Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
July 5th, 2015

WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT OLD AGE?

Here I am, practically 92, actually finding old age enjoyable in some ways.  Yes, I look old.  I feel old.  I creak and limp and use a cane.  But there are two  things I really appreciate, the VISTA and the PANOPLY.

VISTA.  I look at my children.  At this point, even  they look old, some are older than 60 and have the greying hair to prove it.  At this point they are pretty much who they are going to be.  Their strengths, their gifts have made themselves known.  Their skills are honed.     They are settled in somewhere, somehow.   But still, still, I find myself getting to know some of them and others, the ones far away, I still yearn to know.  Their strengths I rejoice in.  I am delighted to learn they now know more about many things than I do and have valuable advice.  Their faults I pray about.  They are my children and I will never cease loving them.

My children have children, in young adulthood.  To my mind, they are still wet behind the ears.  They are learning, seeking, finding their way in this challenging world.  One is a farrier and a forger (the kind with a forge.). One is a tattoo artist, one has a Ph.D., another is getting a P.A.  We have a nurse, an “activist,” a wanderer, a missionary, some with jobs I don’t really understand.  I love to follow their lives on Facebook.  Some agree with my politics and religion.  Some heartily disagree.  I trust they know I love them regardless and pray they will find truth and love along the way.

Some of my grandchildren have children.  I never see my great grandchildren because they live too far away.  Fortunately, thanks to Facebook I know what they look like and can watch them grow.  The youngest will be three on my birthday on July 11.

THE PANOPLY.    So I sit at this pinnacle looking down the vista to the past and all around me to the panoply.  I’ve been around so long and grasped so little one wonders if it will all ever make sense.  Is it a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?  Here and there a person or an incident stand out as being key to a greater picture.  And though I think I catch a glimpse of a overall reason for it all it is like seeing through a glass darkly, somewhat like looking at the underside of a tapestry and imagining the topside.

Early man looked about him and that was as far as he could see.  Television gave us a “window to the world.”  We wanted to go everywhere, see all cultures.  It’s all there – everything in the world – at the tips of our fingers, at the turn of a knob.  Add the Internet to that and it is more than enough–it is too much.  It is not humanly possible to grasp.  We need to find a way to winnow, to choose wisely, to find a way that makes sense, to sort things out.  For myself I look for people I judge to be both wise and good to lead me in the way to proceed.  It is all too difficult and I need help, especially from  God.

In days of yore the world just used to sit there quietly and you could survey it and slowly take it in. Nowadays it seems to rush at you at breakneck speed, one thing after another, with no time to absorb and reflect. At the end of the day when the TV is turned off and the iPad put away I find it pleasant to untether my mind and just let it wander where it will. As that wise philosopher Mortimer Adler said we need to have idle time so that “things can occur to us.”
As the poet wrote, “the world is too much with us, late and soon; getting and spending we lay waste our powers, .little we see in nature that is ours. We have given our hearts away….”
No wonder it is soothing to watch the day-after-day unfolding of a flower, in real time, the old-fashioned way.  Enough with time-lapse photography! Let nature take is course.  Slowly. Slow down. Breathe. Think. Muse!
Have you ever just sat and held hands with someone you love? Take time to hold hands with God’s universe and with the living God.

 

June 12th, 2015

FINALLY

No, this is not my last blogpost (at least I think not.) It is just a poem I found touching and I am touched that my son found it touching. I am not afraid that any of my children will desert me when I am “sad and sick and lost.”

Do not ask me to remember,
Don’t try to make me understand,
Let me rest and know you’re with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept,
I am sad and sick and lost,
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry,
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone,
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me till my life is done.

Author unknown
Alzheimer’s Associatio

A few years ago I wrote a post on the book IRIS telling about living with and caring for a brilliant woman as Alzheimer’s began and  progressed to helplessness.  More recently the movie STILL ALICE depicts another woman who actually told her unbelieving husband that she had developed early Alzheimer’s and beautifully shows the struggle to come to terms with the diagnosis.  Available on DVD; recommended.

June 12th, 2015

A MUSING – COVETOUSNESS

 

In the olden days, before people were so busy being entertained that they had no time to think, there was a sin called “covetousness.” Covetousness? Who knows what that means anymore? It has nothing to do with need and everything to do with want. We seem no longer to have the concept of enough.

We have to have an iPad, a smart phone, and a computer, all online at lightning speed. A cashmere sweater will not suffice; we need one in every color, with shoes to match.

Covetousness is intimate with the other capital sins, like pride. For some strange reason we are proud to have the best and the most. We are envious of those who have more and never content with all we need. Our palate is always seeking new taste sensations because we are surfeited by the abundance at the table which does not satisfy because we never sit down really hungry.

We grab and grasp and buy and accumulate with nary a care that we have too much and the other guy has too little! Isn’t it time to look at some of those old sins and see if they are at home in us?

Lord, have mercy on us. Help us once again to look inward and learn the meaning of sin, to look outward and learn the meaning of love.

March 22nd, 2015

RECENT FACEBOOK POSTS

February 20th, 2015

SLIPPING

Let’s put it this way – some days I’m more competent than others.  I’m feeling that it’s time for another blogpost lest people will figure I’ve died.  Not so.  I’m active on FaceBook but those little daily FB posts don’t cut it for a blog.  So I’ll just muse along for awhile and see what develops.  Two weeks ago I tripped and banged my head against the door jamb.  My forehead grew so big I looked like an alien.  The next day I had one black eye which was swollen shut.  .  The following day two black eyes.   Over time my cheeks were black, some of my forehead, my left chin and left neck.  If I can remember how I used to go about posting photos I’ll give it a try.

Well, I give up and it’s not worth wasting time on.  It has been months since I’ve posted a photo and there’s a whole new computer to contend with.  Sometimes, lately, I’m just not up to it.  Suffice to say that it is now two weeks since the incident and most people hardly notice that I’m a trifle discolored.   Then there’s the sciatica for which I’ve had an MRI and physical therapy.  All this takes time and saps strength.    None of it is life-threatening so it’s just a case of carry on until the next development.

I love old people!  When we get together, it’s like a mutual support club, swapping miseries, helping out, encouraging.  A friend told me she didn’t like being 67 at all; she couldn’t imagine what 91 would be like!  We octogenarians understand.  Tomorrow I plan to get together with my siblings (all still alive, 89, 87, 85, and 83) just because we can arrange such a thing and who know when there might be another opportunity!  Unfortunately our baby sister in Florida (only 77) can’t make it.  We are all semi-decrepit and I’m sure the Olive Garden people will notice when we walk in!

We don’t drive if we can avoid it and some don’t drive anymore.  Our eyesight is failing.  Memories are definitely disappearing, some more than others.  Actually we’re pretty good at old memories; it’s the recent ones that don’t want to stick around.  Just this morning I couldn’t remember something and now I can’t remember what it was I couldn’t remember.

Later:  Update on the sciatica, since lots of people complain when the largest nerve in the human body starts to act up.  Despite a couple months of massage, ultrasound, and exercises I can’t really say it’s much better – maybe a little less pain but more paresthesias.  Insurance refuses to cover Lidocaine patches for pain and  neurologist is on vacation till April!  Will see my internist next week.

I think I’ll just post this little update so everyone will know I still live and still blog.

Love to all!

 

 

 

November 16th, 2014

THE UNIVERSE WITHIN YOU

(This was a Facebook post that just kept on growing.)

 

Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God! We can predict the movements of the heavenly bodies down to the day and hour for years to come. But have you considered the universe that is within you?

Look, really look, at your skin. You are covered from top to toe with trillions of tiny cells that replace themselves every week or so. If you get a cut, your cells know how to start to divide to heal the wound and when to stop multiplying before you have a cancer.

Inside each skin cell there is a nucleus surrounded by the nuclear membrane. Inside each nucleus there are 23 sets of chromosomes, and inside each chromosome there are genes and each gene contains a chemical bundle called DNA, deoxynucleic acid. DNA is different for each person, inherited from both the mother and the father, but different for each child. DNA is a double helix of chemical strands so tightly coiled that unwound they would measure about 5 feet. The chemicals include four amino acids, namely guanine, thymine, adenine, cytosine, as well as phosphate and sugar molecules.
Each molecule, in turn consists of a number of atoms.

At last we are finally getting down to basics. Atoms were first named that because it was believed there was nothing smaller. However, the electron microscope can visualize things four million times smaller than the unaided eye can see. Way down there, teeny tiny, inside each atom, are electrons, neutrons, and protons. The electrons are a constantly whirling mist around each proton, much like the moons around a planet on a very much larger scale!
Each of our organs, heart, liver, thyroid, brain has its own kind of cells, each programmed to perform its own function, to work in harmony with each other, so that each and every healthy human is a symphony of interactions way down to the atomic level where billions of invisible electrons whirl about their “sun” at an ultra microscopic level.

We do, indeed, have a universe within!

Do you believe, (I mean REALLY believe?) that all these arranged, interactive, interdependent wonders actually came about through the haphazard accidental movements of atoms in some primordial slime starting millions of years ago? There is no way I could convince myself of that!

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully MADE!

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)

August 26th, 2014

TWO ON-FIRE PATRIOTS

I have recently come across two videos which seem to me to be important in the dialogue about the influence of Islam world-wide.

Brigitte Gabriel

Member of German Parliament Oskar Freysinger

t

August 25th, 2014

ANOTHER PROPHECY

The times they are-changing! 9-11 was just a wake-up call. A few days ago, Jim Foley, a Catholic American missionary was beheaded on line. An old friend of his said it couldn’t have happened to a nicer fellow. Christians are being crucified again. There is a spirit of evil abroad.

The following is one of those emails that goes around, author unknown. It makes sense to me.

 

A Message From A Former Muslim To the Infidels of the West:

We Will Fight the Infidel to Death.

– Meanwhile American laws will protect us.
– Democrats and Leftist will support us.
– N.G.O.s will legitimize us.
– C.A.I.R. will incubate us.
– The A.C.L.U. will empower us.
– Western Universities will educate us.
– Mosques will shelter us
– O.P.E.C. will finance us
– Hollywood will love us.
– Kofi Annan and most of the United Nations will cover our asses.

Our children will immigrate from Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Indonesia and even from India to the US and to the other Western countries. They will go to the West for education  on full scholarship. America is paying and will continue to pay for our children’s educations and their upbringing in state funded Islamic schools.

We will use your welfare system. Our children will also send money home while they are preparing for Jihad.

We will take the advantage of American kindness, gullibility, and compassion. When time comes, we will stab them in the back. We will say one thing on the camera and teach another thing to our children at home. We will give subliminal messages to our children to uphold Islam at any cost. Our children in America will always care more about Islamic Country’s interest than US interest.

We will teach our children Islamic supremacy from the very childhood. We will teach them not to compromise with Infidel. Once we do that from the very early age our children won’t hesitate to be martyr. We will take over the Europe first and then US will be the next. We already have a solid ground in the UK, Holland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany, and now in the US.

Our children will marry Caucasian in Europe and in America. We will mixed with intricate fabric of the Western society but still will remember to Jihad when time comes. Who are we?

We are the “sleeper cells”.

We will raise our children to be loyal to Islam and Mohammad only. Everything else is secondary.

At the time of the real fight we will hold our own children as our armor. When American or Israeli troops shoot at us the world will be watching. Imagine,… Imagine the news in the world “Death of Muslim babies by infidels”.

We know CNN, ABC, CBS are broadcasting live. Al-Jazeera will pour gasoline on the fire. The news will spread like wildfire. “Americans killed 6 babies, 10 babies”. “Jews killed two women”.
Keep your Nukes in your curio cabinets. Keep your aircraft carrier or high-tech weaponry in the showcase. You can’t use them against us because of your own higher moral standard. We will take the advantage of your higher moral standard and use it against you. We won’t hesitate to use our children as suicide bomber against you.

Visualize the news flash all over the world, …Moslem mother is sobbing, ….crying. ….Her babies are killed by Jews and Americans, the whole world is watching live. Hundreds of millions of Muslims all around the world are boiling. They will march through Europe. We will use our women to produce more babies who will in turn be used as armor/shield. Our babies are the gift from Allah for Jihad.

West manufactures their tanks in the factory. We will manufacture our military force by natural means, by producing more babies. That is the way it is cheaper.

You infidels at this site cannot defeat us. We are 1.2 billion. We will double again. Do you have enough bullets to kill us?

On the camera:

– We will always say, “Islam is the religion of Peace.”
– We will say, “Jihad is actually inner Jihad.”
– Moderate Muslim will say there is no link between Islam and Terrorism and the
West will believe it because the West is so gullible.
– Moderate Muslim all over the world will incubate Jihadist by their talk by defending Islam.
– Using Western Legal system we will assert our Sharia Laws, slowly but surely.
– We will increase in number. We will double again.

You will be impressed when you meet a moderate Muslim personally. As your next-door neighbor, coworker, student, teacher, engineer, professionals you may even like us. You will find us well mannered, polite, humble that will make you say, “wow, Muslims are good and peaceful people”, But, we will stab you in your back when you are sleeping as we did on 911.

There will be more 911 in Europe and in America. We will say, “We do not support terrorism but America got what it deserved.”

Muslims, CAIR, ISNA, MPAC and other international Islamic Organization will unite. We will partner with Leftist, ACLU, with Koffi Annan, and the UN, and if we have to then even with France. Fasten your seatbelt. The war of civilizations has just begun.

We will recite Quran and say Allah-Hu-Akbar before beheading infidels, as we have been doing it. We will video tape those and send it to all infidels to watch. They will surrender – ISLAM means surrender.

We will use your own values of kindness against you.

You are destined to lose.

The Constitution for the new Islamic Republics of EuroArabia and AmerIslamia is under construction as you read this.

[h/t to writer] I was born and raised Muslim. My whole family is still Muslim. I know every genetic code of Muslim. I know [the] Islamic brain. I live and breath with them. I am an insider. I left Islam when I understood that Islam is a sick and evil religion.

July 27th, 2014

FR. MICHAEL SCANLON PROPHECY, 1/13/80

I recently came across this prophecy given by Father Scanlon at the height of the Charismatic Renewal, 1980, and thought it apropos  for this time.

 

The Lord God says “Hear my Word.”  The time that has been marked by my blessings and gifts is being replaced now by a period to be marked by my judgment and purification.  What I have not accomplished by blessings and gifts, I will accomplish by judgment and purification.  My people, my church is desperately in need of this judgment.  They have continued in an adulterous relationship with the spirit of this world.  They are not only infected with sin, but they teach sin, pamper sin, embrace sin, dismiss sin…Leadership unable to handle it…fragmentation, confusion throughout the ranks.  Satan goes where he will and infects who he will.  He has free access throughout my people and I will not stand for this.

My people specially blessed in this renewal are more under the spirit of the world than they are under the Spirit of my baptism.  They are more determined with fear for what others will think of them, fears of failure and rejection  in the world, loss of respect by neighbors and superiors and those around them than they are by fear of me and fear of infidelity to my word.  Therefore your situation is very weak.  Your power is so limited.  You cannot be considered at this point in the center of the battle and the conflict that is going on.

So this time is now come upon all of you – a time of judgment and of purification.  Sin will be called sin. Satan will be unmasked.  Fidelity will be held  up for what it is and should be.  My faithful servants will be seen and will come together.  They will not be many in number.  It will be a difficult and a necessary time.  There will be collapse, difficulties throughout the world, but – more to the issue – there will be purification and persecution  among my people. You will have to stand for that you believe.  You will have to choose between the world and me.  You will have to choose what word you will follow and who you will respect.  And in that choice what has not been accomplished by the time of blessing and gifts will be accomplished.  What has not been been accomplished in the baptism and the flooding of gifts of my Spirit will be accomplished in a baptism of fire.  The fire will move among you individually, corporately, in groups and around the world.  I will not tolerate the situation that is going on.  I will not tolerate the mixture and the adulterous treating of gifts and graces and blessings with infidelity, sin,  and prostitution.   My time is now among you.  What you need to do is to come before me in total submission to my word, in total submission to my plan.  In the total submission of this hour, what you need to do is to drop the things that are your own, the things of the past.  What you need to do is to see yourselves and those whom you have responsibility for in the light of this hour of judgment and purification.  You need to see them in that way and do for them what will best help them to stand strong and be among my faithful servants.

For there will be casualties.  It will not be easy, but it is necessary. It is necessary that my people be in fact my people, that my church be in fact my church, and that my Spirit in fact bring forth the purity of life, purity and fidelity to the gospel.