Thursday, December 31, 2009

On To 2010!

Is anybody else having trouble believing 2009 is gone? There's really should be laws against Father Time speeding like this. It's amazing to think of all that has happened in this last year. This time 365 days ago, I was in an entirely different state, with very different responsibilities, and slightly whiter weather. So much has changed, so much has happened like the heart attack in April which has changed so much. I'm sure each of you feels the same for your own reasons.

New Years' usually becomes a very self-reflective time for me, evaluating the victories and failings of the previous year, and making plans for the next. And yes, even a couple of New Years resolutions. At some point towards the end of the year, I was looking at areas of my life I wanted to improve in. The mistakes I had made weighed on me, and I found myself wanting to just shut-down the rest of the year, and get a fresh start in 2008. It's silly, I know, but I was overwhelmed with how many ways I had messed-up in the year behind. Expectations of myself I had not lived up to. And it truly grieved me.

Christian singer Carolyn Arends put it this way:
New Year's Day
I buy a lot of diaries
Fill them full of good intentions
Each and every New Year's Eve
I make myself a list
All the things I'm gonna change
Until January 2nd
So this time I'm making one promise

This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day

I believe it's possible
I believe in new beginnings
'Cause I believe in Christmas Day
And Easter morning too
And I'm convinced it's doable
'Cause I believe in second chances
Just the way that I believe in you

This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
This could start a revolution
Every day is...

One more chance to start all over
One more chance to change and grow
One more chance to grab a hold of grace
And never let it go


Every new morning is a new chance to make things right. When we look a thoughts of long-term change, it can be very scary. Yet when we look at each day as a new chance to follow God, to overcome temptation, to make a difference in the lives of others, to love everyone around us with an amazing self-sacrificing love, it becomes a little more manageable. We will mess-up from time to time. But if you are willing to repent and ask forgiveness, each day with God can be a fresh start.

Have a most blessed new year everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Things We Can Learn from a Dog

Things We Can Learn from a Dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When it's in your best interest, always practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and always stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

I'm working on it! lol

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Specialization is for insects

An interesting quote ...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Nativity - Luke

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:6

The Christmas Story
Luke 2:1-20

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ [a] the Lord.

12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Do you have a nativity scene at your house?

It’s amazing how many of the images of Christmas come from the gospel of Luke. Without Luke we wouldn’t have much of a Christmas visually.

Luke gives us the warm coloring of Christmas. Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem, searching for a place and having to settle probably for a drafty cave. Because Jesus was born in a stable, Luke brings us all the animals that we have in a nativity scene, not to mention the shepherds and angels.

Luke is responsible for most of the Christmas carols that we sing—”Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Away in a Manger,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night,” “Silent Night,” etc.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Here are some unusual Christmas trees submitted for your approval!

This one from is considered one of the Most Expensive Christmas Trees. This one, in Singapore, featured 21,798 diamonds, 3,762 crystal beads, and 456 lights, for a cost of over a million dollars! Good grief!

You can view a slide-show of interesting Christmas tree concepts at the Kunstmagazin website including this Christmas army:

For those with a real sweet tooth ... This Weihnachtsbaum is made out of sugar cubes:

For those going green this year ... Go to to view unusual trees including the Plywood Eco Christmas Tree, the Shelf Christmas Tree, and the Empty Bottles Christmas Trees.

This french fry tree is decorated the European way–with ketchup and mayo! A true kid favorite! Via the Art Das Kunstmagazin website.

A now for my personal favorite ... The brussel Sprout tree! Now this is really cool! Proudly presented from the SeriousEats website:

Have a most blessed Christmas everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Beannacht (“Blessing”)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you. And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight. When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home. May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~ John O’Donohue ~ (Echoes of Memory)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Meditation~Prayer of a Mum

Jesus, good Shepherd, they are not mine but Yours,
for I am not mine but Yours. I am Yours, Lord, and they are Yours, because by Your wisdom You have created both them and me, and by Your death You have redeemed us. So we are Yours, good Lord, we are Yours, whom You have made with such wisdom and bought so dearly. Then if You commend them to me, Lord, You do not therefore desert me or them. You commend them to me: I commend myself and them to You. Yours is the flock, Lord, and Yours is the shepherd. Be Shepherd of both Your flock and shepherd. You have made an ignorant mother, a blind leader, an erring ruler: teach the mother You have established, guide the leader You have appointed, govern the ruler You have approved. I beg You, teach me what I am to teach, lead me in the way that I am to lead, rule me so that I may rule others. Or rather, teach them, and me through them, lead them, and me with them, rule them, and me among them.

~Anselm (1033-1099), Archbishop of Canterbury

Friday, December 18, 2009

blue iris

Here is a quote on prayer I would like to share ....

It doesn't have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try

to make them elaborate, this isn't

a contest but a doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

~Mary Oliver

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There are people who do not want us to be free. They don't want us to be free before God, accepted just as we are by his grace. They don't want us to be free to express our faith originally and creatively in the world. They want to control us; they want to use us for their own purposes. They themselves refuse to live arduously and openly in faith, but huddle together with a few others and try to get a sense of approval by insisting that all look alike, talk alike and act alike, thus validating one another's worth. They try to enlarge their numbers only on the condition that new members act and talk and behave the way they do. These people infiltrate communities of faith "to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus" and not infrequently find ways to control, restrict and reduce the lives of free Christians. Without being aware of it, we become anxious about what others will say about us, obsessively concerned about what others think we should do. We no longer live the good news but anxiously try to memorize and recite the script that someone else has assigned to us. In such a event we may be secure, but we will not be free. We may survive as a religious community, but we will not experience what it means to be human, alive in love and faith, expansive in hope. Conforming and self-congratulatory behavior is not free. But Paul "did not yield in submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you." Every free person who benefits from Paul's courage will continue vigilant in the resistance movement he formed.
~Eugene Peterson

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Bible According To Google Earth

This is rather interesting! Scenes from the Bible have been imagined by countless artists over the centuries, but never quite like this! God’s Eye View portrays four key Biblical events as if captured by Google Earth.
The Crucifixion

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Just a cool quote I just came across ...

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”

-Lao Tzu

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not Perfect ....

Hi again. I think that we all know it hurts when the people we love don't seem to care about us, our feelings or seem oblivious to any pain we might have. It is difficult big time to be in a relationship where one feels unappreciated, be it from family, friends or? Its tough not to get something we expect to receive as it makes one feel they don't care or even think about you. On the other hand the other person may think they are returning your love and care but in different forms you may not recognize. Its hard to discern that ... especially when a person feels hurt. Sometimes it seems really true that women are from Venus and men really are from Mars. And this is what makes us so different and unique from each other, we do not think and feel the same about things. And I think in ways it gets worse the older we get as its harder to love someone with "baggage." And we also may have our own.

We/they may not really understand themselves and the whys, and the ways they react to things. The outburst of anger, or of pain usually involves self, pride, jealousy and other motives less than pure. Ones reaction to that anger usually also involves such, probably not so cool motives as well I think. We all are as Christians "Not perfect, just forgiven," and that sums things up. We are all humans and make bunches of mistakes. I think that maybe we have to learn to give, to love and we are still learning. But while we are here in this life we have a lot to do to ensure that we make the best of things for those we love and ourselves. And its hard to see things from another's point of view sometimes.

Just some thoughts ...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Prayer in the Night

Let nothing, O Lord, disturb the silence of this night.
Let nothing make me afraid.
Here in the dark, remind me that in order to speak to you,
My eternal Father, and to take delight in you,
I have no need to go to heaven or to speak in a loud voice.
However quietly I speak, you are so near that you will hear me.
I need no wings to go in search of you, but have only to understand
That the quiet of this night is a place where I can be alone with you,
And look upon your presence with me.
For if I have you, God,
I will want for nothing.
You alone suffice.

~St. Teresa of Avila

I have been finding this increasingly true recently - I've been waking up after strange, troubling dreams and turning to prayer in the darkness. God is there, almost more palpably than at any other time. His presence, his tangible mercy, are all I could ever need.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

Psalm 25.16-18

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wisdom in a Nutshell

Wisdom in a Nutshell

“The best things in life are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Will We Find There?

"What will we find there?"

Tell me again
why I am standing in a bitter wind
sand flying all over
and around me

trying to fasten a saddle
on this stubborn camel
trying to keep my goods
from being lost to the desert.

Best robes and turbans
packed and still I wonder
will I really need them
where I am going,

off on some journey
where I am not sure of
what is to be found...
or whom?

There was the dream,
there was the voice that
well, seemed to speak
with such authority,

with such crystal clarity
I could not help myself
but move with purpose
to follow, of all things...

A star, immense,
stunningly bright
the effulgence of which
never have I seen.

Across the open dunes
we wonder, what is beneath
that star...
What will we find there,

some miracle, some treasure
a fortune teller, a prince?
Too early to tell
So we wait...



Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Road Ahead

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
~Thomas Merton

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

twilight zone in our hearts

There is a twilight zone in our own hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves - our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and drives - large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness. This is a very good thing. We always will remain partially hidden to ourselves. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That's a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility but also to a deep trust in those who love us. It is in the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born." ~Henri Nouwen

"Know yourself" is good advice. But to know ourselves doesn't mean to analyze ourselves. Sometimes we want to know ourselves as if we were machines that could be taken apart and put back together at will. At certain critical times in our lives it might be helpful to explore in some detail the events that led us to our crises, but we make a mistake when we think that we can ever completely understand ourselves and explain the full meaning of our lives to others.Solitude, silence, and prayer are often the best ways to self-knowledge. Not because they offer solutions for the complexity of our lives but because they bring us in touch with our sacred center, where God dwells. That sacred center may not be analyzed. It is the place of adoration, thanksgiving, and praise.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Journey But One Day At A Time

A great quote I happened upon ...

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept from fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday with it's mistakes and cares, it's aches and pains, it's faults and blunders. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We can not undo a single act we performed; we can not erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone! The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow. With it's possible adversities, it's burdens, it's large promise... Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn. That leaves only one day, Today. Any man or woman by the grace of God, can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two other eternities; yesterday and tomorrow that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives man mad; it is the remorse or bitterness for something that happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, Journey but One Day At A Time.

~K. Rogerson