Friday, July 30, 2010


Many years ago hubby and I took our children to Atlanta for a Braves baseball game (it became an annual tradition for many years). It was in the old stadium and daughter and I had great seats...3rd base line, 4 rows up. During one inning, Dave Justice had made his way to 3rd base. Daughter was quite thrilled that he was so close...I was wrapped up in the game. There was a hit deep to centerfield and I stood up and yelled..."Tag up and Run!"...he did and scored. Not because he heard me or even needed my help. He did it because he was a professional player.

Needless to say, daughter was beyond embarrassed! I was the lone person standing up telling a professional player what to do next. If I told you I had been up to my eyeballs in Little League for several years, would it make it understandable? I didn't need to explain myself to those surrounding me...they all thought it was great.

Does that give you an idea what I think of baseball? Tonight there are several of us travelling to Nashville to watch their Triple-A minor league team...The Nashville Sounds! Can't wait!

How Children learn...

by Asbo Jesus

I know you can tell that Asbo Jesus' cartoons hit home with me...I've linked to several of them. He has a way of going straight to the point.

This one It breaks my heart to hear a parent talk to their child in this manner. And it happens, all too often. And then the parents wonder why the children grow up with low self esteem or worse, depression or even worse, taking their own lives.

While I know many parents grew up in abusive homes, it does not give them the right to perpetuate this behavior. Those who have felt the sting of criticism should have a clearer understanding of the repercussions. God charges us with loving and teaching the young ones in our lives. I cannot help but believe He will hold us accountable for each and every time we damage them. Mentally or physically. By the same token, He will bless us for providing them a nurturing environment..

Children don't come with "owner's manuals"...mainly because we don't own them. They belong to God, we are merely their is our privilege and duty.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Considering everyone's love of was only a matter of time! Saw this on The Anchoress blog...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

To get your day started...

Nothing like a spiritual to get your hands clapping and toes tapping...this one is very well done!

Lord I keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Keep so busy praisin' my Jesus
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
When I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
When I'm helpin' the sick (I'm praisin' my Jesus)
Ain't got time to die

'Cause it takes all of my time (It takes all of my time, it takes it all)
All of my time (to praise Him)
If I don't praise Him the rocks are gonna cry out
Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die

Lord I keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Keep so busy workin' for the kingdom (workin' and I'm workin')
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
When I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
When I'm feedin' the poor (I'm workin' for the kingdom)
Ain't got time to die

Repeat Chorus

Lord I keep so busy servin' my master (keep so busy)
Keep so busy servin' my master (I'm servin')
Keep so busy servin' my master
Ain't got time to die

'Cause when I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm gonna give my all to Jesus)
When I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm gonna give my all in all)
When I'm givin' my all (I'm servin' my master) (I'm givin' all of my life to Him)
Ain't got time to die

Repeat Chorus

Now won't you get out of my way (oh get out of my way)
Get out of my way (you better get out of my way)
Let me tell you if I don't praise Him the rocks are gonna cry out
Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die

Glory and honor, glory and honor
Ain't got time to die
Ain't got time to die

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where do the animals go?

I recently read a couple of articles concerning whether pets go to heaven. I know they don't have souls but...I'm sure God has a perfect plan for them. Being a "dog person" I cannot fathom that they just cease to exist. Where else on this earth do you get such an example of unconditional love?

Interesting read here:

Are There Animals in Heaven?
More to the point, "Will my cat, Puff, be there?"

This question is one that comes up time and again, especially with teenage animal-lovers around. This answer from Peter Kreeft's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heaven makes sense to me. He doesn't look at it from the "immortal soul" angle that usually is raised, but from the promise of a "new earth" that is made in the book of Revelation.

The simplest answer is: Why not? ... Much more reasonable is C.S. Lewis' speculation that we will be "between the angels who are our elder brothers and the beasts who are our jesters, servants, and playfellows" (That Hideous Strength). Scripture seems to confirm this: "thy judgments are like the great deep; man and beast thou savest, O Lord" (Psalm 36:6). Animals belong in the "new earth" (Revelation 21:1) as much as trees.

C.S. Lewis supposes that animals are saved "in" their masters, as part of their extended family (The Problem of Pain). Only tamed animals would be saved in this way. It would seem more likely that wild animals are in Heaven too, since wildness, otherness, not-mine-ness, is a proper pleasure for us. The very fact that the seagull takes no notice of me when it utters its remote, lonely call is part of its glory.

Would the same animals be in Heaven as on earth? "Is my dead cat in Heaven?" Again, why not? ... Though the blessed have better things to do than play with pets, the better does not exclude the lesser. We were meant from the beginning to have stewardship over the animals (Genesis 1:28); we have not fulfilled that divine plan yet on earth; therefore it seems likely that the right relationship with animals will be part of Heaven: proper "petship". And what better place to begin than with already petted pets?

From the blog "Happy Catholic"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Author Unknown

No one said it would be easy, just that it was best... Two versions of the same thoughts below

God Said NO!!

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away,
but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings;
Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from
worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things
that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life,
so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said... Ahhhh,
finally you have the idea.

"I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey ...I asked for health, that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things ...I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise ...I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God ...I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things ...I got nothing that I asked for-but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed."

Given the theme of the thoughts posted, is it any wonder that the Author is unknown?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I love you...

By: Asbo Jesus

I wrote a few lines to go along with this picture. But then I looked at it again and realized what God's love has meant to me...even me. I cannot fathom it or hope to mimic it. I certainly do not deserve it. But He has given it to me...even me. Because that's who God is...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I am a word person. Through and through. Whether written on a page, set to music or spoken in my ear, I find them delightful.

But, as it is with anything you love, I must admit that words sometimes frustrate me. Most frequently I am disappointed in words used in our Bible translations. Or perhaps it is the inadequacies of the English language. I'll read a passage and interpret it one way...only to find that in the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic that one particular word can have several meanings. And thus the translation chosen affects the interpretation of the passage. Please don't think that I am “putting down” the English is my mother tongue...the words I will speak until I breath my last. But case in point:

In English we use and over-use the word Love. Think about it...we all do, don't we? In Greek there are four words for Love...
1.Eros: Erotic or physical love
2.Storge: familial love...a love for is strong and requires commitment
3.Philia: Brotherly love, it is not a repetition of storge but is love felt for our
fellow man
4.Agape: Unconditional love...I have heard it called “God Love” it is the strongest
and most desirable of all love.

Since most of the words in the English language have their roots in other languages, is there any reason we can't incorporate some “new” ones into our everyday lives and conversations? I recently ran across a couple of new words that I would love (see, there's that word again!) to use:

Is a Zulu word which literally means not just hello but “I see you”. It is considered an offense to pass another without this greeting. In doing so, you have unequivocally told this person that they do not exist to you...they are not worth greeting. It's as good as a slap in the face!

The response to Sawubona is Ngikhona
which effectively means
I am here
I exist
I matter

What a joy to be able to convey such depth of feeling with one or two choice words. Keep these new ones in mind the next time you greet someone. But when you do, stop and really "see” them!

Friday, July 16, 2010


After the earthquake in Haiti I posted about the young lady we sponsor...Her name is Lourdie and she is now 12 years old. We've never met face to face but for 7 years my family has considered her one of our own.

Compassion did all they could to keep everyone with a child in Haiti updated...I appreciate their efforts and was comforted when we were told that she and her family were fine. But...last weekend we got an actual letter from her! It's common practice to receive letters, usually every 3 months or so but to finally hear from her personally was such a joy! She is safe! Praise God for His infinite blessings.

Please continue to pray for the people of's easy to get busy with our own lives and forget that it will take years for them to get back to "normal".

With joy in their hearts...

Six months after the earthquake...amidst desolation, disaster and poverty a few moments of respite. And such a spirited respite. They deserve it!

A couple of notes...if the song sounds familiar, it's because it was used in the opening ceremony of the recent World Cup. Also, at the end of the video you'll see the words "akolad gratis" which basically means "free hugs"! After seeing young people holding signs reading "free hugs" at virtually EVERY youth event I've attended in the last several years I can tell you...they are serious huggers!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love and Joy

Make a list of things you love. Not great big things like houses, cars and trips to exotic places...

Little things like bracelets, cupcakes and bright red nail polish...

If you like them then it stands to reason they make you why don't you have more of them in your life? Seeing these small things throughout the day can serve to remind us of the joy that is life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just what I needed to hear...

The post is entitled "All Good things" and was written several years ago...but it is oh, so relevant today...

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.
Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving -"Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.
One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark and said, If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"
It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out; "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room.
As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me.
That did it!! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."
At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third.
One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend."
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling.
Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much."
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. the exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.
That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip - the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important.
"The Eklands called last night," he began.
"Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend."
To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.
I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, "Mark I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me."
The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps.
One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.
After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.
"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." Mark's classmates started to gather around us.
Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."
Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."
"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."
That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
By: Sister Helen Mrosla

We often forget the impact we have on the lives of others!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do we really show them?

Many in our world have well defined assumptions about what is and is not acceptable when one calls themselves a Christian. Their perception keeps them from God. They feel their behavior is unacceptable and therefore they are outside God's grace.

Do we who profess to be Christian show / teach others that God loves them "just as they are"? Do we help them understand that they are not excluded because of behavior? Do we freely admit that even those who have practiced faith for long periods of time can still have moments of unacceptable behavior? I'm afraid our message is being received in the wrong order. One does not (perhaps can not) change without God's love and grace. Belief will change us.

Are we strong enough to reach out even if we find ourselves in questionable places? How else do we find those who are hungry and hurting if cannot bring ourselves to go "where they live"? Jesus Himself went to the sinners...ate with them, walked with them, stayed with them. Do you really believe we are doing all we can to lead others to Christ if we stay where it's safe and simply call out? The way I understand His message, we are to reach out and touch...physically. Who would dream of asking a child to cross the road alone? It is second nature to take their hand and lead them in order to keep them safe. Should we do any less for one we are trying to lead to Christ?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


What is the world's response to failure? A few words that come to mind are blame, ridicule, sarcasm...after all we are human and human nature is to tear down others in order to make ourselves feel better. The world's response is not God's response however.

We have to face the fact that the world can be a discouraging place and people are desperate for encouragement. But what can we do?
**Celebrate whenever something is done right! Sure, we're all supposed to do right and good all of the time but does that mean we cannot offer our fellow man a "atta boy" for it?
**What is your automatic response to the people in your life? Much as it shouldn't be so, they bear the brunt of our discouragement. Perhaps we (I) need to change our (my) first response. We can all benefit from being more positive.
**We can pray that God put people in our path so that we have the opportunity to encourage and lift them up. He is always faithful...are you?
**Unfortunately it is so much easier to complain and believe the "bad" stuff we hear. However, it doesn't take that much energy to think of ways to show you care!
**Don't settle for a superficial pat on the back and word of encouragement. Look deep..lifting up another because of their character is so much more memorable. It truly has the power to transform!

I do realize that there are time when confrontations are necessary and may be the best response at the time...but not always. If your relationship with another is built on love and encouragement, words of correction are so much easier to take and build upon...for then we know the motive and can trust our friend will be there to help us along the way.

Take a moment today, lift up another and notice how it can change your life as well!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th

Nothing says Happy Independence Day like fireworks, bar-b-ques, the Boston Pops, and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture...

In the spirit of celebration, what more could you ask?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

In Service to...

Thomas a Kempis wrote:
"Jesus has always many who love His Heavenly kingdom, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him."

Profound and important words from his book "Imitation of Christ". Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins and thus assures our place in heaven. He bore the cost that sets us free from death! Does this mean that we should live a life free of pain and suffering? Does this mean that from the point we believe until the end of our days we should be carefree and jolly? Not a all,

We are called to willingly live a life of sacrifice and service. The operative word being "willingly". To serve our fellow man with a disgruntled look on our face and contempt in our heart is NOT the definition of a Christian. To allow Christ to guide us in living a life filled with the joy of serving those in need draws us closer to Him. Before you dismiss this life as dull and boring, how could one be any happier than when serving a Master you can love and trust completely?