Our Lady of Fatima... Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament... Hear us.
Our Lady of the Rosary... Strengthen us.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary... The Magnificat

Mary visited Elizabeth... and when Mary entered Elizabeth's home, the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy at the mere presence of the Lord in Mary's...

And Mary said...
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Luke 1:46-55

Blessed Mary... Thank you for visiting me in my heart. I will always try to make it an acceptable dwelling place for you, and your Son.  May my soul always leap for joy over Him. Amen.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Armor of God...

Ephesians 6:10-18... 
     ... Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.
     Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.      
     With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones... 

"Life issues" positions do matter...

     If you still think that President Obama's position on life issues is just one small part of his total package... maybe you should re-examine his total package.  If you claim to be pro-life, and still justify any support for this man, or others like him... as the so-called "real pro-life candidate"... well... here is your wake-up call. For millions of children, it is already too late.  
     And... make no mistake about what I mean by pro-life... To be pro-life, you must denounce abortion... and embryonic stem cell experimentation... and euthanasia... completely. These things are intrinsic evils. They must be rejected... never justified. We are commanded by God, our Creator, to defend life, from conception to natural death. Anything less is an affront to Him. Truly un-Godly. It really is that simple.
     Here is a list of appointments, bill signings, speeches, and other actions taken by Barack Obama that promote and expand abortion, as well as other anti-life evils. I have posted the entire list (available at, exposing his true agenda of promoting the destruction of life worldwide. This list spans from the November, 2008 election through mid-April, 2010.
     To see this agenda laid out, in all of its horrifying detail, is necessary to remind us of the evil that we are up against. And this is just one policymaker promoting this agenda. There are hundreds like him.  They all must be rejected. Make no mistake about that. Never forget who rejoices in the destruction of innocent life.
1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

Post-Election / Pre-Inauguration
November 5, 2008 - Obama selects pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel has a 0% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life.
November 19, 2008 - Obama picks pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services Secretary. Daschle has a long pro-abortion voting record according to National Right to Life.
November 20, 2008 - Obama chooses former NARAL legal director Dawn Johnsen to serve as a member of his Department of Justice Review Team. Later, he finalizes her appointment as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Obama administration.
November 24, 2008 - Obama appoints Ellen Moran, the former director of the pro-abortion group Emily's List as his White House communications director. Emily's List only supported candidates who favored taxpayer funded abortions and opposed a partial-birth abortion ban.
November 24, 2008 - Obama puts former Emily's List board member Melody Barnes in place as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.
November 30, 2008 - Obama named pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. Clinton has an unblemished pro-abortion voting record and has supported making unlimited abortions an international right.
December 10, 2008 - Obama selects pro-abortion former Clinton administration official Jeanne Lambrew to become the deputy director of the White House Office of Health Reform. Planned Parenthood is "excited" about the selection.
December 10, 2008 - Obama transition team publishes memo from dozens of pro-abortion groups listing their laundry list of pro-abortions actions they want him to take.

Pro-Abortion Presidential Record - 2009
January 5, 2009 - Obama picks pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as the chairman of the Democratic Party.
January 6, 2009 - Obama chooses Thomas Perrelli, the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife, as the third highest attorney in the Justice Department.
January 22, 2009 - Releases statement restating support for Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions and has resulted in at least 50 million abortions since 1973.
January 23, 2009 - Forces taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. Decison to overturn Mexico City Policy sends part of $457 million to pro-abortion organizations.
January 26, 2009 - Obama nominee for Deputy Secretary of State, James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions. Nominee erroneously says limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.
January 29, 2009 - President Obama nominates pro-abortion David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General.
February 12, 2009 - Obama nominates pro-abortion Elena Kagan to serve as Solicitor General.
February 27, 2009 - Starts the process of 
overturning pro-life conscience protections President Bush put in place to make sure medical staff and centers are not forced to do abortions.
February 28, 2009 - Barack Obama nominates pro-abortion 
Kathleen Sebelius to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

March 5, 2009 - The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, made the invitation list as did other pro-abortion groups.
March 9, 2009 - President Barack Obama signed an executive order forcing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.
March 10, 2009 - Obama announces the creation of a new foreign policy position to focus on women's issues. He names
Melanne Verveer, an abortion advocate, to occupy the post.

March 10, 2009Reverses an executive order to press for more research into ways of obtaining embryonic stem cells without harming human life. The order Obama scrapped would have promoted new forms of stem cell research.
March 11, 2009 - Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration known as the White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama's director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, an abortion advocate, became director of it.
March 11, 2009 - Obama administration 
promotes an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.
March 11, 2009 - Obama administration 
officials deny negative effects of abortion at United Nation's meeting.
March 17, 2009 - President Barack Obama makes his first judicial appointment and names pro-abortion federal 
Judge David Hamilton to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
March 26 - President Obama announced 
$50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.

April 7 - The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.
April 7 - Obama has named pro-abortion law professor 
Harold Hongju Koh as the top lawyer for the State Department.
April 7 - Put more abortion advocates on his White House advisory council for 
faith-based issues.

April 8 - Obama nominee for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Ron Weich, is pro-abortion.
April 14 - Obama administration releases document that claims pro-life people may engage in violence or extremism.
April 17 - Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines that implement his decision to allow taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.
April 23 - Refused to appeal a ruling requiring the FDA to allow 17-year-old girls to purchase the morning after pill without either a doctor visit or parental involvement beforehand.
April 27 - Obama's women's ambassador Melanne Verveer touted Obama's decision to send $50 million to the United Nation's Population Fund.
May 5 - Details emerge about a terrorism dictionary the administration of President Barack Obama put together in March. The Domestic Extremism Lexicon calls pro-life advocates violent and claims they employ racist overtones in engaging in criminal actions.
May 8 - President Obama releases a new budget that allows the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.
May 8 - President Obama's new budget calls for taxpayer funded abortions in the nation's capital.
May 8 - President Obama's budget eliminates all federal funding for abstinence-only education.
May 15 - Appointed pro-abortion New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
May 17 - During his commencement speech at Notre Dame, Obama deceived listeners into thinking he wants aconscience clausepromoted embryonic stem cell research and misstated his pro-abortion record.
May 26 - Appoints appeals court judge Sonia Sonotmayor as a Supreme Court nominee. Sotomayor agrees that the courts should make policy, such as the Roe v. Wade case. Sotomayor is later opposed by pro-life groups and supported by pro-abortion groups and those who know her say she will support abortion on the high court.
July 2 Calls for an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nation's meeting.
July 7 - The Obama administration admits it ignored the majority of Americans who opposed the proposed guidelines that would implement Obama's decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.
July 14 - Obama science czar nominee John Holdren is revealed to have written before that he favors forced abortions.
July 30 - Awards several pro-abortion activists with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
July 31 - Tells the National Institutes of Health to adopt rules that allow embryonic stem cell research.
August 4 - Information becomes public that Ezekiel Emanuel, an Obama advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, supports rationing health care for disabled Americans that could lead to euthanasia.
August 6 - Obama criticized for asking for people to "snitch" on groups and people who oppose the pro-abortion health care bills in Congress.
August 13 - Obama wrongly said a senator backed the pro-euthanasia components of the health care bill.
August 23 - Said pro-life advocates were making "phony claims" about the health care bills. Also said the claims werefalse.
August 24 - Releases veterans guide promoting euthanasia.
September 13Misleads on the federal conscience clause in a health care speech and misleads on abortion funding.
September 13 - Obama waits two days to comment on shooting of pro-life advocate whereas he commented immediately on shooting of abortion practitioner.
September 15 - Senate confirms Obama's new regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who is pro-abortion.
October 5 - Selected pro-abortion lawyer and Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum for the EEOC.
October 5 - Anounces he will give the keynote speech for pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign.
October 19 - Obama's web site promotes the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
October 21 - Obama administration web site promotes pro-abortion health care bills.
November 6 - Endorsed the House version of the health care bill that, at the time, contained massive abortion funding, rationing and assisted suicide promotion.
November 26 - Copies Thanksgiving proclamation of President Bush but leaves out pro-life message.
December 2Authorized taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research that kills days-old unborn children.
December 3 - A pro-abortion Obama judicial pick, Louis Butler, is approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
December 7 - Announces his endorsement of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill.
December 16 - Obama administration forces Americans a second time to spend millions more on embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life.
December 17 - Signed a bill that overturned the 13-year-long ban on funding abortions with tax dollars in the nation's capital.

Pro-Abortion Presidential Record - 2010
January 18, 2010 - Gives speech supporting pro-abortion Senate candidate Martha Coakley.
January 26, 2010 - Renominations radical pro-abortion activist Dawn Johnsen to a top Justice Department position.
January 28, 2010 - Promotes the pro-abortion health care bill in the State of the Union address.
February 2, 2010 - Submits new budget calling for taxpayer funding of abortions and more money for Planned Parenthood.
February 5, 2010 - The Obama administration issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill.
February 8, 2010 - The Obama administration admitted it improperly conducted a threat assessment on pro-life groups in Wisconson who were preparing to rally against a new abortion center at a University of Wisconsin health clinic.
February 16, 2010White House visitor logs reveal Obama has gien Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards frequent access to top staffers.
February 22, 2010 - Unveils changes to the pro-abortion health care bill that keep abortion fundingexpands abortion funding, and require a monthly abortion fee on Americans.
February 24, 2010 - Obama administration proposes expanding embryonic stem cell research further.
February 26, 2010 - Obama has selected pro-abortion magistrate judge 
Timothy Black for the District Court Bench for the Southern District of Ohio. Black gets the endorsement of NARAL.

March 3, 2010 - Officially decides to use the controversial reconciliation procedure to pass the pro-abortion health care bill over the filibuster rights of those opposed.
March 22, 2010Signs the pro-abortion health care bill into law that contains massive abortion funding, no conscience protections and rationing.
March 24, 2010Signs executive order purporting to ban abortion funding that leaves taxpayer funding of abortions in place.
March 26, 2010White House visitor logs show pro-abortion NARAL activist Nancy Keenan meeting with key Obama staffers frequently and invited to social functions.
March 29, 2010 - Uses recess appointment to name pro-abortion activist Chai Feldblum to the EEOC.
March 30, 2010 - Signs the reconciliation health care bill that does not contain and fixes for the massive abortion funding.
April 6, 2010 - Battle begins over pro-abortion Obama appeals court nominee 
Goodwin Liu.

April 7, 2010Obama administration pressures Kenya to adopt a new constitution that would legalize unlimited abortions.
April 15, 2010WHO applauds Obama administration for promoting abortion worldwide. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Memorial Day Weekend... We remember...

    USA Flag

This weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, we remember our fallen heroes, who gave the last full measure of devotion to preserve our liberty.  
     And I'm proud to be an American...
     where at least I know I'm free...
     and I won't forget the men who died...
     who gave that right to me...
     and I gladly stand up next to you...
     and defend her still today...
     'cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land...
     God bless the USA.
     ~ Lee Greenwood
This weekend, we remember. And, we thank you.

Make over your refrigerator this weekend...

Real Simple shows you how... You might not stop there. You can link to Real Simple from my sidebar, under Simple Living. Simple.

Funny Guy Friday... I blame the coach...

     Cheryl has given me, her husband, an opportunity to post on her blog once a week. She has decided to call it Funny Guy Friday... but, hey, no pressure or anything... Thanks a lot, honey.
     So... I was originally going to write about how my wife came to her decision to start a blog. My thought was that she got the idea from our friend Sam, who has a funny blog with stories about her twelve kids. I thought that, although we only have three kids, I am sure that our three kids are at least four times as goofy as her twelve... so their goofiness will make up for our deficiency of numbers.  
     I thought it would be cool to have Cheryl share our family’s funny stories.  Imagine my shock and horror when I read her blog, and she decides to tackle a couple of non-controversial subjects like religion and politics.  I am sure that the friends we lose will be replaced by new, more religious, more conservative friends.
  Well, now for the lighter side... well... sort of. Guess what happened around our house this week... These two related stories go in the What are the chances of that happening? category.  
     Story one... I coach my 10-year old son's baseball team.  On my way to their practice last Saturday, I decided that since they are having problems fielding and throwing, I would grab my glove, and practice with them. 
     Having played baseball through college... and then coached baseball... and having been around baseball my entire life... I figured it would be good for the kids to see the proper way to move their hands and feet.  What could possibly go wrong?  
     After fielding several balls hit directly at me, I got one hit to my left.  This may be a good time to let you know that there once was a time in my life when my mind and my body were great friends. My mind would say, Lets go!... and my body would always respond with... Sure, no problem!   
     Nowadays, the two are not as close as they once were. Mind says, Lets go!... and body says... Sure, in a minute. It was this conversation that caused all the trouble, as I tried for the ball. As you may have guessed by now, I did not field it cleanly, merely knocking it to the ground.  
     For the life of me, I cannot figure out why my body decided, at that moment, to react quickly to my mind's command to pick up the ball, but it did. Right then, my team and I heard a very loud POP that came from my hand... as in, the bone in my hand.
     I quickly turned to the kids and told them that this is what happens when you don’t field balls cleanly. Being the great coach that I am, I made them think that I broke my hand on purpose to teach them to field balls cleanly... just a teachable moment. Forty seven years old... and I have probably fielded thousands of ground balls... and now, for the first time in my life, I break a bone in my hand at a 10-year old practice. What are the odds? Well... much greater than the odds of what happened to our youngest son, the day before yesterday...
     Story two... As I was playing backgammon on the computer, I heard our five year old screaming in our front yard. Based on previous experience, I assumed that his brother had refused to give him something that he wanted... or that his sister had him in a full nelson, trying to kiss him. This particular scream lasted a bit longer than his normal howling, so I started out. As I was going out, our 10-year old was heading in, and he was in tears yelling for me to come. When I saw his younger brother, I realized he had a legitimate reason to be screaming... he had the reddest "mouse" under his right eye... and it was starting to trickle blood. 
     My older son was a bit incoherent, but I could tell this injury was caused by something he had done. My first thought was that he had punched him (by the way... there was a bigger chance that Big Foot had tripped into the Loch Ness Monster, who then somehow poked him in the eye, than for the 10-year old to have punched him... but this was all happening very fast, so give me a break).  
     Once the dust had settled, I learned that my little guy was hit in the eye by a.......... watermelon rind. His brother had eaten a piece of watermelon, and was trying to throw it at a tree. He missed the tree, but hit his little brother square in the eye. 
     Now... how are these stories related, you ask? Isn't it ironic that my 10-year old plays on a team that has throwing problems... and when he throws a watermelon rind at a forty-foot tree, he misses the tree, but hits his three-foot brother in the eye.  Like any good parent... I blame his coach.  
     I am not sure which kid I felt worse for. All of this gave rise to the following joke by the younger one... What is the biggest fruit? (answer: Watermelon)... Watermelon... My eye!  Glad you didn't say Pineapple!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bartimaeus's expectant faith... Meditation...

Today's Gospel...  Mark 10:46-52...
     As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” 
     Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

    I once heard someone speak about this passage... and although I can't remember who it was, I do remember him focusing on the cloak. In reflecting on that, I am struck by three things... Bartimaeus's faith... his willingness to abandon everything in hope... and his confidence. All three can be summed up in one term... expectant faith. And the cloak is the key.  
     Bartimaeus was a blind beggar. He was probably considered to be the lowest of the lowly of the day... yet, he was persistent in calling out to Jesus. And when those around him tried to discourage him, he called out all the more. By referring to Jesus as Son of David, Bartimaeus surely knew the messianic majesty of this Man, Jesus. He kept on... this was his chance.  
     Imagine how chaotic that scene must have been for a man who couldn't see what was happening. Even if Bartimaeus had any doubts that Jesus would hear him, he was still faithful in calling out. His heart, with its yearning, was fixed on the Lord... even though he couldn't see Him.
      Jesus instructed the once-naysaying bystanders to call him, so they said, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." When Bartimaeus heard this, "he flung off his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus."  
     Being a blind beggar, he must have considered his cloak to be pretty important to him. It probably held in its pockets what few possessions he may have had. It was probably the only shelter he could rely on. And yet, he flung it aside... without a second thought... abandoning the one thing he desperately needed, for the Person he needed even more.
     When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted Him to do for him... Bartimaeus replied directly, and with confidence, "Master, I want to see." Bartimaeus must have thought that his plea would be granted. After all... remember?... the cloak?... just laying there in the road... discarded. 
     Am I not a blind beggar, too? Calling out for Jesus to provide for me each day... in an often chaotic and confusing world? Am I like Bartimaeus... with courage to get up... because He is calling me?
    Dear Lord... Help me to be persistent in my faith. Help me to cast off those things I have an attachment to, knowing that You will fulfill all my needs. And, Lord, help me to make my petitions, in faith, with confidence and expectation. I, too, want to see. Amen.

"Funny Guy Friday" starts tomorrow...

Okay... So, I married a funny guy. I can't very well keep him all to myself, now can I? So, starting tomorrow, I will feature his musings each and every Friday... and call it Funny Guy Friday... because... well... as I said before... he's a funny guy! Tune in tomorrow! I guarantee you will smile.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A morning offering...

Here's a quick, simple offering that I do with the kids on the way out the door every morning...  Easy for the kids to memorize...
Father in Heaven... I give You this day...
All that I think... and do... and say.
I give You the good times... as well as the bad...
Times when I'm happy... times when I'm sad.
Fill me with grace... and keep me strong.
With You at my side... I won't go wrong.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A little support for America, please...

     To the President, and the Congress, who stood by while the president of Mexico derided our countrymen who are fighting for some order on our out-of-control southern border...  A little support, please.  Those who applauded this outrage, when President Calderon spoke, first at the White House, then in the People's House, ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Those who sat there quietly, and said nothing, shouldn't feel much better.
     I found this great article from Jared Peterson at American Thinker...
When America is being invaded by a foreign power, one expects the President of the United States to be on America's side. That's how it's worked in the past, anyway. If that's too steep a demand, could we ask that our president not publicly endorse the enemy's characterization of modest defensive efforts as "discriminatory"? If even that decent silence is too much, could our president at least not provide the invaders' leader with a White House venue to denounce our people and our laws?
Note to those Americans who have not yet noticed: Barack Obama does not like or sympathize with this country.
          For the complete article, click here.     
          For the text of the Arizona law, click here.

     Just a note to the defenders of this mass illegal entry into our country... and to the detractors of Arizona's law...  Our society is supposed to be governed by the rule of law, meaning no one is above the law.  The Arizona law simply requires the local enforcement of the already existing federal immigration law that the president is constitutionally bound to enforce, but refuses to.  He insists that Arizona's effort is "misguided" and "irresponsible," and has been uncooperative with Arizona.  
     A red flag should go up when the President of the United States, in tandem with a foreign head of state, decides which laws are worthy of support, and which ones should be vilified and disrespected.  Ask yourselves... why would our president so vocally promote anarchy and disunion, here in America?  
     Oh, and beware of sudden language changes...  The term illegal immigration is out... and the noble, time-honored pursuit of migration is in.  Aw... that's so nice.  I would say it is like we have gone down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole... only, it lacks the dreamlike quality...  Sadly, it is all too clear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Take my hands... Meditation...

    Today was Pentecost... At mass, our pastor spoke about the laying on of hands...
    He noted that, since the earliest days of Christianity, there has always been great power in the laying on of hands. Whenever he lays his hands on someone to give a blessing, he transmits the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, he doesn't even have to speak... The Spirit speaks to the soul... and the soul knows. He said he admits that he loves to be the instrument of the Holy Spirit. He knows his hands are not his own. They belong to Him.
     I know he was talking about his hands with regard to priestly duties... But I sat there thinking... How great would it be to live each day with the dedication that my hands are not my own, either. That everything I do would be nothing less than God working through me. What a thought. I would have a completely different day. Deliberate. Purposeful. Always loving. I would definitely have a happier family. A more ordered home. Time better spent. A day full of peace... with no regrets. A day where I was sure I did what I was sent here to do.
     As I thought of this, I was reminded of the time my youngest son received a little statue of Jesus, from our friend Sam, who was giving it away. It was broken... the hands were missing.  My son said, That's okay... we can be His Hands. Yes. We can be His Hands.
     Do you ever wonder why songs just seem to pop into your head after years and years? When I was a little girl, my mom was the music director for the mass our family always attended. Music was a big part of our lives.  The music was upbeat... and beautiful.  Thinking about those songs takes me right back to those happy days... sitting up front... singing along... swinging my feet, with their shiny little patent leather shoes. I have so many fond memories of going to church in those early days.
     Lately, while driving alone in the car, I have been singing this song from that time... Perhaps the Holy Spirit is speaking to my soul.  As beautiful as the lyrics are, the melody is even prettier.
     Take My Hands, by Sebastian Temple...
     Take my hands and make them as your own...
     And use them for your kingdom here on earth...
     Consecrate them to your care...
     Anoint them for your service where...
     You may need your Gospel to be sown.
     Take my hands, they speak now for my heart... 
     And by their actions they will show their love...
     Guard them on their daily course...
     Be their strength and guiding force...
     To ever serve the Trinity above.
     Take my hands, I give them to you, Lord...
     Prepare them for the service of your name.
     Open them to human need...
     And by their love they'll sow your seed...
     So all may know the love and hope you gave.
     Take my hands... Take my hands... Oh, Lord.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Peter... Do you love me? Meditation...

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep." ~ John 21:15-17
       My name is Simon Peter.  I have been fishing all night and have come up empty. I feel empty. What am I going to do? I can't stop thinking about it. Just days ago, I did just about the worst thing you can do to a friend. Let alone your best friend. And it happened just as He had said it would. I cursed, and I swore I didn't even know Him. He had shared his knowledge and his wisdom with me. He said I was the rock, upon which He would build his church. I had watched Him do amazing things. Miracles. I had promised that even if everyone else forsook Him, my faith would not be shaken. But I was weak. I was so afraid. I still can't believe it. I turned my back on Him.
     I remember the first time I met Him. I was here fishing. He told me to go back out and put my net back over and try again. I remember thinking, what's the use? But I learned that day to humbly trust in Him. That was a lesson I would have to learn again and again.
     Wait.... Who is that on shore? At his very Word, our nets are overflowing once again. John says it's the Lord. Jesus? Here? Could it be? Oh, Lord... I want to be close to You again. I leap into this once fearful sea, and I swim as fast as I can. Thrashing through the water just to be with You again. One more chance to be near You. And there You stand, offering me your company, once again, in the breaking of the bread. I approach You. I am so sorry. I cannot say it out loud. Please forgive me. I am flawed. I am weak. I am sorry.
     Then He speaks. Simon, do you love me more than these? He asks... using the word agape... which means unconditional, sacrificial love. The way He loves. I am humbled. I don't think I am capable of love like his. No more boasting. I am imperfect. I say, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You... but I use the word phileo, meaning brotherly love. Earthly love. Imperfect love. It's all I have. I am not Him. After last weekend, we both know I may not ever love that way. I am human. He is God. But He tells me to feed his lambs anyway.
     He asks me a second time, Do you love me? I say again, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He says, Tend my sheep. Once more, he asks me if I love Him. We are face to face. His eyes are so kind. I feel so guilty. I swore I would never deny Him, and I did it three times... when He needed me the most.  Well, I need Him now. I am lost without Him. I simply say, Lord, You know everything. You know that I love you. That is enough for Him. 
     The sun is shining now. I start to feel better. Three times. I love You Lord. I do. I do. A second chance. He is still my friend. He will never deny me. He has given me a gift. And He has given me a task. Feed my sheep.
     Even if my love isn't the perfect love of the Father or his Son, it's enough to do His work. I am enough for Him. I love Him. And I will ever strive to love as He loves. I will do my best to feed his sheep. He still trusts me. Even though I let Him down. He promises to empower me. I know what I must do. My life will never be the same again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Funny Guy Friday... And now, a word from my funny hubby...

  Now that my wife has completely bummed everyone out with her scene from the movie Up... I thought I would lighten the mood as her first-ever guest blogger.  By the way, I have never seen Up, but after I watched the clip of that poor man’s wife passing away, Cheryl tells me that the rest of the movie, unlike that uplifting scene, is “kind of sad.”  Wow... can’t wait to see the whole movie!
  This whole blogging thing is new to our family, and quite frankly, I don’t like it.  You see... I used to have a wife that, at the end of the day, would love to kiss me good night, snuggle in bed, and then in the morning, she would open her eyes and be the happiest woman in the world because the first thing she would see would be the love of her life lying next to her (that would be me).  
     Alright, not the exact scene in our home.  In fact, it is not really all that close.  Typically, at night, I would go to bed and turn on a game while she cleaned the kitchen or fell asleep in our son’s bed.  When she finally came to our bed, she would either tell me to turn the TV down (even if it was inaudible to a dog) or, no matter what the situation was in the very important game that I was watching, she would ask, “Do you want to watch Glenn Beck?  I taped it today.”  Really?? You taped it today??  Judging from the fact that our DVR is 100% full with Glenn’s rants, my guess is that you tape it EVERY day.  
     And, before blogging, when she woke up in the morning, it was usually because I would wake her up and ask her to iron my shirt.  Typically, she would roll over and go back to sleep until one of the kids came in and woke her up.  Usually... eventually... sometimes... she would get to my shirt.  It was not the most romantic routine in the world, but it was our routine.  Blogging has changed all of that.
  At night, my beautiful wife is on the computer reading up on the news of the day, or reading the daily readings from the USCCB website, or watching that crazy Vortex guy... I am not sure why I don’t care so much for him and his silly pencil spinning routine, but I don’t.  She researches Founding Fathers... She researches famous quotes... She researches scriptures... She researches Founding Fathers quotes about famous scriptures.  The whole thing has gotten out of hand.  
     In the morning, she wakes up, and when she finds the laptop -- do other families misplace their laptops, or is that just us? -- she logs on, and no matter how late everyone is, or how wrinkly my shirts are, she changes the date on her blog, and looks for an appropriate quote for the day.  None of this helps get anyone ready.  In fact, there are mornings when she asks me to turn off Sportscenter, so she can focus on the task at hand.  Turn off Sportscenter... This is madness!!! 
  Well, I have read her stuff, and I must say that I am impressed.  There has been more than one occasion where I have accused her of plagiarizing because it sounds too good.  I mean, we talk about this stuff, and she never sounds that good when we talk.  It is not that I think that she is not smart... she is.  She is one of the smartest, most clever people that I have ever met.  It is just that this is not what I married.  This blogging thing has changed her.
     Truth be told, other people are now able to see how smart and how talented she really is, and I am very proud of her.  Now... can any of you iron my shirts? 

  One final thought...  It would be really cool if I got a lot of great comments and new hits on her blog.  It is not that I am competitive... I just want to be better than my wife... and I didn’t even have to do any research.       

Carl & Ellie's touching love story...

I saw this clip from Betty Beguiles, linked from Creative Minority Report... It's the touching story of Carl & Ellie's love for one another, from Pixar's Up. I hadn't seen it in a while. Timeless. Very sweet.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fascism... Just another piece of the fundamental transformation...

     Look at this video from our friends over at Creative Minority Report... It shows President Obama's Regulatory Czar, and then the president himself, suggesting that websites with one point of view should link to sites with a competing viewpoint. Just for some balance. You know... just to make it easier for people to get all sides.
     If you don't already do it, then maybe you could voluntarily do it. But if you don't voluntarily do it, then maybe... ve vill make you. Because, you know, as the Czar said, "The word voluntary is a little complicated... and some people don't do what's best for our society." He went on to say that a Congressional mandate would be necessary as "an ultimate weapon designed to encourage people to do better." I guess you could say that weapons do encourage people.
     So that means that if I post about... oh, I don't know... maybe how fascism is evil... then I would also have to link to a site that promotes it. Really?? On my own blog?? Silly me... I was under the impression that this was still America.  Funny how the president clothes his support for this in good old red, white and blue: "The practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship."
     Maybe the Administration thinks you are too stupid to find opposing views on your own. Maybe President Obama doesn't know how to work all those gadgety things, but I bet you do. Don't be fooled. In the humble opinion of this blogger... who has eyes to see and ears to hear... this is an assault on free speech... by the President of the United States. And I tell you my opinion plainly and simply. No opposing view necessary.
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