Friday, August 31, 2012

A full cup

God fills
our cup full
and running over,
not so
we can boast
or measure,
but so
we can spill over
into the lives of
others. S. Dyer (devozine)

The imagery struck me. Have you ever filled a bucket full of water full to overflowing? The water rushes over the sides not in precise measured amounts and you cannot control where it goes. It splashes wherever it wants. If we allow God to fill our cup to overflowing, think of the lives we will touch, lives beyond our control. How many others can we reach and refresh with God's life giving love?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bible and Science

We are surrounded by people who are constantly trying to reconcile the Bible and science. You will hear (or may ask) questions especially about the beginning of the world, the great flood, the plagues in Egypt and on and on. Where does the Bible tell us about dinosaurs? To the best of my knowledge, the word dinosaur isn't in there (unless they are the behemoths listed in the OT).  Did they exist? Obviously so, their bones are everywhere but on what day were they created? Were they created at a later time? Why did God allow them to die out? My question to you is...what does it matter?

The writers of the Old Testament weren't really concerned about the "how" of creation. Their concern was mainly with the "who" and "why"..."who" set everything in motion and "why" do we exist? These were (and are) the important questions. The technical explanations didn't matter to them nearly as much as describing the relationship between the Creator and the created.

Scientists will never know the answers to all of life's questions and what they believe to be true today could very well change next week. Their study is like a puzzle without all the pieces; the picture is constantly changing.  I am often fascinated by what science has to offer and what they can tell us about this wonderful creation we live I can learn, understand and grow in the knowledge of the natural world because I am sure that the Truth learned from studying God's word is just that, Truth. It may not spell out the answers to a biology quiz but it gives me all I need to know to be in relationship with you and my Creator.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's called being a Mom...

Read a wonderful article that all mothers should read. We tend to forget that we're not perfect, we're Mom's...and we are just the mother our children need.

I can say this because my children are grown. And even though I know I made plenty of mistakes while raising them, they always knew they were loved, they always knew they were first in our hearts, they STILL know that there is a place in this world where they can come...for love, for comfort, for encouragement, for fun. I can also say this because God has given us the opportunity to raise our grandson...and yes, the world does revolve around him. And while his mom and his uncle think that we've lost our minds because we're not the same parents we were to them, they don't realize that each child is different. His needs are not the same as theirs were...and we have experience we didn't have with them. To realize, that despite what society would tell us, the most important job (if you want to call it that) we have at this moment, is to raise him the best we know how.

Somehow in the mixed up media world we've got these thoughts of moms being perfect. Society doesn't give us a break. I mean read this article in the New York Times about the pressure on moms to look a certain way after they give birth. And then? Then we're to be ultra creative, crafty, humorous, happy, chipper, up before dawn, to sleep after dark, with our sinks shined, and the laundry folded, and tomorrow's breakfast in the crockpot, with tomorrow's dinner - pulled from our once-a-month cooking thawing in the fridge, while we work out for 20 minutes on odd days and 40 minutes on even days, and our hair is always done, we're makeup ready, our fridges are stocked, and the craft closet bursting with ideas for that quick perfect afternoon art project that we'll place on our recycled wood and mod podged adorned hand painted chalkboard.

Read the rest here...You may never have been a mom...but you have been a child.

The same blogger wrote this too...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Boss

A story from the heart:

"To say that my grandmother was the dominant force in my life only begins to describe the role she's played and her impact on me. Despite standing all of 4-foot-7, she was a force of nature. Even more, though, she was a force of faith, and her story – no lie, the stuff of legend – shines as proof of the power and richness that can only be born from a pure, committed love of God and the rest. As she always urged me in her inimitable immigrant’s “broke English,” yet with a pride that broke any language barrier, “Rocky, you write my book. It be better than the Bible.”

A beautiful letter to a beloved grandmother, read the rest:
 Whispers in the Loggia

Hildegard and the Trinity

I recently read an article about Hildegard of Bingen. She was a 12th century whose gifts included being a writer, composer, Christian mystic (person knowledgeable of aspects beyond normal human perception) and Benedictine Abbess. She will soon be designated as a “Doctor of the Church”, which means her writings will be officially endorsed by the Catholic Church.

She had numerous visions over her lifetime but one in particular is especially helpful in understanding the concept of the Trinity.

One of her visions depicts Christ as a sapphire blue figure, standing in the midst of two circles: one golden-colored, its diameter just about the same length as Christ's height; the other, larger one a lighter color, surrounding and enfolding the smaller figure. These circles, in turn, are surrounded by a blue background and a framework of floral designs. This striking image, according to Hildegard, is not just of Christ, but indeed is a vision of the Holy Trinity.
"This is the perception of God's mysteries . . . that bright light bathes the whole of the glowing fire, and the glowing fire bathes the bright light; and the bright light and the glowing fire pour over the whole human figure, so that the three are one light in one power of potential." So writes Hildegard of her vision. In short, the largest circle represents light—the light of God. The inner circle signifies the fire of the Holy Spirit. And of course, the figure, washed in a rich, watery blue, is Christ; not a lonely, bereft Christ but rather, Christ embedded in the fire of the Spirit and the light of the Creator.

 ...Somehow, in our time, Hildegard has been "reinterpreted" by the Vatican to be deemed worthy of the title Doctor of the Church. But I think Hildegard's true worth remains not in her theology but in her visions, her music, her art. It is as a contemplative that Hildegard's most singular, creative, and innovative gifts can be found. The sapphire Christ, surrounded by luminous circles of fire and light, will show us the way.

Monday, August 27, 2012

St. Monica

You may not have heard of her, but you've surely heard of her son...

St. Monica was born in the African city of Tegaste, of Christian parents.  She was married at an early age to a pagan, Patricius, and had three children, the oldest of whom was the great Doctor of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo.  The household was thoroughly Roman by language, culture and persuasion.  Despite Monica’s own Christianity, her children were not baptized in the faith, although their childhood was suffused by it due to Monica’s devotion and influence.
Monica’s life was a difficult one.  She patiently suffered through the dissolute life of her husband and abuse from her mother-in-law.  Yet, her piety and patient charity won the conversion of her husband Patricius one year before his death, and the conversion of his mother as well.
Her son Augustine was of great concern to Monica.  At the age of 19 he rejected his mother’s faith. His mother followed him to various places and he was finally able to resolve his doubts about Christianity and was baptized during the Easter celebrations of his thirty-third year of life.  Monica’s long years of prayer had thus been answered and she died in-route to her home, in the port city of Ostia, in October 387, the year of Augustine’s baptism into Catholicism.
 St. Monica is honored as a model for virtuous Christian mothers.  She is the patron saint of ecclesiastical societies of mothers, of women, and of all mothers.  Since 1430 her relics have been venerated in the Arrouaise Augustine monastery in the city of Rome, in the Church of San Agostino.  Her feast day is celebrated universally on 27 August.

One of those people...

You know who I'm talking least I hope your church has at least one among your congregation. One who makes your day brighter, just because you've been in her presence. Always has a smile on her face, a smile that encompasses her entire face. Descriptive words that come to mind...friendly, helpful, loving, creative...and a WONDERFUL cook!

There's an old saying that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Last weekend she went back to her hometown to be a part of the community honoring her father...

a playground! Built in one day! What a lovely way to remember an obviously lovely man!

Don't they look like they're all having a blast?


Thursday, August 23, 2012


I could write a 6 paragraph piece about this and still not say it better...


The United Methodist Women is an organization that does some really cool things! 

I saw this posting on their Facebook page:

Sometimes we get the coolest mail! This is a bag of hand-crocheted crosses sent to us from the Lahore Diocese of the Methodist church of Pakistan to thank all of YOU for the funding YOU provided after last year's flooding! (And we can't believe it made it all this way in a pillowcase sealed with tar!) (Photo is of Carol Van Gorp, International Ministries, UMW)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Biblical Films

Hollywood seems to have decided, once again, that they can make good movies based on stories from the Bible. The following are all in various stages of production. One thing about Hollywood, they'll always put their own spin on the telling...guess we'll just have to wait and see how well they do.

"Noah" directed by Darren Aronofsky

"Moses" directed by Ridley Scott

"Gods and Kings" (another movie about Moses) directed by Steven Spielberg

"Jesus of Nazareth" directed by Paul Verhoeven (he wrote the book he's using to make the film)

"Methuselah" directed by James Watkins

Monday, August 20, 2012

Still sailing

I love ships with sails...old ships with sails. On a trip to Boston several years ago, we visited the USS Constitution and I was in heaven. To see her looking so good, even though she's old (215 years old to be exact) and to know that she's still technically a commissioned ship in the US Navy.

Yesterday she sailed again (under her own power), and fired her guns to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812.

Canticle of the Sun

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve him with great humility.

St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Bible

According to the BBC, a Bible belonging to Elvis will be going on the auction block next month and is expected to bring well over $31,000.00. He received the Bible as a Christmas gift from an Aunt and Uncle and it is said to have "notes" made by the "King" himself!

As one commenter noted, "this may well be the "King's" King James Version!

Rich Kids...

I truly wish I could say I am surprised, but I'm not. I am thankful that none of my Youth group participate in this...

"First came Paris Hilton. Then the documentary about heirs of the One Percent, "Born Rich," and MTV's series "My Super Sweet 16." Now comes the dot-com version of silver-spoon voyeurism: "The Rich Kids of Instagram."

The blog on Tumblr features photos set in gilded frames of rich kids and wanna-bes in various states of excess, undress and indulgence, and ever since its launch last month, "The Rich Kids of Instagram" has touched off a firestorm of debate over rich kids and social media.

One shot shows three teens swimming at a lake - and pouring Dom Perignon into one other's mouths. Another shows a guy sticking a giant foam finger out of his Ferrari, while in another kids slide down a giant inflatable slide attached to the side of their mega-yacht.

The site also marks the debut of a whole new genre: "receipt porn." Some posts consist of a photograph of a 100,000-euro meal receipt from St. Tropez or a $42,000 bar bill..."

The rest is here...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


In our world, where so many are driven by an insatiable desire to be famous, we need to remember:

One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God.  In hiddenness we do not receive human  acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement.  In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we most need.

In our society we are inclined to avoid hiddenness.  We want to be seen and acknowledged.  We want to be useful to others and influence the course of events.  But as we become visible and popular, we quickly grow dependent on people and their responses and easily lose touch with God, the true source of our being.   Hiddenness is the place of purification.  In hiddenness we find our true selves.

Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Can they survive?

Few places are as central as Syria to the long history of Christianity. Saul of Tarsus made his conversion here, reputedly on the Street Called Straight, which still exists in Damascus. It was in these lands that he conducted his first missions to attract non-Jews to the nascent faith.

A century ago, the Levant supported a population that was perhaps 20% Christian. Now it is closer to 5%. Syria today hosts vibrant, if dwindling, communities of various ancient sects: Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholics and Armenian Orthodox.

Read more of their plight here...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Holy Courage...

Although we may feel we don't live our lives courageously...we do so more often than you think.
Sister Dorthy Stang lived each day that way.

Sr. Dorothy Stang worked tirelessly for poor farmers’ rights and preservation of the Brazilian rainforest. Confronted by assassins on a deserted road, she opened her Bible and read the Beatitudes to them. She was shot six times.

Her brother described her like this in an article from the NY Times:

David Stanger, her brother, said she was not by any means a sweetly pious nun who had retreated to a life of prayer and contemplation. She was tough, smart and intensely political, and it was precisely her fervent earthly work on behalf of the poor that got her killed, he said.
"None of this ooey-gooey little nun bit," Mr. Stang said. "She was like a Mack truck."

Read the rest of her story...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the house of God's love

"When we enter the household of God, we come to realize that the fragmentation of humanity and its agony grow from the false supposition that all human beings have to fight for their right to be appreciated and loved. In the house of God's love we come to see with new eyes and hear with new ears and thus recognize that all people, whatever their race, religion, sex, wealth, intelligence or background, belong to that same house. God's house has no dividing walls or closed doors. "I am the door", Jesus says, "Anyone who enters through me will be safe" (John 10:9). The more fully we enter into the house of love, the more clearly we see that we are there together with all humanity and that in and through Christ we are brothers and sisters, members of one family."
                                                                               Henri Nouwen

The order of things...

"God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."

Martin Luther

In this crazy, mad world that we call home, where better to get a glimpse of the divine than in nature? To spend a few moments alone with your thoughts and in the presence of whatever type of nature you live around can truly open your soul. The peace, the beauty, the natural order of things...
 I pray you have a moment in nature today...

Monday, August 6, 2012


 by Asbo Jesus

Since it's Monday...I thought it would be good to remind ourselves that we DO NOT have to carry the weight of the world...

Sunday, August 5, 2012


"Francis loved poverty because it helped him spiritually," Thomas said..."There is a law in physics that applies to the soul. No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time; one thing must displace the other. If your heart's crammed tight with material things and a thirst for wealth, there's no space left for God. Francis wanted a void in his life that could only be filled with Jesus. Poverty wasn't a burden for him--it was a pathway to spiritual freedom."

From "Chasing Francis"
by Ian Morgan Cron