Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nativity Site Embarrassment

Last night on the news a clip was shown of two groups of monks,one Greek Orthodox and the other Armenian,fighting with brooms while cleaning their areas at the church of the nativity.
Seems they had encroached into each others spaces and instead of just apologizing,they raised their brooms and starting hitting each other with them.
The fact that they got angry with each other,was bad enough,but the commentator said that this can be a common sight.
Common sight? Excuse me but how much belief do these monks have in the God of love and forgiveness when they are beating each other over the heads with brooms,as the local police try to brake it up,with clubs?
The sad part is that not one monk stepped forward to humbly ask for forgiveness or apologize to the other side.
Last week was Christmas,a time when we are to love our neighbors,because Jesus came down to earth in the form of a baby to save us from ourselves.
How sad that the clergy,whom we Orthodox look up to,feel they can act like a ruthless mob in a Holy public place.
It embarrasses me that we has members of the Orthodox Church,sit by and accept this humiliation to our faith,from professed religious men who know better.
I for one would like to say to both sides of this mess,what should have been said by at least one monk, that "I am sorry for what you felt was a violation of you side of the cleaning sight,at one of the Holiest of Christian places where Jesus himself was said to have been born."
Maybe if I,has a member of the Orthodox Church,ask you both for forgiveness,next time you men will think twice before raising your hand,or broom,to your brother in anger,maybe instead you will shake hands and grant each other the right of way.
A song I learned in grammar school says:"they know we are Christians by our love,by our love and they will know we are Christians by our love."
One other thing I would like to tell these monks is if you think your actions are not know by others,trust me today is day number two and once again on the world evening news they replayed the clip for the whole of the United States to see one more time.
I'll bet more people in this country,saw this shameless clip,then took the time to watch the 60 minutes show Sunday evening about Mount Athos and the peaceful loving monks,that reside there.
To bad,how sad!
To be Orthodox means to follow the unchanged truth and be held to a higher standard of living,what that means is when we do unchristian things the world keeps putting it in front of every ones eyes.
The evil one relishes our falls and takes joy in our shamefulness and how can you blame him....

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Old Fashioned Christmas

What makes an old fashioned Christmas?
Last night we and some friends,went to Old Sturbridge Village to celebrate the season in an old fashioned way.
Though the outside air was chilly our spirits were warm.
We got to partake of ginger bread and mulled cider,take a horse and cart ride while watching a bon fire roar in the center square.
Pretty fresh garland with tiny sparkling lights where everywhere while candle lit lanterns illuminated the walk ways.
18Th century caroling in complete garb and a modern brass band,played out songs of Christmas yester year complete with Father Christmas dressed in his green velvet robe with white fur trim a crown of garland encircled his head..yes this Santa decided clothes where on his menu especially with Jack Frost nipping at his nose on this cold December night.
Ginger bread houses and pretty little Christmas trees,decorated the house of the haves while the more modest cottages had happy people sitting near their fireplaces greeting all those who entered.
No candy for these knitted hanging stockings,with nut cups adorning the mantles,real fruits of the fall season and handmade wooden toys would be the Christmas morning fare for the tots residing in these houses.
Food,family and guest where what the day was about.
Carolers going house to house,being invited inside for a warm drink or a simple morsel of food.
In this village of yester year neighbors where your prime source of entertainment,with the understanding that no one survives alone,the entire neighborhood became your tight knit family.
A very different sort of Christmas when compared to our own modern Holiday Festivities.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Naked Santas/Real Christmas Meaning

Tis the season to see and hear the ridiculous.
In San Francisco some of the locals decided to try and get into the World Book of Records by having the largest grouping of naked Santa Clauses assembled in one area.
O.K. some times life requires you to just have a sense of humor and move on.
Personally I have never wanted to see Santa naked,for a man his size clothing is a blessing not an option,of course I can say the same about my own personal build,put it on would be my mantra,one that these Santa's need to adopt.
This is laughable to me.
Why you may ask? Because Santa is not the reason I celebrate Christmas..Jesus is..
With this in mind tolerance to stupidity can become a way of life.
Most of us know who Santa or Saint Nicolas really was and walking around neighborhoods naked was not his claim to fame.
Only in hot California can you get away with Santa in the buff,to try this in New England would be a very chilly challenge,to say the least.
I'm not sure why we Christians allow ourselves to become offended with this nonsense,all it does is distract us from the real reason we are here on this earth and why we celebrate Christmas.
Jesus said we are in the world not of the world.
So why are we so surprised when the world acts crass and insulting.
besides its hard to be all that we can be when we're angry about things like clerks not saying Merry Christmas,Town Halls not allowing Religious Decorations to be displayed or Santas running around in their birthday suits.
Good and evil both abound in the world around us,to focus only on the silly and ridiculous detracts from all the good and charitable things that so many people are doing at this holiday season.
So let the naked Santas have their day because in the end the real meaning of Christmas comes to us from the people who feed the hungry,cloth the naked and bring cheer to those who are sick.
These are the unspoken Santas who don't take the headlines and do it with their clothes in place.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Meaning Of The Season

Recently I read on face book of a priest standing in line at the Post Office and the person in front of him asking for Christmas Stamps but not the religious ones.
O.K. now lets get this straight people,why are you even bothering to celebrate Christmas if you do not believe in the birth of Christ and what he stands for?
Why not just skip the whole Christmas buying,tree decorating,cookie making and gift wrapping and not celebrate it at all,because you missed the whole reason of the season.
Does it offend you and those who are receiving your cards that each of you may have to view a picture of Mary,Joseph and baby Jesus on your postal envelope?
Those who complain about Christmas and its affiliation to religion are the same people who expect to have December the 25TH off and get paid for it.
Maybe the time has come for you to skip the pay and go back to work because like it or not Jesus is the reason for the season and if that offends sorry..
Many people claim to hate Christmas and all it stands for,they say it is depressing and sad,well life is what you make of it and maybe if you spent some time handing out food to the homeless and poor on this upcoming said holiday,you too could realize the real reason of the season and understand how many people have it worse off then you and your perceived issues,so get over your self.
Angry words at this time of year? You bet...
Jesus came into this world to teach us to love God through helping others.
If your sick of the Holiday Season then spend the day visiting those in a Nursing Home,Children's Hospital, or prison and when your done walk into the closest church,get down on your knees and thank God that you are one of the lucky ones.
Christmas is what you make of it,if you put little into it,then you will get little out.
This year instead of complaining try to drop off a canned good or inexpensive toy at a collection box,then you will understand the saying that it is more blessed to give then receive.
In the end its not about what you get but what you are willing to give.
Jesus gave up life for us now what are you willing to give up ?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Buy A Gift ..Help An Organization

With all the things to buy this Holiday Season,one of the best things you can do is see how many items you can purchase from places like Church Christmas Fairs or other organisations in need.
Last year this was one of the things I tried to do with most of my gift buying and am hoping to follow through this year.
There are so many small organisations and family businesses that we need to stretch our dollars as far as possible and help those who can really benefit from our spending.
One of my gifts this year is calenders made at our nursing home,some of our patents took art classes and their pictures were photographed and turned into calendars.
All the proceeds go to their activities fund and helps them get items they are in need of.
Things like this become a win,win situation and at $12.00 a piece I have several relatives who would appreciate a lovely,well made calender to hang in their homes.
So this year see how many creative things you can buy with your dollars and spread the wealth...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Wal Marts in Putnam Conn. opened its doors on Thursday evening at 10 pm so all those people in a hurry to get,what they felt were bargains,bought all night long.
There is just something not so right about this whole Black Friday scenario,a time when we can not even let the settling of our Holiday suppers be done before we rush out and trample each other for that so called "perfect " Christmas gift.
Christmas has become a time of shared greed.
Black Friday plays on this greed by allowing perfectly sane people to become pushy and rude all for the sake of material items which will be forgotten about in several years.
Most people will justify this by saying its a gift for a loved one,but really its our own need to be liked and loved by each other,at least for a fleeting amount of time.
When Jesus was born he received three gifts and very unchild like ones at that.
Frankincense,mur and gold,none of which he could play with but all of which had special meaning in his entire life.
We forget the real reason for Christmas and that is the birth of Christ.
Many people will spend Christmas day in a frenzy trying to open gifts and eat food and will probably never even step one foot in a church nor take a minute to wish Jesus a happy birthday and thank God for his allowing his son to come down into our world,to be treated badly and killed,in order to save us.
Now There is nothing wrong with enjoying the season or buying gifts,the problem comes when that is what we feel is the most important part of this festive season.
Multiple people hate the Holidays and all it entails because they have lost sight of what it's really all about,if more people spent time helping those in need,instead of those in material want,we would be able to understand the true joys of Christmas.
In the up coming month of December people will speak daily about how they have to rush out and buy this and that for family members and friends, because their lives would not be complete without these material items,and we never want to disappoint any one even when we have to almost go into bankruptcy to gain their love and respect.
But how good is love when it must always be bought and months later spent in repayment.
Jesus tells us to store our treasures in heaven not in earthly things that will rust,rot and become moth eaten.
A large amount of things sitting in junk yards,at one time where precious and special in some ones eyes,but like all things in life they tend to lose there luster, so what is important is not the items we buy but the people we love,not the material possessions we buy and give but the heart felt words, hugs and kiss we give out.

Real Thanksgiving

What did you do on Thanksgiving this year?
I worked and though that may sound sad it really is not.
I have done this line of work for over 20 years and have found being with the lonely is one of the best ways one can spend,a Thanksgiving day.
This year I was invited,three times,by one of my patent's,to come to the main dining room and join he and his wife for this special meal,knowing I probably would not be able to,due to my busy work schedule,I promised to do my best.
My afternoon worked out well and by 1 pm,when I went to the main dining room to get my meal,both he and his wife were still sitting at the table eating their deserts,so I was able to spend 20 minutes sitting,eating and talking to them.
When we where done I thanked them for their invitation and they told me how glad they were that I had been able to join them.
A simple act of sitting at a table,a few minutes out of my day,helped to make a difference and a blessing for all of us.
This time of year many people give of their time and money on this special day doing good for others.
Here in Thompson groups of people get together to do the annual Turkey Dip.Getting up early on this cold Holiday morning,they go to Quadick Lake and literally jump in the water,raising money for the m.s. society.
Some parts of this country people run races to raise money for cancer societies,some feed the poor and needy at community meals,some give away winter coats and some walk the streets to spend time with the homeless handing out food and blankets.
Thanksgiving is a day when we should be grateful for not just our own families but our extended brothers and sisters of the world.
Take the time to spend an hour or so making another person happy,giving of your self to those around around you.
If nothing else go to a lonely or elderly neighbors home and bring coffee and cake and be a friend for an hour,listen to the same stories they tell you a hundred times and act as if its the newest most important story you have ever heard in your life.
Jesus says we should invite to our homes and parties those who can not give back to us like the poor and the lame,then we will understand what the real measure of giving is about.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

25 Days To Read The New Testament

Advent is upon us and the birth of Christ is not far off.

This year our priest Fr.Peter has set up a challenge to read the entire New Testament in 25 or 40 days,depending on how much time period one chooses to devote daily.
I have decided to try,no wait,to do the 25 day readings because I'm either an over achiever or a nut case,either way the past 7 days have been filled with great determination,ambivalence and satisfaction.
With 7 to 8 chapters to read a night,this can become one internal roller coaster.
The first two chapter are always started with great enthusiasm and by chapter 4 and 5I'm starting to try to talk my self out of reading any farther,the last three chapters I'm counting the pages and before I give up in disappear its chapter 7 or 8 and I'm not only done but proud of the fact that I completed my task.
Reading has always been a love of mine and reading the Bible always a relaxed situation,but this sort of reading not only does not give you time to reflect but with a deadline in mind to finish can bring out a whole realm of feelings like why am I doing this,I could just quit and do better tomorrow and how will this help me when I'm not fully paying attention?
Fr.Peter tells me that if a group of people take on this challenge good things can come the groups way.
If nothing else good words fill my brain and lets face it,its better then reading or listening to garbage on T.V.
We shall see how this will all work out in the end,maybe our Church will benefit and be blessed and maybe someones life will be enlightened and that is a good thing.
So off I go to read my next 8 chapters and try not to talk my self out of it,any ways this will be a good Christmas gift to myself,once I finish the last page of Revelations.

Friday, November 18, 2011

When Necessary Use Words

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words...St.Francis of Assisi

Much of my spiritual life is spent trying to find ways to help those around me.
Last night was our Church annual Thanksgiving Turkey Community Meal.
This year to our delight we had about 100 people in attendance and many of those who came graced us with their home made deserts.
This is always a welcomed sight because when you do good it,like a ripple in a pond, stirs up the waters surface and extends to the outward shores.
Many times when things like this become successful it's hard for those who started the process to step back and take a chance on something else.
It is said that when ever you try to do something new for the first time you get those around you who first agree with you,then second try to talk you out of it and when you prove it can be done,every one wants to jump on board and do it in their own Churches.
Today while at work I was talking to a fellow nurse about how I firmly believe the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi,especially his saying of teaching the Gospel always and when necessary using words.
We spoke about how Jesus never drew as many people to the synagogue as he did to the mountain tops,that most people can not make their way into a Church but can accept fellowship from an informal setting with food and parables.
Seems enjoyment makes for excitement.
No sooner had we finished talking when one of the house keepers came to me and said "you are correct and you keep teaching those words".
It pretty much shocked me that others heard our conversation and felt the words spoken were truth.
We are always worried about how many people,number wise, attend church but forget that those that attend fellowship opportunities,like breaking bread are just as important,if not more so.
Jesus talked about the sick needing a physician not the healthy and in my own life I find it much more comfortable to talk about Religion in simple ways with simple words.
I have never felt closer to God then I do when I feel closest to another human being with words and deeds.
In the Orthodox Faith we like to use lots of flowery words and long prayers,but in the end its all about those we speak to and touch with our daily words and actions.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

10,000 Steps

A journey of 10,000 miles begins with one step...Lao Tzu

Several weeks ago we attended a wedding in Florida for our nephew.
The last day we were there we decided to do some sight seeing with my husband cousin from Indiana.
Has we began to walk she pulled out her pedometer and said "lets see how many miles we do today."
After a morning and afternoon of fun we ended up walking 7 miles.
Last week while at Wal Marts I came across the very same type of pedometer and decided to buy one for my self,since I'm always wondering how far I walk,especially when at work..
This is a very easy little device to use and not only does it calculate miles walked but also steps taken.
I once read somewhere that in order to be healthy you should aim for 1o,ooo steps a day.
The first full day I used It was while at work ,to my surprise in less the three hours I had already walked over 3,000 steps,my total for that day ended up being 13,000 steps in a nine hour period.
The following day was 13,600,no wonder my legs ache after 3 day of working straight.
Friday was my day off and I decided to try for 10,000 steps,even though I had gone to a very large grocery store and did what I thought was a great deal of walking,by 4pm I had only taken 3,000 steps.
So outside I went at 5pm with flash light and dog in hand to attempt to complete my appointed steps.
Down the road and into the near by fenced in Little League field I went to walk around at least 5 times,then home again at which point I checked my meter to find 9,000 steps had been completed.
Saturday fared even less,a walk around town only totaled 7,000 steps,I can see this is going to be harder then I planned.
With all this in mind it is very obvious that my days off require much more physical activity,if I can only get my legs to co-operate.
Oh well tomorrow is back to work day so I'm sure to meet my goal with out even trying..
They say the first step is always the hardest but in my case the first 3,000 steps are a breeze its the next 7,000 that are a killer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Off The Grid

Believe it or not,I actually know people who choose to live with no electricity provided for by a corporate company,people call this "being off the grid."
Though it may sound very grandiose,the sad truth is most of us do not have the luxury of this choice since we tend to work full time jobs and can not afford the amount of time,labor or money it cost to live by sources like solar or wind.
My nephew and his wife for several years did indeed live this lifestyle,since they where both young retired engineers,it was a challenge they felt they could meet.
So they ended up with a house smaller then 9oo sq. feet and a cellar filled with batteries,to store the sun energy from their solar panels which accumulated through out the day.
Now living up in Vermont can be a challenge,what with short days and cold nights,but between their wood stove and batteries they did very well,except for the part where you could not even leave a night light on while sleeping for fear there would be no power left in the batteries by morning.
I like doing with out most things but unfortunately lack of power at my finger tips is not one of them.
Some might think it quite comfy to live like the colonialist did except when you realize most of them did not live long,due to harsh lifestyle and all lived by their modern day technologies.
Trust me if they had heat at their finger tips they would not have choosen to haul wood and stoke a fire place to try and keep warm.
Modern technologies are not all bad things,especially when you live in the country and work at a job where you need to commute.
I'm all for green but even that can make you a fanatic.
During Orthodox Lent we give up all sorts of foods,things like dairy,meat,fish,egg,olive oil,wine and on it goes,basically we try to live a Vegan Diet.
Now we do this for restraint purposes but when it gets to the point where you are thinking more about the food ingredients and less about the spiritual parts then you've lost the reason for why your doing this.
Not everyone can be that good just as not everyone can be that green.
Twice,at our house this year we lost our electricity,first when Irene struck and last weekend storm.
Irene left us with one week of no power and this past storm we went without for three days.
Its always kind of fun the first day,quiet and challenging,but I can tell you by day seven with a generator and camping stoves,it sure turns into hard work rather quickly,like fasting,you begin to calculate everything in your mind before hand.
I personally like having convinces at my finger tips.
Hot water and heat all seem like a blessing to me and why not?
The best situation now seems to be embrace one green thing in our daily life and do it,lets face it most of us are not meant to be off the grid be it mentally or
physically, and personally I can not work 40 plus hours a week and haul wood or remember not to run a night light when I go to bed.
After spending one week with no electricity I learned its no fun having to heat water on a stove at 6 am to simply wash my face and brush my teeth.
Maybe some day,in my retirement years,I can devote my life to green living on a full time basis and enjoy it to boot,until then I will make do with modern technologies and convinces,trying to remain conscious of how I can daily make small changes to my consumption areas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Last week my husband and I went to Florida for his nephew wedding.While there we decided to go visit my niece and her mother,my ex-sister in law from my former marriage,whom I call friend.
Patty and I have known each other since before my niece and son were born,over 31 years ago.
She is the strongest most christian living person I have ever had the pleasure to know and is an inspiration for me in times of trials.
She was born one of 5 children who came from an abusive family,her father was a cheating alcoholic who had a temper and and showed no restraint in using it against his children.
Her mother was an nurse who worked the night shift.
My friend turned her back on traditional religion,when while growing up her cheating father would force the children to attend Sunday service while he carried on affairs,very openly in front of his wife and children.
Now the thing with Patty is she is the most giving,loving person you will ever meet and although for the past 34 years she has been battling ms,she is never one to complain to much or not see the bright side of life,even when her husband left her and her daughter for another woman,one of her best friends.
When her daughter decided to go to school in Tampa,my friend moved out there to be with her,giving all the financial and physical support she could muster,though the money was tight the love never was.
With our nephew wedding came the opportunity to visit my good friend.
Vic and I spent the day in Clear water at her nursing home,see Patty is now in a Geri chair,with breathing issues and paralysis on the right side of her body.
Though limited in movement,this 56 year old is still the dearest most Jesus like person I have ever met.
We spent most of our three hour visit reminiscing about our times together and her daughters future as a tax consultant at Price Water Company.
Although her voice was not strong and her ability to speak difficult,I would consider this the best part of my Florida trip.
This is a person whom against all her adversities kept repeating how good God had been to her and how lucky she was to have the love and devotion of her beautiful daughter.
There is little to say about my own life that can compare with Patty love or how fortunate and blessed I am to have her in not only my life but my memories.
How can one person be so good and kind and yet sit in a Geri chair unable to move most of her physical body.
But this is a person whom God has given the ability for flight in the spiritual world,touching not only my life,my heart and my soul but also all those around her in her day to day life.
Although I have heard about saintly people,this in my mind,is what a real saint is like.Having the ability to not only take on the terribleness of life burdens but to decide that being happy is more important then any material thing,including ones limiting body.
Her soul is like that of a great eagle and some day when it is freed from her cumbersome body she will fly across the skies,over the mountains and into the loving arms of God her Father.
And I can in gratitude,know that I have met a gift from God in my every day life and hopefully have appreciated her wit and wisdom enough to carry it through to all those around me in my own ever day life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Church And Truth

While attending Catholic School I was told that we should be truthful no matter what,it was better to face your wrong doings honestly then to try and lie your way out of it,trusted adult leaders would say "don't dig your own grave,confess and become clean."
Honesty is always the best policy,you'll never have to worry about what your story is nor get caught up in a tangled web of deceit,if what you say is the truth.
Being in the Catholic Church,back in the 1980's,taught many what happens when a church tries to cover things up for the wrong doings of its clergy.
Lying and secrecy is never right,just as making parish members feel like they have to protect these indiscretions can ever be proper.
People back in the 1950's and 60's,refused to face the fact that their clergy could ever do anything wrong or illegal,forcing adult parishioners to remain silent and placing young innocent people in positions of spiritual,physical and mental harm.
Now don't get me wrong,the reason I'm picking on the Catholic Church is because at that time I was a member of that faith.
With age comes wisdom and in time it has been made clear to me that no religion is pure,especially when you consider they are run by people trying to save face.
But is saving image what a church or religion is called to do? Or are we,the Church, to rise above the cover ups and threats of personal "sin",by hierarchy trying to keep the multitudes in the pews silent and stupid through use of fear of damnation.
Jesus talks about the light and how even one small candle can illuminate a room from corner to corner.
Light brings not only brightness but warmth to the cold world around us,but how much glow can we emit if our wick is in some way defective.
Church leaders,like parish members,need to face and profess their sins,asking in turn for forgiveness.
Confession is one of the hinge points of our belief system.
We are no better then the rest of the world when we are told to be still and not say anything because it will be considered a "sin" in the eyes of our leaders.
My brother in law,father had a saying "the fish stinks from the head down."
Maybe he was onto something because I know that the Almighty is never about secrecy and hiding,we as church should be strong,showing the world how to stand up to wrong doings and repent openly and honestly.
The Catholic Church learned the hard way about facing clergies sinful obstacles,now what about the rest of the religions,have they learned anything? To be any less then honest is to be less then Christian.
I don't remember anywhere in the New Testament Jesus talking about avoiding and hiding wrongful behavior and then making followers feel like sinners for talking about the truth,because the church feels a sense of embarrassment.
What is brought to the light becomes pure what sits in the darkness becomes fodder for the evil one to use in an attempt at erosion.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Feeding Those In Need

I have recently been thinking a great deal about how bad the economy is and how many people are going with out the basics,such as food.
Seems when the weather changes and the cold nights of fall are upon us,my thoughts turn to those in need,with no food and no shelter.
My life has been greatly blessed in that when ever times of need have cropped up,I always had friends and family to help keep me afloat.
Now I know that a minority of people take advantage of the system and jump right in and grab all they can,with no regard for those even less fortunate then themselves,because lets face it no matter how bad you are there is always someone more in need then your self.
Since January I have made it my mission,when grocery shopping,to always buy extra and put it in the local food pantries basket,by the exit.
I try to attend and assist at our Church's free community meals held every other Thursday at St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge,Mass.
But it seems the more I do and give the more needs I am made aware of,that are not met.
The daily news is a constant reminder of how truly bad things in this country are turning and how the new poverty rate is escalating.
What I do seems so small in the large scheme of things.
I remember in the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" there was one part where all the sick and poor were asking Jesus to help them,there where so many that covered him until he yelled "heal your selves",many times I feel this same way when I try to help others but feel like I'm only one person and there are so many in need.
Maybe this is part of the awaking of my soul,being touched so greatly I can now feel what those around me feel,or maybe its the other guy trying to discourage me into thinking its to great so why bother,its their own tough luck.
Until an answer comes to me I will continue to do what little I can and remembering the story of the fish and loaves,realizing with God help my simple small amounts can grow to feed people in more ways the I understand.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are We Ever Fulfilled?

We are,in the end,never completely fulfilled especially if we are trying to be filled with worldly things.
No matter how much you get in this life it is never complete or totally satisfying to our needs.
Sunday morning Fr.Ephraim spoke about an old television show called "The Twilight Zone",the story goes there was a man who loved to read more then anything else in his life,his wife,who was a constant nag and his boss who made fun of him for reading so much,never gave him the peace he desired to be able to read his many books.
Since this man worked at a bank,he found,what he thought was bliss at lunch time by sitting in a vault quietly reading,nothing around him but his beloved books.
One day,while in the vault, an atomic bomb fell when he walked out he was to find he was the only human being left on earth,with piles of books at his side,but with great elation came great sadness because he broke his glasses,so now he was unable to enjoy his surrounding fortune.
Our best laid plans and fulfilled dreams are never full and complete in our true desires.
Did you ever dream of a special trip or job and just knew this would make your life full,but in the end when it became yours,something felt just not right,you were almost let down and you could not understand why you wanted this so much.
Jesus says we are in this world not of this world,so we can never be happy with our surroundings or desires.
Only our soul joined with God can ever feel completeness and true joy.
When we lower our worldly expectations we can increase our spiritual expectations and true completeness then comes our way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Evil And 9/11

Thou shall not murder.
This is the commandment most people quote incorrectly,it is not thou shall not kill it is thou shall not murder.
Yesterday was the 10Th anniversary of the murder of thousands of innocent people who got up and went to work,took a plane,thought they were putting out a fire or explosion,but ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Murder of the innocent at the hands of a few misguided,deluded men who felt God had spoken to them on a personal level.
Those thousands of citizens who loved family members,had dreams and desires where cut short of their lives because a small number of men decided to play God and destroy what they could not understand,thus missing the most important rule of all faiths that is.. all men and women are our brothers and sisters,made in the image and likeness of the Almighty,himself.
God does not like it when we take bad and try to make it fit as good by using his name to justify the evil actions of sick minds.
I did not choose to watch anything on T.V. yesterday,it all comes back to clearly to me that this is nothing to celebrate it is a tragedy,and though it should not be forgotten it should also not be celebrated.
Mayor Bloomburg decided that no clergy or first responders should be invited to this memorial in New York at ground zero,political correctness you know,which in his mind, was more important then a true memorial of unity of diverse clergy standing side by side,we forget a priest that day,a Franciscan ,giving prayer to the sick,dying and dead,trying to save the souls of God's children at their hour of need also met his end.
Whose to say how many Rabi's,ministers or priest where sitting in those towers,planes or at the Pentagon,we have no count of how many lost their lives too.
What about all the first responders running into the buildings while people were running out? Thinking nothing about themselves and never coming home again.
I heard an atheist on a television program say "where was this God of yours while all this evil was going on,? Why did he just stand by and allow all this killing to take place and not stop it?"
Thou shall not murder,but on that September 11,2001 they did and God was not involved with the horror or the evil that took place,he was however,involved with the goodness of of all those who helped in any way they could even to the point of losing their own lives in the process.
We live in a fallen world where evil abounds just the same as free will.
You make a choice to do good or to do evil and you can be a part of it either way.
I like to think of what Gandhi said "Evil never last but good always triumps in the end,always.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Leave Your Offering And Forgive Your Brother

In the Bible Jesus says if you have any sort of disagreement between you and your brother,you should leave your offerings at the alter and go make things right with him,then return and offer your gifts to God.
Wednesday evening,while at Vespers,I began to think about this verse,seems I had someone on my mind for most of the week and at service that night,my brain kept going back to this person,who had upset me.
It became clear to me that the verse is not just about cleaning the slate to make God happy with us but also cleaning our hearts and minds so we are not continually flooded with these negative thoughts .
When we are upset the devil enjoys the fact that he can reek havoc on us,not allowing us to fully focus on what we should be doing at that moment and that is praising God..
It's hard to pay attention to the words being said when these negative,repetitive feelings keep cropping up.
What to do?
Make peace not only with the other person but with yourself.
Understand that its alright to be wrong,feel wounded,or unjustified but its not let these feelings fester and cloud our minds.
God understands we are not perfect and he understands that we can only fully concentrate on one thing at a time.
We can not serve two masters and as St.James says a person with two minds is an unstable person.
So to forgive is not just pleasing to God but healing to both our mind and spirit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Electricity but Lessons Learned

Today I spend part of the day trying to get my house back in order,after our week of no electricity.
The camp stoves and lanterns needed to be washed and stored away and all the propane tanks had to be put in the corner of the spare room,so they can be brought to the cellar in the up coming days.
Funny this morning I started up the washing machine and admired the fact that I could actually do my clothes right here at home,rather then in Dudley at the Laundromat.
No electricity for one week makes you take stock of how much time we waste with our electronic gadgets.
You begin to understand just how much we rely on entertainment on an hourly basis.
When I was a child we would go to my grandparents house and everyone would put the kitchen chars in a circle and just sit and talk to each other until supper time.
I live in a house with two other adults and must admit we have never spent our entire afternoon not only talking to each other,but actually making eye contact while doing so.
With no electricity reading became an important past time,not only did I start and finish a book in a week period but also read the daily newspaper and piled up weekly magazines.
Sometimes getting away from our rut can remind us just how much we have lost in our modern day to day experience,with our electronic devices.
I have decided that from now on one day a week I will no longer us my computer and will greatly reduce my t.v. watching.
Just a way to re awaken my mind to the important things in the world around me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday : Storm Irene

Sunday morning found me at work and with no electricity,either at work or at home.
The drive home was some what calm,a little rain and most of the down limbs found on my own street.
Happy to be safely home,the lack of electricity seemed a minor annoyance,especially with most of the state being hit harder then us.
The day before we stocked up on bottles and gallons of water,so if the power did go out we could cook,drink and flush our toilet.
Being old campers we were prepared with propane gas,stoves and lanterns but no crank radio,so finding out how badly hit was an unknown,though the silence was rather nice.
The next day,on Monday morning,my husband and son went and got my fathers old generator so we could have some of the modern amenities,for a few hours anyways,just like the rest of the world up and down our road.
It's kind of nice getting a chance to live like my grandparents did,when they were children in Canada,on the farm,sure makes you appreciate how difficult their lives were,no running water and an afternoon of planning just to make a meal,no simple task for the faint hearted.
Water had to be pulled up from the well with a bucket,wood for the stove carried in from the outside wood pile and vegetables picked fresh from the garden or home made canned products carried up from root cellar,under the house.
We do have some tree limbs down around our yard but none on our house or cars and we are calling and visiting friends ,neighbors and relatives to see if they are in need of borrowing our generator for a few hours to refresh the cold in their refrigerator and freezer.
Funny Sunday night when we went out to eat we admired all those lucky people,along our path who had lights and TVs on,I guess it was electricity envy.
When we arrived back home our neighbor,across our yard,had electricity while our street did not.
He had run an electric cord across the road to the house nearest him,who was still with no electrical power and I must admit thoughts of coveting my neighbors extension cord came to mind.
It would be so easy just sneak across the yard and add on to his cord..the plan all arranged in my mind,but the deed left undone.
In the Bible God talks about all sorts of coveting of ones neighbors goods,like wives,man servants,maidservant,even ones ass,as in donkey,but no where does it say anything about his electrical cord...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Opposite But Equal Reaction

Einstein said that "every action has an opposite and equal reaction."
Life is also like this theory.
Everything we do,or do not do,in our day to day,moment to moment existence effects not only us but those around us.
It's not just the good things we do its also the bad and ignored things we do not do.
Our lives touch and effect all those near and far for the better or worse of each and every ones life force.
If we do small amounts of good we effect the good in the lives of others and vise verse,but if we do even small amounts of bad,or nothing at all,then bad and ignorance goes and comes into the world around us.
Opposite and equal does not just mean the physical things we do,it also means the spiritual and mental.
To say bad or good,do bad or good or even think bad or good is like a vibration,or wave,that extends from you to those around you.
To not be there for those in need because of your own selfishness,makes you an isolationist allowing others near by you to lose faith,trust and hope.
What could be a great and loving monument to God turns into a pile of confused rubble because you could not be bothered with the welfare of others.
Those of us who work with people on a daily basis know that one moment of self indulgence can lead to an others missed opportunity of hope and need.
Good equals,in most cases,good while evil self centeredness leads to isolation and lack of motivation,in both directions.
To build in the face of difficulties is never easy but to simply walk away is a sin before not only those in need but in the eyes of God himself.
What you put into the world around you is also what effects the world around you,opposite and equal reaction to all forms of matter in this universe.
If you who have great faith,walk away from your duties and responsibilities,how can you expect those with little to be any more interested then you are?
Opposite and equal reaction...Jesus understood this theory.
Even before Einstein penned this principle on paper,Jesus lived it all the way to the end of his mortal life and beyond.
Can any less be asked of us?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sharing The Harvest

I live in the small town of Thompson.
We have many houses and some have small,home style gardens,what they called,during world war two a victory garden.
Just big enough to feed your family,with some left over to store for the upcoming fall and winter months ahead.
Today while coming home from the grocery store,one of my neighbors had a basket of squash,sitting on top of a folding chair,with a small cardboard sign in front that said "free".
This is not an uncommon sight around here,many people get a bumper crop of vegetables all at once and since they can not possibly store so much they share with those in want or need,asking for nothing in return.
Today I got to thinking about when Jesus and his disciples were walking through the wheat fields,on a Sabbath day and decided to eat some of the wheat heads,related to their hunger.
Later a Pharisee reprimanded him for picking crops on a Sabbath saying it was considered work and there fore a sin in the eyes of God.
Jesus told him that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath,in other words if your hungry you have the right to pick and eat because you are not doing work you are feeding your self,even on a holy day of rest.
God wants his children's needs to be met and hunger is one of those needs.
Did you ever wonder why Jesus was not reprimanded for taking food that did not belong to him?
Back in the times of Moses,when God spoke to him,he made it clear that every Jewish person who raised and harvested food,had to leave the outer perimeters of their fields unharvested just so the poor and hungry could have some,because it was,and still is,our mission as children of God to take care of our neighbors needs by feeding the hungry,clothing the poor,helping the widows and orphans and not making people feel ashamed of their poverty.
We are to this day,to give open handily what every we can to those less fortunate.
My neighbors,through the goodness of their hearts,and not wanting food to go to waste,may not know it but they too are following this law from God and helping their neighbor by offering free vegetables to those who want or need them.
God bless their generosity,even if they don't realize what they are doing.
They may not know it but not wanting gain from what they are offering is the greatest blessing of all in the eyes of God.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Today is to be almost 100 degrees.
Hot for us folks in New England and as we say here in the northern states,it's not the heat its the humidity,that will do you in.
I try not to spend to much time complaining about how hot it is,first because it's the middle of July and the hottest part of summer and second because there are many people,not just in this country but around the world,who are suffering from extreme heat conditions.
When my son was in Iraq,I never complained about how hot it was here,100 degrees pales in comparison to 130 degrees in a desert with full military packs on your back,doing guard duty for hours on end.
So as you can see what seems so bad to us for a few day is really just a nuisance while those we don't know are really suffering with hot weather.
I have always wondered how during the days before of fans and air conditioners,people could live in our hot southern states,year round.
No wonder people died so young.
God bless those people who went west in covered wagons,with long hot clothes on
and no comforts at all.
Today we are spoiled,complaining about the heat as we get into our air conditioned cars then head over to the nearby convenience store to pick up an icy cold,over sized drink.
So we have hot summers but as my Priest Father Peter says during humid uncomfortable Sunday morning Liturgies "its better to be hot here,then in the here after".
Words to live by.
No frosty freezes or big gulps in hell.
Stay cool and remember fall is coming,now I know why I love that time of year so much.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Zero Growth And The U.N.

Back in the mid to late 1970's,during our awaking to the environment,many people touted zero population growth.In other words you should have one child and no more then two,in order to help save our environment and let everyone be able to have food around the world.
Our sacrifice would help the world at large.
This morning while listening to a Rhode Island talk radio station,it came out that the U.N. has set up a committee along with a green committee,to tell us,in the developed world,not the third world,that we need to once again go back to the idea of no more then two children,in order to save our planet.
Seems our future children would cause an excess in carbon in our future foot prints.
Only the developed nations,at present,are to blame because we consume more then any other parts of the third world,thus causing more destruction.The U.N. and this green committee feel to have more then two children,in say the United States,is well,selfish.
Who should tell us how many children is the right amount for you to have and raise?
Should this be a joint decision between two consenting adults or the United Nations,who by the way can't even run their own organization with any credibility,as noted by all the world genocide and their inability to intervine or stop it.
I believe that the number of children you choose to have should be up to you,has long as you are not expecting the government to assist in your income to raise these children,the choice sits on your shoulders.
Personal I'm tired of so called well meaning educated people telling me what I can and can not do with my body and family.
Children are a gift and according to the Bible we were given dominion over the earth and not the other way around.
People who believe in the greenness of the earth and planet need to understand that since we are in the image and likeness of God,then our welfare comes before the creatures of the earth.
God created us to be one with nature and the animals around us,all the earth may be at our disposal,but we still need to be good stewards and not go out of our way to cause destruction and desolation.
God is in everything around us,sort of a combined spirit,but we have God breath within us and as such are above the animals and the planets.
If you can afford more then two children and are good,hard working,loving people,why not have as many children as you want,but with that said,I also do not believe you should be given any special tax breaks for more then two children or price reductions in health insurance family plans,To this day I can not understand why someone with five children should pay the same insurance premiums as my husband and I.
If you choose a large family you also need to chose a good income to go with it,welfare for more the two children should not be an option.
Since God gave us a brain its important to use it when deciding on how large a family to choose and how we chose to raise them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Church Garden And Festival

Seems this year every vacation I have had,has in some way been a working vacation.
So much to do in so many places and so little time to do it all.
This week as been no exception.
Taking time for pleasure just is not in my nature and it seems such a waste not to take advantage of these extra cool days to do much needed yard work both at our church and home.
Yesterday while raking and weeding my friend Laura and I decided to pick up some flowers and dress up the church yard for this weekend's up coming St. Micheal Romanian Orthodox,ethnic festival.
As we were checking out the flowers it came to mind that,due to his busy schedule,Fr. Peter's vegetable garden had nothing in it but some budding tomatoes,with plants on sale we decided to dress up this small bounty with leek plants,eggplant and string beans,we wouldn't want our little country garden not looking its very best for our up coming guest.
I'm a real vegetable growing person,some people like flowers,but I like watching vegetables grow.
Maybe its my selfish nature to gain from my labors,but their is nothing like fresh vegetables right off the vine.
Luckily the garden plot had very loose soil due to a previous evening's rain storm,so all the weeds came out very nicely with minimal labor.
I must admit it was very satisfying to see all those little plants staked up and in straight rows for the up coming days ahead.
Summers in new England,though hot and humid,are very short.We,unlike our southern neighbors,have only about ten good weeks to get it all in then before you know it fall is on our door steps,with frosty nights to follow.
In the up coming weeks the joy of these simple fruits of the earth blooming to their full capacity will be a sight to see.
Since this year I did not get to plant my own garden,due to all the rain we have had,it kind of makes me feel like,in some small way,that this is my contribution to my desires earlier in the season.
So after several days of my small contributions,the yard and flowers are in place all ready for the up coming festivities and joy to be had on Sunday afternoon.
On July 17,2011 If you are in the area of St. Michael Orthodox Church,on Romanian avenue in Southbridge,we will be offering liturgy at 10am and an afternoon of food,fun and beauty,please stop by and take in all the sights and sounds of a wonderful warm summer day filled with friends both old and new and become apart of our wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Childhood Obesity and Foster Homes

If your the parent of a super obese child should your state have the right to remove your child and place him or her into a foster home,even if your a good and loving parent?
Seems the Journal of the American Medical Association says yes,they feel that putting children into foster care,in extreme cases,is better then obesity surgery.
Dr. David Ludwig,an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital in Boston says the point is not to blame the parent but rather act in the child's best interest and get them help for whatever reason their parents can't provide.
State interventions will support not just the child but the whole family with the goal of reuniting the child and family as soon as possible and may require instructions on parenting.
Despite the discomfort posed by state intervention,it may become sometimes necessary to protect a child.
O.K. now I don't know what your opinion is but the first thing that jumped into my mind,after reading this article in today's Telegram and Gazette,was "Nanny State".
This doctor talks as if taking a child out of a loving environment,temporarily,is like removing a cockier spaniel from its home as if there is no such thing as family dimensions or feelings involved.
How traumatic would a child feel to know they are being taken away from their home and placed in a strangers house because they can not control their eating.
True extreme obesity is not good,no three year old should way ninety pounds and no fourteen year old should weight five hundred pounds,but you know it wasn't that long ago that parents wanted chubby children because they believed it was healthy.
I understand that childhood diabetes,high blood pressure and breathing problems are not a good way to have a childhood but I also understand we live in sedentary,high calorie fast food world with junk thrown in our faces all the time through advertisements and easy access.
Poor nutrition and poor incomes go hand in hand since junk food is cheaper to buy then nutritious food.
But maybe we should be encouraging children to exercise and eat properly in our school systems,who by the way are some of the worst food offenses to begin with,proving how well the state and government can run a diet plan.
When town budgets get tight the first thing schools choose to get rid of is P.E.
When I went to grammar school we had recess three times a day and were encouraged to play ball and jump rope,as a matter of fact most of us did not want to come in when the bell rang for next period.
Many new schools are built with elaborate gymnasiums,sports fields and complexes,for the soul purpose of kids getting exercise,not just for the jocks and the school athletic teams,but for all the kids attending that school system.
We don't need to be disrupting children's lives we need to be encouraging classes on good eating,going outside,exercise and having fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Church Teachings/To Little To Late

The other day while watching EWTN the bishop from New York was being interviewed about the gay marriage vote that had just passed and where the church stands on this issue.
The Bishop said that he was saddened by the outcome and it is still unacceptable for the Catholic Church to condone same sex marriages.The stand of the church is that marriage is for procreation and must be entered into by two people of the opposite not the same sex.
When asked what steps the church was taking abut this issue,the bishop said that no elected New York State official will be allowed at any Catholic Church or school to speak,this includes even those who voted against this bill,since he feels,they had not worked hard enough to stop the positive outcome of this vote.
When asked what the church was willing to do to those who run for future elected offices in New York and tout that they are good Catholics on the campaign trail in order to garner votes,yet voted in favor of this bill,he basically said there was not much to do.
Since the 1960's churches have become unable to say what they stand for or speak out about what they believe for fear of losing both parishioners and income.
This issue is not just a Catholic problem but a Christian problem,John the Baptist may have been willing to lose his head for his beliefs but not our modern day,feel good religious institutions.
We are becoming a country of christian cowards,to afraid to say what we believe because we either don't want to offend someone or deal with the hassle of not being liked,we don't have time in our daily lives for such things.
In my opinion the church leaders have a moral obligation to tell their parishioners what it does and does not believe,so each person has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Its to little to disagree with what is being passed in government when you put your head in the sand and at the last minutes say "oh wait church teachings go against what you just voted in."
At Sunday Liturgy we say we are one united and Catholic Church,but as my priest Father Peter says,we really are not, our beliefs,from religion to religion,are all over the board.
We have religions in this country that have watered down the rules so much that their own clergy do not follow what the church teaches.
They make the rules up as they go along because its to distasteful to have to stand up and say we do not allow this or that action because Jesus tells us they are not what is expected from us.
Sorry religion is not a democracy nor a popularity contest.
As we become more secular in our supposed faith base churches we lose the very reason for being a religion.
We are no longer an anchor of hope or beacon of light but a social club that talks flowery words but will not stand up for its thousands of years of teaching and laws.
The problem when clergy refuses to stand up for the rules is they too begin to break them causing their parishioners to not expect much from their own behavior.
We are called to be in the world but not of the world and our claims to be Christians start with our beliefs,taught to us by our higher ups in the faith.Clergy need to make it clear to the people in the pews what is and is not acceptable,then call people to task when they are about to or have already made mistakes against religious beliefs held by their faith.
On the day we are called to judgement,those who preach and teach the faith will be held to a higher standing then the rest of the world,they hold in their hands the souls of others.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Standing Alone

When Jesus was arrested and crucified all,but one of his apostles,ran away for fear they would be next.
Most hid out in a dark upper room trembling in fear,losing the faith that their,now thought,deceased teacher,had spent three years trying to reinforce in them.
Fear can drive even the bravest person to their knees and whats worse,is the loss of those you counted on the most to stand firm next to you in times of trouble.
Most people will tell you that you know who your real friends are by the way they stand in your presence during times of perseverance.
Harry Truman once told one of his troubled cabinet member "you stand next to me and I'll stand next to you."
This is what a true friend does,they stand firm next to you and if need be they hold you up while those around you repeatedly try to knock you to the ground.
We live in a world that prides its self on opposites.
First you are told how wonderful it is to be loving and giving and with the same breath your told how stupid and foolish you are to give away what you have.
When Jesus came to earth he taught us that being a faithful person means wanting what everyone else feels is foolish.
Giving to the poor,feeding the hungry,visiting the sick and imprisoned are all noble ideas but in this fallen world they are viewed as stupid especially when you are effective.
No one wants to turn the other cheek and no one wants to stand alone.
Its a lonely position to be abandoned and its humiliating to think those who profess to love you the most will turn their backs on you like an enemy.
But you know being alone can be a refreshing thing because it makes you understand that the only one you can count on is yourself and God,the only person who will never abandon you.
God picks the foolish to confound the world and abandonment goes hand in hand with striving for full achievement.
The world will hate you but God will always love you.
Not my will but yours is easier to said then to done.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unity In Conversion

I have been a convert to the Orthodox Religion for almost 5 years now.
In that time the road,though straight by faith,was not always so by community.
When you join the Orthodox faith you begin to find out quickly that people of tradition,nationally not biblical,can be very daunting and challenging to deal with.
To a new member it becomes apparent that sometimes the line between belief in nationality and religion can become blurred.
As I have matured,faith wise,the knowledge that I am not only stubborn but persistent has now been instilled in me.
I am coming to peace with who these traditional orthodox people from far off lands, are in their pride of heritage,just as in my own lineage.
Some people convert over to a faith and allow them selves to be lost in an others ethnicity,this is not good,God says we are to lose our old selves,but not lose our personal identity,the good parts of us.
A closed society is never a good thing,if growth is a priority.
One day while reading the bible it dawned on me,that I,like the first Gentile Christians,was trying to fit into an old set of traditionalist,whom at that time were the Jewish Christians.
Exactly how do you believe in the one true faith with out losing the best of yourself in the process.
The apostles Peter and Paul faced this dilemma them selves,Peter wanting these new Gentiles to fit in with the Jewish customs,while Paul pushed for different rules for the Gentile followers,which would be just has sacrifical and meaningful for them.
Accommodation,allows the new people entering the community,to assist the old traditionalist in growing and maintaining a community .
For many years now the Orthodox Church as not deemed it necessary for anyone but their own nationality ,to enter because the numbers were in their favor,now not so much so and those who felt locked out because of language have started to enter in larger numbers.
It's hard to keep a good thing under wraps forever and lets face it we are all God children not just a chosen few.
Inclusion should be the word of the church and with it a need to understand that social,not doctoral,change is needed in the eyes of the old to the new.
When you enter a religion you should take off the old like a cloak and put on the new like a suit of armor,always ready for the battle ahead.
But that warfare should not be with each other in the church.
No one group is better then another and no one idea is clearer.
Instead we should see that the old ideas that one has should be marred with the new.
Just has a marriage between an Orthodox person and none Orthodox person blends to make one a more rounded individual,so should our ethnic communities.
We as Americans are a melting pot for everyone from every walk of life and our religion should reflect this diversity with out changing our faithful doctrine and integrity.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Half Truths

We talk allot about lying and gossiping but what about misleading others with half truths.
Recently I read about how a certain lawyer was upset with the work of a kind local priest and his helper at a Tornado Assistance Warehouse in Southbridge Mass.
When a Tornado hit their town on June the first,being a good and caring Priest,he jump in to help by starting a collection and distribution point for donated food items,in his church hall.
As the need became greater,a near by warehouse offered to allow it self to be used so many more could be helped.
Several weeks passed,and it became apparent that the number of tornado victims were dwindling but those willing to take advantage of the system,were increasing.
With help becoming short and need less,it was decided that the local food bank could more efficiently distribute what was left.
Now as with any intriguing story of goodness comes the villain,who feels that the decisions made were inappropriate because he could not be the hero,so the time had come to rock the boat of happiness.
In this story the evil town official,who belongs to a certain fire precinct,decides its time to get the police involved and file Fraud charges and of course involve a lawyer,who,by the way, is more then happy to use such words to describe said assistant of the ware house as unemployed,out of state and lawyer,just to grab the attention needed to derail this priest on face book and attempt to defame both of their characters.
Trying to turn a good deed into something much less,with the simple use of key words,causing the readers to doubt the innocence and true intent of both involved.
I have come to the conclusion that half truths are probably more harmful then full lies,because we leave only the necessary parts for conviction and suspicion in while deleting the entire story,thus killing a character.
Trust me I have nothing against Lawyers,but it has been noticed by me,that they do have a tendency to artfully use such language in an attempt to gain the advantage.
Jesus talks about loving our brothers and says that we are not to bear false witness against them.
This was so important to God that he placed it as a law in the Ten Commandments,thus making it a command not a suggestion.
Half truths are just that,the bearing of false witness told by one person to another in order to miss lead the hearers thought process,thus leaving the victim no defense,since what is being said is partial yet truthful.
The destruction occurs to ones character because only the negative words mentioned about the victim now stick in the hearers mind.
A word like fraud is hard to shake even when proven innocent with the real facts.
You know the devil works in terrible ways,when ever you are doing good he will attack and do whatever damage he can in what ever way he can.
Your job is to stand up and fight back while still maintaining love for the person who attacked you.
In the Bible there is a passage where Jesus is talking about having to go into the city and how they will kill him,Peter says something to the effect of him not going but Jesus tells him "Get behind me Satan."
Jesus did not mean that Peter was Satan,he meant that the evil one was speaking through Peter.
Satan does these things.
He will tempt you with everything he can and when you will not fall he will use the ones around you to help push you down,including those closest to you.
What can you do in the face of such evil and slander?
You must stand up and bring it to the light.
The evil one loves the darkness because the possibilities are endless in that realm.
Our minds can play terrible tricks on us but once something is brought to the light it is made clean and what we thought was horrible really is only a squabble.
Sometimes bad things happen to us to show us just how much support we really have all around us.
It puts our friends and family in a position to show how strong they are for us and how united they can be with us in times of pain,sorrow or trouble.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Food, Weight And Faith

Muscle weighs more then fat,at least that's what they tell me.
Seems for the past three mornings I have gotten out of bed,gone to the bathroom and weighted myself only to find another pound steering back at me.
Personally I think the scale has an issue because heaven knows it can't be me.
My week has been a busy one,what with sweeping the church walk ways,mowing the grass and general house work,tell me how does one have time to put on weight?
OK now true eating better food would help relieve me of some tonnage,but even low fat frozen yogurt,when eaten in mass quantities is still useless calories.
The Bible say that our body is a temple,well this one is in some major need of over haul.
Food is a wonderful thing and we live in a country that spends way to much time hoarding then denying ourselves of its pleasures.
I remember reading a book called "Angela's Ashes",about this poor Irish family whose children,while growing up, never got enough to eat.
One day the eldest son hears how people in America actually diet and restrain the amount of food they eat because they have to much.
Reading that sure puts a light this subject.
We are a nation of plenty and enjoy ever morsel we can get our hands on.
I know more people on diet restrictions related to health or well being issues,then I know people who truly go hungry form lack of access to food.
Some times on weekends,the nurse on third shift will talk to me about the years she grew up in Kenya and how many children there are lucky to get one bowl of oatmeal or cereal in an entire day.
Funny how we have so much and they so little,I hate to say this but even our own poor and hungry people in this nation do no know what its like to go with out,like people in other countries do.
Here we can always find someone somewhere who will help our situation,be it church or government agency.
If you knocked on any churches door,saying "I'm hungry" most would feed you.
Weeks ago while at my hairdressers,we got on the subject of religion and land ownership.
He told me that several generations back his family became Muslim.
When the Turks over threw Macedonia they told people they could live and be fed simply by joining their faith,or they could die.
This religious ploy has been used by many faiths,for thousands of years and has served to do nothing but force most people into religions that today,most do not choose to practice or participate in,do to the bad feelings of being forced to join.
Food and their restrictions have been an issue since the days of Adam and Eve and will remain so til the end of time.
There will always be those with,those with out,those who hold the power and those who do not.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Natural Peace

The nice thing about this time of year is it's warm enough to do yard work but cool enough to enjoy the nature that surrounds us.
The flowers in bloom,the birds and butterflies are everywhere,all that is required of you the viewer,is to sit quietly and watch in wonder as Mother Nature preforms her magic all around.
Thursday afternoon our Church had its biweekly Community Meal.
As the supper was winding down several of us went outside to sit at the table on the deck.
It was a lovely evening to be with each other,recounting our days' events,while the birds came to pick at the newly filled feeders,in the near by flower gardens.
The warm breeze around us and the brightness of our laughter,helped bring a glow equal to that of the soft setting sun.
Roses and flowers everywhere with smells filling ones senses only adding to the enjoyment of our shared evening meal.
It's not hard to feel close to God when nature and fellowship are blended together all around you.
Most people think "church" requires a building with repeated prayers but just enjoying each others company,able to embrace happiness and joy,is as much fellowship to the soul as Liturgy.
Becoming one with the things around us causes us to become one with God himself.
Most people do not realize that what you fill your senses with is what you become.
Some say watching violence,listening to harsh language or seeing things that are not good make no impression on us.
But I remember hearing to a female minister who said "what enters through the brain,goes into the heart then comes out of the mouth."
When peace fills our senses,it also fills our being and makes us better then we thought we could be.
In the Bible Jesus talks about giving and leaving us his peace,I think an evening such as this is exactly what he had in mind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No Job To Small

Growing up I was the middle of three children.
Many times I was either to young or to old to do the things my siblings were,this was very frustrating,since in my mind I knew I could do what ever either of them were doing.
It's hard in this life to realize that although you want to do things,they are not always the things needed from you.
Mother Teresa tells a story of a young woman who was disabled.She wanted desperately to help the poor and sick but in her bed ridden condition was unable,feeling very sad to be of no service she expressed her desire to some how help.
Mother suggested she could be a prayer buddy,she would be assigned the name of a person in the field who was doing the hands on work and she would be that person spiritual pal.
We are all able to do many things,but not everything is up to us to do.
Why when we are able and capable to carry out what others are doing are we not asked?
Sometimes,it's just not our turn.
Not being allowed to do something does not mean we are unable,incapable or unwelcome, it just means it's someone else time to shine.
Prayer is very mighty and although we profess its greatness we never seem to want to be the ones doing it.
Patience is also a virtue but one most of us don't really want to learn.
My son was in the military for 9 nine years and every soldier in his troop had a special position to do.
Some were leaders,some doers and some did paper work but all worked together to get the main job done.
The apostles job would have been much harder if no one had been working back up.
Does this make those people less?
No,in God mind there is no lesser or greater when doing his work.
Mother Teresa talks of how we are like the interior of a watch.
Some pieces great,some small,some expensive and some plastic but together it all works,causing the watch to run.
If even one insignificant piece stopped running the whole watch would grind to a halt and nothing would happen.
If we stopped looking at things in the worldly fashion of only the important do important things and look at in the fashion of God,we would understand that all jobs are important.
From the smallest to the greatest we all contribute to the entire picture.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Giving And Takiing

Let's say it's a very hot day and you're walking down the street,when suddenly you decided to stop at a local grocery store to buy a bottle of nice cool water.
As you enter the store you notice a sale on bottled water,but its a store brand not a name brand.
Thinking the sale is a a good bargain and water is water,you decide to go with the store brand.
The sign says buy one bottle and get one free,so you grab both bottles and happily go on your way.
Feeling that you made a smart money move and knowing that tomorrow morning you will have enough change to treat your self to a cup of coffee,you continue to walk out of the store.
While heading down the side walk,a stranger comes to you and says he is very thirsty,but has no money and really wants some thing to drink.
Being a Christian and thinking this is your opportunity to do good,you pull out your second bottle of water and offer it to him.
Now what if when you handed him the bottle,he looked at the label and remarked this was a store brand and he preferred a better quality brand like Dissani.
What would you do?
Would you go back into the store,take the change you have left and buy him the better brand of water or would you say sorry but this is what I have to offer?
Does a person on the receiving end have a need to appreciate what is being offered or do they have the right to expect more,especially from those they view as having possibly more to offer?
Jesus says if someone ask you for anything you are to give it to them.
But choices were different in his day.
Water was just drawn from a well and food was bread or what ever could be grown or caught.
Many people came to him to ask for cures and healings but what if the man who was given his sight,came back and said "you know I have brown eyes,I really wanted blue ones,they are more stylish you know?"
What do you think Jesus would have said?
I understand that people who donate items to food shelters or natural disasters ware houses,should give at least things,they themselves would use,but what if what was given was done so with love,charity and the knowledge that more could be bought with the money they have,if they where to purchase a store label product.
My mother always said that "A beggar should not be a chooser and you should be grateful for what ever you are given."
Are we becoming a nation that is confusing its wants with its needs?
So whats the answer?
I tend to think that what is in the heart of the giver when donating is more important then the name on the can or bottle.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Caged Soul

M.Gandhi said something to the effect of: If our body is a locked cage,that contains our soul,why would we do something so bad has murder another person,on the whim of a cage,never allowing our soul to be set free at our death and go on to our God.

Family Reunion

Yesterday started with a service of Saturday of Souls,which was very fitting because after Liturgy we attended a family reunion and my uncle's 85Th birthday party.
To say my family as shrunk would be an understatement.
In a two year period we lost about 9 people and not just the elderly relatives.
Families are very important,its good to look back on who you were and what you have become.
Luckily for us we have no relatives in jail,at present
We have all turned out rather well,we hold jobs,have some education and most have families.
Some of us are parents and most are grandparents.
I believe our own grandparents would have been proud of us,we all established the American dream of life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Growing up we were a close knit group,spending most of our Sundays in the Summer at my parents cottage.
Swimming,marshmallow toasting,bar be queuing and watching the Lawrence Welk show in the evening,before making our way back home.
Now we have very little contact with each other,although Face book has helped to reconnect some of us.
All in all we have mostly had good lives,though bumps and pot holes in the personal road of life was inevitable.
Hopefully next year we can do this party again and maybe convince more of our relative to come and join us.
Next time we'll pull out my fathers 8mm films,now that will be worth a laugh.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Good People

We live in a country where if you do something wrong you will be put in the newspapers,on TV and make the web,for weeks,months or even years,but what about the good people?
Last week a tornado hit the Massachusetts area running from Sturbridge up to Worcester.
Great losses were had by those people laying in its path.
Siding gone,roofs blown off and trees not only broken but some,literally twisted.
Although the media has covered this tragedy for several days it is still a reality for those who now have to face and live the loss everyday.
The scars do not just fill a person with a sense tragedy ,but also a sense of personal insecurity.
Though I have never been a part of such a bad weather occurrence I can only imagine the fear these people went through as storms rolled over their neighborhoods and into their houses.
How does a person ever face thunder or high winds again with out the events of this particular storm playing through ones mind and nervous system.
The media has missed those who are now reaching out to others,with their time and talent.
Carpenters,roofers,electricians and tree cutters,all donating what they have of themselves to others.
The donations are coming in for food and drink not only for man but pet alike.
Several teddy bears sit on the donation table at St. Michael Orthodox Church,holding out their soft fuzzy arms in comfort for any one willing to pick them up and give them a tight squeeze.
St. James says that faith with out works counts for nothing.
We live in a country of people whose ancestors came here with little to no material items or cash.
Though they had nothing to give they taught their children and grandchildren the importance of helping others in times of need.
Here in New England we get labeled for being cold and uncaring,but this is not true,we know when to assist and are some of the most generous people you will ever meet.
I've heard it said we should not call our selves a Christian nation,but when we live a Christian lifestyle,then show those around us the best of what Jesus taught us,we are at that moment,who we are meant to be.
Gandhi said if Christians lived their lives as Jesus taught then there would be no need for any other religion.
The Good people may go unnoticed by the media while the bad make the headlines but that's OK because the light always shines brightest in the darkest part of the night.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being Judgemental

The other day while flipping through the channels I came across an interviewer,who is known to be very liberal in her opinions,she was interviewing Chaz Bono formally know as Chastity Bono.
Seems he has had all the things done to her to now make her a him and he has written a book about his experiences.
Chaz mother,Cher is none to happy with this transformation and his mother is having a hard time dealing with this whole thing.
The interviewer said "I don't understand how some one like your mother could treat you the way she does,I mean hasn't she always been around gay people like fashion designers,make up and costume people? Why should she be so upset about your being gay?"
I have to hand it to Chaz his reply,in a most loving tone of voice,was "She's my mother."
I always find it funny how people who claim to be so liberal about others and their short comings are only understanding toward the short falls of those they agree with not the ones they don't.
For example this same interviewer could not understand why Donald Trumps daughter would convert and become an Orthodox Jew in order to marry her husband.
She went on to say "I can't understand why anyone would change their religion for another person,I would never do that."
You know we are all suppose to be understanding toward everyone not just the people we agree with.
The world is made up of all different kinds of people with all different kinds of personalities and lifestyles,although we may not sanction what they do,we are not to be judgemental or cruel toward anyone,be it by our words or actions.
Jesus never hated,or ridiculed the marginalized.
He understood that even when someone was living a lifestyle not conducive to the ways of his father,that did not make them a bad person,it made them confused.
That was why so many people were drawn to Jesus,he understood we all fall short of the mark,in other words we sin.
He never got upset with those who did not know better but he did get upset with those who did,like the Pharisees,or religious leaders of the day, who felt they were better then those around them and said so by their words and actions.
Jesus was our example of how to love all people
How you judge others will be how you will be judged and those of us who call ourselves Christians,will be judged in this fashion because we,like the Pharisees, know better.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marquette University Extended Health Care Benefits For Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships

Marquette University has announced that,beginning next year,it will extend health benefits to same sex domestic partners.University spokeswoman Kate Venne said the extension is contingent upon domestic partners registering their status with the Milwaukee County clerk's office.The county started registering same-sex couples as domestic partners last year.
Venne said there are currently 13 other Jesuit Colleges and universities that offer benefits to same-sex partners..
Article in the St. Anthony Messenger..June 2011
I thought this went against Catholic Teachings?
Not sure what message they are trying to send but isn't a Catholic College suppose to adhere to Catholic Teachings?
Maybe I'm wrong?
Wouldn't be the first time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Give 150.Com

Since I was a teenager I have always been interested in the Civil War.
My interest has brought me to Washington D.C. and Gettysburg multiple times,even attending a re-enactment one July 4 weekend over 10 years ago.
My husband Vic and I have visited many of the Virgina Battlefields both great and small ones and still to this day I long to spend my free time in search of more history.
The opportunity to see such great battle sites is a blessing,but alas with technology and buildings on the rise these fields,some day in the future,may only be a fond memory.
The loss of any historic site is a loss of who we are both our good and bad.
They say those who forget their past are bound to repeat it.
If your interested in helping to keep our Civil War History sites in the hands of the preservers and not the strip mall and condo builders,then please consider going to the web site " " and for every donation you make,even one as small as a $1.50,the history channel will match you.
So if you can give up one cup of coffee in the up coming week,you can save a piece of history for future generations.
We aren't in need of another strip mall but we our in need of our past.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stereotype Attacks

Ed Shultz learned the hard way that just because you don't like what a woman says or does,does not give you the right to call her a derogatory name.
Welcome to the year 2011 and still we think calling a woman a slut,is alright,because we happen to disagree with her words or actions.
Mind you not her sexual actions but her physical and political determinations to be out spoken and heard.
Why is it this sort of behavior considered almost acceptable,especially when I'm not hearing any women's groups up in arms about this word.
I was born in the 50's and raised into the years of the 70's,when this sort of thing would have been denounced by both the young men and women of that time.
Women's Liberation was suppose to help educate and eradicate this sort of mistreatment of women making us equal in respect to men.
But alas when ever a woman is not soft spoken or quite they must be a slut.
Seems judging women on how they dress or act is alright,especially if the woman is an outspoken conservative,like a Sarah Palin.
Who by the way was referred to as a "slutty stewardess" among other things.
Are you outspoken? opinionated? and a female? then you must be a "bitch".
Several weeks ago a friend of mine asked me why so many women in the Bible are prostitutes,they don't seem to be given much respect.
This question struck home because I too also felt this way until I began to spend more time reading the words of Jesus and understood that women,at that time,were not treated well by there society and second Jesus loved the marginalized.
Weather or not these women were really prostitutes or just the strong out spoken women of their day is not clear,but what is clear is Jesus never used degrading terms when he spoke with them and he helped them see the best of themselves,in return these women where loyal followers who helped spread his words to others.
I reminded my friend that when Jesus was crucified women stood at the foot of his cross and when he rose from the dead women were the first to see him.
Hopefully in the future,with more women now going to college then men,this attitude of strong will and leadership will change over time,and we will find other terms to use when disagreements arise.
Sometimes just because something is in your brain does not mean it should be instantly allowed out of your mouth,especially when personal attacks are related to gender and stereotypes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Being A Good Shepard

Those of us who belong to churches,understand the importance of a good pastor.
The person who chooses to lead a parish also knows that what they teach and say holds great weight in the minds of their congregation.
Many times in the Bible Jesus warns us to be cautious of the leaders we choose to follow,he tells us that the time will come when those we think are trusted leaders, acting like Shepard's,will really be wolves in sheep's clothing.
Jesus knew that there would always be so called religious leaders trying to mislead and scam those who want desperately to believe and lead a good life.
The world is a dark place and many are drawn to the light,but not all light is equal in brightness.
Followers want to believe that those who speak the words of God,speak truth,but some speak only their truth.
Just because someone preaches biblical words,in the front of a congregation does not mean they speak honestly.
We as church people,like any good consumer,need to be smart enough to know what goods are being sold to us.
To many leaders are out to enrich their lives not yours.
A preacher who lives a million dollar lifestyle and takes advantage of the trust and money of the poor,innocent or misguided of the world,will on the day of judgement, be called to answer,not only for their mismanagement but also for the loss of another person essence and spirit.
So how do you choose a good leader ?
First compare what you are being taught with what the Bible says,things taken out of context are only half truths.
Never be afraid to ask as many questions as you can,a good leader will always be willing to help you find truth or lead you in the right direction for your answers.
If you feel uncomfortable about what you are being taught or it doesn't sound Jesus like,then leave the church and rethink why your sitting in this particular church's pew.
A church should be a place of love and your minister or priest a spiritual leader,who encourages not only your religious growth but your soul's maturity.

A Wedding Of Fate

It is believed in the Jewish faith that God is the ultimate match maker and until the moment is right we are pushed away from our future partners,then when all is in place,the hand of fate nudges us into position.
Yesterday was such a day.
12 years ago the nursing nursing home I worked for finished closing their doors and I was transferred to one of their other facilities.
At that time I was a nurses aid and came to work under a head nurse named Mary.
We both hit it off very well and soon began to confide in each other.
One day she told me how she was married to a Seven Days Adventist Teacher,had three grown children and spent most of her married life traveling with her husband from school to school,as they were in need of good teachers in their Adventist Schools System.
This constant transferring of her husband made married life difficult and with her children grown the idea of settling in one place grew greater in her heart.
Finlay the time came when they mutually agreed they could no longer live this life style together.
Mary wanted to just settle down and grow a garden,which she could watch expand and flourish year by year.
Since she had a married daughter living in Webster and there were job openings at the local nursing home,she decided to jump at the chance for stability.
We continued our conversation with her telling me she had just ended a long distant relationship with a Seven Days Adventist School Principle,whom she had been friends with for many years and was feeling a bit lonely now.
I jokingly said "Mary you seem to like school teachers,if your interested I have a brother in law who is a school teacher who just ended a bad marriage and although he's very shy,I think you'd like him."
She agreed and with in months they went on their first date and became inseparable, from then on.
Yesterday,after 11 years,they decided to tie the knot and become man and wife.
At a quite little restaurant in Pomfret,Conn.with Friends and family not only in attendance but in participation,they did just that
This is the first wedding I have ever attended where the bride and grooms' family were both on personal relationships with each other.
At the moment of saying "I do" and being made husband and wife an entire room of people became relatives,as if a satin bow of love had been tied around each and every one of us
Funny how life is,as I was talking to the brides daughter,I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit,as if the warmth of the sunlight shining through the windows was falling down upon us and filling our hearts with completeness,like this was always meant to be,the time was right and the hand of fate was ready.
This family marriage ceremony started with Reverend Rice,a cousin of the bride,officiating,the organist,a granddaughter,playing the entrance music,the bride on the arm of her brother,soloist music by another granddaughter,gospile passage reading by the groom brother and the male attendents and brides maids all children of both future husband and wife.
It was truly a uniting and as we Orthodox and Seven Days Adventist stood together,side by side, it was as if the East was meeting the West to form an extended horizon through out time and space,from present to future.
The minister spoke of a day in history,May 22,1908,when a young bride named Mary married a dashing groom called William and these two were to become the present day grandparents of this particular Mary.
So congratulation to the new couple married May 22,2011 also named William and Mary.
Once again the hand of God,the ultimate match maker,has united another couple in love.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Degrees Of Sin

When I was a Catholic it was taught to me that sin could be divided into two groups,mortal and venial.
Venal being the little white lies,sins that are bad but not terrible,they might send you to purgatory but you'll be forgiven for them in the end.
Then there are Mortal sins those that could give you a direct ticket into hell unless you repented and asked for real forgiveness.
The Orthodox Religion sees no difference,sin is sin no matter how small or how great,its all the same.
Sin distances us from God,mankind and our selves.
This week in Bible Study we are reading James,the brother of Jesus,in chapter 2:10-11
he says:"For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point,he is guilty of all".
"For he who said do not commit adultery also said do not murder".
What this all means is when you commit a minor sin you are just as guilty as if you transgressed on a more powerful sin.
How can adultery be equal to murder,you may ask?
In order to commit adultery one or both of you must be married and when you have an adulterous relationship,you are dragging not only your own body into this union,but also your unknowing spouse and children.
On the day a person is married they are made as one body,when you do evil with your body you are also dragging your married half into the affair,with you thus stealing their ness.
Now ness is a person's very make up,what makes then who they are,their knowledge of themselves.
Committing adultery is being made less because now you have soiled your partners very being of who they thought they were.
Like the spouse of a faithful loving person,who is trust able and above reproach.
Your act has caused the death of a vowed relationship,the admiration and trust of your children,even before its brought to the light.
All sin is an abomination in the eyes of God.
Lying and cheating,no matter if done for good intentions,is still wrong.
The Ten Commandments were set up to help people understand that if you treat others properly then you will not commit any of these transgressions,because when you love someone you look out only for their well being.
Sin is sin.
There is no distinction,every sin wounds our closeness to God,we move just a few more steps away from him by our own choice.
Most sins are caused by our personal needs,like the seven deadly sins,our own ness choices to be inflated and those around us,are just articles used to gain another step up the ladder of ego,pride,sloth and self absorption.
Do all things with a mind to what you are truly doing,even the simple slips like white lies can cause pain to those you are not intentionally trying to wound.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rapture.. May 21,2011 ?

The end of the world is coming!..we'll at least that's what I've heard.
Seems May 21,2011 is the day of rapture when 144,000 people will be brought up into the heavens and the rest of us will remain here wondering what just happened.
Now out of all the billions of people living in the world 144,000 seems like an awful small minority to me.
Kind of like going to the casino and winning the really big jack pot.. you know the one that if you stay at the casino for 10 hours the numbers just keep adding up.
With that said,I am not getting my hopes up to high that I will be one of those people,so I guess my life goes on just as it should with the thought of continuing to work on my spiritual life a little every day and most likely each day will bring me one step closer to my own judgement day.
The Orthodox Church is not a believer of the rapture and since they don't believe neither do I,seems like they've been studying this whole religious thing since the times of the apostles and they have a better knowledge of this whole rapture thing then I do.
On the day that God decided to create what we now call Earth,he did not take the time to ask me what my opinion was on creation and how he was to carry it out,now that the end may be near,I'm thinking he's not concerned about my ideas on how to call it quits.
We all think we're so important that God him self would care to inform us of his plans.
Funny since the time of the early Christian Church,people have been trying to tell us when the world will end.
See the issue is even Jesus said he didn't know the day of judgement and since Jesus was not allowed such privileged information why would any mortal man,or woman think they would be better advised.
Our job here on this planet is not to worry or wonder about such things,but just be spiritually ready every day like the watchman before the dawn.
We are to love our God and our neighbor,everything else remains in God hands.
With that said if all works out,and I'm sure it will,I'll see you on may 22nd and we can all have a nice Sunday here on this side.
But if it doesn't ..well silly me guess I was wrong..wouldn't be the first time..