July



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


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We thank God...

     I wrote this last spring, but never posted it. I thought that now would be a good time to publish it... given my recent post about the real agenda of the green movement, as explained by Real Catholic TV's CIA...
     My son came home with a science homework assignment. In the center of the ditto was the phrase, Have you thanked a plant today? There were spaces surrounding the center square for the schoolchildren to draw little pictures, or paste little items, of cloth, better air, spices, cereals, lumber, paper, fruits & vegetables, and other.
     Even at ten years old, my son raised an eyebrow, with the full knowledge that something wasn't right about this. In our home, we thank God our Creator for our blessings... we do not thank plants.
     My 13-year old daughter went farther than just raising her eyebrow. With her usual passion, she immediately sat down and wrote an essay that began with, "This is the stupidest homework ever!" She went on to note that the plant won't actually thank you back... that ironically, this was a waste of paper... "The plant is not actually going to appreciate your thanks. The very same people pushing the save a tree thing, are wasting perfectly good paper giving out this kind of assignment to a bunch of kids who would much rather be outside playing... or better yet... picking flowers. I am really not for the whole Go Green thing, if you can't already tell. Thank you, plant, for being sooo incredibly great... and also for giving us oxygen... but, wait... well... actually... you should be thanking us for the carbon dioxide that we give you... so that you can be so great. So you should thank me. You're welcome."
     Gotta love a daughter on a crusade.
     I have taught my children that we thank God for His beautiful creation, and yes, we should be good stewards... but thanking a plant? While I'm on the subject... just a plea to the go green types... Can you please stop telling my children that they have to save the planet... I can't even manage to make my bed everyday, and they are supposed to save the planet?
     All you need to remind them of is this... God made a beautiful creation called earth... He made it for us to enjoy and to share... So we have a responsibility to be good stewards... and we show God our respect by caring for each other and His creation. And we thank Him. And we trust in Him.
      So, my son did do his assignment... but he changed the center square to read, appropriately... Have you thanked God today? 
     Good for him.

Evil goes green... Global warming unmasked...

     The green movement is driven by evil. Not science.
     I'm not trying to say that turning off the lights, or recycling, is evil... no.
     But the underlying agenda? Um... yes.
     Of course we have a responsibility to be good stewards of God's creation. Nobody would dispute that. Common sense conservation is good and noble.
     But the larger goals of this whole climate change movement are sinister.
     Population control. Global governance. Earth worship.
     Population control. Worldwide reproductive rights for the poor. This is the eugenicist's dream come true. Eliminate the undesirables, in the name of saving the earth.
     Global governance. Destroy the industrialized nations by global taxes and regulation on energy. Establish international laws and treaties that supersede national sovereignty, elevating the United Nations as the final authority, in the name of saving the planet.
     And, of course, earth worship. Elevate the earth as its own goddess, thereby eliminating God Himself.
     Little do many of the green movement's willing participants realize that they are being used by the environmentalist elites whose aim is to co-opt religious organizations in order to give the whole movement a spiritual imperative.
     The U.S. Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is one such organization. They have chosen to embrace the green movement. Man-made climate change is not a theological truth. The bishops should be running the other way. But instead they have implemented a global warming curriculum in Catholic schools, in the name of environmental justice.
     See the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, the Catholic Climate Covenant, and the St. Francis Pledge. Total propaganda.
     It is very important that you watch this episode of Catholic Investigative Agency from Real Catholic TV. It does take about an hour and a half, but it is extremely important. Tell your friends.


This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bigots to the left of me... Racists to the right...

     Have you heard?
     If you oppose socialized healthcare, you are a racist. Oppose the flood of illegals over our border? Bigot. Wish to defend your border town from crime? Xenophobe. Defend traditional marriage? Homophobe. Oppose a radical mosque at ground zero? Islamophobe. Oppose anything the president does? Racist. Listen to talk radio? Hate monger. Christian? Bitter clinger. Watch Glenn Beck? Alarmist conspiracy theorist. Expose the perversion of social justice as the Marxism that it is? Jesus hater. Tea Partier? Racist, anti-government extremist, hate monger. Restore Faith and Honor? Why... you... racist.
     I heard it on the news. It must be so.
     When someone can't argue the merits of their position... They simply name call.
     Charles Krauthammer has a great post about this today.

Divine Providence and Restoring Honor...

Restoring Honor Rally
     I am one who believes in Divine Providence... God's deliberate hand in the events of our daily lives.
     Saturday's Restoring Honor rally was held on August 28. For months, Glenn Beck has called it the 8/28 Rally. If you look up Romans 8:28, you will find a passage that many Christians immediately recognize by its citation... "We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
     Okay... fine... There are dozens of passages you could choose from that would fit any date, but then I looked at Saturday's readings. The message is clear.
     Here is the link.
     Coincidence? I think not.
     Time has passed since the Founding of America, but the message is the same... Get behind the shield of God. Turn to Him. He is our true King. Freedom rests in Him.
     As the Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "... with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."
     Amen.
We the People... as far as the eye could see

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Honor Rally...

Restoring Honor Rally
     I just returned from the Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C.
     Despite what the media would have you think, this was not a political protest. There were no angry mobs. No destruction of property. No racial slurs. No hatred.
     And despite displaying the same civility as a Tea Party, it was not that either... although many people who were there probably share the Tea Party sentiments.
     But there was one big difference.
     I have attended five or six Tea Party events. Despite the calm atmosphere, and obvious love of country, there always seems to be a desperate pleading... for someone in authority to listen to us. Our elected officials, to be exact.
     This time was different.
     This time, we were not interested in any elected officials.
     This time, we were focused on God. And honor. Faith. Hope. And charity.
     What happened there today transcended politics. No elected official on Earth could have touched what we were doing.
     And with God as our focus, there was great peace among the crowd.
     And not peace that is merely a lack of violence. But the peace that only God can bring. Peace in our souls. Lifted spirits. A sure knowledge that this King will always listen. And when we look to Him for leadership and guidance, we are confident again that we can restore America.
     Faith. Hope. Charity.
     Today was a reminder to know what we believe. A call to honor. For greater faith, hope, and charity. Calling to mind who we are. And Whose we are.

Prayer of Abandonment...

     I saw this Prayer of Abandonment over at my friend Sam's blog, Thy Will Be Done. Thanks Sam.
     "Father, I abandon myself into your hands... do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you... I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures... I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul... I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father."
     This wonderful Prayer of Abandonment is written by 
Charles de Foucauld. More info here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Funny Guy Friday... Happy Birthday, Gracie...

     Fourteen years ago, Cheryl was nine months pregnant, and she told me she was having contractions. You would think that as a first time father I would have immediately rushed her to the hospital.
     Not me, boys and girls... I was cool, calm and collected. I told her, "Your water hasn't broken, so let's wait." Besides, she was not due for another two weeks, and I was not going to be one of those idiots that runs to the hospital every time his pregnant wife hiccups.
     She called the doctor anyway, and against her lawyer's advice, Cheryl made me drive her all the way to the hospital nearly an hour away.  
     Once we got there, I was vindicated when our doctor told us we would probably be going home in an hour or two. Before making the inevitable decision... that I had predicted... the doctor did decide to hook Cheryl up to a fetal monitor just to be sure. He was on his way home, and told us that the staff doctor would be in, and would make the final call.
     I sat and gloated as I watched the U.S. Open. Not only am I great lawyer, I am also a great OB/GYN.
     After about thirty minutes, in came the staff doctor and he was a cool cucumber. I thought that the readings on the machine did not look right because the baby's heart rate kept dropping with each contraction, but when Dr. Cucumber looked at them, he simply asked, "Did Agassi win?" Oh, I thought, No problems here... we are going home any minute now.
     Fifteen minutes later, our own doctor had returned, and told us there was, in fact, a problem. The baby's heart rate was dropping. I walked out in the hall with him, and he told me it was very serious and he was going to do an emergency C-section. The look on his face was very telling.
     I had never been in a delivery room before, but there is a lot going on during a surgery. I remember Cheryl telling me she could not feel a thing, and the anesthesiologist said, "Thats good, now I can tell you my real name." I replied, "Thats good, now I can tell you what I do for a living."
     I carefully stayed behind the screen when the nurse announced that we had a baby girl. I finally looked over the screen and thought... Boy, is she small! The baby... not Cheryl.
     I had never seen a baby right out of the shoot before, so I thought this may be normal, no big deal. But again, I saw concern on the doctor's face and knew there was a problem.
     Our very little girl's weight was announced at 4lb. 6oz., and her first Apgar score was a five... not good. I was totally focused on the baby and did not notice that much of my wife's innards were all over the place. Fortunately, the next score was an eight. Now focus off of the baby and unfortunately on the innards... not good!
     I have often said, it was the best day of my life... because I had a baby girl. And it was the worst day of my life... it turns out that I am not such a great OB/GYN.
     Things could have turned out much worse for both Cheryl and our new daughter... especially if Cheryl's water had broken. On my first day as a dad, I experienced the highs and the lows that go with being a parent.
     When all was said and done, we had a beautiful baby girl. Grace.
     I remember thinking that she was perfect, with perfect skin, and perfect little fingers and toes. Now I look back at photos and she looked more like E.T. than the Gerber Baby.
     Grace turns 14 today.
     She continues to make us proud. She is clever, smart and never ceases to amaze. Much to my chagrin, she is growing up... but she is becoming quite a lovely young lady. She also is a good sport... she lets her dad make fun of her in this silly blog. With that being said, here is a top fourteen list of fun facts about Gracie:
     #14. In kindergarten, her teacher told us that, and I quote, "We know Grace is the center of your universe, unfortunately, she thinks that she is the center of everybody's universe." Funny thing was, we really did not think we spoiled her.
     #13. She has always been smooth with the boys. In first grade, she threw up on John D.
     #12. When she was being potty trained, she would stand and try to go to the bathroom through her belly-button. Maybe, Cheryl should have handled potty training... not me.
     #11. She has more clothes than any human alive, but never has a thing to wear. Most of those clothes are, at this very moment, on her bedroom floor.
     #10. She wants to go to Nightime Pediatrics every time she stubs her toe. She insists that we "took Noah that one time!" Yes, we did... he broke his leg! Do you think attention could be a problem?  See #14.
     #9.  She studies at least five minutes for every exam... and makes all A's.
     #8.  She had to write an essay as to why she wanted to be considered for a special science program at her new high school, and wrote a very funny paper that basically said, "It is either this program, or my dad is sending me to a private High School away from my friends." I think she also used the word scientifical... which I am not sure is a real word. She got in.
     #7.  She has incredible persistence. Every year she asks for, but never receives, a cell phone.  By the way, she ain't getting one this year either.
     #6.  Whenever she sees her mother and me kissing, she says, "Get a room." Newsflash... we have a room... and she won't stay out of it.
     #5.  Sheeza may sing atom ad gab. For those who don't know, Mad Gab is a board game... figure it out.
     #4.  When Cheryl tried to have "The Talk" with her, she put her fingers in her ears and said "La la la la... I am not listening to you!" I think she still may be trying to go to the bathroom through her belly-button.
     #3.  She begged to have her ears pierced for more than two months before we finally agreed to let her get it done. When we got to the store, it seemed to me that it took her two more months to get up the courage to actually get them pierced. Fortunately, as most of you can imagine, I was very patient with her, while Cheryl fussed and fumed throughout the mall.  
     #2.  She... like... is going through... like... a phase... like... where she... like... says the word like... like... after every other... like... word.
     And last, but not least...
     #1.  She is a great daughter... and a great big sister... and we love her more than she will ever know.      
     LIKE... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why are you here?

     Do you believe that God created you for a specific purpose? Do you believe he formed you with your very own backpack full of the qualities and talents you would need to carry out that plan? Do you think God has placed you in this moment in time to do something amazing? Something important? Something only you can do?
     Why are you here? Do you know?

Restoring Honor... 8/28

     Integrity. Truth. Honor.
     This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Glenn Beck will be hosting a gathering on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Restoring Honor. I will be there.
     Here is the description of the rally from Glenn Beck's website:
     "Throughout history America has seen many great leaders and noteworthy citizens change her course. It is through their personal virtues and by their example that we are able to live as a free people. On August 28, come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future.
     "Join the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and many more for this non-political event that pays tribute to America’s service personnel and other upstanding citizens who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.
     "Our freedom is possible only if we remain virtuous. Help us restore the values that founded this great nation. On August, 28th, come join us in our pledge to restore honor at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC."
     Please join me. Leave your signs at home. Be a part of history. 
     Expect miracles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Did anybody miss me? My time in Newport...

Along the Cliff Walk, Newport
     If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that I was a bit absent this past week. Our little gang took a much needed, much enjoyed vacation to Newport, Rhode Island.
     Oh, Funny Guy managed to post, but I did not get much computer time.
     If you've never been to Newport, take my word for it, it is beautiful. There is a little something for everyone. The beach... shopping... yummy dining... gorgeous scenery that is quintessentially New England.
     A little background... My mom grew up in Newport. She was the youngest of nine children of a self-starting, immigrant father, and a hardworking mother.
     My mom taught school in Newport, and she met my father when he was stationed there in the Navy. They were married there. They moved to Maryland, but most of her family remained in Newport.
     While I was growing up, we vacationed there every summer. Those times were fun... filled with family gatherings and tradition.
     Mark and I have been there several times with our own children. We love Newport.
     My favorite scenic Newport attraction has to be the Ocean Drive. I think we enjoyed it everyday.
Around the Ocean Drive


     The Ocean Drive is comprised of beach coves, spectacular views, and the summer cottages of the Gilded Age. Today, we would call those cottages mansions. Spectacular indeed.
The boys running on the lawn at Rosecliff
     One other feature that Newport has, that makes time spent there even better, is family. My parents spend the summers there, and even though we do see them here at home, it is fun to spend some time with them there, as well. My children enjoy time spent with them, and they love to fly kites at Brenton Point with Grampy, and listen to Grammy's stories of the past. Her favorite place on earth is Brenton Point.
Mum and me at Brenton Point
     We stayed with my cousin, who is one of the kindest, most generous people you could ever know. She is warm and hospitable, and we feel blessed that her door is always open. While we were there, her sister came to visit with her grandchildren. Cutie-pies. A nice treat.
     We spent one evening with another one of my cousins, his wife, and their beautiful daughter. They are always gracious and kind. Laughter abounds anytime we are together. Spectacular sunsets grace their home.
Sunset over the Sakonnet River
    We also enjoyed dinner with my mom's brother and his wife. Their eldest son joined us, as an added surprise. Again... gracious... hospitable... loving. They take great interest in my children. And the kids can sense that. Truly a blessing.
     To wrap up the other highlights of the week, we celebrated Mark's birthday... had clam chowder at the Black Pearl on Bowen's Wharf... shopped at my favorite store on Thames Street, Frazzleberries... spent some time with our beautiful niece and her husband from Hawaii... enjoyed a drink on the lawn of Oceancliff, one of Newport's resorts overlooking the sea... and frolicked in a quiet little cove around the Ocean Drive, called Gooseberry Beach.
Celebrating Mark's birthday at Sardella's Italian Restaurant
Playing on the rocks at Gooseberry Beach
Splish Splash... I got you
Grace sunning at Gooseberry Beach
     So all in all, a great time in Newport. My family is a joy. God's creation never disappoints.
A wonderful time in Newport

1934 Cartoon... "The plan" then and now...

     My parents sent me a cartoon from 1934, originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
     In the cartoon, the "Plan of Action for U.S." says:
Spend! Spend! Spend! Under the guise of recovery, bust the government, blame the capitalists for the failure, junk the Constitution and declare a dictatorship.
     Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Funny Guy Friday... Striving to be perfect...

     We went on vacation to Newport, Rhode Island, this past week, and on the drive my wife decided to read to me from a book called The Catholic Family Handbook: How to Strengthen Your Marriage and Raise Good Kids.
     We don't need this, I thought, and the look on my face told her what I had presumed she knew after eighteen years together... I hate to be read to.
     Undaunted, my wife pressed on. On second thought, perhaps one of us could use some of this information after all.
     Chapter One extolled the virtues of the Holy Family, and encouraged each Catholic family to strive to be like the Holy Family. This should be easy... their Child was perfect... and His Mother was without sin. The only human involved in the Holy Family that required a get out of jail free card was the dad. What a shocker!!
     I am guessing that there is a reason that the Holy Family only had one Child. Because I am here to tell you that after just a few days of vacation, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Traveling with three kids is tough.
     First, Matthew introduced us to a car game called Bingo, which Grace argued is really called Yellow Car. This argument has yet to be resolved!
     Anyway, you yell Bingo when you see a yellow car. First one to spell Bingo wins. Simple enough, but in the course of the drive, a few issues arose... Do construction vehicles count? Do buses in a lot count? Does yellowish orange count? What if the car is only partially yellow? Does the car that Noah points at before yelling Bingo count for him, or the kid that actually yells bingo after Noah points to it? Can Mom give another player one of her letters? This only applies to Mom as nobody else in the family would think to do such a thing. Do we trust Noah when he says he saw one that nobody can confirm? Can you call Bingo when mom is in the middle of reading Chapter One aloud? The answer to the last issue is an emphatic NO!
     Now multiply this by a nine hour drive to Newport and you have situations that just did not come up any time in the New Testament... Although, I did do some research, and it turns out that they did have a similar camel game called Two Hump.
     Second, I wonder if Joseph and Mary had conversations like this:
Joseph:  Man I hate sitting in traffic.
Mary:  It could be worse.
Joseph:  Of course it could be worse, it could always be worse.
Mary:  Complaining will not help, besides God has us exactly where he wants us for a reason.
Joseph: So, God wants us in camel-butt to camel-butt traffic on the New Jericho Turnpike? How do you sit there so calmly?
Mary:  Commit it to prayer. Ask for peace.
Joseph: Sure, play the prayer card!
Mary: Well, I am calm and you are not.
Joseph: Well, I am normal and you are not.
Mary: I'll pray for you.
     If you did not know, I am Joseph and Cheryl is Mary in the above referenced conversation.
     Third, I came into a room with Matthew screaming because Grace sat on his head. With just one perfect Child, you just don't come across these types of shenanigans. My favorite part of this story are the two explanations that followed.
     The first is that Matthew was just clearing the way for Grace in a lovely gesture meant to make the bed softer and more inviting when she purposefully plopped her bottom right down on top of his head. The other explanation was that Matthew purposefully plopped his head right under Grace's bottom as she was just about to place her bottom on the bed. I suppose he did this in an effort to frame her.
     I am not sure that either story contains the complete truth, and under either explanation, I am not seeing perfection.
     Finally, the Holy Family did not have to live with an adolescent daughter. Specifically, what do you do when you go on vacation and the adolescent daughter forgets to pack her unmentionables, like her bra? The answer is that you bring in the big guns! Thats right, my daughter had to borrow her mother's bra. I am sure that Mary always lent support to her Child, but this was ridiculous.
     I don't know who was more mortified by this exchange me or my daughter. I am happy to report that no songs popped in my head, and the words Double D never came out of my mouth!    
    Striving to be perfect is not going to be easy. There will only ever be one Holy Family, and I will continue to pray for their intercession in my Catholic family.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's about political power. It always is.

     Whenever I hear about a company under fire, from a sudden outbreak of demonstrations from concerned citizens, or even our government, I stop and ask one simple question... Is the company non-union?
     I am never surprised when the answer is yes.
     The latest target is Target. MoveOn has teamed up with a longtime gay rights activist and Democratic contributor to gin up a protest against Target about Target being "anti-gay."
     This has nothing to do with gay rights. In fact, Target extends benefits to domestic partners, and has received high scores from the gay community.
     No. The protests are really just about campaign donations to Minnesota's Republican gubernatorial candidate, and methinks it comes down to a union power grab.
     Target has historically been an equal opportunity donor, giving to lefties along the way. But now Target thinks the Democratic candidate in the race would be bad for business, so they are backing the Republican. It appears that this time, their choice of who gets their money is no good. The unions are heavily backing the Democrat.
     This isn't the first time the unions have targeted Target.
     Best Buy also supports the Minnesota Republican, and is also under fire.
     Unions. If you are not unionized, you should be. And if you cannot be persuaded, you better not get in the way of the candidate who will benefit the unions.
     Remember Walmart? Under fire until they caved on national healthcare. Who does healthcare benefit? The unions.
     Then, remember the Toyota CEO, dragged before congress? Seems that some of those accusations and recalls were... ahem... less than truthful. Then, of course, there's Apple. Faulty product, wouldn't you know. Hmm.
     Let's see... Non-union... non-union... non-union... non-union... and let's see... yep... non-union.
     I'm not saying that the hardworking, union workers at the bottom of the union hierarchy are corrupt. But the ones at the top wield a great deal of power, and just might have their own agenda. There's a reason why Andy Stern uses the phrase, Workers of the world unite. And why he says, "If we can't use the power of persuasion, then we'll use the persuasion of power."
     And make no mistake, all of that union dues goes right into some very powerful political coffers. Truly, a symbiotic relationship. Before you know it, unions are the recipients of billions in "stimulus" money, they own the car companies, are calling the shots in the Gulf, and have their healthcare subsidized... and that's just for starters.
     The Target mayhem is about political power. Plain and simple. No matter how much they try to make you think it's about injustice and hatred.
     Hmm. MoveOn, folks... Nothing to see here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

U.S. promotes death in Kenya...

     C-Fam has an article about the recent U.S. campaign to push through a constitution in Kenya that has institutionalized abortion "rights" for an overwhelmingly pro-life people, and its effect on their view of the United States, especially the president. 
     Kenyans, like the rest of us, are not stupid. More and more, they will know the truth. They are finding out already. Here is an excerpt. 
NEW YORK, August 12, 2010 (C-FAM) - Barack Obama’s sterling image among Kenyans has dimmed in the wake of a $23M U.S. campaign to promote a draft constitution that included abortion rights. The U.S. promoted the new constitution as a way to stop gross presidential power and corruption.
     Ironic. Don't you think?
     Too bad their own corruption and lust for power kept the truth from a majority of the Kenyan people.
     For the complete article, click here.

Funny Guy Friday... Kids... er... uh... I say the darndest things...

     So... Cheryl and I were shopping for our son's birthday, and we decided to go into Toys R Us to buy a few things. One of the items that we purchased required batteries. Fortunately, Toys R Us sells batteries.
     I found several batteries at a very good price. I found AA... I found AAA... and I found C batteries. The problem was that I could not find D batteries. I looked high and low, and even created little songs in my head. Songs like, I found Double A, I found Triple A, I found a little C, but why no D?... and, Double A, Triple A, Double C, Triple C but no D, no Double D, no Triple D. Okay, not great songs, but what do you want on such short notice?
     As we approached the check out line, I decided to ask the young lady if they had the batteries that we were looking for. When we got to the front of the line, the second song that I mentioned above was still rolling around in my pea brain.
     So picture this... in my head... Double A, Triple A, Double C, Triple C, no D, no......
     Now, picture me at this very point in this song in my head, approaching the very nice, very curvy young check-out girl, and no longer thinking, but now actually saying, "Do you have Double Ds?"
     That's right... I asked, Do you have Double Ds?
     Now, I knew exactly what I had said, but I just plowed ahead as if that had been a perfectly normal question. Once I got out of the store, the enormity of my idiocy finally caught up with me, and I hung my head, and tried to hide behind my hands. Of course, Cheryl did not have much sympathy and mockingly said "Why of course I do... but what kind of batteries do you need?"
     Now, I am afraid to go back to the store for fear that Geoffrey the Giraffe will have a picture of me in a noose with a sign that says, DDon't wait on this man!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forgiveness...

     My friend Joanne never disappoints. She sent me this story from The Word Among Us
     God always gives me just what I need.
    
There is a story about a world-weary elderly man after the time of the French Revolution who was reduced to begging. He wandered from town to town, seeking alms to keep himself alive. Upon entering one small town, he made his way to the church, hoping for a handout. He wasn’t a churchgoing man himself, but he stayed there because of the steady stream of passersby.
     One day, after watching the beggar on the church steps, a young priest of the parish approached him. He gave the beggar a cloak and invited him to his own house for a meal. The beggar hesitated, saying he was not a religious man, but the priest insisted. 
     For several days afterward, the priest invited him to find shelter in the rectory. Finally, the beggar agreed and spent many days receiving the care and hospitality of his new friend. Eventually, through this priest’s witness, the man decided to come back to the church.
     He tearfully confessed to the priest that he felt alienated from God because of the guilt he felt for betraying the family he had worked for as a young man. His employer had entrusted his wife and children to his care during the Revolution, but the man betrayed them. He handed them over to the authorities, and all but the youngest child were sent to the guillotine.
     After telling the priest his story, the man lifted his eyes and saw on the wall a portrait of the very family he had betrayed. He asked where the painting came from, and the young priest, with tears in his eyes, said that this was his family. He was the youngest child. Everyone else had been executed during the Revolution. Uttering the words of absolution, the priest added, “and I forgive you as well. Be at peace.”
     We may not have to forgive such a grievous wrong, but we are all called to forgive—especially those closest to us, who often hurt us most deeply. Forgiveness like this opens the gates of heaven and allows God’s grace to be poured out on us and on the person we forgive. So let this story inspire you. And let it move you to be merciful as well!
     “Lord, help me to become a channel of your mercy in my home!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I've been tagged...

     Okay, so I just figured out what it means to be "tagged." My friend Amy, at Together for a Reason, tagged me in her post about her favorite 5 devotions, so now I think I'm supposed to say my favorite 5 devotions, too.
     As Funny Guy Friday says, "Easy-peasy-mcsqueasy." 
1. Morning Offering... a great way to start our day...
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. Amen.

2. Daily Readings... You can find the link in my sidebar, under Food for the Soul.
3. Chaplet of Divine Mercy... Ideally prayed at 3 in the afternoon.
4. Anything Mary... Needless to say, the Hail Mary... asking Her to help me with my mothering. Also, this prayer...
Our Lady, Queen of the Angels...
August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly... Send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the abyss. Who can be compared to God? Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen.  
5. Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel... We end our day with this one, for protection and peace.
     So there you have it. Five of my faves. 
     But I must say, if I could do only one, it would be the Daily Readings.
     May the peace of Christ be always in your hearts and in your homes.

Favorite Devotions...

     Check out my friend Amy's post, over at Together for a Reason. Well worth the time...
     My morning blessing is different... and 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. Amen.

Beware: "The Livable Communities Act"...

     A worthy read, from the American Thinker. Here is an excerpt...
     While cap-and-trade grabs the most attention, equally threatening is the euphemistically clever "Livable Communities Act." Masked with feel-good rhetoric and lofty concepts like "smart growth" and "sustainable development," the Livable Communities Act is top-down central planning aimed at changing where we live and work and how we travel. It will be overseen by bureaucrats in the Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Transportation and implemented through local governments.
     The Livable Communities Act exemplifies the progressive idea of strategic diminishment -- success is measured by the reduction of certain outcomes from today's standard. This is different from reducing outputs such as carbon emissions and pollutants, which are already declining and can be better addressed with affordable technologies rather than social engineering.
     But social engineering is at the heart of the Livable Communities Act, where federal planners hope to reduce personal mobility as measured in vehicle miles traveled and shift housing patterns from single-family homes in the suburbs to small apartments in cramped central cities.
     In a country as large and diverse as ours, some people will prefer the live-work-travel arrangements prescribed for in the Livable Communities Act, which is based on the Smart Growth planning doctrine. However, the vast majority of Americans in red and blue states alike have long aspired to live in suburban homes with a car in the garage.
     This quintessentially middle-class version of the American Dream has long been derided by elites and environmentalists, who recast suburbs as a wasteful sprawl and liken automobile use to a destructive addiction. They want to delegitimize this land use pattern, restrict automobile use, and make suburban housing less affordable. The Livable Communities Act is thus a hammer in the progressive toolbox.
     Absent from their advocacy is any acknowledgment that cars and suburbia are not just expressions of freedom, but indispensable contributors to our prosperity. For example, automobiles enable us to access more goods and services, forcing businesses to compete by offering higher quality and lower costs.
     Economic prosperity is only one measure in which cars provide a superior service over the Livable Community Act's preferred alternatives. Every car trip results in a transaction that is important to the user, and those transactions can be recreational, educational, cultural, social, political, financial, or religious. People often accomplish multiple tasks on trips in ways that central planners simply cannot anticipate, much less accommodate with fixed routes and scheduling.
     Progressives. Enough already.
     I'd rather be free.

Noah built the ark, and the wise got in... Our Hope is in the Lord...

See this episode of the Vortex, from Real Catholic TV...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

When things seem bad...

     Thanks to my friend Joanne for sharing this with me...
     The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.  
     Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. 
     One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'  
     Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers.  'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied. 
     The Moral of This Story... It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.  Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Funny Guy Friday... Coming to America!

     We have agreed to host a young student from Spain for three weeks starting in September.  We anticipate this being a great experience for our family... and we hope we don't ruin the poor kid.
     This whole thing started when our 8th grade daughter volunteered us in her Spanish class. No discussions... no warning... no problema.
     I got the call, and did what I always do when someone calls about something I know nothing about. "CHERYL, its for you!"
     After listening to half the conversation... Cheryl's half... I could glean that whatever Grace had volunteered for was going to be time consuming, and we were going to go along with it. This, despite my flailing arms saying no we can't... no we shouldn't... no we won't. We are!
     It will be a great experience Cheryl assures me.
     The woman who runs the program came for a house visit. Her visit coincided with Steven Strasburg's pitching debut with the Nationals. Already, this was not a great experience. I wanted to watch the game, and she wanted to tell me what I can and can't do with this Spaniard.
     After about five minutes, she told me that I speak very fast for an English speaking person, and the kid will not get my "sarcasm."
     When did I become sarcastic? I am now going to type real slow so every non-English speaking person can understand.  S o...  f a r...  I...  d o n' t...  l i k e...  t h i s...
e x c h a n g e...   p r o g r a m.
     During the visit, we discussed the young lady that will be spending time with our young daughter. Things started to get a bit dicey because the young lady staying with us... will probably be a young man.
     Cheryl gives the very nice, "Oh, I am sure that God will give us the person that we are supposed to have." Oh, and I am sure that I will tell this "child that God gives us" the things that he is supposed to know. I will talk real slow, in a very non-sarcastic tone, so there is no misunderstanding about how I feel about my daughter.
     I suppose the upside to having an older boy around the house is that I will have someone that can help me mow the yard for the three weeks that he is here.
     So, the program director assured us that she would place each student with a "family with children that have some of his same interests." Great. Now, instead of three kids that sit on their rears all day and watch reruns of the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, I will have four. And another thing, I have lived with my kids every day of their lives, and I couldn't tell you what their interests are... So I wonder... what crystal ball is this lady going to look into to see what interests they have?
     Anyway, yesterday we received the young man's profile and wouldn't you know he is allergic to gramineas. For those of you that do not speak Spanish, that would be grass.  Let me see if I can use that in a sentence... So sorry, Senor Palumbo, I cannot mow your gramineas. By the way, do you know what time the next Jonas Brothers rerun starts? Great!
     Some good news though... he loves football, so we can talk about the Redskins and the upcoming NFL season. What's that? Football in Spain is soccer? I hate soccer.
     This just gets better and better.
     When he does arrive, Grace will be responsible for showing him around the high school.  Let me get this straight. She starts at her new high school on August 23rd, and on September 1st, after a whole week in her new school, she is charged with showing some kid who barely speaks English, where the cafateria is located. Terrific... the poor kid is going to go back weighing ten pounds less than he did when he came. His parents are going to think that things in America are worse than they imagined.
     Oh well... my wife is always right about these things, so I am sure it will be a great experience. In his profile, he mentioned that coming to America has always been a dream for him. We will do our best to make sure that his dream is a good one.
     Hopefully, when his visit comes to an end, the best thing he remembers about America is the crazy family that he lived with for three weeks.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Meditation... A humble heart full of the love of Christ


The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers:
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

     Do you ever sense that God has just taken his finger, and pulled back a veil of understanding from your heart or your mind. He does that when He shares his Wisdom with us. Read his Word and you will see.
     This happened to me today, when I read the above passage from Jeremiah. 
     I used to read this and wonder what sort of secret message God would write upon my heart. How would I know what it was? Did this mean that I didn't have to share the Gospel of hope with my friends and neighbors anymore, because they too would have it written on their hearts? And they would just know? What would they know? And why would He write it on their hearts, and not their minds? 
     The old covenant was the Law of Moses... All the rules to live by to know God and be right with God. How to wash... What kind of offering to give... What utensils to use... and on and on. No one could possibly do them all perfectly every moment. No one could ever measure up. No one, but Jesus. For he was the fulfillment of the Law. He was perfect.
     We are not perfect.
     But we are not called to be perfect. We are called to Love. To Love with the humble, forgiving heart of Christ. For He is perfect. And through Him, we are made right.
     That was what God would write on our hearts. No magic message. No code to crack. No complex instructions.
     Simply Love. Love God. Love our neighbor.
     With Humility and Mercy. With the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
     Love.
     And they'll know we are Christians by our Love.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Knock and the door will be opened...

     "Knock and the door will be opened" typically refers to Jesus's simple offering. However, lately, it seems to be the motto around our house, as we have had various house guests staying with us these past couple of weeks.
     So with all of the activity, I haven't had much time to post. I miss it.
     Still, there's lots to click around on and read anyway. See my sidebar.
     I am also going to be away off and on until school starts... I'll still try to post, but if you think it's light, you'll know why.
     May God bless you, and may the peace of Christ be always in your heart and in your home.

August 3...Happy Birthday, Noah...


Happy Birthday, Noah!
You are a blessing to anyone who has ever met you.
God has great plans for you.
I love you.
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