Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Thomas Merton! As I have mentioned before, I knew very little about Thomas Merton until I read his book "The Seven Storey Mountain"...since then, I have grown in faith by studying many of his teachings about the contemplative life.

Learn of him here...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I absolutely adore books and my home can attest to the fact that once I own one, it is almost like an amputation to let it go. Fortunately, my husband feels much the same so the fact that we have books and book shelves in almost every room in the house (even the kitchen which holds my collection of cookbooks) does not seem out of the ordinary to us.

I had the opportunity to receive a Kindle for Christmas but just didn't believe I would like it in the long run...having since handled one, I was right. I have wondered if others (outside my husband and son) felt the same way about books as I and today I found at least one other...

If you love books, spend a moment here...she says it all and says it so well! Bravo!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For you...

I have a dear friend who does not like the winter. The cold, fewer hours of sunshine, being cooped up in the house all contribute to bring my friend down. Just to let you know I'm thinking of you's a little Boom De Ah Dah for you...hope you have a happy day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years

"I touch the future, I teach" Christa McAuliffe

Even though my children were not yet in school I was working on expanding their little minds as I sat them down in front of the television. At first they were disappointed they weren't going to watch cartoons. But as pictures of the Challenger were shown on the screen their interest was piqued. And then horror...I wanted to show them the wondrous technology that allowed us to go up in space and back again but there was a problem, and an explosion and the loss of life.

I don't remember exactly what I said in way of an explanation but I do remember there were tears in my eyes...

Today we remember the Challenger and her crew....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Growing Older...

This video is a little long, but well worth the time invested...especially if you need to add a little "mirth" to your day. Although I'm not nearly as old as Mary Maxwell, I'm much closer than I used to be...and unfortunately am beginning to notice a couple of the traits...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fun Theory!

What kind of music would you make?

Taking care of litter!

Not just punishing bad behavior but rewarding good behavior!

And my personal favorite!

I like "The Fun Theory"...what about you?

The Source

Although this is a novel, as in many such writings, there are nuggets of truth and explanation. In the following passage, Michener does an excellent job of describing God, our God, in the early days of history when man struggled to understand. Much like many do today. Zadok is a man who knows his god and yet marvels at him. He is reverent but also fearful. Who can begin to grasp the omnipotence of God and not stand in awe? A God who can create and control the universe and yet be mindful of such a minute part of his creation. What a glorious God we serve...

From “The Source” by James A. Michener:

“ ...he was also a spiritual man whose tired eyes could see beyond the desert to those invisible summits of the imagination where cool air existed and where the one god, El-Shaddi lived. In later generations people who spoke other languages would translate this old Semitic name, which actually meant he of the mountain, as God Almighty, for through devious changes El-Shaddi was destined to mature into that god whom much of the world would worship. But in these fateful days, when the little group of Hebrews camped waiting for the signal to march westward, El-Shaddi was the god of no one but themselves; they were not even certain that he had continued as the god of those other Hebrews who had moved on to distant areas like Egypt. But of one thing Zadok was sure. El-Shaddi personally determined the destiny of this group, for of all the peoples available to him in the teeming area between the Euphrates and the Nile, he had chosen these Hebrews as his predilected people, and they lived within his embrace, enjoying security that others did not know.

He was a most difficult god to understand. He was incorporeal, yet he spoke. He was invisible, yet he could move as a pillar of fire. He was all-powerful, yet he tolerated the lesser gods of the Canaanites. He controlled the lives of men, yet he encouraged them to exercise their own judgment. He was benevolent, yet he could command the extinction of an entire town—as he had done with the town of Timri when Zadok had been a child of seven. He lived in all places, yet he was peculiarly the god of this one group of Hebrews. He was a jealous god, yet he allowed non-Hebrews to worship whatever lesser gods they pleased.

As Zadok chipped away at his flint, he knew that the mountain in which El-Shaddi was supposed to live did not exist in any ordinary sense of the word, for it would be offensive to imagine so powerful a god as limited to one specific place, with a tent, a couch and a concubine; no sensible man would commit himself to a god so restricted. El-Shaddi was a deity of such all pervasive power that he must not be tied down to one mountain, unless the mountain were like the god himself---distant and everywhere, above and below, not seen, not touched, never dying and never living, a one god towering over all others, who existed in a mountain of the imagination so vast that it encompassed the entire earth and the starry heavens beyond.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

St. Francis de Sales

Yesterday, January 24th, was the Feast day for St. Francis de Sales.

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was a bishop and a writer in the post-Reformation age. A former lawyer, his spiritual verve was legendary, elevating him to Bishop of Geneva at age 35. His most important written works are Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God. He was renowned for writing pamphlets resulting in thousands of conversions to the Catholic faith. A prolific letter writer with a kind and gentle manner, he carried on vast faith-filled correspondences.

His written works are full of love but the one writing that speaks most to me is of hope:

Do not look forward in fear
to the changes of life;
rather look to them with full hope
as they arise.
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cared for you today
will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering,
Or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace
And put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

For more information, check out MethodX

Monday, January 24, 2011

Henri Nouwen

Today we celebrate the birthday of Henri Nouwen:

Nouwen's Spirituality

Henri Nouwen was a spiritual thinker, a synthesist and one of the first in our time, along with Thomas Merton, to consciously develop a "theology of the heart" and to lay this down as a template for both clergy and lay persons. Henri had an unusual capacity to write about the life of Jesus and the love of God in ways that have inspired countless people to trust God more fully.

He showed, and continues to show, a generation of ministers, teachers and seekers how one's gifts are to be placed at the service of those whom God places in our path. He gives us a model for building the kinds of relationships and communities that will allow each person to find his or her personal mission.

As Merton before him, Henri always stressed the relational. He writes very directly about our contemporary longings for meaning, belonging, and intimacy and, at the same time, integrates this with a powerful vision of service and social justice. Fr. Nouwen often used the three core themes of solitude, community, and compassion to help people enter into a fresh vision of the spiritual life.

"I believe you can look at solitude, community, and ministry as three disciplines by which we create space for God. If we create space in which God can act and speak, something surprising will happen. You and I are called to these disciplines if we want to be disciples."
--Henri J. M. Nouwen

Even though I discovered him after his death, his teaching and writings have inspired me on so many levels. You can learn more about him here.

Just a test...

Spent the weekend at a conference Youth event with my young people...Now while "I do love them more than my luggage" (name that movie quote!), the body just can't hold up
like it once for this morning's post...The Insanity Test!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


They say "seeing is believing" but I think video's such as this one can disprove that adage.

Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.
William James

Many who choose not to believe in God do so because they cannot see, hear or feel Him. Christians call this faith. Faith can live, breathe, save, create and provide. It is the mightiest tool an individual can have because seeing is not always believing!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Today our group heads off for Warmth In Winter 2011!

The Gatherings will be "live streamed" at 8:00pm on Friday, 1/21, at 9:00am and 8:00pm on Saturday, 1/22. Go to and follow directions. Come, join us!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Woolly Mammoth

Check out the article here.

Japanese scientists are proposing to "clone" a woolly Mammoth and it looks as if they have a very good shot at pulling it off. My question is, should they? Mammoths died out at the end of the last Ice Age. Although some scientists argue that man killed them all, I find that hard to believe. We don't have a complete understanding of how many humans may have been roaming the world at that time, but imagine how many people it would have taken to kill off an entire population of these animals. I know it happens all the time in today's world but, we are fast approaching the 7 billion people mark. Add to that the primitive weapons of the time and what it took to actually kill one. I feel as if perhaps they were meant to become extinct. But then, that's just my opinion and I'm no scientist.

My main question is...should we clone these animals just because we can? To what purpose? To find out why they all died? Again, to what purpose? What do you think?

Sargent Shriver...

was many things...a man of faith, the first leader of the Peace Corps, a peace builder, a political leader and an activist. His story can be found here.

A memorable and telling quote from his Class Day address at Yale in 1994:

“Break your mirrors! Yes, indeed — shatter the glass. In our society that is so self-absorbed, begin to look less at yourself and more at each other. Learn more about the face of your neighbor, and less about your own.

I suggest this: when you get to be 30, 40, 50, or even 70 years old, you’ll get more happiness and contentment out of counting your friends than counting your dollars. You’ll get more satisfaction from having improved your neighborhood, your town, your state, your country and your fellow human beings than you’ll ever get from your muscles, your figure, your automobile, your house, or your credit ratings.

You’ll get more from being a peacemaker than a warrior. I’ve been both, so I speak from experience. Break the mirrors!

Be peacemakers of the community, and you and your family will be happy.”

He passed away on Tuesday this week. Please read the "Statement from his family" attachd.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday and although he's not everyone's cup of tea, over the years I have found his poems and stories intriguing. This was the last poem he completed before his death.

A good news story...

You may have heard this already but, it bears repeating. With so much tension and bad news on the airwaves, a story worth repeating...
(From Yahoo! News)
The most important trips aren't about getting somewhere. They're about getting to someone.

But in an age of mounting airline fees, reduced in-flight services, uncomfortable security pat-downs and multi-day delays caused by erupting volcanoes, it's easy to forget that.

Amid the cries of "I've already paid for my hotel!" and "You need to get me to Atlanta!" anger and inconvenience frequently blind us to the fact that travel is ultimately about people. We also forget that airline employees - bound by big company rules and regulations - get frustrated, too.

Enter Nancy, whose travel triumph, tempered by a great deal of sadness, has turned an unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot into an online hero.

Nancy reads a blog by Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and journalist, and wrote to him about her husband's recent ordeal traveling on flights from Los Angeles to Tucson to Denver. Their situation makes complaints about leg room look downright petty.

"Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter's live-in boyfriend," she wrote. "He is being taken off life support tonight at 9 o'clock and his parents have opted for organ donation, which will take place immediately. Over 25 people will receive his gift tonight and many lives will be saved."

So early in the morning, after what must have been a torturous night's sleep, Nancy and her husband arranged for him to fly from Los Angeles, where he was traveling for work, to Tuscon, where he would step off one plane and immediately onto another one headed to Denver. "The ticketing agent was holding back tears throughout the call," Nancy wrote. "I'm actually her step-mother and it's much more important for my husband to be there than for me to be there."

Mourning the loss of his child's child, and no doubt worrying about his grieving daughter, he was likely in no state to travel. Airport stress only compounded his despair. He arrived at LAX two hours before his scheduled flight time, but quickly realized that delays at baggage check and security would keep him from making the flight.

According to Nancy, he struggled to hold back tears as he pleaded with TSA and Southwest Airlines staff to fast-track him through the lines that were moving like molasses. Even though missing his flight could mean missing a final chance to see his grandson, no one seemed to care.

Too much was at stake to simply roll over and cry. When he finally cleared security - several minutes after his flight's planned departure - he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt, and ran to his terminal wearing only his socks. The pilot and the gate agent were waiting for him.

"Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we're so sorry about the loss of your grandson," the pilot reportedly said. "They can't go anywhere without me and I wasn't going anywhere without you. Now relax. We'll get you there. And again, I'm so sorry."

It's hard to underestimate the courage of the pilot's decision. The flight, which ultimately departed 12 minutes late, likely had hundreds of passengers rolling their eyes in contempt. And given that any delay has knock-on effects for passengers at the destination airport, his decision placed Southwest at risk of facing the wrath of travelers, and more than a few demands for compensation.

Elliott, who brought the story to the blogosphere's attention, approached Southwest about the story, half expecting the airline to be outraged by a pilot's refusal to push the on-time departure.

Instead, they told him they were "proud" of their pilot, a man who clearly understands that taking a child off life support has consequences that run deeper than a flight taking off late. As Nancy wrote: "My husband was able to take his first deep breath of the day." Hopefully, over time, his daughter can do the same.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another Flash Mob...

...this time it is the Toreador Song from the Opera Carmen by Bizet...

Watch the expressions on the people...for a few moments, the world is forgotten!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dominican Nuns of Summit

For more information about these lovely Women of God, visit The Anchoress

But first, who says Christians (and Nuns in particular) can't have fun?

Today we remember...

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Although this is not the most famous excerpt from his "I have a Dream" is perhaps my most favorite part...

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

for it speaks to all who are persecuted as second class citizens...

But did you also know that today is Benjamin Franklin's' birthday...perhaps it is an "odd" pairing but then again...

For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.

Each, in their own way, contributed to making America...sometimes I feel we would do well to have one or both of them with us today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This week marked the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti. My husband and I mourned and grieved and worried for the child that we sponsor through Compassion International. But then, after several weeks we got news that she and her family were fine.

Looking at the state of Haiti today, I'd say that was a stretch. They may be alive and thanks to the good people at Compassion, she is fed and taught and receives medical care. But what of her brothers and sisters? Mother and father? Friends, neighbors? There is still so much to do and so little progress made...

Kent Annan moved to Haiti eight years ago. He lived there for two and a half years and now travels back and forth from Florida as co-director of Haiti Partners. He is author of the new book After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken, about faith and doubt, suffering and hope in wake of Haiti's earthquake a year ago. This is his prayer...

Loving God,

We come to you, first, in silence. We mourn those who died a year ago in the earthquake. And we mourn with those who continue to mourn.

We come to you in sadness, too, for the suffering of far, far too many people during this year in Haiti. God, when we think it can't get any worse, somehow it does. The earthquake, the loss of life and of homes and of buildings, the struggle of recovery, the ravages of cholera, the stalemate of politics. These headlines affect so many girls and boys, fathers and mothers.

We come to you, even so, in gratitude. We've seen the courage of so many people in the midst of circumstances no one should ever have to face. We come to you in prayer together with so many in Haiti who have incredibly stayed faithful to you this past year—as they walk from the tent they now live in to worship you next to where their church collapsed.

We come to you asking protection for so many who are in tent camps and other horribly vulnerable situations. We don't know how to ask you to protect when today there is a litany of those who weren't protected: the girl or woman who was raped; the child who didn't get enough food; the spirit of someone who was crushed. Yet what can we do but ask you to protect, even as we must work ourselves to protect.

We come to you asking forgiveness—personally, as a nation, as people of faith, and, really, simply as people. In the past 500 years a lot of sin by a lot of people has seemed to lead to this moment in Haiti. Indigenous people on the island wiped out, and then slavery begun. Then slavery repeated. Let us confess the sin that has come before and also that we could each probably do more to help. Let us be bold in our desire to help, but also humble in knowing our own limits and selfishness.

It's not that there's no goodness. There is so much. And it's not there isn't also a history of courage and love and generosity. There is. It's just that the results haven't yet brought the kind of lives to people that they deserve.

We come asking for boldness of vision and commitment. For wisdom and courage. Most of all, strengthen people in Haiti—that they may find the wisdom, breakthroughs, strength, stamina, protection, and all that is demanded of them in their lives and the work ahead.

We come with responsibility to help others, because so many resources are in our hands. But we come not as saviors, but as a broken people, a broken nation. We help as ones also in need of salvation. A Congresswoman lies in a hospital fighting for life. A judge lies dead. A 9-year-old girl—9 years old—shot and killed. We come praying for others even as we need prayers ourselves.

We come also with gratitude for so many who have been generous to help people whom they will never meet—this generosity that has saved many lives, this generosity that is at once incredible, humbling, stunning, and still not enough.

The systems both outside Haiti and inside that perpetuate the pain: may you break them or heal them or make them new. Those systems both outside Haiti and inside that perpetuate the pain: may all who have the power find the courage and the ways and the grace to break them or heal them or make them new.

Together may we boldly, humbly love. May we work for a world that better reflects your goodness. May we be stewards of the gifts you give us, for they're given that we might serve love and justice.

We come asking for your grace. God, our source of life, we need so much more from you than we seem to get—than Haiti seems to get. We don't understand why all this happens, and yet we try to move forward in trust. But we do know that you call us to love. We trust that you are with us. We need you with us.

Praying in the name of Jesus, the one who has suffered with us, Amen.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

No, No, No

This baby has an answer for everything...

...gotta love it!


I ran across this and started not to watch...

As profound as this commercial is in and of itself, how much more so when you recall Matthew 7:11---"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

Friday, January 14, 2011


I have spent quite some time recently pondering parenthood. I can state with absolute confidence that my children grew up knowing that they are unique and us (their parents), their extended family, their church, their friends but first and foremost, by God. While we were far from perfect parents, we did the best we could to give them the confidence and wisdom they would need to be viable adults.

Children are a gift of God and as with every gift, there is responsibility. Parents have to be ready and willing to stand up with and for their children. But they must also be strong enough to be the authority in their child's life. We must have the confidence to say "no" even though it may hurt their feelings or make them angry. Children do not have the wisdom or experience to "be in charge". If we are not an example, how do they learn? If we only seek to be their friend, we do them great harm.

I cannot give you a fool proof formula for raising a child. Each child is different, each environment is different, each parent is different. There are hundreds if not thousands of books on the market that promise to give you the answers but there is no way that a book can know you and your child well enough to tell you how to raise them. The guidance that parents require comes from prayer and submission to God.

As they grew, my husband and I encouraged our children to think, to debate, to have an opinion. We had quite lively conversations at the dinner table each night. Now even though we worked to inspire them to think on their own, we did not leave them to their own devices. We reserved the right to veto those things we felt were harmful or wasteful. We guided them when we saw they were headed in what we felt was the wrong direction. And we pulled rank anytime we knew they had not looked at the big picture and were wrong in their decisions. We set boundaries that some of their friends felt were a little "too" strict. And there were expectations that were not allowed to be questioned. Although we wanted to encourage their individuality, they grew up knowing they had to answer to higher authority.

We (as parents) made a pact that we would never belittle them or their thoughts and opinions. As they grew older, they were allowed to make their own decisions about certain aspects of their long as we felt they had considered all the options. We did the best we could to teach them to think and consider how their actions will affect themselves and others.

Now that they are adults, they make their own decisions and don't need us...most of the time. But once in a while, the phone rings, a discussion begins and it brings joy to my heart to know that they still want and need our guidance. We must have done something right!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The National Anthem

I love our National Anthem but must admit for those of us who posses a less than perfect voice, it can be hard to sing. Especially as a solo. Eight year old Elizabeth Hughes was called upon to sing at a hockey game...and was doing a wonderful job...but when she got to "gave proof", her microphone goes dead. Now she doesn't miss a beat but you can't hear her.

It's heartwarming when the crowd picks up and sings with her. Thanks to all in the crowd for your support, she'll never forget it I'm sure!

President's response...

No, the President didn't respond to my post about the Arizona tragedy. But he did respond to the tragedy...and might I say, his words should be taken to heart...although I did not hear it live, the text is available online and is a good read...

"...What we can't do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another"...
"As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together."

Bravo Mr. President!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I am appalled that the media is using a senseless tragedy such as this past weekend's shooting in Arizona as a "cause celbre". Each article I read in the mainstream media points a finger at politicians, at radio personalities, at gun laws. Is it just a feeble bid to find something to blame besides the shooter? If you're going to do that then tell me...what TV programs does he watch, what movies, what music does he listen to? Are these at fault also?

Now while the political climate is, at times, hostile adn while there is room for much growth in attempting civil discourse between all of us...these things are not the cause.

The blame lays solely on the shoulders of the shooter. He is a human and we human beings are flawed creatures. We live in an imperfect world. Alexander Solzhenitsyn has said, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Evil exists in all of us and it has since the beginning of time. Think of Cain and Abel.

The lesson, if there is one from this tragedy, has nothing to do with political's that we need to see, understand and do something about the mentally ill within our communities. Don't get me wrong, even though I believe he is mentally unbalanced, he has shown he was able to plan and follow through with this horrific event. He must be held responsible for his actions and judged for them.

Our prayers for healing for all the the victims and may the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with all who have been affected.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I love walking a Labyrinth. It calms and restores my soul. We have a "portable" labyrinth at church that we open from time to time and it never fails to re-new me. Ours has stations along the way that move our focus from the world around us to our own internal faith. By the time I reach the middle and partake of Communion, the outside world has faded and I find myself in meditation with the Spirit of God.

Since we don't all have access to a Labyrinth and even if you do, it may be outside and covered with snow at this time of year visit this Labyrinth. Follow the instructions and be prepared to "be present with God."

Brother Lawrence

Feast Day -- January 11

Before he entered a Carmelite monastery when he was middle-aged, Nicholas Herman (1611-1691) had been a soldier and servant and a hermit seeking God. Once he became Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, this humble man spent forty years in conversation with God. At first, the required three hours of daily prayer were difficult for him since his mind was often distracted. Then he realized that every minute of his life could be prayer: "The time of Business is no different from the time of Prayer. In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, I possess God as tranquilly as if I were upon my knees before the Blessed Sacrament," Brother Lawrence wrote.

His primary work was in the monastery kitchen, a job he initially hated, but eventually transformed into meditation and companionship with God. His book, Practicing the Presence of God, has inspired Christians over the centuries to find God in their everyday lives.

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection died on February 12, 1691. The message of his life had been simple: "Believe and count as lost all the time that is not spent in loving God!"

Brother Lawrence

For more information on the Saints, check MethodX

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rice and words

You'll notice a new banner on the right...Play a game and feed the hungry. Improve your vocabulary and send 10 grains of rice for each correct answer. It may not sound like your cup of tea but I can tell you, it's addictive!

About FreeRice

FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Programme.

FreeRice has two goals:

* Provide education to everyone for free.
* Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on this site.

Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your education can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.

Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide.


* Click on the right answer in the middle of this page.
* If you get it right, you get a harder question. If you get it wrong, you
an easier question.
* For each answer you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to the United
Nations World Food Program.

WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... (more)

Take a moment, click on the banner and will make you feel good!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rich was right...

this is funny. Leave it to Steve Martin to make sure everyone has a song!

Friday, January 7, 2011

If we love our children...

The exploitation of children, ANY exploitation of children in reprehensible. It offends the senses of most and yet, we allow it to seep into our culture bit by bit with nothing more than a raised eyebrow. The January/February issue of French Vogue has crossed a boundary that should never have been approached.

The models are slender, overly made up and photographed in provocative poses. What's new about that you ask? Nothing, except that these models range in age from 6 - 7 years old. I will not post the pictures on my blog. If you want to see them in order to put my post in perspective, you can see them here.

I can't even begin to fathom the reasons a parent would allow this to happen to their child...I'm afraid the thought renders me speechless. But, then again, I am one of THOSE people who have issues with young girls out and about in short shorts with phrases printed on their backsides. What are those who are supposed to be the guardians of their childhoods thinking?

Exploitation robs, not the perpetrator but the child. It robs them of innocence, of a sense of protection and safety, of trust. All the while inflicting on them a sense of guilt, of fault, of failure. It can and does shape their lives and may even destroy it. Exploitation teaches them to live with an internal pain so deep and so hurtful that it may never be exorcised.

Those things which destroy a child, destroys humanity itself. If we love our children we must do all we can to protect them...this is just the first step.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


An Epiphany Prayer

Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in Jesus the Christ, we who once were not your people but whom you chose to adopt as your people. As ancient Israel confessed long ago, we realize that it was not because of our own righteousness, or our own superior wisdom, or strength, or power, or numbers. It was simply because you loved us, and chose to show us that love in Jesus.

As you have accepted us when we did not deserve your love, will you help us to accept those whom we find it hard to love? Forgive us, O Lord, for any attitude that we harbor that on any level sees ourselves as better or more righteous than others. Will you help us to remove the barriers of prejudice and to tear down the walls of bigotry, religious or social? O Lord, help us realize that the walls that we erect for others only form our own prisons!

Will you fill us so full of your love that there is no more room for intolerance. As you have forgiven us much, will you enable us with your strength to forgive others even more? Will you enable us through your abiding Presence among us, communally and individually, to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Name we bear?

May we, through your guidance and our faithful obedience, find new avenues in ways that we have not imagined of holding the Light of your love so that it may be a Light of revelation for all people.

We thank you for your love, praise you for your Gift, ask for your continued Presence with us, and bring these petitions in the name of your Son, who has truly revealed your heart. Amen.

Read more about this traditional church holiday here...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One brief moment...

I love to listen to 2 instruments above all else...the violin/fiddle and the saxophone. For one brief shining moment, Gerry Rafferty put pen to paper and wrote one the greatest sax solos of all time.

Gerry passed away yesterday after a long illness...thank you Gerry.

Sustainable Marriage...

I was reading an article in the NY Times about marriage...(See The Happy Marriage is the "Me" Marriage)

Having just celebrated our 33rd anniversary, my husband and I often discuss what has been/is important to us in the relationship. Invariably communication is one of the first items mentioned. We both feel that if we can spend time together discussing an issue or a problem, we can get through it without hurting one another. We are, first and foremost, friends. Strength of character along with absolute trust and support are off shoots of our friendship. While all 33 years have not been a walk in the park, there have been very few bad times and we have never had to "work" at our marriage. My wish for my children is that they too can find spouses who will be their life long friend.

If you wonder where you stand in your relationship, take the quiz here.

May your relationships, whatever form they take, be as fulfilling as ours has been!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BBC's take on a Blackberry

For those who are up to date on the latest's too funny. For those who are not, try not to scratch your head too much!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another year..

"I said to the man at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may go forth into the unknown." And the man replied, "Put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, safer than a known way.""
(A New Year's message from Britain's King George to his embattled people at the beginning of WWII.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are you Unwritten?

It speaks for itself...perhaps it's the way to start the new year...

Natasha Benningfield

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Saint...

I know it a Catholic tradition to pray to the saints...but it's something I've been interested and involved in for the last couple of years...The Anchoress is inviting her readers to try a "saint generator"...push a couple of buttons and a patron Saint is chosen for you (or chooses you!)...

For 2011 my patron is St. Benedict! He lived from 480 to 547 and established the Benedictine Order for Monks and Nuns. His "Rule" has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness...I look forward to getting to know more about him.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you enjoyed your evening...

At midnight on New Year's Eve, this is ME!