Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The Mansions of the Lord

To fallen soldiers let us sing,
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing,
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord.

No more bleeding, no more fight,
No prayers pleading through the night,
Just divine embrace, eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord.

Where no mothers cry and no children weep,
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep,
Oh through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord.

Written by Randall Wallace and Nick Glennie-Smith

I posted this for the first time on 11/11/09, it seemed proper to repeat it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank you!

For Memorial Day and in honor of those who serve...

Here rests, in honored glory, an American Soldier known only to God

Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, D.C. In 2003. On the evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1937.


It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag.
Who serves under the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag.

God Bless you all!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

If you only knew...

With a daughter in the military for almost 8 years now, I've had the opportunity to meet so many young men and women who serve. If you ask me, they may very well be our "Greatest Generation". I am not taking away from those brave and heroic people who served us in WWII. They didn't hesitate and didn't stop until the job was done. They do not need to prove themselves to anyone.

But the difference I see is that today's military is all volunteer. There is no draft, they don't have to put their lives on hold to serve. They do so because they choose to do so. There is something deep within that calls to them and they answer. Whenever, wherever.

Wish you could be on a base (especially on foreign soil) when the flag is raised or lowered. Each morning and each evening, the National Anthem is played and everything stops. It doesn't matter if you're near a flag or not. It doesn't matter if you're on duty or not. It only matters that the symbol of who we are is being honored. People stop talking, walking, driving, eating, laughing, playing...and stand at attention. If you are out of doors, this is not only expected, it's required.

Those that I have met make me so proud. They don't shirk their duty but perform it daily, even in the midst of adversity (both foreign and DOMESTIC). They do so with love, with dignity and with pride. Next time you happen to meet someone in uniform take a moment and shake their hand, maybe even give them a hug. They don't expect it but you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll love it...and so will you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Linkletter

While I watched most of his programs as re-runs, I loved him from the first...what a wonderful man. Read more here.

Jesus Hungers

Jesus Hungers and Thirsts for Uprightness

Jesus, the Blessed Son of God, hungers and thirsts for uprightness. He abhors injustice. He resists those who try to gather wealth and influence by oppression and exploitation. His whole being yearns for people to treat one another as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same God.

With fervor he proclaims that the way to the Kingdom is not saying many prayers or offering many sacrifices but in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and the prisoners (see Matthew 25:31-46). He longs for a just world. He wants us to live with the same hunger and thirst.
Henri Nouwen

I regularly read the writings of Henri Nouwen and am often inspired by them. Today's reading made me sad. As I read, I kept looking for one point that I could say, yes...the world does this. But no, the world does not.

While I know God calls us to be "in" the world and not "of" the world...are we really "in" we follow these requirements with our whole heart? When we see injustice, oppression and poverty does our mind and our heart immediately spring into action? Or do we turn away? After all, I'm only one person, what can I do?

I know you've heard these words time and again. I cannot say them as eloquently as others have...I cannot even say them differently...I can only say myself as much or more than any other.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Star Wars!

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."
33 years ago today, Star Wars opened in theaters. If you're too young to remember when it was originally released, you cannot fathom the impact this movie had on everyone! Sure it was a traditional (sort of) good guys vs. bad guys story. The movies stressed the self-destructive nature of anger and hate. But my, oh my the special effects were something to behold. Fights with light sabers, the Millennium Falcon jumping to hyper drive, and all the robots, droids, Jawas, the Wookiee..well, surely most of you have seen it at least once. And who can forget the first time you heard Darth Vader...the sound is still recognizable today.

George Lucas' impact on movie making was decisive and phenomenal...he transported us to another time and space in grand fashion. Thanks George! May the force be with you!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Emotional Baggage

Cartoon by Asbo Jesus

One definition of Baggage:
things that encumber one's freedom; impediments; intellectual baggage that keeps one from thinking clearly; neurotic conflicts that arise from struggling with too much emotional baggage.

Look at the picture, read the definition and then ask yourself....Why is it always easier to believe the bad than the good?

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot and celebrates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah and Israel became a nation at the foot of Mt. Sinai. The celebration also includes the bringing of the the "first fruits" of the harvest to the Temple. For more details on the traditions of this celebration, check here.

The date for this holiday is linked to Passover and comes seven weeks from the second day of Passover. This time is called the "Counting of the Omer". Individuals use these seven weeks to anticipate the "giving" of the Torah. They celebrate their physical freedom at Passover...they celebrate their spiritual freedom at Shavuot.

Take a few moments to learn of this ancient celebration check here.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've thought for quite some time now that technology is speeding along at a pace that we cannot handle. Before we have the ability to understand one piece, another has taken it's place. Many would see the video above and say "Wow! How cool is that?", I have to wonder. Cell phones, chat rooms, facebook, etc. have already started to isolate us from each other. Face to face dialogue is almost a thing of the past.

What frightens me most about "Milo" is his ability to pull us yet further away from one another. Why bother with people? Why invest in someone who might ultimately hurt your feelings? Never mind the joy and comfort that a friend can bring into your life...I can picture a young person (or not so young person) who struggles with interpersonal skills loving this. Can't you just see them? Sitting alone in their front of a monitor, wiling away the hours with a cyber friend?

My, oh my, I have to ponder this one...

Friday, May 14, 2010


Cartoon by Asbo Jesus (

Adults repeatedly underestimate the learning abilities of infants and children. We also fail to give weight to the fact that they learn the most by imitation. How else can they know how to respond to a range of emotions? How do they react to a loving touch? A joyful smile? An angry stare? A hurtful word?

Look to yourself and then do not be surprised to see yourself mirrored in them.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have nothing to give...

Seventy years ago today, Winston Churchill entered into the House of Commons as Britain's new Prime Minister. To say he was not warmly greeted would be an understatement. The House still adored the outgoing Neville Chamberlin. At this point Churchill gave a short statement which has since been hailed as one of the greatest Calls-to Arms ever uttered. It came at the beginning of WWII, when Hitler's armies were roaring across Europe at a seemingly unstoppable pace. Country after country fell under his banner. In the light of his Blitzkrieg, the very survival of Britain seemed uncertain. Winston Churchill was born "for such a time as this." His statement reads:

On Friday evening last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new administration. It was the evident will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties. I have already completed the most important part of this task.

A war cabinet has been formed of five members, representing, with the Labour, Opposition, and Liberals, the unity of the nation. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day on account of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. Other key positions were filled yesterday. I am submitting a further list to the king tonight. I hope to complete the appointment of principal ministers during tomorrow.

The appointment of other ministers usually takes a little longer. I trust when Parliament meets again this part of my task will be completed and that the administration will be complete in all respects. I considered it in the public interest to suggest to the Speaker that the House should be summoned today. At the end of today's proceedings, the adjournment of the House will be proposed until May 21 with provision for earlier meeting if need be. Business for that will be notified to MPs at the earliest opportunity.

I now invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of the steps taken and declare its confidence in the new government.

The resolution:

"That this House welcomes the formation of a government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion."

To form an administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary phase of one of the greatest battles in history. We are in action at many other points-in Norway and in Holland-and we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. The air battle is continuing, and many preparations have to be made here at home.

In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.

I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal.

I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."

Winston Churchill - May 13, 1940

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Good

There was a time I felt compelled to put my own interpretation on every video I posted...I've shown the words of the song they are singing below...I think they speak for themselves. If we can all say we've had one such would be good. By the way, this is from the play "Wicked"'s well worth seeing!


Glinda: I've heard it said
that people come into our lives for a reason,
bringing something we must learn,
and we are led
to those who help us most to grow
if we let them, and we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true,
but I know I'm who I am today,
because I knew you.

Glinda: Like a comet pulled from orbit, as it passes a sun.
Like a stream that meets a boulder half way through the woods.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better,
but, because I knew you,
I have been changed for good.

Elphaba: It well may be,
that we will never meet again, in this lifetime.
So let me say before we part,
so much of me
is made from what I've learned from you.
You'll be with me like a hand print on my heart.
And now what ever way our stories end,
I know you have rewritten mine,
by being my friend.

Elphaba: Like a ship blown from its moorings, by a wind of the sea.
Like a seed dropepd by a sky bird in a distant wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But, because I knew you

Glinda: Because I knew you

Elphaba and Glinda: I have been changed for good.

Elphaba: And just to clear the air,
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for.
Glinda: But then, I guess
We know there's blame to share.
Elphaba and Glinda: And none of it seems to matter anymore...

Elphaba and Glinda: Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better
Glinda: And, because I knew you,
Elphaba: Because I knew you
Elphaba and Glinda: Because I knew you
I have been changed... for good.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Most Popular Baby Names...

Personally, I find this a bit disconcerting but according to the NY Time and the SSA:

For baseball fans, 2009 was the year of the Yankees. For job seekers, it was the year of the Great Recession. And for people who track baby names, it was the year of the vampire.

You can read the rest of the article here...

People have any number of reasons for choosing a particular name for their children...if you just like the sound of it, that's one thing. If you hope to influence their character by the name, this opens up a whole other discussion!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hurting the ones you love...

Cartoon by Asbo Jesus

I love why do I hurt you? There are several "reasons"...not excuses, just reasons...
1. I am angry or frustrated at myself.
2. I expect too much from you.
3. You have the courage to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.
4. Sometimes, you annoy me.
5. You don't understand me.
6. I don't understand you.
7. Influences from society.
8. You know my flaws and weaknesses, I can't hide them from you.
9. It feels nice to make up!
10. I know you'll always love me, no matter what I do.

Rob Bell says:
Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, "God you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts". The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses and arguments. The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prayers for Nashville

In my little part of the world, not so very far from Nashville, we did not suffer the devastating rain. That, along with the fact that we are surrounded by hills and mountains kept us from the flood waters. While we are thankful for our blessings and for the 4 beautiful days of sunshine and warm weather that have followed the deluge, we cannot forget our neighbors in need.

Donations to help can be made:

Middle Tennessee Red Cross

Vince Gill is headlining a "livestream" telethon tonight, details here

To donate immediately, text "Red Cross" to 90999 to donate $10 now

There is a telling commentary here...

Our prayers go out to those who have lost their homes, their businesses, their lives.
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my Salvation, my stronghold" Psalm 18:2

National Day of Prayer 2010

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of our country. In 1775, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and in 1988, that law was amended designating the first Thursday of May as the National Day of Prayer.

What can you do? If you feel you are just too busy, take a moment to visit Sacred Space. A guided prayer at your computer! If you can find a few more moments, you can find more guidance at the Upper Room.

If you can set aside a special time, try visiting a holy space. It could be a walking path, a seat on a bench or somewhere in your doesn't have to be a church. Some find "prayer tools" they a pocket Bible, a hand held cross or prayer beads...these items can make any place special.

Spend your time with God any way you feel led...many use the following:
**Listen in silence for the Holy Spirit to speak.
**Praise God whether it is through song, dance, reciting a poem, a psalm or a hymn.
**Read Scripture with a daily devotional, weekly prayer guide or just open the Bible!
**Talk with God about your life, especially those areas where you need His grace or
forgiveness. But make a it a conversation, don't do all the talking!

During your prayer time, remember to lift up others along with your own special needs or concerns...the military, our leaders, your community, schoolchildren, the elderly or homeless, disaster relief, those suffering in other parts of the world, your church.

Whichever way you choose to do it, spend a few moments on your knees (literally or figuratively) today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

James the Less

James the Less

Feast Day -- May 3

"James (first century), an apostle known as James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, may have been "the Lord's brother" (Galatians 1:19). He may also be the James who became the first bishop of Jerusalem and authored the epistle of James.

"This James would certainly qualify as a "lesser" disciple during Jesus' time. He must have quietly been formed and nurtured in the way of Jesus, for after the Resurrection he became one of the leaders of the growing church. James expressed his concern for the issues of the day in a letter. He warned against showing favor to the rich and upheld the link between faith and works, between hearing and doing the Word. He warned against loose tongues, boasting, and judging. James instructed Christians to pray and care for the suffering. His short letter, full of practical advice for being the church, bears reading again. James reminds us that though one may be quiet for a time, the call to leadership may come at any time."

For more information on the lives of the Saints, check MethodX...