SACRIFICE AND SACRIFICES

Posted July 23, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis

Tags: , , ,

It’s Sunday now, as I write.    The eighth day of the “cosmological” week.   I know,  there are seven days in the grouping we call “week”  but   the Eighth Day is actually the First Day of a whole new “week.”

Which relates to the concept of  “sacrifice.”

Sacrifice is a common word,  commonly understood,   commonly instilled in children by smart parents,  and even commonly done.

We willingly sacrifice a lesser good for a greater good.

sac ironing

I sacrifice my free time to do some dreary chore,  so that life goes better for me in the future.   I have clean clothes available,  my money is accounted for,  I don’t have to trip over things on the floor.   I sacrifice yummy  unhealthy treats for the sake of feeling good.      Et cetera.

 

On a higher, more altruistic level,  we just know that the world is a better place when we sacrifice a little effort for the sake of others.

Good Deeds

It gets tricky, though.    It’s hard to stay clear of  “doing good”  for the sake of “feeling good”  about ourselves,   but we should nevertheless continue to spend time and effort for the sake of others.

I don’t know who  “Mark Story”   is,  but his motto seems to sum it up —

sacrifice motto

 

Some have given the ultimate sacrifice.    “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”  I hope you all know where that quotation came from.    If not,  you have been severely undereducated and deprived of a major force in Western Civilization.

It’s not too late!

sac tale cover

We may not ever have to go that far.

The idea of making sacrifices is as old as human activity:

sacrifice ot

Why?    The “Life”  of living creatures is in the Blood.      Because of  the “Fall”  of mankind,  the sense that Death is the only just result of rebelling against (and separating from) one’s own Creator was  met by the Creator providing a way back to Life.

The first humans were covered by their Creator with  “animal skins,” which could only be obtained by the death of those animals.    Thus began the offer of peace with God through substitutionary  sacrifice — and the whole sacrificial system of atonement with God,  although it  was perverted at various times in pagan cultures into an act of meaninglessness or of brutality:

sacrifice mayan

NONE OF THESE SACRIFICES   have any benefit alone,  not the good ones,  not the ones commanded and sanctioned by God,   and not even any of the little  sacrifices we’re so proud to do in our daily lives.     No benefit alone and apart from the one and only Sacrifice ordained from before Creation.

And since this Sacrifice was completed by the One who is from Eternity,   any benefit, any merit,  and safety, any salvation  must be connected to that One and Only Sacrifice.

It’s Sunday:

3rd mass

The Crucifixion isn’t only  for those who lived 2,000  years ago.

Today,  we join our everlasting spirits with the Sacrifice of  Christ on the Cross — and that alone is what gives validity and meaning to all the little sacrifices we make.

It’s a whole new  ballgame  Week!

Deo gratias.

 

NOW WHAT?

Posted July 22, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Nature

Tags: ,

(A little Object Lesson from Nature):

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Lawn and John 270

 

Remember that brand-new battery-operated lawn mower I wrote about a few posts ago?     Still going strong!   Still wonderful!  We’re delighted each time we discover new features — like its headlights!!  Imagine mowing the lawn at dusk – using headlights!

 

The lawn has a nice, even  texture now:

Bee lawn

It seemed like we had the yard “under control” now for the summer.

But –  as Son was mowing a few days ago,  he came across this:

Bee Hole

It is a “nice, even”  round hole.    The ground bees are back!    Son got gently buzzed off by a sentry bee,  so we got to work making plans to get rid of them, later that night,  when it was dark and all the bees were “home.”

At 11:00 that night,  we came out with a flashlight and carefully poured . . .   a “substance” . . .  down the hole.   Son thought he heard some buzzing, but it soon got quiet. He poured some dirt into the hole and placed a small white rock over the hole,  pressing it down with his heel.

Mission accomplished!

There is a problem,  you assess the situation, you find a way to take care of the problem,  and you execute the solution!   Smart us!

But – I walked out there about 36 hours later to check things out,  and a bee flew right up against my pants leg with a gentle bump.

Bee reminder

You’re trespassing!

I got the message.      From a little further away I saw several bees buzzing around.

Then I looked down where the original hole had been.

Bee HOLES

The bee colony had torn up more of my lawn!   Now there were many holes around that initial hole, still covered by the white rock.     All we had done was make them mad and they came back with more power, more destruction — more bees.

Now what?

We’ve got some ideas.

But it got me thinking:    Sometimes we have to fight.  Safety versus danger.  Right versus wrong.  Good versus evil.

It’s the Nature of the human predicament today.    You’ve heard many times:  “All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good men to do Nothing.”

So we fight.

A man fights.  A man of virtue, valor, and courage fights against what is wrong and evil.      Choose your profession.  Or choose your avocation.    Somewhere in your life you’ll have to take a stand.

And if a first assault against the Enemy wasn’t strong enough,  we fight again.   And again.

(I’m going to delete all my examples)   because  we all understand that there are battles out there that deserve a good fighting opposition from us,  each in our own proper station in life:   from standing up to protect the good values of our religion and of our country

. . .    to defending right against wrong in our personal lives . . .

. . .   all the way down to fending off the bees . . . .

 

bee flight.jpg

. . . . again and again.

 

St. Paul wrote:    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.   (Galatians 6:9)

July 17th

Posted July 18, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Faith, French Revolution, Persecution of Christians

Tags: , , ,

(One more thing to say, while it is still “July 17th”  somewhere in the world tonight.)
I want to pay tribute to some very dear young ladies,  innocent,  pure,  sweet, and very, very courageous.

France gave us the first example of a modern European totalitarian state.  They cried out “Liberty!  Equality!  and Fraternity!”   to make people think they were benign.  They gave us the modern terms  “Left”  and “Right”  when it comes to political opinions, and acted as though “Left”  was the only legitimate way to think.

And if they could not convince you of their arguments  (and their arguments are indefensible),  then they used the force of the law against you.

(In America this has recently shown up as:  “You don’t think the State should decide who gets health care, when,  and how much???  —  Then we’ll just write some laws and a stack of regulations six feet high that make it illegal for anyone to not have State-run health “care.”)     

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Back to France,  if you don’t agree with the State, as it formed in 1789,  then there are laws against you – enforced by the guillotine.   

You know the story.

Here are the names of the innocent young ladies,  singing sweetly, testifying to their hope in Jesus Christ alone,   all the way to the top of the stairs where they knelt down under the blade:

* Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, b. in Paris, 22 Sept., 1752, professed 16 or 17 May, 1775;

* Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, b. at Belfort, 7 Dec., 1752, professed 3 Sept, 1771;

* Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said “I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me”;

* Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. at Mouy, 16 Sept., 1715, professed 19 Aug., 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778;

* Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;

* Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. in Paris, 18 June, 1745, professed 22 Feb., 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;

* Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, b. at Compiègne, 4 April, 1743, professed 12 Dec., 1771;

* Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville, widow, choir-nun (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), b. at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;

* Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. at Cajarc (Lot), 17 June, 1760, professed 22 Oct., 1786.

* Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born 12 May, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born 7 Sept., 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;

* Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. 28 May, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit 16 Dec., 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing “Laudate Dominum”.

In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourières.

The lay sisters are:

* Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. at Fresnes, 4 August, 1742, professed 14 May, 1769;

* Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, b. at Beaune, 1 or 2 Oct., 1742, entered the community in 1772;

* Julie or Juliette Vérolot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. at Laignes or Lignières, 11 Jan., 1764, professed 12 Jan., 1789.

The two tourières, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were: Catherine and Teresa Soiron, b. respectively on 2 Feb., 1742 and 23 Jan., 1748 at Compiègne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.

 

I think we should remember them.  I think we should know their names.     They were somebodies’  sisters and daughters.    I think we should pay some small tribute to them,  victims  of the first  Big  Atheistic State Government in Europe.

I told their story before in The Spruce Tunnel.  You can see some pictures here in “One Last Small Song.”

Guil

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GRUMBLE NOT

Posted July 18, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Domestic Chores, Food

Tags: , , ,

It’s been a l o n g day, and I want to go to bed.   Sort of.

I often say my body is manic-depressive.    Son gave me a good excuse today:

CME

We haven’t had too many sunspots lately  (not many in the past decade or so!  We’re in a period of cooling which often accompanies a time of fewer sunspots.) — but little ol’  #2665  let out a good CME this weekend,  sending a decent size geomagnetic storm our way.

The KP Index was interesting.  At least we got into the Red:

KP j

I didn’t see much effect on my radio reception and I didn’t see any auroras,  but Son said sometimes there’s an effect on . . . people.

Which might account for my sleeping nearly every hour of this past weekend.    I’d like to think it was the Sun that did it to me,  not being awake for nearly every hour of the preceding three days.      Manic-depressive;  up and down.  My body, not my emotions.  It’s kind of interesting.

I actually began my class this afternoon with the announcement of this geomagnetic storm.    Yes,  it’s a Bible study and we’re discussing the Apparitions of Fatima – (Visions of Hell and Wars and Famines and Persecutions, etc.   and the worldwide spread of a disastrous cultural marxism and economic socialism,  i.e.  the “Errors of Russia” )     But the announcement of a big CME seemed an appropriate way to keep my people grounded in the joys and wonders of this world –  or this solar system, anyway.

The life God gave us is  very, very big!

Because of my weekend-long snooze, I had to catch up on some routine things.  Like grocery shopping.   It can be fun –  but not exciting,  and when you get home there is a lot of dreary drudgery to do if you don’t buy any pre-packaged food.

Chop,  chop,  chop  . . .  separate and store:

SALADS

If I don’t get these things ready to use in a salad –  I won’t use them in a salad.   And they will fold up, turn brown, and go away.     I remember as I was cutting and chopping how impatient I felt-  until I thought of how much I had to do –  how fortunate I was that I had so much to do . . . .

I have a whole garden full of vegetables that was already grown for me,  picked, packaged, and shipped to me.   All I have to do is take care of the vegetables.

And tonight.  As I said above,   I really want to go to bed now,  but I made another stop at my meat store.   Now I have to take good care of those things too:

SOUPS

Bone broth and soup –  bubbling away on my stove.   The longer they “bubble” the better they are.

Tomorrow,  I’ll be glad I made them tonight.   I can’t grumble about all the work I have to do after I go food shopping.   Thanks be to God who supplies this bounty.    Thank you to Hubbie who provided for his family so well.

I can’t grumble.   I must not grumble.

I’m just so tired.     And our world and all its bounty is so very big.

Deo gratias.

 

 

 

A MINI mini-EMP

Posted July 11, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor

Tags: , , ,

 

Zapped!

lightning

I do love lightning storms.     Thunder and  lightning storms.

But – in reality –  a lightning storm can have the same effect as an EMP  —  a very small EMP,   a very tiny local EMP;   like down to one neighborhood.

Our  “local” cable/internet technician walked around our neighborhood to examine the damage done, and although it was somewhat comforting to know he had received “a lot” of calls,   one tiny EMP-type electrical event comes down to one  not-so-tiny disruption.

meltedpc

Internet gone.   Television gone.  Modem gone.   Router gone.

It looked bad.

tv nothing

I was ready to give up things that I couldn’t give up on because we need these things to live the daily life we’ve become used to!  

It took a while to determine all the damage.

Time and “activity” –  unplug, replug, rearrange wires,  move cables around,  disconnect this, reconnect that, phone calls —   It felt like more than I could handle.

cant cat.jpg

I couldn’t pay my bills. I couldn’t do my banking.   I couldn’t buy a new dress.    I couldn’t read the news.   I couldn’t check my emails.   I couldn’t do the last bit of research for my class this afternoon;  so I just went to class anyway.

Then finally,  with a little time  and distance from the problem,  a shopping list developed,  a list of things to buy to replace the . . .   melted things.

An expensive little list.

I was not in a state of mind that I could make sense of replacing and attaching all the new components, and since Son was the last to create all the various electrical pathways  at the back of the TV anyway,  I reluctantly called him as he left work – after a twelve-hour day! –  and I’m hoping he did not hear the extreme frustration and despair in my voice.

He might have.   Because he came.   And with his work and a call to the cable technician,  we got things pretty much going.

One more component to  buy tomorrow.

I can handle that.

scaredy

I don’t like  thunder and lightning storms as much as I used to.

 

 

 

HARD WORK – UNCERTAIN RESULTS

Posted July 8, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Holiday

Tags: ,

flag

Saturday night;  the Week of Fourth of July celebrations and remembrances is ending. My house tonight is quiet and cool,  and I’m finishing a book that takes place during the Revolutionary War.  *

The American Rebels were fighting for  personal Liberty,   and for that they needed to be a free and sovereign nation,  independent of foreign influence.

It was not the Libertie  of the French Revolution that would soon kill their king and set up a powerful State governing force, a revolutionary government more ruthless than any monarch had been.

And it was not the  “Liberty”   motto,   the war cry that inspire some  revolutionary men with dreams  of unrestrained freedom, even yet today.

These first Americans understood Liberty to mean the right to make choices for your own life and to have the freedom to carry out the responsibilities that those choices required.   Nowhere in “Liberty”  was success mentioned;  only the promise that you could work as hard as you wanted to,  to possibly gain a measure of success.  For yourself.   As you defined it.

From Mr. Cornwall’s book:  “Liberty isn’t  heaven, Sam,  it isn’t a blessed reward.  People will still die in sorrow and in poverty when they have liberty.   It’s simply only the freedom to choose your own life, and no one promises you success.”

 

Fireworks

Someone in the neighborhood is setting off fireworks now,  probably for the last time this summer.

I’m glad for the sounds.   It’s a good ending to this Fourth of July week;  a good reminder that we still have something to hope for and to work for.

 

_______________________________________

 

.*  (Redcoat  by  Bernard Cornwall.)

PHOTO”JOURNALISM”

Posted July 6, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cultural Marxism, Socialism

Tags: , , ,

The State can give you everything and fix all of society’s problems,  but it must, then,  control all your actions, all your attitudes,  and all your thoughts.

One of the most important ways to exert this control is through the entertainment-news media, by means of well-chosen words and  by visual images.    During my high school studies,  I remember being fascinated with the Soviets’ use of visual censorship.   I’ve always loved taking pictures, and I really love being able to manipulate them  . .  .  umedit them . . .  digitally.    The Soviets were past-masters at the game:

Disappear 1

(I think the guy with the white hair did something he wasn’t supposed to do.   Or perhaps he said something he wasn’t supposed to be thinking.)

Same with the guy in the dark shirt in another pair of photos side by side –  but he’s not in the second one.

Disappear 2

The Soviet Socialists were very good at eliminating unpleasant things.

They can do that here too.  You’ve seen these high school yearbook  photos, I’m sure:

trumo out 1

Now you see it;   now you don’t.   Nothing  “unpleasant”  allowed in the yearbook.   Nothing that doesn’t fit the (liberal)  party line.

Trump out 2

The photos on the left were the ones submitted to that yearbook editor.   The photos on the right were the ones printed in the yearbook.    There were no restrictions published anywhere of what can be on students’ t-shirts.

In high school,  I was the editor of our school newspaper and helped with the yearbook.  Believe me,   these aren’t  “mistakes.”  These are editorial decisions.

But what does it matter.    They’re only American children, right?

American!

Flag don't tread

America!    Land of the . . .

                 We can’t be Free unless we’re Brave!

FOURTH SHORTS – Two Sets of Rules

Posted July 4, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Culture, Four Last Things, Natural Law, Necessity of Virtue

Tags: , ,

A short little observation since I’ve had some  free time to get caught up on news reading  . . .

Although this is old news.

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We cannot have Rulers over us if there is only one set of rules.     Rulers don’t obey our rules.    This is the Fourth of July  —  and yet our Rulers think we will obey without question.

 

jRulers say J

“You must NOT build that wall.”

(That wall that would reduce the steady stream of invaders across our southern border.)

“But I can.”

O Wall

 

It seems our Rulers and we,  both,   understand the word “protection.”

flag

 

The  ideals of America offer equal protection before the Law.

The  promise of America  is  that all are treated equally,  even those who have been elected to office to serve for a time.

It’s not just a matter of political concern  that we’ve been too easy-going to preserve our freedoms.   It’s a religious matter as well.   “Spiritual,”  if you prefer.   Just as we are all brothers because we have the same Father,   so is it true that all of us will be judged by the same God and Father of us all,  in the same Judgment,  by the same measure.

That is true equality.

That is true integrity:  living your civil life as you do your spiritual life.

Anything less is insanity.

 

FOURTH SHORTS – 3 Birthday Time

Posted July 4, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holiday, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

FOURTH OF JULY!

Happy Birthday — well, to our daughter!

cake

She shares a birthday with our country – and always celebrated her birthday with parades,  picnics, and fireworks.   What a fun date for a birthday!

ballet shoes

…She’s grown up to be her own person, now:  wife, mother,   a professional in business, a vice president of North American Operations for . . . something, actually.   But along the way we watch her learn how to read and write,  navigate her way through  “schools,”  and develop a few hobbies.

 

We’ve had many days of car-pooling to sports games, gymnastics  track practice,  orchestra practice,  and always . . . ballet.     Ballet classes,  ballet rehearsals, and ballet performances.

Ballet

Today,  out in the High Sierras,  she is hosting a huge deck party on the lake;    the one where you invite your friends – and their children.  And people seem to be having a lot of children nowadays!

Though they could,  there won’t be time for snowboarding this year.

Happy Birthday,  Daughter!

 

 

 

FOURTH SHORTS – 2 The All-Purpose Explanation

Posted July 3, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

flag      Another Short Note for the Fourth of July holiday. 

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It took me a long time to decide to get rid of cable in this house.   I was keeping it for sentimental reasons.   I was keeping it for Hubbie’s sake.    Hubbie and I got cable just as soon as it came out,  somewhere around 1980, I think.

We were so excited to have a 24/7 news channel.    What a concept!   We were both teachers,  we had studied history and business,  and we both liked to stay current with the news.

And over the decades we watched the “news” media devolve into a cartoon imitation of itself.   Now it tells us fairy tales,   24/7, and plays one tune:

 

Russia.

 

Stuck, I guess.

I don’t need to be sentimental anymore.   Sadly,   I admit Hubbie doesn’t need cable anymore.

And I sure don’t.

 

FOURTH SHORTS – 1 The Ferocious Kitty

Posted July 3, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor, Uncategorized

Tags:

flag   I love the Fourth of July holiday!    I probably won’t be writing any “thoughtful”  blogs –  just a few short notes here and there,  humorous and not.  (Letting off some steam.)

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I did it a few weeks ago –  I finally did it:   I  “cut the cable.”    I  haven’t missed it at all.  I understand the entertainment-news media is 100% against President Trump and they are leading the Take Down Trump movement.

red

Trump is like a bright red shiny target for them.

 

And the media thinks they’re very effective:

SoShiny

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HIS LIGHT IS LIFE

Posted July 2, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christ the King, Christian Analysis, Faith

Tags: , , ,

(Where I am on Sundays)

There are four Gospels in the Bible, each Gospel represented by an icon:  a man, an ox,  a lion, and an eagle.

Gospel 4

At the end of every Mass we are privileged to read and to hear  the first part of chapter one of the Gospel of John.   Every Sunday, over and over.      The words we hear each Sunday demonstrate why John is the Eagle, whose thoughts soar over and above this earthly life and point us to eternal things:

John 1: 4,5  (speaking of Jesus,  the Son of God,  the Word of God, come into the world)  (4) In him was life, and the life was the light of men.     (5)   And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

His Life is the Light of men!

Heaven smaller

No other source for  our  Light-filled Life that enlivens and blesses our everlasting souls!

Made possible for us,  of course,  by the sacrificial  act of Jesus on His Cross,  which we can enter into, like refreshing nourishment for our souls  —

—  which is why I too enter into that sacrifice to the Eternal God –

ALTAR Only One Reason for the Mass

All for Him.

Sometimes there is an astonishing flood of holiness into a person during the Mass . . . a sense of that Light which Christ truly shares with us.

Verse 5  says   “. . .  and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Of course I cannot fully comprehend what happens.

_________________________________________________________________

But that is very different from the world refusing to comprehend it.

A man can live in pleasure and ignore the great Source of Light and Life.  Men can turn churches into restaurants,   but it will not go well for the  world.

Things will end badly

Things will end badly.

In darkness,  confusion,   despair,  and death.

 

Gospel 4 in glass

( You can check with this guy.)

 

 

 

A BRIEF COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Posted June 28, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Creator, Domestic Chores, Thanksgiving, Wild Birds

Tags: ,

Time for a Brief Commercial Announcement!     I do that once in a while,  here,  when something really unexpectedly great turns up at my house.    I mean,  everyone has to buy new things once in a while,  and you expect it to be “good”  and new and working well, and you’re happy your old thing has been replaced.

But once in a while,  you just want to share something really outstanding.

Here it is:

lawn mower

One surprisingly wonderful  lawnmower!   Now, I love my push mower,  the old fashioned kind,  quiet, non-motorized,  efficient,  and . .  .  a good workout.

I liked having a gas-powered mower —

—    but every year there are the usual problems:  change spark plugs, which are trouble when you don’t;  tune-up,  trouble when you don’t;   gasoline issues;   NOISE;   and then eventually it gets so hard to start,  even when all the other things are taken care of.

A gas-powered lawnmower is so  . . .   last century!

21st Century —

Lawn box

Son arrived this morning at just the right time to open the box,  assemble it,  which took very little time and effort  ( I could have done it!);  charge the battery,  which took very little time;  and then try it out.

Lawn and John 270

(Sorry for the angle;   I was leaving, in a  hurry.)

Son gave it his imprimatur.    The lawnmower created a smooth, velvety green carpet.    It was easy to use,  intuitive,  and very quiet,  about like having a summer fan going.

They’ve been making these battery-operated  (cordless) lawnmowers for a while,  but I think they’ve got it right now.

Thank you to the company for making this.

Thank you to Son for trying it out and showing me how to use it.

Thank you to Hubbie for his  strict financial planning that made it possible for his “little old lady of a wife”    to purchase a new lawnmower when it was  needed.

Thank you,  Our Dear Lord,  for watching over me and letting it turn out this way.  If even the smallest sparrow is watched over in its little life and death,  then how much more are we loved and cared for –  in the smallest of details!

serveimage    Matthew 6:26  –   “Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them.   Are not you of much more value than they?”

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God is the Source of Love.   God is Love Itself.

COOPER’S “WEATHER UPDATE”

Posted June 25, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cooper

Tags: , ,

This posting is just for fun.

Some of you may remember  the kind of winter my grandson Cooper had this year —  buried under 20+  feet of snow.    It’s where they live.   Donner Pass.   As in . . .   the Donner Party.      I showed you some photos of Cooper and the snow . . . (here).

And this picture could look a lot like his back yard when the sun is just right:

Tahoe back 1

Well, their  giant snow cover is mostly gone,  but it’s still snowing!

bikinis in snow

This is a ski hill near Donner –  last week.   While we were having our heat wave,  they were . . .   well, it looks like a heat wave on the ski slope too.

Cooper’s Mommy is having a birthday on the Fourth of July.   A couple years ago, during a birthday phone call,  I asked her what she did on that day on her birthday.   She said,   “Oh,   we went to the beach and had a picnic, and then we went snowboarding.”    All in one day.    In July.

But it’s not all fun and games.     After Blizzard and Avalanche season, now we have the Snowmelt season.

Tahoe 12 billlion into

This is Lake Tahoe, nearby.   The slow-motion video showed the churning of the waters as  12 Billion gallons of water were flowing into the lake.

The video lasted until evening,  through sunset.

Tahoe sunset

 

Ahhhh,  the Sierras.    In a few short weeks I hope to be there.

To see my grandson, of course.

 

II. LISTENING TO LIFE

Posted June 22, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Nature Speaks

Tags:

 

Why is it that greenery makes us feel good and alive? !!

B fun and play cr

 

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Our young friend is still in the hospital but out of danger now.   During these past two weeks Son and I have become quite familiar with the hospital:  corridors,  elevators,  restrooms,  and cafeteria.

After you’ve purchased your food,  you have nice choices for where to sit and eat.   I like the long dining room with windows from floor to ceiling.      On the opposite wall from the windows is this:

Living Sign cr

 

Yes, a Living Wall,  meant to give comfort and hope, I suppose, in a place which must also make us think of death.   This is what it looks like:

 

Living Pattern cr

 

That’s a huge wall!     A pattern of living green plants.    A gentle reminder of how many green plants there are in this beautiful (living)  world.

Another friend who just had a “brush” with doctors in her life recently had her eyes “fixed.”   Cataracts taken out.  After a slight glitch, a slight scare,  we thank God that her eyesight is now perfect!     She tells us that she was amazed to look out her window and see the trees, the grass, the bushes –  all in an amazing array of greens!    So many different shades of green.

We need to look twice and see how beautiful this world is.      Lush green living things will be one thing I’ll  “miss”  when I leave this world.   I know that’s not theologically accurate,   but . . . .)

Living Close Up cr

A close-up of that living wall.   They are real, actual,  living plants.

I’ll “miss”  flowers too.   And the power of big thunderstorms like the one we had tonight.   And wind pushing against me on a fast boat.    The freedom of being out on the open road in a great little car.    Bookshelves full of books.   Rooms full of bookshelves.   Mornings.   Nights.  The beauty of snow.

Living LIghts cr

Sunsets!  Lights!   (The ceiling lights that illuminate the Living Wall.)

These are some of the things that I will leave behind.   But I’d be going towards Life.  A fuller and more abundant, exquisite Life.    Like a wall that is painted compared to a wall that is Living.   And all the things that the earthly pleasure bring to me:   colors,   power and forces,   freedom,   curiosity satisfied,   a new day,  a restful night,    beauty,    Light,  and even  more await as I listen to if I listen to the Source of Life.

I “got caught” watching these happy bunnies:

b Caught me looking cr

Probably wondering why I had this dumb philosophical look on my face.

Just listening to Life  . . .   listening to Life.

 

I. LISTENING TO DEATH

Posted June 22, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Bad Times, Citizen of this world, Cultural Marxism, Death

Tags: , , ,

(Unfortunately, we can hear death speak all around us)

1917 – 2017:    “… or else, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world.”

Interviewer:   “Does that include America?”

Sister Lucia:  “Yes.”

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Of course,  the  Russian people didn’t invent those errors;  the Russian-Soviet government just became expert at implementing them and spreading them into other nations —  by war and, as I said in the last post,  by the spread of economic and Cultural Marxism.

(For you old-timers,  “McCarthyism has come to mean a hysterical search for “communists”  under every bed, in every closet.  However,  when Soviet documents were released in the mid-90s,  it came to light that Senator McCarthy hadn’t been aware of even half of the communist infiltrators into our society.)

Economic and Cultural Marxism:   They bring ruin wherever they are spread.

Venezuela ran out of basic consumer goods,  and toilet paper, and food.   The news reports that the average Venezuelan has lost about twenty pounds;  the hard way.   Here they share handfuls from a garbage bag.

soc dumpster diving

The authorities in Venezuela ran out of something too:   tear gas.

Soc tear gasd needed

They’ve used it all up trying to keep their angry, starving citizens under control and they’ve put out a request to other countries for more.    Such a beautiful country – but now you have to get permission to cross the border to buy basic goods in the next country.

The United States is heading that way into bankruptcy too.    Illinois, for example, no longer has enough money to run the government – for real.   If you buy a lottery ticket in Chicago, chances are the authorities will not be able to pay you your winnings.     Detroit?    California?    I have so many examples to give you of one-party rule because once they get into office . . .  they find ways to stay.

This isn’t a catalog of woes caused by  communism- socialism –  liberalism – the Progressives – the Democrats –  whatever they want to be called.  It’s just that the same -ism mindset leads to poverty,  oppressive laws,  control of the individual,  loss of choices,  loss of freedom,  and tyranny — and to death.

The reason is awful – ly  simple.   The ideas that begat all these -isms  were begotten themselves by the ultimate Source of death.    Suppose you rejected the Author of Life,  the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.    Suppose you began listening to the voice of God’s Enemy and your writings create a World Undone.

desk a world undone by hellish vapors

The author of all these bright new ideas that begat all the -isms that plague us today is this man,  Karl Marx.

desk marx writing

And he knew what he was doing.   He was a tortured man, and he wrote about what forces inspired his theories:

The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain

Till I go mad and  my heart is utterly changed

“See this Sword,”

the Prince of Darkness  said to me.

For me he beats the time and gives the signs

Even more boldly I play the Dance of Death.

In this, his poem,  he’s telling us that he listened to the Prince of Darkness.    And further,  he tells us that he knows  the consequences:

 Thus heaven I’ve forfeited

I know it full well

My soul, once true to God,

Is chosen for Hell.

He played the Dance of Death and gave that Dance to the world.

Death follows.   Then Hell.

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Can we turn away from Death and begin following the principles of Life?

No.  apparently not.    Not on our own power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO SPEAK OF WAR

Posted June 21, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Uncategorized

(In a word:  Why?   Why?   Why?   Why?  Why?  Why?   Why?)  

Gloomy Cloud

 

Gloomy Gus speaks  today.

 

So,  listen to a great man,  a man with distinguished military service,  with knowledge, wisdom, and  gravitas, as we like to say nowadays.  He is General Omar Bradley:

We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.  Ours is the world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.    We know more about war than we do about peace;  more about killing than we do about living.

Does this have anything to do with the effect of the Cultural Revolution orchestrated  (successfully)  by the marxist-socialists,  which broke down the ethics and moral norms of our society?

Does this have anything to do with our reliance upon science and technology to solve our problems?      Or upon our Rulers – the State – to fix our problems and give us easier lives?

As a society,  we reject not only the Sermon on the Mount, but we reject its Author.

General Bradley was pessimistic about our ability to stay out of the next war.    The saints of Christianity were analytic.  They say:  “War is a punishment for sin,”   (which is, again, rejecting the Author of the Sermon on the Mount).

Humans can’t go on living as though God is not a factor in today’s world,  no matter how hard we try to keep Him out of our decisions:

SAMSUNG

God is not dead.

Everywhere I go to read the news eventually an article about WWIII comes up.   It’s beginning to become convincing . . .  .

Somewhere in my mind there is a memory of the recent stories of incidents which generally lead to war.   Threats,  near-misses, and collisions with our naval vessels – any one of which could be seen as a provocation.    Near-misses with our Air Force places,  a five-foot  near miss in the air yesterday!   And   “we” are doing it too;   a fighter plane was attacking an ISIS command post this week,  and “we”  shot it down –  we shot down a fighter plane belonging to another sovereign nation.

Around the world the nations’ troops are being called up,  strengthened,  positioned, made more ready than ever before.   Social and economic conditions are ripe.

Omar Bradley may be right.  This thing about misplaced values may have horrific consequences.   The saints may be right.

Ignorance of ethical values,  rejection of cultural norms, corruption of “family values,”  the weak-willed acceptance of colonization by a people who are opposed to peace and freedom,  and the trivialization of Life in our protection of abortion, euthanasia,  and hideous medical industry practices — will have consequences.

It’s the Law of Human Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, WEDNESDAY . . .

Posted June 20, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Cultural Marxism, Culture, Current Events, Lessons from History, Socialism, Transforming America, War Against America

Tags: , , , ,

(very random “apparentlies”  from the Spruce Tunnel)

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Yes:   –  in the immortal words of Apollonia Corleone,   the short-lived wife of Michael Corleone:        “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday . . .”

This is Tuesday.  Apparently.    When the normal activities of the weekdays are suspended,  every day seems like a weekend day.  Hence, my abortive trip to Sunday morning Mass – last Friday.

empty church 2

Our young lady friend is off her ventilator, finally, and out of the ICU.   She is better, but still has a long way to go.     I’m spending less time at the hospital,  more time on my new (and rather demanding) classes for the summer.    I need to do so well with that topic . . . .

Yet, I haven’t really caught up with Time.  That takes some effort.    How I would like to slide into that state of Perpetual Retirement,  where the only activities are occasional voluntary activities.

But I have promises to keep,    And miles to go before I sleep.”  *

Speaking of which,  I could use a little snow.    I’ve resurfaced into a heat wave, with a long string of near 90-degree temperatures and almost daily thunderstorms, which menace my electronics.

sad tv.jpg 70x90   I’ve also checked into what the entertainment-news media is going on about.    Same thing.   Same words. Same people.  Same accusations.    Same minor terrorist strikes here and there.  Same perplexities about what to do . . . .  Missing a week and a half has not resulted in any developments.    The world does not need my attention!

This discovery needs my attention:

Slant Tree.jpg 380

 

That’s my front yard.

S My house.jpg 380

Apparently we had a wind storm this weekend.

Son will know what to do.

It’s apparently going to take some time to return to normal.   Me, that is.  I’m coming out of these past almost two weeks a little shaken.    It was a life-and-death matter, after all, to watch a young lady have to fight for her life – with no definite diagnosis that started it all.   And then to worry anew about the state of her soul and of  my childrens’  souls . . . .  And my own efforts seem weak next to the consequences of getting it wrong.

And, yes, I still studied in my spare moments.  I studied  Gramschi, again;     Herbert Marcuse,  Wilhelm Reich – you probably know where I’m going with this:   the stunning victory of cultural marxism,over our society.     In the Catholic Church this is called:  The Errors of Russia.   Although it didn’t begin with the Russian Revolution,  it nevertheless points to Error,  the kind that will separate you from God – forever.

Frankfort School

“Critical Theory”:   Criticize everything;  demonize the cultural norms;  break down society so that it can be replaced with the Slavery of Marxist-Liberalism – because the State is  more important than the individual.  The atheistic State is more important than your immortal soul.

I’m a bit shaken with that realization.     The realization of the complete and utter victory of cultural marxism over the society my children and grandchildren have to live in.   What chance to they have?

What chance do they have to even learn about it, after years of schooling in an apparent  marxist – liberal environment of anti-intellectualism,  anti-analytical thinking,   anti-objective reality,  anti-logic, anti-truth — and the Any Glass theory:  Any glass will do it for you when you’re thirsty.  (No right and wrong, no moral norms, no “judgmental” thinking.)

Apparently, I have a lot of catching up to do.     (Why was I made with this impulse to teach?   I don’t know.    It’s my duty;  it’s what I am.)    I have a lot of catching up in my studies to do.     It’s the only way I can be of use to my classes,  to my family and  friends     . . .   to God.

Crash course for me this summer.    Cramming again.    Not for final exams,  but so I can be a better parent,  a better teacher,   a better blog writer.

 

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.  *  I have struggled and struggled with this poem all my life

Stopping by The Woods One Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost

 

 

 

HOW’S YOUR TO-DO LIST COMING?

Posted June 14, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Health issues

Tags: , , ,

to-do  Got a To-Do list going?   “All the time”?    A big one?

That’s a good sign.   It means you’re at least trying to be organized and get some things accomplished.    Can’t deny that a To-Do list really does help,  even though it puts the burden of responsibilities down in black and white right where you have to look at them.

It means you have work to do.  Life is work-to-do.   Life is work.     When you work it means you’re alive and making choices and doing good things  . . .

.

Consider this To-Do list:

Hospital chart

This is the  Progress List in the hospital room of the young lady we’ve been watching over for these past several days.    It’s her  “To-Do” list.

She doesn’t have any of those tasks checked off.

Notice the first one.    “Breathe.”      She hasn’t really accomplished that yet.

So we  watch and hope and pray and keep her company.

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I guess if we have different things on our own To-Do list,  we ought not to complain about it, but rejoice that we have life and health– and work-to-do.

 

Hospital HER wing

 

That’s where our young friend —  still — is.

 

 

ALL ONE LONG DAY

Posted June 13, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Uncategorized

Our home away from home:

hospital new

Still spending my days in the hospital, keeping vigil over the young lady who has not regained consciousness and is still on a ventilator.     There is no place else I’d rather be than at her bedside.   Son and I think  she might be aware of our presence on some level.   It gives us comfort to think so.

But there’s no way to tell.

clock spinning  When you spend your time like this,  it’s one l  o  n  g  day inside,   but the days outside of the hospital just go slipping by.  Pardon me if I let  this past Sunday go by – a very important Sunday in Christendom, for this  one is called Trinity Sunday where we emphasize God the Holy Trinity of Persons:   a Trinity in Unicity.   Three Persons,  one undivided  divine substance,  one God.

No theology today (for who can understand a triune Being anyway?)  but just to remind you of the One of a Kind, Unique,  Only  Trinity in Uniticity – One in Three —

No other religion in the history of Mankind has ever presented such a Being.

idol wood

The old prophet Jeremiah   (well, he was a young man,  but he lived in “olden” times)  ridiculed people who worshiped a lesser god.  He said:  You take down a big tree and make furniture from part of its trunk, and you make  pots and dishes from other parts,  and you make wagons and wheels from other parts of its wood,  and then you . . .  oh,  say,  you have  some extra time so you make an  idol of the leftover wood and set it up on a shelf in your house and say:  “That’s my god!”

Let’s make him fancier:

idol fancy

All kinds of idols.

See, a human is created with the ability to fulfill his duty  as a creature,   which is to worship and glorify and serve his Creator.  It’s built into our nature.     And if man doesn’t  find his way to the One True and Living Creator,   he will create his own god,  even if he’s putting himself in God’s place.

“Mankind”  creating its own god!!     Worshiping his own choices!

sh   It could be a great and “wise”  teacher, like Buddha.   It could be the sum total of all one’s ancestors.    It could be Nature,   one’s homage paid to rocks and trees and animals and bodies of water,  and  thunderstorms,   etc.

 

One could choose to worship gods represented by  the sun,    distant planets,  the moon,  or –  the crescent moon.   Moon and star j Powerful figures!

 

No,  the One True and Only God actually revealed Himself to the ancient ones who lived in ages past,  and then  to one man,  Abraham,  and  his descendants, and then revealed Himself more  completely to one particular generation of Abraham’s descendants,  the Jews in Roman Palestine,  and then sent out the directive to  “teach the Gospel to all the whole world  (to the ends of the earth).”

No other religion ever experienced by Mankind worships a God who is Triune, yet One.

It’s above our ability to  “invent.”

Some of you heard a portion of the book of Exodus read in church this past Sunday.*  At the top of Mt. Sinai God explains to Moses  a little about Himself,  what kind of God He is. And the response of Moses, great leader of many people  —  is to fall down flat to the ground, to plead for mercy, forgiveness,  and to confess that the people are a “stiff-necked”  people,  having shown that they want to go their OWN way —   and they didn’t know what they were talking about.

Have mercy  on us.

Please.

You are God . . . . . .    and we are . . .   not.

 

 

Bar Cross in middle

 

.*  Exodus,  chapter 34 –   ( 6)The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (8) And Moses made haste to bow his head toward the earth, and worshiped.( 9) And he said, “If now I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray thee, go in the midst of us, although it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance.”