Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Church Decisions

What is unity? Today while reading acts I came across the part where Paul was questioning the appropriateness of circumcision for the Gentiles wanting to enter the church.At that time this was a very important issue that needed to be questioned and resolved.
It seems religion is always trying to resolve questions of what is man made and what is God's made.
The early church wrestled with issues like will only Jews be allowed in this religion and if the religion is opened to everyone do the Jewish dietary laws still apply if so does everyone sit at one table or do we separate the Jews from the Gentiles.
Questions like these may now seem unimportant to us now days because they have been resolved and seem very distant and silly to us,but these things,if not resolved,can make or break a religion.
Do we stay with what has always been and if we move forward how much do we move and stay in the light of Jesus teachings.What is man made what is God made?
Church's that are Aposolistic have Bishops and Arch Bishops who we hope know whats going on and try to help us navigate this slim line.But you know even they get confused with who we has an Orthodox church are and where the lines get drawn.
Some times personal power gets in the way of what may have little to do with religion and God.
The church always faces issues like science,medicine,ethnicity,language,governments and on and on.Sometimes issues move faster then the church can keep up with and instead of making a decision they stand back and wait,hoping it will fade away.
The church is the leader of its people and as such needs to let the followers know where they stand.this allows for less confusion on the part of the followers.When religion seems out of the loop how can its followers know where to stand on the issues of the day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This morning when I awake I put the radio on to hear our Fr.Peter reading the news paper.He read 2 birth signs his and mine.
Do you believe in astrology? When I was a teenager the big pick up line was "hey whats your sign?"
Astrology goes way back before the time of Christ,Who by the way was probably born in March not December,People back then needed a way to understand the world around them and found that the study of the stars and planets helped them to make sense of a confused and complicated world.
As time went on people tried to understand their own lives by studying the stars,planets,constellations and elements earth,air,water and fire.Adding to and establishing personality types for each sign.
As established religion came along the notion of astrology became a satanic thing and was considered evil and against God so most churches pushed away the idea of studying such things.
I think for most of us astrology is just a fun thing to read in our daily newspaper.Someone once told me if you make something general enough it will fit any bodies personality.
But you know its funny because sometimes I do see some personality types in certain persons if I'm told what their sign is.For example I know many Cancers,my father included and I can tell you they are very sensitive people easily hurt but easily loved and devoted to family.My own sign Sagittarius is a learning,traveling adventuresome type with unfortunately a way of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and hurting peoples feelings with out meaning to do so.Now saying this you can see why my father and I could tend to have a challenging relationship,He being hurt easily and me not knowing what I just said that hurt him.
Although I do not believe in astrology I do enjoy reading books about it and every evening when I read the newspaper I try to see how close they got to my day.Your life is meant to be an adventure,every day filled with joy or sorrow it can not be charted by the plant or the stars but you know what its fun to read anyways cause its fun to feel special.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Cemetry

Once again memorial day is upon us and although it was my holiday to work,I drove to the local cemetery to take a moment to thank all those who went to war and gave their lives so I could have such freedom.
The cemetery was quite only birds could be heard in the distance and the alter was set up for the upcoming catholic service that was to be preformed after the parade.
The small American flags waving gently in the early breeze proud to be standing near each soldiers headstone.
The beauty of the newly planted flowers shone brightly in front of each piece of marble,planted lovingly by the hands of family members,who wished their loved one was beside them but knew secretly,in their heart,that their spirit was above and around them.
The stillness of the morning made up for the haunting memories of war remembered in the souls of each vet who laid in his space.To young to understand why wars happen but old enough to understand that everyone is entitled to freedom,even those from countries who choose to hate us.Young men who took time out from their lives to give all they had to an uncertain future,right to their last breath.
Those who survived the wars lived with the loss of their innocence.Some chose to tell and retell their war stories others chose to be silent, knowing that even the thought of war could not be expressed in words just private tears.
The day is still young and if you could not attend a parade today please take a moment to stop at a cemetery near you look at the stones with the flags and say "Thank you".Its the very least each one of us can do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Silly Song

Today Laura and I were cleaning the floor in the church hall.She began to talk about music.This reminded me of a song on a record my father had.The group was called the 4 Sargent's and they would make up funny songs.So here's one I remember.

The title is "Don't jump off of the roof Dad."

Don't jump off of the roof dad you'll make a dent in the yard,
Mother just planted petunias,
the weeding and seeding was hard.
If you must end it all dad,
wont you please give us a break.
Why don't you go to the park dad and there you
can jump in the lake.

Another winner right!Oh well we all have to be silly sometime or what fun would life be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Collection Plate

In the books of Acts it talks about "Those who believe had all things in common and sold and divvied their property then gave has each one had need".
This was how the early Christians choose to live and believe in their churches.Those who had sold and gave to those who did not.
Today while watching the news there was a minister on from a town in Texas.He and his parish decided that since times are tough for some of their parishioners when the collection plate is passed around anyone who is in need is allowed to take from the plate.
I though can you imagine how well this would go over in most churches,including my own.
Where does collection for church needs and individual members needs meet.The early church felt it was greatly important to help,not only those who belonged to their own church but those who belonged to all their christian churches.They raised money,clothes and food for all who were in need.Of course most of these groups held church in each others homes so they did not have to pay for churches and properties.
Tell me where does the line get drawn? Is it more important to hold church property or to help parish members in times of financial needs?
The early churches helped support widows,orphans, elderly and poor.How much money should a church put aside and how much should be used to assist those in need?
This church in Texas should be commended for trying to help and not make their parishioners feel ashamed if they are in need.
A church is really a body of people who have come together to worship God.We are asked to love and care for our brothers.God could care less if we pray to him in a cathedral filled with gold or an open field.
Is it better to live the faith or fill the collection plate? This is a tough question.There are so many churches closing their doors because there just are not enough people left to keep them open.How much of a church should be about the practical and how much about the spiritual? All the money collected in a one year period could be used to assist many in need.
Maybe the Amish have the right idea.On Sunday every one brings their bench to a families home and that is where Sunday service is held. No over head.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who Ever Crosses My Path Today Is My Brother

This morning I was watching Joyce Myers,a TV. Evangelist,she was talking about loving your neighbor.She said something which I found very interesting,she said every day she resolves that who ever crosses her path on that day will be her brother.She will go out of her way to help them as if they were a dear friend.
Its a pretty simple idea isn't it? To many people think that throwing money at a charity or problem is helping your brother,well in some ways it is but when you just give money and not time you miss the whole point of giving.
Mother Theresa used to ask people not to send money to her but to give time in her homes around the world.She felt that it was not giving if there was no feeling for both the giver and receiver.
That's why what Joyce said makes so much sense to me.Its very difficult when your in a hurry to stop and listen to some one,its easier to pull money out of your wallet and be on your way, but there are so many people hurting that a few minutes of your time is worth allot to them.
There are many times when I complain because strangers will come to me and just start talking and sharing their problems with me.I'm not sure why they feel so comfortable with me but I've decided I will now take this as a compliment.Who knows why God sends people our way maybe we will give them that one word they need to hear.
I think if we concisely take the time to say "Today who ever crosses my path is my brother" we would be greatly rewarded and not just by our maker.It takes no money just time and that is more precious then any piece of paper can ever be.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day Thank-You To Some Forgotten Mothers

Yesterday was mothers day and although I had to work when I got home flowers from my husband and a dvd from my son were waiting for me,followed by supper at Chilli's.
Later that night I spent some time watching Huckabee and he brought up a very important mother whom we all seem to forget so here goes "Happy belated mothers day to all the mothers who serve in the U.S. military" To those who are not with their children and family because they are defending our rights to be safe.This is for those who are on land, sea and in the air who have given up the right to see their children's daily adventures,hugs and kisses so they can show their children what real hero's are made of.
Also "happy belated mothers day to all the women whose children and spouses are in the military".God bless you for the sacrifice you have made for allowing these family members to do their jobs and pray for them daily for their safety.You who have taken on the responsibility to be both mother and father assisting your children to have a normal life while dad is gone.
Tonight I will say a special prayer for all the women who are making the hard sacrafices for the love of country and the love of freedom.Thank you is a small word but it can mean so much so once again I say "Thank-You"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Be Not Afraid

Have you ever though "how sterile is my church?"I must admit this is something I've never thought about.But many churches are doing just that.
While reading the newspaper today there was an article about how many of the churches are handling things like receiving communion and shaking each others hands during service.I tend to feel that God would not ask us to do things he knew would cause us sickness,Isn't that what faith is all about.
Is this fear founded or just an over reaction on our part? We as humans have a need to control things.But much as we like to control things it does not mean we will not come in contact with sickness,its part of life.
Why so much fear over the flu? Here in New England we have flu every winter and most of us do just fine,Of course if you are an infant,elderly or have a compromised immunity you need to be careful.
Today the paper talked about Catholic Priest and Eucharistic ministers and the importance of using hand sanitizers before giving communion,Ah there's nothing like the smell of rubbing alcohol with your bread and wine at the most blessed part of the service.Parishioners taking communion are told they do not need to sip from the communal chalice to get the full spiritual benefits of the Eucharist,So much for the body and "Blood" of Jesus.Parishioners are reminded that if they are ill they are under no obligation to attend Sunday Service,now that one actually makes sense.
Its not just the Catholic churches but also other religions are banning holding each others hands during prayer,Now there's a show of faith,and One Methodist church is distributing individual wrapped wafers and wine from sealed juice containers,Something just doesn't seem right to me about that one,here's the body and blood of Christ,please distribute your wrappers and juice containers in the trash on your way out remember were trying to stay sterile you know.
I'm all for cleanliness but I can tell you most hospitals are the cleanest places you can imagine.They use sterile procedures,wash with disinfectants and have the highest rates of germs you can imagine,Want a super bug go to a hospital.
So what does that tell us? being clean is one thing but being sterile is another.Our bodies were made to come in contact with dirt and germs,how many of us as children did not eat a little dirt and drink filthy water,come on be honest,and guess what were still alive.We build immunity because we come in contact with things,that's the whole purpose of vaccinations.So what do we do? First don't panic its only the flu and second us common sense and the rest is up to God,that's the faith part.By the way were all going to die from something so go ahead and live,thats why you were created.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where Are All The Feminist?

Where have all the feminist gone? Did they disappear in the early 80's?
Back in the 70's the feminist movement was in full force.They promised rights to all women no matter who you were and what your life style was.Although at that time, they pushed for working,educated women who wanted more from life then just marriage,they also backed all women.
Today we seem to have lost that.When Sarah Palin was running for Vice Presidency she was attacked by the media,not just for being a strong minded conservative woman but for her personal life style.She was subjected to being made fun of for her personality,wardrobe,parenting and family.Rumors and lies where tolerated.Not one word was said by any feminist group in her defence.
You would think these women's organizations would be proud of the fact that this educated and forward moving woman would be a positive and they would stand up and say "We don't agree with you position but we agree with you as a woman" Nope not one word from them was ever uttered.
How about Miss California,running for the Miss America title, when asked about marriage gave her opinion of how she perceived marriage as traditional.She lost first place,was ridiculed and not only for her position but also for her body and breast implants.
Last night while watching O'Rielly they had a feminist on who not only would not stand by Miss California's right to her opinion but also commented on her body saying "She should have had a heart implant instead of breast implants."What was that all about?Is this a group that assist women or a liberal organisation more concerned about the rights of everyone else then the rights of women?
These groups do not have to take sides but they do need to make people understand that they will not allow women to be made fun of for their bodies or life styles.
I guess I've lost the point of why we have these groups,are they there only to empower and stand behind the women they feel are their kind or all women.We are all one united and to make personal attacks and degrade those whom you disagree with is just not right.Woman are woman no matter what opinion or life style they hold they are one of us.