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.