Quote of the day

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Say Merry Christmas

I't must be the holiday season for I recently heard people complain that stores and shops do not say Merry Christmas any more,for fear of insulting a minority of people who are not Christians or do not believe in religion.
Recently I came across a video done in a mall in Canada where a group got together and planned and sang "hallelujah" to unsuspecting people in the food court.
Once everyone figured out what was going on around them the now knowing became very happy to hear this beautiful song from Handles Messiah.
The point being here,at least in my mind,is don't be afraid to step forward and say Merry Christmas to the cashiers and restaurant wait staff.
Most of them have been told by their companies they are not allowed to say anything but happy holidays.
Be the christian this year and speak the words "Merry Christmas".
Last year when I wished a very tired sales woman these words she smiled at me and said ,"thank you I'm not allowed to say it first and I don't want to lose my job."
We has Christians are to be the light of the world.
Has was said by the Angles to the Shepard's in the field,thousands of years ago "fear not for I bring you tidings of great news!"
I'm not sure why we,has Christians,or professors of God,fear saying Merry Christmas.
Instead of complaining that no one says the words to us,we should be saying the words to others,its part of passing our belief on,or is our fear greater then our belief?
Say what you openly believe in,If someone gets upset with you for saying Merry Christmas then be polite and wish them a good day.
Be the change you want to see in the world and say the words Merry Christmas.
Don't be upset with a bad reaction one person may give you,the devil doesn't like it when we profess our beliefs,especially openly.
Jesus said "you are the light of the world".
Being one of the faithful requires you to love your neighbor and be respectful but also spread your beliefs because you are in the world not of the world.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bricks or Stones

And God said let us make man in our image and likeness....
If you are married,do you remember on your wedding day looking lovingly at your soon to be spouse and thinking,man could he/she use some plastic surgery?
This persons lips aren't right,breast are to small,nose isn't perfect and so on.
Seems they are coming out with a new TV reality show,where women,who are about to be married,go under the knife so they can be enhanced and made better,all over their bodies.
The future spouse gets to see all there make over on the day they get married.
I guess I'm just an old fashioned girl but what happened to the days when the most perfect person in your eyes was the one you loved.
Those things that were odd and different about your future spouses' looks,where what you thought was just the best part about them.
Are we now suppose to think our best qualities are those that come from a plastic surgeon.
Why do women feel that if they are not perfect in form they are not good enough.
Supposedly we are all individual and created special and that is what draws us to each other.
Should we be selling our selves in front of the world and augmenting our bodies so on that special day in our lives we can enhance our possibilities of winning a cash prize.
People today think that plastic surgery is nothing,but being cut opened and stitched up can have complications,even when done by the best surgeon.
Why do we insist that who we are is not good enough,especially for the ones we love?
If we can not be our real selves why bother being married?
Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having augmentations done when it is a very personal issue to you,but should TV be putting women into positions of having multiple surgeries,just so they can be perfect on their wedding day.
Tell me what happens when all this enhancement is done and suddenly you get attention from multiple other people in the world?How will your new spouse feel about the competition of others looking at you?
And what if you decided who you married now does not fit with your new image,what then?Do you look for someone more perfect ?
God made us who we are for a reason and if we all start to look alike then how are we now individuals?
Some one once told me the story of the tower of Babel isn't just about defying God its about making everyone into look alike,act alike bricks.
God smashed the tower because he likes us to be different,He likes people to be more like stones and less like bricks.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ten Commandments Mean More

I have been reading a book on basic Judaism.
For several years now I have had this need to understand,if I can,some of what Jesus was taught and understood.
It's very odd the things that drive us,and I'm not sure why I need to know these things,but for whatever reason,ever since I saw and touched a Jewish shawl,I have had this desire to more fully understand what Jesus knew.
If that's at all possible.
Last night I was reading about the Ten Commandments.
When God sent Moses down from the Mountain he gave him two tablets with 5 commandments printed on each.
The first tablet dealt with how we should treat God and our creator:Only one God,no false idols,remember the Sabbath,don't take God name in vane and honor your father and mother.
Why are our parents included in these top 5? Because they are our bodily creator and are due respect.
The second tablet contained how we should righteously treat each other.
No murdering,no adultery,no stealing,no bearing false witness and no coveting (not necessarily in that order,but you get the idea).
In this book the Rabbi says that the Ten Commandments are like the Temple in Jerusalem.
When the first Temple was destroyed it was because man felt he no longer needed the one true God and the people spiritually broke the first tablet along with the first temple,which was destroyed by the Babylonians.
It took seventy years to rebuild this Temple,showing God's forgiveness to his people for their insults.
The second Temple represented the second tablet.
People at that time became very pious but treated their fellow Jews terribly so when the second temple was destroyed it signified the destruction of mans careing for each other,which God considered very grievous because to this day he has not allowed the Temple to be rebuild.
According to the author,although God wants our worship and love he is a big God and can live with out it if he has to.
But God can not tolerate our not loving and helping each other and that he will not allow,because we are all his children and when one child is hurt,he is hurt.
Who knew all that came out of ten little laws.
So charity to each other is more important then we know in the eyes of God.
Like a true father it always hurts more when his children are attacked then when he is under attack.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Jump In The Lake

Every year on Thanksgiving morning many brave people in our town gather together to literally jump in the lake.
Now were not just plain crazy in this town we are somewhat charitable.
Many years ago,on Thanksgiving morning, a bunch of guys sitting around the local Knight of Columbus hall,staying out of their wives way at home,tried to think of something they could do that would be different and some one suggested they go down to the local lake and jump in.
Well with enough drinks in you most people will try anything at least once.
It has now been multiple years since the first men jumped into the icy water and is has become not only a yearly tradition but a fund raiser for the m.s. society.
Every Thanksgiving morning the brave,or crazy,people of our town join together at Quaduc lake and literally jump in.
I have never been to this event but I can tell you there are some Thanksgiving years where snow and ice are on the beach,but these hardy, brave/crazy people do it anyways.
The few the proud and the crazy.Our Thompson residents.

The Day After

Today is the day after Thanksgiving and although my husband and I went out at 10am this morning it was not for Christmas shopping,it was a need for an overcoat and a sale at Joseph A. Banks that brought us to a store.
No Christmas presents yet,its to early for me to think about such things as who wants what.
We had a wonderful day yesterday.A family get together and feast for the six of us. Afterwards we semi watched the football game and talked mostly about family members and holidays gone by,with loved ones no longer present,in body anyways.
After our family left it took me no time at all to get the house back in order and this morning I awoke with nothing to do but drink coffee,read the paper and watch pawn stars.
When my husband got up he decided to brave the traffic and buy a new overcoat,grey in color,at a very good price.
Watching him trying on all those different colored overcoats reminded me that sometimes I just think he's so cute and I'm very proud of him,love is strange.
When we were finished Vic asked me if there was any place special I wanted to go,to which I answered,yes home.
Seems he was interested in buying me an early birthday present,but all I could think of was who needs all these people in my face,its not worth it,we can wait.
I have been trying to figure out what to get people this year and have decided to try and buy has many things from charities and organizations,that I know will benefit from my purchases.
Has a matter of fact soap will be on my list and I know a certain priest who makes some great scented goat milk soap,who just happens to also be my priest,so first to be helped will be our new monastery.
I think it will be more fun this year to try and follow this credo,give to those I love with things that will benefit those in need.
I know this will take some though and I also know that not all of my gifts will follow this suit,but what ever works out will benefit both my friends,family and charities.
So let December come,because I have a plan and this will be a fun challenge.
Let the shopping begin,but not today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prince Valiant

When I was a little girl,I,like most 6 and 7 year olds,at that time,dreamed of a fairy tale prince who would ride on his great white horse and whisk me away.
Perched atop this great steed he would wrap his arms around me and protect me as we rode off to his castle.
Yesterday while driving to do some errands,in a futile attempt to avoid Christmas music,I decided to listen to am talk radio.
And who should I stumble upon but Rush.
Seems the topic that day was..you guessed it..airport security.
A gentleman called in to discuss how we has a nation have gotten to the point where we would allow such intrusion on our rights.
They discussed the fact that we have become complacent and have allowed the government to become intrusive,with us harboring complaints but not acting upon them.
The caller asked how any man could subject his wife and family to such an embarrassment and not stand up and object to it.
He asked "where have all the real men gone,the kind who would defend and protect their families on the mere principle that no one should be touching some one you care about in places where only a spouse should be touching them?"
Funny how we have become so weak in this country and so sheep like.
At the end of world war II people asked how an entire religion of people like the Jews,could be so easily manipulated and led to concentration camps.
This is the answer fear and complacency.
Thinking the government knows more then you and allowing ones right to be first violated then taken away and disposed of,just has these victims bodies were eventually disposed of.
It frightens me that we live in a country where no one seems willing to stand up and say no.
Last night a clip was shown from an airport where a 6 year old child had set off a metal detector and was just about stripped searched in front of everyone,the father cursing under his breath about how insane this all was.
No security is worth selling your fundamental rights off and no 6 year old should be shamefully stripped and checked,like a terrorist with a bomb.because he set a metal detector off.
That father who allowed his 6 year old child to be treated like a criminal should have been more concerned about his child's welfare and embarrassment and less concerned about a flight.
Maybe it was time for this man to pull this child out of line,out of the airport and catch a bus or train.
Its time to take the step has a parent and a man,to protect your loved ones and prove a point to your little boy,that a mother or father is a protector and you,as my child, are important enough that we will do things the hard way for your rights and dignities.
Some day when this child grows into a man, he will understand that he,like prince valiant is the protector of those in his care.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Handlers and Trainers

Saturday night my husband and I went to see the movie Secretariat.
I have been waiting to see this movie for sometime now, because I remember watching all three of the triple crown races and cheering that horse on.
You just knew watching him run,that history was being made.
This horse finished the last leg of the triple crown by pulling ahead and winning 36 furlongs,or 1/8 of a mile ahead of the pack.
His record and speed at Bellmont,to this day,has never been matched.
On the drive back home I got to thinking about what made this horse so great,yes his need to run was a part and his lineage of a great race sire with fine blood lines also made him who he was.
But what really helped him win was having a handler,trainer and jockey who understood and knew how to work with his temperament and personality.
They helped him refine and bring forth his best by teaching him direction and control of his talents.
Secretariat was a heavy horse who like to eat,sleep and be lazy,but he was an edgy stallion who loved to run.
Those who worked with him taught him how to take his excess energy and use it,with his need to run,to become the best he could be.
You know I think were all like that.
We see our faults has negative and push them aside or feel bad about them but what we don't understand is those same negative traits can be harnessed,redirected and used toward positive actions.
We are all given gifts but we tend to take those same unrefined traits and urges and lean toward the negative instead of the positive,lets face it its much easier to be sloppy and out of control.
Jesus understood that Peter was hotheaded,impulsive and negative but once He taught him how to restrain,control and redirect his passions,he was able to take all the negative influences in his personality and make them positive,leading him to heights he could never imagine he would reach.
He became the rock Jesus knew he could be,the solid foundation of a great movement and belief.
That's what a good clergy person and church is suppose to help us do,make us realize that all that negative energy we've been expending on all our misdeeds can be placed into positive action.
If you belong to a good church with a good priest or leader they will help you train the excess negatives of your personality then channel them toward the positive for what God is expecting of you.
How,you may ask,do they do this?
By teaching us prayer,religious directions,bible studies and most of all dialogue,of not only our tailored need for correction but also our deserving praise.
No one can be good at what they do if they feel no reward,we tend to be learned creatures and if doing bad feels better then doing good,then why bother doing good.
We will never change our basic make up but we can achieve greater height's of our being by understanding that being stubborn or aggressive are not really bad when properly directed and channeled.
The same person who is considered thick headed or unmovable may have what it takes to be the next martyr or saint for the faith.
Lets face it,it takes allot of stubborn determination to die for a cause.
Our basic personalities are a good thing but how we and those around us,choose to harness,train and control these traits will determine the success and fullness we have in our walk with God and each other.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Community Meal

I tend to be a simple person.
I don't own expensive cars,big TVs or large amounts of money,but what I do know is wealth is in the eye of the beholder.
Tonight is our community meal at St. Micheal Church.
On the menu will be Turkey with all the fixings and many hands contributing in the preparation,presentation and serving.
This is one of our truly big meals,with not only many of our church members in attendance,but also friends from the community,both those we know and those we will meet.
All here to partake of this banquet of bounty.
My job is to make some of the pumpkin pies and I can tell you the smell of Autumn spices are just filling my kitchen with their sweetness.
While baking this morning,it came to my mind,something that occurred at last Saturday Evening Coffee House,at our church.
During the intermission I had a chance to speak with the lead singer,preforming that night, and told her how much I enjoyed when these visiting musicians testify to how they were lead to Christ.
Some have spoken of being addicted to drugs or alcohol,some molested by so called "loved ones" and some just knew they were on the wrong path and not sure which step to take next.
She and I spoke about how we both miss judge people on the merits of how they look or act and how Jesus had spoken to both our hearts on the need to see people spiritually and not physically.
Now days the words " don't judge " jumps into my mind.Many is the time when I am thinking negatively about another person and I can hear those words resonate through my brain.
Our community meal has taught me that to reach out and not judge others,is why we're here on earth.
It is easy to be a person of words but it is allot harder to make the physical effort to bake the pies or serve the meals.
It can be difficult to walk out of 8 or more hours of work,drive to the church hall,only to spend 4 more hours standing and serving food.
It would be easier for me to send some money to my local food bank,then to make the physical effort to feed others and listen to their complaints or demands.
But God is funny like that,he doesn't ask for the simple,he expects more from us and in return we find the job to be exhilarating,rewarding and the people wonderful.
Here is a joy you don't feel when you throw money in an envelope.
Jesus didn't say feed the hungry when your not tired,listen to those in need of talking when your in the mood.
I have learned that every person has a story and once you hear them you can understand why it is so important to listen with your heart,to each.
We as church are not suppose to be some vestige of just worship and prayer,we are to get our hands dirty and be the servant.
Anyone can be a leader but not every one can be a servant,that takes the grace of God with in us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Memory Eternal

In the time of Ancient Egypt it was said that to speak the name of a deceased person was to allow them to live again.when a name was spoken it required a person to breathe and that breath allowed that name,at that moment,to be alive.
Our Sunday Service contained not just a reminder of the starting of Advent but also an anniversary memorial for a deceased family member.
During multiple prayers and the departed name being mentioned several times,we also sang the song memory eternal.
We believe that just because your physical being is gone,your spirit is not.
To celebrate the death of some one is to celebrate the joy of them now being with God,which hopefully we are all trying to achieve.
It is believed that we are put on this earth to bring glory to God and praise him.
Once we cross over it now becomes our full time job to praise God for all eternity.
We are only divided from our deceased loved ones by a simple breath,once we too cease to breathe then we will join them.
We as Christians believe that to leave this planet and be with God is the most wonderful thing we can do,but unfortunately we fear the process and the unknown.
God is with us all the time,we are never not in his presence.Yet we fear he will not be with us when the time comes.
Faith takes belief and belief can not be proven only experienced.
To breath is to be alive but to speak the name of the dead allows their name to be alive too,that's kind of a nice reminder.

Security vs. Privacy

How far are you willing to go for security?
Would you sell everything,allow all personal data that you own to be viewed?
How about your body? Are you willing to let anybody view it?
pat it down? How about Cavity search it? Is freedom from harm worth even that?
Back in the late 70's I used to enjoy flying,it was the best way I could think of to go any long distance.
Today I would not fly even if you gave me a free ticket,expenses paid,because flying is no longer fun its down right unfriendly.
No longer is there convenience,comfort and customer satisfaction with friendliness.
No longer are you treated like someone special,deserving to be a paid customer on an airline.
Long lines,no freebies nothing that says "we care and you are important to us".
True security is important but in my mind life is a gamble and when you take away the rights of the innocent of freedom and enjoyment,then you know what the terrorist have won.
Most people I have seen interviewed say they don't mind the inconvenience of traveling safely.
The two hour early arrival time,having bags checked through scanners then hand searched,the removing of their shoes and now the indignity of a full x ray search or inappropriate body pat down,including private parts,just for some guarantees of safety.
I,on the other hand,have resolved that at no time in the near future will I be flying,unless absolutely necessary,because to tolerate such indignity is to tell the terrorist they won,now we live in fear.
These haters who have forced us into such a way of travel,have for the most part,gone over to cargo travel,which by the way is not even screened,let alone patted down or unwrapped.
So here we are less dignity is paid to us then cargo packages.
Although my body is nothing to write home about,as far as beauty goes,it is still my body and deserves what I consider some dignity.
Not many professional people view my entirety unless they have MD or NP stamped somewhere on their white lab coat after their name.
Who I allow to touch or view my body is my choice and who I do not is also my choice.
No person wanting to cause me harm has the right to take my rights and freedoms away while they plan their next attack.
What should we do about said indignities?
How about stand up and say no especially to children and little old ladies.
Do you know that Muslims groups in this country are trying to say "if our woman wear veils you will not touch their bodies or view them."
Normally I don't side with groups who diminish women's rights,but today I am because I don't see any men from this country standing up to say "No you may not view or touch my female loved ones in these disgraceful manners."
Freedom for me means to live with out fear and that includes fear from being frisked by strange people telling me their just doing their job.
Now I know lots of people consider paying good money and being treated worse then cattle is all right by them.
Benjamin Franklin felt that to give up some of ones freedoms for security put you in the positions of having neither,nor expecting either.
I tend to agree with him and am very glad to never fly again,if need be.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carols Everywhere

Christmas time is here carols every where...
Wait a minute isn't it November 15Th?
I guess I got confused.
Could it be the fact that when I walked into work this morning one of my patients put on his favorite easy rock station,only to be bombard by Christmas Carols 24/7,from now til December the 25Th.
I don't know about you but,as far as I'm concerned,I wouldn't mind getting through at least Thanksgiving Day before I have to start thinking about the holidays.
Sunday when I went to church,Fr. Peter talked about our entering the Advent season.
A time to enjoy the pregnancy before the birth.
Not singing Happy Birthday a month or more before the blessed event.
Fr.told us that we in the Orthodox faith are not even to start decorating our homes until several days before Christmas.
Well that is cutting it a little to close for me,but let me tell you many are the years my own Christmas tree did not make it up until less then one week before December the 25Th.
The difference back then was I didn't know I was being Orthodox I just though I was being lazy.
We are always trying to rush through everything and by doing so we miss so much of what we should be spending the time cherishing,like our family and friends.
I know people who are more concerned about having Black Friday off from work,then worry about Thanksgiving day.
Can't miss out on those good shopping deals you know,even if you have to hurt or kill someone to do it.
When we were children and in a hurry for special days to hurry and come,my mother would tell us to "Stop wishing our lives away."
Seems in this country we are always wishing our lives away,always in a hurry never able to wait for anything.
We are an instant society and we want everything now.
Instant joy and satisfaction.
I know one thing in my car and home there will be no Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving,which by the way is a very beautiful holiday.
A time for thanks,which we do not spend enough time doing with those we hold dear.
Advent is also a time to remember.The birth of our Savior,who,by the way,chose to come to this planet the same way everyone else did.
First a pregnancy then a delivery.
To omit the wonder of the pregnancy is to diminish the beauty of the delivery.
So as we continue through November let us remember the Holly and the Ivy can wait,lets start first with the turkey and the gravy and be thankful for everyone and everything we have been given by a benevolent God,who sent us his only son the old fashioned,not the instant way.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Illogical Feelings?

Recently while at our church reading group,we discussed the subject of emotions.
Fr.Peter said that from a psychological standpoint emotions are illogical.
Well this would be true since neither happy nor sad is anything but pure feelings.
Now don't get me wrong we has human beings are made to be emotional,if we were not we would not have all the physical attributes needed to not only emotionally and mentally feel such feelings,but also biologically exhibit chemical releases to such emotions.
According to some we are fallen from grace.When humanity was ordered out of the garden of Eden,we became the emotional beings we are today.
Is God emotional?
We'll I'm sure in some ways he is.
When he sent his son,Jesus,to earth to live the life of a human being,he was able to feel what his creations feel,his trinity,was exposed to our human emotions.
With that said to assign God feelings is to limit him and he is limitless.
When we were still in the womb,we were given from God his spark of life and love.We are finite but God is infinite,so how great must his love be can not be comprehended by our simple humanness.
One thing I do know is if I have feeling it is because God made me this way and for whatever reason he felt it to be very important in my being.
Are feelings logical? No they are not,but in order for us to love one another,as we are told by God to do,we must be able to feel emotions both good and bad.
We are made to group up with others,not to be alone.
In order to become a united part of others we must be able to empathise and forgive.
Feeling great heights of sadness allows us to feel great heights of joy.In order to be a full and real person we must be willing to wade in the waters of our emotions.
One of the shortest sentences in the bible is "Jesus wept" why did he weep? because it was a human thing to do,it gave him a deep impression of what we as humans bear in our hours of grief.
God knows we are illogical and emotional people or he would not have made us this way.
Many times we spend a great deal of our day in constant battle between our emotions and self control.
The one thing I know about emotions is they are forever with us and we spend a life time in a balancing act,trying to figure out were we fit in and keeping our free will in check.
In order to be a follower of Christ we must learn to deny our selves both emotionally and physically.
Now with that said no where in the Bible does God say we are not to feel our emotions,he just wants us to feel less about us and more about others.
To the extent we have emotions about us we need to take those feelings and empathize and help those around us.
Jesus felt passions like fear,love,anger and even desperation when his human life was threatened,but he also understood how to over come and move forward,to do what he was being asked to do for the greater good of others.
How you may ask did he do this? Through prayer,even in the garden during his darkest moment,Jesus knelt down.He prayed,he wept and he even tried to bargain,but in the end God understood and gave his son the strength he needed to finish the story.
And that is how we are also able to gain control of our irrational feelings and fears.
Jesus was sent to us not just to save us,but to be an example of how we illogical, irrational,feeling filled people are to live a correct lifestyle in unison with not only God but those around us.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Gift To Me

Every year in November and December I go out and buy myself one birthday present and one Christmas present.
Most of the things I buy are simple but pleasurable,things like nice smelling soap,a candle or a touching book,something that hits my fancy as special or significant in some simple way.
This year is no exception.
Last week while looking through my EWTN catalogue I came across a plaque with a saying on it from Mother Teresa.
Now this saying is not something she made up,but something she thought was so special that she had it posted on a wall,in her childrens home in India.For all to see.
Basically it is called The Paradoxical Commandments for Christians.
Written in 1968 by a 19 year old Harvard sophomore,named Kent M. Keith,who wrote it for high school student leaders.These commandments were part of a booklet,titled "The Silent Revolution:Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council."
Because of Mr. Keiths' learning of Mother Teresa high opinion of these Commandments,it became a turning point in his life and lay ministry and now he accepts invitations to make presentations and give seminars on these commandments,all over the country.

Here are The Paradoxical Commandments, I hope you find then as beautiful as I do.

Anyway

People are often unreasonable,illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,people will accuse you of selfish,ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see,in the final analysis,it is between you and God,
It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Death Penalty

As I have gotten older,I tend to lean less and less on the side of the death penalty.In this day and age most people who are in jail for life,usually spend their life just there in jail.
Today the verdict came down for the man who killed a doctor wife and his two daughters in Connecticut and it was the death penalty.
I find it rather ironic that a state so opposed to the death penalty even bothers to offer it,since this man will probably spend thousands and thousand of taxpayers dollar and 10 or more years appealing it,why even bother giving him this sentence to begin with?
Its not that this murderer does not deserve this sentence,its just is it really even worth the time,effort and money to continually fight this sentence not to mention the grief it puts the husband through each time this man comes up for appeal.
How much justice is it for the family of the victim,when they can't go on with their lives?
I once had a friend of mine tell me cruel and unusual punishment is constantly making a person stay on death row and never knowing if they will die or not.
I'm not sure if I agree with this but I do understand what she was saying.
As a Christian I'm not suppose to believe in an eye for an eye.
Also vengeance is suppose to be up to God not us.
We are to believe that every one has a right to change himself,no matter how bad because we all have that spark of God goodness in us no matter how awful we may be.
Fr. Peter says no one is born evil were made that way.I'm not so sure about that either.
All I can say is I'm glad I was not serving on that jury because I would not have wanted to make that decision,especially with the victims husband and father looking on.
How tough it must have been for that jury today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Statistics

It always amazes me that when ever things like unmarried parents are studied it's about the mothers not the fathers.
Seems we still live in a world where it is always easier to place the responsibility on women,not the men.
Women who choose to give birth to their babies are still deemed by many to be some how loose,while men,who helped father these children,are not studied on their responsibility to nurture and provide.
If a women gets pregnant by a man and he chooses to walk away it is considered bad choice on her part,like she's to blame because this man chooses to not be a real man.
Through out history women have always been to blame for the equally bad choices men assist in making.
Even in the bible when a prostitute was brought before Jesus for lying with a man,no mention is made of the man she slept with. Was he also not guilty of lying with her? Where was he when it was time to get stoned to death?
We hold many double standards in this country and when it comes to statistics and studies why do we also not do equal studies on men and how their presence of not being in a home with their children also effects these children's lives.
How about studies on the amount of money that is lost by the state and federal government because irresponsible men do not pay for their children's up bringing?
Why is it that we know the basic statistics of unmarried women with children living with unmarried partners but have no clue what the statistics of unmarried men who father multiple children with numerous women and do not pay child support?
Could this be because we live in a male dominated world and its easier to talk about women than it is to talk about men?
Funny how its a stigma for women who choose to give birth and be responsible,yet men who walk away do not have the same sigma placed on them?
It takes two people to make a child and it should take two people to support and raise said child.
Why do we not place has much pressure on a man to not have unprotected sex and produce children they do not want?
I have always felt that if a woman has a child and wants state or federal assistance she should have to name the man who helped produce this child and before any aid is given,he should be tagged by the state to help assist in payments.
Lets face it fair is fair and if the tax payers are helping to pay for these innocent children, why aren't their fathers?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Relics

Tonight we had vespers with our bishop who recently returned from Romania.
He talked about 100,000 people who came for three days to review some of the pieces of the cross and bits of Constantine and Helena remains.
He spoke of how people venerate these things to make them feel closer to God by being near such holy relics,Saints who are filled with such goodness people just need to see and touch even just a piece of them.
I though has he spoke that we all have the opportunity to touch God by simply touching the person next to us.
We,as people, need to be close to those we consider special,famous or holy but in God mind we are all special and holy because we all have that Divine spark or breath from God within each one of us.
To be near another human being,no matter how meek or lowly,great or exalted is too be near God.
The wood of the cross does not make the resurrection,the embodiment of Jesus does.
And we carry that in our own spirit and life force every day if we choose to accept it through our free will.
Many people feel relics are very important because they help heighten their faith and give them something solid and tangible,like meeting a very important person face to face helps them to understand that these stars are really flesh and blood.
I have never really understood this need to show belief by relics,it kind of reminds me of St.Thomas who could not believe unless he touched Jesus wounds.
True its a wonderful thing to have in your presence a real part of Jesus cross or a saints bone,but for me its not necessary.
I do not believe by physical proof,I believe by spiritual proof.
To touch something that belonged to some one great or holy does not make my belief any more solid.
Jesus said,Blessed are they who have not seen yet believe.
I tend to believe that God is every where all around me and my faith should be strong enough that no relic should impact my belief system,one way or the other.
He is,in my mind,always tangible and ever present.
I don't need to touch something physical to draw me closer to God,I just need faith.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hereafter

Tonight my friend and I went to see the movie "Hereafter",with Mat Damon,who is really getting to be a very good actor and pretty easy on the eyes too...only kidding.
The premise of this movie is about three people,from different parts of the world,and how death has effected each one in its own way.
Mat Damon is a person with true psychic abilities who turns away from his talent of communicating with the dead because it has become to hard to work with people who are alive and desperate to talk to those who have gone on.He says "its hard to enjoy life when your surrounded by death all the time"...how true.
The second is a 13 year old boy from England,a twin,from a broken home, whose older brother is killed suddenly and now his whole life is gone and he is unable to go on with out the guidance of his beloved twin.
The last is a French news anchor and writer,who during a tsunami is dragged under water and dies,then returns back to life but feels she has unclear flash backs of the after life,which haunt her.She finds that the people around her, who are unbelievers of a God,slowly push her out of not only their lives but also her job.
This movie gives insight into how people treat death, dying and physic abilities,both real and faked.
It gives us a glimpse of how we as a world are moving away from a God based belief of death and into a jiffy lube,done in a few minutes,style of death.
Through the front door of a church in a coffin then out the back door in an urn,just a pile of ashes.
Move along everyone,Nice,clean and efficent, with no regard for the living grieving family and definitely no respect for the dead.
With no way to express feelings those who are still here,and need answers,unkowingly,turn to cons who make money off their grief.
While others who have a real gift to contact the dead,feel the burden so enormous they can not continue,because has Mat Damon says in the movie "sometimes its best not to know everything,some secrets are better left unsaid."
We see that having a real gift or talent from God means that you don't get to pick what you want and sometimes it takes everything you have in your mind,body and soul to fulfill your gift.
Many times a tallent can seem more like a burden,especially when its viewed by others has unwelcoming or odd.
Next is the very act of dying and coming back,getting a glimpse of the other side and trying to figure out why you were allowed this glimpse into a dimension you are not allowed to be in at this present time.
Why this look beyond the curtain and what does it all mean? Is there an after life or is it the brain waves dying and we seeing what is left from some electrical charges,has we slowly slip into what some people view has nothingness.
How do you deal with the death of someone close to you? Someone so close that you feel you can not go on?
How do you face a grief so bad that you have to keep chasing after the dead in order to try to be somewhat alive? What do you do when this person is your whole structure in life,the only stable thing you have known and now their gone?
This,movie although long and not terribly exciting leaves you with a sense of how do we all view death,dying and surviving.
It helps us see that in the end we are all connected and must find others who can help us answer the questions of our loses then move on with our future both here on earth and into the next dimension.
I for one am glad I have a belief in a here after because how cold and shallow would this world be if all that was left to us was a hole in the ground and dirt on top of our remains.
Are we more important then flesh and bones? There has to be a spirit or spark that pushes us beyond this thing we call earth and into an eternal realm.
If not what is the point in being here if we make no difference and are soulless?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Is A Safe Drug ?

Recently a report came out saying that alcohol is more additive and cost more to our society then heron and cocaine.
I'm not sure how this study was preformed,nor was I privy to how true the findings are,scientifically,to said study,and as such am unable to really make a decision on whether or not I believe what was concluded has fact in this study.
The one thing I do know,from personal knowledge,is that all drugs are harmful when abused.
Alcohol like,marijuana,when done occasionally and used by a person who does not have abusive tendencies is safe.But like all things those who can not have one occasional drink or smoke are in trouble,no matter what they use.
With that said let me make it clear that I am not in favor of legalizing heron or cocaine because the cost to society has an illegal drug has been great and just because you make something legal and controlled does not mean it will not be abused,look at all the abuse of prescribed drugs going on in this country.
We have had drug and alcohol issues since we started this country many of our fore fathers spent much time in taverns and after the civil war morphine addiction became so bad that it could no longer be on the free market making it one of our first controlled substances.
In the 1920's alcohol abuse became heightened,when Prohibition was enacted and one of the results was a new group called the mob,which would haunt our society with corruption for the next 40 or more years.
So what to do?
Unfortunately when ever something is illegal it becomes more desirable by those who are not allowed to have it.
But making everything legal will also not help because you still have the same problems with those who are denied.In the medical world those who are not prescribed will take from those who are causing unintended prescribed drug abuse.
I think we stand between a rock and a hard place.
Hundreds of years ago during the opium wars China made its country a closed society.Opium abuse had become such a great problem in China that trade with foreigners became limited to certain sea port areas and no outsiders where allowed into their country.
So what to do?
Seems no one has a real answer because even when something is legal it still becomes abused by those who do not fit into the rule of being one of those who may have.
For example under age children and teens,addicts and non prescribed adults.
Its a tough question,even those educated has small children do not comply,just look at all the teens and young people who smoke cigarettes in our society today, they understand the consequences of what they are doing,health wise,but choose to do it any ways.
I guess we are in the end,a fallen people and as such will always want what we can not have.Just ask Adam and Eve about a certain tree in a garden,talk about paying the ultimate price for a bad choice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Women Get Out And Vote !

I have been a registered Republican since I was the legal voting age.And although it can be very upsetting,being a conservative in a state of Democrats,I still vote in every election that this town,state and country holds.
We has Americans are given a very special privilege of this thing called "a vote".Many countries do not enjoy this freedom and for the most part our votes do count,even if there may be a bit of fraud here or there.
It is especially important for women to vote.Not because we hold the purse strings and run the house holds, but because back before the 1920's women were not allowed the luxury of picking those who would run the government.Women had to literally fight for their rights with shear strength of will.
We as women owe it to our female ancestors,who felt the right to vote was important enough to be beaten,jailed and ridiculed,to stand up and make our voices heard.
Not having the time or being to tired is not a good enough reason to not find some time in your busy day to get out and do your civic duty.
The suffragettes of the 1920's did all the hard work and took all the physical and verbal blows so we,the women of today, could walk into our local polling places and make a difference in the governorship of our country.
In this country not much is asked from us,but if we refuse to speak out how can we complain about our rights being violated or our voices being shut down?
Now I must tell you most of the years I have voted very few of my candidates have won,remember I'm a red puppy in a blue dog state.But even so I would never give up my opportunity to vote.
Being an optimist puts me in the position of thinking "well maybe next election this state will smarten up and vote like me".
After all I always believe I'm voting for the right person,don't you?
So take a stand tomorrow and vote,your grandmothers and great grandmothers would be proud of you.