Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
What is it to the world today if the Prince of Peace was born 2000 years ago if I cannot bring some of this peace into my life today? My call to live a life dedicated to peace on earth.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
What might he say? If anyone asked me, I know what I would say.
For example, I am thinking of a disillusioned young adult or teenager who has misplaced the meaning of Christmas or maybe never found meaning in it.
+ + +
AS IF from JESUS:
I am thinking of you today and figured it would be good if you KNEW it! All the gang is busy with parents and relatives and getting ready for Christmas. Right? Whatever. . . Tune out and plug in earbuds. . .
So Listen up. Today, I decided to tell you a little more about my first night as a baby boy. I mean, there I was all cool and sacred hanging around with my father (GOD) and the prophets (like Moses and Elijah) and angels. And GOD decides it’s THE time to change the world AGAIN!
I mean, like, WHY ME? Why not Michael theArchAngel? Or one of the retired prophets? But before I could ask, there I was in Bethlehem lying flat on my back discovering what a human feels like.
WHOA! I seem to know everything I need to know but here I am inside this baby boy’s body. WOW. I even have to learn HOW to use my eyes- you know – they open and close and move around a lot! And my hand is in my face a lot.
I sure can smell a lot in this stable. Stinky feet. Sweat. Animals. People. Poop. Even ME. It is amazing. We all have our own smells.
Like, here I am looking up at the bright shining light in the night sky while the people around me are sleeping and something nudges my head. Hey, it even licks my head! I look up and see the underside of a furry head that is bigger than my BODY! Holy Whatever!
I don’t remember any prophet telling about this! But it’s a friendly and grateful donkey. The odd thing is, this donkey is sniffing me and I even know how it feels. He is so happy he almost glows in this light. He is the one who carried me and my mother Mary all the way to Bethlehem. He is grateful for a rest. WHOA. What a story he has told me, without any words. I feel loved and safe even with all these other animals looking down at me and sniffing. Of course, I sniffed back.
Mary heard them moving around and looked into my manger bed. Oh My, is she ever glowing and beautiful! She has a radiant smile for me and picks me up. My tiny hands feel the rough cloth she wears and it is a lot different than the soft cloth she wrapped around me.
I am not sure if I smiled, but she did. And we both felt happy and sad. We both felt loved and safe, for now. Somehow, we both new my life as a human would be different and sometimes hard. So we both cherished these moments when I was an infant.
Hey, you know, there is so much more I could tell you. But what I want you to know today in the middle of all the crazy stuff that happens is that I love you today and I always will.
You know, I am one friend who will be there always. My world as a human was a lot different than yours is, but you would be surprised to know how much of what you feel, I have already felt! My life was real. Edit THAT! I AM real.
Be cool and remember that Christmas is my birthday, okay? Even if others forget, or maybe never knew. Sure, you can tell them if you want, how else will they know? Show them where to learn more about me. Show them a Bible or a website if you want, but pay attention, there are a lot of ‘crazies ‘out there, you know the ‘false prophets’. Take a look at the book of Luke in Chapter 2 for the story about my birthday.
Go ahead and trust me. GOD loves you and so do I.
Your loving friend,
+ + +
Well, that is how I imagine it would sound today. You can send those friends a card in the real mail if you want to. Just go here and I will give them a real message too.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Ask for a Letter from Jesus
It will be personalized with the information you provide.
Just let me know before the rush.
Orders placed after December 18 may be delayed.
There is an EarlyBird Discount 20%
AND a special promotion for Sister Bloggers. Buy one get one free!
For every card you purchase I will send a card to a random person on my special needs list.
Payable by Paypal for your convenience. Go to the Order Page Here.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
NOW. I want to share something YOU can DO that will encourage you to express YOUR gratitude. That is what Thanksgiving is about.
Apparently Xerox has a site you can go to, at the title link , where you can choose a postcard to sent to someone in the military to express your thanks for their service.
It does not matter if you agree with the politics or the economics or the war in Iraq. What DOEs matter is that our men and women are putting their lives on the line every hour of every day while they serve in the military.
I believe thanking them for their service is a simple thing to do and this site makes it easier yet.
Choose your child-made postcard and then follow the instructions to send your card by real mail.
You can choose your message or write one of your own. You will not know who receives the mail so in a way it is like a random act of kindness.
And that simple act of thanksgiving is in itself an act of peace.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
One side sees the commercial version and the other side sees the valuable version as I see it.
Besides, I still have the calendar on October in my room and I just noticed it today. duh.
The anguish of the unfinished tasks of this year lies heavy upon me though no one can ascribe guilt to me for any of it. . .except maybe for not changing my calendar. :-)
Distressing News and yet another crisis from Nature calls upon us to be generous again and again with our hearts and minds and if possible our bodies and wallets.
See the devastation in Bangladesh from the Cyclone. Notice the situation in Myanmar has not been resolved and yet even more children are killed by suicide bombers in Iraq.
Let us each give thanks for the tiny bit of peace in our hearts and lives, whenever we can find it.
And then let us each DO something tangible to BE PEACE and promote peace in our lives, our homes, our towns, villages, nations and our world. It will take people to change themselves.
We can influence and encourage, but no one can actually change another person.
Perhaps that is a part of the Gospel message. Rather than preaching the LAW at people, we need to get better at living the Gospel with forgiveness.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Now it is mid-October and I almost wonder what happened.
Well, I KNOW what happened. There was a family illness and that
knocked us all out of normal everyday awareness.
But the differences in our locations became very dramatic when
I got a letter saying. . . Fall is Over. And here, I am in
ALabama saying . . . Fall is just starting.
How simple it is when we keep in touch with the earth around us.
How complicated we make our lives when we do not give attention
to the simple things around us.
The crisis in Myanmar continues and has its waves of forward AND
Now we have a Nobel Prize winner who has championed the cause of the planet!
Kudos to Al Gore for sticking with it. Kudos to The Nobel Prize Committee for
being attuned to this significant world wide event.
I am reading about An earlier Nobel Prize winner... John Nash. THe math guy.
It has taught me more about systems and policies and the influence of mathematics on my life than I ever thought I would know or need to know. You know the book?
A Beautiful Mind. You may know it as the movie. It is worth reading. And perhaps seeing.
As many songs go... so do the seasons come and go.
If we give attention to each passing moment while it is here, even if time flies fast, we shall not have missed it. We may not NOTICE it, but we will have experienced it as fully as we could.
I think if we spend more time in THIS moment and less time arguing about the
NEXT moment all of us would have more peaceful and less stressful lives.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Actions speak louder than words. BE Peace today.
And how we treat our children speaks loudly and clearly about our values and our future.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
WHERE ARE THEY?
Do You Care? When DO human rights affect YOU?
Pray for our brothers and sisters all around the world.
Responding to protests with violence only feeds more violence and fuels the fires of discontent.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The teen who normally teaches that class had returned. All was well.
I was surprised when she told me how much they
- enjoyed the class
- learned in the class
- wanted to know when I would be back.
She may have just been polite, but she seemed to think they really learned something that will stick. Interesting. One never knows.
Soon tutoring will begin and for sure, one never knows about that either.
Sometimes the best I can do is try to keep the PEACE.
Friday, September 14, 2007
I said OK. Then I thought- right - what to teach- what has she been doing?
Well, I know the children from our Vacation Bible School program this summer, so there are
no real surprises there.
So, since they talked about Jonah and the Whale the week before, I decided to do the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.
I had fun preparing all the possible variations on the themes. Be sure to have a "coloring" activity. This group is mostly girls(it turned out to be mostly 4th graders too). Good grief!
I DO REMEMBER 4th grade! AND 3rd grade!
I had about 3 days worth of activities planned for this hour!( but I knew it). I just wanted to be ready to "go with the flow" since I had not worked in the Sunday School venue for years.
So there we go, I have made paper cut-outs for pencil puppets. (ask me what that means)
I have multi-colored terry cloth squares to "possibly" make a large coat of many colors.
I have a bright yellow t-shirt as a base. And I have read every imaginable variation of the story.
AND selected which one to use for a reading from the Bible.
I think "this is good for me- I am really studying this story and how it connects with everything... in history... in scripture... in this time... and with these children and with me". cool.
I wonder how they will respond. YES. I remember MY 4th grade class.
I asked them "What did you learn last week?' to a collection of blank stares.
I adapted: "What story did miss r. teach you last sunday?"
OH. Now comes some recognition. It was something about the dude with the whale.
Yeah, the guy the whale ate but didn't eat. What was his name? Oh yeah, Jonah. Jonah and the whale.
I think. Great. The best retention we MIGHT see from this lesson will be 'the dude with the coat that had lots of colors'.
And I had such great hopes. Not realistic, mind you, but great, nonetheless.
We got as far as coloring the picture, telling the story with the paper puppets and reading the memory verse once. Long before we got THAT far, the third grade girl was restless and on her trip to the bathroom she discovered that the other classes were done, so we should be too.
Ah. Sunday morning is a LOT different than summer VBS.
The only 2nd grader was a boy, who told his mother, the girls were rude, and he already knew the story. The restless third grader told her grandmother... (in response to: what did you learn today?)don't dump your brother in a pit or he will be sold to slaves.
Grandma adapted... What story was that? child replied... the dude with the coat of many colors.
And I went home with my multi-colored cloths and t-shirt and unfinished fun activities wondering which would have been better for them.
Maybe I did not really remember REAL 4th grade. I only remembered MY 4th grade.
Lesson learned. I hope miss r. does not go away again for a while.
Oh, I almost forgot. The lesson was all about brothers and only one of them had any brothers, so at first they did not see how it fit them.
Oh Yes. Two girls were swapping shoes but only one was doing it by consent. hm?
So we had a talk about personal property, sitting in one's own space and being jealous of someone else's shoes... how close is that to being jealous of your brother's coat? Would you sell each other into slavery because they had nicer shoes than you?
How we make our decisions everyday... this really can make a difference in our world.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Now that is not very unusual. What IS out of the ordinary was the guest speaker. A young man from Australia with boundless energy and spirit, Nick Vujicic, kept us on the edge of our seats.
This is a message about hope, about inner peace, about joy from the inside out, about life without limits.
This young fellow has a fantastic sense of humor, is well read, articulate and is currently touring the US. If you have the chance to see and hear him, it is well worth your effort.
Ma and I have not stopped referring to him or his message since we saw it last night.( of course, we took time out for sleeping and other things too!)
Nick puts a totally fresh perspective on the concept of DISABILITY in some ways like my friend
Mary Louise St. John, OSB, who used to refer to the concept of disability as inaccurate.
It is more accurate to refer to people as "temporarily able" because at any moment any one of us may find ourselves in different circumstances with diminished capacity of some kind.
I agreed with her, particularly as we all began to age.
Yet, when a person is BORN with a particular condition or illness, as she was(muscular dystrophy) and Nick was(no arms or legs), their perception of what is possible often exceeds what the average person imagines. To learn to live WITH something from the start requires a powerful commitment and deep faith to carry-on with everyday living. To experience diminishing capacity as a consequence of aging or accident really IS different and requires a different kind of response to continue. The faith and commitment are both needed, yet, they may not be readily available to the recently disabled.
I think of our returning vets, in particular. Their limb loss is often linked to violence and wartime atrocities. It gives them yet another hurdle to jump to reach the kind of limitless life that Nick demonstrates as he preaches. The coping , pain and attitude adjustments are not to be belittled in either case. Simply different approaches.
My Mother kept referring back to what it must have been like for Nick's MOTHER when she gave birth to a boy with no arms and no legs. Yet, after the initial shock, they did not give up.
I invite you to visit Nick's site and see what I am talking about. It may do YOU a world of good too.
Spread the word. God has a purpose for you too. Let it be filled with peace and real joy.
Yes, even as we hold the families of the Minneapolis Bridge collapse victims in our hearts and minds, let us embrace the bigger picture of peace beyond comprehension.
As my friend seeks peace tonight without HER best friend beside her, too.
As we face another HOT and rain-free week in the deep south, let us be mindful of the gifts we have been given and strive to use them well.
Life Without Limbs :: From life without limbs, to life without limits - Nick Vujicic is a motivational speaker and has a non-profit organization that is spreading the message of hope around the world.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
In this case, our friend Jim was suffering and it can only be considered a blessing for him to be granted relief from that.
We still feel his absence and the loss. It was rather swift. We only heard about his raging illness a few months ago.
It brings up a world of sadness in me to go through this with his wife.
You see the cancer that stole him from us is the kind of cancer that is very hard to detect. It is the kind that my own father had and by the time we discovered it, it was quite advanced. The same is true for young Jim.
I was fortunate. The cancer that stole part of me was fast and detected early.
We were able to get rid of it quickly and yet, the struggle and recovery were not to be diminished in importance.
CANCER Steals from us. Cancer Kills.
It appears to be peaceful but that is deceptive. It may be silent at first, but this silence is not peace. It is a harbinger of death and disease.
Be aware. Be alert.
Take good care of yourself. You only have one life to live as I know it. You only have one body(exceptions are possible for various parts).
Notice the difference between the silence of Peace and the silence of death.
Do your part to live a life of Peace.
Friday, July 13, 2007
I hope NOT.
I Think NOT.
I believe NOT.
While the intentions of these protesters may be to defend a perceived abuse of the First Commandment et. al. . . . Their choice to protest another believer's act of prayer or worship IS an infringement of THEIR right to freedom of religion in the very country they are being so concerned about.
There are about 2 million Indian Americans in the US many are Hindus. Many are NOT.
Whatever happened to "your huddled masses yearning to be free"?
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Global Warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation into the future. Global Warming
I prefer the phrase Global Climate Change.
Your political preferences are of little consequence unless you remember that the "personal is political" and the "political is personal".
July 7 2007 may be remembered in Las Vegas for its lucky numbers the 777 jackpot.
Yet on a broader scale, it may be noted as the day LIVE EARTH( http://www.liveearth.org/ ) took Global Warming to a new level of global awareness to billions of people. I hope so.
I want to share a video with you. I hope it takes here ok.
Friday, July 06, 2007
."o'er the ramparts we watched ...and the rockets
... the bombs bursting .... gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there..."
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
It is a more appropriate phrase to describe what happens when the temperature of the planet rises. We tend to think in terms of global warming and that does not convey the breadth of the problem. It is a LOT more like weather disruption or climatic chaos.
Find out more and Step it up with Global Action on a local level.
The message is Step it up Congress. Make 2007 a significant time of proactive and preventive changes for the people and all life on planet Earth.
The event is nationwide on April 14. Saturday.
Find one near you. Go and Support it. Tell your friends. And any other Earthlings you know.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
But Wait. This is the wrong century. That snow might have air pollutants in it. And that snow might not even be there in March when the Maple trees should be finishing up their sap runs!
For centuries people have tapped into the sweet sugar maple trees, particularly in New England where crisp clear winters have been so common for so long. Since the early 1970's winter temperatures in the NorthEast have gone up about 2 degrees overall. This can hurt the maple syrup business. Good golly it can hurt the MAPLE TREES themselves!
As the climate changes, trees may no longer be able to live in these regions. Some scientists predict the weather in New England is likely to be more like Virginia in the not too distant future. We will have to get our maple syrup from CANADA if we still can. We get a lot of it from there now.
“You might be tempted to say, well that’s a bunch of baloney — global warming,” said Mr. Morse, drilling his first tap holes this season in mid-February, as snow hugged the maples and Vermont braced for a record snowfall. “But the way I feel, we get too much warm. How many winters are we going to go with Decembers turning into short-sleeve weather, before the maple trees say, ‘I don’t like it here any more?’ ”
With climate change affecting tree species like this, I wonder what kind of trees will live in VIrginia or Alabama. Maybe I will choose to retire somewhere else, if I still have a choice by then.
What does this have to do with P E A C E ? Well, among other things, climate change that influences habitats for plants and animals will also be affecting crops and people. The interest and need to migrate to cooler locations is likely to become another border issue. The Air around our planet has no civic boundaries. Likewise, the temperature is no respector of political interests. In our recent past, when humans and nature have clashed it has been human nature to conquer nature, to control the problems, exterminate the pests, and so on.
I wonder when we shall learn that living WITH nature is healthier for all of us. . . plants... animals... and even humans! Particularly humans who stive to live in harmony with each other.
Peace be with you dear friends in this season of Lent. There is a pancake supper somewhere today. Enjoy one if you can.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Last night's victory for An Inconvenient Truth at the Academy Awards is bringing new attention to the urgent problem of global climate change. It follows closely the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts a very dangerous warming of several degrees Fahrenheit in coming decades if we do not change our present course.
Renewed attention to this issue couldn't come at a better time, as the new Congress in Washington -- after years of inaction -- now seems ready to address the problem. Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Sanders (I-VT) have just introduced the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007, which will achieve 80 percent emission reductions (from 1990 levels) by 2050, and provide strong incentives for renewable energy development.
Tell your senators: support the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007!
Climate change caused by global warming does not mean that all areas of the earth will get a little warmer. Instead, the consequences can best be thought of as "climate destabilization" -- stronger storms, longer droughts, deeper freezes, and more extreme heat waves -- with catastrophic results for human life all over the planet.
The United States, which is responsible for approximately 25% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, bears a special responsibility to start addressing this issue as soon as possible. It's long past time for Congress to take action.
Click here to tell your senators: support the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act.
Please share this message with everyone you know
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Will EastonManager, ActForChange.com Working Assets "
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Daffodils and crocuses are blooming. Folks are planting or tilling or spreading manure on the fields.
A time to green up the place and get ready to roll into the busy growing season.
That is, if you are a farmer.
But is it not also true that springtime is a good time for each of us to refresh and renew our goals and commitments? I think so.
Especially in these times of chaos and wars around the world.
Time again to affirm there IS hope and peace and new growth in this world of ours.
Soon it will be the season of MUD and we may not feel quite as joyful. So celebrate the sun today and accept the gifts from the universe and look for your fresh spring greens. Enjoy.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
So you already KNOW about Global Warming. And you THINK you know everything you need to know.
I accept that.
But sometimes what we THINK we know is not always enough. Do your believe your sources?
Did you learn enough "science" in school(or after) to understand the multitude of issues and possible effects on our home planet? Maybe.
What does it have to do with PEACE? Think a little.
I shall return to that question on another day.
Meanwhile do think about what YOU can do to reduce global warming today.
The fellow who wrote the article about 1 degree has some good ideas that go well beyond wearing buttons or t-shirts to proclaim your dedication or conviction.
Sure, he has his site to promote too, but beneath that lies some clever ideas worth taking the time to consider.
You might even decide to take some action and THAT would be a good thing for all peace-makers to do!
Tell your friends and colleagues too.
Send them a postcard from you.
Ask me how.
Friday, January 26, 2007
But seeing an adult eagle soar overhead and then "crashdive" to the surface of a lake to catch a fish with its feet. . . now that is inspiration. I say "crashdive" because that is somewhat descriptive, it is neither but both.
This is the season for wintering eagles in northern Alabama. I observed this meal in process at Lake Guntersville State Park.
There is an easy trail that also offers good eagle viewing possibilities- Cutchen Mine Trail. It is mostly level with orange blazes. Winter is the best time to hike here. With the leaves down the views of the lake(and birds) are really fine.
Summertime is too hot and humid for me to enjoy hiking in this part of the country.
That is nice, but why tell you here at a PEACE PLACE?
Well, I felt peaceful and serene in that place and the eagles were such symbols of freedom that I just connected them together. Peace. Freedom. Soaring. Eagles.
Yes, even Eagles eat. Watching the capture of its meal was more than enough to delight this observer. I was grateful it flew into the marshy grass area to eat it out of sight.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major.
Say that I was a drum major for justice.
Say that I was a drum major for peace.
Say that I was a drum major for righteousness.
And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
I won't have any money to leave behind.
I won't have the fine and luxurious things in life to leave behind.
But I just want to leave a committed life behind.
And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
if I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong,
then my living will not be in vain."
Excerpted from "The Drum Major Instinct", a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968. Available on CD and print in A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Indeed it is our lives and actions today that continue to MAKE a Difference.
Let Peace Begin On Earth
And Let it Begin with Me.
I first heard this song in Wilmington Delaware in 1970 at Gray Elementary School and it touched my heart and changed my life.
It was this experience with inner-city schools that planted the seeds of non-violence firmly in my heart.
Friday, January 12, 2007
United for Peace and Justice has produced bold, attention-getting stickers that highlight the Bush Administration's lies about Iraq and the vast toll those lies have taken in human lives.
They are making these eye-catching stickers available at cost: $25 per 500 (the minimum order) plus $5 for shipping and handling. At this price, you can spread the message far and wide.
To order, send a check made payable to "United for Peace and Justice" at: United for Peace and Justice P.O. Box 607 Times Square Station New York, NY 10108 Be sure to include your shipping address and the number of stickers you're ordering.
* ** * * * ** * * * * * * *
What's Bush's "new course" in Iraq?
Thousands more troops, billions more dollars -- a massive increase in the waste of lives and money in a war that can't be won and never should have happened.
It is past time to say NO.
The overwhelming majority of people in this country want this war to end now.
It is time to bring the troops -- all the troops -- home.
This Saturday, all across the country, people will voice their outrage at Bush's plans to escalate the war.
The Next Step - Saturday, January 27th More than ever, we need Congress to follow the will of the voters, take bold action, and cut off the funds for this war! We urgently need your help in spreading the word about the massive, politically crucial peace march in Washington, D.C., being planned for Saturday, January 27.
Go through your email address book today and forward this message to everyone you know who might possibly come to Washington on January 27 .
- Post information about the January 27 mobilization on every email list, website, and blog.
- Write a letter to your local newspaper about the protest.
- Call a local radio program.
- Spread the word today about January 27 and help
- Create a peace march so massive and so powerful that it cannot be ignored.
Visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ for up-to-the-minute details on the January 27 antiwar march and January 29 Grassroots Lobby Day.
Weekly Peace Rally 11:00 AM Each Saturday
North Alabama Peace Network (NAPN) holds a Peace Rally every Saturday at 11AM, at the intersection of Airport Road and Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville. We start gathering at 10:45AM, and usually meet for lunch afterwards. Bring a sign, a friend and a peaceful spirit. For more information, contact the NAPN coordinators: NAPN@knology.net.
Out of Iraq! Saturday, January 27th 2007 Noon
We will line the streets with signs to protest the Iraq War.
Monday, January 08, 2007
hello friends. it is a chilly but beautiful day in North Alabama.
for a few brief moments on the hillside overlooking the farm,
it feels like peace is possible.
life is rich with surprises and some are more joyful than others.
perspective is so essential.
look at the headlines
Saddam. Sudan. Saban.
And they all seem to have equal importance.
Although it appears that Saban is most important right now.
I saw the movie pursuit of happyness yesterday.
Well done Will Smith.
Well done to the people whose lives were integral to the story.
Thanks for sharing a powerful yet pain filled true story.
peace, perhaps it is pursued just as happyness is.