Quote of the day

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Turkey Party

Last night was our annual Turkey Party with spaghetti and fun chances to win a turkey,fruit basket and possibly money.
On the surface this might seem like just a way for our church to make some much needed cash but it is really more then that.It is an opportunity for our church to invite the community to what some may see has a closed society of old.
These events allow us to also fellowship with others and help spread the word of who we are,why were here and how much we care.
In the 5 years that our Fr.Peter has been with us he has made it his commitment to help this small church on the hill to reach out to the community and the neighborhood.
We have been very fortunate that this year all our events seem to be very successful mostly to our dedicated priest and his many attempts to be part of the community at large,both in our town of southbridge and out to other parts of the state and country.
Every opportunity we have with people not from our church is our chance to touch the unchurched and help them realize we like people and are here for them.
Last night I heard many compliments about our priest and his cooking and just how lucky we are to have someone so dedicated and personable.
We are a small group but most of us are very hard working and will sacrifice and give what ever in necessary to help promote our Orthodox Faith.
We still have many endeavors with the possible idea of a coffee cafe once a month with christian entertainment and another opportunity to reach out to our neighbors and friends.
I see this church taking steps to turn around and feel if most of us become dedicated to the cause we will help fulfill the great commission,bringing the word and actions of Christ to the world.
God blesses those who are there for others and this may be coming true for our church as well.
St.Francis of Assissi said preach to others and if necessary use words.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Next Generation

This morning I had the sad duty of attending my fathers' sister funeral.What makes this truly sad is she is the last sibling of a family of 10 children.
My aunt Deloris,who had just turned 80, was mentally retarded and for most of her life lived as a 7 year old,but with less language skills.
Today while sitting in my pew at St Mary,looking at her small black box,she had been cremated, I noticed that her family picture was sitting behind her.
All the children as one no one married yet but several in nun uniforms,it reminded me of how truly sad it was that each of those young people were now gone to the ages.We few cousins who made it now represented what was left of my fathers side of the family and how sad it was that we were all the next generation,alone as orphans.
My grandparents were poor French Canadian people.They owned nothing not even their home.They raised 10 children with what they grew on the farm,they rented and the money my grandfather earned working nights in a factory.
My grandfather was a very stern strick person and demanded his family be respectful and hard working.
My Grandmother was a very religious person who helped raise her children with religious values which they in turn passed on to us.
After the service we went to the cemetery,my aunt in her little black box waiting to be in turned,we gazed upon the grave site of my grandparents and now two of their daughters,their names etched in grey marble.
One of my cousins remarked, as we looked down on the head stone, that my grandfather gave up smoking his pipe and saved his weekly allotment he would have spent on tobacco to buy this lovely headstone for his wife and daughters.That's the kind of man he was he cared very much for his family.
Its funny when I think of my grandfather the thing I remember most about him is his smoking a pipe and the smell of his cherry tobacco.
To this day when every I smell pipe tobacco it always gives me that warm feeling that he is around me.I always wished I could have had one of his pipes for a keep sake.
As we stood by awaiting prayer for my aunt I mentioned how much my Grandfather loved modern technology,he was born in 1890 and just marvelled at all the new gagets he could find.No sooner did I say those words and my cousin cell phone rang.
If I do say so my self this next generation has turned out pretty well.We own homes,cars,have families and are still pretty close to each other.Each of us ready to assist the others in times of need.So I guess my grandparents did a pretty good job with their children and we in turn are spreading what we were taught from our parents and grandparents on to our children and that is our legacy to them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chronicle on channel 5

Sometime when there is not much on TV. at 7:30pm. my husband and I will watch Chronicle.Shown on channel five, the wbz station out of Boston.
Last night their entire show was on atheism and how wonderful these people think it is to be Godless.
I say well and good for you,if you choose to live your life with no belief in God that is your prerogative and has such more power to you.
I resent the fact that a television show which is suppose to be a simple magazine is taking the time to put forth such things as this.
This show basically is about restaurants in Boston,clothing stores and trips to multiple New England states.Things to do and places to visit.
When did this become about or not about God?
They talked with the Harvard Chaplin who is humanist,to which I say I thought a chaplains job was to be spiritual not atheistic.I don't know sometimes I feel as if I've just fell into a time warp.I think of that song "The World Turned Upside Down" played when the british surrendered to the Americans after the revolution.
Today I decided to go to the web site of the show "Chronicle" and voice my concern over such things being put on TV. but low and behold I was unable to sign in.
I checked out their poll and it seems of the over 400 people who took there poll 138 were pro religion the rest were atheistic.
I must say this does sadden me.
I feel like a minority especially when Christians will not stand up and voice their outrage over such a show.
I have decided that although "Chronicle" has had interesting things on in the past it is now up to me to move on and try other more favorable things to do with my time.

dishes

While reading the newspaper I came across "Dear Anne".Seems some lady wrote about how she works and her husband,who is laid off,is now a house husband.He does a wonderful job of keeping the house clean, but becomes very annoyed when on her days off she gets up early,feeds one of her cats then takes the other dirty cats plates and lets them soak in the sink,to wash later in the morning.He is annoyed because he feels she is putting them there to remind him to wash them and feels used, unappreciated and criticized.
I also have a similar pet peeve,since I do not like to do dishes,I hate it when I'm almost done and someone puts dirty dishes near me that they just happened to find.
I know this sounds ridiculous and I know they are not doing this to get my goat but to be helpful but something deep inside of me feels used.
Its funny how we misinterpret innocent things,we take what is bothering us and make it into something it has nothing to do with.
I think if nothing else marriage is like that we don't see the little offenses that affect the other person.Mostly I think this all comes down to one person feeling overwhelmed or under appreciated by another person.
It has nothing to do with the dishes it has to do with the frustration of feeling not thanked enough.
Now I'll bet if this same woman came home one night and said "I love you and I want to give you a great evening go watch TV and I'll do the dishes" this same man would be less sensitive about the cat bowls sitting in the sink.
We tend to forget that what is done for another is done out of love and must be reciprocated for to fulfill the others needs.
I always say its the little things that will get you not the big things and this includes being married and staying together.
Its better to say thank you even when you don't realy feel like it then be alone with no one to thank and no one to do for you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Community Meal

For over 6 months now our church has sponsored a free community meal on the fourth Thursday of each month.
Of all the things we do at our church this is my favorite.
Normally we get around 35 to 40 people but last night we were truly blessed with over 50.
Meat loaf was on the menu along with mashed potatoes,mixed vegetables and desert.
Our Fr.Peter is quite the cook and as is the case rounds of thanks for such a well prepared meal was given out by every one in attendance.
This day we had about 8 people to lend a helping hand serving which was greatly appreciated by those of us who normally do this meal with only 4,not counting our chef the priest,who is tied to the stove preparing such enticingly good food.
Although last night got hairy,with Fr. having to leave to do last rights,we carried on and served our meal slightly on the later side.
While waiting with great anticipation,our servers became concerned about the amount of wait time,Fr. assuring us all it would be better to serve a meal well cooked then allow some one to get sick from under cooked meat.I must admit I felt sorry for our poor Fr.Peter and thought about Moses leading the people through the desert and how they constantly complained and questioned,oh yee of little faith.
But soon all was ready and our meal was serve able with so much help we were able to serve very rapidly and to our delight we had only one serving of meat loaf left.
My husband and I took our plates and went and sat near this nice elderly woman named Helen,who was eating alone, and had a very nice conversation with her.
When we were done and Helen left us a nice elderly man asked if we still had food,seems he was unable to come sooner.
I went into the kitchen and low and behold we had just enough meat loaf for him.
Fr.Peter mentioned several time how we always seem to have enough for everyone like the bread and fish in the bible,we also had enough food for all our welcomed guest.
So if you happen to be in Southbridge and are looking for a good meal on Nov.19th please stop by,St. Michael Orthodox church on Romanian Ave. we will be having turkey and all are welcome and as always God will help us provide.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Noon Time Prayer

Tuesday night during bible study Fr. Peter asked "how many of you when you get into your car sign yourself and say a small prayer?".He went on to add that we as Orthodox Christians believe that we can do nothing with out the grace of God.
This brought to mind how many times I had tried,unsuccessfully, to remind myself to do afternoon prayer but alas never can.
Someone suggested that I pray every noon as I sit down to eat my lunch.To which Fr. and I both answered when I'm at work I eat if and when I can and most times sitting at the desk trying to write my notes.
I mentioned that I have tried to wear a small prayer rope but ended up with a very soggy cloth bracelet from multiple hand washings.
So Fr.Peter suggested that I try to wear an elastic band on my watch wrist then when I had a moment to stop and pray,switch the band to the opposite arm,to do this for one month and it should become a habit,but if I miss one day then I need to restart at day one.
Wednesday while at work I tried this and to my delight at noon time said several short prayers then switched the band.The problem became that as soon as I switched wrist I suddenly got into an angry mood for a good 30 minutes,I even snapped at the pharmacy delivery man,which is so unlike me.
After I had time to think about this I decide that maybe some one did not like the fact that I took a moment to thank and praise God,this individual feels I do not need to be so close to the creator.He's not happy about my attempt at a good habit.
Anyways not one to let this detour me today at noon time I stopped and prayed.It seemed much easier to remember and I am hoping this habit will continue.I have also resolved in my mind that no matter how much I try there is always going to be that someone trying to drive a wedge to keep you as far away from God as possible.The problem is realizing this and accepting it but doing the right thing anyways.Jesus said we will never be tempted beyond our indurance.
So tomorrow I'm hoping to make prayer day number three and maybe before I know it it will be day 30.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

trust

Being a nurse there are many times when it just amazes me how trusting people truly are.This is not a put down it is an eye opener when you think about it.
I give medications,shots and do procedures and most people trust with blind faith that I know what I'm doing.
Luckily I am the kind of nurse who never gives anything I don't understand or does a procedure with out knowing exactly what it is I'm doing.But if I were not the questioning kind of person who does not rely on blind trust I could be dangerous.
To many people accept at face value what a medical professional is doing and never questions why.It is your right as a consumer to know why and never feel afraid or embarrassed to ask What are you doing? and why are you doing it?
If the nurse,doctor or medical professional is irritated by your questions then find someone else.This is your body and you have every right to know what is going on,what the effects will be and why this needs to be done.
Never give blind faith to just any one always feel assured that you are making the right medical decisions for your self and your family.

Backyard

Sunday morning I got to catch Rev.Price do his sermon,most Sundays I forget or tune in to late.He always has some interesting topics and most of the time when I start watching him I just can't seem to change the channel
Sunday he was talking about forgiveness.
Seems when he was a child he climbed a neighbors fence and while walking through the yard a dog came out and bit him.He jumped the fence and ran home.He said he learned a very valuable lesson,he didn't call the cops or sue the guy he just never went back in that persons yard again.
He said forgiveness is the same way,you may not be able to change the person you've forgiven but you need to stay out of his yard.
Forgiveness he said is making it clear in your mind that you will forgive and not listen to your feeling.Feelings,he said, come and go like the wind and how you feel one minute is not how you will feel the next.
So determine that you will forgive then stay out of their backyard especially if they are unchanging in behavior.If they are not a nice person you will be dragged down into their issues and demons.
This is very interesting to me In my mind I have always thought if you forgive someone you needed to also feel good about them and work toward helping them but I think this Reverend has a valid point.forgiveness does not equal being stupid or walked all over,it means doing no malice toward that person.
So the next time you have determined to forgive someone but feel that they are not the type of person you need to be near at this present time,then resolve to stay out of their yard until they tie their dog up.Then maybe you can start by talking over the fence until its safe enough to join them in their yard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

PRIDE

We live in a very self centered world.Everyone has many things and take great pride in what they own.They like to "ring their own bell" so to speak and make sure all present know that they made this or did that or own something special.
But I think pride sometimes gets a bad rap,especially in the religious community.
As I have told you before I have been a follower of St.Francias of Assisi teaching for many years,by the way his feast day was the beginning of this month.
He felt that we are nothing.All we do,talent wise, is a gift from God.He talks about the wood that an icon is painted on can take no glory for the picture and in his view we are the wood and the glory of God that emulates from us is the glory of God not ours.
Now with that said lets talk about what pride should be to we Christians.
Fr.Peter and I had a discussion of this last night after bible study.To many people who are religious feel they can take no pride in the work they do or the accomplishments they achieve.This is not so.God has given us certain gifts and talents and as such you have the right to be proud and happy for what you have done.If you are a musician your music was given to you to not only bring joy to others but to bring joy to your self.It is not boastful to show someone your talent pridefulness comes when you label it and want every one to see your talent as something special.
For example if you build something and drag everyone off the street to view it then say "see what I did I made this,see how wonderful this is, aren't I just the best.Here let me hang a sign on it so the whole world knows that I, the great one, did this." That's prideful you have just stepped past see what I made to see how wonderful I am.
The Lord says you should bring forth your talents to the world,that's what the story of the 4 servants and the coins are about.Each servant was given an equal number of coins and when the master was away they were to do something with them.One servant took his coins and made 100 fold of profit and one 50 fold and so on until the last servant made no profit at all.When the master came back he blessed each according to his profit the last,who had made no profit, was told to give his coins to the others and be gone.
We are given talents to give back to God but we also have talent to give back to ourselves.If you see no worth or value in what you are able to do and can take no pride in it then why would you want to continue doing things,you go from a freeman to a slave.
God put us here to be happy and useful,just has we would not want our children to be sad so God would want none of us to be sad either.
St.Francias did many things with his talents he made music,painted pictures,made pottery, wrote prayers and poetry.He found these talents has he tried them out but in the same respect he did not allow these gifts to overshadow the fact that God was number one in his life.
Francias tells a story of making a pot and while in deep prayer he began to notice he was being distracted by the sight of his creation so he took the pot and threw it in the fire. He felt what he had made was putting God and prayer second instead of first.
Some religious people do not understand that being to humble can also make you to prideful,when your humility stands in the way of being thanked or congratulated this can also be an offence to not only your brother but to God.Its a slippery slope to walk but if you can keep your eye on what the real prize is then the journey becomes a little less slippery.So relax and thank God for you ability to use your talents and while your at it try out a few more and learn the full realm of who you are and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cornucopia Weekend at UCONN

After church on Sunday, Oct.4th. Vic and I decided to go to the University of Conn. 5th annual Cornucopia Weekend.
Now for anyone who doesn't know, UCONN was originally a school for agriculture so they pride themselves on the fact that they still deal with agriculture,flowers,
plants soil,wildlife and live stock.
Each year this weekend allows the school to showcase all their agriculture related items not to mention police dog agility and polo matches.
We got there on Sunday near closing time but still had a good time.There were students there who would test your garden soil,sell you fall plants,help you with you ill plants or trees not to mention all weekend they have talks and demonstrations on how to take care of all out door and indoor plant concerns.
They had a rescue society that brought some small birds,and to my husbands delight had a small one eyed owl,my husband is an owl lover,so he got to see one up close.
For me there were baby pony's with fur so soft I could have petted them all day.
They had an electric boats used to give fish mild shocks in order to study them in a pond with out hurting them,so I'm told.
They had several old surreys,liveries and tractors from back in the late 1800's and let me tell you those things were very tiny on the inside,Its a good thing people were shorter in those days.
While there I bought some homemade pumpkin ice cream which they make fresh at their ice cream house, from the cows raised on the schools' farm.They have done this for many years and my husband tells me when he was a student there every night he would walk from his dorm to the ice cream shop,near the cow pastures,to buy their goods.
We had a wonderful time on a wonderful fall day just walking around the school ending up at the duck pond then stopping at the student union.
UCONN is a wonderful country college and although very modern it still retains some of its old flavor and charm.
Sitting in the quite corner of Storrs' it is a wonderful place to go on a Sunday to enjoy the quietness of the country,walk your dog or maybe catch the students practicing or playing soccer,basket ball and base ball both on the fields or by their dorms.
So if you get a chance and your ever in Storrs conn.stop at UCONN and if you like you can walk the back road by the barns and check out the cows,horses,sheep and multiple other farm animals that you can pet and feed grass to.It certainly makes for a wonderful afternoon,oh yeah and if its windy have the kids bring a kite because their are many wonderful hills to fly them at.

Friday, October 9, 2009

License Time

I have been lucky having had most of this week off,due to to many nurses and not enough hours.Since I have worked for this company for so many years I have lots of vacation time so I'm also getting paid to be home,has it were.
But true to form I never usually just sit around.For the past three days I have been trying to catch up on getting all of my ceus'(continual education units)before I renew my Nursing license in November(due on my birthday,now theres something to celebrate).
I go to a web site and for $14.99 I can take all the credits I need and if called by the license board can prove I really did these test.
Each test with reading material and test takes me 45 minutes to an hour to complete and you can retake the test several times if you don't like your grade or want to find out what you did not do well on.
With that said I can usually do 2 test a day and by the time I finish the second test my brain is DONE..
Every two years I'm required to renew my license and this year I got the added pleasure of giving the good gov.of mass. about $40.00 more.What makes it even better is it was a surprise,no one sent me a letter before hand to cushion the blow...
Now I plan on getting down to doing some laundry,dishes,house cleaning and maybe throw together a stew for supper.
Since its raining out and dreary it will be a good day to finish all this up.Maybe I'll play some music and make the best of the silence of it all, because that, like everything else in my life dosen't last long.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rules

When I was a child I was taught that if you did the wrong thing you got "In trouble" for it.My parents,although fair,wanted their children to know right from wrong and be able to follow through to become good members of society.
Back in those "Old days",as it were,You were not expected to know why what you did was wrong no one explained things to you,they just said you don't steal its wrong and if you do you will in some way be punished.
Now being a parent myself I must admit I used this same fear tactic on my son,though now that I'm older and more patient I would hope to be able to explain why something is wrong and why you should not do it.
I remember when my son was about 3 years old going to the drug store.While paying a bill,my son decided to take a piece of candy.When we got into the car I scolded him,told him what he did was stealing,brought him into the store and we returned what he had taken.
Now that I'm older I realize all he learned was stealing was wrong and he feared getting into trouble if he was caught doing so.What he did not learn was why it was wrong and how stealing hurts the person your taking from plus it also hurts your inner worth because God wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves and were not loving another person when were taking their things.
When I'm at work and I need people to follow through with what I've asked them to do I find it always works better to explain why I want something done not just because I said so.People become more empathetic and understanding when they know what they do is part of a common good.In most cases I don't even need to remind them the next day to repeat the task.
Religion is allot like this.When God gave Moses the 10 commandments he wanted them to be used to guide the Hebrew community in good ways.You should not just fear the laws because they were handed down by God you should also understand why God wants us to follow his laws.
These laws have a purpose behind them the first 2 deal with not offending or hurting God and the next 8 deal with your neighbor.God wants us to learn to respect and love not just him but our neighbor,who is in the his image, when we offend each other we also hurt and offend God.
Some religions have come to the point where they try to frighten their followers by saying follow these laws or you will go to hell,never mind why just do it and while your at it here are some sub categories to go along with these rules so don't mess up or its going to get mighty hot in the after life for you.
The Jews, during the time of Jesus, were dealing with this sort of issue.They were so over burdened with both God and man made rules that they could not live freely.
Jesus came to lift this burden.He said if you love God and you do good and you try daily to be a fair person these rules will come easily.You will not want to hurt or offend anyone so you will not only follow what you are asked to do but will understand why its wrong to do things like seal,commit adultery,not respect your parents and not keep Sunday holy.You will no longer fear the letter of the law you will understand the law is there for your benefit.
Rules are always a good thing it helps keep order in a society,but rules followed through fear and ignorance or in an attempt for a church to control people is never a good thing.These sorts of rules are like chains they bind you rather then set you free.