Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
August 26th, 2014

I AM STITCHED TO LEONA CHOY

Leona Choy is an old friend (only 89) who I have never met personally but who is stitched to me with invisible threads. She writes so well, so clearly, that every now and then I just lift something from her blog because I think it belongs here, on mine. God bless Leona. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. Herewith:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014GOD’S INVISIBLE THREAD
It continually amazes me that some of my closest friends are people whom I have never met, who live across the country or even across the world. In most cases I’ve never even seen their photo. We have become invisibly bonded, I know their spirits intimately, and they know the essence of me.

We have connected through some incredible ways: at at crisis moment in their life someone gave them one of my books, another friend whom I never met introduced me, someone came across my blog, or saw my interview on TV. Like a needle and thread sewing into my life-cloth, God brings them in and also out through every season of my life as if sewn into my life-cloth with a needle and invisible thread. Our lives are made up of relationships invisibly interconnected.

The Invisible Thread is the title of a book whose author I saw interviewed on television. It’s the true story of two unlikely people whose lives seemed to be coincidentally brought together. The author referred to an ancient Chinese proverb: “An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”

I believe this is more than a wishful concept. It echoes the outworking of the promise in Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It mirrors God’s networking in our lives like a weaving which we see only from the underside. God plans the unique design from above and connects the threads that will make it beautiful. The completed weaving may not be visible now, but we look forward to seeing the whole when we finish our life journey, when all things are made clear in God’s presence. Then we’ll understand the reason for the stretches and tangles and dark threads as well as the bright colors.

Some people come into our lives only briefly but always for some purpose that God might intend differently for each of the persons involved. I am part of all whom I have met and they are part of me. Some people have come into my life for longer periods, even for a lifetime. Some are not meant to stay after their purpose for coming is fulfilled. I must be willing to let them go.

I begin my prayer each morning as I present myself to God according to Romans 12:1 by asking the Lord, “Bring into my life today everyone and everything that is in Your perfect will—whether by phone call, email, thought, in person, by a reminder to pray, through a chance meeting, scheduled appointment, letter, an obligation which I must fulfill, my routine responsibilities, or any other means. Please keep out of my life anything and anyone not in accord with Your purpose. I want to do Your will on earth this day as it is done in Heaven.”

By melding my will with God’s will and speaking it aloud, I remind myself, and God, and Satan and his scheming minions, that I am committed to obey God. I can then accept whatever and whoever the Holy Spirit will thread into my life. If unexpected and unwanted things happen and my own plans and schedule are disrupted, I can still be at peace that God’s invisible thread is sewing into my life the better plan for His sovereign purposes.

This close relationship with God gives me a reason to put my feet on the floor when I wake up in the morning because I anticipate a daily adventure with God. He is full of surprises. Sometimes His serendipity blessings are visible and tangible but sometimes invisible and spiritual. Sometimes they are blessings in the disguise of negative events. Nevertheless, I can accept them all because they are God-woven with His invisible golden threads.

(Excerpt from Chapter on Relationships from Leona’s forthcoming book)

July 11th, 2014

MUSINGS AT 91

Ninety-one! When I learned that there are some World War II veterans still alive at age 107 I warned my family not to count on my leaving anytime soon. I could still be around for another seventeen years! Or not. No one knows what the next day may bring. Every day is a gift.

Last week the cancer on my left hand was scraped off creating a whole new wound just when the biopsy site was almost healed. And the dermatologist prescribed a 5 fluorouracil cream (very expensive) for my face that produces flaming red spots. As a matter of fact when Bette Midler’s dermatologist prescribed this very cream for her she tweeted that she would have to sell her house to pay for it! We all have our problems!

My friend, Stanley, recently had his hip replaced at the age of 95, and he is up and walking again. I am impressed with the way we old folks continue to heal, though somewhat more slowly. It has taken two years for the toenail on my big toe to replace itself, the last bit of the old nail has yet to be sloughed off so the changeover will be complete. I had never experienced itching with healing until my recent hand surgery when the itching of my wrist was so intense that I got up in the middle if the night to apply cortisone ointment.

On the whole for a scrawny old lady with a cane, a bandaged hand and a spotted face, I’m doing quite well. There are days when I awake with something that could pass for vigor. Other days there is nothing I desire more than to be lying on my bed. So comfy, so horizontal. Some days there is sciatica going down my right leg. Some days my back won’t let me stand up straight. Thank God it is only some days, not all of them. And cute as my new upper teeth are, sometimes I gag on my denture. A multiplicity of petty complaints and, believe me, I recognize their pettiness.

As much as I enjoy Facebook for keeping up with friends and relatives I find that it is getting unwieldy. Too many ads. And too inviting for aimless browsing. There are so, so many cute videos and interesting posts that it requires discipline to put my iPad down and ask God how I might better spend my time. On the other hand, I’ve made friends on FB who I feel really close to though we’ve never met. They are “family” in spirit, not in blood and by some happy happenstance we have been instrumental in each other’s lives. The “family of God” is alive and well on Facebook. There is a world-wide kinship of people who love the same Father, who pray as Jesus taught, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”

Just a week ago I read “The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God” which I found so awesome that I promptly ordered three more copies. Just last week hurricane Arthur came up the east coast and kept us glued to our TVs following its progress. Just last week the United States was invaded by thousands of CHILDREN coming over the Mexican border (who ever heard of such a thing?) Just last week Joan Rivers went viral with her comment that we had a gay president and Michelle was a “tranny.” It will be interesting to see the fall-out from that! For the first time in history the Dow is over 17,000. An old friend died yesterday at the age of 102. Israel is a tiny country, the size of New Jersey, called Little Satan by Islamic extremists who want to wipe it off the face of the nap. (The United States is Big Satan.) This morning they reported that half if it’s population had spent the night in air raid shelters! God help us all!

When I told a friend that I find life at 91 quite exciting. His comment was, “If you don’t, you’re not paying attention!”

~~~

Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[m]
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I[n] to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”
9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.

March 10th, 2014

AH, LENT AT LAST

It is ridiculous how happy I am that Lent has come at last! The TV is turned off and will be off for six weeks. I surely love to watch TV but I also love the blessed silence and time that I wallow in when all is quiet in the living room. Of course, I could turn off the TV anytime I chose during the rest of the year but it wouldn’t be the same. There is something about giving up the TV option that is freeing and gives me some understanding of the role of retreats or vacations. Some people might think that at 90 my life is just one big long vacation but it is amazing how busy it is. (Confession: I lie down and sleep more than I used to.)

To follow up on my last post, my balance has improved considerably but I do use my HurryCane outdoors and find in helpful on winter terrain or uneven surfaces. It also seems to make people more solicitous, which is not all bad. The dental surgery I alluded to has occurred — one more lower tooth gone, and not that many more to go! For a while because of dizziness and tooth problems I couldn’t tolerate my new lovely upper denture but am now doing my best to really wear it more often. It does help with chewing and I look cuter, but old dogs don’t take kindly to new tricks.

Alas, the time I hoped to use for more blogging has vanished. When my tenant finally moved out my son brought about a dozen boxes down from the attic that I didn’t even know were there, a real treasure trove from God knows when. It will probably take all of Lent to deal with the contents–baby clothes! diapers! cloth diapers! the old kind! My last baby is now 53 and we moved here in 1963. My old report cards from the thirties! Newspapers about the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school in Chicago, December 1958. Three of my children were in attendance there the day of the fire–92 children and three nuns died as a result but mine were spared, thank you Lord! I remember my mom calling from Connecticut in tears, fearing her first grandchildren had died.

So much to do, so much to blog about, old friends dying, greatgrandchildren that I’ve never seen (Maine, Florida) growing up on Facebook. My children and grandchildren keep in touch on Facebook. As do old friends. So I hope it is understandable that Facebook is a daily thing and blogging is when I have time. There are often things I want to write about “sometime” but the time seems to slip away. I you can’t find me on Facebook, you will know I am very not well!

Friends are so precious. Thanks to each one who bothers to look in now and then. A few days ago I posted on Facebook the lyric poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay called Renascence. If you enjoy poetry take a look–it is a gift from her to me to you.

“You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.”
―Mortimer Adler

December 26th, 2013
August 10th, 2013

A FACEBOOK MORATORIUM

A few nights ago I dreamed I was on Facebook and having trouble with it.  I have no idea what the trouble was but as I was waking up I somehow decided I would stay off Facebook for a month.  Once I was fully awake, I thought about that decision and wondered:  “Why not?”  What would be the downside of taking a month off from Facebook?  True, I keep up with family and friends on FB but should I spend so much time keeping up?  I still have email and my blog and it occurs to me that there were blogs I used to follow before I was addicted to FB.  Well, I clicked  the FB icon one last time to inform followers that I’d be away until September.  The next day I learned that grandson Jeremy and family were going to Guatemala for three weeks; they promised to send pics by FB.  I guess I’ll have to wait.  It seems I am already anxious for September to arrive so I can “catch up.”  Yesterday I came, purely by accident, across a video by “the ugliest girl on the internet.”  In a culture enamored of human beauty, what must it feel like to be “Miss Ugly?” It touched me so much that I immediately wanted to share it with FB friends.  I was able to do that  without actually going on the Facebook site.  So I did it.   How will this adventure go from now on?

Of course, if I can’t go on Facebook, I can’t play FB Scrabble!  Ever since Scrabble  updated itself, every time I open my iPad I’ve been getting a little pop-up that says, “Katy has played a word in Scrabble.   Close?  or Launch?”  And since Katy and I have two games going, when I close the first one, a second one pops up.  I close that and a third pops up, from Stephen.   It seems Stephen has played a word in Scrabble.  Close?  or Launch?  Stephen hasn’t been playing with me lately and I’d love to re-engage.    By this time, I have no idea why I opened the iPad in the first place.  I used to Launch whoever had just played a word because I knew they were waiting, intending to send a “quick” word and stop the pop-ups.  Sadly, the last time I opened the iPad I found I was being “nudged”  to take my turn.

In truth, I don’t know why I still enjoy Scrabble after having played hundreds of games.  I started Scrabbling just like I started blogging — just jumped in, without rules and without skills.  But even old folks can learn, and I’ve learned just enough to get by.  Too often I will settle and send a word with only 20 points because it’s “good enough” and I don’ feel like striving for my “best.”  Mostly, I think, it’s about keeping in touch.  That little “chat” feature that goes along with Scrabble keeps me in almost daily touch with my dear daughter in Indiana, who gave me the iPad in the first place.

Who knew?  It turns out that Facebook will not allow me to ignore Facebook.  After a couple of days of not going on, Facebook emailed me with “Hi, Dorothy, here’s some activity you may have missed on Facebook.”  I had 2 messages and 7 notifications.    It listed the names of the people who had posted statuses, photos, and more on Facebook.  I had missed some popular stories by other friends.  It even included seven itty-bitty pictures of my friends and if I so much as touched one of them my iPad would take me directly to their Facebook site.

 

Nikki Vikki, Joël le Vigne, Gypsy VonBeck, and 4 other friends have posted statuses, photos and more on Facebook.

So, only a week after beginning  my “Facebook Fast” I am itching to get back on.  Friends and relatives are traveling and will be sending updates and pics.  I came across a really great quote that I wanted to share with FB friends.  I wanted to send a message to someone on FB and I don’ t have an email address.  What stops me from giving up this moratorium nonsense?  I am reminded of something I read as a teenager about a woman who received a letter and put off opening it for several hours, trying to grow in patience and self-discipline, offering that wee sacrifice to her Lord.  How hard can it be for me to wait until September?

Which brings me to my first insight into Facebook — it is a major DISTRACTION!   In the same way that one enters a room and promptly clicks on the TV I used to open my iPad to see what was happening — usually without a thought that I’d be better off doing something else.  Both TV and FB are time thieves.  We seem to have a greediness for something new to amuse us, engage us, and with the World Wide Web and satellites available there is ALWAYS something new — no human can possibly keep up with all the fascinating things happening EVERYWHERE!  We get lured in and can waste inordinate amounts of time just wandering the world,  seeking, learning, sucking, feeding, grasping.   Perhaps inordinate is the operative word here.

Where is self-disclipline?  Where is BALANCE?  We can be stretched too far and too thin.  Balance consists in doing the will of God at the moment in our own little sphere.   Lead Thou me on.

July 12th, 2013

NINETY

Face it.  My blog has not gone/will not go viral.   I rather like it that way, low on the radar.  I can write whatever I think and not expect blowback the next day, probably never.  It turns out that the lively dialogues that I really enjoy occur on Facebook, not here.  Facebook is where I (and many others) turn for human contact.  Facebook is where I play Scrabble and argue with grandkids and their ilk about global warming, or evolution, God or no God, Obamanation or Abomination.  Its amazing how much they think they know.   Without Facebook how would I keep up with the greatgrandkids I’ve never seen, like Caleb in New Hampshire and Aiden Lux in Florida?

We’ve seen a sea-change in society, we old ones. We remember a time when we left our keys in the ignition and didn’t lock our house doors. A time when children played outdoors (in the street), walked to school unaccompanied,  and played with each other instead of with little machines. A time when most people lived by the Ten Commandments, whether they knew them or not.   I have read that people today  have some lingering morality that is a hangover from the time when we had a Christian society, but it is gradually wearing off and having a diminishing effect.   When you think there is no God and no after-life, it makes sense to take and enjoy what you want when you want it, because it’s now or never.

It does not seem possible I could not have known what a lesbian was until after I was married!  (Nowadays children read about Heather and her Two Mommies in kindergarten!)  Though I truly loved my best girlfriends, it could never have occurred to me to have sex with them. We all eventually married and have the children to show for it.

More and more often I turn off the TV as a waste of time. Who knows how much time I have left! I find my musing time to be my most valuable time, you know, pondering eternal verities or intimate relationships, looking for insights, I guess you might even call it prayer time.  Believe it or not, life at 90 is still exciting.  Just a few months ago a student from Kenya, studying for his doctorate at Rutgers, asked to “Friend” me on Facebook.    I wrote back one word:  “Why?”   It turned out he had read my article on MercatorNet saying that evolution cannot/does not explain how the differentiation in sexes came about.  As far as I know, this young man in Manhattan and I are the only two people in the universe with the  same ideas on the subject!  A kindred spirit!

Another exciting online discovery this past year was what I consider to be the best-ever proof of God from design in a PowerPoint by an Indian blogger.  Also I was very happy to discover that Nick Vujucic, an Australian who I have written about before, who has no arms and no legs, has  married and is expecting a baby boy!

The first day of my 90th year (7/11/12) latest greatgrandson, Aiden, was born.   Here he is today, almost one year old,  in a Father’s Day photo with his Daddy, Robert Beck.   I have yet to meet this child in person.

beck boys

This year I have broken a toe and have had three facial malignancies removed. I am impressed with how this old body still heals itself. Six months after breaking my toe the toenail was still black. When I mentioned that to Mary she insisted on seeing it immediately. I think she feared her mother might be walking about with a gangrenous toe. Yes, the toenail was black, but the flesh around it was pink and healthy. It was April Fool’s day when the toenail got caught on my bedclothes. Lo and behold, it was loose and I lifted the whole toenail off, entire, painlessly, leaving behind a fresh new pink toenail. My face, too, shows little sign of surgery on the malignancies.   Then, too, I lost a  molar after 80 years of faithful service and am currently coping with a new, updated denture that used to attach to that molar!

Granddaughter Amy had a December wedding that was extraordinarily beautiful and I think I have raved quite enough about it.    My friend from the Rescue days, Anne Fitzpatrick, died this past year.   We became acquainted in 1988 when we slept next to each other on a mat on the gym floor at Niantic prison.  A widow, she remarried and we went to her wedding.  Following an accident we visited her often at a nursing home  in Springfield.  She was a good friend.  Rest in peace, Annie.

I would be seriously amiss if it did not here put in a plug for a book by another aged blogger, Leona Choy, who at 88 is still not only blogging away but writing and publishing actual print-and-paper books. I recently finished her Living It Up which was so chockful of wise advice and pithy comments (which I was tempted to use as my own) I figured I might as well just recommend the whole book. If you have an aging parent, relative, friend in a nursing home, anyone old you’d like to do a nice thing for, get them Leona’s Living It Up.

A recent snapshot of the times we live in  took place in Texas.  A bill was passed by the Texas House yesterday stating that unborn babies could not be aborted after 20 weeks, at which time we know they feel pain.  The bill  also required  abortion clinics to be duly inspected and have access to a hospital in case of emergency.   Pro-choicers attempted to shout down speakers by chanting “Hail, Satan,” and pro-lifers responded by singing “Amazing Grace.”     Every day the lines are being more clearly drawn.

I am sad about what is happening to our beautiful nation, “sweet land of liberty.”     I lament with Hamlet:

O God! O God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! O fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!

Padre Pio’s advice gives me some peace:  “Pray.  Hope.  Don’t worry.”  We did not make ourselves or put ourselves in this world.  The God who made us  has shown us the way and is worthy of our trust.
And as life slows down and I find myself less able and less in charge  I remember Milton “On his Blindness.”

God does not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts,
Who best bear his mild yoke they serve him best.
His state is kingly.  Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

After five years my blogging is slowing down but I’m not quite ready to close up shop.   After all, I have new computer and my driver’s license was just renewed last month for another six years!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 15th, 2013

GUEST POST

This is the kind of blog comment that makes you want to know its author. It came as a response to my post, years back, on The Gift of Tongues. I post it today with immense gratitude for the time he took to write it and with appreciation for the depth of his insight. Enjoy. And if it makes you think a little, that was the idea.

This article is incredible, and very sincere. It lacks complexity, is non-scripted, incorporates truth, and is from the heart. Very rare today. Even Jesus’ ministry was rare and didn’t heed that much worldy attention. The 5,000 people He had to feed was not even a visible blemish considering world population at the time was exasperatingly way higher than that.

I want to say this, to someone, anyone out there who reads this. Just know that it is true, God is real. This gift of tounges, it’s real. Is it mysterious? Very. Can science and math explain it just like it attempts to explain one God in three persons? Let me ask you this.. Can you completely explain science without using ANY math and vice versa? The creation cannot explain the creator. Before the first mind, thought up the first mathematical renditions, math was already in existance. Science, government, math, philosophy are partial understands from God. Think of when you went to college. ‘101, 102, 103’ and so on course structures. Well, consider ALL the branchs of world and astro sciences are just a 101 to true reality. 101. Nothing more. Basic, as complex as they are. The Bible is also basic. Everything we need to live and to please God and protect ourselves can be found in the texts, but it’s still basic. So when it comes to human philosophies, including our understanding of the earth through sciences and numbers won’t we then be limited? Can a tree know everything about the ground it lies in? Before the tree, the ground was. Evolution should simply be defined by this statement: “The process in which God tests man by allowing his mind to move into more discovered roads of understanding and into even greater free will, stirred by permissable deceptive influencial interferrance.” (A book usually always gets more and more captivating up until it ends.) Using a two dimensional mind in two dimensional thought processes will produce two dimensional results. Period. Will oak trees grow from the pumpkin seeds you planted? So, instead of using our “problem-solving impulses” of our human nature so much so to the point of commiting idolatry (that is worshipping the tools He has given us instead of Truth), let’s give God…AND His mysteries, a chance. Just like you won’t grow muscles unless you eat food, you won’t know God unless you use faith. God’s glory is deep within the things He has chosen to HIDE from us. And us having to “know everything” further and directly proves how selfish, irrogant, and truly self-centered the fallen human race really is….and, driven by fear. Fear has many forms. One of it’s forms is to have to know, all the time. Have all and complete understanding, avoid unmistakable fate. Right? Wrong. Even if we knew everything, what would we do with what we knew being the world that we are?

Some things God does is a mystery. We, as people, might need to build a bridge and get over it.

Human understanding, mixed with our fallen state, incorporated with suggestions and lies of our unseen enemies will GREATLY use tactics, deception, stealth, and emotion to pervert God’s glory of concealment into division, seperation, confusion, indulgence, isolation and compulsion to rebuttal. Think of a painting suddenly springing to life and demanding the artist to tell it how he created the color blue. Shut up creation, and enjoy the beauty of what’s on the canvass. In this example, yes ignorance WOULD be bliss.

The enemy is good. No, you don’t understand, the enemy is very good. He invented deception. Think of the worst person you’ve heard of you can possibly imagine. Now think of that man, or woman, humbly and bashfully walking up to the very Thought that entered their minds and drove them into choosing to act and asking for it’s autograph.
There is so much more to the definition of the word ‘Lie’ then simply just “not telling the truth.” Picture the biggest mall you can possibly conceive and fill that mall with as many departments as you can think of. Now name it. Call the entire mall, “DECEPTION”. There really are driving intelligent forces that invent new ways of deceiving man. What you think you may be seeing is not always really what it seems. Think of a well known illusionist. His very job is to trick your mind. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, looks like a duck and flies like a duck, it must be a duck right? There is no absolute truth or law to that. So, no.

Then what on earth are we to do? What is truly real and what is counterfeit? Thank God for, well God.

The Holy Spirit is the lens of Truth. He is a person, not electricity or the holy force of God. Call Him a Ghost or a Spirit only because you cannot see him, but as the wind remains invisible as it blows through the trees, He’s there and He’s a Person.

One of The Holy Spirit’s responsibility is in our gifts and accomplishments as a human race and as mankind. Tongues is one of many. Sometimes we as people, under tradition, will baulk when Y doesn’t equal X and no matter how hard we try, 2 + 2 won’t equal 4 even though WE KNOW it should. It’s OK. Everything’s gonna be OK. God’s got us, and glorifies Himself with His hidden mysterious that we may never comprehend nor understand. Well that’s not fair, we may say, again we need to get over it. That’s called suffering as God kills the pride in our hearts. He=God. We=People…NEVER to be God or gods. We can do all things (suffer) in Christ who gives us strength. And one thing we do is suffer. Jesus helps us suffer the refining process of purification God uses to burn the impurities out of His gold…us.

So before we judge, divide, ask questions, or impulsively respond, let’s invite (because He’s a gentlemen and won’t force Himself on us….also, life is a TEST) the One Truth Triune God into our lives, speech, and understanding.

My prayer is that this made sense to somebody. It is very deep and very thought provoking I will admit, but that’s just the way He made me. I once was a very ignorant agnostic. Be sure He didn’t make that. I choose it based on my understanding of the world around me, out of the eyes of a child on throughout early adulthood. What or who we used to be, is not who we really are once we learn of our true selves through the eyes of God. Just like when we think we know something, we really know nothing based on how much MORE is out there then our microscopic revelation.

May all the glory and praise be bestowed upon our very humble, yet furious, just, yet merciful, great and holy God. Thanks be to Him through the glorious Lord Christ Jesus, Amen.

If this inspired you; praise God, ask for His wisdom, go outside and share your testimony and God’s love. What Jesus did for you, He did for everybody.

Don’t fight either. I cannot stress that enough. Rebuke the IMPULSE to attack a skeptic’s misunderstanding or to defend God. If you feel you need to defend God through argument then your God is too small. Repent and accept Jesus. 🙂 Our God is a big eternal God and can handle himself. Can YOU handle your own responsbile response to an unbeliever’s questionable doubt? People refute due to lack of understanding or being stained by the acetone of religion. If you don’t know the right answer for them then pray and find someone who does. Give them a Bible, love them, pray for them, invite them to your home, feed them, cloth them, don’t ignore them. You never know which one is Jesus in disguise…testing YOU. He has the tendency of disciplining, training, correcting, guiding His own people before moving onto the world for it’s punishment.   (Kevin McCurrie, elipticaleclipse@gmail.com)

November 1st, 2012

ALL SAINTS DAY MUSING

The sun has just broken through, for the first time in a week.  It has been a harrowing time.

Some have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much of late but it is not because I have died as did my dear blogger friend, Barbara Curtis, a couple of days ago.  That was the day another blogger friend, Leona Choy, wrote to tell me that  Barbara’s husband, Tripp, has called to say Barbara was going to be removed from life support as she had suffered a deadly intracranial bleed.  Both Leona and Barbara lived in Virginia and the two had actually met, becoming close friends.  Both were Protestants turned Catholic, both were published authors – Leona, like me was in her 80’s and considerably older than Barbara  but they had much in common and would meet regularly at Applebee’s for lunch.   I’ve followed Barbara’s blog, www.mommylife.net, for years.  I was so impressed with her story, her conversion, her 12 kids including four with Downs Syndrome (one natural, three adopted), her Montessori history, her online following, her wisdom, the whole Barbara package.  We communicated somewhat over the years but had never actually met.  A friend  posted the news of her death on her website.  Many commented on how much Barbara had meant to them and I soon learned that I was not the only one brought to tears by the death of someone I had only admired from afar.  Barbara was a force for Christ and I cannot but imagine that she is even now among the Saints, enjoying the beatific vision.  Pray for us,  Barbara, we who are still slogging and blogging away down here.   Leona, thank you for your beautiful heartfelt, heartbreaking letter.

GO WITH GOD, BARBARA

Here is a photo of the shrine that Barbara’s family made for her.

Need I say that the news of this death arrived right after the monster storm named Sandy hit the east coast, especially New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  There were the days of watching Sandy’s progress towards us, the getting prepared with food and flashlights and a bathtub full of water,  waiting for the storm to reach us, the gradually decreasing atmospheric pressure and increasing wind, the night of wondering what it would be like in the morning.  We personally fared pretty well but all around us here in Connecticut suffered (and are still suffering) power outages and downed trees and ravaged seacoasts.  And bad as it was in Connecticut,  there was the TV depiction of utter UTTER devastation in New York and New Jersey.  Huge areas in total darkness; streets and tunnels filled with water; boardwalks and beachheads totally demolished. Airports closed.  Ships not allowed to dock. Gas stations either without gas or without electricity.   “Unthinkable” in the words of Governor Christie.  Words fail one.  Recovery cannot possibly be anything but slow.

It was so good to finally get back to morning Mass and see that old friends are OK.  So good now to see the sun again!  Some of my personal people are still without power but seem to be doing well otherwise.

The period of bright sunshine was short, but so enjoyed. Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will visit the store and see what is still on the shelves.  I understand that people are flocking to Starbucks.  Not for coffee, for WiFi.

Speaking of WiFi it has been my iPad that has kept me in touch with the world since my computer was felled by a virus.  Oddly enough, Facebook has provided me with some of what I thought I’d gain from blogging, i.e., interaction with others on subjects of import.  So, to anyone who wants to engage on the subject of Obama, abortion,  marriage, God or the non-existence thereof, etc.,  I’m on Facebook.  Come to the fray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 28th, 2012

VIRUS!

When you are used to typing on a computer keyboard, writing a blogpost on an iPad is not easy… But necessity dictates!  I seem to have been attacked by my first-ever virus!  All of a sudden my screen went black and all of my icons (except recycle bin and McAfee  Internet Security icons) just disappeared.  And a whole slew of  really nasty threatening things titled File Recovery told me everything was critical and I must do such and such to get my files back.  Every minute the invader would spit out another  nasty notice:  Data error reading drive C:,  the device cannot find enough free resources  that it can use, critical error- hard drive controller failure, serious disc error writing,  drive C error –sector  not found,  device initialization failed critical error – drive sector not found – error.  Plus, a whole series of overlapping notices informing me that “A write command during the test has failed to complete.  This may be due to a media or read/write error. The system generates an exception error when using a reference  to an invalid custom  address.”  And there you have it?

I did a McAfee’s scan which took several hours, scanning over  200000 items.  In the end McAfee told me  “Full  scan complete.   All issues have been resolved.   McAfee has eliminated all threats on your PC. ”  Viruses, Trojans  and Cookies quarantined.   Artemis!507EEBE93FA2 found and fixed.   Scan summary:   Total 252889 Files 235837 Cookies 119 Processes 138 Registry items 9230 Boot records 4.   The virus was still sitting there in full view and McAfee was telling me it had scanned my computer and had fixed everything?

A friend who does Information Technology for a living advised getting McAfee’s Stinger but first I should go to  Start, find my programs, and put them on a thumb drive!  When I told my son, Dan, my troubles, he googled “File recovery virus”  and got instructions for removing it.  Halfway through the process it wanted $59 to continue.  We paid the money. Dan worked on my computer for hours.  Finally I came home and found my desktop looking normal  except for a different screensaver. Oh, happy day?  I clicked an icon. NOTHING!

According to Dan, he had worked in safe mode until everything was fine.  It turns out that when he rebooted all the icons came back but they didn’t work!  He told me I should work in safe mode for awhile.  Or maybe get rid of my dinosaur and get myself a new computer.  As Dan explained it,  the virus had added an H (for Hide) to all my programs, and then told my computer to hide all the programs with an H.  It seems they were there all the time and all he had to do was un-Hide them.

That’s where we are now.  Thank  God Katy gave me this iPad for my birthday.    But let me tell you, blogging on an iPad touch keyboard is for the birds.    At this moment I am working on my computer in SAFE MODE, fixing the errors I made on the iPad.  Neither method of blogging is at all satisfactory.  Isn’t it wonderful that the iPad will send my work to the Cloud and then I can access it on my computer?  Oh, marvelous technological world!

And, so, I am going to publish this post so everyone will understand why I am in limbo.  Provided I can do that in SAFE MODE.  Maybe I will get rid of my dinosaur (a Compaq PC I’ve had for about ten years) and go modern with a flat screen and all.  All this techy stuff is quite beyond my pay grade.  Please pray for me and mine.

September 16th, 2012

ON SAFARI WITH MY iPAD

A few days into iPad ownership, I began to feel confident enough to explore the unfamiliar icons it kept displaying, like Safari.   Safari looked like it might be a browser and it invited me to “write an address here.” How to write anything at all was a problem, with no keyboard, but I soon learned that if I touched the writing area, up popped a keyboard! Nice! I typed in “amazon.com” and pushed the lowest and farthest right key available, thinking it might be an “enter” key. Don’t remember what came up, but it sure wasn’t Amazon. What to do?

 
Just about this time my computer refused to go online and I was forced to try online procedures on my iPad. Much to my amazement I could access my blog and was quite pleased to see how nice it looked and how easily I could scroll through it. The little Word Press icons were all there and usable.  Typing on the clicky pad is rather slow and it seems to have an built-in  spell check that insisted that I wanted  to type “colicky,” not “clicky.”  As I become more familiar with it, I see that it anticipates my words and is sometimes quite right and I don’t have to finish typing that word.

Oh, there is so much to explore.  Since grandson Joel decided to travel in France, I have been looking up the places on the map.   Lo, and behold, I can get satellite photos and some of the sites have a little flap in the lower right corner and I can turn the page to see, and travel along, a street right in that city.  I like very much that the iPad is so portable and can sit in my lap.  I used it once at the doctor’s office where they had WiFi and I look forward to taking it other places.   I understand that with the growing popularity of tablets and pads people are demanding WiFi 30,000 feet up when they fly!  Now that I know how easy it is to go online (as long as there is WiFi) it is very handy for research.  It took me about ten minutes a few days ago to find out all I wanted to know about the “pink slime” controversey.   Believe it or not, there are two sides, as there are to most things.

I’ve also taken to using the calendar to keep track of birthdays, appointments, and such.  Of course, just like my computer, it knows what day it is before I do and displays the date in large enough figures so I can read it without glasses.

What makes me happiest of all is the FaceTime feature.  Just a few minutes ago Katy called me from Indiana and I got a little experience with how to use FaceTime and how to make the sound louder and keep my face in the picture and how not to cover up the buttons that make it work.  I took the iPad next door to visit daughter, Terry, and we had a very nice talk fest, discussing the upcoming wedding of granddaughter, Amy, this coming December, discussing (and showing) the dresses they planned to wear for the event and havng really enjoyable “girl talk.”   As any mother knows, it is always wonderful to see one’s children and even more wonderful to see them enjoy each other!  It was like a real “in person” visit!

I know I have not even begun to experience all my iPad can do (and probably never will) but, so far, I love my iPad.   And, thank you,  Katy.