Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
September 13th, 2015


A few days ago I went to my bank and found a teller ready and waiting for me.  The sign at his station said “April.”  I said, “Are you April?” He answered “Yes.”  I asked, “What month were you born in?”  and he answered “April.”  I said “I love it!” and the rest of the day tried to figure out what I loved about it.  What I’ve come up with if that April seemed to be  at peace with his name.  Whether that has always been the case, I have no way of knowing.   But now he seems comfortable with being a man named April.

When kids are in kindergarten and the teacher addresses her students as Tahini, or Zucchini, or Djong, or Sam or Keesha and the kid responds the others just accept that that is their name.  They have no way of knowing whether it is a “regular” name or a foreign name or otherwise unusual.  They just don’t have the data base for deciding.  By fourth or fourfth grade they might begin to question various names.  Did your mother name you after a vegetable?  Don’t you know Jean is a girl’s name?  The situation could lead to ridicule or bullying if the child already thinks his name is strange and doesn’t want to be different.    The same situation arises if the kid has red hair, or a big scar, or a lisp or any number of oddities.  They have trouble fitting in, especially if others seem not to like the difference.    Fortunately some schools make a special effort to help children be accepting of the differences in others, pointing out the some differences are obvious and others not as easily recognized.  What a wonderful opportunity for teaching the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Empathy CAN be understood and taught.

But perhaps it is easier to teach others to accept the differences in their acquaintances than it is to accept the differences in themselves.  I think it has to do with pride.  We all want to be “special” but special in a good way, in a way that is better than others.   When we are ashamed  of how we are we are not in a good place.  A wise person once wrote, “we are as sick as our secrets.”  It is with good reason that the 12 Steps  of AA  ask  us to admit our failings to another, ask to be able to see what can be changed and what cannot be changed, and ask for the wisdom to know the difference.

Being comfortable with ourselves does not mean there is  not room for improvement.  It just means that for the time being we are OK with the status quo.  When we have loved (accepted) how we are it is easier to accept (love) others as they are.  Mutual acceptance makes bullying difficult. It has been well said that you can’t get someone else’s goat if they have no goat to get.

Years ago I was given an article on acceptance which is the best I’ve ever seen on the subject.  I am not keen on retyping this two-page, single-spaced piece  but will at least start.



One of the deepest needs of the human heart is the need to be appreciated. Every human being wants to be valued.  This is not to say that everybody wants to be told by others how wonderful he is.  No doubt there is that desire, too, but that is not fundamental.  We could say that every human being wants to be loved.  But even this admits of ambiguity.  There are as many varieties of love as there are species of flowers.  For some people love is passionate; for others it is something romantic; for others love is something merely sexual.  There is, however, a deeper love, a love of acceptance.   Every human being craves to be accepted, accepted for what he is.  Nothing in human life has such a lasting and fatal effect as the experience of not being completely accepted. When I am not accepted, then something in me is broken.  A baby who is not welcome is ruined at the roots of his existence.  A student who does not feel accepted by his teacher will not learn.  A man who does not feel accepted by his colleages on the job will suffer from ulcers and be a nuisance at home.  Many of the life histories of prisoners reveal that somewhere along the way they went astray because there was no one who really accepted them.  Likfeise, when a religious does not feel accepted by her community, she cannot be happy.  A life without acceptance is a life in which a most basic human need goes unfilled.
Acceptance means that the people with whom I live give me a feeling of self-respect, a feeling that I am worthwhile.  They are happy that I am who I am  Acceptance means that I am welcome to be myself.   Acceptance means that though there is need for growth, I am not forced.  I do  not have to be the person I am not, neither am I locked in by my past or present.  Rather I am given room to unfold, to outgrow the mistakes of the past.  In a way we can say that acceptance is an unveiling   Everyone of us is born with many potentialities  But unless they are drawn out by the warmth touch of another’s acceptance, they will remain dormant.  Acceptance liberates everything that is in me.  Only when I am loved in that deep sense of complete acceptance can I become myself.  The love, the acceptance of other persons makes me the unique person that I am meant to be.  When a person is appreciated for what he does, he is not unique; someone else can do that same thing, perhaps even better than he.  But when a person is loved for what he is, then he becomes a unique and irreplaceable personality.  So indeed, I need that acceptance in order to be myself.  When I am not accepted, I am a nobody, I cannot come to fulfillment. An accepted person is a happy person because he is opened up, because he can grow.

To accept a person does not mean that I deny his defects, that I gloss over them or try to explain them away.  Neither does acceptance mean to say that everything the person does is beautiful and fine.  Just the opposite is true. When I deny the defects of the person, then I certainly do not accept him.  I have not touched the depth of that person.  Only when I accept a person can I truly face his defects.

To express it in a negative way:  acceptance means that I never give a person the feeling that he doesn’t  count.  Not to expect anything from a person is tantamount to killing him, making him sterile.  He cannot do anything.  It is said that children with rickets scratch lime from the walls.  People who are not accepted scratch from the walls. And what are the symptoms?

– Boasting:  in a subtle or obvious way they provide themselves with the praise they want so badly.

– Rigidity:  a lack of acceptance causes a lack of security in the path of life and, a fortiori, lack of courage to risk one step to either side of the path.

– Inferiority complex:  This simply defines the above conditions.

– Promiscuity or any other superficial joy:  deep down there is so much lacking that they endeavor to get whatever they can out of life in an easy way.

– The desire to assert themselves, the frightful power to impose themselves, the excessive need for attention, the tendency to feel threatened, to exaggerate, to gossip, to suspect others:  these are other symptoms of lack of acceptance.


I am accepted by God as I am– as I am, not as I should be.  To proclaim the latter is an empty message because I am never as I should be.  I know that is reality.  I do not walk a straight path.  There are many curves, many wrong decisions which in the course of life have brought me to where I am today, and God tells me that “the place on which you stand is holy ground.” (Ex.3:5) God knows my name. “See, I have carved you on the palms of my hands.”  (Is. 49:16)  God can never look at his hand without seeing my name. And my name – that’s me!  He guarantees that I can be my self.  St. Augustine says, “A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still accepts you.”  That is the dream we all share, that one day I will meet the person to whom I can really talk, who understands me and the words I say, who listens and can even hear what is left unsaid, and then really accepts me.  God is the fulfillment of this dream.  He loves me with my ideals and disappointments, my sacrifices and my joys, my successes and my failures.  God is himself the deepest ground of my being.  It is one thing to know I am accepted, and another thing to realize it.  It is not enough to have just once touched the love of God.  There is more required to build one’s life on God’s love.  It takes a long time to believe I am accepted by God as I am.

How often have we been told that it is important that we love God?  And this is true. But it is far more important that God loves us!  Our love for God is secondary.  God’s love for us is first.  “This is the love I mean, not our love for God but God’s love for us.”  (1 John 4:10).   This is the foundation.  Karl Rahner once made the remark that we live in a time where there is much interest in Church politics, (e.g., the pill, the reform of the curia, celibate priesthood.)  This may be a sign of a deep faith.  It can also be a sign of a lack of faith.  The basic faith is that I know myself to be accepted by God.  “We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.” The whole Apostles Creed is nothing but a statement twelves times over in belief in  this very love which God has for us.

On the night before he died, Jesus prayed to the Father, “that you love them as you loved me . . so that your love for me may live in them.” (John 17:23, 26)  It seems incredible that God loves us just as much as he loves his Son, Jesus Christ.  Yet that is exactly what scripture says.  We human beings are divided in many ways:  (1) in time, for us one minute comes after another and our time is spread out. It is not so with God. God lives always in one ever present now.  There is no division.  Eternity means that the whole of time is condensed in one moment that lasts forever; (2) in space.  We have certain limited extensions.  It is not so with God.  God is completely one; (3) in love.  We are divided in our love.  We like a person very much (90%), or in an ordinary way(50%), or very little (20%).  God does not measure love.  God cannot but love totally (100%).  If we think God is a person who can divide his love, then we are thinking not of God but of ourselves.  God is perfectly one, the perfect unity.  We have love, but God is love.  His love is not an activity.  It is his whole self.  If we but grasp some idea of this, we understand that God could not possibly give 100% of his love to his Son and then 70% to us.  He would not be God if he could do that.  When we read the dialogues of Saint Catherine of Siena we get the impression that God has nothing to do but occupy himself with Catherine. And that is right.  The undivided attention of God is with her and with each of us.

It looks like I did it.  Trying to understand it.





August 19th, 2015


I love being 92!  I’ve written about the vista and the panoply and all that is true.  But there  is also  the insight that comes with age.  At least I’m calling it insight.  I look back and take heed of what my children have to say about their growing up.  It is quite obvious that I have muddled through.  I was smart and educated and competent in some areas.  i really tried to be a good mother but in some areas it seems I blew it!  One of my big mistakes was to think I was smart and educated and competent.  But I never asked for help until things were beyond repairing.  Advice might have been very helpful early on.  But who needed it?  Not me.

Now my kids are sixty-ish and it becomes obvious that they, too, have muddled through.  Even though they are smart and educated and competent in many areas, they still muddle through.  Maybe that’s what we ALL do – muddle through.  I rejoice at how well they are doing and the people they’ve become. Is that what it’s all about? = the transfiguration – striving, seeking, becoming.   And learning.  Learning until we can’t learn anymore.

I think of Mother Angelica who is my age and has been bedridden for years.  What a life she had!  How could a contemplative nun start a TV network?   She worked and prayed and taught and now she lies in bed.  But I am thinking that she is still learning.  I pray for her often and imagine that she is praying for me and for all of us.

I once read about someone who wanted to live life to the full so that when it was all over she could say, “Woo-hoo, what a ride!”  Maybe that’s what I’m doing, woo-hooing!  It HAS been a ride.  A small ride because I’m only a little person in the scheme of things, one out of billions, There are so many life stories out there in the world and we know so little of them.  Fifty years ago I was all wrapped up in my little life with my little family and my little problems.  We focus on what we need to do to make it to the next day.

It was a busy life.   Seven children, one after another.  Working, feeding, clothing, taking care of the house.  Prayer group.  When Father Joe thought he’d take the prayer group to the Holy Land I wanted so badly to go that I made it work.  What a memorable experience!  With the kids grown I had a new freedom, and a job, and managed to fit in trips to Lourdes, Paris, Assissi, Fatima,  Santiago de Compostela,  Auschwitz, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, with side trips to family in New Mexico, Indiana, Florida, Quebec, Toronto.      Then came the time when I thought I should walk away from my job, get on a bus,  and get arrested in Atlanta with Operation Rescue.  What a ride!  .Two  weeks in Fulton County Jail.  All told some 34 rescues and 19 arrests.  Multiple letters to the editor.  Weddings, a daughter killed, grandchildren. great-grandchildren.  the things of everyday life.   All told, it has been a woo-hoo trip!

Now, at 92, I have time to look around, at the panoply and  the vista and the people around me.  I find I want to know what makes them tick.  What do they live for, work for, dream of.  I look, for instance, at the presidential candidates coming forth at this time and try to figure out what they are seeking – power?  fame? or something they call “good.”  And what is it that they call good?  I am not the only one who thinks there is a marked divide in our candidates between those who serve  God and those who are godless.  I cannot understand the liberals who have no God. They cannot understand me.  I want to understand everything but just watching JEOPARDY demonstrates my very limited capacity.

So I pray.  There is a story about George Washington Carver that he asked God to teach him the secrets of the universe.  It is said that God told  him his brain was too small for the secrets of the universe but he would teach him about the peanut.  Eventually Carver was famous for his agricultural accomplishments but the tale about God seems to bear up when you learn that although Carver could have made much money from the patents he held but he would not cash in on them because they were from God!

Once I decided I could no longer accept the theory of evolution which fails by Darwin’s own criteria and received the death knell with understanding of DNA which Darwin knew nothing of (see previous blogs).   I started to listen to videos about atheists, theists, creationists, etc.  Kent Hovind and Ken Ham are creationists who take the bible  literally as divinely inspired   According to Genesis therefore the world was created in seven 24-hour days 6000 years ago.    God should know; he was there.  If we won’t believe that, why would be believe in the divine fatherhood of Jesus and other scriptures that we take literally?  ?  Of course, many  think the earth is billions of years old and they have good arguments for that.  I doubt I’ll ever get everything worked out to my satisfaction  on my own but I like to wonder and pray about it.   Right now I am pondering  a two-hour video by Hovind (  which  should provide food for thought for the rest of my life!  I am reminded that in  The Mystical  City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda, written in the 1600’s, supposedly inspired by Mary, Jesus was conceived 5199 years after God made the world.

And that’s the trip so far.   Woo-hoo!




July 5th, 2015


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.


March 22nd, 2015


February 20th, 2015


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!




August 25th, 2014


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


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.


June 9th, 2014


Unbelievable! It is actually a solid month since I have posted on this blog. Anyone just happening upon a blog titled “Musing at 90” might well think that the old lady has kicked the bucket. Not so. I’ve been busy on-line but on Facebook rather than the blog. Very busy. Daily. And I feel what I’ve been doing there has been important, not just fun. Please stop by and take a look. There is an exciting Christian presence on Facebook.

In the meantime, there has been real progress on the house renovation. What started out as a plan to re-do two rooms, ending up with a new bathroom downstairs so I don’t have to do the stairs many times a day, has remarkably morphed!. Somehow it happened that the exterior wall had to come down, first the aluminum siding, then the old cedar shakes, then the old clapboard (it’s a really old house, remember.) Then the old tin roof had to come off. I’m truly glad that the crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths got to bloom before all this transpired, because they have been severely beaten down by ladders and falling house parts. The peonies are barely holding their own. Then, of course, a new roof and new shingles went up. That’s where we are now. Nothing has really happened indoors for quite a while and my new bathroom is still a plan in my son’s head.

Oddly enough, I delight in seeing him work even though progress seems slow. He is thorough, careful, and competent and on the days when he doesn’t have to work elsewhere, he is here, right near by. I like having people about, and I especially like this window into my son’s head. Children tend to grow up into adulthood away from where they were raised and when you come across them thirty years later that have become a person that you hardly know.   It is good to have an opportunity to really reconnect.

There is really some interesting reading on my Facebook site. Please stop by and say hi. Next month I’ll be 91, God willing, and my present plan is to blog again before that happens.

Moving on to another son. When I heard that Johnny had made a nice family room in the basement of his home, complete with a pingpong table, I was immediately eager to get there and try a game. It has been some years since I’ve played and I wondered if I could still serve, and if I could see enough to return a serve. I figured I’d be exhausted in a few minutes but I really wanted to try. Yesterday Mary and I went to see their home in springtime and especially the family room with the pingpong table.


I very happy to report that I have not lost my mojo! I can still serve and volley a bit and while I was exhausted after about ten minutes, and winded besides, I am now wishing that I could go back every few days to practice and maybe increase my stamina a bit.   Thank you, Johnny.  And thank you, Joyce, for the photo.


May 8th, 2014


I am beside myself with joy to see a Facebook post by my old (88) online friend, Leona Choy, who is writing yet another book. Leona became a Catholic in 2005 when “God surprised her with an 11th hour journey into the joyous fullness of biblical faith she found in the Catholic Church……Author, speaker, publisher, and broadcaster, Leona Choy graduated from Wheaton College. She co-founded Ambassadors for Christ, Inc., president of Southern Light Gospel Music Network and founder and editorial director of Golden Morning Publishing. Leona wrote, or collaborated over thirty books, and scores of articles.” Leona writes today as follows on her blog:, where she writes:
“My posts on this blog may or may not find their way into some of my forthcoming books. How many books I still might write depends on the length of the generous bonus time the Lord is giving me on Planet Earth and the strength He provides. I’ll stop writing when God brings me to His Finish Line!”

I’m titling my current book-in-progress STILL MORE! FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT. It is the third book in my “Land of MORE” Trilogy. I deliberately selected “flourishing” as the characteristic that could and should be applied to the latter season of one’s Christian life, our advanced years.

Is that an anomaly? An impossible dream? A paradox? A contradiction? Not at all. God backs me up on this point.

FLOURISH used as a noun or a verb has many meanings. It can describe a dramatic, sweeping gesture that is grandiose or meant to impress. It can describe strokes or movements of the hand as in waving something about in the air, brandishing a sword or weapon or the like. Flourishing may describe flamboyant writing, with sweeping, ornamental or fanciful curves or lines, an artistic or graphic embellishment adding pen or brush lines to writing. For example initial letters of an important or historic document. It is the name of a rousing trumpet call or lively musical fanfare. It is used to indicate a period in history or life, like the finest or most flourishing state of life or beauty. It is the opposite of declining or failing or diminishing.

It can also indicate the healthy growth of a living thing—a plant, animal, or person. It describes a vigorous state of blooming or flowering or thriving luxuriantly. It is the opposite of dried, wilted, or fading. Flourishing may be used to describe a person in his prime, at the height of fame, excellence, influence, skill, etc. It can mean one who is successful and prosperous in multiple aspects.

Flourishing is also a positive psychology concept. “The term is applied to mentally healthy adults having high levels of emotional well-being; they are happy and satisfied; they tend to see their lives as having purpose; they accept themselves and are resilient, always growing and changing. Such people cope more effectively with chronic stress and other negative experiences. Flourishing is something that must be cultivated over the course of a lifetime.”
It is in this latter sense of abundant personhood that I explore its application in my book.

Some might be reluctant to apply the word “flourishing” to people in the summit years of their lives, the sunset years. The latter season of life is more often characterized by diminishing faculties, energy, and interests. I use that term in this book primarily to describe the inner, spiritual life of a Christian which can flourish regardless of the obvious natural physical decline brought on by the human aging process. I focus on positive attitudes and responses to circumstances and conditions both inside of us and around us.

I believe that flourishing in our advanced years depends largely on appropriating the power and wisdom and enabling of the Holy Spirit of God and applying it to our state in life. In the natural, of course we become weary, tired, and faint with physical and mental exhaustion because of the length and travails of the journey of life. But according to the God-inspired words of Isaiah the prophet, “Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength” (40:28, 29). This passage of Scripture is the key to the flourishing life which God offers us as we live out our advanced years in Christ.

Doesn’t God cut us any slack in our mature years? Is He realistic when He asks us to flourish during the latter period of our lives? God’s expectation set forth in Psalm 92:12-14 is that “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of Jehovah; They shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and green.” God has made His case.

Most people including Christians tend to think of the latter season of one’s life in terms of diminishing, decreasing, declining, and depreciating because of inevitable mortal physical decline. There is, in fact, an even longer list of “Ds”—and they are depressing. I could add diminution since after my recent physical checkup I measured more than an inch shorter than at my high school graduation. No wonder my spine is groaning, my lower back giving me pain, and my joints creaking when I “rise up” from my computer chair! I take comfort in knowing that my downsitting and my uprising are a concern to God. (Psalm 139:2)

God has created us with both a body and a spirit. The realistic dreaded “Ds” apply only to the flesh part of us and its natural process. Our transient mortal body is not made for permanent residence on Planet Earth. In contrast, the Lord intends that our eternal spirit should remain vigorous and youthful. “[God] satisfies your mouth [desire, life, years, old age, in other versions] with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:5). The spirit is made of incorruptible stuff and its proving ground and formation is here on Earth. God intends for the spirit to increase in stamina, to keep gaining in strength and joy while developing and amplifying its eternal qualities.

God has inundated us with His sure promises of how we can live a “STILL MORE” life while living in our deteriorating bodies. At the same time, He does have incredible plans for our decaying, degenerating, and dilapidated “Earth Suits” of flesh. We anticipate the eventual resurrection of these bodies. God considers them precious and has made plans to reconstitute them into immortal but still recognizable glorified bodies that will never perish. They are not permanently cast off when we take our leave of this earthly life. According to our Christian faith, body and spirit will be reunited.

Because God works by the power of the Holy Spirit in our spirits, no matter in what season of life, our bodies are energized by Him to function in accordance with our age and state in life and in line with God’s purposes for us. The Scriptures declare that “God knows our frame, that we are dust…” and His expectations for us at any age and stage are realistic. Ephesians 3:20 in the Amplified Paraphrased version expresses His promise: “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams….” Other versions translate the degree of God’s work in us as “do immeasurably more” and “do exceeding abundantly.”

Second Corinthians 9:8 expands the promise still further without limiting it to any season of life. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” And in verse 10, “…you will be enriched in everything for all liberality….” Not only “fully supplying” but “overflowing” and “surpassing” in other versions.

April 7th, 2014


Change! I feel truly blessed to be doing as well as I am at 90 but, even so, change is very challenging to old folks. Everyone seems to agree that providing me with a bathroom on the first floor is a good idea. But we have lived here over 50 years and with 7 kids one bathroom upstairs always seemed to be enough. And I get lots of exercise going up and down stairs. After all, Betty White says her old house with the stairs is what keeps her so spry. True, mine are rather steep stairs and there is a big old metal steam radiator right at the bottom. Falling down them would not be a good idea. (Bumpity bumpity bump CRASH!) The proposed bathroom would be in the little room now used as my computer room and which I made into a kind of walk-in closet years ago with shelves and rods and many, many clothes. Even though I almost never buy clothes they seem to accumulate (because they still fit and people buy them as gifts) and I have lots more than I’ll ever need. Every cranny and nook in this old house (built in 1870) is occupied with STUFF, and I have long felt I needed to get rid of a lot of it but, you know, that requires DECISIONS and parting with things that may SOMEDAY come in handy. So, it is, in a way, good to have the impetus of an upcoming incoming bathroom. Sonny says everything has to come down right to the lathes and there will be plumbers and all that.

On top of which (!) the living room ceiling has to come down. Early this year we had a furnace failure (the automatic water cut-off valve didn’t cut off and every radiator was dripping with water coming through the downstairs ceiling and pouring out in the basement. That same son managed to stem the tide and the living room ceiling which was bad before is really pleading for help. So, ceiling has to come down, walls, too, right down to the lathes, and, of course, everything has to be moved. (Where? Good question!) Just the thought of it is overwhelming! Two rooms to be gutted and re-done. Two rooms of furniture to be moved. To where? The other rooms, of course. Thank God I have five of them!

Now I must give credit where credit is due. Sonny is very good at planning and executing plans. He is quite able to handle such a situation. He does good work and has good taste. He loves his Mommy and I dearly love him. God willing I will survive this upheaval and reap the benefits down the line. I am trying to get a head start and sort and move and plan where everything will go while the work is going on. The trouble is EVERYTHING WILL BE SOMEPLACE ELSE. Not where it has always been. Will I remember where things were put?

I know. I am a blessed woman. Thank you, God. What does it really matter if something of mine gets moved from here to there for a week or a month? The internet is awash with warnings of a third world war, economic collapse, a government coup, of global cooking, of rampant sexual excesses, racial unrest, increasing drug addiction and suicides. For each day of relative peace I should be so grateful. And I am. A blood moon is predicted for April 15, coinciding with Passover—-interesting astronomical occurrence or Biblical sign?

The times they are a-changing.