Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Les Mis"

The first official trailer for "Les Miserables" which is due out at Christmas...

I loved this story when I read it for French class in high school. It was so full, and rich and detailed and real. The play (which I've seen more than once) brought tears to my eyes almost from the beginning. Now it's to be presented on film. Oh Joy!

The poorest of the poor...

 Paul Jeffrey went to seminary and trained as a pastor but then God called him to work outside the walls of a church, way outside the walls! As a missionary journalist, he has traveled to 65 countries and been shot at, taken prisoner, caught in combat. He has won many awards for the powerful way he uses words and images to tell the story of The United Methodist Church in the world.

(Voice of The Rev. Paul Jeffrey) I’m repeatedly surprised by how hope thrives in an environment that might seem hopeless to many of us. You can find the script for this piece here 

Watch and read...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sports vs. Church

 The state’s largest Catholic Diocese is implementing a policy to create a separation between church and sports. Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Diocese has approved a policy at the request of the priest council that would prohibit any Catholic school from holding activities not related to religious services or religious education on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. (Read Here)

Over the last several years, this has become an issue in our little town also. When my children were young and playing sports, these things coexisted. The local officials saw to it that Wednesdays and Sundays were held "sacred", if you will. But as the years have passed, I see less and less cooperation.

I know there are merits to playing organized sports and have followed many of them for most of my adult life, but the pressure put on today's young athletes is unfair. If the coach mandates that you must attend practice or you will not play, what is the child supposed to do? And if the child is involved, what are the parents to do? It would be easy for me to say, "Make a choice to have them in church!" But that too would be unfair.Me and mine do not have to pay a price.

I know that 99.99999% of the young people playing today will not do so as adults...but the children don't know that. Their parents should, but most hold out hope that their child is exceptional. And if you pressure the parent, most faithful Christians will admit they struggle with the issue. But then again, what are they to do? They are at the mercy of the system.

If I were going to speak out to one group about this, it would be the coaches and administrators of the different sports and leagues. They could make it a priority to allow that one and a half days per week there would be no practice or games. The time off might even help the youngsters catch up on their rest! I'm sure some would tell me to mind my own business...that they're in it to win. That it's imperative that the team practice all they can...but at what cost? 

More than once I've had a young person tell me they would not be able to attend a Youth Event or trip, because they'd have to miss practice or a game. And punishment would ensue. Not physical punishment, but sitting the bench. And so they stay at home. Will this make them "bad" Christians? No. Will it make them better athletes? Probably not. But what it does teach is that our society puts our relationship with God second, or third or tenth.

That's really a shame, when it doesn't have to be that way at all.

Joan of Arc

 Today is the feast day of St. Joan of Arc.

This young peasant girl is probably one of the most recognized saints in the world. Joan of Arc was born in the town of Domremy on the border of France and Lorraine in January of 1412 and lived just nineteen years. Her youth coincided with a French civil that war raged between the houses of Orleans and Burgundy; at the same time, France and England remained embroiled in the Hundred Years' War.

Joan heard voices of the Archangel Gabriel and other saints telling her God wanted her to save her country. Amazingly, although she could neither read nor write, she was able to convince the Dauphin (the future Charles VII) to give her leadership of French troops. Dressed as a soldier, Joan and her soldiers won the Battle of Orleans in 1429. She continued to win battles for France, but eventually, was captured by the British. A trial focused on her supposed witchcraft; when the corrupt court couldn't make those charges stick, they focused on the heresy of Joan's wearing men's clothing as a soldier, and the fact that she "heard voices." Joan was sentenced to death and on May 30, 1431, as she was burned at the stake, she called on Jesus and asked forgiveness for those who killed her.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

April 3, 33

According to geologists, this may well be the date Jesus was crucified:

To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.

Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and an early first century seismic event that happened sometime between 26 A.D. and 36 A.D.

But the earthquake clues are not enough to prove the story:

In terms of textual clues to the date of the crucifixion, Williams quoted a Nature paper authored by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. Williams summarized their work as follows:
  • All four gospels and Tacitus in Annals (XV,44) agree that the crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from 26-36 AD.
  • All four gospels say the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.
  • All four gospels agree that Jesus died a few hours before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath (nightfall on a Friday).
  • The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) indicate that Jesus died before nightfall on the 15th day of Nisan; right before the start of the Passover meal.
  • John’s gospel differs from the synoptics; apparently indicating that Jesus died before nightfall on the 14th day of Nisan.
When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations are factored in, a handful of possible dates result, with Friday April 3, 33 A.D. being the best match, according to the researchers.

You can read the rest of the story here

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

If it causes you anguish, step outside the box...forget that these words are being spoken by a Greman General during WWII...listen only to what he is saying...

Thank you to all who have served and to all who have worked behind the scenes to give them the opportunity to serve. May God Bless...

Sunday, May 27, 2012


in 2 minutes...

from Busted Halo

As an FYI, the symbol of the United Methodist Church is called the Cross and Flame.
Can you guess what the flame stands for?

The history and significance of the Cross and Flame emblem are as rich and diverse as The United Methodist Church. The insignia's birth quickly followed the union of two denominations in 1968: The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Following more than two dozen conceptualizations, a traditional symbol—the cross—was linked with a single flame with dual tongues of fire. The resulting insignia is rich in meaning. It relates The United Methodist church to God through Christ (cross) and the Holy Spirit (flame). The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw "tongues, as of fire" (Acts 2:3).

The elements of the emblem also remind us of a transforming moment in the life of Methodism's founder, John Wesley, when he sensed God's presence and felt his heart "strangely warmed." The two tongues of a single flame may also be understood to represent the union of two denominations.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Blessed One

Jesus is the Blessed One.  The word benediction, which is the Latin form for the word blessing, means "to say (dicere) good things (bene)."  Jesus is the Blessed One because God has spoken good things of him.  Most clearly we hear God's blessing after Jesus has been baptised in the river Jordan, when "suddenly there was a voice from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him'"  (Matthew 3:16-17).

With this blessing Jesus starts his public ministry.  And all of that ministry is to make known to us that this blessing is not only for Jesus but also for all who follow him.
                                                                        Henri Nouwen 

Tomorrow, we celebrate Pentecost...the coming down and the movement of the Holy Spirit that resulted in the birth of the Christian church. 

An ancient church father, Origen, said, “The weakness that the Spirit helps us with is the flesh. Whenever the Holy Spirit sees our spirit struggling with the flesh and being drawn to it, he stretches out his hand and helps us in our weakness” (Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament VI, Romans [Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1998], 229). What a blessing that the Holy Spirit remembers us and helps us in our weakness.
We cannot walk this journey alone. God, the Father and Jesus, the Blessed One, reach out to us through the working of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all God would have us do. That still small voice, that feeling in your gut that you just can't shake, that's the Spirit's not take His direction lightly. For although it may seem like He has chosen an unlikely path, it is always the best one.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Venerable Bede

May 25th is the feast day for a saint known to us today as "The Venerable Bede,". He lived in England 673 to 735, spending his life from age 7 in the Wearmouth Abbey in Northumberland. As a Benedictine, his hours would have followed a regular schedule of worship and prayer, study, teaching, and writing.

Bede was a very wise man and  wrote 25 commentaries on the Bible, many of which are still used today. He also wrote a comprehensive guide to English history to date (History of the English Church and People) which gained him the title of "The Father of English History".In 1899, Bede was made a Doctor of the Church by Leo XIII. He is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation.

Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, and his work with the Latin and Greek writings of the early Church Fathers contributed significantly to English Christianity, making the writings much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons.

On a side note, Jarrow Nonastery was founded in 682. The dedication stone:
still survives and it is very possible that Bede himself helped with the setting and the building of the church.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why are Christians

I saw this posted on a friends Facebook page:

The text read:
When you do a search on Google, suggestions are shown based on popular searches by other users. It can give us an authentic look into the mind of our culture. This video is based on actual search results. It is a thought provoking and convicting challenge to all believers.

I decided to try the Google search myself and found that all the letters posted gave negative answers right off...except:

for the letter "H"...Why are Christians so "happy" was #2
for the letter "L"...Why are Christians so "loving" was # 1
for the letter "N"...Why are Christians so "nice" was # 1

That was it...the 23 other letters had either no response of a negative one, or two or three or more. Much food for thought here...

Unique Wedding photos

If you live in Kansas you know about a tornado! But, I doubt many of you would like one to be a part of your wedding photos!

"I saw the tornado forming even before the wedding started," Caleb said. "I told my dad but he said not to worry about it." The couple was focused on their big day, despite the twisters.
"I was getting married, I really didn't care about the tornado," Caleb said. "I told Candra and she said she didn't want to hear about it right now." Although it formed the backdrop for their photos, the tornado steered clear of the Pence family farm where the ceremony took place.

Caleb's mother was quoted as saying:  "It was very classic: boots, jeans, wheat and tornado. You can't get any better than that for Kansas."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Ministry Matters has a great article about Work / Life Balance (“the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy”). Why is it we find it so easy to forget how wonderful the "little" things in life can truly be?

On an afternoon not long ago, Australian CEO and outspoken advocate for work/life balance Nigel Marsh left work early to pick up his young son, Harry, from school. The senior Marsh reports that they played games in the park and then shared a pizza for dinner. When they arrived home, Marsh gave his son a bath, put on his Batman pajamas, and read him a story. As Marsh wished him a good night and started to walk out of his son’s bedroom, Harry said to him, “Dad, this has been the best day of my life, ever.”


Seems that each time there's a new advancement or development in technology, we create a new "god". Not only do they tend to get in our way spiritually, they do so with our every day life. Suddenly Facebook and other social networks are playing havoc with marriages.  

More than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a  legal services firm. And over 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of cases using social networking, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” says Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn. Of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60% exclusively involve Facebook.

There's a discussion of the phenomena at the Wall Street Journal, as well as here

But as a divorce lawyer who has practiced family law since before the Internet, I don’t think human nature has changed, or been changed by Facebook. Human beings seek happiness. Sometimes they find it in a good book or movie. Sometimes in alcohol, sometimes in a lover, and hopefully, in the best case scenario, they simply find happiness in themselves and their loved ones.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This is...

 This is what I pray NEVER happens in church!

Cartoon from Asbo Jesus!

What were they thinking?

The Billboard Music Awards always pays tribute to artists who have passed since the last show. Not sure who came up with this year's list but I don't think I'd call them a music aficionado! It was especially sad for those who remember these artists from the beginning...

Noticeably absent were:

Levon Helms

Up on Cripple Creek:

Etta James

At Last:

Dick Clark

Although he never sang a note that I know of, he launched the careers of thousands of entertainers. Those of us who impatiently waited for American Bandstand each week will never forget him!

Davy Jones (if you were female and within 7 years + / - of my age, you had a crush on Davy!)

Daydream Believer

Shame on you Billboard! These people helped define generations and brought joy and music into our lives!

Monday, May 21, 2012


It is perhaps the most famous of military signals, and on Saturday it turned 150 years old. Taps, traditionally played at military funerals and also known as "Butterfield's Lullaby" or "Day is Done," were born during the Civil War along the James River.

Read more here...

We spent the weekend at a "Cub and Family Campout" with grandson so I missed posting this on time. Regardless, it is something worth knowing at any time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


On Maundy Thursday, the Church of England asked "What would you pray for with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemani?" The ICM survey showed the following to be the most popular answers to“Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?” :

  • A family member
  • Peace for the world
  • Healing for another
  • Less stress in my life
  • An end to world poverty
  • Guidance
  • Thankfulness
  • My partner
  • Prosperity
  • A friend
  • Healing for myself
  • Marriage or relationship
  • Forgiveness
  • Work
  • My spiritual life
  • My church

Only 15 % said they would pray for nothing at all. The survey results were surprising in that even though some respondents were not what you would classify as religious, they still believe in the power of prayer. The Church of England prayer site:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five important words...

“…but I might be wrong.”

It would be disingenuous if we attached these words to the end of every sentence. We all have spiritual and moral convictions we believe are non-negotiable, but can’t the humility associated with those five words define the tone of our dialog?

Read the whole story here...

A day in the life...

Oh yes! I have had days like this!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter of Love

The following letter was written by Ronald Reagan to his son Michael just prior to his wedding in 1971. Not everyone agrees with his politics, but the man certainly knew something about love and marriage.

Michael Reagan
Manhattan Beach, California
June 1971
Dear Mike:

Enclosed is the item I mentioned (with which goes a torn up IOU). I could stop here but I won’t. You’ve heard all the jokes that have been rousted around by all the “unhappy marrieds” and cynics. Now, in case no one has suggested it, there is another viewpoint. You have entered into the most meaningful relationship there is in all human life. It can be whatever you decide to make it.

Some men feel their masculinity can only be proven if they play out in their own life all the locker-room stories, smugly confident that what a wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. The truth is, somehow, way down inside, without her ever finding lipstick on the collar or catching a man in the flimsy excuse of where he was till three A.M., a wife does know, and with that knowing, some of the magic of this relationship disappears. There are more men griping about marriage who kicked the whole thing away themselves than there can ever be wives deserving of blame. There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life. Any man can find a twerp here and there who will go along with cheating, and it doesn’t take all that much manhood. It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music. If you truly love a girl, you shouldn’t ever want her to feel, when she sees you greet a secretary or a girl you both know, that humiliation of wondering if she was someone who caused you to be late coming home, nor should you want any other woman to be able to meet your wife and know she was smiling behind her eyes as she looked at her, the woman you love, remembering this was the woman you rejected even momentarily for her favors.

Mike, you know better than many what an unhappy home is and what it can do to others. Now you have a chance to make it come out the way it should. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.



P.S. You’ll never get in trouble if you say “I love you” at least once a day.

Sacred Space

God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.

A Jewish boy, the only son of his devout parents, was a most biddable child, with one exception! He resisted learning the Torah. To his parents, nothing could have been more distressing.
The Chief Rabbi was to visit their Synagogue. They decided to ask him to visit their home. He did, and after the meal the parents expressed to the Rabbi their concern about their son.
The Rabbi asked permission to place his arms around the boy. The parents agreed, moving to one side. They watched and waited, expecting to hear some word of advice from the Rabbi to the boy. But the only word they heard was silence as they watched their son rest close to the Rabbi’s heart.
The next day the boy began to study the Torah. His passion for God’s word grew. Years later he became a wise and loving Rabbi. Many asked him whence his knowledge came. He simply said, ‘I put my ear close to the Chief Rabbi’s heart and in that moment I heard the heartbeat of God.’
In the Gospel of John the ‘beloved disciple’ has his ear on Jesus’ heart. It is a privileged place. But I too am a beloved disciple, so I can do likewise. Only in silence can I hear the Lord’s heartbeat.
Lord, enrich my days with moments of silence, in which I simply listen to you.

These thoughts and prayers are from today's posting on Sacred Space . The site is hosted by the Irish Jesuits and gives us yet another way to spend a few moments alone with God in the midst of a busy day. Take time,'s only 10 minutes!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


From "A Book of Hours" by Henri Nouwen:

This is a very encouraging thought. God does not require a pure heart before embracing us. Even if we return only because following our desires has failed to bring happiness, God will take us back. Even if we return because being a Christian brings us more peace than being a pagan, God will receive us. Even if we return because our sins did not offer as much satisfaction as we had hoped, God will take us back. Even if we return because we could not make it on our own, God will receive us. God's love does not require any explanations about why we are returning. God is glad to see us home and wants to give us all we desire, just for being home.   (page 68 - 69)

This book is arranged around the major hours followed by Thomas Merton's order, the Trappists, also known as Cistercians. Compline is prayed at 7:30pm.

This illustration was made around 1240 and is the earliest surviving English book of hours. The artist who made it signs himself ‘W. de Brailes’ and it seems very likely that he was the William de Brailes who lived in Catte Street in Oxford around 1230–1260. This image is of the Betrayal, the Scourging of Christ, the Mocking of Christ, and Peter’s third denial, with Peter shown weeping outside of the frame of what may be an initial D(omine) of the first word (Lord).


As someone who grew up in an era where I remember the following:
Black and white TV
Changing the channel (manually!)
Transistor radios, AM only!
only (3) network channels that went off the air at midnight
dial telephones
the advent of 8 Track tapes
men landing on the moon
Spending $25 for a "plain jane" calculator in High School
8mm movie cameras
and the list goes on and on...

The following article tells which new technologies will be obsolete before a child born today has the chance to use them!

As my newborn son grows to match the size of a mid-tower desktop, a large-screen TV and eventually a server rack, I can’t help but think about all the gadgets he won’t even remember using that were so important to his dad. I’m not talking about long dead-and-buried technologies such as the VHS recorder or the 35mm camera. Rather, I’m thinking about devices and concepts most of us use today that will fall out of mainstream use so soon that he either won’t remember them, or will only have very hazy memories of having lived with them.

An amazing rescue!

I believe that whales are one of God's most magnificent creatures. Not only are they beautiful, they are intelligent and delightful to behold. I was blessed to take go on a "whale watch" during a trip to Boston a few years ago. We were told we would sail out for about 2 hours and then return. Alas, although it was a beautiful (but cool) day, we saw no whales on the ride out.

The young people on the trip had all crowded around the bow for the first hour or so but slowly made their way inside or up top to rest, relax, get warm and enjoy the sunshine. I, and a few of the other adults, took this opportunity to stand at the very forward tip of the bow. This had been a life long dream and I was determined to keep an eye open for even the slightest contact. Just about the time we had reached the limit of our trip, the Marine Biologist on board came up and pointed ahead. It was a pectoral fin...slapping the water! As we got closer, she told us that this was actually a was only 20 feet long or so. She told us to keep our eyes open, that the baby was playing while mother fed and that the mother would come up every so often to check on it.

After a very few moments we saw the mother rise...all 60 feet of her, she broke the surface just enough to see what was going on (the biologist explained that the whales were used to the boats being there). She slid past as she checked on her young one...even though she didn't breech she was breathtaking to behold! This was truly a joy I thought I would never experience!

Take a moment to watch this video...I applaud the skill and daring of the people in the boat. I thank God for their compassion and for taking time to free this young humpback. Wait until you see how the whale "thanks" them!

St. Isidore the Farmer

Today is the feast day of  St. Isidore the Farmer.

                                                                   1070 - 1130
Isidore was born to very poor yet very pious Catholic parents in Madrid, Spain. His parents were unable to support him when he was a youth and sent him to work for a wealthy landowner, John de Vergas (He ended up working for him for the rest of his life).

He married a very religious woman named Maria Torribia (also known as Maria de la Cabeza). She, like Isidore became a saint. They had one son who died unexpectedly as a child. Their grief inclined them to believe their son's death to be a sign from God and consequently vowed to live a life of perfect continence.

Isidore frequented Holy Mass every morning but often reported to work late. Late, though he was, his plowing was nevertheless accomplished by angels that resulted in three times more productivity. His coworkers and his boss witnessed such miraculous events and accorded Isidore with great respect.

St. Isidore loved the poor and loved the animals. The miracle of the multiplication of food occurred when Isidore fed a flock of starving birds and on another time when Isidore shared his food with a large group of beggars. He wrote nothing and founded no monastery, yet he lived a life blessed with signs, wonders, and great charity that touched the people around him.

Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age and was canonized in 1622.  His body has been found incorrupt.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The winner is...

truly a winner.

Phillips set the contest and Ridley Scott chose the winner.

The contest, which received over 600 entries from around the world, invited aspiring filmmakers to create an original short film using the same six-line dialogue as the Cannes Lions award-winning Parallel Lines short films directed by RSA talents Carl Erik Rinsch, Greg Fay, Johnny Hardstaff, Jake Scott and Hi-Sim.

Commenting on his choice of winner, Sir Ridley Scott said: “I chose Porcelain Unicorn to be the winning film as it had a very strong narrative; a very complete story that was well told and executed.”


Operation Overboard VBS Day Camp
June 16,2012
9am to 2:30pm
Come and join us!

Swim Party at YMCA
June 16,2012
at 6pm

For more information, contact the church office!

Emptiness and Fullness

Emptiness and fullness at first seem complete opposites.  But in the spiritual life they are not.  In the spiritual life we find the fulfillment of our deepest desires by becoming empty for God.

We must empty the cups of our lives completely to be able to receive the fullness of life from God.  Jesus lived this on the cross.  The moment of complete emptiness and complete fullness become the same.  When he had given all away to his Abba, his dear Father, he cried out, "It is fulfilled" (John 19:30).  He who was lifted up on the cross was also lifted into the resurrection.  He who had emptied and humbled himself was raised up and "given the name above all other names" (see Philippians 2:7-9).  Let us keep listening to Jesus' question:  "Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?"  (Matthew 20:22).
                                                 Henri Nouwen

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012


An article entitled "Get lost in these amazing mazes!" has some great photgraphs to accompany the text. And a maze can be fun...only problem is, they included at least one labyrinth in the article and they're just not the same thing!

A maze has been created to make you think! You need to remember where you've been and keep in mind where you're going and yes, you CAN get lost. Ever watched the movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"? It has a real, live, wicked maze (and I do mean live!).

On the other hand, a labyrinth has only one way in and one way out. There are no unecessary detours. It is meant to be used spiritually. For meditation, for prayer or as a pilgrimage. Personally, I love labyrinth's but a maze? Not so much...

                                                  Labyrinth at Sister's of Loretto, Nerinx, KY

End of the world?

 For those who have been concerned that the Mayans were right and we're just around the corner from the end of the world, there's new information!

The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It's these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec. 21, 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete. But the idea that this means the end of the world is a misconception, Stuart said. In fact, Maya experts have known for a long time that the calendar doesn't end after the 13th baktun. It simply begins a new cycle. And the calendar encompasses much larger units than the baktun.

Check out all the news here...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ultimate Frisbee

Can he make the catch???

Who knew the Frisbee...the fun, easy game of my childhood would become world class?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sounds to soothe...

I know I have posted several "flash mobs" over time but before you think..."Oh no, not another one!" Take a look! This time, they are playing "Peer Gynt" dancers, no singers, just the beauty of the music!

I hope you noticed the young man taking out his ear buds so he could hear better...and the way the passengers kept looking back as the exited, as if they would have loved to stay for more!

And, in case you didn't notice the note, all music was performed and recorded on the train.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


One of my core beliefs is that God created each of us with a free will. We have the ability and responsibility to choose. There are those who would tell me that I should use this forum to show others the errors of their ways. Show them what is so right about "us" and what is so wrong about "them". This I could never do...

We exist in a diverse world. Where ideas abound and anyone with a computer can write a blog. That's their right. And it's my right to read them, or not. It is not my right to work to shut them down. If I cannot present the precepts of my faith and if I cannot articulate what belief in God means for me, then shame on me. It does nothing to lift up my faith if I use this space to just bring down the faith of others.

It is our responsibility to read, consider and ultimately decide what or who we will spend our time with. There are valid and important ideas to be gleaned from all belief systems. In my heart I do not believe God wants them demeaned or belittled. Although they may not be following what I percieve to be the path He has laid out, it is part of His plan that they be here. No one is born by accident and all things can bring glory.

I realize that even though there are millions of people who do not believe as I do, I do not have the right to silence them. They have a right to be heard and to be taken seriously. Sure, in the course of "surfing the net" you'll run in to all kinds of people, with all kinds of ideas about belief and faith. I am just one part.

This blog was started to reach out to the young people in my care. To help them find their way. I will not "force feed" them and tell them what to think. Each time we meet, I attempt to guide them to find their own relationship with their Creator God. It's my earnest desire to encourage them to think, read, study, meditate, pray and ultimately come to their own realizations. An heir-loomed faith is worthless...and just going through the motions of worship will never make their souls soar! But, to watch them take their first tentative steps along the path, fills my heart with joy. To be just off to the side as they walk and stumble and fall and crawl and pull themselves up again, all within God's grace is a reward beyond comprehension.

I am not here to "sell" you on anything, you must choose. Thoughtfully, meditatively, sensitively, prayerfully...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

To slip the surly bounds of earth...

Since then, her family can barely keep McAlpine grounded. "She said after the first world record that she'd do it again in five years time," her 75-year-old daughter Elizabeth Forsyth told the paper. "If that American lady hadn't beaten her record maybe we could have kept her on the ground but that was not to be."

And to those pretenders who would dare deign to rob McAlpine of her rightful record she offers a preemptive warning: "I would certainly like to do it again - especially if anyone takes my record."

Way to go Peggy! And a big thumbs up to the other half of her tandem team, as he gently brings her back to earth again!

Check out the story...


The organizers of London 2012 are determined that this year’s Paralympic Games are not seen as the bridesmaid to its counterpart but as admirable an aim that may be, the vast majority of the creative work we are seeing concern the other games. So it’s really refreshing to see a video like this from Canadian photographer/director Mark Zibert aimed at inspiring potential paralympic athletes. Shot in one continuous take, it’s atmospheric, powerful and hugely inspirational, exploring one runner’s journey back to the track.

Watch the video first...

The link is here...

Friday, May 4, 2012

IPads at work...

The video below was created to encourage people and businesses to look at relocating to Stockholm. They do an excellent job of selling some of the finer a very unique way...IPad users will love this! 

Polka Dots

The weather is warm, everyone feels it's time to be outdoors and so why not give the old house a new coat of paint? At least that's what Jim Deitz of Grand Forks thought. All was well until he hit upon an idea to make the house stand out from the others....Polka Dots! To say the neighbors are a little upset may be an understatement...but he checked the laws and it's not illegal! I think it's kinda cute...of course, it's not right next door to me...

Read the rest here...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God is ever-greater

How small that is, with which we wrestle,
What wrestles with us, how immense;
Were we to let ourselves, the way things do,
Be conquered thus by the great storm-
We would become far-reaching and nameless.
What we triumph over is the small,
And the success itself makes us small.
The eternal and unexampled
Will not be bent by us.
This is the Angel, who appeared
To the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
When his opponent's sinews
In that contest stretch like metal,
He feels them under his fingers
Like strings making deep melodies.

Whomever this Angel overcame
(who so often declined the fight)
He walks erect and justified
And great from that hard hand
Which, as if sculpting, nestled round him.
Winning does not tempt him.
His growth is this: to be
Deeply defeated by the ever-greater One.

Excerpt from Ranier Maria Rilke, "The Man Watching," translated by Edward Snow in The Book of Images

God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand, you have failed.
  St. Augustine


I have been a pilgrim for a few days. Visiting the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse in Kentucky again on retreat. Although it was a much needed and restful time, I do wish I could figure a way to bring it home with I could be reminded now and again of how it feels to be "away from the world".