I remembered,  someone did,  someone wrote some song lyrics that express this thought,  the knowledge that our Creator made us for Himself,  and will bring us back to Himself,  but He doesn’t tell us when or how.   We just trust Him.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

My Grandma used to sing this song.     She says:  “Just trust Him.    He’s working all things for your good.”

We don’t have to worry about each of our next 24 hours.

Bar Cross in middle

 

Just, if you’re interested,  here are all the words to that song.  It’s about Jesus.   That’s why there’s a reference to Blood:

 
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead

Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

I don’t know about tomorrow
It may bring me poverty
But the one who feeds the sparrow
Is the one who stands by me
And the path that be my portion
May be through the flame or flood
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood

 

  •  Turned out there was damage  . . .

SAMSUNG

That line across the bumper ledge shouldn’t be there.   It should be plain smooth blue.

But  “we”  have an injury now. . . .

Don’t know how we all missed it.

Let it go.

I love my car.

Let it go.  Let it go.  Let it go.

It could have been me.

 

40 Patriotic Military Heroes

March 10, 2016

If I were king,  these are the kind of young men I would want in my army:

The 12th Legion:   They are strong, brave,  experienced in warfare, patriotic, pious – comrades in arms,  brothers,  ready for battle ;   and one time they saved the whole rest of the army nearby through their courageous actions and by the coincidental help of a powerful lighting storm,  earning for themselves the nickname:  The Lightning Legion!

soldiers

Young men,  like these.  40 of them in the Lightning Legion.  An emperor should be proud.

But this emperor had a personal grudge against Christianity.   These 40 men were young Christians,  faithful to the teachings handed down to them,  loyal to the bishop in Rome,  and above all,  believers in Christ Jesus.     The Emperor Licinius wanted them to pledge their loyalty to the Roman gods.

The year is 320 A.D.  in the dead of a very cold  winter  — and no, Constantine did not convert to Christianity and make the whole Roman Empire become Christian!    Didn’t happen.     In 313 A.D.  all religions were decriminalized, including Christianity,  but not including everywhere,  and this was the province of Armenia,  and it was time to get rid of the Christians here.

 

roman soldier

Each young soldier was told to pay homage to the Roman gods,  and one by one, each Christian young soldier that made up this Legion refused.

So, one by one,  each young man was chained to the prison wall, and asked again.   When they refused to give up their faith in Christ,  rocks were thrown at their faces, until they were badly bruised.

They were cajoled, implored, promised good things,   warned, and threatened with death.   Deny that Jesus ever lived!  Deny that Jesus is the Son of God!   Deny that Jesus died for your sins!    Deny that Jesus has prepared a place for you in Heaven and awaits you there!

All 40 young men were then stripped naked, forced to walk to the center of the frozen lake and made to stand there until they died of exposure.    They had time that night to write to their families. Good-byes.  Be joyful for us.   And one young man wrote his parents to take special care of his younger brother so that he doesn’t fall into the temptations of the world, and so lose his eternal soul.   Very touching.  A heart full of love, just before his own awful death.

Here is the lake today,  but not in winter.

lake not in winter

Imagine it frozen, though, and very, very cold.   I don’t even visit my own back yard pond in the winter with bare arms.     Imagine the 40 young Christian men standing on the ice together in the center.

Temptations and promises were thrown at the soldiers.   A large and very warm bath was set up on the shore so that the soldiers could see their relief – if they would deny Christ.  And many hours later,  one did.   Maddened by the effects of the cold winter winds on his body,  one young man ran for the bath’s steamy warmth.

As our physiology would have it –  the shock of the warm water killed him instantly.

The emperor’s men standing guard around the lake watched it all, and were moved by the steadfast faith of the  Christians.    What God is worth courage like this?    What God can strengthen His followers with joy amidst such suffering?

39?    One guard-soldier saw what looked like angelic creatures,   shining spirits hover overhead, placing beautiful crowns on the heads of the 39 soldiers, who were singing and praying out loud.    He began to understand.     The guard-soldier took off his clothes and ran out to join the young men   Now there are 40 again.

40 martyrs

By morning some of the men remained alive, somewhat.   The other guards were told to brake their legs and then throw them in the fires along the shore.     The bodies of all the martyrs were burned and the remains thrown into the lake.

Almost immediately  their story spread;   and they are honored as true martyrs ever since.  March 9th and 10th are the days various Christian honor them.    Poems, songs, churches and shrines arose in their name,  but most important of all,  their legacy is that it is possible to endure the worst that the world can give and still hold onto the Faith that has been passed down since the time of Christ.    And is certain that you will receive your reward, for ever.

Bar Cross in middle

 

Your nation can turn against you,  even the nation you love,   but Jesus never will.

 

LIVING WELL IN 2016

January 4, 2016

(Just a very short note;  still “recovering” from the holidays.)

I forgot who wrote this, but I come across it once in a while:

“HE LIVES WELL WHO ALWAYS HAS OWN DEATH BEFORE HIM.”

I could elaborate on that.
But so can you.

 

COMMUNITY FRIDAYS

March 21, 2015

(In honor of a new Reader of The Spruce Tunnel who especially likes the Food Part,    I’ll offer up the next three posts in honor of “food.”)

I could call this “Fish Fry Fridays,”  but as a kid who moved around a lot,  I see the things I long for — and that is a sense of community.    A sense of belonging to a community.

SAMSUNGAnd that’s why I pulled into this rather full parking lot, ready to meet a nice friend and some of her family members – also very nice! –  and enjoy some good company and sort of good food.      Looks like many others had the same idea.

SAMSUNGIt’s a safe and gentle place to meet.   No pressure.  No performances.    Low key and welcoming.   My friend is a smart, competent, professional young woman who has an intelligent and gentle approach to life.    I was soon to learn that her cousin and his wife and baby have a similar intelligent gentleness about them.     It was good to be with them.

SAMSUNGIt was crowded inside too!   I snapped pictures as I walked along — kind of “shooting from the hip” — so many photos came out a little fuzzy.   But this gives you an idea of where we’d be spending the next hour or so.    Among them.    “Among”  was a nice word that evening.

SAMSUNG  The “food place.”   Where you get your food.     Fried fish.  Baked fish.   Baked potatoes.   French fries.   Macaroni and cheese.   Creamy cole slaw.   Vinegar-y cole slaw.   Pickles, bread, and all the condiments you might need.     Iced tea.  Lemonade.  Milk.   Coffee.  Water.      All my life I’ve seen signs for “Fish Fry”  at this time of the year.    You can get a fish fry at restaurants or at churches.    Only recently have I participated.    If you abstain from meat on Fridays,  why not do it with your community?

You don’t have to belong to a church to take part in their fish fries:     I had excused myself “for a minute”  to go get something . . . .

SAMSUNG     . . . . but the “minute” turned into about fifteen minutes.    I went up some stairs and came across a not-so-old man just struggling and struggling to breathe as he tried to ascend.   He said he couldn’t get the elevator to open for him.    Poor man!    I stayed with him until he was at the top – and still living! —  and then went on down the hallway.    Then   I met a group of people  who were lost.   So I showed them how to get into the fish fry area.   Before I got back to where I was going,  I met more people, one with a big wheelchair,  who didn’t know how to leave!    So I walked them down the hallways until they could see the outdoors.   When I got to where I was going,  the room was full of little daughters and their mother, so I had to go back downstairs again where I started from.

So, see?   You don’t have to know your way around.   It’s a fish fry at a church and you’re invited!     And there’s a community there of good, intelligent, and gentle people.

TWO HOLIDAYS – IN TRANSITION

November 30, 2014

(First Holiday)   –

Well, the “transition” is partly the drive home from my parents’ home in Florida, where my parents are “no more”  to my home in the Far North, where I am “more.”      That is, God has decided that there would be some more of me here on earth, and I sit, now  in the foggy wonderment of gratitude.

Meanwhile,  two holidays have occurred.     I’m honored to have been within 20 miles of the very first site of designated thanksgiving on these shores,  near this river, here, in Florida:

 

thanks river site

This was one of the sites in North America where it was reported that there are precious living souls that have never heard the name of Jesus,  and good young men rushed off to bring material help and spiritual aid to the native peoples.    After a propitious start,  a Thanksgiving to  the Most High God was decreed, and that was near St. Augustine, Florida, in the mid 16th century.

thanksg priest

On my way out of Florida I decided to stop at a history museum to see what I could learn about this era.   It was the Brevard Museum of Science and History.    The building didn’t look like much from the outside,  but inside I was entranced and captivated by the informative displays — i.e.  “I learned a lot” !

thanks river site

Near that river in the  photo above is a large area of bogs:

windover bog

Desolate, dark, swampy areas with compacted biological and mineral matter  —   Perfect for preserving the details of life as it existed long ago.   If you were a scientist digging into those bogs,  you would see exciting, promising walls of bog like this:

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Really!   If that doesn’t excite you,  you ought not to be an archeologist or a paleontologist!

Slowly, with toothpick and toothbrush, and other such fine tools,  the scientists uncovered the details of life among the native American people here in Florida.    I was looking at the Windover Tribe.    I’m afraid I moved slowly from area to area with open mouth and slack hands at my side – not conducive for much picture-taking –  but I managed to take  a couple photos, out of great respect for these people:

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Actual cloth  woven by the tribe (preserved in bog color, of course).  The weaving was exquisite and of great variety, more variety than we have in our clothes today.

And then there was this child, lovingly and carefully buried:

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She is about five years old and she is buried with some toys.   They cared about her.    She is buried  in a water grave;  literally laid to rest under a few feet of water,  covered,  the body tied down with those triangles of sticks,  covered again, and weighted down by rock so tide and predators won’t take her away.

These water graves were not used anymore by the time the missionaries came to the Florida shores,  depicted in this mural:

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Here is the truth about what those first missionaries found:     Archeologists found that the people were about the same height as the Europeans, averaging 5 feet 6 inches to about 5 feet 8.    They were subject to many nutritional deficiencies and  degenerative diseases, often including degenerative arthritis and tooth infections leading into the jaw.  Ouch.

The Windovers were one of several small tribes up and down the coast of Florida, and there is evidence of deep wounds,  bones scarred and shattered by arrows, spears, and clubs;  and so in spite of the standard obligatory museum statements that the natives were “peaceful” and lived in harmony with their world,  evidence supports the conclusion that they were no different from people who live anywhere in this Fallen World.    They waged war, and as Columbus had found a few decades before,   they  kept slaves, they murdered and tortured each other to quite an alarming degree.

There is evidence of fear, superstition,  and magic.   Here is just one glass-enclosed case of their personal-size,  hand-held idols:

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It is to these people that the missionaries came.

thanks mass among

Yes, of course,  other kinds of Spaniards came,  but the Church decreed in several papal bulls that the indigenous people were not to be harmed, and that their culture was to be respected and kept intact.   On pain of excommunication.    (The Vatican had about as much power over the Conquistadors as the Vatican today has over the likes of a Ted Kennedy,  Nancy Pelosi,  or a Tony Blair…. or other names we know who publicly claim to be Catholic.)    But even villains have souls;  and is there anyone beyond hope?

I’m becoming rambly now.    Rambly:  my mind is beginning to ramble, because I’m a historian by nature, and I know of myriads of cultures and societies that have come and gone on this planet;  like these Windover people.    Like the Rus Vikings in my own heritage,  no longer Christian,   degenerated now into a bunch of bewildered Swedes who are being beaten down  (literally, physically)  and overwhelmed and overcome by the African Muslims who are busy overtaking Sweden .

If I can ramble one little step further:  I love my Swedish heritage,  but  without the knowledge of God,  they are subject to all the ordinary evils of this world, including confusion,  weakness, , and displacement.

So I arrived home with the knowledge of another small society which some great young men had attempted to impart the knowledge of  the One and Only True God.       Then it was my opportunity to give thanks, with my very small family,  with turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes, happy that though we may be just  one temporary culture along the stream of Time,   there is preserved in us the knowledge of God.

…and happy to learn and obey this:  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. . . .”   (I Thessalonians 5:18)

So thanks to all those missionaries who settled both coasts of Florida;    and northwards up the Mississippi;  and southwards down the Mississippi;     across Mexico;  upwards along the coast of California;  downwards along the Pacific Northwest coast;   all along the Great Lakes;  down the St. Lawrence River;  Upper New York state;  Vermont;  New Hampshire.

East; West;  North;  South;  and right in the middle of our nation,   the missionaries brought the news of Jesus Christ. . . .

. . . .   the missionaries soaked the ground with their blood.

Perhaps we do have a mission in this world.

Deo gratias.

 

TITULUS CRUCIS: THE HISTORICAL RECORD

September 12, 2014

This is “The Weekend of the Cross.”   (Not an official title,  just my name given to this weekend, because there is much to think about that refers to the Cross.)

And here it is,  the historic Titulus Crucis,  dated by modern scientists to the first century, A.D.

Titulus

From its name you can probably tell that this wooden object is the “Title”  that was placed on the Cross of Jesus.    Or most of that sign anyway.   It’s made of olive wood, unlike the cross which was made of pine.    You can see it at the Santa Croce en Gerusalemme,  in Rome.

The  Christian faith is based on historic events and on the responses of people subsequent and relating to that history.      Although faith is required of us (faith:  knowledge with assent and trust),   once in a while it’s nice to see an actual artifact from those times.          (“Seeing is believing,” we like to say.)

On Sunday,  Sept. 14,  Christendom will recognize the feast day called The Exaltation of the Cross.   (Exaltation, not “worship,”   for my evangelical friends.)      This exaltation was triggered by a very real historical event, which I’ll tell you about later, but for now just think of the Cross as a metaphor:    Christ had His Cross to bear, he was brought low and was an outcast, but rose triumphant, according to historic eyewitness accounts.

The significant “metaphor” part of this is that the Church, as Christ’s Body, will also have to reprise the events that occurred in the life of Christ — including being brought to its Cross.   False accusations,   deliberate misunderstandings,   revilings,   expulsion from the public square, and persecutions are a natural part of this life, and as the world’s time runs out,  so will the persecution become worldwide and more intense.

The Church will have to undergo the same sufferings as Christ, whom the Church follows!

And then comes the end,   the vindication,  the victory –  which belongs to the real Christ,  the real Jesus,  because it is He who obtained it.

The victory comes through the Cross.

This is a good weekend to think about it.   

Recent headlines from Nigeria

Recent headlines from Nigeria

Many will go to their churches this weekend.   Some of those churches will be surrounded by enemies of the Cross;  they will have guns and machetes and fire bombs,   and Christians inside those churches will be injured, captured, enslaved, or killed.   Why do those Christians persist in their faith?

Enemies Triumphant

Enemies Triumphant

Many other Christians will continue to endure the “soft persecution” by their culture, by people in their own societies,  chipping away at their faith,  suppressing Christian teaching, mocking them, reviling them, labeling them with nasty names,  making false accusations,  and preventing them from expressing their faith in public.

Commanding, by new laws,  that the cross be hidden.

PARADISE LOST – OVERNIGHT

August 26, 2014

I invested a lot of time and money and attention and big hopes in my tomato garden this year,  and it looked like it was all worth it!

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Those tomatoes tasted as good as they look!

Actually, my back deck tomato garden was a two-man job.  Son invested a lot of time and ingenuity into the tomato plants too.   He created a sprinkler system on a timer so that when I had to be traveling so much this summer,  the tomato plants would still get watered.

It was a Tomato Garden of Eden on my deck.    It looked all summer like a “paradise” of full lush vegetation, all promising to produce this fruit.

And then –  I had an overnight surprise:

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At least it seemed like overnight –

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I had noticed yesterday when I did my harvesting that the tomato plants looked thinner.    Well, it is late summer, I thought,  and the leaves on some of the trees are just beginning to turn color.

But as I learned and researched and inspected more closely —

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— I saw the telltale signs of Late Blight.    Brownish-gray spots and a soggy, wilted brown leaf.    This is a destructive fungus, rapidly destroying tomato plants  (and other food crop from the nightshade family.)

So . . . Paradise Lost  (with apologies to John Milton)  –

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“Paradise”  and a whole lot of tomatoes.   There is some discussion about whether tomatoes from these plants are safe to eat.    It is unanimous that one should not can these tomatoes,  but they may (or may not) be safe to eat — and if you want to eat them, you must make sure there are no discolored areas on the tomato,  because a weakened, diseased tomato has a higher pH  and is likely host to some very nasty bacteria.

I’ve often wondered about the Great Potato Famine in northern Europe and Ireland of the  mid-19th century.    The potato is also in the nightshade family,  like tomatoes.    I wondered about that Famine because it’s always said that the farmers  across Europe came out to their fields one day to find the Blight had infected all their crop.   Really?   That fast?

Yes.

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The fungus spreads into the food, making it turn black, just as the potatoes in the fields at the start of the Great Potato Famine were described.

Now,  you probably know,  if you visit here once in a while,  that I take history very, very seriously,  and I take my religion very seriously.   Although the Great Potato Famine was a horrendous historical event, and although it resulted in a great movement of legal immigrants into our country,  many of them hard-working,  religious,  and very glad to be in America,  and whose descendants have contributed greatly to this nation,  although we know all that —  do we know how and why  that Famine begin?

1846.     There are other historic facts concerning this Famine too, and it began in  northern France.***

1846 is when the warning was given.

la salette

It was given here in this beautiful countryside in northern France.  Two shepherd children came across a “beautiful lady”  who was weeping and had an aura of such great sadness about her that they asked her what was wrong.

. . . The end of the story is that she knew that a terrible judgment (punishment)  was about to fall on the people of northern Europe because they had stopped paying homage to God  (chiefly evidenced by treating Sundays as though they were just any other da; y and by swearing, bad language,  profanity,  and blasphemies using the holy name of God.)    When a population ceases to pay homage to God,  then the dam breaks, the floodgates are opened to disrespecting other human beings, manifested by selfishness,   violence, sexual immorality, and all other woes that we see in today’s world.

Two Great Commandments:   “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength…”    And:     “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”       (That is, with self-respect,  dignity,  and your religion in place, then you will be able to rightly love and respect and cherish the person standing next to you.    We’re not told to “love humanity,”  but to love the person you see right next to you, in your home, your work, when you shop,  when you drive….)

Well, this message wasn’t exactly welcomed.    Or obeyed.

The Blight was already forming in the mid-19th century, and for the next five or six years life was very, very hard for most Europeans.   Millions  died.

pilgrims

In this present time,  every year,   many people remember this event, and the reason for it.     These are pilgrims,  not tourists.

I feel obliged to tell you that this Blight is still in existence, becoming more and more resistant to whatever we use to keep it at bay.

And scattered here and there, all over the news,  there are acknowledgements of other “natural”  disasters ready to strike:    crop failures,  plagues,  big earthquakes,  comet strikes. . . .     But no more ‘beautiful lady”   to bring us back to God.

I think she knows we will likely not listen.

Bar wavy

***    You can read more if you Google in search terms for La Salette, apparition,  prophecy.     The two young children consistently told the same story throughout their lives, even though they did not see each other as adults;  however, the girl  has possibly embellished her story in her later years, so the Church is cautious about some of the more lurid  prophecies which seem to speak of increasing immorality and wickedness in our times, right up to the top of the hierarchy of the Church.     Or maybe this was a true prophecy.   Just be cautious. 

ADDNEDUM TO TUESDAY’S TRIBUTE: AUGUST 13, 1917

August 13, 2014

Still moving books and bookshelves and computers and hundreds of assorted smaller objects and got myself overtired again — but I couldn’t sleep because the date is bothering me.  It’s a serious one and the “teacher” in me wants you to know.

On this date in 1917   thousands of people didn’t know that they had only about eight more weeks to live.

1917 russia

Yes, those are “police” firing on citizens, killing many of them.   It was the beginning of the October Revolution in Russia, and many tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of people did not know that this takeover by the socialists, this October Revolution,  was their death sentence too.

But it hadn’t begun quite yet on August 13th of 1917.   Something else was happening on that date in Portugal, and it would soon be apparent that the two events were connected.

 On this day, about 97 years ago,  three young children were kidnapped by their (masonic/socialist/revolutionary/republican/progressive) mayor who ruled over the area where the children lived. 

The children were Catholic.   On the 13th day of successive months in 1917 they were chosen to deliver messages and warnings to the people of earth;   and the mayor,  who hated all religion, took the children,  put them in the town jail with other adult prisoners,  told them to change their stories or else they would be boiled in oil until they were dead.

August 13, 1917.  One by one the children were separated from each other and told that their cousins, for that’s what they were to each  other, had been boiled and were now dead.   “Now it’s your turn.”

The children weren’t lying and they didn’t change their stories and two days later they were let go.  No criminal charges against the mayor and his office, of course.  

The connection with Russia?    Well, the overall messages were warnings that if mankind didn’t change their immoral ways,  repent,  turn back to God,  then horrible, terrifying judgments were being prepared for the planet and the humans who live here, and  somehow, in ways that were not understood then,  Russia was to play a key role.

If mankind remained sinful and immoral,  great “errors” would begin in Russia and then  these errors would spread slowly but surely to the rest of the world.   Death and devastation would follow.  If mankind still did not come to its senses,  these “errors” would spread all the way to the “top” – to the Vatican –   and millions more souls would be lost as the new socialist orientation would infect the Church itself.

August 13, 1917.     Kidnapping and intimidation of children….and an approaching death sentence to the people of Russia –  and, so far, an unheeded warning to all of us.

 

 

CULINARY ROAD TRIP – WITH FASTING

August 9, 2014

Well,  my road trip eventually included a Sunday.    And based on my experience in the Far Far North that day,  this will be a beautiful but sad posting.

It starts with  a parking lot!

SAMSUNGI “had to”  park  alongside beautiful Lake Superior.    It was a bit of gray day just then, so the Lake seems less blue than my car, but usually it’s the other way around.   (I’ll show you that in the next posting!)     So, this Sunday started with a parking lot, but it continued with the nearby cathedral.

I love cathedrals!

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I love the size and the beauty and the art work and all the soul-enriching things that I’m not wealthy enough to surround myself with.    This cathedral is made for everyone to enjoy in all its immense-ness.

SAMSUNG This is the home of the very brave and hard-working, holy man we know as Bishop Baraga.    He walked all over this territory in the Far Far North,  bringing the knowledge of Christ to the Native tribes who lived up here.    Many were receptive to the Faith and freely entered the Church.    I personally know some of their descendants today.   Those that have kept themselves inside the Church have become well-educated, self-sufficient, decent citizens, who love their families and work for their communities, both in their professions and in their personal time.

Other  descendants of these first Catholics have left the Faith.   Many are wards of the State… we support them with our tax dollars.    I wish they knew who Bishop Baraga was.

There is a sign on the side of the cathedral building, telling us a little about the good bishop.

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And there is a statue of him on another side.

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It’s tempting to just walk by,  thoughtlessly.

Around the back of the cathedral I noticed a little chapel dedicated to Bishop Baraga:

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It was peaceful back there.  Restful.   It was Sunday,  a time to slow down a little.  I peeked inside the glass windows, then put my camera up to the glass:

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Accidently left my flash on,   but you can see a nice stained glass window telling a little of his story, and there, by the other stained glass window,  is the place where his body has been respectfully laid.    There are kneeling benches in front,  in case you’d like to linger, and think, and thank. . .  .

I didn’t enter into the cathedral by those big front doors.  I chose the modern entrance.

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Garden.  Nicely done.

When I finally got inside,  my thoughts came to a stop.    SAMSUNGIt was dark inside, but very beautiful.

It was time to experience the presence of God.     And pray a little.    Me and God.

And it was time to wait.    I felt pretty happy.   This is what I came for.     To commune with God.    To receive the Son of God into myself as Jesus said to do it.      That was the reason for the fasting.    You don’t mix something important and holy with. . . .ham and eggs.     You know?    So you fast for a  while.   Until a bit afterwards.   “Man does not live by bread alone,”  Jesus said.   It’s a  “culinary road trip,”  but food is not always so important.

Other people were there.    We all waited in the beautiful church.   The beautiful dark church.

The lights never came on for us.    The clock went past the time that we were here for.     I said this was a beautiful but sad posting.    Ten minutes.  Twenty minutes.   A  half hour.   Oh, we were quiet and patient.   We read our Readings for the day, we read our missals, we prayed…. and some of us began to make a “spiritual communion” — it’s what you do when you can’t have the real physical communion.

Eventually, the people began leaving.

It was like we were fasting not only from physical food,  but from our spiritual food.

Some were sad and quiet, some were annoyed,  but none of us were really surprised.    We were going to worship in the way people worshiped here at the time of Bishop Baraga.  The same way our grandparents worshiped.  And their grandparents.  All the way back in time, the same way of worshiping,  all the way back to the first century after Christ.   But these beautiful cathedrals have been taken over now by people who worship another way.    They sometimes make room for what they used to be,  but sometimes . . .  things happen.    They’re not too particular.    They’ve abandoned what was.

SAMSUNGI looked up at a statue of St. Joseph, reminding us of his loving care for the child Jesus;  reminding us of all the good qualities he had that made him a good choice to be Foster Father of the child Messiah.   Patron saint of families.   Help of families.  Protector.   Provider.   Father.    What would he think of the Child he loved and cared for being abandoned today?

Then I saw the Mother:

SAMSUNG“Blessed is the fruit of your womb!”  her cousin cried out.  “And blessed are you among all women!”        And Mary understood:    “Behold, all generations shall call me blessed.”   And I understand a little too.  I understand that she was made especially to carry the Incarnate Son of God.   A privilege, a joy, a piercing sorrow.     How sorrowful would she be today to see her Son abandoned by a different sort of generation.

It was not a “lost” day,  though.

A little boy came up to me, next to his parents.     He was about six years old.   He looked like he was trying to be mad.      He said to me, “We drove all morning to get here and then there is nothing!   I wanted to see Jesus!”    I looked at his parents.    They said it was a 3 1/2 hour drive to get there that morning.   (Yes,  there are great distances between places in the Far Far North.)

I told the little boy that it was okay.   “Jesus knows you came here and you tried.”        The little boy brightened up and said, “Oh yeah!   He can see me!”    He went away,  happily, to watch his mom take photos of the interior of the cathedral.

Sad, indeed.   Disappointing.    But all was not “lost.”    We hadn’t fasted for nothing.

 

SOME TREES ARE GOING TO BE BURNED

July 27, 2014

The Church teaches a robust, manly Faith that requires courage and honesty and clear thinking.   In the Readings *  appointed for this 7th Sunday (after Pentecost) there is a helpful image that points to a clear conclusion.

burning brush

When a tree becomes unproductive, or doesn’t live up to its intended purpose,  it’s taken down, the branches are collected into a pile, and when the time is right,   we burn the bad trees.   The Readings appointed for us today tell us about good and bad trees.

Surprisingly to modern ears, the One who told us “God is Love”  is the same One who teaches us today that “Every tree that bringeth not forth  good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.”    We being the different kinds of trees, of course.

We’re like trees that produce fruit.  If we live and breathe and move around, we can’t help but produce fruit.   Good fruit is good fruit.   Bad fruit is bad fruit.    There is Good (and bad).  There is Right (and wrong).    Black is not white,  and this is not that.

In the mental, moral, and spiritual confusion of today, it’s easy to throw up our hands and say, Oh well, “God is love,” and He knows me and He’ll find some Good Fruit in me somewhere, in the end, in the Day of Burning.

But then, at the end of our Readings, we read more:  The One who said “God is Love,” and who said “Come unto Me,”  also says today “Not everyone who says about me Lord, Lord…will enter the kingdom of Heaven . . . ”       So just acknowledging that God exists,  just acknowledging that Jesus is the only way to Him, still isn’t  enough because there’s still that problem of “fruits” that our lives are producing.

Plenty of trees, all producing their own quality of fruit.

plenty of trees

The Epistle Reading tells us clearly that when we sink our roots into the mental, moral, and spiritual confusion of the culture around us, our fruit will be bad fruit.

On the other hand,  a life lived in Christ, within Christ,  and for Him, as His servants and friends, will yield the good fruit that leads to life everlasting.

We live;  we make fruit.

Courage, honesty, and clear thinking will help us decide where to place our roots.

 

*  The Gospel today is Matthew 7:15-21  and the Epistle is Romans 6:19-23

 

HE AND I – ON THE BEACH

May 8, 2014

I’ve had a little time since I’ve returned home to look back on my trip to Florida.    I remember that I “made” myself spend time on the beach.  And then I made myself stay there even a bit longer,  because the human mind needs more time than we realize to grow and mature.

SurfTwo or three posts ago I wrote about sitting near the surf one dark, stormy evening, and what I had learned then.   But on this day I was walking – walking and feeling.

I was feeling the glare of the sun producing a painful, blistering rash on my exposed skin.   And I was also feeling the cool force of the weight of the surf bubbling over my feet:

Footstep

I knew I needed this sensation to last for a very long time.  It’s so strange to me, I don’t feel the surf very often,   and it was opening up all kinds of sensations and feelings and thoughts.   Step after step in the shifting sand I was feeling the very high and joyful experiences that I was having in the south, and also the very, very low experiences I and my Mom were suffering.

It was so sweet to be with her – to see portions of her mind that remembered me and all our old photos, and every single precious word that she could speak.   But I learned some very terrible “secrets” from her nurses too, and I’m brought very low.

I marveled that Florida looks like a beautiful tropical paradise with exotic vegetation and lots of outdoor activities available,  but the local news was filled with violent crime after violent crime,  and sad, wounded people.

The streets were usually filled with slow, bumper-to-bumper traffic, people going everywhere,  but many stores were empty – abandoned buildings,  closed businesses.   I seemed to be always hungry because the restaurants I remembered were closed or had very limited hours.

I was often  filled with both happy expectations,  and then also surprising sorrow.

And then –  while I was walking –  since it’s just after our celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus,   I remembered that He too walked along a beach – often going down to the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee.

Surf walk

What rejoicing and victory!  He walked in His “new and everlasting body” —  so different from the body He had in this world and during His suffering and death on the Cross.    It just came to me that the manner in which Jesus walks now, on shores and beaches and in surfs, if he chose to, just like me,  He would be walking beyond all suffering —  I’m so glad for Him! –and so will we some day too.

Once or twice a day, I say in the creed:   “…carnis ressurectionis…”    –  “I believe in the resurrection of the body”;  a body that  in the next life will be  impassible,  no longer feeling uncomfortable changes, no longer affected by physical wounding and corruptions,   no longer having a heart heavy with sadness, losses, partings, and sorrows,   no more worries about the pain and difficulties of my life coming to an end.

The sense of His presence with me in the surf that day was so strong.

He wants this impassibility for all of us, because it is the right thing for us, and because He loves us and wants good things for us. . . .

So, it was He and I on the beach that day.

A touch from His loving hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON A WING AND A PRAYER

May 2, 2014

(I do hope you’ve all had the  strengthening  experience in your formative years of that movie “On a Wing and a Prayer.”    Very good for teenagers, young adults, and adults.)

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Strengthening effect notwithstanding,   I’m not sure I even have a “wing” today.

Broke down in southern Georgia – rural southern Georgia.    (They “heard of computers”  they said, which is probably what’s causing my Warning Light to inform me that there is a Loss of Power, or sometimes Low Power.)

On the other hand,  ever hear of the Robertsons on Duck Dynasty?     It’s ALL TRUE!    There really are Christian ladies and gentlemen down here that enfold you  in love and kindness when you are in distress.

But, well, stalling when you need power steering and power brakes is pretty unsettling, and losing power on any slight uphill grade is downright dangerous.    Semis veer around me and whiz by at 60 m.p.h.

And today I have two mountain ranges to get through.

I got going  on the road again through the prayers of those southern Georigians and their kindness which gave me a small amount of courage…a womanly amount, I guess.     If you have any skill in praying,  please give me a thought today in your prayers.    I know I drive under a whole panoply of angels and saints who help me implore our God to get me home –

I saw a billboard – in middle Georgia – that showed a man hanging off a cliff by a rope.  The words on the billboard said:   “It’s okay.   Let go.  Jesus will catch you.”

Deo gratias.